Is God a Bigamist?

17 07 2008

I think that Doolally’s post Is God a Bigamist? deserves a bit more consideration for one reason… it’s an excellent question.

I mean the bible is literally chock full of God Romance, isn’t it? All through the narrative in the Old Testament we see God pursuing His people like a lover pursuing a flirting, impetuous girl. In the prophets we see God’s jealousy and anger at her waywardness, so easily abandoning her covenant with Him. And Song of Songs is so sexually explicit that it should be rated.
In the New Testament it’s a little more doctrinal but the same theme carries straight on. Right up till Revelations where we find what can only be described as the consummation of a great marriage – The Wedding Feast of all wedding feasts. God, it turns out, will get married to His people.

Well then, is Doolally not right? After all there are many people, and only one God.
Yes, Doolally is right, but not in the way she describes, she stops too soon, at an observed religious devotion. Doolally is describing religious monasticism – nuns and monks, as if there was a choice between marrying a person and marrying God. As if God was jealous somehow of human sexual intimacy and only those sexually pure enough get to marry God.

I don’t blame Doolally for this view, it’s the default presentation of the church to the world (in fact I feel like I should apologise for it). But thankfully, it’s not the biblical view. And when one looks it becomes very obvious as to why forced celibacy for the clergy is the wrong approach in Christianity.
It’s not even biblical; the first four verses of 1 Timothy 4 calls it a demonic doctrine taught by “hypocritical liars”.
Celibacy itself may not be wrong for an individual, in fact I would think for some marriage would be completely wrong, but to force those serving in the church to remain single is about as unbiblical as one can get. It’s in the same league as the Crusades. And Doolally is spot on when she says: “By denying sex to priests, the church is creating its own problems.” More accurately by denying the human covenant of marriage to priests; with all the warmth, friendship, honesty and intimacy that goes with it (including sex); the church is creating its own problems.
I’ts so anti-biblical that I cannot see how such a place can even be called a church.

The answer to the accusation of Divine bigamy is, I believe, found in a little mystery we call “unity”. Another thread running through scripture from Adam & Eve through the tower of Babel right into the New Testament and on to the same Marriage Consummation. God is not marrying a multiple personality disorder, He is marrying one bride. How that will work I only have little personal glimpses.
I can see that my wife and I can sometimes be ‘one’. the way we talk and think (some people say we even look like eachother). As time goes on we get better and better at it; and it’s not all sexual ‘oneness’ I’m talking about – although that tends to be the oneness foremost in my mind… what can I say, I’m a man.
If unity exists in a Platonic sense – there must be an ultimate Unity. If there is an ultimate Unity, then the Bride of God would be it.
Why are there many of us, not just one? Why did God not leave that rib in Adam? Why go to all the trouble of taking it out, making a woman and then presenting her to him, and then calling them “one flesh”? Adam was ‘one flesh’ in the beginning, what’s the added complication all about?
It’s about Unity, it’s a reminder, the whole Adam/Eve narrative is a metaphor. Keeping Adam single would have been very pragmatic (and he would not have known the difference)… but there would have been no human relationship, no intimacy… and no sex.
Forced sexual denial by religious celibacy ultimately means absolutely nothing except perhaps confusion and frustration. Paul puts it quite well in 1 Corinthians 15:19If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.” More so for those who don’t even get to have sex in the hope that their religious piety will somehow give them favour with God!

Now by extension we cannot conclude that if forced religious celibacy is wrong then animal, pheromonal sex – ‘whenever and with whomever’ sex – is logically right. An excess of Stoicism does not vindicate a lifestyle Hedonism.
I would suggest that if you are going to look for a biblical model of sexuality you are going to find sexual pleasures that are more satisfying and lasting than your wildest expectations – I suggest this because I have looked and I have found. But sex is not an end in itself. Like I said, we tend to stop too soon, we draw conclusions on other’s faith instead of finding out for ourselves.
We think that the bible is always trying to make us control our passions (especially sexual ones), because they are too strong… actually the bible is trying to open our eyes to what heights of sustained ecstasy our passions can take us under the right bridle (if you’ll excuse the pun). We tend to settle for so little when we could have so much.

