Mom Plays God: Brings Good from Evil

It’s often easy to spot militant atheists who attend my presentation called I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist. They usually sit with their arms folded and scowls on their faces.  During a recent presentation at Michigan State, I knew I’d get push back from one such scowling student sitting to my right.  He looked mad and was mad.  (He wouldn’t even smile at a hilarious Homer Simpson clip!)

He shot his hand up during the Q&A and yelled out, “You mentioned the problem of evil during your presentation but you didn’t answer it!  If there is a good God, then why does evil exist?  Why doesn’t God stop it?”

I said, “Sir, that is an excellent question.  Sometimes I bluntly answer this way.  ‘If God stopped all evil, he might start with you . . . and me because we both do evil every day.’  To end evil on earth God would have to take away our free will.  But if he takes away our free will, he takes away our ability to love as well.  Allow me to show you a video that beautifully illustrates this in less than two minutes.”  I then played this outstanding video which traces evil back to free will.

Most in the audience appreciated the clip and applauded.  But the atheist was unmoved.  “Why do babies die, why do tsunamis occur?  These aren’t the result of free will!” he protested.

“True, they are not the result of someone’s free will today,” I explained. “But Christianity traces all of our trouble back to a free will choice by Adam.  As a result, we live in a fallen world where bad things happen, but God takes the initiative to bring good from evil.  In fact, you can sum up the entire Bible in one word—redemption.  Paradise lost in Genesis is paradise regained in Revelation.  God initiated and achieved this redemption by sending Jesus Christ who suffered and died on our behalf.  So we can question God about suffering as the biblical writers did, but God didn’t exempt Himself from it.  Jesus was the only completely innocent person in the history of the world, yet he suffered horribly for our redemption.  He brought good from evil.”

The atheist didn’t like that either. He interrupted me several times, so I finally asked him, “Are you an atheist?”

He refused to answer but then blurted out,  “It doesn’t matter!”

I said, “It does matter because if you are an atheist (I later learned from his blog he is), then you have no grounds by which to judge anything evil.  Objective evil doesn’t exist unless objective good exists and objective good doesn’t exist unless God exists.  You can have good without evil, but you can’t have evil without good.  In other words, the shadows prove the sunshine.  You can have sunshine without shadows, but you can’t have shadows without sunshine. So evil doesn’t disprove God—it actually shows there must be a God because it presupposes Good.  Evil may prove there’s a devil out there, but it doesn’t disprove God.”

The atheist persisted, “But if God exists, why do some babies die such horrible deaths?” 

Well, if the atheist is granting that God exists, then he has a valid question.  While he can’t explain evil and suffering from his atheistic worldview, I need to explain it from mine.

My explanation went this way.  Although I know why evil in general occurs (see the video), I don’t know why every specific evil occurs.  But I know why I don’t know why—because I’m finite and can’t see into the future.  Since God is infinite and can see all the way into eternity, he may allow evil events that ultimately work together for good.  In other words, he can still bring good from evil even if we can’t see how.  

To illustrate, I referred back to the classic Christmas movie “It’s a Wonderful Life.”  That’s where George Bailey, played by Jimmy Stewart, falls on hard times, becomes despondent and tries to commit suicide.  He’s saved by an angel and is permitted to see how life in his town would have turned out if he had never existed.  George sees that everything would have turned out far worse without him, and thus realizes that even though evil infects life, good can prevail in the end.  George could only see this with God’s timeless perspective.  Only God can see how trillions of free choices and events can interact ultimately for good even if some of them seem hopelessly negative at the time.  (In fact, that’s one reason why God told Job to trust him.)  

At that point, a man sitting ten feet from the atheist raised his hand. 

“Go ahead, sir.”

He first looked over at the atheist, then back at me and said, “I know of a young woman who was raped and became pregnant.  The rape nearly destroyed her.” His voice began to crack . . . “But she decided that she would not punish the baby for the sin of the father.  She later gave birth to a baby boy.”  (By this point he was weeping openly.) “And that boy grew up to be a pastor whom God has used to help bring many people to Christ.  He ministers to people to this day. That boy grew up to be me. 

He then looked back at the atheist and said, “My mother turned evil into good, and God can too.”          

