Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Debate: Does The Universe Have A Purpose?

We are a species oriented toward a teleological view of the world. We feel as though there is a purpose to not just our individual lives (as in, "God has a plan for you") but for the whole of humanity and the universe. We could be wrong, of course, but the quick dismissal of such intuitions of meaning may be just as wrong.

The book of Genesis and its great illustrations, like the frescoes of Michelangelo, remain a far more intelligent account of the nature and origin of the universe than the representation of the world as a chance collocation of atoms. for the biblical cosmology continues to express - however inadequately - the significance of the fact that the world exists and that man has emerged from it, while the scientific picture denies any meaning to the world, and indeed ignores all our most vital experience of this world. The assumption that the world has some meaning which is linked to our own calling as the only morally responsible beings in the world, is an important example of the supernatural aspect of experience which Christian interpretations of the universe explore and develop.--Michael Polanyi

The debate features Matt Ridley, Michael Shermer and Richard Dawkins vs Rabbi David Wolpe, William Lane Craig and Douglas Geivett. The introduction is in Spanish, and the debate begins at about the 8:30 mark.

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