Tuesday, March 20, 2018

David Attenborough on God

In the interview Sir David displays what strikes me is an entirely genuine and fair reaction to the question of God. If his termite hill metaphor is right then it raises a question: Do we seek God or does 'He' seek us; or is it a two sided seeking?

Here's a 1st century AD perspective:

Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.

24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. 28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’

29 “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill. 30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31 For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.”

32 When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, “We want to hear you again on this subject.”

Acts 17. 

How do we see the thing in which we live and move and have our being? Are we the (potentially) ephemeral cognita inside some huge mind?

See the link below for more on Acts 17:

I have to admit that I have more in common with Attenborough's epistemic humility before God (a humility which recognises our tenuous perceptions and acknowledges our imperfect grasp of Truth) than I do with many a fundamentalist Christian who makes loud claim to certainty from a literalist reading of the Bible.

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