Bible Or Textbook?
Athesists often use the idea that the existence of evil in the world is proof there is no God. Believers reject this by stating that God has intentionally given man free will. God intended that Mankind (and Womankind) be free to make moral choices. When the wrong choices are made, evil is manifest in the world. So, the existence of both evil and of God are entirely consistent.
There is another observation that may pose a challenge for those who hold traditional religious views. It is that God created a world where reading and learning about nature will get you farther than meditating about God and the Bible. Why isn’t the latter rewarded much more?
A society that creates an infrastructure for science and engineering will become more powerful in the world than one that only facilitates devotion to God. A deep knowledge of science and engineering is not enough for a society to function well. However, a scientifically-based society that does function well will almost certainly dominate over societies that are exclusively centered around man’s relationship to God.
Why did God so construct the world that physical law seems to trump spiritual law? This does not seem consistent with the “jealous God” that is written about in the Bible. It seems that those who ignore God and focus on mastering natural law are rewarded even though they de-emphasize God. This is not a question of “free will”. One can willingly devote oneself exclusively to God, and lead a righteous life that follows His commandments. Yet, without paying attention to the natural world, that righteous person is vulnerable to those who wield power by virtue of their mastery of nature.
Perhaps this fact tells us something about the nature of God.
Posted on July 12, 2014, in Religion and tagged believers, bible, creationism, God, mankind, physics, ten commandments, textbook. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.
Welcome back, it’s been a while! Loved the post; as usual, food for thought… By the way, you may want to check your Twitter account, it seems that’s been hacked. I have been getting messages that are clearly spam and I know they did not come from you. Did I tell you that my book is out?
Thank you! Yes, the account was hacked by Twitter cleaned it up and removed the bogus posts. They must have caught it.
I just bought the Kindle edition of your book. Look forward to reading it!
Great, thanks! Thanks also about the book, please let me know how you like it…
The end goal of God isn’t technological advancment, it’s closeness to him. How could you consider it a reward for those who pursue mastering natural law if in the end they abandon God and lose eternal life?
Even Jesus says this very thing, what good is it for a man to gain the world but lose his soul?
I’m kind of at a loss. You seem to have no understanding of the things God would consider valuable. Things that are explicitly expressed in both testaments. Have you read the bible?
Yes, I have read the bible.
I am merely posing a question, which you sort of repeated. Why doesn’t God reward time spent trying to be close to him? Why is that if I spend 80% of my time studying natural law, and 20% of my time studying the bible, I will have far more material comfort and material success than if the ratio were reversed? Why doesn’t God reward those more who study the bible? Why is it so profitable to study natural law?
Put another way: what is God trying to tell us? God constructed the world such that those who choose to spend most of their time getting closer to him will be in a compromised position relative to those who ignore him and study natural law.
Look at geopolitics. In many respects, societies primarily (or historically) based on Christianity are much more powerful and advanced than Muslim societies that are much more centered around their god. However, Christian societies are more advanced not because of greater familiarity with the bible, but because of better mastery of natural law. Is there a message there?
The bible is pretty clear that material comfort and abundance is prone to both corruption and creates a distance from God. In fact it’s also pretty clear that material comfort is not comparable to the spiritual abundance.
In layman’s terms, material comfort is worthless if you lose sight of God.
Yes, I am just saying that societies that focus exclusively on the spiritual will perish. Why is that? Why not reward spiritual purity with material protection? Why reward those who master the material world and ignore God? I understand why God permits evil: to allow moral choices to be made. Why reward those who master the material world?
Why should we be on the lookout for asteroids that might hit Earth? Doing so requires an enormous amount of knowledge of the material world. Why need we acquire this knowledge to protect ourselves? Why don’t we just get closer to God? Why the extra bother? I am stating that God created a world where closeness to Him will not protect our lives in this world. This is a message: that the material world is important.
Those who master both the spiritual and material worlds will prosper more than those who only master the spiritual. Why is the material world so important? Why is the person with a “spiritually pure heart” so dependent on those who master the material world? I am suggesting that the importance of the natural world in our lives is a message from God. Do not ignore the natural world, even though you may partake in the spiritual.