Re: DuncanRyan

We do stumble over our words a bit, but that’s what beer does to you!

His comment:

Hope you don’t mind me commenting. If the Bible is truth (and I’m assuming you would require some convincing on that), then we have explanations for why the world is as it is. Namely, we are told that the world today is not how God created it, but because sin entered in, so too did death and the world has worsened ever since. Reading some of your thoughts I don’t get the impression that you need to be convinced that the world is messed up and only getting worse – this will be the case until the end of the age.

Anyway, sin enters in and makes human beings less than human (i.e. less than God created them to be) and as descendants of Adam and Eve we too are bound to sin. We have rational free-thinking minds in a manner of speaking, but in another sense we have no freedom from sin, we are slaves to it – it is all we can do naturally. The Bible tells us that God can have no part in sin and that he will judge sin. Therefore, by rights, he could judge us all and the requirements of his justice would be entirely satisfied and none of us could complain – we have sinned against a holy God, he has the right to judge. However, he has chosen to save human beings by offering his son to take the penalty for sin in their place, if they would repent of sin and submit to him (a penalty that otherwise we couldn’t satisfy, hence the eternality of hell).

You raise a very good point about the Aborigines (for example), but the Bible tells us that God has left no-one with an excuse: “since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse” (Romans 1:20). Moreover we’re told that something of God’s moral code is imprinted in the hearts of those who are separated from God’s revealed ‘religion’: “when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature the things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts…” (Romans 2:14-15). So far from God being evil in this regard, he has left every man without an excuse, made every man aware of their condition before their God – if mankind chooses to reject that, or hardens his heart to that, it does not make God evil.

The argument of ‘God made me gay’ is not one that stands up to much scrutiny. Whilst I do not doubt that those who are gay have, in a sense, a natural inclination to be attracted to members of the same sex, it does not necessarily mean that it is a morally right thing to do. We would have less difficulty in telling a kleptomaniac that he should resist the urge to steal, because stealing is wrong (“But God made me a thief…?). We would also (and I’m not saying that they’re on the same level, but the principle stands) say to a paedophile that his ‘natural’ urges and inclinations are morally wrong (“But God made me a paedophile…?”). Or someone who has a strong family history of alcoholism…and so on. A natural desire to do something does not make it a morally good thing to do. And God judging that which is natural to us does not make him evil, but should point us to see how far short of God’s standard of good we fall.

Lastly, the very concept of good and evil which you speak about, from where do these concepts come from? If there is no God and therefore no ultimate accountability for actions, who is to say that something is evil or something is good? In many ways being too good (say, for example helping the weaker members of society) might be seen as detrimental to the advancement of the species. I would put it to you that we can only have this concept of good and evil if there exists a higher moral authority – otherwise, what does it matter?

Sorry for the long-winded comment.

Duncan Ryan’s blog:

http://duncanryan.com/

11 thoughts on “Re: DuncanRyan

  1. Just one small comment to the above post…There was NO Adam and Eve. The science behind this is pretty conclusive. No Adam and Eve means there was no fall, therefore no need for Jesus. Christianity is presently scrambling for new apologia…

  2. Gentlemen,
    Firstly let me say a genuine thanks for taking so much time to try and refute my comments. I was somewhat surprised in the number of directions you launched into (who would have expected a refutation of Noah’s ark to come up?) but I think you’re still a little bit quick to dismiss some of the big issues. I am more than happy to discuss further any of the matters you raise (bats being birds, goats milk, insects on the ark, Conservatives destroying the planet or Adam and Eve) but I think perhaps we should try and stay on one or two subjects, and maybe add that by saying “science proves” or “science is pretty conclusive” actually proves nothing – if we have ‘proof’ then let’s produce it rather than merely allude to what we think is out there.

    Belief in the existence of God is neither foolish nor irrational. We live in a world which exists – this in itself provides evidence for God; the general consensus of science is that because the universe is expanding it is not something which has just always been there but rather had a beginning. If we concede the “Big Bang theory” for the moment (which seems to be astrophysicists best guess) why would it be rational to conclude that all of these things could spark into existence without some cause behind it? Why would it be rational to think that something materialised out of nothing? Moreover, one of the dimensions of this universe is time and so time must have commenced with the beginning of the universe. What sort of force could have brought these things into existence? One which is intelligent and one which is outside of time – sounds like a prominent Bible character to me.

