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Old 12-30-2018, 11:34 PM   #9091
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Originally Posted by dnlgfnk View Post

"The Riddle of Epicurus"...

Of course the theist rejects A, B, D, ...
Why "Of course?" On what grounds does the theist reject A, B, D?
Quote:
Originally Posted by dnlgfnk View Post
... and wrestles with C.
So what is the theist's answer to C? Have theists even come up with an answer?

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Originally Posted by dnlgfnk View Post
Objective evil cannot exist w/o God. Objective morality requires a Lawgiver over all. Christopher Hitchens conceded this.
Hitchens conceded quite a lot that I do not.

This is the point where the question becomes quite complex. You probably noticed that in my restating the Riddle of Epicurus I used the word "suffering" rather than "evil." I did this because the word "evil" is hard to define, "suffering" not so much.

"Morality" is likewise difficult to define.

Some years back in Yellowstone National Park a female bear with two cubs attacked and killed a park ranger. The attack was predatory, i.e., the bear saw the ranger as food. Park rangers hunted down and killed the bear and the cubs. (The rangers reasoned that the cubs had learned the lesson that humans were food.)

Was the bear evil? No. It was simply being a bear. Were the rangers evil? Again, no.

There is a documented case from about 200 years ago where sailors in a lifeboat ran out of food. They drew lots to decide which of the would be food for the others. The loser of this lottery was murdered and eaten. The rest survived. Were the survivors evil? You tell me. But evil or not, they survived.

What can be said about morality is that it encompasses a set of behaviors which benefit the group, the tribe, the nation, the entire species. These behaviors are the result of evolution. We have evolved to be a social animal. As hunter-gatherers we hunted and gathered in groups. This provided more food per individual than a single individual could obtain alone, plus it was (and is) a more varied diet, ergo, a healthier diet.


Good, evil and morality are all human constructs guided by the force of natural selection. They are not the dictates of a deity.

The answer to the Riddle of Epicurus is there simply is no deity. God is powerless to prevent suffering because he does not exist. God is not willing to prevent suffering because he does not exist. Since God does not exist then of course there is suffering.

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Old 12-31-2018, 02:46 AM   #9092
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Actually, it's afternoon. Spent the wholemorning sitting under God's Word at worship service.

I don't want you to reverse anything. But I would like you to see the truth.

So...let's cut to the chase. First of all, you did deny that evolution is spiritual truth. But yet, the creation account, when taken in its sensible sense, is spiritual truth? This revelation from you alone is sufficient for me to categorically reject evolution as a viable theory.

Since I'm extremely influenced by scripture alone and by the application of sound hermeneutical principles, I presented very strong evidence that Moses intended his creation story to be taken in its sensible sense, which in this case would the grammatical-historical sense. The evidence I presented were how all the days of creation are numbered and that Moses, therefore, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, intended for those numbered days to be understood literally. This becomes even more apparent when we understand that if God had intended for future generations of believers in the modern world to understand the account in a different or allegorical sense, there would have been no reason under the sun for Moses to repeat those numbered days seven times. For God could have conveyed the idea of long ages more than adequately in other ways without the repeated use of the term "day", and in ways his ancient audience would have understood.

I also pointed out that whenever numbered days appear anywhere in scripture, they're always literal days. Therefore, Moses in Genesis 1 sets the precedent for all the other writers of scripture, which to the best of my knowledge they have followed faithfully.

But there is even more solid evidence that those days in Genesis 1 are to be taken literally with, yet, another formula -- a very Jewish one, in fact. The phrase "And there was evening and there was morning..." -- repeated of course six times, also. As most Christians would know, the ancient Hebrews reckoned time from sundown to sunup as being a day -- evening to morning.

Once again, it's begging to be asked why would the Holy Spirit go to such great lengths to convince pre-modern readers of his Word that he really is conveying the idea of literal 24-hour days -- only for modern readers to be told many centuries later that was never God's real intention. God's real intention, apparently, was for modern man to wait for profane, fallen, depraved men of science, whose minds are at enmity with God, to come along to tell us what God really meant. But I think that if God's real intention was to rely on the mighty men of science to straighten God's modern people out, then God would not have been so fixated on very specific and explicit periods of time in Genesis. The Holy Spirit would have been more vague and talked in terms of "ages", or "after many seasons passed..." -- or some such formula. He could have conveyed the idea of a very long period of time in terms the ancients would have easily understood.

