She's not done

The person I’ve been rebutting all day came back again, to respond to my question about whether or not she wanted a fair conversation or a game of whack-a-mole with trite arguments for me.

No, Mr. Eberhard, I do not. One in which the Holy Spirit does not dwell cannot fully understand faith. It is believing that which we hold true. For faith to be faith, we must have a reason to believe, to trust, to believe in spite of the evidence. Something the Holy Spirit drives within us. I’m afraid that without a true understanding of the Holy Spirit, this conversation will just remain a “whack-a-mole” game. Thank you for the discussion, though! Signing off…

Sheesh.

One in which the Holy Spirit does not dwell cannot fully understand faith.

The idea that I can’t understand unless I already believe is just hooey.  There’s literally no proposition so flagrantly stupid that it can’t be defended by statements like that.

It is believing that which we hold true.

This is as not helpful as it is redundant.  We all believe things.  When we believe things for good reasons, we are wise.  When we believe things for bad reasons, we are foolish.  Faith, believing for the sake of believing, is about the worst conceivable reason to believe something.

For faith to be faith, we must have a reason to believe, to trust, to believe in spite of the evidence.

Why would you want to believe something in spite of the evidence?  You act like I’m supposed to hear you say that and stand in awe of your wisdom.  I can’t help but wonder how anybody can talk about spiting the evidence and not think they are pursuing intellectual failure.

And if you have reason to believe, you don’t need to talk about spiting the evidence.

You’ve tried to manufacture reasons to believe, but they have all sucked.  This would give an intellectually honest person pause, but you seem to just keep on chugging.

I’m afraid that without a true understanding of the Holy Spirit, this conversation will just remain a “whack-a-mole” game.

It’s not because I don’t understand the holy spirit that this has failed to be an honest conversation.  The fault lies with you for not having it in good faith.  You say you have to believe first, but then you try and give evidence.  You say you should have reasons, then you talk about the need to believe in spite of the evidence.

To quote Sam Harris…

“You want to have things both ways: your faith is reasonable but not in the least bound by reason; it is a matter of utter certainty, yet leavened by humility and doubt; you are still searching for the truth, but your belief in God is immune to any conceivable challenge from the world of evidence. I trust you will ascribe these antinomies to the paradox of faith; but, to my eye, they remain mere contradictions, dressed up in velvet.”

This has become a game of whack-a-mole because your beliefs about god are inconsistent, and you treat the accuracy of your beliefs with regard to the most important question in the universe with far less care than you treat the accuracy of your beliefs about which shoes match your outfit.

You will likely turn your nose up after branding me an overly skeptical atheist, but the truth is that you should be embarrassed.  What’s more, it should trouble you that behavior befitting the bold Christians of which you earlier spoke is, by any sane human standard, an exercise in squandered intellectual potential.

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