Re: Self-deception, faith, and scepticism

From: George Murphy <gmurphy@raex.com>
Date: Fri Feb 17 2006 - 08:22:23 EST

In one place Jonathan Edwards said that nothing is "what the sleeping rocks dream of."

Shalom
George
http://web.raex.com/~gmurphy/
  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Alexanian, Moorad
  To: Iain Strachan ; Bill Hamilton
  Cc: David Opderbeck ; asa
  Sent: Friday, February 17, 2006 8:17 AM
  Subject: RE: Self-deception, faith, and scepticism

  What is "nothing"? Humans cannot conceive of nothingness. Try it. That is the reason why it is difficult to develop a theory of space-time. I believe the inability to conceive of nothingness is the basis for believing in the existence of a Creator.

  Moorad

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  From: Iain Strachan
  Sent: Fri 2/17/2006 7:31 AM
  To: Bill Hamilton
  Cc: David Opderbeck; asa
  Subject: Re: Self-deception, faith, and scepticism

  On 2/15/06, Bill Hamilton <williamehamiltonjr@yahoo.com> wrote:

    --- David Opderbeck <dopderbeck@gmail.com> wrote:

> Ok, I think we are on the same page. But about this: "*Apart from invoking
> the fine tuning of the universe (which you could say is a weak form of the
> Intelligent Design hypothesis), there isn't any evidence I can offer him"
> *do
> you mean evidence from natural science?

  Yes, that's what I meant. Hardened atheists seem to value scientific evidence above all other things.

  The point I was making was that, sure you can argue self-deception if what you believe in doesn't have any hard scientific evidence, but that everyone indulges in self-deception - the honest approach to everything seems to lead to despair and dread, as in the case of the poet Philip Larkin, because ultimately you'd never be able to reconcile the fact that you will inevitably lose everything that you gained. Another line in the Monty Python "Life of Brian" song goes "what have you come from? Nothing! Where are you going to? Nothing! So what have you lost? Nothing!", which is a self-deceptive argument, because it ignores the bit in the middle, described by Larkin as "The million-petalled flower of being here". What you gained by being born you are surely going to lose, and in order to survive without falling into despair, you either have to have a religion, or live your life ignoring the fact of the inevitable.

  Iain

   

     There certainly are many more
> evidences apart from natural science that support theism. In addition to
> the argument from design / teleological argument / and cosmological argument
> (which are strong even apart from the particular arguments of ID), there is
> the moral argument, the argument from religious need, the argument from joy,
> the ontological argument, historical arguments concerning the life, death
> and resurrection of Christ and growth of the Church, and experiential
> arguments from the lives of individual believers, among others.
>
    All of these arguments are valuable and should be known by every Christian.
    However, if one of them convinces a nonbeliever, then he simply has made an
    intellectual assent to the existence of God (ala Anthony Flew) Perhaps he will
    take the next step: a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, but just
    intellectually acknowledging God doesn't guarantee it. Here is where personal
    testimony comes in.

    Bill Hamilton
    William E. Hamilton, Jr., Ph.D.
    586.986.1474 (work) 248.652.4148 (home) 248.303.8651 (mobile)
    "...If God is for us, who is against us?" Rom 8:31

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  --
  -----------
  After the game, the King and the pawn go back in the same box.

  - Italian Proverb
  -----------
Received on Fri Feb 17 08:22:54 2006

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