Truth… Am I missing something?

WARNING: Underdeveloped rant: still thinking this one through… Help, I wanna know what you think!

Truth: “That which is true or in accordance with fact or reality”

So I’m interested in what people think about ‘the truth’. I reckon Christians need to trust science in a way that doesn’t inhibit development of the human race and atheists need to be open to the idea that they don’t have a monopoly on the metaphysical department.

So I’ve got a couple of assumptions about the truth.

  1. There can only be one truth.
  2. What people believe doesn’t change the truth.
  3. The way people talk about the truth doesn’t influence the facts behind truth.

Almost everyone I know is really passionate about seeking ‘the truth’. Yet people who have found what they think is the truth are ready to stop investigating all the possibilities. Some Christians who develop a belief in God instantly close off the possibility that the world might hold compatible truths. For example at a time when humanity had an underdeveloped understanding of the universe Christians developed a sound theory that the Earth was flat. This was very far from the truth, and it was people who were pro-science who discovered this was in fact not the truth. Mankind is much better off for the discovery of a spherical Earth.

Likewise my experience with atheists is once they come to the understanding that there isn’t a personal God they instantly close off the possibility of a higher spiritual being. At this stage the fact is that it is impossible to categorically prove that there isn’t a spiritual being who created us. Why would anyone who is pro-truth totally write off the possibility of a spiritual aspect to our being?

Just because you’re a Christian it doesn’t mean science is going to destroy your faith . While at the same time scientists need to accept that they really can’t explain everything and still have a ton of unanswered questions about how the world/universe works.

[EDIT: I just thought I’d add as an after thought, the reason I’m passionate about this stuff is not to convert atheists or bully Christians to be pro-science but I have a desire for our whole community to rally together and accept that while there is only one truth, your perception of that truth doesn’t mean that you can make life difficult for others.]

16 thoughts on “Truth… Am I missing something?

  1. “At this stage the fact is that it is impossible to categorically prove that there isn’t a spiritual being who created us.”

    It is also impossible to categorically prove that there aren’t aliens abducting people and probing them in disturbing ways.

    Being unable to disprove something is not a good reason to believe that something. And it’s not how the burden of proof works.

    1. Hey mate, thanks for the comment. I wouldn’t suggest anyone follow a God that they don’t have confidence in. You are right, believing in something because there is a lack of proof is a silly idea, but believing in something because of an inner conviction, or a convincing record, or the personal testimony of someone you trust doesn’t seem as ridiculous to me.

      For some reason, some very intelligent and rational people believe in God despite the lack of proof.

  2. Jonathan says:

    There is a major misconception amongst Christians (and all religious people for that matter) that Atheists are trying to prove that God doesn’t exist. It is (for all intents and purposes) impossible to prove a negative. But the burden of proof is not on the Atheist as we are not asking you to believe anything. It is YOU asking us to believe you.
    The trouble is that ALL your BELIEFS are based on other peoples beliefs. If you hear someone tell a “testimony” you accept it is a TRUTH when it is nothing more than a belief.
    The fact that someone wrote something in Rome in the year 60 AD and you can prove that Rome existed in 60 AD does not lend Truth to the claim that person wrote any more than Harry Potter being set in England lends truth that there are wizards amongst us because we can prove that England exists.

    I have one question for you. What does your God do? When you can answer that in any way besides, “He makes me feel nice!” I will start listening to your claims with some intent. If he is Everywhere, All Powerful and Timeless he should be capable of wonderful things. If he did miracles for a bunch of non scientific people 200 years ago to PROVE he was God, why won’t he do something now. If this is some test for us, then the test should be fair for everyone, it is not. Take your white, Western World beliefs and apply them to the Millions that are dying TODAY in other parts of the world and we end up with ridiculous justifications that God can’t act because of free will or some other tripe like that.

    If he wants a relationship all he has to do is say something. If he want to instigate change there are many ways he could instigate that without hiding from us.

    The only logical conclusion is there is no God and we have been sold a bill of goods that is NOT true.

    As far as the rest of your discussion, I agree. The religious and the non religious should be able to co-inhabit the world without disrespect.

