How Materialist Fundamentalists Are Like Islamic Fundamentalists

From Uncommon Descent, below:


A few weeks ago I posted How Materialist Fundamentalists Are Like Christian Fundamentalists in which I argued that Christian and Materialist fundamentalists are alike in this respect:  Their religious/metaphysical commitments come first and the evidence comes second.  If the evidence seems to contradict conclusions compelled by their faith commitments, they will either reject the evidence or try to explain it away. 

A few weeks after I posted my article, O’Leary for the UD News Desk posted an article about a philosopher who had dumped Darwinism because of its proponents’ open advocacy of using deception to push the Darwinian line.  She linked to “I’m with stupid” by J. Budziszewski in which he wrote:

Philip Kitcher, a philosopher of biology and a supporter of natural selection, chastises Darwin for “appeasing his critics,” writing that “If the presence of particular goals can interfere with the epistemic evaluation of a novel proposal, then it is epistemically desirable for the proposer to respond to those goals, even if it requires deception.”

In other words, you may have to lie to the stupid people to get them to take Darwinism as seriously as we smart people do.

A more elaborate argument in favor of deception is offered by philosopher Phillip L. Quinn, who says that sometimes, in public debate over Darwinism, the only arguments that have a chance of convincing policymakers are bad ones.  He argues that presenting arguments one knows to be faulty is morally permissible, but only “provided we continue to have qualms of conscience about getting our hands soiled.”  He does worry that after presenting effective but bad arguments has become easy and second nature, one’s hands “become dirty beyond all cleansing and one suffers from a thoroughgoing corruption of mind.”  But perhaps scholars could “divide up the labor so that no one among us has to resort to the bad effective argument too frequently.”  That way, “we can succeed in resisting effectively without paying too high a price in terms of moral corruption.”

This got me to thinking.  Where have I heard “it’s OK to lie to further the true religion” before? Oh, yes, some Islamic fundamentalists say this. 

Reliance of the Traveler and Tools of the Worshipper (also commonly known by its shorter title Reliance of the Traveler) is a classical manual of Islamic jurisprudence written in the 14th century by scholar Shihabuddin Abu al-‘Abbas Ahmad ibn an-Naqib al-Misri.  In a famous passage al-Misri writes:

Speaking is a means to achieve objectives.  If a praiseworthy aim is attainable through both telling the truth and lying, it is unlawful to accomplish through lying because there is no need for it.  When it is possible to achieve such an aim by lying but not by telling the truth, it is permissible to lie if attaining the goal is permissible (N:i.e. when the purpose of lying is to circumvent someone who is preventing one from doing something permissible), and obligatory to lie if the goal is obligatory . . . it is religiously precautionary in all cases to employ words that give a misleading impression . . . One should compare the bad consequences entailed by lying to those entailed by telling the truth, and if the consequences of telling the truth are more damaging, one is entitled to lie.


Reliance of the Traveler, sec. r8.2, 745-746.

For the Islamic fundamentalist, truth is a conditional good at best, and whether to tell the truth or lie in a given situation is a prudential consideration driven by larger objectives, most importantly, the propagation of the faith. 

For the Materialist fundamentalist, truth is a conditional good at best, and whether to tell the truth or lie in a given situation is a prudential consideration driven by larger objectives, most importantly, the propagation of the faith. (I use the same word advisedly). 


Since God actually did make the universe in seven days, less than 10,000 years ago, then we are merely getting our view of the universe wrong. In this case, the issue of starlight and radioactive dating (which is what the author above is referring to) has been warped by the Establishment desire for a universe of billions of years, to

  • give time for random chance to create life
    • And, mathematically speaking, billions of years is still not enough time!
  • to deny God’s creation, ownership, and lawful authority over heaven and earth
    • The serpent slyly said, “Hath God said?”
      YES, God has spoken!
      And we, the followers of Christ, will heed and obey the Word of God!

For one of the interesting implications of a young universe, I offer the quote below:

Of all of the limits to growth, time is the one that humanists do not regard as a threat. They have a vision of something approaching unlimited time. The heat death of the universe may be as close as 2.8 billion years, but they really do not worry about this. They see mankind’s evolutionary process in terms of tens of thousands of years. The possibility of an imminent end to time is low on their priorities. It could come through a devastating nuclear war, but even in a war, there would be millions of survivors outside the war zones. So, humanists focus on limits imposed by depleted natural resources, low-cost living space for mankind, and the possible replacement of mankind by robots.

