Posts Tagged ‘James Lindsay’

Who Won The Feminist War?

June 3, 2014

When women started fighting for liberation, who won the war in the end? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

I’ve been thinking more about my virginity post. There has been some reaction online, quite likely from people who didn’t really read it. Consider for instance, James Lindsay (Who by the way has refused to have a debate on TheologyWeb with me on the topic of if Jesus rose from the dead.) who wrote on his twitter feed (And I’m Apologianick on Twitter if you want to follow me) that

“The whackjob apologist talking to me now wants us all to know why #virginity matters. Cracked. #ModestIsHottest
https://deeperwaters.wordpress.com/2014/05/28/why-does-virginity-matter/ …” See the tweet yourself here.

To which you can find him saying that I say

“According to the apologist, it’s for something even greater and grander, infinitely important magic morals because God hates sex.”

Because God hates sex…

Yep. Because I, as a married man, want to give the idea out that God hates sex.

Because, you know, as soon as you say sex is something sacred, that’s automatically a laughable idea.

And keep in mind, the Christians are supposed to be the ones that have the low view of sex.

What strikes me as most ironic in all these discussions is how many women go along with this idea. So many women want to say that there’s nothing sacred at all about sex. I have been told that it’s just an appetite like anything else. It’s a natural desire like anything else.

Of course it’s an appetite.

Of course it’s a natural desire.

But it does not follow that it is like anything else.

You see, our culture is a culture that is big on equality. We like things to be equal and we don’t like people to be treated differently. So when we see men and women being treated differently, we can often think that there is an equality going on. The mistaken notion is to think that if men and women are not equal in everything, then they are not equal in worth.

This would be like saying two breeds of dogs are not equally dogs or two breeds of cats are not equally cats. Differences does not always mean a lack of equality when it comes to worth and nature. Differences are instead something that celebrate the great diversities. Do you want a big dog to be a guardian? Great! Get a German Shepherd or Pit Bull or a dog like that. Do you want a small one to be a companion? Great! Get a beagle or a chihuahua or something like that. There are all kinds for all people.

Now here comes a shocker to many people today.

Men and women are different.

No really. They are!

And this goes beyond just our bodies. Sure, we have different genitalia, but we differ in so many ways. The way my own wife thinks is so foreign to me. I do not understand it so many times. The way her emotions work is something that makes no sense to me. Learning to communicate with a spouse is sometimes like learning a foreign language and some of that you don’t learn until you enter into the marital covenant.

Now here’s the other part of that. Men and women are different, and that’s a good thing!

We could see these as opposing differences, and in some cases they are, but we could also see them as complementary differences. When the two work together, they are capable of doing something that neither one of them could do on their own. The greatest example of this of course is sexual intimacy. When the man and the woman come together, they can have a joy and a passion that neither one of them would have attained alone.

And oh yeah, they can also make a new human life.

But women had this idea that they were not on the same playing field as men. The largest area was in that of sex. After all, a woman can get pregnant, something a man cannot do, and she can bring a new life into the world.

But this process takes about nine months and in that time she’s not as available to the world and after that time, well she might actually want to do something bizarre like, oh, I don’t know, bond with the baby.

How can you be a career woman in that?

And if you don’t want that, how is it you can have sex without consequences in such a society?

Enter abortion into the picture. Now if all else fails and you get pregnant, no big deal! Just go and have a little routine operation so that that little intrusion won’t be a problem.

The baby is a human life? Well nonsense. That’s just a fetus after all! It’s not a life! Never mind that we know of nothing else that it could be. As far as we know, if all things are equal, these things actually do turn out to be human beings in the end, but hey, details. Who needs them?

Yet consider this. What if being able to give birth is something that makes a woman distinct from a man, which it could very well be since after all, only women give birth. If a woman instead ends up killing a baby in her womb, isn’t she in fact doing the exact opposite of her role as a mother? Isn’t she rather being an anti-mother?

If giving birth is something radically feminine, killing a birth is radically anti-feminine.

