Ray Comfort speaks to a group of young tattooed men that embrace Ray’s questions about the sins from their lives with honesty, humility, and conviction.
…another conversation I had with Countess that I kept was THIS ONE. This conversation was, however, from 12/2001 that I am only now uploading… (found it buried in my Microsoft Word files. Enjoy:
Responding to a Skeptic
Countess, you mentioned that “we have no way to quantify the power of God, or his ability to disturb the balance of the universe,” to quote you. I find this to be a patently false statement. However, I see it as such not because you meant it to be, but because you are not defining your terms and quantifying your thoughts. I will explain how we can apply attribute to the Necessary Being through logic and nature (I will do so by explaining it to a non-theist). This next section is taken primarily from the book Why I Am A Christian: Leading Thinkers Explain Why They Believe, pp. 62-64, edited Norman L. Geisler and Paul K. Hoffman. (books referenced with the asterisk, *, are in my home library – which, for those keeping track over the years, is now well over 1,800.)
Have you ever asked yourself where the universe came from? Why everything exists instead of nothing? Typically, atheists have said the universe is just eternal, and that’s all. But surely this is unreasonable. If the universe never had a beginning, that means the number of past events in the history of the universe is infinite. But mathematicians recognize that the idea of an infinite number of things leads to self-contradictions. For example, what is infinity minus infinity? Mathematically, you get self-contradictory answers. If you subtract all the odd numbers 1, 3, 5, … from all the natural numbers 0, 1, 2, 3, …, how many numbers do you have left? An infinite number. So infinity minus infinity is infinity. But suppose instead you subtract all the numbers greater than 2 – how many are left? Three. So infinity minus infinity is 3! It needs to be understood that in both of these cases we have subtracted identical quantities from identical quantities and come up with self-contradictory answers. In fact, you can get any answer you want from zero to infinity! This shows that infinity is just an idea in one’s mind, not something that exists in reality. David Hilbert, perhaps the greatest mathematician of this century, states, “The infinite is nowhere to be found in reality. It neither exists in nature nor provides a legitimate basis for rational thought. The role that remains for the infinite to play is solely that of an idea” (*David Hilbert, “On the Infinite,” in Philosophy of Mathematics, edition with an introduction by Paul Benacerraf and Hillary Putnam, pp. 139, 141). Therefore, the series of past events can’t go back forever; rather, the universe at some point must have begun to exist. [Which the theist and deist both believe.]
This conclusion has been confirmed by remarkable discoveries in astronomy and astrophysics. The astrophysical evidence indicates that the universe began to exist in a great explosion called the big bang. Physical space and time were created in that event, as well as all matter and energy in the universe. Therefore, as Cambridge astronomer Fred Hoyle points out, the big bang theory requires the creation of the universe from nothing. This is because, as one goes back in time, he reaches a point at which, in Hoyle’s words, the universe was “shrunk down to nothing at all” (*Fred Hoyle, Astronomy and Cosmology, p. 658). Thus, what the big bang model requires is that the universe began to exist and was created out of nothing.
This tends to be very awkward for the atheist, for as Anthony Kenny of Oxford University urges, “A proponent of the big bang theory, at least if he is an atheist, must believe that the … universe came from nothing and by nothing” (Anthony Kenny, The Five Ways: St. Thomas Aquinas’ Proofs of God’s Existence, p. 66). But surely that doesn’t make sense. Out of nothing, nothing comes [law of nature]. In every other context, atheists recognize this fact. The great skeptic David Hume wrote, “But allow me to tell you that I never asserted so absurd a Proposition as that anything might arise without a cause” (*David Hume, The Letters of David Hume, p. I:187. I own a more recent compilation than the one quoted here). The contemporary atheist philosopher Kai Nielson gives this illustration: “Suppose you suddenly hear a loud bang… and ask me, ‘What made that bang?’ and I reply, ‘Nothing, it just happened.’ You would not accept that. In fact you would find my reply quite unintelligible” (*Kai Neilson, Reason and Practice, p. 48). But what’s true of the little bang must be true of the big bang as well. So why does the universe exist instead of just nothing? Where did it come from? There must have been a cause that brought the universe into being. As the great scientist Sir Arthur Eddington said, “The beginning seems to present insuperable difficulties unless we agree to look on it as frankly supernatural” (*Arthur Eddington, The Expanding Universe, p. 124).
