Internet Goosing the Antithesis

Monday, September 24, 2007

Fundamentalist Discord

Hemant Mehta invited a fundamentalist Christian to his blog to answer questions. For the most part, she answered like she was supposed to:

Is there any scientific/religious disagreement in human history that you can point to where religion has been proven right, and science has been proven wrong?

At one time, the most up to date science there was thought that the earth was flat. The Bible had said already that it was round.

But her answers about how she was raising her daughter were encouraging:
I am trying daily to teach my daughter to think for herself. I don’t want anyone to make her choices for her, her friends, her future mate, or her mom and dad. Nobody can control her but her. Her choices will dictate where her life goes. I tell her often that all we can do is her parents is give her the best information we have to give to try and help her make good decisions, but all the deciding about who she’ll be and what she’ll do with her life is up to her.
We expect and even encourage our daughter, and will with our son once he’s old enough to understand, to question what she believes and why she believes it. A belief that won’t stand up to questioning isn’t really much of a belief.
However, when asked a specific question about questioning beliefs, she falls back in line:
Is there any amount of evidence that would be able to dissuade you of your belief in the Bible?

I guess the short answer to that question is no. I have struggles with belief from time to time, times where I feel very close and connected to God, and times where I feel really ticked at Him and want to pull the covers over my head and tune out and forget about church or anything like it. But as much as I can struggle or not like the way some things go on, there really is no other way of life for me. I’ve tried life without God and, for me, that just doesn’t work.
The upshot of this is that she sounds magnanimous by claiming that her children are free to question their beliefs, but she doesn't allow for the possibility of there being any other answer than the truth of Christianity. Like most Christians, her subjective experiences trump anything else that can be shown her, and that spells trouble down the road if either of her children allow themselves to consider the evidence impartially and objectively.

Post a Comment


At 9/24/2007 10:47 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

Hi Zach,

Hope things are well with you!

The Christian responded: "At one time, the most up to date science there was thought that the earth was flat. The Bible had said already that it was round."

Saying that the earth is "round" does not contradict the belief that it is also flat. Round does not mean "not flat." A compact disc is flat, and it is round, too. Many primitive cosmologies, including that of the early bible authors, taught that the earth is essentially disc-like - round and flat. The bible nowhere states or even implies that the earth is spherical in shape.

What's more, Genesis also teaches that the sky is solid. This interpretation is specifically unavoidable given the Hebrew word that is typically translated "vault." Has science found that the sky is solid? No, not at all. But watch the apologists try to squirm their way out of it. It's quite entertaining.


At 9/25/2007 7:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

Many have assumed that "the circle of the earth" (Isa. 40:22) indicates a spherical planet, but that is not the best interpretation of the passage.

I'm not concerned with phenomenological language in the Bible. The writers often expressed common usage rather than technical terms in the pre-scientific world.

Further, I am unimpressed with attempts to show the Bible teaches a solid-dome sky. The "expanse" of the sky is more poetic than precise. It is not a description of the nature of the sky.

Kevin H

At 9/25/2007 8:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

Oh more thing. She certainly says her faith is unfalsifiable. But she is also typical of a utilitarian view. Whatever "works" is true.

Whatever "works" is highly subjective on a personal level, but also subject to falisification if something is discoved which "works" better!

Kevin H

At 9/26/2007 5:08 PM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...


So, are you saying that fundamentalist Christianity just boils down to a kind of postmodern "it works for me" approach? That seems bizarre.

At 9/26/2007 11:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

No, but I often see it boiled down to that. Saying, "it works for me" is fine as a testimony. But because something "works" on a personal level doesn't necessarily make it true.

How many times have you heard someone confronted with an inconsistency or problem with their view say, "Well, it works for me!"?



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