Is Dog Fighting Evil?

One of the major stories this week has been the indictment of Michael Vick, star quarterback of the Atlanta Falcons, for involvement with dog fighting. Allegedly, Mr. Vick has been involved in an activity that pits one dog against another in a fight to the death. The cruelty and violence is abhorrent to most civilized people. The outcry for the NFL to punish Michael Vick has been tremendous this week and several of his sponsors have dropped him.

I have a question for Christians. Do you find Michael Vick’s alleged actions reprehensible? If so, how do you justify the creation of a world by your God in which animals fight to the death and eat each other as a necessary part of their existence? Perhaps, Mr. Vick is just trying to imitate God.

65 comments:

lildette4life said...

I read that Vick also put shards of glass in their fur and sharpened their canines to a point prior to the fight.

In nature, animals just don't fight just for fun.

And ... I'm sure that Christians would use the "damnation of all creation due to Eve eating that fruit" excuse for all the ills on earth.

linkslade said...

Do I find the acts reprehensible? No. Dog fighting is abhorrant to man. Your right when you say that nature has a cruel and ugly side but it is the way God set it up (after sin entered the world). Before sin entered the world there was no malice (between man or animal). Lions laid down with deer and so forth. Do I believe what he did was wrong? Yes. In Romans 13 v. 1 it states "Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequetnly, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgement on themselves". That pretty much says obey the law of your government or you will be subject to it's justice. Now I already see the follow up question of "What if your government tells you that evangalism for Jesus is against the law? If God sets up governments why are so many corrupt?" Well in Colossians 3 v. 23 is says "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for his wrong, and there is no favoritism. Masters, provide your slaves with what is right and fair, because you know that you also have a Master in heaven." (If I mispelled anything I apologize). My thoughts on those passages are this, God set the government up to assist us and to give us further instructions for life (both from past times until present times). If God had to give us instructions for every different living condition through out the centuries then I suppose the book would not fit in a thousand libraries. Preach the word and witness for Christ Jesus. If the law says it's wrong than continue to preach the good news knowing that your justified through Christ Jesus and have a reward in heaven. Remember there are Christians, atheists, catholics and others in government positions trying to do what they believe to be right. Sometimes Christians suffer (under governments and others) to win souls for Christ. I'm getting way off topic here so I'll leave it at this, Philippians 2 v. 10 "that at teh name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father". Besides, death answers all questions.

Roger said...

God did not create a world like this, where there is terrible suffering, death, and disease. Every human being is responsible for corrupting this once perfect world. It is a curse (not damnation) that the world is under for our (me, you, your neighbor's) actions. That is where the good news comes in. Since sin (rebellion) results in death, God sent his only, perfect, sinless son to bear all of our sin for us. In our place. He died so that we didn't have to. By raising from the dead, he defeated sin and death because we could not do it on our own. All you have to do is believe.

People often forget God is just . What does that mean? It means that rebellion is a punishable offense. We should be grateful that God provided a way that we can reconcile with him. How do we do that? Believe!

Why does the world still suck after God saved us? Well, God does not force us to believe or obey him. Every human can reject him, his laws, his story, and his morality. That is why sites like this one are up. That is why there is starvation, murders, suffering, and all other evils in the world.

Read "Why does God’s creation include death and suffering?" at http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2006/death-and-suffering.asp

or "Here’s the Good News"
at http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/gospel.asp

More questions about Death and Suffering?
http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/faq/death_suffering.asp

The Bible is morally bankrupt?
http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/feedback/2004/0702.asp

Here is another interesting article:
"Those attacking Christianity sometimes point to the many religious wars and atrocities perpetrated in the name of Christ and the Church. They forget that not everyone self-labeled ‘Christian’ truly follows Christ"
Read more at:
http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v20/i3/blood.asp

There was a debate that followed this article, and that is at
http://www.answersingenesis.org/Home/Area/feedback/2005/0204.asp

So…what did Christ teach?
One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?"
"The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: … Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these. (Mark 12:28-31)

Mark F. said...

It's obvious you Christians have no good answer for this one. Why should innocent animals have to suffer because of man's faults? Makes no sense.

Lee Randolph said...

Hi Linkslaid and Roger,
Do I find the acts reprehensible? No......Do I believe what he did was wrong? Yes.
Thats just weird.

I am going to stipulate for a moment that the story of Adam and Eve is true.
God made the world, he put the snake in it. It was the most crafty beast of the field. It had access to the Garden and Eve.
Was the snake not sin incarnate? He made it put there at the same time as Adam and Eve.
Eve listened to the snake and fell for it. Sure she disobeyed god, but what did she know about the serpent, or God? Can we say she understood fully the consequences? I'd say not since only after eating the fruit of the tree 'their eyes were opened'. Poor adam didn't have a chance, he was the victim, he trusted Eve.
She and every woman after her got punished with pain in child birth and every man after got punished with toiling on the land.
And the animals get punished by having to prey on each other. So why is the 'preying' so one sided? A rat has a horribly extreme disadvantage compared to a lion.

So in this comedy of errors, can you tell me by what principle the rest of us should be punished? Should we keep generations of people in prison serving the sentence for the original perpetrator? Should you or my son be punished if I go shoplift at barnes and nobles?

and by principle should the animals be compelled to fight and feed on each other because of human stupidity?

there are many examples of animals and 'extremeophiles' and other organisms that do not need to feed on flesh, and in some cases plant. Whats up with them? Are they exempt from the punishment? Did god miss them? There is a bacteria that lives in gold veins that gets nourishment from radioactivity.

And, stipulating that the story of jesus is true, by what principle is it justified to take a 100% man, put 100% god in him, nail him to a cross to reconcile the sins of the previous and present world population? The only one getting hurt there is the 100% man, just before death 100% God bails out and he's just 100% Man mutilated, stabbed and hanging from a cross, crying out for his god not to forsake him, for doing something that he was compelled to do. God didn't just crucify himself, he crucified a human being that was possessed and compelled to act in a way that got him crucified. And then I had to look at that horrible statue every sunday and wonder why I didn't feel glad or want to praise god for it.

Jesus' purpose from the beginning was to do what he did, so he was a 100% man without a choice. The punishment for adam and eve was not enough? God had to set up the circumstances to have 100% man with no free will to be humiliated, tortured and killed to reconcile a stupid mistake made by people that hadn't 'had their eyes opened' yet.

Where is the justice?

and another thing, for a god that supposedly has no bounds, these little tragedies sure do seem to show that there are limitations to god. Just the fact that they supposedly happened at all, we can infer that things don't add up.

So yes, dog fighting is bad (unkay?), and they wouldn't act that way if it wasn't for people, but don't try to justify predation using the one single choice made by two ignorants when they were outsmarted by a supernatural being a few thousand years ago because it just doesn't add up.

linkslade said...

Ok. This is the last post for this topic since I've already said my peace. When you quoted me I guess I should give you a little bit of my background. I see reprehensible acts all the time. I'm a police officer so I'm subjected to crimes more heinous just about daily. It's not weird I'm just used to seeing things harsher than that. I'll be praying for you and people of your beliefs before I will be praying for the expedited healing of fighting dogs. I consider your salvation paramount over suffering animals.

With Love,
Psalms 9 v. 1 & 2

Christopher M. Jourdain said...

I think a thing that Christians really need to explain is why evil can't simply be a matter of negative practical consequences. God should have the punishment of our freewill actions simply be the consequences of our freewill actions. There is no need for all of this natural evil (such as earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes etc.) in addition to the brutal Darwinian natural behavior of the animal kingdom since we by ourselves are perfectly capable of causing horrendous evil.

Some argue that all of this natural evil is to help build character because we are forced to deal with adversity. But this makes the original sin story nonsensical. If such evils are necessary for character development then why create an initial perfect state? If there is no initial perfect state then Christianity collapses since we've started out with imperfect natures through no fault of our own.

Former_Fundy said...

Let me make clear that I find dog fighting reprehensible. I am a dog lover and an animal lover in general. My point in the post was that while many condemn dog fighting (and rightly so), few seem to have a problem with cruelty in nature. And for Christians nature was designed by God. I mean, after all, we unbelievers are supposed to look at nature and realize there is a God--right?

Animals in nature are forced to fight for their survival. They have no choice unless they want to die.

