I hope you’ll enjoy the latest selections of the Really Recommended Posts! I have collected them far and wide for your reading pleasure.
Can we trace rock layers across continents only because of Noah’s Flood?– I personally held to this view for quite some time, and felt that it was strong geological evidence for a global flood. I had been taught that because we find similar rock layers on different continents, this means that they must have been deposited by a global flood. Unfortunately, we do ourselves no credit as Christians when we make claims like this. Here is a geological examination of the claim.
“You’re Only a Christian Because You Were Born in the U.S.” How did I respond?– This is a challenge that is often leveled against believers: the notion that geography limits their belief and somehow discredits it. Here is a look at how to rebut the challenge.
William Beauchamp on the Urgency of Christian Apologetics for Our Time– I was tickled to see Doug Geivett mention William Beauchamp recently. Beauchamp (1772-1824) was one of the historical apologists I’ve read a few things by and enjoyed. Here’s a snippet from one of his writings that remains relevant today.
Is Morality in the Interests of Health and Safety?– An interesting look at balancing public safety with morality.
Reader Discretion: The Horror of Canaanite Children’s “Family Life”– Clay Jones details some of the awful treatment that Canaanite children endured. This was far from an innocent society. Worldviews have consequences. Again, reader discretion is advised as there is some violence outlined in this post.
Regarding the geography of birth argument, Plantinga’s response fails to address the fatal point, namely, that the geography of birth and not the accuracy of the claim correlates to specific religious beliefs. That’s why no one wakes up one day in Salt Lake City and suddenly believes in Tlazolteotl, but people do wake up in Cairo and Tehran and think plurality is a more sustainable social solution to real world conflict than only Shia or Sunni Islam.
Catholics and Protestants don;t get along because each denomination believes in plurality the same way they each belief in their accepted religious doctrines; they exercise plurality to avoid open conflict.
Unlike a religious belief, pluralism is a social construct, an acceptance of tolerating differences. Only if Plantinga accepts religious belief as a similar social construct does his argument then succeed. But this he does not accept. He asks, “Does it follow that he shouldn’t be a pluralist or that his pluralistic beliefs are produced in him by an unreliable belief-producing process? I doubt it.” This reveals what he is trying to falsely equate, namely the reliability of the belief producing process. Peaceful resolutions produce sustainable solutions and this process is well known not because of belief but because of compelling evidence. This reliability of process is what Plantinga’s argument fails to address. On the one hand reliability for the pluralist position can be argued on social merit backed up by real world and compelling evidence. On the other hand, the reliability of believing in one religious identity to be the correct one – say between Shia and Sunni – obviously cannot (an ongoing source of open conflict). And this religious identity has to be taught – hence the need for proximity such as geography. Plurality has to be learned… a different process entirely.
Reblogged this on Talmidimblogging.
Wow the Canaanite Children post was quite disturbing but situate the context with how God dealt with them. Thanks
Pluralism is itself the product of certain beliefs, the belief that a multitude of religious, political, cultural beliefs and traditions coexisting together is good or beneficial, either directly so or the belief that the alternatives are morally hazardous or too impractical to enforce. Such beliefs are culturally and geologically dependent, largely a product of Western thinking and present in Westernized cultures. If you grew up in Communist Russia, you’d likely be an atheist or pushed strongly towards atheism and your opinions toward religion, including religious pluralism would be influenced by your Communist culture, you’d probably think it was all nonsense so why bother cultivating various flavors of insanity? Promoting, accepting or rejecting pluralism in its many forms is dependent on various human beliefs which differ in geography and time and so the analogy is still valid.
Talon, if that were true, then where did the large scale Catholic support in Poland come from during the Gdansk strike? Why the massive return In the former Soviet regime to Russian Orthodoxy? These religious beliefs didn’t go away under totalitarian regimes. They didn’t fall away to make masses of atheists. They simply went quiet.
I also think that enlightenment values like pluralism in the secular state are not culturally based at all but by merit have created a cultural basis by their exercise in law and governance. And the geographic distribution of enlightenment values is not equivalent to any one religion; they are strongly correlated to literacy and levels of education.