Dr. Brown interviews Rebecca Kiesling who was conceived by rape and targeted for abortion, addressing some of the toughest pro-life questions of the day and then raising vision about our calling as believers in the world today. Listen live here 2-4 pm EST, and call into the show at (866) 348 7884 with your questions and comments.
Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: Why oh why, do you want to punish the baby in the womb for the sins of the father?
Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: As I literally wipe tears away from my eyes; who can put a value on the life of a child? Healthy or sick, who could put a value on the life of a little one?
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I’m agreeing with you, Bo. I was just pointing out that Greg’s line of argument is not valid (that babies can’t be people or else heaven would be full of babies who hadn’t repented and turned to God, so that therefore babies aren’t human).
Many ladies who have lost a child in the womb talk of having x children, plus one in heaven.
By the way, you know the unborn child is really human when s/he start playing footy on your insides!
In reality, those who are “pro-choice” preach a counsel of despair. Women should not be in the position where they feel that they have no choice, or that they are in it alone. The poor, the young and the vulnerable are told, in effect, that they will never be able to make it as a mother and that the child must go. Yet I constantly hear middle-class (in the UK this means upscale) mothers talking about how hard it has been for them with a baby or two. No one has perfect circumstances in which to raise a child. Even if you think that you have all your ducks in a row, raising a child, is like any worthwhile endeavour, hard work. My husband lost his job a month after I found out I was preggers with our first child. He is now up to my shoulder. The circumstances changed, and will change again, but the decision to get rid of a child is irreversible. I am against the death penalty for anyone — old or young, rich or poor, condemned or innocent. However, I know that some people are pro the death penalty. What we shouldn’t do is sugar-coat it with faux ambiguity about what we are doing.
PS RU486 is not an easier, cleaner option BTW. It has dreadful side-effects.
In the real world evil is defined as whatever is harmful or disastrous to life. We call that which protects or enhances life “good.” These concepts exist whether there is a God or not. You and the rest of the members of your fundamentalist sky-god death cult do not get to define evil, marriage, love, wisdom, righteousness, justice or any other words for the rest of us. We humans are the deciders, the definers, the judges and the juries. Get over it.
Somehow I knew you would have no good argument. If we are the ones that define evil then it is our definition that we have invented that is supposedly proving that there is no Creator. That is not much of any kind of proof. My definition of van is a car. Are you a car? If you are not a car, do you now cease to exist?
Van, Jesus died to save sinners which though they think they are the deciders of everything, the definers, the judges, and the juries, they know nothing at all, for those things are reserved for those who will be the heirs of salvation.
“If we are the ones that define evil then it is our definition that we have invented that is supposedly proving that there is no Creator.”
That statement make no sense at all. The concept of evil is a human concept. It exists whether there is a God or not. I shouldn’t have to point out that you claim to speak for and represent this supposed creator and I can assure you that you do not. Neither does your Bible. You do not get to tell me or anyone else that you have some different meaning for evil we have to accept because you happen to believe a certain set of religious fairytales.
You don’t like this fact because many people who actually read the Bible find the many of the acts of God described in the Bible to be extremely immoral, evil and offensive to their sensibilities. For many people it’s impossible to believe such being exists because the God of the Bible no longer fits the the human concept of holiness. That’s right, you don’t get to define that word either.
You did not address anything in the argument that a non-moral universe cannot produce free choice and that there can be nothing good or evil in such a “itself being itself universe”. There is no mind, no conscience, no knowledge, no goal to the universe or any of its parts. It is just matter, space and time. Without a standard there is no good or evil. Anything that we invent ourselves counts as nothing in the grand scheme of things in a mindless, goalless universe. There is only what happens and nothing to judge the happenings one way or the other. You simply cannot understand good logic when you see it.
It is convenient for you to say that we make up the rules and then use your rules to judge that there is no Creator. It is also telling that you say that evil is what is harmful to life, but also believe that it is not evil to kill unborn babies. In other words, whatever you do is good and right even if it harms another. You would not last long in a society that truly practiced your faith.
“I do not think there is a demonstrative proof (like Euclid) of Christianity, nor of the existence of matter, nor of the good will and honesty of my best and oldest friends. I think all three are (except perhaps the second) far more probable than the alternatives. The case for Christianity in general is well given by Chesterton…As to why God doesn’t make it demonstratively clear; are we sure that He is even interested in the kind of Theism which would be a compelled logical assent to a conclusive argument? Are we interested in it in personal matters? I demand from my friend trust in my good faith which is certain without demonstrative proof. It wouldn’t be confidence at all if he waited for rigorous proof. Hang it all, the very fairy-tales embody the truth. Othello believed in Desdemona’s innocence when it was proved: but that was too late. Lear believed in Cordelia’s love when it was proved: but that was too late. ‘His praise is lost who stays till all commend.’ The magnanimity, the generosity which will trust on a reasonable probability, is required of us. But supposing one believed and was wrong after all? Why, then you would have paid the universe a compliment it doesn’t deserve. Your error would even so be more interesting and important than the reality. And yet how could that be? How could an idiotic universe have produced creatures whose mere dreams are so much stronger, better, subtler than itself?”
