Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Church Head Admits Atheists Are Right



Let's Get Logical By Joseph Tkach Jr. (Speaking of Life Series)

By James Baldwin

Let's understand what logic means: The study of the principles of correct reasoning. It is thinking that aims at a conclusion. It can be subject to errors and these errors can be studied to great advantage when someone is trying to foist something over on us like proving that which cannot be proved.

Today's aggressive atheists like to point out that God cannot be found through science and conventional logic, or by looking for God in the deep recesses of the universe. As believers, that doesn't bother us because we know they're right. God can't be found using those tools.

Then Mr Tkach moves onto the old evasive standby that has served religion so well, faith. Let's look at the dictionary to understand faith in this context.
Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material existence.
A modern writer describes faith as the act of pretending you know something you don't now.
God can only be known through God's own revelation of himself. The proof of God's existence is in the realm of faith, not in the realm of science. Belief in God is a matter if faith, not in the realm of science. It's a faith issue. God reveals himself to us.
Again, faith is only making believe,  lacking logical proof or any material existence.

A quotation from The Macmillan Encyclopedia of Philosophy (1966) concerning popular arguments for the existence of God reads on this wise:
It is even more common to speak of faith in God as if this were a specially compelling reason for belief and moreover, one beyond logical criticism. Faith however, is merely determination to believe and no kind of reason. (Vol 6, P 107).
So, what happened to HWA's little booklet on proving God exists? Well, after HWA passed away his successors got some higher education and advice discovering he was wrong and scrapped the booklet. Here is a comment from a highly educated leader among the Episcopalians, Bishop John Shelby Spong:
Our God has also been taken away from us. For us, however, that removal of God did not occur in a single moment of violent defeat. It rather happened over a period of centuries as the steady and relentless advances in knowledge altered forever our ability to believe in the God content that stood at the heart of our sacred tradition.  "Why Christianity must Change or Die", P. 29 (1998)                                                                                                                 
We cannot park our brains at the door of our places of worship in order to accept as real the words that were used to interpret God in years past but that can no longer today illumine our understanding of God. (P 18.)
...we already know that we can only know God by his spiritual revelation of himself, not by studying science.

Spiritual means not tangible or material.

***That won't come through science, it will only come through the Holy Spirit.

Another entity that cannot be proved.

Again, the Macmillan Encyclopedia of Philosophy has a handy explanation of the problem of proving the existence of God:
Argument about the existence of God is rare (in 1966) for religious beliefs are effectively supported in our society by means that are not principally rational. (Vol 6, P107).
This helps explain why in the early '60s i was ill-equipped to question what the WCG and Ted Armstrong were teaching. I wasn't trained to think critically or be able to do research. Today, this environment has richly changed with access to the internet and the implosion of the WCG.

51 comments:

DennisCDiehl said...

Which is why Dave Pack made a fool out of himself again , and got called out on his mistaken notion he could prove creationism true and evolution false. He was way out of his faith league.

Anonymous said...

Armstrong and the church were never critical thinkers. It was shocking coming to AC and see intelligent "professors" who knew better, stand up in front of the class and read out of church booklets as if it were fact. Some of these men went to real universities and had real educations, but checked it all in order to support the gravy train. One of the most appalling about faces has been Michael Germano. This man knew that most of the stuff he taught was wrong and stopped teaching it, then he turned around and becomes the brains behind Rod Meredith's fake university where he promotes outright lies once again.

Byker Bob said...

It seems just so obvious that God used evolution as His tool or method of creation. Why can't organized religion see and recognize this?

One of the lifelong problems with which we former Armstrongites must wrestle is that we know that our former faith brought such evil, and so many problems into our lives. Yet, there are statistics floating around out there which demonstrate that for the most part, believers live longer, are more stable, and enjoy a general higher quality of life than do unbelievers. It's just that our faith had been toxically cultic, and taught to us by a false prophet who attempted to fear-entrap all of us by weaving his pet, nonbiblical theories into the books of Daniel and Revelation.

Surely, we are witnessing the misery from this continue to unfold in the splinter groups even today. Armstrongism continues to afflict the souls of its members, to exploit, manipulate, and trap the innocents whose hearts are so inclined that they would do anything for God. It is shameful, and it is also heart-rending to read the mighty cries of anguish of those being abused. Your church shouldn't be presenting you with a dead end for which there is no way out, accompanied by the thoughts that it is your attitude towards the abuse and corruption which is the only problem. Certainly there is a better way than that.

BB

Retired Prof said...

