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November 26, 2012

David Noebel: Kurtz Was Worthy Opponent

From the December 2012/January 2013 edition of Free Inquiry:

Paul Kurtz, founder and longtime chair of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, the Council for Secular Humanism and the Center for Inquiry, died on October 20, 2012, at the age of 86. He was one of the most influential figures in the humanist and skeptical movements from the late 1960s through the first decade of the twenty-first century.  Among his best-known creations are the skeptics’ magazine Skeptical Inquirer, the secular humanist magazine Free Inquiry, and the independent publisher Prometheus Books. . . .

As early as 1969, he had written that ‘there are two basic and minimal principles which especially seem to characterize humanism.  First, there is a rejection of any supernatural conception of the universe and a denial that man has any privileged place within nature.  Second, there is an affirmation that ethical values are human and have no meaning independent of human experience.’ Repeatedly, he characterized secular humanism less as a set of moral or philosophical prescriptions than as a process, a template for the conduct of ethical inquiry.

While Summit Ministries wishes to express to the Kurtz family our sincere sympathies on the passing of Paul Kurtz, we respectfully wish to make the following observations: a) Paul Kurtz was a worthy opponent to Summit’s defense of the Biblical Christian worldview; b) Dr. Kurtz and his fellow secular humanists never challenged what Summit Ministries insisted was their theology (atheism); philosophy (naturalism);ethics (relativism); biology (Darwinian evolution) positions etc. as stated and outlined in Understanding The Times; c)  While Free Inquiry continues to defend its atheism (featuring the Four Horsemen of Atheism — Dawkins, Hitchens, Dennett, Harris) its defenses are actually crumbling under the blows of fellow atheist and philosopher Thomas Nagel. Nagel is spreading doubts on Darwinian evolution (the true gospel of secular humanism) and praising Christian philosophers Alvin Plantinga and Stephen Meyer.  Nagel says that “intelligent design” is not an unscientific concept and encourages the reading of Signature in the Cell by Meyer; d) We also recommend Meyer’s work and would include for inspection David Berlinski’s The Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and its Scientific Pretensions. Nagel’s recent work is entitled Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False; e) If atheist Nagel is correct (and we believe he is) then Dr. Kurtz is in for a huge surprise.  And we don’t believe using the Bertrand Russell defense (God didn’t give us enough evidence of His existence) will do the trick.  Paul certainly knew that biological truth:  “Life begets life.”  He also knows by now the truth of 1 Corinthians 1: “Where is the philosopher?  Where is the scholar?  Where is the debater of this age?  Hasn’t God made the world’s wisdom foolish?  For since, in God’s wisdom, the world did not know God through wisdom, God was pleased to save those who believe though the foolishness of the message preached.  For the Jews ask for signs and the Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the Gentiles . . . God has chosen the world’s foolish things to shame the wise, and God has chosen the world’s weak things to shame the strong.”

Amen.

— David A. Noebel, Founder and President Emeritus, Summit Ministries


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