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One of the more surprising (and disturbing) outcomes of the recent threads is how my assertion, "the design and release of a virus that kills millions of people is bad," was considered controversial by the IDists.

We have had several instances of mass killings in noncombatant situations. Hitler, Pol Pot, Mao, and Lenin all had a "bigger picture" or "greater good" in mind when they were exterminating millions. For most (I hope!) of us, it is almost incomprehensible that there could be a justification for such acts. Yet, in the hypothetical I presented, several here were willing to give the benefit of the doubt to the postulated designer of HIV.

I realize that the IDists are driven to this position because they understand that, all their rhetoric aside, the Designer of IDism is their version of god and so coming to its defense is a necessity. Afterall, I doubt that these folks would be so forgiving if Martians were the ones using bioweapons on us, which tells you how much credence they give to the possibility of a non-supernatural designer.

Still, it makes me wonder how much atrocity they are willing to accept to hold on to their religious beliefs.

I recall one of the more mediocre of the Star Trek movies involves the Trek characters finding what superficially appeared to be God in the center of the galaxy. Kirk convinced everyone that this wasn't god by provoking the entity to acts of petty cruelty. Therefore, in the Trek universe God is held to a relatively high standard of behavior, and this allows the identification of false gods who fail to meet that standard.

There doesn't appear to be any such standards for the crusaders of IDism on this board. God is defined as being good, but the nature of "good" seems to be a moving target. Apparently even the death of millions by disease can be "good".

How then does one differentiate the true God from any pretenders?
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