Are some battles the ones that are essential? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
Recently in a group I’m in, someone shared a picture with someone saying on social media, “Answer me one question and I will convert to atheism. Show me the evidence for the Big Bang Theory.” I find it incredibly sad that someone could make a post like that and even if it wasn’t real, we know there are people who think that way.
For one thing, let’s start with a basic quibble. Every position has something that can be called evidence. The most crazy conspiracy theory out there that no one else will believe in except the one person who does still has evidence. You could say he’s interpreting it wrongly or that it’s not really true, but it is still evidence. If you asked if there was any evidence for Muhammad’s night flight, I could say that we do have Muslim sources saying that. That is evidence. Do I trust that evidence and think the sources are reliable? No.
This person likely meant proof, but even that is problematic for there is very little in life that we have proof for and certainly not in the area of science. We can have extremely good evidence in science for something, but that evidence is always probabilistic. It’s the same with history also. Historians don’t speak of proof. There are many events that are so sure that it’s ridiculous to doubt them, such as the crucifixion of Jesus, but that does not mean we speak of “proof.”
So after that, let’s get to the more serious point. This is not a hill to die on. Many readers I have here are YECs, but I would say the same thing to someone who was OEC and was saying “Show me the evidence of evolution and I will become an atheist.” What has to be asked is what is absolutely necessary for Christianity to be true. That doesn’t mean the other doctrines are unimportant or that they are false. It means what is absolutely necessary.
Let’s consider something with evolution. Let’s suppose you had thought that Piltdown Man was good evidence for the theory. Some people did believe that. I was trying to see how many dissertations were written on it, but I could not find that number aside from creationist websites citing 500 and I did not want to use the opponent to back the statistic.
Now we know it was a hoax. Does that mean that anyone who thought it was real should automatically conclude evolution is false? No. It could be false, but all that is really false in this case is one finding. Now you could say you question the scientific establishment after that, which is a separate issue, but the core leading cases for evolution and the science behind it would still be there. What that is would be up to the scientists to explain, but I have never had one tell me the case is built on one discovery.
So what about Christianity? You definitely need the existence of God for that. You also need Jesus being fully God and man or else we are not truly reconciled by the grace of God, which also entails the Trinity eventually, and you need the bodily resurrection of Jesus from the dead. This is also not saying that you necessarily have to affirm everything to be a Christian. For example, I don’t expect a small child to understand the Trinity nor do I think the early church was quoting the Nicene Creed, though the seeds of the doctrine were there.
What about inerrancy? That is something important, but there could hypothetically be an error in the Scriptures and Christianity could still be true. It could still be that God exists and Jesus rose from the dead. After all, the early church didn’t even have a New Testament and it’s not like a slip-up in a later writer could overturn a past historical event. Note that this does not mean inerrancy is false. That is not relevant at this point. It is just saying it is not an essential. It’s not even saying the doctrine is unimportant. It can still be important and I understand many churches and Christian schools putting it in a statement of faith.
The same applies to YEC. The same applies to OEC or to Evolutionary creationism. If you look at any of these and say “If this is not true, I am abandoning Christianity”, then you are basing your faith on something other than the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. You could say if they are false, “I still have the resurrection of Jesus, but now I really have to rethink doctrine XYZ” and that’s okay!
For me, there have been many positions on which I have changed my stance. One such example is eschatology. I used to be a strong dispensationalist. I grew up listening to Southern Gospel music and so many songs are about the rapture. I was challenged by a Baptist minister especially to rethink that with plenty of reasons and like C.S. Lewis being dragged into the kingdom, I went kicking and screaming. Over several years time, I moved into orthodox Preterism. I have a strong passion to talk about eschatology and that doctrine, but I will not base my Christianity on it. I would say if it was shown to be false, “Whoa. I really gotta rethink the Olivet Discourse and the book of Revelation.” Maybe I would never even find an understanding of them. That’s okay. For all of us, there are things in the Bible that we don’t understand and aspects of our theology we are still working out.
Please note that at this point, I am not saying YEC, OEC, or EC are false. Right now, it doesn’t matter. I’m also not saying your stance on origins and creation doesn’t matter. I’m not saying you can’t have strong positions on those issues, be passionate about them, and argue for them. I am simply saying don’t base Christianity on them. Christianity needs to be based on the life of Jesus Christ and His resurrection.
