Thursday, 12 March 2009

Designed Sickness


Being sick this whole entire week, I haven't wanted to post anything, because I wasn't sure I could write something that was coherent. But, it got me to thinking about some of the claims of the intelligent design advocates that claim that we were designed by a master designer. Some of them argue, for instance, that the eye is exquisitely designed and perfectly so - which, incidentally ignores some pertinent facts about the eye, but whatever.

So, when we get sick, what does that mean about our design? As I am acutely aware of right now, having our core temperature rise above its normal value by as little as a few tenths of a degree can cause some serious issues - headaches, nausea, etc. Knowing that bacteria and viruses can invade our designed bodies and increase our temperature, a good designer might try to keep this from happening or design a system that would not allow it to cause so much distress. There's no doubt that god would know this and would have had the ability to design us to avoid these issues.

Now, asserting that we were designed does not necessarily mean the design was perfect, which some ID advocates do hold to. But, when applied to god, what does this mean? It means that god intentionally gave us a sub-optimal design. god intentionally created something that was imperfect. There's some theological issues with that for sure. This also starts to get into murky territory for the theist when we start to talk about the fact that god was ensuring suffering for humans which destroys god's claim to omni-benevolence.

10 comments:

Tigerboy said...

This entire idea that we are created as miserable sinners, yet are expected to live our lives begging to be forgiven for our state of sin, I have heard it described this way:

We are created with a devastating illness, yet commanded to be well, then punished for eternity for continuing to suffer from the illness.

If it were true, which I suffer from no delusions that it is, but if it were true, God would have to be described as quite the sadist. Hardly someone worthy of praise or gratitude.

Tigerboy said...

For examples of poor "design", we need look no further than the conditions from which people regularly suffer.

Nearsightedness. Astigmatism. Cataracts.

Lower back pain. Extremely common.

Humans have fragile knees. Even among young adults, damaged, painful knees are very common.

Why do we need shoes? Poor "design."

Many women's pelvic girdles are too small to allow passage of an infant.

Why do men have nipples?

Cavities. Gingivitis. TMJ pain. Why do so many people need to have their teeth straightened?

Why are innocent children born with cleft palate, spina bifida, retardation, bone cancer, anything? So they can spend their entire tortured lives giving thanks to God?!

Total sadist.

It's a really good thing that there is not even the slightest scrap of evidence that he exists.

Tigerboy said...

Why does exposure to the sun cause skin cancer?

Back to the drawing board!

Anonymous said...

What makes you, probably just a mere mortal, think that you can know God's purpose? God is obviously one step ahead of us and knew that sales taxes on shoes would be transferred to faith based initiatives.

anonymous2 said...

"It's a really good thing that there is not even the slightest scrap of evidence that he exists." Speaking of shoes, if you were in mine, you'd have no doubt that he exist. You'd just know that he is a worthless no good lying piece of shit asshole that doesn't care about ruining lives or pain and suffering.

Tigerboy said...

Anonymous2:

Are you saying that you believe there is a God, but that

A) he enjoys causing suffering?

or that

B) he just doesn't care enough to stop it?

ananymous2 said...

"Are you saying that you believe there is a God, but that"

yes

Tigerboy said...

Anonymous2:

How does one cope with the abject horror of believing that one is living under the unblinking, 24-hour-a-day gaze of a malevolent, sadistic dictator? And, you cannot even kill yourself in order to escape.

If I were to actually believe in a God that is all-powerful, and truly ENJOYS the suffering of humans, I would be shrieking insane with terror.

We would be like a colony of ants, as a giant crabby teenager stood over us with a magnifying glass and a hammer. Except this one gets pissed if one of the ants has sex with the wrong ant, or eats the wrong type of bread crumbs, or says the wrong ant words.

Wham! Smash! Who would choose to believe this?

Given that there is no evidence to suggest that such a malevolent celestial torturer exists, isn't it much more rational to believe the he doesn't?

Or, do you enjoy the terror?

anonymous2 said...

Who "enjoys the terror"? Please tell me how to turn the switch of belief off and I will. I deal with it because I shreak in terror at what might lie in store if I were to commit suicide. You hit the nail squarely on the head - I am tormented and there are moments when I feel I am on the edge of "insanity"; I am the ant.

I have had way too many experiences which are beyond mere happenstance or coincidence which lead to my belief in the existance of god. Daily, I evaluate whether there truthfully is a "choice" to believe. Do I beleive because of indoctrination? Do I believe because there is a spirit that moves within me? Is that a spirit or is it just in my mind?

