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December 07, 2012

Comments

We need to be smart; not just in terms of our ability to absorb and comprehend the arguments and evidences related to the claims of Christianity, but also in our ability to understand how to navigate our conversations about these truths.

And what does Tactics say about 'navigating our conversations' (on page 20)?

I am going to teach you how to navigate in conversations so
that you stay in control — in a good way — even though your
knowledge is limited. You may know nothing about answering
challenges people raise against what you believe. You may even
be a brand new Christian. It doesn't matter. I am going to introduce
you to a handful of effective maneuvers— I call them tactics—that
will help you stay in control.

It "doesn't matter" if you know nothing about the subject. Stay in control of the conversation. But do it in a 'good way'.

RonH

I agree with Warner Wallace's article. People reject Christianity because of reasons that are:

Rational
Emotional
Volitional

He goes on:

"It would be great if everyone we met was in the first category, wouldn’t it? After all, Christian Case Making involves studying the evidence and arguments for God’s existence, the reliability of the Bible and the historicity of Jesus, and these evidential pursuits are designed to help make a rational, evidential case for Christianity. But the truth is that few people object for rational reasons; most object to the truth for emotional or volitional reasons."

ok

But what are the reasons why people BECOME Christian?

It's the same two bottom reasons.

(i'd probably throw in "Geographical" too)

I've personally never met a Christian who was Christian based on a "rational argument."

God knows I wasn't.

I've heard that such Christians exist, and i've seen some of their youtube videos. but i never met anyone like that in my church.

To mirror Wallace's quote: "Wouldn't it be great if every [Christian] I met was in the first category."

If that were the case, i'd wager that there is at least a 50/50 chance that i'd still be Christian today.

ToNy,

I've heard it said multiple times that it is not orthodox to claim you became Christian based on a rational argument. You can't do it 'on your own steam', the 'natural man', etc.

RonH

well they sure seem to be trying hard to though.

just consider the book covers quoted in the post

http://amzn.com/0310282926
http://amzn.com/1434704696

One is a chessboard and the other is a court folder.

i dunno, maybe they think that 'rational argument' will get you 80% there and that magic will fill in the final 20%.

I think the inverse is more true. Belief is actually more like 80% magic and 20% logic.

There's mention in the OP 'presuppositions'.

Jurors aren't supposed to have these, apparently.

By the analogy, nor should the evangelee, nor the 'Christian Case Maker'.

Specifically, according to the apologist, the evangelee is not supposed to 'presume' materialism.

What does this 'presumption' look like? In my case it looks something like this. I've never experienced anything supernatural or anything that tempted me to reach for a supernatural explanation. Nor have I heard one convincing story about the supernatural from someone else.

It seems to me that if the supernatural exists and is anything but very rare I would have experienced it by now - or at least heard a convincing story about it.

So, I assign a low probability to the existence of the supernatural. In doing so, I treat it like Nessy and Sasquatch.

My stance with regard to Nessy and Sasquatch will not prevent me from learning that one or both of them exist.

It's the same way with the supernatural - no mater how many apologists call my stance a 'presumption of materialism'.

They are pretty hard on that 'presumption of materialism' thing. I think it's pretty unfounded. There are lots of circumstances in which i'd throw out materialism.

100 years of research on the NDE marquee experiments being one method. If a thousand individual studies showed NDE patients ability to read signs that were facing the hospital ceiling, that would kill materialism.

Or even a single example of persistent vectors originating from the spirit realm. For example, a grand piano located at a haunted house on Elm Street--which has been continually playing Beethoven's 5th Symphony for the last 100 years. And though many have tried, none could determine where the force vector (that depressed the piano keys) came from.

That's the problem with the spirit world. The cool stuff always happens in the dark when no one is looking. Or it happens only once. And then becomes just another story.

"evangelee", now that's funny.

If it were not for the fact that every bit of data we have, as in, actual science, confirmed the immaterial, I'd be tempted toward materialism. But given such all-inclusive data, I count materialism to be of Zero Probability. It's just unscientific. Now, those who ignore Present & Observable Evidence just cannot be good jurors. They are too committed to their pre-existing emotional investments.

