Advertisements

Ask a Christian – 11/27/15

This broadcast brought out Atheists, Muslims, and Trolls but boy was it fun! For my Christian brothers and sisters, I hope this video encourages you to share your faith. For my non-believing friends, I pray that the Holy Spirit opens your eyes and ears to the beauty of the Gospel.

If you want to join me on a broadcast and interact. Download the Periscope App and follow me @Travis_C_Berry 

If you would like to see the broadcast with comments showing click here: “Ask a Christian”

If you don’t care about seeing comments then you can just watch the YouTube video below:

Thanks for Watching,

Travis

Advertisements

About Travis Berry

I am a blatantly honest person who loves to think, read, discuss, and write about God and theology. I have a bachelor's degree in Youth Ministry from Crown College. I work at a church in Houston, TX as a Youth Director and love every minute of it! I am married to a wonderful woman named Becky and we have one amazing child! I have a love for God's Word, and a fervor to live it out in the fullest, and I pray this blog reflects that. Thanks for checking out AnotherChristianBlog!.

Posted on November 28, 2015, in Christianity, Culture, Theology and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. Hi, I’m one of the atheists that participated in the discussion during the scope. One of my questions, to which I never got a satisfactory answer, is: how it is more rational to make the billions of assumptions that are implied when onr states “The bible is true”, verses the three axiomatic assumptions the naturalist makes which allow you to build essentially the complete naturalistic model of reality.

    For clarity I’ll go ahead and list the 3 axiomatic assumptions that allow you to build naturalism.

    1)Reality exists.
    2)Reality is intelligable (you can learn things about it)
    3)Models with predictive capability are more valuable than those without predictive capability.

    Thank you for your time and I look forward to your response.

    • Hey Travis,

      My response is pretty simple. My presuppositions, if you want to say axioms I wont argue too much, are these:

      #1 The Christian God exists
      #2 God has revealed himself clearly through creation, Jesus, and His Word.

      Those are my basic presuppositions. That’s my worldview. The real question is this. Are all axioms valid? If you say they are then you have to accept mine. If you say no, then how can you justify your axioms?

      • The problem with making such a bold presupposition as “The Christian god exists” is that it is NOT a single, simple presupposition. It is a labe for a set of billions of presuppositions, the large majority of which have testable repercussions in the natural world.

        Essentially what you’re doing here is trying to avoid Occams Razor by slapping a single lable on your massive set of presuppositions so it appears your only making one claim. If thats the game you want to play, all the naturalist must do is shorten their list of presuppositions to:

        1)Naturalism is true.

        Now, on to your question of: “Are all axioms valid”. The fact that you even asked a malformed question of this nature shows that you either do not understand what an axiom is, or that you are trying to be deliberately deceptive.

        Axioms are neither valid or invalid. Axioms are either usefull or not usefull.
        The axiomatic assumptions that ground naturalism are responsible for building civilizations and the technologies that they enjoy. I dont see the assumption of the existance of an empirically undetectable god being even minimally usefull.

        Furthermore, you’re not really making ONLY two presuppositions. In order to recieve ANY type of knowledge/revelation from your diety you must first make, at the very least, the same two axiomatic assumptions that I’m making.

        Put another way, in order to read the scriptures, or view the “creation”, and learn anything from it, you must first assume that external reality exists, and that you can learn something about it.

        If you dont first assume reality exists, whatever revelation you believe your recieving is simply part of your delusion.

        If you assume reality exists but not that you can learn something about it, then you’ve just negated any possibility of even recieving the revelation.

        Now, the question of which is more rational to believe: That reality exists, it is intelligable, and that predictive models are more usefull than non-predictive ones, or, that reality exists, you can learn something from it, plus the entire set of billions of assumptions that are implied by the lable “The christian god exists.”?

      • I’m not sure why you would say that it is “malformed” to ask if all axioms are valid. Let’s just get the definition of axiom out of the way. From Merriam-Webster it says this:

        1: a maxim widely accepted on its intrinsic merit
        2: a statement accepted as true as the basis for argument or inference :
        3: an established rule or principle or a self-evident truth

        It seems that you shy away from my question about invalid axioms because you don’t want to account for them. Which is fine, but you have to understand that there are such a thing as invalid axioms because if you can’t disprove my axiom then what’s the point of challenging it?