    1. Josiah Jaymes Wilson says:

      G’day Jonathan,

      I think you raise some pretty big questions about God which I think many people share. For many people today the justification for unbelief is that God is distant from the real problems in this world – despite the Christian “tripe” about Him being real and personal. I’ll leave those questions aside for now, maybe someone else would like to answer them.

      The thing I’d like to ask if you identify yourself as an atheist?

      You said,
      “But the burden of proof is not on the Atheist as we are not asking you to believe anything. It is YOU asking us to believe you”.

      Then after discussing your reasons for not believing in God, stated,
      “The only logical conclusion is there is no God and we have been sold a bill of goods that is NOT true”.

      You have made a positive statement about a worldview where there is no god. If you would like others to adopt this position then you also need to provide proof.

      I’m not saying this to dodge questions, or reduce belief to something like, “you just need faith”. There is an assumption that atheism is the default position, and that any other worldview must be examined and tested through the standard that you present. I want to challenge that.

      I think this is clear in your comment, “I have one question for you. What does your God do? When you can answer that in any way besides, “He makes me feel nice!” I will start listening to your claims with some intent. If he is Everywhere, All Powerful and Timeless he should be capable of wonderful things. If he did miracles for a bunch of non scientific people 200 years ago to PROVE he was God, why won’t he do something now. If this is some test for us, then the test should be fair for everyone, it is not”.

      I say this only to make the point that, in your skepticism, you already have a criteria to determine whether or not God is real or not. I’m not saying your questions are wrong. I think they are good questions, and we’ll hopefully get to discuss those soon. Obviously these questions are significant for yourself – but you’re implicitly saying “I’ve already made up my mind on what God should be like if he’s real”. That’s cool. But I’d like us both to be upfront about the assumptions we have in this discussion.

      We both have a worldview, and assumptions about what kind of world we live in. I’m a Christian and that affects how I interpret things. Conversation will begin on the wrong foot if these aren’t acknowledged at the outset.

      Cheers.

      1. Jonathan says:

        Hi Josiah,

        I have only based my assumptions of what God might be on what he has written (we won’t bother addressing that whole fiasco) in his book. I make no claims to what god is like other than what he has said. But if you tell me there is a unicorn in the bottom paddock and by rubbing its horn i will be made wealthy then i would like to be able to see the unicorn and especially the wealth. If i cannot and the wealth does not come i am going to start thinking maybe you had a drink to many at lunch. To talk about a supreme being then have no evidence for him is ludicrous. i personally like the saying, “Extrodinary claims require extrodinsry proof”. Having once been a Christian I know firsthand the personal relationship you have with your god. I would say it is not much different from any religious person from any time. I am sure if we had a time machine we would be able to travel the spectrum of the human timeline and find devout followers of all 10000 gods that have been worshipped. I am positive that if we were standing before the Mayans ( not 100% sure it was the Mayans) about to sacrifice virgins to the volcano god that we would see totally convinced priests who “knew in their heart” that just three more virgins should do the trick. Of course their god was just fictitious, we ALL know that now. But they believed it enough to waste perfectly good virgins.
        This brings me to the point I obviously didn’t make before. You may believe whatever you want. I have no intention of bringing you to my world view other than to say if you believe things without facts to back them up I think you are silly. But it is totally up to you. The only time I will vigorously defend my “belief” in no god is if your religion or someone else’s starts trying to use their made up ideas to control others. Currently Christianity is not doing that so i say let sleeping dogs lie.
        Anyway it all boils down to basics. If you have the power to stop evil and you choose not to, then maybe it is you who is evil. If god is evil then even if he was true, I would want nothing to do with him.

  3. I think the problem is that, a long time ago, people swapped the truth about God for a lie and started worshiping idols that leave no room for God. And then the truth became very inconvenient to them, as they loved their idols, and so they had to create a new ‘truth’ to be able to ignore the old truth.

    I also definitely agree that christians need to be more open to good science, like taking seriously that we have an effect on our environment and to consider our responsibilty to it. Too many christians I know dismiss climate patterns/change completely as if it’s the same hoax as global warming, without taking seriously the actual evidence given to us.
    God is the best tool to understand the world around us. But I would like to shape that idea and add – christians also need to be very, very against bad science, such as human embryonic research. We also need to mesh science and God together in such a way that it doesn’t detract from the personal, creative, loving and purposeful God that God has shown himself to be.
    For instance, so say that man came to being by some evolutionary process, is to rob him of his place as the pinnacle of creation, specifically created by God. If we, as christians, accept this sort of science – what does it say about the God we belive in?

