Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Battle Talk ~ BR IX

Collapse
This topic is closed.
X
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • I still care. Take your time. I'm not going anywhere (unless I get banned, of course).

    Jim
    Hear Hilston's latest musical release!

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Hilston
      I still care...

      Jim
      Ohhh, I feel all warm and gooey inside...
      "You can learn from anyone, even your enemy" - Ovid

      Comment


      • Hi Hilston,

        This is really rough, and I’m sorry its taken me so long… I sent you an email explaining that I actually wrote this pretty fresh after your last response, but I’ve been putting off writing the rest for ages. So, I figure I’ll just post this at them moment, and please bear with me and I’ll do the rest soon, I’m still very interested in carrying on this discussion.

        Anyway, here goes.

        Originally posted by Chilli, Previously
        I am fully aware of what constitutes a normative hermeneutic, in fact I have taught a course on the subject myself. What I am trying to say is that a normative hermeneutic will typically lead to a literalistic interpretation of the first chapter in Genesis (usually not the second chapter though, interestingly), ...
        Originally posted by Hilston
        You have to explain what you mean by "literalistic." It is a badly abused word. No one takes the entire Bible literally, and the Bible is clear regarding figurative narratives versus non-figurative ones. The normative hermeneutic leads to the same kind of interpretation in Genesis 2 as Genesis 1 and the rest of the Biblical corpus.
        I used ‘literalistic’ in the way it is defined by the dictionary, which is “insistence on a literal interpretation”. The reason I said ‘literalistic’ instead of ‘literal’ is to avoid the type of sophistry that some McDowell-esque Christians employ when they are accused of taking sections of the Bible too literally, where they will turn around and claim that the entire Bible should be read literally, then go on to explain that they mean that each book should be read in the context of the particular genre of literature that it belongs to. So basically, I just meant literal in the accepted meaning of the word. Anyway, there shouldn’t be too much confusion because I said a literalistic interpretation of the first chapter of Genesis, not of the whole Bible. Are there parts of the first chapter, or of any of the Biblical creation accounts, that you do not interpret literally?

        Back to the point… If the normative hermeneutic leads to the same kind of interpretation of Genesis 1 and 2, then there is an obvious conflict in the order of creation of plants, humans and animals. In my experience, the usual way that YEC deals with this is to first relegate it to the realm of “apparent discrepancy” and then distort or avoid the plain meaning of the language of the creation account given in Genesis 2, to make it congruent with the order given in the first account. This is what I meant when I said that YEC usually do not interpret the second chapter literally. How do you interpret the differences between the two accounts?

        Originally posted by Chilli, Previously
        ... which when coupled with the non-negotiable view that Scripture is inerrant in all that it affirms, often leads one to interpret scientific evidence in such a way that it fits with what one already believes.
        {QUOTE=Hilston]This is true of all belief systems, including Evolutionism and Methodological Naturalism. In that statement, you've made the very same point I was trying to convey in the Battle Royale IX. If indeed people are led by their beliefs to interpret scientific evidence in such a way that fits with what one already believes, then of what use is a discussion of evidence? That was the point I emphasized in my last post of BRIX.[/QUOTE]

        Yes, I have painstakingly read the BRIX and the accompanying discussion up until this point, and I understand the point you were trying to make fully, but I am certainly not making the same point as you. I am saying that a literalistic reading of Genesis 1, when coupled with a belief in Biblical inerrancy will lead one to interpret evidence so that it fits with what one already believes. You are saying that everybody is strictly bound to interpret evidence to fit with what they already believe, and that what they believe cannot be altered by evidence. Although I do not agree with this, let me agree so far as to say I do think that all humans have a strong tendency to think in this way, one that needs to be taken into consideration and carefully guarded against when assessing evidence. I am not so naïve to think that bias can be eliminated entirely, but I think that it can be mitigated somewhat, not least of all by being aware of how prone we are to succumbing to it. Notice, however, that your own presuppositions require an approach driven by sheer bias, and in freely admitting to taking such an approach, you are necessarily excluding yourself from being able to assess anyone else’s belief system. Ironically, you also lose the ability to know whether your own belief system is congruent with reality, since you admit that your interpretation of the Bible is driven by sheer bias.

