terça-feira, 11 de janeiro de 2005

In Solitude and Struggle for Survival Reality is Revealed

...for those who are not believers...

Now imagine if you were stranded on a remote and deserted island, and while walking along the beach you found a cross that had been carved out of wood. You would immediately get hope that someone might still be there to rescue you. This would not be questioned, because you know and assume it was made for a purpose.

Yes, there is the evidence and grounds for the search for a cause. Now your eyes are scrutinizing every detail of the island for its source, till eventually you see an old book. Rushing towards it, you hope it might have some answers for you to escape your lonely exile. Perhaps it will have a map or give you some instructions on how you may survive on that island. However, as you look through it you find that it is only Paley's book dealing with the Watch-maker, it is no use to you. For what good can it be for you to read about proofs for the existence of God from design when you need your daily bread, and someone else beyond you to rescue you?

But as you skim the pages to see if there might be some other indications of your real (present) needs, you notice an illustration of a modified cave among some rocks by a shore. This picture reminds you of the rocks you had passed by decided not to climb because they seemed to be of no use to you, and possibly dangerous. So you decide to see if there might be some sign of life there. After a strenuous climb over the rocks, to your amazement you find a similar cave. And after wondering if there was any intelligent connection, you enter in and find an abundant supply of dry clothes, preserved food, and everything else suited to your needs. In the course of indulging yourself you become convinced of the goodness of the person who left them so benevolently. And because of many more details it soon becomes evident that the book and everything in the cave were united in the same person.
Now having reclothed and eating, and having nothing left to do, you decide to read some more of the book. Who knows? maybe there might be a clue for help off the lonely island. And in the course of skimming through the pages again, you start reading it.

After a while you start to see how your own situation parallels the arguments. You remember how you discovered the cross and the book, and how you assumed there was a person behind the obvious design. Then the realization comes upon you how kind that person was to have gone to all the trouble to leave such things for someone so in need. At the same time you think of the book and see how God is behind so much more.
You then decide to give thanks. So you knell down and offer some deep felt gratitude for all those needed and designed provisions. Then you decide that perhaps He might hear and help you further still. So you offer up a desperate request for a way home. And upon rising to your feet you see a tiny sparkle of the sun in the lower corner. Ah ha! here is but further evidence of preservation and benevolence in a two-way radio. Your help will soon be coming.

You might be saying "this might all sound nice, but it is not real life." Realizing that it is quite loaded and simplistic, it is all that is needed with such little space. Yet I believe it serves it's purpose well. As the cross, book, and sheltered provisions proved someone was obviously behind it, so our daily needs, abundant faculties, and many deliverances reveal a Personal loving hand. This is very similar to my experience. Finding myself continually deserted by life's empty allurements, alienated from personal love, and chastened to an island of struggle for existence—when all distractions and excuses were removed, when the eyes began to open and search, then I received answers, one step at a time. When I was forced to make my theories based on reality and not on gain, then life began to make sense— hope no longer mocked me. I shall come back to this later. Lets see Paley's argument in logical form:

1. A watch shows that it was put together for an intelligent purpose (to keep time).
a) It has a spring to give it motion;
b) It has a series of wheels to transmit this motion;
c) The wheels are made of brass so that they do not rust;
d) The front cover is of glass so that one can see through it.

2. The world shows an even greater evidence of design.
a) It is a greater work of art;
b) has more subtle and complex design;
c) and has an endless variety of means adapted to ends.

3. Therefore, if the existence of a watch implies a watchmaker, then t e existence of the world implies an even greater intelligent Designer God.

As the latest sophisticated computers come from highly trained intelligence, so the far more complex code of DNA testifies of a greater Intelligence. As the intricate watch assumes a skillful intelligent designer, so the human brain—billions of times more complex—speaks as loud as heaven of a far more brilliant Creator.

Again, nothing more comes out than what goes in. As we infer the existence of man from the phenomena which he exhibits to our senses, so we infer the existence of God by His footprints of purpose all around us. We may know our Creator has all our capabilities (intelligence, communication, happiness, love, etc.) by the fact that causes have what their effects have. And yet how much more must the Divine Being have, being infinite in all respects.

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