“One does not even need to know if God is …

Comment on IT’S THE CULTURE, STUPID by George.

“One does not even need to know if God is good or evil before one can know that, either way, an extremely powerful God-like creative power clearly exists behind the origin of various ”

You do undrestand I am an agnostic, right? I certainly acknowledge the possibly of this, merely because of my own concious existence and what science has provided educate us about the nature of the universe and life.

I suspect, but cannot prove, or understand, that there is some force – which Man calls God(s) – behind the First Cause- the origin of matter in a dynamic state. However my human temporal understanding of First Cause- outside of this univesrse- may be quite flawed if Time started with the Big Bsng. What was there before the Big Bsng? God? A potential for the Big Bang?

And I appreciate what you are trying to do to establish ID as a scientifc discipline. I do believe that our dialectic helps to explore the parameters of that proposed discipline. But I do not understand how hypothetical polished granite cubes or SETI is particularily relevant to the Intelliegent Design of the universe. Sorry!

However I do think ‘we’ are making progress by jointly exploring the topic and it’s linkage to the biblical God through your professed credibility of the Bible. Your approach to use ID to firstly establish a creative God like force evident in the universe – but not necessarily the biblical depicted God – is quite rational in my humble opinion. That is very frightening to many Adventists because they see it as making faith the lapdog of science. Others Adventists, who have concluded that science cannot corroborate God, YLC , YEC or the resurrection of Christ – and have perhaps become theistic evolutionists- are worried that you are stripping faith of its sine qua non: to believe and not know, sometimes in contrast to peer reviewed science! But your great mentor, the esteemed Dr. Kime, sees you as a hero as you brilliantly attempt to bridge science and faith as progressive truth under the Adventist paradigm. I share his admiration for your efforts.

Moreover, you and Dr. Kime have caused me to deeply explore the empirical and philosophical basis for my agnosticism, for which I am ‘eternally’ 🙂 grateful. By understanding what you are attempting to do as a first step: to recognize a god like signature in the design of the universe independent of theodicy, I have gained a better appreciation for my own agnosticism. Is there a concious design to this universe? For me the jury is still out on that as there is great evidence of mindless design that appears to be governed by the physical laws of the universe. However, why do those laws exist? Intellligent Design? Certainly possible! Can such design be detected? That is an ongoing debate as cause and effect mechanisms of the universe contine to explain many features of the universe that previously were assigned to design, miracles or an intervening God. Philosophically I am concerned that ID not simply be the default mechanism to conclude there is design if science has not yet determined how phenomena have occured naturally under the existing laws of the universe.

Hope that helps

George Also Commented

“If you limit the free will agent to only hurting him or herself, you haven’t provided true freedom of will.”

Naturally, by how do you let that free human will change the perfect laws of the universe? Where does that human power come from? Doesn’t that require a wee bit of divine intervention to let the perfect universe unwind? Or did Adam and Eve have a different type of free will with magical powers that extant humans do not have?

“What are you afraid of?”

Not of my mortality or any promise of heaven, my friend. And not of compromising my intellectual freedom thorough religious or atheist bias. I don’t need certainty or hope. Those are temporal pablum.

Very glad that you agree there are imperfections in the universe. So does that mean an imperfect creator. an imperfect designer, ergo an imperfect God? What empirical evidence is there that the universe was once perfect and Adam esting a forbidden apple caused imperfection to occur? None is the only rational, non mythical answer – but saying so I don’t begrudge any there faith to the contrary, especially if it gives them hope in their daily lives. My mirror is most severe and the abyss most deep. And in facing that I am peace with myself. But I will fight ignorance tooth and nail, my friend, especially if religion disguises itself as reason or science.

That being said there may or may not be a design to this universe. In answer to your question what would convince me, I would have to be convinced that our universe is in fact not part of a metaverse where other possible universes with different properties are possible. I would also to understand if this universe is designed, why such a design if intelligently designed? If God marvels life why not design it on every planet? I would also need to see majority scientific peer reviewed support that macro evolution is not viable. You raise some interesting points but I don’t think you are an evolutionary biologist and have done little experimentation or research in the area. I appreciate this an appeal to authority, but at least it is an appeal to scientific authority as oppossed to holy books written by men 🙂

Hope that helps explain my position a bit more.

By the way, Dr. Kime’s diatribe on the relative, changing landscape of Adventism is outstanding. It is a microcosm of what happens to all religions over time and how they schism based on the wiles of Man to rest authority away from exisitng tenets or persons wielding power with orthodoxy. It’s why I say all religion is relative cultural phenomena, even the various iterations of the Bible. It will continue to change as new prophets and power brokers come along. Do you think EGW would hold court in today’s modern society? She was a anachronism of her time and that age’s credulity. There will be more prophets and rational cynics will be there to hobble their celestial ankles.

I wish you and my pard Wes a happy Sabbath,

This Adventist pastor had the courage to question things for himself.


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

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. 🙂