Reformed Chicks Blabbing

Reformed Chicks Blabbing


The Doug Wilson and Christopher Hitchens Debate at WTS

posted by Susan Johnson

I finally got around to getting a link to the debate between Doug Wilson and Christopher Hitchens at Westminster. You can listen to the introduction by Professor Scott Oliphant here, the debate here and the Q & A here.If you missed it, Christianity Today had some behind the scenes posts here and here are various links that they put together related to the debate.And for those who missed it, the trailer for the documentary on the debates between Hitchens and Wilson:



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John

posted November 16, 2008 at 9:54 pm


Doug Wilson is so incredibly long-winded and full of himself that it took nearly twelve minutes before Christopher Hitchens even gets to speak. And even if you don’t share Hitchens’ atheism, and I certainly don’t, the notion that individuals might do the right thing without a tyrannical God threatening them with punishment bears consideration.



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Michele McGinty

posted November 16, 2008 at 10:29 pm


But what is considered the right thing?



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John

posted November 16, 2008 at 11:39 pm


That’s an excellent question. Hitchens would say that we just know because we are “moral.” But is that so different from we know what we should do because we read the Bible in a certain way?



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Rob

posted November 16, 2008 at 11:46 pm


And to be fair, as I am listening, Hitchens is even more verbose….



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Boris

posted November 17, 2008 at 10:43 am


Hitchens destroyed Wilson in this debate and question and answer session. Anyone who could listen to this debate and still be a Christian ought to have their empty head examined.



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Daniel

posted November 17, 2008 at 3:50 pm


Hmmmm….the truth won out here. Mankind is without excuse…our Creator is so far above us though, so its kind of humorous to see people talk about right and wrong as if they can easily grasp what it exactly is.



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Rob

posted November 17, 2008 at 4:39 pm


But whether we “understand” right and wrong or not, we are judged. Hardly seems fair, does it?



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Moonshadow

posted November 17, 2008 at 6:15 pm


Does Christopher say in this or any debate why he hasn’t changed his Christian given name? Would it be superstitious to drop it? No doubt I’m being petty but I’m actually also curious.



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Rob

posted November 18, 2008 at 12:07 am


“Christ-topher,” friend of Christ?



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Michele McGinty

posted November 18, 2008 at 6:57 am


“Hitchens would say that we just know because we are “moral.” But is that so different from we know what we should do because we read the Bible in a certain way?”
But where does morality come from and what does it look like? Any answer you can give comes by way of Christianity.



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Michele McGinty

posted November 18, 2008 at 7:04 am


“Hitchens destroyed Wilson in this debate and question and answer session. Anyone who could listen to this debate and still be a Christian ought to have their empty head examined.”
Read Reasons for God and then maybe you’d have a better understanding of why we believe.



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Boris

posted November 18, 2008 at 11:59 am


Michelle babbled: But where does morality come from and what does it look like? Any answer you can give comes by way of Christianity.
Christianity did not invent morals. Christians have been on the wrong side of every social issue for the last 2000 years. Christian morality is what led to the Inquisitions, Crusades, witch burnings, the Holocaust and centuries of fighting against scientific and social progress.
“The influences that have lifted the race to a higher moral level are education, freedom, leisure, the humanizing tendency of a better-supplied and more interesting life. In a word, science and liberalism… have accomplished the very things for which religion claims credit.” E. Haldeman-Julius
Michelle, I know why you believe what you do. Because some other PERSON convinced you the Bible was true and you would be punished eternally with unbelievable violence if you did not believe them. The jokes on you. That’s what you get for listening to other PEOPLE talk about things they cannot know.



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Michele McGinty

posted November 18, 2008 at 12:53 pm


“Michelle, I know why you believe what you do. Because some other PERSON convinced you the Bible was true”
Oh? Who was that?



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Michele McGinty

posted November 18, 2008 at 12:57 pm


“Hitchens destroyed Wilson in this debate and question and answer session. Anyone who could listen to this debate and still be a Christian ought to have their empty head examined.”
What do you think that Hitchens said that would make you think he destroyed Christianity enough that we should believe him when he says God doesn’t exist? I listened and didn’t hear anything that would cause me to walk away from Christ.



