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John Pennell July 22, 2014 at 03:08 pm
Hello Education is a Luxury and thank you for reading and taking time to comment on my article. I'llRead More address your concerns, but first, your handle, "Education is a Luxury" is interesting. What do you mean by that phrase?
John Pennell July 22, 2014 at 03:13 pm
Please allow me the luxury of calling you EL =) EL, please forgive the vagueness of my links inRead More relationship to the purpose of my blog. My main focus when I write is to write to those who hold a Christian worldview about issues of culture and science that bear on our faith. However, I may not have been clear enough with these links about how they relate to our worldview even for fellow Christians, much less those who might hold a different worldview. Which side of that fence do you fall on if I may ask?
John Pennell July 22, 2014 at 03:34 pm
And now I will try to account to each article specifically: The first article seems to be prettyRead More plain in its meaning. As the author has noted, Christianity and the religious in general are regarded by some as irrational, unintelligent, and etc. This article shows that not all Christians/Theists are as dumb as some have claimed. My personal belief is that intelligence is only a minor part of the equation one uses to form their worldview. (This is because I know very smart people on both sides of the fence, and some less smart as well.) The second article highlights a common theme among secular thinkers: namely that any governmental or government sponsored entity can in NO WAY mention recognize or appear to support any kind of activity that might be regarded in any way religious (and especially Christian) without violating the edict "separation of church and state" which is not found in any legal document. The third article talks about the seemingly innate instinct that most human beings seem to have that informs them that there is more to this world than meets the eye (i.e. the supernatural does indeed exist). It would make sense if indeed the supernatural did exist. The fourth article shows how some scientific finds are hyped way beyond what the evidence actually merits. Your answer to my question is indeed a valid one, however I am not sure that it is the whole answer for many. Here are some of my thoughts: naturalism requires that life is not special, it is just a random mixture of chemicals that happened to take on certain properties that other matter does not have (such as the ability to reproduce, and to think). So those who hold to a naturalistic worldview would see the discovery of life on other planets as a confirmation of naturalism and justification of their worldview, while at the same time ruling out any worldview that does not agree with Sagan's edict: “The Cosmos is all that is or was or ever will be." Again, thank you. Hope this helps!
Does coincidence override reality?
John Pennell July 18, 2014 at 10:52 am
Hello Francis, of course you may enter the discussion. My whole purpose in writing this blog is toRead More invite discussion on these matters. Regarding the quote from CS Lewis; let me make another attempt. He is simply saying that before you can give someone a reason that something they hold to be truth is false, you have to show first that WHAT they hold to be truth is false. It's not enough to say something like this: "I am an aJFKist. It's obvious that JFK never existed and here's why: Abraham Lincoln lived one hundred years before JFK. When we read about JFK we see all these similarities that obviously have been stolen from the life of Abraham Lincoln. Thus JFK never existed." What I have done here is given a reason why JFK never existed, but I have neglected to tackle the hard evidence of the historical accounts of JFK's life. Now, please notice at this point I am making no claim one way or the other about whether or not JFK actually existed. All I am saying is that it would be sloppy and lazy to assert he did not exist by giving a reason that has nothing to do with his actual existence, or lack thereof. That is the whole point of this article.
John Pennell July 18, 2014 at 12:21 pm
Francis, please don't take this the wrong way, but you haven't thought carefully on a couple ofRead More points. Now I say that with as much respect as I can, because I can tell from your writing that you are an intelligent person. (probably smarter than me if I had to guess) Here is what I mean: you said "Facts are testable, verifiable, and unchanging." and "Conclusions are not "right" or "wrong," they are simply to be believed or not depending on the perspective and context of the situation." Is that statement a fact? And, if so, can you show me the testable and verifiable proof of the fact that your statement about conclusions is a fact? Can you construct for me an experiment to prove this fact about the nature of conclusions? Or, is that statement your conclusion based on the nature of conclusions. If that is your conclusion, do you hold that conclusion to be "right", or "wrong", or is that simply your belief about the nature of conclusions? Or do you believe or disbelieve this conclusion based on the nature of conclusions based on your perspective and the context of the situation? Hopefully you see that in this case, your viewpoint "commits suicide". You have stated your understanding of conclusions as a fact, but have no way to test and verify the fact. However if you tell me that is just your conclusion (about the nature of conclusions) I can gainsay your conclusion with a conclusion of my own, and we are at an impasse.
John Pennell July 18, 2014 at 12:33 pm
Finally, my thoughts on the nature of conclusions: just like any other proposition presented asRead More factual, a conclusion is either true or false based on whether or not said conclusion aligns with reality. For instance, Premise 1: All unmarried men are bachelors. Premise 2: Joe is an unmarried man. Conclusion: Joe is a bachelor. If we know that premise 1 is true (based on the definition of the word bachelor) and we know premise 2 is true (based on, for instance, a reliable witness that knows Joe), then our logical conclusion is likely also true (or at least it is the best inference from the evidence presented). However, if instead we concluded that Joe was a wife (a married woman) from the premises given, our conclusion would most likely be false. In short, conclusions can be right or wrong.
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