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Worthless Machines
Narcissistic Christians?   

Essay Question:

Narcissistic Worldview

You idiots believe a loving creator fine-tuned everything in the universe just to support human life. That is a very self-centered, narcissistic view. Everyone with a pea brain can see that the entire universe is a flawed design - assuming there is a designer. You're pathetic. I hate to tell you this but the universe doesn't revolve around man. Duh…uh…

Worthless, Amoral Machines

Instead, man is a worthless machine made by an inferior creator - if there is one. There's no point in being moral because we are all just robots - disposable and replaceable. Machines have no "souls." Get real.

Genocidal Maniac-Creator

If there is a God then he is a genocidal maniac. He created flawed machines capable of disobedience - and then wipes them out in a disastrous flood. He brutally kills his own supposed son in a misguided attempt to eradicate the sin which he created in the first place. He fakes his own death just to make us all feel like inferior, horrid beings. And then he threatens to commit genocide again by blowing up the universe.

Frankenstein Meddlers

Even worse, your loving creator makes his Frankenstein machines capable of cloning and splicing the genes of other beings on a terrible planet subject to death storms, hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes - and then your creator starves babies and tortures animals and spreads every kind of plague imaginable everywhere. Yeah…some "loving" God, huh? Count me out! I'm an atheist who intends to stay one.

D.M.
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Answer:

Atheistic Worldview

Thank you for your essay question - if it really is a question. I'm sorry you feel so hostile toward any opposing worldview. But, I think Christians really need to see and hear what "new atheists" believe from their position of hostile anti-theism.

Natural Self-Centered Life

If I accepted what you say I wouldn't bother with morality, either. It would be a waste of my time and I would probably live the most materialistic, self-centered way I could on such an insignificant planet. There wouldn't be much point in trying to be a good person, would there? Therefore, in my opinion your conclusion is a natural outpouring of hostility toward any idea of God or redemption in the universe.

The New Atheists

You are in good company. The esteemed late Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins believe as you do, although Hitchens is probably a believer now - albeit uncomfortably so. Many of the New Atheists have taken an extremely hateful, arrogant, superior attitude toward anyone who believes differently than they do. They look with disdain at anyone who believes in creationism or intelligent design.

Open minded?

Hardly.

But nevertheless, I assume you want to hear an answer because you have written your objections so eloquently.

We won't address your criticisms in detail because scientists such as Dr. Stephen Meyer, author of Signature in the Cell, Michael Behe of Darwin's Black Box, and Dr. Walt Brown, author of In the Beginning, have already done so.




Biblical Worldview

Your first point accuses Christians of believing in a God who fine-tuned the universe to support life on earth. Many Christians also claim there is no life anywhere else except on planet Earth.

I guess we are mostly guilty as charged. I don't believe Christians say this because they are narcissists, however. They sincerely believe the Bible makes this claim in the Genesis creation account. They are just repeating what they think the Bible asserts, although we disagree with their assumptions.





Parallel Worlds, Extra Dimensions, Multiverse

There are Christians who think there is life elsewhere in the universe and human beings are not alone. Personally, we think the Bible strongly supports this viewpoint. Furthermore, many of us believe in parallel worlds, extra dimensions and some even believe in a multiverse. For example, even Jesus said "My kingdom is not of this world" (John 18:36).

So please don't limit Christians to just one viewpoint. There are old-earth creation theories or young-earth beliefs. Some believe in "theistic" evolution or even in no creationism at all. They might tell you that what one believes about Jesus of Nazareth and his resurrection is what truly matters.

Confusing Mutation with Design

You make the point that human beings are just worthless machines made by an incompetent creator - if there is one. I think you may be confusing "decay by mutation" with "faulty design."

There is no question that earthly life forms are subject to relentless mutations from many variable factors in our world and universe. That doesn't mean the original design necessarily contained those flaws, however. It doesn't even mean that all mutations or destructive forces are bad. (Deem 2009, 1-6).



Genocidal Maniac

Similarly, you make the point that God must be a "genocidal maniac" for creating flawed machines who are wiped out in extinction events such as floods or earthquakes and other disastrous occurrences. But, again, what makes you assume the original creation was like this?

2nd. Law of Thermodynamics

Please remember that we all learned about the Second Law of Thermodynamics in high school. We already know that everything is subject to decay and an ultimate heat death.

In so many words the Bible says exactly the same thing. Seeing far into the future the Apostle Peter says…"the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up" (2 Peter 3:10).

The Apostle Paul notes,"For the creation was subjected to futility…that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers…" (Romans 8:20-22).

