A Conversation On WhatsApp With A FRIEND On FAITH

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I expected people to respond after posting “How FAITH Kills THINKING; A True Idea Many Do Not Agree With Because Of FAITH Itself“. And a friend did not let me down. He decided to share his perspective with me and I think many will have a lot to learn from our conversation. One may like to know what the need of that will be. But that’s necessary if you take a look on fairness. Thus, making known to all and sundry all sides of the picture and arguments on the GOD topic. We need the acknowledgement of the human intellect to ensure more think, think and think for the progress of humanity. If his submissions in favor of Religion/God are not even the wholistic picture for the religion of christianity, it at leasts makes us aware of how a sect in the christian faith thinks. Below is a WhatsApp conversation.

Nathaniel: You need to understand certain things accurately. Bible defines faith in Hebrew 11:1. Now, Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. It isn’t true that faith ignores evidence. You will get more understanding if you allow the scripture to explain everything within the Bible. The age of the earth, the script is dated to the time it was written. Remember God created a lot of things before creating man on the sixth day. Scripture says a day to God is like a 1000 years to man and vice versa. Certainly, parts of the book of Revelation was written in apocalyptic literature because, at the time of writing, the apostles were being prosecuted. Revelation chapter 7 verse 1 was a message for christians, and its purpose was to confuse those in authority, thus decipher the message for christians reach without authority’s awareness. John wrote the book when he was in exile on an island.  Don’t take it literal in comparison with science. Indeed, the human mind and the christian mind is created to think. That is why we compare every thing in reasoning from the scriptures to see if its in accordance to what the Lord said. The Bible gives definition and criteria for its message, preachers, practitioners and prophets.

AcHaaB_dAn: Lol. That’s it. The use of literal and figurative explanations to support faith. I know about that. This leads to the question, What’s faith? Faith is believing in spite of.

Nathaniel: Hebrew 11;1 defines faith. So faith is not belief in spite of.

AcHaaB_dAn: Okay, before I proceed, in relation to a 1000 years is to 1, I once wrote an article on the age of the universe. You should check that out. There Lies A Conflict between RELIGION & SCIENCE under Real Studies (Earth’s AGE). How do I differentiate what is to be taken literally to what is to be taken figuratively? Now, according to Hebrew 11;1, faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Take note of “ASSURANCE ABOUT WHAT WE DO NOT SEE“. This certainly includes belief in spite of.

But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. (James 1:6) 

For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. (Romans 10:10)

Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:8-9)

For we live by faith, not by sight.
(2 Corinthians 5:7)

All the above are just a few verses that give an idea on what faith should be.

Nathaniel: Yes. That’s right. Everything has been recorded in the Bible and there will be no contradictions if the Bible explains itself.

AcHaaB_dAn: I’m sorry, but there are contradictions within the Bible itself. That’s why there was even the need to show the distinction between the old and new testaments.

Nathaniel: The Bible tells us to study it in parts. We have to break these parts to make understanding possible.

AcHaaB_dAn: Black should be black in all parts. You can’t call something Black in Part 1 and call it White in Part 2. An all-knowing God will not make that mistake. He knows all right from the end. Speaking on biblical contradictions, I think I’ll have to find you some of the many I encountered while reading the Bible.

Nathaniel: Read Hebrew 1:1

AcHaaB_dAn: Hebrews  1:1 reads, “God, who at sundry times and in diverse manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets.” Modern day English has it as, “In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways.

Nathaniel: Add the second verse.

AcHaaB_dAn: You initially told me to read the first. By the way, I’ll add 2. Hebrews 1:2 “Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;” Modern day English says, “but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe.

Nathaniel: Hope you understand that?

AcHaaB_dAn: Should there still be a difference in the message when talking about an all knowing God? Unless God did not know the end from the beginning, that’s kinda unreasonable.

Nathaniel: That’s His ways. There is a purpose for everything.

AcHaaB_dAn: I will not make a mistake when I know the right path. No. I dont think there is a purpose. I think purpose are man made ideas created to suit their own ambitions.

Nathaniel: The book of Hebrews will inform you to understand the purpose of the new testament and why the old has come to an end.

AcHaaB_dAn: Please explain what you think that purpose is. But before you start, take note that there’ll be no need for the renovation of a building when the building is perfect. This God we are talking about has so many attributes, He should be flawless. He shouldn’t commit the very mistakes of man.

Nathaniel: Of course. Let’s explain it this way, God had a bigger plan. Now, before this plan was to be materialized, He sampled the Israel nation and tested it on then. God saw that the convenant was too difficult for them to obey. This was so because of its compulsive nature. Then He gave the free will to man to worship Him through a new convenant by believing in Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection.

