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Monday, July 24, 2006

Parrots Can Talk, And Other Manatan Observations

Religious Apologetics is the art of projecting the weaknesses of religion onto its detractors. Common claims are, “I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist,” “Without religion, one cannot be moral,” and “Without religion, one cannot know anything to be true.” This spirit is embraced by our good friend Paul Manata, who goes to great lengths to project his repressed anxieties about his Christian faith onto others. Although he has granted me that honor many times in the past, I was beginning to think that he had forgotten about me. It’s with great joy that I find myself targeted by his apologetic once again, and I’m only too happy to respond.

As a good apologist, Paul is concerned primarily with the weaknesses of his belief system, and focuses most of his efforts attempting to plug his thumb in the apparent holes. Almost immediately following his debate with Dan Barker, Paul’s thumbs were fully extended, and were being thrust into many different holes. The primary issues were his reification of logic and his justification for the existence of talking animals. The latter was, in my opinion, his most glaring goof of the debate, and consisted of him accepting the Bible’s claim of the existence of a talking serpent in Genesis 3, but rejecting Dan’s claim of the existence of a talking cat in present day. In a comment to an earlier post on the subject, I gave this opinion and exchanged some comments with Paul about it.

Now, others beside myself have brought up Paul’s inductive gaffe, and so I can appreciate that he probably feels somewhat sensitive about it. I certainly didn’t feel the need to press the matter further, but Paul thought that it warranted further discussion, although his motivations seem rather odd:

Sometimes we do things that we shouldn't, just because we shouldn't. It's known as the "forbidden fruit syndrome." Augustine reports about how he stole pears, and how this caused him great turmoil. He says that what was so bad was not that he took some pears, but that he did it just because he knew he shouldn't. Well, I'm in a somewhat similar situation with Dr. Zachary Moore; or rather, his arguments. I know that I shouldn't pick on the guy's arguments (just like a college wrestler shouldn't pick on an elementary school wrestler) but sometimes I just can't help it. Like Augustine's pear, his arguments are plump for the pickings and all I need to do to get one is reach over and grab one. I know I shouldn't pick on arguments like this, but sometimes we do those things we shouldn't, just because we shouldn't.

Why would Paul unapologetically do something that he shouldn’t? He makes a comparison to a large man beating up a small child- I wonder, would he do that as unapologetically as he engages me? What we’re seeing here is the unfortunate moral bankruptcy of a man trapped in the Christian faith- why should he have any qualms about engaging in sin when he holds the belief that he has been unconditionally elected? But readers of this blog surely don’t need such things pointed out to them by now.

Paul then engages in an extended series of projections. This is typical- he makes assumptions about the psychological motives of others fairly frequently. Since he can’t know the motivations of another, he subconsciously projects his own psychology instead. Thus, we learn that it’s Paul who is:
like a man who has a run down beater of a car. Every one tells him to get rid of it. But he won't because no matter how much of a piece of trash the car is, it's still *his* car. He has invested so much talk and money in to it that to let it go would be to admit that he was wrong to buy it in the first place. Every one told him that the car was trash, but his eyes were too big for his stomach. His imagination ran wild but he couldn't do with the car what he had intended, and so now he just keeps it out of stubborn pride. He'll continue to sink hundreds of dollars into the car, but it will never run long enough to get him where he wants to go. It may occasionally start up and put down the street, but that's it. Since it's his baby, he beams with pride and so the 10 feet look like 10 miles to him.

But Paul does eventually make some counter claims of his own. So I’ll try to address those here:

1) Can Dr. Moore show how "it follows" from induction that if one talking animal is possible, then other talking animals are possible?

