Third in a series of reader’s guides for my short story collection, “Richard Dawkins, Antony Flew, and Mother Teresa Go to Heaven.” This one is for the Richard Dawkins story primarily, but may be applicable to the others. For more details, see previous posts. How Not to Read Imaginative Literature What follows is an extreme …
For background on why I believe that this reader’s guide might be helpful, please see the posts immediately prior to this one. This guide pertains specifically to the story “Antony Flew Goes to Heaven” but the principles it discusses will likely be useful for the other stories, and interpreting literature in general. Reader’s Guide to …
There’s a lot of churches out there. I have been a church-goer for 30 years. I’ve been serious about Christianity. I’m practical. I’m simple. My seriousness about Christianity simply means (see? simple) as much as is within me, I am devoted and dedicated to the Lord. I’m not a bandwagon jumper. I hate them. I’ve …
I recently had a conversation with some gents that I thought I would paraphrase for my blog. I think I’ve had the same kind of conversation a dozen times in the last three months. I have combined all the conversations into one paraphrase. Enjoy.
Them: We believe science is the only way to learn about the world and religion is just faith-mongering superstition. There is no scientific basis for believing in the existence of God. Belief is just irrationalism. I know what you’re going to say. That there had to be something that has always existed. Why not the universe?
Me: Well, science says that the universe had a beginning. So I guess the universe can’t be the thing that has always existed. Surely that means we can explore other options.
I noticed the other day that someone had taken the time to respond at length to my post discussing trancendence, immanence, logic and superlogic. Then I woke up this morning to find out he had posted again on it! Herr Professor, this is just too much! 🙂 Herr Professor, now going by Deacon Duncan, knows that I prefer to have extended discussions on my discussion forum but he has sufficiently stroked my ego that I think a post or two is warranted. It is not every day that I am described as smart and sophisticated and that my arguments are clever. However, since the Professor already is two posts ahead of me he will have to be patient as I catch up. Below is part one. Please read this to the very end, or not at all.
For this entry I am responding mainly to his first article, ‘Can God do Nonsense?’
From the start, I’d like to point out that H. Professor admitted one of my contentions as reasonable. I had argued that an evaluation of God’s ‘omni’ nature doesn’t require that he performs nonsensical demands, like making a rock he cannot lift. I said that even atheists can accept this, and H. Professor did.
In the last week or so I had two exchanges where the debate turned on why the atheist/agnostic was demanding a higher level of scrutiny for ‘religious’ claims than other kinds of claims. In one of the cases, the really odd thing is that the person(s) had admitted that science, being limited as it is to the natural order, is unable to touch the supernatural and yet continued to say that science nonetheless remains the best way to learn about the world. This is not coherent. When pressed, in this case they again admitted that science couldn’t prove or disprove the supernatural but continued to insist that we use science to investigate the question. Truly, this world leaves me scratching my head.
A question is posed in this episode that ties in and I think is noteworthy. Nathan Petrelli wants to know who else could have bestowed all these powers except for God himself. By the end of the episode we know that mad scientists are the culprits and that his visions and sense of ‘divine purpose’ are the spinnings of another ‘hero’ that can control the mind. In this madcap universes of the heroes (and our own) the question is reasonable: just how would you know that it was God at work, that you were on the side of the angelic and not the monstrous?
At the very least, then, Mr. Curtis has faith in reason. As do I. But I understand that reason brings us always to a point of decision where the consequences of that decision might conceivably be other than we suppose. It is always possible that even after a thousand times my chair will break. Technically, it is even possible that all of the atoms will align and I’ll simply pass through it. Yet I sit. Likewise, faith in God is not simply the belief that there is a God, but rather trust in God. Whether or not that is a reasonable trust or an unreasonable one is a separate question but at least let us acknowledge that faith as the Christians present it is not only compatible with reason, but essential when it comes to acting on reason.
I have a lot to cram in here, so I don’t know that it is even worth trying.Â It may help if you go back to my first post on this subject.Â This makes my third post on the subject. Something interesting I found today was this article here by a certain, aptly named, Michael …
When I was a religion teacher I was often asked why God didn’t perform miracles today as often as he did in the Christian Scriptures. The question is a natural one. As one starts from Genesis and proceeds through Revelation, there are a litany of miraculous events happening one after the other. However, it is …
I’m always amazed at how the same things come up over and over again from atheists. The funny thing is that they always think they’re bringing some new revelation, as though Christians and theists in general haven’t been hearing- and answering- these things for thousands of years. Sparking this blog is this thread and the …