Atheistism #2: Hung Up On Contemporary Evidence

We’ve all heard it before, the atheist exclamation, “We don’t believe that life rose from the dead (Resurrection) because of the lack of contemporary evidence.” But what is contemporary evidence? While contemporary could mean from the same period, the evidence wanted is from the same time, in other words, they want actual evidence from 30 to 34 AD (the approximate time period of Jesus’ public ministry). In other words, extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.

Existing documentation regarding Jesus centers around the four Gospels, but also includes writings from Josephus, the Jewish historian, Tacitus, the Roman historian, and others. While these writers were born after Jesus’ death–four to twenty-three years–they lived close enough to have talked with eye-witnesses. There are also a wide range of dates given to the writing of the Gospels. Theists generally acknowledge scholars who date the Gospels from 40 to 90 AD, while atheists generally acknowledge scholars who date the Gospels from 100 to 150 AD. In either case, the extant copies are exactly that: copies. In other words, the actual dates are all speculation. By moving the some of those dates ahead by a mere six years, the first writings line up exactly with the time of Jesus’ death on the Cross.

Am I acknowledging the earlier dates because I’m a Christian? Maybe, but I would argue that atheists do the same and acknowledge later dates because they’re atheists. We both have scholars that we find more “trustworthy.” But, it’s more than just listening to scholars; the arguments for later dates just don’t seem plausible to me. And what about the lack of Roman documents from the time, for example, Pilate’s execution order? Simply put, the documents existed at one time, and may still exist. We just haven’t found them yet.

But the problem I have with the claim that there’s no contemporary evidence for Jesus rising from the dead, is that there’s no contemporary evidence that life rose from mud either, however, that doesn’t seem to be a roadblock to belief for the atheist. Well, we can argue that there was no contemporary evidence because the protein, or whatever you want to call it, wasn’t keeping records at the time, but the fact of the matter remains, there is no contemporary evidence. But atheists don’t believe anything without evidence! There’s reasonable evidence to believe that life rose from mud, without the assistance of God, they say. Well, show it to me!

The problem is, they can’t, because there is no contemporary evidence! Sure there are theories, and a few lab experiments that point to possibilities, but lab experiments don’t prove everything. An experiment that works in a lab doesn’t mean it will work in the wild. In fact, to me, a lab experiment is more of an intelligent design concept since it’s set up by intelligent beings to work under specific conditions.

In fact, no where in history, has a person witnessed life arising from mud. There are no eye-witness accounts, and no hearsay. History is silent on the matter, as opposed to say, the Resurrection. But it’s reasonable to dismiss the Resurrection because those documents were written a few years later, possibly even seventy in a worse-case scenario. Compare that to the non-existent contemporary evidence for life arising from mud, based on the same requirement for Jesus, and the atheist claims: reasonable!

But not only is belief in life arising from mud reasonable, it’s proof that God isn’t necessary (as if a lack of necessity determines lack of existence).

I find the atheist claims absurd, but that doesn’t matter. I should follow scientific claims blindly, because I’m not a science expert. I shouldn’t question them, because, after all, scientifict claims are infallible.

If you’re going to live by contemporary experience, live by it. Don’t pick and choose when to apply it.

The atheist isn’t using science to prove that God doesn’t exist, he’s using science to support his bias presupposition that God doesn’t exist. The claims are supported because there is no alternative.

So, in the end, the atheist doesn’t believe that life could rise from non-life in the form of a dead man, but believes that life could arise from non-life in the form of mud. Yeah. That makes sense.

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Atheistism #1: Context Fail

One of the things we are taught about good Bible study, is that we need to keep things in context and while atheists are particularly bad at it, they are even worse at keeping the Bible, as a whole, in context. Atheists present Biblical stories as impossibilities, but they’re looking at it through their own worldview instead of that of the Bible.

An atheist can claim all sorts of impossibilities when discussing Bible writings, but by placing those writings in his definition of real world, one without God, he has taken those writings out of context. After the atheist has taken the Biblical narratives out of their context, they then proceed to make claims such as: we know people don’t rise from the dead, people aren’t born from virgins, and people don’t get swallowed by whales. While these statements make perfect sense in a world without God, that is not the world within the Bible. The stories are recorded in the Bible where God does exist, and in that world, where God is capable of creating the universe, these so-called impossibilities are not problematic.

