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Can America Survive Evolutionary Humanism?
Conservative Underground ^ | 2 February 2010 | Linda Kimball

Posted on 02/04/2010 2:42:12 PM PST by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus

In addition to original Darwinism, today there are two other versions of evolutionary theory: punctuated equilibrium and neo- Darwinism, a revamped version of the original Darwinism. No matter the variant though, evolution serves as the creation myth for the theological and philosophical worldview of Evolutionary Humanism (Naturalism).

“Evolution is a religion,” declared evolutionary Humanist Michael Ruse. “This was true of evolution in the beginning and it is true still today…One of the most popular books of the era was ‘Religion Without Revelation,’ by Julian Huxley, grandson of Thomas Huxley...As always evolution was doing everything expected of religion and more.” (National Post, Canadian Edition, 5/13/2000)

“Humanism is a philosophical, religious, and moral point of view.” (Paul Kurtz, Humanist Manifestos I & II, Introduction)

The primary denominations of Evolutionary Humanism are Cultural Marxism/Communism, Secular Humanism, Postmodernism, and Spiritual Communism. The offshoots of these are among others, New Age/green environmentalism/Gaia, socialism, progressivism, liberalism, multiculturalism, and atheism. Individually and collectively, these are modernized versions of pre-Biblical naturalism (paganism).

All worldviews begin with a religious declaration. The Biblical worldview begins with, “In the beginning God...” Cosmic Humanism begins, “In the beginning Divine Matter.” Communism, Postmodernism, and Secular Humanism begin with, “In the beginning Matter.” Matter is all there is, and it not only thinks, but is Divine:

“...matter itself continually attains to higher perfection under its own power, thanks to indwelling dialectic.…the dialectical materialist's attribution of ‘dialectic’ to matter confers on it, not mental attributes only, but even divine ones.” (Gustav A. Wetter, Dialectical Materialism, p. 58)

In explicitly religious language, the following religionists offer all praise, honor, and glory to their Creator:

“We may regard the material and cosmic world as the supreme being, as the cause of all causes, as the creator of heaven and earth.” (Vladimir Lenin quoted in Communism versus Creation, Francis Nigel Lee, p. 28)

“The Cosmos is all that is or ever will be.” (Carl Sagan, Cosmos, p. 4)

Evolutionary Humanism has demonstrated itself to be an extremely dangerous worldview. In just the first eighty-seven years of the twentieth century, the evolutionist project of radically transforming the world and mankind through the power of evolutionism has led to the extermination of between 100-170 million ‘subhuman’ men, women, and children.

Deadly Problems

First, in order that materialist ethics be consistent with the idea that life evolved by chance and continues to evolve over time, ethics must be built on human social instincts that are in a continuous process of change over evolutionary time. This view demolishes both moral ethics and social taboos, thereby liberating man to do as he pleases. Over time this results in a lawless climate haunted by bullies, predators, despots, psychopaths, and other unsavory elements.

Perhaps Darwin could not envision the evil unleashed by his ideas. Nonetheless, he did have some inkling, for he wrote in his Autobiography that one who rejects God,

“...can have for his rule of life...those impulses and instincts which are strongest or…seem to him the best ones.” (Tom DeRosa, Fatal Fruit, p.7)

Humanist Max Hocutt realizes that materialist ethics are hugely problematical, but offers no solution. An absolute moral code cannot exist without God, however God does not exist, says Hocutt. Therefore,

“...if there were a morality written up in the sky somewhere but no God to enforce it, I see no reason why we should obey it. Human beings may, and do, make up their own rules.” (David Noebel, Understanding the Times, pp. 138-139)

Jeffrey Dahmer, a psychopath who cannibalized his victims, acted on Darwin’s advice. In an interview he said,

“If a person doesn’t think there is a God to be accountable to, then…what is the point of trying to modify your behavior to keep it within acceptable ranges? That’s how I thought…I always believed the theory of evolution as truth, that we all just came from the slime.” (Dahmer in an interview with Stone Phillips, Dateline NBC, 11/29/1994)

With clearly religious overtones, atheist philosopher Bertrand Russell summarizes the amoral materialist ethic:

“Blind to good and evil, reckless of destruction, omnipotent matter rolls on its relentless way.” (“Why I am not a Christian and Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects,” p. 115)

Next, materialist epistemology and metaphysics dispossesses man of soul, free will, conscience, mind, and reason, thereby dehumanizing (animalizing) man and totally destroying not only the worth, dignity, and meaning of human life, but the possibility of freedom. The essence of this annihilation is captured in the following quotes:

Man is “but fish made over...” declared biologist William Etkin (Greg L. Bahnsen, Pushing the Antithesis, p. 224). And his life is but a “partial, continuous, progressive, multiform and continually interactive, self-realization of the potentialities of atomic electron states,” explained J.D. Bernal (1901-1971), past Professor of Physics at the University of London (The Origin of Life, p. xv). Furthermore, “The universe cares nothing for us,” trumpets William Provine, Cornell University Professor of Biology, “and we have no ultimate meaning in life.” (“Scientists, Face It! Science and Religion Are Incompatible,” The Scientist, Sept. 1988)

Man... “must be degraded from a spiritual being to an animalistic pattern. He must think of himself as an animal, capable of only animalistic reactions. He must no longer think of himself…as capable of ‘spiritual endurance,’ or nobility.” By animalizing man his “state of mind…can be ordered and enslaved.” (“Degradation and Shock,” Russian Textbook on Psychopolitics, Chapter viii)

Finally, Evolutionary Humanism posits the notion that despite the fact that man is “but fish made over…” there are in fact, some exceptions to this rule. For it happens - by chance of course - that some lucky “species” and “races” of the human animal are more highly evolved (superior) and therefore enlightened than the others, who are - unluckily for them - less evolved and as a consequence, subhuman. Paired to this view is the idea that if a species or race does not continue to evolve (progress up the evolutionary ladder), it will become extinct. Together, these ideas lead logically to the deadly conclusion that in order to preserve the fittest of the species - or the spiritually evolved, as is the case with Spiritual Communism - it is morally incumbent upon the superior to replace (via the science of eugenics and population control) and/or liquidate the subhumans. In his book, The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex, Charles Darwin foresaw this eventuality:

“At some future period...the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world...the anthropomorphous apes...will no doubt be exterminated.” (Descent, 2nd ed., p. 183)

In practice, the materialist worldview is a hellish recipe for catastrophe, as was amply demonstrated by the 20th century’s two most blood-soaked political movements - pagan Nazism and atheist Communism. Both rejected God, and both were animated by Darwinism.

Nazi Germany

Hitler’s murderous philosophy was built on Darwinian evolution and preservation of favored species. In his book Evolution and Ethics, British evolutionist Sir Arthur Keith notes,

“The leader of Germany is an evolutionist not only in theory, but, as millions know to their cost, in the rigor of its practice.” (p.230)

It was Darwinism that inspired Hitler to try to create - by way of eugenics - a superior race, the Aryan Man. In pursuit of his ambition, Hitler eliminated what he considered were inferior human animals, among which were for example, Jews, Slavs, Gypsies, and Christians.

Evolutionism in Nazi Germany resulted in gas chambers, ovens, and the liquidation of eleven million “useless eaters” and other undesirables. Evolutionist Niles Eldridge, author of Darwin: Discovering the Tree of Life, reluctantly concurs. Darwin’s theory, he acknowledges,

“...has given us the eugenics movement and some of its darker outgrowths, such as the genocidal practices of the Nazis.” (p. 13)

The Soviet Union

Even though Karl Marx wrote his Communist Manifesto before Darwin published his “On the Species,” the roots of Communism are nonetheless found in Darwinism. Karl Marx wrote Fredrich Engels that Darwin’s Origin,

“...is the book which contains the basis in natural science for our view.” (Conway Zirkle, Marxian Biology and the Social Scene)

Stephane Courtois, one of the authors of The Black Book of Communism, relates that,

“In Communism there exists a sociopolitical eugenics, a form of Social Darwinism.” (p. 752)

Vladimir Lenin exulted that,

“Darwin put an end to the belief that the animal and vegetable species bear no relation to one another (and) that they were created by God, and hence immutable.” (Tom DeRosa, Fatal Fruit, p. 9)

Lenin exercised godlike power over life and death. He saw himself as, “the master of the knowledge of the evolution of social species.” It was Lenin who “decided who should disappear by virtue of having been condemned to the dustbin of history.” From the moment Lenin made the “scientific” decision that the bourgeoisie represented a stage of humanity that evolution had surpassed, “its liquidation as a class and the liquidation of the individuals who actually or supposedly belonged to it could be justified.” (The Black Book of Communism, p. 752)

Alain Brossat draws the following conclusions about the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany, and the ties that bind them:

