Untitled

Church shopping is awkward.

The first church shopping experience that I remember was in first grade. My family looked up some churches in some directory and we all piled into the car and drove out to visit each one. The only one I actually remember was Green Hills Baptist Church; the one that I visited with a cone of chocolate malted crunch in my hand. It was the church I would attend for the next 15 years.

Lindsey and I have been church shopping thrice in six years of marriage. This last time we wound up choosing what was the previous time’s runner up: Real Life Ministries.

Plugging into a new church is awkward.

But instead of talking about it, I’m going to tell you about how I am in no danger whatsoever of accidentally worshipping nature.

At our new weekly home group we were discussing Genesis 2. After rebuilding the story and trying to understand what the author might be trying to teach through it, someone asked “does the fact that God entrusted humanity with caring for creation mean we should recycle?”, to which my wife and another girl enthusiastically yelped in the affirmative.

The first thing out of a brother’s mouth from across the room was “but it’s really important that we’re careful not to worship nature, though…”. Now this is a guy I actually have hope of friendship with. I will no doubt tell you more about him and the other characters in my life later, but his comment struck me a particular way, though I had heard it many times out of the mouth of evangelicals (starting with my parents).

But the thing is that none of us here are in any danger whatsoever of accidentally slipping up and being like “oh my God the environment is the source of moral goodness, veracity, and aesthetic perfection and fully deserving of my adoration and love!”.

I understand that for some, being green performs a similar role for them that religious devotion does for us. I get it.

But in a room full of North Idahoan Christians who are far more likely to let material goods like large trucks and homes get in the way of prayer, charity, community, heart worship, and the pursuit of right thinking, being paranoid about the total non-issue of worshipping the environment allows us to continue missing the point.

Oh yeah, and I think I am going to try for NaBloPoMo. You’re welcome.

15 Comments

Filed under Environmentalism

15 Responses to Untitled

  1. David

    I’m interested in why one should be careful not to worship nature? After all, feeling that I would be classified as a person who worships nature, my shopping around for churches would inevitably lead me to a church of Naturalistic Pantheism (should there actually be a church of Naturalistic Pantheism, which there is not in this region).

  2. Louis

    @David that’s a valid question for a naturalist pantheist to ask a theist, and I would like to answer it. My original point was that it is not a valid thing for Christian person A to warn Christian person B against as a means for A to avoid feeling shameful for shirking his responsibility to care for God’s creation.

    So, why should one be careful not to worship nature? I can definitely sympathize with the temptation to do so. Nature is beautiful! Nature is enjoyable, and from it we draw both strength and joy. But the problem is that there is Something even more beautiful, from which we may draw deeper and truer strength and joy, and which we were designed to worship: the Creator of nature. He deserves to be ascribed supreme worth to, because it is from Him that all worthy things derive their worth.

    Creation cannot love us and relate to us like the Creator can. It cannot tell us what is morally good, it cannot bring justice to the orphan, the widow, the hungry, or the weak, and it cannot redeem us from the evil things we’ve done. Nature is forever in a state of decay and it cannot create or regenerate or renew – not over the long term, not permanently.

    How do I know such a Creator exists? Precisely because nature exists! It cannot have existed forever, because an infinite amount of time would have had to elapse, which is mathematically impossible. Nature cannot have created itself, because before it existed it didn’t exist and therefore couldn’t have created anything. And it cannot have come into being uncaused out of nothing, because that is absurd and physically impossible. Thus, it must have been created out of nothing by a massless being that transcends space and time.

  3. Gayla

    1) I love that you are participating in Nablopomo!

    2) I like what you have to say here.

  4. Bri Bri

    HAHAHAAAAA LAURA!

    But seriously, best blog ever.

  5. David

    I feel I should comment on some of your points. I hope you don’t mind me invading on your personal blog space, but I like to learn, thusly I like to ask questions and hear answers. I enjoyed your answer to my first question, but I feel the need to pick at it a little.

    “So, why should one be careful not to worship nature? I can definitely sympathize with the temptation to do so. Nature is beautiful! Nature is enjoyable, and from it we draw both strength and joy.”

    Nature is beautiful. Nature is most certainly not always enjoyable. I’m sure the people of Haiti are thinking a lot about nature these days. Nature is powerful, balanced, and complete. Nature has the ability to erase the mark of man in a single storm, a shake of the earth, or an explosion of fierce lava. Nature is still unknown. We cannot point out what it will do with any certainty. We can’t, with all of our collective knowledge, pin point when nature will become something uncontrollable. We do our best with limited understanding.

