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Thread: God's attitude towards science and progress

  1. #46
    Over 2000 post club iouae's Avatar
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    "The history professor Peter Harrison attributes Christianity to having contributed to the rise of the scientific revolution:

    historians of science have long known that religious factors played a significantly positive role in the emergence and persistence of modern science in the West. Not only were many of the key figures in the rise of science individuals with sincere religious commitments, but the new approaches to nature that they pioneered were underpinned in various ways by religious assumptions. ... Yet, many of the leading figures in the scientific revolution imagined themselves to be champions of a science that was more compatible with Christianity than the medieval ideas about the natural world that they replaced.[17]"

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_revolution

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    TOL Legend Clete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iouae View Post
    I agree with you. I was the one saying we have no rights, not to physical life, not to eternal life, not even to a pleasant life. Its all God's grace that we enjoy anything.
    Okay, fine and dandy.

    My comments to JR were in response to the portion of his post where he mentioned me. I haven't read the thread and so my comments should be taken as generalizations. There's exceptions to everything and while I haven't read your comments, I'd wager that JR didn't feel like someone had been blasphemous for no reason. Perhaps he was referring to something someone else said. In any case, there is no excuse for even insinuating wrong doing on God's part. One should avoid, if possible, saying anything that might even give that impression. And, if falsely accused of saying such a thing, one should go to some lengths to explain that they've been misunderstood and to clarify. There is hardly a sin one could commit that is worse than accusing God of sin or casting aspersion on His perfectly righteous and just character. It is an act of hubris beyond comprehension and should immediately disqualify anyone from further participation in any rational discussion about anything.

    Clete
    "The [open view] is an attempt to provide a more Biblically faithful, rationally coherent, and practically satisfying account of God and the divine-human relationship..." - Dr. John Sanders

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  4. #48
    TOL Legend Clete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iouae View Post
    Let's look at the modern move away from human power, to machine power.

    In all of ancient time, slavery was a common practice. That is because they did not have electric or gas powered machines to do the heavy lifting. They did not have tanks and planes.

    We see Israel as slaves in Egypt, and the world around considered this normal.

    God brings Israel out of Egypt. And here God has a chance to completely rewrite the laws as He wants them.
    So God takes Israel to Mt. Sinai and gives them the 10C. Now the 10C are not rights, they are obligations. Just like which side of the road to travel on is not a right, what is the speed limit is, is not a right, so the 10C are there to limit what you may think is your right to drive on any side of the road at any speed.

    Then God gives Moses the other 613 written laws.
    Does God outlaw slavery? No!

    What we would consider a most basic right, the right not to be "owned" by another, God does not outlaw. Instead He regulates it. And women were in those days treated like goods, handed down from father to husband. We still see this today when brides walk down the aisle and are given away by their fathers. This is a leftover from when women were treated like possessions, not people with equal rights to men.

    And the Bible is full of this, even in the New Testament, where even there, one can not find the command that all Christian slave owners free their slaves. Read the book of Philemon, where Paul encourages Philemon to take his slave back and treat this runaway slave well.

    Thus, we live in a modern world where slavery is frowned upon, and all have rights.
    It was partially the invention of energy sources like electricity and gas which made it much easier to have a machine working than a slave working. One machine can do the work of thousands of slaves. Every American today uses between 200 and 8000 slave equivalents worth of energy.
    See http://energyskeptic.com/2014/energy-slaves/
    You haven't even the foggiest idea of what you're talking about.

    It's no wonder you're on my ignore list.

    Ancient slavery bore very little resemblance to what we think of as slavery today. It had nothing to do with the wholesale, industrialized, race based and hereditary slavery of the sort that was practiced during the 17th and 18th century, which the world had never seen prior to that time and hasn't since, (thanks primarily to the United States Constitution (the Constitution set the eventual demise of slavery in motion at its signing), by the way).

    Exodus 21:16 He who kidnaps a man and sells him, or if he is found in his hand, shall surely be put to death.

    I Timothy 1:8 Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, 9 understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, 10 the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, 11 in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.

    Doesn’t the Bible Support Slavery?