Odds are if you are journeying on your Christian life and studying, you will change your mind on a number of issues, and that’s okay. There will still be many things you don’t know in the end also, no matter how much you study. If any of us could comprehend God, we would be God and He would not be. There are going to always be passages of the Bible that you don’t understand and you will not be a perfect interpreter of every one of them. That’s also okay.
Don’t be like this person who based their faith on something other than Jesus. Maybe he’s right. Maybe he’s wrong. I don’t really care on that issue. What I want to know is where does he stand on the resurrection of Jesus. It would be better to get Jesus right and everything else wrong, than to get everything else right and Jesus wrong.
(And I affirm the virgin birth)
Do we need to know how two things work together? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
Yesterday, I saw again someone asking the question on how an immaterial mind, like God, can affect a material world? I am not at all saying that we shouldn’t ask the question, but I find it striking that these people act like saying “We don’t know, therefore it can’t happen.” These are also the same people who share the idea that religion is against finding answers to questions and science is the one that says, “I don’t know. Let’s find out.”
Apparently, that means in all questions except for those about religion.
I replied the same way that I always do. Right now, I am sitting at my desk typing, at this point, on this blog. I am willing myself to type. I do not know how that works, but yet I am doing it. Even if I held to a purely materialistic view of man, which I don’t, I would not know how to explain that.
When it comes to the world we live in, let’s suppose, as I do, that I have arguments for God, an immaterial being, that I find conclusive. Let’s also suppose that while they are not hills I am ready to die on and a debate I don’t really enter into that much, let’s suppose that I have reasons I find conclusive for believing in an immaterial aspect to me. One such reason even in scientific circles is Near-Death Experiences. True, some scientists do think they’re bunk, but some, and not just Christian ones, spend a great deal of study on these. My thinking on them is I think some of them are true, but they are not meant to give you the furniture of the afterdeath.
I do also take it as a given that there is such a thing as a material world. I’m not going to bother dealing with the thoughts of people like Bishop Berkeley or Eastern thought that can say the material world is an illusion at this point. That could be fascinating to do some time but now is not that time. For now, we’ll just say that there is something immaterial and there is a material world.
Let’s also suppose, as I do, that I have reasons I think justify me in believing in the reality of miracles, such as the resurrection of Jesus. Even if there had been no resurrection, that does not mean I would be unjustified in believing in miracles if I think I have good evidence of them. If this is the case, then I already have reason to believe the immaterial can act on the material.
In what might seem like a slight detour, let’s consider evolutionary biology. In this area, many creationists often say that there is no known mechanism on how life came about from non-life to get evolution started. There are many proposals, but none that are conclusive. Again, I am not a scientist, but let us suppose that this is still the case. This in no way means that there is no answer or that the answer cannot be found. It could be hypothetically the case that the answer is never found, but it will not disprove evolutionary biology. I would encourage those on the more creationist side of the debate to not go that route as it is just God of the gaps and if an answer is ever found, that seemingly puts God out of a job.
However, evolutionary biologists who would complain about that technique of creationists, and I think rightly so, need to make sure they’re not making the same mistake. This would be a sort of materialism-of-the-gaps. Now in both of these debates, it would be different if someone could give some sort of argument that could prove that either of these is impossible, but as far as I know, this has never been done.
This also means that you are not obligated to know every in and out of your worldview no matter what it is. I don’t expect an evolutionary biologist who is an atheist to tell me every aspect of the history of our species and of our cosmos and answer every question I have in order to hold his position. He should want to know as much as he can, but no one can know it all. At the same time, on the grounds given above, a Christian can say they do not know for sure, but why not be “scientific” and say “Let’s find out.”
Either way, this is a poor objection. I would like it that the side that keeps saying “Let’s find out” would want to actually study the subject they are arguing against and find out if they are misunderstanding.
(And I affirm the virgin birth)
What do I think of Douglas Adams’s work? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
Opening note: This is about the original trilogy. It’s not about parts four and five. That doesn’t make sense? That’s fine.
One of my favorite lines to use to answer a question is to just say “42.” Where does it come from? The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. (HGG) The book is often quoted in pop culture the way that the Princess Bride is in movies. Maybe not that much, but that’s the best parallel I can come up with.
As I started, I found that Adams was a marvelous writer who has great humor with juxtaposition. He’ll get you going on something that you think is really important and then all of a sudden, he will shift totally to something else as if that point he was going on doesn’t matter, and yet at the same time, it seems natural. Also in these books, hardly anything is serious, even if it is a serious matter. Someone destroyed the planet? Well, that’s rough, but move on. Are you facing certain death? Too bad, but somehow it will work out.
