RE: [asa] Santayana on Accommodationalism

From: Glenn Morton <>
Date: Tue Mar 13 2007 - 21:54:49 EDT

> -----Original Message-----
> From: George Murphy []
> Sent: Tuesday, March 13, 2007 3:19 PM

> I didn't say "total atheist" but referred to the "effective
> atheism" of the
> philosophy which Lucretius was popularizing. Sure there were
> gods but they
> didn't do anything. I wouldn't call it an "atheist poem" but
> "religious
> poem" is more of a stretch.

Then tell me how one can be a partial atheist! He invoked Gods, you deny
that he is invoking gods and now backtrack. How, exactly does one be 80%
atheist and 20% deist or theist? That is contorted George.

> Note that Jan didn't say that Gen.2 was a "poem." (But I
> won't want to
> quibble about the definition of "poem.") More to the point
> is that he
> didn't - nor do I think anybody with any sense would - argue
> that the texts
> are poetic and therefore CANNOT convey truth about the
> natural world. Good
> grief, think of The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere!

I wasn't taking of Genesis 2, George. I was talking about Genesis 1.

> So your counterexample falls flat. Your reply reminds me of
> the old story
> of the drunk hunting for his watch under a lamp post instead
> of down the
> street where he dropped it because the light was better there.

Tell me exactly what IS historical/scientific in the Genesis 1 and 2
account, in your view.

> > More to the point is the fact that we have 2 creation accounts
> > which don't agree as historical/scientific accounts.
> >
> They do if one refuses to think anything new or novel about
> the accounts. They fit together quite nicely within my
> interpretation, but, of course, theology wouldn't really want
> to think anything new, now would we?
> It takes a lot of interpretation to see the difference in the
> temporal
> sequence of events in the 2 accounts!

So, what is wrong with interpretation? We all do it, except YECs who think
their reading is the plain reading and you who seem to think your reading is
the plain reading, but it is so different from that of the YEC.

> & the remark about theology not wanting to think anything new shows a
> remarkable ignorance of what's being written in theology
> these days. Its
> problem is, if anything, being to willing to come up with new notions
> unconstrained by - & in some cases in open contempt for - the
> tradition.

And theologians on a daily basis show utter contempt for science by ignoring
it or saying things about science which aren't true and then acting like one
is an idiot to challenge them on it--this even if the theologian hasn't
studied the area.

> You should know quite well that what I was referring to was
> not simply the
> claims that there was a Mediterranean flood or that humans &
> apes have a
> common ancestry, but to your scenarios in which the
> experience of a survivor
> of that flood can be correlated meaningfully with the
> biblical Noah and
> (especially) your speculation about God resurrecting a
> stillborn mutant
> apelike creature. I'll focus on the latter because it's the
> most bizarre.

Fine, so, what you are saying is that God had no miraculous hand in creating
mankind. Fine. That isn't what the Bible says. Why isn't the Bible then
simply declared factually wrong, rather than divinely inspired. This
doublemindedness is what I object to. The Bible is made to be true
regardless of what the facts are, or how false the facts of the Bible are.
That is what the YECs do

> Of course it "could have" happened. Lots of things "could
> have happened"
> but there not only is no evidence that that particular event (as
> distinguished from evidence for common ancestry) _did_ happen
> but it's hard
> to see how there's any realistic possibility of ever confirming it
> scientifically.

I want to laugh at this one. You demand confirming data from me, why you, on
the other hand, make it poetic so that it can never be confirmed
scientifically. How do you confirm your view that this is true theology but
false science? You, sir, have a double standard, one for your view, and
another one for my view. You demand confirmation frome me, but don't demand
it from yourself. Wonder if there is a word for that behavior.

  Is there any remote chance that
> paleontologists would find
> fossils of an apelike creature and, after careful study, say
> "We can tell
> that he was stillborn but then raised from the dead"?

No, is there any remote possiblity that science will discover the image of
God? If you reject my view because science cant confirm it but accept your
view that there is an image of God which science still can't confirm, upon
what exact basis do you judge my views?

> Which wouldn't be so bad if it had anything to do with either Genesis
> account. But it doesn't. The notion that raising a
> stillborn infant from
> the dead is somehow historical or scientific confirmation of
> an account of a
> human being formed from the dust of the earth is a concordism
> that has
> become so elastic that it's meaningless.

Fine, do away with that. I put it in because I felt that the Bible said God
had something to do with the creation of man-- a miraculous something. But
clearly, you don't believe in a miraculous God. God is impotent to actually
do anything that would impact the natural world and thus is a deistic God.

Which is the greater miracle, making an ax head float or raising a dead man?
Which is the greater miracle, making a donkey talk or raising a dead man?
Which is the greater miracle, god creating children of abraham from stones
or raising a dead man?
Which is the greater miracle, raising a dead ape, or raising a dead man?

So, what you are saying is that the God, who raised a dead man, is incapable
of raising a dead ape. Upon what basis do you make this judgement other
than your personal incredulity?

Raising an ape actually adds symmetry to the Christ-Adam relationship.

> Compare that then with the theological scenario I develop,
> e.g., in my
> recent PSCF paper. It doesn't depend on any particular
> dating or location
> for the 1st humans in a theological sense so I need to "add"
> nothing there.
> I point out that the picture of a gradual process of humanity
> "getting off
> the right road" agrees in broad terms with the early chapters
> of Genesis &

Agreeing with the broad terms is not good enough. It must agree with the
details. Otherwise, you are merely picking and choosing what you want to
agree with and then the view becomes totally ad hoc.

> one current of the Christian tradition. I argue, both from a general
> understanding of evolution through natural selection and
> observation of
> primate behavior that the first humans would have had strong
> tendencies
> toward behaviors which would be sinful for moral agents. In
> comparison with
> your speculations that's straight Joe Friday.

Unless you can say how your view can be observationally verified by FUTURE
observation, you are holding a double standard of judgement. There is a
word for that, but I can't think of it right now.

 I think you have carefully crafted your views to avoid any observational
challenge. I on the other hand have carefully crafted mine so that there are
physical implications. Bill Hamilton's review of Adam Apes and Anthropology
commented that after I had written Foundation Fall and Flood, there were
implications of that thesis to anthropology. I then went out to test to see
if there was evidence of human-like activity among the archaics. There was.
I tested my ideas as far as they could be tested. You, on the other hand,
criticize what I can't test and then offer NOTHING, repeat NOTHING, of
verifiabiltiy for your views to be tested upon.

What is that word, I simply can't remember it?

They're Here: The Pathway Papers
Foundation, Fall, and Flood
Adam, Apes and Anthropology

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Received on Tue Mar 13 21:55:41 2007

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