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Boris

posted November 18, 2008 at 12:57 pm


I don’t know who converted you Michelle. Was it your parents or someone else? It doesn’t matter, it still was a PERSON who frightened you into believing what no rational person ever has.



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Boris

posted November 18, 2008 at 1:07 pm


Michelle said: What do you think that Hitchens said that would make you think he destroyed Christianity enough that we should believe him when he says God doesn’t exist? I listened and didn’t hear anything that would cause me to walk away from Christ.
Boris says: It doesn’t matter what Hitchens said to you because your mind is made-up, slammed shut. But Hitchens pointed out that the Bible is full of errors, bad science, dangerous dogma and is a man-made and socially constructed book. Anyone who claims to get their morals from this highly immoral book is themselves highly immoral and likely very dangerous, not to mention superstitious and childish. Hitchens opponent was reduced to a babbling idiot and a liar, in other words he was exposed as a typical undereducated fundamentalist wacko. It’s pretty obvious Hitchens is a smart guy and this Williams guy is an idiot. This is why debates like this are so rare. The Christians always lose them and look foolish even to many of their own. But not closed-minded people like Michelle.



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Moonshadow

posted November 18, 2008 at 8:29 pm


“Christ-topher,” friend of Christ?
“Bearer of Christ” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Bosch65.jpg
Like someone who brings Christ to someone else.
Anyone who claims to get their morals from this highly immoral book is themselves highly immoral and likely very dangerous, not to mention superstitious and childish.
So Hitchens appealed to Pride? I don’t see a humble Christian necessarily succumbing to an appeal to pride.



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Boris

posted November 19, 2008 at 11:55 am


Moonshadow,
It is not accidental that Christianity regards pride as a major sin. A man of self-esteem is an unlikely candidate for the master-slave relationship that Christianity offers him. A man lacking in self esteem, however, a man ridden with guilt and self-doubt, will frequently prefer the apparent security of Christianity over independence and find comfort in the thought that, for the price of total submissiveness, God will love and protect him.
In exchange for obedience, Christianity offers salvation, that there is something to be saved from. Christianity has nothing to offer a happy man living in a natural intelligible universe. If Christianity is to gain a motivational foothold, it must declare war on earthly pleasure and happiness, and this, historically, has been its precise course of action. In the eyes of Christianity, man is sinful and helpless in the face of God, and is potential fuel for the flames of hell. Just as Christianity must destroy reason before it can induce faith, so it must destroy happiness before it can induce salvation.
The fundamental teaching of Jesus-the demand for conformity thus gives rise to a fundamental and viciously destructive teaching of Christianity: That some beliefs lie beyond the scope of criticism, and that to question them is sinful, or morally wrong. By Christianity declares itself and enemy of truth and of the faculty by which man arrives at truth-reason.



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Charles Cosimano

posted November 19, 2008 at 2:06 pm


Read Numbers 31 and ask yourself a simple question. Is this a god worthy of worship?



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Jayson Mauhr

posted December 3, 2008 at 11:08 am


18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.
JOHN 15:18-19
I’ll let the previous commenter’s figure out where they stand. I felt a sadness that I am sure any other believer felt reading these comments. You’ve made gods in your own minds to reflect your rules. Please consider the price the will be paid for denying the one true God. “For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal human beings and birds and animals and reptiles.” ROMANS 1:21-23
The bible has been proven historically, literarily, and archeologically just to begin to crack the surface. You denying it, doesn’t make it any less real. Me throwing myself out of a plane believing that I won’t die, doesn’t make it any less real.
I praise and worship the God of Numbers 31 and the rest of the bible. Jesus Christ came to save those who had no chance to save themselves. Please consider this. You cannot atone for your own sin. Repent and believe the Gospel.
Most of you will read this and think me a fool (1 Cor 1:18). I’m sorry you see me this way. I lived just like you for so long before Christ drew me to Himself. I think of so many years wasted, enjoying my wickedness, being ‘just like everyone else’.
In the end, I hope you can just begin to consider what your sin looks like before a perfect, Holy God. You are not a sinner because you sin. You sin because YOU are a SINNER. It’s in your nature. And one day we are all going to be judged. God will deal with sin. And you need to look to Christ as your savior. He is glorious and to some of you, He’s calling you.
In Christ,
JM