        Originally posted by Hilston
        ...using the tools of science properly means to think God's thoughts after Him, to acknowledge Christ Jesus, the Logos, as the foundation of all true knowledge ~ the very reason why logic and science work ~ to recognize that all of existence, all of nature, are orderly and uniform because Christ is holding it all together. By including those key ingredients in one's thinking and approach to science, the Young-Earth model emerges and all the claims of scripture are corroborated. By leaving those key points out of one's science, one becomes irrational in their pursuit of science and blindly invokes unjustified assumptions. Nonetheless, God's design of man is so robust, combined with the fact that man is created in God's image (i.e. rational, creative), that even God-less scientists can make technological progress in spite of those omissions, and not because of them.
        I do appreciate what you are trying to say here, but let me remind you that I have read your arguments quite closely, so you do not need to repeat the same arguments you have already made many times over. What you need to try to do is restate them in a way that makes more sense, if you can. You have said that acknowledging Jesus as the foundation of all true knowledge and the reason why logic and science work will lead one to be a YEC, this is a bit of a logical leap. Again, I find it difficult to accept this just because you say so, especially when there are so many scientists who acknowledge Christ in this way but do not come to the same conclusion as YEC. Even if it is true that scientific knowledge and technological advancement progress in spite of an irrational approach to science, why is it is so particularly wrong in regards to the evolution/creation issue? Is it only because this is where there is conflict with what the Genesis seems to say about human origins?

        Originally posted by Chilli, Previously
        Regardless of whether or not this is what you mean by your claim that “using the tools of science properly would lead everyone to take the young-earth view,” you apparently advocate interpreting the scientific evidence to fit a literalistic reading of the first chapter of Genesis.
        Originally posted by Hilston
        This is too narrow. All evidence comes pre-interpreted from God, either by explicit claims or by inference from Scripture, ~ ALL of scripture ~ not just Genesis 1. Our obligation and responsibility, as God's pinnacle creation, created in His image, is to discover God's interpretation of the evidence, and not to presume to function autonomously, as if God can be rationally ignored.
        Originally posted by Chilli, Previously
        Of course, your proposal is that scientists who believe in evolution simply interpret the evidence to fit with their worldview as well, in this case an evolutionary paradigm, and that in fact everybody interprets evidence in a way that fits with their presuppositions, with the result that there are no “brute facts,” but this is problematic for several, somewhat interrelated, reasons:

        1. If you are claiming that everyone simply interprets the evidence to fit their presuppositions or preconceptions, there really is no rational basis for a ‘normative hermeneutic.’
        Originally posted by Hilston
        The rational basis for the normative hermeneutic lies in the fact that the writers of scripture, under inerrant and infallible divine guidance, wrote using certain rules of grammar and language that are known and comprehensible.
        I think I may not have made my point here sufficiently lucidly. What I mean is that your view, that everybody inevitably interprets evidence to fit their presuppositions, taken to its logical conclusion, leaves no room for any objectivity whatsoever. As I have said, I believe that true, utter objectivity is impossible for the human mind. However, without a belief in the ability to attain at least a measure of objectivity, your claim that you can correctly interpret the Scriptures using the tools of grammar and language is without foundation, because you will inevitably interpret them according to your own presuppositions, rather than in their grammatico-historical context.

        This is similar to what I said above, where I pointed out the ironic conclusion of your philosophy that all interpretation is driven by sheer bias. If you really believe this, then you denude yourself of your ability to rationally interpret any kind of evidence, and you are left with no possibility of knowing whether your own beliefs comply with objective reality. Sadly, this is in fact buttressed by your continuing claim that your knowledge that the Bible claims are true does not come from any objective understanding, but from a mystical and subjective knowledge that has been implanted in your mind by God. If this is what you really believe, then you should logically discard a hermeneutic based on the normal rules of grammar and historical interpretation, as your own knowledge is derived from purely subjective means. Then again, why should a subjectivist obey the laws of logic?

        Originally posted by Chilli, Previously
        In fact, such a view comports much more accurately with a postmodern literary approach. What I mean is that such an approach undermines the idea that we are to interpret the writings of Scripture in their grammatico-historical context, because we are actually interpreting them in line with our presuppositions. This is nothing if not arbitrary.
        Originally posted by Hilston
        I'm not sure where you get this idea, because the normative hermeneutic and the grammatico-historical hermeneutic are one and the same.
        I know that. Please reread my first point more carefully. I am using ‘grammatico-historical context’ and ‘normative hermeneutic’ interchangeably, and saying that your idea that any attempt to assess evidence is driven by sheer bias actually undermines these methods of interpretation. Like you, the postmodern literary hermeneutic essentially starts with the premise that all interpretation is determined by bias, but unlike you the postmodernist logically concludes that objective understanding of what a text really means is impossible or irrelevant (of course it is ridiculous and hypocritical for people who really believe this to be writing essays about it!)

