What is the difference between ID and "theistic evolution"?

Incl. intelligent design, belief in divine creation

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Re: What is the difference between ID and "theistic evolution"?

#501  Postby Just A Theory » Sep 19, 2017 11:49 pm

Wortfish wrote:Theists do believe God allows evil to happen. But that doesn't mean God can do evil. Big difference.

Wortfish wrote:
Because a benevolent God does not destroy his own creation. That would be out of his character.


I'm SO happy that a benevolent god is willing to let evil rampage throughout its created universe but is not willing to destroy that universe.

I feel ever so much more comforted by the idea that all of creation is just a playground for a torturer god's sick amusement as he watches our suffering and refrains from taking the most trivial action to prevent it.
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Re: What is the difference between ID and "theistic evolution"?

#502  Postby Shrunk » Sep 19, 2017 11:50 pm

Wortfish wrote:
surreptitious57 wrote:
Wortfish wrote:
I believe if the odds are less than 1 in 10 - 40 then we can rule out the possibility of sheer chance

What event happens below those odds that would deem it a miracle rather than simply random
That figure is greater than 0 so then anything happening between it and 0 can not be a miracle

It's the figure scientists tend to use to rule out the possibility of chance.


Citation?
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Re: What is the difference between ID and "theistic evolution"?

#503  Postby surreptitious57 » Sep 20, 2017 3:02 am

surreptitious57 wrote:
something to be deemed a miracle it would have to have a probability less than 0

A miracle is defined as a supernatural event that has no rational explanation for it. So it therefore cannot have a probability
greater than 0 because all such events will have a rational explanation for them even where said explanation is not actually
known. Therefore they have to have a probability of less than 0. This means they can never happen. Any miracle that has a
rational explanation for it is not actually a miracle. One can not have a rational explanation for that that defies rationality
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Re: What is the difference between ID and "theistic evolution"?

#504  Postby Fallible » Sep 20, 2017 5:48 am

Wortfish wrote:
Sendraks wrote:
This is irrelevant when it comes to an omnipotent entity. An omnipotent deity can do whatever it likes. An omnipotent deity can choose not to change the rules once it has set them up but, being omnipotent, there is no reason why it should have set the rules up in a particular way.

Interesting that a non-believer knows the meaning of omnipotence. As I wrote, an omnipotent being can do what is intrinsically possible.

You're again conflating human made processes with how the universe simply is but, failing to see that you're simply trying to assume that a) there is something behind those processes and b) you're anthropomorphising onto it. Basically, you don't even recognise you're simply projecting humanity onto things.

The universe can be thought of as a machine, as a self-organising system. That isn't an anthropomorphisation.

Either god cannot do anything or god willingly allows evil to happen.

Theists do believe God allows evil to happen. But that doesn't mean God can do evil. Big difference.

Wortfish wrote: Likewise, having created a universe, God cannot destroy it.

Why not?

Because a benevolent God does not destroy his own creation. That would be out of his character.

So God isn't omnipotent. Because to be omnipotent is absolute.

God is absolutely omnipotent in his own transcendent realm, but not within the natural realm he created.

How do you know? How do you know that God wasn't created by another entity more powerful than God is simply testing to see how well God is working out?

I don't discount the possibility that our universe was created by a science student....but I find that idea a little improbable.

Ah, so God is omnipotent but, chooses not to use his power, so that natural processes which cause great suffering and harm, happen.

It's called freedom of action.



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Re: What is the difference between ID and "theistic evolution"?

#505  Postby BlackBart » Sep 20, 2017 6:58 am

surreptitious57 wrote:
surreptitious57 wrote:
something to be deemed a miracle it would have to have a probability less than 0

A miracle is defined as a supernatural event that has no rational explanation for it. So it therefore cannot have a probability
greater than 0 because all such events will have a rational explanation for them even where said explanation is not actually
known. Therefore they have to have a probability of less than 0. This means they can never happen. Any miracle that has a
rational explanation for it is not actually a miracle. One can not have a rational explanation for that that defies rationality


Er, surr, you can't have a probability of less than zero. Zero probability events never happen - less than zero probability mean the event would occur less than never. A rigorously defined miracle (As opposed to a low probability event with a fortunate outcome) would have a probability of exactly zero as it would never actually occur.
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Re: What is the difference between ID and "theistic evolution"?