The atheist left immediately after the event ended, but I did get to meet that brave pastor who spoke up.  His name is Gary Bingham, and he’s the pastor of Hillside Wesleyan Church in Marion, Indiana.  Gary told me that his mom had self-confidence issues for many years but is doing much better since becoming a Christian a few years ago.   I thanked him and asked him to let his mom know that she touched many for good that night.  I hope through this column she has touched many more today.

Free CrossExamined.org Resource

Get the first chapter of "Stealing From God: Why Atheists Need God to Make Their Case" in PDF.

Powered by ConvertKit
28 replies
  1. Toby R. says:

    “he may allow evil events that ultimately work together for good. In other words, he can still bring good from evil even if we can’t see how.”

    What this makes it sound like you’re saying is that evil doesn’t exist. If as you say earlier shadows come from sun, then shadows are a function of sun. If evil can come from good, whether a deity does it or a human, then evil is a function of good. It seems to start eroding your free will argument. Or so it would seem.

    Reply
  2. Tim D. says:

    It bothers me sometimes how people trivialize the suffering of rape victims when they talk about things like this. Like the problems that come from being raped are no worse or more difficult to overcome than the side-effects of taking a prescription medication, or the sniffles. I know it’s not usually meant that way but it certainly comes across so; it’s a little disturbing.

    Reply
  3. Toby R says:

    Tim, it’s about like how people will trot out the references to Hitler when talking about politicians. It’s just stupidity. “really? Politician XYZ is as bad as hitler huh? Why? Because he doesn’t agree with you? Well then you’re thoroughly justified comparing a man/woman who has never killed anyone with the biggest mass murderer that humanity has known.” Id. E. Ut.

    Reply
  4. Toby R says:

    Mr. T. You’re a fellow that has said or supported that atheists or whoever claim to have closed minds, I’m thinking of the intelligent design posts here, but I’m curious to know what thinking you’ve done in an effort to create what you would consider a suitable “atheist morality”.

    ““It does matter because if you are an atheist (I later learned from his blog he is), then you have no grounds by which to judge anything evil. Objective evil doesn’t exist unless objective good exists and objective good doesn’t exist unless God exists.”

    Throw out your preconception that there has to be something supernatural to “ground” morality. How would you build that system of morality?

    Reply
  5. Tim D. says:

    Tim, it’s about like how people will trot out the references to Hitler when talking about politicians. It’s just stupidity. “really? Politician XYZ is as bad as hitler huh? Why? Because he doesn’t agree with you? Well then you’re thoroughly justified comparing a man/woman who has never killed anyone with the biggest mass murderer that humanity has known.” Id. E. Ut.

    It just bothers me that there’s almost never any real emphasis placed on the emotional recovery aspect of rape; women can be portrayed as evil for having abortions, or saints for having the baby, but in either case, there’s pretty much zero concern for her well-being. Regardless of whether she has the baby or not — even assuming she does decide to have a baby conceived from rape — there is still a significant emotional toll that must be acknowledged and settled (I might even say in some cases that there’s more of a toll on a woman who has the baby).

    If you try to bring attention to this fact, you’re denounced as a “liberal abortionist” or some other nonsense (never you mind that this has nothing whatsoever to do with abortion, it’s an issue regardless). In fact, if you show any concern whatsoever about the mother’s emotional well-being, it’s assumed a priori by anti-abortionists that you’re just trying to set them up to make an emotional plea in favor of abortion. It’s like they don’t even take it seriously.

    So you might say I find it disturbing that the actual, real suffering of a human being is essentially swept under the rug to make a political point (about abortion), and even moreso that the actual, real suffering of the mother is considered less important than the imagined, not-even-possible-in-principle suffering of the undeveloped blastocyst (which has no nervous system and no center of consciousness).

    Even if we completely granted the issue of abortion to anti-abortionists, I find the way that they seem to disregard the suffering of unwilling mothers in cases of rape to be pretty despicable.

    Reply
  6. Frank Turek says:

    Tim,

    Your post assumes that when a woman kills her unborn child that there are no negative effects on the woman. There are. It’s not just the baby that is killed, but the woman often experiences emotional and even negative physical consequences for many years.

    But abortion is not the main point of the post anyway. The point of the post is that if we can bring good from evil, then God can too. This rape victim was just an example brought up by the man who could have been aborted himself!

    This is one reason why I very rarely interact anymore on this blog. The comments get too far afield of the main point perhaps because some contrarians have no answer to the main point.

