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Truth Is Narrow (karma: 1)
By orunmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Tue Jun 15, 2004 10:39 PM

TRUTH IS NARROW

Plato's law of non-contradiction says that two contradictory statements cannot both be true. Yet what do we hear today? "Truth is relative. Your truth is as good enough as my truth, as long as it works for you." Yet this is self-contradictory, because the very statement "truth is relative" is an absolute statement. Of all of the belief systems, only one can be right. To combat this, pluralists argue that only moral truth is relative. But this denies a fundamental nature of truth: truth is narrow.

Consider mathematical truth. Two plus two equals four. Of all the numbers on the number line, only one answer is correct. That is extremely narrow. Consider historical truth. The Norman Invasion occurred 1066 AD. Not 1067 AD, not 1065 AD. Only during one period of time did it occur. That is extremely narrow. Consider scientific truth. If a scientific theory is testable, falsifiable (in principle), and repeatable, it is truth. Every time hydrogen combusts in air it forms hydgrogen oxide with the surrounding oxygen molecules, and nothing else. That is extremely narrow.

This now begs the question, which religion is right? Well, first consider that truth is unique. Therefore, one would expect the true way to be different from every other way, no? In this regard, I believe Christianity is truth because it is fundamentally different, making claims that not one other religion makes:

1. Faith alone, and not works, is required for salvation (Eph. 2:8-9, Rom. 3:28).
2. Jesus desires a personal relationship with His children (John 1:8).
3. Christianity is the only religion that worships a living God (Matt. 28:5-6).
4. Other religions expect you to die for their God. Christianity says that God died for you (John 3:16).

Jesus said in John 14:6, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." That is very narrow-minded. Now you either believe this, or you do not: "He who is not with Me is against Me," (Matthew 12:30a). Regardless of what believe, you believe something, and it affects you. You may tell others what you think, but you will live what you believe. Distorting the truth, hiding from the truth, or ignoring the truth does not change the fact that truth exists. You must choose.

Humanists may feel comfortable believing that ALL religions are wrong, claiming that the only truth is natural, objective truth. Yet humanism itself is a religion that requires much faith. Naturalistic philosophy contains serious flaws.

First, humanists have no standard whatsoever by which to decide right or wrong. All behavior can only be categorized in terms of what is beneficial for the survival of a species and what is not. Therefore, humanists can only appeal to popular opinion in society. Popular opinion, however, proves unreliable and dangerous. Cultures lacking a definite standard tend to sink towards the lowest common denominator of pleasure to achieve happiness, defining right and wrong in terms of what conflicts with self-interest (pleasure) and what does not.

Secondly, humanists may then try to appeal to the human conscience. Yet naturalism rejects the conscience, because it is inconsistent with evolutionism. Evolutionism tells us that only animals do only that which is beneficial for the species. But humans are not animals. Unlike animals, we experience feelings such as love, joy, hope, peace, and so on. Humans seeks justice, virtue, education. If a humanist sees a child about to get hit by a car, he will try to save the child. If a humanist's house is robbed, he will seek justice. Therefore, evolutionists can only say that our conscience evolved, despite its contradiction with naturalism and complete absence of scientific proof. Is this not blind faith?

The conscience favors Christianity, which says that humans were created in God's image. God provided mankind with general revelation so that at the Great White Throne Judgment all of mankind will be "without excuse" (Romans 1:20). "...for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness..." (Romans 2:14-15a). God has written His law on our hearts---the conscience.

In this reguard, humanism must borrow from Christianity. It cannot stand on its own.

Finally, in case you are still clinging to moral relativism, you may believe that truth is simply not attainable. Thus, you are an idealist---the truth is out there, we just cannot reach it. Well, whether or not we can grasp truth does not change the fact that it exists. And mathematics, history, and science has shown that, yes, truth is attainable. Basically, you reject absolute truth with blind faith.

In conclusion, what do you believe? More importantly, why do you believe it? Are your beliefs founded in man's fallible wisdom, which you use as an ideological stronghold to hide from God?

"Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it" (Matthew 7:13-14).

If you have any questions about Christianity, the Bible, Jesus, evolution, creation, salvation, other religions, etc., feel free to PM me.

Orun
2 Cor. 10:4-5

25 Replies to Truth Is Narrow

re: Truth Is Narrow
By Foofinamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Jun 16, 2004 08:57 AM
You're back (?!)
re: Truth Is Narrow
By Wedgemember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Wed Jun 16, 2004 09:15 AM
Well written.

My comments will follow shortly.
re: Truth Is Narrow (karma: 1)
By Spectermember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Wed Jun 16, 2004 12:18 PM
Edited by Specter (52082) on 2004-06-16 12:23:14
Huh, you're back huh? Eh, maybe that will liven things up around here.
----

While a well written and thought provoking post, you have ignored some glaring errors in logic, and have come to some rather odd conclusions.

the very statement "truth is relative" is an absolute statement


...a statement that can be assigned the value of either truth or falsehood. Of course, because something's truth is a value to be assigned (in formal logic it's referred to as a statement's "truth value"), and all values are subjective, that means that truth is ultimately not objective.

Of all of the belief systems, only one can be right. To combat this, pluralists argue that only moral truth is relative. But this denies a fundamental nature of truth: truth is narrow.


This I suppose would be the heart of your argument. It would seem that we are talking about moral truth in the larger part of your argument. I hardly doubt that anyone would be so foolish as to say that direct, demonstratible, empiric observation is relative. I will agree to this. Ice is made of water, we can prove this. Plants produce oxygen through a process of converting carbon dioxide and water. These are demonstratible through scientific study, and the scientific method. However, these are only truths for the time being.

You stated...

