What reason is there to believe in the authenticity of the Bible, its message, and/or Christianity? You can submit any claim that you like; whatever you find convincing.If you recall my request, I had some submission guidelines to weed out submissions that would completely miss the prompt (such as arguing for a creator-god or against atheism):
1. It cannot be an argument "against atheism" as that bears no weight on the validity of Christianity.Additionally, I had the concluding thought:
2. Arguments that go simply to the existence of a deistic God. (fine-tuning, first cause, etc)
3. Arguments to "open my heart" or "Jesus saves." These are arguments from the Bible, not for the Bible.
Keep in mind that I will consider how your reasons and evidence apply to both Christianity and other religions. I want to be convinced of Christianity, not of Deism or evidence that can be used for any religion.The reader:
And this is beside the point but hy no arguments for god. Are you going to grant that some god might exist for the sake of argument?
I am not granting that a god or gods may exist for the sake of argument; I'm granting it for the sake of reality. I've never actually met an atheist who has said that gods definitely don't exist. This is because all the atheists I've ever known are agnostics.
The reason I'm not accepting general arguments for a god, specifically a creator-god like the deistic God, is because I'm offering this challenge for Christianity, not of gods in general. I'm an atheist because I disbelieve that gods exist; I also disbelieve that gods do not exist; I have no belief. Of course, a god may exist -- the truth value of that claim, though, cannot be assessed. As such, I am, personally, wholly unconcerned with conjectures on it. I'm an apatheist in this regard. I'm offering this challenge because every debate I have ever seen devolves into general arguments about a deistic god with no discussion of the person's actual religion (see Ray's Atheist Test). Often the argument goes that they attempt to prove a god exists and then conclude that that god is necessarily their god with no supporting argument.
I've written a blog entry before (I can't find it with a cursory search) that it doesn't matter if a god exists. If a god exists, why should I care? It doesn't affect me in any way. Christianity and many religions, though, make claims that it does. That's what I'm interested in.
It's unfair to chalk up all those aspects of god to deism.they could fit the Christian god just as well( if not more).
That's the point, though. Yes, they could fit the Christian God. They could also fit almost any god, which is the point. Those aren't arguments for the Christian God; they are arguments for a god or, in some cases, gods in general. Allow me to make an analogy to arguments regarding aliens.
There are numerous claims about aliens. Some aliens abduct people (abductionism). Some aliens impersonate people (impersonationism). Some aliens live among people (assimilationism). All of these claims share a common premise: aliens exist (alienism).
Now, let's say I've encountered someone who believes that aliens abduct people -- an abductionist. I'm very interested as to why he believes aliens are abducting people and why I should care. He engages me and he spends the entire debate arguing for the general existence for aliens.
He argues that there are many billions of planets.
He argues that life is likely to have evolved on some of these planets.
He argues that it requires intelligent beings to form the constellations we see in the sky.
He continues in this manner throughout the debate. In the end he concludes: aliens exists, therefore they abduct people. The conclusion is a non-sequitir.
At no point did he argue as to why they would abduct people. He did not present any evidence for abductions. He did not address the problems with accounts of abductions. He simply argued for alienism, not abductionism.
This is what I am pre-empting in the Christianity request. I am wholly unconcerned if aliens exist or not. That truth value cannot be assessed. And so what if they do or do not? Why should I care? The same can be said for the general existence of a god.
Now, if aliens are abducting people, I want to know about that and I'd like to hear arguments and evidence for it. Abductionism is to alienism what Christianity is to theism. He argued for alienism, but that applies to impersonationism, assimilationism, and bare alienism (the deism equivalent). He gave no argument for abductionism.
If your argument is for the general existence of a god or even a creator-god, you have not given any argument for Christianity. The request is for arguments for Christianity.
Why not take arguments against atheism? I know it doesn't prove Christianity but are you just afraid your worldview can't stand up to criticism?
You seem to imply that I have an atheist worldview -- I do not know what that is. Is it the same as my worldview that is without the belief in Bigfoot? An atheist worldview would be one, I assume, that is simply without the belief in a god. I don't think my lack of belief in a god alters my worldview any more than my lack of belief in Bigfoot or astrology alters my worldview.
If I learn that Bigfoot exists? It doesn't alter my worldview in any way. It doesn't affect how I see the world. And if a god exists? It doesn't alter my worldview, per se. It's impossible for me to know anything about the god, so it necessarily won't alter my worldview. If the Christian God exists, though, and Christianity is true? That would fundamentally alter my worldview, so I'm interested in arguments for that.
I'm not accepting arguments "against atheism" because it does not contribute any support to Christianity.
I also am not sure I know what an argument against atheism would entail. Unless it is an argument against the lack of belief in a god (wherein you would have to be arguing for the existence of a god), all I can imagine is one, long fallacy. If it is the former, then it violates the guideline of arguments for a deistic god.
For the sake of argument, you may assume that a god exists. If I were arguing with an abductionist, I would allow him to assume that aliens exist for the sake of argument.