    “Creation cannot love us and relate to us like the Creator can. It cannot tell us what is morally good, it can not bring justice to the orphan, the widow, the hungry, or the weak, and it can not redeem us from the evil things we’ve done.”

    It seems, in your summation, that we, as humans, are an alien life form on this planet? Nature’s morals are perhaps the most trivial thing to man in this day and age. Nature is unkind to the feeling, remorseful, and calculating human. This remains my only point of contemplation these days about my chosen religion. How is it that the human took on such a heavy load?

    To think, to feel, to be sorry, to be communicatively happy, and to regret. Perhaps we have overlooked what is actually morally good and right? And perhaps we all carry a piece of the old days of human life when travesty was inevitable? Personally, I cannot watch someone dying of hunger in a far off country and think anything other then, “how and why was this person born?” I’m not thinking about sending money or helping, I’m thinking about the “thinking and calculating” person who decided it was right to fornicate and produce another child into a world where “nature” will run its course. To produce offspring in the most volatile and unrelenting places in the world is sheer madness. It is man who is mad, it is nature who is steady.

    Perhaps man is tragically flawed, awaiting only the time when he can look at nature as a balanced system and come to the realization that continued growth and disrespect of such a system leads only to tragedy and despair. Our biggest population disasters are not man made wars, but nature rearing its head to show us something we cannot predict. It is natural disasters, disease, and famine that cause our numbers to recede (and recede they should as they are far too great to sustain). Yet we pronounce those things as obstacles in our dominance over nature. No matter how far we grow, populate, and disperse, we find ways to dupe nature and to duck its far reaching arm for a time. The history of nature, as we understand it as humans, shows us that there is an ebb and flow of all life on the planet. Other animals don’t do what we do as humans. Other animals abide by laws that are never communicated and never drawn on to a piece of paper. They are natural laws, of which human populations break and disrespect every single day. Why is it that we are the only animal to break these laws? Why do we swell past our means and increase the production of foods that offer no nutritional value to our people? Why do we subsidize? Why do we form into groups, towns, cities, and countries? Why do we tax, form governments, and call out our wrong doers? Do you think, if we lived by the rules of nature, we would have to do any of this?

    I see nature as “God” if you will, because it is right outside my window. I can look at it, breath it in, and touch it. I can study it, learn from it, and respect it. I can watch nature rake its claw across a part of the world, decimating lives and ruining families and think, “it was bound to happen”. It is natural. In this world of man and man’s stories, my outlook is not received well, as you can imagine.

    While nature incapacitates, maims, and kills, the person of religious beliefs must then worship the harnesser or creator of nature? If nature was a creation, then the deity that created nature must also control nature?

    If this is true, how does one sit happily with the thought that the creator of nature allows it to kill, maim, and incapacitate indiscriminately? Am I to believe that all prayers of the religious serve to change nature? Do they serve to change the course of natural disasters? Was one sector of life on this planet not worthy of the creators remorse and then rightly struck with disaster? Or does the creator have no remorse? Does the creator control anything…really?

    I don’t believe in these things because they are based on the scripture of other humans. They are translated, edited, and theorized by other people like me in distant times. They are written by man, and therefore carry the burden of man to be the thinking, remorseful, and calculating oddity of the natural world.

    The world around us acts on it’s own in my solemn opinion. It does inconceivable things that we cannot predict. If these things are created by a “creator”, then why is that creator revered and worshiped? These are the things that bring death and destruction. For another man, without full understanding of nature, to tell me a sordid history of religion by way of ancient text means nothing to me. A book written by the hand of man as to what God did to create the earth is a farcical to me as trying to predict where the next earthquake will kill 100,000 people. I don’t know…how could I?

    No one can. Just as no one can make me believe in a story told by man as the basis for religion. I have been a presbyterian, a baptist, a unitarian, a lost soul (so to speak), and now a pantheist. I’m happier looking out my window and gaining understanding. The things outside the pane of glass or right in front of my face while I am outdoors gives me real time input. Real, measurable happiness. It’s not the input of other humans, it is the input of something I do not control and cannot harness. It is not a story of man, written by man, that I experience in those moments. It is a story that is not written and cannot be written in its entirety. For all our human understanding, we cannot fully understand that in which we live everyday. We cannot accurately predict, despite our best efforts, the change of the weather or other powerful factors that change lives.

