There are several reasons why I’ve come to believe in Creationism and why I believe that other Christians ought be as well.
1. I believe in God.
For several reasons. I’ve never been an atheist. To my point of view, it always just required more faith to rule out the possibility of God than to believe that God was possible. I have the same problem with skepticism: How can I rule out that we can’t be sure we know anything before I at least try? And how can I know that I can never really know? Isn’t that a self-defeating proposition? Since I have NO RESPECT for agnostics [The guys who claim we can’t know if there’s a God. If you believe that a God is possible, it makes sense to investigate whether it’s PROBABLE and, if it is, to find out what that God might expect out of you! And why are we just ruling this possibility out from the beginning? Agnosticism is lazy-mindedness parading as intelligence.] or apatheists [the guys who don’t care whether God exists or not], intellectual integrity demanded that I investigate the matter. For the sake of brevity, the cosmological argument, the argument from design and the argument from Moral Law pretty much sum up my reasons for my belief in God.
a: The cosmological argument is the idea of a First Cause. The universe, as evidenced from studying Edwin Hubble’s red shifts, had a beginning. The universe we see now is an effect. The universe as a whole doesn’t explain it’s own existence; it requires an explanation for why it bothers to exist. An infinite regress of reasons is impossible, rather like a paradox, so there must be a self-sufficient independent cause to the whole universe. It’s important to note that since this First Cause would cause the universe to exist that time, universal laws, et cetera would not apply to the First Cause, which necessarily must exist independent of the universe we observe. Some people feel this a cop-out. If so, they need to tell those scientists who’re out there looking for a “grand unifying theory” or final “theory of everything” that they’re wasting their time!
b: The argument from design [the teleological argument] has been summed up famously by William Paley’s Divine Watchmaker analogy [and attacked voraciously by Richard Dawkins’ Blind Watchmaker book/argument, among others.] The basics are that if we saw a pocket watch lying on the ground [as opposed to a rock], we would have cause to presume that the watch, having all the characteristics of design, had a designer, not that it had formed from natural processes. Likewise, the universe and life in particular show evidence of design, through homology of species, universal constants, the anthropic principle [Consider how perfectly fit Earth – and the universe – is for life!], et cetera, and it is therefore probable that we should presume a Designer. Dawkins argues that the “blind, unconscious, automatic process” of Natural Selection had produced the appearnce of design, however minute and complex, so that it is sufficiently “the explanation for the existence and apparently [as opposed to actually] purposeful form of all life… It is the blind watchmaker.” [Richard Dawkins. The Blind Watchmaker (New York: W. W. Norton, 1996), page 5 – [brackets mine])
Dawkins’ counter argument of the mere appearance of design fails for the excellent reason that it is wrong. First, natural selection is a biological agent which presupposes life. Natural selection cannot operate before it has life to evolve; therefore, it is in no way an explanation for the “apparent design” of the non-living universe: universal laws and constants, the order of rotating galaxies and systems, the order of weather patterns, geometic design in non-living matter, et cetera. Also, natural selection itself requires an explanation. It did not cause itself. Where did it come from? And what criterion are we using to determine the difference between design and only apparent design? Humans do design things. We know that when WE do it, it’s not just how we perceive things to be: no, it was actually designed. So is it merely arbitrary that we assign Nature the label of apparent design and human invention the status of actual design? So why the proposed ambivalence? The idea of design suggests a Creator. A Creator suggests that Man might be accountable to someone else.
c: Which brings me to the moral argument. There is a Moral Law that pervades humanity. As C. S. Lewis put it, men might not agree on how many wives a man ought to have, but we agree that it is wrong that a man should try to sleep with another man’s wife! By and large, man agrees that we should not lie, murder, cheat, steal or beat one another senseless. As one commentator put it, our freedom to do as we please with our fists must necessarily end at the other guy’s nose. Most people call it a conscience. We feel guilt when we do something wrong, even if no one else knows we’re wrong. It’s possible to dull or even negate the effects of conscience by contrary conditioning. Any more, society – even the Church -seems to be trying to do away with the concept of guilt, but it’s there and it’s an integral part of concience. We’ve based our civic laws on the one we know intuitively, but where did this ingrained sense of right and wrong come from? The presence of a universal Moral Law implies a Law Giver. Moral Law also implies accountability to man and possibly even God.
So there we have it: Deism bordering on theism. A God may’ve wound up the universe and designed it in minute detail, going so far as to give men free will [and all the intelligence that implies] and a conscience to keep them from using that free will to hurt each other too badly, and then went about His business to do something else. It seems more probable that He’s interested in the doings of a Creation He designed so inimately. It seems probable that we are about to discover a God who is personal.
2: I believe that Jesus Christ lived, was crucified under Pontius Pilate, died, was buried and rose again.
I have catalogued some of the reasons I believe this here: Resurrection Apologetics. It is in fact the resurrection of Christ that converted me from mere deism bordering on theism to Christian theism.
3: I believe that the Bible is historically, archaeologically and supernaturally true.
The Bible has been substantiated by the archaeological record time and again. It must be really embarrassing for all of the naysayers to eat crow on such a regular basis: they claim the Bible is inaccurate because, say, no one’s ever heard of Hittites, but then we re-discover Hittites. Then we get guys claiming that the Israelites crossed the Red Sea, not on dry land but during a season where the water was really shallow, yet these same experts can’t explain why the narrative states that Pharaoh, his armies and his horses were all drowned in such poor quantities of water! It’s actually pretty funny. More than one historian has commented on the geographical accuracy of Luke and Acts.
And then there’s fulfilled prophecy. Jesus himself fulfilled tons of Messianic prophesy. The chance of his fulfilling just eight of them was averaged up. The number was so big that the easiest analogy would be to fill the state of Texas several feet deep with silver dollars, mark one red, blindfold a man and tell him he may walk as long as he wishes in any direction, but when he stops, he must reach down and only pick up the red one. Steep odds! Yet, impossibly, Jesus fulfilled ALL of them, not just the eight studied! Besides Messianic passages, there are prophecies that deal with kings and history that have come to pass just as prophesied.
Because I can trust what the Bible says about the resurrection, history and prophecy, I can trust it in all that it says.
4: I believe that the Bible accurately describes the world. The Fall, the sin nature of man, and its contrast with a creature enobled, being made in the image of God with a conscience, God’s law written on our hearts, to do and judge what is right is evidentially evident in the world we live in and in the pages of history. Man is capable of great evil but also great nobility. This picture of man is described in tthe Bible. Also, Christianity is a reality-based religion. It does not deny evil or suffering or promise its adherents unrealistic reprieve from calamity. Jesus stated, “In this world you will have trouble, but I give you my peace.” The Bible’s insistence of the eternality of the human soul speaks of the worth of the individual. I could go on. Suffice it to say that the Bible has proven to be experientially accurate in what it predicts about the world and human nature. I am confident then that I am not following some unrealistic philosophy like Christian Science or Buddhism with their denial of the reality of suffering.
5: As a result of the Bible’s evidenced reliability, I am a fundamentalist.
A fundamentalist, in historical context, is someone who believes we ought to take the Bible literally. I believe this, though one would be a fool not to realize that the Bible makes use of figurative speech and metaphor, as we do in our everyday lives. We say that the sun rises and sets when it does no such thing! It appears to. We say it’s raining cats and dogs when it’s raining condensed water vapor. The Bible includes similar figures of speech. We estimate and round numbers. The Bible makes use of this same tool in places. We also may give different yet all truthful factual accounts of the same events. We may omit a detail or add one [perhaps we don’t mention there was a passenger in the vehicle, or we mention the driver’s name was Bob when no one else did, or we refer to Bob as Robert or by his nickname Squirrelly], but the difference in these views of the incident do not make the witnesses liars unless they make truly contradictory statements like “There was only Bob” when Bob had a passenger. A literal reading of the Bible, you see, isn’t necessarily an unreasonable one.
Of course, this means that I believe in miracles. Why? Well [follow me closely here, because this is reeeeeally difficult to grasp], it seems rather inconsistent to believe in the miracle of the resurrection and preclude all other miracles. It seems hypocritical to believe in a supernatural God and then to exclude supernatural acts recorded in the Bible, explaining them away as ignorance or allegory. Do Christians no longer THINK out the implications of believing the resurrection?