So now we move on and we get more and more of a divorce culture especially with no-fault divorce. Now men and women could split easily without having a real issue. It can just be on a whim. Of course, this meant in the long run a man had to make no real commitment to a woman whatsoever. That commitment could come apart at most any moment and for any reason and if that is the case, well it’s not much of a commitment is it.

Today then, we live in a culture of shacking up. After all, we want to make sure our commitment does not become one of those so let’s live together first! Let’s see how well we work out! This will naturally mean trying each other out sexually.

Because there’s no harm in treating another person like a car you take for a test spin as we all know.

We all have heard the old saying of why should someone buy a cow if they can get the milk for free? Why is a man going to be driven to make a commitment to a woman if she’s willing to give the man what he wants most at no cost? Well it might cost something sometimes. Maybe it costs dinner or a movie or something of that sort. But after that, hey. Go ahead. That’s the price and you’ve paid the price for the totality of having a woman’s whole being given to you. Enjoy. Aren’t you glad you didn’t have to pay something such as your entire life?

In our culture today then, women are often seen as simply eye candy. The sexuality of a woman is even more emphasized than it has been. The moment of victory in a sitcom, movie, TV drama, etc. is when the man and the woman have sex, which frankly doesn’t cost that much. The marriage doesn’t mean as much. Not as much changes because, hey, they were already having sex and most often living together beforehand.

So the women had their movement to make sure they were treated equally. Who won it?

The men did.

Sorry ladies, but if you went by this model, you lost.

You see, now a man has even more reason to treat a woman like an object. After all, sex is just something you do together. It might as well be the same as playing tennis together or watching a movie or belonging to a book club. You do all those things just to have some fellowship. Well now you have sex for the same reason. It’s just what you do together. No real commitment is involved. The man doesn’t have to treat the woman like a woman. He just has to be willing to give what he’s got.

Which surprisingly, isn’t much of a sacrifice for a man. A man doesn’t have to have much to motivate him to have sex. All a woman needs to pretty much do is go up to a man and say “Would you like to have sex?” and the man is willing and ready to go.

In the past, a man would usually have to fight and prove himself the man to earn the right to the woman. That woman was a treasure and she was treating herself like one. She was the one who set the price and if she set it high, well the man would reach and go as high as he could because what he wanted was worth it. If it was not worth it, then the woman could move on and find a man who would treat her the way she was worth.

But now since sex is no big deal and it’s just something common, well what a shock that marriage is no big deal either. Just get a divorce. What’s the big deal? Just change the nature of marriage. What’s the big deal? Marriage after all is all about making the people involved in it happy. If you split up, you split up and you’ll do better next time. There’s no incentive to stay in because hey, a guy can find a woman willing to have sex very quickly. Just go down to your local bar. They’re there.

If sex is no big deal and marriage is no big deal, it’s not a shock that human life is no big deal, and abortion already has shown us that. Men and women are simply sexual beings like animals. Now of course we are sexual beings, but the word simply does not belong. Our sex does in many ways define us but it is not the sole purpose we serve. A woman can be fully woman and be a nun for instance. As some have said rightfully, she even has a sex life. Everything she does, SHE does. SHE does it as a woman. Her vows keep her from having sexual intercourse. They can never stop her from being a woman.

So what happened? Well our society went from one where women did not want to be treated like objects to where women are eye candy in all the media and men don’t have to make any real commitment to have sex and can get out of a relationship at any time.

Sounds like the men won.

After all, if a man is using a woman just for sex, he’s sure not respecting her. If he was a respectful man, he’d go for a woman who has a high price. He’d go for a woman where he actually has to be a real man. A woman who does not challenge him and make him earn her love is not going to be a woman who will challenge him to be a man. A woman who gives in too easily will not only lower herself as a woman, but she will lower the man.

So while we could say both lost in the long run, the men still get the better part of the deal because they got all the perks that they wanted and the woman were nice enough to remove all the costs to them.

Let’s go back and see if we can change this.

Start with this. Sex is good. (Amen and amen) God does not hate sex. God loves sex. God created it. (To which all we men can give abundant praise someday when we stand before the throne.) Just really think about that. Sex is God’s idea! Everything that you love about sex if you’re a married person is something that God created. He designed the body and the system that builds up that pleasure and intimacy.

