Abusive Christian God

This is a video that shows the many similarities of an abusive personal relationship to that of a relationship with the Christian version of God.

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54 Responses to Abusive Christian God

  1. Derek says:

    1. Do you think that being abusive is immoral? (You’ve wavered on such issues as the holocaust being clearly wrong in the past, and the posting of this video seems to suggest you find emotional abuse immoral so I’m curious what your stance on morality currently is)

    2. If being emotionally abusive is immoral, why specifically is it immoral?

    • jasonjshaw says:

      1. I have not wavered. You ignore/overlook my point of view. Morality is based on what a society determines is good for health and survival.

      2. I don’t believe that being emotionally manipulative/abusive is healthy for today’s societies.

      3. I’m still waiting on the missing logic in the foundation of your beliefs over on that other post.

  2. Derek says:

    1. Ok, so to clarify: the Holocaust was not “wrong”, it was what the Nazi’s determined was good for their health and survival, and while as a Canadian, you find that decision distasteful, you couldn’t ever call the murder of 6,000,000 Jewish people “wrong”. Or if you were to say “wrong” it would only be through the subjective and incidental lens of a culture that happens to think murder is wrong. If this is not what you mean, please clarify.

    2. For the record, God is not emotionally abusive for obvious reasons that we haven’t even delved into, but I’m trying to draw out a particular point. Based on your answer to number one, what you believe about emotional abuse is beside the point. In your own view, you’re simply a person from a society who happens to dislike emotional abuse. Why should we listen to you any more than someone who likes it? According to you, if a society found emotional abuse to be of benefit, emotional abuse would then be “healthy” within the context of that society’s moral outlook. It would then follow that God, who is supposedly emotionally abusive, is exonerated on account of the fact that you can’t have a serious moral issue with him. At worst you could say that God’s values are tragically and arbitrarily not Canadian, but you could go no further. For the sake of clarity, I will reiterate God is not emotionally abusive as the video suggests. The video, of course, relies on the knowledge that emotional abuse is evil relative to an objective standard of right and wrong that we all know about. If one’s stance on emotional abuse comes down to personal taste or societal preference, the merits of emotional abuse might be discussed in the same way different cultures advocate for kilts, siestas, or dining after 10 PM.

    3. I don’t know if you saw, but I posted a response. I’m curious to read what you think!

    • jasonjshaw says:

      1. Do you not recall that other societies fought back against the Nazis and in the end they were defeated and were overwhelmingly opposed?

      2. God is not emotionally abusive?

      Right.

      God wants us to believe in Him without reasonable evidence and with a threat of abandonment if we don’t.

      I’m sorry, but I am not okay with that in any situation. That is sleazy and deceptive. Would you accept that sort of behaviour from anyone else? Is that trustworthy behaviour?

      Trustworthiness is something that commonly is valued throughout most, if not all societies. The Christian God is not a trustworthy character if that is the approach He needs to take.

      3. Got it and replied, I must have missed the email notification.

  3. Derek says:

    1. “Do you not recall that other societies fought back against the Nazis and in the end they were defeated and were overwhelmingly opposed?”

    What does that matter? By your logic, those societies were moral busybodies with no right to impose their societal morality over another society. Weren’t the Nazi’s just as competent to devise their values as Britain, France, Canada, Russia, and the US? Who are they to claim that murdering Jewish people was wrong. I of course believe that relative to a moral standard, murdering anyone is wrong, and I hold that it is not just my opinion but rather an absolute value that all humans know and ought to respect.

    2. We disagree on the evidence for God, so the rest of your argument won’t really make sense for me. Because I believe there is ample evidence, I don’t think he is vindictive or dishonest. I think you should reconsider your stance of moral subjectivity. When I press the issue you end up writing really awkward ideas, “trustworthiness is valued in most societies” in an effort not to give in to the obvious truth that trustworthiness is an objective moral value. Morality is also frequently (and ironically) your supposed gripe with God. You can’t complain about God being immoral unless morals really matter. If it’s just your cultural opinion on how you wish God was, than that’s not a real standard we can hold anyone to, God included.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      1. Did you not realize that the Nazis were encroaching on other societies? Maybe you just need to go on your way because you seem incapable of understanding my point of view due to not being willing to make an effort to understand it.

      2. There are no objective moral values!! You keep bringing up the same poor arguments time and time again without having understood my point of view. Yet again, moral values essentially come down to humans seeking to survive and thrive. It’s a function of evolution.

      If you are going to continue to mischaracterize my point of view, please consider refraining from commenting. It is becoming quite clear that you aren’t interested in understanding where I am coming from.

  4. Derek says:

    1. So encroaching on other societies is an absolute or a subjective value? Jason, we can play this game all day, but as soon as we pretend one moral value is subjective, you run right into another one. Either you don’t understand the concept of objective morality, or your not thinking your thoughts through at all. I am VERY willing to understand your point of view, but I wonder if you understand what you’re saying. I’m not trying to make you look stupid; I want to pursue these issues with you.

    2. Usually when an argument is poor, and I’ve seen a few of them, they are easy to refute. I understand why you feel compelled to believe that moral values are evolutionary, despite the massive evidence to the contrary and your own fervent invocation of them at practically every opportunity.

    Jason, at what point am I misrepresenting your viewpoint? On the other hand, this entire blog is aimed at disparaging God on faulty claims and nonsensical reasoning as evidenced by your inability to defend a single supposed criticism. If you want to live in a bubble and pretend like all of your silly theories and ideas make sense, that’s fine, but I think it’s hypocritical (an absolute moral value) to think that you should be able to spew these illogical ideas absolved of any critical thought from the other side.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      1. What are you going on about? It all comes down to people surviving and thriving. That is the base of morality. It tends to be very subjective. That is not to say that it is completely arbitrary as it seems like you may be trying to paint it.