“The ‘liquidation’ of the Muscovite executioners, a close relative of the ‘treatment’ carried out by Nazi assassins, is a linguistic microcosm of an irreparable mental and cultural catastrophe that was in full view on the Soviet Stage. The value of human life collapsed, and thinking in categories replaced ethical thought…In the discourse and practice of the Nazi exterminators, the animalization of Other…was closely linked to the ideology of race. It was conceived in the implacably hierarchical racial terms of “subhumans” and “supermen”…but in Moscow in 1937, what mattered…was the total animalization of the Other, so that a policy under which absolutely anything was possible could come into practice.” (ibid., p. 751)

21st Century America

Ronald Reagan loved God and America. America he said is, “the moral force that defeated communism and all those who would put the human soul into bondage.” (Republican National Convention, Houston, Texas, 8/17/1992)

Even though he was optimistic about America’s future he nevertheless cautioned that America must maintain her reliance on God and her commitment to righteousness and morality. He liked quoting Alexis de Tocqueville’s insightful analysis of the source of America’s greatness:

“Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret and genius of her power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.” (Michael Reagan, In the Words of Ronald Reagan)

As America moves into the 21st century, we have yet to admit a shameful, dark secret. Evolutionism…the creation myth, that empowered Nazism and Communism, is being taught to America’s youth in our governmentcontrolled schools. The animalization of Americans is well advanced and coupled to a corresponding slow collapse of human worth. Already we hear of human life spoken of in dehumanizing categories such as “vegetable,” “non-persons,” and “uterine content.”

Ominously, Evolutionary Humanism has also outstripped Judeo-Christian precepts in our universities, judiciary, federal bureaucracy, corporations, medicine, law, psychology, sociology, entertainment, news media and halls of Congress. As Biocentrism, it fuels the nonhuman animal rights project, the gay rights movement, radical feminism, and the increasingly powerful and influential green environmentalist program, which demands that America submit to the draconian mandates of the Kyoto Treaty.

America, the “moral force that defeated communism” is on the verge of completely rejecting God, the natural order, and moral absolutes and instead, embracing the godless religion of evolution, amorality, and the unnatural.

Evolutionary Humanism is the most dangerous delusion thus far in history. It begins with the “animalization of Other,” in tandem with the elevation of the “superior,” for whom this serves as a license to make up their own rules, abuse power, and force their will onto the citizens. This is accompanied by a downward spiraling process that pathologizes the natural order, moral ethics, virtue, and social taboos while simultaneously elevating narcissism, tyranny, cruelty, nihilism, confusion, perversion, sadism, theft, and lying to positions of politically correct “new morality,” which is then enforced through sensitivity training, speech codes, hate crime laws, and other intimidation tactics. If not stopped, as history warns us, this rapidly escalating downward process leads inevitably to totalitarianism, enslavement, and eventually mass murder.

In a portent of things to come,

evolutionist B.F. Skinner said: “A scientific analysis of behavior dispossesses autonomous man and turns the control he has been said to exert over to the environment. The individual...is henceforth to be controlled...in large part by other men.” (David Noebel, Understanding the Times, p. 232)


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To: Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus
"Ender Wiggins strikes me as that sort of silly skeptic who seems to think that while he can reject our source of authority, we are duty bound to accept his."

Nonsense. I have no evangelical purpose, as my religion is not an evangelical one. I do not care one whit whether or not you accept either my sources or my arguments. I do not desire a single one of you to believe as I believe for any reason other than you happen to get there on your own. Like I did.

All I care about is that my beliefs get treated with the same respect due any deeply held faith. And as my conception of God includes acceptance of a completely naturalistic universe, I consider posts of the sort that started this thread pure intolerance and bigotry. You will note if you've actually read the thread that I am the one on the defense here, not Christianity.

My positive defense of my own faith need not be considered an attack on yours, and yet the hackles of certain folks immediately go up like a sword. If I have made one or two of you uncomfortable... well, as they say, what is good for the gander. But it is ironic that the single largest and most powerful religion on the planet, Christianity, still imagines itself to be a persecuted minority at risk of extinction. This has not been true since the Battle of the Milvan Bridge in 312.

So... stow the attitude. Truth is not a zero sum game. If you are correct then I am going to (inexplicably) spend eternity in a lake of fire, so God certainly needs no help from you holding me accountable for my beliefs.

But do not expect from me deference that you do not offer in return.
101 posted on 02/13/2010 3:31:04 PM PST by EnderWiggins
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To: EnderWiggins
I just think Paul didn't particularly care. He would not be the first or last person to interpret being struck by lighting as a message from God.

Paul was a super naturalist. A person who is free to interpret amazing events as either being super natural, or of not being so (albeit he was of a faith that interpreted certain specific events as necessarily being super natural).

A naturalist (at least the way I use the word--which I think is pretty conventional) holds a doctrine that super natural interpretations of events are universally invalid. They will usually never express it this way, because people like to think of themselves as open minded et al. But the fact is, if you hold that there is no super nature, then you hold that no event is super natural.

However this doctrine is arrived at, once in place it is quite immune to any contrary evidence. For any remotely feasible alternative explanation to a super natural explanation is automatically preferred. Moreover, even when no apparent natural explanation seems remotely feasible, a naturalist holding such a doctrine will presume that there is some unknown trick, mistake, lie, error, or something else that invalidates an otherwise convincing proof of super-naturalism.

Now firmly held unshakable doctrines are nothing new. But the really funny thing about this doctrine, is that the people holding it think of themselves as being skeptics and great believers of following evidence and reason.

102 posted on 02/14/2010 12:33:51 PM PST by AndyTheBear
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To: AndyTheBear
”Paul was a super naturalist. A person who is free to interpret amazing events as either being super natural, or of not being so (albeit he was of a faith that interpreted certain specific events as necessarily being super natural).”

Of course he was. And everybody is free to interpret anything they want any way they want. Some of them will actually even be correct in their interpretation. The point still remains that Paul had a spiritual experience that he understood to be an encounter with Christ. Not, of course, the “risen Christ” because his encounter occurred after the Ascension. It was a vision, and there is no indication in anything he wrote that he understood it as anything other.

”A naturalist (at least the way I use the word--which I think is pretty conventional) holds a doctrine that super natural interpretations of events are universally invalid. They will usually never express it this way, because people like to think of themselves as open minded et al. But the fact is, if you hold that there is no super nature, then you hold that no event is super natural.”

Close, but not quite. A naturalist simply understands “supernatural” to be an oxymoronic term. Almost the entire corpus of modern technology consists (for example) of perfectly natural things that a few centuries ago would have been indistinguishable from magic. The ability to speak to someone on the other side of the globe. The ability to send pictures and sounds through thin air. Heavier than air flight. Nuclear weapons. The list goes on and on.

The simple truth is that the more and more we learn about the universe, the less and less there appears to be for God to do.

A naturalist understands that if something exists, it is by definition natural no matter how unlikely or magical it may have seemed at one time. This is one of the reasons successful science is exclusively naturalistic. It never punts on the question of “why” with mystical speculation or intellectual surrender to ignorance. Instead, it ruthlessly pursues exploration of “how.”

When a naturalist dismisses a “supernatural phenomenon” out of hand it is always and only because the phenomenon has not actually been shown to even exist. Show us it exists and we will not only accept its existence, we will be your partner in explaining it.

Now… I know you might object that some things have no scientific explanation. I don’t think I need to point out that this is an historically risky position to take. It has never proven true yet.

”However this doctrine is arrived at, once in place it is quite immune to any contrary evidence. For any remotely feasible alternative explanation to a super natural explanation is automatically preferred. Moreover, even when no apparent natural explanation seems remotely feasible, a naturalist holding such a doctrine will presume that there is some unknown trick, mistake, lie, error, or something else that invalidates an otherwise convincing proof of super-naturalism.”

Nothing in that paragraph is true. It is an egregious caricature that derives, as far as I can tell, from unhappiness that so many petty miracles actually have been exposed as a “trick, mistake, lie, error, or something else.” It has always been a puzzle to me why the exposure of religious charlatans (and let’s be frank, it has been a cottage industry for millennia) is not embraced by religious people as positive, desirable and good. Certainly there can be no virtue in believing a lie…. Can there?

It is my experience that the “conflict between religion and science” is not generated by the scientists. The history of that conflict is invariably one of reaction by religionists to scientific knowledge they object to… not any active effort by scientists to prove religion false. Of course there are exceptions to every rule, but they prove the rule rather than call it into question.

A perfect example is the OP of this thread. It is a bald faced, bitter, and ultimately deeply false attack on naturalism and science. What did we do to deserve it? All we did is discover knowledge that you guys do not like, or that you find unacceptable. It leads us to conclusions that are at variance with your faith. It drives conclusions regarding what is true and what is not true that you do not like.