When we say we value virginity then, we don’t mean we value virginity for the sake of virginity. Giving up sex for a time is not an end in itself. It is a means. It is a means to a higher end. If you give it up also, note that you are saying that it is something you perceive as a good. After all, if you ever sacrifice something, for it to be a worthwhile sacrifice, it has to be something you view as a good. You don’t sacrifice your freedom to go swimming at your local sewage treatment plant. You want to avoid that. You don’t sacrifice your freedom to eat bugs off of your living room floor. You don’t want to do that. If you instead do something like sacrificing time spent at the pool or sacrificing pizza or some other food, now that is a real sacrifice.

So whenever a Christian or anyone else gives up sex for some time for something else, they are saying that that something else is a good worth sacrificing for and to show how much it is worth sacrificing, they will sacrifice something that is extremely valuable. For those who are able to sacrifice sex in this lifetime, well more power to you. If you can keep it, you have indeed made a real sacrifice. At the same time of course, that does not make you more spiritual or more Christian than anyone else. After all, some of us do have to marry and Paul said there were some of us who would burn if we did not marry. Yeah. He knew how strong that drive was.

So what happens if we treat sex as something sacred? It’s no longer a common good and a woman becomes once again a prize to be won. She becomes the princess that the knight must go and fight for. If he proves himself to be a man, well he can have access to the garden of the princess. If he does not, well good-bye, because there will certainly come along another knight who will earn the hand of the princess. (In fact, to this day, I still call my wife my Princess. Check my phone sometime and you’ll see she is not listed by name but listed as Princess.)

What happens then? Well marriage becomes sacred again. A guy has proved himself a man and the woman treats him like a man. The best way she does this is by giving herself to him and trusting him and knowing that there is no one else. The man does not take advantage of this. Instead, he works everyday to make sure she knows how much he appreciates this and how delighted he is to be her men. Note this women. A real man will always strive to be a real man for you.

Then after this, life becomes sacred as well. Life becomes something beautiful because humans are not cheap. They are immensely valuable. The medievals said that one human being is worth more than the entire universe. They were right. Had there been just a universe, there would have been no need for the death of Christ. Enter in one human being in need and there’s a purpose to the plan of redemption.

The ultimate change of this lies with the women. It lies in them realizing that in many ways, they should be treated as equal, but they should also celebrate their differences from men. They should learn to realize that they are not cheap. They come with a price and that price can be as high as they want it to be. Worried about finding a real man? A real man will earn you. If a man is not willing to pay the price for you, then he is not a man. Period.

Another essential part of this is that this is what we have to start teaching in churches. Our churches do not talk about sex enough, which is problematic since everyone in the world talks about it constantly. Like many men, when I often see another woman, I look away or my eyes glaze over. Recently I was walking at a mall when I saw another woman. To avoid the temptation to lust, I instead look to my right. What do I see? The display for the local Victoria’s Secret. Yep. It’s everywhere. A man will be tempted with lust relentlessly. Even if a man doesn’t watch TV shows and movies, if he is just out going grocery shopping, he will be tempted with lust.

And we somehow think that 2 or 3 sermons a year will be all it takes to help a man in this area?

Our young teenagers are being constantly tempted. Many of them in high school have friends who are already sexually active and the question they’re being asked is “Why not you?” When a Christian boy and girl are on a date together and they’re alone on a couch at a parents’ house, do we really think a few verses from Paul is going to be enough to stop them?

Look at it this way. Many of us know the Bible verses about dealing with temptation and about other aspects like not worrying and how to avoid careless spending and how we should love our neighbor as ourselves.

If that’s all it took for us to do those things, we would all be a whole lot better, but it’s not.

Yet when it comes to the most powerful natural appetite that a man and woman has, we somehow think those few verses that we have will be enough to overpower them.

If you think it will be, you are a naive fool.

This also starts in the home. Parents need to model a healthy sexuality. Of course, I’m not saying invite the children to the bedroom. That would be stupid and destroy the sanctity of the bedroom. I’m saying the parents need to live before the children a life that shows a loving marital commitment. The parents should never make the children the focus of the marriage. The wife’s focus is the husband and the husband’s is the wife. Make the children the focus and you will have a marriage fall apart. This of course does not mean the children are unimportant. They are immensely important, but they do not take first place.

