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03/09/19 12:00 AM #4964    

 

Jeanine Eilers (Decker)

Tim—Great question...and worthy of much thought.  Let me know what you find as you meander down that path.


03/09/19 12:01 AM #4965    

 

Jeanine Eilers (Decker)

Tim—and greetings from Sydney.


03/09/19 12:17 AM #4966    

 

David Mitchell

Tim,

Great question!  I don't have a very good answer for you - honestly. But as one who believes in Creation, I'd say yes. I'm one of those crazy fools who believes in the "great deceiver" and the fall of man. But I often get into trouble when I ask, "Who was the other first couple ?  I mean llke, if Adam and Eve only had three sons. Where did the rest of the human race come from? Someboay else must have had at least one daughter. Or am I missing something here?"  Probably not the most endearing question to ask a bunch of evangelical (especially literalist) friends.

Oh, and you should be in the room when I say I believe in evolution - oh boy!  You talk about fun? 

(BTW - I get in all kinds of trouble with my "literalist" friends when I tell them I beleive in the "Big Bang" theory. But then I always add that I think it was the cleverest thing God ever thought up. I just saw on USA Today a few months back that a lot of scientists are now coming to the conclusion that there had to be some prior force or action to get those gasses to come together at just the right temperature and in just the right location, at just that moment in time. And to that I add my own queston - did "time" exist prior to that moment  -  Hmmmm?)

 

LONG ANSWER:

But if I could have been more conscise (damn near impossible for me) in that earlier (long-winded) post, what I was trying to say is that I beleive we are capable of real evil (sin) - (free choice), but so much of organized religion dwells on trivializing stuff that is really not sin, or even evil. And our reaction is often to see right through the silliness of it and react by rejecting anything and everything to do with a religious faith - and with it, even basic morality. (the pendulum effect - as in Mike's article). Sort of like throwing out the baby with the bath water. 

A good example would be my three grown kids. All far away from any religion. And they are not stupid. 

For example, is is really a sin to miss a Holy Day of Obligation, to kneel or genuflect the "wrong way", or to forget the "proper wording" to begin making a confession? I have nieces and nephews that are in a "Christian" denomination that says its a sin to dance close with the opposite sex. So their church forbids having dances (even at their own wedding) - it's a "sin". Remember, for hundreds of years "Rome" had convinced the great unwashed of Western Europe that if they didn't pay up, their deceased relaltives would be stuck in Purgatory forever.  Ridiculous - even in 1950's Our Lady of Peace !

(isn't it actually a real sin to threaten the "faithful" with such outrageous nonsense ?)

We see people running as fast as they can to get away form these churches - and who wouldn't for cryin' out loud?  Ever known a "religion" like that?  

(An Anglican bishop friend of mine calls it "Faith without Grace" -  translated, Religion without Love)

But I do think it is sinful (evil) to lie and cheat, and to be unfaithful, and to tell lies about others, to be mean to others, cruel to children, to take advantge of one another - basically, to harm one another. That to me, is the real stuff. But so much of organized religion dwells more on their rules, their authority, their control over their flock - and on ritual, tradition, and ceremony, instead of the real message of love, faithfulness, honesty, loyalty, charity, and the most powerful form of love - forgiveness.  (Oooh, that's a tough one for me! )

But I still think calling a spade a spade is a healthy thing, so long as we are focusing on real stuff. And I don't think guilt is bad either. I may dislike it, but it serves a purpose - a bit like fear serves a purpose (even though I don't like it either). What I do object to is heaping Shame on top of it. And that chases "seekers" to the exits like a fire drill !

 

Side note: I read somewhere years ago where the research on "religious cult" attrraction was thought to be strongest for two groups - those who grew up with religion forced down their throats, and those who grew up with absolutley no religious training at all.


03/09/19 12:33 AM #4967    

 

David Mitchell

Crap!

After spending all that time thinking and writing,  (I have to do these tasks seperately at my age, or I overheat), I just saw Jeanine's posts and I thought, oh hell, I could have just waited and then punched in "what she said" and been done with it. 

