Interesting subject. Most "scientific Darwinists" would object adamantly with being linked to "social Darwinists". The fact is that the vast majority of scientific Darwinists are not social Darwinists, and thank God for that. The problem, however, is that they should be. If they really truly believe what they claim to believe about God, man, and origins, then they should support Eugenics.They fact that they do not is proof that they know God, but suppress the truth in righteousness.
Sword and Puritan,Can you give grounds to your outrageous accusation that all of those who recognize the value of science are inevitably on the slippery slope to genetic puritanism?
"I implore Christians to be involved and seek fields (science,"I so agree with this. I only wish more Christians would go to legitimate, accredited, non-religious colleges and get biology and geology degrees. Then maybe the rest of you would listen to them when they came back and explained why creationism is not science.
And by the way, the Old Testament tells us that the first genetic puritans were the Israelites acting under orders from Jehovah.
skeptimal said: "Can you give grounds to your outrageous accusation that all of those who recognize the value of science are inevitably on the slippery slope to genetic puritanism?"Response: 1. No one said "ALL" of those who recognize the value of science will end up falling down the slippery slope. Note: PL stated "Most "scientific Darwinists" would object adamantly with being linked to "social Darwinists". The fact is that the vast majority of scientific Darwinists are not social Darwinists,"; I stated "Puritan, While I agree with you one hundred percent..." That's a FAR CRY from your accusation!2. While "ALL" will not fall down the slope, that still does not mean naturalism itself provides for a standard of values by which it may be determined that going down that slope is morally or ethically wrong. I'll provide you an example, but first, you tell me why (i.e., on what basis)humanity should not go down the slope.
skeptimal stated: "And by the way, the Old Testament tells us that the first genetic puritans were the Israelites acting under orders from Jehovah."Response: What's your point? (If it's addressing the activity of Israelites in obedience to God's declared will, they had an absolute standard to base their actions upon, something naturalists lack.)
Perfectly predictable, S - when you are faced with the rotten fruit of your worldview, start trying to smear someone else's. BTW - It was perfectly reasonable for the Israelites to follow the guidance of the immanent Creator concerning the disposition of His creatures. Eugenics is the sin of Man's pride proving out the truth of God's Word (see Romans 1)and is to the glory of Man -an abomination born as the rotten fruit from the poison tree of the evolutionary fairy tale. God's plan is for His own glory through the life, death, resurrection and glorification of the Son.His children benefit from His plan, even though we do not deserve it (see Roman 8:28).God's plan is based in love and purpose.Naturalistic evolution offers only abomination and purposelessness.All in all, a devil's bargain.
You have a point: I appreciate the recognition that not all who believe in evolution are eugenicists.“I'll provide you an example, but first, you tell me why (i.e., on what basis)humanity should not go down the slope.”There is a difference between believing in evolution and thinking that mankind understands our own wiring well enough to mess with it through eugenics. For every question science answers, it raises three more, so a great deal of humility is called for. Furthermore, there is evidence that diversity brings strength, in genetics as well as society. A mutation that might appear at first to be a weakness might later turn out to be a strength. Eugenics would narrow the genetic variance to artificial ideals, the impact of which can not be foreseen.
Response: What's your point? (If it's addressing the activity of Israelites in obedience to God's declared will, they had an absolute standard to base their actions upon, something naturalists lack.)Religion is not and has never been an absolute standard. All that is necessary for something to become a religious belief (and therefore beyond questioning) is for a significant number of people to become convinced that it is the will of one god or another. Appealing to the scriptures for absolute truth does not help your case, since the Bible is a self-contradictory document can be and has been used to justify all kinds of crimes and atrocities (slavery for one, off the top of my head).
Panto said: “Perfectly predictable, S - when you are faced with the rotten fruit of your worldview, start trying to smear someone else's. BTW - It was perfectly reasonable for the Israelites to follow the guidance of the immanent Creator concerning the disposition of His creatures.”No one has provided the logic behind assuming that a belief in evolution should result in genocide. And you yourself have admitted that it wasn’t a smear that the Bible includes genocide, and that this genocide was allegedly advocated directly by the god who is at the center of your world view. It is meaningless to say that gods can do what they want with their creatures, because you have no way of knowing whether something is the will of your god or not. And if you go by the scriptures, then you have plenty of “absolute” support should a significant group of you ever decide that another group of people should be murdered. Which world view has rotten fruit again?
