What is Truth?

St. PJ

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From John Martignoni email:

I plan on doing the next few newsletters on natural apologetics - apologetics we can know by the "natural" light of reason, without any divine intervention. This kind of apologetics is useful when talking with folks of an atheist/agnostic/materialist frame of mind, as they don't care what the Bible says and give no credence to any kind of religious authority.

I am going to start with the question: What is truth? Is there even such a thing as truth? This is based on the first of the newspaper ads I've run over the past year:
http://www.biblechristiansociety.co...9bbd3abd3d45267cde02594a9d9ccb146b342ce5f.pdf
I will follow that up with "The Case for God," "Faith vs. Science?" and then the "Case for Jesus." I hope they prove useful to you...

What Is Truth?

“What is truth?” Pontius Pilate, 33 A.D. (John 18:38). Pontius Pilate asked that question in response to Jesus saying He had come to “bear witness to the truth.” People in our country, in our society, are still asking that same question today: “What is truth?”
In fact, people have been asking that same question for the last 2000 years, and even longer. There is, of course, absolutely no problem with asking the question. It’s good to ask questions like that. Rather, the problem today is that too few people care enough about the answer to even bother asking the question, much less make the effort to find the answer to the question. Not enough people are seeking the truth. Either they don’t care about truth, or they deny that there is such a thing as truth, or they just flat out hate the truth because it tells them things they don't want to hear.
“There is no such thing as truth, either in the moral or in the scientific sense.” Adolf Hitler

Was Hitler right? Is there no such thing as truth? Many of today's so-called "philosophers" will tell you that Hitler was indeed right...that there is no such thing as truth. In fact, a large number of people - philosophers and non-philosophers alike - will tell you there is no such thing as truth. Or, rather, that there is such a thing as truth, but it is relative. One person's "truth" may not be another person's truth which may not be another person's truth and so on. So they will admit to relative truth, but not objective truth - something that is true for everyone, regardless of any given individual's opinion about it. Well, let's talk about it and see if that makes any sense whatsoever.

First, we notice that the statement about there being no such thing as objective truth, is a self-refuting statement. If that statement is true, then it is true for everyone, which means it is an objective truth. And, if it is an objective truth, then it is false to say there is no such thing as objective truth. So, this is a self-refuting statement. Therefore, the position that there is no such thing as objective truth is demonstrably false. Which means, objective truth does indeed exist. That is simple logic...simple common sense.

Then, in philosophy, there is a foundational principle known as the Principle of Contradiction. This principle states that something cannot be, and not be, at the same time. For example, either a either equals b, or a does not equal b. A cannot both equal b and not equal b at the same time. One of those two propositions has to be true. They can’t both be true and they can’t both be false. It is either one or the other. I am either writing this newsletter to you, or I am not writing this newsletter to you. It can’t be both. You are either a human being or you are not a human being. It can't be both. The Earth either revolves around the sun or it doesn't revolve around the sun. It can't be both. So, the Principle of Contradiction is an objective truth, an objective philosophical truth.

Then, there is undeniable mathematical truth. 2 + 2 = 4. True. 10 x 10 = 100. True. The angles of a triangle add up to 180 degrees. True. If there is no such thing as truth, we cannot do mathematics...we cannot do science...we cannot do engineering. We can’t build roads, or bridges, or buildings, or cars, or smart phones, or anything else for that matter, because all of those things depend on the existence of truth. Which means, that all these people who deny the existence of objective truth, depend on the existence of objective truth to do just about everything they do in their daily lives.

If you ever have anyone tell you that we can't really know for sure what, if anything, is true or not - even whether we really exist or not - or what reality truly is, ask them if they would be willing to walk out onto any nearby interstate or highway in the dark of night to see if the cars and trucks traveling down that road really exist or not. Of course, they won't do it, which means they are full of malarkey. They don't really believe the garbage they are spouting. They know it is true that the cars on that road are real and they know it is true that they would cease to occupy space, or at the least suffer greatly, if they were to walk out onto the real interstate and encounter those real cars and trucks in the dead of night.

“Well,” folks will say, “of course there is mathematical and scientific truth, but there is no such thing as moral or philosophical truth.” Oh, really?! Well, I've just demonstrated that the Principle of Contradiction is an objective philosophical truth. It is true for everyone everywhere. Now, in regard to moral truth, let's see if people really believe there is no such thing as moral truth...that there are no moral absolutes. The question I always ask people who put forward that proposition is this: Was Hitler right? In other words, if morality depends on one’s feelings, or on what a particular group of people arbitrarily decides morality should be, then how can you say Hitler was wrong, when he did what his “feelings” told him was the right thing to do? It was Hitler's truth that some 6 million Jews should die in the concentration camps. So, if we can't impose our moral "truth" on anyone else, and there is no such thing as objective moral truth, then how can you say that Hitler was wrong? You can't! At least, you can't without being labeled a hypocrite. Yet, you will have to ask a whole lot of folks who don't believe in objective moral truth before you will find one of them that will have the guts to say Hitler was not wrong to do what he did because it was his truth.

“People hate the truth for the sake of whatever it is they love more than the truth. They love truth when it shines warmly on them, and hate it when it rebukes them.” St. Augustine
That is what is really going on in our society today. People deny truth, they talk around truth, they try to relativize truth because they don't want to be bound by the truth. They want to live in a way that is contrary to truth, so their wills override their intellects and their consciouses. That is why they are so angry. Truth is rebuking them...constantly...day and night. They have no respite from the truth. There is something deep within telling them what the truth is and that they should live according to the truth, but they don't want to accept that. So they rebel against their own nature. They are at war with themselves.