The work is also no doubt, extremely imaginative. Adams has a creative genius that has created multiple worlds and races and has a unique idea of naming. Even after introducing a new race, before too long, you think you know it. Again, there’s a naturalness to the writing style.
For me, the first book was by far the most enjoyable. This is the one that starts Arthur Dent, the main character, on his trek through the universe exploring various worlds after the Earth is destroyed. This one was the one that seemed to have the most guiding it in the sense of purpose and destination. This is the one where the story seemed the most cohesive.
The second one is The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, which really only shows up at one point in the novel. Here, there isn’t much that I found memorable aside from the lines near the start about in the beginning the universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.
The third book is Life, The Universe, and Everything. At this point, I started being convinced that it was being made up as Adams went along bit by bit. Sometimes it seemed like something was introduced and Adams completely lost sight of it later on. I have been told by others that they also thought the first book was the best and the second and third just weren’t the same. At the same time, I am intrigued enough that I plan to go through books four and five, especially since I bought book five when I saw that it was on sale at a bookstore going out of business.
Douglas Adams was an atheist, but that doesn’t mean Christians can’t enjoy the work just like we can enjoy movies and TV shows and music by non-Christians. We need to be engaging with the work of non-Christians to understand where they are coming from and how they see the world. If we stay in our own subculture, we won’t be able to interact with the culture around us. Paul knew the pagan poets well enough to quote them.
If you like science fiction and you’re looking for a good read, this is an amusing one to go through. I plan on reading parts four and five as I said and I will review them when I am done. I don’t know yet if at this point it will be reviewing them one by one or reviewing them as parts four and five of the trilogy combined. Didn’t make sense again? That’s okay.
(And I affirm the virgin birth)
Does where that idea came from matter? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
On Facebook in the span of 24 hours, I have seen two posts arguing against evolution making the exact same mistake. The first one was claiming that Darwin was a member of a Masonic lodge and was involved with Luciferian practices. The other one was claiming that evolution was used in the history of racism. Now you should know that my stance is to neither argue for or against evolution. I’m not a scientist. However, I am opposed to bad arguments. That includes bad arguments against positions I oppose, such as when I have worked to take to task conservative memes against liberals here that are based on falsehoods.
This is simply called the genetic fallacy. It says nothing about the position itself. Let’s suppose that Adam Smith, who is considered the father of capitalism, was a colossal jerk to everyone he met. That would not change anything about capitalism whatsoever. I have a friend who considers Marx the most wicked man who ever lived. Even if that is true, that says nothing about Communism being true or false.
Now with the claims we have here, I am extremely skeptical of the former claim, but I am open to the latter. I have seen some writings that lead me to think that there was some racism involved in Darwin. There are some people who also think this was involved in the holocaust of Hitler. That is a question for historians of science and World War II to discuss. For the worst case scenario, I will grant that these claims are true.
None of this says anything about evolution being true or false. It makes no difference. If you are a Christian sharing these arguments, you are not doing our side any favors whatsoever. If anything, you are further embarrassing us. I don’t doubt you mean well. I don’t doubt you do this out of zeal for Christ. However, Paul warned us in Romans about a zeal that is not in accordance with knowledge.
If you want to argue against evolution, and I have no problem if you do because if it can be shown to be bad science, we should reject it, then you are going to have to argue against it on scientific grounds. Let’s consider some parallels in our own field of interest.
I am not a KJV-onlyist, but I have heard claims before that King James who was behind the KJV was a homosexual known as a flaming queen. Let’s suppose that was true. What does that say about evolution? Absolutely nothing. The KJV will have to be critiqued on the grounds of the translation.
Recently, we have had the Ravi Zacharias scandal break out. I understand people not wanting to use Ravi’s material and books anymore. That is a matter of wisdom. That being said, let’s consider the arguments. Are they false because Ravi turned out to be a pervert? Not at all.
I consider myself to be a Thomist and a Protestant. Are you going to refute Thomism by telling me that he was a Roman Catholic? Not a bit. Is Aristotle disproven just because he didn’t use the Bible? Not at all.
Mark is portrayed in Acts as a Momma’s Boy who left the team of Paul and Barnabas early and caused a division between the church’s two first great missionaries. Does this mean his Gospel is not reliable? Not a bit.
