Doing the God Thing Right

Finished The Case for God by Karen Armstrong. Brilliant book. Though the title is an unfortunate victim of marketing-speak. It’s not an apologetic to convince you of anything except that being convinced means your are doing the God thing wrong. As usual the history she breaks down for the reader is immensely illuminating.

At the end of the day to quest for that Reality some of us call God is quintessentially human with all the attendant good and evil. Faith is more like marriage than some intellectual exercise (or surrender). Religion is work. Some are good at it and some aren’t.

Read it if you dare.

Theoretical Creative Destruction

Recently one of my more devout friends got into a mini-debate about so-called Creation Science and the veracity of the Bible as a scientifically true book. His pièce-de-résistance was the article below. It’s not my purpose here to refute Creation Science itself, but to refute calling it true science. It is, like phrenology, a pseudo-science.

Recently one of my more devout friends got into a mini-debate about so-called Creation Science and the veracity of the Bible as a scientifically true book. His pièce-de-résistance was the article quoted below. It’s not my purpose here to refute Creation Science itself, but to refute calling it true science. It is, like phrenology, a pseudo-science. Continue reading “Theoretical Creative Destruction”

On Worshipping at the Altar of Atheism

I have a good friend who is a staunch materialist and enjoy a little back and forth with him about God. We don’t debate since that’s of little value. But in the course of our discussions I’m struck by how religious the arguments for atheism are and how absolute their proponents’ faith is in only what can see, hear, and touch.

I say faith because that is by definition belief in something impossible to prove. You simply can’t prove a negative without, dare I say it, the infinite knowledge of God. (Props to Professor Michael Eric Dyson for challenging me on my fideistic acceptance of materialism.) But that’s not the only reason why I call it faith.

The sheer arrogance of the likes of Bill Maher and Richard Dawkins is reminiscent of the Magesterium in times past and, to my regret, not so distant past. We know The Truth while the rest of the world is either deluded, stupid, or both. It’s implicit in the ideology. Even well meaning folks can’t seem to avoid it. One of the coolest people on this planet I know asked me “Why do you believe in God, Rob, you’re so intelligent?” out of genuine curiosity. Except for his atheism, he is the opposite of Dick Dawkins. (Yes, I mean the pun). At Bible study/Church school, we are going through adult catechism over the next year. It’s amazing how the ethos is identical insofar as the tendency of all too many to look down on the beliefs of others.

I love Truth and work hard at finding it but I’m not so prideful to claim it as my own. I have to be, like a good scientist would be, willing to accept that tomorrow’s discovery will turn my world upside down else I have no faith, “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

And on that note:

I’m not an atheist and I don’t think I can call myself a pantheist. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many different languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn’t know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God.

–Albert Einstein

Amen.

Faith based Politics

Today, I learned an important lesson: faith is a great ally and great threat in politics. When discussing a recent article on the Internet titled, “How to Disagree,” with some friends, I took the opportunity to correct past mistakes at being ineffective, intemperate, or just plain disagreeable when discussing contentious topics. I decided to revisit a particular discussion on homosexuality and examine the mechanics of the back and forth. I wanted to highlight my reasoning, how I was trying to make a point, and so on, to show that I was refuting (and this is important) logical claims by providing evidence that supported my refutation.
I received a couple of responses that greatly frustrated me at first. Technically speaking, my friends had simply restated a contradiction to a point I had painstakingly proven with biblical evidence, evidence that I found incontrovertible. It was right there in black and white, after all. Yet, here they were simply restating the opposite! My ego was stung and information not conforming to my worldview was imposed on me and like most human beings, anger was the predictable first and thankfully internal response. Aren’t they listening?!? Don’t they respect me?!? Are they boneheaded??! And so on. To be clear and concise consider this conversation:
What is the wavelength of blue light?
550 nanometers.
What is the wavelength of light scattered from the sky on a sunny day?
550 nanometers.
What is the color of the sky?
Green.
It hadn’t yet occurred to me that they were simply confessing faith. Confessing one’s faith comes in many different forms and is often disguised, as it was in this situation. Faith is also emotional and deeply multivalent in one’s life. It doesn’t fit in a nice neat box. It is often ineffable and a reflection of the person who has it rather than a reflection of some abstract or objective reality.

Continue reading “Faith based Politics”