Friday, June 26, 2009
(Should you desire to watch the first debate held in 2007 then you can find it under "Something to Highlight" header on the side of my blog...also it will be in "debates" under my "labels". The first debate is in video where as this one is in audio only.)
I do think this debate was more even and better for the debaters to freely exchange their arguments. The first debate, I thought Lennox wiped the floor with Dawkins but this one was a bit more balanced, though nothing new was really discussed.
Firstly I have a number of problems with some of Dawkins' world views and philosophies.
My new logical fallacy invented :)
I decided I would make up my own new logical fallacy, LOL. Well I think it is new?
Dawkins accuses theists of the "god of the gaps" fallacy which basically is placing God in the scientific gaps that are unkown.
My new logical fallacy is "material of the gaps". Dawkins is guilty of this; He assumes that it is most likely that material inhabits unexplained scientific gaps. To me with this view he will forever be an atheist. Why? because he will not accept the idea of God. We cannot scientifically test God so he will never come to believe in Him.
Science is his god even when it is unreasonable and improbable to believe in scientific explanations.
If science as the only way to finding truth then it should stand up to its own testing.
For example: What does "Only those things that can empirically verified have any meaning" Smell like?
Science is a piece to the puzzle but it is not the game I believe God expects us to play. God gave us "reason" as the game to believe something beyond a reasonable doubt.
1. In the opening stages Dawkins stated that it was petty to believe in God and small minded.
I disagree. It is petty and small minded in my opinion for him to not be willing to accept the good probability of there being a God. For him to state that there will most likely be a natural answer to everything is presumptuous.
We all know that where we see design, the most logical answer to conclude is that someone designed it.
If I walked in the middle of a jungle and found 10 leaves perfectly in line, no matter how absurd it would be to conclude that some random person came and placed them there like that, I would be forced to conclude that the probabilities of it "just happening" is highly unlikely and it is most likely that an intelligent mind put them there like that.
The universe is the same. To say it happened by accident and without a guide is not logical and small minded.
This is the logic that God asks of us and I agree with, in Romans 1:20 "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,"
2. Dawkins never really answered how he could trust his own thinking to find truth if this world is random.
If our minds are from a random situation of evolution then I cannot trust my thinking to give me an accurate view of the universe. So for Dawkins to say that it is unlikely that there is a God is then trusting his own thinking which by his beliefs cannot be trusted.
But for the theist, to us our minds are designed so that we can believe that our minds can find truth. We also believe that our universe has order and therefore we can study it and trust that it would be consistent and ordered.
3. He doesn't think he has faith
I find this amusing.
The definition of faith in the Bible is: faith is evidence of things unseen.
There is blind faith and then there is faith with evidence. I should not need to expand on those, they are self explanatory.
I cannot see God therefore I have faith that He is. I have faith that He is, because I see His evidence around me and His effects on life. Just as, you reading this post is giving you evidence that I exist...very strong evidence. But you cannot see me, so you have faith that I exist.
It is also unseen that there is no God. So it takes faith to say there is no God.
Every person has their own worldview by there own choice.
Dawkins has chosen to conclude as the above "leaf" example would explain, that the ten leaves fell in a row by accident until he can find the designer and then run tests to see if he is real and that the designer put the leaves in order.
It takes more faith for me to believe that the universe is an accident. There are gaps that science opens and gaps that science closes.
4. He happily states that faith is evil
It also frustrates me how he is happy to declare all the "evils" that faiths have done when he takes away the right for him to decide what is absolutely evil. If I didn't believe in God then I should be the last person to state whether something is wrong because it would be merely my opinion and as Dawkins would say: Dancing to the music of my DNA. Right and wrong would be a delusion.
C.S. Lewis is correct when he states: "Whenever you find a man who says he does not believe in a real Right and Wrong, you will find the same man going back on this a moment later"
5. He thinks it is improbable that God exists
(Note he says this in regard to a natural formation of God)
Well that is easy to refute. I don't believe in the God he doesn't believe in.
No person believes in created God's or "formed Gods". He cannot calculate the improbability of there being a God. But we can calculate the improbability of our universe happening by an accident.
Well it is getting late and I'm tired, YAWWN.
Those responses of mine are points off the top of my head. I may need to review them later.
Reference to listen to the debate:
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
My fiancee and I have been reading through Mere Christianity - by C.S. Lewis and have been thoroughly enjoying it so far.
