Tenth anniversary of "Taliban-style" collapse of "Darwinism"

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Incl. intelligent design, belief in divine creation

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Re: Tenth anniversary of "Taliban-style" collapse of "Darwinism"

#21  Postby Bubalus » Nov 16, 2014 7:58 pm

lucek wrote:
Shrunk wrote:Yeah. YEC's like Ken Ham are kicking them to the curb. If you'll forgive the tangent, it's kind of like how leftist politicians here in Canada keep losing by trying to adopt more centre-right policies and rhetoric in order to convince people they are "moderates." The IDiots think they can attract followers by gussying their creationism up in science-y looking garb. But that just drives away their core constituency, who prefer their creationism full-on stupid. Polysyllabic nonsense like "irreducible complexity" just causes the typical creationist a headache. Why bother with all that, when all you need is right there in the Bible?

For similar reasons, the "theistic evolutionists" are being ignored even more than the IDiots.

I think that's not entirely true. Theistic evolution has become a pretty much default position for non creation religious. The pope recent statements being just the most visible in recent time. I don't mind it however. If you believe in a god and accept that nature actually functions as we see it then theistic evolution is at least self consistent (or not ruled out).


Doesn't that depend upon whether you accept that Adam and Eve were not real people? I thought the minimum bottleneck for the human line was approx 10,000.

Whence then original sin.....
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Re: Tenth anniversary of "Taliban-style" collapse of "Darwinism"

#22  Postby lucek » Nov 16, 2014 11:39 pm

Bubalus wrote:
lucek wrote:
Shrunk wrote:Yeah. YEC's like Ken Ham are kicking them to the curb. If you'll forgive the tangent, it's kind of like how leftist politicians here in Canada keep losing by trying to adopt more centre-right policies and rhetoric in order to convince people they are "moderates." The IDiots think they can attract followers by gussying their creationism up in science-y looking garb. But that just drives away their core constituency, who prefer their creationism full-on stupid. Polysyllabic nonsense like "irreducible complexity" just causes the typical creationist a headache. Why bother with all that, when all you need is right there in the Bible?

For similar reasons, the "theistic evolutionists" are being ignored even more than the IDiots.

I think that's not entirely true. Theistic evolution has become a pretty much default position for non creation religious. The pope recent statements being just the most visible in recent time. I don't mind it however. If you believe in a god and accept that nature actually functions as we see it then theistic evolution is at least self consistent (or not ruled out).


Doesn't that depend upon whether you accept that Adam and Eve were not real people? I thought the minimum bottleneck for the human line was approx 10,000.

Whence then original sin.....

Given it's a class of beliefs and not a single one it's hard to say. Yes there are theistic evolutionists that are biblical literal but then there are also ones that are not. Personally I've never done too much research on biblical liberalism in theistic evolution. It's not something that interested me. I just happen to know many people who are theistic evolutionists and everyone I've had the conversation with take genies as an parable.
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Re: Tenth anniversary of "Taliban-style" collapse of "Darwinism"

#23  Postby Zadocfish2 » Nov 17, 2014 6:20 am

Doesn't that depend upon whether you accept that Adam and Eve were not real people? I thought the minimum bottleneck for the human line was approx 10,000.

Whence then original sin.....


As a theistic evolutionist myself, I can assure you that we (or at least I, individually) think that much of Genesis, in the early portions such as the Beginning and Noah at least, is figurative/non-literal. You know, like Adam and Eve represent humanity knowing and then turning away from God...
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Re: Tenth anniversary of "Taliban-style" collapse of "Darwinism"

#24  Postby Shagz » Nov 17, 2014 6:58 am

I get the impression that whoever wrote Genesis thought that shit really happened, just as described. Don't you?
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Re: Tenth anniversary of "Taliban-style" collapse of "Darwinism"

#25  Postby Spearthrower » Nov 17, 2014 7:33 am

Zadocfish2 wrote:
Doesn't that depend upon whether you accept that Adam and Eve were not real people? I thought the minimum bottleneck for the human line was approx 10,000.

Whence then original sin.....


As a theistic evolutionist myself, I can assure you that we (or at least I, individually) think that much of Genesis, in the early portions such as the Beginning and Noah at least, is figurative/non-literal. You know, like Adam and Eve represent humanity knowing and then turning away from God...


Theistic evolution, while better from the perspective of not outright ignoring the empirical evidence, runs up against a cliff of logical contentions.

The belief in theistic evolution does actually produce an answer to the Problem of Evil: God's a sadistic fuckbag.
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Re: Tenth anniversary of "Taliban-style" collapse of "Darwinism"

#26  Postby Zadocfish2 » Nov 17, 2014 8:12 am

Theistic evolution, while better from the perspective of not outright ignoring the empirical evidence, runs up against a cliff of logical contentions.

The belief in theistic evolution does actually produce an answer to the Problem of Evil: God's a sadistic fuckbag.


