Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Remarkable faith claims - culpable nonsense!

Someone calling themselves T-Herbert kindly left a comment on my post How to beat William Lane Craig!  I always welcome comments, even if they are culpable and incomprehensible nonsense like this one.  It went like this.

What Hilary is trying to present is if one refutes God's goodness and grace one would have to look at Jesus which is God 'manifested in the flesh' - Paul. To truly label God (an infinite and non-natural being) with natural qualities one needs to look more at his natural manifestation and not what he did in the old testament. I think a very good argument for how compassionate God is towards us is the fact he loved the world so much he allowed the execution of his son so that we might be able to go to Heaven-John 3:16. In laymen's terms, God essentially wrapped himself in dirt, then fellowshipped with dirt, in order that dirt might be able to spend eternity with him. That, to me is remarkable, and I think that any non-incredulous person can not refute this as evidence of how compassionate God is.

Remarkable, I agree, but to me it is most remarkable that an obviously intelligent and literate individual thinks so completely differently to me.  How can any of this be considered as evidence in any way at all? 

Remember how philosopher Peter Boghossian defines faith?  He says "Faith is pretending to know things that you don't know".  Having said that I will unpick the arguments from the comment above.  It is an interesting variant on the usual themes that we hear from the faithful.

First of all, the only evidence presented for this point of view is either biblical or faith based (or both).  Since I can't accept the bible as more than fable, and faith is nicely defined as it was above I can't see any value in the comment at all.

Second - I don't think that is what Hilary was talking about anyway, even though she and T-Herbert are clearly on the same side of the fence.  So the argument about how much God loved the world is worthless.  It is a claim about something that you just can't know.

Then moving onto the nice explanation of the comment for us laymen, this is a typical Christian point of view.  God wrapped himself in dirt??  Humanity is dirty and sinful, not intelligent and respectable.  From a humanist point of view this (and indeed reducing it to a layman's explanation) is simply offensive. 

That doesn't mean that you can't say it, but it does mean that it isn't likely to convince anyone to change their point of view and suddenly accept Jesus into their hearts (or indeed to stop thinking of William Lane Craig as an intellectual criminal, as Boghossian also said).

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