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Matthias

posted December 3, 2008 at 10:00 pm


What I find so very interesting is the number of people who think that there is no way rationally accept Christianity after listening to this debate. I am surprised that they can hold any beliefs for more than 5 minutes. Not really, but let me explain.
In this debate, I thought Hitchens absolutely killed Wilson. Hitchens was far more coherent and direct. I agree with Wilson but that’s just what I heard.
But in the Christianity Today debate between Hitchens and Wilson, it was the other way around. Wilson is a far better writer than he is a speaker and it would take an ideologue to claim that Hitchens won. Wilson was a broken record asking “How do you account for your morality?” and Hitchens hemmed and hawed and gave nothing resembling a coherent answer.
It was after reading that debate and listening to additional debates in which the theist was the clear winner (take a look at any debate involving Greg Bahnsen) that I began to wonder… “Why didn’t the atheist change his opinion when defeated in a debate?” After all, so many of the atheists (and nearly all the atheist in this comment thread) claim the irrationality of Christianity and a subscription to the results of logic wherever they may lead.
But they do not practice that. If they are beaten by a theist in a debate, they do not say “Oh well, I guess I have to be a theist now”. They believe (I use the word intentionally) that they are still right… even though they lost, they have faith that they would have won if they had thought faster or been better prepared. They could lose a debate at breakfast lunch and dinner every day for the rest of their lives, but they would not give up their belief. They would continue attempting to rationalize it.
Wilson sadly did not get the chance to get into the deep ins and outs of some of my favorite Christian logical arguments. This might have been through a lack of preparation, but it could easily have been because Hitchens at no point gave any positive reasons for atheism. He doesn’t trust the Golden Rule, he doesn’t believe that logic is the end-all-be-all, but he will sprout umbrage by the bushel if you do not show proper respect to the concept of thought.
This is a line I would have liked to see fully explored. From an atheistic standpoint why should we respect thought and more than emotions? They are both chemical reactions in the mush in a human brain. For that matter, why respect the chemical reactions of the human brain any more than the chemical reactions of the liver? A vat of chemical reactions can have no concept of truth, it can’t offend or disrespect anything. Without a God we are all nothing more than chemical vats, which means there is no truth, there is no disrespect, there is no love, there is no intentionality. There is no debate. It’s just two soda bottles sitting in front of a bunch of younger soda bottles and fizzing at each other.



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Russ

posted December 3, 2008 at 10:12 pm


As Pyromaniac Phil Johnson said in his GraceLife message on atheism, “What you need to know about answering atheists GL-2007-04-15-PJ,” referencing commentator Heywood Hale Broun, few people talk about God as much as antitheists; how vainly they try to pretend He doesn’t exist when without Him they would have no purpose for living, (like Democrats so infantile as to be unable to take personal responsibility, only able to blame Bush and Republicans for their own incompetence as an incoherent corrupt pseudo-majority (e.g. criminal Ways and Means Chair Rangel)), existing mainly to oppose Him Whom they irrationally pretend doesn’t exist, as only one who is omnipresent (temporally and spatially) and omnipotent, i.e. one who is himself God, can know that there is no God, antitheism being inherently dishonest and irrational, like alcoholics and their transference blaming their own dysfunction on others, unable to handle reality, as seen in their historical revisionism that turns a convenient blind eye to the inconvenient truth that vastly more were butchered by their fundamentalist religion in the 20th century alone than in the previous NINETEEN centuries of other religions COMBINED. Now who’s brutal, deranged, savage and immoral? Those who know the true Darwin of history versus the absurd lies and fraud of his bogus modern revisionist hagiography know that evil antiChrist apostate Darwin played a great part in founding this as seen in both his own racism consigning blacks to subhuman status and in his friend Huxley’s crowing about evolution “freeing” him to pursue his perversions. One can only imagine how many suffered as a result of his “freedom” as they do today from similar antitheist derangement as seen in the lawless riots of antitheists physically attacking California’s Prop 8 and its supporters (modern sodomy’s Nazi roots exposed by “The Pink Swastika” at http://www.abidingtruth.com/pfrc/books/pinkswastika/html/the_pinkswastika_4th_edition_-_final.htm with the irrational nature of oxymoronic “homosex-” exposed at “The gay invention” at http://touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=18-10-036-f).
Jesus is The Answer, but first He must show you the question to which He’s The Answer.
Russ
Don’t Waste Your Life
http://www.dontwasteyourlife.com



