Re: Only Myths?
Sun, 21 Nov 1999 19:06:10 +0000

Hi George:

George Andrews wrote:
>>>Your concern over a "disaster of rejecting reason" to purchase an
Emperor's wardrobe, is unfounded. Recall that I concluded my previous post
with the following:
"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)."

It is my express intention to undermined any and all FAITH in reason; which
is the essence of rationalism. Such idolatry is what, I believe, Paul was
referring to when he concludes that the cross of Christ is - to the Greeks
of his time - considered as foolishness; which I interpret to read
philosophically unsophisticated and unreasonable. <<<<

First off, Godel didn't show us that we can't have absolute certainty about
anything. That is a solipcist position. Godel showed that for any
axiomatic system there are statements within that system which can not be
proven or disproven. That is entirely different than what you are saying.

Secondly, if you undermine faith in our reason, you can't have rationality.
Rationality is based upon the syllogism being true. You and I have very
different views of epistemology.

George Andrews Wrote:
>>>>The thrust of your argument is that since the YEC position presupposes
the Bible, and they are so prone to improper and poor science, then any an
all who share such presumptions must be wrong. But such a position, apart
from its spurious character, implicates your brand of concordism too! You
merely point out a truth that needs to be highlighted more often: we all
share the same goal of taking the Bible seriously and predicating Biblical
truth to our contemporary world! <<<<

This does not condemn my brand of concordism. You don't understand the YECs
very well. The YECs start with the syllogism that the Bible is God's word.
Then they view that their interpretation of God's word is the true
interpretation. Once they do that, they can reject any scientific data
that contradicts their view because God told them what the truth was. My
brand of concordism starts with the same view, that the Bible is God's
word. I like them interpret the Bible. But here is where the difference
starts. If any data contradicts my interpretation then it is my
interpretation which must be changed. The YECs view their intepretation as
infallible,,God given. I don't view my interpretation in that fashion.

I wrote:
>>>>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.<<<<

George replied:
>>>Precisely; by George :-), I think you've got it! As the Bible teaches,
the human intellect - including mine - is prone to all manner of deceitful
imaginations concerning the creation. This simply underscores the
distinctly christian view that without the present work of the Holy
Spirit, we will believe a lie (Romans 1). Furthermore, since all have
sinned, we all are incapable of obtaining the revelatory truth through any
exclusively human effort.<<<<

THis is the best argument for solipcism I have seen. This is exactly the
YEC view of human reason. They believe that God told them that the earth
was young. Thus any data that contradicts the young-earth MUST be wrong
and MUST be rejected because their reason is incapable of telling them the
truth. So, does any data matter to your interpretation of Scripture? or can
you too reject scientific data when it conflicts with your theological

I wrote:
>>>>Do you believe that what you wrote above is true? If so, how can you
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? <<<<

George replied
>>>> Please note the quotations around the words truth and falsehood. Such
punctuation was meant to convey the usage of these words the naive and
absolute sense you do. It is such naivety and absoluteness that lies at the
heart of the problems I have with much of your way of thinking and cause
you to be so rude in your responses. On that note, Please feel free to not
respond to my posts; if they are "gibberish" and "meaningless gab", then
they pose no threat to you.<<<<

You OBVIOUSLY misunderstood what I was doing. I was applying YOUR
epistemology to your statements and it offended you. It offended you
because you are not living by what you teach. You believe that what you
say is truth, yet you say that truth is not absolute. If truth is not
absolute, then you have no basis upon which to be offended. If there is no
absolute truth, then what I respond to you is ALSO ABSOLUTE GIBBERISH AND
MEANINGLESS GAB. Truth MUST be more than what you say or communication is

Now, I do apologize for offending you--it was an illustration and I wanted
to see if you really believed your statement that truth is relative apart
from the God's revelation. I found out that you really don't believe what
you teach! One can't be offended if one thinks truth is not absolute!

I wrote:
>>>>Gee, I didn't know that Islam influenced Paul. Where is my history
book? I
need to check this out.<<<<
>>>Accept for its sardonic and immature content, I do not understand this
reply as pertaining to anything I wrote above. Allah is the God of the
Bible too and Islam's origins are outlined in Biblical history. <<<<

Allah is the God of the Bible????? I will tell you a story. My wife is of
Lebanese descent and one of her relatives, Munir, was the consul for the
Organization of Arab States. When my youngest was born, Munir came over to
our house and we got into a discussion about what the Bible said about
Jesus. Munir didn't know Islam or the Koran as well as he should have. He
told me the same thing you did. I told him that the Koran quotes Allah as
denying that He had a son. He didn't believe me and said,'I would like to
see that in the Koran.' I got my copy of the Koran opened it to Surrah 4 v.
171 where it says:

"O followers of the Book! do not exceed the limits in your religion, and do
not speak (lies) against Allah, but (speak) the truth; the Messiah, Isa son
of Marium is only an apostle of Allah and His Word which He communicated to
Marium and a spirit from Him; believe therefore in Allah and His apostles,
and say not, Three. Desist, it is better for you; Allah is only one God;
far be It from His glory that He should have a son, whatever is in the
heavens and whatever is in the earth is His, and Allah is sufficient for a
Protector. "

In this passage the followers of the book are christians. Allah says that
he is unitarian and that he never had a son. Munir was so impressed with
my knowledge of the Koran, that he placed me on the Palestinian mailing
list which for years solicted funds from me for the Palestinian war effort.
:-( He invited me to dinners where the politics of the middle east were
discussed and I sat next to a fellow that described himself as a
Palestinian freedom fighter. I told him I felt a bit different about
things--it was an interesting dinner time discussion. I never gave any
money but I bet I am on some FBI list now!

If I recall, the God of the Bible says: This is my son in whom I am well
pleased. You will probably say "Glenn, you think that Allah as described
in the Koran and Jehovah as described in the Bible are different because
you 'naievly' beleive that truth is absolute and have faith in reason."
Yes, if I do away with reason, I can easily accept that Allah and Jehovah
are the same. Silly me.

George wrote:
>>> Yes! It was by the use of Aristotleian-Thomastic reasoning that
Russell showed the inadequacy of basing mathematical proof upon an
axiomatic method of set theory. And in so doing, not only did "arithmetic
became suspect" (paraphrase of ....ah , what was his name? :-) ), but
Russell, inspired Godel to further show - for certain - that in formal
systems, one could never be sure of possessing a completeness in the
axiomatic set that avoids antinomy! So where does this leave us? Contrary
to your sardonic and naive conclusion, their use of reason ironically
refuted rationalism and thereby helped usher in the post-modern age. A
marvelous and inspired feat to be sure! <<<

First not having complete knowledge does not allow us to claim that we have
NO knowledge. This is the error you are making.

George wrote:
>>>Glenn, I am sorry you fell the need to reduce yourself with sarcastic
hyperbola. Again, I would rather you simply ignored this post if it
irritates you so. <<<

I am sorry that you didn't see that I was applying your epistemology to
your own statements. You should occasionally take stock to see if one's
own epistemology undermines his own views. In your case, your desire to
undermine reason means that you can't be sure of what you say. So why do
you say it with such certainty? Are you the only person in the world
immune to being "decieved " by your faulty reasoning ability? If you think
that they there are other problems. By having faith in reason, I do not
undermine the arguments I present. Your lack of faith in reason means that
everything you reason out is suspect---unless you claim an infallible
reasoning ability.


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