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#1 Dave

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Posted 05 May 2006 - 11:23 AM

This message is primarily for Mr. Williams, but I welcome thoughtful discussion from others.

I’ve been off the board for quite some time, and out of touch with issues such as evolution/creation that used to take so much of my time and attention. Having completed the task that was keeping me so busy working 14-hour days for weeks at a time, I’m beginning to take some tentative “dips into the water,” so to speak, and re-looking into areas that I used to frequent on the Internet.

What I’ve found because of my absence is that one comes back to these things with a different perspective than when one left. Specifically, I’m wondering if the evolution debates should be taken in a different direction by the Bible-believers here.

Mr. Williams, can you recall any time when an ardent, materialistic evolutionist, particularly one who calls himself an atheist, has ever changed his mind about origins? What I’m thinking is that it’s not a matter of changing someone’s mind via intellectual debate, but changing their hearts – changing their worldview.

You know, and I know, the frustration of knowing the truth and watching others fall into one intellectual dead-end trap after another. Even when faced with the truth, those of the hardened hearts will always manage to come up with excuses. Some of these excuses are so flimsy that even a five-year-old can see through them. But thousands of degreed scientists still hold to them.

I’ve had the time recently to do some casual reading. Two books I’ve read are Jonathan Wells’ “Icons of Evolution,” and Richard Milton’s “Shattering the Myths of Darwinism.” These authors have radically different worldviews and approaches to their work, but the theme is largely the same: Evolutionists hold to their “icons” and “myths” with a tenacity approaching religious fervor despite a lack of evidence, and strong evidence to the contrary. Their adherence to their “religion” blinds them to the evidence that even a child could recognize and make the appropriate conclusions from.

I know what the response might be from the evolutionists here: “But, we do science. Your religious beliefs are not science. We’re making the best conclusions we can from the evidence we have. We get more evidence, we get closer to the truth.” Etc. Right?

No. It’s not right. And it’s not science. Scientists who do materialistic-only science, based on a uniformitarianistic worldview, are doing science with half a brain tied behind their back. If they start out with the wrong supposition – old earth, uniformitarianism, naturalistic origins – their science will be faulty from the beginning and their conclusions will be wrong. It is impossible to get to the high road by staying only on the low road.

Think of it this way. Doing science with materialistic blinders on is to real science and the real world as working with Lego pieces is to building the Brooklyn Bridge. Similar on a much smaller scale, and somewhat the same from a child’s point of view, but nowhere near to being the real thing.

So, what it all boils down to is what will it take to persuade someone that his worldview is wrong? What will it take to persuade them that their treasured “science” is severely handicapped by their own dogmatic adherence to believing only a small portion of what the evidence has to offer? How can we prove to them that their science can be so much richer and fulfilling when they don't have to hold back so much of the evidence that is just waiting to be discovered by them?

I’m actually asking the questions. They are not rhetorical. Other than prayer, I can’t think of the answer. I can’t think of what one could bring to the table here for discussion that would change someone’s mind about origins.

Any ideas?

Dave

#2 Fred Williams

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Posted 05 May 2006 - 02:03 PM

Hi Dave,

It’s definitely a tough question to answer. I believe there are essentially two types of “non-believers”:

1) Those who are ignorant, naïve, or disinterested in the topic of origins, but may be open to the truth. I was all three of these for at least 30 years. :)
2) Those whose minds are made up despite what any evidence shows them. In this group they willfully choose to reject the truth, as the Bible repeatedly tells us will happen (ie Romans 1, 2 Thes 2:11, 2 Tim 4:3, 2 Peter 3:5).

I personally believe that a large majority of evolutionists who actively engage the topic of origins on the internet fall into the second category. I wrote a “warning to Christians” article that is linked to when you first register in this forum, and is pinned at the top of the CvE section. Here is what I wrote as disadvantage #3 to engaging evolutionists:

We can succumb to the facade that we are somehow making ground with an evolutionist. The truth is, I have never once in 8+ years witnessed an activist evolutionist commit their life to Christ (frequent posters to internet boards qualify as “activists”). Evolutionists believe what they do despite any evidence presented to them. They are firmly committed to a worldview that removes accountability. Without exception, I have found that the committed evolutionist activist is always, I mean always, socially liberal. This ubiquitous connection overwhelmingly establishes the fact that you will never convince them, because it is not evidence but worldview that drives them; they simply do not want to be convinced (please see Romans 1:18-32).

(Full article here)

All that being said, there are many people who fall into the first category, and why it’s important to keep trying to get this information out to the public. I just fear that too many Christians fall into the time-wasting trap by continually engaging those hardcore committed evolutionists who already have ample information, but are just not willing to accept the truth. They willfully choose to accept the lie (Romans 1:18-32), and God accommodates them (2 Thes 2:11).

Fred

#3 Dave

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Posted 06 May 2006 - 09:52 AM

Richard Milton, in his "Shattering the Myths of Darwinism," puts it rather succinctly:

In 1962, Thomas Kuhn astonished his academic contemporaries by proposing that scientific theories should be looked on not only as dealing with pure objective facts, but rather as systems of belief relating to a wider context: a frame of reference consisting of interlocking scientific, social, and even political ideas. This ideological context, which Kuhn terms a paradigm, is implicitly agreed upon by scientists who subscribe to a particular theory and who share the same world view.
The power of such a paradigm, says Kuhn, is so great that some scientists will continue to believe it even in the face of contradictory evidence (a phenomenon dubbed cognitive dissonance by psychologist Leon Festinger). This blinkered dogmatism continues until new evidence is overwhelming and a new theory deposes the old - a “global paradigm shift” occurs.

Such an ideological context can be found in anthropology in the nineteenth century when most Victorian scientists shared the implicit belief that the colored races were genetically inferior to the white European race. Because the belief in the genetic inferiority of, for instance, the Australian aborigine was widely shared by scientists, then scientific “evidence” was brought forward to substantiate this viewpoint and was generally accepted. Textbooks illustrated evidence of the aborigine’s Stone-Age level of cultural attainment, his coarse features, supposed low intelligence, and brutal behavior.


Bold by me.

If you carry this "paradigm" theory out to the present time, the conclusion we can draw is that evolutionists are the "flat earthers" of our day. Sure, the naturalistic, materialistic, uniformitarian paradigm might have worked in Darwin's day when little was really known about these things. But because of the huge lack of supporting evidence for it today the only reason to stick with it is ideology.

Again, the question: What arguments should Bible-believing Christians on this board use to persuade the #1 people, and even the #2 people, you mentioned above that their worldview, and thus their science is wrong?

Dave

#4 Fred Williams

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Posted 06 May 2006 - 09:29 PM

Hi Dave,

Sorry for not giving a direct answer last time, maybe this time I'll get'er right. :)

What arguments should Bible-believing Christians on this board use to persuade the #1 people


For non-believers, its hard to put a finger on a set of arguments that are the most persuasive, so I’ll just go by the apologetic used in the Bible – the creation itself is a powerful testimony to an intelligent designer (Romans 1, Psalm 19:1). So the vast array of arguments related to ID (many of which were used by Creationists before the ID movement) IMO are the most persuasive against group #1 (the uninformed, naive, and/or apethetic). It would be interesting to hear others opinions on this.