We can summarize the argument thus far as follows:
- Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
- The universe began to exist.
- Therefore, the universe has a cause.
Given the truth of the first two premises, the third necessarily follows.
From the very nature of the case, as the cause of space and time, this supernatural cause must be uncaused, changeless, timeless, and immaterial being that created the universe. The being must be uncaused because we’ve seen that there cannot be an infinite regress of causes [a necessary being is demanded by science and logic]. It must be timeless and therefore changeless because it created time. Because it created space, it must transcend space as well and therefore be immaterial, not physical.
Moreover, I would argue, it must also be personal, for how else could a timeless cause give rise to a temporal effect such as the universe? If the cause were a mechanically operating set of necessary and sufficient conditions, then the cause could never exist without effect. For example, water freezes because the temperature (the cause) is below 0 degrees C. if the temperature were below 0 degrees from eternity past, then any water that was around would be frozen from eternity. It would be impossible for the water to begin to freeze just a finite time ago. So if the cause is timelessly present, then the effect should be timelessly present as well. the only way for the cause to be timeless and the effect to begin in time is for the cause to be a personal agent who freely chooses to create an effect in time without any prior determining conditions. For example, a man sitting from eternity could freely will to stand up. Thus, we are brought not merely to a transcendent cause of the universe but to its personal Creator.
Here are some recent discoveries discussed:
Daniel Wallace, “Recent Discoveries of NT Manuscripts” (Nov 9, 2013 at Birch Cove Baptist Church)
FIRST CENTURY (80’s) piece of Mark. The 2014 Apologetics Canada Conference was held at Northview Church in Abbotsford, BC and Willingdon Church in Vancouver, BC Canada on March 7-8.
(This is recovered audio from Vimeo*) While this is an older audio, it really is timeless… the topic in fact has been renewed every generation in the annals of human history since Grecian times and even waay back to the Garden when the Serpent said, “did God say…”?
*My Vimeo account was terminated; this is a recovered audio from it. (Some will be many years old, as is the case with this audio.)
(ORIGINALLY POSTED APRIL OF 2016 | UPDATE ADDED)
We ARE programmed to believe one way and through the creative power (and infinite genius) of God, get to choose this natural tendency or to cover it up with our sinful, selfish nature that Romans 1 alludes to by numbing our faculties with an whole array of options.
What else does this craving, and this helplessness, proclaim but that there was once in man a true happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty print and trace? This he tries in vain to fill with everything around him, seeking in things that are not there the help he cannot find in those that are, though none can help, since this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words, by God himself.
Blaise Pascal (Pensees 10.148)
Before continuing I just want to make a point, none of them by myself but brought here to review by myself. It has to do with merely assuming the evolutionist position, if true, makes theism true and atheism anathema to the survival of the species. For instance, Patricia Churchland notes what the brains primary chore is:
- The principle chore of brains is to get the body parts where they should be in order that the organism may survive. Improvements in sensorimotor control confer an evolutionary advantage: a fancier style of representing [the world] is advantageous so long as it… enhances the organism’s chances for survival. Truth, whatever that is, takes the hindmost.
And this is the main point… okay… if I assume evolution is true, then, out of the choices of “religion” and “non-religion” — which of the two provide a better survival rate of the species? To wit:
While I am not a fan of Charisma… as of late they have posted a few good articles. This being one of them:
Remember, there was much discussion about destroying or harming parts of the brain that decrease belief in God:
I also posit that person’s who use illicit drugs, such as marijuana, are less likely to believe in the Judeo-Christian God due to deterioration/destruction of sections of the brain. Parts of the brain most affected are memory and cognitive or parts of the brain that use logic and reason). Whereas, it seems, we see that a healthy brain is ready to receive faith:
This supports another study of Japanese kids raised with no thoughts of a monotheistic God
I often hear atheists exude confidence in natural selection and evolution and all that it entails. However, when natural belief in God emerges… they reject this as fantasy rather than a superior survival mechanism. It is important to understand that I am not arguing for evolution but showing that it is self-referentially false:
- NOTE: if you believe in evolution and are an atheist, you would root for and support neo-Darwinian evolutionary “natural selection” in choosing religious belief as superior to that of non-belief!
