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  Topic: Intelligent Evil, When one designer isn't enough< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
keiths



Posts: 2041
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 29 2009,01:21   

From the Christian Post:
Quote
Diseases: Creations of God or 'Intelligent Evil'?

PASADENA, Calif. – In recent years, Intelligent Design has made headlines in media outlets across the country.

The concept, which some have labeled “creationism in disguise,” asserts that "certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection."

Those Christians who support Intelligent Design, not surprisingly, identify that “intelligent cause” to be God.

But some would argue that such an association would then suggest that God designed viruses, bacteria, parasites and other harmful and destructive organisms that do nothing but bring disease and suffering to God’s creation.

Either that or they were simply errors in creation or creations with harmful flaws.

It’s an age-old question on a microscopic level – did God create the “tiny evils” that spread disease and death throughout the world? If so, then isn’t He to blame for mankind’s suffering?

One of the most influential missiologists of the 20th Century didn’t think so.

Dr. Ralph D. Winter, who recently died at the age of 84, had argued that all violent forms of life – including all disease pathogens – are the works of an “intelligent evil power” that seeks to destroy God’s creation.

“Evangelicals have recently stressed the inevitable intelligence and design in nature, but they have not, to my knowledge, attempted to suggest that there is evidence of any evil intelligence and design,” said Winter.

“Our theologies – that is, our formalized ways of attempting to think biblically – were hammered out during centuries that were totally blind to the microscopic world,” he added. “Our current theological literature, to my knowledge, does not seriously consider disease pathogens from a theological point of view – that is, are they the work of God or Satan?”

As a result, God has for far too long been taking the blame for Satan’s destructive works, Winter contended. And even Christians are confused over who is responsible for all the evil in the world, including disease and suffering. Some even claim that God wants diseases in the world.

“This is perhaps due to a theological tradition which does not understand demonic powers to have the ability to distort DNA,” he expressed...  [emphasis mine]


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And the set of natural numbers is also the set that starts at 0 and goes to the largest number.  -- Joe G

Please stop putting words into my mouth that don't belong there and thoughts into my mind that don't belong there. -- KF

  
didymos



Posts: 1828
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: June 29 2009,03:59   

Over on the UD Thread, I have suggested that Satan should now be called The Evil Designer (aka TED).  A TLA is over 9,000 times more sciencier (at least).  I'm also cool with "Megatron".

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I wouldn't be bothered reading about the selfish gene because it has never been identified. -- Denyse O'Leary, professional moron
Again "how much". I don't think that's a good way to be quantitative.-- gpuccio

  
midwifetoad



Posts: 3992
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: June 29 2009,05:44   

Pullman's Dark Materials posits that Jehovah is a poser, not the creator, but a regent who usurps the throne.

Hence the OT combination of superpowers and moral perversion exhibited in the Fall, the Flood, etc. Basically a James Bond megalomaniac with actual magic powers.

In the happy ending, Metatron (Jehohah) is overthrown, The Authority (creator) dies of old age, and all the dead souls are released from heaven, which is a kind of gulag.

Some thumpers were a bit put off by the fact that this was a popular children's book. They managed to kill off the movie series.

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Any version of ID consistent with all the evidence is indistinguishable from evolution.

  
didymos



Posts: 1828
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: June 29 2009,07:17   

Quote (midwifetoad @ June 29 2009,03:44)
Pullman's Dark Materials posits that Jehovah is a poser, not the creator, but a regent who usurps the throne.

Hence the OT combination of superpowers and moral perversion exhibited in the Fall, the Flood, etc. Basically a James Bond megalomaniac with actual magic powers.

In the happy ending, Metatron (Jehohah) is overthrown, The Authority (creator) dies of old age, and all the dead souls are released from heaven, which is a kind of gulag.

Some thumpers were a bit put off by the fact that this was a popular children's book. They managed to kill off the movie series.