      2. Evidence to the contrary that moral values are connected with evolution? What, because the Bible says so? You’re going to refute a core claim of mine without even a sniff of evidence? That’s pretty weak.

      You are misrepresenting my viewpoint basically every time you try to write about it. You don’t understand my viewpoint. You seem to just be parroting Christian talking points rather than actually making an effort to understand what you are trying to refute. You are refuting straw-man versions of my points. That is easy to do, but it has nothing to do with refuting my actual points.

  5. Derek says:

    1. You didn’t answer the question clearly. I’m going to ask it again. Is one country encroaching on another moral or immoral? You say that morality comes down to surviving and thriving. The Nazis were doing both. Were they the pinnacle of morality?

    2. I appreciate your request for evidence of morality being absolute. For the sake of privacy, I’ve hidden the case study’s name, but we’ll call him “J”.

    “The Christian God is not a trustworthy character if that is the approach He needs to take.”
    Moral absolute values: Trust, honesty, and fairness

    “You are misrepresenting my viewpoint basically every time you try to write about it.”
    Moral absolute value: Honesty

    “A just, perfect and good God would correct the evil, not condemn it.”
    Moral absolute value: Fairness

    I hope you get the point. If there are “no objective moral values!!” and If your moral values are simply just opinions, fancies, or preferences, why should anyone be held accountable to them? Wouldn’t someone who had the opposite opinions, fancies, and preferences be just as valid because they are just as entitled to their own opinions? If it’s all a matter of opinion, we can’t hold anyone to anything lest we overstep our qualifications and impose on our equally qualified opponents our own moral tastes. If they are absolute values that everyone is subject to, then we should take them seriously (as you inadvertently but consistently do). They are no longer our opinions, but rather absolutes that we are all beholden to because they are above discussion.

    On your assertion that valuing “survival and thriving” determines evolutionary morality, that itself is also an absolute value by the way.

    I’m frankly not sure if you don’t understand the problem here, or if you do understand it but have no counterargument so you just fain ignorance and yell, “There are no objective moral values!!”.

    On your last paragraph:
    I’ve asked for this dozens of times before, maybe this time will be the first you actually respond with evidence. Where am I misrepresenting your views? On parroting: to be sure, I did not write the worldview on Christianity. Does my worldview align with what Christ said? I hope and believe it does. I don’t do straw-man arguments, as anyone who knows what a straw-man argument is and can read this blog will also attest to. I know we have a system going here, but I’m going to leave this last question which just sums up all of the other things this post is discussing:

    If your moral values are your opinions (as you claim), why should anyone take your moral accusations against God seriously?

    • jasonjshaw says:

      1. Morality doesn’t centre around the Nazis. You have to look at ALL of the people and societies involved. Why are you not willing to do so?

      2. You are ignoring the whole point yet again. You did not provide evidence that opposes the survive and thrive basis for morality. Not strictly opinions, as you keep straw-manning.

      Try listening for once? I’m trying to keep it simple for you.

  6. Derek says:

    1. Which society do we choose, and with what criteria do we choose that society?

    2. Yes, I clearly did, but you don’t have a response.

    To clear up some confusion:
    straw man definition: refuting an argument that was not actually presented by an opponent.

    Your argument: “There are no objective moral values!!”
    My argument in summary: Yes, there has to be because of the examples your own quotes provided and the obvious example from history.

    So, in short, there is nothing even close to a straw man argument from my end. I won’t even bother explaining how often you attempt straw man arguments.

    3. You didn’t even try on the final question. How can I listen if you don’t answer?

    • jasonjshaw says:

      1. All societies.

      2. No you did not give any evidence that opposes a morality centred on survival and thriving.

      Is survival and thriving objective? I guess in that those who fail to do so don’t survive. But that’s not the main point being discussed, you were the one claiming there is evidence that opposes survival and thriving being the basis of morality. You failed to provide any evidence to the contrary.

      3. Your final question is based on your straw-man. I pointed out your straw-man. Try understanding my point of view first and then ask a relevant question.

      My claim is that morality is based on survival and thriving, which includes some subjectivity. I never claimed it was based on opinions – that is your straw-man. And you claimed that you never used staw-man arguments. How ironic.

  7. Derek says:

    1. That would put is in extreme constant contradiction. Do we live by the moral standard of North Korea or Canada? How do we decide between those two?

    2. Well you ignored the fact that according to your evolutionary morality the Nazis are morally perfect. You of course want to arbitrarily add “all societies” which doesn’t change the fact that the Nazis are still perfect in your view (I can only assume since you haven’t addressed it). I also gave your own quotes as evidence and you were unable to respond. So, if you ignore every point that you can’t respond to, I guess I didn’t provide any evidence.

    3. Subjective: based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions.
    Objective:(of a person or their judgment) not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts.
    JasonJShaw:”There is no objective morality!!”

    So it’s not a straw man because I’m engaging what you said.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      1. It’s not a binary choice, we choose on what seems to best suit survival and thriving. It can be different depending on one’s situation.

      2. Where are you getting this “moral perfection” concept from? Also, the Nazis didn’t do so well when it came to surviving and thriving. I would suggest the route they took was not a wise one in the end.

      Your quotes had nothing to do with survival being a basis for morality. You were making up moral absolutes out of them. You did not connect them to survival and thriving whatsoever that I could see.

      3. You ignored my point of view again. Let’s try again and see if you can listen this time.

      My claim is that morality is based on survival and thriving, which includes some subjectivity. I never claimed it was based on opinions.

      Would you like to try engaging this claim this time?

