HERE I STAND

moses-and-dawkins.jpg The attacks on theists from atheists are increasing in intensity. A favorite ploy is to question the intelligence of anyone who believes in God. Recently, one blogger following the lead of Dawkins, even accused parents who taught religion to their children of “child abuse.”

Theists are characterized through amazing generalizations as ignorant, superstitious, and deceived. The arrogance and elitist attitudes of these godless jokers knows no bounds.

OK, here is where I stand:

  1. No one knows how the universe began. You believe in the “Big Bang?” No problem. But what exploded and where did it come from? No one knows for sure. Personally, I believe this was God’s moment and that He had fun doing it.
  2. No one knows how life began. Guesses range from lightning striking the right combination of chemicals in the primordial soup of early earth to “seeding” by comets or aliens. None of that answers the question. I can’t prove it and you can’t disprove it. Someday, someone may create life in some lab somewhere. I believe God did it first and best.
  3. God is timeless. He dwells outside of time in eternity. He has an eternity to create and manipulate. We argue about how long it took to bring us to our “now,” and I picture him grinning at our endless speculations.
  4. The universe is old. Light from some stars takes multiplied millions of years to reach us. You just can’t argue with that.
  5. The earth is old. Just look around…it’s ancient! To believe that contradicts nothing in the Bible.
  6. Some kind of evolution is a fact. Genetics (the language of God) and the fossil record prove it. That doesn’t leave God out; it’s just the way He did it. What’s the problem?
  7. There is design in the universe. That design is either the result of random “corrections” or a designer. I believe the latter – intelligent design – it makes perfect sense to me. You believe what you want.
  8. Some believe they could do a better job building a human than God did. They have all kinds of suggestions. Neil deGrasse Tyson has a go but he’s not the first and won’t be the last. It is difficult for me to believe that if we can’t build cars that work perfectly and last forever, we could build a perfect, long-lasting human. Furthermore, I think if you’re going to argue that humans are defective you first have to show that perfection was God’s intention.
  9. Not all religion is the same. To dismiss all religion because of the excesses, superstitions, misconduct, violence and willful ignorance of some is ridiculous. There is a huge difference between a religion that reveres millions of “gods” and sees good and evil spirits in rocks, trees and rivers and one that is monotheistic and rests on a solid, factual foundation. I believe in one Creator who has revealed himself in the cosmos and the written word. You want to ditch them all? OK, but I suggest some solid, unbiased, preliminary investigation first.
  10. Science is different from religion. Science is concerned with gathering facts and discovering the interaction of those facts by constructing working hypotheses and theories. Religion is concerned with the unity of the created with the Creator. Religion (I can only really speak for mine) and science are not in competition. I like what John Clayton says: “It’s science vs. preachers, not science vs. the Bible.”

 

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with senses, reason and intellect has intended us to forgo their use (Galileo).

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10 Comments

Filed under Apologetics, Atheism/Theism, Culture Wars, Good & Evil, Jesus Christ, morality, Politics, Religion

10 responses to “HERE I STAND

  1. Brandon

    What I think is interesting is that it really does take as much faith to believe in evolution because of all the unanswered questions. It doesn’t matter how far back we go to explain how we got here, in the beginning something going against the laws of science had to have made it happen. (The Big Bang? Who lit the fuse?)

    Something cannot come from nothing. If an atheist chooses to believe that something “did just happen” — that something did just light the fuse — then he is choosing faith over science.

    It’s all faith.

  2. The Big Bang is not a matter of faith. There is plenty of scientific proof about it and the scientific community entirely agrees on it. I suggest you read something about it before questioning it.

  3. dwhitsett

    Hey Mr. Keeper! Did I question the Big Bang or call it a matter of faith? Seems to me I said that this was God’s moment. I suggest you read something before questioning it.

  4. Hey Mr. dwhitsett! Relax, no need to feel offended. My post was a reply to Brandon. Sorry if that was not clear to you. And he certainly did question the Big Bang and called it a matter of faith, not science.