We are then to believe in the death and resurrection of Christ for our eternal salvation, but the rest of it [or at least the beginning, which also relates in the verses concerning Man’s Fall our need for salvation and predicts the Redeemer, which journey to remdeption forms the basis of the entire Biblical account], gleaned from the self-same sourcebook, is obviously bunk, right? That’s consistent. The problem is that we accomodate the disputers of this age because they make truth claims in the name of science. And we don’t want to be thought of as ignorant. And we forget that science comes with philosophical baggage, even if it isn’t examined. Scientists who repudiate the idea of miracles are saying that the resurrection never happened, despite the evidence, because that’s just not what good scientists believe.
Scientists believe in what it empirically testable and proveable, right? Which brings up the question of whether they would ever recognize a miracle if they saw one. Seriously. Humans have this tendency to sort everything through their bias filter. If what they see agrees with what they already suppose to be true, they accept it. If it doesn’t, they throw it out, assuming that something must be wrong with their methodology or they got a bad specimen or whatever. It’s true of all of us. It’s efficient, but it can get in the way of unbiased observation. We try to nullify the effects of this bias filtering as best we can, but it’s impossible to be rid of completely: it’s how we think and process new information. So if a scientist sees a miracle, what does he do with it? He throws it out as an anamoly and moves on. Besides which, by definition miracles are the acceptions to the rules. Scientists test things to find rules. There is no way to test for divine intervention. Since God doesn’t subject himself to scientific verification, the purely naturalistic scientist is in a quandry. He has to rule out God and the supernatural from the start because the scientific method can never have anything to say about these things. The Christian must reasonably allow that the supernatural is valid but outside the realm of empirical science. On the other hand, while we can’t see and test God, we can see and test the effects of what God has done, those things which have left His fingerprint on His Creation. Much as we can’t see nor test the wind, but we can see and test the effects of the wind. The purely naturalistic scientist’s hands are tied, but the scientist who allows for both the natural AND the supernatural can test these things.
Take cosmology. Scientific measurements of space have led to the conclusion that the universe had a beginning, what some call a Big Bang. Naturalistic scientists are faced with a quandry. What came before the beginning? In order to escape a First Cause, they have speculated about imaginary time, multiverses no one can see, even the idea that aliens in another universe created us as a science experiment whose success and results they could never verify [fruitless exercise!]. Creationists are comfortable because their view that “in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” was not established in order to synctretize or force a harmony between science and the Scriptures. Our theology is fixed. Science is the ever-ammending enterprise. Astronomer Robert Jastrow has put it famously: “For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak. As he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.” [Robert Jastrow. God and the Astronomers (New York: W. W. Norton, 1992), page 107]
Consistently, this is how the drama is played out: Theology has its fixed claims. Science comes up with a claim that seems to contradict theology’s claims. Some try to find ways to force an agreement between the two. Naturalistic science scorns both theology and attempts at syncretism and touts the supremacy of science. Theology has its fixed claims. A new discovery or paradigm leads to a new revelation and uh-oh it looks like theology was right all along. Theology has its fixed claims. Science comes up with a new, seemingly contradictory claim…
Now, scientists don’t [all] do this to try to tear down religion. They do it because there is a difference in how they go about their search for the truth. Theologians believe there is a God and that therefore there is an order to the universe and that something about God may be known through the Bible and through nature. Theologians search for why truth is true. Scientists try to discover truth. They too believe the universe is ordered [a concept borrowed from theologians] and that the rules of the universe can be known [even though their intelligence is a chance mishap of blind, accidental processes and there’s really no reason after all why they should trust that their intelligence is dependable]. Scientist try to discover truth independently of divine revelation. In doing so, they have limited the means of their search to reason and what is empirically [naturally] observable alone. In limiting their search thus, they have eliminated the possibility that the final answer will be supernatural. It follows that if truth turns out to be supernatural [that is, God], they have doomed themselves to failure from the ouset due to a too narrow methodology. Ever learning, never able to come to the knowledge of the truth….
The problem is that Christians inconsistently try to explain away the Bible and syncretize it with the latest fad of science. Dinesh D’Souza makes a statement that sums up my view of the Bible in regards to science: “I am not citing the Bible to prove that God created the universe. I am citing it to show that the biblical account of how the universe was created is substantially correct… What it [says] about creation – about the fact of creation and about the order of creation – turns out to be accurate.” [Dinesh D’Souza. What’s So Great About Christianity? (Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing Inc., 2007), page 124.] The irony, with respect to Mr. D’Souza is that he doesn’t take the Bible literally when it says that God created in 6 days. He explains it away as best he can as requiring a figurative interpretation claiming that “most traditional Christians have no problem with a creation account that extends over millions, even billions of years.” [D’Souza, page 122] Elsewhere he carefully distances himself from fire-breathing fundamentalists like myself. He is capitulating to “science, falsely so called,” when it contradicts the Scriptures instead of saying, “No, I believe what it says because it also says that I am literally saved by the shed blood of Christ Jesus, who literally died, was buried and rose again bodily and will literally return one day, and either the Book is bunk and I’m deceived or the Bible Stands and I’m saved.” Why? Does he think Christendom will fall if we do not bend to what the world supposes [for now] to be true? Instead, he ought to stand by his Bible and remember that it is God-breathed and inspired and that it is not a collection of cleverly-devised fables. He ought to stand by his Bible because our Lord validated the OT record of Adam & Eve and of Jonah, quoted the Scriptures as truth and declared, “Sanctify them by Thy Truth; Thy Word is Truth!” He ought to stand by his Bible as tell them, simply, that they are wrong and one day, if God allows, they will see the truth of it, for His Word stands secure. He ought to proclaim, no matter their scorn or derision, as Martin Luther did, “Here I stand; I can do no other!”
On an anticlimactic note, I cannot conceive of a fundamentalist who is not also a Creationist, simply because the literal, face value interpretation I have described here could faithfully come to no other conclusion about the Genesis account.
You may also wish to read Why I am a Creationist 2
34 Comments Add yours
“I have NO RESPECT for agnostics” Neither do I. I’m an atheist and I have no respect for wishy-washy agnostics.
I also don’t have much respect for theists. They invoke a designer, which is really a sky fairy who can perform magic tricks, because that’s the easy solution. Invoking a god (magic) is an excuse to not think. Invoking magic makes human progress come to a complete stop. This is why scientists never invoke magic. If they chose this lazy excuse to not think, they would never accomplish anything.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.” — Charles Darwin
Claiming a Designer in response to clearly seeing that everything is designed with massive amounts of complexity, way more than what humans have ever shown with our own intelligently designed inventions, is NOT lazy. It’s being honest, realistic and logical, actually.
Atheists are the ones who are clearly lazy when it comes to logic and honesty (especially with themselves).
If ants come upon a computer in the woods, would it be “laziness of mind” to invoke a DESIGNER made said computer? No. Not lazy at all. A very simple but TRUE answer. It’d be the logical conclusion, since they clearly see complex design, and where there’s complex design, there must be a complex designer far above it.
Now the ignorant ants who clearly ignore the complex design, never saw a human in their lives, thus come up with theories as to how the computer formed within the molten magma of the earth over millions of years through chance, random processes; finally being pushed to the surface one day, its parts strewn everywhere. Then, tornadoes and random gusts of wind toss it about for millennia, one day FINALLY falling into place as one unit!?
THAT’S clearly emotional denial of reality. They’re running from the thought of a designer, someone who is above them and could, one day, squish them like the bugs they are. :O
The bible says “…professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.”
It also says “The fool hath said in his heart ‘There is no God.’”
“the eternality of the human soul” is wishful thinking. There’s not a shred of evidence for a soul, a heaven, or a hell. It’s all wild guessing. People believe in heaven only because they wish it was true. They are being greedy to wish for a second life. They should be grateful they have one life. Some people believe in heaven because they are too cowardly to accept reality. They are willing to believe any nonsense, no matter how insane it is, to avoid admitting they are nothing after they die.
Heaven is a very harmful belief. People waste the only life they have because they believe they get a second life forever. Heaven also made the 9/11 attacks possible. The life after death myth is not worth all the trouble it has caused. I wish religious people would grow up, educate themselves, and face facts, instead of wasting their lives believing in childish dangerous supernatural nonsense.