    Moreover, anyone who has done high school biology knows the simple law of biogenesis. That is, life can only come from life. However, the atheist tries to convince me that it is rational to believe that life could come from no life…indeed that life could come from something which came from nothing. We have clever men like Francis Crick (co-discoverer of the structure of DNA) who, though an atheist, got around this biogenesis problem by proposing that aliens must have planted life on earth. I have also heard Richard Dawkins (another clever man) say that a “…civilisation evolved…to a very very high level of technology and designed a form of life that they seeded onto perhaps this planet. Now that is a possibility and an intriguing possibility and I suppose it’s possible that you might find evidence for that if you look at the details of biochemistry and molecular biology you might find a signature of some sort of designer”. This is one of the leading atheist thinkers who is so sure there’s no God, yet concedes that a higher life form may well have designed and put life on earth – makes me feel a little less irrational. What happens when we ask where the aliens came from?

    If I may, I’d also like to return to this concept of evil which you refer to a few times (because I think it’s related). The point I was trying to convey is that if there is no God, then there’s no such thing as evil because there’s no such thing as objective morality. If there’s no God, all our morality is subjective and is actually an illusion. If our morality is some product of evolution coupled to our social conditioning then nothing about our morality has any objective basis whatsoever. Some behaviours may be disadvantageous (from an evolutionary standpoint) but there’s no basis at all to say they are ‘wrong’ behaviours. Without God morality would be arbitrary – we’re just another species on earth but we have some delusion about concepts such as good/bad, right/wrong. However, I have yet to meet someone who believes that there is no such thing as objective morality; there are things which are always wrong (‘evil’ if you prefer). If there is such a thing as objective morality you have no choice but to accept that there is a higher moral authority.

    Thanks for reading and discussing.

    • ‘Belief in the existence of God is neither foolish nor irrational. We live in a world which exists – this in itself provides evidence for God.’

      If you use this logic, and think it is sound, then you would have to agree that because the sea exists then that itself is proof that Poseidon exists. Do you agree with this? If you don’t then you pretty much have to retract the previous statement.

      As for your arguments about biogenesis, just because there are many opinions on the matter (Such as Dawkins and Crick’s) does not make them cancel each other out; it does not make God to be the best answer. Science still has a long way to go, and to make up some reason as to why the universe was created such as God created it would be immature. Science is growing, not all the answers are there yet. The issue of the Big Bang will most likely never be resolved because we weren’t there to prove it. The reason scientists stick with the Big Bang theory is because by their calculations it seems very plausible; if you read about Hubble’s Law and other aspects, just do a Google search and find a trustworthy website on the issue.

      You act like Dawkins is our God, and because he has some outlandish claims and observations that the whole of science and arguments from non-believers are less credible. Personally, I don’t know enough about biology and science to say how life started; I’ll have to let someone else make that point.

      The reason we have things that are ‘wrong’ in the eyes of morality is completely up to society, so that is not subjective to us because things like killing for no reason are bad for society. It causes grief and fear in some, and anger for revenge in others. It could lead to more bloodshed and this would just be terrible for many aspects of that society. Therefore, the general consensus is that murder is wrong, it is morally evil, unless you’re killing someone who has killed others and has a high potential in killing more; killing him eventually leads to less bloodshed. Or of course just throwing him in prison, which I’m all for.

      We as a species know that murder is wrong, for the same reason as a child, if you bump your head on something and it makes you cry, you know that is a bad thing, and you know it would be bad to do to someone else. You most likely do it, but more out of curiosity to confirm that fact or because you’re a little dick a kid, like I was. Nevertheless, just because we weren’t handed down our morals from God doesn’t mean they are any less concrete, they come from the betterment of society. What constitutes evil is generally something that stands in the way of letting a society prosper evenly, or stands in the way of happiness for many, or some.

      Excuse my grammar or spelling, I literally just woke up!

  3. Hello Duncan Ryan, I hope you are well.

    You write:
    “…I think you’re still a little bit quick to dismiss some of the big issues. I am more than happy to discuss further any of the matters you raise (bats being birds, goats milk, insects on the ark, Conservatives destroying the planet or Adam and Eve)…”

    Lately the Bible has been taking some pretty big hits on some REALLY big issues. In the last few years various different sciences have falsified some of the foundational stories of the Torah (Old Testament). Just a quick rundown of what’s been revealed by science:

    * There was no Adam and Eve.–This one thing recently proved by DNA and archaeology is going to throw Christianity into chaos. If there was no Adam and Eve…there was no ‘Original Sin’…therefore no need for Jesus.