― C.S. Lewis
“‘If we are the ones that define evil then it is our definition that we have invented that is supposedly proving that there is no Creator.’
That statement make no sense at all.”
You are the one that said that there is no god because evil exists. If we define evil as harm to our life and there is a Creator that owns the universe, including your life, it cannot be evil in any ultimate sense for Him to do what He wants with what is his possession. You are only saying that evil is whatever you do not want to happen. What happens when two people want opposing things to happen? If you want to live but I will starve to death if I do not kill you, who’s evil is the correct evil?
I showed quite clearly that evil could never exist without a moral Creator. Robotic mechanization is all that a universe that is matter, space and time can produce. Mind is an impossibility in such a universe. Without a purpose, goal or standard coming from matter, space and time, there is no good or evil that can exist…there is only existence.
“All that does is make abortion dangerous and would cause much needed suffering. Obviously you don’t care.” – Van
People can devalue life, marriage and family and the cost in suffering is immeasurably higher.
You act incapable of seeing the big picture, but seeing yourself as a teacher – that’s easy.
You said “In the real world evil is defined as whatever is harmful or disastrous to life. We call that which protects or enhances life “good.” ”
You mean like the life in a womb? Or again can you enlighten me as to when life begins and what criteria you use for this definition.
As far as your argument goes lets try this:
1. An all powerful could destroy evil
2. An all good God would want to destroy evil.
3. Evil exists, God has not YET destroyed it.
4. Therefore, God WILL destroy evil.
Implicit in your argument is the idea that there cannot be a greater good that results from allowing evil for a period of time. As I said above, the same free will that makes love possible, makes evil possible. Please tell me how a good powerful God could make the good gift of free will (I assume you think free will is a good thing)without the potential for evil. It seems the alternative would be a society of robots.
By the way in our last discussion I posted objections to your definition of what constitutes evil pointing out the flaws. Your response amounted to ad hominem nonsense about how you would not expect “Bible thumpers” to understand. That hardly answered my objections.
If God took away all evil and made everything right somehow, wouldn’t that mean that we must become robots without the free will to choose evil?
Why does human life matter more than the life of a polio virus? Why does the plant life and animal life that we kill and eat matter less than human life? Why is damaging these forms of life not evil?
Yes that is the point. Either God creates a world without freewill so as to avoid evil or God creates a world with freewill and the possibilities of greater goods associated with it such as love. A robot can never truly love, since real love, depends on real freewill. So God being both omnibenevolent and Omniscient decided the benefits of free will are worth the price.
In reality one can not pose the argument that God does not exist because of evil, without implicitly acknowledging an objective standard of evil. But this in turn requires an objective standard of good. And since moral laws are prescriptive not descriptive, they require a moral law giver. And that takes us back to God.
Van puts forth the argument that the sanctity of life is the moral ground. But this is fraught with problems. For example, If I steal from someone who has more money than they need, then this would not put their life in danger, so it must be right. Also one needs to ask where the standard of sanctity of life comes from. If the argument is made that it is genetic, and stems from the Darwinian concept of the survival of the fittest, then I really only need to value you the lives that will maintain my life and that of my progeny. And even if you could make the argument that our genes tell us to care for more than just ourselves, given the fact that our genes came about by random chance filtered through the lens of natural selection (the atheist’s standpoint)then once we realize that the only basis for morality is really rooted in random chance, we should be free to reject it. One does not owe a moral duty to a role of the genetic dice. When Van (who used to call himself Boris and I believe Fearless before that) is confronted with these arguments, he routinely goes into personal attacks.
William James once said the mind will never accept what the heart does not want to believe. After many interactions with Van, I have come to believe that his real problem is not intellectual. The fact that he periodically haunts this blog over years, seems to speak to a need his philosophy cannot provide. If you do some studying of the very smartest atheists that ever lived (e.g. Nietzsche, Bertram Russell), buried in their writings you will find some existential need for God that they express.
Van’s arguments for the non-existence of a historical Jesus are surely nonsense as well. Fearless, several years ago debated Dr. Brown on the air. It did not go well for him. If Van (AKA Boris) is not also fearless, he shares the same arguments and toxic vitriol. In any event, I think if Van were to debate Dr. Brown on the non-historicity of Jesus, he would fair no better.
Re S. Johnson comment
> I think if Van were to debate Dr. Brown on the non-historicity of Jesus, he would fair no better
Van is not in the same league to debate Brown. When Van finds the truth of the matter, only then will that be a new life generated in Van. From that point it will take Van 30 years to gear up for a debate between Van vs. Brown. Not in this life will that ever happen.
I really appreciate the long reply. To be honest, I’m not educated enough to understand everything that you write, but I thank you.
My question was about the Kingdom of God. If God somehow took away all evil from the Kingdom, wouldn’t it mean that those in the Kingdom would be robots of some kind? Does having a free will or choice exist if evil were taken away?
I had a feeling that Van and I met before. I would want Boris to know that I have experienced God’s supernatural hand in my life. It wasn’t science that made me believe, but God’s power.
