Saturday, January 12, 2008

Cicero on Intelligent Design

"When you see a sundial or a water-clock, you see that it tells the time by design and not by chance. How then can you imagine that the universe as a whole is devoid of purpose and intelligence, when it embraces everything, including these artifacts themselves and their artificers?" (Cicero, De Natura Deorum, ii. 34)

14 comments:

Luke said...

Just click above and find out how sound your religious beliefs are.

Jeff said...

So I see that now, unbelievers (i.e., the "metaphysical engineers" on that website you provided the link to) have made the question of the existence of God into a game (in which they, in their limited knowledge and corrupted state, attempt to judge and dishonor a God Who is farther above them in knowledge, love, righteousness and holiness than we are from an amoeba). If Jesus called the Pharisees of His day "whitewashed graves" and "vipers," I wonder what He would call these "metaphysical engineers!"

Unfortunately, the fact that millions of people are dying and going to Hell is *no* game!

God created man; man turned against God; God paid for man's past and continuing sins by coming to Earth as a man and suffering our punishment Himself (the greatest act of love and self-sacrifice in all of history!); yet, many people (like your "metaphysical engineers") still foolishly refuse to accept that; so, since they refuse to let God save them from Hell, then God gives them over to their own free will choice---that choice being that they don't want to live under God's rule---and Heaven is under God's rule (and only holy, righteous, sinless people can live there)---therefore, they will spend all of eternity in the only alternative to Heaven, which is Hell. Since they won't let Jesus pay for their sins, they will spend all of eternity paying for their sins themselves...in the eternally-burning garbage pit, where all of God's enemies will be cast.

Barbara said...

Oh, dear.

But you didn't tell us what your score was!

Now try this one (click above), it's a bit more serious. Do tell us how you get on.

By the way, there's no need to speak so unkindly of us unbelievers. After all, we'll get our come-uppance in the etrnally-burning garbage-pit, if you are right.

Every good wish.

Jeff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeff said...

You're worried about what my SCORE was? Unbelievable.
And you even haughtily ask me to 'play' another one of your offensive God-bashing games? Instead of playing games that mock God's existence and characteristics, you should be on your knees repenting before Him. You don't know how many days you have left on this Earth. Any day could be your last.

What you claim as "speaking unkindly" to you is actually my imperfect attempt to warn you of the Hell that awaits for all liars, thieves, fornicators, adulterers, idolaters, and all the unrighteous who have not come to Christ to be pardoned.

You even admit that "after all, we'll get our come-uppance in the eternally-burning garbage-pit, if you are right."

Does that possibility not even CONCERN you???

Even if there is the *remotest possibility* that there is a Hell, and that you may possibly be wailing, screaming and crying in pain for all of eternity, grinding your teeth in agony, convulsing in pain, only knowing overwhelming loneliness and utter, extreme, unending hopelessness...
forever and ever and ever and ever...
don't you think it is then worth it to do whatever you can to find out, and to do whatever you can to *make sure* you do not end up in such a place?? If you care about yourself, *please* look into this seriously.

Barbara said...

Ah, diddums!

I'm not surprised that you didn't want to say what your score was: my guess is that it was about 0.2.

Anyway, that's enough of all that. I find your blog really very nasty, full of hate and with not a glimmer of Christian love or even ordinary human kindness. You must be a very unhappy man.

Still, if you want to exchange some more thoughts on godly matters you are very welcome to drop into my blog (click on my name above).

All good wishes.

Jeff said...

I do not hate you or anyone. In fact, the main reason for this blog is because I am concerned about people going to Hell, because Hell is a place I would not want anyone to go to. My warnings are an attempt to steer people *away* from Hell. If my warnings seem harsh or strict, it is because that is what the Bible says. It's also because Hell is such a terrifying place that it would be a selfish crime if I did not warn others about its existence, as well as try to persuade them to come to Christ so that they can escape that horrible place.

