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Author Topic:   Is Evolution the Work of Satan?
nwr
Member
Posts: 5585
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005


Message 16 of 104 (589344)
11-01-2010 7:34 PM
Reply to: Message 15 by Dr Adequate
11-01-2010 7:16 PM


Re: Human Copouts
nwr writes:
The correct solution for religion, is that they should paint an honest picture of the world.
Dr Adequate writes:
In what sense would that be religion?

They can still have cultural traditions and rituals.


Jesus was a liberal hippie
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marc9000
Member
Posts: 965
From: Ky U.S.
Joined: 12-25-2009


Message 17 of 104 (589356)
11-01-2010 8:24 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by jar
11-01-2010 11:10 AM


I have never been able to find Biblical support for the concept of Original Sin, certainly not in the Garden of Eden story.

Romans 5: 12-19.


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Replies to this message:
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marc9000
Member
Posts: 965
From: Ky U.S.
Joined: 12-25-2009


Message 18 of 104 (589357)
11-01-2010 8:27 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by Phat
11-01-2010 11:14 AM


Re: Human Copouts
Why is the idea of evolution such a threat for fundamentalists?

Because it gives atheist authors ideas for things to write about?

quote:
Darwins Dangerous Idea / Daniel Dennett - 1995
The End of Faith/ Sam Harris - 2004
The God Delusion/ Richard Dawkins - 2006
Letter to a Christian Nation/ Sam Harris - 2006
The Atheist Universe / David Mills - 2006
Breaking the Spell/ Daniel Dennett - 2006
Everything you know about God is wrong/ Russ Kick - 2007
The Quotable Atheist / Jack Huberman - 2007
The Atheist Bible / Joan Konner - 2007
Nothing - Something to Believe / Lalli Nica - 2007
The Portable Atheist / Christopher Hitchens - 2007
God is Not Great / Christopher Hitchens - 2007
God - the failed hypothesis - How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist / Victor Stenger - 2007
50 Reasons People Give For Believing in God/ Guy Harrison - 2008
Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of Americas Leading Atheists / Barker/Dawkins - 2008

I'd bet my bottom dollar that the word "evolution" appears in each of those books many times.


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jar
Member
Posts: 30934
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 19 of 104 (589358)
11-01-2010 8:31 PM
Reply to: Message 17 by marc9000
11-01-2010 8:24 PM


LOL

Paul makes an assertion but never supports his position.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!
This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Jon
Inactive Member


Message 20 of 104 (589360)
11-01-2010 8:43 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Stephen Push
11-01-2010 5:47 AM


A Matter of Standards...
Or is the natural evil of evolution, contrary to Ayalas view, a reason to reject the idea of an omniscient, omnipotent, and benevolent God?

Benevolent by whose standards?

Omniscient by whose standards?

Omnipotent by whose standards?

And why is this thread limited to Christians? Certainly theirs is not the only opinion on GOD and the powers of evil.

Jon


Check out Apollo's Temple!
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marc9000
Member
Posts: 965
From: Ky U.S.
Joined: 12-25-2009


Message 21 of 104 (589361)
11-01-2010 8:47 PM
Reply to: Message 19 by jar
11-01-2010 8:31 PM


You said you couldn't find "Biblical support". Paul provides biblical support.
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jar
Member
Posts: 30934
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 22 of 104 (589362)
11-01-2010 8:48 PM
Reply to: Message 21 by marc9000
11-01-2010 8:47 PM


Start a thread on it.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!
This message is a reply to:
 Message 21 by marc9000, posted 11-01-2010 8:47 PM marc9000 has responded

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marc9000
Member
Posts: 965
From: Ky U.S.
Joined: 12-25-2009


Message 23 of 104 (589363)
11-01-2010 9:00 PM
Reply to: Message 22 by jar
11-01-2010 8:48 PM


Start a thread on it.

There's nothing more to be said! You couldn't find something very basic to Christianity, and I showed you where it was.


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jar
Member
Posts: 30934
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 24 of 104 (589364)
11-01-2010 9:02 PM
Reply to: Message 23 by marc9000
11-01-2010 9:00 PM


Except of course, it does not support original sin, start a thread on it and I will be happy to discuss it.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!
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GDR
Member
Posts: 4782
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.5


Message 25 of 104 (589365)
11-01-2010 9:25 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Stephen Push
11-01-2010 5:47 AM


Stephen Push writes:

Some Christians -- notably physician and geneticist Francis Collins and biologist and philosopher Francisco Ayala -- believe in both evolution and an omniscient, omnipotent, and benevolent God. For example, Ayala said:

quote:
The point should be valid for those people of faith who believe in a personal God who is omniscient, omnipotent, and benevolent, as Christians, Muslims, and Jews do believe. The natural world abounds in catastrophes, disasters, imperfections, dysfunctions, suffering, and cruelty. Tsunamis and earthquakes bring destruction and death to hundreds of thousands of citizens; floods and droughts bring ruin to farmers. The human jaw is poorly designed; lions devour their prey; malaria parasites kill millions of humans every year and make 500 million people very sick; about 20 percent of all human pregnancies end in spontaneous abortion because of the flawed design of the human reproductive system.
People of faith should not attribute all this misery, cruelty, and destruction to the specific design of the Creator. I rather see it as a consequence of the clumsy ways of nature and the evolutionary process.