The only time pointing to the character of the person matters is if the claim is centered around the reputation of the person involved. If a person is testifying to something in a court of law that they have seen and it can be shown that the person is a compulsive liar, for example, then you have grounds to doubt their testimony. Outside of that, none whatsoever.
As I said each time this came up, let’s suppose Robert Oppenheimer, the father of the atomic bomb, was a complete jerk. Let’s suppose he was a satanist who molested children and ate cats for breakfast. None of this is true, of course. However, if it was, it would not make a difference to the residents of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. The bombs still worked regardless of his character.
Please don’t make embarrassing arguments. They’re not worthy of Jesus.
(And I affirm the virgin birth)
Is evidence the same as proof? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
A lot of people in dialogue, especially on the internet, will regularly state that there’s no evidence for a position. There is also the belief that if a position is false, there will be no evidence for it. Both of these statements are false and show someone has a bad idea of knowledge and truth.
Evidence is data that would lend credibility to a position. Proof is something that makes it absolutely certain. There is very little that we have proof for. Mathematics is one such area. Logic is another. Note with logic however that it alone cannot show if something is true. It can show you something is false.
Logic depends on the data that you give it. Consider the following syllogism.
All dolphins have six legs.
Lassie is a dolphin.
Lassie has six legs.
This syllogism is entirely accurate. If the premises are true, the conclusion follows with certainty. Unfortunately, the data is not true.
Now let’s consider another one.
All men are rational.
Gabriel is rational.
Gabriel is a man.
This one is not valid. Gabriel could be the name of your male neighbor down the street or his son. It could also be the angel Gabriel and even if you’re an atheist reader, for the sake of argument, it can be realized the argument makes sense. You can see this works this way by replacing the terms.
All cats have four legs.
Lassie has four legs.
Lassie is a cat.
The problem is that there are many other things that have four legs that are not cats. Thus, you have to make a statement about the cats and not the legs. The syllogism doesn’t work. Again, this is all based on the data you plug in.
Mathematics is another area that has proof in it. We don’t have to repeatedly test mathematics. It just works that way. Notice one area wasn’t mentioned at all science.
That’s right. There is no proof in science. That doesn’t mean it’s unreliable. There are areas that we can be practically certain of because the data is so good. This does mean that a creationist can say that evolution is not proven, which is true, but that doesn’t mean it’s false or even likely false. It could still mean really good data needs to be presented otherwise. Again, that’s a debate for the scientists and not for me.
The same applies to history. I fully admit this even saying Christianity is a historical claim that depends on history. I think the Thomistic arguments for God’s are certain as they are deductive arguments and if the data put in is right and there are no logical fallacies, which I support, then God certainly exists. Christianity does not have proof in that sense, but I think it does have really good evidence.
Someone could claim there is no proof, for example, that Jesus died by crucifixion. This is true, but the data for it is so good that the burden is definitely on the skeptic to show otherwise. Again, there is plenty of evidence so much so that we are at the area of what is considered practical proof.
Now while I said there is proof I think for God, is there any evidence for atheism? Yes. The problem of evil. Do I consider this convincing evidence? No. There is too much evidence on the other side in my opinion.
This can happen politically as well. Consider when Brett Kavanaugh was being confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court. The question came up if he was guilty of rape in the past. Was there evidence? Yes. There was a claim brought forth by someone heard before Congress and there were many stories later retracted. Saying there were stories doesn’t mean they were convincing stories. Many of us were highly skeptical.
What can we learn from this kind of information? Saying something has evidence for it does not mean that it is true. Anyone who reads a mystery can see this. In a court case, both sides will bring forward evidence. The evidence only works really for one side. The other side is misinterpreting the data or some of the data is just false.
It also means that to say there is no proof of a claim is not a problem. There isn’t proof for scientific claims, but that doesn’t mean it’s ridiculous to believe them. I’m not going to try to walk across the interstate with traffic blazing by because there’s no proof that it will hurt me if I get hit by a car. There is some really good evidence.
It’s also largely atheists going with this. Anyone who says there is no evidence for God or the New Testament just doesn’t understand evidence. At the same time, science is treated as if it’s the strongest area of proof when it isn’t. Science has some of the greatest practical benefit to us, but it doesn’t equal proof.
Be on the lookout for this. Evidence is not a clincher and very little has proof.
(And I affirm the virgin birth)
Do some skeptics really want answers? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
Have you ever seen a meme like this?