While some rant about bigfoot as their proof, and thus have only the make-believe to lean on in order to make their case, some of us lean on Present & Verifiable Evidence. All roads lead us out of the Material & into the Other and Outer, whether Flux or Photon or Wave or Particle or Vacuum, and in particular, Logic and Love. That necessary eternal language comprised of its immutable semantics swallows up whole all our make-believe ad infinitums.

It seems there is a necessary eternal Free Lunch. Only, all of science, all that we observe, everywhere, of any material stuff anywhere testifies in concrete and reproducible fashions that material stuff just is not capable of providing us with that eternal Free Lunch. Some do have faith, in spite of the evidence, that such a thing exists inside of what we call material. But the court room is no place for faith. It is the poor juror who ignores raw, physical evidence and clings blindly to his groundless faith. His commitment to his pre-existing emotional investments precludes him from exercising sound, rational judgment.

RonH,

I wonder how many Nessy and Sasquatch sites you're a troll on as well? Please don't respond that your not a troll. It's obvious to many of us that you are so we don't waste our time engaging you. Hopefully my post will persuade some to come to their senses and simply start ignoring you. The most intelligent man who ever lived instructed his followers not to throw pearls before swine. Dialoguing with you is a prime example of this so here's one last pearl of insight that you'll attempt to shred, but others might find useful.

If I believed there were no supernatural/after life I sure wouldn't waste whatever limited existence I might have being a constant online pest arguing with people I think are being irrational. That in itself would be a completely irrational waste of time. This leads me to conclude that you either derive a ton of pleasure arguing with irrational people or you don't really believe what you say you do. Either way you have habitually proven that you are not someone to be taken seriously or worth wasting one's time with. I hope the people at the Nessy and Sasquatch sites have figured this out as well.

If I believed there were no supernatural/after life I sure wouldn't waste whatever limited existence I might have being a constant online pest arguing with people I think are being irrational.

And that would be your choice.

There's mention in the OP 'presuppositions'.


Jurors aren't supposed to have these, apparently.


By the analogy, nor should the Naturalist, nor the 'Atheist Case Maker'.


Specifically, according to the materialist, the Christian is not supposed to 'presume' Immaterialism.


What does this 'presumption' look like? In my case it looks something like this. I've never experienced anything void of the Immaterial or anything that tempted me to reach for a purely material explanation. Nor have I heard one convincing story about materialism from someone else.


It seems to me that if materialism were true I would have seen at least a shadow of it by now in the expansive anthology of evidence we have - or at least heard a convincing story about it.


Now, on top of this, every bit of material we run across testifies of a predecessor. Not just some of it. Not just most of it. But all of it. Every bit of it. As fast as we can collect it and as fast as we discover it the very first thing it testifies of is a forerunner. None of it, ever, anywhere, offers us a free lunch and logic withholds the blueprints by which we may build our vessel in which we can set sail and traverse the ad infinitum.


So, I assign a zero probability to the truth of pure materialism. In doing so, I treat it like Nessy and Sasquatch.


My stance with regard to Nessy and Sasquatch will not prevent me from learning that one or both of them exist.


It's the same way with the materialism - no mater how many atheists call my stance a 'presumption of Immaterialism'.


Though, in a way it is a bit different than Nessy and Sasquatch, for, Nessy and Sasquatch have no data which screams in our ears, “I cannot exist” the way raw, physical data is forever screaming in our ears about materialism's eternal free lunch. At least with Nessy and Sasquatch one need not overtly and unmistakably contradict and even deny actual science to have faith in their eventual discovery.


Good jurors can listen to, process, and rationally apply raw evidence.

", without thinking that they know better (when they actually don’t)."

What if they actually do? There is an assumption made here that is not sound. There are times when a juror may well know better, but is dismissed because of the criteria that this kind of thinking demands. When you apply a one size-fits-all formula to jury selection, you get rotten jurors. This is the problem with the judicial system in this country. Excessive rigidity in the way things are done. It throws wisdom out the window for a on-size-fits all formula. While J has some good ideas, they are destroyed by the underpinning of this kind of system. There is a time when unwarranted humility is nothing more than a denial of appropriate credit being given due when a juror has a body of knowledge others might lack. So, this principle that J is promoting can cut both ways and can give exceptionally bad results in picking jurors. What is it that Craig often says...very intelligent people make some of the most foolish mistakes. This is one of those mistakes and I wonder if anyone else here will pick up on it.

