Friday, May 15, 2009

Seeing yourself though another's eyes

I just had a moment of clarity.

I've been reading a variety of material for my thesis on evolutionary theodicy, and one of the articles was Wesley J. Wildman's in the book Physics and Cosmology. Basically, he holds that people (like me) who hold to a good, personal, and omnipotent Creator are self-deluded, optimistic folk who ignore the fundamental realities of the world we live in. The violence inherent in nature, the dog-eat-dog world, and the lack of divine intervention should undermine any confidence in such a God. However, after reading his well-written article, I find myself still convinced of the truth of my "wildly-optimistic", but caring, God. Even in the face of the reality of the world. Perhaps (as I argue in my thesis), partly because of it, and because of my commitment to the words of Scripture as faithfully portraying God.

Then, I started reading Kenneth Miller's Finding Darwin's God, where he describes how Henry Morris holds to a Young Earth Creationist scheme in the face of all available evidence to the contrary because of his committment to Scripture. To my mind, it looks ludicrous, and fails to understand even the basics of biblical interpretation. To Wildman, however, I look as ludicrous as Morris does to me. Optimistic, fundamentalist, and unable to face the facts of life.

My only defence comes in the form of holding that science and religion hold separate arenas of inquiry into truth. Observing nature can no more tell us the ethical nature of God or the world than smelling can tell us the colour of an object. Perhaps I am wildly optimistic to believe in a caring, personal God. But that God has interacted with us in history, in the person of Jesus Christ. This is something a ground-of-being god could and would not do. "The Word became flesh and dwelt among us."

Still, it is somewhat discomforting to see myself reflected in someone like Morris. Brings me back to the "everyone is logical in their own mind"... it is just a matter of understanding them before condemning them. Though, I still completely disagree with YEC, just for the record.

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