Now I fully agree that reality is interesting and we should not be content with ignorance. Unfortunately, the idea is that religions treat questions as something hideous to encounter and science loves the questions. Also, if you are someone who is scientific, you will want to go and find out the answers.
Now never mind that something like this never defines science or religion, but I can’t expect a meme to do something like that. I do have something to say on the idea I see that leads me to think that many skeptics do not truly have a scientific mindset. Anyone can raise a question, but how many questions are raised that one goes out and seeks the answers?
For instance, let’s consider a question in science. Many readers of my blog know I take no stance on evolution. I do not argue for it and I do not argue against it. My interpretation of Scripture doesn’t change depending on the question or does any doctrine of Christianity I hold to.
Yet if I had one question, it would be this. In reproduction, the whole of the male and female systems are essential and have to work together in order to produce a new life. I really don’t know how it is that these could develop independently. I can understand how some body systems could perhaps be formed by gradual steps. This one I don’t see.
At the same time, I know I am not studied in the sciences and so I don’t use that as a reason to disavow evolution entirely and say it’s nonsense. Some I have interacted with who do hold to evolution have presented real research done on this question which I appreciate. I honestly haven’t had the chance to do any of that yet since not too much hangs on this question to me. Before I said yes or no entirely to evolution, I would need to spend a lot of time in study and really, I have other things I want to study more.
Yet it would be a problem if I raised the question and said, “I see no answer to this question and I am not bothering to do the research and I will decide without doing that.” However, I think too many people do this with religion, and not just Christianity, but any religion. Of course, my main emphasis is on Christianity, but if you are fair to any worldview, the same applies.
Every worldview is complex. You are talking about how all of reality works. There will be hard questions and no, not every answer can fit into the Twitter character limit. Some questions require longer and more in-depth answers.
This is not just the way it is for religious worldviews. Theists have a lot of hard questions for atheists and atheists being honest will admit that these are real questions that need real answers if their worldviews are going to hold. The same applies for Christianity and any theistic worldview.
Anyone can raise a question, but if someone raises a question and says that question is keeping them from that position and is not seeking an answer to that question, I have to wonder if it is really an honest question. One such example against Christianity is the problem of evil. I really consider this a more simplistic way to try to eliminate Christianity. However, it does appeal to emotions which can easily override reason.
For one thing, everyone has to answer this question. This is our world together and we all have to deal with it. A skeptic could say that’s just the byproduct of a world of chaos, but at that point, someone like G.K. Chesterton would ask how the problem of pleasure is dealt with. Why is there so much that is good in this world? For some reason, this is not usually considered a problem, but it is.
Not only do we have to deal with evil, somehow we have to ask if there is any hope. Now a skeptic could freely agree and say “I agree that Christianity can provide hope for those suffering in an afterdeath, but there’s no way to prove that.” Sure. There isn’t, but this is about consistency. Is the Christian answer coherent and can it provide hope? Yes. That doesn’t mean it’s true, but it does mean it is consistent. (And no, just because an answer involves God does not mean that it is incoherent)
Anyone can raise the objection, but go and read the best defenses of the problem of evil, people like Alvin Plantinga and Clay Jones. See what they have to say. Maybe you won’t be convinced, but you can at least know what they think.
In the same way, whatever your question is, try to read the best that you can of what you’re questioning. Contrary to what you may think, Christians at least have been asking questions of themselves. If you go and read some of the early church fathers or later thinkers like Aquinas and Augustine, you would be tempted to think they were answering questions we are asking today. You could even say we were sometimes answering questions that weren’t even being asked. I seriously doubt in Aquinas’s day some people were questioning if God even existed, but lo and behold, his five ways are still used today.
Again, anyone can ask a question. Going and getting an answer is something different. It may require work and time, but if you care about a truth like that enough to a central question, it should be worth it.
(And I affirm the virgin birth)
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Why are many of us skeptical of the reigning paradigm? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
Yesterday, I blogged about Abigail Shrier’s book Irreversible Damage about the transgender movement. In it, I found that if anyone went against the reigning narrative in transgenderism, then they were shut down and not allowed to speak. Color me skeptical then when I hear that all the leaders in thinking on this issue in the world of science go with the movement. After all, if someone in the field who is a leader speaks and disagrees, they no longer qualify, and who knows how many others don’t speak out of fear of losing their livelihood?
