God Is Not the Answer

I’ve covered this topic in an earlier post, but it deserves repeating. There’s a certain false dichotomy so central to Creationism that many who argue against it don’t seem to notice it’s there. I’m talking about the idea that, if evolution/Big Bang cosmology/target du jour is wrong, Creationism – and by extension, Christianity – must be right.

Creationists consistently behave as if these are the only two options. Of course, this is not how science works, but then when have Creationists ever been interested in doing science? Even if Ben Stein topples modern science (I won’t be holding my breath), even if evolution and Big Bang cosmology were conslusively proven to be absolutely, 100% wrong, that doesn’t mean that Christianity is right. It doesn’t mean that God exists, and it certainly doesn’t mean that we should all accept religious doctrine in place of science to explain the origin of the Universe and life. If you want your…’hypothesis’ (I guess?) to be taken seriously, you need positive evidence for it. Trying and failing to sling mud at the other guy isn’t the same as advancing evidence for your own ideas.

I’d also like to point out that ‘God did it’, or more aptly, ‘The Bible’, is not a good explanation for anything. Let’s consider the question, ‘How did the Universe come to exist?’ A Creationist would say that God willed it into being. Is that a satisfactory answer? Hell no, for the following reasons:

  • It’s unverifiable. How can we tell if God created the Universe or not? What state should we expect the Universe to be in if the Christian God didn’t create it?
  • It’s unscientific. Where’s the evidence? In response to a question, you’ve answered with what is little more than a guess.
  • It opens the door to any reasonably plausible, supernatural explanation for the origins of the Universe. God you, say? I see your Yahweh and raise you my Hindu pantheon! Please, show me why one is a more plausible explanation than the other.

There is a very good reason why science demands evidence and experimentation to support a theory. Without them, we become lost in a sea of guesswork, superstition and irrational explanations that do little if any ‘explaining’ at all.

14 Responses to God Is Not the Answer

  1. A person :b says:

    I’m just another Christian whom you’ll probably not take seriously, judging by the tone of your post, but hey, you’ve as much right to hear my opinion than you have right to announce yours to the world.

    I am a creationist, but I do not believe in only two options, like you say. Rather, I’ve considered the other options, and it just so happens that Christianity, when a person really looks into it, makes sense. It’s a popular religion, so why not take the time to study, and try to understand it in its entirety? I’ve studied all sorts of religions, ranging from Christianity, to Islam, Buddhism, Mormonism, and atheism, to name but a few — atheism may as well be a religion, considering it has its own sets of beliefs, namely “there is no God/god.”

    I’ve found that science, and physical, raw, solidly tangible evidence isn’t enough with issues such as the creation of the universe. In this case, the only evidence provided is the universe in itself.

    Skipping right along to the point:

    First of all, I, a creationist, do not believe that God “willed” the universe into existence. Energy cannot be created or destroyed; so says the law of the conservation of energy. Well, what if God, who/whatever He is, is the source of this energy? Couldn’t this energy be used to create the universe?

    The universe couldn’t have always been, because it is subject to time. Time cannot be eternal in any way whatsoever, because that would require an infinite past, which cannot possibly be possible. It’s like the who created whom dilemma. Could there be an infinite amount of gods, who created this god, who created this god, who created this god, etc? There would need to be an infinite line of gods, but no god to start everything off — an infinite past. It simply is not logically possible. Unless you’d like to contradict the very mathematics science bases itself on, I wouldn’t suggest that the universe is eternal, or that it always has been. Such a fact introduces yet another fact: Everything in the universe shows characteristics of evanescence, that is, everything shows characteristics of that which is temporary. If it is all temporary, then it could not possibly have started itself. Something infinite, and eternal would have had to be the base of the temporary things. To do this, it also could not be subject to time, that is, “outside of time,” so to speak, because time is also temporary.

    So, we’ve established this; that who/whatever created the universe had to be eternal, and timeless. Sounds a bit like God, but not enough to safely call Christianity into the picture. Now, we need to look at the traits of this whateveritis.

    This being had to have a reason for creating the universe; to say otherwise would be to narrow the motives of such a being to create the universe to mere caprice, which would be illogical — either caprice, or an accident…who knows? Maybe God sneezed, and out popped the universe, but I’d rather not go that far. No, this whateveritis had to have some sort of a reason. This is where all other religions fall from the picture, because in every religion, with the exception of Christianity, and Judaism, the god being worshiped is unknowable, unapproachable, and overall impersonal. An impersonal god wouldn’t have created the universe, because it is impersonal, and indifferent toward humans. For what reason could a god create the universe if he/she/it cared nothing for the universe? And if he/she/it did care, then why is it unknowable, and unapproachable by humans? Certainly, that god didn’t create the world for the benefit of animals, who haven’t enough free will to decide their own beliefs? No, only the God of the Bible is a knowable, approachable, and personal God (Don’t believe me? Look at Jesus.). This rules out all other religions.