Just so you know where I'm coming from, I do not have faith there is a god. I also do not have faith there is none. However, the odds of one's existence appear to be so extremely low that I carry out my life without taking the possibility into account. It's Pascal's wager, only I'm betting against instead of for. You must realize that even if I did bet "for" but did so insincerely, an omniscient deity would see through the deception and I would lose out with that bet as surely as with this one.

Anyway, I mention all that to propose that the faithful and the atheists should both be investigating the universe itself. If actions speak louder than words, you should expect to learn more about a creator from what he did than what people claim he said.

The best evidence that people's claims about what he said are not dependable is the constant bickering over meaning. It's fierce enough among the few thousand remaining followers of Herbert W. Armstrong. Now multiply that by the number of sects that purport to believe versions of the Bible, plus those who follow the Koran, plus the Vedas, plus the I Ching, plus all the other scriptures and oral traditions that different religions have held dear over the millennia. If an omnipotent being really had created human beings and given them the gift of language, then even if languages differed from group to group, he should have been able to make himself equally clear in all of them. In that case everyone would hold a reasonably consistent view of the same creator and understand his wishes for them in the same way. All human beings would adhere to a single religion. Obviously, if that was the aim, it failed miserably.

Science is much better at achieving consensus. No matter what language we speak, we can learn, for example, that the sun, moon, and planets are not gods, as once believed, but a material star and its system of material satellites, and that they are members of the Milky Way Galaxy, one of an uncounted number extending outward to an unimaginable distance. As for the earth itself, the only reason not everyone accepts the evidence that it is billions of years old is that some people cling stubbornly to a set of traditional words instead of accepting the evidence found in the material thing.

Despite the fact that scientists haven't discovered everything there is to find and sorted out all the implied meanings of what they have found, evidence from the universe itself should allow us to make valid inferences about how it all began and how it all fits together. We would be following the same principle archaeologists use when drawing conclusions about people who constructed ancient buildings and the objects found in them. They can draw plausible conclusions even though they will never be able to ask the artisans directly why or how they made those things. If all such evidence about the universe is found to point to a coherent will with specific intentions working with well-adapted methods, then science will have found out a lot more about god than all the various scriptures that priests, seers, shamans, and prophets have ever come up with.

Hedgehog said...

Byker Bob says "It seems just so obvious that God used evolution as His tool or method of creation. Why can't organized religion see and recognize this?"
Well, it may be obvious to you but that doesn't mean it is obvious to me or to everyone. Yes, evolution seems to be a pretty well-substantiated theory (read "fact") but who is to say that some big "man up in the sky" pushed the button to start it all. If you need to believe that there is a "god" that sees all, knows all, controls all, go right ahead. It may help you live a longer, heathier, happier life. Just don't say that something is "obvious" because you happen to believe it. Let's try a little logic for a change.
Gloria Olson
Topeka, Kansas

Anonymous said...

"It seems just so obvious that God used evolution as His tool or method of creation. Why can't organized religion see and recognize this?"

Tha Catholic Church does recognize this, finally, and the Pope has clearly said so. I think a lot more prelates realize this, but it would be disastrous to their power and their prosperity to come right out and admit it.

Stephen said...

" A modern writer describes faith as the act of pretending you know something you don't now [sic]."

FYI, the modern writer who advances this bald and unflattering, but nonetheless, pithy, practical and accurate definition of faith (much to the ire of some christian apologists) is Dr. Peter Boghossian.

Retired Prof said...

Gloria, you're too hard on Byker Bob. Notice he said "It seems obvious." Let me emphasize he said "seems." That word modestly implies "seems to ME; from my perspective it looks like." BB did not say "evidence clearly indicates," or "everyone should recognize," or make any other dogmatic assertion.

It doesn't seem obvious to me, any more than to you, that evolution had a guiding hand, or even a hand that set it down at the top of a slope and gave it a gentle shove. However, if evidence does eventually converge on a deity as the best explanation for why things got to be the way they are, then the process of evolution makes a lot better explanation of how he worked than the conflicting (and woefully unspecific) accounts of Genesis 1 and 2. Or for that matter, any of the creation myths of other religions.

Jim Baldwin said...

To BB-

I've read for years your deist comments and wondered how one as clearly bright as you seem to be could believe in God. So, is Tkach right in claiming the atheists are right in lacking belief? Or are you pretending to believe in God?

The evasive comments about evolution and life are irrelevant to the post.

Jim

DennisCDiehl said...

It's not obvious God used evolution. It is obvious evolution occurred

Anonymous said...

