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A Dramatic Dialogue

This is to be read in conjunction with Ch. 7


Very well, then, so it IS design.  

Thus spake he.

He was not particularly good-looking, lean and thin, wiry and intellectual, his eyes with something of the expression of one who has recently seen a ghost and has not quite come to terms with it, in view of his ideological preoccupations and sundry thoughts about such things; or like one who has narrowly escaped death in a vicious accident.

Of course it is, replied his father. What IS design, but that combination of elements capable of being thought and verbalised, conceptualised and seen to be coherent in and for a purpose or purposes which are met in their outcome.

Nothing, really, I suppose.

So now you want to take it away from the Creator ?

Yes, I would love to. I mean, all those times in England when tithes HAD to go to the Church (almost like special government taxes today, to pay for inane activities concerning multi-culturalism, and so forth, in fact for the ruin of our heritage). It is time the name of God was ploughed back in.

You think so. Yet what has the desire of one nation - in fact, Britain, which just happened, you suppose to become the most powerful on earth in its Empire, which sought to sanctify its soil, to make godly its ground and its ways, however mistakenly in virtually nationalising its religion - what has this to do with it ? Next thing you'll be talking of Romanism  (misnamed Roman Catholicism, for it is certainly Roman and just as certainly and for that reason, not catholic or universal, it's rather like saying Puritanical Libido), as if it had something to do with Christianity, other than being a rebellious offshoot. It is one that has sought often enough the very blood of the saints, and  still seeks their souls. You'll perhaps have the ingenious but not ingenuous thought of blaming God for its ludicrous disobedience and murderous, or enslaving, but always self-exalting pre-occupations, in the Inquisition and in its American adventures. You might as well blame ME for the deeds of your elder brother!

Well, anyway, Dad, I have had about enough of the Old School, the Old Morals, the Old Ethics, the Humble and the Meek type of thing.

You feel, perhaps, with Nietzsche, that blessed are the strong, the capable, the ruler, the violent or anything else that gains power and socks it to them ?

Not exactly. Oh I know that led on to the First World War with this insane background, merely elaborated in non-empirical mysticism by Darwin, the greatest example of pseudo-scientific extrapolation of all time - and as to that, he wasn't even original. Millions died because of survival of the fittest stakes, national glory like a sandwich with it, and the pulse of power almost an hypnotic wave motion in the hearts of the mighty.

It is time, my son, that the name of God was hallowed.

Well, sure it is design, and obviously we are all part of an immense, articulated, reticulated, particularised mass of conceptualised and created wonder. I acknowledge reluctantly, that if we were not and there were no truth, then all argument by me would be invalid in advance.

Then you believe in the truth, absolute and in God ?

Not yet. I believe that we can absorb the truth, like an intellectual osmosis.

Have you verified the pressure difference on both sides of the membrane ? and by the way, what IS the membrane ?

Dad, for goodness' sake, I am not meaning it literally.

Perhaps then you mean it in some other way ?

Well, I mean, the nature of things, like a photograph you are trying to 'read' in order to gain the perspective of the place, it comes to you just by looking at things.

With what sort of eyes then do you so look ?

I look with the eyes of my soul.

Glad to hear you realise you have one.

I see things by reading them, if you know what I mean.

I know what this particular use of 'read' means, for I was born here,.  It means to gain understanding by a correct estimate and representation in the mind of what is there, as distinct from receiving a mere mass of detail, without orientation.

Yes, that's about it.

However, to be orientated, you need a standard, like North, East, South and West, and to be oriented correctly, you need to see things in their actual perspective, and not to estimate them in terms of partial sight and partial realisation, as people often almost comically do, when in things visual or intellectual, they are trying to understand something. That is one reason why they differ about basic matters of life to the most gravely amusing degree you could imagine. They start within themselves, or their feelings or visions or victories, and often vamp others with their musts and thrusts. As men differ, so do their particularised conceptions about life.

Then how can anyway say what it is about ?

There are certain preliminaries to observe as in any research.

Here, you need a standard for reference in order to KNOW what you are talking about, rather than guess. That is the point already made. To know the truth, first it must be THERE to know (for if you are deemed a relative part in a relative whole, with no God over all to KNOW it as it is, then you are excluded from the truth by its very absence). Again, you must have access to it, to know it, and not merely present a distorted, distorting, or inadequate 'eye' to see it, which fails to know what is there, like a child with a magnifying glass.

