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Discussion 2 to Talk Back 89
Let's clarify what you are saying

by: Will Petillo

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In my experience, at least 90% of arguments are based almost entirely on miscommunications rather than actual disagreement over ideas or values. Thus, before engaging in an argument I believe it is important that we are on the same page. So here is my understanding of where you are coming from, please correct me where I am wrong:

You are aware that accepting Jesus Christ comes with some difficulties. These include fundamental questions (“why do so many innocent people suffer?”) as well as purely intellectual problems (“the Bible seems to contradict itself and science as well!”). Christians feel as though they have the responsibility to try to deal with these problems in various ways (theology, faith, etc.) but Agnostics don’t bother, instead choosing to passively wait for others to offer us a rigorous proof. A satisfactory proof, however, will never come because we set the standards unreasonably high—i.e. demanding not just complete but convincing answers every single question we throw at “witnesses,” who are only human and cannot be expected to explain all of the mysteries inherent in faith (see objections in above parenthetical remarks). Thus, we are “copping out.” Furthermore, Jesus only chooses to reveal Himself to those who those who believe in Him already (i.e. are Christians). Therefore, by not believing in Jesus (i.e. not becoming Christians), Agnostics prevent themselves from receiving the proof they demand. You also reiterate a traditional “watchmaker” argument for God’s existence—though I am not sure if this is an explanation of your personal experience of Jesus Christ that you believe we should seek out or if it is a separate argument.

Before I respond to the above arguments, I ask for a few things of you.

  1. State whether the above argument is an accurate representation of your views. And, if it is not, explain why not.
  2. Describe, to the extent that you feel comfortable, the nature of your personal encounter with Jesus. Did He talk to you? Was there a vision involved? Was there a moment when things just “clicked,” where everything made sense in such a way that made Christianity vital to your understanding of the world? Or, was it something more gradual? In any case, please elaborate on this.
  3. The “watchmaker” argument has been refuted an absurdly large number of times, both on and off this site. Find and understand some of those refutations (hint: they involve natural selection) and find a way to counter them before you try to use this as an argument.

I await the healthy discussion that will hopefully result from these clarifications. Until then, there is one point I would like to make about where I am coming from:

I believe that there is a lot more to Agnosticism than rejecting Christianity. For example, I spend a great deal more time arguing with Atheists than with Christians—and even more time attacking what I consider to be invalid logic within Agnosticism. And for many, doubt is far more complex than stubborn contrarianism. Intelligent skeptics establish a set of rules by which they can consider something proven, demonstrated, unknown, or false (to name but a few categories) and then try to follow them consistently—trust me, this is much harder than it sounds. For some (myself included), Agnosticism is a reflection of/inspiration for this kind of critical thinking.