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Apparently, scientists are the only ones exempt from the fact that we evolved to have biases…

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At Mind Matters News: Claim: If science were properly presented, trust would grow!:

The summary concludes with the view that science needs to be presented in the right, targeted learning style…

In the closing lines of this summary, we learn

“As much as we pride ourselves on being logical beings, in reality, we humans are animals with messy minds that are just as governed by our social alliances, emotions, and instincts as our logic. Those of us involved with science, whether as supporters or practitioners, must understand and account for this. – Tessa Koumondoros, “These 4 Factors Can Explain Why So Many People Are Rejecting Science” at ScienceAlert (July 16, 2022) the paper requires a fee or subscription.”

The underlying assumption is that “Those of us involved with science” are somehow exempt from the bias problem — even though they have the same biology as everyone else and biology is supposed to rule!

News, “Claim: If science were properly presented, trust would grow!” at Mind Matters News (July 23, 2022)


Also:

The Royal Society advocated a much sounder approach recently: Quit worrying so much about “misinformation.” That only makes people trust less.

Some tips for people worried about why we don’t “Trust the science!” now:

  • “Misinformation” is often just unwelcome information, not incorrect information. Get used to it.
  • Wuhan is not just a city in China. It stands for something.
  • Don’t depend on the legacy mainstream media to save you. They are very out of touch and less trusted than you.

and

Many people have noticed. Heck, they couldn’t help it.

News, “Claim: If science were properly presented, trust would grow!” at Mind Matters News (July 23, 2022)


Takehome: The ideas examined in these four short essays all assume that scientists are exempt from the bias and self-interest that governs everyone else.

We’re asked to believe that scientists are somehow exempt from the bias problem ingrained in our biology — yet they have the same biology as everyone else…

The paper, which requires a subscription, is “Why are people antiscience, and what can we do about it?” by Aviva Philipp-Muller, Spike W. S. Lee, and Richard E. Petty, July 12, 2022, PNAS 119 (30) e2120755119
https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2120755119

Here are all four parts of the series:

  1. Why many now reject science… do you really want to know? COVID demonstrated — as nothing else could — that the “science” was all over the map and didn’t help people avoid panic. As the panic receded, the government started setting up a disinformation board to target NON-government sources of panic, thus deepening loss of trust.
  2. Researchers: Distrust of science is due to tribal loyalty. In Part 2 of 4, we look at a claim arising from a recent study: We blindly believe those we identify with, ignoring the wisdom of science. There seems to be no recognition that researchers, however fiercely competitive among themselves, also have a tribal loyalty that skews their judgment.
  3. Researchers: If we tell folks more about science, they trust less. Part 3: The researchers argue that doubts about science arise from conflict with beliefs. The many COVID-19 debacles suggest other causes… Generally, the remedy for loss of trust after widespread failures is reform of the system, not reform of its doubters. Post-COVID, scientists should take heed.

and

  1. Claim: If science were properly presented, trust would grow! The ideas examined in these four short essays all assume that scientists are exempt from the bias and self-interest that governs everyone else. We’re asked to believe that scientists are somehow exempt from the bias problem ingrained in our biology — yet they have the same biology as everyone else…

82 Replies to “Apparently, scientists are the only ones exempt from the fact that we evolved to have biases…

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    As to: “Scientists Are The Only Ones Exempt From The Fact That We Evolved To Have Biases”

    Got to love how Evolutionists always manage to exempt themselves from, and/or think that they are somehow above, the implications of their own theory.

    “Darwinism self-destructs when evolutionists argue that ideas gain currency not because they are true, but because they help us survive and reproduce. In this case, how can Darwinism claim to be true? Postmodernism is self-defeating, too, because it makes truth claims while simultaneously denying the very possibility of objective truth. Everyone wants to exempt a favored worldview from the debunking directed toward others.”
    https://uncommondescent.com/darwinism/worldviews-commit-suicide-when-they-subject-other-philosophies-to-a-critique-that-they-cannot-withstand-themselves/

    also see:

    Why Evolutionary Theory Cannot Survive Itself – Nancy Pearcey – March 8, 2015
    Excerpt: An example of self-referential absurdity is a theory called evolutionary epistemology, a naturalistic approach that applies evolution to the process of knowing. The theory proposes that the human mind is a product of natural selection. The implication is that the ideas in our minds were selected for their survival value, not for their truth-value.
    But what if we apply that theory to itself? Then it, too, was selected for survival, not truth — which discredits its own claim to truth. Evolutionary epistemology commits suicide.,,,
    Of course, the atheist pursuing his research has no choice but to rely on rationality, just as everyone else does. The point is that he has no philosophical basis for doing so. Only those who affirm a rational Creator have a basis for trusting human rationality.
    The reason so few atheists and materialists seem to recognize the problem is that, like Darwin, they apply their skepticism selectively. They apply it to undercut only ideas they reject, especially ideas about God. They make a tacit exception for their own worldview commitments.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2015/03/why_evolutionar/

    Darwin’s Robots: When Evolutionary Materialists Admit that Their Own Worldview Fails
    – Nancy Pearcey – April 23, 2015
    https://evolutionnews.org/2015/04/when_evolutiona/

    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.
    – Existential Argument against Atheism – Jason Petersen

  2. 2
    jerry says:

    The OP is missing the key element of this distrust.

    People don’t reject science which if done correctly is just facts. They reject the interpretation of these facts. The key phrase above “Misinformation is often just unwelcome information, not incorrect information.”

    That’s why ID is rejected, not because it is based on non facts. It’s not. People don’t like the obvious interpretation of the facts. Anti ID people are irrational as is obvious here on UD. That’s why we get the clowns making snarky remarks about religion. They have no rational objections so they insult and mock.

    ID supporters are no different. They have their pet opinions that are susceptible to the same biases. They too will be irrational and villainize when it’s necessary to protect these biases.

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    Supplemental trivia, postmodern pragmatism, and its stranglehold on education in America today is, unsurprisingly, the fruit of Darwinism,

    How Darwinism Dumbs Us Down – Nancy Pearcey
    Excerpt: The gist of my talk was that Darwinism undercuts the very possibility of rational truth–an argument that seemed unsettling to atheist students who had organized a group specifically to promote rational thought!
    To understand how Darwinism undercuts the very concept of rationality, we can think back to the late nineteenth century when the theory first arrived on American shores. Almost immediately, it was welcomed by a group of thinkers who began to work out its implications far beyond science. They realized that Darwinism implies a broader philosophy of naturalism (i.e., that nature is all that exists, and that natural causes are adequate to explain all phenomena). Thus they began applying a naturalistic worldview across the board–in philosophy, psychology, the law, education, and the arts.
    At the foundation of these efforts, however, was a naturalistic approach to knowledge itself (epistemology). The logic went like this: If humans are products of Darwinian natural selection, that obviously includes the human brain–which in turn means all our beliefs and values are products of evolutionary forces: Ideas arise in the human brain by chance, just like Darwin’s chance variations in nature; and the ones that stick around to become firm beliefs and convictions are those that give an advantage in the struggle for survival. This view of knowledge came to be called pragmatism (truth is what works) or instrumentalism (ideas are merely tools for survival).
    Darwinian Logic
    One of the leading pragmatists was John Dewey, who had a greater influence on educational theory in America than anyone else in the 20th century. Dewey rejected the idea that there is a transcendent element in human nature, typically defined in terms of mind or soul or spirit, capable of knowing a transcendent truth or moral order. Instead he treated humans as mere organisms adapting to challenges in the environment. In his educational theory, learning is just another form of adaptation–a kind of mental natural selection. Ideas evolve as tools for survival, no different from the evolution of the lion’s teeth or the eagle’s claws.
    In a famous essay called “The Influence of Darwin on Philosophy,” Dewey said Darwinism leads to a “new logic to apply to mind and morals and life.” In this new evolutionary logic, ideas are not judged by a transcendent standard of Truth, but by how they work in getting us what we want. Ideas do not “reflect reality” but only serve human interests.
    To emphasize how revolutionary this was, up until this time the dominant theory of knowledge or epistemology was based on the biblical doctrine of the image of God. Confidence in the reliability of human knowledge derived from the conviction that finite human reason reflects (to some degree at least) an infinite divine Reason. Since the same God who created the universe also created our minds, we can be confident that our mental capacities reflect the structure of the universe. In The Mind of God and the Works of Man, Edward Craig shows that even as Western thinkers began to move away from orthodox Christian theology, in their philosophy most of them still retained the conception that our minds reflect an Absolute Mind as the basis for trust in human cognition.
    The pragmatists were among the first, however, to face squarely the implications of naturalistic evolution. If evolutionary forces produced the mind, they said, then all are beliefs and convictions are nothing but mental survival strategies, to be judged in terms of their practical success in human conduct. William James liked to say that truth is the “cash value” of an idea: If it pays off, then we call it true.
    Pragmatism Today
    This Darwinian logic continues to shape American thought more than we might imagine. ,,,,
    If James’s religious pragmatism has become virtually the American approach to spirituality today, then Dewey’s pragmatism has become the preferred approach to education. Virtually across the curriculum–from math class to moral education–teachers are trained to be nondirective “facilitators,” presenting students with problems and allowing them to work out their own pragmatic strategies for solving them. Of course, good teachers have always taught students to think for themselves. But today’s nondirective methodologies go far beyond that. They springboard from a Darwinian epistemology that denies the very existence of any objective or transcendent truth.
    Take, for example, “constructivism,” a popular trend in education today. Few realize that it is based on the idea that truth is nothing more than a social construction for solving problems. A leading theorist of constructivism, Ernst von Glasersfeld at the University of Georgia, is forthright about its Darwinian roots. “The function of cognition is adaptive in the biological sense,” he writes. “This means that ‘to know’ is not to possess ‘true representations’ of reality, but rather to possess ways and means of acting and thinking that allow one to attain the goals one happens to have chosen.” In short, a Darwinian epistemology implies that ideas are merely tools for meeting human goals.
    Postmodern Campuses
    These results of pragmatism are quite postmodern, so it comes as no surprise to learn that the prominent postmodernist Richard Rorty calls himself a neo-pragmatism….
    I once presented this progression from Darwinism to postmodern pragmatism at a Christian college, when a man in the audience raised his hand: “I have only one question. These guys who think all our ideas and beliefs evolved . . . do they think their own ideas evolved?” The audience broke into delighted applause, because of course he had captured the key fallacy of the Darwinian approach to knowledge. If all ideas are products of evolution, and thus not really true but only useful for survival, then evolution itself is not true either–and why should the rest of us pay any attention to it?
    Indeed, the theory undercuts itself. For if evolution is true, then it is not true, but only useful. This kind of internal contradiction is fatal, for a theory that asserts something and denies it at the same time is simply nonsense. In short, naturalistic evolution is self-refuting.
    https://www.namb.net/apologetics/resource/how-darwinism-dumbs-us-down/

  4. 4
    relatd says:

    Jerry at 2,

    Who died and who put you in charge?

