Finding God in 60 Days

FindingGodYou probably won’t want to play this in your Sunday School class or for Sunday night church, and probably not even at your small-group Bible study, but some slightly irreverent parts aside, this is funny and insightful in many ways.

In fact, I’d highly recommend you pagans give this amazing offer a try.  After all, if it doesn’t work, you can have your meaningless existence back at no cost to you.

HT: Dr. Theo.

24 Responses to “Finding God in 60 Days”

  1. Oh, man, that is GOOD! I love it, and I laughed out loud!

    I read his book, “Empire of Lies.” It was good, fast-paced and quite intense, but I would not recommend it for the “sensitive” reader.

  2. When I first began praying to God in my tremendous need I really didn't believe in Him. But He answered me anyway, proving that even if you don't believe in Him, He believes in you.

  3. This brings up a conundrum. Bob,you state that we pagans have meaningless existences and dr theo states that he did not believe in God when first praying, but that God still believed in him(us).
    . Thus dr theo was a pagan when first praying since he was a nonbeliever , but God didn't consider his life meaningless and on the contrary believed in him. Just who is doing the deciding on whose life is meaningless ?

    dr theo Forgive me for using you as an example, but your situation extends to many who are now pagans as you once were by your own honest admission.

    I am just curious who it is that Bob says decides whose life is meaningless.

  4. God doesn't say your life is meaningless (in fact, he says there is great meaning to your life, because God created you, and he cares about everything that you do in this life, and your soul will go on throughout eternity, either with him in a perfect existence, or in eternal torment–but regardless of the final disposition, your life has great importance and meaning), but if you reject God's truth and very existence, then you can't lay claim to his determination of meaning for your life. You have to evaluate meaning for your life within your own worldview.

    And within the worldview which says you are a collection of elements and chemicals that just happened to evolve into a creature capable of communicating and fashioning, tools, there is still no real meaning or purpose to your life.

    You're born, you eat and defecate, then you die, and you are no more. There's no more meaning in your life than in the life of a slug or microbe.

    That's the real dichotomy with atheists: they want to have their cake and eat it, too. They crave the meaning that all human beings have, yet their worldview rejects the source and foundation for any meaning. Few if any ever realize that dichotomy (because no one really wants to face a meaningless existence), yet that is the natural conclusion of a temporary existence born of pure chance.

  5. You say that I can't lay claim to His determination of meaning for my mine own life. It just seems to me that it is your view and not Gods that I can't make that claim. Where is it that the God you believe in, the Christian God, says I can't feel or claim meaning in my life.Aren't you in essence assuming to know what God believes I can or can't claim as far as meaning in my own life is concerned ?.

  6. I think you're misunderstanding me.

    God doesn't say that you can't feel or claim meaning in your life. What I'm saying is that you can't lay claim to meaning through the Christian worldview. You have to lay claim to meaning in life and to your life through your own worldview.

    And within your own worldview–that you are a highly evolved animal that is the end result of chance, with no eternal soul–on what basis do you find meaning for your life, when in essence there is little to distinguish the value and meaning of your life from the value and meaning of a microbe in your kitchen sink?

  7. Thank you for clarifying. I indeed don't claim to have meaning through the Christian worldview. My world view does allow me to make the claim I have meaning.It's my true view. If Gods view, and thus the Christian view, is that I have or can claim to have meaning AND I say that I simply agree with that view, but also admit it comes from a nonChristian view,then it seems to me that your stance is merely a personal view not shared by God or by my personal world view. It would appear your view on this subject has no more validity than mine since they are both personal ideas. It is simply one man, Bob Ellis holding a personal view, that neither I nor the Christian God agrees with. That is your right and I respect it, but don't feel your personal view or mine is an absolute.

  8. What I'm trying to get you to see, to question, is your basis for assuming your life has meaning.

    My life had meaning because God created me, God knows me, God cares about me, God has a purpose for me, and I have an eternal destiny.

    But if you are right, and you are simply the chance result of millions of years of evolution, on what basis do you believe your life has meaning? Why does your life have any more meaning than the microbe in your kitchen sink?

