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Posted: 16 August 2010 04:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1006 ]
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kengen - 24 July 2010 10:32 PM

.......
Jackson,

I am sorry I missed this in the following threads but will answer your questions above now:
Yes, I am a Christian who believes in the literal truth of the OT and NT.  Putting argument and debate aside for the moment, I personally cannot live a compromised life as so many main-line denominations have done.  As typified in Spong’s teaching, what really is left of Christianity once you accept his presuppositions?  ......

Thanks for the detailed responses.  I agree with Mriana—if one reads and “inwardly digests” Spong’s books,  Christianity becomes a comfortable metaphor.

I was just listening to a podcast from the Point of Inquiry
http://www.centerforinquiry.net/forums/viewthread/8315/
Robert Price, a Biblical scholar was interviewing a guy about a book, and Price brought up a point I hadn’t heard.

If you focus on a literal interpretation of the OT, you get into trouble on the first page.
On the First Day God created light—evening came, and morning came, the first day.

On the Third Day God created plants

On the Fourth Day God created the Sun and the Moon…

So what is the correct way to literally understand these first few lines—how can we have evening/morning and the end of the 1st/2nd/3rd day without the Sun… how do people think about this…

Jackson

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Posted: 23 August 2010 05:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1007 ]
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Jackson - 16 August 2010 04:58 PM

Thanks for the detailed responses.  I agree with Mriana—if one reads and “inwardly digests” Spong’s books,  Christianity becomes a comfortable metaphor.

I was just listening to a podcast from the Point of Inquiry
http://www.centerforinquiry.net/forums/viewthread/8315/
Robert Price, a Biblical scholar was interviewing a guy about a book, and Price brought up a point I hadn’t heard.

If you focus on a literal interpretation of the OT, you get into trouble on the first page.
On the First Day God created light—evening came, and morning came, the first day.

On the Third Day God created plants

On the Fourth Day God created the Sun and the Moon…

So what is the correct way to literally understand these first few lines—how can we have evening/morning and the end of the 1st/2nd/3rd day without the Sun… how do people think about this…

Jackson

Jackson,

Regarding light existing before the sun, the answer is simply that there was a source of light before the sun.  This is the standard answer and given that if one is working within the framework of the theistic worldview doesn’t seem so difficult.  Beyond this, some speculate this light being divine light from God Himself, or an initial natural primeval light from the initial conditions from which the earth and universe were birthed so to speak.

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Posted: 23 August 2010 05:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1008 ]
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kengen - 23 August 2010 05:17 PM

Jackson,

Regarding light existing before the sun, the answer is simply that there was a source of light before the sun.  This is the standard answer and given that if one is working within the framework of the theistic worldview doesn’t seem so difficult.  Beyond this, some speculate this light being divine light from God Himself, or an initial natural primeval light from the initial conditions from which the earth and universe were birthed so to speak.

What is the source of this mysterious light?
What happened to this mysterious light?
Scientists can find gamma ray burst evidence from millions of years ago, and we can literally ‘see into the past’ as we look at the horizon of the universe billions of light years away through the lens of the Hubble. Why can’t we see such a light? do you realize the vastness of the visible universe? That much light doesn’t just disappear. Light itself doesn’t disappear. It continues to travel outward in all directions…at the speed of light. When you turn off your light and your room darkens, that light is continuing to travel onward and outward.

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Posted: 23 August 2010 05:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1009 ]
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I believe Timothy Leary described one of his LSD trips as having Karmic Effulgence.  And, that’s just as real as the silly “divine light” or “natural primeval light”.

Occam

Occam

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Posted: 23 August 2010 05:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1010 ]
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PLaClair - 11 August 2010 09:50 AM

[

I agree with carbon-based. If one posits that the “universe is intelligible to us because it and our minds were made for each other,” then one must have an explanation how such a thing can occur. The idea, unless I misunderstand kengen’s meaning, is that consciousness can precede matter. But in fact, every example we have of consciousness is an example of matter producing consciousness through an organic brain. So the proposed “answer” directly contradicts what we know about consciousness.

The theist merely conceptualizes a wish and then declares it to be true. This is thoroughly consistent with what we know about human behavior. A study of the various explanations for the origins of things clearly reveals vastly different conceuptualizations, with a common thread: each of them expresses the deepest longings and fears of the culture from which they emerged. To put it more simply, it looks as though people imagine, construct, accept and repeat stories that comfort them. That is a point theists consistently overlook; even non-theists seem not to appreciate how central it is in explaining what is going on.