Well, no, not in any way whatsoever. Care to explain?
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Re: Tenth anniversary of "Taliban-style" collapse of "Darwinism"

#27  Postby Spearthrower » Nov 17, 2014 8:17 am

Zadocfish2 wrote:
Theistic evolution, while better from the perspective of not outright ignoring the empirical evidence, runs up against a cliff of logical contentions.

The belief in theistic evolution does actually produce an answer to the Problem of Evil: God's a sadistic fuckbag.


Well, no, not in any way whatsoever. Care to explain?


Sure.

If you understand how evolution operates, then you appreciate that evolution operates by the death of innumerable organisms. Most animals spend their entire lives under constant threat from starvation and predation; they are diseased, parasitized and if they falter even momentarily, they are culled from the pool. This is how evolution by natural selection operates; how it produces change over time, how species arise, how novel traits are acquired. It is a horrifyingly wasteful and harm-inducing mechanism, giving not one iota of fuck about the experience of an organism, the pain it endures, the hardships and brevity of its existence. Yet you believe it is your God's chosen mechanism for achieving his goal.

I can go on if you like? :)
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Re: Tenth anniversary of "Taliban-style" collapse of "Darwinism"

#28  Postby Rumraket » Nov 17, 2014 8:27 am

Theistic evolution: Descent with godification.

Zacdocfish2, can you explain what it is you think god does and how you know he does it? Wrt evolution.
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Re: Tenth anniversary of "Taliban-style" collapse of "Darwinism"

#29  Postby Zadocfish2 » Nov 17, 2014 10:50 am

SpearThrower, you seem to be operating under the assumption that death = bad = evil. That's not really how it is. We die, so we see death as a terrible thing; objectively, death and the fear thereof is more normal than anything else in the world. I think it's a difference in viewpoints: with an atheist worldview, death is the end of life, and a terrible thing. To a deist, death is just another transition; there's a world beyond.

You think that theists have the same priorities that atheists do when it comes to the value of life. That is just not true. To a theist, life and death are just a part of a larger scheme that we don't quite understand yet.

More importantly, humans see things life by life; God sees things all at once, the lives and deaths of everything ever. Not just life, but space, the universe, the stars, everything... What I mean is, a Being beyond human comprehension, and who sees and knows everything that ever will happen or ever has, would not see life as a whole the same way a human being would.

In summary, an atheist sees life as being very important, since that's all anything truly has. To a Christian, God subverts that; there's something more. What that more is, we don't understand all the way yet. But we believe in it, and we know that God is faithful to those who have faith in Him, in the next life even if not always apparent in this one.

To Rumraket: The beauty of Theistic evolutionism is that we can have the science by knowing how evolution works while also having belief in God. The hows are for evolution, the Theism is for the Why, not the How.
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Re: Tenth anniversary of "Taliban-style" collapse of "Darwinism"

#30  Postby Rachel Bronwyn » Nov 17, 2014 11:10 am

What? Deism doesn't assume an afterlife.
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Re: Tenth anniversary of "Taliban-style" collapse of "Darwinism"

#31  Postby Spearthrower » Nov 17, 2014 11:18 am

Zadocfish2 wrote:SpearThrower, you seem to be operating under the assumption that death = bad = evil. That's not really how it is. We die, so we see death as a terrible thing; objectively, death and the fear thereof is more normal than anything else in the world. I think it's a difference in viewpoints: with an atheist worldview, death is the end of life, and a terrible thing. To a deist, death is just another transition; there's a world beyond.


Umm no Zadoc - I think you need to read what I wrote again.

Actually, death represents a release from the struggle, fear, hardship and pain of existence for the vast majority of animals, although the manner of death is probably arduous. It's not the 'death' which is the problem (although it is part of the waste) - it is the suffering they are obliged to endure prior to that.

Remember: we're not talking about what atheists and theists think - we're talking about what is observable in the biological kingdom which operates under the proposed explanation of a divine being's plan.


Zadocfish2 wrote:You think that theists have the same priorities that atheists do when it comes to the value of life. That is just not true. To a theist, life and death are just a part of a larger scheme that we don't quite understand yet.


Terminally irrelevant with respect to the actual pain and suffering hundreds and billions of organisms suffer just so humans get to go to heaven.


Zadocfish2 wrote:More importantly, humans see things life by life; God sees things all at once, the lives and deaths of everything ever. Not just life, but space, the universe, the stars, everything... What I mean is, a Being beyond human comprehension, and who sees and knows everything that ever will happen or ever has, would not see life as a whole the same way a human being would.


You are making arguments that are irrelevant to any of the points I made, but which are still conducive to my conclusion: God is a sadistic fuckbag.


Zadocfish2 wrote:In summary, an atheist sees life as being very important, since that's all anything truly has. To a Christian, God subverts that; there's something more. What that more is, we don't understand all the way yet. But we believe in it, and we know that God is faithful to those who have faith in Him, in the next life even if not always apparent in this one.


