Sunday, September 30, 2012

What’s with the Name of this Blog?

Well, this is a blog about faith. And what is faith? It is believing in something that you cannot see, touch, or hold, but you KNOW it’s there.

I know that air exists for two reasons: one is that I’ve been taught about air and can read about air in textbooks, and the other one is that I have personally experienced air.

Many people think that the Followers of Christ are a bit strange to live in our modern times here in the United States and practice faith healing. But, if you ask most Christians, they will tell you that they also believe in and rely on faith to heal, when necessary through the help of medical intervention.

Just like I have faith that air exists, without seeing it, I know that God exists. Like air, I have heard about God, read about God, and felt God’s presence. I cannot see God’s face, but I can see God’s creation.

Just a few days ago, I stood outside staring up at the evening sky – a beautiful cerulean with perfect patterns of fluffy white cotton ball clouds. I called my kids outside, and soon several others in the neighborhood came out to see what we were looking at. I love looking at the sky and admiring the world God has created for us to live in. Clear night skies are my favorite. I feel God’s presence at night when staring up at the stars.

An important point I want to make is that I’ve read about a great deal of things that millions of people have faith in, but I do not. The list include: crop circles/alien sightings, the Mormon story, the Lockness monster, Bigfoot, the Big Bang theory, and many more. I’ve read about these things and heard about these things from reliable sources: textbooks, the Internet, documentaries, and hard-core believers. And yet, I have no faith in any of them. Unlike air and God, the “evidence” does not convince me.

So, does air exist? Does God?

Name explained.


  1. I was wondering. Nicely stated.

  2. "Air" is a common term for the gases that surround you, right now. This "air" you're breathing and walking around in is a mix of atoms and molecules from several elements, mostly nitrogen, a little oxygen, a smidgen of argon, and some carbon as well as other trace substances. These atoms have been studied and reliable predictions can be made from our understanding of their properties and interactions. Air most certainly exists. You can even pull nearly all of the air out of a container to demonstrate the difference between air and no-air. It's called a vacuum. You have several small vacuum chambers in your home. They're called light bulbs.
    To believe that air exists does not require faith in the same way belief in gods does. Air exists, whether or not I believe it. If a sample of air was studied in labs in The United States, India, Israel, and Iran, it would yield identical results in each lab. The same is certainly not true for a sample of God.

    1. Have you tested all the air in all of the places you mentioned? Please get back to me when your study is completed. Until then you are just borrowing from my world view, I know air exists because God says it does.

    2. Really? Where does God say that air exists? Did he say it exists everywhere in the universe (which would be hilariously wrong) or does he say it only exists in one place? Do you have to read the part where God says air exists in each place air exists for air to exist there? Please get back to me when your study is completed. Until then, you're actually borrowing from my worldview. I know air exists because it can be and has been observed. In another location, under similar conditions and without conditions that would preclude its existence, it can be reliably predicted to exist. It's too bad the inerrant words of God can only be observed through his apologists.

      Presuppositionalism is silly.

    3. It takes faith for me to believe that air exists because I have never personally proven it - I have to believe what others (scientists) say on the subject.

      As for God, I know He exists from personal experience. Perhaps it is easier to explain the universe away from the scientific perspective, but I think that takes an amazing amount of faith because of all the millions of accidental and phenomenal occurances that had to magically happen in order for life to be possible. If our Earth was even tilted one degree in another direction, life would not be sustainable here...that is just one tiny little example of how much faith atheism takes.

      I see proof of God everywhere I look.

    4. The transcendental argument is that without God you cannot prove anything. Calling it silly and not answering the direct question makes it all the more clear, you cannot have a universal standard of anything in your worldview because God is the source of all logic and morals.

      “Air” is spoken of 39 times in the Old and New Testament scriptures. The answer to the rest of your questions is no.

    5. You've never held a liquid in a straw by capping one end? You've never blown a bubble or blown up a balloon? These are demonstrations of the effects of air and a lack of air. You can have faith in the explanations of what air is and how it works, but you can't pretend it takes faith to test those explanations. It just takes a scientific perspective.

      It is obviously easier to explain the universe without using science. Countless religions, including yours, do explain the universe without using science. Science is what you use to determine if your explanations are actually correct.

      Accidental is accurate enough, I suppose. Certainly, if something is not the action of an agent it cannot be intentional. Phenomenal is similarly accurate and/or useless, here. A phenomenon cannot be stranger than itself and you're talking about a phenomenon that we only have one of. That you consider the universe being explained using natural processes to be apparently more magical than the universe being created by magic is just silly.

      Life is obviously possible. We're living it right now. We wouldn't be discussing it in a universe in which life was not possible. That said, the universe is not so finely tuned for life as you seem to think. The axial tilt of the Earth, for instance, has oscillated between a little over 22 degrees and a little over 24 degrees for the last five million years, or so.