If a scientific theory is testable, falsifiable (in principle), and repeatable, it is truth.


You stated it yourself, a theory must be falsifiable. If such a set of circumstances and conclusions come about to disprove the original scientific theory, then it shifts as such to represent new knowledge. This is key, something that cannot be proven false, is in effect unable to be proven true, since no standard to judge it against exists.

We are very sure that gravity exists. We have seen it demonstated thousands and millions of billions of times. We have mathematical proofs showing why it works, that sync perfectly with how it happens. But if gravity ever ceased working in the way that we expect it to, scientists wouldn't throw up their hands and give up, they would discover the reason they were wrong, and alter their theory acordingly. But in that instance they would in fact admit they had been wrong, and that they did not understand gravity the way they thought they did.

However Christianity, and most other world religions, are not quite the same. They operate on a closed system, a network of beliefs and principles that require no outside force to work. They are perfectly self contained, and as a result perfectly safe from criticism. That is not a strength, it is THE underlying weakness. Christianity relies on proofs based within itself to be proven right, and thus any outside arguments do nothing against it. The logic is circular. I call it the Apple Jacks Theory. "We're right, because we just are." How can that be argued? What possible occurance would prove that God in fact does not exist, and Jesus was a lunatic rather than the savior of man kind? There is no possibility of proving it wrong, and thus no way of knowing if in fact it is true.

But in case that is not enough for you, I would be more than happy to find fault in the way you have layed your argument out.

This now begs the question, which religion is right? Well, first consider that truth is unique. Therefore, one would expect the true way to be different from every other way, no? In this regard, I believe Christianity is truth because it is fundamentally different, making claims that not one other religion makes.


There are thousands and thousands of religions in the world, each one of them differant in some aspect, and unique in its own right. And the vast majority of them claiming to be the one true and right religion, while at the same time discrediting all others. Suprise, suprise, Christianity does this too. But if you were to think that Islam doesn't, nor does Scientology, nor does Mormonism, then you are quite quite wrong. I fail to see how a religion being differant from all others, and calling itself the only true way, makes it any differant from the millions of conflicting beliefs in the world...

Regardless of what believe, you believe something, and it affects you. You may tell others what you think, but you will live what you believe. Distorting the truth, hiding from the truth, or ignoring the truth does not change the fact that truth exists. You must choose.


Funny isn't it, that if I were to respond to that little pearl of wisdom in the exact same way... "Regardless of what believe, you believe something, and it affects you. You may tell others what you think, but you will live what you believe. Distorting the truth, hiding from the truth, or ignoring the truth does not change the fact that truth exists. You must choose." it works just as well. Monotonous, religious propaganda works so well for everyone its surpising everyone isn't using daming statements across the board.

First, humanists have no standard whatsoever by which to decide right or wrong. All behavior can only be categorized in terms of what is beneficial for the survival of a species and what is not.


I love the little white lie that fundies tell themselves before they go to bed. They may make sense, they may have logic, and rationality on their side, but they still don't have set values. And that means I win. Take an introductory Philosphy course and you will be amazed at the wealth of ways of seeing the world. There are multitudes of ideologies that, though they have no belief in an Abrahamic god, in fact have very detailed ways of determining right or wrong. In fact many of these have a view of right and wrong that mean more than the black and white child's view of Christianity.

Cultures lacking a definite standard tend to sink towards the lowest common denominator of pleasure to achieve happiness, defining right and wrong in terms of what conflicts with self-interest (pleasure) and what does not.


I cannot get over the arrogance, the smug glibness, with which you toss about judgement on cultures, and traditions from your ivory tower.

***INSERT CRUSADE AGAINST HUMANISTS HERE***


I hate to let you know this but there are more secular philosophies that provide a perfectly acceptable, natural, and consistant view of existance that provide for all of the instances you are so adamant against. So unless you care to rant and rave about all of them, your arguments are basically useless.

I could go on and on, nit picking each point, but really the only thing that is shocking here, is not your well thought out debate, but the priceless arrogance and haughtiness with which you place your opinion. You mention man's fallible logic. Well, maybe sometime soon you will realize you are subject to that as much as anyone else, and that the narrow band of truth that you are seeking, is so hidden that I doubt you are anywhere near finding it. You are just as confused as the rest of us, and the only reslut of your childish badgering of millions of peoples ideologies, is the spiteful deprived life you now life. Enjoy it while it lasts!

EDIT: Now that I think about it, this post really wasn't what I thought it would be. Same old same old, just a prettier package.
re: Truth Is Narrow
By fairy_dustmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Jun 16, 2004 12:32 PM
Hey Orun! Nice to have you here again! You've been missed! :)

Anyway, my take on absolute truths:

Many people these days say "There are no absolute truths". My response to that is "Well then, is it the truth that there are no absolute truths?" In other words, absolute truths must exist.
The Fall of the House of Specter
By orunmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Wed Jun 16, 2004 05:11 PM
Specter, thank you for responding, and nice to hear from you. I was worried that no one would respond.

Your arguments, however, are hardly potent. I sincerely hope that you did not walk away feeling satisfied with your response. Actually, having debated you in the past, I was somewhat disappointed.

Firstly, if my essay truly contained "glaring errors" I would not have ignored them. Actually, this essay is the result of much debating with hardcore skeptics like one might find at talk.origins or infidels.org, therefore I assure you that the arguments have been well-tested. I will concede, however, that due to length constraints my explanations of the conscience and the reliance on Christianity by other worldivews were somewhat generalized. In this regard, I would like to improve upon my essay.

Truth values are narrow, as you admitted: true or false. This is exactly what I am impressing. Then how can you argue that truth values are subjective? You are smearing terms: values and truth values are not equal. Perhaps I am missing something. If that is the case, please re-word your argument for clarity.

