God's Existence, Science and Faith, Suffering and Evil, Jesus' Resurrection, and Book Reviews

Cartoons, Animal Death, and Theology

Ever since I can remember I have been an avid fan of the old Looney Tunes cartoons (Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, et al). Since I have grown up and am now a more critical thinker, I have an all new appreciation for these cartoons (they are funny for even more reasons now). The other day I was watching through some of them and came across one that I think provides quite an interesting critique of the challenge of so much animal death in God's creation.

The Challenge:
  1. If God is all loving and all powerful, then he would not have created a world in which there was so much animal death and suffering.
  2. There is a lot of animal death and suffering.
  3. Therefore, God is either (or both) not all-loving and (or) all-powerful...and may not even exist.

Bad Designs and the Pharmaceutical Industry

Irony Found In Drugs
Over the last decade or so, it seems to me that the commercials for pharmaceutical drugs are getting longer and more entertaining. One of the things that I find ironic is that the narrator spends the majority of the commercial explaining the possible side effects of the drug rather than what it is designed to accomplish for the patient. The confusion really begins when they describe the trade-offs: do you want sleep? You must sacrifice breathing. If you want to not be constipated, urination may be uncontrollable. If you wish to escape allergies, you may become suicidal. If you desire to not be so depressed, you might experience a heart condition that may cause death.

🎅Santa Claus and Our Children's Trust

My all-time favorite comic strip has to be Calvin and Hobbes. As a kid I would spend hours reading it and laughing until my tummy and cheeks hurt. I still do that today, but I am much more equipped to appreciate the philosophy that Watterson communicated through his witty characters too. This one gave me pause the other day:

...not because of the questions that Calvin found to be common between Santa Claus and God, or even the fact that he has questions about God. What troubled me is the fact that he has questions about Santa Claus. If someone had not told Calvin that Santa Claus existed, he would not even have such questions about Santa Claus. I want to talk this week about two important things that Watterson has illustrated (...unintended pun left for your enjoyment) for Christian parents.

Paperclips and Design

Quite often intelligent design (ID) gets the accusation of being a "God-of-the-gaps" argument. The charge is that people cannot find a natural explanation for what they see in nature, so they immediately attribute it to God. Since nature may be able to explain a phenomenon, such quick conclusions are obviously intellectually lazy and should be recognized as such. A while back I wrote a post addressing the charge of being too quick to come to that conclusion. But this time, I want to focus on the idea that support for intelligent design comes primarily in the form of a process-of-elimination argument.

Even though such an argument does hold value, the conclusion is more reliable when another, more "positive", argument is presented. This argument takes the form of an analogy. It examines what we already accept as being designed by an intelligent agent (humans), and concludes that something of equal or more specified complexity is also designed by an intelligent agent. Allow me to provide an example.