Intelligent Design

At Evolution News: Carl Sagan: “An Intelligence That Antedates the Universe”

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Paul Nelson examines the available evidence suggesting, “that Sagan’s understanding of design detection was far subtler and more open-ended than many realize.”

The late astronomer and science popularizer Carl Sagan (1934-1996) is often seen as an exemplar of a certain attitude on the relationship of science and theology: skeptical, anti-religion, pro-naturalism. Abundant evidence supports this view of Sagan, but there are fascinating hints in both his technical and popular writings that Sagan’s understanding of design detection was far subtler and more open-ended than many realize. Like his British contemporary, the astronomer Fred Hoyle (1915-2001), Sagan left evidence that he might well have enjoyed conversations with intelligent design theorists. Such historical counterfactuals are tricky at best, of course, so let’s look at some of the available evidence, and the reader can speculate on her own.

Design Detection in Sagan’s Novel Contact

The last chapter (24) of Sagan’s novel Contact (1985; later made into a film [1997] starring Jodie Foster) is an unmistakable example of number mysticism and design detection, using pi — the mathematical constant and irrational number expressing the ratio between the circumference of any circle and its diameter. Entitled “The Artist’s Signature,” the chapter opens with two epigraphs, as follows:

“Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed.” (1 COR. 15:51)

“The universe seems…to have been determined and ordered in accordance with the creator of all things; for the pattern was fixed, like a preliminary sketch, by the determination of number pre-existent in the mind of the world-creating God.” NICOMACHUS OF GERASA, ARITHMETIC I, 6 (CA. AD 100)

This passage, from the very end of the chapter — and the book — bears quoting. Sagan places the whole section in italics for emphasis:

The universe was made on purpose, the circle said…As long as you live in this universe, and have a modest talent for mathematics, sooner or later you’ll find it. It’s already here. It’s inside everything. You don’t have to leave your planet to find it. In the fabric of space and the nature of matter, as in a great work of art, there is, written small, the artist’s signature. Standing over humans, gods, and demons, subsuming Caretakers and Tunnel builders, there is an intelligence that antedates the universe. [Emphasis added.]

Design’s Narrative Power

Of course, Contact is a novel, not a scientific or philosophical treatise. Sagan was writing for drama (Contact actually started out as a movie treatment in 1980-81). But rather like his contemporaries Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick, Sagan loved to play around with concepts of design detection and non-human intelligence. Their narrative power was undeniable.

Sagan and Intelligent Design

In 1985, when Contact was first published, intelligent design as an intellectual position was largely confined to the edges of academic philosophy, in the work of people such as the Canadian philosopher John Leslie, and a few hardy souls in the neighborhood of books like Thaxton, Bradley, and Olsen, The Mystery of Life’s Origin (1984).

When ID appeared to become a real cultural threat, however — as it did starting in the mid 1990s in the United States — the dynamic shifted. Still, while Sagan was anti-religious, he was decidedly not anti-design, in the generic sense of the detectability of intelligent causation as a mode distinct from ordinary physical causation. In any case, he died in 1996, and therefore missed the coming high points of the ID debate. Others took up the skeptical mantle, to make sure that design never found a footing in science proper.

As boundary-pushers, both Sagan and Hoyle caught plenty of flak during their lifetimes. Sagan, for instance, was never elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Both paid a price for their popularity and willingness to write novels toying with non-human intelligences. It is interesting, then, to wonder how Sagan would have responded to ID, as articulated by Michael Behe, William Dembski, Stephen Meyer, etc., and how he might have separated his own views from it

Evolution News

53 Replies to “At Evolution News: Carl Sagan: “An Intelligence That Antedates the Universe”

  1. 1
    dogdoc says:

    the detectability of intelligent causation as a mode distinct from ordinary physical causation.

    Humans, other animals, and presumably ET life forms if they exist, leave tell-tale signs of their existence (SETI astrobiologists spend a lot of time thinking about how we might detect them). If this is what you mean by “intelligent causation” being distinct, then I would think everyone would agree.

    If, on the other hand, you mean that “intelligent causation” is ontologically distinct from “ordinary physical causation” (which is what ID folks usually mean) then no, I don’t think Sagan gave any indication that he was a mind/body dualist or a metaphysical libertarian.

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    As to SETI and Design detection, and per Paul Nelson, ” some feature of “intelligence” must be irreducible to physics, because otherwise we’re back to physics versus physics, and there’s nothing for SETI to look for.”,,,

    Do You Like SETI? Fine, Then Let’s Dump Methodological Naturalism – Paul Nelson -September 24, 2014
    Excerpt: Assessing the Damage MN Does to Freedom of Inquiry
    Epistemology — how we know — and ontology — what exists — are both affected by methodological naturalism. If we say, “We cannot know that a mind caused x,” laying down an epistemological boundary defined by MN, then our ontology comprising real causes for x won’t include minds.
    MN entails an ontology in which minds are the consequence of physics, and thus, can only be placeholders for a more detailed causal account in which physics is the only (ultimate) actor. You didn’t write your email to me. Physics did, and informed you of that event after the fact.
    “That’s crazy,” you reply, “I certainly did write my email.” Okay, then — to what does the pronoun “I” in that sentence refer?
    Your personal agency; your mind. Are you supernatural?,,,
    You are certainly an intelligent cause, however, and your intelligence does not collapse into physics. (If it does collapse — i.e., can be reduced without explanatory loss — we haven’t the faintest idea how, which amounts to the same thing.) To explain the effects you bring about in the world — such as your email, a real pattern — we must refer to you as a unique agent.,,,
    ,,, some feature of “intelligence” must be irreducible to physics, because otherwise we’re back to physics versus physics, and there’s nothing for SETI to look for.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2014/09/do_you_like_set/

    A few supplemental notes:

    Ju8ne 2022 – And as George Ellis explained, “if Einstein did not have free will in some meaningful sense, then he could not have been responsible for the theory of relativity – it would have been a product of lower level (physical) processes but not of an intelligent mind choosing between possible options.”
    https://uncommondescent.com/evolution/at-evolution-news-three-realities-chance-cant-explain-that-intelligent-design-can/#comment-757627

    How Does The World Work: Top-Down or Bottom-Up? – September 29, 2013
    Excerpt: To get an handle on how top-down causation works, Ellis focuses on what’s in front of all us so much of the time: the computer. ,,,
    As Ellis puts it:,,,
    The consequences of this perspective for our view of the mind are straightforward and radical:
    “The mind is not a physical entity, but it certainly is causally effective: proof is the existence of the computer on which you are reading this text. It could not exist if it had not been designed and manufactured according to someone’s plans, thereby proving the causal efficacy of thoughts, which like computer programs and data are not physical entities.”
    http://www.npr.org/sections/13.....-bottom-up

  3. 3
    chuckdarwin says:

    Is this DI’s lame attempt to posthumously drag Sagan into the ID fold? Since we are engaging in “tricky” historical counterfactuals, I would speculate that if today’s ID movement had been around when Sagan wrote his 1997 book, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, he might have devoted an entire chapter to ID as a religious cult. He would have applied his baloney detection kit and found ID wanting….

