Fine tuning Intellectual freedom The human body

At Reasons.org: Science, Faith, and the Problem of Pain

Spread the love

RTB Visiting Scholar Balajied Nongrum writes:

In his book, Does He Know a Mother’s Heart?: How Suffering Refutes Religion,1 Arun Shourie, a journalist and a former minister for Communications and Information Technology of India, concludes that “suffering and God are incompatible.” When we reflect on both the extent and depth of pain and suffering in the world, whether it is due to moral evil (man’s cruelty to one another) or to natural evil (resulting in natural calamities), people will inevitably question the existence of God or ask, “Why?”

No doubt, many of us have felt the same way and perhaps we wanted to turn away from God. As someone who thinks about these issues deeply, I believe that everyone—regardless of what they believe—must offer a reasonable response to the problem of pain and suffering. In other words, every worldview under the Sun must deal with the problem of pain and suffering.

As a believer in God, I’m persuaded that the problem of pain and suffering, terrible as it is, does not negate God’s existence. On the contrary, I believe that having God in the equation is humanity’s last best hope of making sense of this issue. The Bible tells us that God does not merely exist, but he is also all-good and all-powerful. The Bible also recognizes the reality of evil (moral and natural) and proposes a reality where God will one day end evil and all sufferings.2 

However, I agree that humans may not fully know God’s specific purpose or design and the reasons for his permitting pain and suffering to exist in this world. But to a certain extent, human beings can gain some wisdom from different sources, such as our personal experiences with pain or the experiences of others, and from Holy Scripture. However, this article will offer a scientific view on the purpose of pain.

Pain: Foe or Friend?
In our modern world, pain is often viewed as the enemy that must be done away with or defeated at all costs. At the individual level, just a slight signal of pain such as a severe headache or a body ache is enough reason for us to gulp down an analgesic or pain killer. Readily available medication perhaps explains the hope and growing interest that people place in science and its perceived potential to eradicate pain and suffering.3 Even limiting or managing pain is welcomed. However, while the intention may be good, this goal is sadly shortsighted. This kind of hope in science is misplaced because it ignores the vital role that pain and suffering play in our lives.  

For instance, consider the medical condition seen among patients with diseases such as “leprosy, congenital painlessness, diabetic neuropathy, and other nerve disorders” where their inability to experience pain causes greater harm to them than the disease itself.4 People in such cases end up injuring themselves simply because the pain signal in their body is not functioning. In other words, from a scientific point of view, some pain serves as a warning of danger ahead.

The Gift of Pain, a book jointly authored by world-renowned hand surgeon Dr. Paul Brand and award-winning writer Philip Yancey tells the story of Tanya, a four-year-old girl who was brought to the hospital with a “swollen left ankle.” On further investigation, Brand found out that the “foot rotated freely, the sign of a fully dislocated ankle” and yet to the doctor’s utter shock Tanya was not the least bothered. She did not even exhibit any pain!5

Tanya was later diagnosed with a very rare genetic disease informally referred to as congenital indifference to pain. According to the experts, her overall health was fine except in one area: she did not feel pain! When she injured herself by any accident, all she felt was “a kind of tingling—but these carried no hint of unpleasantness.” It was evident that Tanya “lacked any mental construct of pain.” In other words, she did not have a “built-in warning system” to warn her of any further injuries.6 This case and others led Brand to say:

Tanya and others like her dramatically reinforced what we had already learned from leprosy patients: pain is not the enemy, but the loyal scout announcing the enemy. And yet—here is the central paradox of my life—after spending a lifetime among people who destroy themselves for lack of pain, I still find it difficult to communicate an appreciation for pain to people who have no such defect. Pain truly is the gift nobody wants. I can think of nothing more precious for those who suffer from congenital painlessness, leprosy, diabetes, and other nerve disorders. But people who already own this gift rarely value it. Usually, they resent it.7

This fact made me reevaluate my own painful visits to the dentist. Though the immediate pain of having my decaying tooth rectified was unbearable, the pain nevertheless served a better outcome. My dentist’s good intention kept me from suffering even greater pain in the future. Having come to this point, I could not help but agree with Brand’s conviction that pain truly is one of God’s greatest gifts to us, a gift that perhaps none of us want yet none of us can do without! 

Reasons.org

Even pain can be considered evidence of intelligent design. Although not discussed in the article directly, the pain we feel is exquisitely moderated to adequately warn our consciousness of the level of danger we may be experiencing at the moment. A pin-rick produces modest pain, while hitting one’s thumb with a hammer generates much greater pain. The level of pain we experience most often matches the level of danger to our body. Again, this is consistent with the expectations of a well-designed feedback system.

74 Replies to “At Reasons.org: Science, Faith, and the Problem of Pain

  1. 1
    Seversky says:

    If you pre-suppose the existence of a ubiquitous intelligent designer then pain could well be a designed attribute.

    The problem, however, is not so much the association of pain with some cases of injury or disease but the absence of pain or any other form of alert in many other cases of injury or disease. Many patients are unaware of the presence of various cancers, for example, until the disease has already progressed to an advanced stage. Why wouldn’t a designer have fitted us with sensors to give us early warning of these conditions since our design is clearly prone to them?

  2. 2
    chuckdarwin says:

    The writer states:

    The Bible also recognizes the reality of evil (moral and natural) and proposes a reality where God will one day end evil and all sufferings.

    To which one can only reply, and what of Hell? How does that end “all sufferings”?

  3. 3
    relatd says:

    CD at 2,

    What about Hell? It exists. It’s real. Unfortunately, Hell awaits those who reject God and deny Him.

    Revelation 21:8

    “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and fornicators, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

  4. 4
    Querius says:

    Notice that the previous chapter of Revelation (Revelation 20) indicates that that even death and hell are tossed into this lake of fire, which is called “the second death!”

    So, Seversky and Chuckdarwin, what can you infer about how this should be interpreted?

    -Q

  5. 5
    EvilSnack says:

    A universe with life but without pain is a contradiction that cannot abide.

  6. 6
    AaronS1978 says:

    @1

    before you use cancer as an example how terrible our designer is, make sure that the readers know that cancer’s dealt with by the body’s immune system and other genetic methods on a day-to-day basis taking care of it regularly.

    It’s only when your body fails to continuously take care of it that cancer becomes a problem

    That’s kind of an important detail you left out
    Also I’m not sure of a single system in existence no matter how well designed it is that won’t eventually fail. Nothing is meant to live forever.

  7. 7
    chuckdarwin says:

    Querius/4
    My comment is straightforward and doesn’t require an exegesis of one of history’s most psychotic pieces of writing—The Book of Revelation. If one accepts the traditional view of hell, then God does not end “all sufferings.” Ever. In fact, for those condemned, quite the opposite “reality” allegedly is in store.………

  8. 8
    Seversky says:

    In Western systems of justice, the accused have a right to face their accusers in court and to the opportunity to defend themselves against any charges. If found guilty, they may be subject to penalties prescribed by the law but in no cases may even their most distant descendants be punished in perpetuity for a crime they did not commit nor could they have possibly had any influence over. The Christian doctrine of eternal damnation, of being damned as sinful even before you are born is both profoundly unjust, absurd and, as Darwin wrote, “a damnable doctrine”

  9. 9
    AaronS1978 says:

    @8
    https://www.catholic.com/magazine/online-edition/is-original-sin-stupid

    https://www.catholic.com/search?q=Is%20original%20sin%20unjust

    You really need to start taking you objections to the source

    Btw Darwin was a racist, slave owning, cousin screwing, pedophile. Literally the last person that should be criticizing any church on morals. And if you want to make a priest joke based on the sexual abuse of the church, I’ll beat you to it, he’d fit right in with the rest of the trash that was taken out

  10. 10
    Querius says:

    Why am I not surprised at the vacuous vituperation in response to my question?