I think it's entirely unsportsmanlike of you Tim, to bait me like that and then let Jeanine slide her response in before me. 

-------------------------

And Jeanine, say hello to the King's Cross Bar for me - if it'still there.

And pour yourselves a "Fostas" (Fosters) for me. Been 49 years since I fell in love in that town - and almost went back for her. Met her first night of R&R at a USO "pig party". Cute little Sydney red head girl named Kate Doyle. Sweet memories!

 

U 2 do git 'round, don'chu?


03/09/19 04:06 AM #4968    

 

James Hamilton, M. D.

Folks,

Wow, evil, evolution, creation, big bang... this is heavy and fascinating stuff!

Many posts ago I brought up the question of whether other genuses of Homo (H. erectus, H. neanderthalensis) had souls. To answer Tim's question, I think perhaps that a soul is necessary for man to be evil (any theologians out there please weigh in on this as it is out of my knowledge area of comfort).

As for evolution and God, I believe the two go hand in hand.

My question now, however, is H. sapiens the end of our evolutionary journey? Are we still evolving? I would like your thoughts on this before I give you mine, which comes from a more medical perspective than religous or philosophical one.

Jim

03/09/19 08:50 AM #4969    

 

David Mitchell

How about we hear Mike and Tim's thoughts since they posed the questions.

 

And Mike,

 

Do you think this 

 

 

print will be large

 

enough to

 

"wake everybody

 

up"?


03/09/19 09:00 AM #4970    

 

David Mitchell

I think the discusiion should begin with a disclaimer that however roudy it gets, we all get to blame Mike for it - cause he started it.


03/09/19 09:01 AM #4971    

 

Michael McLeod

Just a fascinating thing to wonder about Jim. The evolution we need to concern ourselves with as a species is ethical: can we overcome our primate instincts and live in peace with others who are not like us? To do that we'll have to get much better at survival and resource management. I think socialism is the key. Actually I only said that to jerk your chain. The question is will science intervene with evolution -- and some of that as you know is already possible. How far will we take it? How well will we steward the earth to give us the time to come up with biological hacks to extend our lives and redesign our physical selves? I'd say mother nature has given us a great start but she has done her part and from here on out evolution is up to us. Assuming that a meteor strike doesn't clear the table and make way for another species to give it a go 


03/09/19 09:39 AM #4972    

 

David Mitchell

Evolution?

Did anybody read "Guns, Germs, and Steele" by Jared Diamond? (about 1999)

Fascinting chronicle of mankind's development over time. Contrasting the differences in our develoment based mainly on location (connected to, or isolated from one another), climate (crop growth), local plants and wildlife (nutrition), and technological knowhow (tools and weapons). It gets a bit tedious at times but the overall summation is fascinating. 

Who had better access to whatever? Who had local plantlife for better nutrition? What weather was more beneficial to survival and crop raising?  Who came up with technology - bronze, iron, then steele - for farming tools, weaponry, medicine, etc.? Who was more isolated than others?

If I recall correctly, he references different cultures from the Tigris and Euphrates, the Central Americans, China, Africa, Pacific Islanders, Indonesia,  Europeans and several others. Pretty darned interesting! I have to say that the biggest takeaways for me were the parts about diet & nutrition, transportation, and weapon technology.

Having said all that, I seem to recall the book only goes back to our more traceable history - maybe about 14,000 years, and I think the concept of human evolution as we are speaking of, goes well before that.

Someone might fill in where my limited knowledge falls short on this. (How about it John?)

 


03/09/19 10:00 AM #4973    

 

John Jackson

Dave,  as someone who looks to The Onion for guidance on living righteously, this discussion is way above my pay grade....


03/09/19 10:24 AM #4974    

Timothy Lavelle

You guys are like herding cats. I asked Dave if evil existed on it's own without mankind. Nothing about Bangs, big or small. No evolution. Just do you, in the quietness of your private thought, believe that evil exists as a seperate force or being. Adjective or noun.

