Tuesday, September 27, 2022

My Response to William Lane Craig, Famous Christian Leader, who claims his inner experience is more important than factual evidence

One of the most famous Christian apologists has made a strange video making the most bizarre claim--that his inner feeling of the Christian belief in the Holy Spirit is far more reliable than actual factual evidence! Not only that, he states that even if all factual evidence shows his belief is wrong, he will still choose to stay with what he feels!

Yet at Talbot School of Theology, where he teaches, there are other professors who totally contradict WLC's own view of God! They have contrary inner experience that they hold to be true!

How can Craig reconcile that with his statement that his inner feeling is from the Holy Spirit when those other professors at his theological school disagree, stating that the Holy Spirit witnesses differently to humans than Craig believes!

His central, primary basis for his version of Christianity being true is what he experiences within his consciousness, not actual historical and scientific evidence!

1. Doesn't Craig realize that many other religious leaders, contrary to his own beliefs have stated that they "know" their religion is true, too because of the inner witness they have experienced!

Mormon leaders emphasize they know LDS is the true religion because they have an inner witness! Some leaders Buddhism claim their own inner knowing. Muslims claim Islam is true, as do Hindus, Jehovah Witnesses, New Agers, and aas already pointed out contrary forms of Christianity, very different from WLC's particular form do too.

2. What would WLC say to me, a dedicated Christian for 55 years, who has been a minister, elder, missionary, Bible teacher, etc. However I NEVER experienced any such KNOWING! Even if I did experience such an inner feeling, I wouldn't rely on it if it countered hard evidence in science and history.

I do remember many, many sermons and books that declared I could "KNOW" that Christianity is true. But never once did I ever experience a KNOWING.
I kept searching for years, thinking that If I just tried harder, I would finally KNOW like leaders claimed I would, but it never happened.

Heck, I remember one Chiristian leader told me to just speak spontaneously and I would receive the Holy Spirit.

But I pointed out that if I did that it wouldn't be God's Spirit but just me speaking. At that point, I began to realize that this claim by millions of Christians of Knowing was probably an illusion, even for some, a con/propaganda that leaders used.

What I experienced instead in my life mostly was my voluntarily choosing, despite questions, to hope that the Good News was true, rather than some of the horrific other worldviews I encountered.
HOWEVER, that was a hope, and I tried to never discount hard fact of science and history.

Now, as I look back on over 60 years, I deeply regret that in the huge crisis I experienced as a university student at Cal State, Long Beach on the quad in 1966 that I fell for an either/or fallacy of Christianity.

At that defining crisis and decision of my life, since a couple other worldviews of professors and stuendes were morally horrific, I concluded, that despite my severe rational doubts about Christianity, that liberal Christianity (liberal Baptist-Quakerism) was the only place to make my stand.
Even though I was taking philosophy courses back then including one on logic, somehow I fell into the either/or fallacy, rather than to look for other possible life stances.

Because most of important life choices aren't either/or.

Maybe, IF I had come across WLC's bizarre, hugely irrational claim back then in the late 60's, I could have saved myself and my family many years of heartache and misplaced hope.

Sunday, September 11, 2022

NEVER forget the thousands of innocent humans who lost their lives because of fanatical war, 9/11

Here's a more personal blog for those interested: How I grew up partially 'redneck' and became a liberal quaker and radical

HOW REDNECK have I been in my life, besides the fact that red is my very favorite color?

And that I grew up on the edge of a small village of 250 people in southeast Nebraska, have done farm work, etc. ?:-)

Plus, when growing up, to get into the country, all I had to do was walk through our corn and potatoes, etc., hop the fence, to a farmer's fields, and walk down into the woods and creek.
HERE’S MY SCORE, me an old Cornhusker who has never lived in a large urban city.
And a few ways that I am definitely not a cliched redneck!

What about you?
Take the test too.🙂

(I’ve adapted another anonymous test that had a few errors and was missing some major redneck ways.)