    “How do I know such a Creator exists? Precisely because nature exists! It cannot have existed forever, because an infinite amount of time would have had to elapse, which is mathematically impossible. Nature cannot have created itself, because before it existed it didn’t exist and therefore couldn’t have cre­ated anything. And it cannot have come into being uncaused out of nothing, because that is absurd and physically impossible.”

    Why? It’s a simple question with no answer in your text. Sure, it sounds good (because I’m a thinking calculating man, but how does it sound to an elephant?) and even makes sense to some extent, but why? How many of the points in that statement rely entirely on man’s perception of the world? All of them.

    Every quantitative measure in that statement is based on the knowledge of man. Math? That’s man made. Why nature exists? That story is man made by your own scriptures translated over centuries. The knowledge of the limits of existence…..that is also man made.

    I hope you see what I am getting at in this post. It seems we have reached a point where we can classify things two ways. One way is to reiterate the story of man through scripture, written by man. That story tells us what God did. How man came to find the factual evidence of what God did to create the world is beyond my thought process. I wasn’t there. I can’t follow it for this precise reason. It is a scrawling on a page by an unknown man in a time when I did not live. It is subject to my rational mind.

    Two. There are things that happen in the world that are only “guessed at” by man. The knowledge of man was created by man, therefore it leaves out the knowledge created by things that man does not control or understand. This, to me, is nature. We don’t control it, we don’t harness it, and it lives to do whatever it wants. It is the all encompassing “God” or our existence. We fail to understand it and use man made techniques to defraud it without any just reason or understanding. We theorize as to why we exist, we calculate as to what our environment can take, and we disregard many of the things that make us a failing and disrespectful part of nature. We do all of this by “man made” measures.

    Everything we do is based on the knowledge of man, which is an idea that seems horribly flawed to me. We put our foot on the head of nature, but we fail to see that it often rises up, despite our knowledge, to deliver a message that some only see as a message from a deity created by man.

    I see a message delivered from the deity known as nature. It is not right to use the knowledge of man to create a timeline for when nature came into being. We know nothing of that fact other then what man himself has written or created as fact. There is no other knowledge collected from the billions of lifeforms on this planet. We can use any man made factoid to approve or disprove another man’s theory. Religion uses man’s arguments every day. We argue about how old the grand canyon might be based on religion. We do all of that with the knowledge created by other humans, not the knowledge created by nature, which we still do not understand.

    We have a force on this planet that we cannot avoid or escape in due time. We do not understand it, we rationalize it based on human thought processes, we create religions based on human thought processes, we try to work against these processes to expand our reign, and yet ultimately, there is no controlling nature and what it might do.

    We can try to figure out its origin, but we only do so based on the thoughts of other, inquisitive humans. We can come up with deity’s that control it and help us rationalize it, but these thoughts are based on other thoughts of humans. We can try to put it in a timeline, but this timeline is thought up and created by humans.

    When all is said and done, the only measure we have left to look at that is not served by human thought is our inability to rationalize what nature does on this planet. We can’t figure it out, and thusly it is my God.

    What lies around it in the universe, where it came from, what purpose it holds remains completely hidden from me and I’m okay with that fact. I don’t need a human based quantitative date to understand it. I am fine with not understanding it and therefore respecting it with great awe. It is something that exists in which no scripture is written by man, for reasons derived by man. Nature did not appear before anyone and convince them to write down the story. It was always the surrounding deity of all humans, therefore it makes sense that we try to explain its unknown origin by deriving that it must have been “made”.

    Everything beyond the time when man began rationalizing why they were surrounded by nature relies solely on man’s measures and man’s ability to come up with a creator deity in help to rationalize the unknown. Nature existed before the bible and before time as humans know it. We had to come up with a reason.

    That reason, to me, is where religion is derived. An answer to a question without an answer. Therefore, my religion lies with nature. Nature is mans need to come up with a reason to justify it’s existence. It is, it remains, and you can touch it. What more does a man need?

  6. Thanks so much for your reply – it is my pleasure to have my blog space used as a context for dialogue! I enjoyed reading what you had to say and found myself agreeing with much of it.

    I think if we disagree on whether there is a Creator, it is not worth talking about whether such a Creator could be believed to be morally good in light of human suffering, whether such a Creator would deserve our worship, whether the ancient scriptures are the products of such a Creator’s revelation, or whether those scriptures have been accurately transmitted and translated throughout the centuries (though I enjoy talking about all of those things and I think there are real answers to the challenges you raised). So let’s start with whether there is a Creator.