AcHaaB_dAn: Hahaha. He sampled the Israel nation and tested it on? Really? That means He did not know the outcome in the first place, hence questioning His Omniscience.

Nathaniel: Hebrew 1:1-2 says
In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe.

AcHaaB_dAn: It was the same God. Thats the issue. It’s not Zeus speaking to them in the old testament and Poseidon speaking in the other.

Nathaniel: Yeah. When God told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac he changed again and gave Abraham a ram to use in sacrifice. Understand God’s ways. No, it’s the same God in the Old And the New.

AcHaaB_dAn: When you know the right method and how humanity will relate to it, you’ll use it from the onset. God should not have to go through tests to know of outcomes. Ipso facto, that puts one of His billion attributes to question. Did God really need to know Abram’s faith through testing? Where did His Omniscience go?

Nathaniel: God wanted to bless the Israelites yet allowed them become slaves. That way, the miracle comes in a hopeless situation to strengthen the faith of man. Read Hebrew 10:10-16. Make use of the modern English.

AcHaaB_dAn: Wow

Nathaniel: I can see you are enjoying the scriptures.

AcHaaB_dAn: “Wow” here means “Surprise” and not “Enjoyment”. So God is prepared to allow me to suffer in the first place just to give Him praise and to teach me faith? That’s authentic wickedness. What of the many Israelites who died out of Pharoah’s maltreatment?

Nathaniel: God’s ways are simple to understand, He teaches you more through the difficulties. Through that, Isreal became a hard working nation. David was taught leadership principles when he was a shepherd before becoming King.

AcHaaB_dAn: So what lesson will be there for those who die in suffering?

Nathaniel: Read Hebrew 10:10-16. For others to die it even makes it reasonable for those alive to believe more and see the faith in God as precious. People died for Ghana’s Independence and that’s why we hold it Supreme.

AcHaaB_dAn: That’s not reasonable for the one who meets demise to me. And all are to be equally loved by a Benevolent God. So one cannot be given a special preference to benefit from the other’s death. And are you now comparing God to man? Let me tell you why this is an issue. We are talking of a God with all the Great attributes that an entire nation of Ghanaian citizens will not be able to collectively beat even when given the benefits of gazillions of years.

Nathaniel: I am making this comparism for your understanding.

AcHaaB_dAn: I already understand that man is far less than God regardless of Him creating us in His image. After all, a day to Him is like a 1000 years to man.

Nathaniel: Hehehe

And this was how it ended.  Laughter from Nat. In case he sends another point, I won’t hesitate to put that up here.

Achaab Daniel ABALANSA
facebook.com/achaabdan
Twitter: @AcHaaB_dAn
IG: achaab_dan_gh
Email: achaabdan@gmail.com

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9 thoughts on “A Conversation On WhatsApp With A FRIEND On FAITH

  1. Interesting much! I enjoy listening in to objections about Christianity and the defence thereof. I challenge you to look up Ravi Zacharias, he specializes in bringing non-believers to belief and believers to reason.

    And about the Age of the universe, I feel compelled to say something on this. If the objection to “six days” is in the impossibility of the act of creation then it is a crisis of faith for Christians who would want to stretch the reasoning as to day the reference to “day” was not literal whether he is right or not. On the other hand, Dating is not observational science and hinges all its weight on the assumption that the laws of nature have been consistent over the time past. If they ever changed at some point then the ball game is quite different and there would be a systematic error in our Dating system.

    On Contradictions in the bible I’ll let you have this: the bible is quite coherent and consistent within itself. There are many aspects such as The Principle Of Embarrassment that was very fascinating and unique when the bible was put to a litmus test at Harvard. Anyway, when you fall back and understand that what is happening and what has happened is not what ought to be happening or have happened. The bible is very elaborate about that when it talks about the fall of man which wasn’t in God’s plan. From your reasoning, I’m guessing you would object and say, “Wait, Herbert, what of His Omniscience.” It’s quite simple: Omniscience if God is his ability to see into the future, the past, the present WHENEVER HE LOOKS INTO THEM. It doesn’t necessarily mean that He is a spiritual being that sees EVERYTHING, every time, but rather that when He choses to. When you evaluate the aspects of God, always try to get an aggregate of all of them so that you do not go overboard with one. For example, in the case of the fall of man: God seemed surprised that Adam had transgressed because he was, simply put, surprised. Part of the true nature of Love is that you trust someone to make the right choice. Notably, I may tell my child not to do drugs, but searching her bag back every time after school defeats some crucial qualities such as love. It’s the same with God, He CAN, if He wanted, but the definition Love requires Him to be trusting.