    Chuckdarwin and Seversky are so ideologically poisoned by their fossilized mindset that they could not bring themselves to read what’s actually written in the reference I provided with regard to “the lake of fire.”

    With eyes tightly shut and fingers jammed in their ears, they simply repeat their set opinions and condemnations of their Creator.

    If it were not so, they might ask, “How is it possible that death and hell be thrown into the lake of fire to be burned up forever?”

    Instead, they choose to vilify the Creator of space, time, mass, energy, life, insanely complex organelles, consciousness, creativity, information, beauty, love, and mercy. Given a choice between the loving genius of the Creator and hell, it would seem that they would happily dive headfirst into hell.

    The next question that I’d ask (and that they would likely also evade as before) is “Why the vituperation?”

    A. If the Creator doesn’t exist, they might as well be insanely hostile toward the Easter Bunny or Donald Duck.

    B. If the Creator does exist, then how foolish and stupid to rage against Him.

    At least, they should be willing to differentiate “between the Christianity of Christ” from the various religions and charlatans using his name–as did Frederick Douglass in the addendum to his autobiographical narrative of the brutalities he endured as an American slave.

    -Q

  11. 11
    asauber says:

    “Chuckdarwin and Seversky are so ideologically poisoned”

    So much so that they spend much of their conscious lives pointlessly trolling people they don’t know but imagine they hate.

    Andrew

  12. 12
    jerry says:

    A big breakthrough – pain is relative.

    the pain we feel is exquisitely moderated to adequately warn our consciousness of the level of danger we may be experiencing at the moment. A pin-prick produces modest pain, while hitting one’s thumb with a hammer generates much greater pain

    I have been advocating this for years with other unwanted events. They are comparatively very different in effect but we use the same absolute words (pain) to describe these unwanted events of which some may be very mild or trivial. Maybe it will become part of our general understanding of creation by the creator.

    Here pain is part of the logic of creation. It’s part of an unwanted event

    Aside: these types of arguments against a creator are only used against the Christian God. They fail with the other run of the mill creators for which critics have no interest. The implication is that Christianity is the target not design.

    Prediction: no one will really analyze the absurdity of their pronouncements. They are too valuable for themselves. And God knows, what would we do with thousands less of irrelevant comments.

    But we are here for religion not ID. Even though ID cannot justify a specific religion.

  13. 13
    chuckdarwin says:

    Querius/10

    With due respect, I don’t see anyone “raging against the Creator.” I see fair commentary on the OP. You chose to reply with irrelevant references to Revelation, and it was you that chose to take this discussion into the gutter. No serious biblical scholar doubts that Revelation is by far the most controversial book of the NT. It is still eschewed in public worship within the Eastern rite and the mental state of its author has been seriously questioned for centuries. Luther viewed it as an embarrassment, and it is the one book in the NT which Calvin declined to discuss in his commentaries. In other words, not only is it irrelevant to my comments, it’s also a really poor choice to use as a source in response….

  14. 14
    martin_r says:

    Seversky

    Why wouldn’t a designer have fitted us with sensors to give us early warning of these conditions since our design is clearly prone to them?

    Seversky, you got it all wrong again …

    There are so many sensors in our bodies, that you hardly can fit more in there …

    since our design is clearly prone to them

    Aaron @6 makes a very good point in his answer to you …. so let me quote him once again:

    before you use cancer as an example how terrible our designer is, make sure that the readers know that cancer’s dealt with by the body’s immune system and other genetic methods on a day-to-day basis taking care of it regularly.

    It’s only when your body fails to continuously take care of it that cancer becomes a problem

    That’s kind of an important detail you left out
    Also I’m not sure of a single system in existence no matter how well designed it is that won’t eventually fail. Nothing is meant to live forever.

    Yes, in our body/cells there are lots of checkpoints, proofreading/repair systems, and other mechanisms (and when needed, even gene-directed cell death), which help to keep our cells/body intact. Clearly, without these designed crucial features, there won’t be life. It is another example of irreducible complex system. Darwinism is a hoax …

  15. 15
    AaronS1978 says:

    @13
    “With due respect, I don’t see anyone “raging against the Creator.” I see fair commentary on the OP.“

    I kinda have to agree with you on that which honestly is kinda nice

  16. 16
    chuckdarwin says:

    AaronS1978/15
    I appreciate your comment. Thanks….

  17. 17
    Caspian says:

    CD @ 2,7 , Seversky @8
    I appreciate your sense of the injustice of hell, but it only makes sense if you believe that people are “thrown” into hell against their choice. If we accept the biblical view of the afterlife, there are only two options: to receive God’s free offer to live with Him forever in His “house”, or to reject that offer. To live in heaven forever requires us to be made new, to become spiritually alive, and that transformation is given to anyone who believes in Jesus as the Son of God. It’s an open offer to everyone, including both of you.

  18. 18
    EvilSnack says:

    To those complaining that an eternity in hell is disproportionate, be advised that wronging God–who has done us no wrong–is itself an infinitely disproportionate response. Having done this, our right to object on these grounds ceases.

  19. 19
    relatd says:

    Jerry at 12,

    ID can justify a particular religion. You are living in Fantasy Land.

  20. 20
    relatd says:

    CD at 13,

    Cut the CRAP. You responded instead of ignoring it. YOU are at fault. But that’s your job, isn’t it? You were parked here, on assignment, to rage against God and the Bible.

  21. 21
    chuckdarwin says:

    Caspian/17
    For whatever reason, you sidestepped the issue I raised in my original comment. I merely noted that the OP author’s statement that God “will one day end all sufferings” is inconsistent with the existence of Hell….

  22. 22
    relatd says:

    CD at 21,

    Why do you care?

  23. 23
    Querius says:

    Chuckdarwin @13,

    * John Calvin facilitated the execution of the Spanish Christian polymath, Michael Servetus, over doctrinal issues.
    * Martin Luther favored the death penalty for Anabaptists (who held contrary tenets relating to infant baptism, original sin, and inspiration).

    These behaviors are hardly models of the life and teachings of Yeshua/Jesus. But, better testimony comes from the earliest Christian writers:

    John the apostle names himself as the one who wrote down what the Lord said through the angel. The earliest writers in the church like Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Hippolytus, Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria and the Muritorian all credit John the apostle as author of the book of Revelation.

    The book of Revelation has both internal and external consistency and is filled with allusions and symbolism to the Tanakh (aka the Old Testament).

    One of the titles of Yeshua/Jesus is “The Word of God” as in the Logos of YHVH incarnate. Thus, modern scholars who discount the veracity of this book accepted by the earliest Christian writers discount the earliest Christian writers and the words of Yeshua/Jesus, hence Yeshua/Jesus Himself.

