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A SIMPLE APPROACH TO CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS
In various sites, systematic and detailed accounts of this subject have been made , as for example in
DEITY AND DESIGN, DESIGNATION AND DESTINY,
LIGHT DWELLS WITH THE LORD'S CHRIST,
Possess Your Possessions, Volume 9, Ch. 2),
Dig Deeper ... Ch. 1,
Reasonable, for God is! Ch. 1,
What is the Chaff to the Wheat! Chs. 3 and 4.
All this Rot about Not Believing,
See also later:
Mercyoutdistancesjudgment, Chs. 4, 5 and 6,
Department of Bible ... Volume 11, Chapters 4, 17, 21,
Department of Bible ... Ch. 11.
Many more items in this systematic and broad branching field may be seen in the Apologetics item in the index.
Today however, it is an outline from one particular approach which is in view, in order to help crystallise the underlying simplicity of much in this field.
We can look in broad outline at 7 BRANDS of approach.
FIRST IS THE SUPERNATURALISTIC. Here the proposition is simple: 'Nature' did not make itself before it was there to do it, and the imagination that it was always there does not fit with the degradation of available energy as in the Second Law of Thermodynamics. It does not matter how many imaginary things run down, there HAS to be an initial running up or nothing CAN run down.
Further if "it" were always there, we have then the need to be recipient of law and order, form and function, reticulation and articulation, thought and abort, spirit and conformism, if causality is to be considered. Where did 'it' get these ? Since there is no source in nothing, 'it' always had them. If not (Causes*1), then explanation is voluntarily avoided, so making any such a position irrelevant to logic. Supernaturalism is not an option; its tenets are fact.
SECOND IS THE NATURALISTIC. Some of the problems of this question-begging substitute for thought have been noted above. Types of it include the
As to Naturalism in its basic state, it does not answer query of mind, merely positing an entity neither explained nor explicatory of the manifold issues in view (cf. Ch. 3, above, at Appendix), or nothing entirely, or nullity of thought as the basis of thought, or even the absurdity of no basis AS the basis. The reader might care to see Secular Myths and Sacred Truth on such topics, or on the hilariously question-begging Big Bang, which neither in its initial begging of the question, nor in its later work-outs fails to be discountenanced.
On this, see for example:
Cascade of Truth ... Ch. 6 ,
TMR Ch. 7,
TMR Ch. 5 as marked,
The Word and the Wisdom of God and the Ways of Men Ch. 1,
The Defining Drama Ch. 3,
Lively Lessons in Spiritual Service Ch. 5,
Dig Deeper ... Ch. . 1,
Messiah, Jesus Christ Ch. 3
THIRD comes the IMPLOSIVE generic, Hinduism as a basic example, and in this you have ALL as ONE. You have to bring in all that is to some sort of generic tissue, and then you may generate or acclaim various gods of one kind or degree or another, who supervise, contribute to, or are figureheads for various things like creation or destruction. Everything has to be brought into a sort of collapsed or all-inclusive totality, the brilliant and the stupid, the destructive and the creative, war and peace, until you pause. It is one thing for someone to be limited in mind or body, whereas someone else is more or less so. In that case, it is simple. Someone has a feature in one degree, someone in another, one in height, the other but weakly; and again, one may be absorbed in one feature, and another defective in it, so that contradictions may occur in some areas, like love and hatred, and we note this, and watch it, seeing the variations as data, those so disposed or talented, each as a topic.
you try to make ALL the ingredients of EVERYTHING come into ONE being, one
plank, one platform, one concurrence that is the works, then you have some
ONE thing which is coherent in contradiction of another, in a being which
is itself a contradiction,
being itself both of the opposites at once, as one. This does not do. All
attempts to put all things simply into one, simply lead to contradiction.
You may DO a brilliant essay and a stupid twisting of prose, but to BE
these things is not a rational matter, in part or in whole.
Then you have the EXPLOSIVE type of naturalism. In this, all these features, gods or glories, arrangements and cohesions are simply sent out in a spiritual big bang, which does not cease, and at least has some base. Start with Hinduism and 'reform' it so that everything which any were attempting to combine in various dimensions or types of being, is now sent OUT, thrust out, like unwanted guests. While to the extent it is in fact done, this removes a self-imposed harassment, it has its own unsustainability.
