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Plato's Cave - The Orlando Philosophy Meetup Group Message Board › Faith Philosophically As Inherently Irrational and Immoral

Faith Philosophically As Inherently Irrational and Immoral

Rami K.
Orlando, FL
Post #: 436
I don't want to steer or divide away from my primary area of interest these days, namely economics­, however this topic does not seem to garner much interest, at least not from the organizers who have the power to declare meetup time. I blame myself really. Were I to actually sit down and put together something amounting to the mini research paper which generally introduces a topic, as Benjamin Forbes Griffith did for our last meetup, then perhaps Steve would be so moved, or find it at least convenient enough to schedule a sit down... This may simply be a sign of my own impatience, however recalling what rip-roaring times we had on "New file:...", which thankfully never quite made it to meetup level, the following ought to make for a delicious mind snack.

Being curious as to what this thread would do to promote a meeting of minds, here is Daniel Fincke's article ­Why I Define Faith Philosophically As Inherently Irrational and Immoral

Perhaps while this is read and discussed, someone will come up with a mini treatises so compelling dripping ripe with potential that our organizer(s) won't be able to help themselves when it comes to the compulsion to schedule a new meeting.
Rami K.
Orlando, FL
Post #: 579
It's neat to look back at this posting knowing that we did in fact have a meetup on the desired topic and that there remains healthy interest in pursuing an Economics II meetup at some future date (fingers crossed). I especially look forward to perhaps discussing, in person, Charles Eisenstein's Sacred Economics.

That is not however why I post the following to this specific thread. Today I ran across an article by Psybertron­ entitled "Science Articles of Faith". I think that what this author puts forth is similar in spirit and concern as Daniel Fincke's earlier piece listed above. Also Swami recently shared the following title in a Wing Circle post DOES MATH EXIST?!... which appears to trace a similar cross pollination of ideas. This of course all goes back to New File's launch. We may want to re-read Michael Dowd when he writes HERE IS THE WAY OUT OF THE IMPASSE in his original Evolutionary Times article "The Debate Over God's Existence" referenced in Steve's upload from May 8, 2009. Here is an excerpt:

Whenever you hear the word ‘God', think ‘Reality'. "I have faith in God" can be translated "I trust Reality". "God is Lord" means "Reality rules". Throughout the world, God has never been less than a mythic personification of Reality as a Whole, Ultimate Reality, or what today some call "the Universe". If we fail to recognize this, we miss everything. ALL images and characterizations of God are meaningful interpretations of Reality As It Really Is. When we forget this, we will inevitably trivialize God, belittle science, and desecrate nature.

I look forward to whatever discourse proceeds. Let us reason together!
Ben Forbes G.
Orlando, FL
Post #: 339
Unfortunately, there is no “reason” in what you Daniel Fincke (whose superb critique of faith you cite) also has an excellent sarcastic response to this sort of risibly vague, nebulous, vacuous, and evasive theology... as does Greta Christina.tongue Moreover, if this were really the sort of God and theology you sincerely believed in, then you would have all your work still ahead of you to get from this meaningless abstraction (which adds no explanatory power and raises more questions than it answers) to anything even approaching basic theism, let alone Christianity... When you attempt to define “God” in this sort of vaguely deistic/pantheistic way, you only trap and defeat yourself (and commit an argumentum ad ignorantiam fallacy). Truth cannot be all things to all people, ontological reality is not a matter of subjective preference or wishful thinking, and ecumenicism is nonsensical bullshit.
There is a huge difference between saying “Everyone has a right to believe something different from what I do” — and saying “All beliefs are equally true.” There is a huge difference between saying, “People who believe different things from me can be good people” — and saying, “People who believe radically different things from me are right, and I’m somehow magically also right.” There is a huge difference between saying, “We should respect and embrace diversity of cultures and identities” — and saying, “We should ignore serious differences in truth claims about how the world really works.”
Moreover, what is the ostensible point of citing the Psybertron article vis-à-vis the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction of dinosaurs circa 65-million years ago? Desperately trying to discredit science or seemingly lend credibility to ignorant Creationist idiocy based on preposterous and easily refuted “evidence” which in no way actually suggests anything even close to as asinine as young-Earth Creationsim? Arrogantly imagined anthropocentric teleological destiny for mammals “culminating” in humans?confused In reality, properly scientific methods do not have “articles of faith” other than perhaps axiomatically eschewing solipsistic/Pyrrhonian degrees skepticism and proceeding pragmatically under the reasonable assumption that the nature of reality and multifarious aspects of how reality works are discoverable. As Tim Minchin has trenchantly quipped: “Science adjusts its views based on what’s observed. / Faith is the denial of observation so that belief can be preserved.” Also, even in instances where science is proven wrong and improves over time, a falsus in unum, falsus in omnibus fallacy or tu quoque fallacy (depending on precise formulation) based on scientific errors is not a “persuasive” argument for generally discrediting scientific methods as an attempted means to “support” any sort of theism or deism; argumentum ad ignorantiam or equivocation fallacies regarding slippery/conflated definitions of “the universe” or “reality” are also indefensible sophistry. Science is so far epistemically superior to religion that it’s not even funny!tongue