If, instead of mocking, accusing and attacking the God I love (i.e., by pointing me to such websites, as well as displaying such a haughty attitude), you were willing to actually seek out Truth and humbly and openly exchange ideas about "godly matters," then I would very much enjoy doing so.

But if all you're going to do is point me to sites that insult, offend and attack the character of my loving Father, and then make accusations against me, none of which are true, then your decision to say "that's enough of that" is understandable.

As far as my being unhappy, I am certainly unhappy that you are on your way to Hell, and yet don't seem willing to seek out how to prevent that.

My dad died a few years ago, and I don't know whether he was a Christian or not. Sometimes he said things that made it seem that maybe he was, but other times he said things that made it seem that maybe he was not. He was not extremely open about it. At first, I began thinking about it; but, when I thought about the possibility that my dad might be in Hell, to burn for all eternity, that was a thought that was far too horrible to think about. When my dad was alive, I would often pray for him. But now, I can't even pray for him anymore, because wherever he is, he will be there forever, and, for the first time, he is beyond my prayers. If he is in Hell, no amount of prayers can save him anymore. If he is in Heaven, then he doesn't need anyone's prayers.

If my dad is indeed in Hell (and, if I DO indeed see him in Heaven instead...OH!!!...that will be an UNBELIEVABLY joyful moment!!), then it is too late for him. But it is not too late for you. Even though I don't even know you, I would not desire that you *ever* see Hell. Instead, my desire for you is that you spend all of eternity in Paradise...in Heaven.

May you someday come to understand and appreciate the fact that our sins *separate* us from a holy, righteous God; and that, all we need to do to resolve that, is to turn away from (repent of) our sins and humble ourselves before Him, asking Him to change us and wash away all of our sins. If we will only do so, then we will see what an awesome, incredible, fantastic, faithful, loving God He is. And we will be saved from His wrath, and will gain eternal life. May this happen to you, and may you come to know abundant and overflowing joy through the love of Jesus.

Barbara said...

Well, that's a bit better, not quite so venomous.

But I still find unattractive the relish with which you describe the eternal torture that you say that unbelievers will suffer, and the supreme confidence you have that you will not be among them.

You must know that according to your faith only a very tiny proportion of all those who are living now, or have ever lived, will escape damnation, and that untold millions are and will always be in agony. If you can believe that a god who presides over this is a loving and merciful one, then you have a powerful imagination.

Anyway, although I find your creed utterly repellent I shall summarise what you have told me and publish it on my blog when I have time; it may be that some of my readers will be convinced by it and thus be saved from the everlasting flames.

Farewell

Jeff said...

barbara,

I appreciate your honesty.

Just to clarify, my "supreme confidence [I] have that [I] will not be among them" is not because I am any better than anyone else. It's because I am completely confident in Christ Jesus, and in His promise to save me from Hell if I am trusting Him.

The “relish” with which I describe “the eternal torture” is not enjoyment. What I’m trying to do is strongly stress that point so that, hopefully, someone will fear that place enough to take steps to avoid it. And, as far as you finding it “unattractive” and “utterly repellent,” well, that’s my intention! I don’t want to make Hell sound attractive! I want people to fear it so that they will hopefully come to Christ in order to avoid Hell!

The subject of Hell is something that has become politically incorrect. People think, “You’re an awful person to tell someone that they’re going to Hell! That’s terrible!” Yet, if Hell is real, and if most people are going there, shouldn’t they be warned, so that hopefully, some of them will repent and turn to Christ and go to Heaven instead? Wouldn’t it be the right and correct and compassionate thing to do, to warn them about such a horrible danger?