    Your only reply to the one argument I gave was that it “makes sense to some extent”, but that it is based on man’s perception of the world. But it seems that anything and everything you could ever say would also invariably be based on man’s perception of the world as well (you being a man and all). So let’s talk about whether these perceptions are ‘true’ (not just whether they are the perceptions of man):

    (1) Either the universe is past-eternal, self-caused, uncaused, or created.
    (2) The universe is not past-eternal, self-caused, or uncaused.
    (3) Therefore the universe was created.

    This is a sound argument, meaning that the conclusion follows logically and inescapably from the premises. The only question is whether the premises are true. I gave arguments for their truth, and you haven’t interacted with them. So, which premise do you deny and why?

  7. David

    Let me see if I can make sense of what I’m thinking about in words.

    It seems to me that the argument is not so sound for one particular reason. I see the universe as a deity and you see the universe as the creation of a deity.

    Therefore, the argument and point you have made, in terms of religion and creation, is not where each of our deities came to exist, but where mine came to exist out of yours without any fair explanation of where your Deity came to exist. “Fair” meaning, if you took your three step approach and put the word “God” in the place of the words “the universe”, would you find that God was created? Or would God not fit in that three step process? Maybe God is past-eternal? How would you go about proving that God wasn’t created?

    I find it hard to argue the premises you have listed because I believe I am essentially arguing something different then you are? I suppose I could ask you where or how God came to exist, and that would be a particularly challenging thing to explain?

    If we were both trying to explain when and how our Deity came to exist, we would both have to present our knowledge on our own Deity.

    I would present my understanding of the universe and its creation.

    You would present your knowledge of God and his creation.

    After all, for me to find fault or agreement with your premise, wouldn’t I also have to argue within the realm of your Deity creating mine? How could I try to give an answer to your premise when I don’t agree with its fairness?

    Perhaps the fair argument is where both our Deities originated? That seems like equal footing.

    This is where I have drawn such a huge disconnect with religion based on a deity. My knowledge is limited to almost zero as to how or why God exists or any rationalization of where he occupies space, time, energy, etc. How did God come to be? Is he/she/it just “there”? Is God just an “always was and forever will be” force? Supernatural?

    For me to say that the universe “just was/is” is the same as someone believing in a deity saying that exact same thing. I find it a fair summation to pertain to the universe as something supernatural when presented with the argument that someone’s God is supernatural. After all, there seems to be a cyclical problem happening here.

    That cyclical problem is this. I believe the universe to have “always been” without needing much deeper rationalization to answer the “why?” I believe the first humans to start trying to figure out why the universe existed did so to provide an answer to their questions about existence. This questioning then spawned deities that “have always been” to answer the riddle of how the universe was created. However, that seems to displace the reality of the question of existence to begin with.

    I don’t believe, to answer the question of existence, it is fair to create a Deity figure that defies time and space to explain how something else exists in time and space. If I want to argue that the universe was created by a God, I must first know why and where this God exists and came to be. If I do not, I am only creating a character, so to speak, that provides just as many questions as it does answers.

    In cyclical terms, we are always arriving at this point of contention over and over again where people ask why one thing exists while providing no answers on why another thing exists. I can’t prove the existence of my deity to you in the presence of yours. You can explain my deity because of the presence of yours, even when yours cannot be explained further. It seems there is a bit of a pattern. Neither of us can arrive at a proper or right conclusion because we are still leaving something to the side that is not fully explained.

    So my point is, I can feel comfortable looking at the universe and pondering why it is here surrounding me. I can’t feel comfortable applying a Deity creator figure to explain it’s existence, because then I just want to know where the Deity/creator figure came from? If my answer to the question about the creator figure is that he/she/it is past eternal or supernatural, why then can I not provide that same distinction to the universe and save myself the trouble of explaining something else with no discernible, factual origin?

    It seems to me that supernatural figures are supplied by man to explain their surroundings and provide meanings to their actions. That placement of figures in an unknown realm of time and space then, quite conveniently, allows for the creation of the universe to be an event spawned by a supernatural force.

    I imagine a sort of comical situation around a campfire in a very distant human past. Greg and James are sitting around a campfire trying to talk about how the universe came to be and what it means. Greg says that the universe was created by his God. James then asks where Greg’s God was created? Greg says his God lives in another realm of existence that we cannot understand until we die. James says that he thinks maybe he’ll understand nature when he dies, but he is just as comfortable living his life and receiving no knowledge after passing. Greg thinks this is mad! What comfort could James have never knowing the “answer” to why he existed?