  4. 4
    ET says:

    Carl Sagan couldn’t provide a scientific explanation for our existence. His entire life was that of a religious cult. He worshiped at the altar of father time, mother nature and some unknown naturalistic processes.

  5. 5
    asauber says:

    “he might have devoted an entire chapter to ID as a religious cult”

    CD,

    The sooner you realize that people that view science as an alternative to/substitute for religion -make science a religious cult-, the sooner you can stop trolling, which I think would be a step in the right direction for you.

    For you see, science has no capacity to ask or answer the Big Questions, so anyone who thinks science eliminates these questions, is truly a confused dude.

    Science for some, seems to be the excuse to pretend the Big Questions don’t exist. They’re still there, though.

    Andrew

  6. 6
    relatd says:

    CD at 3,

    Is your only purpose here to make sure that ID does not get loose in the wild? I mean, Darwin forbid that people realize that their origin is not some rock from outer space or aliens. Is that what you believe, that you’re some cosmic accident? Well, you’re not. You are designed. Your dog is designed. Everything around you that is alive was designed.

  7. 7
    chuckdarwin says:

    My dogs are dead. Had they been competently designed by The Intelligent Designer, they’d still be with me.
    Darwin didn’t forbid anything. And, as far as our origins go, I don’t know and neither do you…..

  8. 8
    relatd says:

    CD at 7,

    Don’t bow down to the the pagan god – Evolution. Stop bowing down to it. Fair warning: God will not be mocked. Galatians 6:7

    “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.”

  9. 9
    Blastus says:

    Chuck Darwin at 7 appears to use this reasoning:

    A. Living beings die.
    B. Death is proof of a design flaw.
    C. There is no intelligent design.

    Interesting. I have never thought my mortality to be proof that I was not miraculously designed. I suppose it would prove something if the intelligent designer had intended immortality and then somehow fell short. Would this not rather depend on the designer’s intention?

    Psalm 139:14 KJV
    I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

  10. 10
    Belfast says:

    Nice one, Blastus.

  11. 11
    relatd says:

    Man is not immortal. Neither are animals. However, the first man, Adam, could have been immortal but chose to disobey the one commandment given to him by God. His wife also.

    Hebrews 9:27

    “And inasmuch as it is appointed unto men once to die, and after this cometh judgment;”

  12. 12
    Seversky says:

    Numbers 31:1-18, New American Standard Bible

    The Slaughter of Midian

    31 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Take vengeance on the Midianites for the sons of Israel; afterward you will be gathered to your people.” 3 So Moses spoke to the people, saying, “Arm men from among you for the war, so that they may [a]go against Midian to execute the Lord’s vengeance on Midian. 4 You shall send a thousand from each tribe of all the tribes of Israel to the war.” 5 So there were selected from the thousands of Israel, a thousand from each tribe, twelve thousand armed for war. 6 And Moses sent them, a thousand from each tribe, to the war, and Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, to the war with them, and the holy implements and the trumpets for the alarm in his hand. 7 So they made war against Midian, just as the Lord had commanded Moses, and they killed every male. 8 They killed the kings of Midian along with the rest of those killed: Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, and Reba, the five kings of Midian. They also killed Balaam the son of Beor with the sword. 9 And the sons of Israel took captive the women of Midian and their little ones; and they plundered all their cattle, all their flocks, and all their property. 10 Then they [b]burned all their cities where they lived and all their encampments. 11 And they took all the plunder and all the spoils, both of people and of livestock. 12 They brought the captives and the spoils and the plunder to Moses, to Eleazar the priest, and to the congregation of the sons of Israel, to the camp at the plains of Moab which are by the Jordan, opposite Jericho.

    13 And Moses, Eleazar the priest, and all the leaders of the congregation went out to meet them outside the camp. 14 But Moses was angry with the officers of the army, the commanders of thousands and the commanders of hundreds, who had come from service in the war. 15 And Moses said to them, “Have you [c]spared all the women? 16 Behold, they caused the sons of Israel, through the [d]counsel of Balaam, to be unfaithful to the Lord in the matter of Peor, so that the plague took place among the congregation of the Lord! 17 Now therefore, kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known a man [e]intimately. 18 However, all the [f]girls who have not known a [g]man intimately, keep alive for yourselves.

    Marvelous works, indeed.

  13. 13
    relatd says:

    Seversky at 12,

    So, God is not God. He’s a bad God. He doesn’t know what He’s doing. And He kills people. God is wiser than men. Much wiser.

    Fire bad. Religion bad. I’ve seen that multiple times and not just here.

  14. 14
    Silver Asiatic says:

    The person who ridicules God and religion is saying that there is something greater. Obviously. There is a greater authority, something of more value, something that should be praised and honored more than God. That’s why the ridicule. People should accept that which is greater than God and give that homage.
    That’s always what they’re saying. If God deserves ridicule, then there’s something much better than God. Something of higher moral excellence and wisdom.

  15. 15
    relatd says:

    SA at 14,

    Like what?

  16. 16
    Seversky says:

    Relatd/13

    Seversky at 12,

    So, God is not God. He’s a bad God. He doesn’t know what He’s doing. And He kills people. God is wiser than men. Much wiser.

    This is not something I made up. This is the testimony of the Christian Bible.

    If a God is supposed to be omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent and omnipresent, what are we to make of stories in which he or his proxies kill large numbers of people with impunity and without concern?

  17. 17
    Seversky says:

    Silver Asiatic/14

    The person who ridicules God and religion is saying that there is something greater.

    Greater in what sense?

    There is a greater authority, something of more value, something that should be praised and honored more than God. That’s why the ridicule. People should accept that which is greater than God and give that homage.