    Blessings,

    Frank

    Reply
  7. Tim D. says:

    Your post assumes that when a woman kills her unborn child that there are no negative effects on the woman. There are. It’s not just the baby that is killed, but the woman often experiences emotional and even negative physical consequences for many years.

    I actually never assumed that at all. I even said I’d grant you that. My point was that there are negative consequences regardless that must be dealt with.

    This is one reason why I very rarely interact anymore on this blog. The comments get too far afield of the main point perhaps because some contrarians have no answer to the main point.

    I have nothing to say about the main point, you are right about that. I prefer to leave the discussions of the intricacies of practicing Christianity to the people who practice it. I was simply pointing out something I see as a problem (intentional or not) inherent in the way people express their views about such things as abortion.

    Reply
  8. Toby R says:

    I’m not sure that I can spot the point of this post. Abortion, scoring points against “militant atheists”, or something to do with good and evil.

    The interesting part of this post, for me, is the fun word play, substituting “decided” for “chose”. Also the underlying implication that we should mourn the thousands of possible Einsteins or Salks or Teslas that could have been had it not been for abortions. It’s an argument we’ve all heard before, but could equally be used in this way: We should all mourn the millions of potential humanitarian geniuses that aren’t here because of the years of preached abstinence.

    Reply
  9. Tim D. says:

    I’m not sure that I can spot the point of this post. Abortion, scoring points against “militant atheists”, or something to do with good and evil.

    If you look at it uncritically, I think you can give the benefit of the doubt and assume Mr. Turek was trying to make a generally positive point for once — that people can take bad things and make them into good things. “If life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” that sort of thing. And of course that, in itself, isn’t really objectionable.

    It just seems that the use of such a decidedly divisive subject as abortion served to cloud that message far more than another, less political example might have done. It’s almost a given that if you mention abortion while trying to talk about something else, people are *going* to get distracted and talk about abortion — they’re either going to agree with you (and thus see it as you ‘taking a stab against the other guys’), or they’re going to disagree with you and start arguing with your reasoning.

    I guess you could say that’s one of the caveats that comes with making comments about controversial subjects. It’s almost impossible to make them transparent.

    Reply
  10. NickO says:

    I once believed that I was a Christian. I once believed that I had no right to tell a woman what she should do with her body. When I really understood Christ, and that all life belongs to Him, that all life is created through and for Him then my perspective changed. I realized that a woman does have a right to her body, but the body that is being destroyed is not her own. The mothers body only merely supports the alien body that grows inside her. What about the child’s right to live?

    I used to believe that a woman that was raped should abort the child. That is until I met my friend Jason. Jason was a product of rape. He said that his mother decided to keep him. His mother was a strong Christian woman and she raised and loved Jason as her child just the way a mother should. Jason is one of the most skilled carpenters that I have ever met. He creates amazing custom wood pieces that look mode like pieces of art. Jason loves the Lord, He especially loves Jesus. He gives Christ all the glory and He isn’t ashamed to let everyone know where he got his carpentry skills. He attributes it all to his heavenly father.

    I used to believe that it was a woman’s body, a woman’s choice. I used to believe that out of the product of rape there could be no good. I stand here today to tell you the truth…. I was wrong. God can take all things and use it for the greater good, we just have to open our eyes and our hearts. Peace

    Reply
  11. Luke says:

    NickO said:I used to believe that a woman that was raped should abort the child.

    I have never met anyone who actually thought this.

    How did you come to this conclusion (I realize it’s not one you still hold)?

    Thanks,

    Luke

    Reply
  12. Charles says:

    From what I understand about the atheist point of view is that because there is evil that exists then there is no point in the concept of a god if he cannot or will not do anything about it and that it is just a fact of life that these terrible things take place. Please correct me if I am wrong.

    Without G-D then why is there any reason for us to do anything about these things? Really. Why donate our resources for the good of someone who has had tragic circumstances? For the survival of the species; perhaps, but then only the strong survive. Right? (natural selection)

    The existence of evil in this world, in a sense, is necessary because without it our choices wouldn’t bear record of our beliefs. How could we show compassion and relate to others if nothing goes wrong? I think it really shows what side we are on and proves to G-D and ourselves what matters to us. It is only then that blessing really occurs because without a mess there is no message and without a test there is no testimony.

    These things we go through are not simply for us to learn, but also for us to convey and unite us.