    I hope I was as helpful to you as you were to me by this marvelous post.

    When you

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have followed Ravi Zacharias and John Lennox for some time now. On Dating techniques, should that be dismissed even if it is not observational? That we should presuppose that we cannot have an enquiry on past events just because we were not there? Progressively following that line, it’ll mean that we would have to dismiss other explanations in geology like the structure of the earth which is based on analyzing seismic waves from earthquakes. I say so because, the deepest hole (12, 261m) penetrated by man was done by the USSR from 1970 to 1984. This hole does not come close to the distance of the centre of the earth (6, 371 km) indicating that man can have nothing to say about the nature of the earth’s structure beyond 12, 261m, that’s if we follow the trend of dismissing dating techniques because it wasn’t observational for billions of years. It’s like telling me to go as far as space, drift into the sun to touch it with the finger just to prove how hot 5,778 K will be, regardless of the radiations and heat we feel far beyond the sun.

      Come on, Scientists make use of clues left behind, these clues are found when one studies the varying rocks of time. At least, we are aware that one receives the same result when it comes to dating when done in the exact manner, time and space. As I told Nathan, if we are not to take certain aspects of scripture literally, how then will we be able to seperate the literal verses from the figurative ones? What happens to 2nd Peter 1;20-21? Will that verse cling to figurative or literal interpretation? That seems to be a problem for me. Urban sociology goes beyond 6000 years (the age of the world if the Bible is taken literally) even in stating the first settlements made by man. Mathew outlines generations from generations, clearly stating descendants upon descendants, I don’t know if that should also be a figurative account on genealogy. But the figurative and literal cards are reason to why there are varying doctrines within a single body under Christ. Varying doctrines that at times contradict each other, allowing one another to point the other as the one who got it all wrong. You can compare Catholics to the Jehovah Witnesses, I don’t need to outline the differences.

      On God’s omniscience, God is God, that marks the point. He trascends all human difficulty, I don’t see the need for aggregation with God in the picture because that depicts limits. Now, God created man Himself, which implies that He should understand Human nature. To be surprised at the output of His own creation leaves me to think something else.

      Real lovers love in spite of, with that I am certain. Real love is unconditional. The Bible’s definition of love (1 Corinthians 13;4-7) in itself entails a lot that even gives love the look of a daunting task. On God’s unconditional love for man which you claim is shown under the confines of trust, why couldn’t He love the very first two people regardless of them being what he created them to be? By that, I mean God gave the supposed prime parents of humanity brains, they used it, and they considered the other side. That was being human, and to punish someone for what you created them to be, I call that uncalled for.

      You were undoubtedly helpful because you added another assertion of theists in favor of theism to my catalogue of reasoning. That’s what I need, the other side of the equation. Thanks a lot. But I also suggest that you take notice of the works of the following on the other side, a returned favor to create a balance on the chance to present an argument in fairness for both sides. Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Bill Nye and Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson. These men have submissions that will only be understood in an element of open-mindedness. Thanks once more Herbert. I look forward to learn much more from you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are a real Truth Seeker, I see.

        If a certain Science us not observational, it hinges so much of its weight on assumptions, in this case Dating Science hinges on the assumption that the Laws of Nature that are variables in this have been consistent. Not dismiss, but at least acknowledge that the reality is anybody’s guess to say the least. If you know just the rudiments of Science you probably know that systematic error does not change the values of the readings relative to one another; It’s simple really!

        My big point was that I fear that some people’s insistence on the age of the universe and of earth as is documented is somewhat based on a grudge with the possibility of the miracle of 7 literal days. I have not pitched a tent yet on what I believe about this, but I try to evaluate the thinking because at the end of the day it is all that is going to matter.

        I’m guessing you believe in the theory of Evolution also? Science has overstretched the logic on certain things, yes? If you are going to take everything that is in the bible and try to juxtapose it with Scientific Enquiries, you risk losing grasp of actual truth- not that I say the bible is the actual truth, but you will be somewhat discriminating against it by adjusting its world view to fit the Scientific world view always.

        When the bible is figurative, I think, usually there follows a literal interpretation.

