In my view, it is pointless to debate the morality of anything with an atheist until he is willing to admit that moral assessments imply the existence of the immaterial and transcendental realities that must exist if those assessments reflect anything more than one’s favorite flavor of ice cream.
Tag: Problem of Pain
Here is the part of Mark’s argument where I saw a parallel: the KSM trial won’t be a ‘show trial’ because the outcome isn’t rigged. I retorted that there was no doubt in my mind that if KSM was declared innocent, whether on the merits of the case or because of a technicality, there was no way that KSM wouldn’t end up in custody again, which is in effect an unfair trial under the constitution, for if a person is declared innocent under the constitution, he is free to go. Mark replied that what happens after the trial is irrelevant to the fairness of the trial.
I will leave aside other aspects of the conversation which you can read for yourself.
I find this to be an interesting argument that seems to be the same argument that many atheists appear to be running with when they decide that it is likely that God doesn’t exist because a loving, omnipotent and omniscient God wouldn’t allow such horrible evils to occur.
What is the alternative? Let us imagine that every time someone did an evil thing, God swooped in and prevented it. If this happened, would we imagine that that person really had free will?
The Athanatos Online Academy spring session is beginning soon. The 2-3 week courses begin at $19.95.
On May 1st, Greek (part 1) will be available. This three week course will introduce learners to the alphabet, basic grammar and vocabulary, and Greek language reference tools. By the end of the three weeks you will be able to explore the actual Greek text our English translations are derived from. Greek 1 and 2 are being taught by Glenn Jones. His ministry site is www.indefenseofthefaith.org. He is pursuing his MA in Religion at Reformed Theological Seminary.
May 1. Basic New Testament Greek Part 1
May 10. Reliability of the New Testament Documents
May 11. Hitler and Christianity [FREE!]
May 13. Christ Promised in the Old Testament
May 18. Study in Alleged Bible Contradictions
May 18. The Problem of Pain and Suffering
May 25. Basic New Testament Greek Part 2
June 1. The Historical Jesus: A Survey
All in all it was an interesting exchange. I thought his explanation for his disbelief confirmed what I’ve been saying for some time about the church actually creating atheists. In fact, let me take a minute to single out a correspondent from a church in Indiana- is that specific enough?- who recently complained about my ‘law’ posts attacking the state of the church and how we are transmitting the faith and just ask him: do you ever even talk to people who are not Christian? It must be nice to operate in a little bubble where you figured you did your job after you confirmed all the kids in your youth group but then 48 out of 50 of them fall away in college- and you hardly are aware and are happily willing to go on doing everything the same way you’ve always done it. Meanwhile, we apologists strive to clean up the mess. It is a mess made worse, often, I think, then if they had never been raised in the faith at all. (Matthew 12:43-45) Yes, if it’s law, it is a law message that you need to hear.
But I digress.
The conversation I had last night raised a number of lines of thoughts for me
A recent commentator on my youtube vid of me responding to a question about the problem of pain declares “The analogy fails.” What I had said was that the problem of pain reflected a heart wrenching reaction to what we see in the world but we already have in hand the principle to unravel it: …
I think there are a lot of people on the Internet on both sides of this anecdote. Some people are trying to talk people out of their pain. Some people are in pain talking as though they are not. Of course, I here refer mainly to psychological pain rather than physical pain, but I think the principle still holds. Words won’t take away psychological pain just as they don’t stop physical pain.
It may sound like ‘reducing’ much of the Bible to human revelation about special revelation I have greatly diminished its veracity but in truth what this move does is place our testing of the Bible’s claims into the same category of testing that we use for any other historical claim. In other words, it is the atheists that raise special challenges against the Biblical texts (ie, ‘Extraordinary claims…’) while Christians worth their salt are merely asking atheists to employ the same standards of evidence and proof, the same principles of reasoning, the same sense of fairness, that we apply to any other claim.
This has been one of those summers, I’ll tell you. I suppose it has been noticed that I haven’t been contributing to the blog very much, or sending out newsletters, or debating very much on the forum. September is on its way and I for one am looking forward to ‘vacation’ being over so that …
A review of Nancy Douglas’s Freedom: Healing for Parents of Disabled Children (Buy from Amazon) Book Description In the pages of Freedom, Nancy Douglas candidly shares the pain, grief, and trials of having a disabled child. From the initial storm of discovering her daughter was Autistic, deaf, and Failure to Thrive, to the agony of …
Online apologetics courses now enrolling: believe in the resurrection of Jesus but don’t know the evidence?
Believe in the resurrection of Jesus but don’t know the evidence for that belief? Do you see that as a problem? You should. Confused about how the New Testament canon came to be and nervous that books like Dan Brown’s “The Da Vinci Code” might have something to it? Arm yourself with the facts. Afraid …