Monday, October 31, 2011

The Central Argument of The God Delusion

While I often have not liked the way William Lane Craig presents some of his arguments I found this video to be interesting as he talks about the central message of Richard Dawkins book "The God Delusion." You may not agree with much or anything WLC has to say but it's worth a watch anyway.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

War of the Worldviews: Let's Talk God

Here is an article from Huffington Post's religion section. I can't say that I agree 100% with everything the author says but I thought it was a good read. It was written by Deepak Chopra who is a hindu doctor and public speaker and recently wrote a book entitled "War of the Worldviews" which he references in the following article.

"In this series of posts about science and spirituality, I've left God for last, even though God has become the hottest topic as we struggle toward the future. The arguments against belief in God have been stridently raised by a small band of scientific atheists -- their avowed leader, Richard Dawkins, has become a household name. In our recent book, "War of the Worldviews," my co-author, Caltech physicist Leonard Mlodinow, doesn't pursue the atheist line. His worldview is scientific, but Leonard holds a view that is much more defensible than atheism:

"While science often casts doubt on spiritual beliefs and doctrines insofar as they make representations about the physical world, science does not -- and cannot -- conclude that God is an illusion."

I believe that spirituality can take hints from modern science to actually support the existence of God. Some of these hints have emerged from quantum physics, which long ago showed that the seemingly solid, convincing world of matter and energy actually derives from a highly uncertain, invisible realm that existed before time and space. Is this the domain of God? If so, it can't be the God of Genesis, a human-like figure sitting above the clouds who created heaven and earth in seven days. I think a new and expanded spirituality can deliver a God that is the same as pure intelligence, creativity and consciousness. Such a God is our source without being human -- a source from which all possibilities emerge and flow. Quite a number of credentialed scientists are thinking in the same direction without necessarily being religious. It would explain a lot about the cosmos if we fit into a living, conscious universe."

I would like to indicate here that I don't think the God of Gensis is necessarily a "man sitting up there in the clouds" I think that is largely a creation of human minds. In trying to relate to God humans seem to picture an old man in the sky with a beard. I'm under the impression that when we read that we are created in the image of God we are to understand that we are created in the nature of God. Its spiritual not physical. Now back to the article.

"Dawkins uses every tactic he can find -- including some underhanded ones -- to make it seem that science can disprove God. Leonard is right, however, to deny this. In simplest terms, you can't prove that something doesn't exist. But the scientific atheists are really relying on probabilities. Having mounted a heated attack on myth, superstition and belief in the supernatural (most of this argument is seriously outdated and belongs in the Victorian age), Dawkins tells us that all religious experience should be judged on rational grounds, asking how likely it really is that God, the soul, the afterlife or any other aspect of spirit actually could be true.

This stupendously misses the point. It's in the very nature of spirituality not to conform to everyday reason and logic. The point of spirituality is to transcend the ordinary world and reveal something invisible, unknown and yet part of ourselves. If an exotic traveler came to the court of a medieval king and claimed to have seen a rhinoceros, even there reason and probability wouldn't help. It makes no sense to test the claim of a new species of animal by saying, "How likely is it that this creature exists?" You produce the rhinoceros or you don't. But Dawkins throws out of court the thousands of spiritual experiences that are a continuous thread in human existence. He doesn't want to examine if they are true; he only wants to examine how many ways they could be false.

That's offensive and intellectually dishonest, ultimately appealing only to die-hard skeptics of the same stripe. Religion has enough bad things in its long, checkered history -- and science has enough triumphs -- that atheism seems to have a strong hand. In our book I argue that the case can be made in reverse, however. Science has given us atomic bombs, ever-new mechanized warfare, biological and chemical weapons, and countless forms of environmental pollution. If we want the best that science has to offer, are we destined to accept the worst along with it?

Not if spirituality is taken seriously, which means valuing our inner world. Science doesn't deal in purpose and meaning; it deals in data and measurement. Dawkins makes the fatal mistake of believing that data and measurement are superior to everyday experience. His brand of skepticism doesn't work to bring light; more often, it revels in making people feel insecure and doubtful.

In reality, life is about purpose and meaning. We don't have to throw those things out just because they aren't scientific. Quite the opposite. Like it or not, the scientist works on behalf of human beings who want even more purpose and meaning. If God is the word we apply to highest purpose, why not keep it? Or if another word is needed, a term that has no religious baggage, let's find one. The spiritual worldview is our salvation if we want to save the planet. I have no doubt of that, and our best hope is that science becomes part of the project that will redeem our future, not an enemy to the highest and best in human nature."

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Evil and Suffering Part 4

Ok so for those of you following my blog I'm pretty sure this "Evil and Suffering" series of posts is going to go up to like 100 parts. I have found many things worthy of posting regarding the topic, and I have some points on evil and suffering in the world that I wish to share based on what my friend Chad wrote on his website so I hope to be able to continue posting over the coming weeks despite my super busy schedule. Until then here is a short thought for the day on "how can we suffer if there is a God?" So here's a thought I'll share from

The Christian Consolation: A God Who Suffers

Christians have a powerful consolation in the face of evil: the God they worship became human and suffered like us in the historical person of Jesus. Jesus lived a human life and experienced a physical death. But this physical suffering was only a part of his full suffering. The greatest agony for Jesus was the temporary loss of relationship with God. He went from experiencing the closest possible relationship with God to a state of total separation on the cross. This is became evident when he cried out his final words, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46, Mark 15:34). Jesus underwent this suffering out of love for humanity and obedience to God, knowing that his terrible death could restore our relationship to God. Keller attests to the significance of this:
"Christianity alone among the world religions claims that God became uniquely and fully human in Jesus Christ and therefore knows firsthand despair, rejection, loneliness, poverty, bereavement, torture, and imprisonment. On the cross, he went beyond even the worst human suffering and experienced cosmic rejection and pain that exceeds ours as infinitely as his knowledge and power exceeds ours. In his death, God suffers in love, identifying with the abandoned and godforsaken."
We cannot fully explain evil, but we can say that it is not an indicator that God does not love us. In Jesus, God has suffered, and we can rest assured that that God shares our pain and knows our sufferings.