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Author Topic:   The Case For A Creator
dwise1
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Posts: 4543
Joined: 05-02-2006
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(3)
Message 5 of 67 (856235)
06-28-2019 5:30 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Taq
06-28-2019 12:04 PM


These apologists seem to be painting themselves into a corner. They are actually agreeing with the argument that if something can be explained through natural causes then God does not exist. They require God to act in contradiction to nature in order for God to create.

For decades I have been seeing the exact same thing. With YECs it seems to be inherited from fundamentalists treating science as an enemy attacking their faith by coming up with naturalistic explanations for everything, such that an implicit consequence is to adopt a perversion of the "God of the Gaps" (which is a perversion entirely on its own). A standard simple example would be lightning. Before a scientific understanding, it was only explainable by attributing it to a god (eg, Zeus, Thor, YHWH), but once we understood the phenomenon scientifically, then that god was no longer necessary to explain it. It is that kind of logical reasoning that fundamentalists fear and characterize as science waging war on religion.

BTW, the story I read about Benjamin Franklin's invention of the lightning rod is that lightning was believed to be the "Finger of God" meting out his Justice and Wrath. So at first the preachers vilified Franklin viciously for thwarting the Will of God (strange that God the Omnipotent could be so easily thwarted). But then they finally began to realize that the most frequent target of lightning was the churches with their bell towers -- I seem to recall that one particularly disastrous lightning strike ignited the gunpowder that was hidden in the church's basement. Finally, the churches started installing lightning rods and no longer suffered lightning strikes, but they didn't want to talk about it.

ID is more explicit about their reliance on "God of the Gaps". First, their primary bugaboo is naturalism, which they characterize as "philosophical naturalism" (ie, the idea that the natural universe is all that exists; there is no supernatural) while they primarily attack science's "methodological naturalism" (ie, the reality that science can only deal with and use naturalistic processes and explanations; there is no position on the supernatural except that science cannot work with it). Second, most of their arguments are of the type of showing something to be highly complex (eg, their "irreducible complexity" arguments) and concluding that since we cannot explain it therefore their "Intelligent Designer" (for Whom they play the same "it's unnamed" game as "creation science" did with their "some unnamed Creator" smokescreen) -- AKA "goddidit".

In addition, we have some interesting affirmations of "God of the Gaps" by ID leaders. In particular, I once read an essay by Phillip E. Johnson where towards the end he states that his main reason for opposing evolution is that "it leaves God with nothing to do" (quoted from memory; I have not been able to find that essay again). To my mind, that was an explicit statement of belief in the "God of the Gaps" and in the attitude that you describe.

My thoughts on the matter, which I have offered a few times on this forum with no responses, is that creationists' false dichotomy of natural processes versus What God Does is extremely wrong and leads to "faux creationism", a false form of creationism. The way I see it, an Actual Creationist would believe in a Creator who did actually create the entire Universe including all the natural forces and processes that operate within that created universe. Therefore, an Actual Creationist would realize that there cannot possibly be a situation of Nature vs God, since God had created Nature. Even though lightning forms entirely through naturalistic processes, that does not in any manner deny God who had created those naturalistic processes. Evolution does not conflict with God, because it is the cumulative results of life (which an Actual Creationist believes was created by God) doing what life does. Even abiogenesis, the origin of life through natural processes, does not conflict with God since, yet again, God had created those natural processes.

Fake creationism (eg, YEC, ID) can only function by creating false conflicts where none exist. To an Actual Creationist, they would be an abomination.

Edited by dwise1, : Corrected number on a verb conjugation

Edited by dwise1, : Corrected "lightening" to "lightning" as per Pollux


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dwise1
Member
Posts: 4543
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 4.7


Message 11 of 67 (856283)
06-29-2019 10:58 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by Phat
06-29-2019 2:41 AM


Re: Hair Today Gong Tomorrow
Thugpreacha writes:

??? writes:

I don’t think that preferring rationality to fantasy is subjective. But if that is the way you want to go, I guess you had better stop trying to pretend to be rational.


If you put me on the spot, I doubt whether I could defend why I supposedly understand it. Its just one of those things that you know it when you see it.

What the fork are you talking about? I never wrote that! That isn't even in this topic, but rather in an entirely different topic, I Know That God Does Not Exist, where PaulK in Message 856 replied to GDR's Message 855:
quote:

PaulK writes:

GDR writes:

It is only partly about arguing for an intelligent root cause but I accept that the answer is subjective. However, the view that we are the result of mindless chemical processes that started from lifelessness is every bit as subjective.


I don’t think that preferring rationality to fantasy is subjective. But if that is the way you want to go, I guess you had better stop trying to pretend to be rational.


Furthermore, you replied to that very same part of PaulK's message and you agreed with him! So, what the fork?

