Infidel Guys Podcast

Discussion in 'Defending the Faith' started by caddy, Jul 10, 2006.

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  1. Cheshire Cat

    Cheshire Cat Puritan Board Sophomore

    Derek Sansone did a much better job at debating Paul then Dan Barker did. Take from that what you will. Congratulations Paul!

    The lines were busy and I couldn't get in. I posted my question on the IRC chat but it didn't get picked either. Here was my question for Dan:

    If this world just contains molecules in motion, then all matter reacts to stimulus response. How can you condemn an individual (if you can even call it that) who has committed murder as morally accountable if he had no choice in the matter, it was predetermined by the material universe and the action/re-action that takes place. Wouldn't it be better to saythat the material universe is immoral given your definition of morality than to say that the murderer is? Why impose psychological harm on the murderer if he cannot be held accountable"?

    To sum up my question,How can you account for moral accountability in a material universe where there is no choice involved? Everything is
    just reacting to external stimuli.

    Yet, I didn't get a chance to ask my question. When I finally got through the debate was over (although not on the feed because there is a delay), so I thought I could ask the question. I got Reggy and he said we are discussing post debate comments. So I made some comment on how Dan didn't back up his definition of morality in that he just asserted it without demonstrating why it is the only definition that works. So Reggy started going on and on and on. It was really annoying. Anyways, so I asked Reggy if he considered it always a greater harm to take an innocent human life than it is to cause psychological harm. From the best of my understanding interpreting his incoherant babble I think he agreed. So then I went on to say that an unborn prenatal being is an innocent human being. He copped out and said that had nothing to do with the debate etc. He said the unborn prenatal being isn't a person and we could talk about that some other time. Then I asked him if I killed a dog that would cause harm. He said no. I then said, "so you are saying you have to be a person to be harmed?". I could barely get a word in because he wouldn't stop talking. He then took me off the air. You see Reggy was being inconsistent. Nothing new I guess. Even if the unborn prenatal being isn't a person (which he/she is), then tremendous harm is still being done. Anyways, God definitely used Paul tonight and I applaud Paul for a job well done.

    [Edited on 7-11-2006 by caleb_woodrow]

    [Edited on 7-11-2006 by caleb_woodrow]
  2. panta dokimazete

    panta dokimazete Panting Donkey Machete

    I would like to get a transcript of the program and deconstruct some of the strawmen arguments and rabbit trails Dan tried to throw out there.

    [Edited on 7-11-2006 by jdlongmire]
  3. Vytautas

    Vytautas Puritan Board Freshman

    If all is matter in motion, then maybe "œatoms sometimes swerve in unpredictable ways, thus providing a physical basis for a belief in free will."- © 1993-2003 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. If you have free will, then you have moral accountability.
  4. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    If I can eat broccoli because it's going to wither soon, then could I eat an old human being?
  5. Cheshire Cat

    Cheshire Cat Puritan Board Sophomore

    Another thing that I liked was that when Dan would try to keep talking and waste Paul's cross time, Paul would stop him and ask him another question. I figured Dan would try that as he had in other debates.

    lol, swerve in "unpredictable ways", like that changes anything.

    [Edited on 7-11-2006 by caleb_woodrow]
  6. blhowes

    blhowes Puritan Board Professor

    I don't have time to search around now, but I was wondering about Mr. Barker's background. Didn't he say during the debate that he had been a preacher for 15 years? Anybody know what denomination/church? It was mind boggling, after Paul told him he needed to repent, what Mr. Barker said that he'd like to say to Jesus if he met Him face-to-face.
  7. BobVigneault

    BobVigneault Bawberator

    Here's his own bio Bob. Very sad. His words about Jesus are probably one of the best and concise examples of what it means to commit the unforgivable sin.

    Reading his religious pedigree it's pretty clear that he was never regenerated. In fact given his association with Kathryn Kuhlman there is a good possibility he was demonized. In my humble opinion

    [Edited on 7-11-2006 by BobVigneault]
  8. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member


    You are the man. I think Pastor Gene Cook needs to do a "Man of Genius" tribute to you. ;)
  9. BobVigneault

    BobVigneault Bawberator

    In all due respect, Pastor Gene's parody of the 'Men of Genius' commercial is cheesey and annoying. I hope he doesn't associate it with our brother Paul. BTW, I'm from Wisconsin, I know cheesey.
  10. a mere housewife

    a mere housewife Not your cup of tea

    The part about Hitler being 'free to do what he did', but God deserving to be 'sent to hell' for making a hell seemed to me one of the most terribly ridiculous inconsistencies -- emphasis on 'terribly'. Hitler can torture children for no reason, and though we as a species are free to denounce him its ultimately all a matter of the sufferings of broccoli. But if God creates a hell to punish Hitler to get justice for that child.... suddenly we're not talking about broccoli are we? And what a lie, that there is so much beauty in the transitory here and now which are all we have and which we make valuable by simply investing in the appearance of value, if the sufferings of children amount to the consumption of broccoli as far as justice goes.