  9. I see. Your own personal worldview is that the basis on which you feel your life has meaning, is predicated on a God that has created you, loves you, knows you , has a purpose for you and that you have an eternal destiny.I respect that personal view that you hold.

    My personal view is that meaning in life is not predicated on a deity loving me, knowing me, creating me and independant of whether I have an eternal destiny at all.I feel I have more purpose than a microbe or a monkey. Why ? Because I can purposely( the microbe or monkey can't) make the conscious decision to try and improve the life of mankind, irregardless of how we got here. I can purposely do everything I can to make this world a better place.I love the creature called man as I am part of that family. I want my own kind to suceed and be as good a fellow man as they can be. I can purposely strive to make sure this planet sustains itself.I can purposely make sure my children have high moral standards and that my wife is happy when her head hits the pillow.I can purposely advocate for education of all,so that they may improve their lives and then help improve the lives of others.I can purposely show compassion. I would think to the casual observer or the sanest of man, that they would consider that a purposeful life. My personal worldview is that I don't need someone or something else to grant me purpose or a life of eternity.

    Your God says I have meaning, whether I believe in Him or not and my personal world view deeply believes I have meaning. Your personal world view claims that you don't see how I could believe I have meaning without believing in a deity.To each of us, our individual,personal world views make us believe we have meaning. Maybe both individual,personal views of two simple men are correct. We both have meaning and purpose.

  10. So if the meaning and worth of a life is found in decision-making ability and efforts to “improve” humanity (for what purpose, I'm not clear on)?

    It would stand to reason, then that those less capable of intellectual prowess and decision making have less value and meaning to their lives, then. So is someone of diminished mental capacity–either through mental retardation, brain injury, youth, or other–of less value, and does their life have less meaning? That would seem to be a logical conclusion.

    And ultimately, why does the ability to make decisions, and to “improve the life of mankind” have any value or meaning? After all, once you die, the worms will eat you and you will know nothing more of what you may or may not have accomplished while alive. Eventually, all who may have been affected by any “improvements” you made will be dead and eaten by worms, too, so what does it matter? For that matter, why does it matter at all that you do or don't do anything to improve the state of mankind? What value does it have to improve the state of a bunch of highly evolved animals who will end up serving as worm chow eventually?

  11. I didn't say that decison-making ablity or the desire to 'improve' humanity are the only criteria for a human to feel they have a putposeful life. Something as simple as helping an infirmed person across the street should give any person a feeling of a purposeful life. If it doesn't then you would have to ask them why it doesn't.

    Lets go to your question of whether someone with decreased mental capacity has purpose. We know that children with autism or Downs Syndrome can lead very purposeful lives.I don't give grades on purpose. Their journey may be more difficult, but they can inspire others like them and even inspire parents and the human race to be more understanding of their their obstacles.We can teach them and they can teach us simple things like compassion and tolerance and to respect all fellow humans.. They can contribute to society, show compassion and even help others with certain limitations improve their lot in life.not believing in God does not negate the feeling that all people have purpose no matter their mental or physical status.

    I am not sure why you are so hung up on purpose as this defining criteria.Purpose is a criteria that you personally have focused on. Can't a human live a life promoting his/his own kind and life in general without having a stated purpose or worse feel they can't help if they don't have a stated purpose. Sounds a little self centered to me and where in the rule book does it say that. You asked 'why does the ability to make decisions and to 'improve the life of mankind mankind' have any value or meaning. I would suggest you ask the person who received the help and see what they say.

    And so what if the worms eat me and there is nothing after we die. Again ask the person who received my help if I didn't have a purpose.Don't they get a vote ? What difference does it matter what your specific beliefs on the afterlife are. Doesn't it matter what we do here on earth, whether you feel it must be purpose driven or not.I know the altruistic acts we do in life are the correct thing to do, whether it is purpose driven or not.

    I believe we can have purpose whether ts deity driven or not . When I played cornerback in highschool, my purpose was to help the team win and that isn't deity driven. Purpose doesn't mandate a deity unless you make that an 'a priori' assumptionn. Even the fish eating algae has purpose. I bet if it could talk or you ask the other species in the pond who that algae is toxic to, that they would say the fish has a great purpose to them. They can't though and only us humans can decide purpose through our individual world views

  12. I understand that you didn't say they were the only criteria for meaning and worth, but obviously you consider them important criteria or you wouldn't have mentioned them, and mentioned them first.