I'm mindful of this Hebrews text, with respect to this discussion:

Heb 1:1-2
1 God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.
NASB

Yet, according to theistic evolution proponents, God had additional "revelation" for modern man and has REALLY and FINALLY spoken to us by men of science to straighten out what the Son of God was incapable of fixing in these last days -- even after he rose from the dead! But I digress...

There is still a third stand to this time argument: The Fourth Commandment (Ex 20:8-11). As you are well aware, God gave the ancient Israelites the reason why they needed to keep the Sabbath in this commandment. They were required to emulate God!

Ex 20:11
11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.
NASB

This amounts to nothing less than a bald-faced lie if God did not create the heavens and the earth and all that is in them in 6 literal days. There is no way of escaping this kind of conclusion. Why would God stretch the truth (and I'm being very generous here) in the Genesis account so out of proportion that it has to be incorporated as an outright lie into his very Law, which is supposed be holy? And God blessed a day that had nothing to do with the completion of creation, and called it "holy" yet!? Again, there was no reason for God to do this, if it took him gazillions of years to create the universe. He could have simply commanded the ancient Hebrews to keep the sabbath and be done with it. He didn't have to give any reason for Sabbath-keeping in the 4th commandment, any more than he did for the other nine commandments in the Decalogue.

And with these three pieces of exegetical evidence, I still haven't scratched the surface with respect to theistic evolution's untenability. But we can begin to plumb the depths [some] of the Genesis creation account whenever you feel up to the task of tackling the Achilles' Heel to theistic evolutionary theory -- Death. Another lie God didn't have to tell, most especially since it's a Gospel destroyer.
You did deny that evolution is spiritual truth. Yet, the creation account, when taken in its sensible sense, is spiritual truth?

The spiritual truth regarding creation is the "ex nihilo" , by the Word (Ps 33:6, Jn 1:1) or idea (Ps 136:5), rather than via primeval matter...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ex_nihilo#History

Once matter exists (time, space, change), we're dealing with the interaction of matter, and however that interaction (dust/God suspending physics/miracle? or evolving hominid) produced man. As you know, in either case, "man" equals union of body/soul (intellect, will...rationality..."image of God").

If God had intended for future generations of believers in the modern world to understand the account in a different or allegorical sense, there would have been no reason under the sun for Moses to repeat those numbered days seven times.

Covenant theology. The conveyance of order vs. chaos, but more importantly, God is covenanting himself to creation, and man par excellence....

https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang...s=H7650&t=NASB

A covenant is much more than a legal contract (master-slave). It is a family bond (Father-children), a gift of self, i.e., marriage covenant..."bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh" (Gen 2:23) and not primarily a juridical obligation. Israel is the spouse of YHWH, as the Church is the bride of Christ (Eph 5).

I'm not ruling out your literalistic interpretation, but scripture must be read according to the coherence of all the truths collectively, "in proportion to our faith" (Rom 12:6). The coherence of God's covenanting himself at creation by the "seventh day" and man participating in that "rest" literally (sabbath) and spiritually in all aspects (Christian sabbath, divine filiation, participation in life of Trinity in glory), makes far more sense to me than a literalistic construct to explain the 6 days. (Incidentally, there are "7" Catholic sacraments, and "sacramentum in Latin means "oath")...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacramentum_(oath)

I also pointed out that whenever numbered days appear anywhere in scripture, they're always literal days.

Gen 2:4...
https://www.blueletterbible.org/nasb.../4/t_conc_2004

Well, was it one day, or six?

And there was evening and there was morning..." -- repeated of course six times, also.

I think my reply to "seven days" as participation in the life of YHWH, and fully the Trinity (2 Pt 1:4), establishes the plausibilty of a symbolic account since, at least for me, "Covenant" is the overarching meaning. I think the schema of Gen 1 denotes order, and linearly gets one to the all important seven. Not to play fun with numbers, but this guy doesn't even recognize it...
https://www.myjewishlearning.com/art...daism-numbers/

...Only for modern readers to be told many centuries later that was never God's real intention. God's real intention, apparently, was for modern man to wait for profane, fallen, depraved men of science...

