Tuesday, April 25, 2006

God's Splendid, Magnificent Creation...Ted Bundy

OK, it’s time for a little thought experiment. In order to complete it, I will grant the existence of the omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent Christian God. That’s right, I will grant, without a fight, the existence of a ridiculous deity. However, in return, I ask that theists grant me one bit of science: The fact that our genes, to a substantial extent, are responsible for our behavior and abilities as adults. This shouldn’t be a problem, as that particular hypothesis is well grounded in science. Take, for example, research studies done on twins. It’s a fact that twins who are separated at birth nevertheless turn out far more similar than unrelated children who happen to be raised together. Indeed, it seems shared environment makes essentially no difference in how somebody turns out.

To substantiate this bit of science before moving forward, I’ll quote from a book I frequently cite and constantly plug, The Blank Slate by Steven Pinker:

“General intelligence is substantially heritable and so are the five major ways in which personality can vary (summarized by the acronym OCEAN): openness to experience, conscientiousness, extroversion-introversion, antagonism-agreeableness and neuroticism. And traits that are surprisingly specific turn out to be heritable, too, such as dependence on nicotine or alcohol, number of hours of television watched and likelihood of divorcing.”

…..

“Behavioral genetics allows us to distinguish two very different ways in which our environments might affect us. The shared environment is what impinges on us and our siblings alike: our parents, our home life and our neighborhood (as compared with other parents and neighborhoods in the sample). The non-shared or unique environment is everything else: anything that impinges on one sibling but not another, including parental favoritism (Mom always liked you best), the presence of the other siblings, unique experiences such as falling off a bicycle or being infected by a virus, and, for that matter, anything that happens to us over the course of our lives that does not necessarily happen to our siblings.


“Here is the second stunning discovery from behavioral genetics. In measuring the relative effects of a shared and a unique environment, we find that the effects of shared environment are small, often not statistically significant, and frequently zero. What this means concretely is that twins who grew up together are no more similar than twins who were separated at birth and reared apart, and that adopted siblings are not similar at all. Whatever experiences siblings share by growing up in the same home within a given culture makes little or no difference to the kind of people they turn out to be.”


This isn’t genetic determinism, but it does substantially undercut the “nurture” side of the nature vs. nurture debate.


OK, with that bit of science out of the way, let’s proceed with this thought experiment. The subject of the experiment will be Theodore Robert Bundy, the serial killer who was executed by the State in 1989 after having brutally killed more than 30 people.


Bundy was born on November 24, 1946. According to Christians, God created him. Indeed, if we are to believe Christians, God specially crafted Ted Bundy, and endowed him with a purpose [presumably horrific slaughter]. Don’t believe me? Read this:


“We are not just a collection of organisms, which accidentally occurred, and have remained in place for some time. The Bible clearly teaches that God created each of us, and has a specific plan for each of us.”

It’s from this prominent Christian website.


So, from this, we can conclude that God crafted Ted Bundy to be a serial killer. This belief practically absolves Bundy of any guilt for his crimes; all of his actions were already known [or determined] before he was even a fetus. As Bundy was being crafted by God, who is an omniscient entity, God already knew exactly what Bundy would become. As an omnipotent entity, God certainly had the power to craft Bundy in a different way. As an omnibenevolent entity, God would essentially be required to craft Bundy in a different way, given the knowledge he would become a serial killer and the ability to make him something else. God, quite apparently, chose not to. And so, the serial killer was born.


A quote from Gene Roddenberry comes to mind: “We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing all-powerful God, who creates faulty humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes.”


The notion that God’s benevolent design somehow was tarnished by environment is false, and anticipation of that fallacious argument is why I cited the Pinker text to start. Besides, isn’t it a bit silly to think a mother who smacks her child around would be able to subvert the will of God, with respect to the specific plan He had for the child? In any case, by most accounts, Bundy had a fairly normal childhood. Certainly, there were some bumps along the road. For example,
Bundy might have believed his mother was in fact his older sister during most of his childhood and adolescence. But, strange as that might seem, it’s not all that uncommon. Look at Jack Nicholson for example. Left by his father during his childhood, he was raised thinking his grandmother was his mother and his mother an older sister. Clearly, that didn’t subvert God’s plan that Nicholson become a playboy movie icon.