In a debate during the Q&A session between a theist and atheist/evolutionist, a student asked this great question… and while he did not have the answer to Dr. Pigliucci’s challenge, I do:
The AMERICAN SPECTATOR published a wonderful article. And it in large part supports the above contention that belief in God is a natural (in born) position… and that atheism is the REAL product of environment. Read on to see:
Another aspect that shows the increased natural selective nature of belief and longevity (the opportunity to leave more offspring) is the POSITIVE INFLUENCE OF RELIGION:
Social Sciences Agree
~ Religious More “Fit” ~
Via my post on family values: A Family Values [Atheist] Mantra Dissected: Nominal vs. Committed
(Also see 52 REASONS TO GO TO CHURCH) These indicators are also mentions in a HERITAGE FOUNDATION article, “Why Religion Matters: The Impact of Religious Practice on Social Stability“
- The strength of the family unit is intertwined with the practice of religion. Churchgoers are more likely to be married, less likely to be divorced or single, and more likely to manifest high levels of satisfaction in marriage.
- Church attendance is the most important predictor of marital stability and happiness.
- The regular practice of religion helps poor persons move out of poverty. Regular church attendance, for example, is particularly instrumental in helping young people to escape the poverty of inner-city life.
- Religious belief and practice contribute substantially to the formation of personal moral criteria and sound moral judgment.
- Regular religious practice generally inoculates individuals against a host of social problems, including suicide, drug abuse, out-of-wedlock births, crime, and divorce.
- The regular practice of religion also encourages such beneficial effects on mental health as less depression (a modern epidemic), more self-esteem, and greater family and marital happiness.
- In repairing damage caused by alcoholism, drug addiction, and marital breakdown, religious belief and practice are a major source of strength and recovery.
- Regular practice of religion is good for personal physical health: It increases longevity, improves one’s chances of recovery from illness, and lessens the incidence of many killer diseases.
So we can see that the above are important factors in a healthy, stable, family which would have the highest percentage or chance in a family situation to create “family values.” What about divorce rates and the 2009 data. This is dealt with well at CHRISTIAN ACTION LEAGUE, and shows how Barna and the Government can miss-categorize whole swaths of people and their affiliations:
…Wright did his own research using the General Social Survey; a huge study conducted by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, and found that folks who identify as Christians but rarely attend church have a divorce rate of 60 percent compared to 38 percent among people who attend church regularly. More generally, he found that Christians, similar to adherents of other traditional faiths, have a divorce rate of 42 percent compared with 50 percent among those without a religious affiliation.
And his is not the only research that is showing a link between strong faith and increased marriage stability.
University of Virginia sociologist W. Bradford Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project, concluded that “active conservative Protestants” who regularly attend church are 35 percent less likely to divorce than are those with no faith affiliation. He used the National Survey of Families and Households to make his analysis.
Glenn Stanton, the director for family formation studies at Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs, Colo., has been writing articles to spread the truth about the lower divorce rate among practicing Christians.
“Couples who regularly practice any combination of serious religious behaviors and attitudes — attend church nearly every week, read their Bibles and spiritual materials regularly; pray privately and together; generally take their faith seriously, living not as perfect disciples, but serious disciples — enjoy significantly lower divorce rates that mere church members, the general public and unbelievers,” Stanton wrote in the Baptist Press early this year.
At issue in Barna’s studies is how he defined “Christian” and to what other groups he compared the “Christian” divorce rate. Apparently, his study compared what he termed “born-again” Christians — those who described their faith in terms of “personal commitment,” “accept as savior” and other evangelical, born-again language to three other groups, which included self-identified Christians who do not describe their faith with those terms, members of other, non-Christian religions and people of no religious beliefs.
Because his second group would have included many Catholics and mainline Protestants, Wright points out that Barna was, in many ways, “comparing Christians against Christians.” No wonder the rates were similar….
In USA TODAY, David Kinnaman, Barna’s president, said that “the statistical differences reflect varied approaches, with Wright looking more at attendance and his research firm dwelling on theological commitments.” Duh! The bottom line seems to be that the more seriously couples take their faith, the less likely they are to get a divorce. That seems like a self-evident truth, but it appears there is also evidence for it. In other words, this is a nominal, vs. committed Christian vs. secular person battle.