You can criticize Pack and the Armstrongs all you want. Plenty to find wrong. However, the Theory of Evolution is a Intellectual Fairy Tale.

For years I have asked for anyone to produce on provable scientific fact for Evolution and not one person has yet to do it. That's because the theory, often taught as fact, is always "proven" by assumptions, guesses and maybes.

Dennis says there are plenty of transitional fossils. But here's a quote from the evolutionist who knew better.

"The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persist as the trade secret of paleontology. The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches; the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the evidence of fossils ….We fancy ourselves as the only true students of life's history, yet to preserve our favored account of evolution by natural selection we view our data as so bad that we never see the very process we profess to study." - Stephen J. Gould - "Evolution's Erratic Pace," Natural History, vol. 86 (May 1987), p. 14.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

DennisCDiehl said...

If God used evolution then we know NT teachings on sin, women and the first Adam are all fairy tales causing untold damage to the concept of a Second Adam..Christ

Jim Baldwin said...

To Retired Prof:

"Just so you know where I'm coming from..."

Please help me to know, do you believe in God or not? Faith is not required to lack belief.

Jim

Anonymous said...

DennisCDiehl said...
"It's not obvious God used evolution. It is obvious evolution occurred"

Evolution is still occurring. The various God-of-the-Gap theories don't trouble me. Because, when I use the term God, it represents the Universe and all the ways that work. So many of our misunderstandings and confusion arise, I believe, when we try to objectify God and fail to realize that God is NOT an object but a subject. A subject can perceive, but cannot be perceived. You can no more see God than you can see your own thoughts. You can see an apple, but the event of your seeing an apple is itself not seeable. And God is far more like the seeing of an apple than the apple itself.

DennisCDiehl said...
"If God used evolution then we know NT teachings on sin, women and the first Adam are all fairy tales causing untold damage to the concept of a Second Adam..Christ"

How can that correlation be absolutely true?

DBP

Retired Prof said...

Jim Baldwin, I go about my life as if no god exists. It's a working assumption, not an article of faith. If you consider a belief to be the same as a working assumption, then I do not believe in god. If you consider a belief to be the same as a faith--a full-fledged commitment to a given proposition--then I do not have such a commitment to atheism; instead I consider the matter unsettled.

The way my son, who majored in philosophy, describes my position is that philosophically I am an agnostic but in practice an atheist.

DennisCDiehl said...

"Twice in the New Testament an explicit comparison is made between Jesus and Adam. In Romans 5:12–21, Paul argues that "just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous" (Romans 5:19, NIV). In 1 Corinthians 15:22, Paul argues that "as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive," while in verse 45 he calls Jesus the "last/ultimate/final Adam".

The Second Adam

Paul is taking the story of Adam and Eve literally . To Paul, Adam was literally the first man and Eve the first woman who came from the rib of Adam. But Adam was not literally the first man nor Eve the first woman in a garden with a talking serpent goaded into "sinning", which was the fault of the woman. Evolution tells us a much different story about the origins of the first homo sapiens over 200,000 years ago.

Paul links all of our sinfulness to Adam's sin, really Eve's and has the obedience of Christ taking it all away. However, if there was really no first Eve sinning by taking of the "God food trees" of The Knowledge of Good and Evil" and "The Tree of life" (That knowledge and eternal life was just for the gods at the time and thus off limits to Adam and Eve), then there is not really any "Original Sin" we are all to blame for that needs a redemption by execution and sacrifice of the Son of God to atone for it all. Paul draws a wrong analogy producing wrong results and bad theology. If they did not literally sin as presented in the story, and they didn't, it's a myth, then we are not guilty of anything.

Also one has to wonder how the characters of Adam and Eve can be blamed for anything as they did not have the real knowledge of Good and Evil, i.e. the consequences of the warning they were given not to partake of the trees.

Part of the problem is that the original Garden of Eden story is a Hebrew remake of an older Sumerian creation story and given the Hebrew twist. But that's another story.

In short, the scientific reality of human evolution makes the Adam and Eve story moot along with all its NT references and analogies as well as being used to heap "Original Sin" on all of humanity with a mythical tale.

Anonymous said...

"Paul is taking the story of Adam and Eve literally"

Dennis, thanks for explaining it in more detail.
For quite sometime I have looked at the "Garden of Eden" as a very short metaphor for humanity developing a more profound conscience.

RetiredProf:"Science is much better at achieving consensus."

Yes. I've always liked this article,"A New Way To Think About Rules To Live By"

DBP

Anonymous said...

