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Disproving god? May 17, 2011

Posted by shaunphilly in religion, atheism, polyamory, culture.
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I maintain the position that we cannot disprove ‘god’ as a generic idea, but usually because the concept is not defined sufficiently.  When it comes to specific proposed concepts of god, we can (and have) disprove the proposition by use of scientific and/or logical analysis.  Basically, the more clearly a person defines a god, the easier it is to disprove its existence.  The more vague, the harder it is to do so.

Of course, at the same time, the more vague a definition proposed, the less powerful and useful the god.  The “eternal ground of being” of Paul Tillich and many of his liberal theologian followers have a concept of god that is impotent, and not the god described in the Bible, Koran, etc.  One could call their teapot god, and I would be compelled to agree that this thing exists if presented (empirical evidence), but I am not compelled to consider it’s powers sufficient to call it ‘god’.

When pushed, many theists will resort to a god not unlike this teapot in power, except even then they cannot demonstrate its existence, but rather define it such that its existence is beyond our ability to test, at least until neural scanning improves considerably.

‘God’, in most cases, is an incomprehensible being, whether due to logical incoherence or semantic conflation.

I believe the most epistemologically sound position is something like this; the lack of evidence for supernatural beings, in conjunction with the logical incoherence of major concepts of deities, leads us to conclude that belief in concepts such as gods are unjustified.  Science can indeed disprove many concepts of god, but the rest will be left to the dustbin of impotence or uselessness.  There is no room in this universe for a sufficiently strong deity that exists, in order to call it ‘god’.

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Club Heaven January 5, 2011

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I just realized it’s been a month since I posted anything.  Man, life just gets in the way sometimes.  In any case, it’s a new year and blogging must go on!

Today, I want to tell you a story.  It’s not a true story, but it might be a good story.

It’s about a man who, upon being pestered by his own curiosity, wanted to see what the fuss was all about.  He got dressed up, went into town, and arrived outside a place that may or may not have looked anything like this:

The Pearly Gates?

He waits in a longish line for a little while as the door is guarded by a youngish man who is smiling and friendly.  People are going in, he can hear music playing, and as the door opens every few seconds or so he can hear the party commencing inside.

Finally, it’s just about his turn to go in.  So, as two people enter up the stairway and into a obviously hopping party inside, our protagonist “John” steps up to the bouncer named “Pete”.

Pete: Good evening sir.  Name, please?

John: John B. Godless

Pete: Godless, eh? OK, let me check the list.

Pete scans his list, shakes his head and half-smiles to John in a way that displays both disappointment and perhaps some veiled enjoyment.

Pete: Sorry John, you are not on the list.

John: So, that means what? I can’t get into Heaven? I mean, this is the only club in town, right?

Pete: No, there is the downstairs club, Hellfire. Although its sort of a kinky club; lots of being tied up, beaten, and so forth. Not really my sort of thing.

John: Yeah, doesn’t sound like my sort of thing, either. Are you sure there isn’t anything I can do to get into Heaven?

Pete: Look, there are a lot of people trying to get in behind you, and you don’t even know the owner anyway. How do you expect to get in without being his friend.

John: Wait, the owner? Who is the owner, and why does that matter?

Pete: See? You don’t even know Hank.   He is the man! I mean, he knows everyone, everything, and runs this town. He is pretty much all-powerful, is what I mean. He’s the nicest guy I have ever known of.  He’s pretty much perfect, at least from what I hear….

John: Wait, have you even met him?

Pete: Listen, I just work the door, ok?

John: But you have never met him?

Pete: No. I don’t need to. I have read his book, and it has inspired me to be the person I am today. I could not be here without Hank’s help.

John: OK, whatever. But, didn’t you just say that this guy knows everyone?

Pete: Yes.

John: Great, then he knows me, as well as everyone else in this line, so how about you just prop the door open and come in with me and all these people can just come in. Is the room big enough for everyone?

Pete: Well, yes, it can fit everyone, but that’s not the point. There are rules.

