Editor's Note: In the spring of 2000, Does God Exist? awarded two scholarships, one in the memory of Phyllis Clayton's mother Edith Lawson, and one in memory of John Clayton's aunt Constance Parsons. These two ladies had a major impact on this program, and money from their estates has provided the scholarships. To qualify, applicants had to write an essay on how science supports belief in God and how they plan to use this to help others. The following is one of our winner's essays and shows the quality of work these young people can do. The second will be in our November/December issue.Introduction. I doubt that any of us has only one particular reason why we believe in the existence of God. We can probably compile a list of reasons that support and nurture our faith. We usually rely only on one or two rungs at a time, but are glad the others are in place when they are needed. In this essay, I will pull out my ladder and discuss some of my key rungs. You may find that your ladder has some of the same rungs I have stood on. I will limit myself to four rungs although my ladder contains more. I have numbered them through this essay, but that does not necessarily reflect a hierarchy of importance, only the structure of the essay. The question that prompted the discussion begins, "Why I believe what I believe.." This is autobiographical by request, but it is my hope that the reasons for my belief helps you with your reasons.
The First Rung--An Ordered Universe
One rung on my ladder is the orderliness of the universe. I still remember sitting at the kitchen table after supper when I was in grade school and listening to my father express his belief in God based upon the design of the universe. He compared the universe to a huge watch and said that if you walked through the forest one day and found a watch on the path, what would you think? Would you think that this watch was the result of chance, or would you believe someone made it and it was dropped there by accident? This simple analogy from my father, who had not graduated from high school let alone heard of William Paley who is credited with this analogy, became a solid rung in my ladder of faith. Since then I have learned that this argument has a rich heritage and is still being advocated today. Because this paper is written in honor of two ladies who deeply influenced the Does God Exist? program, I will focus more of my attention on this rung of my ladder.
The earliest known account of an argument from the design of nature to a designer is attributed to Anaxagoras of Clazomenae (500-428 BC) by Plato and Aristotle. They also espoused their own form of an argument from design-Plato arguing that there is a mind that contains the world of ideas and Aristotle arguing from his idea of "final cause" that an intelligent being is behind the world. Since then many have jumped into the fray and argued from design to a designer.1 More recently a "wider design argument" has been developed under what is called the anthropic principle.2 The various forms of the anthropic principle rely heavily on two recent scientific consensuses. We would benefit from the time it takes to trek them out.
The first scientific consensus is that the universe has a beginning; there was a time when t=0. This was not always the consensus. At the end of the nineteenth century the predominate cosmological model was steady state.3 The universe was conceived as infinite in space and time, relatively isotropic, and static on a large scale. Although some questions were raised about this model, such as the darkness of the night sky and an infinite gravitational attraction in all directions at all locations, it was not until the turn of the twentieth century that the steady state model was seriously questioned.4 Even then there was resistance in the scientific community to the universe having a beginning.
The significant swing in the scientific community toward a finite universe with a beginning started as a result of the work of Albert Einstein, especially his special and general theories of relativity published in 1905 and 1915 respectively.5 The implication of these equations, when applied to the whole cosmos, is that the universe is expanding and decelerating in its expansion rate. The only phenomena known to produce this effect is an explosion, hence the eventual tag "Big Bang."6 If the clock is turned backwards on this gigantic explosion, the universe would reduce to a point of singularity and the clock would read "0". Initially, Einstein was not agreeable with this conclusion, so he inserted a cosmological constant in his equations to keep the steady state model.7
In 1929 astronomer Edwin Hubble published the results of his research.8 Based upon light from other galaxies shifting toward the red end of the spectrum he concluded that the universe is expanding. Confronted with this discovery Einstein gave way to a beginning of the universe and abandoned his gravitational constant.9 Since then other data have been collected in support of the big bang model, such as the 2.7 K background radiation discovered by Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson in 1965 and then most recently the anisotropic structure of the universe needed for the formation of stars and galaxies by the COBE project by George Smoot.10
The big bang model has not been without its rivals. In 1948 Herman Bondi, Thomas Gold, and Fred Hoyle attempted to revive the steady state model by proposing a continual creation model.11 In essence their model proposed that matter is continually being created to fill the voids left by an eternally expanding universe. This model gained some support for a while but continued to struggle against observational data until Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson discovered the cosmic microwave background radiation. That was considered the decisive blow against the steady state model.12
Another rival is the oscillating universe. This view proposes that there is sufficient mass in the universe to bring a halt to the expansion. Then the universe will collapse to a point of singularity from which it will explode again, ad infinitum.
