QQ#3 — Greg Koukl, Relativism: Feet Firmly Planted in Mid-Air

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Relativism“People can wax eloquent in a discussion on moral relativism, but they will complain when someone cuts in front of them in line. They’ll object to the unfair treatment they receive at work and denounce injustice in the legal system. They’ll criticize crooked politicians who betray the public trust; they will condemn intolerant fundamentalists who force their views on others. Yet these objections are all meaningless in the confused world of moral relativism.”

Link

Issues, Etc.

Here is an interesting five-part interview (on Issues, Etc.) with Dr. John Warwick Montgomery on Christian Apologetics.  Topics include legal evidence, history and approaches to apologetics, and the influence of Christianity.  Dr. Montgomery is a lawyer, professor, theologian, and author.  He is quite witty and clever, and so his interviews are always very informative as well as entertaining.  Check it out.

Part 1 – Speculation vs. Fact
Part 2 – History and Approach
Part 3 – Legal evidence, the Resurrection, Human Rights
Part 4 – Literature and the Arts
Part 5 – Christianity’s Influence

QQ#2 — CS Lewis, “Miracles,” God in the Dock

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GodintheDock.jpg“Whatever experiences we may have, we shall not regard them as miraculous if we already hold a philosophy which excludes the supernatural.”

“Any event which is claimed as a miracle is, in the last resort, an experience received from the senses; and the senses are not infallible. We can always say we have been the victims of an illusion; if we disbelieve in the supernatural this is what we always shall say. Hence, whether miracles have really ceased or not, they would certainly appear to cease in Western Europe as materialism became the popular creed.”

“In order to think we must claim for our own reasoning a validity which is not credible if our own thought is merely a function of our brain, and our brains a by-product of irrational physical processes.”

“No doubt most stories of miracles are unreliable; but then, as anyone can see by reading the papers, so are most stories of all events. Each story must be taken on its merits: what one must not do is to rule out the supernatural as the one impossible explanation.”

“Unless you start by begging the question, there is nothing intrinsically unlikely in the existence of angels or in the action ascribed to them.”

QQ#1 — CS Lewis, “Evil and God,” God in the Dock

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“If thought is the undesigned and irrelevant product of cerebral motions, what reason have we to trust it?”

“If things can improve, this means that there must be some absolute standard of good above and outside the cosmic process to which that process can approximate. There is no sense in talking of ‘becoming better’ if better means simply ‘what we are becoming’ — it is like congratulating yourself on reaching your destination and defining destination as ‘the place you have reached’.

“The difference between the Christian and the Dualist is that the Christian thinks one stage further…to somebody or something far further back, to the ultimate ground of reality itself.”

Dig Deeper.

Saving LeonardoDefeating dangerous, false ideas is more foundational to fixing our problems than the surface-level band-aids we often want to apply to them, however helpful those solutions may seem in the moment.  There are deeper issues to consider.  How we view the world and what is Really Real informs how we act.  For good or for ill.  Consciously or unconsciously.  In short:  “Ideas have consequences.”

An example, cited from Nancy Pearcey’s most recent book:

“As Woolfson writes, evolution has endowed us with ‘genes that make us believe in concepts like the soul,’ but those concepts are illusory.  ‘One day such irrational tendencies might be removed by adjusting the relevant brain circuitry.’  In the meantime, ‘We will have to resign ourselves to the unpalatable fact that we are nothing more than machines.’  The fatal flaw in this theory is that it undercuts itself (emphasis added).  If consciousness is an illusion, then who is conscious of that fact?”[1]

Never mind the cold, ominous undertones here, where human belief is reduced to “irrational tendencies” which can be “removed” simply by “adjusting…brain circuitry.”  (I get chills just thinking about what all that entails.)  As Pearcey points out, this theory not only undercuts itself (defeating itself logically by its own claims), it devalues us as human beings to the point where we see one another as simply “machines,” “heaps of molecules,” or “blobs/clumps of cells or tissue.”

Much more could be said here, but it’s something to think about the next time we see human beings treating one another as something less than what they actually deserve.

1. Saving Leonardo: A Call to Resist the Secular Assault on Mind, Morals, and Meaning (pp. 92-93). B&H Books. Kindle Edition., p. 92-93.