DOES YOUR WORLD VIEW PASS THE TEST?

So let’s talk world views. Everyone has a world view, which is best described as the way you see the world. There are as many world views as there are people, but in general, there are three specific world views that I will be analysing with this article. These three world view categories are religious, naturalistic, andrelativistic world views. Of course there are many subcategories within these three categories that we will cover as well.

A NATURALISTIC WORLD VIEW

A person who has a naturalistic world view generally rejects all caused causes and instead tends to embrace a view that the world was made by chance through the process of general evolution with absolutely no interference from a created being. In a nutshell, these people believe that what we see is all that there is. No GOD, or if there is a God he/she/it/they do not interfere in the world.

A large percentage of the scientific community holds this world view as do most atheists

RELIGIOUS WORLD VIEW

In general a religious world view embraces that there is something greater than man. That a GOD in some form is responsible for creation, morals & an afterlife (in some form). This world views is much more broad than the naturalistic world view as there are many different religious positions. Within this category, we will test a few different world view subcategories these categories are:

1. Christan World View
2. Hindu World View
3. Muslim World View
4. Pantheistic/Pagan World View

RELATIVISTIC WORLD VIEW

The last category to be discussed is a relativistic world view. This has become a very popular world view as of late. In general this world view believes that all world views are true for the individual and therefore all are right as long as it right for YOU. In a relativistic world view, the word truth, right and wrong are subjective as opposed to objective truth as the world would be used by the other two categories.

HOW TO TEST A WORLD VIEW

When testing a world view, you need to take into account three things. Even if you are not familiar with all the aspects of a world view, if any one of these three test proves to be false, then the entire world view must – necessarily – be false. These tests are:

1. Is the world view contradictory within it’s own view?
2. Does the world view actually align with reality?
3. What do expects and eye witness have to say about the world view?

Applying these tests, we will attempt to test the truth of the three world views addressed above.

TESTING THE RELATIVISTIC WORLD VIEW

Relativism believes in subjective truth. If it’s true for you, then it’s true. Basically, relativists believe that there is a neutral moral ground where no one is to make any judgements as to someone else’s truths. This neutral moral ground is called “tolerance”. The question is, does a relativistic world view hold up to the three tests?

First and foremost, relativism fails the test of contradiction. There simply can’t be any morally neutral ground. If I (with a Christan world view) went up to a relativist and stated that I thought Homosexuality was immoral, the relativist would call me intolerant, arrogant, and wrong. They would likely tell me that my view is wrong and I should change it. Does this language seem like neutrally moral ground? Does this language seem to allow me to have my beliefs as true for me or can the language better be described as my beliefs are objectively wrong? The fact is, the second that a relativist makes any judgement at all they have created a contradiction and thus the view is necessarily false. The relativistic world view fails the law of non-contradiction.

Does relativism pass the test of coherence (how the world actually seems to be)? Ask yourself this question, “Does there seem to be anything that is wrong for everyone?” Can you think of any reason in any culture where touching babies for the pleasure it brings you is OK? If you can simply think of a single situation where something is wrong for all then relativism is false. It must be because relativism does not allow for objective (universal) truth. Clearly anyone with this world view (to it’s extreme) has a major malfunction as taken to it’s absurd conclusion there is absolutely no right or wrong and no justification of punishment or justice.

Lastly, what do experts say about a relativistic world view? First college professors seems to love relativism as a world view. It allows them to teach anything without any consequence for the teaching. So it seems, on surface, that experts have embraced it. However, this is simply not the case. First science doesn’t hold to this view. How could they? Science is about observation and what they observe is objective in it’s analysis. If a scientist holds to this world view they would be unable to report that one medicine works to cure cancer and another does not. This is best described as the insulin versus ice cream argument. Relativism believes that the world is made up of ice cream. All you have to do is select the flavor that you “like” and reject the flavors you don’t. Insulin on the other hand is objective. If you have diabetes, you NEED insulin, ice cream simply won’t do. Furthermore, psychologists would reject relativism as well. A physiologist would call a person who believes that are is no moral truth as a psychopath. Psychologists would try to “fix” him or her by curing the malfunction.

I believe the best proof against this world view is that no one actually lives by it. If someone thinks they do, steal there car and see if they tell you that you were wrong for doing so. If they say you are wrong or that there should be justice, then they are living a contradiction.

I think it is clear that without a huge analysis of a relativistic world view, we can show that the view is necessarily false. It doesn’t hold up to any of the three tests, and therefore MUST be rejected.