Young Earth Creationists such as those at Answersin Genesis will maintain that its all man's fault. God did not create the world this way and when the literal Adam and the literal Eve ate the literal fruit, violence, cruelty and death were the consequences.

My queestion to them is why are the animals being punished for man's sin? What did they do to deserve such cruelty?

And not only does this violence take place on a daily basis in nature but God even instructed "his people" to slaughter animals daily in the OT. The Jew certainly had no problem slitting the throat of a live animal and letting its blood run all over the temple floor. Civilized people today find this reprehensible.

Now for the Old Earth Creationists, violence and death are a necessary part of nature and must have been part of God's design. There is no way around it.

Stu said...

Roger if this world is cursed, who cursed it? God? So how are we responsible for something God chose to do? As you said, it's not damnation, it's a curse. God could have chosen not to curse the earth, or at least not the animals.

Also how is it a result of your or my actions? The world was already cursed before we were born. It's got nothing to do with you or me. Or the animals.

Michael Ejercito said...

Whatever God does is right by virtue of His absolute power and absolute sovereignty. He is Lord of Lords and King of Kings; He does as He pleaseth and He is subject to no one.

Michael Ejercito said...

God should have the punishment of our freewill actions simply be the consequences of our freewill actions. There is no need for all of this natural evil (such as earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes etc.) in addition to the brutal Darwinian natural behavior of the animal kingdom since we by ourselves are perfectly capable of causing horrendous evil.
There is no need for earthquakes, tsunamis, and hurricanes.

God chose for the Universe to work that way from the start; deal with it!

Roger said...

I am going to stipulate for a moment that the story of Adam and Eve is true.
God made the world, he put the snake in it. It was the most crafty beast of the field. It had access to the Garden and Eve. Was the snake not sin incarnate?

The serpent was a temptation. Adam and Eve could have very well said no or ignored it.
He made it put there at the same time as Adam and Eve. Eve listened to the snake and fell for it. Sure she disobeyed god, but what did she know about the serpent, or God? Can we say she understood fully the consequences? I'd say not since only after eating the fruit of the tree 'their eyes were opened'. Poor adam didn't have a chance, he was the victim, he trusted Eve.
Yes, both of them knew the consequences for eating the fruit of the tree. God said “but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die." Genesis 2:17. The statement “their eyes were opened” meant that their minds were opened to the knowledge of good and evil. That means that they made themselves judges of what is evil and good, instead of God. Adam knew full well that he “must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”

She and every woman after her got punished with pain in child birth and every man after got punished with toiling on the land. And the animals get punished by having to prey on each other. So why is the 'preying' so one sided? A rat has a horribly extreme disadvantage compared to a lion.
I don’t exactly understand what you are getting at here. The world is under a curse, and violent animals are a symptom of that curse. Paul wrote in Romans that “We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth” as a result of sin and this curse.

So in this comedy of errors, can you tell me by what principle the rest of us should be punished? Should we keep generations of people in prison serving the sentence for the original perpetrator? Should you or my son be punished if I go shoplift at barnes and nobles? and by principle should the animals be compelled to fight and feed on each other because of human stupidity?
You are confusing Original and Actual sin. Original sin is the sin that every human is concieved and born with. We inherited it from our parents all the way up to Adam and Eve. Actual sin is the action, meaning the sin that we do every day; if it is not in action, then it is in word, if it is not in word, then it is in thought. When Adam and Eve had children, should they have been born sinless, even though Adam and Eve were sinful? That doesn’t make sense.
Again, the world is under a curse, and violent animals are a symptom of that curse.

there are many examples of animals and 'extremeophiles' and other organisms that do not need to feed on flesh, and in some cases plant. Whats up with them? Are they exempt from the punishment? Did god miss them? There is a bacteria that lives in gold veins that gets nourishment from radioactivity.
I don’t really understand this point either. Are you thinking that the “punishment” of the animals means that they must always attack and be violent? Perhaps I could help by defining what this curse is. The curse could be described that God withdrew some of His sustaining power. Everything is running down because of sin. God has given us a taste of life without Him—a world full of violence, death, suffering and disease. If God withdrew all of His sustaining power, the creation would cease to exist.
This comes from:
http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2002/death_suffering.asp
Will you please read the article this time?

And, stipulating that the story of jesus is true, by what principle is it justified to take a 100% man, put 100% god in him, nail him to a cross to reconcile the sins of the previous and present world population?

Jesus, from the time of his conception and birth, was, and has stayed 100% God and 100% Man. He is God. He is God who has has no beginning and no end. God did not randomly pick a Man and put himself inside. God humbled himself and became a Man.

The only one getting hurt there is the 100% man, just before death 100% God bails out and he's just 100% Man mutilated, stabbed and hanging from a cross, crying out for his god not to forsake him, for doing something that he was compelled to do. God didn't just crucify himself, he crucified a human being that was possessed and compelled to act in a way that got him crucified. And then I had to look at that horrible statue every sunday and wonder why I didn't feel glad or want to praise god for it. Jesus' purpose from the beginning was to do what he did, so he was a 100% man without a choice. The punishment for adam and eve was not enough? God had to set up the circumstances to have 100% man with no free will to be humiliated, tortured and killed to reconcile a stupid mistake made by people that hadn't 'had their eyes opened' yet.

I have no idea where you got this story from. It is certainly not biblical. Jesus is 100% God. We read this in Philippians 2:8 “And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross!” What does it mean to humble himself? It means that he did not always or fully use his divine power. If you did a real bible study on Holy Week, you would find that Jesus willlingly laid his life down. He could have stayed silent when Caiaphas asked him "Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?" He could have performed a miracle for Herod. Jesus had just healed a soldiers ear, why didn’t he do something then? He did all of this because he loved you, your family, and your neighbor.

The curse is a result of the rebellion in the garden. The curse does not reconcile people to God. Only belief in Jesus Christ, who willingly bared the sin of the world. Most people do not understand that the beatings and whippings and insults were not the punishment. While Jesus was on the cross, God forsook him (he was experiencing hell on earth). We cant comprehend that because we can’t “see” it happen. By going through what he did, anybody confesses with their mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believes in their heart that God raised him from the dead, will be saved.

Read Is “Jesus Christ the Creator God?” at
http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v13/i3/creator.asp


Where is the justice?

You are correct. It is completely unfair that a 100% perfect Man suffered in your place.

and another thing, for a god that supposedly has no bounds, these little tragedies sure do seem to show that there are limitations to god. Just the fact that they supposedly happened at all, we can infer that things don't add up.

I can see that you are still blaming God. You are pointing your finger in the wrong direction. Turn that finger right around and point it at yourself and ask for forgiveness. You may not have been directly involved with this specific incident, but every human being is accountable to the one and only triune God.

So yes, dog fighting is bad (unkay?), and they wouldn't act that way if it wasn't for people, but don't try to justify predation using the one single choice made by two ignorants when they were outsmarted by a supernatural being a few thousand years ago because it just doesn't add up.

How do you know that dog fighting is bad? Under what standard of good and evil do you think that dog fighting is bad? “But if we are simply evolved pond scum, as a consistent atheist must believe, where can we find an objective standard of right and wrong?

Our ideas of right and wrong, under this system, are merely outcomes of some chemical processes that occur in the brain, which happened to confer survival advantage on our alleged ape-like ancestors. But the notions in Hitler’s brain obeyed the same chemical laws as those in Mother Teresa’s, so on what grounds are the latter’s actions ‘better’ than the former’s? Also, why should the terrorist attack slaying thousands of people in New York be more terrible than a frog killing thousands of flies?”
Read more at
http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2002/death_suffering.asp

Again, they were not oustmarted by God. He gave them a stern warning: “but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die." We are a special creation of God. Man is God’s masterpiece—His workmanship, the crown of creation. Why would he outsmart them? That is not consistent with God of the bible.

Qalmlea said...

If god is all-powerful, why could he not "withdraw sustaining whatsis" from just humans and leave the animals in peace? If god is incapable of this, he is not all-powerful. If god is capable of this, he chose to curse the whole world and not just humanity. The original question, "What did animals do to deserve to be cursed?" stands.

David Kear said...

Your original questions, though they are good questions, are not ones available for you to ask, rationally speaking. If there is no objective standard of morality then nothing is reprehensible. There can be no obligation to chance or impersonal laws.

The much better question is how can you ask a question using words and concepts that are paramount to fairy tales in your worldview? You may as well have asked if I believe it was reprehensible that Jack and Jill went up a hill. The question is totally absurd within your worldview.