I think that what the bible says about sex is that finding Mr Right starts with finding the right God, it does not work the other way round. He’s not jealous of our sexuality, actually He designed sex to remind us of a happiness and fruitfulness we have forgotten so thoroughly that we cannot even remember having forgotten it!





The delusion god

18 04 2008

This post is a bit of a rant, and not really in the spirit of debate. But I feel that I am justified in this case because I actually bought the book and I was expecting a whole lot more.

Anyway, I have decided to give up on Dawkins’ book “The God Delusion” on page 122. If anyone can convince me that there is anything actually worth reading in the rest of the book I might give it a go. It really is the kind of book that once you’ve put it down, you find it very hard to pick up again.

It is hard to believe that someone with a professorship can produce something so utterly mindless, (perhaps it was just really rushed). It is badly researched, but it’s the lack of just plain thinking that really gets to me.

His initial observations on agnosticism are a little obvious, but fine, as are his collection of quotes leading to an opinion of religion and the religious mind. Both topics are handled in an unoriginal way, but I have nothing further to say about his understanding of either of them. But, as I said, it is the lack of plain thinking that really irks me. I’ll give you some examples:

In the footnote on page 122 (where I have decided to give my reading time to something a little more worthwhile; Job for instance, which is at least real speculation) “… the mistranslation of Isaiah’s Hebrew for young woman (almah) into the Greek for virgin (parthenos). An easy mistake to make (think of the English words ‘maid’ and ‘maiden’ to see how it might have happened), this one translator’s slip was to be wildly inflated and give rise to the whole preposterous legend of Jesus’ mother being a virgin!

Now, besides the bad exegesis, if the dear Professor had bothered to actually look up, read and (heaven forbid) THINK about the verse which causes him such offense this is what he would have found:

Isaiah 7:14Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin (almah) will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

Now I would love to know how it is that Isaiah would have expected that his readers could suppose a pregnant young girl who has lost her virginity to be a sign from God? Currently there are 6.5 billion people on the planet, how many million of them would be pregnant young women? There are babies born every second so I would guess a few million at least. Even in Mary’s day, which one of them would Isaiah’s readers have expected to be ‘The Sign from God’, where would they expect the sign to show itself? Mere pregnancy, though miraculous, does not qualify as an individual signal from God. Perhaps Dawkins is suggesting that reason only evolved in humans after Isaiah’s writings.

Obviously Isaiah means that she is to be a virgin, because a pregnant virgin would be a very obvious sign from God… hello?

Then, in terms of his exegesis, if he had done just the briefest of Hebrew studies he would discover that there is actually no instance where ‘almah’ is used in the Old Testament where it does not mean ‘virgin’, but in each case it also means ‘young woman of marriageable age’ ; ie. not a spinster who is a virgin, and also not a man who is a virgin; ‘Alma’ always means a young virgin girl and so we may make sense of Isaiah’s prophecy (what I’m saying does not prove it to be true in Mary; it just makes sense of it). I think it’s an insult to the brilliance of ancient Hebrew literature to suggest that Isaiah and his readers were that dense.

Dawkins’ thinking is a little like this: Imagine the writers of a major spy movie working on the part where the hero is going to break in to some government agency and steal a secret code. In the story his team need to wait for a sign from him after he has the code. So as they are planning the story the writers of the movie have him say this, “OK, as soon as I have the plans I will make sure that nothing out of the ordinary happens… OK? Any questions?” Obviously no one would write such a thing, a sign must be out of the ordinary… It’s just plain thinking Professor.

Another example is this: Dawkins suggests that there is a 4th option to the “liar, lunatic or Lord” options of who Jesus is. The apologetics goes something like this: Jesus must have been one of three things, a liar, a lunatic or Lord, as he claimed to be. Dawkins’ suggestion that a 4th option is this; that Jesus could have simply been mistaken.

