If you notice on the right, taking the no. 1 spot the “Top Posts” in this blog is “A Defense of Absolute Truth”, a message originally spoken by Ravi Zacharias and annotated by the members of a now-defunct blog called “Garage Scholars”. This is my attempt to make Ravi’s argument more clear per his message, which is available here in video form: Ravi Zacharias Speaking To LDS 1 of 7 2 of 7 3 of 7 4 of 7 5 of 7 6 of 7 7 of 7 (h/t to user Reuven Goldstein). For further background, this is the first of a three-part series entitled “In Pursuit of Truth”, given on November 13, 2005 at the University of Utah Mormon Tabernacle. A DVD can also be purchased here.
[Start of post revision/summary and expansion of Ravi’s original remarks]
Sexuality, marriage, stem-cell research, genetics—these things are getting very, very complex. It’s hard to know how to address this tangled subject with meaning and coherence. In today’s modern age, there are two worldviews in conflict: relativism and absolute truth.
This is the nature of truth: we must come to conclusion that truth does matter, especially when you’re on the receiving end of a lie. For example, in a trip to courtroom with family, Ravi witnessed the trial of man accused of raping two minors. After the prosecutor finished, Ravi was certain he was guilty. But then after the defense attorney spoke, Ravi was not so sure of what the truth was. This being a criminal trial, how much more important is it that we understand the truth and the source of truth about life’s essence, meaning and destiny?
By now the talk about global warming on this site amounts to beating a dead horse, as the granting of the Nobel prize to Al Gore should demonstrate. Clearly, because we fail to take necessary action now as well as in the immediate (as in, the next 3-5 years) future, we are headed towards some catastrophic changes in the way the ecosphere functions to support our main life support systems. There are irreversible changes occurring all around the planet due to the chain of events started by industrialization, the least of which are the opening up of the Northwest passage, the melting of the Siberian permafrost (releasing massive amounts of methane, a far more potent source of pollution than carbon dioxide), rapid melting of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets, and increases in chaotic weather (and I’m putting it mildly – like the recent 40 degree drop in temperature from 90 to 50 in the past few days here in Chicago), to name a few.
Jesterballz, I’ve migrated the thread to my site for readability/loading time.
Taken from this post for readability.
I honestly can’t see how you can seriously say “I welcome civilised argument in the comments” when your name is “jesterballz”.
In any case, we can do this the easy way (testing for coherency, universality, and uniqueness of claim to truth) or the polemic way (point by point rebuttal/back and forth until no conclusion is reached). Up to you.
There are a whole lot of people out there who believe in “God”. Billions of people are Christian, Muslim or Jewish, and are following their religion (most often blindly). But I strongly refute the claim that this particular “God” exists, and I have pretty good reason, too. So all those curious people out there, please read this and maybe you will realise your mistake. That said, I am not accusing anyone who believes in God of being stupid. Please make comments to explain your reasoning if you disagree with my theory.
4/30/2013 note: If you are coming here from Google, here is the update to this post. I tried to make use of some editing skills to make it more readable.
Reposted from what seems like a now-defunct Garage Scholars blog (argh!). A very good recap of a Ravi Zacharias message, “A Defense of Absolute Truth”, which details why secularism fails to provide a coherent set of answers to the problems of the world (part 1 | part 2).
An interesting anecdotal defense of this point is in the second result of this Google search.
Here’s a gem: Secularization = no shame. Relativism = no reason. Privatization = no meaning. [All three have occurred to varying degrees in Westernized civilizations.]
Original post has been reposted below.
[note: in case you missed it, this is a recap which has taken on a kind of bullet-point form. I’ve reformatted parts of it for readability. If you don’t get parts of it, feel free to comment.
note #2: thread available at Newsvine. I’m thinking about manually importing it.]
On Saturday, March 12, the Garage Scholars, named that day by Robert Grange, held their second meeting and listened to a talk by Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias. This talk was given the day before Ravi’s talk at the Mormon Tabernacle.
A Defense of Absolute Truth
The University of Utah
Sexuality, marriage, stem-cell research, genetics—“these things are getting very, very complex.” It’s hard to know “how to address this tangled subject with meaning and coherence.”
The formatting always gets lost in translation… even with html. Bleh.
The tags are a good indicator of what this thread’s about (maybe will work on a summary later).
A: It’s fine, I suppose. But the longer it takes, the more disingenuous your pursuit of “exposing incompetence”, as it were, will look (recent post(s) nonwithstanding).
J: You put a bit much weight on a tagline…
That’s not just a tagline… it’s also the title of your blog.
…How is this conversation exposing incompetence.