    And while someone with diminished intellectual and achievement capacity may be able in some way to care for themselves and even contribute to society, would they, by the definition you gave, be less valuable and have less meaning to their lives than you or someone of a capacity similar to your own?

    The reason I am “so hung up on purpose” is because you stated early on, in contradiction to my assertion that pagans and atheists have a meaningless existence, and I have explained somewhat why that existence seems to lack meaning under your worldview. I would like to know on what basis you determine worth and meaning outside the transcendent?

    A human being can very well live their life promoting their own agenda in the absence of a transcendent purpose. In fact, logically, there is little reason for them to do anything other than that. After all, there is no transcendent moral authority to answer to (in this worldview) and thus no compelling reason to act in another person's interest–especially if that other person has something which might prove beneficial to you. If there is no transcendent moral authority, no transcendent moral code, then there is really no reason whatsoever to do anything kind for another person–unless, of course, there is something to be gained from that. They're only going to die sooner or later anyway, and the worms will eat them, so why bother doing anything good for them?

    You say ” the altruistic acts we do in life are the correct thing to do, whether it is purpose driven or not.” But why? Why are they the correct things to do? Logically, it seems counterproductive. You're wasting your time, effort and resources to do something for an animal that will sooner or later die and rot. Why bother?

    Animals go through life with no purpose at all; they just eat, deficate, reproduce according to instinct, and eventually die.

    Why should human beings, who are just another form of animal that's smarter and more crafty than the other animals, want or need any meaning or purpose, other than to meet their own material needs?

  13. Answer to your first question if someone with decreased mental capacity has less value than someone with a mental capacity of mine ? Value is not gradeable. I don't place a sliding scale on it and who am I to make such a judgement how MUCH value a persons life has. I don't think in those terms.

    Your next questioned on what basis do I determine value and worth? I don't determine anything to be absolute, but I do believe in liberty, fairness,kindness etc. and also that each person has value.Parents,society, religion, reason ALL have shaped my views. Remember, as a child you learned yes and no or if you will right and wrong before you had any concept of God, so the human can have morals ( or right or wrong beliefs) without any knowledge of God . The human brain allows us to feel physical pain, mental anguish, attraction to others and a myriad of feelings and thoughts. Why would the human brain not be able to feel or have such thoughts like we all have value? Why would it not ? We inherit certain things and some are taught us through a variey of sources(parents, society, religion, reason) that I mentioned above.How does anyone KNOW our brain can't do those things indepedent of a belief in some higher authority.You personally believe it can't , but you can't say you absolutely KNOW it is not possible

    As to your fourth paragraph, human beings have developed their own moral code throughout history. Sometime that code is detrimental to society, but most of the time it is not or we wouldn't still be here.

    Here is the deal. I do believe that for many, many years that the small groups of man which later became societies that learned to live in harmony and do things like protect each other and feed each other, survived over those who did not. Was the initial motive simply self survival and things like altruism and value had no meaning ? I don't know ,but could well have been. However through the ages, this self survival instinct and protectiveness morphed into things like love, compassion and recognizing things have value. Just like the one day old child morphs these qualities, mankind as a species has progressed to where it now has such altruism.Not all got it and some people don't share the common views of man. We hear of them all to often, but they are a minority. The religionist refers to them as people who have turned their back on God. As the brain increased in capability, one of the things it developed was a sense that it's fellow man has value. A building block if you will.A building block that may have started as an instinct for self-preservation, but has evolved other capabilities over the centuries, similiar to how a child learns values that are instilled to him over time.

    To the believer, It just seems inconceiveable that life would be so cruel that when its over-thats it.Well in a way that just tough, because when did the idea that just because we want something to be true, change the chances or percentages that it will happen the way we wanted it to

  14. But you told me several comments ago that you find meaning in doing things that “improve the life of mankind.” If meaning is found in doing this (whatever that means, and regardless of why that is a good thing to do in the first place), then it stands to reason that the ability to do more of it increases meaning or self-worth, and doing less of it means less meaning and less self-worth. So that inherent value, despite your reticence to acknowledge it, is inherent. (I wonder why you are loathe to recognize this logical conclusion of your own worldview? Could it be that you've inherited some conclusions from the Christian worldview?)