I can go on-and-on, but lets shorten what we have learned, and it all revolves around this:
- “There’s something about being a nominal ‘Christian’ that is linked to a lot of negative outcomes when it comes to family life.”
I realize that much of this can be classified broadly as “The Ecological Fallacy” — but it is an amassing of stats to show that in fact the committed Christian understands the totality of “family values” and commits to them more than the secular person.
1a) Those who attend church more are to be found in the Republican Party;
1b) Those who do not, the Democratic Party;
2a) Those in the Republican Party donate much more to charitable causes;
2b) Those in the Democratic Party, are much more stingy;
3a) Republicans earn less and give more;
3b) Democrats earn more and give less;
4a) Conservative Christians and Jews (people who believe in Heaven and Hell) commit less crimes;
4b) Liberal religious persons (universalists) have a higher rate of crime;
5a) Regular church attendees have a lower drug use rate;
5b) Irreligious persons have a higher rate;
6a) Moral “oughts” are answered in Christian theism (one “ought” not rape because it is absolutely, morally wrong);
6b) Moral “oughts” are merely current consensus of the most individuals, there is no absolute moral statement that can be made about rape;
7a) Republicans are happier than Democrats;
7b) Democrats are more depressed;
8a) The sex lives of married, religious persons is better/more fulfilling — sex is being shown to be a “religious” experience after-all;
8b) The sex lives of the irreligious person is less fulfilling;
9a) The conservative is more likely to reach orgasm [conservative woman I assume];
9b) The liberal woman is not;
10a) They are less likely to sleep around, which would also indicate lower STDs;
10b Democrats are more likely to have STDs through having more sex partners;
11a) Republicans are less likely (slightly, but this is so because of the committed Christians in the larger demographic) to have extra-marital affairs;
11b) Democrats more likely;
12a) Republicans over the last three decades have been reproducing more…
12b) Democrats abort more often and have less children through educational/career decisions
13a) Christians are more likely to have children and impact the world;
13b) Skeptics replace family with pleasure and travel.
THE BLAZE helps set up some of the following media presentations:
Democrats often think of themselves as kind and caring, and of Republicans as callous and mean-spirited. But why? Are Progressive policies more likely to raise people out of poverty than conservative ones? And what really counts as “kind”: supporting policies that feel good? Or supporting policies that do good? William Voegeli, Senior Editor of the Claremont Review of Books, explains.
AEI President Arthur C. Brooks explains how we can win the fight for free enterprise by articulating what’s written on our hearts. “We have to see that we’re not in an economic battle for the future of America,” Arthur says. “We’re in a moral battle.”
Dennis talks Arthur Brooks, professor of public administration at Syracuse University, Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth about Compassionate Conservatism. (Originally broadcast December 28, 2006)
In this episode of the Cold-Case Christianity Broadcast, J. Warner offers a number of brief, rhetorically powerful responses to the objection: “Truth Cannot Be Known with Any Certainty.” Even if some claims are objectively true, how can we be sure – given our limited ability as finite humans – we can know the truth with any certainty? Isn’t it arrogant to claim you know something is true, to the exclusion of all other views and opinions? These Quick Shot responses are designed to help you remove intellectual obstacles when talking about God with your friends and family members. They are also available on the Cold-Case Christianity Phone App so you can access them as you are interacting with others.
Richard Feynman once said that the “first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.” In my lifetime I have encountered the truth of this “law” more than a few times. My deep dive into believing the conspiratorial view of history for many years and my eventual tri-fecta causing me to reevaluate the truth of what I previously held as truths.
- What happened was (1) Y2K, (2) I started listening to and being challenged by Michael Medved’s “Conspiracy Show,” which lead me to try and (3) follow AND confirm the many references to historical positions made in these books, which failed miserably. (RPT)
So I come at this with sympathy for the gullibility of our human nature. Which leads me to a recent conversation with a gentleman I respect, but, is a bit young in his “critical skills.” A classic in debunking — though many years old – is of James Randi debunking an Aura Reader. But the purpose of this post is to deal with why Kirlian photography is explained completely by natural processes and has nothing to do with metaphysics and auras.
