Thursday, 5 August 2010

The God of Young Earth Creationism Is Not Benevolent

From Is God a Delusion? by Eric Reitan (Not THE book btw)

Young Earth Creationism is appalling, not just from a scientific perspective,but from a religious one. It forces us to swallow a picture of God that undercuts our capacity to trust God. It represents God as engaging in detailed deception, designing the universe so that the evidencepoints overwhelmingly in one direction, while the truth is contained in one old book.

And then, presumably, it is those who side with the book that God will favor.To those who side with science, we can imagine how God would chide them: You should have concluded that, when I created the world, I would design it to be consistently and systematically deceptive. Instead, you concluded that this ancient book passed down in one part of the world, within the Judeo-Christian tradition, was not literally accurate in every detail. How dare you! What an insult to my majesty! I will go now and reward those who think that in my great act of creation, I designed it all to be a fabulous lie! Those are the ones who clearly love me!

Of course, any God who said that wouldn’t be a good God, worthy of our devotion, the fulfillment of our ethico-religious hope. It is one thing to say there’s more to the universe than meets the eye, something else entirely to say that what meets the eye is a bunch of hokum. To say the former is to say that there are orders of reality beyond the empirical one, to which a scientific examination of the universe cannot speak. It is to say that, while what we learn from the best empirical observation may be true, it is not the whole truth – and perhaps the whole truth will radically reshape our understanding of the truth that is available to the naked eye.

By the way this applies equally to the Documentary Hypothesis and Mordechai Breuer's apologetics. What kind of evil God writes a book that looks like it was spliced together by different authors? Cummon God!

Of course the Torah-true response to all this is to cite the Midrash (anybody know the source) where Moshe asks "hey God, if you write 'let's create man' won't people kind of get the wrong idea about Monotheism and so forth. Maybe they'll start coming up with big words like henotheism!" To which God replied in his abundant wisdom "Let the skeptics scoff" See folks! We've been approaching this all wrong! God doesn't give a crap about leaving red herrings all over the place. He knew we'd scoff! And THAT is why the world looks older than 6,000 years and the Torah looks like it was written by many different people - because God couldn't care less that he's tricking us! So next time you're doing some scientific research make sure to leave a large caveat "God willing" which is to say "As long as God didn't arbitrarily decide to tamper with the results consistently ;)"


G*3 said...

> Of course the Torah-true response to all this is to cite the Midrash (anybody know the source) where Moshe asks "hey God, if you write 'let's create man' won't people kind of get the wrong idea about Monotheism…

This is a storytelling technique called “lampshade hanging:”

Lampshade Hanging is the writers' trick of dealing with any element of the story that threatens the audience's Willing Suspension Of Disbelief — whether a very implausible plot development, or a particularly blatant use of a trope — by calling attention to it... and then moving on.

From here:

Anonymous said...

I think you should read the chapter on human nature in Ronbinson's "Absence of Mind".

Shilton HaSechel said...

Re: Lampshade hanging

A similar argument is used when scoffing at skeptics by the Torah true Jews (TTJs). They like to point out that all of the skeptics questions have already been dealt with - by which they mean someone has mentioned the problem whether or not a good solution was proffered. Apparently they think it suffices to but ask the question, an incorrigible tendency promoted by Gemara learning.

B. Spinoza said...

you don't die from a kasha

OTD said...

I'll bet THE book is Dawkins

Shilton HaSechel said...

Lol Dawkins is not much of a chiddush to me

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