Sunday, February 25, 2024

Problem of Evil (PoE) solution, objections, and responses concerning slavery, “natural evil”, and objective morality from a debate with an atheist. I hope this is helpful.

The Biblical Christian answer to the PoE is simple: “All things work together for good for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

(Atheist dialog denoted with”>”)

Simply, what we perceive as evil is ultimately part of a good purpose.


The good purpose is that God (particularly Jesus Christ) is glorified and shares that glory with His people.


We know the reason. We know the objective. You may not agree with or accept it, but we have the answer to the PoE. For the Biblical Christian, it’s not a problem at all.


**Objections and responses**


>So, in the Christian worldview, there's objective good and objective evil. God is said to be all good, perfectly moral.


**Objection and response 1**


>I note that the Bible talks about how you can own slaves for life, and beat them.


>So that seems like a problem. Unless you're going to tell me that slavery is objectively moral within Christianity or something. But I don't think anyone wants to bite that bullet.


Plain reading of Scripture implies that being enslaved to a human to any degree (forced, indentured, or even voluntary) is not an ideal circumstance and should be avoided, but is a fact of human socio-economic existence.


God never endorses the practice of slavery. He only addresses moral treatment of slaves and consequences of violating it.  In fact, the consequences are so punitive, it actually seems to discourage taking slaves!


In fact, God prohibited chattel slavery through kidnapping:


Exodus 21:16

“Whoever steals a man and sells him, and anyone found in possession of him, shall be put to death.”


It is popular to contextualize slavery as a moral issue today, but there is no guarantee that society will not ever adopt it as an acceptable socio-economic practice again.


In fact, simple observation reveals modern society is rife with voluntary debt-slavery today. That is, I’m enslaved to work until I die because of my great debt - short of gaining my freedom by winning a lottery! Even then, I am not free from governmentally imposed tax-slavery!


We are all enslaved to something to one degree or another. 


**Objection and response 2**


>I also note, just looking around, that god doesn't stop evils caused by man, when he could easily do that. I've been told this is because of free will. Okay. Seems weird. I mean if we are supposed to value free will, and god is perfectly moral, and he doesn't interfere, then... Neither should we?


>If god is perfectly moral, and he thinks the correct thing to do is to let the rapist rape, don't interfere because free will is incredibly important and should not be interfered with, then


>Isn't that what people should do too? Don't interfere. Don't stop the rapist.


>But that doesn't seem great.


But He does “interfere”. He’s given us the moral law to temporally restrain and punish evil. He also “interferes” with the promise that temporal evil, short of gracious intervention, has eternal consequences. 


That’s why I support the death penalty for unrepentant and recidivistic murder and rape, btw, because I trust that promise.


**Objection and response 3**


>Further, I note that there seem to be really, really, really bad things that happen that no person is the cause of. Like a landslide destroying a school, killing all the children and teachers inside, some very slowly and painfully.


>No person caused this, its god's plan. God intentionally set this up to happen.


>I duno, if a person were to set off some charges on the side of a mountain in order to cause a land slide, to intentionally destroy a school and kill everyone inside, I would imagine that if morality is objective, this should be called evil. Yes?


>But for some reason if god does it, that's not evil? Its the exact same action, being taken intentionally.


“Natural evil”, just like any other perceived evil, is 100% under God’s sovereign control. You keep implicitly making a category error. If God *murdered* people, then He would be inconsistent. That is not the case, however. 


All humanity is under the curse of death as a component of judgement tied to original sin. We will all die. God is justified to apply the *death penalty* as He pleases irrespective of any circumstance, but each and every death is accounted for within His ultimately good purpose.


The Gospel offers hope to those that fear any evil:


“*All things* work together for good for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.”

Sunday, February 18, 2024

“The universe exists because it’s the only way it can exist”

This phrase, or variations of it, is starting to appear in debates with atheists.

This is a very unscientific statement. It ignores probability and science for special pleading.


No scientist looks at a functioning system and asserts “it works because it works”; that’s tautological.


