Re: Only Myths?

mortongr@flash.net
Wed, 10 Nov 1999 19:37:21 +0000

At 09:47 AM 11/10/1999 -0500, George Andrews wrote:
>The disaster inherent in jettisoning the Bible is indeed genuine to the
>communities of faith that base their world views on the Bible. In fact, a
"false
>Bible" - as you view the Bible and define falsehood above - devastates
your own
>faith claim found in your opening sentence. It is such a disaster, as some
Israeli
>officials seem to fear it to be, that constitutes a main point in the
article you
>pointed us to.
>

That is true. But are we to insulate ourselves so much from the truth and
from the data that NO disproof of the Bible, no matter how unhistorical it
is, we still must believe that the religion it advocates is true? To me
that implies a greater disaster--the disaster of rejecting reason itself.
It is the Emporer's clothes syndrome. If I believe hard enough that I have
clothes on, then everyone else will not see that I am naked.
It is the disaster of self-deception. Remember several billion people
believe other religions and they beleive they are right. Since not all of
them can be true, someone around here is self-deceived. To reject
historicity as a measure of truth means the rejection of the only tool
available for self-deception detection!

>But - more importantly - you illustrate my main philosophical concern.
Only to a
>secular thinker, or to a theist who has accepted the secular
presuppositions of
>autonomous rationality, would it appear a positive to find out the Bible is
>"false" - again using a simplistic definition of falsehood. Thus your
>hypothetical above underscores my contention already outlined as follows:
>
>> Such attempts to provide the
>> >Bible with an evidential foundation - as surly concordism does -
actually has
>> >the effect of undermining Biblical truth assertions by conceding the
>> autonomy of
>> >man at the outset; i.e. the notion that human intellect is able to discern
>> >reality without the work of The Holy Spirit ( a la Dutch Reformed
>> Apologetics).
>> >This is the fallacy of the YEC movement too.
>>
>> No, the fallacy of the YEC movement is to preach a false science. The
>> fallacy of the theological liberals is to preach a false Bible.
>
>Taking the word fallacy to connote self dilution, I maintain the false
science of
>YEC is merely a consequence of the more fundamental assumptions I
referred to
>above - coupled with a genuine desire to avoid the disaster of jettisoning
the
>Bible.

I disagree at one point. YECs have already jettisoned rationality. And
your position on reason is very similar to theirs. Like you, they don't
believe in an autonomous reason. They believe that the fall affected
mankind's reasoning ability.

Chittick says:

"The total man fell, and this affected man's intellect and reason as well.
It also caused a series of separations. First was a separation between man
and God. Man has a natural tendency not to do what is right." ~ Donald E.
Chittick, The Controversy: Roots of the Creation-Evolution
Conflict,(Creation Compass, 1984), p. 86

Thus Chittick does not believe in an autonomous reason.

"All other factors being equal, a Christian reasoning from a Scriptural
position, has greater potential for understanding these things than the
non-Christian, who starts the process with a non-Biblical (i.e., false)
worldview. This is due to the fact that the Christian has input from a
source not available to the non-Christian--the Holy Spirit. Jesus taught
that when "The Spirit of truth is come. He will guide you into all
truth...He shall glorify Me" (John 16:13)" ~ John Morris, The Young Earth,
(Colorado Springs: Master Books, 1994), p. 19

This says that fallen man has less ability to see clearly than the
Christian. This is because of the effect of the fall.

"We are not forgetful that physical science is not complete, but is only in
condition of progress, and that at present our finite reason enables us
only to see as through a glass darkly, and we confidently believe that a
time will come when the two records will be seen to agree in every
particular." ~ cited in Samuel Kinns, Moses and Geology, p. 5f. in Alfred M
Rehwinkel, The Flood, (St. Louis: Concordia, 1951), p. XVIII

"Ultimately, the reason Biblical creationists believe in a young earth is
because of Scripture--not evidences outside of Scripture." Ken Ham,
"Demolishing 'Straw men'," Creation Ex Nihilo 19:4, (Sept-Nov. 1997), p. 14

Because reason has already been abandoned, Ham can make the statement he
does. Reason doesn't matter--it is what the Bible say.

As for you, if you don't believe we have an autonomous reason, how do you
know you are not being deceived by whatever outside thing is influencing
your reason? You can't.

