"Natural" Evil

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Re: "Natural" Evil

#16

Post by RickD » Tue Apr 05, 2011 10:11 am

First, natural disasters really are, in one sense,"acts of God." in the context of the laws of physics and space-time dimensions, the forces behind such disasters are all designed to deliver significant benefit to humanity.
For example, God could easily eradicate hurricanes. Such elimination, however, would drastically reduce the input of sea-salt aerosols and bacterial and viral particles onto the atmosphere. That reduction would lead to a decrease in rainfall. Hurricanes also regulate tropical ocean temperatures...Likewise, tornadoes, earthquakes, volcanoes, wildfires, ice ages, floods, droughts, and disease are all set at levels that deliver the maximum benefit and minimum damage to humans and their civilization.

Hugh Ross "Why the Universe is the Way it is" page 171
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

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Re: "Natural" Evil

#17

Post by RickD » Tue Apr 05, 2011 10:20 am

As part of earth's surface, the Garden(Eden) would be subject to the storms, earthquakes, floods, and fires sometimes referred to as "natural evils." These forces play crucial roles in distributing and replenishing essential nutrients for life, but they also damage and destroy. In addition, the same anatomical systems that permitted Adam and Eve the pleasures of taste and touch also provided the experience of pain-which brings anguish but also serves to protect.

Hugh Ross "Why the Universe is the Way it is" page 153
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

Kenny wrote:
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Re: "Natural" Evil

#18

Post by DannyM » Wed Apr 06, 2011 6:09 am

RickD wrote:Danny, I believe the op was referring specifically to natural evil(natural disasters). Like why God would allow human suffering as a result of earthquakes, tsunamis, etc.
Thanks, Rick. I thought I saw the discussion descending into a debate about man's evil. At second glance it seems this was tied in with the discussion about natural disasters.
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Re: "Natural" Evil

#19

Post by bigTop » Thu Jul 21, 2011 6:17 pm

RickD wrote:
DannyM wrote:Greg Bahnsen put it succinctly:

"...there is no problem of evil in an atheist's universe because there is no evil in an atheist's universe. Since there is no God, there is no absolute moral standard, and nothing is wrong. The torture of little children is not wrong in an atheist's universe. It may be painful, but it is not wrong. It is morally wrong in a theistic universe, and therefore, there is a problem of evil of perhaps the psychological or emotional sort, but philosophically the answer to the problem of evil is you don't have an absolute standard of good by which to measure evil in an atheist's universe. You can only have that in a theistic universe, and therefore, the very posing of the problem presupposes my world view, rather than his own. God has a good reason for the evil that He plans or allows."

http://www.brianauten.com/Apologetics/a ... script.pdf

So.. Let me get this straight... Since I'm an atheist, my mindset should be: torturing children is no different than saving someone's life?? Just because I don't have the 'God morals' in my life?

Sorry... Even though I'm an atheist, there's a BIG BIG difference between buying a homeless person a meal, and slitting their throat.

And really... IS there such a thing as 'absolute' good?
Killing something in cold blood - NOT OK
Killing something for food - OK
There are shades of grey surrounding any law -Good or bad..

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Re: "Natural" Evil

#20

Post by Katabole » Sun Jul 24, 2011 6:00 pm

bigTop wrote:Sorry... Even though I'm an atheist, there's a BIG BIG difference between buying a homeless person a meal, and slitting their throat.
Is there really? And by what moral standard do you as an atheist distinguish between the two?

