[Vision2020] Eugenie Scott's Talk at U of I--repeat: testing formatting

Michael metzler at moscow.com
Thu Oct 13 23:36:48 PDT 2005



You are correct; if there was a properly functioning belief producing
mechanism (undamaged) in each and every human being that triggered the
belief in an Almighty Creator upon the 'evidence' of the beauty and grandeur
of 'creation,' then each and every human being would be a monotheist.  But
of course, we know this is not true.  But the fact that there is therefore
no such belief forming mechanism is not the only alternative.  We could
propose a highly damaged belief producing mechanism: one that sometimes
hardly works at all, or at other times even when it does work, it is so weak
and faulty that self-deceptive mechanisms take over and the belief in an
Almighty Creator is suppressed (e.g. "but it would be best if the Almighty
didn't exist so that I could sleep with Sally tonight"). With most, unaided
and damaged 'reason' produces simply something like a Western God, with not
much specificity. C.S. Lewis for example, makes a good argument in precisely
the opposite direction of your argument, as did Cicero and Augustine.  With
amazing regularity across cultures and time, man is a deeply religious
being, a worshiping being, having the experience of the 'numinous.' Even in
the earliest Hindu texts we find a Creator God varuna, faithful to His
Covenant, giving grace to his worshipers.   All of this is in fact the
Classical Christian view, and it seems somewhat immune to this particular
argument of yours.


I also agree with you that there would seem to be a logically possible
eternal World/God dualism.  If you wanted to opt out of Scott's
Philosophical Materialism and also opt out of a Creator God, then this might
be a logical option open for you.  But as you yourself say, not many humans
in recorded history have opted for this third option. A logical option is
not a probable option or an appealing option. Above, you argue from the
statistics of belief; this same argument would not appear friendly to this
third proposal.  Scott mentioned the existence of other religious proposals,
but there is nothing wrong with a broad cultural debate limiting the
'alternatives' to those which are far more appealing or probable to the
majority of people. More could be said about this from both points of view
I'm sure..  Also, arguing from the "impossibility of the contrary" is always
open; arguments can be made for limiting the options to only two, as does
Phil Johnson, thereby making him immune to Scott's charge of a 'false


I think you would need to give some further reasons for supposing that man's
traditional religious beliefs are political/ideological rather than a
sincere embrace of what is considered as 'true.'


Thank you

Michael Metzler


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