Chris Weimer wrote:In another thread, Bert mentions that the Bible is an added source of knowledge about the universe, apart from empiricism. Just a couple of questions:
Which Bible? In what form? The Bible as it was originally compiled, or the many millions of changes that have taken place in the text since the first book was penned?
Why is it considered a source of knowledge apart from empiricism? Why is it uncritically accepted but not the Vedas, or Homer? What reason is there to put any faith in the Bible?
And finally, why should we trust your judgement about the Bible? Why do you trust your own judgement about the Bible? What happens when the Bible conflicts with other worldviews? Does it take priority?
Thanks for answering these simple questions about your faith.
Sanskrit wrote:It is not for us to trust our own judgement about the Bible, we are to trust the Creator of everything, the One who wrote the Bible.
I didn't know that Christians believed that God wrote the Bible.
Merely saying "goddidit" is a cop out answer.
Rhuiden wrote:I am not an expert in textual criticism but from what I have read and heard, the Bible we have to day is the Bible as it was originally penned.
Also, I think your question about whose judgement to trust in respect to the Bible is misplaced. It is not for us to trust our own judgement about the Bible, we are to trust the Creator of everything, the One who wrote the Bible. Our understanding and wisdom is flawed but He is perfect. Trust Him and you can't go wrong. As such, the Bible takes priority over everything else.
Bert wrote:Chris, I think Rhuiden has answered your questions.
I would like to make one comment. Seeing that you don't believe the Bible I understand your position that science has to be the answer to everything.
I sincerely believe the Bible. Why can you not accept my position but think that I answer, "God made the universe" as a cop out?
Chris Weimer wrote:You have made an assertion based on faith, yet you give no evidence for it at all.
Chris Weimer wrote:... like some cowardly tyrant who sits up in the sky and sends people to hell because he refuses to make himself manifest.
"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." (Hebrews 11:1 RSV)Chris Weimer wrote: You have made an assertion based on faith, yet you give no evidence for it at all.
Chris Weimer wrote:
Goddidit is a cop-out answer. It's something you can hide behind so you don't have to answer these questions.
edonnelly wrote:I can't speak for Bert or Rhuiden, but there is evidence out there for those who wish to analyze it. For example, you could look at those who believe and follow the teachings of the Bible and compare their lives (in terms of things that matter to you) to the lives of those people who do not believe or do not follow the teachings of the Bible. It doesn't lend itself to traditional science because people would never agree on the measures of a "good life," but certainly an individual could make the judgement of what he/she thinks constitutes a good life for him/herself.
I would submit that if after doing this analysis one were to conclude that believing in and following the Bible leads to a better life (however one may define it) then that would be evidence (though not necessarily proof) that would support the position of faith.
I'm not sure how you would want God to manifest Himself. Perhaps if you do not see Him at work, you are not looking in the right place or are not looking for the right things.
It reminds me of the old story of the man who dies and goes to heaven. He confronts God and says "How could You let all those terrible things happen?" God's response to him is "How could you?"
Bert wrote:Chris Weimer wrote:Goddidit is a cop-out answer. It's something you can hide behind so you don't have to answer these questions.
If you can't accept my honesty when I say that I don't use it as a cop-out but that I truly believe this, then we're done.
Chris Weimer wrote:Why should I believe you to trust the Bible? Why do you have so much faith in your own judgment to know that the Creator actually wrote the Bible? In reality, you have faith in yourself that you made the right choice in having faith in whoever you think wrote the Bible. Why do you have this faith?
Chris Weimer wrote:Goddidit is a cop-out answer. It's something you can hide behind so you don't have to answer these questions.
Rhuiden wrote: it is quite logical if you understand the Law of Causality and follow it to its logical conclusion.
annis wrote:Rhuiden wrote: it is quite logical if you understand the Law of Causality and follow it to its logical conclusion.
So what caused god?
Rhuiden wrote:The answer is that nothing caused God, He has always existed. I know on the surface that sounds a little weak but actually it is the only logical possibility.
The Law of Causality says that every effect must have a cause. Theoretically, you could trace things back to the very first effect and its cause. Since this is the first cause, it must also be uncaused. By this I mean that it must be able to exist in and of itself and it must also have existed for eternity past. This has to be the case because if there was ever a time when nothing existed, nothing is what would still be....something cannot be created by nothing.
Rhuiden wrote:The Law of Causality says that every effect must have a cause.
