Misunderstanding Each Other

gokaiNate, over at “Why Nate Left“, put up this list of ways Christians will misrepresent an Atheist’s Skepticism.  Below Nate’s list I have tried to make a list for Christians, or other believers, explaining how they may feel they are typically misunderstood.  Please suggest other things misunderstanding for either list and I will add them !

Ways Theists will misunderstand your Skepticism

  • You are angry with God
  • Your heart is hardened to the Truth
  • You have been deceived by Satan
  • You gave up your search too early and too easily.
  • You want the freedom that comes from a godless life more than you want god.
  • You are confused or ignorant
  • You are an angry, militant atheist
  • You want to be God

Ways Atheists will misunderstand your Faith

  • Your beliefs are all blind faith
  • You are simple minded
    • You can’t do or don’t know any science
    • You still live with your parents
  • You are blissfully self-deceptive
  • You have a comfortable, unchallenged life
  • You are a recalcitrant bigot
  • You are fearful of the Truth
  • You aren’t imaginative enough to let go of your security blanket

__________
Note:  The pic is of the Japanese Characters for “Misunderstanding”,   Go-Kai – “Mistake-Solution”.

42 Comments

Filed under Philosophy & Religion

42 responses to “Misunderstanding Each Other

  1. that’s a pretty good assessment.

    in your atheist critique you put “You are still searching.” i think i get angry with peeps in either camp that aren’t searching… or in their search they are just gathering ammo to fire at the other camp. that’s foraging, not searching.

    in searching you will be transformed by what you find and wish to share and talk and debate about your findings and interp. that’s what i like. it’s about the dialogue!

  2. Al

    Good point, Luke!

    On another note, I don’t know where or if this fits, but I think the whole concept of ‘faith’ is probably misunderstood both directions. As a non-atheist, I think that everyone exhibits faith in some fashion–filling in the gaps between the things that we are sure of. (Thinking that everyone demonstrates faith in some way may well be a misunderstanding on my part.)
    But perhaps skeptics misunderstand how much or little of my whole belief system is ‘faith’ and how much is based on things I am sure of.
    I intentionally used the phrase ‘I am sure of’ because not everything can be proven beyond the shadow of a doubt (for either a skeptic or a Christian).
    Thanks, Sabio, for your balanced approach (as always). You certainly help promote dialogue instead of argument, and this post (hopefully) will help our conversations miss some of the typical pitfalls of missunderstanding.

  3. I find that the atheists I dialogue with rarely have an understanding of what I actually believe. Usually their understanding of Christian doctrine appears to have been derived from watching Benny Hinn or something.

  4. Mark: Then you have to actually inform them. Just being a Christian has no meaning, out of a million people who term themselves “Christians”, you probably have a million different versions of Christianity. That’s not something that may be immediately apparent to anyone who hasn’t been religious themselves. They shouldn’t assume they know your theology, but you shouldn’t assume they know what the differences are. After all, you all use the same descriptive term for yourselves.

    Just a thought.

  5. Boz

    Some theists tell me (atheist) that I want to be god, or set myself up in the god position, or worship myself as god.

  6. @ Boz : good one, I have heard that too. Added !
    @ Luke: yeah, good point, I took out that clause
    @ Al: excellent, I hear that lots and agree with you. Added !

    Thanx folks ! Keep ’em coming !

    Oh yeah, and remember, just because they are common misunderstandings doesn’t mean they aren’t true sometimes too ! Smile.

  7. Boz

    Al said: “As a non-atheist, I think that everyone exhibits faith in some fashion–filling in the gaps between the things that we are sure of.”

    Personally, I don’t think I use faith. Can you expand on this issue further, with examples?

    For example, I see three polls asking about the approval rating of my country’s head of state. they say 62%, 60% and 57%. My opinion from this is that the approval rating is somewhere around 60%. Is this a faith opinion? I don’t think so. Do you?

    Another example, the 100% scientific consensus is that on earth, gravity accelerates objects at 9.8m/s/s. I also did some pokey experiments in high school to approximate this. My opinion is that this is almost certainly true – as certain as you can be, but not 100%. Is this faith? I don’t think so. do you?

  8. @Boz, may I defend the theist.

    Our brains themselves fill in the gaps continually.
    We hallucinate everything we look at — the brain looks for salient features and fills in the rest — that is the cause of many optical illusions.

