Thursday, January 14, 2010

TF - Chapter 4 part 2

The next session is about the Question of Truth and Colson starts right out of the gate with a straw man. He claims that western culture dismisses the idea of truth and reality. Especially Colson's definition of truth as "a common and knowable reality that exists independent of our perceptions". He even claims that mentioning truth and reality to a university professor will bring scorn from them.

Science is (according to Webster's dictionary) "knowledge attained through study or practice," or "knowledge covering general truths of the operation of general laws, esp. as obtained and tested through scientific method [and] concerned with the physical world." The purpose of science is to produce useful models of reality. Science is all about learning truth and reality. The more we can learn about what is going on the more we can shape our lives to better serve life as we know it.

After making that straw man, he claims it exists because rebellious human nature doesn't want to obey a higher authority, especially God. I have no clue how he got to this conclusion. Apparently 1 + 1 = 4,000,000,000 in his world. People don't like to obey a higher authority? Really? I guess that is why Anarchy reigns and people just do whatever they want, disobeying the law because it comes from authority. So really what Colson is saying is that one straw man plus another straw man equals God is awesome. Yeah, it still doesn't make sense.

To prove this point, Colson discusses the Bible story of Jesus before Pontius Pilate. Colson tells a different story than that I have ever read in any of the Gospels (which you can read here, here, here and here). Colson makes this claim:

For educated Romans like Pilate, as with many of today's intellectuals, religion was only an expression of culture and a means of securing political allegiance. Imagine his reaction to this pretender to the Jewish throne, this Jesus who claimed to have cornered the market on truth. How presumptuous, and what a threat to Pilate's pretension. Pilate no doubt believed above all else in the truth of the Roman garrison - in skepticism's refuge, power.

Now go back and read all those accounts of Jesus and Pilate. The only one that discusses truth is in John (which was the last Gospel written at around 100 CE that is 70 years after what it talks about occured). There Pilate is so furious with Jesus that he tries to free Jesus without causing a riot. In all of the Gospels, Pilate finds no reason to convict Jesus. This tends to go against what Colson is claiming, that Pilate was upset and thought Jesus was a threat, because if that were true he would have agreed with the masses right away and crucified him without hesitation. COLSON LIES ABOUT WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS! Why should I ever believe this man? Why should I trust that he has the "Truth" when he can't even tell me the truth about things within the Bible? These are things I can easily look up or things that every Christian growing up should know anyway and Colson has the gall to lie straight up about them. What a fucking self righteous cock.

As to that last part of the quote, "in skepticism's refuge, power", what does that even mean? Is this some kind of projection, saying that skepticism is authoritarian in nature, when in actuality Colson's brand of Christianity is far more authoritarian? Skepticism is just a questioning attitude. Someone who just wants some hard evidence to back up claims, even ones that people have believed to be true for a long time. Where does power come into this? There was a time when those in authority made skepticism of religious subjects all but illegal. That was during Medieval period and Christianity was the only authority. That time period set us back in technology and advancement. It wasn't until the Renaissance period did people begin to question and enlightenment followed shortly behind. Does Colson want to go back to the Middle Ages? Or does Colson just write without thinking?


zilch said...

I admire your persistence, Beams, but is Colson even worth the fisking?

cheers from icy Vienna, zilch

BeamStalk said...

I told my mom I would read it, and this is the only way I am going to make it through this without destroying the book and my sanity in the process.

Dr. Striden said...

What it looks like when a strawman calls a strawman yellow.

BeamStalk said...

Are you saying I put up a straw man, if so direct me to it.