For believers who are compromising on the age of the earth issue, I believe both YEC science and theology can both be persuasive, but what I’ve found over the years (Ken Ham will tell you the same thing), is that the death before sin issue has been the most persuasive argument. Once they realize the major calisthenics they have to go through to cover this problem, many come to realize their understanding is wrong and eventually accept God’s straightforward teaching. Once you convince them that it is “better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man” (Psalms 118:8), you’ve won the battle.

… even the #2 people, you mentioned above that their worldview, and thus their science is wrong?


The point of my last post is that there is absolutely no argument that will convince group 2 (the activist evolutionist/atheist, a category that most evolutionists who debate origins on the internet fall in to). They are not interested in the truth when it conflicts with their worldview, so their “science”, so-called, by extension will be false.

“O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge [science]” - 1 Tim 6:20

Fred

#5 Dave

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Posted 07 May 2006 - 07:37 AM

Thank you Fred,

About the #1s who are believers, I believe you are right. That's basically how I steer the conversation when I am discussing these things with Bible-believing Christians who I know are believers, but who haven't quite let go of their public-schooled indoctrination about "old Earth," etc.

For the non-believers in the #1 category, I believe it is important to bring them to the Bible. I suppose we might be talking about those who label themselves "Theistic Evolutionists" on this board. I'm wondering what they might be thinking about this topic, and if they would agree or disagree that this would be a better approach to changing the heart and mind of the non-hardened, but non-believer type of evolutionists here, than merely hammering away at minute details about homology, etc.

About the #2 type of evolutionists: I believe you are right about that too. Perhaps the best strategy we can do with them is to hope and pray that they will lurk the discussions between Bible-believing Christians and the #1s, and become convinced through a miraculous work of the Lord.

I believe there is no point in engaging them in direct debate about details of evolution. They cannot see the truth because they won't see the truth. And there is a greater danger that there might be a wavering believer out there who might be nudged in the direction of naturalism because of the convincing argument from an ardent evolutionist. Personally, I believe the less airtime they get, the better.

All that being said, I'd like to assure you that I am not criticizing your forum here. I believe it is just about the only place on the Internet where believers, semi-believers and evolutionists can discuss these matters rationally without it turning into a one-sided brawl. The credit goes both to the moderators and to the participants. However, I'm wondering what would happen if we turned the emphasis away from debating the nuts and bolts of evolution, which doesn't exist in reality anyway, and turned it back to the reality of God's creation.

Also, I'm not criticizing organizations such as Answers in Genesis or Institute for Creation Research. My family actually supports them financially. They do good solid science, and they do it without compromising God's word in the Bible. In my opinion, they are the perfect blend of "real" science and God's word. I wish I could say the same for the Intelligent Designers of late like Hugh Ross, Philip Johnson, et al, but I won't go there for now.

Dave

#6 chance

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Posted 07 May 2006 - 02:08 PM

Hi Dave good to see you back again.

Selected quotes:

[quote] No. It’s not right. And it’s not science. Scientists who do materialistic-only science, based on a uniformitarianistic worldview, are doing science with half a brain tied behind their back. [/quote]

Materialistic science should produce two types of results:

a. answers, and
b. more questions

if you want to examine non-materialistic aspects I doubt science could be helpful, unless that non-material aspect affect the material world in some way, yes?

[quote] (my Bold)
If they start out with the wrong supposition – old earth, uniformitarianism, naturalistic origins – their science will be faulty from the beginning and their conclusions will be wrong. It is impossible to get to the high road by staying only on the low road. [/quote]

The emphasis is on IF. An yes I agree that if you start with the wrong supposition you will get garbage in – garbage out. But forewarned is forearmed, scientists are aware of this aspect of their discipline and take measures against it.


[quote] So, what it all boils down to is what will it take to persuade someone that his worldview is wrong? What will it take to persuade them that their treasured “science” is severely handicapped by their own dogmatic adherence to believing only a small portion of what the evidence has to offer? [/quot]

What will persuade? IMO:

a. Evidence – If it your position that science can and does show young earth and a created life in 6 days, then discuss the evidence to see if assumptions on both sides are warranted. Or
b. Personal (or public) revelation from a higher being.


I also have a question for you re this matter of ‘world view’. Could you not entertain that you yourself may be in error? Are you that certain, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that your worldview is the correct one?


Your second post

Thomas Kuhn re the ‘paradigm’

Absolutely, “no man is an island” we are all products of our time. If you look back at the history of science, breakthroughs are, more often than not, occur when these paradigms have to be discarded because the evidence no longer supports them.

#7 Dave

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Posted 07 May 2006 - 08:42 PM

Hi Dave good to see you back again.


Howdy Chance. I don't know if I would say I am "back" per se. I'm testing the waters to see if anyone is willing to discuss things here with the approach that I am trying to articulate (maybe poorly) in this thread.

What will persuade? IMO:

a. Evidence – If it your position that science can and does show young earth and a created life in 6 days, then discuss the evidence to see if assumptions on both sides are warranted. Or
b. Personal (or public) revelation from a higher being.


There has been plenty of "a." on this board, and much more elsewhere on the Internet. However, as you know, scientists with opposing world views can look at the exact same evidence and draw completely opposite conclusions. I believe that the sides are drawn where evidence is concerned and there's no point in debating it.

About "b.", BINGO! You've answered the $64,000 question correctly.

I also have a question for you re this matter of ‘world view’.  Could you not entertain that you yourself may be in error?


No. Because it's not about me.

Are you that certain, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that your worldview is the correct one?


Absolutely. Here's how I can prove it to you. Would you be willing to be martyred for your belief in naturalistic science? Would you give your life for Darwin? I'm not talking about putting up with some hardships. I'm talking about the government making a ruling that evolution is illegal and violaters will be beheaded. Think about it.

I am absolutely sure that I would willingly die -- and the way things are going in this world for believers right now, just might have to sooner or later -- for my faith in God's word in the Bible.

Your second post

Thomas Kuhn  re the ‘paradigm’

Absolutely, “no man is an island” we are all products of our time.  If you look back at the history of science, breakthroughs are, more often than not, occur when these paradigms have to be discarded because the evidence no longer supports them.

View Post


Waiting. Praying. Hoping that day will come. Chance, do you suppose you might be the one brave enough to begin the process of discarding cherished evolution beliefs because there is no evidence to support them?

#8 chance

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 01:52 PM

dave.

Are you that certain, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that your worldview is the correct one?


Absolutely. Here's how I can prove it to you. Would you be willing to be martyred for your belief in naturalistic science? Would you give your life for Darwin? I'm not talking about putting up with some hardships. I'm talking about the government making a ruling that evolution is illegal and violaters will be beheaded. Think about it.


