Re: [asa] Wells and traditional Christianity

From: D. F. Siemens, Jr. <>
Date: Sat Sep 02 2006 - 18:51:14 EDT

Don't get your water hot. You can reject YEC and still think like one of
them. I say the same about Dick and Glenn, who have been doing their best
for years to combat the view. For that matter, Dawkins shares many basic
presuppositions with the YECs. What they don't share is the existence of
a deity.

As for love, a major problem is that it is reduced to sentimentality.
Applying the notion that is commonly insisted on for the deity to a
surgeon would prove her to be a monster--especially a few years back. I
can remember exploratory surgery that practically split the patient, who
was then told there was nothing they could do to help. Such surgeries
have been eliminated by CAT-scans, MRIs, PET-scans. But a generation
back, exploratory surgery was the only way to determine if there was a
way to relieve a perceived problem, even if in the end they could only
sew them up and tell them to prepare to die.

It is easy to produce a remedy for a situation if there is no need to
deal with related consequences. So those with tunnel vision propose that
pain and death are not compatible with a loving God. Merv's citation of
Paul Brand is relevant. So is the removal of predators from the North Rim
of the Grand Canyon some decades back. What's better: a few slow, weak,
stupid or unlucky deer killed and eaten or all the deer dying of disease
and starvation? But the blood and guts of a half-eaten carcase produces
an immediate emotional response, whereas a sick or starving beast is less
compelling, unless the whole picture is grasped intellectually. But I
also note that recent studies in psychology demonstrate the power of
commitments and emotions to control thought.

On Sat, 2 Sep 2006 12:37:53 +0100 "Iain Strachan"
<> writes:

I did say right at the start that I was trying to work out these ideas
myself, and I was trying to respond to Merv's points. I may not have got
it right in the course of the debate, but let's at least try to be
civilised in that debate.

You know very well that I have completely rejected YEC-ism. To accuse me
of thinking like a YEC is unfair, and, if I may speak plainly, pretty
insulting, and doesn't contribute anything useful to the argument. Try
telling Dawkins he's thinking like a YEC when he makes precisely the same
points about animal suffering in "River out of Eden".

Dawkins, as an atheist, has an easy way out - the fact that there is so
much misery and suffering means there is no God - it is precisely what we
would expect from blind, indifferent Nature. We don't have that easy way
out & have to think up a reasonable answer. Stating that caterpillars
probably can't feel pain seems neither relevant nor persuasive. In the
same sentence Darwin mentioned the cat playing with the mouse.
Presumably a mouse can feel pain and fear as part of its own survival
instinct, so you're not off the hook because you haven't addressed the
general issue of whether animals suffer, and whether this is a direct
consequence of the sin of man, and how do we square this with the notion
of a loving God. I'm sure any atheist that one would want to witness to
would think that was a reasonable question to ask.


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Received on Sat Sep 2 18:56:03 2006

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