Friday, October 14, 2011

FacePalm of th Day #133 - Responding to Johnny P World and does God have Free Will? Part 2

Johnny P has seen fit to respond to my response on one of his posts on Debunking Christianity. Hallelujah! Praise God! It seems that Johnny P considers my responses worthy of his attention given that he has so graciously written quite a lot although he disagrees with me.. At times he quoted me and responded - those are going to be in red italicized font. His words will be in black and my new responses will be red. Also, henceforth, I will be addressing him directly as he did me.

Er, in your first few lines you committed the fallacy of shifting the burden of proof. You see, since I am not asserting anything positive but am criticising a worldview and theory held by Christians, I do not need to define evil. I can believe it exists or deny it. It is irrelevant.

 My isn't that convenient?

This is a common fallacy committed by Christians. Hell, I've just watch Fernandes do it in a debate in which he got trounced by Lowder. You need to explain PLAUSIBLY why evil exists in the world, showing PLAUSIBLY that it is not gratuitous and explaining PLAUSIBLY how it provides a greater good.

Asking you to validate your assertions is not shifting the burden of proof. You are using the concept of "evil" in an attempt to criticize "a worldview and theory held by Christians" but you offer nothing to show that you are using the same definition of "evil" found in the Christian worldview. Without that common ground, how can you even gauge if you have been successful? It's far from irrelevant - irreverent but not irrelevant. It's obvious that you are not using the same definition for "evil" or "good" because you aren't using the Biblical definition. If you want a demonstration for why evil exists and that it's not gratuitous. , you have already conceded that evil does indeed exist. The questions I asked was an attempt to understand what you mean by  evil and how do you recognize it? By what criteria? What standard? And how do you validate it? Sure would like to see you try, because you just dodged it. Without defining terms, "PLAUSIBILITY" amounts to just what would convince you. Hardly scientific.  I will watch the Fernades vs Lowder debate just to see why you see passes for "PLAUSIBLE". Greg Koukl spoke about the common tactic you just tried to employ in which they play "hot potato" with "burden of proof". It doesn't matter if your claim is positive or negative - you really should be able to substantiate it.

For example, most animals require the pain, suffering and death of other animals to merely survive. Why did God not just make all animals photosynthesise, or simply not need energy at all?

According to the Book of Genesis, how do you know God didn't. The earth was perfect before  Adam and Eve sinned. No one or nothing died. People did not even eat meat until after the fall.  Regardless of whether you accept Genesis as truth or not, if you are going to start with the Christian worldview you have to at least get the Bible correct.

This is far better explained by naturalism and atheism than it ever can be by omni-theism.

That remains to be demonstrated. Waiting. 

And even if there is an explanation, it becomes wholly irresponsible that the Creator responsible for creating us, designing the system, knowing the outcomes, allowing all the suffering etc then refuses to EXPLAIN why the suffering is happening.

Did you read my responses? Better yet, I thought you've read the Bible. The Bible does tell us why a lot of suffering happens. If you don't find those explanations PLAUSIBLE (ie you don't like them) they are still there and if you say they are not then that is being dishonest.Instead, how about making PLAUSIBLE arguments that the Bible's answers aren't true. .

Even if, as some theists special plead, we cannot understand the reasons, a simple "You know that tsunami that killed 250,000 people which was a result of the plate tectonics I designed into your world, well it IS NECESSARY for a greater good, you just wouldn't understand it" would suffice. A parent that punishes a kid without telling them what they are being punished for is wholly irresponsible.

Suppose for a second that for some reason it was necessary. You have just admitted that you don't understand and can't conceive of how that is possible. So what? Does reality hinge on your personal ability to understand it?  Can something  be  real and true without your stamp of approval? Hope you know that your opinions do not set the standard for what is real and what is not real. Provide more than just assertion. When you tell your children to do things that they don't want to do but you know its best for them, do they always listen and just say "Okay." No? Neither do we when we are supposed to obey God and listen to Him. 

I'm not even sure I need to go on!

 Oh but you did go on. Turning this from a facepalm to a faceplant.

"If God had destroyed all evil at any time in the past, we would never exist. Instead God has a plan in mind and everything is in place to bring that plan to fruition - even evil."

Blind assertion after blind assertion.

I didn't say that. The Bible says that. Don't believe the Bible? Fine. Then demonstrate that it's wrong. If you want to prove that the Bible does not teach that and/or that it's not true, then bring up your evidence. 

". If God destroyed evil without cleaning evil from our lives, we would all be destroyed. When we say that God should get rid of evil and punish sin, we usually mean those people over there - apart from us and not recognizing that we are no better than they are. We deserve hell just like they do. You don't earn your way to heaven - it's by grace. "

Er, proof? Evidence? Look, if you're even half a serious thinker as you seem to think you are, you need to do a lot more work.