Not only that, but many of us today find it absurd to say that the reality of male and female which has been attested to since as long as man has been around, is suddenly no longer real based on that science of the day. It would make as much sense as science telling us that rape is not wrong. It would be like telling me that blue is really red.
This doesn’t help in other areas either as we naturally then have skepticism there. Some of these beliefs that are held to be mainstream could be true. Some could not. The most obvious case upfront is evolution. I am someone who does not care about evolution one way or another, but I do understand the skepticism that many of my fellow believers have.
It’s important to notice also that another reason for that skepticism is many Christians get the idea that the matter in science is either/or. You can either keep your belief in God or have belief in science on these issues. For many people, the idea of God is a greater reality to them than the idea of thought that has shown up only recently. In their minds, they have firsthand knowledge of what all God has done for them.
By the way, it doesn’t help when it goes the other way either. It doesn’t help when Christians tell atheists that they have to disbelieve in evolution or some other scientific idea in order to be a Christian. The first step in being a Christian is believing that Jesus died and rose again for your sins. If one has other false beliefs, which they will have and do have, then work on those beliefs later.
Climate change is another one. I can remember a time in my day when the fear was that there would be an ice age that would come upon us all. I am forty years old which means it was not too long ago and yet, that was the science. Today, I am told the exact opposite. Not only that, I am told the measures I have to take to stop this are rather extreme. Consider also that since I believe God won’t let the planet be destroyed this way, I am skeptical.
I am reading a book right now on the Coronavirus panic that echoes many of my thoughts. There was one time I was majorly concerned about it, but it lasted only a day and got help after talking to some knowledgeable friends. Other than that, I have seen a lot of hysteria, but you dare not question the paradigm. After all, if you do that, you don’t really care about the other people do you? This, despite the fact that my concern is those other people have jobs and they need to be able to provide for their families and we’re not helping by keeping them from doing that.
This also can show up in other fields, such as in history. Today, many schoolchildren grow up believing that Columbus sailed to show the Earth was not flat. That’s what I grew up being taught. That’s a complete myth. Many atheists talk about the Inquisition as if it wiped out half of Europe. That’s also a myth.
The difference with the science is we are often told that if anything is true, it must be able to be scientifically demonstrated. Whatever the science shows, this kind of idea is nonsense. Not everything can be scientifically demonstrated. These scientific ideas also, lo and behold, often seem to be tied to the political paradigm of the day as well. Isn’t that convenient?
If anything, I find it amazing that the people I meet who claim to be skeptics are the ones who are least skeptical in these areas. Whatever the reigning paradigm is, they jump right on board with it immediately. The questions that those on the outside have, well those are the questions of the ignorant masses and they’re not really worth taking seriously.
Which cases are wrong and right in science? Not mine to decide. Some I think are definitely inaccurate, such as the transgender movement. Others, I could not speak authoritatively one way or the other, though I have my skepticism of them. Those on that side need to instead of shouting down the skeptics (And this applies to Christians also when we encounter skeptics of Christianity) need to be able to hear our very real questions and concerns and be able to reply. Shutting down the other side for speaking differently never changes their minds. As a recent example, I seriously doubt any conservatives changed their mind on politics just because the Parler app went down. If anything, that only makes our concerns look more plausible. Keep one side from talking, and it looks like the side in charge has something to hide after all.
(And I affirm the virgin birth)
Is society wrong on gender? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
Today, I woke up and heard the news that Ellen Page, known for the movie Juno among others, has decided that she is a man. Of course, what hard data is there to present for this belief? None. I went to look her up when I got home to see what news there was and lo and behold, before too long, I found myself looking at Elliot Page.
And Wikipedia is already updated.
Elliot Page (born Ellen Grace Philpotts-Page; February 21, 1987) is a Canadian actor and producer. He first became known for his role in the film and television series Pit Pony (1997–2000), for which he won a Young Artist Award, and for recurring roles in Trailer Park Boys (2002) and ReGenesis (2004). Page also received recognition for his role in the film Hard Candy (2005), and won the Austin Film Critics Association‘s Award for Best Actress.
Page had his cinematic breakthrough with the title role in Jason Reitman‘s film Juno (2007), earning nominations for an Academy Award, a BAFTA Award, a Critics’ Choice Awards, a Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award. He also earned praise for roles in The Tracey Fragments (2007), Whip It (2009), Super (2010), Inception (2010), and Tallulah (2016). Page has also portrayed Kitty Pryde in the X-Men films The Last Stand (2006) and Days of Future Past (2014), produced the film Freeheld (2015) in which he also starred, and made his directorial debut with the documentary There’s Something in the Water (2019). Since 2019, he has portrayed Vanya Hargreeves in the Netflix series The Umbrella Academy.
