If you consider science the first word in reality,
It put a man on the moon! Seriously, I mean, here we are communicating instantly over vast distances because science has provided us with the technology. All the faith and/or Bible study in the world would not have accomplished this simple task. Why should I think otherwise?
If you consider science the first word in reality, it’s not surprising that you’re eventually going to get all the way to the point that you describe.
So what's the alternative and how well does it work? Can it put a man on the moon? And what makes it so mundane (not surprising)?
The point where you consider atheists to be Biblical authorities.
Authorities? No. I don't think atheists are Biblical authorities. Its just that some of the ones here that I've met have taken the time to read the book critically and objectively. I don't recall any literalists who have done that. Its all about spin and mental gymnastics. "Am I capable of making the Bible as to be saying what I want it to be saying here?" is the way they read it.
Does the Catholic church consider atheists to be Biblical authorities? Or is that just the opinions of some Catholics like yourself? Any idea of the percentages of Catholics who consider atheists to be Biblical authorities?
No, its not my opinion, No... but that doesn't have anything to do with anything I'm saying here.
Have you read Miller’s book?
No, I have not. But he isn't a Biblical Literalist, is he?
Anyways, what you asked for back in Message 62 was:
quote:He appears to be saying that evolutionists know more about the nature of the Christian God than do Bible scholars. I’d like for a Christian theistic evolutionist on these forums to address this.
And that's what I'm doing. Although, I have specified the general group of "Bible Scholars" into "Biblical Literalists" because that is what I am familiar with from this site. But I still think Miller is fairly accurate in his statement because, from what I've seen here, the evolutionists are more concerned with what the book is actually saying and the Biblical Literalists are more concerned with what they are capable of making the book out to be saying. For this reason, I think they get less knowledge about the actual nature of the Christian God.
Morris felt (and apparently marc9000 feels) that Christianity is threatened by the high level of acceptance of science that Miller represents. Miller probably thinks that Christianity is threatened by the rejection of science. I agree with both of them. It's doomed either way.
Doomed either way haha – that’s a good way to put it!
Psychology, and other fields dealing with human behavior, are saturated with evolutionary thinking. Science (mostly atheists in science) propose that humans are simply evolved animals, and this leads to the evaluation of human behavioral problems on an animalistic basis. Many Christians don’t believe that experimentation with monkeys is good guidance in dealing with human problems. When evolution proponents proclaim that studying evolution is no different than studying…plumbing, the dishonesty is obvious to many. But other people, particularly young people who are not yet firm in an atheistic worldview, are often fooled.
There are details in the way that you expressed your points there that I could pick on, but I partially agree with the gist of what you're saying here. I'll add that the nature of religions themselves is being studied involving disciplines ranging from anthropology, psychology (including evolutionary) and neurology through to sociology and history. This is a threat to the religions, and my "doomed either way" comment was partially an agreement with literalists like you, as well as agreement with the other side; the embracers of science.
Further up the thread, I pointed out that there's nothing new about this debate within Christianity. Here, St. Augustin expresses the pro-science attitude 1600 years ago, and makes the point that people like Kenneth Miller might make now to those with your view.
Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he hold to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods and on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion. [1 Timothy 1.7]
I'll forgive him the "even a non-Christian knows something" phrase in the first sentence partly because he's dead, but mainly because he makes his point well.
From the perspective of Christianity and its survival, it's important that it is not seen as a propagator of ignorance.
However, too much knowledge is a danger to its existence.
Hence my conclusion that both Kenneth Miller and you are, in a sense, right, and that Christianity (and the other religions) are doomed either way.
We live in interesting times, because this is the beginning of the end of an epoch during which the world has been largely dominated by the large theistic religions.
They'll still outlive all of us on this discussion board by a while, though, so don't worry yourself too much.
I looked at it. But I don’t believe that all those scientists and philosophers from ancient times till present, all combined, have developed an authority that surpasses the authority in the 66 book Bible. And we never have an assurance that today's scientists follow those methods 100% perfectly all the time.
Karl Popper liberated science from the burden of truth. Scientific theories are not true, neither false. They are approximations to truth. Thousands of positive results are not enough to validate any theory for ever. One negative result is sufficient to debunk it. So how can you take science as an authoritative or dogmatic body of knowledge, and establish a concurrence of authority with the Bible? You are comparing nuts with apples.
The core of the difference between your position, and the stand of people that accept science is compatible with faith, like me, is you mix what should not be mixed. Let science do its job, and embrace the religion you think is best to communicate with God, and guide your life.
So you don’t believe the Bible was written by or inspired by God? It would then HAVE to be in a secondary position of authority to the ruling realm of science then, wouldn’t it?
I haven’t said that. In fact I think quite the contrary, that a lot of people are inspired by God. Any man working for the moral advancement of humankind is probably inspired by God.