THE PALEOCRAT TRIBUNE

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I’d Like Some Unbelief With a Side of Sweat

with 12 comments

hitchens2By Antipelagian
Dec. 22, 2008

Christians are often scoffed at for their “fideistic” approach to origins. It is said that they rely on Sunday School faith spoon-fed from generation to generation (I wish Christians were multi-generational. The notion of covenant succession has evaporated in the last century or so)…after all, there’s nothing more silly than believing that a world of cause and effect should need an initial cause in the first place. Christians, we are told, argue for the existence of God based on their own misappropriation of biology and neuroscience, to name a couple of examples. Christians supplant “viable evidence” with their ignorance. Essentially, it’s the whole “God of the gaps” scenario. What hapless, ignorant Christians are unable to understand, they replace with unicorns. 

Apparently we don’t measure up to Atheistic Materialism’s standard (a standard taken forgranted and accepted as “self-evident”…don’t bother asking anyone to define self-evident. If an Atheist has to present a well thought-out metaphysic that makes such a term meaningful, it sucks all the joy out of their faith). Having never presented a coherent worldview, they go on to assert that their conclusions are the result of the scientific method. Some Atheistic Materialists will go so far as to say all that can be known is accessed through the physical world of sensation, therefore, there is no reason to believe in the supernatural.

‘Reason’ is simply an intellectual tool, rather than an ultimate standard of knowledge, and as such will be affected by the regenerate or unregenerate condition of the man using it

Van Til’s Apologetic, pg 146

How many times have you been told by an unbeliever in the midst of a debate: “Let’s be neutral”? As though taking a step back, breathing deeply, then exhaling will suddenly make things “neutral” and the unbeliever and Christian can get along epistemologically? The truth of the matter is that “neutrality” in the mind of an Atheistic Materialist is an assumed autonomy that is never argued for, it is merely accepted. Atheistic Materialists berate Christians for being irrational and demand we meet the standard of Rationality…as if Logic was supreme, above us and above God (if there is a God).

Reason is a method, not the standard of truth. A way of identifying valid or invalid arguments or thinking processes. In the sense that it is a way of measuring, you can say it is “neutral” if you simply mean “objective”…but our use of it certainly is not neutral. To presume knowledge can be accessed apart from Christ is a slap in His face. Neutrality, in this sense, is far from neutral: it is hostility and rebellion.

The kind of man who is doing the reasoning already determines something about the way in which he thinks about reason and engages in reasoning. Thus Van Til stated, ‘It is impossible to speak of the intellect per se, without taking into consideration whether it is the intellect of a regenerated person or of a non-regenerated person

Van Til’s Apologetic, pg 146

During your next exchange with an Atheistic Materialist who tells you that you’re irrational, and that the impetus is on you to meet the standard of rationality, you need to recognize he means “you need to meet my standards of autonomy”. He has certain beliefs about logic, about reasoning, and he utilizes his faculties in such a way that is controlled by other assumptions. No belief is held independent of another. Each belief is a principle networked among a web of others. We need to evaluate that “web”. It should be a bit clearer now that our Atheistic Materialists are not being neutral. They are, in fact, demanding you follow their bias…so we can’t simply argue brute facts (there’s no such thing), and we can’t discuss evidence as though everyone agrees about what constitutes evidence: We must evaluate the measure. Contrary to what those of the so-called “brights” persuasion may say, Atheists don’t go by evidence and Christian by faith (that is the so-called faith of irrationality we’re accused of)…rather, Atheists reject a certain kind of evidence and adopt a different kindwhether or not their evidence is valid is determined by the validity of their measure for what constitutes evidence.

This necessarily means that metaphysics must enter the arena of debate. For too long it has gone unspoken and the “neutral” position has been assumed to be a humanistic starting point rather the reference point of the Triune God.

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Written by antipelagian

December 22, 2008 at 8:42 pm

12 Responses

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  1. Are you upset with his ‘disbelief’ or with the fact that he writes well? Seems to me that neither you nor he has any ‘evidence’ of anything. It is all a belief-system inside of your head. If you move outside of your head, all that exists is earth, air, fire and water.

    Has atheist-bashing become a sport with fundamentalist Christians? It’s akin to gay-bashing at which the fundamentalists are quite adept.

    ‘Mind your own business’ is an old adage that one ought to consider.

    mud_rake

    December 23, 2008 at 10:30 am

  2. Mud_Rake,

    As I noted on a previous entry…you do not seem to read entries. You must think you’re prescient and simply respond to the intuitive knowledge you suppose yourself to possess.

    Knowing what I wrote and then looking at your comment, I’m actually embarrassed for you. To think children relied on you to “educate” them…I’m glad you’re retired. Bird-watching suits you better.

    antipelagian

    December 23, 2008 at 11:19 am

  3. Mud Rake,

    Anti is up in arms over Hitchens ability to write. He has lost sleep over it! If my memory serves me correctly, he had a dentist tell him last year that if he didn’t stop thinking about Hitchens’ disbelief and excellent writing then he would end up grinding his teeth down to nothing more than nerve endings. Not good. He’s been on medication for this problem, but it appears he has reverted… not good.