My standard is myself.

Good, then what are you ?

I am a fragment of life that has talking capacity.

I'll grant this is not incorrect. It is true but not exhaustive, as Churchill once told President Roosevelt when he was referring to the USA side of things, in World War II, and did not seem to be holding in mind the contribution of LIFE, made by Britain in the first part of the war.

What more is needed then ?

IF you are a fragment of life, what IS life ?

It is the power to act without volition, and with volition, because of the equipment which you have, automated and to some extent dirigible, within you.

How then does the power to act, equipped with automated scope to augment it, bring you to the truth ? and without the truth, how do you know that this is what life is ? For example, it is also the power to be unitary, so that you may exist as one thing, to conceive ideas, such as your present one, that you can imagine yourself to know the truth when it is not there. There is no automatic exclusion zone to prevent irrational wanderings like that. You have to think.

But Dad, I didn't say of truth, that it is not there.

It seemed implied. Spell out then HOW it is there in your model of the universe.

It just is.

Not very scientific, and logically an admission of defeat. Under  challenge, your model has NIL response.

How can I put it ?

I cannot help you here, for to assume that where everything is taken to be just getting along in its own way, and this with automated aspects in life itself, not dependent even on your own will,   you can still get outside yourself, which you cannot define, and find what it all really IS, leaving nothing out and distorting nothing, when there IS no outside yourself, except in the form of more selves and lower states of existence as well, and even THIS is guesswork, founded on nothing, so that it contradicts the idea that you can say it truly anyway: this is not enlightening.

Let me add to that before you reply. Assumption of the basis on which alone you can work is illogical. It is proceeding without evidence and contrary to your own model. Where the absolute truth is not in existence, YOU cannot know it, and HENCE, your idea that it does not exist, because your model insists on this, is not only a voiding of all your own argument, but based in contradiction of your model.

You mean, Dad, that if it does not exist, I cannot know it, and on my model it CANNOT exist, so that there is a double exclusion notice operative for me. I am  dead twice in this field, so how can I live! .

It is well spoken.

You imply that my idea that creation is the nature of the case, including that of man, is not susceptible to the further idea that there is no Creator, since this would be an affirmation of absolute truth, which my very model excludes.

Fantastic, well done!

But apart from that, surely something can just BE created, without any actual act of creation per se.

Surely ? on what ground ?

Well, cannot something ...

Just invent itself ?


Any idea how what is not there (before creation that is) can manage that ?

Well perhaps stuff was just there anyway.

As distinct from nothing ?

Or it could have been nothing.

Nothing doing. Nothing has neither future nor past, nor present, nor potential, for if it had any of these things, it would not be nothing but something with present or past or potential.

Scrap nothing then. Something must therefore have been there. Could not IT do the creating ?

The term 'it' is singularly unfortunate. Consider the case of seeing some weird shapes in some rock. You wonder, can it be, is this like the moulded forms of some American President, set in rock, or is it merely a result of various forces, so that it happens to have something of a resemblance to something else.

I am considering it.

HOW do you decide whether or not it is a design ?

Why obviously, you estimate all the detail, the background, any elements of commonness to the mode of inscription, moulding, the configuration of surfaces, the accuracy of resemblance either to man or to the men in question, the overall impression. There is a limit to what unguided forces can do relative to the skill of a Raphael. Any mind can tell the difference, even for far lesser artists, if you simply study the matter objectively.

When would you announce your decision, whether a rock formation is a sculpture or a mere resemblance wrought by natural forces ?

When I had determined on the basis of all these criteria I have noted, which fits the facts.

If, then, you saw that commonality of architecture, that uniformity of sculpturing skill, that sophistication of concept, that brilliance of bringing the fruit of the eye to the mind and this to the memory, so that one actually thought with facility and felicity of the people concerned, you would be ready to say, No, not natural, but a work of design. Is that it ?

Yes, that's it.

In other words, for you the term 'design' MEANS product of thought, conception, skill, concatenation of ideas in functional format by intelligence, set into actuality in the medium chosen, whether on paper or wherever else one chooses.

I suppose it does.

