Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Do You Believe That...

The Almighty God exists?

Either He does or He doesn't exist. The evidence of the world around you either suggests the presence of an infinitely powerful creator or it suggests a chance occurrence. It is not a question of which of these options you believe but which does this world's phenomena suggest. When we say "suggest" we mean that the evidence points, through some authoritatively logical principle, at one of the two conclusions. It has to be a logical principle otherwise how could the suggestion pass from the phenomena to you with meaning.
The position that God exists has as its "suggestion" the presence of an almost infinite order, macrocosm to microcosm, physics to ethics, at a level that in many cases reduces to an irreducible complexity that has to all exist or not at all. The logic followed is that which appears designed and ordered suggests a designer since any degree of chaos (the designer-less state) is defined by the degree of disorder.
If you need an example, science would be happy to provide one. In the attempt to find intelligent life on other worlds, we have pointed radio telescopes and launched unmanned craft listening for any message from the vastness that are the heavens. Can you imagine the elation and the claims of proof that a single ordered phrase of sounds or numbers, perhaps only ten seconds or digits long , would create in the expectant researchers? To them it would prove, as it should, that an intelligent being, sufficiently capable to transmit the phrase had to be on the other end and wished to be known. In fact the space craft we have launched bore an inscribed plate which we assume would be evidential (along with the craft) of our existence to alien life forms. We presume with William of Occam, that the "simplest explanation is probably the correct one". In another secular example, we know, in archaeology, that man has lived somewhere when we see the grosser forms of ordering, say a short stack of stones or a pottery fragment, that some ancient tribe (we rightly conclude) has left behind. The discovery of Order is evidence of ordering beings. With the creation we face a range and complexity of order that would take an ordering being only describable as an Almighty God. Such is the reasonable "suggestion" from creation.

Let us pause a moment. You might not choose to believe the suggestion measured out above. It did not claim to be a proof. It was merely a "suggestion" present in Nature in which you will or will not have faith. If you will not, you have not proved, in any adequate way, that God does not exist, only that you don't want Him to exist. The same level of rational demand placed on the God-believer is required of the God-unbeliever. To disbelieve rationally you must show how the evidence suggested that particular claim to you. Otherwise you are standing close to megalomania. If you do not provide a rational argument you must be claiming that ultimate truths arise unbidden to your mind, that you have a god-like prophetic and revelatory gift. I think we can agree that you don't possess such a remarkable quality.

To affirm God's nonexistence one has to have a "suggestion" in the World's being that rests on some logical principle as well. Remember that we are not discussing what you choose to believe but whether or not that belief was preceded by a natural and logical suggestion. What is it about things actually being within the complexity that scientists have devoted centuries to unravel on the assumption that laws and constancy keeps their discoveries true, what is it about all this that you see, which "suggests" an accident? I know you can tell a story of accident and chance but what about the changes of life in that story that requires that chance, or more accurately, the absence of will, was its cause? What principle tells you that this all has a self evident mindlessness? And also remember that this necessary "suggestion" of Nature must overwhelm the suggestion (which you accept as valid) that order must be willed. It must be huge, this suggestion and logical principle, to invalidate the reasonable suggestion of a very large, ordered, and interrelated universe brought into being by a infinitely powerful deity. Otherwise you must deny there is order (making even your thoughts disordered and consequently invalid) .

Christians tell a story of God's creation but back it with pointing to a valid suggestion we all accept, present in all the evidence. We will all accept it or face ruination of our humanity, only able to participate in life as animals. The Unbelievers tell a story of unwilled and accident based existence but when asked for a principle that sustains it merely point out more parts of the story. Telling us more of the fanciful accident story is like a simple Christian who claims the Bible is true because the Bible says it is. Wise Christians know that God's "eternal power and deity are clearly perceived in the things that have been made".

For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse;
Romans 1:19-20

And without faith it is impossible to please him. For whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
Hebrews 11:6

"And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father, and serve him with a whole heart and with a willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts, and understands every plan and thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will cast you off for ever.
I Chronicles 28:9

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

I'm "It".

I must be getting somewhere in life. Josh Gibbs, who knows everyone, tagged me first and referenced said tag in his preface. It is like getting a Golden Globe.

Four Jobs I’ve Had:

1. janitor
2. sailor
3. bookseller
4. graphic designer

Four Movies I Could Watch Over & Over:

1. The Three Musketeers (Richard Lester version)
2. Gladiator
3. What's Up Doc?
4. Incredibles

Four Places I Have Lived (Apart From Where I am Now):

1. Annapolis, MD
2. Ann Arbor, MI
3. El Centro, CA
4. Yokohama, Japan

Four TV Shows I Love:

1. House
2. The Office (British version)
3. Scrubs
4. The Prisoner

Four Places I Have Been For a Vacation:

1. England
2. Grand Canyon
3. Montana
4. Spokane

Four Websites I Visit Daily (or almost daily):

1. Effable
2. Michelle Malkin
3. Lucianne
4. Cedar Room

Four Favourite Foods Flavors:

1. Onion
2. Butter
3. Black pepper
4. Bacon

Four Places I Would Rather Be With My Wife:

1. alone
2. shopping for anything
3. Outback Steakhouse
4. Did I mention "alone"?

Four People I’m Tagging:

In Christian kindness (doing unto others as I wish I had been done by) I tag no one. Register your thanks in the comments section.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Carpe Caffe

At last, a coffee cup worthy of the name.
Matte black for that sober Big Haus sense of the sublime and yet, a glossy white inside so that you can see the heady, opaque seepage which graces your day.

It (or they, being 72 in number) arrived today and there was rejoicing in these environs.

In honor of their presence I dredged up a poem written over twenty years ago.

It is titled....

It crawls from the pot echoing glory,
Victory as black as the night it defeats,
Raising the shades that blinded us. More we
Owe this gallant, this ambrosial treat.

This morning comes on Columbian feet,
Moves us to make us to run in the race.
A sacrifice placed on His mercy seat,
The God of all comfort judges its case.

Does he decry it as Stygian trace,
Or grant you the peace of St. Stephen’s face?