        I am interested to hear how you start with the same premise and arrive at a different conclusion. I am guessing it will have something to do with objectivity being supplied by the Scriptures, but it is important to remember that it is the possibility of rightly interpreting those Scriptures that is being discussed.

        Originally posted by Chilli, Previously
        2. If it is disingenuous of a godless scientist to interpret scientific evidence to fit their worldview, why is it alright for a Christian scientist to do so?
        Originally posted by Hilston
        What do you mean by "alright"? Anyone can interpret evidence however they want. But only the person with the correct worldview has sufficient warrant to interpret evidence in light of it and then to call it 'science'. The person with the false worldview has no warrant to do so.
        What do I mean by ‘alright’? I suppose it depends on what the definition of ‘is’ is…

        Seriously, perhaps you should avoid being quite so semantically pedantic… or should I say pedantically semantic? I can’t believe I’ve never thought of putting those two words together before. I think it is clear from the context that by ‘alright’ I mean ‘legitimate’. If you have such trouble interpreting simple English sentences, I can’t imagine how you can consider yourself competent when it comes to Greek or Hebrew.

        Originally posted by Chilli, Previously
        If you say it is because the Christian believes in the God of the Bible, then this also seems like an arbitrary approach.
        Originally posted by Hilston
        How is it arbitrary? One worldview is true; all others are false. There is nothing arbitrary there. Fallible finite humans cannot autonomously decide which worldview is correct with consistency or coherence. All worldviews are irrational, with the sole exception of the Biblical one.
        It is arbitrary to say that all only the Christian’s science is legitimate because the Christian’s worldview is correct because the Christian believes in the God of the Bible. It is almost comical that in one breath you say “fallible finite humans cannot autonomously decide which worldview is correct with consistency or coherence” and literally in the next sentence you say “all worldviews are irrational, with the sole exception of the Biblical one.” Haven’t you, a “fallible, finite human,” made a decision here as to which worldview is correct? You will probably say that you have not made this decision “autonomously,” which is something of an oxymoron, but I think it would be closer to the truth to say you have not done it with “consistency or coherence.”

        Originally posted by Chilli, Previously
        Furthermore, such an approach undermines any kind of scientific method, seeing as it is driven not by evidence but by sheer bias.
        Originally posted by Hilston
        EVERYTHING is driven by bias, David. The question is: What is the correct bias? It certainly cannot be the atheistic/Evolutionism view, which is irrational at its base.
        Seeing as your view is driven only by bias, you cannot answer the question as to which bias is correct, unless you are lucky enough to guess correctly.

        Originally posted by Chilli, Previously
        Can you see that the logical outcome of such a belief entails doing away with science altogether?
        Originally posted by Hilston
        It's not possible. Humans have been designed by God to be curious, inventive and logical. Humans, by their design, cannot help but pursue science, and this is what makes the rejection of The Designer/Creator so offensive and egregious.
        I’m not sure if you are joking or just not paying attention… surely you know I wasn’t actually proposing doing away with science? I am trying to get you to follow your ideas through to their logical outcomes, something you presuppositionalists claim to be good at. If you say that everyone is inescapably driven by sheer bias, then there is no point discussing anything, let alone doing science (or theology). After having read the rest of your post, I remember your claim that you do not discuss things with a view to changing the other person’s mind, and obviously you do not do so with any intention of having your own views altered. So then given your belief system, why bother discussing anything at all? Is it just so you can say “I told you so” when you’re smugly watching your debate opponent burning in Hell?

