I do not think humanity is living in a whole-world simulation. But because the simulation argument seems to work, what it seems to do is to uncover deep discrepancies . . . in how people think about deep reality — about this universe, multiple universes, consciousness, inferences for and against theism. (From the article)
First, in the interest of full disclosure, I have not carefully read the article I’m linking to. I’m including it here, though, because it makes a point I’ve made before (Cosmology, Culture and the Multiverse, May 2012). Scientists and cosmologists, in grappling with the questions of existence, tend to leave room for the possibility of God in their considerations whether they recognize it or not. The point is simply this: atheism is to disregard real possibilities — as closed-minded as any religious zealot. To say one is agnostic is a more honest position.
What interests me when I hear about learned men and women exploring the possibilities as Carl Sagan did in his book, Contact (later to become a movie starring Jody Foster) is that they must dodge the God solution. They have an easier time attributing the vexing mysteries of the universe to advanced civilizations, not unlike ourselves but for their evolutionary superiority, than to attribute it to an infinite, personal consciousness — Schaeffer’s “God who is there.”
Their eyes had failed them.
Or they had failed their eyes…
~The Glass Menagerie
What have we done? That was the question that overwhelmed me as I was praying this morning—brought me to tears. What have we done? What kind of people have we evolved to be?
Perhaps you have heard it on the news. A nationally recognized health services organization has been recorded while talking openly about the harvesting and distribution of fetal tissue. When I heard about it from one of our household members I thought it was another right wing conspiracy theory, an urban legend that would soon appear at Snopes dot com.
The dispute over the acceptability of the covenant offering of heterosexual marriage as distinguished from a committed partnership is similar to the dispute between Cain and Abel. One offering was acceptable to God, the other was not. Even though Cain was undoubtedly sincere and his offering carefully prepared, his offering was rejected. This aroused resentment in Cain. When he learned that his contribution was not suitable to his Creator, “Cain was very angry, and his face fell” (Genesis 4:5-8).
You Make Me Mad
The same dynamic appears to be playing out today. When we declare that a same-sex partnership cannot be a marriage, an offering pleasing to God, there is a Cain-like reaction. Knowing the final outcome of Cain’s response does little to reassure me as we reject same-sex marriage. Nevertheless, we have to continue to regard marriage as an offering clearly planned by God Himself. Anything else, no matter how sincerely and lovingly presented, simply will not do.
I attended a pre-release showing of Woodlawn last night. I liked it, even though I wasn’t expecting to — I have been disappointed over and over by the mediocre attempts of evangelical filmmakers. But this felt different. What I call “the cheese factor” was missing. That’s the term I use to describe amateurish, poorly written and acted efforts at making the gospel relevant through cinema. Cheesy Christian films, perhaps unintentionally, rely on the patience and charity of church-goers whose love of the message makes them willing to accept mediocrity and suspend disbelief. The same films tend to be soundly mocked by viewers from outside the evangelical camp.
I think Woodlawn succeeds where many have failed because it is based on a true story. When evangelicals attempt to make up a story — cinematic fiction — the “cheese factor” seems unavoidable, but this film, like The Hiding Place (1975), is based on a true story. Woodlawn is drawn from the book by the same title which, according to the Amazon summary, is about “courage, strength, and football at the height of racial tension in Birmingham, Alabama…and tells the story of Coach Tandy Gerelds, his running back Tony Nathan, and a high school football game that healed a city.” Continue reading Movie: Woodlawn. I Was Impressed.→