Re: [asa] Dawkins, religion, and children

From: Janice Matchett <>
Date: Wed May 02 2007 - 11:12:03 EDT

At 10:11 AM 5/2/2007, David Opderbeck wrote:

>for being a "theology lightweight" (and I agree that he is), Dawkins
>sure does net a lot of noisy attention here. If Pim is his only
>defender present and is not mounting sufficient challenge to
>overcome criticisms, then why all the ruckus? ~ Merv
>Maybe for a few reasons: (1) Dawkins gets lots of public / cultural
>attention; (2) the communities many of us live and work in
>(scientific / academic) give lots of creedence to philosohpical
>materialism; and (3) many of us really have thought carefully about
>atheism and materialism and really are capable of presenting and are
>keen to present reasonable Christian / theistic responses to it for
>the record in this public forum.
>I highlight the last point, Merv, not for your benefit, but for the
>benefit of others who think all of us here are wimps when it comes
>to responding to materialism. ~ David O.

@ "...Furthermore, the contemporary Christian must not only be able
to confidently and lucidly respond to what passes for the fashionable
worldly wisdom of the day, but to confront the enemies of
Christianity with superior arguments, something which is eminently
possible. What is the alternative, being a clown like Pat Robertson
or Jerry Falwell, so people will go on thinking that such bozos are
somehow representative of the intellectual depths of Christianity?

Clement pointed out something that would not be logically proven
until Godel's theorems in the 20th century, that it requires an act
of faith in order to employ first principles of any kind, whether
"scientific" or religious. For example, if your first principle is
that only empirical knowledge is possible, your first principle
cannot be proven empirically. Rather, you take it on faith. Nor can
natural selection prove that natural selection is responsible for the
human mind, any more than DNA can prove that it holds the secret of life.

Clement concludes that "knowledge is a state of mind that results
from demonstration; but faith is a grace which from what is
indemonstrable conducts to what is universal and simple, something
that is neither with matter, nor matter, nor under
matter." ~ 4/30/07

~ Janice ..... "On the Uselessness of Freedom and the Impossibility
of Truth - Since American style liberty was conceived primarily in
negative terms, it is either unappreciated or wasted by anyone
without a spiritual grounding. In other words, our political liberty
is not fundamentally "freedom to" but "freedom from," specifically,
from the coercion of government. However, at the same time, if it is
only freedom from, then it can quickly descend into mere license, or
nihilism, or anarchy. .......[huge snip] ... Once it is forgotten
that knowledge of truth constitutes the mind's freedom, then we will
no longer know what either word means, for freedom in the absence of
truth is absurdity, while truth in the absence of freedom is hell."

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Received on Wed May 2 11:12:55 2007

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