  8. Derek says:

    1. That’s truly terrifying. I’m glad you weren’t faced with the choice of hiding a jewish family during the holocaust. It would have certainly interfered with your ability to survive and thrive. It would have been moral of you to give them up and ensure your own survival wouldn’t it?

    2. If surviving and thriving is your moral absolute, wouldn’t it be immoral for someone to hide a jewish person during the holocaust? Granted the Nazis were defeated, but does it stand to reason that had they been victorious, you would subscribe to their morality?

    3. My assertion is that surviving and thriving do not ensure morality. I agree that morality often leads to both of those things, but it’s not true that it always leads to morality and can even lead to immorality.

    On word choice, subjectivity means opinions. It’s confusing to me that you say “My claim is that morality is based on survival and thriving which includes some “opinions”. I never claimed it was based on “opinions”.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      1. You seem to be unaware of how human empathy works. Not everything is as black-and-white as you seem to think it is. I am understanding more and more why you hold such simplistic beliefs though judging by your lack of ability to handle nuance.

      2. See 1. You fail to look at the bigger picture. Also, those who did hide Jewish people also ended up being on the right side of things in the bigger picture when all was said and done. Attempting to keep more allies alive is helpful for surviving, isn’t it?

      3. You seem to be suggesting my viewpoint is based solely on opinions. That is incorrect. There is knowledge and understanding involved as to what is more likely to result in survival and thriving. On top of that there is some subjectivity. It is not a purely subjective position.

  9. Derek says:

    1. What is your response to the original question?

    2. If by right side you mean dead after torture in a concentration camp, then yes they ended on the right side. Who is an ally? Why are you siding with them? What advantage do they have over the Nazis?

    3. I provided it. You couldn’t handle any of it. Now you’re perpetuating the myth that it never existed.

    I don’t understand what you’re trying to say here.

  10. jasonjshaw says:

    1. For some families it may have been their best option to not hide jewish families, while other families it may have been better to hide jewish families. What would I do? I have no idea. Again, you seem to have no awareness of nuance and circumstances in your asking of this.

    2. You do know the meaning of “hide” right? An ally would be someone who opposes what the Nazis were doing. More allies can provide more resistance.

    3. No, you provided nothing. You claimed my viewpoints were moral absolutes, when they are not.

    Can you imagine a society surviving without any trust, honesty and fairness? They are important factors for ensuring survival, they are not moral absolutes.

  11. Derek says:

    1. Wow. I shouldn’t be surprised I guess, but I am.

    2. Why are you inclined to fight Nazis instead of the allied powers, especially if we take your indecisiveness on question 1 seriously? Is it because you know that the Nazis were actually wrong?

    3. If your views are not absolute, how can you criticize God with them? If they’re just your personal ideas, and not absolutes why should God care how he lines up with your preferences?

    • jasonjshaw says:

      1. If you didn’t have a hiding spot that stood a chance of protecting a jewish family, would you let them in anyways and then simply let the Nazis take you all to the concentration camp? That’s pretty stupid of you.

      2. You would likely be able to realize the pitfalls of the Nazi ways if you took a second to think about it.

      3. Changing the subject because you have nothing to counter my argument?

      Not too aware of the sciences and the study of different facets of existence are you?

  12. Derek says:

    1. We’re not talking about quality of hiding spaces. Is it moral or immoral to go against your society?

    2. I’m well aware of what’s wrong with the Nazi belief system. I’m not sure you are based on how you would handle persecuted Jews.

    3. “Changing the subject because you have nothing to counter my argument?”
    Note: you didn’t answer my question. You only wrote another question.

    Your “unanswered” argument:
    “Can you imagine a society surviving without any trust, honesty and fairness? They are important factors for ensuring survival, they are not moral absolutes.”

    As I said before, “I agree that morality often leads to both of those things, but it’s not true that it always leads to morality and can even lead to immorality.” Moreover, if these things are not absolute, than we can pick and choose when we adhere to them.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      1. You’re talking about taking in a family at the threat of being killed. Hiding spaces and ability to not get caught matter.

      There are many societies present within a larger society. The answer would be nuanced, it is not a binary situation.

      2. I’m not sure you are in touch with the reality of the ability to hide people.

      3. Your response doesn’t make sense. We are talking about survival’s connection to trust, honesty, and fairness. We are not talking about things that are deemed moral/immoral.

      Yes, there can be situations where one might choose not to follow those, but it is typically at a much higher risk. That is why trust, honesty, and fairness tend to be more highly valued than lying, cheating, and deceiving.

  13. Derek says:

    1. There’s always going to be a risk. Risks do not determine morality though. I’m not suggesting one has to be suicidal, I’m just pointing out that in your view it would be immoral to go against society, which in this case would mean saving lives. I contend that the transcendent absolute moral values dictate we value human life regardless and always.

    2. You got me. I don’t even know what that means.

    3. What? We agree that those things connect to survival. I’m saying they are moral even when they don’t connect to survival. Since survival is the ultimate in your view, you cannot say the same. These moral values are only animated by their connection to staying alive. As soon as they cease to exist in that capacity, they loose all of their validity in your view. I disagree and believe they are moral and transcendent regardless of their immediate context as far as personal survival is concerned. Shortly, If fairness meant loss of life, fairness would still be moral to me. If fairness meant loss of life for you, it would be difficult to defend its moral validity.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      1. And you are straw-manning me yet again.

      3. Survival is not simply on an individual level. I think this is one of your roadblocks to understanding. Survival occurs on many levels – family, society, humanity, and many places in between.

  14. Derek says:

    1. Supposed straw man and no answer.

    2. ?

