Thank you! Lincoln your not so bad either;) Well Done.
For that matter are all people evil? Is this something that Christianity teaches? I recently wrote a post about Ray Comforts Atheist Starter Kit. In the comments to that post there is an ongoing discussion with a commenter named Russ. In this discussion he brought up the idea that people are evil by their very nature. I have found this concept to be intriguing and felt that these comments deserved some wider review. Here are a couple of the relevant comments regarding the idea that all people are evil.
On August 7, 2008 at 12:01 pm Russ Said: |Edit This
No, I do not believe that Jesus was the only person to be unjustly punished and yes, I agree, people can be brutal to others for no just cause. But why? Why are people vicious and brutal to others for no reason? I believe the reason that men do evil things is because men are evil by nature.
This is exactly what the Bible testifies concerning man. The Bible declares that mankind is evil by nature.
“The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it? [Jer 17:9]
And Jesus said, “”For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.” [Mark 7:21-23]
And the Bible says that this is why Jesus was crucified. Because He testifies that mankind is evil.
The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil. [John 7:7]
The crucifixion of Jesus is the ultimate testimony of the evil nature of mankind for mankind brutally murdered the Prince of Peace.
But the crucifixion of Jesus Christ not only testifies of the evil nature of man, it also testifies of the love of God for it was on the cross that Jesus paid the price for our sin by dying in our place. He took the punishment that we deserve – death – so that we could be reconciled to God.
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. [2 Cor 5:21]
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. [Rom 6:23]
The Bible clearly testifies to mankind that we are evil by nature. And because man is evil by nature, mankind is condemned but the Bible also testifies that God loves us and is not willing that any should perish.
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. [2 Per 3:9]
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. [John 3:16]
I responded to this belief asking if he knows himself to be evil, to which he freely agree that he knows he is an evil person.
On August 8, 2008 at 5:42 pm Russ Said: |Edit This
Absolutely I believe that I am evil by nature. That is why I need a Savior and that is why you need a savior as well because we are all made of the same flesh and we all have the same evil desires:
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries… [Gal 5:19-21]
But when a person becomes a Christian, God gives them new desires:
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. [2 Cor 5:17]
He agrees that he is evil, but since he is a christian he has been given new I assume non evil desires. However his nature is evil. This is a concept that he is supporting by using biblical quotes. You can read the comments back over at the original post. What interests me here is if you are a Christian (define that as you will) I have a few questions regarding this and your beliefs on the topic… because after years of Catholic school the idea that ALL people are evil by their nature was not discussed in any major way and I don’t recall it being applied to all people.
- Do you agree that ALL people are evil by nature? That people are born evil?
- If you agree with question 1 do you agree that you know yourself to be evil?
- If you were not christian would you succumb to your evil nature and engage in any of the acts listed by Russ above?… adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries
- what stops the other 4 Billion christians from not being evil?
I personally do not believe people are born good or evil per se, for me these questions are a bit more involved and complicated, in future posts maybe I can explore my thoughts on specific moral quandaries of good and evil. However for now I am as I began, intrigued by this idea that bible teaches us all people are evil by their nature and how it relates to people’s concept of Christianity and their view of themselves?
Please share your thoughts…
Over at RayComfort Blog Ignorance Central he has what he calls the Atheist Starter Kit. It is a collection of his ten recommendations for a novice atheist in how to argue with theist…. it’s amusing because it demonstrates that lack of depth with which he proclaims to understand atheists. I wanted to take the time and generally mock these 10 absurd points.
1. Whenever you are presented with credible evidence for God’s existence, call it a “straw man argument,” or “circular reasoning.” If something is quoted from somewhere, label it “quote mining.”
Here the presumption is that you will be presented with “credible” evidence, meaning that the evidence is so compelling that it is to be believed. So Ray has evidence for Proof of God(s) and I assume that he means Jesus is God since he is Christian and not the vague undefined God that is out there…The problem is it is highly doubtful he will present credible evidence and it is more likely that it will be flawed for any number of reason including but not limited to the one he listed above. I would love credible evidence for God(s). Please Provide it!!!!!
2. When a Christian says that creation proves that there is a Creator, dismiss such common sense by saying “That’s just the old watchmaker argument.”
What about when a Muslims, Hindus, or Wiccans say it? Would this be just as much evidence for their God/Goddess? Is he making an argument for Jesus or Just a vague undefined supernatural God? Why should we accept a creator as a default position, cannot the answer be the only intellectually honest one which is we do not know at this time how the creation (universe) was created?
3. When you hear that you have everything to gain and nothing to lose (the pleasures of Heaven, and the endurance of Hell) by obeying the Gospel, say “That’s just the old ‘Pascal wager.'”
