How my Philosophy class had a twist ending.

Well it has been awhile, but I had finals last week, and spent a lot of time writing my Philosophy paper.

Interesting class.

At the end of it, I had some good conversations with my classmates, talking about our beliefs.

But the biggest miracle came at the end, and I want to share this story because I think it may encourage other people, but first I want to explain why I think it’s important.

Christians, and people of others faiths, alike, have a hard time knowing how to talk about their faith at secular colleges.

Actually, I don’t even talk about my faith with other Christians all that often. Sometimes I think the Sunday Sermon is not really conducive to starting real conversations between believers.

At college, it’s a twitchy subject. People steer away from it.

But towards the last part of class, I began researching Intelligent Design for my final paper, and I mentioned in class that I do not believe in Evolution.

My classmates were surprised, one guy asked “Why don’t you believe in Evolution?”

My professor interrupted us, so I said we’d talk about it later, and then I had the audacity to actually follow up and ask him about it.

Well, we got into it, why I don’t buy it, why he does. What our backgrounds were. Why we choose to keep believing what we do.

As I gave reason after reason I doubt Evolution, and he failed to come up with any real evidence for it, I began to question him as to why he believed something he didn’t actually know of any evidence for, as he admitted he did not understand the theory very well.

He said he did not know enough evidence to believe in God, but as I pressed further and got more into why I think religion makes sense, he said he chooses not to pursue Truth any further.

I said he probably had not found truth because he had not pursued it. At which point, he said that might be true, but he was just lazy and content with not knowing.

I was surprised at this amount of honesty, but actually, I’ve seen it before. Sometimes people really know deep down what their problem is, but they don’t want to change it. They’ll even admit that.

However, I believe my classmate was a bit more interested than he gave himself credit for, because at last he asked why I believe what I do.

I gave him the Chesterton answer, because when I read it, it seemed to sum up my own feelings on the subject..

G. K. Chesterton said that he believed in Christianity not because one or two things were explained by it, but because everything was explained by it. All moral, scientific, and intellectual questions are answered in Christianity. All our private desires, and all public concerns (see Orthodoxy.) I paraphrase.

There is no good reason not to believe in God. There are many reasons to believe in Him.

I researched a lot to find an argument for Intelligent Design, since my topic was to prove, objectively, that it should be taught alongside or as an alternative to Evolution.

(Link to my paper, https://wordpress.com/post/drybonestruth.wordpress.com/16959 –if people are interested in reading it with the sources to prove I was not making this stuff up.)

I found very few arguments for ID, because no one was even willing to consider it. The bulk of what I found was people, not always scientists, saying ID was the same as Creationism (it’s not) and accusing religious people of trying to undermine science.

They also accused creationism as being akin to Nazism (I am not making that up) and being the reason the Russians launched Sputnik ahead of us.

Sure

In Philosophy, we call that Fallacy ad hominim, or to the man. Accusation, in other words.

They say too that we have no specific evidence for Intelligent Design. That us referring to the complexity of living organisms, or DNA, or even single body parts like the human eye, is not evidence.

While Evolution has no claim to any evidence that anything can evolve. They have done experiments, but experiments, by definition, are designed, planned, and organized by human beings, who have intelligence. Thereby, making the results products of intelligent design. Nullifying any claim that it proves evolution.

If we can replicate nature with a lot of human effort and ingenuity, all we have proved is that Nature is better at functioning itself than we are at copying it, but it takes endless design on our part to even come close.

If Nature evolved, how can it be more complex than our human intelligent inventions that are just copying it? Planes were designed based on birds, that is just one instance (Google the Wright brothers.)

If then, Evolutionists turn to nature itself, and observe it for signs of evolution, the problem does not get any better. Insect colonies have a structure, animals live in groups and cooperate. But there are not set rules.

You might say a lion will always be a predator, and by natural selection, the weak will be culled. 9 times out of 10, the lions may act that way. But the 10th case, a lion will do something crazy, like adopt an animal it would normally eat, or protect a member of a rival tribe, when it could just let her get killed off, or protect a human being (look it up.)