Or better yet, Atheists, Do you find Michael Vick’s alleged actions reprehensible? If so, how do you justify your findings in a world with no objective standard for morality?

DK

Michael Ejercito said...

God has given us a taste of life without Him—a world full of violence, death, suffering and disease. If God withdrew all of His sustaining power, the creation would cease to exist.
So then the world was filled with immortal bacteria ?

How did Adam and Eve eat anything before the Fall. If they wanted to eat a berry, they would have to digest the cells of the berry. But if the berry is immortal, how can it possibly be digested?

Christopher M. Jourdain said...

Michael: "God chose for the Universe to work that way from the start; deal with it!"

So whatever God chooses is good? Then there is no such thing as morality only obedience.

Roger said...

Michael Ejercito,

So then the world was filled with immortal bacteria? How did Adam and Eve eat anything before the Fall. If they wanted to eat a berry, they would have to digest the cells of the berry. But if the berry is immortal, how can it possibly be digested?

This is explained in this article:
"Do Leaves Die?"
http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v1/n2/do-leaves-die

But, since nobody seems to read these articles, I will post a summary.

What is the difference between plants and animals or man? For the answer we need to look at the phrase nephesh chayyah. Nephesh chayyah is used in the Bible to describe sea creatures (Genesis 1:20–21), land animals (Genesis 1:24), birds (Genesis 1:30), and man (Genesis 2:7).3 Nephesh is never used to refer to plants. Man specifically is denoted as nephesh chayyah, a living soul, after God breathed into him the breath of life. This contrasts with God telling the earth on Day 3 to bring forth plants (Genesis 1:11). The science of taxonomy, the study of scientific classification, makes the same distinction between plants and animals.

Plants were to be a resource of the earth that God provided for the benefit of nephesh chayyah creatures—both animals and man. Plants did not “die,” as in mût; they were clearly consumed as food. Scripture describes plants as withering (Hebrew yabesh), which means “to dry up.”2 This term is more descriptive of a plant or plant part ceasing to function biologically.
(later on)
Since decay involves the breakdown of complex sugars and carbohydrates into simpler nutrients, we see evidence for the Second Law of Thermodynamics before the Fall of mankind.4 But in the pre-Fall world this process would have been a perfect system, which God described as “very good.”

Again, read more at http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v1/n2/do-leaves-die

Roger said...

Christopher,

So whatever God chooses is good? Then there is no such thing as morality only obedience

God is intrinsically perfectly good, and obedience to God's will is morality.

We see this in Mark 12:28-31. Remember, Jesus is 100% God.
"One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?"

"The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'There is no commandment greater than these.""


For everybody:
Please note that “simply not believing in God” is no minor infraction. No greater crime has ever been committed than to deny the existence of the Creator of all things or to not worship Him with obedient faith. We have all broken His moral laws written on our hearts and in His Word, and we have done so uncountable times. Such unbelief is inexcusable rebellion and treason against the King of heaven and earth, who has given overwhelming evidence of His existence and nature through His creation and through our conscience (Romans 1:18-20, 2:14-15). Our sin is against the highest Being and, therefore, is the greatest crime. That is worthy of the severest punishment.

http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2007/05/25/feedback-is-god-good

This, again, is where the good news comes in that I wrote about in my first post. That even though we messed up, God provided a way to reconcile with him through his son.

Roger said...

Are you implying you have a higher standard of morality than God?
God said: "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:9
http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2007/05/25/feedback-is-god-good

Here is another interesting read:
Why is there death and suffering?
http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2002/death_suffering.asp

Mark F. said...

"You are correct. It is completely unfair that a 100% perfect Man suffered in your place. "

Oh, he suffered one day of pretty bad torture. Big friggin' deal. Lots of humans have suffered a lot more than that.

Christopher M. Jourdain said...

Roger: "God is intrinsically perfectly good, and obedience to God's will is morality. "

When you that God is intrinsically perfectly good, aren't you merely saying that God agrees with his own rules? But how is that a definition of "good?"

Roger said...

Chris:

When you that God is intrinsically perfectly good, aren't you merely saying that God agrees with his own rules? But how is that a definition of "good?"

No. God IS good. By nature, he is perfect. He does not create rules for himself and obey them. He creates rules for us and has given us morality, and it is up to us to accept or reject.

The only reason you can even begin to understand the definition of a “good” life is because you have accepted (to some extent) the biblical view of morality.—the morality given by the very God you are questioning. And the Book that has given you a standard of goodness says that there is no other name under heaven by which men can be saved (Acts 4:12), and that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life—no one comes to the Father except through Him (John 14:6).

Imagine a world in which there was no god who had given us an idea of what justice is. Everyone would do what his own collection of atoms in his brain told him to do—be it murdering someone who got in his way, or taking food from someone who had more than he did. And why would the collection of atoms that compose my brain be any better at determining what is “right” than the next person’s?

from http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2007/05/25/feedback-is-god-good

Michael Ejercito said...


So whatever God chooses is good? Then there is no such thing as morality only obedience.

Morality is obedience to God. Immorality is disobedience to God.

When you that God is intrinsically perfectly good, aren't you merely saying that God agrees with his own rules? But how is that a definition of "good?"
The reason God is intrinsically good is that He defines good. Saying that God is good is saying that He has absolute power over what is right and wrong.

http://nasb.scripturetext.com/revelation/20.htm


11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

So you see, the reason God's definitiion of right and wrong supersedes ours is because He can cast us into a lake of fire, where we can be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and the Lamb of God, where the smoke of our torment can arise forever and ever, and we can not have rest day nor night. We can not cast God into the lake of fire, or even stop Him from casting anyone else into the lake of fire. His might makes right.

Roger said...

Mark:

As I said before, he suffered hell on the cross. There is nowhere worse to be. Jesus, God himself, was in anguish (extreme mental distress) about that before he was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane. He suffered hematohidrosis, which is sweating blood. It occurs when a person is suffering extreme levels of stress. He knew what was going to happen to him. Was he worried about the physical aspect, the beatings, whipping, crucifiction? Probably. Was he worried about what he was going to have to endure on the cross (hell on earth)? Yes he was, a whole lot more than the whippings .

Jesus himself said this: "Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell." Matthew 10:28

Jason said...

What a bizarre topic. Surely there are more effective ways to "debunk Christianity".

Christopher M. Jourdain said...

Roger: "No. God IS good. By nature, he is perfect. He does not create rules for himself and obey them. He creates rules for us and has given us morality, and it is up to us to accept or reject."

What if I were to define good as simply promoting happiness and the absence of suffering as well as love for others and oneself?

You may argue "But what justification do you have for viewing such things as good?"

I would argue that I have no more justification than you have for your belief that God must be by definition good. WHY must a being just because he is omniscient and omnipotent be by definition good? Why can't I argue that those things that I mentioned are by definition good? Why do I need a God to tell me that they are good?

You may argue "But what if someone were to disagree with you?" Then my response is simply: "But what if one were to disagree that God is by definition good?" And if you say: "But it's a fact" my response would be "How does one argue that it is a fact that God is by definition good?"

How can one argue that God is by definition good without it being a mere assumption? If I can use the word "good" to describe the values I wish to promote independent of whether or not God exists, the statement "God IS good" becomes superfluous, it would only make sense based on the values I would already wish to promote. But if I can only make sense of the statement "God IS good" based on the values I promote, then I don't need "God" to clarify my concept of "good"

You may argue: "But isn't this moral subjectivism?"

My answer is both yes and no. Yes because I can only hold my values if I care about them. And no because our natures are similar enough where we hold many similar values (if our natures were not similar enough the existence of God wouldn't matter anyway). Our morals are objective in this sense because we can objectively identify our needs and act accordingly. It is true that we can decide to go against our needs (emotional and physical) but we could also do that even if there were a God. The basis of morality doesn't need to be any more fundamental than deciding to care. We either care about love and happiness for ourselves and others or we don't.

"Imagine a world in which there was no god who had given us an idea of what justice is."

Naturally as a part of our natures we are most fulfilled when we love and are loved. God is not required to create this situation, and he is not required for us to objectively identify what would be the most practical thing to do in a given situation to further promote this end.

Michael Ejercito said...

WHY must a being just because he is omniscient and omnipotent be by definition good?
By virtue of his omnipotence, God defines what good is.

