Monday, January 24, 2011

The Cold Facts

Seems to me that the cold facts of the story available to the writer, are that Abraham and Isaac went up the mountain and came back down.
There is no good reason outside the story why we ought to believe that God communicated anything to Abraham in a manner different to how any religious person may feel that he is being communicated with by God.
Seems to me that the story is a bit circular, in that it is proposed that Abraham is hearing God's WILL more clearly because he has such faith, yet the story concerns God testing Abraham's faith.
Matt's idea that God can will the resurrection of anyone he chooses seems to make a mockery of the whole idea of Jesus death.
Are the Gospels telling the story to believers who understand God's plan through the exact same story?
Point is that minimizing the killing part, the death part of the Abraham story seems to be special pleading for the Abraham story and ONLY the Abraham story if your not willing to minimize the killing of Jesus in THAT story.
All I'm trying to say here is that shifting emphasis using rhetoric 'a la' Matt here, can have untended consequences for other stories.
If we're going to make a parallel between Isaac and Jesus, we could easily make an unflattering parallel between God hardening the Pharoah's heart and God presumably ignoring the faithful prayers of the Sanhedrin requesting their God's Will??
Can we assume that the Sanhedrin believed in God?Can we assume that the Sanhedrin believed that they were faithful to God and were exacting God's Will?
Then there must be different kinds of faith then?
Or I'm missing something extremely subtle.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

So what is wrong with religion?

Religions are corporations. Corporations are defined as 'persons'. Religion defines itself as a group of worshippers dedicated to exacting the will of their personal leader. The will of their personal leader is discovered by the edicts of religious leaders who are human beings studying sacred writings to convince the worshippers that their personal leader is guiding them to benefit themselves(supposedly the entire group, but not necessarilly). Religious leaders may come and go, like CEOs and board members, but the 'person' in charge is, of course their transcendental personal leader, who is, in fact, the corporation.

There is nothing wrong with this idea as far as religion is concerned, except that it justifies the existence of other corporations as persons.

The trouble is that corporations have only their own interests at heart no matter what the interests of each member of the corporation and certainly disregarding the opinion of anyone not even in the corporation.

If a group of people want to not be held responsible for their actions and be completely self-centred and have absolutely no regard for others, they incorporate, creating a transcendental 'being', a 'person' who isn't there, in effect a GOD.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

C.S.Lewis, Old Nick and the Deacon

The story so far on Evangelical Realism, is that Deacon Duncan decided to criticize C.S.Lewis famous book, Mere Christianity.

" Chapter 1, he writes,
The idea was that, just as all bodies are governed by the laws of gravitation, and organisms by biological laws, so the creature called man also had his law — with this great difference, that a body could not choose whether it obeyed the law of gravitation or not, but a man could choose either to obey the Law of Nature or to disobey it."

The big problem with this is that Lewis is making an analogy, that morality is a law, which, like gravity is natural, but unlike gravity, we can choose to ignore, which makes this law, named 'The Law of Nature", by Lewis, to avoid naming it morality, a prescriptive law, in need of a Law-giver, who, much to no-one's surprise is going to turn out to be none other than God.

Nick's objection is that Lewis, as a Thomist, is just using this analogy for convenience and doesn't really believe it.

I think that this just makes Lewis doubly disingenuous since he is hiding his prescriptive law of morality in with descriptive natural laws and naming it, "The Law of Nature" specifically to come to the conclusion that it IS prescriptive and that God is the prescriber.

The simpler analogy would have been that morality is a law, but of course everyone would see through this right away and Lewis is trying to sound fair.

Nick's objection that Lewis was a Thomist is a simple diversion basically saying that Deacon Duncan cannot object to Lewis' use of this analogy because Lewis doesn't actually believe the analogy himself, is somewhat tricky as it puts Lewis' reasoning above criticism.

All's fair in Christian apology, I suppose.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Kalam Cosmological argument

Kalam Cosmological argument

"The material world we sense around us comprises of temporal phenomena that depend for their existence on other temporal phenomena and so forth."

This is fine, sure time passes.

" Such a series cannot continue to infinity, for if it did no one thing would satisfy its dependence and nothing would exist. The fact that things do exist necessarily implies a finite series..."

This is okay too. "Something" started off the Universe, I can go along with that.

(Part duh!)
".. and, in turn, the existence of a being who determined both the existence of this series and the specific attributes or properties that define it."

NO! I can see why, since this argument has been around for so long, that a theist would want to rush through this part, this very important part.

"By rational extension, this being must be eternal and without beginning, otherwise it is temporal and forms part of the series."

I guess if you get away with quickly rolling by with the 'eternal being' thing, your work is done but you keep going as if that isn't just covering up the 'God-slide-in' there.

" It must also be sentient for a timeless cause producing a temporal effect requires an independent will."

I don't see why some 'timeless cause' requires a will.

" Finally, effecting so grand a creation as the universe and all that it contains necessitates knowledge and power."

Only if we are aiming at Allah or God in the first place, do we need some timeless cause to suddenly be knowledgable.

Seems to me that a meteor heading to destroy the Earth and wipe us out could be imagined to have knowledge (of us) and power(to kill us) too.

The Sun could be imagined to be shining just for us, just to be magnanimous!

So, to sum up, Part Duh!, is the part I have a HUGE problem with. Not so much the causal part or the timeless part but the 'powerful, knowledgable, willful being' part.

Especially since (let's call it) HE, seems to be hiding for no good reason at all, and we've backed into an essentially originally purposeless HE and are going to have to back a purpose into HIM later.

Anyone who suggests that the entire thing is a set up so that he can sneak into theists' minds of an evening? Well that just won't do.

Here's one of their favourite backup responses:-
"If the universe is not eternal and had a beginning, this implies that something came from nothing."

Seems to me that this is saying that 'God' is 'nothing' or that they have no clue what 'God' is except to go with the all-powerful, all-knowing, all-seeing thang that they just WANT 'God' to be.

Can you say, "False dilemma."?