Here is a cool tesimony that he gives about his own refutation of his own argument against God that he once held. LOL! I like the way he writes, enjoy!
And, of course, that raises a very big question If a good God made the world why has it gone wrong? And for many years I simply refused to listen to the Christian answers to this question, because I kept on feeling 'whatever you say, and however clever your arguments are, isn't it much simpler and easier to say that the world was not made by any intelligent power? Aren't all your arguments simply a complicated attempt to avoid the obvious?' But then that threw me back into another difficulty.
My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust? If the whole show was bad and senseless from A to Z, so to speak, why did I, who was supposed to be part of the show, find myself in such violent reaction against it? A man feels wet when he falls into water, because man is not a water animal: a fish would not feel wet. Of course I could have given up my idea of justice by saying it was nothing but a private idea of my own. But if I did that, then my argument against God collapsed too--for the argument depended on saying that the world was really unjust, not simply that it did not happen to please my fancies. Thus in the very act of trying to prove that God did not exist--in other words, that the whole of reality was senseless -I found I was forced to assume that one part of reality--namely my idea of justice--was full of sense. Consequently atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be a word without meaning."
He also said elsewhere:
"Now that I am a Christian I do not have moods in which the whole thing looks very improbable: but when I was an atheist I had moods in which Christianity looked terribly probable."
Friday, June 19, 2009
1 ¶ The burden of the word of the LORD Against the land of Hadrach, And Damascus its resting place (For the eyes of men And all the tribes of Israel Are on the LORD);
2 Also against Hamath, which borders on it, And against Tyre and Sidon, though they are very wise.
3 For Tyre built herself a tower, Heaped up silver like the dust, And gold like the mire of the streets.
4 Behold, the Lord will cast her out; He will destroy her power in the sea, And she will be devoured by fire.
Zechariah wrote his book about 520-518 BC 2. Alexander did what was prophesied in 332BC! 1.
The passages I would like to focus on are 26:1-12,19 and 27:32-34.
Ezekiel amazingly was written between 593 BC and 571 BC 3., about 50-60 years before Zechariah wrote about Tyre.
A little controversy starts around these prophecies as to who it refers to that actually casts Tyre into the midst of the sea. At first glance it looks like Nebuchadnezzar that does it. It is true, as it is prophesied here, that Babylon would siege tyre. In fact Tyre was put under tribute by Babylon 4.
This prophecy seems to state that Babylon cast Tyre into the sea (v12) when it was actually Alexander the Great who did so.
Looking closer at the text tells us this is not so. In a commentary I was reading I thought they had reasonable answer and it seemed very logical. They state that the beginning of this chapter focuses on the king of Babylon and uses the pronoun "he", But when we hit v12 it changes to "they".
As I searched this out more, I found that at the beginning of this chapter it actually starts with using the word "they" (v2-6). I believe God is talking about all the rulers he will bring against Tyre including Alexander. From v7-11 the pronoun "he" is used to focus in and talk about the king of Babylon until we reach verse 12 which then changes the focus out again to other conquerors (speaking obviously of Alexander).
Note: that in v10 the word "their" obviously is refering to multiple horses in Nebuchadnezzar's army because it switches immediately back to "he" in v11.
Here are the passages studied:
1 ¶ And it came to pass in the eleventh year, on the first day of the month, that the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
2 "Son of man, because Tyre has said against Jerusalem, ‘Aha! She is broken who was the gateway of the peoples; now she is turned over to me; I shall be filled; she is laid waste.’
3 "Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: ‘Behold, I am against you, O Tyre, and will cause many nations to come up against you, as the sea causes its waves to come up.
4 ‘And they shall destroy the walls of Tyre and break down her towers; I will also scrape her dust from her, and make her like the top of a rock.
5 ‘It shall be a place for spreading nets in the midst of the sea, for I have spoken,’ says the Lord GOD; ‘it shall become plunder for the nations.
6 ‘Also her daughter villages which are in the fields shall be slain by the sword. Then they shall know that I am the LORD.’
7 "For thus says the Lord GOD: ‘Behold, I will bring against Tyre from the north Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, king of kings, with horses, with chariots, and with horsemen, and an army with many people.
8 ‘He will slay with the sword your daughter villages in the fields; he will heap up a siege mound against you, build a wall against you, and raise a defense against you.
9 ‘He will direct his battering rams against your walls, and with his axes he will break down your towers.