I don’t see how that proves the correctness of one world view over another, as what you are now describing the politics of ideas and in the case you propose might is right.

Dissenting or opposing ideas can only flourish in a tolerant society not a totalitarian one, the only other option is revolution/war.

However “the trial of Galileo” comes to mind,

Luckily you and I live in an age (and country) ruled by law with a sense of justice.

But to answer your question, no, I don’t think I could be brave enough.



I am absolutely sure that I would willingly die -- and the way things are going in this world for believers right now, just might have to sooner or later -- for my faith in God's word in the Bible.


Again this only show how committed you are, not how correct you are.

e.g. the Protestant split triggered by Luther was caused by deep commitment to a world view, and likewise the Catholic response.


Waiting. Praying. Hoping that day will come. Chance, do you suppose you might be the one brave enough to begin the process of discarding cherished evolution beliefs because there is no evidence to support them?


I have been looking into the creation/evolution arguments for some years now with an open mind (you’ll have to trust me on this). My current POV is that the evidence is overwhelmingly in favour of old earth and evolution. It is also my opinion that evidence against evolution are incorrect and that I can prove this to be so (see “When you say proof” the ‘creation vs evolution’ section), and the only way I can do this is to explain any given topic in detail, I don’t believe just stating a position is adequate.

#9 Dave

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Posted 09 May 2006 - 09:08 AM

dave.
I don’t see how that proves the correctness of one world view over another, as what you are now describing the politics of ideas and in the case you propose might is right


You asked me how certain I am that my worldview is the correct one. I answered that I am so certain that I would willingly die for it. Chance, are you so certain that your worldview is the right one that you would willingly die for it? If a Hitler or a Stalin took over Australia and declared that to eat, work and live free everybody had to denounce evolution, wouldn't you say the words? I'm not even saying that you would have to believe in your denunciation of evolution, but wouldn't you be willing to mouth the words in front of your executioner in order to stay alive? Sure you would. Your beliefs are grounded in naturalism and materialism, and your life is much more important than a few meaningless words. Isn't it?

On the other hand, Christians are being martyred around the world by the tens, and hundreds and thousands every day for refusing to recant their faith that the word of God in the Bible is the truth. Think about it. That's powerful stuff!

However “the trial of Galileo” comes to mind,


but has absolutely nothing to do with your upcoming trial. When you stand before Christ during the White Throne Judgment, you will be absolutely alone. No advocates, no friends. You will not be allowed to say, "Yes, but ..." None of the historical atrocities perpetrated by supposed Christians throughout the ages will have any bearing whatsoever on your sentence. None of them carry a "Get Out of Hell Free" card to give you. In fact, they will be standing in line right behind you awaiting their own judgment.

Oh, and I must mention that the judgment isn't really a "judgment." It's more of a sentencing. Because, Chance, if you die without receiving the saving grace of Jesus Christ you will have already pronounced judgment upon yourself.

It is also my opinion that evidence against evolution are incorrect and that I can prove this to be so (see “When you say proof” the ‘creation vs evolution’ section), and the only way I can do this is to explain any given topic in detail, I don’t believe just stating a position is adequate.


With all due respect, Chance, and you know I mean that, you haven't proven anything. In fact, when confronted with indisputable evidence against naturalistic evolution, or asked to prove an aspect of your evolutionistic belief, you almost always fall back on the "science isn't about proof" escape, and claim that scientists are doing the best they can with the evidence that they have.

But, what is really happening is materialistic scientists are holding out against reality by drawing inadequate conclusions from the limited amount of evidence that they allow themselves to admit to. Like I said earlier -- doing science with half their brains tied behind their backs, and with blinders on.

Chance, I'll admit you appear to be more openminded than most atheistic evolutionists that one encounters on the Internet, but your claim rings false because you fairly glibly shrug off the incredibly detailed, in-depth research conducted by degreed, credentialed, experienced, working scientists merely because their pre-suppositions reflect a different worldview than your own.

What I'd like to see you do is take one month, delete talkorigins from your bookmarks, and spend that time reading every article at answersingenesis.org, icr.org and creationresearch.org. Then, here's the biggie, open up your heart, pray to the God that you don't believe in, and ask Him to open your eyes that you might see, and your ears that you might hear.

One of two things will happen: You'll be absolutely amazed at how much a change in your worldview can affect your beliefs about what is true. Or, if you end the month feeling the same way that you went into the month, then, well ... you've got worse problems than just believing the wrong truths about origins.

Think about it.

Dave

#10 chance

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Posted 11 May 2006 - 07:59 PM

chance>
I don’t see how that proves the correctness of one world view over another, as what you are now describing the politics of ideas and in the case you propose might is right. 


Dave>
You asked me how certain I am that my worldview is the correct one. I answered that I am so certain that I would willingly die for it.


You are demonstrating how committed or certain you are, not how correct you are.

To clarify - it is possible to be absolutely, certain, and positively convinced on some point, yet be completely wrong, is it not?

Therefore, the level of commitment is not a test of correctness.

Do you agree?



Chance, are you so certain that your worldview is the right one that you would willingly die for it? If a Hitler or a Stalin took over Australia and declared that to eat, work and live free everybody had to denounce evolution, wouldn't you say the words? I'm not even saying that you would have to believe in your denunciation of evolution, but wouldn't you be willing to mouth the words in front of your executioner in order to stay alive? Sure you would. Your beliefs are grounded in naturalism and materialism, and your life is much more important than a few meaningless words. Isn't it?


I would not be the first, nor the last, to buckle under pressure. But I will make this observation, everyone has a breaking point and if the ‘right buttons are pushed’ would do the exact opposite of what they would prefer to do or not do. For some that threshold might be hi or low. In your case I would think that renouncing Christianity (and thus risking your immortal soul) would be far too higher price to pay.


On the other hand, Christians are being martyred around the world by the tens, and hundreds and thousands every day for refusing to recant their faith that the word of God in the Bible is the truth. Think about it. That's powerful stuff!


? I’m not sure what you are referring to here. Are you implying a physical “feeding Christians to the lions” sort of thing, or a more subtle battle of world views.

chance>
However “the trial of Galileo” comes to mind,

Dave>
but has absolutely nothing to do with your upcoming trial. When you stand before Christ during the White Throne Judgment, you will be absolutely alone. No advocates, no friends. You will not be allowed to say, "Yes, but ..." None of the historical atrocities perpetrated by supposed Christians throughout the ages will have any bearing whatsoever on your sentence. None of them carry a "Get Out of Hell Free" card to give you. In fact, they will be standing in line right behind you awaiting their own judgment.

Oh, and I must mention that the judgment isn't really a "judgment." It's more of a sentencing. Because, Chance, if you die without receiving the saving grace of Jesus Christ you will have already pronounced judgment upon yourself.


Indeed, but this presumes your world view is correct and mine is wrong (I’m not trying to be smug here, just stating the POVs).

