|Originally Posted By arowneragain:
Originally Posted By WesJanson:
The problem here is that you and I are starting from different logical premises. My premise is that I don't believe in anything, and anything someone tries to convince me of, I demand proof.
This is a good point, and I'm frankly glad that you made it - it gives me a chance to clarify something about Christianity.
Let me break this down slowly:
You are correct in that we are starting from different logical premises.
You start with the idea ("I demand proof") that man is the measure of all things. I'm thankful that you made that point, as it is highly relevant to this discussion.
In contrast, I start elsewhere.
I start as a person who has recognized his own shortcomings, recognized the shortcomings of the human race, and has rested in the supremacy of God in all things.
Let us agree that at some point in the past, you were born and brought into this world.
At that point in time, when you took your first breath, you did not have a religious belief or faith in God, Scripture, or Jesus. You were ignorant of religion, language, speech, humanity, society, or anything else.
Some time between then, and now, you gained a belief in God. This can be logically shown, as at point A you did not, and at point B (Now), you do possess such a belief.
Logically, then, there was a reason why you chose to believe, whether it was a conscious decision predicated entirely on logic, or an unconscious subtle decision reached through emotional influences. One way or another, there was a discrete point in time when you lacked faith, followed concurrently by a point in time in which you gained faith.
The difference between us, if I might be so bold as to wager a guess as to your past, is that you were given faith at a young age by the actions, influences, words, and beliefs of others around you. Once you had that faith in God, the rest becomes irrelevant-on that, I think you would agree. On the other hand, I never had such an indoctrination (to call it what it is). At the point when I become aware of the question "Should I believe in God?", I already had a sufficient grounding in logic and reason to wield Occam's razor and ask the cutting questions of the religions I became exposed to, and therefore find the flaws and lies hidden within them. When someone effectively starts out with the base condition "Premise Y is true", and proceeds to build the entirety of their worldview around it, after a time it becomes essentially impossible for them to step back and analyze the reason why Premise Y was incorporated into their person in the first place.
I must start any endeavour - including one that is scientific in nature - with a 'fear of the Lord' (a reverence and awe, if you will) if I am to achieve any sort of knowledge. Where God has given us wise advice and instruction in His Word, I am a fool to reject these things. By extension, when I examine your starting point, I see that you are, according to the Word I defer to in all things, a fool. I try not to follow fools.
'Fool' doesn't mean, as has been pointed out before, that you act like one of the Three Stooges, Sideshow Bob, or a court jester. It means that you have a humanistic, delusional understanding of the world you live in. You forget that it's God's world, not yours. My only appropriate response is to bring to your attention that, whether you like it or not, this is God's world that you live in, and if you want me to take you seriously, you MUST recognize this.
Were there such a thing as an omniscient, omnipotent, all-loving God and Creator, and such an entity created humans, with all of our powers of reason and capability to think and learn, would it follow that He would want his creations to deny and reject His own gift to them, the power of thought, in favor of blind devotion and unquestioning faith? What sort of perverse deity would create a universe intended to appear billions of years old, and then tell its inhabitants that they must deny their own senses in favor of unwavering faith in something they'd never experienced in the first place? I tell you, I insist, that the belief in such a God is itself an atrocity, and it would render an abomination of God in the eyes of any fair and just arbiter of the truth.
I'm not saying any of the above to belittle you, question your character as a citizen, or anything else against you personally. What I AM trying to do is show you the root issue here - I come from a Biblical worldview where God is set above man. You come from a humanistic worldview where man sets himself up above God.
The two will always clash, and don't mix.
I come from a worldview where belief without reason is indicative of intellectual insanity. Were God to exist, and be omnipotent, it would be well within His grasp to create a universe where belief is rational and follows from the evidence, rather than the other way around. You come from a worldview where faith comes first, foremost, and above all else...but you've never glanced into the core of your own faith to ask the terrible question why you have that faith in the first place, and where it ultimately comes from. For you to understand and admit the answer would mean the destruction of your entire weltanschauung, and evolution makes us beings such that we attempt to protect ourselves from such demolishing awarenesses.