BOBX2X2 the same could easily be said about the “Big Bang” being wishful thinking, and definitely not one based upon logic or honesty. There’s no shred of evidence of a Big Bang. Actually, a lot of evidence against the Big Bang. Some planets and moons spin the opposite way compared to the others. That’s one of many contradicting it.
The atheist claims “waste of only life they have” ? This is interesting, since atheists claim that humans come from nothing and ultimately go back to nothing, so I say: “Why bother doing anything? It all goes to NOTHING in the end, right?” And this has pushed many people to do very bad things to each other over the decades. Mass murderers killed millions, thinking they had no one to account for after they died. Claiming they go to nothing after they die, so “who cares” right?
Your deathly religion of evolutionism preaches hopelessness, which is disgusting and evil. Evolutionism (proven false) is the religion of satan, who you’ll claim does not exist, but he doesn’t care. He’d rather you (atheists) fall for his evil religion and screw things up for millions of people in the future than believe he exists. Just wasting billions of dollars on the useless SPACE EXPLORATION is such a an abomination. Instead of cleaning up this planet from all the toxic waste humans have spread, they’d rather go search the emptiness of space, with no proof or even evidence of “intelligence” out there, only a blind assumption, based upon another blind assumption (that there is no God, and that we all come from a big bang billions of years ago, so who cares?).
YOUR blind faith (that there is no God, and no love, no hope, etc.) is a VERY harmful belief.
Sirius I enjoyed your posts, it was written very well, like a professional. What do you do for a living? haha… I like your organization, mine tends to be a hodgepodge, with random posts. I need to sit down and learn how to group things together or something. I do think though that Agnostics are more mindful then Athiests just becuase they still think theres that possibility. Athiests without ever traveling this massive universe, state there belief as fact. I do agree though that Agnostics are lazy cause they usually refuse to search for God.
Bobx2x2: Face what facts? Prove to me there is no heaven. Why do you stereotype when you say, “religious people need to grow up… educate themselves,” I’ve heard many times that when one sterotypes, they are ignorant (i.e, during the civil rights movement), they lack understanding of which they do not know, and clump it with existing schema’s that they’ve created from past experience. Yes I’d say there are uneducated “religious people” out there, but just the same there are uneducated “unreligious people” out there as well. Science can only take you so far, science changes constantly as new discoveries are made with increasing technology(i.e. saturated fats were bad for you a few years ago, now its trans fat that kills you).
You’ve brought up a few objections, I see.
You’ve misunderstood [perhaps on purpose] my comment about the eternality of the human soul. I did not say that I had proven the eternality of the human soul. I said that what the Bible says about the soul and its described eternality compliments [accurately describes] what we intuitively know about the worth of the individual man. If you believe that individual men have no individual worth then I must point out the hypocrisy of your post: if the individual has no intrinsic worth then neither does his opinions, counting yours.
Now the idea that heaven is a harmful belief is pure balderdash. You’ve painted this canvas black, ignoring where color existed. Those who believe in eternal life in Heaven are grateful for this life. But we see the bigger picture. And while this has lead to atrocities such as the 9/11 terrorist attack, it also leads to the Mother Teresas, hospitals [a Christian invention], orphanages [same source] and charities of all sorts. It led to the abolition of slavery.
You may continue to see only half the picture if you like, but you can hardly say that you “accept reality” if you do.
Now, I should say that while I have no respect for skeptics, agnostics and apatheists, I only have a little respect for atheists. That means “not much.” In fact, I’ve come to agree with Scripture that only the fool says in his heart, There is no God. Now I tend to cut atheists some slack as they may either be willfully ignorant or merely uninformed.
If the idea of a Designer is a farce for lack of evidence, evolution is equally a farce. Darwin did not completely rule out the idea of God. In fact, stated that it would be fair to describe him as a deist.
You state we only believe in superstitions, but how will you go about making your case? Will your objections apply equally to evolution?
With due respect, I’ve kept my occupation and my real name a secret quite on purpose. The idea was to let the arguments unfold without the bias inherent in labels. Unfortunately, over time it became obvious that I could proceed with my arguments only so far if I didn’t give away something.
Let me ask you a question: Would you find me more credible if I were a physicist, a theologian or a goat-herder?
Bias [I say this word candidly not as accusation]will supply its answer.
The Bible records one of the prophets as being interrogated as to his education and authority. His answer was that he was a goat-herder but he had received a word from the Lord.
I am not literally a goat-herder, but what if I were it’s equivalent? Would you then judge me by the weight of my arguments or by my occupation and [presumed] level of education? If I were a physicist, would you presume my logic and rhetoric to have authority? Would you take it uncritically? What about a theologian? Or a country preacher? Or a doctor? I suppose were I lawyer one could never be sure if I told the truth! [joke. lawyers need not respond]
As for my powers of organization, I write fiction on the side. In doing that, I create entire worlds. Which requires much organization. God has given me a great gift. My wife only wishes I would use it to organize our great whopping mounds of books!
I’ve never analyzed how I organize things. I shall have to think on it, with all respect to the Golden Goose and the gift horse. I do tend to categorize things. perhaps you should make a list of your posts and organize pages by subject. Essentially that’s what I did for the blog. My prose is organized by the grace God gave me.
But I shall think on it….
And in regards to atheists: like I told Bob, I only have respect for those atheists who are ignorant but not willfully so. A great many do not think for themselves. They just parrrot Dawkins or harris or the like. Sadly, theism is afflicted with this self-same lack of individual thought.
A pleasure as always,
No it wouldn’t hold any weight I was just going to use you as a source :-p… for some reason saying “Dr. Sirius Knotts” holds more weight in arguments (I don’t hold to this).
brooksrobinson: “Science can only take you so far,”
Why do you think there’s some limit to scientific progress?
“science changes constantly as new discoveries are made with increasing technology”
Right? So what? Of course ideas change when new discoveries require old ideas to be thrown out or modified. That’s progress. The flexibility of science is why science is many times better than the unchanging dogmas of religion.
“Prove to me there is no heaven.”
Why should I have to disprove somebody else’s fantasies? Proof is not necessary. Simple common sense should rule out the heaven idea because no idea could be more crazy. Since it’s your fantasy, not mine, you need to provide evidence for it. You can’t make up some crazy story and then expect somebody else to disprove it. People believe in heaven only because they wish it was true. That’s all they have, their wishful thinking. Heaven is a children’s story. Adults who believe it are the kind of people who are afraid of the dark.
When I suggested religious people should educate themselves, I was talking about science education. It’s disgraceful there are still people who deny the basic facts of evolution. I noticed all of these flat-earthers are religious.
Sirius: “If you believe that individual men have no individual worth…”
Everyone is worth something when they’re alive. After they drop dead they are nothing more than a decomposing animal.
If I understood you correctly, you implied that the belief in heaven led to the abolition of slavery. I don’t get that logic at all.
“If the idea of a Designer is a farce for lack of evidence, evolution is equally a farce. Darwin did not completely rule out the idea of God. In fact, stated that it would be fair to describe him as a deist.”
I suggest you should not be so sure about what Darwin believed in. It’s impossible to read another person’s mind, especially when that person is dead.
Designers and gods are nothing more than magicians. Magic is a childish idea, and of course there could never be any evidence for it.
Evolution has so much evidence that biologists are certain it’s a fact. The people who deny the facts of evolution are not able to cross some religious boundary, so they refuse to accept the evidence for it, and they refuse to study the evidence.
“The idea of design suggests a Creator. A Creator suggests that Man might be accountable to someone else.”
My translation: “The idea of magic suggests a Magic Man. A Magic Man suggests that Man might be accountable to a Magic Man.”
I don’t believe in magic, and I feel sorry for people who think they are accountable to a magic man. That sounds like slavery to me. How horrible for people to waste their entire lives believing they are slaves of an imaginary creature.
Your translation is in error. Have you condsidered hiring a translator that makes sense?
You’ve attempted to side-step the argument with argumentum ad absurdum. You’re trying to say that my logic flawed; that the idea of design does not suggest a Creator [Designer] any more than the idea of magic suggests a Magic Man. [Does your Magic Man know the Muffin Man? He lives on Drury Lane.] You’ve latched onto the semantical difference between “design” and “the idea of design.” You poor sap. You thought you were doing so well.
We’re discussing actual design here, not the idea of design. I’m sorry if my poor choice of words has mislead you.