There are three major concerns with this model: Enough matter to halt the universe's expansion has not been discovered, there is no known mechanism to explain the bounce, and, if the second law of thermodynamics applies to the entire system, each bounce will be smaller than the previous one.13
In the scientific community the consensus model of the universe was the steady state model until the first part of the nineteenth century. At the turn of the twentyfirst century, the consensus model is big bang. This is the first important consensus for supporting the anthropic principle.
The second consensus is that the values for the initial conditions needed for the existence of carbon based life forms must fall within a very select range. John Leslie lists the estimated ranges in which eight initial values must fall.14 Some of his examples are: (1) The expansion rate at the initial stage cannot be reduced by one part in a million million or a recollapse would have occurred before the temperature fell below 10,000°. If the expansion rate were increased by one part in a million, there would not have been the formation of galaxies, stars, and planets. (2) The material of the universe has to be isotropic with an accuracy of 0.1%; otherwise there would be an increase of heat during the initial stages of cooling and no carbon life forms would have appeared. (3) The number of antiparticles to particles had to be equal for every hundred million or so save one leftover particle. If there were fewer extra particles, no galaxies would have formed; while too many would have meant that no planets would have formed. Leslie acknowledges that his list could even be further lengthened. And as he pointed out:
Since the list is so lengthy it would not much matter if one or two of its items were mistakes. Besides it can seem plain, long before narrow limits are arrived at by cosmologists, that Life depends on very delicate relationships and when "strong" forces are (roughly) a hundred times stronger than electromagnetic ones, which are ten million billion billion billion times stronger than gravity, we can even be impressed by a need for a force to be "right" even to a given order of magnitude, let alone to a percentage point.15
The significance of these delicate relationships becomes most apparent when the odds of them occurring is figured on the basis of pure chance. One example will suffice. The big bang had to explode with just the right intensity in relationship to the energy density of matter for life to be possible. If the intensity was not great enough the universe would have collapsed back onto itself due to the excessive gravitational pull. If it was too great the universe would have expanded too rapidly and no galaxies would have formed. At the Plank time, when the universe was 10-43 seconds old, the expansion rate to energy density of matter had to vary less than 1 part in 1060. With odds of 1 in 1060 against our existence on the basis of pure chance, some, like astrophysicists John Gribbin and Martin Rees, are led to say:
It makes more sense to accept that the universe had to be born with exactly the critical expansion rate than to believe that by blind luck it happened to start out within 1 part in 1060 of the critical value.16
I know of no one who has denied the narrow band in which the initial conditions must fall for the universe to be hospitable for carbon based life forms. The discussion is always over what to make of this information. It is to this that we now turn.
The scientific consensus that the universe had a beginning and the consensus that there is an extremely narrow range in which the initial conditions had to fall for the universe to be hospitable for carbon based life forms has led some to espouse the anthropic principle. This term was first introduced by Brandon Carter in two forms: weak and strong.17 It was expanded into four forms and more thoroughly discussed by Barrow and Tipler.18 For brevity, only the Strong Anthropic Principle of Barrow and Tipper will be discussed because I take this to be the best expression of the anthropic principle in relationship to the Christian faith.
