Sweet bejesus, you are incredible and not in a good way. Your first two paragraphs show why I do not further want to deal with your points about my original post. If you can't understand the format of the logical argument, still, then it really does show you don't have a clue.
It's not the format of logical argument that I have a problem with. It's your inability to correctly represent what Christians believe. You prefer straw men that are easy to beat up.
Look, we don't have to agree on perfect since the argument has nothing to do with my beliefs. I don't believe that God exists at all, so what form his perfection is, is irrelevant to me. Because it's not about me. It is about the classical theistic position that God is perfect.
Oh but you are "critiquing" my worldview. The term of "perfection" and what that means happens to be important. If you are going to make an argument based on what God's "perfection" means, you should be prepared to define and defend on why your premises are correct. You have to show that you understand what the classical theistic positions are. And you haven't.
All we need to know is that the Christian believes that God is perfect. From here, it follows that his creation must be perfect too (whatever that is).
That is exactly what you have ran away from.
It later follows that tsunamis etc must be events and soforth which are ingredients for a perfect world.
Again where does the Bible tells us that the world in its current state is perfect? What do you mean when you say "prefect"? You seem to be either unable or unwilling to deal with this. This is why I can't take you seriously.
The fact that you fail to grasp this, shift the burden of proof and produce red herring after red herring shows quite clearly that you are out of your depth.
You won't even get deep but keep playing inland. I keep asking you direct questions and you keep pretending that they don't matter. That is the reason why this discussion does not been more fruitful.
OK, on to science:
And the hilarity continues....
You claim this:
“When God first made earth, there was no earthquakes and it was not part of the prefect design or earthquakes are a consequence of the fall. I don't know but both of these possibilities fit the Christian worldview and does not not conflict with science”
OK. 1) earthquakes were not originally part of the perfect design (are you now finally admitting to the premises of my argument?!). How did they then become part of the actualised design without God realising they would actualise.
I think you either have a reading comprehension problem, selective amnesia, or stupidity. You claimed that earthquakes were part of the original perfect design. I'm saying that earthquakes in which people die and evil in general were not part of the design when God looked upon His creation and said that it was GOOD.. I never said that God did no know what would happen? He did. Why do you think God told Adam not to disobey Him? Of course God knew. He chose to do this the way it has. Again re-read Romans 8 if you wanna know why,.
You imply this imperfects the design and yet God would not have known about it in advance!
No, I DID NO SUCH THING,. Now you are just being dishonest.
Either it happened naturalistically, or supernaturally. Either way, the design and passive allowance of it to happen is clearly the behest of God. And therefore, since it was in this wordly actualisation, it must be part of the design. If I design a machine and infallibly know that smoke will billow out of the third hole on the right, then this is part of the design in the same way that knowing the widget will tap the sprocket to make the gasket work. He either knew earthquakes would come from the natural parameters he set out, or that they would come from the other parameters he set.
Finally something that actually makes since. I agree. God did know deadly earthquakes would come about by allowing humanity to bring sin into being and not obliterating us. Do your conclusions follow from this? In a word: no. God did this because He loves us and has a purpose in everything that has happened, happens, and will happen. It is not about us. It's all about Him.
2) earthquakes are the consequence of the fall. This is where you apply ridiculous unscientific reasoning since it assumes:
a) plate tectonics appeared after man. Empirically disprovable.
Then do so...with some empirical data.
b) naturalistic events of material causality can be caused by abstract ideas (which by philosophical definition are causally inert).
So you admit that there is such a thing as sin and that you stand condemned as a sinner deserving of hell fire. If so then you should repent and return to Christ. However, if you agree that the Bible is right about sin being real, then you need to consider what the Bible says is caused by sin. All of creation has been subjected to decay because of our sin. (See Romans 8 again). The Christian worldview is against your very conclusion here. You don't deal with this. You just assume it. Rather sloppy.
c) Adam and Eve existed as the first humans. If you don’t bury your head in the sand, you would know this is empirically disprovable through human geography, palaeontology, anthropology and genetics.
You do realize that there are not 100% agreement on that conclusion among professional scientists right?
You defy science (or philosophy) on all of the above points.
Says you, falsely.
This is cherry-picking. This is why I claim you live a life of hypocrisy. Accepting science (and thus the scientific method) that agrees with your worldview, and rejecting any science which doesn’t. If you can’t see this, then you are wearing blinkers.
You have failed to show this. But I have shown how you live inconsistently by claiming to be a philosopher but refusing to back up your epistemology.
As for universalism and YEC, of course I know what they are. Sheesh. (I have written about them both in my last book).
And what is the title of that book? Who publishes it? And aside from agreeing with John Loftus that atheism is the correct worldview what qualifies you determine who can and cannot discuss these matter? Where did you go to school and how many degrees do you have? I hope you know that Universalism is not the classical Christian perspective, right? Therefore my comment should have made sense even to you, in context. And the YEC comment was important because uninformed people like you seem to think that the Bible says that the earth is only 6000 years-old. Here's a clue: it doesn't.. Some people only interpret it that way.
And the use of your quote “I'm suggesting that God created everything and placed you in the best possible place at the best possible time with all the life experiences that would best lead you to God.”
…simply illustrated an implicit acceptance of my argument.
Um no. I don't think you understood what Paul was saying at all. Re-read Acts 17 (or in your probable case, reading it for real). You'll like it. Paul was a brilliant philosopher, only he does it correctly in the case or presenting Christian truth claims. In this case, Paul is not talking about the world being "perfect". He's actually referring to how people get the opportunity to find Jesus and live for God - in other words. This is how people become born-again Christians.