Now ONE is all. It is not inclusive any more, but exclusive. That is, what is going along is all there is, more like a featureless plain, its modes and manners to be noted, its origin systematically ignored. Here simple atheism in practice replaces endeavours to accommodate variety and oddity in a comprehensive attempt at one being. That is now out, outré, and a minimum residue sits there.
Now occurs an explosion, a kind of religious big bang, as ineffective as the other question-begging beginning, that could never explain even itself! NATURE JUST IS, so the point is just to live with it and within it. How you KNOW this is so if you are only a part of a system where there is no truth, because if there were, it would have to be outside the system, enabling the viewing of it with an objectivity which the system does not provide: this is always a problem in such cases. You despatch the basis for truth and then announce it, like a revolution which despatches cruelty, and imposes itself by cruelty.
No more is the effort, at least in feeling, to embrace all in one; for one being all, that is all there is to it, except of course in some making Buddha into a god, when he acted to dispose of such entities in his truncated presentation! Now you not only desist from having some relationship to the diversity of principle and to any coherence of all things; now you ignore such things in a religion. It is as if a collective sigh of relief comes, saying, It is great to be unconcerned with all that! What you have, you have; and what is around just HAS IT.
Thus it's there, and so one has it do this and that, since it IS now there. It is a logical lapse from Buddha to current naturalism. (On such religions, and their ramifications, see for example SMR pp. 995-1026, 269-332, 1011-1026, 1085ff.). Many of Buddha's religious descendants seem to want not only to bring back some kinds of god, or gods, but in Buddha himself, a part of the one with every other one, a place of godlike exaltation. In this, it is like a revolution against monarchy, whose leader is made monarch. The revolution explains nothing, deals with anything as processive, and ignoring the ultimates, gets on with living. It is thus a sort of stylised atheism, resting on nothing, arresting nothing, a procedural approach, bereft of basis.
Next you have an EXPANSIVE naturalism. In tis case, for example, WILL becomes as with Schopenhauer, most important. It IS there, after all, so why disregard it! It DOES act in terms of what is imagined, envisaged, dreamed, hoped, what would invade, pervade, change, control and in fact,will makes vast impacts concerning the continuity or discontinuity of the race. What might be called VOLUNTARISM demands an entry. You cannot just act on a materialistically deterministic basis, for you have enormous power to envisage, conceive, intervene and alter it, almost but not quite, to extinction. God has that final power.
That is defeat in the face of data. It is only your mind which provides determinism with so much as stateability; and on the validity of mind (if this did not in any case violate that quality) does this approach itself have to find its rest. It may deny it, but it cannot avoid it.
It relies on what is not acknowledged in its base, a house not only built on sand, but in a field where it excludes even sand from foundation in principle! It is certainly an advanced case.
It is itself dependent on mind, its very proposition a product of mind as an approach; and in the pervasively uncomprehensive character of other kinds of naturalism, there is no explanation of the power of man to lampoon his source, dismiss this or that evidence by wilful guile or wanton recklessness, which itself may change to repentant realism. Indeed, assumed is an insane race (with pleasant philosophic exceptions for some unknown reason, in the makers of such theories). Why then man broadly experiences guilt because he knows he pondered whether he would wave away an action now regretted, and chose the principles on which he decided to act; but the reductionist alley has other ideas.
The power to grant waiver to certain disruptive, dispersive and devastating things chosen to be, in terms of principles chosen to apply, this is disregarded from the data, despite the virtually universal character of the phenomenon. Sometimes indeed, a principle is taken, a person having so chosen after powerful thought, but the failure was simply ... a failure to apply it. What of this case, chosen principles, with results, but failed will or attention to apply them ? What is the reaction to that ? It simply becomes one more dimension for guilt. It is one species of failure. It may have been low aim which failed, or high aim, but it is still failure. So men will, exercise volition, dream, desire and do, courageous or outrageous; and men profit or die in millions, in myriads, as some will and ACT on it. The will ? it is based on imagination or desire or frustration or self-vindication or illusory and unsubstantiated dreams, or lust, or covetousness, or racial, family, tribal, national or international glory; or to avoid shame. It is as broad as thought and as wild as dreams, vapid or rapid, repetitive or solitary, group or individual.
But where is the basis for such will in an interwoven, relativistic all in one 'nature' ? It is one which is really too hard to serve as a god, though many make formulations concerning it as their ultimate mental resting place and limiting border for thought, and do so without reason, and contrary to reason, since mere existence does not include knowledge of the nature of it, its assessment in truth, or indeed truth at all as such, there being no standard. How come ? from what has it come ? Why is it so powerful and why can it so command so far for so long, even if it fails after prodigies of suffering, be these personal, individual, family, racial or national.