Barrow and Tipler's definition of the Strong Anthropic Principle (SAP) is: "The Universe must have those properties which allow life to develop within it at some stage in its history."19 The SAP claims that the initial conditions must be at the particular values needed for the existence of carbon based life forms. "Must" in this sentence is given eutaxiological weight: the selection of the initial conditions was planned.20 Driving this view of "must" in the SAP is the odds at which the initial conditions would have occurred on the basis of pure chance. Again, to expand the previous example, not only must the ratio of the energy density of matter to the intensity of explosion fall within a vary narrow range for our existence to be possible, physicist George Greenstein has shown that the range narrows as one gets closer to the initial explosion.21 When the universe was one year old, the density had to be within 0.00003% of the critical value; whereas at the an hour of age it had to be within 0.00000008% of that value. As times goes back the variation between the actual value and the critical value allowable for life approaches zero. In response to information like this, mathematical physicist Paul Davies concludes his book, The Mind of God, with these words:
I cannot believe that our existence in this universe is a mere quirk of fate, an accident of history, an incidental blip in the great cosmic drama.. Through conscious beings the universe has generated self-awareness. This can be no trivial detail, no minor by-product of mindless, purposeless forces. We are truly meant to be here.22
The scientific consensus that the universe had a beginning points to an initial cause, and the scientific consensus that the initial conditions were just right for life points to an intelligent initial cause. In short: The SAP points to an intelligent initial cause of the universe. In grade school my vote was with my father when he spoke of the need for a watchmaker if we have a watch. My faith in the existence of an intelligent initial cause has only been strengthened by years of studying things such as I detailed above. I also vote with Davies: "We are truly meant to be here."
A word of caution must be given before too much is made of this intelligent initial cause. All that is being claimed is that there is some form in intelligence, a mind if you will, that selected the initial conditions. Why did this intelligence create? In what form does this intelligence have being? Does this intelligence have a moral code? Is it still involved in the cosmos? These and a host of other questions would be raised, and rightly so, if it is true that there is an intelligent initial cause to the universe. However, the Strong Anthropic Principle would be mum if we asked it these types of questions. To this we must turn to the one who claimed to speak, even better yet, claimed to be this intelligent initial cause: Jesus of Nazareth. This leads me to another rung on my ladder.
The Second Rung--The Incarnation
Roughly two thousand years ago a Jewish man from Nazareth traveled around Israel preaching, doing good, and claiming to be God. The temptation to which classical liberalism yielded and to which our present climate of toleration is falling for is to embrace Jesus as a good moral teacher. They want to strip him of his miraculous deeds and corral him together with other great moral teachers such as Mahatma Gandhi, Buddha, and Mohammed. The problem, as I see it, is that Jesus did not leave us this option. He claimed to be God. Do we take him at his claim? I was first introduced to the Liar, Lunatic, Lord trilemma some years ago through Josh McDowell's book Evidence that Demands a Verdict.23 Later, I read C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity and am fond of his presentation of this exercise in logic.24 Let me briefly make the case.
The apostle John records Jesus saying, "Before Abraham was born, I am" (John 8:58, NIV). At first hearing, the significance of this may slip by our untrained ears, but it did not pass unnoticed by his original Jewish audience. They knew the full import of his words and immediately picked up rocks to stone him. He claims to be God and has committed blasphemy-that is, unless he is telling the truth.25
Is he telling the truth? Before answering, we should ponder this claim of Jesus: I am God. Do we not usually take a serious pause when someone claims to be God and think, "This guy's elevator does not go all the way to the top." (Or, one of some fifty other phrases jumping from one mail box to another in cyberspace.) C.S. Lewis simply said that "we would not consider someone who claimed to be God a liar as much as a lunatic, along the lines of someone who claimed to be a poached egg." Calling Jesus a liar does not set right, especially when some want to hail him as a great moral teacher. If anything, he was deceived into believing he was God. He really thought he was God, but he was not. In short, a lunatic.
This tag of lunacy is not new. Even in Jesus' day the question crossed some people's mind and was vocalized, "He is demon-possessed and raving mad" (John 10:20, NIV). The reply of Jesus' contemporaries to this assertion is the same as mine: "These are not the sayings of a man possessed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind!" (John 10:21, NIV). I have read through the Gospels more than a time or two. What strikes me about Jesus' teaching is his profound insight to so many areas of life. He spoke on such things as religion, economics, politics, and leisure-the four broad categories that my college sociology teacher said comprise any culture. In other words, name a topic and we would probably find that Jesus has some comment that applies. And, what is so astounding is that time and time again, what he has to say is so good. A crazy man may say something good once in a while, but is someone crazy if he says something good every time he opens his mouth? If he is not a lunatic, nor a liar, the only choice left is Lord.