WHAT IS KIRLIAN PHOTOGRAPHY?
STALKING LIGHT explains the process for us:
NEW AGE “CONFIRMATIONS”
The technique became popular in the 70’s, with the influx of New Age and susceptibility to wanting to believe in something beyond “us” that is still driven and centers on the “inner divinity” — as part of the rejection of the Judeo-Christian tradition that the “counter-culture” was rejecting. Drugs also played a part in the susceptibility of a generation. It is a human construct (history teaches us this) to worship ourselves in some way, and New Age religions offer this in spades:
This always the outcome of the New Age movement, self divinity. It is the oldest lie in the Book.
- When a Man stops believing in God he doesn’t then believe in nothing, he believes anything. ~ G. K. Chesterton
The urge to believe in something and the ease we can fool ourselves at times combine to anesthetize our critical thinking.
TRICKS OF THE TRADE
And often times it is the simple practicing of simple psychological tricks and perception and planted words that help the aura reader do his “magic.” (The aura reader can slightly change the outcome of the aura as well, depending on the “vibe” he is getting from the client. More on this later.) This “reading” is similar to other New Age practices like crystal ball readings, tarot cards, and the like:
So now we get into some hints that the claims of us having an aura are actually better explained by the processes used to “capture” it. For instance, the early “leaf” experiments were later challenged and when reproduced properly, did not repeat the effects:
- Living things… are moist. When the electricity enters the living object, it produces an area of gas ionization around the photographed object, assuming moisture is present on the object. This moisture is transferred from the subject to the emulsion surface of the photographic film and causes an alternation of the electric charge pattern on the film. (SKEPDIC)
CREATIVE PHOTO CONNECT explains more the above:
Many people do not realize that the subjects taking the photograph have their hands on an electrocharged plate:
The film merely picks up the ionized air and the moisture. Slight changes in voltage, moisture, film, and gullibility of the client combined with hints picked up by the reader in demeanor, reactions to discussion, and the like — can cause someone to put their faith in a neat photographic trick — as more than just that. WIRED MAGAZINE notes the industry that cropped up around these natural forces. The cost of the AuraCam6000 at the date of the article was $10,000 new.
The New Age is not a new subject to me… (some examples)…
- A CRASH COURSE IN POPULAR NEW AGE
- REINCARNATION VS. LAWS OF LOGIC (a chapter in my book)
- CONVERSATION SERIES: CULTS FROM THE 70’S
- SWEAT LODGE ALTERED BY NEW AGE EQUALS DEATH
“WE” UNITE ALL THE ABOVE
But what unites all the above ~ the cults, the occult, world religions, and even my own faith and it’s aberrant ruminations (word faith, positive confession, televangelists, and the like — see my eulogy at my dads funeral for an example) ~ is the human need for controlling one’s circumstances and outcomes. Combined with ultimately, fooling ourselves. What helped me out of my aberrant view of history were common sense facts. So here are some quick refutations to show straight forward thinking to knock others out of their malaise.
AURAS IN EVERYTHING?
First, auras are in living things — supposedly. But Kirlian photography show them in non-living things:
Here one can see the set-up that causes what we are seeing:
BULLET POINTED REFUTATIONS
Obviously the above is easily explained… as are similar aspects of “aura photography.” Many paranormal enthusiasts still claim that the aura captured by Kirlian photography is some sort of “life force”. However, this is easily debunked (MEDIA COLLEGE):
- Kirlian photographs can be taken of anything moist or conductive, including coins, paper clips, etc.
- Kirlian photographs taken in a vacuum (where no ionized gas is present) show no aura.
- Some people claim that a living object slowly loses its aura after it dies. This is more easily explained by the fact that it loses its moisture.
But not easily debunked to people who are vested in (emotionally and financially) such constructs.
*TOP SECRET continues with another “experiment” explained well by natural (moisture and temperature) changes:
Ravi Zacharias — cultural apologist on behalf of Judeo-Christian values, founder and president of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, and best selling author of “The Logic of God” — joins me to discuss faith, morality, the problem of suffering, the case for a creator, and much more.
