Now is as good a time as any to get back to Contradiction Tuesday, so let’s get right to it.
In Genesis 1:25-26, beasts are formed and then God creates man. However, in Genesis 2:18-19, man is created first and then God creates all of the animals to search for a mate for the man.
To resolve this conundrum, we have to understand the purpose of each chapter of Genesis. In other words, we have to put each in its narrative context. Read the rest of this entry
Truth corresponds to reality. This means that truth doesn’t change. If it was true in 4000 b.c., it is still true now.
Atheists frequently insist that only science can discover the truth.
If truth is truth, then that means if a truth is uncovered by science, then it’s always true, right?
Allow me to present 5 truths taught to me in grade school science class that have been proven wrong. Read the rest of this entry
I really have to stop letting these accumulate. Answering them is never as bad as I seem to think it will be. And, often, I learn something.
First up, on my post on how Twitter breeds shallow reasoners, Boz thinks that the Twitter users I mention are misunderstanding proof, which he says is:
1) Provide strong evidence for; Demonstrate. I can prove that Morphine is addictive.
2) Show to be true with 100% accuracy. I cannot disprove solipsism.
I agree on both counts, and I also believe Boz is correct that the Twitter users I’m picking on don’t get what proof really is. Nor do they understand that one cannot disprove solipsism (which is why they resort to ridiculing me).
The point is that argument can suffice in place of empirical proof. Provided one can show a belief is rational by logic and argumentation, then empirical proof isn’t necessary. There’s no empirical proof that an external world or other minds exist, and we can’t say for certain (therefore) that we aren’t living in a computer simulation (a la The Matrix).
But we are rational for accepting the existence of the external world and the existence of other minds without evidence. So I also argue that, because we can argue rationally and cogently for the existence of God, that we are justified in accepting it as true in the absence of empirical evidence.
Really, it all boils down to treating God as we would any other belief. So, then, I’ve asked the atheist to provide good reasons to not accept the existence of God. No one has stepped up, and Boz reversed it on me: provide rational reasons for not believing in Amun, the Egyptian god of creation and the sun.
Challenge accepted. First:
- The conception of God is as the maximal being. God exists eternally, and thus was never created nor will he ever pass away. God also exists necessarily.
- The preservation of the Scriptures pertaining to God is excellent. No significant variations in the (forgive my use of this term) plot of the creation story exist. The rigid attention to the story is indicative of its perceived truth.
- God sent his Son, Jesus, to speak for him. Jesus fulfilled OT prophecy and equipped teachers to give God’s full and final revelation. He backed up his divinity with a Resurrection from the dead. All of this in fulfillment of Scriptures written hundreds of years before.
As for Amun:
- Amun is not the maximal being. He neither exists eternally nor necessarily. He created himself (however that might have worked, but it indicates at least one prior moment where he did not exist), and formed a hypostasis with Ra (the sun god) at the outset of creation.
- The variations of the creation myth of Egypt demonstrate they had no commitment to its finer points, and therefore believed it only in the sense that it imparts a lesson. Similar to how Aesop’s Fables or Shakespeare’s plays do–notice the range of variations in both over the extant MSS; the Bible’s variations are at least as numerous but not as significant.
- There is no fulfillment in the material realm for Amun-Ra such as we see with Jesus.
I think that these three points nicely demonstrate the superiority of God to that of Amun-Ra.
Presuppositions can work against our understanding in ways that aren’t usually apparent. Let’s look at one such case.
The presupposition: Uniformitarianism. This is the thought that everything as we observe it now is exactly how it worked in the past. The sedimentary layers in rock are read this way, assuming they were uniformly laid down at regular intervals. So upper layers are new, lower layers are old (sometimes much older). All due to processes that have never changed since eons past, operating in the same way in the same amounts of time.
This is a contention of naturalism, and is not strictly held by theists. There are a few exceptions. Anything existing by necessity, such as God himself or mathematical constructs, won’t change (even after the Fall). The quantity of “two” is always “two” no matter what numbering system you use to designate it on paper, and equations will always retain certain patterns and properties. Though a hexadecimal system will differ slightly from a decimal system, and a binary system from the other two, evident patterns will still emerge in all of them (following from the base number of the system). The Lord doesn’t change, either; he isn’t blown about by the wind.
The second exception would be universal laws. These are built into the fabric of reality and thus remain unchanged through time. This includes moral laws–if it’s wrong to sacrifice a child now, it’s always been wrong to sacrifice a child. Since some cultures practiced that, it means that moral epistemology sometimes must catch up to moral ontology.
According to the Bible, there are differences between things at the outset of creation verses and things as they stand now, due in a large part to the Fall of Man. After the Fall, some rules changed (as punishment) and creation took on new ways of functioning. Read the rest of this entry
I was recently directed to a Reddit thread where the atheists were proposing questions that theists can’t answer. Surprise, surprise, we can answer them, and in many cases have answered them (just not the satisfaction of the atheist). Of course, personal satisfaction isn’t a prerequisite for truth.
That said, what follows are questions from that thread that center on the Atonement. Read the rest of this entry