Saturday, May 21, 2011

Debating Stephen Hawkings Views - The Irrationality of Unbelief Strikes Again

I recently had an unexpected exchange with an friend on Facebook who is an unbeliever. That conversation is about as clear an example as can be provided to demonstrate just how incoherent people's arguments are and how strongly bias their thinking. I am going to throw up my remarks which are a response to Stephen Hawking's view that heaven is a fairy tale and then the ensuing exchange between my friend and I.

My Remark to Hawking
So Stephen Hawking says there is no heaven! Interesting. Hawking is a theoretical physicist. Theoretically speaking, isn't heaven beyond his expertise?

Friend's Initial Response
I'm with Hawking. Peoples' beliefs in their version of "god" has done nothing but create wars and slaughter of innocent people who don't share the same beliefs. You don't see athiests running around killing in the name of god or judging people unfairly because their beliefs differ from yours.

My Response
Wow...Ever heard of Stalin? Or how about Marx? Lets not confuse the church so called with God or even with Christianity.

Friend's Response
Cowards and racists hide behind their faith to condemn those who do not live like they do. Hate crimes are almost entirely based on faith.

My Response
If you have no God, you have no hate and no crime K******. There is only nature, what is. There is no ought! There is only what is. Who gets to decide what love, hate, and crime are? You? Atheists? Some man or woman? Some culture? Why them? Why that culture? In your system wrong is arbitrary and so is any reason you can give to justify it. You are NOT the measure of all things. God is. He has the right to determine the good and He has the authority to deal with those who dare to try and take that right from Him. But God is also gracious, and patient, and loving, and forgiving. If he were not, we would all be in hell this second.
 
Friend's Response
I always think It's f*@#ing hilarious to see people view their beliefs as an absolute truth. People with self doubt are the ones who get bent out of shape when someone else challenges their views. Food for thought...there is no right or wrong.
 
My Response
Wow K****! You seem absolutely certain that your view on this matter is absolutely true. I have NO DOUBT whatsoever that God is! It wasn't the person of faith who started throwing out adjectives like racists and cowards in the discussion. This is a tactic used by people who can't provide an intelligent response so instead they start throwing out insults. YOU certainly don't live like there is no such thing as wrong! You may want to reconsider your thinking here. They may not do so perfectly, but for the most part, people live what they believe, EVERYTHING else is just noise. And you live like right and wrong absolutely exists. I suppose 911 was just another event, not morally right or wrong, just something that happened. BONK! And if right and wrong don't exist, you have no basis to condemn the faith position even IF you were right about wars, racists, cowards, etc. Since nothing is wrong, then neither is the most unjust war on the planet, nor oppression of any kind regardless of the form it takes. Come on!
 
Friend's Response
Once again anyone with an opinion that is different from yours is wrong. I think Hawking has every right to his opinion as do I. It doesn't make us immoral. Another point, I was simply stating truths that people commit wars and crimes in the name of god. It's closed minded people like you that do not accept others views without hostility that leads to persecution. If you think there hasn't been wars and persecution in the name of Christianity I would like for you to take that up with the Vatican. They made up my religious curriculum in school. It was called History of Religion. News flash it taught us the good and bad. But let me guess the pope doesn't know as much as you. Morality and god are two separate entities. Sometimes they go together and sometimes they don't. Jihad means holy war and Allah means god. I believe that means war for god.
 
My Response
I am going to leave this conversation before it deteriorates further. If you have something you want to talk to me about K****, you have my number. I am always willing to listen to a friend.
 
Points to Ponder
First of all, this is not a formal debate. It is a real world discussion with a real unbeliever that I have a friendship relationship with. This is often what happens in the real world when you talk about God to real, everyday people who reject the God of Scripture. I will embed observations in red beneath my friend's comments which are in blue.
 
Notice that K initiated the debate. I simply made a point that others have made about Stephen Hawking, namely, that he is not really trained to talk about heaven. His field is natural phenomenon.
 
My specific criticism of Hawking is his view that heaven is a fairly tale. My friend immediately agreed with Hawking (I'm with Hawking) which means she also thinks heaven is a fairly tale.
 
I have not choice but to interpret my friend's view as thinking that heaven does not exist along with God since she says she is with Hawking here. However, as you will notice, she contradicts herself regarding this view before the discussion is over.
 
My friend then said that people's beliefs in their version of god has DONE NOTHING but create wars and slaughter of innocent people.
 
Historically speaking, most wars are not fought in defense of or even promotion of a version of some deity or god. Rather, they are found out of lust for power, money, and land mostly. WWII was not a war of religion, nor was WWI nor the Civil War, nor the revolutionary war. Do some people in the world use their religion to kill others? Of course that has happened. But that is a far cry from the claim that religion is responsible for all or even most wars. And it is certainly a far cry from the statement that religion has DONE NOTHING but create wars and slaughter of innocent people. Note that my friend speaks of these things as if they are wrong. That implication is certainly in her criticism of religion. But watch for another profound contradiction in her thinking.
 
My friend then said you don't see atheists running around killing in the name of god or judging people unfairly because their beliefs differ from yours.
 
