Re: [asa] on miracles

From: Merv Bitikofer <>
Date: Sun Mar 08 2009 - 17:01:14 EDT

I'm also intrigued by the popular pejorative assumptions usually
embodied with words like "tinkering" or "intervention".

What if I take care of my dog, feeding it every day, walking it,
etc... And now let's give my dog sentience. So he can now discuss his
master with other dogs (who have just finished reading some books on
freewill and philosophy --maybe including one titled: "Does the Master
Exist?". The other dogs ask him, how do you get fed? Is it natural or
does your master feed you? And my now sentient dog says: "my master,
of course. --I see him do it." And this invokes some guffaws from my
dog's intellectual friends who proceed to retort: "He must not be a
very bright master if he has to constantly intervene and couldn't
arrange things so that you just automatically get fed." Then Wally
(our dog) objects and says, "I enjoy it when he feeds me. I have a
relationship with him and get some attention!"

Yes, we probably could rig up some contraption to automatically care for
our dog, and even see to it that he never actually sees us in the course
of a day. But the point of this silly and limited analogy is that such
"efficiency" isn't our goal. We enjoy having a dog, and if we didn't
ever interact with him, then we probably shouldn't be keeping pets in
the first place. Taking seriously the kenotic aspect of how God
relates to us, I have a whopper of an objection to the notion that our
"watch-maker" God is forced to "intervene" out of necessity. Not only
does God intervene, He's there every step of the way --much more than I
ever could be for my sometimes neglected dog. I think I've heard Keith
& others here propose this attitude, and I'm in full agreement with it.
I asked my science students this week after letting a marker drop on the
floor, "did God make the marker fall? or did gravity do it?" I
think they fairly quickly grasped the false dichotomy that so many
mockingly portray.

--Merv Bitikofer (...need to sign off now & go scratch Wally behind
the ears.)

David Clounch wrote:
> Thanks Bill.
> My personal view is the idea that someone or some thing constantly
> tinkers along the way is not inconsistent with all this.
> But that of course is no proof that such a thing happens. And of
> course this tinkering is the sort of engineering activity that is
> commonly thought of as being intelligent design, and we all know how
> unpopular that is. The problem is, how does one rule out such a
> tinkering? How would we know such a tinkering is impossible? How
> would we know its possible? Until we can answer that I am
> uncomfortable with anyone telling anybody they must discard their
> beliefs in favor of some other belief.
> I am hoping Ken Miller advocates for opening minds rather than closing
> them.
> Best Regards,
> David Clounch

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Received on Sun Mar 8 16:01:17 2009

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