In some of my darker moments of doubt, I drive myself back to this trilemma.26 Is Jesus a liar, a lunatic, or Lord? I have stood many times on this rung when it seemed the others would not hold me. To me the logic is compelling. What am I to do with Jesus and his claim to be God? Do I say he lied through his teeth and willingly died on a cross for it? Do I dismiss him as crazy? Or, do I fall down and worship him as God in the flesh? Every time I have raised the discussion I have been driven to the last conclusion. One of the rungs in my ladder is the incarnation. I believe in the existence of God because roughly two thousand years ago a man claimed to be God and made good on that claim.
The Third Rung--The Resurrection
Even though Jesus taught well, did good, and claimed to be God, one event distinguishes him from the rest of the religious crowd; the resurrection. I would be hard pressed to say that this rung is not as important as the previous one discussed. I guess you could say that when I find I have one foot on the previous rung of the incarnation, I usually have the other foot on this rung of the resurrection.
I like to make my case for my belief in the resurrection by focusing on the empty, open tomb and asking detective style, "If Jesus is not resurrected, who took the body?" More accurately, as any good detective would point out, the tomb is open, but not completely empty. The grave clothes are lying on the cold stone slab, only the body is gone. Who took it?
The most likely candidates would be the disciples. They could have remembered that Jesus said he was going to be resurrected and, perhaps, they wanted to help him out. Or, they may have wanted to overcome the embarrassment of following a guy for three years just to watch him crucified. Stealing the body and claiming he was resurrected would restore some dignity to their foolish quest. No matter what the motivation, why did the disciples not steal the body? The Roman guards would have stopped them.
The idea that the disciples might take the body and claim he is resurrected is not new. The Jewish leaders considered that before Jesus' body had grown cold.27 Going to Pilate, they explained this possible hoax and asked for a guard. One was given to make the tomb secure. The plan was to guard Jesus' body. After a few days, open the tomb, take out the body, drag it through the streets of Jerusalem and put an end to this heresy. So, with a Roman guard standing watch at the tomb, how are the disciples going to steal the body? Well equipped Roman guards battling untrained fishermen-my money would be on Rome. The story was told after the resurrection that the disciples did steal the body while the guards were asleep. If the guards were asleep, how did they know it was the disciples? And, why were they sleeping in the first place? Loosing a prisoner by this Roman guard would be a capital offense. I cannot conceive of all these men falling asleep on duty when so much is at stake.
If the disciples did not take the body, perhaps it was grave robbers. First off, the grave robbers would have to contend with the same Roman guards as the disciples. Also, why would they rob a grave in the first place? Grave robbers are usually looking for something of value. What was there of value in Jesus' tomb? The only thing worth taking is the very thing they left behind, the grave clothes. So, to believe that grave robbers took the body the story would be that they overpowered the Roman guard, rolled the stone away from the entrance to the tomb, carefully unwrapped Jesus body, and fled with nothing to show for it but a cadaver. I am not buying it.
A third possibility is that the guards took the body. Why would they want the thing in the first place? Also, as was pointed out earlier, the punishment for loosing this prisoner would be death. I do not see any reason why they would want to take the body.
If no one took the body, perhaps something else occurred. Could it be that Jesus did not die on the cross? He merely passed out and was revived in the coolness of the tomb. If so, the only obstacles before him now are removing one hundred pounds of grave clothes,28 rolling away a huge stone29 that blocks his exit from the tomb, fighting off a Roman guard, and convincing his followers that he is resurrected rather than just recuperating from his ordeal on the cross. There are just too many obstacles for him to overcome to make this account credible to me.
The body is gone but it does not appear that anyone took it. The only alternative is that he was resurrected. Coupling this evidence with his post resurrection appearances,30 I believe in the resurrection. This even affirms for me that God exists and that Jesus was him in the flesh.