Here are other topics found above segmented:
This is with the hat-tip to WINTERY KNIGHT, WK does an excellent job at creating a “contents.” William Lane Craig, philosopher, theologian, and best selling author of numerous books including “On Guard: Defending Your Faith With Reason And Precision,” joins Ben to discuss the hard sciences vs. philosophy, the cosmological and ontological arguments, Jesus, slavery, gay marriage, and much more. (See more recommended books HERE)
An isolated portion surrounding Christ…
David Berlinski discusses the fraudulent methods in which evolutionary theory is taught in our schools.
Another book with a more apolgetic verve is one by Jonathan Wells, “Icons of Evolution: Science or Myth? Why Much of What We Teach About Evolution Is Wrong,” especially chapter five, “Haeckel’s Embryo’s.” Here is the author speaking to it:
Other Examples of SO-SO-STORIES… but first… what is a so-so-story? Here is a quote, and really, a definition of the general theory of evolution (GTE) that G.A. Kerkut defines in his older text, Implication of Evolution (second quote). Here Spetner calls it the neo-Darwinian theory (NDT), it more common name today. Here is Spetner’s relevant quote:
(LINKS IN PICTURES)
EYE EVOLUTION IN DRAWINGS:
NEBRASKA MAN (Drawn from from a single — later to be known — pigs tooth)
(There are really two “apologetics” [streams of arguments] below. The first is a refutation of Chimp/Human similarities; the second is a dealing with the underlying presuppositions and the self-defeating aspects of them [Jump To This]. And this post spawned a “SISTER POST” of sorts. Enjoy.)
Here I want to offer a somewhat short refutation [NOT] of the perpetual myth about human and chimpanzee DNA being 99% similar. One friend included it in a comment to me:
- A cat shares 85 percent of our dna Along with dogs. Plants 15-20 percent . We share 90% of the genome with a banana. Chimpanzees 99% nearly…
Here is my short response:
Even a recent 2006 TIME article continues the mantra when they say, “Scientists figured out decades ago that chimps are our nearest evolutionary cousins, roughly 98% to 99% identical to humans at the genetic level.” So while science moves on and corrects itself, our culture is stuck in what was said to be a proof, and reject what ACTUALLY an evidence against the evolutionary proposition. Similar refutations of evolutionary positions that Richard Dawkins and “Junk DNA.”
What do I mean by that? I mean that if something is said to be evidence and is used to promote [FOR] the evolutionary paradigm… and then it is shown not to be the case… wouldn’t it then logically be an evidence AGAINST this said paradigm? I think so.
MOVING ON. . . SORTA
Before zeroing in on the Chimp issue, one other quick note regarding a recent discovery that undermines this “similarity” idea. That is this study:
Okay, back to the refutation of the 99% similarity. Here, Dr. Thomas Seiler, Ph.D., Physics, Technical University of Munich refutes compelingly this outdated TIME magazine article… and my friend:
Here is a visual of the varying studies (click to enlarge in another window):
This video evaluates the claim that humans and chimps have 98% to 99% DNA similarity.
DR. JONATHAN SARFATI passed this on to me in conversation (click to enlarge):
Wow. Enough said? Or will this myth still infect the brains of people wishing something to be true that continue to lose evidences for? One other noteworthy exchange from that conversation I wish to note here.
My friend said many things, which is convenient… many skeptics of young earth creationism or Christianity for that matter have paragraphs of bumper sticker [what they think are] facts strung together… like a lullaby to prove to themselves they are right. (What they ironically they call the GISH GALLOP [“it’s far easier to raise numerous unsubstantiated points than it is to refute them properly”] in referring to us.) Which is why I like to stop, and discuss one issue at a time. Which the above is.
When you do that, rarely does the position of the skeptic hold water.
Here is what my friend said:
- I also see damage being done to children when you teach them things that are scientifically inaccurate. The earth is not 10000 years old…
While the main driver of the topic is a PSYCHOLOGY TODAY article that posits Christianity is harmful to children — just Christianity mind you…
It is a form a Christophobia – a fear of anything related to Christianity/Christ, A bias against one “particular” religious expression. A word I used in one of my first “conversation series” posts on my old blog (November of 2006): “theophobia” – a fear of “the belief in one God as the creator and ruler of the universe”.
