Good And Evil And A Moral Law

On the atheist FB group page where I’m a member, the question came up about the existence of evil pointing to the existence of a moral law and therefore a Moral Lawgiver. The discussion stemmed from something Ravi Zacharias said in response to a question from a student.

Not surprisingly atheists in the group quickly dismissed the notion on the grounds of relativism—good and evil are just relative, therefore there is no fixed standard, no actual absolute, no “law.” Hence, no Lawgiver.

I don’t think I realized just how insidious relativism is until I read those comments. Sure, I knew that the denial of the absolute allowed people to live a life that freed them from those things they simply didn’t want to do. So “what’s right for you, might not be right for me” was born. And a dear friend could say she was divorcing her husband because she knew God wanted her to be happy—clearly His idea about marriage wasn’t working for her. Therefore, it must not actually be for her.

Now I see that line of thinking is only the tip of the relativism iceberg. The atheists who claimed the idea were using it against God. Humans decide what’s good and “bad.” (They didn’t even want to use the word “evil.”) So if something causes pain, that’s bad. If something makes you feel good, that’s good.

How ironic that these same atheists proclaim over and over that Christians depend on our feelings. Can they not see that the belief in absolutes is not a dependence on feelings but on revelation? Relativism, on the other hand, depends completely on what you’re feeling like today. You feel like a man inside? Then you’re a man. You’re feeling like pornography is free speech? Then it’s free speech, not perversion.

One of the evidences of the advance of relativism is the old TV program MASH. On that show, set during the Korean War (and produced during the Vietnam War), one soldier who did not want to be in the military but who had been drafted, tried to get out by claiming a Section 8: “Section 8 is a category of discharge from the United States military, used for a service member judged mentally unfit for service.”

How did this character attempt to give evidence that he was mentally unfit for service? By wearing dresses. Because back then, when the show was made, men were understood to be not thinking correctly if they wanted to dress like women.

Today men can not only dress like women, they can become women. A little surgery, a little hormone therapy, a little make-up and hair styling, a new wardrobe, and wallah. Based on what? Feelings. Not facts. Not absolutes. Not science.

Now I understand where this kind of relativism leads. It’s a sad departure from reality because those who hold to it want to get away from a moral standard and the obvious conclusion that if we have a moral standard, we must have Someone who gives that moral standard.

Relativism is a philosophy that allows for escape from God.

What is baffling to me is that relativism is so paper thin, anyone ought to be able to see through it.

Torture a child, and universal cries for justice will be heard. Who sides with a child abuser? I know of no one. Where does that clear idea—to hurt a child is wrong—come from?

One atheist said it’s empathy. That’s similar to the pain answer. But do we put doctors in jail for inflicting pain when they give shots? Of course not. A little pain is necessary to vaccinate a child from an illness that could disable them. How do we differentiate between the “good” pain and the “bad” pain? Not via empathy. Empathy would say, you’re hurting that child when you give them vaccines, so you should just stop.

An understanding of what’s good, however, undermines that concept and says, there’s a higher good than pain avoidance at stake.

Of course we do not always agree on what’s good and what’s evil. Ask conservatives politically and they will likely tell you that President Obama was not good. Ask liberals politically and they will likely tell you that President Trump is not good. Both groups have a sense that there is a good.

Where does that idea come from?

Humans also clearly believe in evil. Wars and mass shootings and terrorist attacks are considered tragic and wrong. Why?

Because they are. They do not square with what we know, innately, to be right. A mother isn’t supposed to drown her children. A human is not supposed to kill and eat other humans. No one has to teach us these things. The standard of morality, of good and evil, exists because God exists. He’s stamped a love of justice on our hearts.

Evil, then, is actually a problem for those who do not believe in God. They have no explanation for the existence of a moral law, one that people live by even though they try to do away with it by adopting a flimsy philosophy like relativism.

Published in: on January 30, 2018 at 6:03 pm  Comments (33)  
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33 Comments

  1. Well said, Becky.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Aptly though and written. Blessings 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. If it depends on feelings it is known as emotivism. Look it up.

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    • I guess the shift to relativism all falls under emotivism, then. Thanks for the comment.

      Becky

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Becky your unsupported claim, “Today men can not only dress like women, they can become women. A little surgery, a little hormone therapy, a little make-up and hair styling, a new wardrobe, and wallah. Based on what? Feelings. Not facts. Not absolutes. Not science.”