The Fourth Rung--The Moral Law
A fourth rung on my ladder is the sense of duty I feel when confronted with an ethical situation.31 Everyone I have asked about this sense of duty has reported it as well. Why do we feel that there is right and wrong and that we ought to do the good over the bad? This sense of duty cannot be reduced to motivations for self preservation. There are people who have been compelled to entered a burning building to rescue a trapped child at the risk of limb and life to carry out this sense of duty. This sense of ought cannot be reduced to instinct either because there are times when two instincts are present at the same time. (At the three a.m. feeding, what mother has not wanted to sleep and take care of her child at the same time?) I cannot appeal to another instinct to adjudicated between these two competing instincts any more than I can appeal to a third key on the piano to decide which of two other keys I must play. Instead, I look beyond the keyboard to the musical score. When two instincts are in conflict, something beyond instinct informs me as to what I should do. Finally, this feeling that I should do the right and not the wrong cannot be reduced to social convention or family upbringing. If it were, I would not be able to judge one culture over another or critique my family from the others I see. So, from where does this sense of duty come?
Biblically, I would argue that God has revealed himself as a being with a moral value system and that we, as creatures made in his image, have been stamped with a moral code. The apostle Paul argues that this moral code is woven into our very being. Those who do not have the law-who are not privy to God's special revelation-still demonstrate that they are creatures with a moral code. Their thoughts are used to accuse and defend themselves.32 The sense of duty I have comes from the type of creature I am, a creature made in the image of God. Like the watch needs a watchmaker, a moral law needs a moral law giver. Immanuel Kant was in awe of the starry heavens above and the moral law within.33 I am in awe as well of the design around us and the duty within us, and this awe points me to the existence of God. Helping People With Their Ladder
HELPING PEOPLE WITH THEIR LADDER
How do I plan to use these rungs and others that have to go unmentioned to help others? In the fall I will begin medical school at the University of Illinois. My goal is to become a family physician. Desire to help the physically sick is an outgrowth of my humanitarian concern and my faith. The prophets expressed God's interest in the sick and outcast of society, and a quick glance through the Gospels reveals that Jesus healed again and again. I want to work with God to help alleviate human pain and suffering.
As a physician, I want to use the evidence I have accumulated for my faith to help others in three distinct ways beyond physical healing. Frequently, a family physician deals with individuals for who all the superficialities of life have been stripped away and the issue really is life or death. At these moments some people are looking for a more solid rung on which to stand. The ones in their ladder are beginning to snap and they want a replacement quickly. This opens the door for me to share my faith and why I have it. Life threatening conditions are not the only times in the doctor's office that people question where they should stand. It could be the frustration of infertility, or even the onset of teenage acne. The key in any of these situations is to be brief and to try to match the evidence presented to the interest and ability of the patient. Some people have no interest in science. The anthropic principle would make them roll their eyes. But, they may feel guilty a time or two and will entertain a question of where they think they got the capacity to feel guilt. Or, they may be interested in the detective story of "Who stole the body?" These moments allow me to point people toward God. I also realize that I will be under a time constraint in the office. I hope to do as a physician friend of mine has done and network with Christian counselors and my minister and elders so I can refer patients to them when they would like to further investigate the existence of God and what that means for their lives.
A second area in which I want to apply this evidence and my faith is ethics. Medical technology raises what seems to be more than its fair share of ethical questions. Lump all present technology together and we have more than a lifetime's worth of issues to discuss. My particular ethical interest in all these possibilities is the questions raised by the Human Genome Project. More specifically, how is this information going to be used in the physician's office and what assumptions are tied up with this? My experience thus far on a college campus has been that the life sciences primarily operate with the assumption that there is a quantitative difference between humans and the animal kingdom, not a qualitative one. I am deeply concerned over the ethical implications that come from lumping humans in with the rest of the animal kingdom. In so doing we loose our imago dei. Our ethics will become some form of utilitarianism where we will be valued primarily for our productivity or capability. Based on genetic testing will people be encouraged, explicitly or implicitly, to not take steps to lengthen their lives or even to end it because they have some inevitable debilitating disease? Based upon genetic testing will a pregnancy be terminated because the child will be mildly retarded? Questions of this type deeply concern me. Once in practice I hope to be involved on an ethics committee at a hospital so I can bring a Christian perspective to these type of questions. I also hope to study and write some in this area. My second ethical concern with the Human Genome Project is the reductionistic use of the information. Reduce everyone to his genes and he may no longer be morally responsible, just the result of an unfortunate genetic combination. I believe that we must hold before our culture's eyes a qualitative difference between humans and the animal kingdom and that we cannot be reduced to biochemistry. I believe this because God exists. I believe God exists for reasons like I have stated above.
