Wednesday, March 10, 2021

David Hume and the problem of Evil


Question: 

If God exists and loves us, why can't He just appear and say, "Here I am, is there anything you need?"  

Answer:
Babies like adult humans need to grow up. 

GIMME, GIMME, GIMMEEEEE!
is no way to run a single life. Nor is it a way to run a family. Even less a community or the planet. That is not the planned destiny the Creator, as parent, has set for us.

Humans learn how to grow up from:

(a) their senses and experiences,

(b) Education and discernment of others -- the accumulation of good experience and wisdom,

(c) divine revelation. 

The three aspects teach us ethics and morality. That is the road to maturity to live with the Creator and the Creation. We should use our coggin to work this proof out. We can see the effects on individuals and in societies that abandon natural law and divine teachings for Gimmee, Gimmee, Gimmee. 

Why then do we experience pain and evil? To learn and mature. Some pain is caused by others wrongly abusing their freedoms. Sometimes natural events cause us upsets and hurt. And we all die in the end. Death brings pain but after death is the judgement.

Why does Evil exist?

The Scottish philosopher David Hume wrote Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion (1779) advancing his scepticism about the existence of God.  His “problem of evil” notion has sometimes become a positive argument for atheism. It goes something like this: 

1) If God is willing to prevent evil, but not able, then he is impotent.

2) If he is able, but not willing, then he is malevolent.

3) If he is both able and willing, then why is there any evil?

4) If God exists, there would be no evil in the world.

5) There is evil in the world; therefore, an all-powerful, beneficent God does not exist.

Let’s consider (1) God turning his eyes away from human suffering; (2) not willing to help humans (3) continuance of evil although God is powerful (4) God if he exists must eradicate evil from the world (5) evil exists therefore God does not.

There is an old Jewish story about a wanderer who lived by hunting.  He wished God would provide a way where he could stay at home.

If God existed, I would be able to stay here and be fed, he said. (1)

A wise man arrived. He said to the man: ‘Open your hands’ and he poured into his hands a pile of what looked like grains of sand. ‘Here’s your answer,’ he said.

‘What should I do with them?’ the man asked.  ‘You see that ground over there? Go and scatter the grains there.’ (2) Was he being malevolent?

‘What do I do then?’ asked the man. ‘You get a stick and make sure every single grain is covered with soil,’ said the wise man. The man thought that is both stupid and an evil waste of time and loss of the grains. ‘I will never be able to find them again.’ (3)

‘Then what do I do?’ asked the man. ‘You leave them,’ said the wise man. ‘How long?’ asked the man. ‘Several months’ said the wise man. The man therefore began to think that the wise man was crazy or evil. (3)

Several months later he noticed green shoots breaking the soil surface everywhere he had scattered the grain. ‘What do I do now?’ he asked. ‘Wait some more,’ said the wise man.

After several months, the shoots grew into a tall plant with a stalk that looked like it might be of use. ‘What should I do now?’ ‘Cut them all down with a sharp knife,’ said the wise man.  ‘They will all be useless then,’ said the man. (4) Nevertheless he did it. ‘What now?’ ‘Shake the stalks vigorously and smash the heads of the stalks with stones!’ (5) ‘Throw them all in the air. Let the light stuff blow away!”

‘And now?’ ‘Separate the powder from the stalks.’ ‘May I eat it?’ ‘No. You should mix it with water and flatten the paste.’ ‘May I eat it now?’ ‘No. Prepare a fire and plunge the flattened paste into the heat.’ ‘That will completely destroy it!’

The man did as he was told.

 Then, as instructed, he withdrew the paste and it had become solid and smelt wonderfully.

‘Now you may eat the Bread of Life,’ said the wise man.

What distinguishes a wise man from Hume is Information and knowledge about the purpose of life.

  • We seem to be small and insignificant,
  • we are buried and seemingly lost by the powerful of the world,
  • we are abandoned and forgotten,
  • when we rise, we are cut down,
  • when we are stand erect, we are cut, shaken and seemingly crushed with stones,
  • then we seem drowned in further tests, and
  • burned in the fires of adversity.

But in the end we have affirmed our purpose to uphold truth, honesty and reverence for our Creator.

Hume did not seem to apply reason to why God gave him a brain, where logic came from and how information requires that an Information-giver started an organised, purposeful universe. His life and purpose was foreseen in the very design and foundation of the Universe before it even began. It is why you are reading this.   

Remember the message. Wheat grain was designed from the foundation of the world for a purpose. So were you. The message requires our free will response to God's in action: love to God and our neighbor. That is maturity. That requires real character.



 

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Bamboozled after 1000 years of Mariolatry? Check the Bible!

Astrophysicist Carl Sagan wrote:

If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It's simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we've been taken in. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.

Paul wrote: 'To whom you yield yourself servants to obey, his servants you are to whom you obey,' Rom 6:16. 

What to do? We are told by Simon Peter to 'Obey God, not man' Acts 5:29. We should seek the truth and obey it, not man.