    “Faith” when it means “trust” is a major way we know things. We believe books, reports, experiments, our parents and many more. We don’t test everything ourselves — it is grossly impossible. Trust is essential to survival.

    Even anecdotal reports count as evidence, even if the lowest forms. Case reports in medicine are the starting point for evidence. The Gospels count as some degree of evidence but all evidence at their level are susceptible to lots of biases and errors — the testing lies in that.

    We use to think that in a vacuum if you are traveling 100 km/hr and throw a ball at 20 km/hr, the ball, relative to the ground will be traveling at 120 km/hr. Now, with relativity, we know that is not true.

    Most people think Cholesterol is bad for you and fat is bad for you — they take that on faith but say it is science. But it is faith and it is wrong.

    So I think the faith thing is used wrong by both sides, though Christians abuse it with pleasure, atheists abuse it in denial.

  9. “So I think the faith thing is used wrong by both sides, though Christians abuse it with pleasure, atheists abuse it in denial.”

    *drool.

    i like that insight. me steals it.

  10. Al

    Thanks, Sabio, you said it much better than I would have.
    Boz, I think an example I was thinking of would be the typical concept of a ‘missing link’ in the evolutionary ladder. The science isn’t complete, because we don’t have fossils of every variation. What we have provides a conceivable framework, and we can assume that there were creatures that existed between the actual fossils that exist. What we use to fill in the gaps is what I call ‘faith’.
    If something is found that disturbs the pattern a bit, then we create a new pattern, and again use educated guesses to fill in the blanks.

  11. Boz, let me attack the Theist (smile),

    Here we want to discuss probability.

    Sure, it is possible that the sun will blow up tomorrow. And it is possible an amputee could be healed by an all powerful god tomorrow. My faith in the sun being here tomorrow is a very different faith than your faith that anyone’s limb will grow back tomorrow. The probability that the sun will be here tomorrow is 99.99% (at least), that limbs will grow back is 0.001% (at best). Sure, we can both say we have faith but that obscures the issue of probability. In this way, you abuse it.

    The amazing evidence confirming evolution with geology, paleontology, genetics, embryology, comparative anatomy, and much more is dazzling.

    Probability makes the word “faith” impotent !
    Please, I don’t want to get in an evolution argument here. I hope you see the math and the use of language issue even if you think the Earth was created a few thousand years ago. (I pray you don’t — smile)

  12. @ Luke, Could you please explain it to Al

  13. Boz

    definition of faith “1.Mental acceptance of and confidence in a claim as truth without proof supporting the claim. ”

    Sabio said: ““Faith” when it means “trust” is a major way we know things. We believe books, reports, experiments, our parents and many more. We don’t test everything ourselves — it is grossly impossible. Trust is essential to survival.”

    You are right in saying that testing all mundane claims like this is impossible.

    As an example, when my mother says, “in 1967, I moved from town X to town Y”, I wouldn’t say that I use faith in this example, when I accept that this is probably(say, 90% likely) true.

    The way I look at it is this: The claim is that she moved from town X to town Y in 1967. Evidence for this claim: she said she did it, and she usually doesn’t lie. Evidence against: none. In weighing up the evidence for and against, my opinion arrives at around 90% likely that the claim is true.

    Al or Sabio, would you say that this process involves is faith? If so, why? I would not.

  14. Sabio, what about the probability that something came from nothing? I’m sorry if I’ve missed your dismantling of First Cause….

  15. Boz, did you test everything your mother ever told you? What % did you actually test? I suspect it was a rather small sample. How does one calculate whether it is 90% or 10%? Only from experience? What if she lied to you regularly but generally told the truth?

    It is not only the mundane that we put our trust or ‘faith’ in. I cannot measure the miles to the sun, so I can either have faith in the competency and integrity of the man who tells me it is xx million miles, or I can not have faith in him. I don’t know whether Darwin was right or not, whether he was honest or not, or even whether the people who tell me what he taught are right or honest. The requirement is that I accept on faith what I am taught about these things.

    The problem I have with this is that we put faith in empiricism and science as though it were infallible when repeatedly we learn after the fact that men and ‘science’ are wrong.

  16. Boz

    mark, I don’t understand your explanation for how the mother example involves faith. can you explain further?

    The 90% number was just an example, for the sake of the hypothetical situation.

  17. @ Mark — sorry Mark, I will ignore the First Cause question, it should be another post but not here. Sorry dude.

    @ Boz: I actually agree with Marks comment to you.

