I live in Spain, where one in every three people between 18 and 29 years old don’t believe in the existence of God. Many other countries share a similar statistic. You might be an atheist yourself or, if not, surely know someone who is. Possibly we all would agree that some questions serve as arguments against the existence of God for many, if not most, atheists. Some of these questions are: if God exists, why is there so much suffering in the world? If God exists, why doesn’t he speak to humanity more clearly or tangibly? If God exists, why hasn’t anyone been able to prove his existence? And so on.
These are undoubtedly questions that need to be addressed, but that is not my intention in this article. Actually what I want to do is ask more questions, but from another perspective. Let me invite you to briefly look at the other side of the coin and consider four questions in relation to the existence of God.
First, if God does not exist, how can we have any sense of justice in the world? I believe we all agree that trafficking human beings is wrong and providing food for those who are hungry, for instance, is right. But on which basis do we classify something as right or wrong? Who established these moral standards that we all know exist apart from our own opinions? As C. S. Lewis expressed: “My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?”
Secondly, if God does not exist then how was everything created from nothing? Why is there something rather than nothing? We might have different opinions on the origins of the universe and its age, but we all agree it’s not eternal and therefore there was a moment it came into existence. But how could it have come into existence if there was absolutely nothing before? Matter and energy do not originate from nothing; everything in the universe has a cause outside of itself. Have you ever taken your imagination back to that moment and honestly pondered on the Cause behind every cause? Francis Collins, renowned scientist and leader of the Human Genome Project, has written: “And the very fact that the universe had a beginning implies that someone was able to begin it. And it seems to me that that had to be outside of nature.”
Thirdly, if God does not exist, how come human beings exist? The chances of a universe such as ours to be created randomly are virtually non-existent. Dr Collins writes: “When you look from the perspective of a scientist at the universe, it looks as if it knew we were coming. There are 15 constants: the gravitational constant, (…) nuclear force, etc. that have precise values. If any one of those constants was off by even one part in a million, or in some cases, by one part in a billion, the universe could not have actually come to the point where we see it. (…) There would have been no galaxy, stars, planets or people.” Stephen Hawking interestingly expresses: “it would be very difficult to explain why the universe would have begun in just this way except as the act of a God who intended to create beings like us.” 
And in fourth place, if God does not exist, how come millions upon millions of people have attested to a personal relationship with him throughout human history? People all over the world, from all sorts of social, intellectual and cultural background believe and live by their faith in a real and personal God. They affirm to be reached by his love, touched by his grace, convicted by his holiness and directed by his words. Their lives have been visibly changed and their relationship to others clearly improved after what they describe to be an encounter with Jesus. Have you considered the possibility that these millions and millions of people might be speaking the truth? Have you ever taken some time to sincerely listen to one of these people’s experiences?
As stated before, I have no pretension to convince anyone of God’s existence through the four questions above. My intention is to invite you to a frank and honest reflection as you try to look at your view about God from another perspective. May I invite you to sincerely reflect on your perception of the most important subject any of us could ever consider? May I invite you to search for more? May I invite you to be honestly open?
 C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity. Let me open a parenthesis and suggest two books that present the Christian case respectfully, logically and solidly: “The Reason for God” by Timothy Keller and “Mere Christianity”, by C.S. Lewis.
 Ref. – Interview of Francis Collians at http://www.salon.com/books/int/2006/08/07/collins/index2.html …Ref. in “The Reason for God,” T. Keller, Dutton, 2008
 Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time, p. 127
I am reminded of a humorous story i once heard of a discussion between a Scientist and God. The scientist said to God that we humans have come so far that we can create our own human life from dust just as you did. God said “okay”. The scientist then reached for some dust to begin this astonishing act…but God said, “Oh no, no…you have to get your own dust”.
Within my own journey, I see no other alternative than the existence of God, the Father in heaven and creator of all.
Hi Michael, thank you very much for your comment. I enjoyed the story!
It is very shocking how quickly Europe is starting to lose so many Christians. I recently blogged about my conversion from atheism to Christianity, and I sure hope these non-belivers find their way to get back on the right path.
Hi Chris, thank you for your comment!
Very interesting post. I hope you don’t mind if I offer some constructive criticism?
