Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Moral Compass

Disclaimer: There are shocking, horrific statements made in this post. I do not, I repeat, I DO NOT believe that this is the way the world works. I am pointing out how people --- who do not believe in a God or greater force --- should *logically* understand the world, yet do not.

Alright, so here's one of my biggest problems with evolution. Not the facts, not the research, I don't really care about the fossil record, or how old the earth is, or all that.

My problem is, what about morality?

Most people agree that things such as murder and rape are wrong. Yet, why are they wrong?

Here's the thing: if there is no God, and we are simply highly evolved meat-sacks with a bunch of chemicals in our brains, then those things aren't wrong.

And to deny that is to completely undermine all other reasonable arguments you could make, because it shows that you do not follow the logic of your own worldview. Because if evolution and nature are the only realities, then the only morality is the survival of the self and the species. And murder, on a non-global scale, will not affect the survival of the species. There are 7 billion people, and ending the life of one highly evolved piece of meat and chemicals doesn't matter.

People say that everyone has a "moral compass". I agree. However, if there is no God, then where the heck did it come from. Natural selection cannot explain morality; in fact, survival of the fittest would indicate that whoever is the strongest survives, and to help someone else (for instance, if neanderthals were to help elderly members of their community) would weaken yourself. Those who kept all resources for themselves and, if need be, killed off their competition would survive. Yet, that is not how we have supposedly evolved.

Almost everyone would agree that helping the elderly is a good thing. Almost everyone agrees that the people in need should somehow get food. Yet, we couldn't have evolved that way. It defies logic. Had early neanderthals done such thing, they wouldn't have been as likely to survive, therefore, they would have evolved in such a way as to make those things not happen (or "seem wrong" to our brain chemicals). Yet, here we are today. If evolution is true, then you cannot logically argue for morality beyond the survival of the self and species, and helping the elderly definitely doesn't help the species survive. The only reason to do such a thing would be for whatever pleasurable chemicals it released in your brain, as a purely biological reaction to the surrounding environment.

Now, please keep in mind for this next section (and for the whole preceding post as well) that I do not hold these views. These statements are what someone who believes purely in evolution should logically say (although 99% of them will not say these things, and would probably hate me if they read this).

Now, from the perspective of someone who believes there is no God, and that evolution is the only reality, what Hitler did was not wrong.

The species survived. Many, many people died horrific deaths, but, if you think about it, they are just products of evolution, and nothing can actually matter anyways, because there is no great "purpose" in the world. WWII? The Crusades? Whatever. A few homo-sapiens die. Its just nature. Who gives a crap. Do what you want, if it pleases you. Humans are not special.

IMPORTANT POINT THAT SHOULD BE EARLIER BUT IS HERE INSTEAD CAUSE I'M A.D.D OR SOMETHING AND I RAMBLED THEN FORGOT ABOUT IT: There can be no judgement of others behavior, since everyone is acting merely on neurons firing and chemicals reacting in their brains. Who is to say that what Hitler's brain chemicals made him do is any worse or better than what you're brain chemicals make you do? Decisions are simply products of electro-chemical responses to environmental stimuli. Hitler's brain told him to kill a bunch of people. Yours tells you not to. You both evolved from the same base ancestor, and are quite close in the evolutionary tree. What can possibly explain such differences in actions?

I just don't get it. Rambling over.

Finally: I would like to say that I do respect many evolutionists/atheists very much. I am simply frustrated, because they frequently attack the rationale of Christians, yet rarely thoroughly examine their own worldview.

Song for the day: "Hey Devil" by tobyMac. It speaks about resisting the devil, which is a message we can all hear.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Jacob I Loved, Esau I Hated

So this is sort of addressing a verse I forgot to mention in my last post. Romans 9:13 (which is based on Malachi 2:2-4) says, "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated." This seems to show that God, at the very least, hated one person --- Esau. That would seem to contradict the idea that God loves everyone.

What does the verse really mean?

