I got this email the other day in Century Gothic Bold and with terrible formatting. While that bothered me a great deal, I had some other issues with it, as well. Here is the email in its entirety, with some of my thoughts in italics.
Subj: God -vs- science
Be sure to read it all the way to the end.
“Let me explain the problem science has with Jesus Christ.” The atheist professor of philosophy pauses before his class and then asks one of his new students to stand.
Why is a philosophy teacher, woops, professor (that word sets up our instructor as the bad guy, as if atheist wasn’t enough) talking about science and not philosophy? And when was the last time a college professor asked one of his students to stand?
“You’re a Christian, aren’t you, son?”
“Yes sir,” the student says.
Our student addresses the professor with the term, “sir”, which automatically makes him a good guy. I’m a little shocked, because I never heard a college student refer to a professor as sir. And I went to college in the Bible Belt.
“So you believe in God?”
“Is God good?”
“Sure! God’s good.”
“Is God all-powerful? Can God do anything?”
“Are you good or evil?”
“The Bible says I’m evil.”
The professor grins knowingly. “Aha! The Bible!” He considers for a moment.
“Here’s one for you. Let’s say there’s a sick person over here and you can cure him. You can do it. Would you help him? Would you try?”
“Yes sir, I would.”
“So you’re good…!”
“I wouldn’t say that.”
“But why not say that? You’d help a sick and maimed person if you could. Most of us would if we could. But God doesn’t.”
The student does not answer, so the professor continues. “He doesn’t, does he? My brother was a Christian who died of cancer, even though he prayed to Jesus to heal him. How is this Jesus good? Hmmm? Can you answer that one?”
Aha, our professor turned his back on God because the big guy let him down once.
The student remains silent.
“No, you can’t, can you?” the professor says. He takes a sip of water from a glass on his desk to give the student time to relax.
“Let’s start again, young fella Is God good?”
Young fella? This is the way an older man, one who has obviously been through years and years of schooling and years of teaching, refers to his students? Or is this a way to make him seem even more pompous and unlikable?
“Er yes,” the student says.
“Is Satan good?”
The student doesn’t hesitate on this one. “No.”
“Then where does Satan come from?”
The student : “From…God…”
“That’s right. God made Satan, didn’t he? Tell me, son. Is there evil in this world?”
“Evil”s everywhere, isn’t it? And God did make everything, correct?”
“So who created evil?” The professor continued, “If God created everything, then God created evil, since evil exists, and according to the principle that our works define who we are, then God is evil.”
Without allowing the student to answer, the professor continues: “Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness? All these terrible things, do they exist in this world?”
The student: “Yes.”
“So who created them?”
The student does not answer again, so the professor repeats his question. “Who created them? There is still no answer. Suddenly the lecturer breaks away to pace in front of the classroom. The class is mesmerized.
“Tell me,” he continues onto another student. “Do you believe in Jesus Christ, son?”
The student’s voice is confident: “Yes, professor, I do.”
The old man stops pacing. “Science says you have five senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Have you ever seen Jesus? “
“No sir. I’ve never seen Him”
“Then tell us if you’ve ever heard your Jesus?”
“No, sir, I have not.”
“Have you ever actually felt your Jesus, tasted your Jesus or smelt your Jesus? Have you ever had any sensory perception of Jesus Christ, or God for that matter?”
“No, sir, I’m afraid I haven’t.”
“Yet you still believe in him?”
“According to the rules of empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science says your God doesn’t exist. What do you say to that, son?”
“Nothing,” the student replies. “I only have my faith.”
“Yes, faith,” the professor repeats. “And that is the problem science has with God. There is no evidence, only faith.”
The student stands quietly for a moment, before asking a question of his own. “Professor, is there such thing as heat?”
“Yes,” the professor replies. “There’s heat.”
Because our pompous professor who before wouldn’t even let the student speak, will now let him go on a little speech of his own without interrupting. I’ve had pompous professors, and they do not do this.
“And is there such a thing as cold?”
“Yes, son, there’s cold too.”
“No sir, there isn’t.”
The professor turns to face the student, obviously interested. The room suddenly becomes very quiet. The student begins to explain.
Wait, I thought the room was mesmerized earlier – did they break into a raucous laughter at some point?
“You can have lots of heat, even more heat, super-heat, mega-heat, unlimited heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat, but we don’t have anything called “cold “. We can hit up to 458 degrees below zero, which is no heat, but we can’t go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold; otherwise we would be able to go colder than the lowest -458 degrees. Every body or object is susceptible to study when it has or transmits energy, and heat is what makes a body or matter have or transmit energy. Absolute zero (-458 F) is the total absence of heat. You see, sir, cold is only a word we use to describe the absence
of heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat we can measure in thermal units because heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it.”