John: Rules, what rules?

Pete: You know, this.

Pete hands John a book entitled “How to be Hank’s Friend.” John looks at it, and recognition dawns on his face.

John: Oh, that! Yes, I have read some of that that. It was not really a very good book, I thought. Archaic, derivative, and sort of cruel, actually. I am really not sure I want to be Hank’s friend, if that is the kind of book he writes.

Pete: Well, why do you want to go to his club then?

John: Well, I’m sort of here already aren’t I? And I have to either go here, to the downstairs club, or just go away right? Given those choices I would prefer this place, I guess. Listen, how about I just head on in, ok?

Pete: sir, that’s not going to happen. You are going to have to go downstairs, sir.

John: Wait, what? Why do I have to go downstairs? I don’t want to go to that club.

Pete: Sorry, those are the rules. Either you get in here or you go downstairs.

John: Nevermind, I’m just going home then.

Two large men step out from behind Pete and surround John

John: Um, what is going on here?

Pete: Don’t resist. You can’t anyway. You are going to the downstairs club.

The two men grab hold of his arms and begin to drag him to a stairway leading downstairs while John struggles to get loose.

John: What the hell is this?

Pete: Sorry, it’s either Heaven or Hellfire. You chose Hellfire

John: What are you talking about? I never chose to go to that club.

Pete signals to the two men to stop for a moment, and they turn John, who has temporarily stopped struggling, back towards Pete.

Pete: It’s in the book written by Hank. His rules, in his town—and it’s all his town, buddy–say that if you don’t become his friend you can’t get into his club and therefore must go to the other, downstairs, club.

John: But it’s just a book! It’s not the rules for the universe or anything, is it?  I mean, I read a lot of it, at least what I could get through anyway.  I mean, I thought it was a metaphor about how not being his friend was like not being able to go to the cool places in town or something.  I didn’t think it was literal, and that people actually believed that silliness.  You, or Hank for that matter, can’t do this!

Pete: He can, and he will.

John: But that’s ridiculous, absurd, unjust!!

Pete: It’s in the book.

John: Yeah, but I don’t believe the book. I’ve never even seen this Hank, which is weird considering how powerful, knowledgeable, and nice he is. How can I be his friend if I never even get a chance to meet him.

Pete: You don’t need to meet him.  Most of us just send him text messages, emails, or maybe just go to your local Hank center and learn about his great career and accomplishments once a week or so.  Just follow his great teachings and you would be successful and you could hang out in the cool club. But now, you will have to go to the downstairs club, that’s just how it is.

John manages to get free from one of the two men’s grasp and tries to step towards Pete, now visibly infuriated.

John: Wait just one damned minute! If This guy is so Powerful, he could at least have sent me a damned text message, email, or even come over for dinner once in my life!

Pete: He’s a busy man. He does not have time to come to your house. and besides why would he have your contact info or have to contact you?

John: Oh that’s bullshit and you know it! You just told me he knows everyone, everything, and can do anything he wants, right?

Pete: Well, maybe he just didn’t want to be friends with you. Maybe he just doesn’t want you in his club.

John: Oh, well then he’s not a very nice guy. I mean, who runs the whole town, only allows two clubs, and then when this elusive and invisible all-powerful jerk sees you coming doesn’t let you into the party? Sounds like an ass-hat to me!

Pete: Or maybe you are just ignoring him?

John: No, never heard from him. Just lots of people talking about him, and I don’t understand why they like this asshole anyway.

Pete: Don’t talk that way about Hank. He does not like it, and then he will be angry with you.

John: So? What’s the difference? I still can’t get into club Heaven, can I?

Pete: Sir….

John: No! You know what? I don’t like this guy, Hank, if he even exists. I’ll bet he’s a made-up character, sort of like the Marlboro Man, designed to market an idea—a product. I’ll bet this is just a big marketing scheme to get people to buy Hank’s books, go to his weekly motivational lectures—run by his so-called protegees because he never shows up to any of them, from what I have seen—and then to make all you so-called ‘Friends of Hank’ feel superior to those of us who won’t get into his club!

