RE: What does ID mean?

Berger, Dan (
Fri, 17 Apr 1998 16:52:47 -0400

On Friday, April 17, 1998 9:41 AM, William B. Provine []
> Sure I have a faith: that nature runs by nothing other than naturalistic
> means
> minus any gods or purposive forces. Everything I see in nature supports this
> view.
> I readily admit this faith (which as Massimo said in a recent email) is
> minimalist.
> My striving is to minimize faith in attempts to understand life. What faith
> there
> remains may be very large, but I accept every part as a provisional
> hypothesis. I
> try to have an open mind and be capable of entertaining counter arguments.
> Do most Christians take their faith as a provisional hypothesis?

No more than we take *your* existence as a provisional hypothesis. I have as
much reason (probably more, 'cause I've never communicated directly with you)
to believe in God's existence as I do to believe in William Provine's or
Massimo Pgliucci's -- and the reasons are, in some respects, quite similar. I
don't find many of the classical arguments for God's existence very convincing
-- though some are persuasive -- but I am nonetheless convinced because I have
had personal contact with Him. Absent contact of some sort, I wouldn't have
much reason to believe in Will or Massimo, either.

I have considerably more reason to *have faith* in God than I do to have faith
in Will or Massimo. This is not an insult or a slight. I have the same
reasons to have faith in God as I do to have faith in my wife: long
acquaintance and knowledge that she loves me, as demonstrated over and over
again in concrete ways.

If I have an argument with my wife, I don't abandon her, because I believe in
her. In the same way, I don't always understand how God is working or what He
is doing, but because I believe in Him I try to stay with Him.

Christians have a personal relationship with God. Now, a personal relationship
*is* greatly aided by the provisional hypothesis that the one with whom you are
relating may exist... but not much. If I took my wife's love for me as a
provisional hypothesis, our relationship would probably soon end. If I took
her *existence* as a provisional hypothesis, she'd probably whop me upside the
head for a convincer... God does that too, once in a while.


Dan Berger