Well, look at the stories of Jacob and Esau. Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of stew (an act that I'm sure did not please God). Then later, Jacob basically stole Isaac's blessing from Esau, and Isaac blessed Jacob, saying "May nations serve you, and peoples bow down to you. Be lord over your brothers, and may the sons of your mother bow down to you." As you can imagine, Esau wasn't too happy. He demanded a blessing from Isaac, but all he got was "Your dwelling will be away from the earth's richness, away from the dew of heaven above. You will live by the sword, and you will serve your brother." (Texts taken from Genesis 27).


Yeah, Esau was pretty ticked.

Later, Esau purposefully married a Canaanite woman, and many of his descendants were part of nations such as the Hittites, Hivites, and Canaanites. Not exactly God's best buddies. Jacob, on the other hand, eventually became the father of the twelve tribes of Israel, because God honored Isaac's blessing to Jacob.

Which brings me to the point. In the old Testament, the only way to "win God's approval" (or at least have a chance) was by following his commandments.  Otherwise, because He is a Just God, His wrath would be upon you, since Jesus had not yet died for the sins of the world. Esau distanced himself from God's chosen people, Abraham/Isaac/Jacob's descendants, and became a Canaanite instead. It makes sense that God would say "Jacob I loved, and Esau I hated."

One has to remember that love, at least in this instance, is a verb. The greek word is  ἠγάπησα, which is also used in the New Testament when Jesus says, "Love one another as I have loved you." We can clearly see how God's loved played out in Jacob's life; he did, after all, become one of the patriarchs of the Tribes of Israel. The reason is because of Jacob's choice

The Greek word here for hate is ἐμίσησα. Now, this is a much less common word, and since I obviously do not know Greek, it was hard to find a good translation that actually explained what "hated" meant. From what I gathered, the gist of it is, "loved less". It is only used to compare one person to another; to say, "I loved x less than y." That is how it's used here. And clearly, looking at the lives of Jacob and Esau, we can see how the wrath of God played out in Esau's life/descendants, and how Jacob was blessed because of Isaac's faith and blessing. Therefore, it is logical to say that God loved (as a verb) Esau less than Jacob. This does not mean that God hated (emotionally, as we think of it) Esau, it means that the wrath of God (fully deserved) played out in Esau's life.

Well, that's as best as I can explain it. This is all purely my thoughts (well, except for the greek, which is from Bible gateway and a couple Greek concordances), so you can probably search and find people who have a much better description of it.

And I've just decided that I'll include a song, somehow, in each post.
Today it's "Create in Me" by Rend Collective.
It has nothing to do with the rest of the post, but it's a great song.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Does God Love Everyone? Yes!

Last week, at an awesome camp called Worldview Academy, I met a Christian --- specifically, a Calvinist --- who believed that God does not love everyone. In light of that, I decided to write this post, so that I could make it clear that yes, God does love everyone, and that is nearly undeniable.

First, lets start with what may be the most famous passage in the Bible. John 3:16: "For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." And to continue on, "For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light, because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed."

The section in bold indicates God's love for all the world. However, my friend that I met this week believed that the "world" in John 3:16 did not include the entire world, and only referred to God's kingdom. That is why I pointed out the section in italics; it uses the same statement, "the world," but this time it specifies that there are people who love darkness in this world. That indicates that within the world the verse is talking about, there are both believers and unbelievers. Therefore, God loves both the unbeliever and the believer, aka everyone.

Now, I should make it clear that the reason my friend did not believe God loves everyone is that he believes Christ only died for some people's sins. This is directly refuted by 1 John 2:2 "He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world." Also, 1 Timothy 2:3-4 says "This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth."

Two final verses dealing with the nature of God and his love are 1 John 3:16, 4:8, and 4:16.
"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for use. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers."

"Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love."

"And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him."

God is love.

An excellent song by Gungor, entitled "God is Not a White Man", which speaks about God's love:

*One final note: one huge reason people struggle with the idea that God loves everyone is the fact that suffering, well, exists. I will try to cover that later (and maybe I did once before? I don't remember). It is a huge topic, and I certainly will not be able to explain it better than, say, C.S. Lewis does in The Problem of Pain. So if you are intersted, search around.