S stated: "...For every question science answers, it raises three more, so a great deal of humility is called for. Furthermore, there is evidence that diversity brings strength, in genetics as well as society." Response: 1. Do not some believe that "less diversity" brings strength (get rid of the weak, etc., euthanasia, abortion, eugenics, etc.)? So, WHO is right, WHO will decide, and on WHAT BASIS/PRINCIPLES? (And will they be "consistent"? If "SURVIVAL" is the goal, then who DEFINES what survival means ( and both WHO and WHO is NOT INCLUDED? (Does "survival" alone provide answers for what that survival looks like? I think not.)2. Besides, as it comes to the issue of the "slippery slope", if there are those on BOTH sides, what's to keep the OTHER side from traveling down that path? YES, it can be a slippery slope, and the greater the technology and the greater the perceived advantages/disadvantages of choosing one path or another, the greater the temptation and likelihood of some going down that slope, especially given the variety of options, empowerment and opportunities to do so (and especially when more and more absolutes are denied and relativism is embraced!) One would have to be blind not to see this.3. Science is impotent in providing the ultimate answers/motivations. As has been pointed out before "Reason cannot establish values, and its belief that it can is the stupidest and most pernicious illusion." For the naturalist, the world is simply there, it does not provide humanity with a sense of "oughtness" (or "ought not-ness"). When contradiction or competition of values presents itself (especially when peace and recognition of the dignity of human life are not among them) naturalism (without an absolute standard) is impotent. As Sire points out "If a 'true morality' does not exist; objective secular ethics are impossible; therefore, life has, in a sense, no truth, and no action is objectively preferable to any other." James Sire is perhaps also right when he not only states that (1) problems on one level increase with global community (where we're forced to deal with values in conflict, & naturalists have no standard, no way of knowing "when peace is more important than preserving another value"), but (2) that as unbelievers (with the progression of worldviews) begin to distance themselves more and more from the remembrance and foundations of Christian Theism, we'll inevitably begin to see greater diversity when it comes to beliefs, values, and even conflict due to differing beliefs and values.
PL stated: "If man is merely a cosmic accident, and a product of "survival of the fittest", then why not help evolution along by getting rid of the "unfit"? Afterall, the natural world is quite cruel to the weak and disabled. Why do we, as a species, fight so hard against it? How much easier would life be if we only allowed the best and brightest to exist? As for "human rights", who cares? Accidental sacks of biocarbons do not have rights."That's quotable!
To my Request (... you tell me why (i.e., on what basis)humanity should not go down the slope.”S Responsed: There is a difference between believing in evolution and thinking that mankind understands our own wiring well enough to mess with it through eugenics. For every question science answers, it raises three more, so a great deal of humility is called for. Furthermore, there is evidence that diversity brings strength..."Response: So, given differing pieces of scientific evidence, differing values among humanity, differing motivations, etc., ... "HUMILITY" is the deciding principle upon which these decisions must be based??? ... and the principle which will keep naturalists from from heading down the slippery slope??? Suppose some believe with "humility" that while diversity can be an asset, that diversity should not include the weakest or unproductive, what then??? (Note - without the "endgoal" being defined, whose to say who is right? Is the goal of survival of the fittest that "all those who survive are the "fittest", or that by ensuring the "survival" of all we might ultimately become the "fittest"? Whose to say which couse is the correct one, or the better one - does nature??? ... and can science prove these things? I think not. And neither will "humility".)
PL: "If they (non-creationists) really truly believe what they claim to believe about God, man, and origins, then they should support Eugenics."PL: "Accidental sacks of biocarbons do not have rights." Sword: That's quotable!Panta: "Naturalistic evolution offers only abomination and purposelessness."Sword: "What sinful behavior will we (i.e., those evil non-creationists) make a genetic excuse for next?"This repeated focus on the imagined evils of naturalism makes me ask: do you believe in Christianity /creationism because there is evidence, or is it because you equate unbelief with evil?
