Welcome Greg to the Forum


(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #303

I define my own morals, ethics, and values using a combination of my own
reasoning, the laws of the locality that I live in, and the cultural family values that I live with now.

Sure, I would like to have lunch with you. Anytime you are near Central New Jersey let me know and we can arrange to meet for lunch. Note that atheists always buy. :grinning:

Biblical ethics are atrocious. I am a father of two sons, if anyone asked me to willing give up one of my innocent sons to be executed for the crimes of humanity past, present, and future, I would tell then to f*** off and would fight for my sons ferociously.


(Greg) #304

You have gotten Christian theology quite wrong. If one is a mormon or a jehovas witness, or a secular humanist and they did not believe the countless references in scripture written by men who were willing to die upon the premise that they saw Jesus Christ alive who declared with authority the relatively bafflling idea that Jesus is both a distinct Person of a unified, whole and singlular God AND ONE WITH GOD AT THE SAME TIME, one would be quite right that this has the appearance of holy child abuse. But since Jesus IS who He gently insinuated Himself to be, both a Son to His Father and the same time One with the Father, this makes your suggestion impossible. We are relational people because we were created by a singular God who is relational in Himself in the form of three distinct persons I believe we were created in His image as relational.

Of course this is psychobabble to you. I completely understand. But please consider how we have both developed our ethics: You on yoyr feelings. And for me, I build it upon a Person who declared the sanctitity of holy scripture in the OT including the 10 commandments, oddly claimed to be one with God, did many miracles, called out the mainstream religionists of His day because they were exploiting God for profit and acclaim, AND foretold that He would be raised to life from the dead which history shows us really really seemed to have occurred, (im taking a breath) then who is really playing more psychological games. I know that you are different, so for me alone as my personal testimony, if I believe that if I did not have a true solid reference point embedded in an ultimate authority which helps me understand how to deal with the entropy problem we discussed that helps me to reason a body of ethics and purpose from which i anchor my soul, i would be utterly ruined with depression. I know you are different so dont try to charge me with a hate crime.

I would seriously look you up if im ever in Jersey. My wife have discussed the idea of trips to places like NY, and if we make it there, id seriously entertain looking you up thru this site for a free lunch. I used to work for an insurance company and serviced agents in jersey. I loved how folks fr jersey are no nonsense and full of vibrance.

Good day


(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #305

If the textbook was approved by each State’s Department of Education for use in the public schools it does NOT make any non neutral religious claims. If you believe that there are non neutral religious claims in the textbook or the curriculum, you can file a complaint or lawsuit against the State Department of Education. Good luck getting standing.


(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #306

Your faith is important to you. It gives you purpose and meaning. My non-faith is very important to me because I know that I am free to set my own purpose and meaning to my life. I enjoy life and am living with a strong purpose and meaning to make my life enjoyable, improve the lives of my children and grandchildren and perhaps make the world a little better in the future when I am gone.

Sure, really close to NYC. Anytime you are in New Jersey, look me up. I am at exit 116. :grinning:


(Greg) #307

Got it friend. In the meantime, between now and the next exchange im sure we will have in this venue, as a no nonesense Jersey guy like yourself, think about how the judeo Christian ethic prominent in this country has possibly emplanted in your mind an ethic that helps to define “better” in your goal to make this an even “better” place. In the OT the Jewish nation was commanded to war against the canaanites who DID Slaughter children to appease their idea of truth in some form of god. War is a terrible thing i understand. We have to serious grapple with the meaning of ethics in order to prevent warring against one another…a lot of which seems to be occurring even in the words from me, you and others through this website…called “peaceful” nonetheless.


(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #308

I grow up Catholic. I am so applauded at the institution of the Catholic Church over the global child abuse cover up that I want to see the institution disbanded. I also watched in horror the events of 911 where religion played a key role in the events. I am of the opinion that religion is the cause of many if not most of the world’s problem. It is time for all of us to embrace human reasoning and human empathy to work together to solve our problems in living in a modern secular scientific society.