    I’ve never quite understood this urge to praise, honor, pay homage to or worship some possibly imaginary being except as an expression of fear, the hope that obeisance will be looked on with favor by some being who has the power to do great harm if they chose. While fear may be a rational reaction to such a being is praise or homage appropriate in any other sense?

    That’s always what they’re saying. If God deserves ridicule, then there’s something much better than God. Something of higher moral excellence and wisdom.

    Not necessarily, it may just be that there is no good reason to believe in the existence of such a being.

  18. 18
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Seversky

    Greater in what sense?

    Whatever has to bear the brunt of ridicule has been demeaned. It’s considered “lesser than” – and thus is mocked. So, in order to mock something there has to be something greater than that which is being mocked. A stupid person is ridiculed – and therefore the one doing the mocking is stating that he thinks he, himself (or at least someone else), is smarter than the stupid person.
    A guy who is clumsy and weak in athletics is mocked and ridiculed by those who think there is greater aptitude and strength to be found in athletics (either they have it or someone else does).
    A person who mocks others’ religion is stating his belief that there is a more intelligent, greater or better ideology or belief system than religion.

    While fear may be a rational reaction to such a being is praise or homage appropriate in any other sense?

    Yes, fear would have nothing to do with the desire to praise and give homage to that which is magnificent and great. Perhaps the only fear would be in the way that one might have an awe-struck reverence in the presence, for example, of an original painting by a great master of the past. For example, if you were entrusted with transporting a great, rare work – you’d have a sense of fear given the beauty and possibility of irreparable damage.
    But God is worthy of praise because of His excellence, value, wisdom and beauty – all of His attributes. But if God receives ridicule from a person, then the person is saying that there is something greater than God – obviously. Whatever it may be – it’s usually just the person himself.
    It’s something like Einstein’s ability to marvel at what he saw in the universe. God as the Creator of the greatness we observe, deserves praise – especially considering that His qualities are infinitely greater than even what we can observe in creation.

    Not necessarily, it may just be that there is no good reason to believe in the existence of such a being.

    If it’s a question of not having good reason then it would be left at that. However, I was referring to a case where there is ridicule or selective-reading of the scripture (ignoring or dismissing the huge majority of the text) for the purpose of judging God.
    Where there’s a judgement there’s a higher authority.
    If God is deemed morally deficient, then that’s an appeal to a higher authority.

  19. 19
    chuckdarwin says:

    SA/18

    Not that it has anything to do with Carl Sagan, but you bring up an interesting point:

    If God is deemed morally deficient, then that’s an appeal to a higher authority.

    I would suggest that this higher authority is basic logic and common sense. As Seversky notes, you can only go so far in trying to justify the odious acts of a God who is supposed to be omnibenevolent. After a while, the mounting acts of gratuitous violence, suffering and destructiveness heaped upon humanity simply belie the claimed goodness of God. It’s similar to trying to explain the trinity, the more you explain, the more deeply illogical and bizarre it gets. It’s as Yeats so famously wrote, eventually “the center cannot hold.”

    This is not mockery. We have every right to question God, in fact, I think it is our duty. This is human thought attempting to address a legitimate question. Choosing to be Christian is choosing to sweep vast inconsistencies of logic and common sense under the rug–the proverbial leap of faith….

  20. 20
    Silver Asiatic says:

    CD

    I would suggest that this higher authority is basic logic and common sense.

    Yes, but those are abstract qualities. They have to be embodied in persons in order to take effect and have authority. So, it ends up being the person himself as the higher authority. He is the one criticizing God. He’s proclaiming himself as the alternative to God. His morality is superior to God’s. That’s what happens with the ridicule and mockery of God – the one ridiculing holds himself up against God (and all religion) as the superior source, superior knowledge and wisdom.
    I consider, there are people who dismiss the entire Bible on this basis – extracting a passage, making no real attempt to contextualize and closing with ridicule. The alternative to God and religion? It’s logic and common sense, as you say – but only embodied by that particular person (everyone, including Bible-believers has logic and common sense).

    As Seversky notes, you can only go so far in trying to justify the odious acts of a God who is supposed to be omnibenevolent.

    I’ll suggest that you can go a very long way before ever hitting a dead-end when it comes to knowledge of God. What you’ve given above is one characteristic of God “omnibenevolence” – but this has to work within all other virtues. Goodness is alongside of truth. Mercy is alongside of justice.
    Common sense and logic will tell us that there is something much deeper to consider.

    We have every right to question God, in fact, I think it is our duty. This is human thought attempting to address a legitimate question.

    If that’s the case then I’d fully agree. But I’ll suggest that an understanding of the Christian faith is a vast and complex undertaking and even the idea that logic should be adequate for understanding the creator of the cosmos is something that needs to be questioned. Logic is a tool that human beings use – the same human beings that cannot explain their own origin or destiny since they were not around when they came to be and do not know what will be there when they cease.

  21. 21
    relatd says:

    Seversky at 16,

    This is a common attempt to get people to reject God. He, and/or His proxies, kill people.

    https://apologeticspress.org/did-god-order-the-killing-of-babies-2810/

  22. 22
    relatd says:

    Seversky at 17,

    God cares about you and waits for you.

  23. 23
    dogdoc says:

    ChuckDarwin @7:

    Right? What sort of god would design humans to love their dogs so much, then design dogs with a lifespan 1/6 of a human? Just cruel, so cruel.

  24. 24
    chuckdarwin says:

    Dogdoc/23
    I just put down my 14-year-old border collie a month ago, so I’m a bit touchy on the subject…

  25. 25
    chuckdarwin says:

    SA/20
    I don’t think there is all that much complexity involved in “understanding” Christianity. The cruelness of the Judeo-Christian God is a matter of record, as is the tyrannical, jealous and insecure nature of that God. Simply look at the first four Commandments, they are a study in narcissism that rivals the Greek and Roman pantheons.

    What is complex is the question of why people, in most instances unthinkingly, identify with this version of God. Why they allow themselves to be debased by their clergy, theologians and apologists as incorrigibly fallen creatures. My quick and dirty answer is that the vast majority of Christians are simply nominal members that go with the flow, never exploring too deeply the implications of the biblical God. The fear of social and economic ostracism is too great to engender independent thought…

  26. 26
    dogdoc says:

    CD@24
    Yeah I’ve lost 6 to old age, I never get over them. You’d think, how about maybe they could live 40 years or so? On the other hand, if they lived that long there would be all these old homeless dogs whose owners have died… Maybe the Good Lord in His Infinite Wisdom understood this, and this really is the Best of All Possible Worlds. (kidding!)

