Let me name the ways. (I will limit myself to three.)
With any intelligence would he/she/it have designed:
1) Tooth decay?
2) An amygdala that when squeezed by cancer results in a young man's becoming a serial murderer - Chas. Whitman in Austin in 1966 according to Robert Sapolsky, Professor of Neuroscience at Stanford University?
3) A prostate that with age expands and shuts down the flow of urine?
The problem with presenting arguments like this to Intelligent Design proponents is that they claim that the intelligence they are postulating is just that required to create the complexity of life. The three arguments above make a great case for the fact that an intelligent designer got it horribly wrong if his/her/its goal was happy human beings. However, there is no direct connection between an intelligent creator and a desire to create humans (or any other animal) that do not suffer from the problems listed above.
Don't get me wrong, I don't support Intelligent Design, but it is important to understand other viewpoints. Imagine a scenario where the intelligent designer is in fact an alien. As far as I know this is not incompatible with Intelligent Design. An alien may have designed Earth life as best they could and done a pretty good job, but their motivation may not have been a perfect creature, or even a particularly good one. Just one that lives.
It is the classic counter-argument that is also used for God. We do not know the mind or the will of the creator. Therefore we cannot determine whether or not their designs are "wrong". Perhaps they had bigger plans, plans that required tooth decay to be present.
I repeat, I do not subscribe to these views, but these are the arguments that I find are always put forward in defence of the legitimate points listed above. It is unfortunately another argument that is impossible to refute. These type of arguments are the bread and butter of a creationist's arsenal.
P.S. My one would be chronic back pain...... why?
Simon, I heard chronic (lower) back pain attributed to bipedalism. If true, it's another "designer" screw up.
On your other point, you took me seriously.
Have you used the poor design case, perhaps to a professional theologian, and heard it refuted? I've never met an ordinary xian capable of the response you describe.
I NEVER cite aliens; the ID people who do are trying to fool a federal judge.
To non-proselytizing xians I'm civil. I say that if I hadn't gone to Catholic schools for 12 years I might still believe there's a god. They understand.
To proselytizing xians I'm not civil. I usually say religion is the biggest fraud ever perpetrated on humankind. I might show them my occasional Machiavellianism: the more people there are who wait for happiness in a next life, the fewer people I have to share this life's happiness with.
Sorry for taking your reply so seriously but perhaps I'm on my own little crusade at the moment.
The reason I say this is a while ago I became a bit disillusioned with the standard atheist/theist debates as they seemed to me to quickly descend into the usual tedious "why are there still apes?" / "religion is evil" type fallacies.
I then set about scouring the internet for the more thoughtful and complex arguments on both sides of the fence. Whilst I was doing so I have come across some more subtle arguments from theists who are obviously more capable thinkers than your average Joe. The refutation I stated was one such argument. Forgive me, I cannot now find the original article where I read it, I have been reading a lot the last few weeks.
I too try and be civil to xians generally. I find that most do not even question why they are xian, let alone have considered arguments such as the one I stated. In fact in my experience non-proselytizing xians seem to care less about the issue than a lot of atheists - I think because to them it's not a big deal - it's just what they do. It's interesting, though, that even they tend to clam up when it comes to actually discussing whether God might/might not exist.
Anyway, I'm rambling now. My effort to try and find the better arguments for theism/creationism are an attempt to arm myself if I ever do get into debates and I think knowledge of these arguments helps me as an atheist to avoid slipping into the usual straw-man cliches. I realise your post was a humorous one so forgive me for piggy-backing it.
"why are there still apes?"
Give us another 10 to 20 years there won't be any. Won't have to hear that stupid question anymore.
Do those exist? I will need empirical evidence, lots of it.
It'll cost you, Gregg. A yoctobuck per teragram.
"...the more people there are who wait for happiness in a next life, the fewer people I have to share this life's happiness with."
Untrue. Believers spent their entire lives trying to make people enjoying this life unhappy.
Do addition and subtraction no longer work?
I'm trying hard not to view this post as a non sequitur. What are you saying?
In Gregg's Believers spent their entire lives trying to make people enjoying this life unhappy;
1. edit to correct the English,
2. analyze make people ... unhappy, and
3. do the arithmetic.
Better, count the number of "trees" Gregg "peed on" today and you will see that he was having fun.
"I NEVER cite aliens..."
Neither do I, they hate traffic tickets, had to duck a particle beam once (those blue ones with the flaccid noses are the worst).