Tag Archives: naturalism

Interesting post at UD…

Uncommon Descent is a blog about Intelligent Design Theory, and has multiple contributors/authors.  Every now and again someone will post a blog that I find interesting.

The latest one that caught my eye was “The Psychology of Blinding Obedience to a Paradigm” by Barry Arrington.  It caught my eye for two main reasons, first I find the subject matter interesting, and second because he uses a bit of scripture to add to his idea.

First, it is possible for anyone with a certain paradigm to become blinded, if they aren’t careful.  This is true even of certain Christians with certain beliefs, but it is also true, as Barry points out, of other paradigms as well.  One of the keys to not becoming blind in one’s obedience to a paradigm is research.  This is where the fundamentals of true science can play a part, as we are to dig into things with the intent to find real and “true” information.  If one is presented with new info, it too should be sifted through and researched.

Many have this odd idea about Christianity that it tries to get people not to test things, not to research.   This couldn’t be further from the truth.  We are told quite clearly in scripture: 1 Thessalonians 5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. “Good” here carries with it the idea of truth.  Other places in scripture back this up as well.

What I do find to be happening more and more in the scientific community, as Barry points out, is a blind obedience that is not only being carried out by those firmly entrenched in the field of “science,” but is also fully expected of those just learning…grade school students, high schoolers, college kids, etc…  Blind obedience results from not proving all things, from not digging into a subject and asking questions.  It results from latching onto a certain POV, for whatever reason.

Do I think that there are some Darwianian scientists who question their beliefs and truly dig into them, looking for new info, and good counter-arguments?  Sure.  But, the bothersome thing is that there are currently too many who do not…and even those who do are afraid to speak out about their questioning.  This results in their passing on blind obedience to “the next generation.”

Barry used the story of Lazarus to illustrate this idea.  There were those people in the crowd that witnessed a full-fledged miracle first-hand.  They literally saw a formerly dead human being emerge alive from a grave, at the behest of Christ, and went to witness this fact to the leaders.  This new information did not alter the leaders actions, rather they became even more frantic in their pursuit of Jesus, in order to silence Him once and for all…they were stuck in their own paradigm.

John 11:45 Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him. 46 But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done. 47 Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles. 48 If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation. 49 And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, 50 Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. 51 And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; 52 And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad. 53 Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death.

Anywho, I thought the interplay between Barry’s idea and scripture were quite interesting.  Check out the article if you have time, and care about such things.

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Filed under Musings, Of Interest, Origins

We perceive design…

Can we humans perceive design?  Can we know, for example, that when we see a car that it was designed by someone with intelligence?  How about other objects?  The post, A Simple Perceptual Test and Intelligent Design, brings up some of these issues over on an Intelligent Design blog.  Sometimes it does seem like naturalistic evolutionists can’t see the forest for the trees…or in this case, can’t see design in nature because their presuppositions are blinding them.

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Filed under Atheism, Of Interest, Origins

Without excuse…

There are a few things that anyone attempting Christian apologetics must remember in order for them to keep their sanity.  I’m going to talk about one of those things today.  I’ve alluded to the fact that for Chrisitians, the salvation of souls is always, at the very least at the back of one’s mind, and it should be accompanied with a clear acknowledgment that it isn’t our ultimate responsibility to see those souls saved.  Here is what I mean; we are given the general directive to share the gospel message, which is the good news of Christ, when and where the Holy Spirit leads us to, and to give a reason for our belief if asked, which lets us go into any realm; the Spiritual reasons we have, the emotional, the logical, etc…  To put it in a metaphor, we are to sow the seeds when called (I don’t believe everyone is called to be in the formal position of an evangelist at all times and places, nor that it is our calling to go around beating people over the head with Bibles…)

That’s all well and good in theory, but those of us who have loved ones who are atheistic, or close friends, or even strangers, fellow humans that we worry about, it can be a hard thing to not place more of a burden on ourselves.  We must always remember that it is God doing the ultimate work; John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. But, the main issue I’m referring to is the fact that everyone is already without excuse when it comes to a belief in God.

As we read in Psalms 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. And, more fully in Romans 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: The existence of God is known, and that knowledge is inherent and also seen.  We, as believers interested in Apologetics, do well to keep this in mind, lest we shoulder a bigger burden than what needs to be shouldered.  Yes, going through all the various apologetics with others is interesting and can indeed build one’s faith, but let us not ever take on a false burden that does not belong to us; it is not our fault if, for example, an atheist remains an atheist.  It is easy, esp. for the tenderhearted amongst us, to try to take responsibility, to feel a sense of guilt along with the sadness when someone we dialogue with doesn’t immediately come to the faith…but that idea that somehow we are guilty if someone else doesn’t believe isn’t how it is meant to be, as presented in the scriptures.  We can indeed feel sad, and pray about the situation, and discuss apologetics, but as long as we have presented what we are called to present, which definitely includes the gospel, there is no logical room for overwhelming guilt for some perceived failure on your part.

So, if everyone is without excuse, why then do some lack faith?  Paul tells us a bit further in Romans 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge… They did not like to retain God in their knowledge.  When something like this occurs in a secular sense, in psychology, we call that a type of repression; pushing unwanted thoughts aside, or out of conscious awareness.  It is also interesting to me that Paul, in the first chapter of Romans, ties the idea of rejection of God with worship of the creation (anything in nature, anything created) rather than the creator.  What do we see in our modern culture that tries to assert itself as the end all and be all of truth, usually through secular science?  Naturalism.  The idea that everything can be explained through purely natural means. (Which of course begs the question; where did nature/the universe come from?)  So, we do indeed have people who deny God that are worshiping the creation over the Creator.

Why would someone do this; deny God in favor of a lie?  I believe that there are many reasons, too many to touch upon here, but I will mention what seems to be a major factor; emotion.  Ephesians 4:18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Several times throughout scripture we are pointed to man’s “heart” as a main problem; honestly, emotions hold sway over many humans, for good and ill.

In my dialogues with various atheists, both in “real life” and on the ‘net, many times there seems to be a strong emotional component to their beliefs, which should probably be expected; there are emotional components to Christian belief as well.  Many non-believers that I have talked to have had bad encounters with Christians in the past; either themselves, or sometimes even more powerful, they cite cases where Christians, or a Christian was cruel to someone in their family.  My clinical psychologist husband (“The Country Shrink”) has just added a post about his experiences with atheists who have had bad relationships with their earthly fathers, and sometimes all that anger, and sadness, and hurt, gets transferred to their Heavenly Father (you can read about it here, if you like: http://thecountryshrink.com/2008/07/01/some-psychological-aspects-of-atheism/ ).  There are some that let pride, or fear, or anger, or complacency get in the way…

Regardless, this message is for non-believers as well, since often times it is easy to get Christians you are dialoguing with to think that if they could just say the right thing, or present just the right evidence that you would suddenly come to faith…just keep in mind that we are all truly without excuse…when we are standing before God, no human will have an excuse for not believeing in Him.

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Filed under Apologetics, Theology