Saturday, July 27, 2013

Intelligent Design, the problem of evil and the fallacy of sin

The Thinking Atheist's video about the irony of Intelligent Design and the prevalence of evil.

The problem of evil is not a direct refutation of the supposition of Intelligent Design (ID). But it does undermine ID. How can we use the beauty and majesty we find in nature as evidence of an intelligent designer (allegedly benevolent) when beauty and majesty are the exception rather than the rule? The mishomonist (I just totally made that word up, ad hoc.) will claim that it is the sins of man that are to blame.

If we assume that is true then how can they (these mishomonist , these haters of man) avoid admitting that the current state of nature does not support ID? Further, what historical information do we have that indicates, or even suggests, that there was a time when beauty and majesty were the norm rather than the exception? Conclusion: Blaming the problem of evil on the sins of man is an admission that ID is not consistent with observable reality.

But do those who blame the sins of man even have a point? Again if we assume that man was designed, by a designer, and the result was sin, what does that tell us about the design? Is it possible, given a perfect designer, that the product could fail to work as designed? Even with the inclusion of free will (which also can't be substantiated) the designed being will operate, must operate, as designed. The temptations of the fruit of the tree knowledge of good and evil, and other alleged evils, are only tempting because of our nature... our allegedly designed nature.

Intelligent Design is intended to be an argument that supports the existence of a creator/designer based on the complexity of many lifeforms. But much of the offered complexity (especially flaws) is better explained by evolutionary legacies. From an engineering standpoint reducing complexity is generally preferable. So too, many biological systems would be improved by reducing complexity.

ID fails on its basic claim. It also fails in light of the problem of evil. It also fails in light of the allegation that the current rarity of beauty and majesty are due to the sins of man. And it fails even further based on the alleged failure (sin) of that which was designed.

None of this proves or disproves the existence of a supernatural intelligent creator. But it does make the notion of a theistic powerful benevolent caring interactive deity completely moot.

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