Dave said he believed in the Great Deceiver, I think...I wish we could still see the other messages as we write these replies...but like those other messages, some things do exist whether I can see them or not. Polio, cancer, dutch elm disease are there, without a single care as to what I think. But not Evil...not an outside of man force. I don't believe in a devil or anything remotely like that. I do believe that men and women can do such wonderful things that it becomes easier to believe in angels. Counter to that, such horrendous things that it seems proper to believe in devils or "evil incarnate" like the movies say. I don't know how Hitler or Bundy could do what they did but I do believe what we call evil is the result of desperation sometimes, or otherwise, a mental disease or some lack of mental capability to act within acceptable norms.

So, put me down for evil as an adjective.  Now please return to your evolutionary Banging. 

Eilers...you're killin' me. Party on girl! 

 

 

 

 


03/09/19 11:09 AM #4975    

 

Michael McLeod

Ok Tim: I think suffering would exist without us.

Evil would not.

Cats, for example, since you brought them up, would feel pain and hunger, as would all living creatures. But their suffering would be neither bad nor good because they would have no knowledge of bad nor good and there would be no entity around to label it as such.

We invented the concept of evil and good. That is, to me, is what the person who came up with that Adam and Eve myth was trying to get at. Had Adam and Eve not been in the picture the talking snake would have been just a talking snake only with nobody to talk to or tempt. And the apple would have just been an apple. Not a bad apple or a good apple, whether ripe or rotten it would just be doing what apples do when nobody's around to judge them. And the tree would have just been a tree. 

 

 


03/09/19 12:01 PM #4976    

 

John Maxwell

Tim, Jim, Dave, et.al.
Took you guys long enough. Evolution! Great topic. Think hard about AI. Once the questions are resolved, our species will synthesize. We'll be better protected in more hostile environs. We also be faster stronger more precise and easier to heal. As we discover more about our universe and its laws, it will make the most sense to minimize our organic nature. May the force be elictric.

Janine, Don't go to Kings Cross, it's dangerous for tourists. Drugs violence, disease, the underbelly of Sydney. It's a tourist trap. Enjoy. Go to Bondi Beach and have a hamburger 'with the lot'. I had mine with cheese, pineapple, ham, bacon, fried egg tomato, lettuce onion, pickle catsup, mustard and a bun barely big enough to contain the mess. Enjoy.

Hey everyone, spring is niegh!

03/09/19 01:53 PM #4977    

Timothy Lavelle

Dave,

I am using you as just one example of someone who is a believer. In this one act play, you are the character Sister Mary Elephant.

Act one, scene one: Home room, sophomore year, Saint I Can't Believe it's not Butter High School. Little timmy runs into a full classroom. Little timmy is just a real prick. 

Little timmy: "Sister Mary Elephant, Sister Mary Elephant, Michael McLeod doesn't believe in the devil. Isn't he going straight to hell Sister? Huh, isn't he?"

Sister Mary Elephant (sounding a lot like Dave): "..."

You fill in the blank. 

 


03/09/19 02:59 PM #4978    

 

James Hamilton, M. D.

Folks,

O.K., here are my ideas on whether we are evolving as a species, not intellectually or in any other way. I think it should be said that all forms of life that exist today on earth are currently at the top of their evolutionary trees. That is not to say that they will not continue to evolve more.

First, let's look at evolution of our earthly non-human flora and fauna.

I believe that plants and other animals are in a continuous process of evolution, have been and always will be as long as our planet exists. Since evolution is a very slow process over millions of years we will not be able to recognize what is happening. The one exception to that rule may be microscopic life. Evolution takes place on a genetic/DNA level. Since human generations are about 20 years apart and macro-animal and plant generations are many days, weeks, months and years apart, again, we will have a difficult time in seeing evolution occur. (If you are a Star Trek fan, Tribbles may be another exceptionlaugh.) However, the generation time for bacteria is around 20 minutes so in one day there are 72 generations from one single bacterium produced. That means after the first division which yields two bacteria by the end of that 72 hour period there are 2 to the 71st power plus one (the original) bacteria. That is probably billions if not quintillions of organisms. Therefore the chances of some gene shifts somewhere along the line - which can then be passed on to future generations - is quite high. It is no wonder that many bacteria become resistant to some antibiotics over what is really a short period of time. They develop, and pass on, a gene that makes them so. How long do you think it would take man to spontaneously develop and pass on a gene to significantly change something like becoming immune to a certain type of cancer?