Wow. This isn't an effort to elevate materialist natural philosophy over and above Hebrew scripture. Is that the goal of the Reformed I cited? Balanced Christians pursue the balance between the Author of both Faith and Reason. It was going civilly, but now we are at the heart of what agitates you, and you're emotional and mad at me.

According to theistic evolution proponents, God had additional "revelation" for modern man and has REALLY and FINALLY spoken to us by men of science to straighten out what the Son of God was incapable of fixing in these last days

Maybe I'm not capable of expressing the distinction, but another try. There is no new revelation about creation, of which we both agree upon. 1) God created effortless through his idea, his Word, and not through primeval matter 2) God created order, not chaos. After that, we are opinionated about how God chose to form rational man from that matter, and how the author of Genesis chose, within his own human capacity and contemporary situation, to convey that revelation.

The remainder regarding the correlation of sabbath to creation was covered in response to one of your many preceding paragraphs. Whew!

To paraphrase a Beyer character in Picking Winners, "If I'd have spent this much time studying law, I'd be on the Supreme Court right now".
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Old 12-31-2018, 05:31 AM   #9093
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Why "Of course?" On what grounds does the theist reject A, B, D?
So what is the theist's answer to C? Have theists even come up with an answer?

Hitchens conceded quite a lot that I do not.

This is the point where the question becomes quite complex. You probably noticed that in my restating the Riddle of Epicurus I used the word "suffering" rather than "evil." I did this because the word "evil" is hard to define, "suffering" not so much.

"Morality" is likewise difficult to define.

Some years back in Yellowstone National Park a female bear with two cubs attacked and killed a park ranger. The attack was predatory, i.e., the bear saw the ranger as food. Park rangers hunted down and killed the bear and the cubs. (The rangers reasoned that the cubs had learned the lesson that humans were food.)

Was the bear evil? No. It was simply being a bear. Were the rangers evil? Again, no.

There is a documented case from about 200 years ago where sailors in a lifeboat ran out of food. They drew lots to decide which of the would be food for the others. The loser of this lottery was murdered and eaten. The rest survived. Were the survivors evil? You tell me. But evil or not, they survived.

What can be said about morality is that it encompasses a set of behaviors which benefit the group, the tribe, the nation, the entire species. These behaviors are the result of evolution. We have evolved to be a social animal. As hunter-gatherers we hunted and gathered in groups. This provided more food per individual than a single individual could obtain alone, plus it was (and is) a more varied diet, ergo, a healthier diet.


Good, evil and morality are all human constructs guided by the force of natural selection. They are not the dictates of a deity.

The answer to the Riddle of Epicurus is there simply is no deity. God is powerless to prevent suffering because he does not exist. God is not willing to prevent suffering because he does not exist. Since God does not exist then of course there is suffering.

Sapere aude
On what grounds does the theist reject A, B, D?


You're unable to grasp which claim in each of the premises would be false, based upon what the overwhelming majority of theists accept? If or when we have another exchange, I must force myself to assume nothing. For any theist I have encountered, God is willing and able to prevent suffering. Now look at the premises again.

The word "evil" is hard to define, "suffering" not so much...."Morality" is likewise difficult to define.

From your frequently cited source, under "noun"...
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/evil

...and for morality, (3) seems to fit a natural definition...
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/morality

...but I'll try to adjust my response to your a priori, "there-is-no deity", subjective distinction between suffering/evil.

Was the bear evil? No. It was simply being a bear. Were the rangers evil? Again, no.

Agreed. However, "It was simply being a bear" = experiencing its nature as a non-rational animal. In the case of the rangers, "the rangers reasoned". So did Himmler.

There is a documented case from about 200 years ago where sailors in a lifeboat ran out of food. They drew lots to decide which of the would be food for the others. The loser of this lottery was murdered and eaten. The rest survived. Were the survivors evil? You tell me. But evil or not, they survived.

Consequentialism.