  27. 27
    relatd says:

    CD at 25,

    Many people who reject Christianity have not studied it in any depth. You view God as another pagan god at best or just like a human being at worst.

    I was raise in Christianity but I did not accept it unthinkingly. I studied – looking for the truth – and the truth is God. You call respect for clergy debased. Unfortunately, the way too many people live today is debased. God – whether you want to believe it or not – set a standard for human conduct. Those who reject God are more inclined to act against that standard. No, that does not mean that they automatically go out and harm people but they do not realize that this life is not all there is.

    Yet some take comfort in the idea that this life is all there is. That there is nothing after death. And definitely no judgment.

    And I’ve seen the following before, and it’s false:

    “The fear of social and economic ostracism is too great to engender independent thought…”

    So, man is all there is? Man is the measure of all things? When I help a homeless person I don’t ask what religion they belong to.

    Romans 10:16

    But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?”

    17
    So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

  28. 28
    chuckdarwin says:

    Dogdoc/26
    My BC wasn’t the first, just the latest. Perhaps you’ve heard this before: “To err is human, to forgive is canine….”

  29. 29
    Silver Asiatic says:

    CD

    What is complex is the question of why people, in most instances unthinkingly, identify with this version of God.

    If it’s complex then it wouldn’t make a lot of sense to simplify it with hasty judgements of people. A complex question deserves a more significant answer.

    Why they allow themselves to be debased by their clergy, theologians and apologists as incorrigibly fallen creatures.

    Incorrigibly fallen is the Lutheran and Calvinist view – not the Catholic. Given this mistake, I'll suggest that Christianity is a lot more complex than you might have thought.

    My quick and dirty answer is that the vast majority of Christians are simply nominal members that go with the flow, never exploring too deeply the implications of the biblical God. The fear of social and economic ostracism is too great to engender independent thought…

    A quick and dirty answer to summarize the sacred beliefs of a large number of people is not the best way to proceed. Christians in China, for example, are imprisoned and worse for their beliefs and Christians in other parts of the world are treated the same way as a minority religion (in Islamic or Communist countries). Even Christians in secularist/atheist cultures face hostility. In the USA, professing one’s religious belief in many circumstances can lead to legal actions, loss of employment and of social status.
    Holding the Christian faith in these cases cannot be done for fear of being ostracized – the faith itself is what causes society to persecute people.
    So people are not as unthinking as you might imagine there also.
    Again, I don’t think most of your Jesuit teachers, who gave up wife, family and even personal property in most cases – to follow Christ – are just unthinking creatures-of-routine.

  30. 30
    Silver Asiatic says:

    DogDoc

    maybe they could live 40 years or so? On the other hand, if they lived that long there would be all these old homeless dogs whose owners have died… Maybe the Good Lord in His Infinite Wisdom understood this …

    Yes, I think the Good Lord teaches us through this. First of all is that we can experience the entire life cycle of an affectionate creature – from puppy to adult. So we witness their stages of life and growth. Then also, through them we experience death. This brings us greater maturation. We have to let go. It’s even good for children to realize that life on earth is temporary. We want something more permanent – and that moves us to thinking about spiritual matters.

    Finally, it helps us realize that there are levels of love we can have. We can love our dog. We can love our spouse in a much deeper way, as we can do for our children. Then we can move to a higher level and love God Who gave us these gifts to illustrate His care for us. His love for us is much greater than our love for our dog. He feels our loss (distance or opposition) much more than we feel the loss of our dog.

    The short life of our dog can help us become more mature and give us a desire for even greater love than we have for our dog.

  31. 31
    AnimatedDust says:

    SA, you are on a roll lately. I find edification in everything you write. (Always have, but more so, lately.)

  32. 32
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Thanks, AD!

  33. 33
    chuckdarwin says:

    SA/29

    A complex question deserves a more significant answer.

    No, a complex question simply requires the right answer. In the US, identification as Christian, according to Pew, has dropped from 85% in the 1990s to 65% as of 2014. The numbers for millennials and younger are much worse. During that period, we have seen increased acceptance of atheism and agnosticism, unmarried co-habitation, single parenting, women rising to corporate leadership, gay adoption, same sex marriage, etc. In other words, Christianity is quickly losing its hegemony over what constitutes acceptable and required behavior in our culture, including church attendance and even nominal identification as “Christian.” Add to that wave after wave of scandals among Christian leaders and it’s surprising that anyone is in the pews theses days. Christian churches no longer have the power to coerce participation because folks are not willing to hand over that power anymore…..

  34. 34
    relatd says:

    – power – That word I hate. Someone has “power” over you. You can either choose God or not. God will not force anyone to love Him. Fair warning:

    Matthew 7:13

    “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.

  35. 35
    bornagain77 says:

    Chuckdarwin, here is a little fact you might like to know.

    While in ecclesiastical school, of all places, Joseph Stalin turned from Christianity to atheism because of Darwin’s pseudoscientific theory.

    Stalin’s Brutal Faith
    by Paul G. Humber, M.S.
    Excerpt: STALIN’S FAITH–WHAT WAS IT?,,,
    At a very early age, while still a pupil in the ecclesiastical school, Comrade Stalin developed a critical mind and revolutionary sentiments. He began to read Darwin and became an atheist.
    G. Glurdjidze, a boyhood friend of Stalin’s, relates:
    “I began to speak of God, Joseph heard me out, and after a moment’s silence, said:
    “‘You know, they are fooling us, there is no God. . . .’
    “I was astonished at these words, I had never heard anything like it before.
    “‘How can you say such things, Soso?’ I exclaimed.
    “‘I’ll lend you a book to read; it will show you that the world and all living things are quite different from what you imagine, and all this talk about God is sheer nonsense,’ Joseph said.
    “‘What book is that?’ I enquired.
    “‘Darwin. You must read it,’ Joseph impressed on me” 1
    http://www.icr.org/article/stalins-brutal-faith/

    And Stalin, as an atheistic communist dictator, (in an apparent psychopathic hatred towards Christianity), tried his damndest to completely eradicate Christianity from Russia.

