The Fiddler Part 2

[Continuing my earlier post in response to The God Fearin’ Fiddler]

Having offered what he considers “substantial evidence” that Santa does not exist, The Fiddler abruptly changes course and asserts that Santa cannot be disproven after all.

Now the very proposition of God’s existence is not a ‘scientific’ one as you know – it cannot be disproven. But it cannot be disproven for a valid reason due to the very nature of God. The same could be said of Santa Claus – no one can disprove him but only in the same way that we can’t prove that we’re not living in “The Matrix” and we just think we are experiencing life but really our bodies are somewhere else.

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The Fiddler responds

[Updated to slightly simplify the part about the “significant evidence” against Santa.]

I was pleased to see that my post yesterday seems to have attracted the attention of The Fiddler and encouraged him to respond. Discussions are (or should be) so much more informative than monologues because the reader gets to see how the opposing views address each other, so this is a good thing. The Fiddler starts off with both praise for my post (thanks!) and a modest demurral.

First, I’m no apologist and my humble ramblings on this blog hardly represent the “current state of Christian apologetics”. There are scores of apologists far more capable than I to deal with questions that plague non believers.

Just a couple quibbles. First of all, the questions that the apologists deal with are not those that plague non-believers. Christian apologists write for believers, and address problems that believers have recognized as needing some attention. Secondly, while it may be true that “The God Fearin’ Forum” is not generally held to be a leading source of state-of-the-art Christian apologetics, it has been my experience that there are two kinds of apologetics, the theoretical kind you find in books on apologetics, and the practical kind that makes its way through the greater part of ordinary Christians. I think it’s important to address The Fiddler’s apologetics precisely because it is so typical of the latter rather than the former. The professional apologists may look good on paper, but it is of greater importance to deal with apologetics as it actually lives and breathes “in the wild,” as it were.

The Fiddler, having paid his compliments and offered his disclaimers, moves quickly to set the tone for the rest of his rebuttal. Read the rest of this entry »

David Warren does it again

For David Warren, writing silly arguments in favor of God is like eating Lay’s potato chips: he can’t stop at just one.

I wrote on Sunday: “We can now roughly date the origin of our universe, and 15 billion years more-or-less is proving much too short a time for random processes to produce a non-random result. Fifteen billion times 15 billion years is still not nearly enough time.”

This, in a nutshell, is the insuperable problem with random mutation, and natural selection, so far as they are taken not as factors in an evolutionary development, but as the determinants of it. There is simply more to nature than that. You may grasp this by looking into the eyes of any animal (Redmond O’Hanlon advises against trying this with a gorilla), or at the lilies of the field, that neither toil nor spin. They are purposeful. They are not purposeless.

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To An Unknown God

In the book of Acts, chapter 17, we read that the Apostle Paul found an altar marked “TO AN UNKNOWN GOD,” and decided it would be a handy device to use as a platform for preaching Christianity. According to the California Catholic Daily, Christians today would like to repeat Paul’s approach, even if they have to manufacture the pretext themselves.

Earlier this week, the Sonora city council unanimously voted to make their city the 26th in the nation to make a public display of the motto, “In God We Trust.”A campaign to promote the slogan, initiated by Bakersfield councilwoman Jacquie Sullivan in 2002, has had some success in California…

Sullivan pointed out at an August 10 press conference that the displays reflect the importance of faith in U.S. history, but do not violate the Constitution’s ban on the “establishment” or government endorsement of a specific religion…

“Patriotism is love of God and love of country,” Sullivan, explained to a Modesto Bee reporter. “I feel this is one of the most important things going on in our country now. It’s important to retain our national identity.” 

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Another casualty of Bush’s war

According to, the Family Research Council is hosting a conference on God and politics, and the agenda says a lot about the devastating impact the Bush presidency has had on the longtime symbiosis between Republicans and conservative Christians.

A debate called “The Role of Faith & Politics in 2008” pits Jim Wallis, an evangelical Christian who edits the magazine Sojourners, against Richard Land, head of the Southern Baptist Convention’s government affairs arm and host of three syndicated radio programs.

Both men have written pox-on-both-houses books. Wallis, in God’s Politics, argues that the right has hijacked faith and moral values and the left “doesn’t get it.” Land, in The Divided States of America?, says both the right and left have misstated God’s role in America’s affairs.

Jerry Falwell must be rolling over in his grave. Read the rest of this entry »