Pete: Sir, keep it down, you are upsetting the people in line waiting to get in….

John: I don’t care! They are all sheep anyway, trying to go to this idiotic club. I was only trying to get in because the girl I have been dating said she has been looking forward to going here, and I wanted to see what the big deal was. But I would rather go to the downstairs club with all those people than be this asshole’s friend, damn it!

Pete: Well, you will get your wish, loser! It’s hot down there, and you will be tied down, beaten, and surrounded by all of Hank’s enemies.

John Smiles, straightens himself up, and then laughs a little to himself

John: Well, Pete, I’ll tell you what. A hot, S&M club with free-thinking people who don’t fall for Hank’s self-help manipulation scheme sounds infinitely better than being in that club upstairs with what sounds like really bad music, boring people, and the possibility of being around that megalomaniac Hank. I bid you a good night, and I hope you one day see how absurd your little club is.

Pete looks at him for a moment, then turns away shaking his head. As he does so, a woman brushes past him towards John and reaches out to him, softly touching his shoulder.  he turns, sees her, and smiles brightly.

John: Jane? there you are!

Jane: yes, I heard what you said, John. I was behind you in line, and didn’t see you until they started dragging you away. What you said makes so much sense. I think, John, I want to be with you. I want to be Mrs. Godless someday, maybe, as well.  Let’s go to that other club, because anything is better than Club Heaven, I think.

She kisses him briefly and takes his hand as they walk together, unaided by the two men, down the stairs to the Hellfire club.

Pete (to the next people in line): Well, some people are just lost. Hank-bless them!  They’ll need it, I’m sure. Next! Name please….

Person in line: Borin S. Christian, sir

Pete: now, that’s a better name. In you go!

Like I said, not a true story, but perhaps an interesting story.

 

 

 

 

Quotes From Bizarro World: part 3 September 20, 2010

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This is a continuation of a series of quotations from, and commentary of, my reading of John Frame’s book, Salvation Belongs to the Lord, which I am reading for a class about faith in Christian life.  I will be under-cover, so shhhhh…..

Part 1

Part 2

So, what shall we speak of today?

The Trinity.

Oh, joy! That’s an easy one that can be covered in a blog post, right? Well, no.  I would just like to quote Frame from the chapter entitled God, Three in One and makes a few observations.

Remember, though, that Scripture gives us only a glimpse, not a treatise…. Much that the Bible teaches about the Trinity is very mysterious, and we must bow in humility as we enter into this holy realm

(page 30)

So, in other words the Bible is vague about this doctrine, but we are going to humble ourselves before it anyway?  OK, I thought that the Bible was the ultimate source of truth, and so where it is vague we will simply humble ourselves to a view that was attained through latter interpretation of vague verses?  I’m getting ahead of myself….

Frame then lists 5 assertions (his term), which I will simplify into a list.

5 assertions

  1. God is One
  2. God is Three
  3. The three persons are all each fully God
  4. Each person is distinct from each-other
  5. They are related eternally as Father, Son, Holy Spirit

Ok, let’s start with #1.  I don’t believe it, but I understand.  How about #2? I don’t believe it but I understand…that is until my memory reminds me that #1 said something which flatly contradicts #2.

So, after I pick up the pieces of my exploded brain, I take a deep breath and try to move onto #3.  I can’t.  My brain is still experiencing some sort of stop error, and I cannot move on.  The first two assertions are purely contradictory.  But this is supposed to be a mystery.  And besides, my mind, intellect, etc are fallen, sinful, and broken.  I am not supposed to understand, but just accept.

Except that the Bible is vague on this point….

*sigh*

Let’s move on. Frame says that there have been “debates over the deity of Christ.”  Not just in modern times, but in ancient times.  During the 3rd and 4th centuries, many views of Jesus conflicted among the early Christians, even though Frame does say later (in chapter 10 entitled Who is Jesus Christ?) that there is no debate in the NT about this issue.  One wonders how now-heretical views could have formed without Scriptural basis?  Probably it has something to do with the fact that the canonical books that became the Bible had not been declared canon until after 325 AD.  Before then there were other texts being considered as authoritative by many people.  Many of these books are gone, some have been subsequently found.