    In the book, Jesus is quoted delivering messages to seven types of churches through history, most of them with very mixed reviews that do seem to match up.

    The writings in this book are indeed difficult to understand, especially for people in history. For example:

    – Who in history would believe its claims about global warming?

    – Who would believe that a third of the oceans might die?

    – Who would believe that a star named “Wormwood” could fall to earth and poisoning a third of rivers and other sources of fresh water. Coincidentally, there’s already a poisoned town named “Wormwood.” In the Ukrainian language, its name is Chernobyl. Yes, maybe it’s just a coincidence. Or maybe not.

    – In the book, it’s written that God will “destroy those who destroy the earth.” Who in history would believe that people would be capable of destroying the earth?

    So, how is it possible that death and hell be thrown into the lake of fire to be burned up forever–what does this statement suggest?

    -Q

  24. 24
    relatd says:

    Querius at 23,

    Many events described in the Book of Revelation involve acts made by angels and other events that have no obvious human-caused counterpart. I don’t believe current claims about global warming/climate change. Until billionaires start selling their beachfront property in Florida – because, as the claim goes, ocean water levels are rising – then it’s safe to say that this is fiction designed to scare people into buying electric cars and trucks.

  25. 25
    Querius says:

    Relatd @24,

    Yes, indeed. So, how would you interpret Revelation 11:16-18? Does it pertain to humans, angels, or both? Is it possible that what are termed evil principalities and powers in heavenly places do some of their work through people?

    Please note that I’m also concerned about politicians and bureaucrats waging war against plant food. Fortunately, one climate plan proposed by some scientists in the 1950s or 1960s to avert an imminent ice age, wasn’t carried out–namely nuking the north and south poles.

    How would that have turned out?

    The global warming described in Revelation is attributed to the sun getting hotter. Aren’t there several ways that this could happen?

    -Q

  26. 26
    relatd says:

    Querius at 25,

    The sun could get hotter through purely supernatural means. No need to go into any of the other ways that could happen and which should not be mentioned here because it would just confuse people. If the sun actually got hotter, we would hear about it right away.

    A nuclear detonation at either pole would have been reckless at best and would not take into account radioactive fallout. Again, further discussion would confuse people. I have found most people are not concerned about what might happen unless they hear about it daily. Like so-called climate change. If they have – good – reason to believe something that impacts their lives is going to happen then that is what they think about.

    There is no “war” against plant food. No evidence of that. Politicians also need to eat.

  27. 27
    doubter says:

    My point of view on this matter (the ontological nature of human existence and suffering) poses a very different stance than any of the Christian theological ones being discussed, which are I think narrow-minded and are based on fallible interpretations of the Scripture of one religion out of hundreds across the world.

    In my view there are true victims – they are the human selves of immortal souls, but all suffering is temporary and the highest plan is wise even if very hard for humans to accept. For me, the problem of evil and suffering has to be taken very seriously and requires determined analysis and development of arguments, the action of the reasoning faculty, but not blind adherence to revealed Scriptural exhortations. Unfortunately the latter seems to be becoming more and more the prevailing discourse in this blog. Anyway, I can’t either dismiss the issue of the unjustness of much suffering from some sort of higher perspective of consciousness, or depend on faith.

    The following is a paraphrasing of a short essay on theodicity by Granville Sewell (https://evolutionnews.org/2017/07/the-biggest-theological-objection-to-design/). I think it is one of the best deistic rationalizations of the reality of evil and innocent suffering that I have encountered. Of course there are other rationalizations, and of course the materialist view that no valid rationalization is possible, so “suck it up”.

    A vast amount of suffering is caused by evil actions of human beings. Second, there is a vast amount of “natural evil” caused by the natural world by things like disease, floods and earthquakes. Any proposed deistic or other solution to the ancient theological problem of suffering has to explain both categories.

    The basic approach in this essay was to combine various arguments that mankind’s suffering is an inevitable accompaniment of our greatest blessings and benefits, the result of a vast number of intricate tradeoffs in the design or our Reality. Tradeoffs made absolutely necessary by there being countless areas where some of the original “design requirements” conflict with others due to the immutable absolute laws of logic. So that there inevitably had to be a “give and take”.

    Why pain, suffering and evil? Main points that are made:

    (1) There is the observed regularity of natural law. The basic laws of physics appear to be cleverly designed to create conditions suitable for human life and development. It can be surmised that this intricate fine-tuned design is inherently a series of tradeoffs and balances, allowing and fostering human existence but also inevitably allowing “natural evil” to regularly occur. In other words, the best solution to the overall “system requirements” (which include furnishing manifold opportunities for humans to experience and achieve) inherently includes natural effects that cause suffering to human beings.

    This points out that there may be logical and fundamental limitations to God’s creativity. Maybe even He can’t 100% satisfy all the requirements simultaneously. Maybe He doesn’t have complete control over nature, because that would interfere with the essential requirements for creative and fulfilling human life. After all, human achievement requires imperfection and adverse conditions to exist as a natural part of human life.

    (2) There is the apparent need for human free will as one of the most important “design requirements”. This inevitably leads to vast amounts of suffering caused by evil acts of humans to each other. Unfortunately, there is no way to get around that one, except to make humans “zombies” or robots, which would defeat the whole purpose of human existence.

    (3) Some suffering is necessary to enable us to experience life in its fullest and to achieve the most. Often it is through suffering that we experience the deepest love of family and friends. “The man who has never experienced any setbacks or disappointments invariably is a shallow person, while one who has suffered is usually better able to empathize with others. Some of the closest and most beautiful relationships occur between people who have suffered similar sorrows.”

    Some of the great works of literature, art and music were the products of suffering. “One whose life has led him to expect continued comfort and ease is not likely to make the sacrifices necessary to produce anything of great and lasting value.”

    It should be noted that the casual claim that all an omnipotent God needs to do is step in whenever accident, disease or evil doings ensue, and cancel out, prevent these happenings. Thus no innocent suffering. One of the most basic problems with this is that it would make the world and its underlying laws of operation purely happenstance and the result of a perhaps capricious God. There would be no regularity of natural law, and therefore there could be no mastery of the physical world by mankind through science. In fact there could be no science and the scientific method as we know them. And of course, there would be little learning from adversity and difficulty, and therefore little depth of character.

    Sewell concludes:

    “Why does God remain backstage, hidden from view, working behind the scenes while we act out our parts in the human drama? ….now perhaps we finally have an answer. If he were to walk out onto the stage, and take on a more direct and visible role, I suppose he could clean up our act, and rid the world of pain and evil — and doubt. But our human drama would be turned into a divine puppet show, and it would cost us some of our greatest blessings: the regularity of natural law which makes our achievements meaningful; the free will which makes us more interesting than robots; the love which we can receive from and give to others; and even the opportunity to grow and develop through suffering. I must confess that I still often wonder if the blessings are worth the terrible price, but God has chosen to create a world where both good and evil can flourish, rather than one where neither can exist. He has chosen to create a world of greatness and infamy, of love and hatred, and of joy and pain, rather than one of mindless robots or unfeeling puppets.”