    I agree with your article’s essence, but the problem is that people don’t want the truth. They don’t want God. And if you reject God, sure, you might find out why squirrels store nuts in the summer or discover cool things in the deepest parts of the sea – but that’s not much comfort when you meet the Author of truth.

  4. Josiah Jaymes Wilson says:

    Hey Jonathan,

    Just to restate the point I made in my first post: I am not asking anyone to “just believe in spite of evidence”, neither do I posit that Christianity is true because I “feel” it to be true. So let’s ditch that sort of argumentation. The validity of Christianity is grounded in God who is the source of all truth, logic and reason – so it’s my intent to present a reasonable faith. (I also want to clarify that this doesn’t mean God is subject to human standards or criteria..this will be significant later).

    You said,
    “I have only based my assumptions of what God might be on what he has written…”

    When I speak about assumptions, I’m not just referring to your assumptions about God. I’m also referring to your assumptions about life and the world. You didn’t answer my question in the first post – but from what you have said I gather that you do not believe in any supernatural being. It follows that you assume the world to be nothing more than “matter in motion” – there is no inherent purpose to existence, we are the product of chance and life is as meaningful as you make it to be.

    If you disagree with the above, please clarify – In the meantime I’m going to assume this is your worldview.

    You stated that you have no intention of bringing me to your worldview – fair enough. But that doesn’t give you warrant to believe whatever you like and not expect to be asked for justification. As I stated in my first post – it is fallacious to assume that atheism is the default and any other belief system must provide evidence. We both have a worldview -and you will need to defend your position as much as I. Therefore, in the same way that you will be asking me to provide reasons for what I believe – I’m going to ask you for reasons why you believe. Are we in agreement on this?

    OK now we get to the good stuff. You said,
    “But if you tell me there is a unicorn in the bottom paddock and by rubbing its horn i will be made wealthy then i would like to be able to see the unicorn and especially the wealth”

    You have already made an assumption about what God is like – and what proof of God is like. You assume that proving the existence of God is like proving any other material thing. How do I know there is a box of crackers in my pantry? I have a look, and my senses confirm the existence of the box of crackers. How do I know a stove is hot? I touch it, and my senses tell me it is hot and I react in pain.

    Proving the existence of God is not like proving any other material thing. God is not material. God is immaterial, He is spirit. And so you it is fallacious to argue that God is not real because you cannot “see, touch, taste, smell, hear”. To be sure, God has acted in history in real time and space. But it is not only illogical, it is extremely arrogant to demand that God meet your human criteria for belief.

    You might think this is unreasonable, and dodging the question – but I think you’re on my side on this one. Are there other minds other than my own? Do laws of logic exist? Do names exist? These are examples of immaterial things that most human beings assume to be true. You cannot prove their existence using the 5 senses.

    In the same way, proving the existence of God is not like proving the existence of other material things – to demand otherwise is both illogical (you cannot prove the existence of an immaterial thing by means of the sense) but also inconsistent (because you believe in the existence of other immaterial things).

    This is becoming a really long post but all of this stuff is foundational for such a discussion. This stuff can sound really deep and complex but here’s my summary in a nut-shell.

    We both have a worldview.
    We both have assumptions about the world, life and God.
    In order to avoid the charge of believing things arbitrarily, we both need to provide reasons for our beliefs.
    Proving the existence of God is not like proving the existence of material things.

    I’m going to cut here, and start a new post below where I’ll present my “proof” for the existence of the Christian God.

    1. Jonathan says:

      Hi Josiah,
      Wow you have made some incredible leaps.
      Lets start by clarifying that yes I do believe we are here from nothing more than chance. We are a species evolved from other species in a long line right back to primordial goo.
      The “good” science is in that we share 98% of our DNA with chimpanzees and 35% with a lettuce. We are an evolved species. We are at the end of a line of species that if there were a creator he must have been a bumbling baffoon. Out of all the species to walk,swim or fly this planet only .2% survive. As far as i can see, there is no evidence of a loving, caring creator who designed us for his glory and wants a relationship with us.
      As Tim Minchin says, “we are an insignificant piece of carbon, floating in an insignificant corner of the galaxy which in itself is pretty insignificant. ”
      An atheist can not prove there is no god. Asking us to is ridiculous. I cannot turn to you and say,” I know you don’t think there are fairies at the bottom of the garden but prove it to me that there are not or you have to believe what I believe!” That is crazy.