    I’ll end it short, here. I don’t want to go into every little detail just yet. I just want to get a few points across, one being that creationists aren’t really that ignorant. The other is this: Experimentation doesn’t solve everything. It can only solve what we have under our control. The origin of the universe is a mystery to us, because we cannot test it with our measurements. All we can do is use what little facts we have to piece together where it all came from. The only fact we are left with, when it comes to such a topic is this: I think, therefore I am. If I am, then something exists, even if the rest of the universe is an illusion, and if something exists, it had to have an origin, because I know for a fact that I am not an eternal being — I had a beginning. Whatever the case, God fits the description of whateveritis that created the universe better than anything I can think of.

    Finally, my third point that I wish to get across is this: God isn’t always whom you think Him to be. In this comment, I defined God as personal, yet not something physically tangible or anything the average person would normally consider Him to be. Certainly not anything like the pictures you find on a church’s stained-glass windows. “God” is the name I give the one whateveritis that started it all. He doesn’t have to be the God the world paints Him to be. Ignoring all outside influences, God seems a completely different being, and not so…religion-based.

    Anyway, just thought to leave you a few things to think about. Please don’t feel offended by anything, because no offense was intended. I’m just giving you a few of my thoughts.

    God bless!…or…Whatever; you get the idea.

  2. blesson says:

    Science teaches along with all the support of the Laws and specially the laws of thermodynamics that nothing can be created out of “nothing”. For every effect there must be a cause. So if you track back the events you will come to a point where you need to have a starting point, scientifically. And the bible so clearly begins with this starting point ” In the begining GOD Created heavens and the earth”…….

    It is not just enough to explain the creation, but we must also explain the design and the preciseness with which every thing is fine tuned. How is it possible that intelligient design can come out of an explosion. If you walk down the road and you see fifteen leaves lynig arranged in a perfect line, what would you think ? You logic and scientific mind would being to reason and you would not believe that Katrina blew these leaves and laid them down this way ?? It really needs a brain liposuction to believe that a single strand of DNA which contains millions of bits of informations was created without a puropse or a design or without a designer.

    I believe that just a look around us would show us the great wonder in the universe which even with all the scientific knowledge we are yet begining to discover and understand.

    You dont need to see the watch maker to believe that the watch was made by some one. Just a small interogation in to the watch would lead you to a conclusion about the watch maker.

    I know you would say that the watch isnt the perfect one, there is evil suffering and a whole lot of things that isnt right on the earth. But please be aware that it doesnt mean that the watchmaker doesnt exists or that the watchmaker didnt do a good Job. Infact we get our definations of what is “good” from the watch maker himself. Without HIM we have no moral reference to make.

    With regards to your call for understanding on YAHWEH and HINDU Pantheon, I would like to ask you that each and every religion must be given a chance to explain its beliefs and to give an answer to the questions or Origin, Meaning, Destiny, Purpose etc.. each religion must be tested and it must give a set of coherent answers for all of these questions. Do check up Hindu pantheon and let me know if you are able to get these answers.

    In fact it may tell you that there is nothing as good and bad and even question your existence by telling you that you are just a mere illusion !!

    In my search and understanding of science i think it points me more towards GOD rather than away from HIM…. just take a look in to the evidence HE has left. Yes, illogical and logically contradictory faith wont be able to stand the test of science.

    In trying to sling mud at creationism you have not mentioned what you beleive.

  3. forknowledge says:

    A person :b –

    Unfortunately I don’t have time to go through this in full, but it’s very, very obvious that you’ve started off with the conclusion that ‘God is the answer’ and are railroading yourself to that destination at every turn. You present a linear progression of arguments in favour of the not only a supernatural explanation for the Universe, but one that must include the Christian God, yet you needlessly ignore the other options at every turn, or else ignore the implications of a supernatural origin.

    Here’s an example:

    First of all, I, a creationist, do not believe that God “willed” the universe into existence. Energy cannot be created or destroyed; so says the law of the conservation of energy. Well, what if God, who/whatever He is, is the source of this energy? Couldn’t this energy be used to create the universe?

    Why does the law of conservation of energy matter in a Universe where an omnipotent, supernatural entity exists? God surely defies several scientific laws. Being omnipotent, what is there to stop him from simply creating energy from nothing? Sure, God could be the ‘source’ of this energy, but already we’re in the wild waters of pure conjecture; not only have you not established that God exists, you’ve provided no way to determine whether God created the energy in the Universe, is the energy in the Universe, or whether some third option is correct.

    The universe couldn’t have always been, because it is subject to time. Time cannot be eternal in any way whatsoever, because that would require an infinite past, which cannot possibly be possible. It’s like the who created whom dilemma. Could there be an infinite amount of gods, who created this god, who created this god, who created this god, etc? There would need to be an infinite line of gods, but no god to start everything off — an infinite past. It simply is not logically possible. Unless you’d like to contradict the very mathematics science bases itself on, I wouldn’t suggest that the universe is eternal, or that it always has been.

