It would indeed be a fascinating thing if God used evolution to intelligently create life. The main problem I have with that, though, is WHY he would do it that way. If he can create the universe in a trillionth of a second, then why would he want to take billions of years to create humans?
Well this is a good question but I think it might have something to do with scope. The universe is incredibly large it would seem strange to me if you were god to create such a large place and only have these incredibly tiny humans as your point for making it? It would be like constructing a sports stadium to hold your six inch diameter fish tank with microscopic bacteria. It just doesn't add up unless you actually planned to have many different planets with many different forms of life all arising at different times. If you designed a set of rules then you could let the laws of the universe do the work for you. Then you wouldn't have to babysit all the details to make sure it turned out right. It's the most efficient method for large scale production. Make the rules do all the work so you don't have to.
But you would then have to accept that god planed for many hundreds of billions of other life forms in the universe on other planets. However very few theists would accept that. It would mean jesus is not special in any way and that we are not the only intelligent life in the universe.
Of course with all that said, it still doesn't lead us to an actual intelligence. It could just as well be that energy itself has no plan things just occur under certain conditions. If you have taken any form of chemistry, you would know what I mean here. How just the structure of atoms can alter their appearance and properties. Why is it some elements are transparent and others are not? Why are some dark black and others shiny gold? All you are doing is adding in a few protons and electrons, so why would it have such drastic effects on what the element looked like? Okay rambling a little bit there...
I know this is once more quibbling over God's intentions, but I personally see it as even less plausible to combine creationism and evolutionism than to believe in one or the other. Neither have been proven with absolute, undeniable evidence, and it seems that combining them would require even more proof.
Well the biblical account of the creation days don't stack up to certain things as we know them and that is why I can't accept the bibles version of creation. For example the horizon problem. If god made the stars the light from some of those stars would have taken millions of years to reach the earth. So did he cheat and just bend the rule of light speed and make the light instantly travel the distance?
What about the element problem? We know that within stars heavier elements are formed through the process of fusion. We know this because the light given off by the star reveals their elements. We also know this because during the after effects of supernovas we can see rings of elements that have been shed from the exploding star which give off different spectrum bands identical to the elements we know.
So if god fashioned everything with these elements, why create stars that also form these elements. That seems like a little absurd back end details. I find it hard to believe that he would make the earth first, and then all the stars. When the earth is made up of many heavy elements. Why create all these heavy elements and then supply us with stars that will produce more heavy elements? Isn't that a little backwards?
The obligation would technically originate from both sides. Consider this (and please hear me out): You're Adam, and you've been created by God. This God is perfect, omniscient, and omnipotent. He's put you in paradise, and gifted you with not only an incredible body but also the opportunity to enjoy sights, sounds, smells, and all the other animals that live in harmony with you. He's even given you a companion, with whom you can share a relationship second in value only to that which you share with God. And, supposedly, you will rejoice in all this for eternity, eventually having a family and filling the world with billions of others who will never die and will rejoice as one in the presence of God.
Wouldn't you be thankful for all this? This is before any kind of hardship entered the world. According to the Bible, Adam and Eve didn't even have to WORK for their food. Can you think of any reason not to be thankful?
Actually no I can't because I wasn't asked if this is what I wanted, it was just sprung on me. If I had never been created I would have never known these things at all. But to then turn around and place conditions on these things, then they really never were gifts or shared things but instead they are obligations without contract. It sounds more like entrapment than anything nice. More like a person trying to contrive some special offer by handing you a bunch of free things, vacations, new clothes, a new car, paid dinners to turn around and say well, now all you have to do is ... If that is the case I would rather of had nothing, because it isn't a gift if there is an attachment or condition.
god: "Welcome to life, now you must obey me or be cast out and suffer."
Now, when I am thankful to someone even for small things, I will occasionally muster up the obligation to make them happy as they have made me happy. That way I can show my appreciation, and they'll be made happy too, not only through the favor I do for them but through knowing they've pleased me. (This is at least somewhat similar to the empathy you've described concerning the issue of cannibalism.)
No that is completely different. If someone does something nice for you, you are not obligated to do anything nice in return. However you are switching the case as if god placing a commandment on you is somehow a returned offer by you.
"Oh thanks god for giving me life and all these wonderful things. Now I will obey any command you give me no matter what it is or how difficult it might be to keep."