That brings us into the realm of medicine. The theory of Darwinian evolution is based on "survival of the fittest". An animal or plant that can develop genes over a prolonged period of time that will allow that organism to resist a disease, adapt to a changing climate, food source or some other factor will be able to compete and survive better than those that do not have that genetic ability. Man has interfered with that by adapting in non-genetic ways: treating disease, producing his own food, clothing and shelter etc.Therefore, "weaker" members of the human species can survive and, in many cases, reproduce. Since some genes that occur predispose the organism to develop bad things (cancer and many other conditions) those genes can also be passed on. So medicine has - and will continue to - interfere with the evolutionary process. I see this as a good thing. Now medicine has to deal with the spread of some of these bad genes that have proliferated over a relatively short period of evolutionary time.

Thus we are now into a world where medicine is trying to alter genes, edit genes using phages to carry new and reparative genes to the DNA structure through messenger RNA (mRNA) methods. Of course, with those scientific advances will come many ethical issues and we may be on the verge of not only healing people but creating new problems and diseases. This reminds me of the Zager and Evans song back in the '60's, "In the Year 2525" and the line "you'll pick your sons, pick your daughters too, from the bottom of a long glass tube".

Granted, man has been genetically modifying plants and animals for many years in order to develop food sources (thus interfering with some of those species' evolution), but we are now turning our sights on ourselves. This can be both exciting and dangerous and, as stated above, create a lot of ethical concerns. This is that "brave new world" of which we have been hearing for decades. It is now here. Evolution as we once knew it for our species will be altered forever.

But then, the world may only have twelve years remaining, anyway...!!!surprise

Jim

 

 


03/09/19 05:36 PM #4979    

 

David Mitchell

Wow, I go to work for a few hours and you guys have a field day without me! We must have caught everybody at home today.

 

First of all John, I do love the Onion, but I could not get the General Kushner article to open. I did enjoy the one about Colorado Governor Hickenlooper proposing to Nuke Australia - just to see if anybody was listening. (my son used to work for him when he owned the Wynkoop Brewerey - before he became Mayor and then Governor. He used to take the employees to Avalance hockey games and Rockies baseball games) And the one about  "What's in the Green New Deal?" That must be a fun place to work - just sitting around all day dreaming up the most ridiculous ideas that come to mind.

 

Tim, (and Mike and Jack) - now this is gettin' fun!

My apologies for straying off Tim's topic "Evil". (I got all excited when I heard my name called)

I am forced to ask myself the question, how is there "good" without "evil"?  It seems to me that they are intrinsically linked by nature itself. They are related - opposed - contradictory to one another - sort of like Yin and Yang. Can there be one without the other? How can anything be good if there is nothing to (corrrection) reference good against? It's not like one just came into being at a time in history because we invented it. Like mathematics - the concept of 2 plus 2 equaling 4 was always in nature. And likewise, the fact that it is not  5.  We didn't invent that - we gradually came to realize that it has always been so in nature, no matter what language you frame the argument in. What is "old" without reference to "new"? What is "happy" without "sad"?  How can there be "absence" without "presence"? What is "light" without "darkness"? 

If we claim that there is good in life, what is good anyway?   (adjective or noun - does it matter?)

* As to the Sister Mary Elephant line, my own answer would be that I surely could not be the judge of someone else. I have no idea what Sister Maty Elephant would say. 

 


03/09/19 05:51 PM #4980    

 

David Mitchell

P.s. Jim,

I'm sorry. My eyes started glazing over. Could you repeat that? 


03/09/19 08:27 PM #4981    

 

James Hamilton, M. D.

