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A Question Of Values


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#1 ninhursag

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Posted 19 June 2005 - 12:40 PM

Hello,
the last few years I've followed the creationalist-evolutionalist arguments. I've noticed an argument used by some creationalists that seems rather odd. Here, in evolutionfairytale guestbook, there are several examples of it, so I was hoping someone could explain it to me. Let's look at this, a rather good example of the mindset:

"This is a comment for all evolutionists who refuse to believe in anything but humans and randomness. Why do you want to live like you are a worthless piece of stardust, sucking up resources and destroying the planet that 'evolved' you into existence? Do you enjoy living without a purpose or a reason for your life? Do you want your children to grow up and read books that say that they are here by cosmic accident and that they will never acomplish more than having a fancy burial. "

Besides the obvious statement this paragraph contains the following assumptions: a)"The result of any random process is worthless/valueless"(OK, doubtable, but understandable); :rolleyes: "the human life is valuable" (most certainly!); c)"if human life were the result of a random process, it would be valueless" (8OS ?!?!?!)

Why is in the last assumption "the valuelessness of the result of any random process" more important than "the valuability of human life"?

When looking at the creation/evolution debate from this standpoint, it's certainly very understandable why people get so upset about being proved to be "the results of some random process". But why isn't the popular third assumption something like this "human life is valuable, therefore the results of at least some random processes must be valuable"? Certainly "the value of human life" would be more important and more likely to change a belief so abstract as "the valuelessness of any random process" then vice versa, no?

Anyways, if anyone can explain, why people think like this or what I've missed about the arguments used, please do.

#2 chance

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Posted 19 June 2005 - 02:03 PM

"This is a comment for all evolutionists who refuse to believe in anything but humans and randomness. Why do you want to live like you are a worthless piece of stardust, sucking up resources and destroying the planet that 'evolved' you into existence? Do you enjoy living without a purpose or a reason for your life? Do you want your children to grow up and read books that say that they are here by cosmic accident and that they will never acomplish more than having a fancy burial. "

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It’s using emotion to persuade, IMO this is not a fair debating style, debating (especially scientific arguments) is best served if unemotional and by sticking to the facts.

(lets not get into a debate about what a fact is) :rolleyes:

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Posted 19 June 2005 - 06:11 PM

It could be emotion that's involved, but there can be rationale as well.

This is a good article from Ravi Zacharias' web site.

Here, G.K. Chesterton makes a significant point: There is a world of difference between sorrow and pessimism. He explains, “Sorrow is founded on the value of something, and pessimism upon the value of nothing.” In terms of hope for the future, this makes all the difference.
Recently, I had breakfast with an atheist who repeatedly argued that there was no evidence for God. “Absolutely none,” he said. Later he told me how much he loved his wife. “She’s dying,” he said. After all the intellectual arguments had run into a headstrong willful resistance, I asked him why he loved his wife. He stared at me. “Don’t you see her as a unique woman of intrinsic value to you?” I asked. “Yes,” he answered. “But how can she have such value,” I replied, “if all life is nothing more than chemicals?” Suddenly, the conversation took a turn. As he got up, he said, “You just keep doing what you’re doing in life. You are bringing back common sense into our heads.”


Why our view of life matters

Terry

#4 chance

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Posted 19 June 2005 - 07:33 PM

It could be emotion that's involved, but there can be rationale as well.

This is a good article from Ravi Zacharias' web site.
Why our view of life matters

Terry

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I quite like such life quandaries posed by the likes of Chesterton.

My reply to such a question

“Don’t you see her as a unique woman of intrinsic value to you?” I asked.

“Yes,” he answered.

“But how can she have such value,” I replied, “if all life is nothing more than chemicals?” 


The value is in the unique combination that is perceived by another unique combination and finding compatibility. Cold, hard, impassionate? Yet even with such a cynical outlook to life in general, I believe in love at first sight – go figure.

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Posted 19 June 2005 - 08:02 PM

Hello,
the last few years I've followed the creationalist-evolutionalist arguments. I've noticed an argument used by some creationalists that seems rather odd. Here, in evolutionfairytale guestbook, there are several examples of it, so I was hoping someone could explain it to me. Let's look at this, a rather good example of the mindset:

"This is a comment for all evolutionists who refuse to believe in anything but humans and randomness. Why do you want to live like you are a worthless piece of stardust, sucking up resources and destroying the planet that 'evolved' you into existence? Do you enjoy living without a purpose or a reason for your life? Do you want your children to grow up and read books that say that they are here by cosmic accident and that they will never acomplish more than having a fancy burial. "

Besides the obvious statement this paragraph contains the following assumptions: a)"The result of any random process is worthless/valueless"(OK, doubtable, but understandable); :) "the human life is valuable" (most certainly!); c)"if human life were the result of a random process, it would be valueless" (8OS ?!?!?!)

