Christians Must Use Explicitly Biblical Arguments

I distinctly remember my deep anxiety about leaving my southern, Christian college and traveling north to a law school that was, well, slightly less hospitable to my religious point of view. In preparation for the challenge, I beefed up my reading — devouring books on everything from apologetics to critical-race theory — and I sought advice. If there was a common thread of that advice, it was: “Don’t come at people with the Bible. They don’t find it persuasive, and it immediately shuts down the conversation.”

In fact, I’d say that advice passes for received conventional wisdom in many evangelical circles. Talk about the Bible when addressing purely spiritual topics, sure, but not when addressing public policy — especially “culture war” issues. We live in a secular society, so we must use secular arguments or we won’t persuade.

Wrong.

One has to swim in Evangelical waters to understand how completely we’ve accepted the veracity of the bad faith critiques from the secular Left. We run around wringing our hands, saying things like “we’ve got to make sure we care about children as much after they’re born as we do before” when we’ve never, ever devoted even a fraction of the resources to ending abortion that we do to ending poverty. We tell ourselves not to “obsess” over same-sex marriage and abortion when those topics are rarely (if ever) addressed from the pulpit and again receive only the smallest fractions of Evangelical dollars and volunteer hours. As Jonah so eloquently stated, we’re not the aggressors in the culture war.

Oh, and we are also convinced that people will love us more if we talk about Christ less and are just the nicest, most service-oriented people in the room.

In other words, Christian, shut up and serve soup to the poor.

To borrow a modern term, many of these critiques are similar to ”concern trolling,” a tactic where an ideological opponent feigns concern for the success of your enterprise and purports to give you “advice.” The immigration debate, for example, is full of concern trolling from the Left: “Dear conservatives, agree to amnesty and a path to citizenship, or you’ll never win another presidential election.” (Translation: Help us erode the rule of law and national sovereignty as we enroll tens of millions of new Democrats.)

The “concern troll” against Christians translates like this: “You should talk about life less if you want people to be more pro-life. You should use the Bible less if you want people to respect Scripture. People will like Christ more if they never hear about him.”

Over time, and with the benefit of experience, I came to utterly reject the notion that I should only talk about cultural, economic, or political issues without reference to the Bible.

First, America isn’t secular. The vast majority of Americans are still Christian, and even those Christians who don’t have an orthodox view of scriptural inerrancy still view the Bible as their faith’s authoritative text.

Second, as the product of divine inspiration, it’s words are far better — more life-giving — than anything I can dream up with human wisdom. Telling a Christian not to use the Bible is like asking a lawyer to win a case without reference to his best available precedent.

Third, those people who so often assure you that the Bible isn’t persuasive usually have no idea what the Bible says about virtually anything. Biblical illiteracy is a culture-wide problem, and confident assertions that the Bible has nothing meaningful to say on any given issue are typically the confident assertions of the ignorant.

Of course, one shouldn’t  insert scripture into every conversation. We must, after all, exercise discernment. But our default position should be that the best expression of God’s truth comes from God Himself — speaking through those He divinely inspired.

We’re poor vessels by contrast.

Read more on the Patheos Faith and Family Channel and follow David on Twitter.

  • http://joshuapostema.com/ Josh Postema

    “We run around wringing our hands, saying things like “we’ve got to make
    sure we care about children as much after they’re born as we do before”
    when we’ve never, ever devoted even a fraction of the resources to
    ending abortion that we do to ending poverty. We tell ourselves not to
    “obsess” over same-sex marriage and abortion when those topics are
    rarely (if ever) addressed from the pulpit and again receive only the
    smallest fractions of Evangelical dollars and volunteer hours. As Jonah
    so eloquently stated, we’re not the aggressors in the culture war.”

    Amen! I just wrote about this myself when it comes to virtue, and Christians who suggest that we make too big a deal of moral behavior (when, in reality, we don’t make -any- deal out of it).

  • Nemo

    If a person doesn’t believe the Bible, telling them what the Bible says means nothing. Yes, most Americans identify as Christian. I’d wager that the majority of those are what an ironically evangelical writer described as Moralistic Therapeutic Deists. They believe in God, but probably don’t know much about the Bible, and just think God wants people to be nice to each other. Thus, you have an increasingly socially liberal younger generation, since they aren’t aware that Yahweh has some interesting definitions of “nice”. I expect some blowback to that as they get older, but just like every generation before, it won’t be all the way.
    Demonstrate empirical, verifiable evidence that Yahweh exists. Until then, if you insist on preaching Bible verses at me, I will accept it as your surrender.

    • http://www.revelation4radicals.com/ radicalrevelation

      “Demonstrate empirical, verifiable evidence that Yahweh exists.”

      That’s a tough one, but here goes…

      You exist.
      Science cannot explain how, or why.
      God can, and does.

      Every moment of every day.

      • Nemo

        Science does not have a perfect explanation, but scientific explanations for the universe, the earth, and the development of life do exist and are backed up by evidence. Religion, and yours is included, is simply a claim.

        • http://joshuapostema.com/ Josh Postema

          That’s false. -Philosophical- explanations abound for the origin of the universe, earth, and life; the scientific explanations are “simply claims” as well.

          • Nemo

            Of course they do. As for scientific explanations, they tend to be backed up by observations and evidence. Of course, large scale events are not directly observed, but are rather deduced much as we deduce the perpetrator of a criminal act after the fact.

          • http://joshuapostema.com/ Josh Postema

            They are not the same as scientific explanations. To ask or answer the question “Can something come from nothing” is not a scientific question, but that does not reduce is validity. The problem I have is that you seem to suggest that scientific explanations are the only valid ones, yet I deny that all problems are scientific problems.

            As for your claim earlier about the “alleged life of Jesus”, are you aware that Jesus’ existence is attested to by: Thallus, Pliny the Younger, Suetonius, Tacitus, Lucian of Samosata, and Josephus, all of whom were (harshly) critical of Christians, but never questioned the existence of Christ.

            The “alleged life of Jesus” has more historical support than virtually anyone else from the ancient world. Socrates has exactly one contemporary source, yet no one denies his existence.

          • Nemo

            I don’t doubt that a guy named Jesus existed. However, the fact that all of the historians lived AFTER the events in question, and were referring to stories they had heard about this person, suggests that he might not have been as big in life as his followers later made him out to be. For example, why does no contemporary historian write about a massive earthquake, followed by the dead roaming the streets of Jerusalem? That sort thing wouldn’t go unnoticed.
            I don’t deny that Caesar Augustus existed. Now, the part about his mom having been impregnated by a snake in the temple of Apollo, on the other hand, is not something that I would even consider taking seriously.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            The text at Matthew 27:52, 53 concerning “the memorial tombs [that] were opened” as the result of an earthquake occurring at the time of Jesus’ death has caused considerable discussion, some holding that a resurrection occurred. However, a comparison with the texts concerning the resurrection makes clear that these verses do not describe a resurrection but merely a throwing of bodies out of their tombs, similar to incidents that have taken place in more recent times, as in Ecuador in 1949 and again in Bogotá, Colombia, in 1962, when 200 corpses in the cemetery were thrown out of their tombs by a violent earth tremor.—El Tiempo, Bogotá, Colombia, July 31, 1962.

          • http://www.revelation4radicals.com/ radicalrevelation

            Matthew 27:51-53 — 51 Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, 52 and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; 53 and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many. From NKJ

          • Guest

            Look at this Icon and remember that God is timeless.

            All sorts of things happened when Christ died – here He is lifting the righteous dead, epitomized by Adam and Eve, out of their coffins – the doors of Hell beneath his feet.

            Icons – the Graphic Novels of the early Church!

          • Joseph O Polanco

            And just how, precisely, does this change the fact that “a comparison with the texts concerning the resurrection makes clear that these verses do not describe a resurrection but merely a throwing of bodies out of their tombs, similar to incidents that have taken place in more recent times, as in Ecuador in 1949 and again in Bogotá, Colombia, in 1962, when 200 corpses in the cemetery were thrown out of their tombs by a violent earth tremor”?

          • http://www.revelation4radicals.com/ radicalrevelation

            I dunno – I don’t think the passage addresses dead bodies being hurled from the tombs into Jerusalem. if it does, that’s a new one.

            Did you look at the Icon? Do you see what it’s saying?

          • Joseph O Polanco

            Why? Because you say so? Sorry but you’re going to have to do a whole lot better than just an argumentum assertio fallacy ….

          • http://www.revelation4radicals.com/ radicalrevelation

            I’m sorry – to what are you responding?

          • Joseph O Polanco

            You say the passages in question do not describe corpses being hurled out of their tombs just … because. You’re gonna have to do better than that.

          • http://www.revelation4radicals.com/ radicalrevelation

            Look at the Icon.
            Think about the verse.
            Forget physical time and mortal space.
            Be silent a moment.
            Look carefully.
            Read the verse.
            Look again.

            What do you see?

            Could the ‘holy city’ be New Jerusalem?

          • Joseph O Polanco

            Are you high?

          • http://www.revelation4radicals.com/ radicalrevelation

            Here is the explanation.

            The Icon shows the Lord shattering the doors of Hades and freeing the righteous dead. The dead were lifted from their tombs, and joined Christ in His resurrection.

            This happened in Hades, out of sight of mortal people.

            The earthquake could have been in realtime, physical Jerusalem, but only Jesus’ dead body was there. He was in Hades knocking down the doors and setting the captives free.

            Then they went into the ‘holy city’ and appeared to many. So where did they go, and to whom did they appear?

            Not Jerusalem in Israel because that Jerusalem is not called ‘holy’ in the New Testament. OT, yes. NT, no.

            This is the ‘holy city’ described in Matt 27:53, and we find it in Revelation 21:2 – And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

            When you really start to get the Bible, when it really kicks in, it is amazing. Part of the verse in is ‘our’ time and space, and part is in eternal time and space.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            And where does the Bible specifically teach each and every single one of these elements?