    Of course, the brute fact is that the bottom line is there is a huge, egregious amount of truly innocent and apparently meaningless suffering, that our instinct tells us is wrong. Is it all worth it? Yes, there may be a valid rationalization; overall it all may be a vast tradeoff, but some people might conclude it isn’t a good one from the strictly human perspective. The cost is a terrible thing.

    I reject the strict Christian perspective centered on Jesus’s sacrifice. In particular the belief that all humans that do not accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior are condemned to eternal agony in Hell. Regardless of whether they have loved God all their lives, or that they simply have not been exposed to Christian teachings. Surely an immeasureably unjust and cruel system.

    But there is another additional spiritual but non-Christian rationalization of the existence of vast amounts of pain, suffering and evil in the world, that would supplement Granville Sewell’s. This is the perspective of the spiritualist, much of the New Age movement, and the so-called Perennial Wisdom. Perhaps full acceptance does finally require faith. But this is a faith that it all is really justifiable from the perspective of the soul, and that we are in some incomprehensible way literally our soul. This is the acceptance of the Eastern conception of reincarnation and that Earth life is some sort of “school” in which souls accomplish the learning that can only be accomplished through suffering. Of course, that is not the only purpose of life on Earth, but it is the primary one. There is also the experience of various forms of deep joy that can only take place in a place of physical limitations, great physical beauty, and opportunity for great creativity. Unlike the afterlife existence essentially in which “thoughts are things”, and the Light of God is always available.

    This rationalization has the advantage of having a large body of empirical evidence to partially back it up. This would primarily be the very many veridical independently verified NDE experiences, and also the similarly investigated and verified reincarnation memories of small children. Also to be considered excellent empirical evidence is the large body of verified mediumistic communications.

  28. 28
    bornagain77 says:

    D: “I reject the strict Christian perspective centered on Jesus’s sacrifice.”

    And yet, more assuredly than any other fact of ancient history, Jesus was crucified.

    The Historicity of Jesus Christ’s Crucifixion
    https://jamesbishopblog.com/2015/11/24/jesus-fact-4-crucifixion-full-historical-investigation/

    as well, especially considering the growing evidence confirming the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin, Jesus most assuredly rose from the dead,

    Evidence for the Shroud’s authenticity (Timeline of facts) –
    What Is the Shroud of Turin? Facts & History Everyone Should Know – Myra Adams and Russ Breault – November 08, 2019
    https://www.christianity.com/wiki/jesus-christ/what-is-the-shroud-of-turin.html

    Shroud of Turin: From discovery of Photographic Negative, to 3D Information, to Hologram
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-TL4QOCiis

    A few more notes on the historical reliability of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.

    On Guard Conference: Gary Habermas – The Resurrection of Jesus
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNdmSQKyzgc

    Minimal Facts vs. Maximal Data Approaches to the Resurrection: A Conversation with Dr. Lydia McGrew (Two Apologetic Approaches to the Resurrection Of Jesus)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUt3r3dXBr4

    William Lane Craig – How Do We Know Jesus Was Raised From the Dead with Q&A (High School Audience)- video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33J9uR7ZaWA

  29. 29
    relatd says:

    Doubter at 27,

    “I reject the strict Christian perspective centered on Jesus’s sacrifice. In particular the belief that all humans that do not accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior are condemned to eternal agony in Hell. Regardless of whether they have loved God all their lives, or that they simply have not been exposed to Christian teachings. Surely an immeasureably unjust and cruel system.”

    These are the words of men. The interpretation of men. The Bible, which is the Word of God, explains why Jesus had to die. A death He freely accepted. The Catholic Church has endured for 2,000 years.

    God literally knows who was exposed to Christian teaching and those, through no fault of their own, who were not. There will be a final judgment. Here is how it will come about:

    Matthew 24:14

    “And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”

  30. 30
    jerry says:

    a short essay on theodicity by Granville Sewell

    Sewell’s essay is remarkable and he gets most of it.

    I highly recommend that people read it. But he misses a very key part and only refers to it at most peripherally. That is doubt and then faith given this doubt.

    I taught college business courses in New York City for a short time before starting a new business with my wife and others. Some of the classes were at night. In one night walked an adjunct who was Jewish. We were apparently sharing the same office for the night school.

    Somehow we started discussing religion which is usually a no-no in polite circles. He pointed out to me that life would be meaningless without doubt. We would be automatons as Sewell points out in his essay several times. Sewell uses free will as the key element but it is not the most important part. The Jewish professor also pointed out that our beliefs would be meaningless without doubt. Doubt was key!

    He said the key was faith which would have no meaning without doubt. What’s the value of having faith that the sun will rise tomorrow in the east. None! We have knowledge. If our understanding of God was on the same plain our lives would be meaningless. If every Friday, God appeared and punished all who had behaved badly in the previous week, how long do you think anyone would engage in “bad behavior.”

    But having faith that God exists is definitely based on a doubtful proposition. And as Sewell illustrates in his essay, all the scientific evidence in the world has no effect on many.

    So this Jewish adjunct said the key is faith given doubt. We are given enough to believe that God exists but not enough that it is a slam dunk. Especially since so many bad things happen in our world.

    It is interesting that we believed in two different Gods, the Jewish God of the Old Testament and the triune God of the New Testament. But it hit home that he brought up the issue of doubt and faith.

    Two things – I never saw the Jewish professor again. And I discovered over time that the concept of evil is a red herring as a result of that encounter. Bad things which is what most associate “evil” with are necessary for doubt and then faith and are also trivial given the stakes at play.

    Aside: Sewell wrote a book from which this essay is excerpted. See how many people bought it. Hardly anyone.

  31. 31
    bornagain77 says:

    Since Atheists have no empirical evidence whatsoever that the universe, life, the diversity of life, or even consciousness itself, arose spontaneously, (i.e. completely randomly), the Atheist is forced to resort to philosophically, and even theologically, based arguments to try to argue against God.

    The two most common philosophically/theologically based arguments that atheists use against God are the ‘God of the Gaps’ argument, and the ‘Argument from Evil’. Yet, both arguments collapse in on themselves. And collapse in on themselves in rather dramatic fashions.

    Elite Scientists Don’t Have Elite Reasons for Being Atheists – November 8, 2016
    Excerpt: Dr. Jonathan Pararejasingham has compiled video of elite scientists and scholars to make the connection between atheism and science. Unfortunately for Pararejasingham, once you get past the self-identification of these scholars as non-believers, there is simply very little there to justify the belief in atheism.,,,
    What I found was 50 elite scientists expressing their personal opinions, but none had some powerful argument or evidence to justify their opinions. In fact, most did not even cite a reason for thinking atheism was true.,,,
    The few that did try to justify their atheism commonly appealed to God of the Gaps arguments (there is no need for God, therefore God does not exist) and the Argument from Evil (our bad world could not have come from an All Loving, All Powerful God). In other words, it is just as I thought it would be. Yes, most elite scientists and scholars are atheists. But their reasons for being atheists and agnostics are varied and often personal. And their typical arguments are rather common and shallow – god of the gaps and the existence of evil. It would seem clear that their expertise and elite status is simply not a causal factor behind their atheism.
    Finally, it is also clear the militant atheism of Dawkins is a distinct minority view among these scholars.
    https://shadowtolight.wordpress.com/2016/11/08/elite-scientists-dont-have-elite-reasons-for-being-atheists/

    The ‘God of the gaps’ argument from Atheists, and from Theistic Evolutionists, fails on so many levels that it is hard to know where to begin.