As with ALL naturalism, you have if rational, very limited answers. Thus IF all were EVER altogether nothing, then it is logically impossible ever to have anything, for nothing has neither past nor present nor future, for these are not nothing; and for it to have them, it would first of all have to be something, and then to be something which had something, so presenting a universe in vehement self-contradiction repetitively. If there were ALWAYS something, the only rational possibility to explore (and Paul Davies has made some nice changes here), is that it is eternal by its own nature. If at any time, there were absolutely nothing, altogether, then for ALL time this would be so. But it is not so. Hence something has ALWAYS been there.
There is only one question. Was it subject to growth and development, a teeny-weeny sort of something, or was it other than this ? Leaving the flashings of imagination behind for a moment, let us be realistic. If the eternal something were inadequate for ALL THINGS, then they could not happen; but they did. Hence it must have been adequate ALWAYS for all things. If at ANY time it were inadequate, and that were ALL altogether all that was 'there', then that would be a limit for all future modes and moves on from that point, and the actual data could never arrive.
But they did.
It MUST therefore always be adequate for all things, never inadequate, and as ETERNAL SOURCE it has this base level. It is in fact not very base! To BE the adequate basis for brilliance and genius, horror and helplessness, matter and the human mind and spirit, is no mean feat. It stands because PRODUCTION is not BEING, and what you choose to do is not the same as what you are, and wisdom can be very deep, with coherent plans, as is the biblical case, involving mercy and judgment, love and condemnation, artistry and power alike.
Man knows such things, for in highly diminutive form, he DOES them himself; some more than others indeed.
Such a Creator is infinitely past merely BEING such things as derivatives; man has even yet with millenia behind him, no way to make the liberty of spirit which is not just programmed. The more he tries to do so, the more he programs; and the more he tries to 'leave it alone', the more he contrives situations already made, so that they might BE left alone. Leaving alone a system made is scarcely liberty; though scope for the supra-systematic aspirations of man is of another kind. This indeed is the point in miniature.
It is logically easy to the point of delight to consider MAKING things so that either directly or indirectly they become or are brilliant or stupid, horrid or wonderful. One way is to make them, in some levels, free from programming by a device known as personhood. (broader than manhood or womanhood or childhood). It leaves out those details in order to specialise on the topic itself.
In this, you have a spirit which thinks, uses mind, estimates, considers, decides to be honest or to equivocate (as many often do), rejects reasons, or gives specious reasons full well knowing they are such, lies and is guilty of fraud or even delights in it as if a game; or instead, even it may even hallow truth.
This corruptibility of personhood is a liability of the grant of freedom, a necessity for the grant of love. There is nothing in things botched but there is much in what is liberated to love and find, explore and counsel, consider and seek principles, find what is there or avoid it with passionate and wilful ignorance.
If such a spirit is made, so that it may love or hate, then you will expect to have wars, and ideologues of vast intensity, since commitment is in view, and things collide unless wisdom is used, which is observationally not common, with possible atrocities which now become actualities as if delusion were the order of the day. And biblically, of course, it is (Revelation 6, II Thessalonians 2). Delusion is now the currency of living commerce for many an individual, nation and power bloc. What it MUST have is eventually unsustainable in life and in time, since it is an error message, subjected to worship. That is not all, but it is the disease type, when it launches into the space imagination, unmoored from reality,
Thus expansive naturalism, keen on will, an observed entity, not content to be systematically reductionist, naturally leads us to creationism and supernaturalism as an antidote to folly,a necessity for basis, and a submission to reason. Its practitioners may and sometimes do resist what reason demands, but while reason is a great guide to truth, and one implanted in us, the pursuit of its precepts is by many avoided, like an impending collision, that with their wills!
On the other hand you have RECESSIVE naturalism, or deterministic materialism, already noted in its own right, which makes no attempt to account for things in terms of adequate causality, and hence cannot logically, legitimately defend itself. Here it is seen in the dynamism of the developing options.
On this further, see for example
Repent or Perish Ch. 7,
It Bubbles ... Ch. 9,
Christ Incomparable ... Ch. 2.
For some of its detailed derelictions, see for example Wake Up World! Your Creator if Coming Chs. 4 - 6.