    Persecution of Christians in the Soviet Union
    Excerpt: From 1932 to 1937 Joseph Stalin declared the ‘five-year plans of atheism’ and the LMG (League of the Militant Godless) was charged with completely eliminating all religious expression in the country.[69],,,,
    During the purges of 1937 and 1938, church documents record that 168,300 Russian Orthodox clergy were arrested. Of these, 106,300 were shot.[74] Many thousands of victims of persecution became recognized in a special canon of saints known as the “new martyrs and confessors of Russia”.,,,
    ,,, the anti-religious campaign of the past decade and the terror tactics of the militantly atheist regime, had effectively eliminated all public expressions of religion and communal gatherings of believers outside of the walls of the few churches that still held services.[76] This was accomplished in a country that only a few decades earlier had had a deeply Christian public life and culture that had developed for almost a thousand years.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persecution_of_Christians_in_the_Soviet_Union#Anti-religious_campaign_1928–1941

    With the fall of communism in Russia, it is very interesting to note just how miserably Stalin failed in his endeavor to completely eradicate Christianity from Russia. Today, a large majority of Russians identify as .Christians.

    Pew: Here’s How Badly Soviet Atheism Failed in Europe
    In 18 nations across Central and Eastern Europe, religion is now essential to national identity. (massive study based on face-to-face interviews with 25,000 adults in 18 countries}
    Jeremy Weber – 5/10/2017
    Excerpt: “The comeback of religion in a region once dominated by atheist regimes is striking,” states Pew in its latest report. Today, only 14 percent of the region’s population identify as atheists, agnostics, or “nones.” By comparison, 57 percent identify as Orthodox, and another 18 percent as Catholics.
    http://www.christianitytoday.c.....ntity.html
    http://www.christianitytoday.c.....#038;w=380

    Russia’s Journey from Orthodoxy to Atheism, and Back Again
    By Gene Zubovich | October 16, 2018
    Excerpt: In Russia, there is a religious revival happening. Orthodox Christianity is thriving after enduring a 70-year period of atheistic Soviet rule. In 1991, just after the collapse of the USSR, about two-thirds of Russians claimed no religious affiliation. Today, 71 percent of Russians identify as Orthodox.
    https://religionandpolitics.org/2018/10/16/russias-journey-from-orthodoxy-to-atheism-and-back-again/

    My guess is that those numbers for Christian today are comparable to the number of Christians in Russia before the communist nightmare took over Russia. ,,, It is as if decades of atheistic brainwashing, and murderous purges against Christians, had no effect whatsoever on Christianity.

    Apparently Stalin also took his psychopathic hatred towards God to his death bed.

    Joseph Stalin – Clenched His Fist Toward God
    Svetlana Stalin, the daughter of Josef Stalin tells how her father lay dying, plagued with terrifying hallucinations, he suddenly sat halfway up in bed, clenched his fist toward the heavens once more, fell back upon his pillow, and was dead. The incredible irony of his whole life is that at one time Josef Stalin had been a seminary student, preparing for the ministry.,,,
    https://www.family-times.net/illustration/Rebellion/201630/

    And here is the burning question for you ChuckyD, exactly why was Stalin so angry at a God that he adamantly claimed did not exist?

    When Atheists Are Angry at God – 2011
    Excerpt: I’ve never been angry at unicorns. It’s unlikely you’ve ever been angry at unicorns either.,, The one social group that takes exception to this rule is atheists. They claim to believe that God does not exist and yet, according to empirical studies, tend to be the people most angry at him.
    A new set of studies in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology finds that atheists and agnostics report anger toward God either in the past or anger focused on a hypothetical image of what they imagine God must be like. Julie Exline, a psychologist at Case Western Reserve University and the lead author of this recent study, has examined other data on this subject with identical results. Exline explains that her interest was first piqued when an early study of anger toward God revealed a counterintuitive finding: Those who reported no belief in God reported more grudges toward him than believers.
    http://www.firstthings.com/ont.....gry-at-god

    Verse:

    John 15:25
    But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’

  36. 36
    bornagain77 says:

    Also of note, “Liberal churches are dying. But conservative churches are thriving.”

    Liberal churches are dying. But conservative churches are thriving.
    A Canadian study found that conservative churches are still growing, while less orthodox congregations dwindle away.
    By David Haskell – January 4, 2017
    Excerpt: liberal theology has been taught for decades in mainline seminaries and preached from many mainline pulpits. Its enduring appeal to embattled clergy members is that it gives intellectual respectability to religious ideas that, on the surface, might appear far-fetched to modern audiences.
    But the liberal turn in mainline churches doesn’t appear to have solved their problem of decline.
    Over the last five years, my colleagues and I conducted a study of 22 mainline congregations in the province of Ontario. We compared those in the sample that were growing mainline congregations to those that were declining. After statistically analyzing the survey responses of over 2,200 congregants and the clergy members who serve them, we came to a counterintuitive discovery: Conservative Protestant theology, with its more literal view of the Bible, is a significant predictor of church growth while liberal theology leads to decline. The results were published this month in the peer-reviewed journal, Review of Religious Research.,,,
    For example, we found 93 percent of clergy members and 83 percent of worshipers from growing churches agreed with the statement “Jesus rose from the dead with a real flesh-and-blood body leaving behind an empty tomb.” This compared with 67 percent of worshipers and 56 percent of clergy members from declining churches. Furthermore, all growing church clergy members and 90 percent of their worshipers agreed that “God performs miracles in answer to prayers,” compared with 80 percent of worshipers and a mere 44 percent of clergy members from declining churches.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2017/01/04/liberal-churches-are-dying-but-conservative-churches-are-thriving/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.427ef53aa8bf

    Frankly, personally I am very pleased about liberal, ‘lukewarm’, Christian churches dwindling away while conservative churches are growing!

    Liberal Christians, such as the crowd over at Biologos, who champion “Theistic Evolution”, have apparently compromised their faith to such a point that they now defend Darwinian atheists whilst attacking other Christians who dare believe that God directly created life on earth. (As well, Theistic evolutionists even go so far as to attack Intelligent Design in general).

    Verse:

    Revelation 3:16
    ‘So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.

  37. 37
    Seversky says:

    Relatd/34

    – power – That word I hate. Someone has “power” over you. You can either choose God or not. God will not force anyone to love Him. Fair warning:

    Matthew 7:13

    “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.

    You hate the word “power” yet you concede that God has absolute power over you?

    As for force, I would say that wiping out almost all life on the surface of the planet was a pretty forceful measure as is threatening eternal hellfire and damnation to any to any who do not “take the knee” before Him.

  38. 38
    Seversky says:

    Bornagain77/36

    Also of note, “Liberal churches are dying. But conservative churches are thriving.”