        Anyway, you claim that your axioms are the most simplistic, but you’re sneaking in more axioms when you say that models that are predictive are more valuable assumes a lot. It assumes uniformity of nature and laws of logic. However, your naturalistic worldview can’t account for either of those two.

        So, to get to the point. Could your axioms be false?

      • It is a malformed question because if something is a self-evident truth, or as its called in philosophy, a properly basic belief, the terms “valid” or “invalid” are nonsensical to apply. It would be like me asking you: Is Blue blue? It’s a nonsense question.

        Axioms are not judged in terms of validity or “truthiness”. They are judged in terms of their usefullness and by how accurately the statements built upon them reflect reality.

        “It seems that you shy away from my question about invalid axioms because you don’t want to account for them.”

        Again, you show that you dont understand the concept of an Axiom. As self-evident truths they do not need accounted for by definition. However, this does not mean that all axiomatic statements are on equal footing. Their validity can still be judged in terms of usefulness and accuracy as I’ve laid out above.

        “…if you can’t disprove my axiom then what’s the point of challenging it?”

        See above.

        “Anyway, you claim that your axioms are the most simplistic,…”

        The primacy of reality and its intelligability are the most simplistic and usefull axioms one can have. One cannot act without first existing, and one cannot gain knowledge of ANYTHING (let alone a supernatursl being) without first assuming the intelligability of reality.

        “It assumes uniformity of nature and laws of logic. However, your naturalistic worldview can’t account for either of those two…”

        The laws of logic and the uniformity of nature are built out of axioms one and two. They are based on observations of reality. They are literally accounted for by the foundational axioms of naturalistic philosophy.

      • Let me ask you Travis. Is it possible that you are, in reality, strapped down to a bed in a psych ward? Or is it impossible that you are in a psych ward?

      • To answer the question you’re really asking: No, I have not solved the problem of hard solipsism. And neither has anyone else. It may not be a question our species has the ability to answer.

        Given that, I am stuck experiancing the reality I experiance. And so is everyone else. The presuppositionalist is no more free from hard solipsism than anyone else. It is equally likely that the divine revelation recieved by the theist is simply a sufficiently convincing illusion.

        There exists no mechanism for the theist or naturalist to differentiate between objective reality and a sufficiently convincing illusion.

      • So, since apparently you think your worldview gets you around the problem of hard solipsism, and gives you the right to mock those who have not declared to know things they cannot know, in curious as to what mechanism you used to determine that YOU arent strapped to a bed in a mental hospital, in the matrix, while really being a brain in a vat all along?

        To preempt your most probable response, that you presuppose the bible is true and inerrant and it says you’re not, then aside from the fact that you’re making far more assumptions than I am to answer the question, how are our positions different?

        To solve the problem you’re presupposing the vast set of truth claims contained in the christian bible. Im assuming reality exists. And yet you think my position is worthy of ridicule when you’re making far more assumptions than i am to get there….

      • Travis, thanks for the patience. Life has been crazy.

        God, who is external to me, has told me that I am created in His image. If that was simply based on my thoughts then I would fall into the problem of hard solipsism. Also, hard solipsism has a fundamental problem within it, it can make no claim about reality, because it can’t truly know reality. Hard solipsism also can’t make sense of knowledge, because the hard solipsist could be wrong about hard solipsism.

        Now, if hard solipsism is your attack on Christianity, that’s fine, but you should embrace it fully. The most ironic thing about hard solipsism is that it essentially makes the person’s brain fizz god. I have the God of Scripture, who grounds logic, rationality, uniformity, and knowledge. And the hard solipsist has their own brain, with no grounding for logic, rationality, uniformity, knowledge or reality.

        Those are the two options. The God of Scripture or absurdity.

      • You still have not answered any of my questions nor have you adressed any of the points I raised.

        I know you “believe” god has revealed truth to you. My question is really very simple.

        How did you determine that you recieved authentic divine revelation and that your experiance was not merely a delusion?

