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A brief comment on P.Z. Myers’ response to Alvin Plantinga’s argument that P(R/N&E) is low. March 26, 2010

Posted by theconfessors in Apologetics, Atheism, Christianity, God, Religion.
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I don’t have much time to get in to this but I thought I would post this for those of you who are familiar with Alvin Plantinga’s argument that the probability (P) that our cognitive faculties are reliable (R) given that naturalism (N) and evolution (E) are true is low. Given this first premise, he argues that if you believe this to be the case, then you can’t reliably believe… well… anything. If you haven’t read the argument before, this comment isn’t going to make sense.

You can find Myers’ response to Plantinga here.

I’m shocked at P.Z. Myers’ inability to understand the argument. He tries to say that our cognitive faculties aren’t reliable and that we refine them. That’s saying we’re getting closer to truth without any way of knowing which direction we’re heading… Oh, you can say it’s because it’s increased our ability to survive, sure. I hope that makes you feel better. Unfortunately, that misses the point entirely. It doesn’t follow that our beliefs become more true as our behavior becomes more conducive to our survival. He even admits that. He says, “To which I say…exactly! Brains are not reliable; they’ve been shaped by forces which, as has been clearly said, do not value Truth with a capital T.” Great. Plantinga wins. The naturalism Plantinga is arguing against has to do with naturalism as making a metaphysical claim about the universe; namely, there are no such “supernatural beings” as God or angels. P.Z. Myers even agrees with the further materialistic claim, making him even more susceptible to this argument. That’s truth with a capital T, P.Zeezy. You can’t make those claims on your view and your view makes those claims.

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A Second Look at Unveiling Christianity March 11, 2010

Posted by theconfessors in Apologetics, Bible, Biblical Studies, Christianity, God, Islam, Muhammad, Religion, Textual Criticism, Uncategorized.
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In this second preliminary article, we will be examining the methodology that Unveiling Christianity uses when writing and posting their historical critiques. To anyone familiar to the field of  history or logical argumentation, whether through academic studies or a passing glance of works in historical methodology, it becomes all too apparent that there is a mishandling of sources.

In the articles posted on Unveiling Christianity’s website, one will notice a pattern of sources that Ibn Anwar uses; those who support his position. Obviously an author is supposed to use scholars that support their position in writing persuasive styles of writing, so with that there is nothing wrong. However, the strength of an argument is seen in one’s ability to formulate good reasons for a position, as well as the ability to tear down an opposing view, all while strengthening one’s own position; and not just by quoting scholars who support one’s position. We’ve noticed roughly three things in Mr. Anwar’s work, that lead to certain fallacies: (i) ignoring a huge group of scholars who disagree with the scholars he has chosen to quote, (ii) the philosophical presumptions and dispositions of the scholars he has chosen, and (iii) formulations of good reasons to take the position he has chosen.

(i) One who is trying to establish historical certainties cannot ignore a huge portion of top academics who do not share his position. Ignoring them does no justice to the beauty of historical narratives, nor does it breed honest academic work. Anyone can write like that and anyone can beef up their own positions on quite possibly any position no matter how absurd the opinion is. (ii) The philosophical positions of those quoted need to be taken into account Mr. Anwar. The majority of scholars we have seen you use do not believe the supernatural can be taken into account historically, and thus they rule out miraculous events found in the Bible, which allow you to take the positions you do.  The opinions you are taken in, are completely naturalistic positions, and unless you apply the same naturalistic standards to the Qur’an, you are committing academic hypocrisy. (iii) Formulating a good position paper requires more than just a list of scholars who somewhat support a position you’re taking. Good reasons are needed, as even the best and brightest scholars may have lack good reasons for taking a particular claim. If one just quote’s scholars, the fallacy of appealing to authority births, along with it, a fallacy of cherry picking one’s sources, and accordingly, the formation of a bad position paper peaks its ugly head, as well as a illusion of a poor grasp of the subject.  So we urge Unveiling Christianity to use a well balanced list of sources, examine the philosophies of the scholar’s quoted, and offer up good reasons, rather than the mere conclusions of academics who may or may not have good reasons for their position.

More to follow up in critiquing Unveiling Christianity.

In Christ,

The Confessors

Liar, Lunatic, or Lord? March 4, 2010

Posted by theconfessors in Apologetics, Atheism, Bible, Biblical Studies, Christianity, God, Islam, Muhammad, Religion.
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(1) Jesus claimed to be divine; at least indirectly.

(2) Jesus’ claim is either true or false.

(3) If it is false, then Jesus either knew it was false or he did not know.

(4) If Jesus knew his claim to divinity was false, then he was a liar

(5) If Jesus did not know, then he was a lunatic.

(6) Jesus was neither a liar nor a lunatic.

(7) Therefore Jesus must have been telling the truth.

(8) Therefore Jesus was Lord and thus divine.

This argument in various forms has appeared in apologetic writings for quite some time. As far as we know, it was first made famous by C.S. Lewis. It is a good, solid, logical argument, and is cannot be so easily dismissed. Enjoy!