    How do you know it is not science such as genetic or a mental problem stemming from childhood etc? You have a very shallow understanding of humans if you really think these men just decide to do this because they feel the need. If they feel the need desperately enough to put themselves through the turmoil and mental anguish that would be involved in such a thing, they are very brave. These are real issues, of real people and these are the facts of real life and does not happen because they don’t believe in a god.

    You also wrongly claim “Evil, then, is actually a problem for those who do not believe in God. They have no explanation for the existence of a moral law, one that people live by even though they try to do away with it by adopting a flimsy philosophy like relativism.”

    The truth is humans evolved and morality evolved with them, similar to the inherent human condition to believe that gods exist. People had gods and morals well before Christianity and the Christian God was invented. This is obvious by comparing the primitive morals highlighted within the Bible as against morals expected of people today.

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    • Steve, I have no doubt that someone who wants to be a different gender has reasons. Maybe they did have a bad childhood, or whatever. But why do we not then work with them to heal their psyche since their body clearly identifies them as the gender they don’t want. We are actually harming people and not dealing with their real needs because we are too busy trying to meet their felt needs.

      Steve, you make all kinds of spurious and unsupported claims about how humanity evolved and how belief in God or gods came about. You have no basis for your false ideas. Sadly, since you haven’t read the Bible, you have no idea what the morals in it actually are, or how those morals are the basis of Western Civilization.

      Steve, I’ll say again, if you want to speak against Christianity, at least read the Bible to find out what it is we Christians believe.

      Becky

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      • It is good to see you have softened a little to the gender changing issue Becky. This has a multitude of psychological and substantial reasons making it far more complicated as to why people do this. Your theistic healing methods have never worked at any time in history and it is about time theists realised this issue has nothing to do with sin, satanic control, being an atheist or believing in any gods.

        Your get out of jail card is claiming I have not read the Bible. I have read many parts of the Bible over many years considering my atheistic position in life and I did have some of my upbringing involved with the local church and I had religious family members. You would have to be literally inept to not understand what the morality issues are within the Bible, and I have as much knowledge, if not more than many so called Christians to be able to comment on such things.

        I can claim you have no knowledge and unable to speak on the sciences if you have not read the books I have read or have the qualifications to match mine. Do you have to be a qualified expert to be able to obtain knowledge and make a judgement for things that involve the law or medicine? Of course not, so therefore can you see how your get out of jail comment is obsolete?

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        • Steve, I am going to chime in here. Yes, you need to read the Bible. Why? Because you lack even a minimal understanding of Christian theology, yet you bloviate about it as if you are an expert. In fact, you regurgitate atheist talking points….talking points that are false. On the other hand, you really don’t see Becky pontificating about science she is not expert on. She talks to what she knows, and no more.

          I have a challenge for you, though, now that I have you? It’s a simple question, requiring what should be a simple answer.

          If morality has evolved, is evolving, and will evolve yet again in the future….exactly how is anything immoral? You pass multitudes of moral judgments about God and Christianity. So….on what basis have you determined that? Don’t say evolution LOL. That’s the question. How does evolution establish morals if it….um….evolves?

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          • That’s a great point, Wally. Well, all of them. You’re right that the difference between Steve’s and my comments is the scope. I do write from what I have studied.

            But I especially like this point that atheists make moral judgments about Christianity though they say there is no moral standard. What they say and what they do oesn’t quite seem to match.

            Becky

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          • Thanks Becky. You likely will never see me argue science with anybody as I am not especially well versed in those issues. There will not be an answer to my question by the way, there never is. The answer will be evolution. How does evolution explain morality? Answer: evolution. Then I will repeat the question again until Steve gets upset and says I just cannot understand the nuances involved, and to explain it to me is a waste of time. Apparently my stupidity released atheists from answering this simple question.

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          • Ok Wally no problems. I am quite confident with what I say because I do follow certain talking points that are raised by people on blogs who would know the Bible as well as you, or even better than you would. I do not need to be a mechanic to understand and write about the workings of a combustion engine and what I do not know I can find out. No different Wally, maybe you just like to feel superior.

