It seems that whenever a creationist doesn’t understand something I said, they immediately accuse me of lying. It could never be that I’m mistaken, or that they simply don’t agree; I have to be deliberately attempting to deceive someone.
Religious people have every motivation to lie, not just because they believe something that isn’t true, but because their faith requires that they defend that belief even when they know it’s not true, and I can show plenty of references to where believers have admitted that.
I have no motivation to lie, and every reason not to. My position depends on truth, because science seeks to improve understanding, and the only way to do that is by correcting errors -including my own- if anyone can point one out to me. Once that happens, and they show me my mistake, I thank them and carry on correctly. That has happened many times in my life. However this is NOT one of those occasions.
The ‘most blatant error’ this guy points out is where he dices my comment in order to remove the explanation, and where he completely misunderstood what I said.
Which brings us to the third foundational falsehood of creationism; the assertion that any human’s understanding of their various internally-conflicting and inter-contradictory beliefs should, -or even could- be considered infallible or inherently accurate.
In reality, there is no such thing as “absolute truth”, [because] everything within the capacity of human understanding contains a degree of error, and everything men know to be true is only true to a degree. Everyone is inevitably wrong about something somewhere. We don’t know everything about everything. We don’t know everything about anything! And what we do know, we don’t know accurately on all points nor completely in every detail. Honest men admit this. Anyone claiming to know the absolute truth is not being honest, especially not when they claim to know anything about things which can only be believed on faith. Even if men were given genuine revelations by truly omniscient beings, they must still be filtered and interpreted by weaker minds influenced by our limitations, biases, and misimpressions, as well as linguistic and cultural barriers.
In the history of history itself, no account human journalists have ever given has been absolutely complete, inerrant, and perfectly accurate…..
The bolded lines are the ones he mined. See how it means something different when you keep them in context?
Now, granted I did not say ‘because’ in the original video. I didn’t think I had to. I thought it was pretty obvious that I took ‘absolute truth’ to mean essentially the same thing as a perfectly complete knowledge. I guess I was trying to be philosophical, looking for the deepest possible meaning of ‘truth’. What I meant, (and I admit that I didn’t say this as clearly as it seems I should have) is the limits of human understanding are such that our knowledge will never be perfect enough to be called ‘absolute’.
However in November of 2011, I was in a debate with Pastor Bob Enyart, and he pressed me on this same point -making the exact same argument. It quickly became obvious in the course of our discussion that he wasn’t using so lofty a definition as I was. So I asked him to clarify. Turns out, all he thought -and all ANY apologist thought- that ‘absolute truth’ meant was whether we could know anything for certain. That’s it!
It was so simple! Here I was playing way beyond their game and having to repeatedly re-explain the quoted paragraph for every newbe-leaver who saw the 3rd Foundational Falsehood of Creationism. When I found out how utterly basic the theists’ definition was during that debate, I remember saying, “I wish I knew that before”!
So later on, when I met Eric Hovind at the Reason Rally, he immediately asked me whether we could know anything for certain, and I said “yes”. Later he tried to say that I actually said ‘no’, but he kept the video available online. So people will know better. The point is that if I had met him back when I made the 3rd FFoC, and he had asked me whether I believed that humans could claim knowledge of absolute truth, I would have given the opposite answer.
But since this guy brought it up. Yes, there are some things we can and do know for certain. The testable and verifiable fact that the Bible is wrong -about ‘the flood’, about the Tower of Babel, the firmament, the Garden of Eden, and a host of other things, is a matter of scientific certainty. Through an independent international consensus analysis of overwhelming evidence by expert specialists in every relevant field, regardless of religion, we can know that certain elements of the Bible’s fables have been conclusively disproved beyond redemption. Even though we don’t know absolutely everything, and we don’t know anything in completely flawless detail, we do still know that much for absolutely certain. Your man-made mythology is wrong. Sorry. Get over it.