    “They too will be irrational and villainize when it’s necessary to protect these biases.”

    How did you arrive at this astonishing conclusion? Phone survey? Paying a professional survey company? Your imagination?

  5. 5
    Seversky says:

    Scientists are just human beings like everyone else with the same flaws as everyone else. They aspire to ideals of dispassionate objectivity, ruthless honesty, logic and rigorous application of the scientific method. But being human they don’t always live up to those ideals. They make mistakes, they even commit fraud but the hope is that, over the long haul, the process will eventually expose the mistakes and the frauds.

    Science is far from a perfect process but it is better than anything else we have for trying to understand the nature of this reality.

    If there is a Creator think of the untold billions of lives that could have been saved if He/She/It had handed down to us knowledge of what causes illness in people. For example, the Black Death wiped out at least half the entire population of Europe in the 14th century. I leave you to imagine how many prayed desperately for help which never came. It took plodding human science more than three hundred years to uncover the existence of micro-organisms like bacteria and viruses and then begin to develop vaccines and drugs to treat the illnesses they cause. We have to assume that, if there was such a Creator, he/she/it would have had all that information at the time but chose not to share it. So much for benevolence and loving His creatures.

  6. 6
    relatd says:

    Seversky at 5,

    Back to reducing God to just another human being. That’s irrational. How is God God if he’s just like you or the guy down the street? ‘Oh God is just terrible !!! He allows disease and suffering !!! He should have given us ALL the answers long ago !!! He’s a terrible human being !!!’

    Have you ever personally dealt with scientists and those trying to cure disease? I have. And they are not the terribly flawed people you make them out to be. They might live in your imagination but not in real life. I’ve seen their dedication, their willingness to learn and apply what they learn. Their lives, which may be imperfect in some areas, are lives dedicated to others.

  7. 7
    AaronS1978 says:

    Speaking of biased lol check this out
    *lather on the sarcasm* this was not at all done by politically left scientists https://phys.org/news/2022-07-anti-abortion-beliefs-sexual-strategies.html?fbclid=IwAR3MVwj-Rt_p35m2TYZ5J9WPY3m6rc8h5N4cuhn5jzC3mT6HwggXtGESUJg

    Come join me on commentary for this lovely post

    https://m.facebook.com/story/graphql_permalink/?graphql_id=UzpfSTE0MjYxOTc4MTM6Vks6ODA2NDUyOTQ2MDIzMTMzMw%3D%3D

  8. 8
    AaronS1978 says:

    @sev why do you pretend you can understand what any type of Omniscient being is doing? Are you a god of any kind with absolute knowledge of everything? Why do you keep asking for heaven on earth? If you are a Star-trek fan you understand why God doesn’t beckon to everyone’s call like a genie. By the way the discovery of Penicillin kind of fits your example of God giving us the means of handling diseases. *sarcasm needed* I’m also sure that if God provided penicillin back in the days of black death that there would be ZERO repercussions to too it effectiveness today #ARB *cough* *cough* suppose God could just keep fixing every new problem created from fixing the last and we don’t have to do anything but wait for our owner to come feed us

    Amazing those people faced such hardship yet were infinitely more grateful and faithful then Sev. Surprisingly during the times of the plague the Jewish population seemed much less effected by the plague. This is attributed by their practices of hygiene and burying the dead quickly, which according to them were instructions handed down to them by God

  9. 9
    relatd says:

    AS1978 at 8,

    “… we don’t have to do anything but wait for our owner to come feed us.”

    This version of God reduces Him to a wish-granting machine.

    ‘Hey God. I want this. Hey God. I want that.’ And God gives it to you.

    Our relationship with God means an actual relationship. If Seversky reduces God to another man followed by not being sure anything like God even exists then why bring Him up at all?

  10. 10
    AaronS1978 says:

    What Sev is describing is a caretaker pet relationship

  11. 11
    AaronS1978 says:

    Now when it comes to presenting science and the OP I think that scientists should first attempt to be politically neutral especially since they seem to understand tribalism. But if you constantly try to support your tribe with your science, then the other tribe might start suspecting that you are not being forthright with your findings

    Point in case what I posted @7
    It’s kinda common sense really

    So if you claim to be unbiased and then take a very biased stand while doing science that specifically puts the opposing view in a bad light, don’t be surprised if people stop trusting you.

  12. 12
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Seversky

    Science is far from a perfect process but it is better than anything else we have for trying to understand the nature of this reality.

    That’s not a scientific statement. The fact is, we can’t do science outside of a philosophical structure. Saying that science is “better than” that which it depends upon doesn’t make sense. It’s not a competition.
    So you offered a strange response. The series is questioning why there is distrust of science. You reply by saying that scientists are human and can make mistakes but their work is superior to any other in understanding reality.
    That’s highly debatable, as above – but ok.
    But then, you shift gears and drive headlong into this:

    If there is a Creator think of the untold billions of lives that could have been saved if He/She/It had handed down to us knowledge of what causes illness in people.

    So, the alternative to science is a belief in God? Let’s not forget about the thousands of scientists who do believe in God.
    Aside from that, you present science as it if is the noble rebellion against God – scientists worked diligently to find cures for disease and, supposedly, God didn’t do anything to help.
    Again, that’s a strange way to look at things.
    You speak of the “untold billions of lives” that could have been saved.
    How about this? Your life has been saved already millions of times. God prevented your death from countless accidents, viruses, diseases, threats, hostilities that could have happened.
    But more importantly, science did not save the life of anyone. They’re all dead.
    And that’s the point you’re missing. If there’s no life after death, then “saving a life” is merely a matter of adding some years. Were those good or bad years? No matter – all of those people died. They died by the plague, of cancer, of accidents, or physical failure, of violence – the list goes on.
    Without God, it doesn’t make sense. Science makes no sense of this at all.
    A science-alone philosophy is not only self-refuting but it ends with absurd and useless conclusions.
    None of it matters.
    The fact that you’re concerned and pointing blame to God actually wouldn’t make sense in that view.
    Science has not stopped anyone from dying, ultimately.

  13. 13
    Seversky says:

    Relatd/6

    Back to reducing God to just another human being.

    No, that’s not what I wrote or intended. I take Christianity at its word that its God is the greatest of all possible beings but also that we are made in His image, whatever that may mean. It also means that if there are objective moral standards then your God is as much bound by them as we are. A God that allows people to die when He could prevent the cause without any cost to himself or others is guilty at least of negligence.

    Have you ever personally dealt with scientists and those trying to cure disease? I have. And they are not the terribly flawed people you make them out to be.

    Again, that’s not what I wrote or intended. Like any other population of human beings, scientists are a similar mixture of good, bad and indifferent. As a body, they are not terrible although they may include a small number of terrible individuals. Rather, since they aspire to the ideals you mention, if anything they may be credited with leaning towards the better end of the moral spectrum.

  14. 14
    Seversky says:

    AaronS1978/8

    @sev why do you pretend you can understand what any type of Omniscient being is doing?

    Is the Christian God bound by the same objective moral code as we are? For example, is He forbidden from killing as much as we are? Does he have a moral duty, since He is presumed to have the power, to prevent harm to His allegedly beloved creatures?

    Why do you keep asking for heaven on earth?

    If there is a heaven, why bother with Earth at all?

    If you are a Star-trek fan you understand why God doesn’t beckon to everyone’s call like a genie.

    Yet that is exactly what Christianity implies by its emphasis on prayer. Why bother praying unless you believe that calls for help will be answered?

    By the way the discovery of Penicillin kind of fits your example of God giving us the means of handling diseases. *sarcasm needed* I’m also sure that if God provided penicillin back in the days of black death that there would be ZERO repercussions to too it effectiveness today #ARB *cough* *cough* suppose God could just keep fixing every new problem created from fixing the last and we don’t have to do anything but wait for our owner to come feed us

    If God created Homo Sapiens then He also created Yersinia Pestis and all the other micro-organisms that make people sick and/or kill them in such large numbers. Now, tell me, why would He do such a thing?

    Amazing those people faced such hardship yet were infinitely more grateful and faithful then Sev. Surprisingly during the times of the plague the Jewish population seemed much less effected by the plague. This is attributed by their practices of hygiene and burying the dead quickly, which according to them were instructions handed down to them by God

    That’s nice but it would have been a lot better if He hadn’t created the plague at all.

  15. 15
    Seversky says:

    Relatd/9

    This version of God reduces Him to a wish-granting machine.