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #309

12 posts were split to a new topic: Eric Holloway: Honest Questions on Information Theory


(Greg) #319

My aunt, uncle and their boys are roman catholics and attended a church in Pittsburgh. My cousin were both alter boys and i have often wondered if there were problems. Why the catholic church thought it wise not to let priests marry is mysterious when the Bible encourages marriage. That sure would have lessened the number of odd balls from filling out a priest application. Just sayin’

I really dont think religion is the problem Patrick. Believe me when i say as a father myself, i would stand with you also extremely incensed and appauled at church leaders using their position to exploit children. Any form of abuse of children and women causes the hairs to stick up on the back of my neck in anger. If one of my kids or wife were abused by someone, my fear that if the guy was caught and i had access to him, id want to do him harm. But i would have to let that go and give reigns to our judicial system. But i just dont think the problem is “religion” whatever that means. Much evil done out from humanists l/ secularists too in this last century.

As far as child abuse, this is what Scripture has to say: mark 9: 42 “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea."


(Daniel Ang) #320

Well Greg, on this forum you will encounter some people who believe evolution but read the Bible, and are orthodox in theology. I believe in evolution, and I certainly believe in a personal God. Wouldn’t that make you want to learn more about us?

I don’t know where you’re getting these beliefs about Josh from, Greg. I’ve followed the conversation here and I don’t find Josh making any such statement. In fact, he seems to believe in a historical Adam like you do. He just affirms that the core of the Gospel is not Adam, but Jesus. I agree with him in that. That doesn’t make Adam unimportant - only that it’s not central to the Christian faith. Similar to how you believe that YEC is not central to Christian faith.

It doesn’t mean anything that evolution seems inconceivable for you, Greg. The Gospel is inconceivable for a lot of people. So is the Trinity. That doesn’t make it wrong. I believe in evolution, big bang cosmology, like I believe in the Trinity, Jesus’ resurrection, His atonement for our sins, and the idea that an all-powerful God loves and cares for us. You should try to stretch your imagination more. I certainly have to do that all the time in my training to become a scientist. It made me develop in ways that I couldn’t predict.

I’ve been a theistic evolutionist for a decade now. Still interested in God, in fact, I am more interested in Him than I have ever been before.


(Greg) #321

I also believe in evolution. How could i not? We see signs of evolution everywhere in the fossil record and we see how it is capable when we observe the genetic make up of, for example a dog. Within a dog, there are an incredible array of options for their ability to adapt (evolve) into the environment that God created and placed them within. This is a sensible and valid option in even this modern age as an explanation of the existence of complex life, it fits better in relation to the Genesis account, and AVOIDS ALL Christian THEOLOGICAL PITFALLS including God using luck, selection, basis for racism all the rest. Your admitted philosophical ideal of science which HAS to determine naturalistic causes about our historical past and that, to me, is really sad. And it indicates a faith the is more strongly tied to WHAT YOU, A MERE MAN CAN DETERMINE through the lense of this philosophical view of science instead of biblical forms of faith that are typically grounded upon what God can do.

As far as your faith, if you tell me that one day you chose to repent of your sins and turned to Jesus Christ for forgiveness and now as you have grown as a believer for it sounds like at least 10 years, you are more in love with the Jesus described exclusively in Scripture than years ago, then i will gladly call you brother! This does not mean that you are a Christian however. That is Gods business as only He knows our hearts. So as a bystander when i see a person like yourself who admits that he is tied to a philosophical worldview much more in line with a materialist brand and much less tied to a God of miracles in nature type which definitively are more akin to ID , then I as a Christian who loves all people and wants them to come into saving knowledge of Christ that seems eager to tether itself to Scriptural truth and principle would want to, again in love, call this to their attention. We are saved by grace. And Scripture commands all believers to examine their lives, using Scripture as the standard to see if they are truly recreated with life out from being dead in sin by the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.

