Thursday, January 16, 2014

Dismiss The invisible God! - God is NOT Dead #2

The Urban Dictionary defines Rapier Wit as "a sharp intellect, making points so deadly they are like a french rapier sword in fencing duels - Example: his rapier wit devastated that idiot in debate."

When I was in college, back in the stone age, a rapier wit was highly prized.  Being able to disarm and destroy anyone or argument was actually considered  the pinnacle of a classical education in our minds.  After all, if you could bring someone to their knees or cause them to emotionally abandon their argument, you had to be smarter, better and more able then them.

Christopher Hitchens' argument that states "What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence" is an example of a very bright man's rapier wit.  This idea is so short, so sharp and so obvious as to be taken whole without objection and immediately elevated to Axiom or Law status.

However, the first rule of debate has always been if you get to define the terms, without challenge, you have already won.  For me, the second rule has been "test the assumptions."

Lets start with an unsupportable assertion.  I assert that kindness to others is a good thing.  I have anecdotal evidence that kindness to others is good from my own life, but unfortunately for my argument, I also have anecdotal evidence where kindness to others harmed them and I. Yet, if I asked 1000 people if kindness to others was a good thing, most, if not all, would agree. We each might qualify it by saying, Kindness with justice, or kindness does not mean foolish, but most of us would agree that kindness is a good thing, even though we have not scientific evidence to back our assertion.

So, logically, can you dismiss the statement, "kindness is a good thing"?

According to Hitchens' razor above, you must dismiss it, for it is unsupportable.

That would leave us with the possibility of a negative proof.  If we can not prove that kindness is a good thing, than kindness might be a bad thing.

Oops.

This "razor" is nonsense.  We assert unprovable things every day.  It is the job of science to postulate, assert, things, then go about trying to demonstrate that the postulate is accurate, the whole time knowing that it is but a model, not a fact.  We have constructed a mathematical model based on the speed of light in a vacuum that predicts and explains the origins of the universe, and once you accept the premise, the mathematical out come demonstrates the postulate. However, scientist don't actually believe the model, because it can not be demonstrated absolutely.  It is a way we organize our thoughts.  We constantly look for ways to fine tune our ideas, theories and postulates without any way to Prove they are right.  Yet, we believe.  

Let's look at the other side of this statement.  I can prove, by theory and anecdotal evidence that God exists, if you accept the Bible and the stories of my life. (See Standing in the Storm.) Yet, even with evidence, you might reject what I can assert and demonstrate, thus you will miss the truth.

For example, I can demonstrate that Hitler's Germany killed people in gas chambers. (I have photographs my father took when he liberated one in the USA, and anecdotal evidence.) Yet, thousands of people, maybe millions deny that it happened.  The missed the truth without evidence.

Perhaps, instead of cutting each other with our rapier wit, we should assert our kindness, and accept each others unfounded and unprovable beliefs.  Perhaps, if we stopped yelling at each other, we could instead help each other.

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The book, Standing in the Storm - A Story About a Real God in our Real Life
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More to Read:  

God is (not) Dead - Part 1: Evil in the World


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