Finally, I hope to continue my interest in foreign missions. The church I attend supports a medical mission team in South America. I am looking forward to short term mission trips to that work where I will be able to help people through my skills as a physician and as a teacher. Conclusion
In conclusion, I believe in the existence of God based on general revelation:
The Strong Anthropic Principle points to an intelligent initial cause and
moral law points to a moral law giver. I also believe in the existence
of God based on special revelation: The New Testament records that Jesus
was God in the flesh and that he was raised from the dead. I hope to use
these reasons for my belief to help people in my future practice when they
face some of life's most difficult circumstances by addressing ethical
issues from a Christian perspective, and through reaching some people beyond
our national borders with the message that God exists and Jesus Christ
is God's son, our Savior.
1 For a historical sketch of the teleological argument see M. A. Corey, God and the New Cosmology: The Antropic Design Argument, (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 1993), pp. 10-28 and the more complete discussion by John D. Barrow and Frank J. Tipler, The Anthropic Cosmological Principle, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1986), pp. 27-218.
2 The idea of the anthropic principle being a "wider design argument" comes from George W. Shields, "The Wider Design Argument and the New Physics: Ruminations on the Thought of P.C.W. Davies," in Science, Technology, and Religious Ideas ed. by Mark H. Shale and George W. Shields (New York: University Press of America, 1994), pp. 77-96.
3 John North, The Norton History of Astronomy and Cosmology, (New York: W. W. Norton and Co., 1995), 517.
4 For a historical discussion of the problem of the dark sky see E. R. Harrison, "The Dark Night-Sky Riddle: A `Paradox' That Resisted Solution," Science 226 (November 1984): 941-945. For a discussion on the problems of gravity in a Newtonian cosmological model see John North, Astronomy and Cosmology, 374-377.
5 John North, Astronomy and Cosmology, 511.
6 In an attempt to speak derogatorily of George Gamow's cosmological theory on a radio broadcast in 1950, Fred Hoyle coined the phrase "big bang" and it captured the imagination so well that it stuck, much to Hoyle's disappointment. George Smoot and Keay Davidson, Wrinkles in Time (New York: Avon Books, 1993), 66-68.
7 John North, Astronomy and Cosmology, 520.
8 John North, Astronomy and Cosmology, 523; Stephen Hawkin, A Brief History (New York: Bantam Books, 1988), 8, 36-39.
9 George Gamow, in his autobiography, makes this comment: "Much later, when I was discussing cosmological problems with Einstein, he remarked that the introduction of the cosmological term was the biggest blunder he ever made in his life." George Gamow, My World Line: An Informal Autobiography (New York: Viking Press, 1970), 44.
10 For a discussion of Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson's discovery see John North, Astronomy and Cosmology, 531, 560-563 and Stephen Hawkin, A Brief History, 41, 48, 118. For an account of the COBE project see John North, Astronomy and Cosmology, 613-617 and George Smoot and Keay Davidson, Wrinkles in Time.
11 Joseph Silk, The Big Bang rev. ed. (New York: W. H. Freeman and Co., 1989), 5. The steady state model proposed by Bondi and Gold was slightly different from the one proposed by Hoyle. The differences in their models are not important for this discussion.
12 John Silk, The Big Bang, 5.
13 Alan H. Guth and Marc Sher, "The Impossibility of a Bouncing Universe," Nature 302 (April 1983): 505-506; S. A. Bludma, "Thermodynamics and the End of a Closed Universe," Nature 308 (March 1984): 319-322.
14 John Leslie, "Anthropic Principle, World Ensemble, Design", American Philosophical Quarterly. 19 (April 1982): 141-142.