    In your worldview, there is no aesthetic reason for feeling pain. There can only be a practical, biological reason–the most obvious being that the ability to feel pain evolved to protect the organism from greater physical damage from a threat. That being the case, why should you care if another organism feels pain–there is no moral component involved; it is only this organism's evolved defense mechanism telling it to move away from the threat, nothing more.

    I understand that you believe that over time our brains morphed the ability to find value in another organism, but why? Why is that logical? Especially if that other organism is (a) just another organism that will live and die and rot, and (b) is likely to be consuming resources that you yourself could be using? Why does another human being have value under these circumstances? It is illogical to find value under these circumstances? It is also illogical that another human animal should have value greater than, say, a meat animal or a work animal–in fact, a man's horse should be more valuable than another human being to him.

    You seem to be struggling with a tangible reason for valuing human life. Yes, you can value human life…but WHY? In evolution, every change “upward” supposedly has a practical reason, yet there is no practical reason why another human being should be valued, and certainly no practical reason why they should be valued more than a work or meat animal, or even the microbes in your kitchen.

    Could it be that you've inherited some values from the Christian worldview, even though they have no logical place in your own worldview?

  15. Another thought occurred to me, and since the previous threat was getting narrow on the page, please allow me to start a new one.

    If meaning and worth comes from doing things that “improve the life of mankind,” then it would seem that certain animals have more worth than some human beings. After all, there are horses which can perform work, dogs that can guard or domains, etc….while there are some human beings that bring absolutely nothing to the picture except an effort to fill their own bellies.

    Logically, then, some animals have higher value than some humans, correct?

    This would logically also be true of infants and children. Infants and small children can do absolutely nothing to “improve the life of mankind.” They consume resources without giving anything back to humanity or even the parents that gave them life. They are a drain on their parent's money, resources, time and energy.

    Under the atheistic worldview, abortion really is logical, isn't it? I'm not kidding when I say that it makes perfect sense under that philosophy. It makes sense to spend $400 to remove an unpleasant and much more costly by-product of a moment's pleasure than to allow it to live.

    Understanding the atheistic worldview helps us understand why some in our culture are so hell-bent on making abortion as widely accessible as possible, doesn't it? After all, they're doing the most logical thing possible in their minds–removing a costly annoyance that does nothing to “improve the life of mankind.”

  16. I mentioned earlier that my(our) values are formed from many sources-parents,society etc. and religion. Since I was born in the US, if you want to say the Christian values influenced me, then I can accept that. But as I studied other religions and there value systems, I realized that the morals they espoused were just subsets of mans inherent morality. Religions used myth and morals and combined and codified them them into the various sects. Christianity is merely one of these man made codified Merely mans Bronze Age attempt to lay down a system of values at a time when he had no other explanation. We now have another explanation for the evolution of values and contrary to what you say, is very logical.I would think a belief in mans inherent value is at least as logical as a belief that a ghost,spirit or supernatural being bestowed these values on us.

    As to your first paragraph stating that it 'stands to reason' that the more one does for others would thus increase the doers-of-good self worth or meaning. There is no tally at the end of the day. If I do 678 selfless acts in my life and you do 987 selfless acts in yours, doesn't mean you have more meaning,worth or value.Whose doing this counting ? That idea, by you, I think must come from the Christian theology that some higher power is watching us and tallying up our sins versus our good acts.Your 'stands to reason' comment comes from your worldview that more good done means more meaning, because your maker 'wants' you to do more and be good and do right as much as you can. Nothing wrong with that either as a motivator.But to me, it doesn't 'stand to reason' that if I commit a few more or a few less selfless acts, that it affects how much meaning I have.That is Christian ideology.

