Question about evolution

Aye, I’m happily depressed. I’ve no idea what the truth is. We’re not wired for it whatever it is. We’re goal driven. I’ve no idea what genuine love is either. Don’t worry, China will save us…

The truth is whatever we say it is and the best we can get to ‘genuine’ love is behaviour that levels up, that reaches out a hand, that walks naked; ‘me too’. It’s all enlightened self interest, like my picking up litter in the park. It’s for me. Had an interesting interaction with a long term socially marginal acquaintance yesterday. Ah gave 'im some tough luurve. And a pizza. In that order. I couldn’t turn away. It would have made the baby Jesus cry. And if he doesn’t get his act together he’ll get even tougher love and no pizza.

That is a good question. Not all of us are believers, not even all of those that call themselves christian and are members of christian churches. I assume that many of us are and I hope that those who are not would find peace with God, through Jesus Christ.

So is what Jesus did. (Everything we do is out of self-interest – frequently not so enlightened, however.)

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:2

That joy is us :slightly_smiling_face:, if we belong to him.

What’s your de-reconstruction of that?

What makes you think it needs deconstruction?

Because it’s meaningless in contemporary terms.

First of all, Jesus did not hang on a tree because it was in His enlightened self interest. He died because it was in our self interest, yours and mine. Not His and not the Father’s, and not the Spirit’s.

Second, Love is not acting in our own self interest, enlightened or otherwise. We can love God, because God, Father, Son. and Spirit first loved us. I can love others because the Father loves us enough to give up the Son for my life and not for just my life, but for the lives of everyone.

It is in a true sense in our enlightened self interest to love God and others, but that is not love. Love is really caring about the welfare and wellbeing of others, not about what we will get out of it. Jesus taught us that we must love the least of these His brothers and sisters to be saved,. those who cannot repay for what we do for them.

Only to some, apparently.

Acting in love, even sacrificially, is very definitely acting in enlightened self-interest. Please read the Hebrews 12 verse again. What does it say about Jesus’ motivation?

When the suitor has a bouquet of flowers (how much did they cost him? $$$ :slightly_smiling_face:) for his intended and gives them to her when she answers the door, what is that? Acting in love sacrificially.

1 Like

Sorry? To some what? What contemporary terms, without de-reconstruction of those ancient pieties, are there? I don’t understand?

What has my loving my wife and kids, my kin in decreasing orders of consanguinity after grandchild, my friends, neighbours, vulnerable acquaintances, my goodwill toward my fellow man, apart from to our monstrous Home Secretary, got to do with those ancient formularies? How was it in my interest for Jesus to submit to being murdered? Love is always self interested. Self is at the heart of sacrifice, of altruism. You can’t be sacrificial, altruistic without it.

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:2

You don’t understand, apparently, because they are not just ancient. We can ‘fix our eyes’ on something we cannot physically see, for instance. It is a modern enough figure.

I think this shows a critical difference between a rational way to navigate the world if one assumes there is no God (no afterlife, no accountability, no judgment day, nothing), versus the rational way to navigate the world when one assumes there is a God (that somehow, we will be called to account).

It would also depend on how one defines “rational”, but here I define it as “making the best choices to survive, be successful, and procreate in light of the information one has available”.

We also would have to define “benefit”. If the general thrust of the point in scripture is true, then there is no ultimate benefit from sin. However, if there is no God and no ultimate accountability, then the problem reduces to probabilities. … and personal conscience.

Suppose that I have a coworker who will be competing for the same position in the upper hierarchy as I am. Suppose I see that coworker, due to some misunderstanding or other accident, is doing something that will lead that person to do something that would jeopardize remaining in the queue. … and I am able to say something. I can pretend not to notice. How will anyone know? Or I can say something. Maybe ask a question, “are you sure you should use that amount?” It benefits me nothing to advise the person, and, maybe all because that person “used the right amount”, that person could get promoted instead of me.

Now, God knows the heart, so God knows exactly what I am doing … and I cannot hide it from God. That is likely to be burned onto my memory and God will surely orchestrate consequences that will remind me of just what a schmuck I am. … and if I don’t repent even to those lessons, worse may come, or God will give me over to my lust for filthy lucre.

However, if I don’t believe in God and have no thought that God loves that coworker just as much as God loves me, it costs me nothing to say nothing, it puts me in a slightly better chance to get to that position I lust for, that will mean more comfort for me, a better house, neighborhood and schools for my family, … all just for saying nothing, which I was never obligated to say anyway, and calculating on the usual odds of success and failure that come with life. Short term wise, my life and my progeny’s lives are helped.

In some ways, revenge would probably be a better course of action when someone really does you wrong and gets away with it through the normal channels. Powerful people can do rotten things that those of us under the boot can do nothing about. They can behave like practical atheists. If they will have to answer to God, I can take comfort even if they prosper and boast and crow and do all manner of evil before God. Do they really think that he who made the eyes cannot see, or he who made the ears doesn’t hear? Do they really think that God will not rise up?

