Thursday, October 05, 2006

Which radical religious group uses this image?

There are moderates as well as radicals in every group.
I don't mean to attack the more moderate members of this religious group but, WOW!
Religion of peace?
Thou shall not kill?
I don't want to link to them. The site's name is "answers in..." and often uses the initials, "AIG" -they don't sell any kind of insurance I would want to buy!

(Click on the image to expand)


skindleshanks said...

Hi Brian--Happy Chuseok! Hope your travels are going well...

I don't think many would consider me an extremist, but I would have to say I agree with almost everything on that ad (I would change "evolution" to "spontaneous evolution") The gun is a provocative picture used to make a point-it obviously got your attention (Marketing 101), but I think you interpreted it in the opposite way than it was intended

The ad illustrates a core tenet of Christian belief, that humans are "image bearers" of God. (Jesus uses the analogy of a coin being an image bearer of the king, an symbol of God's majesty and supremacy.) This is THE reason for the commandment, "You shall not murder." Destroying (or abusing, neglecting) another human being is a direct affront to God.

If we look to the principle of "survival of the fittest" for our ethical basis, what is the argument against murder?

Let's say that the two of us were stuck starving on an island with only a gun and enough food and water for one of us to survive until help came in two weeks. Christ says that I should willingly sacrifice my life for my friend--and in fact, for my enemy as well. What does natural selection suggest? Which one of us would be "fit" to survive?
(Shooting passing seagulls would bypass the ethical question, I suppose, but this is just an oversimplified situation.)

Honestly, I don't think that evolution is the real point though. I'm no philosopher, but I find it an incredibly complex task to try to create an ethical system that my conscience could live with that doesn't have its basis in God.

Anyway, I think that whoever made that ad wasn't promoting violence in any way, but was asking you to cosider what you would face if natural selection was carried out to its logical conclusion, and then offer an alternative.

kwandongbrian said...

"If we look to the principle of "survival of the fittest" for our ethical basis, what is the argument against murder?"
>> Why would we do that? Does the theory of gravity -not a fact, only a theory- mean we should drop stuff? Evolution is a description (or an attempt at a description) of what is, what has been, but not what should be.

"I find it an incredibly complex task to try to create an ethical system that my conscience could live with that doesn't have its basis in God."
>> I have good news for you. There are many Christian groups that fully accept evolution (The United Church of Canada and The Roman Catholic Church are two that I can name without doing research). There are also Buddhist groups, Jewish groups, Muslim groups and other religious groups that have no problem with evolution.

If we were trapped on an island -or whatever hypothetical situation that would require the sacrifice you describe- well, I don't want to discuss the idea in the first person, or the other person on the island being a friend. I suppose I would accept the other's decision to volunteer to die, but otherwise, I would be satisfied (again, in theory, in the actual event, who can say how I would react) with random chance making the decision- rock-paper-scissors or flipping a coin for example.

kwandongbrian said...

Oh, about the image: it sure looks to me like they are suggesting killing those who do not believe in their god.

I wonder if I could find a quote from the old testament or the new testament that would encourage the killing of nonbelievers. This certainly is the message I get from first looking at the banner - especially because their description of evolution is so flawed.

Any religious group that uses a gun for a marketing tool, cannot be one of peace, in my opinion.

skindleshanks said...

I personally don't think evolution as a descriptive theory poses any particular challenge to biblical Christianity at all--but many people I know do make observations about evolution a basis for their belief system.
E.g., We observe evidence for evolution: therefore God (or any designer) must not exist. That is as wild a leap as saying God exists: therefore evolution is false. I would have a big problem with both positions.

Anyway, my point was not about evolution at all. You say this ad promotes violence, but I think you're doing the same thing my creationist high school science teacher did with evolution--attacking straw men. It's a great stretch to say that ad is threatening detractors with violence--it is illustrating a logical result of reducing human value to that of an animal in a struggle to survive. (I have heard my university professor suggest as much, and although he suggested that propogation of the species was humanity's highest goal, I think if one is to base one's ethical system on natural selection, there are some very scary logical conclusions.)

One could create an ad with the same photo and marketing strategy to promote gun control, metal detectors in school, anti-gang action,etc. I once saw an ad with a bleak picture of a toxic waste dump--does the fact that that image depicts toxic waste mean that the sponsors are in support of pollution? Of course not--they were highlighting the logical alternative to conservation. Saying that using the image of a gun means that they are violent is a logical fallacy.

You can accuse people of killing in the name of God--these people will one day face a furious God who will hold them accountable for dishonouring his name so. As a Chistian, I am sorry and ashamed of such actions. You can't, however, accuse Jesus of advocating murder.

skindleshanks said...

I found the site you were referring to (it took a while-I thought the "G" referred to "God"). While it certainly does seem to be a dogmatic group (not much unlike some Darwinists I've met)--military extremists it seems they are not.

What about Darwin's "posse"--cross those guys and you might find yourself naturally selected for a public lynching, right?