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dict...nsequentialism

Do I do evil (cause suffering) so that good (no suffering, if we're consistent) will come of it? You can change your modifiers all you want, and you still can't avoid a value system that incorporates good/bad, right/wrong, moral/immoral. That, or nihilism.

Look, I'm not addressing atheism, per se. Aristotle said that morality does not depend on God, but on the treatment of human beings according to their nature (e.g., bears are naturally predatory, humans upon humans are not). Any cognizant person can determine that. But he included the observation that natures have ends (teleology) that enable their flourishing. Modern atheists usually deny this, in favor of a mechanistic view.

Good, evil and morality are all human constructs guided by the force of natural selection. They are not the dictates of a deity.

I recently posted somewhere about morality and local maxima. In my understanding, evolution isn't selecting for moral standouts who "benefit the entire species" (blind, amoral, non-teleological, correct?). It's selecting against the unworkable regarding reproduction. It's barely climbing the altruism hill, working its way up just enough to look over the heads of it's immediate neighbors (local maxima) in terms of reproduction, and if altruism is able to hitchhike, so be it.
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Old 12-31-2018, 01:16 PM   #9094
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You did deny that evolution is spiritual truth. Yet, the creation account, when taken in its sensible sense, is spiritual truth?

The spiritual truth regarding creation is the "ex nihilo" , by the Word (Ps 33:6, Jn 1:1) or idea (Ps 136:5), rather than via primeval matter...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ex_nihilo#History
Seriously!!!??? That's all you get out of the creation account? Did Adam and Eve actually exist or are they just filler props tossed into the allegorical script? Was there actually a fall of mankind in space and time?

Quote:
Once matter exists (time, space, change), we're dealing with the interaction of matter, and however that interaction (dust/God suspending physics/miracle? or evolving hominid) produced man. As you know, in either case, "man" equals union of body/soul (intellect, will...rationality..."image of God").

Me:
If God had intended for future generations of believers in the modern world to understand the account in a different or allegorical sense, there would have been no reason under the sun for Moses to repeat those numbered days seven times.


Quote:
Covenant theology. The conveyance of order vs. chaos, but more importantly, God is covenanting himself to creation, and man par excellence....

https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang...s=H7650&t=NASB
So how does the time factor relate to Covenant Theology? What difference does it make if it took God 6 days or 6 trillion years to create the universe? And are you suggesting that in the scheme of evolution, the universe is not ordered?

Quote:
A covenant is much more than a legal contract (master-slave). It is a family bond (Father-children), a gift of self, i.e., marriage covenant..."bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh" (Gen 2:23) and not primarily a juridical obligation. Israel is the spouse of YHWH, as the Church is the bride of Christ (Eph 5).

I'm not ruling out your literalistic interpretation, but scripture must be read according to the coherence of all the truths collectively, "in proportion to our faith" (Rom 12:6). The coherence of God's covenanting himself at creation by the "seventh day" and man participating in that "rest" literally (sabbath) and spiritually in all aspects (Christian sabbath, divine filiation, participation in life of Trinity in glory), makes far more sense to me than a literalistic construct to explain the 6 days. (Incidentally, there are "7" Catholic sacraments, and "sacramentum in Latin means "oath")...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacramentum_(oath)
What "all the truths collectively"? All so-called truths under the sun discovered by fallen man and interpreted by him? Did Jesus ever go outside His Word to establish spiritual truth? I mean...once you go outside scripture to bring in some alleged truth from somewhere else, can't we twist and distort scripture beyond all recognition? Since when is truth outside scripture as pure as God's Word? Peter tells us to "long for the pure milk of the word, so that we may grow in respect to salvation..."(1Pet 2:2). How does evolution help us to grow in grace with respect to our salvation?

Yes, Paul quoted a pagan inscription to the Athenians in Acts 17, but for the specific spiritual purpose of launching into the gospel. Plus Paul did not believe in some unknown god the way theistic evolutionists believe in evolution.

And why couldn't God had been more accurate and honest and forthright and told the ancients that it took him six ages to create the heavens and the earth? Why days? And then God could have said that he "rested" in the seventh age.


Me:
I also pointed out that whenever numbered days appear anywhere in scripture, they're always literal days.

