Tuesday, August 9, 2011

By What Standard? pt. 4

Our discussion of theonomy concludes in a debate with an indignant unbeliever. You will notice how quickly the dialogue turns from theonomy, per se, to worldview. And this is to be expected. For disagreement between a believer and a non believer is, in reality, a collision of worldviews. Thus, the angry agnostic/atheist inevitably refers to “evidence” and “evolution” and “reason,” etc. These are all issues of worldview.

Why does the non believer sneer, “Theonomy is simply ridiculous”? Because from within his penurious worldview, theonomy and the like is ridiculous. Of this, the Bible is quite clear. “The natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1Cor. 2:14). When the non theist rejects the authority and veracity of biblical principles, he is thinking and reasoning exactly as scripture says he will.

According to the Bible, the unbeliever cannot appreciate or understand, he cannot obey from the heart, the teaching of scripture. Hence, God’s Law is a necessary deterrent to, in one sense specifically designed for, precisely this kind of rebellious, God denying person.
The law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine, (1Tim 1:9-10).
For clarity, my opponent's words appear bold and italicized. May God add His blessing to your reading.

Theonomy is simply ridiculous.
This is simply an “appeal to ridicule” [a logical fallacy], and offers nothing meaningful to the conversation.

We know that morality began with society, humans interacting together, and evolved therefrom…
Here you are simply begging the question. That is, you are simply assuming what you have yet to prove. Who is “we”? And what is the epistemological justification for such a knowledge claim?

If you believe the Bible, then you will know that violence constantly comes from the depicted deity.
This is simply a red herring. God is not the subject of my thesis, man is. I am discussing civil government.

There is no evidence for theonomy.
Again, you are simply begging the question. The “evidence” one sees or does not see, the “evidence” one allows or disallows; depends entirely upon one’s worldview. For example, the theist “sees evidence” for the existence of God, and the atheist does not “see evidence” for the existence of God; all the while living within the same universe. This disparity of “seeing” has nothing to do with intellect and everything to do with worldview.

Any system of belief…can be invented ...by human imagination.
Do you mean imaginative systems of belief such as: “morality began with society, humans interacting together, and evolved therefrom…” Is this what you mean by “any system of belief”? If so, then I am inclined to agree with you.

The Bible's laws are judged by humans…
Ultimately, you have this precisely backwards. In the final analysis, according to scripture, humans are judged by the Bible’s laws. God is the final arbiter of truth, not man.

"There is NO final arbiter, no arbiter at all."
I find it more than just a little ironic that you proclaim with magisterial authority: "There is NO final arbiter, no arbiter at all." (It makes me want to ask you, "Are you sure? Is that your FINAL answer? From where does this knowledge of yours come?)

"There is only real evidence and following what is reasonable, here with history, etc. which provide hard evidence."
Yet again, you are merely begging the question. What constitutes "real evidence"? Isn't "following what is reasonable" determined according to one's worldview? Do we not all think and reason from within our own worldview, viz. our own grid and filter or network of presuppositions? When you attempt to "reason" aren't you doing so subjectively? Or, are you accustomed to "reasoning" apart from your own mind?

"You begin with world-view..."
Well, present one person who has no worldview. Please present one thinker who has no worldview from within which he cogitates. Give me one thinker void of presuppositions. I'll take just one.

The fact is, all "facts" must be interpreted. Bare facts must be interpreted in order for them to be meaningful. And, friend, there are no neutral interpreters of facts. [This includes judges, journalists, scientists, and theologians.] As CS Lewis memorably penned, "What we learn from experience depends upon the philosophy we bring to experience."

"Forming one's own world-view should be based on evidence, reason, respect for other people, not hurting others, and living the way one chooses, not being told."
Says who? You? By what authority do you make such pronouncements? You say we should "not be told" and yet you cannot resist telling us these things.

Furthermore, you say you have no presuppositions and then presume to tell us the things upon which a worldview should be based! (Wow.) You talk out of both sides of your mouth. You are a walking contradiction.

"No world-view controls me...There is no need for presuppositions, and I have none."
When I read your comments, I realize that I am dealing with a person who has both feet firmly planted in thin air.

Thank you for reading and commenting, but before you attempt to debate others, perhaps you should finish the debate you're having with yourself.

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