    On your pain argument. Yes, the primitive nervous system started out as a system to help us avoid danger. But as we devolped brains that became larger and larger, this system became quite complexed and we developed the capacity for self awareness,anger, joy,sadness and compassion because all these things were beneficial to our survival and gave us an advantage over species that didn't develope them. To us humans, we longer look at pain as a simple neurologic reaction, but we have self-awareness and insight that someone is suffering.THE DRIVE TO HELP THEM IS NOW MORE THAN SIMPLY WANTING THEM BACK ON THEIR FEET SO THEY CAN HELP ME SURVIVE. THIS BYPRODUCT OF COMPASSION HAS EVOLVED AND SUPERCEDED THE ONCE PRMITIVE DRIVE MERELY TO HELP SOMEONE, BECAUSE IT WILL BENEFIT YOU. The elephant comes to the aid of its suffering members in pain without a moral system dictated to them. Surely man can do the same. The word 'morals' is simply a name man came up with to codify certain acts we perform. Just like crime and sin are simply words we came up with to descrbe the opposite.We pigeonhole certain thoughts and acts we do and give then names

    You ask 'Why is it logical to help another if they are going to simply rot after dying. Why value that person? ' Compassion is compassion whether an after life exists or not. The bottom line is that deep, deep down in all of of us, the main drive is to survive. Compassion, love etc has advanced to the forefront and now serves more than just a means to attain this survival. Much, much more which is why I help a little old lady across the street. What is illogical about this scenario—drive to survive>compassion to others helps insure survival>compassion broadens beyond survival needs to>love> caring for others>acts of kindness>little old lady=I feel value and meaning for her life.That is very tangible and logical.The basic concept of we do everything merely for survival no longer exists. From a human sitting on the earth ( just another name we gave something), It seems it is as logical that we have slowly progressed and developed characteristics, some of which we label morals, as it is logical for a spirit somewhere to have given them to us.

    Some even say our capacity for compassion and kindness has gone to far and that we even show it to others who are competing for our own resources or trying to harm us!!!!

    As to your last question, I would gladly accept many of the tenants of the Christian worldview and am sure I have been influenced by them. Bring on any good teaching tool. I just reject that a spirit gave them to me and feel whether or not there is an afterlife,is irrelevant to my believing humans have value. Excluding the supernatural and the afterlife, I can get the exact same moral teachings about value and meaning fron Confuscionism-another man made tangible, logical codification of values inherent to us all. Almost all of his system of beliefs are chalk full of morals and values. Ever wonder where he got his. It wasn't from the Christian world view.

  17. Let me try and simplify the long answer I gave you. I believe that the Golden Rule applies to Christianity and evolution. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you( which increase the odds they will reciprocate, thus furthering your chance of survival). The Christian will deny the last part, but I maintain it it so deeply buried, that they are unaware of it. Something as simple as treating your daughter to an ice cream cone exemplifies this. It makes her happy and reciprocally makes you happy and inspires so called altruistic behavior towards her and visa versa.Bonding improves survival.It extends way past snow cones But what is the foundation or basis of this morality if one doesn't believe in a higher power, you ask.My answer ” Morality has no foundation outside itself “

  18. Following up down below where there's more room.

  19. You said you've studied various religious systems, you've come to believe that they “were just subsets of mans inherent morality.” That's an interesting statement.

    Where do you suppose that “inherent morality” came from?

    Could it have been something imprinted on human beings by their maker? Obviously as so many humans have lost sight of and even rejected their maker, that “imprinted standard of morality” has become distorted and rewritten to some extent, but yet isn't it interesting that all human beings have–whether the consciously reject it or not–a basic recognition of some of the larger standards of right and wrong?

    What, in an atheistic, evolutionary worldview could account for the formation of an “inherent morality” in human beings? A morality that says murdering another human being or stealing from him is wrong…well, that seems rather counterproductive, especially in the survival-oriented mentality of evolution doctrine. A mechanism that would restrain one organism from killing another one or taking that other organism's property can run counter to survival. If another human has something you need, it would make perfect sense–under your worldview –to kill him and take it…or at the very least take it when he isn't looking or you can otherwise get away with it. As you mentioned in your last comment, there might be some situations where cooperation between human animals might be more advantageous than going it alone…but certainly not all by any stretch. In many cases, such foolish sentiments would be a liablility (examples: limited resources, a fellow human animal that can do nothing for you, e.g. a disabled human or an infant, etc.). Helping such a liability is counterproductive.

