Persistent Fallacies

 

 

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FALLACY I-
Nature is a Book

A fallacy that has caused widespread and serious damage to the spread of the Gospel  is the idea that Nature is a BOOK which is able to be “read” or which is able to “reveal” knowledge about itself. The proponents of this dangerous fallacy, almost without fail, equate the reliability of the Scriptures to the reliability of the “Book of Nature.”

This is partly based on the idea that since God is Creator of Nature and He is also the Author of the Scriptures, then both are trustworthy sources of knowledge. Just as we can trust that the Scriptures, correctly interpreted, will not mislead us, in the same way, we can trust that the information we gather from the study of nature cannot mislead us, and in fact can complement Scriptural revelation. In the end though, the Scriptures almost always take a back seat to the “facts of Science.”

There are no words or numbers in nature. If nature was a book, then all men would be reading the same text. The disagreements would not be on what nature “says” but on how the words should be interpreted. But since there are no words in nature, men cannot “read” nature but “read” their ideas Into nature. That is, the judgments that they make upon observing events are their own inventions, their own verbal formulations and are Not communications From nature To men.

Verbal communication can come only from an entity with a mind. Nature has no mind, and therefore unable to communicate in any shape or form. Man’s limitless propensity to self-deception has created an idol called “science” and worships it as the most, if not sole reliable source of truth. Christians should not participate in such idolatry.

It boggles the mind to see philosophers and theologians continue to propagate such a baseless belief. The scientists of the past might be excused for their unjustified optimism about the physical and mental abilities of men, but today it is inexcusable to believe that Nature is a “Book” that can be “read” and that can be relied upon as a source of “revealed” knowledge. There is no longer the slightest justification for such a Fallacious assumption.

 

FALLACY II-
Searching for Truth is a legitimate occupation

One of the most common titles for books and articles dealing with the subject of Truth is the title “The Search for Truth” or something along those lines. It seems that these writers have not asked themselves the question: Is Searching for Truth a legitimate endeavor? How does one search for something when one is ignorant of what he is looking for? What exactly is the Nature of Searching?

There seem to be two states that one can be in before searching for something:

1- You have lost an object which you once possessed, thus you already know what you are looking for: its shape, size, color, etc. OR, someone has shown you an image of the lost object or has explained clearly what has been lost.

e.g. If you lost your car keys and begin to search for them, you already have a clear mental image of what you need to find. Or if someone has lost a pet and he shows you a picture of it or describes clearly the size, color, breed, name, etc., then you have some idea of what to search for.

Searching under these circumstances is a reasonable and legitimate activity. In both cases, what is being searched for is a material object that would be apparent to the senses once it is approached.

2- If you do not know what you are looking for, then “searching” becomes a futile effort.

In the case of Truth, the idea that one can search for it is a totally meaningless exercise. If you do not know what Truth is, how would you decide that you have found it? (Of course if you already know what Truth is, there would be no reason to look for it.) You cannot search for something with which you are unfamiliar or unacquainted. Those who are “searching for truth” are under the deeply incorrect assumption that when they “meet” with Truth, they will recognize it and will then end their search! But that is not a reasonable belief. When one does not know what Truth is, “finding” Truth becomes an impossible task.

What does it mean to “search” for an idea? Where do you “look” for Truth(=God)? It is not a material object that one can encounter. It does not occupy space. It cannot be met by an appointment. None of our senses are able to sense it. How can we take someone seriously when they say that they are “searching for Truth”?!

One might as well be searching for the proverbial pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

 

FALLACY III-
Mathematics is a Language

To mistake mathematics for a language is to betray a deep ignorance of the nature of numbers and of the nature of language. If it were a language, it would be able to communicate ideas, but it is unable to do so. It does a grave disservice to language to equate it with the tools of the mathematician, and it raises unjustified and unfulfillable expectations of numbers. Every word in a language has a meaning that the mind recalls every time the word is heard or read. This cannot be said of numbers, because numbers have NO meaning at all on their own. We delude ourselves when we impute the properties of language to numbers. Then when we ascribe these meaningless, empty and impotent figures to God, we do irreparable damage to His reputation and Revelation.

 

FALLACY IV-
The Word of God (Jesus Christ) is identical to the word of God (the Scriptures).

FALLACY V-

Reason is the antithesis to Faith.

FALLACY VI-
God and His mind can be thought of as two separate entities.


FALLACY VII-
Believing in God is the same as believing in Christ.

 

 

CORRECTIVE ACTIONS

It is unwise for Christians to continue to tolerate such seriously faulty assumptions. It must be pointed out quickly and clearly that such incoherent ideas and destructive notions do not belong in the repertoire of any serious scholar, whether Christian or not.

 

 

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Created on 4-20-11

  

Persistent Fallacies

 

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