    * There was no Noachian Flood.—This was pretty much settled about a hundred years ago…the evidence is overwhelming.

    * There was no ‘Tower of Babel.—Humans have been spread all over the world for tens/hundreds of thousands of years. Evidence for this is also overwhelming.

    * There was no Exodus.—The Egyptians have no record of a million plus people suddenly leaving…thereby cutting the population of Egypt in half or more. There is NO archaeological record/evidence at all in the Sinai desert of a million plus people crossing and living on it for 40 years.

    * Joshua did not destroy the walls of Jericho…or capture and kill the king of Ai or any of the other cities mentioned in the Bible. Archaeology says the cities were gone before the time of Joshua—of course Joshua was most likely a fictional character like Moses.

    * Moses did not write the Pentateuch. This is something that Biblical scholars have been discussing for a hundred+ years…most don’t think he wrote it, nor was even a real person.

    You write:
    “Belief in the existence of God is neither foolish nor irrational…”

    I beg to differ with you. Belief in a ‘god’ who lives in the sky and watches over every living thing on earth and interferes in some magical way in the lives of people…but only in the beginning…you know…like when he was invented. A god who tells women how long they have to be separated when they are on their period or give birth…and other various sex related laws. A god who tells the Hebrews to commit genocide against tribes around them, to run pregnant women through the belly with swords, to pick up babies and bash their heads against a rock or wall. Belief in such a god…a god that in NO way can be proven…by any stretch of the imagination, is totally crazy and very irrational.

    By the way, what’s up with god’s deep obsession with men’s foreskins? To today’s atheists, anyone believing in any supernatural god-thing that cannot in some way proven is very irrational.

    You write:
    “We live in a world which exists – this in itself provides evidence for God”…And… why would it be rational to conclude that all of these things could spark into existence without some cause behind it? Why would it be rational to think that something materialised out of nothing? Moreover, one of the dimensions of this universe is time and so time must have commenced with the beginning of the universe.”

    And what did god materialize out of? What or Who made god? It is definitely not a given that god ‘always was’ That’s no more provable than the existence of god is.

    You write:
    “Moreover, anyone who has done high school biology knows the simple law of biogenesis. That is, life can only come from life. However, the atheist tries to convince me that it is rational to believe that life could come from no life…indeed that life could come from something which came from nothing.”

    As the late Carl Sagan said, “We are made of the stuff of stars.”—or words to that effect. 
    Every thing on earth…Everything…is made from star stuff. The stars and what they spew out are responsible for every mineral, rock, bug, humans, gas, liquid, vapor, etc., etc. we see and feel and handle and make use of.

    Humans have, without the help of ANY god, figured out the germ theory, thereby finding out how to heal diseases, something that ‘god’ didn’t feel we needed I guess. We have figured out electricity and electronics and figured out ways to make common sand into electronic devices that we can use to communicate around the world and into space, and make computers and thousands of devices that help us in our everyday lives.

    If you subscribe to the “god” thing then you have to wonder about a god who just makes an original couple and more or less leaves them and every descendant to their own devices. Never schooling humans one little bit in how to survive and prosper in a world that was full of deadly diseases and bloodthirsty monster animals, and evil humans even.

    However, we know now that real humans (Homo-sapiens) came about by evolution, in Africa, and were roaming around there about 200,000 years ago and eventually spread around the whole earth, displacing our predecessors and claiming the top dog slot. We now have blood evidence that some of our early ancestors mated with Neanderthals and spawned fertile offspring, thereby showing that we were related to all the early ‘Homo’s”, of which we are the last.

    You write:
    “The point I was trying to convey is that if there is no God, then there’s no such thing as evil because there’s no such thing as objective morality. If there’s no God, all our morality is subjective and is actually an illusion. If our morality is some product of evolution coupled to our social conditioning then nothing about our morality has any objective basis whatsoever. Some behaviours may be disadvantageous (from an evolutionary standpoint) but there’s no basis at all to say they are ‘wrong’ behaviours. Without God morality would be arbitrary – we’re just another species on earth but we have some delusion about concepts such as good/bad, right/wrong.”

    Nothing but empty words, your ranting about morality and how there isn’t any if there’s no god. Only around one third of the world population subscribes to your god notion, and they somehow get along just fine. The ‘Golden Rule’ is all that man needs to know and survive in this world…and no, god didn’t invent it.