Still, continues Frame,

But the conclusion of the Christian church since its inception, and the conclusion of the Bible itself, is that Father, Son, and Spirit are each fully God.

(page 32)

Sure, the Bible as voted one by councils in the 4th century (starting with Nicaea).  The letters, gospels, etc that created a theological problem for this view were considered heretical, and often destroyed.  So, while the scriptures that became canonical were vague at best, other writings made this issue even less clear when considered.  Modern readers often do not know about these non-canonical texts, and so they are out of mind.  Still the Bible we have is vague about this doctrine, but this idea is central to most Christian theology almost without question.

Yeah, that makes sense….

Frame adds this;

The work of theology is not just reading through the Scriptures but applying the Scriptures to the questions people ask, applying it to their needs.

(page 35)

Seems innocuous enough.  Then you start to think about it.  Theology is an attempt to categorize what is written.  It is an attempt to make sense out of the Scripture in terms of what matters to us in our lives, right? Why would the Trinity be necessary for this?

Let’s follow the trail and see where Frame leads us.  At the end of the chapter, Frame tells us that

If Jesus the Son of God is only a creature, [Athanasius] said, then we are guilty of idolatry….[Jesus] is worthy of worship only if he is equal to the Father….”

and then further down the page,

If the Arians were right…then we are hoping to be saved from sin through a mere creature.  Only if Jesus is fully God, a member of the ontological Trinity, can he save us from our sins.

(page 41)

Ah! I see now.  The Trinity becomes a doctrine to explain how Jesus, his so-called sacrifice, is able to have theological import.  The Trinity is a solution to a problem of getting to where theologians want to get; salvation.  It’s a puzzle-solution, not a philosophical methodology for figuring out what is true, lines up with reality, or anything like that.  (Heresy!).

If you read the New Testament, you will not find a clear treatise on the Trinity.  Jesus does not say he is equal to the Father and the Spirit, that they are all 3 persons of the same substance, or anything like that.

But Jesus is supposed to have said something things that would have been heretical to the Jewish establishment and which identified him as at least similar to God.  The whole “Son of Man” thing, the doing of miracles, etc.  So, by taking these puzzle pieces and structuring them into the Trinitarian formula, Athanasius and the early church along with him put together a coherent whole that, while not sensible, seeks to harmonize the claims of the gospels, Paul’s writings, etc. It’s a matter of creating the appearance of coherence in God’s Word, not in making sense of reality based on logic, rational enquiry, or (gods! no!) any proto-scientific method.

This seems to me to be a strange, backwards, way to figure out a mystery.  Philosophical methodology might ask you to figure out what is logically possible then try to apply that to what is found.  Here, logical possibility is thrown out as a criteria because we are broken, body and mind.  The Word is the authority, our minds are broken.

We cannot trust ourselves, our minds, or rational thought.

Well, all there is to do under those conditions is believe, right?

Ugh….

Don’t think about that too hard.

Slavation Belongs to the Lord September 9, 2010

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OK, I need to take a break.

I really can’t take any more of this right now….

OK, context! Yes, dear reader, you need context to such a statement.

Very well.

I am planning on taking a class at a local church about faith in everyday life. Part of the class involves reading a book, an introduction to systematic theology, by a very conservative theologian by the name of John M. Frame. It is called Salvation belongs to the Lord. and I have been reading it in preparation for the class.

Why am I taking this class? Well, partly because I am interested in learning about theology from an insider’s perspective.  But I also want to sit in and hear discussions among Christians and hear what they have to say, so that I am better informed about what people think about such things.

I intend to say little, and I will not lie about my views but will not offer them, at least at first.  If I am asked directly, I have decided not to hide who I am and why I am there, but otherwise I intend to listen a lot.