10 ‘Because of the abundance of his horses, their dust will cover you; your walls will shake at the noise of the horsemen, the wagons, and the chariots, when he enters your gates, as men enter a city that has been breached.
11 ‘With the hooves of his horses he will trample all your streets; he will slay your people by the sword, and your strong pillars will fall to the ground.
12‘They will plunder your riches and pillage your merchandise; they will break down your walls and destroy your pleasant houses; they will lay your stones, your timber, and your soil in the midst of the water.
19 "For thus says the Lord GOD: ‘When I make you a desolate city, like cities that are not inhabited, when I bring the deep upon you, and great waters cover you,
32 In their wailing for you They will take up a lamentation, And lament for you: ‘What city is like Tyre, Destroyed in the midst of the sea?
33 ‘When your wares went out by sea, You satisfied many people; You enriched the kings of the earth With your many luxury goods and your merchandise.
34 But you are broken by the seas in the depths of the waters; Your merchandise and the entire company will fall in your midst.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
This movie is about the Exodus route from Egypt that the Israelites may have taken.
I was shown this video this evening and found it rather thought provoking. Earlier I gave a post on Bob Cornuke and his discoveries at the Jabal al-Lawz mountain. It is was quite convincing I thought about his findings.
However this video has different people finding the same locatoin with the same discoveries! This video was made earlier, in a way it verifies what Bob Cornuke found. This video gives a different crossing site to Bob Cornuke and I think this one is more convincing. They go diving and find what they believe are chariot parts at the bottom of the crossing they proposed (including video footage and photos).
I saw the full version of this video and I managed to find an edited one on youtube...I do not know what they edited out but either way I found it rather compelling.
4 parts (approx 40min)
Saturday, June 13, 2009
A fascinating article on Dawkins:
This is a writer's (Mellanie Phillips) response to seeing a second debate between Dawkins and Lennox. To see the first you can find the debate in "Debates" under the "Labels" side of my blog. I highly recommend watching it!
Interesting...Dawkins seems to have changed?
Is Richard Dawkins still evolving?
On Tuesday evening I attended the debate between Richard Dawkins and John Lennox at Oxford’s Natural History Museum. This was the second public encounter between the two men, but it turned out to be very different from the first. Lennox is the Oxford mathematics professor whose book, God’s Undertaker: Has Science Buried God? is to my mind an excoriating demolition of Dawkins’s overreach from biology into religion as expressed in his book The God Delusion -- all the more devastating because Lennox attacks him on the basis of science itself. In the first debate, which can be seen on video on this website, Dawkins was badly caught off-balance by Lennox’s argument precisely because, possibly for the first time, he was being challenged on his own chosen scientific ground.
This week’s debate, however, was different because from the off Dawkins moved it onto safer territory– and at the very beginning made a most startling admission. He said:
A serious case could be made for a deistic God.
This was surely remarkable. Here was the arch-apostle of atheism, whose whole case is based on the assertion that believing in a creator of the universe is no different from believing in fairies at the bottom of the garden, saying that a serious case can be made for the idea that the universe was brought into being by some kind of purposeful force. A creator. True, he was not saying he was now a deist; on the contrary, he still didn't believe in such a purposeful founding intelligence, and he was certainly still saying that belief in the personal God of the Bible was just like believing in fairies. Nevertheless, to acknowledge that ‘a serious case could be made for a deistic god’ is to undermine his previous categorical assertion that
...all life, all intelligence, all creativity and all ‘design’ anywhere in the universe is the direct or indirect product of Darwinian natural selection...Design cannot precede evolution and therefore cannot underlie the universe.
In Oxford on Tuesday night, however, virtually the first thing he said was that a serious case could be made for believing that it could.
Anthony Flew, the celebrated philosopher and former high priest of atheism, spectacularly changed his mind and concluded -- as set out in his book There Is A God -- that life had indeed been created by a governing and purposeful intelligence, a change of mind that occurred because he followed where the scientific evidence led him. The conversion of Flew, whose book contains a cutting critique of Dawkins’s thinking, has been dismissed with unbridled scorn by Dawkins – who now says there is a serious case for the position that Flew now adopts!
