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July 31, 2008

Comments

Russell Roberts

If God's people are defined by faith (and they are), then you are certainly not one of them.

Chris Demaree

Re: Russell,

Contrary to what many seem to think, faith need not be blind; rather it is a strong conviction or belief based on very personal experiences; or, for those lucky enough to be so blessed, it is a gift of the Spirit. We do not always have insight into why others believe what they do, which is what makes it seem like a "trust me."

My own faith long ago passed from "this sounds plausible" to "I am convinced," and yet I still have no "proof" I could hold up for scientific scrutiny.

The faith we as Christians hold so dear is in the very personal relationship we have established with our Lord and savior, not the specifics of the history of one people; that simply provides additional context. I believe that difference is really the point of the post, though it goes out of the way to make it.

Also, we as God's people are not simply defined by faith. What remains is faith, hope, and love... and the greatest of these is love. A little compassion and understanding for the faith of others is not just a liberal hippie position, it is our calling. It is our actions based on faith, hope, and love that truly define us as Christians.

YBIC,
Chris

bls

Actually, D.C.: the evidence, so far, is completely on the side of the geo-centrists.

So according to science itself, we are completely justified in taking the view that human life on earth is very important - unless, of course, we are operting merely on our own unsupported faith.

D. C. Toedt

BLS, I think you mean "geoexceptionalists," not "geocentrists" (at least literally). The evidence to which you refer is known as Fermi's Paradox; in May of this year I wrote a post about a recent thumbsucker piece on that subject by Nick Bostrom of Oxford University:

That we have not detected signs of intelligent life elsewhere, says Bostrom, suggests that there is a Great Filter that has prevented life from making it that far into space. The filter could be that life itself is extremely hard to get started. That would be good news for us, inasmuch as we've already made it past that hurdle; it would mean that the Great Filter lies behind us in our existence as a species.

The bad news would be if life proved comparatively easy to start, but difficult to sustain long enough to colonize interstellar space. This implies that existential doom may well await us in the future.

In other words, the evidence doesn't quite suggest that humans are exceptional, but only that the absence of evidence of extraterrestrial cultures is puzzling.

And even if humans were exceptional in the cosmos, that still wouldn't justify the Judeo-Christian assumption that certain tales told about one tiny segment of humanity comprise the essential story of the Creation.

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