    So let’s start with the origin of the argument itself. The origin of the argument goes back to atheist Friedrich Nietzsche and also to theistic evolutionist Henry Drummond.

    God of the gaps – Origins of the term
    From the 1880s, Friedrich Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Part Two, “On Priests”, said “… into every gap they put their delusion, their stopgap, which they called God.”.[3] The concept, although not the exact wording, goes back to Henry Drummond, a 19th-century evangelist lecturer, from his Lowell Lectures on The Ascent of Man(1904) . He chastises those Christians who point to the things that science cannot yet explain—”gaps which they will fill up with God”—and urges them to embrace all nature as God’s, as the work of “an immanent God, which is the God of Evolution, is infinitely grander than the occasional wonder-worker, who is the God of an old theology.”[4][5]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_of_the_gaps#Origins_of_the_term

    Nietzsche’s claim, “into every gap they put their delusion, their stopgap, which they called God”, was a very interesting claim for Nietzsche, a dogmatic atheist, to make.

    The reason why it is very interesting is because if God is not real, but is merely an illusion as atheists hold, then everything else becomes an illusion for the atheist. Including the atheist himself.

    Basically, because of reductive materialism (and/or methodological naturalism), the atheistic materialist (who believes Darwinian evolution to be true) is forced to claim that he is merely a ‘neuronal illusion’ (Coyne, Dennett, etc..), who has the illusion of free will (Harris), who has unreliable, (i.e. illusory), beliefs about reality (Plantinga), who has illusory perceptions of reality (Hoffman), who, since he has no real time empirical evidence substantiating his grandiose claims, must make up illusory “just so stories” with the illusory, and impotent, ‘designer substitute’ of natural selection (Behe, Gould, Sternberg), so as to ‘explain away’ the appearance (i.e. the illusion) of design (Crick, Dawkins), and who also must make up illusory meanings and purposes for his life since the hopelessness of the nihilism inherent in his atheistic worldview is simply too much for him to bear (Weikart), and who must also hold morality to be subjective and illusory since he has rejected God (Craig, Kreeft). Who, since beauty cannot be grounded within his materialistic worldview, must also hold beauty itself to be illusory (Darwin).
    Bottom line, nothing is truly real in the atheist’s worldview, least of all, beauty, morality, meaning and purposes for life.,,,

    In short, the atheist, in making his ‘God of the gaps’ argument, is forced into postulating numerous ad hoc ‘illusions of the gaps’ arguments. Self-refuting ‘illusions of the gaps’ arguments which lead to the catastrophic epistemological failure of the entire atheistic worldview. Indeed, as I’ve stated several times before, it world be hard to fathom a worldview more antagonistic to modern science, indeed more antagonistic to reality itself, than Atheistic Naturalism and/or Darwinian materialism have turned out to be.

    2 Corinthians 10:5
    Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

    In a very similar manner the atheist’s ‘argument from evil’ also collapses in on itself.

    Atheists hold that good and evil simply do not exist. As Dawkins himself succinctly put it, the atheist’s worldview holds that there is “no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.”

    “In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.”
    – Richard Dawkins, River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life

    And yet this is, once again, a self defeating position for the atheist to be in.

    On the one hand, Atheistic materialists hold that morality, i.e. good and evil, does not really exist. Yet in their ‘argument from evil’, the atheist is forced to hold that, “There exist a large number of horrible forms of evil and suffering for which we can see no greater purpose or compensating good.”

    The Problem of Evil: Still A Strong Argument for Atheism – 2015
    Excerpt:,,, the problem of evil, one of the main arguments against the existence of an all-good and all-knowing God.,,,
    P1. There exist a large number of horrible forms of evil and suffering for which we can see no greater purpose or compensating good.
    P2. If an all-powerful, all-good God existed, then such horrific, apparently purposeless evils would not exist.
    C. Therefore, an all-powerful, all-good God does not exist.
    https://thegodlesstheist.com/2015/10/13/the-problem-of-evil-still-a-strong-argument-for-atheism/

    This is self-refuting position for atheists to be in. As David Wood put their dilemma in the following article, “By declaring that suffering is evil, atheists have admitted that there is an objective moral standard by which we distinguish good and evil.”

    Responding to the Argument From Evil: Three Approaches for the Theist – By David Wood – 2016
    Excerpt: Interestingly enough, proponents of AE, (the argument from evil), grant this premise in the course of their argument. By declaring that suffering is evil, atheists have admitted that there is an objective moral standard by which we distinguish good and evil. Amazingly, then, even as atheists make their case against the existence of God, they actually help us prove that God exists!,,,
    https://www.namb.net/apologetics/resource/responding-to-the-argument-from-evil-three-approaches-for-the-theist/

    In short, in order for the atheist to even be able to make the ‘argument from evil’ in the first place, the atheist is forced to hold that objective moral standards really do exist.

    As former atheist, turned Christian, C.S. Lewis put the irresolvable dilemma for atheists, “A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?”

    “My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?
    – CS Lewis

    Yet, if good and evil really do exist, as the atheist must hold to be true in his argument from evil, then God necessarily exists!

    Premise 1: If God does not exist, then objective moral values and duties do not exist.
    Premise 2: Objective moral values and duties do exist.
    Conclusion: Therefore, God exists.
    The Moral Argument – drcraigvideos – video
    https://youtu.be/OxiAikEk2vU?t=276

    As Michael Egnor states in the following article, “Even to raise the problem of evil is to tacitly acknowledge transcendent standards, and thus to acknowledge God’s existence. From that starting point, theodicy begins. Theists have explored it profoundly. Atheists lack the standing even to ask the question.,,,”

    The Universe Reflects a Mind – Michael Egnor – February 28, 2018
    Excerpt: Goff argues that a Mind is manifest in the natural world, but he discounts the existence of God because of the problem of evil. Goff seriously misunderstands the problem of evil. Evil is an insoluble problem for atheists, because if there is no God, there is no objective standard by which evil and good can exist or can even be defined. If God does not exist, “good” and “evil” are merely human opinions. Yet we all know, as Kant observed, that some things are evil in themselves, and not merely as a matter of opinion. Even to raise the problem of evil is to tacitly acknowledge transcendent standards, and thus to acknowledge God’s existence. From that starting point, theodicy begins. Theists have explored it profoundly. Atheists lack the standing even to ask the question.,,,
    – per ENV

    Moreover, I hold that it is impossible for atheists to live their lives as if good and evil do not actually exist.

    As the following article put it, “nobody thinks the Holocaust was evil, but only in a relative, provisional sense. A materialist who lived his life according to his professed convictions—understanding himself to have no moral agency at all, seeing his friends and enemies and family as genetically determined robots—wouldn’t just be a materialist: He’d be a psychopath.”

