A vehicle for venting on philosophy, religion, and the general state of things. Proprietor: C. W. Powell

Monday, February 06, 2012

The Blind Leading the Blind

It was over one hundred years ago.  Professor Emil Heinrich Du Bois-Reymond, founder of the science of electrophysiology, addressed the Berlin Academy of Sciences.  He said there were seven riddles that neither science nor philosophy will ever explain.  They are:
  1. the ultimate nature of matter and force,
  2. the origin of motion,
  3. the origin of life,
  4. the "apparently teleological arrangements of nature," not an "absolutely transcendent riddle,"
  5. the origin of simple sensations, "a quite transcendent" question,
  6. the origin of intelligent thought and language, which might be known if the origin of sensations could be known, and
  7. the question of freewill.
I suspect that science and philosophy are no further along in "solving" these riddles than they were in 1880.  I also suspect that these seven "riddles" are of great importance if man is to see the meaning of his own existence, the nature and effects of religion, and the purpose for intelligent thought and language.

Under the rules of engagement that science and philosophy have so fruitlessly bound themselves, the "solution" to even one of the riddles seems to get farther and farther away against the far horizon.  Under total materialist assumptions of physical cause and effect, how can there be a solution to the manufactured riddles mentioned above?  They are riddles only to those who do not like to regain God in their knowledge.

Maybe the words of Jesus Christ need to be given some respect:  "That which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the spirit is spirit."  [John 3]  How can life and spirit arise from dead matter?  Is the very presence of life an indication that there must be more than atoms, force, energy, gravity, chemical bonds and such?

What is the definition from chemistry or physics that can define why a joke is funny, or a story is sad, or why Billy has hope for Christmas? or America's constitution guarantees freedom for her citizens?

How can you talk about liberty, science, and progress if you know nothing about morality, religion, the human heart and conscience?  What is the chemical formula for conscience? or what do we give God, when we give Him our heart?  Many a kindergarten girl knows more of these things than the materialistic scientist or philosopher with many prestigious degrees.

What a vast, complex, and fascinating world is hidden from those who only know what they learn from their five physical senses!  They have eyes to see, but cannot see; ears to hear, but cannot hear.  They are dead to God, shut up in their narrow, cold, and miserable cocoon.

God in His mercy and kindness, has brought the modern world to a crisis.  We face problems of a spiritual, religious, and moral nature, with real choices before us.  The problems in the Middle East, in Europe, in the Far East, and at home will not be solved by materialistic science, for that science cannot even know what the questions are.  "Why don't the other children like me?" cannot be answered by gifts of lolly-pops.   Questions concerning racism, sexism, abortion, involve deep spiritual issues that the modern man and women are ill-equipped to face, let alone understand. Even deeper questions like "How much of a person's earnings is it moral for him to keep?" have no mathematical solution.  The different philosophical questions concerning wealth held by the widow who gave her mite and Ananias who kept back half his fortune have no mathematical definition.

These questions are pale beside the major question of all: what is the importance of living at all?  Why is living better than being dead?

Dead men, with dead faith, worshiping dead gods, with dead works and ceremonies will not bring life to the world.  Someone who has life in Himself and can give life and come forth from the dead can do so.  But leaving Him outside the door of church, family, state, and experience will not secure the future.

Pr 21:16 "The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead."
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