Moreover, Mark Armitage (cited in the Psybertron article) is a deluded Creationist graduate of Liberty University (which deserves zero respect): founded by the vile Jerry Falwell... and Armitage definitely deserved to be fired; ignorant stupidity contrary to all available scientific evidence should not be tolerated or protected under “academic freedom” at any reputable school, and especially not at any public school or university.

People like Mark Armitage who demonstrably/blatantly let their ignorant religious beliefs interfere with properly doing their jobs should be laughed out of reputable academia or never hired there in the first place and deserve to lose any wrongful termination lawsuits they file if their delusions preclude them from being able to do their jobs (and ostensible “degrees” from places like Liberty University should not be taken seriously in any evidence-based/meritocratic secular society, in general).

Moreover, the finding of the soft tissue in dinosaur bones is not the first of its kind, and does not seem poised to spur any dramatic paradigm shifts. Several interesting discoveries in the last decade have apparently revealed preserved soft tissue on dinosaur remains, such as the finding of 68-milion-year-old soft tissue from the bones of a Tyrannosaurus rex. However, Mary Schweitzer, a molecular paleontologist at North Carolina State University, who headed up the research on some T.-rex remains, explained that the soft tissue was able to be preserved by iron in the dinosaur’s body, which preserved the tissue before it could decay. Anyway, even if legitimate and fully vindicated, the remarkable find proves nothing unnatural or useful to Creationists and was reliably dated with no unusual results.
Ben Forbes G.
Orlando, FL
Post #: 340
Furthermore, any “god” allegedly caring about all of humankind (let alone a “God” allegedly synonymous with all of reality or the entirety of the cosmos/universe) would not plausibly appear in one tiny backwater of the Earth, in a backward time (and after many millennia of benighted suffering): purportedly “revealing Himself” to a tiny unknown few as allegedly “chosen” (despite being barbaric, superstitious, and tribal primitives) — and then expect the billions of the rest of us to take their word for it, and not even actual testimony, but rather the diluted hearsay of some mostly unknown people many times removed, translated, interpolated, forged, etc. In fact, there is no good reason to suppose that even the most minimalist deist creator God, assuming One existed, would even be aware of Earth (or consciously aware of anything — or even still in existence, for that matter). And any character even approaching the theistic God as described in the Bible must be a vile demon.

To consider the Christians’ (or any other religions’) alleged means of “revelations” to be “plausible” is asinine and deluded nonsense. It can't be believed by a person thinking about this issue rationally by the lights of the best available evidence that science and history have revealed. If you admire a purportedly miraculously potent/omnipresent God’s strategy of divine hiddenness (indistinguishable from nonexistence), unjustifiably local purported “revelations” to an allegedly chosen few, granting of zero prayers in violation of the laws of nature, and clear capricious malevolence or complete indifference in regards to suffering if this God is powerful and present — then that is a risibly stupid belief-system, period (and atheists like me will do everything in our power to make sure that people across the world have access to the evidence and critical thinking skills to eventually realize that reality — and hopefully someday the overwhelming majority of the world’s population will adequately understand this and join me in mocking how preposterous such religious beliefs actually are).

