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To Know God, We Must First Confess Not Knowing Much

At any given point in history, we've been wrong about how the world works. What makes now any different?

by
Walter Hudson

Bio

October 20, 2013 - 9:00 am
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Yes. Mole men. Bear with me. It'll make sense.

Yes. Mole men. Bear with me. It’ll make sense.

Lies. Damned Lies. And statistics. Propagandists commonly spin the latter utilizing a trick called the end-point fallacy, cherry-picking the range of measured data in order to create the false impression of a trend. Climate alarmists love the tactic, sculpting favorable data to create an impression of imminent environmental catastrophe.

Consider. If you choose to track the outdoor temperature from four in the morning until noon and extrapolate a trend absent any other context, you might predict an imminent roast of all life on Earth. Of course, no one would believe such a claim, because even the children among us have enough experience with the day and night cycle to understand that temperature regularly rises to a high, than falls to a low before rising again.

But what if you were dealing with some ignorant community of subterranean mole men who had never seen the sun? Until experience enlightened them, they could be convinced that a morning’s warming might continue unhindered.

Many illusions rely upon an application of the endpoint fallacy. In television’s golden age, George Reeves created the illusion that he could fly by leaping into the air as Superman. The film would cut at the apex of his jump, propelling him in our mind’s eye and suspending disbelief.

Extrapolated to a contemplation of the universe and its whole history, the endpoint fallacy suggests that many of our assumptions about existence may be flawed. We assume that things have always been the way they are now, that what we can observe today accurately reflects what occurred in the past, that perceived constants have always been so, that rates of decay, expansion, consumption, and adaptation can be extrapolated into both past and future. Yet, an honest assessment must concede that our mortality, limited perception, and incomplete view of history place us in a position not unlike that community of mole men. On a cosmic scale, our experience with the universe seems comparable to a cave-dweller’s first dawn.

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All Comments   (26)
All Comments   (26)
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Once again, Walter, you've written a beautifully provocative piece that's brought out lots of great comments. Thanks.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
When ask, Lincoln said "I decided long ago it was easier to believe the things in the bible than not to." That's far short of a God fearing Christian but a good start. Gods name for Himself is "I am that I am" and He is the ever present just out of sight encouraging us to make it right with Him. Cut to the bone He does, so, you have decided I do not exist. So tell Me, of Whom were you afraid when you decided?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
So....let's try superstition and hippy-dippy mysticism?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I believe it was the poet Rumi whom written:

Those who think they know don't know.
Those who know they don't know.. know.

To say 1 'knows' or doesn't of there being a deity, let alone TRYING to convince or belittle others to then share your/ their sentiment on the matter is ridiculous.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Both Genesis 1:28 and 2:15 describe this responsibility as the act of subduing and caring for creation. The general meaning of the verb in those passages appears to be “to bring under one’s control for one’s advantage.” In subduing creation, man is given the ability to use it for his personal benefit on God’s terms. In that light, the command in Genesis 1:28 might be paraphrased like this: “Harness its potential and use its resources for your benefit.”

Matches Ayn Rand (aka "the atheist") exactly.

Me myself and I can't get into the whole "subduing creation" imperative (much of what we've inflicted upon Creation, animal and plant, rivers & streams, seems more like torture and blasphemy) although, like Ayn Rand, human beings can use or adapt creation to their purposes.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Socrates in Plato's Apology:

"Accordingly I went to one who had the reputation of wisdom, and observed to him - his name I need not mention; he was a politician whom I selected for examination - and the result was as follows: When I began to talk with him, I could not help thinking that he was not really wise, although he was thought wise by many, and wiser still by himself; and I went and tried to explain to him that he thought himself wise, but was not really wise; and the consequence was that he hated me, and his enmity was shared by several who were present and heard me. So I left him, saying to myself, as I went away: Well, although I do not suppose that either of us knows anything really beautiful and good, I am better off than he is - for he knows nothing, and thinks that he knows. I neither know nor think that I know."

http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/apology.html
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Thank you for an insightful and moving essay, Mr. Hudson. Well done.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The Biblical story of man's fall has always struck me very differently. Adam and Eve could not know that the act of eating the fruit was wrong. They had been told not to do so but not why. They could not choose wrong because they did not know wrong.
Every loving parent has told a child what to do or not to do without explanation because the child could not understand the explanation. And when the child disobeyed, as all do, every loving parent corrects the child but not by casting the child out or condemning that child's children to be fallen also.
It makes more sense to me that we are God's children and flawed, yes, but that God loves us through it all. I don't know why there's a world or why I'm in it and I'm sure my understanding of God is far short of all that God is. But that God that would put Adam and Eve in the Garden, knowing they would eat the fruit, and then leave the fruit in front of them, and then damn them when they ate it -- well, all of us would scorn a father or mother who did something like that.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I think Adam was told it was wrong to eat from the tree and if he did he would surely die. God dies not tell Eve about this when He creates her. But she does know neither of them can eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil because she tells this to the Serpent.

"And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."

and

Now the serpent was more subtile than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die."


1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Howdy IHW (btw ILW)
We come back to the idea in the story that Adam and Eve knew what was forbidden but not that doing what was forbidden was wrong. It's a bit circular but I didn't write the story.
In truth I don't believe in a literal Garden of Eden or a forbidden fruit
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
To be fully filled with the Spirit one has to be emptied first. That emptying process can be painful at times; shedding bad habits, annoying traits, addictions is hard work but we know it's the only way to get closer to God.
I keep thinking about one of my favorite parables, the Parable of the Sower. Watching this same process unfold within my family and in my own life makes it painfully obvious how immature my faith is and how I resisted this emptying process. But these seeds of spiritual wisdom (coming at me from all sides it seems) won't grow without good soil...and preparing that ground isn't easy.
Thanks for the uplifting thoughts to get my week started.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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