“Though the scientist may individually nourish a religion and be a theist in his irresponsible hours, the days are over when it could be said that for Science herself the heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament showeth his handiwork. Our solar system, with its harmonies, is seen now as but one passing case of a certain sort of moving equilibrium in the heavens, realized by a local accident in an appalling wilderness of worlds where no life can exist. In a span of time which as a cosmic interval will count as but an hour, it will have ceased to be. The Darwinian notion of chance production, and subsequent destruction, speedy or deferred, applies to the largest as well as the smallest facts. It is impossible, in the present temper of the scientific imagination, to find in the drifting of the cosmic atoms, whether they work on the universal or on the particular scale, anything but a kind of aimless weather, doing and undoing, achieving no proper history, and leaving no result. Nature has no one distinguishable ultimate tendency with which it is possible to feel a sympathy. In the vast rhythm of her processes, as the scientific mind now follows them, she appears to cancel herself. The bubbles on the foam which coats a stormy sea are floating episodes, made and unmade by the forces of the wind and water. Our private selves are like those bubbles, – epiphenomena, as Clifford, I believe, ingeniously called them; their destinies weigh nothing and determine nothing in the world’s irremedial currents of events.” -William James, Varieties of Religious Experience
Tag Archives: creation
The Eternal Origins of Evil in Paganism
“[Ricouer] points out that in the Babylonian myth, creation is an act of violence: Tiamat, “mother of them all,” is murdered and dismembered; from her cadaver the world is formed.4 Order is established by means of disorder. Creation is a violent victory over an enemy older than creation. The origin of evil precedes the origin of things. Chaos (symbolized by Tiamat) is prior to order (represented by Marduk, god of Babylon). Evil is prior to good. Violence inheres in the godhead. Evil is an ineradicable constituent of ultimate reality, and possesses ontological priority over good….
In the Babylonian myth, however, there is no “problem of evil.” Evil is simply a primordial fact. The simplicity of its picture of reality commended it widely, and its basic mythic structure spread as far as Syria, Phoenicia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, Germany, Ireland, and India. Typically, a male war god residing in the sky—Wotan, Zeus, or Indra, for example—fights a decisive battle with a female divine being, usually depicted as a monster or dragon, residing in the sea or abyss.5 Having vanquished the original Enemy by war and murder, the victor fashions a cosmos from the monster’s corpse. Cosmic order equals the violent suppression of the feminine, and is mirrored in the social order by the subjection of women to men. Male supremacy and contempt for the womanly is explicit in the Enuma Elish: “What male is this who has pressed his fight against thee? It is but Tiamat, a woman, that flies at thee with weapons!…
The implications are clear: humanity is created from the blood of a murdered god. Our very origin is violence. Killing is in our blood. Humanity is not the originator of evil, but merely finds evil already present and perpetuates it. Our origins are divine, to be sure, since we are made from a god, but from the blood of an assassinated god.9 We are the consequence of deicide. Human beings are thus naturally incapable of peaceful coexistence; order must continually be imposed upon us from on high. Nor are we created to subdue the earth and have dominion over it as God’s regents; we exist but to serve as slaves of the gods and of their earthly regents. The tasks of humanity are to till the soil, to produce foods for sacrifice to the gods (represented by the king and the priestly caste), to build the sacred city Babylon, and to fight and, if necessary, to die in the king’s wars.” -Walter Wink, Engaging the Powers
God and Diversity
“God loves diversity. Diversity has been on display from the moment He began creating the world.” -Trillia Newbell, United
Blind Pitiless Indifference?
“The universe we observe had precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind pitiless indifference.” -Richard Dawkins,
BTW: Define “property.” Is a species that is invincibly convinced that good and evil are real and actually matter a “property” of the universe? If so, we are the fly in the ointment of atheism.
Can We Make Sense of the Origin of All Things?
“God is to be seen in every blade of grass, if we have but eyes to discern him.” -Charles Spurgeon, Talks to Farmers
Light is Always on a ‘Fact-Finding Mission’
“God when he made the world, this glorious frame of the creatures, and all their excellencies, he created light to discover itself, and all other excellencies. For light is a glorious creature. It discovers itself. It goes with a majesty and discovers all other things, good and bad whatsoever; and together with light God created sight in man, and other senses, to apprehend the excellency of the creation.” -Richard Sibbes, Glorious Freedom
Want a Bigger, Brighter World? ‘You’ Need to Be a Smaller Part of It
“How much larger your life would be,” Chesterton says, “if your self could become smaller in it.”
Implications of Creation
“If God created all things, then lots of very common beliefs about the universe are simply wrong. Think about it: Materialism (the idea that the material, physical world is all there is) must be wrong, because there is a God. Dualism (both God and everything else have always existed side by side) must be wrong, because God created matter. Pantheism (God is in everything) and panentheism (everything is part of God) must both be wrong, because God is distinct from what he has created. God created all things, and by his will they exist.” -Andrew Wilson
Atheism’s Pitiless Universe
“In a universe of blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find a rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, and no good, nothing but blind pitiless indifference … DNA neither knows nor cares. DNA just is. And we dance to its music.” – Richard Dawkins, River our of Eden
BTW NOTES: This line of reasoning is the destruction of morality. Hitler was just dancing to the music of his DNA.