    I thought his true reason for rejecting Christianity came out very clearly in his anger against God as a 'slave master'. He wants autonomy, and if we have to be broccoli to have it, and Hitler has to be free to do what he did, then so be it.

    (BTW, Paul, if you're reading this: we thought you did an amazing job. You definitely didn't get sidetracked, and turned more difficult objections into an offensive. I think anyone with a sincere, reasonable attitude listening to the debate would definitely have come out of it realizing that Barker made no case for atheism and did not disprove yours for Christianity. We were praying for you, and have since thanked God for His presence with you.)

    [Edited on 7-11-2006 by a mere housewife]
  11. Augusta

    Augusta Puritan Board Doctor


    I think Paul was speaking over Dan Barkers head most of the time because Dan's "worldview" is not based on sound reason it is based on suppressing the Truth in unrighteousness because that Truth is unpalatable to him. I got the sense that Dan knows his position is untenable but he doesn't care and holds on to it with religious zeal for precisely the reason Heidi mentioned: He wants autonomy, and if we have to be broccoli to have it, and Hitler has to be free to do what he did, then so be it.

    He has blind eyes and deaf ears. Hopefully someone listening to the debate will have their's opened through the gospel message that Paul proclaimed. :pray2::pray2:
  12. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    I just listened to the debate this AM while working out. Great job Paul!

    I'm not precisely sure that Paul was talking over his head. This is typical of Dan Barker from what I've heard before. I just realized that he is popular because he is irrational and unthinking and populist. He is a postmodern populist atheist.

    I'm waiting for the transcript but Barker's closing statement (as was the rest of his stuff) was a vaccuous "we have meaning because we say we have meaning" and "we have purpose and are good because we say we are good". He admits that, cosmically, we have the value of broccoli but "here and now" we believe we have meaning so we do. It's idiotic but it might as well have been a Finney-like altar call for atheism with the mindless atheists weeping and coming forward to embrace belief for belief's sake.

    Barker preaches to the choir. He makes atheists feel good about who they are. He doesn't present arguments but, because atheists are only looking for affirmation, he gives them what they like. Paul's analogies were very good and very funny at times (I burst out laughing a few times in the gym). In the final analysis, however, Paul was appealing to rational thought and Barker was making populist statements.

    Paul concluded with a call to Barker's repentance. The general call of the Gospel. He held out words of life to Dan. He presented argument for the Christian faith and Barker had no answer except to play the fool. In the end, Barker heaped curses upon himself. He gnashed his teeth and shook his fist at Christ and then turned His hatred toward God the Father.

    I fear that Mr. Barker will have all eternity to contemplate the folly of his words last night.
  13. blhowes

    blhowes Puritan Board Professor

    Thanks for the link.
  14. fivepointcalvinist

    fivepointcalvinist Puritan Board Sophomore


    [Edited on 7-12-2006 by fivepointcalvinist]
  15. B.J.

    B.J. Puritan Board Freshman

    Barker seemed to have a real problem with a talking snake. However, I wonder wether or not he has a problem with a talking bird, like a parrot? Furthermore, since Barker believes in evolution it shouldnt come as a surprise that a snake might speak a human tounge. After all, he and Paul are nothing more than 2 talking monkeys arguing over a:banana:

    As far as the induction aspect of the debate ..... Building upon Barkers "talking cat" story...I have my own story building upon the Pirates of the Caribean movie I just saw. Suppose we lived in the 17th century when Pirates roamed the Seven Seas, and we had never heard of such a thing as a talking bird. One day as a group of merchant sailors were picked up, stranded at sea, they made mention of a beatifully colored bird that could speak Spanish. Of course everyone listening did not believe them, and called then fools. Saying things stupid ol' sailor...You have been in the sun to long. Birds cant talk. Thats irrational!

    Low and behold one day a Pirate is captured by her majesties armada and a Parrot is among the prisoners. That being because his owner is one of the pirates. All the doubters were proved wrong. Here is something for Mr. Barker to address, which he never did in the debate. Are we justified in expecting that every time we run into a Parrot it will talk just because this one example of a parrot spoke? I know this is frustrating for a man like Mr. Barker.:banghead: As we saw in the debate, his secular answer was of a Pragmatic nature, and not an answer at all. Anyway....

