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PUBLIC VIEWPOINT: Panel Weighted Toward Atheism

Posted: December 3, 2012 at 1:21 a.m.

The title of the article, “A Conservative Perspective” (Nov. 24), implied that the lead article, “Science and Religion” was liberal. The panel of “S&R” was heavily weighted toward atheism and religious skepticism.

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Opinion, Pages 5 on 12/03/2012

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Thank you Benny for a concise, correct rebuttal to the 'Panel weighted toward atheism'.There is a quote which is so apropo to this article: "There are none so blind as those who will not see." In comments made about Paul Wyles letter rebutting the lack of knowledge of the Bible and the message it brings, the words faith and hope are terribly misconstrued. Hope and faith are facts based on things known to exist and being willing to accept the belief that those promises will be fulfilled. A very simple act of faith is sitting upon a chair which you believe will hold you up. The faith I have in Jesus Christ for my eternal salvation is based on the fact of his virgin birth, perfect, sinless life, sacrificial death and resurrection. The facts of his life and sacrificial death as well as his resurrection are the some of the most proven facts in history. So my faith is not in what I hope will happen, but my faith is in the fulfillment of the promises of Jesus Christ and the prophecies his life, death and resurrection fulfilled. Faith in atheism requires much more 'faith' than true Faith in Jesus Christ. Please choose a pastor/minister other than Lowell Grisham as the representative for Christianity in the future panel discussions. Please choose a representative who believes the Bible to be the inerrant word of God.

Posted by: justanArkansan

December 3, 2012 at 11:58 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

>>Faith in atheism requires much more 'faith' than true Faith in Jesus Christ<
Justanark

What. A . Howler!

Are you saying disbelief requires belief?

Posted by: cdawg

December 4, 2012 at 12:11 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Benny and justanArk both present the same most basic errors of language, science and religion. Benny first.

Ben: "Nowhere in scripture will you find God assigning anyone to Hell.">>

As you know, He plans on sending the vast majority of humankind to hell: Matthew 7:13. Being all powerful, he doesn't have to do that, so there is no excuse.

Ben: "every provision being made... resurrection of Christ,... to keep mankind from going to Hell.">>

Except the provision of, hey, let's not send the vast majority of humankind to eternal torture because they won't believe upon blind faith some ancient anonymous contradictory stories about a resurrection.

Ben: "If you are an atheist, all you are left with is nature (naturalism).">>

No, if you are an atheist, you are left with everything but theism. And that's quite a bit.

Ben: [re: scientific laws] "Do you go out into nature and say, “There they are?”>>

Basically. Enjoy your computer. It works, and it works according to well known laws of nature as explained to us by science.

Ben: "You cannot prove the “laws of science” by using the “laws of science”>>

There are no "laws of science." Stop getting your science information in church.

Ben: "atheist says that he can prove God doesn’t exist,...">

I don't know any atheists who say they can prove God doesn't exist. And I know a lot of atheists. On the occasion that a God believer gets specific enough to provide detailed attributes of their supposed God, then sometimes it is possible to show *that* particular God can't exist due to the contradictory properties they give to the God. This often applies to your God.

Ben: "You would have to be what you are attempting to disprove.">>

No, you don't have to be God to know that, for instance, a God can't be all knowing and at the same time not know things. You just have to understand language and have the courage to be honest with language.

D.
---------------
"God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks, please. Cash and in small bills."
--Robert Heinlein, "Notebooks of Lazarus Long"

Posted by: fayfreethinker

December 4, 2012 at 9:46 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

JustanArk says: In [another thread]... the words faith and hope are terribly misconstrued.">>

You are probably referring to this: http://tinyurl.com/b3uoatz

In that thread I simply refer to standard definitions of those words. It is you who is using strained and non standard definitions of the words "faith" and "hope." And you do it here too.

Justan; "Hope and faith are facts based on things known to exist...">>

No. You are completely confused. Hope and faith, are not facts. When you have facts, you don't refer to hope and faith in order to believe in them. I have a pencil on my desk. That is a fact. It doesn't require hope or faith for me to believe this. You appeal to hope and faith for your religious beliefs *because* you know you can't establish them as facts.

