J.P. Moreland asks: does truth matter when choosing a religion?

Dr. J.P. Moreland
Dr. J.P. Moreland

This lecture contains Moreland’s famous “Wonmug” illustration. Ah, memories! If you don’t know who Wonmug is, you can find out in this lecture.

The MP3 file is here.

Topics:

  • Is it intolerant to think that one religion is true?
  • Is it more important to be loving and accepting of people regardless of worldview?
  • How should Christians approach the question of religious pluralism?
  • How does a person choose a religion anyway?
  • Who is Wonmug, and would you like to be like Wonmug?
  • Is it enough that a belief “works for you”, or do you want to believe the truth?
  • Can all the religions in the world be true?
  • Is it wise to pick and choose what you like from all the different religions?
  • Is it possible to investigate which religion is true? How?
  • Which religions are testable for being true or false?
  • How you can test Christianity historically (very brief)

I’m posting this, because I’ve noticed that there’s an awful lot of cultural Christianity in red states. Basically, if you ask someone if they are a Christian, and they say yes, they don’t usually mean that they think it’s true and that they’ve investigated whether it’s true. They usually just mean that they like it, or it makes them feel good, or that’s how they were raised, etc. My worry about this is that if Christianity isn’t adopted because it’s true, then no one is going to do any work or self-sacrifice for it. And I think that Christianity won’t survive the challenges of the secular culture if parents and pastors don’t understand that Christianity will require work, if it’s going to be presented to people as TRUE in a persuasive way.

Why is truth important? People are willing to invest in projects self-sacrificially if they think that they are involved in something true. So, you might enroll in a chemistry program in college because you expect to come out with true beliefs about chemistry. You’ll do the work and solve the problems because you think that chemistry is real. But if you think that chemistry is just made up nonsense with no use at all, you’re probably not going to work at it and sacrifice for it. You’ll probably just find something else to do with your life that’s easier and more fun. That’s why the truth question is really important.

William Lane Craig debates Austin Dacey: Does God Exist?

Two tough rams butt heads, and may the best ram win!
Two tough rams butt heads, and may the best ram win!

Here is the video and summary of a debate between Christian theist William Lane Craig and Austin Dacey at Purdue University in 2004 about the existence of God.

The debaters:

The video: (2 hours)

The video shows the speakers and powerpoint slides of their arguments. Austin Dacey is one of the top atheist debaters, and I would put him second to Peter Millican alone, with Walter Sinnott-Armstrong in third place. This is the debate to show people who are new to apologetics. The debate with Peter Millican is better for advanced students, and that’s no surprise since he teaches at Oxford University and is familiar with all of Dr. Craig’s work. The Craig-Dacey debate is the one that I give to my co-workers.

By the way, you can get the DVDs and CDs for the first Craig-Dacey debate and the second Craig-Dacey debate and the second Craig-Sinnott-Armstrong debate. The Peter Millican debate is not available on DVD, but the link above (Peter Millican) has the video and my summary.

Dr. Dacey’s 5 arguments below are all good arguments that you find in the academic literature. He is also an effective and engaging speaker, This is a great debate to watch!

SUMMARY of the opening speeches:

Dr. Craig’s opening statement:

Dr. Craig will present six reasons why God exists:

  1. (Contingency argument) God is the best explanation of why something exists rather than nothing
  2. (Cosmological argument)  God’s existence is implied by the origin of the universe
  3. (Fine-tuning argument) The fine-tuning of the universe for intelligent life points to a designer of the cosmos
  4. (Moral argument) God is the best explanation for the existence of objective moral values and objective moral duties
  5. (Miracles argument) The historical facts surrounding the life, death and resurrection of Jesus
  6. (Religious experience) God’s existence is directly knowable even apart from arguments

Dr. Dacey’s opening argument:

There are two ways to disprove God’s existence, by showing that the concept of God is self-contradictory, or by showing that certain facts about ourselves and the world are incompatible with what we would expect to be true if God did exist. Dr. Dacey will focus on the second kind of argument.