#506  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Sep 20, 2017 8:09 am

Wortfish wrote:
Ah, so God is omnipotent but, chooses not to use his power, so that natural processes which cause great suffering and harm, happen.

It's called freedom of action.

Really?

Ah so the government chooses not to intervene so that parents can keep physically abusing their children. Because that's freedom of action.

Ah so the parents choose not to intervene so their children can keep bullying the neighbours kids. Because that's freedom of action.
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Re: What is the difference between ID and "theistic evolution"?

#507  Postby BlackBart » Sep 20, 2017 8:12 am

Wortfish wrote:
Sendraks wrote:
This is irrelevant when it comes to an omnipotent entity. An omnipotent deity can do whatever it likes. An omnipotent deity can choose not to change the rules once it has set them up but, being omnipotent, there is no reason why it should have set the rules up in a particular way.

Interesting that a non-believer knows the meaning of omnipotence.


Yeah, it's called literacy. It means all powerful - not just powerful enough to avoid having to cope with the fact that my pretend friend would have to be a sociopathic cunt if it existed.

As I wrote, an omnipotent being can do what is intrinsically possible.


Yeah, you wrote it, but that doesn't mean it reflects reality.

Omni means 'All' Potent means 'Powerful'. If it can't do all things it isn't omnipotent - there's no such thing as semi-omnipotent. :lol:

You're again conflating human made processes with how the universe simply is but, failing to see that you're simply trying to assume that a) there is something behind those processes and b) you're anthropomorphising onto it. Basically, you don't even recognise you're simply projecting humanity onto things.

The universe can be thought of as a machine, as a self-organising system. That isn't an anthropomorphisation.


Your anthropomorphising the creation of a self organising system (One that can't actually self organise life on it's own accord apparently)


Theists do believe God allows evil to happen. But that doesn't mean God can do evil. Big difference.


Wrong. An entity that allows evil to occur when it can so something about it is evil. Inaction is still an action. Your nasty little god thing is evil - I'd be thoroughly ashamed of myself for kowtowing to such a repugnant creature.


God is absolutely omnipotent in his own transcendent realm, but not within the natural realm he created.


So this 'God', in his 'transcendant realm' created a universe which was incapable of initiating life on it's own - because we're told by theists that that's impossible - so then had to tinker within this universe to create life, but strangely, he's not able to change the laws of thermodynamics?

Did it not occur to this God to create this universe inside his 'transcendent realm' and make it totally perfect first without suffering and eyeworms etc - He could do that because, you know, he's absolutely omnipotent there according to you?

Do you think an absolutely omnipotent benevolent intelligent entity might be able to come up with a plan like that? Huh?


I don't discount the possibility that our universe was created by a science student....but I find that idea a little improbable.



Yeah, that would be fucking stupid wouldn't it?

It's called freedom of action.


So, despite being 'absolutely ominpotent' and could do literally anything without negative consqeuence, he decided to create said eyeworms, Auschwitz and Timmy Mallett did he?

Freedom of action eh? Nice fellah this God. :what:
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Re: What is the difference between ID and "theistic evolution"?

#508  Postby Sendraks » Sep 20, 2017 10:05 am

BlackBart wrote:
Omni means 'All' Potent means 'Powerful'. If it can't do all things it isn't omnipotent - there's no such thing as semi-omnipotent. :lol:


Omni-impotent?
Omni-performance anxiety-potent?
Omni-imcompetent?

All of which would seem to be better descriptions for Wortfish's god than "omni-potent."
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Re: What is the difference between ID and "theistic evolution"?