What I see when I look around, is that peoples faith or world view is largely determined by geography, and immediate society, and little else.


chance>
It is also my opinion that evidence against evolution are incorrect and that I can prove this to be so (see “When you say proof” the ‘creation vs evolution’ section), and the only way I can do this is to explain any given topic in detail, I don’t believe just stating a position is adequate.

Dave>
With all due respect, Chance, and you know I mean that, you haven't proven anything. In fact, when confronted with indisputable evidence against naturalistic evolution, or asked to prove an aspect of your evolutionistic belief, you almost always fall back on the "science isn't about proof" escape, and claim that scientists are doing the best they can with the evidence that they have.


Even with such a qualifier, I still maintain that such an explanation is still superior to that offered by creation science for any given topic. So if we are going to discuss the science, the limits imposed by the methods of discovery and analysis are the same for creation science and regular science. So ‘proof’ has the same meaning for creation science as does regular science, yes? Else we are comparing apples and oranges.


But, what is really happening is materialistic scientists are holding out against reality by drawing inadequate conclusions from the limited amount of evidence that they allow themselves to admit to. Like I said earlier -- doing science with half their brains tied behind their backs, and with blinders on.


For your statement to be ‘true’, you would need to show where they are going wrong, and why, with an adequate ‘proof’. As is often quoted we are both working from the same evidence, yet drawing different conclusions. IMO science has it right, an unemotional, naturalistic world view, inevitably draws the conclusion of an old earth and evolution.


Chance, I'll admit you appear to be more openminded than most atheistic evolutionists that one encounters on the Internet, but your claim rings false because you fairly glibly shrug off the incredibly detailed, in-depth research conducted by degreed, credentialed, experienced, working scientists merely because their pre-suppositions reflect a different worldview than your own.


What you see is what you get, I’m not here to disrupt the forum but discuss such matters intelligently and honestly. I rather enjoy a bit of philosophising along the way, especially with those willing to join in.

The “rings false” remark stings a bit, I usually take considerable care formulating replies and getting my facts straight. However I’m willing to accept that I get a bit terse if discussion falls into “is too!” “is not!” “Is too!” format, or IMO worse if a point is left hanging.

But I maintain the regular science explanations trump the creationist ones every time, and am willing to discuss these aspect if the format is civil.


What I'd like to see you do is take one month, delete talkorigins from your bookmarks, and spend that time reading every article at answersingenesis.org, icr.org and creationresearch.org. Then, here's the biggie, open up your heart, pray to the God that you don't believe in, and ask Him to open your eyes that you might see, and your ears that you might hear.

One of two things will happen: You'll be absolutely amazed at how much a change in your worldview can affect your beliefs about what is true. Or, if you end the month feeling the same way that you went into the month, then, well ... you've got worse problems than just believing the wrong truths about origins.


Actually I have been refraining from talk origins where possible, seeing as many here think the reference can’t be trusted. I have resorted to the Wiki, or just random googles for much information.

“Praying to a god I don’t believe in” – one thing I am not is a hypocrite, and that crosses my personal boundary rather significantly. Even if I presume God exists, I can’t imagine him being fooled by a insincere confession, request or prayer.

Sorry Dave in all honesty, I could not do such a thing.

#11 Dave

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Posted 12 May 2006 - 08:36 PM

Chance,

Your original question was:

Are you that certain, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that your worldview is the correct one?


The operative word there is "certain," and you even added a qualifier, "beyond a shadow of a doubt," that modifies "certain," not "correct." What I'm saying is that if two people believe that they have the correct interpretation of scientific evidence, who is more sincere about the absolute correctness of his belief: the one who would gladly die for his beliefs, or the one who would very likely stand in front of his executioner and declare that evolution is bunk rather than being beheaded?

The reason why this is relevant to the theme of my post here is because different worldviews come and go, at the whim and fancy of fad, and changing paradigms. But God's word is timeless. It is forever. It is true.

No, it doesn't "prove" the correctness of one worldview over another. But, see, that's why I started this topic. I'm searching for a way to discuss this issue without resorting to endless, fruitless debates that don't change anybody's minds about anything.

? I’m not sure what you are referring to here. Are you implying a physical “feeding Christians to the lions” sort of thing, or a more subtle battle of world views.


Yes, there are Christians today who are being physically tortured and murdered for their refusal to recant their belief in the one true God. We support maybe a half a dozen different overseas missions and we get their newsletters. You wouldn't believe the deprivation, the hardship, the torture, and the martyrdom that Christians are undergoing around the world today. It's only going to get worse.

To clarify - it is possible to be absolutely, certain, and positively convinced on some point, yet be completely wrong, is it not?

Therefore, the level of commitment is not a test of correctness.

Do you agree?


Absolutely! That's the point I'm trying to make. All of the scientific discussion aside, it does really come down to a worldview. If you start out your science with the wrong worldview, and line up your presuppositions along those lines, then you will be doing faulty science. But, you won't believe when someone tells you your presuppositions are wrong until you can see things from a different worldview.

For your statement to be ‘true’, you would need to show where they are going wrong, and why, with an adequate ‘proof’. As is often quoted we are both working from the same evidence, yet drawing different conclusions. IMO science has it right, an unemotional, naturalistic world view, inevitably draws the conclusion of an old earth and evolution. (And) But I maintain the regular science explanations trump the creationist ones every time, and am willing to discuss these aspect if the format is civil.

My bold.

There it is again. A thinly veiled accusation that regular, degreed, experienced, published, working scientists are not really doing "science" because they hold to a different worldview than you do. Can't you see that the evolution issue is really a worldview issue? And can't you see the futility of trying to debate science with you when you only recognize the legitimacy of your side of the argument? However, talking about worldviews and such just might open things up to a fruitful discussion. Maybe? Yes?

Sorry Dave in all honesty, I could not do such a thing.


You know what Chance? Change your name to Dave, put yourself about 27 years into the past, and you would be me writing those very words. I know you are honest. I know you are sincere. I know you really do believe what you are saying is true. But you don't know what the future holds.

#12 chance

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Posted 14 May 2006 - 02:01 PM

Dave

chance>
Your original question was:

Are you that certain, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that your worldview is the correct one?

Dave>
The operative word there is "certain," and you even added a qualifier, "beyond a shadow of a doubt," that modifies "certain," not "correct." What I'm saying is that if two people believe that they have the correct interpretation of scientific evidence, who is more sincere about the absolute correctness of his belief: the one who would gladly die for his beliefs, or the one who would very likely stand in front of his executioner and declare that evolution is bunk rather than being beheaded?

The reason why this is relevant to the theme of my post here is because different worldviews come and go, at the whim and fancy of fad, and changing paradigms. But God's word is timeless. It is forever. It is true.

No, it doesn't "prove" the correctness of one worldview over another. But, see, that's why I started this topic. I'm searching for a way to discuss this issue without resorting to endless, fruitless debates that don't change anybody's minds about anything.


That’s fair enough, we can discuss the ways of discussing, to reach a POV. Consider these ways to change someone’s POV on a topic/world view:

a. Reasoned discussion, where by force of logic one is compelled to change their mind.
b. Personal experience,
c. Trusting another to do it for you (parents, teacher, politician etc), or
d. Point of a gun.