Louis,

I think it depends. The selection of a juror who is an expert in "A" will be desired by the defense if "A" is in his client's favor and will be desired by the prosecution if "A" is in the prosecution's favor. It's a flawed system in that regard. In order for both the defense and the prosecution to give the green light to someone being a juror, neither can feel very threatened by that juror's "A". That may lead to a dumbing down of the pool, or, it may lead to some experts in the pool. I think you are right that that can cut both ways. Perhaps its best to have the best, or better, lawyer.


scblhrm

" Perhaps its best to have the best, or better, lawyer. "

God forbid that should happen. They would actually have to work for a living. That's just too much to ask. No, it is better to dumb down the jurors to match the level of intelligence of the lawyers. ;)

I agree with Warner Wallace's article. People reject Materialism because of reasons that are:


Rational
Emotional
Volitional


He goes on:


"It would be great if everyone we met was in the first category, wouldn’t it? After all, Christian Case Making involves studying the evidence and arguments for God’s existence, the reliability of the Bible and the historicity of Jesus, and these evidential pursuits are designed to help make a rational, evidential case for Christianity. But the truth is that few people object for rational reasons; most object to the truth for emotional or volitional reasons."


ok


But what are the reasons why people BECOME materialists?


It's the same two bottom reasons.


(i'd probably throw in "Geographical" too; most India born folks are not materialists)


I've personally never met a materialist who was a materialist based on a "rational argument."


God knows I wasn't.


I've heard that such materialists exist, and i've seen some of their youtube videos. but i never met anyone like that.


To mirror Wallace's quote: "Wouldn't it be great if every [materialist] I met was in the first category."


If that were the case, i'd wager that there is at least a 50/50 chance that i'd still be materialist today.


They are pretty hard on that 'presumption of immaterialism' thing. I think it's pretty unfounded. There are lots of circumstances in which i'd throw out immaterialism.


100 years of research on material stuff with marquee experiments being one method. If a thousand individual studies showed eternal free lunches in eternal uncaused causes of a purely material sort, that would kill my immaterialism.


Or even a single example of persistent vectors originating from the Eternal Material Uncaused Caused realm. For example, a grand Eternal Free Lunch located on Elm Street-- which has been continually dishing out free universes for the last 100 years. And though many have tried, none could determine where the force vector (that ejected the Eternal Free Lunch’s free universes) came from.


That's the problem with the materialist’s world. The cool stuff always happens in the dark when no one is looking. Or it happens only once. And then becomes just another story.


Logic and Love bring us to the End of all our make-believe ad infinitums.

scblhrm

I am firmly convinced that conversion to Christianity involve all of the three simultaneously and equally.

Rational
Emotional
Volitional

However, since Emotion is the one that has the greatest impact on us, we tend to focus on that and give it the greater weight and attention even if doing so can be misleading. Miss one of the three, and no actual change takes place. All three are critical to the process. When combined this way, it hits you like a ton of bricks that Christian claims are true at every conceivable level possible. If you speak to atheists, you will find that the convergence of the three is not evident in their argumentation. From what I have seen, they handle one at a time in a serial format, not three together in a parallel way. Since they have not experienced the convergence of the three, the concept is alien to them.

A man in what was the former Soviet Union encountered a town in which everyone was non-theistic. Seventy years of indoctrination shown through in Materialism's stranglehold. The folks there believed what they were taught from the day they were born. Geographically speaking, this would be a proof that believing something due primarily to geographical ties is necessarily a belief in a falsehood. Materialism is thus obviously false, because so many people who probably would have believed something else believe instead in materialism due simply to their particular geographical location.