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Mal

posted December 3, 2008 at 10:20 pm


@Charles – I read Numbers 31, and it is fairly shocking to people in today’s Western society. But does that make “what decent Western people think today” the standard for judging God? How wonderful to have such a solid rock to stand on.



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Ben

posted December 4, 2008 at 1:15 am


For Numbers 31, the Midianites had committed crimes against God and God decided to exact his justice on them by the hand of Moses. Furthermore, the Jews have a history of idolotry, especially when coexisting with pagan nations. You may have a very humanistic view of morality, but God is a lover of people, and considers his glory supreme.
God is worthy of worship because he is God. His actions are not what merit him, but his character. His actions are demonstrations of his character. You do not seem to think that God’s justice is good character for God. It is. The truth is that we all deserve the kind of justice that the Midianites got. The follow up is that we will all be destroyed like the Midianites for our evil deeds. This is justice. Our only hope is that God might find mercy in his heart to forgive us.
God does not forgive for free. He forgives at the price of his Son, Jesus Christ, who died a death on the cross, taking on the sins of all who trust in him, so that we may be treated as heirs of God, not as the Midianites. Jesus proved he was God, proved his love for humanity, and proved his ability to forgive sins by rising from physical death, and has proven his resurrection by showing his scarred body to hundreds of eyewitnesses. We have eyewitness accounts to this day of Jesus’ resurrection by their correspondences and testimonies, including that which we call Christian scripture.
In the wake of Numbers 31, we ought all repent and receive the gift of forgiveness from God, that we may see all aspects of his great character, not just his severity in judging severely evil people. For God truely is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. His mercies are new every morning and each breath we take is yet another undeserved gift from God to sinners.
Grace to you Charles, and to all others.



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Patrice Stanton

posted December 4, 2008 at 8:51 am


JM:
Haven’t even watched the video [or linked ones] yet. What a beautiful response. You’ve said it all, and more gently and thoroughly than I could have. Thanks.
P.S.



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BDV

posted February 8, 2009 at 10:44 pm


Do a poll before a debate on where people stand on religion, have a debate on religion, then ask people who won. I think you will find both sides claiming victory. I would disagree that Christopher Hitchens himmed and hawed on an answer – I would be more likely to say he didn’t give an answer you agreed with. Whether you agree or disagree with his message, Christopher Hitchens is obviously an intelligent person. Hitchens has said many times that morality comes from man – he is born with it. Man knew before Moses not to kill or steal because that disrupts society.
We are all born atheists – religion is taught. The definition of atheist is “No belief in a God or Gods” – Most religious people use the definition of the anti-theist who believe without a doubt their is no God.