For all forms of truth we have standards, whether it be moral, scientific, historical, or so on. Why do humans like to deny a moral standard? Because it conflicts with their self-interests. Yet I can ignore mathematical truth, can I not? I can deny that the Holocaust occurred. I can believe the earth is flat. Does this change the fact that truth is narrow and attainable?

Arguments like "if gravity ever ceased working" and "these [scientific, mathematical, historical] truths exist only for the time being" are completely implausible. I am arguing from the perspective of reality, not speculation. Of course, if you are an idealist---ALL truth is subjective---then I guess the debate is over because I cannot combat blind faith.

Christianity is an closed system? This is its underlying weakness? Christianity is not a closed system at all, which is why skeptics have tried for centuries to disprove it. For example, it takes but one flaw in the Bible to topple Christianity. If a perfect, omniscient God wrote the Bible, we can expect it to be flawless, correct? Titus 1:2 says that God cannot lie. Interestingly, the Bible commands in 1 Thess. 5:21 to test it for truth. If the Bible was truly flawed, why would Paul have told us to test it? Perhaps other religions are closed-systems, surviving entirely off of blind faith or tradition, but not Christianity. You have shown a fifth element of Christianity's uniqueness. No sound-minded Christian has ever argued with "we are right just because we are." That is complete violation of the Scriptures. God does not want to be worshipped by mindless automatons. How is that even remotely glorifying?

You mention thousands and thousands of religions in the world, each claiming to be right and unique. Well, OK, let's play that game: why are 99% of them dead? Of the few remaining, they are nothing like Christianity, all built atop law, works, rituals, and tradition. Christianity is unique, which reflects the nature of truth.

I love the little white lie that fundies tell themselves before they go to bed. They may make sense, they may have logic, and rationality on their side, but they still don't have set values.

The Bible? Interestingly, you are the first humanist to tell me that rationality may be on my side. Most humanists will argue that to the death.

There are multitudes of ideologies that, though they have no belief in an Abrahamic god, in fact have very detailed ways of determining right or wrong. In fact many of these have a view of right and wrong that mean more than the black and white child's view of Christianity. ... I hate to let you know this but there are more secular philosophies that provide a perfectly acceptable, natural, and consistant view of existance that provide for all of the instances you are so adamant against.

Please share these "very detailed ways" and "secular philosophies" with me, that way I can know that you aren't writing massive generalizations as an excuse for real content.

I have taken an introductory philosophy courses, and it certainly taught me nothing like you just wrote.

Yes, Specter, you must choose. What do you believe? You can claim to walk middle of the road, but your actions are going to reflect something. We all have worldviews. Futhermore, what is your motive for your believing your worldview?
re: Truth Is Narrow
By Pasdekatmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Jun 16, 2004 07:59 PM
I don't have time to read over this whole post now, but welcome back Orun. I suspect my blood preassure will rise substantially again.
re: Truth Is Narrow
By Munkensteinmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Jun 16, 2004 08:06 PM
"If a perfect, omniscient God wrote the Bible, we can expect it to be flawless, correct?"

Question...according to my intro religion class (note "intro," so I'm not an incredible know-it-all on the topic, heh), God didn't write the Bible...people were spoken to by God and/or had divine inspiration to write it. Was I taught wrong according to what you believe?
re: Truth Is Narrow
By Pasdekatmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Jun 16, 2004 09:19 PM
I want you to know that I agree with alot of what you have to say, but I'm commenting on this Critically. This is a very well written essay for the most part. So here goes...

"Therefore, one would expect the true way to be different from every other way, no? In this regard, I believe Christianity is truth because it is fundamentally different, making claims that not one other religion makes:"

-This aregument could be made by any religion though, could it not? Almost every religion known to man has fundemental differences from other world religions.


"3. Christianity is the only religion that worships a living God (Matt. 28:5-6)."

-I somehow doubt this one. If by "living God" we're talking about a God who is active in the lives of human beings, MOST religions believe this true (Judism, and Islam for example). If we're talking about Jesus Christ, a God who lived and walked among us, I'm a little more inclined to believe this, however with all of the world religions, I'm pretty sure there is another that believes that a diety has taken human form a lived a mortal life and died, yet is still "around" so to speak. It's not a hard concept to come up with. Buhdda perhaps? (I know very little about buhddism, so please feel free to correct me on this anyone).


-Jesus said in John 14:6, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." That is very narrow-minded. Now you either believe this, or you do not: "He who is not with Me is against Me," (Matthew 12:30a). Regardless of what believe, you believe something, and it affects you. You may tell others what you think, but you will live what you believe. Distorting the truth, hiding from the truth, or ignoring the truth does not change the fact that truth exists. You must choose.

-Many might debate what "through me" actually means. It does not necessarily mean one MUST follow the Christian religion fundimentally, because after all, Jesus had no idea that such a religion would ever exist at that time. By "through me" he could have meant "by how I'm telling you to live", not "by follwing some futuristic religion that hasn't been formed yet". The quote could just as likely of been talking about living as Jesus taught, by loving ones neighbor and loving the Lord, which is really Jesus meassage when you get down to it.


"But humans are not animals."
-This is VERY picky, but biologically we are. A sentance like this can easily discredit someone, because it can be proven as false. True, Humans are by far more evolved than any other species, we are still catogorized as animals. Berhaps to say Humans are not "beasts" might be more accurate?


"The conscience favors Christianity, which says that humans were created in God's image."

-Christianity is not the only religion that teaches that. Judism and Islam both teach that. Even many of the Pagan religions believe humans were created in the creator's image.


