Problem With The Blind Men and the Elephant

David Jakobsen explained the problem with postmodernism and show that the popular illustration of The Blind Men and the Elephant does work against a postmodernist.

Thanks to my best friend Pierce Peter at FactorySense and Matthew D. Burnett on MattTubeVlog for a brilliant work.

Parable of the Blind Men and the Elephant

As told in Jainism and Buddhism(Udana 68-69)

A number of disciples went to the Buddha and said, “Sir, there are living here in Savatthi many wandering hermits and scholars who indulge in constant dispute, some saying that the world is infinite and eternal and others that it is finite and not eternal, some saying that the soul dies with the body and others that it lives on forever, and so forth. What, Sir, would you say concerning them?”

The Buddha answered, “Once upon a time there was a certain raja who called to his servant and said, ‘Come, good fellow, go and gather together in one place all the men of Savatthi who were born blind… and show them an elephant.’ ‘Very good, sire,’ replied the servant, and he did as he was told. He said to the blind men assembled there, ‘Here is an elephant,’ and to one man he presented the head of the elephant, to another its ears, to another a tusk, to another the trunk, the foot, back, tail, and tuft of the tail, saying to each one that that was the elephant.

“When the blind men had felt the elephant, the raja went to each of them and said to each, ‘Well, blind man, have you seen the elephant? Tell me, what sort of thing is an elephant?’

“Thereupon the men who were presented with the head answered, ‘Sire, an elephant is like a pot.’ And the men who had observed the ear replied, ‘An elephant is like a winnowing basket.’ Those who had been presented with a tusk said it was a ploughshare. Those who knew only the trunk said it was a plough; others said the body was a grainery; the foot, a pillar; the back, a mortar; the tail, a pestle, the tuft of the tail, a brush.

“Then they began to quarrel, shouting, ‘Yes it is!’ ‘No, it is not!’ ‘An elephant is not that!’ ‘Yes, it’s like that!’ and so on, till they came to blows over the matter.

“Brethren, the raja was delighted with the scene.

“Just so are these preachers and scholars holding various views blind and unseeing…. In their ignorance they are by nature quarrelsome, wrangling, and disputatious, each maintaining reality is thus and thus.”

Then the Exalted One rendered this meaning by uttering this verse of uplift,

    O how they cling and wrangle, some who claim
    For preacher and monk the honored name!
    For, quarreling, each to his view they cling.
    Such folk see only one side of a thing.

John Godfrey Saxe(1816-1887) poem is a modification of this parable.

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The Case For The Resurrection

Last week Credo House offered Michael Patton and Mike Licona’s 10 +1 less than 4 minutes video clips that easily and wonderfully answers the objections for The Case for the Resurrection.  Michael R. Licona, a New Testament Scholar, answered 10 Myths offered against the case for the resurrection of Christ Jesus.

Introduction: This is just one of the many myths about Christianity that millions of people have bought into. But one thing remains certain — Jesus died on the cross and rose again 3 days later. That’s not just faith — it’s FACT — and there’s a strong historical foundation to support this.

Myth #1: Contradictions in the Gospels

Myth #2: Pagan Parallels in the Mystery Religions

Myth #3: The Fraud Theory Continue reading

12 Questions I Found Useful Asking Jehovah’s Witnesses

  1. Why did Jehovah’s Witnesses properly worshiped Christ Jesus until 1954?
  2. If all that was made was made through Logos(John 1:3) and for him( Colossians 1:16, Romans 11:36), why add word “other/s” in Col 1:15-17?
  3. Was Jehovah God without wisdom before creating him(Proverbs 8:22-31) ?
  4. If firstborn means first created, then what does firstborn of the dead mean?( or what does Israel(Exo. 4:22) and Ephraim(Jer. 31:9) being firstborn mean?) Could not Paul use firstborn in Messianic sense? (Ps 89:27 “I will also appoint him my firstborn (πρωτότοκον), the most exalted of the kings of the earth,”
  5. Why is Christ Jesus calling himself the first and the last?(Revelation 1:17-18)
  6. Was early Christians’  understanding of Jesus as God, from A. D. 30-250, wrong?
  7. If Jesus is a lesser god because he is only Might God(Isaiah 9:6), would that not make Jehovah God also lesser god since his  is also called Might God(Isaiah 10:20-21)?
  8. If Only-begotten(John 3:16) means Jesus was Jehovah’s first creation, how then do we explain Isaac(Hebrews 11:17) being the only-begotten of Abraham and not Ishmael?
  9. Why did God, in Genesis 1:26, said let us make man in our image(God’s image, not angel + God)?
  10. Could you explain how “Jehovah made it rain sulphur from Jehovah” Genesis 19:24 NWT?
  11. Why did Thomas say to Christ Jesus “the Lord of me, and the God of me”(John 20:28 cf. Psalm 35:23)?
  12. Why does historical documents show that the first Christians and Apostolic Fathers prayed and worshiped Christ Jesus as God?

Is God Dead?

Alvin Plantinga

“Philosophers refurbish the tools of reason to sharpen arguments for theism God? Wasn’t he chased out of heaven by Marx, banished to the unconscious by Freud and announced by Nietzsche to be deceased? Did not Darwin drive him out of the empirical world? Well, not entirely. In a quiet revolution in thought and argument that hardly anyone could have foreseen only two decades ago, God is making a comeback. Most intriguingly, this is happening not among theologians or ordinary believers—most of whom never accepted for a moment that he was in any serious trouble—but in the crisp, intellectual circles of academic philosophers, where the consensus had long banished the Almighty from fruitful discourse.”

