13 November 2006

Re: After a Deep Breath


I understand your reluctance to spend a lot of time with email correspondence. I work full time and also attend school full time in the evenings. The course work I am pursuing demands much of my time - the majority of that is spent doing research and writing papers, so I am sympathetic with your time constraints.

With that said, you are the one who "threw down the gauntlet," so to speak, with your letter to the editor, and therefore the burden of proof in this conversation is upon you. You made some very serious and unsubstantiated charges in your letter, and have yet to provide any logical or rational arguments to prove your points.

So far, what you have done is make high-sounding statements and provide common definitions that anyone with access to the Internet could provide. While phrases such as "Logic is only one of reason's tools; the other is empiricism. Without both, we cannot even catch those tantalizing glimpses of the truth that are all that Nature allows us" sound impressive, you have
yet to bring either logic or reason to the table. [I would also point out that there are many truths that we must accept without empirical evidence, so empiricism is not always necessary to arrive at truth.]

When are you going to address the points in my original letter to the editor, or answer any of the questions I asked you in my first email? You talk about addressing the larger issues, but have yet to even define what they are. I had hoped, since you are obviously in some sort of leadership position in your "Freethinkers" group that you would be able to back up your accusations with logical arguments and reasonable evidence.

Here are some of the assertions you made, which you have yet to prove:

  • That Christian children being taught a Christian worldview is somehow "a horror"
  • That I assume that all Christians share my "brand of belief"
  • That public schools are not centers of indoctrination, but
  • instead are "impartial purveyors of knowledge"
  • That I am nostalgic for an "era when the only acceptable belief was one that agreed with [mine]"
  • That I was being blatantly hypocritical in advocating public funding of private religious schools, when I had just complained [according to you] about taxes being used to support public schools
And finally, an assertion that is not only ludicrous but insulting as well:

"If you truly find that the only way to ensure that your children adopt your beliefs is by totally controlling their access to information, that is, by deliberately keeping them in ignorance, isn't that a pretty clear indication that what you believe is not true?"

In this one sweeping statement you assume that:

1) I think the only way to ensure that children adopt my beliefs is by totally controlling their access to information, by keeping them in ignorance; and 2) that somehow this strange statement ~proves~ that what I believe is not true.

You have yet to address any of the above issues, with the exception of a vocabulary and Bible lesson on hypocrisy, neither of which did anything to further your argument (whatever it is).

What you have managed to do is to lecture me on how strictly you will stick to the rules of argument, logic, reason, etc., and how you will make me tired of your insistence on sticking to specific meanings of words, etc. All fine and good, but where is the substance of your arguments?

Here are some of the questions that I asked you, which you have yet to provide anything like an answer:
  • What is the basis for your assumption that only children in public schools have access to information?
  • On what do you base your assumption that Christian parents and schoolteachers want to keep their children in an information vacuum?
  • Why does a biblical worldview scare you? 
  • What is your definition of a biblical worldview?
I also challenged you to prove that the public school system is not engaged in the process of indoctrinating children in the philosophies of secular humanism, atheism and narcissism, which you have not yet done.

Perhaps you bit off more than you can chew right now. If that is the case, then there is no dishonor in admitting it and dropping the whole thing. If you do wish to continue, then I am all for it, and I will find time between my home life, my job and my schooling to respond to you completely, in detail, with both logic ~and~ reason.

You indicated in one of your earlier posts that you are seeking the truth. So am I! Let us, like Socrates of old, pursue the facts to wherever they lead us!

Jesus said "You shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall set you free."



P.S. Why did you capitalize the word "Nature"?