#509  Postby Bubalus » Sep 20, 2017 1:19 pm

Wortfish wrote:
Because a benevolent God does not destroy his own creation. That would be out of his character.


Tell that to Noah! - Oh, it's alright Noah is a mythical character as well
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Re: What is the difference between ID and "theistic evolution"?

#510  Postby DavidMcC » Sep 22, 2017 3:24 pm

AFAIK, the only difference between ID and "theistic evolution" is the number of separate acts of creation involved. ID proposes separate acts of creation for each "kind" (leaving the meaning of "kind:" undefined), whereas theistic evolution proposes possibly only one act of creation, leaving it up to nature to generate all the separate species seen today. Thus theistic evolution is less absurd than ID, but still unnecessary.
No doubt, there are different versions of them, such that people can quibble aboutn the distinction, but, hey, who cares? None of it amounts to science anyway.

EDIT: I'm assuming here that "theistic evolution" corresponds to what I know as "guided evolution", in which the theists' god, and not natural selection does the guiding. Of course, if NS does the guiding, it corresponds to guiding by weight of populations, or, if you prefer, no guidance at all.
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Re: What is the difference between ID and "theistic evolution"?

#511  Postby thinkerman » Jan 05, 2019 3:14 pm

Reading through this thread I found some nice rebuttals for the apologetics so often used by theists.

However, I think one point that was touched upon several deserves to be highlighted once more explicitly: the double standard used by theists to exonerate their god. Of course this isn’t in any way a new idea; I first found it explained eloquently by Sam Harris in a debate with WLC (link to the relevant part, starting from 4:12 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSdGr4K4qLg).

So what do we mean by this double standard?
On one hand we're being told by theists that god is intrinsically good, loving, just, etc. (You know the list all too well.) But in that case, this god can be questioned, as has been done repeatedly in this thread, by pointing out real-world facts that don’t correspond with said qualities. To quote Sam Harris: ‘… the rather obvious and compelling evidence that he is cruel and unjust, because he visits suffering on innocent people of a scope and scale that would embarrass even the most ambitious psychopath.’
But what do we see theists do when getting backed into a corner by such facts? Cop-out of course. How? By playing the mystery-card! And ‘mystery’ in this context is a weasel word if ever there was one.

Because, on one hand their god of course is all the positive things stated above, but on the other hand he’s mysterious, or works in mysterious ways. We humans, with our limited faculties, can’t possibly understand his will, or the good reasons he might have for the facts he gets questioned for. (You know these kind of apologetics all too good as well.)

But hang on, how is that supposed to work? You can’t have it both ways! To quote Harris again: ‘The merely human understanding of God’s will is precisely what believers use to establish his goodness in the first place.’ If good things happen, the theist understands it all perfectly and ascribes the goodness to the goodness of god. He intended it that way for sure. But when things happen that to everyone with any moral standards are bad, cruel, undeserved, then all of the sudden god’s ways become ‘mysterious’. We hear things like ‘What at first may look bad, could be part of something good, or serve a bigger (good) purpose’, and so on and so forth. The bad things aren’t really bad, you see? They’re actually good, albeit at some inexplicable meta-level. As Sam Harris says: 'This is how you play tennis without the net.'

At that point the reply should be: Come on, cut the crap and be honest. You claim to understand very well what good is, and even god’s role in it, so how can you pretend you don’t know or can’t judge what’s bad? You know it very well. So please don’t weasel your way out by using that cheap mystery stuff. Uphold your moral standards! Otherwise, everything could be exonerated, and moral accountability gets flushed…
For example: what are we to do if things that at first look bad, could be part of a bigger positive plan that we can’t understand or even know about? What are we to do if we have an opportunity to stop those things? Should we interfere? If we don’t, we always have a good excuse at hand: we might be serving a bigger, good cause…
To summarize: if you can’t accept to call bad simply bad, because accepting it would make your god look bad, you’re actually at risk to allow the bad to flourish under your protection.