The atheist biologist/philosopher Richard Dawkins would disagree with you. According to Dawkins, human beings are simply the result of mindless, unguided processes. Our universe is exactly the type of universe one would expect if there is no God; all there is, is just blind pitiless indifference. There is no good or evil, no love or hate, no right or wrong. And no justice. DNA neither knows no cares. DNA just is and we dance to its music
bigTop wrote:And really... IS there such a thing as 'absolute' good?
Is there really such a thing as good period? You evidently believe in good of some kind. Therefore, according to your post, you also believe in evil. So since you believe in a type of good and a type of evil, you are assuming that there is a moral law that exists in order for you to distinguish and differentiate between good and evil? Correct? Well, moral law can only originate from a moral law giver and it seems that that is what you are trying to disprove. If there is no moral law giver, there is no moral law. If there is no moral law, then there is no evil. And if there is no evil, there certainly is no good.
bigTop wrote:Killing something in cold blood - NOT OK
Killing something for food - OK
Again, as an atheist, why is killing something in cold blood NOT OK? Or for that matter, why is killing something, including a human being for food OK?

Hard atheists like Fredrick Nietzsche or Sarte would probably ask you how you can rationally justify a commitment to timeless values without implicitly invoking God, because they would tell you straight, that you cannot. Dawkins would tell you that you cannot expressly have values except on religious grounds. The philosopher Peter Singer has grasped the logical implications of new atheism when he said a new born baby has no more purpose than a rusty can or a rock.
bigTop wrote:There are shades of grey surrounding any law -Good or bad..
There are no shades of grey in Biblical law. Biblical law is an absolute law.
bigTop wrote:Just because I don't have the 'God morals' in my life?
You do have God's morals in your life. Seems that you just don't want to admit that God put them there.

Jer 31:33 (KJV) But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

If there is no God, everything is permissable. If you add to that the new atheist mantra, if science is true, God does not exist, then you get the result if science is true everything is permitted. Would you as an atheist agree with that statement?

After the Soviet Union broke apart back in the 80's, the former leader Mikhail Gorbachev was interviewed regarding communism in his country. He said we thought we could get rid of God and retain a value for man. We couldn't. We destroyed man as well.
Well it may be the devil or it may be the Lord but you know you gotta serve somebody. Bob Dylan

Every one that is of the truth hears my voice. Jesus from John 18:37

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Re: "Natural" Evil

#21

Post by MarcusOfLycia » Sun Jul 24, 2011 9:12 pm

If man has no spiritual element, what specifically about the arrangement of particles that makes up a man causes him to have so much more inherent value than a blade of grass that taking his life is considered morally wrong when killing a blade of grass is seen as morally neutral?

In days of doubt that I used to have consistently for a long time about my faith, one of the scariest things I ever encountered was the void of darkness that is the ultimate, logical replacement for it. When I wrestled various religious beliefs and the idea of atheism, it was this terrifying lack of meaning, purpose, freedom of will, and morality that struck me as the most profound reason to avoid atheism at all costs. In reading atheist philosophers, even optimistic ones, I have never seen good -reason- that permits holding morality, meaning, and purpose alongside lack of free will and lack of God's existence. Since man longs for those things, it is easy to see why atheists want to include them in their worldview. However, I think that's quite the delusion, if I might borrow some of Dawkin's own language.
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Re: "Natural" Evil

#22

Post by bigTop » Mon Jul 25, 2011 2:00 am

I believe whole heartedly that only can have morals without a divine being involved.

Humans, like other animals, are social. Social animals will protect others of their pack/group. Empathy for others in your group arises from this protection.

The only reason we understand and have developed a better 'moral standard' is because we learned how to form words. And were able to apply these words to actions and emotions. And verbally communicate feelings.
Once emotions went from just a feeling, to words, that opened up the doors for us to start becoming the dominate species. And also allowed us to know how others are feeling/dealing with certain things.

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Re: "Natural" Evil

#23

Post by Katabole » Mon Jul 25, 2011 5:43 am

bigTop wrote:I believe whole heartedly that only can have morals without a divine being involved.
I wish I had that kind of faith.
bigTop wrote:Humans, like other animals, are social. Social animals will protect others of their pack/group.
Social animals will also steal, lie, covet, commit adultery, rape, torture and murder. Millions do it every day and it makes front page news regularly. Humans start from nothing. They begin life in helplessness, ignorance, and inexperience.