"There is this much connection certainly between scientific truth, on the one hand,
and beauty and morality, on the other:that if a man entertain false opinions regarding his own nature, he will be led thereby to courses of action which will be in some profound sense immoral or ugly." anonymous

Anonymous said...

Think like a genius!

OK folks, duh, Stephen Hawking has figured this all out... In the big world, we have Newtonian physics where everything can be pre-calculated and we know just how much rocket fuel it takes to get to the Moon- then there is the subatomic world where things appear to be less predictable...

The point is that anything that can happen will happen so there... There are an infinite number of universes out there and we happen to be in just the right one- lucky us!!!

Here you have it from a self declared scientific genius!!!

https://youtu.be/TGfQ56Dt7g0?t=2372

Actually, I think Hawking stole that from an old Star Trek episode or something.

Ronco

Anonymous said...

"...there are statistics floating around out there which demonstrate that for the most part, believers live longer, are more stable, and enjoy a general higher quality of life than do unbelievers."

I'd like to see those statistics and know who supposedly came up with them and what axe they were grinding. Yeah, I'm very skeptical. I remember when we were so sure that members of the church had less cancer and other health problems than the world at large. Turned out to be more chauvenistic nonsense.

Anonymous said...

The fool hath said in his heart there is no God.

Anonymous said...

Evolution cannot explain design complexity beyond that achievable by man. And atheists cannot explain the existence of the laws of physics and chemistry. Neither can they explain why the fundamental constants like the atomic weight of a proton, are just right to enable life. Neither can they explain why the laws of physics differed for a few seconds during the big bang, enabling the creation of the universe. It is atheists who live by non-proof faith, not the Christians.
Technically, belief without proof is mysticism, not faith.

Anonymous said...

Of course Tkach admits atheists are right, since his mission gaol is the destruction of the church. He has had great success thus far. Well done my evil and faithless servant.

Jim Baldwin said...

One person quoted Ps.14.1

"The fool hath said in his heart there is no God."

I'm an atheist and I agree with that verse. Now go and understand why.

Jim

Darren C. said...

Scientism is a self-defeating argument. If we can only believe something that is provable by science, then how do we know that assertion itself is true? Can it be proven by science that things are true only if science can prove them?

Since believers do not claim that God is part of the natural material world, then physical science is the wrong tool for the job of settling whether He exists.

Reason and philosophy are more suitable tools.

Anonymous said...

7.58 AM. "you shall know them by their fruits" is both the scientific method, and reason. You seem to have created a false dichotomy between science and reason. Reason without science smells of German rationalism, a philosophical school which accepts high level concepts, but rejects the evidence of the five senses. Which is nonsense since all concepts rest on the foundation of the five senses.

Anonymous said...

7.58AM how can science prove science? That's a variation of how you prove that you exist. The answer? You cannot, since proof by definition is breaking down a problem to its lowest recognisable components. If something is already at its basic level, 'proof' by definition is not possible. Rather it is axiomatic, the self evident.

Jim Baldwin said...

To retired Prof on June 29-

Your son has earned his expense of schooling. As that is how Professor Bart Ehrman has described his own position.

He is agnostic as to knowledge and yet atheistic as to belief.

Jim

Jim Baldwin said...

To an "anonymous" 30 June.

"Of course Tkach admits atheists are right, since his mission goal is the destruction of the church."

Could you prove that? "Church" needs defining. The WCG as a legal entity is gone. He is making money with the GCI, why kill it? Surely you can't mean the Christian church? Help!

Jim

Anonymous said...

Darren C. said...
"Scientism is a self-defeating argument. If we can only believe something that is provable by science, then how do we know that assertion itself is true? Can it be proven by science that things are true only if science can prove them?"

"Science does not prove anything, it only probes" Gregory Bateson

Rejecting Atheism

DBP

ps:“I am not an atheist. An atheist is someone who has compelling evidence that there is no Judeo-Christian-Islamic God. I am not that wise, but neither do I consider there to be anything approaching adequate evidence for such a god. Why are you in such a hurry to make up your mind? Why not simply wait until there is compelling evidence?” Carl Sagan

Anonymous said...

Jim 2.43 PM yes Tkach is making money, but only some money. If his motive was money, he would not have abolished tithing and sold off Ambassador College. Rather he would have leased the buildings as a cash cow. The 'proof' is in his works. He has dismantled the church both theologically and physically. The body of evidence is over whelming. I define the 'church' primarily as those trying to follow Christ, since with WWCG, it is a mixed bag. I believe he is motivated by a Cain versus Abel attitude towards Christians, something I frequently experience in my own life.