So, why am I so frustrated? Because this book proposes a literalitic and conservative view of the Bible that is so absurd, so constraining, and so repressive that I can only take it small bits at a time.

We must, argues Frame, submit our will, intellect, and emotions to God’s will.  There is no ability to think for ourselves, especially if we are to question anything the Bible says.

We did not evolve.  He spent about 3/4 of a page discussing evolution and merely dismissed it on the basis that it is not in accordance with Scripture.

I could go on.  I won’t.  In the coming weeks I will discuss this class, our discussions within, and perhaps sections of the book.  for now, I just wanted to rant for a moment before I tore the book in half and ran screaming into the night.

Salvation Belongs to not reading this crap anymore…

Yet I will persevere.

God as a Metaphor (part 1) November 1, 2009

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The following is a longer article that I want to divide up into three parts.  For part two, and subsequently three, come back in the next couple of days.

Part 1:

Once one has used the finger to indicate the moon,

one no longer has use for the finger.

The elusiveness of Truth.

What is true? What is Truth? Any attempt to describe the nature of reality, of the universe, of our experience of the universe, or any attempt to describe the universe independent of human experience, must necessarily involve some type of language. Systematic descriptions of various levels of rigidity, whose goal it is to explain how the constituent parts of the universe interact and combine to create the complexity we see in the world, vary from person to person and group to group. These descriptions differ as a result of being derived from various points of views—perspectives—and have different sets of assumptions and thus different conclusions. When one doesn’t know where they are going, any road signs or markers along the path can be mistaken for the destination. Similarly, if one does not know the truth, the metaphors we use to dig part of it up can be mistaken for the truth itself.

People from various places, times, and with various cultural environments have tried to make sense of the world—to describe it systematically. In doing so, observers of this quest have found that there are limitations to our abilities to describe the world precisely and accurately. In addition, the experiences, traditions, and other factors that shape our view of the world will effect how our descriptions will be formed themselves. After all, the conclusions that we come up with are formed in the environment of our minds, which are formed in the environment of our cultures and personal experiences.

This situation leads one to wonder whether there is any sense of even asking about something objective or ultimately “True.” This is especially the case since we are steeped in contingent factors which depend on subjective and inter-subjective analyses rather than some hypothetical objective perspective (a concept that seems oxymoronic, to say the least). Plato and his many dualistic philosophical descendents have commented that there is a distinction between the Truth and those things which are mere shadows of that truth, things that are dependent upon circumstance and subjective perceptions. And while I don’t buy this dualism, I recognize that there seems to be a difference between the nature of how the world functions and our low-resolution simulation of it that our minds concoct. This difference has led some to postulate that the concept of truth in-itself is a fiction that has no meaning, or at least is beyond our epistemological capabilities.

The history of science reflects this tension between theory and some hypothetical Grand Unified Theory, and gravity is a prime example of how this tension plays out. We can predict to a good degree of precision, given sufficient information, where a ball will land if thrown or shot in some gravitational field. Newton’s success in describing the inverse square law of gravity was able to give us a relatively accurate mathematical relationship to make such predictions. But in the early decades of the 20th century, an ingenious and somewhat annoying discovery was made by the well-known, if not well-misunderstood, Albert Einstein. Our description of gravity was not precise enough to be considered exact, and we would find that the theory of general relativity would surpass Newton’s observations in descriptive power. But even general relativity proves not to be spot on, either. We are still grasping for the subtleties of quantum gravity with M-theory and loop quantum gravity, and there is no way to know, now, whether these ideas will be any more fruitful in ascertaining the truth of the matter of gravity. Only time and effort will tell.

Whether or not the true description of gravity will one day be found is not the point of this mental exercise. The point is that our relationship with the world is one where our words and the descriptions they formulate have an inexact relationship with their intended referents; the “true” descriptions of how the world actually works. Through our prodding, measuring, and calculating of the world around us, we refine our resolution of the world until we have a theory that can map the terrain sufficiently for our purposes. In terms of technology, our theories do not need to be exact to make objects that suit our purposes—the computer I am typing on is sufficient to demonstrate that. But it is a different project to determine what is True, and human beings from time immemorial have been playing with the questions of what is ultimately True, and there is no sign of this trend going out of fashion any time soon.