        Oh, and thanks for the recommendations, I listen in to discussions by these men often. It helps me evaluate my thinking. I respect them and it scares me that, considering how intelligent they are, I could be wrong about my Christian worldview. I’m persuaded of it for now though.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I perfectly get you. Notwithstanding, what is the difference between science and the Bible? I think the Bible, if there’s a least form for it, is just like any account on History with assertions on how the present and future will be. Science outside observation hinges so much weight on assumptions? Well, unlike that of the Bible, scientific assumptions are made relative to already existing evidence left behind. Why do others have the assumption of the Big Bang? It’s basically because of an observation on space; that which clearly outline the beauty of stars gradually moving apart from each other. A reverse look on this beyond doubt in real thinking incorruptible by subjectivity illustrates that an expanded mass was once a consolidated mass. So assumptions when based on evidence is by the least, better than assertions made by someone thousands of years back with an evidence visible to that person in his/her own world of divinity, that which is personally motivated and may vary when the look is catapulted to many persons.

        I am not suggesting that Dating Science is perfect and may not be flawed by certain mistakes. No, that’s not what I am alluding to. The point I am making rather has this nature; that science and certain accounts in history by the Bible both have the potential of being flawed at a point in time. That the only difference rather lies in the fact that assumptions in science are based on something that can be tested and analyzed. I will not like to delve into matters of the explanations attached to diseases based on the Bible and other explanations of those same diseases under the scientific study of medicine and pathogenes.

        On evolution theory, I do not believe, I think it’s a highly plausible explanation to the gradual biological progress of species.

        For billions of years (that’s if science is right on the age of the earth), it has been exactly that; the discrimination against science by adjusting Scientific truth to fit with Scripture. If what science says ends up discordant to scripture, the propounder of such ideology was charged with heresy by the authority of that time (the church). We may never know of the number of people who had contradictions to the pre-existing notions of the church, forced to die with their thoughts for the fear of serving a life of imprisonment. Galileo is an overemphasized one at this; a fact that makes us aware of how flawed religion can be.

        Science is never biased if it proves it’s point with what can be generically understood by all, again without the spectacles of subjectivity. That’s not the same with various religions and even denominations within christianity itself poised at proclaiming varying explanations to the perfect route of salvation and an eternal life of bliss. Some of which have the details of 72 virgins progressively increasing the suicide bombing numbers.

        Thanks once more. People like you make the learning process worth it.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Sorry for late replay.

        Science has become a world view because of the uniqueness in its claims. It is more affiliated with Atheism as Athiesm is more accepting of the criterion for truth testing that Science suggests. When comparing the notes of the Biblical world view with the Scientific World view, people usually try to mold the bible such that it fits the Scientific worldview and I don’t think this is the best way to evaluate truth claims.

        Personally, I resolved it this way: The bible is morally relevant and to some extent logically consistent. It explains some existential elements in a way Science could never afford, and it does this with an unparalleled level of coherence. There are some Scientific elements that are somewhat irrelevant to the Biblical world view, and those ones I do not have any trouble gutting them in, but there are some- especially those that involve conjectures, non-observational Science- which I find curious much. If you understand Scientific Enquiries then you are familiar with Confirmation Bias. It is relevant should you be persuaded to try and juxtapose two conflicting worldviews. Some of the theories, I can even explain to you another possible way the findings would have been interpreted, a way benign to the Biblical worldview, using Science itself. If you have watched law firm TV shows you might have picked up on how it is that you often times bounce between the trial swings. It’s not that you are credulous; it’s only that words can be molded in such a way that they defeat the purpose of truth. Dorothy Parker once said, “There is a hell of a difference between wisecracking and wit; wit has truth in it, but wisecracking is simply calisthenics with words.”

        In our endeavor to seek for the Truth, Achaab, there is a temptation to stray with some fascinating yet non-weighty arguments. I deal with this by listening in to various mouth pieces. If you listen to one mouthpiece you will have forfeited the essence of being a truth seeker. There is a Chinese proverb that says, “If you want to know the taste of water, don’t ask a fish.” Similarly, if you are submerged in a certain worldview too much it’s quite hard to grapple with the truth.

        Now, your objections:
        1. The big Bang was based on the radiation which is detectable from all direction, implying residue of an explosion that might have led to the formation of the universe, yes. This may be tucked into the Biblical worldview, I guess. Now, it’s not about the observation but the interpretation. The conjecture that the radiation indicated the Big Bang is quite that, a conjecture.

        I’m not claiming that I know everything, but I know enough to know the fluidity of thought and what research has come up to.

