Tuesday, April 20, 2010

WHO and HOW

I got some email feedback on yesterday's blog.  Two positive and one accusing me of propagating "atheist opinion".  That puzzled me greatly as Weingarten's column was anything but.  Irreverent perhaps but certainly not atheistic.

Then it hit me - it contained the dreaded "E" word.  Evolution was described in a positive light.  Obviously since Atheists believe in evolution, Christians MUST not.  So therefore the article was atheist.

This is logic of the Middle Ages. Muslims were scrupulously clean, with bath houses, regular bathing, etc.  Since they were wicked infidels, obviously this was also wicked and sinful so "Christians" washed as little and as seldom as possible. There is the story of an elderly nun on her death bed who was proud that in her entire life she had never washed so much as her little finger*.  (Read James A Mitchener's Hawaii for a more modern version of the same logic in 19th century New England Missionaries to the Islands).

Some people look at evolution as proof God does not exist and we are all accidents of genetic randomness.  I look at evolution and conclude that the same God who created the Universe and all the laws governing it also created the laws governing life and living organisms.  How life first appeared on this planet, I don't know, nor in what form.  but I suspect that, like the universe, it was not and then it was.  And from whatever beginnings, living organisms have progressed or changed over the eons until we reach today.

Was it all random or was there a plan behind the seeming randomness.  I believe there was a plan but of course, that cannot be proven.. Nor disproven.

Evolution is a science and as such, it's theories and hypotheses are only as good as today's knowledge.  But at least evolutionists are looking to learn. Does evolution square with a literal interpretation of the Book of Genesis?  No, of course not.  Nor should it.

The Bible is Holy Scripture.  It is not a history text book, though it contains much history.  It is not biology/genetics/geology or any other kind of science text book either.  The Bible teaches us how to live, how to treat our fellow humans and our world.  For believers, it teaches us God's plan and purpose for us, how to build a close relationship with God and what God has in store for us.  Why people insist on making the Bible into something it is not, is beyond me.


*She wouldn't have had much trouble keeping her vow of chastity at that rate, anyhow.

10 comments:

  1. If they think YOU'RE promoting atheism, I guess that would like my blog even less.

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  2. Well said! I am quite confident in the "Who" of creation. The "How" is not of much interest to me at the moment. I find the extreme points of view on either side a little tiresome. I have much more pressing matters to contemplate ... like how to live rather than how we got here.

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  3. Hi, Snowbrush. I was hoping you'd show up.
    DM - Thanks. Agree totally that the extremes are both out to lunch. And we all need to learn how to live.

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  4. Being narrowminded is a damn sight easier than being openminded. Theist leaders know this and many use it to their advantage.

    Back in college we use to say on Fridays, "Let's get stupid." That meant either serious beer drinking or serious pot smoking. Or both if a complete disconnect was our goal that weekend. Now days it seems when I hear people say that, I figure they are going to church.

    I know that the majority of the faithful who insist on praying in organized units are not stupid. But it does seem the collective IQ drops dramatically once they get together as a group.

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  5. Mike, the collective IQ of everyone drops when they get in a group. I never took Psych 101 but there is a name for it.

    Openmindedness implies you may not have all the answers. A dangerous situation for any leader to be in if maintaining control is prime object.

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  6. "But it does seem the collective IQ drops dramatically once they get together as a group.'

    Yep, group-think is one of the scariest traits of the human species.

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  7. The more one studies science the more one realizes that there are laws governing the universe. That would indicate a plan or an architect.
    The problem comes as I see it is that people fail to read the history behind scripture because much of the misunderstandings comes from assuming that much of what was written refers to present day situations. If that were the case we could be stoning people to death in the streets for small infractions assuming they didn't make it to the new testament.

    Like you say God/ nature gave you a brain. Use it!

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  8. "That would indicate a plan or an architect."

    Why would physical laws imply purposeful activity?

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  9. As it turns out, I have no opinion really about whether God exists. Personally, I do not care one way or the other. I do think that extreme idolatry is a recipe for trouble.

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  10. "Why people insist on making the Bible into something it is not, is beyond me." Beats me, too. But then I believe in God, and understand the principles of evolution. Which is why I get a flu shot every year — the virus which causes flu keeps evolving.

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