August 09, 2015

Even United Church thinks atheist minister has gone too far

Rebel Staff
 

Rev. Gretta Vosper of Toronto is a United Church minister -- and an atheist. She says the gospels are "mythology" and thinks campaigning against a refinery in Sarnia is more important.

(But Christians being raped and murdered in the Middle East? There's nothing about that on her church's website...)

The United Church is finally investigating Vosper, trying to determine if she if fit to keep her title of "reverend."

It's a funny story in a way, but it's sad, too.

Is it any wonder that the United Church is floundering, while more traditional Christian denominations are growing?

And is it any surprise that while the United Church and other liberal denominations are basically committing suicide, radical Islam is stepping in to fill the vacuum?

 

READ The Enemy Within: Terror, Lies, and the Whitewashing of Omar Khadr, Ezra Levant’s new book about domestic terrorism and radicalization.

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Comments
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commented 2015-08-14 10:14:11 -0400
Ron, I’ve already admitted that science has many failed suppositions—that doesn’t negate the many successful predictions. Read my many statements below on the matter. Why does a failed prediction on the part of science automatically mean proof of YEC? Also, please name any religious theory which begot predictions which have been demonstrated as true with strong evidence.

While you’re at it, maybe you can address some of my questions which Kenneth ignored, namely citing evidence for a claimed long “con” by scientists around the world and over decades to purposefully blind themselves and others to evidence of a YEC, while simultaneously embracing a mountain of fabricated “evidence” for an old Earth. Speculation that a con somehow benefits science isn’t proof—I want evidence.

Here are some of the other questions I’ve asked Kenneth, but which have been conveniently ignored:

- How does Kenneth know that mountains were “formed recently by rapid continental movement”? How recently? How rapid?
- Please provide proof that the continents moved in a matter of weeks or months, as Kenneth claims, and any evidence or explanation as to how or why they would move so quickly and then slow down to the present rate of movement.
- How would an answer of “We don’t know [why Pluto has a geologically young, largely crater-free surface], but we have ideas” prove a young Earth?
- Cite evidence that Mercury’s magnetic field is “rapidly decaying”, as Kenneth claims.
- Kenneth claims “Earth’s magnetic field is also rapidly decaying.” Define “rapidly”, and how does this rate automatically assume a young Earth not, say, a decay that is variable?
commented 2015-08-14 09:47:34 -0400
Ron, Dr. Richard Lewontin did not originate the notion of an old Earth based on evidence which didn’t fit YEC, so I stand by my statement. Science did not first assume an old Earth and then hunt for evidence. Yes, there is a bias against YEC because there is no strong evidence for it, and definitely not enough weak evidence to topple the mountains of evidence for an Earth billions of years old.

On Charles Hutton and Charles Lyell, Hutton made an initial calculation on the density of the Earth, and was not an originator of the idea of an old Earth as you claim. Lyell was, however, and his supposition was an attempt to explain evidence found in field surveys—he didn’t come up with the idea and then hunt for evidence.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Lyell#Glaciers
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Lyell#Stratigraphy

“If you want a dogmatic statement, check out the Humanist (atheist) Manifesto I which presumes naturalism and an evolutionary process.”
What does this have to do with dogma in science or in an old Earth? The Humanist Manifesto is not a scientific text. Have you read it? Please cite where it “presumes evolution”. (Note that the first volume of the Humanist Manifesto was written in 1933, almost 80 years after Darwin’s Origin of Species. If it does indeed presume evolution, it’s because the evidence for it had been piling up for decades. Even so, the Manifesto is a philosophical text, not a scientific text, so my assertion that science is not driven by dogma still stands.)
commented 2015-08-14 09:43:44 -0400
IAN STEPHENS, if you want to talk about predictions that were later incorrect, the evolutionists have a host of them, vestigial organs, Haeckel’s diagrams, Piltdown Man (a hoax that existed for some 40 years), evolution of the horse, Nebraska Man, junk DNA, the notion of races arising from different steps in the evolutionary process (Darwin’s cousin Francis Galton invented the term eugenics, which very much influenced Hitler), ETC. A very proud history! As I said before, it is not about the so-called ‘evidence’. While this tit-for-tat is somewhat interesting, one fact that we all can agree on is that some day we will die. Give some serious consideration to what happens to you when you die and whether you were created by a loving Creator God or just an accident of a blind, purposeless materialistic process.
commented 2015-08-14 09:24:05 -0400
Kenneth: “My experience of my own conversion to YEC, despite my own longstanding prejudice for deep time and against YEC, is that there is so much rock-solid evidence for it”