I see odd behavior just in my pets that I can’t explain by instinct and nature. One of my cats has a propensity for feminine objects, and she will only cuddle if she’s on a bed, usually. I can’t really explain that by nature, my cat just has a personality.

In fact, the truth that animals have personality is one any pet owner can tell you, but it’s not exactly easy to explain by evolution.

After all personality is the expression of someone’s soul. Some will say we just assign certain attributes to people and pets that we imagine. But pet owners and parents can tell you, they are just reporting facts. Living things have quirks. Even plants can have quirks.

Life itself is just unpredictable, while death is extremely predictable. Evolution relies on death of the weak for progress, but death has never, that we can see, progressed anything. It was the living things that changed, adapted, and migrated.

Evolution can also not explain how we have a conscience. Just read Mere Christianity, for Lewis’s in depth explanation of how the fact that we have moral dilemma’s cannot really be explained by survival instinct.

The fact that we feel compelled to consider the truth of things, the whole reason blogs even exists, cannot be explained by survival instinct. Because truth, aside from material facts, is not really necessary to survival in an animal sense.

Even animals, however, have a conscience, that is, they can understand when they have done something wrong. Our dog used to hang his head guiltily when he’d broken a rule, and even if we encouraged him to break one (we were not very fair) he would refuse to do it.

If all a dog can understand is obedience, as some would claim, which might be a survival instinct, then why not obey us when we told him to break a rule? He refused, showing an act of actual willpower, how does a dog rationalize that he should not obey if it means breaking a long standing rule?

I cannot answer, I do not believe animals have Reason, but they seem to have a sense that we, as their owners, do. And that we do things for a higher purpose. They seem to understand hypocrisy enough to know we can go back on our own word.

Christianity would tell me it is because God made man to rule over the earth, and beasts know this instinctively, and follow our lead. Pets can reflect their owners personality. Wild animals will often not even run human beings off their territory, if the human beings don’t do anything to agitate them.

I just do not see how Evolution can explain behavior. And that is the chief thing human beings are concerned about.

So, what was the miracle I alluded to at the start of this post?

Well, when I chose that topic of ID for my paper, my professor said she thought I might have difficulty being unbiased. I thought this was unfair of her to say, and she criticized my rough drafts on that premise.

But after I turned in my final, she wrote, with a tone of some surprise, that it was objective, well researched, and she wouldn’t change anything except a few formatting errors. She also said “I learned a lot.”

I knew going in that she would be hard to convince since she was expecting me to be biased, and it amazed me that she praised it that much. I got 99 out of 100 points.

I worked really hard on that paper, and I’m glad I did. It was never a fair fight, as I had sundry difficulties finding good, unbiased sources. Plus, I had classmates who were skeptical to begin with and criticized things that were irrelevant, a couple of times. My professor also used fallacious reasoning when she criticized it.

All this to say, that I finally won out was a miracle, in my opinion.

Also, one of my other classmates said the paper made them think because they had not really considered the question before, but they agreed with my conclusion that ID should be given a fair chance.

I proved I could be fair but also prove my point. Shooting down two expectations people have of religious people.

And my classmate I mentioned at the start actually told me during our conversation he was surprised at how fair I was, that is, I stuck to my points but was not a jerk about it.

I took from all this that it is possible to talk about your faith with people, and defy expectations.

I think Christians in general accept the label that we hate science way too easily. I don’t know of many in my community who have had these kinds of talks with people. People assumed I hated science because I was religious.

I love science, actually, but not Evolution.

Anyway, I hope this post encourages you about it. If you want to know more about ID and Evolution, I recommend Kent Hovind’s seminars, and a movie you can find on YouTube called “The Atheist Delusion” despite the title, it is not hating on atheists, it’s actually very respectful. Just a play on the book “The God Delusion” (which is anything but respectful).

Until next time, stay honest–Natasha.

