15 of 17
15
How can I respond to the following Christian “apologetic”......
Posted: 07 October 2013 09:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 211 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  542
Joined  2007-09-29
Lausten - 07 October 2013 09:03 AM
inthegobi - 07 October 2013 08:48 AM

You have to explain why *this* disaster eroded religious belief in a permanent way that all the previous natural disasters somehow failed to do.
Chris.

This is the kind of ridiculous criteria that you attempt to impose on this conversation that gets you labeled as unreasonable.

No, it’s basic to arguing causes and effects.
‘Disasters cause unbelief’ was the general notion I was attacking.
GdB gave a single example to support the notion: the Lisbon earthquake.

First:
The Lisbon earthquake cannot be a real *example* of a general trend,
because there are numerous other instances where a natural disaster did *not* have the same effect. (Who’s talking about the erosion of religion in the wake of the Indonesian tsunami? Nobody. Who says that religion failed to recover in Greece after the Peloponnesian Wars? Nobody. Although it changed significantly, but change isn’t erosion.)
To call something a general cause, it should happen generally, whenever the cause is present.
Therefore, the Lisbon earthquake does not support the claim ‘Disasters generally erode religious belief’ - it’s not an *example* of a general trend.

Again:
The time-period in question is the whole of human existence, which is on the order of hundreds of millenia.
Only one case has been given of a natural disaster eroding religious belief, and this is less than a third of one millenia ago.
No other cases have been given, because (IMO) they will have at best the same defects as the Lisbon earthquake example.

Worse:
The religious doubts about the Lisbon earthquake were limited to ‘the intelligentsia’ (if we take the Wikipedia article at face value);
Further, only some of *them* - otherwise we conflate ‘intelligentsia’ with ‘intelligentsia who lost their faith after the Lisbon earthquake’.
And the general notion that it eroded religious belief *in the general populace* is (i) unsupported by the article, and (ii) is falsified by the robust Catholic population of Portugal, and Lisbon, today. Whatever the negative effects of the Lisbon earthquake on the average guy’s religion in Portugal, it vanished in the long term.

Of course, we could just condemn the great mass of people as ‘sheeple’, and ignore what and how *they* believe.

Chris

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 October 2013 09:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 212 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  542
Joined  2007-09-29

Lausten,

The intelligent, in this case Voltaire among others, not only wrote about and criticized the religious reaction to this disaster, they provided protection to some of from the masses when religious people were persecuting them. . . You’re not going to find quantitative studies from that time counting the number of people who were influenced by Candide.

Voltaire’s personal goodness isn’t at issue. But if one is going to use an example, one must be prepared to defend its implications. If you say ‘X eroded Y’ you better be prepared to make some stab at how much X eroded Y, and if other factors were involved. For example, what if the Lisbon earthquake happened in 1255? It’s doubtful the intelligentsia of mid-thirteenth-century Europe would have reacted the same way. Therefore, there were probably other factors, social and cultural and philosophical factors, that made the Lisbon earthquake a source of soul-searching among ‘intelligentsia’, not its mere occurrence, its destruction of churches but not the red light district, etc.)

Chris

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 October 2013 10:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 213 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4375
Joined  2007-08-31
inthegobi - 07 October 2013 09:55 AM

Therefore, there were probably other factors, social and cultural and philosophical factors, that made the Lisbon earthquake a source of soul-searching among ‘intelligentsia’, not its mere occurrence, its destruction of churches but not the red light district, etc.)

Yes, and I mentioned them here.

 Signature 

GdB

“The light is on, but there is nobody at home”

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 October 2013 10:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 214 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  296
Joined  2013-07-25
DarronS - 07 October 2013 08:22 AM
LilySmith - 07 October 2013 08:03 AM

In science new ideas are added and others are abandoned.  The example I’ve used before is that in 1959 scientific consensus said our universe is eternal.  Then better telescopes were invented and it was observed that the universe was expanding.  The idea that the universe is eternal in its present form has been abandoned with the discovery of new information.

In addition to your fact error* I fail to see a point. Of course science adds new ideas as scientists get new information. That is how science works. Indeed, it is how knowledge works. Sociologists, historians and philosophers do the same, as do all people who approach knowledge with an open mind. The process is called learning.

My comment was about scientific consensus, not Edwin Hubble.  My point is that sometimes scientific consensus is just plain wrong.  In 1920, should I have agreed the Bible was in error because scientific consensus said the universe was eternal showing the Bible was wrong about it having a beginning? We now know scientific consensus was wrong and the Bible is correct.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 October 2013 10:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 215 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  542
Joined  2007-09-29

Lily,

  My point is that sometimes scientific consensus is just plain wrong.  In 1920, should I have agreed the Bible was in error because scientific consensus said the universe was eternal showing the Bible was wrong about it having a beginning? We now know scientific consensus was wrong and the Bible is correct.