TESTING THE NATURALISTIC WORLD VIEW

Does naturalism stand up to the three tests? Are there contradiction in this view? I think there are. Since I am far from an expert on everything that naturalists hold, I will focus on only the most obvious contradiction. Naturalism by name believes that what one sees or observes is true. I must say the statement paints naturalists with a broad brush, and I would not be surprised if I get comments on my global assumption of this category. In my defense I am basing this on my observation and communication with naturalists, so it is based (at least in part) on truth. The problem is that science (the poster child for naturalism) is based nearly entirely on hypothesis or educated assumptions. Many of these hypothesis CAN be tested, but many cannot. We can’t test consciousness, intuition, or morality for instance. We know that these things exist, but we simply don’t know why or how and since things like consciousness can only be attested to by the individually conscious person, no independent test can be produced to test such a thing. Another way of stating this is. The test of intimate knowledge. Only the person feeling or thinking something has intimate knowledge of the truth and no test can allow others into my intimate knowledge of something. This doesn’t mean that the information is NOT true just that it can’t be tested. For instance we can test memory but we can’t testconsciousness or the existence of a soul.

The big test of naturalism is the test of coherence. Science would have us believe that the world happened by chance with no help from an invisible GOD. After all, we can’t see GOD and therefore he can’t exist. First and foremost, just because we can’t see something doesn’t mean that something doesn’t exist. We can see love but we know it exists. We can’t see logic but clearly it exists.

Evolution and the creation of the cosmos simply doesn’t support the Naturalistic world view either. The general theory of evolution is all about change over time from one species to another. However, is this what we actually observe the world to be? Of course not. What we see is an orderly Universe where everything is in a perfect location to allow for humanity to thrive. If the sun was just a little hotter, or colder, life could not exist. If the continents were a little bit out of alignment, the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn would seize to flow and the world would be covered with ice. If our sun was just a little bit younger or older, our orbit would be such that the planet would be unable to sustain life. The fact is the Universe seems to be ordered, not in chaos as Darwin would have had us believe. In addition to this, the complexity of organisms is so great that it is nearly impossible to see a naturalistic cause for it. Since evolution postulates that things evolve from simple cell organisms into complex ones, there should never be a stage where the complexity of an organism cannot be reduced to a less complex stage (calledirreducible complexity). Has any one ever wondered how the heart could have continued to work as it mutated from two chambers to four? How could such a defect still keep the mutated creature alive? How could an animal with a half flipper and half leg survive? It seems logical to assume that a half flipper would not allow the organism to swim and the half leg wold make hunting on land impossible as well. It seems that the organism would starve to death of be a perfect meal for a non-defective creature. Lastly, how can abiogensis occur? How did a rock turn into DNA? These questions have been largely ignored because they show that the naturalistic world view should only be rejected as false.

What do expects say about this world view? Many of the experts that reject naturalism from within the scientific community are blacklisted so scientific experts are hard to find, but they do exist. In addition to this, the actions of the experts within the field speak volumes. It seems interesting to me that science has started looking at other planets for life. The naturalist knows that life simply could not have happened in such a short span of time here on earth, so they are looking at other planets for evidence that itoccurred elsewhere and was deposited here. This is a silent admission that evolution is in trouble.

Naturalism simply doesn’t hold up to the three tests, and though there are many things that can (and perhaps should) be proved by a naturalistic cause, the big holes in the theory of evolution point to a cause and if only one cause can be demonstrated, then naturalism is necessarily false.

THE RELIGIOUS WORLD VIEW

Religious world views are too broad to describe in a single category as with the other world views. I will discuss them by individual religions and ending with Christianity.

Hinduism holds that the world is an illusion. That there is no good or evil but that good and evil are just an illusion (called Maya). Does the concept of Maya hold up to a test of contradiction? Obviously not. If the world is just an illusion, then we, as part of the illusion, would only have access to the information given us by the person creating the illusion. So the question is, how do Hindus “KNOW” such a thing? For a Hindu to know that we are illusions would be like Homer Simpson knowing that he is a cartoon. Clearly a cartoon has no knowledge of such things, because they can’t know anything, they are an illusion. So the vary act of knowing by the Hindus falsifies to the falseness of the world view.

The second question is does this align with the way the world actually is? Do you have any reason to believe that you exist? If you seem to exist, then the world view doesn’t align with reality and thus it is false. I once had a Hindu respond to this argument by stating, “Prove you exist”. I answered back with, “Who are you talking to?” She said,“You”. I then told her not only do have reason to believe I exist but I have an independent witness to my existence..YOU! She testified to my existence by asking me the question! She clearly thought I existed too.

Across the board most experts in no matter what category would agree that Hinduism is false. It would be ridiculous for a scientist to partake in the act of testing if we were an illusion. The results would be meaningless and there would be no truth in them. The only expert that might support Hinduism would be the relativist as the relativist would say as long as it’s true for the Hindu than it’s OK. An obviously ridiculous argument.

Pantheism, and perhaps paganism (witches) would hold that all things are GOD or have GOD in them. Pantheist generally have a high respect for life as all life is GOD. The question of contradiction is based more on definition then everything but there are still contradictions within the world view. The most apparent contradiction is that if everything is GOD than nothing is GOD. Even if you define GOD in a very general term as say a life force (The Jedi God), the religion can not account for anything because the life force GOD has no power to create. Therefore the pantheistic god is unimportant and totally meaningless. In a nutshell pantheists stating that everything is god is a meaningless statement and meaningless as a world view.