So?

”Now firmly held unshakable doctrines are nothing new. But the really funny thing about this doctrine, is that the people holding it think of themselves as being skeptics and great believers of following evidence and reason.”

You are projecting.
103 posted on 02/14/2010 1:05:12 PM PST by EnderWiggins
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To: EnderWiggins
These traditions come down to us through a several hundred year game of "telephone,"...

This comparison is a canard.

In the game of "telephone" a message is whispered once in an ear.

In Hebrew tradition, the message is taught, memorized, and continuously repeated back by the student over a life time, within in a community of people that can correct errors in each other.

Try this kind of game of "telephone":

1) Take 100 people in a room. Spend several hours working with them until you are positive they have the message correct.

2) Have 50 of them teach the same message to a room full of another room of 100 people for hours until they are convinced it is correct.

3+)Continue for a few dozen times...or if your simulating the number of generations until the NT was written you were done before step 2!

The message will be dead on. Because the mechanism is far more reliable then whispering once into an ear.

Even as someone who is no textual critic I know enough to recognize the quackery involved in the "telephone" game analogy!

104 posted on 02/14/2010 1:09:22 PM PST by AndyTheBear
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To: EnderWiggins
The simple truth is that the more and more we learn about the universe, the less and less there appears to be for God to do.

The evidence for the big bang theory seems to be a severe counter example to this idea.

Everybody seems to agree that nothing comes from nothing. Before the Big Bang theory, naturalists simply considered the universe to be eternal. Super naturalists were divided on the point.

But the Big Bang evidence suggests that the entire universe and all its laws and physical properties did not not simply always exist. It doesn't prove this absolutely, but it gives us a point at which it is hard for any science to look beyond.

But to defend against the God-centric notions of the Big Bang theory in secular academia, it is now supposed that the entire natural universe is not the entire natural universe...so the word "cosmos" came into common use, and some very intriguing notions took shape. The most amusing being the multi-verse view, in which every possibility is balanced out in some alternate universe invisible to us. Now the multi-verse "theory" seems to be a bit of a stretch for me. But if it is true, presumably there must be an infinite number of other universes, with an infinite fraction of them having life, with an infinite fraction having horse-like life, with an infinite fraction of them having horse-like life which is pink and horned.

Of coarse such pink, horned, horses can not be seen or studied, because they are invisible to us in this universe. You just have to have faith in them I guess.

105 posted on 02/14/2010 1:44:00 PM PST by AndyTheBear
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To: EnderWiggins
It has always been a puzzle to me why the exposure of religious charlatans (and let’s be frank, it has been a cottage industry for millennia) is not embraced by religious people as positive

Nobody likes being fooled by a charlatan, and I'm all for exposing them. I have many Christian friends who don't appreciate them either. I will grant that it is certainly easier for a religious charlatan to temporarily fool those of the same religion. Just as it is easier for a "missing link" hoax to temporarily fool Darwinists. But don't mistake that for acceptance in either case! An exposed charlatan has no credibility. Although the point at which they are "exposed" is debated with various biases.

However, it seems you are taking the existence of religious charlatans as evidence against religion. Certainly you must understand this is hardly any kind of valid argument.

There have been cottage industries of all kinds of charlatans, some with fake cures like snake oil, or whatever else. Yes many have been religious. Now science charlatans are somewhat newer. They have only been around sense science has been around. But face it, they are around in spades. They usually fool the non-erudite in any case. Good theologians can spot phony Christianity better than the more gullible common Christian, just as a good scientist can spot scientific quackery better than the gullible public in our science-respecting culture.

Charlatans use fake science, because real science has credibility with people. They also use fake religion because real religion has credibility with people.

No Ender, bringing up charlatans gets you no where except as another distraction.

106 posted on 02/14/2010 2:10:09 PM PST by AndyTheBear
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To: AndyTheBear
"However, it seems you are taking the existence of religious charlatans as evidence against religion. Certainly you must understand this is hardly any kind of valid argument."

Not at all. You keep forgetting that I am not an atheist. So how can I have anything against religion? For at least the tenth time in this discussion you have started tilting at windmills imagining them to be giants rather than actually arguing with what I have said. I gotta tell you... that got old several days ago.

The existence of religious charlatans merely justifies skepticism. And that is all I pointed out. Why you have again over reacted and understood that to be an attack on religion in general is still a puzzle to me.

I remain amazed at how many of your posts are arguing against some imaginary person who has not even shown up on this thread. Why is that? Are you having a crisis of faith and arguing with your own internal voices? Because I'm not the right guy to help you with that.
107 posted on 02/14/2010 3:28:33 PM PST by EnderWiggins
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To: AndyTheBear
"But the Big Bang evidence suggests that the entire universe and all its laws and physical properties did not not simply always exist. It doesn't prove this absolutely, but it gives us a point at which it is hard for any science to look beyond."

Sorry, but your discussion here of the Big Bang and cosmology is not correct.

As you pointed out in a previous paragraph, everybody agrees that ex hihilo, nihil fit. Nothing comes from nothing. This is therefore one of the things that bot religionists and naturalists agree on... there was something before the Big Bang.

The Big Bang represents a singularity during which the entire universe had zero dimension and infinite mass. It was also durationless... it lasted for zero time. It stands as a cusp between the universe that exists after the Big Bang and the universe that existed before the Big Bang, just as a point on an infinite line demarcates what is before the point from what is after the point, yet the point itself has no dimension.

The Big Bang is not the point at which the universe began. It is the point at which the universe became like it is now.

"But to defend against the God-centric notions of the Big Bang theory in secular academia, it is now supposed that the entire natural universe is not the entire natural universe...so the word "cosmos" came into common use, and some very intriguing notions took shape. The most amusing being the multi-verse view, in which every possibility is balanced out in some alternate universe invisible to us. Now the multi-verse "theory" seems to be a bit of a stretch for me. But if it is true, presumably there must be an infinite number of other universes, with an infinite fraction of them having life, with an infinite fraction having horse-like life, with an infinite fraction of them having horse-like life which is pink and horned."

All of that is true with the exception that it hardly is in a reaction to "God-centric notions of the Big Bang theory." It is simply the actual result of very smart people studying the laws of nature and drawing the inevitable conclusions. Again, you have this very anachronistic idea that there is some sort of war going on between atheistic science and religion, and that scientists are actually trying to prove your religion false.

That conflict is entirely in your imagination.
108 posted on 02/14/2010 3:38:40 PM PST by EnderWiggins
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To: AndyTheBear
"In Hebrew tradition, the message is taught, memorized, and continuously repeated back by the student over a life time, within in a community of people that can correct errors in each other."

You are being anachronistic again. The Qumran and the Masada scrolls show that the Old Testament text was still not stabilized near the end of the first century AD.

So the game of telephone remains an apt analogy.
109 posted on 02/14/2010 3:43:26 PM PST by EnderWiggins
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To: EnderWiggins

” But you do not ask the obvious question.... which John? John the Presbyter? John the Evangelist? John the Apostle?”

Not an important question since all three names may refer to the same man. But assuming that each name applies to a different individual, just to give your latest straw a chance, they were still three first century Christians close to the events that had just transpired.

It’s only within the confines of your little game of telephone that it would be hard for a first generation to pass on their knowledge to the next. In the real world I’ve never seen a teacher who whispers his knowledge to a student in one sentence and then tells him to pass it on. I always experienced that as a child’s game. Your experience evidently is different, which should explain why you think that argument has any merit.


110 posted on 02/14/2010 9:58:51 PM PST by Pelham
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To: EnderWiggins
You are being anachronistic again.

Oh I wish. Its been many years since I got to fight in an SCA battle.

The Qumran and the Masada scrolls show that the Old Testament text was still not stabilized near the end of the first century AD.

One of the many things I am not an export on are the dead sea scrolls. However, from everything I do know, your conclusion sounds pretty zany. So I googled it, and found tons of dull dry info that gave me no relevant insight before I ran out of patience.

So I must ask, do you have a source you can point that lends support for this non stabilization.

As for asking who I am arguing with. I make it a habit to try to refine and/or correct my views to be more in line with truth. Since I believe it is truth that sets us free. So any argument that you have made that seems it might have merit, I have tried to consider. So far I think you make a much worse case for naturalism then I had already made for myself...and not found as convincing as that for Christianity.

Sorry if some of that arguing with myself spilled over. I think we all do that a little...or it at least I would like to think that.

111 posted on 02/14/2010 10:32:28 PM PST by AndyTheBear
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To: AndyTheBear

“His argument focuses away from the NT itself, and focuses on how the NT was interpreted by “the church fathers”, who seemingly to be any proclaimed Christian in church history with an anti-semitic slant. “

Maybe he finds the NT inconvenient for his purposes.

