Spiritual evolution through theological selection

I would like to start a new discussion on the purpose of life. Once we understand the purpose of life, the clash between Christian faith and mainstream science would fade away. We would then be able to logically explain Christian faith as an evolutionary process toward realizing the purpose of life.
As the purpose of human life is that of the creator—and not of the created—man has no specific purpose in life other than subjecting himself to the purpose of the creator, that is, spiritual evolution. Life presents us with “opportunities” to evolve as designed by the creator. Evolution implies overcoming physical and spiritual challenges. In Christian faith, the spiritual challenges are “evil”; we need to overcome them and evolve spiritually. As the creator is spiritual, the purpose of life is spiritual. The physical manifestation of life is part of the evolutionary process toward spiritualism.
Just as biological evolution occurred through natural selection, as explained by Darwin, I believe that spiritual evolution occurs through theological selection as envisaged in Christian faith.

Evolution is not designed.

Interesting idea. There are counterarguments. Natural and sexual selection favors behaviors that maximizes the number of grandchildren. In evolutionary sense, the benefit of spirituality depends on how faith and culture affects the number of children. If the average number of children is higher and the mortality of children lower than in other groups and spirituality/faith has a high heritability, then spirituality/faith may benefit in the evolutionary sense.

Following the road revealed by Jesus has a price and may reduce the probability of getting many children. On the other hand, living in a Christian group that is against contraceptives and abortion can increase the average family size. In evolutionary sense, both directions are possible (lower or higher number of children).

Another question is whether God affects the fate of His followers in a way that increases the number of living offspring. In the OT world, people apparently believed that God gave help and success for families that belonged to His people (increased number of grandchildren). I do not see the same message in the NT.

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Hi, Joseph - and welcome to the forum!

What makes you think that Christianity is in need of a scientific explanation in order to find purpose?

And also, why do you think that science can help us with such spiritual discernments regarding our purpose?

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For many if not most believers, there is no clash between faith and science. And I don’t think that everyone is going to agree on the purpose of life.

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Yes, @jayesef ,the Agape love mandated by Jesus is hard to explain as being beneficial from an evolutionary point of view, because it demands self-sacrifice for the sake of the other. The demands of Agape go beyond mere “group cooperation” which can bring mutual benefits of resources to both sides (which is possible to explain by natural selection).

(I’ve evolved spiritually to believe what the NT teaches about children and being childlike. ; - )
 

Tell that to the constants of the universe that some pious scientists invent ways to circumvent. We’ve swung too far from confirmation bias towards scripture/God to confirmation bias against it.

Vinnie

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Why would devout religious scientists make the only absurd argument - I’m not aware of any others - that given an eternal infinity of universes with inconstant constants, an infinitely lesser infinity of them will randomly have constants that result in conversations like this?

And there is no confirmation bias in science against an ancient Jewish text in any regard. And why do you need an ancient Jewish text to make a rational argument for God? Try making a rational, disinterested, consilient argument for fine tuning, order=meaning, alone, without the sharpshooter fallacy and that of incredulity, and you’ve made one for God. You’ll be the first.

But of course God needs no such argument. He needs another. What He needs is the demonstration of divine moral intelligence, i.e. Love. And that does not incontrovertibly, plainly exist. As this site demonstrates. Proving that God exists by sense data doesn’t help when most believers are terrified of Him and worse.

I guess when I read it what I keep instantly doing is taking the word spiritual evolution and turning it into emotional intelligence and cognitive processes. Such as when we evolved, part of that was emotions and deeper thinking which allowed us develop the kind of compassion that makes us want to save things like a seal with fishing line around it or a kitten in a ditch or even something like taking a homeless man to a hotel and giving him socks, a new jacket and paying for $80 of food credit on a particularly cold weekend.

Now I also don’t believe that Yahweh designed the universe in a way to ensure we specifically evolved, but it’s impossible to prove either way. I personally believe that the “ spiritual feeling “ is just that. Some form of feeling kist like anger, joy and sadness.

I do think that for our species, climbing the emotional ladder was a major part of our evolution. That once we reached a certain point Yahweh was able to communicate with us in a way similar to how we communicate with each other and the Holy Spirit was able to influence us in some way. It goes beyond science and is just theological and so it’s all faith based. I think that humanity as a whole is constantly moving towards something better and better. Different groups are working towards it at better speeds. But I also think the opposite is true. Certain types of people are also working towards something more evil. Such as we have abolitionist and segregationist. We have those that want to accept more people into equality and we have those that want to remove rights, put up more borders between us and them and so on. Just like we have the war of flesh vs spirit in us there are organizations that want to create laws and systems that are built off of the flesh vs the spirit.

I think one of the most important things for Christians to do is to support those systems that are built off of the spirit and not the flesh. That Yahweh wants us to look at the scriptures and filter it through Christ in order to continually develop systems built off of loving God and loving our neighbors.

However, I can’t really argue that it’s proof of God.