Louis,

You know that is a great point. The disconnect between Materialist’s stated belief’s about some ugly act like, say, rape or some other extreme appeal to ought, and their then stated felt emotion is bizarre and inexplicable. There is even a disconnect between all of that and what they display in their volition of actions wherein they shake their fist in the air and testify to the actual stench of it in our courtrooms, and to their children, yet then casually pontificate about the purely Non-Actual stench of it in their favorite blogs. It is worth repeating you here, “the convergence of the three is not evident in their argumentation. From what I have seen, they handle one at a time in a serial format, not three together in a parallel way. Since they have not experienced the convergence of the three, the concept is alien to them.”

Inside of Reason and Emotion and Volition we find Logic and Love testifying of that singular convergence of which you speak. The mere concept of that truth and especially the experience of that truth is alien to them.


The move away from materialism is belied by this website's overt reliance on proposition-as-truth. Many are leaving the confines of religion because they've had enough "evidence that demands a verdict." More are seeking the living intangibles of love and spirit, embodied.

Good explanations are always dependent. But love is not dependent. Better questions will always lead beyond the last good answer.

In a court of law what must take center stage above rumor, above theoretical probability, and above the juror’s own personally held emotional investments is (if it exists) actual tangible evidence. Rumor and probability have merit, but, when the lawyer brings in his briefcase full of photographs and other physical, verifiable evidence the latter must carry more weight than the former in the mind of any rational juror. Seashells and Sandy Beaches just are not evidence about who knocked over the lamp stand and left behind his Free Lunch. The evidence tells us in unmistakable terms that these two items, Seashells and Sandy Beaches, were not involved in the particular act which the prosecution is contending against.

There is undeniable physical evidence that someone had entered the room prior to Mr. Seashell and Mr. Sandy Beaches. While they may be persons of interest, they clearly did not leave behind any Free Lunches. Someone else did, according to all the evidence. It is that entity which the prosecution is concerned with, and though the attorney for the defense will forever attempt his bait and switch with the jurors in his attempt to distract their focus off of that mysterious immaterial entity, any rational juror will simply weigh the evidence and begin to look for cues at the scene of the crime which inform us of that entity’s DNA and modus operandi.

The prosecution against Materialism will remind the jurors with actual science rather than with vague references to make-believe Sasquatches that every bit of material which the forensics lab has collected at the crime scene testifies of a predecessor to Mr. Material’s and his sons, Mr. Seashells and Mr. Sandy Beaches. Not just some of the evidence. Not just most of it. But all of it. Every bit of it. As fast as they were able to collect it and as fast as they yet discover it the very first thing all of the DNA and hair samples and skin fragments testify of is a forerunner who preceded Mr. Material’s and his two sons, Mr. Seashell and Mr. Sandy Beaches. None of it, ever, anywhere, offers us what the defense needs to get his client off the hook: material’s Eternal Free Lunch. In fact all the evidence, every bit of it, in testifying before the court of their forerunner, betrays the fact that none of it, ever, anywhere, entered the crime scene with such a Free Lunch in hand.

Oddly, as the prosecution focuses in on cues and patterns within the Context of the crime scene, it becomes increasingly apparent that Logic and Love discern the Subtext which underlies all stated Contexts both within and around the scene. In fact, the Contexts themselves actually dissolve inside of the defense’s concession of possible round squares in some context somewhere short of Knowing to the End of Ad Infinitum, though not knowing infinitely; that is until the prosecution successfully traverses the ad infinitum. It becomes all too obvious. The necessary Free Lunch is there in that crime scene sitting out in the open. We have never had an experience void of the Immaterial. It was right there the whole time. That Necessary Constant which solves all of Einstein’s equations is found unhidden inside of Logic and Love as they testify of that Necessary and Eternal Free Lunch Who is the forerunner of all things material and beyond Whom no further appeals are even possible. So much so that the courtroom itself, its walls and furniture, the jurors themselves and the seats upon which they sit, the prosecutor himself, the defense attorney himself, and even the Judge on the Bench himself and the Bench on which he sits yield all Truth Statements whatsoever to that Everywhere and Always in which all Ad Infinitums find their Final and Necessary End.

The title of the OP is "Good Jurors Make Good Christian Case Makers".