In “Modernizing the Case for God,”  Monday, April 7 1980, Time magazine

Is God Dead?

A wonderful article on the come back of Arguments for Existence of God answering  “Is God Dead?” Times’ cover story of  April 8, 1966.

Is God dead? It is a question that tantalizes both believers, who perhaps secretly fear that he is, and atheists, who possibly suspect that the answer is no.

God is making a come back and I am proud to be alive witnessing  a great number of Christians recapturing our lost ground of Reason/Philosophy, in loving God with all our mind.

No fear, No tantalizing question, God is alive and well in the intelligentsia. As “Modernizing the Case for God” article concludes:

But if in an age of science, faith in God can be more rationally grounded, as a growing number of philosophers now attest, then the reasoning soul who is so inclined can more surely and assuredly feel comfortable in moving beyond reason.

My Top Seven Christian Philosophers:

  1. Alvin Plantinga (Recommended books: God Freedom and Evil, The Nature of Necessity, Warranted Christian Belief, Naturalism Defeated?)
  2. William Lane Craig (Reasonable Faith, Does God Exist? (w/ Antony Flew), The Kalam Cosmological Argument, Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview) Continue reading

Pow! There Goes Jehovah’s Witnesses Down

A wonderfully and respectfully dressed young lady, Linda passing out the Watch Tower and & Awake Magazines met  Christian at a cafe.

Christian: Why should I be a Jehovah’s Witness?

End of Doomed System

Linda: Because you love Creator Jehovah God, you appreciate the great sacrifice he and his Son Jesus Christ made for you, because you long to see an end to all wickedness and suffering, and because you want to share the knowledge of that hope with others.

Christian: Is that why you became a Jehovah’s Witness?

Linda: Yes and the truth that only Jehovah’s Witnesses have hope of surviving the impending end of this doomed system dominated by Satan the Devil.

Christian: Okay!

Linda: Oh! and also to receive everlasting life in the earthly Paradise we must identify Jehovah Witnesses’ organization and serve God as part of it.

Christian: I do love God. I believe and worship Christ Jesus as my Lord and my God(John 20:28), and I believe that God the Father in his joy and pleasure loved me and demonstrated this by sending His Son to died for my sins showing his holiness and justice. An act that goes beyond appreciation and adoration.

Linda: I understand your position, but I think you are mistaken in thinking Jesus is God.

Christian: Then who is Jesus?

Linda: Jesus is an archangel Michael, the first creation of Jehovah God.

Christian: If Jesus is a creature, then we ought not to worship him as God.

Linda: Yes, reverent adoration should be expressed only to God. To render worship to anyone or anything else would be a form of idolatry, which is condemned in both the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures. — Exodus 20:4, 5; Galatians 5: 19, 20.

WT Oct 15, 1945 p 313

Christian:  Please do take my next question in a loving way:
Why did Jehovah’s Witness worshiped Jesus in their first 75 years?

Linda: That is not true, we never worshiped Jesus!

Christian: Can I  quote you from The Watchtower, your official magazine, October 15th of 1945, page 313?

Linda: Go ahead.

Christian: It says:

“….whosoever should worship Him must also worship and bow down to Jehovah’s Chief One in that capital organization, namely, Christ Jesus.”

Linda: I honestly did not know that. But I believe there must be an explanation for that.

Christian: I thought that too, but then I also read Interesting Queries from July 15th of 1898, Question and Answers in Zion’s Watch Tower page 216.

Question. “… Was he[Jesus] really worshipped, or is the translation faulty?

Answer. Yes, we believe our Lord Jesus while on earth was really worshipped, and properly so” Continue reading

Pow! There Goes An Atheist 1.2 Down

Mohammad al-Ghazzālī (1058-1111)

Atheist: Why do you believe that God exits?

Christian: Because there are compelling arguments that He  exists.

Atheist: Let me hear one of them.

Christian: I will offer you the kalam argument.

1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause of its
existence.
2. The universe began to exist.

3. Therefore, the universe has a cause of its
existence.

Atheist: How is that an argument for existence of God?

Christian: Because the cause of the begining of the universe would have to be uncaused, eternal, changeless, timeless, and immaterial.

Atheist: And those are the attributes of God?

Christian: Yes, and I believe one can also add  personal on that list, because it would have to be a personal agent who freely elects to create an effect in time.

Atheist: If whatever exist has a cause of its existence, what caused God’s existence?

Christian: You have misunderstood proposition 1.  Whatever begins to exist has a cause of its
existence.

Atheist: And God being uncaused, eternal, changeless, timeless, and immaterial means He did not begin to exit.

Christian: Yes.

Atheist: That is just a “God of the gaps” reasoning, just because you can not explain the cause of the universe, you take a lazy way out by filling it with God.

Christian:  But what I presented to you is a religiously neutral statements.

Atheist: How so?

Christian: Because these are obviously statements to which scientific evidence is relevant. They may then serve as premisses in a philosophical argument for a conclusion having religious significance. There is no gap here wanting to be filled.

Pow! There Goes An Atheist Down

For a full detail kalam Argument. Dialogue answer to “God of the Gap objection” is inspired by William Lane Craig