Is Christianity Reasonable or Not? – Intro

A Quick Intro

Several years ago I unwillingly accepted that Christianity was not tenable. However, I only temporarily was at peace with that position. Why? Probably because I still want it to be true. So I’m taking another stab at it. This will be the most thorough investigation I ever undertake. If Christianity fails this time, I mean undoubtedly fails… I will give up on it.

My reasoning for that conclusion is that I studied to defend Christianity, that led to studying to destroy it, and now maybe I can be far more rational against both positions if I stay focused through this project.

So it begins…

I am currently going through Dr. William Craig’s book, Reasonable Faith, 3rd Edition. I think that studying the “reasonableness” of Christianity is a good goal. It acknowledges the limits of human knowledge while providing a method for accepting either of the propositions “Christianity is likely false” and “Christianity is likely true.” To be reasonable, Christianity must offer a comprehensive case that favors itself over other worldviews.

But what do I mean exactly by “Christianity”? Not everyone will agree to my understanding of that faith, but by it I mean a faith that claims that

  1. God created the universe,
  2. Humanity disobeyed God and brought a curse upon itself,
  3. Jesus was sacrificed to atone for humanity’s sins,
  4. And that there a future hope for believers in Christ.

If Christianity can live up to this core, then I can avoid the weeds of various interpretations and theological nuances. For example, I do not have to worry about the birth of Jesus being miraculous or not with this model. I do not want to throw the baby out with the bath water. That being said, however, I will make the assertion that if God exists, then miracles may be possible. If a personal (agent) God exists that is free to act in the universe, then miracles are possible. The type of God we are talking about it quite important, so we have a few pre-requisites to discuss before moving on to the four points above.

A few more details

Considering the first point, there’s no need to go into all of the debates over the nature of God. We just need to know what God Christianity asserts created the universe. This is fairly easy to do since the literature on it is abundant. I’ll use Dr. Norman Geisler’s definition of the theistic God:

“Now one infinite, uncaused, personal, morally perfect, all-knowing, all-powerful Being that caused finite being(s) like itself to exist is what is meant by a theistic God” (Geisler, Christian Apologetics, 267).

I find this definition to be in historical agreement with the majority of Christian theologians.

The second, third and fourth points all rely on the Bible being divinely inspired and factually accurate. By this I mean that the Bible must be one of the miraculous interventions (or rather many interventions) of God in the universe; the Bible must be connected to God somehow. The Bible must also be accurate historically, scientifically, and internally consistent. This will require an investigation into the collection of books that has had such a strong hold on human civilization over the millennia. I will need to establish the amount of reliability that the Bible can afford.

Finally, I will look at the whether Jesus was a real person or mythical being. As silly as this may sound to some, there is actually a strong case for Jesus’ never existing as a real human. In order for Christianity to be true in its historic sense, Jesus must have been real.

Why Bother With Another Post?

So why? Not entirely sure other than I feel like it.

What’s happens when you answer all of your questions? Master all of your goals? There’s a void. And nothing seems to fill it – at least not yet. I find myself searching for dictions to get lost in, but very few satisfy. And then those end and it’s the same void. I learn new things like game programming and then I finish a project. I aim to learn violin and then my tendonitis in my right thumb slows me down. I aim to diet and then… pizza.

So we start again and end again. Peace should be our priority, not hope. Hope can be dissatisfaction. Peace can be both acceptance and courage.

This is Politically Incorrect

Just a warning: this post may offend.

I came across this line: “Individuals have no more choice in their sexuality or gender identity than they do in their race or ethnicity.” from https://onlinecareertips.com/2019/08/religion-protected-classes-employers/

But is that true? Why is it that so many people I know have gone back and forth trying to make up their mind if they are gay, straight, or bi? The author of the quote above would likely be hurt if I accused him of insensitivity or “microaggression” against these people I know. He likely wanted to let minorities know he stood with them. Hell, he probably believes it’s not a choice and is just honestly expressing his beliefs.

But believing doesn’t make something true. Believing in God doesn’t make God exist. Believing in conspiracies doesn’t make history conform to those ideas. In fact, an issue I have with the above is that he seems to think that religion could never qualify as gender identity or sexual orientation.

In fact, I am more in favor of sexual orientation being declared something someone is born with than gender identity. Gender identity is a as much a social construct as it is a biological issue. Hermaphrodites have to choose their gender when they don’t ontologically “fit” a category. And I remember watching Morgan Freeman’s Through the Wormhole where he discussed a group of girls who grew penises at the age of twelve. But society says that boys like this and girls like that. My little boy got a doll house because he loved it. Some people in my family really fought against the idea. But he’s moved past it and is nothing but video games and funny cat videos now.