Just: "being willing to accept the belief that those promises will be fulfilled.">>

This is completely muddled. This is what reading too much Ravi Zacharias can do to you. You can hope and "be willing to accept" a belief that a promise may happen, but this has nothing to do with establishing a fact.

Just: "A very simple act of faith is sitting upon a chair which you believe will hold you up.">>

Here is a response a friend wrote to this classic chair example, 18 years ago. I thought it was good, so I saved it:

***
"I know this argument is popular among the faithful who are anxious to show that even atheists "have faith" but it is fallacious. It relies on an equivocation of the word faith.

1. Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, an idea, or a thing.

2. Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence. See synonyms at BELIEF, TRUST.
--American Heritage Dictionary

I was referring to faith in the sense of #2, while the examples you offer, like sitting in a chair, use faith in the sense of #1. The meanings are not interchangeable.

When I sit in a chair I am relying on empirical evidence that the chair will function in a certain way. There is no empirical evidence for that which requires religious faith. If there were, faith would be unnecessary - that was my point. Thus it is
fallacious to claim I am exhibiting faith when I sit in a chair in the same sense a religious person does when they believe their God will give them eternal life if they "have faith." They are not
the same." --R. Shumaker

Just: "...my eternal salvation is based on the fact of his virgin birth, perfect, sinless life, sacrificial death and resurrection.">>

You have to appeal to faith for these beliefs because you cannot, remotely, establish any of these things as actually having occurred. You can barely establish that Jesus even existed never mind any details of his life.

cont...

Posted by: fayfreethinker

December 4, 2012 at 10:24 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

JustanArk: "[Jesus] life and sacrificial death as well as his resurrection are the some of the most proven facts in history.">>

No, that's not remotely true. No one contemporary with Jesus wrote a word about him and standard mainstream Christian scholarship acknowledges that the gospels are anonymous stories written decades to a century after Jesus by people who never met him.

Just: "So my faith is not in what I hope will happen,">>

Of course it is.

Just: "the prophecies his life, death and resurrection fulfilled.">>

Not one of which can be shown to be true. Try one and see. You can win $100: http://fayfreethinkers.com/tracts/bib...

Just: "Faith in atheism requires much more 'faith">>

It doesn't require faith to not believe a teapot is in space orbiting the sun, and it doesn't require faith to not believe in the faith stories people pass around about their gods.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell'...

Just: "choose a representative who believes the Bible to be the inerrant word of God.">>

If a person thinks the Bible is inerrant, they are necessarily and profoundly uninformed about the Bible. See about 130 examples of Bible errors explained in a book by a local author:

"The Perfect Mirror? The Question of Bible Perfection"

http://fayfreethinkers.com/ourbooks/m...

Standard Christian scholarship that's been known for over 100 years. It's also available at Hastings, in Fayetteville (local author section).

As one pastor put it:

"Anyone who believes today in the year 2000 that the bible is “reliable” and “infallible,” without error or contradiction, is approaching insanity."
--William Edelen. Active ordained Presbyterian and Congregational minister for 30 years. Adjunct professor of Religious Studies and Anthropology

D.
-------------
"Few intelligent Christians can still hold to the idea that the Bible is an infallible Book, that it contains no linguistic errors, no historical discrepancies, no antiquated scientific assumptions, not even bad ethical standards. Historical investigation and literary criticism have taken the magic out of the Bible and have made it a composite human book, written by many hands in different ages. The existence of thousands of variations of texts makes it impossible to hold the doctrine of a book verbally infallible. Some might claim for the original copies of the Bible an infallible character, but this view only begs the question and makes such Christian apologetics more ridiculous in the eyes of the sincere man."
--Elmer Homrighausen, former Dean of Princeton Theological Seminary. Christianity in America, p. 121, N.Y. Abbingdon Press (1936)

Posted by: fayfreethinker

December 4, 2012 at 10:28 a.m. ( | suggest removal )