Anonymous said...

2.49 PM you sound like a school kid quoting all the 'daddys' of the world. Have you considered looking at the world through your own eyes, and doing your own thinking? Adults do that, you know.

Anonymous said...

project much?
June 30, 2016 at 4:55 PM

Anonymous said...

Well, I thought the information was worth sharing and still wanted to be brief because this is a comment section on a blog. Yet, a guy like you, and your attitude reminds me of a pompous holier-than-thou teacher of my youth. "Let the Bible do your thinking, it's all there, every answer to any question you will ever have, that's our salvation!" He didn't like to think, because it was too dangerous to his status. So he just attacked anybody that he perceived was challenging his authority.

DBP

Anonymous said...

June 30, 2016 at 5:53 AM
"It is atheists who live by non-proof faith, not the Christians."
"And atheists cannot explain the existence of the laws of physics and chemistry."

No, but people searched for a more accurate truth and discovered some of the laws of physics and chemistry. To ask why the Laws are there is not as important as learning to obey those Laws. Didn't Jesus Christ demonstrate that it is far more important to obey the Laws that we can't break, instead of argueing over man's laws.

"Neither can they explain why the fundamental constants like the atomic weight of a proton, are just right to enable life."

No, but it was these very same people, that you seem to despise, who were the ones that discovered that.

DBP

WB D'Angelos said...

Let it be known to this community what true Christians who are knowledgeable about the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church well understand: Roman Catholicism is NOT Christianity. This is not just someone's opinion. It is made clear by definitions and descriptions found in the KJV Bible.

The Roman Catholic Church (aka, RCC, Romanism) has, over the centuries, added dozens of extra-biblical false doctrines of their own, including many that are not just faulty, but blasphemous, and this was foretold by Bible prophecy. The Bible refers to them generally as "doctrines of men" and warns several places that during the end of the apostolic age, false religion, false Christianity, "apostate" Christianity came to exist — prophecies also forewarn that it will grow worse and worse until "the last day" when Jesus will destroy it all.

Those who introduced these false doctrines are referred to as antichrist. (1st John 2:18, 2:22, 4:3, 2nd John 1:7) Another key end time warning appears in 2nd Thessalonians 2. For centuries, church fathers, scholars and bible translators understood the "antichrist" or "man of sin" to be the man in the seat of the papacy. More specifically, the Vatican-controlled Roman Catholic Church is the "temple of God" mentioned in 2nd Thessalonians 2, based on the doctrines developed and currently in use by the RCC.

So, what's the point of all of this? For the one or several who referenced the RCC above, to say that the Roman Catholic Church says it now believes that "God used evolution" is another errant and unbiblical view. It is not supported by scripture. I won't go into the multiple proofs or reasons here, because I doubt few are interested, except to say that the "macro-evolution" view eliminates the doctrine of original sin, thus eliminates the need and purpose for Jesus Christ to sacrifice his perfect life as payment for the sins of mankind. Quite literally, the Pope's official statement accepting macro-evolution is blasphemous and of the spirit of antichrist, according to definitions found in 1st and 2nd John (referenced above). (Note: the Vatican develops the statements spoken by the pope — he is just a figurehead)

[Insert here the history of the multitude of anti-christian crimes of the Vatican/RCC against true Christians during the dark ages (now called the middle ages to take attention off of the RCC's crimes)]. There is not a single verse in the New Testament teachings of Jesus Christ to support a Christian murdering another person, much less murder of another Christian. The RCC murdered, tortured and persecuted countless Christians.

Jesus said, "You shall know them by their fruits." (Matthew 7:16)

[insert here the thousands of verified cases of sexual crimes committed by RCC priests and covered up by the Vatican. No part of that is Christian.]

Bottom line: Catholics are not Christians. Yes, you will find them listed and counted in polls and statistical data as Christians, but evidence proves otherwise. Of course, in this day of "tolerance" and specifically, "religious tolerance," few are willing to say or type what I just have, but the evidence proves the case, whether I speak or remain silent.

So, it can be regarded either "of no matter" what the RCC's position is on God using macro-evolution, or it can be regarded as yet another false doctrine of the RCC, another act of Satan's minions to confuse the world and steer them away from truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Galatians 1:8-9 and 2 Thessalonians 2 describes this, with warnings.

For an interesting lead, research JESUITS DECEPTIONS HISTORY OR FALSE DOCTRINES

WB D'Angelos said...