Where the Christian and the Atheist differ, is that the Christian sees the world we live in and the world of the Bible as one as the same. God exists in the Bible, and God exists in the real world, therefore, God can raise a man from the dead and God can produce a Son from a virgin. Jonah spent three days in the belly of a whale/fish in the context of a world created by God. In the context of this world, it is not unreasonable to think that a being big enough to create the universe would have the ability to stuff a man in the belly of a fish for refusing to follow his instructions.

While it would seem unreasonable if this world were different than the one portrayed in the Bible, it is not unreasonable when the two are the same. Atheists pride themselves on their education. Too bad their education didn’t teach them about context.

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Letter To Demand Progress

My favorite Internet freedom organization, Demand Progress, is spreading its campaign. It has recently put together a couple of petition campaigns against “the war on science.” One was a petition to the Texas Board of Education, and the other is to Congress supporting a resolution honoring Darwin. I am now going to have to write my congressman urging the exact opposite of what their petition says. Here is the text of my hastily written email:

Read moreLetter To Demand Progress

Evolution: I’m Not Buying What You’re Selling

A study from Penn State has found that many high school biology teachers are not doing a good job of teaching evolution. Many in the scientific community are disturbed, and seem surprised by the results. They seem to think that further education for teachers would be one way to solve the problem, and while a lack of understanding may be contributing to the “problem,” I don’t think that is the real problem. Most teachers are not scientists; they’re teachers and like most Americans, they don’t like being told what to believe. I think the real problem revolves around the fact that many scientists feel this theory needs to be forced down America’s throats, and many in America look at it like a bad television commercial. I’m not buying what you’re selling.

Read moreEvolution: I’m Not Buying What You’re Selling

The Slippery Slope

A few years ago, I had taken a speech class.  My final speech was on the topic of same-sex marriage and one of the points I had made was that love, by itself, is not enough to justify marriage.  As part of the closing I had included news articles showing what happens when love is the only ingredient required.

These stories included: a man marrying two women, a woman marrying a dolphin, and a woman marrying a cobra, and a woman marrying her dead fiance. In fact, that was not the first woman to marry a dead man.  According to French interior ministry officials, “Around ten posthumous marriages are carried out each year in France.”

I’ll never forget the look on one young woman’s face as I returned to my seat afterwards; she stared at me with what may have been the evilest eye I’ve ever seen.

Later in college, as I learned about the slippery slope fallacy, I wondered if my use of it in that speech had been a bad idea, but events in the last couple weeks have proven to me that it wasn’t a bad idea.  In fact, in certain cases, I don’t think it’s fallacious at all, particularly when dealing with people.  The reason being, is that people tend to push boundaries, and once one boundary is broken, they will inevitably work on the next.

I tend to think a lot about how being a Christian should impact how I look at the world.  Not being omniscient, I struggle with much of what I see, after all, a lot of the answers aren’t clear and even when they are, people don’t want to hear, “It says so in the Bible.”

A while back I wrote an article where I had posited that maybe it wouldn’t be a bad idea for the church to step back and let the state perform same-sex marriages, while still remaining steadfast in its claim that homosexuality is a sin.  Just because the state recognizes them, doesn’t mean the church has to.  I’ve come to the conclusion, that that was wrong.  It became perfectly clear when I read But They Were Consenting Adults! by Robert Stacy McCain.  In his article, McCain highlights the comments made by a guest regarding a situation between a father and daughter.  The guest writes: “Wait, why is consensual incest a crime? It might not be appealing to everyone, but if they’re adults and they consent, who cares what they do?”  This, is exactly why marriage between a man and a woman needs to be protected, and anything other than one man and one woman, needs to be illegal.  But how is this related to incest?  Because consenting adults is one of the same arguments used to support same-sex marriage.

Leaving aside the fact that it is a sin, a few years ago, a majority of Americans said that same-sex marriage should not be legal.  Their built-in moral compass hadn’t been over-ridden, and desensitized, by the liberal media and a small, but loud, minority of Americans.  Although sex outside of marriage had become “okay,” there were still plenty of actions considered wrong: incest, polygamy, pedophilia, theft, murder, and so on.

