Unravelling the Christian Illogicality
The following article is taken from here. My response follows.
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Question: “Does God exist? Is there evidence for the existence of God?”The existence of God cannot be proved or disproved. The Bible says that we must accept by faith the fact that God exists: “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6). If God so desired, He could simply appear and prove to the whole world that He exists. But if He did that, there would be no need for faith. “Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed’” (John 20:29).
Answer: That does not mean, however, that there is no evidence of God’s existence. The Bible states, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world” (Psalm 19:1-4). Looking at the stars, understanding the vastness of the universe, observing the wonders of nature, seeing the beauty of a sunset—all of these things point to a Creator God. If these were not enough, there is also evidence of God in our own hearts. Ecclesiastes 3:11 tells us, “…He has also set eternity in the hearts of men.” Deep within us is the recognition that there is something beyond this life and someone beyond this world. We can deny this knowledge intellectually, but God’s presence in us and all around us is still obvious. Despite this, the Bible warns that some will still deny God’s existence: “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God’” (Psalm 14:1). Since the vast majority of people throughout history, in all cultures, in all civilizations, and on all continents believe in the existence of some kind of God, there must be something (or someone) causing this belief.
In addition to the biblical arguments for God’s existence, there are logical arguments. First, there is the ontological argument. The most popular form of the ontological argument uses the concept of God to prove God’s existence. It begins with the definition of God as “a being than which no greater can be conceived.” It is then argued that to exist is greater than to not exist, and therefore the greatest conceivable being must exist. If God did not exist, then God would not be the greatest conceivable being, and that would contradict the very definition of God.
A second argument is the teleological argument. The teleological argument states that since the universe displays such an amazing design, there must have been a divine Designer. For example, if the Earth were significantly closer or farther away from the sun, it would not be capable of supporting much of the life it currently does. If the elements in our atmosphere were even a few percentage points different, nearly every living thing on earth would die. The odds of a single protein molecule forming by chance is 1 in 10243 (that is a 10 followed by 243 zeros). A single cell is comprised of millions of protein molecules.
A third logical argument for God’s existence is called the cosmological argument. Every effect must have a cause. This universe and everything in it is an effect. There must be something that caused everything to come into existence. Ultimately, there must be something “un-caused” in order to cause everything else to come into existence. That “un-caused” cause is God.
A fourth argument is known as the moral argument. Every culture throughout history has had some form of law. Everyone has a sense of right and wrong. Murder, lying, stealing, and immorality are almost universally rejected. Where did this sense of right and wrong come from if not from a holy God?
Despite all of this, the Bible tells us that people will reject the clear and undeniable knowledge of God and believe a lie instead. Romans 1:25 declares, “They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.” The Bible also proclaims that people are without excuse for not believing in God: “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse” (Romans 1:20).
People claim to reject God’s existence because it is “not scientific” or “because there is no proof.” The true reason is that once they admit that there is a God, they also must realize that they are responsible to God and in need of forgiveness from Him (Romans 3:23, 6:23). If God exists, then we are accountable to Him for our actions. If God does not exist, then we can do whatever we want without having to worry about God judging us. That is why many of those who deny the existence of God cling strongly to the theory of naturalistic evolution—it gives them an alternative to believing in a Creator God. God exists and ultimately everyone knows that He exists. The very fact that some attempt so aggressively to disprove His existence is in fact an argument for His existence.
How do we know God exists? As Christians, we know God exists because we speak to Him every day. We do not audibly hear Him speaking to us, but we sense His presence, we feel His leading, we know His love, we desire His grace. Things have occurred in our lives that have no possible explanation other than God. God has so miraculously saved us and changed our lives that we cannot help but acknowledge and praise His existence. None of these arguments can persuade anyone who refuses to acknowledge what is already obvious. In the end, God’s existence must be accepted by faith (Hebrews 11:6). Faith in God is not a blind leap into the dark; it is safe step into a well-lit room where the vast majority of people are already standing.
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In summary, the following points were made:
The existence of God cannot be proven nor disproven.
Nature is evidence that God exists.
Most cultures worship gods in some form or another; there must be a reason for this belief.