    No evidence? There is plenty of evidence, but that really isn’t the point with good old presuppositionalists. See, the issue with them is whether or not any worldview can account for (provide the necessary conditions for) that concept and thing we call evidence.

    Atheist-bashing! Gay-bashing! Fundamentalist! Oh, my! I guess it all depends upon what you mean by bashing… and fundamentalist. Anti is a traditional Calvinist. Sure, it may be semantics, but traditional Calvinists wouldn’t fall under the theological umbrella commonly referred to as fundamentalism.

    Lastly, you are quite correct about the old adage. The problem is with the hypocrisy of you bringing it up.

    Were you minding your own business when you came to this site and criticized the writer of this entry? Were you minding your own business when you decried the writer by utilizing the same type of sarcasm and “bashing” you supposedly oppose ? Nah, not really. But that isn’t all that bad, is it? Just horribly predictable…

    On a side note, I loved the subtle reference to Captain Planet.

    Paleocrat

    December 23, 2008 at 11:30 am

  4. whoa! I guess I stirred up the hornet’s nest by presenting a centrist view of this theism/atheism argument. Looks like the author of this post has his panties all in a knot and has taken the adolescent turn of throwing cheap personal attacks my way. How trite and unbecoming.

    Listen pal, if you are going to post stuff on an open blog then you will have to accept comments about the subject matter of your posting. If you are that sensitive about comments, then you ought not spout off too much or else find a closed blog, for members only.

    mud_rake

    December 23, 2008 at 8:27 pm

  5. You presented a “centrist” view? You didn’t present anything. You said nothing of any relevance in your comment. I am convinced you didn’t read the entry as it had zero atheist bashing involved…a funny title with a particularly sweaty picture of Hitchens, sure. Please point out *specifically* where I “bashed” atheists…this will require you to read the entry. I shortened it from it’s original length, so it should only take you 10 minutes or so.

    I am genuinely glad you’re retired…that’s not a personal attack. Why do you always take things so personally? When you put things out there for anyone to read, you must be ready to receive what comes back to you. Accept the good with the bad, that’s the high road. If you can’t take it, I suggest unpluggling your computer and writing in your diary.

    Again, this is just a suggestion, not an attack…it’s a centrist perspective.

    antipelagian

    December 23, 2008 at 10:47 pm

  6. Apparently you must ‘know’ me by what you have said in your comments. Have we met? if so, I do not recall the occasion.

    If you do not wish comments on what you have posted, select the ‘no comments’ option. Otherwise, folks who dare to read your stuff will be obliged to tell you what they think about your topic.

    Regarding the post above, I suggested that neither you nor an atheist can ‘prove’ anything about the existence of God. Clearly you would not challenge that statement, would you?

    If it cannot be proved nor disproved, why do fundamentalist Christians spend so much time bashing atheists for their ‘beliefs?’ For all of the effort you put into that, you might as well debate the number of angels who can dance on the head of a pin.

    mud_rake

    December 24, 2008 at 8:44 am

  7. I know of you through thebarbwire. I have seen the way you simply torment Barb…and exchange quips and rub eachother the wrong way.

    You made unsubstantiated assertions…such as I was “atheist bashing”. I have asked you to support that…you have not.

    You were not “on topic”. If anything, your initial comment on this thread was more of a demonstration of what I was discussing in the blog entry. Again, further reason for me to think you did not read the entry, rather, you simply reacted to the title and the picture.

    It may seem strange to some, but I do not take time for a careful discussion with someone who hasn’t carefully read the blog entry in question. Exacerbating this is the fact you seem to want to play the martyr anytime someone throws your tinker toys out of the sandbox.

    When I returned comments in a “like for like” fashion, you act as if I’m out of line…you play the martyr or tell me to get a thicker skin. Mud, I’m not angry nor am I taking this terribly seriously. Man up.

    Lastly, I would say God is easily proven. Apart from God, you cannot prove anything.

    antipelagian

    December 24, 2008 at 8:56 am

  8. You didn’t have to stir anything up. Presuppositionalists typically live 24/7 in a foaming apologetic frenzy.

    I would like to note for the record that you haven’t publicly admitted to having not “minded your own business.” That’s a good thing for me though. I mean, I am the creator and editor of this particular site. The more the merrier.

    On a similar note, I think that, if your standard of public blogs on public sites is to be taken serious (as it should!), Antipelagian was in his rights to pummel Mr. Hitchens. Mind you that he is a public figure who writes and speaks publicly on this very matter almost every day he continues to drink… or breath.

    Righty-O! Back to the bashing I must go!

