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comment by kleinbl00
kleinbl00  ·  391 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Why Evangelicals—Still!—Support Trump

    For a super stripped down example, if someone from an Abrahamic Religion was asked whether or not they believe animals have souls, they'd probably answer "no." The logic might flow something like this.

An axiom is "a statement or proposition that is regarded as being established, accepted, or self-evidently true." If we both accept the axiom, we can both debate and discuss that which flows from the axiom. Important to note: there are no axioms in science. Nothing is assumed. And when debating with someone who doesn't hold the same axioms you do, shit falls apart real quick. Watch:

    Man was created in God's image, so only man has a soul. Evidence of a soul is the ability to know, recognize, and come to God, and therefore exhibit Godly attributes like wisdom and knowledge. Humans are the only animals on the planets to embrace science and the arts to such a massive degree and this is proof God has given us souls. Therefore only humans have souls.

Axiom, so (false) axiom. Axiom, and therefore axiom. Biased observation therefore conclusion.

If you're buddhist, man isn't created in God's image. there's no reason to assume that image has anything to do with soul. Your definition of "soul" is proprietary therefore your definition of wisdom and knowledge are, too. "to such a massive degree" is a choice - if a chimp can get ants to climb on a stick we aren't the only tool makers and to wrap it all up in a "therefore only humans have souls" only serves to demonstrate how dependent on your framework your "reason" truly is.

extra_nos  ·  391 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I have spent many years studying both Theology and Philosophy and am currently finishing my MA in Systematic and Philosophical theology from the University of Nottingham. Your observation about axioms is spot on. Wittgenstein described many religious arguments as playing word games. Two individuals can argue all day long, but if their definition of a term is not the same or at the very least agreeable, then there is no definite conclusion to be had.

American evangelicalism has one of the weakest systematic theologies and is built primarily upon fideism. One must give up outside thinking and enter the circle of cohesive thought to know anything at all. This goes against historical Christianity which in fact relies on eyewitness account and outside data for its conclusions. It is also common for evangelicals to assume things about Christian doctrine that Scripture does not necessarily reveal. Animals and souls for instance. The Imagio Dei does not inherently imply that animals are without souls. And in fact, if one believes in the fall, he believes that man has rejected the Imagio Dei.

The problem is not necessarily religion or Christianity but is the circular reasoning and fideism adopted by American Evangelicalism.

kleinbl00  ·  391 days ago  ·  link  ·  


user-inactivated  ·  391 days ago  ·  link  ·  


extra_nos  ·  391 days ago  ·  link  ·  

In addition to the books, I produce and co-host a podcast with Drs. of Theology, History, and Philosophy. We did a series on apologetics that touches on a lot of this.

extra_nos  ·  391 days ago  ·  link  ·  

During undergrad trained under Dr. Rod Rosenbladt and Dr. John Warwick Montgomery. They both apply analytic philosophy to Christian thought. Dr. Montgomery wrote a book called Tractatus Logico Theologicus Despite its name, it is straightforward to read and is an excellent place to start in regards to the philosophy of Christian thought. I work for 1517 one of his publishers, enter code "hubski" at checkout for 15% off.

Other Suggestions:

- C.S. Lewis Mere Christianity, and An Experiment in Criticism

- For Systematics the best reformation one is Philip Melanchthon's Loci Communes

- Modern lay level systematic Called to Believe by Dr. Steve Mueller (I studied systematics under Mueller, keep in mind this book is written for students who want to work in the church)

- Philosophy: Ayer Languge, Truth, and Logic Wittgenstein Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus

This is only the tip of the iceberg haha. What I tried to come up with is the intersection of faith, reason, and a basic look at a historical/systematic approach to doctrine.

user-inactivated  ·  391 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Bro, thank you both for the list and the podcast link. You've made my day.

extra_nos  ·  391 days ago  ·  link  ·  

No problem. I love making the podcast, and nearly every episode has a handful of book recommendations. We have covered the basics of Christian doctrine, Apologetics, and we have some great episodes on figures in church history. We are in our third year now, and this month I became the director of the 1517 podcasting network which I am launching in April.

Anytime you want more reading hit me up.

user-inactivated  ·  391 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I pretty much agree with everything you just said here. I think one of the difficult things for us to do, is appreciate the perspectives from other people. I don't mean appreciate like we would a gift, but appreciate as in understanding the nature of something. It's very easy for us to have a kneejerk reaction where because we outright reject someone else's axiom, we are tempted to find their perspective completely without merit and unworthy of consideration.

In some instances, this is really true. If the axiom that someone holds is completely toxic that the logic that stems from it is additionally toxic, we should reject the logic. Sometimes though, it's not true. For example, even though I'm not a Buddhist and I don't believe in Karma, I am still capable of appreciating the concept of Karma, how it feeds into their notions of spiritual development and morality, and how it can and cannot inform my perspective of any statement they have to make where Karma might be a core concept in that argument.

If I metaphorically plug my ears and say "Lalala! Karma is dumb! Reincarnation is wrong! The progress of the human soul is linear and only goes in one direction! You're wrong!" I've put a severe hampering on the conversation and possibly the relationship of the person I'm conversing with. Where as, if I say, "I don't believe in Karma the way you do, but I see why you object to the idea of factory farming when you view the subject through the lens of your belief" all of the sudden the conversation goes better and I find myself looking at an old argument, through a new lens, potentially deepening my understanding of said argument and my personal position on it.

This applies in a lot of areas, not just religious, from personal relationships to public policies.