Saturday, December 30, 2017
Reflection: "Can an atheistic worldview support the...sacred?"
Can an atheistic worldview support the concept of the holy or sacred?
by Professor Randal Rauser
MY REFLECTION on that short article:
Baptist professor Randal Rauser gave this quote by Dworkin: “religion is deeper than God. Religion is a deep, distinct, and comprehensive worldview: it holds that inherent, objective
value permeates everything, that the universe and its creatures are awe-inspiring,
that human life has purpose and the universe order.”
Huh?! This conundrum seems to show that a HUGE amount of discussion of theism versus atheism is semantic and based on differing definitions.
For Dworkin's definition would appear to be the very definition, not of religion, but of God!
Rauser wrote, "For this discussion, I will define “God” as a personal being who is the ultimate explanation for everything else that exists."
The first general definition of the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary is somewhat different:
God "1 capitalized : the supreme or ultimate reality:"
Those definitions don't necessarily disagree, but the M-W C. D. one would seem to make Drwokin a theist, not an atheist.
For Drwokin wrote, "...inherent, objective value permeates everything, that the universe and its creatures are awe-inspiring, that human life has purpose and the universe order."
Such a statement is so incredibly different from what most famous atheists claim.
The latter atheists emphasize that existence-cosmos has no value,
that everything is "meaningless," "purposeless," and "pointless,"
that human primates are without worth,
that humans have no choice,
that everything is fully determined from the Big Bang,
that ethics are "subjective," "relative," and only personal "preferences," "likes or dislikes,"
and that liberty, equality, and human rights are all "myths."
That atheists can so completely disagree about the very nature of the reality astounds me.
Though I guess I shouldn't be that surprised. Heck, theists do this as well. John Wesley once wrote he would rather be an atheist than believe one version of Christianity.
A few central reasons why I am a theist is that I think that ethics are real, that creativity is possible for humans, and that the cosmos and life are amazing, that the ultimate nature of reality is full of meaning. (I do speculate about whether or not panentheism or some form of Enlightenment description might be true, BUT I know that is only educated guessing.)
So I am curious, would you characterize me as an atheist or a theist?
In the Light of the Good, the True, and the Beautiful,