Atheists are people who, whether they like it or not, have the law of God written on their hearts (Rom. 2:15). They are subject to the same laws of our country (and other countries) and they have a sense of right and wrong. They often work with people who are religious and have ethical standards as well as work with other atheists. So they are exposed to all sorts of moral behavior. In addition, they often form their own moral standards based on what suits them, (selective morality). Besides, robbery, lying, rape, etc., can get you imprisoned, so it is practical and logical for an atheist to be ethical and work within the norms of social behavior and laws, even though the reason Western society has those laws is because Western law is based on British Common law, which originates directly from Biblical law. However you want to look at it, atheists, generally, are honest, hardworking people.

Nevertheless, some Christians raise the question, "What is to prevent an atheist from murdering and stealing? After all, they have no fear of God and no absolute moral code." The answer is simple: Atheists are capable of governing their own moral behavior and getting along in society the same as anyone else.

At the risk of labeling the atheist as self-centered, it does not serve the best interests of an atheist to murder and steal since it would not take long before they were imprisoned and/or killed for their actions. Basically, law abiding societies will only put up with so much if it is to function smoothly. So, if an atheist wants to get along and have a nice life, murdering and stealing won't accomplish it. It makes sense for them to be honest, work hard, pay their bills, and get along with others. Basically, they have to adopt a set of ethics common to society in order to do that. Belief in God is not a requirement for ethical behavior or an enjoyable life.

On the other hand
Atheists' morals are not absolute. They do not accept a set of moral laws from an absolute God by which right and wrong are judged. They do have neighbours though, that accept moral laws from an absolute God. However, they do live in societies that have legal systems with a codified set of laws. This would be the closest thing to moral absolutes for atheists. But, since the legal system changes, the morals in a society can still change and their morals along with it. At best, these codified morals are "temporary absolutes." In one century adultery is wrong. In another, it is right. So, if we ask if it is or isn't right, the atheist can only tell us their opinion.

If there is a God, killing the unborn is wrong. If there is no God, then who cares. If it serves the best interest of society and the individual, then kill. This can be likened to something called, "experimental ethics." In other words, whatever works best is right. Society experiments with ethical behavior to determine which set of rules works best for it. Hopefully, these experiments lead to better and better moral behavior. But, as we see by looking into society, this isn't the case: crime is on the rise, large numbers within society are completely indifferent when it comes to the suffering of others and most people are uninterested to know how God controls society.

There are potential dangers in this kind of self-established/experimental ethical system. If a totalitarian political system is instituted and a mandate is issued to kill all dissenters, or Christians, or mentally ill, what is to prevent the atheist from joining forces with the majority system and support the killings? If it serves their self-interests, why not? Morality then, becomes a standard of convenience, not absolutes.

But, to be fair, just because someone has an absolute ethical system based on the Bible, there is no guarantee that they will not also join forces in doing what is wrong. People are often very inconsistent. But the issue here is the basis of moral beliefs and how they affect behavior. That is why belief systems are so important and absolutes are so necessary. If morals are relative, then behavior will be too. That can be dangerous if everyone starts doing right in their own eyes. A boat adrift without an anchor will eventually crash into the rocks.

The Bible teaches love, patience, and seeking the welfare of others even when it might harm the Christian believer, though it also teaches one to defend onself when threatened and also and especially to hate evil, where evil is anything and everything that God claims in His Word that is not good. In contrast, the atheists' presuppositions must be constantly changing, and subjective and does not demand love, patience, and the welfare of others. Instead, since the great majority of atheists are evolutionists, their morality, like evolution is the product of purely natural and random processes that become self-serving.

Atheists cannot claim any moral absolutes at all. To an atheist, ethics must be variable and evolving. This could be good or bad. But, given human nature being what it is, I'll opt for the moral absolutes -- based on God's Word -- and not on the subjective and changing morals covered in human tradition that atheism offers.
MarcusOfLycia wrote:If man has no spiritual element, what specifically about the arrangement of particles that makes up a man causes him to have so much more inherent value than a blade of grass that taking his life is considered morally wrong when killing a blade of grass is seen as morally neutral?
Very well said Marcus. :clap:
Well it may be the devil or it may be the Lord but you know you gotta serve somebody. Bob Dylan

Every one that is of the truth hears my voice. Jesus from John 18:37

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Re: "Natural" Evil

#24

Post by neo-x » Mon Jul 25, 2011 5:48 am

excellent post Katabole. :clap:
It would be a blessing if they missed the cairns and got lost on the way back. Or if
the Thing on the ice got them tonight.