I believe there are many YEC who are legitimately using the scientific
>method in attempting to support their theories; whether or not they are
successful
>or whether of not the established scientific community accepts such
theories is a
>different, secondary issue. Ignoring falsification of evidence, which
occurs in
>all camps, I believe it better to classify YEC as poor science.

Unfortunately, there is precious little YEC research of any form. Have you
looked at a Creation Research Society Quarterly lately? I have. There is
nothing but nonsense with no scientific methodology at all.

>
>However, it is not at all illegitimate to return such accusations as you
make upon
>your own attempts at concordism. To claim that the Bible accords with
>neo-Darwinian evolution is deemed by many of us as to be, to use your own
words:
>"preaching a false Bible". I prefer to use my less inclusive verbiage by
>maintaining that your concordistic position is "undermining Biblical truth
>assertions."

We have a choice. We can say that the Bible isn't really telling us
anything historical but is merely telling us moral tales by which we should
live. We can make up a play-science like the YECs. We can pay attention to
the scientific data and concord it with the data from Scripture as best we
can. Or we can simply call the Bible false and go become Bhuddists. Of the
four that I listed (there may be others) I like reality. If it ain't real,
I don't give much of a flip for it. And if I can't tell if it is real or
not (the moral tales option), then it is as useless to me as every other
option.

>
>Again you make my point by listing the Bible along with failed scientific
>theories. Such thinking is a result of your accepting the rationalistic
>presupposition of an autonomy of reason which is a hold-over from the
>Enlightenment; i.e., that humanity is able to discern "truth" from
"falsehood" by
>logic and scientific enterprise. In so doing, you are in contradiction to
St. Paul
>in Romans 1, and have already conceded the apologetic higher ground to the
enemies
>of our faith.

If we can't tell the truth from the false, then we can all go home now.
What is the point of all this argumentation? If you can't tell truth from
falsehood (or think you can) why do you argue against me? Upon what basis
do you think your uncategorized (as to truth or falsity) view is better
than mine? You think your view is true, don't you???? But that contradicts
what you just said. You said you can't tell truth from falsehood. If you
can't please quit bothering everybody with your meaningless gab! We don't
know if it is true or false! Live consistently with your
philosophy--something you are not doing at present.

>
>Your hypothetical in your first paragraph above and your accusation
concerning my
>desires in the last, betray the very problems I have with the evidential
>assumptions inherent in your brand of concordism.
> (i) You speak of the Bible as a coherent whole rather than what it is: a
>collection of manuscripts possessing commonality of subject matter that has
>undergone judicious editing over millennia by different faith systems and
>denominations.
> (ii) You state in simplistic terms that the Bible is either true in
that it is
>devoid of myth and monsters and true in a rationalistic and modern scientific
>sense in that it withstands the scrutiny of higher criticism; or false in
mass in
>the same senses.

Do you believe that what you wrote above is true? If so, how can you know
that when you said humans can't tell truth from falsehood. If you don't
believe it is true, why are you writing this gibberish?

>
>Both of these assumptions are shared by YEC, OEC and your brand of
concordistic
>TE. However, these assumptions are not forced upon a religion that has as its
>foundation a present and abiding personal savior - despite the fact that
precious
>little was written about or by him; not a logically consistent collection of
>sacred writings that fits modern scientific discovery and - most
importantly -
>scientific presuppositions. Such a faith allows for a Bible that is simply
as it
>appears to be: a collection of writings concerning the sacred history of
Israel
>and first century christianity along with Judeo - Christian - Islamic
theology.

Gee, I didn't know that Islam influenced Paul. Where is my history book? I
need to check this out.
>Rationality is indispensable for precision in verbal communication and
>interpretation of sense data; however, it is always a function of the data
set at
>hand and - most importantly - inherently unsuited for discernment of absolute
>certainty about anything (as Russell and Godel have shown us).

And you said this with such conviction and absolute certainty! You are
absolutely certain that mankind can not determine absolute certainty.
WOW!!!!!! I think I detect a certainty in there somewhere. How did Russell
and Godel get this information--through reason or through divine
revelation??? I thought Russell was an atheist who wrote Why I am not a
Christian? Thus divine revelation seems to be unlikely.

glenn

Foundation, Fall and Flood
Adam, Apes and Anthropology
http://www.flash.net/~mortongr/dmd.htm

Lots of information on creation/evolution