          • http://www.revelation4radicals.com/ radicalrevelation

            The Bible tells us that Christ saved ‘man’ from the effects of the fall (sin and death) through the cross and His resurrection. That is Christianity 101.

            The parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man is a picture of the fate of man prior to Christ. Both in Hades. One really miserable, the other not so much, yet in the same place. This parable is in every Bible everywhere.

            if Christ saved all mankind, that includes the ‘righteous dead’ who were in Hades. Men such as Abraham, who comforted Lazarus in Hades. This is in every Bible everywhere.

            Icons teach through image what the Bible teaches through words.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            But Christ doesn’t save all mankind. He only saves those who exercise faith in him. Everyone else will perish at Armageddon. (John 3:36; 1 John 5:12; 2 Thessalonians 1:7, 8; Ephesians 5:5, 6; Hebrews 10:26, 27)

          • http://www.revelation4radicals.com/ radicalrevelation

            Yes, that is true. How sad that is. Yet, thanks to the cross and His resurrection, the option of grace through faith is now available. BTW: Thank you for this. I have learned a great deal in these exchanges.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            My pleasure :)

        • http://www.revelation4radicals.com/ radicalrevelation

          Forgive me, but do the work. Ask the hard questions, and see what the answers are.

          How did life begin? Science offers us answers -such as panspermia- that fail to satisfy. Why do we exist? Science offers nothing, or next to nothing.

          Please understand, I am not being argumentative. I have simply come to believe that the most rational response to everything we do not know as a species, and all that is going on in the world around us, is acceptance of God.

          • Nemo

            So what if they don’t satisfy? Reality does not cater to your desires. Gravity does not emotionally satisfy me, but that doesn’t mean I can flap my arms and take flight. As for your last paragraph, that is known as the god of the gaps argument: if we don’t understand something, God did it. Also, I assume you are speaking of Yahweh, the deity allegedly worshiped by Abraham. The deity who also claimed the earth is suspended in space and cannot be moved (not so; it’s flying through space at incredible speeds), and also that rainbows were a promise not to drown everybody. I can think of a few more rational worldviews to hold than that.
            Reset human civilization and knowledge, and all of the methods of rationality and science would be rediscovered eventually. So would our laws of the universe. But worship of Jesus would almost certainly be lost forever.

          • http://www.revelation4radicals.com/ radicalrevelation

            An excellent rant–! You seem as unsatisfied as I was.

            Here is something to ponder: What you have said about how worship of Jesus would be lost forever if one were to reset human civilization and knowledge – that is in direct contravention of what Jesus says will happen.

            He promises to return, and there will be no denying or hiding from that fact. He promises, in effect, a ‘reset’ of the world – the very thing you have suggested (!)

            So how did an unschooled peasant from a crappy backwater in the Roman Empire know how you would feel about Him 2000 years later?

          • Nemo

            Huh? I said that if human civilization and knowledge were reset, Christianity would be gone forever, as would all religions. Where in the Bible does it say that will happen, let alone that I would say it would happen? It claims the world will be destroyed and recreated, but the people would remain and would have their knowledge intact. Most would be sent to the torture chamber, a few would be showered with blessings.
            Also, the Bible was written well after the alleged life of Jesus, so even if it did predict a snarky atheist under the name of Nemo would point out that Christianity cannot be deduced from nature, that would be the Bible writers, not Jesus.

          • http://www.revelation4radicals.com/ radicalrevelation

            Scoffers, mockers and revilers are said to abound in the latter days – and be proud of their mocking and believe they do the world a favor by opposing God.

            That is a most unusual supposition to make 2000 years ago when Christians were being killed for being atheists since they refused to offer sacrifice to idols. Forgive me, 1800 years ago by your count.

            Ya gotta admit – it’s interesting.

          • Nemo

            So, someone made outlandish claims and said people wouldn’t believe it? Wow. Real prophecy there. When has any religion not been mocked by those who didn’t believe it? In the Old Testament, did Elijah not mock the prophets of Baal? Do the Old Testament writers not laugh at the idiot pagans for their idols of clay? Well, when they aren’t calling for their heads, anyway. And you yourself mentioned that Christians were accused of being atheists and put to death for it. I’m quite sure there was some mocking involved in that process too. That’s on par with me predicting that the Republicans will take the White House in either 2016 or 2020 (given how it’s rare for one party to hold the executive branch for more than two or three terms, that’s almost certain).

          • http://www.revelation4radicals.com/ radicalrevelation

            But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! 6 For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts,7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

          • Nemo

            Now you’re just randomly quoting Bible verses and hoping I’ll be impressed. When have people not been brutal, self lovers, lovers of money, proud, unloving, etc? That’s not a prophecy. That’s the equivalent of me saying that something really really bad will happen next year. If it does, you must bow to my status as a prophet!

          • http://www.revelation4radicals.com/ radicalrevelation

            Thank you for responding. If it can be shown that when this was written, and in most civilizations since, that this is prophecy – what would that mean to you?

          • http://www.revelation4radicals.com/ radicalrevelation

            And I am impressed – you recognized this as a Bible verse even though I mistakenly left out the citation.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            You’re not making sense. How does any of this prove Christ Jesus did not exist at all?

            http://bit.ly/18UraA6

          • Joseph O Polanco

            Thing is, we sense objective purpose in all of reality. “Why” is at the core of our curiosity, fueling our endless pursuit for meaningful answers.

            Unless, of course, your senses are impaired or you have some other compelling reason to doubt the reality they apprehend.

            But, if that’s true, then nothing you claim about reality is trustworthy. The whole question, then, becomes moot.

          • Fallulah

            You are begging the question with “why do we exist”? What if there IS NO reason for our existence?

          • http://www.revelation4radicals.com/ radicalrevelation

            Fallulah – if there is no reason for us to exist, then we are animals, no more or less important than any other living creature. Yet we, as humans, act otherwise. Against all logic, we act as if our actions matter, that we exist for a reason.

            It is an act of egotism to believe in God. For with God, we are given all things.

          • Fallulah

            Yes we are animals….much less than the Tiger who would rip you to threads and show you his superiority given the chance. You are not superior to animals, you are an animal. All animals evolved differently, you evolved with a sense of self awareness. Your brain gives your life meaning, there is no inherent meaning. You are right about one thing, it is an act of egotism to believe in god, and I’d rather be humble and seek the truth.

          • http://www.revelation4radicals.com/ radicalrevelation

            Yes. It is only in humility that one can approach God.

            Regardless of your opinion about me, I hope I never treat you or anyone else like an animal.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            (1) Everything that exists has an objective explanation of its existence, either in the necessity of its own nature or in an external cause.

            (A) If atheism is true, the universe has no objective explanation of its existence.

            (B) If the universe has an objective explanation of its existence then atheism is false.

            (2) The universe exists.

            (3) The space-time universe does not exist out of the necessity of it’s own nature for it did not exist until 13.70 billion years ago.

            (4) Therefore, the space-time universe exists because of an external cause.

            (5) The external cause of the universe must necessarily be a beginningless, spaceless, immaterial, timeless, unchanging, omnipotent and personal being.

            (6) A beginningless, spaceless, immaterial, timeless, unchanging, omnipotent and personal being is the definition of God.

            (7) Therefore, the objective explanation of the universe’s existence is God.

            To borrow from an illustration by Richard Taylor, “Imagine you are walking through the woods on a hike and you come across a translucent ball lying on the forest floor. You would naturally wonder where that ball came from – what is the explanation of its existence? If your hiking buddy said to you, “Don’t worry about it – it just exists, inexplicably!,” you would think either that he was crazy or that he wanted you to keep on moving. But you wouldn’t take seriously the idea that this ball just exists without any explanation of its existence.

            Now suppose that the ball, instead of being the size of a basketball, were the size of an automobile. Merely increasing the size of the ball would not do anything to remove or satisfy the demand for an explanation of its existence, would it? Suppose it were the size of a house? Same problem! Suppose it were the size of a planet or a galaxy? Same problem! Suppose it were the size of the entire universe? Same problem! Merely increasing the size of the object does not do anything to remove or satisfy the demand for an explanation of its existence. And so I think it is very plausible to think that everything that exists has an explanation of why it exists.” (http://bit.ly/Pm4s92)

            “If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.” -C.S. Lewis

          • Fallulah

            Ok let me go point by point.

            1. Ok I can give you that. Everything has an explanation…sure.
            1A) Not even a little bit. Atheists don’t say there is no explanation for the Universe, just that we don’t buy the explanation that a “god” made it. We are still exploring everyday the explanations for the Universe.
            2B) Covered in the previous question.
            2. Yes it does.
            3. I’d love to know how you know this. Have you studied cosmology?
            4. External cause…still maybe, we have no evidence for what came before the big bang. Actually there is a legitimate theory out of quantum physics called the “multiverse” theory. I suggest you read about it.
            5. Where did you come up with these properties of this “external” cause? Personal? Are you fooling with me?
            6. There are many different definitions of god depending on who you ask and which sect they belong to.
            7. No doesn’t really follow.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            3. If the universe exists out of the necessity of its own nature, why is it 13.70 billion years old?

            4. Even if veridical, your metaphysically extravagant Anthropic Philosophy, that is, “if the Universe contains an exhaustively random and infinite number of universes, then anything that can occur with non-vanishing probability will occur somewhere,” does nothing to answer the question why there is anything instead of just nothing. It just punts it further down the line.

            The existence of this supposed multiverse still cries out for an objective explanation.

            To borrow from an illustration by Philosopher Richard Taylor, “Imagine you are walking through the woods on a hike and you come across a translucent ball lying on the forest floor. You would naturally wonder where that ball came from – what is the explanation of its existence? If your hiking buddy said to you, “Don’t worry about it – it just exists, inexplicably!,” you would think either that he was crazy or that he wanted you to keep on moving. But you wouldn’t take seriously the idea that this ball just exists without any explanation of its existence.