Here is a formal expression of the argument from divine hiddenness:

  • Assumption (1): God exists.
  • Assumption (1a): God desires that people be aware of His existence.
  • Assumption (1b): God desires that people worship Him in specific ways.
  • Assumption (1c): God has the ability to make His presence obvious and explain clearly what He desires.

  • Premise (2): God’s presence is not obvious in the world.
  • Premise (3): Many people do not believe in God because of a lack of evidence.
  • Premise (4): Many people who do believe in God do not agree regarding God’s nature or what God desires, because of a lack of evidence.
  • Premise (5): For God to make His presence obvious and explain His desires would remedy both (3) and (4), without having any significant negative side effects.
  • Conclusion (6): If God existed, God could have no good reason not to make His presence obvious in the world and unambiguously explain what He desires. (from (1),(5))
  • Contradiction: But no such thing has happened. (from (2))
  • Conclusion (7): God does not exist. (from (6),(2))

This argument is even more devastatingly potent when combined with the argument from locality and the problem of evil (to the point that anything close enough to Christianity to be worthy of being definitionally identified as such is essentially 100% improbable as a whole: even to the point of being absolutely logical impossible regarding many specific theological tenets that blatantly contradict reality and/or each other). Any present and potent “God” of this universe (or allegedly synonymous with reality) that is not aloof/amoral should be opposed, not worshiped, if such a deity actually existed (as the POE demonstrates).devilish
Rami K.
Orlando, FL
Post #: 580
writes Ben: "if this were really the sort of God and theology you sincerely believed in, then you would have all your work still ahead of you to get from this meaningless abstraction (which adds no explanatory power and raises more questions than it answers)"
While I do think in terms of abstractions, most likely a result of my computer programming background, and natural tendency to connect and rely upon works such as Brancusi's "Bird in Space" from 1928, starting with an abstraction has the simple virtue of allowing right brain thinking to funnel into the left-hemisphere.

Listen to the early portion and conversation between the two people in the short video above. The expression regarding the piece in the abstract does indeed possess explanatory powers and leads people to think about what they are witnessing.
Rami K.
Orlando, FL
Post #: 581
I appreciate Ben your sharing of the formal expression of the argument from divine hiddenness as it allows me to more easily address your specific complaint, which otherwise I would not be able to do. So kudos!

If I were a Calvinist such as the author to this article I might have walked away from this conversation which pops up in many of our threads () a long time ago. However since I tend to gravitate more to the universal side of the scale I feel that by remaining abstract I am more likely to be able to express and give reason to the hope that I carry inside. Now that you have presented Adam Lee's "the argument from divine hiddenness" we can have a conversation. And here is the answer to those seven points:

Conclusion (6) remains an assumption because premise (5) presumes to know the mind of God. After reading Colossians 3:2 "Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things." In this apostolic letter from saint Paul addressed to Timothy and all the faithful brothers and sisters in Christ, "God's holy people in Colossae" as the New International Version translates the epistle, I am reminded of the difference between mind and brain. Mind is of above, while our brain is an earthy thing. Perhaps the most complex earthy thing to which we can aspire to understand. The mind however is what shapes the brain. This is mind over matter -- the way mankind ever has any hope to make real that portion of the Lord's prayer which states, "thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven." It is the same from which anything constructed by the labor of humanity ever makes any good thing. And we were made for good works!

Premise (2) is an incomplete expression, perhaps subject to the judgement of the sin of omission however I will give the author Adam Lee some slack as he does such a fine job of presenting his case in the daylightatheism article as the wool was pulled over his eyes a long time ago. And what else should we expect from someone caught up in sin, which we all are. Where sin is anything which separates us from God. So it strikes me that daylightatheism is dancing shadows on the wall of Plato's cave; just another form of illusion among a set of many. And also, as you've pointed out, my own thinking has been guilty of the same -- though only, I shall claim, as a result of having a default conceptual symbolic language as CATHY described during our last meetup. And conceptual symbolic languages ( I was exposed to Chinese calligraphy as a child in elementary school while living overseas ) ARE useful as you can build upon them. In case you missed it the first time, take another listen of the conversation between the man and the woman in the review of Brancusi's Bird in Space. It is radical, perhaps just as radical as it is today to listen or read the story contained merely in Genesis­, 1:2­, and 1:3­! These speak in poetry, and remember these were captured (written down) in a time when verse was (and remains) the correct default. To this symbolic abstract thinker these verses sing: God created it [the universe: one song]. The earth was started empty, dark and with depth; and Mind was over it.