    The Heretic – Who is Thomas Nagel and why are so many of his fellow academics condemning him? – March 25, 2013
    Excerpt:,,,Fortunately, materialism is never translated into life as it’s lived. As colleagues and friends, husbands and mothers, wives and fathers, sons and daughters, materialists never put their money where their mouth is. Nobody thinks his daughter is just molecules in motion and nothing but; nobody thinks the Holocaust was evil, but only in a relative, provisional sense. A materialist who lived his life according to his professed convictions—understanding himself to have no moral agency at all, seeing his friends and enemies and family as genetically determined robots—wouldn’t just be a materialist: He’d be a psychopath.
    http://www.weeklystandard.com/.....tml?page=3

    Shoot, atheists themselves have honestly admitted that it is impossible for them to live their lives as if their atheistic worldview were actually true.

    Darwin’s Robots: When Evolutionary Materialists Admit that Their Own Worldview Fails – Nancy Pearcey – April 23, 2015
    Excerpt: When I teach these concepts in the classroom, an example my students find especially poignant is Flesh and Machines by Rodney Brooks, professor emeritus at MIT. Brooks writes that a human being is nothing but a machine — a “big bag of skin full of biomolecules” interacting by the laws of physics and chemistry. In ordinary life, of course, it is difficult to actually see people that way. But, he says, “When I look at my children, I can, when I force myself, … see that they are machines.”
    Is that how he treats them, though? Of course not: “That is not how I treat them…. I interact with them on an entirely different level. They have my unconditional love, the furthest one might be able to get from rational analysis.” Certainly if what counts as “rational” is a materialist worldview in which humans are machines, then loving your children is irrational. It has no basis within Brooks’s worldview. It sticks out of his box.
    How does he reconcile such a heart-wrenching cognitive dissonance? He doesn’t. Brooks ends by saying, “I maintain two sets of inconsistent beliefs.” He has given up on any attempt to reconcile his theory with his experience. He has abandoned all hope for a unified, logically consistent worldview.
    – per ENV

    Even Richard Dawkins himself honestly admitted that it would be quote-unquote ‘intolerable’ for him to live his life as if atheistic materialism were actually true and that there actually was no moral accountability

    Who wrote Richard Dawkins’s new book? – October 28, 2006
    Excerpt:
    Dawkins: What I do know is that what it feels like to me, and I think to all of us, we don’t feel determined. We feel like blaming people for what they do or giving people the credit for what they do. We feel like admiring people for what they do.,,,
    Manzari: But do you personally see that as an inconsistency in your views?
    Dawkins: I sort of do. Yes. But it is an inconsistency that we sort of have to live with otherwise life would be intolerable.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....02783.html

    Moreover, this impossibility for Atheists to live their lives consistently as if atheism were actually true directly undermines any claim that Atheism can possibly be true.

    Specifically, as the “Existential Argument against Atheism” points out, if it is impossible for you to live your life consistently as if atheistic materialism were actually true, then atheistic materialism cannot possibly reflect reality as it really is but atheistic materialism must instead be based on a delusion.

    Existential Argument against Atheism – November 1, 2013 by Jason Petersen
    1. If a worldview is true then you should be able to live consistently with that worldview.
    2. Atheists are unable to live consistently with their worldview.
    3. If you can’t live consistently with an atheist worldview then the worldview does not reflect reality.
    4. If a worldview does not reflect reality then that worldview is a delusion.
    5. If atheism is a delusion then atheism cannot be true.
    Conclusion: Atheism is false.
    http://answersforhope.com/exis.....t-atheism/

    So thus in conclusion, both of the philosophically/theologically based arguments that atheists use to try to argue against God, i.e. “God of the gaps” and the “argument from evil”, both end up collapsing in on themselves, and collapsing in on themselves in a rather dramatic fashion.

    Proverbs 21:30
    There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD.

  32. 32
    doubter says:

    Jerry@30

    But he (Sewell) misses a very key part and only refers to it at most peripherally. That is doubt and then faith given this doubt.

    I don’t think he missed it; it just wasn’t terribly relevant to the focus of his discussion. There is no question that faith given and driven by doubt is key to the persistent searching for the meaning, and hopefully the purpose, of suffering, carried out by those few who truly care about such things in our materialistic society. But that is the dynamics of the quest, not the resulting concepts and hypotheses of actual meaning and purpose to be finally proposed, distilled out of countless studies and searchings, which was the focus of his essay.

    I myself have been somewhat motivated in this quest by doubt (hence my nickname here), showing the wisdom of the Jewish professor’s teaching.

  33. 33
    jerry says:

    it just wasn’t terribly relevant to the focus of his discussion

    He essentially misses it.

    Sewell doesn’t see the necessity of doubt. It would explain all his concerns and he gets sidetracked by the bad things that happen to people. That’s easy to understand since he is focused on what happened with his wife. She did absolutely nothing to deserve her fate.

    Bad things happening unnecessarily are necessary to create doubt. But bad things are also irrelevant for the Christian. He doesn’t really get there. Nor does nearly everyone else.

    It’s still a great essay and everyone should read it.

  34. 34
    relatd says:

    Jerry at 30,

    Who the heck is the Jewish God of the Old Testament? He is the same God as in the New Testament.

    Doubt is the key to nothing. We are saved by faith through grace. Here is what the Bible tells us about faith:

    Hebrews 11:1

    “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

  35. 35
    Paxx says:

    There is no infinite torture

    PAXX

  36. 36
    relatd says:

    Matthew 25:46

    “And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

  37. 37
    Paxx says:

    relatd,

    Your god is a monster. But, of course, it doesn’t exist. You’re the monster

  38. 38
    Paxx says:

    Here’s the thing folks, if you could prove your viewpoint true, well, by golly, everone would believe it.

    2 + 2 = 4

    etc

    But don’t be a jackass and expect your huge and gaping gaps in human knowledge (that you fill with mere belief) to be filled in by your beliefs. Not gunna happen. That’s just arrogance on your part. Believe what you want, but screw your arrogance. It isn’t persuasive to intelligent thinking people.

  39. 39
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    :))) Another atheist who tell us that he learned the moral law from hydrogen bonds . Could you explain to us how do you jump from chemicals to fairness and morality ? What is the chemical composition of truth? Fill that gap for us to understand because obviously you are much smarter than people who believe in God . 😆

  40. 40
    AaronS1978 says:

    Who is Paxx?

    Because unless he is being sarcastic in his commentary he has proven that:

    1. He is the stereotypical, dime a dozen, garden variety atheist.

    2. Is guilty of literally the same arrogance he just accused believers of.

    3. Has no worthwhile commentary add to the conversation.

    4. Belittles everyone else who does not share his highly evolved point of view.

    5. Needs to learn how to spell “everone”
    Unless he is trying to be ClEvEr and insinuate we’re rednecks with a red neck accent. 😮

    Oh Paxx, entertain us more with your insults and insinuations, I do enjoy clowns.

    AARONS1978
    (Have to retype my name in caps to emphasize my importance or help people read my name, learned it from PAXX)

  41. 41
    jerry says:

    I highly recommend John West’s YouTube talk.

    In terms of doubt to origins, the modern culture certainly engenders it as John West lays out in the beginning of this talk. All the powers in education including most religious ones are lined up on one side, anti ID.