And what St. Augustine said is especially true when it comes to moral and religious truth. Moral absolutes are denied and rejected. Morality is said to be purely subjective and entirely dependent upon what any given individual “feels” is right or wrong. The Ten Commandments no longer hold sway as objective moral standards, they have been replaced by one’s purely subjective feelings.

And the religious beliefs of many are now no longer based on ancient truths and teachings, rather they are bound only by each individual’s imagination and, within Christianity, man-made traditions and each person’s private interpretation of the Bible . A new interpretation - a new belief. A new belief - quite possibly even a whole new denomination. Who’s right...who’s wrong? What is the truth? Who decides? What does it matter? After all, it's all relative...right? It all depends on what I feel. In our society, feelings = truth. What I "feel" about morality, is true...because I feel it. What I "feel" about religion, is true...because I feel it. What I "feel" about my sexual identity, is true...because I feel it.

But do feelings really equal truth? Let's use a recent highly publicized situation as the basis for an example to demonstrate that feelings do not equal truth. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the "Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner Murder Mystery":
If Caitlyn/Bruce Jenner “feels” that “she” is really a woman, does that make it true? Many in our society today would say, "Yes." But, consider this: If Caitlyn/Bruce Jenner were to commit a crime...let’s say murder...and suffered a cut on the hand during the commission of that crime, when the crime lab analyzed the blood found at the crime scene, will they determine that the suspect they are looking for is a man, or a woman?

I tried to put that example in the newspaper ad I linked to above. They rejected it. Wouldn't let me do it. Why not? Because the folks at the newspaper knew they would get hammered by all the folks that believe feelings = truth. Those folks tend to be rather irrational in their behavior. Which makes sense, because they are rather irrational in their thinking. And they also wouldn't put it in their paper because the answer to the question is beyond dispute. The crime lab would say that a man committed the murder. It would say that Bruce Jenner committed the murder, not Caitlyn Jenner.

But, how can that be? Bruce Jenner is now a woman. I mean, he had the operation. He's taking the hormones. He wears dresses and makeup and his hair is long. He "feels" like a woman. So, he must be a she, right? Well, not according to science. Which is rather ironic, because all these folks who take issue with those who believe in God and who deny objective truth and objective morality and constantly crow that believers are un-scientific; yet, all the while, it is they who actually deny science in so many ways and in so many instances. Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner is a man, regardless of what anyone "feels".

So, ask anyone who believes in all of this "transgender" nonsense the question about Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner leaving blood at the scene of the crime, and see if they say the crime lab would say that a man, or a woman, committed the crime.
Truth is truth, and no matter what anyone "feels," it is still the truth. You can deny it. You can hate it. You can refuse to accept it. You can rage against it. But the truth will win out in the end.
 
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St. PJ

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I’m not even sure how one could consider another’s action a “sin” without judging the person.

Thoughts and actions are all people are. It’s fine to judge other people, IMO, but don’t judge them and pretend you aren’t.

Either own your judgement, or don’t judge.
Unless you believe in a soul. Actions don't always give intent. I can do the right thing, at the right time, for all the wrong reasons. And as for actions, I believe there always exists a scale of gravity and a scale of culpability. Apart from anything a person does or does not do, I believe they have infinite value, because Infinity gave His Life for their souls. I believe at any point in time, there exist the potential for a person to become the person God created them to be, and the person that currently is. I believe the "person that currently is" is on a journey either moving closer to the "person God intended them to be", or further from that picture, based solely on free will choices made, how much that person has cooperated with grace, how much that person has surrendered to Divine Will and allowed self to be transformed. I believe as long as a person is alive, there remains a possibility that Love can break through and that person can allow change towards becoming what God intended. Simply, God's Mercy is greater than our weakness.

People are more than thoughts and actions. I can judge an action without judging a person. I can judge your work performance without judging you, because perhaps with more training and better instruction and communication, trapped inside you is an awesome employee just needing formation. No different, and that is an example you should clearly be able to grasp.

Sin is pretty much black and white - an action, thought, or deed either is a sin/sinful, or it is not. Not sure how labeling an action as sinful or righteous, legal or illegal, right or wrong automatically equates to casting judgment on a person. We might all agree that theft is illegal, but if a father who's been out of work for 3 months while searching and begging for work daily, and his family hasn't had a meal in 3 days, if he steals enough food from a garden to feed his family, I don't see how calling his actions illegal (or sinful) casts judgment on who he is as a person.

I didn't write the law, yet even if I believe that man to be the greatest man alive, I can't simply chose to believe his action did not break the law. Yet my judgment of the man does change by stating he broke the law. If you are late to work, and I say "you were late to work", I'm not casting judgment on you; I'm simply pointing out you were indeed late for work. Whether you partied all night and didn't go to sleep at a responsible time or if you had a blowout and you're covered in grease with the flat tire in the back of your truck doesn't change the time you got to work. I just think you have issue with the word "sin", a word I don't believe I've used.
 