    3. When I say survival, I mean staying alive, or surviving. I don’t know what you mean when you give this fluffy, abstract answer of “Survival occurs on many levels – family, society, humanity, and many places in between.”

    • jasonjshaw says:

      1. I did not claim it to be immoral to go against society. That’s a straw man. I can’t answer something that isn’t my point of view.

      3. Survival of a larger group can sometimes be helped by sacrificing survival on a lower level.

      Seriously. Do you understand any of my viewpoints at all?

  15. Derek says:

    1. So where do morals come from then? If morals are my personal will to survive and thrive that paints a pretty scary portrait. Why should I be kind to anyone or care about others whatsoever? You’ll probably say something about how we all have a better chance of surviving together, but that’s simply not true. What worth does a child, an elderly person, weak, or disabled person have through that moral lens? What could they possibly offer but dead evolutionary weight?

    I of course hold that they have worth as human beings and deserve respect, love, and care on that account. You’ll probably say, “hey that makes my view look bad so it’s a straw man” even though it’s not.

    3. What would motivate sacrifice on the “lower level”? Why should one care about the biological home team (humans)? What does it matter to sustain the species long term? The planet will give out, and the universe after it if scientists (and I don’t disagree with them) are right. In your view, humanity is a drama with no audience that will surely end. What use is perpetuating it longer rather than shorter, or perpetuating it at all? If we die and that’s the end, there is zero use in doing anything to ensure posterity for a generation that may or may not exist. This, of course, is not what I believe.

    I care about others because they are image bearers of the living God. Because of that, they deserve dignity, love, and care.

    Jason, it is obvious that I don’t.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      1. There you go again, not looking to understand, only looking to undermine.

      If you aren’t interested in understanding, kindly leave.

      3. You’re psychic now? We are stuck on this planet? Humanity is doomed?

      What, should we not care about our existence and just die off? Given the options, it seems much wiser to continue on in hopes that we can understand our existence more, and that we may find new homes that will last much longer than our current planet.

      Ok, you don’t understand my viewpoints. That actually seems like a step in the right direction!

  16. Derek says:

    1. If I couldn’t defend my argument, I don’t think I would ask someone to leave.

    3. Entropy, if you don’t know about it. If you read my post again, I actually said universe. New planet or not, this world will end, and all of humanity with it. What is to be gained by “continuing”? If the final options are: no remnant of human existence or no remnant of human existence, what motivation do I have to proliferate humanity instead of seek whatever pleasure and personal gain I can in the present moment? What more of an accomplishment will it be for humanity to last a million years or a billion years if all evidence will be obliterated beyond our ability to imagine?

    This is not how I view the world, obviously.

  17. jasonjshaw says:

    1. If you were constantly having your point of view misrepresented and being accused of supporting Nazis and murderers, would you seriously continue to put up with it?

    3. Ah, I missed the universe part.

    What is to be gained by continuing? For one, understanding how we ended up here in the first place. Secondly, how can we be so sure that we are doomed? If the universe ends, that is likely a long ways off. It’s far too early to give up hope.

    What motivation? Curiosity, empathy, hope. Sure, you can seek pleasure and personal gain, but I think many of those stories don’t typically end up with happy humans. Usually they end up more along the lines of prison time and/or addiction issues. We humans tend to do better with connection to other humans. It’s kind of engrained into us through generations of successful ancestors and how that has affected our genes.

  18. Derek says:

    “What is to be gained by continuing? For one, understanding how we ended up here in the first place. Secondly, how can we be so sure that we are doomed? If the universe ends, that is likely a long ways off. It’s far too early to give up hope.”

    Rather than get overwhelmed by all of the different directions, I decided just to focus on your first idea. If the universe is meaningless, and without intention or purpose what is the point of understanding how we got here through your world view? Is it even possible to understand anything beyond empirical facts in your view?

    • jasonjshaw says:

      If we end up finding out that the Universe is meaningless and purposeless, then that is something that will need to be considered. Good luck finding anyone who believes that.

      The point of finding understanding of how we got here is to try to understand what meaning our life may actually have. Not knowing is not a lack of meaning, you know.

  19. Derek says:

    “If we end up finding out that the Universe is meaningless and purposeless, then that is something that will need to be considered. Good luck finding anyone who believes that.”

    So where does meaning come from in you view?

    “The point of finding understanding of how we got here is to try to understand what meaning our life may actually have. Not knowing is not a lack of meaning, you know.”

    I don’t really understand what you’re trying to say here.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      Meaning comes from the world around you through your connection with others and in your quests to find understanding. No deity required.

      You seem to be trying to insinuate that because I don’t know the nature of existence that I live a life without meaning. I actually feel bad for you that you are unable to find meaning in the world around you without having to lean on belief in the supernatural.

  20. Derek says:

    “Meaning comes from the world around you through your connection with others and in your quests to find understanding. No deity required.”

    Ok, but those things have meaning because they have value. Why do those things have value? When you give these kind of facile answers it makes me think you either haven’t fully grasped the question, or you don’t have an answer, hence my skepticism.

    “You seem to be trying to insinuate that because I don’t know the nature of existence that I live a life without meaning. I actually feel bad for you that you are unable to find meaning in the world around you without having to lean on belief in the supernatural.”

