July 13, 2010

Preconceptions and Presuppositions

"I'm sorry, I just don't see any evidence. I mean, look at the Hubble telescope. It's discovered untold wonders of a vast unexplored universe. But not one picture of a guy with a beard sitting around on a cloud."
— "Brian Griffin" saying that he's an atheist

"I looked and looked but I didn't see God."
— Attributed to Yuri Gagarin

"For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse."
— Paul the Apostle

Buona sera. I'm sure most of you are familiar with "The Family Guy". This animated show is offensive on many levels, mainly to Christians and Conservatives. (Don't believe me? Count how many times Seth MacFarlane, the liberal atheist who runs the show, takes pot-shots at liberals and non-Christians.) Even though I cannot recommend the show because it is often blasphemous and obscene, I have to admit that MacFarlane is exceptionally talented, and the show has its moments of comedic genius.

But my point in bringing this up is that the scene I quoted from is a good illustration of preconceptions. We all have them, though many people do not know it, or even try to deny this basic fact of life.

Even scientists. Throw away that image you have (your own preconception) that scientists are completely objective and unbiased. Instead of following the evidence wherever it leads, they have a preconception of what they want to prove. That can be a good thing when a scientist is saying, "I wonder if this will prove that I'm right about the effects of bicycles on rainfall", or something. It's a bad thing when they start out with an attitude of forcing the evidence to fit into a box at all costs.

You see, science is supposed to stay with things that are measurable, testable, repeatable, falsifiable, etc. When scientists venture into the realm of philosophy, they leave true science behind. What gets confusing is when people will move back and forth between science and philosophy, thereby proclaiming their philosophy as actual science.

Some areas of natural science have preconceptions that contaminate evidence and observations, including:
  • Philosophy is fine as long as it is pro-evolution and anti-God
  • Evolution is true, even though we do not know how it works
  • Evidence from any kind of "believers" should be rejected in most cases (the logical fallacy called "poisoning the well" applies here)
  • Only matter (material) and energy exist
  • God does not exist, no do spirits, angels, Satan, demons or anything that is non-material (but it is illogical to attempt to prove a universal negative)
  • Science (or evolution) has disproved the Bible (astonishingly stupid and ignorant, making an assertion and expecting it to become true)
  • Miracles do not occur, did not occur, and can never occur (very presumptuous, don't you think?)
  • Intelligent Design, as well as Creation Science, are religion
As I said before, we all have our biases. Just because you have something to prove does not automatically negate your position. 

Both unbelievers and believers have presuppositions, our starting points based on our worldviews. Theirs is usually based on materialism or naturalism, and ours is based on the revelation of God in the Bible — and they hate that. Since the Christian is supposed to please God rather than men, the foundation of our thinking in every area is the Bible.

The "Brian Griffin" quote at the top and the Yuri Gagarin attribution show a common preconception, that God is a big, grandfatherly man with a beard that can be seen better from space. If someone is going to seek God, it is best to drop the above preconceptions and biases. Then, honestly consider that he may be there after all. But he does not have to play by your rules; God has already been made known (John 1.18, Rom. 1.20).

However, knowing that God exists means that he's the Creator, and we should find out what he has to say. That involves swallowing too much pride for some people.

This applies to evolutionism as well: Perhaps it is not true after all, that evolutionism's critics and the scientists who have abandoned it may be correct in doing so after all.


Human Ape said...

Some areas of natural science have preconceptions that contaminate evidence and observations, including:

Evolution is true, even though we do not know how it works

Evolution IS true. Every educated person knows that.

Biologists don't know how evolution works? Are you joking? Thousands of biologists have been researching and testing evolution for 150 years and you think they don't know how it works? The mechanisms of evolution include natural selection, genetic drift, and sexual selection. Biologists know how these mechanisms work in extreme detail.

When you write about something that you obviously know absolutely nothing about, how do you expect anyone to trust anything else you say?

Miracles do not occur, did not occur, and can never occur (very presumptuous, don't you think?)

presumptuous: Going beyond what is right or proper because of an excess of self-confidence or arrogance

Again, are you joking? It's presumptuous to say the impossible never happens? That's just an acceptance of reality.

Miracle is just another word for a magic trick. When a miracle occurs, a god fairy is waving a magic wand to make it happen. Any sane person would agree that magic is not real.

God does not exist, nor do spirits, angels, Satan, demons or anything that is non-material (but it is illogical to attempt to prove a universal negative)

Why should anyone have to disprove somebody else's childish fantasies? It's your invisible friend so it's your responsibility to provide evidence for it. Of course you can't do that. When an idea has no evidence, especially when the idea is ridiculous and childish (for example your magic god fairy), then the idea should be thrown out. That's how science works. And that's why science is the greatest possible threat to religious insanity.

By the way, please tell me you don't believe in Satan. That would be way beyond insane.


Human Ape said...

You invoke the international laughing-stock, the creationist Ken Ham. Why? Did you know that when educated people see you invoke a wacko, they automatically assume you're a wacko?

Some friendly advice: don't ever admit you read the insane nonsense from Ken Ham and his childish anti-science organization, or else nobody will ever take anything you say seriously.

Some more advice: every time you quote the Bible, your educated readers, if you have any educated readers, are going to laugh at you.

Bob Sorensen said...

Ah, another member of the "protect our religions of atheism and evolutionism at all costs" brigade. Thank you for proving my points with your biased, hateful, closed-minded hateful rant, Poindexter. I lost count of the logical fallacies in your poisonous ravings.

You can read my other posts about evolutionism, you can read the links on apologetics that I have in the margins. Better yet, if you grow up and move out of Mommy's basement in a few years, come back and read this again, and other material.

But it is extremely unlikely for someone like you to ever consider anything beyond the rantings of other atheists.

Bob Sorensen said...

Thanks again, Monkey Boy. Attack, attack, attack. Too bad you're not bright enough to consider the proven fact that many of the greatest scientists of all time were and are Bible-believing Christians.

Atheists are boring and predictable. Now run along, Mommy says your breakfast is getting cold.

Human Ape said...

It's interesting that when an educated person points out that you don't know what you're talking about and/or you're being dishonest, you insult the person.

Mommy's basement?

Instead of being childish, why don't you provide evidence for your invisible friend. Of course you can't do that, and of course that's why you resort to a childish remark about mommy.

I'm going to trash you on my blog, sir, not because of your mommy remark, but because you're insane, uneducated, gullible, superstitious, and cowardly.

Bob Sorensen said...

And I care because...?

Please, go ahead and let your venom out on your own blog. You cry your eyes out, spew bile and then get offended because *I* am the one that starts the insults?

If you were someone that I respected, I might care that I am being "trashed". But why should I care about the rantings of someone who is projecting their own inadequacies on me? As I said, you could check my other articles, the links to apologetics, etc. But no, you want to act like you're superior, so you pick on one commentary. You and your six other readers have a great time laughing at the "uneducated" Christian, and making yourselves look foolish because (cue Nicholson voice) you can't handle the truth.

Man, I detest cowards almost as much as the intellectually dishonest.

Human Ape said...

My explanation of reality is "my venom"?

You're a bit sensitive, aren't you?

I'm still waiting for the evidence for your magic fairy.

Maybe you could describe the magic wand it uses.

Bob Sorensen said...

I've had enough of you proving me right. You're done here, Skippy. Thanks again for your unbiased, intelligent, unemotional insights.

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