Does pantheism align with a real world? Simply, it has been demonstrated that the would was created from some cause. The cause may still be in dispute but most world views support some type of cause (natural or not). As demonstrated above if everything is god, then god simply has no power to create. God also seems to be a personal creator who had man in mind when creating. The Pantheistic gods cannot be personal and cannot have anything in mind when creating. Lastly, animals have gone extinct over time. Are we to assume that god can die and go extinct? These arguments shows how ridiculous this world view actually is. In fact it is not even a world view as it doesn’t really answer anything.

Simply no expert would support such unrealistic assertions about a god without power. MY argument for Christianity will give a presuppositional refutation to this as well as other religions points of view.

The argument against Islam can be described by presenting the argument for Christianity. The fact is Christianity and Islam are in harmony is many ways.

Islam accepts Jesus as a prophet and a very respected prophet at that, so using Jesus credibility is the best way to show that Islam is false. Muslims believe that Jesus was not GOD and that passages in the Bible that show him to be were either misinterpreted or were added later. They believe that Mohammad had the accurate representation of who Jesus was. The question is whom are we to believe?

The New Testament was written from AD 45 to AD 140 some 13 to 100 years after Jesus’ death (conservatively). We have around 5000 copies of early manuscripts to compare the writing to insure accuracy. It is reasonable that we have a fairly accurate picture of what Jesus taught. On the other hand Muhammad, who Muslims believe has the accurate picture of Jesus, was born around 570 AD, hundreds of years after the New Testament was written. Is it reasonable to assume that Muhammad had it right, but those who walked the earth during Jesus’ time didn’t? Of course NOT. Think of it this way. Who would have a more accurate description of my wife? You, who have never met my wife, or me, who has intimate knowledge of her? Clearly an expert opinion of Jesus would be a better opinion and though this may not prove Islam false, it does show that there are inconsistencies in the religion at least. How about the number of early copies of Koran? How many do the Muslims have floating around? According to Dr James White (Alpha and Omega Ministries), the Koran was consolidated after Muhammad’s death and all copies were destroyed. So we have no copies to compare to. We have no way to scrutinizing the apparent historical accuracy of the works. This is a big problem and it calls into question the motives of the religious world view.

I believe it is reasonable to reject Islam as a true religion, and instead accept the the most consistent religion to ever be. Christianity.

WHY I AM A FOLLOWER OF CHRIST

Christianity, like all world views, should be tested with the same three tests as all other world views. How does Christianity hold up to scrutiny?

The bible holds up very nicely to the tests. The Bible provides this in several ways.

1. PROPHECY in the Old Testament is seen fulfilled in the New Testament and other part of the Old.
2. The books are UNIFIED. You see the same redemptive message throughout the book. In the Old Testament the penalty for sin was death carried out through animal sacrifice and in the New Testament the penalty for our sins is also death redeemed through the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
3. The Bible answers the BIG QUESTIONS. It gives account for the creation of the Universe and the things in it. Painting an accurate picture of reality. There are certainly secondary questions as to what the Bible says about creation (I personally hold to an old earth theology), but creation itself is not called into question.
4. It is an INDEX TO HISTORY. The Bible is a historical account of the world as it was during the times in questions. Archeology continues to show the accuracy of the historical accounts.
5. It CHANGES PEOPLE’S LIVES. Followers of Jesus hold the power of change. Not only have Christians changed personally but they have been instrumental in changing the world. Can Pantheism or Islam make the same claim?
6. The Bible & Christianity are a FIGHTERS. It has held up the test of time, including attacks and scrutiny like no other. Included in this was the persecution of the early church which continued to thrive even under horrible persecution.

Though these points alone cannot prove Christianity to be TRUE, it does seem reasonable to accept that Christianity is more likely to be true than other world views. Many would say that religion is based on faith, and to that I would agree, however it is not based on blind faith as blind faith is not only useless but harmful as faithfully believing something without reasonable proof has lead to just about every false world view around. Simply put, it takes more faith to believe in Naturalism and Relativism than it does Christianity.

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    • Chris
    • April 29th, 2008

    Your analysis of Hinduism shows a lack of understanding of the philosophy. If you look up maya in the hindu lexicon or on wikipedia you will see that maya means that the world is not as it seems, rather than being illusionary in the sense of not existing. We know from the naruralistic perspective that what appears as solid is actually atoms with lots of empty space, Hinduism sees this as a manifestation of God. Everything is from God.

    Also there is Good and Evil in Hinduism, though they are applied to actions; one is not an “evil person”, but a person who does evil things – at the core everyone has a pure divine soul.

