My conversation with #clintmmartin on 10/29/11
I don’t remember where this shit began with Clint. Like Steve, though, Clint has essentially said that his testimony to claims of God should be enough evidence that those claims are true. What particularly annoyed me about the following exchange was that Clint made an appeal to his girlfriend being cured of leukemia SOLELY by the Name of Jesus (his capitalization). In my experience with these guys, they’re never, and I mean NEVER, willing to admit any other possibility other than what they insist on, they’re never able to or willing to point to any evidence other than that they’ve witnessed something, and they’re always dishonest in their representation of ideas such as the Big Bang and evolution. Links to an alluded Craig/Hitchens debate included. I’m in italics. Clint’s in bold. [Annotations as necessary.]
Great to hear back from you so soon.
>I understand that you believe that the origin of the universe is a big mystery.
With respect, let’s not use “believe” in a dishonest way. I don’t “believe” in gravity. Gravity has been demonstrated time and time again. So, too, has much of what we understand of the universe. It’s true that we don’t know all of the universe and its origins, but it’s not a question of “belief.”
>But I plead with you to look to this Scripture:
What effect did you expect your quote to have on me? [Clint had quoted a long passage from Romans or Kings or something. Probably Romans. I don’t remember what it was about other than the origin of the universe and God doing and saying all manner of impressive things.]
>The truth is that im not an expert in philosophical Christian apologetics but i can direct you to many well read, respected and even feared debaters who debate on the existance of God and the reliability of the testimony of Jesus of Nazareth and His ressurection such as William Lane Craig, J.P. Moreland, Ravi Zacharias, Greg Kokul, Josh Mc Dowell, C.S. Lewis, etc.
I’m aware of Craig and Lewis. I’ve watched a number of Craig debates. He asserts things as true without evidence, presents false dichotomies, arguments from ignorance, and others as things that must be. I’ve never seen him present any objectively verifiable evidence for any of his claims. I know less of Lewis, though from what I have seen, he does exactly the same thing. In the video you sent, at 15:09, right off the bat, Craig asserts a dishonesty. Craig states that, “For centuries, atheists have attempted to disprove the existence of God.” I can’t speak for all atheists in all history, but I know that it’s impossible to prove a negative. Just as I can’t disprove the existence of Zeus or Thor, so, too, I can’t disprove the existence of God. The positive claim, that a god exists, is the claim that requires proof, for, without proof, why should anyone believe any claim made of this god?
>I can tell you that i have seen miracles and heard untold numbers of testimonies to the power of God changing peoples lives.
On your first count, I’d love to know specifically how you define a “miracle”, then see objectively verifiable evidence of them. For the second count, as you know from court cases, testimony alone isn’t 100% reliable. If it were, we’d never have appeals, overturns, hung-juries, or exonerations.
>My own personal testiomony is something that no one can take from me. And my testimony of a changed life would never have happened if i didnt hear about the love of Christ.
How do you know that it never would’ve happened without hearing about the love of Christ? People make the assertion of “This never would’ve happened” all the time, and yet I’ve never met anyone who was able to prove that.
>I didnt decide to do it on my own it was ONLY because of Christ.
Again, how do you know that?
>Also like i told you before my girlfriend was healed of Lukemia and diabetes in the Name of Jesus.
- How do you know that she was healed because of the Name of Jesus?
- Did your girlfriend receive any kind of professional medical care?
- Why doesn’t the Name of Jesus work all the time on everyone?
- How do you explain my work colleague, a Catholic, who lost his 8-year-old daughter to Chron’s Disease (sp?)? He prayed and so did she. Why didn’t Jesus save her? She was only eight!
- How do you explain my mom, a Christian her whole life, who about five years ago was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, and has continually gotten worse, even with Emmanuel of KingdomWarriors.com praying for her?
- How do you explain a woman who died, in agony, of a brain aneurism due to end-stage liver disease? Why didn’t Jesus save her?
- Why does Jesus only save some people only some of the time? Why do born-again Christians even bother with medical care if they believe Jesus will save them?
