A response to a christian claiming biblical faith was rational.
This notion that faith is rational is a new invention recently promoted by apologists who increasingly find the irrational faith happily promoted for centuries untenable in a world that increasingly values rationality. This might be considered a good step in a good direction were it not so mendaciously inconsistent with what the bible says about faith. Until recently, faith was proudly considered to be an irrational commitment to some god, and the more the gulf between your faith an the evidence, the more virtuous you were. Luther called reason a “whore”, a consistent notion throughout all the history of christianity. Were the millions of christians consciously and proudly accepting Jesus based on this irrational faith actually damned to hell? Are you willing to say that, those now admitting their faith is irrational, can not be real christians?
In the bible you actually have a man coming to Jesus to request that he heal his son. When Jesus asks whether he believes, he actually responds, “Lord, I believe. Help thou my unbelief”. This is biblical faith; when in doubt about the credibility of someone, ask that someone to help you believe more. Jesus also blesses those who believe without actually seeing the evidence rather than those who request evidence.
Your claim that your faith is rational would seem much less dishonest if you were first teaching little children the foundation of rationality BEFORE you introduced them to your particular god. However, what you are doing is the opposite; you first get them to commit to “Jesus”, then build your “rationality” around that. Do you understand how absurd it then sounds when you claim your faith is based on rationality?
Finally, simply consider where prior commitments to faith or rationality take people. Those who contemplate gods prior to learning rationality often end up believing quite the opposite to someone doing the same on the other side of the world. In contrast, those who are first introduced to the basics of rationality BEFORE they are introduced to various notions of god tend to converge in their conclusions; most consider a personal god improbable, and an Einsteinian god uncertain. Simply consider the converging philosophies of all the world’s scientists who grew up in various religious contexts, yet were taught the proper need for rationality prior to assessment.
So, this silly claim that your faith is rational does not stand up historically, biblically, nor experimentally, and runs counter to your own practice of promoting your god to children before equipping them with the tools of rationality.
They were passing out bibles just outside Shibuya Station the other day, and I thought I’d stop by for a chat. The young American man heading the operation (we’ll call him Tom) was kind enough to engage me in dialog, and soon both of us were presenting our positions on the question of the existence of the biblical god.
I began by questioning the very notion of faith, suggesting that, unless the degree of belief matches the degree of the evidence, the belief is irrational and certainly not anything any creator of rational humans would consider virtuous.
Tom countered by suggesting there was more than sufficient evidence to Continue reading
If divine “justice” is to have any meaning, its definition must be independent of God’s actions. You can’t have a man claiming to be “just” towards his dogs, then torturing every one of his dogs that barks. In like manner, you can’t have a god claiming to be “just” then claiming the definition of “just” is any divine action such as eternal torment for infractions as natural and unavoidable as selfish thoughts.
Why would it be unjust to torture our dogs when they bark? It’s because nearly every dog barks. They can’t help themselves. We might punish the dogs we love if they, for example, urinate on the floor since dogs can be taught not to urinate on the floor (learning is not possible if we kill them out of wrath), but who would consider it to be “just” to torture until dead any dog who barked?
It is a dog’s “bark nature” to bark. How do we determine this? Continue reading
How many absurdities does it take to falsify an ideology?
In the 17th century, Nicolaas Hartsoeker, after squinting though his microscope at ejaculate, became so convinced that each sperm was actually a little man (homunculus), he produced detailed drawings as shown on the right.
When his imaginative drawings were brought into question by those suggesting that such a notion leads to an infinite regress as each little man himself must possess sperm that also held other smaller little men ad infinitum, bible believers defended the drawings by invoking scripture. The sin nature was able to pass from Adam to all humans since all humans once swung in the testes of Adam.
Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come. —Romans 5:12-14
Incredibly, scientists today have rejected the theory of Mr. Hoarsoeker. Scientist now claim that sperm do not at all resemble little men. But the track record of biblical insight into natural phenomena has suffered very few setbacks as fundamentalist will attest. It was simply Continue reading