When we look to consider the merits of the intelligent design or creation model, we will need to look at the Genesis account as found in Biblical Scripture. However, we will have to first determine whether the book it is found in is a trustworthy source itself, that being the Bible. Some may argue that the Bible is just a book that people believe by faith, and yet if what we read among the pages of the Bible is true, accurate, and deals with reality, then we should be able to validate it.
There is within us a natural propensity to believe. We all believe in something, either created, imagined, or real. And we all exercise faith.
There is faith exercised unconsciously and then there is purposeful faith applied with conscious intent. When it comes to God, some believe you have to commit intellectual suicide to embrace faith in God. We hear of "blind faith", a "leap into the dark" or "a leap of faith," often meant to give the impression of ignorance. One would have to concede that there has been a justification by skeptics for such comments from time to time in reaction to words and actions they may have witnessed. Nevertheless, we should not discount something solely on the ignorance or actions of others. To be told to "just believe" is what I consider ignorant and should not be acceptable. One should have a justification for believing. It should not be a mindless, irresponsible, or naive stance. Nor should it be solely "feeling" or "emotion" based. In other words, individual faith must not be determined strictly on the basis of being emotionally "touched."
If one is to have faith in God, it should be rational, reasonable, and intelligible. It should make sense and there should be a means to affirm that faith, in finding validity and reality to it. Faith literally means to have confidence, trust, reliance, and assurance in something or someone. Faith then has to come from a conscious source such as knowledge, understanding, and experience with that something or someone. We cannot have confidence in anything we know nothing about or believe to be real and true. Faith then is not "pie in the sky" wishing or ignorant hope but a demonstration of trust. It should flow out of and from reason and understanding. A trust that is reasonably and tangibly based on something or someone for which we have concluded deserves that confidence. Faith should not stem from our feelings and emotions. We surely can be emotional and have certain strong feelings about what we believe (I do not refer to fanaticism which must be rejected), but the foundational process of faith, as mentioned already, is from the premise of the real, the understandable, the knowledgeable, the verifiable, the factual and the demonstrable.
I have faith in the phone company in cutting off service should I refuse to pay them anymore. Why? I have never met anyone with the company to tell that to me firsthand. I have never talked to anyone there to warn me. I have never had them cut service before for I have never stopped paying. Why then would I believe such a thing? I do so based on what the phone company states in their contract they will do under these circumstances. It is substantiated by the reality others have experienced. It is confirmed by the legal system and laws of the land that gives them the right to do so. It comes from this knowledge and understanding of existing laws and their rights as a business, as well as an understanding of the legality of binding contracts. And a conscience that allows me to rationally take what knowledge I have on the subject and conclude that this would be a reasonable and probable outcome for not paying up. So, even though I may not personally have had this happen, nonetheless, I believe it is a fact. And that fact then translates into the confidence and assurance, or a factual faith that if I don't pay my bill then I can be assured the phone will go dead. This also equates to being a truth. And even if I don't want to believe that this would happen should I stop payment, it doesn't change the fact that it will. And if I should so choose to ignore them, or decide to believe that the company does not even exist, because I just decided that I "feel" like it, it doesn't change the fact that they still do. It's the same thing with God.
Example of someone exercising personal faith in their abilities
Just because a person chooses to believe that there is not a God, does not change the fact that there could quite possibly be one. Denial of existence does not necessarily equate to it being a reality. Wanting something to be true or false does not make it so.
Can there be an affirmable faith in God? If so, how?
Herein lies the greatest challenge, the greatest adventure, and the greatest reward in this journey. To find out if there is any truth, any evidence, any reality to the existence of God.
As we begin our investigation into the validity of the creation model as found in the Bible, we will be able to reasonably place ourselves on a path to meet this challenge. I believe that one can have factual faith in God and be able to validate the truthfulness, trustworthiness, and reliability of the Bible. And through that, a person can establish that assurance or faith.
I understand that this could be where some of you may look to abandon the search party or "tune out", but I challenge you to hang with me a little bit longer and give me the opportunity to lay out this map.
The Bible is the most misunderstood book I know. Because it is mainly associated, and rightly so, with two religiously held beliefs, that being Judaism (the Old Testament or Talmud) and Christianity (both Old and New Testament), and therefore considered "sacred" (meaning set apart and respected by these two belief systems).
Over time it has been reduced in significance by societies around the world as merely a religious book. This is often the reasoning today for rejecting intelligent design as a "religious" concept since it is most often connected with the Bible as its source. Thus, the argument is that it is teaching "religion" and therefore cannot be accepted in the schools. Somehow the concept that the Bible may be true on other levels has been lost.
Without question, the Bible is the most revered and not revered, most believed yet rejected, most hated and loved, most controversial, most attacked, printed, distributed, and owned book in the world. Yet, the Bible is so much more than a revered book of faith for countless millions of people. No other book has been given the same rigorous scrutiny as this one, yet many may not know that in the attempt over the centuries to disprove and discredit the Bible, those attempts have only uncovered evidence and information which have actually helped to validate its reliability, not undermine it. And in fortifying the reliability of its contents lends to a greater trust in it being truthful.
Many people approach the Bible with a limited grasp of its contents. Often what is known is what is remembered from being sent to Sunday School as children and hearing the stories of David and Goliath, or Samson and Delilah, and the like. It is difficult to have an adult comprehension of the Bible with grade school academics. I have often found that those who would claim that the Bible is nothing more than fairy tale stories and mythical accounts do so out of never having gone past this early stage of exposure. As adults, they are stuck in Sunday School and convinced those stories are like others they heard as kids that later proved to be fiction. Stories like the tooth fairy, Santa Claus, and so on.
There was a time when societies and nations were more literate with regard to the Bible. It is said that America today is the most educated of any other generation prior, and yet, at the same time, it is the most illiterate and ignorant generation in America's history when it comes to scriptural comprehension, history, and knowledgeable facts. This only helps feed the notion that the Bible has no factual, historical, or real substance to be taken seriously.
Jimmy Buffett (his quote on ignorance):
"Is it ignorance or apathy? Hey, I don't know and I don't care".
That pretty much sums it up for many. Don't let it be you!
So buckle up, we are going for a ride. It will get intense as we look to gain some higher education and understanding. I am convinced, after years of applying time, energy, and resources, of education, application, and personal exploration, that the Bible is without question the greatest "KEY" to unlocking the door of knowledge and understanding as to why things are today as they are. As well as being the map that lays out in logical order, time, history, and events, while filling in the details of an otherwise confusing picture.
I challenge you to continue. Discover for yourself. Investigate. Put the information to the test. Don't just take my word on things, if you are unsure, in doubt, or disagree, then by all means do the research. But whatever you do, don't quite now... use that mind of yours.