In the last few years, it has become common to charge those against same-sex marriage as discriminating.  And it’s been an effective weapon to change the tide of public opinion.  But here, the question is raised, why can’t two consenting incestuous adults have sex?  Indeed, why not?  Why can’t two consenting incestuous adults get married?  If you read Tony Ortega’s article, Memo To Bruce McMahan, Daughter-Seducer (Updated), it’s not as far-fetched as it seems.  Would it be discrimination to object to an incestuous marriage?  Sure, one could cite genetic-defects between offspring, but by setting aside God’s instructions, what argument is there against incest?  What about polygamy?  What about the ancient practice of pederasty?  Should we “discriminate” against any of them if all participants are willing?

If same-sex marriage is legalized, I don’t think it would be long before polygamists started coming forward with the exact same arguments that have been used to forward same-sex marriage.  Everyone who argues against polygamy will be haters and discriminators.  They will want an explanation as to why they can’t have the same rights as those who practice homosexuality.

Objecting to same-sex marriage is not discrimination.  You discriminate against people, not actions.  Homosexuality is an action practiced by people, and that action should not be encouraged, just as sex outside of marriage between heterosexuals should not be encouraged.  Opening the door to same-sex marriage will simply create opportunities for other people with deviant behavior to seek acceptance in the mainstream.  Take for example, the story above regarding incest, the pedophilia book that was pulled from Amazon last month, or the polygamy case the Supreme Court declined to hear in 2007.

So, as I’ve changed my mind, it’s also time for America to change it’s mind regarding same-sex marriage, and put a stop to it before the proverbial “can of worms” is opened.  We need to start listening to the moral compass in our heart.  The moral compass that GOD put there.

The young woman in my speech class gave her speech later.  Her topic was why homosexual couples should be allowed to adopt children.  No wonder I received the evil eye.  I’ll never forget the look on that young woman’s face in my speech class, nor do I want to.  It reminds me that, despite the desire to make everyone happy, it isn’t possible.  Still, I can’t forget that our decisions affect the feelings of others, and we must seek to minimize the pain others feel.  As Christians, we need to ensure that we attack actions and ideas; not people.  We need to remind them, respectfully, that even as we don’t agree with them, they are not agreeing with us either.  This is not a world that we are entitled to our own ideas, only if they match someone else’s.

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New Planet Habitable? Slow Down There Speed Racer!

Last week it was announced that a new planet was found circling a red dwarf star similar to our Sun.  Like Earth, it circles its sun in the Goldilocks zone.  In other words, it’s at a distance that is not too hot and not too cold, but just right.  It doesn’t rotate like Earth, but more like our Moon, so one side is always light, and one is always dark, leaving a band that would have a decent temperature.  They also have calculated that its gravity is probably very similar to Earth, and maybe slightly stronger.

At this point, that’s really all they know, but it’s already being treated that life is a given.  My son came home from school and announced that a planet has been found with water and trees.  I have not contacted the school to find out how much is exaggeration, but going by the comments from some of the scientific community, I would not be surprised.

Read moreNew Planet Habitable? Slow Down There Speed Racer!

Dolphins Should Be Treated As ‘Non-human Persons’

Scientists say dolphins should be treated as ‘non-human persons

This article popped up on the Times Online website. I couldn’t believe what I read. The article states, “The researchers argue that their work shows it is morally unacceptable to keep such intelligent animals in amusement parks or to kill them for food or by accident when fishing.” Are you kidding me? Morally unacceptable?

What is morally unacceptable is that human beings want to give dolphins person status, while refusing the same status to unborn actual humans. If these people had their way, dolphins would have more human rights those those unborn humans slaughtered at will in abortion clinics.

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Can Your Truth Be Your Own?

Everybody believes in the truth. Christians say what they believe is true. Muslims say what they believe is true. Atheist say what they believe is true. Can they all be right? Maybe they are all wrong. Is truth subjective? Can truth really mean whatever you want it to mean?

Obviously, the idea that everyone has their own truth is absurd. Everyone may have their own belief, but only one can actually be true. If there is no God, then Atheism is true, and all religions of the world are false. If there is a God, then Atheism is false, and at least one of the world religions has to be true.

But that’s the trick; separating belief from reality. It’s no problem believing things that aren’t true, especially if it makes us feel good.