WhoDatPhan78

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Unless you believe in a soul. Actions don't always give intent. I can do the right thing, at the right time, for all the wrong reasons. And as for actions, I believe there always exists a scale of gravity and a scale of culpability. Apart from anything a person does or does not do, I believe they have infinite value, because Infinity gave His Life for their souls. I believe at any point in time, there exist the potential for a person to become the person God created them to be, and the person that currently is. I believe the "person that currently is" is on a journey either moving closer to the "person God intended them to be", or further from that picture, based solely on free will choices made, how much that person has cooperated with grace, how much that person has surrendered to Divine Will and allowed self to be transformed. I believe as long as a person is alive, there remains a possibility that Love can break through and that person can allow change towards becoming what God intended. Simply, God's Mercy is greater than our weakness.

People are more than thoughts and actions. I can judge an action without judging a person. I can judge your work performance without judging you, because perhaps with more training and better instruction and communication, trapped inside you is an awesome employee just needing formation. No different, and that is an example you should clearly be able to grasp.

Sin is pretty much black and white - an action, thought, or deed either is a sin/sinful, or it is not. Not sure how labeling an action as sinful or righteous, legal or illegal, right or wrong automatically equates to casting judgment on a person. We might all agree that theft is illegal, but if a father who's been out of work for 3 months while searching and begging for work daily, and his family hasn't had a meal in 3 days, if he steals enough food from a garden to feed his family, I don't see how calling his actions illegal (or sinful) casts judgment on who he is as a person.

I didn't write the law, yet even if I believe that man to be the greatest man alive, I can't simply chose to believe his action did not break the law. Yet my judgment of the man does change by stating he broke the law. If you are late to work, and I say "you were late to work", I'm not casting judgment on you; I'm simply pointing out you were indeed late for work. Whether you partied all night and didn't go to sleep at a responsible time or if you had a blowout and you're covered in grease with the flat tire in the back of your truck doesn't change the time you got to work. I just think you have issue with the word "sin", a word I don't believe I've used.
Yea, I don’t believe in a soul.

If you do believe in a soul, I don’t see how you could think a persons actions and beliefs contradict their soul. It’s actions and beliefs. Not “or”. The two things aren’t Independent of one another. Everyone’s actions are consistent with some belief they hold, even if some of those beliefs contradict one another,
 
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St. PJ

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How can it not contradict your faith? In the very beginning of Genesis, Yahweh creates man in his own image, then makes woman from a rib of the man.


And what are these basic, fundamental questions you have? Are they the same as the myriad of "questions evolutionists/atheists can't answer" videos on YouTube that have been answered over and over again?

The fossil record is out there. The DNA record is out there. It is not hard to find if you are truly looking for it.


I wouldn't know? Did you miss the part about me growing up Catholic?


But why don't you apply the same reasoning to the other parts? Why is it only the contradictions that get that treatment, so you can conveniently dismiss them?


Again, why don't you give the other, non-contradictory parts the same treatment? It is only those parts that contradict the Bible's narrative that conveniently get the "oh, that may have meant something else 2000 years ago" treatment. It is only the obvious contradictions the ones people are getting wrong or don't understand.

Out of curiosity, what prompted you to start this tread? Seems you are posting straight from PragerU/answersingenesis.org, and this stuff has been debunked many times over.
Growing up Catholic doesn't mean anything. If you don't know your faith, you don't know your faith. The Catholic Church teaches there are 9 articles of faith, as faithful Catholics, we must believe from the Genesis creation account. Of the four most common positions - Young Earth Creationism, Old Earth Creationism, Theistic Evolution, & Atheistic Evolution, a practicing Catholic can have 3 out of those 4 positions without being in conflict with those 9 articles of faith:

1 - the Creation of all things out of nothing, by God, including time.
2 - the special creation of man
3 - the creation of woman from man
4 - all of humanity is descended upon an original pair of human beings
5 - Adam & Eve were created in an original state of holiness, justice, and immortality
6 - a Divine Command was laid upon man to prove his obedience to God
7 - The transgression of that Divine Command by the instigation of satan
8 - The loss of our state of holiness, justice, and immortality
9 - The promise of a future redeemer

A practicing Catholic can have any of the first 3 positions Young Earth Creationism, Old Earth Creationism, & Theistic Evolution, so long as they don't contradict the 9 things listed above. There are multiple ways you can hold the position of Theistic Evolution without conflict of those 9 articles.

Records exist of micro evolution (evolution or adaptation within a species), but there exist zero records of definitive macro evolution.

For the record, as to why did I start this thread, i wanted the perspective from those who might be atheist or agnostic - the logic, reasoning, or discussion from an opposing view. I read John's email and wondered how his opposition would answer. With that said, I've really not seen anyone quote are rebuke specific points he made in the argument of Absolute Truth versus Moral Relativism; I've seen instead probably three or four tangents mixed in with knee jerk emotional reactions that don't really address his argument.
 
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Yea, I don’t believe in a soul.

If you do believe in a soul, I don’t see how you could think a persons actions and beliefs contradict their soul. It’s actions and beliefs. Not “or”. The two things aren’t Independent of one another. Everyone’s actions are consistent with some belief they hold, eleven if some of those beliefs contradict one another,
I just gave two easy (though common) examples of how this can be. A man can very well believe he is committing a crime or sin yet commit the crime out of necessity or coercion, with the intent and believe he will rectify that crime at first opportunity. My coworker might steal a coke out of my icebox, but the next day replace it. I don't judge him to be a thief.

