Friday, March 02, 2007

Objections to Rational Thought

The blogsite 'Reasoning Repaired' features a blog entry titled Random Thoughts from my Journal which contains some comments I've included in this post. It is obvious to anyone who has spent a significant amount of time engaged in discussions about intelligent design, that its opponents are often driven by motives totally unrelated to scientific data. A primary source of opposition springs from feelings about God; usually God as depicted (or thought to be depicted) biblically. Some specific complaints relate to evil and recent comments at Telic Thoughts demonstrate this. From 'Random Thoughts from my Journal':

● "If the atheist demands a “scientific” answer to the question, “if God is all good and all powerful, why is there evil in the world?” Well, first of all, evil is not a “thing” but a privation—a certain lack of good. Second, maybe they should ask themselves “if there is no God, then why is there so much good in the world?” Unless, of course, one is an intellectual pee-wee like Richard Dawkins who simply argues there are no such things as good and evil… and yet he rails against God as being “evil.” It is not so much that we need a rational explanation of God, as we need a psychological explanation of atheists."

The lack of good can be reduced to an absence of love. How is love defined?

1 Corinthians 13 (New American Standard Bible)

4Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,

5does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,

6does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;

7bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

8Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away.

Where one posseses and practices the foregoing evil does not appear. When these qualities are absent evil is inevitable. Evil is connected with individuals who have a capacity to choose. The presence or absence of evil can be traced to the condition of individual human hearts. Attributing evil to the creator of those exercising free will is to condemn individuality itself. It is a demand for programmed robots in place of humanity. More from the linked blog:


● Philosophy doesn’t appeal to faith or to religion to understand the world—it cannot, in fact, do so for it would lose its autonomy. But philosophy can demonstrate the existence of a First Cause and of a Designer of the world (not in the Intelligent Design movement’s sense).

A first cause is the product of rational thinking. It stands in opposition to the model of an infinite chain of causes and effects. Thus a belief in God also is rational and not the product of superstition, as atheists would have us believe.

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