So you have to ask yourself, if what you believe is true. Your first thought will be, yes, of course. No one wants to admit they are wrong. But someone has to be wrong. Have you thought about what you believe? And why?

What of Hitler? What of his beliefs? Should we have let him be, simply because he believed that his was right; his beliefs were true?

Do you believe science? How about this headline? Mummies reveal heart disease plagued ancient Egyptians.

A study done of 22 mummies revealed that heart disease plagued ancient Egyptians. Plagued? This study may show that heart disease existed then, but it certainly doesn’t show that it plagued society. Only the rich and famous, the rulers, were mummified. We are talking about a very small cross section of the ancient Egyptians. They are certainly not a indicator of society as a whole. But the media ran with this, and how many people across the country, and maybe the world, now believe that heart disease plagued the ancient Egyptians. So, do you still think science is fully trustworthy?

If science has published results, such as this, incorrectly, or in a misleading way, what else have they published? I’m sure a lot of their findings are correct, particularly with modern, observable, science, but it is the speculative assumptions that worry me. Evolution, anyone?

Can your truth be your own? Only if it really is true.

Jesus said to him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (ESV, John 14:6)

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Evolution Is Essential

Whether by accident, chance, or whatever it’s called, macro evolution is essential to the atheist. Anything other than accident or chance means that there had to be some intent, direction, or guidance–God–in the creation of our universe and us. So, does the existence of God ride on whether evolution can be proven or not? Many people, Christians and Atheists alike, think so.

The problem that many Christians have is that evolution “contradicts” the story of Genesis. Many Christians place too much emphasis on the literal translation of the Bible, instead of focusing on the message. The message of Genesis is that God created the universe, and then He created man, and man messed it up (and continues to do so). Whether God created the universe in six days, six thousand years, or through evolution, should be irrelevant to the Christian. The fact, and most important point, remains that God created it.

I am not opposed to the idea of evolution because I feel threatened in my Christianity; I do not. I believe that God created this world and set it in motion. It is a well-oiled machine. As such, we are able to explore it and even figure it out to a certain degree.

Science continually brings new discoveries to the table. As a Christian I look at the evidence presented by both Christian and Atheist scientists, and I’m in awe of the spectacular design of the universe. The atheist looks at the evidence presented by the Atheist scientist, dismisses the Christian evidence, and misinterprets the data. They see an irrational sequence of events–lucky for us!

Looking at all the evidence will not prove the existence of God; it can only reinforce it if you already believe. What looking at all the evidence does do, is show the irrational position of those who buy into evolution. This is the way it must be for the Atheist. Once the atheist questions the reality of evolution, he or she must ask, “What else am I wrong about?”

The truth is that evolution is really all about atheism; it is the only alternative to creationism. Evolution “validates” the non-existence of God for the atheist. They don’t believe in God–or any higher intelligence–so if evolution fails to pan out, those who are supposedly “smarter” will be forced say, “I don’t know.” What other option is there? After all, we didn’t just appear from the dust on our own.

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Life, Part 1

Last Sunday, during a ‘Compassion Forum’ sponsored by the not-for-profit group Faith in Public Life at Messiah College in Pennsylvania, Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, said, “the potential for life begins at conception.”

According to Dictionary.com, conception is “fertilization; inception of pregnancy.” According to Merriam-Webster OnLine, conception is “the process of becoming pregnant involving fertilization or implantation or both.”

The definition of conception is not the beginning of life, but the beginning of a new individual. Life, is already present.

It’s time for a quick review of basic sex education. Man and woman come together. Man provides sperm–a living cell. Woman provides egg–a living cell. When the living sperm comes together with the living egg, fertilization takes place. The living sperm and the living egg transfer their two lives to one living embryo. One plus one equal one.

What this means, is that life is an ongoing, unbroken chain. It began as a gift, given from God to Adam and Eve. Ever since, men and women have been passing that gift to their children. Pregnancy is not new life, it is a new individual who now has the gift of life that has been passed from two parents. There is no new life. In order for there to be new life, there would have been no life at some point during the process, which means that one of the cells involved would have had to have died. When we bring new life into the world, it is a figure of speech. So life does not begin, or renew, or whatever, with pregnancy, it continues or transfers.

The potential for life begins during sex. Pregnancy begins, at conception, once the transfer of life is complete.

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