How then can you have a design without a designer ? On your own terms, any resemblance to a design is excluded as 'design' as soon as it is apparent that this is not a conceptualised and implemented work, but one without such forces, merely having some elements of what otherwise would be design ?

You couldn't, but Dad ...

The term 'design' implies the NATURE of the thing in view, and other terms specify geometrical aspects or resemblance features, such as almost artistic, and so forth ... The term design is not available for the partially incoherent oddities which have resemblances to design. These are viewed as marvels and wonders of natural configuration which come because of assignable past which is not related to design, so that the result merely has some of the elements of a design, more or less fragmentary, unsystematic, interesting but in fact NOT DESIGN.

I see. So you ask, How can you play the piano without being a musician (I don't mean cacophonic work by infant fingers!) ?

Or how could you write a book without being an author (I don't mean some scribble that has occasional resemblance to ordered discourse) ?

Or how could you do plumbing without having plumbing skill ?

Precisely. To design something is the work of a designer. If natural forces could be induced (without any kind of direction) to make the mind and spirit, the body of man from scratch, and nothing could be induced (without adding any something to it or with it) to make the natural forces concerned, why then there would be no question of design, would there ?

I suppose not.

If natural forces DID manage to make DNA and the like (contrary to all experimentation and logical thought, which requires a sufficient basis for sustainable and maintainable expertise in any field, especially the symbolic in its commands to the material), and nothing DID manage to make something, why then we could think that after all, it CANNOT have been nothing, the thing that did it, for on the contrary, it had what it takes. Then we would be in the realm of imposture in having said it came from nothing in the first place. There is the verbal, the definitional, and the power, the implementive, and they move together to block if absent, and to enable perhaps, if present. Where there is void, at this level, that it remains.

Something capable then ?

Yes. What natural forces CANNOT do, in all tests and all investigations, and show no logical power to do, correlative to any prompting to them to use such invisible powers which are NEVER known to operate, then non-natural forces must have done. It happened, so it must have come from the alternative realm, that other than the one formerly in view by the materialist, the naturalist, whose presuppositional preoccupations are thereby exposed as wrong.

You pair the product with the producer, and look where action shows itself in whatever field exhibits it then ?

What else ? Does man always have to look where evidence DENIES the idea, and never to look where it affirms it! Have you seen the presentation, by the way, concerning this very thing in The Shadow of a Mighty Rock.  I noted them down: 140-151, with 931-936 and 330-331.

You mean there is a sort of illegitimate exclusion zone, presented not by reason but contrary to it; and this is a sort of cult, to REFUSE to look where reason requires, but to insist on looking where the cupboard of evidence and reason alike, is bare.

Yes, it is a religious cult which has invaded large segments of science, showing just how fallen our race is, that people whose minds are sharp, can be logically paralysed when it comes to God, even in their own field.

I guess it is rather eccentric, to look for products of the facilities of mind, from the abilities of matter, logical prowess in creating designs, on the part of what is mere service material, consigned into design, and confined by all tests, to what it is, with no magical or other help whatsoever at its own level. Product and relevant, able producer, this is the way ?

Yes, to disjoin them is to conjoin yourself to arbitrary, inventive irrationalism, otherwise called dream. Product and producer are a functional pair. These, in turn, like a book with an author, would be expected to exist. Books cannot write themselves because the conveying of ideas by symbols requires ideas and one who can convey them, symbols or not. Nature is like a book written in physical modalities at the same time as symbolic commands, and since commands per se do not come from what exhibits no facility except to be commanded, then what does the commanding, the mind, the manupulator of natural forces, it is this which has to be found. For that matter, so does the maker of natural forces, for nothing could never make force.

You mean, my something which I had to admit must be there, and always have been there in some form or other, must have had conceptual ability ? Ah yes, why else would conceptual symbolic logic be there ? would it invent itself ? like all the rest of the inventions which are attributed to nature in order that it might invent itself, and so be, in order that it might then do the inventing, which did not and could not make itself, on a larger and larger scale, till everything is wrought by this massive fraud, inventing itself from what is not there!

In other words, leaving incompetent and experimentally denied fiction, you proceed past the natural, as past the book, to the writer, to the maker, to the creator Himself, to God.

Of course.

In other words, we must face the Designer of Design, the Creator of Creation, the Maker of anything and the conceiver of the symbolic logic and pragmatic skill, of the empirical powers: the Being that first makes the prodigious marvel of form and law, with energy, that is matter, delimiting and designing it, and then drafts it to perform in the case of man,  by intelligence.

