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The Valley of Foolosophy [Part One]

By: Dr. Robert Morey  |  November 18, 2007

A satire dedicated to Evangelicals that love the Bible, and are unwilling to trade it for natural theology no matter how much whining is done about Evangelicals being “over-committed to the Bible!” Inspired by J.P. Moreland’s 2007 ETS address a few days ago.

Last night I had an interesting dream. I have been rereading Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan and wondered how he would have dealt with the Natural theologians and philosophers who today litter the evanjellyfish world.

In my dream, Christian entered a valley that was very hot and dusty. It was as dry as a bone. 
He became thirsty for something to drink. As he walked down the Path, he found a sign that told him that he had entered the Valley of Foolosophy. He had not heard of it before. Another sign indicated that there was a village called Mantown up ahead. Although it was on a bypath that ran alongside of the Pilgrim highway, it did not look too far off from the Path. So, he decided to go there.

When he arrived at the village, some kind of celebration was going on. Banners, flags, games, rides, and food booths were lined up along the main street and Christian stopped to refresh himself. The good citizens of Mantown welcomed him to their annual “Vanity Fair.” There was a Freak Show in the middle of the village that seemed to draw quite a crowd. The barker shouted,

“Come one, come all. See the amazing time bubble and those trapped inside. Just a nickel a look.”

Christian could not resist a good Freak Show and paid his nickel and entered the tent. The Ring Master was dressed in a red suit and had a goatee, hoofs, and a tail. He raised his pitchfork and announced the time bubble was about to appear. Out rolled a large glass bubble that had a least a dozen men inside. They were all sitting in chairs while someone was lecturing. It became clear to Christian that the men in the bubble did not know they were in a time bubble and that they did not know that they were only a freak show to the citizens of Mantown in the Valley of Foolosophy.

He turned to his neighbor and asked him if he knew anything about this amazing time bubble. His name was “Talkative” and he was happy to instruct Christian on the fine points of time bubbles. This bubble was originally constructed over two thousand years ago in a land far away called Greece. The famous men who made it are all long dead. They built the bubble to make sure that they and their ideas would never be forgotten. The bubble was filled with some kind of poisonous gas or vapor and once you entered the bubble, it put you into a trance-like dream-state in which you imagined that the ideas of the creators of the bubble were still alive. The person you see lecturing is only an illusion. Sometimes he is Socrates, sometimes Plato, but, most of the time, he is Aristotle.

The men who listen to him don’t know that the outside world has moved on and even the memory of the creators of the bubble has well nigh vanished. These poor men think that the world is the same today as it was in the days of the creators of the bubble. They write books, give lectures, and stage debates with the assumption that everyone still follows the teachings of the creators of the bubble.

The bubble was rolled back into the side chamber to make way for the next freak show. But Christian was determined to find out more about this amazing bubble. He excused himself and snuck into the side tent to see the bubble up close. When he got up close, he saw that someone had attached a wire to the bubble with a phone attached so you could hear what they were saying.

The speaker was shouting,

“It is universal, self-evident, and intuitive that
man has a free will. No one dare deny it. It is
so fundamental to Foolosophy, that all rational
thought would cease if someone were so
foolish as to deny that man is autonomous;
that he can be whatever he wants to be;
know whatever he wants to know;
do whatever he wants to do.
Not even the gods can interfere with man’s
free will. All the creators believed in freewill
and all rational men to this day believe in it too.”
The men leapt to their feet and shouted,
“Hip, Hip, Hurray for free will!
Hip, Hip, Hurray for free will!”

They marched around the bubble with flags waving while shouting their support of Free will.
Hearing a noise behind him, Christian turned and saw…

To be continued tomorrow.