Looking at the Genesis account from our modern world, the existence of the talking serpent does seem strange. That is, out of all of the snake species in existence today, neither the sounds necessary for human speech, nor the capacity for syntactical communication can be shown. Thus, the inductive conclusion of, “snakes cannot talk,” seems very reasonable to me. But let’s say that a snake is found, somewhere, sunning itself on a rock, happy to speak at length about the minutiae of German politics. That would shatter the above inductive conclusion, and scientists all over the world would be fascinated to discover how a snake can carry on a conversation with neither the necessary vocal nor cerebral equipment. Well, Paul makes the claim that such a snake did in fact exist. Or rather, he accepts the claim that the Genesis account was literal and historical. Thus, from Paul’s worldview, the existence of such a snake is just like the discovery of the verbose serpent I’ve mentioned above. Both provide clear counterexamples to the inductive conclusion, “snakes cannot talk.”

As Paul mentions, I am a scientist, and so the existence of a talking snake would be absolutely fascinating to myself and others. Paramount in my mind would be discovering how such a snake would be able to communicate, and what details the Genesis account gives us in regards to that mechanism. Interesingly, the Bible does not regard this talking animal as a miraculous exception to the rule- Eve doesn’t bat an eye when the serpent engages her in conversation. However, Paul offers three explanations for the talking snake:

1) This is an account of what happened pre-fall. All his samples are post-fall samples.
2) Satan used the snake, Barker has only sampled "non-possessed" snakes.
3) What was called a serpent before the fall became the creature that we call a "snake" today.

Each of these are obviously special pleading, not to mention contradicted by the Bible. In regards to his first point, the other notable talking animal in the Bible, Balaam’s ass, opened its big mouth long after the Fall. In regards to his second point, the “demonic possession” of the serpent is not stated or suggested anywhere in the Bible. And in regards to his third point, the word used for “serpent” in Genesis 3 is “nachash,” which is the same word used for serpent thirty other times in the Bible, most of which occur after the Fall. If the serpent did change into something else, the Bible either doesn’t know it, or it doesn’t tell us about it for some strange reason. Either way, Paul can’t make such a claim and be biblically consistent.

So what we’re faced with is Paul’s claim that the Bible account represents a real counter-example of the rational generalization that “animals cannot talk.” And without a coherent explanation for how this is possible, it certainly seems to be the case that, in the Christian worldview, any animal can talk- remember Balaam’s ass? What is different about a snake and a donkey that makes it rational for them to talk, and not for any other animal? You see, by submitting Biblical authority as a counterexample for inductive reasoning, Paul has opened himself to the full ramifications of the “Cartoon Universe,” as coined by Dawson Bethrick. In a world where God can do anything, anything is possible, and where God has already done so in the past, the impossible is actually very probable!

2) Notice the shifting of the goal posts. He originally tried to argue that I *must* accept Dan's talking cat but now he claims that I must accept the *possibility* of Dan's talking cat. Well, I do accept the "possibility" of the talking cat. That's not because of induction, though. Just because it's possible that monkey's might fly out of Dr. Moore's head, does not mean that I think it will happen or that it did happen.

Actually, I never argued that he “must” accept anything- what I said was that, “If you accept the existence of talking animals in your worldview, that's fine, and I won't even begrudge your Biblical epistemic foundations, but… if you're going to make those kinds of presuppositions, you at least have to be consistent.” That is, as long as Paul claims that the Bible is admissible as an inductive counterexample to natural observations, he forces himself to accept the existence of a talking cat as consistent with his inductive principle. Although he was not willing to do so before, here he affirms that possibility, but strangely enough, not through induction. I wonder what epistemic principles he espouses that allow him to accept without rational justification the existence of things that are physically impossible? Oh right, Christianity.

3) Let's now apply Moore's inductive argument to other areas. Moore thinks that humans are talking animals, therefore "if one talking animal is possible, then other talking animals are possible." If so, what's the problem with the talking serpent!?