    […]

    Frankly, personally I am very pleased about liberal, ‘lukewarm’, Christian churches dwindling away while conservative churches are growing!

    Then maybe you need to get yourself down to the Stedfast Baptist Church in Hurst, Texas. Their pastor Dillon Awes recently preached:

    that the “solution” to gay people is presented in the Bible: “They should be lined up against the wall and shot in the back of the head.”

    In a Sunday sermon titled “Why We Won’t Shut Up,” Awes of Stedfast Baptist Church said that “every single” gay person in America should be executed by the government.

    “What does God say is the answer, is the solution, for the homosexual in 2022, here in the New Testament, here in the Book of Romans?” Awes asked. “That they are worthy of death! These people should be put to death!”

    […]

    “Every single homosexual in our country should be charged with the crime, the abomination of homosexuality, that they have,” he continued. “They should be convicted in a lawful trial. They should be sentenced with death.”

    […]

    In a statement sent to Newsweek, the church’s main pastor Johnathan Shelley said that Awes, who preaches when Shelley is out of town, was referring to Leviticus 20:13, which reads: “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.”

    Shelley said that even though homosexuality is no longer illegal in the state of Texas, “The Bible teaches that God’s laws have not changed on this issue.”

    “The Bible also teaches Christians should not kill, murder, or take the law into their own hands,” he said. “Therefore it is the civil government’s authority to punish criminals. This is not murder but capital punishment.”

    “The state of Texas still has the death penalty for many crimes, and this is not advocating murder,” he added.

    Sounds like they should be right up your alley. And you may not be the only one here.

  39. 39
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky, “Sounds like they should be right up your alley. And you may not be the only one here.”

    Seversky you and I have debated for many years and the belief that you are currently attributing to me, (.e. that “every single” gay person in America should be executed by the government’), is a flagrantly gross misrepresentation of anything I have ever said to you in my debates with you.

    Please point to exactly where I have ever written to you, and/or advocated for, that gay people should be killed by the state?

    I have never, ever, said anything remotely close to resembling that belief! Quite the contrary, in my debates with you I have often advocated that the state ought to stop sanctioning unrestricted abortion. i.e. To stop killing the unborn. A position that I believe you are, somewhat, in agreement with. Thus, in my debates with you, I have been very much a ‘pro-life’ person, not a ‘pro-death’ person.

    My actual hope, and/or ‘position’, for “every single” gay person in America’, and even for every single atheist in America, is certainly not that they should be killed by the state, (as the state killed hundreds of thousands of Christians in Stalin’s Russia), but that gays, and atheists in general, would repent of their self-destructive lifestyles and turn to Christ. In short, my actual position is that ‘every single gay person, (and atheist), in America’ would turn from death to eternal life.

    Verse and notes:

    Romans 6:23
    “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

    Can attending church really help you live longer? This study says yes – June 1, 2017
    Excerpt: Specifically, the study says those middle-aged adults who go to church, synagogues, mosques or other houses of worship reduce their mortality risk by 55%. The Plos One journal published the “Church Attendance, Allostatic Load and Mortality in Middle Aged Adults” study May 16.
    “For those who did not attend church at all, they were twice as likely to die prematurely than those who did who attended church at some point over the last year,” Bruce said.
    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/06/02/can-attending-church-really-help-you-live-longer-study-says-yes/364375001/

    Atheism and health
    A meta-analysis of all studies, both published and unpublished, relating to religious involvement and longevity was carried out in 2000. Forty-two studies were included, involving some 126,000 subjects. Active religious involvement increased the chance of living longer by some 29%, and participation in public religious practices, such as church attendance, increased the chance of living longer by 43%.[4][5]
    http://www.conservapedia.com/Atheism_and_health

    Can Religion Extend Your Life? – By Chuck Dinerstein — June 16, 2018
    Excerpt: The researcher’s regression analysis suggested that the effect of volunteering and participation accounted for 20% or 1 year of the impact, while religious affiliation accounted for the remaining four years or 80%.
    https://www.acsh.org/news/2018/06/16/can-religion-extend-your-life-13092

    Yet Another Study Confirms Gay Life Expectancy 20 Years Shorter – Jul 30, 2013
    Excerpt: Despite their attempts to downplay the practical consequences of their research, it is difficult to ignore that the study concluded with the statement that “under even the most liberal assumptions, gay and bisexual men in this urban centre [Vancouver, BC] are now experiencing a life expectancy similar to that experienced by all men in Canada in the year 1871.” Corresponding almost exactly with Cameron’s study, the Vancouver study indicated that “life expectancy at age 20 years for gay and bisexual men is 8 to 20 years less than for all men.”
    https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/yet-another-study-confirms-gay-life-expectancy-20-years-shorter/

    ““I maintain that whatever else faith may be, it cannot be a delusion.,,,,
    ,,, In the majority of studies, religious involvement is correlated with well-being, happiness and life satisfaction; hope and optimism; purpose and meaning in life; higher self-esteem; better adaptation to bereavement; greater social support and less loneliness; lower rates of depression and faster recovery from depression; lower rates of suicide and fewer positive attitudes towards suicide; less anxiety; less psychosis and fewer psychotic tendencies; lower rates of alcohol and drug use and abuse; less delinquency and criminal activity; greater marital stability and satisfaction… We concluded that for the vast majority of people the apparent benefits of devout belief and practice probably outweigh the risks.”
    – Professor Andrew Sims – former President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists – “Is Faith Delusion?: Why religion is good for your health” – page 100

  40. 40
    Silver Asiatic says:

    CD

    In other words, Christianity is quickly losing its hegemony over what constitutes acceptable and required behavior in our culture, including church attendance and even nominal identification as “Christian.” Add to that wave after wave of scandals among Christian leaders and it’s surprising that anyone is in the pews theses days.

    In the one case, you think people retain belief in God only so they won’t be socially ostracized, but in the other your argument against religion is that it is not as popular.
    In both cases, you’re just looking to statistics or group dynamics.
    People who practice religion because “everyone else is” are not different than people who leave religion because “everyone is leaving it”. If the first says that religious people are shallow, the second says the same about atheists and agnostics.
    What is missing is the fact that many people adhere to religion for serious and sincere reasons. It’s important to recognize those reasons. Someone like G.K. Chesterton – who said that he joined the Church because he wanted his sins forgiven. That’s what a lot of people look for. Salvation, redemption and help for living a moral life.