Back up a minute. If you were a serious thinker then you would have responded to the Bible passages that are foundational to the Christian worldview that you are trying to convincingly criticize. Without the Bible there is no Christian worldview. As I said before philosophy alone is not gonna cut it. I thought we were talking about the Christian worldview which you can't seem to get right or understand. Let's get that straight before we try to discuss about whether you should believe it. And speaking of evidence - where is yours?

Let's take the loving nature of a God who adores foetal death so much that he won't stop it naturally, even though most foetal deaths occur unnoticed to humanity causing us to question what positive effect they can have at all:

Figures vary. However, it is thought that up to 50% of fertilised eggs die at or before implantation.

Add that to up to 20% of known pregnancies miscarry.

Add those two to unknown pregnancies dying after implantation, and you have a staggering amount of 'natural abortions' that God allows.

I think you are using a very loose and nebulous definition of  "abortion". So loose in fact that you are conflating unnatural (and unethical ) surgical "abortions" where human life is most often eliminated for convenience than for any medical reason with miscarriages. By definition "Abortion" is not natural. And also I'd watch your language as I were you. You might get your atheist card revoked given that you talked about the fertilized eggs being alive and dying. Are your "PRO-life"? If so, good for you! Life does begin at conception. All life belongs to God.. When you look at all the things that go wrong during a pregnancy it seems miraculous that any of us survive at all. God chooses which ones of lives, where we live, and under what circumstances. See Acts 17. I trust God that for all those of us humans who aren't born, or never come to term, God has reasons. Unlike us, He would know.

So when Christians argue abortion, they actually need to answer why the omnipotent and omnibenevolent God allows what must be around 2/3 rds of all pregnancies to end it embryonic or foetal death (passive murderer).

So I guess that means that when people go to a clinic and surgically end a pregnancy, it's murder too? As a human being, I haven't the right to decide who lives and who dies. I didn't make me or anyone else. God however does indeed have that kind of power and owes no one explanation.

Explanations on a postcard please.

Just gave you one. 

God really is a loving kinda guy / god / thing.

God is indeed loving, merciful, kind, and awesome. God is beyond our small concepts of just what is good and just what is evil. Without Him we can't really know all of  what they are. 

"You don't earn your way to heaven - it's by grace"

Brilliant. What's the point of any earthly action. This utterly invalidates a theistic meaning of life and fully subscribes to theistic determinism. Are you a Calvinist?

It invalidate your misunderstood theistic meaning of life, because that's what the Bible says. Ever read Romans 9? What about Ephesians 1 and 2?  Yup, you don't understand the Christian worldview at all. I'm not a 5-point Calvinist but the humanity is indeed depraved; we are unconditionally elected for salvation (not reprobation - everyone goes to hell by default because we have all sinned; we are saved by irresistible grace; and we are kept by the Holy Spirit that was given to use as deposit guaranteeing our salvation. All that is most definitely in the Bible. I thought you knew the Christian worldview?

"Johnny P missed the point I raised. God does know perfectly everything. And we don't. The Bible does not tell us that [t]his world is perfect. It tells us that the world is decaying because of our sin and evil. I quoted Romans 8:19-25. Guess he missed it. Let me be clear. Johnny P's presumptions are wrong. Even if you don't think the Bible is correct, you have got to admit that he is making arguments based on claims that the Bible does not make. "

Eh? You missed the point AGAIN! If this is an imperfect creation, then God is imperfect since a perfect creator cannot create imperfectly. It has to be one of 2 things:
1) This is the perfect world
2) this is the perfect set of parameters designed which led to this world.

Given the knowledge of what this world would be like, these are effectively synonymous.

Johnny P, where does the Bible say that this world is perfect? It does not. The Christian worldview is not that this world is perfect. It's passing away. It's destined to be destroyed and restored. If you are trying to argue against the Christian worldview then at least correctly represent it rather than beating up a straw man full of concepts that the Bible does not teach. Before the sin of Adam and Eve this world was so perfect that in our current fallen state we can't even begin to conceive what that was like. Since you don't know what the design was supposed to look like it's laughable to think you can critique it given that you are part of the problem in that design that God has allowed to exist in his infinite mercy to reach a goal that we can't quite figure out but we can trust in Him that it is for the best. Sorry, but I believe that the one who is lost and mistaken and clueless as to how the world works is most definitely you, not God. Here let me help you out. Dr Bart Ehrman wrote a book addressing these issues called "God's Problem" and I think Dr.James White's response would help you.

What had happen' was.....: FacePalm of th Day #132 - Responding to Johnny P World and does God have Free Will?
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  1. I don't know if I have the energy for this.

    "If you want a demonstration for why evil exists and that it's not gratuitous. , you have already conceded that evil does indeed exist."

    Comments like this show just how naive you are. I do not even need to recognise that evil exists in my worldview, since I am not critiquing my worldview. If evil, or suffering or whatever you want to call it, exists in any form, then it needs explaining in light of god's omnibenevolence. If God can know all future contingent actualisations and has chosen this one, then this must be the most loving, even given the knowledge of all the suffering etc.