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 Post subject: Why am i not an Agnostic!
PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2010 7:02 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 11, 2008 7:04 am
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Location: Chennai, India
Though i was born in a Hindu family, i used to follow Agnosticism. Now however, this is the scientific basis on which i stand:

The Biblical Faith is based on Self-Evident Truth, which lends itself perfectly to scientific scrutiny! But there is a catch which i will get to in a minute.

Assumption: "All are sinners and fallen short of the glory of God." In other words, there is dirt on everybody, which makes them unacceptable to enter into the presence of a HOLY God in whom there is no darkness--a metaphor for evil. Have you seen a dove in dirty places? No! Doves are not found in dirty places. So it is with God. He will not tolerate sin in His presence. The Sadhus in India of yesteryears have recognized this and thought that a dip in the Ganges will solve that. However, without the payment of a fine, no judge will simply acquit anyone. The ultimate payment/penalty for someone who deserves death is death itself. The ancients have recognized this and formulated substitutionary sacrifices (bulls and goats). But obviously just as our death penalty cannot be handled by an ant for example, sacrificing goats and bulls cannot take away the sin of man. But the sacrificing of goats and bulls and the dipping in the river Ganges, all have a purpose, namely to point to Christ, who is the perfect sacrifice. Christ is our kinsman redeemer as Boaz was to Ruth. Meaning, he is a man like any of us who can redeem us from slavery to sin and the consequence of it, which is death.

However, he needs to also be genetically pure in order to be a sacrifice without blemish. For this to happen, God (who is Spirit) in His infinite wisdom caused Mary, the virgin, to be WITH child. In other words, Mary's egg was not used to make the zygote of Jesus. If that were the case then Jesus would have had the defective x chromosome of Mary. We know she is a sinner because she herself declared that she needs a savior (Luke 1:47). Genetic Science says (i presume) that the x chromosome contains all the hereditary defects of humans. Thus we have in Jesus a child without blemish.

Now, a child too like the counterparts--bulls and goats--is still not a perfect sacrifice. The child needs to experience all the pains that life brings and still be without sin. In other words, he should not only be born under the law of nature but also live a perfect life under a perfect law, which is the Law of God under which the state of Israel functioned with theocracy. Now Jesus fulfilled that Law of God by dying for his neighbor the ultimate demonstration of his love for them. The self-evident truth is: "Greater love has no man than this than to lay down his life for his friends."

But that is not enough. One may question His sinlessness. Therefore, it was required that he rise from the dead. Why? Because it is sin that brought death in the first place. If one is said to have not sinned, then death should not hold him down to the grave. He should rise from the dead. That he should rise from the dead is also a requirement that must be satisfied to KNOW that Christ succeeded and that those who are IN Christ (incorporated into Him) have had their sins forgiven by God.

Now, how does something which is objectively given to all men as a gift, become subjectively someone's? It is through the exercise of the faculty of trust/belief/faith. A child can please his father only through trust followed up with obedience. So it is with us and the heavenly Father. Without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). When we do exercise that faith it is like putting a wired plug in the electrical socket. The electricity flows and the bulb lights up. The electricity which is objectively given to all men has thus become yours!

The catch is: he has to know, in order to light the bulb, that he has to plug the wire in the socket. Or to put it in another way, we should first recognize we are sinners just as a sick man needs to recognize that he is sick, in need of a Physician. This requires humility, which is the greatest virtue in the kingdom of God.

First the sick person should recognize that he needs the cutting of the heart. If he thinks the Open-heart surgery will kill him he will die the sooner. To be told that you are a sinner heading toward hell fire and therefore needing a savior (Surgeon), really pierces the "heart." You are humiliated. You become a nothing all of a sudden, when you do recognize it. You lose all hope of tomorrow let alone have the hope of an abode in heaven. Man can live without food for 40 days, without water for 8 days, without air for 5 minutes, but he cannot live without hope for even a second. Your despair (hopelessness) will lead to your death the instant you recognize God is holy and will not allow sin to enter his presence. That you should die as a consequence of listening to the bad news first (that you are already on the way to hell) is a requirement, in order that God raise you up as a new leaf renewed with hope through the Good News, which tells us that a Savior (Jesus/Yeshua) is there to pay the penalty for your sin. This sort of a thing in Cognitive Psychology is called, "the process of UNLEARNING" before you can ever learn something that is totally new. Therefore, perhaps in the universities they should open Departments called the Faculty of Humility and Faith. Then pupils could exercise these faculties and be born again and have eternal life; not just merely obtain a degree for getting a job to live.

But the resurrection of Jesus Christ is still not enough. In science an experiment should be repeatable and observable (measurable).

For this, one needs to simply look around the world. Can you pick one religion that has done so much to the cause of the poor, the destitute, the marginalized, the crippled, and so on, than Christianity? I would say all the religions put together will not even yield even a tenth of Christianity's. Even if there is a service here and there it is only to make oneself feel good about themselves, or to be in competition with Christianity just for the sake of being in competition with it, or it is because the government dictates it to be secular. But how do you explain what we as Christians do? "It is the love of God towards us that constrains us [to love you - the world - just like Jesus did, us]." That is why my motto on my ministry site is "To love you - my neighbor - just as Jesus loved me and gave Himself up for me!"