Frankly, Zadoc - your response seems to have explicitly ignored the entire thrust of my post. I doubt you did it purposefully - actually, I expect you don't want to contemplate the enormity of the suffering over hundreds and millions of years that evolution represents; it's not exactly a pleasure for me to contemplate, and I don't have the extra burden of trying to square it with a belief in a loving God.

To be honest, I have barely scraped the surface here, because I can also show how the universe, if it is designed for biological life, can only represent an evil humanity can barely comprehend - it would be staggeringly depraved had the entire thing been conceived, designed, and built in order to house a multi-billion year experiment necessitating the suffering of hundreds of billions of organisms just to achieve a goal which could have been arrived at by numerous other ways to a god which is omniscient and omnipotent. If your contention is true and this system is designed by your God, then this being is beyond description - evil personified. Fortunately, it's all make-believe, and all this bad shit just happened because we live in a thermodynamic universe.


Zadocfish2 wrote:0Rumraket: The beauty of Theistic evolutionism is that we can have the science by knowing how evolution works while also having belief in God. The hows are for evolution, the Theism is for the Why, not the How.


Actually, you can have cognitive dissonance, because you certainly cannot hold that evolution is a system created by a loving god. You don't have the 'whys', you just have the suppositions and a hesitance to reflect on how these 2 contrary positions can be concurrently maintained.

However, Zadoc - I don't want to set about demolishing your faith. If you don't deny science, I have no problem with you. I am all up for you believing whatever let's you sleep at night. I don't want to introduce arguments which will inevitably spell the destruction of any pretense of maintaining an acceptance of evidence and a belief in a benign divine, so please only proceed with this discussion if you're willing to look squarely into the abyss! ;)
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Re: Tenth anniversary of "Taliban-style" collapse of "Darwinism"

#32  Postby Zadocfish2 » Nov 17, 2014 11:51 am

Frankly, Zadoc - your response seems to have explicitly ignored the entire thrust of my post. I doubt you did it purposefully - actually, I don't think you want to contemplate the enormity of the suffering over hundreds and millions of years that evolution represents. The problem is that it doesn't tally with your concept of a loving God.


I think you missed my point. I understand that suffering as well as the next person. But the thing is, that's just how things are.

To be honest, I have barely scraped the surface here, because I can also show how the universe, if it is designed for biological life, can only represent an evil humanity can barely comprehend - it would be staggeringly depraved had the entire thing been conceived, designed, and built in order to house a multi-billion year experiment necessitating the suffering of hundreds of billions of organisms just to achieve a goal which could have been arrived at by numerous other ways to a god which is omniscient and omnipotent. If your contention is true and this system is designed by your God, then this being is beyond description - evil personified. Fortunately, it's all make-believe, and all this bad shit just happened because we live in a thermodynamic universe.


Again, missing the point of what I said the same way you think I did to yours. I'm saying that human concepts of good and evil, and human concepts like sadism, can't properly apply to a Being capable of seeing everything at once. It's funny; a stereotype of religion is that "man creates god in his own image", but you're personifying a theoretical deity more than I am. I'm saying that, and I want you to listen because you haven't yet responded to this sentiment:

God is not human. He does not think as a human does. That's part of what Jesus was; a personified view of an undefinable Deity.

Actually, you can have cognitive dissonance, because you certainly cannot hold that evolution is a system created by a loving god. You don't have the 'whys', you just have the suppositions and a hesitance to reflect on how these 2 contrary positions can be concurrently maintained.


I think that the love we feel from God is for soul and spirit, not life; life is ephemeral, soul is eternal. There really isn't a problem from that viewpoint, at least not to the extent you seem to think there is.

However, Zadoc - I don't want to set about demolishing your faith.


Again, seriously overestimating the strength of your arguments here. You're arguing against religion from a viewpoint of physical suffering; to the theistic mindset, physical suffering does not preclude a love for humanity. It precludes a love for animals, sure, but loving animals and loving people are two very different things. And I think I can save us both some time by posting the answer I will inevitably end up giving to anything you point at:

I don't know why God does or did things. And to try would be impossible. God, for me, cannot be understood as one would understand a human being. Apparently you disagree with that theoretical view on God, and believe that if the God of the Bible was real, He would have to be human in mind like those Greek gods.

At any rate, no I don't really take this personally. I have nothing against you at all; I'm just trying to explain how the form of cognitive dissonance you point to just isn't as great as you think it is.
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Re: Tenth anniversary of "Taliban-style" collapse of "Darwinism"

#33  Postby Rumraket » Nov 17, 2014 1:56 pm

Zadocfish2 wrote:To Rumraket: The beauty of Theistic evolutionism is that we can have the science by knowing how evolution works while also having belief in God. The hows are for evolution, the Theism is for the Why, not the How.

But then what justifies the belief that god is the "why" if you don't have any actual evidence that god does something?
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Re: Tenth anniversary of "Taliban-style" collapse of "Darwinism"

#34  Postby Calilasseia » Nov 17, 2014 2:03 pm

Zadocfish2 wrote:
Frankly, Zadoc - your response seems to have explicitly ignored the entire thrust of my post. I doubt you did it purposefully - actually, I don't think you want to contemplate the enormity of the suffering over hundreds and millions of years that evolution represents. The problem is that it doesn't tally with your concept of a loving God.


