Recently, The American Post-Standard provided one of the posts on this blog, “The Morality of Government,” the courtesy of a link. In We Must Fight the Devil with Fire, phadde2 recalls how I answered a question with a question.
In the comment section of Citizen Tom’s piece, “The Morality of Government” I asked him, or any who would answer, ‘How can we operate in a world with these people? Those who preach tolerance but lack tolerance, how do we operate a government in our own nation with those who basically say, “I see your facts, but I simply do not care!’
There is a deeper question. What can we do to help such people? Think about the irony. When Nicholas attacks others because they do not believe what he believes, he becomes the very monster he claims to condemn. Is not a bigot someone who refuses to see the truth? (from here)
What is the issue that raised these questions? The issue is multiculturalism. In IS MULTICULTURALISM A RELIGION?, we considered educational problem posed by multiculturalism. In this post, I will reemphasize this problem with more examples. Then I will once again sound the call for school choice.
ColorStorm is a new Christian blog that I very much enjoy. Here of late some atheists have visited the blog. Their object is to ridicule the Christian faith. Since I enjoy debate, I have used their visits to point out the inconsistencies in the Atheist faith. To illustrate the educational deficit of some of these atheists, I have included some of their comments and my replies. Of course, ColorStorm, the blog’s author, and other commenters such as Wally Fry also provided noteworthy responses, but mine pertain to the points I wish to make here.
What are the points I wish to make:
- I am in my sixties, and I am still trying to undo the damage I have received from our education system. The founders received a classical education. That included sound instruction on the Bible as well as the history and the literature of Western Civilization. We no longer provide that to our children, and because we never had such an education ourselves we don’t know what they are missing.
- The atheists commenters are not stupid. They are ignorant.
- If we want to save our children’s souls, we must take responsibility for educating them.
Example 1: from Can’t go into detail…
Can’t go into detail… used the Creation story to point out the foolishness of saying no to God. In response to some carping from Atheist commenters, I wrote this.
What I use to have problem with was the fact God punished all mankind, not just Adam and Eve. I could not understand such a thing. It did not seem fair, but as I grew older, and I finally read the Bible, I realized that the Bible describes as we are. It was the first book to do so.
In my years as a scientist and engineer, I have learned we have a way of fooling ourselves. We think we understand things, but we don’t. When we think we do understand thing, we just betray a serious lack of wisdom.
What scientists do is create models they call theories. These models exist to portray cause and effect relationships. The better the models predict what happens in the “real world” the better the theory works. Nevertheless, it is foolhardy to say we “understand” much of anything. For example, without understanding them at all, we model the effect of gravitational forces on masses. Thus, we can predict the course of a spaceship, but we have no real explanation as to why objects are attracted to each other. We just have more and more questions.
What the Bible does is provide us a model of our character. The Bible predicts how we behave, and it provides us a method for improving our behavior. We may not understand how those “superstitious, scientifically-ignorant Bronze Age men” ever came up with such a book, but we have not been able to improve upon the wisdom they passed onto us in the Bible. With a book inspired by God, those “superstitious, scientifically-ignorant Bronze Age men” changed our world. So it is I finally accept the Bible as the Truth. The Bible may be difficult to understand and accept, but unless we accept the Bible as true — as our Creator’s handiwork — there is so much more that makes no sense.
Example 2: from Here’s a toast to you.
Here I let Arkenaten, one of the atheist bloggers, introduce the topic, what is proof?
Proofs are generally the preserve of mathematicians.
I asked for verifiable evidence that the biblical character, Jesus of Nazareth is the creator god you genuflect to, that’s all.
What has pride got to do with anything?
Sorry, my comment was chopped short.
Where is this verifiable evidence you say I have? Please can you identify it.
Proofs are generally the preserve of mathematicians.
That statement is a good indication of how badly we have educated our young for decades. Mathematics is just a modelling tool that uses simple abstractions to model what we see in the “real world.” Mathematical proofs just prove that a mathematical model is consistent with the abstract assumptions upon which it is based. What such proofs prove is that an abstract concept is “true.” Only in the abstract doe 2 + 2 = 4 (https://citizentom.com/2008/06/22/what-is-mathematical-proof-does-2-2-4/)
Scientists use mathematics to model the “real world.” What scientists do is create models they call theories. These models exist to portray cause and effect relationships. The better the models predict what happens in the “real world” the better the theory works. Nevertheless, it is foolhardy to say we “understand” much of anything. For example, without understanding them at all, we model the effect of gravitational forces on masses. Thus, we can predict the course of a spaceship, but we have no real explanation as to why objects are attracted to each other. We just have more and more questions.
What is the limitation? Mathematical abstractions are imaginary. Consider. If I say a line is defined by two points, what does that mean. Do perfectly straight, infinite lines exist in nature? Do indivisible points? Then what makes any proof in mathematics superior to this observation?
Romans 1:18-23 New King James Version (NKJV)
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.