            Now suppose that the ball, instead of being the size of a basketball, were the size of an automobile. Merely increasing the size of the ball would not do anything to remove or satisfy the demand for an explanation of its existence, would it? Suppose it were the size of a house? Same problem! Suppose it were the size of a planet or a galaxy? Same problem! Suppose it were the size of the entire universe? Same problem! Merely increasing the size of the object does not do anything to remove or satisfy the demand for an explanation of its existence. And so I think it is very plausible to think that everything that exists has an explanation of why it exists.” (http://bit.ly/Pm4s92)

            “If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.” -C.S. Lewis

            That is to say, when compared to the metaphysically extravagant Anthropic Philosophy, Theism is by far much more modest.

          • Guest

            No need to copy and paste that craziness about the ball. Even if the ball needs an explanation for its existence, what justification do you have to say the explanation is a judeo-christian god? You also neglected my other points.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            Indirect evidence is frequently and reliably depended upon to ascertain the reality of the world we live in . As a case in point , it’s long been widely-used to show that our Sun generates power via nuclear fusion , hydrogen is present on it or that the our planet features an iron core . In like manner , the reality that not a one of fulfilled Bible predictions has at any time been completely wrong constitutes unquestionable attestation for the reality of it’s composer , Jehovah God .

            This is, by far the most persuasive logical reason why millions upon millions of rational people today the world over accept the Bible as the Inspired Word of Jehovah God. Simply no other book – religious or not – comes with such an illustrious prominence. Considering the fact that it’s literally ** impossible ** for any person to foresee with complete precision what’s sure to occur from one hour to the next, there’s no two ways about it: Bible prophecies are not of natural origin: http://bit.ly/1d0Y82v

          • Nemo

            The Nile has never run dry. Egypt has not been a desolate wasteland for 40 years, nor has it converted to Judaism. Damascus stands. Many of the prophecies were so vague they could be referring to anything (Daniel’s statue prophecy for one), and some weren’t even prophecies (out of Egypt I called my son referred to Israel and was not a prophecy of baby Jesus hiding in Egypt), and the only confirmation we have for many of these prophecies being fulfilled is from the Bible itself.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            Argumentum ex silentio. Fischer’s “Historians’ Fallacies” categorically asserts, “Evidence must always be affirmative. Negative evidence is a contradiction in terms–it is no evidence at all. The nonexistence of an object is established not by nonexistent evidence but by affirmative evidence of the fact that it did not, or could not exist.”

          • Joseph O Polanco

            You’re engaging in equivocation, a deceitful rhetorical tactic. You do realize that the Bible is a compilation of 66 distinct works recorded by 40 amanuensis over the span of some one thousand six hundred years, right? Your accusation, therefore, is as credible as me accusing you of circularity because you cite Dawkins citing Darwin.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            5. Foremost , this cause must per se be uncaused . Why ? Simply because an infinite regress of causes does not have basis in reality ; it can’t be turtles all the way down . ( http ://bit .ly/1dq935A )

            Next , this uncaused cause needs to transcend space-time since it itself created space-time . It is , as a result , spaceless .

            Third , considering the fact that this uncaused cause exists beyond space and time it is must be a non-physical or immaterial cause . Why ? Because physical stuff exists only in space – they possess dimension .

            Fourth , this uncaused cause must invariably also be timeless for the simple fact that it itself doesn’t exist in space-time .

            Fifth , it must likewise be changeless . As I’m sure you’re well aware , all of matter is present in a state of continuous flux . This is particularly observable at the atomic level . Given that this uncaused cause is immaterial it is not governed by the same forces that alter matter , and so , is unchanging .

            Sixth , this uncaused cause is without a doubt unimaginably powerful , if not omnipotent , for it produced matter , energy , space and time into existence entirely on its own .

            So , to sum up , whatever it is that brought about the universe to come into existence 13 .70 billion years ago it needs to be beginningless , spaceless , immaterial , timeless , unchanging and omnipotent .

            Still we’re not done for there are two more attributes of this uncaused cause that we are able to ascertain from what we perceive of the universe . Before we identify these , though , we first want to take a finer look at cause and effect . Here’s exactly what I mean : if a cause is sufficient to yield it’s effect then the effect also needs to be present . The pair are joined at the hip , so to speak ; you can’t have one without the other .

            Permit me to borrow from an illustration to help make this sharper . “Suppose that the cause of water’s freezing is the temperature’s being below 0°C . If the temperature were below 0°C from eternity past , then any water that was around would be frozen from eternity . It would be impossible for the water to just begin to freeze a finite time ago . Once the cause is given , the effect must be given as well .” ( http ://bit .ly/WQtgZY )

            The problem is , if we have indeed a timeless , transcendent cause how come the effect isn’t permanent as well ? Stated another way , if this timeless , transcendent cause in fact brought the universe into being , why hasn’t the universe always been ? Just how can a cause be eternal yet its effect commence a finite time ago ? We are aware the universe is roughly about 13 .70 billion years old but as you see we’ve further deduced that whatsoever brought about the universe has to be transcendent as well as timeless .

            The one and only way that is feasible is if this timeless , transcendent , uncaused cause were at the same time a free agent – a being with free will who is able to operate of its own volition . Naturally we all know free will is the hallmark of personhood .

            Last but certainly not least , this beginningless , spaceless , immaterial , timeless , unchanging , omnipotent being must be unimaginably good . Why ? Suppose we admit for the sake of argument that he’s evil . As this being is evil , that suggests he fails to discharge his moral duties . But then exactly where do those originate from ? Just how can this evil being have obligations he is violating ? Who forbids him to do the immoral things he does ? Right away , we discover such an evil being simply cannot be supreme . There needs to be a being who is even greater , one who is absolute goodness himself and thus the source of the moral responsibilities this other prefers to shirk . Therefore , there must necessarily exist a supreme being who is all powerful , all good and all loving ; One who is the very paradigm of good .

            So here we arrive at this uncaused cause of the universe 13 .70 billion years ago that is beginningless , spaceless , immaterial , timeless , unchanging , omnipotent and personal being who is all good and all loving .

            This is the very definition – of God

          • Joseph O Polanco

            6. What definition of God does not include all of these characteristics?

            7. Either it does follow or it doesn’t. There is no maybe here. And you need to prove it can’t follow not just assert it doesn’t. That’s an argumentum assertio fallacy. Just because you say something is doesn’t make it so.

          • JT Rager

            Just because you have your answer does not in any sense mean it’s correct. I’d rather say “I don’t know” than make claims that have no evidence to back them up.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            The work of Science is not to say “I do not know”. The work of the scientist is to propose possible theories that explain the phenomena observed. It is, after all, omniscient and infallible …

          • JT Rager

            The work of scientists is to test and search how nature works in as honest a way as possible. If they say they have an explanation but they have no evidence to back up their claims then they are doing a poor job. The goal is not to have an answer – any answer – immediately. A proper answer requires actual work to get to it. Not something some shepherd scribbled down in a religious text 2,000 years ago.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            Instead of delusions of omniscience, then, shouldn’t the fact that the sciences are not infallible lead you to humility rather than contemptuousness and openness rather than bigotry?

        • Joseph O Polanco
      • Sven2547

        You exist.Science cannot explain how, or why.
        God can, and does.

        The argument from ignorance. ‘(I/you) don’t know, therefore God’. Just because humans are not omniscient, it does not logically follow that omniscience exists.

        Are you familiar with Russell’s Teapot?

        • http://www.revelation4radicals.com/ radicalrevelation

          Good point. No longer valid because science today also asks us to believe that which cannot be proven. Here is a link to NYT article this very day that makes my point, and yours.

          http://goo.gl/oBQ8cH

          What I am to ‘believe’ now that a new discovery has challenged thought-balloons floated by previous finds? The conclusion must be that no one knows anything, at least not yet, and not enough to be persuasive in the face of the least resistance.

          The origin of humanity remains unknown. What is in the fossil record is that us, Homo Sapiens, arrive on the scene at some point and dramatically change everything.

          Sound familiar? It’s in a book called “Genesis.’

          • Sven2547

            How does this article support your point whatsoever? It’s about new discoveries that are improving what we know about the evolutionary origins of humans. Discoveries which still offer no evidence of divine intervention.

            Sound familiar? It’s in a book called “Genesis.’

            That’s the difference: scientists are out there looking for answers. You, in stark contrast, refuse to do any searching outside of a very old book.

            Just so I know what kind of creationist I’m talking to, are you among the young-Earth variety, or the old-Earth variety?

          • http://www.revelation4radicals.com/ radicalrevelation

            Forgive me if I have offended you. It is never was my intent. I have no ‘flavor,’ and probably will not fit into a pre-conceived idea of a Christian.

            I hope you noticed the very many comments on the NYT site. There are arguments there like this one, only many more of them. It seems that we, like many on that board, tend to talk past one another.

            To me, the article puts on display all that is NOT known about human origins, leaving, in effect, a ‘hole’ in the story.
            We are free to fill that hole with whatever thoughts and ideas and beliefs we choose. The challenge is to choose well.

          • Sven2547

            To me, the article puts on display all that is NOT known about human origins, leaving, in effect, a ‘hole’ in the story.
            We are free to fill that hole with whatever thoughts and ideas and beliefs we choose. The challenge is to choose well.

            But again: that’s just the argument from ignorance. The fallacious “God-of-the-gaps”. If you use God to fill in the “gaps” of human knowledge, then your God becomes synonymous with ignorance. And as the “gaps” in human knowledge get filled, the God Of Ignorance becomes smaller and smaller.

            I’m not saying this to be insulting or disrespectful, I’m saying it to discourage people from making such a terrible theological argument.

