noevidence

We are taking a look at an atheist’s blog post entitled,

The Five Best Reasons Not to Believe in God

My previous post “Introduction” dealt with his opening statements.

As I tackle his arguments, you can click on the links below and see if he has made a more compelling argument. As always, I am advocating for the God of the bible, not the multitude of other gods that the blogger lumps together for which I agree, there is no evidence for. Let’s get started.

His Introduction

  1. There is No Evidence for God
  2. Belief in God is Illogical
  3. Suffering Negates His Existence
  4. We Don’t Need God
  5. Life is Better Without God

Some of the posts may be lengthy, but the implications of the questions can be life changing and the challenges deserve more than a cursory response. Here is his first objection to belief in God.


 1. There is No Evidence For God

No evidence is more vague a statement then you think. How is he defining evidence? Given that he has stated;

… my hope and goal is that the belief in God, and the religions that underpin it, are wiped from the face the earth.

[Daily Maverick by Jarred Cinman 26 February 2015]

It is hard to know if his objections are based on reason and evidence, or are colored by an ideological bias. So when he argues there is no evidence, what is he saying?

  • The evidence doesn’t exist
  • He isn’t aware of any evidence
  • He is familiar with the evidence but rejects it all
  • He is certain no future supporting evidence will come to light

Those who are seeking absolute proof in science for anything are often going to be disappointed. Why is this poster and many others, holding evidence for God to a higher standard then evidence for multiverses, other dimensions, dark energy, dark matter, the origin of life, or history? These things are all unobservable and unrepeatable under laboratory conditions.

In a debate about the origin of the universe, a leading atheist astrophysicist named Lawrence Krauss was asked about the failure after forty years of the research group SETI [the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence], to find any evidence of life on other planets. Krauss repeated an aphorism shared by cosmologist and astrophysicist Carl Sagan [ (1997). The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark (1st ed.). New York: Ballantine. p. 213.]

the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence

[Debate; “Life, the Universe and Nothing: Why is there something rather than nothing?” Dr. Lawrence Krauss and Dr. William Lane Craig @ 54:44]

Double standard?

Not long ago, the idea that continents were moving was laughable to geologists. That was until the 1970s when Plate Tectonics Theory “revolutionized” Earth sciences. [Encyclopedia Britannica, Geology; Plate tectonics, by van Andel, Murphy]

This is by no means the only case of scientific hubris. Louis Pasteur was also laughed at and ridiculed 150 years ago for believing that there were such things as invisible germs that caused disease. I wonder what science may be scoffing at today will be obviously correct tomorrow.

Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved. [Nobel laureate Francis Crick, “What Mad Pursuit”, p. 138 (1990)]

I submit there is evidence staring us in the face, but many like Crick refuse to see it. Now let’s take a closer look at the poster’s first argument that God doesn’t exist.

Paragraph 1.

The writer summarizes that for people to believe something, a standard of proof must be met. What that standard is he does not say. He then alludes that belief in God is akin to belief in the “Tooth Fairy”, and does not meet his criterion of evidence.

Paragraph 2.

  • People accept God with no proof
    • this statement just restates his conclusion. People accept God with out proof, therefore there is no proof God exists?
  • Belief is a cultural convention
    • according to a Pew Research study in 2008, 70% of children who grew up in an atheist home, turned to religion as adults. [fig1]
    • It’s a cultural convention therefore God doesn’t exist? That is not an argument because it is unrelated to his conclusion. Consider the Geneva Convention or the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Are they myths too?
  • Belief is born out of a desire for comfort
    • This may be a reason people are drawn to God, but it doesn’t disprove God’s existence. In fact, personal experience of God is positive evidence for, not against belief.
  • Intellectual laziness
    • This is an [Ad hominem] argument which is a fallacy. This tactic is used when an argument is so weak, the arguer deflects from the subject by changing the focus of the discussion, in this case, attacking the intelligence of his opponents. This is the definition of intellectual laziness.

Paragraph 3.

  • There is no evidence God exists
    • Again, he asserts the conclusion to support his conclusion
  • Most would agree Personal [anecdotal] experience is not evidence
    • If this were the only line of evidence, and limited by number then yes, the argument for belief in God would be weak. But personal experience with God is not the only evidence, and while a few anecdotal experiences may offer little weight to the discussion, it can be argued that millions of people with similar experiences can add support to it. Especially when combined with other lines of evidence.
    • Unfortunately experiential proof is not taken as seriously as maybe is should. I am thinking of Woman and children all over the world who believe they are in real danger from family members or boyfriends, but police will not act because there is no proof. So it doesn’t follow that because the evidence is anecdotal, the situation isn’t real.
  • There could be other possible reasons for what you experienced
    • The writer offers no alternative reasons to support his assertion.
  • Evidence for God cannot be tested or repeated under scientific conditions
    • This is true for the origin of life, the origin of the universe, evolution, any historical event, and many other scientific theories accepted today as credible. This is an unrealistic criterion for many forms of scientific inquiry.
    • Conversely, Notable atheist cosmologists and astrophysicists such as the late Stephen Hawking and Lawrence Krauss advocate for the notion that the universe could have spontaneously created itself out of nothing. How does this relate to testable repeatable scientific rigor? Watch the video and see what there own colleagues have to say about the theory.

