Thursday, May 28, 2009

Daniel C. Dennett - fundamental error

A Hubble picture - birth of stars. NASA

This and other amazing Hubble space telescope pictures from the depths of the universe elicit fundamentally different responses from people depending on their worldview and their belief systems:

There are those who exclaim: "What a wonderful God we have!"

There are those who smile with warm satisfaction: "How smart I am! I really know what is going on there."

It seems to me that so many people who deny God share this fundamental error in thinking with Professor Daniel C. Dennett:

The fundamental scientific idea of evolution by natural selection is not just mind-boggling; natural selection, by executing God's traditional task of designing and creating all creatures great and small, also seems to deny one of the best reasons we have for believing in God.

They do not understand that faith in God is not a rational position deduced from some principles like intelligent design or the purpose seeking evolution of species.

Because these people formulate their own worldview on the foundation of rational thinking and empirism and assume that things just exist because they exist and evolution works because it has worked, they think that also religious people have been convinced about the "truths" by a similar rational process.

And now, since there is a "fundamental scientific idea of evolution by natural selection" the rational foundations of this faith have been destroyed and we all can let ancient religious ideas to have their well deserved rest. Let us go forward brightly, progress as a race and keep exploring things rationally, the human spirit is the guiding light and the human intelligence is the hope of humanity.

Our ability to solve problems and to make tools has brought us here and they will continue to provide us with the reasonable explanation to the toughest questions of life and university and even to create other intelligent beings like us, artificially. Surely, tomorrow we will solve even the question of what is life itself.

The Bible, however, states the truth: people do not learn to know God by admiring the Intelligent Design or by being convinced that there must be a Supreme Being behind all this.

Instead of worshiping the true God they start to worship created things. Human religiousity is a fact from prehistoric times on and cannot be clinically or rationally or logically removed from our species. God has created us so that we have a sense about Him.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is God's power for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For the righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel from faith to faith, just as it is written, "The righteous by faith will live."

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of people who suppress the truth by their unrighteousness,
because what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.

For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes — his eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, because they are understood through what has been made.

So people are without excuse.

For although they knew God, they did not glorify him as God or give him thanks, but they became futile in their thoughts and their senseless hearts were darkened.

Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools
and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for an image resembling mortal human beings or birds or four-footed animals or reptiles.

Therefore God gave them over in the desires of their hearts to impurity, to dishonor their bodies among themselves.
They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served the creation rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

Rom 1:16-25 NET Bible

The fundamental worldview of materialism is surprisingly close to ancient pagan religions from the Mediterranean region from where the Bible comes to us.

Things are born, things come into being by natural processes that are understandable and known to us. We use what we know about existence in order to explain how everything came into being.

The ancients were thinking of divinities copulating and giving birth to things, chaotic waters, eggs, trees, premordial monsters and other imagery but the fundamental idea was that things came into being by themselves, existence simply exists and that is.


The Bible, on the other hand, stands alone in this ocean of human imagination and pre-scientific rationalism and natural logic and says: not so!

Moses said to God, "If I go to the Israelites and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they say to me, 'What is his name?' — what should I say to them?"

God said to Moses, "I AM that I AM." And he said, "You must say this to the Israelites, 'I AM has sent me to you.' "

God also said to Moses, "You must say this to the Israelites, 'The Lord — the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob — has sent me to you. This is my name forever, and this is my memorial from generation to generation.'

Exodus 3:13 -15 NET Bible

Things are not by themselves.

Everything is because He is.

ויאמר עוד אלהים אל־משׁה כה־תאמר אל־בני ישׂראל יהוה אלהי אבתיכם אלהי אברהם אלהי יצחק ואלהי יעקב שׁלחני אליכם זה־שׁמי לעלם וזה זכרי לדר דר׃

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