Showing posts from March, 2014

On Avenging Oneself

“You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but  y ou shall reason frankly with your neighbor, lest you  i ncur sin because of him. You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but  y ou shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the   Lord . ~ Leviticus 19:17-18 ~ The purpose of this passage is, in part, to set a limit to the measures an individual may take to personally redress a grievance he has against his neighbor. If his neighbor has sinned against him, he may confront him and “reason frankly” with him. The Hebrew word ( yākah ) means to rebuke, reprove, or correct . [1] What the law has in view here is precisely the situation Jesus had in mind when he said, “If your brother sins [ against you ], rebuke him, if he repents, forgive him” (Lk. 17:3). Such verbal correction, it should be noted, is not merely permitted, but encouraged. Rebuke for wrongdoing is beneficial. “Whoever heeds reproof,” Solomon says, “is prudent” (Prov.

“We don’t need evidence,” says the reasonable scientist

When it comes to evaluating the scientific data allegedly supporting the theory of evolution, it’s important to remember the philosophical foundations of the theory. Evolution is the inevitable theory of origins for the one who has made a prior commitment to the philosophy of naturalism, the belief that there is nothing beyond nature. Carl Sagan expressed the view about as concisely as it can be stated in his famous paean to the Cosmos. “The Cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be.” [1] It’s this basic underlying philosophical assumption that determines in advance the outcome of one’s scientific investigation concerning origins. This is reflected in a statement made several years ago by Richard Dawkins, one of the world’s foremost promoters of evolution. In a speech delivered at Washington University in St. Louis, Dawkins said, “We don’t need evidence. We know it [evolution] to be true.” [2] We don’t need evidence? Isn’t a scientific theory based on evidence? An