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Kyle

posted May 17, 2009 at 11:48 pm


BDV,
I think you are absolutely correct about both sides claiming victory in debates. It’s rare that one side will win an overwhelming victory. I watch a lot of debates and can only think of two recent examples. Both were victories by William Lane Craig over Richard Carrier and Christopher Hitchens. After both debates, the majority of atheists commenting admitted that Craig was the clear winner. Did it change their stance? Of course not.
I agree and disagree with your second paragraph. I agree that “religion” is taught, but I would disagree with your assertion that everyone is born atheist. Of course, a Christian would argue that those who do not have a belief in God are actually suppressing a belief in God. To a non-Christian that’s not satisfactory. Scientifically though, research continues to show this to be true.
A good, recent example would be the massive sociological studies done by Oxford over the past few years (headed by Dr. Olivera Petrovich) showing that even in atheistic and naturalistic societies, belief in a transcendent creator (of some sort) and a divine order to reality are natural among children and actually suppressed by the society’s values. In response to the research done in Japanese cultures, she says, “This is absolutely extraordinary when you think that Japanese religion — Shinto — doesn’t include creation as an aspect of God’s activity at all. So where do these children get the idea that creation is in God’s hands? It’s an example of a natural inference that they form on the basis of their own experience.”
You may be correct, but your assertion is an hypothesis that seems to go against the current scientific evidence.