Huh? Why compare the CCM to the juror?

A juror is not a casemaker.

A responsible prosecutor, we assume, has made up his mind before the trial begins while we require that the juror has not.

Indeed, the linked blog post makes the better anlogy

The juror is the evangelee.
Naturally then...
The prosecutor is the evangelist.
Apologists tend to ignore that the analogy continues...
The guilt of the defendant - the thing to be shown - is Christianity.

The evangelist and the prosecutor both have the burden of proof; they're called casemakers for a reason.

The juror must presume non-guilt. Again, they are called casemakers for a reason.

It's not part of the legal system but...

The prosecutor blames the jury if they don't accept his case.
RonH

ToNy,

That's nice and Mick @ 2:41 :)

RonH

If a juror clings blindly to his faith despite science and evidence, the juror ought to be disqualified. All physical data on material testifies of its forerunner: the Immaterial.


One must deny every bit of behavior of every bit of matter if one is to deny that statement.


"Immaterial" can be many things: but it is not material, etc......


If the juror really is holding out for material's Eternal Free Lunch, he is just unscientific. Whatever the Free Lunch turns out to be, it will not be matter and energy, or space and time, or particle and flux, or vacuum and wave, or photon and law. That is, the "fact" that all material testifies, always, of a forerunner, allows us to be very confident of this, whereas, to move in the opposite direction is to move against actual data.


There are other nuances too of course in this presumption. What does this 'presumption' look like? In my case it looks something like this. I've never experienced anything void of the Immaterial or anything that tempted me to reach for a purely material explanation. Nor have I heard one convincing story about materialism from someone else.

All physical data on material testifies of its forerunner: the Immaterial.

Why do you think so?

. I've never experienced anything void of the Immaterial or anything that tempted me to reach for a purely material explanation. Nor have I heard one convincing story about materialism from someone else.

Notice the adjustments you made.

You added purely to the first sentence.

So you seem to accept that some things have at least partly natural explanations.

Your second sentence says nobody has proven the negative (Nothing supernatural exists.) to you. But mine says nobody's proven any positive (This supernatural thing exists.)

That first line was meant to be a blockquote.

All physical data on material testifies of its forerunner: the Immaterial. Why do you think so?

I've described my view of material stuff quite often. Seashells and all that. Grand conclusions and sandy beaches and setting sail to our ad infinitum.... Etc.

You seem to think it is reasonable to wait for one's material eternal Free Lunch / Uncaused Cause. And, given your statement about probability, you seem to think it is *unreasonable* to question the possiblity of such a thing despite the behavior of all things material, every bit of it, in the opposite direction.

Why do you think that way in the face of evidence? Because someone whom you admire does?

Perhaps if the sheer mass of evidence was not, first, so massivve, and secondly, so one sided against eternal material uncaused causes.......

When you say 'the Immaterial', I assume you refer to the Christian god.

OK, the chain of causation we perceive raises questions. I see that. What I don't see how you became so confident you understand the questions - let alone know the answers.

"Raises questions" is an understatement on two fronts. All behavior of all material, and, your recent probability commitment. I have several reasons for questioning your Free Lunch overall, but you seem quite committed to it on probabilistic grounds. I assume you include all behavior of all material in your math and not only your sense of the immaterial. I have my sense of the immaterial *and* all behavior of all material, in my favor (for now). The all-ness of it though would seem to grant a *reasonable* doubt on my end, yet your probability claim charges me with unreasonable cross examination. Why do think this way in the face of such evidence? (There's more on my own interpretation later...........) Is it because famous people say so?

Neither "we perceive" nor "raises questions" is an understatement of our ignorance of the world. Catch your breath and consider how little we know.

Why do think this way in the face of such evidence? ... Is it because famous people say so?

You ask a lot of loaded questions.

Low probability. All behavior. All material. Etc.

I think we are saying to different things.


What I am aiming at is this: All behavior. All material. That is All-The-Evidence testifying in this court and it states that a Material Eternal Free Lunch has a very low probability of existing.


That is what the evidence says.


The "all-ness" of it seems to grant a reasonable doubt.


What I am unclear about is how one states there is a high probability of this Free Lunch?