You will slag me off with ad homs and silly naïve jibes. Fair enough, it shows the defensive tactics you need to blind people to the fact you have been ‘outclassed’. I too have ad hommed, but out of sheer disbelief that what should be an intelligent human can arrive at such erroneous conclusions.
I've given you reasoned arguments and you continue dodging. You can claim to have outclassed me all you like - whatever helps you sleep better at night. However you have been far from classy.
My logical argument was so simple at the beginning and you failed to critique it in any kind of logical manner.
"Logical argument"? Are you trying to make me laugh? Your arguments fail to represent the Christian worldview correctly - meaning you have it wrong.
Oh, and I apologise as I said I wouldn't post anything else. So this is going back on my word.
You did that on the first comment already, so why not continue?
It was just that I was listening to a fellow believer of yours, Dr Phil Fernandes (Ph.D. in Philosophy of Religion degree from Greenwich University, Master of Arts in Religion degree from Liberty University, Bachelor of Theology Degree from Columbia Evangelical Seminary.), in a debate with Lowder (in which he got trounced).
I thought these quotes from the lips of someone who you have previously respected and agreed with in several of your posts. Moreover, you have dedicated posts just to him:
Yes, indeed. Dr Fernandez is a much better philosopher than you. Point-taken. I don't agree with Dr Fernandez on everything. He's very anti-Calvinistic and I think he goes a tad far in that direction, but that doesn't mean he's wrong about everything and I think he's a great scholar. Much better than some people I won't mention.
"As a classical theist, I believe God created the world perfect."
Where have I disagreed with that. You are arguing that the world is perfect now. That is not what Christians believe and not what Dr. Fernandez was saying. Your inability to grasp that may explain why you think Dr Fernandez lost the debate.
"A theist ... would have to argue that this is the greatest possible way to achieve the greatest possible world... God often uses evil and human suffering to draw people to himself. Now God's ways and thoughts are far above our understanding and even the Scriptures state that. At best atheistic arguments show that limited minds can't fully understand why God allows so much evil..."
So even he agrees with my argument in principle.
Huh? How does that quote agree with anything you said?
If this is the greatest possible set of parameters to create the world, and given we empirically know that plate tectonics preceded humanity (even you admit the movements wrt pangea etc.), then these evils brought on by things existent before human free will are clearly designed in by God. Since it was a perfect creation, these must be ingredients in that perfect creation.
When God told Adam that he would surely die if he disobeyed, do you think Adam had to worry about being killed in an Earthquake? The Christian Worldview holds that if Adam and Eve had not disobeyed, they would have never died. Earthquakes are not evil. What makes them natural disasters is that people sometimes die in them. I've lived in California my entire life. We have a vast number of earthquakes all the time and in my 36 years you can count the number of deadly earthquakes on one hand. Before the first major one in my lifetime when I was 14, I thought that they were fun and did not respect them like I should have, especially that I knew that people do sometimes die in Earthquakes. I'd wager that if there were no sin, we wouldn't have people dying in earthquakes - not necessarily that there would be no earthquakes.Was the earth and the universe perfect when God first made it? Yes. Is it perfect now? No. And God never said it was.
This was brought up in several guises in said debate and Fernandes simply appealed to the omniscience escape clause. Incidentally, cherry picking of science would be to accept the history and timeline of geological movements, such as pangea, but not to accept the evolution and journey of man in favour of Adam and Eve. THAT is DOUBLE STANDARDS.
I don't think the evidence completely support your conclusions concerning Adam and Eve. And what about your double standard saying you don't need to explain your terms and epistemology but claim you are using the correct standards for philosophical argumentation. "Take the beam out of thine own eye."
You, however, fail to grasp the argument as others do.
Make a cogent argument that I can grasp before claiming my failure to do so. Y'know one that is based on a correct understanding of what the Bible says Christians should believe.
So all your rhetoric about me can be aimed at Fernandes, who seems to understand the issue at hand, even if he just appeals to the 'knowledge of the gaps' argument of divine omniscience as to why these things are necessary for a perfect world.
Again, I doubt your understanding of "prefect" is the same as his or mine. But you refuse to clarify, so it seems we'll never know.
I would be critical of Dr. Fernandez if he is saying the same thing as you. I don't think he is.
I have had the time to write this in watching the All Blacks stuff the Wallabies in the first half of the RWC semi-final. The RWC is certainly time well spent.
And this helps your argument how?
Oh, and like Columbo, one more thing...
I teach plate tectonics (albeit to a basic level), so I have a fair grasp, thank you very much.
You teach where? You still haven't explained or provided any evidence of how I've said anything about plate tectonics that is incorrect. By the way, no matter what the majority of scholarship says - it's subject to change as new data becomes available. I'd be very careful if I were you of trying to fix a geological timeline. There is still much research being done. Oh well, I guess I'm just a little more open-minded than you. No biggie. IT happens.
Johnny P, from the way you endlessly reference this debate between Dr Phil Fernandez and Jeffery Jay Lowder.I was thinking that you were talking about a recent debate. You mean the one from September 26, 1999!!!? Well since, you haven't provided a link. Here is the only debate between the two I could find and it matches what you said they covered.
Any one who's interested watch it and I will be responding to it in a future post. And if you want to hear another debate with Phil Fernandez about Calvinism you should see this recent one:
And listen to Dr. James White's response on his web cast at these links.
What had happen' was.....: FacePalm of th Day #135 - Responding to Johnny P World and does God have Free Will? Part 4