Monday, April 11, 2016

Science and Jehovial Witticisms

Went to a library book sale over the weekend and picked up five books for a buck each, including this one called The Natural History of Creation: Biblical Evolutionism and the Return of Natural Theology. Nothing much in it will be unfamiliar to Raccoons, but there was one chapter, called A Scientific Interpretation of the Divine Nature, that at least gave me an idea for a brief post.

Can science tell us "what God is like?" I don't see why not. All truth emanates from and speaks to the One Truth, so there's no reason why science should be any different, so long as we don't try to reduce God to what can be expressed scientifically.

Rather, science can provide a "view of God," so to speak (just as it provides a view of matter, or life, or stars, or whatever else it looks at).

Scripture tells us that man is created in the image and likeness of God. Now, man is clearly the most astonishing fact in all of existence, so it makes sense that this most unique and unusual being -- man -- is said to mirror the Absolute Principle underneath the whole existentialada.

Now, what are some of the unique features that define this unusual creature, man?

There are many to choose from, including,

--Creativity

--Transcendence

--Self-consciousness

--Free will

--Love

--Intersubjectivity

--Reason

--Truth/Knowledge

--Personhood

I would add that although we cannot know them in their fullest sense, we can certainly intuit timelessness, infinitude, and absoluteness, or in other words, touch the divine qualities of nonlocality, omnipresence, omniscience.

What are the chances? I mean, what are the odds of a randomly evolved being just happening to develop one of these divine traits, let alone all of them?

Indeed, it seems to me that they must come as a package deal, such that we can't have one without the others.

For example, truth is inconceivable in the absence of freedom, and vice versa (i.e., freedom without truth is just another name for meaninglessness, or absurdity, or being lost in the cosmos).

Likewise, knowledge is a priori transcendent, as is disinterested love, or reason, or freedom, and I don't see how we can ever get off the genetic arbitrary goround in the absence of an intersubjectivity that allows us to understand and communicate inner and outer reality.

It seems to me that it must all come down to the Trinitarian nature of God. For if God were... mono- or duo-tarian, then man -- and the cosmos -- would appear much different than they do.

For example, if God is a radical monad, there is no one to love, nothing to know, no one to give back to, etc. You know the old gag:

But it was not good that this Godhead, the Most High, should be allone... Indeed, this old ombody's so philled with jehoviality, can't He create anamour?

Yes!

In fact, he can't stop (creating, loving, knowing, etc.).

12 Comments:

Blogger Magister said...

"in fact, he can't stop,"

the crazy galoot. Maybe it's creation-envy that so pisses off the Left. How dare He create? He doesn't have our permission! Why, God is, is ... UNREGULATED!

4/11/2016 09:46:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Another fellow sent me a chapter of his book called The Political Theory of Christ, which would seem to go to this general subject. I would say that the personalism alone of Christianity has very specific political connotations.

4/11/2016 10:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tough stuff, but can be fun, for some to ponder. How does the 2D being know that the five circles (only known in such a place by their edges) which magically coalesce into one circular shape, is actually a 3D hand passing through its planar world? Why do people like elegant art so much? It doesn’t house, clothe, sex or feed us. Why’s the universe so multidimensionally, interconnectedly, beautiful when it should be random ugliness flying around? Why should we care when our own (physical) survival isn’t at stake? Could it be more than (physical) survival?

4/11/2016 10:10:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

I would say that the personalism alone of Christianity has very specific political connotations.

Yes, just so.

The idea of saints has been bouncing around my noggin of late. Essentially, how did the early Christians get the idea that there would be any point to asking a bunch of dead guys to pray for them? The answers lie within the gospels, of course: particularly the way that Jesus organized His posse and sent them out to work in his name, but there are clues elsewhere as well. In fact, it's more than a little sad that so much of modern Christianity rejects the whole idea outright as idolatry. We are meant to have a "personal relationship with Jesus," it is true, but even the most cursory look at the world in all its fractal levels shows hierarchies and organization such that it is perfectly natural also to interact locally with nonlocal operators. To do so is not to reject, replace, or disrespect God.

Here's a phrase probably nobody has ever thought to say, at least not in recent memory: "Martin Luther, pray for us!"

4/11/2016 11:52:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

For a Christian, it should be absolutely no different from any other friend praying for you.

4/11/2016 12:05:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Yes, exactly - and yet outside of Raccoons, Catholicism or Orthodoxy, I don't recall ever meeting a Christian who isn't outright creeped out at the idea of saints. Much less Mary!

4/11/2016 12:07:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

It's good to have local and nonlocal friends.

4/11/2016 12:08:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Where would we be without them?

4/11/2016 12:10:00 PM  
Blogger Magister said...

Am I the only one who thinks of saints along the lines of baseball heroes like Roberto Clemente? The spiritual athletes who went pro, the Michael Jordans playing in the eternal Supernatural Dome, etc.

4/11/2016 01:18:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yes, the spiritual Hall of Fame.

4/11/2016 01:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For a ghost, seems pretty real to me.

4/11/2016 03:43:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Local and non-local, yep. I don't think it is any different than asking one of you to pray for me. I think the Prostestant rejection comes from taking too literally Paul talking of the dead as being asleep. Doesn't mean they are unconscious.

4/11/2016 03:46:00 PM  

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