When we were toddlers and our mama told us, "don't touch that electric immersion heater" did we question her saying "prove it to me" and went and touched it? It would have proved 'yes' but fatal. That is why God has given us the faculty of TRUSTing and implicit OBEYing and stay out of danger. First we must trust our own fathers and mothers because we know they mean good for us. But though they mean good all the time, sometimes what they mean may not be after all good because they may just be following tradition and not the truth. That is why we don't smoke cigars like our grandfathers did. (Sorry this may not apply to some.) There is One and only One who has IN DEED done good to you. He was so crazy for you that He laid down His life for you. His name is Jesus, which means savior. He took that dirt of ours on Himself only in order that WE may be clean. He loved us while we were still His enemies (law-breakers and sinners).

But the greatest proof is not in all that which Christianity has been offering over the years.

Thousands of saints have trusted him through the years and even became martyrs for his name sake. Surely one will not become a martyr for a mere lie?! They were asked to deny the name of Jesus but they KNEW whom they believed even if they were being sawed in two. Not only did they give themselves to the cause of charity but they trusted Him with their very lives. Love constrained them!

But that too was not enough for me. That was merely the hypothesis of Christianity's claims but i ceased to be an agnostic! I became engaged with Christ. I believed. Then my understanding grew as i took refuge in Christ for all matters of conscience. He taught me and enlightened me even as i became humble to the point of death. I then experienced the resurrected, living Lord Jesus Christ!

After all is said and done, i am not at all asking you to blindly believe what i am saying about this Living God. I challenge you to check out Jesus yourself, whether He is indeed living or not. As the Psalmist puts it in 34:8: "O TASTE and see that the LORD is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!"

Caleb Motupalli

 Post subject: Re: Why am i not an Agnostic!
PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:51 am 
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James Kelly Clark writes on another facet of science, which supports my case:
The Demand for Evidence W. K. Clifford, in an oft-cited article, claims that it is wrong, always and everywhere, for anyone to believe anything on insufficient evidence. Such a strong claim makes one speculate on Clifford's childhood: one imagines young W. K. constantly pestering his parents with "Why? Why? Why??." It is this childish attitude toward inquiry and the risks that belief requires that led William James to chastise Clifford as an enfant terrible. But, rather than disparage his character, let's examine the deficiencies of his claim that everything must be believed only on the basis of sufficient evidence (relevance: If everything must be based on sufficient evidence, so must belief in God). The first problem with Clifford's universal demand for evidence is that it cannot meet its own demand. Clifford offers two fetching examples (of shipowners who send unseaworthy ships to sea) in support of his claim. The examples powerfully demonstrate that in cases like the example, rational belief requires evidence. No one would disagree: some beliefs require evidence for their rational acceptability. But all beliefs in every circumstance? That's an exceedingly strong claim to make and, it turns out, one that cannot be based on evidence. Consider what someone like Clifford might allow us to take for evidence: beliefs that we acquire through sensory experience and beliefs that are self-evident like logic and mathematics. Next rainy day, make a list of all of your experiential beliefs: The sky is blue, grass is green, most trees are taller than most grasshoppers, slugs leave a slimy trail?. Now add to this list all of your logical and mathematical beliefs: 2 + 2 = 4, every proposition is either true or false, all of the even numbers that I know of are the sum of two prime numbers, in Euclidean geometry the interior angles of triangles equal 180?. Considering these propositions, try to deduce the conclusion that it is wrong, always and everywhere, for anyone to believe anything on insufficient evidence. None of the propositions that are allowed as evidence have anything at all to do with the conclusion. So Clifford's universal demand for evidence cannot satisfy its own standard! Therefore, by Clifford's own criterion, it must be irrational. More likely, however, the demand is simply false and it is easy to see why. We, finite beings that we are, simply cannot meet such a demand. Consider all of the beliefs that you currently hold. How many of those have met Clifford's strict demand for evidence? Clifford intends for all of us, like a scientist in a laboratory, to test all of our beliefs all of the time. Could your beliefs survive Clifford's test? Think of how many of your beliefs, even scientific ones, are acquired just because someone told you. Not having been to Paraguay, I only have testimonial evidence that Paraguay is a country in South America. For all I know, all of the mapmakers have conspired to delude us about the existence of Paraguay (and even South America!). And, since I have been to relatively few countries around the world, I must believe in the existence of most countries (and that other people inhabit them and speak in that language) without support of evidence. I believe that e = mc2 and that matter is made up of tiny little particles not because of experiments in a chemistry or physics lab (for all of my experiments failed) but because my science teachers told me so. Most of the beliefs that I have acquired are based on my trust in my teachers and not on careful consideration of what Clifford would consider adequate evidence. And in this busy day and age, I don't really have the time to live up to Clifford's demand for evidence! If we had the leisure to test all of our beliefs, perhaps we could meet the demand. But since we cannot meet that demand, we cannot be obligated to do so.

All scientists need to know that God gave us this faculty called "Trust", which He wants us to exercise. Hebrews 11:6 says, "Without faith it is impossible to please God." I say, not even man! This childish attitude of scientists, agnostics and atheists, who keep pestering us for evidence, needs to be stemmed.

Caleb Motupalli

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