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December 12, 2011 / compassioninpolitics

Quote by Professor Henry Margenau from The Miracle of Existence

In a recent afterword to The Miracle of Existence Professor Margenau writes:

By giving him an identity, a body including the brain, and by creating the laws of nature which must be applied to man, but which can also be understood and interpreted by man, God has endowed us with freedom of the will, and therefore personal responsibility. We are not machines! This must be regarded as a gift of God, or an ultimate act of divine grace. In no way does our free will interfere with God’s omniscience, omnipotence, or omnificence; it prevents our lives from becoming mechanized pre-established processes, leaving room for God’s offering of advice, love, and help through prayer or meditation. It is of course our free-will which permits the pursuit of evil. One might ask, why would God create a world in which evil is allowed? C.S. Lewis answered this problem very clearly in his book Mere Christianity. “Free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love of goodness or joy worth having. A world of automata-of creatures that worked like machines-would hardly be worth creating.” It is through this act of divine grace that God allows us to accept or reject him, or to seek knowledge or remain ignorant. Yet, all of this in no way diminishes his universal power and knowledge.

(Source)

In his letter to Professor M. Nirenberg he asks 6 questions which I find interesting:

1. What do you think should be the relationship between religion and science?
2. What is your view on the origin of the universe: both on a scientific level – and if you see a need – on a metaphysical level?
3. What is your view of the origin of life: both on a scientific level -and if you can see the need – on a metaphysical level?
4. What is your view of the origin of homo sapiens?
5. How should science – the scientist – approach origin questions, specifically the origin of the universe and the origin of life?
6. Many prominent scientists including Darwin, Einstein, and Plank – have considered the concept of God very seriously. What are your thoughts on the concept of Go and on the existence of God?
I look forward to hearing from you.

In addition to Miracle of Existence, it also seems he wrote Foundations of Physics, the Nature of Physical Reality (I’m curious to what extent John Polkinghorne has taken up his arguments. You can learn more about Polkinghorne on his website which is a robust repository of physics-based arguments for God and faith or his bio on wikipedia)

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