As for "contradict their soul", I believe in the flesh and the spirit. I believe we all have original sin - which isn't a "sin", but the absence of original holiness. Simply, if the gene for blue eyes is found nowhere in either of your parents DNA, they can't pass that gene to you. In the same way, when Adam in Eve lost original holiness, they couldn't pass it down to their offspring... you can't give what you don't have. What does that mean? It means I believe EVERY person is born with a "fallen" nature. Every person lacks the grace to be holy, therefore every person will be naturally inclined to sin. So for me, sin isn't something that makes a person good or bad... sin is simply part of the human condition.
 
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Growing up Catholic doesn't mean anything. If you don't know your faith, you don't know your faith. The Catholic Church teaches there are 9 articles of faith, as faithful Catholics, we must believe from the Genesis creation account. Of the four most common positions - Young Earth Creationism, Old Earth Creationism, Theistic Evolution, & Atheistic Evolution, a practicing Catholic can have 3 out of those 4 positions without being in conflict with those 9 articles of faith:
Well, I have no faith, so... but regardless, whether I know or don't know every nuance of Catholicism, it all comes down to the Bible, because that is the very basis of your religion. As you say, you must believe in the Genesis account.

1 - the Creation of all things out of nothing, by God, including time.
2 - the special creation of man
3 - the creation of woman from man
4 - all of humanity is descended upon an original pair of human beings
5 - Adam & Eve were created in an original state of holiness, justice, and immortality
6 - a Divine Command was laid upon man to prove his obedience to God
7 - The transgression of that Divine Command by the instigation of satan
8 - The loss of our state of holiness, justice, and immortality
9 - The promise of a future redeemer
Atheistic evolution (hmm ) directly conflicts with 2, 3, 4, and 5. 1 can get too philosophical/semanticky... The others are irrelevant to evolution.

Records exist of micro evolution (evolution or adaptation within a species), but there exist zero records of definitive macro evolution.
Ever seen a chart like the one below? This one comes from the Smithsonian. It details the evolution of today's whales. This chart is not the product of someone imagining things. It is the cumulative product of extensive studies, observations, experimentation, and substantial DNA and fossil records.

Of course, if you go to any creationist site, they'll tell you they have all of that wrong, that they don't really have a fossil record, that their dating is flawed... those sites basically lie. Again, do yourself a favor, and visit the Smithsonian. It is worth it.

For the record, as to why did I start this thread, i wanted the perspective from those who might be atheist or agnostic - the logic, reasoning, or discussion from an opposing view. I read John's email and wondered how his opposition would answer. With that said, I've really not seen anyone quote are rebuke specific points he made in the argument of Absolute Truth versus Moral Relativism; I've seen instead probably three or four tangents mixed in with knee jerk emotional reactions that don't really address his argument.
I already replied to you as to what I think about the letter. It is an exercise in rationalization, with a dubious, ignorant example to reaffirm a bias (perhaps he should've read more about chromosomes... you probably should do the same thing). Such arguments start with a bias, that the Judeo-Christian god is the absolute truth, then go through mental gymnastics to confirm that bias.

That's why I love the quote Dad'sDream posted last week.

 
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WhoDatPhan78

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I just gave two easy (though common) examples of how this can be. A man can very well believe he is committing a crime or sin yet commit the crime out of necessity or coercion, with the intent and believe he will rectify that crime at first opportunity. My coworker might steal a coke out of my icebox, but the next day replace it. I don't judge him to be a thief.

As for "contradict their soul", I believe in the flesh and the spirit. I believe we all have original sin - which isn't a "sin", but the absence of original holiness. Simply, if the gene for blue eyes is found nowhere in either of your parents DNA, they can't pass that gene to you. In the same way, when Adam in Eve lost original holiness, they couldn't pass it down to their offspring... you can't give what you don't have. What does that mean? It means I believe EVERY person is born with a "fallen" nature. Every person lacks the grace to be holy, therefore every person will be naturally inclined to sin. So for me, sin isn't something that makes a person good or bad... sin is simply part of the human condition.
Yea, the guy who stole the coke to replace it the next day doesn’t think himself a thief either, or if he does, maybe he doesn’t mind being a theif.
 
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I can love a person who is gay or trans (or any other "sinful" person) without accepting their behavior. There's a difference. Just because I disagree with you doesn't mean I hate you or wish ill will towards you.
I was with you until these statements. It should have said, "I can love any sinful person (we all are), without accepting their behavior."
 
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I share those same beliefs and sentiments.
Honestly St. PJ I don't think you do, based on your promotion of something which clearly disagrees with my beliefs in the OP. If you did share my beliefs and sentiments you would never have posted such garbage and furthermore gone on to argue macro-evolution as if you had ever truly studied it.

Quite frankly, your position on marco-evolution indicates to me you've never studied the concept beyond what other religious promoters have had to say on the subject. There have been a couple of folks here who have quite clearly pointed out where you have come upon your knowledge of the subject, so much so we could literally discern the source of what you were quoting.

If you ask me, this is one of the things missing in humanity today - the ability to apply critical thinking and study to anything. I've been in the discussion about this for a while now, having had intercourse (queue the 12 y/o's in the thread ;) ) with several about everything from the dumbing-down of our school children (if you don't teach them to think, they will never develop the tools for it) by politicians (who think testing is the way to go, removing education from teacher's bailiwicks) to sound bite reporting which offers no true view of what the news really concerns.