          • http://www.revelation4radicals.com/ radicalrevelation

            Bodhidharma, the father of Zen, was asked by his disciples the secret of enlightenment. In response he said nothing, but held up a flower.

            Why is it cool when it’s a Buddhist story, but ignorant when it’s a Christian one? They are the same story.

            Please forgive me for troubling you, it was not my intention.

          • Sven2547

            Why is it cool when it’s a Buddhist story, but ignorant when it’s a Christian one? They are the same story.

            It’s not a particularly cool Buddhist story, in my humble opinion. Doubly so when someone is asking for empirical evidence.

            And don’t worry, you have neither troubled nor offended me.

          • http://www.revelation4radicals.com/ radicalrevelation

            Awesome! Thank you. This has been a good discussion.

            We may not agree, but we can disagree in peace.

          • Sven2547

            Right on.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            (1) Whatsoever begins to exist has a cause.

            (2) The space-time universe began to exist 13.70 billion years ago.

            (3) Therefore, the space-time universe has a cause.

            (4) The cause of the universe is a transcendent, beginningless, spaceless, immaterial, timeless, unchanging, omnipotent good personal being.

            (5) A transcendent, beginningless, spaceless, immaterial, timeless, unchanging, omnipotent good personal being is the definition of God.

            (6) Therefore, God caused the universe to exist 13.70 billion years ago.

            The best scientific evidence we have today supports the truth of this argument’s premises. And from that, the rest of the deductive argument follows. So in no way is this an appeal to ignorance, to try to punt to God to explain what we don’t understand. It is a natural conclusion from the logical validity of the preceding premisses. In other words, it’s simple, mundane logic.

            http://bit.ly/SSsy8x

          • Sven2547

            Ah yes, the Cosmological Argument. It is a circular, self-refuting argument. There are multiple problems with point 4:

            (4) The cause of the universe is a transcendent, beginningless, spaceless, immaterial, timeless, unchanging, omnipotent good personal being.

            Problem 1: You are relying on a hypothetical agent that defies scientific law and principle. Once you do that, you may no longer claim your hypothesis is scientific.

            Problem 2: By posing the hypothetical existence of a “beginningless” agent, you concede that not all things need to have beginnings. Indeed, the scientific consensus is that the mass & energy that composes the universe still existed before the “Big Bang”, in an unknown configuration. That’s because mass-energy cannot be created or destroyed, only converted. The current space-time continuum began a almost 14 billion years ago, but the ingredients are already scientifically understood to be “beginningless”.

            Problem 3: There is no logical basis for this hypothetical agent to be “unchanging”, “good”, “personal”, or a sentient “being”. You added those for no reason.

            Problem 4: The term “timeless” is a meaningless word. What is “timelessness”?

            Problem 5: Omnipotence is a paradoxical, self-refuting concept. If an omnipotent agent can perform any task, can this agent create an impossible task for himself?

            I don’t click on random bit.ly links without being told what’s on the other side.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            Problem 1: Strawman. When did I ever claim this to be a scientific hypothesis?

            Problem 2: The premise that the all matter and energy began to exist 13.70 billion years ago is not a religious declaration nor a theological one. You can find this statement in any contemporary textbook on astrophysics or cosmology. And it is supported by the vast majority of cosmologists today.

            The Borde-Vilenkin-Guth Theorem, for instance, proves that any universe, which has, on average, a rate of expansion greater than one ** must ** have a ** finite beginning **. I’m not making this up. Read the paper in full or watch Vilenkin himself invalidate and impugn beginningless universe models like Eternal Inflation, Cyclic Evolution and Static Seed/Emergent Universe on youtube.

            As such, Vilenkin had this to say regarding the beginning of the universe, “It is said that an argument is what convinces reasonable men and a proof is what it takes to convince even an unreasonable man. With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past-eternal universe. *** There is no escape, they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning ***. (Many Worlds in One [New York: Hill and Wang, 2006], p.176) (Emphasis mine.)

            As Theoretical Physicist and Cosmologist Stephen Hawking put it, “the final nail in the coffin of the Steady State theory came with the discovery of the microwave background radiation, in 1965.”

            Emphatically, then, your fervent belief that the universe is infinitely old, beginningless, or eternal has no basis in any respected mainstream scientific theories of the universe. It’s just more atheistic amphigory and wishful thinking.

            This creates the necessity for a first uncaused-cause. After all, something cannot come from nothing as I’ve already shared. I’ve also explained that this first uncaused efficient cause must also, by necessity, be transcendent, beginningless, timeless, spaceless, immaterial, unchanging, omnipotent, personal and good. As it turns out, such is the very definition of God.

          • Sven2547

            When did I ever claim this to be a scientific hypothesis?

            Right around when you said

            The best scientific evidence we have today supports the truth of this argument’s premises.

            Moving along:

            The premise that the all matter and energy began to exist 13.70 billion years ago is not a religious declaration nor a theological one.

            This is a major misconception about the “Big Bang”. Cosmologists do not claim that the mass-energy of the universe came from nothing. Cosmologists are quite clear that mass-energy can not be created or destroyed, only converted. It existed before the “Big Bang”, but in an unknown configuration.

            The Borde-Vilenkin-Guth Theorem is referring to space-time and the expansion of the universe, not the origin of matter. Nobody refutes that the current space-time continuum began with the “bang”, but there is a difference between space-time and mass-energy.

            by necessity, be transcendent, beginningless, timeless, spaceless, immaterial, unchanging, omnipotent, personal and good.

            I’ve addressed this silliness in problems 3, 4, and 5.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            A posteriori causality, Being does not emerge from nonbeing, Whatsoever begins to exist has a cause, Information cannot spring from disarray and Fine-tuning does not emanate from randomness are all principles solidly backed by scientific evidence. Does it make these all scientific theories too?

          • Sven2547

            Given that your hypothetical agent is an outright violation of a posteriori causality, I find it very silly that you’re trying to raise it as an argument.

            The scientific evidence is actually quite strong that “beings” can emerge from non-being.

            Information CAN spring from disarray if natural selection is involved. Just look at evolution.

            What do you mean by “Fine-tuning” here? Creationists love to weasel it in and change the definition as they see fit.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            You’re not making sense. How does any of this answer my query?

          • Sven2547

            Your query was predicated with rubbish, which I sorted through point-by-point.

          • Joseph O Polanco
          • Joseph O Polanco

            Problem 3: As I’m sure you’re well aware , all of matter is present in a state of continuous flux . This is particularly observable at the atomic level . Given that this uncaused cause is immaterial it is not governed by the same forces that alter matter , and so , is unchanging .

            Sixth , this uncaused cause is without a doubt unimaginably powerful , if not omnipotent , for it produced matter , energy , space and time into existence entirely on its own .

            So , to sum up , whatever it is that brought about the universe to come into existence 13 .70 billion years ago it needs to be beginningless , spaceless , immaterial , timeless , unchanging and omnipotent .

            Still we’re not done for there are two more attributes of this uncaused cause that we are able to ascertain from what we perceive of the universe . Before we identify these , though , we first want to take a finer look at cause and effect . Here’s exactly what I mean : if a cause is sufficient to yield it’s effect then the effect also needs to be present . The pair are joined at the hip , so to speak ; you can’t have one without the other .

            Permit me to borrow from an illustration to help make this sharper . “Suppose that the cause of water’s freezing is the temperature’s being below 0°C . If the temperature were below 0°C from eternity past , then any water that was around would be frozen from eternity . It would be impossible for the water to just begin to freeze a finite time ago . Once the cause is given , the effect must be given as well .” ( http ://bit .ly/WQtgZY )

            The problem is , if we have indeed a timeless , transcendent cause how come the effect isn’t permanent as well ? Stated another way , if this timeless , transcendent cause in fact brought the universe into being , why hasn’t the universe always been ? Just how can a cause be eternal yet its effect commence a finite time ago ? We are aware the universe is roughly about 13 .70 billion years old but as you see we’ve further deduced that whatsoever brought about the universe has to be transcendent as well as timeless .

            The one and only way that is feasible is if this timeless , transcendent , uncaused cause were at the same time a free agent – a being with free will who is able to operate of its own volition . Naturally we all know free will is the hallmark of personhood .

            Last but certainly not least , this beginningless , spaceless , immaterial , timeless , unchanging , omnipotent being must be unimaginably good . Why ? Suppose we admit for the sake of argument that he’s evil . As this being is evil , that suggests he fails to discharge his moral duties . But then exactly where do those originate from ? Just how can this evil being have obligations he is violating ? Who forbids him to do the immoral things he does ? Right away , we discover such an evil being simply cannot be supreme . There needs to be a being who is even greater , one who is absolute goodness himself and thus the source of the moral responsibilities this other prefers to shirk . Therefore , there must necessarily exist a supreme being who is all powerful , all good and all loving ; One who is the very paradigm of good .

            So here we arrive at this uncaused cause of the universe 13 .70 billion years ago that is beginningless , spaceless , immaterial , timeless , unchanging , omnipotent and personal being who is all good and all loving .

            This is the very definition – of God : )

            (All of this and more, btw, is clearly explained in the bitly link you chose to ignore.)

          • Sven2547

            Given that this uncaused cause is immaterial it is not governed by the same forces that alter matter, and so, is unchanging .

            Being ungoverned by the forces that alter matter doesn’t automatically mean “unchanging”. This is a non sequitor.

            this uncaused cause is without a doubt unimaginably powerful , if not omnipotent , for it produced matter , energy…

            For the tenth time, matter & energy cannot be created or destroyed. You are posing something completely at odds with known physics. Your hypothesis is rejected outright unless you can support this. Even the “Big Bang” theory DOES NOT make this claim.

            The one and only way that is feasible is if this timeless , transcendent , uncaused cause were at the same time a free agent – a being with free will who is able to operate of its own volition .

            Another non sequitor. THINGS HAPPEN. That doesn’t mean sentience is involved.