The problem, as I mentioned before, is that human speech and communication can be explained by examination of our vocal chords, as well as our brains. The specialized anatomy of both are responsible for the ability of humans to communicate, and without them we are as mute and uncommunicative as, well, a snake. But I’m basing my inductive conclusions about human speech on a naturalistic explanation- given this, it follows that any animal which lacks vocal chords and a specialized brain cannot speak. Given Paul’s belief system, natural limitations don’t exist, and so he doesn’t face the same restrictions. This may be why, in a rebuttal to this criticism on his blog, he argued that “Parrots talk.” Surely someone as educated as Paul knows full-well that parrots do not actually talk, they mimic. As a survival strategy, parrots will mimic the sounds in their environment, including human speech. But parrots, despite their representation in cartoons, do not actually communicate using syntax. I suppose that in the Christian worldview, this wouldn’t be a problem, and perhaps this is just another illustration of the faulty reasoning that comes from the close association with the Christian worldview and cartoons.

a) "If one flying animal is possible, then other flying animals are possible." Therefore, flying elephants are possible in Dr. Moore's worldview. If he says that it does not imply that *all* animals can fly, just another one (say, bats and birds) then the what of my original point? Just because what the Bible calls a serpent talked does not mean that I must accept *all* reports of other talking animals. If I do, then Moore has the flying elephants to deal with.

Again, Paul is ignoring the necessary mechanistic explanations which I mentioned above. As we can see that talking requires specific anatomy, flying does as well. From a naturalistic investigation of this inductive conclusion, we discover that wings are necessary (but not sufficient!) for an animal’s ability to fly. Thus, we can make statements confidently about any individual animal’s propensity for flight. Since no corresponding naturalistic explanation is given for the ability of an animal to talk, we can’t be as confident in our discrimination. If, however, the ability of flight was not related to the presence of wings, but was, instead, some magical ability (as is seen in fables and myths similar to those in the Bible), then we would be in the situation which Paul imagines for us. If flight was as supernatural as Paul believes the ability to speak is, then we couldn’t in all honesty discount the ability of an elephant to fly any more than Paul can discount the ability of a cat to talk!

4) We've now seen that even the atheist should not have a problem with the possibility of talking snakes. Afterall, "if one talking animal is possible, then other talking animals are possible," and humans are talking animals. Therefore he can't dismiss the biblical account as false because it mentions a talking animal since this can't be a priori ruled out in his worldview. Thus we see that the mere mention of a talking snake is not enough to show the Bible is irrational, even according to Moore. What must be done is that the Bible must be shown to be false. The problem is that Barker did not do this. Barker *assumed* it was false because it mentioned a talking snake and we just know that's impossible! Folks, this is not rational reasoning, this is called begging the question.


Actually, we’ve seen that an atheist, by accepting naturalism and induction, can easily discredit the idea of talking snakes. But that was never the point- what Barker, and now I have done is point out that it is the Christian epistemology that is without rationality. It would behoove Paul to admit this graciously and retreat into faith- only by doing so can he remain consistent.

Post a Comment


21 Comments:

At 7/24/2006 2:19 PM, Blogger olly declaimed...

"2) Satan used the snake, Barker has only sampled "non-possessed" snakes."

It cracks me up when Christian's fall back on this explanation. If something 'supernatural' occurs, then why is it Satan? Why not God? Oh right, because it's 'bad', and only Satan does 'bad' things. God would NEVER harm ANYONE.

Right.

I just think it's funny that an argument from faith is somehow used as a response (remember Paul, you are showing your faith in Satan with a comment like that)

-olly

 
At 7/24/2006 2:53 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

Great one Zach. Very nicely done. I was arguing a bit with Manata about this too on his blog, but you really addressed his arguments much better than I.

And you show a level of familiarity with the Bible that Manata didnt show. Im sure that statement will piss him off, and that he will deny it, but its true nonetheless.

Thank God for Dr. Zachary Moore ;)

 
At 7/24/2006 4:17 PM, Blogger Daniel declaimed...

I just want to pinch Manata's cheeks sometimes...