There is no valid scientific evidence for macro-evolution, and more importantly, there is no valid scientific evidence that
— all energy and matter came from nothing, without purpose,
— order came from chaos ("Big Bang"), then
— became life-giving, life coming from non-life, then
— complex organisms and irreducibly complex systems "evolved" from simple cells, or that
— DNA code (ordered program information) came from something without intelligence (i.e., a rock), (violates the laws of information), or
— intelligent beings evolved from something that had no intelligence, or
— the human conscience evolved from something that had no conscience...

Even for those Atheists who want so badly to prove that their ancestors were pond scum from the underside of a rock and that their cousins are primates and that The Little Mermaid is someone's great-great-grandmother, this is ridiculous, unscientific hope-beyond-hope conjecture. It's a fantasy for God-hating fools, and I am being as kind as reason will allow. Atheism is unreasonable. So is macro-evolution.

Here is logical proof that there is a supernatural creator.

1. The universe had a beginning. Matter-energy and time came to exist at the same time. (Einstein, Hawking, etc.)

2. Neither energy nor matter can be created or destroyed. (laws of thermodynamics)

(Note: Richard Dawkins has foolishly said that "nothing became everything" or "nearly nothing became everything" — clearly irrational and unscientific conclusions, since the Laws of Thermodynamics inform us that the sum of matter-energy is the same today as it was at the time of the Big Bang. So, everything did not come from nothing or "nearly nothing." (And I won't even comment on how irrational the multi-verse argument is, other than to say it is a distraction from common sense.)

3. The Big Bang was an "explosion" or "fast expansion", a type of effect.

4. Every effect is the result of a precedent cause.

5.The laws of physics rule out a natural first cause since it would have preceded the existence of all matter-energy and time. Therefore, it was necessarily the effect of a supernatural cause.

Summary, the cause of the Big Bang was an uncaused cause that was not subject to the laws of physics, i.e., it was a supernatural cause. Therefore, whatever caused all matter-energy and time to exist was already in existence, preceeding time and matter-energy. Something not subject to time is called eternal.

This proves an all-powerful, supernatural, eternal creator, using logic and application of known laws of physics. It doesn't prove the God of the Bible to be that Creator, but the all-powerful,"supernatural" (i.e., spiritual) and "eternal" attributes are attributes of the God of the Bible. Fulfilled bible prophecy, including hundreds of specific prophecies foretold in writing about Jesus' birth, life, death and resurrection prove beyond reasonable doubt that the Bible is the supernatural revelation of an intelligent being not subject to time or space. His name is the Word of God, or Jesus Christ. That part we accept by faith, but it is not an unreasonable faith: it is quite reasonable, and God is a reasonable Being, after which humans were made "in his image." Humans did not evolve from pond scum that "evolved" from a non-living rock as the result of random happenstance. At the least, that is unreasonable to assume, even if there existed a single shred of evidence to support it.

For more on that topic, research PETER STONER BIBLE PROPHECIES STATISTICAL ODDS

WB D'Angelos said...

Regarding Herbert Armstrong and David Pack? Two words: FALSE PROPHETS

2 Peter 2:1-3 KJV
But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.

Jim Baldwin said...

Stephen gave the name of the author of the book that cleverly coined the definition of faith as "pretending to know something you don't know."

The brilliant author is Peter Boghossian and his book is "A Manual for Creating Atheists."

Thanks.

Jim

Jim Baldwin said...

Sorry, Boghossian's book is "A Manual for Creating Atheists."

Jim

Anonymous said...

Anon. 4:55. Why be so snarky when answering 2:49, and here you tell him how adults do things, you should take your own advice.

Anonymous said...

1.46PM you talked past my points without really addressing them. Am I to pretend otherwise? How would you know if, and whom I despise? Do you think you can read peoples minds, just like God?

Darren C. said...

D'Angelo:

I am a Catholic convert, with a WCG and CGI background.

The RCC does not officially pronounce that macro evolution and the Big Bang theories are true, because those are matters of science, not of the Gospel.

But the Church does say they do not necessarily conflict with Scripture or Christian tradition, for if there was indeed a Big Bang, it makes sense that there was a Big Banger who orchestrated it, put it into motion.

Anonymous said...

responding to July 1, 2016 at 5:16 AM
"you talked past my points without really addressing them."

I realize some things may remain unknowable. Some would say that I still suffer from the God-of-the-Gaps syndrome, but I believe there can be positive outcomes from doing so.

"How would you know if, and whom I despise? Do you think you can read peoples minds, just like God?"