If we can conceive of the greatest possible being then it has to exist, to exist is greater than to not exist, therefore God exists (ontological argument).
Nature exhibits design features which cannot be explained by random processes, therefore God exists (teleological argument).
A molecule could not have come about by chance; the odds are too low.
First cause argument (cosmological argument).
The true reason that people believe in God is because they do not want to be responsible to God.
“God exists and ultimately everyone knows that God exists. The very fact that some attempt so aggressively to disprove His existence is in fact an argument for His existence.”
God exists because Christians speak to God everyday.
God’s existence must be accepted by faith.
Faith is not blind.
I believe my summary is faithful to the article above. If you think they’re not, then let me know. I now begin to address these points independently. The first claim, that God cannot be proven or disproven, is a fair one to be made but not one which I would totally agree with, but I will for the time being let this point slip by. (A point must be made however that because God cannot be proven nor disproven, it does not follow that the probability of God existing is 50/50.)
The second claim is more doubtful. The author wrote: “Looking at the stars, understanding the vastness of the universe, observing the wonders of nature, seeing the beauty of a sunset—all of these things point to a Creator God.” This argument is simply baseless. I have often repeated on this blog that the opposite of random is nonrandom, not chance. Nonrandom processes are known to occur naturally. There is no good reason to conclude “Creator God” based on these premises.
The third claim is nonsense. The reason for the belief in Zeus is not that Zeus exists, and the belief in Thor is not that Thor exists, or Vishnu or Krishna. The reason for religion is because it provides some sort of evolutionary advantage, or that it is simply an evolutionary byproduct, as is still being debated. As many kids believe in Santa Claus, can I by your logic conclude that the reason for this is that Santa exists? Non sequitur, is it not?
The ontological argument is based on circular reasoning, and I do not find the premises convincing. The teleological argument maintains that the complexity cannot be explained, therefore God; my criticism follows: 1. something capable of deliberately designing complexity cannot be simple itself; 2. it is in its simplest form the “gaps” argument and 3. the argument also assumes that complexity implies design — we know from science that this is certainly not the case. Finally, the cosmological argument is based on the assumption that the First Cause does not need a cause, and this is a logically unsound assumption which gives me no reason to lend the argument any credence. If these theologians are willing to claim that the First Cause does not need a cause then why not simply cut the chase and attribute this quality to the universe instead?
The author wrote “If the elements in our atmosphere were even a few percentage points different, nearly every living thing on earth would die,” but how does this prove anything? How many dead planets are there in the universe? If the elements in our atmosphere were a few percentage points different, we wouldn’t be here to ponder the question — this is the anthropic principle. The author also wrote of the improbability of a protein molecule forming itself. Enter nonrandom selection. Consider point demolished.
The morality argument is pathetic. “Where did this sense of right and wrong come from if not from a holy God?” See evolution. The ninth claim is even more ridiculous. Reading the article up to this point, it seems that we have moved away from any possibility of a rational discussion: “That is why many of those who deny the existence of God cling strongly to the theory of naturalistic evolution—it gives them an alternative to believing in a Creator God.” Downright strawman. “If God does not exist, then we can do whatever we want without having to worry about God judging us.” Fack you.
I recently received a comment quoting “If there were no God there would be no atheists” — here it is again: “God exists and ultimately everyone knows that God exists (facepalm). The very fact that some attempt so aggressively to disprove His existence is in fact an argument for His existence.” Distinction must be made between God and the Concept of God. The very fact that people try to disprove Islam is proof that Islam is correct? I love your logic there. It seems to work flexibly in your favour (and mine) very much.
The next bit claims that God exists because Christians speak to God everyday. “Things have occurred in our lives that have no possible explanation other than God.” See Allah. “Faith in God is not a blind leap into the dark; it is safe step into a well-lit room where the vast majority of people are already standing.” Argumentum ad populum: it still would not concern me if 3/4 of the world belonged to Islam or Scientology; the logic prevails.
As you may have noticed, I have intentionally ignored all the Biblical quotes included in the article. I feel that the arguments presented by the Christian author would have turned out just as poorly, even if quotes from the Holy Qur’an were employed in Yahweh’s stead.