Friday, June 28, 2013 4:56 AM

Is There Milk in the Refrigerator?

Friday, June 28, 2013 4:56 AM
Friday, June 28, 2013 4:56 AM

“Is there any milk in the refrigerator?” If I say, “There is milk in the refrigerator,” and you say, “There is no milk in the refrigerator,” and we are both right, then there must be milk in the refrigerator and no milk in the refrigerator at the same time and in the same sense. But that is impossible.

Here is an illustration that entails some of the elements of this question. You are at a friend’s house with several other couples having a nice dinner. The meal is finished and coffee is served. For the purpose of our illustration let’s name the person wanting milk for his coffee as Joe. Joe would like milk with his coffee and therefore he asked…Is there milk in the refrigerator?

We need a second person and we will name him Bill.  Bill volunteers to get up and see if there is milk in the refrigerator and he reports back that there is not any milk in the refrigerator. Not to be deterred so easily, Joe gets up to see for himself and returns to announce that there is milk in the refrigerator. But this is impossible.

How can this be? What are the possible explanations?

Here is the scenario. When Joe asked the question, Joe only wanted milk and he was very interested if there was any milk. When it was reported back that there was no milk, Joe knew that this was second hand information and to be sure he thought that he would get first hand information, therefore he went to see for himself. When Joe looked he also did not see any milk, but when Joe moved the large juice container there was the milk.

Joe knew Bill well. Bill due to his political views did not like dairy products and felt that if you were not a vegetarian then you were not sensitive enough toward animals or the environment. This point of view allowed him at a quick glance to say that there was no milk…Bill was predisposed to want this answer. When he returned he would have argued vehemently, certain that there was no milk and the whole conversation could have denigrated into a political and environmental argument.

Joe on the other hand had no political, environmental, scientific, or religious ax to grind. He only sought as unemotionally as possible to determine if there was milk in the refrigerator. Joe wanted the truth.

Had Bill left the dinner early he would have later argued to the nth. degree that he was right about there being no milk in the refrigerator that night. Bill would have been certain that he had the truth.

Although this seems like an inconsequential illustration, it holds great significance. Let’s rephrase the question. Is God in the refrigerator? If you are predisposed not to find Him, and when you look you do so without much effort; are you going to find God in the refrigerator? If like Joe, Bill was really interested and had put in some effort and was not predisposed for a negative answer due to his long held political, environmental, scientific, and religious views, Bill might also have found the truth.

Is God in the refrigerator is not the real question, the real question for each of us:  Is there a God of the Bible?

Is God not found because someone is not really looking, because they have no interest in a God? Would they have to reevaluate long held views, and would this cause them to lose standing among their friends? Is there no God because no God is wanted?

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