With your first argument, there is a misunderstanding. You claim that we cannot know good from bad without knowing what good is. That’s not necessarily true. Let’s take morality in general. Think about moral judgments. The statement “That is bad” may not necessarily refer to some objective moral fact but rather, demonstrates a person’s moral sentiments towards a particular action or event. Such a view is known as emotivism and is just one ethical theory among many. Now, if emotivism is true, then we need not have an objective standard derived from God. Under emotivism, whatever makes us happy or gives us pleasure is then defined as the objective standard of good. It is an arbitrary starting point, but it remains valid.
But on the flip side, there is the empirical argument against God as the basis of morality. Scientists, specifically biologists, psychologists, sociologists, and anthropologists, continue to uncover more and more evidence supporting the theory that human morality has developed via evolutionary means and that objective moral judgments could be the result of genetic and cultural factors, thus making the God hypothesis unnecessary. If genetics and culture along with the various mechanisms of evolutionary biology can explain the same phenomena that the God hypothesis can, by invoking Ockham’s Razor, we are intellectually obligated to choose the simpler of the two, i.e., the natural explanation.
The argument you put forth about the creation of the universe is logically fallacious in the forms of question begging and an appeal to authority. With the former, you do not provide evidence but just suggest the conclusion in different ways. Nor do you explore the topic in any kind of sufficient depth. There are an infinite amount of reasons why there could be something rather than nothing. Some of these ideas are less plausible, others more. But the God hypothesis is not the only valid and credible explanation. With the latter, you point to a quote by Francis Collins as evidence but all he states is a personal opinion and an extremely biased one at that. As I said in my first point, science has shown that numerous physical phenomena, which are traditionally attributed to being works of God, can just as easily be explained via natural and scientific means. Origins of life and the development of the universe may be complicated and extensive, but that does not necessitate invoking God as an explanation. But in dealing with Collins’ bias, why must the cause of the universe be “someone?” Why must it be a conscious being? What warrant is there for such an assumption? Unless he can give good reason and evidence for us to accept such an assumption, I refuse to accept it as being true.
With your argument about the existence of human beings, there are alternative explanations for the “fine-tuning” of the universe’s constants. Granted, some of these explanations are more far-fetched than others, but it still goes to show that there are natural explanations for such phenomena, making the God hypothesis unnecessary.
And with your last argument from religious experience, this is a shaky foundation for a theological argument. Scientists have been able to manipulate brain chemistry and function in order for a person to be able to have a religious experience. It thus calls into question whether the idea of God has been developed via evolutionary mechanisms to help us survive. While the idea of God being genetically based does not disprove His existence, it is a very strong argument against the probability of God’s existence. Similarly, human beings, as a species, are very impressionable. Thus it is not shocking for people to have radical and vivid religious experiences. Now, I don’t want to go as far as saying religious experiences as self-deluded and self-induced behaviours, but they certainly need to be studied more by the various social and behavioural sciences.
Hello! Thank you for reading the post and taking the time to share your thoughts and views. I appreciate it.
Respectfully, I can turn your arguments about morality and god being man made conceptualizations or delusions of the brain over on it’s head with many simple points that very atheist I’ve ever come into contact with seems to conveniently leave outside of the conversation in regards to this never ending debate. In fact they will do whatever they can to interrupt you mid sentence before you have the time to complete the explanation of these points. Because they know once these points have been made their arguments are dead in the water. Thank God, no pun intended given the nature of this discussion, that I have all the time in the world to write down my thoughts before someone interrupts me lol. Online debating rocks that way.