The failure for critical thinking is truly evident in your posts about macro-evolution. While you may have read a lot it seems you haven't expanded beyond chosen sources for your arguments, making your arguments specious, at best.

The same kind of critical thinking is required when reading religious texts. As you've pointed out, you must be aware of the culture of the time when trying to understand what you're reading while some of it is very straightforward. But cultural awareness is not all. Your exegesis of any portion of the Bible must be thorough if you're to say the Bible says, "six was mad because seven eight nine". It is one reason I tend to stay away from religious discussion because MY exegesis lacks the thoroughness it should have if I am to enter the discussion. Glass houses, stones and such.
 
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1 Well, I have no faith, so... but regardless, whether I know or don't know every nuance of Catholicism, it all comes down to the Bible, because that is the very basis of your religion. As you say, you must believe in the Genesis account.


2 Atheistic evolution (hmm ) directly conflicts with 2, 3, 4, and 5. 1 can get too philosophical/semanticky... The others are irrelevant to evolution.


3 Ever seen a chart like the one below? This one comes from the Smithsonian. It details the evolution of today's whales. This chart is not the product of someone imagining things. It is the cumulative product of extensive studies, observations, experimentation, and substantial DNA and fossil records.

4 Of course, if you go to any creationist site, they'll tell you they have all of that wrong, that they don't really have a fossil record, that their dating is flawed... those sites basically lie. Again, do yourself a favor, and visit the Smithsonian. It is worth it.



5 I already replied to you as to what I think about the letter. It is an exercise in rationalization, with a dubious, ignorant example to reaffirm a bias (perhaps he should've read more about chromosomes... you probably should do the same thing). Such arguments start with a bias, that the Judeo-Christian god is the absolute truth, then go through mental gymnastics to confirm that bias.

That's why I love the quote Dad'sDream posted last week.
1 The very basis of my religion is NOT the bible. My religion existed for nearly 400 years before my religion put together the book we know as the bible. The very basis of my religion is a God who predicted exactly what He would do, down to the year of His Incarnation, then went on to fulfill every prophecy, every iota of the old covenant before establishing the new covenant. He never said "write this" or "believe this", but rather, "DO THIS". And to prove He was Who He said He was, He resurrected from the dead and is very much alive and present today. Of Buddha, Mohammad, and every other founder of religion, and every other "god", none predicted their own coming down to the year, none predicted their death in vivid detail, and none claims to be alive.

As for the bible, which by the way is the most Catholic book in the world, it only makes up 1/3 of the foundations of Catholic belief. First came Apostolic Tradition (how the apostles and Christ instituted, preached, defended, and lived "the way"), Second came the Magisterium (official teachings / dogma, proclaimed excathedra - from offices of authority given by Christ), and last came the Bible. And in no way can a teaching or interpretation or belief contradict either of those 3. In fact, every heresy that ever came into existence was refuted by citing all three, and there are detailed records of this. That's why Paul spends half of his letters correcting his churches because their beliefs weren't in line with what was taught be Jesus and His apostles. Those letters, from Bishop to congregation, never stopped. Most conversions to Catholicism come about because someone gets the bright idea of wanting to read christian writings from the first and second century to see what the early church looked like, how they lived and taught and defended their faith, and wind up quote shocked that the Chruch was strictly Catholic, Eucharist and all, from the word go. Not that I meant to go on this tangent, but the Bible is not even close to the basis of my religion, and only my religion has the authority to interpret the Bible.

2 Atheistic Evolution is the only position Catholics aren't allowed to take, not sure what you are getting at there, that seemed pretty obvious.

3 Ever seen a chart like the one below? I bet their DNA is pretty similar. Your chart is a theory, not a fact. There are no fossils of the thousands of mutations of millions of years of the animal that is in the process of evolving from an Elomeryx to a Rodhocetus, and the same statement is true as you make your way to the Blue Whale. Science does not have fossil evidence of one species morphing into another. What evidence does show is one species adapting (microevolution) to its environment over time. Plenty of evidence showing how a particular species of bird evolved its beak over time to elongate so that it could collect food from a specific source - fossil evidence shows plenty of steps from short beak to medium beak to long beak over a period of time. Fossil evidence does NOT show the thousands of mutations and steps of a species of bird gradually changing into some new evolved species. You won't find fossil evidence of a poodle evolving into a great dane. Though plenty evidence exist of cross breading, but that isn't evolution.

4 I've never, not once, not ever, been to a creationist website. I never thought to google and see if one existed. Why would I? I've always believe in creation. My opinions are basically from lectures, audio courses, and textbooks. When I waste time on the internet, its on football or amazon or trying to find out a cheaper way of buying something or doing something. That said, I've heard about some of the theories hard core creationist have, and I believe they are chock full of problems, because first and foremost, you almost need to be a paleontologist or a specialist in several other fields to determine the veracity of what they throw out there. I'm more interested in simple and logical arguments that everyone can follow... such as "why is there no fossil evidence of the thousands of changes over millions of years that species A is supposed to have made to become species B... all we have is species A and species B, not examples or records of the thousands of varitions of A as it was in the process of becoming B. The records that do exist would leave one to believe (if we are sticking with the theory of evolution) that species A one day gave birth to species B then completely died off leaving only species B, fully transformed.