Too bad neither you nor anyone else here has been able to cite such overwhelming evidence, only predictions which were later incorrect (ignoring those which were correct) and armchair geology which assumes a catastrophic flood. This is not a zero-sum game: a wrong assumption on the part of some scientists does not immediately result in a point on the YEC scoreboard. I’ve asked you to clarify your views, but you ignore me, at the same time insisting that I defend an old Earth and answer your questions. Instead, you focus on one answer (ethane lakes on Titan) which I can now see didn’t answer your question (although this still falls under the category of incorrect assumptions which don’t immediately prove YEC) and use that alone to dismiss me.

Best of luck on your book.
commented 2015-08-14 00:18:18 -0400
Ron and Judy, you both totally nailed it: on me prior to becoming an evidence-based (later also Scripture-based) convert to YEC, on the culture that inculcates irrational belief in deep time and macro-evolutionism, and on the overwhelming evidence for YEC and the paucity of valid scientific evidence for deep time. I’m off to other topics now, thanks for your comments.
commented 2015-08-14 00:00:50 -0400
Sorry…I think I have the wrong name, Ron,…but the rest is my view…that the earth is simply not billions of years old…it is a place of convulsions, rapid burial, and massive flooding, rapid freezing and thawing and and shows little evidence of long slow processes at all.
commented 2015-08-13 23:52:12 -0400
On the debate, I am on Ron Voss’ side…there is no evidence for deep time and the evidence for a young earth is too strong to ignore.
commented 2015-08-13 23:08:48 -0400
KENNETH LAWRENCE if you held a longstanding prejudice for deep time I would guess that it arose primarily from the educational institutions, certainly if you took any biology or geology courses, together with the indoctrination received from the surrounding culture, TV, media, including magazines like National Geographic, museums, as well as Hollywood, etc. which provide a constant bombardment of the message of an old earth. As you are probably aware, some of the strongest creationists were one time evolutionists. Then there is the case of famed evolutionist Anthony Flew who later in life came to admit that there is a God, although not necessarily a Christian, after following the evidence whereever it leads.
commented 2015-08-13 22:53:14 -0400
Ron Voss, thanks for your response to my comments, but I have to say that based on my own experience, which is that of a long-time deep time believer, I have to disagree with you. I was converted to YEC by the evidence, plain and simple. My experience of my own conversion to YEC, despite my own longstanding prejudice for deep time and against YEC, is that there is so much rock-solid evidence for it, that were it ever to be given a fair hearing by the current science establishment (something I am certain is not going to happen in my lifetime on Earth), deep time would be thrown out just as the Ptolemaic model of the universe was finally, after a long struggle, thrown out under the weight of evidence that it was incorrect. It was not an interpretation of that evidence that dethroned that model, it was the evidence itself, and we now have so much rock-solid evidence for YEC (on Earth and in the solar system), that if an objective referee ever comes to the top of the science establishment and gives it a fair and unfettered hearing, deep time and macro-evolution will be relegated to the ash heap of science history where it belongs, just as the Ptolemaic model of the universe was. That is based on my own experience. I never expected to be convinced of YEC before I actually began reading the evidence, and it wasn’t anyone’s interpretation of the evidence that convinced me of YEC. There is an objective body of evidence now that stands on its own for the truth. I have cited a very small but logically irrefutable (notice I say logically, because anti-logic holds sway today in much of the science establishment) bit of it in my comments below, and my book contains a lot more. And I’m far from alone in claiming this. The only reason deep time still hangs on and YEC hasn’t obliterated it yet, is that atheists are deeply religious and deluded people. They have been conned into believing they have evidence on their side, when in fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Most of them are abysmally ignorant of the evidence for YEC and of science in general. I actually find it boring arguing with then because they are so ignorant of science and I have to explain the most rudimentary concepts of science to them before they even begin to comprehend how ignorant they are. And frankly, I get tired of that exercise, and the only thing that compels me to continue, is that I know the Lord Jesus Christ desires their salvation. Otherwise, I would quit in a heartbeat. But Jesus is so loving to me every day in my life, and suffered so much for my salvation, and has given me so much truth to work with, that I do keep going, because I love Him more than I dislike the hard work of refuting the twin lies of deep time and macro-evolutionism. I have written one book on this subject, and I expect