It is a dangerous path even for an astrophysicist to submit himself to an atheistic dogma instead of keeping an open mind. It is like propelling yourself into a cul-de-sac and then complaining there is no way forward.

When it comes to a relationship with the Creator, we cannot give up in our search for the truth. How can we be sure of the truth of biblical Christianity, free from propaganda and disinformation? 

Check the Bible. Prove all things. Avoid shuttered thinking.

 The Roman Catholic Mary

Original 'Christianity' is vastly different from that a few centuries later. The Roman Empire subjected its population to a sustained disinformation campaign. Thus a church arose that tried to absorb the beliefs of Christ and the apostles of the first century into its deeply pagan framework. 

The early believers did not even call themselves 'Christian'. This was a term invented by their opponents at Antioch as Acts 11:26 records. 

Since the time that a form of 'Christianity' became the official religion of the Roman Empire, the imperial authorities centralised doctrine in a way that drew in the masses. Thus the Roman Catholic Church became a mixture of paganism including myths of Greek, Roman and Egyptian demigods with a veneer of Christianity. At the same time the church remained antisemitic so the Hebrew Scriptures were despised, banned and burned. Jewish Christians were declared heretics.



Thus the Catholic dogma of the Blessed Virgin Mary (BVM) arose. It had more in common with Greek pagan legends than Hebrew history and custom. Mary, or Mariam as the NT calls her, should be given due respect. But this version had little in common with the Bible. She was transformed into a plaster model of the Greek goddess, Artemis, the Queen of Heaven. The theme of the virgin goddess with child is common throughout all paganism from China to the West. It is denounced in the Bible. 

Once the BVM falsehood was entrenched as a doctrine, how was it sustained against questions by the few who had access to the New Testament? By bad logic and subterfuge. Up to quite recently Roman Catholics were forbidden to read the Bible and only listen to their priests. Why? The Bible makes nonsense of the doctrine of the forever virginal Queen of Heaven, the Blessed Virgin Mary. 

One example is John 8:38 41, the incident when Jesus was in the Temple and confronted by people who wanted to kill him. They say that 'We are not the children of fornication.' 

Ah ha, say the Roman Catholics, obviously they thought Jesus was a child of fornication because he was born of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Joseph was not his father.

Bad logic! It is amazing how such illogicalities persist. If someone says to you: ‘I am not a thief’, does that mean that you are a thief? If he says 'I am not an idol-worshipper,' does that mean you are?

Some Pharisees were of dubious birth. That created jealousy compared with the stricter Sadducees on Temple matters. They were shamed by the undeniability of Christ’s legitimate pedigree as both King and Priest. Jesus was perfect in all his generations. The Hebrew Scriptures, Tanak, finish with the genealogies of Chronicles and the NT begins with the genealogy from there to Christ. Above all Christ was true to his ancestors' faith in God, unpolluted by the devil. The Pharisees not only perverted the truth but wanted to kill the son of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and David, a personage prophesied throughout the Scriptures as the Anointed, Dt 18:18 and 17:14.

The spirit of murder showed they were not legitimate, even though they might be sons of Abraham. It was the spirit of the devil.

Three proofs

How do I know the Roman Catholic interpretation is incorrect? I will give you three proofs. Jesus spoke inside the Temple and taught priests inside the Court of Priests. The Torah in Deut 23:2 says that

No bastard (mamzer – someone of unproven pedigree) shall enter the Court of Israel surrounding the Temple – on pain of death.

And no Israelite other than Levitical priests could enter the Court of Priests. Furthermore, no offspring of such a person may enter the Temple for TEN generations. If as Catholics say Jesus maintained he had no earthly father then he would be dead if he tried to enter the Temple, dispatched by the armed Temple guards. To claim that he was like the pagan demigods and was the offspring of a virgin and Zeus/ Jupiter was an even surer way to oblivion if he crossed into the precincts of the Temple.

The word of a future emperor

Secondly, the Romans under Julius Caesar when they made a treaty with the Jews respected the right for them to forbid all foreigners and mamzers from the Temple.

This continued until the very date of the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE. We have the witness of Titus, son of emperor Vespasian, recorded in Josephus.

Josephus Wars Bk 6,2,4 (124):

Titus was deeply affected and reproached {those in the Temple}:

Have not you, vile wretches that you are, by our permission, put up this partition wall before your sanctuary? Have not you been allowed to put up the pillars thereto belonging, at due distances, and to engrave in Greek and in your own letters, this prohibition, that no foreigner should go beyond the wall.

Have we not given you leave to kill such as go beyond it, though he were a Roman?

Proof in stone

Thirdly, those massive stone warnings, written in Greek and Latin (and Hebrew for the Court of Priests) were repeated every few meters. They said in bold red letters that anyone entering (a) the Court of Israel who was not an authentic Israelite (verified for ten generations) and (b) anyone who was not an authentic Levite (verified over ten generations) would be killed and their death was their own fault.

This is my facsimile of it.