        Originally posted by Chilli, Previously
        3. I’m not sure if when you say there are no uninterpreted, plain facts, you are including all scientific data. If this is what you are claiming, would you please explain how you would consider scientific facts such as the strata in which various fossils are discovered, or the time it takes for light to travel from one point to another to be tainted by interpretation or bias?
        Originally posted by Hilston
        Those who hold the preconceived notion that the earth is billions of years old will look at fossils and assume they are eons old and that the strata can correctly indicate how old the fossils are. This is all based on the unproven assumption that the strata were deposited over long ages of time. Those who believe that the earth is young look at the same fossil evidence assume they are young based on the testimony of scripture. Both sides have bias. Both interpretations are affected by the respective biases. The latter view has the correct bias and is in a superior position to draw correct conclusions from the evidence.
        You say that your view has the correct bias. How can you determine this if your interpretation is driven solely by your presuppositions? Because you have the [I]right[/] presuppositions. So how do you know they are the right presuppositions? Basically it comes down to the old Christian standby of “you know that you know that you know that you know”. This is not even circular reasoning; it is just asserting that your view is the only correct view and then repeating it over and over. Of course, this is not the first time this accusation has been brought against you.

        A worldview that is driven by sheer bias is incapable of rationally defending itself, a claim that you are happy to apply to all other worldviews but your own. I am having a hard time seeing anything other than arrogance in the form of some kind of stubborn theological ethnocentrism that would lead anyone to take this view.

        Originally posted by Chilli, Previously
        4. Furthermore, can you see that your claim that all facts are interpreted in a way that comports with a person’s presuppositions is again more in line with a postmodern epistemology, and undermines your claim that you can prove your own worldview and disprove all others? The logical outcome of such a belief will be that truth is relative and subjective, and cannot be transmitted, or that if there is objective truth, it is unknowable. If you know of another option, please tell me.
        Originally posted by Hilston
        None of what you've stated aligns with my view, with the exception of the first part of your first sentence. Do you disagree that all facts are interpreted in a way that comports with a person's presuppositions? If so, give me a fact that you've interpreted apart from your presuppositions. I'd like to see one.
        You are the one making the assertion that everything is driven by sheer bias, so the onus is upon you to prove it; it is not enough to disprove my own views on the matter. Nevertheless, as far as being able to interpret anything apart from my presuppositions, I admit that I do not think it is entirely possible. However, while my presuppositions may have a strong influence on the way I see something, I do not think it necessary that they solely determine my view of that thing. I do believe that my thoughts are largely influenced by my presuppositions, but insofar as I am aware of those presuppositions, I am able to calibrate my thoughts to a greater or lesser degree when interpreting facts… depending on what kind of mood I’m in.

        Furthermore, unlike you I am willing to adjust my presuppositions (which are really just ingrained, habitual ways of thinking, a result of conditioning) when they conflict with my experience of reality. It is not as simple as being able to interpret something apart from presuppositions, but holding your presuppositions lightly and using your God-given intelligence and rationality to interpret evidence and make adjustments to your worldview accordingly.

        Now I would like you to explain something, namely how the first part of my first sentence in the above quotation is not in line with a postmodern approach to epistemology. I know that you do not consciously assent to the latter part of my statement, but I am again trying to show how your premises will logically lead to that conclusion.

        Originally posted by Chilli, Previously
        5. As stated above, I admit that theories about evolution may come about as a result of anti-theistic sentiments on the part of those who hold to them, and I suppose that given your ardent espousal of Van Til’s claim that there are no “brute facts,” you will find the following hypothetical situation difficult to imagine. I have also noticed that you tend to avoid arguing hypothetical situations, but please try to humor me. Please do not imagine that I really believe this, it is simply a hypothetical situation I am using to illustrate a point. Imagine that God created someone instantaneously as an adult with full reasoning capabilities but no prior conditioning, and was presented with all the wonders of creation as well as all the scientific data we have regarding it. They were not given a Bible or any other religious text, and they were not given revelation by any higher being. Now imagine that this person was asked to estimate the age of the earth using the information they had been given. I tend to think that such a person would arrive at the conclusion that a creator was a basic requirement as an explanation of the beauty and intricate design in everything they saw, but don’t you think that when they looked at the scientific data, they might also reasonably infer that the earth is much older than 6,000 years, and that various species were not all created at once?
        Originally posted by Hilston
        Not at all! What would lead a person to believe that? Tell me why you, David, would look at the layers of strata and assume long eons of deposition? Why would such a person as you describe look at the rapid deposition of Mt. St. Helens or some similar cataclysmic phenomena, and not conclude that strata were similarly deposited in a rapid, cataclysmic fashion?
        I don’t know much about geology or archeology, but isn’t there something about the fossil record showing different creatures appearing in different strata, a phenomenon that is uniform the world over?