to have a second out next year. And not to worry; unlike this rant, the book has paragraphs and other cool stuff like proper punctuation (as well as a few typos I missed before it went to publication, alas) to make the reading easier. I have had good reviews of it, for which I am grateful. I suppose I can now expect a flurry of unflattering reviews, as various evolutionist devotees make it their cause to discredit both it and its author, which goes with the territory when one challenges the cherished religious beliefs of an entrenched cult. Belief (faith, in fact) in deep time and macro-evolutionism have become an entrenched paragidm beyond reasoning in our time, and it often seems that no amount of evidence can shake it loose, but I am living proof that evidence can shake it loose.
commented 2015-08-13 22:46:20 -0400
IAN STEPHENS, “Nobody first assumed the Earth was billions of years old and then tried to explain geology from that perspective.” Really? Seems that you are unfamiliar with Charles Hutton and Charles Lyell a couple of the originators of the old earth story. If you want a dogmatic statement, check out the Humanist (atheist) Manifesto I which presumes naturalism and an evolutionary process. So get off your high horse. The historical science (trying to reconstruct the unobserved past) that you are talking about, not observational or experimental science, started with a presumption of no Creator God, hence naturalism, a blind purposeless process. If we are talking about observational science, can you tell us how the first life, the single-called organism at the base of the so-called evolutionary tree, came about?
commented 2015-08-13 22:08:42 -0400
Ian, your ‘answers’ to my questions are typified by your response to my question, “Hey where it the missing ethane on Titan?” You knew, of course, that I was referring to the predicted (by deep time astrophysicists) ocean of ethane on Titan that I had referenced earlier, but then you disingenuously pretend that I did not know about lakes of ethane on Titan (thereby displaying my ‘ignorance’, according to you) and that I was asserting that there is no ethane on Titan, although you even quoted me later as saying, “Astrophysicists expected to find an ocean of ethane on its surface. However,the Galileo-Huygens probe found only a few lakes…”, which I did in fact write in one of my earlier comments. There is no point in me debating at length with someone who misrepresents what I’m saying to the point of calling me ‘ignorant’ for supposedly not knowing about evidence that I have just cited and which you have even quoted from me, then claiming that I don’t know about it. Your other ‘explanations’ I find equally shallow, and, shall I say it, ignorant. For example, you assert that my ’Earth’s magnetic field having enough energy to melt the Earth 25000 years ago’ (paraphrase of my previous statement on that) contradicts my belief in a 6000 year age of the Earth. Of course, it does not, since I don’t believe Earth has existed 25000 years. I was simply making the point that IF Earth had been only that old, it would have been molten at that point, which would hardly have been conducive to life on its surface. If you had displayed some degree of openness to the possibility that I was presenting evidence that rules out deep time (which I was), we would have a basis for discussion. But since you take the position that anything I cite as evidence is not evidence, and since you don’t even extend me the simply courtesy of not misrepresenting what I am presenting, I guess this conversation is done. Enjoy your manipulations, but don’t expect me to play that game with you. I have real evidence for YEC on my side; you have shallow and disingenuous drivel in response. One last thing, though: You are completely wrong in assuming I began with an assumption on time and then looked for evidence to justify it. That’s the evolutionists’ game, not mine. I was a deep time believer for years before and after I became a Christian. It was under the weight of scientific evidence against deep time that I finally change my mind after many years.
commented 2015-08-13 15:17:07 -0400
What the United Church really needs is an army of Fundamentalist Christian women to become ordained and become ministers there, bringing good Biblical doctrine…since their own ‘fundamentalist’ churches will not have them or allow them to even pray in the services or hold any office or worst of all, meet people at the door! Faithful fellow Christian women, now is the time to leave the churches that will not let you speak, that require you to ‘be in silence’ and “come out from among them”…take your training (you already know most of the Bible anyway) and become like the Hallelujah Lassies of the Salvation Army…there obviously is a great need for female ministers in the United Church…what an opportunity for women who are just pacing the fundamentalist floors, baking brownies, with all their Bible knowledge, because of a culture that will not let the Bible speak through women, the fullness of the Gospel message.
commented 2015-08-13 11:35:51 -0400
Ron: “The evidence does not speak for itself, but needs to be interpreted and how one interprets it […] depends upon one’s presupposition”