I would think that only ‘a’ is conducive to a forum, with perhaps a sprinkling of ‘c’.

chance>
? I’m not sure what you are referring to here. Are you implying a physical “feeding Christians to the lions” sort of thing, or a more subtle battle of world views.


Dave>
Yes, there are Christians today who are being physically tortured and murdered for their refusal to recant their belief in the one true God. We support maybe a half a dozen different overseas missions and we get their newsletters. You wouldn't believe the deprivation, the hardship, the torture, and the martyrdom that Christians are undergoing around the world today. It's only going to get worse.


Alas, it’s an all to common repeated theme in human history where “think like I do” is enforced at the point of a gun. Not just restricted to persecuting Christians however.


chance>
To clarify - it is possible to be absolutely, certain, and positively convinced on some point, yet be completely wrong, is it not?

Therefore, the level of commitment is not a test of correctness.

Do you agree?

Dave>
Absolutely! That's the point I'm trying to make. All of the scientific discussion aside, it does really come down to a worldview. If you start out your science with the wrong worldview, and line up your presuppositions along those lines, then you will be doing faulty science. But, you won't believe when someone tells you your presuppositions are wrong until you can see things from a different worldview.


Good, we have consensus on this point.


For your statement to be ‘true’, you would need to show where they are going wrong, and why, with an adequate ‘proof’. As is often quoted we are both working from the same evidence, yet drawing different conclusions. IMO science has it right, an unemotional, naturalistic world view, inevitably draws the conclusion of an old earth and evolution. (And) But I maintain the regular science explanations trump the creationist ones every time, and am willing to discuss these aspect if the format is civil.

Dave>
There it is again. A thinly veiled accusation that regular, degreed, experienced, published, working scientists are not really doing "science" because they hold to a different worldview than you do. Can't you see that the evolution issue is really a worldview issue? And can't you see the futility of trying to debate science with you when you only recognize the legitimacy of your side of the argument? However, talking about worldviews and such just might open things up to a fruitful discussion. Maybe? Yes?


The commitment to my world view that regular science ‘has it right’ in no way precludes me from discussing the creationist scientific claims objectively. I would see this as no different than a theological discussion between a priest and an imam for example. But I am at a loss to think of a way to prove it too you.

If we revers the tables for a moment – hypothetical: If a Muslim friend of yours was attempting to convince you of the correctness of Islam over Christianity, in a genuine act of friendship and concern for your immortal soul, would you take into consideration how committed he was as a form of augment, or objectively overlook such commitment and only consider the ‘facts’ of any argument.

I used a lot of words when perhaps I am trying to show that passion for a world view only hinders rational debate. It has been my experience that one should agree on ‘ground rules’ before starting.


chance>
Sorry Dave in all honesty, I could not do such a thing.

Dave>
You know what Chance? Change your name to Dave, put yourself about 27 years into the past, and you would be me writing those very words. I know you are honest. I know you are sincere. I know you really do believe what you are saying is true. But you don't know what the future holds.


Indeed. Thanks for your support, and, I believe, your genuine concern. The feeling is mutual.

Consider, even if we disagree on many things and never have the ability to convince others of our POV’s, I would still maintain that the exercise is still fruitful in learning about oneself.

#13 Dave

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Posted 17 May 2006 - 08:15 AM

Hi Chance,

Dave
That’s fair enough, we can discuss the ways of discussing, to reach a POV. Consider these ways to change someone’s POV on a topic/world view:

a. Reasoned discussion, where by force of logic one is compelled to change their mind.
b. Personal experience,
c. Trusting another to do it for you (parents, teacher, politician etc), or
d. Point of a gun.


a. is untrustworthy. The Age of Enlightenment, where "logic" became pre-eminent, is the disastrous new worldview that got us to where we are today.

b. is also untrustworthy. Personal experience is emotional experience, and can't be trusted to perform anything beyond taking care of "ME."

c. is close. We'll talk more about that later.

d. obviously doesn't work. All it does is show who is weak-willed.

The commitment to my world view that regular science ‘has it right’ in no way precludes me from discussing the creationist scientific claims objectively.


It's not something I wish to debate, but you obviously don't see how much your worldview affects your thinking about creationist claims objectively.

I would see this as no different than a theological discussion between a priest and an imam for example.  But I am at a loss to think of a way to prove it too you.

If we revers the tables for a moment – hypothetical:  If a Muslim friend of yours was attempting to convince you of the correctness of Islam over Christianity, in a genuine act of friendship and concern for your immortal soul, would you take into consideration how committed he was as a form of augment, or objectively overlook such commitment and only consider the ‘facts’ of any argument.


Short answer: No to both, his commitment would have no effect on me, and I could never objectively look at his "facts."

Long answer: How about this? Assuming you agree that there must be some absolutes, if a friend really, really believed there was no such thing as the "Law of Gravity," and that he could violate it any time he wanted, would I give any weight to his arguments about his belief because of his commitment? No, of course not. Neither his commitment to his beliefs, nor any reasoned logical argument by him would gain any consideration from me.

Why? Because I know beyond a doubt that gravity exists, and things fall down and go boom. Here's the key: I'd ask my friend to go up to the 10th floor of a building and jump out of a window. If he really, really is sincere and committed about disbelieving in gravity and hurls himself out of the window, that proves his commitment. However, this tragically misguided person was still wrong about gravity, wasn't he?

On the other hand, if he hesitates, has doubts, sees his imminent death, and pulls back from the window, then we have a great opportunity to talk about his beliefs. Obviously, and thankfully, he wasn't really committed to his misguided belief enough to act on it.

So, how does that apply to our discussion? Chance, we committed, Bible-believing Christians have all stood at that 10th-floor window at one time or another. We've all hesitated and, thankfully, have found somebody to explain to us the foolhardiness of believing in something that can kill us.

You, figuratively, are like my friend who doesn't believe in gravity. However, you haven't been up to that 10th floor yet and been challenged to jump out of the window. In reference to your "a through d" above, likely it could be a parent, teacher or friend who brings you down from that window and helps you to see the truth. However, until you are facing your crisis on that 10th floor, they will never, ever be able to do it through logic or facts or even emotional pleading. You have to get there yourself.

Here's the problem, though. Unlike our hypothetical friend who may or may not choose to ever go up to the 10th floor of a building, we all must stand there eventually. It is completely immaterial whether you believe or disbelieve that. It's going to happen ... period. Only problem is, if you leave this life without recanting your "disbelief in gravity," so to speak, you don't get another chance. It's here and now, or never.

I used a lot of words when perhaps I am trying to show that passion for a world view only hinders rational debate.


Exactly, which is why I'm trying to tackle it from a different approach like we are doing here.

It has been my experience that one should agree on ‘ground rules’ before starting. Indeed.  Thanks for your support, and, I believe, your genuine concern. The feeling is mutual.


Thank you.

