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So I Get This Email From My (pastor) Dad...


dr_funkenstein
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I got this email from my dad today - who for those who don't know me, is a Baptist pastor.

Faith value

"Let me explain the problem science has with Jesus Christ."

The atheist professor of philosophy pauses before his class and then asks one of his new students to stand.

 

"You're a Christian, aren't you, son?"

 

"Yes sir," the student says.

 

"So you believe in God?"

 

"Absolutely."

 

"Is God good?"

 

"Sure! God's good."

 

"Is God all-powerful? Can God do anything?"

 

"Yes."

 

"Are you good or evil?"

 

"The Bible says I'm evil."

 

The professor grins knowingly.

 

"Aha! The Bible!" He considers for a moment. "Here's one for you. Let's say there's a sick person over here and you can cure him. You can do it. Would you help them? Would you try?"

 

"Yes sir, I would."

 

"So you're good...!"

 

"I wouldn't say that."

 

"But why not say that? You'd help a sick and maimed person if you could. Most of us would if we could. But God doesn't."

 

The student does not answer, so the professor continues.

 

 

 

"He doesn't, does he? My brother was a Christian who died of cancer, even though he prayed to Jesus to heal him. How is this Jesus good? Hmmm? Can you answer that one?"

 

The student remains silent.

 

"No, you can't, can you?" the professor says. He takes a sip of water from a glass on his desk to give the student time to relax.

 

"Let's start again, young fella. Is God good?"

 

"Er... Yes," the student says.

 

"Is Satan good?"

 

The student doesn't hesitate on this one.

 

"No."

 

"Then where does Satan come from?"

 

The student falters.

 

"From... God..."

 

"That's right. God made Satan, didn't he? Tell me, son. Is there evil in this world?"

 

"Yes, sir."

 

"Evil's everywhere, isn't it? And God did make everything correct?"

 

"Yes."

 

"So who created evil?"

 

Again, the student has no answer.

 

"Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness. All these terrible things, do they exist in this world?"

 

The student squirms on his feet.

 

"Yes."

 

"So who created them?"

 

The student does not answer again, so the professor repeats his question,

 

"Who created them? "

 

There is still no answer. Suddenly the lecturer breaks away to pace in front of the classroom. The class is mesmerized.

 

"Tell me," he continues. "Do you believe in Jesus Christ, son?"

 

The student's voice betrays him and cracks.

 

"Yes, professor. I do."

 

The old man stops pacing.

 

"Science says you have five senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Have you ever seen Jesus?"

 

"No sir. I've never seen Him."

 

"Then tell us if you've ever heard your Jesus?"

 

"No, sir. I have not."

 

"Have you ever felt your Jesus, tasted your Jesus or smelt your Jesus? Have you ever had any sensory perception of Jesus Christ, or God for that matter."

 

"No, sir, I'm afraid I haven't."

 

"Yet you still believe in him?"

 

"Yes."

 

"According to the rules of empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science says your God doesn't exist. What do you say to that son?"

 

"Nothing," the student replies. "I only have my faith."

 

"Yes, faith," the professor repeats.

 

"And that is the problem science has with God. There is no evidence, only faith."

 

The student stands quietly for a moment, before asking a question of his own.

 

"Professor, is there such thing as heat?"

 

"Yes," the professor replies. "There's heat."

 

"And is there such a thing as cold?"

 

"Yes, son, there's cold too."

 

"No sir, there isn't."

 

The professor turns to face the student, obviously interested. The room suddenly becomes very quiet. The student begins to explain.

 

"You can have lots of heat, even more heat, super-heat, mega-heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat, but we don't have anything called 'cold'. We can hit 458 degrees below zero, which is no heat, but we can't go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold; otherwise we would be able to go colder than -458 degrees. You see, sir, cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat we can measure in thermal units because heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it."

 

Silence across the room. A pen drops somewhere in the classroom, sounding like a hammer.

 

"What about darkness, professor. Is there such a thing as darkness?"

 

"Yes," the professor replies without hesitation. "What is night if it isn't darkness?"