Christopher M. Jourdain said...

Michael: "By virtue of his omnipotence, God defines what good is"


Why is "what omnipotence decides" the definition of good? Without such a being we would not be morally worse off.

Roger said...

Jason brings up an interesting point. What this website it attempting to do (debunk Christianity) is futile. It will never happen. Jesus (God) himself said "on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." The church will never fall; God promised that it will never happen. What this website may do is shake some people's faith, but that is something that I would not do if I were you. I am sorry if this upsets you, but it is a fact of life.

David Kear said...

Jason said, “What a bizarre topic. Surely there are more effective ways to ‘debunk Christianity’”.

I agree with Jason. Not only is it bizarre, it is not rationally available for atheists to ask since they have no objective standard of morality from which to work.

I guess I have learned that the atheists on this site are only interested in “debunking Christianity” and not in offering any cogent reasons for their own faith.

Atheists do have faith. The only difference between the faith involved with being a Christian and the faith involved with being an atheist is that Christians have a faith that fits rationally within their worldview unlike atheists. In other words, an atheist can have a blind faith believing in things like objective moral values that do not fit rationally within their worldview.

Anyway, since no one will answer my first question can someone tell me why it is so important for atheists to “debunk Christianity” when they are apparently so unwilling to defend their own faith? If you really wanted dialog it would be a two way conversation/examination.
DK

John W. Loftus said...

David Kear, click on the FAQ sheet at the top of the page for some answers. Thanks for visiting.

zilch said...

Atheists have the same reasons to be moral that believers do: the rewards of living and loving in society. And like believers, they have different ideas about exactly what constitutes "moral" behavior. The difference is that believers attribute their morals to God, atheists to nature plus reason.

salvationfound said...

THe question is do I find Michael
Vick's alleged actiosn reprehensible. Ok sure. So how do I justify the creation of a world by my God in which animals fight to the death.

I have a few answers for this:
1. Skeptics seem to have a habit of desiring to place God with either the same limits of God as they would with man or give God less limits. This despite the fact that God has more responsibility than man does. But this is not a logical idea.

I'll give an example. A father may tell his daughter she has a curfew of 11:00pm. So at 11:00 the daughter must be at home. But then the father himself goes out and stays out past 11:00. Is this hypocritical? Personally I don't think so. The father has more responsibility than the daughter. The father is responsible for the care of himself and the daughter while the daughter must only worry about herself. She doesn't have the responsibility of worrying about the father. Thus the father has been given the right to limit the daughter in a way he would not do so himself.

In this way I don't believe its right to give God only the same limits we give any man. God has more responsibility so we must give him more moral freedom than we would any human. And this is not hypocritical. For example I find it justifiable that America dropped the bomb on Hiroshima but that doesn't mean I must find it acceptable for America to drop it somewhere else. So God with more responsibility should be given more moral freedom than any human.

2. Animals are indeed a matter of collatoral damage. God never intended a world of pain and suffering and it was only after humans brought sin into the world that animals were killers. So in this respect even though God created the possibility of it happening God actually wasn't the creator of a world where animals fight to the death it was only caused by what humans did.

Now of course this brings up the question well why did God allow the suffering of animals for what humans did. This leads us to 3.

3. So humans sin. What should God do with the animals? He could either take them away from this world or leave them here. If he leaves them here they will be infected with this sinful world and act accordingly. So should he take them away from this world? Sounds good on paper but does any human here really want a world where there are no more animals? If the answer is no then God has to leave them here despite the animals being infected with a sinful world and they become collatoral damage.

Michael Ejercito said...

Why is "what omnipotence decides" the definition of good?
Because the One with omnipotence can cast body and soul into Hell.

Former_Fundy said...

David,

Thanks for your comment. This is an old worn out argument about the moral lawgiver and objective ethics.

I can't deal with every aspect of it here but let me offer a few things for you to consider.

1. No one seems to have an objective standard of ethics. Christians cannot agree among themselves on what their moral lawgiver has said. Some Christians believe in abortion; some do not. Some believe in the death penalty; some do not. Some believe in a just war theory; some are pacificts (there are actually at least 4 major views among Evangelical Christians on this subject). Some believe drinking alcohol in moderation is okay; some say it is wrong to drink at all. I could go on and on.

So please don't try to pretend that you Christians all have an objective standard of right and wrong.

2. Philosophically, I do not believe there is any true objectivity in regard to ethics or any thing else. Mankind basically comes to a consensus about what is acceptable behavior and what is not. Obviously, not all agree and in a society those people are typically the criminals. The consensus in the US right now is that dog fighting is unacceptable behavior for people to engage in.

3. My point was that within the Christian worldview, there is a contradiction. Let me state it again--1. Most Christians find dog fighting to be wrong or evil. 2. Most Christians do not find the design of nature (where animals have to fight to the death and eat each other to survive) to be wrong or evil. Do you see it now?

Former_Fundy said...

Salvationfound,

Thanks for your comments

You said:

I have a few answers for this:
1. Skeptics seem to have a habit of desiring to place God with either the same limits of God as they would with man or give God less limits. This despite the fact that God has more responsibility than man does. But this is not a logical idea.

I'll give an example. A father may tell his daughter she has a curfew of 11:00pm. So at 11:00 the daughter must be at home. But then the father himself goes out and stays out past 11:00.


Here is where your analogy fails. Is it, within the Christian world view, wrong for a young person to stay out past 11pm? Is there something inherently wrong about being out after that time? I think your answer would be no. With regard to dog fighting, I think you would agree that it is evil and wrong. So you would have to create an analogy where it was morally wrong for the child to do something that was okay for the Father. Then you will have an appropriate analogy.

You said:

In this way I don't believe its right to give God only the same limits we give any man. God has more responsibility so we must give him more moral freedom than we would any human.


But is it okay for God to do something that for man would be morally wrong? If so, how can it be moral for God and immoral for man? Especially with the objective standard of ethics that I keep hearing from Christians?

You said:

2. Animals are indeed a matter of collatoral damage. God never intended a world of pain and suffering and it was only after humans brought sin into the world that animals were killers.


So you must be a proponent of Young Earth Creationism? Okay. That position has enormous problems of its own from a scientific viewpoint but even assuming you are right, let me ask this.

Why should the animals be punished for man's sin? Did the animals sin? No. Do animals feel real pain? Yes. Then why should they suffer? And since God obviously thought it was okay to punish the animals for man's sin, then theoretically why can't it be okay for man to punish or kill animals himself? Doesn't sound like God has a problem with it.

3. So humans sin. What should God do with the animals? He could either take them away from this world or leave them here. If he leaves them here they will be infected with this sinful world and act accordingly.


What does that mean, "act accordingly"?

So should he take them away from this world? Sounds good on paper but does any human here really want a world where there are no more animals? If the answer is no then God has to leave them here despite the animals being infected with a sinful world and they become collatoral damage.

Two problems:

1. Your answer says that animals are here for the pleasure of man. If that is true, then whats wrong with what dog fighting?

2. God could have left them here and they could have survived w/o becoming carnivores, at least according to the Bible. They were not carnivores before Adam sinned and they won't be in the millennial kingdom (Isaiah 11)

lowendaction said...

"What a silly question."

You asked for a "Christian" response, and that is my first reaction. I find it facinating that none of the defenders brought up the fact that animals are not self-aware, and therefore do not have "feelings" or whatever other emotions humans love to project on them. Thus, there is a false definition of "suffering".

This does not excuse needless animal suffering or abuse in any way. However, I see a HUGE difference between violence due to survival, and fighting for entertainment or sport (hunting???).

I believe in the natural order which God created, and it is a perfect balance (until we start messing with it). And part of that balance, is the all important food chain. Without it...well what would happen if the planets suddenly lept out of alignment? Same deal!

To tag along to this, someone talked about natural disasters. I happen to believe, that just as God created this perfect balance in the animal kingdom, so too did He create a weather system and earth design that would regularly "shake things up". We have overpopulated this planet, and as the top of the food chain, someone/something has to keep us in check, right?

You may argue with my beliefs on the origins of this natural order, but you surely can not defy it's current exsitance and inherant perfection (barring mans continual interference)?

DK, your observations are accurate, and I think you'll find that the FAQ's won't give you much more than what you've already discovered here.

richdurrant said...