“There is no such thing as truth, either in the moral or in the scientific sense.” Adolf Hitler
Was Hitler right? Is there no such thing as truth? Many of today's so-called "philosophers" will tell you that Hitler was indeed right...that there is no such thing as truth. In fact, a large number of people - philosophers and non-philosophers alike - will tell you there is no such thing as truth. Or, rather, that there is such a thing as truth, but it is relative. One person's "truth" may not be another person's truth which may not be another person's truth and so on. So they will admit to relative truth, but not objective truth - something that is true for everyone, regardless of any given individual's opinion about it. Well, let's talk about it and see if that makes any sense whatsoever.

First, we notice that the statement about there being no such thing as objective truth, is a self-refuting statement. If that statement is true, then it is true for everyone, which means it is an objective truth. And, if it is an objective truth, then it is false to say there is no such thing as objective truth. So, this is a self-refuting statement. Therefore, the position that there is no such thing as objective truth is demonstrably false. Which means, objective truth does indeed exist. That is simple logic...simple common sense.

Then, in philosophy, there is a foundational principle known as the Principle of Contradiction. This principle states that something cannot be, and not be, at the same time. For example, either a either equals b, or a does not equal b. A cannot both equal b and not equal b at the same time. One of those two propositions has to be true. They can’t both be true and they can’t both be false. It is either one or the other. I am either writing this newsletter to you, or I am not writing this newsletter to you. It can’t be both. You are either a human being or you are not a human being. It can't be both. The Earth either revolves around the sun or it doesn't revolve around the sun. It can't be both. So, the Principle of Contradiction is an objective truth, an objective philosophical truth.

Then, there is undeniable mathematical truth. 2 + 2 = 4. True. 10 x 10 = 100. True. The angles of a triangle add up to 180 degrees. True. If there is no such thing as truth, we cannot do mathematics...we cannot do science...we cannot do engineering. We can’t build roads, or bridges, or buildings, or cars, or smart phones, or anything else for that matter, because all of those things depend on the existence of truth. Which means, that all these people who deny the existence of objective truth, depend on the existence of objective truth to do just about everything they do in their daily lives.
5 The argument of the OP in no way is making any such claim that the "Judeo-Christian god is the absolute truth"; rather, the argument is that their exists Absolute Truths, that it isn't all relative, and that stating all truth is relative is self contradictory. Perhaps you are the one reading with bias? Please tell me which of the quoted portion just above that you have issue with.
 
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Honestly St. PJ I don't think you do, based on your promotion of something which clearly disagrees with my beliefs in the OP. If you did share my beliefs and sentiments you would never have posted such garbage and furthermore gone on to argue macro-evolution as if you had ever truly studied it.

7 Quite frankly, your position on marco-evolution indicates to me you've never studied the concept beyond what other religious promoters have had to say on the subject. There have been a couple of folks here who have quite clearly pointed out where you have come upon your knowledge of the subject, so much so we could literally discern the source of what you were quoting.

8 If you ask me, this is one of the things missing in humanity today - the ability to apply critical thinking and study to anything. I've been in the discussion about this for a while now, having had intercourse (queue the 12 y/o's in the thread ;) ) with several about everything from the dumbing-down of our school children (if you don't teach them to think, they will never develop the tools for it) by politicians (who think testing is the way to go, removing education from teacher's bailiwicks) to sound bite reporting which offers no true view of what the news really concerns.

9 The failure for critical thinking is truly evident in your posts about macro-evolution. While you may have read a lot it seems you haven't expanded beyond chosen sources for your arguments, making your arguments specious, at best.

10 The same kind of critical thinking is required when reading religious texts. As you've pointed out, you must be aware of the culture of the time when trying to understand what you're reading while some of it is very straightforward. But cultural awareness is not all. Your exegesis of any portion of the Bible must be thorough if you're to say the Bible says, "six was mad because seven eight nine". It is one reason I tend to stay away from religious discussion because MY exegesis lacks the thoroughness it should have if I am to enter the discussion. Glass houses, stones and such.
Bleu Raeder said:

6 This. I am, by my very nature, a scientist, researcher, questioner and curious. I want to find out why.

I also have faith. I believe in a God that, "doesn't make any junk" and "loves his neighbor". Does that make me "forked in the head"?
6 I've always been very inquisitive and curious, and have always enjoyed reading, and why is not only my favorite question, but it's also what i try to teach to every employee. Simply, if one can understand the "why", its easier to buy in and take ownership in whatever culture, procedure, or ethic we are trying to institute or achieve. I also believe in a God that doesn't make any junk and Loves everyone, even those society might judge to be the worst of us, with a Love we can't begin to fathom. I truly do not believe God "sends" anyone to hell; we chose what we want, and because He Loves us so much, He lets us have our choice.

7 See response #4...

8 I agree. Mothers of America (Marine Corp term, though unsure if they coined it) have strong armed schools to dedicate more resources towards raising the functionality of children with handicapped intelligence levels closer to the norm, as opposed to allocating those resources towards helping the gifted reach great heights. The gifted reaching their potential will impact the world and make more advancements than probably 98% of the population combined... makes more sense to develop those who can benefit the majority. And for the rest of us, the bar has been greatly lowered, especially when compared to not only decades past, but other countries, especially in the East. We've changed from discipline, accountability, work and study ethic to being entertained entitled consumers who want participation trophies. I think Common Core was meant to be a step back towards critical thinking, but at least here in the parish my children go to school, implementation was botched, as the teachers aren't correctly trained to teach it, and often the coursework doesn't cover or even match what is tested.

