XFiles Friday: “I was a 98-pound weakling…”

(Book: I Don’t Have Enough FAITH to Be an ATHEIST, by Geisler and Turek, chapter 11.)

We’re ready to start on Geisler and Turek’s top ten excuses reasons for believing that the New Testament writers were telling the truth. Chapter 11 opens with the following epigraph:

“Why would the apostles lie?…If they lied, what was their motive, what did they get out of it? What they got out of it was misunderstanding, rejection, persecution, torture, and martyrdom. Hardly a list of perks!”

—PETER KREEFT

Kreeft builds an argument out of an implied false dichotomy (either the apostles were deliberately lying or they were telling the truth), a selective list (carefully omitting any mention of what they received from their followers), and a distorted rendition of the actual history of the early Christian church. But the fully-developed version doesn’t appear until later on in Geisler and Turek’s list, so this week we’ll content ourselves with the first item on the list: “The New Testament writers included embarrassing details about themselves.”

Read the rest of this entry »

 
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
Loading ... Loading ...
Posted in IDHEFTBA, Unapologetics, XFiles. 1 Comment »

Jefferson on Proposition 8

Ladies and gentlemen, former President Thomas Jefferson:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

The United States of America was launched by these words, which define its reason for existing. Yet there is currently a proposition on the ballot in California whose stated purpose is to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry (a statement, by the way, that greatly provoked the proposition’s sponsors, who wanted to use the deceptive title “Marriage Protection Amendment”). By deceit, political oppression, and mob rule, the Christian majority in that state is seeking to deny that all men are equal, and to deprive certain individuals of their right to “Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Read the rest of this entry »

 
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (2 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
Loading ... Loading ...
Posted in Unapologetics. 1 Comment »

TIA Tuesday: The “decline” of science

One of the first lessons I learned in life is the importance of using the right tool for the right job. A razor has a sharp edge and a fine line, and is the tool you need for making careful, precise, well-defined cuts. A chainsaw, by contrast, is loud, smelly, and not well suited to making fine distinctions, preferring to chew its way through things and throwing the chips however they may fly. In the right hands, a chainsaw can be a powerful tool, and can even be used to make folksy carvings out of raw logs. In the hands of a klutz, however, it can be dangerous to both wielder and bystander alike.

We’re in Chapter 14 of TIA, watching Vox wield what he calls “Occam’s Chainsaw,” which he seems to prefer to the similarly-named Razor. It’s an apt distinction, as shown by his hack-and-slash approach to trying to craft a rebuttal to atheistic arguments. For example, see if you can figure out why he entitled the argument below, “The Argument from Temporal Advantage.”

One of the obvious weaknesses in the atheist concept of the conflict between science and religion is the fact that many, if not most, of the great scientists in history were religious men. Even the first great martyr of Science, Galileo Galilei, was not an atheist but a Christian. For every Watson and Einstein, there is a Newton, a Copernicus, a Kepler, and yes, a Galileo.

Read the rest of this entry »

 
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (3 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
Loading ... Loading ...
Posted in TIA, Unapologetics. 8 Comments »

XFiles Friday: How do you know who to trust?

(Book: I Don’t Have Enough FAITH to Be an ATHEIST, by Geisler and Turek, chapter 11.)

Drs. Norm Geisler and Frank Turek have set out to prove that it takes more faith to be an atheist than to be a Christian, but they’re operating under a heavy handicap. God does not show up in the real world, which means the only resource they have to turn to is to urge people to put their trust in what men say about God.

Chapter 10 was all about giving reasons (or excuses) to put your faith in men, on the grounds that they had proven themselves by dropping the names of real people, spelling city names correctly, and noticing that large stone jars were sometimes used to store water. Chapter 11 continues in the same vein, offering us a “Top Ten” list of reasons why we ought to trust what a handful of men had to say 2,000 years ago. We’ll be going through this list item by item, but I wanted to take a brief break here to talk about this approach as a whole.

Read the rest of this entry »

 
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
Loading ... Loading ...
Posted in IDHEFTBA, Unapologetics, XFiles. 1 Comment »

Daylight Atheism: Advice to an Atheist

Ebonmuse recently posted a query from an atheist with a problem.

As part of my job, I am often expected to attend and participate in public meetings that are put on either by my employer or by community councils that are affiliated with it. My Canadian employer is considered to be a public organization and the council members are voted in by their respective communities. None are government bodies and none have any religious affiliation or mandate. However, most of these meetings begin and end with a Christian prayer for which all in attendance are asked to stand.

