Re: Prove you ate breakfast this morning, John

Glenn Morton (
Sat, 13 Sep 1997 20:25:49 -0500

Hi John,

At 08:38 PM 9/11/97 -0500, John P. McKiness wrote:

>George Murphy responded (Thu, 11 Sep 1997 08:46:32 -0400) to this and I
>agree with him that this is still an approximation and it is an
>approximation of something.

I stand humbly corrected in the matter of general relativity as an
approximation . The devil made me do it.

>In my last post I said:
>>>I feel it is useless to search for evidence of individuals archaeologically,
>>>unless they are significant people in their culture who would leave a trail
>>>of evidence, such as David and Solomon. People like Daniel maybe, if they
>>>were significant enough figures in the society they lived in, but how could
>>>we tell that we found the right Daniel -- he may have had a common name in
>>>the royal court. Abraham and Jesus on the other hand -- I have no
>>>archeological hopes. Paul I believe could be found but I do not see the
>>>need to look of any of the above.
>Glenn replied:
>>Even for people not prominent, you can find evidence that the culture was as
>>described. That is supporting evidence; rational empirical evidence.
>Notice what you have done here Glenn. First, you want me to make a
>statement about the potential success of finding individuals
>archaeologically, now you equate people with culture! I addressed the
>problem of finding evidence of individuals above, now I'll address culture.

No, I was agreeing with you. I know it is unlikely to find evidence of the
personal existence of the widow with whom Elijah lived. But cultural
evidence does attest to the reality of the document. If you find the word
"groovy" said by a character in a novel supposedly written in 1720, I would
say you probably have a fraudulent date.
>I have worked with archeologists and I understand how the discipline works.
>Yes, we can find evidence of a culture but much of the archaeologist job is
>interpretation of the evidence. The archaeological interpretations I have
>been reading concerning David's kingdom, Jericho, and the Exodus is
>certainly different than the Biblical accounts. Our archaeological
>interpretations of Israel in Jesus time is also more in agreement with Roman
>opinion (a dirty, little back water country that is more of a problem than
>it is worth) than with that of the Jews (the close to the center of the
>heart of God).

Therein lies the problem of objective data. IF as you say the archeological
data is contradictory to the Biblical account, they why should we believe
the Biblical account and especially what reason is there to say it is
divinely inspired? Is God unable to inspire truth in an author?

>I agree with you that Christ resurrection is part of the cornerstone of our
>faith, in that it is part of Christ. I also do not doubt the sincerity of
>your statement of nearly becoming an atheist (another faith statement by the
>way) because of the irrational nature of the Flood in the light of human
>reasoning. It is because of this that I continue. As long as you put such
>a high value on human reason your faith will always be secondary and in
>danger. I believe that you (and those who believe they can bridge the chasm
>between faith and science) have taken the humanistic step of making
>something human the final judge of all things. In other words, you are
>saying that if I can not prove god's revelation I will have nothing to do
>with the idea of him. This is part of the mentality that gets us in trouble.

Not prove, support. I said that a few days ago and we need to get that
straight. ONE CANNOT PROVE GOD'S REVELATION. One can support it with data

>John said previously:
>>>If I had been brought up Mormon, the Spirit of God would have to convert me
>>>to the truth or I would be lost. As a Christian, the Mormons understanding
>>>of Christ is not consistent with the Bible, so if the Mormons are right I
>>>pray that God will reveal my error.
>Glenn responded:
>> I have had Mormons say exactly the same thing to me only reversed. They
>>claim that the Spirit of God speaks to them of the truth of their Book. By
>>your standard you can't dispute with them.
>I've been there and done that and disputing with them is a waste of time.

Why? Assume for the sake of argument they are the correct ones and we are
wrong. Is disputing with them a waste of time? See, you have decided that
you will have faith in Jesus, a particular faith. Evidence has no bearing
on that faith anymore than evidence has a bearing on the beliefs of a
young-earth creationist. They also believe what they believe with out paying
attention to the evidence. In my opinion, both approaches, yours and the
YECs is nothing more than deciding a priori what is correct then never
varying or looking back. There is nothing to doubt. I find that truly sad
because the fun is in the struggle to understand things and without any
doubt, one can never grow in his beliefs. It is doubt about our correctness
which spurs us on to solve the problems.

Glenn replied
>>By this solipsistic standard, you can't prove you had breakfast this
>>morning. The poptart wrapper? Doesn't mean you ate the pop tart. Food in
>>your stomach? Doesn't mean it was put there at breakfast. Your wife saw you
>>eat it? One must believe what she "passes down" to me now. Why should I do
>>that? Prove you ate breakfast, John

>I would agree that Thomas' behavior before seeing Jesus was reasonable, but
>that behavior may not be reasonable now in that we appear to have to rely on
>the witness of the apostles and the evidence God gives us through the eyes
>of faith in Christ.

John, I am not going to let go of the breakfast problem yet. By your
definition, everything requires faith and can't be proven. You are
correct, but that trivializes all knowledge. When I read a scientific
report, I have to have faith that the scientist is not making it all up
(some have). If I can only count proven things which require no faith, then
no fact of science is so proven. In that case, there is no distinction
between science and religion. No way to tell a good scientific theory from a
bad one. I can believe whatever I want. Should I dust off my former YEC
beliefs? If not why not?

>>John in 1 John 1:1 says, "That which was from the beginning, which we have
>>heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our
>>hands have touched--this we proclaim concerning the Word of Life."
>>These are all appeals to observational evidence.
>It sounds to me as though I have to accept by faith the statements of
>someone else, this is not an "appeal to observational evidence."

Yes it is, you accept the words of the scientist who writes papers in your
journals. When you read Science or nature, what observational evidence do
you see? Charts? Tables? I can draw pretty charts and tables that have no
observational content whatsoever. Why do you believe the testimony and
veracity of your fellow scientists and not the trustworthiness of the
apostles? Both reports must be believed by faith.


Foundation, Fall and Flood