Why is in the last assumption "the valuelessness of the result of any random process" more important than "the valuability of human life"?

When looking at the creation/evolution debate from this standpoint, it's certainly very understandable why people get so upset about being proved to be "the results of some random process". But why isn't the popular third assumption something like this "human life is valuable, therefore the results of at least some random processes must be valuable"? Certainly "the value of human life" would be more important and more likely to change a belief so abstract as "the valuelessness of any random process" then vice versa, no?

Anyways, if anyone can explain, why people think like this or what I've missed about the arguments used, please do.

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Hi, welcome to the boards.

The reason value of human life is even a subject in the evolution vs. creation debate. Is because God say's your life has meaning, purpose and value. Knowing this makes you look at life, yourself, and how you came to be in a different light. A light that evolution does not want you to see. Because when you life has meaning, value and purpose, you start to question how even this could evolve. How does meaning, value and purpose evolve? It does not. But if someone believes that their life has all these things, they search where these things are listed. Which is God's word.

You can't find meaning and purpose or value in evolution. Why? Because evolution denies that you have an eternal soul. Something that goes beyond naturalistic means, and connects you with a spiritual realm that includes God. Something that requires a creation, and a Creator. Which is everything evolution denies.

#6 ninhursag

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Posted 20 June 2005 - 03:28 AM

So, if I understand correctly, the Evolutionalist view on the matter of randomness is that God himself sees no value in randomness, and therefore, as He has "proven" his love of humanity by sending his son, the humans existing must not be randomly born/created. Hmmm.

Makes me think of a parent, who loves the child who was planned, but shuns the child born "of an accident". Ehh, I'd rather not think of God that way, I like the idea of at least *someone* loving (truly) without conditions.

#7 Mariner Fan

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Posted 20 June 2005 - 02:33 PM

Hi, welcome to the boards.

The reason value of human life is even a subject in the evolution vs. creation debate. Is because God say's your life has meaning, purpose and value. Knowing this makes you look at life, yourself, and how you came to be in a different light. A light that evolution does not want you to see.


I think many christian biologists would disagree.

Because when you life has meaning, value and purpose, you start to question how even this could evolve. How does meaning, value and purpose evolve? It does not.


The Germ Theory of Disease does not tell you why there is purpose, meaning, and value to life either. Are we to abandon this theory as well?

But if someone believes that their life has all these things, they search where these things are listed. Which is God's word.


Or in other theologies and philosophies, some of which are not divine in nature (eg Humanism).

You can't find meaning and purpose or value in evolution. Why? Because evolution denies that you have an eternal soul.


Can you show me a text book or any literature within biology and evolution that says this?

My question is "Why would someone look to science to define what is of value, purpose, or meaning?"

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Posted 20 June 2005 - 03:31 PM

The Germ Theory of Disease does not tell you why there is purpose, meaning, and value to life either.  Are we to abandon this theory as well?


Germ theory can be persued wihtout any notion of molecules-to-man evolution. It has nothing to do with the general theory of evolution that attempts to explain human origins.

The meaning of anything, including life, is tied to its origin. Since God created man, human life has intrisic value to it assigned by him. If random process created life, then life has no meaning. Meaning is a mental concept, not a materialistic one.


My question is "Why would someone look to science to define what is of value, purpose, or meaning?"


Because darwinian theory has been adopted by secular humanists(atheists) to be the measure by which we evaluate moral standards, e.g Alfred Kinsey.

Terry

#9 Faith and Reason

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Posted 20 June 2005 - 05:22 PM

The Germ Theory of Disease does not tell you why there is purpose, meaning, and value to life either. Are we to abandon this theory as well?


Evolution must explain meaning in life because it is a theory of origins. If we came from a random process without any purpose, there would not be any meaning in life; but there is. Therefore, the process we came from was not random: it had some purpose to it. Whether this means that God directed evolution or some process besides evolution gave life is another question.

#10 chance

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Posted 20 June 2005 - 06:40 PM

Because darwinian theory has been adopted by secular humanists(atheists) to be the measure by which we evaluate moral standards, e.g Alfred Kinsey.

Terry

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I see evolution as an explanation to behaviour and thus morals, but it’s not an ends to a means, or some sort of measure, IMO

I’m curious, what conclusions do you think Darwinian theory leads to, re morals? and who is Alfred Kinsey.

