10/18/2010 | Share this article:By Alen Basic ~
When we examine light we discover what is called the Wave-Particle Duality. That is that light is composed of both waves and particles simultaneously. It was thought up until the discovery that light had to be one or the other simply because both items seemed to be mutually exclusive. It had to be one or the other; it could not have been both. Now we realize that they are not mutually exclusive and we operate under that understanding. However can anything that is currently considered impossible, upon further knowledge be shown not to be?
Well, some things we have enough evidence for that no matter how much more evidence we get we will never change our views on. Commonly people might point to mathematics and how addition will never be proven to have a different answer. For example 2 + 2 will always equal 4 and even in 10,000 years we will never come across knowledge that will prove otherwise. Another example that I've seen is that we for a time thought that the Sun was smaller than Earth. However upon further investigation and evidence we discovered otherwise. Likewise, in 10,000 we will never be able to arrive at a different conclusion than that we have now.
Some concepts that are considered mutually exclusive will always be considered mutually exclusive. Something cannot be wholly white AND black at the same time. I cannot be physically born in BOTH Australia and the United States at the same time. I cannot be at 2 places at once. A computer cannot be on AND off. I could go on but I trust that we get the picture thus far of mutually exclusivity and how it's possible some things CAN be proven otherwise and others can never be disproved.
This leaves us with a look at Christianity. Christianity contains a lot of instances where mutually exclusive items are said to be altogether true along with other illogical claims. Examples include the trinity where God is a single entity that consists of 3 persons that exist concurrently. Also, there is in Calvinism where God elects man to salvation but man is personally responsible for his own salvation. Another is God's willing of events or permitting of events yet no conviction of crime is ascribed to him.
Then there is of course (humanly speaking) illogical solutions to problems foreordained by God such as the PST (Penal Substitution Theory). If God is just, holy and righteous insofar that he has a standard of right and wrong, that he cannot abide in evil and that he must punish wrong; than this theory to the problem is insufficient. Substituting punishment even if it was the one who was victimized who took the punishment is unjust, at least by human standards.
Now the theory is of course an attempt to explain how Christ's death correlates to our forgiveness of sin. It didn't really take off until the Reformation (14-15 centuries after Christ) and the early church fathers generally ascribed to the Ransom Theory of Atonement. Evangelicalism and Fundamentalism is heavily founded on this theory but it doesn't necessarily require it. Christianity didn't start off with it so what I am trying to say is we shouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater. Christianity doesn't have to stand on this leg, it can use others.
We are all bound to logic. We may never fully understand something BUT it nevertheless it's constrained by logic. Some things as mentioned will be revealed not to be illogical or mutually exclusive upon further evidence and other things (the larger more substantial category) will never be disproved. Upon this realization we need to change our understanding as we come to the facts. We need to look with some introspection and see if our presuppositions are duly founded or not. We need to see if something is possible upon further evidence to be shown to be logical, or not.
Context, Context, Context
Christianity contains a lot of instances where mutually exclusive items are said to be altogether true along with other illogical claims. Examples include the trinity where God is a single entity that consists of 3 persons that exist concurrently. Also, there is in Calvinism where God elects man to salvation but man is personally responsible for his own salvation. Another is God's willing of events or permitting of events yet no conviction of crime is ascribed to him.Also, are what we've been taught and the presuppositions we hold really founded upon a solid foundation or not? We need to understand things in context before we make conclusions. Looking at the context of Judaism and Christianity for example we see at the time no deity was thought of as we think. By that I mean no deity was omniscient, omnipresent or omnipotent. Every deity was considered limited in some shape or form. No deity was absolutely good or bad. There are many other things we see such as duality (Good vs Evil) that was present in systems like Gnosticism or Zoroastrianism but not seen in early Judaism.
Other figures like the Devil are interpreted into texts in the Old Testament but was he there to begin with? What did Jews read into these texts? More often than not people will be surprised to see false foundations to their presuppositions by simple historical analysis. Scriptural interpretation has for the vast majority of history been interpreted allegorically, who are we to say different? The only reason we can is because of our presuppositions. When we read R0mans 1 we see homosexuality listed as a sign of the ever increasing debasement of mankind.
Today we understand that there are complex factors involved and no adult makes a decision like "OK! I'm going to be gay now!" That wasn't the case back then. You see, in Jewish Hellenistic thought in that period that sexual deviancy was a direct result from worshiping pagan gods. They inferred that people who worshiped pagan gods would then go off and experiment sexually et cetera. So, does Romans 1 (and other texts) make more or less sense with that interpretation or the traditional interpretation?
Knowledge is power. There is so much I can say but as I think of this I cannot help but think of the proverb "You can't eat your cake and have it too". You can't have logical fallacies and at the same time have them to be factually true. We may have been told and thus believe certain things but we need to examine them critically. Can God be X and Y AND still logically not be Z? If not we may need to review our understanding. Presuppositions need to be challenged as well, not just assumed to be true. Is the Bible inerrant? Is the Bible really preserved? Is the Bible really infallible? Is the Bible really inspired? Et Cetera.
Do not rely solely on what others who believe the same as you do. That is simply the blind leading the blind. People slapping each other on the back and telling each other how awesome they are. It's a group delusion. See what the competition states. Do not rely on those who've paved the way before you. You've rejected some of their theology already as it seems fitting so do so now as seems fitting. Read critical works and see where the knowledge leads you. What do you have to fear? Either your faith will be confirmed and you have greatly gained or your faith will not stand the test and then what fear could you have if it's not true? Either way you have walked further into the light of the truth.
I know I appear to be telling people to abandon their orthodox beliefs for other beliefs but that's far from the truth. If you will notice I did not give answers to the questions I posed, though my bias leaks through with an expectation of a certain answer but the answer is yours to find. As I said, knowledge is power and I haven't given you all the facts and you need to research yourself and find the answers yourself. I have come to my own conclusions and you need to come to yours.
I hope you take the effort to examine your beliefs. Just remember: Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.