      Even without any naturalistic explanations, it takes faith to believe in a god. You're effectively trying to say that it takes less faith to have faith than to not have faith. That's nonsensical and it uses faith in a negative connotation which really doesn't make sense from a Christian perspective. Then again, you "know He exists from personal experience" but you're taking air on faith. One problem might be a misunderstanding of what faith and personal experience mean.

      I see a lot of people with faith in a lot of different versions of gods who all feel justified by personal experiences to reject the other versions. I see no proof of your god or any others anywhere I look. I only see unjustified faith.

    6. Garth: If God is the source of all logic and morals, is it possible for God to do something illogical or immoral? Do you believe that your god is omnipotent?

    7. Yes, of course I’ve blown up a balloon. It’s funny you should mention that because I work with air every day. I am constantly designing airflow systems. Taking temperature and static pressure readings of air is what I do. The empirical evidence of how air will respond in different situations is something I depend on.
      We are speaking scientifically here about air and the universal laws that surround it. However we have different world views that control and govern our thinking about how we can know these things. You have a naturalistic presupposition that disallows any supernatural answers, and claim that logic or reason is the only way to prove factual statements. I don’t have a problem with you holding to logic or reason; the problem is you disallow any empirical evidence pointing to the existence of God, such as: The thousands of stars in the heavens, the parting of the Red Sea, the virgin birth of Jesus, the 500 who witnessed the resurrected Christ. Your assertion that God doesn’t exist is not based on empirical observation because you disallow the supernatural based upon you presupposition, you are begging the question.
      Now, let me describe myself. I have a supernaturalistic presupposition. I also apply logic and reason, along with evidence that supports the existence of God, and there is no shortage of empirical evidence to support my belief. He saved me and changed my heart; He has forgiven me of all my trespasses and brought into His kingdom, so I definitely believe in the supernatural. But if someone (like you) puts forth an argument against my presupposition, I will instantly find a way to dismiss it. Now I am begging the question.
      The best way for us to rationally resolve this debate about world views is the transcendental argument. We can prove the existence of God from the impossibility of the contrary. Your world view cannot account for the uniformity of nature, laws of logic or moral absolutes. This is why I asked you at the beginning if you had tested all the air, because you can’t know any other way.

    8. Here's what you just said:
      "I accept scientific principles and naturalistic methodology but I also like to hold an unsupported position so I call it a presupposition and admit to begging the question."

      That there are stars in the heavens doesn't prove your deity any more than any other deity. There are hundreds of billions of stars in our galaxy alone.
      There are hundreds of billions of galaxies in the known universe. Thousands of stars? I (pre)suppose that it'd be a bit of an understatement to call that an understatement.

      The parting of the Red Sea is a part of a myth with no archaeological evidence. A myth that is mostly about your god being horrible to cows (First killing all the cows and then killing the first born cows? Really?) and brainwashing the pharaoh to give him an excuse to be horrible to pretty much all of Egypt. A myth that, if true, would have been a major event in world history. Strangely, no one outside of the Jewish religion recorded them. I guess the world's most powerful nation losing all of its livestock and crops as well as all of its firstborn and a large contingent of its army just wasn't that noteworthy. That, or it's a myth. One that really doesn't show your chosen deity in a very good light. What was that you were saying about moral absolutes? Is it moral to kill thousands of people (not to mention all those poor animals) because you brainwashed a ruler into making a decision you didn't like? Sounds like your source of morality needs a better source of morality.

      I'm not ignoring evidence of the Exodus. I'm pointing out the lack of it.

      The virgin birth isn't even part of the original Jesus myth. The misconception stems from a translation from Hebrew (almah means young woman) to Greek (parthenos means virgin). Some sects take it so far as to claim that Mary remained a virgin for her entire life, which gets interesting when it's brought up that the only near-contemporary mention of the existence of Jesus was about his younger half-brother James.

      I'm not ignoring evidence for the virgin birth. I'm pointing out the lack of evidence.

      The 500 who witnessed the resurrected Christ are of much less interest to me than the thousands who would have witnessed all dead who rose and roamed Jerusalem (Matthew is an awesome book). It seems odd that no one recorded that event other than the author of Matthew. I'd like to know what happened after. Did they go back to their tombs? Did they knock on strangers' doors asking for candy? Did they have to get jobs?

      Again, I'm not ignoring the evidence. I'm pointing out the lack of evidence.

      You're right about one thing. You're begging the question. Your idea of empirical evidence seems to be circular reasoning. The transcendental argument is just another example of circular reasoning.
      "The existence of knowledge presupposes the existence of God.
      Knowledge exists.
      Therefore, God exists."
      That's just stupid. Since you're a fan of presuppositionalism, tell me how this argument differs.
      "The existence of knowledge presupposes the nonexistence of God.
      Knowledge exists.
      Therefore, God does not exist."

      I'm willing to admit that my reformulation (stolen from Michael Martin) is faulty reasoning but no more so than the original argument.

      Oh, and uniformity isn't often found in nature and you don't even believe in moral absolutes (go back to Exodus). This is why I told you at the beginning that presuppositionalism is silly.


The catchpa has been removed to enable easier commenting. Spam and irrelevant comments will be deleted.