Yeah, read those. It was a little different than how you've put it though:  Yahweh was The Authority, and he was simply the first angelic being to form (spontaneously, apparently). He later claimed to be the creator to secure his throne, and various religious texts like the Bible were more or less just political propoganda.  The Authority, having gotten a bit old and tired, appointed Metatron (who was once Enoch) as regent, after which Metatron covered up God's increasing senility, eventually locking him away in a box, and became the new, de facto Authority.  Also, the afterlife wasn't supposed to be heaven.  It was going back to ancient netherworld concepts like Sheol, Hades, etc. and everyone went there after death, bad or good or indifferent.  Oh, and after getting sprung, they just dissolved away into fundamental particles, basically.  Not exactly awesome, but much better than an eternity of numbing gloom.

Anyway, I really enjoyed the first two, but the last one was, well, preachy.  I quite dug the whole concept of God-as-False-God-usurped-by-yet-another-False-God, but as the final book went on I felt more and more like I was being lectured at and that Pullman was overindulging a bit with the whole "Take that, Christianity!" thing.  Later I found out it was more like "Take that, Chronicles Of Narnia...especially The Last Battle!" which is appropriate because the final Narnia book suffered from the same lack of subtlety and "author lecture" syndrome that the earlier books had kept much more in check (but still lapsed into now and then).

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I wouldn't be bothered reading about the selfish gene because it has never been identified. -- Denyse O'Leary, professional moron
Again "how much". I don't think that's a good way to be quantitative.-- gpuccio

  
midwifetoad



Posts: 3992
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: June 29 2009,08:24   

It's been a few years since I read it, so thanks for the corrections on character names. a trip to Wikipedia did not help. Their description seems more muddled than mine.

I agree that the last book got tedious. Better than LOTR, in my opinion. Too bad the books can't be made into movies.

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Any version of ID consistent with all the evidence is indistinguishable from evolution.

  
Bob O'H



Posts: 2132
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: June 29 2009,13:20   

Isn't what this guy is suggesting similar to some gnostic ideas?  The stuff that was heretical even before the split between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches.

I don't mean His Dark Materials, of course.

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It is fun to dip into the various threads to watch cluelessness at work in the hands of the confident exponent. - Soapy Sam (so say we all)

   
midwifetoad



Posts: 3992
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: June 29 2009,13:34   

The Pythons got it figured out.

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Any version of ID consistent with all the evidence is indistinguishable from evolution.

  
bfish



Posts: 267
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 29 2009,14:55   

Quote (didymos @ June 29 2009,05:17)
Later I found out it was more like "Take that, Chronicles Of Narnia...especially The Last Battle!" which is appropriate because the final Narnia book suffered from the same lack of subtlety and "author lecture" syndrome that the earlier books had kept much more in check (but still lapsed into now and then).

I recently read all seven of the Narnia books to my kindergartener. She was really into it. Had to be, because we're talking 750 pages, read aloud. Took us a couple of months. Lewis mostly spins a good yarn and writes well. Besides the apologetics, his other biases do slip in - like being universally disparaging of the boarding school with modern ideas he refers to as "Experiment House." I mean, it even is run by a woman! Eh - easy to think of him as being my grandpa, with the various biases he grew up with.
Anyway, yes, "The Last Battle" is a bit much, but I suppose it is pretty good apologetics, for those looking for apologetics. For my little one and I - we were just looking for a page turner.

  
didymos



Posts: 1828
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: June 29 2009,16:14   

Quote (bfish @ June 29 2009,12:55)
I recently read all seven of the Narnia books to my kindergartener. She was really into it. Had to be, because we're talking 750 pages, read aloud. Took us a couple of months. Lewis mostly spins a good yarn and writes well. Besides the apologetics, his other biases do slip in - like being universally disparaging of the boarding school with modern ideas he refers to as "Experiment House." I mean, it even is run by a woman! Eh - easy to think of him as being my grandpa, with the various biases he grew up with.
Anyway, yes, "The Last Battle" is a bit much, but I suppose it is pretty good apologetics, for those looking for apologetics. For my little one and I - we were just looking for a page turner.