I also saw someone on Twitter commenting on someone posting about this and saying “It doesn’t cost you anything to use proper respect and the pronouns they want.” Well, yes. It does cost us something. It costs us reality.
Reality is too many women are going out even earlier in their lives and declaring that they’re transgender. This is also going against the trends. Gender Dysphoria is a real thing, but it usually happens predominantly among men. This is happening in greater numbers with women and often in groups and often after spending a lot of time on social media or hearing a speaker at a school.
The problem is this is based on how the person feels. We don’t do this in other areas. Suppose you’re a doctor and you have a girl come to you who weighs looking at her about eighty pounds or so. She to you is apparently skin and bones. She is telling you she is hideous because she is so fat and she asks if you can give her weight loss medicine. Are you going to do it? She feels fat. She really does.
Do it you and you could be responsible for her death and sued for weight loss. Anorexia is a serious condition and the person’s feelings do not match reality. They are in no way fat.
A person with Cotard Delusion is not really dead and we don’t treat them by putting a tag on their toe and sending them to the morgue. A person with Jerusalem Syndrome is not helped by declaring that they really are the Messiah. If someone believes that they can fly, we do not throw them off of a skyscraper to prove otherwise.
Yet here we jump right on board and say the person’s feelings are accurate when all the physical evidence we have from their body and DNA says “No.” We’re also told that this is the science of the day. If some people wonder sometimes why so many people are skeptical of science on topics like evolution or climate change, this is one reason.
This is certainly not to say that people who believe this are to be condemned or treated harshly. They are to be loved just as much, but if a person has a delusional belief, you do not show love to them by enabling them in that delusion.
We are also saying that a person’s emotions dictate reality. They don’t. You do not get to hold reality hostage by your feelings. Because you feel like you are the opposite sex, I should in no way be forced to agree with that belief. You can think you are the Messiah all you want, but I will not be forced to bow down and call you Lord.
So we will wait and see what Ellen Page does to mutilate her body if she goes that route, but remember the old question. How many legs does a dog have if you count the tail as a leg? Answer. Four. Counting the tail as a leg does not make it a leg. You can call Ellen Page whatever you want, but it will not change reality. She is and always will be a woman. The more we find ourselves trying to push against reality, the more it will push back until one day it breaks. I dread seeing what will happen when it does.
(And I affirm the virgin birth)
How do we end this? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
Our final look starts with chapters on science. Basically, it looks like at the beginning Ray is saying “Theology doesn’t have a testing method like science does so science is better.” No. Not better. Just different. If we assume that the material world is orderly and things work in an orderly fashion, then we can test things repeatedly. Other fields though are not the same way. Philosophy, literature, economics, history, and many other fields of study do not have a methodology like science because of the subject matter they study.
At the same time, this gives me good reason to actually NOT put as much trust in science. After all, what we accept as proven science today could be what historians might look on in the future and say “What were they thinking then?” On the other hand, moral truths like “It is wrong to torture babies for fun” are not known through science and will quite likely stand the test of time.
Because of the way science is, nothing in science is known with absolute certainty. Everything is subject to change. What is far less subject to change are the philosophical principles science is founded on. Some things are surely more certain in science than others, some that at least now it would be ridiculous to deny, but proof is not there.
On p. 223, Ray tells us there have been many crucified saviors. There have been many who had virgin births and were of royal lineage. Problem is, he never names one. That’s a shame. I would have enjoyed seeing such a list. Spoiler alert. There aren’t any others.
This is something important to point out. We have seen many misquotations of people by atheists, including Ray. This kind of argument about crucified saviors is a really bad one mainly find on the internet. Ray wants us to treat science seriously, but he’s not willing to do the same for beliefs outside of his field.
In the end, that’s really what we have. No taking seriously of outside beliefs. Ray doesn’t quote any Christian scholars or historians or philosophers or anything of that sort. Ray says he grew up in a fundamentalist movement and it shows. He has never left that mindset. Now, instead of serious interaction, he can just claim people have a virus. Christians might say that atheists have a demon. Ray has just come up with a fundamentalist atheist counterpart to that.
(And I affirm the virgin birth)