Thursday, 17 May 2012

It  sounds logical and tempting to believe. But it is begging the question. The two are not equal - Greek myths were known to be myths - the Biblical has more historical facts to render it to serious study and proposition of belief than the other. To plop them both together is a typical atheistic foible. Instead of reading and learning the atheists just spill out the same fallacy of begging the question, circular argument, wrong premises, and, if that does not work, you'll get the odd ad hominem thrown in for good measure. Some Christians do that as well - sigh.

But that's okay. Debate is important. But most atheists, not all, that I've met don't want to look at history, archaeological, or socio-political for anything regarding the Bible. Talk about me being a closed mind - which I don't think exists by the by. Atheists say that as a believer I must have a closed mind; pot-kettle-black comes to mind. 

On the website there are Five Fallacies that atheists hold:

1) The genetic fallacy: The genetic fallacy is that lapse in logic whereby one seeks to discredit some belief or belief system but pointing out that it’s origins are suspect.

2) Jargonizing. Even in the “more sophisticated” atheist works, there is a tendency to replace argument with, basically, name calling. Therefore, faith is “irrational” and “antiquated”, religious belief “mythology” or “fairy tales” etc. Very rarely are these words given definitions (probably because, definitionally, e.g., religious beliefs and fairy tales can’t be equated), and even more rarely is a case made for why these different terms are synonymous. Instead, the words are thrown around carelessly in order to taint the associations one has with religion and faith.

3) Invocation of science. Like (2), this tactic really has no rational grounding, but it’s popular none the less. Atheists make different claims about science, but they all have a semi-magical quality to them, as if merely invoking science vindicates whatever claim you happen to be making. Some claims are: “I can’t believe in God, because science/evolution has disproved Him” (which is nonsense), or “Science can explain everything” (which is a philosophical, not scientific statement), or “Now that we have science, we don’t need religion anymore”, or “There is no scientific evidence for God’s existence, so he doesn’t exist.” All of these kinds of claims forget that science is a particular academic discipline among many others, and a particular way of getting knowledge about the world. 

4)Secondary causation absolutism. A popular historical narrative among atheists, as mentioned above, is that humans invented religion to explain the world, and science (being based in fact and reason, unlike religion) has gradually taken over this explanatory role. Implicit in this narrative is the idea that once we have explained the natural cause of something, we have eliminated the need for God as an explanatory hypothesis. 

5)The fallacy of the unattainable office. We at the Apologia made up the name for this fallacy, because we noticed that a very common atheistic fallacy lacked a name. This fallacy refers to the claims made up atheists that God doesn’t exist because if he did exist, he would have done things differently. So Dawkins claims that God can’t exist because if He did, He would have made fewer species. Goldstein says God can’t exist because if He did, there would be less suffering in the world. The problem with all these claims is that they assume basically that if God existed, he would create the world exactly as atheists would create the world if they were God. Of course, there’s no good logical reason for thinking that. 

Still, as Thomas Merton said: 
In the last analysis, the individual person is responsible for living his own life and for "finding himself." If he persists in shifting his responsibility to somebody else, he fails to find out the meaning of his own existence.  "No Man Is An Island" - Thomas Merton
If one wants to disbelieve then one can and visa versa. My responsibility of how I live my life is Christian orientated, a touch of Zen and a following of St Benedict. If the world or rather if the people of the world were to hold onto this:

Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
" Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes the freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance. "


"As long as people use tactics to oppress or restrict other people from being free, there is work to be done."

Then things might be a bit less antagonistic and debate and interaction could take place - it does it lots of places between believers and non-believers with people acting out for those in poverty or oppression. We will never know the truth till we die. In between then I would dearly love more debate, more tolerance, but less acceptance of the bad actions by whoever, and a move towards a more social living rather than an individual grabbing, name calling and sheer pigheadedness.

One can but hope...And I always have HOPE.

I am a Christian is because of the evidence; I have read extensively on philosophy and mythology as well as socio-political writings and historical writings. 

I am a Christian is the impact Christianity has had on the world; "How Christianity Changed The World".

I am a Christian is through my my own experience of Christ, Jesus [Yeshua] and through the manifestation of the Holy Spirit.

I do not consider myself a superstitious person, an ignoramous, nor am I a person lacking in guile or intelligence. We are free to believe what affects our senses and knowledge. What we experience and the logical conclusion of that experience. As long as we are free to do that then life for most if not all people will be good. When we are not free to do that and impose our belief system on others to impede their life then we are really just despotic ne'er-do-wells afraid of difference and diversity. Christ, Jesus did not impose or insist his disciples impose, his teaching upon others. They were free to believe or not. Institutionalised Christianity has done much good but by the very nature of being institutionalised it has depleted the message of Christ, Jesus and submerged it in a power-base of hierarchical authoritian leaders, if not rulers. This has done much injustice and violence to both the person of Christ, Jesus and the message he proclaimed. That does not mean we should throw Jesus out with the 'institutionalised church' - Catholic or Protestant, It does mean that we need to think carefully what 'Rabbi Yeshua-ben- Yosef' said and reflect on what he did.

That is why I am a Christian.

Shalom, Peace & Salaam

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