You will have to ask Josh for the link in relation to the gospel i mention. The entirety of that peaceful science link sounded very similar to a certain theologian i will not name who was one of Biologos head spokesman. His theological communications sound smartly worded, but are quite off and away from the simplicity of the actual gospel that offers a free gift of a relationship with the very God described in the Bible from the very first chapter of Genesis to the last chapter in Rev.

God is completely disinterested in “smart” God is enthusiastic when we are wise and wisdom personified in Proverbs ch 8 says that “she” hates evil found in pride, arrogance and perverted speech. If you read this chapter, you will notice a thread of wisdom that finds a focus on God as Creator, not God the small little needy chap relying on the futility of luck or the evil in selection in His creative purposes.


(Daniel Ang) #322

Well Greg, it’s written in the Bible that God can and does use randomness for His purposes.

Aaron shall cast lots for the two goats, one lot for the Lord and the other lot for the scapegoat.
(Leviticus 16:8)

And Joshua cast lots for them in Shiloh before the LORD, and there Joshua divided the land to the sons of Israel according to their divisions.
(Joshua 18:8)

They divided them impartially by casting lots, for there were officials of the sanctuary and officials of God among the descendants of both Eleazar and Ithamar.
(1 Chronicles 24:5)

The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD.
(Proverbs 16:33)

Each man said to his mate, "Come, let us cast lots so we may learn on whose account this calamity has struck us " So they cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah.
(Jonah 1:7)

Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles.
(Acts 1:26)

And you’re saying that this is not part of Christian theology? :face_with_raised_eyebrow:


(Eric Michael Holloway) #323

Not disagreeing that God uses luck, but I think these particular verses support the opposite idea. They used lots because they thought God governed the outcome.


(Eric Michael Holloway) #324

Unfortunately, this was the calling card of many of the most horrific events of the past several centuries.


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #325

Well we think God governs the outcome too. We insist that there is no mathematical way to detect God’s governance. You however insist that there is a way to detect His governance.


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #326

@Patrick, Eric is kinda right here. Take note. @EricMH and I agree, and that isn’t happening reliably on this forum.


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #327

18 posts were split to a new topic: “God Exists!” Written in the Stars


(Greg) #328

Ok. Tough to try to make sense of this because God is God and we are just people. The casting lots issue: If God called for casting lots for a decision, then He would ultimately choose the outcome by direct intervention. God is in control.

On the other hand, proposing a method of 100% chance mutation that has to be in perfect sequence with other chance mutations in a changing environment nonetheless which suggests that the proceeding mutation that was beneficial in one moment may be highly non beneficial down the road thus adding to the conundrum is highly irrational. So unless you propose to me a model that suggests that God directly intervenes in this selection of a mutation like He would do in the casting of lots example, you are defining a God a far cry from the One I see in the Bible. I actually have not studied the casting lots scenarios you mention so need to brush up my studies. But i can declare w certainty that if God says cast lots for a decision, He would ultimately cause the outcome of His choice.

I am a Christian who sees God’s sovereinty all over the pages of Scripture including our salvation and our sanctification. To define God in a light where you suggest that He is in control but subjects Himself to a rule of literal luck in His creative purposes is preposterous. And judging by all of the statistical analysis of the necessity of time for successful selection of a BENEFICIAL mutation, this is exactly what you are proposing. And again, the Bible reveals a God outside of nature looking in and speaking His terms into existence, not God’s essence embodying nature type of thing.

I found some termite activity in one of my rentals where they devoured some wood. I thought to myself, what kept termites from evolving to be able to attack LIVE TREES everywhere? They sure would be more successful in finding homes and food supply. And trees are not smart. If the insect did this, the trees could not evolve fast enough nor have a mind to make a decision necessary to thwart the onslaught which would probably destroy the planet -especially if we are talking millions of years of chance luck. Millions of years of chance luck, i see much more things like this going wrong than going right. Which means that perhaps JUST LIKE GOD IS EVER PURPOSELY ACTING within our lives as Christians causing specific circumstances for our betterment, giving us power and thinking through the Holy Spirit, and giving joy in obedience- just like this perhaps God is also very hands on in nature. This may not be detectable via science but neither is Gods non fluid action
detectable and for this, for us to propose a chance mutation/selection method by which we declare God does things via luck may be the insult of all insults. Remember that Genesis suggests that God miraculously creates kinds and male and female. This reveals God as the one who may be managing the termites not letting chance luck have its way that i could imagine a train wreck. Why would a Christian scientist go towards accusing God of using blind luck and randomness in His creative purposes? Random and God are so opposing. Random God. That may be the very semantic for a brand new religion.


