On christianity


I would like to know from any Christians who visit this site how many of them believe in miracles because of the evidence adduced in their support.

I also would like to know how many of them believe in god because of the design argument?

 

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About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

50 thoughts on “On christianity

  1. Interested to read the responses you get.

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    • makagutu says:

      Unfortunately even the blog’s resident christian, CS, hasn’t been here a while now. Maybe Barry should be the resident Christian but he is so cool a guy

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      • Cool guys are nice, but for the real fireworks, we need the glorious workings of minds like Cs’s. He’ll be back.

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        • makagutu says:

          In fact unless he tells you he is a Christian, you would not know. He never throws bible verses left right and centre. I like him even though I think his belief wrong

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          • Barry says:

            It’s nice to be called “cool”. I’ve been called many things, but never cool.

            Why should I throw bible verses at you? It’s a collection of writings by people who were inspired by their belief in God. As a consequence it’s full of contradictions and inaccuracies. It describes the evolution of a theology over many generations and hasn’t been added to in almost 2 millennia. It’s not a particularly reliable source of historical facts for those of us living in the twenty-first century.

            Oh, and Mak. where do you think my belief is wrong? Nothing in my belief system is set in stone. It’s always open to change in the light of new knowledge. In fact I have a duty to myself to question what I believe and seek out information to test it. Why do you think I’m here (apart from you being kind of cool yourself)? It’s certainly not to bring you out from “the dark side”. Your beliefs (or non-beliefs) suit you, and as far as I can see, they are not harming anyone, so why should I try to convince you otherwise?

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          • makagutu says:

            Barry, most Christians, at least the ones I meet on the internet think the answer to every question is either in Genesis or Romans and go dishing out verses like it is candy.

            Why do I think your belief wrong? I could be wrong in thinking you believe that a man was born of a virgin, did a few things here and there and then hang on a cross for a few hours, died and then resurrected. If this is not in the statement of your beliefs, I apologise sincerely, but if they are, then I think the belief is based on a lie and as such is wrong.

            And you see, I said you are cool. You are a cool dude, a pacifist per excellence and I am ever glad I met you.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Barry says:

            Virgin birth: myth
            Jesus existed: probably
            Crucified: Likely outcome for someone perceived as as a possible threat to Roman authority.
            Resurrected: myth

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          • makagutu says:

            Barry, you are a guy I would love to have two beers with and a BBQ

            Liked by 1 person

          • Barry says:

            On Saturday A BBQ would have been great, but the temperature has dropped 10 degrees Centigrade since then. It’s going to have to wait till next summer 🙂

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          • makagutu says:

            then maybe you should come over here. We have almost the best weather anywhere on the planet

            Liked by 1 person

          • Barry says:

            So I’ve heard. NZ weather is very changeable. It can’t be relied on. I like its unpredictability, but there are many who don’t.

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          • makagutu says:

            I don’t think I know of anyone who could describe unpredictable weather as Mark Twain did about the weather I think of New England

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Ignostic Dave says:

    I overheard my father yesterday (Christian) speaking with a rabbi (guess) about how there are so many examples in evolution where there must be a god to explain it, such as the development of intelligence.

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  3. Barry says:

    As many Christians accept I am one of them, perhaps I can comment as a Christian, but nor for all Christians.

    Miracle: an extraordinary and welcome event that is not explicable by known natural or scientific laws and is therefore attributed to a divine agency.

    Miracles happen every day, but I don’t believe it’s necessary to attribute them to a divine agency. They are simply not explainable by our present knowledge.

    I’ll give you an example:
    A former work colleague and his mate were trying to mount an air conditioning unit to the outside wall between two windows of their seventh floor apartment. They had manoeuvred the unit through one window and they had got to the position where each was supporting the unit while leaning out their respective windows. The phone in an adjoining room rang and the mate instinctively let go to answer it. The colleague didn’t let go of the unit quickly enough and was promptly pulled through the window as the unit started its journey towards the concrete pavement below. When the colleague reached the end of his fall, he promptly go up, dashed up the seven flights of stairs, and applied fist to jaw very forcefully to show his displeasure.

    How he survived a fall of seven stories onto concrete with only a few minor bruises is indeed unexplainable, in other words a miracle, but I don’t believe a deity was involved.

    P.S. The air conditioning unit didn’t survive. It was scattered over quite a wide area.

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  4. Barry says:

    I forgot the design argument. If someone believes in God, then it’s understandable that they attribute creation to that God. I believe most Christians here in NZ would accept modern theories on cosmology and the Big Bang, while still believing God had a hand in it all.

    I don’t think that there would be many who came to believe in God because of the creation argument. It’s more likely to be the other way round – creation belief follows from God belief.

    But what would I know. I come from a part of the world where Christians are a minority.

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    • makagutu says:

      That is an interesting thing Barry. In my part of the world, first they would believe in god then look for the arguments to support the belief and not the other way

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      • Barry says:

        For those that believe in God, I don’t think there’s need for proof. If proof is needed, then in all likelihood they are beginning to doubt their belief and are looking for support to bolster it. I don’t think it works.

        As for myself, I have no idea what God is. All I can say is I experience God frequently. Whether it’s something “other” or whether it’s simply a mental construct, I have no idea. And to be honest I’m not bothered by not knowing. I’m also wise enough to know that what might be valid for me isn’t necessarily valid for anyone else. It would be a boring world if we all thought the same.

