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Walk Softly

Evidence VS. Proof

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40 minutes ago, SelahSong said:

uhhhhh… Who made the brain? :emot-rolleyes:

That's jumping into an entirely different argument, which I'm happy to do later; but right now I just want to focus on logic. Then we can move onto other things like morals and biology, if that's okay. :)

Edited by TomatoHorse

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Hey there, @TomatoHorse!   Thanks for taking an interest in my thread.  I've been tied up with work, but I'll try and get a response to you this evening!  Take care. 

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On 2/12/2019 at 4:16 PM, TomatoHorse said:

The Language Analogy:

The laws of logic are similar to language. We use language to communicate between persons, yet we do not believe that there is a Universal Language “Thing” that exists independently of us. Language is something produced between entities for a pragmatic purpose. Logic is like a language between ideas, existing within our own minds, by which our brain compares and contrasts ideas.

If you are insinuating that laws of logic aren't universal, that's simply not true.  To be true, you will need to demonstrate where I can find a place that laws of logic aren't true.  For example, where can I find the land of contradictions (which would violate the law of non-contradiction)?   

Now, while I'm not interested, necessarily, in debating this point, language is universal.  What I mean by that is, "two" means the same thing no matter what dialect I use to express it.  

Also, there is a universal "thing" that exists independently of us.  If I draw a 2 on a dry erase board, we would agree that is 2.  If I erase that 2, it dissapears from the universe.  That's because that wasn't THE 2, it was the numeral 2 which is a representation of the concept of 2ness.  A universal "thing."

On 2/12/2019 at 4:16 PM, TomatoHorse said:

Brain Structure:

Logic can also be accounted for as the structure by which our brains understand the world. Similar to color, which is how our brains are structured in a way that decodes light sensory information in a meaningful way, so too does our brain "decode" ideas in the context of our  schema (to use a psychological term) and logic.

Our perception of color can be different from person to person, this concept has no relation to the laws of logic which don't change and are universal.  If laws of logic were only our brains perception of the world, then they wouldn't be universal.  They wouldn't extend beyond our own minds.  My laws of logic might be entirely different than yours, but this is not the case.  No where in the world can my car be in the garage and not in the garage at the same time, despite what my brain might think.  

Perhaps, you might have confused the laws of logic concept with the idea of thinking logically.  We certainly don't always think logically!  These are different concepts.  That actually brings up another point I mentioned in my thread on laws of logic.  If they are nothing more than descriptions of how our brain thinks, why would we need them to correct the way our brain thinks?  We would never actually violate them because, simply, our mind thinks the way it thinks.  You'd still be stuck trying to explain where those universal laws, that seems to operate independently of our non logical thoughts, come from. 

If you're thinking at this point that we just use them because they work... That's not actually an answer to the question.  You would still need to explain why they work, why they are universal and where they came from, without God. 

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On 2/7/2019 at 10:49 PM, Walk Softly said:

Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ.
Colossians 2:8 

If Christianity is true, it must, therefore, be the only one that is true. 

When you argue against the ultimate authority of the Bible, on any level, you undermine the preconditions of intelligibility and destroy logic, uniformity in nature and absolute morality. 

In that, we must internally critique the opposing worldview and therein you will find the proof of God as it rests in the impossibility of the contrary.

That was a mouthful. 

What do I mean by that?

Throughout our lives we hear a repeated phrase as the world is explained to us.  “Science tell us…” followed by some explanation provided by a scientist, professor, talking head or some actor like Bill Nye on TV.  But, it is important to understand one very simple concept about this statement. Science doesn’t tell us anything. I know this will sound elementary, but just stick with me.  Science doesn’t talk, scientists do. Science doesn’t interpret itself, scientists do that. Have you ever wondered why there are some scientists that don’t agree with others? It is not because they are looking at different data, it is because they are looking at the data through different worldviews.  Everyone has one.

What if I told you we have irrefutable proof of God and the Ultimate authority of His Word? 

Now... 

What if I also told you we can also do this without providing any evidence for God's creation?  

Stay with me here!

In my opinion, there are mountains of evidence for creation.  I'll outline a couple for you, just for fun. 

Let's literally start at the very Beginning. 
  - many times we hear unbelievers talk about the big bang and evolution as a means for the existence of life without God.  Often times they claim that they refuse to believe in some magical sky God because they follow science instead.  
  - it's always interesting to ask them what science they use to explain how nothing created the observable universe today.  They can't, therefore it's a faith claim.  They can try to argue that there wasn't a beginning but, even amongst secular scientists, they mostly agree that there was a beginning. 

At Stephen Hawkins 70th birthday party, agnostic Alexander Vilenkin declared the following conclusion, which couldn't have been easy for him: “All the evidence we have says that the universe had a beginning.”

To argue against the big bang, as an atheist, is to go against mainstream opinions on the matter by atheist scientists.  To claim an eternal universe or a cyclical universe introduces another set of obstacles that I won't get into at this time. 

I'd like to note that many Christians shy away from the big bang because they assume it is a product of a godless universe, but this isn't necessarily the case.  It doesn't matter if it was the big bang or not, because that is the scientific consensus and we can argue against it by asking how.  If this is what mainstream science is using, we can use it to our advantage.  You can call it the big bang if you like, but I know who banged it!!