 
At 7/24/2006 11:44 PM, Blogger Frank Walton declaimed...

LOL, of course you do, Danny. Because you're a girlie-man.

 
At 7/25/2006 8:59 AM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

Zach,

As always, I'm enjoying your posts!!

Paul writes: "This is an account of what happened pre-fall...Satan used the snake, Barker has only sampled "non-possessed" snakes."

This only makes things all the more problematic for Christianity, particularly with respect to its implications vis-á-vis the problem of evil. The talking snake ("serpent") was supposedly possessed by Satan and therefore evil. Thus we have evil BEFORE THE FALL. So, Christians cannot cite the fall itself to answer the problem of evil. Since according to Paul's interpretation of Genesis evil existed before the fall of Adam, we can only conclude from this that Adam's "sin" did not inaugurate evil. So the problem remains.

Not sure if anyone pointed this out already, but it needs to be noted.

Regards,
Dawson

 
At 7/25/2006 11:35 AM, Blogger Paul Manata declaimed...

Dawson: "The talking snake ("serpent") was supposedly possessed by Satan and therefore evil. Thus we have evil BEFORE THE FALL."


Dawson Burner: No one... wait, let me re-phrase that for Dawson.... NO ONE EVER DENIED THERE WAS NOR EVIL BEFOREB THE FALL!!

Dawson, the fall is, what(?), you ex-bible-studier? It's the fall of MAN.

[snicker] Good ole Dawson, always good for a laugh.


As far as Zach's ignorant post goes,

I don't need to comment on you taking my use of Augustine and wrestling too far. They were jokes, filler, fun, something to get under your skin. It worked. I just wish atheists had as good a sense of humor as Christians. Atheism is so boring and drab. Yawn.


1. Uh, Moore, you said if you remember I said that it was fallacious to move from one talking animal to all talking animals. You said "it follows from induction." So, get it straight. If you didn't imply *all* animals then why didn't you correct me when I said it was fallacious? You just said, to what I said, "it follows from induction." So, I asked you to show me how 1 to all followed from induction, Zach. Thus your one here was not even refuting what I originally said.

Furthermore, I agree if the Bible is assumed not to be God's word then you don't have a report of a talking snake, but that's what's at issue.

Now, you seem to imply that YOU ust personally experience something for induction to follow. You have such a backwards view of induction.

Your argument is: None of the snakes that have been experienced in my lifetime have ever talked, therefore no snake has ever talked. That's a weak inductive argument, Zach.


2) Then you speak of mechanism. Well, my view that the serpent was possed and didn't need a mechanism. This refutes your ENTIRE argument.

3) You already saidf that within my worldfview I'm REATIONAL for accepting the story. So, your argument is thus:

If we assume the falsity of theism we can show how it's irrational.

Wow! How utterly uninteresting.

Get a clue Moore.

Anyway, the Bible does call satan a serpent in Rev. 19. And, Jesus tells the Pharisees that satan lied and murdered from the beginning. This is also the *universal* understanding of thje Church. Lastly, "he wil bruise strick his heel and crush his head" is an obvious allusion to Satan, especially considering the fatc that in Romans Paul tells us that he will crush satan under [His] feet.

Anyway, I'm not seeing an argument against Christianity here. What I'm seeing is this: If we assume that miracles are impossible then we have no reason to believe this account. Hardly convincing.

Now, what i want to know is why you are now making qualifications? I said that you can't move from one to all and you defended that claim that you could. You NEVER told me that you didn't mean all, but now you write as if you didn't. The blind hoi polloi may buy your fancy maneuvers, but anyone who read the entire exchange knows your lying. So, as long as you know that I know that you know.


Anyway, the nail in the coffin is that you can't even account for the inductive principle. Not only that, but you've not given a proper inductive sampeling (i.e., possed and non-possed snakes). Don't be jealouse because my story has built in defeaters to your argument, Moore.