            Right away , we discover such an evil being simply cannot be supreme . There needs to be a being who is even greater

            Again with the non sequitor. WHY “must” there be a “being” who is “supreme”? This is just a silly retelling of the Ontological Argument, which is an even dumber apologetic claim than the Cosmological Argument.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            Argumentum assertio. “That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.” Prove your claim. Prove it’s a non sequitur (you meant to say non sequitur, not non sequitor).

          • Sven2547

            For each non-sequitur, I explained why it’s a non-sequitur. It falls on you to logically connect these disconnected ideas.

            Explain WHY being “ungoverned by the forces that alter matter” automatically means “unchanging”.

            Explain WHY a hypothetically timeless agent must be sentient.

            Explain WHY a supreme being “must” exist.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            i. What else could it mean?

            ii. Strawman. When did I ever claim it had to be sentient because it was timeless?

            iii. Because whatsoever begins to exist must have a cause and all matter and energy came into being a long, long time ago. It’s simple, mundane logic.

          • Sven2547

            1: It could, for example, be subject to other forces, ones that do not govern matter.

            2:

            Strawman. When did I ever claim it had to be sentient because it was timeless?

            When you said:

            The one and only way that is feasible is if this timeless , transcendent , uncaused cause were at the same time a free agent – a being with free will who is able to operate of its own volition . Naturally we all know free will is the hallmark of personhood .

            This is what happens when you copy-paste things from a blog. You have no idea what you’re arguing.

            3: It’s not simple logic, it’s making an utterly baseless assumption CONTRARY to the scientific observation that matter & energy cannot be created or destroyed.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            1: Such as?

            2: Strawman. See where I make the direct connection between personhood and volition (not timelessness)?

            3: And yet, your fervent belief that the universe is infinitely old, beginningless, or eternal has no basis in any respected mainstream scientific theories of the universe. It’s just more atheistic amphigory and wishful thinking.

          • Sven2547

            1: Other gods, perhaps? It’s no more absurd than your proposition that one exists.

            2: You’re going timelessness > volition > personhood. It’s nonsense.

            3:

            And yet, your fervent belief that the universe is infinitely old, beginningless, or eternal has no basis in any respected mainstream scientific theories of the universe.

            Part strawman, part lie. The current space-time continuum is 13.7 B.Y. old, the matter and energy that composes the universe is “beginningless”, and that IS the mainstream understanding of matter & energy. Because, for the hundredth time, it cannot be created or destroyed, only converted. That’s physics. And when you keep LYING about basic science, you do your silly argument a disservice.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            i: Prove it.

            ii: How does that change the fact that you still – and continue to – Strawman me?

            iii: And yet, according to NASA scientists, “The Big Bang created all the matter and energy in the Universe.” If you were me, who would you believe?

          • Joseph O Polanco

            The premise that the all matter and energy began to exist 13.70 billion years ago is not a religious declaration nor a theological one. You can find this statement in any contemporary textbook on astrophysics or cosmology. And it is supported by the vast majority of cosmologists today.

            The Borde-Vilenkin-Guth Theorem, for instance, proves that any universe, which has, on average, a rate of expansion greater than one ** must ** have a ** finite beginning **. I’m not making this up. Read the paper in full or watch Vilenkin himself invalidate and impugn beginningless universe models like Eternal Inflation, Cyclic Evolution and Static Seed/Emergent Universe on youtube.

            As such, Vilenkin had this to say regarding the beginning of the universe, “It is said that an argument is what convinces reasonable men and a proof is what it takes to convince even an unreasonable man. With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past-eternal universe. *** There is no escape, they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning ***. (Many Worlds in One [New York: Hill and Wang, 2006], p.176) (Emphasis mine.)

            As Theoretical Physicist and Cosmologist Stephen Hawking put it, “the final nail in the coffin of the Steady State theory came with the discovery of the microwave background radiation, in 1965.”

            Emphatically, then, your fervent belief that the universe is infinitely old, beginningless, or eternal has no basis in any respected mainstream scientific theories of the universe. It’s just more atheistic amphigory and wishful thinking.

            This creates the necessity for a first uncaused-cause. After all, something cannot come from nothing as I’ve already shared. I’ve also explained that this first uncaused efficient cause must also, by necessity, be transcendent, beginningless, timeless, spaceless, immaterial, unchanging, omnipotent, personal and good. As it turns out, such is the very definition of God.

          • Sven2547

            Now you’re just copy-pasting posts I have already discussed.

          • Joseph O Polanco
          • Joseph O Polanco

            Strawman. The arrangement of numerous interrelated constituent parts or elements in a string of steps adhered to in a consistent clear-cut order to effectuate a task , purpose , goal or operation ( ordered complexity ) betrays the existence of an intelligent mind .

            This is the reason why seeking to use “poof” ( blind chance ) to explain the outrageously tiny compound chance of standalone events giving us a life sustaining universe is simply naked , illogical sophism .

          • Sven2547

            Strawman.

            What part of my post is a strawman?

            The arrangement of numerous interrelated constituent parts or elements in a string of steps adhered to in a consistent clear-cut order to effectuate a task , purpose , goal or operation ( ordered complexity ) betrays the existence of an intelligent mind .

            Justify this statement. Do you think this is an accurate description of the universe?

            You’re the one using a strawman now. “Poof” is the theistic explanation you would have me believe. It’s no more scientific or logical than saying a magic genie did it, while saying “poof!”

            You, like countless creationists before you, are looking at statistics completely backwards.

            Here’s a example: Flip a coin 25 times and write down the result. (H = “heads”, T = “tails”). Let’s say you get a result like:

            HTTTHHTHTHTHHTTTHTHTHTTHH
            the odds of you getting that result was 1 in 33.5 million. What you’re doing is looking at that result and going “It’s so improbable! Only a fool would think that actually happened without intelligent intervention!” But it doesn’t work that way.

            Our universe is FAR from optimal for life in general and human life in particular. It’s overwhelmingly hostile. We haven’t found any environment outside of Earth that can sustain human life for more than a few agonizing seconds. That doesn’t imply human-friendly design. If anything, it implies a profound lack of design.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            When did I ever say things just happen? There’s your Strawman.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            Argumentum per falsam analogiam. Here’s why comparing the odds of getting the result HTTTHHTHTHTHHTTTHTHTHTTHH from flipping a coin 25 times to the absurdly small compound probability for the existence of our life sustaining universe as the denouement of purely random events is facetious.

            Picture a sweepstakes wherein billions upon billions of white-colored ping pong balls were combined along with one single black ball . You have been reminded that an arbitrary drawing is going to be made , and if the ball is black colored , you will be permitted to live . However if the ball is white colored, then you definitely shall be executed . Observe that in this particular sweepstakes , any specific ball that comes down the chute is every bit as improbable as any other . Even so , it is actually extremely more likely that which ever ball rolls down the chute , it’s going to be white as opposed to black . That is the comparison with the universe . Even when each and every particular ball is every bit as improbable , it is always overpoweringly even more probable that it will be a white ball and not a black ball .

            In a similar fashion , from every one of the universes that could exist , any one is equally impossible ; but it surely is extremely more probable that regardless of which one exists , it should be a life-prohibiting one but not a life-permitting universe . Which means that concerning the sweepstakes , if , to your great shock , the black colored ball comes down the chute and you are permitted to live , you ought to undoubtedly deduce that the game had been rigged . In case you still don’t appreciate the significance of this , then let’s sharpen the analogy and thus consider that the black colored ball needed to be selected five instances in a row if you want to live . That would not influence the probability greatly if the odds against picking out the black ball even single time were sufficiently great . Yet , then again , I would say each and every one of us would certainly understand that if that takes place five times in a row , it’s only because that the sweepstakes was rigged to enable you to live .

            In this proper analogy , we are not concerned with the reason why you obtained the distinct ball ou did – every ball you get is every bit as astronomically impossible as the next . All that we have an interest in is the reason why you received a life-permitting ball and not a life-prohibiting ball . This is simply not sorted out by declaring , “Some ball was required to be present or selected , and so any ball is every bit as improbable as any other .” In precisely the same fashion , we are not focused on the reason why this specific universe exists . What we have an interest in is why a life-permitting universe exists . That dilemma is not resolved by pointing out that some universe must be present and every single universe is similarly improbable . We continue to require a justification for precisely why a life-permitting universe is .

          • Sven2547

            This silly argument is known as the Weak Anthropic Principle. You’re still looking at it backwards.

            There is nothing to rule out the possibility of multiple universes, most of which would be unsuitable for life. We happen to find ourselves in one where life is conveniently possible because we cannot very well be anywhere else.

            In fact, the Anthropic Principle is an argument against an omnipotent creator. If God can do anything, he could create life in a universe whose conditions do not allow for it.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            How does any of this change the fact that “Even if veridical it does nothing to answer the question why there is anything instead of just nothing”?

          • Sven2547

            It’s a pretty meaningless question, but I’m going to go ahead and quote Neil deGrasse Tyson on this subject.

            Does the universe have a purpose? I am not sure. Anyone who expresses a more definitive
            response to the question is claiming access to knowledge not based on empirical foundations…. To assert that the universe has a purpose implies the universe has intent. And intent implies a desired outcome. But who would do the desiring? And what would a desired outcome be? That carbon-based life is inevitable? Or that sentient primates are life’s neurological pinnacle? Are answers to these questions even possible without expressing a profound bias of human sentiment? Of course humans were not around to ask these questions for 99.9999% of cosmic history. So if the purpose of the universe was to create humans then the cosmos was embarrassingly inefficient about it.

            And if a further purpose of the universe was to create a fertile cradle for life, then our cosmic environment has got an odd way of showing it. Life on Earth, during more than 3.5 billion years of existence, has been persistently assaulted by natural sources of mayhem, death, and destruction. Ecological devastation exacted by volcanoes, climate change, earthquakes, tsunamis, storms, pestilence, and especially killer asteroids have left extinct 99.9% of all species that have ever lived here.