Quote:
Gen 2:4...
https://www.blueletterbible.org/nasb.../4/t_conc_2004

Well, was it one day, or six?
Are you serious with this question? Gen 2:4-24 is simply an expansion, an elaboration of the creation of man -- God's crowning achievement.

Me:
And there was evening and there was morning..." -- repeated of course six times, also.

Quote:
I think my reply to "seven days" as participation in the life of YHWH, and fully the Trinity (2 Pt 1:4), establishes the plausibilty of a symbolic account since, at least for me, "Covenant" is the overarching meaning. I think the schema of Gen 1 denotes order, and linearly gets one to the all important seven. Not to play fun with numbers, but this guy doesn't even recognize it...
https://www.myjewishlearning.com/art...daism-numbers/
Why not seven ages? Again, that would have been an infinitely more accurate depiction of what actually occurred if evolution is true.

...Only for modern readers to be told many centuries later that was never God's real intention. God's real intention, apparently, was for modern man to wait for profane, fallen, depraved men of science...

Quote:
Wow. This isn't an effort to elevate materialist natural philosophy over and above Hebrew scripture. Is that the goal of the Reformed I cited? Balanced Christians pursue the balance between the Author of both Faith and Reason. It was going civilly, but now we are at the heart of what agitates you, and you're emotional and mad at me.
Please don't appeal (at least for my sake because it wall fall on deaf ears) to any writers outside scripture. I don't give two flips what any reformed person believed about the creation account. Those reformed folks are not my infallible, Spirit-inspired authority. Jesus was crystal clear as to who and what my spiritual authority is.

Secondly, "Reason" is only valid to the extent that the reasoning processes are governed by God's truth. As an example, do you really think that Darwin's mind, heart and soul was submissive to God's Spirit and truth when he reasoned materialistic evolution? God's word tells me that the mind set on the flesh (sinful nature) CANNOT please God -- it's not able to do so.

So...I have nothing whatsoever against "reason" as long as it's sanctified reason. How many forensic scientists have their minds transformed by Christ or by his Word?

Thirdly, I thoroughly adhere to this maxim: All truth is God's truth. There is no truth in fallen man! Nor does man invent truth. All man can do is discover truth. If God wills, he will discover God's truth; but if not, man will discover a lie and package it, label it and market it as the truth.

And right here is the very crux of our difference -- no small theololgical one!. You trust fallen, unregenerate, depraved minds to shape your bible beliefs, whereas I do not for biblical reasons.

Job 4:18-19
8 'He puts no trust even in His servants;
And against His angels He charges error.
19 'How much more those who dwell in houses of clay,
Whose foundation is in the dust,
Who are crushed before the moth!

NASB

Me:
According to theistic evolution proponents, God had additional "revelation" for modern man and has REALLY and FINALLY spoken to us by men of science to straighten out what the Son of God was incapable of fixing in these last days

Quote:
Maybe I'm not capable of expressing the distinction, but another try. There is no new revelation about creation, of which we both agree upon. 1) God created effortless through his idea, his Word, and not through primeval matter 2) God created order, not chaos. After that, we are opinionated about how God chose to form rational man from that matter, and how the author of Genesis chose, within his own human capacity and contemporary situation, to convey that revelation.
Oh, but there is! The "old" revelation to the ancients was that God directly created the universe by the power of his spoken word in six days. You have already admitted this. But now the "new", modern revelation to moderns, provided to us by fallen human beings, is that God used many secondary causes in creating and that it took him nearly 14 billion years to get the job done. That sir, is new! The old evolved into the new! Kinda like how the Old Covenant morphed into the New. (But at least we were given a heads up in the OT that this would happen!)

Quote:
The remainder regarding the correlation of sabbath to creation was covered in response to one of your many preceding paragraphs. Whew!

To paraphrase a Beyer character in Picking Winners, "If I'd have spent this much time studying law, I'd be on the Supreme Court right now".
The bottom line here is that you have not provided a convincing argument for why God repeatedly chose to use the term "day" instead of "ages", for example, in the creation account.

And God instituted many covenants apart from the use of any time frames whatsoever or the use of "day". So...your covenant argument is feeble, as well.