  1. The hiddenness of God
  2. The success of science in explaining nature without needing a supernatural agency
  3. The dependence of mind on physical processes in the brain
  4. Naturalistic evolution
  5. The existence of gratuitous / pointless evil and suffering

One final point:

One thing that I have to point out is that Dr. Dacey quotes Brian Greene during the debate to counter Dr. Craig’s cosmological argument. Dr. Craig could not respond because he can’t see the context of the quote. However, Dr. Craig had a rematch with Dr. Dacey where was able to read the context of the quote and defuse Dr. Dacey’s objection. This is what he wrote in his August 2005 newsletter after the re-match:

The following week, I was off an another three-day trip, this time to California State University at Fresno. As part of a week of campus outreach the Veritas Forum scheduled a debate on the existence of God between me and Austin Dacey, whom I had debated last spring at Purdue University. In preparation for the rematch I adopted two strategies: (1) Since Dacey had come to the Purdue debate with prepared speeches, I decided to throw him for a loop by offering a different set of arguments for God, so that his canned objections wouldn’t apply. I chose to focus on the cosmological argument, giving four separate arguments for the beginning of the universe, and on the evidence for Jesus’ resurrection. (2) I reviewed our previous debate carefully, preparing critiques of his five atheistic arguments. In the process I found that he had seriously misunderstood or misrepresented a statement by a scientist on the Big Bang; so I brought along the book itself in case Dacey quoted this source again. I figured he might change his arguments just as I was doing; but I wanted to be ready in case he used his old arguments again.

[…]The auditorium was packed that night for the debate, and I later learned that there were overflow rooms, too. To my surprise Dr. Dacey gave the very same case he had presented at Purdue; so he really got clobbered on those arguments. Because he wasn’t prepared for my new arguments, he didn’t even respond to two of my arguments for the beginning of the universe, though he did a credible job responding to the others. I was pleased when he attacked the Big Bang by quoting the same scientist as before, because I then held up the book, specified the page number, and proceeded to quote the context to show what the scientist really meant.

Dr. Craig is always prepared!

Why are so many women with good careers being forced to freeze their eggs?

Is this woman choosing a path that leads to marriage?
Is this woman choosing a path that leads to marriage?

The New York Times says that more and more women are having to freeze their eggs because they can’t find good men to marry. The NYT doesn’t think that women are doing anything wrong. They blame the men for refusing to commit. According to feminism, women who value careers, abortion rights, no-fault divorce, big government, high taxes, etc. are doing everything right. But does it work?

I thought it might be a good idea to help Western women to make better decisions with men and marriage. Although setting out boundaries seems harsh and restrictive, it’s actually protective and loving. If we want women to get to a stable marriage and children, (what they really need long term, after they lose their looks and youth), then we should be bold about leading them.

The first thing to point out is that the women celebrated by the New  York Times are intentionally delaying marriage for their education and careers.

Another New York Times article explains:

It could be that the new generation of millennial women is delaying having children even longer than the women who came before them, as prime childbearing years are also critical years for advancing in a career. A recent study shows that the marital pay gap that springs up after a first child is born typically does not close if the birth happens between age 25 and 35.

Shannon Hettinger, a 32-year-old from Washington, D.C., said she definitely wanted children. She grew up in a large family in a small town in Pennsylvania and almost all her high school friends are married with children. But she moved to Washington, and spent her 20s deciding on a career. Now that she has one she loves — she works in residential real estate sales — she is not going to stop until she gets established. That means not having children for a while.

“I just want to build my book of business and see where I can go from here,” she said. “My whole focus is career growth. That’s my No. 1 priority.”

“Once I achieve a certain level of success,” she added, “then I’ll start thinking about a family.”

Ivy Gray-Klein, 26, who lives in Philadelphia and works at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design, said she was open to having children but cannot imagine doing so until she is 30 or 35. She wants to feel settled in her own life first. Now she has three roommates, is paying down her student loans and is working to build a little bit of savings.

“I’m just really trying to get myself to a place that is solid,” she said by phone. “Having a child right now would be so destabilizing. Children just seem like such an enormous financial undertaking.”

As far as I’m concerned, once a woman reaches 30 , she’s actually chosen not to marry, and not to have children. Marriage is something that men are willing to do with women in their early 20s. They want a woman to commit and invest herself in his life early. They don’t commit to a woman who has spent her 20s running up debts, traveling, being promiscuous, etc. The pattern of selfish behavior that  women get into damages their ability to be good wives and mothers later. And men know that.

But in this post, I’m discuss something that I think is responsible for women not finding good men: and that’s the fact that many women are not looking for good men. In fact, some women are very attracted to very bad men.

Here’s the first editorial about women and domestic terrorist Dzhokar Tsarnaev, one of the Boston marathon bombers.