      If God exists and interacts with this world he would leave a trace. Now you can argue he is immaterial and therefore doesn’t and that just ends the argument. I disagree. In EVERY other point in our lives we opporate on the platform that things are only true if we can prove them. As to your suggestion that names, minds and laws of logic exist but we can’t test them I total disagree. All of those things can easily be tested and therefor found to be something or do something. To conclude this point I will say that if god is here and he interacts with us he would leave some trace. So your only argument from here is that god wishes to stay hidden ( for whatever good that would do). This of course flies totally in the face of the bible where he give proof many times. But none of this proof is available for inspection today. Convenient.

      Continued after your next post

  5. Josiah Jaymes Wilson says:

    This is part 2. It will be short.

    First I want to say that I believe Christianity is true, from a personal point of view, because God has made himself known. I believe that Jesus really died on the cross and rose again from the grave. I believe that he payed the penalty in my place, and now God has changed my unbelieving heart so that I will trust in him. This is, of course, subjective to me, but I say this because it is true of every other Christian. Although we’re debating this topic, people don’t get saved because they “figured out the truth” or because they “weighed up the evidence”. God might use discussion like this, but really it’s the Gospel that saves.

    However, my “proof” for the existence of God boils down to the fact that I believe Christianity is the only belief system that accounts for life and the world. That is, the Christian worldview fulfills the preconditions for existence and making intelligible sense of the world.

    For example, I believer there are objective moral laws. I think the unjust taking of life is absolutely and objectively wrong. Murder is not wrong just because the majority say so, or because I am personally offended by it. Murder is a violation of nature, and even if the majority thought it was right – it would still be wrong.

    Which worldview can account for this reality?

    Atheism can’t. If I am just a product of chance and nothing more than matter in motion, then on what basis is murder objectively wrong? You might say, “that which hurts people is wrong”. But why is hurting people wrong, in an atheist Universe? You might not like it, but that doesn’t make it objectively wrong. To say otherwise is akin to, “I don’t like eating chocolate ice cream – therefore it is objectively wrong to eat it”.

    Christianity can account for why murder is objectively wrong. Murder isn’t just a violation of creation, it is a violation against the Creator. God made human beings and is not our place to take life unjustly.

    My point is that Christianity is the only worldview which can give an objective basis for why murder is wrong. Therefore, my argument for the existence of God is the impossibility of the contrary.

    If objective moral laws exist, then God exists.

    But I’m arguing for more than just moral laws. Laws of logic and the Uniformity of Nature (or scientific inductive principle), cannot be justified apart from the existence of God.

    So my “proof” is that God is the ground for all intelligibility, and you cannot account for things like objective moral laws outside of a Christian worldview.

    I’ve tried to be fairly coherent here, but it’s not easy working in the confines of a blog. Looking forward to your response…

    Josiah

    1. Jonathan says:

      Hi there Josiah,

      Your first point here is totally subjective. It is your belief which has no more validation than, ” Other believe it so it must be true!” Man, I am sorry but that’s childlike. Do I need to list the things that lots of people believed that we now know are not true?

      One of the reasons I stopped being a Christian was when I realised that Christians do not believe the same things. If fact if you line up 10 Christians from the same church they will believe different things. How can you all worship the creator of the universe and have a personal relationship with him and still believe different things. That’s just stupid. All three of my young children believe almost exactly the same thing. Because I DO talk to them and have a relationship with them.

      As to Christianity being the only filter to observe the world through that’s crazy too. In fact I would say Buddhism or Zen provide just as made up filters as Christianity. They too offer reasons for why we are here and how we got our morals and how to live life. In fact there have been around 10000 religions up to now and most have had a significant following in there time.