Again, great essay overall, very well researched and some excellent points were made. I suggest you post it at www.infidelguy.com, which is a generally non-theist forum, you might spark an interesting debate and get some diverse feedback.
re: Truth Is Narrow
By Spectermember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Wed Jun 16, 2004 11:28 PM
Firstly, if my essay truly contained "glaring errors" I would not have ignored them.

Much as I think you would have no problem taking offense to a comment I wrote, that was a bit of sarcastic generalization to prove a point sort of along the lines of "Your arguments, however, are hardly potent." ...See what I mean?

Actually, this essay is the result of much debating with hardcore skeptics like one might find at talk.origins or infidels.org

Online credentials huh? This MUST be a solid argument... People take the internet more and more seriously every day it seems. If it makes you feel any better I spend time at the Something Awful D&D boards.

Truth values are narrow, as you admitted: true or false.

I'll give it to you, true.

You are smearing terms: values and truth values are not equal.

Truth value is the amount of truth (basically a technical term for formal logic) that a statement has. But that is logical masturbation it is fun to play around with but really doesn't acomplish much in the argument. Ignore it for the most part.

For all forms of truth we have standards, whether it be moral, scientific, historical, or so on. Why do humans like to deny a moral standard? Because it conflicts with their self-interests.

Perhaps the point of my argument was not spelled out well enough. There ARE objective truths to this world. Reality is one long consitant objective proof that requires no human belief to function. BUT, I would hardly be so bold as to say that I know beyond any shadow of a doubt that I know the utter foundation of TRUTH (TM) in the universe. And there is the problem. Your utter conviction that you have got it all down. Now, a person feeling strongly about something isn't the issue. But your half assed reasons, you strange ideas that somehow Christianity is unique among the world religions, and your fanatical devotion to something you've never felt, seen, smelt, heard, tasted, or touched before is what frightens me.

Arguments like "if gravity ever ceased working" and "these [scientific, mathematical, historical] truths exist only for the time being" are completely implausible

They are? Funny, because scientist around the globe work day and night to disprove the accepted theory of the time. While I seriously doubt anyone is going to discover gravity is in fact false, there are ideas and thoughts that go disproved everday.

Our ideas about how big an actual functioning machine could be have been changed with nano technology. Biologists have come across fantastic revalations with cloning that were said to be impossible a few years ago. Scientists didn't turn a blind eye and pretend like these things aren't being discovered. Instead they are accepting of these new ideas. Sure, some scientists may be embarresed, but they accept that they were wrong and move on.

The narrow band of truth may be absolute and rock solid, but our understanding of it hardly is.

Christianity is an closed system? This is its underlying weakness? Christianity is not a closed system at all, which is why skeptics have tried for centuries to disprove it.

Please. Are you going to sit there and tell me that "Ho ho, Christianity wins because we have yet to been proven wrong EVER!"? I hate to break it to you, but there have been things that strike me as quite good proof.

It has been shown, that the earth has not existed for merely thousands of years, that it is impossible to rise from the dead, and that in fact there is no way in which a man can stroll across water calm as if he was walking on his own driveway. I fail to realize how you can say that millions upon millions of people interacting with water everyday for as long as people and water have been together is not enough proof for you. What possible explanation have you to provide for water acting the way it was described in the Bible. There is NOTHING, you have ever seen in your own life, that can offer up and explanation, except what is written in the Bible?

You mention thousands and thousands of religions in the world, each claiming to be right and unique. Well, OK, let's play that game: why are 99% of them dead?

You admit it yourself, that the truth does not require any sort of admitance by people to be true, that it just IS. So if in fact one of these religions was correct, then so what if it is dead. Their truth would continue with or without believers. This proves nothing, then again, Christianity has been in existance for the tiniest blip upong the scale of the universe. A few thousand years from now, and who knows what it will be. Quite possibly as extinct as any other ancient religion?

The Bible? Interestingly, you are the first humanist to tell me that rationality may be on my side. Most humanists will argue that to the death.

That was a mistake, the section should have read. [i]I love the little white lie that fundies tell themselves before they go to bed. ..."They may make sense, they may have logic, and rationality on their side, but they still don't have set values. And that means I win." as if a fundie crackpot was talking to himself. Faith is the absolute definition to me of irrationality.

Please share these "very detailed ways" and "secular philosophies" with me, that way I can know that you aren't writing massive generalizations as an excuse for real content.

I just walked over to my book shelf and randomly pulled out "Voices of Wisdom" by Kessler and "Theories of Human Nature" by Abel out of the Philosophy section. Both are selections of classic multicultural philosophies. I flipped open the first and found rather quickly the writings of Sartre are exactly what you are looking for. Existentialist philosophy discredits the idea of a god, but does lay out the rules that man is to live by to achieve morality in his life. The other gives me Hume, Marx, and Seneca. As quick examples of what you wanted these took me no time at all to find, and are only the more well known and easily found philosophers.

Yes, Specter, you must choose. What do you believe? You can claim to walk middle of the road, but your actions are going to reflect something. We all have worldviews. Futhermore, what is your motive for your believing your worldview?

Of course. We all tread a path, and eventually that path will lead somewhere. But I will not be so arrogant to say that I alone know the truth. The way I feel about the world is the result of observation, experience, and rationality. If for example, something came along to drasticly shift my perceptions of the world, my philosophy would change as such. But I hardly claim to know the utter truth of the world, only the truth that so far makes the most sense to me.
re: Truth Is Narrow
By Spectermember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Wed Jun 16, 2004 11:31 PM
Edited by Specter (52082) on 2004-06-16 23:40:14
Double Post. Nothing to see here...
Come, let us reason together.
By orunmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Thu Jun 17, 2004 08:37 PM
Please only try to refute my essay if you think you have found a real flaw. Do not argue with me just for the sake of arguing, or just because I wrote something that you disagree with, which, for many of you, is everything I wrote.