I think you missed my point. I understand that suffering as well as the next person. But the thing is, that's just how things are.


But that's precisely the point. It's one of the central assertions of the requisite mythology, that things are "the way they are", because a fantastically gifted magic entity set them up thus. Said fantastic magic entity is routinely asserted to possess the powers not to fabricate a universe, but also to decide the laws of physics within that universe, and all else that follows therefrom. And as a corollary, is routinely asserted to have been eminently capable of making different choices from the choices that are observed to have been made, if the requisite assertions about the existence, capabilities and actions of said entity are indeed true.

In short, it's the assertions of the requsiite mythology that tell us that said fantastic magic entity not only exists, but is also responsible for the form that the universe currently takes. As for the usual predictable apologetics about the fictional "fall", well once again, it's a central assertion of said mythology, that said magic entity fabricated the universe in such a manner, that all it took to throw a huge spanner in the works of said fabrication, was for an insignificant early hominid to eat the wrong piece of fruit. Which said magic entity then arranged to happen, courtesy of the fact that according to the same mythology and its contained assertions, the early hominid in question was incapable of knowing that this action was purportedly "wrong" until after that action had been performed, because in order to acquire ethical capabilities, that early hominid had to perform that purportedly "wrong" action. Furthermore, another assertion arising from the requisite mythology, is that this hapless organism, and all future descendants thereof, were purportedly punished for an action performed whilst that hapless organism was bereft of ethical understanding. As a corollary of all of the aforementioned, it is perfectly legitimate to regard this magic entity, if it exists, as being no better than the Kims running North Korea.

Zadocfish2 wrote:
To be honest, I have barely scraped the surface here, because I can also show how the universe, if it is designed for biological life, can only represent an evil humanity can barely comprehend - it would be staggeringly depraved had the entire thing been conceived, designed, and built in order to house a multi-billion year experiment necessitating the suffering of hundreds of billions of organisms just to achieve a goal which could have been arrived at by numerous other ways to a god which is omniscient and omnipotent. If your contention is true and this system is designed by your God, then this being is beyond description - evil personified. Fortunately, it's all make-believe, and all this bad shit just happened because we live in a thermodynamic universe.


Again, missing the point of what I said the same way you think I did to yours. I'm saying that human concepts of good and evil, and human concepts like sadism, can't properly apply to a Being capable of seeing everything at once.


Why not? Surely such a being, possessed of the requisite fantastic powers, including a purportedly "superior" understanding of ethics than us, is more subject to such questions? This is one of those principles we've arrived at through a long, hard journey, that the ethical capacity of a given entity is a central factor in deciding whether or not ethical precepts apply thereto. As a corollary, entities bereft of ethical capacity are not usually regarded as being capable of applying ethical thinking to their actions, whilst those that do possess an ethical capacity are considered to be subject to relevant ethical constraints, in a manner commensurate with their capabilities. Consequently, those entities possessing the greatest capacity for ethical thought and action, are considered to be subject to the tightest constraints.

Zadocfish2 wrote:It's funny; a stereotype of religion is that "man creates god in his own image", but you're personifying a theoretical deity more than I am.


No, what he's doing is taking the assertions of the requisite mythology, and demonstrating that they lead collectively to paradox, contradiction and absurdity. One of those assertions being the assertion of personhood for this entity, which is another central assertion of that mythology.

Zadocfish2 wrote:I'm saying that, and I want you to listen because you haven't yet responded to this sentiment:

God is not human. He does not think as a human does. That's part of what Jesus was; a personified view of an undefinable Deity.


So all those assertions about this entity possessing personhood, and acting in a manner commensurate with this assertion, that appear in the Old Testament, are all wrong?

Zadocfish2 wrote:
Actually, you can have cognitive dissonance, because you certainly cannot hold that evolution is a system created by a loving god. You don't have the 'whys', you just have the suppositions and a hesitance to reflect on how these 2 contrary positions can be concurrently maintained.


I think that the love we feel from God is for soul and spirit, not life;


The existence of these entities being yet more assertions we're waiting to see supported by evidence. In the absence thereof, your apologetics is therefore null and void.

Zadocfish2 wrote:life is ephemeral, soul is eternal.


Again, in the absence of evidence supporting the assertion that this "soul"entity actually exists, the above is mere speculation and fantasy.

Zadocfish2 wrote:There really isn't a problem from that viewpoint, at least not to the extent you seem to think there is.


There's a very serious problem. Namely, we have evidence for life. We don't have an atom of evidence for "souls", or a raft of other asserted entities. Without proper evidence for any of these, the whole apolgetic edifice is a house of cards.

Zadocfish2 wrote:
However, Zadoc - I don't want to set about demolishing your faith.