” On the other hand, I kind of thought of the writers of the NT and their contemporaries as the “church fathers”.”

You should, because they are. Those would be “the Apostolic fathers”. Theologians up to about the 500s tend to get included in lists of the church fathers, depending on who makes the list.

“My own position has been that following Christ’s commands to and ethical example are the epitome of what it means to be Christian, “

You’d soon find yourself embroiled in a debate over works versus grace with that position, although neither side would disagree that the moral precepts are worth emulating.


112 posted on 02/14/2010 10:41:38 PM PST by Pelham
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To: EnderWiggins; AndyTheBear

“It is my experience that the “conflict between religion and science” is not generated by the scientists. The history of that conflict is invariably one of reaction by religionists to scientific knowledge they object to… not any active effort by scientists to prove religion false. Of course there are exceptions to every rule, but they prove the rule rather than call it into question”

It appears that your knowledge of the subject is conventional and not very informed. Rather than open such a large subject I’ll just recommend the works of Stanley Jaki. The question is of course epistemological, and not one of science versus religion. It’s metaknowledge. Science doesn’t and can’t define itself, a point Jaki develops in his writing on Goedel. Moreover if non-repeatable events happened in Christ’s life then science would record them as data, it wouldn’t simply discard them because they don’t fit an imposed paradigm of naturalism. In fact at that point naturalism would reveal itself as rigid and non-scientific, choosing repeatability over data it can’t explain within the limitations imposed by naturalism.


113 posted on 02/14/2010 11:08:06 PM PST by Pelham
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To: AndyTheBear

“The simple truth is that the more and more we learn about the universe, the less and less there appears to be for God to do.”
“The evidence for the big bang theory seems to be a severe counter example to this idea.”

A good choice, Andy. Mathematician/ astronomer Fred Hoyle coined the term ‘Big Bang’ to disparage the idea. He refused to accept the Big Bang as being good science because he recognized its odd similarity to the opening of Genesis, and he was going to have none of that. That would eventually change for Hoyle, one of the pioneers of the anthropic principle.


114 posted on 02/14/2010 11:19:22 PM PST by Pelham
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To: AndyTheBear; EnderWiggins

Piltdown Man.

Piltdown Man was even used as evidence by Clarence Darrow in the Scope’s Monkey Trial, which is certainly amusing. The hoax ran for 40 years.

And of course right now we have ‘anthropogenic global warming’, which the high priesthood of the science establishment has been selling us for a good number of years. AGW is science, you know, or so we’ve been told, and doubters have been held up as the heretics they are.

Alas, it now seems that some of the AGW evidence has, er, been faked. The Church of Scientism is being surrounded by superstitious peasants wearing Hayek and Popper masks, jeering cries of “Positivism!” as they hurl rocks and garbage at the hunkered down high priests of scientific charlatanism.


115 posted on 02/14/2010 11:45:35 PM PST by Pelham
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To: AndyTheBear; EnderWiggins

http://isv.org/catacombs/isaiah_MT_vs_1QIsa.htm
THE CATACOMBS
You are here: Home > Catacombs > Articles

Why Use the Dead Sea Scrolls instead of the Masoretic Text to translate Isaiah?

Why is the base text for Isaiah the Great Scroll of Isaiah? Why was 1QIsa substituted for the MT?

In our view 1QIsa is more reliable than the two surviving Masoretic Text manuscripts. More on this, below.
It is completely out of accord with the 1st principle of translation posted on-line.

At best, this accusation misunderstands the principle. Our answer is that or use of the Great Isaiah Scroll is fully in accord with our first principle: Here’s what our first principle states, as quoted exactly from our Principles of Translation page:
For the Tanakh, or Old Testament, the Masoretic text as published in the latest editions of Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia and Quinta is used as the base text, in consultation with other ancient Hebrew texts such as the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Samaritan Pentateuch, and a select number of ancient versions (the Septuagint, the Vulgate, the Syriac Peshitta, and the Targums). All significant departures from the base text, as well as all significant textual variants, are indicated in footnotes.
With respect to Isaiah’s famous book, the operative phrase “in consultation with other ancient Hebrew texts such as the Dead Sea Scrolls” is applicable. In the case of Isaiah, we consulted with 1QIsa so much that it became quickly evident that in translating the book of Isaiah, the MT must be supplanted by 1QIsa, aka the Great Isaiah Scroll from Qumran Cave One because 1QIsa is more reliable than the MT.

We make no statement as to the comparative reliability of the MT to the other MSS of the DSS. For now, we only comment on the contents of Qumran Cave One.

It is not commonly known to lay Bible readers that the entire ancient corpus of Old Testament Hebrew manuscripts consists of only two texts: Codex Leningradensis and the Aleppo Text. Both date from within 100 years of each other, give or take a decade or so, and in round numbers we date them from about 950 and 1050 AD.

In contrast, the DSS Great Isaiah Scroll dates from mid-2nd century BC, at the latest, and maybe as early as the mid-200’s BC. It’s 1200 years or more older than the MT manuscripts that have survived over the centuries. In our view, 1QIsa is the more reliable manuscript.

Along the way to rendering one of the first high-quality English language translations of 1QIsa with scholarly footnotes that will be made generally available to the public, a suspicion that’s grown on us while making the ISV OT rendering has come to the forefront of our analysis of the MT text: this is our growing theory that certain parts of the MT tradition came about during the Middle Ages as a polemic response to the Christian interpretation of the Tanakh as that tradition is sustained in the NT MSS.

The explanations of the events of the NT (as depicted by those NT writers) have a tendency to cite the LXX, since the NT was largely composed originally in Greek, or when citing the Tanakh, NT writers occasionally proffer what appears to be a Targum; i.e., a dynamically produced, spontaneously crafted translation from the original Hebrew or Aramaic Tanakh into Greek, somewhat after the fashion of a modern United Nations-like dynamic translation. In doing all of this, NT writers who are citing the OT as proof of a prophecy fulfillment
sometimes make citations that are inconsistent with the MT readings. But these renderings do not appear to have been inconsistent with the LXX or with their Targum-like personal translations. Nor, it would appear, are these citations by NT writers inconsistent with 1QIsa in the DSS, even though occasionally the NT writer citations of the OT are inconsistent with the MT. So we’ve been wondering why the MT says things that the DSS don’t contain. We think the anti-NT interpretational grid for the MT arose during the 4th century as a response to Constantine’s somewhat anti-Semitic influence on the Jewish Hebrew scholarly community. So we’re relying on 1QIsa over the MT’s Aleppo Text and Codex Leningradensis. To sum up, when we can use a Hebrew MS that is 12 centuries older than the MT, we’ll use it rather than MT.


116 posted on 02/15/2010 12:03:23 AM PST by Pelham
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To: Pelham
Moreover if non-repeatable events happened in Christ’s life then science would record them as data, it wouldn’t simply discard them because they don’t fit an imposed paradigm of naturalism.

Good point.

But its kind of a continuum. Seems scientific method needs to get less rigid the closer it gets to studying the actions of intelligent beings. Sociology and psychology are softer sciences than biology which is softer than chemistry and physics. For understanding people, having relationships and using intuition and empathy work better.

Theology is most at the extreme. We can not understand God through science any more than an microscopic organism can understand us through science. However we can have a relationship with Him.

The problem many have with this is that God is more sophisticated than us and out of our control. He refuses to be what we imagine he ought. And He stubbornly persists at being what we can't comprehend. And yet we can "get" Him when we love Him.

117 posted on 02/15/2010 12:50:19 AM PST by AndyTheBear
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To: Pelham
That would eventually change for Hoyle, one of the pioneers of the anthropic principle.

I have only seen or read of the "anthropic principle" in terms of an argument used to defend naturalism against the apparent design of this particular universe to produce "observers".

The argument seems completely fallacious to me by the way...but I have a freaky ability with logic and abstraction (got me through college even though I never studied)...so I understand how people could be fooled by it.

Is this where Fred Hoyle was coming from?

118 posted on 02/15/2010 12:59:28 AM PST by AndyTheBear
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To: AndyTheBear

bttt


119 posted on 02/15/2010 1:03:18 AM PST by 185JHP ( "The thing thou purposest shall come to pass: And over all thy ways the light shall shine.")
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To: Pelham
"Not an important question since all three names may refer to the same man. "

Excuse me? It's not an "important question" because you do not even know whether or not they are same man?

Isn't that an admission that you have no idea who you are talking about? Ans isn't that exactly my point?
120 posted on 02/15/2010 8:28:19 AM PST by EnderWiggins
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To: Pelham
"It appears that your knowledge of the subject is conventional and not very informed."

That's one option. Another is that the conventional view is correct. I'm certain that there are others.

But let me be clear on my position (and this is supported by the writing of Jaki regarding Godel's incompleteness theory and the "theory of everything").

