Presuppositions, Presuppositions

Reading Salvo Blog this week, I found a post on Bill Maher and his new movie, “Religulous.” Here’s a link to it. It’s a video of Maher on Comedy Central’s Daily Show with Jon Stewart talking about his movie. I must concur with Bobby Maddex in saying that Bill Maher is just as “religulous as the rest of us.” Only difference is, he doesn’t realize it.

I don’t have the video, the link above will take you to it on Salvo’s website. Suffice it to say that Jon Stewart nearly falls out of his chair as Bill Maher blasphemes his way into the Jon’s audiences’ collective heart. They really yuck it up over Maher’s telling of the biblical narrative.

This is followed by Maddex’s cutting commentary. If you are familiar with Ravi Zacharias, you will understand the “road-runner tactic” Maddex uses. The commentary is priceless.

Here’s the crux of the matter. Bill Maher is just as religious as anyone else. His religion is just a lot different than mine – may be the same as yours. His religion, like mine rests on certain philosophical presuppositions – which are nothing like mine. His are such things as: there is no God, Darwin was right. Whatever else these are, they are philosophical presuppositions. There is no way for him to know these things. They aren’t demonstrable. They aren’t things that can be known in the same way that it can be known that the sky is blue. They are simply things he believes to be true.

Two things:

First, his religion goes nowhere. All meaning is lost. Everything in life, including life itself, is an accident. There is no value in life, love is nothing but chemicals in the brain, loyalty is an illusion as we all strive put our genes into the next generation – survival of the fittest and all that. 

Secondly, the basic presuppositions mine rests on, namely that God is the creator and sustainer of the world and that he has a plan that he is working out in his own time and means, has been accepted by most people throughout all of human history. On top of this, it was written down by men who I identify with on a family level.  How do we know Jesus rose from the dead? We saw him. We saw him. The church, my family, whom I belong to, whom I trust, saw him. And I have faith that it is true – objectively true. As true as “Noah’s flood.”

Sometime soon, I will speak more about this faith. Or I will hearken to Francis Scheaffer on it.  Until then, consider Maher, Maddex, and leave a comment if you so desire.

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Published in: on October 1, 2008 at 7:20 pm  Comments (7)  
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  1. “Everything in life, including life itself, is an accident. There is no value in life, love is nothing but chemicals in the brain, loyalty is an illusion as we all strive put our genes into the next generation – survival of the fittest and all that. ”

    Do you really think love doesn’t matter to Mr. Maher because he thinks it’s chemically induced?

    How do you love? Would you still live without neurotransmitters?

  2. I happen to think love matters very much to Mr. Maher. I could be wrong of course. I dont even know it the man is married or has ever considered it. But I assume he has at least one family member or friend that he loves. I do believe that love matters much to him.

    However I also believe that in valuing love, he makes an irrational “leap” from his naturalistic view to some mystical unknowable idea that he hangs on to because he cannot bear to part with it.

    Rationally, logically, things like love make no sense in the worldview he espouses, a worldview which he believes is based on rationalism, logic and science. This worldview requires a “leap” into an irrational, knoweldgeless, non-cognitive mysticism which values things like love, happiness, and joy for no rational, logical, or scientific reason whatsoever.

    I happen to know that the reason he cannot part with this idea, the reason that he makes this leap, is because God made him in His own Image. Love and joy are as much a part of human experience as food and water are because that is how God has made us. He cannot escape this, nor can anyone else. It is a part of the “manishness” that we all bear, thus rationally and logically and scientifically, love fits into our experience because we are created to experience it.

  3. “However I also believe that in valuing love, he makes an irrational “leap” from his naturalistic view to some mystical unknowable idea that he hangs on to because he cannot bear to part with it.”

    Why can’t a person value love without being mystical?

    “Rationally, logically, things like love make no sense in the worldview he espouses, a worldview which he believes is based on rationalism, logic and science.”

    makes perfect sense to me. What is it that you don’t get, or think Maher doesn’t?

    Also, what’s “manishness”?

  4. I would just like to note that Bill Maher’s views are being misrepresented here. I am a big fan of his, precisely because he does not have a positive counterpart to the claims of religion. If you watch Religulous, which I really recommend just for a laugh, he makes it very clear that he does not believe that there is no God– he simply admits that we as humans are incapable of such knowledge. His problem with religion is that it very arrogantly supposes knowledge of things that we are really ignorant about.

  5. The thing about love is that it has no logical, reasonable basis in a naturalistic worldview. There is no intrinsic meaning to life except to be a wrung on a ladder to a greater species. If you can get into that, great. When all life is an accident, any meaning to it is irrational. It doesn’t fit. Read Kant.

    If you hold on to meaning you do it in the face of rationality. According to a naturalist way of thinking, it is as foolish as believing in God. You cannot prove there is any meaning in life. So why hold onto it? You cannot prove there is a God, so why hold onto him?

    And manishness is described a little bit here: https://goletitshine.wordpress.com/page/2/

    It is the intrinsic value that we humans have because we are made in the Image of God.

  6. We seem to have a communicational barrier. Let’s try and build this from the top:

    I’m an atheist, I do not believe in God. Do you think that makes me incapable of loving?

    If you do, why do you need God to explain my ability to love, and how does He and only He (and not any other of the thousands of deities that “exist”) explains that ability?

  7. I certainly do not think that as a nonbeliever, you lack the ability to love. That is part of being human; it is part of the manishness that we all share.

    As Francis Scheaffer states, “The fact that man has fallen does not mean that he has ceased to bear God’s image. He can love, though he is fallen. It would be a mistake to say that only a Christian can love. Moreover, a non-Christian painter can still paint beauty. And it is because they can still do these things that they manifest that they are God’s image-bearers or, to put it another way, they assert their unique “manishness” as men”

    I am talking about the God who is there, about the One who created, about the One who sustains the earth and its inhabitants. I am not speaking about any false god, any made-up god. I am not talking about a god who is created by a man, but about the God Who Created man. If you do not believe in God, you have no category for this in your mind. But I, like you, would say that it is foolish to worship a god who is not there, a god who I have made up, a god who only exists in my mind. I am talking specifically about the Creator God. He is the Creator of the world, so I value His worldview the most. He made it, so he knows about it.

    I think that the God Who Is There has made you capable of loving even though you do not believe in Him. Even though you deny Him, that does not change the fact that He made you in His image and He gave you a certain manishness that reflects Himself and allows you to, among other things, love. Without Him you couldn’t love, but without Him, you couldn’t exist.

    Odd as it may sound, a baby doesn’t know how it is born, but it is born none-the-less. Just because he/she has no idea how it happens does not mean that he/she cannot experience its happening.


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