"Slavery to corruption" is a good description of the Second Law of Thermodynamics and mutations. This could be a consequence of the Fall that affected the entire universe. Perhaps this is why God already announced he will eventually destroy it and bring us "a new heavens and a new earth"…(2 Peter 3:13).

Patience rather than Genocide

If God were to destroy everything that is "out-of-order" right now then He would have to destroy you and me and lots of other "flawed" creatures, too. Instead, the Bible says "The Lord is not slow about His promise…but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9).

That doesn't sound like a genocidal maniac to me. It sounds like a loving Creator who doesn't want to just kill you or me or our grandchildren or other innocents in the world. He wants YOU to have a chance for a new, better life, too. He is waiting until the very last minute to destroy our current, flawed, mutated universe before he gives us a new, kinder, more beautiful place to live.

Pre-Flood Evil

Frankly, I don't think we really have the capacity to imagine how evil the world was prior to the flood or why God would have destroyed that world. We have some hints from the Book of Enoch and other Jewish writings outside of the Bible.

Genesis chapter six and apocryphal writings such as the Book of Enoch tell us that a group of hybrid beings called the Nephilim existed in that day. They may have been giants around 9 feet or taller who cannibalized humans, drank blood and engaged in some form of genetic tampering that resulted in freakish food crops, aberrant hybrid animals, or other bizarre mutations. We just don't know for sure. But, if these accounts are even partly true it's probably a good thing that world was destroyed. I wouldn't want to live in it. Would you?



Understandable Atheist Viewpoint

If I look at the world, the suffering of its inhabitants, and the destructive forces throughout the universe without any insights, understanding or faith I would come to the same conclusion as you. I find your viewpoint understandable and reasonable in many respects.

Revelation

However, I believe God revealed Himself to man in the form of Jesus Christ, suffered with us and left us with an instruction manual to cling to while we live here. This isn't just "blind" faith on my part. God gave us many proofs (see Muncaster 2004). After examining the evidence I don't believe this is all there is and that we die as meaningless machines in a mechanistic universe.

If this is what you want to believe that's your decision. But, understand that there are well-supported evidences to support my view, too.



Materialism

In a recent interview (radio broadcast) Dr. Stephen Meyer postulates that "Materialism is the view that everything in the universe can ultimately be explained in physical terms. Yet, matter is a bad candidate to be primordial reality…Biological systems contain intricate informational structures and their origin cannot be explained by just physical forces" (Coast to Coast A.M. radio, 28 July, 2009).



Complex Systems

Even things we thought were just simple life forms have turned out to be incredibly complex factories run by DNA codes which are digital information systems that can duplicate and repair themselves. How did the informational systems get there? Who encoded them into these programs? These DNA codes cannot even be matched by our most advanced technology. They clearly reflect a purposeful design from an intelligent being.

Yes, the universe and mankind are broken systems which reflect the cruelty of a cosmic monkey-wrench thrown into the works. We call it "sin," the works of Satan or mankind's "Fall." But, these broken systems also reflect traces of a personal, loving being who originally created us with purpose and design in His own image.

Robots don't make Heartfelt Decisions

So you choose. After you have studied at least one or two of the writings suggested, then please contact us again. After all, aren't you glad that God gave you the ability to make choices of your own? It means we are not just "robots." He is allowing all of us to observe our universe, draw our own conclusions and make these decisions on our own. Machines can't do that. Only humans make reasonable, logical, heartfelt decisions.

Hmmm…

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References:


Behe, Michael J. 1996. Darwin's black box. New York: Touchstone.

Brown, Walt. 2001. In the beginning. Phoenix, AZ: CSC.

Deem, Rich. Does the presence of natural evil argue against the existence of God? Why natural evil must exist. http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/natural_evil_theodicity.html.

Hitchens, Christopher and Craig, William Lane. Does God exist? 2009. DVD. Apologetics Dept. BIOLA University. www.biola.edu/apologetics.

Meyer, Stephen. 2009. DVD. Signature in the cell: DNA and the evidence for intelligent design New York: HarperOne. Accessed from:
http://www.coasttocoastam.com/show/2009/07/28?mode=print.

Muncaster, Ralph O. 2004. Examine the evidence. Eugene, OR: Harvest House.



Author: Valorie Mays Emilio holds an MA in History from UCLA focusing on Christian origins and a V.O.M. Certificate in Persecuted Church Ministries from Oklahoma Wesleyan University. She teaches and writes articles for the Gospel Rescue Mission in Grants Pass, Oregon, where her husband, Ken, currently serves as Director.









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