This statement reflects complete ignorance of history on the facts of the case. The total body count in this last 100 years alone from Stalin and Mao is around 148,000,000 dead. And the next time a person says that atheists don't judge people unfairly, tell them to move to China and try to have open bible studies or interview some people from the former Soviet Union. There are people in prison today because they have different opinions than these atheist regimes. I can't help it, but this is one of the most uninformed statements I have ever read. Oh, and notice the use of the word "unfairly" which impies morality.
 
My friend then said cowards and racists hide behind their faith to condemn those who do not live like they do.
 
Again, another foolish statement designed to polarize Christians. When you read you are tempted to think that Christianity leads to racism and cowardice. And again, these are words that only mean something in a moral system. Not only is the statement polarizing, it simply isn't true in any way shape or form. Ever read the story of the nurse who murdered her patients? I suppose then that murders just hide behind their medical credentials just to kill people. Wow!
My friend then said Hate crimes are almost entirely based on faith.
 
I am simply at a loss for this one. Hate implies morality. And this statement clearly indicates my friend has no clue what "faith" is.
 
My friend then said she thinks its hilarious to see people who view their beliefs as absolute truth.
 
Isn't that what my friend has done with every single post? Hasn't she assumed that her view is absolutely true? And if she doesn't think her views are actually true, one must ask why she holds to them.
 
My friend then said people with self doubt are the ones who get bent out of shape when someone else challenges their views.
 
So the only people who defends their deepest convictions with passion, intelligently, articulately, are those who have self-doubt? It seems clear that one person in this discussion was certainly getting bent out of shape. But that person was not the one with faith. Who was throwing out terms like racists, cowards, etc, etc.?
 
My friend then said, food for thought, there is no right or wrong.
 
And this is where we land? There is no right and wrong? Really? After all that moral judging regarding the evils of religion and people of faith, now we find out there is no right and wrong? This is what I mean when I say that people who refuse to believe cannot carry out a debate with extreme incoherence in their views. There is no right and wrong but her entire argument against religion depends on the existence of right and wrong in order to condemn it and judge it to be evil.
 
My friend then said, Once again anyone with an opinion that is different from yours is wrong. Of course I think that opposing views are wrong. I would be the most irrational person on the planet if I thought otherwise. And you have demonstrated that you think I am just as wrong because I disagree with you. Wow!
 
I think Hawking has every right to his opinion as do I. It doesn't make us immoral. Of course Hawking has the right to his opinion as does my friend if by right she means freedom. I never said anything about Hawking or my friend being immoral in the entire conversation.
 
Another point, I was simply stating truths that people commit wars and crimes in the name of god. That was never what this debate was about. This began with a denial of the existenvce of God and heaven. And it was never presented in this fashion. No one ever denied that some have went to war under the geuise of God. That was not the point. Most wars have not involved religion at all. And those that say they did, really didn't either. It's closed minded people like you that do not accept others views without hostility that leads to persecution. Closed minded people like me? I have never persecuted anyone so far as I know. I simply posted an opinion of Stephen Hawking's public comment and ended being associated with unjust war, racists, cowards, oppressors and persecutors. Who is doing the persecuting here and who is being persecuted? If you think there hasn't been wars and persecution in the name of Christianity I would like for you to take that up with the Vatican. They made up my religious curriculum in school. It was called History of Religion. News flash it taught us the good and bad. I never made a statement to that effect at all. Not even once did I say that such events have not taken place. I am a doctor of advanced theological studies. Of course I am away of the history of the church. But let me guess the pope doesn't know as much as you. I have no idea what the pope knows. I never belittled his knowledge at all in this discussion. This is what we call ad homenin arguing. It concentrates on attacking the man, not the propositions. It is used when others are losing a debate or simply don't have a led to stand on. They get frustrated and begin calling you names and insulting you. Morality and god are two seperate entities. Really? I would love to here how my friend arrived at this conclusion. The whol reason for my friend's post was that God does not exist and heaven is a fairly tale. Now she is saying God does exist? And I also thought she said there is no right and wrong and now she is admitting there is? Sometimes they go together and sometimes they don't. And guess who gets to determine when God and moral law go together and when they don't: that's right, my friend. And I am the arrogant one here? Without God, there is no rational basis for morality. Jihad means holy war and Allah means god. I believe that means war for god. I have never denied the existence of some religions, and even radical factions within some religions that do go to war in the name of their deity. What I denied was that religion was the cause of all or even most wars. If I read my friend's post, I am inclined to think that she blames all wars, innocent slaughter, racisms, cowardice, and persecution in the world on religion. So if we got rid of religion, we would be much better off.
Perhaps you should read the last line one more time. There is a movement afoot to do this very thing. The elimination of religion in the eyes of many would translate into the elimination of almost all the worlds problems. If you have a voice, you should consider standing up and using it to spread the gospel. I had no idea my friend felt this hostile toward religion. I knew she didn't want to discuss it much, but I did not know she hated it as much as she does. Now I know. Please pray for this person that God would open her eyes, grant her the gift of faith and repentance so that she would see the truth of the gospel and be saved.
 
 

2 comments:

  1. Bottom line....prove that God exists. You can't. Faith is empty hope.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Bottom line....prove that the laws of logic exists using the scientific method. You can't. Your faith in reason in empty hope.

    ReplyDelete

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