For those people who hold to the six-day creation, time is the obvious limit to growth. They see mankind’s future in terms of as few as a thousand years, and probably no more than a few thousand years. “Here today. Gone the day after tomorrow.” As the acceleration of economic development continues, they become more aware of the temporal limits to growth. They are not afraid of these limits. On the contrary, they rejoice in them. They imply a temporal limit on the reign of sin.

Chapter 5: Temporal Limits to Growth, by Gary North

North sees the main temporal limit being how many people can live on the Earth at one time, and considers it impossible to have trillions on the planet. He also assumed that mankind will not expand beyond the Earth, as only the Earth has been given to man as his dominion.

I am of a somewhat different opinion: I see technological acceleration as the fast-approaching temporal limit to our existence as mortal humans, with the end of death as the transition point that comes before the Second Coming and the Final Judgement.

But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.”

I Corinthians 15:23-27a

Every nation & tribe, race, belief system, ideology, and power will be made to kneel to Christ: by the power of His word, and then by His obedient, Spirit-filled servants.

The last of the enemies to be made to kneel, and be destroyed, is Death.

THEN Christ arrives, to judge the living and the dead, and then to deliver the world to the feet of God the Father.

Later — and this is just my opinion, not Scripture — the rest of the dead universe can be brought to life.

In any case, wherever I be right or wrong about interstellar expansion, there will be no place in the New Creation for liars.

Except in the Lake of Fire.

*Waves to the Darwinians and Muslims…

…with the biggest shout-out to those Christian leaders who lie about God, His Word, and His Commandments.*

Addendum

Population

North, like many people, considers a world with trillions of people to be impossible.

With fusion power, it is certainly doable: even without draining the seas, leveling the mountains, and adding underground levels to our living space, we can certainly handle a population of a trillion people, with about 1/4 of the world’s surface given to arcologies with Bombay-level densities (30,000 people per square kilometer) and a rather comfortable way of life. There’s lots of room, once you start building up and down!

This can leave most of the planet’s current land surface uninhabited, is desired.

Of course, Issac Arthur has gone in-depth with his invaluable videos — you are watching them, yes? — with his high-population Visions of Earth and Earth 2.0 playlists.

I suspect that what is more important to North is that the Dominion Mandate of Genesis only covers the Earth, not the heavens. But there is no particular reason why it can’t be expanded by God, once we prove to be good stewards of the Earth (finally!).

This idea ties in with the restriction of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was initially a temporary restriction, which may well have been lifted after we ate of the Tree of Life, and had a communion meal of fellowship with God. As opposed with breaking God’s one single (and possibly temporary) restriction, stealing His stuff, and having a communion meal of fellowship with demons and snakes.

Dumb move, Adam.

Time and Technology

Like North, I see humanity’s future to be fairly short, a matter of a few thousand years. After all, the Creation is only a few thousand years ago!

Like North, I see the accelerating technology curve as pointing to a rather short stay as humans. Despite our differences regarding space colonization, I agree that the population rate is slowing down, at least for now.

(I am confident that the current anti-natal culture will destroy itself, leaving the future to those who fear God… and like big families. Throw in long lifespans/agelessness, and we will once again see rapidly increasing numbers.)

The real issue with accelerating technological growth is that it gives more tools, and more powerful tools, in the hands of men. This means ever greater amounts of responsibility, and harsher consequences for failure. Eventually, with even death destroyed (I Corinthians 15), and with the failure of AI to become a new god (exactly how algebraic computations was supposed to make a leap into self-awareness is beyond me).

Fortunately, the conquest of death marks the end of the rule of mortal, sinful men. Regardless of our ethics, or our faith in God, even repentant, God-fearing sinners would not be able to handle the enormous powers coming to our hands without killing ourselves in assorted ways. After a certain point, ANY mistake, ANY flaw, ANY ethical lapse will mean devastation at best, Noahic levels of extinction at worst.

So, we will cease to mortal, cease to have flaws, and cease to be sinners.

And it is only right that an immortal, sinless people be led by the first immortal, sinless man Jesus Christ!

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