            Your question, “exactly how is anything immoral?” Not sure I understand what you are bloviating about Wally, so let me explain in more detail my understanding of where morals came from. Various thinking people have argued morality is basically evolutionary such as in cooperation with others, assisting another, sharing resources and loving their offspring, just as most of the other animals evolved on our planet.

            This is not an exclusive answer as it is believed morality is also a cultural and social institution. Humans live in groups that are socially organised, and so do other primates, but theirs are not so complex as human social organisations. Moral actions are judged and vary to some extent from individual to individual and from culture to culture although naturalistic morals such as not killing people, not stealing property and to honour parents, are widespread and perhaps universal.

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          • Steve

            “Moral actions are judged and vary to some extent from individual to individual and from culture to culture although naturalistic morals ”

            Great. Yet, you constantly make moral judgments against God and Christianity. Base on what exactly? This is a blindingly simple question. Either your provide a standard by which you make this judgment, or you concede that you have no moral basis upon which to judge and this is simply your cultural and individual preference.

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          • My moral judgements are against a God that I believe does not exist, however the morals he supports are written in the Bible for all to see are they not?

            Many of those morals indicated within the Bible I disagree with.

            The morals I support are based on our human development over many thousands of years, both from biological and cultural evolution and I do not depend on a higher powers standard who will demand I follow a set of rules for a reward when I die only because he loves me.

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          • “My moral judgements are against a God that I believe does not exist”

            Which is absurd

            “The morals I support are based on our human development over many thousands of years, both from biological and cultural evolution and I do not depend on a higher powers standard who will demand I follow a set of rules for a reward when I die only because he loves me.”

            Christian theology has nothing to do with my question. Steve, you prove over and over again you are illiterate concerning Christian theology. Which is ok, because that is not my question.

            Fact. You make moral pronouncements concerning God and Christians. That is an indisputable fact. The simple question….again….is:

            What is the standard by which you make that assessment? You judge them wrong. What makes them wrong, other than your personal preference and that of your particular culture and state of evolution?

            The only point is see you making thus far is that, in fact, any moral are okay as long as they come from us and not any higher power.

            Again. Upon WHAT standard do you judge God?

            You can do this, Steve.

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          • “No different Wally.” Actually it is different, Steve.You may not like it, but the Bible tells us that spiritual things are discerned spiritually. That’s nothing for someone to feel superior about, but it’s true. So unless you at least say, I want to find out what this supposed god supposedly said and what these people believe, then you really aren’t equipped to do more than touch on the subjects dealing with faith.

            Becky

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          • Steve, another point here. You said, “Many of those morals indicated within the Bible I disagree with..”

            You only disagree with what someone has told you those morals are or what the bits and piece appear to mean to you, SINCE YOU HAVEN’T READ THE BIBLE YOURSELF. Steve, why can’t you see this. You judge God on what basis? You don’t know what He says or wants. You are not in a position to make a value judgement against Him.

            Becky

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        • Steve, I don’t know how you think I’ve softened to the “gender changing issue.” I don’t think there is such a thing as gender change. We are the gender we’ve been born with, and we determine that by scientific means—observation of genitalia and the existence of specific chromosomes being the most obvious. But that someone might have experienced a trauma when they were young and as a result wish to be the opposite gender does happen. However, the answer isn’t to mutilate their body! If the body is one thing and the mind is another, why do we have to assume the body is the problem? Why can’t we reasonably admit the psyche might need to change, not the body?

          And you’re absolutely wrong to think that there have not been methods that do alter people’s wrong perceptions. There are more than a few success stories, though I wouldn’t claim these are necessarily “theistic.” They might be. I simply don’t know.

          I think Wally addressed your last point better than I could. Let me just add that I don’t claim anything about science that I haven’t studied.

          In addition, you do have to know something about God’s specific revelation (the Bible) if you want to say what people who know Him believe, because you’ve ruled out general revelation (nature) as a way to know anything about Him.

          There was a guy Jesus told about who wanted a miracle, a person to rise from the dead to tell his brothers about the after life, and the answer he got was, You have the Law and the Prophets—in other words, Scripture. If he didn’t believe what he had, why would God give him a special miracle? He wouldn’t believe that either.

          Jesus’s point was, the Bible is what we need to know about God Himself, eternal life, how to live here and now. So when you talk about Christians and you are referencing religious people you’ve known or the bits and pieces of the Bible you’ve read, I know you don’t actually know what I believe. So our discussions are incomplete, at best.