 
At 7/25/2006 2:23 PM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

Paul: I don't need to comment on you taking my use of Augustine and wrestling too far. They were jokes, filler, fun, something to get under your skin. It worked. I just wish atheists had as good a sense of humor as Christians.

Zach: Yes, Paul, I recognized them as attempts at humor on your part. However, our psychology is often betrayed by the manner and execution of our jokes.

Paul: you said if you remember I said that it was fallacious to move from one talking animal to all talking animals. You said "it follows from induction." So, get it straight. If you didn't imply *all* animals then why didn't you correct me when I said it was fallacious?

Zach: Consider yourself corrected now.

Paul: Now, you seem to imply that YOU ust personally experience something for induction to follow. You have such a backwards view of induction.

Zach: Allow me to correct your understanding of my position- it is not necessary to have personal experience to arrive at an inductive conclusion, but it is necessary to be able to experience it somehow. It is quite inappropriate to make inductive conclusions from accounts themselves- otherwise we should all accept the existence of unicorns, dragons, and harpies.

Paul: Your argument is: None of the snakes that have been experienced in my lifetime have ever talked, therefore no snake has ever talked. That's a weak inductive argument, Zach.

Zach: That is also not my argument.

Paul: Then you speak of mechanism. Well, my view that the serpent was possed and didn't need a mechanism. This refutes your ENTIRE argument.

Zach: [smiles broadly] This CLINCHES my entire argument. Did you read this post carefully enough? It's precisely because your only example lacks a mechanism that there can be no grounds for rejecting the possibility of another example today.

Paul: You already saidf that within my worldfview I'm REATIONAL for accepting the story. So, your argument is thus:

If we assume the falsity of theism we can show how it's irrational.

Wow! How utterly uninteresting.


Zach: Again, that is not my argument. I'm not assuming that your worldview is false. I've told you time and time again that I'll grant your epistemic foundations so that I can internally critique your position. My argument is that the Christian worldview, in its acceptance of supernaturally speaking animals, cannot refute on inductive grounds the existence of a speaking animal today. Since you did so with Dan, you've contradicted yourself, and Christianity. I hear that self-refutation is the worst kind, but only you know for sure.

Paul: Anyway, the Bible does call satan a serpent in Rev. 19. And, Jesus tells the Pharisees that satan lied and murdered from the beginning. This is also the *universal* understanding of thje Church. Lastly, "he wil bruise strick his heel and crush his head" is an obvious allusion to Satan, especially considering the fatc that in Romans Paul tells us that he will crush satan under [His] feet.

Zach: Yes, the Bible does call Satan a serpent, but it doesn't say that he was The Serpent of Genesis. Neither does Jesus, and neither does Paul. You're flailing for any kind of hermeneutic assistance here, and it's not doing you much good. In addition, the argument that the Church accepts this as dogma is the worst kind of argument, and you know it.

Paul: Anyway, I'm not seeing an argument against Christianity here. What I'm seeing is this: If we assume that miracles are impossible then we have no reason to believe this account.

Zach: Perhaps you need to remove the plank before you can see my argument. What I'm saying is this- If you assume that miracles are possible then you have no reason to disbelieve Dan's account.

Paul: Now, what i want to know is why you are now making qualifications? I said that you can't move from one to all and you defended that claim that you could.

Zach: Untrue. What I said was, "It follows from induction that if one talking animal is possible, then other talking animals are possible." I did not say that if one animal can talk, all animals can talk. That would be like saying, "If one swan is black, then all swans are black." Are you sure you have a proper understanding of induction, Paul? What I was pointing out was the fact that you are unable to use induction to reject Dan's claim.

Paul: Anyway, the nail in the coffin is that you can't even account for the inductive principle. Not only that, but you've not given a proper inductive sampeling (i.e., possed and non-possed snakes).