      You say that Christianity offers a objective basis for which murder is wrong. I would ask first, ” Is it ?” I can think of many times that murder is perfectly acceptable to my worldview. Personally I would like to see a bit more of it. Anyone who sets an 11 year old girl on fire and kills her because she was going to tell others that he raped her, deserves to die. We have become a politically correct abomination.

      Also on the above point god is the biggest murderer of them all. Ordering genocide, war and murder. Even to pay the price for your sin he could not work out a better way than ordering his son to be killed. Ridiculous. This is just the writings of a barbarous middle eastern peasant who thought that this is what a god would be like. On top of that most of it is not even original. Almost every story in the bible was copied from earlier writings.

      As to why humans inherently believe that murder is wrong I would say that it is nothing more than conditioning by being in groups. It turns out to make sense not to kill everyone. It makes sense not to rape your little girls and steal your neighbours cattle. This is just logic. A group of people working together can achieve more than individuals working alone. That’s part of evolution. It does not require a god any more than the tides do. Study of any primitive society that is not Christian will have similar base laws.

      As far as uniformity of nature, sorry but evolution has that covered as well. The universe is ordered. That does not mean there was someone to make it ordered. It just means that it is. We see natural selection account for all the transitions of animals, some of it good and some not so. We see the mistakes in the evolution of animals like the giraffe and the emu. Please don’t look at something intricate and wonderful and just because you don’t understand it spew out the words, “it must be god that did it”. This is the curse of humanity that we want everything explained. Some things can’t be explained just yet. Will we get there, I think so. But do we need to say a god did just because we can’t explain it, certainly not.

      If he wants credit for something tell him to go fix the problems in his “CREATION”. Start by feeding some people and then heal some then tell everyone which is the right religion. Am I telling god how to act? Sure. If he was real I am sure I wouldn’t have to.

  6. Josiah Jaymes Wilson says:

    Hey Jonathan,

    You said,
    “An atheist can not prove there is no god. Asking us to is ridiculous”.

    I’m not asking you to prove the non-existence of God. I’m aware of Russell’s Teapot. What I’m asking you to do is provide justification for your worldview – a world of chance which is without purpose and without meaning. But human beings behave as if there is meaning in life, human beings act as if there are objective moral values, human beings assume that whatever is true of the past will be true of the future (uniformity of nature). My thesis here is that your atheistic worldview cannot account for these things. I’m going to zone in on the morality one, because I think it is more tangible and easier to interact with.

    You said,
    “If God exists and interacts with this world he would leave a trace. Now you can argue he is immaterial and therefore doesn’t and that just ends the argument. I disagree”.

    No where did I state that God as an immaterial being removes the demand for proof. I have said that the nature of the evidence changes. Thus, I’m not presenting empirical proof for the existence of God (God in a test-tube). I believe discussion will progress by examining worldviews, so the question I’ll keep coming back to is which worldview most consistently accounts for the realities of life? Which worldview makes intelligible sense of our existence?

    These are my only clarifications, now I’ll interact with some of your arguments.

    You said, “As to your suggestion that names, minds and laws of logic exist but we can’t test them I total disagree. All of those things can easily be tested and therefor found to be something or do something”.

    Please prove to me that laws of logic exist. Feel free to post a photo or whatever. I want empirical evidence that laws of logic exist.

    I would suggest that laws of logic, by definition, being immaterial and conceptual in nature, cannot be proven with the senses. On what basis do you uphold the existence of something you cannot see? No, you and I cannot prove that laws of logic exist using the senses. We assume their existence. But can your worldview account for such an assumption?

    I’d argue that you actually have no grounds to assume laws of logic exist. You have already stated you believe in a chance universe. In a chance universe, what makes you think things will behave consistently? Why do you so confidently go about your day-to-day tasks like send a text, or start your car, or respond to an online discussion – and assume that there are laws of logic operating there (Namely, the law of identity – phone, keys, computer)

    In a chance universe you have no basis to uphold such consistency. Therefore, your behavior is inconsistent with your assumptions about what this universe is like. My worldview can account for your behavior. God created this world with purpose and order. Laws of logic reflect the character of God who is the source of truth and logic.

    I’ll respond to your second post below.

  7. Josiah Jaymes Wilson says:

    You said,
    “Personally I would like to see a bit more of it (murder). Anyone who sets an 11 year old girl on fire and kills her because she was going to tell others that he raped her, deserves to die. We have become a politically correct abomination.”