 

"You're wrong again, sir. Darkness is not something; it is the absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light... but if you have no light constantly you have nothing and it's called darkness, isn't it? That's the meaning we use to define the word. In reality, darkness isn't. If it were, you would be able to make darkness darker, wouldn't you?"

 

The professor begins to smile at the student in front of him. This will be a good semester.

 

"So what point are you making, young man?"

 

"Yes, professor. My point is, your philosophical premise is flawed to start with and so your conclusion must also be flawed."

 

The professor's face cannot hide his surprise this time.

 

"Flawed? Can you explain how?"

 

"You are working on the premise of duality," the student explains. "You argue that there is life and then there's death; a good God and a bad God. You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, science can't even explain a thought. It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. Death is not the opposite of life, just the absence of it. Now tell me, professor. Do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey?"

 

"If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, young man, yes, of course I do."

 

"Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?"

 

The professor begins to shake his head, still smiling, as he realizes where the argument is going. A very good semester indeed.

 

"Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor, are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you now not a scientist, but a preacher?"

 

The class is in uproar. The student remains silent until the commotion has subsided.

 

"To continue the point you were making earlier to the other student, let me give you an example of what I mean?" The student looks around the room.

 

"Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the professor's brain?"

 

The class breaks out into laughter.

 

"Is there anyone here who has ever heard the professor's brain, felt the professor's brain, touched or smelt the professor's brain? No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established rules of empirical, stable, demonstrable protocol, science says that you have no brain, with all due respect, sir. So if science says you have no brain, how can we trust your lectures, sir?"

 

Now the room is silent. The professor just stares at the student, his face unreadable.

Finally, after what seems an eternity, the old man answers.

 

 

 

"I guess you'll have to take them on faith value."

 

 

 

With TRIALS, we grow stronger in faith

With FAITH, we move closer to God

With GOD, we can do all things.

Keep the FAITH!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anyone care to help me word a carefully considered response?

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According to the rules of empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science says your God doesn't exist.

 

Science doesn't say God doesn't exist, it just says that there is no proof that God exists.

 

Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor

 

This isn't true, evolution has been observed. Here is one example:

 

Evolution in Action

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And of course evolution does NOT teach that humans came from monkeys. So no science professor worth a damn would agree to say they did.

 

Oh....then there is of course THIS:

 

http://www.snopes.com/religion/einstein.asp

 

Snopes Rules!

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Thanks guys - I actually just sent off a response cause I was chomping at the bit to get something back to him. Here's what I wrote:

So let me get this straight - you now don't believe in evolution, and you also believe that the only way to prove that there's a brain inside someone's head is to take their word on faith?

 

Sorry... did you actually read this thing before you forwarded it on? You're not really doing christianity any intellectual favours

 

Maybe you should have forwarded on the one where the student at the end turns out to be Albert Einstein. It's not true of course (but since when has the truth gotten in the way of a good evangelist), but it's a little more entertaining. I can understand why stories like these resonate with christians. Stories about atheist professors being bested by true believers who did have the answers at the ready are both ventings of this frustration and expressions of delight in finally seeming to have been armed with deft responses to fling back. These are tales of affirmation, modern-day parables of trials to overcome and fierce adversaries bested by those who held fast to what they believed in, even in the face of ridicule rained down by authority figures. Like parables, they are meant to inspire similar resolve in those with whom they are shared — should those members of the flock ever find themselves in like circumstances, they should feel moved to emulate the brave little students of legend who stood up to the big, bad atheist professors.

 

The fact of the matter is that the Problem of Evil is still yet to be adequately addressed by christian apologists. And that's just one of the problems you face as a christian if you want your faith to be rational. But then, that's the point isn't it. If it were rational, it would cease to be faith and become fact. So you really can't have it both ways.

 

Ask yourself why you lack belief in Zeus, Jupiter, Apollo, Mithra, Dionysus, Amen-Ra, Horus, Isis, Vishnu, and the plethora of other gods that mankind has invented and you will understand why I lack belief in Yahweh. You see, we're both atheists - I just disbelieve in one more god than you do.

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Well that was a great response to a very idiodic tale. It said absolutely nothing except for the great points made by the Atheist professor in the story. I have seen a more condensed versoin of that little tale, only it was a grade school class with an Ateist teacher.

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