A Typical Discussion With a Christian

In homage to Randal Rauser's book The Swedish Atheist, the Scuba Diver and Other Apologetic Rabbit Trails, which is set in a conversational tone, let me do the same from my perspective. I have but a few minutes right now so this could be bettered, and these type of written out discussions are notoriously manufactured *cough* *cough*. But let Smoe represent a Christian and Joe a non-believer.

Joe: Why to you believe?

Smoe: Because there are so many mysteries to existence that cannot be explained without the existence of God.

Joe: The mysteries you point to are the ones on the cutting edges of science. There have always been mysteries located there. But science has solved tons of them in the past, forcing Christians to move the goal posts of that which cannot be explained.

Smoe: So? The present mysteries cannot be solved.

Joe: How do you know?

Smoe: Because I have faith.

Joe: Has faith solved any of them in the past?

Smoe: Believing scientists have done so.

Joe: Was it because of their faith or because of the evidence that went against their faith?

Smoe: What do you mean?

Joe: Science has repeatedly forced Christians to reinvent their faith such that your present views would be considered heresy and subject to the Inquisition it's so far removed. And the Christianities in the future will be far removed from the one you now embrace.

Smoe: How do you know present-day science might not see a reversal, and support my faith?

Joe: We cannot punt to what science might be like in the future, and if science is reversed then it's science not faith that will force that reversal.

Smoe: But what about human consciousness, science will not solve why we're conscious as human beings.

Joe: I'm surprised you have faith against science when faith has not solved anything, and when science has worked wonders. There are some good working models that explain this.

Smoe: But no consensus?

Joe: No, not yet.

Smoe: So there!

Joe: Why won't you give science more time?

Smoe: Because I know God exists by a strange warming sensation from the veridical inner witness of the Holy Spirit in my heart.

Joe: *crickets chirping*

Smoe: So, I've silenced you?

Joe: No, I'm just utterly stunned. Thanks for being honest with the real reason you believe.

Smoe: Well, I want to be intellectually honest with my faith.

Joe: How do you account for the fact that different Christianities with different views of the trinity, the nature of the Bible, the atonement, the resurrection of Jesus (bodily or spiritual?), the return of the "son of man," the basis for the last judgment day of God, and hell itself, all claim this religious experience? You would think there is some content to that religious experience, right? If God is behind these experiences then believers shouldn't be led by them to come to views that are heretical and condemnable by other sects within Christianity.

Smoe: But these other Christianities are wrong. Mine is right!

Joe: How do you know?

Smoe: Because my religious experience is veridical, that is, really, really true!

Joe: But, but...

Smoe: In any case, irrespective of the different views we have, it shows God exists!

Joe: Which one?

Smoe: Ours, the one we embrace. Christianity, mere Christianity.

Joe: How do you account for the religious experiences that others have in the various religions around the world?

Smoe: My God is providing them.

Joe: So, your God is providing religious experiences to others in different faiths, and then will eventually condemn these believers to hell? That is, he's confirming the religions of the world by these experiences and yet will condemn these people because of the so-called evidence he's giving them?

Smoe: No, these other believers are just concluding false beliefs because of them.

Joe: I thought you wanted to be intellectually honest?

Smoe: I am, they are simply wrong.

Joe: *crickets chirping*