But what are of interest include the various methodologies of tackling this question of what is true. Surely, there may be many angles or perspectives from which we can attend to the problem, each using different specifics but describing the same universe, that depend upon the experiences and information accessible to the questioner. This does not imply that any methodology is equally valid or that different methods may be equally effective or efficient at gaining understanding. In fact, it seems quite clear that some methodologies have a clear advantage over others, gleaning more descriptive power than others and therefore having better descriptions than others.

Tomorrow: Part two (“metaphor”)

What is a god? July 2, 2009

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I was having a conversation yesterday while out at The Devil’s Alley on Chestnut St. with some friends.  As I sat down, I discovered a conversation about “higher powers,” and my ears perked up.  What is a god? That was the question.

A good question it is.  As a general rule, I don’t define what a god is.  I believe that I should listen to what someone tells me they think their god is and answer whether I think such a being exists.  In general, the answer is no.  But sometimes, someone’s definition of god is more than a little different than the general concept of an omnimax being (omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent, etc).  In this context, someone presented a definition of ‘god’ as something that has power over him.  I thought that this was a bit vague, so I asked if an alien being were to visit that had great power (technology that would seem like magic to us, for example) would that being be considered a god?  He said yes.

This led me to thinking.  Has the concept of god become so pushed back to a logical construct or vague power in discussions of theology so much that when I run into more primitive concepts of god they don’t even seem god-like? Take for example the ancient Greek gods.  Zeus, the ruler of Olympus, was not an all powerful being responsible for the creation of the universe or even omniscient.  He was a powerful being that could kick your ass, perhaps, but he was nothing like the God of modern theology. Would Zeus be considered a god in the theological discussions of today?

My immediate response to this claim that powerful aliens would be considered gods was to say that this definition was too vague and inclusive to be legitimate.  This is largely because my atheism, admittedly a reaction to people’s theological ideas, is a lack of belief in a concept of god that transcends mere power over me or greater than me.  It is a rejection of a being of ultimate power, presence, and knowledge as is defined by most religious traditions.  I do not reject belief in powers greater than me (although I don’t believe in aliens, due to the lack of evidence for them so far) but in the concept of a being that created everything, is all powerful, etc.

There is nothing automatically metaphysically problematic with the idea of powerful beings that exist.  Granted, we don’t have the means to replicate this power now, but we may in the future.  Being a bit of a sci-fi fan, I could refer to Q (Star Trek), The Ancients (Stargate), The Protectorate (Power; ahem…**shameless plug**) and other such beings that look god-like from a certain point of view.  But are these things gods?

If we were to develop technology that would give us these types of powers, would we become gods?  Now, Mormons and Scientologists possibly aside, I don’t think that such things are the same type of question as we talk about in the question of whether a god exists or not.  If some people are using the term ‘god’ in a non-traditional fashion then I think that there might be room for some discussion, but a different one than what I typically have.

The problem with having a definition of god that can include things like aliens is that where is the line drawn? I don’t want to evoke a fallacy here, but there should be some line where above it is a god and below is something else.  I don’t know where that line is, but I think that some baseline attributes need to be considered. What those attributes are…that’s a discussion for another day, perhaps.

Here’s an extreme example.  If someone were to define their coffee cup as god, and then show me this coffee cup, then I cannot be an atheist rationally concerning that person’s god because I have good empirical evidence that it exists.  But is this legitimate? Is this definition of ‘god’ (the coffee cup) too much of a redefinition of the concept of ‘god’ to be considered to make me me no longer an atheist?

What about a powerful alien, like in Star Trek V where the crew is hijacked and taken to the center of the galaxy where they meet a powerful being that claims to be the God of various traditions, including Judaism and Christianity.  But the being ends up just being some powerful alien and ‘Bones’ calls him on this facade and they manage to escape.  So, was this being a god (even if it wasn’t the specific god it claimed to be)?