(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #329



(Daniel Ang) #330

Let me quote again Proverbs 16:33:
“The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD.”

It doesn’t say anything about “direct intervention”, Greg. Nor does it only refer to specific instances of casting lots. In the case of Jonah, God didn’t call anyone to cast lots. The sailors just did so - see Jonah 1:7. Let’s take a step back from evolution for a moment. It’s very clear to me that the Bible teaches the Lord governs the decision when casting lots every time, including if I roll some dice in my hand right now! Do you not believe this?

They are not opposing, Greg. The Bible teaches it - that even what we think as random (casting lots) is actually governed by God. I’ve quoted all the verses to you already Greg. Do you want to follow the Bible, or your own thinking?


(Greg) #331

Ha. I have a friend who sort of leans a bit hyper calvinist. This discourse gives profound Biblical insights so thankyou for letting me address. This reasoning you stress all for the sake of providing proof that the manmade idea of materialistic evolution is true is so contrary to Scriptural principle. If you want to go this direction, let us see what this sovereign God is like in a PERSON’S re- creation or rebirth by Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. We know that God ultimately chooses those who are His. He also knew the result of every coin toss that has every been flipped. But to understand the character of God, what are the methodologies if you will by which God brings a person into saving faith? The Bible clearly shows God’s involvement, planning, orchestrating the details. He does not let the person drift along subject to luck…He sent His Son, choosing the perfect time in human history to do so. He brings His ambassadors into the scene to counsel, share the gospel. He would create the very best timing upon which this interaction would occur. He would open th persons heart and remove the scales from their eyes to be able to see, feel, and taste the irresistable nature of His grace and love and need for forgiveness. God had pre ordained the person to be His child, but was still involved in the details to bring them there. Why? Because thats His nature. He is a planner, designer, worker, implementer, creator and not a gambler. And we were made in His image. The verse “A lazy mans roof leaks.” Men who sit in their easy chair hoping that luck will achieve plugging the leak are fools. You are suggesting that God is the same and you are getting into blasphemous territory.

Here’s what i think is going on here: you have pre:adopted an evolutionary worldview of randomness that has been indoctrinated into your mind from grade school until grad school and it seems right. There is a verse in the same chapter of proverbs you showed me that deals with this. From this, you are trying to fit God into a sort of metaphysical box where God is in control in a way that His essence is vibed into everything that occurs on this planet and that is not the God I see in Scripture. God, again, resides outside of nature and is a God involved in details by His speaking these, not vibing them as his new age energy is vibed while embodying nature.

This quote i found via online search engine from respectable Ligonier ministries:
"Theological controversy did not end at the Council of Nicea, and in the following centuries the church had to deal with errors regarding the humanity of Christ, the authority of Scripture, justification, and others. Despite the various positions taken on these issues, however, most theologians still insisted on the transcendence of God. That all changed in the nineteenth century.

Our Creator’s transcendence is affirmed throughout Scripture and is reflected in today’s passage. When we say God is transcendent, we mean that He is separate from His creation and not dependent on the created order in any way. The Almighty made the universe and He is therefore its sovereign ruler ([Gen. 1:1]). A biblical view of transcendence does not mean that God is unable to enter into His creation or communicate with it. He is also immanent, present within the universe that He has made Nevertheless, creation is not God (pantheism), nor does God depend upon it. Creation, instead, depends upon our Creator for its continual existence ([Eph. 4:4–6]