Interesting point brought up here,

"I'll give an example. A father may tell his daughter she has a curfew of 11:00pm. So at 11:00 the daughter must be at home. But then the father himself goes out and stays out past 11:00. Is this hypocritical? Personally I don't think so. The father has more responsibility than the daughter. The father is responsible for the care of himself and the daughter while the daughter must only worry about herself. She doesn't have the responsibility of worrying about the father. Thus the father has been given the right to limit the daughter in a way he would not do so himself."

So we all live in God's "house" and he makes the rules, not rules that he needs to follow, but rules that are for our good. If we see that God has broken one of the rules he set up for us, it's still not OK for God because He, much like our parents, is not subject to his own rules(commandments) that are set up to govern us?

David Kear said...

Former Fundy,
Thanks for the response. I will answer your responses in reverse order.

3) Yes. I see the dilemma that you are pointing out. I saw it in the original post. I do believe that questions like these are things that Christians should talk about and even wrestle internally with. However, the point that I am making is that they are not questions that you as an atheist can rationally ask us.

2) Former Fundy said, “Philosophically, I do not believe there is any true objectivity in regard to ethics or any thing else.”

Thank you for solidifying my point. If there is no objectivity in regard to ethics then what difference does it make to you if Christians think something is bad or good? What difference does it make to you if we contradict ourselves? You are assuming that being contradictory is necessarily a bad thing while asserting that nothing is necessarily bad. Do you see the contradiction that I am pointing out?

1) Whether Christians all understand an objective moral code uniformly is not at issue. What is at issue is the fact that we have a worldview that allows for an objective morality to exist within its framework while atheism does not. Therefore, these kinds of questions make sense for us to ask each other, and we should. But, for an atheist to ask the same questions is to be irrational.

I feel like I may have hijacked your earlier conversation so I won’t harp on and on but I do have one final question. If there is no objectivity regarding ethics, if it all boils down to consensuses that can change at any time, if nothing is necessarily bad, then why waste your time asking the question anyway?

I would submit that your worldview has broken down on you and you are borrowing mine.

DK

Christopher M. Jourdain said...

Michael: "Because the One with omnipotence can cast body and soul into Hell."

I suppose if such a being does exist then he could do what he wants to us(but that doesn't tell me he is good, that is simply theological might makes right). I don't think if he doesn't exist there is no morality. An omnipotent being doesn't need to be the source of morality.

Former_Fundy said...

David,

Thanks again for your comments.

You said

3) Yes. I see the dilemma that you are pointing out. I saw it in the original post. I do believe that questions like these are things that Christians should talk about and even wrestle internally with. However, the point that I am making is that they are not questions that you as an atheist can rationally ask us.


Can I not ask you to explain how this problem is handled within your world view? It doesn't matter if its my view or not. I am pointing out what I think is an inconsistency in the Christian world view.


Thank you for solidifying my point. If there is no objectivity in regard to ethics then what difference does it make to you if Christians think something is bad or good? What difference does it make to you if we contradict ourselves?


Because Christians like to maintain that their world view is the only consistent one and I don't buy that. Don't forget that I held firmly to the Christian world view (at least the evangelical Christian one) for well over 20 years.


You are assuming that being contradictory is necessarily a bad thing while asserting that nothing is necessarily bad. Do you see the contradiction that I am pointing out?


Having a logical consistency problem within your world view is not bad in a moral sense. It is bad for your worldview in the sense that it undermines the consistency of your world view.


1) Whether Christians all understand an objective moral code uniformly is not at issue. What is at issue is the fact that we have a worldview that allows for an objective morality to exist within its framework while atheism does not.


What good is an objective moral code if Christians cannot agree on what it is? It is objective only in a theoretical sense. So, the end result is that you are in the same boat as everyone else. None of us have an objective moral code.

If there is no objectivity regarding ethics, if it all boils down to consensuses that can change at any time, if nothing is necessarily bad, then why waste your time asking the question anyway?

As I have already mentioned, to point out the inconsistency in the Christian world view (hence the name of the site--Debunking Christianity)

David Kear said...

Former Fundy said, “Can I not ask you to explain how this problem is handled within your world view? It doesn't matter if its my view or not. I am pointing out what I think is an inconsistency in the Christian world view.”

Not rationally. Maybe I am just slow but, I don’t understand why you would give up your rationality in order to point out a perceived inconsistency when inconsistency is not a bad thing to you.

Former Fundy said, “Because Christians like to maintain that their world view is the only consistent one and I don't buy that.”

This didn’t come close to answering my question and it addresses a claim that I did not make. Again you are assuming that being inconsistent is a bad thing but your worldview does not support anything being bad.

Former Fundy said, “Having a logical consistency problem within your world view is not bad in a moral sense. It is bad for your worldview in the sense that it undermines the consistency of your world view.”

Let me remind you of your own assertion. Former Fundy said, “Philosophically, I do not believe there is any true objectivity in regard to ethics or any thing else.”

You did not limit your rejection of true objectivity to ethics alone. You reject all notions of true objectivity. So again I ask you, do you see the contradiction that I am pointing out? You are assuming that being self-contradictory is necessarily a bad thing while asserting that nothing is necessarily bad.

Former Fundy asks, “What good is an objective moral code if Christians cannot agree on what it is?”

If we all had to agree it would be subjective rather than objective. Because it is objective our opinions hold no sway over the validity of it. Again, asking “what good something is” is not a rational question given your statements on objectivity.

I have restated my question about as many times as I can yet it has not once been even looked at based on the correspondence so far. I’ll ask it once more and then leave you to your warm irrationality.

Do you see the contradiction in assuming that self-contradiction is bad after asserting that there is no true objectivity?

Thanks for the time,
DK

Stu said...

David Kear:

Atheists do not need to assume self-contradiction is "bad" (whatever that may mean). The question is, do _you_ think self-contradiction is bad? If so, all we need to do is show you how your world-view is self-contradictory and let you deal with it.

Former_Fundy said...

David,

I don't know how else to state this. I am using your assumptions and your beliefs to question your world view. I used to be there. I know what your world view is. I am saying that as a thinking Christian looking at your own world view you should see that it is inconsisent.

Now if you want to critize my world view then you need to try to get into my world view and think like I think and then show that it is internally inconsistent. You are critquing my world view by your own presuppositions.

David Kear said...

Former Fundy said, "I am using your assumptions and your beliefs to question your world view."

This is the first thing that you've said that makes any sense to me. And I agree because the questions that you have asked make no rational sense in your worldview.

You have to give up your presuppositions just to make an argument against my Christian worldview. You have to assume the truth of Christianity in order to make an argument against it. This is exactly what I meant when I said that your worldview has broken down and you are borrowing mine.

This has made for a fun exchange.
Thanks again,
DK

John W. Loftus said...

David, let me answer for FF. No, he's not giving up on his presuppositionas at all, or borrowing from yours. What he's doing is what anyone does who enters into a debate like this, which is elementary reasoning. It's plainly evident that he's hypothetically entering your woldview in order to critique it. He's offering a criticism of what you believe based on what you believe.

John W. Loftus said...

Let me add this, David. In order for you to criticize FF's beliefs you would have to do the same things he's doing with yours. You cannot crticize his worldview from your worldview if you want to effectively do so.

Roger said...

Former_Fundy
Let me make clear that I find dog fighting reprehensible. I am a dog lover and an animal lover in general. My point in the post was that while many condemn dog fighting (and rightly so), few seem to have a problem with cruelty in nature. And for Christians nature was designed by God. I mean, after all, we unbelievers are supposed to look at nature and realize there is a God--right?
No, Looking a nature exclusively will not get you to the truth of the triune God. One of the obvious reasons for this is that ALL of creation is cursed, so people look at nature and ask “Is this what God created?”. No, this is a corruption of what God created. We can, however, from a biblical worldview, look at all the complexity of nature and how the universe works as evidence that there truly is a Creator.

What is a biblical worldview?
Defining a biblical worldview—according to Seven C’s of History
http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/wow/preview/part12.asp

Animals in nature are forced to fight for their survival. They have no choice unless they want to die.

This is actually where natural selection comes into play. Despite what most everybody has heard, It cannot be stressed enough that what natural selection actually does is get rid of information. It is not capable of creating anything new, by definition. That topic beyond the scope of this post though. Here are a couple of articles that are an interesting read on this topic (if you read it).