    Clete
    "The [open view] is an attempt to provide a more Biblically faithful, rationally coherent, and practically satisfying account of God and the divine-human relationship..." - Dr. John Sanders

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    Quote Originally Posted by iouae View Post
    Thanks for that 6days, but I still don't see an explanation for "and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do."

    In the last few hundred years we have gone from "making clay bricks and building a tower" or skyscrapers, to electricity and nuclear weapons. What was stopping them do the same back then?
    If you think it was something super-natural, you have no good reason to think that. The reasons are complex and multifaceted, having to do with everything from widespread superstition, to a lack of religious, political and economic freedom. It is perhaps, most especially, the evolution of the way mankind uses money and the implementation of various degrees of competition based capitalism that has permitted and in fact caused the explosion of technological advancement and economic growth that has been experienced in the last 2-3 centuries. Once again, you have Christianity in general and the Constitution of the United States in particular to thank for most of that advancement.

    Clete
    "The [open view] is an attempt to provide a more Biblically faithful, rationally coherent, and practically satisfying account of God and the divine-human relationship..." - Dr. John Sanders

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    Quote Originally Posted by iouae View Post
    I like science and progress, so already I am biased.

    But my opinion is that God is not too crazy about human progress. The reason is, IMO obvious. When humans make progress, they make better weapons, all the better to destroy themselves. And God's attitude is "Thou shalt not kill".

    So we see no attempt by God to speed up progress. Jesus did not come to earth and teach us electricity.

    Also, the arrow of progress is in one direction - it tends to change human culture in one direction. For example, today, humans walk around stooped, looking at their cellphones.

    At Babel, one gets the idea that God scattered the nations to deliberately slow down progress.
    Gen 11:6
    And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.
    Unchecked Copy Box Gen 11:7
    Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.

    Nukes, pollution, global warming, species and habitat loss, drones - these are a result of progress.
    Medicine, more and better crops, ability to communicate, the joy of knowledge - these are a result of progress.

    We educate all children, teaching them science. I would rather NOT teach someone science if I knew they would abuse that knowledge. I would rather not teach everyone how to detonate a bomb from a distance.
    I find that God is in favor of everything being done in its proper time. In other words, ORDERLY.

    The Bible says that God is working on humanity, to perfect us. That describes progress pretty well. If God seems anti-progressive to you, it is probably the case that humanity is trying to run ahead of her lessons, like all children do. Science tends to outpace Humanities.

    For instance, we probably ought to have perfected pacifism before we perfected nuclear fission.

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    Over 4000 post club oatmeal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iouae View Post
    I like science and progress, so already I am biased.

    But my opinion is that God is not too crazy about human progress. The reason is, IMO obvious. When humans make progress, they make better weapons, all the better to destroy themselves. And God's attitude is "Thou shalt not kill".

    So we see no attempt by God to speed up progress. Jesus did not come to earth and teach us electricity.

    Also, the arrow of progress is in one direction - it tends to change human culture in one direction. For example, today, humans walk around stooped, looking at their cellphones.

    At Babel, one gets the idea that God scattered the nations to deliberately slow down progress.
    Gen 11:6
    And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.
    Unchecked Copy Box Gen 11:7
    Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.

    Nukes, pollution, global warming, species and habitat loss, drones - these are a result of progress.
    Medicine, more and better crops, ability to communicate, the joy of knowledge - these are a result of progress.

    We educate all children, teaching them science. I would rather NOT teach someone science if I knew they would abuse that knowledge. I would rather not teach everyone how to detonate a bomb from a distance.
    Science and technology, like many facets of life are at worst, neutral.

    That is, like all of God's creation, it was designed for our blessing

    Knowing the science of gravity or Mendel's law or knowing about nutrition or the tides or that fact that the sun rises in the morning in the east and sets in the west are not bad things to know.

    The technology of the printing of the printing press is not evil, it is how people had access to the printed word of God

    Computers are not evil of themselves, it is how people communicate godly concepts and truths on this forum.

    However, man can use the good God made available to us for evil.

    The same computer that God's creation made available for man to design and build that you use to learn truth could be used and is used to communicate error and sinful knowledge, it can be used to watch porn the world's carnal knowledge.

    The following verses about "inventions" gives us the godly side and the ungodly side of seeking science and technology.

