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Category Archives: apologetics

This actually happened.

     Reading this post on Believing in God is Immoral may or may not literally have the same result with you.  The post is #4 of 100 on why God doesn’t exist.  My post you have now embarked upon is a counter-series to this silliness.

     Until now, I have not held the author, McCormick, in the highest regard scholastically, but still have recognized the fact that he’s a professor and is misguided, yes, but not completely without merit in his argumentation; this post changed that.  It naively masquerades as a legitimate argument, but in reality is the emperor without his clothes.  It is nothing but a scalding, emotionally fraught, straw-man argument.  If you don’t know what a straw man is, Google it; I don’t have time to hyperlink the whole internet (SHEESH).
His argument is this: A ton of religious people say that you can only be moral and good if you believe in God, and that without the fear of divine punishment, all of us would rape, pillage, and plunder all that is good in the world.  With reckless abandon we’d dive into all licentiousness!  (Google that one too)  If we were just evolved monkeys, we’d have no sense of law or morality.  BUT, this fails to acknowledge how immoral it is to believe in God in the first place, so his argument goes.  Why?  I’ll tell you why!  I mean, isn’t it wrong to believe in a claim that:

 1) you know is false?  -Well, if people believed it to be false, we wouldn’t have martyrs.  Bad, naughty, atheistic presumption.
2) contributes to the confusion or false beliefs of others? -If God exists, and the Bible is true, then this doesn’t lead people astray.  Again, bad presumption.  This ASSUMES from the get-go that God does not exist.
3) encourages supernatural, spooky, non-critical, fuzzy-headed thinking?  -Not sure what that last one was, but I don’t think it’s immoral…?  As for the rest, you assume that “supernatural” is false, when it potentially could be true; it hasn’t been ruled out yet.  As far as non-critical, I’d say all of my posts have been fairly critical, and the only instance in which these atheistic posts have been critical is in a pedantic, demeaning sense.  Plenty of critical thinking here.
4) fosters fear and anxiety? -The Gospel is actually supposed to be used for love and peace.  The amount of those two in my life has increased 100 fold, and just because there are people who have misused the message, does not mean it’s inherently bad.  Even secular philosophers have agreed that the Bible has a great message.  Ghandi, for Pete’s sake, who no one can say fostered fear and anxiety, loved what the Bible taught.
5) creates complacency about social problems, social policy, and the future of humanity on this planet? -Legitimate claim here, except that’s only characteristic of mainstream, ultra-conservative, American evangelism (due to their own ego-centric eschatological views), which is rather a minority compared to the amount of other Christians.  Let’s not forget MLK Jr., Bishop Carlos Belo, Archibishop Desmond Tutu, or Nelson Mandela, who have championed social justice at high costs and by no means created complacency.
6) undermines the advancement of science? -Funny how a lot of the leading scientists have been Christian, including Sir Isaac Newton, Copernicus, Galileo, Gregor Mendel,  and in the modern era Francis Collins, who headed the Human Genome Project, or Hugh Ross and his team at RTB.  Undermines science, you say?  I say “nay.”
7) contributes to the stagnation of human progress? -Not sure what you mean, but I can tell you that you find Christians in every social justice issue and on the frontiers of science.  I guess you define “progress” differently?
8) encourages a historically outdated, over-simplified worldview? -And by this you mean what?  That humans have inherent worth, are unique, ought to love one another, and live in peace?  Yeah…that does sound outdated.
9) stalls our progress in dealing with new, complicated and important moral issues? -Oh, you mean like how we should deal with apartheid, genocide, human rights, abortion, and sexual relations?  Unfortunately (and by unfortunately, I mean fortunately), there are lots of reasonable, loving, and caring academics who approach those issues like Jennell Williams Paris (sexuality), Dietrich Bonhoeffer (human rights, genocide), Nelson Mandela (apartheid), and Tim Keller (abortion, human rights).
10) has no good evidence in its favor? -I’m…not even going to get into this one.  Just read the rest of my blog.
11) encourages cultural and ethnic strife? -Oh you mean like evolution did as Darwin wrote about the evolution of races?  Because you can’t be talking about how in the Book of Revelation there were people of every nation and tribe standing together before the Lord.
12) gives people false hopes? -Presumptuous, again.
13) is self-deluding? -I’ll take this as a light-hearted joke, and not an actual point.
14) fosters fear, confusion, and fuzzy, magical thinking in children? -The latter part I still fear is not a bad thing anyways…?  But fear and confusion is a part of childhood, buddy.  The only thing that I knew I could count on as a kid was God’s goodness, and it was clear and comforting.
15) fosters false beliefs in children? -I don’t see people coming under fire for Santa Claus at Christmas, but again, false assumption.
16) impede’s children’s acquisition of our most important, modern advancements in knowledge? -I was raised Christian, and that never stopped me from questioning flaws in Newtonian physics in relation to Quantum physics, dilemmas with the space-time continuum and time travel, human genome intricacies, or the air-speed velocity of a swallow (European or African).
17) is a case of akrasia (acting against one’s better judgment)? -Man, you really need to read my blog, because I act in my best judgment for some good reasons.