Unfortunately, so stunning was this declaration it was not pursued on Tuesday evening. Instead, Dawkins was able to move the debate onto a specific attack on Christian belief in the divinity of Jesus, which is a very different argument and obscured the central point of contention – the claim that science had buried God. The fact that Dawkins now appears to be so reluctant publicly to defend his own position on his own territory of scientific rationalism – and indeed, even to have shifted his ground – is a tribute above all to the man he was debating once again on Tuesday evening.
Afterwards, I asked Dawkins whether he had indeed changed his position and become more open to ideas which lay outside the scientific paradigm. He vehemently denied this and expressed horror that he might have given this impression. But he also said other things which suggested to me that some of his own views simply don't meet the criteria of empirical evidence that he insists must govern all our thinking.
For example, I put to him that, since he is prepared to believe that the origin of all matter was an entirely spontaneous event, he therefore believes that something can be created out of nothing -- and that since such a belief runs counter to the very scientific principles of verifiable evidence which he tells us should govern all our thinking, this is itself precisely the kind of irrationality, or ‘magic’, which he scorns. In reply he said that, although he agreed this was a problematic position, he did indeed believe that the first particle arose spontaneously from nothing, because the alternative explanation – God -- was more incredible. Later, he amplified this by saying that physics was coming up with theories to show how matter could spontaneously be created from nothing. But as far as I can see – and as Anthony Flew elaborates – these theories cannot answer the crucial question of how the purpose-carrying codes which gave rise to self–reproduction in life-forms arose out of matter from which any sense of purpose was totally absent. So such a belief, whether adduced by physicists or anyone else, does not rest upon rational foundations.
Even more jaw-droppingly, Dawkins told me that, rather than believing in God, he was more receptive to the theory that life on earth had indeed been created by a governing intelligence – but one which had resided on another planet. Leave aside the question of where that extra-terrestrial intelligence had itself come from, is it not remarkable that the arch-apostle of reason finds the concept of God more unlikely as an explanation of the universe than the existence and plenipotentiary power of extra-terrestrial little green men?
The other thing that jumped out at me from this debate was that, although Dawkins insisted over and over again that all he was concerned with was whether or not something was true, he himself seems to be pretty careless with historical evidence. Anthony Flew, for example, points out in his own book that Dawkins’s claim in The God Delusion that Einstein was an atheist is manifestly false, since Einstein had specifically denied that he was either a pantheist or an atheist. In the debate, under pressure from Lennox Dawkins was actually forced to retract his previous claim that Jesus had probably ‘never existed’. And in a revealing aside, when Lennox remarked that the Natural History Museum in which they were debating – in front of dinosaur skeletons -- had been founded for the glory of God, Dawkins scoffed that of course this was absolutely untrue.
But it was true. Construction of the museum was instigated between 1855 and 1860 by the Regius Professor of Medicine, Sir Henry Acland. According to Keith Thomson of the Sigma XI Scientific Research Society, the funds for the project came from the surplus in the University Press’s Bible account as this was deemed only appropriate for a building dedicated to science as a glorification of God’s works. Giving his reasons for building the museum, Acland himself said that it would provide the opportunity to obtain the
knowledge of the great material design of which the Supreme Master-Worker has made us a constituent part...The student of life, bearing in mind the more general laws which in the several departments above named he will have sought to appreciate, will find in the collections of Zoology, combined with the Geological specimens and the dissections of the Anatomist, a boundless field of interest and of inquiry, to which almost every other science lends its aid : from each Science he borrows a special light to guide him through the ranges of extinct and existing animal forms, from the lowest up to the highest type, which; last and most perfect, but pre-shadowed in previous ages, is seen in Man. By the aid of physiological illustrations he begins to understand how hard to unravel are the complex mechanisms and prescient intentions of the Maker of all; and he slowly learns to appreciate what exquisite care is needed for discovering the real action of even an apparently comprehended machine.
Truth is indeed the crux of the matter – but Dawkins seems to understand the word rather differently from the rest of us.The great question, however, is whether his own theory is now in the process of further evolution -- and whether it might even jump the species barrier into what is vulgarly known by lesser mortals as faith.
by Melanie Phillips
Retrieved from: http://www.spectator.co.uk/melaniephillips/2543431/is-richard-dawkins-still-evolving.thtml
Thursday, June 11, 2009
I thought I would do a light hearted post about the place I work in NZ:
How I started work here:
I want to share a little tesimony of God working in my life regarding this job. About several years ago I was wondering what I should do with my life? Where did God want me to go? What did He want me to do?
