God's Existence, Science and Faith, Suffering and Evil, Jesus' Resurrection, and Book Reviews

Showing posts with label Words. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Words. Show all posts

Saturday, May 28, 2011

God Your Way, Right Away

Everyone who's read this blog for a while or have talked with me extensively on worldview issues, knows that I am really big on defining terms. Anytime that I'm on the sidelines of a heated discussion and notice that the conversation can be cooled a bit by the participants understanding the other's terms, I point it out- it normally works to help understanding, but not necessarily agreement.


Example: The Problem of Evil
An easy way to show that something does not exist is to provide a definition then show how that definition is not in keeping with reality. Many of the objections to God's existence by atheists come in this form. Here is a common example:
  1. There is obviously evil in this world. 
  2. God would not allow evil to exist. 
  3. Therefore, God does not exist.

An atheist who raises this objection has defined "God" as a supreme being who would not allow evil to exist and is obtaining his conclusion based on that definition. The problem is that most theists would agree that this "God" defined by the atheist does not exist! The atheist is quite rational with his conclusion, based on his definition of "God". This would throw off many who hold this definition of "God", especially when the theist concedes the conclusion but follows up with, "...but that's not the God I'm defending."

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Importance of Defining Terms

Introduction

A few years ago I listened to the podcast "The Word Nerds". This podcast helped me gain an appreciation for the power of the English language. In my conversations with people I have noticed the power of the words themselves. Using the wrong word can cause needless arguments; using a less specific word can cause confusion, and many other effects (I just checked Dictionary.com to make sure I used the right one there) come from using the wrong word.