I’m not sure how he came to that startlingly stupid suggestion, but he makes as if it is so simple that no Christian has ever thought of it before, presumably blinded by the ignorance of their religiosity. I think that very few people (let alone psychologists) would call a man who claims to be God, but is not, merely ‘mistaken’. People are put in the crazy house if they claim to be Napoleon; let alone God.

If Jesus was mistaken, would than not make him a lunatic?

Dawkins does seem to agree with Sam Harris in his opinion that all people of faith are actually lunatics, it’s just that there are too many of them to lock away (a situation they seem eager to change). It seems bizarre to me to suggest that all his disciples be committed to lunacy but to let the instigator of the faith off the hook, calling him merely ‘mistaken’.

I don’t know about you but I find that kind of thing disappointing in a book. If someone just said it off the top of their head that is one thing, but presumably someone actually edited this thing?

I would hate to think, but am lead to conclude, that this is the way Professor Dawkins does his research. Perhaps he commands such academic awe that he has advanced to some untouchable league and has been encouraged by his peers to believe that he can walk into a sphere he clearly knows nothing about and in one quick step, with no need for research of any kind, point out the obvious errors that no Christian in 2000 years could possibly have the wits to see (being the ignorant ‘faith’ people that they are); despite publications of the caliber of Augustine’s City of God being available to him since 1400 years ago. It is to me a picture of the state of science-academia that Dawkins gets to publish on a subject he has neither knowledge nor credibility and has clearly done less than enough research, and then wins an award for it! I am bitterly disappointed that I wasted my time and money on this book on the recommendation of it’s award.

Dawkins then has a brief glance at the gospels of Matthew and Luke and keeps repeating that they have these glaring and obvious contradictions. Yet he mentions not one of them. He tries, I think, to get Matthew, Luke and John to be contradictory with regard to Jesus’ birth place. The attempts are pitiful, and show that if he (and his editor) have actually read the gospels, they have certainly made absolutely no attempt to actually think about them. The whole thing is glaringly preconceived.

Only one issue of supposed contradiction is worth an answer; that is Robin Fox’s (equally un-researched) suggestion that Luke’s record of Quirineus’ census was a weak, but understandable, attempt to put Jesus in Bethlehem for his birth.

Apart from historical records, which I will get to last with the help of Dr Ernest Martin, just think for a moment: Luke was obviously not writing for the purpose of manipulating 20th century mass ignorance (as both Dawkins and Fox seem to think). The people Luke was writing to had no need of historical research; they were actually there. What possible reason could Luke have had to to either make up a fictitious Augustus-issued census or to get the dates so horribly wrong by putting the Quirineus census too early? More importantly, how did Luke’s record make it through its eye witness critics, copied as many times as it was, if it was as badly put together as they presume?

He says that Robin Fox “sympathises with Luke’s plight and his desire to fulfill prophecy of Micah.” But what he fails to recognize is that Luke was making no attempt to fulfill any Hebrew prophecy, it’s doubtful if he even knew of the prophecy and he certainly was not writing to convince any Hebrews. A plain read of his gospel makes that a very obvious observation.

Luke’s readers were either Greek or Roman (probably both), and certainly very well acquainted with their own recent history. Actually I go with the theory that Luke and Acts were written as a 2 volume pre-trial brief in Paul’s defense against Nero, no margin for eye witness error in that kind of document.

Dawkin’s suggestion here would be like Jacob Zuma’s legal defence trying to claim that there was never actually any European / South African arms deal… and then getting away with it! In 2000 years time that would be feasible because people would have forgotten about current South African politics, but how would Zuma’s case survive the ridicule and the courts of today so that it would be around in 2000 years? It is a silly suggestion.

But, besides the obvious, i.e.: what can be deduced by merely reading and thinking (preferably at, or almost at, the same time), here is the research:

Quirinius had more than one census. Luke says it so plainly, in verse 2 of the second chapter, that he seems to expect his reader to know of more than census under Quirinius and wants to be sure they know which one he’s speaking of: “(This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.)” (emphasis added). His first census was under the orders of Augustus, it was empire wide and racial. Hence the men returning to their family towns. Joseph went to Bethlehem because that was where his family records were kept, it was not an ancient ancestor issue, as Dawkins again presumes.