The only absurd argument is these universal assertions without a shred of evidence in favor of them. Dismissing all the evidence for fine-tuning out of hand is not being objective or honest with the data anymore than finding God in every gap is. It’s bringing the answer to the question and engaging in confirmation bias.

And if evolution (the process itself) is not due to the care and providence of God you are espousing atheism and a nihilistic worldview. It is no wonder why so many Christians are opposed to science. Because so many atheists and materialists confuse their atheism and materialism with science proper.

Flat earth and yec have as much evidence going for them as this does, yet you assert it as if it was gospel while dismissing out of hand the data science actually yields in favor of a box you prefer to force-fit all reality into .

Vinnie

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“Spiritual evolution”?

This discussion seems vague and aimless until the word “evolution” is defined for this specific context. Because biological evolution is all about populations over many generations, not about change within an individual in a single generation. Change within an individual within its own lifetime is totally different from the biological meaning of species evolution.

I would suggest that “evolution” is a poor and misleading word to use in this “spiritual” context… unless it can be clearly and cleanly defined, and separated away from its biological sense, and that discussion participants stick rigidly to this separate definition (whatever that turns out to be).

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Thank goodness! Consider the suffering caused by human guinea worms, heart worms, whip worms, tape worms, fleas and ticks. And the list goes on.

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How would evolution “not being designed” even remotely get get God off the hook for all those things? As if they happened all on their own external to God? An omni-God is responsible for everything except free will.

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Yes, theodicy is a problem that won’t be solved here. I believe that God gives nature a measure of freedom and isn’t a cosmic puppet-master. But there is a difference between allowing new variants of covid-19 to evolve and deliberately engineering those variants.

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I almost love the evolution idea! But looking forwards, not back. I’ve been reading Flatlands that explores the concepts of dimensions of reality. Each additional dimension includes the previous, but absolutely transforms it. Think about that. No one in an n dimensional reality has any way of grasping truths in the transformed (n+1) dimension reality, but someone in the latter can introduce the former to the extra dimension. For example I (4d) can flip the pages of a 3d book! Accepting that we cannot fully explain or understand our revealed God in 4d concepts and ideas suggests to me that reality has to consist of more than 4 d.
Wow, that makes 1 Corinthians 2:9 rather bigger than I had ever expected. Should there only be one extra d in God’s ( I believe there are an infinite number) already my expectation is possibly of the order of what can now be seen of the universe compared to the 5000 odd that David saw when he sang the heavens declare the Glory of God. Join me in praising our wonderful Holy Holy Holy who has revealed so much, but it’s just a flipping through “our 4 d pages” PRAISE HIS NAME

What’s free will again? Does God have it? And if He created creatures with it, then that makes Him fully responsible for it. Whatever it is. You really need to do some consequential reasoning. IF God is the ground of (eternal, infinite, immutable) being, THEN He is responsible for all that is. Including autonomous nature in Himself. Nothing is external to God IF He is the ground of being. Nature is eternal, infinite, immutable regardless of whether God untraceably grounds it or not. It does not require Him. IF He grounds (eternal, infinite, immutable) being, all that is, THEN He obviously has no choice. And He leaves no trace. He grounds it, instantiates the prevenient laws of physics, as if He didn’t. But don’t worry, He fixes everything, as He always has, for everyone, in transcendence.

The ability to exercise at least some choice without it being entirely constrained.

Yes.

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Why haven’t you addressed the infinitely more relevant and important issue of the lack of divine intelligence?

If there is a God who has to om six numbers for all eternity I couldn’t care less. It’s the loveless, placist, incompetent, sexist, arbitrarily judgemental, homophobic, psychopathically righteous, murderous, torturing God of the dominant Abrahamic religions I care about.

The evidence for six constant constants is nature of course. There is no evidence for six inconstant constants. Out of all the other utterly immutable laws of physics. The complexity of what happens in universes built on the laws of physics, the meaningless order of nature, which include those six constants, with values for reasons that we don’t understand, and probably never will, and that you don’t even begin to accept as entirely natural, like everything else is, happens forwards. But not teleologically. Not to a series of bulls’ eyes. Not looking back from where we are as bull’s eyes. Which they are not. That would be the sharpshooter fallacy. Egged on by the fallacy of incredulity. Let alone what happens in 11D bulk branes to initiate universes. I like the idea of values converging, condensing, nucleating, emerging, pulling on each other, harmonically damping down and standing as waves can, crystallizing out as vertices touch at apices. Nature just loves efficiency, optimization. Order. Elegance. Self-tuning. Ever seen what happens when you rotate a cylinder about its long axis in zero G? What emerges if you just blow bubbles in bubbles?

And as for the nonsense that evolution is cared for by God, how would it look if He didn’t? All God has to do is demonstrate unnatural, superhuman, anachronistic, culturally impossible emotional intelligence. Nihilism is your problem, not mine. My life is as full of meaning as I am able to make it. Do you care better than me? Do you love better than me? Because you ‘believe’? Does America?

Someone doesn’t understand skeptical theism.

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

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