It is Pascal’s Wager! Again this argument can come from any religion so what makes your religion more correct than any other religion, they all proclaim the exclusive way through their religious text either sent directly from God(s) or divinely inspired.. Consider there are 6 billion people on the planet only 2 billion are christian that means 4 billion people are not choosing Christianity. That ‘s a lot of people just left to suffer in hell and not because they were bad or evil people but they just didn’t back your God(s)…
4. You can also deal with the “whoever looks on a woman to lust for her, has committed adultery with her already in his heart,” by saying that there is no evidence that Jesus existed. None.
Is that Jesus never existed the best argument here, how about the Freedom argument. Freedom to think and have any thought I want or can come up with. Freedom from the thought control of your book. This seems more about creating a sense of Guilt in believers, I’ll stick with freedom.
5. Believe that the Bible is full of mistakes, and actually says things like the world is flat. Do not read it for yourself. That is a big mistake. Instead, read, believe, and imitate Richard Dawkins. Learn and practice the use of big words. “Megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully” is a good phrase to learn.
This one I agree with READ the BIBLE, and you will find many mistakes and contradictions. In fact many atheists have read the bible and other religious texts… actually read it cover to cover and see if it all really does make sense. See the violence, genocide, destruction, the wrath, famine and plagues… read how if you don’t believe this forever you will be damned… and then try and reconcile that with love and tolerance it preaches on the other hand. Also read the Koran, and the book of Mormon, Hindu Purana’s… I am willing to bet Ray Comfort doesn’t want you to read those only his concept of God and religion.
6. Say that you were once a genuine Christian, and that you found it to be false. (The cool thing about being an atheist is that you can lie through your teeth, because you believe that are no moral absolutes.) Additionally, if a Christian points out that this is impossible (simply due to the very definition of Christianity as one who knows the Lord), just reply “That’s the ‘no true Scotsman fallacy.'” PLEASE NOTE: It cannot be overly emphasized how learning and using these little phrases can help you feel secure in dismissing common sense.
Unstated major premise Christian’s don’t lie. The definition of Christianity is one who knows the lord? Where does this come from certainly not Merriam Webster. He must have a different dictionary… I also like how he has conveniently done away with the need for faith, if you know something then you don’t need faith in that thing… this must go back to that credible evidence that he can present… not only can he do away with atheist and agnostics, but all other religions. He knows the lord… wait not Jesus?
7. Believe that nothing is 100% certain, except the theory of Darwinian evolution. Do not question it. Believe with all of your heart that there is credible scientific evidence for species-to-species transitional forms. When you make any argument, pat yourself on the back by concluding with “Man, are you busted!” That will make you feel good about yourself.
Ah the evolution is a religion gambit… when in fact any evolutionary biologist will tell you science is provisional on the latest data and evolution through common descent is well supported. The problem for Ray Comfort is that he cannot come up with any actual science to dispute evolution at best he can point out the holes in the information and say see it’s incomplete as if that is a criticism of of science and not its strength. There will be always missing information our knowledge will never be complete but it will be on going. Do you know what has to be believe 100% for certain with no evidence for it, if you guessed Christianity you would be correct. If you guessed any other major world religion you would also be correct.
8. Deal with the threat of eternal punishment by saying that you don’t believe in the existence of Hell. Then convince yourself that because you don’t believe in something, it therefore doesn’t exist. Don’t follow that logic onto a railway line and an oncoming train.
The difference here and it maybe a subtle one is that railway lines and trains are real. They exist and we have direct evidence for them can your provide that credible direct evidence for God and God’s other sinister creation HELL?
9. Blame Christianity for the atrocities of the Roman Catholic church–when it tortured Christians through the Spanish Inquisition, imprisoned Galileo for his beliefs, or when it murdered Moslems in the Crusades.
Wait a minute are Catholics no longer Christians? Was there a tribal council and they got voted off the island? The last time I checked Roman Catholics represent the single largest christian group both in the USA and the World, they were also founded by the apostle Peter… but they don’t really represent Christianity… Ladies and Gentlemen the Protestant Pope Ray Comfort he represents the true Christians.
10. Finally, keep in fellowship with other like-minded atheists who believe as you believe, and encourage each other in your beliefs. Build up your faith. Never doubt for a moment. Remember, the key to atheism is to be unreasonable. Fall back on that when you feel threatened. Think shallow, and keep telling yourself that you are intelligent. Remember, an atheist is someone who pretends there is no God.
Finally, keep in fellowship with other like-minded Christians who believe as you believe, and encourage each other in your beliefs. Build up your faith. Never doubt for a moment. Remember, the key to Christianity is to be unreasonable. Fall back on that when you feel threatened. Think shallow, and keep telling yourself that you are intelligent. Remember, an Christian is someone who pretends there is a God.
Which one looks like a more accurate statment?