    ‘Hey God. I want this. Hey God. I want that.’ And God gives it to you.

    Isn’t that what He wants?

    1 John 5:14
    “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:”

  16. 16
    Seversky says:

    Silver Asiatic/12

    That’s not a scientific statement. The fact is, we can’t do science outside of a philosophical structure. Saying that science is “better than” that which it depends upon doesn’t make sense. It’s not a competition.

    It’s the observation that science has proven to be much more fruitful then any other “way of knowing”. For example when it comes to the understanding of disease or the ability to send a space probe to rendezvous with a planet, for example, where it will be a decade in the future or predict the existence of and then detect a sub-atomic particle, billions of which are passing through every square inch of our bodies every second completely unbeknownst to us.

    Yes, science operates within philosophical, social, financial and political contexts which inevitably influence what research is allowed to be conducted. Scientists are probably more aware of that than the rest of us.

    And there is competition when religiously-inspired Intelligent Design is pitted directly against the theory of evolution.

    So, the alternative to science is a belief in God? Let’s not forget about the thousands of scientists who do believe in God.

    No, belief in God is not an alternative to science but there are those in the Christian community who would like science subordinated to their religious beliefs to the extent that they would be at risk of a sort of religious “Lysenkoism” where only science that would be deemed consonant with those beliefs would be approved. In other words, religion would take precedence over science.

    Aside from that, you present science as it if is the noble rebellion against God – scientists worked diligently to find cures for disease and, supposedly, God didn’t do anything to help.

    No, more like humanity slowly realizing that if they want certain things done they are going to have to do it for themselves. They can’t rely on a Creator who may not be there.

    How about this? Your life has been saved already millions of times. God prevented your death from countless accidents, viruses, diseases, threats, hostilities that could have happened.

    Yes, we’re the lucky ones. Shame about the millions of the unlucky. What do we chalk them up to?

    But more importantly, science did not save the life of anyone. They’re all dead.

    And that’s the point you’re missing. If there’s no life after death, then “saving a life” is merely a matter of adding some years. Were those good or bad years? No matter – all of those people died.

    Yes, we all die eventually. If your God exists, try asking Him why He did that to us. If He doesn’t, if this short life is all we have, doesn’t it make sense to stretch it out as long as we can?

    A science-alone philosophy is not only self-refuting but it ends with absurd and useless conclusions.

    Nobody is suggesting a science-alone philosophy. There are so many questions that science is unable to answer yet neither can it offer the comfort and support in times of crisis that religion can. That said, we would be very foolish to discard it as a tool.

    Science has not stopped anyone from dying, ultimately.

    No, it hasn’t. But, if your God exists, the fact that everyone does die is His will. That is how He has arranged things so He is ultimately responsible for all these deaths. In effect, He kills us all eventually.

  17. 17
    Just Another Commenter says:

    @sev, am I misunderstanding you, or are you actually using 1 John 5:14 to support the idea of God as a “wish-granting machine”? In fact, this verse says the opposite. The key phrase is “according to his will”. I will leave the implications of that as an exercise for you.

  18. 18
    Just Another Commenter says:

    @sev

    Yes, we all die eventually. If your God exists, try asking Him why He did that to us.

    Based on your impeccable spelling, grammar, and vocabulary, it seems you are of above average intelligence. Yet your theological education seems to have halted at the age of four, and you have steadfastly resisted learning anything since.
    We don’t have to ask why death entered the world. It is stated quite clearly, and is one of the elementary tenets of Christianity: “through one man [that is, Adam] sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned”. Romans 5:12.
    How is it that you can keep commenting here year after year without learning even the most rudimentary basics of the faith you are criticizing?

  19. 19
    AaronS1978 says:

    @Sev
    “Is the Christian God bound by the same objective moral code as we are? For example, is He forbidden from killing as much as we are? Does he have a moral duty, since He is presumed to have the power, to prevent harm to His allegedly beloved creatures?“

    There are a couple ways of answering this first of all, but I am abrasive like sand paper so here I go.

    God is God, God is subject to nothing. Literally nothing, if God deemed that you and every creature on this earth and everywhere in the known universe were to melt into a horrific pile of flesh, forever alive and yet never capable of death while wracked with perpetual pain, God could do so.

    God is the creator of all that exists and all that exists owes their existence to God. God owes no one or anything. So God is capable of making the rules, reinforcing the rules, changing his mind and breaking his rules. He made them

    Now I hope you understand that because that’s just the basic facts of reality we are at God’s mercy at anyone given moment no matter what, whether you believe in God or not. But let’s just say for the sake of this conversation God exists because that’s what we’re trying to discuss correct

    Now God, Christian or whatever, can do has God pleases, so keep that in mind and being upset about it really means nothing.

    God created everything good, evil, every creature, every disease, and everything in this universe. God created everything

    So for all the things you bemoan about reality that god created, all the bad stuff, god has also created the answer to those things and all the good stuff as well. People have a tendency to pick and choose want parts of reality they want to praise or accuse God of, which makes me giggle because both sides do it.

    Now in your case you blame God for all the deaths and misery in the world, so you have specifically chosen that he is the creator of all that is evil therefore he if exists he’s a horrible bully.

    That said God didn’t kill any of the people in your example. God didn’t come down and say “and you have the plague, and you have the plague, you’ve all got the plague Hooray for Yahweh”.

    (Again I emphasize God created disease and God created the means to cure it as well, God created the problem and the answer in the existence God created)

    Now here’s the deal, God also gave you freedom, and he gave his entire creation freedom, the freedom to exist, including the disease, whether it be good, bad, wonderful, or awful we have that freedom and so does everything else

    So God didn’t come down and murder millions of people like you accused God of doing. God had nothing to do with it short of it was part of the existence he created. It was a disease living its existence and a series of events that took place that brought that disease to people who are susceptible to it.

    God didn’t come down and wipe them out instantaneously or slowly torture them to death.

    None of that took place except for maybe in your head

    So God, which has no reason to keep us in existence or any other part of creation, not only created us but gave us the freedom, all of us, the freedom to exist.

    And with that freedom we can make our own choices including denying him.

    God did give us some basic introduction before leaving earth, and has since then left us alone except for the occasional subtle intervention here and there.

    And why is there an earth when there’s a heaven, because he is testing us.
    Which is, if I’m not mistaken, stated in the the Bible multiple times. God gave us freedom and God wants to see what we will do with it.

    But wait are you about to say “well God wouldn’t need to test us god already knows the outcome, god can do anything and knows everything so God creating us to test us seems silly”

    At first you might think you found a logically fallacy with God

    Not really because God’s ability to do everything and anything answers your own issues. God doesn’t have to know the outcome and if God is giving us freedom, to protect that freedom, God will deny himself the knowledge of that outcome and will not directly interfere with the outcome.

    Logically if God can create the universe, God can easily stop himself from reading the final chapters of this book.

    Now I’m not saying that God hasn’t intervened before or that God is not capable of killing loads of people if God deemed it necessary. Do you remember Sodom and Gomorrah, God had no issues vaporizing them. Also apparently, it possibly did happen, because there’s scientific evidence that a meteorite flew over the area the cities would have been and exploded. That explosion was strong enough to wipe out a city the same way a nuclear explosion would have. So again we are 100% at God’s mercy if God is the living breathing universe around us.

    Now I feel I might’ve wasted my time trying to explain these things to you as we are literally arguing the glass is half empty versus the glass is half full. I actually explain these matters much better in person.

    I am sorry you feel every tragedy is God’s fault because apparently he created it and therefore he can’t exist because the author of creation also created the possibility of tragedy. But there are necessary evils and you need evil to appreciate good, you need determinism to appreciate freedom, there are so many things in this world that you just can’t have one without the other because you need both to know that either exist

    But the reality of it is, our universe has freedom and instead of being a marinette, can actually have the ability to disagree with how God runs the show versus, God just makes you agree with God. Now you can always believe in super determinism which is effectively God dressed up as determinism but that’s an entirely different conversation.

    Now I’m gonna share a little something with you and I hope not everybody gets really upset at me when I say this but I actually don’t like the concept of heaven.

    The idea of heaven upsets me because it seems to me that once someone makes it to heaven all they do is sit there and praise God’s glory

    That worries me because I really like my freedom and as much as I want to be with the almighty, I still want my freedom to explore and be me. I don’t think heaven would be very enjoyable if all I do is praise God for the rest of existence (not that God doesn’t deserve it)

    It’s an honest concern of mine and that’s not to say I would actually go to heaven, I don’t think myself good enough to have that privilege, but I really do enjoy this little blue marble with everybody on it

  20. 20
    AaronS1978 says:

    Hmmm that was BA77 long 😛
    unlike BA77 mine is not fully proof read lol

  21. 21
    AaronS1978 says:

    By the way sev you never answered my question.

    I’m not exactly certain you answered any of my questions.

    But I did explained myself, now why do you pretend you can understand what any type of Omniscient being is doing? Try not to answer by simply rephrasing what you stated earlier as question.

    If it helps I’ll rephrase my question, do you think you are smarter then an omniscient being of any type? Yes or no

  22. 22
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev, why do you continue to try to taint the design inference as religion not science; especially when there is clear evidence of a priori evolutionary materialistic bias fatally undermining not only origins science but credibility of mind? Could it be, that that is a backhanded way to avoid admitting that the design inference on tested, reliable sign is literally backed by a world of evidence but may point where you desperately wish not to go? Your answer to the decades long discovery that there is string data structure code [so, language] in the cell is ______ ? Similarly, to the recognition that protein synthesis uses said codes in algorithms [so, goal directed process] is ______ ? What evidence of observation do you have, that blind chance and/or mechanical necessity can create FSCO/I beyond 500 – 1,000 bits _______? (Truthful answer, nil, it is all imposed speculation once we saw what was going on in the cell.) KF

    PS, Nope, all serious work involving logic and warrant towards knowledge is inextricably entangled with philosophical issues, considerations and frames from logic, logic of being, epistemology. It is thus simple nonsense to try to cut science off from its roots, put it on a pedestal even as it begins to wither for want of nourishing support and pretend that it is more successful than the roots that would otherwise support and sustain it. Crooked yardstick thinking, as I am currently highlighting in L&FP 57, scientism fails. So does evolutionary materialism.