When you say, “You must know that according to your faith only a very tiny proportion of all those who are living now, or have ever lived, will escape damnation, and that untold millions are and will always be in agony,” you are correct. According to the Bible, Jesus said: "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” (Matt. 7:13-14)

But God is not only a loving and merciful God. He is not some giant teddy bear in the sky. Unfortunately, modern evangelists have focused on the idea that “God is love,” and that you should just come to Jesus so you can have a better, happier and more fulfilled life. They say you should come to Jesus to fill that “God-shaped hole” inside you. But this is an incomplete and somewhat distorted picture. I’m sure that there are a number of unbelievers that consider themselves to already be living a happy life. Not only that, but historically, the circumstances that most Christians have had to endure in the past have been persecution…hardly what could be called a “happier and more fulfilled life.” True, Jesus did say, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10) But he was talking about having joy despite bad circumstances…joy that transcends your circumstances….because He also said, “In this world you shall have tribulation.” (John 16:33)

In addition to being loving, God is also a holy and righteous God. He hates sin. Sin goes completely contrary to God’s nature. Sin is destructive. Sin hurts and destroys people. If God loves people, and sin hurts and destroys people, then God must necessarily hate that which is dangerous to those He loves. God loves people so much that He came to earth as a man to suffer the penalty for their sin, and to make the payment for their sin, since He knew we could never make the full payment ourselves. But if people refuse that payment, then there’s only one alternative: Hell. God has already given His all to keep us out of Hell. If we refuse that, then we are, in effect, refusing God’s help.

If you really do publish any of this on your blog site, Barbara, and it saves someone from Hell, then you will have done an unbelievably tremendous good! If that happens, that person should be eternally grateful to you. And I will surely be eternally grateful to you as well.

Steve B. said...

Sorry, I'm confused. I couldn't quite work out what was offensive about either of the processes that Luke and Barbara suggested. They seemed quite interesting – probably more so to believers than unbelievers. I mean, they are private, after all, and involve quite interesting concepts which might enable a person better to grasp and express their beliefs.

Jeff, can you tell me why you found them offensive?

Honestly confused.

Jeff said...

Steve B.,

*Sigh* You want me to go over *that* again? Fine. I'll try to give a sufficiently comprehensive answer, but I don't want to spend a lot of time talking about why I don't like those two websites, because I don't enjoy saying negative things about other people's websites, and it is not the purpose of this blog.

OK...In answer to your question, I find it offensive that the whole idea of those 'games' is based on challenging and attacking and undermining the Christian view of God. None of it glorifies or praises or honors God, and all of the questions and conclusions and implications that are made, only judge, condemn and attack God. The only conclusions about God that are offered, from what I saw, are things such as claiming that God "is not all-powerful," "is not all-loving," and "can't be all-knowing." All negative things. No attempt is made to address things like "the problem of suffering" except for negative attacks against God. If the 'metaphysical engineers' are clueless as to what a plausible answer might be, it would only then be fair to consult various theologians and post their answers. But no attempt to do anything like that is even made. There are no positives, and all negatives. Therefore, anyone playing this 'game' who does not know God is likely to be influenced to discard any belief in God; and, in influencing people in such a manner, these games are lending to the destruction of people's souls. Since I don't want people to go to Hell (as well as, since I don't like people talking negatively about the God I love), then I am against what this game teaches.

Basically, the game poses a number of philosophical/theological problems, but refuses to make any attempt to answer those problems (except for solutions that belittle or condemn God); instead, it only focuses on the problems and clarifies them so that they will stand out in the individual's mind...which is actually a subtle way of attacking belief in God.

I find it offensive that the 'metaphysical engineers' put themselves in the place of being worthy of judging God and even being superior to God (i.e., when it says, "The metaphysical engineers find it hard to model this resolution as they think they can make a better world quite easily"). In doing this, they are making the implication that, at least in some way, God must be only equal to, or actually inferior to them---or else, they could not have the right to make implied judgments against Him. And, even though those websites pretend not to come to any conclusions about God, and claim that they are leaving the conclusions up to the reader, they are most certainly making very strong hints and implications, as well as plain statements, which are clearly meant to influence the reader toward a specific direction (i.e., when it says, "and perhaps even revise your former beliefs.").

