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

From: <>
Date: Tue Feb 21 2006 - 07:39:39 EST

For Don Nield and David Opderbeck

Don Nield wrote:

>Unlike some of the other contibuters to theis thread, I was not referring to the parable of the Good Samaritan. I was not
>referring to the Talmud. I was referring to the writers/editors of Genesis 1, in response to Glenn's claim that Genesis 1
>was either history or falsehood.

I picked up on that and asked if this was in the Talmud.  Would you please tell me where? You didn't answer my question in that regard.

>Glenn is assuming that Genesis 1 is written by God, or it is nonsense -- and if nonsense then anything goes. My
>intepretation is not a a result of being told it by any particular person, author, teacher, or God. It is based on the totality
>of scholarship with which I have come in contact -- and in particular appreciation of various genres --- applied to the
>actual text in Genesis, not what might have been in Genesis.

THis is another of those knee-jerk, non-thinking means of dealing with my questions.  It takes no imagination to say that I beleive that God wrote Genesis, in spite of the fact that I have denied that several times over the years. I do beleive that God INSPIRED Genesis. If God didn't inspire Genesis, then some human did and I would ask why should I believe or be interested in what some neolithic human thought about the origin of the world?  Why should you be interesed in what a neolithic human inspired? Would you answer this last question?

>No, one certainly does not have to be a logical positivist to accept that an oil well is real. I now note that Glenn accepts
>that logical positivism has failed. But that does not mean that the alternative is post modernism. That some things are
>not fully known precisely does not mean that anything goes. The proper postiion for a Christian is that of critical realism.
>There is a real world, but we can have only a limited understanding of that reality. A scientific-historical approach leads
>only to an approximate understanding of reality. One can express some aspects of our understanding of reality in terms
>that are not scientific and not historical. One can express theological truth by means of narratives that are not historical.
>Some things are neither black or white.

Except that I believe the believe-it-even-if-it-is-not-true theology IS a phenomenon of post-modernism. Everybody gets to have their own merry interpretation of Genesis, everyone is  accorded respect for their mutually exclusive interpretations--except of course the YECs who also have a believe-it-even-if-it-is-not-true theology. After all, one can show a YEC how false his views are and he will still believe them. I fail to see an epistemological difference between the two camps.

>One loses all the colour if one classifies tham as black or white. Glenn is wrong in
>saying that his 13+ interpretations are mutuality exclusive and are ad hoc. Rather, they have a common central core of
>truth -- that God created the heavens and the earth.

It would be nice if you would talk to me rather than to the crowd. You can do this by saying "You are wrong..." rather than 'Glenn is wrong..."  To do the latter is to talk about me as if I were some poor unintelligent specimen in a petri dish who can't understand what you are saying about me. I would appreciate being treated as human and as if I am actually here.

Gee, without seeing these 13 you seem to know exactly what they are.  You must have ESP.  But, since I said the 13 were about Genesis 2, which has nothing about the creation of the world but everything to do with the creation of MAN, you clearly don't even read what is written, much less have ESP. I am glad you can tell their commonalities even though you don't read what I wrote or look at what is referred to. That is quite a talent you have. You could make money in Las Vegas.

I guess I am really tired of Christians teaching illogic---on both sides of the divide and not admitting it. I at least will admit where my theories are weak. I haven't exactly seen a rush from the others here to do the same. I would think that most appear to think that they have no weaknesses in their position.


DAvid Opderbeck wrote:

>Glenn, this was interesting for a while, but it's getting tiresome.  You keep mischaracterizing my position -- I never said,
>for example, that a tradition never changes. 
YOu said, and I quote:
"If we assume the Green Slug cult has a similar millenia old tradition and such, then the reinterpretation of the Green Slug myth in light of current scientific knowledge is perfectly consistent, coherent and valid.  Which is exactly my point. "
That statement would imply that if you don't have a millennia long tradition, you can't reinterpret sluggism in an allegorical means.  If you no longer accept this statement please recant. Because:
When I draw the conclusions of what you say, you don't like it. If one is only permitted to use the accommodationalist approach IF and only if there is a tradition of that religion using it, but if not, he is NOT allowed to use it, then you have conceived an unchangeable interpretive scheme whether or not you want to acknowledge it. How is one to introduce new interpretations if the previous tradition didn't consider such issues? Please tell me that and it might clear things up.
>Then you throw around epithets like "silly" and "nonsense," mention your
>studies in philosophy, logic, or whatever else it was you studied, all the while sidestepping any substantive engagement
>with anything I've said.  Typical listserv / blog / web board nonsense argumentation.
Well, you acted as if I didn't know what logical positivism was. I was merely trying to point out that I do indeed know a wee bit about it. So far, I haven't seen substantive engagement. I have seen lawyerly argumentation which requires that no one use anything which doesn't have a previous tradition. If that impression of your approach is wrong, then say so plainly. But I quote you from an earlier post saying exactly that. (see above)
>The bottom line is that though you want to distance yourself from positivism, it seems to me that your arguments and the >Sluggist hypo are classicly positivist arguments of the sort that atheists who've read their Bertrand Russell and Richard
>Dawkins make every day.  If you define all your questions and all the parameters of your questions to get certain >answers, don't be surprised at the answers you get.  If I'm wrong about this, tell me, how do you define truth and what >criteria do you use to determine the validity of a given truth claim?  Are empirically verifiable / falsifiable claims the only
>meaningful truth claims?
I have already said that Godel has shown that some statements can't be proven true even if they are. The same thing goes for theories (See Gregory Chaitin's quite fascinating article in this months Scientific American).  But do you not think that when a statement has empirical consequences we should be able to go check those consequences to see if they actually happened?  That is what I hear you saying.
I would also point out that one can't prove that you love your wife, that you feel happy, that you are thinking about going fishing this weekend or that there is a moon around one of those planets astronomers have found. I do think those statements meaningful  So, you can cease the unthinking attempts to label me a logical positivist.

Received on Tue Feb 21 08:02:37 2006

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