    I would differentiate between murder and killing. Murder is the unjust taking of life. I believe it is right for life to be taken when it is done within the bounds of justice (I endorse capital punishment), but I do not consider this murder.

    But to take your above example. Clearly rape is offensive to you. Is it wrong? Should rapists be punished for their crime? On what basis is rape wrong? You previously stated that humans are “an insignificant piece of carbon, floating in an insignificant corner of the galaxy which in itself is pretty insignificant. ” In this worldview, rape is just an insignificant action happening in an insignificant world. So you actually don’t have any grounds to believe rape is objectively morally wrong. Actually, given your atheistic worldview, rape is not only insignificant – it may actually be desirable for the furthering of my own species. In an atheistic universe humans operate to protect themselves and ensure their own survival. Rape is a good way to ensure that you’re going to have offspring.

    This sounds sickening. And it is. These are the implications of an atheistic universe – a world of chance and meaninglessness. Given your assumptions about the universe, not only do you have no basis to assert any moral objectivity – your worldview actually lends itself to action and behavior that most find repulsive (and I’m assuming you do too).

    I think this hits closer to home. Which worldview accounts for your disgust towards rape? What grounds do you have to assert that rape is morally wrong? Again the Christian worldview can account for moral values. There is meaning and value in human life. The fact that we are so willing to defend – and die – for that truth is proof that there is more to this world.

    So far I’ve zoned in on laws of logic and moral values as the foundation of my argument for the existence of God. To restate my case, I’m asking which worldview fulfills the necessary preconditions for meaning and intelligibility. Your atheistic worldview would give me no grounds to assert there is consistency in this world and that the laws of logic exist. Your atheistic worldview cannot give a basis for why rape is morally wrong.

    The Christian worldview does. And God stepped down into this world where people reject him under the guise of intellectualism – Jesus died on the cross for sinful people like me and you. And yes, God was determined to rescue people by means of a terrible crime such as crucifixion, Yet Jesus layed down his life willingly, because through his death and resurrection we can be made right with God again.

    1. Jonathan says:

      Hey Josiah,

      Well lets take it paragraph by paragraph.
      I am surprised that you feel that living in a world of chance is living in a world without meaning. I have enormous amounts of meaning in my life. You seem to believe that there can’t be meaning unless a “thing” made everything. I would answer that if we have evolved on this rock then it makes total sense that things on this rock have meaning to us. If we have evolved to live in groups (for all the advantages that gives us) then groups have meaning to us.

      To see things that look like they are designed and then to jump to the that they are is just poor brain work. I certainly understand that people in the dark ages just had no idea about much at all so it was far simpler to pass it all onto some super-brain that made it all. Thankfully we have a developed science now that shows us that much of what we believed could only be done by God was in fact just nature.

      You seem a tad hung up on Uniformity of nature. I accept your definition of, “human beings assume that whatever is true of the past will be true of the future” but see no real importance to your use of it. Most things we do today will be based on past experiences. This is how we have evolved. The idea of “Correlation of Causation” also is strong in human beings. It served us well for all the time we were living in the wild but it is also has flaws in todays world. However it can help us understand why we believe certain things. Part of intelligent inspection of something is to remove ourselves from the Beliefs we have and look at what is. It may not be right to expect the car to start today just because it did yesterday – BUT it is the most sensible belief. If it turns out not to start, then we can address that.

      To say that Atheists shouldn’t be upset about rape or murder is just one more crazy statement from the depts of thoughtlessness.

      As I said before, I believe we have developed “morals” to increase the functionality of the group. The fact of HOW we developed morals is the question. There is definitive proof that Atheists commit the same amount of wrong as the religious do. (Actually the religious commit more crime but I would suspect that is probably due to the fact that a larger proportion of people still call themselves Christian when in fact they are not.) Both atheists and religious people have morals. Tribes who have never heard of the God of Abraham still have morals and forms of conduct.

