22 Mar 2009

Reading God’s Book

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In this post, I merely want to note the point that the existence of an omnipotent being who created the structure of reality–and who moreover is reputed to have an actual personality and enjoys interacting with humans–well that’s by far the most important aspect of your belief system. How you answer that question fundamentally influences what kind of life you will lead.

So I fully grant that I may be making a horrendous mistake by saying I “believe in Jesus.” Fair enough.

However, I think that I think about this issue more than most atheists. That doesn’t make me right, obviously. But it does mean that those (atheists and believers alike) who spend all their “philosophical” time tracing out the implications of their answer to that big question, are putting the cart before the horse. For example, if it turns out that there was a God, then the implications of evolutionary biology wouldn’t be so awesome. The strictly positive statements would still be true, of course, but they could no longer really say, “There is no ‘purpose’ or ‘goal’ behind evolution.” That would be easily seen as a bold conjecture on their part, because it would mean they were sure the (known) God was not acting slyly through some undetected mechanism to influence evolution, if only from establishing the initial state of the universe juuuuuust right.

And as I say, the danger holds for the evangelicals, too. It would be disastrous to structure your life around this one guy, if it turned out he was a fraud (or insane). So I encourage Christians reading this to think more deeply about why they believe. A true believer should relish this task, not shrink from it for fear of what he might realize. (Because of this, I don’t worry that my son might become an atheist–maybe just to spite me. That’s fine, I was an atheist too for a few years. The LORD can deal with that sort of thing. He’s fairly clever, and that whole omnipotence thing doesn’t trip Him up either.)

Last point: If you do want to ponder the implications of the possible existence of (the Christian) God, then you’re in luck: He allegedly wrote a book, all about Himself. They call it the Holy Bible (a fairly presumptuous title, eh? Who is this guy, some kind of guru?) They market it as a history book, but it just as well could have been sold as an autobiography: God: My Years With the Talking Monkeys.

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