Skip to content

A neat book I am reading…

June 14, 2006

How to Think About Weird Things is sort of the philosophical version of Freakenomics.

 One quote I have read and reread goes like this.."It is often said that a Darwinian universe is one whose randomness cannot be reconciled with meaning. I disagree. A world truly without meaning would be one in which a deity pulled the string of every human puppet, indeed  of every material particle. In such a world, physical and biological events would be carefully controlled, evil and suffering could be minimized, and the outcome of historical processes strictly regulated. All things would move toward the Creator's clear, distinct, established goals. Such a control and predictability, however, comes at the price of independence. Always in control, such a Creator would deny his creatures any real opportunity to know and worship him-authentic love requires freedom, not manipulation. Such freedom is best supplied by the open contingency of evolution."

–Biologist Kenneth R. Miller (p. 210, How to think about weird things)

Chew on that all your creationist freaks. 

Advertisements
One Comment leave one →
  1. Heidi permalink
    June 14, 2006 7:33 pm

    Speaking from a creationist freak… I actually agree with Miller’s comment; but I disagree with his theory of how he supports his main arguement.

    1. A world truly without meaning would be one in which a deity pulled the string of every human puppet, indeed of every material particle.” Not necessarily – a world without meaning would not require a deity at all… in fact in my opinion a world without meaning would by definition have to be a world without a diety or without any kind of control, ie pure chaos or anarchy.

    2. “In such a world, physical and biological events would be carefully controlled, evil and suffering could be minimized, and the outcome of historical processes strictly regulated. All things would move toward the Creator’s clear, distinct, established goals.” Only if the creator was a control freak would this be true, but in monotheistic religions – ie the three big ones – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam — God is not a control freak. Quite the opposite according to the old testament texts, which all three religions agree upon, God created the heavens, earth, animals, and human beings but gave us the gift of reasoning and free choice. That is the pinnacle and main driver of what makes human beings so unique. In fact God gave us the ability to make “bad” choices or those he doesn’t agree with necessarily, which is why we have murderers and rapists. Or even not such an extreme case, the reason why we have high rates of divorce in this country… We make choices… we choose who we are gonna marry, we choose if we’re gonna take a gun to school one day and kill a group of classmates, we decide that we’re gonna keep that extra dollar the cashier hands us back instead of being honest and giving it back to them. It’s not God controlling these situations, b/c if he were they surely wouldn’t happen, of course unless God were a sadist, which I doubt he is.

    “Such a control and predictability, however, comes at the price of independence. Always in control, such a Creator would deny his creatures any real opportunity to know and worship him-authentic love requires freedom, not manipulation.” That is a perfect statment supporting a monotheistic God… in fact God is not a control freak and doesn’t require control and predictablility. In fact he thrives on independence and free thought, which is why there are so many religions in the world, why all people are not alike, why actually believing in God does not buy you a ticket to easy street. It also shows that authentic love requires freedom and not manipulation and in Christianity at least, there is a freedom, you can choose to believe or not to believe, God isn’t up there mandating everyone believe in the same thing… if he were I’m sure we would all believe in the same thing… I think a God of creator who is a control freak could manage that if he wanted to, don’t you?

    ..”It is often said that a Darwinian universe is one whose randomness cannot be reconciled with meaning.” So he’s saying a Darwinian universe CAN be reconciled with meaning… that is true… but its also true that a Creationist universe CAN be reconciled with meaning too. It’s all in what you actually draw meaning from… and beliefs are all based in choice. Whether you believe in Creationism or Evolution… in either case — I don’t see how God potentially being a control freak has anything to do with either of those points.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: