It isn't lying, because lying, to me anyway, means that the person has
set out to purposely deceive. But what very many YECs, in my experience,
practice is an attitude of being "obstinate in error." By this I mean
that they purposely ignore and obstinately refuse to acknowledge clear,
unequivocal contradictory information, and thus obstinately refuse to
correct the erroneous information that they believe and promote.
At my website I have archived a discussion in which the YECs (one a
preacher and on an applied physics professor) put forward the
YEC-honored argument that "evolutionists have no explanation for
short-term comets." Seeing the promotion of this blatant error, I
immediately pointed out that not only do astronomers (not evolutionists)
have a good, reasonable explanation for short-term comets (the Kuiper
Belt), but they have had this explanation since the early 1950s (i.e.,
for at least 35 years), and -- even worse for their YEC argument -- this
explanation had been getting empirical verification, due to advances in
astronomical instrumentation -- beginning in 1992. So did these YECs
practice honesty and acknowledge their error? No, they obstinately
refused to acknowledge in any way whatsoever that their argument was
mistaken. In several posts to the discussion, I explicitly requested
some acknowledgment, any acknowledge of the error of this YEC argument,
and not one of them wrote a word but everyone purposely chose to remain
silently ignorant. I agree that this common YEC practice of being
obstinate-in-error is not lying, but surely it is just as sinful. Though
it is less direct than lying, its results are exactly the same and it
works to do the same thing as lying. Thus, it does indeed "function as a
(That particular discussion about short-term comets begins here:
How YECs get away with proclaiming that the Christian faith of anyone
who does not accept the young earth creationism doctrine is somehow on
an inferior status to those who do accept it, is surely the fascinating,
and destructive, propaganda coup of the YEC movement of the last 30
years. What preachers genuinely preaching Christian morality should be
criticizing is this attitude of obstinacy-in-error. Why aren't they more
outspoken about this? Is personal honesty not that important a part of
the Christian faith? Hmmm...
Todd S. Greene
Would a wise man answer with empty notions
or fill his belly with the hot east wind?
Would he argue with useless words,
with speeches that have no value?
But you even undermine piety
and hinder devotion to God.
Your sin prompts your mouth;
you adopt the tongue of the crafty.
Your own mouth condemns you, not mine;
your own lips testify against you.
Are you the first man ever born?
Were you brought forth before the hills?
Do you listen in on God's council?
Do you limit wisdom to yourself?
What do you know that we do not know?
What insights do you have that we do not have?
— Job 15:2-9 [NIV]
The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge;
the ears of the wise seek it out.
— Proverbs 18:15
The man of integrity walks securely,
but he who takes crooked paths will be found out.
— Proverbs 10:9
How long will you simple ones love your simple ways?
How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools
— Proverbs 1:22
If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall
into a pit.
— Matthew 15:14
Someone might argue, "If my falsehood enhances God's
truthfulness and so increases his glory, why am I still
condemned as a sinner?" Why not say — as we are being
slanderously reported as saying and as some claim that
we say — "Let us do evil that good may result"? Their
condemnation is deserved.
— Romans 3:7-8
###### John W. Burgeson, 8/21/01 12:17 PM ######
PHSEELY wrote, in part: "Although I do not believe YEC's have any
consciousness of lying, because YECism is false, it functions as a lie
and inevitably demands more lies to keep the first lie intact. This
commitment to darkness invites demonic reinforcement."
I am uncomfortable with the words "lying" and "lie" in the above. Being
mistaken about something, and insisting on the truth of something false
as a result, is just being mistaken, not lying. At least in my thinking.
As such, I don't realy see any "committment to darkness" involved, and
certainly no "demons."
Partly I say this because I know Dr. Gish fairly well, have broken bread
with him and Henry Morris, etc. I regard them both as decent, honorable,
moral persons who happen to be wrong on something. By the way, Gish once
said just about the same thing to me in an email a few years ago.
I know you said "functions as a lie," but I really think there is a
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