Finally, those who do not understand the science of consciousness should not presume to say what scientific naturalists think and believe. We see a clear and undeniable progression of function as we trace organisms through evolutionary history, beginning with the first cell. This does not imply that humans are at the apex of a system designed for progression, but it does imply that given enough time an organism with the mental capacity of a human being can emerge. With each passing decade, we know more and more about how this happens.

The mere fact that we still have open questions does not negate the tremendous progress we have made. All of it, 100%, has come through science, not theology. So in practical terms, there isn’t even a contest between the two. Theism is offered as an alternative mechanism of explanation, in contrast with science, solely because people wish that it was true. Science is offered as a mechanism of explanation because it has a proven track record of explaining things and giving us more tools with which to approach the world and live in it.

When you say that 100% of it came through science, that is really not giving an accurate representation of what science is nor of its limitations.  Consider the statement, ‘all truth that can be known comes through the scientific method,’ or something similar to that.  Now, is that statement in itself derived from the scientific method?  No, you cannot empirically prove this statement.  In the same way many things we know cannot be derived from the scientific method such as philosophy, logic, or morality. 

Rationality is inconsistent with naturalism for at least 2 reasons according to JP Moreland 1.) the necessity of the enduring rational self and 2.) the need for teleological factors to play a role in the thought process.  Regarding point #1, if human beings are rational thinkers who can engage in rational deliberation then there must not only be a unified self at each time in a deliberative sequence, but also an identical self that endures through the rational act.  The naturalist position is that persons are a collection of parts such that if you gain and lose parts you are literally a different aggregate from one moment to the next, and thus there is no enduring “I” that can serve as the unifier of rational thought.

Regarding point #2, consider this argument given by Moreland:
(1) If naturalism is true, there is no irreducible teleology.
(2) Rational deliberation exhibits irreducible teleology.
(3) Therefore, naturalism is false.
Teleology says that some things happen as a means to a final goal while naturalism replaces it with material causes.  An example of the difference between the teleological and material cause is seen in the following two sentences:
4.) The glass broke because the rock hit it.
5.) I raised my hand because I wanted to vote.
#4 gives a material, efficient cause while #5 gives a reasons explanation which is irreducibly teleological.

If you start with particulars only and naturalism, all things are simply the arrangement of mechanical unconscious, non-rational parts and not consistent with rational action and deliberation of human persons.  On the other hand, they are predicted by Christian theism since God Himself is rational and created humans as image-bearers. 

The idea you express above regarding consciousness arising from invoking higher levels of organic complexity through evolution really does nothing to explain either consciousness nor human rationality.  The idea that religion is a formation of human notions of cultural ideas that comfort them doesn’t really go far enough to explain the particulars of the New Testament gospels, for instance.  It’s too simple an explanation and the formation of the N.T. contradicts it at so many points.

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Posted: 23 August 2010 06:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1011 ]
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kengen - 23 August 2010 05:59 PM

Rationality is inconsistent with naturalism for at least 2 reasons according to JP Moreland 1.) the necessity of the enduring rational self and 2.) the need for teleological factors to play a role in the thought process…

Regarding point #2, consider this argument given by Moreland:
(1) If naturalism is true, there is no irreducible teleology.
(2) Rational deliberation exhibits irreducible teleology.
(3) Therefore, naturalism is false.

I do not understand “irreducible teleology.” Please enlighten me so I can grok this logic.

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Posted: 23 August 2010 07:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1012 ]
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We have a telescope powerful enough to ‘see’ within seconds of the creation of the universe. Why don’t we see remnants of your ‘godly light’?

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Posted: 23 August 2010 07:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1013 ]
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Actually, Asanta, we cannot see any further back than about 380,000 years after the Big Bang, no matter how powerful our telescopes. Before then the Universe was too hot for matter to form, including photons. The Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation dates from 380k years post BB, and that is as far back as we will likely be able to see even with sophisticated instruments.