Again, seriously overestimating the strength of your arguments here. You're arguing against religion from a viewpoint of physical suffering; to the theistic mindset, physical suffering does not preclude a love for humanity.


Except that once again, a fantastically gifted magic entity, asserted not only to have been capable of fabricating the observable universe and its contents, determining the laws of physics thereof, and all that follows therefrom, on the basis of a vast repository of knowledge, but also asserted via those fantastic gifts to have been capable of achieving the same result in a different manner, is manifestly culpable for choosing a suffering-filled choice over and above any of a number of possible other, suffering-free choices.

If, on the other hand, there was no other possible choice to make, this calls into question at least some of the assertions about the fantastic gifts purportedly possessed by this entity.

Zadocfish2 wrote:It precludes a love for animals, sure, but loving animals and loving people are two very different things. And I think I can save us both some time by posting the answer I will inevitably end up giving to anything you point at:

I don't know why God does or did things. And to try would be impossible.


Unfortunately, there are a lot of people out there, who claim to know precisely this, and to be in a position to dictate policy on that basis. You might want to ask how they can possibly adopt such a position, if your second sentence above is true.

Zadocfish2 wrote:God, for me, cannot be understood as one would understand a human being.


You might want to pass this on to those people I cite above, as claiming not only to understand this, but dictate policy on this basis.

Zadocfish2 wrote:Apparently you disagree with that theoretical view on God, and believe that if the God of the Bible was real, He would have to be human in mind like those Greek gods.


The irony being that some of the Greek gods are asserted, in the requisite mythology, to behave at times in a more sophisticated manner.

Zadocfish2 wrote:At any rate, no I don't really take this personally. I have nothing against you at all; I'm just trying to explain how the form of cognitive dissonance you point to just isn't as great as you think it is.


Except that the above should be making you revise that view.
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Re: Tenth anniversary of "Taliban-style" collapse of "Darwinism"

#35  Postby Arcanyn » Nov 17, 2014 2:08 pm

Zadocfish2 wrote:
I don't know why God does or did things. And to try would be impossible. God, for me, cannot be understood as one would understand a human being.


If you can't know his motives, how can you possibly claim to know he's acting out of good motives?
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Re: Tenth anniversary of "Taliban-style" collapse of "Darwinism"

#36  Postby Rumraket » Nov 17, 2014 2:11 pm

Arcanyn wrote:
Zadocfish2 wrote:
I don't know why God does or did things. And to try would be impossible. God, for me, cannot be understood as one would understand a human being.


If you can't know his motives, how can you possibly claim to know he's acting out of good motives?

Or even know whether he's in fact acting at all?
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Re: Tenth anniversary of "Taliban-style" collapse of "Darwinism"

#37  Postby catbasket » Nov 17, 2014 2:34 pm

How do you get from this:
Zadocfish2 wrote:
[Reveal] Spoiler:
SpearThrower, you seem to be operating under the assumption that death = bad = evil. That's not really how it is. We die, so we see death as a terrible thing; objectively, death and the fear thereof is more normal than anything else in the world. I think it's a difference in viewpoints: with an atheist worldview, death is the end of life, and a terrible thing. To a deist, death is just another transition; there's a world beyond.

You think that theists have the same priorities that atheists do when it comes to the value of life. That is just not true. To a theist, life and death are just a part of a larger scheme that we don't quite understand yet.

More importantly, humans see things life by life; God sees things all at once, the lives and deaths of everything ever. Not just life, but space, the universe, the stars, everything... What I mean is, a Being beyond human comprehension, and who sees and knows everything that ever will happen or ever has, would not see life as a whole the same way a human being would.

In summary, an atheist sees life as being very important, since that's all anything truly has. To a Christian, God subverts that; there's something more. What that more is, we don't understand all the way yet. But we believe in it, and we know that God is faithful to those who have faith in Him, in the next life even if not always apparent in this one.

To Rumraket: The beauty of Theistic evolutionism is that we can have the science by knowing how evolution works while also having belief in God.
The hows are for evolution, the Theism is for the Why, not the How.


To this:
Zadocfish2 wrote:
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Frankly, Zadoc - your response seems to have explicitly ignored the entire thrust of my post. I doubt you did it purposefully - actually, I don't think you want to contemplate the enormity of the suffering over hundreds and millions of years that evolution represents. The problem is that it doesn't tally with your concept of a loving God.


I think you missed my point. I understand that suffering as well as the next person. But the thing is, that's just how things are.

To be honest, I have barely scraped the surface here, because I can also show how the universe, if it is designed for biological life, can only represent an evil humanity can barely comprehend - it would be staggeringly depraved had the entire thing been conceived, designed, and built in order to house a multi-billion year experiment necessitating the suffering of hundreds of billions of organisms just to achieve a goal which could have been arrived at by numerous other ways to a god which is omniscient and omnipotent. If your contention is true and this system is designed by your God, then this being is beyond description - evil personified. Fortunately, it's all make-believe, and all this bad shit just happened because we live in a thermodynamic universe.