Well, that one should be obvious. The incompetence comes in the form of dogmaticism regarding the “ultimate truth” of science, which is implied from your For Christians page.
The real incompetence is not whether you believe in a god [or not], but what you use that belief for, what objective you try to achieve with that belief.
I can agree if you’re referring to “amoralism”, e.g. in the case of Hitler and Bush. I don’t think proselytising necessarily bring you to the same conclusion.
A continuation of part 3 (reposted for readability, loading time, and the fact I knew it would be intially filtered by akismet). Topics include the probability of mass hallucination (ref: 1st century Christianity | apologetics), Junaman’ s atheistic generalization of rationalism, the scientific method, the fallacy of “rational knowledge”, and reasons why “objectivism” is a fallacy (with brief mention of why the Nobel Prize exists).
Sorry for taking so long to reply…
It’s fine, I suppose. But the longer it takes, the more disingenuous your pursuit of “exposing incompetence”, as it were, will look (recent post(s) nonwithstanding).
First of all, not all religious people claim they have “seen” or “experienced” god,
This is true, but…
secondly the ones who have can all claim they saw different things,
…this is a generalization, which leads you to inaccurately conclude…
no one’s belief is truly identical to another’s, hence is it really a “mass hallucination”, or just different people hallucinating different things.
Update [3/1/07]: also check out UK apologist and Oxford Professor Alister McGrath’s book The Dawkins Delusion for a scientifically-inclined rebuttal to Dawkin’s arguments negating God.
Excellent post from Alternet‘s Evan Derkacz discussing the merit (and lack thereof) of Dawkins. Of course, it probably just wouldn’t be right not to link it to my atheistic humanist acquaintance Brett Keller’s blog, where he undoubtedly supports some of his main points of contention.
I’d respond to Dawkins’ assertions myself if I had more time. In all likelihood, though, I probably already have, albeit indirectly.
Sorry, haven’t had much time to post due to increasingly busy schedule. Of course, there have been plenty of blogworthy world events (will do a quick post maybe later).
Oh, and note that I tagged “the Antichrist” not necessarily because I believe Dawkins is the Antichrist… one of them, maybe – but far from “uniting an army” against God as it were. I’d leave it up to the politicians to do that.
via Alternet (video also available at link).
tagline: ‘Darwin’s Rottweiler’ Richard Dawkins disses faith, Bush base
In a BBC interview on Friday, Evolutionary Biologist and sharp religion critic, Richard Dawkins, talks about his new book, The God Delusion (I”m just ecstatic that he referenced the Flying Spaghetti Monster).
He claims to want to speak to the middle ground; to people who haven’t really thought too much about faith and God in order to challenge their belief. An uphill battle, to be sure. He employs all the usual suspects: “people need to believe in fairy tales” “just look at organized religion” but fails to see where every method for assessing reality is hopelessly mired in its own methodology. Or: the scientific method may be positively divine for assessing the physical world, it has built-in limitations w/r/t [FC ed. note: with respect to] the spiritual one.
I love this ridiculous secular notion of “equal mockery” for all religions. It’s pretty clear that these cartoons are meant to “ease” the underlying tensions perceived within the Danes’ own society as well as from the proximity of Denmark to the Middle East.
It’s farcical. Some reasons why include:
- gross cultural insensivity. By extension of the Quran, Muslim identity lies directly in Muhammad. “There is one God, Allah, and Muhammad is his prophet.” Putting his head on a stick, or a camel for that matter, is NOT going to be funny to them – not to say that they lack self-deprecation, but it comes out in arguably far less intellectual ways and arguably far more emotional ones.
- “equal mockery” is essentially a thinly-veiled pretense for mocking religions “of the Book”. Eastern religions are subject to close to nonexistant gainsay simply because a lot of people in the west don’t understand how their own senses of identity within one might relate.
- it tends to spawn more xenophobia.
In short, it’s a double standard that reveals some of the baser elements of secular humor – that of both narcissicm and self-preservation. In fact, FindLaw’s Julie Hilden has a good article articulating these points and more. Read it here.
So if you’re going to mock religions, do it on equal terms. Then maybe you’ll find out that, in fact, your underlying basis for why you find cultural insensitivity to be humorous will be changed.
via the Independent.
By Stephen Castle, Europe Correspondent
Published: 10 October 2006
Danes have been warned against travelling to a number of Muslim countries after the release of a video showing young members of an anti-immigrant party mocking the Prophet Mohamed.
Images drawn by members of the youth wing of the Danish People’s Party, and shown on television and the internet, were condemned by Islamic leaders in Egypt and Indonesia, threatening to reawaken the furore over cartoons published last year in Denmark.