Besides, God’s evil natural inclinations for Bundy began to manifest extremely early in life. At least three times during his early childhood, Bundy is said to have come to his aunt's bedside, smiling as he handled multiple knives and put them beside her on the bed. Remember, this is an account of early actions in the life of one of God’s personal creations. Remember what the Christians say: “The Bible clearly teaches that God created each of us, and has a specific plan for each of us.”


The “specific plan” of the omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent God was to doom Ted Bundy to be a serial killer, thus damning his eternal soul to Hell before the fetus was even growing in the womb. How can the decisions really have been Ted’s when the actions were known prior to his even being born? Could Ted really have proved God’s foreknowledge wrong? If so, “omniscient” would be tossed in the junk pile, to keep “omnibenevolent” company.


It’s all precisely analogous to a toymaker booby trapping a toy. Which brings me back to the great Roddenberry quote—In Christianity, it’s always the toy’s fault.

21 Comments:

Blogger DoctorBoogaloo said...

The religious folks do not question or examine. They are intellectually stagnant. Their answer to everything is that 'God moves in mysterious ways'. For the religious yahoos, their trust in mystery trumps our proof, our method of inquiry, and our evidence that their faith is based on logical absurdities and rank contradictions.
We must content ourselves with the knowledge that the air We breathe is superior to theirs... after all, they go through life with their heads firmly shoved up their asses.

10:51 PM EDT  
Blogger KA said...

FTM:
My, the post is so terribly...Calvinist. The xtians will of course proclaim, 'The original sin is strong in this one!'
This oughta crack you up a bit (it made me laugh out loud): Ted Bundy was a...drum roll please...Republican!
Ted Bundy is more proof that evolution formed this world, is what I say.
Specific plans my ass. 1 has but to look around, to find that there is no such plan, design, or any other noun that speaks of any purpose whatsoever.

3:18 AM EDT  
Anonymous bernarda said...

Hello,

Not specifically related, but I saw your commentary on the atheistjew site. I just wish to give some background information.

"I also like having the opportunity to learn more about the
Israel/Palestine issue. I know we're on different
philosophical sides to some extent, but I enjoy hearing your
opinion in any case. I've never been one to shut out other
people's opinions...unless it's fundies, that is."

I am writing to you directly because I cannot respond to your
comments on baconeater's site because he has banned me for
opposing his zionist propaganda, even though I am not a
christian, or jew, or mohammedan, or fan of any other
superstition.

He is a zionist fundy who has no problem shutting out other
people's opinions. I suggest that you go to American Atheist,
which he has also kicked off his site, to get a better idea of
atheist thought.

http://www.atheists.org/

As to Palestine, to counter-balance his misinformation and
outright falsehoods, I suggest that you look up the site
Palestine Remembered. That site gives a much more thorough and
historically accurate account of the history of Palestine.

http://www.palestineremembered.com/

Another site with audio/visual that is good is Atheisteye.

http://www.atheisteye.com/Funnies.html

BTW, you can look up my old posts at baconeater--if he hasn't
removed them--under the name of bernarda.

Yours Sincerely,

Bernarda

Atheist non-fundy to any dogma.

8:58 AM EDT  
Blogger Delta said...

Yep, it's funny. Almost every event that happens in the world can be used to argue that god either does not exist or at least does not have the characteristics that christians claim that he has. It's kind of surprising that "god works in mysterious ways" has satisfied the christian's intellectual appetite for so long. They have no fucking idea how he works, but they know exactly how he feels about current issues.

1:38 PM EDT  
Blogger TheJollyNihilist said...

The religious folks do not question or examine. They are intellectually stagnant. Their answer to everything is that 'God moves in mysterious ways'. For the religious yahoos, their trust in mystery trumps our proof, our method of inquiry, and our evidence that their faith is based on logical absurdities and rank contradictions.
We must content ourselves with the knowledge that the air We breathe is superior to theirs... after all, they go through life with their heads firmly shoved up their asses.


Very well said.

The whole "God works in mysterious ways" defense is the ultimate cop-out. Basically, it can be translated thusly: I have absolutely no idea why my beloved God would allow [any atrocity] to occur, and so I will put said atrocity out of my mind and retreat back into the ignorant bliss of religion.

As Brian Flemming said in his terrific documentary, the greatest sin for a fundamentalist Christian is to think.