 

 

Antisophy–My tale of woe.

Phew! Here we go.

I am taking a Philosophy Critical Thinking Class for the Winter. Which means I have it for three hours a day for three days, 9 hrs a week. For 6 weeks.

That’s around 36 hours.

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It’s been one week, and I’m already so freaking done with this curriculum.

The class itself is fun, I’m in Honors, so the smart people are in this class, the ones who can follow what I’m saying half the time in discussion.

But the textbook–ergh! I’m in chapter one and its already so, so dumb.

Plus, the reading materials we’re given. Is it too much to ask that they not all be leftist, liberal, progressive, and invariably biased.

I know, I know, Public College has to push the liberal agenda, but why not just pick subjects where there’s not as much of a clear bias to have us read about, this is social conditioning, not critical thinking.

(I wonder how many people would go to that class, if they offered it, because they don’t know what Social Conditioning is and think it’s a real subject.–I mean it is, if you’re part of a regime…or the school system.)

On top of that, Philosophy is taught a certain way now that is just ludicrous.

You’ve no doubt hear it before. The Relativistic approach.

I’m supposed to be practicing defining terms for my papers, so I’ll go ahead a define a few here:

Relativism: any theory holding that criteria of judgment are relative, varying with individuals and their environments. (Webster’s.)

Philosophy: the rational investigation of the truths and principles of being, knowledge, or conduct.
the critical study of the basic principles and concepts of a particular branch of knowledge, especially with a view to improving or reconstituting them:the philosophy of science.
a system of principles for guidance in practical affairs.

The Greek words that the word Philosophy comes from are Philo and Soph, that is, Love and Wisdom. Philosophy initially meant the “love of wisdom.”

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When you read the older philosophers, like Socrates and Plato, you’ll notice they really enjoyed what they were talking about, they enjoyed seeking the wisest, most right course of action.

In modern times, people are trying to redefine Philosophy to mean its inverse, Not seeking Wisdom, not seeking truth, but treating all ideas as equally valid. Antisophy, if you will.

It should be obvious that Relativism and Philosophy are actually polar opposites. Who can love anything relatively? Certainly not wisdom. Love is passion, not a mediocre feeling of approval.

Yet, in my philosophy class about critical thinking, I am told that certainty in our knowledge is a “potentially dangerous mental bias”, and that the goal of critical thinking is to be relativistic. To commit to the pursuit of knowledge, for its own sake, and not to any one way of looking at truth.

Why the heck I should care about truth, if knowledge is impossible to be certain about, is not explained.

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Think about it: If we cannot be certain of knowledge, i. e. Truth, then Truth is not real. Therefore, what is the aim, the end goal, of critical thinking?

To discover that one non-truth is preferable to another non-truth?

As long as I don’t believe in Theism and Right and Wrong, by any chance, the Philosophy Course doesn’t really care to answer that question.

I am not kidding when I say the chart we were given to evaluate our level of critical thinking was intentionally trying to shame religious people be putting the belief in a religion and good and evil as the lowest form of thinking a college student can begin from.

(If you don’t believe me, look up Perry’s Scheme, and see for yourself. Here’s a chart of the basic ideas.)Image result for perry's scheme'
The book we’re reading is going a bit further, even, down this Rabbit Hole. Here’s a direct quote from chapter one, the chapter that sets the tone for the whole book:

“But once we acknowledge that our commitments are based on probability and not certainty, we will be much more open to the reasoning of those who are trying to persuade us to change our minds. After all we may well be wrong about some of our beliefs. We have to listen respectfully to those with whom we may disagree. They just may be right.” (emphasis mine)

In literally the next paragraph this enlightened author then says:

“There will seldom be a position on a social controversy about you will be able to say ‘this is clearly the right position on the issue.’ If such certainty were possible, reasonable people would not be debating the issue.” (Emphasis still mine.)

(If you want to see for yourself, the book is “Asking the Right Questions: A guide to critical thinking” by M. Neil Browne and Stuart M. Keeley.)

