Tuesday, January 04, 2005

end of the world

What ever happened to all those THE END OF THE WORLD IS COMING people? Wasn't the world going to end in 2000, for some reason? It didn't. Still waiting. It's now 5 years later people. Has that belief been falisified enough yet? Probably not.

The tsumani does not indicate to me that the world might end. The tsumani seems like something impossible, no matter how many times I see the videos. It seems like something Hollywood would do. It seems like something WAY OUT THERE, like it happened on Pluto. Not that it did, obviously. It happened just across the sea, which makes it in the same neighborhood if you consider globalization. I've given some cash to make me feel better about myself. And you could too.

I just don't think the world will end at all. And if it does, then I would be dead. Right? Why worry about something that you won't be around for?

Don't worry. Unless you smoke.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doc NOS,

Sorry once again for the anonymous post. This is Stephen Baker writing. I came across the following article today and thought it addressed some of your thoughts in this post and in a previous post titled "There is no god." Again, I am interested in your interaction.

Warmly,
Stephen Baker

Tsunami and Repentance
January 5, 2005
By John Piper

From pulpits to news programs, from the New York Times to the Wall Street Journal, the message of the tsunami was missed. It is a double grief when lives are lost and lessons are not learned. Every deadly calamity is a merciful call from God for the living to repent. “Weep with those who weep,” the Bible says. Yes, but let us also weep for our own rebellion against the living God. Lesson one: weep for the dead. Lesson two: weep for yourselves.

Every deadly calamity is a merciful call from God for the living to repent. That was Jesus’ stunning statement to those who brought him news of calamity. The tower of Siloam had fallen, and 18 people were crushed. What about this, Jesus? they asked. He answered, “Do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:4-5).

The point of every deadly calamity is this: Repent. Let our hearts be broken that God means so little to us. Grieve that he is a whipping boy to be blamed for pain, but not praised for pleasure. Lament that he makes headlines only when man mocks his power, but no headlines for ten thousand days of wrath withheld. Let us rend our hearts that we love life more than we love Jesus Christ. Let us cast ourselves on the mercy of our Maker. He offers it through the death and resurrection of his Son.

This is the point of all pleasure and all pain. Pleasure says: “God is like this, only better; don’t make an idol out of me. I only point.” Pain says: “What sin deserves is like this, only worse; don’t take offense at me. I am a merciful warning.”

But the topless sunbathers amid the tsunami aftermath in Phuket, Thailand did not get the message. Neither did the man who barely escaped the mighty wave with the help of a jungle gym and palm-leaf roof. He concluded, “I am left with an immense respect for the power of nature.” He missed it. The point is: reverence for the Creator, not respect for creation.

Writing in the New York Times, David Brooks rightly scorns the celebration of nature’s might: “When Thoreau [celebrates] savage wildness of nature, he sounds, this week, like a boy who has seen a war movie and thinks he has experienced the glory of combat.” But Brooks sees no message in the calamity: “This is a moment to feel deeply bad, for the dead and for those of us who have no explanation.”

David Hart, writing in the Wall Street Journal, goes beyond Brooks and pronounces: “No Christian is licensed to utter odious banalities about God’s inscrutable counsels or blasphemous suggestions that all this mysteriously serves God’s good ends.”

These responses are foreseen in Scripture: “I killed your young men with the sword . . . yet you did not return to me, declares the Lord” (Amos 4:10). “They cursed the name of God who had power over these plagues. They did not repent and give him glory” (Revelation 16:9).

Contrary to Hart’s pronouncement, the Christian Scriptures do indeed license us to speak of God’s “inscrutable counsels” and how he works in all things for mysterious good ends. To call this banal and blasphemous is like a bird calling the wind under its wing wicked.

Jesus said that the minutest event in nature is under the control of God. “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father” (Matthew 10:29). He said this to give hope to those who would be killed for his name.

He himself stood on the sea and stopped the waves with a single word (Mark 4:39). Even if Nature or Satan unleashed the deadly tidal wave, one word from Jesus would have stopped it. He did not speak it. This means there is design in this suffering. And all his designs are wise and just and good.

One of his designs is my repentance. Therefore I will not put God on trial. That is my place. And only because of Christ will the waves that one day carry me away bring me safely to his side. Come. Repentance is good place to be.

12:10 PM  
Blogger Doc NOS said...

This guy Piper is an idiot.

"This means there is design in this suffering. And all his designs are wise and just and good."

Well guess what Piper, your God killed upwards of 100,000. Many of them were little kids. Piper's attempts to lay the blame on topless women are perhaps telling (closet gay or just hates all women because his mom didn't hug him enough), but they are disgusting. This sort of thing makes me want to vomit, as it should you. It's rationalization at the expense of common sense.

However, I do see it as the logical step, which I did mention in my post: one possiblity is that God hates these people. But let me ask you a question, how far will you go to defend your god - what if God were to give Piper cancer? How small does god have to get, or how evil does god have to get for you to stop your useless prayers?

Or what possible evidence would make you change your belief? If none, then just admit you have an unfalsifiable belief just like any other psychotic.

Here's another: how many other beliefs would you kill so that you can maintain your belief in god? Would you disbelieve ALL your other beliefs to maintain your belief in God? Turn good into bad, bad into good? Throw out logic?