FTM:
My, the post is so terribly...Calvinist. The xtians will of course proclaim, 'The original sin is strong in this one!'
This oughta crack you up a bit (it made me laugh out loud): Ted Bundy was a...drum roll please...Republican!
Ted Bundy is more proof that evolution formed this world, is what I say.
Specific plans my ass. 1 has but to look around, to find that there is no such plan, design, or any other noun that speaks of any purpose whatsoever.


Exactly. We live in a purposeless world. I don't believe in "the meaning of life" or any such nonsense. Natural Selection speaks of no such meaning, either: All it speaks to is reproduction and mechanical propagation of genes.

Look at natural disasters, disease, genocide, etc., and you know there is no greater intelligence guiding the course of events. It's just nature...purposeless, emotionless, moral-less and utterly impersonal.

9:44 PM EDT  
Blogger TheJollyNihilist said...

bernarda,

Thanks for coming over!

I certainly do disagree with BaconEatingAtheistJew about the Israel issue. Of course, I have absolutely nothing against Jewish people. But, I have a lot of problems with Israel's policies. Ideally, I would like Israel to dismantle all its settlements and return to its original, UN-defined borders. I do not accept the "spoils of war" argument; land conquered in battle doesn't automatically go to the victor--just ask Saddam Hussein with respect to Kuwait.

I wholeheartedly endorse the idea of a Palestinian state. I think it's crucial to a lasting peace. However, I also think the US should butt-out of the whole process. Two reasons:

1. The US isn't neutral, and that's well known.

2. It's none of the US' business anyway.

Thanks again for coming by!

9:54 PM EDT  
Blogger TheJollyNihilist said...

Yep, it's funny. Almost every event that happens in the world can be used to argue that god either does not exist or at least does not have the characteristics that christians claim that he has. It's kind of surprising that "god works in mysterious ways" has satisfied the christian's intellectual appetite for so long. They have no fucking idea how he works, but they know exactly how he feels about current issues.

As far as I can tell, there are 3 possibilities, given the results we have:

1. God doesn't exist.

2. God exists, but doesn't give a fuck.

3. God exists, does give a fuck, but is extremely incompetant.

I vote "1."

9:57 PM EDT  
Blogger KA said...

FTM:
Look at natural disasters, disease, genocide, etc., and you know there is no greater intelligence guiding the course of events. It's just nature...purposeless, emotionless, moral-less and utterly impersonal.
Yep. The words of Mark Twain come to mind:
"If there is a god, he is a malign thug."

11:33 PM EDT  
Anonymous bernarda said...

As Woody Allen once said, "If god exists he is an underachiever."

3:32 AM EDT  
Blogger TheJollyNihilist said...

Yep. The words of Mark Twain come to mind:
"If there is a god, he is a malign thug."


More wisdom from Twain:

"One of the proofs of the immortality of the soul is that myriads have believed in it. They have also believed the world was flat."

"A man is accepted into a church for what he believes and he is turned out for what he knows."

"The so-called Christian nations are the most enlightened and progressive ... but in spite of their religion, not because of it. The Church has opposed every innovation and discovery from the day of Galileo down to our own time, when the use of anesthetic in childbirth was regarded as a sin because it avoided the biblical curse pronounced against Eve. And every step in astronomy and geology ever taken has been opposed by bigotry and superstition. The Greeks surpassed us in artistic culture and in architecture five hundred years before Christian religion was born."

As Woody Allen once said, "If god exists he is an underachiever."

Either that, or a prick.

9:35 PM EDT  
Blogger the amazing kim said...

The religious folks do not question or examine.
Now, I'm as athiest as the next anonymous commenter, but I have to disagree. There were some lovely philosophers out there who worked within the parameters of religion. St Augustine, for instance, basically invented semiotics a thousand years before Derrida. St Paul had a lot to say about love. It's unfortunate that these people existed in a society saturated with religiousity, but you can't blame them for thinking within the ideology of the time. The Christian thinkers (and those of other religions) did the best they could with the information they had, and for them a god was one of the more obvious facts. Every society has its unquestioned assumptions.

5:45 AM EDT  
Blogger Bacon Eating Atheist Jew said...