9 I will grant you that I've spent hours and days on the subject, but not days and months. I believed in macro evolution until I sat in on a lecture that asked some of the questions I've listed. I'm not opposed to the theory of evolution - it really doesn't impact me one way or the other as I believe in intelligent design and a Creator... if we can write codes and programs and algorithms, I imagine God can just as easily do infinitely more. Anyways, back to your point here, I simply do not see evidence of one species changing into another. I see no fossil evidence of the thousands of changes that occurred as "species A evolved into species B". All I see is one or the other, and nothing in-between.

10 For me, there are ground rules for any exegesis. For true exegesis, first, I either have to have a fluid and detailed knowledge and understanding of ancient Aramaic, Greek, Hebrew, and Latin, or I have to really trust someone who does. Next, internal and external evidence both have to validate the source of the manuscript. If book A was written by John Smith in 551 AD, John Smith's peers must confirm he wrote that book. if every authority from his generation and the next says he didn't write it, it's bogus, or "hey, we knew the man, that's not what he said, not what he wrote, not what he lived", then it's probably not written by John Smith nor trustworthy. This is why the "lost gospels" and such were lost to begin with - they were very quickly identified as fraudulent nearly unanimously when they appeared (which was often centuries after the canonical gospels were written). Once we agree a book is "legit", we may run into idioms and phrases that don't make sense or don't translate very well. Context becomes important. If you want to find out what "go break a leg" means in the 20th century, you might do so by reading other universally approved documents written at the same time. When it comes to scripture translation and interpretation, the Mishnah and Talmud and other such writings from non-christian sources (such as Jewish, Greek, Roman) would give you what the equivalent of "go break a leg" would have meant. The next thing we run into is the authors assume you know certain things. If I write you a letter and tell you your niece won an award, I don't say "Brooklyn, my daughter, your 8 year old Godchild who attends xyz elementary, won the JJD award that is rewarded to the student who exemplifies xyz criteria" ... I simply say Brooklyn was given the xyz award, because I correctly assume you know/remember the rest. If I say "in God we trust" and go on to make a point about the pledge of allegiance, I'm assuming that as soon as i quote that portion of it, you know what I'm drawing from and that becomes the context from which you base your understanding and application of what i'm trying to convey. In the New Testament especially, every other paragraph is quoting something from the Old, and without going back to what is being referred to, multiple divergent and contradictory conclusions are formed. Often, very specific language and phrases are used by the author to purposefully point to the fulfillment or the significance of what is happening. When Jesus gave Peter the keys, He is using very specific language used only one other place in all of scripture that illustrates exactly what's happening to every first century Jew who understood scripture. When John is describing what he saw in Revelation, he is using exact wording from the Old Testament to describe the upcoming destruction of the temple in 70 AD.

Long story short, good exegesis will have to demonstrably not only make these connections, but it also should never contradict the apostolic tradition and teachings of the "Pre-Bible" Church. You have the original apostles who taught and ordained their replacements. Anytime someone comes out with something whack, in refutation, the apostles and the apostles of the apostles refute it with "Jesus taught this to John, John condemned your erroneous teaching/belief in xx letter, John taught me, and I say not only is this not what John taught, but its also not what Jesus taught". Two centuries later, when the erroneous belief/teaching resurfaces under a different name or with a little twist, the successor once again quotes the refutations of all his predecessors and gives the lineage of his authority to reaffirm what was originally taught and handed down. The point I'm getting at is that the vast majority of heresy, false teachings, and what is known as "apparent contradictions" were well explained, taught, and defended very early in Church History and are on record from writings we have from each century, including the first. Much of it is "forgotten" so to speak, but a good scholar with trustworthy exegesis would never disregard how the first Christians taught, lived, practiced and defended their faith in the centuries before the bible was assimilated.

I go through all that because the point you make about critical thinking is a good one. As you can see what I believe is necessary to put stock in a good exegesis, I think when we are talking on a subject such as evolution, while you might not need someone versed in ancient biblical languages, you do almost need to have a doctorate in multiple fields to truly have original critical thought. I'm not interested in going that deep, at least not until leaps evolution theory takes for granted can be demonstrated with evidence; until explanations can be given for much simpler questions, like how do we go from eggs to umbilical cords? The Smithsonian's chart of whales looks very nice, but so does the kennel clubs chart of all the different dogs. Yet with both, there aren't remains of the many gradual changes it takes to evolve from one to the other. You see no in-betweens. All that has been observed - both in nature today and in fossil records, is micro evolution-- changes and adaptations within a species to its environment.

Finally, point #5 was the purpose of this post. Perhaps the snippet of what I quoted in this post should have been the only thing I put in the OP; perhaps that would have avoided these tangents and focused everything on specifically the argument I was looking for the opposite view on.
 

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1 The very basis of my religion is NOT the bible.
No, it very much is. You just posted you must believe in the book of Genesis. The book of Genesis is the very foundation of the Bible. It's Chapter 1. Without Yahweh, there is no Jesus. Without Jesus, there is no Christianity. Aren't Yahweh. Jesus, and the Holy Spirit one and the same?

My religion existed for nearly 400 years before my religion put together the book we know as the bible.
It may be that the convenient final compilation of books known as the Bible was finalized 400 years after the Catholic church was founded, but the books that comprise the Bible are much, much older than that.