I don't think it would happen like that. Maybe you would, but I know I wouldn't. Call me selfish or inconsiderate but I don't immediately sign my life away because someone gave me something I didn't ask for. I might say thanks and not abuse them but I definitely wouldn't sign up for obey or else. If it would have been me. I would have said, why did you create me then if you didn't want me to do this? You knew that I would eventually do these things you dislike, so why even bother?
Now transfer this kind of obligation to the issue of obedience to God. Because I believe in God, I don't simply (try to) obey him because he threatens me with damnation--or even, entirely, because he tells me to. A big part of it has to do with how thankful I am to him for creating the vast universe, the beauty of nature, and the vast opportunities in the realm of relationships with other people--and, of course, for creating me to be able to enjoy all of this, flawed and unworthy as I am. And I'm thankful and obligated this way even in the presence of all the hardship that has come and will continue to come for the rest of my life. If I had all this wonder to enjoy AND I lived in a perfect world as Adam and Eve did, I can't imagine the feelings I would have toward God.
Okay, well you might see it like that, but I see it as indentured servitude. To give someone all these things and then expect something from them, is not giving them anything other than a condition. It is a bait and switch tactic and the worst part is you entered into the game without even being allowed to accept the rules. If I would have known that these were the rules I would have chosen non-existence.
So this is probably why Adam and Eve would have felt an obligation to obey God. Unfortunately, they were imperfect from the beginning, and made a terrible mistake.
Isn't that what you would expect from "imperfection"? But I find it strange that if a great all powerful god made something, that it would have been so imperfect. Why if you are perfect would you create something less than perfect? Unless your whole point is to purposely watch these beings suffer.
Your response makes me somewhat uncertain as to whether I made my point completely clear. All I meant was that I have been known to act illogically in the past, as have others, and that it's a distinct possibility that Adam and Eve were in a similar situation.
Right, however there is a problem. Given enough time all things will eventually happen regardless of the consequences. Why? Boredom. No matter what the rules state, and no matter what the punishment is, if you are living in some place for eternity, eventually you will do that one thing that you were not suppose to do. It is all just a matter of time. It might take a billion years, but eventually you will do it. I guarantee that.
I would suggest that perhaps some thoughts and feelings are a byproduct of material occurrences, and that some others are perhaps the cause of such occurrences. Such that, in an afterlife, we would think/feel only some of what we do now--or that we would think/feel in an entirely different way that we can't comprehend now. Again, no evidence, but I don't think there is evidence for the exact nature of the afterlife.
Well it would have to. On some level you would have to not have certain emotions and certain thoughts. I simply can not see how certain things would transpire. Many of the things you enjoy in this life simply could not exist in a heaven. I find it hard to believe that there would be this hardcore punk band show in heaven just waiting for you when you get there. Chalked full of beer bottles and cigarettes. Just would not happen so if I were to end up in heaven it would become a hell to me, because all the things I enjoy in this life which most people find repulsive just would not happen. How could they? Unless it was all just an illusion, not real just a make believe scenario. If it were just fake to place me into some blissful enjoyment, I wouldn't want it, because it was fake. That is only one problem with heaven. What about your feelings for the people who didn't get to go there? Would you really be able to enjoy yourself if some of the people you loved in this life ended up not going? How could you "live" with yourself? Heaven would turn into a hell, that is unless god would just fabricate that person. But then again that would be a lie, since it wouldn't really be them, it would just be an illusion of them to make you feel happy they were there. I wouldn't want that either. Sure I might not know the truth but that would make god a liar.
Sorry, but it seems almost as if you're arguing that thoughts ARE material, rather than that they're not.
The thoughts themselves are immaterial however they have materialism as their basis. You can't have thoughts without their basis.
Interesting. I would suggest that there is a universal moral law, but that in some cases certain parts of it have been buried/ignored throughout the course of societal development. At any rate, I fail to see how your response addresses my claim that a strict materialist cannot reasonably suggest the existence of immaterial morals.
Well not to offend you but I think you have been fed nonsense with that concept of immaterial morality. It simply does not exist. If it existed it would be clear as day to everyone but I can ask you some simple questions and could you answer them for me?
Is taking drugs morally right or morally wrong?
Is purchasing sex from a prostitute morally right or morally wrong?
Is eating an animal morally right or morally wrong?
Is stealing food so you don't starve, morally right or morally wrong?
See I can't even answer these questions. I have absolutely no idea what is what. If morality were innate I should be able to answer them. The only way in which I can even have a chance to answer them is by their impact on myself or those around me. If everyone around me is cool with it then what is the harm? It's not actually hurting anyone, why would it be morally wrong then? Can you answer them for me? Or does this prove that there are no universal morals?