    Time – or more correctly, space-time – is a product of the Universe itself. The Universe is indeed eternal, in that prior to the Big Bang, time (so far as we can tell) did not exist. The Universe has existed ‘for all of time’. That doesn’t mean that it didn’t have some sort of beginning, though, but here we’re also in the realm of conjecture, in that nobody knows what conditions controlled events ‘prior to’ the Big Bang.

    So, we’ve established this; that who/whatever created the universe had to be eternal, and timeless. Sounds a bit like God, but not enough to safely call Christianity into the picture. Now, we need to look at the traits of this whateveritis.

    No, you’ve established that this is one possibility. I didn’t see any solid evidence to back up any of these suggestions.

    This being had to have a reason for creating the universe; to say otherwise would be to narrow the motives of such a being to create the universe to mere caprice, which would be illogical — either caprice, or an accident…who knows? Maybe God sneezed, and out popped the universe, but I’d rather not go that far. No, this whateveritis had to have some sort of a reason.

    And here is where you lose me completely. Why did whatever created the Universe need a reason? Because the God you believe in is the kind of God that would? Why couldn’t ‘God’ be senseless, an automaton that simply creates Universes blindly, without reason or even thought? As I said at the beginning of this reply, it’s very, very obvious that you’re simply plodding towards a pre-determined destination here. From this point out, the rest of your comment is simply you moving inevitably along a set of rails.

    You then go on to say that God isn’t necessarily as religion paints him, but how do you know this, and if it’s the case, why are a Deist instead of a Christian?

  4. forknowledge says:

    blesson:

    *groan*

    I’m going to ignore the ‘watchmaker’ portion of your reply, because it’s just too tedious to get into. I will say that it’s a mistake to compare the Big Bang to an ‘explosion’, and that organic molecules do not behave like leaves being blown in the wind. (Ask yourself how much more likely your scenario would be if leaves had a natural tendency to align themselves end-to-end, and if hurricanes contained billions of leaves).

    Science teaches along with all the support of the Laws and specially the laws of thermodynamics that nothing can be created out of “nothing”. For every effect there must be a cause. So if you track back the events you will come to a point where you need to have a starting point, scientifically. And the bible so clearly begins with this starting point ” In the begining GOD Created heavens and the earth”…….

    You’ve made the same mistake as every other Creationist, in that you invoke scientific laws one minute and then factor in the existence of a completely unscientific, omnipotent supernatural entity the next. If you assume that such an entity exists, science goes out the window. Anything is now possible, unless God is also full bound by scientific laws (in which case you’d have a hard time explaining some of his supposed feats).

    I know you would say that the watch isnt the perfect one, there is evil suffering and a whole lot of things that isnt right on the earth. But please be aware that it doesnt mean that the watchmaker doesnt exists or that the watchmaker didnt do a good Job. Infact we get our definations of what is “good” from the watch maker himself. Without HIM we have no moral reference to make.

    The moral implications of God’s existence (or non-existence) is irrelevant to the question of whether he exists, another mistake that Creationists frequently make. Even if God not existing left us empty, without a moral compass or any reason to live our lives, that doesn’t mean that he’s real, any more than the possibility of total human extinction invalidates the fact that the sun will eventually expand and destroy Earth.

    In trying to sling mud at creationism you have not mentioned what you beleive.

    That would take a while, but I may write a post about it at some point in the future.

  5. A person :b says:

    forknowledge,

    Why does the law of conservation of energy matter in a Universe where an omnipotent, supernatural entity exists? God surely defies several scientific laws. Being omnipotent, what is there to stop him from simply creating energy from nothing? Sure, God could be the ’source’ of this energy, but already we’re in the wild waters of pure conjecture; not only have you not established that God exists, you’ve provided no way to determine whether God created the energy in the Universe, is the energy in the Universe, or whether some third option is correct.

    As I said, and as you quoted me saying: I believe God is the source of the energy that created the universe. I never mentioned anything about God being omnipotent. I deliberately excluded that term from my comment, because that provides the view of God everyone is accustomed to, and not the one I am trying to present. The world’s view of God hinders an atheist from understanding Who He really is, and that’s exactly the point I’ve been trying to get at.

    Time – or more correctly, space-time – is a product of the Universe itself. The Universe is indeed eternal, in that prior to the Big Bang, time (so far as we can tell) did not exist. The Universe has existed ‘for all of time’. That doesn’t mean that it didn’t have some sort of beginning, though, but here we’re also in the realm of conjecture, in that nobody knows what conditions controlled events ‘prior to’ the Big Bang.

    This is where things get confusing. I can outright contradict you on the matter of whether or not the universe is eternal, and neither of us would know for certain. I cannot I see how, nor can I believe that space-time existed after the universe. Matter can’t exist without space or time, as far as we know; why say otherwise? Contrary to popular belief, scientists don’t know all they like to think they know.

