Comment on Jay Gallimore comments on evolution conflict by Sean Pitman.
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?
As others have already noted, Epicurus, though perhaps quite brilliant in many other ways, evidently didn’t understand the concept and risks (to God) of providing us humans with real moral freedom… which includes a real freedom to rebel against God’s will…
Hence the source of evil – human freedom in rebellion against a good God who never desired us to rebel in the first place, but gave us the freedom to do so…
Yet, you argue that God’s foreknowledge should have given him the heads up – that he is responsible for the choices we made because of his own foreknowledge. You write:
In this paradigm, [G]od is completely and totally responsible for everything that happens in this universe.
Consider the limitations of this argument. If God changed everything that would happen, in the beginning, so that it would match His will instead of how He knew things would naturally develop if He did in fact create creatures with access to true moral freedom, that would be a form of removing true freedom. If God didn’t create you, for example, because of his foreknowledge that you wouldn’t always be perfect, and would rebel, on occasion, from what you knew was right (as we all have done), that would have been a form of altering true freedom.
Since only God knows if he is actually playing the game fairly, our true freedom is really only known, for sure, by God. It really only matters to Him, ultimately, if we are really free or not. The best we can know is that God has told us we are in fact free to make moral decisions and that he will not interfere with those decisions with the use of his powers of foreknowledge or by any other power of force to change our actions, outside of our own will, to match his own will.
That’s a big risk for God because it means that he is actually setting himself up for the potential for his creatures, you and I, to rebel against his goodness and his ideal for us and our lives…
Sean Pitman Also Commented
Also, there are further speculations as to the validity towards the parting of the “Red Sea” versus the parting of the “Reed Sea”, in which case the parting of the waters is a natural phenomenon and the only miraculous thing about the event would have been the timing of the crossing.
Don’t forget about the drowning of the entire Egyptian army in the shallow waters of the Reed Sea 😉
Your statement regarding Nebuchadnezzar also runs into trouble for there were more than one Nebuchadnezzar present within the lineage of kings in Babylon. Unless you were referring to a specific one for your example.
As far as I’m aware, there were only two “Nebuchadnezzars” in the line of the Babylonian kings. Nebuchadnezzar I was king of the Babylonian Empire from about 1125 to 1103 BCE. He is not to be confused with the more well-known Nebuchadnezzar II of biblical fame who reigned from 605 to 562 BCE. It is kind of hard to confuse these two kings.
Beyond this, it was completely forgotten for most of modern history that Nebuchadnezzar II is the one who actually built the famed city of Babylon and the famous hanging gardens during the time of Daniel (6th century BCE). For example, according to early Greek historians and those living during the Hellenistic era (beginning after the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BCE), King Nebuchadnezzar was thought to have played a rather insignificant role in the affairs of ancient history. In fact, many scholars didn’t even believe that he was a real historical personage much less a prominent King of Babylon. He is never referred to early Greek literature as a great builder or as the creator of a new and greater Babylon. In fact, this honor is generally ascribed to Assyrian Queen Semiramis who was given a rather prominent place in the history of Babylonia by classical Greek historians.
The problem is that relatively recent discoveries of cuneiform records from the 6th century B.C., (unearthed by archeologists during the 1800s) have entirely changed the picture derived from classical writers. At the same time these early records have corroborated the account of the book of Daniel – which credits Nebuchadnezzar with the rebuilding of Babylon at the height of Babylonian power (Daniel 4:30).
But, what about Queen Semiramis? As it turns out, Queen Semiramis (SammuDramat in cuneiform inscriptions) was a queen mother in Assyria – regent for her infant son Adad-nirari III. Contrary to the claims of the classical sources, she was not a queen over Babylonia at all. The cuneiform inscriptions have shown that she had nothing to do with any building activity in Babylon.
The Greek historians were also silent in regards to the “Belshazzar” mentioned in the Bible. Yet, the cuneiform tablets note that Belshazzar (grandson of Nebuchadnezzar II) was the eldest son of King Nabonidus (son of Nebuchadnezzar II) who reigned with his son and entrusted the rule of Babylon to him while he was in Arabia (on a spiritual journey). Historical documents continued to reference his name only, but his son was the crown prince, heir and ruler while his father was absent
Obviously then, no one could have known and detailed the information written in the book of Daniel except for someone living during or immediately after the Neo-Babylonian age. Anyone living too many years later would simple not have had access to this forgotten information which had been completely lost by the time of the Hellenistic era. In fact, the presence of such information in the book of Daniel seems to puzzle at least a few critical scholars who do not believe that Daniel was written in the 6th century (BCE), but rather in the 2nd.
A typical example of their dilemma is found in the following statement from R. H. Pfeiffer, of Harvard University:
“We shall presumably never know how our author [Daniel] learned that the new Babylon was the creation of Nebuchadnezzar . . ., as the excavations have proved” (Introduction to the Old Testament [New York, 1941], pp. 758, 759).
It seems to me that many of your facts are either clearly mistaken or pulled out of thin air. You also pick and choose the data that you wish to present and present it as if there is no debate or any other reasonable alternative position debated among mainstream scientists or historians. You can be skeptical all you want, but at least be honest about what the currently available data can and cannot clearly support…
1) There are no extra-biblical evidence that the Exodus ever occured, or at least in the massive of a scale. For if there were, there would have been at least some evidence of it in Egypt or at least in its surrounding countries.
The Biblical Exodus, as described, involved the movements of tent-dwelling people. This sort of movement isn’t going to leave much archeological evidence. What this means is that the lack of positive evidence doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.