    Not exactly, I’m saying that your worldview, as I’m trying to understand it, doesn’t have a place for meaning. Meaning cannot exist if there is no intention or purpose (evolutionary worldview). If we look at the things we know are valuable myopically, we can pretend like that is a logical view so long as we don’t ask what’s behind the value (in your view, as far as I can tell, there is nothing behind the value). When I say nothing I mean nothing more than a natural, incidental instinct, a circular I-like-it-because-I-like-it. If this is all it is, we cannot say that it is meaning. It has no meaning. We might just as well have liked some other thing, or disliked another. Because of this logic, I don’t find your assertion about meaning remotely compelling; further, I don’t understand how you can pretend like there is meaning if you base your worldview on a lack of meaning (the now tiresome, time and chance acting on matter). Finally, lean is too weak a verb. I depend utterly on God. If I am wrong about his existence, as Paul says, I am indeed to be pitied more than all other men.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      If you are wrong about your beliefs, I don’t think you need to be pitied more. I suspect the vast majority of humans through history have been wrong about their god beliefs. It’s not an uncommon thing. You still live your life more or less like anyone else as the greater truths of existence really don’t have that much bearing on us.

      Your criticism of “evolutionary worldview” doesn’t make sense. If you place God at the beginning of evolution, there can be no difference in meaning. You are also assuming that evolution is a meaningless thing, which is something that is currently unknown. You seem to need to jump to some sort of belief-based position. Again, not knowing does not equal no meaning.

      It seems ironic that you are describing my points of view as “facile” when I am pointing out how yours is overly simplistic.

  21. Derek says:

    “If you are wrong about your beliefs, I don’t think you need to be pitied more…”

    I guess that depends on your value of truth. I value truth, so being wrong about a belief one holds as true would warrant pity in my world view. As to your second point about me living my life like everyone else, I take issue. As followers of Christ, we are called to be set apart. I don’t live “like everyone else” to that regard. The way I handle money, the way I conduct myself in the work place, and in every other aspect is influenced by my belief that God means what he says. The “greater truths” if you mean belief in God and the moral dictates that follow, has a direct bearing on one’s life.

    “Your criticism of “evolutionary worldview” doesn’t make sense. If you place God at the beginning of evolution, there can be no difference in meaning…”

    Full disclosure, I don’t believe in macro evolution. Micro evolution is absolutely observable, and humans have known about it and harvested it for centuries, if not longer. God is intentional. Intentions create meaning. Full disclosure again, I don’t understand the precise workings of these concepts, only that you can’t have meaning without intention. I don’t understand where the perceived jump I am making happens. I said this before a while ago on this blog, but if there really was no meaning, it would not have been something we could discover as that discovery would require meaning.

    “It seems ironic that you are describing my points of view as “facile” when I am pointing out how yours is overly simplistic.”

    I’m not sure where you explained that the problem with my worldview was simplicity. My point was that you saying “I don’t know that evolution is all there is” was an easy, but inconsistent solution to the problem that the meaninglessness of evolution inherently carries.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      Macro and micro evolution are the same thing. What you are calling “macro evolution” is just a large collection of your “micro evolution” built up over time. I guess if you believe Earth and life hasn’t been here for billions of years, that can pose a problem in understanding that.

      If you value truth, you wouldn’t hold a belief as a truth. You would hold a belief as a belief. How do you think that you conduct yourself differently than others? In the workplace I have worked with Christians who are great to work with and Christians who have tendencies of being self-righteous assholes. From my experiences, I fail to see any practical difference between working with Christians vs working with non-Christians.

      “I’m not sure where you explained that the problem with my worldview was simplicity.”

      You keep suggesting that evolution results in meaninglessness, and I keep pointing out the problem with that (overly simplified) viewpoint.

      “Intentions create meaning”

      Sounds like some vague philosophical concept. I did a search on that phrase in attempt to understand what you are trying to say and came up with nothing. The way I see it, meaning comes from what one values. I don’t see how intention is necessary in that.

  22. Derek says:

    “Macro and micro evolution are the same thing…”

    No, they’re pretty different. We can observe and even control micro evolution. We cannot observe macro evolution and there are certain seemingly large hurdles that do not have a reasonable explanation, chromosome addition, how new genetic information is created rather than lost in mutation to name a few. Micro evolution, or the predictable passing on of traits within a genome, is common sense. To say that they are the same is the bait and switch evolutionary biologists have been attempting for the past two hundred years. The age of the earth needn’t even come into the picture.

    “If you value truth, you wouldn’t hold a belief as a truth.”
    Is that true?

    “From my experiences, I fail to see any practical difference between working with Christians vs working with non-Christians.”

    I completely agree with you. Christians still sin and are not perfect. I sin all the time at work. Additionally, and this is sad, not everyone who says they are a Christian is actually a Christian. The mark of being a Christian is in one’s works though. If you say you believe that Christ died for your sins, but there is no evidence in your life that you have humbled yourself before God and turned from your sin, your faith is dead according to the bible.

    “You keep suggesting that evolution results in meaninglessness, and I keep pointing out the problem with that (overly simplified) viewpoint.”

    I’ve said this a bunch before, but I’m going to say it again. You have to explain HOW I’ve over-simplified; otherwise, it sounds like you really have no counterpoint. I’m sure this isn’t true, but if you don’t explain your ideas that’s how it sounds.

    “The way I see it, meaning comes from what one values. I don’t see how intention is necessary in that.”

    I’ll try to explain it more thoroughly. If the universe is random, it can have no meaning. Why? If the universe was “unintentional” than it has no intention. Intention, or purpose, or significance (all interchangeable here) are cognates of meaning. If the universe was created for a reason, than that reason, ultimately, illuminates the significance of everything else. If the universe is simply time and space and matter, meaning cannot exist, and we never should have found out about it. In a universe truly without meaning, meaning would be a concept without meaning. If you say, “but meaning does exist!” I agree with you, but it cannot exist in a worldview that demands absolute meaninglessness. To simply say things have meaning and to also assert that the world is a random cosmic accident (still not sure what your exact stance is) without reconciling the two is deeply problematic.