    You write:
    “If there is such a thing as objective morality you have no choice but to accept that there is a higher moral authority.”

    Who needs a ‘Higher Moral Authority’? I/we always have choices.

    About the proofs you wanted to be listed Mr. Ryan. You can go to any college or university in the world (that is not run by religious orders) and check into their Archaeology, Paleontology, Geology, Biology, or any of the earth sciences classes or professors or the textbooks and the proof is there for all to see and learn. Fundamentalist religion doesn’t believe any of it…but, we can prove our position …and they can’t. All they have is an old book written by old goat-herders during the early Iron Age.

    My apologies to this blogs owner…I just couldn’t let Mr. Ryan’s–“Firstly let me say a genuine thanks for taking so much time to *try* and refute my comments.” Go by without putting my two cents worth in. I hope this is O.K.

  4. I miss-worded a sentence above: “Only around one third of the world population subscribes to your god notion, and they somehow get along just fine…should read: “Only around one third of the world population subscribes to your god notion, and the rest somehow get along just fine.”
    mea culpa.

  5. You’ll notice that there is a world of difference between the word EVIDENCE and the word PROOF. Moreover, I deliberately tried to keep to ‘big picture’ ideas and so when I say “We live in a world which exists – this in itself provides evidence for God” (N.B. ‘evidence’). Because the sea exists it does not provide ‘proof’ that Poseidon exists, but it does provide evidence that something caused it to exist. I’m not even getting so narrow as to speak about the God of the Bible here – all I’m saying at this point is that our existence is evidence of a force required to bring us into existence (that is still the case whether we hold to Big Bang or whatever our theory is).

    I can’t imagine anyone would uphold Dawkins as their god (not very easy to worship), but I’ve done exactly what you suggested. You say you don’t know enough about biology – well I’m letting the ‘experts’ talk. Such is the bizarre corner that the leading geneticist of his time and one of the leading evolutionary biologists of our time have backed themselves into they have to acknowledge a higher life form may well have originated and designed life on earth. Despite what ‘the word of me’ wrote there is still no conceivable way in which we can make life from dead matter without pre-programming some genetics. Moreover if we believe the first cell came to life in a primordial soup or whatever it was, then it should be a reasonably straightforward process to replicate – but no, all our complex equipment and experimental conditions and the best we can do is create a few amino acids. Again the only point I’m trying to make is that the existence of life on earth (whatever your theory of how it developed) could not have come into existence without a cause – thus we have EVIDENCE for a Creator.

    (I have to put in a quick aside, ‘the word of me’ was very bold in saying “You can go to any college or university in the world (that is not run by religious orders) and check into their Archaeology, Paleontology, Geology, Biology, or any of the earth sciences classes or professors or the textbooks and the proof is there for all to see and learn. Fundamentalist religion doesn’t believe any of it…but, we can prove our position …and they can’t.” Presumably by ‘fundamentalist religion’ he had me in mind. It certainly by no means makes me more ‘right’ or more worthy of being listened to, but I have obtained a PhD in Neuroscience and have worked in the research departments of a reasonably significant university (not run by religious orders) for a number of years. This has given me opportunities to read textbooks and listen to professors and this ‘proof’ that you speak of on these big issues has so far eluded me.)

    My point on morality is that assuming there’s no God (of the Bible or otherwise) then our morality is a human invention, entirely subjective and arbitrary. Please note, I in no way said that people who don’t BELIEVE in God have no morality, my point is that for OBJECTIVE morality to exist, a higher moral authority must also exist. That is simple reasoning which ‘the word of me’ has alluded to: “Who needs a ‘Higher Moral Authority’? I/we always have choices.” This is exactly my point, a truly atheistic stance would recognise that morality is only ever about human choices and is an entirely subjective thing.

  6. Hello thenighteyes,

    After yesterdays taking advantage of your blog, I thought I might ask this time. :-)

    Would you mind if I answer Mr. Ryan’s latest reply??

    Thanks, twom

    • Hey man, you’re welcome to respond, you don’t need my permission :)
      I welcome an open discussion with anyone, as long as they’re civil.
      I’m actually going to make another video in response to Duncan Ryan’s last response with my friend Greg again tonight. If you want to wait for that, then you can make your points/arguments with your perspective or things we missed out on.

      Cheers!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s