I personally think transsexual and gender identity issues could be resolved by being society saying yes a 14-year-old boy can wear blue eyeliner and yoga pants and still be straight. I am 100% for destroying societal biases. But I will not refute reality. I cannot say “I am a 30 year old Asian female” when I clearly am not 30, Asian, or female. How would you measure these? DNA is one way to determine if I am genetically descended from Asian origins. DNA could also determine where I am on a spectrum of Male-to-Female-ness (this is not an original concept either). My birth certificate could tell you I’m not 30, but some would argue that it can’t because it’s an artifact of society – ahem – which renders society useless in a cosmic absolute-relativity spiral. Put simply, the argument destroys their own arguments and so it won’t work.

Think of all the manly things out there – sports, hunting, fishing, gun ownership, truck ownership, drinking at the bar, acting stupid and getting laid by some random person…. I seriously can’t find a list further away from me. I would be considered a “girly boy” if I was in high school now. I like the arts, but not all art. I love the theater. I will never own a gun. I am so uninterested in sports that I don’t even watch a single game ever – including the Super Bowl (although I always hear the results later). I did own a truck once, but that’s because it given to me for a year. I have never had a drink at a bar. I have never had a one night stand. I act stupid sometimes, but everyone does and it’s an unfair accusation against guys.

My point is that the guy who wrote the article above has no right to claim anything about reality unless he has the science to back it up. If he can – fantastic! I’ll believe it. That’s how things should be: I call you out for making a claim with little or no evidence (certainly not enough to persuade me) and you do your research and present new, better evidence that is repeatable and logically sound, then I believe you. And I will because I have changed my mind on many, many things for that very reason. I want to see more evidence backing claims before they get published. This is a “journal” really so it’s not like I’m getting recognized on this. I think everyone is free to post as they like on blogs (except obscenities and threats), but on professional sites authors should have the evidence to back up their claims.

Not leaving this open to comments. Just standing up and asking for science. Hell, I’m not even taking the time to do the research myself. Maybe I will one day and then I can look at this post and decide if I was right or wrong. I find it more exciting when I’m wrong, but for now, I need science to convince me.

Well…

Ever get stopped in your tracks and feel absolutely nothing and yet everything at once? I wonder if that’s how it feels to be sunlight; all of the colors – the ones you love, hate, and are indifferent to – all at once.

What’s life like without God? It sucks and it doesn’t suck. At the end of your life is a pitch black wall. I don’t really think it’s the lack of God that makes it that way. It’s not having life after this one. But still, nothing ultimately matters and so it’s like a great, big eternal “meh.” I enjoy my life most of the time. But I don’t feel a strong attachment to things or people. Yet I still try to do good for them and by them. Why? Because I like to. Cause it freedom or determinism, it’s me. But I still feel kind of sad. Not sure how that is. I guess I just wish I had someone to connect to like that. It’s not hard to let go of God as a concept – it’s quite easy to let go of a particular god though.

But still… it’s weird feeling no full satisfaction in anything. There’s still happiness and joy. I just recognize how far feeling and circumstances can go on the spectrum.

That’s enough rambling.

By the way, he lived

By the way – I survived my month off of work from my body trying to die. Got the bill and I might let it die the next time that happens (it better not happen again!) went back to work. Was off a week for a planned vacation and then back to work again. Finally felt normal back at work this week, but it’s overwhelming with an additional office added to my load. Now I’m co-managing 25 providers with schedules… But it’s nice to be needed I guess.

Now if only I get through these last few months of school…

the real problem is taxonomy, not anthropocentrism

Ever post something and then have ZERO idea what you meant? I sure did with this blank post. Accidental? Maybe. I can’t even think of what context I was referring to, but it’s likely something metaphysical. Oh well. I just wasted 15 seconds of your time.

Object-Oriented Philosophy

The more time that passes since the advent of the current strains of continental realism (materialism is something else altogether), the more I sense that the central issue has been misunderstood.

The argument has often been made (including by me) that the correlationism/philosophy of access characteristic of modern thought has tended to reduce the world to its appearance to humans.

Many critics have tried to argue (though they are wrong) that this is a straw man, that German Idealism was already beyond this problem, and so forth. But I’m less interested in these people than I am in those who ostensibly accept the Speculative Realist argument, but in my view draw entirely the wrong conclusions from this.

Stated briefly, the problem is not that humans (and sorry, but Heidegger’s Dasein is still human being) have been given too much attention and that we therefore need to shift the balance back…

View original post 1,235 more words

Surviving

Well, I’m finishing day 16 of IV antibiotics and it’s looking like I should be good after this weekend. Glad to be alive but now I’m regretting all the things I’ve been neglecting for the sake of being busy and seeking a mild form of success. I’ve enjoyed playing Minecraft with my kids and taking naps and even watching some anime (don’t judge – and, it’s One Piece). I want to work in music again and just be creative. I miss that last part. I bout some violin lessons and some advanced guitar lessons today. I hope I can put them to use soon.

Recovering

Luckily, the daptomycin I was put on has been working. I’m fever free finally and the swelling is starting to go down. I have to continue on the IV until Wednesday. But today, I managed to play 12 min on the guitar. Of course, I collapsed into a 3 hr nap not too long after that, but it’s progress. (I also made the mistake of picking my son up when he ran to me, out of habit.) To think that the body can get so fragile so quickly…