P.S. oh that Alfred Kinsey of Institute for s@x Research, reading about him now.

#11 Fred Williams

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Posted 20 June 2005 - 09:04 PM

I see evolution as an explanation to behaviour and thus morals, but it’s not an ends to a means, or some sort of measure, IMO

I’m curious, what conclusions do you think Darwinian theory leads to, re morals? and who is Alfred Kinsey.

P.S. oh that Alfred Kinsey of Institute for s@x Research, reading about him now.

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Evolution has been used to justify abortion, racism, p*rn*gr*phy, rape, H*m*s*xuality (go figure on that one), etc. I can provide references if necessary.

Fred

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Posted 20 June 2005 - 10:05 PM

Marinerfan said:

Can you show me a text book or any literature within biology and evolution that says this?


Can you show me where in any literature or text book that mentions a soul as being part of human life? Not mentioning something is the same as denying it. Why? Because the belief of humans having souls that live eternaly, has been around for a long time. So evolution and biology not wanting to address it, is the same as denying it. For they have had enough time to give their thoughts of support or non-support. For the subject is not new, Is it?

But from the way it is debated, and talk about in the circles. It is pretty well taken what is believed without it being written.

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Posted 20 June 2005 - 10:23 PM

So, if I understand correctly, the Evolutionalist view on the matter of randomness is that God himself sees no value in randomness, and therefore, as He has "proven" his love of humanity by sending his son, the humans existing must not be randomly born/created. Hmmm.

Makes me think of a parent, who loves the child who was planned, but shuns the child born "of an accident". Ehh, I'd rather not think of God that way, I like the idea of at least *someone* loving (truly) without conditions.

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Does what me or you think control how God really is? I'd like to see where that is written in scripture.

It is easy to make and form God, in your mind, to your own views of how He should be. But in order for God to be God, and be all that He claims to be. He cannot be what we want Him to be. And because of that, He is not understood. There are laws in the spiritual realm that govern both good and evil. And is the reason that what is done is not even understood by most. Everything is done for a reason, even most christians don't understand why.

One law is the law of light and darkness. Light stands for everything that is good in the spiritual realm. Darkness, everything that is evil. But why not switch them? Would it make a difference? It sure would. Where ever light shines, darkness is no more. But darkness can never shine into light. This spiritual law makes God always more powerful than satan.

Darkness comes where there is no light (no God), or where natural light is blocked (a shadow). But the spiritual light of God has no darkness, casts no shadows. Therefore it always over powers satan.

Revelation 21:
23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.
24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.
25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.

1 John 1:
5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

The spiritual laws and seperation of good and evil define what God is, and what He cannot be. The same goes for satan. So what we think God should be does not apply.

#14 ninhursag

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Posted 21 June 2005 - 01:31 AM

Evolution has been used to justify abortion, racism, P*rn*gr*phy, rape, H*m*s*xuality (go figure on that one), etc. I can provide references if necessary.

Fred

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Ahh, Fred... Christianity has been used to justify genocide, murder, racial and S@xual discrimination. If you think about that, then I'm sure you agree that people using something to defend their beliefs shows more about them then the mean used (evolution theory, christianity, whatever is at hand). These things - such are difficult and disgusting to think about, though, so you not remembering them is understandable.

Does what me or you think control how God really is? I'd like to see where that is written in scripture.

It is easy to make and form God, in your mind, to your own views of how He should be. But in order for God to be God, and be all that He claims to be. He cannot be what we want Him to be. And because of that, He is not understood. There are laws in the spiritual realm that govern both good and evil. And is the reason that what is done is not even understood by most. Everything is done for a reason, even most christians don't understand why.

...
The spiritual laws and seperation of good and evil define what God is, and what He cannot be. The same goes for satan. So what we think God should be does not apply.

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Exactly! The limitedness of the human mind is certainly not a limit for the Omniscient One. But, what made me say that I dislike that view - the randomness-abhorring God -, is that psychologically, it's rather easy to explain the human tendency of disliking random events and searching reasons for everything. This stems from our desire for controlling and predicting events. If they're random then we cannot do that, can we? Feeling helpless not - nice. But God would be omniscient and omnipotent and thus it would seem likely that He rarely feels out of control...

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Posted 21 June 2005 - 03:48 AM

Christianity has been used to justify genocide, murder, racial and S@xual discrimination. If you think about that, then I'm sure you agree that people using something to defend their beliefs shows more about them then the mean used (evolution theory, christianity, whatever is at hand).


The difference being that the outcomes Fred stated are logically consistant outcomes of darwinism, where as the abuses of christianity are not biblicaly founded.

