This happened over half a year ago, but it recently popped into my mind, and it makes an easy short post.
The Christian Apologetics Research Ministry, or CARM, is a website started by Matt Slick to, well, spread Christianity. There are a large number of pages devoted to countering an assortment of different religions, non-religions, and cults, which contain, shall we say, a large number of weasel words. Somehow, reading pages from the site inevitably makes me feel personally insulted, as the the author is making a whole bunch of logical fallacies and not letting you talk back.
Which he basically does, but then again, he's paying for hosting and traffic. There's enough junk on the internet as it is, one more wouldn't matter.
All slandering of the site aside, I had actually sent them an email about an issue. Matt had brought up the idea that to hold a position, you also need to have an idea of what would change your position. It's a nice fair claim, with the scientific method behind its back. It's what researchers do all the time: have a hypothesis (the position), figure out what would invalidate it, and test to see whether it actually invalidates it. The only problem with theology, of course, is that we can't test it.
On this page and as shown
in this dialog, Matt uses
this to great effect. The problem with the dialog is that the
"challenger" was not that good at all; he got distracted by the whole circle-square thing. Asking Matt about unicorns is the right move, he just didn't push it enough. As such, it's like watching a wrestler body slam a ten year old kid; you would cringe just watching it.
My email was my own counter argument to Matt's use of this methodology. What evidence would I accept to say God exists? Well, he could appear (as a burning bush - boring, or a column of fire at night - much cooler), or maybe do one of those miracles. Specifically, maybe someone could part the Red Sea for me? It was done before, so it does not "violate [God's] own nature". The performance of this miracle would at the very least show some kind of anti-gravity technology, at best it would show God exists. Which would be a happy ending for all.
I think that's solid evidence to prove God exists, and lodge me from my atheism. So now I can "honestly lay claim to the title atheist".
There was a second shorter question for Matt too. It's a shame I never got the reply to the email, because I'm really curious as to what his answer would be. The question is simple: what evidence would he accept to show that God doesn't exist? It's the same question in the other direction. If he doesn't answer that one, then he "[hasn't] thought his position through" and can't "honestly lay claim" to the title Christian, by the same logic.
I wonder what his answer is?