Lets start off with the easiest of my points. First of all, thoughts, feelings, emotional reactions, moral views, all of it you say is easily brought about by the natural, preprogramed functions of genetic material taking on the desired implements required to sustain the continued survival of our species. And that’s all said and good. Really in the long run you’re not completely wrong. We do need these physical structures to act as a bridge for our abilities to communicate and interact with one another. They are critical instruments which act as the very foundation upon which we build all of our relationships and ask all of our questions about life. They are the ground work for great accomplishments to be placed upon even though they are not the soul determining factors in who and what we become. However you’re not including the whole truth are you? Lets be honest here? Researchers have tried for years to recreate the natural conditions they believe existed shortly after the big bang to bring about the activation of D.N.A. material construction. Every attempt has yielded absolute failure. So if God is a Fairy tale and the human race is the real god created out of our own imaginations, why can’t we recreate from scratch the complex conditions it took to make some basic chemical reactions take place for the process of forming cells that would eventually colonize into a community of other cells that bring about the birth of a human individual? Cloning is the closet thing we’ve ever gotten. But even with cloning, we had to use the genetic process from materials already previously constructed from the body of another human being in order to achieve it. Which means that man can only replicate the conditions needed to form a human body by brining those conditions into an artificially controlled environment. Then they just watch the magic happen because beyond that they can’t do a thing on their own. Again they can replicate the conditions that already existed by transporting those conditions to a different environment outside of the mothers womb, but they can’t actually generate the conditions from scratch. They can’t create an authentically new and never before seen human individual who’s genetic bloodline is completely separate from all the other recorded bloodlines in history. Even with synthetically constructed D.N.A. scientists still require pre-existing samples of material already commonly found in our species to begin the actual building procedure.
Let me be very clear before I jump to this next point. If you’ve ever managed to silence or discourage one who claims to believe in God from arguing against you ever again then you’ve never actually talked to a true believer. Because a true believer doesn’t back down, and in most instances sends the atheist running with their tails between their legs like I’ve done with many in my life who claim me to be a fool for believing in a divine creator lol. Most likely you’re one of these guys who will believe aliens made us before god ever did. But then it would go back to who or what the heck made the aliens lol.
So yeah back to my next point. You say scientists have found a way to manipulate the brain into providing the individual with a religious experience. I’ve read up on that research. The neat thing about the manipulation, the tech involved with how they bring about these experiences is how the actual results of the experiment performed have never been properly proven or validated by the scientific community. To add further discredit to your argument in this particular regard, all attempts by other scientists using similar methods to the man who first introduced this experimental God Helmet have utterly failed leaving many to believe that proper screening techniques for the subjects involved with the experiment were flawed and purposely biased, that the subjects already had preconceived notions of God which would force their brains to adopt the belief in an altered state long before that state was activated by the affects of the helmet, rendering the experiment itself either a complete fabrication on the part of the researcher himself, or at the very least a severe miscalculated oversight on his part. To make things worse, the man who invented the tech has never really gone out of his way to help the other researchers pursuing his avenue of brain study to achieve the same results or to help them understand why they’ve failed countless times in their attempts to recreate the conditions. The results have never been reproduced. He seems to be the only one who pulled this off. He hasn’t allowed them access to any of the actual testing trial data from his experiment and instead chooses to force others to accept his findings at face value. This is further emphasized by the fact we have to take the individuals who participated at their word that what they were experiencing was indeed a collection of genuine accounts instead of reports based on false pretenses concocted on the secret agreement between researcher and participant for the sake of publicity and supporting an anti spiritual religious agenda. Lets face it, there are allot of scientists out there with an extreme prejudice against those who believe in things beyond science. The same can be said in reverse in regards to religious idiots who refuse to see the actual legitimacy of collecting empirical evidence on the things which can be readily observed with the naked eye. Are not those things just one more step in a long series of many steps toward the truth? I on the other hand have always believed that science and religion are just two sides of the same coin. The real issue is that neither one is being treated or included in discussions with equal respect and regards to what their yet to be discovered secrets may be able to contribute to the quest for ultimate truth and the knowledge that it brings. But that’s just me speaking from my own heart.