    Reply
  13. Tim D. says:

    From what I understand about the atheist point of view is that because there is evil that exists then there is no point in the concept of a god if he cannot or will not do anything about it and that it is just a fact of life that these terrible things take place.

    Wrong again. The atheist point of view is that I don’t believe there is a god, so talking about “the point” of god’s existence seems kind of….well, pointless.

    Without G-D then why is there any reason for us to do anything about these things? Really. Why donate our resources for the good of someone who has had tragic circumstances? For the survival of the species; perhaps, but then only the strong survive. Right? (natural selection)

    …no. Just….no.

    This is such a sad, terrible (and persistently repetitive) argument that I’m getting sick of even addressing it. I’m just going to say that if you see no reason to care about other people except through belief in god, then by all means, keep your god. If that’s the only thing keeping you from just becoming another do-nothing lazy slob, then by all means keep it. But don’t try to pin your slothlike tendencies on me or anyone else. I have plenty of reasons to behave the way I do, it’s just that you don’t like them. Which is odd because to me (and to many other atheists), doing things that help other people is its own reward, self-evidently, apart from any idea of “what god wants” or “supernatural reward.”

    So basically, there are *plenty* of reasons to do the things you listed without god. You just don’t like them. Well, tough luck, Charlie~

    The existence of evil in this world, in a sense, is necessary because without it our choices wouldn’t bear record of our beliefs. How could we show compassion and relate to others if nothing goes wrong?

    Problem is, none of that would even be necessary if god existed and had simply created the world without evil. We wouldn’t need to worry about going out of our way to show beliefs and compassion, because we would already be good.

    Every resolution to the problem of evil that I’ve ever heard basically amounts to, “God made evil so he can address some problem or challenge…..that only exists in the first place because he made evil.”

    Reply
  14. Tim D. says:

    P.S.

    Another odd thing about these attempts to resolve the problem of evil is that they assume that our existence, as humans, is somehow inherently necessary. They seem to put forth the idea that God had to create humans, and that the existence of humans — originally or eventually — is a given that must be accepted. This point is given an even higher status of worship than god himself, even. As if god himself even had no choice in the creation of humans, as if this were the only possible reason for his existence, to create and manage humans.

    So you could say, from a Christian view, that god exists for us, not the other way around. Without us, god would be nothing and have no purpose….because all of his purposes revolve around our necessary existence. Without humans there would simply be no need for a god.

    Reply
  15. Charles says:

    ** Wrong again. The atheist point of view is that I don’t believe there is a god, so talking about “the point” of god’s existence seems kind of….well, pointless.

    Right……??? I thought that’s what was getting at, but thank you for the clarification.

    ** If that’s the only thing keeping you from just becoming another do-nothing lazy slob, then by all means keep it. But don’t try to pin your slothlike tendencies on me or anyone else. I have plenty of reasons to behave the way I do, it’s just that you don’t like them. Which is odd because to me (and to many other atheists), doing things that help other people is its own reward, self-evidently, apart from any idea of “what god wants” or “supernatural reward.”

    I am not, in any way, implying specifics to anyone; especially you. I am speaking in general. You are not the only “good and moral” Atheist either. I understand that there are plenty of people from diverse beliefs that “do” good. The thing is there are also many non believers that do not share your compassion for human life.

    You seem to think that Christians do these things only because of G-D’s watchful eye; but you would be missing the point. It’s not that any Christian should be doing things out of dibilitating fear of a mean and nasty deity. It is because of the Love instilled into the conscience by coming into the universal Love of G-D.

    You are right; people are able to do a great deal without acknowledgement of any deity. The only difference is Atheists willingly detach themselves from a belief in G-D and attribute doing good things to self satisfaction. It does make one “feel” good when they can help. The Christian; however, will refuse self satisfaction and not glory in social responsibility.

    It is our duty as humans to have compassion. It is our responsibility to Love one another. For the Christian; it is our joy to attribute this nature to that which created us. That is just the Christian point of view. You can disagree all you want. Just don’t hate me because I refuse to accept accolades (self satisfaction) for what I am responsible for in the first place.

    Reply
  16. Charles says:

    ** So you could say, from a Christian view, that god exists for us, not the other way around. Without us, god would be nothing and have no purpose….because all of his purposes revolve around our necessary existence. Without humans there would simply be no need for a god.