Again, missing the point of what I said the same way you think I did to yours. I'm saying that human concepts of good and evil, and human concepts like sadism, can't properly apply to a Being capable of seeing everything at once. It's funny; a stereotype of religion is that "man creates god in his own image", but you're personifying a theoretical deity more than I am. I'm saying that, and I want you to listen because you haven't yet responded to this sentiment:

God is not human. He does not think as a human does. That's part of what Jesus was; a personified view of an undefinable Deity.

Actually, you can have cognitive dissonance, because you certainly cannot hold that evolution is a system created by a loving god. You don't have the 'whys', you just have the suppositions and a hesitance to reflect on how these 2 contrary positions can be concurrently maintained.


I think that the love we feel from God is for soul and spirit, not life; life is ephemeral, soul is eternal. There really isn't a problem from that viewpoint, at least not to the extent you seem to think there is.

However, Zadoc - I don't want to set about demolishing your faith.


Again, seriously overestimating the strength of your arguments here. You're arguing against religion from a viewpoint of physical suffering; to the theistic mindset, physical suffering does not preclude a love for humanity. It precludes a love for animals, sure, but loving animals and loving people are two very different things. And I think I can save us both some time by posting the answer I will inevitably end up giving to anything you point at:

I don't know why God does or did things. And to try would be impossible.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
God, for me, cannot be understood as one would understand a human being. Apparently you disagree with that theoretical view on God, and believe that if the God of the Bible was real, He would have to be human in mind like those Greek gods.

At any rate, no I don't really take this personally. I have nothing against you at all; I'm just trying to explain how the form of cognitive dissonance you point to just isn't as great as you think it is.


Or vice versa?
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Re: Tenth anniversary of "Taliban-style" collapse of "Darwinism"

#38  Postby Rumraket » Nov 17, 2014 4:28 pm

catbasket wrote:How do you get from this:
Zadocfish2 wrote:
[Reveal] Spoiler:
SpearThrower, you seem to be operating under the assumption that death = bad = evil. That's not really how it is. We die, so we see death as a terrible thing; objectively, death and the fear thereof is more normal than anything else in the world. I think it's a difference in viewpoints: with an atheist worldview, death is the end of life, and a terrible thing. To a deist, death is just another transition; there's a world beyond.

You think that theists have the same priorities that atheists do when it comes to the value of life. That is just not true. To a theist, life and death are just a part of a larger scheme that we don't quite understand yet.

More importantly, humans see things life by life; God sees things all at once, the lives and deaths of everything ever. Not just life, but space, the universe, the stars, everything... What I mean is, a Being beyond human comprehension, and who sees and knows everything that ever will happen or ever has, would not see life as a whole the same way a human being would.

In summary, an atheist sees life as being very important, since that's all anything truly has. To a Christian, God subverts that; there's something more. What that more is, we don't understand all the way yet. But we believe in it, and we know that God is faithful to those who have faith in Him, in the next life even if not always apparent in this one.

To Rumraket: The beauty of Theistic evolutionism is that we can have the science by knowing how evolution works while also having belief in God.
The hows are for evolution, the Theism is for the Why, not the How.


To this:
Zadocfish2 wrote:
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Frankly, Zadoc - your response seems to have explicitly ignored the entire thrust of my post. I doubt you did it purposefully - actually, I don't think you want to contemplate the enormity of the suffering over hundreds and millions of years that evolution represents. The problem is that it doesn't tally with your concept of a loving God.


I think you missed my point. I understand that suffering as well as the next person. But the thing is, that's just how things are.

To be honest, I have barely scraped the surface here, because I can also show how the universe, if it is designed for biological life, can only represent an evil humanity can barely comprehend - it would be staggeringly depraved had the entire thing been conceived, designed, and built in order to house a multi-billion year experiment necessitating the suffering of hundreds of billions of organisms just to achieve a goal which could have been arrived at by numerous other ways to a god which is omniscient and omnipotent. If your contention is true and this system is designed by your God, then this being is beyond description - evil personified. Fortunately, it's all make-believe, and all this bad shit just happened because we live in a thermodynamic universe.


Again, missing the point of what I said the same way you think I did to yours. I'm saying that human concepts of good and evil, and human concepts like sadism, can't properly apply to a Being capable of seeing everything at once. It's funny; a stereotype of religion is that "man creates god in his own image", but you're personifying a theoretical deity more than I am. I'm saying that, and I want you to listen because you haven't yet responded to this sentiment:

God is not human. He does not think as a human does. That's part of what Jesus was; a personified view of an undefinable Deity.

Actually, you can have cognitive dissonance, because you certainly cannot hold that evolution is a system created by a loving god. You don't have the 'whys', you just have the suppositions and a hesitance to reflect on how these 2 contrary positions can be concurrently maintained.


I think that the love we feel from God is for soul and spirit, not life; life is ephemeral, soul is eternal. There really isn't a problem from that viewpoint, at least not to the extent you seem to think there is.