Perhaps Professor Dawkins does not realize that at that time there was no such thing as a centralized database and bar-coded ID documents. Apart from that if Dawkins and Fox had just bothered to read the text they would see that Acts 5:37 describes the second census under Quirineus that Dawkins mistakes for the first Augustus-issued census; I think he could do a bit better than that. It’s not even like it’s in a different volume, Acts and Luke are both in the Bible.

Perhaps Dawkins doesn’t know that Luke was a Greek doctor, not at all familiar or interested in Jewish Messianic prophecy and almost certainly not able to speak or read Hebrew. But then what is the Professor doing writing such an opinionated book?

It is John and Matthew who wrote about Jewish prophecies being fulfilled, not Luke. As I said Luke was most likely writing a brief in defense of Paul in Rome. He was certainly not trying to fulfill Messianic prophecy. Though he was being thorough. The prophecy lines up with Luke’s record simply because the prophecy was true.

Dr Martin summarizes the literary and archaeological evidence for this:

A sixth reason for placing the nativity of Jesus in 3 or 2 B.C. is the coincidence of this date with the New Testament account that Jesus was born at the time when a Roman census was being conducted: “There went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the Roman world should be registered” (Luke 2:1). Historians have not been able to find any empire-wide census or registration in the years 7-5 B.C., but there is a reference to such a registration of all the Roman people not long before 5 February 2 B.C. written by Caesar Augustus himself: “While I was administering my thirteenth consulship [2 B.C.] the senate and the equestrian order and the entire Roman people gave me the title Father of my Country” (Res Gestae 35). This award was given to Augustus on 5 February 2 B.C., therefore the registration of citizen approval must have taken place in 3 B.C. Orosius, in the fifth century, also said that Roman records of his time revealed that a census was indeed held when Augustus was made “the first of men”–an apt description of his award “Father of the Country”–at a time when all the great nations gave an oath of obedience to Augustus (6:22, 7:2). Orosius dated the census to 3 B.C. And besides that, Josephus substantiates that an oath of obedience to Augustus was required in Judea not long before the death of Herod (Antiquities I7:4I-45). This agrees nicely in a chronological sense with what Luke records. But more than that, an inscription found in Paphlagonia (eastern Turkey), also dated to 3 B.C., mentions an “oath sworn by all the people in the land at the altars of Augustus in the temples of Augustus in the various districts.” And dovetailing precisely with this inscription, the early (fifth century) Armenian historian, Moses of Khoren, said the census that brought Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem was conducted by Roman agents in Armenia where they set up “the image of Augustus Caesar in every temple.”. The similarity of this language is strikingly akin to the wording on the Paphlagonian inscription describing the oath taken in 3 B.C. These indications can allow us to reasonably conclude that the oath (of Josephus, the Paphlagonian inscription, and Orosius) and the census (mentioned by Luke, Orosius, and Moses of Khoren) were one and the same. All of these things happened in 3 B.C.

The bit of The God Delusion that I have read leaves me with the distinct impression that its author has approached the subject of God with some massively obnoxious preconceptions; preconceptions that he obviously enjoys the company of. Because if he just used a little of the thinking capacity he clearly has, he would be obliged to send them on their way.





One god further

16 12 2007

I was listening to a talk given by Richard Dawkins the other day; Richard Dawkins, if you don’t know, is a Professor of Biology at Oxford who calls himself a militant athiest. In his talk the Professor made a number of statements that got me thinking. One of them was this: “We are all atheists about most of the gods humanity has believed in, some of us just go one god further.

He was speaking about all people, including theists and he is, in the first point, quite right. We are indeed all atheists about most of the ‘theos’, the supposed deities, that men have believed in over time.

But I disagree with his second point, “some of us just go one god further.” I think Professor Dawkins is not being very honest, the truth is that we all go ‘one god further’, even Professor Dawkins goes, as he says ‘one god further’.