It is delightful to hear you resounding to reason like this; but it will be far more so, when you find Him whose it is.

But Dad, let's consider these things where we are. You mean, as to the object of our quest, the foundation of design, it is not a fictional mini-maestro called matter, which is not of this grade of occupation, but an eternal and sufficient Being who not only makes things WITH law and form and symbolic logical conception, but even presents equipment to enable derivative creators, like man himself, who can act in terms of a pre-formatted intelligence, and create on a minor but still impressive scale ?

 It is more than that.

And when we do so, we must hallow His name.

Meaning ?

We need to realise that not only was HE always there, not created because then you have an internal regress, this thing creating that, which begs the question of ANYTHING in the first place, and ALL the power at any place. Always adequate, or never, God is therefore eternal and creation is external, while in man, intelligence and heart and spirit and argumentation, all derivative and assigned, created and set forth like paintings that move,  is internal. This living painting then paints.

How colossal! He makes the system, makes consciousness for man by spirit, in order that this person, that person among us, might understand more and more of it, and so grants creativity to the invisible aspect of man which is always the source of his long-lasting desires, his ideals, ideas and machinations, of his longing for what is not yet there in invention, but could be made, whether in politics, or art or  literature: what is not yet, but could be affirmed.

It is all, as Romans 1:17ff. affirms, manifest. It is merely the removal of the mental bloc, the unscientific fixation, the exclusion zone that affronts logic and denies science, the confusion of the real and the measurable by a decision which is not measurable, which is necessary. That gone, science can proceed. Reason however has already done so.

Then God is a Spirit, that is, immaterial.

It is by no immaterial that He is immaterial.

Then His power to conceive and articulate, as in DNA, is that of one with intelligence and conceptual ability and engineering skill, and architectural felicity and mathematical prodigality of power, who gives significance to what He has made.

Precisely. And in return, what is has regard for rationality and is conserving consistency, the exponent of creation: such a person is not self-contradictory in his very model, but  confronted with the truth, and not willing to exclude it by a virtual intellectual tic, is willing to grant significance to HIM.

Such as worshipping Him ?

Yes, it is BECAUSE firstly, we are made by Him, and if we have any clarity, His is greater. Secondly, it is because the Bible, the best selling book of all time, translated in total into over 800 languages, tells the answer to all logical questions, all ethical ones, in principle and often in detail, satisfying questions of basis and principle in any and every domain known to man. Indeed, this it does this in a coherent, consistent way, all its ideas and thoughts cohering together almost like a body; and as if this were not enough, this among all writings covering the arena of our discourse, alone is not invalidated by the presence either of a model which contradicts itself, or the absence of verifications which confirm it.

But that is not enough to worship Him, surely ?

You are great on your surelys! In fact, yes it is, because here is the sole valid and verified answer to the enigmas and conceptions of man, to his queries and quest for consistent all-embracive answers to questions firstly,  of the reason for his existence, secondly,  of that of the world, thirdly of the nature of his obligations and the results of his living. In fact,  the Bible also has this further datum. In it, we learn that man has fallen (it is obvious, for his magnificent enterprises and foul and incredible evils, making beasts look like saints by comparison, you could almost say, are of such a contrast and a contradiction, and his anguish at this is so great, that it is apparent he is askew).

I would not worship God for that, having valid, consistent, all-embracive answers, though it would help greatly. But answer me this: Why blame man who fell,  when it was God who created him ?

It is because the fall, like your own in sundries I think you now understand a little better, was voluntary, since we have will, and know from experience that lying is one of our capacities, inventing systems contrary to fact for our pleasure is one of our enticing functions, though many resist and reject such use as abuse, for why follow what is not true, when reality needs attention!

Still, while it is great to have this power to accept or reject truth, and to pose as gods by stating what we will and making of things what pleases our hearts but rejects logic, yet for that, I still would not worship God. These are great powers, so great that they their very elevation makes vast evil as possible as vast good (except for the collision with reality which costs always), but while they stir my mind, they do not grab my soul or yield the wonder of worship with the same force as my lungs have, in craving for air.