However, Zadoc - I don't want to set about demolishing your faith.


Again, seriously overestimating the strength of your arguments here. You're arguing against religion from a viewpoint of physical suffering; to the theistic mindset, physical suffering does not preclude a love for humanity. It precludes a love for animals, sure, but loving animals and loving people are two very different things. And I think I can save us both some time by posting the answer I will inevitably end up giving to anything you point at:

I don't know why God does or did things. And to try would be impossible.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
God, for me, cannot be understood as one would understand a human being. Apparently you disagree with that theoretical view on God, and believe that if the God of the Bible was real, He would have to be human in mind like those Greek gods.

At any rate, no I don't really take this personally. I have nothing against you at all; I'm just trying to explain how the form of cognitive dissonance you point to just isn't as great as you think it is.


Or vice versa?

Heh, yeah that's a good question. God is for answering the why questions, but god is inscrutable so he doesn't answer the why-questions.

Brilliant! :picard:
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Re: Tenth anniversary of "Taliban-style" collapse of "Darwinism"

#39  Postby Spearthrower » Nov 17, 2014 7:54 pm

Zadocfish2 wrote:
Frankly, Zadoc - your response seems to have explicitly ignored the entire thrust of my post. I doubt you did it purposefully - actually, I don't think you want to contemplate the enormity of the suffering over hundreds and millions of years that evolution represents. The problem is that it doesn't tally with your concept of a loving God.


I think you missed my point. I understand that suffering as well as the next person. But the thing is, that's just how things are.



Then you don't really understand because you are talking about an omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent God intentionally creating a system which maximizes (or at least shows absolute indifference to) suffering.

One of God's traits cannot be, logically.

This being, which you inevitably refer to as a 'he', so I shall follow your convention.... He cannot be good on any scale of the notion of good if he intentionally causes suffering.

Perhaps, then, he was not aware of the suffering his chosen system would cause, ergo he's not omniscient.

Perhaps he knew what suffering it would cause, but this is the only way he could do it, ergo he's not omnipotent.

If this is 'just the way it is', then where's God's activity in this system? If it was inevitable regardless - what was his role?



Zadocfish2 wrote:
To be honest, I have barely scraped the surface here, because I can also show how the universe, if it is designed for biological life, can only represent an evil humanity can barely comprehend - it would be staggeringly depraved had the entire thing been conceived, designed, and built in order to house a multi-billion year experiment necessitating the suffering of hundreds of billions of organisms just to achieve a goal which could have been arrived at by numerous other ways to a god which is omniscient and omnipotent. If your contention is true and this system is designed by your God, then this being is beyond description - evil personified. Fortunately, it's all make-believe, and all this bad shit just happened because we live in a thermodynamic universe.


Again, missing the point of what I said the same way you think I did to yours. I'm saying that human concepts of good and evil, and human concepts like sadism, can't properly apply to a Being capable of seeing everything at once. It's funny; a stereotype of religion is that "man creates god in his own image", but you're personifying a theoretical deity more than I am. I'm saying that, and I want you to listen because you haven't yet responded to this sentiment:


No, that's silly. You can't both call him good and then claim that we can't ascribe human traits to him. We are supposedly made in his image, which I am assured does not mean we physically resemble him, but because we share the same moral poles.

Regardless of whether that's true, you cannot possibly try claiming that a being which causes endless suffering is a being that could be considered 'good' on *any* scale.

I think you should stop and think before typing! ;)


Zadocfish2 wrote:God is not human. He does not think as a human does. That's part of what Jesus was; a personified view of an undefinable Deity.


Then you might as well agree that he's a sadistic fuckbag, because if a human acted that way then that's what it would be, but because God is God he's just not a sadistic fuckbag because he's God. How is that supposed to be a convincing argument for yourself, let alone to type to someone who clearly doesn't believe in such a juvenile notion in the first place? :D


Zadocfish2 wrote:
Actually, you can have cognitive dissonance, because you certainly cannot hold that evolution is a system created by a loving god. You don't have the 'whys', you just have the suppositions and a hesitance to reflect on how these 2 contrary positions can be concurrently maintained.


I think that the love we feel from God is for soul and spirit, not life; life is ephemeral, soul is eternal. There really isn't a problem from that viewpoint, at least not to the extent you seem to think there is.


We don't feel love from God - you may have some cognitive process which lets you ascribe feelings onto the divine, but I assuredly do not share that with you... and look back and notice how having just spent considerable time asserting that we cannot judge God by comparison to human traits, all of a sudden God possesses the human trait of love.

I see you like one sided arguments! Perhaps you can stack some more chips in your favour? Alternatively, you might want to consider how you've just defeated your earlier response! ;)


Zadocfish2 wrote:
However, Zadoc - I don't want to set about demolishing your faith.


Again, seriously overestimating the strength of your arguments here.


Actually, and I mean this as a compliment - perhaps I was overestimating your willingness to engage in reason. From what I've seen of your posts before, you could follow a logical argument and change your mind if you found your position lacking. However, you're throwing up silly defenses here, so perhaps it's a sensitive area and I was assuming too much of you.