Yes, students, your opponent maybe be right, but there is no clearly right position for them to be right about…cause that makes sense, in this critical thinking book.

I pointed out to my professor the hypocrisy of someone stating that certainty is a dangerous state of mind with such certainty… She wasn’t amused.😐😐😑

She also said that there is no such thing as “Moral Objectivity”, to which I asked “Are you certain about that?” She looked at me for a split second like “so…we’re doing this” and then said “No, all things change.”

Well, okay, glad we’re clear on that.👍

To do her justice, I do not think my professor is trying to indoctrinate us on purpose. She seems like a nice lady who didn’t even get too irritated at me for calling her out. But she’s still teaching irresponsibly if she does not acknowledge what are clear and oblivious hypocrisies in the philosophy of the people we’re reading.

And this book is full of it just in the first chapter, which she also does not acknowledge.

What’s disturbing about this book is that on the next page, it states that critical thinking can be humane and progressive, if it is not used as a weapon.

Critical thinking is a weapons, no matter how you use it, you are trying to clear certain fallacies and ideas out of your way to make room for the good stuff.

Also, no form of reasoning is inherently humane, Reason is Reason. It’s measuring, assessing, analyzing, it’s neither kind nor cruel.

One might reason that it is better to stick to the old thing than to a new thing. Reason is not inherently progressive. Whatever these guys even mean by that, they don’t specify.

All this tells me is that this is intentional.

It’s silly to pretend it could not be intentional.

Browne and Keeley are deliberately trying to shame students who they suspect hold different values from them into feeling stupid, and accepting their beliefs.

The student is told in a polite, concerned tone that we should listen to other beliefs, but this is not demonstrated, because they authors do not bother to consider the notion that there may actually be a higher truth, they just throw that out immediately. Therefore making an assumption that they do not test their own form of critical thinking on.

It’s condescending as heck, and it’s brainwashing. I normally hesitate to accuse people of doing this deliberately, but there’s just no way so many blatant instances could occur withing two pages, if it was not intentional.

That being said, the inconsistency within their own thinking is rather impressive, as within my professor’s, and the other articles we’ve been reading.

I know what it is, they are muddled, because that is easier.

If you treat truth as real, and clear, and teach people how to pursue it, you run into the uncomfortable fact that truth has to be true for a reason.  There has to be something behind it, or it would not be true. Like a prize on a show where you have to choose between different doors.

That Something behind Truth might just be something more powerful than us, something we might have to take into consideration when we make decisions.

What’s funny is that not everyone who rejects the idea of a Divine standard is living an immoral life, it’s simply that they don’t want to be controlled, even if being controlled would only mean they had to do the right thing, which they claim to care about.

Some people say they don’t need God to lead a moral life, they can just decided to themselves without some Great Power telling them what to do.

These people do not understand what God is, if they believe that they could even have an idea of what is right, without Him. What standard would they go by? What else could make sense bu that God put certain rules in place in the universe.

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Personally, I do not find believing in God to be limiting. Believing in a God who has no limits means that I have far fewer limits than I would otherwise have. The person who does not believe in God thinks flying is impossible without technology, the person who believes in God only thinks flying is improbable, it is not impossible. (Some mystics were said to have floated.)

Believing in God allows me to see good in almost everything, even if I mostly disagree with it, and allows me to judge anything as having flaws, if it does. I do not have to pretend.

While I can allow for some good in this stupid Philosophy Course, it cannot got the other way, The Philosophy Course can not allow for any validity in my perspective.

Those who believe God is truth can love truth, and love pursuing it, even if the path to it is through cold logic and not directly acknowledging God.

But those who believe truth is not certain cannot allow for anyone or anything that would make it certain, therefore they exclude any valid reasoning on a Christian’s part.

If it is not so, then why do they not include religious based arguments int hes classes, what are they do afraid of? If all views are equal, why is a religious view also not equal?

These are questions you won’t see addressed in college.
Until next time, stay honest–Natasha.