Re: [asa] RE:(feedback) Kenneth Miller in Portland Oregon tomorrow, Thur.

From: David Clounch <>
Date: Mon Jun 01 2009 - 14:43:40 EDT

The natural condition of all human beings, assuming there is no God to reach
down and rescue some from this fate, is to end up in hell.

Unless of course there is no hell. If there is no hell then there is no
ethical dilemma. If, of course, one can live with giving up on justice.

Why? As Kant pointed out, there must be a hell for justice to exist. There
certainly is no justice on this earth - human justice is a sad facsimile of
real justice. So by Kant's reasoning, justice must happen in the afterlife.

Whats the roots of the alleged ethical dilemma?
I get the impression that some people, if they won the lottery, instead of
being happy, would sue the lottery "because not everyone won the lottery".
They would claim the lottery was unfair, or maybe even claim there is no
lottery or should be no lottery, and if there is, lets kill it because it
must be outdated and oppressive. They might even reject all truck with
the lottery and even decide "oh, I dont believe in buying lottery
tickets". What they miss is, of course, that after killing the horrible
lottery they are left with the result that everyone is left in poverty.

To an evolutionary biologist its very very fair to produce a billion
offspring in the hopes one or two or three will survive. The loss of
999,999,997 isn't unfair. Its the plan! Thinking this way, if almost all
the human race ends up in hell just so a few can be rescued, please explain
to me how is this kind of plan different that straight up biology? Where's
the problem?

But, to a *traditional* thinker who presupposes that God pre-planned every
single human life, and valued every single individual human since from
before the beginning of time - yes, then and only is there an ethical
problem to be solved. (and there is indeed a solution but thats for another
day). But excuse me, the people who believe that traditional way are all
either creationists or IDers. Or at the very least people who haven't given
up on pre-planning since before time began. (I say nothing here about TE
because I dont understand how a TE formulates God's pre-planning of every
human before the universe began, so I can't say anything about that view. )
  To me the concepts of pre-planning and design go together, but maybe I am
wrong about that? When I hear everyone denying design what I really hear is
they are denying pre-planning with preferred outcomes and actual caring on
the part of the planner.

There seems yet another way, Miller's way, perhaps. Synthesize the
biologist's approach with Christianity. You get: The Stochastic God.
The Stochastic God isnt designing and isn't pre-planning. The Stochastic
God is running a simulation to see what sorts of individuals are produced,
what choices they will make, etc. There is no concept of real love or
caring there. The Stochastic God is the one true loveless God. We hear a
lot of whining about how its the traditional God who doesn't love. But
that's not true. The real ethical dilemma of love and justice is vastly
more problematic with The Stochastic God. I cannot tell the difference
between the cold hearted Stochastic God and the cold hearted universe of the
atheist. So I don't think the grad student is going to get a satisfying
answer or a satisfying eschatology from that group.

On Fri, May 29, 2009 at 3:50 PM, Michael Roberts <> wrote:

> Bernie
> Thanks for this very telling and worrying e-mail, highlighting your problem
> and the bible graduate who was clearly taught a very harsh version of the
> Gospel.
> The issues raised would fill a few books
> Michael
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Dehler, Bernie" <
> To: "asa" <>
> Sent: Friday, May 29, 2009 9:37 PM
> Subject: [asa] RE:(feedback) Kenneth Miller in Portland Oregon tomorrow,
> Thur.
> I enjoyed meeting Prof. Miller prior to the event and talked to him about
> some of his debates with Dawkins and Hitchens over science/religion. I also
> got to ask a question after his presentation in Q&A time.
> It was a Miller YouTube broadcast that first brought the news to me about
> the DNA evidence for human biological evolution from lower primates-
> chromosome #2. If it wasn't for the ASA and Francis Collins giving me
> reason to pause, I almost left the faith over it.
> Afterwards, I joined a group for an after-dinner discussion- most of them
> were atheists (one was a former Bible school graduate in the process of
> turning atheist- his issue was the 99% of people going to hell).
> I told Prof. Miller I appreciated his "ministry," and I do.
> ...Bernie
> -----Original Message-----
> From: [] On
> Behalf Of Dehler, Bernie
> Sent: Wednesday, May 27, 2009 5:58 PM
> To: asa
> Subject: [asa] Kenneth Miller in Portland Oregon tomorrow, Thur.
> FYI- see below.
> Kenneth Miller is famous in the evolution/creation debate, as a court
> witness and author. He's a Catholic that fully accepts evolution. You can
> see him in action on many YouTube video clips. See below. Tell your
> Portland Oregon friends.
> ...Bernie (I hope to make it!)
> ---------------------------
> PORTLAND: Thursday, May 28 at 5:30 p.m.-White Stag Block, 70 NW
> Couch St.
> "Darwin, God, and Design: America's Continuing Problem with
> Evolution"
> Department of Molecular Biology, Cell Biology and Biochemistry,
> Brown University
> Oregon Humanities Center 2008-9 Kritikos Professor
> These events are free and open to the public. For information,
> or for disability accommodations, please call (541) 346-3934.
> This series is cosponsored by the Oregon Humanities Center,
> Center for Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Institute of
> Molecular Biology, Institute of Neuroscience, Museum of Natural
> and Cultural History, Department of Biology, and the College of
> Arts and Sciences.
> The University of Oregon is an equal-opportunity, affirmative-
> action institution committed to cultural diversity and
> compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. This
> publication will be made available in accessible formats upon
> request.
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Jesus showed us God can be both transcendant *and*  physical.   Deistic
Christians want to say God cannot be physical because God is 100%
supernatural.  I don't believe this.
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Received on Mon Jun 1 14:44:25 2009

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