Friday, February 17, 2006

The Teleological Argument reloaded

While the teleological argument
has been around since Aquinas (and arguably Cicero) and getting more attention from the Intelligent Design folks, two questions often arise even if one accepts the existence of "a designer". First, is there more than one designer? Second, why believe he is anything like the God of Abraham and Moses? Perhaps he is powerful enough to create the cosmos. But is he unrivalled like Yahweh or does his power relative to others rise and fall like Zeus, Chronos, Tiamat, and Marduk? Is he wise, knowledgeable, good, and caring or is he the divine watchmaker who has moved on and left us to fend for ourselves? My physics professor spoke of his days as Stephen Hawking's post-doctoral student and how he would bombard Dr. Hawking with proofs of God's existence that a scientific person ought to accept. Hawking's reply: "even if your proofs of God's existence are good, your definitions of God are a far cry from the God of Jacob".

While I believed in God, I felt Hawking had produced a good counterargument to the Christian know-it-alls. But now, as I sit at my terminal with nigh omnipotent powers over a small application and etch my almighty decrees in a fixed-width font, I also see the disastrous results of power without wisdom. The tragedy of rules without context.
The insanity that results when serving two masters (even if they both report to the same person on the org chart). If there were more than one God, the laws of physics would not allow us to breathe air every day because on alternate tuesdays, oxygen would be toxic. If God was not good, plants would not have made oxygen. As I look on the smouldering remains of an application once completely under my power, subject to the laws of multiple masters, and my own personal errors and compare it to the splendour of the world that God has made, I realize two things: There is one God, and he is very good - for his work is not flawed like my own.

Yes, it's been a rough week at work.

1 comment:

Dave King said...

Just imagine the debuging sessions if our code had free will!