This is going to be a fun ride.
The blogger formally known as The Raving Atheist is now The Raving Theist, and shows that conversion in no way impairs one's sense of humor.
Reading some of the "I wonder how this guy went from being so rational to being a godidiot" comments (getting linked to by PZ Myers doesn't exactly raise the tone of one's commentariat -- though to be fair the "godidiot" term was one used frequently by Raving Atheist before becoming a Christian) I've been rather struck by degree to which those who spend lots of hours frequenting online atheist watering holes refuse to admit that one can be rational and still be a theist. For people who supposedly take all their pointers from science, this seems a rather odd view, since one of the obvious corollaries of the scientific method is that there are almost always multiple rational explanations for a given set of evidence. However, two different explanations as to what underlying process produces the evidence will generally produce different predictions about the world. And the scientific process involves trying to see which (if any) of these sets of predictions bears out in reality.
The question of God's existence gets prickly, in part because atheists and theists often not only do not agree on what the predictions of theism and atheism would be, but they also don't agree on what evidence currently exists. Speaking for myself, I think that a form of atheistic materialism is a rational conclusion given a certain body of evidence that one might have personally experienced or read about -- however I think that the predictions which atheistic materialism would make about reality do not fit with my experience of reality. (For instance: I do think that free will exists. And I do think that qualities such as Justice and Goodness have objective existence.) Thus, I reject atheistic materialism. However, I think one can hold it perfectly rationally -- so long as one is willing to also assent to its implications.
The difficulty with the louder of the Raving Theist's commenters is that they do not seem to see it as remotely possible that one could be rational and come to the conclusion that theism is true. The which suggests to me, at least, a certain narrowness of viewpoint -- and perhaps a lack of understanding of how evidence, theory and prediction work when applied to something philosophical or theological rather than the question of which ball will fall faster off the Tower of Pisa.
Oddities & Things I Don’t Understand: A Sampling
3 hours ago