RE: CT article: Darwinists, not Christians, stonewalling the facts

From: Glenn Morton <glennmorton@entouch.net>
Date: Sat Apr 02 2005 - 13:59:52 EST

 

-----Original Message-----
From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On
Behalf Of George Murphy
Sent: Friday, April 01, 2005 9:35 PM
To: Glenn Morton; 'asa'
Subject: Re: CT article: Darwinists, not Christians, stonewalling the
facts

----- Original Message -----
From: Glenn <mailto:glennmorton@entouch.net> Morton
To: 'asa' <mailto:asa@calvin.edu>
Sent: Friday, April 01, 2005 6:28 PM
Subject: RE: CT article: Darwinists, not Christians, stonewalling the
facts
 

Of course, of course. I repeatedly emphasize exactly that
presuppositional nature of knowledge - & if I recall correctly have been
criticized by one Glenn Morton for doing so in connection with my
suggested approach to apologetics. & I agree (recalling a discussion we
had awhile ago about Lakatos) that if you're set on maintaining "X%
historical data in Genesis," you can put together ways to defend it -
e.g., by pushing the supposed historical events back millions of years
into the past. But that doesn't do anything beyond defend your hard
core. It's a degenerating research program.
[Glenn Morton]

Any research program in this context can be considered degenerating. I
see nothing objective in your approach either. See below.

As I have always maintained, early Genesis makes theological statements
about the real world. If you don't think theological statements can be
"real" because they can't be tested by scientific or historical means
then you have to say that the statement "Jesus is Lord" is "unreal"
because it (unlike the statement, e.g., "Jesus rose from the dead")
can't be tested by such means - except (a la Pannenberg)
eschatologically.
[Glenn Morton]

The statement "Jesus is Lord" is not a verifiable statement. It is
clearly not in the same nature of statements about something that
affects nature. The Bible could have easily said, "In the beginning God
separated the stars," which would be a valid but primitive way of
describing the Big Bang. But God didn't say that. He said something
else. He said he created the heavens and the earth. How do I know that
Jehovah did it rather than Beelzebub, Allah, or Zeus? Anyone can make a
claim about anything. If the Biblical writers are merely claim makers,
then we have no reason to listen to the rest of their milarky. But the
approach I see taken you your side is that Genesis is saying true
things, in spite of the fact that it is saying false things. To me this
is simply perverse. Things which are verifiable can't be true and false
at the same time.

I will set up another analogy. Years ago there were some Books of Mu
published. They described an ancient civilization which influenced the
world. There is no evidence for this imaginary civilization. It seems
to me that we should reject it as utterly a fabrication rather than
proclaiming it to be deeply meaningful and significant. And we should
not pick and chose things out of those books to say that it tells us
this or that verity about history. To chose individual items out of an
account and say "Aha, that is telling us the truth" while at the same
time ignoring all the false things it says, is to be like followers of
Jean Dixon who remembered her correct predictions and forgot the false
ones. Such an approach is not a 'degenerating research program, it is
already degenerated to the point where one can say, I know it is false,
but it is true non-the-less!

A number of times before I have listed significant claims that Genesis
makes about creation that don't depend on the texts being historical
narrative.
[Glenn Morton]

And the books of Mu make a number of true claims which don't depend on
the text being historical narrative (see below). Your approach leaves us
without a way to determine whether or not ANY of it is more than bunk.

  E.g., God is the sole creator, the world that God has created is good,
humanity is given special honor & special responsibility in creation,
God's intention for humanity is community. (The list isn't exhaustive.)

[Glenn Morton]

And I keep going back to the question, IF the God of the Bible had
nothing to do with the creation of the earth, then his 'claims' are
merely those of a drooling madman who wrote a book which fooled millions
of people. Why should we believe that Jehovah is the sole creator of
the world, that he is good, that he has given humanity anything, much
less honor and responsibility, if He is not really REAL?. If that God
doesn't exist, any claims made in his name are meaningless mumbles.
Your approach, when applied to the books of Mu can lead to us beleiving
that the God of Mu is really the creator. There is no path to
distinguish between the two mumblers.