Kim, good point. Think of how limited the past generations when you take evolution science and astronomy into account. They were completely limited with respect to information they had available, so that the belief in God had to be pretty much a given to explain the many holes deep thought provided.
Today we have a new breed that keeps their head in the sand as far as science goes; the Fundies. I can only see them die out within a couple of hundred years, if they don't kill us first.

Frances, I'm not sure how much knowledge or thought you have given the I/P conflict, or how knee jerk your opinion is. Are you talking about going back to the 1947 Partition? Because that is completely unrealistic. In order to solve a conflict, you need a realistic solution. The 1947 borders means dead Jews, but it isn't even considered even by Arabs.
I think you are talking the 1967 Green line. But then again I don't know how much knowledge you have.

Bernanda, try to be nice here and try not to change every one of Frances' comment threads in an anti-Zionist Jew hating thread.
I notice you've been silenced and have had many posts deleted by admin on the BBC board for your blatant Jew hating behaviour. You can say you don't hate Jews all you want, but it doesn't take much to see what you are all about.

11:31 AM EDT  
Blogger TheJollyNihilist said...

Now, I'm as athiest as the next anonymous commenter, but I have to disagree. There were some lovely philosophers out there who worked within the parameters of religion. St Augustine, for instance, basically invented semiotics a thousand years before Derrida. St Paul had a lot to say about love. It's unfortunate that these people existed in a society saturated with religiousity, but you can't blame them for thinking within the ideology of the time. The Christian thinkers (and those of other religions) did the best they could with the information they had, and for them a god was one of the more obvious facts. Every society has its unquestioned assumptions.

Perhaps Christians could be forgiven in olden times, when science was in its infancy and most people, quite frankly, were ignorant to the laws of nature. But, no such forgiveness is warranted at present. Everybody knows the Jesus resurrection story is scientifically impossible. Everybody knows that evolution is accepted by 99.85% of relevant scientists. Everybody can see there is no hard evidence for God's alleged existence. Religion, on its face, is ridiculous. And, luckily for us, we live in a time where that's totally apparent to everybody. Some people just choose to ignore religion's absurdity. And, I think that would qualify as refusing to question or examine.

Thanks for stopping by!

7:02 PM EDT  
Blogger TheJollyNihilist said...

Frances, I'm not sure how much knowledge or thought you have given the I/P conflict, or how knee jerk your opinion is. Are you talking about going back to the 1947 Partition? Because that is completely unrealistic. In order to solve a conflict, you need a realistic solution. The 1947 borders means dead Jews, but it isn't even considered even by Arabs.
I think you are talking the 1967 Green line. But then again I don't know how much knowledge you have.


Here are the facts, as I know them:

During the Six-Day War of 1967, Israel captured the West Bank from the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Golan Heights from Syria, Gaza Strip (which was under Egyptian occupation), and Sinai from Egypt. It withdrew all troops and settlers from Sinai by 1982 and from the Gaza Strip by September 2005. The future status of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and the Golan Heights remains to be determined.

My position is this:

Israel should give up West Bank, Gaza and Golan. Generally speaking, it should give up all territory captured during the Six-Day War. Slowly but surely, all settlements should be dismantled, as they shouldn't have been erected in the first place. And, if fences/barriers are to be erected, they must strictly follow established borders, not cutting into Palestinian territory or short-changing themselves.

My major problem with the protection fence controversy from a couple of years ago was the fact that the fence, indeed, did cut into Palestinian land. I would consider that unjust.

7:11 PM EDT  
Anonymous bernarda said...

It is such fun to see the atheistjew here to promote his fanatic zionist agenda. You can see what he is like from his post.

Israel shouldn't exist. It is simply a remnant of 19th century European racism, colonialism, and impêrialism.

All the founding fathers of zionism were white racist Europeans. Their idea was that dark people had no rights in their own land.

I think that zionism should be combatted the same way that nazism was. Unfortunately, the current political situation is difficult. But a single Palestinian state would be the ideal resolution.

If that is not possible, there should be a return to something like the 1947 proposed borders. A good variation would be UN Representative Count Bernadotte's compromise. However, Bernadotte was assassinated by Jewish terrorists Begin and Shamir. His plan though could be revived.

Fundy zionist atheistjew cannot know why any one post may have been removed by the BBC board censors. He gets all his information from his equally vulgar and dishonest buddy, greenbeetles, at the BBC site.

