13. SOME ISSUES THAT ARISE FROM THE ABOVE QUESTIONS
The discussion of the questions presented above suggests to me some other issues that it seems appropriate to discuss at this point.
13.1. WHAT IF WE WERE CREATED?
As previously stated, it is my belief that we were created. In terms of this belief i would like to offer my understanding of the broad implications of this belief. This is set out in below.
In broad terms, i believe that:
1) The First Human Beings
The first human beings were created with great intelligence, great knowledge of the ways of the Almighty, great spiritual gifting and power and great physical capacity and capability.
There are various individuals who have produced books, videos and other material presenting physical evidence and rationale to support this view. While i do not agree with everything that these individuals say, it is my belief that, in essence, they accurately report genuine information which clearly supports a view that the first human beings created had the attributes mentioned above.
2) Early Choices
Most early human beings made choices which resulted in them breaking the commandments of the Almighty that had been clearly spelt out to them at the outset. I understand this to have resulted in a judgment which resulted in a global flood which destroyed all life except for certain individuals who were preserved in a large boat.
I believe that all of humankind today has descended from these individuals.
3) Further Choices
In the years that followed, humankind again progressively departed from relationship with the Almighty and from compliance with His commandments.
4) Progressive Deterioration
This resulted in spiritual, intellectual, moral and physical deterioration of humankind to a point where today, in the third millennium AD, i believe that the current generation is spiritually and morally the weakest generation that has ever lived. I am not certain as to the extent to which humankind has regained some physical and intellectual capability in recent centuries. I am aware that there are reports of physical and intellectual advancement in recent generations.
I have a broad impression that the deterioration of humankind in spiritual and moral terms and to a significant extent in the intellectual and physical context.
I cannot prove this.
While i have reason to believe that this process has taken place over a period of approximately six thousand years, it does not seem important to me in this document to assert that this is so. Whether this process has taken six thousand years or many millions of years does not seem to me to detract from the essential thesis.
It seems to me as an engineer that this decay curve is entirely consistent with the manner in which all structures and systems created by human beings deteriorate over time. Initially the rate of decay is small. Without regular maintenance, servicing, repair, etc the rate of decay gradually accelerates until eventual collapse. I hold that this applies to motor cars, to houses, to roads, to aircraft and to any other thing that humankind has created.
It therefore seems to me to be probable that if humankind is a created entity, that we will also deteriorate over time unless regularly maintained. I understand this maintenance to require an intimate relationship with the Almighty and it is my belief that there are no human beings on earth today who have such a close relationship with the Almighty that they have in a material way been able to change their position on this decay curve.
It seems to me that this view is diametrically opposed to a view of progressive environmentally determined evolution without a creator over millions or billions of years.
I say this in the sense that my understanding of the non-creation view of evolution is that those who subscribe to evolution without a creator hold that the present generation is the most advanced and most evolved version of humankind that has ever existed.
If the perspectives discussed above are approximate indications of the broad view of how humankind has reached their present state, then this represents a very substantial non-conformity in which one of the models must be invalid.
To me, taken in context with my comments about "why are we here" and "where are we going", this seems to be important information.
It seems to me that these different curves highlight the importance of considering all available information, including information that one has possibly previously rejected, and choosing which point of view one is going to hold in the future.
Again, i cannot prove this and leave it to individual readers to evaluate.
13.2. WHAT IF THERE IS A JUDGMENT?
From a personal point of view, it seems to me that the most important question that this entire document raises is the issue of a "Day of Judgment" and a "lake of fire".
If those who advocate evolution without a creator are correct, then it seems to me that we have nothing to fear. I am under the impression that those who advocate this view hold that human beings will each grow old and eventually die and that will be the end of it.
I understand the implication of this position to be that one should do the "best" one can with one's life on the basis of what one concludes is "best" and there is no "wrong" answer and no negative consequence of making a "mistake".
For many years i lived my life more or less in line with this belief until, one day, i had an experience that showed me clearly that there WAS a creator and that there WAS a judgment. I have concluded over the years that where i have experiences like this, others cannot share in my experience and cannot accept what i say based on my experience. Accordingly, it does not seem necessary to me to share the experience.
I do not think that many people will choose to believe in a creator on the basis of someone else's experience.
If those who believe in a creator AND a Day of Judgment are correct, then i believe that this has serious consequences for every human being. There are those, including myself, whose understanding of the situation is that all those who do not believe there is a creator will spend eternity in the lake of fire.
One can argue against this on the basis that it is "unjust", "wrong", "i don't believe it", etc. I experience that as an argument from incredulity. Because one cannot believe there is a Judgment and lake of fire does not mean they do not exist.
From my perspective the possibility of a day of judgment is the most significant reason that i can give why anyone should seriously consider the possibility of the existence of a creator and therefore consider the remainder of this article which seeks to demonstrate the existence of a creator using data that is available to most human beings.
I think there is also merit in seeking the truth from a point of view of the intellectual satisfaction of finding a robust answer to an abstract question. On this basis i ask you to continue reading whatever your response is to the previous paragraph.