No, I can't read minds, especially God's, but I can form an opinion and I will stand by it till......."

I suggest you relisten to the simply stated and well-spoken Rejecting Atheism, but stop listening after the "let there be light" part. Loop that part again and then maybe you can see why I find truth in that Francis Burton qoute above.

DBP
ps:July 1, 2016 at 12:53 AM I don't have the time to respond now, but maybe later

Jim Baldwin said...

To Darren-

I would like to ask a question about your conversion if I may. When the WCG imploded I had several friends who were former Catholics who returned to the RCC. I didn't get speak to them again but I was wondering if that was what you did. Were you making a return to your earlier faith or making a complete change?

Please ignore this query if it is too personal.

Jim

Stephen said...

WB D'Angelos said:

"1. ... Matter-energy and time came to exist at the same time. (Einstein, Hawking, etc.)"

False. Neither Einstein nor Hawking say this. Also, you forgot to include "space" when you mentioned "time." Space-time is a single, indivisible, multidimensional object, just like you cannot break a 3-dimensional volume up into 3 discrete 1-dimensional objects.

Just because our universe, structured as it is, began to expand ~13.82 billion years ago does not mean that whatever raw materials that make up the universe came into existence ~13.82 billion years ago. They could be merely recycled from a previous collapsing universe.

"4. Every effect is the result of a precedent cause."

False. Incidentally, this is also a downfall for the Kalam Cosmological argument.

We already know that the space-time fabric is an integral part of the universe, which you seem to allude to in point 5, and outside that domain, if there is any such thing as time, being superuniversal, it must operate independently. Likewise, outside the the domain of the universe, the time-dependent cause-and-effect that we observe is not a necessity. Moreover, even within our universe, at quantum scales we observe an inherent randomness, such as the randomness of the decay of radioactive isotopes, which appear to be an uncaused effect.

To assert this is to make a category mistake, assuming that which is true of the parts (one category) must necessarily be true of the whole (another category). If we were to follow this logic, there is nothing inherently "wet" about a water molecule (H₂O), therefore water must not be "wet" either, right? Since you are made up of ~1 trillion cells, none of which have the capacity for abstract thought, therefore you, considered as a whole, must also not have the capacity for abstract thought. Somehow, I don't think you'll be to eager to assent to that...

"Summary, the cause of the Big Bang was an uncaused cause that was not subject to the laws of physics, i.e., it was a supernatural cause..."

False.
1) Superuniversal does not imply "supernatural."
2) You do not know that the "big bang" had a cause any more than you know that the decay of a radioactive nucleus has a cause.
3) To assume the existence of an "uncaused cause" (prime mover) is unwarranted and unnecessary.
4) If a "prime mover" were necessary, why couldn't the universe itself be that prime mover, instead of some other presuppositionally inserted object (god)? To assume another "prime mover" is to arbitrarily decide to kick this can down the road. To arbitrarily stop kicking this can down the road by decreeing "god" as "prime mover" achieves nothing. Knowledge is not produced by decree.
5) If the universe was "created," there is no guarantee it was produced by a conscious agency, and not merely another naturalistic universe-creating process.
6) If the universe was "created," by a conscious agency, there is no guarantee it was produced by the conscious agency that is prevalently imagined to exist in your particular culture.
7) Unfortunately, in the words of Christopher Hitchens, if all you've got is generic arguments for a deistic god-of-the-gaps then "you have all your work still ahead of you."

Anonymous said...