Consider, even if we disagree on many things and never have the ability to convince others of our POV’s, I would still maintain that the exercise is still fruitful in learning about oneself.


I was thinking that too. Let's see how this discusson continues to "evolve."

Dave

#14 chance

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Posted 17 May 2006 - 02:19 PM

chance>
That’s fair enough, we can discuss the ways of discussing, to reach a POV.  Consider these ways to change someone’s POV on a topic/world view:

a. Reasoned discussion, where by force of logic one is compelled to change their mind.
b. Personal experience,
c. Trusting another to do it for you (parents, teacher, politician etc), or
d. Point of a gun.

Dave>
a. is untrustworthy. The Age of Enlightenment, where "logic" became pre-eminent, is the disastrous new worldview that got us to where we are today.

b. is also untrustworthy. Personal experience is emotional experience, and can't be trusted to perform anything beyond taking care of "ME."

c. is close. We'll talk more about that later.

d. obviously doesn't work. All it does is show who is weak-willed.


Interesting comments, especially your views on point ‘a’. Intersted to see your views on point ‘c’.

Of course that’s not the end of the list please add some more if you think relevent.


chance>
The commitment to my world view that regular science ‘has it right’ in no way precludes me from discussing the creationist scientific claims objectively.

Dave>
It's not something I wish to debate, but you obviously don't see how much your worldview affects your thinking about creationist claims objectively.


To clarify – It is the same method chosen by creation science is it not! i.e. not content to just believe, their position is that science supports creation. Which is my main concern, but as it’s not quite on topic I agree lest drop this.


chance>
I would see this as no different than a theological discussion between a priest and an imam for example.  But I am at a loss to think of a way to prove it too you.

If we reverse the tables for a moment – hypothetical:  If a Muslim friend of yours was attempting to convince you of the correctness of Islam over Christianity, in a genuine act of friendship and concern for your immortal soul, would you take into consideration how committed he was as a form of augment, or objectively overlook such commitment and only consider the ‘facts’ of any argument.

Dave>
Short answer: No to both, his commitment would have no effect on me, and I could never objectively look at his "facts."

Long answer: How about this? Assuming you agree that there must be some absolutes, if a friend really, really believed there was no such thing as the "Law of Gravity," and that he could violate it any time he wanted, would I give any weight to his arguments about his belief because of his commitment? No, of course not. Neither his commitment to his beliefs, nor any reasoned logical argument by him would gain any consideration from me.


An honest answer. I agree with you that the ‘commitment’ should not be a factor, and that it may be impossible to be truly objective. But, I would think that some headway could be made about the logic of the claim, because by logic there implies some test, or deduction possible. Of course this all depends on the claim, if for example the arguments was:

a. “There is no gravity, the earth sucks”. Clearly not a logical for of argument, but
b. “There is no gravity, matter ….. quantum stuff…partials…blah blah, one could do something with this. It could be discussed sensibly.

So while it may not be possible to be truly objective, I don’t agree that the cause is total lost.

Why? Because I know beyond a doubt that gravity exists, and things fall down and go boom. Here's the key: I'd ask my friend to go up to the 10th floor of a building and jump out of a window. If he really, really is sincere and committed about disbelieving in gravity and hurls himself out of the window, that proves his commitment. However, this tragically misguided person was still wrong about gravity, wasn't he?

On the other hand, if he hesitates, has doubts, sees his imminent death, and pulls back from the window, then we have a great opportunity to talk about his beliefs. Obviously, and thankfully, he wasn't really committed to his misguided belief enough to act on it.


You’ve taken a slightly different slant to the exercise that I answered above, and I would group this in with ‘a’.

In the second paragraph you have emphasised the ‘commitment’ to a world view, which we have agreed is not a benchmark for correctness. Perverse as it is, this situation actually happened, the person in question was on LSD, thought they could fly ….. with the obvious result. A rather dramatic testing of a world view.

So, how does that apply to our discussion? Chance, we committed, Bible-believing Christians have all stood at that 10th-floor window at one time or another. We've all hesitated and, thankfully, have found somebody to explain to us the foolhardiness of believing in something that can kill us.

You, figuratively, are like my friend who doesn't believe in gravity. However, you haven't been up to that 10th floor yet and been challenged to jump out of the window. In reference to your "a through d" above, likely it could be a parent, teacher or friend who brings you down from that window and helps you to see the truth. However, until you are facing your crisis on that 10th floor, they will never, ever be able to do it through logic or facts or even emotional pleading. You have to get there yourself.


An interesting analogy. But unless further explained I am forced to conclude that you are proposing a form of Pascals Wager, (damnation Vs salvation).

At some point in your history, you have been “to the 10th floor” and you are presuming that I have not purely on the basis that I do not believe as you do. So the question remains, what was it that convinced you? (if the subject is too personal and you don’t want it made public I fully understand, and don’t require an answer). But there must have been something, an explanation, or revelation, in short either one of the ‘a’ ‘b’ ‘c’ or ‘d’ I first proposed, or some other explanation. I’m guessing at ‘c’ for the moment.


Here's the problem, though. Unlike our hypothetical friend who may or may not choose to ever go up to the 10th floor of a building, we all must stand there eventually. It is completely immaterial whether you believe or disbelieve that. It's going to happen ... period. Only problem is, if you leave this life without recanting your "disbelief in gravity," so to speak, you don't get another chance. It's here and now, or never.


I am quite familiar with the doctrine, but unless I am convinced of it’s correctness, it does not intimidate me in the slightest.

This is the same as many other world views, e.g. would you be intimidated by:

a. a Australian aborigine ‘pointing the bone’ at you?
b. fear a voodoo pin cushion of yourself?
c. Fear a bad outcome from a tarot card reading?
d. Look forward to winning the lottery because Jupiter is in Aquarius?

Of course you would not. Your world view protects you from these ‘fantasies’, they are meaningless superstition.


So here is the perpetual quandary – each has their own world view, what has the power to cause you to jump ship?

I’m going to add another to my list,

e. fear of being ostracised – herding instinct, being ‘one of the boys’.

#15 Dave

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Posted 23 May 2006 - 08:29 PM

Howdy Chance,

I'm sorry about waiting so long to get back to you on this. We've bought a small herd of goats, and have been putting in a lot of new fencing.

I am quite familiar with the doctrine, but unless I am convinced of it’s correctness, it does not intimidate me in the slightest.


That's why I think it is fruitless to try to persuade someone out of a worldview using logic, argument or debate. And, I am convinced that evolution is not about science, but about a worldview.

This is the same as many other world views, e.g. would you be intimidated by:

a. a Australian aborigine ‘pointing the bone’ at you?
b. fear a voodoo pin cushion of yourself?
c. Fear a bad outcome from a tarot card reading?
d. Look forward to winning the lottery because Jupiter is in Aquarius?


You are right. Those are all meaningless superstitions. But, amazingly, there is no lack of people who believe such things, and even weirder things.