     The rest of the post beautifully persuades, with many o’ literary device, the reader to accept the “truth” that a belief in God is a weakness or an inability of a person to cope with life and its difficulties, a result of someone’s personal and communal reiteration that God is real.  We’re all Dorothy’s who want there to be “no place like home” so badly that we actually convince ourselves, despite the staggering facts that say otherwise, that there is a home, a paradise, where we’re meant to be.  It all started as something “we knew wasn’t true but we hoped was,” and need a 12-Step to get off the God drug.

     It was at this point that my head exploded.

     I really am trying my best to not blame the author right now, because it is very likely that he just knows some really bad Christians, or better yet just sees Christians post dumb things on the internet (obviously didn’t see this blog, though).  The fact is, however, is that Christianity is tough.  There’s a reason we use discourse like “dying to ourselves,” because we forsake that which our bodies often tell us are good.  We re-think the world as we see it from a self-centered view and replace it with an other-centered view in which we no longer are the main character, but God, where we come to point at which we can no longer deny God’s presence in our lives and decide to leap over our chasm of doubt and embrace the reality of something greater than ourselves which is just as real as the very computer on which I type.  The fact is that nothing in our lives are 100% verifiable.  Nothing about anything is certain, so we have to put our faith in SOMETHING, and if we’re going to live our life as if it is true, then we had better be sure that we have good reasons to do so.  After a lot of critical thinking and reading, I came to the conclusion that God must exist.  I fought the idea philosophically, and I wanted God to not be real–that meant I could live as I wanted to live–but when I was honest with myself, I knew it was not true, and I had to face the shame and guilt of my sinful past, in which I had done good, yes, and was able to do moral things, but the amount of sin I had accumulated alongside those good deeds was like a planet among the stars.

“Hi, I’m Christopher and I’ve truly believed since 2008.”

P.S. Shout-out to Danielle for reading my posts and reminding me to write another one.

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BOOM.

That’s what happened, right?  The Big Bang-Boom-Pow?  The generally accepted account of the beginning of the universe is that around 14 or so billion years ago, all energy, matter, space, and time was released from a nearly infinitesimally small, hot, dense, point.  Everything in the universe came from some teeny tiny point?  And I thought those shirts that come in tiny bottles was cool.

Anyhoo, the common misconception is that this little bit of scientific fact disproves the Bible, and that Christians are just ignorant of all the scientific data.  Now the reason for this misconception:  misinterpreting the Bible.  Yes, it’s true that there are Christians out there who deny the Big Bang, “its un-Biblical,” blah blah blah.  What I’d like to show is that the only ignorance is on the part of those who don’t properly understand the Bible: some Christians and non-Christians alike.

So what does Big Bang cosmology say?  Well, in a nutshell (I’m no scientist) all of space, time, energy, and matter comes from a neatly infinitesimally small point at some finite time in the past.  After that, different elements formed, objects coalesced into stars/planets, etc as the universe continually expanded (which it still is) kind of like a balloon.  So the three main components are a finite universe, an expanding universe, and curved space.  But is this how people always thought of the universe?  Not at all.  In fact, up until recently the universes was understood very differently.  It was thought to be infinite, static (unchanging), and have natural laws that act differently depending on where you are or how you’re moving.  If you look at the Bible, however, it depicts the universe as having a beginning (Genesis 1:1), an expansion of the universe (Isaiah 44:24), and whose laws are constant (Jeremiah 33:25).

Then we made some discoveries:

1.  Theory of Relativity- Einstein’s famous theory of relativity gave us evidence that space is curved and that laws are the same everywhere in the universe (which is what allows us to make calculations for objects in space and galaxies lightyears away)

2. Hubble Telescope- Edwin Hubble, looking out to the stars, made the discovery that the universe was indeed expanding by looking at the velocity and distance of galaxies.

3. Cosmic Background Radiation- Robert Wilson and Arno Penzias unintentionally found cosmic background radiation when working on a new type of antenna.  CMB had been predicted but not yet detected, and its existence is one of the best evidences for Big Bang cosmology.  The COBE (COsmic Background Explorer) satellite was launched and by 1992 more evidence was found to support the Big Bang and a finite universe.

Does the Bible give us all the information we need to understand the physical universe?  Absolutely not.  But if God’s word is the word of God, then by golly it should not be in direct contrast with God’s creation.  Now our interpretations may contrast at times, but this only means we need to be more careful as to HOW we interpret nature and Scripture. 

Only our interpretations can be flawed, not God’s word.

Pretty cool, huh?  Biblical authors unknowingly speaking to scientific truths that we only understand in modern times?  This blog is only a glimpse and a simplification of a talk given by Dr. Jeff Zweerink, an astronomer from Reasons to Believe, which is an organization of scientists who seek to harmonize scientific truths with the Bible.  They’re good guys, I love their stuff, and the best part is they’re honest and open with their reasoning and science.

Armor meets in the CCV Shift offices at 6:30 on Tuesdays
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Disagree with anything said here?  There’s a comment box!

For more info on the evidence Theory of General Relativity, click here
For more info on Hubble’s discovery, click here
For more info on CMB click here
Check out Reasons to Believe’s website, www.reasons.org

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