Friday, March 30, 2007

Am I a Christian?

One might think that since I have posted some blog entries slamming the theory of evolution that I must be a Christian -- but I am not. I am a deist. In other words I believe God exists but don't think God interferes with the affairs of mankind or natural laws of the universe. An atheist once said to me that "if God exists she wouldn't want or need to be worshiped" and I agree with that. There are some things I believe about God, but I wouldn't want to try and defend them on an intellectual basis because I think that mankind is about as capable of understanding God as a tree is of understanding us. I don't think God answers prayers but I admit to praying occasionally just in case he does, and usually only in regard to the health and well being of my loved ones.

I was a Christian from the time that I was 14 until my mid thirties when my thinking gradually moved away from Christianity. As a Christian I was very studious and read the entire Bible possibly as many as twenty times. Most Christians have never read the whole Bible and if they did they might have some doubts about how inspired it is. Nevertheless, I still believe God exists in large part because I think the most commonly believed alternative (evolution by natural selection and random mutation) isn't plausible. I could believe in evolution by intelligent design if I thought there was sufficient evidence in the fossil record to prove that evolution ever occurred -- but I don't. Generally I think evolutionists interpret the fossil record according to their world view, and sometimes embellish it. I will admit that since I am a trained mathematician I might require a bit more evidence as proof than the average person.

I can say that I agree with a substantial amount of the moral teachings in the Bible (even if I'm not that good at following them) but that doesn't make me a Christian. Jesus said "do to others what you would have them do to you" (Matthew 7:12) and I agree with that -- but so would a lot of Muslins, Buddhists, Hindus, agnostics and atheists. I guess I would also agree with Paul the Apostle when he said the law of God is written on every man's heart (paraphrasing Romans 2:15) and that explains why an atheist, a Christian and a Buddhist might have similar moral perspectives.

My point is that I believe in God, not because I am a Christian, as many suppose, but because it seems to be the most reasonable explanation for our existence. And when I say reasonable I mean "compatible with science". As I have explained in some of my blog enrties, I don’t think that evolution is compatible with hard science (repeatable experimentation). I view it more as the dogma of atheists.

Many people commonly judge people whose world view differs substantially from theirs as idiots and I sometimes have to endure such bigotry. For those who are curious about my educational background, I have a B.S. in Mathematics (1981) from the University of Washington which is considered Public Ivy. I substantially exceeded the requirements for the degree by completing the pure and the numerical analysis math options, two years of physics, and a substantial number of computer science and engineering courses. I also attended graduate school at the University of Washington and earned an M.S. in Applied Mathematics (1982). My application field was Computer Science so I was required to complete graduate level courses in that field for my degree.


At 1:53 AM, December 05, 2008, Blogger John Morales said...

Hi Randy.

I took up your invitation to read this.

Cheer up, I've previously expressed my opinion that the smarter someone is, the better they can rationalise and compartmentalise. I wouldn't call you stupid, nor have I :)

Anyway, I accept you're not a Christian. I never thought IDers were exclusively Christian, of course.


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