    Why would it possibly be wrong to kill an animal or take something you wanted or needed that the animal in particular had?

    Moving on, it wasn't me that implied good acts means greater meaning or worth–it was you, when I asked you why you believed under your worldview that your life has meaning. The Christian worldview actually teaches that good acts have no meaning or value, outside of their being done as an act of obedience to God. (Isaiah 64:6, 1 Corinthians 3:10-15, Matthew 7:21-23, Ephesians 2:8-9). But now you say it doesn't stand to reason that doing good for humanity is the source of meaning to an atheistic life. I'm confused.

    On the subject of pain, it is true that human beings have the awareness and insight that pain causes suffering. But why should it matter to us if they are in pain? Unless that other animal can do something useful for us–which many cannot–why should we care that it is suffering? It'll die and rot sooner or later anyway, so who cares if another human animal is in pain? What possible benefit to my survival can there be in helping alleviate the pain of another animal, when that animal can do nothing for me? What does my drive to survive have to do with the drive to survive of another animal? My survival would most likely be enhanced if the other human animal dies or is otherwise incapable of roaming about to consume resources that I could be consuming. It simply makes no sense to help another suffering human animal in your worldview.

    To switch back to my worldview, it is true that you will get some of the true transcendent moral teachings from Confucianism, since all human beings have been imprinted with the original sense of right and wrong. But you will not get all of the moral instruction you were intended to have, and some of what you get from Confucianism will fall short and even be contradicted by the world around us–and if something is contradicted, it can't be completely reliable.

    For instance, Confucianism teaches that a culture can be government by a sense of virtue rather than a system of laws. While it is true that an inner sense of virtue is absolutely necessary to any civilization (something we see eroding in our own American culture), nowhere in history do we see a culture that has been able to function in this manner. Thus, reality contradicts Confucianism.

    However, Christian doctrine teaches that our full and proper exercise of our imprinted sense of virtue has been corrupted by the original disobedience of humanity's parents (or “original sin”) and as a consequence we need laws and government to force compliance with what is right, when that inner sense of right and wrong fails or is ignored.

    In the end, I think you'll find that where every other belief system in the world is either incomplete, incoherent, self-contradictory, or contradicted by reality, Christianity–even in our limited human understanding–stands by far the most logical and uncontradicted belief system.

    Of course, it's difficult to let go of belief systems we have embraced in the past and view all belief systems with objectivity–especially a belief system that relieves one of loyalty to a transcendent moral code, and to a transcendent deity who establishes that code.

  20. I want to make clear that I don't think the 'morality of evolution' is superior to the morality of religion. I just think it can explain the behavior we witness by all people in the world today,that we humans call it morality. On your 7:03a.m.comment you mentioned that I might suggest that since children offer nothing to improve mankind, my view would be that they essentially have no or little meaning and that extends to the fetus so abortion is logical.. On the contrary, while they are a 'drain' at first, what they offer in the long run far outways the initial 'drain'. But personally I never felt one day of drain with mine.Occasioanl worry and aggravation, but no drain whatsoever. Your initial premise is wrong.To me abortion is a little different because some people really feel it is not a life that is ended. Some do it selfishly becasue they feel it will be a drain on them.Shame to them.

    Do some humans have more worth than others, because they do 'more good' than others. I again maintain I can't measure worth.That is Christian ideology that a superior being measures who does what and punishes or rewards by tallying up the sheet at lifes end.But even the Christian morality is relative. If you had to choose between your child getting a deadly illness or a child in Ghana getting it, as heartbreaking as it is, the odds are that you would choose health for your child. But Christian morality says we all have equal worth and meaning, so really you should flip a coin. My system says no coin needed. I will benefit( love, show compassion to ) my child and they will benefit( love, feel compassion ) for me , whereas the Ghanian child most likely will not, because I will most likely never come into contact with them..