    If you all noticed, Mr.Barker conceded his position at the end of the debate when he said that God was basically unjust, and a big cosmic meanie by "his own standard!" Brothers and Sisters this is what Van Til and Bahnsen warned us about....When you start with man you will end with man, ans always end up in Subjectivism and Skepticism. Barkers position was reduced to absurdity by his own mouth. The debate was about Which view is more rational Christanity or Atheism. If Barker maintains that "By his own Standard" his view is rational than he begs the question. If we were to say that we would be clubbed to death for circular reasoning.

    Anyway...Well done Paul! God Bless you and your family.

    He is Risen,
  16. caddy

    caddy Puritan Board Senior

    From Barker's site: about C.S. Lewis's Book Mere Christianity:

    So, now I have to ask myself why I once thought Mere Christianity was so special. Because it told me what I wanted to hear. As a freethinker I am now no longer satisfied with mere assertions, with creative rehashings of myth. Freethought demands evidence in place of analogy, data over dogma.

    What do you think? Should I cash the royalty checks I continue to receive from my Christian musicals? Now there's a moral dilemma with which I struggle all the way to the bank.

  17. Cheshire Cat

    Cheshire Cat Puritan Board Sophomore

    LOL Dan Barker thinks he is a freethinking materialist. Yet, in a material scheme we are zombies. Everything is predetermined by the variables involved affected by the action/reaction taking place. There is no such thing as free thought on a materialist scheme. :banghead: Then he asserts like they should act like it (why call himself freethinking and Christians not in a zombie world), without giving a reason WHY.

    [Edited on 7-13-2006 by caleb_woodrow]
  18. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    By the way, did anybody catch it when Dan Barker was talking about the King James Bible and said that it was the Bible that Calvin used?

    What a dope.
  19. Magma2

    Magma2 Puritan Board Sophomore

    And Paul had a problem with Barker´s talking cat. Could that have been a concession that at least in some areas "œdata over dogma" applies? I think both men did a good job and played well to their own side and both scored some points.
  20. Magma2

    Magma2 Puritan Board Sophomore

    It appeared to me that you conceded Barker´s point by calling him a liar and that the empirical method he was contending for is adequate for making judgments concerning the truth or falsity of propositions, in this case the proposition that he met a talking cat. Perhaps a better approach would have been to demonstrate that the conclusions to all inductions are false ( and even if true we have no way of knowing it) and that only valid deductions from true premises can produce true conclusions. The question then becomes; how do you arrive at true propositions? Non-Christians, atheists of course included, can arrive at no true propositions at all given their starting point; nor have I ever come across one that could demonstrate how this might occur and few in history have actually tried. Secular (even theistic but non-Christian) philosophy has been a complete faliure at this point (see Clark's "Thales to Dewey" as a good place to start).

    As you know I´m no Van Tilian and I´ve heard the TA used in debates before whether it was Bahnsen v Stein or Wilson v Drange, but I´m just not a fan of that line of argument. OTOH I am a presuppositionalist and presuppose the propositions of Scripture as the only basis by which knowledge is possible. I realize we don´t agree on this central epistemological point, but I think this is where Van Tilian apologetics gets into trouble.

    On a side note, I would have loved to see you rip apart Barker's claim that he had been a Christian. I also thought he made an interesting argument (at least one I don't recall seeing before) that I guess could be called "An Argument Against God from Immutability." In a nutshell:

    If there is a personal being who knows all things "“ who is omniscient "“ then that being knows all its future actions. By knowing all future actions that being is unable to change anything and the future is fixed for that being. There are then limits on what that being can do. Or, to put it another way; for a being to be omniscience requires that it knows what it is going to do, and it cannot do other than it knows or it wouldn´t be omniscient. Barker then defines personal as having the ability to choose options or the ablity to make decisions. Since an omniscient being cannot choose options or make decisions (since they're already made and in this case eternally), and since Christians claim the God of the Bible is personal, it follows that the Christian God does not exist. Yet, Christians define God as a personal being, instead what the Christian worship is a cosmic computer program.

    I´ll have to listen to the debate again, but I don´t recall where this argument by Barker was directly addressed. It might have been, but you covered a large amount of turf in your replies, so I may have missed it.

    All and all the debate was very instructive. Thank you.