I think that maybe the concept of what a god is has changed somewhat over the centuries.  I think that this is because the more we understand how nature works, the smaller the domain of the supernatural becomes.  Where Zeus was once a god, the role of Zeus is now no-longer supernatural.  Thus, the gods of today are transcendent and invisible.  Perhaps as they always were, at least since the days of the pre-Socratic philosophers, but even today we push back the supernatural with every advance in cosmology, biology, and neurology (among other fields).

The “God of the gaps” gets smaller and smaller.

Thus I will leave it as a general rule to allow those I meet to define their god, and I will leave it to them to largely be unable to do so.  In fact, this is one of the reasons I am an atheist; theists almost never have a solid definition of what god is (and not just it’s name and what it had done, but what it is).  And they want me to believe in it?

I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.

–Stephen F. Roberts

Irreducible Complexity; a conversation with God March 24, 2009

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He sat for a while considering this argument. It had a subtle, yet undeniable truth that his mind wanted to reject, but couldn’t. It was a good argument, and he didn’t know how to reconcile it in his mind quite yet. He had thought that this was all there was, that no greater world existed, that this was the only reality. And on top of that, this was supposed to be his day off and he was supposed to be resting. Instead, he found that his mind was as busy as he had been with the rest of himself for the previous six days. It had been a long week, and and he wished that he could just rest, but rest would not come.

“So, what you are saying is that things in this world are too complex, and that no amount of time or normal processes could be enough to have these things come about by chance. They have to have a designer?”

The question had already been answered, but he just had wanted to make sure he could package it altogether nicely. Rather than answer him, his visitor just sat there, smiling.

He suddenly felt very presumptuous. He tried to remember how important he had felt as he built and created all week. He tried to recapture that feeling of pride in having done good work, but suddenly he thought that it had all been part of a greater plan. Because if this visitor of his was right, it would seem to indicate a need for there to be something larger, more powerful, and more intelligent than he–greater than this whole world that he thought he knew.

The argument of this visitor seemed air-tight. How could this world with all of its complexity and beauty have been brought about by simple chance? It must be the design of some greater force. He suddenly felt very humble, and the feeling of some presence, some power, some beneficence that surrounded him suddenly became overwhelming. It felt as if it had always been there, but that some pride or refusal to feel it had been present too but was now too weak to maintain itself. And as that pride began to crumble, he allowed it to wash over him, and he felt reborn.

Tears flowed, thoughts and muttered words of gratefulness, love, and overwhelming joy filled him as he felt this presence flow through him. As his visitor watched, he walked over to him and put a hand upon his shoulder, and they both stayed that way for some time.

“I thought that I was somehow in control. I thought that I was only answerable to me. I thought….”

“It’s OK; you didn’t know. But now that you do know, what will you do about it?”

He thought about this, and in that moment of deep feeling and passion for this new understanding, he rose to his feet and proclaimed to all that could hear him that….

“I will submit myself to this greater force. I will heed its commandments, share its love, and I will hope to one day make myself worthy of it. I will make sure that I spend my days in worship of this new found presence, and I thank you for showing it to me.”

The visitor smiled a little and looked into his eyes.

“I did nothing. I merely helped you open a door that you had closed through your own pride. You have denied the presence of its power too long, and you are now on the path to being righteous.

And as Yahweh looked at the visitor he fully appreciated, for the first time, that he, the great Yahweh, must have been the creation of an intelligent designer, for anything that is complex needs a maker. And to think, he had thought that it had been all about him, just because he created a universe. These superficial things, these false points of pride, were as nothing to this greater force. He tried to imagine what this greater power must have been like. It was probably beyond his ability to know.

So he stopped thinking about it.

And that is how God found super god.

Super god sat for a while considering this argument. It had a subtle, yet undeniable truth that his mind wanted to reject, but couldn’t….