    G-D exists for Himself and if need be He is able to create anything that brings him glory. We humans are merely representatives of His in this reality that He created so enabling us to benefit from His divine nature. Again, just a Christian perspective; take it or leave it.

    Reply
  17. Tim D. says:

    I am not, in any way, implying specifics to anyone; especially you. I am speaking in general. You are not the only “good and moral” Atheist either. I understand that there are plenty of people from diverse beliefs that “do” good. The thing is there are also many non believers that do not share your compassion for human life.

    Exactly. Which is why this line of argument is completely irrelevant to me — there are atheists who do good things and atheists who do bad things, and there are Christians who do good things and Christians who do bad things. The difference is, atheists have to own up to and acknowledge that there are bad atheists (because there is no “unifying doctrine of atheism,” thus any claim of “no true atheism” is sort of an oxymoron), whereas Christians tend to discount bad Christians as “not true Christians” and then claim that there exists no such thing as a “bad Christian.” I reject that line of reasoning from the start.

    You seem to think that Christians do these things only because of G-D’s watchful eye; but you would be missing the point.

    Let me clarify one thing; I’m not talking about people in general, or even really any group of people. I am responding to what you say here — which is that, if there is no god, then “why bother?” If that’s how you feel, then fine, but I think a lot of times, Christian apologists make the mistake of assuming that other people are bound by the same sense of apathy. Yes, there very well may be some apostates of religion that may feel that way. But what does that have to do with me or my principles, to the extent that you feel the need to qualify it with the label of an “atheist” viewpoint?

    Another reason why this whole objection is so silly is because Christians — or anyone who believes in a divine god — are perfectly capable of it as well. “So what if god exists? So what if he’s divine? So what if he’s the moral lawgiver? Why should I care about his laws?” All that can be offerred to rebut such apathy is the threat of punishment — which leads us back to the original response, which is that, if the threat of punishment is the only thing keeping you from doing something, then by all means, stick to it. Just don’t try and paint others with the same brush; I know several practicing Christians (many of whom I am related to) who would resent the thought of being portrayed in such a way.

    It is because of the Love instilled into the conscience by coming into the universal Love of G-D.

    I don’t think someone who does not believe in a literal god is incapable of feeling love, or compassion, or consience. I think the difference is that atheists and agnostics recognize feelings of compassion towards their fellow man, and simply ascribe them to nature, whereas religions tend to personify this feeling into a literal person. Honor, dignity and love are not things which require belief in a literal entity in order to acknowledge.

    The only difference is Atheists willingly detach themselves from a belief in G-D and attribute doing good things to self satisfaction.

    Once again you demonstrate the same fallacy. You presume that you know the mind of every person in the world who is not Christian. There is not much use trying to explain any of this to such a person, because you have already decided what I think for me. And if I try to correct you, and tell you what I *actually* think, you will simply try and explain to me how I’m “lying to myself” or I’m “willingly detaching myself from a belief in god.” This is not even a conversation; this is an accusation, which I reject.

    It does make one “feel” good when they can help. The Christian; however, will refuse self satisfaction and not glory in social responsibility.

    I feel that claims such as this may be a product of the religious tendency to overcentralize and oversimplify things….but the innate human desire for companionship and community is not merely the product of “self-satisfaction,” atheist or otherwise. What you are saying here would be akin to saying that relationships must always be ultimately about sex, just because sex is one of the things that contributes to the development of a relationship. Is it a part of the construct? Yes. Is it the end-all significance of the relationship? No. It’s just one aspect. Likewise, even if we look at it from a purely scientific evolutionary standpoint, self-satisfaction at the feeling of helping someone can be seen as little more than a motivator to act towards a more compelling, long-term end.

    I mean, where do you think that feeling of satisfaction comes from? Part of it *is* pure biology — endorphins and such — but why do such emotions occur to us? What purpose do they serve? It’s similar to how we have a tendency to regret doing things that strain our relationships with others — we are social creatures, we like being around people who trust us and whom we can trust. We feel bad when we hurt someone, not just because it makes us look bad, but because it makes someone else feel bad, and in worse cases it can lead to them not desiring our company anymore. We desire their company. Why? Because we enjoy them. There is no one factor amongst all these that comprises a “single unifying reason” why we want to treat other people with respect. Knowing this, I simply cannot take you seriously when you say, “The atheist does it for self-satisfaction, but the Christian does it for higher, more elite reasons that make us morally superior.”