Stephen Push writes:

Does the theory of evolution really get God off the hook for permitting natural evil (i.e., suffering caused by nature, as opposed to moral evil, caused by human misdeeds)? It seems to me that Ayala is begging the question. If God created the evolutionary process, why is it so clumsy? Why does it cause so much suffering?

I dont see it as a case of letting God off the hook. I dont know where the idea that God was omnipotent came from. I dont see it in the Bible. Probably my dog sees me as being somewhat omnipotent but that doesnt make it so. By our standards a designer of the universe would seem omnipotent but again I dont see it as being the case. The Old Testament is full of stories of God working with people, negotiating with people and encouraging people. In short God seems to be at work, within His creation to continually improve on it, and the vehicle He uses for that are those people created in His image.

Jesus came to establish something new within history with a new covenant and the establishment of a new kingdom. Prior to Jesus coming the prophet Micah told people what it was that God wanted. He said that what God wanted of us is that we should love kindness, do justice and walk humbly with our God. Jesus confirmed that message and charged us all with the mission to go out the world to spread that message and to live it in our own lives. The result of that should be a lot less suffering, however, as humans we are doing a pathetic job of carrying out the mission that we have been given. Jesus was another example of God endeavouring to bring an end to suffering, and continues through His created people to do that today. As a Christian I believe that time as we experience it now, will come to an end and there will be a new creation where the suffering does finally come to an end.

The point that I am making is that I see God as being all powerful in our terms, which is not the same as being omnipotent. We dont know what parameters a designer would have to work with. We have children and we have dreams of what they might be in the future. We can influence their lives, we can love them more than we thought possible, but it doesnt always work out the way we would like. I have a strong hunch that things arent working out as well as God would like, but I also believe that He doesnt give up on us because he is a loving benevolent God.

I see science including biology as essentially another form of scripture as we can learn about God through His creation. It appears that some form of an evolutionary process is what God used to bring His creation to the point that it is today. From our view point it isnt perfect, but maybe from Gods view point, working within whatever parameters He had to work with, it was the best and possibly only way to do it. Maybe it was either this or nothing.

As far as free will is concerned I have to agree with Augustine and others that without it would be simply robots and what would be the point. For that matter, within the framework of this life if we didnt have the ability to know and understand suffering, we wouldnt be able to know and understand joy. Joy would just become the way things always are and would be a meaningless term. The same of course goes with our ability to know and understand good and evil.


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Replies to this message:
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Stephen Push
Member (Idle past 2936 days)
Posts: 140
From: Virginia, USA
Joined: 10-08-2010


Message 26 of 104 (589375)
11-01-2010 10:50 PM
Reply to: Message 20 by Jon
11-01-2010 8:43 PM


Re: A Matter of Standards...
Jon asked:

Benevolent by whose standards?

Omniscient by whose standards?

Omnipotent by whose standards?

Anyone's standards. Your standards, if you like. In your opinion, what standards of benevolence, omniscience, and omnipotence are consistent with a God who allows his sentient creatures to suffer from the natural evil entailed by the evolutionary process?

And why is this thread limited to Christians? Certainly theirs is not the only opinion on GOD and the powers of evil.

I focused on Christians because I know they believe in an omnipotent, omniscient, and benevolent God. Being less familiar with non-Christian faiths, I don't know whether Jews and Muslims attribute all three of those qualities to God. But if they do, I would be interested in hearing their views on the subject, too.

Edited by Stephen Push, : No reason given.


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 Message 20 by Jon, posted 11-01-2010 8:43 PM Jon has responded

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Coyote
Member (Idle past 182 days)
Posts: 6117
Joined: 01-12-2008


Message 27 of 104 (589376)
11-01-2010 10:58 PM
Reply to: Message 26 by Stephen Push
11-01-2010 10:50 PM


Heinlein said it best (as is often the case)
In your opinion, what standards of benevolence, omniscience, and omnipotence are consistent with a God who allows his sentient creatures to suffer from the natural evil entailed by the evolutionary process?

God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks, please. Cash and in small bills.

Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough for Love, 1973


Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.
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Stephen Push
Member (Idle past 2936 days)
Posts: 140
From: Virginia, USA
Joined: 10-08-2010


Message 28 of 104 (589382)
11-01-2010 11:35 PM
Reply to: Message 25 by GDR
11-01-2010 9:25 PM


GDR wrote:

I dont know where the idea that God was omnipotent came from.

It is the first profession of faith in the Apostles' Creed: "I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth."

As a Christian I believe that time as we experience it now, will come to an end and there will be a new creation where the suffering does finally come to an end.

That day may or may not come. My question is, Why has natural evil been necessary since the dawn of sentient life?

