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

What's Wrong With Universalism- Part 1

Over the past few years a few people have told me that all religions are the same when they are boiled down, and there is no reason to promote my particular worldview over another. The implication of this belief is that all religions are true and lead to the same destination (universalism). For now, let's look past the fact that they just contradicted themselves (see post "The Intolerance of Tolerance") and engage one of their arguments.

God Your Way, Right Away- Part 2

Last week I discussed the danger of assumed definitions in debates and discussions. This week I want to focus on the personal danger in holding a definition that is not correct.

I have heard several atheists and agnostics say that they are looking for God but haven't found him. I have had quite a difficult time in the past understanding this claim. But then I realized (based on their objections) that they were searching for a god based on what they wanted God to be (their own definition of "God").

God Your Way, Right Away- Part 1

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.

This is another short series on the power (constructive and destructive) that definitions possess.

Something that has really been getting me lately is how people are defining "God," then say that "God" does not exist. Many of the objections by atheists to God's existence come in this form. The problem with this is that if someone where to say, "there is obviously evil in this world. God would not allow evil to exist. Therefore, God does not exist," they are making this exact mistake. 

The Intolerance of "Tolerance"

It is really quite amazing how much I hear about being "tolerant." In today's "politically correct"/"don't offend anyone" culture, it really is not surprising.

Someone told me the other day that I was being intolerant by voicing a certain opinion. I had to do the equivalent of a "double-take" with what I had just heard.

I asked her if she really valued "tolerance." Of course, she said yes. My next question was not met pleasantly. I asked, "Do you realize that you are being intolerant of my view by telling me that?"

It then occurred to me that "tolerance" can only be performed, but never voiced. When "tolerance" is articulated, it is hypocritical. The "tolerant" person is being intolerant of the person he is claiming is "intolerant". It can be easily demonstrated by showing that the intolerance is actually implicit in the accusation. The "tolerant" person may defend his statement by claiming that it is an observation- making it okay. At that point, I would agree that an observation by itself does not completely destroy his tolerance. However, if he mentions it, he is demonstrating that he is being intolerant of the other person's intolerance. The articulation of "tolerance" defeats its own definition.