The children need to see that Mom and Dad have a loving relationship. They need to see their parents kiss. They need to know that their parents are going out on dates. The husband needs to show his sons the right way to treat a woman and show his daughters how it is that a good man will treat her. The wife needs to show her daughters the right way to respond to a man and show her sons how it is that they should treat a lady.

When it comes to single people, if they want to be single, let them be. Don’t treat them like an aberration. If we do that, then we get them into the mindset of “You’re not having sex? What’s wrong with you?!” If they are fine with that life, then let them be fine with it. They are not less as Christians or less as men and women. If they are wanting to get married, then by all means help them. Teach them the advice you have on dating and marriage. (In preparation for my marriage, I spent time with many men asking them questions and getting advice. Today, I try to offer the same kind of advice to men who are preparing to marry. If you’re on Facebook also and you’re a Christian man marrying or planning to marry or hoping to someday marry, I also have a Facebook group dedicated to helping you learn how to be that kind of man.)

In fact, that advice just given works for men and women who are married. Get together with people of your own sex who are married and talk about the issues that you face in marriage and what’s the best way to overcome them, because marriage takes work. If you’re a married couple, get together with other married couples who want to build up their own marriages and learn what you can from them.

In the end, men and women will be different.

But that’s okay. We were supposed to be.

But we will also all treat each other with a bit more respect and value.

Who will win that battle?

The men will.

But so will the women as well.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Tim McGrew vs. Peter Boghossian

May 26, 2014

What did I think of the debate on Unbelievable? Let’s talk about it on the Deeper Waters Podcast.

Recently on the Unbelievable podcast hosted by Justin Brierley, there was a debate between Tim McGrew and Peter Boghossian. The subject was Boghossian’s book “A Manual For Creating Atheists” which I have reviewed here. It was my high hopes that Tim McGrew, a real professor of epistemology, would be the one to expose Boghossian before a listening world.

Request granted.

Boghossian could not reply to a single source that Tim McGrew had on the meaning of faith. Boghossian defined it as “belief without evidence” or “pretending to know things you don’t know.” McGrew defined it as “trust in evidence.” All Boghossian was able to use was his “personal experience” of talking to Christians. McGrew said his experience was different. Now of course, when two people get together who have different personal experiences, then they need to look for something outside of their personal experience. McGrew went to the Oxford English Dictionary and how it shows that faith is best to be understood as trust. Boghossian could not counter this nor did he ever even attempt to. For Boghossian, he was just repeating the same refrain again and again about what he encountered.

Now I don’t doubt that there are many Christians who have a false view of faith, but is that really the way to say you’re going to go around creating atheists? Boghossian says atheism is a result of critical thinking. Of course, if atheism is true, critical thinkers should be atheists, but that is the very premise in question. Is atheism true and you don’t say “I’m an atheist, therefore I’m a critical thinker” or “X is a Christian, therefore X isn’t practicing critical thinking” nor could the reverse apply.

McGrew points out at the end that he could not define atheists as people who are ignorant about reality because they deny God exists. Now of course, if God does exist, then atheists are ignorant about reality, but that would be a terrible way to define an atheist before the debate even gets started and every atheist should rightly call McGrew on that if he does that, as McGrew himself agreed.

Boghossian also asked McGrew if he had read the Koran which no doubt gave the shocking reply of “Yes.” He went on to name other holy books that he has read. I am quite confident in my position that McGrew has read far more scholarly works that he disagrees with than Boghossian has.

Boghossian also wanted to know if the Muslims believe without evidence that Muhammad flew on a horse. McGrew rightly answered that they do not. They point to what they think is the beauty and elegance of the Koran and conclude it is a divine work and then trust it. Is that conclusion right? Of course, McGrew and Boghossian and myself don’t think so, but that does not mean that Muslims lack a reason or what they think is evidence for their claims.