Another good point to mention is how after many generations of study on the brain, and ridiculous advances in technology in just the past forty to fifty years, man kind still doesn’t really know how it works. All we really know is how to poke and prod at it to make different reactions happen. Then we map those sectors and say that’s how the brain works, when all we’ve really done in actuality is prove exactly where the physical origin for those reactions are located. But in no way shape or form do we understand why it’s in those particular separate regions the different reactions take place, or what causes them to be activated in those regions to begin with when not being forcibly stimulated by an outside artificial power source made by the hands of man. The very idea of the brain making a choice at any given moment of it’s daily opperations leaves one to ponder a question. Does free will exist or are we just machines which are doomed to their programing? Now that’s a scary question. If you don’t believe in God, and you really think genetics and brain physiology determine every action we perform, then by process of elimination we are not responsible for our actions and this entire discussion on choice and values, and societies and perceptions of reality are in and of themselves an exersise in futility and lead to no possible outcome worth the time it takes to ask these questions at all. In fact the sheer notion of human curiosity and the seeking out of pleasures and the avoidances of displeasure in our daily lives becomes an obsolete and therefor useless function of our time as well. This would also destroy your need to include the mentioning of various world cultural influences along side the brain and bio chemistry arguments because genetics, being the more predominate of the two, would transform the perception of human culture in to another artificial form of control constructed from a naturally pre-occuring series of events that are completely out of our OWN control. If our brains call all the shots we wouldn’t be able to contemplate our choices based on the information they’ve complied and assimilated over a vast number of years leading us into adulthood, nor would we be able to form cultures at all, because cultural diversity shows many patterns of behavior that don’t follow the norms of our primal and more tribal based natures and hierarchy structures found within our D.N.A and within the more primitive sectors of our brains. Human beings and even animals have demonstrated extraordinary deviations from their natural instincts for species survival and personal self-preservation of both their own lives and the resources provided to their own lives by other lives and other materials of their external environments. The world has seen complete strangers pull other complete strangers out of burning buildings due to an empathetic concern for those in danger, one which supersedes their desire to absolutely avoid the obvious dangers of severe injury and or death presented to them by the calculated threat assessments made by their brains at the moment the choice to save those people in trouble has been activated. The natural reaction is to stay away. How do you explain why some people, who have nothing to gain by being crazy enough to play hero decide risking their own lives for the sake of someone else’s is a good idea? Even if you argued that it served to benefit them in some way if they succeeded, it still doesn’t explain why someone would be so willing to risk death just to do it for someone else they don’t even know from a hole in the ground. Even more astounding is how in most instances these individuals never want to be recognized for what they did. Even if they have spiritually inclined views on saving lives which lead them to the act, a brain knows that it doesn’t want to die. Yet select persons of the world who believe in an afterlife and or a God have the will power to force their own brains to shut up so they can make a choice which contradicts the genetically pre-programmed disposition to keep the body alive and therefor itself alive. Heck even people who don’t believe in an afterlife and think that when they die it’s all over and they won’t exist anymore have gone in to those burning buildings. Then one might argue that it’s because once a person has outgrown it’s usefulness the process of natural selection programed into all of us will tell that person to die and then the person does something heroic so they can be used as one more usable resource before they expire, like the guy who tries to get every last drop for his dollar at the gas station even though this one extra drop doesn’t make all that much of a significant difference in the end. Better than nothing right? But then you get down to the fact that any life that can serve a mobile purpose, even if only on a very basic level, is a resource that cannot afford to be waisted in a world that is constantly killing off it’s own kind and that such people can be used to preserve lives which are deemed more important than others because the more important lives are too afraid to do the same thing that these less important lives have done, thus increasing the value of their presence in the world. So even from this very sociopathic, and in my opinion, very EVIL viewpoint surprisingly adopted by many people in our world who are considered normal healthy individuals in society aka. more than 90 percent of the population, it wouldn’t make sense for the process of natural selection to kill off a member of it’s controlled and highly regulated ecosystems unless that member were going to cause detrimental damages to their operational stabilities. That doesn’t help it’s cause considering too many people die who don’t really need to. Further more, for those who believe in the process of natural selection, they will argue that nature is looking for the best versions of each human being and that each version is being tested to a certain point and then disposed of later to make room for the new and improved model from the information it’s gathered off of the previous series model. This new model will replace all the old ones rendering them obsolete. However even that argument doesn’t hold up under scrutiny because some of these people who have gone above and beyond to save others are outstanding individuals with rare traits that make them natural born leaders with powerful skills in the arts of survival, adaptation, emotional coping mechanisms, and resource procurement. These traits exist along side high degrees and qualities of reproductive capabilities in our human race, making them even more favorable to keep around. In fact many of these people are soldiers of war who go to fight for the freedoms of those they love, when there are more than enough soldiers already doing that for them so they don’t have to. Yet many of these outstanding individuals who are considered highly favored and valued over others in a community go over seas to fight at the risk of death and further more, such an insane choice is supported by those who place so much emphasis on their continued existence. This further proves that the hero is by all accounts an unnaturally occurring phenomenon that doesn’t follow