  23. 23
    kairosfocus says:

    AS78, actually evil is not a thing in itself, it is at root abuse of a key good, rational responsible freedom, to warp or frustrate things away from their due end, leading to chaos. So, God does not create evil, he created the means for the higher order good that comes through love of one another, our fellow creatures and truth, also Him who is truth and source himself. You are right that we can expect that he has also provided means to ultimately overcome evils. KF

  24. 24
    AaronS1978 says:

    @ KF I agree with you and understand exactly that. Sev thinks that since existence is capable of evil God created it. In this case Yersinia Pestis is that evil

  25. 25
    Alan Fox says:

    …actually evil is not a thing in itself…

    I agree. The word “evil” only makes sense as an adjective. I don’t think StephenB would agree, though. 😉

  26. 26
    Alan Fox says:

    If it helps I’ll rephrase my question, do you think you are smarter then an omniscient being of any type?

    What a daft question! It always makes me chuckle when Christians adopt the position of claiming skeptics can’t understand omniscient beings while claiming they can themselves. We’re all in the same boat of ignorance. We can make up comforting stories or we can admit we have no clue. Nothing changes, as Jerry will no doubt confirm.

  27. 27
    AaronS1978 says:

    @ Alan Fox lol! I was actually waiting for Sev to make that comment.

    It’s not hypocritical

    If you want to base your disbelief a line of questioning that implies that you think you can do it better or know better than that Omniscient being, then go for it.

    But if I decide to counter question you by asking you why you think you know better than that’s not being hypocritical and that’s just responding to your dumb line of arrogant thinking

    Sev made his statements, tried to back everyone who believed in this Omniscient being into a moral dilemma. I answered his moral dilemma with a question, he chose not to answer anything I asked previously by rephrasing what he stated before, so I dumbed it down for him.

    Whether you think it’s daft or not doesn’t it really matter because it was in response to Sev being daft

    So if we’re all in the same boat I expect you to have the same criticisms for Sev

  28. 28
    Marfin says:

    Alan Fox , no one can know any more about an omniscient being than the average atheist , unless they chose to open themselves up to that being revealing himself to them , which he does through his word.
    Now if you want to know more about his nature you are free to do so just pick up a bible and away you go.

  29. 29
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev and AF, you both know that the problem of evils was decisively answered through a series of works by Plantinga some fifty years ago. Through, the free will defence, as opposed to theodicy. The matter is logical, if a1, a2, . . . an are challenged as incoherent but ex is added and they are seen to be coherent, all are coherent due to AND logic. It matters not that one may disbelieve ex or any ax, this is a logical solution, matters not if you can compose a radical disharmony dy, ex prevails. All of this has been pointed out. That ex was provided, the deductive form is over. Inductive and natural evil forms have been tamed as well. Then, once evils exist, so do goods and the root of good must be the world root requiring power to create worlds, but also inherent goodness and utter wisdom, once we have morally governed creatures, us. Deny that we are morally governed all you please, that only shows denial of the blatant attested by sound conscience. All of this has been pointed out on record, explained and answered. Why then do you cling to a refuted and/or tamed objection? It’s not ignorance, that is a mark of desperation and/or playing at rhetorical stunts. Neither of which are responsible. Which goes of course to the same first duties you have objected to but which are the branch on which we all sit. Especially, truth, right reason, warrant. Meanwhile the serious problem of bias, distortion, politicisation and just plain junk in science is being distracted from. That, too, is irresponsible. KF

  30. 30
    kairosfocus says:

    AF, trying to pose the problem of evils or euthyphro dilemmas or hume guillotines as objections betrays profound misunderstanding of what the God envisioned by ethical theism is. And yes, we are in phil here, not yet the Hebraic-Christian tradition. We may not exhaust his depth, but we can and do know framework characteristics of God, especially given that we are undeniably morally governed. The world cannot have been a past infinite temporal causal succession, circular retrocause is something from non being, were there ever utter non being, there being no causal capability such would forever obtain. A world is, with morally governed creatures, requiring a finitely remote, necessary being world root capable of bridging is-ought, and being supreme. The candidate: the inherently good, utterly wise creator God, a necessary and maximally great being; one worthy of loyalty and of the responsible, reasonable service of doing the good that accords with our evident nature. Where, a serious candidate necessary [worlds framework] being either is, or is impossible of being as a euclidean plane square circle. Atheists and fellow travellers, of course, have yet to provide a sound argument why God is impossible of Being. KF

  31. 31
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky at 16, once again, bemoans the existence of evil, i.e. death, disease, and suffering, in the world, and holds, basically, if God existed He would not allow such evil to exist in the world.

    This ‘argument from evil’ turns out to be one of the two primary arguments of atheists against God. (Both arguments of which are inherently flawed)

    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/

    In their argument from evil, atheists hold that “If an all-powerful, all-good God existed, then such horrific, apparently purposeless evils would not exist.”

    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/

    But this is a self defeating position for Seversky, and all other atheists, to be in. As former atheist David Wood put the irresolvable dilemma, “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
    Excerpt: Interestingly enough, proponents of AE 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/responding-to-the-argument-from-evil-three-approaches-for-the-theist

    If Good and Evil Exist, God Exists: Peter Kreeft – Prager University – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xliyujhwhNM

    C.S Lewis, also a former atheist who converted to Christianity, put the irresolvable dilemma in the atheist’s argument from evil like this: “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?,,, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.”

    “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?,,,
    in the very act of trying to prove that God did not exist–in other words, that the whole of reality was senseless–I found I was forced to assume that one part of reality–namely my idea of justice–was full of sense. Consequently atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.”
    – C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity. Harper San Francisco, Zondervan Publishing House, 2001, pp. 38-39.

    In short, without God, i.e. without an ultimate standard of moral perfection to judge from, evil simply could not exist for Seversky, and thus Seversky, if God does not exist, simply has no place to argue from. As Cornelius Van Til put the atheist’s irresolvable dilemma, “He cannot stand in a vacuum.”

    “In other words, the non-Christian needs the truth of the Christian religion in order to attack it. As a child needs to sit on the lap of its father in order to slap the father’s face, so the unbeliever, as a creature, needs God the Creator and providential controller of the universe in order to oppose this God. Without this God, the place on which he stands does not exist. He cannot stand in a vacuum.”
    – Cornelius Van Til, Essays on Christian Education (The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company: Phillipsburg, NJ, 1979).

    In conclusion, the atheist’s argument from evil is fatally flawed in that it necessarily presupposes the existence of an objective standard of moral perfection, i.e. the existence of God, in order for evil to even exist in the first place.

    In fact, the atheist’s argument from evil actually plays right into the Theist’s ‘moral argument’ for the existence of God.

    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

    Supplemental note: “every twinge of human conscience proves His existence.”

    The Divine Hiddenness Argument Against God’s Existence = Nonsense – Michael Egnor -Oct. 4, 2021
    Excerpt: We will set aside Scriptural revelation and personal experience (given that atheists like Dillahunty discount these anyway) and consider the ways in which God shows Himself in nature (i.e., the ten ways that God’s existence can be known that I listed during my debate with Dillahunty. Here are three excellent references for the details of these various arguments: Aquinas: A Beginner’s Guide, (Edward Feser), Five Proofs of the Existence of God (Edward Feser), and Letters to an Atheist (Peter Kreeft).
    These and other works cover evidence such as Aquinas’ First Way (by change in nature), Aquinas’ Second Way (by cause in nature), Aquinas’ Third Way (by contingent existence), Aquinas’ Fourth Way (by degrees of perfection), and Aquinas’ Fifth Way (by design in nature) as well as the Thomistic argument from existence, the Neoplatonic argument (from the order of things), the Augustinian argument (from abstract objects), the rationalist argument (from the principal of sufficient reason), and the argument for Moral Law (from the reality of objective moral obligation).
    Each of these proofs of God’s existence is revealed to us through our intellect.
    Is the information that God provides in these ways sufficient to convince a reasonable person of His existence? Consider the ten ways that simple everyday experience provides inexhaustible evidence for His existence:
    Every change in nature proves His existence. Every cause in nature proves His existence. Everything that exists in nature proves His existence. Every degree of perfection in nature proves His existence. Every manifestation of natural design proves His existence. Every realization of possibility in nature proves His existence. Every manifestation of organization in nature proves His existence. Every abstract concept proves His existence. Every reason for anything in nature proves His existence. And every twinge of human conscience proves His existence.
    Natural science provides massive evidence for His existence as well. The Big Bang — i.e., the creation of the universe from nothing in an immense primordial flash of light — is a remarkable confirmation of the beginning of the book of Genesis. Astrophysicists have discovered dozens of physical forces and properties in the universe that must have very specific values to permit human life — and of course these forces and properties do have exactly the values necessary for our existence (as if Someone rigged physics just for us). The DNA in living things is an actual code — in every meaningful sense like a computer code with letters and words, grammar and phrases, sentences and punctuation. And life forms’ intracellular metabolism is run by an astonishingly intricate and elegant system of biological nanotechnology.
    So my question to Dillahunty and to other atheists who endorse the Divine Hiddenness argument against God’s existence is this: What is it about God’s existence that you still consider hidden?
    https://mindmatters.ai/2021/10/the-divine-hiddenness-argument-against-gods-existence-nonsense/

    Verse:

    Matthew 19:17
    And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

  32. 32
    jerry says:

    Nothing changes, as Jerry will no doubt confirm

    That’s true on UD in general as on this particular thread.