    Now, what we don’t want to do is make this a simple argument about definitions. I was trying to say that each belief has certain probability of being actually the case. But even that probability is hard to layout. What is needed when discussing these things is an agreed upon methodology. Scholar of ancient texts have methodologies which have evolved over centuries and in medicine we have levels of evidence and employ the scientific method (a fantastic method — but it is still improving).

    Nonetheless, Al’s mistake was that he seemed to claim that because two facts has some possibility of them being false, therefore they both require faith to act on or believe. Therefore they are both faith acts and are the same. The last statement is a logical error.

    Let me say in Al and Mark’s defense: The claims of the Bible were supposedly made by real people and believed over time — that means they have some level of evidence. They believe that belief in these things improve lives (right or wrong) — which they hold as evidence. So that may have evidence, though you and I do not feel the evidence is tested properly or holds up to testing, it does mount to some evidence. But in support of you, it is a matter of probability. Science theories, which are constantly revised, invite challenge and overthrowing but unfortunately some naive consumers of science take it as gospel. But most of religious activity scorns challenging dogma. I think these points set the parameter of the conversation. It is an old one and won’t be settled here. Christians want the word “faith” to be nobel, Atheists want it to be of the devil. With such emotions set behind a simple word, little progress in agreement can be made. Arguing over the word is usually a waste of time — instead, it is how those words are used that is important.

  18. @Boz, does Sabio’s response answer your question?

    I like where this probabilities question is going. It’s an intriguing one for me, but the ‘mother’ example relies on lots of assumptions which are largely unprovable.

    @Sabio, I wouldn’t say that every theist believes their faith will improve their life. I certainly don’t, and most of the Catholics I know don’t believe that. ( suspect the same is true for other doctrinal-oriented faiths. Perhaps that example is more apropos for the ‘prosperity gospel crowd’.

    I would like to follow the probability line of thinking but I suspect that a great many assumptions and ‘leaps of faith’ are made. BTW, I’m happy to exchange ‘unproven beliefs’ for ‘faith’ if it makes the atheist more comfortable. 🙂

  19. hmmm… this has me thinking…

    “Probability makes the word “faith” impotent !” -Sabio

    “definition of faith “1.Mental acceptance of and confidence in a claim as truth without proof supporting the claim. ”” -Boz

    i would affirm Al’s metaphor of faith in the evolutionary process. all the cards aren’t on the table, so there is a “faith” AKA trust aka probability that the theory will pan out.

    i think there are problems with trying to define Faith because many people are operating on different practical and working definitions. i’ve heard it defined that “Faith is the confident belief or trust in the truth or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing” some describe it in terms of a transcendent reality (like heaven or hell, or some platonic “perfect realm”).

    needless to say i think there is a correlation between probability and faith. when someone says “in all likelihood” that is a faith statement.

    the question then becomes IN WHAT do we place our faith? some have chosen religion other science, some philosophy as their prime vehicle. the structures are in no way monolythic due to the complex ambigious nature of the world. evolution has holes in it because we haven’t found all the fossils yet we can take it on faith that the theory holds true because it’s supported mulitple ways (fossil record, carbon dating, and we see it in action) and nothing has contradicted it yet. same with many ppl’s faiths.

    however, i want to stress where i’m coming from. i think faith is part of it as someone said we can’t possible test and hold EVERY piece of info that comes our way. but when we have a claim that gets overturned, we have to change. as the Dali Lama does “when science fills in the places where our faith was, we change our faith, not the science.” to many this sounds like a “god of the gaps” but one must remember that the Lama is buddhist and has no deity. also i just read a book “When Suffering Persists” by Frederick Schmidt that states “When something happens and it causes you to re-examine your faith, odds are you will have to change your faith because life doesn’t lie.”

    “I would like to follow the probability line of thinking but I suspect that a great many assumptions and ‘leaps of faith’ are made. ” -mark

    reminds us of Soren Kirkegaard’s idea of a “leap of faith.” meaning we get all the info we can, then we have to make a creative and intuitive jump forward beyond just the facts. it’s got sound backing, but there’s a midst of creativity that can’t fully be defined or measured in the short term.

    hope this rant helps… it prolly doesn’t 😉

  20. Mark: There’s a serious difference between testing everything your mother told you and testing the things religious people tell you. For your mother, depending on what it is that she told you, of course, you likely are able to test all of it. Whether or not you actually do, it is possible. The same is true of science. Any scientific finding *CAN* be tested. It might require a lot more knowledge and equipment than you currently have but it is possible for you to go to college, get the education, work for a company with the equipment and test the finding.

