God , the Moral Wizard?

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God , the Moral Wizard?

Postby hyksos on February 8th, 2018, 8:10 pm 

French existentialists Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus understood this, too. Sartre portrayed life in his play No Exit as hell—the final line of the play are the words of resignation, "Well, let's get on with it." Hence, Sartre writes elsewhere of the "nausea" of existence. Camus, too, saw life as absurd. At the end of his brief novel The Stranger, Camus's hero discovers in a flash of insight that the universe has no meaning and there is no God to give it one.

Thus, if there is no God, then life itself becomes meaningless. Man and the universe are without ultimate significance.

-- William Lane Craig (1994) ch.2 from Reasonable Faith.

Please do some footwork on Mr. Craig before continuing this thread. It will give enormous insight that I will not repeat here.

The question we will face in this thread is that if God is required to give any meaning to life, in what way does he do that, exactly? What is the mechanism of Meaning-Giving by God?

Ironically, this question is never answered by WL Craig, not in chapter 2, and nowhere else in his book does he finally answer that question. For those who doubt me, go ahead and read it yourself http://rintintin.colorado.edu/~vancecd/phil3600/Craig.pdf

Instead Mr. Craig just keeps asserting "Life has no meaning without God" over and over again like a parrot, or a stuck record. He never lays out specific logic for why this is the case. He most definitely never describes the mechanism by which God gives life meaning. Page after page, I wanted Craig to make specific testable claims about the history and evolution of homo sapiens and other animal and plant species. He never does so. Instead of making direct claims about the world , the universe, and its history, he merely keeps parroting the theory of evolution as "the conclusions reached without God". Is Craig meaning to claim that the theory of evolution would not be reached as a correct theory with God? He never answers that either, anywhere.

What does Craig even mean by the phrases "With God" and "Without God"? What exact states-of-affairs do these phrases intend to communicate? As you can guess, these questions are left completely un-answered as well.

Francis Crick halfway through his book The Origin of the Genetic Code begins to spell nature with a capital "N" and elsewhere speaks of natural selection as being "clever" and as "thinking" of what it will do. Fred Hoyle, the English astronomer, attributes to the universe itself the qualities of God. For Carl Sagan the "Cosmos," which he always spells with a capital letter, obviously fills the role of a God-substitute. Though all these men profess not to believe in God, they smuggle in a God-substitute through the back door because they cannot bear to live in a universe in which everything is the chance result of impersonal forces.

Rest assured, Crick , Hoyle and Sagan do not adopt these assertions due to their inability to "bear to live in a universe in which everything is the chance result of impersonal forces". So we can cut off Craig immediately on that angle.

But more importantly, for this thread, what in the world does William Lane Craig mean by impersonal forces? If impersonal forces are not what is happening in the universe, then is there an alternative type of force--- an opposite kind -- a "personal force" ?

The universe we inhabit and the universe we observe is ruled by forces that follow the laws of physics. No literate person of the 21st century doubts this. The above quote is the only in-road I was able to find in Craig's writing where he seems to implicitly claim that this God thing actually intervenes in the universe in a real physical way... via his "personal forces" -- unlike those pesky "impersonal forces" that we all hate.

Now I have set the stage for where I want to go with this article and this thread. What is the mechanism by which God imbues life with meaning? Some plausible answers go like so:

1. God and his entourage of invisible disembodied angels leave the universe alone and leave humanity alone as the physical forces of the universe play out. Wars, famine, genocide, and death camps -- God and his angels sit and watch quietly as this happens. But there is an afterlife, and that's where God and angels get really busy to interact with deceased humans. They don't bother with the afterlife of insects, plants, or birds or fish. Just humans. But outside this afterlife moral courtroom drama, the rain goes where physics dictates, and the blood of wars washes off the sidewalks.

2. God interacts directly with the universe physically -- but obviously these interactions are extremely rare in occurrence. (adopting Craig's verbiage) God does these direct interactions with the universe by means of 'personal forces' , which are very different in nature than the "impersonal forces" that so horrify Crick, Hoyle, and Sagan.

Since we have no indication that Craig wants to describe an afterlife moral courtroom, and we do have evidence that Craig asserts the existence of "personal forces" -- I will concentrate solely on number 2.

This rare, often absent, God that very rarely interacts physically with the physical universe is the picture we have. We might also say that this God is also the entity which authored the laws of physics of this universe, and then put those laws into affect by actually creating the universe we inhabit. (add Craig quotes here if you need them)

That particular God is inept and shortsighted. Why? Because that God was unable or unwilling to create a universe that has intrinsic meaning. He was unable to author the laws of physics in such a way that morality is intrinsic to its operation. Instead, the inept sophomoric God could only muster the creation of a universe that ticks away by "impersonal forces" -- and then on occasion, whenever he feels like it, he shows up to intervene in the universe to correct or change something. He does these mid-course corrections by some kind of magic that operates by "personal forces".

That God is not the God of Einstein. The god of Einstein was the author of the laws of physics.

Craig's god is a bearded ghost wizard. He waits on the sidelines until his flawed, meaningless clockwork physics universe does something he doesn't want, wherein he suddenly intervenes in it using magic. His magic is the subversion of the laws of physics, which would normally play out in spacetime without God's intermittent interventions. By William Lane Craig's own admission : this is the only means by which God imbues this meaningless universe with meaning. By waving a magic wand at it!

His magical interventions are never well-timed. He likes to wait until the last minute, just to keep things dramatic. To make sure Act III has a nice climactic plot arch. So not until the death camps are stacked with dead bodies, and the burning ovens are full, does he leap up from his throne to cast a moral-correcting spell.

Craig's God is like an inept software developer who pushed a buggy product on unwitting consumers, only to correct those bugs as He goes along.

William Lane Craig's God is a Ghost King on an invisible Throne. He sits on his throne holding a magic wand that can subvert the regular laws of physics, if in some rare event he feels like intervening. He was so inept , so stupid, and so shortsighted that he simply could not make a better universe than the one we find ourselves in.

That's okay though. God can make mid-course corrections if need be, as we go.

Craig's God is , at first, not worthy of anyone's worship. Second, the whole concept is bankrupt. A bearded magical King on a sky throne is a fairy tale. It is the product of archaic , magical thinking that should have disappeared in the late middle ages.

No literate person in the 21st century could possibly take these ideas seriously. Not given what we now understand about biology, about physics, and about the cosmos and galaxies.
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