Yeah, Lewis was definitely into tradition.  To be fair, he wrote the third one in 1950, so it's not that surprising.  I can't help but wonder  how those books would have changed had he written them after his marriage.

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I wouldn't be bothered reading about the selfish gene because it has never been identified. -- Denyse O'Leary, professional moron
Again "how much". I don't think that's a good way to be quantitative.-- gpuccio

  
didymos



Posts: 1828
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: June 29 2009,16:33   

Quote (Bob O'H @ June 29 2009,11:20)
Isn't what this guy is suggesting similar to some gnostic ideas?  The stuff that was heretical even before the split between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches.

I don't mean His Dark Materials, of course.

Kinda yeah.  Only the Demiurge was actually the creator of our universe, which was supposed to explain why it sucked so much.  On the other hand, Pullman was definitely cribbing from Gnosticism, even down to the False-God-hidden-behind-clouds imagery from The Apocryphon of John, and with Dust standing in for Sophia.

--------------
I wouldn't be bothered reading about the selfish gene because it has never been identified. -- Denyse O'Leary, professional moron
Again "how much". I don't think that's a good way to be quantitative.-- gpuccio

  
bfish



Posts: 267
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 29 2009,18:01   

Quote (didymos @ June 29 2009,14:14)
Yeah, Lewis was definitely into tradition.  To be fair, he wrote the third one in 1950, so it's not that surprising.  I can't help but wonder  how those books would have changed had he written them after his marriage.

Really? The White Witch? Jadis, Destroyer of Charn? Lady of the Green Kirtle?

I assumed he DID write it after he got married.


Ba Da Boom, etc etc.

  
someotherguy



Posts: 398
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 29 2009,20:22   

Quote (didymos @ June 29 2009,07:17)
Quote (midwifetoad @ June 29 2009,03:44)
Pullman's Dark Materials posits that Jehovah is a poser, not the creator, but a regent who usurps the throne.

Hence the OT combination of superpowers and moral perversion exhibited in the Fall, the Flood, etc. Basically a James Bond megalomaniac with actual magic powers.

In the happy ending, Metatron (Jehohah) is overthrown, The Authority (creator) dies of old age, and all the dead souls are released from heaven, which is a kind of gulag.

Some thumpers were a bit put off by the fact that this was a popular children's book. They managed to kill off the movie series.

Yeah, read those. It was a little different than how you've put it though:  Yahweh was The Authority, and he was simply the first angelic being to form (spontaneously, apparently). He later claimed to be the creator to secure his throne, and various religious texts like the Bible were more or less just political propoganda.  The Authority, having gotten a bit old and tired, appointed Metatron (who was once Enoch) as regent, after which Metatron covered up God's increasing senility, eventually locking him away in a box, and became the new, de facto Authority.  Also, the afterlife wasn't supposed to be heaven.  It was going back to ancient netherworld concepts like Sheol, Hades, etc. and everyone went there after death, bad or good or indifferent.  Oh, and after getting sprung, they just dissolved away into fundamental particles, basically.  Not exactly awesome, but much better than an eternity of numbing gloom.

Anyway, I really enjoyed the first two, but the last one was, well, preachy.  I quite dug the whole concept of God-as-False-God-usurped-by-yet-another-False-God, but as the final book went on I felt more and more like I was being lectured at and that Pullman was overindulging a bit with the whole "Take that, Christianity!" thing.  Later I found out it was more like "Take that, Chronicles Of Narnia...especially The Last Battle!" which is appropriate because the final Narnia book suffered from the same lack of subtlety and "author lecture" syndrome that the earlier books had kept much more in check (but still lapsed into now and then).

Agree completely.  The plot of the third book definitely suffered from the preachiness.

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Evolander in training

  
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