I could only turn and stare in horror at the chief surgeon.
Death by starvation is a terrible thing, Goodsir, continued Stanley.
And with that we went below to the flame-flickering Darkness of the lower deck
and to a cold almost the equal of the Dante-esque Ninth Circle Arctic Night
without.


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Re: "Natural" Evil

#25

Post by jlay » Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:23 am

Sorry... Even though I'm an atheist, there's a BIG BIG difference between buying a homeless person a meal, and slitting their throat.
You are making a measurement. What standard are you measuring by? Yes, there is a big difference. But if we are all just molecules in motion, then why does it matter?
No one is claiming that an atheist can't be moral. It is just that to do so requires you to trespass on another worldview.
The only reason we understand and have developed a better 'moral standard' is because we learned how to form words.
This just begs the question. How can you say, "better?" It again, assumes a standard. How can you have a 'better' moral standard, unless there is some scale to measure by? These arguments are notorious for lighting their own fuse.
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Re: "Natural" Evil

#26

Post by Jonouchi Katsuya » Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:55 pm

I find... what you guys have said to BigTop to be the exact reason why my husband became Atheist... it is immoral to attack someone in such a way... name calling... the hurt, the pain, the abuse...

Your guys's words against this person... have hurt me. I feel that pain... I feel it deeply. To read such things... makes me weep for humanity.
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Re: "Natural" Evil

#27

Post by Danieltwotwenty » Wed Aug 03, 2011 6:29 pm

Jonouchi Katsuya wrote:I find... what you guys have said to BigTop to be the exact reason why my husband became Atheist... it is immoral to attack someone in such a way... name calling... the hurt, the pain, the abuse...

Your guys's words against this person... have hurt me. I feel that pain... I feel it deeply. To read such things... makes me weep for humanity.
I have read the posts twice, i dont seem to find any name calling??
1Tim1:15-17
Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever.Amen.

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Re: "Natural" Evil

#28

Post by MarcusOfLycia » Wed Aug 03, 2011 7:02 pm

Jonouchi Katsuya wrote:I find... what you guys have said to BigTop to be the exact reason why my husband became Atheist... it is immoral to attack someone in such a way... name calling... the hurt, the pain, the abuse...

Your guys's words against this person... have hurt me. I feel that pain... I feel it deeply. To read such things... makes me weep for humanity.
I read the whole thread. I didn't see name-calling. He asked questions and made statements. Everyone else did the same. I didn't see him or anyone else being hurtful or abusive.
-- Josh

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1st Corinthians 1:17- "For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel””not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power"

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Re: "Natural" Evil

#29

Post by RickD » Wed Aug 03, 2011 8:07 pm

Jonouchi Katsuya wrote:I find... what you guys have said to BigTop to be the exact reason why my husband became Atheist... it is immoral to attack someone in such a way... name calling... the hurt, the pain, the abuse...

Your guys's words against this person... have hurt me. I feel that pain... I feel it deeply. To read such things... makes me weep for humanity.
To what words are you referring?
I didn't see any attacks on BigTop either. Could you please show us what upset you so much?
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

Kenny wrote:
"You don’t need faith, logic, reason, proof, or anything else to be atheist, all you need to do is reject what someone told you."



St. Richard the Sarcastic--The Patron Saint of Irony

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Re: "Natural" Evil

#30

Post by dorkmaster » Wed Aug 03, 2011 8:21 pm

If name-calling and verbal abuse is immoral like Katsuya says, and I would agree with that idea, then most atheists I know are immoral, and they see no problem with it.

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