suit with the idea we are just mindless robots with the illusions of feelings, that our brains and genetics alone dictate what we do. Our natural instincts for survival, which are supposed to be so powerful and so unbeatable, the very things which are supposed to rule and drive everything we do in life, have been disregarded time and time again by a good chunk of people, for various reasons that in no way shape or form follow in suit with one’s need to keep breathing. Even when people choose to go to war for the sake of resources, really when you think of it, going to war is the most inefficient way to go about getting those resources. If it were really all about self preservation and making sure you’re belly was well fed, people would just naturally come to an agreement of trade. Instead they kill each other off by hundreds of thousands just for a measly peace of land, or oil, or money? This is why I’ve never believed for a second that war in and of itself is a natural desire of any man woman or child. In fact, given the fact humans find other reasons to hunt one another, other than for the sake of self preservation, further validates just how unnatural war, killing and down right murder are. As for animals, every time i hear about the lion and the gazelle sitting together in the wild, having befriended one another instead of the lion killing and eating it right on the spot is further proof of how genetics is not the ultimate determining factor for the things we do and therefore neither are diverse cultural influences. It’s a proven fact that when animals are introduced into a non hostile environment and provided with shelter and food, negating the need for hunting other animals, they naturally settle down into a more domesticated form of living, there aggressive impulses diminishing to a dull roar. Obviously they’re still wild, so don’t piss them off. Make a lion angry I dare you. Most animals don’t know their own strength and they have claws and teeth which translate into hands for them. Even if they decide to beat you around just to teach you a lesson they could do more damage to you than they ever originally intended to inflict. Otherwise though, they don’t kill unless they feel threatened or believe their food sources to have been diminished. If they have been neglected or abused in any extreme way, or they wish to leave the confines of their domesticated environment to go back out into the wild and the owners don’t know this yet, this misunderstanding could lead the lion to interpret that as an act of hostility toward it’s own life which could therefore put it in danger. It’s all about that trust thing. Case in point. Animals only kill when they have to. But for some reason humans kill even when they don’t have to. And yet it’s even more natural for humans to crave a structured environment with no violence or destruction than it is for an animal who sees structure as no more than a few tress, some grass, maybe a lake and the rising and setting of the sun. Yet still we find ever so more imaginative means to pursue our own self destruction which violates every natural law of nature we’ve found a name for in our various human languages, laws that apply directly to us.
Or perhaps you take on the other approach, that free will does exist, but only in a physical form known as the brain. That’s been a hot topic for a long time. However this argument wouldn’t survive under closer inspection either because it’s a known fact that all forms of matter are created by energy and that all things are intricately connected to each other. The very existence of raw energy, which in and of itself is completely invisible to the naked eye continues to exist long after the death of the brain. All specified non raw forms of energy, weather they be light, X-rays, gamma rays and so fourth have been proven by the same scientific methods you favor so much over other alternative forms of investigation, to transform over time into different forms based on their half life ratios. In other words, energy waves of any given kind exist in their various states. But by the laws of entropy, they decay. As they decay they become a new form of wave by process of burning off the so called fuel of their current wave form, transforming back into the very same raw energy that made them in the first place. The only way for them to achieve new forms is to transition into other dimensions. By the same token, in order for those other dimensions to exist, the energy has to be manipulated in such a way as to bring about the existence of that dimension. So in reality both requirements for the transition are happening simultaneously. Another proven law of your science is that energy is neither created nor destroyed. Which means when you die, the energy that was stored in your brain in a collective state of connection, the very same energy that stores your thoughts and your feelings will still exist after your body has expired. It will leave your brain and your body behind and since all of your thoughts and feelings were interconnected as one network by the very fact they existed in the same time space location where your body is situated in relative regards to the physical dimension you inhabit while being alive on earth, your whole identity will remain, and the form that it takes on will change as a result of decaying into a different dimension of existence as all forms of energy do so over the course of time passed. Science proves this beyond any reasonable doubt. And don’t even get me started on the cosmological constants factually recognized in the field of physics. Things like gravity, weak force, strong force, and all that other stuff, each of them has a very specific numerical ratio. If any of these ratios is tweaked by even the slightest of tampering, the universe as we know it wouldn’t exist, or at the very least it wouldn’t exist in the same form we see it in now. Either way we would all be dead because those same cosmological constants found in the universe are what allow us to survive here in these physical body shells we’ve been inserted into. Or if you’d like we can just go over the statistical odds as have been mathematically calculated by some of the most ridiculously intelligent people on the face of the earth in regards to the likelihood of a universe like the one we live in with human and animal life and a life sustaining planet at just the right distance from the sun, which have all been discovered and pondered over for many many years now, actually happening at random, by itself, with no help at all. So weather you want to believe it or not, even their empirical evidence suggests that not only is there the possibility for an after life, but indeed also the possibility for a divine creator. For all of these ratios to remain as they are, to have been tuned in the way that they have been, you would need a causal event responsible for the conception of these ratios as well as an extremely, unimaginably powerful control force that is interconnected to all things in the universe to keep them manually regulated in their proper forms at all times, keeping them from breaking down and avoiding the complete collapse of the fabric which holds our physical reality together.