Yes, munkstein, you are correct. 2 Timothy 3:16 says, "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness ..."

----
Dancechamp, Christianity is unique. All other religions combine some form of tradition, rituals, laws, and works to fill the need of its followers. Christ, however, simply said, "Believe." Christianity is the only religion (with the exception of Judaism, which Christianity fulfilled) that says that you can do nothing on your own to reach Heaven. The concept found in being "crucified with Christ" (Gal. 2) and dead to sin is completely foreign, even in concept, in all other religions. In the Bible, God actually calls Abraham His "friend." He calls believer His "children." How many other religions reflect such deep love an intimacy? In what other religion do we find a God who loved His children so much that He gave His life for them to bridge the separation of sin---even though this separation was our choice! I challenge you find any religions similar in these fundamental regards. Think of it this way: Christianity is not a religion at all, when compared to other religions. It is a relationship with God! Is that not wonderful news? I would like to preach it from the mountain tops.

When I write "living" God, I refer to Christ's resurrection. Mohammed, Buddha, for example, are in the grave. They could not conquer death, but God can. The Bible says that over 500 people witnessed the risen Christ at one time. The disciples, previously rather apathetic towards the Creator of the universe, took up the Great Commission and were martyred. I ask you, who would die for a lie? The Christian faith is bound in the resurrection, as we read in 1 Cor. 15.

Sure, by torturing "through me" to death, a liberal theologian may work some heresy out of it, but consider this: when someone write a book, they carry one theme throughout, no? And do they tend to write something---even subtely---that is contrary to that theme? Of course not, it weakens the theme and makes the book unreliable and worthless. If "through me" really means what liberals say it means, then that verse is completely out of place, completely contrary to the rest of Scripture. You prove this when you write "The quote could just as likely of been talking about living as Jesus taught, by loving ones neighbor and loving the Lord, which is really Jesus meassage when you get down to it." This statement is dead wrong, no where in the Bible is "loving your neighbor" the crux of the Christian faith. Read Ephesians 2:8-9 and Galatians 2. Aside from that, "through me" quite clearly means that outside of Christ salvation is not possible.

Is taxonomy defined only in terms of biology? The behavioral differences between humans and animals are far to great to claim that humans are animals simply because both organism eat, respire, excrete, reproduce, and so forth. This is one of the strongest cases against evolution: evolutionists (humans) act in a manner that is completely inconsistent with the evolutionary mechanism (natural selection) we witness in nature. Need I give examples?

Considering you did not respond to the majority of the fundamental points in my essay, can I assume that you agree with me? Truth is narrow? In this case, I would like to know specifically what is hindering your from accepting Chrstianity. Hypocrisy? I think you will be pleased to know that biblical Christianity is very different from what we find in America. If you have questions, please PM me.

----
Specter, thank you for responding once again. Your second post is considerably more interesting.

First, try not to take things out of context. Previous debates with atheists would have weeded out "glaring errors" by now, had they actually existed. That was my only point.

Perhaps the point of my argument was not spelled out well enough. There ARE objective truths to this world. Reality is one long consitant objective proof that requires no human belief to function. BUT, I would hardly be so bold as to say that I know beyond any shadow of a doubt that I know the utter foundation of TRUTH (TM) in the universe. And there is the problem. Your utter conviction that you have got it all down. Now, a person feeling strongly about something isn't the issue. But your half assed reasons, you strange ideas that somehow Christianity is unique among the world religions, and your fanatical devotion to something you've never felt, seen, smelt, heard, tasted, or touched before is what frightens me.


So this is it? This is your big problem? "Orun is so arrogant! He thinks he knows the truth!" Is this actually an argument, or just a whine? As I have already demonstrated, truth is attainable. Now, if you want to debate Christian evidences, I am all for it. Do you actually think philosophy is what persuades me? Ha! You want to talk Christ's resurrection, faith, martyrdom, creation, evolution? Just start a thread. (That's a "call out," for you dance-minded individuals.)

They are? Funny, because scientist around the globe work day and night to disprove the accepted theory of the time. While I seriously doubt anyone is going to discover gravity is in fact false, there are ideas and thoughts that go disproved everday. [insert following paragraph, also]


How does this do anything to deny that truth is narrow and attainable? When geocentrism was disproven, did the earth suddenly start revolving around the sun? No, the truth never changes. Truth doesn't exist "only for the time being." Utter nonsense, unless you are an idealist.

Please. Are you going to sit there and tell me that "Ho ho, Christianity wins because we have yet to been proven wrong EVER!"? I hate to break it to you, but there have been things that strike me as quite good proof.


Please, share!

And how is citing Christ's miracles examples of evidence against Christianity? I believe Christ walked on water and arose from the dead. Without faith, what is God? A concoction of our own mind. As I mentioned to dancechamp, the resurrection is an integral element of the Gospel.

Yes, I agree, my "why are so many religions dead" argument is not effective in a philosophical sense. Actually, it reminds me of how Christianity is called the "impossible faith" because it had the worst possible beginning for ancient religion. JP Holding wrote a good article on the subject: www.tektonics.org . . . Truly, the fact that Christianity is alive is amazing. The only explanation is that God is really working in hearts.

Actually, my faith is very rational. God does not want to be proven through the human mind. To do this is self-collapsing, because in essence mankind is greater than God, able to reach His Truth through our means. Thus, God is merely our own concoction. Do you see the necessity, therefore, of faith, in a relationship with God?

What is irrational is how you can live in a way completely inconsistent with your naturalistic presuppositions. That is some odd faith.