10-20 maybe redneck
20-30 basic redneck
30-40 real redneck

1. Worked outdoors and gotten a red neck sunburn? Yes
2. Owned a BB gun, rifle, and shot gun and carried a pocket knife? Yes
3. Gone rabbit and pheasant hunting? Yes
4. Fished for catfish, bullheads, and trout? Yes
5. Owned a truck, driven tractors, disced fields? Yes
6. Repaired fence and strung barbwire? Yes
7. Plucked a chicken and fed cows? Yes
8. Gathered wild ginseng? No

9. Eaten deer meat and crawdads? Yes
10. Eaten fried liver, tongue, and oxtail, grits, cornbread, and hushpuppies? Yes
11. Milked a cow, fed a baby animal with a bottle? Yes
12. Gathered fresh eggs? Yes

13. Driven stick shifts and driven an old car around in a farm field when only about 12? Yes
14. Started a vehicle using a manual choke? Yes
15. Worn Stetson cowboy hats, snap shirts, large belt buckles, and western boots? Yes
16. Husked corn? Yes!

17. Waded barefoot in a creek? Yes
18. Caught fireflies in a jar and put around finger? Yes
19. Drank sweet tea and homemade beer? Yes
20. Gathered wild blackberries? Yes

21. Used outhouses? Yes
22. Ridden horses, worked on a farm and a ranch? Yes
23. Smelled the scent of cured tobacco and chewed tobacco? No
24. Carried in wood, taken the ashes out of a wood stove or wood heater? Yes

Here's a photo from me working on a huge ranch in central Montana near White Sulphur Springs, , me and my horse bringing down stray cattle from out of a box canyon in the Crazy Mountains. The reason that the photo is such poor quality is that I am shooting the picture from on the saddle of my horse with a cheap instamatic camera:-)

25. Listened to country music most of the time? Yes
26. Walked barefoot down a gravel or dirt road? Yes
27. Slept in a tent? Yes
28. Been attacked by a rooster? No

29. Eaten raw apple, potato, or turnip off the blade of a pocket knife? Yes
30. Wrapped a Bull Durham cigarette? Yes
31. Eaten homemade snow ice cream? Yes
32. Used a pump to draw water from a well? Yes

33. Been on a hay ride, baled hay? Yes
34. Jumped on a pile of raked leaves? Yes
35. Carved your initials into a tree and elsewhere? Yes
36. Sucked on a piece of water hose to siphon gas out of a gas tank? Yes

37. Gotten a tattoo? Yes
38. Split wood with an axe? Yes
39. Hung laundry outside on a clothes line to dry? Yes
40. Parked and necked? Yes

My Redneck Total: 37 out of 40

HOWEVER, how am I NOT a cliched redneck?

I’m totally opposed to nationalism, (for definition see below)

am strongly for equality for all humans,
think race and nation are unimportant,
am a human rights worker and demonstrator against wars,
am against border walls,
never voted very right-wing,
am not a fundamentalist in religion,

don’t own a Confederate flag at home or on my vehicle,
and don’t put out a Stars and Stripes on the 4th,

don’t use rough language,
curse words, or nonstandard English,

don’t go, regularly, to car races (though I have years ago)
don’t park my truck or car in my yard,
(though I have done that years ago:-),

and lastly but not least, I never tasted beer until after

I was almost 20, when I was living in Haight Ashbury as a spiritual hippie. When a roommate heard I had never tasted beer, he got me one from the fridge and watched when I opened it.
I took a sip, and spit it out! I had expected it to taste like root beer!

And I didn't start drinking beer until I moved to to a kibbutz in Palestine-Israel, and drank Israeli black beer (had only about 0.5 per cent alcohol. I drank it at the end of the day, after driving a caterpillar discing fields on the hills near where King Saul was killed by the Philistines.

And all the years as a teacher, I never drank beer partially to be a model to my students who often did drink and do illegal drugs. Besides, I didn't like the taste!
Obviously not following Dierks Bentley (the "Beers on Us" tour), Thomas Rhett, and a host of other country singers and "Rednecks" in general.

**Nationalism: A nationalist is one whose whole focus in on himself, his kin, and nation, who thinks US ought to come FIRST!:-( indeed, people who don't care about others around the globe, refugees, etc. Before the U.S. did this, nationalism was the FIRST strong policy of the British Empire, like when it went to war in the infamous 19th century against China to force it to buy opium so that British merchants could get wealthy, the evil Opium Wars:-( THAT is entirely different from having a love of country, patriotism, which I do support, even got my God and Country Award as a Star Scout:-)

The End
Thanks to the anonymous writer who started this list on FB.