Another point since I’m on a roll here is a very important one seeing as how you used this particular argument to really bash the guy who, for the most part, was trying his best to appeal to even the most logic slaved people in this forum. You say that man kind attributes regular physical events that transpire in our universe under the reckless inspections of over sensationalism, this over sensationalism causing the undesirable mental delusion of a divine creator where none exists? That is very interesting considering the fact that you and the rest of the people in the world have no clue whatsoever as to where time space energy and matter came from at all lol. I know this counter argument I present is so traditional and has been used countless times by spiritually inclined people like myself but I mean honestly, do you really think for a second that your eyes can see everything in the universe? Just because you can see something with your eyes doesn’t mean your eyes can see everything that contributed to the physical construction of what you’re looking at. Otherwise human beings wouldn’t have come up with the ingenious invention of the microscope, proving once in for all that the human eye is not the most efficient visual reference device mother nature has devised over many generations. It’s just as arrogant and ignorant for you to suggest what we see with our eyes is all there is to the story behind an event, as it is for someone to say that seeing something with your eyes means nothing at all.
I’ll get even more technical for you, just because I’m a nice guy. Have you ever heard of the electromagnetic spectrum? Since you’re keen on science and,(oh lets just pretend you have a degree in physics too lol which I highly doubt you do, based on your weak arguments) I’ll add this little tid bit in for you too. Remember all those different forms of energy and how I said each wave form of energy decays over time, and that as it decays it transforms into a different state than the one previous? Oh and you remember how I said that as it transforms, it slowly transitions into another dimension? Well guess what, the electromagnetic spectrum is what they call the environment in which all of these different dimensions exist. The electro magnetic spectrum was the discovery of a life time for every scientist involved because it proved without any doubt whatsoever that everything is interconnected. All wave forms naturally translate back into a raw electromagnetic state which is interlaced into every physical form of matter currently in existence today. It vibrates at different frequencies, at different regions of it’s own field. Some are faster and shorter, some are slower and longer. Depending on which region and state of vibration something exists in this spectrum determines the form it takes on and will therefor be maintained throughout it’s shelf life. Yet no one can explain where the electromagnetic spectrum came from. Nor can they explain how it has gained the ability to manipulate it’s own vibrations at different frequencies without any primary cause from which it’s activation took place. This also blows the big bang theory right out of the water and adds support behind another theory scientists are looking into, known as unified field theory, which is a scary one, because just like I told you, it implies everything is interconnected. But unified field theory adds one more grain of salt to the ocean. It implies that every form of particle matter is nothing more than a vibrational pattern, almost like a holographic forcefield, like something straight out of Star Treck. In other words, in all actuality there is no such thing as particles because those particles we see are merely different vibrational strengths cross intersecting one another within the constraints of a singular field, creating the illusion of separate parts where non exist. It implies that all of us are just different expressions of one giant thing that exists entirely on it’s own in a solid yet continuously fluctuating state. Under this notion one would have to entertain the idea that our own states of self-awareness are being provided the freedom to think and feel under the constraints of a singular conscious will, a will that chooses to believe we are real individuals. Without that belief, without that will, we really would just be mindless computing machines. Of course this would lead to the idea of a divine entity. But now I’m being overly self indulgent lol. Even I wouldn’t be so brazen as to claim I know this for a fact. But the mere notion of it is pretty mind boggling isn’t it?
