Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Ask God who Jesus is.

I think one can make a decent philosophical, cumulative case for the existence of God. Not an airtight, open and shut case. But a decent. cumulative case. I say cumulative, because there would be a number of separate, independent arguments, each of which isn't by itself conclusive, but when taken together offer reasonable support for belief in God. Would such a case be stronger than a case against God, that could be made from the argument from evil and perhaps other arguments? Good question. I'm not sure. But even if the philosophical case for God is stronger than the case against Him, I often wonder if that is the way that God wants us to come to know Him. 
I've been advising people that if they want to know if God exists, that they should ask Him. But occasionally I wonder if my advice should be more specific. After all, I believe that God has fully revealed Himself to us in Jesus. I wonder if I should be telling people that they should ask God who Jesus is. 
There would be an easy way to test this. Those of you who don't believe in God could say, "God, if you exist, who is Jesus?" If this is the "correct method" of coming to know that God exists and who Jesus is, then God will show you. But what if it isn't the "correct method"? Or what if God doesn't exist? Or what if Jesus is not the full revelation of God to us? Then I would expect that you wouldn't get an answer. Ah, but what would happen if we ask God if He is Buddha? Or some other deity? Should we ask God about those possibilities? I would think that if God exists, and if you are really curious about those questions, then you should ask God about them. 
But which God should we ask? I'm inclined to answer, "The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob." But that's because of my Jewish background. For those of you who prefer something less Jewish, perhaps you could ask the "Anselmian God." The God a greater than which cannot be conceived. One who is all good, with no hint of evil. 
How would you know that the answer you get is really from God, and not just your imagination or a hallucination? I'm not sure. I suspect that if God wants you to know that He exists and who Jesus is, that He will find a way to make sure you know that it is not your imagination or a hallucination.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Fighting against the God of the Bible may not mean fighting against God.

Mike Gene discusses Craig Hicks' Militant Atheist Meme at his blog, where I left the following comment:

"I wonder if it would help if we made a distinction between the God of the Bible (or any other major religion) and an Anselmian God. An Anselmian God is a being a greater than which cannot be conceived. Such a being would be morally perfect, and therefore could not be sadistic, misogynistic, or homophobic. If Hicks came to believe that such a God existed, would he still fight against this Anelmian God? Or would he make a distinction between the Anelmian God, in whom he believes and tries to worship, and the God of the Bible (or other major religions), whom he does not believe in? 
Now Christians believe that the God of the Bible is the Anselmian God. I for one, occasionally have trouble defending that belief, especially when it comes to some of the things that the God of the Bible supposedly commanded or did in the Old Testament. So I can understand why Hicks or others wouldn’t believe that the God of the Bible could be the Anelmian God. And I can understand why they wouldn’t want to worship the God of the Bible, even if they were willing to worship the Anselmian God. The challenge for us Christians is to explain how it is possible that our God of the Bible really is the being, a greater than which cannot be conceived."

Monday, February 16, 2015

101 Answers to "Scientific" Arguments for Young Earth Creationism

Well, I don't know for a fact that they respond to all 101 arguments, but so far the Old Earthers at Reasons to Believe have responded to the dozen or so arguments that I have searched for at their site.  If I had more time and interest, I would look up the other 89.  Which side has the better arguments?  Not being a scientist, I couldn't say for sure, but it looks like Reasons to Believe has the better arguments.  At the very least I can say that the dozen or so arguments for YEC that I searched for have been disputed.

101 "Scientific" Arguments for Young Earth Creationism

I used scare quotes around "scientific" because I do not want to be accused of affirming that these arguments have been confirmed by some sort of valid, generally accepted empirical method.  I have no idea if they have or have not been so confirmed.  However, they are being presented in that way, and they seem open to empirical confirmation or disconfirmation.  So in that sense, they are of a scientific nature.  I am curious if they have all been refuted.

Age of the Earth; 101 Evidences for a Young Age of the Earth and the Universe.

Let me add that currently I am an "Old Earther," believing that the Earth is about 4.5 billion years old, and that the Universe is about 13.7 billion years old.  But if it turns out that that is a wrong belief, I won't lose any sleep over it.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Official Investigation of WTC collapses: a classic case of "Pseudoscience"?

In How Science Died at the World Trade Center, Kevin Ryan argues, rather cogently I think, that the official investigation conducted of the collapses of all three WTC buildings on 9/11 was a glaring case of "pseudoscience," which he says will have the following characteristics.

  1. There is a lack of experiments.
  2. The results of experiment are ignored or contradicted in the conclusions.
  3. There is either no peer-review or peer-reviewer concerns are ignored.
  4. The findings cannot be replicated or falsified due to the withholding of data.
  5. False conclusions are supported by marketing or media propaganda.
  6. Hypotheses that are supported by the evidence are ignored.
Ryan argues that the official investigation exhibited all six of these characteristics. 

Saturday, February 7, 2015

What would a "Theistic Science" look like?

Philosopher Alvin Plantinga argues in his book, Where the Conflict Really Lies; Science, Religion, and Naturalism, that there is deep concord between Theism and Science. Theists believe that a rational and all-powerful God has created this universe, and has created us in His image, so that we can understand and investigate His creation. 
What I find even more fascinating is the life of George Washington Carver, who managed to meld his faith with his scientific investigations, praying that God would reveal the secrets of His creation to him. I wonder if this was how science was meant to be done.  If so, then the difference between "science" and "theistic science" is that the latter is performed by scientists who daily ask God for guidance, insight, and wisdom as they do science.  http://www.truenorthquest.com/george-washington-carver/

Monday, February 2, 2015

Job's comforters would have defended the Canaanite genocide.

Job's comforters justified the ways of God to Job. Job had to make special intercession for them to God. I suspect that they would have justified the Canaanite genocide, also. I can't see Jesus telling someone to kill children, or old or pregnant women. And I believe that Jesus is the expression of who Yahweh, the God of Israel is. Even if my argument is right, it's wrong.