    This means that your contradiction does not exist, saying that we cannot exist because we are part of an illusion (in the Hindu sense of not as it seems) is like saying we cannot exist because rather than being solid we are made of atoms, which is obviously false.

    Now, when you say “I exist”, or “your friend exists” it gets interesting. Both Scientists and Hindus would agree that you do exist, but both in different ways would say that the “I” or the “you” that you are talking about is an incomplete or illusionary image, there is more to the real “you” than what you see in the mirror. Hinduism gives methods to help you see the true self (in you and others).

    Namaste (which means I bow to the divinity within you)

    Chris

    • schooloffish
    • April 29th, 2008

    Thanks for the clarifications…

    What strikes me is that you are stating that the world is not as it seems. How do you know such a thing? By what analysis was used to discover this? You are claiming that I am using the wrong word by stating the Hinduism doesn’t believe that the world is an illusion, so the contrast to this would be that the world is something that can be discovered (as is consistent with the Christian world view) but if it can be discovered, then it IS as it seems or at least will be once discovered. Frankly the Hindu claim that the world is not as it seems is unhelpful. It’s like saying that the color black is green. it’s nonsensical and this is the main reason why I am confident the the world view is false. Your analogy for solids is nonsensical as well. A solid is a solid just because we know what something looks like in a solid state through a microscope does not change what it is. We through observation able to better understand how the world works (test #2 in my article). You simply can’t say the same. It seems that Hinduism denies any true knowledge because every time we discover anything about the world the Hindu would simply claim that the world is not as it seems. What use it that?

    You claim that there is no evil person just a potentially purely divine soul that does evil things. Respectfully, this makes little sense. Let us allow the readers to decide what makes more sense.

    1. A Purely Divine Soul that has the potential to do evil things or..

    2. A sinful creation who on one’s own is incapable of having communion with the purely good GOD and thus needs the Grace of the Almighty God to Intercede on his/her behalf.

    Lastly, your analysis of my or your existence is illusionary. I would agree that we are incomplete, but how do you know that you are an illusionary image? It seems that you would have to have knowledge of what the complete me would look like to make such a claim. Otherwise, how do you KNOW that I am incomplete?

    Frankly, this doesn’t seem to alight with reality. I have no reason to believe that I do not exist and we discover things all the time so obviously the creator of the Universe has at least left us clues to His existence. So simply put the observable world does not support the Hindu World View.

    • Chris
    • April 29th, 2008

    Schoolfish, you bring up some interesting points:

    What strikes me is that you are stating that the world is not as it seems. How do you know such a thing? By what analysis was used to discover this? You are claiming that I am using the wrong word by stating the Hinduism doesn’t believe that the world is an illusion, so the contrast to this would be that the world is something that can be discovered (as is consistent with the Christian world view) but if it can be discovered, then it IS as it seems or at least will be once discovered.
    Well, the idea that the world is not as it seems has a lot in common with Christianity. Can you show a scientist the Holy Spirit? The Hindu philosphy comes from two sources. First is revelation by God in the Vedas. Rishis in an earlier age were in direct communion with God, and this information was passed down and eventually recorded in the vedas. Secondly by spiritual experimentation, primarily meditation. By this the praciced are able to experience their divine souls and see the ultimate reality. So yes, it can be discovered but this is a personal spiritual journey.

    Frankly the Hindu claim that the world is not as it seems is unhelpful. It’s like saying that the color black is green. it’s nonsensical and this is the main reason why I am confident the the world view is false.
    This is what I would expect from an atheist. If someone says they act because of the Holy spirit, or for God, but you see neither then it is nonsensical. It can’t be someone praying, they must just be talking to themselves. A Hindu starts with faith and then can experience the spiritual side.

    Your analogy for solids is nonsensical as well. A solid is a solid just because we know what something looks like in a solid state through a microscope does not change what it is. We through observation able to better understand how the world works (test #2 in my article). You simply can’t say the same. It seems that Hinduism denies any true knowledge because every time we discover anything about the world the Hindu would simply claim that the world is not as it seems. What use it that?
    I don’t think any Hindus would deny any knowledge about the world, just claim that it is not the whole story. We know that if you let go of a ball it will fall, we also know there is more to a person that blood, bones and flesh.

    You claim that there is no evil person just a potentially purely divine soul that does evil things. Respectfully, this makes little sense. Let us allow the readers to decide what makes more sense.

    1. A Purely Divine Soul that has the potential to do evil things or..

    2. A sinful creation who on one’s own is incapable of having communion with the purely good GOD and thus needs the Grace of the Almighty God to Intercede on his/her behalf.

    I think you have this backwards. Our purely divine soul does not have the potential to do evil, but we lose sight of the fact that we are purely design. In our bodies the true self is shrouded by our intellect (buddhi), our emotional mind (manas) and our innate tendencies (vasanas, the effects of karma). Illusionary benefits lead to greed, selfishness, anger, etc. These cause us to act im ways that are evil, which amplify our vasanas, making us even less aware of our true nature. Your point 2 is almost the same as the Hindu belief, only we believe that because we all have a divine spark within us we must discover our true selves to communicate with God. Thus from one way of looking at it it could be seen as Grace, but from another it is self effort.

