David Bentley Hart vs Brian Cox

While David Bentley Hart never debated Brian Cox, the following video is a collage of two clips with both speakers, addressing a common theme: the relation between God and Creation.

I think it best contrasts the way God is understood in Deism (the God that Cox and Modernity in general disbelieves in) and Theism (where God is necessary, and all objections to the Deistic God turn out to be a non sequitur).

Please share your thoughts.

Hello, Gore_Burnelli, and welcome to the forum.

The video collage of the two views reminds me of the parallel back-and-forth between the dispute over whether or not abiogenesis is an inseparable part of evolution. That biological origins question seems to me to be a philosophical reflection of the more ontological one about existence itself, about which these two speakers staked out their corresponding turf.

The one side: if the universe is eternal, then where could a place be found for god among its infinite causal chain? [which I suggest might be analogous to those who want something among the whole evolutionary process - even if abiogenesis would seem a last hopeful haven, to remain permanently mysterious so that we can then insert God into that spot.]

And the other side: Any potential “eternality” of the universe is irrelevant because there is a permanent ontological concern behind it all anyway, that doesn’t go away just because you can point to a causal chain without any visible end or beginning points. These are the folks that happily embrace science as it goes where it will … wherever it can go … whether into abiogenesis or not (whether into ‘big bang beginnings’ or not) because they reject what they call “god of the gaps” thinking where a god needs a refuge carved out for him to give sanctuary from some “all-seeing” scientific skepticism. These latter types are happy pursuing the science wherever it will go and letting candid assessments of our knowledge or lack of it fall as it actually does without feeling compelled to see religious stake in the outcome. Religion skeptics are invested in having the only possible god be one that should be identifiable as one of the causal links somewhere so that we can then have a hypothesis to test and take pot shots at. So they think of this latter sort as cowards who want their God given a ‘free pass’ from scientific scrutiny, and they generally pretend then that the latter don’t exist and will only address religion in terms of the former. When all you’ve got [allowed yourself] is a hammer … you tend to get testy with those who suggest it may not be the right tool for everything.