  23. jasonjshaw says:

    No one is claiming that the universe is random, so I don’t understand where your point is coming from. That claim of yours is an over-simplification – you conveniently assume that it is all random. Total straw-man.

    Different numbers of chromosomes happens. It’s observable and happens in humans. Genetic information changes through mutation or is added through duplication. Living things carry a lot of junk DNA that is essentially switched off and doesn’t do anything. That in itself is pretty clear evidence that God didn’t create everything as-is. Or God wasn’t a very efficient creator. I didn’t find anything specifically about losing DNA information, but I would suspect losing information would not bode well for the living thing that lost it in most, if not nearly all cases.

  24. Derek says:

    I don’t understand how you think it’s anything but random. I’m obviously not creating a straw man argument. Maybe rather than saying what you don’t believe you could try to explain why you think the universe is not random? This would be far more effective than just bemoaning and misidentifying straw man arguments.

    “Different numbers of chromosomes happens. It’s observable and happens in humans. ”
    Right, but it causes down syndrome, not a proliferation of functioning genes.

    “Living things carry a lot of junk DNA that is essentially switched off and doesn’t do anything. ”
    If someone offered me a free procedure to remove that junk, I don’t think I would sign up. What we don’t understand is not necessarily redundant. As anciliary point, I’m confused on how you readily admit to not knowing everything about the universe, but are absolutely certain parts of our genome are redundant. How does the jagged border between the unknown and the known get drawn?

    “Or God wasn’t a very efficient creator. I didn’t find anything specifically about losing DNA information, but I would suspect losing information would not bode well for the living thing that lost it in most, if not nearly all cases.”

    Interesting point, but if we can imagine a more efficient (time, materials, energy) universe or body I’m not sure how this disproves God. We would have to know that God prioritized efficiency above all else. I suppose if our imaginations in which we can fly and accelerate time and consume energy at superior rates are a realistic alternative, than I must hold that God is not interested in efficiency. I can speak a lot more on this point, but it’s an interesting one. If God loves efficiency more than he loves anything else, yes he must not exist because we could imagine a more efficient universe. I just don’t believe God loves efficiency more than anything else. He loves us.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      Wow, you know my point of view better than I do now? Talk about arrogance and a lack of ability to listen and consider nuanced possibilities.

      How can I think everything is random without evidence? You seem to want me to hold a position of belief like you do. I don’t. Please stop insinuating that I do, because that is the strawman I have to call out on you again and again and again.

      Does it cause Downs Syndrome in every case? I don’t think so. Nice overgeneralization though.

      Yes, what we don’t understand isn’t necessarily redundant, but it is not necessarily functional either as you seem so certain it is. What possible use do you suppose the switched-off DNA associated with tail growth is for humans? God must be super inefficient to throw stuff like that in.

      You should look up animals with odd evolutionary leftovers. There’s some pretty interesting useless things associated with some animals. Not exactly what I would consider as “perfect” creations.

      If God is perfect, as you have claimed in the past, I can’t see how he left behind so many redundant inefficiencies in his wake, if he created everything basically as it is.

  25. Derek says:

    I don’t know why you’re upset with me because you don’t know what you believe. I’m not trying to be rude, put words in your mouth, or construct a straw man argument.

    “How can I think everything is random without evidence?”
    So your default position is that the universe is not random, but you have no evidence of that either right?

    “Does it cause Downs Syndrome in every case? I don’t think so. Nice overgeneralization though.”
    Most babies die before they are born if they have an extra chromosome. If they survive, yes they all have down syndrome. You didn’t even google this point.

    “What possible use do you suppose the switched-off DNA associated with tail growth is for humans? God must be super inefficient to throw stuff like that in.”

    “What possible use do you suppose the switched-off DNA associated with tail growth is for humans? God must be super inefficient to throw stuff like that in.”
    It’s not switched-off, it’s always switched on and is a stage of development of a normal healthy human baby.

    “You should look up animals with odd evolutionary leftovers. There’s some pretty interesting useless things associated with some animals. Not exactly what I would consider as “perfect” creations.”

    This is an interesting argument, but it’s a less complex version of your one from the last post about God being inefficient. We might just as well lament that whales can’t fly, or that cows have to chew grass instead of absorbing energy from the sun. Just because we don’t value a dog’s tale in the same way we value its nose doesn’t mean that a tale is inefficient, or redundant, or superfluous. Creation was perfect, but it’s not perfect anymore. That point is not really vital to the argument, but I thought I would mention it.

    “If God is perfect, as you have claimed in the past, I can’t see how he left behind so many redundant inefficiencies in his wake, if he created everything basically as it is.”

    …Because a perfect God would have created genomes that impressed Jason J Shaw genome expert? I hope you don’t mind if I tease you a bit, but you clearly don’t have an understanding of genetics or biology based on your recent posts, so I hardly think you set the bar for what constitutes perfection in creation. Creation is a fallen creation, but it’s still remarkably impressive. I don’t understand how one can look at how a cell functions, or how a brain operates, or how any living thing lives and not see an intentional creator. You can’t seem to make up your mind about whether or not life is the product of time and chance acting on matter, but I can easily dismiss that as a possibility. It seems inconceivable to me that in a universe that is otherwise inhospitable life would randomly begin and persist and flourish as the entire show heads in the exact opposite direction.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      How dense are you, seriously??

      I. Don’t. Believe. You are the one trying to associate strawman beliefs with me. Just because you aren’t trying to construct strawman arguments doesn’t mean you aren’t, because you absolutely are.

      My default position is that WE DON’T KNOW. No belief. Do you understand this now?? We don’t know until we do know. It’s actually a pretty straightforward default position.

