… that’s not entirely true. And in that regard, I’m actually more afraid of the Christians. The truth is my beliefs change and grow all the time. Now is as good a time as any to be able to write it down.
Anyhow, here’s a FB conversation from someone who posted a “Christians are dumb” YouTube video, by some guy named Sam Harris. (Sam Harris – Morality and the Christian God)
Oh, I don’t know. I suppose, if you post something about religion, as Duncan did, you expect there to be a long conversation or an awkward silence. Haha, I don’t feel bad, unless I am being disrespectful to Duncan (in which case, forgive me!!!!)
My opinion of Sam Harris video: He’s fighting against a made-up version of God that he probably gathered from the actions of misinformed Christians. (that’s giving him a lot of credit and being a bit harsh towards Christians).
1) If Sam actually realized how powerful Love is, it becomes hard to deny that there is a God and that God is Love. Outside of Love, it doesn’t make sense to even talk about God.
2) Sam talks a lot about hell, and a lot of his commentary sounds influenced by Dante’s Inferno, not the Bible. Again, he’s thinking in terms of legalism and rules, while we read again and again about how Love overcomes punishment.
3) He’s misusing the Bible in ways that Christians have misused the Bible, but more obnoxiously. A lot of Biblical rhetoric is unscholarly. You can take it in all its hermeneutical goodness, but it’s pointless to get academic about it. Basically, he’s making cheap shots about stuff he doesn’t know anything about– cherry picker!
4) The Bible tells stories about people who lived thousands of years ago, which he totally takes for granted. I wrote a blogpost about it here: https://ffpaladin.wordpress.com/…/the-clash-and…/
Instead of focusing on flawed human beings, Sam should read more about Jesus.
- We live in a fallen world.
- Love is the solution.
- It’s our job to reclaim the fallen world.
- God is Love.
- Jesus is the greatest expression of this Love that humanity has ever encountered.
- Jesus is the way, the only complete and trustworthy example, reconciling and releasing us from shame and guilt.
- Hell is the choice to be outside of God’s presence. Hell is being outside of Love.
We don’t know what God does with children lost from the Tsunami. We don’t know what God does with that remote tribe on some island that never heard about Jesus. We know Hell can be eternal, just like you can choose to run away from home and never go back. You are judged and some will have to pay for their sins, some won’t. No where does it give a digital heaven/hell binary, besides stating that they both exist.
I’m sure I could get a theology degree and have better answers, but, from where I stand, there’s one clear pursuit– Love.
Until then, Love.
The same way Sam uses the abundant suffering in the world to disprove the existence of God, I can say that the fact that we have a solution to all the problems in the world, Love, proves that there is a God.
Sam’s not rejecting God, he’s rejecting the lack of Love in the world. That’s not the proof that there is no God, it’s proof that we aren’t doing our job.
There was this random more fundamentalist guy in the convo, and he said this:
My closing comment bringing it back to the actual post: Sam Harris video. Here are a few logical fallacies Sam makes. 1. Appeal to emotion fallacy – obvious throughout the entire video. It’s the reason Sam is so popular, and this video as well. Sam needs to stir the emotions of his listeners in order to make them think he dropped some intellect into their brains. 2. Straw-man fallacy – He misrepresents the argument for God in order to attack it. “God isn’t supposed to allow evil, evil exist, therefore God doesn’t exist.” Straw-man. 3. Black or White fallacy – Sam creates then only allows two explanations for God assuming to listeners that only those two possibilities exist in order to substantiate his premise, “God is either impotent or evil”. 4. Loaded question fallacy – Sam constantly asks loaded questions with an assumption built in so that it can’t be answered without appearing guilty. “If God is good and loving, why give us a book that supports slavery?” Loaded question. The list goes on and on in Sam’s writing, talks, and reasoning. All of this isn’t even the biggest issue with Sam’s reasoning in this specific video. Ironically in order for Sam to even make an argument against the Christian worldview, he first decides to borrow from it. All throughout his video he bashes God for not being “good.” And God doesn’t seem “good” to Sam so God doesn’t exist. In the Christian worldview we have intrinsic worth because God created us on purpose with worth. In the Christian worldview we only know good and bad because of the moral law God created and instilled into humanity. Sam Harris is only matter, plus chemistry, plus billions of years. Chemical reactions are neither good nor bad, they are simply chemical reactions. To place intrinsic worth into matter and chemistry which has evolved is purely subjective. Atheistic worldview has no creator, but matter and chemistry. There is no absolute definition of “good” and “evil” in a bunch of evolved chemistry, it’s just evolved chemistry. Sam’s continues to cry “Evil God, bad God, wrong God” when evil, bad, and wrong are purely subjective and unscientific terms inside Sam’s worldview. Sam’s arguments and writing on morality are extremely elementary and flawed and he contradicts himself throughout his arguments. The philosophical problems in his writing are vast and we could talk about the problems in his morality paradigm for a very long time. Sam’s “moral defining” feet are firmly planted.. in mid-air. This whole video above is an example of Sam stepping out of the atheistic worldview and into the Christian one in order to argue against Christianity.
He also said this:
First I apologize to you Duncan for the discussion of scripture on a post unrelated to it. And to Duncan’s favor, due to finals and graduation approaching this whole week I need to focus more attention on my studies for now than these back and forth random discussions on this Facebook post Sherol, the article assumes because Jesus sacrifice was “good” and “loving” that death was meant to be in God’s original plan. Sacrifice (death) wasn’t even needed until after the fall of humanity in Genesis 3. Sacrifice is only good because it became necessary for reconciliation with God. That’s why Jesus was the last needed sacrifice was to fix what was ruined in Genesis 3. Of course his “death” is the ultimate example of love… but to use that as a proof of why “death” is “good” and was always in his ultimate plan just isn’t true. I understand the article is trying to justify, defend, and uphold the theistic evolution ideology just like many others do, but at least this article is reaching for a truth it can’t seem to grasp. I appreciate your humility and honesty in saying you’ve never heard that apparent contradiction I raised in my last comment. That is only 1 of the approximately 20 different problems with the theistic evolution ideology… at least in relationship to the Christian bible. My goal by the way isn’t to “convince” you otherwise and my goal isn’t to convince Duncan of Sam Harris’ faults in his reasoning, it’s simply to have discussions like these so we can kinda “put all the evidence on the table” so we can weigh it and use reason in our understanding. If people never have discussions over tough questions, they never learn anything outside of their system of thinking. I gotta get to work these next few days on my studies so I can graduate and because I’m so easily distracted, I gotta stop checking Facebook every few hours