However, the God of the Bible is not in that category. There is no other religious book that comes even close to the Bible in its depth and breadth, historical accuracy, prophetic accuracy and relevance to all lives in every age. There is no other god like God, nor a resurrected savior like Jesus Christ. Nothing even comes close. But, I know, you don't believe it, so it means nothing to you.

So here is the perpetual quandary – each has their own world view, what has the power to cause you to jump ship?


Basically, it all boils down to one thing. You have to want to end your sinful obeisance to the gods of this world. You have to want to walk out of the darkness and into the light. You have to stand and tremble at the prospect of spending eternity in never-ending pain, suffering and anguish. You have to want to humble yourself before the Creator. You have to want to spend eternity in the glorious presence of God.

It won't happen through debate, evidence, persuasion or coercion. It will happen when somebody or something causes you to want to change. It's really that simple.

Let me ask you something, Chance. When you wake up unexpectedly in the middle of the night, do you ever wonder what is going to happen when you die? I don't mean, what you tell folks as you explain your atheism. I mean, when you wake up in the middle of the night, don't you ever have a twinge of fear for your soul? If you say "no," you are lieing. So, why don't you admit it, and tell me about it, and then we'll go from there.

Dave

#16 chance

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Posted 24 May 2006 - 02:34 PM

Howdy Chance,

I'm sorry about waiting so long to get back to you on this. We've bought a small herd of goats, and have been putting in a lot of new fencing.


Cool, and here’s me thinking of baaa-rateing you. ducks for cover


chance>
I am quite familiar with the doctrine, but unless I am convinced of it’s correctness, it does not intimidate me in the slightest.

Dave>
That's why I think it is fruitless to try to persuade someone out of a worldview using logic, argument or debate. And, I am convinced that evolution is not about science, but about a worldview.


Well I would not call quoting a segment from your world view as a form of logical argument, it’s a circular argument (a fallacy to be avoided in logical debate). One must be able to form a conclusion from an inference, (a couple of good explanations in the wiki) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inference and reason http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reasoning

You have two conclusions, “fruitless to persuade”, and “I am convinced”, what is not explained is, is it justified to come to that conclusion, based on my reply to you stating “you have not provided any argument yet that can convince me”? So far you have only quoted your world view at me. If I condensed your argument, it would read like this: “my world view is correct because my world view is correct”.

If you still think it is fruitless to use reason and logic, I put it to you that you are not using it correctly.



This is the same as many other world views, e.g. would you be intimidated by:

a. a Australian aborigine ‘pointing the bone’ at you?
b. fear a voodoo pin cushion of yourself?
c. Fear a bad outcome from a tarot card reading?
d. Look forward to winning the lottery because Jupiter is in Aquarius?


You are right. Those are all meaningless superstitions. But, amazingly, there is no lack of people who believe such things, and even weirder things.


Indeed, it seems to be a flaw in our psyche (although there are explanations as to, why it is so)

However, the God of the Bible is not in that category. There is no other religious book that comes even close to the Bible in its depth and breadth, historical accuracy, prophetic accuracy and relevance to all lives in every age. There is no other god like God, nor a resurrected savior like Jesus Christ. Nothing even comes close. But, I know, you don't believe it, so it means nothing to you.


IMO:
a. depth and breadth – possibly correct, but I’m no scholar in these matters.

b. historical accuracy – I would say it good in some parts, erroneous in others.

c. relevance to life - the Bible is so far ranging that you could find justification for just about any POV, provided you cherry pick.

d. Uniqueness (God/Jesus) – I would think there some similar characteristics in other religions.

It’s not that it means nothing to me, that is not the point, it’s all about doubt and certainty. To me there is a vast chasm between, admiring or using the philosophy contained within the Bible, and saying it is the true history of the universe. One does not equate to the other.




chance>
So here is the perpetual quandary – each has their own world view, what has the power to cause you to jump ship?

Dave>
Basically, it all boils down to one thing. You have to want to end your sinful obeisance to the gods of this world. You have to want to walk out of the darkness and into the light. You have to stand and tremble at the prospect of spending eternity in never-ending pain, suffering and anguish. You have to want to humble yourself before the Creator. You have to want to spend eternity in the glorious presence of God.


If this was a persons starting point in a quest for meaning of life, then IMO one is almost pre-disposed to take up religion. The important point is, would you question that religion?

But what if your POV is that of the atheist?
a. Sin is rejected out of hand as a relative construct of society norms, no cure is needed.
b. You already think you have seen the light.
c. Hell is fictitious.
d. Eternity scares me somewhat.


It won't happen through debate, evidence, persuasion or coercion. It will happen when somebody or something causes you to want to change. It's really that simple.


A desire or want to change is a good answer, but will that still make the chosen religion ‘correct’? . e.g. (not trying to trivialise the matter, just pointing out the logic) If I moved into a new country lets say the USA and wanted to join the best baseball club, and I was told the “red socks” were the one, what could I use as a yard stick, that could convince me they would be this years champions? (now assume I have a terminal disease and will not live to see the final).

So heres the rub - If you want to convince someone of your POV, you can indeed use logic, provided there is some tangible thing, if there is no tangible thing, you will need that person to convince themself.


Let me ask you something, Chance. When you wake up unexpectedly in the middle of the night, do you ever wonder what is going to happen when you die? I don't mean, what you tell folks as you explain your atheism. I mean, when you wake up in the middle of the night, don't you ever have a twinge of fear for your soul? If you say "no," you are lieing. So, why don't you admit it, and tell me about it, and then we'll go from there.


When I die, that’s it, full stop, the end, and no fear. (My only real fear is that of dieing young (hmmmm I’m 51, I should be over this by now :) ) and leaving my family to fend for themselves).

The only reason (I presume) that you would think that I am lying is from your own fear of falling foul of you own world view and transposing that on me.

#17 Dave

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Posted 24 May 2006 - 08:36 PM

Hi Chance,

I was afraid you might have taken the last part of my previous post in a negative way, but I'm gratified that you took it in the same gracious way you always have. Thanks.

Can we talk about

d. Eternity scares me somewhat.

But, in the meantime I'll address:

A desire or want to change is a good answer, [i]but will that still make the chosen religion ‘correct’?

Only if you choose the right one. Not necessarily the right *religion* per se, but if you choose the God of the Bible, then yes, that is the correct one. What happens, Chance, when you let go of worldly pride and stop worshipping the idol of worldly knowledge, and accept the one true God, is that the Holy Spirit embues you with the knowledge that you have put your faith in the right place.

That only means something if you can accept that there can be one true God, the Bible, and all that goes with them. I could point you to dozens, maybe hundreds, of websites with precise, irrefutable, logical explanations about the one true God and the marvelous, miraculous, incredible story called the Bible, but at your stage of life, you would merely shrug them off. Intellectually, you are not prepared to hear and understand the truth.

I'd like to hear your thoughts about eternity.

Dave

#18 chance

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Posted 25 May 2006 - 02:07 PM

I was afraid you might have taken the last part of my previous post in a negative way, but I'm gratified that you took it in the same gracious way you always have. Thanks.