Dave,

The Cliff Notes edition for you:

Evolution is evolving with or without human involvement.

Jim

03/09/19 11:46 PM #4982    

 

David Mitchell

I was chatting with an old friend of the family about our discussion on "Sin" and "good and evil". I believe he may have read a paragraph or two on these subjects and he suggested I put up this article from Wiki whatchamacallit, titled "The Absence of Good". 
 
I must confess I get a bit lost in some of Augustine's long sentence structure (first portion). And I have to say I cannot agree with the very last line about Health and Poverty. Not sure how that fits in here.
 
But I do really agree with the middle portion about Light and Darkness. Perhaps this is what I was trying to get at in my own clumsy attempt to answer Tim and Mike.  
 
 

Absence of good

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
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The absence of good (Latinprivatio boni) is a theological doctrine that evil, unlike good, is insubstantial, so that thinking of it as an entity is misleading. Instead, evil is rather the absence or lack ("privation") of good.[1][2][3] It is typically attributed to St. Augustine of Hippo, who wrote:

And in the universe, even that which is called evil, when it is regulated and put in its own place, only enhances our admiration of the good; for we enjoy and value the good more when we compare it with the evil. For the Almighty God, who, as even the heathen acknowledge, has supreme power over all things, being Himself supremely good, would never permit the existence of anything evil among His works, if He were not so omnipotent and good that He can bring good even out of evil. For what is that which we call evil but the absence of good? In the bodies of animals, disease and wounds mean nothing but the absence of health; for when a cure is effected, that does not mean that the evils which were present—namely, the diseases and wounds—go away from the body and dwell elsewhere: they altogether cease to exist; for the wound or disease is not a substance, but a defect in the fleshly substance,—the flesh itself being a substance, and therefore something good, of which those evils—that is, privations of the good which we call health—are accidents. Just in the same way, what are called vices in the soul are nothing but privations of natural good. And when they are cured, they are not transferred elsewhere: when they cease to exist in the healthy soul, they cannot exist anywhere else.[4]

 

See also: "For evil has no positive nature; but the loss of good has received the name “evil.”" (In: The City of God, XI, chapter 9)

Perceptions are based on contrast, so that light and dark, good and evil, are imperceptible without each other; in this context, these sets of opposites show a certain symmetry, but a basic study of optics teaches us that light has a physical presence of its own, whereas darkness does not: no "anti-lamp" or "flashdark" can be constructed which casts a beam of darkness onto a surface that is otherwise well-lit. Instead, darkness appears only when sources of light are extinguished or obscured and ends when an object absorbs a disproportionate amount of the light that strikes it. This is illustrated by Lao Tzu in the Tao Te Ching quite well:

When people see some things as beautiful, other things become ugly. When people see some things as good, other things become bad.[5]

The relationship between light and darkness is often used to frame a metaphorical understanding of good and evil. The metaphor can be used to answer[citation needed]the problem of evil: If evil, like darkness, does not truly exist, but is only a name we give to our perception of privatio boni, widespread observation of evil does not preclude the possibility of a benevolent, omniscient, and omnipresent God.

If the metaphor can be extended, and good and evil share the same asymmetry as light and darkness, evil can have no source, cannot be projected, and, of itself, can offer no resistance to any source of good, no matter how weak or distant. Then, goodness cannot be actively opposed, and power becomes a consequence of benevolence. However, evil is the default state of the universe, and good exists only through constant effort; any lapse or redirection of good will apparently create evil out of nothing.

