Can God and Evil Co-exist?

So I was watching a speech/lecture given by Mark Spence, who works for the Living Waters ministry. In it, he speaks about the conscience that is placed in all humans by God (You can read the preamble and watch the video here.)

During his lecture, he brings up the story of a little girl who went missing. Investigation found that she had been kidnapped, raped, and then tied up and buried alive. The story was truly difficult to listen to, but the way he parleys it into his next point is the part that staggered me.

“Don’t you want justice? Doesn’t it boil up inside of you?!

“That is your conscience, given to you by God!

“And if we have always felt that this type of thing is wrong, that means it did not evolve.”

I… Ok. Ok. Let’s decide where to start with this. These three statements contain so much wrong.

Have to calm myself down.

The first problem; he says the conscience is universal, but where was the conscience of the rapist/murderer? Did he know what he did was wrong?

The third line, there, is an unholy (ehehehe) amalgamation of evolution and religion. Of course our morals could have evolved; they had billions of years to evolve group dynamics and relative morality before there was anything even resembling a human on the Earth.

Your statement, that it had to come into existence fully formed, already assumes that humans were created all at once. There is no science that speaks to this idea.

Why is your Bible an absolute? Can you attest to its having been written by God? Can you attest even to the Pentateuch being written by Moses? Because I can attest to its having been finalized by a group of humans in the fourth century. How many Gospels were thrown out? What about the Christians between say the year 100 and 397? For those 297 years, did they accidentally read blasphemous Bibles that contained things that were later thrown out? Why did God wait until 360 years after Jesus’ death and resurrection to have a Canonized Bible?

If we are going down that rabbit hole, I really have to ask a question, one I have asked before, one I will ask again: If Adam sinned right out of the gate, and Jesus didn’t come until some 4000 years after Creation (by their own timeline). What was God doing for those 4000 years? Those people all just went to hell?

The reason I went down this train of thought is because things are not so clean and pristine as I’m being sold. The Bible is not a clean work, free of human corruption. And there are many pieces of provenance that show many of the hands that have touched the Bible.

Why does your messy conglomerate of books count as “Absolute, objective morality?”

If a book was written by a man, then edited by a second, then a third, then a fourth, repeat for x, you would question the authenticity of the book. If that man’s hand was Moses, apparently “Oh yes, absolutely correct,” is valid… But if that hand was “Dawkins”, you would ask a thousand questions. And when you have standards that only apply to your opponents, you should think about those standards.

Now, I realize as a human that I am flawed, and I have double standards–but I do try to resolve them where I find them. The issue with the double standards of “The Bible” versus “Literally anything else,” is that the double standard is institutionalized, codified, subscribed to, and referenced as “A good thing,” by many in the creationist movement…

Why is that? How is that?

Sorry, this got a little scatterbrained. I just don’t understand how it is so easy to write off certain questions for those in the Creationist movement, while levying those same complaints against their opponents, and when I try to follow that thread through my head I end up all over the place.

What Did I Just Watch?

So I finally got around to watching the season 3 finale of the Creation Today Show, and while I usually get a chuckle out of their antics, I was really put off by the finale. Specifically, an offhanded line by Ben Schettler, Eric Hovind’s most recent co-host. They are discussing the Mount St Helen’s eruption and the drastic changes of the surrounding areas following the explosion. A canyon was formed, redirecting the river. Or so I am told, my own personal knowledge of Mount St Helen’s is lacking, and I always make the assumption that I must fact check what is said on the Creation Today show at the best of times… But in this case, the facts are immaterial to the point I am about to make.

The canyon formed quickly, and they then apply this to the Flood Geology method of describing the Grand Canyon. Ignoring for now the fact that “Well, it happened quickly over here, that means it definitely happened over there the exact same way,” is at its very best bad logic, Ben Schettler drops the following bombshell. He puts on his most condescending look, lowers his eyes, shakes his head gently, and utters the following: “This just goes to show you that no matter what the evidence says, some people will always interpret it through their own world view.”

Creation Today is not known for being self aware, but this is like–dog having a fight with a mirror levels of self aware. I wrote down that metaphor without thinking it through, but it works so much better than I had originally even intended–they are dropping bombshell quotes that should be destroying the foundations they themselves are building.

What must be remembered is that Ben and Eric are not scientists, Paul Taylor is not a scientist, Ken Ham is not a scientist, and yet they are making sweeping generalizations, calling the scientific field biased, ignoring good science, grasping bad science, using faulty logic… I could go on and on about the errors of scholarship they make, before they tell everyone that while people who have spent their whole lives studying and reading mind numbing spreadsheets of data that would make sense to maybe three people in the world are not only wasting their time, but also intellectually dishonest and probably stupid.

The other interesting thing is the escape hatch they employ to get out of their regress, and that requires some explanation. Science, they will say, is biased and blind to the truth, starting from the assumption that the world is millions of years old (4,400 million, give or take, so they don’t have to use the word Billion). Where did this bias come from? The people who taught the scientists about it. Who taught them? The people who came before, etc, etc, generally until we reach some major historical scientist. Darwin is a frequent example, because his theories are certainly rested upon the foundations of an old Earth. Who taught Darwin about evolution? (This is not the place to debate who Darwin stole the theory from, or didn’t steal it from, that is immaterial. The theory was founded around that time by a human.) Satan! Escape hatch opened, and then dived into head first!

Satan told the first old earth geologists about how old the earth is, Satan told science to find alternate methods of creation, Satan something something evil anti-God ways!!!i!i!

The issue is that Christian scientists have been going over the same data that secular scientists have for just as long as secular scientists have, and no credible young earth theories have come from it. YECs are the small minority, because there is simply no scientific ground to stand on — but people will always interpret the evidence through their world view, won’t they, Ben Schettler?

Two things that just make me sad and angry and crazy are gross intellectual dishonesty and superiority complex realized via condescension. I have a superiority complex, I am aware of it, and I try to minimize it — and I will never try to be condescending to anyone when it is in active employ. But oh man, I think I blacked out for a few minutes when Ben Schettler said what he said. I actually paused the video to write this. I am only 1/3 of the way through the episode.

Time to go back to finish it up. If I can.