With these, there is IRRATIONALISM. This EXPLICITLY retires from reason and so cannot be defended, for to do this, you NEED reason, to present your reasons for accepting such a position, and if not, being rationally mute, you are not a contestant. On this, see for example Barbs ... 6 and 7.
You simply have to show by reason what all data show by observation, if you are to be rational at all, and explain it coherently and comprehensively. If you baulk, you withdraw from explanation, having no consistent power left with which to reason. If you pursue it consistently, you come insistently to the God of the Bible, the Christ sent for salvation, and the power of the Creator, not stopping at the start, but in the remedy of salvation
(e.g. as in
DEITY AND DESIGN, DESIGNATION AND DESTINY,
LIGHT DWELLS WITH THE LORD'S CHRIST).
As shown so often on this site, this is the case with biblical Christianity alone, since there alone is an adequate and attested, testable and validatable basis for reason to consider, where channel by channel, all is shown adequate, cohesive, coherent, capable of handling both detail and dynamic at every level. This includes the datum of love and its scope of application to vast levels, as domestically likewise, since without freedom love is illusion, and the tissue of the loving heart is delusion, mere reaction which like mere reaction, is both variable and not morally assessable. Such reductionism so far from providing any answer, merely ignores the data. It is easy to do that. It is just that, as with a chemical experiment, where data which cannot be voided is simply avoided, it then becomes the height of the irrelevant, an escape from reason and what you 'find' fails to regard reality.
If there is no escape from reason, how much less is there any escape from God, the Eternal Adequacy, who in providing liberty and love, has made His word clear, not only in the DNA and its multitudes of constructive commands, revisionist facilities and overseeing functions, within itself, but in the only testable book for the human eye, which is both verified and validated.
LIGHT DWELLS WITH THE LORD'S CHRIST
as work as shown in detail in SEARCH as marked.
In this same Bible, you find that the love of God is an embracive love, neither tyrannical nor unreasonable - for you can openly despise truth even while asserting it true that it is despicable, with all manner of self-contradictions. The result of such irrational ramblings resembles Berlin bombed, just after World War II - in overwhelming disarray. For all that, love waits. It is not domineeringly possessive. It is stark, having no limits, and real, having no delusions. What excludes it, may do so, and while it may bring in appeal, as a father may for his son, yet it does not force it like bureaucratic governments, dogmatic and doctrinaire ones such as increasingly have in subversion of truth, entered into some Western nations.
For such nations in their educational conspirings against the Lord, what is provided increasingly becomes an educationally forced plan, so that what is taught as science in the field of origins and meaning, is likewise in the field of what is never seen to happen, what has no rational basis and in seeking theories, proceeds the furthest possible from the data in hand, to hand out 'explanations' in other domains, with no points of contact! (cf. Scientific Method ...). Here irrationalism and anti-scientific method are married, and the children subjected to these tyrannies, are the victims.
But love: it differs from all this. It is kind; nor is it merely diplomatic, like those who stalk the earth with words of input and content of a strange character, saying much, meaning little, till the next adjustment. The way of love is clear, incisive, decisive, but not coercive. It appeals, exhorts, seeks, uncovers motives, shows truth; indeed "love rejoices in the truth."
Man is made personal, and to deny it is merely an illustration that it is there! He who made him provides the testimony of both the Bible and the central Messiah first predicted in it, then projected into man from His eternal place as the Word of God. As to the word of God, what it says, it does, which should appeal to the scientific mind, and in many, this is precisely the case. Scientists like others, are grossly divided in this field of their opinions in these areas, some following reason, some blithely, arrogantly, tyrannically or persistently, withdrawing at this or that point. In many of that mind, caught in the web of Statecraft, the myths of the secular have their vulgar appeal, reductionist, irrationalist, contra-evidential, employing FORCE in education, as they enshrine it in life. In this at least, this genre is consistent, if obnoxious and guilty of child mental molestation.
This great work of some scientific opinion, some monolith of agreement in this field, is never found in practice. It is woefully apparent how it travails in its stricken soul (even if some like to deny that they have one, thus using it).
What is more monstrous and amusing in a dismal way than Professor Dawkins' confession (on whom see Beauty for Ashes Ch. 3). Evolution, he opined, is observable; it is just that when it happens we are never there to see it (cf. Why Not Believe ? Ch. 12, *4). It is, note for the flush of this fiasco, observable. Where ? Oh, but yes, it has been observed! But this is in some esoteric and brilliant way, perhaps ? Well it is very simple: It is just, relish this, that one has never been there when it has happened. What style of 'observation' is this ? Does he observe that it is never observed! What neo-observation then is this!
