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How can I respond to the following Christian “apologetic”......
Posted: 08 October 2013 02:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 241 ]
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inthegobi - 08 October 2013 09:11 AM

Stephen,

So, my disagreement with Lily over that defence is we don’t and can’t have Libertarian free will.

Yes, I saw that. But note first, you added the ‘libertarian’ part. You do have some sense of ‘free will’ that includes being able to hold the people who have that free will (or ‘free will’) responsible for their actions. Never mind how you pan that out; you believe that the average thief is responsible for his wrong act. You *do* believe that injustice exists, don’t you?

I believe any sense of free will and responsibility that makes sense must be compatible with determinism.

What that means is compatible with it being sheer luck, from our point of view, what we get to believe and do. And god would know that so would not judge us.

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Posted: 08 October 2013 03:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 242 ]
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GdB - 08 October 2013 06:27 AM

You see Lily, it is a giant leap from a ‘cause of the big bang’ to ‘an intelligent God who created the universe and governs my life’, don’t you think? I do not see any connection to them, except that both start with a beginning.

From my perspective, I already believed God created the universe, so when science gives us a glimpse into a possible how I don’t take God out of it, but am fascinated at how he may have done it.  I understand it’s a giant leap for someone who doesn’t believe as I do and I’m not offering that as proof.  But it does feel good to have that part of my faith (the universe had a beginning) vindicated.

Science does not require anyone give up their faith in God. 

That highly depends on what your conception of God is. If you would have believed in Thor, then science has definitely done away with him. Or would you then call electricity ‘Thor’, and say electricity is intelligent? The point is, if you reduce your concept of God intentionally in such a way that science possibly cannot say anything about him, then your sentence becomes a tautology: science can say nothing about things it cannot say anything about. You can do it, but it has a huge price: God is nowhere where science has something to say. That is your methodological problem when you say that God governs your life. ‘Governing’ must allow for some causal influence, otherwise it has no meaning. But ‘causal influence’ means science possibly has something to say about it.

Many ancient pagans would be disappointed—or not—that Thor has been banished by science.  My understanding of God through Biblical teaching, however, was written long before science had much to say about the pagan gods or God as portrayed in the Bible.  I can’t reduce my concept of God because its long been written.  I may have some wiggle room through interpretation, but as with the teaching that God created a world with natural disasters, I have to accept what’s written or stop believing in Him.  I don’t pit God against science.  I think God created what men now explore and call science.  But science will never be able to find God.  He is described as Spirit, and until men of science can find the spiritual realm, they will not find God.

I just think that the intellectually most honest answer is, is that science is just silent about certain concepts of God. But that also means science itself gives no reason to believe in God.

I agree.

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. 

But this is all bending the meaning of the words in the bible. If you have no other reason to define those 6 days otherwise than we do now, then you are just trying to save the bible against criticism. If you find independent reasons (maybe linguistic and historical) that these ‘days’ might mean something else then it is interesting. Otherwise it is just immunising your belief against possible scientific criticism.

I see a few reasons, but they’re in the Bible itself.  The term day refers to the passage of a time period, but the first days of the creation narrative are before the sun was formed and the universe had expanded.  So either the measurement of time had to be projected forward to when the earth would rotate on its axis as it orbited the sun and the universe had expanded and slowed to where we are now, or another measurement of time was used.  As I mentioned before, on the seventh day God rested.  We are exhorted to enter his rest as long as its called “Today.”  If God is still resting, it may still be the seventh day of the creation narrative.  And lastly, another day is spoken of in the Bible that is still to come, both OT and NT, called the Day of the LORD.  It’s a coming day of judgment and it lasts at least a thousand years as we measure time.  But I realize this is more about Bible teaching and not science, so it’s something that I think about but am not expecting anyone else to be interested.

But you have a tendency not to answer directly at questions. And if somebody asks arguments for your belief, it is not much help to give arguments that are only valid when you already believe. And saying that your belief is not inconsistent with science is also not a positive argument, it is at most a counter argument against the idea that science has shown that God does not exist. (But do not forget: I don’t think you believe in a God that does not contradict science. See above.)

I’ll try to recognize that tendency and work on it.

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Posted: 13 October 2013 09:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 243 ]
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LilySmith - 08 October 2013 03:47 PM
GdB - 08 October 2013 06:27 AM

You see Lily, it is a giant leap from a ‘cause of the big bang’ to ‘an intelligent God who created the universe and governs my life’, don’t you think? I do not see any connection to them, except that both start with a beginning.

From my perspective, I already believed God created the universe, so when science gives us a glimpse into a possible how I don’t take God out of it, but am fascinated at how he may have done it.

You made up your mind without evidence, and then you try to fit the available evidence into your world view. That is irrational thinking.

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You cannot have a rational conversation with someone who holds irrational beliefs.

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