            How about human life itself? If you are religious, you might declare that the purpose of life is to serve God. But if you’re one of the 100 billion bacteria living and working in a single centimeter of our lower intestine (rivaling, by the way, the total number of humans who have ever been born) you would give an entirely different answer. You might instead say that the purpose of human life is to provide you with a dark, but idyllic, anaerobic habitat of fecal matter.

            So in the absence of human hubris, and after we filter out the delusional assessments it promotes within us, the universe looks more and more random. Whenever events that are purported to occur in our best interest are as numerous as other events that would just as soon kill us, then intent is hard, if not impossible, to assert. So while I cannot claim to know for sure whether or not the universe has a purpose, the case against it is strong, and visible to anyone who sees the universe as it is rather than as they wish it to be.

            I’m also going to recommend you read A Universe From Nothing by respected physicist Lawrence Krauss.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            Natural disasters don’t kill people. Buildings and stupidity do. Try again.

          • Sven2547

            Natural disasters don’t kill people.

            Are you honestly this stupid?

          • Joseph O Polanco

            Facts don’t lie.

          • Sven2547

            But liars like Joseph O Polanco do.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            Yet you’ve continually failed to prove I’ve lied about anything at all.

            I don’t know what makes you so screwed up, but whatever it is, it works.

          • Sven2547

            Yet you’ve continually failed to prove I’ve lied about anything at all.

            Natural disasters don’t kill people.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            Strawman. Case in point:

            With Haiyan the entire world knew four days in advance that a class 5 super-typhoon would definitely strike a region comprised largely of tin shacks .

            Given all this advance warning, then, why on earth did so many people die?

            Stupidity.

          • Sven2547

            How can it be a “strawman” if I directly quoted you?! Holy cow you literally have no idea what “strawman” means.

            How about the citizens of Pompeii? You mean to tell me they’re stupid for being unable to outrun a pyroclastic flow? How about tsunamis? Flash floods? Avalanches? Were the people around Lake Nyos stupid for not fleeing from a silent, colorless, odorless gas that swept in during the night?

            And you’re a fool if you think that “stupidity” is the sole reason a class-5 typhoon would kill people. This may shock you and your life of privilege and frequent-flyer miles, but many people in the world, particularly the poor, can’t just pack up and leave the region. That goes double if you live on an island.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            I see what you’re saying because living next to a volcano or in a fire, flood, avalanche or earthquake prone area makes perfect sense …

            That’s like living in a crime infested neighborhood and then crying that you kid was accidentally killed in a drive-by …

            So put your violin away. These stupid people don’t take responsibility for their actions or decisions.

            On the other hand, I got the heck outtta NYC after 9/11.

          • Sven2547

            Funny, you were arguing that Earth is fine-tuned for humans by some almighty, all-good creator, and now you’re freely claming that large swaths of the Earth are so dangerous only stupid people would live there. You are supporting my point magnificently. Why would an all-good almighty creator make our planet so hazardous?

            You’ve been good for a laugh. Most creationists are much more boring.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            I see what you’re saying. God is responsible for everything man has done – and continues to do – in their efforts to destroy the Earth …

          • Joseph O Polanco

            Thing is, we sense objective purpose in all of reality. “Why” is at the core of our curiosity, fueling our endless pursuit for meaningful answers.

            Unless, of course, your senses are impaired or you have some other compelling reason to doubt the reality they apprehend.
            But, if that’s true, then nothing you claim about reality is trustworthy. The whole question, then, becomes moot.

          • Sven2547

            Thing is, we sense objective purpose in all of reality.

            Your “perception” is silly and baseless. What is the “purpose” of reality?

          • Joseph O Polanco

            Ask your Creator.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            “Ex nihilo nihil fit .” Put simply , something can’t result from absolutely nothing . ( Not Hawking’s or even Krauss’ mendacious pseudo-definition of “nothing” ( “The Grand Design”/ ”A Universe From Nothing“ ) but the concept that represents no state of affairs , relations , potentialities , attributes , that is , no “anything” . ) If it could , precisely why don’t all things or anything ? Just why aren’t dinosaurs , for starters , popping out of thin air , devouring everyone in sight ? Why aren’t we scared of elephants all of a sudden popping into being and crushing us as they rained down from the skies ? If nothing can actually produce something why would it discriminate ? Conspicuously , then , such a breach of the laws of nature is laid bare as simply fallacious special pleading .

          • Sven2547

            Just why aren’t dinosaurs , for starters , popping out of thin air , devouring everyone in sight ?

            You literally have no idea what you are arguing against. You are making silly assumptions based on the title of Krauss’s book.

            Also, who taught you to type? Why are you putting spaces before punctuation? It makes it harder to read.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            Strawman. Here’s a thought. What about making an effort at any kind of a cohesive refutation of that which I’ve unmistakably expressed rather than bickering with the bent mockeries embroidered by the voices raging in your mind?

            But thanks for admitting you’re trolling and not actually interested in learning anything.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            Suppose we admit for the sake of argument that he’s evil . As this being is evil , that suggests he fails to discharge his moral duties . But then exactly where do those originate from ? Just how can this evil being have obligations he is violating ? Who forbids him to do the immoral things he does ? Right away , we discover such an evil being simply cannot be supreme . There needs to be a being who is even greater , one who is absolute goodness himself and thus the source of the moral responsibilities this other prefers to shirk . Therefore , there must necessarily exist a supreme being who is all powerful , all good and all loving ; One who is the very paradigm of good .

          • Sven2547

            Now you’re just copy-pasting the whole nonsensical paragraph again. Are you a human or a bot?

          • Joseph O Polanco

            What choice did I have given how hard of reading you are …

          • Joseph O Polanco

            Problem 4: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/timeless Definitions 2a and 3 fit the context of this syllogism. Axiomatically, then, your contention it’s just naked sophistry.

            Problem 5: It’s a fatuous dilemma. It is no more real than a square-circle, a married-bachelor, a gelid star, dehydrated rain or a gelatinous diamond gemstone.

          • Sven2547

            Then you concede that the concept of omnipotence is just as silly as square circles, married bachelors, and dehydrated rain. The dilemma is an inherent problem with the concept. It breaks down with even the slightest critical thought.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            Strawman. Try again.

          • Sven2547

            Omnipotence is a self-contradicting concept and you responded by… comparing it to other self-contradictory concepts. What did I miss?

          • Joseph O Polanco

            It’s not. The contradiction appears only in your misapprehension of God’s qualities.

          • Sven2547

            Explain. Just calling it fatuous isn’t an argument. Explain how omnipotence isn’t a paradox. If an omnipotent agent can perform any task, can this agent create an impossible task for himself?

          • Joseph O Polanco

            It’s an amphigoric false dilemma because it is no more in the realm of reality than a square-circle, a married-bachelor, a gelid star, dehydrated rain or a gelatinous diamond gemstone.

            Just because you can string words together it doesn’t mean you’re actually communicating anything meaningful or worthwhile. It’s gibberish.

          • Sven2547

            Gibberish is your lame excuse. The dilemma is an intrinsic problem with the concept of omnipotence. The dilemma is not in the realm of reality because omnipotence is not in the realm of reality. Just like a square circle, a married bachelor, etc etc.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            That hobgoblin you keep seeing exists only in your mind. God has perfect dominion over all of his abilities.

          • Sven2547

            God has perfect dominion over all of his abilities.

            So you can neither explain nor rationalize it, but you insist this paradoxical, self-refuting “ability” exists nonetheless. You have abandoned logic and science for faith.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            Strawman. Try again.

          • Sven2547

            You don’t seem to understand what “strawman” means.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            Actually it’s the other way around. You have no idea what you’re making yourself look like.

          • UWIR

            Whatsoever begins to exist has a cause

            An assertion without evidence..

            The space-time universe began to exist 13.70 billion years ago.

            No, it didn’t.

            The cause of the universe is a transcendent, beginningless, spaceless, immaterial, timeless, unchanging, omnipotent good personal being.

            Another assertion without evidence.

            A transcendent, beginningless, spaceless, immaterial, timeless, unchanging, omnipotent good personal being is the definition of God.

            Nonsense. The word “God”, as commonly used, and as you have used it conveys more than that. You are engaging in equivocation, a dishonest rhetorical technique.

            You can find this statement in any contemporary textbook on astrophysics or cosmology.

            That’s a lie.

            And it is supported by the vast majority of cosmologists today.

            No, it’s not. “began to exist” implies that there was a time before the Big Bang in which the universe did not exist. Virtually every cosmologist agrees that there is no such thing as “time before the Big Bang”.

            The Borde-Vilenkin-Guth Theorem, for instance, proves that any universe, which has, on average, a rate of expansion greater than one ** must ** have a ** finite beginning **.

            Grammatically, it should be “any universe that has”. I mention this not only because you nitpicked Sven’s spelling of “non sequitur”, but also because you appear to have copy and pasted a claim by William Lane Craig.

            As for the claim itself, that is a gross misrepresentation of the paper.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            “Ex nihilo nihil fit .” Put simply , something can’t result from absolutely nothing . ( Not Hawking’s or even Krauss’ mendacious pseudo-definition of “nothing” ( “The Grand Design”/ ”A Universe From Nothing“ ) but the concept that represents no state of affairs , relations , potentialities , attributes , that is , no “anything” . ) If it could , precisely why don’t all things or anything ? Just why aren’t dinosaurs , for starters , popping out of thin air , devouring everyone in sight ? Why aren’t we scared of elephants all of a sudden popping into being and crushing us as they rained down from the skies ? If nothing can actually produce something why would it discriminate ? Conspicuously , then , such a breach of the laws of nature is laid bare as simply fallacious special pleading .