Here you have a situation where atheist scientists have one standard for evidence of theories that oppose their ideology, and another for theories that don’t. Infinite universes popping into existence out of nothing is perfectly reasonable, but a designer is ludicrous?

Here is the writer’s concluding statement about evidence for God.

Fact: no-one has ever presented one iota of persuasive evidence that there is a God.

Does stating something is a fact make it so? I think not.

Fact: the writer did not present one iota of [let alone persuasive] evidence to back up his claims that there is zero evidence to believe in God. If there was any evidence then scientists would believe also.

scientists are roughly half as likely as the general public to believe in God or a higher power. According to the poll, just over half of scientists (51%) believe in some form of deity or higher power [Pew Research Center; Nov 5, 2009]

Scientists-and-Belief-3

If only a minority [41%] of all scientists outright reject God’s existence, that would suggest there is more than an “iota” of evidence that he may.

What is my argument?

  • Premise 1: if there is good evidence a majority of scientists will support the idea
  • Premise 2: a majority of scientists support the idea
  • Conclusion: therefore there is evidence to consider the idea for further study

The premises are related to and support the conclusion. The premises are true and the conclusion follows the premises so the argument is logically valid and sound.

Has the writer succeeded in presenting a logical and persuasive argument that God does not exist? Or has he just made random unsupported claims why he himself doesn’t believe? That is for you to decide.

Despite what we read in our school science books scientists have no idea how the universe began to exist, or how life began on the planet. Evolution has no answers for these questions or for conscious minds, or for the software that runs, regulated and duplicates living things.

Atheists

Thomas Nagel [Professor of Philosophy and Law, Cornell, Oxford and Harvard universities]

  • the widely accepted world view of materialist naturalism is untenable. The mind-body problem cannot be confined to the relation between animal minds and animal bodies. If materialism cannot accommodate consciousness and other mind-related aspects of reality, then we must abandon a purely materialist understanding of nature in general, extending to biology, evolutionary theory, and cosmology [“Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False”, Sept 2012]

Jerry Fodor [Professor of Philosophy, Princeton University]and Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini [PhD physics, Professor of Cognitive Science at the University of Arizona]

  • What Darwin Got Wrong is a remarkable book, one that dares to challenge the theory of natural selection as an explanation for how evolution works–a devastating critique not in the name of religion but in the name of good science. [“What Darwin Got Wrong“; paperback, March 2011,

Bradley Moncton PhD, Philosophy of Science, University of Colorado Bolder

  • The doctrine of intelligent design is often the subject of acrimonious debate. Seeking God in Sciencecuts through the rhetoric that distorts the debates between religious and secular camps. Bradley Monton, a philosopher of science and an atheist, carefully considers the arguments for intelligent design and argues that intelligent design deserves serious consideration as a scientific theory. [Seeking God in Science: An Atheist Defends Intelligent Design, paperback, July 2009]

Reasons For Inferring God Exists

There isn’t the room here to detail all the evidence for God. visit my YouTube Channel where you can find many PhD scientists discussing many areas of study that support the existence of God.

No one is going to convince you God exists, only he can do that, but with a little research you can see that there is nothing known to science that excludes God from existing. There is an abundance of evidence out there. From the code inside each living cell and sub atomic particles to the vastness and beauty of the universe. You just have to look.

Romans 1:20; 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 people are without excuse

 

Cosmology

  • The extremely fine tuning of chemistry an physics for life

Biology

 

There is a positive scientific case for an intelligent designer, and a strong case for believing the ancient biblical texts regarding Jesus of Nazareth, his empty tomb and his resurrection.

A transcendent God has more explanatory power than any competing theories, including the origins of life and the universe, consciousness, ethics and an instinctive imprint of what is right and wrong on the human conscience. All of these things go unanswered by methodological naturalism, or reductionism where everything can be explained by physics and chemistry.

Next, I will look at the bloggers next argument; Belief in God is illogical

 

References:

fig1.

atheist_retention_rate

 

Robert J.

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