    Lastly, your analysis of my or your existence is illusionary. I would agree that we are incomplete, but how do you know that you are an illusionary image? It seems that you would have to have knowledge of what the complete me would look like to make such a claim. Otherwise, how do you KNOW that I am incomplete?

    I don’t think you are incomplete, but obviously what I know about you is very incomplete (I don’t know what you look like, what you like to eat, or anything outside the context of these computer posts). I would also say that apart from a few enlightened people (swamis) everyone’s knowledge of themselves is also incomplete. What I generally think of as “I” or “me” is far short of my own nature.

    Frankly, this doesn’t seem to alight with reality. I have no reason to believe that I do not exist and we discover things all the time so obviously the creator of the Universe has at least left us clues to His existence. So simply put the observable world does not support the Hindu World View.
    The Hindu world view does not say that you don’t exist, just that there is much more to you than you are probably aware of. I would say that reality has a lot more to support the Hindu world view than others, an ancient world, a cyclic universe with repeated creation and destruction, to name a few. Many psychologists see the mind, intellect and self as separate entities now, a view that was described thousands of years ago in the Vedas. The biggest proof is through meditation, though I have a long, long way to go I can see that there is a divine reality underpinning the world.

    • Chris
    • April 29th, 2008

    Sorry, the last comment was garbled:

    Schoolfish, you bring up some interesting points:

    What strikes me is that you are stating that the world is not as it seems. How do you know such a thing? By what analysis was used to discover this? You are claiming that I am using the wrong word by stating the Hinduism doesn’t believe that the world is an illusion, so the contrast to this would be that the world is something that can be discovered (as is consistent with the Christian world view) but if it can be discovered, then it IS as it seems or at least will be once discovered.

    Well, the idea that the world is not as it seems has a lot in common with Christiantiy. Can you show a scientist the Holy Spirit? The Hindu philosphy comes from two sources. First is revelation by God in the Vedas. Rishis in an earlier age were in direct communion with God, and this information was passed down and eventually recorded in the vedas. Secondly by spiritual experimentation, primarily meditation. By this the praciced are able to experience their divine souls and see the ultimate reality. So yes, it can be discovered but this is a personal spiritual journey.

    Frankly the Hindu claim that the world is not as it seems is unhelpful. It’s like saying that the color black is green. it’s nonsensical and this is the main reason why I am confident the the world view is false.

    This is what I would expect from an atheist. If someone says they act because of the Holy spirit, or for God, but you see neither then it is nonsensical. It can’t be someone praying, they must just be talking to themselves. A Hindu starts with faith and then can experience the spiritual side.

    Your analogy for solids is nonsensical as well. A solid is a solid just because we know what something looks like in a solid state through a microscope does not change what it is. We through observation able to better understand how the world works (test #2 in my article). You simply can’t say the same. It seems that Hinduism denies any true knowledge because every time we discover anything about the world the Hindu would simply claim that the world is not as it seems. What use it that?

    I don’t think any Hindus would deny any knowledge about the world, just claim that it is not the whole story. We know that if you let go of a ball it will fall, we also know there is more to a person that blood, bones and flesh.

    You claim that there is no evil person just a potentially purely divine soul that does evil things. Respectfully, this makes little sense. Let us allow the readers to decide what makes more sense.

    1. A Purely Divine Soul that has the potential to do evil things or..

    2. A sinful creation who on one’s own is incapable of having communion with the purely good GOD and thus needs the Grace of the Almighty God to Intercede on his/her behalf.

    I think you have this backwards. Our purely divine soul does not have the potential to do evil, but we lose sight of the fact that we are purely design. In our bodies the true self is shrouded by our intellect (buddhi), our emotiaonal mind (manas) and our innate tendencies (vasanas, the effects of karma). Illusionary benifits lead to greed, selfishness, anger, etc. These cause us to act im ways that are evil, which amplify our vasanas, making us even less aware of our true nature. Your point 2 is almost the same as the Hindu belief, only we believe that because we all have a divine spark within us we must discover our true selves to communicate with God. Thus from one way of looking at it it could be seen as Grace, but from another it is self effort.

    Lastly, your analysis of my or your existence is illusionary. I would agree that we are incomplete, but how do you know that you are an illusionary image? It seems that you would have to have knowledge of what the complete me would look like to make such a claim. Otherwise, how do you KNOW that I am incomplete?

    I don’t think you are incomplete, but obviously what I know about you is very incomplete (I don’t know what you look like, what you like to eat, or anthing outside the context of these computer posts). I wouls also say that apart from a few enightend people (swamis) everyone’s knowledge of themselves is also incomplete. What I generally think of as “I” or “me” is far short of my own nature.