          Hope that makes sense.

          Becky

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          • You must remember Becky that many of these people do what they can and often do not have a choice if they want to live a normal life. It is not like a gambling or drug addiction that can be treated in a matter of weeks by medicines and therapy. The genuine cases are called Gender dysphoria, a state of emotional distress caused by how someone’s body or the gender they were assigned at birth conflicts with their gender identity.

            You ask, why can’t we reasonably admit the psyche might need to change, not the body?

            It is a widely recognized medical condition and if untreated, it can lead to severe mental health issues, including debilitating depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation.

            Your statement. “Let me just add that I don’t claim anything about science that I haven’t studied.”

            Are you suggesting school type of studies, formal qualifications or a general investigation on the internet?

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          • Steve, you said that “many of these people do what they can and often do not have a choice.” That’s the popular myth, but there is NO scientific evidence for such an idea. This business of being “assigned” a gender is just bogus. What makes a man a man or a woman a woman? Is it what we do? or is it an actual measurable difference in our bodies? Think.

            Where has the thinking gone in this culture today???!!! Why do we deny God because we can’t see Him, and then accept a gender change that we also can’t see on the basis of someone’s feelings??? I’m sorry I’m getting so worked up here, but this kind of obvious inconsistency in thinking just frustrates me.

            To answer your question about my involvement in science. I have no formal science training. I have a basic science background via my public school education. And I’ve learned a lot on my own by reading and researching. Still, a lot of things are just over my head. The whole string theory, for example. I try, and I think I understand the principle, sort of, but I just don’t know enough physics to really discuss it at any length, or depth.

            Interestingly, it’s my contention that most of the atheist with whom I’m discussing things, have no more knowledge of science than I do. They certainly haven’t conducted the experiments that lead to the conclusions they are repeating. It’s at the core of my explanation of faith—those who don’t conduct the experiments still believe the conclusions because they trust the ones doing the experiments.

            So, too, with things about God. We may not be the eyewitnesses ourselves, but we trust the eyewitnesses and their reports. In other words we both have faith, just in a different set of experts (though they certainly can overlap—the set of experts is not an either/or set). But that’s a different subject and likely far more of an answer to your question than you wanted to know. Sorry. I got carried away.

            Becky

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  5. If archaeology found a tomb tomorrow with 100% evidence that it was Jesus, and he was not resurrected, do you think everyone would just copulate in the streets and have a nonstop rave of drugs and murder? No. Nothing would change. What if a month later, they came back and said ,oops, false alarm. That wasn’t Jesus after all. You think that right away then everyone would go back to their moral again. No. Nothing would change. Morality is relative in the fact that the morals of the Bible are being outright rejected by mankind. The Bible is from a violent and gruesome past and slavery, polygamy, genocide, all the immorality in the Bible would not pass societal standards today. We’ve evolved past that. This is the safest time in the history of the world to be alive. And it’s not because of religion. Far from it.

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  6. In answer to your February 1, 2018 at 11:32 am comment.

    Yes Becky, I disagree with many of the violent acts within the Bible because I have read them, and don’t think for one minute that I am not capable of understanding what I read.

    You claim, “You only disagree with what someone has told you those morals are.”

    This is untrue, and suggests I cannot understand what I read? This condescending attitude does not become you.

    What do you take from this? God slowly killed David’s baby boy to punish David for adultery. Samuel 12 :15 And the LORD struck the child that Uriah’s wife bare unto David, and it was very sick. 12:18 And it came to pass on the seventh day, that the child died.

    I guess you would say that the Lord can do these things as the creator, but there is no justification in the whole world for this behaviour and it is without doubt a disgusting act, and you think this is a loving and most perfect God.

    I should imagine Wally will also chime in and parrot the same old stuff as you do such as I do not understand the Bible, and not because I have not read it but the underlying meaning that I am a stupid atheist who cannot understand the words I read.

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    • Steve, I’ve never said you are stupid. I don’t believe that. And as for “condescending” I am sorry if something I said gave you that impression. Rather than suggesting that you don’t understand what you’ve read, I’m saying—not suggesting—that you have no context for what you read so there’s no way you can understand it other than what the atheist propaganda tells you it means.