Moreover, you gave a specific "covenant" reason for used "day" language and the formula "evening and morning...". It's worth repeating:

Quote:
Covenant theology. The conveyance of order vs. chaos, but more importantly, God is covenanting himself to creation, and man par excellence....
So with the advent of evolutionary "truth", has God quit "covenanting himself to creation, and mar par excellence"? Who can say with certainty that God's purpose hasn't changed with the new invention of evolutionary "truth"? Who can say that God's covenant purpose wasn't as temporary at the literal day language the Holy Spirit used through Moses in the Creation account and in other places? Since the old language is disposable, then perhaps the purpose is, as well.

And by the way, I'm not angry with you. I merely describe fallen man in biblical language. Fallen human beings are no friends of God. Therefore, we logically, reasonably and biblically have no warrant for ever believing that depraved minds will ever sign on to God's truth. That will never happen (certainly on a large scale) until such a mind is reconcilled to God by his grace.
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Old 12-31-2018, 02:24 PM   #9095
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Hitchens conceded quite a lot that I do not.

This is the point where the question becomes quite complex. You probably noticed that in my restating the Riddle of Epicurus I used the word "suffering" rather than "evil." I did this because the word "evil" is hard to define, "suffering" not so much.
Does suffering have a purpose? Does it make you stronger? Ask the Stoics.
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Old 12-31-2018, 02:35 PM   #9096
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The answer to the Riddle of Epicurus is there simply is no deity. God is powerless to prevent suffering because he does not exist. God is not willing to prevent suffering because he does not exist. Since God does not exist then of course there is suffering.
Based on the knowledge and historical context of the Greek gods. The Greeks believed the gods created man to manipulate man for their entertainment and enjoyed putting obstacles in front of mankind to stop mankind's growth, as all men were fated.

Your quoting a philosophy developed, in a specific time in history due to view of a particular set of gods.
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Old 12-31-2018, 03:05 PM   #9097
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On what grounds does the theist reject A, B, D?


You're unable to grasp which claim in each of the premises would be false, based upon what the overwhelming majority of theists accept?
Argumentum ad populum! What the majority accepts has no bearing on what is true. The majority accepting that the earth is flat does not change the fact that it is a sphere.

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If or when we have another exchange, I must force myself to assume nothing.
Assume nothing! Question everything!

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For any theist I have encountered, God is willing and able to prevent suffering. Now look at the premises again.
The premise is that God has two attributes, viz., omnipotence and omnibenevolence. If God has both then he would not allow suffering. He would prevent it. But suffering is commonplace, ergo, God lacks at least one of the presumed attributes. But if that is so then he is not God. Law of Non-contradiction.

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There is a documented case from about 200 years ago where sailors in a lifeboat ran out of food. They drew lots to decide which of the would be food for the others. The loser of this lottery was murdered and eaten. The rest survived. Were the survivors evil? You tell me. But evil or not, they survived.

Consequentialism.

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dict...nsequentialism

Do I do evil (cause suffering) so that good (no suffering, if we're consistent) will come of it? You can change your modifiers all you want, and you still can't avoid a value system that incorporates good/bad, right/wrong, moral/immoral. That, or nihilism.
consequentialism noun : the theory that the value and especially the moral value of an act should be judged by the value of its consequences.

Bingo! You hit the nail on the head! That's the primary argument of Christianity. "You're gonna burn, kid!" Boxcar's favorite argument second only to the ad hominem.

I have a car that will go 100 MPH but I keep below the speed limit. I hate some people's guts but I don't kill them. Why? Because of the consequences. But if I'm starving the other guy in the boat is food. Immediate starvation trumps the relatively distant possibility of the hangman's noose.

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Look, I'm not addressing atheism, per se. Aristotle said that morality does not depend on God, but on the treatment of human beings according to their nature (e.g., bears are naturally predatory, humans upon humans are not). Any cognizant person can determine that. But he included the observation that natures have ends (teleology) that enable their flourishing. Modern atheists usually deny this, in favor of a mechanistic view.
The mechanistic view works. It gave us the germ theory of disease. You won't find a licensed M.D. who subscribes to the miasma theory. It put us on the moon. On the negative side it also gave us nuclear weapons, but that only confirms that it works.

