I know it's rare (!) but every so often you'll find someone who accepts evolution, but who is also a Christian. What I've found is it's better to skip straight to two questions when debating them.

What was the point of Jesus' sacrifice?
Why is there suffering in the world?

Now, no matter how much they try to duck and dive and twist scriptures, they can be shown that the two are not compatible. It's worse than them having to take Genesis as one big metaphor (or mistake, as I like to say). It really destroys the basic foundations of that religion, in a way which effects all Christian sects I've come across.

To show you what I mean, here's two debates I've had on the subject. I didn't have to use all the arguments I have on this (I have a master copy 'essay' I tweak sometimes) , but so far it looks like I have it covered.

I would recommend taking this approach if you think they may be open to reason, or if people reading along may be. It saves a lot of bother going over other reasons why it's unlikely this god exists. This way disproves the existence of the god written about in the Bible in a clearer way.

In this one, it's mostly between Matthew, who comes in at post 8, and myself - Chris J - from post 23 on. I talk to a couple of others there, but he puts more into it.

http://www.atheistbus.org.uk/asa-call-it-for-us/?cp=all

This is the latest one. Between Micheal Erickson and myself - Chris J again, funnily enough.

http://scienceblogs.com/effectmeasure/2009/06/freethinker_sunday_se...

I'm still waiting for responses on both of them. Ah well.

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Thanks for the link. Unfortunately, it says they believe in both, but doesn't say exactly how. I'm wondering if all these evolution accepting Christians just say to themselves 'Lots of people mix the two, so I expect it can be done, but I'm not going to bother looking into it properly myself.'

I'll put that essay I mentoned in a blog.
Oh.. I could have told you cognitive dissonance if my brain wouldn't have exploded after doone's post.
It's a pretty well known classification in psychology.
It's the anxiety and symptoms of anxiety that result from trying to resolve unresolvable beliefs or ethics, where as doone I think was trying to say something about how two conflicting structures could exist in the first place through self hypnotism or alternate dimensions or something... I dunno.. I'm still scraping up pieces of my psyche, thanks.
in england the archbishop of cantebury admits that evolution is probably true, but then says that god designed us to evolve! why do they do that!
The Catholic church accepts evolution, at least enough to teach it in Catholic school science classes (even in the US!). Given that Catholics are hardly a small Christian sect, I think it is inaccurate to say it is rare to find a Christian who believes in evolution.

Admittedly however, the Catholics seem to be careful not to come out as strong proponents of evolution and spend a lot of time talking about the divine creation of the soul. Perhaps a safer statement would be that they don't DENY evolution.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_and_the_Catholic_Church

At the very bottom of the following page is a little section called Science & Religion which shows that the Catholic church basically subscribes to the NOMa concept (Non-Overlapping Magesteria), saying that science and religion are completely separate areas... and goes on to say that in rare cases where there is an apparent conflict that the Bible was probably speaking metaphorically so even then there's not a real conflict between science and religion.

http://www.catholic.com/library/Adam_Eve_and_Evolution.asp
I know this is an old topic but I just found the post so forgive me for jumping in.

Various people here have been commenting on Catholicism and Evolution and how they could possibly be compatible. noisician, your post from September 14, 2009 at 2:09pm is what I'm replying to now.

Serotonin Wraith, you said: "If someone's Christianity doesn't involve a man called Jesus dying for us, I don't consider it Christianity. It seems to be the very basic thing a Christian should believe. "

I was raised Catholic. I went to CCD every Wednesday, which we also called merely "religious education". I never knew was CCD stood for. Looking it up now, I realize it means "Confraternity of Christian Doctrine" lol, which is basically admitting in it's very name that it's childhood indoctrination: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confraternity_of_Christian_Doctrine The town I grew up in was kinda conservative, most people were Republicans, we were almost all white and upper middle class. It was a town in Northern Maryland. But the vast majority of people on our church used birth control and ignored the pope. So much so that the woman I had during my 8th grade CCD class, which was when they did the "Sex-ed" part, said something along the lines of "yeah, technically it's against our religion to use birth control, because the pope says not to, but everyone does so don't worry about it". They also said being gay is natural/biological, and that the pope and church accept that scientific evidence, BUT it's still a sin to act on any homosexual impulses. At the time I didn't really get what they were saying. I was very naive. And no one was openly gay that I knew. I found out later that I actually had someone in my own family, an uncle, who was gay. But I had no idea because it was never spoken of in my family. No one in my school was openly gay either. And I'd definitely never met an atheist/non-religious person. Except my dad, who used to be Jewish but let my mother raise us Catholic and kind of didn't really believe any of it. I have now turned him onto atheism and even anti-theism lol but at the time he was semi-agnostic or thought maybe the emotion of love is God or something. His non-religious nature probably helped me have doubts about Catholicism from a very young age that other people with 2 Catholic parents might not have had. There was always that person in my life who didn't believe in it, and it of course begs the question... why not? Why are some people Jewish yet some other people Catholic? People that are both smart, and reasonable, etc. My dad was raised Jewish, meanwhile my mom was raised Catholic. So it was extremely obvious to me that how you were raised seemed to determine what religion you were. And that probably helped me doubt from the start. Also not nearly extreme enough indoctrination at my church and with my mother who was outwardly pretty much the least-religious anyone can claim to be while still claiming to be religious.