      David’s child is a good example. His mother was not married to David but to someone else. During her pregnancy, she would hardly have been human if she wasn’t concerned about the future. How would she tell her husband? What would he do when he found out? And then he died in battle. Did she feel guilt? Again, that would be a most human reaction. There’s more, but the point is, with so much doubt, fear, turmoil going on, why wouldn’t it affect her pregnancy? That her child was sick, doesn’t mean it got some mysterious disease sent from God, though that could also have happened. It is more likely, however, that the baby died of “natural causes” because over and over God says He gives people over to their own ways. So David’s own way, his sleeping with another man’s wife, fathering an illegitimate child, and more, is responsible for the the death of the baby.

      When people go their own way, then suffer for it, it’s hardly God’s fault!

      Becky

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      • I realise you have not said I am stupid Becky, however when you insist that there is “no way you can understand it other than what the atheist propaganda tells you it means.” It is suggesting stupid because as I have said my understanding of what I read is simply very good considering I have over 60 years of experience.

        For example, what about this little sentence you appear to have overlooked in Samuel 12 :15 “And the LORD struck the child that Uriah’s wife bare unto David, and it was very sick.”

        Two points here, it is clear the baby was already born due to the word bare or bore as used in the NKJV and God either struck the baby with his hand as a physical act or he waved his hand and used his voodoo to make it ill.

        You may dance around the clarity of this passage like your apologetics want you to do, however it is pretty dammed clear as to what went on here. It is not a natural process because the message is quite clear it was a punishment of David.

        I believe you have a BA in English and contributor to many publications, therefore why can you not simply comprehend what this says?

        I have often seen how the clear meaning of such passages in the Bible are twisted to suit ideologies, and you would say you are not indoctrinated? Pull the other one😊

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        • Steve, I’ll say again, you don’t understand because you don’t have context for any random verse you want to criticize. Your comment about God’s hand is a perfect example. God is a Spirit. He doesn’t have a “hand.” So obviously that’s picturesque language meaning that God caused the child’s illness. But how so? We don’t know. As many other verses show us, God uses all kinds of “natural” means to either bless or discipline or punish. So I have no doubt that God caused the child’s illness because of David’s sins, but was that an instance where He simply let David’s sin run its natural course or did He do something out of the ordinary? Again, we don’t know. Apart from the fact that God specified to David that the child would die because David sinned. If David hadn’t sinned, if the mother’s husband had died in battle and then David married her as a widow, conceived a child by her, it would not have died.

          I think you just don’t like the fact that God is the Judge who rules over the affairs of humankind.

          As far as “clear meaning” is concerned, when you fit a passage of Scripture into it’s context and interpret it in light of other Scriptures, you aren’t “twisting” them for any reason. But you don’t know this because you only read bits and pieces of the Bible. Until you can say that yes, you have read the Bible, then I’m sorry, Steve, you simply are not qualified to say what it means and to give your narrow-view criticism.

          But I’ll also reiterate—I doubt very much that you have any original criticism. I suspect you are simply parroting what some guru atheist has already said. Come on, Steve, who is actually indoctrinated here?

          Becky

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          • Becky Here you go again, you claim I just do not understand the Bible and why God killed a baby even though it says so and I read it says the same thing in all the Bibles. You tippy toe around the issue like a frightened mouse, frightened that you may accidently and rightly condemn your Lord and master, and you must also be aware your God has a temper and have the thought that he may strike you down at any time.

            You claim, “when you fit a passage of Scripture into it’s context and interpret it in light of other Scriptures, you aren’t “twisting” them for any reason. But you don’t know this because you only read bits and pieces of the Bible.”

            Yes, I agree if one passage contradicts another and I understand there are plenty of them, however if someone kills another person and it is as clear as this one, it is in context. Please point out these bits I don’t know Becky, after all I am open to new knowledge.

            You say, “I think you just don’t like the fact that God is the Judge who rules over the affairs of humankind.”

            It is impossible, simply because I understand that God does not exist.

            The criticism is original, and indoctrination of no religious doctrine is a non-event, atheism is just the default state or natural state of humanism and reality. What you have is a law to live under through any and all circumstances, a faith to die defending or even sacrifice the kids for. Quite a bit of difference I believe, don’t you?

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          • Steve, I suppose it’s difficult to admit that someone actually might be missing something in the Bible by not reading any more than isolated bits and pieces. Clearly you don’t understand what the Bible teaches about eternal life, so to you the worst thing that can happen is for someone to die. But the Bible gives us a different perspective.

