Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Christianity demands an irrational leap of faith - Weber plus response

Christianity demands an irrational leap of faith.
This article by Martin Weber appeared in the adventist review March 1st 2015

Excerpt one:
"It’s difficult for anyone who experiences Jesus every day to understand how people can forsake their faith. But when we evaluate Jesus from the limited perspective of pure logic, Christianity demands an irrational leap of faith. Specifically, we must believe that the life and death of this homeless Hebrew carpenter gives meaning for life 2,000 years later in the 21st century — plus saving our souls for eternity. This presents a seemingly insurmountable challenge in our increasingly skeptical world" ( emphasis mine).

My response:
Martin wisely gets that "Christianity demands an irrational leap of faith " but foolishly - takes that leap. A hint of Kierkegaard style insight there but then Martin ( as did Kierkegaard) leaps blindly anyway.  The famous "leap of faith" is framed as a Paschallian  wager / gambit error. IE that there is only one leap - towards a particular hypothesized god in a particular way etc.

Excerpt two:
“Here’s what: You say you were born in 1970. … That would be A.D. 1970. And A.D. is the Latin abbreviation for ‘year of our Lord,’ as you know. So there we have it. You just defined your own origins in relation to the year of our Lord — Jesus Christ!”

“That’s cute — and clever too, I’ll admit,” Ron said. “But it means nothing because enlightened scholars don’t go by A.D. or B.C. anymore. That’s just medieval religious chronology. I was born in 1970 C.E., which means ‘common era.’”

Paul grinned, undeterred. “Fair enough, but tell me how your so-called ‘common era’ got started. Something pretty important must have happened to divide the history of the world into two parts, before and after. So what in the world was that time-splitting event?”

My response:
While dismissing logic in regard to faith, Martin then proceeds to use appallingly bad logic. Essentially reduces to - this year is 2015 AD therefore Jesus. He seems blissfully unaware of that this dating system was devised in 525 "AD"  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anno_Domini)  and furthermore unaware that there have been , and still are , other calendar systems. eg 13 Jamadil Awal 1436 AH in Saudi Arabia at time of this post.

Apologetic tactic 101. Circular logic etc

Here are some other calendars:

    360-day calendar
    Advent calendar
    Akan calendar
    Armenian calendar
    Assyrian calendar
    Astronomical year numbering
    Bahá'í (Badí) calendar
    Bengali calendar
    Berber calendar
    Buddhist calendar
    Chinese calendar
    Coptic calendar
    Discordian calendar
    Ethiopian calendar
    Fiscal year varies with different countries. Used in accounting only.
    Germanic calendar (still in use by Ásatrúar)
    Gregorian calendar used by most countries in the world today.
    Hebrew calendar
    Hindu calendars
    Ibibio calendar used by the Ibibio people
    Igbo calendar used by the Igbo people.
    Indian national calendar
    ISO week date
    Iranian calendars
    Irish calendar
    Islamic calendar
    Jain calendar
    Japanese calendar (Gregorian months)
    Javanese calendar
    Juche era calendar used by North Korea
    Julian calendar
    Kurdish calendar
    Lithuanian calendar
    Malayalam calendar
    Maya calendar (parts still used by Maya)
    Nanakshahi calendar
    Nepali calendar
    Nepal Sambat
    Minguo calendar used by Republic of China/Taiwan.
    Revised Julian calendar
    Romanian calendar
    Runic calendar (still in use by Ásatrúar)
    Tamil calendar
    Thai lunar calendar
    Thai solar calendar
    Tibetan calendar
    Zoroastrian calendar (including Parsi)
    Xhosa calendar (in use in South Africa)
    Yoruba calendar (in use in Nigeria)

Obsolete calendars

    Attic calendar
    Aztec calendar
    Babylonian calendar
    Bulgar calendar
    Byzantine calendar
    Coligny calendar
    Egyptian calendar
    Enoch calendar
    Florentine calendar
    French Republican Calendar
    Hellenic calendars
    Old Icelandic calendar
    Jalali calendar
    Ancient Macedonian calendar
    Mesoamerican calendars
    Pentecontad calendar
    Positivist calendar
    Rapa Nui calendar
    Roman calendar
    Rumi calendar
    Runic calendar
    Soviet calendar (Gregorian calendar with 5- and 6-day weeks)
    Swedish calendar (used 1700–1844)

Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_calendars

Interacting with an Atheist - responses

Year Without God 
Click link above. Ryan Bell's response to the Adventists review article. Please read the original article by the review and Ryan's response. Excerpt follows:

"It is refreshing to hear a Christian concede that faith is non-rational. Many modern Christians who debate atheists try in vain to make their faith appear rational or logical. That’s a tough sell to say the least, which is why it is called faith.

In the second to last sentence, Weber says that faith in Jesus is “a seemingly insurmountable challenge in our increasingly skeptical world.” Yes, indeed! I was hoping he might have something to say that would underscore the word “seemingly” in that sentence but alas, the article ends thusly:
The solution is simple, but not simplistic. Our continuous focus in life must be “looking unto Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith” (Heb. 12:2)."