I’ve commented before (on Facebook if not here) on how beautiful the “ordinary” North Island scenery on the road (whichever route we take) from Auckland to home1 is. We frequently try to explain to overseas visitors that NZ’s most spectacular scenery is mainly in the South Island. Yet the everyday beauty of the drive blows me away, every time.
As daybreak arrived this morning this was the view off to my left from the Matamata straights:
The spectacular beauty of the sunrise was swiftly followed by the ordinary beauty of the fresh rounded NZ hills and paddocks (that Colin McCahon’s paintings teach us to appreciate). My response to such sights, for me, confirms my inability to believe that the world I inhabit is due to mere laws and random (or quasi-random) variability. I am forced to postulate an intelligent designer.2
Why can’t I believe in chance? Well aside from complexity and “fit” (which can, I guess, be explained away if you really want to explain them away) it seems to me that such random (or quasi-random) explanations do away with free will. And I simply cannot understand life, the Universe, and everything without positing that alongside all the powerful conditioning and predisposing my choices are indeed “mine”. Neither militant Atheists nor ardent Predestinarian Theists can convince me otherwise.
And now, after that spitritual interlude (provoked, like too many of my most profound spiritual interludes today, by driving a long way alone)3 back to normal life.
- In the hills between Tauranga and Rotorua, near Otanewainuku. [↩]
- NB I do not mean the daft Six-Day-Creationist sort of designer, but that there is intelligence and in some sense personhood behind the beauty, as well as the terror, of the world. [↩]
- I think the experience of driving alone for an hour or three provokes such experiences because as well as being alone one has little to focus on, except the mechanics of driving, and so the mind is freer than usual to freewheel, perhaps one of the few times it is really free. I must get out more, and go for more walks in the bush! [↩]