You list several philosophers, who supposedly have layed out in "very detailed ways" how to achieve morality in a meaningless life. All of these philosophers, namely existentialists, are naturalists. Naturalism is a presupposition. This is what I am attacking, not their methodoloy of attaining morality. I am presuppositional apologist: I am trying to break the very foundation upon which you build your beliefs. I am arguing that naturalism, for a plethora of reasons, is illogical and impossible. Therefore, listing philosophers who have contrived such a methodology is not actually an argument. Even listing the methodology is not an argument, not if they are contained within a framework that cannot hold itself together.

Finally, I am pleased to see that you are still able to work masturbation into nearly any discussion.
re: Truth Is Narrow
By Pasdekatmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Jun 17, 2004 09:12 PM
"Dancechamp, Christianity is unique. All other religions combine some form of tradition, rituals, laws, and works to fill the need of its followers. Christ, however, simply said, "Believe.""

Which, is a big reason why I'm a Christian. Unfortunatly, so many Christian denominations forget this and try to make Christianity about tradition, rituals, and laws, which is a huge reason why I left the Catholic church.



"Christianity is the only religion (with the exception of Judaism, which Christianity fulfilled) that says that you can do nothing on your own to reach Heaven. The concept found in being "crucified with Christ" (Gal. 2) and dead to sin is completely foreign, even in concept, in all other religions. In the Bible, God actually calls Abraham His "friend." He calls believer His "children." How many other religions reflect such deep love an intimacy? In what other religion do we find a God who loved His children so much that He gave His life for them to bridge the separation of sin---even though this separation was our choice! I challenge you find any religions similar in these fundamental regards. Think of it this way: Christianity is not a religion at all, when compared to other religions. It is a relationship with God! Is that not wonderful news? I would like to preach it from the mountain tops."

Me too. No argument here.

"When I write "living" God, I refer to Christ's resurrection. Mohammed, Buddha, for example, are in the grave."

Gotcha.

"The Bible says that over 500 people witnessed the risen Christ at one time."

Chapter and verse?

"The disciples, previously rather apathetic towards the Creator of the universe, took up the Great Commission and were martyred. I ask you, who would die for a lie?"

Many people have.

"through me" really means what liberals say it means, then that verse is completely out of place, completely contrary to the rest of Scripture." You prove this when you write "The quote could just as likely of been talking about living as Jesus taught, by loving ones neighbor and loving the Lord, which is really Jesus meassage when you get down to it." This statement is dead wrong, no where in the Bible is "loving your neighbor" the crux of the Christian faith."

The "crux of the Christian faith" is living how Jesus taught. When he was asked which commandements where the greatest he said
just that. When Jesus said "Moses gave you 10 commandemants, but I give you only two", where those two not "Love thy neighbor" and "Love the Lord"?



"Considering you did not respond to the majority of the fundamental points in my essay, can I assume that you agree with me? Truth is narrow? In this case, I would like to know specifically what is hindering your from accepting Chrstianity. Hypocrisy? I think you will be pleased to know that biblical Christianity is very different from what we find in America. If you have questions, please PM me."

Nothing is hindereing me. I'm a church going, Bible reading Christian. Some of my beliefs may differ from yours, thats why there is different denominations, but that doesn't mean that I don't agree with the main points you're trying to make.
Who would die for a lie?
By orunmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Fri Jun 18, 2004 06:52 AM
Ah, I did not realize you claimed to be a Christian, my apologies. Simply claiming to be a Christian, however, does not make one a Christian. Even trying to live like a Christian does not make one a Christian. I have a question, therefore: why do you believe you are going to Heaven?

Paul discusses the resurrection in detail in 1 Cor. 15. Read the last two chapters of Luke for Christ's many appearances after His resurrection.

Yes, many have died for a lie, but this certainly is not good enough in the apostle's case. Who were the apostles? Not scholars, lawyers, or theologians, but fisherman and tentmakers. Throughout Christ's ministry, we see them hardly taking Christ seriously. Consider them falling asleep repeatedly in the Garden of Gethsemane. Sure they knew He was God, but did they really believe it? Peter betrayed Christ three times.

Yet at the resurrection, these men are turned upside down! From that point on, there is no question whatsoever who they serve! Every single one of them took up the Great Commission and died as a result. Now what caused this radical change in these simple Jews? If Christ was not the risen Savior, then they definitely get the award for the biggest morons ever to walk the face of the earth. Read how each died at www.sacred-texts.com . . .
Also, the Anointed-One.net has probably the best summary of what I am trying to get across:
www.anointed-one.net . . .

Remember Peter, who betrayed Christ three times? After the resurrection, He goes out preaching the Gospel to Rome. Nero, as his delight was in persecuting Christians, crucified Peter, who requested to be crucified upside down, not considering himself worthy to die in the same manner as his Lord.

Now, considering that truth is narrow, there are two possibilities: Peter, along with the other apostles, were absolute lunatics, or they believed to the point of terrible suffering that Christ was the risen savior.

This idea of giving your entire life to something you believe in is very foreign to our society. What are you living for? What would you die for?
re: Truth Is Narrow
By Pasdekatmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Jun 18, 2004 07:21 AM
"Ah, I did not realize you claimed to be a Christian, my apologies. Simply claiming to be a Christian, however, does not make one a Christian. Even trying to live like a Christian does not make one a Christian. I have a question, therefore: why do you believe you are going to Heaven?"

1 word, Grace. :)

"Paul discusses the resurrection in detail in 1 Cor. 15. Read the last two chapters of Luke for Christ's many appearances after His resurrection."