    I understand where you’re coming from, but considering time is something that is temporary, and therefore not eternal, it needs a beginning, which makes assuming what happened “prior” to its existence nothing less than assuming the unknowable. We don’t, nor can we know for certain, regardless of how much we’d like to think so, that the universe is eternal. It’s eternal? How do you know? Were you there? No, of course not, because we’re temporary, which brings me back to a previous point of mine: The universe shows characteristics of that which is temporary, rather than timeless.

    No, you’ve established that this is one possibility. I didn’t see any solid evidence to back up any of these suggestions.

    And you were expecting fossils? Why did you waste your time with this remark, if not for offense?

    And here is where you lose me completely. Why did whatever created the Universe need a reason? Because the God you believe in is the kind of God that would? Why couldn’t ‘God’ be senseless, an automaton that simply creates Universes blindly, without reason or even thought? As I said at the beginning of this reply, it’s very, very obvious that you’re simply plodding towards a pre-determined destination here. From this point out, the rest of your comment is simply you moving inevitably along a set of rails.

    Why would God be a senseless automaton that creates universes blindly? To say so would be to attempt to complicate things further, which isn’t really what we need. I should use this argument, but the fact that humans have enough free will to have beliefs, and to discuss these beliefs with one another as we are doing now, simply rules out a will-less Creator. How can something without a will create something that has a will? Something cannot be produced by something that isn’t there. Honestly, who would be likened to believe that? It defies common sense.

    You then go on to say that God isn’t necessarily as religion paints him, but how do you know this, and if it’s the case, why are a Deist instead of a Christian?

    Firstly, I am a Christian. Secondly, look at what I said:

    Finally, my third point that I wish to get across is this: God isn’t always whom you think Him to be. In this comment, I defined God as personal, yet not something physically tangible or anything the average person would normally consider Him to be. Certainly not anything like the pictures you find on a church’s stained-glass windows. “God” is the name I give the one whateveritis that started it all. He doesn’t have to be the God the world paints Him to be. Ignoring all outside influences, God seems a completely different being, and not so…religion-based.

    Not once did I say that God isn’t Whom religion paints Him to be. I said “He doesn’t have to be the God the world paints Him to be,” which is entirely different. Yes, I did mention churches’ stained-glass windows, and used the phrase “religion-based.” However, I thought you, an atheist of all people, would understand what I meant by such phrases. I don’t like the word “religion,” because the world has done the same with it as it has with God, that is, it has painted an inaccurate image of it. My point is that God doesn’t have to be, in the words of the world, “religious.”

    ____________

    Also, before you tell me that I haven’t given you any solid evidence, please define what you mean by “evidence,” because the only evidence we have in this situation is the universe itself. I’ve given you logical explanations derived from such evidence. (Try not to waste your time replying to this bit.)

  6. forknowledge says:

    As I said, and as you quoted me saying: I believe God is the source of the energy that created the universe. I never mentioned anything about God being omnipotent. I deliberately excluded that term from my comment, because that provides the view of God everyone is accustomed to, and not the one I am trying to present. The world’s view of God hinders an atheist from understanding Who He really is, and that’s exactly the point I’ve been trying to get at.

    …and then you go on to say that you’re a Christian. Presumably one who believes in the Bible? Does the Bible not make it fairly clear that the Christian God is either all-powerful or pretty close to it? But even if we assume that God isn’t all powerful, you’re still talking about a supernatural entity. If the supernatural exists, the laws of science are not binding. Unless God adheres to the laws of science, it doesn’t matter in the slightest, when talking about him, what the laws of thermodynamics say about anything.

    I understand where you’re coming from, but considering time is something that is temporary, and therefore not eternal, it needs a beginning, which makes assuming what happened “prior” to its existence nothing less than assuming the unknowable. We don’t, nor can we know for certain, regardless of how much we’d like to think so, that the universe is eternal. It’s eternal? How do you know? Were you there? No, of course not, because we’re temporary, which brings me back to a previous point of mine: The universe shows characteristics of that which is temporary, rather than timeless.

    You’ve missed my point. So far as anyone knows, time came to exist with the Universe. For the entirety of time that has passed, the Universe existed – unless time also existed prior to the Universe. I’m not claiming to actually know which scenario is correct, I’m merely pointing out that it makes no sense to say with any certainty that the Universe’s origins must have been a cause-and-effect event, the likes of which we find in our Universe now.

    And you were expecting fossils? Why did you waste your time with this remark, if not for offense?

    How on Earth are you offended by me asking for evidence? Surely this isn’t the first time you’ve come across such a startling demand?