          • Joseph O Polanco

            The premise that the all matter and energy began to exist 13.70 billion years ago is not a religious declaration nor a theological one. You can find this statement in any contemporary textbook on astrophysics or cosmology. And it is supported by the vast majority of cosmologists today.

            The Borde-Vilenkin-Guth Theorem, for instance, proves that any universe, which has, on average, a rate of expansion greater than one ** must ** have a ** finite beginning **. I’m not making this up. Read the paper in full or watch Vilenkin himself invalidate and impugn beginningless universe models like Eternal Inflation, Cyclic Evolution and Static Seed/Emergent Universe on youtube.

            As such, Vilenkin had this to say regarding the beginning of the universe, “It is said that an argument is what convinces reasonable men and a proof is what it takes to convince even an unreasonable man. With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past-eternal universe. *** There is no escape, they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning ***. (Many Worlds in One [New York: Hill and Wang, 2006], p.176) (Emphasis mine.)

            As Theoretical Physicist and Cosmologist Stephen Hawking put it, “the final nail in the coffin of the Steady State theory came with the discovery of the microwave background radiation, in 1965.”

            Emphatically, then, your fervent belief that the universe is infinitely old, beginningless, or eternal has no basis in any respected mainstream scientific theories of the universe. It’s just more atheistic amphigory and wishful thinking.

            This creates the necessity for a first uncaused-cause. After all, something cannot come from nothing as I’ve already shared. I’ve also explained that this first uncaused efficient cause must also, by necessity, be transcendent, beginningless, timeless, spaceless, immaterial, unchanging, omnipotent, personal and good. As it turns out, such is the very definition of God.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            Foremost , this cause must per se be uncaused . Why ? Simply because an infinite regress of causes does not have basis in reality ; it can’t be turtles all the way down . ( http://bit.ly/1dq935A )

            Next , this uncaused cause needs to transcend space-time since it itself created space-time . It is , as a result , spaceless .

            Third , considering the fact that this uncaused cause exists beyond space and time it is must be a non-physical or immaterial cause . Why ? Because physical stuff exists only in space – they possess dimension .

            Fourth , this uncaused cause must invariably also be timeless for the simple fact that it itself doesn’t exist in space-time .

            Fifth , it must likewise be changeless . As I’m sure you’re well aware , all of matter is present in a state of continuous flux . This is particularly observable at the atomic level . Given that this uncaused cause is immaterial it is not governed by the same forces that alter matter , and so , is unchanging .

            Sixth , this uncaused cause is without a doubt unimaginably powerful , if not omnipotent , for it produced matter , energy , space and time into existence entirely on its own .

            So , to sum up , whatever it is that brought about the universe to come into existence 13 .70 billion years ago it needs to be beginningless , spaceless , immaterial , timeless , unchanging and omnipotent .

            Still we’re not done for there are two more attributes of this uncaused cause that we are able to ascertain from what we perceive of the universe . Before we identify these , though , we first want to take a finer look at cause and effect . Here’s exactly what I mean : if a cause is sufficient to yield it’s effect then the effect also needs to be present . The pair are joined at the hip , so to speak ; you can’t have one without the other .

            Permit me to borrow from an illustration to help make this sharper . “Suppose that the cause of water’s freezing is the temperature’s being below 0°C . If the temperature were below 0°C from eternity past , then any water that was around would be frozen from eternity . It would be impossible for the water to just begin to freeze a finite time ago . Once the cause is given , the effect must be given as well .” ( http ://bit .ly/WQtgZY )

            The problem is , if we have indeed a timeless , transcendent cause how come the effect isn’t permanent as well ? Stated another way , if this timeless , transcendent cause in fact brought the universe into being , why hasn’t the universe always been ? Just how can a cause be eternal yet its effect commence a finite time ago ? We are aware the universe is roughly about 13 .70 billion years old but as you see we’ve further deduced that whatsoever brought about the universe has to be transcendent as well as timeless .

            The one and only way that is feasible is if this timeless , transcendent , uncaused cause were at the same time a free agent – a being with free will who is able to operate of its own volition . Naturally we all know free will is the hallmark of personhood .

            Last but certainly not least , this beginningless , spaceless , immaterial , timeless , unchanging , omnipotent being must be unimaginably good . Why ? Suppose we admit for the sake of argument that he’s evil . As this being is evil , that suggests he fails to discharge his moral duties . But then exactly where do those originate from ? Just how can this evil being have obligations he is violating ? Who forbids him to do the immoral things he does ? Right away , we discover such an evil being simply cannot be supreme . There needs to be a being who is even greater , one who is absolute goodness himself and thus the source of the moral responsibilities this other prefers to shirk . Therefore , there must necessarily exist a supreme being who is all powerful , all good and all loving ; One who is the very paradigm of good .

            So here we arrive at this uncaused cause of the universe 13 .70 billion years ago that is beginningless , spaceless , immaterial , timeless , unchanging , omnipotent and personal being who is all good and all loving .

            This is the very definition – of God : )

          • Joseph O Polanco

            Alright then, which of the characteristics listed does not or cannot apply to God?

          • Joseph O Polanco

            You object to such a question because you state, correctly, that time began with the Big Bang. But this conclusion obtains only as long as we equate the perception of time with analytical measurements of time . This reductionistic perspective is glaringly misguided for a succession of mental events by itself is sufficient to establish relations of before and afterwards , entirely devoid of any kind of material occurrence . Which means that there could be a point in time in which God Almighty fashioned the original cosmological singularity , regardless of whether that instance is not in material time .

            Even if God is timeless sans creation, His creating the universe can be simultaneous with the cosmic singularity. Such an appeal to metaphysics is not illicit because Hawking makes the metaphysical claim that God cannot create the universe because the singularity is not in physical time, a reductionistic move which no theist should accept. In any case, even if we do accept this reductionistic move, all that follows is that God did not create the universe at a time. We can still say that God’s creating the universe was coincident with the singularity (that is, they occur together at the boundary of spacetime), and by creating the singularity God created the universe.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            Argumentum assertio. “That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.” Prove your claim. Prove that it’s “a gross misrepresentation of the paper.”

          • Nemo

            1-3) Going with the Kalam, eh? Long stretch from Aristotle’s uncaused cause to Yahweh, you know.
            4) Unchanging? Huh? How do you get that? Who said the cause of the universe has to be constant, or even anything that humans would recognize as intelligent? Why not something chaotic, much like what we can increasingly observe the universe as? And how do you get personal or good? If this uncaused cause wanted us to fight to the death for its amusement, would your divine command theory still apply? Would such a creature be worthy of praise and worship and morally perfect? If not, then being all powerful doesn’t equal all good.
            If the universe is billions of years old, there was no original sin and no literal Garden of Eden. So what did Jesus save us from, then?

          • Joseph O Polanco
          • Joseph O Polanco
        • Joseph O Polanco

          Russell’s teapot also has no basis in reality because space is an extremely hostile environment. The constant bombardment alone of meteorites, cosmic and/or solar radiation would be enough to obliterate it.

          Want one more?

          Spaghetti has defined physical properties, thus, a monster cannot be created from it. Moreover, our understanding of aerodynamics makes it glaringly obvious that spaghetti cannot travel sustainedly through the air. As such, the Flying Spaghetti Monster has no basis in reality.

          • Sven2547

            Moreover, our understanding of aerodynamics makes it glaringly obvious that spaghetti cannot travel sustainedly through the air.

            That’s particularly funny coming from a guy who thinks Jesus flew through the air and he’ll be coming back on flying horses.

            That aside, you’ve badly missed the point of Russell’s Teapot and the Flying Spaghetti Monster: Unfalsifiable hypotheses are worthless. They have neither scientific nor logical merit.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            I agree. Believing in imaginary people is just childish. As desperately childish, in fact, as believing the universe originated from absolutely nothing, by nothing for nothing. You don’t seriously believe that all things just “poofed” into existence 13.70 billion years ago now, do you?

          • Sven2547

            You don’t seriously believe that all things just “poofed” into existence 13.70 billion years ago now, do you?

            No. And that’s a common misconception about the “Big Bang”. Matter & energy cannot be created or destroyed, only converted to other forms of matter & energy. The “Big Bang” hypothesis does not claim that nothing existed before the “Bang”. Rather, it existed in an unknown configuration.

          • Joseph O Polanco
      • Fallulah

        Actually science has a pretty good explanation for reproduction. You should try reading a biology textbook sometime.

    • Joseph O Polanco

      The problem is , you’re trying to find Jehovah God’s presence in a test tube or a peer-reviewed paper . The good news is , however , reality doesn’t operate like that . For instance, precisely what demonstrable , quantifiable , empirical , testable , replicable evidence explicitly establishes that Christopher Columbus landed in America in 1492 or that Yuri Gagarin was the very first man to actually journey to space ?

      Just what demonstrable , quantifiable , empirical , testable , replicable evidence do you have demonstrating it’s immoral for an atheist to do this http://bit.ly/1bu2CrY or rape a little girl to death ?

      Exactly what demonstrable , quantifiable , empirical , testable , replicable proof is there which proves you ought to care for others and treat them with dignity , honor as well as beneficence ?

      Precisely what demonstrable , quantifiable , empirical , testable , replicable explanation is there for why anything exists rather than just nothing at all ?

      • UWIR

        The challenge was “empirically, verifiable evidence”. The “replicable” part, you added. And God supposedly still exists, so it’s not legitimate to compare the requirements for proving God to the evidence for past events.

        • Joseph O Polanco

          You’re not making sense. How does this adequately address the queries I posed?

  • Sam

    Notice that Mr. French never follows his own advice. Republican “Christians” cannot use real, sound biblical arguments. If they did, they would not be Republican Christians.

  • Fallulah

    Actually Atheists usually know more about the bible than Christians…so this wouldn’t work. As an Atheist, I use the bible more in debates with Christians than the other side does…because you can only cherry pick the good bits to make your case. There is a lot wrong morally in the bible.