 

This doctrine is also supported by the Bahá’í Faith‘Abdu’l-Bahá stated to a French Baha’I woman: 

…it is possible that one thing in relation to another may be evil, and at the same time within the limits of its proper being it may not be evil. Then it is proved that there is no evil in existence; all that God created He created good. This evil is nothingness; so death is the absence of life. When man no longer receives life, he dies. Darkness is the absence of light: when there is no light, there is darkness. Light is an existing thing, but darkness is nonexistent.  Wealth is an existing thing, but poverty is nonexisting.[6]    I disagree with this last line

 

  1. ^ Aquinas, Thomas (1990). Peter Kreeft, ed. A Summa of the Summa. San Francisco: Ignatius Press. ISBN 0898703174.
  2. ^ Menssen, Sandra; Thomas D Sullivan (2007). The Agnostic Inquirer. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Pub. p. 136. ISBN 0802803946.
  3. ^ Teichman, Jenny; Katherine C Evans (1999). Philosophy : A Beginners Guide. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers. p. 45. ISBN 063121321X.
  4. ^ Augustine. "What is Called Evil in the Universe is But the Absence of Good.". Enchridion. Retrieved 2012-11-17.
  5. ^ Lao Tzu. "Tao Te Ching". Chapter 2. Retrieved 2018-06-20.
  6. ^ ’Abdu’l-Bahá. "The Nonexistence of Evil.". Some Answered Questions. Retrieved 2012-11-21.

03/10/19 12:17 PM #4983    

 

John Maxwell

Holy cow! Evolution, the absence of good, gmo's, the end is 12 years off. Is this the Watterson forum or the egghead think tank? I'm a bit confused. Actually a constant state in my realm. It's like watching the BBC on Sunday mornings.
This new age of discovery is wreaking havoc on the minds of millions of researchers. When one hears people talking like we must leave our little planet asap in an effort to preserve our fragile existence as a species, it's mind boggling. As we have spent thousands of years trying to eliminate most of our kind from existance, I find this discussion almost sane.
I must tell you that I've been hooked on the Ancient Aliens series on the History channel. Its quite informative and poses a ton of questions. The unexplained is intriguing to me. The fun is guessing what is possible. One theory is that earth was seeded by other life forms similar to humans and that they visit us periodically to make corrections or enhancements. Along with that are theses of aliens assuming roles as gods or leaders of the great civilizations of the past, like the Egyptians, and Myans. It is fascinating. When the opportunity presents itself DNA samples have been collected from mummies and other preserved remains with peculiar findings that indicate unknown beings meddling in our makeup. Evolution is getting the helping hand from unknown outside agents who may have a vested interest in our existance. Scary thought. What do you think Jim, Tim, John, Dave, Mike, Mark, Xantar?
Be afraid, very afraid! Or not.

03/10/19 01:49 PM #4984    

 

Mary Margaret Clark (Schultheis)

Although no one asked me, I will nevertheless, chime insmiley 

Because the subject matter of evolution, and particularly the existence of good and evil, are topics which have been widely and endlessly researched and discussed by many wise and good persons, I will simply refer to one of the sources which informs my personal beliefs on the subject of evil.  http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/p1s2c1p4.htm

As regards to evolution, it may interest some to know that the Catholic Church professes no intrinsic conflict between Christianity and the theory of evolution provided that Christians believe that God created all things and that the individual soul is a direct creation of God and not the product of purely material forces. 

Providence and the scandal of evil.

309 If God the Father almighty, the Creator of the ordered and good world, cares for all his creatures, why does evil exist? To this question, as pressing as it is unavoidable and as painful as it is mysterious, no quick answer will suffice. Only Christian faith as a whole constitutes the answer to this question: the goodness of creation, the drama of sin and the patient love of God who comes to meet man by his covenants, the redemptive Incarnation of his Son, his gift of the Spirit, his gathering of the Church, the power of the sacraments and his call to a blessed life to which free creatures are invited to consent in advance, but from which, by a terrible mystery, they can also turn away in advance. There is not a single aspect of the Christian message that is not in part an answer to the question of evil.