“Natural selection and speciation”
At http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/OneBlood/chapter2.asp

or

“Clarifying the confusion about natural selection”
http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v23/i3/muddywaters.asp

Paul explains more in Romans 8:18-25: For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

Young Earth Creationists such as those at Answersin Genesis will maintain that its all man's fault. God did not create the world this way and when the literal Adam and the literal Eve ate the literal fruit, violence, cruelty and death were the consequences.

Why did you ask in your original post “how do you (Christians) justify the creation of a world by your God in which animals fight to the death and eat each other as a necessary part of their existence?” when you just stated the correct answer?

My queestion to them is why are the animals being punished for man's sin? What did they do to deserve such cruelty?


Man had been placed in the garden by God, and given a task to tend it and to keep it. Man was created to rule over the animals. There was an order of authority in the creation. That order was: man ruling over beast; man ruling over the creation.

Sin is a reversal of the created order. It changed things; it turned things upside down. Man’s greatest glory became his greatest shame. Whereas before there had been a perfect unity between the man and the woman, the wall of shame came down.

Then come God’s curses. These curses afflict man and woman in the center of their lives. Adam’s task was to have been king of this creation - to rule over the ground—but the ground will no longer accept his rule. It revolts against him. It brings forth thorns and thistles until man finally loses the unequal battle. He returns to the dust of the grave and the dust then rules over man. Instead of joy, man’s work shall be hard, wearisome toil. It shall be in his work that man will find his greatest frustrations. The king has fallen and his kingdom is in a state of anarchy and revolt.

God gave Adam dominion over creation, so when he fell, the whole creation suffered

Here is a detail that enlivens the gloom! God took skins and covered the man and the woman. He did not leave them in the shame and misery their sin had caused. Immediately, He acted to lessen the effects of sin.
Consider the two facts: that God takes action to remove the consequences of man’s sin, and that a descendant of the woman is to come who shall defeat the serpent; and you can practically write the Old Testament.

The Bible makes a very conscious distinction between man and animals. Humans have been specially made in the very image of their Creator. Animals were not made that way and are another part of creation. The creatures affected by death were those the Bible calls nephesh chayyâh. When it refers to man, it is often translated ‘living soul’, but, of other creatures, including fish, it is often translated ‘living creature’.

http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v4/i3/fall.asp
http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2005/0221plant_death.asp
http://www.answersingenesis.org/tj/v5/i2/diet.asp

And not only does this violence take place on a daily basis in nature but God even instructed "his people" to slaughter animals daily in the OT. The Jew certainly had no problem slitting the throat of a live animal and letting its blood run all over the temple floor. Civilized people today find this reprehensible.

Here is more from the article “Why is there death and suffering?”
“In the Garden of Eden, God killed an animal and clothed Adam and Eve as a picture of a covering for our sin. A blood sacrifice was needed because of our sin. The Israelites sacrificed animals over and over again; however, because Adam’s blood does not flow in animals, animal blood, though it could temporarily cover our sin, could never take it away. The Hebrew word translated ‘atonement’ is kaphar, which means ‘cover.’
The solution was God’s plan to send His Son, the Second Person of the triune Godhead, the Lord Jesus Christ, to become a man—a perfect man—to be a sacrifice for sin. In the person of Jesus Christ, our Creator God stepped into history (John 1:1–14) to become a physical descendant of Adam, called ‘the last Adam’ (1 Corinthians 15:45), born of a virgin. Because the Holy Spirit overshadowed His mother (Luke 1:35), He was a perfect man, one without sin—despite having been tempted in every way that we are (Hebrews 4:15)—who thus could shed His blood on a cross for our sin.”
Read more at:
http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2002/death_suffering.asp

Not only did the sacrifices provide atonement, but they pointed ahead to Christ so that we could be absolutely sure that he was the promised messiah.

Now for the Old Earth Creationists, violence and death are a necessary part of nature and must have been part of God's design. There is no way around it.

Old Earth Creationists have many problems of their own, and this is the main one. What kind of sick and twisted god would use death, disease, and suffering to make a “perfect” world? Why would that world be perfect? Why should anybody follow him? No, that is not how it worked. Everything started out perfect, and was corrupted.

Roger said...

The Bible is a book where the one and only triune(Matt 28.19, Mark 12.35), omnipotent(Genesis 1), omnicient(John 16:30), and omnipresent(Psalm 139:7-12) Creator God has purposely revealed himself to humanity(2 Pet. 1:21, 2 Tim. 3:16-17). In this book, he tells us that he is the creator and sustainer of all life (Genesis 1-2). It explains how humanity betrayed him, but his great love for us compelled him to send his only son to bear our punishment. After a period of three days, he resurrected from the dead, and ascended into heaven. We are told of his second coming, where all humanity will be judged by him. From there, we will go to our respective places, heaven or hell.

How do we know that the bible is the truth?
-Here is some evidence:
-Over 20,000 biblical manuscripts
-We live in a complex world that could only have been created
-We live in a world that is falling apart as a result of the curse
-The bible explains our present condition
-The Flood
-There is enough water on this earth to flood it
-The Grand Canyon was carved by great amounts of water
-Ancient Cultures have similar flood stories
-Fossils of fish eating and giving birth
-suggesting a rapid burial
-Ancient cultures have similar stories as the Bible up the the tower of babel
-The real mount siani has been found
-Jesus was an historical fact
-Fufilled messianic prophecies that were written way before his time
-He prophesyed the descruction of Jerusalem in 72 A.D.
-A stone plaque engraved with Pilate's name and title was discovered in Caesarea
-Archaeologists have thus confirmed the existence of Caiaphas

This is only some of the evidence. An exhaustive list would be too long. When properly understood, the evidence confirms the biblical account. Can all of this be coincidence? Evidence will only take you so far though…

Not only is there the evidence, but everybody has God written on their hearts. Everybody has a “God-shaped hole in their hearts.” People try to fill it with their own things, like money, sex, misplaced love, drugs, party’s, fun…etc, yet these people, as some point or another, always feel empty. Why? Because money, sex, misplaced love, drugs, partys, and fun are not “God-shaped.” Why do you think the spirituality movement and New Age stuff is getting so popular? Only God can lead to an inner fufillment. How are you being temporarily filled right now? How long is it going to last?

Now, you may be saying: “I don’t feel empty, and I’m an atheist.” You may not right now, but when are you going to need your next “fix” from Best Buy, or your next shot of whiskey, or some other pleasure from this world?

Romans 1: 18-22 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For 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.
For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools

Here is what moral objectivity is:
The Ten Commandments
ONE: 'You shall have no other gods before Me.'

TWO: ‘You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; ‘

THREE: 'You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.'

FOUR: 'Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.'

FIVE: 'Honor your father and your mother.'

SIX: 'You shall not murder.'

SEVEN: 'You shall not commit adultery.'

EIGHT: 'You shall not steal.'

NINE: 'You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.'

TEN: 'You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's.'

This was explained more in the Sermon on the Mount by Jesus in Matthew 5.

All of this was summed up by Jesus in Matthew 22:36-40: Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'[a] This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'[b] All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.

Jeremiah 31:33 I will put my law within them, and I will write it upon their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Hebrews 10:16-18 “I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds," Then he adds: "Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more." And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin.

To claim complete moral independence from the Bible means to completely disobey all of this. This would be rebellion, also known as sin. We all can think of somebody who is “really bad,” but to be completely evil via 100% rebellion from this law is something I don’t think humans can comprehend.

To claim somewhat of a moral life, you are borrowing from the bible, whether you would like to admit it or not.

To be in complete obedience to these laws (a perfect person) is impossible since we all are infected by original sin. Again, this is where the good news comes in. Since Jesus (100% God and 100% Man), died and bore our punishment for us (for not following the law 100% correctly), all we have to do to be reconciled with God is repent (ask for forgiveness) and believe that Jesus is your savior.

Isaiah 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.

God, as the creator and author of this existance, can set the rules (for atonement, government, eating, or anything else) He deems necessary for His people or His creation to obey. It is not the fact that he is omnipotent that he has a right to deem what is good and moral, it is the fact that he is the creator of all life, including you. How can you compare yourself to your creator? Why can you deem his actions as right and wrong? How do you know what God has planned? How do you know that what may seem like an evil now, will not be turned into a greater good later? The creator of all life revealed that he is perfectly good. How are you, the created, able to challenge that?