        2. Dating
        My argument here is quite scientific. Systematic error is Science. If you had 4 bananas and I had 10, I’d be having an excess of 6. If in actual fact I had 20 and you had 14, I would be still having an excess of six. Now, there are some enquiries in which only the excess will be a function. Won’t the data be relevant? Relatively, there is no difference so if you evaluate the exess, you will have relavent data either way. That’s how systematic error works, and just to be fair, I explained that the error could have been possibly inspired by a change in the system ergo Laws Of Nature.

        3. Evolution Has A Very Valid Scientific Premise.
        Some elements such as adaption may be observed but can evolution still retain its essence of we assumed that the gradual changes cannot become so cumulative such that there a new spieces may be formed? Evolution would still retain 90 percent of its essence but then why that additive? Yet that additive has become the one of the essentials on which the theory hinges. Not to come off as stupid, but Science seems not to put a ruler on every observation. I don’t hold this as a rule but it helps me not to get carried away.

        4. Galileo, Copenicus etc
        My heart goes to those great men. And yes, it was religion, but they were victims of a character outside the Christian faith. You cannot judge a worldview based on its abuse.

        Thanks buddy, you have fascinating insight!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. The apologies for a late reply is reciprocal.

        First of all, Science is not a worldview, it rather influences worldviews. Science is basically the collective discipline of study or learning acquired through the scientific method and then, we have worldviews as one’s personal view of the world and how one interprets it or the totality of one’s beliefs about reality. I needed to make this distinction because the world is possibly on the verge of having a worldview that tries to fuse science and religion together with the explanation of natural phenomena. Humanism, Skepticism, Atheism, Agnosticism are worldviews influenced by science. We also have a couple of christians themselves (Francis Collins, John Lennox for sure) who try to reconcile the complexities of science with scripture or in the case of C. S. Lewis, called “The Apostle to the Skeptics” due to his approach to religious belief as a sceptic.

        On Atheism being more affiliated to Science, I will agree with you on that. But what did you expect? Involving a Supernatural Being into studies makes understanding difficult. You are more probably going to find yourself locked in a room with walls having this inscription all over “You can’t understand this. God did it. His ways are not that of man’s.”. This notion breeds laziness and it gives people a “gold plated reason not to think” as explained by Dan Dennett. That’s the same problem we still face, take God out and then you end up with a more simplistic solution; evolution, take God out and then you have yet another simple solution; the Big Bang. I am reminded on something said by Professor Stephen Hawking in his recent biopic, The Theory of Everything (2014). Hawking said “A Physicist can’t allow his calculations to be muddled by belief in a Supernatural Creator” and I, along with numerous scientists have perfect empathy for those words.

        I find it rather unfortunate to notice this great detail from your words, that “people usually try to mold the bible such that it fits the Scientific worldview”. This is distasteful to the work of history. Its actually the vice versa. The Bible is a fixed set of old literature that has been around for at least, a thousand years. Science happens to be the new discovery, new thought and new method. I perfectly do not see how an already existing thought will be moulded to fit into a new one. If there is a possibility of that, it won’t be perpetrated by those outside religion. Christian apologists will be the ones compelled to do so after a realization that scripture might be wrong and this is where the figurative-literal card comes in. Let me add an example. Prior to the scientific discovery that the earth was imperfectly spherical, we had early christian thinkers affirming to the flawed fact based on our ignorance that the earth was flat pointing to Revelations 7:1. And then what happened? We realized how wrong we were basically through photographic evidence taken from satellites in space. Now, this is what is happening. Today’s argumentators in favor of the Bible no longer resort to Revelation 7:1 as their ancestors did. They rather quote scriptures like Job 26:7, Isaiah 40:21-22, Proverbs 8:27 and Luke 17:31-34. This is really, shifting worldviews to make meaning to already existing thoughts. Isn’t it relatively farther more logical to take note of the last account, that which is the most recent through the work of John in the Book of Revelation? But here they go, forfeiting a last remark to meet the needs of preventing the shame to be caused by present awareness.

        On the Bible being morally relevant, I won’t hesitate to question that. When one falls into dirty oil, we should expect to see some evidence of that dirt on the victim’s body. That analogy can be related to christianity. I will not skew myself into Islamic states and their highly known form of violence and massacre (discordant to the view that Islam means Peace) because we are dealing with you, a christian. I don’t see any evidence of oil on followers of Christ. I live with many christians, from my family to room mates at the university, friends and take notice of celebs who proclaim God’s name after winning an award and I hardly see evidence from dirty oil. Perversion is actually the most common flaw of christians to me and that’s a problem. Now, you might say that I shouldn’t judge Christianity based on the activities of acclaimed christians. But who then should I use for the measurement? Atheists, Hinduists or muslims? I will rather opt for the majority of christians. Besides, what is the use of a sect if its followers progressively go contrary to its claims with hypocrisy? Aside that, it’ll be very shameful to assert that christians gain their morality from the bible. That will be an insult to humanity. It’ll mean that murder to a christian is only wrong because that is stated in the Bible. Take that out of the Bible, and then murder becomes right.