The very basis of my religion is a God who predicted exactly what He would do, down to the year of His Incarnation, then went on to fulfill every prophecy, every iota of the old covenant before establishing the new covenant.
Speaking of writing things years later, we know the history of Jesus (which BTW is extremely similar to a number of other prophets/gods before Jesus' time) was written years after the alleged events occurred. So predictions? Or convenient editing?

He never said "write this" or "believe this", but rather, "DO THIS".
Notwithstanding that "do this" and "write this" are basically the same thing , you don't know that anyone said anything. You believe it on faith, but you don't know for a fact.

And to prove He was Who He said He was, He resurrected from the dead and is very much alive and present today.
Conveniently, again, accounts written decades after the fact, "witnessed" by a handful of his followers. If he's alive and present today, where is he? I actually have an open invitation to both Jesus and Satan: show me you are, and my devotion and soul belong to you.

Of Buddha, Mohammad, and every other founder of religion, and every other "god", none predicted their own coming down to the year, none predicted their death in vivid detail, and none claims to be alive.
Actually, no. There are other religious texts from different religions that say similar things. Did you know that there are almost 3000 different known gods that we know of are/were worshiped at one time or another? Conveniently the one you grew up with is the true one.

but the Bible is not even close to the basis of my religion, and only my religion has the authority to interpret the Bible.
Yes, it is. Without the Bible, or rather, the books that comprise the Bible, there is no Christianity, and no Catholicism.

Atheistic Evolution is the only position Catholics aren't allowed to take, not sure what you are getting at there, that seemed pretty obvious.
What I am getting at, there was a time when evolution was just not accepted by Christians. It was God created things the way they are, period. But now the stance has changed...

Ever seen a chart like the one below? I bet their DNA is pretty similar. Your chart is a theory, not a fact.
Really, you need to find better arguments than the ones from answersingenesis.org. Do you know what a scientific theory is? Well, no, obviously you don't. A scientific theory is not some guess, or something that somehow could turn out to be true. For a hypothesis to reach the theory stage, it has to have extensive research, experimentation, observation, etc. behind it. Do you believe in gravity? It's just a theory :)

There are no fossils of the thousands of mutations of millions of years of the animal that is in the process of evolving from an Elomeryx to a Rodhocetus, and the same statement is true as you make your way to the Blue Whale. Science does not have fossil evidence of one species morphing into another.
Actually, yes, they do have a fossil record. You don't want to believe it, but really, take a trip to the Smithsonian, and keep in mind, foe every bone you see on display, there are 100's of bones backstage.

What evidence does show is one species adapting (microevolution) to its environment over time. Plenty of evidence showing how a particular species of bird evolved its beak over time to elongate so that it could collect food from a specific source - fossil evidence shows plenty of steps from short beak to medium beak to long beak over a period of time. Fossil evidence does NOT show the thousands of mutations and steps of a species of bird gradually changing into some new evolved species.
You don't want to believe it, but the fossil record is out there. You speak of fossil evidence as if you actually knew about the subject. Again, take a trip to the Smithsonian.

You won't find fossil evidence of a poodle evolving into a great dane. Though plenty evidence exist of cross breading, but that isn't evolution.
That's not how it works. Stop listening to Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron. Great Danes and Poodles have common ancestors. Evolution isn't linear.

I've never, not once, not ever, been to a creationist website. My opinions are basically from lectures, audio courses, and textbooks
Website, lectures, audio courses, it's the same people saying the same things. Your posts read almost 100% as copy/pastes from them.

I'm more interested in simple and logical arguments that everyone can follow... such as "why is there no fossil evidence of the thousands of changes over millions of years that species A is supposed to have made to become species B... all we have is species A and species B, not examples or records of the thousands of varitions of A as it was in the process of becoming B. The records that do exist would leave one to believe (if we are sticking with the theory of evolution) that species A one day gave birth to species B then completely died off leaving only species B, fully transformed.
Actually, there is. But the people who you listen to in those lectures/audio courses/textbooks tell you there isn't, so you believe them.

The argument of the OP in no way is making any such claim that the "Judeo-Christian god is the absolute truth"; rather, the argument is that their exists Absolute Truths, that it isn't all relative, and that stating all truth is relative is self contradictory. Perhaps you are the one reading with bias? Please tell me which of the quoted portion just above that you have issue with.
Please... don't insult my intelligence.
 
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I've been to the Smithsonian. I've heard of Kirk Cameron, by I've never heard of Ray Comfort. And whatever Kirk Cameron has to say, I'd never go out of my way the hear because simply, he ain't Catholic. I literally have zero clue what Kirk Cameron believes (though I know he is christian) and never saw his movie (I heard the acting was horrible and it sucked). Sorry, never been to answeringgenesis.org or any other website like it.

You are right "they have hundreds of bones backstage". What they don't have is hundreds of bones and variations as one species evolves into another. Observation and experimentation implies there is something to observe and experiment upon. Watching bacteria change into a different strand of bacteria doesn't prove evolution of one species into a totally different species.

And with "Please... don't insult my intelligence" you've refused to answer the basic question of the OP, once again.

Finally, the vast majority of your rhetoric is copy and paste from sources like the Zietgeist. Tell me, did Judaism exist before they wrote the books we know as the Old Testament? Did Christianity exist before gospels and epistles were written? The Old Testament is the place where God predicted His coming and His death, and non christian sources such as Jocephus verify He did in fact come and die in the manner predicted.
 
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