Let me give it to you again, for clarity’s sake: The design observed in the universe suggests a Designer, or as many would term it, a Creator. The concept of a Creator comes with implications of possible ownership and accountability on the part of the created. Why? Because things are usually designed FOR A PURPOSE, be it functional or aesthetic. S we must ask: What were we designed for? What does the Designer expect of us? Following me, bob?
Now, put your idiot Magic/Straw Man back in your Dawkins Box-O-Flying-Spaghetti-Monsters and try to use your brain this time.
The belief in Heaven is a belief in eternal rewards for what we do on this Earth. Those crazy religious folk who believe in such things, if you’ll take the time to read your history books, fought for the abolition of slavery [btw, bob, slavery involves the suppression of freedom; God has granted us the free will to serve him or damn ourselves] born of Christian zeal. One of the motivations for their efforts was the belief that they should endure whatever they had to in this life for the greater glory of God [they saw doing away with slavery as something God would want] and for the sake of postmortem rewards. Do I have to spell everything out for you, bob?
I’m not reading Darwin’s mind when I say that he described himself as a deist. I’m quoting him. You might also actually read The Origin of the Species. I have. I enjoy science fiction. You’ll find quite a few unsettling [for diehard atheists] references to God and inferences to his deism throughout the book.
Let me ask you a question: How is a man alive
have worth? What gives him, if he’s really just a cosmic accident, an evolutionary rung on the ladder that will one day be replaced, intrinsic worth? Don’t misunderstand me. By worth, I am not refering to being useful. I’m talking about intrinsic worth, the sanctity of human life just because it is. Evolution doesn’t teach this. So why, on what basis would you say that the individual has intrinsic worth? You may be in over your head, bob.
Not all biologists are sure evolution is a fact. Many have grave doubts about the theory. There are flaws. Gould tries to plug the holes with punk eek. Dawkins denies the elephant in the living room like the good atheist fundamentalist he is. But if you want to go on believing what the atheist ghetto tells you, OK… Does an argument ad populum make something true? Just because a majority believe a thing, even so-called experts, does it make it true? Does calling something a fact make it a fact? You might like to know [or you might prefer your insulated world] that a good portion of the biologists [and scientists from others branches] who have grave doubts about evolution aren’t religious. They’re atheists and agnostics. They’re just more honest than their dogmatic fellows.
You made some comments to brooksrobinson:
Science does have limits. Here’s one: science can only tell us something about what’s naturally observable. As a result, scientists can guess and hypothesize about our origins [life, the universe, intelligence, love], but they can’t really can’t ever prove anything [unless they build a friggin time machine]. The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle also places a limitation on science. It turns out we can describe what usually happens. If it usually happens with nearly impossible frequency, we call it a law. But there’s always the possibility that something ELSE will happen instead. Science can only describe what it can observe and test. A scientist can tell us what happens chemically and biologically, perhaps even electrically, when we get mad or fall in love, but it can’t always predict why. There are many limits to science. Here’s another: Do you feel there is a purpose for your existence here on Earth? Why? Science can’t tell you. Well,wait, it’s that survival of the fittest thing, right? If that’s so, I feel sorry for you. You see, in terms of fitness, religious numbers are growing worldwide. God is not dead. Atheism isn’t doing too hot, despite predictions to the contrary and despite that their tiny minority almost exclusively populate our universities where they’ve attempted to redicule religion out of existence. Atheists tend to be suicidal while the majority of religious folk actually seem to enjoy their lives – even though they’re looking forward to the next one! If Darwin’s right, atheists are an endangered species!
Fortunately, science changes constantly, meaning it’s been wrong before, and before that, and before that, too, and…. [you get the idea], so maybe science will say Darwin was wrong someday, too.
Here’s a factoid: Most people believe in heaven. YOU are in the minority of the people who do not. You have provided no proof that we’re wrong. You’ve appealed to common sense, but why isn’t the majority’s working. [Hey! That’s an argumentum ad populum! Relax. I’ll get to that.] We could , for the sake of argument, decide as Mark Twain did that common sense ain’t.
Now, I’m not afraid of the dark… and I still believe in heaven. I’m not the type of person who’s afraid of the dark and neither have most of the guys I’ve known or read of historically. In fact, some of these heaven-believing nuts actually invented the scientific method and a whole host of other sensible things. So we’re not just superstitious flakes, so why the prevalence of this belief?
Here’s a hint: We believe in God. I’ve already given you my reasons for this belief. It is a reasonable faith.
You believe there is no God. You believe this is a reasonable faith. But based on what?
“Right? So what? Of course ideas change when new discoveries require old ideas to be thrown out or modified. That’s progress. The flexibility of science is why science is many times better than the unchanging dogmas of religion.”
The reason of my pointing out that science changes is this… Why would I put so much faith in science when 10yrs from now, all that I think I know in science could be completely false and old. All your dogmas on evolution and science that you hold as fact and as your religion, are held to this scientific standard, that it could possibly change. What will happen if this theory does not progress, (just like it hasn’t in the last 100+ years), your religion hinges on science, a changing study. Where as in Christianity, if by some miracle (since the probability of evolution is a miracle), evolution is true, this does not prove God doesn’t exist, nor Christianity.
“Why should I have to disprove somebody else’s fantasies? Proof is not necessary. Simple common sense should rule out the heaven idea because no idea could be more crazy”
The burden of proof is on you since you note this as your belief. Your belief that there is no heaven must be backed up. I can back up my proof through a series of logical proofs, that would ultimately lead up to a proof of heaven.
Just in case Evil Bender erases my response to his straw man, here it is:
Wow. Looks like you think that your opinion has more worth than mine….
You’ve missed the point, which is par for the course where you’re concerned. Perhaps my wording could have been clearer.
I shall be happy to elucidate.
My ideas and your ideas, if creationism is truth, have potential worth [not intrinsic worth, so feel free to burn that straw man and thatch together a new one.]. The potential worth of our ideas, from, the theist perspective, are based in no small part on the fact that our minds were designed to operate rationally.
Yes, designed. We can test whether this is so by attempting to order the observable world in a rational manner. We observe that we exist for we could hardly deny our existence if we weren’t around to do so. This is the law of noncontradiction. We observe that we exist in a world over which we have little control, which is largely inflicted upon us, so we know it exists independently of ourselves. Others share this world. Their experience testifies to the same, namely, that universal laws and forces regulate the world we inhabit. We go from there, categorizing, hypothesizing, and reasoning until we come to the conclusion that order is present in the very fabric of our world. Order does not come from disorder. We may observe from human experience that information and intervention is required to order and organize. A Rational Mind is necessary to order the universe, someone to set the constants, program the laws, set in motion the forces: A First Cause.
Now, if I’ve lost you at this point, it may be because you don’t really buy things like cause and effect, reason or scientifically proven universal laws and constants; in short, in the presence of order in the universe. I would caution you on how you might answer me here, for I will invariably ask you where we got all of this precious information required to order and regulate the observable universe. I would even have to demand that you explain to me exactly how natural selection [the working dynamic behind evolution] came to be and how it came to be that such a structure came to work in the manner that it does. Where did the information come from? You see, you can’t just CLAIM a thing is true: you must justify your claim. If you say that this observed irreducible complexity can be explained by natural processes you have to explain how and you have to explain how that process came to be.
Now because Creationism and a rational look at the observable universe infers a Designer, I can trust that my intellect is, in fact, reliable. I can trust that my logic is not faulty. I can trust my conclusions to a large degree, making allowances for the possibility that I may have come to my conclusions based on misinformation, bias, false data, false assumptions, et cetera.
Which means that not all ideas are equal. Some, in the end, are actually worthless.
Let’s compare my worldview to the evolutionary worldview:
Oh. You can’t really comment on the origin of the universe. Natural selection only applies to biology. Since we can’t really say it applies to abiological chemistry either, we can’t really apply it to the question of how life sprang forth from nonlife either. I mention this because some evolutionists actually forget this key limitation to natural selection; which also limits the explanations evolutionary theory can offer us.