Excerpt:

Mostly, though, they think Dzhokhar is cute. The Bambi eyes (looking right out of his Instagram-doctored photos at you!), the hipster facial stubble, the masses of wine-dark tousled hair — adorable! Impassioned believers have written “Dzhokhar is innocent” on their hands and plastered “Innocent until proven guilty!!!!” posters around their towns. An 18-year-old waitress interviewed by the New York Post vowed to have Dzhokhar’s last tweet before the bombing tattooed onto her arm: “If you have the knowledge and the inspiration all that’s left is to take action.”

[…]But the real cause of the Jahar craze more likely lies in something more primal and less pretty in the female psyche. I’m betting that women, young and old, are drawn to Dzhokhar not because he is a good-looking late adolescent but because he is a good-looking accused killer. He’s a classic “bad boy” of the sort to whom women are chronically attracted because they want to reform them, or minister to their wounds, or be the healing presence they’ve never had — but mostly because they find them sexy.

That article also noted:

It’s not surprising, then, that every homicide perp on death row who is reasonably attractive has groupies. Consider the handsome (and widely philandering) Scott Peterson, sentenced in 2005 for killing his wife and unborn son and throwing their remains into San Francisco Bay. The day he checked into San Quentin, he received three dozen phone calls from smitten women, including an 18-year-old who wanted to become the second Mrs. Peterson.

Some of the tweets and other fangirl comments about Tsarnaev were collected in this New York Post article.

Lots of Western women from the UK, France, Russia, etc. all picked up and moved to the Middle East to become ISIS jihadi brides.

Excerpt:

Western women joining Islamic State are increasingly from comfortable backgrounds and often well educated with romantic notions of adventure often quickly dispelled by the harshness of life as a “Jihadi bride”, according to a British research report.

Some 550 women from Western countries have left their homelands to join Islamic State, which has captured swathes of Syria and Iraq, said the report by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue and the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation at King’s College, London.

[…]It said female recruits were increasingly younger, some from comfortable backgrounds and often well-educated, and were playing “crucial” propaganda and recruitment roles.

That article is three years old, the numbers have more than doubled since then. The most common reasons cited for leaving are romance and adventure.

Psychology Today has some comments about why some women do this:

In her post, “Women Who Love Serial Killers,” PT blogger, Katherine Ramsland, offers some suggestions about why some women can be so attracted to, or hopelessly beguiled by, the most terrifying of human predators. At first, she provides explanations from the women themselves, women who actually married these dangerously unhinged criminals. Their reasons (somewhat elaborated here) include the assumptions that:

  • their love can transform the convict: from cunning and cruel, to caring, concerned, and compassionate.

  • there’s a wounded child nested somewhere inside the killer that can be healed through a devoted nurturance that only they can provide.

  • they might share the killer’s media spotlight, and so triumphantly emerge from their anonymity, and maybe in the process even land a book or movie deal (an aspiration about as cynical as it is narcissisticand self-serving).

And this is even more interesting:

To simplify this work’s findings for my present purpose, however, let me begin by emphasizing that Ogas and Gaddam find substantial evidence from Web searches, posts, and many 1,000s of romance novels that women demonstrate a strong erotic preference for dominant men. Or toward what’s now commonly referred to as alpha males—in the authors’ words, men who are “strong, confident, [and] swaggering [as in “cocky,” and the pun is intended].” Unfortunately, what these descriptors often imply is behavior sufficiently bearish, self-centered, and insensitive as to often cross the line into a physical, mental, and emotional abuse that can be downright brutal.

[…]Moreover, in responding to the question as to whether some men, such as “serial killers, violent offenders, and rapists,” might be too dominant for women to accept, Ogas and Gaddam note: “It turns out that killing people is an effective way to elicit the attention of many women: virtually every serial killer, including Ted Bundy, Charles Manson, and David Berkowitz, have received love letters from large numbers of female fans” (p. 98).

Women choose good-looking bad boys, because they think that they can change them:

The fantasy that seems to be operating in such devotees, and that constitutes the plot of virtually all erotic/romantic novels written with women in mind, is that the “misogyny and jerkdom” they might have to battle with in such super-dominant males is only temporary. That it doesn’t really represent the man’s innermost reality. That his violence and lack of tender feelings is only the beginning of the story, and that their unsparing love, affection, and dedication can ultimately transform his character by helping him get in touch with his, well, “inner goo.”

I blogged before about feminists going after pro-choice bad boys like William Clinton, Peter Strzok, Eliot Spitzer, Anthony Weiner, John Edwards, Harvey Weinstein, etc. These men support selfish policies like abortion and no-fault divorce. Women seem to not understand that men who support selfishness as policy might actually BE selfish in their own lives. Men who are able to commit and raise children are not pro-abortion and pro-divorce. Those are the men who women should be pursuing, and during their early-to-mid 20s.