    Somehow the discussion has gotten itself back on the term “evil” which I maintain no one can define. It will as usual go nowhere as nearly every discussion of “evil” does or as nearly ever other thread does.

    Also Seversky brings up what he sees as an imperfect world for the hundredth plus times and which he has been answered several times. On other threads anti ID commenters fail to answer the obvious conclusions of ID for maybe the ten thousandth time. Instead they divert as Seversky does here.

    Yes, nothing changes.

    Aside: there are occasionally a few exceptions when we actually learn something.

    Aside2: if commenters refuse to address someone’s observations even after they are repeated, does that mean they internally understand why those observations are true but don’t personally like the implications these observations imply?

  33. 33
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, the evasion and diversion tell us that there is no cogent answer to the design inference on tested, reliable sign. That points to design of the cell, given coded algorithms . . . language, data structures, goal directed processes . . . in protein synthesis. Life is designed from the root up. The side tracks and evident bitterness point to deeper motives of the heart that notoriously warp thought and to crooked yardstick premises. Finally, the decade plus persistence here and in the penumbra of attack and even hate sites tells us this is a message domination issue and that they aim to drown us out or silence and smear us. Those, cannot stand scrutiny but that is the Alinsky rules game. KF

  34. 34
    chuckdarwin says:

    KF/22

    Sev, why do you continue to try to taint the design inference as religion not science….

    Perhaps because the “design inference” is religion…..

  35. 35
    jerry says:

    the evasion and diversion tell us that there is no cogent answer to the design inference on tested, reliable sign

    Yes, that is true.

    But does making this observation for the thousandth plus time with a long discussion each time add anything? No! Just pointing it out is enough.

    Maybe adding a link to the list of things not answered will be useful. Nothing more is needed. It actually gets in the way by moving the discussion away from the evasiveness to something else.

    Perhaps because the “design inference” is religion

    Pure nonsense.

    You cannot back up anything you say. But thanks anyway because your bogus comments and evasiveness just confirms ID

  36. 36
    asauber says:

    “They aspire to ideals of dispassionate objectivity, ruthless honesty, logic and rigorous application of the scientific method.”

    LOL

    Andrew

  37. 37
    relatd says:

    Seversky at 13,

    I understand you. What I don’t understand is why you put God on the same footing as humans. I could give you the Christian Biblical explanation but it looks like you insist on God being just like any man and having the exact same qualities. He is God. This world became corrupted the moment two people, Adam and Eve, disobeyed the one Commandment God had given them. God had given them preternatural gifts, including bodily immortality, but they lost these gifts. So things are the way they are and God’s complete plan is known only to God. All men participate in this plan whether they acknowledge God as God or not.

  38. 38
    relatd says:

    Seversky at 15,

    You have a non-Biblical understanding of God. The Bible tells us that truths about God are spiritually discerned. And God’s ways are not our ways. Since you lack this spiritual understanding, God’s behavior seems either foolish or not logical by man’s standards. And you’ll have this problem until you accept God as He is.

  39. 39
    AaronS1978 says:

    @Relatd
    I would assume that a being with the capacity to be everywhere, know everything at once, and is entirely outside of time, would not normally think linearly like we do. I suppose he could and did for a time.

  40. 40
    kairosfocus says:

    CD, doubling down on a toxic misrepresentation does not convert it into truth. Kindly, tell me, when and where has it been observed that functionally specific, complex organisation and/or associated information beyond 750 +/- 250 bits has come about by blind chance and/or mechanical necessity ____? [Honest answer, never.] I can confidently point to trillions of cases by intelligently directed configuration. Similarly, kindly explain to us the observational base for the origin of string data structure, coded complex info expressing algorithms in the cell by blind chance and mechanical necessity ____. The normal, generally observed sources for algorithms using coded information are ____ ? [Honest answer, designers with relevant knowledge, where we cannot reasonably exhaust possible designers of code.] So, the attempt to taint as religion is simply an ideological stunt to cover the documented imposition of a priori evolutionary materialistic scientism, in defiance of Newton’s common sense rule on explaining like effects with observed like causes. KF

    PS, Here is Lyell showing the force of Newton’s rule:

    PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY:

    BEING

    AN INQUIRY HOW FAR THE FORMER CHANGES OF THE EARTH’S SURFACE ARE REFERABLE TO CAUSES NOW IN OPERATION. [–> appeal to Newton’s Rules, in the title of the work]

    BY

    CHARLES LYELL, Esq, F.R.S.

    PRESIDENT OF THE GEOLOGICAL SOCIETY OE LONDON . . . JOHN MURRAY , , , 1835 [–> later, publisher of Origin]

  41. 41
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    No, belief in God is not an alternative to science but there are those in the Christian community who would like science subordinated to their religious beliefs

    No, belief in materialism is not an alternative to science but there are those in the atheist community who would like science subordinated to their religious beliefs.

  42. 42
    Silver Asiatic says:

    AF

    We’re all in the same boat of ignorance.

    As suggested elsewhere: Nobody could possibly know more about God than you do. And you know nothing, so everyone must be equally ignorant.
    That really comes across as a complete lack of respect for people who may have more wisdom and experience than you do in these matters. Maybe ask yourself how you have concluded that everyone who has expressed an experience and communication with God is equally ignorant and deluded.
    You know nothing about God but you’re 100% certain that everyone who makes a positive claim about God is lying or deceived or just wrong for whatever reason?

    We can make up comforting stories or we can admit we have no clue.

    You may be doing both here: Admitting you have no clue and then making up the comforting story that it’s not possible that anyone else could know more than you do.

  43. 43
    EvilSnack says:

    What I notice in the original quoted text is the false humility, exhibited by using the first person plural when talking about flaws of intellect or character, when the context clearly shows that the speaker does not seriously entertain the notion that he is subject to these flaws. I see it in religious circles, and it’s just as annoying there.

  44. 44
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Seversky

    It’s the observation that science has proven to be much more fruitful then any other “way of knowing”.

    My point here is that this conclusion you offer “science is more fruitful than any other” – is not a scientific statement. We cannot evaluate that statement scientifically. We’re using another “way of knowing” in order to say “science is the best”. We can’t even use science to know what science is.
    Science cannot even say “science is valuable” – science is incapable of that.
    All of that said, science is quite a limited tool.

    And there is competition when religiously-inspired Intelligent Design is pitted directly against the theory of evolution.

    Some might think that we never make any progress in our discussions here, but I see your statement there as a step forward, however minor. You’re saying that ID is “religiously-inspired” and therefore it’s a challenge to evolution. So this would put God on one side and science on the other.
    But that opens up a can of worms since we’re judging ID by what “inspired” it and not on what it says. But at least you’re not saying that “ID is a religious belief” as many would, so I see that as progress.
    However, it leaves the problem that if some scientific effort was “inspired by atheism” would that equally be a problem? We could also wonder if Darwin, for example, was inspired by an anti-religious sentiment, etc.

    No, belief in God is not an alternative to science but there are those in the Christian community who would like science subordinated to their religious beliefs to the extent that they would be at risk of a sort of religious “Lysenkoism” where only science that would be deemed consonant with those beliefs would be approved. In other words, religion would take precedence over science.

    True, but people do the same thing by believing that science must be consonant with an atheistic-worldview (Lewontin’s famous quote). I think those are minority views in either case.

    No, more like humanity slowly realizing that if they want certain things done they are going to have to do it for themselves. They can’t rely on a Creator who may not be there.

    Some people think that way, but others give credit to God for the work they do and for their discoveries (and for God having built potentials into the earth that we can find and use). Louis Pasteur felt that God guided his discoveries.

    Yes, we’re the lucky ones. Shame about the millions of the unlucky. What do we chalk them up to?

    No, I didn’t say you were lucky to have avoided millions of events like that, but rather that God has saved your life by protecting you and caring for you. Your life has been spared that way.
    If it was just luck, as you said, then the answer to your question at the end would be “we chalk them up to bad luck”. But you want to appeal to luck by being spared from many evils on a daily basis, but then blame God for people who suffer from one thing or another. That’s not consistent.
    If it’s luck then it’s luck. If God cared for you, protected you and spared you – then you’d normally want to thank God for all of that.

    Yes, we all die eventually. If your God exists, try asking Him why He did that to us. If He doesn’t, if this short life is all we have, doesn’t it make sense to stretch it out as long as we can?

    It’s an interesting question that goes in circles. First, you’ve lamented the misery, evil, injustice and intolerable conditions of life. These are all God’s fault. However, if God doesn’t exist – then it’s really not so bad after all. We’ll want to stretch this good life out as long as we can.
    If there are all of these miseries and non-existent God is to be blamed, then just taking yourself out of life is what makes sense. But wanting to stretch this life out is different. Sure, if there is enjoyment, pleasure, goodness – at least to a reasonable degree – why not keep it alive by living as long as you can?
    For one of many problems with that, it destroys the notion of self-sacrifice for a greater good. Why risk your life?
    Additionally, if you can make your life more pleasant at the cost of other people, why not do it?
    Finally, not everybody is as lucky as you are. It would take quite a lot of work to try to make their life as pleasant as yours. Some might propose that since it’s just either good luck or bad luck – those with the bad luck might best be just eliminated. There doesn’t seem to be a good reason why not.