The point that I am making is that I see God as being all powerful in our terms, which is not the same as being omnipotent.

The term "all powerful" doesn't seem to leave any wiggle room. Either it is all or a quantity less than all.

I have a strong hunch that things arent working out as well as God would like, but I also believe that He doesnt give up on us because he is a loving benevolent God.

That view may be relevant to moral evil, which may be a result of humanity's moral failings. But I don't see how that has anything to do with natural evil, especially natual evil visited upon sentient animals and human infants, who are not moral agents.

From our view point it isnt perfect, but maybe from Gods view point, working within whatever parameters He had to work with, it was the best and possibly only way to do it. Maybe it was either this or nothing.

It sounds to me like you are describing a being who is something less than all powerful. You apparently believe that there are natural laws that constrain God. You would not be the first believer who decided, when confronted with the problem of evil, that it would be better to believe God is not omnipotent or omniscient than believe God is not benevolent.

As far as free will is concerned I have to agree with Augustine and others that without it would be simply robots and what would be the point. For that matter, within the framework of this life if we didnt have the ability to know and understand suffering, we wouldnt be able to know and understand joy. Joy would just become the way things always are and would be a meaningless term. The same of course goes with our ability to know and understand good and evil.

Again, I see how the above argument might apply to moral evil and moral agents. I don't see how it justifies natural evil that causes suffering to sentient animals and human infants.

Edited by Stephen Push, : No reason given.

Edited by Stephen Push, : No reason given.


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GDR
Member
Posts: 4782
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.5


Message 29 of 104 (589385)
11-02-2010 12:28 AM
Reply to: Message 28 by Stephen Push
11-01-2010 11:35 PM


Stephen Push writes:

It is the first profession of faith in the Apostles' Creed: "I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth."

I think that the ability to create the universe as it now stands would qualify as "almighty". Omnipotent means "unlimited power" which is not the same thing.

Stephen Push writes:

That day may or may not come. My question is, Why has natural evil been necessary since the dawn of sentient life?

I go back to the point that there is no absolute answer, but it is obvious in both science and scripture that this is a creation in process. We don't know what limitations exited or still exist for that matter.

Stephen Push writes:

The term "all powerful" doesn't seem to leave any wiggle room. Either it is all or a quantity less than all.

I did say "all powerful in our terms". Compared to an ant I am all powerful. God compared to me is all powerful but that is not the same thing as having infinite power whatever that might mean.

Stephen Push writes:

It sounds to me like you are describing a being who is something less than all powerful. You apparently believe that there are natural laws that constrain God. You would not be the first believer who decided, when confronted with the problem of evil, that it would be better to believe God is not omnipotent or omniscient than believe God is not benevolent.

Frankly it isn't a matter of making that choice. As I said before even the scriptures tell the story of a God who works with and adjusts to His creation. The Bible is a grand narrative of God continuing to work with people so that eventually everyone will be humble, love kindness and do justice. On the scientific side, the evolutionary process, from a theistic point of view, is evidence of a creator that continues to work to improve on his creation.

Stephen Push writes:

Again, I see how the above argument might apply to moral evil and moral agents. I don't see how it justifies natural evil that causes suffering to sentient animals and human infants.

I go back to what I said before. We don't know what limitations there are in creating a universe. Maybe it was this or nothing in which case I'm glad he chose this, and seeing as how we all here have chosen to continue on as opposed to suicide, Im pretty sure that we are all be of the same opinion.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 28 by Stephen Push, posted 11-01-2010 11:35 PM Stephen Push has responded

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Stephen Push
Member (Idle past 2936 days)
Posts: 140
From: Virginia, USA
Joined: 10-08-2010


Message 30 of 104 (589390)
11-02-2010 2:18 AM
Reply to: Message 29 by GDR
11-02-2010 12:28 AM


The term "omnipotent" is synonymous with "almighty" and "all-powerful." As defined by the OED, for example, "omnipotent" means:

As an attribute of a god, esp. the Christian God or Christ: almighty; all-powerful, having infinite power.

But "process theism" has redefined these terms:

The term all-powerful cannot be abandoned for religious reasons, but the concept has been all but abandoned in the details.

This may be one reason why some philosophers and theologians have come to favor process theism over philosophical theism. According to process theism, God is incapable of exerting coercive power over creation. Instead, God can at most exert persuasive power. God cannot impose divine will on people, but God can try to persuade people about what should be done and then people will either agree or disregard Gods advice. This limitation to persuasion includes an inability to perform miracles just as God cannot enforce divine will on humans, it is also impossible for God to violate the laws of nature.

Classical theists have argued that this renders God less worthy of worship because, presumably, being worthy of worship requires an ability to enforce ones will against all possible opposition. Process theists, however, state that Gods inability to impose divine will on the world is actually a moral advantage, rendering God more respectable and more impressive. Thus, omnipotence is explicitly sacrificed in order to better secure other attributes regarded as ultimately more important.

(Source: http://atheism.about.com/od/whatisgod/a/omnipotence_2.htm)


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