Either way, my argument is most assuredly not being overestimated. You may just not be able to process it because of the strong cognitive bias religious narratives induce.

It is one of several reasons that I finally put away my juvenile belief in the inculcated entity. If such a being exists, it cares not a jot more for us than it does for bacteria, if it's even aware of us.


Zadocfish2 wrote:You're arguing against religion from a viewpoint of physical suffering; to the theistic mindset, physical suffering does not preclude a love for humanity. It precludes a love for animals, sure, but loving animals and loving people are two very different things.


It's pretty twisted how far you will contort to excuse your God - the supposed creator of the entire universe and life within it. Sorry Zadoc, but if your God is even willing to allow such suffering, let alone create it, then I am a far more moral being than he is. I expect you are too.

Worse yet, you're denying that we're animals. If you really are a theistic evolutionist, then you already accept that we are animals ourselves which have evolved from a common ancestor with chimpanzees and all other life on Earth. Did God really not give a fuck about all that other living junk as he sculpted the variables towards us on the mounds of corpses that went before us?

What kind of a God do you believe in?


Zadocfish2 wrote:And I think I can save us both some time by posting the answer I will inevitably end up giving to anything you point at:

I don't know why God does or did things. And to try would be impossible. God, for me, cannot be understood as one would understand a human being.


Yet you'll happily excuse him of the observable and logical consequences of the actions you believed he took.

If it's 'impossible' for you to understand WHY God did something, why then did you claim that religion explains the 'why'? If you cannot find any logical reason for understanding why a god would create a system maximising harm, then why would you still conceive of it as logical to believe in a deity that doesn't possess any comprehensible traits?

Your god has just become a deistic one - and quite possibly not even an entity which can be said to think, know, care, of have any feelings.

So why would you worship this god?


Zadocfish2 wrote:Apparently you disagree with that theoretical view on God, and believe that if the God of the Bible was real, He would have to be human in mind like those Greek gods.


Genesis 1:27?

While countless generations of Christians probably did think this actually meant he was a giant man in the sky watching over them (and you do still use the masculine singular pronoun), the consensus of Christian apologists is that we were created in his 'moral image'. If that's the case, then his scale would be the same, just greater. So we would assuredly be able to judge his actions on a human moral scale, just imagine them maximally. No system of immense suffering could be created by a maximally good God - if you feel compelled to reject this without consideration - stop! Just think about it for a moment. How can this actually be?

By your argument, God could come and stomp on people left, right and centre - throw lightning bolts at people for kicks, and enjoy the torture of babes and still be 'good' because we can't judge him on our scale! Alternatively, we can judge him on our scale and expect him to exhibit even greater capacity for good, compassion, love, tolerance etc. which would then preclude him from setting up such a system in the first place.


Zadocfish2 wrote:At any rate, no I don't really take this personally. I have nothing against you at all; I'm just trying to explain how the form of cognitive dissonance you point to just isn't as great as you think it is.


Honestly Zadoc - there's not a thing you could say which would upset me, even were you to try. What I am actually perceiving is a very common reaction to encountering something which isn't emotionally acceptable - denial.

The cognitive dissonance is a cliff stretching to the skies if you can simultaneously maintain that god is a being of maximal love, and consider that being to have intentionally created evolution as a system to develop life.

And we have barely scraped the surface. Why pain? Why should we mundane beings feel pain at all? If we need some form of stimulus to ensure we're not hurting ourselves, why not an internal alarm bell? Why even design pain into the system at all? Why hunger? Why would hunger be necessary? Why would even eating be necessary? I could contrive a system which would permit evolution and yet never require pain, suffering, or predation - why can't your god?

The point is that I can present you with hundreds of contradictions to the notion that god made life via evolution, and you could wave every one away as being outside of your ken. However, then you need to explain on what grounds you make the assertion in the first place. There's an inherent contradiction to your response.

Again though, I can not oblige you to follow this reasoning where it inevitably leads, and if your god belief is especially cherished, you may not want to. If you're happy with just having faith and don't ever want to challenge it, then it's probably not wise to get into an argument with a biologist atheist, because it's always going to end badly! ;)
I'm not an atheist; I just don't believe in gods :- that which I don't belong to isn't a group!
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Re: Tenth anniversary of "Taliban-style" collapse of "Darwinism"

#40  Postby Spearthrower » Nov 17, 2014 8:00 pm

Rumraket wrote:
Zadocfish2 wrote:To Rumraket: The beauty of Theistic evolutionism is that we can have the science by knowing how evolution works while also having belief in God. The hows are for evolution, the Theism is for the Why, not the How.

But then what justifies the belief that god is the "why" if you don't have any actual evidence that god does something?


Worse yet - Zadoc also assures us that we can never know why, because God is beyond our understanding!

So these 'whys' are not actually forthcoming from the theism - only in the interrogative sense, not in the provision of answers.
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