Re: Believe it even if it isn't true theology

From: Mervin Bitikofer <>
Date: Sat Feb 18 2006 - 09:53:20 EST

Glenn Morton wrote:

> David wrote:
> >But Rich's statement about Jesus not necessarily being the actual Son
> of God was rather strongly rebutted here, and Rich >himself later said
> he doesn't actually think along those lines, so I don't think your
> observation is correct. Regardless,
> >there's obviously a huge difference between harmonizing general and
> special revelation on non-essential matters such
> >as the means of creation and rejecting for no apparent reason a basic
> and central doctrine such as the divinity of Christ.
> You didn't actually answer the fundamental question. Is it ok for us
> to believe that which is untrue while at the same time telling the YEC
> that he must cease believing that which is untrue? That is a question
> which is separate from whether or not Rich recanted from what he
> wrote. I see the fundamental questions in life revolving around what
> is TRUE, not around what we can ignore and still believe.
> Is it really grand and glorious to believe that which is utterly
> false? If all the Bible teaches us about is feelings and unverifiable
> ditties, I would ask the question of whether or not it is really worth
> much. After all there are lots of books teaching unverifiable ditties,
> like Dianetics, the Book of Mormon, the Lord of the Rings, etc ad
> nauseum And that brings back the question of whether it is ok for the
> great green slug believer to say his religion is true because it too
> teaches unverifiable ditties.
Glenn, I think the notion of 'choosing to believe a falsehood' is a
self-contradiction insofar as it is the 'believer' regarding it as a
falsehood. Certainly we can be mistaken and wrong about something we
sincerely believe, but the same person can't simultaneously believe it
and yet also regard it as a falsehood. We can be torn by wishful
thinking. E.g. a young man can really *want* to believe he is desired
by some young maiden or that he is the most deserving of some promotion,
etc. But deep down he may be uncertain even if he chooses to hide that
uncertainty underneath a calculated display of self-confidence. But,
the extent to which he doubts the truth of a claim is the same extent to
which he is not a believer, and vice versa. The two, in the end, are
mutally exclusive options by definition.

You seem to be implying that YEC really know deep down that they are
wrong. Perhaps some (or even many) do doubt themselves, and they would
be dishonest. But I think you underestimate the power of conviction to
draw us (with utmost sincerity) even to false conclusions. It is only
the outsider to those convictions that can regard them as false or
absurd. If I think of the human race as a fallen species prone to
massive conspiracy and trickery I can safeguard many an outlandish
conviction (questioning the holocaust, the moon-landing, etc.) by
dismissing all contrary evidence as part of the massive conspiracy. It
is easy enough then for everybody else to laugh at the believers, but
the believers themselves are not laughing. In fact they consider
themselves warned about "fools and mockers" -- the Bible has a few
things to say on this score. Just yesterday I listened to an elementary
school teacher exclaim "How can they believe that [referring to the
K-State session exposing the non-science status of I.D. and by
extension promoting evolutionary science over it] when there isn't a
shred of evidence for evolution?" (I'm not sure if that bracketed
summary is fair, Keith, since I wasn't there.) But my point is,
regardless of how incredulous all of you can be that someone can believe
there is ZERO evidence for evolution, she believed it. I heard her
speak it with conviction, and I don't doubt the power of that conviction.
Received on Sat Feb 18 09:58:27 2006

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