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Lucretius

posted October 22, 2009 at 12:48 pm


Pastor Wilson makes the most idiotic, meaningless argument imaginable here and calls it a masterpiece. It is quite a nice rhetorical game he seems to be playing, but ultimately it is an act of misdirection. He points us to his unassailable (sarcasm) logic in the hope that we will not notice the absurdity of his premise. His discussion regards what he sees as “the failure of atheists to be atheists” and is essentially an argument based on a literal and absolute definition of the term. I am first reminded of the Dawkins Scale of religious belief, described as follows: On a scale of 1 to 7, where 1 is certitude that God exists and 7 is certitude that God does not exist, Dawkins rates himself a 6: “I cannot know for certain but I think God is very improbable, and I live my life on the assumption that he is not there.” Hitchens may well consider himself a 7, but that is fundamentally irrelevant. He then begins a metaphor about origins and outcomes comparing god to a cook and assailing materialist reductionism. He fails to consider quantum uncertainty, and he is missing the point entirely. His next paragraph amounts to nothing more than a comment on the unpopularity of a random universe in the minds of believers. Just to take stock, that is three paragraphs of rhetorical obfuscation with no meaningful content whatsoever. His argument thus far is all bun and no meat, to use a metaphor like Wilson does.
So Wilson’s first three paragraph involve setting the stage for a pro-religion argument, essentially providing no meaningful insight. It is in his fourth paragraph that he goes for it, and goes off the rails. “So if the universe is what the atheist maintains it is, then this determines what sort of account we must give for the nature of everything — and this includes the atheist’s thought processes, ethical convictions, and aesthetic appreciations.” He continues with another consumption based metaphor, as convoluted and meaningless as the last. He compares people to bottles of soda pop, disregarding the concept of sentience and the evolutionary basis for it. It really is pathetic. When I first read this paragraph I wondered if there was something missing from my analysis, before I realized that it was his argument that was fundamentally insufficient. If we assume that life can arise, and that sentience can arise from basic life given the proper conditions to allow for selection, then this question is moot. And if we wonder whether that there is indeed no fundamental cognitive difference between a rock and a plant, or a plant and an amoeba then the question is completely invalidated, because there is a very obvious difference, living versus non living, but in practice the average layman could detect no difference in intelligence between them. It comes down to a fundamental definition of life as either an accident or divine providence, and ultimately either is possible, but one is much more likely, because the divinity itself must have arisen at some point, even if it was before the universe as we know it, leaving open the question of the origin of the deity, which is an even more difficult leap to make than the origin of the first microorganisms. Wilson then imagines that aesthetic appreciation and other senses of the arts can only come from god, which is essentially to assume that either man is nothing more than a biological machine or man is a product of a god. Neither is entirely correct, because of sentience, what the religious call free will.
The argument really falls apart with this assertion, “And if you were to shake it really hard by means of art school, and place it in front of Michelangelo’s David, or the Rose Window of Charles Cathedral, the results would not really be aesthetic appreciation, but more fizzing still.” which essentially posits that the only possible difference between life or non-life is intelligence, which Wilson supposes must come from God. Most absurdly, he posits that knowledge is irrelevant, that if anything with intelligence must come from god, then anything that does not come from god cannot have intelligence. We know we have intelligence, and therefore by Wilson’s logic we must be products of an intelligence, or we are equivalent to inanimate fizzing. It is almost insulting to have to consider such logic, but when I read Wilson’s argument I was simply so dumbfounded that I had to go back over it, line by line, sentence by sentence, to make sure I was really reading what it seemed that I was reading. It cost me much of my faith in humanity. Just read this excerpt: “If you were to shake up one bottle of pop, and show it film footage of some genocidal atrocity, the reaction you would get is not moral outrage, but rather more fizzing. And if you were to shake it really hard by means of art school, and place it in front of Michelangelo’s David, or the Rose Window of Chartres Cathedral, the results would not really be aesthetic appreciation, but more fizzing still.” In other words, moral outrage and aesthetic appreciation MUST come from god. It is simply ridiculous. He effectively posits that the arrangement of chemicals that gave rise to him determine both his beliefs and his choices. This is a valid question, but not a particularly insightful one. We have seen how giving certain drugs to people can cause psychosis, the abandonment of morality or even personality. the arrangement or organic chemicals is a complicated thing, complex enough to give rise to sentience, which is itself complex enough to be unpredictable, if only because the brain may function as a quantum computer, and thus to a certain extent out cognition is subject to quantum uncertainty, which explains variation under seemingly identical conditions.
This is where his argument really begins to piss me off: “But no account of things can be tenable unless it provides us with the preconditions that make it possible for our “accounting” to represent genuine insight. Atheism fails to do this, and the failure is a spectacular one. Nor does atheism allow us to have any fixed ethical standard, or the possibility of beauty.” This is absurd, in that it posits that the lack of preconditions invalidates any argument. What are the preconditions for God? And what exactly is genuine insight? The capacity to think about something in a way that it has never been considered before? To take an idea further than it has been taken in the past? Both of these can easily be explained as products of gradual evolution over millions of years. It still seems that Wilson’s fundamental assertion is that there can be no sentience in a universe without a god, and this is patently absurd. All previous atheistic arguments apply, especially the one that says that if all intelligence must rise from god then how did god’s intelligence arise? and if it has always been, then what kind of universe is this. How is it different from the matrix or a giant simulation run on a Matrioshka brain?