But OK, you believe that life evolved as a freak accident and somehow propogated, mutated and changed into various progressive species until we came to the current pinnacle of evolution: the housecat, who uses humanity for slave labor. No, that’s right: it’s man. Man somehow also developed his reason by these blind, accidental processes which is how he kknows the universe was a great big accident, et cetera. Which leads to the inevitable question: How can you know that your reason is reliable if its essentially an evolutionary accident? While you’re thinking about that: If it’s all pointless, meaningless and heading nowhere, why do you bother arguing at all? And evolution at its core does say this: humanity has no purpose. Meaning is a false construct that we’ve erected to get us through the night. There’s no point in our existence. We might have worth to someone, but it’s artifice, chemical reactions to our environment. The only purposes that evolutionists have been able to propose are procreation [continuing the species] and survival of the species. The individual has no intrinsic worth. The individual exists for the benefit of the species.
So how can the ideas of the individual who has no intrinsic worth, but only relative worth be said to have any worth? How do we test the worth of these ideas if our reason and intellect came about by random processes and we can’t really say why they should be reliable?
Fortunately, your worldview takes less sense and more faith than mine. You see, atheism has to prove a negative: you have to prove that absolutely everything has a purely natural explanation. If God exists, your methodology is flawed and you are doomed at the outset for excluding all possibility of the supernatural.
— Sirius Knott
Creationism doesn’t work because it assumes that the infinite complexities of nature can only be made by some higher power. I believe this is flawed as quite simply, natural processes are highly inefficient. Surely you don’t mean to suggest that God is wasteful?
Secondly, you provide no evidence that God the Bible character actually exists, just that there is A god. By your own argument, I would be just as well off believing in Islam, Shinto, Hinduism or even Scientology!
Thirdly, if God created everything, why is Nature (and, by association, God) so cruel? Why is autism there, an alternate neural configuration that unfortunatly leaves people unable to communicate in extreme cases? In this light, God looks less benevolent and more like a kid with a magnifiying glass torching ants for fun.
Forth, the Bible has been used to justify everything, from fascism to apartheid. Just because you can point at some obscurely-worded passage and say “Hey, that happened!” DOESN’T MEAN IT WAS ACTUAL PROPHESY.
I know you’re just going to read this and shoot my two cents’ worth full of holes.
But hey, what do I care?
“Creationism doesn’t work because it assumes that the infinite complexities of nature can only be made by some higher power.”
This is philosophically sound, because their can be no infinite regress. Let me explain:
1.Everything that has come into being must have a cause.
2.The Universe came into being.
3. Therefore there is a cause
Creationist just apply that cause to God. Their is plenty of evidences if you look at the extreme order of the Universe and life on earth (which I don’t have time to get into).
“By your own argument, I would be just as well off believing in Islam, Shinto, Hinduism or even Scientology!”
When Creationists refer to God, we mean the definition in which philosophy prescribed to God, that is ,the greatest most possible being to be conceived. The gods of those religions (minus Islam and Scientology) are human like and go along with idol worship, or in the Hindu case, the many varying aspects of the God idea and sometimes a pantheistic idea. As far as Scientology who knows what they believe haha.
“Thirdly, if God created everything, why is Nature (and, by association, God) so cruel?”
Because man’s original sin has caused creation to become imperfect and “cruel.”
“Forth, the Bible has been used to justify everything, from fascism to apartheid”
Just because someone uses it in that light does not mean they used it in the correct fashion. To use your quote “Just because you can point at some obscurely-worded passage and say “Hey, that happened!” DOESN’T MEAN IT WAS ACTUAL PROPHESY.” In the same fashion people have used the Bible to say what they want it to say. Read Thomas Pain he refutes slavery using the Bible, despite him not believing in the Bible.
“Just because you can point at some obscurely-worded passage and say “Hey, that happened!” DOESN’T MEAN IT WAS ACTUAL PROPHESY.”
I challenge you to read those prophecies, many are in very plain text and not so obscure.
“This is philosophically sound,”
By this I mean God creating.
I’m not going to shoot your two cents worth full of holes. I’m just going to point out that it IS full of holes and where they are.
First and third, since these ojections have the same answer, you have failed to take into account the effects/results of the Fall. This was something I commented upon in my fourth reason for being a Creationist.
Suffering and the imperfections in nature are effects; the cause is sin. When Adam sinned, the world was cursed. God is separate from nature, or else He would be accursed along with it. Imperfection and entropy entered His perfect creation. Why? Because free will if it is truly free includes the ability to reject God’s will, but rejecting [disobeying] God’s will in His world has consequences in that you put yourself out of synch with perfection. Like a king bringing his kingdom to ruin, mankind and the world has fallen under judgment in Adam’s sin. We’ve of course added a few of our own along the way.
A brief aside: I have two special needs kids. You may want to read another post I’ve written before you go much further on this particular subject: https://siriusknotts.wordpress.com/2007/12/06/wrestling-with-god/
Second, well, MY second reason states that I moved beyond deism to Christian theism due to the historicity of Jesus’ resurrection. I also gave a link to a post as to why I believe this.
Fourth, my third reason for being a Creationist covers prophecy. I aplogize for not giving you the specific list, but rather the impossible odds, but we’re not speaking of some obscurely worded passage like horoscopes proffer.
The prophecies in question were:
1. Born at Bethlehem [Micah 5:2]
2. Preceded by a Messenger [Isaiah 40:3 & Malachi 3:1] – fulfilled in John the Baptist
3. Enters Jerusalem on a Donkey’s Colt [Zechariah 9:9]
4. Betrayed by a Friend [Psalm 41:9 & 55:12-14]
5. Sold for 30 Pieces of Silver [Zechariah 11:12]
6. Money to be Thrown in God’s House and the Price Given for a Potter’s Field [Zechariah 11:13]
7. Silent Before His Accusers [Isaiah 53:7]
8. Hands and Feet Pierced and Crucified with Thieves [Psalm 22:16, Zechariah 12:10 & Isaiah 53:12]
These eight alone comprise the odds given, yet Jesus fulfilled all 61 prophecies and all of their ramifications.
Furthermore, we note that some of these things were beyond his control:
1. His lineage
2. His birthplace
3. His manner of birth [virgin birth – Isaiah 7:14]
4. His betrayal
5. His manner of death – Psalm 22:16
6. People’s reactions [mockery, spitting, staring, etc]
7. Piercing but not breaking his bones
8. Burial, especially in a rich man’s tomb after being condemned as a criminal.
And these are just the prophecies fulfilled by Jesus. There are other prophecies as well dealing with therise and fall of specific cities and nations which were fulfilled.
Your last point about how Christianity has been used to justify attrocities is a red herring. Atheism, Buddhism, politics and what-have-you have all been used for the same. Kindly read here for more on this subject of gross hypocrisy: https://siriusknotts.wordpress.com/2008/04/27/hypocrisy-as-apologetic/
Looking over your response, it does seem that you didn’t really read what I’ve written. Most of your points were answered in the main post itself. Why then did you bother to comment upon that which you did not bother to read?
I fear you may be looking for excuses to disbelieve. Many people prop up a volitional objection to Christianity with a hasty wall of excuses and reasons. Put another way, some people have enough evidence, they just don’t want to believe.
I pray this is not the case for you.
I find it fascinating that my personal reasons for being a Creationist have become fodder for so many objectors. I pray some good may come of it.
I am a Creationist as well.
Wow, you’re absolutely insane. The Bible says that Pi is a round number, that the Earth is flat, etc. How can you think it’s historic? The first account of Jesus came from Paul, who didn’t even know him, never met him. How can you sit here with the scientific method giving you the first world standard of living you enjoy and say that it’s right about everything EXCEPT for the origins of the universe and diversity of life? So many things wrong with this post…
When people leave me anonymous insults, I can tell I’m dealing with someone of impeccable integrity who will certainly and unashamedly stand behind and defend whatever statements they make.
In your case, everything you’ve stated is a straw man. I’d venture to say that you have no flipping clue what you’re talking about.
1. The Bible doesn’t say pi is a round number. You’re probably refering to 1 Kings 7:23, where the dimensions given for a completely round artifact give us a ratio of the circumference to the diameter is three to one, which is an inaccurate value of pi which is actually 3.14158,etc. This difficulty is easily overcome, since it is characteristic of the Bible to speak in round numbers or to provide approximate values. To be fair, 3.14 or even 3.14158 is not a precise value of pi, since pi goes on forever, so 3 is relatively correct since that’s what pi is for all practical purposes.