Of course theists could stubbornly insist that gods thoughts, ways and plans in relation to things that at first appear bad are out of reach for our mere human understanding. But if that’s the case, we should point out that this implies that they have to give up the claim that they know that god is good. Because as said, it’s the same limited human moral understanding of his thoughts, intentions or actions that enables them to make claims about his goodness in the first place. They can’t keep denying the possibility of human knowledge on one side of the moral spectrum, when precisely the same type of knowledge is their whole starting point on the other side of the same spectrum. So it’s either acknowledging the bad, or give up any claims about knowledge of god’s goodness. And that’s when the whole mystery thing comes back to hit them with a vengeance: their god becomes completely unknowable, and any claim they make about him an empty assertion that can be hand waved, because we simply never are able to know his real thoughts or intentions in any way...

I hope this explanation clarified what the double standard means in this case, and why we should point out the use of this apologetic strategy. (Sometimes the moral disbalance between the two sides of this double standard is so evident, that it becomes preposterous. People hailing god because they feel some bliss while praying or because he cured them of their eczema (© Sam Harris), while at the same time handwaving his tolerance of horrible suffering by maintaining it could be part of some unknown, positive bigger plan. It would be funny if it weren’t so sad… and narcissistic.)

Surely, this whole tactic of the double standard is just one of theists’ many weasel ways out of the impasse that the problem of evil causes for their pet idea of a tri-omni, good god. So to refute the whole foregoing argument, they could once more turn to other apologetic tricks already seen in this thread. It may be stretching the original intent of this post quite a bit, but I’ll give my take on those one too.

They could start the whole “freedom” routine once again. But as already explained by others, if god really is a loving and caring father figure (as believers always are happy to point out, as long as we’re talking about good things happening – their beloved side of the double standard, remember?), he could grant us freedom, but within boundaries that prevent cruel, unjust, massive suffering of innocent people. Just as loving and caring parents grant their children freedom, but within boundaries to (try, because in contrast with an almighty god we’re limited creatures) to keep them from getting really harmed. Freedom needn’t be absolute to be freedom. What would ‘absolute’ freedom mean anyway? For him? For us? For nature? How does all this freedom work, relates and interact? Theists usually don’t offer any workable definitions of this freedom, and we all can guess why. As pretty much always when people avoid to define or clarify concepts as ‘freedom’, and prefer to use them as vague container concepts, it’s because clear definitions would show the inherent contradictions and/or limit the use of the concept. And, we all know too well theists want to be free (pun very much intended) to use vague concepts whenever in need of an exoneration of god.

Another argument theists could fall back on to try to exonerate their god, is the one that boils down to ‘You need to experience bad to appreciate the good’. Well, I'll grant them that some contrast can help, but as repeatedly stated in this thread, some things are just so utterly bad, devastating, dehumanizing that no amount of good can make up for them. Are children with a horrible youth, full of neglect and abuse generally the more happy ones as grown-ups? Should I envy them, because by missing out on their horrors, I will never be able to appreciate positive things the way they do? Gimme a break! There are countless examples of people so badly treated (when young) that because of that treatment never fully recover. Nice work there god, allowing them to experience the bad to… er… to… er… yes, why exactly?
Of course, sometimes AFTERWARDS horrible experiences people see or experience some positive (side) effect. But that doesn’t make the things that happened good. It’s just a human coping mechanism to be able to go on. It’s us, humans with our limited capacities, trying to make the best out of a shitty situation. Nobody in their right mind, knowing the bad thing and the said positive side effects, would choose BEFOREHAND to experience the bad thing to be able to experience the latter. And, excuse me the repetition, this whole ‘getting something positive out of the bad’ has severe limitations. Some bad is so bad that it leads only to more bad. Some suffering is so deep that no (full) recovery is possible. Nothing good to be found in those cases, in my opinion.