    Frankly, this doesn’t seem to alight with reality. I have no reason to believe that I do not exist and we discover things all the time so obviously the creator of the Universe has at least left us clues to His existence. So simply put the observable world does not support the Hindu World View.

    The Hindu world view does not say that you don’t exist, just that there is much more to you than you are probably aware of. I would say that reality has a lot more to support the Hindu world view than others, an ancient world, a cyclic universe with repeated creation and destruction, to name a few. Many psychologists see the mind, intelect and self as seperate entities now, a view that was decribed thousands of years ago in the Vedas. The biggest proof is through meditation, though I have a long, long way to go I can see that there is a divine reality underpinning the world.

    • schooloffish
    • April 29th, 2008

    The Christian world view of the Holy Spirit is not based on feeling (though many Christian believe it is — unfortunately) it is based on evidence. the Holy Spirit is man’s guide to acting in a right or wrong manner. Though the Holy Spirit acts in different ways in the believer then in the non-believer, it can easily be evidenced in the fact that we all have a sense of right and wrong (even the atheist and relativeness). I don’t based my falling of Jesus Christ on blind faith as unfortunately many think Christians do. The Bible clearly states that we are to test all things. The we are use out intellect and that we are to try to discover GOD creation.

    At the risk of sounding too existential, your comment on incomplete doesn’t help at all. The fact is, I look like something, and I like some foods and hate others. just because you don’t have knowledge of it doesn’t means I am nonexistent and that I don;t have knowledge of it. Frankly I don’t need someone to come along and tell me what I look like or teach me of such facts(a guru). I have personal and intimate knowledge of this and barring any delusion, I have no burden of proof as to my intimate knowledge. Your view on the other hand seems to state (please correct me if I am wrong) that someone else has to teach me who I actually am and this isn’t support by the Test of Coherence — and this places quite a burden on the Hindu.

    Lastly I think we can agree that, though Christianity and Hinduism have some similarities, they are irreconcilably different and it is the difference that matter.

    • Hoovooloo
    • May 8th, 2008

    A few points, in a somewhat disordered fashion:
    Abiogenesis is not being ignored. In fact, there has been much work on the subject, as a cursory glance at Wikipedia would show (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abiogenesis). However, evolution DOES NOT DEAL with abiogenesis. Evolution explains, and has only ever been meant to explain, how life, after its formation on Earth, has come to be so diverse. Thus, abiogenesis does not refute evolution, and in fact helps show how open the scientific community is–that they are working so hard on this incompletely resolved issue.

    On the note of an ordered universe–consider how vast our universe is. There are seven other planets in the solar system, and many more large orbiting bodies. How many of these planets support life? One. So, while you may consider our presence proof that the Earth was designed for us, I consider the Earth as simply one out of millions, if not billions or trillions of planets in the universe. With those odds, it is quite likely one of them (the Earth) would happen to have all the right qualities to support life. Thus, our existence on this planet is not proof of a creator.

    The third test you apply–asking what experts and eyewitnesses think–is a meaningless test. If someone is an expert, they will have reached this position by analyzing the evidence on the subject. Likewise, if someone is an eyewitness, they are simply providing more evidence, and historically unreliable evidence at that. Thus, any opinion held by an eyewitness is not proof, and any belief held by an expert, whose opinion is to be used as proof, should have evidence to support it. Rather than approaching people and going by their opinions, it is best to analyze the available evidence for ourselves, and thus avoid any intellectual pitfalls. This makes the third test redundant at best, and incorrect at worst.

    Most cases of supposedly irreducible complexity have been addressed (and disproven) by far better people in the field then me, and as there are so many different supposed “cases” of irreducible complexity, I will leave it as an exercise for the reader to Google the proof against them.

    I believe this, in conjunction with the work the deacon has been doing at Evangelical Realism, covers all the major points you had against “naturalism”– as you can see, there was very little evidence against it as a world view.

    Now, on to the Bible, and it’s “truth,” according to your points:
    Point #1: This can be reduced down to “what the Bible predicted, the Bible also says came true.” As such, it is useless in determining the accuracy of the Bible.
    Point #2: A book having a unified theme is no proof of its truth, either. After all, H.P. Lovecraft wrote many novels regarding cthulhu, as an ancient god. This does not make cthulhu real, nor does it make the books true.
    Point #3: Again, the Bible providing a story of creation is not proof that that story is true. If we are saying that Biblical creationism is accurate with reality (which is also debatable), so, too, is Flying Spaghetti Monsterism, as they have almost identical creation stories at a high enough level.
    Point #4: While it may accurately relate some historical events, the Bible is also inaccurate or unable to explain many other events, such as the lack of great flood evidence in geology and fossils. Furthermore, consider that the best historical fiction written today includes as many historically accurate facts as possible, to better draw in the believer to the story. Thus, even if the Bible does accurately relate some historical events, this is not evidence of its accuracy as a whole.
    Point #5: People’s actions are determined by their beliefs. Believes, however, do not determine reality, or else every one of the world views mentioned above would be true, an impossible situation. Thus, people’s actions do not directly indicate truth.
    Point #6: My response to point #5 still stands. Consider, too, that almost every group has fought persecution at some point. Muslims, Jews, Catholics, Protestants. Even scientists were persecuted, by religious leaders that felt threatened (Galileo is a common example).