Skeptimal: "This repeated focus on the imagined evils of naturalism makes me ask: do you believe in Christianity /creationism because there is evidence, or is it because you equate unbelief with evil?"Speaking for myself, I believe in God because his non-existence is impossible. Without God, there can be no intelligible experience, logic, natural law, or as we've been discussing, moral absolutes.Of course, there is no shortage of evidence for the Creator, but you deny these based on your own metaphysical presumptions. With the Christian, there is tons of experiential evidence, which you also would reject, though your own standard of evidence, without God, is also limited to personal experience. As far as the substance of this particular thread, the fact that most Scientific Darwinists don't accept Social Darwinism is evidence that they do know God. Otherwise, Social Darwinism is the only logical conclusion.
S stated: "This repeated focus on the imagined evils of naturalism makes me ask: do you believe in Christianity /creationism because there is evidence, or is it because you equate unbelief with evil?"Response: There's evidence both for Christianity AND that unbelief is a good bedfellow with evil.If one is opposed to God, who is truth and of a righteous nature, then what does that reveal and what kind of fruit does it produce?It doesn't matter if one denies the personal aspect and presence of God as in deism, or denies his truth altogether as in naturalism, or declares all is meaningless as in deism, or moves beyond these to then erect other false foundations such as "truth is relative" or "truth is what we determine" or "truth is arrived at through experience", etc., all will lead in some way or in whole to a false view of God and result in an errant view of the cosmos, an inaccurated view of history, a distorted understanding of meaning, purpose and life, a misunderstanding of man, and a defective view of ethics and morality. It should not surprise that such worldviews and positions are attractive and held by those who not only possess a sin nature, but live in denial of it.The good news is, God, being full of goodness, mercy and compassion has not left us alone in our delights and depraved and darkened situation, but pursues us for our own good, that we might have eyes to see and hearts to understand, and that is coming to realize our situation we might come to recognize not only how pitiful, wayward and unrighteous it is, but also that in understanding our inability to bring about or attain the redemption and change needed, that that too may be found and freely received in Christ, who not only died that we might justified but was raised from the dead that we too might live a new life in and through him. The condition of the world is similar to an illustration in Sire's book The Universe Next Door (a great book I highly recommend to you), which tells of a man who traveled past a guard but went back to tell the guard, "When you were looking the other way, I went past you... to which the guard did not respond. After a time the man thought and then asked, "then does your silence mean that its okay for me to pass... to which the guard did not respond." Such is the situation in the world today which if it recognized truth and law (i.e.) sin, could turn to a redeemer and find deliverance and salvation; but as it is, they are left simply with question and guilt (because though they know there should be a standand, their experience finds nothing but silence) and this guilt they can do nothing to remedy. Besides this, instead of objective law, they are lost in the sea of subjectiveness.Wake up, and see! Admit and turn from darkness and evil and from the ways that leave one without and without hope or certainty in the world. There is a way that leads to light, life, hope, truth and righteousness, and that way is found in Jesus Christ.
Puritan Lad said: "As far as the Eugenics argument, I have demonstrated why it is the logical conclusion of atheistic Darwinism." Seriously...I haven't seen an argument for this; I've only seen challenges from you to prove that it isn't so. You've obviously given this a lot of thought and are satisfied with the thinking you've done. Maybe this all looks self-evident to you, but I can't understand how you're reaching all these bizarre conclusions.I'm asking you to pretend it's actually possible for this spiritually deceived (if not consciously rebelling against god) mind to grasp the evolution-eugenics link and break it down for me. Hint: saying "how could you believe anything else if you believe in evolution" is not an argument.
