XFiles Friday: The truth is (or is not) out there

(Book: I Don’t Have Enough FAITH to Be an ATHEIST, by Geisler and Turek, chapter 2)

Now that Geisler and Turek have, with the help of a Saturday morning cartoon, established themselves as mentally superior to the philosophers Hume and Kant, they’re ready to tackle the deeper issues of epistemology.

The process of discovering truth begins with the self-evident laws of logic called first principles. They are called first principles because there is nothing behind them. They are not proved by other principles; they are simply inherent in the nature of reality and are thus self-evident.

So far so good. Geisler and Turek are perilously close to recognizing and acknowledging that reality itself is the ultimate, infallible source and standard for what “truth” is. Our knowledge of “first principles,” upon which all other knowledge must rest, is a knowledge we acquire by our experience of the real world, and our perception of the patterns which exist within reality, and which reveal the existence of fundamental laws such as the law of non-contradiction. Consistently applied, this approach allows us to know beyond a reasonable doubt that the Gospel is not true. But let’s see what Geisler and Turek do with it.

Read the rest of this entry »

 
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...
Posted in IDHEFTBA, Unapologetics, XFiles. Comments Off

Zinger of the day

Ed Brayton, at Dispatches from the Culture Wars, quotes a Messianic Jewish leader as claiming that unless Dubya gives up his attempts to set up a Palestinian state (and incidentally bringing badly needed peace to the region), God will punish America by handing us over to a series of bad presidents. Ed sums up the situation pretty succinctly:

So let’s get this straight: If we don’t do what God says, God’s going to punish us by giving us bad leaders. How exactly will we tell?

Good question.

 
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...
Posted in Amusements, Politics, Recommended Reading, Society, Superstition. Comments Off

Gun nuts rejoice: God loves armed Christians

According to the WorldNetDaily, there were many Christians in the Denver-area ministries when a lone gunman showed up, but if you want to know which one God was with, look for the Christian with the gun.

The female security guard who shot and stopped a gunman at a Colorado Springs church yesterday is crediting God for helping her to resolve the threat by killing the assailant.

Jeanne Assam was hailed by Pastor Brady Boyd with saving many lives in her quick response to gunshots fired at the New Life Church.

“I give the credit to God, and I mean that, I say that very humbly, God was with me the whole time I was behind cover,” she told reporters. “It seemed like it was me, the gunman and God.”

Armed Christian security guards, Christian militias, Christians infiltrating and taking over the Air Force Academy–maybe David Koresh was just ahead of his time.

Read the rest of this entry »

 
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...
Posted in Current Events, Superstition, Unapologetics. Comments Off

More problems with “Atonement”

Continuing yesterday’s train of thought, I’ve been thinking more about the Atonement and what a truly confused and messed up concept it really is, particularly in its concepts of “transferable punishments.” Everyone knows that two wrongs don’t make a right, but apparently Christians would have us believe that, when it comes to salvation, they do make a right.

Read the rest of this entry »

 
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
Loading ... Loading ...
Posted in Unapologetics. Comments Off

Compromising God

While we’re at the Tektonics Apologetics Ministry, let’s continue looking at Holding’s remarks on the subject of atonement. One of the inherent inconsistencies in the Christian Gospel has to do with the problem of evil. Not just that evil exists at all (though that is a serious problem), but that we live in a world where a genuine, omnipotent, and benevolent deity could do a tremendous amount of good, and yet we do not see God doing any such things. Warning us of imminent disasters or crimes, for instance, or giving clear, unmistakable doctrinal instruction to thwart the rise of heresies and destructive cults. Things God could do (if the Gospel were true) and yet very plainly does not do.

There are only two ways to account for this, each of which compromises the Christian doctrine of God in some way. You can either deny that God wants to do good, or you can deny that God is able to do good. So either He’s not really loving enough to behave in a truly caring manner, or there are circumstances beyond God’s control which prevent God from behaving the way He’d like to (in other words, God is not truly omnipotent). This is an inherent and unavoidable contradiction within the Christian Gospel. No matter how much one wants to believe it, one must either contradict it at some point, or deny reality itself.