Thank you for explaining exactly why Kenneth and others like him are incorrect. They are assuming a young Earth and looking for evidence of such. Science never assumed an old Earth from the start. Geologists found evidence which didn’t make sense given a static, young Earth, came up with a theory of an older Earth with continental drift, were ridiculed, and then gradually (and independently) found more evidence which supported the theory that the Earth is millions of years old. Later geologists found evidence which, again, didn’t make sense given a millions of years-old Earth, considered that the Earth might be older than previously thought—which fit the evidence, not the other way around—and that theory held up with more evidence.

Nobody first assumed the Earth was billions of years old and then tried to explain geology from that perspective. Young Earth proponents calculated the age of Earth from texts and now interpret geology through that lens—exactly opposite to how science went about aging the Earth. The latter is clearly a dogmatic interpretation as it never started from first principles, assumed a principle laid down by an authority (religion) as incontrovertibly true, and sticks to the same age despite evidence. Science, on the other hand, started from no such assumption, and has been revising its estimates when given new evidence which upends the original estimate.
commented 2015-08-13 10:54:37 -0400
Kenneth, out of curiosity, I read the first few pages of Flood By Design. The author could have had his questions answered had he simply read a book, done a Google search, or contacted to a geologist. Take the first “mystery that uniformitarianism fails to explain”: mesas. (Oard is arguing against an old concept which still forms the basis of many sciences, but modern geologists (mid-1900s) accept that catastrophic events do happen and that gradualism isn’t so strict as was previously thought.)

Oard claims that the flat tops of those mesas cannot be explained because “erosion over millions of years would have dissected and destroyed plateaus and mesas” and instead uses flooding as an explanation. That is, unless the tops of the mesas were of harder rock more resistant to weathering and erosion, which they are. The differences in strength of various rock layers is what gives mesas their distinctive shape. That Oard failed to look these facts up in an encyclopedia or analyze a mesa to confirm his theory, speaks to his incuriosity and a mind blinded by dogma.
commented 2015-08-13 10:49:48 -0400
Kenneth: "As to your point about the science establishment sticking to their deep time story, you have to understand that there is an establishment that gets established and which adopts dogmas that can be very hard to overturn because the establishment doesn’t like to be shown up as, well, wrong. "

Science is full of long-standing theories being overturned in favour of new evidence. There is no proof that such “dogma” exists across an entire field. Who is the establishment when science has no leaders, and persists for hundreds of years? There is no science pope, no entity which controls all of science. You’re proposing a deep conspiracy as many aspects of geology or cosmology wouldn’t make sense with a young Earth.
commented 2015-08-13 10:45:08 -0400
Kenneth: " I have given you scientific reasons for ruling out deep time on Earth"
You provided speculation without evidence, and a few examples of some scientists being “surprised” by discoveries. I’ve addressed your logical fallacies, but I’ll repeat it: A surprise that an assumption of an old Earth or solar system does not imply a young Earth. I’ll go over what you claimed below, then I’m done. You’ve already ignored my own counter-explanations and links to evidence, and will likely come up with reasons why the evidence should be doubted. You also fail to provide evidence for a long “con” among scientists across the planet and over decades, yet that’s your explanation for why the field of geology rests on the knowledge of an old Earth.