As we move forward from here, It starts to get worse for the unbeliever.  One faith claim will quickly turn into several. 

For instance... 

We can examine the probability of protein forming by chance.   To tackle this, we will turn to Doctor Steven Meyer and Dr. Doug Axe who calculated that the probability of one simple protein forming by chance is 
10 to the 164th power. 

To put that huge number into perspective, there are only 10 to the 80th power elementary particles in the observable universe.  

There has only been 10 to the 16th seconds since the big bang. 

No serious scientist thinks that life began by chance.  Here is why.  That was the probability of just ONE protein forming by chance.  But that’s not the end of the story for the creation of a single cell.   The cell also needs carbohydrates, complex sugars, nucleic acids, DNA, RNA, lipids…etc.  All these elements then must be brought into the same micro environment at the same moment in time.  By micro environment, it is meant that all these pieces would need to be present inside of a cell-like membrane, in that microscopic space.  Even with that, you still don’t have life, merely the required ingredients.  This is why the topic of inorganic matter turning into organic matter is mostly ignored. 

We could talk about Evolution and how the fossil record is not consistent with the Darwinian theory of gradual evolution.  

We could talk about Information science and how information has never shown to originate from anything other than an intelligent mind.

There are lots of things we could talk about when it comes to evidence for God. 

However, even with moutains of evidence that seem to point to creation, the unbeliever will still shake their head and contend that this is just not how they see the world.  

This is because any astute philosopher will find a rescuing device. 

What is a Rescuing device? 
  - basically, excuses for the unknown.  
  - we all have them. 
  - you wouldn't be prepared to change your worldview based on one piece of evidence I can give you.  You'll find a rescuing device. 

Thats because we all have presuppositional beliefs.  

What is a presupposition?

That is the very core of what we believe at a foundational level.  
  - For me, my core presuppositional believe is that the Word of God is the Ultimate Authority.  This is the foundation on which I use to interpret the evidence set before me in my daily life.  We all come to the evidence with a certain worldview.

Some claim they don't.  They believe we should come to the evidence neutrally and objectively.  But that is a worldview on how you should evaluate evidence.
  - The philosophy that we should interpret evidence without a philosophy, is itself a philosophy. 

I'll give you a quick example of a presuppositional belief that most of us share, whether we realize it or not.  

You take for granted things such as your memory.  You believe that your memory is reliable.  Someone my say, but Walk Softly, I don't need to presuppose a reliable memory because I had it tested a month ago on a certified Facebook test and I did awesome!  

Well, I'm really proud of you, but you're still presupposing your memory is reliable because otherwise how could you know you took a memory test?  How do you really know you took a test and that you remember it correctly.   Right?   

This is just one example of how we all utilize presuppositions. 

This is why the battle isn't about evidence.  I can show you enough evidence that a rational man would see the absurdity of any existence outside of God.  But if you presuppose there is no God, that rational man will invoke any number of rescuing devices to support their worldview. 

So, what are we to do then?  

You've got your secular friend looking at the world presupposing God doesn't exist and therefore comes up with infinite unknowns to support his worldview.  

Here you are, holding your Bible, explaining all the evidence with great care and articulation.  

Yet you get nowhere. 

You bring up comets and ask how we can still have comets in our galaxy after billions of years, but the unbeliever will simply invoke an ort cloud, which simply supplies new comets.  Even though there is no evidence of an ort cloud, you will be unable to prove it doesn't exist to the unbeliever!
 
You explain that the fossil record doesn't match gradual evolution so you get someone like Stephen Gould who posits the idea of - Punctuated Equalibrium.   "The fossil record doesn't support evolution as its interpreted in a gradualist Darwinian fashion, but we know evolution took place so the fossil record must prove to us that evolution took place with punctuated periods of equalibrium." 
 
 You raise legitimate concerns with irreducible complexity to which the unbeliever says just give us enough time and we'll figure it out. 
 
You can point out that animals reproduce according to their kind.  Well, they do right now, but go back far enough and they didn't! 

This will go on and on and back and forth with no real accomplishment on either side.  

Like I said earlier, evidence will rarely be enough to change the mind of an astute philosopher.  

However, there is a different approach which is to show the absurdity of the unbeliever's worldview and how they borrow from the Christian worldview when it suits their needs.    

Now we have come full circle and we are back at my original assertion.  

If Christianity is true, it must, therefore, be the only one that is true. 

When you argue against the ultimate authority of the Bible, on any level, you undermine the preconditions of intelligibility and destroy logic, science and absolute morality.

In that, we must internally critique the opposing worldview and therein you will find the proof of God as it rests in the Impossibility of the contrary.  

Stay tuned as I'll be posting separately about how the unbeliever's worldview cannot account for logic, uniformity in nature (upon which all of science is built) and absolute morality.  

When we are confronted by an unbeliever we must, just for a moment, step into their core presuppositional belief (no God) and show them how they live their lives in direct contradiction to their worldview.  