    However, with religion, you cannot test any of their claims. They are inherently beyond any rational experiment. They have to be accepted without any objective evidence to support them. There’s no better reason to accept a religious claim than to accept that there are miniature invisible, intangible gnomes living on your shoulder.

    But that’s something that most theists won’t address.

  21. Al

    I’m certainly enjoying this discussion.
    I think our need for definitions and perhaps a better term for faith demonstrates that there are misunderstandings (to refer back to the point of this post) in what ‘the other guys’ mean by using that term. I’m totally happy with Mark’s ‘unproven belief’.
    I totally agree with the aspects of probability, although figuring out the actual percentage is likely a stab in the dark for many things, and even that is open to misunderstanding. I would say I am sure of a high % of the things that comprise my philosophy of life, and only have to make ‘leaps of faith’ on a few things. Someone observing my philosophy might well say most of it is based on leaps of faith. When the tables are turned, I expect the same would be true–for example I would say a skeptic has a larger leap of faith regarding first cause than I do (Sorry Sabio, I just had to throw that back in!)

  22. “However, with religion, you cannot test any of their claims. ” -Cephus

    depends on the claim. the God claim is up for debate for sure. noting how some sick % of the Judeo-Christian bible is about the here and now, i would say those claims could be up for grabs and have been. like what does it mean to “not kill” or “not commit adultery?” rabbis have been debating that since Moses brought them down (or when they were penned circa Babylonian period by a few unknown writers). Jesus being God is another one up for grabs, but loving thy neighbor and something greater than yourself seems a pretty verifiable claim with examples from India circa 1930s, Civil Rights circa 1960s, and South Africa circa 1990.

    plenty are verifiable and some simply aren’t rational. depends on where you focus. plus i don’t think i exhault “reason” all that much any more. it helps in writing but in living you’ll find there are plenty of ppl out there that are irration regardless of belief.

  23. I think both camps, atheists and Christians need to understand that there is a huge difference between a lifetime atheist and an ex-Christian who became an atheist.

    I think you need another list: How Christians misunderstand ex-Christians.

    I’ve come to believe that ex-Christians and atheists have very little in common. Look at my blog, for instance: I don’t have any lifetime atheists as regular posters. None.

  24. Pseudonym

    This is a good summary, thanks.

    I’m going to add one to each list.

    To the first list, “You don’t really understand what I believe.”

    And to the second list, “You’re just good at compartmentalisation.”

  25. @Luke wrote: the God claim is up for debate for sure. noting how some sick % of the Judeo-Christian bible is about the here and now, i would say those claims could be up for grabs and have been. like what does it mean to “not kill” or “not commit adultery?” rabbis have been debating that since Moses

    I’m not sure what ‘some sick % of the Judeo-Christian bible is about’ means. As for what ‘not kill’ or ‘not commit adultery’ means, you would first have to establish who your authority is, and then test the credibility of that authority. Or to refer to a previous comment, “What is the probability the authority is telling the truth?”

    Your comment implies a presumption that Rabbis are authoritative, but if I reject your rabbi as authoritative, are you willing to consider a different approach to the question?

    “but loving thy neighbor and something greater than yourself seems a pretty verifiable claim with examples from India circa 1930s, Civil Rights circa 1960s, and South Africa circa 1990. “

    Why is this concept ‘verifiable’? Is something ‘proven’ merely because it is ‘greater than yourself’? Or because the outcome of some modern event is to your liking?

  26. @Cephus: “There’s a serious difference between testing everything your mother told you and testing the things religious people tell you. For your mother, depending on what it is that she told you, of course, you likely are able to test all of it. Whether or not you actually do, it is possible. The same is true of science. Any scientific finding *CAN* be tested. It might require a lot more knowledge and equipment than you currently have but it is possible for you to go to college, get the education, work for a company with the equipment and test the finding.”

    So you believe that something said by a religious person is inherently untestable while something said by an irreligious person is inherently testable, and thus, although it may not really be verifiable, the statement by the irreligious person must be given greater credence?

    I cannot anymore test everything my mother said than I can test the distance to the moon or the probability that Darwin was right. While the possibility exists that I could spend a lifetime in study of either of these questions, each process will involve acceptance of presumptions which I cannot possibly prove empirically myself, but can only accept as fact (or truth, depending on your definition).