        On the Bible’s consistency, I couldn’t explain it better than Sam Harris’ in his Letter to a Christian Nation. “It is often said that it is reasonable to believe that the Bible is the word of God because many of the events recounted in the New Testament confirm Old Testament prophecy. But ask yourself, how difficult would it have been for the Gospel writers to tell the story of Jesus’ life so as to make it conform to Old Testament prophecy? Wouldn’t it have been within the power of any mortal to write a book that confirms the predictions of a previous book? In fact, we know on the basis of textual evidence that this is what the Gospel writers did”.

        What existential elements does religion explain that science cannot? Are they stuff we could all relate to? Is it not possible that many of our needs with which religion takes the crown of meeting may be as a result of wishful thinking? You create an awareness on juxtaposition as if Religion has a method. But the fact is, religion usually has notions laid down for years urging people to follow blindly regardless of the unavoidable realities we face. That to me is Confirmation Bias. A claim made under the confines of religion will be accepted with rapt ease without question, that is actually not the same with claims made under science. In science, you’d have to make sure that an experiment based on your theory will receive generic results provided the experiment is taken under the same perfect condition. That to me is not a confirmation bias.

        On the example given on the law firm, I would say that there is a problem in real life. The problem of the form of evidence usually used in a trial. The most common form of evidence has to do with eyewitness testimony. But we have known in truth that that form of evidence is not reliable. The famous scientific test that lines up many people afterwhich an informer gives the very first person a message to carry across to the next and the next and the next tells it all. We will find that under normal circumstance (without a preconceived idea on what that experiment is about) the message will sound completely different by the time it is made available to the last person. Unfortunately, this is the form of evidence highly available in our law courts. Forensic science evidence on the other hand, which is higly reliable relative to that of eyewitness testimony is not easy to find. How many crime scenes will find evidence like say, a strand of hair? Even if that is found, processing that evidence may be another problem on its own (taking Africa into consideration on this one). So as I was saying, the problem on “Wisecracking and Wit” deals much more on a problem of a highly unreliable form of evidence. And I do not know why you had to bring this up because reality will make us aware that that form of evidence in support of a notion is greatly used by organized religions. Why do I say so? Christianity is basically based on the Bible, an account based on eyewitness testimony (in this case, eyewitnesses will be the writers of 66 books) and many are expected to act based on this account.

        Achaab listens to the other side. He was actually born and raised into Catholicism, but now finds himself on the other side, ipso facto it means that he has an open mind, he listened to the other side and made meaning out of it. Let us try and look at it from this point also. Is there no possibility that yourself has been overly submerged into your present worldview? As an African, I am certain you were more probably raised in religion, you happen to be in the very same state and someway somehow, I who ends up in displacement due to information acquired from the realities of life becomes the one tagged with asking the fish about the taste of water. It’s actually the other way round.

        On the Big Bang, you claim the problem deals much on not observation but rather, the interpretation. I don’t know if the literal-figurative card can also be played in science. Be it as it may, I will be greatly happy if you presented an alternative interpretation.

        On your 4 bananas in relation to dating techniques, I find that ratherly laughable. To write that means you have missed the point on science and experiments. Experiments should be done under the same conditions, with the same ingredients, hypothesis and apparatus for a claim to receive general acceptability as a theory. 4 bananas and 10 bananas even though with the same excesses (as you said) should give you different results under an experiment in the same condition, hypothesis, ingredient and apparatus. That’s actually what science does, it makes you aware of the atomic sized details. I am actually forced to believe this; that you automatically find a claim to be erroneous as soon as you realize its discordancy to your pre-conception. And that’s actually another form of Confirmatiom Bias.

        On Evolution, I’ll just say this. We find new breeds of dogs (progressively indicating new species if this continues for billions of years) each and everyday. And I bet the dicovery of new species will continue. Quite recently, two water snakes, initially believed to have been extinct were found in Australia. I won’t be surprised to find theists asserting that “God rescinded His decision on their extinction and decided to bring that type back to earth”. On the other hand, this might have a naturalistic explanation yet to be discovered. As I always say, I will never allow my current state of ignorance to forcibly presuppose an answer to the varying questions I really had no answers to.