And just so you know, i don’t have a degree in any of this either. That’s just what i’ve learned from allot of reading and actually taking some real quality time with myself over the years of my life to genuinely ask these questions for the right reasons, those reasons being, to search for the whole truth, not just a version of it that suits me best. It’s the difference between making a quick half assed argument just to silence a guy who you know doesn’t have enough background information and wisdom to back up his theories verse a guy who knows exactly what that other guy is trying to tell people but just so happens to have the information that other guy lacks to completely solidify his arguments for the existence of God like I just did right now. If you really did you’re homework as you tried to come off like you did, you’d realize how stupid it is to just utterly dismiss the possibility of a God in this grand cosmic mix. In fact for all of the arguments you used, the ones you tried to pass off as scientifically correct, you certainly ignored an overabundant amount of the science that legitimately supports those who believe in a creator of the universe, science with information composites like the ones I just briefly touched on and barely scratched the surface of with you, ones that could be better explained by an actual expert in the field than by me, which have existed for countless generations and rediscovered by modern human civilizations in the past 150 or so years. Moral of the story? It’s not enough to have logic. You need creatively inspired intuitional reasoning as well. Both of them need to work together in perfect harmony to achieve a better sense of the reality they live in together. Math, science, and logic alone will never explain everything there is to know. But I can tell you this, without them we would have no foundation to build our questions on. We’d never know anything. So unlike allot of other believers out there, i really do think we need science. Science is one of the things in my life that actually inspired me to go looking for God in the first place.
I knew I was on to something when science started telling people that the universe didn’t explode into existence but intact it vibrated into existence. I Knew even more I was on to something when those same facts were being contradicted by many of the scientists of our current era who look back on those revelations, those discoveries, and yet contradict themselves and everything they stand for just so they can attempt to disprove people who choose to believe that life is not just some cosmic accident, that indeed has meaning, that it’s worth living and worth more than the food in our bellies.
“First, if God does not exist, how can we have any sense of justice in the world?”
We make it ourselves. That’s the whole point of forming civilizations and governments.
We aren’t perfect at it…clearly…but most of us do our best.
“But on which basis do we classify something as right or wrong?”
We base it on harm and benefit.
Where such things are unclear, or debated, is where our morals differ. But on the essential things (feeding the hungry, for example) most agree.
“Secondly, if God does not exist then how was everything created from nothing?”
Saying ‘created’ is implying the answer you want. We don’t know exactly how the universe came to be. But none of the available evidence points to it being a supernatural being who did it.
“Why is there something rather than nothing? ”
“But how could it have come into existence if there was absolutely nothing before?”
You seem to think that’s how your god came into existence, so I don’t see why you have a problem thinking the universe did it.
““When you look from the perspective of a scientist at the universe, it looks as if it knew we were coming.”
Because he’s looking at it from the wrong direction. The universe wasn’t made for us, any more than it was made for octopi. The universe formed, and life adapted to fit how it was formed.
“And in fourth place, if God does not exist, how come millions upon millions of people have attested to a personal relationship with him throughout human history?”
Doesn’t matter. People believing something in now way works as evidence for that thing existing.
Thank you for your comments and for taking the time to share your thoughts on the arguments I’ve brought forth on this post.
