Saturday, September 5, 2009

Culture Talks - with

Good morning from Bay Farm Community Church!

I'm here to attend an apologetics conference with the folks including my pal Lindsay Brooks!

Lindsay Brooks - How do we know something -
We need to make distinction between how we know...

Konetra - we know God exists.
Job 21:5 "Look at me, and be astonished, And put your hand over your mouth."

A Worldview gives us a foundation to explain our reality and helps us explain our purpose or goal. Post-modern philosophers might call this metanarrative.

A Worldview gives us ability to explain what we see/do and explain the life we live.

not - "You're just saying atheists can't be moral..."
but - "atheism cannot justify what it claims as a worldview and is therefore irrational."

What atheists believe about the nature of the world is inconsistent with the way they live. Atheism is therefore irrational.

Christian Response
Demonstrating inconsistencies of worldview

Most folks reason's for being atheists are related to their emotional response to the problem of evil.

The Problem of Evil
God is all good, God is all powerful, God is all wise. Yet evil exists.

Athesists will tell us that this is an intuitive contradiction (rather than explicit, a=a a!=a). We need things to make the connections.

"God is all good ergo he would want to eliminate evil (etc).
God is all powerful therefore he should be able to eliminate evil.
God is all wise so he knows how to eliminate evil.
Since evil exists, god does not."

This is a difficult problem in emotional situations, a loved-one's death etc.
There is no more difficult, more important apologetic issue than the problem of evil.

Avil Platinga - University of Notre Dame
"The things that we hold are properly basic." - Epistomological construct - how we know what we know.

Properly basic - central to the way we know stuff, noetic web - what we know can change, but doesn't change worldview. If there is no God, that affects everything.

Platinga came up with a lovely defense for deductive problem of evil. Look it up!

The reasons people become atheists revolve around the problem of evil.
"Why did you make me this way?!"
Have compassion for the atheist - this is a real deep seated issue, tied to the emotions.

Upon these issues there are constructs around them.

Knowledge makes arrogant, but love edifies. If anyone supposes that he knows anything, he has not yet known what he ought to know... 1 Cor 1-3

Bahnsen - embarrassing historical ironies - modern science could not have arisen excet in the atmospshere of a Christian world-and-life view... fetish idolatry.

-- Alvin Schmidt --
• Christians invented the concept of hospital - true charity hospitals - Nicea 325ad xenodochia

• Christians advanced higher learning - modern universities known today began as Christian church. Harvard - William & Mary - Yale - Princeton - Brown

-- James Whitman --
Jury trials/common law rooted in Christian world.

-- John Calvin --
Church/State Separation - spiritual kingdom of Christ and the civil government are things very widely separated

Most kids are taught that American culture is rooted in ancient Greece - and the Christian eras are considered "dark ages" (crusades, inquisitions, Galileo, etc)

"A backward time when, because of Christianity, Rome fell and there was only the faintest glimmer of brilliance that was snuffed out by the superstitious and ignorant Church as soon as it was detected."

Daniel N. Robinson - noted many great scholars in early church - universities, gothic architecture, Roman law - layed foundation for unified culture and civilization.

The caricature that we grew up with (Greece, Rome, Atheist enlightenment) is a lie.
The secular bias of our Christian faith lies to us... secular humanist plot where revelation is replaced with non-guided forces of random chance etc.

Science - Knowledge - to Split

The investigation of natural phenom thru observation/experimentation - or knowledge produced by such investigation.

Scientific method - careful observation, formulation of hypotheses, tests, conclusions or modification of hypotheses

Christians historically believe the universe is a means of God's revelation of himself. - God made the universe orderly and uniform in accord with his nature.

"The Christian imperative to go out and study that creation that God had made..." - Ken Samples

" is logically incompatible with the belief in a non material intelligent entity that controls the universe and is called God..." - Irving Rothschild

Basic requirements for Science

To Know:
What knowledge is
How we can know anything at all
If observation is reliable, and under what conditions if so
Nature is uniform
The future will be like the past
Does the method we are employing produce knowledge

Something objectively true -
What i know is identical to the actual fact
i have a good reason to think so
good reasons are not false

Empirical proof vs Empiricism - "physical stuff of universe is all there is"

Consequences with Empiricism

Problem of reliability of senses
Cow in field - white/black cow
A/B color change - problem of perception
Science tries to deal with problem of perception thru replicated results
Perception - senses are unreliable - is lump of gold's weight actually changing - Gordon H. Clark

The Choice of Equations
Median methods chosen may be problematic - mean - median - mode
Infinate number of curves plotting the data - which is the law? one must choose - Occam's razor
Why is simpler (Occam's) explanation the better one? If the universe is made up of non-goal directed forces... why expect simpler?

The Self-Refuting nature of Empiricism

"The only means to knowledge is sense perception of physical realities" - how can we know that?!

Problems of Induction - the conclusion is a high probability

Hume recognized that inductive conclusions could only be derived deductively from premises such as the uniformity of nature that themselves required inductive warrant, or from arguments that were inductive in the first place.
Induction begs the question - the future will resemble the past (and we know the past)

No justification in naturalistic worldview for doing experiments
- begs the question
- although we do experiments, the world of naturalism cannot account for it

Christian worldview -
God is the basis for the uniformity of nature
we can therefore expect measurements because of that fact

Karl Popper - "the criterion of the scientific status of a theory is its falsifiability, or refutability=, or testability
- Observations verified theories in question - the Marxist finds in newspaper confirmation for his interpretation of history (content and method of presentations)

Falsifiability is the hallmark of modern science
- "scientific method is superior to all other methods"
- "science is never too certain of its results"
- "science can be progressively wrong"

Scientific method - if the ground is wet, it is raining
- make up story that fits evidence
- test hypothesis - ground is wet
- you don't know for certain that it is raining.

Can we know anything at all based on Empiricism -
Are observations reliable
Can we come up with conditions under which they are
Does our worldview justify induction - (the future is like the past)
can the scientific method give us knowledge

Objections -
You're using science in computer • Science works!

In reality, it is pragmatism not science that rules our advances.

The atheist says: "Show me god!"

To properly show God to them,
- be their neighbor -

Apologetics - must lead to christian love
Philosophical debates and discussions of inconsistent worldviews must be lead to a loving relationship -
loving your neighbor - explain how we can know right and wrong from the Word of God revealed

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