Do you believe in the higher value of humans over non-human animals? If so, you are borrowing some of your morality from Theistic philosophy. Evolution provides no foundation for this higher value. The philosophy that has its foundation in evolution equates man with animals. In this view, man does not deserve a higher value than animals. This morality is based on one’s ability to suffer.
Is it more moral to kill a pig that can feel pain or a fetus that can’t feel pain? Atheists would save the pig. Is it less moral to eat bacon, seeing as how the pig can suffer and humans killed it, or practice cannibalism as long as the human died accidentally and the relatives say it’s OK? Atheists would enjoy a good batch of John Smith stew. Is it more moral to kill a deformed or mentally retarded infant so they won’t have to suffer all of their lives, or let them live (although this “suffering” is debatable)? Atheists choose to end the suffering. Some atheists would still let the child and the fetus live and also eat bacon, but if they do they betray the fact that their philosophy does not totally align itself with atheistic philosophy. They borrow from Theistic philosophy.
Would you be more disgusted at a picture of a dead fetus? Your answer will tell you what philosophy you live by.
The more I hear your arguments, the more I realize that your conclusions are based upon philosophy. You will say that it is based upon facts, but the facts can be looked at in many different ways. There are legitimate arguments on various sides of the issue that you ignore, and there are legitimate arguments on your side of the issue that others ignore. Evolution and Intelligent Design are philosophies, ways of looking at facts. Even if you decide that you only know what you personally witness, you still have to interpret those facts, and who knows if you get it right? Is a man sitting on a bench talking to himself or is he talking to God? Even if we get the man’s input, that conclusion is still left up to us. Interpretations run wild in this world. Those of us who trust in God don’t give up our reason. Our reason is rather guided on a particular course. Do you really think that you have no need for a God who can instruct us in true reality, when you aren’t even sure of your own interpretations?
You live inside of a box. The Atheist says, “My reason is all that matters. What reason I find outside of myself, I find in others, and seek to add it to my own so that my view of reality is broadened.” Self, ego, or “I”, is your greatest obstacle to understanding Ultimate Reality. Your sense of unique, irreducible, distinct, individual personhood, is the ultimate illusion and the great obstacle to supreme enlightenment. Truth and reality are connected to the “I” that is distinct and separate from humanity, the one who calls himself “I Am”. The answer to ultimate truth and reality is not a statement or a piece of evidence. It is a person. Atheists live inside their box of reason. Christians realize that the “box” is an illusion, a distraction that obscures your view of the truth. Only when we understand the divine “I” can we truly understand the human “I”. This is not a blind faith, but an enlightening one.
“We have reasoned ourselves into oblivion” – Anonymous
Bob, you are right. Simply looking at the beginning of everything we cannot draw a God-conclusion or a non-God-conclusion. However, before I go further let me point something out.
We are in a game of chess that can never really end with one of us taking the king, neither can we put each other in checkmate. Don’t get me wrong, there has been some damage done. Here and there a pawn or bishop has been taken. And your last argument may seem like a pretty good ending argument. But, there is still more ground to cover. We can just end it here, and agree to disagree, or keep going. So, if you would like to go further, here is my next move:
The next logical place to go in this argument is whether or not truth exists, and whether or not we can know it. To say that it does not exist presents a logical fallacy. For the statement itself is presented as a truth. Either the statement, “There is no truth.”, is truth itself making the statement silly, or it is false making truth itself a reality. And what are we trying to do here if not live the truth we see and hope it matches with reality. Now, if we are agreed that truth exists, we must also be agreed on its nature. That nature is exclusivity. A rock cannot be a duck. A tree cannot sing the blues. A black car is black and not gray. We call these things truth, for they remain the same to all who perceive them.
Now, there can’t be a God and not a God at the same time. One statement is true and one statement is false. But, can we know the truth? If we can find truth in our day, we must look for clues that point to that truth. As I said before, it is not the job of science to either point to the existence of God, or the existence of evolution. It is our bias that we are stating if we say that it does. We attain our bias through choice. So, before we even see the evidence, our perception is already guided in a direction of our own choosing. It would then follow that what we perceive and how we do it is very important.
Some people look at the world and see order. Others see chance. Although it is your right to hold either perception, one of them is wrong and one is right. I can do nothing about someone else’s perception, but I can make mine as reasonable as possible. I think you already know my position. I see order, and therefore perceive that this order points to a Creator. I’m sure you can pick up the argument from here.
A traveler from a strange land passed my way. As he described his home to me, his visage reflected great despair. He spoke of four great walls no longer connected, and all around them, a vast desert in every direction stretched to express no evidence of life for the discerning eye. Inside the walls, the form of a man can be observed laying half in the ground and half out. The bones darkened by the persistent sand provide a vestige of the cruelty the people inflicted upon their king. A hand outstretched remains anchored by the ground held upright as if still beckoning for humanity to enter. The traveler told of a people who abandoned their king even though he provided great things for them. Near the fallen form, a monument stands echoing his words to all. “Come all ye who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” The people rose up against him, and invited other great, eloquent men to enter the kingdom. The traveler relates, “The king remained faithful while the magistrates rode slowly on their horses toward the horizon. And yet from the horizon, came others riding swiftly on their horses. And as yet, we are still not free.”
I fear that as humanity trades a reasonable God for men of reason, no real freedom will be gained.
For all of you who were religious before you turned to atheism, why do you believe there is no God? Oh, you may back it up with current facts, but something started you on this path before the facts came into play. Maybe religion left a bad taste in your mouth. Maybe someone did something to you. Maybe God didn’t come through for you like you wanted him to. Whatever formed your opinion about God, scientific evidence probably didn’t play a huge role in it. And all this talk about God being a totalitarian, or asking unreasonable human sacrifice from Abraham, or not being the God we think he is doesn’t back up your point. It just reveals your hurt.