We look at our chemistry tubes, our financial markets, make theories. Their basis includes what ? The data on which we rely has what quality ? It is there all right, the expert assures us, oh it is there! The thing happens. Well if so, it is well. But this Dawkins case is different. How then is it observed, let us be specific! The anwswer: It is just that at such time as it DOES happen we are never there to observe it. If this is not faith, sadly unempirical and unattested, what then is it ? Despite its NON-attestation in verification, indeed even as data, nevertheless the eye of faith KNOWS that it is there, that it is happening. It observes in the mind what never has shown the courage or the power to declare itself in the broad light of day. Here there appears to be nothing less than mysticism distilled, religion realised, delusion in deluge.
What is it like ? It is as if to say this. My god is well attested. You have got to be fair. You can find him acting. He really does do it. It is just that when he DOES act, we are never there to see it! As science ? this law is at work ? No, we are told, it really is in operation. It is indeed observable. It is just that when we come to observe it, or would like to do so (fair go! law, get on with it), it never actually DOES IT! This is contra-science of a high order. The beauty of it is the bankruptcy of data. We never see it, cannot induce it, fail to produce it, and are left in awed reverence at the god of naturalism, which is a dream away from the work of the One who is, and attests Himself, in and by the work which He did, which does not now do itself, and which has ceased as He testably claimed.
What then is the routine finding from all of these things ?
It is this.
There is no
the science of scientific method
(rather than of
science of presupposition - as for example,
of materialism, noted freely of himself by Professor Lewontin*2), and
the religion of rationality.
There IS a difference in a model of philosophic kind - attaching itself like a leech to some scientists in this branch on which so much is said with no justification. This leech-like additive is not noticed perhaps as is often the case with leeches at first, and not acknowledged. When as here, it IS acknowledged, horrid as the thing appears, and not brushed off, then is science in the reformatory, moving from what made it respectable, now sinking to the level of commandeering, self-contradictory philosophy. Naturally, there is every sort of contradiction between that sort of 'science' and truth; and when the religion, as with Christianity, is consistently presenting the very necessary basis FOR truth, in God AS truth, then the conflict is like that between light and darkness.
Christianity in debate does not NEED to exempt challenge; it welcomes it. It shows all the more the irrevocably consistent, persistent and insistent verification, validation and confirmation in both principle and particular, in its own deposition and earned authority, of the God of creation and redemption. Here is explained not only the universe and its laws and cause, its wonders and its woes, but the origin for this universe of the combination of the rational necessity of causality and the source for its operation in this same created universe. Here is explained, indeed, why causation as a principle cannot be removed without mere blather* 1, and why this universe is so made that our minds which are also made, can investigate it fruitfully with the logic which is in principle (like motion in the limbs) invested in themselves. These are logical instruments to assess, and they find and relate to logic in the field investigated.
LOGOS in New Testament Greek means word, cause, reason, and Christ as the Logos of God (to use the Greek term) shows His own handiwork in us and in the rest of creation alike. That is also the reason why He could and did heal or raise so many of such diverse sicknesses, nothing baulking Him in His choice of action, while as required, other natural phenomena could also be so overwhelmingly overcome, WHEN and IF they needed action to ACCOMPLISH HIS PURPOSE*2A. These did not make life easy for Him (as in the stark example of the temptation, recorded in Matthew 4); but they were a testimony to His identity.
The power was there for a purpose as always is the case with God; and in human form on saving mission, He used it accordingly. It was not to obliterate, subdue into servile subjection, but to bring peace and reality home to the seeking soul, and grace to the strangled sinner (Luke 15). His coming was not to condemn the world, but that it might be saved (John 3:16-18); and this world in that context, of light coming into its darkness, means what it says, the entirety of His creation as far as mankind in His image is concerned. But what is this limit in love ?
Thus an atomic bomb on a city could remove a number of elements of resistance to whatever you might not want to be providing you with resistance; but it might not fulfil your purpose to treat them in that manner, for you may have a more constructive desire to implement for them, as far as you may. Thus, to take an example, although it assuredly was the purpose of Hitler, in consistent evolutionism and in principle, to remove what he deemed (wrongly in fact) to be inferior and a pollutant of mankind, in an orgy of blood of callow callousness to the uttermost (equalled by the works of Stalin), and he acted on it; yet as here illustrated forcibly, force as the protector, fulfilling agent, developer of life is ludicrous. It needs direction! God and Satan both have force; they use it in different directions, having different purposes. So do many among men.