    It’s quite obvious that I am James in the fictional exchange. I’m quite comfortable receiving no knowledge as to why I existed after I cease to exist in man’s definition of existence. I can’t gain more comforts by believing in Greg’s God because I would then ask the same questions in my mind about that God that I already ask about the universe that surrounds me.

    I’ve gone far off track and feel I could go even further, but here is the gist of it:

    I can’t answer your question because I don’t find it fair. My answer to which premise I deny would be to no avail, because the “facts” in which the premises were created are not facts to me. You are asking me to define the universe/existence under the pretense that it was created by your God. Your God may very well be past-eternal, self-caused, or uncaused; or maybe not, I can’t be sure without your input.

    If your God IS past-eternal, self-caused, or uncaused, then you have essentially shifted the same problem of the origins of the universe to a new arena. You may now have a satisfactory reason to believe the universe was created, but do you have a satisfactory reason as to the existence of your God?

    If you can simply say, my God “just is”, then I believe I can say the same for the universe while saving myself a step.

    I probably haven’t answered anything for you with my rambling.

    My experience in organized religion has been that I have the same questions about various origins of Gods that I do about the universe. Therefore, I have just grown accustomed to minimizing the scope of my questions to the universe. This, at least, gives me something I can taste, touch, hear, smell, and experience first hand (even while just a small part of it). I can sit in my yard and watch ants, even touch them, and try to think about the origin of the universe. I can do the same activity while believing they were created by a higher God, but the activity loses its enjoyment. It just shifts my questions to another realm and doesn’t serve to answer them any better.

  8. David I can’t thank you enough for all of the thought you are putting into our conversation. It’s refreshing and enjoyable. I hope we end up getting around to connecting face to face this week!

    It seems that you have misunderstood me in a few key places, and I would like to clarify my argument a little bit for you.

    The first things we need to clarify are our definitions. I am using “universe” to refer to the sum of all matter and energy, and I am using “Creator” (of the universe) to refer to whatever It is that brought the universe into existence.

    The reason this is relevant is because, since the universe comprises matter and energy, it is necessarily subject to time. And all things that are subject to time cannot be past-eternal. The reason is that an infinite duration cannot be transgressed (since time only ticks by one moment at a time, and you cannot ever form a collection of infinite moments by ticking them off one at a time).

    But a Being that does not comprise matter and energy can be timeless. This marks the key difference between the universe and its Creator when it comes to my argument.

    So, my formal argument went like this:

    (1) Either the universe is past-​​eternal, self-​​caused, uncaused, or created.
    (2) The universe is not past-​​eternal, self-​​caused, or uncaused.
    (3) Therefore the universe was created.

    Now if I do as you suggest and supplant “God” for “universe”, here is what it looks like:

    (1) Either God is past-​​eternal, self-​​caused, uncaused, or created.
    (2) God is not past-​​eternal, self-​​caused, or uncaused.
    (3) Therefore the God was created.

    I would reject premise 2 in this new version of the argument, because I believe that God can be self-caused. If you remember, my argument that the universe cannot be self-caused is simply that before the universe existed, it did not exist, and something that does not exist cannot bring anything into existence. Therefore the universe could not have brought itself into existence. But God is immune to this argument, because there is not a “time” “before” God existed, since He is timeless.

    Now, there is another theme in your reply that deserves treatment. You seem to believe that for an explanation to be a good explanation, we have to have an explanation for that explanation. You ask me to give an account of the origin of my deity, as I am asking you to give an account of the origin of yours. The difference between these is that I have shown why the time-bound universe must have been created, whereas you have not shown why a timeless Creator must have been created.

    Furthermore, if we always required our explanations themselves to be explained, we would be up a creek without a paddle in almost every domain. Imagine that we happened upon the ruins of an ancient civilization and reasoned that the cause of these ruins was a very old tribe of natives. Someone in our camp says “Not so fast! Where did the natives come from?”. Wouldn’t “I don’t know!” be the appropriate answer? But surely we could be justified in positing such a tribe as an explanation for the ruins!

    Similarly, we can explain the attraction between the heavenly spheres by way of Einsteinian Relativity, but we don’t have to have a thorough understanding or explanation of where it came from! To require such would lead to an infinite regress of explanations and we would never be justified in explaining anything!