Sometimes 2 + 2 is 4. You're looking at the data and getting coffee - it's not even close.

Well, it's probably useless to argue with you. It always is. Even with psychotics. They really believe that the TV is talking about them. You can't convince them otherwise. Just doesn't work.

There's no reason to expect reason.

3:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doc,

Stephen Baker again.

You write, "Well, it's probably useless to argue with you. It always is. Even with psychotics. They really believe that the TV is talking about them. You can't convince them otherwise. Just doesn't work. There's no reason to expect reason."

Of course, the problem with those words is that you are the one abandoning reason. Ad hominem arguments are the refuge of those who cannot argue reasonably. So , with one brush of your hand, all who disagree with you are "idiots," "closet gays," "woman haters," and "psychotics." Wow. Your powers of reasoning are astounding! The whole world falls before the airtight cogency of your response: "I am a genius. Everyone who disagrees with me is an idiot."

Now, to address the real issues with some actual reason:

First, John Piper, of course, does not "lay the blame on topless women." That you would even claim this shows a complete lack of honesty or perhaps a lack of reading comprehension skills. His point was that the glib sunbathers had totally missed the significance of what had happened.

Second, John Piper has reasonably embraced the God of the Bible even in the face of suffering. His mother died in a car accident when he was a young man. Did that cause him to abandon the God in whom he had trusted? No.

Third, in this post you imply what you explicitly state in another post: "There is no god." This is a universal statement. To make a universal statement you either have to possess all knowledge or have access to one who does. In other words, to make the absolute claim that there is no God is to claim to be God (or to have access to the God who has universal knowledge). Both options are, naturally, self defeating and utterly unreasonable.

Fourth, I am continually amazed at your insistence in making moral judgments when you have absolutely no basis for doing so. If there is no God who stands for absolute designations for good and evil, then why is it wrong to kill 100,000 people? Why is it wrong for God to "hate all these people"? How can you possibly protest anyone turning bad into good and good into bad when you have no authoritative definition for goodness and badness? It is striking that you are borrowing Christian notions in order to deny Christianity. You are like a man vigorously arguing against the existence of oxygen, proving it with every word you speak. Again, this is self-defeating and illogical.

No, Doc. It is not Dr. Piper or I who have thrown out logic. Nor is it we who have called evil good and good evil. You are the one who is spoken of in the words of the ancient prophet, Isaiah: "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and shrewd in their own sight!" (Isaiah 5:20-21).

But I do not stand above you! Apart from the rescuing grace of Jesus Christ, I would be the proper subject of these woes. I am a sinner. I have rebelled against the King of Heaven who made me. But he has offered terms of peace, signed in the blood of his own Son. Those terms are there for you, as well.

Now, if you are at all interested in speaking reasonably, I would be more than happy to address your questions about the "problem of evil." But let's put ad hominem aside and reason together.

Warmly,
Stephen Baker

9:57 AM  
Blogger Doc NOS said...

"Third, in this post you imply what you explicitly state in another post: "There is no god." This is a universal statement. To make a universal statement you either have to possess all knowledge or have access to one who does. In other words, to make the absolute claim that there is no God is to claim to be God (or to have access to the God who has universal knowledge). Both options are, naturally, self defeating and utterly unreasonable."

Nice try. But it does not follow that you have to be God to deny the existence of god. You don't have to be a god to deny the existence of flying earthworms. You don't have to be a flying earthworm either.

Instead, you have the burden of proof to show that there is such a thing as god. Because that's how evidence works. We may posit things that exist in the universe, but we ought to have some evidence of them before we believe in them. Since there is no evidence of God, and there are some contradictions between God and the world we observe (problem of evil), it makes more sense to treat god with skepticism at best.


"Fourth, I am continually amazed at your insistence in making moral judgments when you have absolutely no basis for doing so. If there is no God who stands for absolute designations for good and evil, then why is it wrong to kill 100,000 people? Why is it wrong for God to "hate all these people"? How can you possibly protest anyone turning bad into good and good into bad when you have no authoritative definition for goodness and badness? It is striking that you are borrowing Christian notions in order to deny Christianity. You are like a man vigorously arguing against the existence of oxygen, proving it with every word you speak. Again, this is self-defeating and illogical."

Way off. Just because I do not believe in god, does not entail a lack of belief in ethics. In fact, I think that ethics must be man made, or it loses all meaning.

Look at Plato's Euthyphro dialogue and it's modern form:

http://www.philosophyofreligion.info/euthyphrodilemma.html

You have much more of a problem with defining what good and evil are, and how they fit in with a belief in God than I do.

Without god, morality becomes a man made construct (like math, but softer and not absolute). One that I buy into because of indoctrination, which I accept. My acts and thoughts follow. Thus the statement: "John is a good person" may be true or false based on certain evidence that we could argue about. But it is not meaningless. Good and evil have meaning within the construct we call ethics and which we share.

That, in a nutshell, is ethics, which I would say is actually only possible without god.

Anyway, your god just killed over 100,000 people. That is generally considered an evil thing to do. Oh yeah, he also kills 300,000 a month of malaria and diarrhea. How does that fit into your world view? Perhaps God is sending you a message: killing is OK.

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