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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   (35)
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50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
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50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Once again, Walter, you've written a beautifully provocative piece that's brought out lots of great comments. Thanks.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks 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?
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
So....let's try superstition and hippy-dippy mysticism?
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Random Engineer's absolute ignorance of Scripture seems typical of those who hate God for being perfect and demanding moral behavior from His creations. Christians fear God because He always keeps His promises. He saves those who obey Him, Heb.5.9, and punishes eternally, those who do not, Rev.21.8. Moslems do not claim the "same deity" as Christians. They worship a ficticious babylonian moon "god". Jews refuse to worship our Lord, Jesus Christ. RE hasn't got a clue.There is but one God. and in the NT it is clear that He offers eternal happiness to those who trust, love and obey Him; His principla commandment being to love God and neighbor.The worship of shamanic inventions is but religious masturbation, eg., islam.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks 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.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
But Jesus Christ said, Jn.7.17; 8.31-32, that we can know the truth. How dare you give Him the lie?
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Howdy Longstreet
Because not all of us believe the Bible is in fact the word of God. Which would need its own thread.
I've found much valuable in the Bible and much that, if I accept what is valuable, I can't accept. Do I reject it all? Accept it all? Or use God's gift to understand the best I can? Guess which answer I picked.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks 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.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks 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
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Thank you for an insightful and moving essay, Mr. Hudson. Well done.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
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