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October 22, 2008

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Ellen

Devil's advocate here (ha!) but the Slate article doesn't really discuss what most evolutionary psychologists also agree on - that all of our worst attributes (e.g. cheating on spouses, lying, stealing, murder) are also evolution-driven. While we don't need a god to be moral, we also don't need a devil to do evil. This being the case, a Christian might argue that we need god and a morality established by religion in order to fight our baser animal instincts. A christian would also argue that moral people go to hell all the time, because while they may be good people, they are not free of original sin, and they haven't experienced salvation. The argument would become interminable. To borrow a line from War Games, "the only way to win is not to play."

riverpoet

But that's not what I hear from the evangelicals I run with. Man [sic] is entirely evil unless he comes to god. Some people might be able to do good things, but only because of the work of god in the world. Which is to say that most of them don't believe that there's any way to be moral at all within human nature. Is this wacky? Yep. And is the best idea to sidle out of the room? Yep. And those moral people who participate to some degree with godly goodness, yes, still go to hell. Take Mother Theresa for instance. And with those people, it really is a good idea to sidle away. Unless it's a holiday and you're stuck with them. And that's truly evil.

(And we might respond that our baser instincts are the same as our fairness instincts, but that's a kind of 'wash, rinse, repeat' situation that will lead to total thermonuclear destruction).

Oh, hey, and look, 7th Day Adventists just walked into the coffeeshop...

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