Many HAVE used it in different directions, and those who love its barrenly blatant character are more than welcome to its surges and insurgencies, follies and failures. The God of creation has left no evidence of blotches, not failures in kind in His myriads of creation types, for they are not to be found in the fossils; but force would do so, having no mind!
Yet they are not there; and He is and His works attest that fact. With man, however, these foozles, follies, fastidious frenzies of the unenlightened boors among men, they riot on the earth, reside in accounts in libraries and are a highly marketable feature among the possessed (cf. II Thessalonians 2:4-10).
As to Hitler, to be sure he was deluded; but the IDEA was abhorrently consistent with the breeding concept of Darwin, for man, not as a choice of that misled philosopher, but as an illustration of the alleged processes that propounded the myriads of laws that operate consistently in man. It works, was the phoney cry; so use it, was the blatant application. It even worked Germany's destruction.
Is it this undirected force that made parents so keen to protect babies, if need be with their lives, the husband his wife and the soldier his country, the pedant the truth! In that rarity that increases its scarcity, namely attested fact, in the Bible, ALL is explained, from creation to curse, from exaltation to degradation, from judgment to salvation, in all depths and dimensions*3 (see *2 below, including the Chapter of its excerpt). In the barren fiasco of force, however, its truly farcical inadequacy to meet empirical fact on the one hand, and what works for man, on the other, is so obvious that it is almost lost to modern thought in this seething day of futile contrivance!
The Bible says much on active delusion, a state perhaps unnoticed and all the more dangerous for that, like a fever in its first inconspicuous onset. It is one of the things biblically explained: for if you do not receive the love of the truth, then there are results (as in II Thess. above). Delusion is readily one of them. It is necessary to regard the data, to look on all things for explanation, and not summarily to reduce the domain 'possible', as in this cult of the forbidden*4, where investigation is short-circuited in its systematic manner, from a young age, and the disastrously unverified and contra-verified evolution (cf. SMR pp. 140ff.), rules like the fist of a corpse, still clenched on the key that does not open.
You need an open mind to truth, for a happy heart and what works, what can be observed in action, tested in past claims and sequentially shown in future operations. It is THAT which is scientific without prejudice, and logical without special pleading. You have a world full of esoterically and brilliantly stored information, on which it largely runs; you have this stopped. Its placements are not found to continue. The things made, however, despite time wearing some out, they continue. God similarly states in the Bible, that He worked, creation the product; and stopped. He declares that He also had salvation available for man who fell through lack of trust and integrity, and DID NOT stop in supplying this. Instead, He made vast numbers of predictions concerning His intention, and invited all (Proverbs 1, Isaiah 55, John 3, Titus 2-3, I John 2:1ff.).
His word continues and all things run according to it. Running away from reality brings short relief; but running to find that salvation, suitable for persons, not automated relics or robots, this though disdained by the intemperate, the feebly philosophical in self-contradictory pursuits, is the course of wisdom.
The magnificence of the wonder is that the One who created, bothers to save (Isaiah 55, 63:1,7-9, Ezekiel 33:11, Micah 7:18ff.), and the One who installed man, offers not shove but love; and the horror, just but searching. is this, that forsaking Him with His mercy, to Him so costly, now leads to results that are like physical disease, both in the mind and in the heart and spirit. What would you ? escape from trial, test, the searching of reality ? If so, join the club; it is vast in size, leads by shove and force, writhes in contradictions, and is a composite of lifelessness, a very basis lovelessness and a habitat for inconsistency.
See also, SMR Ch. 5, Predestination
Section 4, for example.
See The Way of Truth and the Way of Error, Ch. 8, from which the words of this excerpt below, are taken.
RECKLESSNESS, RENEGACY AND REALITY
Naturally, when you consider thus the way of truth and the way of error, there is a serpentine and a straight line. It is only to be expected, as it is consistently found, that such misdirected analytical methods as just noted, in a word 'naturalism in its most popular formulation, fail uniformly, leaving various forms of contusion of thought and contusion of schema. Indeed, some are so blatant in ignoring reality, that they even seek to criticise creation on the ground that it does not conform to naturalistic premises: almost as if some promiscuous person, seeking to show the comparative strength of his position on the sexual topic, were to start by saying that the straight-laced did NOT conform to promiscuity, and hence were in error.
