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Evolution and Creation. Where did we come from? How did we get here? What is life all about?

Re: What are some examples of intelligent design?

Postby Hand in Glove » Wed Sep 16, 2015 8:26 am

> Repent from your sins

I do.

> purify your heart

I don't know what this means. Does it mean anything?

> Humble yourself before the Lord

It is impossible to humble yourself before something you don't believe in. Catch-22.

> if this is just a defiant challenge to God where you are throwing down the gauntlet

It isn't. I can't defy something I don't believe in.
Hand in Glove

Re: What are some examples of intelligent design?

Postby jimwalton » Fri Oct 28, 2016 2:01 am

Then we need to backtrack to more foundational conversation. The problem is that the more foundational conversation is a long one. I'll just make references, though, assuming that you are educated and knowledgeable. We know that as far as "being" (the pondering of metaphysics), the basic philosophical question is why there is something rather than nothing. On top of that we have a dilemma of personality: humans are personal beings, supposedly from a mechanistic, impersonal source. Along with that we know from logic that no finite point has any meaning unless it has an infinite reference point (Jean-Paul Sartre). A third conundrum is epistemology: how do we know that we know what we know?

There are two directions we can go in: either there's no sense to any of it, and everything is meaningless, irrational, and absurd, or there is some kind of answer that is both rational and able to be communicated. There are only three possible directions:

1. Everything that exists has come out of absolutely nothing: no energy, no mass, no motion, no personality. Nothing Nothing. I don't think anyone believes this.

2. Everything that exists came out of something, but it was impersonal: just energy, chemicals, velocity, mass. If you accept that, then there's no explanation for personality. We're just necessarily impersonal—the result of impersonal matter plus impersonal time by impersonal chance. Nothing has any meaning, because meaning can only come from free agency, which is personal.

3. Everything that exists has a personal beginning. It makes perfect sense that personality came from personality, meaning from intent, and reason from reason.

The most sufficient answer to being, meaning, reason, and personality is a personal, meaningful, reasoning source. Now there is an infinite reference point to give meaning to the particulars. And if you disagree with this, you are claiming that personality came from the impersonal, meaning came from randomness, and reason arose out of nothing. Frankly, I find that much harder to make sense of. Even our scientific knowledge gets passed through the grid of reason, personal-ness, and meaning (purpose). But if we accept personality, meaning, and reasoning, now we also have a basis for epistemology (knowing). Otherwise, I can't even trust my own thoughts, because the process of natural selection knows nothing of and cares nothing for truth, but only survival.

Add on top of that that there are about 8 reasonable arguments for the existence of God that show that belief in such a being is a rational and logical practice, not at all out of sync with what we see in our world. One of them is that the universe displays some signs of design, which in our observations is always the effect of a purposeful designer.

On top of this I would add the great hopelessness and angst that is growing in our world, right alongside the rise of atheism. The heavy metal songs on the radio scream of purposelessness, hopelessness, fear, violence, and despair. Political corruption is rampant. It's hard for me to believe that the path of impersonality, chance, and irrationality make more sense to you than the possibility of theism, which has a lot of reason behind it.

My guess is that you used to believe in God, but somewhere along the way you became disillusioned, probably because God just didn't seem to be there. Life seemed too random and difficult, and you found God to be so unresponsive that he might as well not exist, and you walked away in complete disgust, and you stopped believing. Maybe there are logical flaws in scientific naturalism, and maybe you can't account for personality and reason, but now that makes more sense to you than a God who just doesn't seem to be there.

If there is no infinite reference point, no God, no spiritual realities, then we are all just machines, victims of happenstance, and there is no meaning, no purpose, and no possibly even no reason. And yet I think we all know that's not an accurate picture. No one can truly live out their lives on that foundation. What makes more sense is that you had skewed expectations about God and the life he offers, and when it didn't pan out according to your understandings and expectations, you turned away in disgust. The problem is that leaves you with an irrational alternative.

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