  41. 41
    chuckdarwin says:

    BA77/35
    Yes, Orthodoxy is ostensibly on the rise again in Russia. Even Putin identifies as Russian Orthodox and routinely invokes the name of great Russian warrior-saints as he reduces the Ukraine to rubble, allows his army to engage in every type of atrocity and war crime and merrily goes about his psychopathic terrorization of Eastern Europe.

    The thing about psychopaths, such as Stalin, Putin, Trump, et al. is they really have no core belief system. Their only core value is the accretion of power and control. So, to discuss their behavior in religious terms is unhelpful. Religion or anti-religion is simply a tool that they use as part of their arsenal of control.

    However, my comments were about the decline of religion in the US and my point is pretty straight forward. Once you remove the social and economic stigma associated with being a non-church goer, attendance and interest in Christianity will wane. What was once the de facto state religion of the US is losing its grip and the finger pointing starts, expressed as a dispute between “historical” Christianity and “progressive” Christianity. Either the church adapts or dies–it is a fundamental rule of evolution…..

  42. 42
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Seversky

    You hate the word “power” yet you concede that God has absolute power over you?

    The fact that you reject belief in God means that we can’t speak of “absolute power over us”. We have the freedom to accept or reject. Even believers have that freedom. We can follow God’s commandments or freely choose not to.

    As for force, I would say that wiping out almost all life on the surface of the planet was a pretty forceful measure as is threatening eternal hellfire and damnation to any to any who do not “take the knee” before Him.

    The point is with regards to “forced action”. A threat is different than forcing someone to do something. The same with a command. We’re free to accept or reject.
    The fact that actions have consequences is similar on the moral, spiritual and physical scale.
    If you chainsmoke 2 packs of cigarettes a day, you’ll probably get cancer. That’s just a warning.
    If you don’t seek to make amends for the evil you’ve done, there is justice and recompense that needs to be paid.

  43. 43
    Silver Asiatic says:

    CD

    Their only core value is the accretion of power and control.

    To condemn such as “psychopathic” is a contradictory way to look at people when you follow by saying that other matters are:

    a fundamental rule of evolution…..

  44. 44
    relatd says:

    Seversky at 37,

    A common response. A few questions – no need to respond if you don’t want to. Did your parents have power over you? Your teachers? People need to cooperate to survive. Cooperation not wielding “power.” I loved the priests and nuns that taught me by their words and actions. I was glad I knew them.

    The world needs cooperation to survive. Families need cooperation to survive. The same for friendships. I bend the knee and bow my head to God because He is God, not man – though Jesus was also a man. The Church was established by Christ and deserves my obedience.

  45. 45
    relatd says:

    CD at 41,

    You are an expert on Putin’s motivations? Did you read what Russia’s demands are regarding the Ukraine? The Russian negotiator stated that the war would be over “in a moment” if the Ukraine agreed to not join NATO or any other bloc, gave up two pieces of land and recognized the annexation of the Crimea by Russia. As the U.S. pours billions of dollars of aid into the Ukraine, and countries send military equipment, it appears that Russia is committed. I think the Ukraine has little chance of expelling the Russians. I hope I’m wrong.

    As far as yelling atrocities from the rooftops – name a war that had none. May I point out that in any war, non-combatants die. I don’t like it but it’s a fact

  46. 46
    relatd says:

    CD at 41,

    So, it’s about “stigma”? I go to Church to avoid stigma? People will look at me funny if I don’t go? I never thought that or think that now. There is no roll call at a Catholic Church. I’m there because I want to be. That Church was built to worship God.

  47. 47
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Judeo-Christian God is a matter of record, as is the tyrannical, jealous and insecure nature of that God.

    psychopaths, such as Stalin, Putin, Trump, et al.

    God is a tyrant, people are psychopaths . 😆 Did the atheist deduce this from the jungle law
    (darwinism: survival of the “survivors”)?
    Yep, God is a tyrant, people are psychopaths but in the same time the same atheist morality declare that people have the right to kill innocent babies or to “become” the opposite sex only with “the power of mind” or to do other stomach-turning things . If these people have no clue and no evidences (about simpler things) how a code is created how in the world would they know about higher things regarding morality and God?

  48. 48
    bornagain77 says:

    ChuckyD @41, you once again missed the forest for the trees.

    Despite a systematic, decades long, murderous, rampage by atheists against Christians in Russia, trying their damndest to totally eradicate Christianity from Russia, in short order Christianity came back full force.

    to requote the article, “The comeback of religion in a region once dominated by atheist regimes is striking,” states Pew in its latest report. Today, only 14 percent of the region’s population identify as atheists, agnostics, or “nones.” By comparison, 57 percent identify as Orthodox, and another 18 percent as Catholics.”

    . Again, it is as if Communism had never existed.

    Thus your atheistic ‘hope’ that atheism would, someday, ‘naturally’ gain a majority prominence in America seems misplaced at best.

    Face it ChuckyD, given that atheists deny that there is any real meaning and purpose to life, by and large the majority of people just aren’t ‘naturally’ inclined to buy the hopeless nihilism that you are selling in your atheistic worldview

    The Absurdity of Life without God – William Lane Craig
    Excerpt: Meaning of Life
    Without God, there can be no objective meaning in life. Sartre’s program is actually an exercise in self-delusion. Sartre is really saying, “Let’s pretend the universe has meaning.” And this is just fooling ourselves.
    The point is this: if God does not exist, then life is objectively meaningless; but man cannot live consistently and happily knowing that life is meaningless; so in order to be happy he pretends life has meaning. But this is, of course, entirely inconsistent—for without God, man and the universe are without any real significance.
    https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/popular-writings/existence-nature-of-god/the-absurdity-of-life-without-god/

    “Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.”
    – Viktor Frankl – Man’s Search for Meaning – 1946 – Austrian psychiatrist, Auschwitz survivor

    Verse:

    Jeremiah 29:11
    For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

    John 14:2
    In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

  49. 49
    groovamos says:

    c. Darwin

    The thing about psychopaths, such as … Trump, et al.

    I love it when leftists show the world how unhinged their religion has made them. A guy inherits a few 10’s of millions and turns the inheritance into $10B . Yes financial movers and shakers have been predicting for decades that someday a psychopath would prove that they could earn their place at the table of free market tycoons. So in order to get the psychopath out of office you put up a guy who browbeats his subjects with whispering tone through the spectrum to shouting. And then after he’s done, turns around and puts his hand out for a ghost to clasp, yes an apparition. In front of cameras. In other words, a psychopath — who never created anything to earn all the millions he apparently has accrued.

