Re: [asa] David S Wilson

From: Randy Isaac <randyisaac@comcast.net>
Date: Sun May 06 2007 - 23:14:07 EDT

Bill,
    It may well "cheapen these aspects of our humanness and raises the question: Why bother with trying to figure out life, or indeed why bother with life itself?" but only in the "nothing buttery" version of that explanation, to use Donald Mackay's phrasing. That is, our first natural response might be to be skeptical of the research results coming out of the socio-evolutionary work. Such skepticism may be well-founded but maybe not. What if that work is correct? Your natural reaction, like that of many of us, might be to view it cheapening our humanity. But if viewed as a non-exclusive explanation, it could also be a much grander perspective of understanding, in a hierarchical way perhaps, of the mysteries of God's creation and how he created our emotional capability. That's not unlike the way we now understand the natural physical world. Maybe the psychological world has a similar level of explanation that we do not yet understand very well.

Randy

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Bill Hamilton
  To: Randy Isaac ; asa@calvin.edu
  Sent: Sunday, May 06, 2007 9:30 PM
  Subject: Re: [asa] David S Wilson

  Randy wrote

  Atheism: In his presentations, Wilson said nothing to indicate his
  views on the existence of God so in our informal discussion I asked
  David "What, if anything, do you feel your studies tell us about the
  existence of a transcendent God?" After a few exchanges where he
  wanted a definition of what I meant by "God", he stated that given
  his assumption of naturalism he felt all aspects of human behavior
  could be satisfactorily explained. Therefore he had no need of God. I
  took the approach of questioning why the existence of God was
  mutually exclusive to any scientific explanation, using the typical
  arguments of laws of physics not being mutually exclusive to God's
  involvement. He then asserted that a God that didn't make a
  difference wasn't worth believing in.

  It seems he's limiting his discourse to science: That a God not scientifically detectable is not worth believing in. But there's much more to life than science. Surely he doesn't believe that there is nothing in his relationship with his wife, if he's married, that's not scientifically explicable. By and large scientists work on "toy" problems -- carefully circumscribed so that the methods of analysis and measurement we can devise can be applied. That puts human-human relationships and human-creator relationships outside the domain of science. Perhaps Wilson can live believing that there are scientific explanations for all of our emotions and mores, and that feelings of compassion and love have mechanical explanations. But to my mind that cheapens these aspects of our humanness and raises the question: Why bother with trying to figure out life, or indeed why bother with life itself?

  Bill Hamilton
  William E. Hamilton, Jr., Ph.D.
  248.652.4148 (home) 248.821.8156 (mobile)
  "...If God is for us, who is against us?" Rom 8:31

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Received on Sun May 6 23:14:24 2007

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