For a long time the higher biblical critics didn’t believe that Nebuchadnezzar existed or that he was the primary builder of Babylon – due to a lack of evidence. Then came the day when the walls of Bablylon were actually discovered – with the name of Nebuchadnezzar stamped on every brick.
This same thing has happened over and over again. The Bible has proven itself to be the most reliable historical textbook in history.
2) From the human genome project it is quite evident that the human race has its origins in Africa. Where they began to spread out to various parts of the world.
There are competing theries here. The African origin has not been conclusively demonstrated by the genome project at all. There are numerous theories for the origin of the human race from all over the place – such as China or even Northern Europe.
As we know, an Ice Age did occur which set itself upon the Northern part of our world. Now, as the Ice melted-various floods would have occurred-in the Northern parts of the earth. Interestingly enough, all records of flood stories come from these Northern parts of the world. That is to say, that a global flood is quite questionable.
This claim is also mistaken. Flood legends and myths come from all major societies and cultures in history – north and south and in between. They simply are not limited to the northern part of the world like you claim:
To those you are conversing with, understanding and practicing “truth” seems to transcend everything else (in my opinion). Unfortunately, many contributors to this website have a knack for strongly expressing their views and pejoratively labelling those who disagree with them.
This may be true of a number of contributors (you are no stranger yourself to strongly expressing your views against those who don’t agree with you). However, not all in this forum, certainly not the staff of EducateTruth, wish to entertain or express pejorative statements against anyone who is sincerely searching for the Truth… regardless of his or her current position along the path. This particular sentiment of yours is strongly supported by EducateTruth.
Recent Comments by Sean Pitman
Science and Methodological Naturalism
Very interesting passage. After all, if scientists are honest with themselves, scientific methodologies are well-able to detect the existence of intelligent design behind various artifacts found in nature. It’s just the personal philosophy of scientists that makes them put living things and the origin of the fine-tuned universe “out of bounds” when it comes to the detection of intelligent design. This conclusion simply isn’t dictated by science itself, but by a philosophical position, a type of religion actually, that strives to block the Divine Foot from getting into the door…
Why is it that creationists are afraid to acknowledge the validity of Darwinism in these settings? I don’t see that these threaten a belief in God in any way whatsoever.
The threat is when you see no limitations to natural mindless mechanisms – where you attribute everything to the creative power of nature instead of to the God of nature.
God has created natural laws that can do some pretty amazing things. However, these natural laws are not infinite in creative potential. Their abilities are finite while only God is truly infinite.
The detection of these limitations allows us to recognize the need for the input of higher-level intelligence and creative power that goes well beyond what nature alone can achieve. It is here that the Signature of God is detectable.
For those who only hold a naturalistic view of the universe, everything is attributed to the mindless laws of nature… so that the Signature of God is obscured. Nothing is left that tells them, “Only God or some God-like intelligent mind could have done this.”
That’s the problem when you do not recognize any specific limitations to the tools that God has created – when you do not recognize the limits of nature and what natural laws can achieve all by themselves.
Since the fall of Adam, Sean, all babies are born in sin and they are sinners. God created them. Even if it was by way of cooperation of natural law as human beings also participated in the creation process.
God did not create the broken condition of any human baby – neither the physical or moral brokenness of any human being. God is responsible for every good thing, to include the spark or breath of life within each one of us. However, He did not and does not create those things within us that are broken or bad.
“The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’ ‘An enemy did this,’ he replied. “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?'” Matthew 13:27-28
Of course, all humans are indeed born broken and are in a natural state of rebellion against God. However, God is not the one who created this condition nor is God responsible for any baby being born with any kind of defect in character, personality, moral tendency, or physical or genetic abnormality. God did not create anyone with such brokenness. Such were the natural result of rebellion against God and heading the temptations of the “enemy”… the natural result of a separation from God with the inevitable decay in physical, mental, and moral strength.
Of course, the ones who are born broken are not responsible for their broken condition either. However, all of us are morally responsible for choosing to reject the gift of Divine Grace once it is appreciated… and for choosing to go against what we all have been given to know, internally, of moral truth. In other words, we are responsible for rebelling against the Royal Law written on the hearts of all mankind.
This is because God has maintained in us the power to be truly free moral agents in that we maintain the Power to choose, as a gift of God (Genesis 3:15). We can choose to accept or reject the call of the Royal Law, as the Holy Spirit speaks to all of our hearts…
Remember the statement by Mrs. White that God is in no wise responsible for sin in anyone at any time. God is working to fix our broken condition. He did not and does not create our broken condition. Just as He does not cause Babies to be born with painful and lethal genetic defects, such as those that result in childhood leukemia, He does not cause Babies to be born with defects of moral character either. God is only directly responsible for the good, never the evil, of this life.
Again, your all-or-nothing approach to the claims of scientists isn’t very scientific. Even the best and most famous of scientists has had numerous hair-brained ideas that were completely off base. This fact does not undermine the good discoveries and inventions that were produced.
Scientific credibility isn’t based on the person making the argument, but upon the merits of the argument itself – the ability of the hypothesis to gain predictive value when tested. That’s it.
Gary Gilbert, Spectrum, and Pseudogenes
Don’t be so obtuse here. We’re not talking about publishing just anything in mainstream journals. I’ve published several articles myself. We’re talking about publishing the conclusion that intelligent design was clearly involved with the origin of various artifactual features of living things on this planet. Try getting a paper that mentions such a conclusion published…