  45. 45
    Seversky says:

    Just Another Commenter/17

    @sev, am I misunderstanding you, or are you actually using 1 John 5:14 to support the idea of God as a “wish-granting machine”? In fact, this verse says the opposite. The key phrase is “according to his will”. I will leave the implications of that as an exercise for you.

    Yes, what are the implications?

    When the Plague wiped out upwards of half the population of Europe in the 14th century it must have been His will that all those people died since He withheld the help He could easily have provided had He wanted. Why? Why was he deaf to their prayers? Had he become so callous and indifferent to human suffering that He no longer cared? Did He think they all deserved exactly what they got? What are the implications?

  46. 46
    Seversky says:

    Just Another Commenter/18

    We don’t have to ask why death entered the world. It is stated quite clearly, and is one of the elementary tenets of Christianity: “through one man [that is, Adam] sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned”. Romans 5:12.

    If somebody is found guilty in our courts of having committed an offense they will be punished. We punish the offender not his or her descendants in perpetuity.

    If Adam had sinned by eating the fruit of the tree then he should have been punished, not descendants who would not be born until a thousand years after his original transgression. In what world is it just to punish people for an offense committed long before they were born, in which they had no part and for which they were not responsible? It may be God’s will but “just” it most definitely not.

    How is it that you can keep commenting here year after year without learning even the most rudimentary basics of the faith you are criticizing?

    How is it that you people can read the Bible yet be blind to the implications of what you are reading?

  47. 47
    Seversky says:

    AaronS1978/19

    God is God, God is subject to nothing. Literally nothing, if God deemed that you and every creature on this earth and everywhere in the known universe were to melt into a horrific pile of flesh, forever alive and yet never capable of death while wracked with perpetual pain, God could do so.

    I agree such a being is conceivable but that is not the God Christianity is trying to sell to us, unless they are conceding the principle that might makes right.

    God is the creator of all that exists and all that exists owes their existence to God. God owes no one or anything. So God is capable of making the rules, reinforcing the rules, changing his mind and breaking his rules. He made them

    Again, yes He is capable of that but does that make it right? Or, again, are you saying that might makes right?

    God created everything good, evil, every creature, every disease, and everything in this universe. God created everything

    Yes, if the Christian God exists He must have created all the good and evil we see in the world. And, for all the talk of free will, we have no choice in the matter. It’s like it or lump it.

    Now in your case you blame God for all the deaths and misery in the world, so you have specifically chosen that he is the creator of all that is evil therefore he if exists he’s a horrible bully.

    If God exists and created all the evil and suffering then, yes, a “horrible bully” is exactly what He is.

    That said God didn’t kill any of the people in your example. God didn’t come down and say “and you have the plague, and you have the plague, you’ve all got the plague Hooray for Yahweh”.

    God created the Plague and let it rip. Like Trump on Jan 6, He sat back and watched it on Divine TV and didn’t lift a finger to prevent it. What would you call that?

    (Again I emphasize God created disease and God created the means to cure it as well, God created the problem and the answer in the existence God created)

    Like I said, it would have been nice if He’d shared that knowledge in time to save all those lives.

    Now here’s the deal, God also gave you freedom, and he gave his entire creation freedom, the freedom to exist, including the disease, whether it be good, bad, wonderful, or awful we have that freedom and so does everything else

    What freedom? Are we free from all the suffering and evil in the world? Are we free of being at the mercy of the whims of the God who created all that suffering and evil?

    So God didn’t come down and murder millions of people like you accused God of doing. God had nothing to do with it short of it was part of the existence he created. It was a disease living its existence and a series of events that took place that brought that disease to people who are susceptible to it.

    God had nothing to do with it? He created this whole mess. And for what purpose? Entertainment? It can’t have been to see what would happen, some form of scientific experiment. He’s supposed to be omniscient and omnipresent, He not only knows all that there is to be known but He’s present in all times and in all places. He knows what is in our future because He’s already there watching it. So what is this all about?

    Logically if God can create the universe, God can easily stop himself from reading the final chapters of this book.

    Assuming He could do that, the question would be, why? What purpose could any of that serve?

    The idea of heaven upsets me because it seems to me that once someone makes it to heaven all they do is sit there and praise God’s glory

    I tend to agree. It sounds like it would get pretty boring after a while.

  48. 48
    Alan Fox says:

    That really comes across as a complete lack of respect for people who may have more wisdom and experience than you do in these matters. Maybe ask yourself how you have concluded that everyone who has expressed an experience and communication with God is equally ignorant and deluded.

    OK. The main reason I find people talking about their religious ideas unconvincing is the complete lack of consistency. If there is one true God, why are there so many different stories?

  49. 49
    AaronS1978 says:

    @sev

    “I agree such a being is conceivable but that is not the God Christianity is trying to sell to us, unless they are conceding the principle that might makes right.”

    Incorrect God IS describe in the Bible multiple times as such a being from Paul to Peter

    “Again, yes He is capable of that but does that make it right? Or, again, are you saying that might makes right?”

    Right is determined by God not you. That comes with the title God. Furthermore, it is impossible to please everyone with everyone decision/action you make, and that’s even if an action was made. You keep thinking God is sitting up in mount Olympus moving us around like chess pieces on a chess board. God might be the first mover, but God let go after setting in motion and letting things grow freely. There also might be a bigger picture we are not privy too, and many of us might not want to be privy to because it could ruin our lives here.
    Millions die now to save billions later from a disease that can’t be cured because we got penicillin too early keeps coming to mind.

    “Yes, if the Christian God exists He must have created all the good and evil we see in the world. And, for all the talk of free will, we have no choice in the matter. It’s like it or lump it.”

    What do you mean by this?
    Honestly this, it just seems like you’re complaining to complain. Are you upset that you are forced to live in a world where choices have consequences, where things aren’t 100% your way? You have a choice to live righteously or poorly. Life isn’t perfect and it shouldn’t be. If it was, it would be meaningless.

    “If God exists and created all the evil and suffering then, yes, a “horrible bully” is exactly what He is.”

    That’s your opinion Richard Dawkins, very infantile opinion. You are very entitled to your opinion. You also probably thought your parents were bullies too, when they punished you for being bad.

    “God created the Plague and let it rip. Like Trump on Jan 6, He sat back and watched it on Divine TV and didn’t lift a finger to prevent it. What would you call that?”

    This is silly you’re dragging politics into this, please leave your trump derangement syndrome (TDS) at home. Also if you think January 6 was bad but had no problem with the Chad/Chaz eight months occupation zones and violence perpetrated by BLM then you need to reevaluate your moral principles and so much should also refrain from judging a supreme being on his. Also if you voted for Clown Biden you have ZERO room to talk about Orange Man

    “Like I said, it would have been nice if He’d shared that knowledge in time to save all those lives”

    Like I said, he did with his people, and like I said we cannot know if it would have been worth it in the long run. Diseases have this really cool ability to adapt and evolve. How many ARBs are there now since we received that answer? Imagine giving them 600 more years to evolve further.

    “What freedom? Are we free from all the suffering and evil in the world? Are we free of being at the mercy of the whims of the God who created all that suffering and evil?”

    Yes we are, evil is often a consequence of our poor choices. Second you seem to have a very broad sweeping idea of evil. Anything you disapprove seems evil. Natural disaster aren’t evil, they are part of our continued existence and are necessary.

    “God had nothing to do with it? He created this whole mess. And for what purpose? Entertainment? It can’t have been to see what would happen, some form of scientific experiment. He’s supposed to be omniscient and omnipresent, He not only knows all that there is to be known but He’s present in all times and in all places. He knows what is in our future because He’s already there watching it. So what is this all about?”

    I don’t know because I can’t see all possible futures and outcomes, and neither can you.
    And again this little marble has freedom to exist and live, all of it.

    “Assuming He could do that, the question would be, why? What purpose could any of that serve”

    I answered that already, to give us freedom. That’s the purpose it serves. I personally don’t like it when I have someone breathing down my neck for every little thing. Now make that person God. I would prefer not to exist if that were the case.

  50. 50
    Marfin says:

    Sev at 46 , Romans 5 :12 states sin and hence death entered into the world because of Adam but the latter part states all Die because all sin, so Sev you will die because you sin.
    You just dont get Gods nature or his relationship to man in the world , simply put God is offering us the opportunity to spend eternity with him in a place of compassion , love, kindness, mercy , beauty, truth, peace , etc , but you guys want some of these but not to such an extent that it interferes with your envy , lust , malice ,discrimination , etc .
    The problem is one contaminates the other, as we can clearly see on the earth as much as we hope to do good the earth is filled with selfish people who feel justified in their selfishness, by the way that is all of us me included
    Well all will end up where their heart dictates , and those of us who want what God wants will end up with God , because although sinners like everyone else we acknowledge our sin and we avail of God`s offer of salvation in his son , you can do the same if truth, love , compassion , mercy kindness , the things of Gods nature are something you want on a permanent basis.

  51. 51
    kairosfocus says:

    Yet another thread distraction from a key focus, here playing at anti God talk points. A sign that there is want of substance on merits.

  52. 52
    bornagain77 says:

    Back to the headline: “Apparently, Scientists Are The Only Ones Exempt From The Fact That We Evolved To Have Biases…”

    Of related note to that, the following interview is sadly comical as a evolutionary psychologist realizes that Darwinian evolution can offer no guarantee that our faculties of reasoning will correspond to the truth, not even for the truth that he is purporting to give in the interview,

    Evolutionary guru: Don’t believe everything you think – October 2011
    Interviewer: You could be deceiving yourself about that.(?)
    Evolutionary Psychologist: Absolutely.
    http://www.newscientist.com/ar.....think.html

    As Dr. Egnor noted elsewhere, “It would be funny if it were not so dangerous to our culture and to our souls.”

