March 19, 2013
How Pride Limits Truth Awareness
In the scriptures, there is the account of a rich young ruler who could not leave his great wealth in order to follow Jesus and walk in truth (Matthew 19.16-26). It seems that his possessions and status as a wealthy person had influenced him to the point where this became his false sense of identity. Apparently, he could not imagine life apart from this great wealth, even though deep down he seemed to know that walking with Christ in truth was probably the better choice. This was evidenced by the ruler's sadness as he walked away from Jesus.
In a similar manner, we each have a tendency to attach our sense of value and importance to various material things and even abstract things, as opposed to acknowledging our highest value in light of God's love. Things like wealth, careers and academic titles can become too important to us and idolatrous. However, far from being the true essence of our lives, these types of trappings can limit us from experiencing the meaningful and liberating understanding that comes from knowing complete redemption and the fulness of the love of Christ.
I had presented Professor Law with a pretty straightforward outline of how he completely missed the central six-point argument of The God Delusion in his 1.5 hour long review of the book. In the video-taped presentation, Law had admitted that he was not well prepared:
"So, I'm now going to turn to an assessment of Dawkins' main argument against the God Hypothesis, and, to be honest, I haven't had enough time to think about this myself. So if it appears that I am struggling, it is because I am."
Yet, for some reason, Law is still unwilling to admit that his review of the argument of The God Delusion was extremely inadequate. In order to clarify this fact, I summarized the issue as a logical argument:
A Logical Proof that Stephen Law Failed to Adequately Evaluate The God Delusion
1. Philosophical arguments (such as whether or not God exists) are defined by specific propositions and a conclusion.
2. The logical consequence of an argument is evaluated based on comparing the relationship between the specific premises and the conclusion.
3. Dawkins' central philosophical argument against God's existence includes six distinct propositions and a conclusion in The God Delusion.
4. In his evaluation, Stephen Law does not address Dawkins' six specific premises and does not ask whether there is any logical consequence between the six premises and the conclusion.
5. Therefore, Stephen Law had failed to adequately evaluate Dawkins' central argument in The God Delusion as a philosophical argument.
If there is a problem with the logical form of the argument, then this could be objectively pointed out. If any of the premises are not true, these could be identified by anyone. However, if both the form is valid and the premises are true, then the conclusion is resolute.
When I first asked Law to admit that his review of The God Delsuion was inadequate, he offered a somewhat evasive maneuver. Law began implying that he would not engage with me primarily because I was not a published academician. After telling me to "sod off" he offered some excuses for not answering my question:
"I think you are both a bit of a lightweight and not very pleasant. So I'll decline. (March 6, 2013 at 4:28 PM)
"And I'll look forward to seeing your stuff in print. Or not." (March 7, 2013 at 12:09 PM)
This is a poor excuse for many reasons but one stands out in particular. On October 7 2012, I had asked Law if he believed Dawkins' central argument in The God Delusion was a logical argument that offered a sense of logical consequence. He refused to offer a direct answer, stating, "I think Dawkins argument is non-scientific, and probably flawed..." (October 7, 2012 at 10:34 AM)
So, here is a summary:
1. Law claims that he will not evaluate my brief and simple logical arguments primarily because I am not published.
2. However, back in October 2012, Law refused to offer his opinion on the logic of Dawkins' book, which is quite published and highly promoted as a secular work.
3. Therefore, there is a high level of inconsistency evident in Law's answers.
This leads me to different conclusions:
1. Is it possible that Law is refusing to answer my question regarding his evaluation of The God Delusion primarily because admitting such a mistake would be seen as a threat to his academic reputation?
2. Is it possible that Law's sense of identity is so enmeshed with his status as secular professor that to admit such a mistake would be too great a blow to his sense of self worth?
Another question would be, "What is ultimately more important: maintaining certain appearances, or walking in truth?" Because neither Professor Law nor any of his atheist defenders have offered a single reason as to why my logical argument should be considered faulty, and because Law's own excuses are demonstrably inconsistent, I would have to offer that that Law is in a state of denial that is both harmful to his person and to his career. As someone engaged in the teaching of philosophy, it seems to me that walking in truth would be more beneficial in the long run, both to Law as a person and with regard to his academic career. I pray that Law does come to understand that humility and admitting errors offer a better path than pride and denial. We all have a tendency to fall into this trap. May God give us grace to walk in His truth and humility.
"For lofty is Yahweh - and the humble he sees - and the proud he knows from afar." Psalm 138.6
Painting of Christ And The Rich Young Ruler by Heinrich Hofmann
In his video-taped assessment, Stephen Law basically ignored half of Dawkins' central argument in The God Delusion and did not once comment on the logic of the argument structure. So far, in defending Law's assessment, we have the following excuses from atheists at my blog:
1. Law was not obligated to list and address Dawkins' six-point argument because fitting six summarized points onto one slide screen would be inconvenient (therefore the latter three points may be completely ignored).
2. Law did not need to include three premises out of six because they were unquestionably and obviously true points.
3. Law was only obligated to list and evaluate the premises that he personally felt were questionable, the rest he was justified in ignoring.
I posted a comment at Professor Law's blog and offered him a fair opportunity to defend his assessment and he ignored my comment:
This is much the same as he ignored my question back in October 2012 on whether or not Dawkins offered a logical argument in The God Delusion, as quoted in the following post:
Romans 1.18 pretty much spells it out: people who have already made up their mind about God's existence are more interested in suppressing truth than seeking it.
Tags: pride limits truth awareness, object lesson of pride and denial, logic reveals denial,