skeptical stated: "Why can facts not exist if you're not a Christian?"Response: No one said they couldn't, but certainty of it is unattainable in the naturalistic worldview. It's a pathetic worldview that cannot even confirm whether there are facts and truth, and then must either (1) "borrow" from another in order for meaning to mean anything; or (2) to just have to "assume" they are true (though they cannot verify truth exists (or have rational grounds for it); or (2) suggest that it doesn't matter if there's ultimate truth or not, but that it just depends on what works for man, though it cannot prove subjective experience and/or pragmatic necessity (and solutions) equates to truth. Such positions are either based on thievery or prove logically inconsistent. (Aren't those impressive foundations?) It should not surprise us that in the handiwork of God, those who appear loudest in claiming "reason" and "logic" for themselves are the very ones who have no foundation when it comes to reason and logic. Again, is it reasonable to stand on a foundation that is not self-supportive but must itself be propped up, and then claim that foundation is one which possesses strength and should be fully trusted alone?In addition to the worldview itself being unable to support itself, the same can be said of its parts. For example, can naturalists prove we live in a closed system. One illustrated it this way, that if you live in a box, the only way you can tell if you're in a box is to possess the ability to look outside the box yourself or to have knowledge from another outside the box (i.e. revelation). Naturalists in a closed system cannot look outside the system. Likewise, if the mind is simply the function of a machine, whose to say the machine cares about truth. Think about matter itself, is there evidence that matter is based upon, upheld, or operates according to truth, or that it simply exists and perhaps works according to cause and effect (but if so, whose to say it's not illusion, even of the machine of the greater cosmos itself. And on top of that, even when it comes to things like evolution, which seeks to offer an explanation for "what" has happened over time, it does not or cannot explain "why"... so even if there is truth in this area, it is elusive and will not be found, for naturalists can neither look nor accept that which is beyond nature. Naturalism is a bankrupt worldview, that's why if one looks to history, it wasn't Christian theism or deism (i.e. those looking from the outside) that quickly led to its downfall into nihilism, but rather the logical inconsistencies within itself as well as the unappealing implications (i.e., natural ends) that result when one considers what consistency with this thinking leads to.In the midst of all this and at the same time, there's something within humanity and each of us that screams out "there is truth" and there must be, and that's because while we are fallen, God did not leave us totally destitute of all understanding, but provided that we might have enough not only to live, and be left inexcusable, but also to seek truth, which he has most clearly revealed in the face of Christ, who came (both through Word and presence) not only that truth might be known, but that we might be found in truth.
“skeptical stated: "Why can facts not exist if you're not a Christian?"Response: No one said they couldn't, but certainty of it is unattainable in the naturalistic worldview. It's a pathetic worldview that cannot even confirm whether there are facts and truth”You said a lot in these two short statements. First, you appear to be saying that naturalists do not believe that facts exist. This is not correct. Naturalists do believe that there are actual facts. At least, all of the ones I know myself believe that, and I believe it. If you don’t see *how* we can believe facts exist and not be certain of the existence of gods, then you still haven’t quite explained that.Second, what really seems to bother you is that naturalists are comfortable admitting that they as individuals may be wrong in their beliefs (although they don’t think so). It doesn’t mean we don’t find the facts critically important, but we think it’s better to have the humility to admit that later evidence may change our minds. This lack of certainty seems to be something evangelicals and fundamentalists (of all religions) can’t live with. Finally, I suspect that you are using the word truth to mean both “factual truth” and the concept of virtue or “goodness,” without distinguishing these two concepts. The question you seem to want to ask is “how can you have any values if you are not a Christian?” Am I wrong?Sword: “In addition to the worldview itself (naturalism) being unable to support itself, the same can be said of its parts…” You go on to say several different things, including that someone in a closed system can not understand the system it lives in without revelation, presumably supernatural revelation. That’s neither completely true nor completely wrong. We can learn about the world we live in up to a certain point, but there are limits to that. Knowledge itself, however, is not evidence of supernatural intervention unless you’re saying that every thing we learn in school is a miracle.“for naturalists can neither look nor accept that which is beyond nature.” That’s not an entirely accurate description of the situation. Many naturalists are open to those possibilities that have not been disproven, including the possibility of a god’s existence. What distinguishes naturalists from Christians is that when there is ample evidence that something in a faith is *not* true, naturalists *stop* believing it.I’m open to the possibility, for instance, that there is a supreme being. It’s an unlikely possibility, but it’s not been disproven. On the other hand, I’m *not* as open to the idea that a god named Jesus (who is his own father) created the world in both of the two conflicting orders of creation described in Genesis. I’m not as open to the idea that the same Jesus personally wrote an infallible, if self-contradictory, book in which he left out an important few billion years of the story just to keep us guessing. I’m not as open to the idea that Jesus used the book to cleverly disguise his omniscience, describing a model of the world that men would later find out was completely inaccurate. Can you at least imagine how one might question whether there is any truth to Christianity?