When it came to evolution, we all pretty much accepted it, and it wasn't like we were all deists. In my 7th and 10th grade biology classes, we learned evolution in our public school, and there was only 1 girl who clung to creationism steadfastly and refused to believe in any of the evolution stuff. My 10th grade biology teacher was Catholic, he even had some poster up in his classroom that said something about God on it, but he got VERY pissed whenever anyone would deny evolution and he would go so far as to show videos about the awesome evolution process of the eye to counteract the argument that a human eye is too perfect it must have been created by God via creationism.

I'm not sure if I was deistic or agnostic or atheist or what but I hadn't ever REALLY thought about what I believed enough. I thought maybe there was a God, and maybe he had a son Jesus and all that stuff, but I didn't think TOO hard about it. I knew the Easter and Christmas story, the story of the prodigal son, and the basics of Noah's Ark. I had received a gold cross necklace at my baptism and liked to wear it when I was little on Easter because it was the nicest piece of jewelry I owned and it seemed appropriate. I got kinda confused by the idea of the trilogy. By original sin. I thought all children were innocent and blaming someone for the mistakes of their parents/grandparents/etc. was totally unfair. Or saying everyone is guilty naturally is also unfair - I always thought we were innocent until proven guilty. I didn't understand how Jesus could be God's son yet be the same as God. That made no sense to me. I never had a clear concept of heaven and hell in my mind. I kinda thought all good people would go to heaven but thought no one should go to hell and ultimately didn't really believe in an afterlife but I just tried not to think about it too much. I also didn't know THAT much about evolution. And VERY little about the bible, having never read it. But I completely accepted evolution, before I'd even learned it in school, because I'm pretty sure my parents accepted it and made that clear. I believed it without questioning because I didn't even really KNOW that there were creationists out there who 100% rejected it.

I decided not to be Confirmed as a Catholic in 9th grade because I didn't think I really believed it all enough and felt kind of like a hypocrite. Having faith is such an important doctrine that I'd been taught and I knew I didn't have enough of it so getting confirmed would have made me feel guilty.

However I bet my views on it all were probably QUITE similar to tons of other kids in my church who probably did have just a teensy bit more faith than me, people who's parents might have seemed more religious, people who accepted evolution but meanwhile also believed in the Christian God and Jesus. People who will probably raise their kids to be Catholic. They don't consider the parts of believing in both that are contradictory.

Most liberal/moderate Christians, including many Catholics, don't think about their religion very much. They don't care whether it's true or not because it's a presupposition for their life, of course it's true. But in everyday life it's easy for a moderate Christian to forget about God and the bible. They function essentially as atheists most of the time. They look at science from an atheistic perspective without even realizing it. Then later, when it's Sunday morning again and time for church, they think about God and the bible again, and cherry pick to find what they want, for instance: "God loves me and is always there for me, and as long as I go to church and respect his power I'll get to the nice afterlife".

I don't know, but that's my best guess at why there are so many Christians who accept evolution. Because in my experience there are a lot. Most of my friends are. All of my relatives are either Jewish or Christian and they accept evolution. When I was growing up I would have claimed to be one too. Now I'm 20 lol so I know I'm still pretty young but I now am well aware that I'm an atheist and have thought about it more so it's different for me now. ;)
You have to be very careful when confronting 'moderate' believers with these types of questions. From my experience, when the less fundie types are confronted with the absurdity of their more moderate beliefs, rarely do they move farther away from the religion. Usually it has the opposite effect; making them more fundie.

We should focus more on the inherent ridiculousness of belief as opposed to the ridiculous of the disagreements between believers.

Related posts:
http://avangelism.com/blog/archives/226 - SPAG and the liberal christian
http://avangelism.com/blog/archives/169 - No Noah, No Christ
That's a risk, but a high one? If they understand evolution properly and know about the evidence for it, it would have to be really hard to become a young earth creationist then, which is one way of getting out of the mess.

Some things that seem ridiculous aren't - like how we're related to bananas. This way disproves the Christian god, which I would have thought would lead to more deists than fundies.

Does anyone know of someone who became a YEC after seeing the contradiction between evolution and the bible?
Not personally, but I do recall Dawkins (I think) mentioning a geologist who was unable to reconcile the physical evidence of the world that he'd learned gaining his PhD with what the Bible said, and made a choice. He threw away everything he had learned and became a YEC.
Yes, that's my point. Most people don't become theists for logical reasons and when faced with logical reasons against belief, the tendency is to abandon logic in favor of what 'feels' right.
I think if they can see they believe just for emotional reasons, and not logical reasons as they may have thought, that can be a step in the right direction.

Personally I can't get my head around it. If they had to believe the earth was flat so it fit in with their religion, I can't see many people doing that. They'd probably ignore it rather than become active fundie round earth deniers.

There's still a lot of religious people who value logic over emotion who just haven't thought about some of these things, as I expect many of us were.
See the link I posted about SPAG and the Liberal Christian. Every christian rejects some part of the bible they find unpalatable, so even though it seems to us that they should 'believe the Earth was flat' to fit in, many will reject these ideas and because every other believer rejects some idea, no one is ever called out on it.

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