Speculations In A Fish Tank

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One of the fish in my tank told the other fish that he has discovered the explanation for the daily arrival of food which he observed always coincides with a large shadow; therefore the shadow produces the food. When asked what causes the shadow, he says “it’s a natural law”.

Another fish disagreed. She believes that the shadow is a sign of some Being that lives outside of the tank entirely. She also claims (with no evidence) that this Being loves the fish and provides for them. The first fish informed her that she is irrational and unscientific.

–Sy Garte

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The comforting thought of being wrong

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Skeptics should find it most comforting to consider the possibility that they may be wrong, and that there may be a God who made the world, and who one day will fix everything that’s wrong with it.

This thought is heartening because we all have dreams for a better world—dreams of freedom and beauty, of goodness and love. Most of us hope we can somehow make this world a better place.

But if, as naturalism claims, this material world is all humans have ever known, if this is “normal” and things have been this way for millions of years, then our dreams make very little sense. What do we mean by “better”? To what are we comparing this world?

However, our dreams make a lot of sense when we put them in a framework of belief in a God who created a perfect world that was ruined by sin, and who purposes to make everything right, and good, and beautiful. The Biblical narrative tells us that the Creator also happens to be a Redeemer and that paradise will one day be restored. The last chapter will be glorious.

Perhaps even skeptics could get excited about that.

–J. O. Schulz

Something Beyond

72654 copyI see myself immersed in the depths of human existence and standing in the face of the ineffable mystery of the world and of all that is. And in that situation, I am made poignantly and burningly aware that the world cannot be self-sufficient, that there is hidden in some still greater depth a mysterious, transcendent meaning. This meaning is called God. Men have not been able to find a loftier name, although they have abused it to the extent of making it almost unutterable. God can be denied only on the surface; but he cannot be denied where human experience reaches down beneath the surface of flat, vapid, commonplace existence.

–Nikolai Berdyaev,
Russian religious and political philosopher

Without Faith

100117_0_forces-within-the-atomWithout faith, there’d be nothing but indifferent material forces at work. It’s only when the idea of events having an author is introduced that the universe becomes cruel, as opposed to merely heavy, or fast-moving, or prone to unpredictable acceleration.

― Francis Spufford

Religious pluralism: a philosophical impossibility

Ravi Zacharias 4 copy 2Religious pluralism is a belief system that sounds good, but does disservice to all religions. All religions are exclusive. Even naturalism, which poses as irreligion, is exclusive. Every religion has its starting points and its deductions, and those starting points exclude. For example, Hinduism has two non-negotiable beliefs: karma and reincarnation. No Hindu will trade these away.

In Buddhism, there is the denial of the essential notion of the self. Buddhists believe that the self as we understand it does not exist, and our ceasing to desire will be the cause of the end of all suffering. If we deny these premises, we deny Buddhism.

Naturalism teaches that anything supernatural or metaphysical is outside the realm of evidence and purely an opinion, not a matter of fact. Islam believes that Mohammad is the last and final prophet, and the Quran is the perfect revelation. If we deny those two premises, we have denied Islam.

In the Christian faith, we believe Jesus is the consummate experience of God in the person of His Son, and is the Savior and Redeemer of the world. We cannot deny these premises and continue to be Christians.

The question is not whether these are mutually exclusive. The question is which one of these will we deny as being reasonable and consistent? Which one of these will we be able to sustain by argument and by evidence? We can have pluralism in cuisine, clothing styles, accents, and other things. But if pluralism means ideational relativism and the destruction of the law of noncontradiction, it is absolutely unliveable and unthinkable.

–Ravi Zacharias
http://enrichmentjournal.ag.org/200804/200804_020_Defend_Christian.cfm