      I would rather ask that if God did set out the LAWS of morality then why cant he make it stick? How could Angels ever rebel against God? How could Lucifer, Gods most trusted angel, turn from God “become” evil. Why would God wipe out all of Humanity in a flood to “cleanse the earth” leaving only one “JUST” man (although no one is or ever has been just besides Jesus – oops) only to have it all fall to pieces again within a very short time. It doesn’t MAKE SENSE! Does he know everything or not?

      The laws of logic are just a set of principles to run an idea by. I am not a philosopher so am not versed in all of them but I am sure you understand some of them. As you well know you can not photograph them although we could write some down and take a picture. But they still exist for daily use. You don’t have to see them to know that they work and actual are useful. You can use them to make decisions and live your life by them if you choose to.

      You keep saying that Your World View holds all the answers to life’s little problems. I totally fail how you can come to that conclusion. I would not argue for a second that the bible does not have great wisdom in it. I personally believe that is has some of humanities best wisdom in it. Hence its perseverance in the world. But to jump to God wrote it and therefore it is all true is ridiculous. You have no evidence of that. So to keep sprouting that your world view has all the answers is silly also. Your worldview is based solely on a book that has many flaws, contradictions and outright crazy things in it along with some good bits. You say that, “God created this world with purpose and order. Laws of logic reflect the character of God who is the source of truth and logic.” Which is the same as saying, God Created the world so I win. You cannot prove that God created the world. You cannot prove that God interacts with the world. You cannot prove that God cares about the world. In fact I would say all the evidence we can see points to a God (which i don’t believe there is one but if there was he must be a mean one) who has no cares for the world. Of course at this point you will drop in the old, “ah yes but that is Sin that lets the world fall into disrepair!” and I will answer, “What a load of hogwash!” Around we go again. For God not to have the power to best sin and bring the world into alignment means that he is not powerful enough to be god. For God to persist in this world as it is now waiting for some point in which to return (2000 years so far) is just stupid. What could he possibly gain by letting Billions die from hunger? What could he possibly gain by letting Billions have their free will taken from them by rape, murder etc. What would he possibly gain by letting everyone but a very small group go to hell? Doesn’t he have enough “friends” now to keep him company in heaven? My goodness this is just crazy.

      1. Jonathan says:

        This will be my last post. We’re going backwards and forwards and around in circles and ultimately I can’t see that it will achieve anything of any real use.

        You talk about atheists having no morals and therefore accepting rape as a possible way to further the species. Once again you’re falling into the same Old argument that all morals come from God. The fact that we are an insignificant piece of carbon on an insignificant world in an insignificant galaxy Does not necessarily mean that we as human beings are insignificant. I personally found this journey of realising that I am not really that important a great equaliser in the way I looked at the world. It helped me realise that I am no more important than an ant or than a dog or any other animal or plant on this planet. It helped me realise that there is no reason to blame God for why things happen and that if things are going to change in this world it will be ultimately up to us to do the things to make the changes.
        The fact that I have now removed myself from the pinnacle of creation, created by an almighty all-powerful God, to be his long lost son, to be granted riches and eternal life, has liberated me and made me actually think. Not acting like an inheriting child, all full of my own self-importance and ultimately doing nothing and telling others what to do.

        Again you keep talking about your world view. I see no difference between your worldview and an aboriginal elder telling stories of the great Rainbow Serpent that came down from the sky and made all the fields And the water and the food. Your worldview makes no more sense than this story. They both explain how things happened but neither have any evidence or actual proof attached to it.
        If all you want out of life is to have a nice little story that ties all the lose ends together and makes you feel yummy in your tummy then Christianity might just be the correct thing for you. But for those of us who actually want to find the truth, we are not satisfied with reading 2000 year old books with made up stories in them, written by people who were barely educated and had almost no understanding of the world around them. In all of these posts, Josiah, you have not once given any evidence whatsoever that the Bible is true, that God is true, or that he actually does anything in this world. All you’ve done successfully is argued strawman arguments about not much more than philosophy and beliefs in stories.

        I wish you the best of luck in pursuing your truth however I am done with this discussion as I said before I can see no good coming from it. Many thanks for your time, I appreciate your efforts and hopefully might catch up for a beer sometime.
        Cheers Jonathan

  8. Josiah Jaymes Wilson says:

    Hey Jonathan,

    Thanks for engaging on this. I’m enjoying the discussion so far.

