Sunday, April 10, 2011

design in a banana

This semester in Philosophy of Religion, we've really been getting down in the nitty-gritty of arguments for (and against) the existence of God. One of the classic arguments (and a personal favorite, probably due to its influence in my own life) for is the argument from design (also known as the teleological argument). In a very, very tight nutshell, it is based on the examination of the nature of the world around us. One of its main premises is that the world is too complex and too orderly to have been produced by chance or random change. It's this argument that hits me in the face every time I sit down to study for any of my biology courses, every time I look out a window, every time I'm riding home on my bike late at night, when the moon and stars shine on above me, and countless other "every time..."

In the book of Romans, the Apostle Paul sums the argument up as follows:

"For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened." (Romans 1: 19-20).

Paul argues from design, saying that the entire natural world bears witness to God through its beauty, complexity, design, and usefulness. No one should complain that God has left insufficient evidence of his existence and character; the evidence is all around us!

My sister made mention of a funny, yet telling incident of how design frequently hits us in the face. She said that the other day, Dad was eating a banana in the kitchen, when he looked down at the banana while peeling it and said, "Should be have a God; no one can make such a good dessert."

My dad still waivers on the issue of the existence of God, but very frequently, says things like this. For me, I frequently have my own seasons of doubt and questioning, but among several other things (not the least of which is the sheer grace of God), the world around me leaves me unable for any extended season, to truly deny the existence of God. And I think, if people would really take the time to examine their own hearts and sort through their own thoughts, they couldn't either.


Nicole said...

you know how much I enjoy bananas too!

Nicole said...

hey tungy how do I comment on your profile pic?! i LOVE it!!! haha