mitchellmckain wrote:If Glen really wants to call Emery out on his thinking, he needs to focus more pointedly on whether it really is the case that this image Emery draws of people making honest mistakes is really the sum of the human condition. That represents a rather typical liberalist failure to understand human problems, commonly insisting that education is the cure all -- because that just ain't so. People do not live up to their own ideals and that is not because of honest mistakes, but because they will do things that they know is wrong and do so repeatedly even when the consequences are rather obviously destructive of both themselves and others. There is also evil in the world and it is epidemic.
Yes, I think this really is one of the core problems with a humanistic viewpoint. Falling back on education as the
solution is trite at best, as is the assertion that religious thinking is the root cause of it, rather than human depravity. Even if atheism were true and religion were the path of least resistance for all the terrible evils of humanity… if you take religion out of the picture, then what happens? Has any progress been made, or do we just find a new scapegoat?
The problem of evil is a great argument against Christianity and theism in general. I'll certainly grant that. I may say it is answerable, but it's still a great argument. If I were an atheist I would make my camp there. But when we take those theistic things off the table, the problem remains, strong as ever, because no matter what your ideology, evil is a real thing that we all have to deal with every day. Not only that, we also know that there are far worse evils we will probably never have to experience, happening to other people every day. We are stuck with knowing that, but what can we do about it? What should
we do about it? I don't mean to come off overly cynical, but the truth is sometimes ugly.
Under a humanistic viewpoint, I can only see two options:
#1 We can deal with human evil as we encounter it, cutting our losses if you will, and turn our backs on the rest of it, hoping to keep up the charade until we die and are released from the knowledge of evil and the responsibility of dealing with it. Another variation might be to place blind, unreasonable, faith in the outlook of humanity, choosing to believe that despite the way things are now, and the way things have progressed (or regressed) over time, that humans will someday get it right and 'outgrow' evil. (This is a common theme in science fiction tales of the future.) I guess this is somewhat similar to the common concept of heaven, and a lot of people may like to believe in such a reality. I wish I could, but reason and rationality prevent me from doing so.
#2 We can confront evil head-on taking any and all measures necessary to rid the world of what causes it, namely human beings. Who else can we point the finger at? Germs? Giraffes? Aliens? Gods? No, under a humanistic worldview, humans are the one and only thing we can point to as the source for current human evil and resulting suffering of humans. (NH's signature line echoes this sentiment
) The only way to correct the problem is to remove them all.
Again, I'm not trying to be overly cynical and dark here. I'm just trying to follow these ideas about humanity to their logical conclusion in light of certain presuppositions (i.e. actual evil, no god, human experiences, etc.)
Now of course none of this is a good reason to think humanism or even atheism is not true. Even more, it would be a terrible
reason to think that theism or Christianity are
true. But part of my point is to show how it seems like these facts about evil are conveniently ignored when subjects like humanism and secularism are on the table, but the gloves come off and they all come back into play once we bring religion and God into the discussion.
Dr Mundo wrote:I have heard it said by I think Martin from the Atheist experience, that What Christan's have isn't a morality system, but an appeal to authority.
I don't think it's either. I think anyone who actually believes in Christianity will agree it's purpose is not to establish a moral framework. On those grounds alone, Christianity would quickly fall apart. However, reasoned
morality and reasoned
authority are a part of the overall structure.
So in this example, I think all Glen was saying was that there is a lot we don't know about this story, specifically how it relates to the question at hand and that one possible,
reason was that God had sufficient reason for killing Uzzah and that did not necessarily equate to "judgment" since judgment, from a Christian perspective involves the "eternal state."
Now of course, another equally speculative interpretation is that God was just being an asshole, which is basically what the question implies, and what follows morally from that way of thinking. So even if the first option is part of a person's thinking, there's no "appeal to authority" where we say we don't know and we likewise do not have an application of the text.
Personally, I think this is much more a problem of interpretation anyway. 2 Samuel, like many OT texts, relies on a lot of hagiographic language as well as other forms of hyperbole. So the specifics of this story are not really known, and neither are these kinds of conclusions about God we try to draw from them.
Emery I think is a cut above the typical person as far as this type of scenario goes and In my opinion would need a higher caliber companion/partner in crime, not to be disrespectful of the guests but lets call it like it is.
I humbly agree with you here, but I honestly think we could do a much better job if given the opportunity to do more shows. From Glen's and my experience doing our own show, I can say that our "green" wears off pretty quickly and we are capable of engaging in much more substantive discussions. If and when we are on again, give us another chance to give you something worth your time listening to. We promise to step it up a bit on the next one.