    You said,
    “I am surprised that you feel that living in a world of chance is living in a world without meaning.”

    You have misunderstood me. No where have I said that you do not find meaning in life, or said that you have no moral compass. I acknowledge that you think human life is valuable, and worth preserving. I know that there are human atrocities (and from your point of view, divine atrocities) that offend you. I’m not challenging that.

    But that’s exactly my point.

    How can you account for such convictions? You think it is reasonable to find meaning in life, because this is all we have and we’ve evolved here – so why not make the most of it? These reasons are persuasive to you, and maybe many others. But these are subjective convictions. Another person who shares your worldview looks at the world, sees that this is all we have and decides to make the most of it. So this person murders and rapes in order to enforce his own superiority and survival. Now you think this person is wrong. But why is murder and rape wrong? Can you objectively tell this person they are committing evil? Or are you merely saying, “I don’t like what you do”?

    So my point is that your beliefs about this world cannot account for the moral values you desire to uphold.

    I’m quoting you when you said, “we are an insignificant piece of carbon, floating in an insignificant corner of the galaxy which in itself is pretty insignificant”.

    I’m gauging from your following statements that you stated this was a way deflating human arrogance in thinking that we are super-important. I know that, for you, this doesn’t give ground to go killing people and do whatever you want. But someone might. And it stands to reason that if human life is ultimately insignificant, then there isn’t any reason to care about human life – then this might be good reason for someone to do whatever they like, even at the cost of hurting others.

    I’m pushing this hard because I see the inconsistency in your actions and your beliefs. You DO value human life. And you DO have a sense of right and wrong. But you cannot account for why we should believe right and wrong. In fact, there are GOOD reasons to DO evil within the framework of your worldview. Thus, I’m affirming your actions – but I strongly disagree with your beliefs.

    I’m arguing the same point with uniformity of nature and laws of logic. I’m not disputing that you uphold these things. I’m challenging whether you can provide a basis for humans to behave morally, act logically, and assume consistency in a world of chance.

    Now, I realize that all of this does not automatically make me right. We could both be wrong here. But before moving to my worldview, and assuming you want to continue this discussion, I wanted to show you that atheism is not the default. It is my observation that too many atheists assume their worldview is the baseline, and any other belief system can only be considered “true” if it passes the tests that the atheist worldview sets. For Christianity to be true, God has to meet your criteria. (I think you’ve shown this by assuming that the only valid proof for God’s existence is empirical evidence). I’ve tried to challenge that assumption by showing you that your own criteria is not as certain as you think.

    So I’m revealing my hand here. In this short discussion it is not my aim to deal with every possible religion you throw at me. Though I would be happy to pick up on this point later. It’s my conviction that the Christian worldview can account for the realities in this world. I’ve said from the start that I want to be honest with my presuppositions. I’m asking myself the question, can the Christian worldview make sense of how we view the world? Can the Christian worldview account for my assumptions about the reality of our existence, moral behavior, consistency in the natural world and laws of logic? I believe it does, and the reason I am a Christian – and not a Muslim – is because I believe Christianity consistently accounts for these things. Now I know these are blanket statements.

    If you want to talk further I’d like to answer these questions, as well as questions about human suffering and the things that God does in the Bible which you don’t like. I think this really where the action is at. But I’ve decided not to start with these because the answers to these questions only make sense within a Christian worldview.

    Which is what this is all about. Worldviews and assumptions. I’m presenting the God of the Bible as the way we can account for the realities in this world. I’m presenting that, understood on HIS terms and not OURS – God is a loving God who Created human beings and gave us life. He is a just God who demonstrates how serious crime is by giving us His law. He is a merciful God who does not completely destroy human life – although this would be just. He is a forgiving God, who had an eternal plan to bring broken humans back to himself. And He did this through Jesus’ death and resurrection.

    This is undoubtedly familiar to you given your past – but at the heart of our human complaints we are confronted with just he self-centered, self-righteous and ego-driven we really are. If God exists, we want him to cater our desires. Meet our criteria.

    I’m not saying I can answer every question. But I believe God is trustworthy, and God has proven his faithfulness over thousands of years of human rebellion (The whole OT).

    It’s for these reasons that I am convinced Christianity is true, and best accounts for how we view this world.

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