That is, we have a good understanding of the variables required to have a universe like ours and what level of precision it requires to function. Therefore, it is reasonable to examine the likelihood of those variables converging from unguided processes into the finely tuned system in which humanity (and human consciousness; another highly improbable event!) exists.


A minor example is the probability of these words having appeared as a result of unguided processes. We know that likelihood is so close to 0 that there’s practically no difference, yet here they are! The only reasonable conclusion is that there is an intelligent cause for the coherent appearance, thus obviating all improbability.


God, as the intelligent designer and prime cause, made the anthropic universe’s probability 1 vs a number so close to 0 that it is practically indistinguishable from it. “It works because God made it work” (I.e., Creatio, ergo Creator) is therefore the only reasonable and evidential conclusion.

Sunday, February 11, 2024

Dr. Sweater, Christian apologist extraordinaire!


A new defender of the faith has joined the social media debate!

Dr. Steven Mitchell, aka Dr. Sweater, is a Christian author, award-winning international physicist, and tech entrepreneur. 


I highly recommend you check him out on TikTok!



Friday, February 9, 2024

Atheistic naturalists/materialists believe in miracles, even if they won’t admit it


Food for thought: The creation of the universe, abiogenesis, and the emergence of human consciousness are so staggeringly improbable and rare, they are logically and evidentially miraculous events.

Thursday, February 8, 2024

Apologetica - AI for apologetics!

If you have friends, family, etc with questions about the Christian faith, there is a new AI Bot that I think is a good resource. I talked with the developer and he seems to be well grounded and faithful.

Check this out on Poe: 
https://poe.com/Apologetica

Friday, January 12, 2024

One can logically and scientifically hold to the Biblical account of the Earth’s age

Christians are commanded to take every thought captive, so I developed a rationale that harmonizes young and old earth perspectives. This is intended to demonstrate an additional viewpoint for those seeking to reconcile scientific evidence while staying faithful to God's Word.

With the frame of reference and primary authoritative source of truth for reality as the Bible and modern science as a secondary source, I propose that there is empirical and scientific evidence supporting that the earth is both young and old, depending on the observer’s frame of reference.

I do not assume the present is the best interpretive framework for distant past events.

Personal experience has given me confidence in the trustworthiness of the Bible and that God is logically omnipotent and not bound by natural laws (supernatural).

The Biblical historical record evidence is that the earth is young, according to the frame of reference of the observer.

Modern science has provided evidence that time is relative to the frame of reference of the observer.

Modern scientific observations of the geological record indicates a geological chronological age of approximately 4.5 billion years old.

Modern scientific discoveries also support a young earth (e.g., DNA in fossilized dinosaur bones, polystrate fossils, etc.)

Conclusion: The historical observer experienced time at a different frame of reference during the Flood while the geological components of the earth were supernaturally chronologically accelerated, thus the earth can be logically understood to be both “young” in the Biblical frame of reference and “old” in the scientific frame of reference.

Thought exercise:

The geologic earth aged as naturalism predicts, it just processed at an accelerated time frame.

Some indestructible and immortal person standing underwater on the ground would observe time moving at a normal pace, therefore all the measurement systems modern science uses would be accurate.

On the other hand if someone on the surface of the water were able to look down to the ground below, they would see an incredible site of rapid geological change, because the inorganic components of the earth were being vastly and supernaturally accelerated - basically like hitting ultra fast forward on a video.

Organic material was not exposed to this process so it would not have degraded at the same rate. Thus, Dino-DNA in geologically old strata.

Naturalists, of course will reject this scenario, as they axiomatically reject the supernatural. There will therefore be no use case or evidence one could ever, ever, ever produce that they couldn’t rationalize away. Since they have no way of observing the past or duplicating the timeframe in a physical lab, they make up “just so” stories to fit their worldview based on their presuppositions.

In fact, the simulations that have been done using naturalistic assumptions basically illustrate my scenario. They don’t run the sim for 4.5 billion years, they artificially accelerate the time frame, just like God did with His divine Program. The frame of reference of the simulation observer is analogous to the Biblical observer’s.

