Sago Boulevard

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Torah's Explaining Power

Orthoprax expresses some genuine concerns about the so-called proofs for theism. If you're interested I recommend reading through my comments on his post. I've addressed similar issues before (here and here) but I want to share a way of thinking that I personally find helpful:

It's true that we can explain the complexity of nature without appealing to God. The same is true for moral intuitions, ontology, etc. But positing God's existence is helpful in understanding how all these things relate to each other. Scientists (generally) aren't interested in understanding the relationship between the origins of the universe and ethical dilemmas, even if they can explain each one individually. But the Torah is concerned with exactly those kind of issues; for example, "What does bad things happening to good people have to do with the creation of the world". The Torah answers by appealing to God. It's not deductive to be sure, but it's very useful. In terms of accounting for the entirety of existence, I think the Torah-theory has tremendous explaining power. You'll always be able to come up with a cogent naturalist explanation but it strikes me as much less compelling.