We live in an age when like no others before us we can see and hear the glory of God’s creation. With telescopes we can see into the heavens. With microscopes we can delve into the substance of things, and still we are not filled with the wonder of the One who made it all. Instead, we puff ourselves up with our puny accomplishments and the degree of our understanding. When we should be awed by what is self-evident, set in splendor right in front of us, we demand proof of the existence a Being far beyond any conception of our finite imaginations. When we obviously could not understand the explanation, we still posses the lunatic temerity to demand that God explain Himself. Why? The answer is pride.
Anyway, on my blog, I provide my own reasons for believing in the salvation offered by Jesus Christ. Here are some of my favorites.
- Without the inspiration of God, men would not have written the Bible. No other book is like it. The Bible doesn’t flatter us; the Bible holds up a mirror and shows us as we are. The Bible also gives us hope; it explains how God redeemed us from sin. There are about 40 authors, and these tell a coherent story in a book whose writings span 1500 hundred years. Moreover, in spite of the violence and travails of human history, believers have preserved the Bible virtually unchanged for thousands of years. Again I ask, what other book is like that?
- Without the God of Israel, the history of the Jews makes no sense. After all that has been done to destroy them, after all they have suffered, the Jews still exist as a nation. No other people has a story so strange and remarkable, not even close.
- Without Christ Jesus — without the man who was also the Son of God — the formation of Christianity makes no sense. After His crucifixion, hundreds saw Him — alive. Rather than deny Christ, many accepted death. That includes all but one of His apostles. Only John died of old age. Why? What for? These people had nothing material to gain. In court the testimony of a dying man holds great weight? What is the testimony of a Christian martyr? Is it not the testimony of someone who knows his death, lies just before him?
- Christianity makes a difference. As a way of life, loving God and ones neighbors cannot be beat. That’s why 2000 years after the birth of Christ men and women still speak of being born again. Each Christian knows that when they were born again, that birth was real and substantial, not a delusion.
Is an idiot? No. I suspect he is intelligent, but he is mixed up about mathematics and science. I could list endlessly all the otherwise inexplicable things Christianity explains, and he would continue to deride my “proofs.” Yet there is no perfect proof. Mathematics doesn’t provide such proofs. Science does not provide such proofs. We explain things as best can. Then we must rely upon faith.
Example 3: from Here’s a toast to you.
archaeopteryx1 replied to my comment above. In his reply, he admitted more than he realized.
archaeopteryx1: January 3, 2015 at 3:18 pm
“With telescopes we can see into the heavens. With microscopes we can delve into the substance of things, and still we are not filled with the wonder of the One who made it all.” – That could well be because when viewed as a magical creation by prestidigitator Yahweh, it’s really rather “Ho-Hum” – I mean, if his billing on the marquee is that he could do ANYthing, why should we be surprised? But to know that it all arose naturally, now THAT’s amazing!
It occurs to me that you don’t realize the significance of what you said.
– That could well be because when viewed as a magical creation by prestidigitator Yahweh, it’s really rather “Ho-Hum” – I mean, if his billing on the marquee is that he could do ANYthing, why should we be surprised? But to know that it all arose naturally, now THAT’s amazing!
If it is more amazing (or difficult) to believe that creation just happened “naturally” than it is to be believe God created the universe, then why would you believe that creation just happened naturally? Do you now do you get the point of Romans 1:18-23?
archaeopteryx1: January 3, 2015 at 4:06 pm
“If it is more amazing (or difficult) to believe that creation just happened ‘naturally’ than it is to be believe God created the universe, then why would you believe that creation just happened naturally?” – What a bizarre question! M. C. Escher etchings constantly amaze me, which, by your logic, means I should stop viewing them and instead concentrate on the works of someone more predictable, say Grandma Moses. With a thinking process like that, it becomes easier to see why you’re unable to come up with the verifiable evidence you promised.
Think about the sheer absurdity. To cover up an illogical assertion, would have us believe he denies the existence of God for the sake of art appreciation?
What is most precious to us? Our children, right? Trusting politicians to educate our children is dumb. When we don’t trust politicians, why do we trust them to educate our children? For the sake of the children????? It is a good for our children to put them in the care of people we don’t trust?
We can make all kinds of excuses, but the facts are indisputable.
- We don’t trust politicians.
- Government wastes lots of money. Private schools cost less and do at least just as good a job.
- Homeschoolers, without the benefit of government educators, perform at least as well as publicly schooled children.
- Government-run schools deprive parents of their right to choose who educates their children, how their children are educated, what their children learn, and where their children are educated.
- Government-run schools teach all kinds of isms. That includes multiculturalism, environmentalism, secularism, socialism, moral relativism….
Are all teachers bad? Are all school board members unscrupulous? No and no, but government-run schools do not respond to parents. Politicians pay the bills.
We have created a political system that no longer looks very much like what the founders created. Instead of electing people to protect our rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, we sell our votes to politicians for promises, promises they hardly ever keep. Instead, when they don’t do as they promise, they find somebody else to blame. Of course, it is a scam, and we know it. So why don’t we do something?
What is the biggest cost of bad government? Our children receive a bad education, and the worst part of it is how little they learn about the Bible and their Creator. If we want to our children to receive a decent education — for the sake of their souls — we must allow (and insist that) parents take responsibility for the education of their own children. For the sake of our children, we must fight for school choice.