    Why would God be a senseless automaton that creates universes blindly? To say so would be to attempt to complicate things further, which isn’t really what we need. I should use this argument, but the fact that humans have enough free will to have beliefs, and to discuss these beliefs with one another as we are doing now, simply rules out a will-less Creator. How can something without a will create something that has a will? Something cannot be produced by something that isn’t there. Honestly, who would be likened to believe that? It defies common sense.

    Now you’re being silly. In nature we frequently see simple rules and forcing creating objects and events of enormous magnitude and complexity. For millions of years after the Big Bang, the Universe was composed entirely of very simple molecules, and almost nothing else. We have a fairly good idea of how all of the other structures in existence – stars, the heavier elements, planets, humans – evolved from those simple beginnings.

    Here’s one scenario: a blind, dumb, automaton God creates the primordial Universe. From that point on, everything evolves without the need for supernatural intervention (and it seems likely that this is precisely what happened from the early days of the Universe onwards, given what we know at the moment). Humans, and their cognitive abilities, have equally ‘mundane’ origins and explanations. None of this requires a God that can think or feel or express itself – instead it posits the absolute minimum kind of deity. Assigning any more characteristics to God than the ability to create a Universe is unecessary.

    And, incidentally, this makes it more difficult for me to believe that you’re really much of a maverick when it comes to the definition of what God is. Given how weak your argument against the automaton God was, I can only conclude that you rejected it out of hand based on personal preference.

    Also, before you tell me that I haven’t given you any solid evidence, please define what you mean by “evidence,” because the only evidence we have in this situation is the universe itself. I’ve given you logical explanations derived from such evidence. (Try not to waste your time replying to this bit.)

    You’ve given me a very poor logical argument based on several faulty assumptions and a clear bias towards a monotheistic worldview. But suitable evidence would be the ability to demonstrate that some aspect of the Universe requires a god as an explanation (which is not the same as saying that God is merely one explanation; you need to give me some good reason to believe that it is the explanation). Since events prior to the Big Bang are currently impossible to speculate upon meaningfully, if would be best to limit yourself to the Universe as it is today. If you can establish that a god exists, it will start to make far more sense to explain the Universe’s origins by resorting to the supernatural.

  7. A person :b says:

    …and then you go on to say that you’re a Christian. Presumably one who believes in the Bible? Does the Bible not make it fairly clear that the Christian God is either all-powerful or pretty close to it? But even if we assume that God isn’t all powerful, you’re still talking about a supernatural entity. If the supernatural exists, the laws of science are not binding. Unless God adheres to the laws of science, it doesn’t matter in the slightest, when talking about him, what the laws of thermodynamics say about anything.

    Who said anything about supernatural? I suppose you did, but I certainly didn’t. I don’t know how God created the universe, nor does anyone else, but that does not make it a supernatural incident. Believe it or not, we humans don’t know every single scientific law there is to know. There are so many things that we don’t know, one being how Whateveritwasthatcreatedtheuniverse created the universe. Not understanding something does not make it supernatural.

    I am a Christian, that is, one who follows Christ, and the teachings of Christ. Christ is ultimately the manifestation of the traits and nature of “God” (so to speak) in human form. The Bible is only a collection of histories that all point toward the existence of “God.”

    God is just a name. I can call this being whatever it is I very well please; calling Him God doesn’t make Him any more, or any less supernatural. I’m a Christian, though I don’t necessarily follow the Bible in its entirety. This is because I am still studying it. If I find that the Bible, without a doubt, is 100% truthful, and not embellished in any way, I cannot say that I believe and follow the Bible in its entirety. As for its teachings, however, namely those of wisdom such as those listed in the book of Proverbs, I do comply with and follow. Understand?

    You’ve missed my point. So far as anyone knows, time came to exist with the Universe. For the entirety of time that has passed, the Universe existed – unless time also existed prior to the Universe. I’m not claiming to actually know which scenario is correct, I’m merely pointing out that it makes no sense to say with any certainty that the Universe’s origins must have been a cause-and-effect event, the likes of which we find in our Universe now.

    My mistake.

    You do make a good point, and as easy as it would be to agree with you, and abandon all hopes of a creator, I cannot necessarily say that God didn’t create the universe, providing only the explanation that He didn’t have to. Yes, things may work differently outside the universe, as far as anyone knows, but as long as such logic as the “cause-and-effect” idea remains a fact to those within the universe, I’d rather not question its existence outside the universe. No need to add complexity to a simple idea…Well, as simple as this gets…

    How on Earth are you offended by me asking for evidence? Surely this isn’t the first time you’ve come across such a startling demand?

    You quoted a part of my comment that really didn’t require a reply, because the part had originally been used as a transition between paragraphs, and was intended only for clarification. The fact that you took the time to contradict it gave it a more offensive tone than it needed. I’m not necessarily saying that I’m offended. What I said was that, from my point of view, your remark appeared only to be intended for offense.