Isaiah 55:9 As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Another interesting definition of sin is this: Anything that is outside the will of God. When we (humans) ignore his commandments, that is sin.

Humans have a knack of trying to use human traits and emotions to try to describe God. One of the main descriptions that people use is Love. Human love cannot even begin to compare to the love of God. Human love ususally means providing for, or taking care of another person, but for God, it is this + so much more. Ok, so what happens when God sends you through a patch of very rough times? Is he a mean and evil God for allowing that to happen? No. As strange as it seems, this is God loving you. Rough times in our lives have one purpose: Build trust in God. As a Christian, you just need to grin and bear it, and everything will fall into place. This is a very strange concept to an athiest. They want pleasure, pleasure, pleasure, benefits, benefits, and more benefits, more, more, more. They cry out “Why Me?” “God is picking on me” “Why did God create such an evil world where dogs attack dogs and people attack people?” and the like. Job 36:9 says this wonderfully: The godless in heart cherish anger; they do not cry for help when he binds them.

Does the atheist really have it all straight? Does the atheist have the advantage? I think not.

The Bible is morally bankrupt?
http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/feedback/2004/0702.asp

Romans 2:12-16
All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature 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, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.) This will take place on the day when God will judge men's secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.

Psalm 14:1 The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, They have done abominable works, There is none who does good.

Colossians 2:13-14 Godmade alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.

John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

http://www.gnmagazine.org/issues/gn28/archaeologyarrest.htm
http://www.arkdiscovery.com/mt__sinai_found.htm
http://www.amazon.com/Mountain-Fire-Discovery-Mount-Sinai/dp/B000ARFPGM/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/103-3689001-4956610?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1185230606&sr=8-1
http://www.answersingenesis.org

Roger said...

The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news! It will be the smartest thing you have ever done.

Michael Ejercito said...

What kind of sick and twisted god would use death, disease, and suffering to make a “perfect” world?
Roger, who are you to call God sick and twisted? God decides what is right and wrong, just as God decides what the gravitational constant is.

David Kear said...

John said, “You cannot crticize his worldview from your worldview if you want to effectively do so.”

Do you guys just make rules up as you go? Of course I can, and I have. Here is an example of criticizing his worldview from my own worldview:

I have observed that his worldview is insufficient to rationally formulate an argument against the Christian worldview based on the fact that the arguments that he has brought are only possible after he has abandoned his own presuppositions in favor of Christian presuppositions.

John also said, “He's offering a criticism of what you believe based on what you believe.”

And, he has done a very poor job of this. FF laid out his premises to me as follows:

“1. Most Christians find dog fighting to be wrong or evil. 2. Most Christians do not find the design of nature (where animals have to fight to the death and eat each other to survive) to be wrong or evil.”

Strictly as stated I reject both premises. The first premises is not stated clearly enough here. If the first premises were stated as it was in the original post, “do I find Vick’s alleged actions reprehensible?” the answer would be, yes, on the grounds that he broke the law in Virginia. I reject the second premises out right as it does not accurately depict what Christians believe at all.

So, if I understand correctly (I’m sure you’ll say I don’t), FF abandoned the presuppositions of his worldview in order to formulate an argument against the Christian worldview. He did this because his worldview cannot offer a rational argument against the Christian worldview on its own. Once he found this new reasoning skill he failed to show any internal contradictions with it. And, when pressed to account for the apparent abandoning of his presuppositions his friend John makes up a new rule that says there can be no criticism unless you abandon your own presuppositions. Outstanding! I could not have scripted this better on my own.

But, even if he had shown an internal contradiction what difference would it make when he goes back to reasoning within his own worldview where there are no objective anythings? If he had shown a contradiction there is nothing wrong with it within his worldview. I suspect that FF really does believe that there is an objective problem with internal contradictions. And, that means that he has to abandon his presuppositions to even get the motivation to criticize my worldview.

I would hope that a thinking atheist would do a self evaluation and find out just how often he is abandoning his presuppositions in favor of Christian presuppositions just to live rationally from day to day.
DK

Stu said...

Enough with the Answers in Genesis links already.

Does anyone else think there should be a shorter character limit to comments? Rogers two comments there come up to 17174 characters: 2981 words! Who's got the time to read through 3000 words of comments? Not me! If you can't keep it concise then don't post.

John W. Loftus said...

Yes Stu, when I first saw it I almost deleted it, but then I saw he was really interacting with a previous post. Next time someone might not get so lucky.

billf said...

I guess I just don't get it.

How is it just or logical to punish thousands of generations of people and animals for someone else's mistake?

The Christian god, especially in the Torah, seems to do this repeatedly. God also punishes whole classes of people for their leaders mistakes.

I would really like to believe in God, but I am sorry, it has to make logical sense.

I was not raised in a religious household. My parents were not atheists, but they did not push any particular religion either. So I am pretty close to Loftus's outsider.

I need someone to convince me that a God is necessary and logical, and then convince me again that their particular choice of god is correct and logical.

I have not yet run into anyone who can do so.

A talking burning bush, winged horses that give rides to heaven, and magical golden plates don't do anything for me.

concerned citizen said...

I didn't read all the comments but this seems the basic theme of the Christians commenting here, "Every human being is responsible for corrupting this once perfect world." Standard fare, I call this the Christian philosophy of >equality.

First, Christianity (by basing the foundation of their philosophy on OT precedents) defines basic human nature as corrupted by first making it once good & then blaming it(making us guilty) for corrupting itself. Besides not being sure that this is logically possible, the biggest problem I see with this line of reasoning is that Christianity reserves the right to define corruption. The Judeo-Christian-Islamic religion first makes mankind corrupt then gives us a "choice" (Choice is an elusive concept in Christianity. I'm still trying to figure how it fits in with the Adam & Eve story).

Fall for this line of reasoning & you paint yourself into a corner where the only way out is the Judeo-Christian-Islamic God.

Fortunately, not all of us choose to believe we are corrupted. :) Some of us even choose a different philosophy.

I contend the sport of dog-fighting is a choice NOT human nature. It is the act of participating in the sport that would be called evil, not human nature that is evil of itself.

Former_Fundy said...

roger,

You said:

No, Looking a nature exclusively will not get you to the truth of the triune God. One of the obvious reasons for this is that ALL of creation is cursed, so people look at nature and ask “Is this what God created?”. No, this is a corruption of what God created. We can, however, from a biblical worldview, look at all the complexity of nature and how the universe works as evidence that there truly is a Creator.


So you are a young earth creationist. You do have fewer problems philosophically than the OEC but I you trade those for scientific problems. I am not going to debate the scientific issues with you in this thread but suffice it to say that 99.5% of all scientists disagree with the idea of a young earth.

But even besides that, you still need to explain why God punished the animals for Adam's sin.

Former_Fundy said...

David,

You said:

But, even if he had shown an internal contradiction what difference would it make when he goes back to reasoning within his own worldview where there are no objective anythings?


It ought to make a difference to you if you see the internal inconsistency in your world view.

If he had shown a contradiction there is nothing wrong with it within his worldview.


No, but there is within your world view and you are the person I was adressing. I am trying to get you to see how inconsisent your world view is and all you can do is say that my world view is different than yours. Duh? But I am stepping within your world view, taking all of your presuppositions, etc and then criticizing it on that basis.

Jason said...

How did God punish the animals?

salvationfound said...

Answering former fundy here:

You said:
Here is where your analogy fails. Is it, within the Christian world view, wrong for a young person to stay out past 11pm? Is there something inherently wrong about being out after that time?


Ahhh but in this case it would be. The moment the father said no
and we must honor the father and
mother then yes it would be wrong.
The fact that it wouldn't be wrong
in another instance doesn't matter.
In this case yes it is wrong.

you said:
I think your answer would be no.

Well obviously this was wrong.

You said:
But is it okay for God to do something that for man would be morally wrong? If so, how can it be moral for God and immoral for man? Especially with the objective standard of ethics that I keep hearing from Christians?

Actually this is entirely possible.
For example I think it was justified for America to drop the
atom bomb on Japan . But that doesn't mean
I'm obligated to consider it moral
if anybody else ever drops the
bomb on the world. For your point to be accurate I must never allow exceptions for anything and I don't accept that.