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        • makagutu says:

          I can’t say enough I like you. I saw in some post you were called an atheist

          Liked by 1 person

          • Barry says:

            Both Christians and atheists have called me atheist, but then other Christians and atheists have called me Christian. So who Knows? Personally, don’t self identify as atheist, but I don’t think of labels as being very important. If you like to see me as atheist, I have no objection. Currently I self identify as a non-theist Christian or Christian non-theist. It’s not a particularly accurate label, but until something better comes along, it will do.

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          • makagutu says:

            Labels or no labels, I find you likable and that is all that at the end of the day matters

            Liked by 1 person

          • And he lives in NZ! Home of Middle Earth! Now, there’s a dude I’d love to have a BBQ with. Cool if Frodo and Gandalf would join us! Hope you, and they, don’t mind BBQ fundamentalist christians, though. They’re my specialty. 🙂

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  5. A Guy Without Boxers says:

    I’m unable to respond here (obviously). I would be interested in reading your replies. I hope your weekend was enjoyable! 😉

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  6. Ain't No Shrinking Violet says:

    First off Mak, using words like “adduced” is going to discourage people from responding…regular ol’ blockheads need smaller words. Of course *I* knew what it meant (after I googled it).

    So as a very recent catholic, and in absence of the illustrious CS, I shall answer your questions. Of course it’s pointless to argue with me because I’m an atheist now, but what the heck.

    1. Even though very devout, I was skeptical of the miracles in the bible. My family believed in them wholeheartedly but I wasn’t totally convinced. At age 30 I saw a CHRISTIAN documentary about how the miracles really could have happened…they used math and science and meteorology to explain them, and damn if that didn’t seal the deal in my not believing in them, period. So the christians convinced me of the falsity of miracles, which I now find delightful!

    2. Did I believe in God because of the intelligent design argument? YES.

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    • Ain't No Shrinking Violet says:

      I think I have to clarify #2. I believed God gave the first spark of life at the Big Bang, and that we were born of intelligent design. Did I believe the earth was made in 7 days? No.

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    • makagutu says:

      Hi Vi.
      I guess you brought up Catholic so it is not like you read the design argument and said viola, now here is evidence for god but what actually happened is you already believed so the argument from design looked very logical. Am I right?

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  7. Crayton says:

    I believe miracles occur, insofaras events occur which cannot be explained (by contemporary scientific understandings).

    Many of Jesus’s healings may have been an advanced medicine. That says nothing to the question of whether Jesus was also the Christ. Even the Bible cites unsavoring characters preforming “miracles.”

    I have heard of Christian revivals where people are raised from the dead. I am VERY skeptical of these. And that is okay. Even if someone were truly raised from the dead through a divine action out in the wilds of Kentucky, it does not behoove me to believe it to be so. I can say “I hope God was glorified” and leave it as that.

    How might a supernatural being interact with the natural world? I don’t know. I suppose we could see evidence of this… though it would not be reproducible and thus testable, but presumably it could be recorded.

    How did God create the world? Same answer. Though I don’t think it has to be in a manner entirely different from contemporary scientific guesses.

    The design argument has not led me to belief in God. In fact, I think a lot of work can be done to improve the argument to make it increasingly compatible with popular scientific theories on origins while also painting a picture of a purposeful God, rather than a god of the gaps.

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    • Ain't No Shrinking Violet says:

      Hold the presses…did you really say, “I have heard of Christian revivals where people are raised from the dead.” There are ZOMBIES in the wilds of Kentucky? I have to look into this.

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    • Ain't No Shrinking Violet says:

      Why yes, Crayton, you’re correct…but it’s not just in Kentucky. There are zombies everywhere. Check it out:

      http://www.godisreal.today/raised-from-the-dead/

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    • makagutu says:

      Hey Crayton, thanks for your comment.
      If anything that we can’t explain is a miracle, then miracles happen all the time but I don’t think that is what the believer means when they are talking about miracles.
      In which way, if you allow me, would the design argument be improved. I would sure like to hear your thoughts.

      And finally, if you would allow me to ask, what made you believe in god?

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      • Crayton says:

        My understanding of the “design argument” is limited. Most commonly I hear that a piece of animal or human anatomy is attributed to “design” because an evolutionary origin is seen as unlikely or counterintuitive. There are other “what a coincidence!” arguments that state that certain physical circumstances could not have come about naturally.

        These seem like “god of the gap” arguments. Where our theories fall short… we attribute apparent order to God. Sure a Christian can believe that such order was ordained by God, but it is weak. A strong argument would find divine purpose in things we already have decent scientific theories for.

        For example. Some Christians pour efforts into refuting evolution and leave others who believe evolution to be accurate with cognitive dissonance: “God created animals… and so did evolution.” Instead, apologists should begin articulatating answers to questions like “Why would God use evolution to create the animals?”

        If an argument for God can be articulated in which God is sovereign over things like evolution, then a non-believer could be told, “see, look how evolution points to the existence of God.” Sadly, many apologists begin with the presumption that evolution is an anti-theistic crock.

        Evolution is touchy for some, so even when only looking at the present, theologians should answer questions like “Why has God created such marvelous genetic diversity in humanity?” If you can make a strong argument that this diversity points to God, who cares if the non-believer extends that to include evolution, they have just been hit with potentially convincing evidence that their world has been designed by a god who possesses certain appealing character traits without having to suspend disbelief by being told the earth is 6000 years old.

        Can such arguments be made? I think so; I could probably spend more time thinking about it myself.

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        • makagutu says:

          Crayton, I like your comment, not because I agree with it, no, far from it, because it sounds to me to be honest.
          Could the arguments be made, definitely. Are they valid? Not a chance

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