    Therefore it seems that my argument that the universe must have been created cannot be turned around and applied to God, and it seems that I should not be required to give an explanation of my explanation of the existence of the universe.

  9. David

    I started this response and then accidentally closed it….ouch.

    Anywho, let me also start by saying thanks for the conversation. It was nice to have something to do today while recuperating on the couch!

    I think I’ve even lost track of what I typed above, so let me try to be clearer based on some things you mentioned:

    “But a Being that does not comprise matter and energy can be timeless.”

    This is really the stickler for me and where our road takes a proverbial split. I myself can’t find comfort in believing that there is a Being that is not comprised of matter or energy that created the universe. This Being becomes a figment that I cannot place in any relative position, so in essence he/she/it has to have been created. And I do think this Being has been created, in many different forms, by man himself.

    “But God is immune to this argument, because there is not a “time” “before” God existed, since He is timeless.”

    I tend to think there is a time before God existed, and that time was before man existed. I believe humans made God timeless in stories and scripture. Not just one God, but many different Gods because man could not communicate their philosophies across any great distance in the beginning. That being, we see many different Gods developing in many different places (or none at all). When populations further developed and started to share borders, we see the intermingling of ideas, and new Gods once again taking shape. Of course, sometimes they didn’t take shape, but were forced by different means.

    Which God is the right God? For me, it’s nature/the universe. Why? Simply because it was here before man. I see man’s ideas of Deities as an interpretation of what happened around him that he could not explain. He wanted to know, and still wants to know, why he exists. I see a creator Being as the solution to that question. Anyone could formulate a creator Being and place him in a position that is beyond matter and energy. It seems you are left choosing whether you can or cannot believe in this creator Being that is timeless. I cannot.

    We now have humans trying to make sense of how the universe was created without a Deity. In my mind they do not make compelling arguments. Yet, how could they? There is far too much unknown expanse to the universe to know what lies beyond our reach or how it could come into existence.

    And that’s where I come in with something irritating to most people. I look at the universe as everything there is, but don’t really care to know how it came to be, or if it even did. I fail to understand the relationship of time to the universe because I cannot fathom everything in the universe. How then could I, or anyone, develop a time frame for when everything, even the things we cannot see, came to be. I don’t even know what’s out there? There may be things that change the whole concept of time all together. There may be things that blow our entire system of knowledge apart at the seams.

    I will always look at the next compelling argument to appear, and maybe not even dismiss it in the long run. Who knows?

    That’s the point, I don’t think anyone knows? Thus leading to the creation of things that allow us a better understand what we don’t understand.

    “The difference between these is that I have shown why the time-​​bound universe must have been created, whereas you have not shown why a timeless Creator must have been created.”

    My belief is that a timeless Creator is a construct of man. Looking at the sheer variety of Gods that have existed, I only see the mark of man. I’ve never heard a God described in any culture as a gelatinous gob of ectoplasm! If a God was described that way, I would be greatly intrigued!

    Instead I see Gods taking the forms of what man could always see around him. People, animals, etc.

    I, of course, would recant this argument completely if a God somehow showed himself to me. I look at the Bible and think that if I were someone who witnessed God’s son performing miracles, I most certainly would believe! How could I not?

    But, alas, I’m not those people. Those people are in one of many books about one of many Gods. I can’t experience what they did. I can choose to believe or disbelieve them.

    I’m tired and I don’t know if I’m really doing anything but jumbling up all the information here. Sorry about the abrupt stop, but I think it’s time to leave this to rest for the night.

    I will say I did have a little ironic laugh when I read the words Einsteinian Relativity. I believe it is thought that Einstein was a pantheist. 🙂

  10. Well I’ve enjoyed our conversation too, and I hope it’s not our last on the subject!

    I think you summed it up pretty well when you said

    “It seems you are left choosing whether you can or cannot believe in this creator Being that is timeless. I cannot.”

  11. David

    Just out of sheer curiosity, I had a question for you.

    What happens to the many religions of man if say an alien life form were to show up on earth from the far reaches of the universe?

    It seems that most religious scripture is based on things that happened on Earth, so if some other life were to appear, what would happen to these religions?

    Very hypothetical obviously, but would that change/challenge your viewpoint?

  12. Honestly though I can’t think of a single tenant of the Christian faith that would be incompatible with the idea that life exists elsewhere.

    On naturalism though, the odds are against it (cf. here and here).

  13. Show me the bones of Jesus though, and I’ll burn all my Bibles.

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