    “However, with religion, you cannot test any of their claims. They are inherently beyond any rational experiment. They have to be accepted without any objective evidence to support them. There’s no better reason to accept a religious claim than to accept that there are miniature invisible, intangible gnomes living on your shoulder.”

    This is a red herring. I could make any number of claims as a ‘religious’ person, or claims that I could make about a religious matter, and it could be tested. The test may prove conclusive, or not, your interpretation of it may be satisfactory to you or not, but the claim that it is beyond rational experimentation is fallacious (and wishful?).

    Perhaps you desire it to be this way to reduce to the absurd the question of theism. However, since you have demonstrated that in your own mind there can be no reason to consider a religious claim as possible, we can deduce that in this question you have rejected the possibility of any conclusion which contradicts the one which you have already reached. Your position is hardly empirical or scientific.

  27. “I’m not sure what ‘some sick % of the Judeo-Christian bible is about’ means.”

    it means a lot of it but i’m too lazy to look it up and i’d rather not make up a number.

    “Your comment implies a presumption that Rabbis are authoritative”

    i was just going with the earliest commentators. and since it is a Jewish book, i figured to go with that. many ppl want to think that something as “simple” as the 10 commandments couldn’t be debated… but they have and still are. as for authority, i think the Wesleyan Quad works well here, but yet you still have to name your assumptions.

    “Why is this concept ‘verifiable’? ”

    all were bibilically and religiously concepted, carried out, and won. even Gandhi used the bible along side the Vedas. religion won the day and all of these events were held up as a good thing.

  28. Mark said: “I cannot anymore test everything my mother said than I can test the distance to the moon or the probability that Darwin was right.”

    In theory, you can. It is possible. Whether or not you actually do it has no bearing on your theoretical ability to do so. However, with religion it is utterly impossible no matter how hard you try, most Christians place proof for the factual existence of God beyond reach, thus requiring faith. You cannot find solid, objective evidence for God because it simply doesn’t exist.

    If you can’t see the difference between those two examples, I honestly don’t know what to tell you.

    Mark said “I could make any number of claims as a ‘religious’ person, or claims that I could make about a religious matter, and it could be tested.”

    It depends on the claim. Sure, you could claim that holy water, for example, is real and I could go get a sample of holy water and test it and see that it is indeed water. Of course, it has nothing to differentiate it from regular old tap water, but sure, the water is real. But that’s where you example fails, you’d be asserting that this water is somehow special and there are no tests to which we can put it that can demonstrate that it’s any objectively different than any other water.

    Mark said “Perhaps you desire it to be this way to reduce to the absurd the question of theism.”

    I don’t have to reduce it to absurd, it’s never risen above that to begin with. How is a religion that believes in talking snakes, sleight-of-hand miracles and zombie saviors rational? It sounds like a cheesy Halloween story, which as it turns out, today is Halloween…

    Maybe that explains it all.

  29. societyvs

    I find theists and atheists can never really understand one another (as sad as that is) because in the end they are respresenting competing claims (and they do no neccesarily hide this) they both hold as ‘true’ about the realities they live in.

    In conclusion, one side must lean towards the other in order to make room for discussion or agreeance must occur for one side to feel they are ‘right’ and feel some justification for their stance. Both sides that want a discussion do this.

    Truth is – you cannot prove God – so we can discuss any and everything under the sun after this claim is made (which is logical and also a justification for the atheist). Someone made the claim we all use ‘faith’ (in the sense of ‘trust’) – so for the theist this is also justifcation for their side. Convo continues.

    Luke lables this as ‘searching’ – we all must continue in this process…and this is the middle ground for both sides…or is Luke making a point that an atheist has to concede some ground to make discussion? Convo continues.

    Fact is, all of us have a story that differs from one another and we want to put the facts of any issue outside of that reality (our biases being as limited as we can make them). This is common ground also – and we all admit to having bias in out thinking in some way. Convo continues.

    I find, as a theist, I really don’t care if an athiests believes in God or not – and this is pretty much the norm for the athiest towards the theist. I think we like the discussion because it helps us learn and defend our points better. It’s maybe a search for the truth on some level but in essence do we really care about any of this?

  30. Pingback: Nothing New Under the Sun… « Losing My Religion

  31. “Truth is – you cannot prove God ”

    I think I can, but apparently ‘First Cause’ is off-limits.