If there is a low probability on your end as defined by "the evidence we have yet to discover" then that is rather different than the evidence that is actually in the court room before our eyes.


It is a presupposition of naturalism and nothing more, because "All" behavior of "All" material is front and center, right before our eyes and moves at an infinite speed away from any sort of material stuff giving us an eternal uncaused cause.


There is actual data (reason, rational) and there is "well one day you'll see it" which is emotion.


In other words, you stated the lack of the supernatural was your reason, but, really, you just presuppose naturalism and that is in spite of "all" the evidence (all behavior / all material).


So that is why I ask why do you presuppose naturalism despite the all-ness of the actual, physical data. I presuppose it is because famous physicists have said so, etc, and you trust their insider opinion as they would be the expert witness.


An expert witness who testifies against All-The-Evidence (All-Behavior of All-Material) is pre-committed to his emotional investments as he too really is only saying, “Well despite the hopelessness of our case now, one day, one day.... there’s just so much we have YET to bring to the court room. Though I cannot present it now, as it does not exist now, I promise you one day it will show up”. That is a bad sort of expert witness and a bad sort of juror. At least in a court of law.


All-Behavior of All-Material must count for an awful lot. All-The-Evidence must count for an awful lot. If it does not, then the court is left with prior commitments to an agenda, and such jurors must be disqualified as their prejudice precludes them from accepting a rational appeal by the defense.

We all have our presuppositions. I find it odd that your probability statement is supposed to be immune to that somehow. You presuppose naturalism, it seems. A Material Eternal Uncaused Cause has nearly a zero probability of existing given All-Behavior of All-Material Everywhere and Always (the evidence we now have).

My last post: Naturalism should probably be replaced with the word materialism.......


Or maybe this:

All the TOE's floating around (theory of everything) are, well, floating around. Now, Materialism has a rather specific sort of TOE. It states that Material, or, anything that is Energy, or Wave, or Particle, or Flux, or Vacuum, or Photon will, somehow, someday, manifest its Material Eternal Free Lunch.

Now, given that All-Behavior of All-Material moves in the opposite direction of that specific TOE, then that TOE has a very, very, perhaps zero, probability of being the correct TOE.

The actual evidence in the courtroom is what we are dealing with.


Not "Well some day....some day...."


This OP is about the mechanics of a court of law. Anyone who is holding out for a "material" (Energy, Wave, Particle, Flux, Photon, Vacuum) Free Lunch of an Eternal Sort is a bad sort of juror and a bad sort of expert witness because they listen more to emotion than to physical evidence (and specifically *all* physical evidence as we now have it).


"......This force cannot be identified by instruments or examined by comprehensible mathematical prediction, and yet it contains all possibilities. It incorporates omnipresence, omniscience and omnipotence......"


The Tri-Omni Immaterial Lawmaker is more scientific, as of now.

It's hard to follow you.

What do you mean by "Material Eternal Free Lunch"?

Is am Immaterial Eternal Free Lunch better?

How?

God would be, by definition, Immaterial.


God would be, by definition, a Free Lunch.


That a Free Lunch exists is Logic's necessity. It is self-evident via Logic's Eye.

It seems all the evidence points toward an Eternal Immaterial Uncaused Cause.


I'm not sure how many thousands of years ago Genesis 1:1 was written.......

Again, why to you hold that there is a high probability to the existence of a Material Eternal Uncaused Cause? Or don't you?


Materialism has a rather specific sort of TOE. It states that Material, or, anything that is Energy, or Wave, or Particle, or Flux, or Vacuum, or Photon will, somehow, someday, manifest its Material Eternal Free Lunch.

Now, given that All-Behavior of All-Material moves in the opposite direction of that specific TOE, then that TOE has a very, very low, perhaps zero, probability of being the correct TOE.


The actual evidence in the courtroom is what we are dealing with.

Again, why to you hold that there is a high probability to the existence of a Material Eternal Uncaused Cause? Or don't you?

If the universe is eternal, there is no need for an uncaused cause. You could rephrase your question but maybe I can save you the trouble: I don't know the history of the universe.

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