“why don’t you do a search on that evidence”
You expect me to research creationist claims, yet have you given the mountain of evidence of an old Earth attention? Have you looked at it without the lens of creationism, or sought explanations outside of creationist materials? (You haven’t even plugged the questions you ask of me into Google, otherwise you’d know some of your assumptions are incorrect.) Your “proof” amounts to creationist talking points and armchair geology without providing citations. I’ve provided a few, you have provided none.

“Where is the missing sea floor sediment on Earth?”
I’ve addressed this already. Again, the sediment is there but it is not uniform. Sediment dissolves, falls differently depending on the material, and also typically falls on ocean shelves. A Google search would help here too.

“Why aren’t the tops of Earth’s high mountain ranges water eroded if they rose up over millions of years?”
The highest mountain ranges, like the Himalayas, are also the youngest. They haven’t had enough time to have been weathered by erosion. Different types of also rock erode differently. Hard rocks take millions or years to erode by water, which is in short supply in the highest mountains, which are covered in snow year-round, if they have snow at all. A deeper understanding of geology and some research into ages of some mountain ranges would have helped here.

“A quick look at the Rockies, Andes, Alps, Himalayas etc. shows that they were formed recently by rapid continental movement and have hardly been eroded at the higher elevations”
A “quick look” is not rigour or proof, nor does your conclusion come with strong evidence for a young Earth. Those mountain ranges are all different ages. Yes, some mountain ranges are geologically “young” and “hardly eroded”, and that is why the peaks are rough, but nowhere near as young as you claim. The Urals is the oldest mountain range and exhibit more rounded peaks. Further, the eye is a horrible tool for measuring the age of rock and distinguishing the amount of erosion. How are you trained to age rocks with your eye from a picture? How can you tell they were “formed recently by rapid continental movement”? How recently? How rapid? Without strong evidence that would hold up under scrutiny, this is just speculation.

“In fact, the continents themselves are eroding at lower levels at such a rate that they should not be more than a few feet above sea level,”
Again with the speculation and a clear misunderstanding of the processes of erosion. Erosion is not uniform, materials erode at different rates, and continents are shifting over time with some areas being pushed upwards. There is no end result to geological processes that have been going on for billions of years.

“However, a rapid split-up of an original continent into the present continents in a matter of weeks or months would produce the robust continents and high mountain ranges”
Again, speculation. You provide no proof that the continents moved in a matter of weeks or months, nor provide any evidence or explanation as to how or why they would move so quickly and then slow down to the present rate of movement.

“Hey, where is the missing ethane on Titan?”
Hey, who said there wasn’t ethane on Titan? Please do a Google search before you make such statements—it makes you appear ignorant. “In June 2008, Cassini’s Visible and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer confirmed the presence of liquid ethane beyond doubt in a lake in Titan’s southern hemisphere” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lakes_of_Titan

“Why does Pluto have a geologically young, largely crater-free surface”
How would an answer of “We don’t know, but we have ideas” prove a young Earth? Pluto may be younger than the other planets and still have geological activity smoothing out its surface. We only recently visited Pluto up-close and you’re expecting immediate answers.

“Why does Mercury have a magnetic field that is rapidly decaying?”
Cite evidence that it is “rapidly decaying”, please. The field is weak compared to Earth’s, certainly. Supposing it is decaying, that proves nothing. Earth’s magnetic field also decays and has shifted over the years. How is a rapidly decaying magnetic field incontrovertible proof of a young Earth or solar system? Why has Mercury’s magnetic field been measured as being billions of years old then? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercury%27s_magnetic_field

“[…] atheist astrophysicists expected to find an ocean of ethane on its surface. However, the Gallieo-Huygens probe found only a few lakes, indicating Titan has not existed billions of years. "
“Mercury was not expected to have a magnetic field […]”
“Pluto and a number of other smaller bodies in the solar system that were expected to be covered in craters […]”
Again, speculation. You fail to quote the original expectation nor consider that it was not universal among astrophysicists, and label astrophysicists as being atheist, without evidence. Many scientists are still Christian. Just because an early expectation was incorrect does not immediately imply a young solar system, yet you take it to that extreme.