The only genuine tools we have for incrementally approaching truth are evidence and reason. Hume pointed out that inductive reasoning rested on an unprovable assumption and therefore could not itself be "proven." Godel extended that inability to ever attain proof to deductive reasoning as well. The net result is fascinating if you are a philosopher, but of exactly zero pragmatic use to living human beings.

We operate inductively because it works. There is no other reason, and no other reason is necessary. It's all we got.

"Moreover if non-repeatable events happened in Christ’s life then science would record them as data, it wouldn’t simply discard them because they don’t fit an imposed paradigm of naturalism"

Completely consistent with my previous response to Andy. Science does not reject any such phenomena out of hand... but it does expect them to be actually demonstrated to exist before they can be seriously considered.

Any "non-repeatable events" that happened in Christi's life are not discarded because they fail to fit a naturalistic paradigm. They are discarded because they are not data at all, they are anecdote.

So along with Andy you are arguing with a convenient caricature of naturalistic science, not with science as it actually operates. What was it you were saying about someone's "knowledge of the subject [being] conventional and not very informed?"

Let no irony go unsmelted.
121 posted on 02/15/2010 9:37:08 AM PST by EnderWiggins
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To: EnderWiggins; Pelham
So along with Andy you are arguing with a convenient caricature of naturalistic science, not with science as it actually operates.

Science operates in many ways. Sometimes well and sometimes not so well. You operate with impossibly wide brushes and vague expressions of truth.

122 posted on 02/15/2010 3:16:48 PM PST by AndyTheBear
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To: Pelham
Why Use the Dead Sea Scrolls instead of the Masoretic Text to translate Isaiah?

OK, thanks for posting this. Sounds like they are explaining why a manuscript 1200 years older is preferred.

But while I am trying to consider Ender's telephone analogy with regard to these texts, I still have no idea how his reference to the dead sea scrolls helps him make it.

What I can determine by my own meager scholarship is that the KJV which was made with very few manuscripts is slightly inferior to the NIV and modern versions which used a great many more manuscripts, many of which were older.

But if the "telephone game" analogy is valid, I would expect the NIV and KJV to be hopelessly divergent. But I find they have very little difference except in what English words were chosen for translation. The apparent differences in manuscript were minute and irrelevant to anybody but the nit-picking perfectionists who do God's tedius work of translating these things.

Thus I must conclude its unreasonable to take Ender seriously in this matter.

123 posted on 02/15/2010 3:57:26 PM PST by AndyTheBear
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To: AndyTheBear

” Sociology and psychology are softer sciences than biology which is softer than chemistry and physics”

It’s improper to use the methods of hard sciences, the physical sciences, to study social phenomena. Hayak wrote an excellent little book on the subject called “The Counter-Revolution of Science: Studies on the Abuse of Reason”. Hayak calls this misapplication of scientific methodology “scientism”. It’s an easy read and Hayek of course is one of the great intellects of his time.


124 posted on 02/15/2010 10:53:06 PM PST by Pelham
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To: AndyTheBear

“An early paper of Hoyle’s made an interesting use of the anthropic principle. In trying to work out the routes of stellar nucleosynthesis, he observed that one particular nuclear reaction, the triple-alpha process, which generates carbon, would require the carbon nucleus to have a very specific energy for it to work. The large amount of carbon in the universe, which makes it possible for carbon-based life-forms (e.g. humans) to exist, demonstrated that this nuclear reaction must work. Based on this notion, he made a prediction of the energy levels in the carbon nucleus that was later borne out by experiment.

However, those energy levels, while needed in order to produce carbon in large quantities, were statistically very unlikely. Hoyle later wrote:

Would you not say to yourself, “Some super-calculating intellect must have designed the properties of the carbon atom, otherwise the chance of my finding such an atom through the blind forces of nature would be utterly minuscule.” Of course you would . . . A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question.[3]

“Hoyle, an atheist until that time, said that this suggestion of a guiding hand left him “greatly shaken.” Consequently, he began to believe in a god and panspermia.[4] Those who advocate the intelligent design hypothesis sometimes cite Hoyle’s work in this area to support the claim that the universe was fine tuned in order to allow intelligent life to be possible. Some of his thoughts in this area have been referred to as “Hoyle’s fallacy” by detractors.

His co-worker William Alfred Fowler eventually won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1983 (with Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar), but for some reason Hoyle’s original contribution was overlooked, and many were surprised that such a notable astronomer missed out. Fowler himself in an autobiographical sketch affirmed Hoyle’s pioneering efforts:

The concept of nucleosynthesis in stars was first established by Hoyle in 1946. This provided a way to explain the existence of elements heavier than helium in the universe, basically by showing that critical elements such as carbon could be generated in stars and then incorporated in other stars and planets when that star “dies”. The new stars formed now start off with these heavier elements and even heavier elements are formed from them. Hoyle theorized that other rarer elements could be explained by supernovas, the giant explosions which occasionally occur throughout the universe, whose temperatures and pressures would be required to create such elements.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Hoyle


125 posted on 02/15/2010 10:57:39 PM PST by Pelham
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To: EnderWiggins

“Any “non-repeatable events” that happened in Christi’s life are not discarded because they fail to fit a naturalistic paradigm. They are discarded because they are not data at all, they are anecdote.”

That’s an interesting objection. Most of what we know of history is anecdotal. Do you discard all the rest of history as well, or just the parts that aren’t caught on film? Give us a hint of some history that isn’t based on anecdote.

“But let me be clear on my position (and this is supported by the writing of Jaki regarding Godel’s incompleteness theory and the “theory of everything”).

The only genuine tools we have for incrementally approaching truth are evidence and reason. Hume pointed out that inductive reasoning rested on an unprovable assumption and therefore could not itself be “proven.” Godel extended that inability to ever attain proof to deductive reasoning as well. The net result is fascinating if you are a philosopher, but of exactly zero pragmatic use to living human beings.”

A mildly interesting detour, albeit having little relevance to what Jaki says about Goedel. Jaki is interested in the implications of Goedel for attempts, as Hawking tried, of proving that the universe could define and create itself. Jaki says Goedel proves it’s not possible, something that reinforces theistic arguments for the universe and something that creates a problem for materialist explanations.

“So along with Andy you are arguing with a convenient caricature of naturalistic science, not with science as it actually operates. What was it you were saying about someone’s “knowledge of the subject [being] conventional and not very informed?””

I didn’t offer any view of naturalistic science, other than it’s misapplication as described by Hayak in what he calls ‘scientism’. You present an example of it with:

” Science does not reject any such phenomena out of hand... but it does expect them to be actually demonstrated to exist before they can be seriously considered.

Any “non-repeatable events” that happened in Christi’s life are not discarded because they fail to fit a naturalistic paradigm. They are discarded because they are not data at all, they are anecdote.”

The methodology of science isn’t applicable to the events of Christ’s life, the rules of evidence are. It’s a simple epistemological distinction, and one you fail to make.


126 posted on 02/16/2010 12:15:29 AM PST by Pelham
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To: AndyTheBear

“But while I am trying to consider Ender’s telephone analogy with regard to these texts, I still have no idea how his reference to the dead sea scrolls helps him make it.”

The telephone game is a foolish argument and you are wasting your time wondering about it. If you want to learn about how the biblical texts were transmitted over time there are many good books on the subject, FF Bruce’s works come to mind. The study of the error correction methods built into the text and those used to keep copyist errors to a minimum are are fascinating. The number of letters and arithmetic value of each line were known for each book, some books create an ‘X’ if they are correctly copied, and so forth.

The KJV was based on the textus receptus of Erasmus. Greek texts had arrived in the West after the fall of Constantinople, and Erasmus was able to assemble the textus receptus out of them. This corrected a number of errors that had crept into the Latin vulgate text that was the sole source in the West for centuries.

Since Erasmus time many more manuscripts have been discovered permitting modern scholars to get a perspective unavailable to Erasmus. And ancient translations from the Greek into Aramaic and other languages permit another way to cross check manuscripts for differences. All the same the number of differences is small between any of these texts. The ancients had many methods to insure that they copied accurately.


127 posted on 02/16/2010 12:37:12 AM PST by Pelham
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To: Pelham
"That’s an interesting objection. Most of what we know of history is anecdotal. Do you discard all the rest of history as well, or just the parts that aren’t caught on film? Give us a hint of some history that isn’t based on anecdote."

Well... you have now rather dramatically changed the subject, haven't you? I was speaking of science, and you suddenly are switching to history. But that's okay... having identified and been explicit regarding this particular feat of verbal legerdemain, let's talk about history.

