Thursday, September 25, 2008

Just Why Would You Believe That?

In the sidebar, you'll see I shared a post from the STR blog called Facts vs. Beliefs, which refers to this article from National Review. The NRO article very succinctly summarizes a problem I often run into while attempting to debate people about matters of faith. In short, the skeptic will often resort to blatantly disregarding my arguments from science, logic, or inference, and dogmatically asserting that my Christian beliefs are taken on blind-faith, while his Naturalistic beliefs are based on solid facts of science.

For a good example of this, please refer to the last response to me from Tom Clark in his Naturalism vs. Nihilism thread. I decided not to continue the conversation because he seemed unable to address any of my arguments, but just kept playing the Science vs. Faith card. In fact, he was almost malicious the way he twisted my words in order to make it look like I base my Christian faith on science rather than using science to show that Christian faith is not blind.

I'm learning how to handle this sort of belligerence in a face-to-face conversation (look for a post in the future re: Tactics in Defending the Faith), but online, it's much more difficult due to the nature of the medium. You just can't put someone on the spot and demand that they address your arguments based on their merits, rather than the pre-supposed lack-of-validity of the thing you're arguing for.

It would be refreshing to have a conversation with a skeptic in which he actually considered the validity of my arguments based on their merit of lack thereof.

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