Instead of putting himself into an new enlightened position as he supposes, the Professor has instead put himself back at the beginning. I’d like to suggest that this stance is merely a development dressed up as progress, it is not progress at all. In fact evolution, by definition, denies progress altogether. Evolution is a philosophy of development, rolling out of one change and rolling into another, going somewhere while going nowhere. It is a thought older than history itself and instead of revealing something new it simply shuffles the hand we’ve been dealt.

 

A little while ago I was in Washington State in the USA and I caught one of those marvellous ferries from Bremmerton to Seattle, these ferries are like floating malls they each carry about 50 or 60 cars, perhaps more, and I’m sure they could carry more than a thousand people. One thing which struck me was that when one boards the ferry one is not too sure where the ferry itself starts and where land ends. There is a complicated system of rails and ramps, and the boat (if I may call it that) is so big that the waves don’t make it move enough for me to be sure that at any time I have left the land. One has the urge to go further onto the boat just to make sure one is actually on it.

I think that illustrates Professor Dawkins’ position quite well. He assumes that he is on the land speaking to all the people on the boat and he’s calling all on the boat who are unsure of it’s destination to come off of it to where he is. But he is mistaken, what is really dry land is much further back from where he is standing and it is getting further away while he is standing still. This is so because if he were to take an honest look back, he would see that not only is he in the same boat, but also the vessel has already been launched from the docks and is sailing off.

 

Complexity,” says the professor, “is the problem which any theory of biology has to solve, and you can’t solve it by postulating an agent that is even more complex thereby simply compounding the problem.” But has the professor not done exactly the same thing? If one were to ask him what it is then that he believes he would not answer, “I believe in nothing for I can prove nothing.” Many thousands of years ago the Greek Cynics began to answer the question exactly like that. Using my illustration that stance would be indeed to remain on the shore or to jump off the boat and attempt a swim back.

The true cynic does not call all other cynics out of hiding because if one calls ones-self a “respectable cynic” (who is guided by some impulse to be an honest voice in the community, saving people from errors of the past) then one is no cynic at all. If the Professor is not a cynic then he must have a belief. He calls it a theory but don’t be blinded by the semantics, a theory is simply a belief. I say ‘don’t be blinded by the semantics‘, I do not mean ‘don’t be blinded by the science‘. The science is not what concerns me at all. In fact what I wish is that the evolutionist adherence to the rules of English were as rigid as their adherence to the rules of science.

 

A theory of biology, or any other theory, does not solve anything, neither does it have to to remain a theory (a bad theory is just as much of a theory as a good one). Professor Dawkins says it does. In the same way the belief in a deity does not bring that deity to life (a wrong belief is just as much a belief as a right one). A theory may legitimately exists without there being any way at all of proving it either way, and we are called every day to reject hundreds of them, in the same way that mankind has been asked over the centuries to reject hundreds of ‘theos’.

What is it that makes professor Dawkin’s theory ‘the one to believe‘? It must be all the proof, the fact that the theory solves the complexity problem and so graduates from theoryhood to become truth… But it is not presented with such proof, or have I missed something? I have yet to read of evidence, and even if I had, on what grounds should I believe it. What I have heard is a lot of suppositions, suppositions that would turn Socrates over in his grave.

Here are some examples: 

Dan Dennett says about sheep’s symbiosis with man that it is a “clever move of natural selection itself.” I would like to know how it is that a process is able to make a clever move? Perhaps he is a closet Jedi, expressing his belief in Mediclorians? He goes on; “The designs discovered by natural selection are brilliant, unbelievably brilliant… but the process itself is without purpose, without foresight, without design… The design is there in nature but it’s not in anybody’s head, it doesn’t have to be, that’s the way evolution works.” Well, this Natural Selection character is sounding almost as much like a person as I have been lead to believe that Evolution herself must be; if it does not ‘create’ then it is able to ‘discover’ Not even animals discover. “that’s just the way evolution works,” is a statement of faith in the same category (or boat) as “you are the Christ, the son of the living God.” Mr Dennett it seems has as much faith as Professor Dawkins.