That is not only begging the question, but forgetting entirely what the actual question is. What works best in its own terms, and how may these be established, or disestablished ?: NOT what in one contradicts the terms of the other, what schema differs from the other and is HENCE wrong. These things have to be SHOWN: that is the scientific and logical point.
There is an a fortiori to that. IF something contradicts the basic and underlying terms of logic, and yet uses logic to argue, then it is killed stone dead by self-contradiction which makes any other contradiction logically unnecessary. There the point lies.
Not only does naturalism lead to self-contradiction by the nature of its case, in various forms of begging the question, and removing its hope of validity, but it often leads to explosive statements, even by habitués of its bars and conferences. Thus quite comprehensible is Stephen Gould's cry to heaven in view of the opposite of what is required for some method of naturalism, in its height of nothing to something, something to marvellous inventiveness, being what is found. How could data DO such a thing!
HOW can this be so ! Well might be appeal to heaven, and had he done so in method, he would not have had to experience this revulsion and convolution of mind (cf. Wake Up World... Chs. 4-6, esp. Ch. 6). Again, another Harvard Professor, Lewontin, makes his admission belligerently, like some solider in a defeated army (as in The Splendour of Biblical Coverage... Ch. 3, this chapter entitled The Morbid Fascination with Myths).
Our willingness to accept scientific claims against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to naturalism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by oura priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door. The eminent Kant scholar Lewis Beck used to say that anyone who could believe in God could believe in anything. To appeal to an omnipotent deity is to allow that at any moment the regularities of nature may be ruptured, that miracles may happen.
Here is science in despite, not concurrence with its own methods; here is philosophy as chosen, a beginning for the mind s DESIRED, the antithesis of instruction from what is there. As noted in terms of what is called on this site, THE CULT OF THE FORBIDDEN*3, this just sets blinkers to science, and makes it a party of prejudice, and an implementer of philosophical dreams, take your choice, however militantly.
Yet such militant and inadequate ideology is now normally now used as an alternative to consistent creationism*4, logical rigour and scientific method. It is this which keeps to acknowledged and basic scientific laws in its dealing with extant categories, how the thing works now, and of logic in considering the implications (cf. SMR, TMR)*5.
Alas, when you try to unite as one, all things, to show both how something runs and may be maintained, and how it was produced, you are in a fantasy world of making what is there author of what was not there, before it was there to do it; and fantasies at war with simple fact must fail. Reality corrects them, and as Christ pointed out, shutting the eyes does not help sight (Matthew 13:15ff.). In fact, it eludes it even when it is available. Such self-delusion, self-deception, immolation of logic, such efforts to mythicise reality from mere ideas of part of things, given powers never found or seen, it is quite in line with former times, with no elemental advance in this department*6.
See for example Christ Jesus: The Wisdom and the Power of God, Ch. 8, The Magnificence of the Messiah.
See also SMR Chs.3 , 4 with its Extension, and Ch. 3 in this volume, Appendix. This leads to further detailed presentation in various fields which multiply their impact and in harmonious composition as one with the other is combined. Such is the work of explanation, that it covers without loss in any field. Naturalism has loss through irrationality and limitation alike, together with a non-explicative reductionism in all fields, and is ideal as an example of irrationality (not always confessed! though as in Gould - Wake Up World Chs. 5. and 6 , Nilsson - SMR pp. 108ff., Schűtzenburger - SMR pp. 126ff. and Løvtrup - SMR pp. 252Aff. - deeply assailed in different formats.
In fact, its fault is not least simply this, that it is unnatural, defies causation, relies on dream, ignores non-verification and presents imagination as if it were verification, where verification lacks. Naturalism unnatural ? but of course, what takes all for granted at the outset is naturally unnatural, irrational and founded on sand. You don't account for things by saying Blah! they are there, or they were not there, and lo, they were there, whether in this or that, whether at all or in all. You need ground, cause, reason, basis adequate and rationally explicit.
Unobserved procedures merely aggravate the steal from nothing. The decline in the human genome, as Professor Sanford of Cornell University points out (Wonderful Life, Appendix), is serious; and no superman arrives to lead, while amoral butchers proliferate, like evolution-minded Stalin and Hitler, Mao and others in the vein of what is vain, empty, irrelevant, unsupported and irrational. It was not a good choice, and its naturalistic proposals are not only meeting enemy in fact, direction and dynamic, but in their own brawling midst.