Interesting, in terms of a self-portrait, what you say there. However, we have yet come to the little point that God has provided not only the symbolic architecture, the form and symbolic command, for us to be, and the mental facility to utilise these things as mini-creators, but in providing no less with spirit and will, vast arenas for mental, physical and spiritual action, He has like a wise parent, made provisions for our fall, our dilemmas of impotence and our retreat from derring-do to reality where it may be found. He has acted in the field of remaking from ruin,  heal the mind, sating the spirit, Just as He made provision to protect in man's physical defence systems, and for him to be revived in mind, so He has wrought for man, a retreat to reality, a removal of guilt and a restoration to freedom which is that of children, children of God.

This impresses me, but I do not think I would worship Him for that. Provisions are very interesting things, and they are wise; but one is not so stirred on hearing of a Life-Savers' Club, as in knowing that they act.

Yet again, He has done more. There is an internalised defence system against disease, one of brilliant and complex form, involving fascinating elements of design and mutual dependence of various sub-systems, all organised to operate in concert. THIS ACTS and delivers myriads daily. There is however another one, and it also acts. It is external. God has bent down to pick us up.

You mean, it is as if we had fallen, broken a bone, and He had come by in His pick-up truck and taken us to hospital or whatever, so that we might be healed.

Your imagination is inventive, but this is, in imaginary and symbolic form, the case.

How is it in literal and actual, in historical and testable form ?

It is found in this Bible, to which all history conforms, and which has all history, as it comes into existence, conform to itself. It shows that God is a trinity, one Being but moving in intimate felicity and infinite intimacy so that there is He who sends, He who is sent and His Spirit which applies His word, His thought to man, whose mind can receive and whose heart can be healed.

Sounds rather airy.

The One sent became a man, starting from the womb. He lived to die, as well as to exhibit God for man to see in the most understandable of manners, and His ways for man to savour in the most clear-cut fashion. The air about the Cross of Christ at Calvary was of course airy, for what else is air, if not airy! But what was IN the air ? it was the Son of God, God the sent, the incarnate Christ who came by NOT in a pick-up truck, but from the womb, so that as man, He could replace the fallen man with the upright one, Himself, and as this die for man, so that all men, women and children who come to Him for help, can be helped. That happened. He came and it was done. It is not a theory, let alone one that is NEVER found, but one which being multiply predicted in vast detail, was done in the same way. THIS, it is ACTION.

What is this help ?

It is this, that as man, He bore the sins, the evils, the iniquities, the guilt of all who would ever come to Him (a trifle to know who they are in advance, He being their Creator and creator of time), and so pardons.

So you said. But what if I do not repent ? I mean, I have quite enjoyed just being me, a little god for pleasure and success, for quite a while. Not altogether mind you, for it seems rather futile, and in me there is desire for something as far better than myself as is the air than a swamp's vapours.

Do you want to repent ?

I would if I felt grateful enough to God.

Aren't you sounding rather precious ?

Probably, I admit it. Still, I feel we have not yet reached the core of things.

The Bible also intimates that this same God in incarnate form, God the sent, Jesus Christ, He who was foretold in endless seeming detail including death date from centuries before, and in some things, millenia before He actually came "in the fulness of time" as Paul declares in Galatians, did more than die.

You interest me. Of course! I had hardly thought of that. He lived and showed us what God wants of us by being one of us and letting us watch, and then facing death, bore it vicariously and then broke it victoriously so that we knowing Him, could find through Him the life we need!

Yes, and in His resurrection, the pain in the neck for all who tried to dismiss Him, who could not produce His body, or reduce His disciples, He also showed that He was in fact God. Thus this testimony of His truth was not only by His healing masses of the sick so that thousands followed Him, but by raising the dead and being raised from the dead. Thus we have not only a Saviour but a Champion, who broke not just drought or disease, but death in its impending horror for man in his sensitivity and spiritual life. Hence eternal life is a gift.

He HAS acted then.

But you have to receive it, amid repentance for not doing so earlier, as well as for requiring such a thing as His death, so that you might through Him become acceptable once more to God.

I take it Dad, and believe me, from now on I do not think of a piano being played, without a pianist or else programmer who provides by intelligence a mechanical or electronic substitute; nor do I think of a book without an author, of a mathematical proof without a mathematician or a design without a designer, or of my own life without the Designer who name is God.

And that, my son, is why His name ought to be hallowed.