            No matter what you think, I am not going to stand as God’s judge, in this matter or in others, because the Bible also reveals Him as a righteous Judge. That means, He gets to decide who lives or dies. And His decisions are always right. So however David’s son died—of “natural causes” or because of a special illness God brought on—his death was a direct result of David’s sin.

            But even though the baby died, his life was not a waste. He didn’t go into oblivion, As David said later in the passage (which you would know if you read the context), he would go to the child—which only makes sense if life continues after this life. Here are the verses:

            He said, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, ‘Who knows, the LORD may be gracious to me, that the child may live.’ 23 But now he has died; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.”

            You see, I accept God’s judgment because He has revealed Himself to be righteous and good. He’s also all knowing, so He doesn’t make mistakes. Therefore, when something happens that I don’t like (my stroke, for instance, or a baby dying) I know they are not “accidents” or things that escaped God’s notice or are beyond His control or from a place of evil intent. Rather, He’s going to use it for His purpose and glory and my good.

            I know you think that’s an odd way of looking at life, maybe ignorant or head-in-the-sand like. But it’s actually the opposite. I have the big picture in mind—the eternal picture. Because that’s what the Bible gives us. Steve, you’ll never understand that perspective by simply reading atheist “gotcha” verses.

            Unless you actually read the Bible, there simply is no way for you to see the big picture. Consequently, what you reject or, in this case, judge, you are doing so based on a little, finite, fallible, flawed view informed my man’s perspective.

            Becky

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          • Your statement Becky. “Clearly you don’t understand what the Bible teaches about eternal life, so to you the worst thing that can happen is for someone to die. But the Bible gives us a different perspective.”

            This is the sort of dangerous delusion that I dislike about all religions, human life should always be protected before anything on Earth and before exercising your pride in worshipping any of the invisible Gods. This God sacrificial stuff is nothing less than primitive, outdated and disgusting when you consider the amount of people who have died and have then resurrected from their graves to tell you how great heaven is.

            You suggest “Unless you actually read the Bible, there simply is no way for you to see the big picture.”

            Forget your elitism, it is not difficult to understand the big picture, information is at ones’ fingertips these days. Please feel free to correct me as I know you will if my understanding is not in keeping with the big picture as your particular Christian ideology likes to see it.

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          • Steve, I value human life too, but that’s because it is eternal. What happens after we die is far more important than you acknowledge.

            “Elitism” has nothing to do with this discussion, Steve. Knock the chip off your shoulder. The fact is, for some reason, you persist in criticizing that which you refuse to engage. That makes no sense!

            Becky

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          • Now I see I didn’t answer the last part of your comment. Steve, you don’t “understand” that God does not exist. You imagine that He does not exist. Because as surely as the sun hidden by clouds exists, so does God, though you deny all revelation of Him,

            Another important thing that shows you don’t know the Bible or understand Christianity: we do not live under any law. In fact the opposite is true: we have been released from the law, and by grace we have been saved—a gift from God, not of our works. No law keeping earns us a place in God’s family, and no law keeping keeps us in His family.

            What I have is God’s grace and forgiveness and the promise of an eternity in God’s presence. What I do is prompted by what I understand as pleasing to God, glorifying to His name. That is summed up by Jesus as love God and love your neighbors.

            I guess that’s the thing that mystifies me most, Steve. Atheists claim that the morality of the Bible is “evil.” But aside from the obvious question about how in the world they even know such a thing as evil exists, I want to know which of God’s ten commandments, which of Jesus’s statements, which of the instructions in the New Testament to the church are “evil”?

            Becky

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          • Your claim Becky, “you don’t “understand” that God does not exist. You imagine that He does not exist.”

            Again, you have not grasped what atheism is. How does this make sense to people like me who are waiting for the evidence of your God or any god’s existence? The fact is in reverse, you imagine God does exist and atheists like myself are simply 100% positive no gods have ever existed outside of the human brain.

            Becky you think you have been released from the law and saved. Not true if you follow to the letter the egotistical and moralistic Ten Commandments because if you break one of his ten commandments, you will be killed. I will pick a few commandments as an example.