In the first place, only certain periods of history come down to us as anecdotes. Some are exclusively data, particularly when we are speaking "prehistory" (understood as prior to writing). But even the most anecdotally rich periods of history also provide us with data. I (for example) collect Roman Republican coins and weapons. The excavations at Herculaneum and Pompeii provide a wide assortment of relevant artifacts and remains. Even the documentary evidence provides us with multiple independent sources that can be used to check and cross check accounts in the effort to reach some sort of confidence regarding the probable truth.

And in the process, yes, we discard a vast amount of historical anecdote as false, unlikely, tendentious or impossible. See how that works?

" Jaki is interested in the implications of Goedel for attempts, as Hawking tried, of proving that the universe could define and create itself. Jaki says Goedel proves it’s not possible, something that reinforces theistic arguments for the universe and something that creates a problem for materialist explanations."

And of course Jaki reached that intended conclusion precisely because he inserted that desired outcome into his assumptions. It is a classic example of the circulum in probando. The universe is no more obviously created than God is obviously created. So the very premise of anybody (let alone the universe itself) creating the universe has already assumed facts not in evidence.

But it is necessary for Jaki, lest his arguments find no evidence for his faith.

"The methodology of science isn’t applicable to the events of Christ’s life, the rules of evidence are. It’s a simple epistemological distinction, and one you fail to make."

The methodology of science is applicable to everything. Some applications are just harder than others.
128 posted on 02/16/2010 9:13:29 AM PST by EnderWiggins
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To: Pelham; AndyTheBear
"The telephone game is a foolish argument and you are wasting your time wondering about it. If you want to learn about how the biblical texts were transmitted over time there are many good books on the subject, FF Bruce’s works come to mind."

Actually, yes... F.F. Bruce is a fine source especially because even though his premise and agenda was the validation of the NT Texts as reliable, even he is unable to completely account for or dismiss the vast messiness and controversy with which the canon of the NT has some down to us.

The primary shortfall in his work is the sectarian choice to presume Pauline Christianity as "true" and thereby reject or ignore the vast diversity of the early Church. As a result, even his messy review is erroneously skewed to make the canonization look inevitable when it rather patently was not.

His treatment of Marcion for example is (at least from the perspective of scholarly objectivity) particularly shameful. Tagging him with the heavily-baggaged label of "heretic," he writes that "Marcion's list, however, does not represent the current verdict of the Church but a deliberate aberration from it."

A deliberate aberration from what? There was no such "verdict of the Church" at the time at all. How does one "deliberately aberrate" from something that does not exist?

Bruce is simply unprepared or incapable of asking the one serious and substantive question regarding Marcion (or any of the other members of that vast fleet of Gnostics and other Christian sects that existed at the time). What if Marcion was right?

No, my friends. The "game of telephone" (which I first introduced regarding the Old Testament rather than the New) takes on a particularly unforgiving character regarding the Gospels and associated texts. The significant changes I speak of are not mere "copyist errors." They are the wholesale loss, rejection, suppression and attempt to eradicate a vast corpus of documents regarding a Church history that is not the linear, seamless transmission of authority via apostolic succession that Pauline Christianity would have us believe.

That is simply the version of Christianity that won the war.
129 posted on 02/16/2010 10:28:23 AM PST by EnderWiggins
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To: EnderWiggins; Pelham
No, my friends. The "game of telephone" (which I first introduced regarding the Old Testament rather than the New) takes on a particularly unforgiving character regarding the Gospels and associated texts. The significant changes I speak of are not mere "copyist errors." They are the wholesale loss, rejection, suppression and attempt to eradicate a vast corpus of documents regarding a Church history that is not the linear, seamless transmission of authority via apostolic succession that Pauline Christianity would have us believe.

A thousand pardons if I am setting up yet another of my straw man, but this surely does sound like another conspiracy theory.

130 posted on 02/16/2010 2:46:08 PM PST by AndyTheBear
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To: EnderWiggins; Pelham
The universe is no more obviously created than God is obviously created.

Well, there is certainly something that was not created. Because there is, well, "stuff". Logic gives us two choices as to the nature of that thing (or those things):

A) That thing which was not created is a natural part of nature.

B) That thing which was not created transcends nature itself.

The obvious reason to reject A is why even my daughter (who was 4 at the time) rejected naturalism. We all do. As Paul points out there is no excuse. We know the nature of God from what was created.

When I asked where milk came from, she said the refrigerator. I followed up and asked how it got in the refrigerator, and she said it came from the store. When I asked how it got in the store, she said that God put it there.

She was correct, albeit she left out some steps. Her logic was otherwise dead on. Now matter how we study nature, and learn additional milk data points...we can not escape this conclusion.

131 posted on 02/16/2010 2:57:11 PM PST by AndyTheBear
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To: AndyTheBear

That is because you don’t seem to know what a conspiracy is.


132 posted on 02/16/2010 3:28:58 PM PST by EnderWiggins
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To: AndyTheBear
"Well, there is certainly something that was not created. Because there is, well, "stuff". Logic gives us two choices as to the nature of that thing (or those things):

A) That thing which was not created is a natural part of nature.

B) That thing which was not created transcends nature itself."


Of course that is certainly something that was not created. We both agreed almost a week ago that ex nihilo, nihil fit.

But I have no idea what you even mean by "transcend[ing] nature itself." Isn't that an oxymoron like "outside the universe" or "more than everything?"

"The obvious reason to reject A is why even my daughter (who was 4 at the time) rejected naturalism. We all do. As Paul points out there is no excuse. We know the nature of God from what was created."

I'm sorry... that makes no sense to me whatsoever. "We all do" is an obvious reason for rejecting naturalism? How can that be when in point of fact, we don't all. If we all did, there would be nobody to argue with.

"When I asked where milk came from, she said the refrigerator. I followed up and asked how it got in the refrigerator, and she said it came from the store. When I asked how it got in the store, she said that God put it there.

She was correct, albeit she left out some steps. Her logic was otherwise dead on. Now matter how we study nature, and learn additional milk data points...we can not escape this conclusion.


In point of fact, your example there actually demonstrates the complete abandonment of reason that is necessary to draw the conclusion "because God."

Your daughter started by beginning to assemble a chain of causality. And this is the perfectly correct place to start, because we all understand that nothing comes from nothing. The law of cause and effect is the most rigorously confirmed induction we have ever been able to make as a species. The confidence is so great that we even have invented a label for those instances when it appears the law might have been violated. We call them "miracles."

But as your daughter commenced her journey along that chain of causality, she eventually just threw up her hands, stopped following it, and "called it God." She did it at a very early part in the causal chain. You do it at some much more distant point, perhaps at the Big bang, or perhaps even before.

But you have both done the same thing. You have both given up, thrown up your hands and called it "God." Worse, you actually believe that that "logic is dead on" when in point of fact, it is the explicit abandonment of logic. Logic cannot lead you to the conclusion of God. Logic can only lead you to the conclusion of an eternal and uncreated chain of causality.

An eternal universe.

This is exactly where so many "proofs of God" break down. The argument of the "uncaused cause" or the Kalam Cosmological argument all depend on eventually abandoning their premises and asserting a God that was not actually reasoned to. If we hold the premise that all effects have causes, it cannot lead you to an effect that has no cause. It can only lead you to an eternal chain of causes and effects.

Please don't come back and baldly assert, "But that's absurd." After all you have already conceded that something must be eternal. An eternal universe is no more or less absurd than an eternal God. The only difference is that we actually have evidence for a universe. What comparable evidence do we have for your version of God?
133 posted on 02/16/2010 3:52:03 PM PST by EnderWiggins
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To: EnderWiggins
The law of cause and effect is the most rigorously confirmed induction we have ever been able to make as a species.

Specifically this is rigorously confirmed by induction based on observation, not deduction. Otherwise one could simply say we can simply deduce what you just called "miracles" do not happen without any observation of the universe at all.

An eternal universe is no more or less absurd than an eternal God.

If and only if this eternal God did not transcend nature in a way that made the observation based induction of causality applicable to Him.

An eternal universe.

If there is one thing modern physics has strongly suggested about the universe, that we as a species were not aware of before, it is that there is no example of anything infinite in it.

Now this contradicts our intuition, and who knows what theories will evolve later, but currently it looks like there is a smallest discreet unit of everything. Matter, energy, space, and even time. Thus nothing in the universe strictly needed the Calculus. There is a lot of space, but it doesn't go on forever. There are many particles, but there is a finite amount. There is a lot of energy, but it is finite. Any kind of infinity in this universe only appears to be a concept in the minds of people.

134 posted on 02/16/2010 4:49:24 PM PST by AndyTheBear
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To: EnderWiggins
Ender, I have noticed a repeated fallacious pattern in your logic. Again and again you start with a modest premise that is easy to accept but then change it (without realizing it I suppose) to a stronger premise when you apply it to your argument. For example:

The law of cause and effect is the most rigorously confirmed induction we have ever been able to make as a species.