    Psalm 99:8 Thou answeredst them, O Lord our God: thou wast a God that forgavest them, though thou tookest vengeance of their inventions.

    Psalm 106:29 Thus they provoked him to anger with their inventions: and the plague brake in upon them.

    Psalm 106:39 Thus were they defiled with their own works, and went a whoring with their own inventions.

    Proverbs 8:12 I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions.

    Ecclesiastes 7:29 Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.

    We can use science and technology for good and godly ends or allow it become a distraction from all that is good and godly.

    It is up to us to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. Matthew 6:33
    "And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship and in breaking of bread and in prayers." Acts 2:42

    "Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind" Philippians 2:2

    Pro scripture = Protestant

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    Over 2000 post club iouae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clete View Post
    ...while I haven't read your comments, I'd wager that JR didn't feel like someone had been blasphemous for no reason.
    I have absolute respect for God, so maybe JR was mistaken, or got carried away.

    There is hardly a sin one could commit that is worse than accusing God of sin or casting aspersion on His perfectly righteous and just character. It is an act of hubris beyond comprehension and should immediately disqualify anyone from further participation in any rational discussion about anything.

    Clete
    I think when you examine what I said, I think God is always right, because whatever God thinks IS right, by definition.

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    Over 2000 post club iouae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clete View Post
    You haven't even the foggiest idea of what you're talking about.

    It's no wonder you're on my ignore list.
    Well, I am glad we are talking now, and am sure we will clear up this misunderstanding.

    Here is an example where Joshua got fooled by the locals of Canaanite into letting them remain in the land. This is what happened to them, since they had sworn not to kill them...

    Jos 9:21
    And the princes said unto them, Let them live; but let them be hewers of wood and drawers of water unto all the congregation; as the princes had promised them.
    Jos 9:23
    Now therefore ye are cursed, and there shall none of you be freed from being bondmen, and hewers of wood and drawers of water for the house of my God.
    Jos 9:27
    And Joshua made them that day hewers of wood and drawers of water for the congregation, and for the altar of the LORD, even unto this day, in the place which he should choose

    Ancient slavery bore very little resemblance to what we think of as slavery today.
    I totally agree with you, and what you say below.

    It had nothing to do with the wholesale, industrialized, race based and hereditary slavery of the sort that was practiced during the 17th and 18th century, which the world had never seen prior to that time and hasn't since, (thanks primarily to the United States Constitution (the Constitution set the eventual demise of slavery in motion at its signing), by the way).
    In those days, if you made war, the losers became slaves. That was the culture of the day. Victors had total control over vanquished and there was no Geneva Convention. The Israelites were the kindest masters compared to say the Assyrians.

    But there were servants and hired servants as the link to answersingenesis shows (Heb "ebed").
    Culture of the day, including Israelite culture had unpaid servants (obviously, if there were hired ones).
    It was not bad being an unpaid servant, especially to a good master. Folks who lost everything, and might starve, attached themselves to a more fortunate Master. Israelite slaves were released after 7 years service, on Atonement. Gentile slaves/servants were not. Even an Israelite slave could choose to become a permanent, unpaid servant/slave by having a hole drilled in his ear. It was the ancient equivalent to social services, unemployment, bankruptcy funds.

    I assert this, that God did not in the 6000 years of mans rule come to overturn human culture.

    For instance if the culture was to have a king, and Israel wanted a king, God allowed them a king.
    If the culture commonly had polygamy, God allowed polygamy.
    If inheritance went to the males, God did not change that except when some enlightened girls complained, and God ruled they should inherit. I encourage all to read this story and see how God WOULD NOT have changed the culture of the day unless the girls had complained about girls not inheriting.

    Num 27:5
    And Moses brought their cause before the LORD.
    Num 27:6
    And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
    Num 27:7
    The daughters of Zelophehad speak right: thou shalt surely give them a possession of an inheritance among their father's brethren; and thou shalt cause the inheritance of their father to pass unto them.
    Num 27:8
    And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a man die, and have no son, then ye shall cause his inheritance to pass unto his daughter.

    Exodus 21:16 He who kidnaps a man and sells him, or if he is found in his hand, shall surely be put to death.