2. The Bible nowhere says the Earth is flat. What the devil gave you that idea anyway?
3. If you’ve read 1 Corinthians 15, you’ll note that Paul states that he gives the same record of the resurrection that was given to him, so there were earlier accounts of Jesus even if we have no written record of them. While it is true that the earliest recorded account of Jesus came from Paul, it is wholly inaccurate to claim that this was the first account of Jesus. The Bible also claims that Paul DID meet Jesus and the strange conversion of a man who zealously persecuted and imprisoned Christians suddenly becoming one adds veracity to the Damascus Road visitation!
4. You have conflated evolutionism which relies upon forensic methods, such as inference and anaology, with observable, testable, repeatable science. So I do not say that the scientific method is wrong about origins and the diversity of life; I correctly say it is wholly inapplicable to origins and the claim of common descent. Also, the diversity of life is explained by natural selection, a conservative process [not a creative process] that protects against harmful mutations and allows for variation within created kinds for adaptation and survival’s sake. This is in line with the revelation of Scripture, while molecules-to-man evolutionism is a Just-So Story which cannot be demonstrated nor tested by the scientific method. Does that answer your misguided question?
If you intend to toss such misguided missiles at me in the future, I’ll have to insist that you sign your name to them.
Thanks for the diversion,
As an atheist its so refreshing to so you contradict yourself in the 1st few sentences. That is a pretty typical thing to see coming from the mind of a christian. I’m so glad that the belief in god has been on the decline in the last 50 years. Hopefully we can get enough people to stop going to church so that the churches can no longer attain the funding they need to operate. Then we can replace these worthless non-tax paying structures with buildings that contribute to society or even open spaces. Christians live in fear of everything and are scared of change, which in turn, has slowed the progress of this country down by decades. It would be great if we could just throw all the christians onto an island and forget about them.
whatever. next time, try a little more substance and a little less Christophobic monologue.
for example, how did I allegedly contradict myself?
I just wanted to add some brief comments here.
First, Sirius… great job. It’s always refreshing to see an educated Christian use facts to point out the stupidity of evolutionists.
Just a couple comments on other posts.
It seems that atheists tend to believe that, somehow, religion and Christianity are holding back progress. But, when you look back at ALL of the scientific, political, and social advances made in history BEFORE 1900, they were all made by religious people. Most being Christian. Algebra being Muslims… thanks for that. Then, when you look at the advances made after 1900, the majority of them were also made by religious persons, mostly Christians. So, sorry atheists.
Also, it seems that atheists want to believe that the Bible is “full of unchanging dogma’s that are proven wrong by science.” I just ask you to point ou this things that science has “proven” wrong. Now…. what I’m asking for here is VERIFIABLE proof, not some theory offered up as proof.
Because, lets be honest…. it all boils down to one simple fact. Observable, empirical science can only document “what is.” All of the “what used to be” or “how it began” theories are just theories based on the simple observation of “what is.” So, lets get down to brass tacks and talk about “what is” and how it applies to evolutionary theories and creationism theories. THEN we can really start defending our view points.
Everything else is academic and just designed to make a person feel like an intellectual. Lets talk about the facts.
So…. offer up some facts and lets apply them to each theory.
Just my observation and my challenge.
I am a creationist and have a new book: Evidences for God and his creations: Nature, The Flood and the Bible. It is with Author House. Web Site: http://creationapologetics.net
Thanks for the courteous but firm replies to the skeptics. Thanks for the spiritual and intellectual knowledge shared. God bless you!
“Agnosticism is lazy-mindedness parading as intelligence.” this is a rather hypocritical hing to say, for it is so easy to just accept God and that he created the entire universe. Believers don’t have to question why or how, they just need to accept, which is even worse than Agnosticism because we actually THINK on how the Earth was born and how everything came into being. Believers don’t care about how old the Earth is, they’ll simply read the bible, see it is 6000 years old, and be on their dandy way, no questions asked. they cannot see that the Earth is actually much older, or refuse to believe this, because it contradicts their “precious” 6000 year old hypothesis. Agnostics simply do not know if there is a God, but it seems to me that you are a “you are either with me or against e” type of person, and that is fine.
What on earth makes you suppose it’s easy to believe in God?
Here’s the problem with your objection [aside from the fact that it required little thought on your part]: It paints a false picture of belief. Belief requires an object and it requires a reason for belief, even if that reason is ultimately flawed. Acceptance (your word) of something requires that objections to acceptance be overcome, which process in itself refutes your overall premise that belief is unthinking acceptance of something.
Let me clue you in on something: I’m not like most other Christians you encounter. I’m not safe. I grew up in church but then rejected the faith of my youth when I graduated from high school. For nine years, I did as I pleased and defied the God of my youth. I accepted evolution and millions of years as truth… and in fact these two concepts were two of the three factors which led me astray to begin with [the third was gross hypocrisy in the Church… it was the eighties. ‘Nuff said]. Then I came back to the fold, kicking and screaming. I demanded answers this time. I did not immediately accept the idea of a young earth or that microbes-to-man evolution was in any way wrong. In fact, I told folks that I suppose God could have used evolution and that we had to allow for the possibility of long ages in the days of Genesis. I now realize how wrong I was from a Biblical and rational standpoint.
You see the problem with the idea of fish-to-philosopher evolution and millions of years is that they both rest on the premise of pure naturalism. Modern science has chained itself to this premise of pure naturalism so that they only allow purely natural answers [which is to say that they preclude the possibility of supernatural agency/God from the outset] to any and all phenomena in the universe. Yet in order for this premise of methodological naturalism to be true, the universe would have to be either purely materialistic or purely mechanistic. It is demonstrably not purely materialistic; matter is not all there is. The very laws of the universe and the laws logic, neither of which are material, defy the possibility of pure materialism. As for a purely mechanistic universe, a watch with no Watchmaker seems unlikely. In fact, a Watchmaker would make the premise of pure naturalism a self-defeating contradiction. In order to postulate a clockwork universe [such as we observe] with logical, orderly, uniform laws, we must believe in the notion of endless multiverses we could never detect of endless variety, one of which happens to be ours. Yet this is ultimately self-defeating for the multiverse hypothesis [promoted by the likes of Stephen Hawking] proposes the something well beyond the realm of the natural [that is, the universe] to justify pure naturalism!
Thus, no purely natural explanation for the universe is either possible or logical.
Unfortunately for you and your intellectual laziness, I did not come to my conclusions simply because the Bible told me so. I believed otherwise [that is, I believed in millions of years of microbes-to-man evolution] and demanded answers for why anyone should suppose otherwise. For me, belief in such things was never easy. I asked tons of questions… and I still do. It only became easy once I realized that I was basically comparing the revealed Word of an infallible God who never lies and was there to the everchanging, grasping notions of fallible men who were not. I’ll trust the Word of the Lord who cared enough for me to die on the cross for my sins and yours.
As for the latter charge, agnostics say they do not know whether there is a God or not… and they suppose that such intellectual laziness is really OK. What would you say if a man waffled so on other issues? You’d say he needed to figure it out one way or another and quit wasting everyone else’s time. We would not esteem a man who didn’t know whether things were true or not and didn’t care to find out either! We’d question his intellectual pride. Regarding the matter of God, the question is of eternal consequence so only a fool would leave the question unanswered and untouched.
You are at least correct that I am a you are either with me or against me person, for such was Jesus [Matthew 12:30].
Frankly, so are you. It’s not possible to be neutral where it concerns the ultimate authority of the Bible: either you believe it or you don’t. Agnosticism remains lazy-mindedness parading itself as intelligence.
hmm, that speech was actually quite impressive. you are most definitely not like other Christians, for you know what is it like(or what it was like) to question “God” and even rebelled against him. As for what you said “What would you say if a man waffled so on other issues? You’d say he needed to figure it out one way or another and quit wasting everyone else’s time. We would not esteem a man who didn’t know whether things were true or not and didn’t care to find out either!” this is actually a good way to put Agnosticism. I guess when you put it like this, i suppose i lean more towards the atheist side, for i believe in the millions of years of evolution, but i don’t like to think of the universe as a materialistic thing. I don’t like to think that after death there is nothing, the very thought scares me. i am not sure what i would be classified, possibly spiritualist. There must be more to life then simply existing and then dying, because then there would really be no point. But what is natural? I remember reading somewhere that emotions are illogical, in nature they would only hinder, and only to survive, a social Darwinism must be followed, to insure that the strong survive. Because compassion keeps the weaker alive and thus weakening the gene pool of having healthy, strong offspring. Surely emotions, on the human level, must be be proof that perhaps matter is not all there is. Then yet again is could only be a delusion of the mind to give us a reason to live, that there is something beyond life. In the end our debate is controversial, not matter what i say i will not change your mind, and likewise, though i do agree on some thing what you said. hm, some opponent i must be, praising you, but i can’t deny i do agree on some of your points.
