Sunday, August 1, 2010

Review of "The Reason for God"-Ch 8 Clues of God

In this chapter Keller picks a few "very good arguments for the existence of God" from a lecture given by Alvin Plantiga entitled "Two Dozen (or so) Theistic Arguments." One argument he gives is that the Big Bang indicates that the universe had an origin and is contingent, meaning it has a cause outside itself. Another argument he explains is the fine tuning of the universe. He also finds the regularity of nature as well as our experience of beauty, love and longing for the transcendent to be clues of God. Finally, Keller says that another clue for God is the fact that natural selection cannot be used to explain why we believe in God. If we use natural selection to explain how our brain works as well as the reasoning process, we are admitting that reason itself only exists, like religion, because it helped us survive and that it does not stand independently on its own merits. We, cannot, then, trust our faculties to arrive at a rational argument for natural selection.

These are some of the primary reasons that I do continue to believe in God. I am interested in following up on the lecture by Plantiga cited by Keller.

4 comments:

  1. DoOrDoNot: If we use natural selection to explain how our brain works as well as the reasoning process, we are admitting that reason itself only exists, like religion, because it helped us survive and that it does not stand independently on its own merits. We, cannot, then, trust our faculties to arrive at a rational argument for natural selection.
    .
    Then how do know what an optical illusion is? (If you really want to bake your mind, wonder whether a god can see an optical illusion!)

    ReplyDelete
  2. DagoodS,
    I'm pleasantly surprised to see you comment here.

    I don't think Keller would argue that we can't trust our faculties. I suppose Keller's point would be that the fact that we understand optical illusions is a clue that there is a God who created us with such an ability. I have no idea what he'd say about God seeing an optical illusion :)

    I believe there is a great deal of support for evolution. However, there are reasonable questions out there about whether natural selection (with mutations) can entirely account for the development of homo sapiens. Even if you don't accept a theistic explanation, you may still find the mechanisms of evolution as currently explained lacking in explanatory power.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I believe we can trust our facilities; we are able to “see through” optical illusions by reason (no evolutionary gain)—this is mere sophistry to avoid the problem.

    Not sure why we are so impressed with the evolution of humans. Observe other primates—their socialization, ability to communicate and use tools. We are not so far removed.

    Now…if one wants to be impressed…consider the evolution of bats. How did they come to use their hands to fly? Blindfolded!? THAT’s a reason to question evolution—not our self-focus on humanity.

    ReplyDelete
  4. DagoodS,
    So, do you question the mechanisms of evolution, as currently explained and understood?

    ReplyDelete