Here you have a rather modest premise. Easy to support. You use the word "induction". Which is correct, as long as one means something inferred from what we can observe.

Logic can only lead you to the conclusion of an eternal and uncreated chain of causality.

Ah, but here is where you have applied the above premise. But presto-chango-re-arango now the meaning is that this causal change is an inescapable deduction of not only what we have observed...but of any possible Heavenly realm we have not. You have elevated an observed induction to a principle of deductive logic which is beyond question.

Be more careful, and you will see truth more clearly.

135 posted on 02/16/2010 6:55:17 PM PST by AndyTheBear
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To: AndyTheBear

” this surely does sound like another conspiracy theory.”

It is. Your first clue should be Endless Wiggles appeal to “lost books”; if they are lost, then he certainly can’t know what’s in them any more than you do, and you can’t examine them to keep him honest. He can make them say whatever he wants. He pretends that these Lost Books support what he’s selling because it’s easier for him than dealing with a real text that he finds inconvenient.

It’s not hard to find copies of “suppressed texts” that aren’t included in the canon of scripture. Some, like the Didache or the Shepherd of Hermas, are considered valuable and worthy of study. They just aren’t canonical. Others are gnostic texts that were rejected as being heretical. The Gospel of Thomas would be an example.

Wiggle’s disparagement of Pauline Christianity is another clue that he’s wandering in the fever swamps of terra conspiratoria. Pauline Christianity is the major portion of the NT. His acceptance by the Apostles is documented by Luke, by the first Jerusalem council.

FF Bruce was one of the preeminent scholars of his time and his books are classics of apologetics. Wiggle’s condescension of Bruce simply marks him as a crank.


136 posted on 02/16/2010 8:34:15 PM PST by Pelham
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To: EnderWiggins

“Well... you have now rather dramatically changed the subject, haven’t you? I was speaking of science, and you suddenly are switching to history.”

No, you switched to history when you decided to dismiss the events of Christ’s life as being anecdotal. There is nothing being measured there, it is a judgement that involves the rules of evidence. You quite obviously haven’t studied epistemology and you like to to scurry to the cover of “science” even when it’s not appropriate to the subject in question. Again it’s what Hayak criticizes as “scientism”, the inappropriate attempt to apply the tools of hard science to social phenomena, and history is social phenomena.

“And of course Jaki reached that intended conclusion precisely because he inserted that desired outcome into his assumptions”

Of course Jaki did nothing of the sort and I’m quite certain your sole familiarity with his work was to read his wikipedia page last night. Goedel’s Theorem demonstrates the necessity of mathematical systems to draw upon information outside of the system itself. The same mathematical systems are used in theoretical physics to describe the universe. Jaki pointed out that this necessitates that the universe draws upon information outside of itself, a fact that parallels Aristotle’s concept of the unmoved mover and theistic conceptions of God outside of creation.

“The methodology of science is applicable to everything. Some applications are just harder than others.”

Illustrating again that knowing nothing of epistemology you try to get by with scientism rather than science. The methodology of science is applicable to empiricism where we can observe and measure. It’s non-applicable and second order to disciplines like mathematics and logic.


137 posted on 02/16/2010 9:27:04 PM PST by Pelham
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To: Pelham; AndyTheBear
"No, you switched to history when you decided to dismiss the events of Christ’s life as being anecdotal."

Nonsense. The thread stands for everyone to read and you are the one who, confronted with the argument from science that I was making, chose to change the subject rather than make a serious effort of addressing what I said. Now... I went along and patronized your ploy, so I see no reason you should suddenly play Captain Renault from Casablanca.

"There is nothing being measured there, it is a judgement that involves the rules of evidence."

In terms of the singular events of Christ's life reported by tradition, you are absolutely correct. There is nothing being measured here. That is why, as I pointed out previously, they cannot be considered scientifically. They are mere anecdote. But it is disingenuous of you to pretend that the necessary dismissal of those ancient tales shows that science has made some dogmatic decision to reject such evidence out of hand were it to ever be presented. Your continued effort to mischaracterize science in that respect does you no credit.

Because, I assure you... if you were to come into my laboratory today and under controlled circumstances turn water in to wine I would happily measure it and then commence the effort to try and explain it. Because that's what science does. We leave to mullahs and apostles the more traditional choice to just throw up their hands and blame it on "God."

"You quite obviously haven’t studied epistemology and you like to to scurry to the cover of “science” even when it’s not appropriate to the subject in question. Again it’s what Hayak criticizes as “scientism”, the inappropriate attempt to apply the tools of hard science to social phenomena, and history is social phenomena."

You know, I can be as pedantic as the next guy. But I also can tell when someone is trying to substitute supercilious dismissal for actual argument. This is little more than another attempt by you to shift the subject from what was actually being discussed to some straw man of your manufacture that you find more congenial to your purpose. I see no need to cooperate with what we both understand to be little more than a rhetorical device.

Have I studied epistemology? Actually yes. What was the conclusion of my study? That like most philosophy its primary purpose is to make the proponent sound intelligent and overwhelm with authority that which can not be defeated by reason. I am happy let you accuse me of not studying any and all the "-ologies." And when you are done, I'll still be here ready to actually talk about the substance of our disagreement.

"Of course Jaki did nothing of the sort and I’m quite certain your sole familiarity with his work was to read his wikipedia page last night. Goedel’s Theorem demonstrates the necessity of mathematical systems to draw upon information outside of the system itself. The same mathematical systems are used in theoretical physics to describe the universe. Jaki pointed out that this necessitates that the universe draws upon information outside of itself, a fact that parallels Aristotle’s concept of the unmoved mover and theistic conceptions of God outside of creation."

Unlike Jaki (amongst his many sins, this was not one of them) you are confusing the "mathematical systems [that] are used in theoretical physics to describe the universe" with the universe itself. They are no more the same than a ledger entry of my weight, height, eye and hair color is me. Godel speaks only to the limitation of the systems with which we describe... not the reality we are describing.

But worse, (and this actually was one of Jakis errors) the decision to apply such a measuring system to the universe and not also God is an arbitrary one. That arbitrary choice is not derived from any actual reasoning that preceded it. It is (as in the many flawed arguments depending ultimately on an "uncaused cause") the abandonment of the reasoning that had led to that point and the random insertion of "God."

Jaki does not makes (and cannot make) any real argument why the universe should require something outside of itself while God should not. If Godel's incompleteness theorem required a "God" outside of the universe to "complete" it, does it not also require an über-God outside of God to complete Him? If not, why not?

No... everything Jaki "concluded" depended upon having already assumed the existence of entity that violated the very basis of his "reasoning." Such a conclusion is no less arbitrary when wrapped in a matrix of philosophical prose than if he has simply stood up and said, "Logic? We don't need no stinking logic!!" His argument is simply a more eloquent version of Andy's daughter asserting that God puts the milk in the store.
138 posted on 02/17/2010 10:46:41 AM PST by EnderWiggins
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To: AndyTheBear
"Specifically this is rigorously confirmed by induction based on observation, not deduction. Otherwise one could simply say we can simply deduce what you just called "miracles" do not happen without any observation of the universe at all."

Yes... that's why I called it an "induction." I thought you would notice... but I'm not sure now that you did.

"If and only if this eternal God did not transcend nature in a way that made the observation based induction of causality applicable to Him."

What a splendid admission that your version of God is an arbitrary invention that cannot be reasoned to. To posit the existence of such an entity you must give it characteristics that excuse it from ever actually being subject to investigation. That is very convenient to to the sectarian apologist. But it offers no path to confidence that it is true.

What continues to fascinate me is why any body who believes this would bother to try and reason to a conclusion that they have already admitted is beyond the access of reason? It speaks (IMHO) to the tacit understanding that science actually is the most powerful, more important and most successful human endeavor in all of history. The temptation to try and co-opt some of that "glory" in the service of sectarian belief is overwhelming; hence religiously based pseudosciences like creationism.

If, as you asset above, God transcends nature in a way that makes the observation based induction of causality inapplicable to Him, why then even pretend to care what science has to say on the issue?

"If there is one thing modern physics has strongly suggested about the universe, that we as a species were not aware of before, it is that there is no example of anything infinite in it."

A complete red herring. An eternal universe does not require there to be "anything infinite in it."
139 posted on 02/17/2010 11:01:22 AM PST by EnderWiggins
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To: AndyTheBear
"Ah, but here is where you have applied the above premise. But presto-chango-re-arango now the meaning is that this causal change is an inescapable deduction of not only what we have observed...but of any possible Heavenly realm we have not. You have elevated an observed induction to a principle of deductive logic which is beyond question."

LOL... I have done no such thing.

I have simply used logic the only way it can be used. All deduction must begin with a premise or set of premises. Some premises are false, others are true, and the confidence we have in any of them can only be derived by some prior induction.