15 John Leslie, "Anthropic Principle," 142.
16 John Gribbin and Martin Rees, Cosmic Coincidences, (New York: Bantam Books, 1989), 26, italics theirs.
17 Brandon Carter, "Large Number Coincidences and the Anthropic Principle in Cosmology," in Confrontation of Cosmological Theories with Observational Data, ed. M. S. Longair (Boston: D. Reidel Publishing company, 1974), 292-293.
18 John D. Barrow and Frank J. Tipler, The Anthropic Cosmological Principle, 15-23.
19 John D. Barrow and Frank J. Tipler, The Anthropic Cosmological Principle, 21. The difference between their weak and strong forms is that the weak expresses that the initial conditions are at the values needed for the existence of carbon based life forms, whereas the strong says that those initial conditions must be those values. Their is little quarrel with the weak form because it is essentially tautological: The universe is such that we can be here because we are here. For what I consider an unsuccessful attempt to make more out of the Weak Anthropic Principle, see Joseph M. Zycinski, "The Weak Anthropic Principle and the Design Argument," Zygon 31 (March 1996): 115-130.
20 John Barrow and Frank Tipler make this distinction: "This development leads us to draw a distinction between teleological arguments-which argue that because of the laws of causality order must have a consequent purpose, and eutaxiological arguments-which argue that order must have a cause, which is planned." The Anthropic Principle, 29.
21 George Greenstein, The Symbiotic Universe; Life and Mind in the Cosmos (New York: William Morrow and Co., 1988), 135.
22 Paul Davies, The Mind of God (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1992), 232.
23 Josh McDowell, Evidence that Demands a Verdict, rev. ed. (San Bernardino, CA: Here's Life Publishers, 1979).
24 C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1980).
25 Some years ago I read, though did not have the sense at the time to record the source, that the Jewish Rabis held that a person could commit blashphemy in one of three ways: The person could ascribe to God qualities He does not have-call God a liar. The person could not ascribe to God qualities He does have-claim God is not omnipotent. The person could ascribe the qualities of God to himself. It was in this last form that Jesus was accused of committing blashphemy in this text.
26 More recently a fourth possibility is asserting itself into the mainstream: Jesus was a legend. The quest for the historical Jesus, popularized by the work of the Jesus' Seminar and others of like mind, seriously calls into question the correspondence between the words and deeds of Jesus in Scripture and his actual words and deeds. It is beyond the scope of this presentation to argue my belief on this issue. I will only assert that the New Testament Gospels are in close correspondence with the actual words and deeds of Jesus. Two books I have found helpful in this are Craig L. Blomber, The Historical Reliability of the Gospels (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1987) and C. Stephen Evans, The Historical Christ and the Jesus of Faith: The Incarnational Narrative as History, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996).
27 You can read of the account in Matthew 27:62-28:20. Actually, Matthew ends his gospel with two stories: the story of the resurrection as told by the disciples and the story of his body being stolen as told by the Jews. You, the reader, are then faced with a decision. Which story are you going to believe?
28 John 19:39, NRSV.
29 Mark 16:4.
30 Several post resurrection appearances are recorded at the end of all the Gospels and the first chapter of Acts.
31 Again, I am indebted to C. S. Lewis. His presentation of the moral argument in Mere Christianity has had a deep and lasting effect on my life.
32 Romans 2:12-16.
33 Immanuel Kant, Critique of Practical Reason, trans. by Lewis White Beck, (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1956).
Bibliography of Sources cited
Barrow, John D., and Tipler, Frank J. The Anthropic Cosmological Principle. New York: Oxford University Press, 1986
Blomberg, Craig L. The Historical Reliability of the Gospels. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1987.
Bludman, S. A. "Thermodynamics and the End of a Closed Universe." Nature 308 (March 1984): 319-322.
Carter, Brandon. "Large Number Coincidences and the Anthropic Principle in Cosmology." In Confrontation of Cosmological Theories with Observational Data, ed. M. S. Longair, 291-298. Boston: D. Reidel Publishing Company, 1974.
Corey, M.A. God and the New Cosmology: The Anthropic Design Argument, Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, 1993.
Davies, Paul. The Mind of God. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1992.
Evans, C. Stephen. The Historical Christ and the Jesus of Faith: The Incarnational Narrative as History, New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.
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