Re: BIBLE/ORIGINS: seeking feedback

From: Jim Armstrong (
Date: Thu Feb 06 2003 - 12:45:39 EST

  • Next message: Robert Schneider: "Re: BIBLE/ORIGINS: seeking feedback"

    Dr. Nelson - Thanks - good stuff. Jim Armstrong

    Dr. Blake Nelson wrote:

    >This "God has nothing to do" is a hold over from the
    >Enlightenment and a logical fallacy of deism. Even in
    >a creation fully endowed with all the necessary
    >potentials to achieve his ends, there is no logical
    >reason to assume that this means that God has nothing
    >to do.
    I certainly agree with the latter observation. My earlier response to
    Don attempts to clarify my intent.

    >First of all, it imposes a particular relation
    >of God to time that may or many not be the case.
    Such an important point! But we pretty much have to suspend that aspect
    of the consideration because it is so imponderable. That reduces most
    of us to thinking within the context of our familiar space/time setting.
    Speculations beyond that would seem to be just that, speculations.

    >Second, a creation can be fully endowed to achieve
    >particular ends, but God still participates in it
    >through the creatures (not necessarily just mankind)
    >or the stuff of the universe.

    >Third, isn't continuing
    >to sustain the creation acting?
    Not sure what you mean by "sustain". I don't have the sense, though,
    that it would all come to a screeching halt if God didn't actively keep
    the plates spinning, but of course I could be wrong

    >The list goes on of
    >why there is no support for the principle that "God
    >has nothing to do". Interestingly, the God has
    >nothing to do idea was trotted out when it was
    >presumed that the universe was entirely deterministic,
    >a la LaPlace's apocryphal statement. Now, the
    >argument is not that God has nothing to do not because
    >the universe is deterministic, but God doesn't do
    >anything because the universe is "random".
    Actually, the world of mathematics seems to be taking a new look at
    randomness, and its importance. It seems to be more vital than
    haphazard. But I'm not a mathematician and any details about that I'll
    have to leave for one of them to contribute.

    >The degree of the conundrum of haphazardness, of
    >course, depends first on how you metaphysically
    >characterize probabilistic processes. Probabilistic
    >processes are not necessarily haphazard.

    >Theologically, the idea of kenosis has good insights
    >into whether God providing some degree of freedom to
    >the world is within the character of God. We seem to
    >have no problem with believing in some amount of free
    >will for individuals, what is necessarily haphazard
    >about a measure of free will to the stuff of the
    Nothing - and that "freedom" even seems to be critical, evident at every
    level of creation from subatomic to astronomical, and even down to some
    of the current speculations about the starting conditions at the
    inception of the universe. And as I think you indicate, there are
    probabilistic paths to very specific objectives. That is one methodology
    used these days in viral research, chopping up viral material and
    letting the natural processes provide a spectrum of responses, some of
    which will be precursers of "stuff" used to treat our illnesses.

    >--- Don Winterstein <> wrote:
    >>You accept God as creator, but I get the impression
    >>from what you say that
    >>the creator may not have anything to do. Do you
    >>possibly accept that the
    >>properties of energy/matter from the Big Bang are
    >>such that intelligent
    >>beings arise necessarily from strictly natural
    >>processes? In other words,
    >>that God up until Adam's time had no input except at
    >>the Big Bang? Such
    >>would be consistent with Paul Davies' fond
    >>speculation that ".the laws of
    >>the universe [may] have engineered their own
    >>My personal faith requires God to be involved at
    >>least weakly every step of
    >>the way. We can't prove he was involved, but no one
    >>can prove he wasn't.
    >>To say he wasn't involved is to argue for atheism,
    >>unless you hold that God
    >>did all that was necessary at the Big Bang. But if
    >>God was involved, the
    >>conundrum is the haphazardness. Anyway, that's how
    >>I see it.
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