That said, I now cease any polemic with atheistjew, except to say that anyone can go to his site to see what sort of creature he is. Given his character, he will probably continue his vulgar ways here.

As to the BBC boards, I invite anyone to look up my posts under the name of bernarda there. I have nothing to hide.

8:36 AM EDT  
Blogger TheJollyNihilist said...

It is such fun to see the atheistjew here to promote his fanatic zionist agenda. You can see what he is like from his post.

Israel shouldn't exist. It is simply a remnant of 19th century European racism, colonialism, and impêrialism.

All the founding fathers of zionism were white racist Europeans. Their idea was that dark people had no rights in their own land.

I think that zionism should be combatted the same way that nazism was. Unfortunately, the current political situation is difficult. But a single Palestinian state would be the ideal resolution.

If that is not possible, there should be a return to something like the 1947 proposed borders. A good variation would be UN Representative Count Bernadotte's compromise. However, Bernadotte was assassinated by Jewish terrorists Begin and Shamir. His plan though could be revived.

Fundy zionist atheistjew cannot know why any one post may have been removed by the BBC board censors. He gets all his information from his equally vulgar and dishonest buddy, greenbeetles, at the BBC site.

That said, I now cease any polemic with atheistjew, except to say that anyone can go to his site to see what sort of creature he is. Given his character, he will probably continue his vulgar ways here.

As to the BBC boards, I invite anyone to look up my posts under the name of bernarda there. I have nothing to hide.


As I said, I have nothing at all against Jewish people. Similarly, I have nothing at all against Palestinian people. I have the same feeling about Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, etc. - I'm suspicious of all theists but hate no religion more than any other. So, I will vigorously fight any charge of racism or anti-Semitism.

But, I do strongly support the dismantling of all settlements, the cessation of settlement construction, and the turnover of Gaza, Golan and West Bank. I don't consider Israel's capture of that land in war to be legitimate. And, if a fence/barrier is to be erected, it must strictly follow established borders. It absolutely cannot be a means by which to get additional territory.

That's my position. I strongly support a two-state plan. For me, it has absolutely nothing to do with religion or culture; my position is based upon my sense of fairness and justice.

12:44 AM EDT  
Blogger Carrielatzko said...

Well i do in fact remind us all that God created us to have free will. Just because God knows everything that will happen ahead of time doesnt mean that we dont take responsibility for the wrong choices that we deliberately make. We all have consciences and so many of us choose to bury it and ignore and listen instead to the media or people around us to decide what is right and wrong. God says whats right and wrong and He is the one that we are going to be subject to when we die. Ted Bundy did choose his own bad decisions. He could have chosen to listen to his conscience and not done those things...but he didnt. Ted did, however, confess to repenting of his sins and turning his life over to God. If he in fact, did this...he will be in heaven right now. although you say...thats not fair! he killed 35 people he shouldnt be in heaven.!! well neither should any of us! we all deserve to go to hell. its only through God's grace that if we accept his gift of dying on the cross to take our place that we can get to heaven. So if God can save Ted Bundy...he can definitely save anyone.

2:08 AM EDT  
Blogger Carrielatzko said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2:09 AM EDT  
Blogger sanda kosmajac said...

What About Electro-Magnetic Haarp-Tesla's Impulses that the Gov't (with Talmudic "Jews" in charge) carried on Ted Bundy and other Serial Killers?
Experimenting their own pent-up urges?

3:40 AM EDT  
Blogger sanda kosmajac said...

I should have pointed out Electro-Magnetic Psychological Experiments using TESLA's Haarp-induced Impulses, that is perhaps how up to 90% of today's "Predictable" i.e. controlled crime experiments get carried out by the so-called "civilized" under the Influence of Occult Arts, Secret Societies (Talmud, Kabbalah,etc.)+ Phoney Elite secretly gets carried out Today REALLY behind the curtains.
And then CHRISTIANS get Blamed for it! It's Called MIND-Controlling Experiments.

3:48 AM EDT  
Blogger Nicholas said...

As a believer, I like to observe the arguments that atheists and agnostics have for debunking Christianity. However, I think that your argument in this case is rather weak. I think the existence and the life of Ted Bundy are better proof of God and purpose than evidence against God and his creation. I would very much enjoy sharing my thoughts and beliefs with you.

Hit me up sometime.

My email is nmacarages@gmail.com

12:55 AM EST  

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