Date: Thu Sep 18 2003 - 13:16:47 EDT
As clear as this may appear to you, I have forgotten what RFEP means. I would
like to second the request for initials plus words at least once in each
posting. I can only imagine how much clearer this email would be. Thanks!
> Good morning Howard,
> Thank you for you detailed response. Its amazing how simply stated
> definitions can clear things up. The RFEP as stated by you now appears
> less hostile to traditional Christian understanding of God and the
> than what I had picked up reading the posts on this list.
> So the bottom line appears to be that the RFEP is really just a
> formalization, refinement, and extension of the "fundamental
> of the historical natural sciences" as you put it. Apparently I can (in
> principle) simultaneously assert the RFEP and the Virgin Conception,
> Incarnation, Resurrection, etc. Do you know many people that actually
> maintain this *seemingly* strained position? I get the impression that
> Douglas is working with it.
> Now I should be able to contribute a slightly more informed view on how
> idea impacts my understanding of "Life, the Universe and Everything"
> borrow a title).
> The first thing that raises an eyebrow is that it elevates the
> *methodological* principle of natural sciences to the status of a
> fundamental *ontological* principle. I personally think this is a big
> mistake that originates in the intuition that God is absent in the
> Universe - Science goes on just fine without God. But in my Life and
> Universe, God is active in Everything. On the one hand, He maintains
> essentially deterministic world that follows natural laws, on the other
> He is entirely free to act within that world. The fact that Science
> detect Him is to be *expected* because Science is not able to detect
> Agents who may or may not show up at the lab to mechanically repeat
> behavior every time a scientist demands it of them. The scientific net
> catches only those things that can't help but repeat themselves.
> Our truly scientific ideas of how the universe works are confined to an
> extremely small subset of phenomena that are consistently repeatable.
> Individual actions by free Agents can not be predicted or regularly
> by Science, and so do not exist in a scientific explanation of reality.
> God is totally free to part the clouds and let the sun shine down at
> moment I pray for a sign. What lab is going to detect this "violation
> natural law?" Even if some meteorologist detects it and notices that it
> *apparently* violated known laws given the prevailing conditions, all
> will happen is that it will be tossed in the already bursting bin
> "Scientific Anomalies." The real problem with the scientific world view
> that people extend it to Life, the Universe, and Everything, when in
> fact it
> applies only to the stage props!
> Of course, I understand that the RFEP was designed with a caveat to
> for God as a Free Agent who acts at will in the world. But this seems
> motivated more as a concession to Christians than as a response to your
> intuition of how the Universe really is. Am I correct in this?
> In any case, given the fact that the RFEP explicitly allows for God to
> in the Universe, I see no reason whatsoever to limit Him to
> non-form-conferring actions. But this then seems to contradict the
> It would seem therefore that a free God who confers form is actually
> *inconsistent" with the RFEP. Is this correct?
> Excellent chatting Howard. I recognize the value in your work. If
> else, it helps clarify fundamental issues relating to Science and
> Finally, with regards to your question:
> > By the way, Richard, you have a habit of concluding
> > your messages with pious phrases like "In the service
> > of Christ who forms all." Do you intend to imply that
> > his puts you in a category different from the other
> > members of this list?
> Good question. I had mixed intents. In general, I like to end with my
> little kerygma and often I would do it with a word play on whatever was
> dominant theme of the note. I hadn't thought about it as seeming "pious"
> the fact that it seemed such to you is sufficient proof that it can be
> interpreted that way. Of course, piety is not a bad thing for a
> but I do understand that *displayed piety* can be a horrendous thing.
> And if
> it unecessarily separates me from thee, I will henceforth desist.
> Discover the sevenfold symmetric perfection of the Holy Bible at
Sheila McGinty Wilson
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