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Posted: 23 August 2010 07:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1014 ]
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DarronS - 23 August 2010 06:47 PM
kengen - 23 August 2010 05:59 PM

Rationality is inconsistent with naturalism for at least 2 reasons according to JP Moreland 1.) the necessity of the enduring rational self and 2.) the need for teleological factors to play a role in the thought process…

Regarding point #2, consider this argument given by Moreland:
(1) If naturalism is true, there is no irreducible teleology.
(2) Rational deliberation exhibits irreducible teleology.
(3) Therefore, naturalism is false.

I do not understand “irreducible teleology.” Please enlighten me so I can grok this logic.

Darron,

I referenced the meaning above in the sentence, “Teleology says that some things happen as a means to a final goal while naturalism replaces it with material causes.”  Basically it’s the explanation of phenomena in the world by the purposes (ends) they serve; also relates to the idea of design.  The basic argument showing that purpose in rationality cannot be reduced to the mere particulars of naturalistic causes.

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Posted: 23 August 2010 07:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1015 ]
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Kengen, I understand teleology. I asked you to explain “irreducible teleology.” You are talking in circles. Rationality does not need teleology, therefore the logic you cited to refute rationality is flawed.

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Posted: 23 August 2010 07:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1016 ]
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DarronS - 23 August 2010 07:41 PM

Kengen, I understand teleology. I asked you to explain “irreducible teleology.” You are talking in circles. Rationality does not need teleology, therefore the logic you cited to refute rationality is flawed.

He won’t address my question about ‘the light’ either. hmmm

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Posted: 23 August 2010 09:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1017 ]
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DarronS - 23 August 2010 07:41 PM

Kengen, I understand teleology. I asked you to explain “irreducible teleology.” You are talking in circles. Rationality does not need teleology, therefore the logic you cited to refute rationality is flawed.

My apologies.  I was trying to do two things at once (complete a work deadline also) and I missed the “irreducible” part.  The irreducible part of it would refer to that part of “purpose” or intended meaning or outcome that cannot be reduced to efficient or natural cause. 

But what part of what I said in the above argument is talking in circles?  And secondly, your statement “Rationality does not need teleology, therefore the logic you cited to refute rationality is flawed”  is a non-starter.  It’s kind of like saying, “what you argued is invalid, therefore it is wrong.”  That’s the whole point of presenting a logical argument.  If you would like to refute it please do so, but give some argument here, not just an assertion of your opinion.

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Posted: 23 August 2010 10:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1018 ]
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DarronS - 23 August 2010 07:19 PM

Actually, Asanta, we cannot see any further back than about 380,000 years after the Big Bang, no matter how powerful our telescopes. Before then the Universe was too hot for matter to form, including photons. The Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation dates from 380k years post BB, and that is as far back as we will likely be able to see even with sophisticated instruments.

Okay, I’m not a physicist! cheese , but you would think we could see evidence of a mysterious unexplained light source from only 6000 years ago!

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Posted: 24 August 2010 03:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1019 ]
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kengen - 23 August 2010 05:17 PM
Jackson - 16 August 2010 04:58 PM

.....On the Third Day God created plants

On the Fourth Day God created the Sun and the Moon…

So what is the correct way to literally understand these first few lines—how can we have evening/morning and the end of the 1st/2nd/3rd day without the Sun… how do people think about this…

Jackson

Jackson,

Regarding light existing before the sun, the answer is simply that there was a source of light before the sun.  This is the standard answer and given that if one is working within the framework of the theistic worldview doesn’t seem so difficult.  Beyond this, some speculate this light being divine light from God Himself, or an initial natural primeval light from the initial conditions from which the earth and universe were birthed so to speak.

We need to be honest to ourselves and admit folks are just making up stuff.
People sometimes say that Genesis mimics the natural order of creation, but the order of “plants” and “Sun” is not correct.  It clearly shows the ancient people didn’t realize the Sun was created first, and that the moon was a body like the Earth (shining with reflected light).

I am not sure how one would rank Biblical errors—I think that the Earth is less than 5000 years old is the biggest one on the table.

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Posted: 24 August 2010 03:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1020 ]
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Jackson - 24 August 2010 03:09 AM

—I think that the Earth is less than 5000 years old is the biggest one on the table.

I think I could find rocks older than that near my home! smile Old Mt Diablo is less than an hour away, and its strata should hold much older rock than that!
Bronze age writings contain knowledge at the level of bronze age understanding. I can’t think of anything else we hold as an absolute truth of that age except religious text and teachings.

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