The Veritas Forum: Belief In An Age of Skepticism
A video by Tim Keller:
Here is a video of Tim Keller speaking at the University of Berkely in Cailifornia. the video is lengthy and meaty, a little over an hour and a
half. Most of us do not have this kind of time to watch something in it's entirety, so I have broken down the essence of what is said.
"Belief in the age of skepticism"
I feel this video and explaination of these claims speaks to us all. Including, Athesist, Agnostic, Orthodox Christian, Protestant, Catholic, Muslim,
Hindu, Buddhist, New Age and all organized and secular beliefs. It even addresses the theory of Evolution and Evolutions criticsm by secular
As an orthodox Christian and an admirer of Tim Keller, I found this video seeks to answer some of the most difficult questions that most of us have on
religion. I was surprised to see how my answers do the service of Christianity a great injustice. My eyes were open to the mistakes we make and
keep repeating when we claim to know "the truth".
How do you you justify belief in God, especially the most exclusive of all Jesus Christ, the only one true way to God? To say "I know God and I know
the truth is too exclusive and devisive . So the question is, how do people fit in?
Many believe "Until religion goes away there will never be peace on Earth.
Here are 5 ways people are trying to deal with exclusive truth claims and devisive ways of religion.
It is true, religion contributes to division, conflict and war in the world and this is how it works.
Stage 1. Superiority: You have the truth and they don't. You know better than them. Automatically by this claim you feel superior.
Stage 2. Separation: You just distance yourself from people whom believe differently than you. After all it is more meaningful for you to be around
others that see the world as you do.
Stage 3. Characituring: Because you don't know them, you inagine all kinds of bizarre things about the person and what they believe.
Stage 4 and Stage 5: Active and Passive oppression. You begin to push these people away. You ignore them all together.
Religious belief in the truth leads to oppression of religion.
This is a very big problem and does NOT lead to peace at all.
Here are 5 things we do to deal with this big problem and why they won't work.
1. Hope it away. Years ago people believed the more technologically advanced and more economically developed a country became religion would just die
out. From your very Robust
(fundementalist) you would go to a thinner population of believers they do not take the bible literally, and then just fade away.
Statistics tell us this is not happening. Keller goes onto give stats to back his claims.
Orthodox religion is not going away. The kind that speaks of miracles, Truth and scriptures. Something in the human heart that desires to know the
truth is a permanent condition. We are gonna
have to learn to get along.
2. Outlaw it away. Keller gives examples of China and Russia and the populations exploded with Christianity after the religion was outlawed.
3. Explain and number four,argue it away: The New York Times Magazine did a survey over the last several years and it asked Evolutionary scientists
this: Why are human beings so religious
and if you grant there is No God and everything has a natural cause, therefore every feature of your brain and your brains belief forming faculties
is a natural selection. Everything is there because
it helped my ancestors survive somehow.
Then why are people so religious?
The evolutionists would answer, belief in God helped our ancestors survive otherwise it wouldn't be in our brain.
Several books have been writtenby Athesists on this subject:
Most people belive in morality; most people believe in God but it is because we are programmed by evolution to feel that way. Our belief forming
faculties do NOT tell us the truth. If they just give
us the feeling there is a God, It does NOT mean there is a God , it just means those feelings helped our ancestors survive.
The problem is Evolutionary scientists use that argument on everything else! Whatever the claim you make, they will say "You were programmed for
that." Here is an example:
I believe in God. "You were programmed for that".
I believe in morality. "You were programmed for that".
I believe in evolution.
Here is the question: If your belief forming falcuties don't tell you the truth but only what you need to survive, why believe them? Why believe
when you observe the environment around you that they
are actually telling you what is out there? Why when you say you believe in evolution, why should you believe that?
Several philosiphers have stated: Ready ATS? "Mild paranoia is gonna be much more helpful for your survival than an actual assessment of your
If you have a theory of evolution that states you can't trust what your brains belief forming faculties tell you, including what they tell you about
evolution, then I can't trust the theory of evolution.
C.S. Lewis said " You can't go on explaining everything away forever, or you will find that you have explained explanation itself away. You can't
go on seeing through things forever. The whole point
of seeing through something is to see something else through it. It is good you can see through the a window because the garden is opaque. But if
you can see through everything , then
everything would be transparent and a wholly transparent world is an invisible world. So to see through everything is the same as not to see at all.
If as Nietzsche says, "all truth claims are just power grabs". So is his, why listen to him?
If Freud says, "all views of God are really just projections to deal with our psychological guilt and insecurity". So is his, why listen to
If as the evolutionary scientists say, "what my brain tells me about morality and God is NOT real it's just chemical reactions designed to pass on
my identity code" then so is what their brain tells
them about the world, why listen to them?
In the end, to see through everything is not to see at all.
People like to say, you mustn't make exclusive truth claims. They are trying to argue religions. When Christians say the one true way to God is
through the son Jesus Christ, They are being
devisive, illegitimate and exclusive. It is just wrong.
Here are some of the arguments that don't hold up: This argument in particular was posed to an Imam, a Rabbi and a Minister: All religions are
equally right. When we make a statement like that
we are not listening. It is impossible for all religions to be equally right.
Jesus Christ claimed to be the Son of God from heaven. In John: 8 Before Abraham existed, Jesus says I Am. There is a place where Jesus says, I saw
Satan fall from heaven like lightning. I am sure the people around him were saying, when was that? Where were you standing? Who are you? Jesus
you know, I have been sending prophets and wise men for years and you keep killing them.
Jesus claimed to be the Son of God. The founders of all other religions said basically this about Jesus. I am a prophet that has come to help you
find God. Jesus is the only one who came and said I Am God, come to find you.