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Originally Posted by dnlgfnk View Post
Good, evil and morality are all human constructs guided by the force of natural selection. They are not the dictates of a deity.

In my understanding, evolution isn't selecting for moral standouts who "benefit the entire species" (blind, amoral, non-teleological, correct?). It's selecting against the unworkable regarding reproduction. It's barely climbing the altruism hill, working its way up just enough to look over the heads of it's immediate neighbors (local maxima) in terms of reproduction, and if altruism is able to hitchhike, so be it.
Essentially correct. Natural selections favors traits, including behavioral traits, that offer a survival advantage. It weeds out traits that present a survival disadvantage.

Altruism is not necessary for a species to survive. Humans are social animals and altruism works to the tribe's advantage. There are species that are not altruistic, e.g.., bears and cats. The male in those species will kill the cubs. Natural selection then favors the females who are most successful at protecting their cubs.
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Old 12-31-2018, 03:07 PM   #9098
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Does suffering have a purpose? Does it make you stronger? Ask the Stoics.
Ask Nietzsche.
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Old 12-31-2018, 03:17 PM   #9099
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Your quoting a philosophy developed, in a specific time in history due to view of a particular set of gods.
The same could be said of Christianity. Just change "a particular set of gods" to "a particular god."

There is no evidence that Epicurus is the actual source of the riddle. It was attributed to him by a Christian apologist.
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Old 12-31-2018, 04:00 PM   #9100
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Seriously!!!??? That's all you get out of the creation account? Did Adam and Eve actually exist or are they just filler props tossed into the allegorical script? Was there actually a fall of mankind in space and time?

[/i]



So how does the time factor relate to Covenant Theology? What difference does it make if it took God 6 days or 6 trillion years to create the universe? And are you suggesting that in the scheme of evolution, the universe is not ordered?



What "all the truths collectively"? All so-called truths under the sun discovered by fallen man and interpreted by him? Did Jesus ever go outside His Word to establish spiritual truth? I mean...once you go outside scripture to bring in some alleged truth from somewhere else, can't we twist and distort scripture beyond all recognition? Since when is truth outside scripture as pure as God's Word? Peter tells us to "long for the pure milk of the word, so that we may grow in respect to salvation..."(1Pet 2:2). How does evolution help us to grow in grace with respect to our salvation?

Yes, Paul quoted a pagan inscription to the Athenians in Acts 17, but for the specific spiritual purpose of launching into the gospel. Plus Paul did not believe in some unknown god the way theistic evolutionists believe in evolution.

And why couldn't God had been more accurate and honest and forthright and told the ancients that it took him six ages to create the heavens and the earth? Why days? And then God could have said that he "rested" in the seventh age.


Me:
I also pointed out that whenever numbered days appear anywhere in scripture, they're always literal days.



Are you serious with this question? Gen 2:4-24 is simply an expansion, an elaboration of the creation of man -- God's crowning achievement.

Me:
And there was evening and there was morning..." -- repeated of course six times, also.



Why not seven ages? Again, that would have been an infinitely more accurate depiction of what actually occurred if evolution is true.

...Only for modern readers to be told many centuries later that was never God's real intention. God's real intention, apparently, was for modern man to wait for profane, fallen, depraved men of science...



Please don't appeal (at least for my sake because it wall fall on deaf ears) to any writers outside scripture. I don't give two flips what any reformed person believed about the creation account. Those reformed folks are not my infallible, Spirit-inspired authority. Jesus was crystal clear as to who and what my spiritual authority is.

Secondly, "Reason" is only valid to the extent that the reasoning processes are governed by God's truth. As an example, do you really think that Darwin's mind, heart and soul was submissive to God's Spirit and truth when he reasoned materialistic evolution? God's word tells me that the mind set on the flesh (sinful nature) CANNOT please God -- it's not able to do so.

So...I have nothing whatsoever against "reason" as long as it's sanctified reason. How many forensic scientists have their minds transformed by Christ or by his Word?

Thirdly, I thoroughly adhere to this maxim: All truth is God's truth. There is no truth in fallen man! Nor does man invent truth. All man can do is discover truth. If God wills, he will discover God's truth; but if not, man will discover a lie and package it, label it and market it as the truth.