No problems, after participating in various forums, I have learned that the written word, does not always come out as intended, and after you’ve posted, one often thinks “wow did I really say that!” Personally I tend to write a bit bluntly, which gives the impression of being a bit dismissive.





Dave>
But, in the meantime I'll address:

Chance>
A desire or want to change is a good answer, but will that still make the chosen religion ‘correct’?

Dave>
Only if you choose the right one. Not necessarily the right *religion* per se, but if you choose the God of the Bible, then yes, that is the correct one. What happens, Chance, when you let go of worldly pride and stop worshipping the idol of worldly knowledge, and accept the one true God, is that the Holy Spirit embues you with the knowledge that you have put your faith in the right place.

That only means something if you can accept that there can be one true God, the Bible, and all that goes with them.


Which places us at the beginning again, how is one to determine if it is the right one. Your paragraph above describes the processes of acceptance of God as something like this:

a. desire to accept,
b. choose Christianity,
c. commit,
d. then it will be revealed (if I understand you correctly, by a feeling).

Ok, other than the rather ‘about face’ process of discovering material knowledge that sequences above is (and yes I understand that that need not be applicable in this situation), let me put on my conspiracy hat for the purpose of addressing point ‘d’.

If the sum total of picking the right path is confirmed by a ‘feeling’, how can you be sure you have not been deceived? E.g. (remember I have my conspiracy hat on here)

a. Christianity and all bar one now extinct religion, is one giant conspiracy by the devil, God has long ago lost the battle for the earth, and this feeling imposed is part of the trickery of a sadistic mind.
b. Same as above, only you are living in ‘The Matrix’. (materialistic explanation).
c. Urban legend (I think) re cult – while in the a meeting you are subject to a low level dose of microwaves, you, and all the rest of the congregation, feel a brief warmness. The charlatan claims he has sent you that feeling to confirm correctness of his ways. (weeping statues a form of this).
d. Self deception – the need to believe is so great, that the euphoria at joining and being accepted as one of the boys, causes the release of endorphins.



I could point you to dozens, maybe hundreds, of websites with precise, irrefutable, logical explanations about the one true God and the marvelous, miraculous, incredible story called the Bible, but at your stage of life, you would merely shrug them off. Intellectually, you are not prepared to hear and understand the truth.


No need, just paraphrase what you think is one of the most convincing arguments. But I don’t shrug them off, it just I don call it proof.


Dave>
Can we talk about

chance>
d. Eternity scares me somewhat.

Dave>.
I'd like to hear your thoughts about eternity.


I don’t think it is possible for an unaltered mind to withstand eternity, (does God provide assistance for such a transition I’m not sure, but would think it essential). So the frightening thing is this: You have met everyone, you have discussed every topic possible with everyone, you have gone on your own and explored every world, every moon in the cosmos, every life form, not content with that, you have counted every atom (twice, realising you missed the 7), and given them names. The time it took to do all those things is nothing by comparison to eternity! A mere flicker of existence. Tip - take a deck of cards, you might need them ;)

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Posted 27 May 2006 - 02:39 AM

So, what it all boils down to is what will it take to persuade someone that his worldview is wrong? What will it take to persuade them that their treasured “science” is severely handicapped by their own dogmatic adherence to believing only a small portion of what the evidence has to offer? How can we prove to them that their science can be so much richer and fulfilling when they don't have to hold back so much of the evidence that is just waiting to be discovered by them?


We cannot persuade them. Its part of God's plan to use the arrogance of mankind, and I believe the angelic world also, to demonstrate how foolish we are:

1CO 1:17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, that the cross of Christ should not be made void.
1CO 1:18 ¶ For the word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
1CO 1:19 For it is written, "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And the cleverness of the clever I will set aside."1CO 1:20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
1CO 1:21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.
1CO 1:22 For indeed Jews ask for signs, and Greeks search for wisdom;
1CO 1:23 but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block, and to Gentiles foolishness,
1CO 1:24 but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
1CO 1:25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
1CO 1:26 ¶ For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble;
1CO 1:27 but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong,
1CO 1:28 and the base things of the world and the despised, God has chosen, the things that are not, that He might nullify the things that are,
1CO 1:29 that no man should boast before God.

IOW, God's plan is not for us to out rationalize unbelievers. Its actually the other way around...


1CO 2:1 And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God.
1CO 2:2 For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.
1CO 2:3 And I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling.
1CO 2:4 And my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,
1CO 2:5 that your faith should not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.

The power of the Gospel is in the simple message preached, and thats it.

The beauty of it is that God is using such a simple message to destroy the arrogance of mankind, including all of the fanciful thought, e.g. evolution, and plans, e.g. a one world government.

In the end, its just human arrogance, and pride that prevents man from recognizing his sin problem, and unless that happens, any given individual has no chance at salvation.

God the Holy spirit convicts people about sin, and if they do not accept God's position regarding sin, then they remain condemned.

JOH 16:8 "And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin, and righteousness, and judgment;
JOH 16:9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me;

Terry

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Posted 27 May 2006 - 03:00 AM

If the sum total of picking the right path is confirmed by a ‘feeling’, how can you be sure you have not been deceived? E.g. (remember I have my conspiracy hat on here)


I'm not speaking for Dave here, but I will absolutely say that Christianity is not a system of emoting, its a system of thinking.

After having been Born Again, and growing in the Faith, i.e. learning Bible Doctrine, I have come to understand that everything the Bibles says about mankind, and the world we live is undeniably true.

In order to understand this correctly, and I'm sure I've said this before, but its worth saying again, you have to truely understand how humans percieve things. There are 3 bonafide systems of perception, Faith, Rationalism, and Empericism.

Depending on I.Q., and experience, Rationalism, and Empericism play different degrees in every persons understanding of their existance. None the less, everyone operates on Faith, and its potentially superior to the other two.

Potential because it depends on the object of Faith as to whether its better or worse. I.e. if the source is trustworty, then you can gain the same, if not more, understanding that you would by Empericism or Rationalism, without the effort, or without the I.Q..

Determining which religion is true is not really a part of the equation, but if you have positive volition toward God, he will reveal his truth to you. Its then up to you to accept it by faith, or reject it. Its no different than someone telling you the world is 4.5 Billion years old. You did not emperically prove it, and you cannot prove it rationally, you accept it by Faith in the scientific coommunity that they are correct.

If you have negative volition toward God, then it doesn't matter what anyone says to you, you will never believe it, and you remain condemned.

Its also worth nothing that the same criticism you have about God is also true for scientific rationalism. There are competing theories about things, and in many cases, there is no way to know who is correct, yet you do not dump your rationalism because there are competing, unresolvable ideas.

There is a knowledge that surpasses human understanding, in the Bible its called epignosis, and that knowledge is gained only through God's revalation. I know Christ is the truth, because God revealed it to me just as you know that man evolved from a primate because someone revealed that to you.

The only difference is the objects of our faith. In my case, the infallible word of God, and in your case the fallible thoughts of man....

Terry




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