Why are you falsely attributing that quote to me? I'm sorry, but that reeks of the stench of all-too-typical "true Christian" dishonesty! What kind of forking bullshirt are you trying to pull here?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by Phat, posted 06-29-2019 2:41 AM Phat has responded

Replies to this message:
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dwise1
Member
Posts: 4543
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 4.7


(2)
Message 14 of 67 (856290)
06-29-2019 11:52 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by Phat
06-29-2019 2:41 AM


Re: Hair Today Gong Tomorrow
Im glad that you can make that argument, though I wonder if you argue academically without understanding belief in general.

Are you trying to argue that "belief in general" requires one to embrace ideas that are clearly and blatantly contrary to fact?

That is what "creation science" requires. It's even official doctrine as presented by ICR's John Morris at the 1986 International Conference on Creationism:

quote:
If the earth is more than 10,000 years old then Scripture has no meaning.

That's the same as saying that if the sea is the wrong shade of pink then God does not exist. "Creation science's" contrary-to-fact claims are complete and utter nonsense and creationists base their faith on such nonsense!

Among the critics of "creation science" are actual creationists, actual believers in Creation and the Creator who object to "creation science's" faux creationists who have usurped the title of "Creationist" from the actual creationists. We already know of Dr. Kenneth Miller, a Catholic and staunch and highly effective opponent of "creation science", declaring himself a creationist because he does believe in God the Creator. Here are some excerpts from an evangelical creationist with the same complaint:

quote:
I am an evangelical Christian and a creationist. I am also a Ph.D. candidate in geology, believe that the earth is approximately 4,600,000,000 years old, and have taught evolution in historical geology courses. Does this sound contradictory to you? Well, read on...

. . .

Creationism, despite what some people think, is not a belief held exclusively by uneducated Protestant fundamentalists who interpret the Bible literally.

. . .

I've read many of the materials written by young-earth creationists such as Steve Austin, Thomas Barnes, Carl Baugh, Duane Gish, Ken Ham, Henry Morris, John Morris, Gary Parker, and Harold Slusher among others. I'm also very familiar with the material put out by Answers in Genesis, the Institute for Creation Research and the Creation Research Society. In addition, I've even attended lectures and seminars by several well-known young-earth creationists.
In general, I've been dismayed by the lack of scholarship, research, and ethics displayed by these men who claim to be devout Christians. They totally misrepresent mainstream science and scientists, ignore evidence contrary to their claims, and display an amazing ignorance of even the most basic fundamentals of science and scientific inquiry. Their materials are aimed toward laypeople who are in no position to evaluate their claims. I don't mean to sound arrogant, but who is better qualified to judge the accuracy of K-Ar dating, an evangelist who reads creationist literature and has never taken a physics or geology course in his life or a Ph.D. in isotope geochemistry (who may also be a devout Christian) who has spent 25 years studying K-Ar dating in granites?

. . .

My criticisms of creationism are not incompatible with my being an evangelical Christian. Donald Bloesch, in his comprehensive two volume Essentials of Evangelical Theology (1978), states that:

quote:

If we take the genealogies in the Old Testament as literal chronologies, we will have to opt for a recent date for the creation of the world and man (5000-4000 B.C.?), and we will then have to resort to spurious science to support our allegations. This is not to say that current science supplies the norm for settling these issues, for this would make scientific rationality the criterion for truth. It does mean that if we use science, we must do so honestly, and much of contemporary evangelical apologetics in this area is dishonest.

. . .

Keeping all of the above in mind, I think it's time for Christians to reclaim the word creationists from the Biblical literalists. To be a creationist means to believe that God created the heavens and the earth and all life therein. This is the historic, orthodox Christian position and implies nothing about the age of the earth or the mechanisms (or lack thereof) of biological evolution. Let's speak of Biblical creation or young-earth creation when distinguishing the beliefs of those who accept a literal reading of Genesis.

In regard to the Biblical-creation/evolution controversy, I think it's probably best for Christians not to become dogmatic one way or another, to accept that devout Christians can hold differing viewpoints on the issue, to be willing to examine the evidence with an open mind, and to remain humble in the knowledge that only God knows the whole Truth. I think we'll all be surprised when we one day stand face-to-face with our Creator!


An actual creationist would believe that God actually created the universe and that the universe is a reflection of its Creator. Faux creationists (eg, YECs) give lip service to the Creation while at the same time believing emphatically that the universe disproves the existence of God. Actual creationists believe that the world is the way it is because that's how God created it; faux creationists believe that if the world is the way it is then God does not exist. Actual creationists want to learn about the Creation, including how it came about; faux creationists don't want to learn and want to dictate to God what He could and could not do.

Which makes more sense?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by Phat, posted 06-29-2019 2:41 AM Phat has acknowledged this reply

  
dwise1
Member
Posts: 4543
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 4.7


(1)
Message 64 of 67 (857995)
07-14-2019 2:27 PM
Reply to: Message 61 by Phat
07-14-2019 7:41 AM


Re: jars logic regarding a Creator
Ive had coffee!