Sure theists could say that the bad things that are happening to some, are happening to give others the possibility to count their blessings. But anyone using that idea of contrast as an excuse to prevent god from looking bad, is out of his (moral) mind. Same IMO goes for the argument seen in this thread that bad things are happening to give others the chance to do good. People horribly suffering so others can be good or feel good about themselves? Please, that’s not moral behavior, that’s badly disguised egoism. (If slums like those of Calcutta wouldn’t have existed, Mother Teresa maybe wouldn’t have reached her holy status. But in my opinion, a world without a holy Mother Teresa but at the same time without those slums would be a better world overall. The goodness of her reaching holiness-level just doesn’t balance with the badness of slums. This whole argument fails because of the clear disbalance…) How could you possibly call just a god doing this, or allowing it to happen?

And then there’s of course the argument that the suffering or misery is always in some way deserved. (If you can’t find a good reason in this life, as Wortfish in the case of Elisabeth Fritzl, just state: “She may have been paying off a karmic debt from a previous life”.) Blaming innocent people, assuming that they must have deserved it, just because you want to keep your idea of your good god intact (which makes you feel good and on the right side)? That’s simply beyond!

This brings me seamlessly to a related point. Seeing the claim in this thread that things causing misery, suffering and disaster are at a ‘finely tuned level’ makes me sick. Really. I can only agree with the disgust that Thomas Eshuis expressed. There’s nothing fine-tuned about it. Millions of Jews died in concentration camps. Innocent people were wiped out by the hundreds of thousands by a tsunami. Heck, whole species disappeared, and not in gentle ways. (AFAIK Dinosaurs didn’t die all quick and painless the moment the asteroid struck. Conditions afterwards were so bad they couldn’t survive.) Such horrible mass suffering doesn’t seem to fit any ‘fine-tuning’ to me. Just because some of these things don’t happen often or regularly, doesn’t make it all ‘finely tuned’ by a loving and caring god. If there really were a just, moral, loving and caring god fine-tuning things, we would have a bit of mild discomfort or ‘suffering’ for everyone, to be able to appreciate the good. Not the complete arbitrary, unjust, mess of deep suffering randomly destroying innocents by the millions we actually have.

It’s actually quite simple in my opinion. The data just doesn’t match an all-powerful, omniscient, caring and loving god. Those qualities attributed to this god are in contradiction with the actual facts of the real world. The only way theists are able to extract this from the data in the first place, is because they’re obviously cherry picking.
So that’s why whenever people (like most in this thread) keep bringing up the conflicting data, they'll try to weasel their way out, often using one of the concepts we saw as their trump card. To summarize:

Mystery. God’s (bigger) plans can’t be known. So bad things actually can be good, in some way completely unknown to us. (RIP moral accountability.)
Freedom. An utterly foggy, ill- (or non-) defined concept in their hands, applicable to god, us humans, but also to nature or natural processes (nature ‘choosing’ to do things, anyone?). Used to make bad good, because this freedom of course immediately trumps all the bad. So once again the bad isn’t really bad, in some contorted way.
Contrast. Bad experiences are needed to appreciate the good. The complete disbalance or unjust distribution doesn’t matter, of course. Once more, a clear tactic to make the bad look good in a way (because of the good purpose).
Deserved. There somewhere is a reason, that doesn’t even need to be given or explained (“past lives” in whatever sense are a trump card played here, as are “gods mysterious motives” once more), that makes the suffering or bad things happening deserved. And therefore it can’t be used to question god, of course…
Opportunity for goodness. All this horrible suffering gives people chances to be good, hurray! So it’s not really bad. Once again, the complete disbalance is simply to be ignored.
Fine tuning. Concept used to make the often complete unjust and horrible suffering look reasonable, moderate and justifiable, just by labeling it “fine-tuned”. That in reality the distribution is a random mess doesn't matter. The mere label "fine-tuned" sweeps that nicely under the rug.

