Sunday, June 21, 2009

Gracepoint Berkeley Apologetics MYT: Morality and God

Objective moral values can exist without God. We don’t have to believe in God to live moral lives; many of my atheist or agnostic friends are good, decent people. As an atheist, I can and do live by a system of ethics, which I formulated without needing to hypothesize the existence of a wrathful Judge in the sky. I treat other people with respect because I know they are human beings just like me. I also believe we should treat each other according to moral rules because that benefits me and society in the long run, which is objectively true. None of this even remotely involves God. Doesn't this undercut any moral argument for God's existence?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Gracepoint Berkeley Apologetics MYT: Mind-Body Problem

Let's get this week's discussion started:

Why do people like Will Provine say that if Naturalism is true, that means we can't have free will? Why can't free will be just something that emerges out of the brain?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Why Do We Get Punished For Others' Sins?

Recently, in DT we looked at Gehazi in 2 Kings 5 and how he got leprosy after he lied to Elisha about going to Naaman and receiving the gifts. It is understandable that he is punished, but why do his descendants also get punished? Isn't it unfair?

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Gracepoint Berkeley Apologetics MYT: The Problem of Suffering

Let's get a discussion going on the problem of suffering. In the Gracepoint Berkeley Apologetics class, we talked about how the problem of suffering is a problem only if we can show that suffering is purposeless. What do you think about that?

Also, another useful apologetics skill is to test the "range" of possibilities. So let's ask: what if there IS random suffering? What are the ramifications of that proposition to Christianity?

Friday, June 5, 2009

Gracepoint Berkeley: Truth Project

Hello everyone,

Very much like how Gracepoint Forum did with SET 2008, I wanted to open up a post thread for our Sunday's material, the Truth Project.

You can ask questions and have discussions regarding the Truth Project by responding to this post.

Why Did God Give Us Feelings?

This question isn't on quite an apologetic topic, but still is something that I'd like input on. What is the role of emotions in Christian thinking? That is, why did God give them to us? What use are they?

Some thoughts on the matter:I've already heard that emotions are a very hard thing to define, much less talk about(from a psychology viewpoint, anyway), but what I have heard indicates that they are evaluative. This means that our senses collect raw data, the mind interprets it into something we can understand, and then, as far as I can tell, emotions place value on it in some way(thus our instinctive responses to things).If this is true, then it would seem to me that we feel things in such a way as to help us place value in proper places and on proper things. This also leads me to think that when our emotions are out of whack, blown out of proportion, or simply aren't there(spock-style), then something is internally wrong with our value system. It seems that in this sense they can help us understand what's wrong with ourselves a little bit better.If this is all at least somewhat true, then I would add a little bit to the question: Is it a problem how we treat emotion in church today? When we sing songs that make us feel very 'worshipful', or when days like good friday come around and we try to feel very sad but grateful, are emotions serving their proper purpose? These are, of course, proper responses to their respective situations, but I wonder if people skip the step of understanding and repairing their value systems, and simply manipulate emotions.