In the Light,

Dan Wilcox

Monday, September 5, 2022

Resigned in LOSS, without security, in old age, fading away...HOWEVER

Now that I am restricted to a sedentary, post-stroke in-house life, I have far more time to spend on the Great Questions, the conundrums of reality, the bizare misbehavior and fallacious beliefs of billions of smart highly educated humans, etc.

For instance, I am baffled how multi-millions of smart Americans can be deceived by extremism of the left and the right!
However, these absurd tragedies do help me now understand now how in the 20th century, the 19th, and many hundreds of centuries before, billions of smart homo sapiens could become totally deceived by massive untruths.

More and more, I realize now, that no human can be totally objective because he is born at a certain time in a certain place, with a certain temperament, certain sexuality, certain environment,certain family, culture, religion or lack, etc.

HOWEVER, contrary to the determinists, that doesn’t mean that each human has no choice, that he is only a puppet, only a bungle/bundle of atoms jostling about in meaningless matter and energy, determined from the Big Bang.

Each human within his limited situation, does have moral responsibility, moral capability, the ability to create and to invent, to choose among alternative choices, to promise, effect changes in his environment. Even in the worst situation that happens in life such as barely existing in a Nazi Concentration Camp like Victor Frankl did.

The thinker Frankl emphasizes, each human can choose various ways to act, between the stimulus and response of even horrific events. Each individual human can choose creatively choose his attitude.

That is Free Will! Though that word is a misnamed term since no human is totally free of any influence; rather the usual definition of f.w. is that each human does have moral ability, and creativity, the ability to make choices among a limited number of options. Each human isn’t a puppet, yanked hither and thither by cosmic fate, god, or the cosmos.

No, there is no life form in reality that is totally free of its place and time; so we don’t have free will in the unlimited definition of free will that many atheists and creedal Christians define Free Will as. No species is totally free (without any constraints or physical or social limitations); no one has the ability to act from nowhere, independent of where he lives, in any way he chooses among millions of choices.

HOWEVER, within limitations, we can choose among different options, using our reflection and reason and creativity each day.

For instance, while I probably was not likely to become a worshiper of Thor or to avidly enjoy torturing people or believe the earth is flat! there are some humans much smarter than me who did and still do choose such actions. So at some point in my life, if I had given into temptations or propaganda, I suppose I could have even made those highly unlikely choices.

Strangely, there are humans similar to me in many ways who I know personally who did choose to turn to pagan superstition even though they are brilliant, highly educated individuals living in a scientific secular society! Baffling.

Contrary to the determinists, I did have a choice of whether or not to tease my sister, tell a minor lie, whether or not to drive the speed limit, etc. Years ago, I did have the choice whether or not to wait until I was 16 or to get my learner’s permit at 15. I had the ability to reject or accept temptations of such as some teens to drive recklessly, etc.

I did have the ability to finally to accept that Christianity is delusion based upon all of the evidence, though it took many years of study, reflection, discussion, to give up my deeply heartfelt, so loved hope in the Good News.

There are millions of much smarter, more highly educated humans who still choose Christianity, though there is plenty of evidence that it can’t be true. The amazing, powerful thinker Randal Rauser is one of them.

It appears that he has gone through, suffered through many of the same tragic evidences that many others have, but in the end he still chooses to perform a ‘hail mary’ pass of improbable meticulous providence and holds to belief in a strange definition of inerrancy--that God wanted errors, untruths, immoral commands, etc. in the Bible, therefore the Bible is "inerrant" from God's point of view!

The vast majority of humans don’t mean that at all by the term "inerrancy." Instead, they use the common dictionary definition of the term--that the Bible is without a single scientific, historical, grammatical, textural error!

Multi-millions of creedal Christians sincerely believe this, even though a quick glance at historic texts of the Bible will show that the manuscripts even have thousands of textural errors! And an objective study of Scripture shows that it has many errors in science and history.
The most infamous one is that Joshua in the Hebrew Bible commanded the sun to stop still in the sky while he slew his enemies, and God stopped the sun!

In the Light,

Dan Wilcox