I found several of the statements made in Farnworth's analysis to be provocative. Perhaps the most intriguing statement I found was this claim:
Materialism can not adequately explain our complex world. Christianity, on the other hand, as a working blueprint for life, can.Since a substantial portion of my deconversion from Christianity has hinged upon the exact opposite argument - that while Christianity cannot adequately explain our complex world, naturalism can provide a working blueprint for life, to paraphrase the structure of Farnworth's claim - I was intrigued to see a discussion of this argument from a viewpoint distinct from my own.
I decided to enter the fray, and set my naturalistic beliefs side by side with Christianity, and attempt to compare which view could actually better explain the complexities of our existence.
I made a brief argument against Christian theism via the origin of suffering.
Traditionally, almost all Christians have interpreted the text in the Genesis creation stories to imply that their god originally created a paradise on Earth, and that only the disobedient sin of Adam and Eve introduced suffering into our world.
If suffering is inherent in the nature of the world, and not brought into the world by the transgressions of humanity – if the evil that happens in the world cannot possibly be the direct result of a Biblical Fall as depicted in Genesis, then traditional Christianity is falsified. Do you agree?Here's an excerpt from Demian's reply, which he made shortly after my original comment:
I have found that suffering persisted in our world for an incredibly long time before the first existence of humanity, therefore I believe it is impossible that humanity is the direct cause of evil and injustice in our world, and that therefore almost all types of Christianity are either absurd or implausible.
Second, your argument for naturalism hinges on suffering existing before man. I don’t quite understand that. How could suffering exist before mankind? And how do you know? Furthermore, how do you define suffering in terms of naturalism? In other words, if the natural state of things is beast eat beast, how can you say “that’s suffering?” How are you defining suffering, that’s really what’s at stake.Those are good questions. How should suffering be defined? How could suffering exist before humanity? Here's a hint to what I believe, courtesy of YouTube satirist Edward Current:
At the end of the video, Current's character states:
"You know, it's almost like, here on Earth, it's every species for itself.
Humans don't get any special treatment at all, do they?
It's because life evolves - through natural selection, not Intelligent Design."