Now I know that the placeholder word 'God' is a thorny one. We can choose to use Michael Dowd's WAY OUT OF THE IMPASSE by thinking the word 'GOD' into the word 'reality', however as I pointed out in my later response to "New File" that this sells the Lord short as reality has proven time and again to require testing. So Michael's WAY OUT is valid for the purposes of the suspension of belief in order to allow some time for illustrative purposes later in his quote above, however it cannot be a permanent basis for any strong and sound theological foundation. In essence Mr. Doud's Evolutionary Times article of May 1st, 2009 is a stepping stone for those who need it.

[btw, while searching the string 'sin' on page 5 of the New File thread I humorously discovered the word 'misinformation' can be parsed as "mi sin formation"]
Ben Forbes G.
Orlando, FL
Post #: 341
Here is the crux of the fatal trap you are in: atheists cannot conclusively disprove multifarious unsubstantitated/unfalsifiable (nebulous/vague to the point of meaningless abstraction) concepts of “God” that are not worthy of worship (due to being defined out of any impactful existence, aloof, amoral, or evil), but atheists can logically disprove most of the sorts of allegedly “benevolent” and potent/present gods that most people prefer to believe in; that said, you cannot get away with fallaciously conflating/equivocating the abstract and the concrete with vague deepities and waffling between the two whenever you find it convenient for your indefensible beliefs to evasively attempt to “avoid” logical and evidence-based scrutiny.devilish

First and foremost, in objecting to conclusion 6, what is your proposed “‘good’reason” WHY (assuming God existed) God would not wish to make His presence obvious in the world and unambiguously explain His desires? Please enlighten us… Concurrently, regarding premise 5, do you dispute that: “for God to make His presence obvious and explain His desires would remedy both (3) and (4)” (though I honestly don’t see how this would be disputable)? OR do you merely dispute the assumption that God making His presence obvious and clearly explaining His desires would not have any significant negative side effects? If you only dispute the latter part of premise 5, then the onus probandī is on you to come up with one or more counterexamples of “significant negative side effects” that would allegedly result if God were not hidden and thus falsify the premise (rather than fallaciously hiding behind spuriously asserting God’s inscrutably dictatorial yet ineffable and mysterious nature). If you cannot produce one or more examples of “significant negative side effects” — then your objection to the problem of divine hiddenness fails to overcome the thoroughly supportable inductive atheistic claim that there would be no “significant negative side effects” as far as we can know or have any good reason to believe… The essence of the argument, of course, is that “God could have no GOOD reason not to make His presence obvious throughout the world and unambiguously explain what He desires.” This is an eminently reasonable moral as well as practical judgment (given God’s ostensible goals as stated in assumptions 1a, 1b, and 1c — which you have not yet disputed or expressed disagreement with). Nevertheless, if you (or any other theist) can actually adduce a hypothetical reason “justifying” divine hiddenness that atheists agree is “good” — then that would be at least partial circumstantial evidence that would rationally incline us toward changing our minds about the probability of a purportedly benevolent God’s existence and/or worthiness for worship (and would, then and only then, substantively counter the argument from divine hiddenness).cool