    These are just my quick responses to your article. Though I may seem a bit harsh, I do encourage all attempts a critical analysis, especially against evolution, as only through discovering, and then resolving, gaps in theories can we deepen our understanding of the world.

    • schooloffish
    • May 8th, 2008

    1. “However, evolution DOES NOT DEAL with abiogenesis. Evolution explains, and has only ever been meant to explain, how life, after its formation on Earth, has come to be so diverse.”

    True that the GENERAL Theory of Evolutions deals with the origins of life, but abiogenesis is the keystone of this theory. It presupposes that life came from non-life – it has to – otherwise the theory would have no foundation on which to stand. True science has been looking into the problem of abiogensis but there are no scientific answers to the question. When there is scientific answer, come back write me then. We are talking about evidence not what scientists are supposedly doing. It doesn’t follow that because science is looking into something that they have or ever will make any progress on the topic. Are you suggesting that I should believe the life came from non-life because science is “looking into it?”

    2. “How many of these planets support life? One. So, while you may consider our presence proof that the Earth was designed for us, I consider the Earth as simply one out of millions, if not billions or trillions of planets in the universe. With those odds, it is quite likely one of them (the Earth) would happen to have all the right qualities to support life”

    Your point seems logical to me, but mathematics and probabilities disagrees with you. This type of logic held water when scientists believed that the universe was infinite. But now that we know it had a beginning, we have a starting point for the math and if the mathematical probabilities put the time it takes for chance to create life longer than the age of the Universe then we have a problem. So what does the math say?

    Here are just a few scientific experts who’s math, I believe, is more important than your assertion.

    a. Prof Watson, In the Journal of Astrobiology: ““Complex life is separated from the simplest life forms by several very unlikely steps and therefore will be much less common. Intelligence is one step further, so it is much less common still,” He suggests an upper limit for the probability of each step occurring ultimately resulting in intelligent life emerging is less than 0.01 per cent over four billion years. How many steps are there? Roughly 322 steps had to occur in order for the Universe to be as it appears!

    b. Nobel Prize winner, Dr. Harold C. Urey: “All of us who study the origin of life find that the more we look into it, the more we feel that it is too complex to have evolved anywhere” (2001 Principle)

    c. Harold Morowitz, a Yale University physicist: estimates the chances of the above scenario taking place on earth as 1 in 10 to the 100th billionth power.

    d. Huge Ross PhD, Ray White PhD III, William C Keel, PhD: “…Less than 1 chance in 10282(million trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion) exists that even one such life-support body would occur anywhere in the universe without invoking divine miracles.”

    READ ORIGINAL ARTICLE FOR MORE DETAILS

    These are just a few of the literately thousands of physicists, biologists, and astronomers who would disagree with your view.

    3. “Irreducible complexity has be proved false”. I suspect you don’t want to address it because there is nothing to address. Your assertion is simply false and unless you can base this assertion on some sort of evidence (even weak evidence), I will just simply ignore it. Simply put it hasn’t been refuted. There have been some organisms that have been refuted, but the theory and proofs of the theory still stand and science has largely ignored this issue.

    3. Your next point, “these don’t prove Christianity true”. This is the same view as my own. I clearly stated that none of the points I made (prophecy, unity, answering the big questions, index to history, changes lives, fighter) show the truth of Christianity, however they are still a valid test to show that it contains evidence of possible truth. Truth should show it’s ugly face through those people who are living it. Taking each point one by one, you can come up with a falsifying statement(story) for each (I can do that) but looking at them as a whole should lead a person to the ultimate conclusion, NOT that Christianity is necessarily true, but other world views are false (or a least can be falsified. I could also hold you to the same standard that you are holding me as what you are saying is nonsensical and completely unhelpful. If the evidence points to abiogensis, for instance, I could simply say, “Just because life can be shown from non-life doesn’t mean it’s true”. Though the statement may BE truthful, it doesn’t help anyone conclude that it MIGHT be true and that the EVIDENCE and not your bias should be analyzed to to to help us better understand if if it MIGHT be true. Whenever I hear the “Just Because….Doesn’t Make it….” argument I know immediately that the one making the claim is more interested in keeping his or her bias than having a meaningful dialog about evidence. This, by the way, goes both ways and most of the time it is my Christian brothers that are saying it. Christians and scientists alike seem to prefer to take the easy way out and make assertions as opposed to searching out the facts. This leads me into my last point regarding to your response to the apparent lack of evidence for the flood. Let me use a common answer from evolutionists when questioned about the lack of fossil evidence — “Just because we haven’t found proof yet, doesn’t mean they won’t.” You wouldn’t dare hold me to a higher standard then the professional scientists who have made that claim — would you? See how nonsensical that sounds? Instead we would have to have a meaningful conversation about the premise of a global flood based on evidence, and textual criticism and come to conclusion that way. As much as I’d love to take on the point, this is a post on world views and not textual criticism so that will have to wait awhile as it is irrelevant to my point.