Using such an approach I can find much which is 'true' in this short
paragraph from the back cover of the Children of Mu

The strange, true story of the pioneers of Mu. According to the back
cover, "Sixty-three million people lived on the now lost continent of Mu
over 200,000 years ago. The children of Mu became the most influential
people on Earth. America was one of the first colonies of Mu...Mu had an
incredibly sophisticated government, flowering of culture and scientific
technology." Much of the Lemurian civilization lived in homes with
transparent roofs. They were free from stress and disease lived to be
hundreds of years old, developing their E.S.P. abilities through nearly
40,000 years of societal practice and experimentation. With that many
centuries of evolution, the Lemurians gained their reputation or
telepathy, astral travel and teleportation - making land vehicles
unnecessary. They were primarily socially a vegetarian, agricultural,
outdoor, organic culture that worked in harmony with nature and the
land, having little use for scientific technology.
http://www.crystalinks.com/lemuria.html

Following the approach I see my less literal brethren take with
Genesis, it is clear that we can't believe the details, but this tells
us deeply signficant TRUTHS about humanity. They are smart, they are
supposed to live in harmony with nature and the land. They travel
around, they have government, and they are fecund, filling a land with
63 million souls. Thus they must like sex.

And this from the same page tells us more truths about religion. This
from book 3 in the series, The Sacred Symbols of Mu. Did everyone know
that the Lords Prayer was first found in the writings of Mu? Wow.

 The book says that "all religions have a common origin in the Sacred
Inspired Writings of Mu. Evidence of this original religion dates back
170,000 years ago. Osiris (who lived 20,000 BC) and Jesus taught
identically the same religion. Both learned from this ancient book.
Moses condensed the forty-two questions of the Osirian religion into the
Ten Commandments. The Lord's Prayer is to be found in The Sacred
Inspired Writings of Mu. Jesus condensed the text to suit the languages
of his day. And the Last Words of Jesus on the cross were in the
language of Mu - unknown in Palestine!"
http://www.crystalinks.com/lemuria.html

What sublime truths are to be found in these books of Mu! Jesus and
Osiris are good buds. None of these statements are verifiable, so they
must have deep meaning and spiritual significance.

 Those are in fact the claims that are significant for our lives today.
The notion that those statements are meaningful only if we can first say
that (e.g.) Gen.1 provides some nursery school version of big bang
cosmology stinks - if I can use your technical term.
[Glenn Morton]

 Without some grounding in fact and observation, your approach is adrift
on an epistemological sea, with no land in sight.

We've been through this many times before. The only reasons I got into
it again are (a) your statement about "putting historicity into Genesis"
made your hermeneutic especially clear & (b) in the context of
discussion about how ASA should try to influence Evangelicals, I felt
constrained to say that your approach to that issue, though perhaps
appealing in the short run, is the wrong one. But you can have the last
word this time.
[Glenn Morton]

I will take it. Without a crystal ball (or irrefutable logic) to tell
you INDEPENDENTLY precisely how much history to put into Genesis 1-11
you are doing the same thing I am doing whether or not you care to
acknowledge it. You prefer less history, I prefer more. But I at least
am honest enough to admit that this is what we must do. Do I want
historicity? YES. Because the alternative is an inability to know
whether or not I am worshipping the Jewish equivalent of the Books of Mu
or I am worshipping the REAL God of creation and history.

And a point you never addressed, how much error must the Bible have
before you say it is absolutely untrue and false? Is there ANYTHING
OBSERVABLE or ANY VERIFIABLE BUT FALSE BIBLICAL STATEMENT which would
make you reject the Bible as false? If not, then you are like the YECs
who don't allow the Bible to be false by denying all science. Like the
YECs you play a game which never risks having the Bible be false. They
play their game by denying the reality of all science. You play yours by
chosing things out of the Scripture which can't be verified and proclaim
them true (no risk of being proved wrong with statements like "God is
the sole creator of the world".) The rest the account, you let be the
mumbles of primitive peoples. But you don't really KNOW those things,
(like, "Jesus is Lord" and "God is the sole creator,") are true, you
just believe they are true, and they can't be true if the whole thing,
from Judaism to Christianity, is farce. Neither approach is fair
because it never allows for the possibility that all of this might be
mere lies and falsehood. A scientist must allow into the game ALL the
possibilities, and not place magnets under the roullette wheel so that
the ball will fall on 42 red every time. Neither should a theologian.
We call it cheatin' here in Texas.

Tipler's statement always comes to mind with theologians who want a
religion which can't be falsified.

     "Of course, the real reason modern theologians want to keep science
divorced from religion is to retain some intellectual territory forever
protected from the advance of science. This can only be done if the
possibility of scientific investigation of the subject matter is ruled
out a priori. Theologians were badly burned in the Copernican and
Darwinian revolutions. Such a strategy seriously underestimates the
power of science, which is continually solving problems philosophers and
theologians have decreed forever beyond the ability of science to
solve." ~ Frank J. Tipler, The Physics of Immortality, (New York:
Doubleday, 1994), p. 7

Where does self delusion start? Where does it end? Such an approach will
ultimately make us the priests and laity of the imaginary.

(How many rounds is this?)
[Glenn Morton]

Probably 53.5
Received on Sat Apr 2 14:00:58 2005

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