        Sure there’s layers strata that have obviously been formed by rapid deposits of sludge or whatever, with trees sticking through them and all that, but isn’t that the exception rather than the rule? Isn’t it pushing it a bit to say that this is how all strata is formed? On that note, I have often wondered about the appearance of age issue… assuming that God created rocks out of thin air, did he create them with the appearance of age, or were they just big, smooth balls? Same with trees… if they just appeared instantaneously, what reason would there for them to show signs of aging in the bark and the shape of their branches etc? Before the flood, was the Earth just a flawless sphere with trees that were just big sticks poking out of it?

        Originally posted by Chilli, Previously
        If God is not trying to trick us, and intends for us to believe in a 6,000 year old earth, with all species instantaneously created at the inception of this time period, why doesn’t he make the evidence more incontrovertible? For instance, why do all YEC explanations for the age of the earth as estimated by the time it takes for the light from distant stars to reach us necessitate some kind of deceptive “appearance of age” theory?
        Originally posted by Hilston
        No deception is intended by God in how He put together the constellations. God wanted there to be stars. He wanted them to be far away, and He also wanted their light to shine upon the earth. I don't call that deception. I call it purposeful and effective. It is only perceived by Evolutionists to be a deception because they erroneously assume that the lights in the sky can be used to ascertain the age of the earth. There is no warrant for that assumption.
        What’s the purpose? To make the place look nice? To help sailors navigate? Perhaps to create employment for all those weirdo astrologers in the back of dodgy magazines? You call it purposeful and effective, I call it overkill.

        Why is it unreasonable to assume that the age of the stars can be calculated by the time it would take for their light to reach us? Earlier, you said that “humans have been designed by God to be curious, inventive and logical. Humans, by their design, cannot help but pursue science,” but now you are admonishing them for doing that very thing. This is another case in point that in your view scientific knowledge is OK up until the point where it conflicts with the YEC interpretation of Scripture.

        Okay, so like I said, I'll get the rest of this post up when I can, let me know if your interest is flagging though.

        Cheers,

        Chilli
        "You can learn from anyone, even your enemy" - Ovid

        Comment


        • Hi David,

          After reading your post, it became clear to me that you're really hung up on the idea of "sheer bias." Is your repeated use of the phrase "sheer bias" a deliberate distortion or just your preferred term? I've never claimed "sheer bias" drives all interpretation. That's way too simplistic. Bias is a given. But it's not the only thing. My point has ever been that we all have biases, and our fundamental presuppositions determine what evidence we accept and reject. Presuppositions do change, but it is really rare. I asked you to give me an example of a belief NOT based on a presupposition and you begged off. I don't see what the controversy is. We seem to agree on so much. You seem to want to charge me with violating my own claims, but you fail to prove your case. If you're going to follow my reasoning, you have to be careful to separate what I know from how I prove it. What I know is via supernatural agency and affirmation from God's Word. How I prove all that is another matter entirely. I hope what follows will help to clear these things up for you.

          Originally posted by Chilli
          What I am trying to say is that a normative hermeneutic will typically lead to a literalistic interpretation of the first chapter in Genesis (usually not the second chapter though, interestingly), ...
          Hilston replied: You have to explain what you mean by "literalistic." It is a badly abused word. No one takes the entire Bible literally, and the Bible is clear regarding figurative narratives versus non-figurative ones. The normative hermeneutic leads to the same kind of interpretation in Genesis 2 as Genesis 1 and the rest of the Biblical corpus.

          Originally posted by Chilli
          I used ‘literalistic’ in the way it is defined by the dictionary, which is “insistence on a literal interpretation”.
          What do you mean by "literal interpretation"?

          Originally posted by Chilli
          So basically, I just meant literal in the accepted meaning of the word.
          This is insufficient. The meanings of words vary by context. When I say "I'm cold," that means something completely different from "The beans are cold." The former case is a figure of speech, because even when I "feel" cold, my body is still nearly 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The latter is not a figure of speech.

          Originally posted by Chilli
          ... Anyway, there shouldn’t be too much confusion because I said a literalistic interpretation of the first chapter of Genesis, not of the whole Bible. Are there parts of the first chapter, or of any of the Biblical creation accounts, that you do not interpret literally?
          I still don't know what you mean by "literally." If you mean "void of figurative language," or just "non-figurative," then I would say that the entire Bible should not be taken that way. There are figures of speech on every single page of the Bible, Genesis chapter 1 included.