Zach: I'm curious, where does the Bible talk about the inductive principle and how it can be used? I'm also very interested in conducting as proper of an inductive sampling as possible- could you point out to me some examples of posessed snakes versus non-posessed snakes? Preferably several from each species, although I'll understand if some species are more resistant to demonic posession than others. Thanks a bunch!

 
At 7/25/2006 2:38 PM, Blogger todangst declaimed...

I see Paul is still lying about a lack of epistemic justification for induction. Oh well, what choice does he have but to lie? He clearly isn't able to understand the justification....

Great points about his projections, and yes, apologetics is basically all about projecting the flaws of theisim onto others.

 
At 7/25/2006 2:49 PM, Blogger todangst declaimed...

Paul writes: You already said that within my worldfview I'm REATIONAL for accepting the story

Paul, I find it interesting that you rely on a Post Modernistic argument to defend your faith. I bet that goes over your head....

Next, let me explain something to you (well, to the others really, as you won't be able to follow any of it): the fact that something "makes sense" according to your 'worldview' (i.e. a set of assumptions you dogamatically accept) isn't a defense of any belief it generates, it's just an explanation as to why you hold to a belief.

To justify a belief, one has to do more than just declare that it follows from a presumption found in their 'worldview'. You're not free to simpy assume whatever you want, and hold to it as a 'presupposition'.

This has always been one of your most basic errors, and your inability to even recognize it is precisely why no one outside of your Koolaid clutch takes you seriously...

Paul, seriously, a bit of advice: stay out of any matter of epistemology.... you simply don't know what you're talking about, and it's plain to the rest of us.

 
At 7/25/2006 3:45 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

Paul: "No one... wait, let me re-phrase that for Dawson.... NO ONE EVER DENIED THERE WAS NOR EVIL BEFOREB THE FALL!!"

Actually, I've known many Christians whose response to the problem of evil assumes that evil had its inception with the fall itself. They do this because they want to blame man ("the creature") for the existence of evil. But since you acknowledge that evil preceded the fall, you cannot hold man responsible for the existence of evil: it was around before man.

So, as I pointed out, it remains a problem for the Christian.

Regards,
Dawson

 
At 7/25/2006 3:50 PM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

Thanks for your input, Chris. Glad to have your thoughts at any time.

 
At 7/25/2006 3:51 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

todangst: "Oh well, what choice does he have but to lie? He clearly isn't able to understand the justification...."

So long as he remains committed to defending a worldview which consists of lies, Paul will have no alternative to but endorse yet more lies to cover his tracks and settle matters in his own mind. I've gone round with Paul several times on induction, and my conclusion is that he is so deeply invested in the outcome that nothing I will say on the matter is sensible, that he has rendered himself virtually unteachable on the matter. However, it is nice to see Paul has apparently acquired one of Kelley's books. That's a good start. But will he carry forward? I highly doubt it.

Regards,
Dawson

 
At 7/25/2006 6:23 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

I recall Matt Slick telling me that evil didnt exist until the fall. I recall numerous Christians who have insisted to me that God didnt create evil but that man did through his disobedience to God.

And now we have another Christian, Paul, saying that evil existed since before the fall of man.

And what is this baloney about NOT NEEDING a mechanism for a talking serpent just because its possessed? Bullshit. Causality isnt violated by possession.

In fact, the possession itself IS a "mechanism" for speaking in a sense that only though the possession of the snake can the speaking occur. So I would like to know HOW a snake that is possessed with the spirit of Satan can suddenly speak? Does the possession of the snake create vocal chords in the snakes anatomy?

Or was it some kind of Satanic pixie dust?

At least science can look at the anatomy of an animal and predict if it can or cannot vocalize based on its physical structures.

The Christian talking snake argment is like "the snake was possessed so it could talk. How did possession enable the snake to talk? I dont know and nobody ever can know. It is an a priori mystery."

Pleaaaaaaase.

If a scientist says "I dont know how the big bang started; its a mystery" the Christians invoke God (another mystery-type non-answer).

