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Hutson cites studies that show the persistent belief in God is not merely understood as some distant Deistic First Cause but, rather, of a God who cares, a God who judges and a God who might punish. He writes, “Even atheists seem to fear a higher power.
A study published last year found that self-identified nonbelievers began to sweat when reading aloud sentences asking God to do terrible things (‘I dare God to make my parents drown’).
To say that plants produce oxygen for the purpose of supplying animals would imply design, and therefore God.
Physicists, chemists and geologists are very familiar with this reasoning, and yet with a high frequency they assented to statements that placed things within an ordered framework and were implicitly teleological.
He said essentially that the only way one could be free from belief in God was by identifying all the ethics that are derived from Christianity and turning them upside down—doing the opposite. Lewis finally made the assent of faith, he wrote that he was perhaps the most miserable convert in all of England.
But the world is forever made new by Christ, and so even for the scientist who plugs his spiritual ears and winces shut his spiritual eyes the leaven of natural law can no more be avoided than can the warmth and light of the sun. The result was a life’s worth of confirmation bias thrown on the scrapheap. Lewis, of course, was an Oxford Don, an intellectual not unlike Hutson’s scientists from MIT and elsewhere, and like them, he was lost in his one-dimensional intellectual constructs.
We are intensely aware of either harmony or discord with truths far beyond human construction or patternicity, and the ubiquity and immutable persistence of these truths is why atheists must be so cranky and belligerent.
Friedrich Nietzsche railed against the persistent interconnectedness between natural law and belief in God and called for a transvaluation of values.
Return to Volume 46-50 Contents Listing JAAP DEN HOLLANDER, HERMAN PAUL, and RIK PETERS History and Theory, Theme Issue 50 (December 2011), 1-10 What does “historical distance” mean?But for religious thinkers, the persistence of this type of thinking in non-religious scientists is evidence not of a logical lapse, but, of irrepressible natural faith. In his inimitably ironic way, Lewis pointed to the fact that there really are no such things as atheists. Robert Barron addresses the common misconceptions about the nature of God that lead so many who worship at the altar of science to deny God exists. Barron, the atheist critique hinges on their mistaken understanding of God as “the supreme instance of the category of being.” Citing St.Thomas Aquinas, Barron argues that this is exactly what God is not.Rather God is , that is, the subsistent act of being itself.
“The sciences in principle cannot eliminate God, because God is not some phenomena in the world.” Scientists and those who consider themselves atheists confine themselves to the material realm which is measurable and testable and are rightly proud of all that has been achieved in that realm, but even the most obstinate materialist cannot help but hear the echoes of truths from beyond the particular and contingent. Barron says: “We are constantly struck by the contingency of things (their coming into being and their passing away), but we also have a deep sense of their rootedness in BEING. The non-contingent ground of Being.” But for Hutson and others who are perplexed at the dogged persistence of “magical thinking,” it gets worse.Starting with Johan Huizinga, the famous Dutch historian who refused to lecture on contemporary history, this introductory article argues that “historical distance” is a metaphor used in a variety of intellectual contexts.