Professor Leslie Orgel who died this year said “evolution is cleverer than you are.” Well if that is the case then Evolution must be more of a person than I am. Unless one takes the Buddhist stance that we are in the process of becoming God along with everything else and that God is the sum total of everything, which is precisely nothing. If that is the case, we come all the way back to that troubling old word ‘God’; concept, person or both and we have to answer a very silly question: How can nothing do so many brilliant, and clever things?

Paul Mccready says   “Over billions of years on a unique sphere chance has painted a thin covering of life, complex, improbable, wonderful and fragile. Suddenly we humans a recently arrived species no longer subject to the checks and balances inherent in nature have grown in population, technology and intelligence to a position of terrible power. We now wield the paint brush.” I feel a little like a child told about Santa for the first time who asks ‘but how does he get round the world in one night?‘ I’d ask Paul Mccready 2 questions: 1. How is it that chance managed such a complex and wonderful living painting with inherent checks and balances (none of which I deny)? You see, when I leave my car, my dog, my garden, my work or anything else to chance it seems to go in quite the opposite direction (he does not dignify chance with a capital letter even though he treats her as a person, when I went to school proper nouns were always spelt with a capital; I wonder if his ‘chance’ character ever gets mad?). Perhaps his answer would be that there is chance and there is Chance, but he’d probably like to avoid looking like he’s trying to appease her. Perhaps he’s Buddhist in which case he’d much rather appease you and I who, after all are becoming God. The only other answer I could imagine he would give is that this statement is only a theory, by definition incomplete, and that one should not jump to faith conclusions based on flowery English, that for all he knows chance could very well be a person, by his language she certainly acts like one. But then he should say so should he not? 2. The other question I’d ask is this: How can something as sublime as this chance, be so clumsy at to hand the brush over to us humans?

 

My concerns are language and logic concerns, not scientific ones. Perhaps all of these faith statements (Christian preaching included), like cigarette packets, should carry a health warning. “Listening to these theories could induce you to believe them as fact.” But that is what all honest theistic preaching does. It calls people to faith when faith is all they can have. It does not, like the preaching of the non-thiest, call true what is yet to be established and so, by poor English alone, hide in the small print the faith deposit required to believe the theory.

 

I think it is worthwhile debating weather or not Darwin’s theory (or any other) is true, what I cannot live with is a theory that denies faith in anything and then asks people to assume it’s true while still calling itself a theory. It is like saying “Faith is a concept we intellectuals have grown out of, except faith in our theory which must be true because we’re intellectuals.

If a theory’s job is to answer a problem then only upon answering it satisfactorily to the rigourous demands of logic does it graduate. It is then no longer a theory but a fact.

This is a very difficult thing, the Existentialists demand that the only theory to have done it is the theory of self. The Christians say that the theory of Christ has done it and in so doing He has qualified a number of other theories as fact. And the Athiests seem to be swaying (because sway they must) towards evolution’s theory. These are all unestablished theories, all of them requiring faith in a concept that becomes more and more a person the longer one looks at it. Only one of them is honest enough to admit to requiring faith in a super-natural person right from the start.

Evolution’s theory described as a myth would look something like this: Evolution is very much like a benevolent, super-relaxed, all powerful, active yet unconscious female goddess. She has a daughter called Natural Selection who seems slightly more conscious but unable, it seems, to ask “where am I? who am I?” Everything is kept in some order, despite their dream status, by what can best be described as a third person, a spirit, the spirit of Nature who keeps house, keeps the other two from bumping into things and causing too much damage, points their wands in the right directions and such. Nature is either mortally afraid or incapable (no one is sure which) of waking them, but she has no real power of her own. They form, in fact, a trinity related somehow, one would think, to the Adams family… Looking at evolution this way it is clearly a religion too. It’s easy to poke fun at a myth one does not believe, but doesn’t one gets offended when fun is poked at a myth one does believe?

 

Dawkins admits it himself when he says: “When athiests like Stephen Hawking and Albert Einstein use the word god they use it of course as a metaphorical shorthand for that deep mysterious part of physics which we don’t yet understand.” I use the word God as a metaphorical shorthand for the deep mysterious person which I have no hope of ever really understanding. Both of these postulations require a measure of faith my friends; and neither of them solve the complexity problem. Mine requires less faith because it does not pretend or even attempt to solve the complexity problem, the atheist’s postulation does pretend to solve it.