  5. dwhitsett

    Mr Keeper,
    No offense taken…when you put something out (particularly from a theistic worldview) disagreement is inevitable…expected. I just try to give as good as I get. I never take it personally. Nevertheless I can’t see how Brandon was calling it a matter of faith. Faith comes into play when we talk about where the matter came from and, as Brandon asks, who lit the fuse?
    Well, on second thought, I guess I should take my own advice…he did say it was all faith didn’t he?

  6. “It’s all faith” doesn’t leave much room for misunderstanding, does it? 🙂 And saying something like that is denying the widely available evidence on the Big Bang.

  7. Hey there Dwight! I for one really appriciate the time you’ve taken to tackle such important issues such as (as Mr. Clayton put it) “science vs. preachers.” Because, truth be told, that’s the only real contest. Bible or God vs. Science and Science looses everytime (1 Cor. 1:20-21).

    I also appricate what I believe Lodge Keeper is trying to say. While I wouldn’t say that the Big Bang is universally accepted as the only viable option, the truth is that if you want to find atheists in a major university, you don’t look in the Physics Department, you look in the Philosophy Department.

    I would ask, though, Dwight, when you say the world is “ancient” how ancient would you say it is? This isn’t a loaded question, just genuine curiosity from a Sunset Alumni to one of his former teachers.

    Thanks!

  8. dwhitsett

    Jarrod, the earth is clearly older than the 6,000 years claimed by some creationists. There had to be time to create the deposits of coal and oil thousands of feet below the surface. There are many problems with determining the age of the earth but it is important to understand that to say the earth is millions of years old does not contradict Scripture. Have a look at Clayton’s site and type “age of the earth” into the search box. Lots of interesting information there. Here is one you might like to look at: http://doesgodexist.org/JulAug04/MotivesAndAssumptionsInTheAgeOfTheEarthQuestion.html

  9. Haven’t checked here in awhile. Hi Dwight. 8)

    On the big Bang stuff, Lodge Keeper is correct. There is a lot of scientific evidence to support the Big Bang Theory. But keep in mind that the words “Big Bang” were originally coined as a pejorative by scientists who dismissed the theory as nonsense. It was a derisionary term. Over time, as th evidence came in, it became more and more accepted. Right now it is the best theory that explains all known cosmological facts, which is the main reason why it is the most accepted theory. But like all scientific theories, it is provisional, meaning that if new facts come to light that conradict it, it could be easily displaced.

    So to say that faith somehow enters into the thought process is just religious people trying to level the playing field, (or perhaps trying to understand the science in the only way they know how – but equating it to religion?). There is no faith involved, because scientists unequivocally do not accept the Big Bang theory on faith. Faith is belief in something without the necessity of providing evidence. They (provisionally) accept it because of the current amount of evidence that supports it, not despite the lack of confirming evidence.

    When you (not you personally, the generic you) try to use religion to understand science, you’re bound to misunderstand it. It’s inherent in the thought processes that are required to believe in the unseen, versus the thought processes necessary for collating and analyzing evidence.

    I’ll admit that I simply do not have the capacity to understand religious thinking. It’s just way outside the way my brain works. I suspect that you would say the opposite about yourself. It’s unfortunate that never the twain shall meet.

  10. dwhitsett

    Hi John (AKA Spanish Inquisitor),
    Actually, it is great to hear from you. I value your comments. You are an attorney and I am a teacher…neither of us are scientists but both of us are students with an interest in science. Also, I like your sense of humor. The twain may never meet, but I think it would be a pleasant meeting.
    What is religious thinking? Is it blind superstition? Is it willful ignorance? Is it the construction of a belief system arising out of an inability to explain things otherwise? Or, is it based on something tangible, observable, concrete?
    Can one acknowledge that there are reasonable people who embrace theism?
    Reasonable people look at the available evidence and make decisions based on that. That’s why I think reasonable people can embrace theism. That’s why there is a large number of prominent scientists that are believers.
    I can’t think of a single scientific discovery that contradicts my faith. It is not established facts with which I and other theists take issue; it is the speculation drawn from those facts. Speculation is speculation whether it is engaged in by a theist or atheist.
    The tension surfaces when we theists are expected to buy into atheistic speculation and denigrated when we cannot or will not.

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