Previously, i wrote:
"And, lastly, "What can Christianity offer me that the other religions can't?"
Short answer: "It is the truth, verifiable both objectively and personally."
To which Calilasseia responded:
"This is quite simply wrong. I have mentioned in my previous posts instances where the bible makes statements that are flatly contradicted by observational reality, yet you have not addressed a single one of those instances. You continue to assert the alleged "truth" of your doctrine, and once again apply an entirely different test of validity to your doctrine than the test you apply to material outside your doctrine. Again, I hereby contend that this is intellectually dishonest."
There are statements in the Bible that seem confusing.
But i ask: Does "confusing" mean false?
For a scientist who relies on absolute reality, "confusing" simply means it will take a bit more time and effort to be understood, to be proven or disproven.
There are claims in the Bible that are different from everyday occurrence.
But i ask: Does "different" mean false?
For a scientist who relies on objective reality, "different" simply means another thing to be investigated on its own merits, regardless of the personal background and biases of the investigator.
No matter how much indirect evidence we have to confirm or deny, say, the origins of life, the fact remains that neither i nor anyone else reading this was alive to witness this event with our own eyes. We can only attempt to conclude as much as we can, with the information that is available and verifiable to us.
But what are the things that are available and verifiable to me?
As a Christian, i have the Bible to guide me, in my personal life.
As a scientist, i must concede that there is always a possibility of the Bible failing me.
But as a scientist, i must also honestly report that that possibility has yet to be realized in my life.
And so i ask:
Can you recognize the possibility of something, perhaps just that it has not yet been realized in your own life?
Can you concede that there is even a possibility that God exists, even if you have not perceived or verified it for yourself?
What is intellectual honesty?
It is testing and verifying and forming the best conclusions, regardless of one's personal biases.
For twenty-odd years i grew up alternately ignoring and hating what little i knew about God. True, my change of heart came about from an experience that was "personal" and "subjective". But it was just the beginning of the journey, and every step is marked by questions from a curious [and many times just forgetful] me.
Why do you say i "apply an entirely different test of validity" to God as compared to other "material"? No; i have used the same test of validity to everything that comes my way. Perhaps there is just some misunderstanding; for a supreme being does not conveniently fall into the categories of molecules or numbers, and [in my humble opinion] must not be investigated as merely such.
To conclude, intellectual honesty would entail a thorough objective investigation before concluding one way or another...all the while admitting that there may be flaws in one's perception or judgment, and that there might be evidence in the future that could radically modify these conclusions.
Intellectual honesty involves recognizing what is possible, and determining what is certain.