Even belief that there is truth as opposed to non truth is a theory. A concept that only the cynics deny. In fact the cynic can be defined as one who is an ‘atruthist‘, which is more of a problem for him than it is for the sceptic who says that his reason causes him to doubt his reason. The cynic says that his reason causes him to deny his reason. That is like presenting with stomach juices so strong that they dissolve even one’s stomach. It is an agonisingly fatal position.

The evolutionist is no cynic, he has spent too much time and money at school to take such a position. But the evolutionist’s disciples will have no such advantage to take for granted. They will be true cynics.

Evolution says that authority exists but is perpetually sleeping. How long then until its stewards attempt what they think will be an easy coup? It has been attempted before.

 

Personally speaking I battle to believe this evolutionary theology, I think there are better theologies; so I am an Aevolutionist and I am calling all those closet Aevoltuonists out there to nail their colours to the mast; to refuse to be bullied by a vigilante theory of the intelligencia, who, like a self-appointed clergy, have moved into the neighbourhood offering an intellectual protection that the average man fears to refuse. An IQ Mafia with 180+ thugs who threaten to ridicule the 100 man. We must protect future generations from an age darker than the world has ever seen. Where every every ‘right’ is called “stupid irrationality” and every ‘wrong’ is called “pragmatic” by the priests of the spirit of Nature.

 

I think that kitchenware is wonderfully useful stuff, what I cannot tolerate though is a used pot calling a kettle black.





The Waters Above – Chaos, Randomness and God

11 12 2007

 

I am always amazed at the amount of movement and the sheer size of clouds when you’re flying amongst them. I just can’t imagine what forces could possibly keep so much water hovering and swirling in the sky? Making random shapes on such alarming scales.
Big random stuff has always intrigued me. It makes me wonder why something so big is so random. It doesn’t alarm me that small dust particles suspended in liquid bounce randomly around; especially since Einstein came up with a pretty good theory to explain it. I can live with random packets of light being emitted by hot objects. I can even cope with the fact that atoms could be at any number of places at the same time. But it’s in large scale randomness that I start to wonder what it is that keeps all this matter from absolute chaos.
What is stopping it spinning out of control? Tsunamis, hurricanes, floods and the like are just the edges of chaos. Would God stop a tsunami that would kill a million? How about 100 000 or 35 000? What is His limit? Does He have one? At what point does God intervene?Many have suggested that God must be just an ancient concept dreamt up to quench the minds men. Some imaginary scaffold to make sense of the randomness. Steven Hawking in A Brief History of Time says: “If one likes, one could ascribe this randomness to the intervention of God, but it would be a very strange kind of intervention, there is no evidence that it is directed toward any purpose. Indeed, if it were, it would by definition not be random.” Steven Hawking cannot conceive of a random intelligence. But surely random direction must be within the grasp of a God, indeed if it were not He would, by definition, not be a God.
The cynic says it this way: Ecclesiastes 9:11 “11 I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favour to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all.”
And the speculator puts it like this: Job 28:20-28 “20 Where then does wisdom come from? Where does understanding dwell? 21 It is hidden from the eyes of every living thing, concealed even from the birds of the air. 22 Destruction and Death say, ‘Only a rumour of it has reached our ears.’ 23 God understands the way to it and he alone knows where it dwells, 24 for he views the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens. 25 When he established the force of the wind and measured out the waters, 26 when he made a decree for the rain and a path for the thunderstorm, 27 then he looked at wisdom and appraised it; he confirmed it and tested it. 28 And he said to man, ‘The fear of the Lord–that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.”
The randomness of the clouds is not the issue; the genetic chance of my existence is not the issue; neither is the predictability of crystal formation the issue. Those things are just the smoke screens of the logic of the science religion. The issue is this: do you believe in large scale Random Direction? do you even believe in small scale Random Direction? Or, to ask the question another way, do you believe in God? He seems to require an answer.