To paraphrase Lou Grant loosely, there's not enough coffee in the world. (ask me for the original remark if you're curious)

 

Here's the fundamental problem as I see it having played out so many times in "debates" between fundamentalist/evangelical* Christians and skeptics/atheists. The skeptic wants to see some kind of evidence or reliable reasoning from the Christian and the Christian keeps trying to push the discussion to the point where the skeptic concedes the possibility for a supernatural entity to exist. Once that point has been reached, the Christian then immediately asserts that that means that his own ideas of "God" and of his doctrine are true. IOW, if you concede that some vague undefined god-ish thingee might possibly have to exist, then all my highly detailed and extremely specific theology has been proven.

If I had a copy, I would at this point post that classic cartoon of two scientists/mathematicians standing at a blackboard. The one has worked out a solution to a problem and is presenting it to his colleague for comment. On the blackboard we see equations on the left and right sides, but the center is blank save for the words, "Something happens". The colleague points to that middle section and says, "I think this part needs more work."

Believers instinctively grasp at any straw that might suggest the existence of the supernatural as proof that their god exists and that the entirety of their highly detailed and extremely specific theology must be true. Non-believers, especially agnostics (ie, those who realize that we cannot possibly know anything about the supernatural which we cannot sense, observe, nor determine anything about including whether it even exists, let alone create highly detailed and extremely specific descriptions about it), know full well that you are jumping to conclusions (analogous in magnitude to leaping from the US west coast to the US east coast in a single bound) and so challenge your actions which put Superman Classic to shame ("Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap over tall buildings in a single bound!").

IOW, that middle section that you overleap without giving it a single thought needs a lot more work. Just because there might be a chance that the supernatural might possibly exist does not in any way prove your own particular god nor any of the many theologies associated with that god. That case still needs to be made and as far as we can see nobody has ever attempted to even begin to make that case.

 

 

FOOTNOTE *:
From my Country Two-Step class I know a young woman of a particular religious persuasion that I do not know the name of. That contact has left me second-guessing our labels for highly similar religious groups.

Her religion is extremely "conservative", what most of us would call "fundamentalist" or "evangelical" or "conservative", and yet she and her ilk will bridle most strongly against being associated with those apostates. True to Ed Babinski's classic evolutionary tree of Christianity (see below), even that branch of that most highly splintered tree has splintered far beyond the comprehension of normals.

Now, to us normals ("I know about me, but I'm not so sure about thee") all that group looks the same and so deserves the same label, whereas each sub-group within that group holds itself as being separate and distinct from those other sub-groups in terms of theology and does not want to be associated with those apostates in any manner, to the point of taking extreme umbrage at having the other sub-groups' label being applied to oneself. And, frankly, those insurmountable differences between them are beyond the comprehension of most outsiders.

Frankly, she opened my eyes to that problem of how we are to refer to them. One label does in fact not fit all. But that leaves us with the problem of how to refer to them as a group.

 
ABE:
There's a quotation of Bertrand Russell that I continue to find apt.

He said that when a Catholic becomes a freethinker, then he becomes an atheist. But when a Protestant becomes a freethinker, then he just forms a new denomination.

My understanding of that is that Catholics think even more in black-and-white than Fundamentalists do in that all that there is is the One True Faith and heresy. On the other hand, the entire tradition of Protestantism is splitting away from the mother church over some doctrinal differences, so when you develop doctrinal differences with your church then you don't leave the religion but rather you simply create a new religion.

And true to that dynamic, Ed Babinski outlines below the massive splintering of Protestantism into a myriad of denominations.

 

Edited by dwise1, : FOOTNOTE

Edited by dwise1, : Added Ed Babinski's classic evolutionary tree of Christianity
Plus ABE about Bertrand Russel


This message is a reply to:
 Message 61 by Phat, posted 07-14-2019 7:41 AM Phat has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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dwise1
Member
Posts: 4543
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 4.7


(1)
Message 66 of 67 (858021)
07-15-2019 3:44 AM
Reply to: Message 65 by GDR
07-14-2019 11:15 PM


Re: One step at a time
Personally I think you make a very good point and you put it well. I would point out that even at that you missed a step. The argument for an intelligent creator only gets you so far. After that you have to make the point for a theistic intelligence as opposed to a deistic one, and only then can you argue for your own understanding of of the nature of the god that you feel led to.

Except that it appears that you have completely missed the point! Deistic, theistic, who gives a forking fork? You are just repeating the problem.

The point I was making (why oh why do I even need to explain this?) was that believers never ever try to make a case for their position. Instead, they grab at any hint that the supernatural might possibly be considered as absolute proof for their own particular highly detailed theology.

IOW, just how the hell do you "know" that the "unnamed Creator" (of "creation science" lore) just happens to be ¡your very own personal god!? That case has yet to be made.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 65 by GDR, posted 07-14-2019 11:15 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
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