To Wes “In depriving Satan of his existence, and God too, …

Comment on Academic Freedom Strikes Again! by george.

To Wes

“In depriving Satan of his existence, and God too, yet bemoaning evil, you are at least letting my God as personification if not creator of evil, off the hook. That’s refreshing, and in contrast to the several even of our own academic circles who have in previous years posted such frank accusations on this blog.”

You bet I am. I do not blame God for the maladies of Man or natural disasters. Do we really think a loving God could be such a monster as to allow innocent children to die of cancer! Man is responsible for his own circumstances and must make individual choices in that regard including those of good and evil. If God or the Devil or our biology is dictating those choices then there is no free will hence no morality as we are just robots living according to the dictates of outside agency. I don’t believe that because I painfully understand the choices I have to make every day to not simply act totally in my own self interest. ( and I am painfully aware and often appalled at how often I fail in that regard!).

As Jiminy Cricket quaintly said, ” Always let your conscience be your guide.”

I often think of Mother Teresa, late in life doubting the existence of God but still doing the work of a ‘saint.’ That’s goodness pure and simple no matter how one cuts the theistic/secular cake. And whether I recognize that goodness by sentiment, education, moral training, upbringing, culture, reason or some combination of all those factors really doesn’t matter as long as I recognize it … and try to act upon it. Hard to do given my biological nature.

Good night my friend, I hope this finds you well.

george Also Commented

Academic Freedom Strikes Again!
To Wes

“So you’ve been asking (as is your egg-nostic wont, may I insert, winking) religious people for years and years and never yet heard anybody answer that God has actually talked to them? Not surprised. You wouldn’t in the legalist and Laodicean circles you’ve been socializing in (or, ahem, in them badlands circles ya’ll been goin’ roun’ ‘n roun’ in – couldn’t resist that hoop trope, you know me), which excludes serial killers, who hear some god without letup bugging them to do ungodly things, as they zealously witness in court. Hmmm… I hear an ear-splitting egg-nosticogeorgian question popping out of that one! ”

I apologize if I misunderstood what your were alluding to when you referenced serial killers.These were the atrocities to which I alluded.

Your confused cowpoke


Academic Freedom Strikes Again!
Gentlemen,

What just God would allow an innocent child to be born guilty for the sins of a distant ancestor? Should not every human being, irrespective of faith, be judged on their actions towards their fellow humans? Is this not what the parable of the Good Samaritan was all about and why it is so appealing to those of faith and non faith alike?

When we set ourselves as being the interpretive authority as to what God wants we risk hubris of the highest order. Better to allow for rational debate on the topic and respect the opinion of others.

What if there was only One Commandment? Do Good. ‘Kant’ see a problem with that. 🙂


Academic Freedom Strikes Again!
To Wes and Sean

” Of course, as our friend Wesley has artfully described, many of these revelations are only detectable by the mind that is already open to hearing the voice of God – already open to the leading of His Spirit. If the mind is not open to Spiritual things, then Spiritual communications will not be perceived – even if someone is literally raised from the dead before one’s very eyes (Luke 16:31). ”

Gentlemen, thank you for your further elucidation on the topic. But is it not also true that even to those whose minds are open to hearing the voice of God, in fact fervently pray to hear it (Mother Teresa in her later years) they may not necessarily ‘hear’ the voice of God. And., I presume in those cases this is where faith and interpretation as to how God speaks to us comes in?

I also point out that I grew up with religious education and church attendance. I also have opened myself up to prayer and spiritual experience. I am also very conscious of the mystery of life, the universe and especially good and evil in people. And, as an agnostic I acknowledge that God may be communicating “speaking” to me in many different ways. But I cannot say God has ever spoken to me and I don’t hear voices. That is why I am always curious about the phenomena of those that do. Most of my religious friends are of the same bent as yourselves – and I don’t disparage them or you! – they interpret the presence of God through feelings, observations and scripture. But I also have observed perhaps the most important similarity- they WANT to believe in God. Their moral universe and hope for life after biological death fuels that WANT. For me this represents a kind of benign human hubris or confirmation bias that colours objectivity. For me faith and science are different fields of human endeavour and should be separated.

As always, thanks for your patience and tolerance of your agnostic cyber cowpoke


Recent Comments by george

Science, Methodological Naturalism, and Faith
@ Dr. Pitman

How did you make the segue from the creation story to Alexander the Great as historical science? What am I missing here – did someone actually witness the creation story and write about it?

Let’s try to stay inside the ball park on analogies shall we?


Science, Methodological Naturalism, and Faith
“Again, why do you believe that Alexander the Great really did the various things that historians claim he did.”

Who said I did?

History is often recorded by the victors who may well gild the lily. Different historians may say different things about him. Some may have been eye witnesses, some may have not relying on hearsay. Some may have had a bias. Take all history with a grain of salt by considering the sources and margin for error I say.

However you’re not just talking about claims of the Bible, you’re talking about the claims of EGW. Do you have some empirical proof that she actually visited those worlds she described? If so where is your corroborating evidence of any sort? In short is your belief about EGW’s vision of extra terrestial based on any science whatsoever?


Science, Methodological Naturalism, and Faith
@Bob

Have you ever read how much resistance Darwin faced when Origin of Species was first published? Many of the scientific establishment opposed him. In fact I have read that natural selection did not become a centerpiece of modern evolutionary biology until the 1930’s and 1940’s.

Darwin, like Pasteur has stood the test of time, notwithstanding the lack of initial scientific consensus. Who knows, perhaps one day YEC or YLC may ascend to the scientific pantheon? Have to find evidence for 6 day creation and how biodiversity emanated from the Ark though 🙂
Until then, I’m afraid they are just so stories.


Science, Methodological Naturalism, and Faith
Did you notice that you have unilaterally used the analogy of Alexander the Great of which I have never studied or alluded to?

Are you equating EGW’s vision of extra terrestrial life to a battle on earth? Proverbial apples and oranges, but your silence and evasion of the science behind EGW’s vision is deafening.


Science, Methodological Naturalism, and Faith
@ Bob and Sean

Is EGW’s vision scientific? Is it corroborated or falsifiable?

Ask yourselves honestly why you believe in it. If it is because of your faith that is fine, but if it has some scientific, empirical basis, as Dr. Pitman likes to tote, you need to establish that basis. Otherwise it is a ‘just so’ theological story.

Also, I think a couple of my previous comments on this topic never made it out of the cyber editing room. I didn’t think they were offensive so I’m not sure why they were not posted. 🙂