    I Timothy 1:8 Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, 9 understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, 10 the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, 11 in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.

    Doesn’t the Bible Support Slavery?

    Clete
    All the above refers to kidnapping, which is completely different to slavery, IMHO.

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    Over 2000 post club iouae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wick Stick View Post
    I find that God is in favor of everything being done in its proper time. In other words, ORDERLY.

    The Bible says that God is working on humanity, to perfect us. That describes progress pretty well. If God seems anti-progressive to you, it is probably the case that humanity is trying to run ahead of her lessons, like all children do. Science tends to outpace Humanities.

    For instance, we probably ought to have perfected pacifism before we perfected nuclear fission.

    I wish I had said it as well as you said it above.

    I personally think that God did not come to completely rearrange culture of the day (e.g.. ban money), and that He worked with the culture. It was hard enough for God to get them to do the basics, like the 613 that it would have been a bridge too far to change everything about culture too.

    Likewise technological progress. I think God is neutral towards it, leaving it alone EXCEPT where it threatened to get ahead of itself and threaten humankind, as you so nicely explained. It is for this reason that I think God said at Babel "And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do." (Gen 11:6). I believe God deliberately retarded scientific progress here.

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    Over 2000 post club iouae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oatmeal View Post
    Science and technology, like many facets of life are at worst, neutral.

    That is, like all of God's creation, it was designed for our blessing

    Knowing the science of gravity or Mendel's law or knowing about nutrition or the tides or that fact that the sun rises in the morning in the east and sets in the west are not bad things to know.

    The technology of the printing of the printing press is not evil, it is how people had access to the printed word of God

    Computers are not evil of themselves, it is how people communicate godly concepts and truths on this forum.

    However, man can use the good God made available to us for evil.

    The same computer that God's creation made available for man to design and build that you use to learn truth could be used and is used to communicate error and sinful knowledge, it can be used to watch porn the world's carnal knowledge.

    The following verses about "inventions" gives us the godly side and the ungodly side of seeking science and technology.

    Psalm 99:8 Thou answeredst them, O Lord our God: thou wast a God that forgavest them, though thou tookest vengeance of their inventions.

    Psalm 106:29 Thus they provoked him to anger with their inventions: and the plague brake in upon them.

    Psalm 106:39 Thus were they defiled with their own works, and went a whoring with their own inventions.

    Proverbs 8:12 I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions.

    Ecclesiastes 7:29 Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.

    We can use science and technology for good and godly ends or allow it become a distraction from all that is good and godly.

    It is up to us to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. Matthew 6:33
    I agree with every word you wrote above.

    When Mr. 666 gives life to the image of the beast, is this a robot I wonder, even a robot that can kill? Is the description below not exactly how a 1st century person would describe a 21st century killing robot?

    Rev 13:15
    And he had power to give life [ANIMATION??] unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak [like C-3PO], and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed [like drones call fire down from heaven].

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    Over 2000 post club iouae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clete View Post
    If you think it was something super-natural, you have no good reason to think that. The reasons are complex and multifaceted, having to do with everything from widespread superstition, to a lack of religious, political and economic freedom. It is perhaps, most especially, the evolution of the way mankind uses money and the implementation of various degrees of competition based capitalism that has permitted and in fact caused the explosion of technological advancement and economic growth that has been experienced in the last 2-3 centuries. Once again, you have Christianity in general and the Constitution of the United States in particular to thank for most of that advancement.

    Clete

    With a nod to the Motherland, where the Industrial Revolution began

    Looking at Sumer, they were highly advanced, with writing and much that we have today. That is the area of Babel. And linguists have NO IDEA where languages originated or when. Again, I believe this dividing of the nations, keeping them apart with languages and oceans and prejudices, has served to keep us from inventing nukes and biological weapons etc. soon after Sumer got started.

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    Quote Originally Posted by iouae View Post
    I have absolute respect for God, so maybe JR was mistaken, or got carried away.
    I doubt it.

    I think when you examine what I said, I think God is always right, because whatever God thinks IS right, by definition.
    No, God's action does NOT define right and wrong (except as a sort of figure of speech). If what you said were correct, it would be meaningless to call God good. God would be amoral. God could, in your view, commit the murder that others on TOL have accused Him of and murder would become righteous by virtue of God's action. On the contrary, murder would not become good, God would have become evil.

