I received my first response from my Dad yesterday. I've decided that instead of just posting every email that is sent back and forth, I will post based on subject matter. When I feel there is enough "meat" for one subject, I'll post the arguments from both sides for that subject.
My dad's last email was over 2,200 words long, so needless to say it's going to take awhile for me to break it down. Although, I think I've found a pretty good system for responding to an argument. For each email, I start an outline with several bullet points:
- Objective Claims
- Subjective Claims
Throughout any debate, certain claims are made. A claim, in my opinion, can be objective or subjective. An objective claim is, for example, "The evidence for a creator that pre-existed time is overwhelming". A subjective claim is, for example, "I love the feeling I get when my grand-kids tell me they love me". Objective claims can be targeted -- as any objective claim carries the burden of proof. Subjective claims (while they do not carry a burden of proof), should also be noted, as they may still serve as a platform for discussion.
Arguments are the overall arguments that are made throughout the email. These can be devided up into the type of argument being made. For example, most of my Dad's arguments at this point are teleological, so I'll summarize each teleological argument under that bullet point. Other types of arguments include "arguments from authority" or "arguments from rarity"
Finally, I make note of his rebuttals to the arguments I've made. This helps me make sure I address those sufficiently.