        On Galileo and Copernicus, I’ll say its rather unfortunate to know that an entire religious civilization had it all wrong even when they claimed to have the manual to life. These men were actually victims of the Christian faith of their time. We may not know how wrong current faith might be. The need for this correction is to be made. Simply put it, I cannot ignore the relationship between Islam and Terrorism, Public Extortion and Christianity and etc. These may/may not be actions purported by holy books, but we still have to take note of what is causing the prevailance of such actions in Islamic and Christian states to draw intelligibility from such relationships.

        Thanks Herbes. Greatly Appreciated!

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      5. You make a quite coherent argument, I grant that. And I haven’t pitched a tent- at least not on discussions- on half the arguments I put up, just so you know, but rather by these thought experiments and alternative explanations I try to keep myself in check about the Confirmation Bias that, we all have to agree, is ubiquitous. In other words I try to balance out some thinking where possible.

        Anyway, you said a worldview is an aggregate of a person’s belief -just paraphrasing- which is quite what I would say myself and there happen to be people who have lifestyles formed by the ideologies that are endorsed exclusively by Science, be it from experiments or extrapolation. You may say that this is impossible considering the existance of multiple theories in some aspects but I know you are not credulous enough to not understand that there are theories which are considered as Science in such cases thereby discriminating against alternative research. Evolution is a typical example; I’m sure you know how it’s held especially in high profile discussions. Considering this, I’m sure you would be persuaded that such would be a Scientific Worldview. I admit that I haven’t looked into the strictness in the semantics of the word worldview but I have heard the phrase, “Scientific Worldview,” thrown around in some high budget discussions- In the light I explained just now, it always slid smoothly with my understanding. Always happy to stand corrected though. After all, it is the Truth we are after, right?

        I’m still to look into C.S. Lewis a little more but he often pops up in some discussions and yes, he really tried to reconcile, where possible, evaluate and contrast Christianity and other worldviews with a remarkable touch of reasoning. It was in this way- bringing someone who reasons to believe- that he became persuaded of the Christian worldview himself.

        Whilst this approach has its place in the world that we live in, there is also another approach which is intrinsic within the Christian world view, at least considering the level of emphasis with which it is taught, and that is the idea of Faith. It doesn’t gratify the person outside of the belief system itself, and the Bible even goes on to acknowledge how seemingly foolish this is, and as convenient as it may seem to the supposed brainwashing of the Christian, this approach also has a permanent seat in Christianity. To satisfy both, that is when people split the difference. I will grant that the average Christian thinks and expresses his belief system as dogma, but this is not necessarily a bad thing. I understood your concern about invoking God in the gaps of conventional knowledge and it’s quite valid because it leaves very little to no room for enquiries, but is Science any different?

        In one of your previous replies you pointed out how Galileo, Copenicus and others were victimized for trying to express what we now regard as truth and I let that slide in nicely. From a change of mind, and picking from there, you do know that there is no way of telling whether the earth is moving or not; at least nothing that is palatable for a layman? The explanation that a constant speed in a frictionless medium cannot be realised explains the possibility of the earth being in motion but does not sustain that. The same sensation that you have when you are on the ground is the same that you have when you are in a plane when its movement is ideal. Now, you can look outside and realize that you are actually in a moving plane, but the same cant be said about the earth since the analogy of the party’s movement is more inclined to that of a closed elevator. Now, why do I point this out? Because when the suggestion that the earth is in fact moving was in its infancy it was this assumption that you would get as the explanation for the Earth’s movement. It didn’t leave any room for enquiry, did it? It was a similar case with the flat earth controversy. Science was initially waving “Horizon” as the evidence for curvature and after some time it started to change goalposts. The problem is that when alternative research is pushed for table talk Science has a virtual “God explanation” formed from a stack of assumptions. You may go as far as dismissing this, for reasons best known to yourself, but the challenge of far-fetched evidences that cannot be realised by the average person is a good enough reason to hold some Science(holding it as a worldview) and some worldviews with a pinch of salt. Even up to today we have only one picture of the earth, supposedly taken by Neil and his team. Furthermore, what do you suppose would happen if we were to discover a skull of the homosapian dated earlier than Austrapithecus Robustus, one of the ancestors of apes? Don’t you think that someone would say he was a time traveller? Time travel is pulp Science but is theoretically possible. Hasn’t Science lopped in on itself already?

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      6. I don’t know what you mean by “discriminating against alternative research”. Is “alternative research” science? If “no” then yes, you should expect hostility coupled with different results because science has its own methodology for explaining natural phenomena; the scientific method. This is never bias because all other alternatives have been given the same benefit to have the right to be wrong at its way of explaining phenomena.