This won't necessarily change the unbelievers heart, but that's not our job.  After we gently (1 Peter 3:15-16) destroy their worldview, we must pray for them.  

He must have a strong belief in the trustworthy message he was taught; then he will be able to encourage others with wholesome teaching and show those who oppose it where they are wrong.
Titus 1:9 

So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish.
1 Corinthians 1:20

Your earnest argument fails on many levels.  As Christians, we cannot even agree on a particular text to be without error, let alone the meaning of that text or a worldview.  According to gotquestions.org, there are 30,000 Protestant denominations, a large number of Orthodox denominations, and an indeterminate number of Roman Catholic churches each teaching their own brand of Papal teaching.  Look at this forum and all the heated arguments we get into by people who "know" God's word.

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1 hour ago, Saved.One.by.Grace said:

Your earnest argument fails on many levels.  As Christians, we cannot even agree on a particular text to be without error, let alone the meaning of that text or a worldview.  According to gotquestions.org, there are 30,000 Protestant denominations, a large number of Orthodox denominations, and an indeterminate number of Roman Catholic churches each teaching their own brand of Papal teaching.  Look at this forum and all the heated arguments we get into by people who "know" God's word.

It would probably help the thread if you would delete that quote since you  didn't choose to address any of it.  I'd like to learn something here but quoting long stuff that isn't relevant to  your own added content just clutters things up and makes it difficult to read the thread.  Thanks.

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1 hour ago, Saved.One.by.Grace said:

Your earnest argument fails on many levels.  As Christians, we cannot even agree on a particular text to be without error, let alone the meaning of that text or a worldview.  According to gotquestions.org, there are 30,000 Protestant denominations, a large number of Orthodox denominations, and an indeterminate number of Roman Catholic churches each teaching their own brand of Papal teaching.  Look at this forum and all the heated arguments we get into by people who "know" God's word.

Thanks for taking the time to read my thread and putting together your thoughtful response!  

It matters not how others "interpret" the Word.  God's Word says what it says and nothing is to be added, nor taken away.  Anyone who teaches something other than what the Word says is wrong.  It's simple, really.  

Cherry picking verses and manipulating them to fit our worldly perceptions is what leads to the problems you've noted.  Those issues are only a problem for the ones who think the Bible doesn't say what it does.  They aren't a problem for the Word as it remains faithful and true, forever.  Amen. 

Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear.
Matthew 24:35 

The Word can't be truth if its open to arbitrary worldly interpretation.  

Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth.
John 17:17 

Edited by Walk Softly
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1 minute ago, Walk Softly said:

Thanks for taking the time to read my thread and putting together your thoughtful response!  

That sounds like sarcasm, but I could be wrong.

1 minute ago, Walk Softly said:

It matters not how others "interpret" the Word.  God's Word says what it says and nothing is to be added, nor taken away.  Anyone who teaches something other than what the Word says is wrong.  It's simple, really.  

Biblical scholars can't even agree what verses of the Bible should be included.  Some examples: some manuscripts do not include Matthew 12:47.  Mark 16:9-20 – This is in the text with a disclaimer that reads, “The earliest manuscripts and some other ancient witnesses do not have Mark 16:9-20.  John 7:53-8:11 – Again, these verses ARE in the text but have a line and a note saying, “The earliest manuscripts and many other ancient witnesses do not have John 7:53-8:11.”  1 John 5:7b-8a – In the footnotes, “Late manuscripts of the Vulgate testify in heaven: the Father, the Word and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one. 8 And there are three that testify on earth: the (not found in any Greek manuscript before the sixteenth century)”.  There are many other examples.

So what is the definitive translation?

1 minute ago, Walk Softly said:

Cherry picking verses and manipulating them to fit our worldly perceptions is what leads to the problems you've noted.  Those issues are only a problem for the ones who think the Bible doesn't say what it does.  They aren't a problem for the Word as it remains faithful and true, forever.  Amen. 

I agree.  We could pull out scriptures out context to support almost anything.

1 minute ago, Walk Softly said:

Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear.
Matthew 24:35 

The Word can't be truth is its open to arbitrary worldly interpretation.  

Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth.
John 17:17 

I agree, up to a point.  Sometimes science points out reasonable interpretations that the original authors did not fully understand.  For example: the world is not flat.

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2 Peter 1:20-21

The correct ladder to heaven and how to climb it

beginning at rung one.

As opposed to climbing the wrong ladder to judgment day

Matthew 7:21-23.

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On 2/8/2019 at 4:49 AM, Walk Softly said:

We could talk about Evolution and how the fossil record is not consistent with the Darwinian theory of gradual evolution.  

Hi WalkSoftly,

I believe that Genesis chapters 1-2 is true in a literal understanding. But I also think that every Christian should back up what they say.

 

As you were praised so often in this thread, some criticism may be made:

you didn't back up your claim that the fossil record was not consistent with the Theory of Evolution.

I think, we should always back up what we say. This is especially true for making assessments that are meant to be scientifically relevant.

I often see Christians dismissing scientific theories or data without providing one single grain of proof - I find this is arrogant.
 

 

Regards,

Thomas

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