… is telling. The point that Doc Sarfati makes is Yuuuge. That is,
- skeptics of the Faith like to use moral positions to refute the absolute morality of Christianity, or a position they attribute truth to and expect others to grasp said truth as, well, true — is not in fact the case if their worldview is reality. They pay no attention to the underlying aspect of where these laws or stated facts are reasoned from — mind or matter.
While the whole conversation is a bit drawn out, a refuting principle I used in it which is the same principle Dr. Sarfati taps into (i.e., the Laws of Logic), is this quote by J.B.S. Haldane
- “If my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain, I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true…and hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms.”
It is the same as this reflection by Stephen Hawkings noted by Ravi Zacharias:
Here is Ravi again, but this time at a Q&A at Yale being challenged by a graduate student:
To be clear, my friend has no idea that what he has said is internally self-refuting. To show this working out with yet another skeptic of the Faith, here is apologist Frank Turek dispensing in similar fashion to Jonathan Sarfati (see below), Daniel Dennet:
Or when the same naturalistic position is used to make moral statements… it should be taken as illusory. Philosopher Roger Scruton drives this point home when he says, “A writer who says that there are no truths, or that all truth is ‘merely negative,’ is asking you not to believe him. So don’t.” I agree.
Here is the promised longer quote[s] by Jonathan Sarfati:
In any discussion with a Mormon, the following redefinition of biblical/ Christian terms must be kept in mind. Although Mormons themselves may be ignorant of some of the definitions cited below, they represent true Mormon teaching as proven by an evaluation of standard Mormon theological works. (Mainly from John Ankerberg’s and John Weldon’s book, Cult Watch: What You Need To Know About Spiritual Deception)
FIRST, here is a good site where an easy online access to a glossary is found at TRUTH IN LOVE (you may have to sign up [free] to access it), via an adult study at church. Enjoy the below.
- Christianity: sectarianism; a false and damnable apostate religion.
- God: “Elohim”; one of innumerable self-progressing bodily deities; formerly a man, a finite creature. In early Mormon theology, Adam (of the Garden of Eden) was considered by many Mormons as the true earth deity.
- Jesus Christ: a self-progressing deity (“Jehovah” of the Old Testament) and the first spirit child of “Elohim” and his wife.
- Holy Ghost: a man with a spiritual body of matter.
- Trinity: tritheistic; coordinated under general Mormon polytheism; thus the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are separate deities.
- The Gospel: Mormon theology.
- Born-again: water baptism into Mormonism.
- Immortality: Mormon salvation by grace (limited to the universal resurrection of all men).
- Atonement: the provision God has supplied for an individual to earn their true salvation “by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel” (Articles of Faith, 3).
- True salvationleternal life/redemption: Exaltation to Godhood in the highest part of the celestial kingdom based upon individual good works and personal merit; exaltation incorporates ruling a new world and sexual procreation in order to produce spirit children who will eventually be embodied and inhabit that world, each then having the opportunity to be exalted.
- The Fall: a spiritual step upward; a blessing permitting the production of physical bodies for preexistent spirits to inhabit and thus have the possibility of attaining their own “exaltation” or Godhood.
- Death: generally a step upward; death represents the possibility of a form of salvation (if not exaltation) for those who have never heard of Mormonism.
- Heaven: three “kingdoms of glory” comprising various spiritual gradations.
- Hell: generally purgatorial; possibly eternal for a very few (primarily apostate Mormons).
- Virgin birth: the birth of Christ through a physical sex act between God the Father (the Mormon earth god “Elohim”) and Mary (hence, not a virgin birth).
- Man: a preexistent spirit with the potential to earn Godhood by obedience to Mormon dictates.
- Creation: the reorganization of eternal matter.
- The Scriptures: the Book of Mormon; Doctrine and Covenants; The Pearl of Great Price; and the Bible “as far as it is translated correctly” (Articles of Faith, 8).
- The Bible: an erring and often unreliable inspired record, properly interpreted only by Mormons and only in light of Mormon theology.
This is a common comparison I have used over the years:
You can see some of this “fleshed out” in my routine I typically follw with Mormon Missionaries that come to my door — as outlined somewhat in my chapter on Mormonism:
Infinitely Finite – Mormon … by on Scribd