    [Edited on 7-14-2006 by Magma2]
  21. Me Died Blue

    Me Died Blue Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    I continually saw two fatal flaws (among many others) come about in Dan Barker's thinking and arguments:

    1) In talking about the "reification" of logic, and comparing it to the digestive process, he was saying that we don't need to account for the principles of logic just as we don't need to prove digestion for it to work. The entire point of how his worldview cannot account for logic, however, is not even that he needs to "observe" or "prove" logic as a thing, but rather that he needs to account for the statement that logic is in fact coherent, rational and accurate - and in the same way, with the digestive system, what does need to be accounted for is the statement that it actually goes on and occurs as a process. And he does assume the truth value of that statement, otherwise he would never eat anything for fear of vomiting each time; likewise, if he cannot account for the truth value of the statement that logic is rational and accurate, he cannot trust the use of logic for any purposes any more than he could trust his body to actually digest any food (regardless of the precise means it does so) when he eats.

    2) In his ethical system of minimizing harm and the importance of that to us relative to our perspective (even granting his groundless belief in that relative morality disconnected from a cosmic broccoli nature), I think the folly and ridiculous and empty conclusions of that system can be exposed simply by asking him if it is equally wrong to cause emotional and psychological harm as it is to cause physical harm. He would have to answer that question in the affirmative in order to consistently hold that many particular cases of, say, rape, are wrong relative to minimizing harm in our human experience, since many cases of rape have not in fact caused any physical damage to the woman's body, but only intense emotional and psychological damage. Hence, Dan Barker thus has to assert in his relative humanist system of ethics that in addition to physical harm, the ultimate goal is also to minimize emotional harm. Well, for the sake of argument, Paul, myself or any Christian could claim (for ourselves or point to another younger Christian) that by Dan's very debating of the existence and goodness of the Christian God, that he is causing intense fear, discomfort, sadness, uncertainty and distress to Christians who love God but struggle in their belief security. I assume Dan would justify that by saying that it is not ultimately emotional or psychological harm of a bad type, since he truly thinks that what he is arguing for is true and is the best thing for such people (young Christians) to hear and know; but on the very same grounds, I could claim that I believe or know that an emotional rape experience is actually what is best for a woman at a certain time, be it because of strength she needs to develop, a discovery of her sexuality, or any number of things. Thus, in Dan Barker's humanist ethical system of minimizing harm, he has to include emotional and psychological harm in order to look down on many rapes, yet he could not include that emotional or psychological harm if he wanted to even consistently follow his ethic in the whole process of debating and denying God.
  22. Cheshire Cat

    Cheshire Cat Puritan Board Sophomore

    Nice observations Chris.


    In Dan´s worldview he could not absolutely know if something is true given induction, but I wouldn´t say the conclusions to all Dan´s inductions are false.

    Well I guess then we could never arrive at the true proposition that the bible is true (initially), for we learn that by induction.

    Future? Is God bound by time? By being omniscient God knows what changes he will make, yet it does not deduce that this takes any power or ability away from him. Dan goes from saying *the ability* in his definition of personal, to saying *can´t* in his argument. Dan´s argument is useless.
    Why would Paul waste his time refuting such a ridiculous argument?

    [Edited on 7-14-2006 by caleb_woodrow]
  23. Magma2

    Magma2 Puritan Board Sophomore

    What do you mean "œin Dan´s worldview"? Given your worldview how can you know any of Dan´s inductions, or your own for that matter, or any for that matter are true? Induction is a fallacy because the form of the conclusion is not the same as the form of the premise(s). Induction attempts to arrive at universals from particulars and that is not only futile, but logically impossible. That's why revelation is needed. Inductive arguments (with the case of a closed induction I suppose excepted) are always fallacious. How does a Christian worldview make a fallacious argument valid? Russell said long ago, and I don´t know that anything has change, that induction "remains an unsolved problem of logic." Yet, you seem to be saying that Christians have solved it. Care to explain?

    That´s not true at all and the Bible itself mitigates strongly against your assertion. Not only that, the Confession refutes such empirical assumptions as well. After the Confession lists a number of different evidences to the truth of Scripture (none of which are empirical or require induction I might add), the Confession asserts: "œyet, notwithstanding, our full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth, and divine authority thereof, is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit, bearing witness by and with the word in our hearts."

    You may think it useless, but I suspect you miss the problem. You say God knows what changes he will make, but the point is God doesn´t make changes. His decree is eternal and God is immutable. God never changed His mind.