    An Atheist Argues Against Reason
    And thinks it is the reasonable thing to do
    MICHAEL EGNOR – MAY 24, 2019
    Excerpt: Think of the irony: a professor of philosophy, who is paid only to reason, uses reason to argue against reason. Welcome to the bowels of atheist metaphysics. It would be funny if it were not so dangerous to our culture and to our souls.
    https://mindmatters.ai/2019/05/an-atheist-argues-against-reason/

    Further note:

    “But then with me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey’s mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?” –
    – Charles Darwin – Letter To William Graham – July 3, 1881

    Why Evolutionary Theory Cannot Survive Itself – Nancy Pearcey – March 8, 2015
    Excerpt: Darwin’s Selective Skepticism
    People are sometimes under the impression that Darwin himself recognized the problem. They typically cite Darwin’s famous “horrid doubt” passage where he questions whether the human mind can be trustworthy if it is a product of evolution: “With me, the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy.”
    But, of course, Darwin’s theory itself was a “conviction of man’s mind.” So why should it be “at all trustworthy”?
    Surprisingly, however, Darwin never confronted this internal contradiction in this theory. Why not? Because he expressed his “horrid doubt” selectively — only when considering the case for a Creator.
    From time to time, Darwin admitted that he still found the idea of God persuasive. He once confessed his “inward conviction … that the Universe is not the result of chance.” It was in the next sentence that he expressed his “horrid doubt.” So the “conviction” he mistrusted was his lingering conviction that the universe is not the result of chance.
    In another passage Darwin admitted, “I feel compelled to look to a First Cause having an intelligent mind in some degree analogous to that of man.” Again, however, he immediately veered off into skepticism: “But then arises the doubt — can the mind of man, which has, as I fully believe, been developed from a mind as low as that possessed by the lowest animal, be trusted when it draws such grand conclusions?”
    That is, can it be trusted when it draws “grand conclusions” about a First Cause? Perhaps the concept of God is merely an instinct programmed into us by natural selection, Darwin added, like a monkey’s “instinctive fear and hatred of a snake.”
    In short, it was on occasions when Darwin’s mind led him to a theistic conclusion that he dismissed the mind as untrustworthy. He failed to recognize that, to be logically consistent, he needed to apply the same skepticism to his own theory.
    Modern followers of Darwin still apply the theory selectively.,,,
    https://evolutionnews.org/2015/03/why_evolutionar/

  53. 53
    chuckdarwin says:

    Kairosfocus/29

    Sev and AF, you both know that the problem of evils (sic) was decisively answered through a series of works by Plantinga some fifty years ago. Through, the free will defence, as opposed to theodicy.

    Not that this thread has anything to do with bias within the scientific community, but this observation is misleading. We’ve also been down this road before, but Plantinga’s grandiose claims to have “defeated” the problem of evil are a bit premature and overstated. A number of philosophers, including Graham Oppy, A. M. Weisberger and Raymond Bradley reject Plantinga’s claims that he has put the problem to bed.

  54. 54
    jerry says:

    the problem of evil

    What has the concept of “evil” to do with the lack of bias of scientists?

    There have literally been tens of thousands of comments on other threads on this concept that no one can define.

  55. 55
    kairosfocus says:

    CD, nonsense, the logical demonstration is there (a defence not a theodicy so your disbelief or hyperskepticism etc do not break the argument), the theistic set is not inconsistent. That’s over and was long since conceded. That you cling to it 50 years later shows that you don’t have anything else. KF

  56. 56
    AaronS1978 says:

    @ 51
    KF I tried to keep it on topic back at 11 but Sev and his need to say the “Christian God” (aka God) sucks has kept it going

    At least I posted on 7 a prime example of science and political bias which actually leads to people mistrusting science but no one commented

    https://phys.org/news/2022-07-anti-abortion-beliefs-sexual-strategies.html?fbclid=IwAR3MVwj-Rt_p35m2TYZ5J9WPY3m6rc8h5N4cuhn5jzC3mT6HwggXtGESUJg

  57. 57
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, scientific bias is a part of the evils of our day. That said, it is obvious that too many objectors hope to side track. That they are trying to flog a dead horse just shows how little of substance they have. KF

    PS, I do note there are good definitions of evil and its derivative nature, privation of the good out of alignment with its due and often manifest end. Reason manifestly seeks truth with good reason to hold it credible. Abuse of reason through hyperskepticism, manipulation, fraud and deception frustrate that end and lead to chaos.

  58. 58
    kairosfocus says:

    AS78, we need to keep bringing back to focus. In this case, when scientists abuse their reason and institutional authority, then as the falsities are exposed they lose credibility. That is happening with energy, green agendas, pandemics and more. Indeed some of the anger at ID is because of what it shows. KF

  59. 59
    chuckdarwin says:

    KF, only in your circumscribed world of apologists. I click on your link and Ravi Zacharias appears.. Ravi Zacharias? You have got to be kidding…….

  60. 60
    kairosfocus says:

    CD, you obviously did not do the courtesy of recognising that Mr Zacharias speaks to existential problems i/l/o his own experience, including a suicide attempt as a teen; and he is a lot better than you want to suggest. Further down, had you bothered, you would have found the summary from Plantinga et al:

    Plantinga’s free-will defense, in a skeletal form, allows us to effectively address the problem. For, it is claimed that the following set of theistic beliefs embed an unresolvable contradiction:

    1. God exists
    2. God is omnipotent – all powerful
    3. God is omniscient – all-knowing
    4. God is omni-benevolent – all-good
    5. God created the world
    6. The world contains evil

    To do so, there is an implicit claim that, (2a) if he exists, God is omnipotent and so capable of — but obviously does not eliminate — evil. So, at least one of 2 – 5 should be surrendered. But all of these claims are central to the notion of God, so it is held that the problem is actually 1.

    Therefore, NOT-1: God does not exist.

    However, it has been pointed out by Plantinga and others that:

    2a is not consistent with what theists actually believe: if the elimination of some evil would lead to a worse evil, or prevent the emergence of a greater good, then God might have a good reason to permit some evil in the cosmos.
    Specifically, what if “many evils result from human free will or from the fact that our universe operates under natural laws or from the fact that humans exist in a setting that fosters soul-making . . . [and that such a world] contains more good than a world that does not” ?
    In this case, Theists propose that 2a should be revised: 2b: “A good, omnipotent God will eliminate evil as far as he can without either losing a greater good or bringing about a greater evil.” But, once this is done, the alleged contradiction collapses.
    Further, Alvin Plantinga – through his free will defense — was able to show that the theistic set is actually consistent. He did this by augmenting the set with a further proposition that is logically possible (as opposed to seeming plausible to one who may be committed to another worldview) and which makes the consistency clear. That proposition, skeletally, is 5a: “God created a world (potentially) containing evil; and has a good reason for doing so.” Propositions 1, 2b, 3, 4, and 5a are plainly consistent, and entail 6.
    The essence of that defense is:

    “A world containing creatures who are significantly free (and freely perform more good than evil actions) is more valuable, all else being equal, than a world containing no free creatures . . . God can create free creatures, but he can’t cause or determine them to do only what is right. For . . . then they aren’t significantly free after all . . . He could only have forestalled the occurrence of moral evil only by removing the possibility of moral good.” [NB: This assumes that moral good reflects the power of choice: if we are merely robots carrying out programs, then we cannot actually love, be truthful, etc.] [From: Clark, Kelley James. Return to Reason. (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1994), pp. 69 – 70, citing Plantinga, God, Freedom and Evil, (Eerdmans, 1974), p. 30.]

    Nor is the possible world known as heaven a good counter-example. For, heaven would exist as a world in which the results of choices made to live by the truth in love across a lifetime have culminated in their eternal reward. This we may see from an argument made by the apostle Paul:

    Rom 2:6 God “will repay each person according to what they have done.” 78 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. [NIV]

    Anticipating the onward response that in at least some possible worlds, there are free creatures, all of whom freely do what is right, Plantinga asserts a further possibility: trans-world depravity. That is, in all worlds God could create in which a certain person, say Gordon, exists; then that person would have freely gone wrong at least once. And, what if it is further possible that this holds for every class of created, morally capable being? (Then, there would be no possible worlds in which moral good is possible but in which moral evil would not in fact occur. So the benefit of moral good would entail that the world would contain transworld depraved creatures.)
    Moreover, Plantinga proposes that there is a possible state of affairs in which God and natural evil can exist. For instance, if all natural evils are the result of the actions of significantly free creatures such as Satan and his minions, then since it is logically possible that God could not have created a world with a greater balance of good over evil if it did not contain such creatures, God and natural evil are compatible.

    At this point, albeit grudgingly, leading atheologians (Such as Mackie and Williams) concede that the deductive form of the problem of evil stands overturned. Thus, a new question is put on the table.
    It is: But what if the world seems to contain too much evil, and evil that is apparently pointless, i.e. gratuitous? First, the greater good “absorbs” at least some of the evils. To this, the Christian Theist further responds that there are goods in the world that are left out of the account so far; especially, that the fall of mankind led to the greatest good of all: that God loved the world and gave his Son, setting in motion the programme of redemption as a supreme good that absorbs all evils. That is, it is rational for a Christian to believe there are no un-absorbed evils, even though the a-theologian may beg to differ with the Christian’s beliefs.
    However, it should be noted that there is an existential or pastoral form of the problem of evil (as we saw above): where the overwhelming force of evil and pain brings us to doubt God. To that, no mere rational argument will suffice; for it is a life-challenge we face, as did Job. And, as a perusal of Job 23:1 – 7, 38:1 – 7, 40:1 – 8, 42:1 – 6, God may be more interested in exposing our underlying motives and calling for willingness to trust him even where we cannot trace him, than in satisfying our queries and rebutting our pained accusations. That is, it is at least possible that God is primarily in the business of soul-making.