          Originally posted by Chilli
          Back to the point… If the normative hermeneutic leads to the same kind of interpretation of Genesis 1 and 2, then there is an obvious conflict in the order of creation of plants, humans and animals. In my experience, the usual way that YEC deals with this is to first relegate it to the realm of “apparent discrepancy” and then distort or avoid the plain meaning of the language of the creation account given in Genesis 2, to make it congruent with the order given in the first account. This is what I meant when I said that YEC usually do not interpret the second chapter literally. How do you interpret the differences between the two accounts?
          I have a question to ask before I answer yours: When I show you that Genesis 2 is perfectly congruous to the account in Genesis 1, will you then throw another alleged discrepancy at me? If so, then I will decline answering at all. I'm not here to prove the verity of the Bible or to convince you that the Bible is trustworthy.

          Originally posted by Chilli
          ... Notice, however, that your own presuppositions require an approach driven by sheer bias, and in freely admitting to taking such an approach, you are necessarily excluding yourself from being able to assess anyone else’s belief system.
          Not if my bias is the correct bias.

          Originally posted by Chilli
          ... Ironically, you also lose the ability to know whether your own belief system is congruent with reality, since you admit that your interpretation of the Bible is driven by sheer bias.
          This is false. My ability to know whether my own belief system is congruent with reality is not based on my own efforts or intelligence. It is a spiritual matter. Those who have been regenerated are informed of the correct belief system by the Spirit of God through His Word. I have been supernaturally informed that the Biblical view is the correct view. Having my bias Biblically grounded, I then find that it is firmly established upon a belief system that is singularly and exclusively coherent and accounts for all existence and experience.

          Originally posted by Chillli
          ... let me remind you that I have read your arguments quite closely, so you do not need to repeat the same arguments you have already made many times over. What you need to try to do is restate them in a way that makes more sense, if you can. You have said that acknowledging Jesus as the foundation of all true knowledge and the reason why logic and science work will lead one to be a YEC, this is a bit of a logical leap.
          Where's the leap in logic?

          Originally posted by Chilli
          Again, I find it difficult to accept this just because you say so, ...
          I'm glad. If you found it easy to accept just because I say so, I would be no longer participating in this conversation.

          Originally posted by Chilli
          ... especially when there are so many scientists who acknowledge Christ in this way but do not come to the same conclusion as YEC.
          That's because they do not apply or heed a normative hermeneutic. They modify the Bible to fit their worldview and not the other way around.

          Originally posted by Chilli
          ... Even if it is true that scientific knowledge and technological advancement progress in spite of an irrational approach to science, why is it is so particularly wrong in regards to the evolution/creation issue? Is it only because this is where there is conflict with what the Genesis seems to say about human origins?
          It's not that it is "particularly wrong," but rather that humans are motivated to more vociferously deny a worldview that which would hold them accountable before a holy and wrathful God.

          Originally posted by Chilli
          I think I may not have made my point here sufficiently lucidly. What I mean is that your view, that everybody inevitably interprets evidence to fit their presuppositions, taken to its logical conclusion, leaves no room for any objectivity whatsoever.
          The only objectivity available is that which comes pre-interpreted from God.

          Originally posted by Chilli
          ... As I have said, I believe that true, utter objectivity is impossible for the human mind. However, without a belief in the ability to attain at least a measure of objectivity, your claim that you can correctly interpret the Scriptures using the tools of grammar and language is without foundation, because you will inevitably interpret them according to your own presuppositions, rather than in their grammatico-historical context.
          On my own, and left to myself alone, this is true. But the scriptures teach that the Holy Spirit guides the believer and can teach the believer to overcome and supplant erroneous presuppositions.

          Originally posted by Chilli
          This is similar to what I said above, where I pointed out the ironic conclusion of your philosophy that all interpretation is driven by sheer bias. If you really believe this, then you denude yourself of your ability to rationally interpret any kind of evidence, and you are left with no possibility of knowing whether your own beliefs comply with objective reality. Sadly, this is in fact buttressed by your continuing claim that your knowledge that the Bible claims are true does not come from any objective understanding, but from a mystical and subjective knowledge that has been implanted in your mind by God.
          If it comes from God, it's not subjective. The experience and perception itself may be subjective, but the facts and truth of it are not.