Furthermore, speaking directly to that topic (since I’m such a charitable opponent), I’ll even give you the best “good” reason that I can come up with: it is hypothetically possible, albeit highly unlikely (given that there is no evidence for it), that a deliberately hidden deistic creator-God (neither benevolent nor malevolent but aloof) could practice something like the Federation’s Prime Directive in Star Trek; however, while some of us might not blame such an “entity” for leaving us to suffer and develop freely on our own without supernatural help (mitigating or solving the moral and natural aspects of the problem of evil), when It could effortlessly “play-God” by intervening (even subtly in hidden ways) to help us and advance our condition to unimaginably beneficial degrees, this does not mean that such an entity would not be responsible for such a choice — and it also means that most people arguably should not worship that entity, even if we might be in awe of It, if Its existence and nature were discovered and became known to us. Moreover, such a non-interfering (deist) being would at most be like an invisible anthropologist surreptitiously observing us, even if It were omnipresently synonymous with reality (yet hidden). The salient point, however, is that even this unlikely possibility which is the wildest of unsubstantiated speculation (as is required to “escape” the POE while preserving a cosmic God) does not comport with things you want to believe about God or Jesus, and is irreconcilably incompatible with Christianity: belief in which requires positing that God intervenes in human affairs, even if subtly, indirectly, or infrequently — and certainly allegedly cares about human outcomes/progress one way or the other, provides alleged revelations, and is not neutral toward outcomes. Regardless, even sufficiently advanced aliens (with sufficiently advanced technology “indistinguishable from magic”) would face a similar choice regarding whether to “play-God” by intervening to help humankind and reduce our suffering. So even the “Prime Directive option” is a controversial choice — and certainly no philosophical help to salvage your deluded and illogical worldview — since it does not let any omnipotent God who allegedly “planned” or “designed” the nature of Earth / humankind in the first place off the hook whatsoever. Concurrently, it’s impossible even to reliably “know” God’s purported purposes or will as long as God remains hidden (or almost entirely hidden/inscrutable), and such a god might as well not exist, for all the good It does humankind, and is very probably morally blameworthy if such hiddenness is deliberate.

Finally, you seem inclined to vaguely dispute premise 2 (the reality that God is in fact “hidden”) with a lot of irrelevant, dubious, and deplorable theology about “sin” and ostensible “separation” from a God you claim is omnipresent (all of which only underscores the problem). The sectarianism (even within general flavors of faith), as well as the provincial locality, of religion proves the reality of God’s hiddenness beyond any reasonable doubt. Indeed, it’s easy to imagine a world in which God was not hidden… and/or a world in which God was universally revealed and humankind actually was teleologically “special” or significant (and created instead of evolved); we do not live in such a world/universe though. Moreover, if any theistic sort of “God” does exist, it follows that this God is (at best) unworthy of worship due to being hidden, if for no other reasons — and should definitely be opposed if there is purportedly any benefit or price/punishment associated with belief or nonbelief — which would be capriciously immoral as long as God remains hidden and His will remains unknowable (or allegedly inscrutable / “beyond human understanding”).devilish
Ben Forbes G.
Orlando, FL
Post #: 342
“There are an infinite number of metaphorical images and instructive (or misleading) interpretations of reality, but there is only one Reality...”
—Michael Dowd
The most “instructive” and reliable understanding of reality with by far the greatest explanatory-power is science, and it renders religion unnecessary, primitively antiquated, and epistemically inferior. That said, the metaphorical images and “instructive” interpretations of multifarious mythologies can be aesthetically poignant and meaningful — as I know very well from studying numerous cross-cultural myths and archetypal theories such as those of Joseph Campbell (but the Abrahamic mythologies and theological teachings are among my least favorite and are arguably particularly deplorable from a metaphorical and moral perspective).
“God as a subjectively meaningful interpretation simply cannot be argued against. God is always a legitimate interpretation. But God is NOT (and never has been) an actual, physical Being, as science and common sense define reality.”
—Michael Dowd
There is a sense in which I agree with this as far as it goes... but unfortunately for theists there is no way out of this trap and science and religion are irreconcilably incompatible. Dowd’s unsubstantiated pantheistic-style “solution” is as ridiculous as it is vacuous and meaningless — and the salient point is that believers who admire such a vague abstraction have all their work ahead of them if they wish to naïvely believe that their “interpretations” actually impact reality concretely in any way beyond mere subjective metaphor or inspiration. It is not possible to rationally get away with fallaciously or spuriously bootstrapping sectarian theologies and specific dogmas onto a vague universalist abstract deity; attempting to do so is self-defeating and sets your views up for devastating reductio ad absurdum

Any real deity which has (or has had) any concrete “impact or influence” on the cosmos (or, in a more myopically arrogant anthropocentric conception: specifically on Earth or humankind) must be more than a mere abstraction or metaphor, and thus must purportedly have actual specific qualities that are susceptible to logical analysis vis-à-vis the consistency (or lack thereof) of their own definitional aspects as well as vis-à-vis the observable nature of reality as best we can discern — e.g. that any God of this universe is obviously hidden, “revelations” are pathetically idiosyncratically local (and human, all too human), and any God who “designed” this harshly cataclysmic abattoir universe must be capriciously malevolent, amoral, or coldly aloof (there is no theistic sophistry that can possibly escape the ironclad logic of the problem of divine hiddenness, the argument from locality, AND the problem of evil).