There are many different beliefs in the world and some make more sense than others. This world is just too confusing, even the scholars disagree. How do those who are supposed to be the most intelligent of all come to different conclusions? We think that the other side doesn’t make sense and the other side doesn’t think that we make sense either.
So God showed up in my life and I was afraid. It was just too amazing and you had to be there to understand.
Thanks again for the reply, S. Johnson
You honor me in saying that anything I write you find useful. Truth be known I have “stolen” most of what I write from far smarter people than myself.
You pose a really great question! I assume that you are talking about how freewill works in heaven. There are two types of freedom, libertarian freedom and freedom of self-determination. Those who choose Jesus will have used the freedom of self-determination to freely choose to give their will to The Lord, such that their will be no more sin in heaven. Another way to look at this involves the beatific vision. When we see God in all His glory, we will be overwhelmed by Who He is such that their will be no competing interests (e.g. sin). We sin for two reasons, self-will (pride) and illicit pleasures. We all reach a point in life where we come to realize that material things and sensations do not satisfy, this was the point of the book of Ecclesiastes–an ultimate desire can never be satisfied by anything less than what is ultimate; an infinite need will never be fulfilled by the finite. We soon learn even in this life that what really matters is relationship. No matter how much we have, if we do not have someone to share it with, it all becomes empty. But our quest for the ultimate relationship can only be found in the Ultimate Being. In heaven when that need is satisfied we will no longer be attracted to lesser things (e.g. sin).
As to the second point you made about confusion between beliefs–There are 7 worldviews and they are logically exhaustive (no other possibilities exist in the logical universe) and they are mutually exclusive (Only one can be true). For example atheism and Theism cannot both be true as one cannot simultaneously hold the view that there is a God and there is not a God at the same time. One can with logic and reason eliminate 6 of the world views. One can then look at the documentary evidence for that which is left. Another approach championed by Francis Schaeffer is that most world views are unlivable. For example, I have met some very “moral” atheists, but they have no basis for their morality within atheism. So their world view is really unlivable in that they live moral lives. Another example: The classic Eastern religions teach that the world and evil are an illusion; our senses are deceiving us to believe in a world that is not real. Yet these same Eastern thinkers lock their cars and their houses when they leave to protect them from the evil they believe is an illusion. In short they cannot live consistently with their world views. In addition, they write books that they expect us to read using one of our fives senses, that tell us that we cannot believe our five senses. They live in contradiction.
The point is that you can make significant advances in telling which world view is true with logic and reason alone. This is important in that our faith can be grounded in something beyond feelings. We then have a rational ground for a place where subjective experience can coexist with the objective world.
Just want to make one thing clear. Logic and reason can take us to the point that we believe THAT God exists, but faith is a decision to believe IN God. These are two different things that are often confused. Even if we are 100% convinced that God exists, faith IN God does not necessarily follow.
Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
We have to know that our seeking of Him will be rewarded and act on that revelation…I did not say knowledge on purpose. The rest of Hebrews chapter 11 goes on to say how many people of true faith obeyed YHWH.
If our faith does not produce radical obedience, it is does not really amount to us knowing that YHWH rewards us for our lives lived for Him. This faith, that does not act, is not true Biblical faith that is evidence of salvation.
Faithful actions do not produce salvation, they prove it…or at least they prove that we are walking in that salvation or walking as a saved person.
Heb 10:35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.
2Pe 1:9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
When we are shortsighted or loose our confidence in YHWH’s faithfulness to reward us for our faithfulness, we fall into sin. Outward sin is the result of us not really believing that the pleasures of sin are not only worthless and detrimental, but also it is an insult to YHWH’s lovingkindness/faithfulness.
Our actions are pleasing to YHWH when they come from trusting that He will perform His promise to us. If we walked this way all the time, we would not sin. So easy, but so difficult.
Faith, real faith, is the substance of things hoped for because YHWH is faithful to reward faithfulness. It is an absolute fact…it is substantiated…it is a done deal…the reward is settled. If we have no hope of reward, we will not act in faith…we will settle for obtaining temporal pleasures instead.
The hope of salvation is what gives us the ability to obey. Faith in YHWH’s faithfulness to perform His promises to us gives us this hope. And it takes a revelation…not just knowledge.
Van, does not have this revelation. He has no reason to believe in YHWH or act accordingly. He has settled for temporal earthly pleasures because that is the only hope of reward that he has. That is all we have if we are trusting in head knowledge of YHWH and/or the truth.
Heb 11:24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter;
25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.
27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.
It’s good for us to eat the things God gives us to eat and to refrain from eating those things he gives us not to eat.
Man believes in his heart the word he has received and I suppose each man will decide for himself what he lets into his heart. Therefore we are told to guard our heart with all diligence, for some men choose evil and others choose the good.
Jesus came for many reasons, one of which was to teach us to choose the good.
I suppose we respond to God from the heart because God is love. People do respond to love, some more than others I suppose. A good man out of the good things in his heart brings forth good treasure, Jesus said. (Matt 12:35)
You do a lot of supposing…Hmmm…how about a little more agreeing with scripture to go along with, and hopefully inform, your strong opinions disguised as supposing.
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