BTW, Earth’s magnetic field is also rapidly decaying and if its current strength is extrapolated back only 25,000 years […]”
Define “rapidly”, and how does this rate automatically assume a young Earth not, say, a decay that is variable? Your conclusion of 25,000 years even goes against your belief of a 6,000 year old Earth. The Earth’s magnetic field has undergone a number of flips and fluctuations—that it may be doing so again not imply a young Earth.
commented 2015-08-13 10:10:41 -0400
A few videos explaining the difference between historical science and operational (or observational) science:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuHioYMupu8
www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrLvW4_4kRA
commented 2015-08-13 09:23:49 -0400
KENNETH LAWRENCE, don’t expect to change Ian’s perspective with evidence as it is not about the evidence. The evidence does not speak for itself, but needs to be interpreted and how one interprets it, which is in the realm of historical science, not experimental science (which depends upon what can be observed and repeated) depends upon one’s presupposition (as you say, their worldview), naturalism or a transcendent Creator God. Have seen some videos where atheists were asked that if they could be shown proof positive to their satisfaction that God exists, would they worship Him, they replied “No!”.
commented 2015-08-13 03:20:43 -0400
P.S. Ian, with the examples of physical phenomena I have given you, I have only scratched the surface of the surface of the evidence that refutes deep time for Earth and the solar system (the outer universe is much older as measured by time out there, but not as measured by clocks on Earth, which show it as 6,000 years (but only on Earth)) but search Achronicity theory to bone up on that). As to your point about the science establishment sticking to their deep time story, you have to understand that there is an establishment that gets established and which adopts dogmas that can be very hard to overturn because the establishment doesn’t like to be shown up as, well, wrong. Occasionally it does happen, as it did in the case of the fixed continent dogma, but in the case of deep time and evolutionism, that has become a religious belief (some have de facto admitted this, e.g. Stephen Hawking) and they just aren’t going to let it go because it forms the center of their entire world view, which is based on a refusal to even contemplate the existence of the God of the Bible (some have admitted that also). So that leaves them with no alternative but to believe in deep time and evolutionism, despite evidence that refutes it.
commented 2015-08-13 03:07:25 -0400
Ian, I gave you some examples of evidence that both Earth and the solar system cannot be billions or even millions of years old, but you, in response, just parrot the old disingenuous line that YEC’s don’t provide scientific evidence, which I just did. Instead of going into denial, why don’t you do a search on that evidence and then we could have an honest discussion about it. I have given you scientific reasons for ruling out deep time on Earth and in the solar system. Do you have a scientific argument against that evidence or don’t you? Don’t just pretend I didn’t give it to you, because I did, as did Andy. And I don’t believe in a 5,000 year old Earth, but rather an Earth that is about 6,000 years old at this point in time. I (and a lot of other people, including many PhD’s in various fields) come to that conclusion based on the strong scientific evidence (of which you are still entirely ignorant or in denial of) that rules out deep time, and which is consistent with the Bible’s chronology and history of Earth. Hey, where is the missing ethane on Titan? Where is the missing sea floor sediment on Earth? Why aren’t the tops of Earth’s high mountain ranges water eroded if they rose up over millions of years? Why does Mercury have a magnetic field that is rapidly decaying? Why does Pluto have a geologically young, largely crater-free surface if it has been circling the sun for billions of years in the cold of the outer fringe of the planets of the solar system? I await your answers.
commented 2015-08-12 21:43:28 -0400
@ian Smith. What I am suggesting is that atheists believe in objective morality even though they may argue for subjective morality as an attempt to evade the god reference. In fact it is atheists who quite often argue in favor of subjective morality however on occasion some atheists will affirm they believe some objective moral values exist although they do not know the origin of them, Here is a good example of what I was getting at earlier when I suggested that if there are no objective morals then hypocrisy cannot said to be wrong either. Here is the example. A young man was asked to write an essay on whether he believed morals were objective or subjective. He researched the essay well and wrote a well worded essay and handed it complete with a blue cover page choosing to explain why he thought morals were subjective.. When he received his paper back he was graded with a D with a side note saying the Professor who graded the paper did not like blue cover sheets. The student outraged went forward and complained to the Professor “that’s not fair”. The professor quickly responded. You just wrote an essay on why you believe that morals are subjective and yet the first thing you appeal to is fairness as if it is an objective moral value. He then regraded the paper after making his point. You claim that murder genocide and rape and not good because they are against what is good for society but as in the case of the nazis they would argue they were doing what they thought was best for society by weeding out who they perceived to be as genetically weak. And if having a healthy species was their goal who could say they were wrong? What right would one society have to impose it’s morals on another society? If surviving and being healthy was the purpose of our morals then why would destroying anyone who competes with us be wrong? Again I feel the need to clarify. This is not what I believe it is however one logical conclusion arrived at by those who goal is survival of the fittest. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rmg720wO6tY
commented 2015-08-12 11:45:00 -0400
Edward: “What I have suggested is without God as reference you have no way to know if a person’s actions are good or evil. […] Although I may find what the Nazis did to the Jews against my moral tastes I couldn’t criticize anyone else for arriving at conclusions which were palatable with their moral tastes.”
“[…] a person who truly does not know right from wrong would be assessed as a psychopath.”

