Re: Paley and Pascal

Date: Wed Aug 29 2001 - 12:00:28 EDT

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    George Murphy wrote:

    > But what my question was getting at was something deeper. There
    > seems to be a strong feeling that some kind of natural theology must be
    > true. It is more than just a matter of apologetic method, but almost an
    > element of personal faith commitment. Is this because people were
    > themselves brought to faith in this way and so feel instinctively that such
    > ideas are essential to Christian faith? Or are there other reasons? I
    > could make various guesses but it would be more profitable to hear the
    > views of others.

    To this day, I must admit that I wrestle against
    the incredible temptation to be on the side armed
    with the biggest gun. Of course, the thrill
    doesn't last long before you find yourself
    scrambling for cover and, put in this way, it
    doesn't even look very Christian (i.e., God humbling
    himself and becoming a servant), but that doesn't
    quell the seductive allure of that path.

    To a large extent I agree with what Inge Frette
    mentioned about evidentialism and its
    intense influence in modern society.
    However, even for the historic nation of Israel,
    I would think that Psalm 77.10 is expressing that
    human need for "evidence" (although the Good News
    version seems to have a very different nuance of
    verse 10 from the NIV). There's also Gideon (Judges
    6). For that matter, consider Psalm 22.

    So I'm not sure Pascal is completely right in
    saying that "It is a remarkable thing that no
    canonical writer ever used nature as a proof
    of God's existence." It depends on how you look
    at it.

    by Grace we proceed,

    Wayne (stuck in the naturalist fallacy quagmire) Dawson


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