    • Hoovooloo
    • May 8th, 2008

    What do you mean by no scientific answers? There are scientific hypotheses on abiogenesis, as even a brief reading of the article I linked to would show. Many of the components of the hypotheses have been tested and confirmed. Thus, while none of the hypotheses have been fully confirmed yet, there are several proposed scientific “answers” to the question. I understand that you can claim that this does not mean life did in fact form that way. However, it does mean you cannot claim naturalism wrong on those grounds.

    In addition, simply quoting other people is meaningless, as I mentioned in my previous comment. It is far better for us to analyze the evidence for ourselves. Seeing as current theories propose self-replicating peptides as early life, we can analyze the probabilities of one of these groups having formed–in this case, the Ghadiri group. This is 32 amino acids long, so it has a probability of occurring of about (1/20)^32 or 4.29*10^40. Given the evidence for the concentration of amino acids in the primordial soup, there are 1*10^50 potential starting chains. Thus, about 1*10^31 peptide ligases could be formed per year. Simple life, then, is not as improbable as it may first appear (more can be seen at http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/abioprob/abioprob.html). Thus, there is evidence that the quotes you mentioned are, in fact, wrong, given current abiogenesis hypotheses.

    The “Reason” website you mentioned seems to focus more on the non-biological factors involved in the creation of life. The problem is that they never explain how these factors affect life. Indeed, looking at the titles of the papers they referenced, most do not appear to focus on life at all. In the case of the Oort cloud, if it is modeled as a sphere, ring or torus, its mass and position will have no gravitational effect on bodies closer to the sun than it is. Without a better explanation for why those constants are important, the probability derived from them may be meaningless–we do not know.

    Science has not ignored irreducible complexity. In the case of a heart, there are fish with two chamber hearts, and a human was born–and lived to adulthood–with 3 chambers. For the other common points, coagulation, eyes and flagellum, Wikipedia has good information on how they are, in fact, reducible (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irreducible_complexity). So, while there may be structures for which reducibility has not yet been demonstrated, this seems due to a lack of research, not because the structure is, in fact, irreducible.

    On the note of proving Christianity true–your goal may not have been to prove Christianity true, but your goal was to establish it as more true than the other world views (as you said yourself). However, every point you made to that effect was either circular logic, based on assumptions that were not proven, or could be applied to the other world views. You claim we should analyze the evidence–well, then provide me with the evidence (not instances of begging the question) that the bible, and Christianity, is more accurate than other world views. Without such evidence, you cannot assert that the Christianity is the correct world view. At best, you could assert the Christianity is as accurate as other world views. You also did not respond to any of my points, instead dismissing them as bias and stories. However, since your goal was to demonstrate Christianity’s accuracy versus other world views, any opposing story that also meets your criteria used in evaluating the bible goes to weaken your claim. The fact that you claim you can so readily construct such stories of your own harms your cause, by showing that the bible is just one of many stories for which those six points hold true.

  1. You haven’t got a clue! Go to bible-truths.com to learn what the “TRUE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST” really is

    • schooloffish
    • June 7th, 2008

    Perhaps you can share with us the “True Gospel of Jesus Christ?” It seems to me that the Bible teaches that we are to have reasons for belief. I have made a reasonable case for my trust in Jesus Christ – Your turn!

    • Hoovooloo
    • July 7th, 2008

    I know it’s been a while, but I was digging through my old comments for other reasons, and came across one point in your reply to me that I have seen a lot, and wanted to address:

    “But now that we know it had a beginning, we have a starting point for the math and if the mathematical probabilities put the time it takes for chance to create life longer than the age of the Universe then we have a problem. So what does the math say?

    Here are just a few scientific experts who’s math, I believe, is more important than your assertion.”

    First of all, probability is not certain, by its very definition. So, though there may be one-in-one billion odds of an event happening, that does not prevent the event from happening on the first chance.

    Because of this, probability CANNOT say something is impossible. There is no “problem” as you seem to claim. However, given two events, their probabilities can determine which one is more LIKELY to occur. In order to use the probability of the universe arising from evolution/abiogenesis/Big Bang theory as evidence for a creator, you must also provide the probability of a creator having created the universe, to show that one is more likely than the other. Unless you can provide the mathematical probability of a creator, the probability of the scientific explanation is meaningless in this discussion.

    Oh, and I seem to recall having seen a post on slavery on your blog, but it’s gone now. What happened to it?

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