Does God’s moral compass imply that a person who knows God has a clear path to righteousness? Without it, are atheists doomed to a lack of compassion for others, living as psychopaths? (I feel I may be misinterpreting you with these questions, but I’m still interested in your answers.)

Murder, genocide, rape, slavery, and torture, are not acceptable due to moral relativism. Quite the contrary. These are all wrong as they destroy lives, exploit others, or purposefully bring harm to them—all exhibit an absence of compassion for fellow humans. We need community to survive, and taking part in these actions tears at the fabric of society, weakens it, and threatens our very existence. Compassion makes us stronger as a species and is also present in other species—it is essential for our survival, and can be explained by evolutionary forces, and are not necessarily hard-wired by God.
https://www.ted.com/talks/robert_wright_the_evolution_of_compassion/transcript?language=en
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2864937/
commented 2015-08-12 11:06:07 -0400
Kenneth and Andy, just because some scientists are “surprised” by certain discoveries does not negate an entire field of research. In the history of scientific study, there have been numerous incorrect predictions or results based on bad data or false assumptions, even when following a scientific method. It’s easy to dismiss decades of study with a few wrong predictions isolated to specific cases without citing the original prediction, while ignoring those who predicted otherwise. It’s easy to say “Hey look, ‘they’ were wrong about that specific thing so they must be wrong about everything related to that study.” It’s also easy to say “I don’t know, so it must be God.” It’s difficult to provide a competing theory from which predictions can be drawn, which can be backed up by verifiable evidence, and which survives scrutiny. For the most part, science does this, but religion does not. Indeed, the very notion of faith precludes the need for evidence, making its job easy—all you need are feelings.