    Regardless of whether you think the argument ridiculous, are you confirming that Paul never directly addressed it? For what it's worth, that´s my recollection too. Maybe he thought it was ridiculous too?
  24. Magma2

    Magma2 Puritan Board Sophomore

    It´s not that inductive inferences are deductively false, which they are, rather they can never arrive at the truth of any conclusion, including claims to talking snakes or cats.

    I just said "œI would have liked . . . ." It wasn´t meant as a criticism.

    Yes, I found it very interesting and evidently Caleb, who didn´t find it interesting, missed it too. You were speaking very fast, so when I get the time, I´ll try and listen again to your first rebuttal since I´m curious what your answer may have been? For what it's worth, I´m not sure how I would have answered that argument or whether I could have being put on the spot like you were. Thanks.

    No, I don´t think I missed it, but I guess I never really cared much for defending theism per se, just Christian theism which most of Barker´s arguments, not to mention his insane tirade of blasphemies, were aimed.

    That part was good. :amen:
  25. Cheshire Cat

    Cheshire Cat Puritan Board Sophomore

    I obviously do not believe what I said, I was only following your logic. You said that "œPerhaps a better approach would have been to demonstrate that the conclusions to all inductions are false ( and even if true we have no way of knowing it) and that only valid deductions from true premises can produce true conclusions." Did you not learn the truth claims of the bible by induction?

    God doesn´t make changes? Of course God is immutable, but that has nothing to do with him "œchanging" his creation, and in that I mean affecting it in some way. I never said God changes his mind and I don´t see how you can deduce (I know how much you love deduction) that from my post.

    After reading Paul´s post I listened to the Paul´s rebuttal section and he does indeed refute it.
  26. Magma2

    Magma2 Puritan Board Sophomore

    I was replying to Caleb when you posted and our posts crossed paths.

    I can see you are too defensive to calmly discuss the debate. I was afraid this might be the case which is why I withheld any comment until now.

    But what if no Scripturalist has ever publicly debated an atheist? I know this is not the case, but what difference would it make if it were? I have heard more than a few evidentialists debate atheists, does that make evidentialism a sound and biblical defense of the Christian faith? I don't think so.

    I thought Christian apologetics was a defense of the knowledge of the truth, not opinions? I guess some people still can´t tell the difference?

    Look, I applaud you for going on the guy's show and debating this dog, but I don't think it was the routing that some here (most even) seem to think and for the reasons I gave. I think you made a lot of good points, but I think Barker did to.
  27. Magma2

    Magma2 Puritan Board Sophomore

    No I didn´t and if you´re a Christian neither did you.

    You clearly missed the point of Barker´s argument.

    Great. Care to share his refutation?
  28. Cheshire Cat

    Cheshire Cat Puritan Board Sophomore

    How could I learn special revelation without reading it or hearing of it (that is by induction. Well we can deduce from the bible its truth but initially we learn the conclusions through induction, do we not)? Of course it is by the working of the Holy Spirit but we need to use our sense experience using induction to *read* or *hear* the special revelation. In as much we are not using deduction in itself in learning the initial truth claims. At least I don't see how. I could be wrong.

    How so? I think his point is fallacious and I did understand it. Demonstrate that I do not understand it by showing a misunderstanding in one of my post. After you post I will see if in fact it is a misunderstanding or not.

    He already posted it probably right before you posted this post I am responding to.

    [Edited on 7-14-2006 by caleb_woodrow]
  29. Magma2

    Magma2 Puritan Board Sophomore

    Yes, I was thinking exactly that.

    All good stuff and I missed it the first time. Thanks, that was a good answer. Don't get upset that I asked Caleb to share, not only do you tend to talk fast, you post fast too. I can't keep up. :(
  30. Magma2

    Magma2 Puritan Board Sophomore

    I think you´re confusing a few terms, but I think I still get your meaning. I think instead of induction above you mean either sensation or empirical means or something along those lines. So I gather you argue that we come to a knowledge of the truth by sensate means, I suppose by having our auditory nerves being tickled or by somehow drawing inferences from ink marks on a page. Have I got it?

    Well, you said that God changes his creation. God doesn´t change his creation, rather his creation changes according to his sovereign, eternal and immutable decree. Not only that, the number of days you live, where you live and the number of hairs on your head "“ even whether or not you´ll get your hair cut next Thursday at noon "“ are determined down to every detail by the same immutable decree. in my opinion Barker got around Paul´s reply, at least partly, by claiming his brand of mechanism was a form of compatibilism. He evidently wasn´t, or didn´t claim to be, a strict determinist.

    God willing this reply will not be on the tail end of some other reply and I´ll be accused of being impatient. I did, however, try and check my spelling. ;)
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