I refer to the long article in Investigator 67, by Dr Jerry Bergman.
an impressive piece of work written by someone with a particular axe to
grind, that "an all-loving and wise Creator deliberately fashioned the
universe for rational purposes, and part of this universe is human
beings which also have a purpose in God's scheme of things. " (Bergman)
He correctly describes this world-view as a "belief".
I ask if Jerry can supply evidence that the being he referred to as
"Creator" and "God" (a) exists, (b) is "all-loving" and "wise", (c)
"deliberately (as opposed to accidentally, one presumes) fashioned the
universe". My belief is that even a bloke with seven degrees will
struggle to persuade non-believers. If there were verifiable and
objective evidence, why isn't it currently available? Does Jerry have
special prescience or sources?
imagine Jerry really hitting the books on this, taking over most of
Investigator Magazine and having several pages of references, perhaps
including the views of our multi-degree'd polymath, Dr Paul Davies. If
it can be done, I reckon that Jerry can, as he's managed to convey —
with extreme economy at the end of his last two Investigator articles —
that he has the 'good oil' on the 'mind' of the supposed being he and
others call 'God'.
would be most surprised if his thesis was not heavily biased towards
speculation because, as far as I'm aware, the Big Questions, which were
debated a few years ago by Phillip Adams and Paul Davies, remain firmly
in the 'there is much we don't know for sure basket'.
Regarding Jerry's ideas on science fiction, I'm unconvinced.
seems that H G Wells, Arthur Clark et al have helped indoctrinate
atheism or non-atheism and propagated "evolutionism philosophy". I
contend that one does not need to be exposed to science fiction to
develop skeptical views about religion in general and the specific
tenets of Christianity, such as the virgin birth and the resurrection,
in particular. Creationism, whether it be presented as naive and
simplistic speculation, or as slick, pseudo-scientific sophistry,
stretches credulity even further. However, I remain open to argument,
backed by evidence other than that "the Bible tells us so".
I know to be true: in religious homes and schools world-wide children
are being indoctrinated to believe stories as 'God's truth'. Everywhere
young humans are taught to believe medieval nonsense as if it
were historical fact, in my opinion a form of child abuse. Many
of the victims, as they mature and become independent learners, object,
becoming understandably non-religious or anti-religion.
the Indoctrination process is more successful and a person remains a
Jehovah's Witness, for example, until he or she finds out what their
cult is really up to, and leaves. (I have been reading Jerry's
articles available on The Net and it seems that he was once a JW,
then left after he realised what the cult was really like).
refer to Diane Gholson's powerful article in Investigator 66 on the sad
story of her family while under the sway of the JWs, a "faithful
slave for 43 years". "We would have given our lives if necessary ...
believing we had the only truth". Admirably, the Gholsons made
amends, were disfellowshipped (an honour!) and exposed the JWs for the
nasty and manipulative cult they are. This is just one example of the
frightening mind control techniques used to enslave young minds and to
keep 'em believing, far stronger, I'd suggest, than being a keen reader
of escapist literature of a futuristic nature!
Bergman states in his summary (p 47) that "It (science fiction) is a
means of indoctrination which is rarely balanced by reading literature
critical of the viewpoints taken". I ask, who would bother to write
counter-indoctrinatory tracts on sci-fi stories, and who but the
writers and other creationists would bother to read them? This sounds a
little like the old 'give Creationism equal time with evolutionary
teaching in the classroom' argument.
he also be critical of the massive and widespread indoctrination of
children in the home and in school, often a thorough daily brainwashing
designed to turn people into well-programmed believers, with little
hope of "balancing critical viewpoints"? Reading science fiction may
well predispose young people to favour evolutionary philosophy but the
link is tenuous at best, when viewed against what I perceive as far
more influential factors, such as a sound education in the sciences,
particularly Biology and Geology.
fiction is a genre like any other. Some people like to read it and it
sells. Writers, publishers and booksellers make money from it. Although
some writers have predicted that which has come to be, most readers
aren't believers, just as they don't believe in myriad myths that
abound. I argue that doubt and scepticism were in the minds of millions
of young people well before they read any science fiction (unless
of course, they have been successfully brainwashed).
strongly against force-feeding young people under the guise of
'education'. They should learn about religions but be allowed to
explore for themselves. I encourage young people to be skeptical, read
widely, ask questions, be aware of the stories such as in science
fiction (if they're interested), but to take care about that which they
come to believe.
on the planet are unaware of George Lucas' Star Wars, which, like other
popular examples of mass culture, taps into universal archetypes. Its
warrior heroes and heroines, wise old men and other archetypes have
universal appeal. They are devices developed to engage the deepest
parts of ourselves. That they literally do not exist is irrelevant to
their power. The problem is that some will want to claim that mythical
stories, such as those in the Bible, are literally so, that all should
believe in them and should ensure that their young believe in them too.
my perception the Bible contains many archetypal characters some of
whom once lived such as Jesus, others for whom we have no reliable
evidence that they lived but who are likely to be 'composites' such as
Moses, and that "all-loving and wise" entity variously known as I Am
That I Am, Jehovah-God, The Creator and God.