And right here is the very crux of our difference -- no small theololgical one!. You trust fallen, unregenerate, depraved minds to shape your bible beliefs, whereas I do not for biblical reasons.

Job 4:18-19
8 'He puts no trust even in His servants;
And against His angels He charges error.
19 'How much more those who dwell in houses of clay,
Whose foundation is in the dust,
Who are crushed before the moth!

NASB

Me:
According to theistic evolution proponents, God had additional "revelation" for modern man and has REALLY and FINALLY spoken to us by men of science to straighten out what the Son of God was incapable of fixing in these last days



Oh, but there is! The "old" revelation to the ancients was that God directly created the universe by the power of his spoken word in six days. You have already admitted this. But now the "new", modern revelation to moderns, provided to us by fallen human beings, is that God used many secondary causes in creating and that it took him nearly 14 billion years to get the job done. That sir, is new! The old evolved into the new! Kinda like how the Old Covenant morphed into the New. (But at least we were given a heads up in the OT that this would happen!)



The bottom line here is that you have not provided a convincing argument for why God repeatedly chose to use the term "day" instead of "ages", for example, in the creation account.

And God instituted many covenants apart from the use of any time frames whatsoever or the use of "day". So...your covenant argument is feeble, as well.

Moreover, you gave a specific "covenant" reason for used "day" language and the formula "evening and morning...". It's worth repeating:



So with the advent of evolutionary "truth", has God quit "covenanting himself to creation, and mar par excellence"? Who can say with certainty that God's purpose hasn't changed with the new invention of evolutionary "truth"? Who can say that God's covenant purpose wasn't as temporary at the literal day language the Holy Spirit used through Moses in the Creation account and in other places? Since the old language is disposable, then perhaps the purpose is, as well.

And by the way, I'm not angry with you. I merely describe fallen man in biblical language. Fallen human beings are no friends of God. Therefore, we logically, reasonably and biblically have no warrant for ever believing that depraved minds will ever sign on to God's truth. That will never happen (certainly on a large scale) until such a mind is reconcilled to God by his grace.
I started a reply, but you continually put words in my mouth, intentionally or no, in order to set up your devastating replies, or else backtrack by broadening your initial questions...

I also pointed out that whenever numbered days appear anywhere in scripture, they're always literal days....

Gen 2:4 = yowm="day", "1", same Hebrew word, so numbered day standing for the 6 days equals symbol.

Are you serious with this question? Gen 2:4-24 is simply an expansion, an elaboration of the creation of man -- God's crowning achievement.

You define day with exacting language in order to support the literalist view, the whole structure of your argument regarding "day". I show specific evidence, a few passages later that yown does not meet your specified criteria, allowing, at least on this point, for "day" as symbolic. You switch gears from the specific to 2:4ff being an "expansion" (i.e., using "day" to describe the whole process), in order for me to become more narrow in my interpretation of "day".

Don't have the desire for such games.
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Old 12-31-2018, 04:08 PM   #9101
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The same could be said of Christianity. Just change "a particular set of gods" to "a particular god."

There is no evidence that Epicurus is the actual source of the riddle. It was attributed to him by a Christian apologist.
No it cannot. I guess if your only tool is a hammer every things looks like a nail.

The attributes and acts of a specific set of gods cannot be generally attributed to all.

Hint: Read Homer's poem the Odyssey how these specific gods acted towards man.
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Old 12-31-2018, 04:10 PM   #9102
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Ask Nietzsche.

Nietzsche thought man desired suffering. Completely different than the Stoics and that good that comes from suffering.
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Old 12-31-2018, 05:05 PM   #9103
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Nietzsche thought man desired suffering. Completely different than the Stoics and that good that comes from suffering.
I was referring to the opening card of the movie Conan the Barbarian.
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Old 12-31-2018, 05:15 PM   #9104
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I was driving around today while listening to the music of the Doors...and I realized that the truly great works come out of tortured minds. No great works of art are born from "comfort"...IMO.
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Old 12-31-2018, 05:20 PM   #9105
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I was driving around today while listening to the music of the Doors...and I realized that the truly great works come out of tortured minds. No great works of art are born from "comfort"...IMO.
According to your own post, you could've rivaled the Masters....
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