Saturday, August 04, 2007

un-intelligent non-design

Last post took some shots at Dawkins and "New" Atheism ("meet the new boss, same as the old..."). So to be fair and balanced, a shot at (so-called) Intelligent Design. [I did see Michael Behe on Colbert Show the other night].

Theologically there is a huge problem with intelligent design, assuming it were true scientifically (which it isn't but for argument's sake).

In this configuration, God is only the God of "intelligent design." Meaning unintelligent design, randomness, and non-design exists outside the realm of God. Meaning God is locked into a certain set of conditions, not the Source/Ground of All Conditionality. Meaning once another set of conditions is discovered, ones that perhaps undermine the intelligent designed conditions, then God is undermined in the same breath.

When I have to speak cataphatically (What God is...) then I'm a Christian panentheist. That position jumps the chasm between atheism/agnosticism and theism/deism. It transcends and includes both. On the atheist side it recognizes no separate Divinity as another set of conditions/uber-Being/uber-ego over against the conditions of humanity we currently understand. On the theist side it recognizes the reality of a Spiritual Presence--and to the degree this makes sense, we can say this Presence (from a certain point of view) has a will/directionality. Just not a iron-clad, set in stone terminus point pre-determined and all of this just a (re)playing of the movie that has already been filmed by the (Intelligent?)Director.

For the intelligent design crowd they always have to answer the inevitable comeback: why did the designer design incurable childhood cancer? Or fill in the blank.....

In other words, did God design evil? If not, if there is some force in the universe thwarted God's will, is the Designer/God not very strong? Is this other force stronger/co-equal in strength?

The real question is not whether God designed or caused evil but whether God embraces evil. And if so, what are the implications of that reality? [Panentheism: God transcends and includes all of creation. Does the include include evil?]

"I make my rain fall on the just and the unjust alike. I the Lord God do this." --Isaiah


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