    And yes, that is the logical implication of what you are saying — that atheists are ultimately “selfish” and cannot understand “true goodness.”

    That is just the Christian point of view. You can disagree all you want. Just don’t hate me because I refuse to accept accolades (self satisfaction) for what I am responsible for in the first place.

    Case in point.

    G-D exists for Himself and if need be He is able to create anything that brings him glory.

    Your god needs us to bring him glory? Hmm.

    Reply
  18. Charles says:

    ** Case in point.

    Really? I absolutely reject any notion of a superiority complex
    here. I’m not saying I or any other Christian is better than anyone else. In fact, I’m so flawed its ridiculous; I wouldn’t know where to begin telling anyone just how much.

    ** And yes, that is the logical implication of what you are saying — that atheists are ultimately “selfish” and cannot understand “true goodness.”

    Human nature is selfish; but I don’t think for a second that anyone is incapable of knowing the Love of G-D.

    ** Your god needs us to bring him glory? Hmm.

    I specifically said that He doesn’t need us for anything; so I’ll put it this way. As physical representatitives humans bring G-D glory by acknowledging and accepting Him in the principles and order He has developed. It is when we mirror His nature that He is glorified. It is a gesture that says, “I see how I should live and I trust that you are in control.” Faith, in a nutshell, really is what it is about.

    I, nor any other Christian can put anyone in Heaven or hell; but we can Love all to the glory of our Creator.

    Reply
  19. Tim D. says:

    I specifically said that He doesn’t need us for anything;

    Well actually, what you said was:

    G-D exists for Himself and if need be He is able to create anything that brings him glory.

    “If he needs us to exist to glorify himself, he can create us.” Based on that statement, I can draw the conclusion: we are here; ergo, god needs us.

    As physical representatitives humans bring G-D glory by acknowledging and accepting Him in the principles and order He has developed. It is when we mirror His nature that He is glorified. It is a gesture that says, “I see how I should live and I trust that you are in control.” Faith, in a nutshell, really is what it is about.

    Why bother? Why should god feel the “need” (or “want”) to create people for the sole purpose of glorifying him? If he is perfect, unchanging and good, then why does he need to create someone else to convince of this?

    Reply
  20. Tim D. says:

    P.S.

    Human nature is selfish; but I don’t think for a second that anyone is incapable of knowing the Love of G-D.

    Do you not see the irony of saying this? Your statement is basically to the effect that “atheists can be good, but it’s only because they know god and don’t realize it.”

    And yet, on the one hand, I am tempted to say that this is closer to the truth than we might think — not that atheists know the Christian god, per se, but rather that everyone (as humans, regardless of religion) generally tends to feel an innate sense of compassion, respect, love and community with other humans. Specific religions take this concept and call it “god,” which is alright in and of itself — if that’s all god was, then atheists would probably be “believers,” too — but then they go on to attribute all sorts of other character traits and details to this god, none of which are anywhere near as easy to verify or accept.

    And the problem comes when they force this definition onto people of other (or no) religion. When an atheist says, “I don’t believe in your god,” Christians tend to interpret that as saying, “well, to me god is love and respect and compassion, so if you don’t believe in my god, that means you don’t believe in those things,” and Christians treat them as though that is what they are saying. This, to me, seems disingenuous — and this is probably what bothers me the most about the Christian apologetics movement. Christians realize that there are other working definitions which account for these basic principles of humanity, and so instead of backing off and realizing that there are more ways to acknowledge these concepts than through Christianity (or through other religions), they attempt to force their definitions on atheists through rigorous wordplay a la William Lane Craig and the moral and teleological arguments — all of which basically amounts to, “but we claim those concepts for ourselves! You can’t believe in them unless you go through us first!”

    Which is of course ridiculous; nobody — no religion, no man, no figure, no mind — can stake a claim of ownership on the concepts of love and community and compassion.

    Reply
  21. Charles says:

    ** “atheists can be good, but it’s only because they know god and don’t realize it.”

    I wouldn’t say its not realized. I think recognized or acknowledged would be a better words here. Just personally, I believe the Blood of Christ (figuratively) has no boundary and that Christ “could” be the sum total of all belief, but not acknowledged by all. If that makes any sense; but that’s just me talking and I could be wrong.

    I also don’t want to imply that pagan or demon worship is to be equated with G-D worship, but the sense of worship itself that we have as humans is what I think directs to such practices as caring and loving and community.