Twitter bans free speech activist after she responds to hate speech from transgender activist

J3551c4 Y4n1v
J3551c4 Y4n1v

Remember L1nd54y 5h3ph3rd, the Canadian graduate student who was sanctioned by her university for showing a video clip that presented both sides of the transgender debate? Well, a transgender activist tweeted hateful comments at her about her womb and her pregnancy, and when she replied, Twitter decided to permanently ban her from their platform, with no appeal.

Here’s the story from the famous Canadian blog The Post Millennial:

One of Canada’s most outspoken free speech advocates, L1nd54y 5h3ph3rd, has been permanently suspended from Twitter. The suspension comes after a jousting match with a notorious trans woman named JY who has been accused of predatory behaviour toward children and making frivolous human rights complaints.

The Post Millennial reached out to 5h3ph3rd who said, “I got suspended for two tweets (although they didn’t tell me exactly which tweets were the problem so I am giving my best guess): last night, JY tweeted that I have a loose vagina from pushing a 10 pound baby out, but JY still has a “tight pussy” (in reality, JY still has male genitalia according to the proceedings of the current human rights tribunals he’s been testifying in; and in reality I had a C-section and a 6 pound 10 oz baby).”

“I replied that this is something a man who has no functional romantic relationships with women would say, but that, I guess that describes him pretty well. Then, Y4n1v mocked a reproductive abnormality I have (a septate uterus), and so I replied saying ‘at least I have a uterus, you fat ugly man.’ I thought, ‘I can’t allow him to make these misogynistic remarks about me and not fight back.’ I deleted the comments I made this morning but found out was suspended in the afternoon.”

After making the hate-filled, anti-woman comments and getting the response, Y4n1v took the response to Twitter and demanded that L1nd54y should be banned. Twitter complied. A straight woman is further down on the intersectionality totem pole than a transgender woman, so the straight woman loses her rights to free speech.

By the way, here is a short 5-minute of L1nd54y 5h3ph3rd explaining what Twitter did to her:

You might also have heard about a progressive feminist named M38h4n Murphy, who was also banned from Twitter because of complaints by Y4n1v. Twitter banned her, despite her impeccable progressive feminist credentials.

More about Y4n1v:

According to Y4n1v, estheticians should be obliged to provide waxing services to a female-identifying trans person and religious and cultural views should not interfere with the ability to access that service.

“The people that discriminated against me are forcing their beliefs on society,” said Y4n1v.

While Y4n1v disregards the cultural or religious beliefs of the esthetician, she is making the ballsy argument that people should be forced to wax clients with male genitalia if they self-identify as a woman.

To wax a client’s penis, an individual must handle the scrotum and the shaft of the penis.

Individuals with a penis can get erections during the process, some even leak a small amount of pre-ejaculate.

While the thought of forcing anyone to handle a sexual organ as a mandatory part of their non-medical job sounds insane, especially when you consider the potential for predatory behaviour, the Human Rights Tribunal actually seems to be taking it very seriously instead of treating it as an absurd farce.

[…]Should J3551c4 win, women working out of their homes who provide waxing services to women will be told that they will have to handle a penis against their will in the province of B.C

The story has even been picked up in one of Canada’s national newspapers. The specific details of the trial cannot be reported, because the British Columbia courts slapped a publication ban on the trial, so that no one would find out how the government of Canada essentially forces ordinary women into prostitution at gunpoint, if an LGBT activist requests it.

Y4n1v has 16 open lawsuits against women who declined to perform genital waxes on Y4n1v. But that’s the sort of person who has the full support of the government in Canada. No one in the courts or the government is capable of making rational moral decisions, because the country has long since abandoned Judeo-Christian moral values, and the framework of beliefs that made those moral values binding. You can’t just start with Judeo-Christian moral values, take out God, and have the thing hold together. And now even people on the left are starting to realize that concepts like “justice” and “fairness” don’t exist in a vacuum.

This really happened. And if we aren’t careful how we vote, it could easily happen here. There is no doubt in my mind that if the Democrats occupied the House, Senate and Presidency, then this sort of thing would happen here.

By the way, it’s not just Twitter that bans disagreement with transgenderism. The popular blogging platform WordPress also does, despite presenting themselves as champions of free speech.

Something completely unrelated

I saw this interesting story in the UK Daily Mail, and I just thought I’d put it into this post as a sort of random, unrelated story:

Describing the stabbing, prosecution barrister Richard Atkins QC said: ‘CCTV captured what can only be described as a frenzied attack.

