Friday, 31 December 2010

God Does Not Exist and He is a Big Meany

I was watching this episode of the Michael Coren Show
It is a debate between two theists and two atheists on the the subject of the existence of God. I had a couple of thoughts.

First of all, I noticed that one of the atheists introduced a common and irrelevant distraction into the discussion; that the God of the Old Testament was a genocidal maniac. This is totally beside the point. The debate is whether God exists, not the nature of His personality. I suppose one could argue that once the atheist introduces God's personality into the discussion, he is at the very least admitting the possibility of His existence. But as in a discussion of the truth or falsehood of evolution, any such discussion is pointless until one acknowledges the existence of a sovereign and omniscient creator God. Acknowledging His existence changes everything, including one's view of His interaction with His creation in the OT. Until one is agreed upon His existence, any discusssion of His personality is purely hypothetical and superfluous.

Another aspect of the discussion touched upon the existence of rational thought. Now, this may not be an argument for the existence of God in itself, but certainly the pure materialist must consider it. The ability of humans to think rationally and hold and change opinions certainly argues for something beyond the purely natural, that is something supernatural. If naturalism is true, for instance, then everything in the uiniverse, including even our own thought patterns are strictly the result of atoms, molecules and electrons travelling in a way, and along paths instigated by the big bang at the beginning of the universe. But we have the ability to control our thoughts, which indicates to me something beyond pure naturalism.

I picture a huge billiard table with many billiard balls on it. Imagine there is no friction and that it is perfectly flat, so that any ball moving will move in a straight line until it hits a bumper or another ball. Without even getting into the, "first cause" argument, imagine one of these balls set in motion. It strikes another, which strikes another, and so on, until all the balls are moving. None of these balls has a choice about which direction to move. That is controlled completely by how it was struck. So absolutely every movement of every ball is forever subject to forces put into play by the initial movement of the initial ball.

So how can we form opinions, or change our minds, or think of the colour pink when it is suggested to us? Surely there is something beyond mere mechanistic naturalism, which opens the possibility of some kind of, "beyond naturalism," which admits the possibility of the existence of God.

Just thinkin'

Take Care

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Well... Isn't That Interesting!

From Here
..JERUSALEM - Israeli archaeologists said Monday they may have found the earliest evidence yet for the existence of modern man, and if so, it could upset theories of the origin of humans.

What's this? The theory that is considered so airtight might have to be rethought? Go figure.

A Tel Aviv University team excavating a cave in central Israel said teeth found in the cave are about 400,000 years old and resemble those of other remains of modern man, known scientifically as Homo sapiens, found in Israel. The earliest Homo sapiens remains found until now are half as old.

I don't count myself a young-earth creationist. I don't think it's necessary, biblically, so I don't mind hearing that these teeth are as old as they say. What I do believe, of course, is that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, and that when He created humans, he created them as humans. Where?...

The accepted scientific theory is that Homo sapiens originated in Africa and migrated out of the continent. Gopher said if the remains are definitively linked to modern human's ancestors, it could mean that modern man in fact originated in what is now Israel.
... in the middle east. Now we see that commonly accepted scholarship may have been mistaken, at least regarding the area of origin. Well, (palm to forehead) who'da thunk it?

He stressed that further research is needed to solidify the claim. If it does, he says, "this changes the whole picture of evolution."

I don't claim that this proves anything, but it gives pause; it casts doubt in some areas. It reminds us that majority opinion at any given time is not necessarily proof of truth. And anything that is not the truth is open to revision. Anything but the truth is open to being proven false.

(Update)
What's my bottom line here regarding the Christian faith? I guess it's this; if the Christian story is true, it cannot be proven false, however damning any evidence may seem. If it is false, then those of us who put our faith in it are surely to be pitied above all men. You know where I stand.

Take Care

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Here is Why

Here is why the split in the Anglican Church of Canada is inevitable and necessary. Check out This story in the Anglican Journal. The story is one with which we are familiar, but pay attention to the comments, particularly those of John (not me) and Geoff. They are starkly indicative of the great chasm that separates the two factions in our current dispute.

In them, personal opinion is categorically presented as indisputable fact. Subjective emotional feelings are treated as superior to Scripture. One commenter accused me of quoting, "Bible school" proof texts (even though I actually did no such thing), but no Scripture was given to support his case. It is wrong to exclude gays, it seems, because it is wrong to exclude gays, and that's it! And that's not even the "orthodox" position. We do not intend to, "exclude gays," we just feel that love compels us to point out wrong and dangerous behaviours, whatever the context, and separate ourselves from anyone who unrepentedly insists on continuing in them.

But it's as if "the other side" is determined to hold fast to their position just because it is their position. Trying to carry on a reasonable discussion is like trying to deal with children, when they hear something they don't like, sticking their fingers in their ears and screaming, "na na na na na na."

Take Care

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Is It Good?

Pastor Terry Stauffer links to This Post... at the The Gospel Coalition regarding the recent debate between former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and renowned atheist Christopher Hitchens. The subject of the debate was whether religion was a force for good in the world.

Which rather misses the point entirely. Whether 'religion' is or is not good for the world is a completely subjective mattter, depending upon one's definition of, "good." Often, in a circular way, one's very definition of, "good" is formed by one's religion (or lack of it) itself.

So Mr Hitchens says, in his opening remarks,
Is it good for the world to worship a deity that takes sides in wars and human affairs? To appeal to our fear and to our guilt, is it good for the world? . . . To terrify children with the image of hell and eternal punishment, not just of themselves, but their parents and those they love?

To which the author of the post insightfully notes,
Behind each of these questions lies Hitchens’ conviction that none of these claims corresponds to truth or reality. From his perspective, there is no deity who takes sides in human affairs or holds people accountable after death for the decisions made in life.

It seems unlikely that he would ask similar questions about hard realities he believes to be true. Is it good for the world to listen to journalists who takes sides in wars and human affairs (as Hitchens has done time and again)? To appeal to our fear and guilt by informing us that unless we prioritize care of the earth, we will be guilty of its destruction—is it good for the world? To terrify children with the images of nuclear war and the risk it poses not only to themselves, but also to their parents and those they love? If good means nice or safe, then none of these topics is good for the world. If good means true or real, then we must address them. (emphasis mine, JK)

I emboldened the section in the quote above because that is exactly what is happening. A recent news story out of Quebec tells of the prohibition of any religious content in government subsidized day cares. But our children are being brainwashed with all sorts of terrifying propaganda regarding global warming, or, "climate change" as it must be called when things sometimes seem to be cooler (like this year in much of the world) rather than following the prescribed pattern. Is that good? I suppose, "good" is decided by who holds the power.

As a sidebar, do I care about the banning of religious instruction from schools? Well, not particularly. The Christian faith began without official sanction by government and it grew very nicely, thank you very much. Perhaps we'll just have to do it again, without a government sponsored platform and even without (my ANiC brothers and sisters?) buildings, at least for a time.

But back to my original point. The question is not necessarily whether religion is good, but should be about whether it is true. In this sense, as I have mentioned before, with thanks to G.K. Chesterton, Christianity is not a religion at all, in the sense that we might refer to all other world, "religions" as such.

Christianity is not a religion as such, but a record, a statement, of facts. Historical facts at that. It is a fact that God created the heavens and the earth, and everything in them, including human beings. It is a fact that mankind then turned away in rebelllion from Him. It is a fact that mankind, ever since, has been trying to reach back to Him, to control Him, to ignore Him, to do without Him, or to reinvent Him in his own image. And it is a fact that none of these attempts are possible. It is a fact that God came to earth in the person of His Son, Jesus of Nazareth to pay the price necessary for the forgiveness of sins, the shedding of blood, in this case His own. And it is a fact that through this sacrifice, we can, through faith in Him, come into a relationship with Him by which we may be with Him forever. That is, enjoy eternal life.

And whether that is good depends on whether or not you believe it. But I would say to Christopher Hitchens what Nicholas Cage said in the movie, "City of Angels,"
Some things are true whether you believe them or not.

And so, all the best to you and yours this Christmas season.

Take Care

h/t New Lumps

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Ban Dihydrous Monoxide!

Many of the delegates at the UN climate conference in Cancun, Mexico, have signed a petition to ban dihydrous monoxide, a key ingredient in climate change, acid rain and... fatal if inhaled...

...A group of college students called Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, or CFACT, circulated the fake petition at the conference this week.

I hope I don't get in the same kind of trouble here as I did with my post regarding Obama and Keynesianism, but it's just that I hate stupidity, (yes, even if it is my own), and the hysteria over climate change seems to be a particularly fertile field for it.

Dihydrous monoxide, if you haven't guessed or figured it out, would be two hydrogen atoms (dihydrous) combined with one of oxygen (monoxide), in other words H2O, or water. Now I don't look down on anyone who didn't know that, but what on earth are they doing signing a petition when they don't know what they are signing.

From Here...

Take Care