Tom Caylor wrote:
> Brent Meeker wrote:
>> Tom Caylor wrote:
>>> Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
>>>> Tom Cayolor writes:
>>>>
>>>>>>> Schaeffer maintained that the basis for antithesis is not
>>>>>>> that it was an invention of Aristotle or anyone, but that the
>>>>>>> basis for antithesis is reality itself, based on the God who
>>>>>>> is there (as opposed to not being there).  The existence of
>>>>>>> the personal God answers the questions:
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> 1) Why is there something rather than nothing?  i.e. the
>>>>>>> question of the origin of the form of the universe, why does
>>>>>>> it "make sense"?  What is the basis for the nature of reality
>>>>>>> and beauty? 2) Why is man the way he/she is?  Why is man able
>>>>>>> to have language and do science, and make sense of the world?
>>>>>>> Why is man able to love and figure out what is right?  What
>>>>>>> is the basis for meaning?  What is the basis for mind?  How
>>>>>>> can persons know one another? 3) Why is man able to know
>>>>>>> anything, and know that he knows what he knows?  What is the
>>>>>>> basis for truth?  What is truth?
>>>>>> The first two questions are difficult, but they apply to God as
>>>>>> much as the universe, despite ontological argument trickery
>>>>>> whereby God is just defined as existing necessarily (Gaunilo's
>>>>>> answer to Anselm was that you can also just define a "perfect
>>>>>> island" as an island which exists necessarily, and therefore
>>>>>> cannot not exist).
>>>>>>
>>>>>> The other questions are easy: blind evolution made us this way.
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>> The word "blind" here is a statement of faith in impersonality.
>>>>> I would paraphrase Brent Meeker and ask, "Why does 'blind' have
>>>>> to be the default?"  My response to Bruno addresses the
>>>>> assumption of impersonality.
>>>> It's Occam's Razor: why add the complication of guided evolution
>>>> (or other theistic intervention) when you can explain a phenomenon
>>>> without it? There doesn't seem to be anything in biology that could
>>>> not have come about through random processes in a universe with
>>>> physical laws such as our own. If God played any role in it he is
>>>> at best completely indifferent to the plight of his creatures. It
>>>> suits blind evolution very well that being devoured by a predator
>>>> is as unpleasant as possible for the prey, but how does this fit in
>>>> with the plans of the gentle God of modern Christian apologists?
>>>>
>>> I'm not talking about the practice of science.  I'm talking about the
>>>  underlying beliefs.  The practice of science concentrates on what we
>>>  can see, the road past and present.  Our underlying beliefs are what
>>>  really count when it comes to what our destination is going to be.
>> A peculiarly Christian view - faith trumps all.  Why don't our actions count 
>> more than our beliefs? If I'm driving to San Francisco, I'll get there I'll 
>> if I make the right turns - even if I believe I'm driving to San Diego.
>>
>>> This is the level at which Carl Woese is talking in his paper A New
>>> Biology For A New Century.
>>>
>>>>>>> However, from the birth of modern science, we have taken a
>>>>>>> journey to dispense with any kind of faith and try to be
>>>>>>> exhaustive in our automony and control.  Ironically we have
>>>>>>> abandoned rationality (including antithesis), and we have
>>>>>>> abandoned ourselves to ourselves. We are lost in a silent sea
>>>>>>> of meaningless 0's and 1's, and man is a machine.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> This is why I said that when we put ourselves at the center
>>>>>>> of our worldview, it is a prison.
>>>>>> Er, science is usually taken as more concerned with rationality
>>>>>> than religion and less anthropocentric than religion. Turning
>>>>>> it around seems more a rhetorical ploy than a defensible
>>>>>> position.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Stathis Papaioannou
>>>>>>
>>>>> Science has to take rationality by faith.  Without a personal God
>>>>> both science and religion are anthropocentric because in such a
>>>>> configuration there is no one else besides us.
>>>> Science doesn't have to take anything by faith, even though
>>>> scientists, being after all the same species that created
>>>> religions, often do. Science is at bottom just systematised common
>>>> sense. I see storm clouds so I take my umbrella: that's
>>>> meteorology. If you want to call it "faith" because there is no way
>>>> of being certain that past storm cloud behaviour will be repeated
>>>> in future, then what term would you reserve for the person who
>>>> leaves his umbrella behind because he believes that today God will
>>>> miraculously make the raindrops miss him?
>>>>
>>> As I've mentioned in my other more recent posts, I'm talking about
>>> our different beliefs underlying the fact that we live as though
>>> there is a nature to reality, as though we have personal meaning and
>>> significance, that there is a why to our existence, not just a how
>>> (evolution etc. etc.)
>> Asking "why?" already assumes a teleological answer.  So what's your answer 
>> and what's the evidence for it?
>>
>>> 1) I say that a true belief in the existence of a personal God would
>>> make it possible for me to take my eyes off of myself.
>> So would a false belief in God, or any belief that anything exists besides 
>> you.  Only a solipist fails to believe there are things outside him.
>>
>>> 2) You say that the false belief in the existence of a personal God
>>> implies that looking at God is just a weird way of looking at myself.
>>>
>>>
>>> Both of the above statements are true.  We are talking about two
>>> different underlying beliefs.
>>>
>>> But, I am saying that if you accept that the existence of a personal
>>> God is false (in line with what #2 is talking about),
>> I just don't comprehend all this talk about "belief" and "accepting" as 
>> though belief is act of will.  Only insane people believe or disbelieve as 
>> an act of will, independent of evidence. Everybody else portions their 
>> belief to evidence.
> 
> OK.  I'll take the belief out of it for your convenience.
> 
> 1) If the infinite personal God of love exists this makes it possible
> for me to take my eyes off of myself, by looking at God (granted that
> such a thing is allowed).  (not done yet)
> 
> 2) If the infinite personal God of love does not exist, then looking at
> God is just a weird way of looking at myself (the make-believe God
> would be in my image, instead of visa versa).
> 
> Both of the above statements are true.  We are talking about two
> different underlying beliefs.  This is important.
> 
> *But*, I am saying that if a personal God does not exist, modern
> philosophy, literature, art, (and true theology in my view) etc. has
> concluded that there is no basis for personal meaning and significance.
> 
>> Just because *some* philosophers, writers, and artists (and *all* 
>> theologians)
> 
> I have to say that a huge percentage of theologians that have concluded
> that you can provide your own meaning to life.  

All the theologians I know of (except maybe Bruno who has his own definition of 
"theology") hold that God provides all meaning - in fact many regard that as a 
kind of proof of the existence of God: "If God doesn't exist our lives will 
have no meaning."  A kind of proof-by-nihilism.

>They are not the
> exception, unfortunately (in my view).  The great dividing line in
> God's view 

So you speak for God?

>(which is the only view from which you can see both science
> and religion, 

I seem to have no problem seeing both.

>*if* an infinite personal God exists) between evil and
> good, contrary to popular belief, is not between science and God, but
> between selfishness and God.  (This is not meant to refer to you.)

Many assertions - no evidence.

Brent Meeker
“People are more unwilling to give up the word ‘God’ than to give up the idea 
for which the word has hitherto stood” 
        --- Bertrand Russell

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