Doesn't Prove Anything
I don't know if you saw it, but Dr. Newberg was on this morning's Good Morning America, it seems his book is a hot topic. Of course, the media are trying to spin it to the "This shows God created us to worship him" angle, but he wouldn't say either way what he thought.
From: "Positive Atheism Magazine" <email@example.com>
To: "Mike Bast"
Subject: Re: Some responses to Newberg
Date: Tuesday, May 01, 2001 8:51 PM
Newberg openly admits that his work does not show that God created us to worship. He will only go so far as to suggest that if there is a God, then He would need to use the human nervous system to communicate with us (not true if one accepts the existence of the incorporeal "soul" or "spirit" of a human). Thus (says Newberg), if God must use the human nervous system to commune with humans, then perhaps (says Newberg) He designed this function into the human brain.
The whole idea is far-fetched from both a materialistic sense and from a Fundamentalist Christian sense. We will hear a lot from the Intelligent Design camp, but I suspect that the overall, long-term impact will be an increased amount of skepticism toward the supernatural.
This will also provide a vehicle for popularizing our position that the entire Intelligent Design Argument places the cart before the horse. The only way to prove, empirically, that a watch was created is to travel to Switzerland (or wherever) and meet the watchmaker who put the thing together. Until they cough up a creator, the Intelligent Design Argument still boils down to this: "Anything this complex just has to have a creator because it's so -- complex!" The more sophisticated Christian apologists realize this, and shun indirect attempts at persuasion such as the Intelligent Design Argument, preferring simply to admit that they presuppose the existence of the Christian god. While this style of apologetics serves as a neat buffer from criticism, it also is not very persuasive toward winning converts. It is, however, the more honest of the two approaches, in my opinion.
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