    Now on to your last post where I said man has inherent morality( which by the way has gaps and is far from perfect) and religions are just codified subsets of mans inherent morality.You ask where does that inherent morality comes from. “It has no foundation or basis outside of itself.It is simply the behavior you are witnessing and have labeled morals”. It originates out of our strong desire to survive, but in and of itself, it has no foundation outside of itself. Morality today merely exists as we see it, because it helped us get to this current survival state. The religious person frequently says then that would lead to mayhem, murder etc., etc. but no where has it ever been found that the naturalist leads a less 'moral' life then the religious person. I hear anecdotes from both sides, but no proof.

    Confuscionism does idealistically say that a culture can be a government by a sense of virtue IF we all will act that way.How great that would be. If my morality system and yours just worked to perfection, could it not be possible? His premise is that we must be absolutely virtuous to achieve it and our systems fall way short of that.Yours fails because of original sin and mine falls because it never claims to due to its own crude method. Doesn't matter because both systems are failures as far as perfect virtue is concerned and other values as well

    Finally relieving myself of loyalty to a transcendental code of morals had nothing to do with my views. I wouldn't object to a transcendental set of moral laws in the least. I follow instructions well and it would save me the burden of having to think through all this myself. The problem I have with transcendental moral codes is the concept of the author who established these codes. Using my objectivity that you refferred to, led me to believe this author doesn't exist and it happened way before my grasp or knowledge of science.

  21. Bob I know you closed this thread down, but had to comment on your idea that in my system, man could value an animal as much as another human. No, because survival of the man and his species are man's number one drive. That means to proginate. Can't do that with an animal. It's crude but you can proginate and eat a fellow man, but can only eat the animal. Value goes to man in pure evolution.

    Also, belief in the supernatural actually has help man evolve. It increaes man's bonding and holds societies together which furthers the chance of survival. Doesn't mean the supernatural belief is true, but it does advance a tribal 'togetherness' which improves survival chances. For that I thank religion. It has helped insure my families existence. It's called the Evolutionary Basis for Religion.

  22. Actually I haven't closed it down yet; I hope to get back to your last longer comment, but I've been veeery busy today. I'm working on an embryonic stem cells piece based on an interview with and presentation from a stem cell authority earlier today.

    To respond briefly here before I get back to that piece, I would encourage you to ask yourself why survival of the species should be such a personal imperative. Frankly, if you ask me, my basic instinct doesn't give a rip what happens to the rest of the species as long as I survive. You're attributing altruistic rationale to an animal. What's more, you're attributing an altruistic rationale to an animal born of a random, temporal existence. In that kind of world, I can't fathom the slightest reason why one human animal should care whether the rest of the species continues or not, so long as I can keep myself alive.

    It's really very difficult (if not impossible) to escape the altruism found in God's standard of ethics, isn't it? Even when one rejects the existence of that God and his standards.

    But there's simply no logical reason for it in the naturalistic worldview.

  23. Bob I know you closed this thread down, but had to comment on your idea that in my system, man could value an animal as much as another human. No, because survival of the man and his species are man's number one drive. That means to proginate. Can't do that with an animal. It's crude but you can proginate and eat a fellow man, but can only eat the animal. Value goes to man in pure evolution.

    Also, belief in the supernatural actually has help man evolve. It increaes man's bonding and holds societies together which furthers the chance of survival. Doesn't mean the supernatural belief is true, but it does advance a tribal 'togetherness' which improves survival chances. For that I thank religion. It has helped insure my families existence. It's called the Evolutionary Basis for Religion.

  24. Actually I haven't closed it down yet; I hope to get back to your last longer comment, but I've been veeery busy today. I'm working on an embryonic stem cells piece based on an interview with and presentation from a stem cell authority earlier today.

    To respond briefly here before I get back to that piece, I would encourage you to ask yourself why survival of the species should be such a personal imperative. Frankly, if you ask me, my basic instinct doesn't give a rip what happens to the rest of the species as long as I survive. You're attributing altruistic rationale to an animal. What's more, you're attributing an altruistic rationale to an animal born of a random, temporal existence. In that kind of world, I can't fathom the slightest reason why one human animal should care whether the rest of the species continues or not, so long as I can keep myself alive.

    It's really very difficult (if not impossible) to escape the altruism found in God's standard of ethics, isn't it? Even when one rejects the existence of that God and his standards.

    But there's simply no logical reason for it in the naturalistic worldview.