    Paleocrat

    December 24, 2008 at 9:15 am

  9. You know me through the barbwire? Is that like looking at the detainees at Buchenwald? Odd stuff, indeed. You ‘know’ me through this blog, do you? You know who I through what I write? How perceptive of you. I wish I had your talent. Perhaps you should offer this ‘talent’ of yours to the CIA.

    Angels dancing on the head of a pin is an appropriate analogy which I offered you. Both the atheist and you ought to debate that numeric value as it would provide us with much more ‘reality’ than the other debate.

    It seems to me, Anti, in the discussion that you and I are having, that, through your first comment above, you have ventured into an area beyond your pay grade. It is clear to me that you came out swinging recklessly in assaulting me for the audacity to criticize your prize posting. Surely you were ruffled by my comment and began a rather foolish tirade against me, personally, even though you do not know me. How sad. Now, it seems, you are attempting to bob and weave and spin.

    Apparently you do not have the blog option of ‘deleting’ comments as you do on your personal blog, and so what you said and what I said are printed above for all to analyze.

    mud_rake

    December 25, 2008 at 10:18 am

  10. Mud_Rake,

    you claim to have criticized my post…you have yet to even touch on the content of said post. Clearly you have not bothered reading it.

    I did not come out swinging recklessly. I continue to point out that none of your comments have even been concerned with the subject at hand. At best, you’ve criticized the title and picture I selected for the heading. I suppose you also walk into Barnes and Noble, glance at book covers, then conclude you are well read. Indeed, you may have been confused when your students turned in book reports covering a smattering of details contained in the pages of books when all you really cared to hear was what the drive was like to the library and how long they browsed each section when they arrived.

    I’m afraid we are not having a discussion, mud_rake…of course, perhaps you consider heckling out non-sense while others point out your daftness particularly meaningful…if that is the case, I’m happy to oblige to a point. After that point, it just gets annoying.

    If you’d like to read my post and criticize something specific, I’m happy to hear you out. I’ve done that with many, many, many unbelievers.

    I am also perfectly happy having our exchanges available for all to see…I could delete your comments if I like. See, I’ll let you keep some of your tinker toys. I’m not that much of a curmudgeon, after all.

    antipelagian

    December 25, 2008 at 7:28 pm

  11. Mud_Rake is a peculiar fellow, indeed! Spinning the phrase “I know you” to mean something quite contrary to the most evident context of “I am familiar with who you are on account of your posting on Barbwire” was a tad strange. But going on about angels dancing on the head of a pin is outright silly. Then to actually say that what he has said (and what is that again?) is beyond Anti’s pay grade??? haha Can we spell belligerence?

    I fear what Mr. Rake is missing here is the entire thing. Seriously, he is way lost on this one. The issue here wouldn’t be how many angels are dancing on a pin head, but how we could even know that answer in any real, meaningful, objective, or universal way given our espoused presuppositional framework. Do-o you-o understand-o, Mr-o Rake-o?

    Here is the worst part: this is presuppositionalism 101. This is first base! This is “on your mark” in the race. Sadly, it appears we have been running laps while Mr. Rake can’t even figure out how to set himself up at the running blocks. To make matters worse, he is arrogant about it all! Goodness alive!

    Catch up, Rake. You are way behind…

    Paleocrat

    December 25, 2008 at 8:06 pm

  12. Mudrake, I’m Bubba from R.I.
    I’m also a person who does not care at all how old the planet is.Nor can I even get emotionally invested in a question about where the ‘angels on the head of the pin’ comment came from.
    Not being a 100 percent perfect historian, and not being a scientist, maybe that disqualifies me from having an opinion on the subject.
    It doesn’t prevent me from raising a possibility:
    Maybe the ‘angel on a pin head’ comment was either a figure of speech or a joke. Maybe just maybe slang and idiom were part of communication.

    As to Hitchens, I don’t care what he writes. I don’t care what he thinks for the same reason I don’t care how old the planet is.
    There are people I love upon this earth and I care very much what happens to them. Priorities.

    My belief in Jesus includes loyalty to him, and to my loved ones.

    I think Augustine, Tertullian, Jerome, Origen, Athanasius, Gregory XVI, Vitoria, de Los Cassas, Joan of Arc, Vincent de Paul, Harriet Tubman, Archbishop von Galen, Corrie Ten Boom, Frank Serpico, Dr. King, Rosa Parks, Harriet Beecher Stowe, William Lloyd Garrison, and William Wilberforce and their beliefs count. I don’t think they’re from inside anyone’s head.

    I don’t do debate. I don’t argue.
    Paleo and anti are showing you a courtesy that I would not.

    Bashing and disagreeing are not the same things. Words have meaning or they don’t.

    But if you want bashing, militant atheists believe what they get out of books too-just what they tell us not to do. They blame living church members for what dead people did wrong.

    Their lack of empathy shuts down their critical thinking skills.

    They are like different versions of othello being played like a fiddle by different versions of iago.

    Bubba

    January 11, 2009 at 3:11 am


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