Those Pesky Definitions

In a previous article, we examined how definitions of terms can greatly influence the path of a conversation and the conclusions that are reached. People will define terms based on their experiences, biases and worldviews. Sometimes they will use indistinct (and even prejudicial) words out of uninformed enthusiasm, but often, they are selected with a desire to manipulate others.

When defining scientific terms (or "science" itself), people with a naturalistic worldview will seek to keep God out of the system, even though scientific processes prospered under a biblical worldview. For that matter, science can be defined to exclude God but also render disciplines such as psychology, sociology and so on to be "unscientific", and astrology becomes scientific. (One tactic is to use the fallacy of reification to turn "science" into some kind of entity, as in, "Science says...") Some people cannot distinguish between operational and observable science.

The word "evolution" has several meanings. One vague and essentially useless definition is the simplistic "change over time". Ian Juby effectively discusses this:



Secularists have used their arbitrary presuppositions to control and stifle discussion about God, miracles, creation, Intelligent Design and so on. Many will disingenuously insist on their own philosophical biases to define terminology.
One of the means that secularists have used to achieve dominance in the culture over the last 250 years has been the manipulation of language. Key terms have been modified, and new terms coined, which slant the ‘rules of engagement’ between Christianity and secularism against Christianity. Three terms in particular: ‘natural law’, ‘miracle’, and ‘methodological naturalism’ have been affected. If we do not expose and correct this sophistry, an honest debate is not possible. At root, these issues reflect the clash between worldviews that must ultimately be accepted for reasons outside of science.
I strongly recommend that you finish reading "Defining arguments away—the distorted language of secularism".

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