After all if I crushed a cat's head with my foot you would have a problem with that but you wouldn't have as much of a problem if I did that with an ant. So there you have an exception. So I don't know why God is never allowed to have possible exceptions especially considering his responsibilities which go above and beyond ours. You would have to show that in a world where exceptions do exist God is the one being not allowed to have any exceptions.

you said:
Why should the animals be punished for man's sin? Did the animals sin? No. Do animals feel real pain? Yes. Then why should they suffer? And since God obviously thought it was okay to punish the animals for man's sin, then theoretically why can't it be okay for man to punish or kill animals himself? Doesn't sound like God has a problem with it.

Pretty much my #3 answered this so I see no reason to bother doing so again.

You said:
What does that mean, "act accordingly"?

Infected with imperfection giving
them the ability to act imperfectly.

You said:
1. Your answer says that animals are here for the pleasure of man. If that is true, then whats wrong with what dog fighting?

Irrelevant just because they are here for our pleasure doesn't mean we should have the right to do whatever we want. Part of the reason to have children is for the joy to do so yet that doesn't mean we should be allowed to do whatever we want with them even though part of their creation is our pleasure.

You said:
2. God could have left them here and they could have survived w/o becoming carnivores, at least according to the Bible. They were not carnivores before Adam sinned and they won't be in the millennial kingdom (Isaiah 11)

Again irrelevant. First off it wouldn't stop man from killing them since man is sinful which means they should have some type of survival instincts which may lead to violence.

Second of all what about all the animals that are herbivores does that bring a point in God's favor? You can't have it both ways if animals that are carnivores are a point against God then herbivores are a point for God otherwise your being hypocritical.

Third would the advantages really outweigh the disadvantages if God did that? If your answer is no then you've refuted your own argument if the answer is yes I would disagree. Example: It would mean spiders weren't going to get all the insects which are overpopulating our society. We certainly need spiders for that for example. Overpopulation of animals would be a problem without carnivores. In the end all God needs is an advantage that would outweigh the disadvantages and your argument becomes pointless. And thus once again dog fighting becomes collatoral damage.

Former_Fundy said...

In response to SalvationFound:

I said:
Here is where your analogy fails. Is it, within the Christian world view, wrong for a young person to stay out past 11pm? Is there something inherently wrong about being out after that time?

You responded:

Ahhh but in this case it would be. The moment the father said no
and we must honor the father and
mother then yes it would be wrong.
The fact that it wouldn't be wrong
in another instance doesn't matter.
In this case yes it is wrong.

You missed my point. Within the Christian view it is wrong to disobey your parents but is it inherently wrong to be out after 11pm? I think you would have to say no.

I said:
But is it okay for God to do something that for man would be morally wrong? If so, how can it be moral for God and immoral for man? Especially with the objective standard of ethics that I keep hearing from Christians?

Actually this is entirely possible.
For example I think it was justified for America to drop the
atom bomb on Japan . But that doesn't mean
I'm obligated to consider it moral
if anybody else ever drops the
bomb on the world. For your point to be accurate I must never allow exceptions for anything and I don't accept that.

Then you don’t believe in an absolute moral code.

After all if I crushed a cat's head with my foot you would have a problem with that but you wouldn't have as much of a problem if I did that with an ant. So there you have an exception. Forget about me, you explain why there is a difference in crushing a cat and an ant, assuming you do.

I said:
1. Your answer says that animals are here for the pleasure of man. If that is true, then whats wrong with what dog fighting?

Irrelevant just because they are here for our pleasure doesn't mean we should have the right to do whatever we want. Part of the reason to have children is for the joy to do so yet that doesn't mean we should be allowed to do whatever we want with them even though part of their creation is our pleasure.
You are comparing children to animals and that is apples and oranges. You have stated that animals are just here for our pleasure. Why does it matter then if they suffer?

I said:
2. God could have left them here and they could have survived w/o becoming carnivores, at least according to the Bible. They were not carnivores before Adam sinned and they won't be in the millennial kingdom (Isaiah 11)

Again irrelevant. First off it wouldn't stop man from killing them since man is sinful which means they should have some type of survival instincts which may lead to violence.
But it would be sinful man doing it; not the holy God you believe in. You cannot escape the fact that they suffer due to the design of the God you believe in .
Second of all what about all the animals that are herbivores does that bring a point in God's favor? You can't have it both ways if animals that are carnivores are a point against God then herbivores are a point for God otherwise your being hypocritical.
Not at all, it just illustrates the fact that God could have designed nature so that all the animals were herbivores. My question to you is: “why didn’t he”?

Third would the advantages really outweigh the disadvantages if God did that? If your answer is no then you've refuted your own argument if the answer is yes I would disagree. Example: It would mean spiders weren't going to get all the insects which are overpopulating our society. We certainly need spiders for that for example. Overpopulation of animals would be a problem without carnivores. In the end all God needs is an advantage that would outweigh the disadvantages and your argument becomes pointless. And thus once again dog fighting becomes collatoral damage.
But you are forgetting that your God is omniscient, he could have devised the universe in a different manner where spiders don’t have to eat insects, etc. Are you saying that God was limited to do it only the way it now appears? If so, he must not be omnipotent. Since you believe in an omnipotent God and omniscient God, you need to explain why he created things the way he did rather than some other way.

Joe said...

Here is a somewhat techincal article on Evil titled "All Creation Groans : The Problem Of Natural Evil".

You should read it all to understand it.

Found here:
http://www.bryancore.org/bsg/opbsg/010.pdf

This talks about The curse of creation, carnivorous animals, pathogens, viruses, etc.

Remember, there are two types of evil: natural and moral. Natural evil stemmed from moral evil at the garden.

I am amazed at how many atheists think they know better than God, and attack Christianity for it, and yet they refuse read and understand what God/The Bible says. Most of the "attacks" against Christians are straw men arguments, where the "attacker" doesn't have the facts right to start with. How does that make a good argument? Isn't that ignorant?

Joe said...

See

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man

For explanation of what a straw man argument is

Animal Chaplain said...

In short, YES.

If there is anything good about the Michael Vick story, it is that there is an emerging increased awareness about animal cruelty and animal fighting. There is so much anger about this issue. If we channel it into a positive direction, hopefully, something good can come of it. However...

I watched Vick's public apology with my little son who USED TO wear Michael Vick jerseys to school. It is disturbing to think a certain percentage of the population is honestly going to be swayed by Michael Vick's "enlightenment" carefully crafted by his overpaid attorneys. Call me a cynic, but I don't believe a man who has been allegedly torturing animals since childhood coincidentally has a religious epiphany as a result of getting caught and losing his job. I hope I am wrong.

I think it is a sad commentary that we, as a culture, are using the Vick story to compare "What's worse?" "What's worse", we ask, "carelessly fathering illegitimate children, or dogfighting?". "Dogfighting or gambling?" "Dogfighting or rape?" "Dogfighting or racism?" "Dogfighting or hateful nationalism?" "Dogfighting or (fill in the blank)....?" The comparisons to dogfighting have been endless.

Dogfighting is one more piece of evidence our country is in need of a spiritual transformation (please note I said spiritual and not necessarily religious). Animals are sentient beings - they feel pain, and they suffer, just like we do. They are not more important, or less important than human beings, but like human beings, they are important, too.

Dogfighting pits one dog against another until one of them dies. The survivor gets his flesh torn off, ears ripped off, eyes pulled out, etc., and the reward for being "a winner" is to writhe in pain until the next fight. Enough said. The pictures make my flesh crawl. The losers are tortured, beaten, starved, electrocuted or drowned. For what? Because these poor creatures were unlucky enough to be born a dog!

Every major faith teaches its followers to be responsible stewards of animals and the Earth. Please help us get the word out that caring for animals, just like caring for people, is an important part of just being a decent person and citizen. If we make this a priority, there will be no more dogfighting horror stories, and no more pointless comparisons of evils. Let us all rise, together, to be better people than we are today, shall we?

Chaplain Nancy Cronk
Founder, www.AnimalChaplains.com

Anonymous said...

you freaking idoits dog fighting is wronge and just because god lets bad things happen and we can understand he does it for good reasons dosn't mean you should just let someone train dogs to fight and he not be punished for it because he dosn't do it for good reasons animals have and fealings how would you feel if you were forced to fight would you like that you wouldn't so just because someone owns an animal dosn't give that person the right to make them fight you freakin idoits and of cores it's evil thats for all you idoits that think dog fighting isn't wronge!!!