Ashwin's Interesting Story

Ashwin you are an Indian living in India, who is also advocating ID. That is an interesting conjunctions of attributes. Can you tell us more about yourself?

Are you Christian? Hindu? What is your background? What draws you into this conversation?

I was born a Hindu… Was an athiest in the earlier days of my life… (probably because my father was one too).
When I was 18, I became convinced that God exists. High school biology was the catalyst in bringing about the change. I was awestruck by the magnificence of life… How every thing is so beautifully put together… As a result I had a belief in God as this awesome (very powerful, intelligent,imaginative,artistic) creator of life. (incidentally I also rejected the truth claims of evolution that I learned in school because of the ridiculous miracle of chance that seems to be required).
This lead to a curiosity as to who God is. A couple of years down the road, some incidents happened that introduced me to the Bible. I read the book. Had an experience of Jesus that convinced me he was the one I was looking for. And I became a Christian.

That’s the story in short.
I am an engineer by training.

So it shouldn’t be a surprise why I am interested in the ID, Evolution debate.

5 Likes

Tell us more.

What type of Hindu were you?

What experience did you have? Tell us. How did you come across this book?

About how old are you now?

(@gbrooks9 and @Guy_Coe, come look here. I think this will be interesting)

1 Like

Nothing miraculous… except that it was :slight_smile:

I read the Bible because of some stories a friend told me about Christian’s and prayer which implied that God actively answers prayer and interacts with individuals… we were in college hostel at that time… and I “borrowed” a Bible from a friend. As I read the book, I felt a presence that I cannot explain. I was convicted that Jesus is God and still alive. I can’t explain how it happened. It just did.
It led to a period of struggle for me as becoming a Christian would entail dissapointing my family. In the end, I decided to go with the Truth. And once I came to that decision, I was coincidentally led to a church and a Pastor.

I am 34 years old now. This happened 15 years ago.

5 Likes

What happened with your family?

What did you read?

The non religious kind…is there an athiest kind?
It would be more accurate to say I was born in a Hindu family .I can’t really claim to have been an observant Hindu post the age of 12.

Nothing too drastic… they are liberal and kind people. My mom’s was sorely disappointed… and find it a little embarassing in front of relatives. My Dad is not particularly religious. He wasn’t too bothered. Relatively speaking, they have taken it pretty well.

I started with the Gospel of Mathew in the New testament. Read upto chapter 10 where Jesus challenges those who wish to follow him to take up the cross and follow him. That verse went very deeply into my heart and I had to respond one way or the other…

2 Likes

Great story. I hope you fill in more.

Don’t take this the wrong way, but this is so much more interesting than your arguments with evolution.

I dont take it the wrong way.

The is no reason you can’t be a Christian AND learn and accept the most current findings of science. Dr. Francis Collins and Dr. Swamidass are to prime examples of working scientists who have accomplished much in science and are true to their Christian beliefs. Learning and accepting the current knowledge in all of the sciences has nothing to do with a belief in God (theism) or not (atheist). I wish you a good life full of learning and wonderful experiences. Live long and prosper. (Vulcan greeting)

3 Likes

I can and I do…however, when scientific findings depend on wrong assumptions (in my world view), I keep that in mind when eveluating scientific claims. When discussing world view,metaphysics, theology etc with people, I point out these assumptions and where I think the scientific understanding need not translate into actual reality/truth.
Of course this only happens with very few ideas in science.
Euqating people who don’t believe evolution is True with respect to all its claims to being anti science is just a propoganda tool invented by people with vested interests such as Dawkins. It’s a blatant and unfair misrepresentation. A kind of ad hominem attack.

3 Likes

Why is that you’ve posted over 200 times arguing against evolution, and only now discuss these things when I directly ask you? You could have spend months here, and we would not even know that (1) you were a Christian, (2) had met Jesus, and (3) were more than just an ID bot. Honestly, these few posts of yours on this thread are far more important than the sum total of everything else you’ve written. Why would you hold this part of your story back from us? Honestly, I want to know more.

I’ve already given you a way out. If you want to reject Common Descent, here is the best way I know how, that does not put you at odds with science: A Better Way to Reject Common Descent.

I just don’t get the purpose of the endless argument. Common descent is the only allowable explanation in science right now, and it explains the data very well. That does not mean its true. It just means that this is what science sees. I think you just need A Better Way to Reject Common Descent.

You can be both skeptical and open minded when evaluating the claims of science. Remember all truth in science is provisional never absolute. New data will and does come that will confirm or overturn previous consensus provisional truths. Read the science, learn the science, make up your own mind as what you accept as provisional true and what you are skeptical about. But don’t be skeptical because you don’t like the answer. Be surprised. Remember extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Don’t accept claims until you see real evidence of support and confirmation - mountains of it.

3 Likes

Its more effective when people ask.
It shows they have the patience to listen.
In any discussion context is always important.
If the context of this site was more about personal testimonies/experiences, I would have started with this.

