another thread: "I'd be pissed about all of the unnecessary suffering
he watched happen and did nothing..." My personal take on the
problem of evil as an imaginative exercise. God's answer: "Did nothing? I
endowed the entirety of Western Civilization with advanced medical
technology, incredible excess wealth, leisure time in abundance and
logistical ability to deliver any and all aid - food, shelter, clothing
and medical to all parts of the world within 24 hours and the free will
of everyone of my creations to choose to relentlessly and sacrificially
do good as a lifestyle choice. What do you mean I did nothing? By the
way, that hungry homeless guy with Hep C you ignored yesterday and the
'junk mail' you shredded asking for donations to build a well in an
African village was my way of asking YOU what your answer was to the
same question you asked me. Motes and beams, my son, motes and beams."
Laurence EnglandI assert that if God is not there, then that would account for unbelief and the mockery of God since while it is true that God is present in all consciences, we can push Him away with our pride, lust, greed, vanity, envy, avarice etc, etc...We can hide, like Adam hid, but we cannot hide forever. In the end, our conscience is laid bare and we see ourselves as we are in the light of God and then we, not He, decide our eternal fate, depending upon whether we are in a State of Grace when we die, or in a State of mortal sin.
Paul JenkinsHuman beings are social animals, tribal. Civilisation has evolved by means of division of labour, but that only works if some individual desires are made subservient to the desires of the larger group, be it family, tribe, nation, race or the entirety of humanity. Those humans who have a propensity for co-operation have generally been able to prosper and reproduce. Their genes have consequently been passed down to us, along with those propensities — one of which we call conscience.
Laurence EnglandThey cannot make mistakes since they do not have consciences. If a shark kills a man, we kill the shark, but the shark was only acting in accordance with its appetite. No blame can be attached to the shark.
Laurence EnglandI do not believe it because man is both physical and spiritual. He has a body and a soul. He can do that which the monkey cannot do. He can PRAY. He can repent. He is in relationship with his Creator.
Laurence EnglandHmmm...you've got me thinking now. So 'conscience' evolved in us for human beings to live in co-existence, or something - yet we, freely, decide to shack up with men and not reproduce deliberately. We also, unlike most creatures, kill our unborn children. This, to me, does not sound like a Darwinian reality for human beings.
Laurence EnglandOh yes and we wear condoms! We wear condoms, implant stuff in women so they cannot breed...yes, I can see how conscience, that incredible facility brought to us in our evolutionary leap for human society is helping us - when we decide that it is the place where God is not!
Paul JenkinsIt's a product of how we live now. Much of Darwinian evolution is anathema to modern life and doesn't apply to modern humans. This is because we've developed technology and medicine at a much faster rate than we've evolved in that same time.
Laurence EnglandWell, if you are proposing, as you have, that it accounts for 'conscience' I would like a good account of it. As yet, you have not given one, other than something rather vague that does not add up, given human behaviour.
Paul JenkinsI think it's fair to say that evolutionary theory can explain how the human race got to where it was some time before the industrial revolution. After that, technology is the main power-house of progress.
Paul JenkinsProgress. Good point. I guess it's an increasing number of people living longer in comfortable conditions, feeling fulfilled in their lives and social interactions. Fewer people starving to death in misery and oppression.
Laurence EnglandBehold, Paul, to the left of our argument is a picture of progress, no, since we have evolved so much since the Industrial Revolution and our progress has been so great, indeed, that babies are the prey of vultures and few men care for the babies plight. Since the Industrial Revolution, too, we have 'evolved' so well as to think nothing of killing our own infants. Yes, we have evolved much, Paul. Unfortunately, we did not consider God, or His Kingdom, or His Justice, or His Love, or His Mercy in our 'progress'.
Paul JenkinsThe biggest step we could take towards "progress" in this day and age is the emancipation of women worldwide, and the way to do that is give them control over their own fertility. That means contraception.
Laurence EnglandI tell you, Paul, that if you want to know the reason for the child dying of starvation, you need only look to the theory of evolution for a reason for it. It's the 'survival of the fittest' remember.
Laurence EnglandIt is not nonsense, Paul. The Royal Society and the British Eugenics Society who generated the theory of evolution, along with Malthus, then decided to apply it to those who they believed were not worthy of life.
Paul JenkinsOK. "Fit", as meant by Darwin in "On the Origin of Species" when referring to an organism means fit for the environment in which it finds itself. It has nothing to do with being the strongest or most powerful.
Laurence EnglandJust one last thing. If everyone believed that there was no purpose in our existence and that we're all here by a random fluke of an explosion that happened for no reason, and that conscience is something that has no value, what would the world look like? A happy place? It sounds like a world with no joy, where death had the last word on everything and everyone and in which nobody cared about anything because nothing means anything. That is not, as you understand, the Christian worldview. GOD cares and loves everyone so much He would even die for us.