          Originally posted by Chilli
          ... If this is what you really believe, then you should logically discard a hermeneutic based on the normal rules of grammar and historical interpretation, as your own knowledge is derived from purely subjective means. Then again, why should a subjectivist obey the laws of logic?
          Indeed. I'm not a subjectivist. (subjectivism. n. the doctrine that knowledge is merely subjective and that there is no external or objective truth.)

          Originally posted by Chilli
          ... your idea that any attempt to assess evidence is driven by sheer bias actually undermines these methods of interpretation.
          You keep saying this, and it's misleading. The so-called "sheer bias" is God's bias. So it is correct. It is true. It is objective.

          Originally posted by Chilli
          Like you, the postmodern literary hermeneutic essentially starts with the premise that all interpretation is determined by bias, ...
          That's not my view. All interpretation is driven by the rules of language and grammar that governed the originally writing of the text.

          Originally posted by Chilli
          ... I am interested to hear how you start with the same premise and arrive at a different conclusion. I am guessing it will have something to do with objectivity being supplied by the Scriptures, but it is important to remember that it is the possibility of rightly interpreting those Scriptures that is being discussed.
          Here's a link: The Normative Hermeneutic

          Originally posted by Chilli
          It is arbitrary to say that all only the Christian’s science is legitimate because the Christian’s worldview is correct because the Christian believes in the God of the Bible.
          Yes, because legitimate science must be accounted for. The anti-theist scientist cannot account for science, and that makes it illegitimate. That doesn't mean he won't have success. That doesn't mean he won't come to some correct conclusions. What it means is that he hijacks legitimate scientific principles and tools without warrant and refuses to acknowledge the Source of them.

          Originally posted by -Chilli
          It is almost comical that in one breath you say “fallible finite humans cannot autonomously decide which worldview is correct with consistency or coherence” and literally in the next sentence you say “all worldviews are irrational, with the sole exception of the Biblical one.” Haven’t you, a “fallible, finite human,” made a decision here as to which worldview is correct?
          No. It was imposed upon me by supernatural and divine agency.

          Originally posted by -Chilli
          If you say that everyone is inescapably driven by sheer bias, then there is no point discussing anything, let alone doing science (or theology).
          There are several points to such a discussion: One is that The Faith is defended against gainsayers; another is that God uses such discussions to change people's minds; another is that the condemnation of the reprobates is further affirmed.

          Originally posted by -Chilli
          ... After having read the rest of your post, I remember your claim that you do not discuss things with a view to changing the other person’s mind, and obviously you do not do so with any intention of having your own views altered. So then given your belief system, why bother discussing anything at all? ...
          See above.

          Originally posted by -Chilli
          You say that your view has the correct bias. How can you determine this if your interpretation is driven solely by your presuppositions?
          Because my presuppositions are rooted in objective truth, i.e. the scriptures.

          Originally posted by -Chilli
          ... Because you have the right presuppositions. So how do you know they are the right presuppositions? Basically it comes down to the old Christian standby of “you know that you know that you know that you know”.
          No, I know because my presuppositions are affirmed by the inerrant and infallible Word of God.

          Originally posted by -Chilli
          A worldview that is driven by sheer bias is incapable of rationally defending itself, a claim that you are happy to apply to all other worldviews but your own.
          Not if the bias is the correct bias.

          Originally posted by -Chilli
          ... I am having a hard time seeing anything other than arrogance in the form of some kind of stubborn theological ethnocentrism that would lead anyone to take this view.
          The Bible has led lots of people to take this view.

          Originally posted by Chilli, previously
          As stated above, I admit that theories about evolution may come about as a result of anti-theistic sentiments on the part of those who hold to them, and I suppose that given your ardent espousal of Van Til’s claim that there are no “brute facts,” you will find the following hypothetical situation difficult to imagine. I have also noticed that you tend to avoid arguing hypothetical situations, but please try to humor me. Please do not imagine that I really believe this, it is simply a hypothetical situation I am using to illustrate a point. Imagine that God created someone instantaneously as an adult with full reasoning capabilities but no prior conditioning, and was presented with all the wonders of creation as well as all the scientific data we have regarding it. They were not given a Bible or any other religious text, and they were not given revelation by any higher being. Now imagine that this person was asked to estimate the age of the earth using the information they had been given. I tend to think that such a person would arrive at the conclusion that a creator was a basic requirement as an explanation of the beauty and intricate design in everything they saw, but don’t you think that when they looked at the scientific data, they might also reasonably infer that the earth is much older than 6,000 years, and that various species were not all created at once?
          Hilston replied: Not at all! What would lead a person to believe that? Tell me why you, David, would look at the layers of strata and assume long eons of deposition? Why would such a person as you describe look at the rapid deposition of Mt. St. Helens or some similar cataclysmic phenomena, and not conclude that strata were similarly deposited in a rapid, cataclysmic fashion?