    ____

    Why would God be a senseless automaton that creates universes blindly? To say so would be to attempt to complicate things further, which isn’t really what we need. I should use this argument, but the fact that humans have enough free will to have beliefs, and to discuss these beliefs with one another as we are doing now, simply rules out a will-less Creator. How can something without a will create something that has a will? Something cannot be produced by something that isn’t there. Honestly, who would be likened to believe that? It defies common sense.

    Sorry, while I was reading your comment, I came across a typo I had made in my last comment. Rather than “I should use this argument,” I meant to say, “I shouldn’t use this argument.”

    Anyway, moving on…
    ____

    And, incidentally, this makes it more difficult for me to believe that you’re really much of a maverick when it comes to the definition of what God is. Given how weak your argument against the automaton God was, I can only conclude that you rejected it out of hand based on personal preference.

    Actually, your conclusion wasn’t that far from truth. All my arguments come from previous arguments I’ve had with atheists, and I’ve always had difficulty when encountering new questions and ideas, because atheism is rather convincing. Honestly, I don’t recall ever dealing with this particular argument in any manner, and I’d rather not give it too little thought, so I’m going to give it some time before I answer. If I come to an answer, I’ll return to the issue.

    Until I can come up with a different argument, here are my two cents: Christ was ultimately the manifestation of God in human form, Who was executed in the most torturous of ways to allow humanity to live with God. If Jesus truly was Whom He said He was, then God must have been a personal God.

    Personal experiences, which are always debatable, make up another argument. Think for a moment. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of Christians around the world who claim to have personally experienced God in some way or another. Not all of them were telling the truth, as they either lied, or simply convinced themselves that they had experienced God. These are usually the ones that are least listened to. Then there are the radical, fired-up Christian who claim to have experienced God, who are paid attention to. Some of these Christians have been, and are being brutally tortured, and/or killed. The Christians today are being persecuted as much as the early Christians. Look at the apostles. Paul was hung on a cross, but he insisted on being hung upside-down along side his wife, because he felt he was not worthy to die in the same manner as Christ. Another apostle lived to an old age through torture and persecution only to have his brain dashed out with a club. Another was beheaded. Guess what each of their deaths had in common. Each apostle died horrible, gruesome deaths because they refused to deny their beliefs, and yes, each of them claimed to have experience God personally, not only through Jesus, but through the Holy Spirit, and God Himself. 2000 years later, and the exact same things are happening. Christians are dying horrible deaths for the same God. Tell me, if these Christians, who claimed to have experienced God personally, were lying, why then would they hold onto such lies up until torture and death?

    Just a thought.

    You’ve given me a very poor logical argument based on several faulty assumptions and a clear bias towards a monotheistic worldview. But suitable evidence would be the ability to demonstrate that some aspect of the Universe requires a god as an explanation (which is not the same as saying that God is merely one explanation; you need to give me some good reason to believe that it is the explanation). Since events prior to the Big Bang are currently impossible to speculate upon meaningfully, if would be best to limit yourself to the Universe as it is today. If you can establish that a god exists, it will start to make far more sense to explain the Universe’s origins by resorting to the supernatural.

    So, you’re looking for physical evidence? Surely, you’ve already encountered the Intelligent Design argument? I think my previous paragraph was something of an argument you’re looking for.

  8. A person :b says:

    I don’t believe that physical evidence to prove God’s existence can possibly exist, because we’re discussing whether or not something created time and space, and the aftermath of such an event doesn’t necessarily have to hold the answers.

  9. forknowledge says:

    (Note: this reply is going to take things out of order, because I just woke up and haven’t had my coffee yet, but I don’t think I’ve quoted anything improperly.)

    So, you’re looking for physical evidence? Surely, you’ve already encountered the Intelligent Design argument? I think my previous paragraph was something of an argument you’re looking for.

    Intelligent design is a whole other kettle of fish, assuming you’re talking about the ideas of Behe and Dembski and like. Needless to say, I think it’s a lot of bunk, as does most of the scientific community, but arguing that issue would derail things complete. I’ll just say that, at the moment, I have no reason to believe that the origin or diversification of life required the actions of a ‘Creator’. (Obviously I’m a lot less certain about the origin of life. A Creator here is still a possibility, but I don’t think it’s a very likely one.)

    With regards to a supernatural God: I’m willing to concede that there could be a God-like entity that isn’t ‘supernatural’ and that does adhere to some sort of laws of nature that we just haven’t discovered, but I don’t think it’s likely at all. If you read almost any holy book that features a god or gods, they do things that, with our present understanding of the Universe, should be utterly impossible. Even Jesus rising from the dead would require something supernatural to occur, assuming he was, in any form, a human.

