Reality — Love It or Leave It

You know what happens when there’s no news of The Controversy between evolution and creationism. Your Curmudgeon goes dumpster-diving. We found a website that calls itself Christian Answers, and describes itself as “a mega-site freely providing biblical answers to contemporary questions.” Among their many team members are Answers in Genesis (ol’ Hambo’s creationist ministry) and Living Waters (that’s Ray Comfort).

This is the article that caught our attention: What if the cosmos is all that there is? Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

Are you a materialist? Materialism (the philosophy) suggests that “physical matter is the only reality, and that everything-including thought, feeling, mind, and will, can all be explained in terms of matter and physical phenomena.” Or perhaps you prefer the term naturalist. You believe that all can be explained in terms of natural causes and laws. Nothing has moral, spiritual, or supernatural significance.

They quote Carl Sagan:

The cosmos is all there is, or was, or ever will be.

Then they quote some other materialists, for example:

Richard Dawkins in The Blind Watchmaker: “Natural selection is the blind watchmaker, blind because it does not see ahead, does not plan consequences, has no purpose in view. Yet the living results of natural selection overwhelmingly impress us with the appearance of design as if by a mater watchmaker, impress us with the illusion of design and planning.”

We think of Dawkins’ blind watchmaker as we do Adam Smith’s invisible hand, which likewise impresses us with the illusion of design and planning.

After a few of those ghastly materialistic quotes they ask:

What if all this is true? What if the cosmos and the chemicals and the particles really are all that there is, and all that we are?

Frightening prospect, isn’t it? But fear not, because then they give us some quotes from the good guys — including Phillip E. Johnson, founding father of the Discovery Institute. In something called Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds he said:

Eventually materialist philosophy undermines the reliability of the mind itself-and hence even the basis for science. The true foundation of rationality is not found in particles and impersonal laws, but in the mind of the Creator who formed us in His image.

After a few of those heart-warming quotes, they present a challenge:

If you are an atheist, a materialist, a pantheist, or a naturalist, try to answer the following 11 questions:

No, we won’t give you all of those questions — just a few — for example:

3. Suppose the universe had never existed. Apart form God, what ultimate difference would that make?

4. In a universe without God or immortality, how is mankind ultimately different from a swarm of mosquitoes or a barnyard of pigs?

6. Why does research, discovery, diplomacy, art, music, sacrifice, compassion, feelings of love, or affectionate and caring relationships mean anything if it all ultimately comes to naught anyway?

11. Without a personal Creator-God, how are you anything other than the coincidental, purposeless miscarriage of nature, spinning round and round on a lonely planet in the blackness of space for just a little while before you and all memory of your futile, pointless, meaningless life finally blinks out forever in the endless darkness?

And that’s the end of the article. There’s much to think about here, dear reader — if you have the courage.

Copyright © 2017. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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14 responses to “Reality — Love It or Leave It

  1. Michael Fugate

    You can also find at that amazing site the answer to: “I’M UGLY. Why was God so unfair to me this way?”

  2. The curious thing is that they ask these questions as if they think they’re some sort of a gotcha, athiests!, but have no real answers of their own beyond their wishful thinking. Theists aren’t particularly given to introspection, or they’d notice this.

  3. Ah, those lonely creationists who must have a creator/god to sooth their illogic. This materialist is perfectly happy live a life governed by electrons, atoms, and molecules doing their random things. Life is a great ride, no designer/driver needed.

  4. I usually don’t respond –but, I’ll say a word or two.
    #3: ??? Zillions of universes never existed – every universe that has never existed, never existed – so what? God or no God – this is a silly ass question. Suppose you never existed?
    #4: We are smarter than the mosquitoes and most of the pigs.
    #6: Recently I opened the door for a person I didn’t know – that brief exchange of “thank you” and “you’re welcome” is complete. Millions of years from now – won’t mean much, but for now that’s all we both needed. I didn’t need a reward in heaven to do that, or forever punishment in hell if I didn’t.
    #11: Same question as number 6 – Life is never futile, pointless or meaningless. It is what we make it. Every small step that mankind has ever made to make life better was made by some person who did what the greatest woman in the bible did. We only know her as Lot’s wife. She simply said, “I want to see”.

  5. “We think of Dawkins’ blind watchmaker as we do Adam Smith’s invisible hand”
    And just like natural selection doesn’t lead to optimal results, so …..
    Analogies are funny things.

    1. Life is not meaningless to me nor to my loved ones.
    2. Whether we completely pass out of existence or not at the end, earthly life doesn’t have any ultimate meaning.
    3. That the universe never has existed.
    4. Ultimately there is no difference. The difference is in the non-ultimate.
    5. Exactly that sophisticated, programmed machine. Aka DIY.
    6. They have non-ultimate meaning.
    7. There is only non-ultimate difference (and in case of these two examples that non-ultimate difference is not big anyway).
    8. If there is immortality, why shouldn’t all thing be permitted?
    9. That social construct.
    10. See 5.
    11. I am not anything other than that and exactly that makes that my materialism beats christianity even on its strongest point: humility.

    These questions always are so darn easy. Perhaps that’s why the blogpost doesn’t have a comment section or I would have posted it there.

  6. “What if the cosmos is all that there is”?
    This apparently is an incredibly frightening question for the creationists at
    Christian Answers to ponder, so much so that they’ve invented an entire system of magical events and magical beings to calm their fears. Nice

  7. jimroberts

    Charles: “#4: We are smarter than the mosquitoes and most of the pigs.”
    “We are smarter than the mosquitoes and most of us are smarter than most of the pigs.”
    Not, it seems, all of us. Pigs are pretty smart, especially wild pigs (domesticated animals don’t need to be smart).

  8. I stand corrected. Got to go…time for supper…having pork roast. Take care.

  9. I stand corrected…time to go now…time for supper…having pork chops.

  10. jimroberts

    Opting to provide us with pork chops was a really smart move by pigs. The animals that feed us, or work for us, or simply contrive to please us (cats), are by far far the most successful on the planet. Consider the domestic chicken, by far the most successful dinosaur ever.

  11. Ross Cameron

    One thing you will never get a creo to debate because it`s never covered in their guide book is the greatest living range of entities without which no creature can exist is——–bacteria

  12. I wrote a longish answer to #11 (too long to copy here) so if you are interested, look here: https://stephenpruis.wordpress.com/2017/04/09/inquiring-theists-want-to-know/

  13. @ Steve Ruis: Nicely done; a well written riposte!

  14. Steve, you’re good…good solid thinking.