  50. 50
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: I see some spreading accusations that reveal utter irresponsibility and disregard for innocent reputation. I endorse BA77’s reply. KF

    PS, on Bible side tracks I see dismissiveness that is strawmannish. The new atheists and the like are poor sources on the character of God or the Bible. I suggest that the core warrant for the Christian gospel turns on the testimony recorded in summary in 1 Cor 15, as may be explored here on for a 101, with a lot more behind it.

  51. 51
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: I also think I should draw attention to the first duties of reason highlighted by that Bible-thumping fundy — not — Cicero, which hold, not “hegemony” [loaded language] but force of self evidence, indeed “hegemony” is — you guessed it — yet another appeal to the said first duties in an attempt to overturn them:

    We may readily identify at least seven branch- on- which- we- all- sit (so, inescapable, pervasive), readily knowable first principle . . .

    first duties of reason and first universally binding laws written into our rational, responsible nature and forming morally driven governing principles of reason, high and low alike:

    “Inescapable,” as they are so antecedent to and pervasive in our reasoning that even the objector implicitly appeals to their legitimate authority; inescapable, so first truths of reason, i.e. they are self-evidently true and binding.

    Namely, Ciceronian first duties,

    1st – to truth,
    2nd – to right reason,
    3rd – to prudence [including warrant],
    4th – to sound conscience,
    5th – to neighbour; so also,
    6th – to fairness and
    7th – to justice
    [ . . .]
    xth – etc
    .

    Likewise, we observe again, that the objector to such duties cannot but appeal to them to give their objections rhetorical traction (i.e. s/he must imply or acknowledge what we are, morally governed, duty-bound creatures to gain any persuasive effect). While also those who try to prove such cannot but appeal to the said principles too. So, these principles are a branch on which we all must sit, including objectors and those who imagine they are to be proved and try. That is, these are manifestly first principles of rational, responsible, honest, conscience guided liberty and so too a built-in framework of law; yes, core natural law of human nature. Reason, inescapably, is morally governed.

    Of course, there is a linked but not equivalent pattern: bounded, error-prone rationality often tied to ill will and stubbornness or even closed mindedness; that’s why the study of right reason has a sub-study on fallacies and errors. That we sometimes seek to evade duties or may make inadvertent errors does not overthrow such first duties of reason, which instead help us to detect and correct errors, as well as to expose our follies.

    Perhaps, a negative form will help to clarify, for cause we find to be at best hopelessly error-riddled, those who are habitually untruthful, fallacious and/or irrational, imprudent, fail to soundly warrant claims, show a benumbed or dead conscience [i.e. sociopathy and/or highly machiavellian tendencies], dehumanise and abuse others, are unfair and unjust. At worst, such are utterly dangerous, destructive,or even ruthlessly, demonically lawless.

    Such built-in . . . thus, universal . . . law, then, is not invented by parliaments, kings or courts, nor can these principles and duties be abolished by such; they are recognised, often implicitly as an indelible part of our evident nature. Hence, “natural law,” coeval with our humanity, famously phrased in terms of “self-evident . . . rights . . . endowed by our Creator” in the US Declaration of Independence, 1776. (Cf. Cicero in De Legibus, c. 50 BC.) Indeed, it is on this framework that we can set out to soundly understand and duly balance rights, freedoms and duties; which is justice, the pivot of law. The legitimate main task of government, then, is to uphold and defend the civil peace of justice through sound community order reflecting the built in, intelligible law of our nature.

    Where, as my right implies your duty a true right is a binding moral claim to be respected in life, liberty, honestly aquired property, innocent reputation etc. To so justly claim a right, one must therefore demonstrably be in the right.

    Likewise, Aristotle long since anticipated Pilate’s cynical “what is truth?”: truth says of what is, that it is; and of what is not, that it is not. [Metaphysics, 1011b, C4 BC.] Simple in concept, but hard to establish on the ground; hence — in key part — the duties to right reason, prudence, fairness etc.

    Thus, too, we may compose sound civil law informed by that built-in law of our responsibly, rationally free morally governed nature; from such, we may identify what is unsound or false thus to be reformed or replaced even though enacted under the colour and solemn ceremonies of law.

    The first duties, also, are a framework for understanding and articulating the corpus of built-in law of our morally governed nature, antecedent to civil laws and manifest our roots in the Supreme Law-giver, the inherently good, utterly wise and just creator-God, the necessary (so, eternal), maximally great being at the root of reality.

    If we started here, I think we would come to a better balance and frame of mind to think through what is needed to restore our civilisation to soundness on general moral knowledge and thence on law and government.

    KF

  52. 52
    chuckdarwin says:

    BA77/48

    Craig jumped the shark when published his “mytho-history” nonsense about Adam and Eve being members of H. heidelbergensis. The snickers were palpable, even among IDers………

  53. 53
    bornagain77 says:

    ChuckyD, William Lane Craig, and apparently a lot of other ‘smart’ people, give far more credence to the human evolution narrative that is put forth by Darwinists than is scientifically warranted and/or justified.

    Jan. 2022 Fossil Record refutes human evolution
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/at-fox-news-adam-and-eve-are-compatible-with-evolution/#comment-744141

    Like the fossil record, the genetic evidence also falsifies Darwinian claims for human evolution rather than confirming them.,,,

    The evidence from genetics, directly contrary to what Darwinists claim, simply does not support the Darwinian ‘narrative’.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/evangelical-scientists-getting-it-wrong/#comment-740245

    Darwinists simply have no evidence that morphology, and/or biological form, is reducible to mutations to DNA.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/evangelical-scientists-getting-it-wrong/#comment-740247

    Population Genetics falsifies, instead of confirms, Darwinian claims for human evolution
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/christian-darwinists-must-now-backtrack-re-adam-and-eve/#comment-741335

    Human exceptionalism falsifies Darwinian claims for human evolution
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/evangelical-scientists-getting-it-wrong/#comment-740249

    Darwinists, (in what makes the ‘problem’ of explaining the origin of the human species pale in comparison), have no clue whatsoever why I, as an individual person within the human species, should even come into existence as a person with a unique individual subjective conscious experience
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/casey-luskin-the-mytho-history-of-adam-eve-and-william-lane-craig/#comment-740568
    etc.. etc.. etc..

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