some thoughts on the show w/Ergun Caner
well, first i'd like to congratulate the RRS for making mincemeat of Ergun Caner. you guys really ate him alive, which is a crying shame. you weren't asking him any hard questions. just your basic, run-of-the-mill types of questions that people have been asking for several thousand years now.
i was hoping that Caner would go in there and really hold his own, at least to make it exciting, but of course he didn't. he was flustered within the first 10 minutes or so. his reasoning was circular, his answers inarticulate (especially for a Ph.D), and he kept resorting to bizarre and irrelevant pseudo-philosopical jargon such as "guys, our categories are different." also, why would he restate your questions to himself in such a way that they became totally different questions, then proceed to NOT answer any of them? that was super annoying.
let's face it: Caner not only has his reputation to protect, but also his prestigious job. he had two strikes against him from the beginning by taking the "bible as the inspired word of God" stance. that argument always collapses like Ben Roethlisberger's pocket all last season. it's not like he really had a choice, though, given his occupation.
in Caner's defense, however, there were 2-3 people bombarding him with questions the majority of the time, and with the exception of Sapient, none of you approached the discussion with a cool head - including Caner.
these debates are doomed from the start. god can neither be proven nor disproven scientifically - he's not empirically experiencable. i believe in god. beyond that, i am a christian. but i don't believe in god because of any empirical scientific proof, or because of any rational argument on his behalf, but rather because of what i believe to be the gnostic revelation of himself to me. i can't prove that to you. i don't even want to try. it's pointless. it's something that you have to experience for yourself. it's a totally subjective phenomenon.
is my belief in god irrational? definitely.
is human rationality the be-all end-all litmus test for judging human experience? i'm personally inclined to say no. i understand very little of the world through human rationality. numbers are rational. geology is even rational. but concerning human experience, i find nothing rational about it. on the contrary, it's quite absurd.
perhaps it is the anxiety of having been faced with this absurdity that has led to my admittedly irrational belief in god. and i'm fine with that.
i do know that my irrational belief in god somehow partially soothes the otherwise unbearable anxiety of existence. perhaps it is part of my imagination. perhaps it is a coping mechanism. it's very possible. god, jesus and the bible for me exist on very shaky terms. these are merely our collective interpretation of god's gnostic revelation of himself to us (believers). in reality, the whole thing is probably going to have to be way off in order for it to make any sense to us whatsoever. embodying the unembodyable is always as risky as it is necessary.
so, sorry for the ramble. also, i apologize if there is already a thread on last night's show somewhere else on the board. i looked but i couldn't find one.