Quite. But we also cannot use the current scientific consensus to *support* the Bible, or religion. Otherwise we’d be trying to have it both ways.

As an aside, we should remember that even our ancient ancestors may not have taken Genesis as claimed like Daniel Dennett, or certain modern Christians of the last few centuries: that ‘day and night’ really meant *even to them* 24-hr time-periods, for example. We should never let our opponents frame the debate just how they’d prefer it, and i repeat, we should be wary of arguing over incidentals versus the essentials of Christian faith.

Chris

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 October 2013 10:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 216 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  296
Joined  2013-07-25
Lausten - 07 October 2013 08:45 AM

An interesting distinction that you found there Lily. I don’t see how it supports what you have been saying. You say things like, “Science in its understanding of the universe is ever changing.  Everything scientists say today may change tomorrow. “ which is inarguable. But you use that to support the idea of having faith in God. I don’t see how that follows.

Asanta used the word “builds”. I see very little difference between that word and the idea of “earlier results of science will be rejected”. To improve upon something, sometimes you have to knock it all down and start over. You are taking Asanta’s idea of progress and twisting it into a philosophical discussion that is separate from what she is saying.

What you’re doing is sometimes called “quote mining”. I cited Karl Popper much earlier in this conversation when we were talking about the concept of falsification. You completely rejected that. This is why so many people are crying “foul” on you. You take a quote about the philosophy of how science progresses and try to turn it into a reason for abandoning or at least confining science and choosing faith. You apply a criticism to science, that it has said one thing in the past and now something different, but you refuse to acknowledge that the Bible is also a story of adding new ideas and abandoning others.

I never commented on the concept of falsification.  Someone else criticized you for your view, not me.

Science does continually change its views on things.  The Bible, as we have recently discussed, is shown to be 99% the same as it was nearly 2,000 years ago for the NT and before that for the OT.  The Bible has not been adding new stories and new ideas and abandoning others.  That’s nonsense.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 October 2013 10:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 217 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  542
Joined  2007-09-29
GdB - 07 October 2013 10:00 AM
inthegobi - 07 October 2013 09:55 AM

Therefore, there were probably other factors, social and cultural and philosophical factors, that made the Lisbon earthquake a source of soul-searching among ‘intelligentsia’, not its mere occurrence, its destruction of churches but not the red light district, etc.)

Yes, and I mentioned them here.

And *therefore* you cannot use the Lisbon earthquake as an *example* of a natural disaster being *the cause* of eroding religious faith in the general population. It was just one factor among many, and the many seem the more important causes of erosion; further, the erosion is among ‘intelligentsia’, which isn’t the general population, and thus the whole example is vitiated.

I still think increasing notions that getting money is an unalloyed good is the single biggest factor. Fat and happy people feel they don’t need religion so much. Of course fat and happy people tend to have gotten so on the backs of the poor and unhappy.

Chris

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 October 2013 10:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 218 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4375
Joined  2007-08-31
inthegobi - 07 October 2013 08:26 AM

You know, it’s a weird fact that although natural evils are the hardest to explain in a theodicy (it seems to me and many others), the natural disasters that have occurred over the 600,000 years of existence of *homo sapiens* have not diminished belief in gods. So the argument against God’s existence from natural evils has had surprisingly little *real* force in men’s affairs.

This is what you said. The Lisbon earthquake had a strong impact on exactly the theodicy.

And can you then impute a sinful deed
To babes who on their mothers’ bosoms bleed?
Was then more vice in fallen Lisbon found,
Than Paris, where voluptuous joys abound?
Was less debauchery to London known,
Where opulence luxurious holds the throne?

Voltaire

As Theodor Adorno wrote, “[t]he earthquake of Lisbon sufficed to cure Voltaire of the theodicy of Leibniz”

From the Wikipedia article on the Lisbon Earthquake.

 Signature 

GdB

“The light is on, but there is nobody at home”

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 October 2013 10:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 219 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  804
Joined  2009-10-21
LilySmith - 07 October 2013 10:16 AM

Science does continually change its views on things.  The Bible, as we have recently discussed, is shown to be 99% the same as it was nearly 2,000 years ago
for the NT and before that for the OT.  The Bible has not been adding new stories and new ideas and abandoning others.  That’s nonsense.

The Bible hasn’t changed, but the stories within the Bible are about change. God let Cain go without punishment, then things got really bad and everybody got drownded. Early Jews were making blood sacrifices, then God said he wanted Abram to sacrifice his child, then he didn’t. God threatens to destroy the Israelites, but Moses talks him out of it. He doesn’t want a King, then he settles on David. He will protect the Kingdom forever, then it splits, then each falls. Then we get a new covenant. Don’t eat pork, eat pork. Circumcision, no circumcision.
I know you see this as people ignoring God’s word, getting it wrong and being corrected or suffering for turning away from God or a slow revelation overtime, whatever. I see it as people trying new ideas and each time re-mythologizing those ideas.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 October 2013 11:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 220 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  804
Joined  2009-10-21
LilySmith - 07 October 2013 10:16 AM

I never commented on the concept of falsification.  Someone else criticized you for your view, not me.