Your boy/ant analogy is right on point. It is hell.

Tigerboy said...

Anonymous2:

I am so sorry. I feel bad for you.

This is why I "hate Jesus." These stories are not benign. They freak people out. And, they make people hate other people. They are divisive, like racism.

Yes, of course, you believe because of indoctrination. As a child, you were told outlandish stories about how the universe works. And you can't get those stories out of your head.

I PROMISE you, it's a lie. Your parents may have believed it. But still, it is totally FALSE.

Religious stories are mind-control. Behavior-control.

Let's examine something in which you do NOT believe. Santa Claus. Santa Claus is behavior-control for children too young to understand the concepts of Heaven and Hell.

Be good, get candy. Be bad, get coal.
Be good, get Heaven. Be bad, get Hell.

Santa Claus is where the God indoctrination starts.

At some point, you realized that the whole Santa Claus thing could not possibly be true. I have good news for you, my friend. The whole God thing cannot possibly be true, either.

People are very, very frightened about the fact that they know they will eventually die. Death cannot be avoided. So, they make up stories about how they might live forever. People have always been afraid of their own death. People have always made up stories about how they might live forever.

Then, the stories get embellished, fleshed out.

Behave one way, live forever.
Behave in any different way, you die, or worse, get punished forever.

People use the the promise of heaven to control the behavior of others, like parents use the promise of candy to control their children.

In the same way that parents use Santa Claus to make their children behave a certain way, some people use stories about God to control the behavior (and money) of others. Mind-control.

There is no logic in the notion that there is a God.

Have you ever heard of infinite regression? If complex things, like worlds or universes, are designed, created, who created the creator? Who designed the designer? Something that can design complex things must, itself, be very complex. Who created it? How did it come to be?

If complex things form on their own, from simpler things, which makes more sense, why do we need God to explain the origin of anything?

The claim that God is infinite is a cop-out. Everything in the universe has a beginning. A God that creates and destroys is dealing in TIME that is FINITE. A God that creates and destroys is dealing in the here and now.

A God that gets angry is dealing in the here and now. A God that holds a grudge is dealing in the past. A God that punishes is dealing in the future. He is planning his punishments.

Linear time. Past, present, future. He had to start creating and destroying sometime. He is planning on punishing in the future, for deeds committed in the past. Past, present, future. Linear time.

He must have had a starting point. How did such a powerful being start? How did such a powerful being come to be? Who designed him?

Every small child asks these questions, because they are totally logical questions.

The answer is, he didn't.

God is an invention of the fearful human mind. The fact that these stories can be used to control other people is just a huge bonus.

Let's examine something else in which you do not believe. Thor, or Baal, or Osirus, or Apollo, or any of the hundreds (thousands) of other gods that people used to worship.

Look up "Mithra the bullslayer" on the internet. Mithras was a Pagan god that was a sort of a midpoint between Apollo and Christ.

Actually, the Mithras legend and the Christ legend were forming around the same time, but Mithra the bullslayer came first. Mithras reached the height of his popularity around 3rd or 4th century AD, but the cult of Mithras existed long before Christ was born.

Mithras came from Persia. Mithras and Christ have a lot in common. In fact, they share so much in common that you cannot help but make the assumption that they derive from the same god-stories. People look for figures onto which they can apply miraculous deeds. Today, we call them "urban legends."

Essentially, the same god-stories got transferred from Apollo to Mithras to Christ. Do people worry about angering Mithras, today? Or, Apollo?

Jesus the preacher may, or may not, have been a real guy.

(If you discount the stories written in the Bible, which has all kinds of historically false stuff, there is virtually zero evidence that such a man existed. There are records of many Roman crucifixions, but no crucifixion records of a preacher named Jesus.)

But, even if you accept that Jesus was a real guy, there is no question that the stories told about him are just legends that were also told of many earlier god-figures.

Born of a virgin.
Occupation shepherd.
Traveling in the wilderness.
Occupation carpenter.
Feeding the poor.
Occupation fisherman.
Unusual knowledge of religious writings as a youth.
Healing the sick.
Gathering of disciples.
Raising of the dead.
Death/torture/hanging on a cross or tree.
Resurrection after three days.
Bodily ascent into heaven.

All of these stories were told of lots of other god-figures, before they were told about Christ. It's not real.

Stories are handed down through the generations, in order to control people.

Just like Santa Claus.

It's bullshit.