Monday, March 03, 2008

Response to my article, "The Problem of God"

Dear Rev. Cootsona,

Thank you for your article in the Enterprise Record of March 1, 2008. It prompted this response from me:

The problem of ‘good’ is not insoluble for this atheist. Here’s how I do explain it. Good and evil are simply human contrived words--each being opposed to one another; either word is not a word that describes or fits into the natural world. Evil is a religious word. Better descriptors can be used to describe wasteful destruction, harm, pain, etc, but ‘evil’ connotates a satan or devil. There is no satan or devil.

By contrast, ‘good’ is a word that does not fit in a naturally evolving system of life on the planet. Life evolves in a manner that allows it to be in a constant state of change or flux. How exciting and marvelous is that to know! This makes me want to live forever; there is STILL so much to discover in the natural world. It is all so fabulously interesting! Pitiless indifference but absolutely fascinating nonetheless. I do fully agree with Richard Dawkins.

You might enjoy reading The Reluctant Mr. Darwin, by David Quammen. It gives wonderful insights into the complexities of Darwin’s discoveries of life evolving on the planet.

Humans are a part of the world, not separate from it. We are still animals despite the best efforts to deny this fact. We are certainly unusual animals and in the end may have a history on this planet that is so short (think geologic time) that we will almost be immeasurable, except for the dramatic influences we’ve had on other living systems. It seems that the more we have used technology to improve our lives, the quicker we’ve moved towards eradicating ourselves with the growth of our numbers (heading towards 7 billion and still expanding exponentially), exploiting natural resources, causing species extinctions, altering natural systems, etc.

This atheist finds herself satisfied with the same joy and appreciation of life as any other person might. In fact, I would say, more so, because I hold no falsehoods, belief in mythology or superstitions; nor do I deceive myself or waste time with prayers and activities that do not advance knowledge of the reality of life itself. I do not have to be ‘forgiven’ as I lead a life of consciousness that takes responsibility for my own actions.

There are those who believe that religion and science can co-exist. I am not one of these people. Religion is a crutch that was contrived to control and manipulate people and used in most despicable ways. The fact that religion continues today reminds me that humanity continues to evolve with all the rest of life, but I for one, feel free -- truly free.

Sincerely,
Tanya M. Henrich

4 comments:

Mister Steve said...

"Good and evil are simply human contrived words--each being opposed to one another; either word is not a word that describes or fits into the natural world. Evil is a religious word. Better descriptors can be used to describe wasteful destruction, harm, pain, etc, but ‘evil’ connotates a satan or devil. There is no satan or devil.

First of all, how does an atheist account for the pattern and order words, sentences, etc. from a worldview where everything came randomly in the first place? And, to say there is no Satan or Devil. How do you support that? How can you emperically prove that claim from a naturalist belief?

"Life evolves in a manner that allows it to be in a constant state of change or flux. "
Then how do you know tomorrow will be like today? Again, if things change in life, how do you know what you know is true? Including your assertion of good and evil being simply human contrived words?

"This atheist finds herself satisfied with the same joy and appreciation of life as any other person might..." of course she does because she's made in the image in God because how can she account for the immaterial concept of "joy" and "appreciation"?

"There are those who believe that religion and science can co-exist. I am not one of these people." Again, how does the atheistic worldview account for the order of the scientific method? What about the universal concepts of law and logic? Religion, specifically the Christian worldview can because we have the Bible as our source, our benchmark, our guide. Logic comes from the mind of God. Atheist can't account for anything because in your own words, life is in a "constant state of change or flux."

"Religion is a crutch that was contrived to control and manipulate people and used in most despicable ways." What about the belief system called Communism and the 100 million deaths at the hands of its atheist practitioners?

Sincerely
Steve Solis
http://thatsagreatquestion.blogspot.com

Mister Steve said...

Dear Rev. Cootsona,
Thank you for your article regarding the atheists' problem of good. I posted a link to your article on my blog. And, I also called in to an internet radio show on the subject. It can be found on my blog as well (dated 3/3/08)

God Bless you
Brother Steve

Bayesian Bouffant, FCD said...

mister steve: And, to say there is no Satan or Devil. How do you support that? How can you emperically prove that claim from a naturalist belief?

The same way you support a claim that there is no Easter bunny or Santa Claus. You start by placing the burden of proof where it belongs. Note the difference in your two sentences: "support" vs. "empirically prove." By the way, empirical investigation is usually quite happy with inductive probabilities, not deductive proof.

Oh wait - first I should have asked whether you believe in Santa Claus, I would hate to be presumptuous.

What about the universal concepts of law and logic? Religion, specifically the Christian worldview can because we have the Bible as our source, our benchmark, our guide.

You mean the book that states that a bat is a kind of bird, insects have four legs, and you can breed animals with stripes by putting sticks in their watering trough? That's your guide to logic? Come to think of it, that explains a few things about your posting.

Matt said...

again, bayesian, you could have made your point without being such a d!ck.

the ambiguity of the internet is a thing you greatly enjoy, isn't it?