Sunday, September 9, 2007

Absolute Proof God Exists -- Part One

We freethinkers should be embarrassed. Kirk Cameron, Ray Comfort and Todd Friel have deftly and equisitely proven the existence of God. The best part? Biblical proofs are optional. How do they do it? They point out two proofs: one external and one internal.

First Non-Biblical Proof of God -- "Creation"

That's right! When you look out your window at the beauty that surrounds us, you are to see design. The WOTM staff claim that our universe is the epitome of form and function. Take, for instance, the placement of our planet in relation to the sun; if we were revolving any closer to the sun than we currently are, our atmosphere would be too warm to sustain life. If we were any further from the sun, our atmosphere would be too cold!

Looking at things from a creationist's point of view, this screams of intelligent design. "God set the earth in orbit around the sun in the precise spot for life to flourish!" With a bit of effort, it is possible to look at things from a naturalistic point of view. Rather than life being supported on this earth because of its placement, perhaps the placement of the earth enabled life to emerge. Notice the distinction? This is hardly proof of God's existence. Furthermore, the creation account (or accounts depending on which brand of creationism your brand of Christianity supports) can be found only in holy texts and are completely unsupported by modern science.

If theists are such firm believers in creation "science", why don't they rely solely on the fruits of those labors? That would mean no more chemistry-based products (sorry, Todd, hand sanitizer is out of the question). I challenge theists to show me one practical application of "creation science" in our modern world. If you want to understand how much evolutionary science contributes to your life, go open your medicine cabinet.

I would like to point out that the most powerful tool for evangelical Christians is the ability to obfuscate an argument with semantics. When one of the WOTM staff members try the old watch/watchmaker or painting/painter routine, keep in mind that they have carefully selected the words they wish to use to effect the outcome they desire. For instance: Todd might say, "Take a look at that building! It couldn't have just appeared because a building needs a... builder. Right! The same thing is true with creation (notice the switch?); you can't have creation without a creator!" Most of the people he proselytizes never catch the switch.

But consider this, if the wording is changed to something that is more neutral (something which is unattainable when dealing with any evangelical group) the ball falls squarely into the court of the naturalistic freethinker. "When you look around at nature (I've been on "nature walks" but never on a "creation walk"), you have to admit that natural selection takes place." Not too difficult, eh? If theists are taken aback by the abrupt way in which the table was shifted, they can begin by fumbling through their rationalizations for all of the "design" flaws that abound in nature.


BoxerShorts said...

It's unfortunate that the concept of logical fallacies is utterly alien to most religious fundamentalists; pointing out the flaws in their arguments is almost always an exercise in futility. The bottom line with Todd's "creation must have a creator" argument is that it rests on a non-sequitor: It does not logically follow that complexity requires design. Unfortunately, you can't use reason to persuade the unreasonable. It just doesn't work.

AnathemaUnbound said...

Firstly... good writings. However, I'm gonna have to disagree with you and here's why:

I cannot fathom something created without a creator.

Maybe creation needs to be defined because the term can be used so loosely. But to be honest, its nearly an inescapable truth that creation does imply creator.

I dont know what the alternative is to this thinking. Response?

Former Follier said...

Anathema Unbound:

Thank you for your comment; it gave me pause to reread the entry to see if there are any ambiguous terms. There are not. I agree that the words "create" and "creation" are used rather liberally but I think you would agree that in this context it means nothing less than the Genesis creation account(s).

It is important to understand that humans cannot "create" anything as all matter that has ever existed, still exists whether in another material state, as a form of pure energy or as a combination of the two. Humans cannot create matter nor can we create energy.

When I refer to "creation" I am simply referring to the event portrayed in the first and second chapters of Genesis, not the "creation" of a wristwatch or a painting. It is disingenous for the WOTM staff and yourself to draw a false parallel here.

I can understand how you might not be able to envision all that we know as the natural world without a creator; I held to the same tenets when I was a theist. However, simply because we cannot naturalistically and rationally explain phenomena due to a lack of scientific understanding on a certain topic doesn't give us the right to draw a supernatural conclusion. Saying "God did it" answers no questions. In fact, it further complicates the question.

I don't know how we, as a race, and everything we interact with came to be. I will not, however, make a positive statement with my only supporting document being an antiquated account of a supernatural event, one that has been rewritten and redacted countless times.

You asked what the alternative to supernatural biogenesis would be? For the sake of conversation, couldn't the universe itself with all contained matter and energy be infinite rather than a deity? We can observe and interact with matter and energy therefore it stands as more of a rational deduction.

If I've muddied the waters, let me know.

AnathemaUnbound said...

Oh no... you havent muddied the waters at all and I thank you that we can dialogue a bit.

I agree to attribute unknown phenomena to the supernatural is absolutely absurd. We cant revert to a supposed "answers all" type of answer (that being the response "well I cant explain that so it must be God!"). Rather instead, we look for the best evidence possible and draw a conclusion from there.

The problem with historical evidence is that it cant be tested scientifically. If it could, that would be great but alas, here we are. So the way I've come to conclude things is by taking a look at the surrounding evidence, understand all sides of the story, draw a conclusion as to which story sounds most plausible, investigate further and then come to a conclusion. That's how I've come to the conclusion that there is a Creator and it is the Christian God.

As far as the universe being infinite; thats very plausible. However, the one thing I have noticed is that if something is infinite and existing in time (another time which must be defined due to it's relativity), there has to be something outside of that concept in order for it to exist. If time can be plotted on a scale as well as have infinite possibilities, something has to be outside that sequence in order for it to exist.

I'm going to link you blog on my site if you don't mind. I would love people to read my stuff and then read yours to get a fair assessment from both views. Do you mind if I do that?

Former Follier said...

I don't mind your linking my blog on your site.

I have many reservations about what you just stated above:

First, you concurred with my claim that attributing uknown phenomena to supernatural causation is absurd but then go on to explain that you have come to an understanding through your own personal search that the origin of the universe was an act of God. Those two statements don't reconcile with one another.

You then go on to explain that the universe and all matter and energy contained therein could possibly be infinite but that it would require a greater being outside of time and the physical realm to oversee it. This is a paradox since time isn't a "thing". In fact, it isn't even a constant. Time is simply an observed unit of measurement which can be manipulated. I continue to assert that time could be a simple by-product of an infinite universe.

To claim any supernatural or divine intervention begs the question of that being's attributes, character, residence and motives. I could take you through infinite regress right now but I'm certain you've been through it before. You claim there are no "uncaused causes"; perhaps you're right. Perhaps the universe and it's infiniteness was the unmoved mover. How, then, does "it" have a mind, consciousness, likes, dislikes, desires, etc?