Joined: Jan. 2008
|Regarding Gauguinís second and third questions, theists have a psychological advantage over atheists in terms of gaining converts. Most people want to believe they are genuinely free, and that their actions are not determined. Most people also want to believe that their lives have a deeper significance and smehow matter in the grands scheme of things. Belief in a hereafter is a very natural human desire.|
This is true to some degree. What I can't understand is why VT or anyone believes that, therefore, [particular brand of religion] is true. Isn't it kind of suspicious that most religions, past and present, apparently give humans exactly what they want?
Whether you sacrifice virgins to pacify the earth gods or declare after the fact that e.g. the Haitians had it coming because they had made a pact with the devil, whether a soccer player always wears the same shoes to important matches or someone knocks on wood, the structure is the same: If you behave in a certain way, nothing bad will happen to you. It suggests that you have some power over things that, objectively, you can't influence.
And if it doesn't work, that still doesn't mean that you had no power to begin with, it just means that either it was necessary in the grand scheme of things or you didn't sacrifice enough virgins.
|Thousands of gods have come and gone. Only a few remain standing today, claims to the contrary notwithstanding), and monotheism holds sway over more than half the planet. But those which do remain standing are a doughty lot, and will not fade into oblivion, as atheists like H. L. Mencken assumed.|
I agree with this one, too, although probably not in the way VT intended. IMO, religions will continue to exist, but they will also continue to adapt/be adapted. What does VT think why the Catholic church now officially accepts evolution, or why Dembski wrote his book about Adam & Eve bringing sin in the world kinda retroactively, or why the guys at BioLogos do what they do?
|The next major battle on the Intelligent Design front is the battle for the human mind. We are in the midst of an intellectual onslaught, designed to convince young people that their every thought, word and deed is physically determined, that the difference between humans and other animals is one of degree and not kind, and that the concept of an immaterial soul is meaningles and has no place in modern science.|
VT is kidding himself if he thinks the major fight is the one against atheism. IMO, they're fighting mainly against themselves. I mean what else is ID really than the acceptance that nowadays it doesn't work anymore to just proclaim that God did it in a certain way, all evidence to the contrary be damned? Why, if science is so corrupt and useless to find the really important answers, do they so desperately try to sound scientific if not in order to adapt their religion to a society that depends on science in every area?
Most of the UD denizens probably came to ID because they were looking for scientific answers that were compatible with their faith. In a way that shows that they've already "lost," because not long ago a purely religious answer would've been sufficient; but it isn't anymore.
Also, All Science So Far.
"Random mutations, if they are truly random, will affect, and potentially damage, any aspect of the organism, [...]
Thus, a realistic [computer] simulation [of evolution] would allow the program, OS, and hardware to be affected in a random fashion." GilDodgen, Frilly shirt owner