Sunday, May 08, 2011

Creator/creation temporal & economical distinction


A man tries to understand the nature of God and asked him: "God, how long is a million years to you?"

God answered: "A million years is like a second to me."

Then the man asked: "Oh I see... Then how much is a million dollars to you?"

And God replied: "A million dollars is like a cent to me."

Then the man asked: "In that case, can you give me a cent?"

God: "Sure, just a second, son."

""For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.""
(Isaiah 55.8-9)

7 comments:

Martin Yee said...

haha nice humor again. Have you read the book "The Lost World of Genesis One" by John H.Walton? It is available at SKS. So far I find his view on creation most plausible. It is a good balance between fundamentalistic creationism and atheistic evolutionists.

Sze Zeng said...

Hi Martin,

I haven't read the book though I have watched Walton's lecture on this, read his earlier work with similar argument, and the debates over his work.

It is smart of him to shift the discussion from 'material ontology' to 'function ontology'. But I have reservation over this approach because it opens up a lot of problems.

For one, if it was really the case that the ancients thought as how Walton portrayed them to be, then does their cosmogony reflect the material history of the cosmos or just their interpretation of the cosmos (which may or may not correspond to the material history)? For eg. in one of Walton's own example, the ancients thought that our cognitive faculty lies in our stomach, but now we know that it is primarily through our brain that we think. This ancient's biology certainly does not reflect biology as we understand it, the same should also go to the issue on cosmogony.

Secondly, to see 'creation' as structuring chaotic matters is no doubt a viable option to understand the ancient's cosmogony, yet to take that to be THE theological statement on cosmogony of the Christian Church is still open. Part of the reason is that the Church has inherited from Augustine the idea that creation includes time and space, hence to say that chaotic matters existed before their structuring assumes that time and space exist in parallel with God through eternity. It is not wrong to re-look and re-examine into the Augustinian cosmogony, however this opens up the problem of understanding the space and time in relation to God. If space and time exist in parallel with God for eternity, then does that mean God is situated within time and space? If not, then how does these two eternal entities relate with the eternal God?

Okay, I think time for coffee, after having talk about this kind of deep stuff in the morning. :-)

Sze Zeng said...

Hi Martin,

Since you mentioned ancient cosmogony, I think you may be interested with this: http://szezeng.blogspot.com/2009/12/you-prefer-genesis-or-this-egyptian.html

:-)

Martin Yee said...

Thanks. But it is downright disgusting. I prefer the Genesis account after all :)

Sze Zeng said...

Hahaha... ya.. from our point of view, it's difficult to understand how did the ancients came out with such cosmogony (which is the "scientific theory" of their day).

reasonable said...

Hi Martin,

The Egyptian creation myth, differed from the Genesis creation myth, in that the former described the Creator masturbated in His act of creation:

[quoting from Sze Zeng's quote of the Egyptian creation myth:

When I first began to create
When I alone was planning and designing many creatures,

I planned many living creatures;
All were in my heart, and their children and their grandchildren.

Then I copulated with my own fist.
I masturbated with my own hand.
I ejaculated into my own mouth.

I sneezed to create Shu the wind,
I spat to create Tefnut the rain.
etc etc]

Are u finding the male masturbation imagery "downright disgusting"?

If yes, why is male masturbation disgusting?

;p

Martin Yee said...

Hi reasonable,

Due to our East Asian context and culture sensitivity I find that USING that imagery is disgusting.

But in their culture with emphasis on the fertility cult it is not really surprising, they even can worship male organ asherah poles etc.