    You do make a good point, and as easy as it would be to agree with you, and abandon all hopes of a creator, I cannot necessarily say that God didn’t create the universe, providing only the explanation that He didn’t have to. Yes, things may work differently outside the universe, as far as anyone knows, but as long as such logic as the “cause-and-effect” idea remains a fact to those within the universe, I’d rather not question its existence outside the universe. No need to add complexity to a simple idea…Well, as simple as this gets…

    I’m not saying you should abadnon any thoughts of a Creator for the Universe, I’m just saying that we shouldn’t be assuming things without reason. While common sense might tell us to apply cause-and-effect pre-Big Bang, science is fillled to the brim with ideas that are both well verified and smash common sense to pieces. As far as I’m concerned, the only honest answer to this question is I don’t know, and that’s not a bad answer.

    God is just a name. I can call this being whatever it is I very well please; calling Him God doesn’t make Him any more, or any less supernatural. I’m a Christian, though I don’t necessarily follow the Bible in its entirety. This is because I am still studying it. If I find that the Bible, without a doubt, is 100% truthful, and not embellished in any way, I cannot say that I believe and follow the Bible in its entirety. As for its teachings, however, namely those of wisdom such as those listed in the book of Proverbs, I do comply with and follow. Understand?

    I suppose that makes sense. People believe for all sorts of reasons, none of which I find very compelling. The argument about the apostles and modern Christians suffering persecution is easily countered by pointing out that adherents to cults today are willing to kill themselves for what they believe in, and Scientologists must surely be some of the most consistently ridiculed people in the Western world. That doesn’t make what they believe true, it just means that they believe it very strongly.

    But I’m not going to get into issues of Christianity itself, since I set up this blog more to talk about Creationism. I will say that you seem to have the seeds of atheism in you, and in the past I’ve been fairly good at predicting when people will deconvert. (That’s not meant to be sinister or pushy in any way; I could well be wrong.)

    I don’t believe that physical evidence to prove God’s existence can possibly exist, because we’re discussing whether or not something created time and space, and the aftermath of such an event doesn’t necessarily have to hold the answers.

    That’s true, but it once again brings us back to ‘I don’t know’, and, I suppose, agnosticism. If, from there, we consider that no process in the Univese is known to require a god, and that no religion has reliably demonstrated that it’s claims are true, I think that atheism is a pretty safe bet. We just don’t need God to explain the Universe at the moment, and even if we do eventually, I can only see Deism as being a rational choice, with ‘God’ being defined as ‘something capable of [doing x], but which we cannot explain or examine’. Religious people generally start with a fairly complex God in mind and then try to fit that idea into the Universe, but actually ‘discovering’ a god would involve ascribing it attributes only if they were necessary.

  10. A person :b says:

    With regards to a supernatural God: I’m willing to concede that there could be a God-like entity that isn’t ’supernatural’ and that does adhere to some sort of laws of nature that we just haven’t discovered, but I don’t think it’s likely at all. If you read almost any holy book that features a god or gods, they do things that, with our present understanding of the Universe, should be utterly impossible. Even Jesus rising from the dead would require something supernatural to occur, assuming he was, in any form, a human.

    I agree, a lot of what God did was, or at least seemed, supernatural, and defying our scientific laws. I suppose one explanation could be that due to being ultimately not of this universe or its laws, God doesn’t have to adhere to such laws. On the other hand, I think the creation of the universe requires some law we don’t know yet — we can’t possibly know every law in the universe. We don’t even fully understand magnetism (just an example), which has been studied who knows how long.

    I’m not saying you should abadnon any thoughts of a Creator for the Universe, I’m just saying that we shouldn’t be assuming things without reason. While common sense might tell us to apply cause-and-effect pre-Big Bang, science is fillled to the brim with ideas that are both well verified and smash common sense to pieces. As far as I’m concerned, the only honest answer to this question is I don’t know, and that’s not a bad answer.

    It’s a bad answer if you’re looking for the real answer. “I don’t know” has never quite done it for me, nor has it been a sufficient answer for many philosopher, scientists, etc. I’m not saying anything about you personally, I was just explaining my position on this particular area of the argument.

    The argument about the apostles and modern Christians suffering persecution is easily countered by pointing out that adherents to cults today are willing to kill themselves for what they believe in, and Scientologists must surely be some of the most consistently ridiculed people in the Western world. That doesn’t make what they believe true, it just means that they believe it very strongly.

    The only difference between Christian persecution, and the deaths of followers of cults, is that Christianity has been around for 2000 years, and cults are usually short-lived. There may hundred commit suicide in a cult, but there are thousands of Christians who are persecuted around the world, and have been since before even Jesus was born. There’s a distinct difference between persecution and suicide, and at least in my mind, persecution — real persecution, not simply being insulted — wins out. My point is that of all the persecuted followers of religions in the world, Christians have always had the hardest time. And yet there are so many of us.

    But I’m not going to get into issues of Christianity itself, since I set up this blog more to talk about Creationism. I will say that you seem to have the seeds of atheism in you, and in the past I’ve been fairly good at predicting when people will deconvert. (That’s not meant to be sinister or pushy in any way; I could well be wrong.)

