Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Great Debate Part II

As usual, I didn't have the couple of hours needed to put my thoughts into words.  So I searched for a surrogate.  I found one of sorts in the form of this article by science writer Michael Schulson. He addresses the lack of an intelligent response to Ham. But I must "adapt it" (as in a screenplay adaptation) for my audience and theme by adding my preface.

I will speak of general principles about epistemology, which I think is the real disaster in these kinds of debates. In my view, it is simple.  If God is there, and I believe that He is, then he must reside at the bulls-eye of truth.  I can not know that God is there for sure UNLESS I have at times considered the possibility of Him not being there. Now what I mean by "truth" is real truth, that which is.  It is not a religious "truth," which is just another word for doctrine.

In the honest search for truth, you must have a humble honesty and a rational mind to look at the evidence.  When you reach a position of "truth," before you honestly search, then your desire for truth will forever be thwarted.

In this debate, Ham, made it clear that NOTHING could change his mind.  Bill Nye alluded to the same.  When asked what came before the Big Bang, Bill was honest that he did not know. But he also suggested whatever came prior to the Big Bang, it certainly wasn't God.

This is the tragedy of both the Evangelicals and the Atheists. They are two peas in the same pod.  I could have a cup of coffee with a humble agnostic and enjoy it a great deal.  I understand the agnostic.  But there is also a militant form of agnosticism that can fall into the same class as the Evangelicals and the Atheists.  In the eyes of these agnostics, they are 100% sure that knowing anything is impossible.

While I see the world getting better in general, I sense a level of hopelessness for the Evangelical movement.  Even now, 80% of Evangelical kids (Katy Perry as the archetype) abandoned their faith by the time they are 25.  Ken Ham will be a major player in the loss of the youth because when you teach a kid that to know God you must believe in nonsense . . . eventually you will no longer be able to believe in God anymore. Okay, you can if, due to peer pressure (family, church), you suppress your mind so much that you believe in God at the sake of living in reality or thinking at all.

Who knows why Ken Ham believes in a 6,000 year-old earth.  I tried to research his formative years and didn't come up with much, except for the fact that his original Christian ministry in Australia sued him and settled out of court for "dishonest practices motivated by financial interest and  arrogance."  But now he is a brand.  Once a brand the chances of changing are short of nothing than a road to Damascus experience because he is so invested in his position.  Branded people are never good sources for real knowledge, it doesn't matter if they are selling anti-aging facial cream . . . or a young earth.

With all of that said, certainly you are welcome to view the earth as a young earth and just having those opinions is not the problem.  My wife does and I respect her. If you ever hear me saying that you must believe in a 14 billion year old creation is essential for being a good Christian, then run for the hills. But the problem comes when you say viewing the earth as 6,000 years old is essential to knowing God, then it is a disaster. 


NOTAL said...
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NOTAL said...

I was somewhat disappointed by the debate. Watching Bill Nye the Science Guy as a child contributed to my decision to go into the sciences. Nye didn't (or couldn't) really connect to the YEC mindset. He seemed more interested in promoting increased funding for public school science programs than engaging with our dismantling Han's position.

j. Michael Jones said...

Yeah, I know. I expected more from him. Ham had comebacks that went unanswered while Nye took off on a tangent about the beauty of science.

Headless Unicorn Guy said...

In this debate, Ham, made it clear that NOTHING could change his mind. Bill Nye alluded to the same.

The formal term for this is "Invincible Ignorance".

The most familiar fictional example of which is in Chronicles of Narnia: The Last Battle:

And as Aslan put it, "Because they Won't Be Taken In, they can never be taken out" into Aslan's Land of True Reality.

j. Michael Jones said...

HUG, you must have a million references stored away in that creative mind or yours. I can't remember hardly a line from the Narnia series.