Tuesday, May 2, 2006

Dr. Evil Part Deux

Ryan sent me this email which was forwarded to him etc. etc. It certainly is a fascinating story.

As you are no doubt aware I am still having difficulty seeing how Evil could merely be the abscence of good or God. But this story seems to take me to the cleaners on this count. It's happened before quit looking so surprised. Anyway here is a link to where a version of this same story has been posted on the web.

"LET ME EXPLAIN THE problem science has with Jesus Christ."
The atheist professor of philosophy pauses before his class and then asks one of his new students to stand. "You're a Christian, aren't you, son?"
"Yes, sir."
"So you believe in God?"
"Is God good?"
"Sure! God's good."
"Is God all-powerful? Can God do anything?"
"Are you good or evil?"
"The Bible says I'm evil."
The professor grins knowingly. "Ah! THE BIBLE!" He considers for a moment. "Here's one for you. Let's say there's a sick person over here and you can cure him. You can do it. Would you help them? Would you try?"
"Yes sir, I would."
"So you're good...!"

(please i am not endorsing this website)
(the version I got from Ryan claimed Albert Einstein as the brilliant student - this quite unsubstantiated)


Jerry said...

Interesting. But I don't like the way it ended. When the professor dies, there will be plenty of proof that the professor has a brain.

I think when it comes to the validity of the scientific method, it's a matter falsifiability. If we can make a test to prove the brain doesn't exist, the test would reveal that in fact it does. However, we have no test to prove God doesn't exist.

And this makes me wonder if we have a test to prove the non-existence of evil. I suppose if we equate life with good and death with evil, then, a test would be manageable, proving that evil does indeed exist.

Incoming... said...

yeah it's a story.
i too wonder if epistemologically the scientific method is the best way to know the truth about these issues...

Jerry said...

ya, just because science works most of the time it doesn't mean the unobservable they rely on is a true representation of reality.

Clinton said...

now let's say that you know that by not healing this sick person, their relationship with their family will be healed which will result in emotional healing for this person .... or let's say that you know that if healed, this person will be a pedophile in three years ... or let's say that you know that this person is ill because they are involved in very unhealthy behavior and that they are about to 'reach bottom' and change their ways ..... or let's say that you know .... or let's say ....

The point is that nothing is as simple as it appears. Each action affects many things well beyond our scope of foresight or even imagination. God however has infinite foresight and foreknowledge. God knows the ramifications throughout history to come of each and every action He performs or permits today. Without equal knowledge how dare we, or the professor, pass judgement on Him?

Incoming... said...

good point

mark said...

"...one hardly opens the Bible before he encounters humanity coping, or more frequently failing to cope, with guilt. Adam and Eve's rebellion led to shame and hiding. Cain's jealousy let to murder and banishment. And before long, the entire human race was afflicted. Evil abounded and the people grew wicked. The heart of man grew so cold that he no longer sought relief for his callused conscience. This brought on man's inability to cope with sin." Max Lucado.

Maybe this is how evil came to be?...I was doing some reading last night and thought maybe it applied to this topic. I didn't having any personal thoughts last time, but this kinda stood out.

Teach said...

I think the student's point and one of the professor's downfalls is that he (the professor) fails to see that even science, when broken down to its very roots and beginnings has a requirement of faith. You must believe that the universe, for example, came from somewhere or something because we have no clear cut facts or evidence that points to a beginning and the last time I checked, no one living today was there. Sure there are theories, but no one can truly prove it, so one chooses to believe one theory or another. Maybe this level of faith needs to be applied to evil. None of us were there and no one truly knows whether God created it, let it happen or is just the opposite of goodness. Maybe this is just one of those questions that we cannot know the answers to because of our own flawed humanity. But what do I know, I'm no biblical scholar.

Incoming... said...

"I'm no biblical scholar." - I assume that what you are trying to say is that you are deferring your opinions to other people who have spent more time and energy to figuring things out. I admire that. Unfortunately, I think I hear that statement too much. Almost like a cop out. The fact is we are all theologians - whenever we talk about God - we do theology. I can see that for you James that statement is an honest admission of humility that is awesome. But I wonder often we use more like an escape hatch out difficult conversations. I know that sometimes when I have used that phrase, what I really meant to say was, hey don't hold me accountable if I get this wrong. And like I said I'm sure that's not what you meant just that i have heard that a few times lately and have been wondering about it.

Teach said...

No cop out intended. What I meant was that I have no formal training in theology and have never been to "Bible" school like some others. I was not saying that as an excuse to cover me if I was wrong, all I meant was that it was my opinion from an "uneducated" individual in this area. I don't really believe there is a firm right or wrong answer in this area and am not afraid to give my "uneducated" opinion. I feel pretty comfortable with where my knowledge base stands but did not want to lead anyone into thinking I have some kind of training that makes me an authority in this area, because that I am not. I agree that we are all theologians when we talk about God but some are diefintely more "educated" than others. That was all I meant by it. Thanks for pointing it out, I do agree that people try to stay clear of tough questions/conversation because they feel "uneducated" and I try not to be one of those. Next time I will choose my words more carefully so as to avoid the confusion :)

Incoming... said...

sorry man i totally thought that it would sound like i was picking on you on this stupid little pet peeve of mine. like i said i totally did not think that was what you meant - that it was a cop out. maybe just trying to identify the how we can fein deference sometimes as an excuse (actually if you look back at some of my own comments I've likely done the same thing - so the pot calling hte kettle black). And I totally agree that there is a place for us to defer to others who are wiser than we are. sorry if this came out the wrong way.