As I thought about it and talked with my parents we decided to pray. My mother prayed that God would bring along a christian man who was willing to teach me his trade. A few weeks later a friend who had been working there wondered if I wanted a job working for his brother! (I said nothing of this prayer to him, nor did I know really what his brother did) His brother was a christian and was offering an apprenticeship which I took up at a later stage. Praise God for His guidence! He is so faithful.
I am currenty doing an apprenticeship in Horticulture-Floriculture. My boss and I run the place together with the goal of training me to be manager one day. We are both Christians which is a huge blessing!
We grow standard cymbidium orchids...a beautiful flower. We have approximately 4,500 square meters of sheds and approximately over 30 different varieties or cultivars. Our colours range from pinks, whites, yellows and greens.
Flower season is just starting really...we are exporting 10 boxes of flowers a week at the moment (90 flowers). Once we really get our busiest we will be doing hundreds of boxes of flowers in a week. We export mainly to Japan, Europe and America. If you buy a cymbidium orchid it may be by a small chance one of ours :)
We do this starting in autumn through to the beginning of summer. Then the work changes and we get to pick up a hammer and nails and work on the sheds. We also split big plants to get more!
Boy, it gets hot during summer in those hot houses...up to 43 degrees and humid (we have misters cooling the place down).
The blessing in this job is I can spend a few hours a day listening to mp3's of commentaries on the Bible while I work :) Or listening to music...or even spending time in prayer with God... as long as it doesn't interfere with my work! LOL.
The car up the top by our packhouse is my Nissan Skyline...one of my fav types of car...6 cylinder, rear wheel drive, 2.5L with 190hp+. It is by no means the expencive version of race car they can be, but it is still quick. The skyline "godzilla" is the race version.
I recently did a manual conversion in it and put an after market pod filter on it... it is fun fiddling around.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
"Don't be so open-minded that your brain falls out"
I thought it was so interesting I thought I would like to add a sequal to it, just to bring a bit of balance:
"Don't be so closed-minded that all your brain accepts is prejudice assumptions"
Monday, June 8, 2009
This is a must watch, two very qualified men debating the most important question to life...is there a God? Atheism vs Theism.
The debate is based around Richard Dawkins' book called The God Delusion. It was held on October 3rd of 2007 in Birmingham, Alabama.
Here is the link:
(I'm not 100% sure of the time length but I think it was about 1 1/2 hours)
Richard Dawkins FRS is the Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford. He is the author of nine books: The Selfish Gene, The Extended Phenotype, The Blind Watchmaker, River Out of Eden, Climbing Mount Improbable, Unweaving the Rainbow, A Devil's Chaplain, The Ancestor's Tale and The God Delusion. He is a Fellow of both the Royal Society and the Royal Society of Literature.
John Lennox is Reader in Mathematics at the University of Oxford and Fellow in Mathematics and Philosophy of Science at Green College, University of Oxford. He holds doctorates from Oxford (D.Phil.), Cambridge (Ph.D.), and the University of Wales (D.Sc.) and an MA in Bioethics from the University of Surrey. Dr. Lennox has weighed in on the science-religion debate with a new book, God's Undertaker: Has Science Buried God?
My thoughts on the debate:
After watching it right through, I am more convinced in the reality of God. I thought John Lennox did superbly and had the more convincing arguements. I may think that just because I agreed with him beforehand, an atheist may have a different perspective.
Some atheists I have spoken to get annoyed at creationists arguing against evolution because they (atheists) already think evolution is soundly proven.
However, to their delight John Lennox does not even really mention evolution at all, he sticks to the topic of God, morality, science, philosophy etc. I do not know his views on evolution but for the atheist wanting a different route of creationist arguments, try this!
Both men are in their sixties and have experienced a lot in life...the debate is worth listening to. John Lennox...I envy him :) had the privelidge of sitting in C.S. Lewis' last lectures. Throughout the debate John shows some philosophical qualities and quotes Lewis a number of times.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
He was stung 5 times by box jellyfish and lived...or rather, died and then came back to life. God revealed Himself to him in his last hours.
(4 of 6 parts - although there are 2 extra parts)
I found this video fascinating and is food for thought :) He came to NZ one time and shared his testimony in Auckland at a Promise Keepers meeting I attended, very cool...I found the movie re-enactment on youtube.
Wow! I have been doing alot of videos lately...? LOL. I remember cool ones as I go along and I want to share them with people!
Check it out!