Rindu wrote:Now, the "Law of Causality" is merely true by definition. It is true just given the meanings of the words invovled. The concept of "effect" is bound up with the concept of "cause". Rather than making your case stronger, it actually renders it largely irrelevant. What you need to show, is that every _event_ has a cause--an uncaused event would not be an effect, and thus, in cases of uncaused events, your Law of Causality does not help establish the existence of a first cause.
Rindu wrote:A second issue is the fact that there doesn't appear to be any argument in favour of identifying the Christian God with the first cause.
Rindu wrote:Let us assume for the moment that all events do have some cause, and that, at some point, there was some singular event which was the first event. This event was the First Cause. Now, what reasoning do you employ to establish that God was this cause? Certainly we might decide to assign the name "God" to whatever was this first cause, but that is a far cry from admitting a robust theological system.
Rindu wrote:The third issue is quite simple: if God was the first cause, then he must have been uncaused. But this seems to be impossible.
annis wrote:Well, no. From the standpoint of theology what you say may be necessary â€” didn't Augustine decide that god was outside of time to harmonize omnipotence and prophecy? â€” but theology is not a great conversion tool. Too much is assumed.
annis wrote:I'm still recovering from the extraction of wisdom teeth, I'll simply say that all I'm prepared to say about ultimate causes is "I don't know," never a wrong answer.
annis wrote:The point I'm trying to make with this line of questioning is that to someone who isn't already a believer, invoking a law of causality and offering as a solution a being which just happens to be immune really makes no sense. As I said in the thread that started this, no one of us can go back to the start of time with callipers and a laptop to take notes on what kicked things off, so we're often stuck having to deal with infinity. I don't know about you, but that makes my head hurt even worse. Physicists also offer several infinite answers (an endless chain of universes giving birth to new ones, an infinite cycle of big-bang big-crunch big-bang...)
So while an uncaused being might be necessary theology, there's no compelling reason to accept that â€” especially after invoking a law of causality â€” over other possibilities if you're not already a believer.
ethopoeia wrote:But "the Christian God" also brings to my mind the funny words by the Greek philosopher Xenophanes, who suggested that, if horses had gods, they would look like horses.
Rhuiden wrote:A non-believer will not likely open the Bible to search for meaning without good reason. Knowing that there must be an uncaused first cause to the universe might make someone try to figure out who or what that being is. The Bible is a something they are like to investigate at that point.
Bert wrote: Do you believe there is no God or do you just not believe in a god?)
annis wrote:Perhaps there are some non-believers for whom this argument is convincing. It sure isn't for me, nor is it for most of the atheists I know, for whom "so what caused god" is a question that demands a much sounder answer.
Rhuiden wrote:The question seems more to be a way of avoiding the issue that there must be something (the uncaused first cause) that created everything
Bert wrote:Didn't C.S. Lewis write a book where he set out to prove that God exists?
I have not read it and I don't know the name. Any of you heard of it?
I think he wrote a lot about it, but I believe the book you are talking about is Mere Christianity. I have not read it, though, so I can't make any comments about it.
edonnelly wrote:Bert wrote:Didn't C.S. Lewis write a book where he set out to prove that God exists?
I have not read it and I don't know the name. Any of you heard of it?
I think he wrote a lot about it, but I believe the book you are talking about is Mere Christianity. I have not read it, though, so I can't make any comments about it. C.S. Lewis is a famous atheist who eventually changed his opinion on the matter and became a Christian apologist.
IreneY wrote:When it comes to First Cause though I can't see why the answer cannot be "firmament" or "a banana". Obviously I am half joking but I can't see why saying that i.e. raw materials of a kind existed forever is a less acceptable first cause than "God(s)".
annis wrote:If by the time this thread goes silent I've managed to convince you that I really do think "god" isn't a compelling solution the problem of infinite regress, and that I'm not just being difficult, I'll feel I've accomplished more than I ever have in online debates of this sort. I have this strange feeling I've nearly managed it. :)
Rhuiden wrote:IreneY wrote:When it comes to First Cause though I can't see why the answer cannot be "firmament" or "a banana". Obviously I am half joking but I can't see why saying that i.e. raw materials of a kind existed forever is a less acceptable first cause than "God(s)".
The point is that whatever has exist eternally as the uncaused first cause must be something that can exist in and of itself. As edonnelly has pointed out, what we call that uncaused first cause is another question.
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