…a somewhat better way to phrase the question (remember, words matter!) about god and reality, etc. would this:
Why does existence exist?
Answering the question by reference to any particular ‘thing’ that exists (a ‘force’, ‘singularity’, ‘multi-verse’, ‘string’, etc.) is to completely not pay attention to the question. The answer cannot be in terms of any merely-existing thing, but must be in reference to some ‘more-than-existing’ kind of ‘more-than-thing’. Phrases like ‘ground for existence’ or ‘foundation of the universe’ are appropriate attempts here.
The fact that these are metaphors shouldn’t surprise us. (After all, even the most ‘technical’ and ‘precise’ terminology is metaphor at bottom anyway…) It’s quite obvious that the universe doesn’t have a ‘foundation’ like a house; and it would seem obvious that ‘existence’ isn’t on top of some ‘ground’ in the same way that we might be at times. But it remains that answering a question about why existence exists demands reaching for a category larger (or more ‘foundational’) than existence itself. If asked ‘what is supporting that house’, could we really be satisfied with an answer that was in terms of house-ness?
I’ve checked out a book from the Carey Baptist library that’s proving to be very interesting:
The Future of Atheism: Alister McGrath & Daniel Dennett in Dialogue
It’s essentially a written copy of a 2007 conference including the McGrath/Dennett debate and the other papers presented – plus a few additional chapters and an introduction by the author/editor, Robert B. Stewart.
What I particularly like about it (conference and book), is that it gives space for both sides to lay out their perspective. Contributors include: Paul Copan, William Lane Craig, J.P. Morland, Keith M. Parsons, Ted Peters, Hugh J. McCann and others…
I look forward to reading as much of it as I can (probably late night reads while waiting for Thomas to feed, etc.!).
TANSAA (Theology and Natural Sciences Aotearoa Auckland – a group emerging from Laidlaw–Carey Graduate School) is finalising their programme for 2009, and it’s looking great.
I’m particularly chuffed about the Conference planned for August 1, hosted by my church, Northcote Baptist. Details: Continue reading “tansaa events in 2009”
I recently enjoyed these 3 videos featuring pysicist/priest John Polkinghorne… Continue reading “polkinghorne video”
I recently stumbled onto this listing of questions/answers at the website of physicist, Royal Society member… and priest John Polkinghorne. They will be of interest to anyone interested in the interplay between science and religion, and will be of special help to Christians interested in the compatibility between evolution and the Christian faith.
I’ve quite enjoyed reading through “Is Nature Enough: Meaning and Truth in the Age of Science“, by John Haught. One of the many points he articulates well is what he refers to as “layered explanation”. Continue reading “atheism and explanatory monism”
Epistemology is (loosely defined) as the study of knowledge.
As the ending of this very sentence will show, it is circular to assume ( that is, before investigation or a priori ) that you know what it means to know something (i.e. that you know what knowledge is!). Continue reading “knowing about knowing”
There are different ways of understanding what a worldview is, or what questions it seeks to answer or how it is gained or what it is shaped by.
When people of different perspectives, beliefs (and yes, different worldviews) discuss what a ‘worldview’ is, it is easy for their own worldview to influence things. I freely admit the likelihood of my Christian worldview/perspectives/beliefs to influence me in this process, and I’d hope others would admit the same tendencies. Continue reading “worldviewing”
There’s been a bit of discussion amongst some of my blogging acquaintances about the nature and process of ‘morality’. I simply offer some more thoughts to these conversations. Continue reading “moral things”