What you call my "modest" premise is something that you appear to explicitly agree with. Why then would you object even the tiniest bit if the premise should then serve for what actually is a rigorously deductive set of subsequent syllogism?

Rather than object to the reasoning, you pursue the (false) red herring that I have made some sort of logical leap in confidence. I have done no such thing. I have used an mutually agreed upon premise to then deductively reach a conclusion that is unassailable, if the premise is true.

If you're ready to actually address my position, then do so. If not, then just say so and move on.
140 posted on 02/17/2010 11:12:04 AM PST by EnderWiggins
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To: Pelham
"It is. Your first clue should be Endless Wiggles appeal to “lost books”; if they are lost, then he certainly can’t know what’s in them any more than you do, and you can’t examine them to keep him honest."

LOL... that was a weak assertion for several reasons.

First, something lost can be found as in the discovery of the Nag Hammadi Library in 1945 or the Gospel of Judas in 1983.

Second, lost documents have often been preserved in memory by references to them in other surviving texts. An example would be the Gospel of Barnabas (not the fraudulent Muslim text, the one mentioned in the Decretum Gelasianum).

Third, no small number of the early variations of Christianity that did not make the cut into orthodoxy are recorded by the Pauline Christian writers themselves in their responsive attacks.

It is good to note however that you do not pretend that there actually are no "lost books" at all. Good for you.

"Wiggle’s disparagement of Pauline Christianity is another clue that he’s wandering in the fever swamps of terra conspiratoria. Pauline Christianity is the major portion of the NT. His acceptance by the Apostles is documented by Luke, by the first Jerusalem council."

I gotta say... can an argument get any more viciously circular than that? If so, I have never seen an example.

"FF Bruce was one of the preeminent scholars of his time and his books are classics of apologetics. Wiggle’s condescension of Bruce simply marks him as a crank."

Sectarian apologists always adore the books of fellow apologists that agree with them. Calling those who disagree "cranks" or insultingly riffing on their userIDs with nicknames like "Wiggles" is, well, a wonderful example of how intolerance commences. I trust that you will not advance to physical violence from verbal insult?

People wonder why the exclusive monotheisms of Christianity and Islam have earned less than stellar reputations for ecumenicism.

The difference between my measured disagreement and your intense defensiveness could not be much more stark. I merely disagree and you immediately take it as malicious "disparagement." You are projecting.

You are not being threatened here, Pelham. You guys already rule the world. Is that not good enough for you?

No need to answer. It was a rhetorical question.
141 posted on 02/17/2010 11:42:20 AM PST by EnderWiggins
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To: EnderWiggins
Why then would you object even the tiniest bit if the premise should then serve for what actually is a rigorously deductive set of subsequent syllogism?

I object to the meaning of a premise being changed. For example consider this deduction:

Premise A) Banks are safe places to keep your money.

Premise B) The place by the side of the creek is a bank.

Conclusion: It is safe to keep your money by the creek.

Obviously this argument is fallacious. The problem is that we use the term "bank" to mean more than one thing. But if we were more objective we may have said:

Premise A-prime) Everything that could be called a bank, whether a financial institution or side of a creek is a safe place to keep your money.

Now in this case, premise A-prime is the one actually used to make the syllogism's conclusion valid. However we would not be able to get many people to accept this premise. Thus if we are devious, we could propose A and than imply A-prime to form our syllogism.

You have made this mistake a couple of times that I have pointed out, and I have spelled out the specifics already. I'm sorry that being wrong about what you are selling is hard to accept. Nobody likes it, including when it happens to me. Which is why I understand that you are resistant to accept this correction.

142 posted on 02/17/2010 2:07:51 PM PST by AndyTheBear
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To: AndyTheBear
"I object to the meaning of a premise being changed. For example consider this deduction.

So do I.

"You have made this mistake a couple of times that I have pointed out, and I have spelled out the specifics already."

No you haven't. You have made the bald accusation, but you have demonstrated no actual equivocation whatsoever. If you can make a case that I've done this, then just go ahead and do so. I'll be happy to respond.
143 posted on 02/17/2010 2:10:28 PM PST by EnderWiggins
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To: EnderWiggins
Who knew that there was no such thing as despotism, genocide tyranny and warfare until Darwin invented them in 1859?

Wasn't Darwin the cause of 'original sin'?

144 posted on 02/17/2010 2:15:50 PM PST by ColdWater ("The theory of evolution really has no bearing on what I'm trying to accomplish with FR anyway. ")
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To: AndyTheBear
His point was that Darwinism gave rise to evil.

Which is such an obviously false premis that it doesn't even merit a discussion.

145 posted on 02/17/2010 2:21:07 PM PST by ColdWater ("The theory of evolution really has no bearing on what I'm trying to accomplish with FR anyway. ")
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To: EnderWiggins
You have made the bald accusation, but you have demonstrated no actual equivocation whatsoever.

The equivocation was certainly more subtle and harder to see than the bank example. It didn't boil down to two parts of the same word like your former error with "portray". I will try one more time to point it out to you, although I doubt you are in any mood to recognize it:

The law of cause and effect is the most rigorously confirmed induction we have ever been able to make as a species. The confidence is so great that we even have invented a label for those instances when it appears the law might have been violated. We call them "miracles."

This is a premise. You used this premise further down in post 131 in another form:

If we hold the premise that all effects have causes, it cannot lead you to an effect that has no cause. It can only lead you to an eternal chain of causes and effects.

Well both these snippets appear to make sense. However, when did we ever hold this premise as stated in the second snippet? It kinda sounds like the previous one, only stated with more brevity. But it isn't really the same. I hold the first premise, but in a different way than you do that does not support your restatement: that everything in nature has to have a cause, and that exceptions are properly called miracles because they are thus an effect of some super nature.

If you like, you can assert that the non-existence of super nature was an implied additional premise, but that's hardly useful in considering the veracity of naturalism. And it would make the rest of your argument have little utility other than obscuring that you have really just assumed your conclusion.

146 posted on 02/17/2010 3:54:33 PM PST by AndyTheBear
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To: ColdWater
Which is such an obviously false premis that it doesn't even merit a discussion.

I was summarizing what I thought to be the author's conclusion rather than a premise. I used vague terms for brevity, being that my purpose was to distinguish the authors conclusion from a conclusion that it gave rise to all evil which seemed how Ender was interpreting it.

For myself, I think judging Darwin's theory to have moral culpability for Nazism is quite a stretch. But I don't think it as big a stretch as Ender's subsequent contention that it was the gospel of John that was the "proximate and ultimate" cause of the Holocaust. Subsequently, I have been debating Ender for quite some time now.

147 posted on 02/17/2010 4:26:33 PM PST by AndyTheBear
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To: AndyTheBear
”The equivocation was certainly more subtle and harder to see than the bank example. It didn't boil down to two parts of the same word like your former error with "portray". I will try one more time to point it out to you, although I doubt you are in any mood to recognize it: “

I’m all ears.

Well both these snippets appear to make sense. However, when did we ever hold this premise as stated in the second snippet? It kinda sounds like the previous one, only stated with more brevity. But it isn't really the same. I hold the first premise, but in a different way than you do that does not support your restatement: that everything in nature has to have a cause, and that exceptions are properly called miracles because they are thus an effect of some super nature.

Wait a minute. I thought you said you were going to show me where I equivocated. Instead, you are not talking about the premise at all, but instead complaining about an irrelevant aside.

So worse than being wrong… your complaint here is irrelevant.

The existence or non-existence of super nature was not a premise at all in my argument. I never asserted it, and it certainly served no role in my chain of reasoning. To do that would be to commit the same viciously circular illogic that I abhor among you guys. I neither included nor concluded the non existence of super nature. I did not even introduce the concept in the reasoning.

I simply pointed out that if every effect must have a cause, the only logical conclusion that would not violate that premise is that the universe is eternal. No consideration of super nature anywhere involved.
148 posted on 02/17/2010 4:46:09 PM PST by EnderWiggins
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To: EnderWiggins
A complete red herring. An eternal universe does not require there to be "anything infinite in it."

How long is eternity?

149 posted on 02/17/2010 6:11:22 PM PST by AndyTheBear
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To: EnderWiggins
I simply pointed out that if every effect must have a cause, the only logical conclusion that would not violate that premise is that the universe is eternal.

Well I never signed on to the idea that every effect has a cause. It was not a premise we agreed to, it was one you were arguing for. You stated the premise twice. The first time it sounded in line with both our world views. The second it was only in line with yours. You equivocated to get to that "premise".

But I am more interested in knowing how you think an eternal universe can have nothing infinite in it. Are you thinking of time as a part of the universe, or of something that transcends the universe and need not be considered part of it?

150 posted on 02/17/2010 6:16:39 PM PST by AndyTheBear
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