This reconciliation allows the Biblical Christian to integrate modern scientific observations into our worldview without adopting materialistic naturalism’s presuppositions, which are essentially atheistic.

I think of myself as neither a Young Earth Creationist or an Old Earth Creationist, but rather a Biblical Science Creationist.

Sunday, January 7, 2024

Traditional Creationism Apologetic

Modern Biblical Christians are forced by popular culture to face this question:

Could God have created the universe using the natural (I.e., time, space, energy, and matter) processes He developed in a way that meets modern scientific observations and still aligns to the literal 6 day Biblical narrative?


Biblical Christians believe that God is, by inherent nature, logical but also not bound by natural human perspectives and wisdom.


1 Corinthians 3:19a

For the wisdom of this world is folly with God


Therefore, Biblical Christians have a responsibility to be skeptical of any scientific framework that implicitly or explicitly denies the Biblical Creator-God. Thus, we subjugate all scientific observations to the greater standard of Biblical Science. The branch of Biblical Science that deals with the observation and explanation of natural components is characterized here as Biblical Creation Science (BCS). 


BCS is essentially Natural Science with the foundational axiomatic assumption that all nature originates from an Intelligence best revealed in the Bible. BCS is contrasted with the currently reigning worldview of Atheistic Natural Science (ANS, my shorthand label), whose foundational axiomatic assumption is that creation is the product of non-intelligent random chance and the interaction of fundamental natural components (time, space, energy, and matter).


BCS assumes God is the transcendent Master Developer and that the Creation program deployment occurred in six 24 hour stages:


Day 1 - the introduction of natural components:


- The heavens (space) and the motionless watery earth (matter)

- A supernatural source of illumination (light) and starting the earth’s spin (time and energy)


Day 2: Earth’s atmosphere (ocean and sky)


Day 3: dry land, other water formations, and initial organic life (plants)


Day 4: the Earth-observable universe


Day 5: water and air based organic life


Day 6: land based organic life and the special creation of Man



Click image for larger graphic

Both BCS and ANS axiomatically assumes that, after the special creation event, natural laws generally progress in a uniform, steady and predictable manner. However BCS, unlike ANS, does not obviate miraculous events, such as the Great Flood and the resurrection of Jesus Christ.


Unlike ANS, BCS does not assume the present is the most trustworthy way of interpreting the past. 


An example of this is the assumptions of ANS cosmological, geological, and biological evolutionary theories which posit the necessity of homogenous uniformity of natural forces, particularly the requirement of the unchanging flow of vast quantities of time.


BCS assumes the natural component of time is malleable to God and the implicit/explicit assumption of homogenous steady-state time flow in all places and all times by predominant ANS evolutionary theories is false.


The Bible clearly states that human observations of God’s utilization of time are not perceptually equivalent (See Psalm 90:4, 2 Peter 3:8). And in Joshua 10 we are even given an example of God manipulating and slowing local time to accomplish His purpose while time progressed naturally external to the local area. The sun didn’t actually stand still, it was perceived that way by the local audience.


The Creation account is undeniably recorded from an “Earth local” perspective, so the unfolding of the observable universe would have looked like a 24 hour “fast forward” of the creation events outside that viewpoint. All natural components would have progressed in a way that meets current scientific observations, except the natural component of time was accelerated. Something very similar took place under the water cover of the Flood event to break up the monolithic land mass (I.e., Pangea) of Day 3.


This interpretive framework rebuts any argument that “the Universe is old or God is a deceiver” in favor of God being in full control of the natural forces He created as a part of His program.


God expects that Biblical Christians subordinate human wisdom to His Word. Therefore, we should subject all scientific observations and conclusions to this standard. 


In other words, when ANS frameworks contradict BCS, faithful Christians should develop explanations that align with the Bible first, man’s wisdom second. 


The universe is both old and young. It’s age is relative to the frame of reference of the observer.


Otherwise we are guilty of presuppositional capitulation.


God’s observations fundamentally shape reality. 


Man’s does not.


If you’ve found this to be compelling or helpful, please share!


Sister article here