      • God has revealed himself in 4 ways. #1 His creation. Nature itself reveals that God exists. Even the most hard hearted atheist will see design within nature. #2 Our conscious. We can’t get around the fact that most people live by standards or morality and hold other people to standards of morality. But, atheists claim it’s relative or subjective. Of course, that’s no standard at all. #3 God’s Word (Bible). The Bible is God speaking to us. In order to know God, he must reveal himself, he has done that in his Word. #4 Jesus Christ. Jesus was the God man. He was God on earth. He revealed God to us and paid for our sins on the cross.

        So, you ask how I could know that I’m not in a delusion? Those are my reasons. At the end of the day, you live like logic always holds, morality has a standard, and that nature will be uniform. When you do that, you borrow from my worldview to try to disprove my worldview. Travis, I have appreciated the conversation with you, but you are truly left with two options: #1 Place your trust and faith in Jesus for eternal life and the renewal of your mind, or #2 embrace utter absurdity and keep using my worldview to try to justify yours.

      • You are literally factually incorrect on every point you just made. I am however not going to waste any more time producing evidence as to why you are wrong. You have access to the internet. The information is available to those who seek it.

        Ive made my questions very, very simple, and yet you fail to give any sort of meaningful answer because I suspect you either dont understand the proposition, or are being deliberately dishonest and uncharitable.

        I will lay out the problems with your worldview one more time, in hopes that any remaining rational, unindoctrinated parts of your brain may take them in.

        Even if i grant your fallacious assertions that the earth is a “creation”, that morality is innate, and that the bible (as translated into american english) is the true word of god, it still fails to solve the problem of solipsism.

        If you were really a mental patient/in the matrix your conscious experiance of “the creation”, your sense of moral truth, and your experiance of god and the scriputes could all just be part of your delusion. And you’ve provided no mechanism to differentiate between this illusion and objective reality, because there exists no such mechanism.

        If you knew anything about philosophy you would have known this. If you knew anything about science you would known the creation story is manifestly false. And if you knew anything about the history of more religions than your own, you would know that your holy book is a translation of a translation of copies of copies of stories and myths passed down through oral tradition, by iron age pesants who knew even less about the world in which they lived than anyone alive today.

        But sadly, you dont know any of these things, and I believe any further dialogue with you would prove fruitless. After all, you dont even know if you’re a brain in a vat.

  2. “For my non-believing friends, I pray that the Holy Spirit opens your eyes and ears to the beauty of the Gospel.”

    I have a question. Since this hasn’t happened, what is your explanation? There can be but a few possible answers: your god likes atheists as they are; atheists have no choice but be atheists and your god doesn’t hear prayers; your god ignores your prayers for some reason; your god doesn’t exist.

    Do you have any other possibilities?

    • I would answer this way. The person who sins is a slave to sin (John 8:34). People really like their sin, so people don’t want to turn to Christ. It takes a work from the Holy Spirit to open people’s hearts to hear and turn to Jesus (Acts 16:14). So, I do pray that God would open people’s hearts, but I do not dare demand that from God. Grace cannot be demanded. Demanded grace isn’t grace at all. So, if God chooses to open your heart to the truth of Scripture he is showing mercy and grace. If he leaves you in your slavery to sin, that’s justice.

      • Then I would ask what is sin, Travis since Christians don’t agree. There are plenty of people who don’t do anything wrong and they see no reason to believe in your god or in any gods at all, in my case.

        If it takes a work from the Holy Spirit to open a heart, how does this work the common claims of free will that many Christians try? I’ve been told that there must be free will or anyone’s acceptance of the Christian god is worthless. Do you agree with this concept? Or do you believe in a predestinationalist Christianity (I was a Presbyterian).

        You do apparently do demand that this HS does open minds since you pray to your god for it. If you are not asking for this, your prayer is meaningless if the word pray can’t be reasonably exchanged for “hope” or “want”.

        It seems you have a curious definition of the word justice. Justice isn’t controlling people and punishing them for something that they have no choice about. That is not fair treatment by any sense of the term.

Share Your Thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: