TITLE: Logical Thoughts on God, Science, Religion, and More
By Jacob Gibson
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1. Common sense and the Bible: or why should I give this a thought and not just laugh in your face until you give up and walk away?
If anyone wants a reason to believe in what the Bible says, I'd like to provide three small reasons using logic.
First, starting at the question of life, certain philosophers may question whether or not life is real, and if we're simply living in a dream and nothing is actually real outside of us. (Cue <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=txqiwrbYGrs">David after Dentist</a>: "Is this real life? Is this going to be forever?") There may be no way to prove life is real, just like saying something doesn't exist because we've never seen it, but let's think about this. How would we know we were in a dream unless we had dreams in our sleep as a comparison? And if we can cause changes to others and ourselves, and others can cause changes to themselves and us, how is it we don't have full control of these dreams and can feel things that can't be felt in dreams? Did we fall asleep one night and discovered we haven't awakened yet? It would be better to assume that life is indeed real than to be wrong and live in a reality of our own outside of this reality.
Second, now that we assume that life is real we move on to death. It's a solid fact that every single person who has ever lived has eventually died. (Including Jesus temporarily, excluding Elijah and Enoch according to the Bible, and maybe more) If the odds of dying in the future are 99.9%, we can't assume that we'll be a lucky exception and escape the forever-patient grip of the grave. This probably sounds as obvious as a hippo in our bathtub, but we seem to often forget we are mortal. Death appears to be one of the few certainties of the world.
Third, the question of God. If there is a God out there who made the world and still exists or did exist at one time, would it be impossible for Him to give instructions to people of how He wants them to live? What if he did give instructions to his creation and preserved them and added to them so we would always have them through history? What if His words are available to you and some or all are true despite that they may not all make sense?
"What if" is the question we should always ask. Just because something sounds weird or wrong doesn't automaically make it wrong. If we are going to die some day and there actually is an afterlife, wouldn't it be wise to find out how to get there instead of betting our souls that there isn't one (if we have souls)?
2. Religion and Science: forever fueding spouses?
I've heard it said by some experts that religion is evil because it causes people to believe in things they can't see and live by faith instead of intelligence and reason. People fight wars over their beliefs, let go of common sense, and do terrible things in the name of God. If we didn't have religion, they state, we wouldn't have any of these problems.
This level of ignorance is simply shocking to me, and I must ask myself if they really believe that or just don't want to believe in God or obey Him. What they are saying is either that more bad than good has come from religion, or that nothing good has come from it. Religion is necessary and you can't get rid of it. We need religions to find a meaning to our lives, try to be a better person, and better understand the world and the things we can't see. To say that we should let go of religion is like saying we shouldn't use knives because some people get hurt by them, or we shouldn't drive cars because some people cause accidents and die. (Or airplanes!) Anything that can be used for good can be used for evil.
Some have also claimed that science needs to be separate from religion and since God is part of religion, He can't be part of science. Again, I can't believe the arrogance and foolishness of this thinking. Science is not just the observation and study of what is but also the search to understand what is, how it is, and why it is by means of theories. It is the sensing of what lies around us and the guessing of how it works. Science, in the definition of the standard of reality, is not all fact and not fully understood, and likely never will be fully understood.
Science could also be tarnished by the theory of evolution, where some have argued that many scientists ignore facts or change reality so their findings will support the theory. If that is true, this is backwards research and quite unacademic. You couldn't change the questions on a test to fit your answers and expect to pass, so how do these people get away with it? Evolution, though it may excuse our bad behaviors and actions, offers no hope to us for life after death or even life before death. The only hope evolution and science provides is that some day we may discover the secret to immortality, or highly advanced beings from another planet will show up and reveal the secrets of the universe.
Just because God is a part of religions doesn't mean He shouldn't be considered scientific. If some strange people found a way to make a religion out of natural selection and survival of the fittest, scientists wouldn't drop it just because of that. Science is the study of the world God made, common sense telling us it was made, and it's not only wrong but stupid to skew facts if we don't like the answers we find. If you keep coming back to the same answer... could it be that it's true?
Some may ask where God came from. One could respond by asking where matter came from in the process of the big bang, and what caused the matter to spin around, stick together, and explode. We have to realize that there are some things we'll never understand, and one of those things is time. Becuase we've always lived in the limits of time we can't grasp the thought of eternity or a period of time where there was no time in the past and is none in the future. If God created the universe, could He not also create time?
I like to think of time as a large fish tank, and we are all fish living and moving through the water in the limits of the walls and floor. God, on the other hand, is like the pet store owner who can walk around the fish tank and even stick His hand in it if He so chooses to help them. The one who makes the walls obviously doesn't have to be held back by them.
3. I know nothing... except that which I don't know
A couple months ago, I was talking with a friend who I met on faithwriters and we were talking about different subjects when we eventually stumbled into the topic of religion. It all began when she said that Allah and God are the same and asked me not to disagree but, not being one to keep quiet to make everyone happy, I disagreed. This started a lenghty debate about whether or not Islam is a peaceful religion and if Jesus is the only way to God. I don't know much about Islam (at least not enough), but I've read through the Bible and have many thoughts on it, so I went with that. We talked about it until we both grew weary of it and decided to take a break.
One of the things she said has stayed with me and made me think more than most things. She said: "You only believe that because of what you've been told." After a short time of thinking about this, though it shouldn't have taken that long, I suddenly realized an obvious fact and error in that accusation. She too believes what she does because of what she's been told, so is there a valid point in saying I believe differently because I've been told differently? All of us believe things because we've heard them and hopefully not without careful thinking and reasoning.
How can you know which sources are telling the full truth and which aren't? Who can you trust to tell the truth from pure motives and not for greed, power, or fame? If a man or woman is labeled an expert, by a group of other men or women who somehow have the right to give them that label, how do we know the experts are always right and honest? History has shown how many "experts" were completely off on their ideas, and it took unpopular people--labeled uneducated, strange, or insane--years of work, debate, and mockery to shift the way of thinking.
In my opinion, this girl is definitely smart and friendly but she believes what probably most people believe because of what they've heard on mainstream TV programs and educational material. I believe that a large minority or small majority can often be more correct than a large majority or small minority. When someone is full of popular "information" from a lot of "reliable experts" from "reliable sources" and that individual comes to face with a thought that doesn't confirm what they've learned, they might have great trouble agreeing with that person or even giving a fair chance to think about it, despite it's logic.
4. He can't talk about God like that! You can't talk about God like that!
*This is my first editorial to ever submit and it actually made it in the Waterloo Courier newspaper. I wanted to say more but 200 words was the limit. If I could redo it I probably would take out the word "huge"*
I'm probably not the only one bothered by Mr. Cawelti's column last week. [Jan. 24 "Meanings of Haitian Earthquake"] He said: "pray all you want, but cash works better," "there may be no justification for whorshipping a supernatural being..." and "As long as [the Salvation Army] don't spend money and time trying to convert sufferers." This reveals a huge lack of open-mindedness. First, how can you positively know that prayer doesn't help? Is he all-knowing? Not saying don't give, but don't stop praying either. Second, we should stop blaming God for the world’s problems. What's harder to believe? That God intentionally made a bad world or that He made a good world that we wrecked? (Genesis 3, Romans 5) Third, the Salvation Army has the right to witness to people after helping them since it's their own charity and not government-run.
I may not be a professor but I know that even the smartest people can be wrong and everyone needs open-mindedness. If not, why should anyone listen to what Cawelti has to say? However, I agree that it's important to donate to help the Haitians, and sometimes bad things happen as part of chance and not punishment. (Jesus said this in Luke 13:1-5)
5. You're not open-minded, you just have a hole in your brain
Something else I really wanted to say in that article, and I will probably be accused of by more than one observer, is the question of myself having an open mind. Since I quoted scripture and am a follower of Christ, does that make me closed-minded? I don't believe so.
Someone who is really open-minded will search for answers and truth everywhere, and if they find something that could be true, they should stay with that until/unless they discover evidence that it doesn't hold water. (Or at least not enough to bathe in) I believe that open-mindedness is not believing or disbelieving everything equally but giving everything equal thought. Skepticism is fine as long as you are skeptical about everything and prepared to put faith in something you may not fully understand.
6. I find your lack of faith... confusing
I am often surprised at how some people have trouble believing the miracles that happened in the Bible by God, or another person through God, past or present. If God could exist before time, write the laws of the univere, and make everything from nothing, why would it be so hard for Him to make something from something? Raise people from the dead? No sweat. Stop the Earth from moving for a few hours? Piece of cake. Oh how we underestimate Him. (Especially the History Channel)
7. Leftover thoughts
I find it funny how smart we think we are. When we're children we think we know everything and often need to be corrected. When we're teenagers we admit we weren't very wise as children but now we REALLY know everything. Then we get older and admit we were fools then but now we know almost everything. Finally, we reach the end of life and through hindsight we realize that a little humility and honesty to ourselves would have done us much good.
Through faith comes hope and love, through love comes faith and hope, and through hope, faith and love are strengthened.
We all want what is good and true in life, but the closer some people get to the source of goodness and truth, the more they are offended and reject it.
Presently light and darkness dwell together, but one day they shall be separated from each other forever.
For everyone who supports abortion for one reason or another, ask yourselves this question. Do people have souls? If not, there's no problem in killing babies (or killing anyone really). But if we do have souls, the next question to ask is when does God put a soul into a body? Is it the moment the baby's head comes out of the womb or before that? What kind of disgusting joke is that? The next question to ask yourself after this is... what are you thinking?
The faster something is moving in one direction, the more resistance is required to get it moving in the other direction.
What's convenient for one person is always inconveient for another. Your very life required one person to suffer for a period of time, and a believer's eternal life required one person to suffer even more.
God made the dinosaurs!
"Bored" is not a word that should be in a Christian's vocabulary.
I. Green with envy, green money, and green barf
The super bowl ad about the green police frigthened me, because I actually joked about that in my article "Unpopular Solutions for the U.S. Economy." I know that I wasn't the only one to think of it, but it worries me that someone thought that half-serious idea was funny. It's more accurate than they probably know.
II. What am I supposed to do with 200 credits? Want some? :)
I wish I could get more critiques for my work on faithwriters. I appreciate every one I receive but for all the effort I put into my work it would be nice to have more. I do try to give many critiques.
III. Leaders who forget they're servants
When our leaders do what we believe is wrong we can and should stand up for our morals and have the guts to say "No, I don't agree with you and can't support your decision." But when our leaders do what is right we ought to thank them gratefully and show our appreciation the best we can. The government is supposed to serve it's people, not the people for the government.
I'm sure most patriotic citizens are weary of being portrayed like evil morons and stereotyped by extremists, when we just want to make the country better and keep politicians from bleeding it until water comes out. It's not bad enough that the government is so liberal, but now even TV shows, movies, school books, college books, teachers, magazines, newspapers, blogs, and popular opinion have to jump on the garbage truck.
Where are the Martin Luthers of our day who will pound 100 thesis on the doors of the secular, progressive media that hides the truth like it's a dead body? What will it take to find a good president and Congress? Resurrection? *sigh* Thank goodness for Heaven. (Maybe the Republicans should try to elect an American Indian woman so they can accuse the Democrats of being racist <i>and</i> sexist.)
WISE COMMENT FROM LISA GRACE
However, there is one thing I did not see you mention, and might of been worthy of doing so: God never meant for there to be a "religion" - just "Christ Jesus" for our salvation.
It has totally been the people, humankind that have invented all these different types' religions - which inevitably causes the wars, therefore that may have been a good argument as far as the statement being made about religion causing more evil and wars than anything else.
I find this statement typical though, coming from someone that does not believe in God nor know Jesus Christ.
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