    Where then does the problem of evil stand today?

    On balance, it is rational to believe that God exists, but obviously there are many deep, even painful questions to which we have no answers. And, those who choose to believe in God will have a radically different evaluation of evil than those who reject him.

    Much more can be said, but that is enough for a 101 level outline.

    KF

  61. 61
    kairosfocus says:

    PS, we also need to reckon with this, from Dembski:

    In his Consolation of Philosophy, Boethius states the following paradox: “If God exists, whence evil? But whence good, if God does not exist?” Boethius contrasts the problem that evil poses for theism with the problem that good poses for atheism. The problem of good does not receive nearly as much attention as the problem evil, but it is the more basic problem. That’s because evil always presupposes a good that has been subverted. All our words for evil make this plain: the New Testament word for sin (Greek hamartia) presupposes a target that’s been missed; deviation presupposes a way (Latin via) from which we’ve departed; injustice presupposes justice; etc. So let’s ask, who’s got the worse problem, the theist or the atheist? Start with the theist. God is the source of all being and purpose. Given God’s existence, what sense does it make to deny God’s goodness? None . . . . The problem of evil still confronts theists, though not as a logical or philosophical problem, but instead as a psychological and existential one [as was addressed above] . . . .

    The problem of good as it faces the atheist is this: nature, which is nuts-and-bolts reality for the atheist, has no values and thus can offer no grounding for good and evil. As nineteenth century freethinker Robert Green Ingersoll used to say, “In nature there are neither rewards nor punishments. There are consequences.” More recently, Richard Dawkins made the same point: “The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind pitiless indifference.” [“Prepared Remarks for the Dembski-Hitchens Debate,” Uncommon Descent Blog, Nov 22, 2010]

  62. 62
    Silver Asiatic says:

    AF

    OK. The main reason I find people talking about their religious ideas unconvincing is the complete lack of consistency. If there is one true God, why are there so many different stories?

    In the historian Wilhelm Schmidt’s, The Origin and Growth of Religion, he offers the argument that all of the original religions in the world were monotheistic. He traces stories from indigenous cultures and finds similarity in creation stories (one God creator) and the fall of humanity (original sin brought evil into the world) and divine justice (good is rewarded, evil behavior punished).
    From there, the religious views and stories began to devolve – mutated, so to speak, but not into more successful outcomes. A panoply of gods and myths came in – nature worship, totemism, idolatry, heroes and legends. So, in this view, polytheism is a degradation of the original monotheistic belief.
    But even with that Christian, Moslem and Jew all have the same root belief. Hinduism includes an all-powerful God, similar to those. To say then that there are “so many different stories” would mean looking at obscure, localized beliefs that often have no historical depth.
    So, one simple answer is: People can embellish and invent ideas to build on original revelations by God. This makes it difficult to sort out truth from fiction, but again as in Schmidt – there are core beliefs that are similar in all religions.
    That’s what needs to be understood – the common belief in a transcendent creator, life after death, final moral accounting.
    Just because there are some differences in interpretation doesn’t nullify the similarities.

  63. 63
    relatd says:

    SA at 62,

    The atheist is always looking for a way out. I have spent decades studying global belief systems. It does not matter where they come from but some are indeed myths. To put it another way, they can’t all be wrong. If all of the stories were consistent, would the atheist automatically pick religion? I think not. The atheist needs a tangible reason but we are saved by faith through grace, not by constant study of mythology. Many atheists also believe that after death, nothing, so why bother with religion? In our Judeo-Christian Heritage, there is only one God – one true God.

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) — ‘No one should be afraid that God has allowed there to be different religions in the world, Pope Francis said.

    “But we should be frightened if we are not doing the work of fraternity, of walking together in life” as brothers and sisters of one human family, he said.

    As is customary, at his general audience April 3, the first after his March 30-31 trip to Morocco, Pope Francis reviewed his visit.

    “People might ask themselves, ‘Why is it the pope visits Muslims and not just Catholics?'” the pope said.

    Catholics and Muslims are both “descendants of the same father, Abraham,” he said, and the trip was another step on a journey of “dialogue and encounter with (our) Muslim brothers and sisters.”

    The pope said he wanted to follow in the footsteps of two great saints: St. Francis of Assisi, who brought a “message of peace and fraternity” to Sultan al-Malik al-Kami 800 years ago, and St. John Paul II, who visited Morocco in 1985.

    Pope Francis said people also may wonder why God allows there to be so many different religions in the world.

    Some theologians say it is part of God’s “permissive will,” allowing “this reality of many religions. Some emerge from the culture, but they always look toward heaven and God,” the pope said.

    “What God wants is fraternity among us,” he said, which is why “we must not be frightened by difference. God has allowed this.” But it is right to be worried when people are not working toward a more fraternal world, he added.’

  64. 64
    AaronS1978 says:

    “OK. The main reason I find people talking about their religious ideas unconvincing is the complete lack of consistency. If there is one true God, why are there so many different stories?“

    Pretty sure this is answered by the phenomenon of when somebody tells a story and it changes slightly from one person to the next

  65. 65
    relatd says:

    AS1978 at 64,

    I sincerely doubt that. We have the Bhagavad Gita, the Quran and the Tripitaka. Even a quick look will reveal some very large differences, not “Well, I though Bob said this… Oh well, I’ll just write it down anyway.”

  66. 66
    relatd says:

    Seversky at a number of places,

    Cut the crap! OK? You are just this person with a political obsessive-compulsive disorder. And a very wrong belief: GOD is just a MAN! Why won’t anyone believe me?

    Because you’re wrong?

  67. 67
    Silver Asiatic says:

    AaronS

    Pretty sure this is answered by the phenomenon of when somebody tells a story and it changes slightly from one person to the next

    A good example of this is in the name of God in different cultures.
    The Latin form “deus” is from an older term in Sanskrit: Div (the root of our word “divine”).
    From that the Roman god “Jupiter” takes its name. Jupiter is the god of the sky and king of all gods – so the monotheistic God was retained.
    Jupiter came from Diu pater. Bright father.
    Or Deus Pater – in the Catholic Creed “deus pater omnipotens” – God almighty father.
    So, the terminology changed over time – the root belief was retained even until today.

  68. 68
    relatd says:

    SA at 67,

    Where the heck did you get this from? Not true. Any of it. God in Sanskrit? Seriously? Do you know the origin of Sanskrit?

    I sure hope you aren’t reading Wikipedia regarding this. I think it’s the only credible example of chimpanzees – or complete idiots – writing something.

  69. 69
    AaronS1978 says:

    @65
    I get your objection, however that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. It’s something we should study under greater scrutiny, but it does offer an explanation for why there are so many different ideas for God. But I was just
    giving AF an explanation that does answer for his objection.

    And think about it, Darwinists use the exact same logic for explaining the diversity of species throughout the entire world

    Just minor a little changes genetically over long periods of time

  70. 70
  71. 71
    Silver Asiatic says:

    The movement away from monotheism was through bringing material items to replace spiritual. So, the worship of the sun or of trees replaced the worship of God as spiritual Being. Then there was worship of ancestors or fictional creatures as gods.

  72. 72
    relatd says:

    SA at 71,

    What? Again, where does this come from? In my study of Chinese mythology, including books obtained from Hong Kong, there was a god/deity for a lot of things. If you live in Hong Kong, and something bad happens, people still say Fox Spirit. The Fox Spirit was responsible for some bad thing happening.

    Your knowledge of belief systems is incomplete and simplistic.

  73. 73
    AaronS1978 says:

    @70 WHAT!? Catholic answers. What a load I never use such a biased website for religious information. As if I’ve ever used them or read up on Trent Horne……….(apply ample amounts of sarcasm)

  74. 74
    Silver Asiatic says:

    “If you disagree with me then you have a negative-bias against my position”.
    Proof?
    “Well, you’re arguing against me, aren’t you? Clearly you have a negative attitude against my view. All of your arguments are opposing mine! How much more obvious can it get. You’ve got something against my viewpoint.
    To be fair and get rid of that bias, you need to be more positive and affirming. Remove the bias and agree with me.”

  75. 75
    kairosfocus says:

    CD, i fin d it interesting that you tried a strawman knockover, then have been silent for a couple of days once I put up the summary of Plantinga’s argument. KF

  76. 76
    kairosfocus says:

    And the evasion continues. That speaks sad volumes on disregard for first duties of reason.

  77. 77
    chuckdarwin says:

    You must’ve missed my post at the “Goldilocks” OP

  78. 78
    Alan Fox says:

    The Fox Spirit was responsible for some bad thing happening.

    Blasphemous nonsense. The Fox Spirit has always been benign, gentle, loving, and above all, completely imaginary.

  79. 79
    AaronS1978 says:

    @78
    NONSENSE!
    “Blasphemous nonsense. The Fox Spirit has always been benign, gentle, loving, and above all, completely imaginary.”

    The Fox Spirit is real! I know, I earned 3 experience points for destroying it.

  80. 80
    Alan Fox says:

    I earned 3 experience points for destroying it.

    Had to google that. Unlike you, young shaver, I have no experience of experience points or any other aspect of on-line gaming. I’m old, you know.

  81. 81
    AaronS1978 says:

    @80 lol no problem I wondered if that would land correctly, but I couldn’t pass up on the silliness

  82. 82
    relatd says:

    AF at 78,

    I got that news from someone living in Hong Kong, Meanwhile, I don’t recall the Fox Spirit in D&D.

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