I'll check my bible later, for now I'll take your word for it. I just didn't remember the number 500 mentioned. I'm always skeptical when people mention specific numbers, it reminds me too much of the Jehovahs Whitnesses that would come knocking on my door :)



"Yet at the resurrection, these men are turned upside down! From that point on, there is no question whatsoever who they serve! Every single one of them took up the Great Commission and died as a result. Now what caused this radical change in these simple Jews? If Christ was not the risen Savior, then they definitely get the award for the biggest morons ever to walk the face of the earth. Read how each died at sacred-texts.com . . .
Also, the Anointed-One.net has probably the best summary of what I am trying to get across:
anointed-one.net . . ."

I agree yes, The point I was trying to make was that the fact that people wouldn't die for a lie wasn't a logical argument, because many people have and will.
re: Truth Is Narrow
By Wedgemember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Fri Jun 18, 2004 08:15 AM
Edited by Wedge (23299) on 2004-06-18 08:25:01
My only concern here is that you give an awful lot of credit to a book.

It just seems to me that you use your quotes as your backup or proof. If I were to argue that in fact we were decendants of whales due to "When we were Whales: Man's Journey to slimming down" that would remove alot of credibility to my arguments.

Its great that you're christian and hardcore and all that but I'd rather you used your own ideas to back your claims up.


[OT: How're the flares going?]
Final comments?
By orunmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sat Jun 19, 2004 11:57 AM
Dancechamp, through grace we are saved yes, but how did you receive this grace? Not everyone receives this grace, otherwise everyone would go to Heaven.

Wedge, I am not sure I understand your point. I am certainly not the first Christian to use the "truth is narrow" argument, but I am trying to lay it down in a systematic fashion that leaves little room for relativists to wiggle their way out. If you are referring to my use of the Bible, I am using the Bible to demonstrate that Christianity is unique and the conscience is completely compatible with Christianity. I'm not really sure what you're expecting.

OT: My freshmen year of college was incredibly hectic, leaving little room for dancing. Also, if I ever get flares it will be a miracle, considering I have a body mass index of 19. My footwork, however, is improving, and I'm learning more popping. I'll try to add some more tutorials sometime. How's trampoline? :D

----
Judging by the lack of replies by the likes of soliloquy, TZDG, and others ardent liberals, I suppose I can assume that the heaviest cannon fire has passed. Specter, Dancechamp, I will carefully examine your comments and then try to improve upon this essay. I appreciate your input.

I think the big point Specter made is that scientists, usually, are willing to let go of old knowledge and replace it with new knowledge. Obviously, this doesn't negate the concept that "truth is narrow" and attainable, but I should try to make this more clear. Other points Specter made that my article did not effectively address:

--"Faith is irrational"
All presuppositions require faith. My faith is necessary for a relationship with God. Naturalistic faith, however, is completely illogical, though it exists, even if subconsciously.
--"Christianity is not falsifiable"
Christianity is very falsifiable, unlike most other religions, which is a good point. In fact, the Bible tells believers to "prove all things."
--"There are ways of living which provide morality but deny God"
Whose morality? Also, they are built on presuppositions, and this is the whole point of the essay: destroy the foundation, then the methodology for achieving morality comes tumbling. Actually, I did address this, come to think of it: these methodologies have no standard and are contradictory, plus they deny that truth is narrow. Now we're running in circles.
--"You are judgmental and arrogant, thinking you know the truth"
Once again, truth is attainable, also, it is necessary to judge, otherwise how can we decide right from wrong. Everyone judges, it's just that I do so from a standard, which is more logical.

I will tune various other portions so they are more clear. For example, Specter seemed to get caught up on the idea "you must choose" as if it was religious propaganda. I will also explain the issues of no standard the conscience more clearly.

From Dancechamp's comments, I realize I need to improve several things. First, I didn't make the "living God" argument very clear. Secondly, I need to explain the distinction between humans and animals more clearly. Finally, when I wrote "the conscience favors Christianity," I really wasn't referring to the imago deo, but rather demonstrating the conscience is completely contrary to evolutionism and is heavily supported by Scripture.

If anyone else has some quality feedback, please provide before I revise! The next forum I am posting this on is www.guiltyparties.com . . ., a merge between three anime forums. As you can imagine, it is ridden with atheists and other lonely teenagers that would hate to be convicted of their obsessive porn use. After that, I will try out the forum at infidelguy.com, that should be interesting.
re: Truth Is Narrow
By Pasdekatmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sat Jun 19, 2004 03:44 PM
Elaborating more, one recieve grace by accepting it, by accepting Jesus as the savior. Grace is a gift anyone can recieve, but some people choose not to recieve it.

I'm glad you found some of my comments beneficial. Is thisfor a class, orsomething you're thinkg of publishing?
re: Truth Is Narrow
By Liritmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Jun 20, 2004 11:34 AM
Judging by the lack of replies by the likes of soliloquy, TZDG, and others ardent liberals...


Awwww... Orun, I'm touched! No, really, I am. But I'm also failing to understand what being a liberal has to do with religion? Politics and religion don't mix, thus the seperation of church and state.

That said, I try to avoid arguments over WHICH religion is right or truth because as well argued as some of your points are, I don't believe there ARE any religious truths. Nice try, though.
re: Truth Is Narrow
By Ayamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Jun 20, 2004 11:49 AM
The circular logic makes my head hurt. I'm sitting this arguement out. I need to go lie down and take a few ibuprofin from to dull the throbbing idiocy.
re: Truth Is Narrow
By Pasdekatmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Jun 20, 2004 11:56 AM
I tend to agree soliloquy, I'm a very spiritual person, a strong Christian, but I'm extremly liberal politicaly.
You have a very flawed understanding of separation of church and state.
By orunmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sun Jun 20, 2004 08:10 PM
Arthufaery, I hope you'll share with me this circular logic, which apparently myself, Specter, soliloquy, and dancechamp missed.