Oh, he’s nailing our professor, but he still calls him sir – what a true gentleman this student is! Also, we’re supposed to believe that a professor of philosophy has never engaged in semantic arguments like this in his entire life? I’m calling BS here.
Silence across the room. A pen drops somewhere in the classroom, sounding like a hammer.
Why is it that we keep hearing about when the room goes silent without any corresponding notice about when the class is rowdy?
“What about darkness, professor. Is there such a thing as darkness?”
“Yes,” the professor replies without hesitation. “What is night if it isn’t darkness?”
OK, maybe you could believe that our pompous, over-educated professor might let a student go on a soliloquy un-questioned. Maybe you believe that he would let a student get the better of him in a philosophical/semantic debate once and keep going. But do you really believe our professor would fall for the same trap twice? Well he is old, perhaps he’s just senile…
“You’re wrong again, sir. Darkness is not something; it is the absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light, but if you have no light constantly you have nothing and it’s called darkness, isn’t it? That’s the meaning we use to define the word. In reality, darkness isn’t. If it were, you would be able to make darkness darker, wouldn’t you?”
The professor begins to smile at the student in front of him. This will be a good semester.
Because pompous professors like nothing better than for a “young fella” to show them up in front of the entire class – yep, it’s going to be a good semester!
“So what point are you making, young man?”
“Yes, professor. My point is, your philosophical premise is flawed to start with, and so your conclusion must also be flawed.”
The professor’s face cannot hide his surprise this time.
“Flawed? Can you explain how?”
“You are working on the premise of duality,” the student explains. “You argue that there is life and then there’s death; a good God and a bad God. You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, science can’t even explain a
thought. It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. Death is not the opposite of life, just the absence
“Now tell me, professor. Do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey?”
“If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, young man, yes, of course I do”
“Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?”
The professor begins to shake his head, still smiling, as he realizes where the argument is going. A very good semester, indeed.
Yep, I’m a pompous professor who is getting killed by a kid in front of my class and my only thought is that it’s going to be a good semester. That’s why I upgraded him from “young fella” to “young man”.
“Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor, are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you now not a scientist, but a preacher?”
The class is in uproar. The student remains silent until the commotion has subsided.
“To continue the point you were making earlier to the other student, let me give you an example of what I mean.”
Wait, what other student?
The student looks around the room. “Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the professor’s brain?” The class breaks out into laughter.
“Is there anyone here who has ever heard the professor’s brain, felt the professor’s brain, touched or smelled the professor’s brain? No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established rules of empirical, stable, demonstrable protocol, science says that you have no brain, with all due respect, sir. So if science says you have no brain, how can we trust your lectures, sir?”
OK, this one is so easy, even I can debunk it. I’ve never seen an Eskimo. Nor have I heard one, felt one, touched one or smelled one. But just because I haven’t, that doesn’t mean Eskimos don’t exist. I could travel to the land of Eskimos and experience all of these senses easy enough. Just like we could cut open the professor’s head and see his brain. This part may be good for a laugh but our fine Christian student doesn’t really think he’s making a point with this, does he?
Now the room is silent. The professor just stares at the student, his face unreadable.
That clinches it. If our pompous professor has no reply to this high school-level argument, he really has gone off the deep end.
Finally, after what seems an eternity, the old man answers.
“I guess you’ll have to take them on faith.”
“Now, you accept that there is faith, and, in fact, faith exists with life,” the student continues. “Now, sir, is there such a thing as evil?”
No philosophy professor doubts the existence of faith. But I forgot, our philosophy professor is a symbol for science.
Now uncertain, the professor responds, “Of course, there is. We see it everyday. It is in the daily example of man’s inhumanity to man. It is in the multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world. These manifestations are nothing else but evil.”
To this the student replied, “Evil does not exist sir, or at least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God. God did not create evil. Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God’s love present in his heart. It’s like the cold that comes when there is no heat or the darkness that comes when there is no light.”
So, is it reasonable to assume that since our professor, introduced to us as an atheist, does not have God in his heart he is therefore evil? Are Ron Reagan, Isaac Asminov and Jodie Foster evil? And since Jim Jones, Paul Jennings Hill and George W. Bush had/have God in their heart, they are incapable of evil, right?
The professor sat down.
Well, it’s good to know that even if he’s senile, he’s still capable of some motor functions.
Pass this on if you have faith and love Jesus.
The reason I did not pass this e-mail on had nothing to do with either faith or Jesus. It went to my deleted items folder because it is a poorly written piece of trash.