    If I wasn’t a Christian, I’d be an atheist, and a darn good one at that. I’ve always had the mind of an atheist, but so far, Christianity has strangely made more sense. The more I doubt it, the more I prove it to myself, though I can’t say I’m any different than any other atheist who converted to Christianity after trying to prove it false. Even so, you can’t convert or de-convert a person over the internet. The best you can do is give that person something to think about.

    That’s true, but it once again brings us back to ‘I don’t know’, and, I suppose, agnosticism. If, from there, we consider that no process in the Univese is known to require a god, and that no religion has reliably demonstrated that it’s claims are true, I think that atheism is a pretty safe bet. We just don’t need God to explain the Universe at the moment, and even if we do eventually, I can only see Deism as being a rational choice, with ‘God’ being defined as ’something capable of [doing x], but which we cannot explain or examine’. Religious people generally start with a fairly complex God in mind and then try to fit that idea into the Universe, but actually ‘discovering’ a god would involve ascribing it attributes only if they were necessary.

    Some processes in the universe do not require a God/god, I agree, but the universe’s existence, as far as I know, does. I do try to fit God into the equation, and if He doesn’t fit, I first look at the definition I’ve given Him. Once I eliminate the unnecessary attributes that aren’t part of the original definition, I have something the fits much better.

    It seems that we currently have the possibility of either a personal God, or a mindless automaton. The mindless automaton would need many more, complex characteristics to fit into the picture, because that god would have to have been single-minded, meaning it could only create this universe in exactly the same way it did. This simply doesn’t seem right. 2+2 always = 4, and there are no extra rules or paths of logic. Regardless of how the problem is performed, adding 2 and 2 will always result in 4. In every way, the product of something always mirrors that which produced it. If logic, the base of all reasoning is so black and white, why then, would the creator of logic be multicolored, that is, several things at once that don’t relate?

    I find imagining God easier if I imagine a line. A line is infinite, with no beginning, nor an end. An automaton doesn’t seem to fit this description, because a line doesn’t really have multiple traits, which an automaton would need had it created the universe in the manner that it did. God, on the other hand, is made up of one characteristic; good/goodness/love/righteousness/that which is beneficial. These concepts are all man-made concepts, but imagine these were the concepts that defined the being that created the universe. “Good” is timeless and infinite, while simultaneously being physically imperceivable by the five human senses. Perhaps “good” is this automaton, but being what it is, “good” wouldn’t necessarily be considered a mindless robot, if it created the universe — “goodness” as a sentient being. Naturally, because there is good, there is also bad, which is, in its most basic form, the absence of goodness. This, although a bit confusing and slightly ridiculous, would narrow things down, literally to black and white.

    I’m just doing a ton of guesswork, and presenting an idea that might, in some way, make a bit of sense of this mess, so don’t assume all of this to be my entire argument.

    I’m not changing the Christian beliefs. Christianity will remain the same regardless of how its followers choose to interpret it. I’m simply trying to make it simpler by removing the unnecessary attributes God is normally given. To do this, I simply put myself in an atheist’s position, and try to understand what the most basic concepts of God are, without allowing myself to be affected by outside influences. I’m not saying I’m good at what I do, I’m simply explaining that I try to put concepts into their most basic of forms so I can understand them.

  11. forknowledge says:

    I was going to reply to this, but then it became a choice between that or doing a new post for the blog itself (my comments here and elsewhere have so far been way more involved than my actual blog posts…), so how about we leave it here?

  12. A person :b says:

    That’ll do. I may comment on another one of your posts later, but life has decided to take away a good portion of my free time, so I won’t be that active.

    Anyway, it was a nice debate. I’m glad to know that you, for the most part, know what you’re talking about (Intelligent debates concerning religion are a bit rare these days.).

    God bl…I mean…er…you know.

  13. forknowledge says:

    Sure, feel free to comment. I also can’t guarantee that I’ll reply with something huge or involved, but I’ll reply with something at least.

  14. dangdoutX says:

    im just a by standard here, but for the record, i am a scientist , physicist to be exact and of course i am an atheist

    i just want to point out that steven hawking theory is well proven on how the universe started , just for those who’s not familiar with his theory let me tell you the big line :
    1. in total vacuum space where there was nothing at all, born sub atomic particle, which come in pair, matter and anti matter
    2. for quite something the matter and the anti matter annihilated each other, until one time, the amount of matter exceeded the amount of anti matter therefore the first matter existed
    3. those matter clump together and form the big bang seed, and that seed exploded into the known universe

    why did i say it is a proven theory, because it is proven. University of Caltex have made and experiment in the vacuum space, out of nowhere and from complete nothing , there born sub atomic particle , just like that , there is no need for god or anything superstitious like that to make matter, its actually happen automatically, in fact this prove that moment of creation happen every time even now, when ever there is an empty vacuum space there is matter and anti matter creation, only its very2 small amount , this also disapprove eternal energy theory , energy can be created and can be destroyed

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