Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Quote of the Day: "People who don’t believe the Bible..."

"I find that people who don’t believe the Bible are more impressed with the Bible when I start by arguing with the scientific evidence." -- Wintery Knight.

An interesting take on apologetical method by the Wintery One discussing J. P. Moreland article on the scientifically-validated deleterious effects of promiscuity.

From a preaching point of view, the approach would be the opposite, i.e., preach the word, and illustrate by scientific confirmation.

And the beat goes on...

h/t Dan Hannon for pointing out the mis-attribution of the quote in the original post.


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24 comments:

Anonymous said...

While those who understand the scientific method don't take a book that claims that bats are birds, that donkeys and snakes can talk, or that "Elijah was taken up to heaven on a tornado" seriously to begin with.
SDC

RkBall said...

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

1. The Bible is not using scientific categories; bats are flying entities. The Bible never says "bats are birds". That is your "eisegesis".

2. The Bible does not say that donkeys or snakes can talk; if it did, the talking donkey would not be a miraculous one-off occurrence. What it does claim is that the God of creation is also a God of miracles.

And the snake is best viewed as metaphorical -- like when the US is likened to an eagle flexing its muscles.

3. Whirlwind, tornado, close enough. Again, this is not a normal occurrence -- it is miraculous. Are you suggesting that God would be incapable of pulling off such a feat?

The Bible does say that God is capable of miraculous interventions in the normal course of events -- which he has established and maintains.

Your problem is not that persons like J. P. Moreland take the Bible seriously, but that you don't take it seriously enough.

Finally, the scientific method is a tool for apprehending reality, limited by its assumptions and methods in what it can discern and ascertain. When the only tool in your toolkit is a hammer, the whole world looks like a nail.

winteryknight said...

Ha! Thanks for linking to me! I learned my view of linking faith with public knowledge from J.P. Moreland and Walter L. Bradley.

RkBall said...

So... that WASN'T you posting as Anon/SDC??!!

Anonymous said...

Wrong, wrong, wrong AGAIN;
1. Your little magic book most certainly DOES claim that bats are birds, as it lists them in Leviticus 11:19 as a "fowl" that may not be eaten.
2. It gives examples of both of these creatures speaking, and claiming that magic somehow "explains" this isn't any more believable than the Muslims' claim that Mohammed rode a winged horse over Jerusalem; or is this just another example of special pleading on behalf of your cult?
3. If this wasn't just a bronze age fairy tale, that would mean that your imaginary "heaven" would be visible somewhere in the atmosphere; Try as I might, It doesn't seem to show up anywhere on Google Earth; is all that it takes to get you brainwashed cultists to buy a lie is to say it was magic?
SDC

RkBall said...

I'll say it again. The Bible does not say, "bats are birds", where birds are a scientific classification. Words are words. Their meaning has to be taken from their etymology, cultural context, etc.

"Also, we must be aware that it is modern science that has a different classification system than ancient times. To the ancients, creatures such as a bat were considered birds since they categorized all flying animals as birds. If that is the category that they used, then they were correct. It is not an error. It is a difference of categorization procedures. The critic has imposed upon the ancient text a modern system of categorization and then said that the Bible is wrong. This is a big error in thinking."

RkBall said...

"isn't any more believable than the Muslims' claim that Mohammed rode a winged horse over Jerusalem; or is this just another example of special pleading on behalf of your cult?"

No, it is not. It is believed, and believable, because of the overall context in which it is found, i.e., the Hebrew Bible. If it were found in Islamic writings, or in ancient fables, then I would disbelieve it.

RkBall said...

http://rkbentley.blogspot.com/2010/02/how-to-answer-bible-says-that-bats-are.html

This says it better than I just did.

Anonymous said...

1. Your little magic book is careful enough to differentiate among every OTHER type of fish and animal, so why not in this case? Once again, you hold your little magic book of fairy tales to a lower standard than you would for any other cult's fairy tales.
2. Why should I buy this when you obviously don't buy it for any other cult, fool? Once again, we see nothing more than "my little magic book is true because my little magic book says my little magic book is true"; if you tried looking at your cult with the same sort of sceptical eye you reserve for other cults for once, you might realize that there is nothing more to your fairy tales than there are to theirs.
3. And, once again, "my little magic book is true because my little magic book says my little magic book is true"; can you REALLY not see why this is any sort of a convincing argument, or have you been brainwashed past the point of thinking logically?
If this "Elijah" character was "taken up to heaven on a tornado" as your fairy tales claim, that means that this "heaven" would have to be somewhere within the atmosphere, fool; or are you just going to write it off as "magic" in order to avoid the fact that science totally demolishes this claim?
SDC

RkBall said...

"1. Your little magic book is careful enough to differentiate among every OTHER type of fish and animal, so why not in this case? "

Read the Bentley blog post.

RkBall said...

" if you tried looking at your cult with the same sort of sceptical eye you reserve for other cults..."

In fact, I came to faith in Christ, and belief in the reliability of the Bible, after a three-year investigation in which I examined all the major belief systems -- religious and otherwise. It is because I have found Christ to be real and true that I believe in the OT -- because he does.

RkBall said...

"3. And, once again, "my little magic book is true because my little magic book says my little magic book is true"; can you REALLY not see why this is any sort of a convincing argument, or have you been brainwashed past the point of thinking logically?

When someone or something makes an assertion either about itself or something else, you can believe it provisionally, investigate it, and reach a conclusion. Getting to know the author of a work helps one reach a conclusion about the work itself. And it is the Christian's claim, as much as you might recoil at this, that we have come, through Christ, to know God, the Author life, and the Inspirer of the Bible.

RkBall said...

"If this "Elijah" character was "taken up to heaven on a tornado" as your fairy tales claim, that means that this "heaven" would have to be somewhere within the atmosphere, fool; or are you just going to write it off as "magic" in order to avoid the fact that science totally demolishes this claim?"

You might want to start by doing a bit of a word study on what the Hebrew word for heaven means. At its most basic, it means simply, "sky". Do you really think that it is impossible for a person to be taken up into the sky by a tornado (to put the most physicalist/literalist sense on this passage)?

No? You want to put a spiritual interpretation on it, and interpret heaven in the higher celestial, non-physical spiritual sense? Fine. Do you really think that science, which seeks natural explanations for natural phenomenon, and which limits the answers it finds to materialistic causes, is an adequate instrument for assessing the truth claims of a non-material event or reality?

Not sure what you are so angry about...

Anonymous said...

1. Done; Bentley claims that "well, they didn't know that bats weren't birds, so we can give them a pass on this mistake"; remind me again, aren't you claiming that SCIENCE can somehow "prove" your little magic book, instead of demonstrating the exact opposite?
2. Sure you did; I've asked you about this nonsense before, and (just like now) you refused to answer; gee, that must either be some powerful "proof" you have there, or you realize that anyone else can see it for the nonsense it is.
3. As much as you would like to believe otherwise, voices in your head and wishful thinking doesn't amount to evidence for the "truth" of your cult.
4.Your cult makes a claim that is plainly a lie, and all you can do is the equivalent of saying "oh well, it was real magic, and you don't expect real magic to be held to any sort of standard of evidence, logic, or proof, do you?" You wouldn't buy that BS from anyone else in the business of selling anything else (least of all another cult) so how can you expect anyone to buy it from you?

RKBentley said...

To the anonymous poster,

Your summary of my point is about the the worst I've ever heard. I didn't say, “well, they didn't know that bats weren't birds, so we can give them a pass on this mistake.” For those not interested in reading my original post instead of your poor paraphrase, I will paraphrase it more correctly here.

