FW: [asa] fall of Satan logic questions (racism)

From: Jon Tandy <tandyland@earthlink.net>
Date: Mon May 11 2009 - 10:42:13 EDT

Bernie, I'm not sure whether you received this originally through the ASA
list. No one seemed to comment on it, but I was curious of your reaction to
my comments. Here it is again, with a few corrections that I sent just
after the original.


If this didn't come through the ASA list originally, I'm curious to know why


Jon Tandy


From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On
Behalf Of Jon Tandy
Sent: Thursday, May 07, 2009 11:25 AM
To: 'ASA'
Subject: RE: [asa] fall of Satan logic questions (racism)




Did those things "evolve" naturally, through random changes in human
condition, as either a happy accident (truly random mutation) or an
inevitable consequence of human history (sort of as is proposed
biologically, with convergent evolution being set up to converge on certain
outcomes)? If humanistic sociologists tell you that anti-slavery policies
or women's rights naturally evolved as a consequence of larger brains
developing their own standards of moral fairness, in the absence of God or
an absolute moral law, how will you answer them?


Or did humans exercise the choice to take a stand to change the status quo,
in response to a sense of moral obligation to some higher law of justice,
equality, and fairness? Did they willingly choose to exercise free will,
even to suffering the consequences, to stand up against the seemingly
"natural" status quo of mankind's oppression and subjugation of other
groups? Think of Wilbur Wilburforce, Abraham Lincoln, Susan B. Anthony, and
many others who have exercised great labor and sacrifice to bring about
these changes in social thought, and tell me whether this has anything to do
with evolution - at least anything even remotely related to the term
"evolution" as used by the natural scientists in the field of biology. Men
fought and died in the United States both defending slavery and opposing it;
one side prevailed, and slavery is now illegal. How can this be said to be


Oh, and by the way, what about slavery as still practiced in other parts of
the world? Have they not evolved as far, socially, as we in the "developed"
world have, as evidenced by our attention to human rights of life, liberty,
and the pursuit of happiness? Is this not just a bit rosy-eyed and biased
toward the so-called developed world? How many of those in the
underdeveloped world have dropped nuclear weapons or Agent Orange or carpet
bombed populations of civilians, or bilked billions of dollars from unwary
citizens and third-world governments? (all things that our non-slavery,
women's suffrage, minority rights culture in the United States has done over
the last 60 years) What does "evolution" mean in this context?


If there is anything even remotely related to the use of the term evolution
in these two genres, what is it? I submit it's the use of the term
"evolution" as "change over time", which is such a vague usage that I
believe it is equivocation to relate the two. Everything changes over time,
doesn't it? Oh, except God. But that's not even true. Okay, theologically
I believe that "God changes not." But if you look at God's dealing with
Israel (law of Moses, Abraham-centric religion) vs. His dealing with the
ancient prophets of Israel (who spoke against the law in some ways, calling
the people to a higher law of the heart) vs. His dealing with the early
church vs. later Christian religion - one might make a good case that God
does change in His dealings and even His explicit legal requirements for
believers. I could provide an answer to that for the critics, but if you
are going to use such a broad definition of evolution that takes in any
change over time, then God evolves. Are you willing to deal with the
theological consequences?


Or did these social concepts evolve naturally, with God's providential
guidance over the affairs of men, in the same way that natural scientists
have proposed for God's governance over the biological and cosmological
history of the universe? I find this a very attractive belief, both in the
natural and social sciences - God typically interacts with the cosmos below
the surface, so to speak, to providentially direct its development in
certain directions, while allowing the natural forces of cause and effect
(and human free will) to act independently in many ways (and not ruling out
overt dealings, such as miracles). Again, the meaning of "evolution" in a
social sciences context seems meaningless other than "change," and seems
more related to the goal of atheistic social scientists to preach a
non-theistic philosophy of human development. Even if providence is true,
just as in the natural sciences the concept of providence is a theological
construct, not something that is provable or meaningful in a scientific
context. Oh, one more - if evolution is simply "change over time", then the
water evolved into wine at the marriage of Cana. Does this have any meaning
or positive value, biologically, socially, philosophically or theologically?


Jon Tandy


From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On
Behalf Of Dehler, Bernie
Sent: Thursday, May 07, 2009 9:32 AM
Subject: RE: [asa] fall of Satan logic questions (racism)


"Ethics, well, they just 'don't evolve' in so far as they are not biological
or otherwise 'natural' things."


All of these ethics have evolved (changed for the better):

-- Slavery (was universally condoned, now shunned by developed nations)
-- Women's rights (equal pay for equal work, for example)
-- Minority rights (for African Americans, as an example)


That's a small listing. Another huge category is Military operations.
Example: carpet-bombing a city was a natural tool of war- now it is
denounced as immoral (replaced with "surgical strikes"). Notice the
negative connotation of WMD. probably used to be good as a show of strength,
as "we have WMD's, don't mess with us!"


You can't put religion in science because there is no common understanding
of religion. There are different religions, and different flavors within
religions (Catholic, Protestant, Pentecostal, etc.). There's also no way to
measure anything with religion, because it is super-natural (it has to be
natural to measure).




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Received on Mon May 11 10:42:29 2009

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