In pushing for a young Earth, you’re not only asking people to believe without strong evidence, you’re also asking people to accept, also without evidence, that scientists have participated in a long "con"—that for over 150 years, thousands of geologists, naturalists, and scientists from different regions have either lied, misled, misinterpreted, or colluded to purposefully con the public and themselves. Even the tools used to age materials rely on proven science, widening the scope of those involved in this con. And nobody—no lab assistants, no partners, no whistleblowers—has come forth with evidence to take this long-con down? You also fail to provide a motive for this con—why would thousands of unrelated people living in different eras put their reputations on the line to purposefully mislead the world as to its true age? Most of the people involved were not atheists—William Thomson, one of the first to age the Earth in millions, not thousands, of years was a devout Christian—so undermining religion cannot be seen as a goal. You’re asking me to set aside decades of data, research, publications, and findings by thousands of people, and accept a 5000-year-old Earth without providing a shred of solid evidence, only questions, which are in cheap supply.
commented 2015-08-11 19:47:42 -0400
Andy, I’ve read Flood By Design, I have it, and I also recommend it to anyone who wants to make sense of the surface features of Earth, which standard long-age uniformitarian geological dogma definitely does not do. I briefly met the author, Michael Oard, not long ago and suggested he have the title changed to “Geomorphological Evidence for the Genesis Flood”, since the current title would likely put off a lot of people (who would object, initially at least, to the idea of ‘design’) and cause them to ignore it instead of opening it and reading the compelling evidence for the Genesis Flood that he presents. He agreed that would be an apt title, but said he had to leave it as is, since it is one of a series of ‘by design’ books. But it is possibly the most important book on scientific evidence for the Genesis Flood ever written, because he lays out the evidence so clearly and shows how utterly bankrupt uniformitarian geology is when it comes to attempting to explain Earth’s surface features, particularly planation surfaces in locations around the world that have never been glaciated. Not to mention inselbergs like Devil’s Tower, submarine canyons, pediments (actually a subset of planation surfaces) and a host of other such features that standard geology just cannot explain. I would also add high mountain ranges, as I dealt with in my last comment below. The millions of years of uplift story just doesn’t add up when erosion over that time period is factored in. BTW, I wrote a book in 2007/8 entitled “The Evolution Delusion” that deals with that and a number of related topics. If you would like to check it out, it’s available online from a number of outlets by searching the title. I think you’ll find it interesting.
commented 2015-08-11 15:04:09 -0400
Ken, Jimmy, and all, may I recommend you read a book entitled Flood by Design, by Michael Oard. I think it is a very good discussion of how land forms were shaped by Noah’s Flood. It’s a compelling read and makes terrific sense out of the geological features on the earth. The e-version is only 6 bucks or you can order the book for 17. It’s available at Creation.com
commented 2015-08-11 13:59:16 -0400
@ian Stephens. Hopefully I can present myself more clearly. There are two basic trains of thought on morals. One being that morality is subjective. In other words some would say it is no different than eating an ice cream cone. You may prefer vanilla but I prefer chocolate. In such a model neither one of could say the other person wrong. it would simply be a matter of preference. There are those who believe morals are also subjective in which case I may find an action morally objectionable but another person not. In other words. Although I may find what the Nazis did to the Jews against my moral tastes I couldn’t criticize anyone else for arriving at conclusions which were palatable with their moral tastes. The other view is that some actions are truly good or evil regardless of how we feel about them. In other other words raping and murdering a small child is wrong because it truly is wrong regardless of what some might say or do. This would be called objective moral values. Now if objective moral values truly exist whether or not I affirm them then this standard existence is from a source other than men. Socrates believed as does the Christian faith that these morals exist in the Holy nature of God’s being thus also resolving the Euthyphro dilemma.
commented 2015-08-11 12:34:01 -0400
@ian Stephens I never suggested a person has to believe in God to be moral. What I have suggested is without God as reference you have no way to know if a person’s actions are good or evil. At best all you can say is there are things you like and dislike but would have no reason to criticize anyone else for doing what they thought was good or evil or t try to push your morals on them. So you might not like Nazis killing Jews but could not say they were wrong because they liked doing it. Who is to say they are wrong? That would just be your opinion. They had a different opinion. By what standard can you say your opinion is more valid than theirs? However if God declares such an action to be evil then it is not just our opinion. That is why I say if right and wrong our simply our opinion then you are left with no way to condemn even hypocrisy which is only wrong because you think it is but not the person who is doing it. The point being if someone is truly right and wrong it is not so because we declare it to be but because it is wrong in and of itself. If something is truly wrong regardless of our opinions then that suggests a moral standard exists apart from human approval. The philosopher Socrates believed that standard that exists came from God. I would argue we all know this standard because it is written in our hearts. Some people ay try to defend such actions like stealing or murder yet if the police arrive the hide because deep down we know right from wrong regardless of our protestations and a person who truly does not know right from wrong would be assessed as a psychopath.