The Hebrew word “oph” is translated as “bird” (“fowl” in the KJV). The Hebrew word means “winged.” I understand that the modern word “bird” has a specific meaning. However, that's a fairly recent classification and even though you classify birds separately from bats, you do not have a monopoly on methods of classification. Are you seriously claiming the Bible is wrong because it identifies bats as “winged”?

Besides, the Bible is more correct than you think. The Jews were allowed to eat certain kinds of winged creatures yet Leviticus warns them not to eat certain winged creatures including bats – even though they're winged. In other words, the Bible is already distinguishing bats from certain other types of winged creatures.

I hope you visit my blog again. God bless!!

RKBentley

RkBall said...

1. Done; Bentley claims that "well, they didn't know that bats weren't birds, so we can give them a pass on this mistake";

He doesn't say this. You are making a “reverse etymology” error in Bible interpretation. You are flogging a dead horse. Read the article.

http://rkbentley.blogspot.com/2010/02/how-to-answer-bible-says-that-bats-are.html


"remind me again, aren't you claiming that SCIENCE can somehow "prove" your little magic book"

No, I am not.

Anonymous said...

In other words, your entire blog post on this issue has been a lie; "I find that people who don’t believe the Bible are more impressed with the Bible when I start by arguing with the scientific evidence." directly implies that scientific evidence supports your little magic book of lies, when, in fact, it does exactly the opposite.
Second, Bentley is using EXACTLY the "logic" I've already pointed out, that "if they didn't know any better, we can't fault them for including bats with birds"; that PROVES that we have nothing to learn from the bronze-age barbarians that wrote your little magic book, whether in terms of science OR morals.

RKBentley said...

Obviously you're in denial. I'm going to try this once more.

I never said nor implied that the ancients didn't know any better than to call bats "birds." The fact of the matter is they NEVER CALLED BATS BIRDS. They called bats "winged." If you ask me, it's you that is having a problem here. Can't you see that bats are winged?

"Bird" is a modern word with a modern meaning. The word didn't exist when the Bible was written. You are forcing the modern word "bird" with its modern meaning onto the Hebrew word for "winged" and then claiming they are wrong. That's about as ridiculous as saying that Spanish speaking people are "wrong" for calling the English number "one" "uno."

RkBall said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RkBall said...

RKB:

SDC is arguing against a brittle fundamentalist mechanical view of inerrancy which is not an argument I am making.

But, it's interesting. You post an article that says that scientific evidence coheres with biblical sexual morality and the response you get is, "oh yeah, the Bible says bats are birds!".

Atheists spend a lot of their time obsessing on biblical minutia -- bats vs birds, and a big one for me last summer -- the fall of Tyre and Sidon and the supposed failed prophecy.

Kind of like swallowing a camel while straining at gnats!

Anonymous said...

And yet, somehow, you can convince yourself that these scientifically-illiterate barbarians have something to teach modern people about science? Give your head a shake, before your cultist brainwashing causes what's left of your sense to leak out your ears.
And Mr. Bentley, if these people didn't have the sense to differentiate bats from birds (as they did for everything else) that tells me they have no more useful information on biology than a native tribe in Kenya that worships a"volcano god" has on geology; they are simply gullible superstitious automatons who ascribe what they don't understand to "magic".

Joe said...

Its unfortunate that SDC is not a linguist or a scientist because he is posting nonsense. Hebrew is a language that uses descriptors instead of nouns. Thus instead of using a word like "bird" they will use a word like "winged". English on the other hand uses nouns instead of descriptors and thus will use words such as bats or birds instead of a word like "winged". Translating any descriptor language to a nominative language is very tricky I suppose the best way to get the point across is to use the English word 'Seafood'. It can mean fish, crab, lobster, oysters etc. Would anyone be so silly as to think that because a book uses 'seafood' the author doesn't know the difference between a clam and a trout?

RkBall said...

Right.

RkBall said...

Seafood is a good analogy.

"... nothing intellectually compelling or challenging.. bald assertions coupled to superstition... woefully pathetic"