    • Joseph O Polanco

      On what objective moral basis do you dare condemn anyone’s actions or inaction as immoral? Who made you God?

      • Fallulah

        I am a thinking, rational, empathetic human being with millions of years of evolution behind me. Not to mention a long societal history…civilizations come and gone, great writers and thinkers before us who have thought through these problems. I have a functioning moral compass because of all these things…and that makes me capable of judging the bible.

        • Joseph O Polanco

          I asked for an objective basis, not subjective. On what objective moral basis do you dare condemn anyone’s actions or inaction as immoral? Who made you God?

          • Fallulah

            It isn’t subjective, it is VERY objective. DO NOT MURDER. DO NOT RAPE. DO NOT STEAL. DO NOT LIE. These are all objective rules I live by to get along in society. Oh by the way….the same moral laws your god eschews in the bible, so that kind of makes me more moral than your god.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            Then explain why healthy mothers can legally murder their healthy children in utero in many jurisdictions the world over?

          • UWIR

            If they are in utero, then they are not children, and it is not “murder”. Murder is, by definition, illegal killing. If you’re going to play semantic games about claiming that killing everyone in the flood wasn’t “murder” because they all deserved to die, as if part of the definition of “murder” is that the victim be a good person, then it’s all the more dishonest for you to ignore the requirement that the killing be illegal, which, as opposed to your made-up criterion, actually is part of the definition of “murder”.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            Why, then, is it ok to deprive a woman of her bodily autonomy just before she is ready to give birth? http://bit.ly/1aY7qfA http://bit.ly/16tqef5

            If an abortion in the late term is first degree murder why isn’t abortion in the early term also first degree murder? http://bit.ly/1aY7qfA http://bit.ly/16tqef5

          • Joseph O Polanco

            Argumentum assertio. “That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.” Prove your claim. Prove “God eschews” these moral laws?

          • Joseph O Polanco

            It appears you missed the thrust of my rejoinder. Perhaps this thought exercise will assist you here:

            If the Neo-Nazis were to attain world domination and exterminated everyone who thought racism was wrong, would that suddenly make racism and bigotry moral?

          • Fallulah

            If your god created a flood to commit genocide against the entire human race cept 8 people…would that suddenly make murder and genocide moral?

          • Joseph O Polanco

            In order for your casuistic contumely to obtain you need to prove the dikaiocide of an evil people is immoral. Can you?

          • Fallulah

            Are you asking me to prove to you genocide is wrong??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? Maybe it’s not MY morality you should be worried about.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            http://bit.ly/1amWMed

            Strawman. You really are hard of reading aren’t you.

            I’m challenging you to prove the dikaiocide of an evil people is murder.

            Here’s a thought. What about making an effort at any kind of a cohesive refutation of that which I’ve unmistakably expressed rather than bickering with the bent mockeries embroidered by the voices raging in your mind?

            But thanks for admitting you’re trolling and not actually interested in learning anything.

          • Fallulah

            Ok you have completely sunk to the lowest possible discussion tactic of insults and mockery….bravo! I do not need to “learn” anything from you, we have different viewpoints and are having a discussion. If you want to assume I am stupid and throw out these words like “dikaiocide” that I don’t know (and neither does google in fact) instead of just speaking person to person to make yourself feel more intelligent…go for it.
            But the fact remains…you just asked me to prove to you that genocide of an “evil” peoples is immoral. Firstly, you would need to describe what makes them ALL evil, how you are judging evil….etc etc ad nauseum. You are presenting these simplistic claims and not backing them up with anything but word play and ad hominems. I am through discussing with you. Enjoy your ignorance.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            No need to assume. Anyone else would ask for help understanding what they can’t instead of pressing on with their folderol.

          • UWIR

            Strawman. You really are hard of reading aren’t you.

            How is it a strawman?

            If killing everyone in the world is not murder, then killing a single person cannot be murder, either. If you’re willing to accept that every single human being other than Noah’s family were evil and should have been killed, then surely it would be even easier to believe that every single Jew is evil and should be killed. “Everyone is evil” is quite clearly a stronger claim than merely asserting that a particular group of people is evil.

            Here’s a thought. What about making an effort at any kind of a cohesive refutation of that which I’ve unmistakably expressed rather than bickering with the bent mockeries embroidered by the voices raging in your mind?

            How about actually presenting a response, rather that characterizing any disagreement as mere rudeness? Why can’t you answer the question: if God kills everyone except for eight people, would that make genocide not immoral?

            The central point of Fallulah’s post, which is that any person who is willing to overlook mass killings, and accept the perpetrator of the killing simply declaring that they deserved to die as an excuse, is extremely disturbing. If you’re not willing to admit that that is evil, then there’s really nothing that you’re willing to accept is evil.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            It’s a Strawman because not everyone died during the Noachian Flood. As you yourself readily admit, Noah and his family survived.

            Now ask yourself, why did they survive while everyone else perished?

          • Fallulah

            Maybe I should be asking you…what objective moral basis does your god have? Cuz from reading the bible…it doesn’t seem like a good one.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            You start by discerning who God is. Suppose we concede for the sake of argument that an evil Creator/Designer exists. Since this being is evil, that implies that he fails to discharge his moral obligations. But where do those come from? How can this evil god have duties to perform which he is violating? Who forbids him to do the wrong things that he does? Immediately, we see that such an evil being cannot be supreme: there must be a being who is even higher than this evil god and is the source of the moral obligations which he chooses to shirk, a being which is absolute goodness Himself. As such, if god is evil then there must necessarily exist a maximally great, supreme God who is all powerful, all good and all loving; One who is the very paradigm of good.

            So we don’t praise Him for doing His duty. Rather He is to be adored for His moral character because He is essentially loving, just, kind, etc. It is because God is that way that these qualities count as virtues in the first place. Essentially, God is good the same way rain is wet, diamond gemstones are hard, photons tear across space at luminous speeds and cerulean suns blaze. So if we think of God’s goodness in terms of His possessing certain virtues rather than fulfilling certain duties, we have a more exalted and more adequate concept of God. http://bit.ly/1gfD3m3

          • UWIR

            there must be a being who is even higher than this evil god and is the source of the moral obligations which he chooses to shirk

            That does not follow.

            As such, if god is evil then there must necessarily exist a maximally great, supreme God who is all powerful, all good and all loving; One who is the very paradigm of good.

            Nonsense.

            Rather He is to be adored for His moral character because He is essentially loving, just, kind, etc. It is because God is that way that these qualities count as virtues in the first place.

            You’re contradicting yourself. If those qualities are virtues because God is that way, then you do not adore God for being those qualities, you adore those qualities because God is that way. Now, if God is defined as being pure goodness, then it is impossible to assert that Jehovah is God without asserting that Jehovah is good, and thus for one to assert that Jehovah is God, one must assert that one is able to discern that a being is good. And you have clearly implied that only God can declare that someone is good, so you’re claiming to be God. You cannot know that Jehovah is God without having some standard against which you can compare Jehovah. Thus, you must have some prior standard. You cannot declare Jehovah is God without declaring that Jehovah is good; if you can assert that Jehovah is good, then how is it not valid for others to assert that Jehovah is evil?

          • Joseph O Polanco

            Argumentum assertio. “That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.” Prove your claim. Prove it’s a non sequitur.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            I don’t follow. Are you unable to discern between good and evil, right and wrong?

          • Nemo

            So, if being all powerful means Yahweh is the good guy by default, you believe might makes right, then? Yahweh has the might, you don’t, so he is right, you aren’t. I’m impressed. At least you admit to being a nihilist.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            Strawman. God is to be adored for His moral identity as He is fundamentally loving , just , kind , and so on . It is simply because God is that way that all these traits count as virtues to start with . In effect , God Almighty is good the very same way rain is wet , diamond gemstones are hard , photons tear across space at luminous speeds or cerulean suns blaze . Therefore if we envision God’s goodness in terms of His possessing definite virtues as opposed to fulfilling selected duties , we get an infinitely more exalted and correct notion of God . http://bit.ly/1fc7kyS

      • UWIR

        Does one have to be God to take a position on the morality of an action?

        • Joseph O Polanco

          Not unless your opinion on any matter is inherently superior to anyone and everyone else’s. Is that the case?

  • Joseph O Polanco

    Brilliantly written!

    “For the word -of God is alive and exerts power and is sharper than any two-edged sword and pierces even to the dividing of soul and spirit, and of joints and [their] marrow, and [is] able to discern thoughts and intentions of [the] heart.” -Hebrews 4:12

    God’s Word certainly exerts power to transform lives for the better (http://bit.ly/18WopZ0) The instant we clearly appreciate God’s intent for us , the way we react to it unveils precisely what we are deep inside . Is there at times a dissimilarity between what we seem to be ( the “soul” ) with who we actually are ( the “spirit” ) ?

  • UWIR

    Drugs such as “Plan B” terminate a pregnancy, albeit at an extremely early stage.

    That’s a lie.

    As Jonah so eloquently stated, we’re not the aggressors in the culture war.

    That’s just insane. As just ONE example, until 2003, it was illegal for a man to have sex with another man. And David French is seriously trying to claim that liberals are the aggressors? What, are straight people being oppressed by not being able to throw gay people in prison? Were black people the aggressors in the civil rights era? This is incredibly offensive. French just showed himself to a narcissistic, arrogant person devoid of decency. “The culture war” is just another term for “Christians’ losing battle to hold on to a privileged position in American society.”

    Second, as the product of divine inspiration, it’s words are far better — more life-giving — than anything I can dream up with human wisdom.

    What is the least bit persuasive about the Bible? It doesn’t present arguments for its dictates, it just declares “God said this, so you should accept it”.

  • http://www.revelation4radicals.com/ radicalrevelation

    It is official – the comments are more interesting than the article.


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