>She felt the “fire of God” come upon her and felt the Holy Spirit healing her from the inside.
How does she know this feeling was what you claim and not caused by something else?
>ANd like i told you the doctor was astounded and came to Christ in the doctors office he was so amazed.
How does that prove your claims?
>(You might not believe me but i do not bear false witness to try and “lie” people to Jesus. I have nothing to gain by “lieing” you to Jesus.
Whether you have anything to gain is irrelevent to whether there’s objectively verifiable evidence to support your claims.
>That is incompatible with TRUE followers of Jesus to do such a thing.
Are you saying that there are false followers of Christ?
>I would address every question, but i believe you already have your mind made up
Per the scientific method, I’m always willing to re-consider my positions based on evidence. I’ve changed several political and social views based on evidence.
>(having a site named “AtheistAsshole.com.”) no matter the logic, evidence, testimony, or revelation it remains a pride issue.
There are thousands of people who testify to witnessing ghosts, aliens, and other paranormal phenomena, so should I believe them as well? As for logic, every apologist argumment I’ve ever heard has been at least partly, but usually entirely, based on logical fallacy or emotional appeal. As for evidence, no one has ever provided a shred of objectively verifiable evidence for his supernatural claims. Did you have any evidence I should know about? As for revelation, since I’ve never had any (other than when I lost my faith), I don’t know what that would look like.
I take issue with your accusation that my issue is one of pride. Are you too proud to accept the truth of Zeus?
>Some people dont want to be accountable to God and thats a choice He gives us.
You’d have to prove that there’s a god to whom we’re accountable. How is it a choice if this alleged omniscient god knows all my thoughts, feelings, and actions before I’m even born?
>I am not attacking you im just telling a truth.
How do you know it’s the truth?
>Many former athiests such as Lee Strobel will tell of this “pride issue”.
How do you know Strobel was an atheist? What was the specific evidence that convinced him the supernatural claims of Christianity were true?
> I have had pride also. It is a humans problem.
Maybe we’re using different definitions of “pride.” What do you think it means?
>Attached is a link to a debate between W.L.C and Hitchens W.L.C. gives great arguments for the existance of God.
I watched the first bit of this and at 15:40, Craig offers the Cosmological Argument for the existence of God.
“But there are good reasons, both philosophically and scientifically, to think that the universe began to exist. Philosophically, the idea of an infinite past seems absurd. Just think about it. If the universe never began to exist, that means that the number of past events in the history of the universe is infinite. But mathematicians recognize that the existence of an actually infinite number of things leads to self-contradictions.”
He goes on.
The problem with all that Craig states so far is that many of the things he laments, such as the idea of an infinite past seeming absurd, is irrelevant to the evidence. How Craig feels about the nature of reality has no bearing at all on the nature of reality. Am I saying that the universe is infinite? No. I don’t know if it is or it isn’t. I’m willing to concede that whether I consider the universe as infinite or not does not and never will have any bearing on what the evidence demonstrates or will demonstrate.
But this seems to be Craig’s whole thing. He always goes on about what seems absurd or natural or necessary and then asserts things as needing to be simply because without things being the way he asserts them as needing to be, he wouldn’t have a satisfactory answer to his question of why things are the way they are. But this is all ultimately a giant argument from ignorance. Essentially, what Craig always says is, “I don’t know how else this thing could be, but I can wrap my mind around Christianity’s explanation; therefore, I’m going to believe Christianity.”
But this is a dishonest way of looking at the world. If we were to take every claim that seemed to make sense under a given set of circumstances and assumed, then, that the explanation for this claim were true and unwilling to re-examine the explanation and claim under as many objectively verifiable experiments as possible, how are we to learn about the nature of reality? What’s stopping us from picking and choosing which claims we happen to find comfortable, sticking to those claims with ardent passion, and ignoring anything and everything that didn’t happen to meld with those claims? How does this not lead to ignorance, misunderstanding, and, ultimately, catastrophic human suffering?
At approximately 37:00, Hitchens, on the other hand, goes into a brief discussion on evolution and its falsifiability. I urge you to check it out.