            First Commandment. Exodus 20:3 “Thou shalt have no other gods before me”. Deuteronomy 17:1-5. “And hath gone and served other gods, and worshiped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heavens, which I have not commanded. Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing and shalt stone them with stones, till they die.”

            Third Commandment. Exodus 20:7 “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord in vain”. Leviticus 24:16. “And he that blasphemeth the name of the Lord, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the Lord, shall be put to death.

            Fifth Commandment. Exodus 20:12 “Honour thy father and thy mother.” Exodus 21:15-17 “And he that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death”. More punishment – Exodus 21:17 “And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death”.
            Seventh Commandment. Exodus 20:14 “Thou shalt not commit adultery”. Leviticus 20:10 “And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall be put to death”.

            Exactly what we all need to live a moral life in the 21st Century don’t you think?

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          • I certainly have “grasped what atheism is,” Steve. It’s a belief system that dismisses all the evidence that contradicts its central point, and then claims there is no evidence. It’s really quite disingenuous.

            I don’t “think” I’ve been released from the law, but you would know this if you actually read the Bible. Here’s just one passage that makes the point: “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”

            Christianity is all about grace and forgiveness, not about law keeping and judgment! You can cite all the Old Testament Law you want, and the punishments that were to go with them, but that’s only a small brick in the way God worked throughout history and what He’s doing now. It has a place. As another passage in Romans says, the Law basically shows us what sin really is: “For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death. But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.
            “What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COVET.’ ”

            There’s more, but that’s the principle and it’s one atheist sites will never point you to.

            What do we need to live a moral life in the 21st century? We need God’s love and mercy, His forgiveness, so that we can “serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.” Our mandate from Jesus is simple: love God and love your neighbor.

            Becky

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  7. In answer to your comment on February 1, 2018 at 11:51 am.

    Becky I would have thought you would read up on something before commenting on such an issue.

    Evidently, there is scientific evidence to consider the brain structure, brain function and genetics. Try this site to start.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Causes_of_transsexuality

    You claim, “In other words we both have faith, just in a different set of experts”

    Forget that. Your faith is essentially faith in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God, and as Saviour and Lord. You have also confirmed your lack of knowledge about science, because science is not faith, it is the pursuit and application of knowledge and understanding of the natural and social world following a systematic methodology based on evidence. This is a really good reason to trust the many good scientists.

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    • Steve, obviously I can’t change your mind about your faith. Of course you have faith because the observations and the experimentation to which you cling and build your worldview are not your own. You simply believe what others tell you! That’s a FACT!

      And guess what? I believe a lot of the same things—not because I’ve hauled out a telescope or done any “drop the ball from ten stories high” experiment. I thing the experts likely know what they’re talking about. I trust many of their conclusions. So do you.

      The problem is, you’ve been told that “faith” is a dirty word, that to have faith you must check your reason at the door. That could not be further from the truth. Oh, and you believe whoever said that, even though it isn’t true. You have faith although you won’t admit it, and in this case, your faith has misled you.

      As far as the gender issue is concern, I know you’ll be surprised, Steve, but I have researched it. Here’s an article from Psychology Today, 2016, summarized by this quote: “These four, natural design differences listed above are just a sample of how males and females think differently. Scientists have discovered approximately 100 gender differences in the brain, and the importance of these differences cannot be overstated. Understanding gender differences from a neurological perspective not only opens the door to greater appreciation of the different genders, it also calls into question how we parent, educate, and support our children from a young age.” https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/hope-relationships/201402/brain-differences-between-genders

      Here’s another article, with this introduction: “Brain scans, controlled studies, evolutionary psychology, and anthropology demonstrate that men and women are not the same! We are physically & mentally different. We input, process and deliver information differently. We evolved with different priorities, and we are marinated in different combinations of hormones. This leads to a misaligned interpretation of reality…which creates conflict, not only in our love lives, but in our family lives, and the lives of our children. The following is a list of 50 of these differences…perhaps if we’re aware of them, we can interact with more empathy, and better logic.” http://bravetheworld.com/2016/08/09/50-real-differences-men-women/

      The point is simple: nobody is “assigning” gender. You actually are born either male or female. If you feel different from your physiology, it’s not your body that needs fixing to match your feelings. If someone says you need to mutilate your body in order to live the way you feel, that’s abuse. My heart breaks for those who feel confused about their sexual orientation, but our society is making matters worse, not better.

      Becky

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