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Sunday, September 13, 2015

Why Christian Apologetics Fails

Something common I've noticed among Christians. They won't approach the issue directly, they won't state any thesis clearly (rarely even the thesis "God exists"). They often flatly refuse to state what they believe and why they believe it. BUT, they are very quick to defend their ideology. In fact, it seems that that's all you guys do -- and I don't mean just you, Steve -- hostile defense after hostile. defense And the majority are not nearly as sophisticated as you, but you all do the same thing, regardless of elvel of education. I've seen Jesuit priests with PhD's pull the same crap.

If you're so damn sure you're right, why does it offend you if someone asks how you know this? Even if you end up saying "you don't know," that's an honest answer I can respect. It's also what we agnostics say all the time.

Based on your polemic behavior (and that of many others) Christianity seems to me like a poorly played chessgame with no strategy except a quasi-defense, and a remarkably weak one at that. I'm not seeking evidence, just reasons.

Here's the problem every Christian has.
IF God exists AND God is infinite, THEN - by definition - there is more to Him than I can explain or even experience. If the infinity that is God were to stand in front of me right now, my finite senses would be instantly filled to their capacity, but there would still be infinitely more to experience.

So, when someone asks me to PROVE God exists, they are asking me to provide information which I cannot, even in principle, perceive, much less transmit. This is where empiricism falls down. It wants to assume finite, perceptible capacities, and - BY DEFINITION - that isn't the case.

Empiricism's net has holes one-foot wide, and it's trying to catch a one-inch Fish.

Now, my limitations doesn't affect Truth. Truth still exists.
But here's a conundrum which we humans haven't solved.
Christians hold two things to be simultaneously true:
1) God is utterly rational
2) God is Love.

We don't understand the connection between those two things on anything but an inchoate, inexpressible level.  All we can conclude is this: if we do anything OTHER than love, we are being irrational. But, I can't explain this beyond making the statement, because the limits are outside of propositional logic's capabilities.

And that's why Christians always retreat to indirection... poetry, if you will. God is Truth, BUT God is also Beauty and Love.

Propositional logic reveals truth (with appropriate caveats), such logic can only dimly reveal Beauty (as Euclid did when he looked on Beauty bare) and it can't explain Love at all.

Thus, we also know that only Beauty and Love can illuminate the infinity that is Truth.

Worse, as Christians, we know all men are broken, so we have a tough time accurately reflecting or transmitting unbroken Beauty of Love. We aren't all that hot at transmitting Truth either.

So, we do the best we can in all three areas, knowing that our best will always fail to transmit the Reality. We are forced to become poets or frustrated apologists or both.

1 comment:

Anne Welch said...

We don’t know God; we are knowing God.

I think the inquirer would agree that we have to rule something in before we rule it out. If walking through the woods at dusk I see an animal coming towards me and decide it's not a wolf, because no one has seen a wolf in the area recently, I've reached a dead end. I'm no further along in determining what it is. If, on the other hand, I consider that although unlikely it might be a wolf, I can take steps to protect myself. And the good news is that as the animal gets closer to me, I get closer to the truth, because the wolf has given me criteria for comparison. I see now that it is smaller than a wolf and has a more pointed snout. It might be a fox or maybe a Sheltie dog. And,as it gets even closer, and can see it’s tail......