Soliloquy, I see that you have bought into the sad lie that religion should somehow affect no facet of one's being except how they spend an hour or two each Sunday morning.

Well, like it or not, everyone has worldviews, all of which are built on presuppositions. Whether or not you think your secularism is religious is irrelevant---you are not "neutral" in any way. You believe something and that affects how you live. I believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God, you believe we evolved from re-arranged pond scum---very different standards, obviously. For this reason, your understanding of "separation of church is state" is incredibly flawed. In fact, it is a lie, and everytime you tell me or yourself that a secular government is neutral you are lying to yourself and me. The Bible says that the government and church are two institutions with two different purposes and should not intermix. (Matt. 22:15-22, Acts 15:17-29) Christians, however, are called to influence their nation towards morality, because a nation of individuals that follows after God and not their own fleshly desires will be blessed. (2 Chron. 7:14) This is why America has been blessed. To sit back idly and let pagans guide the nation's morality is foolishness. When I elect officials to vote against homosexual measures, how then am I violating "separation of church and state?" Stop lying to yourself and others.

Liberalism is very much related to religion. The many Christian sects must come from some shift in ideology. Liberal Christians believe that the Bible simply a historical text with some good moral teachings, Jesus Christ was not born of a virgin, He was not resurrected, Heaven is universal, and so on. In other words, liberal Christians are not Christians at all. Liberals are typically anti-Christian because the Bible is a fixed standard, which offends their relativistic, progressive ideology. Furthermore, liberals are collectivists, whereas the Bible promotes individualism and personal responsibility---God loves each of us; we are not cogs in a giant machine.

Apparently you did not read my essay, otherwise you know that simply rubbing off the isssue with "there are no religious truths" is dangerous and illogical. Actually, about three-fifths of my essay focused on the issue. Therefore, you leave me with no choice but to assume that your worldview is built on blind faith, seeing as you are afraid/unwilling to defend it. (Argument from silence.) I, on the other hand, will gladly rationalize my worldview, as I have done in my essay.
re: Truth Is Narrow
By Foofinamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Jun 21, 2004 08:44 AM
"Judging by the lack of replies by the likes of soliloquy, TZDG, and others ardent liberals..."


Ahh, thats nice. Ive tried to follow the replies to this thread, as I don't really care what the original post was, I didnt feel like reading it, I wont lie to you. Also I'm not a very biblical person, Uh I only read two pages of the bible then got bored. so sorry I cant be involved in every debate EVER, Orun. But really quite nice of you to think of me.
re: Truth Is Narrow (karma: 1)
By Liritmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Jun 21, 2004 03:57 PM
Soliloquy, I see that you have bought into the sad lie that religion should somehow affect no facet of one's being except how they spend an hour or two each Sunday morning.

See, Orun, it's funny you should bring up Sunday mornings. Clearly that has much more to do with your faith than my own, as I've never devoted an hour or two on any Sunday morning to ANY religious faith outside of time I've spent studying them.

you believe we evolved from re-arranged pond scum

Funny, I don't recall saying that... Can you point me in the general direction of these claims? Yeah, I didn't think so.

When I elect officials to vote against homosexual measures, how then am I violating "separation of church and state?" Stop lying to yourself and others.

Well, are your reasons for voting against homosexual issues purely religious ones? Is the only you're a flagrant homophobe because the Bible says gay sex is a sin? Well, then yeah, you're violating "seperation of church and state."

I fail to understand how taking Thomas Jefferson at his words is lying to myself or anyone, though:
Religion is a subject on which I have ever been most scrupulously reserved. I have considered it as a matter between every man and his Maker in which no other, and far less the public, had a right to intermeddle. (Letter to Robert Rush.)
Believing that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their Legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church and State. (Letter to the Danbury Baptists.)
History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes. (Letter to von Humboldt.)
The clergy, by getting themselves established by law and ingrafted into the machine of government, have been a very formidable engine against the civil and religious rights of man. (Letter to J. Moor.)

Liberalism is very much related to religion.

Funny, really, because I've known quite a few Christian liberals and a good number of Atheist conservatives. One of my closest friends in school very much believed that Jesus was born of a virgin, was resurrected, and that heaven was universal. She always had a bible passage ready for anyone who was in need of some sort of guidance and was always willing to spread the good news, but politically she was a registered democrat. She respected that what she believed was her own business and that she had no right to force it on to anyone else. She also respected that the government had no place deciding what the morals of the country or community should be, but rather that people could do that for themselves.

Apparently you did not read my essay, otherwise you know that simply rubbing off the isssue with "there are no religious truths" is dangerous and illogical. Actually, about three-fifths of my essay focused on the issue.

Wrong again! I did read your essay, and what 3/5 of it focused on was not whether or not the argument that were no religious truths was dangerous and illogical, but rather that there was only ONE religious truth and that to be a humanist and argue that truth is relative is dangerous and illogical.

Moral truth does not exist. Go ahead and say it does. Then, in line with Plato's law of non-contradiction, all you've proven is that we're both wrong.

Ah, circular logic... Dizzy yet?
(And with that, given that everyone's wrong, I'm done. But really, I'm touched that you think so highly of debating with me. That's so sweet of you!)
re: Truth Is Narrow
By Foofinamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Jun 21, 2004 07:32 PM
"you believe we evolved from re-arranged pond scum"


Most people are about as loley, stupid, and ignorant as pond scum though. So I think that'd make sense.


Sorry I couldnt be more involved in this debate except for a few fun statements here and there. Oh well, get over it.
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