    ** Which is of course ridiculous; nobody — no religion, no man, no figure, no mind — can stake a claim of ownership on the concepts of love and community and compassion.

    Why is this ridiculous? I tend to subscribe to the concept offered by Dr. Amit Goswami where he concedes that we are all part of a single conciousness (G-D if you will) , but are given freedom of our own conciousness, time, space and material to learn and discover all that exists. Is it so ridiculous to believe we are all a product of the same singular conciousness? I mean, we are all made up of the same material with the unique ability to rationalize and communicate on a scale far more advanced than any other organic life form.

    Actually, our sense of community has populated the entire world in ways that not many other life forms have. The only lions and tigers in the US are in zoos. There are no Aligators in Canada that I know of and certainly no native elephants in Scotland.

    Reply
  22. Tim D. says:

    Why is this ridiculous?

    Because the very fact that I am, in my conscious mind, able to differentiate between the concept of “a god” and the concepts of “love, compassion, community and respect” is the simplest, most blatant demonstration that these concepts are not (at least in principle) intrinsically linked to the concept of a god. Yes, I think it is ridiculous to take an aspect of reality which we all almost universally acknowledge, and then label that aspect as “god,” and then try to force this definition on people who have no reason to accept it.

    How would you feel if, for example, I took the concept of “up” and ascribed it to a “deity” of my own imagining? If I said, “sure, you may believe in the concept of up, but that’s only because you’re borrowing from my deity! You can’t acknowledge the concept of up without first acknowledging the supremacy of my personal deity; the two are inextricably linked.” That would be just as ridiculous.

    Is it so ridiculous to believe we are all a product of the same singular conciousness?

    Depending on whether you mean that literally or metaphorically, I may have a very different answer for you.

    In the literal sense, no, I don’t believe that humans are “part of the same consciousness.” We obviously experience our own unique consciousness, completely devoid of the direct experience of the consciousnesses of others. In the sense that you describe, a “single collective consciousness” that is partitioned into individual consciousnesses seems completely and utterly indistinguishable from individual, separate consciousnesses which exist independently on their own.

    In a metaphorical sense, I may say, “perhaps.” If you break us down enough, we are all made of the same elements, constructed through the same processes (natural or otherwise), and our means for experiencing things are rooted in the same properties — which is to say that the methods by which we understand the world around us are, even if individually varying, *ultimately* based on the same cognitive processes. We may come to different interpretations of the same information, for example, but the fact remains that we are both making (at least in principle) similar attempts to interpret information.

    Actually, our sense of community has populated the entire world in ways that not many other life forms have. The only lions and tigers in the US are in zoos. There are no Aligators in Canada that I know of and certainly no native elephants in Scotland.

    Yes, it certainly seems that we have displaced most other mammals in the ecosystem as time has gone by.

    Reply
  23. Luke says:

    Frank Turek said:This is one reason why I very rarely interact anymore on this blog. The comments get too far afield of the main point perhaps because some contrarians have no answer to the main point.

    Dr. Turek,

    May I ask a question about the fallen world you bring up in your article, or would that be “too far afield” to warrant a response?

    Thanks,

    Luke

    Reply
  24. J.C. Thibodaux says:

    @It bothers me sometimes how people trivialize the suffering of rape victims when they talk about things like this.

    @It just bothers me that there’s almost never any real emphasis placed on the emotional recovery aspect of rape..

    It bothers me when people employ inane artificial standards and weasel-words (e.g. “trivialize,” “never any real emphasis placed…”) with no supporting evidence to substantiate their whine.

    Reply
  25. Rafee says:

    Not sure if this is the correct blog, and my comment is a very deep and personal question, relating to evil, suffering, etc. I am a strong Christian believer always been fortunate enough to be close to God. I come from a community where we have experienced a great deal of evil and had to do things that have to be done to maintain society, but the job can be telling. Understanding the bible better helps as it appears God understands, that warriors are necessary, demonstrated on into the new teasteament with Jesus, and his respectful interactions with warriors (centurion). One of the hard things in the bible was thou shall not kill later I learned it should be read thou shall not murder. A lot of my brothers have problems not so much with not beleiving in God, but why the suffering death why can I do the things I do, to the point some are thinking well if this is what you allow forget you. So how do I help them with this, I feel I need to help, no I know one person I definatly need to help. If you could would love some pointers. Thank you.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *