When I wrote my (yet unpublished) dissertation examining the influence of Darwinism on the founders of eugenics, I found myself faced with trying to tease out just what is meant by ‘influenced.’ Ie, does Darwinism logically entail eugenics? I felt I needed a model for comprehending those connections. Think, for example, of W. V. Quine’s …
Or, at least not allowed to procreate! I have been studying the interplay between Darwinism and the ‘elimination of defectives’ for almost ten years, ever since my wife and I were counseled to abort our daughter, diagnosed with spina bifida. We told the doc to go pound sand. Our daughter is now almost 8, and …
I saw this article about picking every game correctly in the March Madness bracket state the following: Confident about your NCAA Tournament bracket? You might want to think again. The odds of predicting a perfect bracket are one in 9.2 quintillion (or more precisely: 1 in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808). Best of luck with that. That’s 1 in 263, …
So, Jesus–and Christians believe Jesus is God–goes all the way back to Genesis to state the original plan, and dispenses with any attempt to erect this caveat or that excuse. The plan was good when the world was perfect and unfallen, it was good while God lived with the Jews when they were a covenant nation, it was good after the covenant had been dissolved and the Jews were dispersed to the four winds, it was good when they were brought back together and God again walked among them.
It is has never been more important to carefully examine what one believes and why they believe it. If you do not carry out this work, you may end up being nothing more than a useful idiot of the worst sort: directly bringing about the goals and ends of those you specifically repudiate as wicked and evil… condemning the communists, nazis, and eugenicists, while carrying out their work.
The media knows that they have a significant role in shaping public opinion. They know that if they don’t report the ‘minority’ position you, my dear reader, will likely never hear it. If you are lucky enough to ever hear it, they can count on you to dismiss it without further thought, “If it was a valid viewpoint it would be in the papers” “This flies in the face of the scientific consensus, you idiot! They said RIGHT ON THE BBC that this is the SCIENTIFIC CONSENSUS!” or “Why would the governments of the world be pushing this way if it weren’t true?”
But this article allows one to pull back the curtain, just a shade, to see the truth. They are manipulating you. You are being manipulated. You are a regular reader of the news and keep abreast of current affairs by watching the nightly news. You think you are informed. You aren’t. You are a gullible dolt being led by the nose by the powers that be to believe just whatever it is they want you to believe right now. At least, that is what the media thinks, and this article implies. And why would they think that way if it weren’t true?
When a Christian apologist invokes ‘revelation’ it is often understood by atheists and skeptics to refer to the “writings of the flawed goat herders of a bygone era that have been shown by modern science to be outdated, outmoded, and absolutely in error. Certainly not the stuff we can think of as ‘divine revelation.’” This …
It’s easy to be a skeptic because it is much easier to not believe something as to believe it. Skepticism has no non-arbitrary stopping point. That is, full blooded skepticism will naturally morph into cynicism. There is no objective point where any kind of argument, piece of evidence, or logical deduction must coerce belief. This is a point I raise in this post. Many skeptics construe their skepticism as an act of courage, as though being willing to question everything shows a brave streak that others do not have. To a point, there is courage… and in a way, yes, there is something to that.
However, if it is brave to question everything it is braver still to believe anything. Let me illustrate.
if one applies a higher standard of inquiry against claims that they might deem extraordinary, then claims they find to be ordinary will ordinarily be accepted- without demonstration at all. Here again we see skepticism turned on its head: the skeptic is not skeptical about the things he is prepared already to believe. It is only the things he deems unlikely that he is skeptical about- God alone knows how the skeptic determined something was ‘unlikely.’
It is a fact of human nature, I think, to quickly accept things that one is already prepared to accept. If I am told tomorrow that some Democrat in high office has failed to pay his taxes- again- I will pretty much accept it as a fact because I have become accustomed to Democrats doing such things (eg here, here, here, and here). We should expect nothing less from the people who believe that we should all pay higher taxes; by ‘we all’ it is known they mean us all. I am prepared to believe it as a pretty ordinary claim in the realm of things and therefore will demand very little evidence to support it. So you see, I am not exempting myself from this human tendency.
This ministry hosts a regular online round table discussing matters of substance and controversy. Christians and NonChristians are invited but it is not necessarily an ‘us’ versus ‘them’ debate. Past topics have included matters of controversy only amongst Christians and due to the flexibility of the discussion, topics can change on a dime. UPDATE: With …
If you were looking for a thread that ties all five of these challenges together, it is this: the general view, even among Christians, that there is no objective reality to the areas under dispute. That is, we are all arguing about our own opinions, nothing more. It’s like sitting around having an argument about one’s favorite flavor of ice cream. As such an argument is roundly seen as absurd (and I would agree). Thus- even within the Church- the highest transgression is presenting your favorite ice cream flavor as the absolute best. Now this, paradoxically, I have said is something that apologetics can treat (after saying in 3 parts that it can’t. 😉 ), but read carefully on how precisely.
This is attitude that everything is just subjective is manifested most clearly and dramatically in regards to the marriage and the family. To help understand why, let me provide some anecdotal illustrations.
For example, no doubt many of my readers will be aware of the argument against those who oppose gay marriage that if these people really cherished marriage, they wouldn’t themselves support divorce or have the same level of divorces as those outside that community. I am not here highlighting the apparent hypocrisy involved. I’m talking about something else. Another illustration will perhaps help: “Why won’t God heal Amputees?” You see the argument now: if there is a God, surely he would want to heal people, including amputees. The same reasoning undergirds the absurd but common perception among atheists that a praying people will be healthier, or that in an experiment where one group is prayed for but the other group that isn’t, the group prayed for should show better health. (C. S. Lewis exposed this type of experiment as deeply flawed- who in good conscience, if they cared for the sick people would abstain from praying for one group just to prove a point?!?!?)
In part one of this essay I put forward two great challenges to Christianity that apologetics cannot answer. To illustrate the weight of this matter, consider the fact that not too long ago I wrote an entry called, “Apologetics is the Answer to Everything.” I stand by that post, still. These challenges have more to …
I have been involved in apologetics for more than fifteen years, coming in almost literally the moment after Al Gore invented the Internet. The following represents some conclusions I’ve drawn during this time. To be clear, when I say the ‘Five Greatest Challenges to Christianity’ I do not mean it as, ‘here are five great challenges among others.’ What I mean is, THESE. ARE. THE. FIVE. GREATEST. CHALLENGES. I do not suggest that they are all that new. I do propose, however, that apologetics has no answer to them. Is that a surrender by a Christian apologist? Let’s find out.
As I argued above, all the religions and most of the world’s people deal honestly and seriously with the problem of death, but I should like to point out something truly unique about Christianity: it believes that at a specific place at a particular time in our history, God himself- knowing perfectly well what an offense death was- dealt death itself a death blow. He came to earth in a real place at a real time and interacted with real people that we can know from real history and really died and really rose from the dead and really promised to share that victory with anyone who will really accept the medicine he really offers.
In my view, since death is the common denominator for all of us and the one thing that stands in our way of ultimate and meaningful happiness, it is a proper subject of intensive human scrutiny. If there were hope, real hope, that there is an ultimate answer to death, then it is worth doing everything in your power to find out, and if one finds that hope to be more than plausible, but actual, seize upon it.