        Let’s employ an example from the “Law of 3 stages” propounded by the founding father of Sociology; Auguste Comte. First of all, we have the Theologian stage (where natural phenomena is explained by an enquiry into issues strictly related to divinity or the supernatural. Here, a disease like say, epilepsy will be best explained as a “curse” or “a possesion of billions of demons”. Under this stage of explaining phenomena, science is strictly ignored. I don’t see that as biased because its simply an alternative. This method is usually linked to all religions and traditional/fetish societies. You are African yourself, and I am certain you know of what happens in the highly primitive sections of our African villages.

        There is also the Metaphysical state; where phenomena is usually explained by clinging to a view from a highly respected philosopher or experience. Within this state, an explanation to an illness may go like this; “Everyone is bound to die. In order to die, we need to fall sick first”.

        Then we have the last stage, thus the Scientific or Positive stage. In here, rationality with strict scientific principles are held at heart. Be it as it may, this stage is proud of its ignorance and has the unending willingness to learn so as to reduce the level of ignorance to the explanation of phenomena. So a disease, say Malaria will have this explanation; “Herbert now has Malaria because his surroundings are engulfed with stagnant water which progressively houses mosquitoes (including the female anopheles one carrying the plasmodium parasite. He has malaria because he was bitten by a mosquito carrying the plasmodium 9 or 11 days ago).

        That’s the law of 3 stages. And every stage has its own unique way of explanations. That’s a benefit which both science and religion gets to enjoy. Regardless, this benefit does not put a stamp of validation to all methods. No, all methods have the right to be wrong as well.

        I’ll rather say evolution is a theory motivated by science. On faith, I don’t need to repeat the falsified answers it presented. If you question this regardless of the reasons given by evolutionary biologists like Richard Dawkins, then I may be right to say that there is a confirmation bias somewhere motivated by faith richly printed in the words of a book. That which is a philosophy on its own. An account written at the time when we did not know what was actually going on most of the time. Thanks to modernity, we now know what epilespy means. It isn’t a child possesed by demons. No, it can have a medical explanation without discriminating against the victim of an epileptic seizure.

        Lol. On Galileo etc, this is what I’ll say. No, let me rather chip in some words from Steven Pinker. “It’s natural to think that living things must be the handiwork of a designer. But it was also natural to think that the Sun went around the Earth. Overcoming naive impressions to figure out how things really work is one of humanity’s highest callings.

        Science has a virtual “god explanation” formed from a stack of assumptions?” I can’t really want to believe you said that. The problem is this, Real Science questions the very existence of a deity. That is not a god explanation. That is rather the reverse; a world without a supernatural being behind pulling the strings explanation. And its very clear, the world we live in does not look like a work/result from the supernatural. It is a world of chaos and chance, with irregular shapes from a generic perspective. George Carlin kept it this way, “this results does not belong in the resumé of a Supernatural Being”.

        On the discovery of new fossils, that’s exactly what science longs for. They need more of that to add more value to the scientific argument for evolution. Its rather the other way round. Religion cried anytime anthropological excavators found fossils, because that placed a threat on the idea and assumption stated by Holy books (not even a theory) for creationism. When the Grand Canyon reveals to us some evidence, a truth seeking individual will take that into consideration and that seems to be a threat. I don’t also understand why you had to involve time travel. Remember yours was an assumption motivated by wishful thinking to wrongfully crown religion as the master of philosophies. You said, “what do you suppose would happen if we were to discover a skull of the homosapian dated earlier than Austrapithecus Robustus, one of the ancestors of apes?” Science has not discovered any evidence in relation to your assumptions and so will not work on that. If we are to simply give out assumptions, then I am also at liberty to say this, “what if there was no God? What if religion is a man-made thing to cause havoc to civil society? What if God wasn’t powerful? What if God thrives on our difficulties? What if religion gives people a gold-plated reason not to think?” We will realise that these questions will start a worldview of skepticism. That which is rather valid because of how bad things are based on the gaze of the stars and how complex our cosmos is. The earth is a grain in the Milky Way. And based on the same idea of assumptions, I may have to try another alternative to the 3 monotheisms (Islam, Judaism, Christianity); say pantheism (a God without a relationship to the cosmos. One who created the Earth only to abandon it in chaos) by taking a look at that.

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    2. Elikplim Reginald
      is there a verse to prove that God looks into the future when he chooses to? or is it an assumption to fill the gap?

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