    If Jesus had sinned, He too would have become evil, otherwise there would have been no point in tempting Him. You don't deny that Jesus is the Creator incarnate, do you?

    Basically, you've bought a lie of the Catholic Church, of Augustinianism and of Calvinism. I recommend you drop it. You're standing on a foundation of blasphemy.

    As for the figure of speech I mentioned, it is only accurate to use God's character as a definition of moral behavior in the sense that God is, in fact, perfectly consistent in His behavior and it is, in fact, morally good. As such God stands as THE (only) ideal example for us to follow and to speak of morality in such terms is fine in common parlance but to philosophically define morality by God's action is to reverse it and render God amoral.

    Clete
    "The [open view] is an attempt to provide a more Biblically faithful, rationally coherent, and practically satisfying account of God and the divine-human relationship..." - Dr. John Sanders

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    Quote Originally Posted by iouae View Post
    All the above refers to kidnapping, which is completely different to slavery, IMHO.
    No, actually, it doesn't just refer to kidnapping, unless you want to call race based slavery mass kidnapping, but I'm not interested in debating it with you. I just am responding to point out that the post, of which this is the last line, basically reversed the point you had made when you brought up slavery to begin with.

    You're a double minded, mealy mouthed fool who thinks he can get away with attributing wrong doing to God and get away with it by yanking scripture from its context the way white European slave owners did in the late 1600s and by "agreeing" with someone when they've corrected you. You'd have done better by simply says, "Yeah, you're right! My bad!".

    Clete
    "The [open view] is an attempt to provide a more Biblically faithful, rationally coherent, and practically satisfying account of God and the divine-human relationship..." - Dr. John Sanders

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  19. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by iouae View Post
    With a nod to the Motherland, where the Industrial Revolution began
    Quite so.

    I did say "MOST of that advancement".

    Looking at Sumer, they were highly advanced, with writing and much that we have today. That is the area of Babel. And linguists have NO IDEA where languages originated or when. Again, I believe this dividing of the nations, keeping them apart with languages and oceans and prejudices, has served to keep us from inventing nukes and biological weapons etc. soon after Sumer got started.
    Yeah, I can see your point here. There is no question that the confusing of the languages was supernatural and it would certainly have slowed progress quite a lot and in fact that was the point of doing it. I'm not sure that it would have slowed progress to a stand still for millennia but certainly for centuries anyway. Interestingly, the differing languages would have produced nations that would have naturally competed against each other for the use of resources as well as regional power. As such, even with the confusion of languages, the invisible hand of capitalism would have had its influence.

    As every individual, therefore, endeavours as much as he can both to employ his capital in the support of domestic industry, and so to direct that industry that its produce may be of the greatest value, every individual necessarily labours to render the annual revenue of the society as great as he can. He generally, indeed, neither intends to promote the public interest, nor knows how much he is promoting it. By preferring the support of domestic to that of foreign industry, he intends only his own security; and by directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention. Nor is it always the worse for the society that it was not part of it. By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it. - Adam Smith

    I was thinking you had something more mystical in mind, where God somehow magically refused to allow the connections of logic to be put together in anyone's mind prior to the Renaissance.

    Clete
    "The [open view] is an attempt to provide a more Biblically faithful, rationally coherent, and practically satisfying account of God and the divine-human relationship..." - Dr. John Sanders

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clete View Post
    No, God's action does NOT define right and wrong (except as a sort of figure of speech). If what you said were correct, it would be meaningless to call God good. God would be amoral. God could, in your view, commit the murder that others on TOL have accused Him of and murder would become righteous by virtue of God's action. On the contrary, murder would not become good, God would have become evil.
    Clete
    If God wants to have his Son born so that it appears He is born out of wedlock, have the pregnant Mary travel a long journey to Bethlehem, have the child born in a manger, have the child threatened with murder by Herod - I might not have done it that way, but I am always in agreement with what God does.

    If God wants to have his only beloved Son scourged, spat upon, striped naked and crucified, after his Son begged to not go through with this - I definitely would not have done it that way. But that's just me.

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