310 But why did God not create a world so perfect that no evil could exist in it? With infinite power God could always create something better.174 But with infinite wisdom and goodness God freely willed to create a world "in a state of journeying" towards its ultimate perfection. In God's plan this process of becoming involves the appearance of certain beings and the disappearance of others, the existence of the more perfect alongside the less perfect, both constructive and destructive forces of nature. With physical good there exists also physical evil as long as creation has not reached perfection.175

311 Angels and men, as intelligent and free creatures, have to journey toward their ultimate destinies by their free choice and preferential love. They can therefore go astray. Indeed, they have sinned. Thus has moral evil, incommensurably more harmful than physical evil, entered the world. God is in no way, directly or indirectly, the cause of moral evil.176 He permits it, however, because he respects the freedom of his creatures and, mysteriously, knows how to derive good from it:

For almighty God. . ., because he is supremely good, would never allow any evil whatsoever to exist in his works if he were not so all-powerful and good as to cause good to emerge from evil itself.177

312 In time we can discover that God in his almighty providence can bring a good from the consequences of an evil, even a moral evil, caused by his creatures: "It was not you", said Joseph to his brothers, "who sent me here, but God. . . You meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive."178 From the greatest moral evil ever committed - the rejection and murder of God's only Son, caused by the sins of all men - God, by his grace that "abounded all the more",179 brought the greatest of goods: the glorification of Christ and our redemption. But for all that, evil never becomes a good.

 


03/10/19 03:20 PM #4985    

Joseph Gentilini

Very interesting thoujghts from all of you.  I do not know about good and evil, but I do know my own failings, missing the mark, etc. My gut tells me, however, that there is evil that exists. When I think of Hitler, for example, I see evil.  I have read a good bit about Hitler and the Nazi machine.  Because of my training and education, I clould say that he was mentally ill, but this does not mean that he had no choices to make. He hated the Jews, even thought he had some Jewish blood.  He profected what he could not accept in himself.  The men in the SS were actually trained to torture the Jews so that they would become hard and not care about what they did to the Jews.  A person could be mentally ill, but this does not excuse them.  

Concerning evolution.  I believe this is true.  How it occurs, etc., I don't knowl  It makes more sense to me than some of the religious fundamentalist who refuse to believe it.  Many think that God created human beings separetely - as a special species.  To me, thinking that we came about from certain annimals, etc., does not threaten my faith in God and his creations at all.  The story of Adam and Eve is not to be taken literally; it is a story written and spoken by man to tell a story of God and his creations and love for humanity.  A person can be a Christian and still believe we evolved.

I have not entered into all the comments people have made, but I read them all.  I finally decided to join in a bit.

 


03/10/19 07:16 PM #4986    

 

David Mitchell

Mary Margaret and Joe

I love that you both joined in. And nobody had to ask you Mary Margaret.

 

And Jack, I'm afraid you have it all wrong my friend. Didn't you know that aliens only visit our planet on Thursdays to pick up their dry cleaning before the weekend? Shame on you. I thought any silly fool would know that!

 

Star date 3140

Kirk, out.


03/10/19 08:41 PM #4987    

 

James Hamilton, M. D.

Folks,

I'm sure many of you upon reading my post #4978 realized that 2 to the 71st power is actually in the sextillions and not merely in the quintillions. MY BAD! The actual number is 2,361,183,241,434,822,606,848. Don't forget to add one more for the total number of bacteria. 😁

And, Jack, why do all those sci-fi shows assume life on all those other planets is far superior to us earthlings? Are we the rubes of the universe? 🤔

Jim

03/10/19 08:44 PM #4988    

 

David Mitchell

I think I tried this idea before, but it re-enters my train of thought at this point. 

That nagging question of "free will". I do beleive that the Creator made us with this crazy thing, and we are then "free" to use it as a gift, or let it become a curse. 

Why not create us all perfect, so that we could never choose evil, harm, or maliciousnes of any kind?  But if we were without choice, what would be the point of of caring, loving, or giving from the heart? What value would moral character be? If there were no evil, what then would good be?

Would there be any worth to having us all marching in lock step as robots, un-feeling, un-thinking, un-caring?  Obedient - sure!  Forced obedience that is.

It is said God has a human nature. Think about this - He takes an enormous risk in letting us wander off the leash. The risk either that we might fall, or that we might choose to follow his plea - to love. 

I'm going to lay my money of the "risk" of choosing Love - (His Grace).

And I'm betting on a huge payoff !

 


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