But when the Christians invoke a mystery to "explain" a talking snake and the atheist rejects this explanation, the Christian is outraged.

 
At 7/25/2006 10:30 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

In their book I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist, Geisler and Turek write:

"The source of evil is our free choice. If God were to do away with evil, then he would have to do away with free choice. And if he did away with our free choice, we would no longer have the ability to love or do good." (p. 390)

You can't get much more explicit than this. Geisler and Turek clearly stipulate that the source of evil is in man. But if that's the case, how can evil have existed before the fall? This is not an isolated case.

Christian Tim Nordgren, in his essay The Origin of Evil writes:

“according to the scriptures, all evil is a result of personal sin, whether it can be directly traced to personal sin or is indirectly related to sin in general...
In the 20th century, of all times, we must finally realize that the problem with evil is rooted in the heart of man.”

This sure sounds like it's saying that evil didn't come into being until man sinned. This seems to disagree with Paul, unless he thinks man sinned before the fall.

On Tektonics.org, incidentally, I found this statement:

“I admit that the logical argument from evil could disprove the Christian God if mankind suffered some kind of titanic evil event unmatched in history. Like if 90% of the current population was wiped out by a super-volcano or asteroid. So God is not above an evil-type disproof.”

Has this guy ever heard the story of Noah and the Flood? I understand that Noah's arch provided escape for no more than 8 people. How many people perished in the flood? Though I don't recall the story giving any specific census counts, it makes it sound like there were quite a few, surely more than 90% of those living on earth.

Also on Tektonics.org, Dale E. Essary writes:

“God did not create the evil in us, but nonetheless we choose to do evil.”

On the other hand, another source lists numerous passages in the bible as evidence adducing the view that the Christian god actually did create evil, but then blames man for “sin”, concluding:
“God is the author and creator of 'evil' in this sense. In this sense there is a difference between 'evil' and 'sin', which is man's fault; sin entered the world as a result of man, not God (Romans 5:12).”


And yet another article states:

“All evil repulses God because its stands in opposition to His holiness.”

So, a perfect, omnipotent and omniscient creator create something that repulses it and “stands in opposition to His holiness”? Uh, okay.

It sounds like Christians need to get their own story straight before they can claim to have any answers to this plaguing issue.

I'm glad these aren't my problems.

Regards,
Dawson

 
At 7/25/2006 11:12 PM, Blogger Paul_Jacobsen declaimed...

I could be wrong, but it has been my understanding that most Christians see the origin of evil here on earth is related to the fall of man, but not necessarily all evil. Also, I understood that the fall of Satan was a separate event, not necessarily related.

 
At 7/26/2006 2:45 AM, Blogger Frank Walton declaimed...

Hey todanstupid is trying to blog now. Hey, there, tostank.

 
At 7/26/2006 4:56 PM, Blogger todangst declaimed...

Hey Zach, I was glad to stop by. I notice that you haven't received much of an intellectual response from your opponents.. in fact, they find it a challenge just remaining civil...

Oh, I just noticed this quote here:

“God did not create the evil in us, but nonetheless we choose to do evil.”

Now that's odd..... an omnipotent creator who's not perfectly responsible for his own creation!

This 'god' would necessarily be responsible for the existence of the concept of evil, and would be responsible for creating its possibility.... as well as creating the character of humans and the environments within which they exist... ergo, an omnipotent creator is necessarily responsible for his own creation.

This is basic causality....

 
At 7/27/2006 9:39 PM, Blogger Obscure declaimed...

todangst,

This is where the Presuppositionalist tries to trip you up by seeing if you can define good and explain where it comes from. It's a red herring if there ever was one. Even if the atheist is somehow unable to answer those questions, which he/she should be able to do with ease, it still doesn't rescue the Christian from the Problem of Evil.

That Bahnsen. . . he's a silly bastard.

 
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