          Originally posted by Chilli
          I don’t know much about geology or archeology, but isn’t there something about the fossil record showing different creatures appearing in different strata, a phenomenon that is uniform the world over?
          You asked the question and even chided me for my aversion to hypothetical questions, and now you're begging off? Why would such a person (that you described above) look at layers of strata and assume long eons of deposition?

          Originally posted by Chilli
          Sure there’s layers strata that have obviously been formed by rapid deposits of sludge or whatever, with trees sticking through them and all that, but isn’t that the exception rather than the rule?
          There is no fossilization happening on a regular basis today, David. We can't just watch it happen and study the process UNLESS we look at the so-called exceptions.

          Originally posted by Chillli
          Isn’t it pushing it a bit to say that this is how all strata is formed?
          No. Not unless you can prove that strata could be formed otherwise.

          Originally posted by Chillli
          ... Before the flood, was the Earth just a flawless sphere with trees that were just big sticks poking out of it?
          Before the flood, there were not the massive peaks and deep valleys that cover the Earth today. The scriptures describe the future Earth as being restored to its pre-flood state; valleys raised and mountains lowered.
          Isa 40:4 Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:
          Lu 3:5 Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth;

          Hilston wrote: No deception is intended by God in how He put together the constellations. God wanted there to be stars. He wanted them to be far away, and He also wanted their light to shine upon the earth. I don't call that deception. I call it purposeful and effective. It is only perceived by Evolutionists to be a deception because they erroneously assume that the lights in the sky can be used to ascertain the age of the earth. There is no warrant for that assumption.

          Originally posted by Chilli
          What’s the purpose? To make the place look nice? To help sailors navigate? Perhaps to create employment for all those weirdo astrologers in the back of dodgy magazines? You call it purposeful and effective, I call it overkill.
          In that statement you have poignantly expressed the heart of the rebellious man against God. The believer reads God's word and says, "Even if I don't see the purpose in that, I know that God has a good reason for it, albeit thus far not understood by me." The believer reveres God and His Word and recognizes his own shortcomings in comprehending God's purposes. On the other hand, the rebel reads God's word and presumes to judge God's actions and plans and assumes that, if he doesn't see purpose in something, then it is proof that God isn't all that great, if He exists at all. This is the sin of Adam. Adam's rebellion was not merely disobeying God and eating from a tree that was forbidden. Adam wanted knowledge of good and evil autonomously. So when Lucifer offered the fruit to Eve, an end-around to knowledge from God and a way to make judgements apart from God, Adam let it happen. And when he then used that same obstensibly autonomous judgement to decide that Eve was OK after eating the fruit, he ate it too. His very first act of autonomous judgement was wrong, and it cost him eternity. I have neither the time nor the inclination to convince a rebel that God has good and sufficient purposes in everything He has created, even the evil and calamity that He decrees. This pursuit of judgment apart from God is what everyone who questions God's purposes does. If you're interested in the message God intended in the constellations, see the following link: "The Stars Also" by E.W. Bullinger

          Originally posted by Chilli
          Why is it unreasonable to assume that the age of the stars can be calculated by the time it would take for their light to reach us? Earlier, you said that “humans have been designed by God to be curious, inventive and logical. Humans, by their design, cannot help but pursue science,” but now you are admonishing them for doing that very thing.
          Hardly. The point I've made all along is that one's science must conform to God's Word and must be grounded in Biblical principles.

          Originally posted by Chilli
          ... This is another case in point that in your view scientific knowledge is OK up until the point where it conflicts with the YEC interpretation of Scripture.
          Since the YEC interpretation is the correct interpretation, then, yes that is true.

          Thanks for your post, David. I hope this clears up some of the misconceptions. I have a private e-mail of yours that I need to reply to; I'll send it along soon.

          All the best,
          Jim

          Comment

          Working...
          X