Given your dislike of the concept of absolute materialism, you’d make a horrible atheist. I suspect you know better.
I understand your position because I’ve been there. I didn’t feel like I could believe in God because I believed in millions of years of microbes-to-man evolution. But I could not get past the fact that there is more to the universe than matter. Thoughts, morality, an essence to living humans we generally call soul…
Take your comments on emotions. Emotions are illogical if we are the product of mindless evolutionary processes. Our morality isn’t based on altruism. Our altruism is based on morality. Morality isn’t based on laws; vice versa is the truth of the matter. We have a common universal morality. Yes, there are exceptions to the general rules, but exceptions do not invalidate the rule itself. We all know that murder, stealing and lying in general are wrong. Furthermore, we have a sense of justice that acknowledges that these wrongs must be judged… even if we look for loopholes for our own moral sins! You might disagree on some philosophical basis, but on a very real, visceral level, you want justice when someone steals what belongs to you, don’t you? Well, this universal moral law suggests a Lawgiver, someone who expects us to act a certain way, who gives us freedom to choose otherwise, but to whom we’re ultimately accountable if we choose to ignore our this moral law. Social Darwinism cannot provide the answers here for the exact reasons you’ve mentioned. We are just as likely to risk our lives to save a child we do not know, especially if that child is helpless, as we are to save a child we do know. And we all know it’s wrong to leave that imperiled child to their fate!
Now you suggest that emotions could be a delusion to give us a reason to live, but if the mind is capable of deluding us on the reality of emotions, how can we trust our minds on anything? Might not logic be a delusion that seems to work only because we are delusional? This is ultimately self-contradictory. We must trust what we see and feel to some extent.
I became a Christian long before I decided against evolution and millions of years. I still accept speciation, mutation, natural selection and adaptaton, of course. All creationists do likewise. But I don’t see where one kind of creature becomes an entirely different one. For example, a dog is still a dog and recognizably so, be it a wolf, English bulldog or a wiener dog. Stephen Jay Gould likewise noted that the fossil record evidenced statsis and sudden appearance and this caused him to postulate saltations [big leaps] of evolution rather than the steady transformation of one creature into another. The problem for me is that both geologocal uniformitarianism and microbes-to-man evolution are based on pure naturalism… and the presence of a deity changes everything.
The reaosn I became a Christian is because the evidence for Christ’s resurrection is so irrefutable. And if Christ truly arose then His claims to deity and being the only way to salavation must be taken seriously. Keep in mind that bvelief in a young earth and speial creation are not required to be a Christian. The Bible says that if we confess the Lord Jesus with our mouth and believe that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. period.
I would suggest that you are not really an atheist. You seem to have a great many questions unanswered. I would strongly urge you to get answers to those questions.
Ask me anything you like if you think I can be of help to you,
your first comment confuses me a little. I am sure you can be atheist, yet believe that souls and an afterlife exist. There are religions that don”t necessarily have a god, yet believe in an afterlife, take Buddhism.
i used to be a Catholic, but now currently doubt the existence of a God, or gods depending on how others may see it. Looking back i can not believe what i was told, i seriously doubt i will ever become a believer again. As for a Lawmaker, I’m sure your refereeing to God. I agree with you that we all have morals, such as the ones you listed, but how can it be that it is to thank God that we have these? The thing that sets us apart form animals is that we have the ability to reason, we know right form wrong, and when we do something that contradicts our beliefs, we feel an unbelievable guilt when it is committed. Maybe it is because we are humans, is the reason we have these abilities. But i have always wondered what would happen if we got a human baby from birth, and excluded them from humans? as ludicrous as it sounds, leave them to be raised by animals. Would they still be human, morally, if they were raised by animals? Because we need other humans to be humans, when the child is grown up, would they have the mentally of a human being? as in knowing right form wrong, and all the other things you listed? would they be self aware? i remember reading a national geographic magazine on elephants, how they are some of the most intelligent animals on the world. they are one of very few animals that when they look into a mirror, they comprehend that it is them, their reflection, not just another animal.
A bit off topic… i assume you think i am misguided, and i could, and i could not be. I don’t want to offend you or anybody else, but what i believe, my opinion, i simply can not accept something i don’t believe in. I see many wrongs in many religions, not just Christianity. If there does turn out to be a God, perhaps i will go to hell, but what i can not fathom is how can others be punished for something they did not even know they were doing wrong? The bible says that those who don’t believe in Jesus Christ, accept him, and acknowledge will ultimately go to hell. But what about the people who have never even heard of Christianity? Those who follow another God or gods, what happens to them? is ignorance a reason for somebody to go to hell?
While it is true that one can be an atheist and still believe in the existence of the soul and even that souls continue to exist in an afterlife, but when an atheist believes these things they are being arbitrary. There is no fundamental basis for believing these things if God did not exist, which leaves Buddhists and atheists in a quandry: they believe something that is supernatural [beyond the natural] but they deny the existence of God, and thus they are inconsistent in their allowance of the supernatural. They have no ultimate standard by which to judge why belief in one supernatural thing is acceptable while another is not. Christians on the other hand have an ultimate standard [God’s revealed Word] by which to judge whether one supernatural thing is acceptable [like the existence of the soul, God and the possibility of miracles] while another is not [for example, ghosts or faeries], without being arbitrary.
Why do you doubt the existence of God?
You say that the “thing that sets us apart form animals is that we have the ability to reason, we know right form wrong, and when we do something that contradicts our beliefs, we feel an unbelievable guilt when it is committed.” Well and good, but where do morality and the laws of logic come from? Atheism can provide no noncontradictory, nonarbitrary reason for their existence. It’s no good to say that these things define us as human and then to make the circular argument that we do these things because we are human.
I must also object to your wild boy scenario. A wild boy [and there have been documented cases of real-life Jungle Book scenarios] represents the exception to the rule. An exception to the rule does not invalidate the rule, of course. The interesting thing about human beings is that we are inherently social [“It is not good for man to be alone”] and when deprived of social contact our behavior is greatly affected… but does that make us less human? Is a special needs child with an emotional or behavioral disability less human or not human at all? The problem with the wild boy scenario is that a human baby is required, so we have made the assumption that a human can cease to be a human rather than seeing their humanity as twisted or retarded but still there. We don’t need other humans to be humans; we need other humans to be properly socialized humans. Biologically speaking, humans are humans whether they act like dogs or gods.
Elephants might be self-aware [and they even remember the dead], but that doesn’t make them human. It makes them elephants, for it is elephants who possess these qualities, even if some of these qualities happen also to be shared by humans. We’re also both mammals, but my being a mammal doesn’;t make me an elephant any more than it makes an elephant a man.
I do think you’re misguided, of course. I think anyone who does not acknowledge their Creator is misguided and misinformed. Like you, I was turned off by the hypocrisies and sins committed by my faith. I came to realize that all the burnt-edged, runny-middled, egg shell-riddled omelettes in the world do not invalidate the recipe for the perfect omelette; they simply underscore that fact that people aren’t following the recipe. The question is not whether someone else is doing what they ought to, but whether their religion is true or not. If Christianity is true, then I definitely need to do what God expects of me.
If the God of the Bible is real, you will certainly go to hell. You ask how can others be punished for something they did not even know they were doing wrong? Yet you admit that moral law exists. The Bible says that light has come into the world, but we prefer darkness. Our conscience [God’s law written on our hearts according to Romans chapter 2] convicts us of sin, tells us what is right, and imbues us with a sense of justice. Contrary to your asserrtion, people know they do wrong every day. And while we might excuse our own wrongs, we daily assert that others should be judged for theirs! Of course, God didn’t send His son into the world to condemn the world. The world was condemned already, prefering to ignore moral law in favor of selfish desires. God sent Christ Jesus to save the world from the default selection of condemnation… and He was under no obligation to do so. By rights, He could simply give us the just reward of our sin. And He would be no less just. But love constrained Him to provide a way out to whosoever will come.
