Goddidnotdoit

This NEVER happened!
By Credo Quia Absurdum

Christadelphians and fond of quoting bible passages in discussion and then metaphorically standing back as though that trumps all other arguments.




One you might often hear – from all sorts of believers, not just CDs – is a quote from the letter to the Romans:

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.  Rom 1:20 (NIV)

“Without excuse” is the phrase that they particularly love here.  The existence of God is so manifest in “what has been made” that there is no possible excuse to not believe in him!

Except for two things: 

Firstly it is a quote from the Bible - and if you are an unbeliever that carries no more weight than if a Muslim quotes the Koran, or a Mormon quotes the book of Mormon, or a Hindu quotes from the Vedas.  Christadelphians are quite happy to reject other people’s scriptures – usually without any idea of what is in them – but think that theirs should be given special respect.

Well sorry, it doesn’t have automatic respect and we should judge each text on what it says.  Which brings us to the second reason to reject Romans 1:20.

This was the opinion of the writer of the letter to the Romans – a letter which is pretty much unanimously agreed to have been genuinely written by Paul (unlike most of the letters in the New Testament which are ascribed to him).  Paul was a man of his time, a pre-scientific age, where the many wonders of nature and the cosmos, and the rational scientific explanations of them were simply unknown. 

Since the earliest times mankind had ascribed agency to nature – believing that things happened for a reason, and that there were conscious beings controlling the weather, the seasons, the Sun and the Moon, and just about everything around them.  These were the first “gods”, but as mankind learned more about the workings of the cosmos these many gods were displaced as there was no need for them to explain the world – until there was only one god left, so distant and mysterious that he hardly interacts with the world at all.  But is a useful explanation whenever there is something about the world that we can’t understand or explain – like how did it come about? Godidit!

So when Paul was writing to the Romans he is appealing to the Godidit argument to say look at the creation – ain’t it all marvellous?  How could that possibly happen unless Godidit?  It’s the argument for design and it doesn’t work in the modern world and it shouldn’t work just because it’s expressed in the fancy religious language of the letter to the Romans!

Repeating Paul’s formulation of the argument from design and supposing that it proves that there is no excuse to doubt God’s existence is intellectually lazy and quite dishonest.

Not something that seekers after the real truth would ever want to be!

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