      No, babies that survive with an extra chromosome do not all have Down’s Syndrome. Is seems you need to work on your own Googling. Down’s Syndrome is only associated with an extra copy of chromosome 21.

      My bad, the tail happens and then goes away. In the end, the tail is switched off though as it does not remain and I would be surprised if it actually served any significant purpose, aside from being an evolutionary leftover.

      Of course I can’t make my mind up on where life comes from, because ***we don’t know*** (I hope you are finally picking up on this theme).

      Interesting that you seem to know the universe is inhospitable. That is an insanely bold claim considering we are only to the point of searching for evidence of life on the planet next door while there are likely millions, if not billions, of planets more similar to Earth out there than Mars is. The odds don’t seem to be in your favour on that claim. Why would God even bother with all that extra unnecessary stuff out there anyways?

  26. Derek says:

    Ok, you don’t believe. I think I get it now. You wrote a blog to share what you believe, and that belief is in nothing. Belief in nothing, to be clear, while lacking an object of belief, is still a belief. As such, it won’t really save you from any of the problems I think you’re hoping it will. Please correct or modify this as you fit.

    You’re right about chromosome 21, but I hope you understand this genetic hurdle and the problems it presents.

    It’s not switched off anymore than staying 6 inches long is switched off. It’s a normal part of growth, and that’s all.

    You keep saying you don’t know, but I hope you understand my confusion. You seem to know some things and not others. When knowing would make your position untenable, you become very adamant about not knowing. The latest instance of this is in regards to the purposelessness of the universe through the atheistic-materialist worldview. Because I’m assuming you see the problem with such a view, you simply say you don’t know. You still claim, however, to know that the God isn’t real. Interesting.

    “Interesting that you seem to know the universe is inhospitable…Why would God even bother with all that extra unnecessary stuff out there anyways?”

    I’m just parroting what every scientist who studies the subject says. The vast majority (conservative estimate) of the known universe could not sustain life. So the odds and experts are certainly in favor of my claim. In regards to the last question about God’s intention in putting extra stuff out there: It’s a part of his power in creation. The universe is a vast and impressive work of an all-powerful God. I don’t know that it has a purpose beyond that, but I can’t rule other purposes out either. I don’t think you’re trying to form an argument against the existence of God with this point, but in the event you are let me break it down for the sake of thoroughness. For this to be evidence against the existence of God we would have to know with certainty that the God of the Bible or any god who might exist would be adamantly opposed to creating such distant planets and stars. As it is, we have no such proof that God or a god would have been disinterested in creating distant planets and stars, so it’s not really a salient argument. Shortly: There is no evidence to suggest that God wouldn’t bother with what we might perceive from our vantage point in time and space as unnecessary.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      You still don’t understand my position. How many times do I have to repeat myself until you will finally clue in?

      I don’t know if there is a God or not.

      What I do know is that the Biblical version of God is very flawed. I also am yet to hear anything from the Bible that couldn’t have come from human creation. I would expect at least something that couldn’t have come from a human mind.

      Yes, I understand the genetic hurdle. That’s why animals aren’t constantly changing right before our eyes, evolution is a long-term function where there is a large rate of failure. When there is success, especially within a smaller population, then the successful traits will take hold and be more likely to spread.

      Of course the vast majority of the universe can’t sustain life. Only planets in the “goldilocks zone” around a star have a decent possibility of sustaining more complex life. And guess what? There are likely many millions, likely even billions of planets that fit that description. That’s a huge amount, even if it is just a minuscule portion of the universe in comparison.

  27. Derek says:

    “What I do know is that the Biblical version of God is very flawed. I also am yet to hear anything from the Bible that couldn’t have come from human creation. I would expect at least something that couldn’t have come from a human mind.”

    The Bible is without contradictions in the original text (one instance of that point was painstakingly drawn out on this blog) and contains many mysteries that cannot be comprehended by the human mind. To be sure, humans who were inspired by the Spirit did write the Bible. It is for humans. On those two facts, it should sound pretty human-friendly.

    “Yes, I understand the genetic hurdle. That’s why animals aren’t constantly changing right before our eyes, evolution is a long-term function where there is a large rate of failure. When there is success, especially within a smaller population, then the successful traits will take hold and be more likely to spread.”

    If that’s the extent of your view on evolution I agree. This is something humans have known about for literally thousands of years. Where I depart from modern evolutionary theory is macro evolution: dolphins becoming wolves, fish becoming humans, land-dwelling predators becoming whales, etc. That I cannot accept on account of the fact there is a dearth of evidence to support such a theory.

    “Of course the vast majority of the universe can’t sustain life…That’s a huge amount, even if it is just a minuscule portion of the universe in comparison.”

    Yes, a minuscule number of planets, through statistical probability may be able to sustain life. That doesn’t solve the problem of entropy though. As everything in the universe winds down, loses energy, decomposes, life miraculously heads in the opposite direction at break-neck speeds. It seems conspicuously unnatural. To me, supernatural.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      Oh, so in the original text God isn’t a vengeful jerk who has a change of heart and then decides to love humanity? I’d be curious to see a version of a Bible where God’s character is consistent. Mysteries that can’t be comprehended by the human mind? Oh, you mean like God’s inconsistencies? Yeah, probably just humans not having a clear character development guide to work from.

      Interesting evolution examples you chose there, I hadn’t heard of any of those. Interesting that they have found similarities that seem to connect those animals. It’s pretty neat seeing where new evidence leads, though there is still a lot more to be learned to paint a clearer picture of how things evolved and to be sure such similarities do demonstrate a relationship.

      I’m not sure what you’re talking about with your entropy paragraph. That sounds like a hypothesis to me.