Responding to WB D'Angelos,

no valid scientific evidence=only assumptions
1.) [all energy and matter came from nothing, without purpose,]
I believe the Universe has a purpose, but I still don't have or know ALL the details.
2.) [order came from chaos ("Big Bang"),]
I believe disorder comes from order.
Cycles of Time by Sir Roger Penrose
3.) [then became life-giving, life coming from non-life,]
The Universe has provided the materials for life to exist.
"We are made from stardust." "Dust of the earth, Adam from red-clay" How are these different?
Also, take the informational content of the whole Internet, including deepnet and all the private databases combined for example; viruses, worms, and wolves don't spontaneously appear, or do they? and how? ;)
4.) [then complex organisms and..."evolved" from simple cells,]
Science still does NOT know how this was done.
The astronomer Fred Hoyle considered the probability of assembling a structure like a bacterium from the random thermodynamic processes available on the early Earth and likened its chances to that of a tornado in a junkyard spontaneously assembling a Boeing 747. The odds are actually even more outrageous!
5.) [DNA code came from something without intelligence,]
NOT true! though it's similar to the above, we are NOT intelligent enough to prove that one way or another.
Did life spontaneously evolve from Protocells & Self-replicators?
The funny thing is, DNA and proteins do NOT self-replicate today, but some people believe they did, and they still have NOT found any scientific proof that they did in the distant past. You need DNA and RNA to make enzymes. But you need enzymes to make DNA or RNA! So, maybe Ribozymes? Ribozymes could close the loop between heredity (it can store genetic information) and metabolism (it can catalyse biochemical reactions). But it's a fact that ribozymes are already rather complex structures. David Bartel's study group at MIT used an artiļ¬cial evolutionary process to select for ribozymes capable of performing RNA polymerization reactions (an essential component of an RNA self-replicator). They dicovered that the minimum size for any kind of replicase activity was 165 bases, at least ten-fold bigger than anything that might be synthesized in even the most optimistic primordial soup RNA synthesis scenarios. Do you realize how big that pond of scum, or bowl of primordial soup would have to be? If there was just one molecule of each of the possible 165 base long RNA molecules in the primordial soup then the combined mass of all those RNA molecules would be 1.9 × 1077 kilograms. To put this number in perspective, the entire mass of the observable universe is estimated as approximately 3 × 1052 kilograms. It clearly would have to have been an astronomically big pond to have had any chance of generating a ribozyme self-replicator by random processes alone.

Is self-replication too complex to emerge by chance? It appears so, or that's the box we find ourselves in.

DBP

ps:{a crack of light appears, what is that? is that a door, opening?
...quantum mechanics walks through the door.}

Darren C. said...

Jim,

I left WCG for CGI due to doctrinal changes. I prayed God would lead me to the right path, because whatever is right and true is what I wanted to do. After reading and listening to CGI materials, I joined CGI.

Couple years later I moved to Tyler, TX, for classes, then worked in CGI editorial department for nine years.

The whole time, from infanthood to my mid-twenties, I was anti-Catholic.

So, no. I saw was not raised Catholic. It was a new and exciting journey.

BTW, East Texas is not exactly Catholic country, so it's not easy. Since then I've moved back up north and am glad to see more Catholics now.

Interestingly, I married three years ago to someone I had known in the mid-1990s but had moved off to Alaska. Having no contact with each other for well over 10 years, we learned through Facebook that we had both become Catholic. One thing led to another, and here we are: celebrating our three-year wedding anniversary this weekend with fireworks.

She had been a student at CGI's school with me. God's awesome.

Anonymous said...

11.56 AM I remind you that you have a duty of care in evaluating people. Accusing anyone of despising, because of simply disagreement, is a failure to exercise that responsibility. And bullying as well.
That's my opinion, and I'II stick with it as well.
You'd make a lousy judge or similar, so don't quit your day job.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...
11.56 AM I remind you that you have a duty of care in evaluating people. Accusing anyone of despising, because of simply disagreement, is a failure to exercise that responsibility. And bullying as well. That's my opinion, and I'II stick with it as well.You'd make a lousy judge or similar, so don't quit your day job."

It works BOTH ways! I did NOT accuse you of despising. I also wasn't evaluating. I was just commenting on the perceived(my perception of you) attitude that was coming from you.

"Even for those Atheists who want so badly to prove that their ancestors were pond scum...It's a fantasy for God-hating fools, and I am being as kind as reason will allow."

I think you hold God-hating fools in contempt. Your words came across as scornful.

"...I am being as kind as reason will allow."

Who or what, will NOT allow you to be more kind?

"Accusing anyone of despising, because of simply disagreement,..."

I was commenting on your behaviour, NOT because we disagree.


DBP

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...
11.56 AM I remind you that you have a duty of care in evaluating people. Accusing anyone of despising, because of simply disagreement, is a failure to exercise that responsibility. And bullying as well.
That's my opinion, and I'II stick with it as well.
You'd make a lousy judge or similar, so don't quit your day job.
July 2, 2016 at 7:06 AM"

It works BOTH ways! I did NOT accuse you of despising. I also wasn't evaluating. I was just commenting on the perceived(my perception of you) attitude that was coming from you.

"Even for those Atheists who want so badly to prove that their ancestors were pond scum...It's a fantasy for God-hating fools, and I am being as kind as reason will allow."

I think you hold God-hating fools in contempt. Your words came across as scornful.

"...I am being as kind as reason will allow."

Who or what, will NOT allow you to be more kind?

"Accusing anyone of despising, because of simply disagreement,..."

I was commenting on your behaviour, NOT because we disagree.


DBP