‘She lunged and attacked him about the head and neck area using both knives, making repeated attempts to stab him.’

Mr Knibbs was caught ‘completely off-guard’, with the 52-year-old recalling the sight of his own blood.

Mr Atkins said: ‘He was aware of blood pumping out of his neck and could see it on the wall behind him.’

Despite being stabbed in the throat, in a blow which nicked both his carotid artery and jugular vein, Mr Knibbs managed to grab both J35k4’s wrists while shocked colleagues rushed to his aid.

In the melee, two other men – Tim Begley and Kevan Taylor – were injured as J35k4 resisted, before half a dozen workers managed to pin her to the ground until police arrived.

[…][Knibbs] had also suffered a stroke during the assault, resulting in partial permanent sight-loss.

[…]Prosecutor Mr Atkins said that J35k4 told a psychiatrist after the incident that ‘she fantasised about going to the Alexander Stadium and killing all of the staff’.

This isn’t the first time something like that has happened, either. I blogged about another case of violence previously, as well as a case of a faked hate crime.

Legal immigrant businesswoman from Jamaica announces challenge to AOC

Scherie Murray for Congress, Republican - NY
Scherie Murray for Congress, Republican – NY

My favorite people in the world are non-white legal immigrants from socialist countries who embrace America, and attack socialism. The Democrat party has been taken over by America-haters who want to turn America into a third-world socialist dictatorship. But they face challenges from conservatives who came to America legally, and who are thankful for liberty, prosperity and security.

Here’s a news story from Daily Wire about a New York Republican woman who immigrated legally from Jamaica. She is challenging AOC and socialism. She has achieved far more success in business and economics than AOC.

Excerpt:

Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is not going to go unchallenged in 2020, with a growing number of Republicans having announced their candidacy in recent days, including one who would meet the freshman Democrat’s qualifications for being a member of “The Squad” — except for the whole “radical socialist” part, that is.

“I’m a Jamaican immigrant. And I love America. Not the America radical socialists want to see, but the America that is a land of opportunity for all. That’s what I’m fighting for,” New York businesswoman Scherie Murray, 38, declared in a series of social media posts Wednesday announcing her candidacy for the Republican nomination in Ocasio-Cortez’s district (tweets below).

In her campaign launch, Murray has made clear that she’s not going to pull any punches on her potential opponent. “There’s a crisis in Queens and it’s called AOC,” Murray said in a tweet she’s pinned to the top of her page. “She isn’t worried about us — she’s worried about being famous. That’s why I’m running for Congress.”

“You deserve someone who will fight for you, not fight for the limelight. Someone who will build bridges, not burn them down,” said Murray in a post presenting her official 2020 announcement video. “Lawmakers should be working together to build a stronger, safer, more prosperous America, but your representative in Washington chooses self-promotion over service, conflict over constituents, resistance over assistance,” Murray says in the video.

“Queens and the Bronx need someone who will create jobs instead of turning them away,” Murray says in reference to Ocasio-Cortez’s opposition to the Amazon HQ2 deal, which would have brought 25,000 jobs to her district and nearly $30 billion in tax revenues to the state.

In an interview with Fox News Wednesday, Murray elaborated on her opposition to Ocasio-Cortez, stressing her “job-killing Green New Deal” and “killing the Amazon New York deal” as some of the reasons she believes the congresswoman needs to be unseated. She also takes aim at the Democrats’ “Mediare-for-All” as something that will ultimately destroy quality health insurance in the U.S.

Here’s her announcement video:

And one of her tweets says this:

I‘m a Jamaican immigrant. And I love America. Not the America radical socialists want to see, but the America that is a land of opportunity for all. That’s what I’m fighting for. 

Six thousand retweets and 21 thousand likes for that tweet.

She loves America! And I hope that she beats AOC in the next election. The primaries will be held on June 23rd, 2020. I’m looking forward to seeing her win, and then debate AOC on business and economics. It will be a contest between an entrepreneur with an actual resume against a bartender / waitress who was born with a silver spoon in her mouth, and failed to achieve anything in the free market.

By the way, did you see this video showing how the new fresh faces of the Democrat party refused to condemn a terrorist attack committed by a far-left Democrat party terrorist?

I blogged previously about how the terrorist had cited AOC’s “concentration camp” rhetoric in his manifesto. It really makes me concerned that people who don’t think that terrorism is wrong have taken over the Democrat party. Who voted for these people?

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

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