    Then West goes into the purpose of his talk, which is that it was always this way. There was probably a thousand years in between 2000 years ago and now that was not anti design in a lot of the world but it was definitely around in Greek and Roman times.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrwjqXNYP2o&t=1718s

    The interesting thing is that so few ID advocates here can spell out easily why the anti ID position is wrong. Do they fail to understand why they believe what they do?

    Over on another thread nearly 600 comments have led nowhere. Of course both sides will disagree but no one has presented the killing data in an easily understood form. West refers to a couple chapters in a book he participated in as the defining argument. So I will have to look at it.

    Aside: I am quite aware that there is no compelling evidence for naturalized Evolution. No one can explain how proteins arose let alone systems of them working together. That is the basis for most of ID even though the characteristics of the universe and Earth must be fine tuned for complex life to happen.

    But just how did Evolution happen? It seems that the alternative to naturalized Evolution was the continued necessity of some intelligence to make it happen. Not just once but tens of thousands of times. Is it this latter understanding that generates all the doubt about design? That the creator couldn’t get it right so that some intelligence had to constantly meddle to make it happen?

    ID doesn’t really deal with this and acts as if it doesn’t exist. But that is an explicit implication of ID.

    Did the creator understand this dilemma and actually want it? Was it part of the design?

  42. 42
    asauber says:

    “But just how did Evolution happen?”

    Did it happen?

    Andrew

  43. 43
    jerry says:

    Did it happen?

    Arguing against Evolution is a losing proposition to 99.9% of the people including those who advocate ID, so why proffer it?

    Not one of the major ID writers argues against Evolution, just how it happened. One has to believe in a creator whose objective was to really confuse us rather than one who wanted us to examine the evidence for understanding. It’s the ultimate in anti science to suggest Evolution is not real.

    Take up your position with Behe, Meyer, Richards or Witt or the many others who advocate for ID.

  44. 44
    asauber says:

    “Arguing against Evolution is a losing proposition to 99.9% of the people including those who advocate ID, so why proffer it?”

    Jerry,

    This is a distraction. Either you can clearly define Evolution and then demonstrate specifically when and how it happened (and maybe why) or you can’t.

    You ready to do that?

    Andrew

  45. 45
    relatd says:

    Jerry at 41,

    You are just repeating the same tired, old line about the Creator “meddling.” He is active in His Creation at this moment.

    Communion and Stewardship

    Part 69. … “But it is important to note that, according to the Catholic understanding of divine causality, true contingency in the created order is not incompatible with a purposeful divine providence. Divine causality and created causality radically differ in kind and not only in degree. Thus, even the outcome of a truly contingent natural process can nonetheless fall within God’s providential plan for creation. According to St. Thomas Aquinas: “The effect of divine providence is not only that things should happen somehow, but that they should happen either by necessity or by contingency. Therefore, whatsoever divine providence ordains to happen infallibly and of necessity happens infallibly and of necessity; and that happens from contingency, which the divine providence conceives to happen from contingency” (Summa theologiae, I, 22,4 ad 1). In the Catholic perspective, neo-Darwinians who adduce random genetic variation and natural selection as evidence that the process of evolution is absolutely unguided are straying beyond what can be demonstrated by science. Divine causality can be active in a process that is both contingent and guided. Any evolutionary mechanism that is contingent can only be contingent because God made it so. An unguided evolutionary process – one that falls outside the bounds of divine providence – simply cannot exist because “the causality of God, Who is the first agent, extends to all being, not only as to constituent principles of species, but also as to the individualizing principles….It necessarily follows that all things, inasmuch as they participate in existence, must likewise be subject to divine providence” (Summa theologiae I, 22, 2). ‘

  46. 46
    asauber says:

    Jerry,

    I’m interested in something called Truth. Just labelling something a losing proposition and appealing to 99.9999999% of some group doesn’t get us there. You’ve fallen short with your evasion.

    Andrew

  47. 47
    relatd says:

    Only three things matter here.

    Atheism and promoting evolution without any divine interference.

    Politics, since, you know, ID might get into the schools, get people thinking about God, etc. Can’t have that.

    Promoting abortion, sex outside of marriage and immoral sex in general.

    That’s it.

  48. 48
    relatd says:

    Romans 1:25

    “because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.”

  49. 49
    jerry says:

    This is a distraction. Either you can clearly define Evolution and then demonstrate specifically when and how it happened (and maybe why) or you can’t

    Why have you distorted the obvious?

    If you been around This site awhile, you must know the debate is over the mechanism for Evolution, not whether it happened or not. Why did Behe and Meyer write books on it?

    There is no debate over the fact of Evolution amongst ID. Do you disagree?

    Just labelling something a losing proposition and appealing to 99.9999999% of some group doesn’t get us there

    Take it up with Behe, Meyer, West, Richards etc. They agree with what I said or even Caspian who wrote the OP.

    I’m interested in something called Truth

    I’m trying to clarify the issues and the response is nonsense. How is that truth?

  50. 50
    AaronS1978 says:

    @43
    I wouldn’t say it’s arguing against evolution so much as it arguing against the blatant “god of gaps” abuse of the theory that is often accused of ID

  51. 51
    AaronS1978 says:

    @43
    I wouldn’t say it’s arguing against evolution so much as it arguing against the blatant “god of gaps” abuse of the theory that is often accused of ID

  52. 52
    relatd says:

    Jerry at 49,

    What fact of evolution? Guess what?’m seeing less and less evidence for anything like evolution.

    ID is factual, so-called evolution has very little to show for it.

  53. 53
    asauber says:

    “the debate is over the mechanism for Evolution, not whether it happened or not”

    Perhaps for you, Jerry. But asking if it even happened at all seems to make you oddly irritable and then you leave the question unanswered.

    Andrew

  54. 54
    AaronS1978 says:

    Didn’t mean to double post there it was lag

  55. 55
    jerry says:

    But asking if it even happened at all seems to make you oddly irritable and then you leave the question unanswered.

    Interesting response.

    I have never left the question unanswered. I just said Evolution is a fact.

    Do you disagree because it is right above?

    I said the debate is over the mechanism.

    Do you disagree because it is also right above?

    Does trying to be accurate imply irritable? I was trying to clarify something that was obvious and was challenged by absurdity. Is responding to an absurdity a sign of irritability? If so I plead guilty.

    I usually don’t respond to absurdities and non sequiturs unless it’s possible to make a point. My original point is that ID people rarely admit what ID implies – namely, that the intelligence behind the appearance of the millions of different life forms had to intervene each time for it to happen. ID cannot point to a mechanism that would explain each appearance nor can anyone else who disagrees with ID.

    Does anyone not agree?

  56. 56
    relatd says:

    “… namely, that the intelligence behind the appearance of the millions of different life forms had to intervene each time for it to happen.”

    You don’t know that. That’s not even a guess. In this case, God acted in His Creation.

    Evolution is not a fact.

  57. 57
    asauber says:

    “I just said Evolution is a fact.”

    Jerry,

    So, should I infer that your answer to my question is Yes, Evolution did occur?

    If so, then will you describe to me what the Evolutionary event was, when the Evolutionary event occurred, and maybe why the Evolutionary event occurred?

    Thanks.