Now you bring up the oft-heard objection about the people who have never even heard of Christianity, and you ask “Is ignorance a reason for somebody to go to hell?” That’s a fair question. The problem is that God has given us many witnesses or evidences of His existence. Creation itself testifies to the existence and and power of the Creator. The Scientific Method works for the excellent reason that universe we observe is orderly, containing precisely set constants, beautiful mathematics, fine-tuned physics and follows definite laws. The existence of such specified information implies purpose. Why should undirected randomness produce any sort of order, much less useful information precisely tuned for a Just Right universe? Especially when things have a tendency toward disorder. Explosions in print shops don’t produce encyclopedias! Yet it’s not only ordered; for the evolutionist, it’s much worse than that. The state of the universe is exactly what is necessary for human life to exist. We live in the perfect type galaxy of the right shape, on the right piece of the arm of the spiral. Our sun is exactly the right size, color, mass, distance, orbit. This incredible string of Free Lunches goes on and on. Each time, the evolutionist invokes chance because they refuse to allow a Divine foot in the door whether the evidence might allow for it or not. Aside from the uniformity of nature, we might invoke moral law itself as evidence of a Lawgiver. In fact, the Bible states that there is such ample evidence of God’s existence from nature that men are without excuse for not believing in Him.
But what if they haven’t heard of Jesus? Here’s the rub: the Bible promises that if you seek God with your whole heart, you will find Him. Which brings me back to the original comment concerning agnosticism. If we suspect there might be a God [and there is ample evidence for this], it behooves us to find out what sort of God that might be and what they expect of us. The Bible claims to be just a revelation from the Creator of the cosmos. The Bible has been demonstrated to be historically, archaeologically and – if fulfilled prophecy and the evidence or Christ’s resurrection are taken into account – even supernaturally true. And the Bible promises that if we seek Him with all our heart, we will not fail to find Him… of course, whether to accept or reject His gift of salvation is then up to you.
it seems to me you’re saying that “God” is the creator of all supernatural things, which i doubt. There are religions older than Christianity, well not necessary organized religions, more like beliefs-animism- that already had the theory that their could have been something beyond the physical. They did not believe in God, yet already had an idea that perhaps there is something after death.
Honestly, i think law and morality comes from what we were taught to believe. they are never your own because someone or soemthing influenced you to have them. sure most people won’t argue that basic morals is that killing is wrong, and that slavery is a crime against humanity, the problem i see is that God is flawed. I’m sure believers in God take the bible as truth, the problem with it is even that is not exactly morally right. What I’m getting at is that slavery used to be viewed as acceptable, and even going so far as to say it was fine to sell your own daughter as a sex slave. We now know that slavery is wrong, but i’ve always wondered if believers thought it could be right, because the bible says it’s right, it must be! Such ideas in the bible made me think that believers must be hypocritical to say that they take the bible word for word, yet if you ask them if a woman is not a virgin on her wedding night, that she should be stoned to death, they’ll probably say it’s wrong. if we followed the bible word for word, we would still be living in a backwards world where homosexuals would be persecuted, rebellious children would be killed, and liberals (not the political term) would probably be killed also.
Ignorance should not be a reason for people to burn in hell. They have no other way of thinking, it is not their fault. what they learn, they accept,and could not try to think differently unless they’ve had an experience or some sort of action that caused them to see differently. Take the times before the Civil Movement. Most whites thought that colored people were inferior, because that is what they were taught from an early age. they don’t know any better, because that is all they’ve known all their lives. they don’t know what they are doing is wrong, yet think it is perfectly fine. it wasn’t until the Civil Movement that many racists starting seeing that it’s okay to be of different color, we are all human in the end.
Though, i have a question for you, if i may. Do you believe that the religious imperialism of many cultures by Christianity/Catholicism( yes, they are different, but in the end they still believe in the all mighty “God”) was right? Such as the Spanish Conquest of the Aztec Empire? after conquering Mexico they forced Catholicism onto the natives. Same with European powers in Africa. Actually there is a good book about this called Things Fall Apart. You should check it out, it’s very interesting. Or the spreading of Christianity in China?
There are religions much older by evolutionary reckonings, but if the Bible is historically accurate those religions actually came about after the dispersal at Babel. This would mean that the knowledge of God was pretty much universal and uniform until people groups separarted and different faith traditions developed. By Creationist reckonings, animism is actually the Johnny-Come-Lately of religions, occuring whenever man is degraded to such a state by his environment that his home, weapons and beliefs are what evolutionists term “primitive.” Romans chapter 1 outlines how knowledge of God degraded in this fashion. In any case, it comes down to whether Biblical history or secular history is true in this regard. We cannot assume one to disprove the other; we can only note that they are mutually exclusive so that, given the law of noncontradiction, only one can be correct.
Actually, universal moral law exists independently of what we are taught to believe in our youth. Our laws and social norms are based on this universal morality, not the other way ’round.
Now you state something curious when you say that “God is flawed.” How can you be sure that God is flawed, especially when the examples you gave me reveal that it is your understanding of the Bible that is somewhat flawed. For example, you bring up th example of slavery in the Bible. In some cases what you’re referring to is actually a form of voluntary indentured servitude. The Jewish law allowed a man to work off his debt for a maximum of seven years, after which his debt was absolved [Much better than the system of institutionalized debt we have developed via credit cards and credit scores that require credit card use for good credit scores]. In other cases, it lays out regulations for the moral treatment of slaves, a vast iumprovement on the “use and abuse ’em” mentality of the ancient world. This is not to say that God condoned slavery any more than He condones any other sin. Slavery was a reality of the ancient economy; it’s noteworthy that the New Testament Scriptures make it clear that as Christians there is no difference between servant and master, since we are all to make ourselves servants of God and each other, if you will. As for the assertion that the Bible says that a man can sell his daughter as a sex slave… where in the world did you get that ridiculous idea? What verse are you citing? You also cite a few other Biblical passages without considering the context.
I should say that the broadest context is that all sin, any sin is worthy of death. If you’ve broken the law on one point, you’ve broken the law. God is perfectly just in declaring that death shoould be the verdict for sin. It is by grace and for love that He offers a remedy for our sin-debt. Now by modern mores a woman who is not a virgin on her wedding night is no big deal [to some folks], but the Bible has ever declared that sex outside marriage is a sin. God intended man and woman to remain in a faithfully monogamous relationship; seeing the ravages of STDS and the scars left by infidelity and divorce we are, if fair-minded, of a tendency to see the wisdom of God’s intent and the evil of doing otherwise. Likewise homosexuality is sex outside of marriage and is likewise a sin. [Incidentally, I realize that punishing sin by death seems harsh to you, but I should point out that the Bible says nothing about persecuting anyone except to declare against it; judgment for breaking God’s law was to be dealt with impartially and without malice]. The verses dealing with rebellious children do not speak of small children but rather adult children who are rebellious and therefore a danger to society.
Having said that, I do not live under the dispensation of Old Testament Law but of New Testament grace. You would not expect someone from China to obey Chinese law when they had moved to USAmerica, would you? You see, Old Testament law was necessary under the sacrificial system of Judaism. There could be no perfect sacrifice to cover all sin and all sin was worthy of death. Justice was meted out through law and justification through animal sacrifice, for without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin. But when the God-man Jesus Christ dies upon the cross for the sins of the world, the Old Testament law system was no longer necessary. We are saved by grace through faith in Christ Jesus’ death for our sin and His resurrection. Under the dispensation of grace, the Old Testment law becomes a schoolteacher to show us why we need to be saved and how hopeless self-righteousness is, but we need not follow the OT law anymore than we need to follow the OT sacrificial system for Christ was made a perfect sacrifice once and for all. That’s not to say that we can do as we please; how can someone freed from the law of sin and death walk in sin?
Now you state that “Ignorance should not be a reason for people to burn in hell,” and you are correct; but the problem is that the existence and power of the Creator God is clearly seen from creation, so that men are without excuse. God has, as the Bible declares, set eternity in our hearts so that even little children intuitively know that there is a God. The problem is that we suppress the truth in unrighteousness. The light of truth has come into the world, but men are condemned in that they prefer their own evil and thus turn from the truth to fables, from light to remain in darkness. It’s not ignorance that sends people to hell so much as willful ignorance and suppression of what they instinctively know to be true.
As for your question concerning gross hypocrisy, I refer you to two other articles I’ve written on the very subject:
Regards and keep thinking,
Rev Tony Breeden