Correction - my first Response should be "No, I said naturalists (without borrowing or assuming) CANNOT be sure that facts exist..."... In other words, I do not argue that naturalists do not acknowledge facts, but I question their ability to logically prove facts exist given their worldview.
"I don't want to argue this too strongly, lest I convert some poor "Scientific Darwinist" into a "Social Darwinist"."Don't flatter yourself. :^)"Step 1 Premise: Evolution is True."Good so far.Step 2 Premise: Genetic Puritanism in Garden Vegetables is a good thing.Questionable as an absolute statement."Step 3: If Evolution is true, then humans are nothing more than accidental sacks of biocarbons, just like Garden Vegetables."(With apologies to the tree weeper from the other day) veggies are not self-aware and conscious. "Step 4: If Humans are just like any other living thing, then they should be treated just like Garden Vegetables."Absurd, and as noted above, ungrounded."Step 5 Conclusion: Genetic Puritanism in Humans is a good thing."I've actually responded to this statement elsewhere (I think more than once), but there are naturalistic reasons why genetic puritanism is undesirable.Sword: "Skeptical here (if he responds to this) must either place himself (or wake up and find himself) in the camp of nihilism or make a jump to atheistic existentialism... let's see which he does."When I was little I had a brother who used to like to do this too. He and his teenage buddies would talk about people who were in the room as if they had them all figured out. I gathered that it made them feel smarter, like adults. Trust me when I say this: I'm as impressed by your wisdom and intelligence as I am by any teenager's.
"Now there is an interesting approach from a naturalist."Your view of science, skepticism, and naturalism is more than a little skewed."1.) How does an atheist account for self-awareness and consciousness?"I'm not up on theories enough to summarize them with any expertise, but my understanding is that it is believe to have arisen from evolution."2.) So vegetables are not self-aware and conscious. So what?"I'm assuming that's a rhetorical question."3.) Flies are self-aware and conscious."Seem that way to you, does it?
"In that case why should these traits make humans more valuable than tomatoes?"For the same reason you pay more for a diamond than a piece of granite of equal weight. One of them is much harder to come by."PL: 3.) Flies are self-aware and conscious." Skep: Seem that way to you, does it?"PL: Well, every time I try to swat one, he tends to prove it."So you see the fact that a fly acts to protect itself as proof of self-awareness and consciousness. I don't think you'd find many people of any belief system who think a fly is conscious.
skeptimal stated: "For the same reason you pay more for a diamond than a piece of granite of equal weight. One of them is much harder to come by."Response: Follow this logic and some types of individuals are more valuable than others (and some are less valuable than others) based on their uniqueness (or lack thereof)? (i.e., since those with birth defects are less in number than those without (i.e. harder to come by), are they more valuable/fit?... and are those without deformities less valuable?; since there are less red heds than blondes, are blondes less valuable, etc.?)Try another rationale.Then answer, who is it that determines the rationale and on what basis? (i.e., is harder to come by - based on deformities, color of hair, or what?)
Skeptimal: "In that case why should these traits make humans more valuable than tomatoes?"For the same reason you pay more for a diamond than a piece of granite of equal weight. One of them is much harder to come by."Response: I don't know. Humans are quite popular. In fact, I see more of them every day then tomatoes.Skeptimal: "So you see the fact that a fly acts to protect itself as proof of self-awareness and consciousness. I don't think you'd find many people of any belief system who think a fly is conscious"Response: Would you like to ask scientists about that?Skeptimal, I think you are grasping at anything because you are starting to see the consequences of your worldview, one that cannot account for many of the things that your conscience knows to be true. What you have exhibited here is a knowledge of God. it is innate in every man up to a point, but it only renders him to be without excuse. Consider Christ.
"The fact that I’m not convinced by round after round of circular reasoning on your part is evidence (in your minds) that I’m resisting your inevitable correctness (and therefore your god’s will)."Sword responds: "Attempts to shift the emphasis to "us" rather than responding to the logic only shows resistance to reason and denial of truth on your part."Round and round you go. Heads you win; tails I lose.