This is an important distinction McGrew kept coming back to. What matters most is what one counts as evidence and what is considered reliable. One could even agree with the conclusion and disagree with the evidence presented. Suppose I meet someone who is a Christian and says they are because the Holy Spirit just told them that Jesus rose from the dead. I would really want them to have something more than that, but I cannot deny that they have reached the right conclusion.

Boghossian wanted to know about the difference between faith and hope. McGrew pointed out that faith is when you’re willing to act in a way where you’re venturing something. You can’t absolutely 100% prove something but you’re going by evidence. This is a mistake I think Boghossian doesn’t realize. He had said you needed to examine every religious worldview before you could choose one. No. You just need sufficient evidence to choose one.

For instance, if that is the case, Boghossian no doubt considers himself a macroevolutionist, yet he has said he is not an evolutionary biologist. Before siding on his worldview, is he going to go out and examine every claim of say, young-earth creationism, before he’s willing to sign on the line of evolutionary biologist? He has said he is now studying the Koran. Does that mean he chose a position on God, namely that He does not exist, before studying all the evidence?

If the only way we can reach any decision is by studying all the evidence, no one will ever conclude anything. There are always books that are going to be unread. There will be arguments unheard and in fact, arguments unanswered. What one has to say is “On the whole, which explanation best explains all the evidence.”

To get back to faith and hope again, McGrew used the illustration of sky diving with the statistic that over 99% of people who jump out of a plane while skydiving land safely. The person who jumps is still venturing something. He needs more than just “I hope my instructor packed the parachute properly.” He needs to have good reason to think it was done that way. Then he acts and that act is referred to as faith. Boghossian is right one point. Faith is not an epistemology. He’s wrong on the point that he always treats it that way and unfortunately, his whole book is built on this false premise.

Also noteworthy is Boghossian’s view on how people of faith should be treated. Faith for Boghossian should be classified as a mental disorder and a virus of the mind and the person who is trying to reason someone out of their worldview is doing an intervention. It is hard to see how Boghossian is not just outright dehumanizing his opponents. For all the talk Boghossian has about practicing doxastic openness, it looks like he needs to learn some.

This means Boghossian is a bully and in fact, one of the worst kinds of bullies. He thinks those of us who are Christians are wrong. Okay. I get that. That is not being a bully. I have several friends who think the same way. What’s next is that he thinks that we automatically have a mental illness. This is when we start getting into bigotry. If that was where it stayed, that would be bad enough, but it is not. In his own book he says to treat faith as a public health crisis. He says that there are things we cannot do obviously due to freedoms we have here, like the freedom of speech, but it is scary to think about what Boghossian would do if he had power in a country like a Muslim country or in a place like Russia where those little restrictions didn’t get in the way.

Even worse is that Boghossian is not basing this on evidence. If his interventionist strategy works so well, why did it not work here? The simple reason is Boghossian is just highly uninformed and has unfortunately convinced himself that he is right. He is engaging in what I call atheistic presuppositionalism.

This is the idea that right at the start, he is right and a critical thinker by virtue of being an atheist. If anyone else disagrees, they are obviously not engaging in critical thinking and there must be some reason why they don’t see the light. Perhaps they are “Suppressing the truth in faithfulness” or “Their eyes are blinded by a bias they do not see and they need the scales removed from their eyes.” Either way, Boghossian knows he cannot be wrong because of his personal experience with walking his life of atheism for years and because of the inner testimony of his “voice of reason.”

In fact, it’s the same for some of Boghossian’s biggest fans who just can’t bring themselves to admit that Boghossian got, as one skeptic put it, his chickens slaughtered by McGrew. A sad example of such a fan who cannot seem to accept this reality can be seen here and you can see my comments to him on the blog.

Boghossian has strangely enough said he’s interested in a round two. We would like to see it, but it is certainly clear that Boghossian is going to have to improve his game dramatically before he steps into the ring again with McGrew. Perhaps it would help if Boghossian practiced more doxastic openness and avoided his idea of “Avoid facts.” For now, all he has his personal testimony while McGrew and those like him have data from scholarly sources. Therefore, by Boghossian’s own standards, Boghossian should be sitting at the kid’s table until he can bring forward some facts.

In Christ,
Nick Peters