 It says:

Nobody at all of alien racial stock may proceed within the balustrade surrounding the sanctuary and the encompassing court. Whoever ventures inside will be responsible for his death that will ensue.

The original stone 90cm by 60 cm by 30 cm was discovered by Clermont-Ganneau in 1871. It is now on display in the Archaeological Museum of Istanbul. Another piece of such a Warning Stone has also been uncovered.

The reluctance of the churches to draw the right conclusions about the Catholic BVM dogma shows how deeply disinformation over a millennium by the RCC is hard to shift.

If modern 'Christianity' is all based on a false premise, then what is it really? BAMBOOZLED. 

If 'scientists' and modern theologians believe that the miracles of Christ and his resurrection could not happen, then they are denying the evidence and are equally bamboozled.


 

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Science before our Science proves an all-knowing God

 The God of the Universe is the Information Giver


Carl Sagan, the cosmologist, was a well-known and vocal advocate of science over religion. Science, for him, was 'a candle in the dark in the demon-haunted world.' 

By that Carl Sagan wanted to replace all religions by 'science'. 

It is true the world is full of superstition and lies. Clear thinking and logic is needed to disentangle the knots and see the truth. That logical, analytical process is today called science. 

Sagan did not believe in loving, all-powerful, wise God. At best he considered himself as a pantheist.  Why?

Is his true science? Can we call Sagan a real scientist? Sagan was keen to show how small mankind was as a dot on a planet that is a dot in a solar system that is insignificant as one of innumerable galaxies across the untold vastness of space.

Where Sagan failed was to assume that any brain could not be greater than man's brain; no constructor could be greater than man's arm; no force greater than the explosive inventions his mind could conceive.

That is a pretty pathetic analysis. It is scarcely comparable to ant any regarding the Great Pyramid of Giza or a moon rocket on its return trajectory. 

What is impossible for an ant brain and its physical limitations, should tell us to search for bigger minds and vaster physical capabilities far beyond our own imagination.

The existence of that power is beyond doubt.

At the start: Information

Science is based on first establishing a sound premise that all can agree on. Then add perceived facts, make some theories and do some testing.

I start with the fact that information exists. That is fundamental to all science. How did it arise? What is its cause? Scientists should deduce by the laws of causality that information came from the Information Giver, some super-intelligent being. 

What do those on earth learn? No earthy power, including death, is greater than love. That is a main message from the Information Giver to all earthlings. Animals, even, show that love to their offspring. That concept reaches far beyond the physics of the universe. It poses questions that no physicist can answer from physics.

Logically then Sagan did not believe in real science. He was a bamboozler. He is building his exposition on something less substantial than air.

All information whether about galaxies, humans, plants, cars or how to make atomic bombs came from the original information made before the universe began. Wikipedia and Britannica too. If the information did not exist before the universe began, then we would not exist nor be able to brush our teeth because the specific materials would not exist or be available at hand.

A single strand of DNA has as much information as an encyclopedia -- 1.5 Gbytes. DNA has been artificially manipulated to produce coded messages and successfully sent to a recipient in Europe. Sherlock Holmes now needs a laboratory! The human body alone with its 100 trillion cells contains 150 Zettabytes (ten followed by 21 noughts). https://bitesizebio.com/8378/how-much-information-is-stored-in-the-human-genome/  

Three spheres of Information

There are three spheres of information to explain: mathematics, the laws of physics, and the moral law that allows us to judge other’s actions and thoughts (and if we are honest our own.)  The human default mode is not to judge ourselves, especially when we recognize human deceit in others.

These three dimensions of knowledge were described by John Wilkins the first Secretary of the Royal Society (of Newton, Boyle, Wren etc.) in London in the late 1600s. Atheists have had more than three centuries to explain how this happens.

Scientists already accept these as the founding premises of science.  All scientists believe that the universe is governed by laws in these three spheres of information. True scientists not only adhere to the laws of information but go further. Science confirms that an effect B derives from an earlier one A. Information that is omnipresent in our world, they deduce, comes from an Information Giver. When we say that that Information Giver = God, then we can say that all true scientists can be called theists. 

Atheists are not scientists. They adhere to the laws of logic and deduction but on physical matters. But there they stop. They refuse to accept an Information Giver in the moral sphere. That defies logic. It shows they are not impartial. They are prejudiced at a step that can affect their lives with a major scientific conclusion. If they do not accept the universality of these laws, mathematical, physical and moral, they do not understand science. 

Science proves its conclusions by mathematics, physical observation of objects and in the human sciences showing the success and failures of individuals and societies by moral law. But atheists say 'When it comes to me, there is an exception. I do not have to submit to a conclusion that will affect my life style.' They throw up spurious, unscientific arguments, logically inconsistent with their avowed process. 

Wilkins was, among many other things, a cryptographer and well knew that what seems gibberish to some people contains a message from a real information giver.

The moral message of the Information Giver passes through all the noise and human gibberish. 
God has a Plan for us all. God is Love.