Nevertheless, you seem to dispute premise 2 of the problem of divine hiddenness, which is tantamount to asserting that God is not hidden. In that case, WHERE is God? (in the fallacious gaps of your argumentum ad ignorantiam “God of the gaps” suppositions?)

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. —Colossians 3:2
There is no evidence of any “minds” which are not embodied in brains. Whatever (if anything) “minds” are, all so far available evidence suggests that any real (non-illusory) epiphenomena that brains may contain do not transcend the matter and energy in brains; there is no positive evidence for any form of dualism or for any form of supernaturalist/metaphysical pantheistic monism (both of which are arguably unfalsifiable faith-based propositions: since to substantiate them would be to naturalize them), and there is much evidence against both. There is also not (yet) any evidence of any brain architecture in the cosmos (quantum or otherwise) which could plausibly (let alone “most probably” according to demonstrably likely mechanisms) function as the “divine mind” of an alleged deity. Indeed, the “soul” is just as hidden (and almost certainly nonexistent) as God — the more neuroscience advances, the more it becomes a “soul of the gaps”!tongue
Ben Forbes G.
Orlando, FL
Post #: 343
In summary, there is little hope for reason in theism, any form of which is almost certainly (if not absolutely conclusively, in many cases) false (as well as, too often, morally reprehensible). Universalist theology (while not as sanctimoniously vile as Calvinism) is still totally illogical nonsense (in a universe where God is hidden and even theists cannot agree on God’s alleged nature or will); even diverse sects of the same general religion (to say nothing of thousands of radically/fundamentally different religions) hold multifarious irreconcilably opposed and mutually contradictory/incompatible beliefs. Specifically to the Abrahamic faiths: the “story” (myth) of Genesis is scientifically ignorant and morally reprehensible, was created by benighted and superstitious primitives, and does not deserve to be considered anything more significant than merely “a story” — period, full stop.