Terry

#16 ninhursag

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Posted 21 June 2005 - 05:02 AM

The difference being that the outcomes Fred stated are logically consistant outcomes of darwinism,
Terry

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8OS. Howcome?

I hope it's not because "random things *must* be valueless, so human lives created by random evolutional processes would be valueless".


(As an unimportant side note, Darwin was a humanist as so he would definitely had objected to that view)

where as the abuses of christianity are not biblicaly founded.

Terry

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Well, the Bible does describe some rather un-nice incidents of killing whole towns of children, women, elderly and men, so if one were twisted enough, it could be imagined that the Good Book endorses such behaviour. So, not completely unfounded, just quite unreasonable.

Kind of like thinking that the natural outcome of Theory of Evolution is discriminating, raping and killing your fellow humans, don't you think :ph34r:?


(well, that of course depends on which philosophical/sociological view of human nature one considers true. There *are* some that say humans do not need others and would destroy each other, if they only could get away with it. Needless to say, I don't think that way)

#17 Geezer

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Posted 21 June 2005 - 06:24 AM

I think many christian biologists would disagree.


Could you name a few?
thanks

#18 Faith and Reason

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Posted 21 June 2005 - 08:30 AM

So, if I understand correctly, the Evolutionalist view on the matter of randomness is that God himself sees no value in randomness, and therefore, as He has "proven" his love of humanity by sending his son, the humans existing must not be randomly born/created. Hmmm.

Makes me think of a parent, who loves the child who was planned, but shuns the child born "of an accident". Ehh, I'd rather not think of God that way, I like the idea of at least *someone* loving (truly) without conditions.

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The reason why we have value is because God created us in His image. Since He is infinitely valuable, we are valuable in the same way; even though we are sinners.

That's the difference between Evolution and Christianity. Evolution says that we came from a random, purposeless process, while Christianity says that we came from a perfect Person and were made in His image.

#19 ninhursag

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Posted 21 June 2005 - 10:32 AM

The reason why we have value is because God created us in His image. Since He is infinitely valuable, we are valuable in the same way; even though we are sinners.

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:ph34r: Ahaa! Heureka! Thank you! You've located the source of my confusion :D. Now I understand why the Creatonalist Christians use arguments like the one I first cited and then the other one about converting atheists! :D

<jumps around with the joy of understanding>

Now, to explain why his reply made me so extatic with realization. You see, though I'm not Christian myself, I have a few Christian relatives (two Catholics, several Lutherians, none of them strongly opposed to the idea of evolution btw). From their explanations and my own studies of the Bible and related philosophical and theological texts I had formed a certain opinion what valuability is: that value is something given by God. Now, Faith and Reason here explains (and don't you love how that sentence sounds :D), that by the Creation Christian view, value is not so much something given by God, as derived from God.

Now, before, the idea that God couldn't give value to what He desired, even if it is a result of such a random process like evolution, seemed odd and somewhat blasphemous to me. I mean, really, should humans tell the Creator of the Universe what to think - even if He is not the Creator of anything else (eg life)?

But, if value is not something God gives, if it's more something He radiates like Sun can't help warming the Earth - then the arguments make perfect sense. The beforementioned reactions are as emotional as if you heard someone declare that he'll have nothing of the sun and he'll live underground his entire life. Yes, yes, that's much more rational then what I thought the argument was.

Anyways, thank you for answering the question with explaining the hidden meanings that are not immediately visible to the ones who don't share the same culture. And a remark to the other Creationalists: you should take more care when explaining your views to someone not sharing them, for they might not even understand what you mean by "valueless".

#20 chance

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Posted 21 June 2005 - 01:52 PM

Evolution has been used to justify abortion, racism, P*rn*gr*phy, rape, H*m*s*xuality (go figure on that one), etc. I can provide references if necessary.

Fred

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I’m sure that if sufficiently motivate one could ‘justify’ any atrocity using just about any source, (religious or scientific). But just because some individuals twist words to motivate a receptive public that is not reason to dismiss evolution, because evolution make no such claims that the behaviour you listed has anything to do with evolutionary theory.

The arguments I’ve been in or seen:

H*m*s*xuality - tend to be aimed at examples of similar behaviour in other animals, thus highlighting the fact that it’s not a uniquely human behaviour but rather a statistically occurring one. Can’t say that it has much to do with evolution.

Rape, non that I’ve come across.

P*rn*gr*phy, non

Racism – very much, usually centred around the false assumption of superiority, e.g. We are successful, you are not, evolution states survival of the fittest, therefore I am justified in removing you.

Abortion – participated in a few debates, but they have centred around the value of life type arguments not evolution.




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