I find something repulsive in the idea of vicarious redemption. I would not throw my numberless sins onto a scapegoat and expect them to pass from me; we rightly sneer at the barbaric societies that practice this unpleasantness in its literal form. There’s no moral value in the vicarious gesture anyway. As Thomas Pain pointed out, you may if you wish take on another man’s debt, or even offer to take his place in prison. That would be self-sacrificing. But you may not assume his actual crimes as if they were your own; for one thing you did not commit them and might have died rather than do so; for another this impossible action would rob him of individual responsibility. So the whole apparatus of absolution and forgiveness strikes me as positively immoral, while the concept of revealed truth degrades the whole concept of the free intelligence by purportedly relieving us of the hard task of working out ethical principles ourselves.
– Christopher Hitchens, Letters to a Young Contrarian, p34
Often during an argument about the validity of evolution, one who doesn’t believe in evolution will assert something along the lines of: “If evolution is true, then how could something as perfect as the human eye be created? The answer, of course, is that were were created perfectly in God’s image; we did not evolve from animals.”
Here, I will admit, is a clever piece of rhetoric, though wrong nonetheless. The reason that it is clever is that it plays to our pride. Who would argue that we humans aren’t perfect? Well, I would.
Consider the human body carefully. Every individual part can not only break down, but can cause the death of the individual! If you can’t imagine how this is possible, let me remind you of the six-letter word “cancer.” Even the most unimportant parts of your body, let’s say a toe, can be stricken by cancer, and you can die. If you don’t believe this, look up the reason for Bob Marley’s death. If you don’t want to spend the time opening this, in short, his religious beliefs dictated that his body must be one, and amputation is not an option. Mr. Marley contracted cancer on a toe, and refused to amputate. The rest is biology.
So, any part of our body can have a problem — one of the manifold problems possible — and that problem can cause a termination of our whole life, not just a problem with that part in particular.
Let’s consider an unarguably intelligently designed device as a comparison: a car. If you were going to buy a car and the dealer told you that if you get a tiny bit of rust on any part of this car, the whole car would eventually be destroyed by this bit of rust, would you want to buy this car? On a car, if you get some rust on your bumper, and you don’t treat the rust, the worst that will happen is that the bumper will eventually rust off — the rest of the car will be fine.
So, a machine that is intelligently designed by a mere human is superior in this fundamental way to a human who was designed by an omnipotent being. Wow, we humans are smarter than God then. That’s nice to know.
Also, you should consider the frequency of problems or injuries among humans. Evolution explains that our ancestors have only been walking upright for a relatively short time, on the evolutionary scale. Accordingly, this drastic shift in positioning of the anatomy should, considering evolution’s short adaptation time, cause numerous problems, probably for at least a few million years. As we might expect, humans have notoriously problematic spines. Spines that had many, many, many millions of years to evolve for horizontal usage are known to cause aches, pain, and even excruciating pain due to disc herniation from normal wear and tear. I know from personal experience how terrible this can be, I’ve had an artificial disc placed in between two cervical vertebrae to solve a disc herniation. If you’re wondering about the pain, it can be almost immobilizing and the pain can occur anywhere the impacted nerve leads to (in my case, down my left arm). Many also lose sensation in their extremities and possibly power. I lost sensation however, I never lost arm strength.
I have heard different percentages, however, it seems that by the time people reach 80, almost everyone will have a mild to severe herniated disc. Considering how debilitating this common injury is, I have no idea how a Creationist would explain this fundamental design problem. Maybe God likes it when we are in intense pain.
So, unless our “Intelligent Designer” is far less intelligent than us humans, it seems that the concept of Intelligent Design should at least be rechristened “A Little Dumb Design”.
I recently read a great post by Illuminutti about psychic predictions for 2012 here. It demonstrated that almost all of the predictions made by so-called psychics failed. So, I’ve decided to come out of the closet here: I am a psychic. Not only that, I am probably the greatest psychic that has ever lived, since being a so-called psychic involves making predictions that come true on rare occasion. I think I can do better than that. So, I’ve decided to make ten predictions for 2013.
Before we start, I have to mention that my psychic senses tell me that 2013 is going to be a very unlucky year. I will scientifically break this down. “13” is an unlucky number, and it is preceded by 20, which would of course mean multiplied by 20. So, 2013 will be twenty times unluckier than the number 13. Beware!
1) A new breakthrough in space travel or space science in general will happen. And, no, I’m not basing this on my knowledge of SpaceX’s plans for the near future. Don’t be so skeptical.
2) The number of global mobile phones will come close to, or surpass the global population. And, no, I didn’t read that in a newspaper article. This information came from my secret psychic source: some call it heaven, some call it God, but NOBODY calls it a simple internet search!
3) A terrible man-made or natural calamity will strike Eastern Asia. And, no, this is not too general of a statement. This is how the science of psychic knowledge works.
4) A scandal will happen in the American government which will make Americans wonder if they can trust their elected representatives. And, no, this is not a relatively common scenario. It doesn’t happen every day does it? You know what, you’re being too cynical. I’m not going to comment anymore, I’m just going to give my predictions!
5) Medicine will make a breakthrough that helps many people.
6) A famous celebrity will be photographed nude or partially nude.
7) A person will claim that they have evidence of a miracle and many people will flock to see this miracle.
8) A rock or rap star will make a song that becomes a huge hit, but then that rocker or rapper will never produce another hit song.
9) A very famous person will die.
10) Snookie, from Jersey Shore, will contract herpes. Ok, ok, I know that’s an obvious one.
Let’s see how well I do. Anyway, I made these predictions with my cell phone nearby, and so, if any are wrong, it’s because the invisible waves from my cell phone obviously interrupted my psychic ability.