  • It is far from clear that Genesis is compatible with an accurate account of the age of the universe or the age of the Earth (even if metaphorically interpreted)...
  • In Genesis, the earth is purportedly created before light and stars, birds and whales before reptiles and insects, and flowering plants before any animals. The real order of these events (much more reliably and less ignorantly known from science) is just the opposite. (Genesis 1:1-2:3)
  • God ostensibly creates light and separates light from darkness, and day from night, on the first day. Yet He didn't make the light producing objects (the sun and the stars) until the fourth day (Genesis 1:14-19). And how could there be “the evening and the morning” on the first day if there was no sun to mark them? (Genesis 1:3-5)
  • God spends one-sixth of his entire creative effort (the second day) working on a solid firmament. This strange structure is intended to separate the higher waters from the lower waters. (Genesis 1:6-8)
  • Plants are made on the third day before there was a sun to drive their photosynthetic processes. (Genesis 1:14-19 / 1:11)
  • In an apparent endorsement of astrology, God places the sun, moon, and stars in the firmament so that they can be used “for signs”. This, of course, is exactly what astrologers do: read “the signs” in the Zodiac in an effort to predict what will happen on Earth. (Genesis 1:14)
  • God makes two lights: “the greater light [the sun] to rule the day, and the lesser light [the moon] to rule the night.” But the moon is not a light, but only reflects light from the sun. And why, if God made the moon to “rule the night”, does it spend half of its time moving through the daytime sky? (Genesis 1:16)
  • “He made the stars also.” God spends a day making light (before making the stars) and separating light from darkness; then, at the end of a hard day's work, and almost as an afterthought, he makes the trillions of stars. (Genesis 1:16)
    Also, it doesn't get more arrogantly geocentric than the following: “And God set them [the stars] in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth.” (Genesis 1:17)
  • In verse 11, God “let the earth bring forth” the plants. Now he has the earth “bring forth” the animals as well. So maybe the creationists have it all wrong. Maybe God created livings things through the process of evolution. (Genesis 1:24)
  • God gave humans dominion over every other living thing on earth. (Genesis 1:26); I know we've pretty much transcended the food-chain, but this verse is deplorably arrogant and anthropocentric.
  • God commands us to “be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over... every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” (Genesis 1:28) “I have given you every herb... and every tree... for meat.” Since many plants have evolved poisons to protect against animals that would like to eat them, God's advice is more than a little reckless. Would you tell your children to go out in the garden or forest and recklessly eat whatever plants they encounter? Of course not. But then, you are much nicer and smarter than Yahweh. (Genesis 1:29)
  • All animals were originally herbivores according to Genesis. Tapeworms, vampire bats, mosquitoes, and barracudas — all were strict vegetarians, as they were “created” by God.biggrin (Genesis 1:30)
    “God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.” (Genesis 1:31) Funny then how He purposefully “designed” a system that ensures the suffering and death of all his creatures, parasite and host, predator and prey.
  • In Genesis 1, the entire creation takes six days, but the universe is 13.7 billion years old, with new stars constantly being formed. (Genesis 1:31)
  • Humans were not created instantaneously from dust and breath, but evolved over millions of years from simpler life forms. (Genesis 2:7)
  • After making the animals, God has Adam name them all. The naming of several million species must have kept Adam busy for a while. (Genesis 2:18-22)
  • God fashions a woman out of one of Adam's ribs! (this is inherently sexist)
  • Because of this story, it was commonly believed (and sometimes it is still said today) that males have one less rib than females. When Vesalius showed in 1543 that the number of ribs was the same in males and females, it created a storm of controversy. (Genesis 2:19)
  • God curses the serpent. From now on the serpent will crawl on his belly and eat dust. One wonders how he got around before — by hopping on his tail, perhaps? But snakes don't eat dust, do they? (Genesis 3:14)
  • Because Adam listened to Eve, God cursed the ground and causes thorns and thistles to grow. Before this, according to the (false) Genesis story, plants had no natural defenses. The rose had no thorn, cacti were spineless, holly leaves were smooth, and the nettle had no sting. Foxgloves, oleander, and milkweeds were all perfectly safe to eat. (Genesis 3:17-18)
Anyway, even all of that is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to primitive biblical ignorance. Moreover, “Original Sin” is a vile and deplorable doctrine (and inexcusably sexist, if Genesis is to be believed). Also, scriptures are merely claims (and demonstrably very dubious and unreliable claims, at that); scriptures (no matter how metaphorically interpreted) do not constitute actual “evidence” regarding even their own purported “authenticity” — let alone any realistic ontology — and the plural of claim is not evidence!angry
Ben Forbes G.
Orlando, FL
Post #: 344
The following are some simple questions you would have to be able to straightforwardly answer (rather than noncommittally weasel your way out of with falsely-humble and self-defeating vacuous/vague evasive sophistry) in order to logically determine whether your theology (to the extent that it's even coherent) suffers any difficulty from the problem of divine hiddenness or the problem of evil... Do you believe that “god” is purportedly:
  • omnipotent (or at least potent enough to work “miracles” at will — and, if so, what sorts of miracles? Give at least one example...)
  • omnipresent (if so, is “god” ostensibly able to metaphysically intervene on Earth at will to both observe and influence events, if desired?)
  • omniscient / maximally wise (and, if so, does “god” know the future with superhuman predictive power, including the future of what moral agents such as humans will choose to do? Does “god” clairvoyantly know the future with absolutely complete and perfect predictive power?)
  • omnibenevolent / maximally “loving” (if so, is there purportedly any purgatory, “hell” or final judgement, or does everyone get an ostensibly “pleasant”/paradisiacal eternal life?)

Finally, feel free to answer in as much detail as you like: what SPECIFIC aspects of the cosmos, the nature of Earth, and human nature do you claim that God is either responsible for directly creating — or “designed”/planned/guided to transpire or evolve in the particular direction that they observably have?cool

Regardless of what you sincerely believe the “answers” to these questions are though (and whether or not you will openly admit what you believe the answers are), there is no escaping the reality that any theist's answers to these questions imply logical consequences: many of which devastatingly undermine, conclusively refute, or render morally untenable most popular forms of theism (especially monotheism).tongue

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