Yet how would it be if there is no God? They could go to the grave and all the town goes to their funeral. They can have huge families and wealth and no end to praise. When are the wicked really punished anyway?

So, yeah, with God, I fully agree. Without God, it looks pretty bleak.

by Grace we proceed.

1 Like

I understand just fine, but not the ancient formulary as writ. Jesus did what He had to do to begin to make God real to us. Great was His faithfulness. The meaning in that proof text is rich indeed, what it brings out in us. I certainly want the Incarnation to be true, for life to have transcendent purpose and continue to struggle to lift my head up to see over the parapet and no man’s land of life. The sun just came out in the troubled English sky. Gone.

1 Like

You don’t understand, clearly.

There is nothing wrong with it, even now. It speaks directly to Jesus’ motivation in modern terms and it needs no deconstruction (whatever that is, merely saying “I don’t believe it, I don’t want to believe it, the author could not have meant that and even if he did, what he meant doesn’t matter anyway, I’ll throw it out and state what I want to believe instead and say that is what it means”?).

@Klax, You have a problem. You say that self is the heart of “altruism.” The dictionary says that altruism is “selfless,” without self.




  • 1.the belief in or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others:"

some may choose to work with vulnerable elderly people out of altruism *

In this case we must go with the dictionary, which is the reason why altruism is not a synonym for love, but a manufactured word which does not refer to anything in reality. It has all the appearances of being a fake word for Christian morality which scientists use to prove that Christian morality is false because altruism is as phony as a $4.00 bill.

Yes, love and Christian morality is based on self, in the sense that it is the self that is moral and loves. For Christians it is Not either self centered or selfless. It is either self-centered or God-centered Love YHWH your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength! Love others as yourself!

Love is not sacrificial, it is sharing what we have with others not because we have to or because we will get something back, although we have faith that we will, but because we care for others as God cares for us.

J-O-Y, J-O-Y, that must surely mean,
Jesus First, Yourself last, Others in between.

This humble Sunday School song states a profound truth. The way to Christian joy and love is putting Jesus first in our hearts and minds. The only change I would make is to make others and self equal, since we are to love others as ourselves, Self and Others are tied for second.

People are born selfish, putting themselves first. It is only when they mature that they are expected to respect the needs of others, and many do not learn the is lesson. However Christianity expects followers to go beyond maturity by putting God first in our lives, which means turning ourselves inside out, which we cannot do in our human strength.

Jesus demonstrated that survival is not the ultimate goal in life. We are much more than survival machines. Jesus choose to maintain His spiritual and intellectual integrity in the face of the agony of the Cross, and disapproval by almost all social, religious, social, and political leaders. His friends were not much better.

If Jesus had come down from the Cross He would have had to lead a devastating war between the Jews and the Romans which would have meant the end of history.

The Crucifixion and the Resurrection created history and tradition, and history and tradition influence people. If you do not want to be part of the Christian tradition, then you can adopt another, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, for examples.

That’s your understanding. Mine is different and certainly no less valid than yours.

It’s a paradox isn’t it. How can a self be selfless. No self, no selflessness.


Mine is true and yours is not? Valid presuppositions make a difference.

“Population cycles that persist in time and are synchronized over space pervade ecological systems, but their underlying causes remain a long-standing enigma.”

This is how the summary of the article begins and that sentence has 11 footnotes. It says that population cycles that exist in time pervade ecological systems. Thus the balance of nature exists, however we do not understand why. I was your view that it does not exist. Why have you not changed that view?

If chaos does not refer to chaos, but to a technical mathematical definition, what is the reason for the use of the term “chaos?” It is an invitation to confusion instead of clarity and sadly science is guilty of a number of these confusing terms.

Symbiosis is a legitimate scientific term, despite the efforts of some to sabotage it. Coexistence means the same thing. Co- and sym- mean with. Existence is based on Being which makes it more philosophical and biosis is based on bio- life, which makes it more scientific. Existing with and living with, what is the difference except living with makes more sense in the biological sciences.

What would you call them?

No. Ecologists, and I think of myself as an ecologist, think in terms of ecological niches. These can be large or small. I am not going to agree with you for the sake of agreement.

What I see going on here a clash between traditional natural selection theory based on survival of the fittest or conflict; and ecology based on symbiosis, or mutualism. They both cannot be true since they are mutually exclusive. Fortunately ecology is more nearly correct, but many evolutionists do not know how to evolve and adapt to the new science of ecology.

Please be different. .Please do not be fooled by the myth that scientists are somehow different and rise above the pettiness to which the rest of us mortals are prone.

The evidence clearly indicates that symbiosis or the balance of nature is real and the struggle for survival or survival of the fittest is not. Predation is part of symbiosis and not a struggle for existence, based on the facts as hard as that to understand. You can call it coexistence if that makes you happy. You can call it co-evolution, but please recognize that biology is based mutualism and so is evolution and not conflict.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

This is a place for gracious dialogue about science and faith. Please read our FAQ/Guidelines before posting.