soulsearching #fundie reasonablefaith.org

1st - Theists think that they can impose their ways of life on others because of a belief that is completely un-provable to the rest of us.

2nd - Do you show respect for racists and misogynists? No, you show contempt and ridicule. This is the only response appropriate for theists. You have a history of fascism (see any part of history), genocide (see almost any part of history) , and the opposite of human progress (see middle east for very clear reference). You stand behind this view because we can't disprove fairies, unicorns, and other transcendent beings? Come on. Theists will never garner respect unless they can convey to other groups why others must suffer at their stupidity. The correct answer is not "well, I have faith and you can't disprove it".

Atheists never hurt in the name of atheism. We just wish the rest of you would grow out of your imaginary friends.

William Lane Craig #fundie reasonablefaith.org

When I, as an objective observer, look at the evidence, it seems to me that we haven’t been shown any good reason to think that the neo-Darwinian mechanisms are sufficient to explain the evolution of the extraordinary diversity of life that we see on this planet during the time available.

So I’m not convinced that evolutionary creationism is true. It seems to me that so-called progressive creationism fits the evidence quite nicely. Progressive creationism suggests that God intervenes periodically to bring about miraculously new forms of life and then allows evolutionary change to take place with respect to those life forms. But as for grand evolutionary change, this would not take place by the mechanisms of natural selection and mutation undirected by God. Rather we would need miraculous interventions of God in the process of biological evolution to bring about broad evolutionary change. So instead of evolutionary creationism, we would have a kind of progressive creationism whereby God creates biological complexity over time.

William Lane Craig #fundie reasonablefaith.org

The lesson to be learned from the legality of interracial marriage is that just as the law must be blind with respect to the race of persons desiring to marry, so it must also be blind to the sexual orientation of persons desiring to marry. Just as persons desiring to marry cannot be discriminated against on the basis of their race, neither can they be discriminated against on the basis of their sexual orientation. When two persons ask the state for the right to marry, the state must ask no questions about their race or sexual orientation. Just as laws which would discriminate against persons’ marrying on the basis of their race are unconstitutional, so laws which would discriminate against persons’ marrying on the basis of their sexual orientation are unconstitutional.

That’s why the term “gay marriage” (which, I noticed, you were careful to avoid) is misconceived. Laws permitting gay marriage would be clearly unconstitutional, since they would not be blind to the sexual orientation of the persons involved. Such laws would sanction marriage for same-sex couples only if they were homosexuals, thereby taking cognizance of their sexual orientation and discriminating against heterosexuals who wanted to enter into marriage with someone of the same sex. To repeat: just as the law must be blind to the race of persons entering into marriage, so it must be blind to their sexual orientation. Laws sanctioning gay marriage would thus be unconstitutional (not to speak of unenforceable!). [Emphasis added]

So the laws governing marriage must have no reference to the sexual orientation of the persons involved. But that is precisely the situation of the status quo! Under the laws of the status quo no one is denied the right to enter into marriage because of his/her sexual orientation. Two heterosexuals, two homosexuals, or a heterosexual and a homosexual are free to marry, no questions asked, just as persons of different races are free to marry, no questions asked. What they are not free to do under federal law, whatever their race or orientation, is to enter into same sex marriage, simply because there is no such thing. Marriage is by its essence a relation between a man and a woman. But the sexual orientation of the persons involved, like their race, is a matter of complete indifference to the law.

So the legality of interracial marriage actually goes to support the current laws, which are indifferent to both the race and the sexual orientation of the persons involved. Those who want to re-define marriage in such a way that it need no longer be between a man and a woman need to come up with some other argument in support of that redefinition than the appeal to interracial marriage.

William Lane Craig #fundie reasonablefaith.org

So Christian theologians of all stripes have to face the challenge posed by animal pain. Here recent studies in biology have provided surprising, new insights into this old problem. In his book Nature Red in Tooth and Claw: Theism and the Problem of Animal Suffering, Michael Murray distinguishes three levels in an ascending pain hierarchy (read from the bottom up):

Level 3: a second order awareness that one is oneself experiencing (2).

Level 2: a first order, subjective experience of pain.

Level 1: information-bearing neural states produced by noxious stimuli resulting in aversive behavior.

Spiders and insects—the sort of creatures most exhibiting the kinds of behavior mentioned by Ayala—experience (1). But there's no reason at all to attribute (2) to such creatures. It's plausible that they aren't sentient beings at all with some sort of subjective, interior life. That sort of experience plausibly does not arise until one gets to the level of vertebrates in the animal kingdom. But even though animals like dogs, cats, and horses experience pain, nevertheless the evidence is that they do not experience level (3), the awareness that they are in pain. For the awareness that one is oneself in pain requires self-awareness, which is centered in the pre-frontal cortex of the brain—a section of the brain which is missing in all animals except for the humanoid primates. Thus, amazingly, even though animals may experience pain, they are not aware of being in pain. God in His mercy has apparently spared animals the awareness of pain. This is a tremendous comfort to us pet owners. For even though your dog or cat may be in pain, it really isn't aware of it and so doesn't suffer as you would if you were in pain.

William Lane Craig #fundie reasonablefaith.org

[sixth paragraph from the bottom of the article]

So whom does God wrong in commanding the destruction of the Canaanites? Not the Canaanite adults, for they were corrupt and deserving of judgement. Not the children, for they inherit eternal life. So who is wronged? Ironically, I think the most difficult part of this whole debate is the apparent wrong done to the Israeli soldiers themselves. Can you imagine what it would be like to have to break into some house and kill a terrified woman and her children? The brutalizing effect on these Israeli soldiers is disturbing.