Wesley: Well, to return to first things, my original point was that it is harder nowadays to believe that we are made in the image of God than it was 150 years ago. That is the point you took issue with.
Do you believe that humankind is made in the image of God, Wesley, or not? If not, I can’t see why you took issue with my original point.
If you do believe that we are made in the image of God, then wouldn’t that make us “chosen and gifted by God”? Wouldn’t we then be really really special, in a way that no other creature is?
To quote your own words once again: “Understanding that there is such a thing as evil action proves we are special in the known universe.” What does this mean? Is it just a tautology: “We are special by virtue of having this highly developed moral sense, and this proves that we are… special!”? People don’t normally assert tautologies in argument, so I did you the courtesy of assuming that this is not what you meant.
What then did you mean? All I could come up with was: “We are special by virtue of having this highly developed moral sense, and this proves that we are are special in this particular metaphysical way: we are made in the image of God.”
If that’s not what you meant, then what did you mean?
If that is what you meant, it doesn’t hold water. Our highly developed moral sense may be biological, like the elephant’s highly developed trunk–special, but not metaphysically special in the way I understood you to mean. Our specialness doesn’t prove the thing you say it proves. That thing may be the case; but you haven’t proved it.