A Response: “A Question For Atheists”

I depart from my typical regime of educational essays to respond to a post by flyinguineapig whose original post can be located here. I must first, however, pay thanks to Godless Cranium and his response as it directed me to the original question. One of the questions is epistemic in nature and the second is more social. I will delve into those after a brief preamble. As a warning, this essay is far more stream of consciousness than it is structured, so if the contents of this response are disorderly, I apologize. On the matter of my response, I will say now that my position is the result of an aggregation of my experience with theological arguments and with my study of religions. It is by no means complete or exhaustive and so, on that basis, I wish to make it clear that my position is not one that is definite or firm. Rather, I have come to it as evidence and reason have guided me, but should some evidence present itself that orients me toward a different position, I would gladly welcome it. My chief priority is knowledge, not esteem. With that said, I will address the first question:

“My first question is more general. I see this among atheists and my agnostic friends. People deny the possibility of any deity’s existence because of the lack of some kind of proof. It occurred to me that I have no idea what kind of proof you’re looking for. Furthermore, it seems to me that, in many cases, not just in the case of spirituality, what constitutes proof is at least somewhat subjective. I would love to get a few different perspectives, so my question is, what would prove to you that God exists?” (Flyinguineapig)

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Kaufman’s Fluidity of Time

In film, it is common practice to indicate the passage of time through the use of establishing shots or by explicitly stating the passage of time via a text overlay. These techniques serve their purposes but there are other more efficient ways that the passage of time can be communicated. Charlie Kaufman, an accomplished director and writer, has demonstrated the passage of time through subtle environmental markers in a way that occurs simultaneously with scenes vital to the story without interrupting the plot. His particular way of presenting the passage of time lends itself to the perception of time as fluid while also communicating this passage more efficiently.

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The Christian Doctrine of Sola Fide and Catholic Responses

Introduction

The doctrinal understanding of justification is one of the essential differences between Protestant denominations and Catholicism. The Protestant doctrine of Sola Fide, or justification by faith alone, has traditionally been criticized by Catholics as being “legal fiction,” such that God declares righteous those who sin (Witt 66-67). The Catholic understanding of justification has traditionally been criticized by Protestants as a denomination of works, such that sinners make themselves righteous by some personal quality of their own rather than through Christ. Neither are entirely accurate. While clarification and mutual understanding have been achieved through the recent Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification, the core issues which divide Catholics from Protestants still remain. The purpose of this essay is to explore the historical development of Sola Fide, delineate the Protestant and Catholic understandings of Sola Fide, and evaluate the effects of the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification on both Protestant and Catholic understandings of justification.

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An Exposition on the Types of Political Parties

Political parties form the bedrock of political life in Western nation-states, but just what are political parties? This essay’s scope is to define what political parties are and present a classification system for distinguishing some political parties from other political parties. After establishing what a political party is, this essay will examine the historical cadre party and mass party, then offer additional classifications for the kinds of parties found within the modern Western political system.

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Plato’s Argument for Equal Opportunity

In Plato’s Republic, Plato advances a case for the equal opportunity of both men and women. The ethical principle that underscores this case is the principle of specialization, which is the notion that each person is inherently suited for a particular job in society and they should only do that job, thus ensuring a maximally efficient society. Given this, the aim of Plato’s argument is to demonstrate that affording equal opportunities to women (via education and upbringing) does not contradict this principle of specialization. Plato argues that different natures need to be relevant to the occupation for women to be excluded from equal education and that nothing about gender qualifies or disqualifies an individual from a particular occupation.

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The Misuse of Margins of Error to Confuse

In every scientific study, there should be a margin of error which indicates the accuracy of the data it collects. The ways in which margins of error are determined fall outside of the scope of this brief essay, but the important part is that they’re there. Data from a study may be non-indicative of a particular conclusion because it falls within the margin of error, so this is something to watch out for so that you’re not deceived by claims of this nature.

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