On Evangelical Realism, I said,
" [Mr.Roebuck said, quote]“…it is absurd and dangerous (not to mention invalid) to reject theistic evidence unless you have very good evidence for naturalism being true.”[end quote]
Not only shifting the burden of proof, sneeringly shifting the burden of proof!
Are we going to hear a couple of ‘nuggets’ which compose this ‘mountain’ of theistic evidence?
I doubt it.",
to which Mr.Roebuck replied,
"Your responses so far have been underwhelming. Perhaps this is just a site where atheists meet to kibbitz and I have committed a faux pas by intruding on a private conversation and asking that you justify your atheism. But you criticized my essay, so I defended myself. I wonder if you can defend yourselves.
My language is harsh, but fair and not insulting. Since I have to interact with you (I have to defend my essay), I might as well try to knock some sense into you."
Okay, I think that Mr. Roebuck is tacitly admitting that this is just a debate(let the best debater win!), and subject to each and every rhetorical trick in the book.
"There is no symmetry between our positions. Your position is defined by the “No!” you say to a vast sum of evidence and arguments. My position is that some of this sum is valid, and you need to justify your rejection of obviously good evidence. If you cannot justify it, you are probably wrong."
Seems to me that Mr. Roebuck hasn't read many atheist blogs if he doesn't know, and he doesn't seem to know that what atheist bloggers do is point out fallacies in anything remotely regarded as 'evidence' by theists. So, apparently we are being invited to step out of reality into Mr. Roebuck's 'world' as per usual when it comes to Christian apologists.
"Are you even aware of your own reasons for rejecting all the evidence?"
" How much of the evidence do you even know?"
Quite a bit more than I need to know to decide my position on this.
" Are you capable of doing more than sneering?"
This is a bit 'to quoque'ish, don't you think. I say that he is 'sneeringly shifting the burden of proof' and would you look at that, didn't even bother to look up a synonym!
"Do you know how one might investigate something that is not physical?"
Sure, you investigate something that isn't physical by it's effects on the physical world.
" There is at least one non-physical thing that you know exists: Your consciousness. Don’t say “Consciousness is caused only by the functioning of brain cells.” Even if that were true, consciousness itself, the thing you experience, is obviously not brain cells, nor is it functioning of brain cells. Your consciousness does not have weight or a chemical makeup, so consciousness does not equal brain cells. And your consciousness cannot be measured in volts and amps, so consciousness does not equal brain cell activity. Your consciousness is an irreducible thing, and non-material.
So at least one non-material thing exists. (Technically, I’m claiming it’s a “substance,” that is, something that exists in and of itself, and not as a property of something else.) Therefore other non-material things may exist.
We don’t have a direct experience of God, as we do of our minds. So how, in general, does one discern whether a non-material thing exists? Not by empirical evidence, because we cannot detect a non-material thing with our senses. Some other line of reasoning must be used.
The basic evidence for God is that the various aspects of reality cannot generate themselves, and therefore need a cause. Here are brief summaries of two lines of argumentation.
The universe (including space and time) did not always exist. Therefore something outside of matter, space and time caused it. Sure, this analysis does not show that the cause is God. But it does shows that the cause is not the matter that you tacitly assume causes everything.
Darwinists only believe that Evolution can account for the origin and development of all life because they assume God did not do it, and therefore matter is all that could have done it. But they are assuming their answer, not proving it. It is more plausible (unless you have an irrational presupposition of naturalism) that an intelligent Being caused life.
Question: If one does not beg the question by assuming that God is impossible, why specifically is a naturalistic explanation of the origins of the cosmos and of life more plausible than a theistic one?
Saying “science has proved Evolution” is an invalid answer. Science assumes the materialism that I am asking you to justify.
Saying “The Bible is full of mistakes” is in invalid answer. Mistakes do not justify naturalism.
Saying “Religious believer say and do many evil and foolish things” is an invalid answer. Mistakes and evil do not justify naturalism.
Can you justify your rejection of all the evidence?"
I haven't even read all of this yet, there's just so much meat here.
So far I've replied thus,
"Mr. Roebuck says, “There is at least one non-physical thing that you know exists: Your consciousness.”
Consciousness is a process or a word, the first word in this sentence. Now we both know we’re not talking about the word ‘consciousness’ here,so an analogy to consciousness would be ‘the flowingness’ of a river. The ‘flowingness’ is not the water itself, much like the consciousness is not the chemical reactions themselves.
Hey, you came here to teach us something, perhaps you might learn something instead, Mr.Roebuck?
I am underwhelmed(to use your word) that you can point out ‘things’ which don’t materially exist. I think you’re just mixing and matching your categories here.
(Please come to my blog and defend yourself there too! )",
but there's more coming!!!