    It’s okay to believe in something which cannot be proven, but I think there is something to believing in that which is more probable than an alternative.

  32. @ Mark
    If you are eager to talk about “First Cause”, Luke may engage you at “Common Sense Atheism.
    I think you may enjoy Luke.

  33. Thanks for the link…

  34. @ Lorena
    (if you are still there – I just came back from vacation)
    I totally agree, “life-long” atheists may be a valuable subspecies of atheist.
    There are probably several fun taxonomies of atheists. For instance, I have lots of ex-Christian friends who were very different Christians than I was — some were social-fit-in Christians, just-raised-that-way Christians, mainly-intellectual Christians and such — I was none of those. We are all unique, eh! Praise Krishna.

  35. Temaskian

    Maybe it’s not about misunderstanding at all. People just hate each other when they’re at opposite ends of the spectrum. And belief in God vs non-belief in God is as far apart as you can get.

    I don’t think there is any misunderstanding between Christians and ex-Christians. Christians just choose to remain on the other side despite the evidence. :-p

    I do agree with Lorena that yes, a life-long atheist and an ex-Christian may mis-understand one another. The latter no longer believes consciously, but sub-consciously still subscribes to certain things out of habit.

  36. @ Temaskian
    I agree with you that there may not be a misunderstanding. Some of those accusations about any individual could very well be true. But my point is, they don’t have to be true at all.

    One of the themes of my blog is emphasizing how belief in a god or not is sometimes really just a minor difference between two people. People are made up of tons of beliefs, all in complex relationships to each other and the world. It is the heart of the individual and their actions in the world that I think we should emphasize.

  37. Temaskian

    It is indeed amazing that something so intangible as belief in a non-existent entity should cause so much difference.

    For example, fairies exist versus fairies do not exist should not be that big a deal. I guess the problem is when emotions and loyalties are tied in as well.

  38. logical fallacy: no one claims that fairies are the “prime mover” and cause of existence 😉

  39. @ Luke
    Where is the logical fallacy — could you spell it out?
    Calling “foul” using “logical fallacy” is almost a mathematical declaration and needs clarification.

    My chair is holding me up right now. I don’t have to believe in chairs (I could be highly delusional) and still use them. The belief may not interfere with my life if I have other beliefs that compensate or function equally well.

  40. Wouldn’t the fallacy be a straw man?

    I could believe that nothing causes everything and still use a chair, no matter how absurd that is as well….

    I’m so tired of the caricatures, a theist is not necessarily ’emotional’ or ‘loyal’, at least not any more so than his atheist interlocutor. Every Friday I meet with my atheist buddies to drink beer at 3pm and not a one of them can answer for prime mover or first cause or why time and matter are their ‘gods’.

  41. “logical fallacy”

    to equate fairies on the same level of God is a basic logical error. the metaphor doesn’t fit. the only similarity is that neither God nor fairies have been seen. that is where the similarities end. looking at the definitions, we see how they don’t add up in anyway shape or form:

    God:1 capitalized : the supreme or ultimate reality: as a : the Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshipped as creator and ruler of the universe b Christian Science : the incorporeal divine Principle ruling over all as eternal Spirit : infinite Mind
    2 : a being or object believed to have more than natural attributes and powers and to require human worship; specifically : one controlling a particular aspect or part of reality
    3 : a person or thing of supreme value
    4 : a powerful ruler

    Fairy: 1 : a mythical being of folklore and romance usually having diminutive human form and magic powers
    2 usually disparaging : a male homosexual

    now unless the case was made that God was a mythical being of folklore, okay maybe but not really.

    The God of theism with the requisite omni-attributes is quite different than a “fairy” with whatever attributes such a thing would have. An argument like the “fine-tuning argument” for God’s existence reasons that whatever caused the fine-tuning of our universe could not have been a fairy. Therefore, the logical equivalence “God” and “fairy” fails. Logically, belief in God does not entail fairy-belief. So one can believe in God and reject the existence of fairies, or conclude that “probably” there are no fairies and have it be a sound theory.

  42. “My chair is holding me up right now. I don’t have to believe in chairs (I could be highly delusional) and still use them. ”

    and thus you have many believer’s frustration with atheists. check out this re-write:

    “My God is holding me up right now. I don’t have to believe in God (I could be highly delusional) and still use God.”

    for those who believe in the total soveriegnty, you can see the source of their frustration. 😉

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