The fluttering of a butterflies wings can start a chain of events leading to a tsunami, this is a parable used in Chaos theory called the butterfly effect. It’s also a parable used in theology, specifically theodicy, to explain how we can never know all the factors of, and effects of, evil. It’s used especially by Calvinists who appeal to the principle found Genesis 50:20, the idea being that God pre-ordains evil because he intends to use it to bring good out of it. The same goes for non-calvinists, arminians and modalists; they will often point to the finitude of human understanding to make the point that God created a world with evil but that it is justified because there is ultimately good that will come out of it, even to the point of saying it would be logically impossible to create a world without evil.
A Theist is someone who believes in God or a god, an atheist is someone who lacks such belief. Is it that simple? Is Atheism simply a lack of belief? Obviously there must be more to it then that, since that would mean that dogs are atheists, and babies may or may not be atheists, but generally we those we call atheists are expected to at least consider the possibility of a Deity. So how about defining an atheist as someone who might otherwise believe in God, or a god, but lacks such belief for whatever reason, and nothing else.
I’ve made the point in an earlier post about why it’s flawed as a full explanation of human behaviourEvolution is often the Atheists go to scientific ideology when it comes to explaining almost everything, I’ve made the point in an earlier post about why it’s flawed as a full explanation of human behaviour, but given the commonplace nature of the evolutionary explanation to dismiss Christian anthropology, I think the point needs to be made further. The argument often goes something like this:
In the previous post, we went over Reza Aslan’s theological assumptions coming from the school of thought beginning with Friedrich Schleiermacher. We ended with me agreeing with Reza Aslan that the answer to religious violence must come from religion. But how is this to be done? In his lecture, Reza Aslan doesn’t really explain how, but during the questions, he addresses it by saying:
The last post on this blog was about the Not peace but a Sword saying found in Matthew 10:34-39. The impetus for that post was actually a lecture I saw recently given by Reza Aslan on the connection between religion and violence. I’ve written on Reza Alsan before. His argument is based on a few fallacies, one of which is found around the 20 Minute mark, he says:
A Muslim is whoever says he or she is a Muslim, the end.
I am not a Calvinist, and Calvinism is one of the strands of Christianity that I find most problematic, but, in this post, I’m going to be defending a Calvinist, and to a certain degree, a Calvinist position. When I first saw this article, and read the first subheading, I was a little bit surprised, Reformed Theologian John Piper is not really known for engaging in Natural Theology, a lot of Calvinists tend to shy away from evidential argumentation for God and start with presuppositional apologetics and stick with revealed theology. As I read the article, though, I understood that what the author (Neil Carter) is criticizing is John Pipers response to a question in a podcast episode about Paul’s claim that God’s existence is self-evident in Romans 1:19-20.
Continuing from the previous post (which itself was continuing from two previous posts here and here) I will be continuing my overview of Stephen Law’s second response to John Milbank and John Milbank’s second response to Stephen Law. About the question of Evil Stephen Laws response to John Milbank’s point that any possible distinction between Good and Evil is already granting a Divine is simply a misapplied empirical point he says:
It’s often claimed that unless we believe in God we’ll suppose ‘everything is permitted’ and so end up sliding to moral catastrophe. Yet, when we look across world’s developed democracies, we find that those that are most religious – including, of course, the United States (where 43% of citizens claim to attend church weekly) – have the highest rates of homicide, sexually transmitted disease (STD), teen pregnancy and abortion. The least religious countries, such as Canada, Japan and Sweden, have the lowest rates.