Another bad metaphor, another failed paragraph. I am losing my patience with this guy. “It does no good to appeal to the discoveries made by science and reason, for one of the things that reason has apparently brought us is atheism. Right? And not content to let sleeping dogs lie, reason also brings us the inexorable consequences of atheism, which includes the unpalatable but necessary conclusion that random neuron firings do not amount to any “truth” that corresponds to anything outside our heads. This, ironically enough, includes atheism, and so we find ourselves falling out of the tree, saw in one hand and branch in the other.” Sure, it is of course true that random neuron firings (and they are NOT random, once the neurons have been formed and shaped by experience) cannot represent any truth outside of the mind. But can anything? Must any truth outside of perception come from God. Must god, therefore, be the one ultimate truth, from which all other truth is derived? Why, then, is this not reflected in the shape of the universe or the history of man? Truth had always been malleable, because it can only exist in the mind. There is nothing that says this cannot be so, and indeed nothing to contradict it. If there is immutable truth it is not knowable by man, and probably not able to be interpreted by man. Consider, for example, if religion is actually the word of god, immutable truth from the divine ultimate creator. Then man has taken that truth and used it to kill his fellows or exploit them to the greatest extent possible. It is as unfair to ask atheism to account for all creative thought as it is to ask religion to account for evil. Creative thought is a random accident, and evil is the product of man’s creativity combined with his inherent, evolutionarily prescribed selfishness.
Finally Wilson takes it where it was always going. After five paragraphs of obfuscation and rhetorical wanderings intended only to confuse the reader into thinking that Wilson is insightful, he brings out the Jesus, and loses everyone who doesnt belive in his christian god. it is almost sad to have it come to this, just like it would be sad for me to use the arguments on atheistic terms to refute Wilson rather than attacking him on his own terms. Read it and weep for the fate of humanity: “Contrast this with the Christian gospel — God the Father is the Maker of heaven and earth. He sent His Son to be born one of us; this Son died on gibbet for our sins, as the ultimate and final human sacrifice, and He rose from the dead on the third day following. Having ascended into Heaven and taken His place at the right hand of His Father, He sent His Holy Spirit into the world in order to transform it, a process that is still ongoing. Now obviously, this is a message that can be believed or disbelieved. But the reason for mentioning it here includes the important point that such a set of convictions makes it possible for us to believe that reason can be trusted, that goodness does not change with the evolutionary times, and that beauty is grounded in the very heart of God. Someone who believes these things doesn’t believe that we are just fizzing.”
The good news here is that he does acknowledge that this argument need not be believed to be on his side. But he then suggests that only a story with a similar level of completeness allows for consistency in reason and the idea of a static morality. The great ironic absurdity here is twofold: First, it assumes that morality has been consisten throughout history, which is patently untrue, contradicted not only by history, archaelogy and anthropology but also by the bible itself. Consider as an example the differences in morality between the old and new testaments. They are positively incompatible. Then there is beauty: Is is grounded in the heart of god, or a reflection of the qualities of self that an individual appreciates. There is a simple answer to this: aesthetic sensibilities are almost entirely subjective. Something that is stunningly beautiful to one person might be horrifingly ugly to another. How can the concept of beauty, or humanity’s inherent sense of beauty, come from an immutable god and still differ so completely? And what the fuck is with all the food metaphors?
So we come finally, painfully, to Wilson’s conclusion. GOD IS NOT LIKE A COOK!!!!
“You can deny that this God exists, of course, and you can throw the whole cosmos into that pan of reduction sauce. And you can keep the heat on by publishing one atheist missive after another. But what you should not be allowed to do is cook the whole thing bone dry and call the crust on the bottom an example of the numinous or transcendent. Calling it that provides us with no reason to believe it — and numerous reasons not to.”
Forget for a moment that reducing the known universe, which extends more than 46.5 billion light years in every direction, to the result of causality, is by no means a reduction of its power, beauty or mystery. Indeed, what is more beautiful: that in an ever expanding cosmos of absolutely inconceivable size, 100 billion galaxies with hundreds of billions of stars each, a single being controls it all; or that this incredible infinite universe is infinite in more ways than one and therefore not only is everything possible but everything has happened somewhere. There are infinite universes that have no life, and infinite universes with more life than ours. But a single lifeform controlling them all… it is almost depressing. Wilson’s food metaphors show that he appreciates the beauty of variation, but he fails to see that infinite variation is only possible in a universe in which there are no absolutes: no absolute god, with an abolsute sense of morality and a universal aesthetic sensibility. It is frightening to even consider that this might be the case, much less to consider that some people are uneducated enough to believe it. Pastor Wilson scares me, not because he is a moron or a liar but because he believes he is neither. He sees his observations and food metaphors as insightful. He considers his sense of beauty to be universal. The level of small mindedness exhibited in these beliefs is simply staggering, and horrifying to the atheist, who thus can see the level of delusion with which he must contend in much more concrete terms.



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Another Blog To Enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting Reformed Chicks Babbling. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here is another blog you may also enjoy: Inspiration Report Happy Reading!!!

posted 3:05:14pm Aug. 27, 2012 | read full post »

One Final Word
My dear friend Michele slipped into eternity on Wednesday, February 1.   She was a remarkable woman who left a legacy of faith, determination, and love. For three years she courageously battled the ovarian cancer that eventually robbed her of her life.  A few days before she died, one of her docto

posted 8:43:41pm Feb. 10, 2012 | read full post »

The rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated
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posted 7:07:55pm Aug. 23, 2010 | read full post »

An update and a prayer request
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posted 4:55:36pm Apr. 06, 2010 | read full post »

Rest in peace, Internet Monk.
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posted 11:52:00pm Apr. 05, 2010 | read full post »




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