Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Creation and Creationism.
Creation, then, does not make any difference to things. If you like, it makes all the difference, but you cannot expect to find a 'created look' about things. The effect of creation is just that things are there, being themselves, instead of nothing. Creation is, of course, an unintelligible notion. I mean it is unintelligible in the sense that God is unintelligible. It is a mystery. Not that the notion is self-contradictory, but it involves extrapolating from what we can understand to what we are only trying to understand. To be created is to exist instead of nothing; but the notion of 'nothing' is itself a mystery unintelligible to us.

Unless we grasp the truth that creation means leaving the world to be itself, to run itself by its own scientific laws so that things behave in accordance with their own natures and not at the arbitrary behest of some god, we shall never begin to understand that the Lord we worship is not a god but the unknown reason why there is anything instead of nothing. --Herbert McCabe, God Still Matters.

5 comments:

Mike Flynn said...

Well, if a first mover must be itself unmoved, i.e., a being of pure act, it must be existence itself and therefore, if it could talk, call itself "I AM."

Nor should the Christian expect to find any lacunae in the fabric of nature, needing to be repaired by the periodic interventions of a cosmic maintenance technician. God’s transcendence is absolute: He is cause of all things by giving existence to the whole, but nowhere need he act as a rival to any of the contingent, finite, secondary causes by which the universe lives, moves, and has its being in him.

"Daniel Dennett Hunts the Snark"
by David B. Hart

or
Second, there is the idea that the universe should contain 'traces - evidence of His involvement'. Dawkins questions whether the apparent 'fine - tuning' of the universe for life is one of those 'traces'. He also asks what it would be like 'if God did indeed set things up so that life would evolve, but covered His tracks so brilliantly that no clues remain; if He made the universe look exactly as it would be expected to look if He did not exist'. But Christian theology does not envisage the universe as being different from what it might have been if God did not exist, rather that there would be no universe. It is the whole universe that is the 'traces', not some little piece tacked on by way of a signature. To think otherwise bears certain similarities to searching the components of a jet engine for traces of Frank Whittle. The search is in vain; it is the whole engine which owes its being to Whittle's creativity, rather than any individual part bearing his signature. Furthermore, to expect the existence of God to be open to scientific tests is like trying to treat the existence of whittle as an engineering question!
-- Michael Poole

John Farrell said...

Yes. The real issue, the more one keeps up with the whole new atheism debate, boils down to whether you take existence for granted (which materialists clearly do) or whether you don't.

It's a lot harder to abuse and mock people who don't take existence for granted, than to abuse fundamentalists, which is the main reason why the new atheism is getting ...old, really fast.

Mike Flynn said...

Heh. Ask for empirical proof that the universe actually exists.

John Farrell said...

BTW--congrats on Eifelheim coming out as a mass paperback. Sales must be picking up!

Mike Flynn said...

Ask me again in six months...