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Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Thoughts on Hebrews 11:3

In the King James (so as not to violate copyright) Hebrews 11:3 says: Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

Perhaps I'm reading too much into that verse, but I believe it means that believers cannot know or prove how God made the universe, but must believe that He did. This seems to apply to atheists, as well. Their faith tells them that there is no God, so they understand that the universe is here by chance.

The material above was posted on Dec 19, 2004.

Addendum, Jan 4, 2005 (and I confess--I corrected a usage error on Jan 25th)
A marvelous Edge, well worth reading in its entirety, came out today. The piece is responses, from over 100 intellectuals, to the question, "What do you believe is true even though you cannot prove it?" The responses touch on many subjects. Some of the respondents deal, directly or indirectly, with the origin of the universe. Some were theists, some not. Two of the most prominent atheists gave the following responses:

Michael Shermer, publisher of Skeptic magazine, and a columnist for Scientific American:
. . . In conclusion, I believe, but cannot prove...that reality exists and science is the best method for understanding it, there is no God, the universe is determined but we are free, morality evolved as an adaptive trait of humans and human communities, and that ultimately all of existence is explicable through science. Of course, I could be wrong...

Richard Dawkins, author of The Ancestors' Tale, The Blind Watchmaker, and other books:
I believe[, but I cannot prove,]* that all life, all intelligence, all creativity and all 'design' anywhere in the universe, is the direct or indirect product of Darwinian natural selection. It follows that design comes late in the universe, after a period of Darwinian evolution. Design cannot precede evolution and therefore cannot underlie the universe.

These gentlemen do not believe that there is a God who was involved in the origin of the universe, of life, or of humans. They hold these views strongly, and present them articulately. Yet, as they should, they admit that their belief cannot be proved. This is compatible with Hebrews 11:3.

* * * *
October 24, 2008
*The material in brackets was removed from the response by Dawkins, I believe early in 2005.

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