The atheist, not surprisingly, feels uncomfortable about being essentially coerced into assuming a prayer-like posture, as though he were also making superstitious appeals to an imaginary deity. At the same time, the social consequences of opposing the practice could be serious, especially in a small town. The writer asked for advice on what to do, and Ebonmuse turned it over to the commenters for suggestions. I’m a bit late in replying, but I’d like to toss in my tuppence worth.

Read the rest of this entry »

 
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...
Posted in Society. 5 Comments »

Colson’s Religulous Review

Chuck Colson recently watched Bill Maher’s Religulous, but he’s not too offended by it. Instead, he sees it as just another platform from which to preach his gospel. He zeroes in on a scene where Maher is interviewing some believers at a truckers’ chapel.

He reminds them that guys in prisons and foxholes hang on to religion because they have nothing else. And then he says, “But you guys aren’t dumb.” In other words, Maher’s point is that the truckers should know better than to believe in God—unlike all those dumb prisoners and soldiers out there who don’t know any better.

Having been in prison myself, let me speak for those prisoners. Recognizing your need for God isn’t a question of “smart or stupid.” It’s a matter of recognizing who you are; your own insufficiency, the sin in your own heart—and prisoners get that. And then you have to recognize your desperate need for a Savior.

Read the rest of this entry »

 
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (2 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
Loading ... Loading ...
Posted in The Gypsy Curse, Unapologetics. 1 Comment »

TIA Tuesday: Occam’s Chainsaw

We’ve made it to Chapter 14 of TIA (whew!), and that brings us to what Vox modestly labels “Occam’s Chainsaw,” a shotgun approach that attempts to address atheistic arguments against God by hurling a whole lot of crap against the wall in hopes that something sticks. Once again, Vox seems to be in a hurry to get through the material, devoting only a few sparse and poorly-reasoned paragraphs to each attempted argument. Let’s start with the first three.

Read the rest of this entry »

 
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (2 votes, average: 4.50 out of 5)
Loading ... Loading ...
Posted in TIA, Unapologetics. 7 Comments »

Amount due: $455K. Each.

Here’s Chuck Colson quoting a friend of his in the financial sector:

“As disruptive and damaging as today’s mortgage sub-prime crisis is,” he warns, “We’re looking at a “super sub-prime” crisis, which, if left unaddressed, will hurt many more Americans—and hurt much worse.”

Among many inconvenient truths: “Each household’s share of the nation’s $53 trillion debt is $455,000—almost 10 times the median household income. This is unfinanceable!” he clearly warns.

His friend, Pete Peterson, is “a shrewd guy who became Secretary of Commerce and made a small fortune in the financial world.” I’m not a Wall Street financier, but those sound like reasonably accurate figures to me. And think what they mean: each and every household in America is almost half a million dollars in debt, above and beyond any mortgages, credit cards, car payments, or other obligations they may owe.

Colson’s solution, sadly, is almost humorous in its predictable self-centered short-sightedness.
Read the rest of this entry »

 
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5)
Loading ... Loading ...
Posted in Unapologetics. 4 Comments »

XFiles Friday: What the eyewitnesses saw

(Book: I Don’t Have Enough FAITH to Be an ATHEIST, by Geisler and Turek, chapter 10.)

We’re just about done with Chapter 10, subtitled “Do We Have Eyewitness Testimony About Jesus,” and I thought it would be good to wrap up by doing what Geisler and Turek did not do: surveying exactly what it is that was allegedly eyewitnessed, and seeing if it lives up to the same standard of consistency with the truth as the trivial historical details that they spend so much time and space on.

Read the rest of this entry »

 
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (2 votes, average: 4.50 out of 5)
Loading ... Loading ...
Posted in IDHEFTBA, Unapologetics, XFiles. Comments Off

Wall Street and ID

Since the stock market has everybody’s attention lately, I thought now might be a good time for a quick post about what Wall Street can teach us about Intelligent Design, and in particular about Dembski’s “Explanatory Filter.”

Briefly, the Explanatory Filter (EF) purports to detect design by eliminating the two other possible causes for a phenomenon: natural law and random chance. That is, if we see a watch lying on a beach, we can ask ourselves how this watch came into existence. Did it spontaneously assemble itself by random chance? Is it the the product of ordinary natural laws operating without intelligent direction? Is it perchance some combination of random chance and undirected natural laws? If none of these possibilities is plausible, then by process of elimination (filtering), we’ve determined that the watch must have been intelligently designed.

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. 3 Comments »