Genesis as philosophy
Thu, 2 Sep 1999 10:21:38 -0400

David Campbell wrote:

"An unbeliever must assume that observations are meaningful, that we can
model patterns in these observations, and that things under the same
circumstances behave the same way. Believers have good reason to assume
these, because God created us to be stweards over creation (which requires
the ability to make accurate observations and predictions) and because He
is the same yesterday, today, and forever. This responsibility as stewards
also makes science an important task for the believer."

Seashells is getting at an important observation here.
May I add that the reason "believers have good reason to assume these"
is that these philosophical principles are taught in the Bible, including
Genesis 1. These presuppositions are so often taken for granted by all
sides in debates in the Western culture, that we fail to recognize the
contribution the Bible has made to our Western way of thinking about
Like fish who don't know what water is. But in my view this is really where
the specialness of Genesis (and even its apologetic value) should be
emphasized. Nowadays, as we are increasingly exposed to non-Western
traditions, we can more clearly see the profound contrast in fundamental
philosophical presuppositions that are out there in the world, in Hinduism
and Buddhism, for instance. But science as we know it today came out
of the West, including its Bible-based metaphysics.

So critics of modern science who call it 'naturalism' and 'materialism' are
short-sighted, or rather parochial, because they fail to see modern
science as a particular viewpoint about the world that is embedded in the
rest of the world's ideologies, and is not always in agreement with them.
In a way it is analogous to the world of pagan Rome, when Christians
were called atheists because they only admitted one God.

Paul Arveson