In reality theists will most of the times combine these during their apologetic game. They'll often take us on a messy tour of their arguments, hopping from one to the next when one of them gets them backed in a corner. In this process, at some point they’ll have to reuse stuff, but since they try to switch before any definite refuting point is reached (in general they just never admit it has been), the whole routine simply continues. For example: When people refute the mystery argument, they’ll bring up the freedom thing, when people refute the freedom thing they’ll bring up the contrast thing, when people refute that, they will move on to the fine-tune argument, when that gets refuted they’ll switch to the mystery thing again (often dressed up a bit differently), and so on and so forth, ad nauseam.

So that’s why I think it’s good to identify the main arguments, counter them separately and label them. That way, it’s easier to see them coming, keep track, and refer to already answered stuff with things like ‘ah, the mystery-argument once again.’ At which point the rebuttal can be refreshed in a couple sentences.

Of course, I’m fully aware that this does not offer any guarantee that it will get theists in exoneration-mode out of their apologetic loop. I’m well aware that the chances of this happening are infinitesimal small… It would be some sort of miracle :angel:

EDIT: corrected some spelling errors etc.
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Re: What is the difference between ID and "theistic evolution"?

#512  Postby aban57 » Jan 07, 2019 5:57 pm

thinkerman wrote:Reading through this thread I found some nice rebuttals for the apologetics so often used by theists.

However, I think one point that was touched upon several deserves to be highlighted once more explicitly: the double standard used by theists to exonerate their god. Of course this isn’t in any way a new idea; I first found it explained eloquently by Sam Harris in a debate with WLC (link to the relevant part, starting from 4:12 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSdGr4K4qLg).

So what do we mean by this double standard?
On one hand we're being told by theists that god is intrinsically good, loving, just, etc. (You know the list all too well.) But in that case, this god can be questioned, as has been done repeatedly in this thread, by pointing out real-world facts that don’t correspond with said qualities. To quote Sam Harris: ‘… the rather obvious and compelling evidence that he is cruel and unjust, because he visits suffering on innocent people of a scope and scale that would embarrass even the most ambitious psychopath.’
But what do we see theists do when getting backed into a corner by such facts? Cop-out of course. How? By playing the mystery-card! And ‘mystery’ in this context is a weasel word if ever there was one.

Because, on one hand their god of course is all the positive things stated above, but on the other hand he’s mysterious, or works in mysterious ways. We humans, with our limited faculties, can’t possibly understand his will, or the good reasons he might have for the facts he gets questioned for. (You know these kind of apologetics all too good as well.)

But hang on, how is that supposed to work? You can’t have it both ways! To quote Harris again: ‘The merely human understanding of God’s will is precisely what believers use to establish his goodness in the first place.’ If good things happen, the theist understands it all perfectly and ascribes the goodness to the goodness of god. He intended it that way for sure. But when things happen that to everyone with any moral standards are bad, cruel, undeserved, then all of the sudden god’s ways become ‘mysterious’. We hear things like ‘What at first may look bad, could be part of something good, or serve a bigger (good) purpose’, and so on and so forth. The bad things aren’t really bad, you see? They’re actually good, albeit at some inexplicable meta-level. As Sam Harris says: 'This is how you play tennis without the net.'

At that point the reply should be: Come on, cut the crap and be honest. You claim to understand very well what good is, and even god’s role in it, so how can you pretend you don’t know or can’t judge what’s bad? You know it very well. So please don’t weasel your way out by using that cheap mystery stuff. Uphold your moral standards! Otherwise, everything could be exonerated, and moral accountability gets flushed…
For example: what are we to do if things that at first look bad, could be part of a bigger positive plan that we can’t understand or even know about? What are we to do if we have an opportunity to stop those things? Should we interfere? If we don’t, we always have a good excuse at hand: we might be serving a bigger, good cause…
To summarize: if you can’t accept to call bad simply bad, because accepting it would make your god look bad, you’re actually at risk to allow the bad to flourish under your protection.



Of course, there is also the opposite. What we perceive as good things could really be bad things preparing for bad things. There's just no way to know. So they know shit about good things, as much as they know shit about bad things.
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