Originally posted by dmz
In my position, in a practical way, the image and nature of God in us is responsible for our abilities to speak, relate, etc., and that, on a philosophical level we can be sure of 'facts' without exhaustively defining them. Also that the origins of life are miraculous, and act of a sovereign super-intelligent being.
So we have basically the biggest questions that anyone anywhere has ever asked, the; 'origins of all things', 'origins of our self-consciousness', and 'who we are -- why are we here' answered, though a Faith in a revealed Word.
Now, if you take those three questions and look at the way that the secular world has handled them, you will find that it has not only no definitive answers, as you might expect, but no working solutions that are consistent in their approach.
The question of origins is really 'answered' with more of a 'we're working on it' approach than anything else. Like midwinter said, what was the evolutionary party line at the scopes trial would be laughed at today (but it got the job down on the issue of public policy, all the same.) The fossil record contains -- as the article in National Geographic stated, 'a film with 999 out of every 1,000 frames missing'. There is a significant amount of speculation that is a part of how evolution 'functioned', and that is even before you give it to the statisticians. So in the end, you believe without definitive proof. And really you don't believe the theory as you believe in man's intellectual ability to order the universe on his own terms.
The question of self-consciousness is really analogous to the question of origins, there is no answer to this, except some very vague theories, and the 'we're working on it' approach. The Human mind is only beginning to be understood.
Which leaves the philosophical question of 'who and what we are'. The is modern science's biggest failure. Repeated attempts from Sartre to de Sade have come up with no answer. The line of reasoning in a long series of philosophical discussions is a tortured train wreck that in the end can mostly be summarized by a line in pfflam's sig. You essentially have to say that nothingness rules, but have to act as if the Christians, with their system of revealed order, are actually correct. Everyone does this, but still they throw rocks at the very system they have to honor in order to function -- and that's very odd.
So there are three 'oh, great mystery' aspects to a Christian understanding (nearly the same as a Muslim, or Jewish) of being, existence, and origins of all things. And as much as it drives you guys up the wall, it is a consistent system. Yes, it requires ceding your authority to God, and no, it means "why is God so mean' questions are not 'truly' askable, but the broken, twisted convoluted, systems of secular thought aren't even coherent, and not for a lack of trying.
So basically, if was going to marginalize a secular approach, it would be because it's not a coherent system of thought.
The fact that you take a long time to say not much has been throwing me, but I think I'm getting it.
"God is God" is an indeed a consistent system. I don't think anyone here is "driven up the wall" by the power of that observation, however, but rather irritated by having a tautology endlessly elaborated in ways intended to suggest a divine order hovering just out of reach of our materialistic, impoverished philosophies.
You conflate science and philosophy to cast them both down as ineffectual because they have failed to provide definitive answers to the question "what are we for"; science explicitly does not ask this question. Which makes it hard to understand how failing to answer a question it never asked makes science an "internally inconsistent system".
Which is why many Christian scientists have no problem using science to explicate the wonder of Gods' universe. They, unlike you, don't seem to be terribly bothered by the burden of keeping "god consciousness" and "I'd like to learn more about how the universe works" in the same brain (or heart, or soul, if you prefer).
Apparently you are under the impression that it is not possible to seek the evidence of order in the universe while denying the existence of God, without falling prey to some kind of "materialist" logical fallacy. In fact, you seem mightily enamored of that idea, and it seems to be the primary engine of your opinions about science.
Well, that and a distinctly medieval vibe around the foolishness of the entire scientific enterprise, in that it fails to seek God with all its might and instead vainly celebrates human curiosity and ingenuity as being able to actually, you know, figure stuff out.
So what would you have us do? If "God is God" gets the job done, in your book, is there any reason to persue any avenue of intellectual investigation?
Do you imagine some kind of "God in charge" science that takes its marching orders from however God chooses to convey its wishes? You seem to have something like this in mind when you would have us set aside the theory of evolution because it contradicts a literal reading of the Bible, but where does that leave, say, the average Japanese researcher?
I think you should answer these questions specifically, because your style of rhetoric might leave one with the impression that you are arguing from some kind of actual, as you say, "internally consistent" stance, but every time I try to parse your remarks I'm left with something like: "My god is the one true god, his word is unerringly transcribed in the bible, all those who disagree are materialists who would make themselves as gods with their intellectual arrogance".
In other words, for all the decorative byplay, just another fundamentalist. Which turns out to be not that interesting at all.