There is a social/philosophical context to this argument.Even scientists are not clear on Sciences ability to make Truth claims… you yourself are trying to correct this with respect to Adam.
I read @T.j_Runyon comment about how common ancestry is more “probable” a few minutes ago… These are not scientifically verifiable statements… yet even scientists are so confused they push it as such.

1 Like

That is the context of this site.

http://peacefulscience.org/todd-cade/

We even encourage atheists to tell their story: Seven Atheist Archetypes.

I think you are misreading @T.j_Runyon, and I don’t think you can plausibly made the case that I am confused. I’m very careful how I talk about this. I’ve even given you a way to reject common descent if you so choose.

That still stands too. I hope you can tell us more. It is really interesting to hear from someone of your background in India who comes to faith. Have you heard of Praveen Sethupathy yet?

1 Like

I appreciate your clarity in this. However this is not universally true. Even in recent times we can find n number of papers on evolution using words such as design, teleology etc while refusing to test for design, intent purpose etc.
Arguments used by scientists against design are not confined to the philosophical boundaries of science. They are qualitative arguments comparing intelligent design vis a vis natural selection or common descent.
This is not very honest… or scientific. I see two possible solutions.

  1. Strictly refuse to use concepts connected to teleology/design in science.This will vastly reduce the explanatory power of science.

  2. Find ways to test for design and make arguments for or against it based on testable concepts.

I am hopeful that 2 will work out… I don’t think many scientists will be willing to make science irrelevant to existential questions…

1 Like

That sequence for someone not brought up with “the word of God” seems to accord with what Paul says to the Athenian Stoics and Epicureans in Athens in Acts 17:24-28:

“God did it so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.”

You might identify with this passage from Augustine who, after describing how his love of God is deeper and more permanent than any physical experience, tells how he found him:

But what is my God? I asked this question to the earth. It answered, “I am not God.” Everything on earth said the same. I asked the sea, the abysses of the deep, and the life-forms that creep in them, but they replied, “We are not your God. Seek what is above us.” I spoke to the blowing winds; but the entire atmosphere and all that lives in it replied, “I am not God.” Then I asked sky, sun, moon, satrs; but they told me, “We are not the God you seek.” I spoke to everything around me, all that my senses revealed to me, and I said, “Seeing that you are not my God, tell me about Him. Tell me something of my God!” In a loud clear voice they replied: “God is the One who made us.” I put these questions simply by looking on these things, and their beauty was the only answer they gave. (Confessions 10:8-9, tr. Nick Needham)

4 Likes

Romans 1 resonates most with me…
Romans 1: [19 ] For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God himself has made it plain to them.
[ 20 ] For since the creation of the world God’s invisible attributes—his eternal power and divine nature—have been understood and observed by what he made, so that people are without excuse.

The quote from Augustine was beautiful.

1 Like

I know that it is wonderful that you have come to our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ. I must say that it is wonderful. God bless you.

1 Like

@Ashwin_s, I am curious as to how you think the Church is doing in India? I suppose it would be hard to know if you have no other culture to compare it to but I did a little facebook ad that raised my eyebrows about Christianity in India. Nothing much, I just spent $20 on FB advertising, at first targeted at Christians in the UK. It got a few hundred clicks and a few likes but most of the comments were “Why is this in my feed ?I am not interested in religion.” Then I ran the same campaign in the “Commonwealth” which was Canada, Australia and India. I figured that there were about the same number of Christians in each because even though India is huge barely more than 2% ID as Christian and a lot of them might not want to admit it on Facebook.

The campaign is not over yet but the response has been the best I’ve ever had and its all coming from India, not Australia or Canada. Over five times as many people have seen it as saw the same campaign in the UK because of the positive response upping the “shows”, and that still understates how much stronger the positive response was and its not over yet. I have not even tried the same ad campaign in the US because I see the norm here is that people are belligerently opposed to the idea that there is anything important about God that they don’t already know.

So I guess I am asking if you sense there are more and more like you- converts to the faith who are not cultural Christians but people who take it seriously and chose it in spite of the cost? Or do you feel super isolated?

As per government records, the percentage of Christian’s is below 3%. This is the only official census available. The distribution of Christian’s is skewed. There are places with upto 30 % Christian’s and places with less than 1%.
There are many Christian’s from different backgrounds. Churches get planted and are growing. Among protestant groups,most of the the growing churches are of Pentecostal/full gospel/baptist variety… and most of these people (except for Baptist’s) have left more traditional varieties of faith (including Christian mainline a denominations) and made a conscious choice… often paying a price for it. In India, there are benefits given to lower caste groups called reservations. Many Christian’s in these groups do not get recorded in the census.
An accurate estimate of the actual numbers is very difficult. It would be safe to assume it’s more than 3%… some people make claims that it’s higher, but there is no way to verify.
Also, it’s possible that a percentage of the people who click on your ads are Hindus. I can’t say for sure unless I know how exactly your ad were worded.

1 Like