Pro has linked a video related to the debate topic rather than addressing my arguments directly. I’m sorry that he turned out to be busy; it happens. But I will repeat one of the comments’ recommendations to set the argument time to 2-3 days. That’s generally the best way to do it, unless you have a lot of free time, as I do at the moment. Anyway, I’ve watched the video and I will address it and give my impression.
The video comes from Reasonable Faith, the website of well-known theologian Dr. William Lane Craig. The video sets up a dichotomy between religious particularism, the belief that one religion is true, and religious pluralism, the belief that all religions are equally valid, and defends religious particularism, Christian particularism in particular. It doesn’t address the question of whether Christianity is true, which is what my argument was about. That question may be addressed in other videos from the channel, but this one focuses on criticizing religious pluralism with some very shaky arguments.
Its first criticism is that some religious pluralists say that all religions teach essentially the same thing, and this isn’t true, because there are many differences between any two given religious worldviews. This is strange, because nowhere in Pro’s definition or the video’s definition does it say that religious pluralists have to believe that all religions teach the same thing. I certainly don’t believe that. There are commonalities between different religious traditions, sure, but the fact that different religions believe different things is true and obvious. So that point is completely irrelevant to the argument, and the way the video uses this irrelevant point as a pillar of its argument strikes me as fallacious.
Next, it turns to those religious pluralists who believe that all religions are false, which at least covers my position. But rather than actually criticize the substance of what religious pluralists believe, the video constructs a strawman of a religious pluralist who commits logical fallacies, and then criticizes him for committing logical fallacies. Which, of course, is a fallacy in and of itself. Fallacy-ception. For example, they have their strawman say “Anyone who believes that Christianity is true and every other view is wrong is arrogant.” And then talk about why this is ad hominem. Sure, it is ad hominem, but where did all this talk about thinking Christians are arrogant come from? Is that something religious pluralists are required to believe? Again, according to the definition they laid out, the answer is no. I don’t think Christians are arrogant, I simply think they’re wrong, according to my own particular worldview, in the exact same way that Christians think I, an atheist, am wrong. There is nothing ad hominem about that, it’s simply a disagreement about the facts, which is completely fine and civil. But the video feels the need to conjure up a mean religious pluralist bully in order to make it easier to criticize, rather than criticizing the substance of their beliefs.
They then take the statement “Religions are culturally relative. Because religious beliefs are culturally relative, they are not objectively true.” and accuse it of committing the genetic fallacy. Again, this is a fake argument constructed in order to be easy to debunk. I agree that the truth of a view is independent of how a person came to believe it. Which is why I focused my first argument on the truth of Christianity itself, as represented by the validity of the Bible, and concluded that it was not true, based on the rigorous and overwhelming evidence of modern science. I’m happy to have that claim challenged, but this video does not even address it, nor did Pro. The reason that I and so many other people reject Christianity is because its claims are unconvincing to us, not because “religions are culturally relative”.
The video concludes by jumping to the question of “If Jesus is the only way to God, then what is the fate of those who never hear of Jesus?” So, rather than addressing whether Christianity is true or not, they leap over that step and assume Christianity is true and address one of the many philosophical problems with it. To be fair, it is a 5-minute video and they can only fit in so much. But the video’s main response is that there is hope for people who have never heard of Jesus, because “God desires all people to be saved”, quoting 1 Timothy 2:4. For me, this raises more questions than it answers. If God desires all people to be saved, then why doesn’t he just save all people? He is God, and is apparently omnipotent, after all. If he truly wanted to do something, he could simply will it into existence in a fraction of a second. If God cannot do it, or there is some law binding God and preventing him from doing so, then he is not omnipotent. And if he doesn’t want to save everybody, then the Bible is incorrect, according to Reasonable Faith’s interpretation of the Bible anyway. This is one of the problems with Christianity, and religion in general, that I’m talking about. Not only scientific inaccuracy, but philosophical paradoxes that have to be explained away through theological hairsplitting and obscurantism.
Pro can respond in the final round if he wishes and has the time, and I will give my closing statement afterwards.