13.3. WHERE FROM VERSUS WHERE GOING -- REAR VIEW MIRROR VISION
It seems to me that one of the fundamental differences between "evolution" and "creation" thinking is that evolution is primarily concerned with "where have we come from" and "creation" is more about "where are we going".
I do not think that this distinction is made clear by most people who hold creation to be true, however, i think that they do have this in mind in most of what they think and say.
I think it might be useful to make this distinction much more evident than it is at present.
As a strategist and consultant to large organizations on the formulation and implementation of strategy, one of the important principles is the requirement for a clear view or vision of where the organization is going and what it will look like when it gets there.
Many speakers on effective management warn executives NOT to manage by "looking in the rear view mirror".
It seems to me that many who subscribe to evolution devote a considerable amount of time to looking at the past.
It seems to me that many who argue in favour of creation also do this.
I would like to suggest that while the past may be of interest, the future is where we will spend the rest of our lives, irrespective of whether there is life after death or not.
Accordingly, it seems to me that any model of creation or evolution should offer a basis for formulating a clear view of where human kind is going and that if one model appears to offer more clarity this might be a basis for giving that model more detailed scrutiny.
I submit that belief in a creator and a day of judgment offers such an opportunity.
In considering the subject of this article, i find that i have it that there is a large amount of recorded information about a creator and His alleged interactions with humankind. This includes the Bible but i understand it to include diverse other writings as well.
As far as i know there is not a comparable body of ancient writing about spontaneous evolution.
Insofar as i hold the above to be valid, i do not understand why some people seem to have such a need to seemingly totally discount the collective beliefs and experience of millions and possibly billions of people?
It seems trite to simply dismiss these beliefs as "superstition" or use some more dismissive, and insulting, language to justify a solution that ignores these beliefs as not being "scientific" or similar. I do not understand why it is "scientific" to be "incredulous" of the beliefs of millions AND "scientific" to use "argument from incredulity" to dismiss the objections of these same people to non-creative evolution.
It seems to me that either argument from incredulity IS scientific, in which case i submit that it applies to both sides OR it does not apply to either.
There are many other points which seem to me to flow from this point. I choose not to go further with this in this section.
13.4. CRITICAL SUCCESS FACTORS FOR THE END OF LIFE
Whether one has a view of coming judgment and eternal life and eternal damnation or whether one holds that at the end of this life one will cease to exist, it seems to me that most people would have some view of how they would like to live their lives.
I would like to offer the outcome of an exercise that my wife and i recently undertook, as a means of highlighting some things that i think may be applicable to many people on earth today.
I would like to suggest that irrespective of what believes, one must, at least subconsciously, have some view of what one would like to accomplish by the time one lies on one's death bed. These are not necessarily conscious measures, they are quite likely to be "gut feel" about what one considers really important.
My wife and i undertook such an exercise recently and found that we were in close agreement about the factors that seemed important to us.
I offer them for your consideration with limited explanation:
1) Service to the Almighty
Found to be a "good and faithful servant", close relationship with the Almighty, obedience and submission to Him, qualify to sit on a high throne for eternity, impacts all the points that follow and impacted by them.
2) Make a Difference in the World
Impact many lives for the Kingdom of the Almighty.
3) Achieve my Potential
Achieve my potential as a man or woman in every area of my life - family, business, profession / occupation, community, nation, etc.
4) Marriage and Sex
Rich and fulfilling marriage including passionate and fulfilling sexual relationships within marriage lived in partnership, harmony, love, empathy, caring, unity, etc.
Children grow up the way i would like them to be - serving the Almighty and living their lives with similar critical success factors to these.
6) Experience the World
Experience the richness of creation, travel, nature, cultures, food, etc.
7) Enjoy Life and Things
Enjoy the fullness of what exists - material things, finances, house, cars, furniture, etc.
It seems to me that, barring the first item, the remaining six are likely to apply whether one believes in a creator or not. They seem to me to be fairly fundamental.
The interpretation of the points may differ significantly.
For example, if one does not believe there is a day of judgment, the fourth point might look more like "rich and varied sexual relationships".
It seems to me that the relative importance is also likely to differ significantly.
At the time i did the above exercise i concluded that the relative importance of each of these seven points to me (the percentage that each factor contributes to my life view) was 67%; 8%; 7%; 6%; 5%; 4% and 3% respectively. All the points ARE important to me, however, if i do not make significant progress on the first point it seems to me that, based on what i believe, on the day i die the other points will be largely irrelevant.
I think that at least some who believe in a creator will assign the first point a relatively high weight.
It seems to me that if one does not believe in a creator then the first point would be cancelled, it would not exist, thereby leaving SIX points. Alternatively, there might be another seventh point that i have not thought of which would apply in such a case. Possibly "money" or "financial success" might be separated out of the seventh point above.
If i look at the world around me, it seems that if one does not believe in a creator and one does not believe in a day of judgment, then the 67% that i have allocated to the first point might be distributed over the remaining points with a lot of emphasis on the material world, things and finance. I seem to recall that this was the way i saw things a decade or two ago.
I would like to suggest that you might find it an interesting exercise to determine what the six or seven factors are that you will use to rate your life on your death bed based on what you believe about creation versus evolution.