Indeed the very exasperated nature of their various lines of dissatisfaction either with a popular form or the notion itself, along with the case of Professor Stephen Jay Gould as shown in his Wonderful Life, the heartrending, the frustration, the extreme wonder of discontent, are not only symbolic of the combination of fantasy and fact in naturalism, but of its emotional progeny, as dream dwelling on data produces consternation and extreme division among organic evolutionists and their procedural equivalents. This comes as due progeny, amid stress and ludicrous conclusions, simplistic and incoherent, of its posture and stance. Indeed, the dynamic of the dream founded on the alleged nature of the process, becomes hideously unwieldy as it collides with other desiderata (see Ch. 3 below, and Why Not Believe ? 11 ).
All of these things simply illustrate that when you leave God (or make Him an extra, the case is indifferent logically), you have no end of dissonant, devious, unverified, unvalidated, unconcatenated, mutually colliding components. This applies whether to organic evolutionism or to other forms of naturalism.
On the role of validation, in terms of the various approaches in KIND, see:
TMR 5, 7 , It Bubbles ... Ch. 9, esp. *1A,
The Bright Light ... 7,
Repent or Perish, Ch. 7, pp. 152ff.; Ch. 2;
Christ, the Wisdom ... Ch. 6;
BARBS ... 29, 19;
A Spiritual Potpourri Chs. 1-3;
Little Things Ch. 5, Wake Up World! ... Ch. 5, End-Note 1A,
Tender Times ... Ch. 11;
Barbs ... 29, 19;
TMR 8, Grand Biblical Perspectives Ch. 7,
What is the Chaff to the Wheat! Chs. 3, 4, 10, 11,
Deity and Design, Designation and Destiny Chs. 3, *3, 8.
*4 THE CULT OF THE FORBIDDEN
This religious rite which muzzles truth in a field of scientific pronouncements, origins and verifications, is not only contrary to the freedom of scientific method to find answers WHERE THEY ARE, but is guilty of replacing this with finding them WHERE THEY ARE WANTED TO BE. This want follows from presupposition based on religious preference, and as such is rank and a defilement of reason, science, truth and children, youth and older students who are deceived by it. A totalitarian lapse, it is science by notion, exclusive of data as available, only as selected. Like all other propaganda, it is repetitive, nauseous in persistent insistence as in defective method. It simply assumes what it refuses to find out, and insists on such conformity for its devotees and victims alike.
In this, certain areas of data are OUT OF BOUNDS, verboten, as if, Keep Off the Grass! signs were up. As a religiously based phenomenon, reliant on an ultimately materialistic philosophy (or what is effectively the same in practice, one which seeks to ignore what is not found in a purely material setting, and in fact much that IS found in it as well), it deals with the ultimate on its convictions, with the beginnings on its assumptions. These, as noted in this Chapter with its references, are illogical in themselves. It avoids issues and yet pronounces on them, and insists together with all this, that in the very fields where they so glibly parade their philosophy, with religious intensity, there are areas NOT TO BE TOUCHED. Such are the undisciplined disciplines in this part of their subject area, their domain, which thus becomes a sort of quasi-science.
Professor Lewontin of Harvard University has admitted the exclusion, its ground, and not a little of its results! (cf. *2 in Ch. 3 in this volume).
What then of this exclusion ? This is called in this Site, the Cult of the Forbidden, a religiously centred, philosophically commanded, irrationally maintained Refusal to let REASON and the full range of data come into play in the field in question. The father-hand of the State, not only, in Australia to no small extent, insists on this religious reverence for the desideratum, what they treasure above all paths, in State schools. They even direct the schools which many parents in desperation for truth would prefer and even pay for, slighlty independent ones, TO DO THE SAME.
This cult is not limited to temples, but parades in power not only outside but inside schools where many parents already taxed to maintain the schools of the education department of the State, pay in vain to have schools where science with its traditional freedom to find truth where it may, themselves subside into a set-up, a snare, dictated by the arrogance and shame of the State. Here indeed is an intellectual shambles and an irony concerning science, now subject to this take-over. It made its name in seeking truth where it could; it has lost it, in these segments and in this field, by foreknowing it, so that evidence contrary to their Moloch, in despising the scope and needs of humanity, is FORBIDDEN.
Hence this is called, the Cult of the Forbidden.
On this, see further TMR 8, * 7, A Spiritual Potpourri Ch. 4, SMR pp. 150ff..