(Another example: it asks, "Is the conception of God consistent with itself?"...based on what? On the 'metaphysical engineers' conception of what God must be like? These 'metaphysical engineers' obviously don't even *know* God, so how can they judge anything about His characteristics? They
are judging a superior Being, Who is superior to them morally, intellectually, and in every other way; so again, how can they suppose that they can make a judgment against God? They are lowering God to human status, and judging God on that level. How can they know whether a characteristic of God is consistent with another characteristic of God? How can they pretend to assume anything about why God does what He does? Can they see all the implications of God's actions? No. Can they understand an infinite Being? No. Basically, they are doing the same thing that the Pharisees did when they made accusations against Jesus.)

I find it very offensive calling God a 'she.' This is an obvious and intentional slight on God, because, after suggesting such things as 'whatever your idea of god is' and proving ignorance of any final answers about God by remaining mostly silent on any of those issues having to do with the way He works or His character, it very decidedly and abruptly makes the decision that God is necessarily female. It does not even suggest that God *may* be female; rather, it assumes this without question. This is an intellectually dishonest ploy, and is obviously meant as a deliberate attack upon the God of the Bible.

(The Bible always refers to God in the masculine. Jesus, God the Son, was born a male. If someone called me a girl, I would be offended. If someone calls God a girl, I am far more offended.)

I'm sure I could find many more things about those games that offend me, but I think that should suffice.

Cory Burnell said...

Dear Brother in Christ

One of my fellow board members has commended your blog to me as it makes clear that you are a fine god-fearing person of the kind we need to complete our mission.

I therefore hope that you will study the Christian Exodus project and consider very carefully whether you can join us in our efforts to bring God back into the government of our great country.

Your very sincerely

Steve B. said...

Jeff, thanks for making a detailed response to my question. Although, there was no need to be haughty and add the *Sigh* as though you were talking patiently to a small child.

I think you are giving the Metaphysical Engineers far too much credit. I don't see where they are saying that your answers may be wrong, or worth any less than theirs might be if they gave them.

I am disappointed, too, that you think being a girl is somehow less worthy than being you, so that you would be offended to be called one. I wouldn't be offended if I was addressed as a girl, just confused. And I am 6 foot two and a sometime amateur wrestler. But perhaps confusion is offensive to you? I don't know.

I think it's also very haughty of you to keep calling the questions "games". They are important to some people and just because they aren't very important to you there is no need to belittle them.

But again, I appreciate you took the time to spell out your whole position. Sorry if I was a little slow.

Jeff said...

Steve B.,

I appreciate your humble attitude.

Sorry if the *sigh* sounded haughty. It was meant merely to be frustration at having to deal again with material I did not find pleasant (i.e., to relive an unpleasant experience). I did not mean it to come off as condescending, or to sound like I was having to explain something to someone who was not getting it.

Maybe you're right; maybe I am just giving the 'metaphysical engineers' too much credit.

As far as being called a girl, my point was that I am not a girl, so I would not enjoy being identified as something other than what I am. If I *was* a girl, then I would *only* want to be called a girl, and not a guy. But I meant it in the sense of someone purposely calling me a girl in order to make fun of me. Maybe a better example would be if someone called me a 'baby.' I mean it in the same sense that you said, "as though you were talking patiently to a small child." Obviously, you would not enjoy being called a child.

The reason I call them 'games' is only because that's how they seem to be purposely set up. I'm not saying 'games' because they're not very important, or because I'm trying to belittle them by calling them that. I'm calling them 'games' because I'm assuming that the creators intentionally meant for them to be 'played' like a 'game.'

Again, I did not think you were being slow. If you are not a born-again Christian, then its very understandable that you would not be offended by the things that I was offended by. My frustration was because I didn't want to keep arguing about those websites and keep having to say negative things about them. I thought maybe you or someone else might keep battling me over every single point where I said I was offended, and I don't want to battle over some website that someone created.

The problem with text is that it is so easy to misunderstand someone's intention, since there are no facial expressions, tonal inflections, body language, etc. In this case, even trying to remedy that by using something like a *sigh* doesn't always work right.

I'm running late. Have a good day.