Page 1 of “Should theistic claims be subjected to the same standards of scrutiny…”

 

Note to whomever: Come on CFI, you think it is spam when I link to your own forum?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 October 2013 11:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 221 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  542
Joined  2007-09-29

Stephen,

Thanks, I appreciate that.

Chris

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 October 2013 11:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 222 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  542
Joined  2007-09-29
Lausten - 07 October 2013 11:00 AM

Note to whomever: Come on CFI, you think it is spam when I link to your own forum?

Weirder, why does it call some links to the forum spam but not others. Check out the thread ‘Should hate speech be protected as free speech?’

A while back, the forum program called ‘spam’ external links that I tried to embed. It would not let me post the note even after erasing the entire link. I had to cancel the post and start from scratch.

Chris.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 October 2013 12:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 223 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  15305
Joined  2006-02-14
inthegobi - 07 October 2013 11:53 AM
Lausten - 07 October 2013 11:00 AM

Note to whomever: Come on CFI, you think it is spam when I link to your own forum?

Weirder, why does it call some links to the forum spam but not others. Check out the thread ‘Should hate speech be protected as free speech?’

A while back, the forum program called ‘spam’ external links that I tried to embed. It would not let me post the note even after erasing the entire link. I had to cancel the post and start from scratch.

Chris.

*Sigh*.

CFI doesn’t employ coders who design spam-catchers. (Would that CFI had that kind of money!) What we have (AFAIK) is an industry-grade plug-in module that does the job. Before we got it, I had to go through manually deleting up to several dozen spam messages a day on the Forums. Now there are virtually none. So this module, I’m afraid to say, isn’t going anywhere. And again AFAIK it’s a standard module that’s used in many Forum software packages. That said, our package is several years out of date and (last I checked) unlikely to be updated anytime soon. So once again I’d suggest using URL shorteners like bit.ly if you want to embed recalcitrant links.

 Signature 

Doug

-:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:-

El sueño de la razón produce monstruos

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 October 2013 12:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 224 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  542
Joined  2007-09-29

Doug,

*Sigh*.

It wasn’t a criticism of course, just a ‘hrm’.

Chris

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 October 2013 03:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 225 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  296
Joined  2013-07-25

GdB,

My knowledge and understanding can increase, but there’s a limitation to how much I can know.  I trust a great many people with more knowledge than I have to help me out in many areas of my life.  Using a computer doesn’t take faith.  My religious faith is specific.  It’s faith that there is an intelligent God who created the universe and governs my life, and it’s faith that I can have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.  It’s not just faith for the sake of faith. 

I enjoy science because I like to understand the things around me.  There are certain fields of science which speak to the accuracy of the Bible and the God of the Bible, but these fields are few.  Most science deals with the world around us in a more immediate way.  I just got done planting acorns hoping to grow some oak trees.  I looked to science to tell me the best way to do that.  The way I came up with on my own would not have been as successful as the way I eventually did it, because I didn’t understand the growing habits of the acorn until I read the information made available by another person’s work and study on the subject. 

Science does not require anyone give up their faith in God.  If anyone commits himself to science, he gives up a belief in God only because he chooses to.  Just as I believe in God because I believe, so anyone who doesn’t believe in God, simply doesn’t believe.  It’s not because he believes in science “instead.”  There is no proof or evidence from science about the cause of our universe and spacetime.  The information isn’t available.  If someone wants to limit themselves to believing there isn’t a God who is the cause, they place that limitation on themselves.  If they say that’s the requirement of science, then they have place that requirement and limitation on science themselves. 

Since I already believe in God and the creation story in Genesis, I am interested in the relativity of time as it related to the six days of creation.  I am also interested in the scientific discovery that the universe had a beginning and the theory of the big bang.  I’m saying at the very beginning, in the explosion of energy which created matter, things would have been moving very quickly.  Velocity is one of the things that affects the passage of time.  I relate that information to the six day creation and ask how God measured time.  Sure, I can live with unanswered questions, but I also like to move beyond a Sunday School understanding of the revelations in the Bible.  I like putting it together, just as I liked discussing with Stephen the idea of choice and Libertarian free will.  At the end of the day we will disagree about God and the spiritual element, but I can live with that and appreciate the time he took to discuss it with me. 

I’m really not here as a troll, to be dishonest, to lie or any of the rest of the accusation against me.  And I’ve limited myself to one thread at a time so no one has to “deal” with me.  I’m just looking for more things to think about.

Profile
 
 
   
15 of 17
15