James Patrick Holding falls prey to this same dilemma when trying to address the issue of why God doesn’t simply forgive us our sins instead of sending His own children to eternal punishment and suffering. Try as he might to defend the Gospel, he cannot build a coherent answer to this problem without contradicting the very doctrines he is trying to uphold. (The “Nutshell” page is here, scroll down to the section on Atonement.) Let’s have a look. [UPDATE: it appears the argument below was not, in fact, written by Holding, but was summarized from a longer paper by someone else. See the link in the original article on the Nutshell page for details.]

Read the rest of this entry »

 
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...
Posted in Field Trip, Unapologetics. 4 Comments »

Bullies, toadies, and Faith In America

I like slacktivist’s take on Romney’s infamous “Faith” speech.

Here’s why Mitt Romney’s “Faith in America” speech is backfiring: Bullies don’t respect their toadies.The speech includes some decent stretches, but it was not, primarily, a courageous plea for religious tolerance and mutual respect. It was, instead, primarily an obsequious bit of sucking up by an outsider hoping to curry favor with the in crowd by parroting their condemnation of other outsiders.

He has some interesting things to say about the fruit Romney is likely to reap from what he is sowing here, especially as a Mormon. Recommended Reading.

 
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...
Posted in Current Events, Politics, Recommended Reading. 2 Comments »

Tektonics Apologetic Ministries on “atonement”

One of the problems with the Christian Gospel is that it must somehow reconcile the idea of a loving heavenly Father with the idea that unbelievers go to hell, even though they’re supposedly God’s children and a truly loving father would not send his kids to eternal torment. Without a Hell to be saved from, however, we really don’t need a Savior, and thus the whole gospel story falls apart.

Writing for the “Answers in a Nutshell” section of the Tektonics Apogetics Ministries web site, James Patrick Holding tackles this issue in the “Nutshell” commentary on Atonement. It’s a good example of the kind of backwards thinking Christians use to try and rationalize away the inconsistencies in their story, so I thought I’d give it a quick look.

Read the rest of this entry »

 
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...
Posted in Field Trip, Unapologetics. Comments Off

Conceit by proxy

This morning I thought I’d take some time to look at the phenomenon of conceit by proxy, one of the major “benefits” with which religions reward their followers. Lo and behold, as if in anticipation of my topic, the always-reliable Chuck Colson has already posted a very nice example of this process in action.

Conceit by proxy is a simple 1-2-3 process. First, you take your own values, beliefs, and agenda, and ascribe them to someone else. God works best for this purpose, both because of His assumed authority and because He never spoils things for you by showing up in real life to express an independent opinion.

Second, you swap roles: instead of admitting that you are ascribing your worldview to God, you claim that you are merely obtaining it from God. Finally, you praise God for having such a really, really swell worldview. Of course, this implies that people (such as yourself) who share this worldview are also really really great, BUT you’re not bragging. Oh no, you’re humbly submitting yourself to God and giving God the glory. So even though you’re really bragging about your own values, beliefs and agenda, you’re doing it in a way that allows you to pose as being humbly submissive.

Read the rest of this entry »

 
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
Loading ... Loading ...
Posted in Current Events, Politics, Society, Unapologetics. Comments Off

XFiles Friday:Kant believe?

(Book: I Don’t Have Enough FAITH to Be an ATHEIST, by Geisler and Turek, chapter 2)

Last time, Geisler and Turek took on Hume’s empirical philosophy, and proclaimed their preference for the “wisdom” of Saturday morning cartoons. This week, they take on Immanuel Kant. Can they present, discuss, and refute Kant’s philosophy in just a little over two pages, without sacrificing accuracy or omitting anything significant and relevant to their point? (Does the phrase “meep meep” answer the question?)

Read the rest of this entry »

 
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...
Posted in IDHEFTBA, Unapologetics, XFiles. Comments Off

Prison Fellowship blows cover

World Net Daily is reporting a big victory for Chuck Colson’s Prison Fellowship ministry in the 8th Circuit Court.

A federal appeals court has ruled that a voluntary faith-based prison program that has proven effective in reducing recidivism by half can move forward at an Iowa prison…

The ruling, by former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and Judges Roger Wollman and Duane Benton sitting as a panel for the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, reversed major parts of a district judge’s earlier ruling.

Meanwhile, at Dispatches from the Culture Wars, Ed Brayton has what Paul Harvey calls “the rest of the story,” including a revelation that substantiates my earlier remarks about prison ministries: if they work, it’s because of the people, not because of God.

Read the rest of this entry »

 
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...
Posted in Current Events, Politics, Recommended Reading, Society. 1 Comment »