  28. Derek says:

    “Oh, so in the original text God isn’t a vengeful jerk who has a change of heart and then decides to love humanity?”

    Absolute values are back again I see. Of course, I’m not surprised. What instance are you specifically referencing and by what standard are you holding God accountable?

    “Oh, you mean like God’s inconsistencies? Yeah, probably just humans not having a clear character development guide to work from.”

    We’re are the straw man police when you need them?

    “Interesting evolution examples you chose there…”
    I’m not sure what this paragraph is getting at.

    “I’m not sure what you’re talking about with your entropy paragraph. That sounds like a hypothesis to me.”

    Entropy is a fact, not a hypothesis. Everything is winding down, not up. Matter is deteriorating not becoming more complex.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      God was a mass murderer at first, and then He turns around and chooses self-sacrifice. If that’s your idea of consistency of (perfect) character, I don’t know what to say. It comes across to me that you base everything on the perception of God being perfect, and since you believe the Bible is God’s Word, everything inside must be reflective of perfection.

      Not sure where your imaginary strawman is. I never claimed you have a viewpoint that you don’t. Maybe that’s part of your strawman problem, you don’t quite understand the term.

      Those were some interesting connections between animals that you mentioned! It’s interesting to hear more about how we and other animals may have become what we are now.

      Entropy itself is a fact, sure. The way you seem to be extrapolating it out sounds like something that requires belief, which is not something I am interested in. We don’t know enough about the function of the Universe to know it is all winding down as you are claiming is supposedly known.

  29. Derek says:

    “God was a mass murderer at first, and then He turns around and chooses self-sacrifice. If that’s your idea of consistency of (perfect) character, I don’t know what to say.

    Oh this idea again that I already disprove at least twice before. Murder is killing innocent people. No one is innocent because everyone sins; therefore God does not murder. This critique is especially strange for someone who doesn’t believe in absolute morality anyways. God is good and loving in that he saves people who have no right to be saved. So your claim has two very big problems: you don’t know who God is, and you don’t know who we are.

    “It comes across to me that you base everything on the perception of God being perfect, and since you believe the Bible is God’s Word, everything inside must be reflective of perfection.”

    Yes I believe the Bible is God’s word, but I can also defend that idea with reason. You on the other hand do not have a reasonable argument against God and don’t believe in him (sorry for suggesting you are capable of cognitive certainty, I know that issue is touchy lately) for no reason at all and cannot build a logical argument against God.

    “Those were some interesting connections between animals that you mentioned! It’s interesting to hear more about how we and other animals may have become what we are now.”

    Or in short, what evidence is lacking, what we don’t know for sure must support your claim.

    “Entropy itself is a fact, sure. The way you seem to be extrapolating it out sounds like something that requires belief, which is not something I am interested in. We don’t know enough about the function of the Universe to know it is all winding down as you are claiming is supposedly known.”

    Or in short, when the facts don’t support your argument, we must be missing something.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      Try again. My point is God’s inconsistency. Killing all sorts of people on one hand and then sacrificing Himself on the other are not consistent actions.

      You can’t defend the Bible with reason if your starting point is believing that the Bible is perfect. Your worldview is based on that and you make up anything to support that even when you are faced with clear inconsistencies.

      “Or in short, what evidence is lacking, what we don’t know for sure must support your claim.”

      No. Evidence is not a conclusion. In the real world, we don’t start with a conclusion as you seem to always want to do. As evidence builds, a clearer picture of history is revealed.

      “Or in short, when the facts don’t support your argument, we must be missing something.”

      No. We don’t know enough about how the universe functions to positively claim that. You are jumping to a conclusion that is not based on reasonable evidence.

  30. Derek says:

    “Try again. My point is God’s inconsistency. Killing all sorts of people on one hand and then sacrificing Himself on the other are not consistent actions.”

    You addressed no part of my explanation. My explanation actually already addresses your supposed inconsistency. You only repeated what you said the first time. Please address the explanation, I can’t understand why you hold the position you hold.

    “You can’t defend the Bible with reason if your starting point is believing that the Bible is perfect. Your worldview is based on that and you make up anything to support that even when you are faced with clear inconsistencies.”

    You have yet to mention a clear inconsistency that I can effortlessly answer (often more than once). Moreover, I can explain with reason why the Bible is the word of God. When faced with what you perceive as a clear inconsistency, I simply answer using plain reason. If they were really clear inconsistencies surely you could explain them in a convincing way right?

    “No. Evidence is not a conclusion. In the real world, we don’t start with a conclusion as you seem to always want to do. As evidence builds, a clearer picture of history is revealed.”

    I agree with this, except for the attempted dig that I start with a conclusion. This is from the man who uses the scientific process to prove the scientific process… My point is that as soon as you are backed into a corner using evidence, you paint a door and escape through it, asserting the axiom that we don’t know everything.

    “No. Evidence is not a conclusion. ”
    “No. We don’t know enough about how the universe functions…”
    How do you know that God is inconsistent? My argument is not, what I think would be called, gnostic (you can read the post before this one to understand why I would never make the mistake of accusing God of murder). I don’t believe the answer to does God murder is actually a secret, but I’m pointing out where I observe there to be a contradiction in your supposed structure of knowledge.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      God used two completely different methods in order to get humanity sorted out. If God is perfect, as you claim, then He would have done it right the first time.

      “This is from the man who uses the scientific process to prove the scientific process”

      Clearly you haven’t been taking in anything I say. I’m tired of having to repeat basic things over and over again to you such as how consistent results of testing are what proves the scientific method to be useful.

      As I had mentioned before, you were on a short leash. I wish you all the best, but I’m afraid I can no longer tolerate your lack of effort to listen to and understand my point of view before you attempt to debunk it.

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