Apropos a conversation I was having with Gavin the other day about ID, Robin Hanson comments on Richard Dawkins and The God Delusion:
To my mind most discussion misses the key distinction between these two claims:
1. A great intelligent power influenced the structure of our universe.
2. Such a power intervenes in your life, e.g., answering your prayer.
Relevant experts do indeed consider the first claim to be within reason, but only a minority consider the second claim to be reasonable. Most academic debate is on the first claim, but the second claim is what interests most people. Maybe part of the problem is that we have a word, “atheist,” for skeptics about the first claim, but no such moniker regarding the second claim. Suggestions?
My suggestion: morietheism. Mori- means dead. You can play too! Here’s a list of Latin elements.
UPDATE: Someone suggested ‘deism‘. What’s the fun in inventing new words if old ones already do the job for you?
UPDATE 2: Meanwhile IDers and neoaths call each other “babbling idiots” and “goofballs”, none seem to notice they’re talking past each other. There is no contradiction between the idea of a non-intervening, all-powerful god and science. None. Evolution is the science of WHAT causes changes in species over a long span and God helps some people understand WHY. What and why, last I checked, are two distinct sorts of questions to ask. It is NOT logically necessary for the answer to the “why?” questions to preclude the answers to the “what?” questions. The same is true of the reverse.
UPDATE 3: A good comment at this post:
There is a nuance I think is involved with many if not most creationists. The distinction they see isn’t between accident and purpose but between accident and intent. This article is particularly clear about it. To the author, “nature” is the same as “chance” and is to be contrasted with and is the opposite of “intelligence.”
Mere purpose (in the generalized god-as-sustainer-of-nature concept of theistic evolution) is not sufficient. Life, particularly human life (and, ultimately, each individual human), must be the intended result of God’s deliberate action.
UPDATE 4: How is it even remotely possible that the Church’s views on this matter are the most reasonable? “There is a world of difference between believing that we are a product of evolution and that we are an accident of evolution!” and “The world today faces a crisis of meaning. Faith gives meaning. Evolution is perfectly acceptable and does not contradict faith. However, evolution is not an end in itself. In other words, it is not God!”