    Andrew

  58. 58
    jerry says:

    If so, then will you describe to me what the Evolutionary event was, when the Evolutionary event occurred, and maybe why the Evolutionary event occurred?

    I suggest you read Behe and Meyer’s books and those edited by Jay Richards. Some suggestions are:

    Edge of Evolution by Michael Behe

    Darwin’s Doubt by Stephen Meyer

    God and Evolution edited by Jay Richards

    These should help you.

    There have been several million species since life began. Where did they all come from? Granted that millions may be just variants or hybrids and essentially the same species, there are probably more than a million since life started. ID does not dispute this Evolution of species. What ID disputes is their origin by a natural mechanism.

    Most of these cannot be pinpointed to the specific year but can be arranged in time by the strata the fossils appeared in. But this is elementary stuff and not disputed by anyone in ID. So the what and when (roughly) have been documented. The books above should help you.

    The “why” is another issue.

  59. 59
    asauber says:

    “These should help you.”

    Jerry,

    I have read EoE and Darwin’s Doubt. My question remains for you to answer. If you won’t answer it, just say so.

    Andrew

  60. 60
    jerry says:

    If you won’t answer it, just say so

    I have answered your question several times.

    But apparently you do not understand ID. So read the books again.

  61. 61
    asauber says:

    “I have answered your question several times.”

    Jerry,

    You didn’t. Instead, you tried to tell me what I should think. Big difference.

    I can see you aren’t serious. Have a nice day.

    Andrew

  62. 62
    jerry says:

    You didn’t. Instead, you tried to tell me what I should think. Big difference.

    No, I told you what I believe, how obvious it was and that the major authors of ID books believe the same thing.

    You don’t have to agree. But don’t distort what I said.

    Glad this exchange is over but my point still stands, ID never addresses the fact that ID points to several million interventions by an intelligence over the last 3+ billion years. I don’t disagree with this but it has to be acknowledged when dealing with someone who disagrees with ID.

    What ID says is that some elements of the world are best explained by the intervention by an intelligence. It hides that it is probably millions of times. That is certainly an extremely small percentage of the actual physical events since the creation of the universe but it is a large number of interventions.

    Aside: the number of species since life first appeared has probably been exaggerated. For example, the Galapagos finches. They are all one species. Similarly I would bet all the so called beetle species are just variants and hybrids.

    I have no idea of the truth of this but after all the attention was paid to changes in finches and then them ending up as one species would give one pause to the various estimates of species.

  63. 63
    JVL says:

    Jerry: ID never addresses the fact that ID points to several million interventions by an intelligence over the last 3+ billion years. I don’t disagree with this but it has to be acknowledged when dealing with someone who disagrees with ID.

    That makes sense that there would have to be interventions every time something beyond the “abilities” of unguided processes.

    So, do you think the intervention happens in the parent or during the conception? Surely, too, it would have to happen more than once (maybe a lot more than once) in order to form a viable working population.

  64. 64
    ET says:

    The only abilities of evolution by means of blind and mindless processes are producing genetic diseases and deformities.

    And ID doesn’t point to several million interventions….

  65. 65
    JVL says:

    ET: And ID doesn’t point to several million interventions….

    How many interventions does it indicate?

  66. 66
    jerry says:

    So, do you think the intervention happens in the parent or during the conception

    Who knows?

    My guess, at some point probably as many as several thousand different species during a short time. Ecologies had to be fine tuned based on the current environment of the Earth, thus the ecologies had to be designed/created just right in order for the various species to survive.

  67. 67
    JVL says:

    Jerry: Who knows?

    Just curious. It’s a tricky problem. Especially with certain lifeforms. Like, say, Blue Whales. If when they appeared they were different enough from the existing aquatic creatures then (aside from there having to be enough to sustain a separate breeding population) there is also the question of how did moms of one species give birth and raise and feed members of a different species?

    I suppose the designer(s) could have poofed a sufficient number of a new species into existence at the same time but would they know what to eat and where the good feeding grounds were since most animals pick that up from their parents or their ‘tribes’. Animal rights advocates have broken into research labs and let loose a lot of animals who have been raised in captivity for years and they do not know how to survive in the real world so I’m guess brand new species might have the same problems without parents to train them.

    Like I said, a tricky problem.

  68. 68
    jerry says:

    tricky problem

    The intelligence that created the species and the ecosystem would probably be intelligent enough to figure it out.

    But who knows just how it happened?

  69. 69
    JVL says:

    Jerry: The intelligence that created the species and the ecosystem would probably be intelligent enough to figure it out.

    I guess. Still it would be cool to know.

    But who knows just how it happened?

    Surely there are some hints, some remains, some evidence in the landscape. Science is about trying to figure out how things work or worked.

  70. 70
    relatd says:

    JVL at 67,

    Now you’re starting to get it. The designer – God – could modify any creature at any time.

    And scientists now know that even if organisms look similar it does not mean that they are actually related in terms of biology.

  71. 71
    JVL says:

    Relatd: Now you’re starting to get it. The designer – God – could modify any creature at any time.

    That’s your hypothesis. I still wonder about how many would need to be modified and how would they know how to survive but I guess there’s no way to get answers for that.

    Too there is the question of why not just get to the final goal right away. Why all the waste of all the creatures that no longer exist? Assuming there is a final goal . . . maybe there isn’t? Maybe we’re just at another stage along the way . . .

  72. 72
    relatd says:

    JVL at 71,

    God has a plan. He had no need to create anything or modify anything. If you want to know more, here it is:

    http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/p1s2c1p4.htm

  73. 73
    AaronS1978 says:

    The intervention objection seems to be more in line with nitpicking and actually not a real objection.

    I mean let’s really think about it. If god really wanted to, god could intervene an infinite number of times. We wouldn’t know and it would matter.

    God could simply change the direction god wanted to take life. The objection of multiple divine interventions seem shallow. It’s an obvious attempt to make god look stupid because god can’t get it right the first time so god is either dumb or doesn’t exist.

    But this objection once again implies that you know what god is thinking and you know how to do it better then god. Both are immediately untrue, whether god exists or not.

    And again either there is a specific path god wants us to go, (or for you atheists super determinism) god has changed his mind (why not god can do that) or god has things a certain way for reasons we are not aware of yet.

    In any case this is nothing but a logic trap and really doesn’t solve questions of our existence or god’s.

    We know things are finely tuned and very structured, history has taught us time and time again when we make assumptions that something is junk it’s almost always because we really did have a good understanding of it in the first place. Appendix for starters

    Personally I think god set things in motion and made us possible

  74. 74
    AaronS1978 says:

    One last thing this mode of logic implies god is an idiot scientist. Note implies. God is not a scientist, artist, engineer, designer, interior decorator, doctor, motorcyclist, hippie, carpenter, conservative, liberal human.

    God is God, God is every aspect of who we are. Which means that God’s motivations and reasons for doing things are infinite.

    This is why arguments about why god did this or why did it take god so many tries fall flat.
    The argument implies the objectors opinion is correct.

    I do a lot of art, and many times I get it right the first time, but I go back to play with it and change it all the same. That doesn’t make me a bad artist, I just wanted something different.
    The same can be said about the designer.

    Again this is my take on it

Leave a Reply