Man I really do feel bad for this guy who was so politely arguing the existence of a divine creator. Even when he got his ass handed to him by all you atheists he was still a great sport about it. I know the points he was trying to make but he just didn’t have the experience or the wisdom to argue them with. For instance when he asked the question how to do we determine right and wrong, he wasn’t asking what are the methods we choose to adopt to represent our best guess of right and wrong. He was asking what kind of internal process is taking place within each of us to drive our thoughts and feelings in the direction of pursuing a cost to benefit ratio system. He wanted to know how we form relationships to the things we choose to do in our lives. Even you don’t know that. You can’t honestly tell me where your motivations for anything you do come from or what they really are for that matter. All you’re aware of is your ability to act on them, and then to actually act on them. This guy was asking some really deep questions, but no one here was intuitive enough to look a bit deeper beneath his words to see the real meat and potatoes of his quandaries. For him right and wrong is obviously based more on what most would consider to be the idealistic form of the notion. Do right for the sake of peace, justice, and the preservation of other people’s lives. For him the ability to connect with others, to share experiences with them and to maintain their safety would be the most important things, so much so that he would sacrifice important aspects of his own personal station in exchange for maintaining that connection. It would be more valuable to him than food, sex, money, drugs, alcohol, or power. But lets face it, most people in the world are all about themselves. In fact it’s worse than that, they are even less about themselves or anyone else around them and more about being able to consume-consume-consume. People want power, so they can fill their bellies and their egos with the assurances of a physically comfortable lifestyle. I think you and I can both agree that most people in the world are evil but in no way shape or form ashamed of it. But since you don’t believe in the concept of a divine morality the closest approximation you can arrive at in regards to your own personally adopted brand of morality is physical safety for the least amount mental, emotional, and physical stress, harm, and overall conflict, both with your environment and with other people. But difficulties arise with it because it also means you’ll be looking for the path of leas resistance. The path of least resistance leads people down a fast track mentality which causes more harm and conflict than good and peaceful outcomes. That’s a fact. Now lets be even more honest, this mode of thinking is the very reason the world and all it’s people are suffering needlessly, why millions are starving and homeless, and why less than two percent of the population rules the world with an amount of money so vast it’s not even worth giving a name to how many zeroes are after the dollar sign and the number one right after it. As for your assumption there is no data remotely advocating the existence of God, you might want to do a hell of allot more reading, because there is a crap load of information out there you might be surprised about. You have avid, well renowned scientists who don’t even believe in God, who, by looking at the evidence itself, find themselves forced into a situation for the first time in many years where they have to entertain the notion of a supernatural intelligence being responsible for how finely tuned, controlled, well regulated and governed the laws of physics in this universe actuarially are. But don’t take my word for it. If you’re as open minded as most atheists claim to be, you’ll go searching for it yourself.
you’re right that these are very interesting and puzzling questions. But just as you think atheists aren’t really considering these questions properly, I don’t think you are really considering how good an answer ‘God done it’ is supposed to be. How does it explain something’s coming from nothing? Isn’t that going to be mysterious however it happened? And how does appealing to God help with morality? Does God determine what is right and what is wrong? In that case there is nothing inherently wrong with murder and rape, they could have been morally good actions (had God determined them to be). If he could not have made murder and rape right then he too is subject to morality, and you haven’t explained anything.
Check out my blog posts on these subjects:
Pip pip :)
Thank your for your comments, which I really appreciate. Perhaps it’s important to highlight that my intention, as described in the article, wasn’t to explain or give foundations for the belief in God. My intention has been to raise questions and invite readers to consider them from another perspective.
Once again, thanks for taking the time to read and consider the arguments!
I’ll throw you a suggestion to help you navigate your way out of your own confusion. One lets scrap God for a second and look at something I like to call empathy. You don’t need God to tell you what right and wrong are. If you put yourself in the shoes of a rape victim you obviously wouldn’t be feeling too great. You wouldn’t want to be the victim. The next step of empathy is weather or not you have the ability to care about someone else’s welfare beyond the sate of your own need for pleasure, safety and physical safety. Would you sacrifice your own happiness for the sake of helping somebody get their own back? It’s very simple, what is a human life to you? What is it’s value? Do you value human life as a resource for success? Or do you value human life as a way to feel as though you belong and are connected to the world you live in? So now, lets take the idea of God into account? If I have been created by a sentient being who is trillions of times more powerful than I will ever be that might might just comfort me a bit. I look at the world today and see the very fact we can think and feel and store memories in our minds as a clear indicator that at least the possibility of a divine being existing in this universe is worth it’s weight in consideration. They say there is always a bigger fish. Is it really so hard to believe that we could trace our histories back to the first being ever made buy the universe? Maybe people need to start looking a God from a less theological stand point and start looking at the idea of God as an actual being who naturally evolved like the rest of us did. Maybe it’s different than us in the sense of it’s origin. Nothing created it. It was more or less just formed, and then from that random occurrence an actual purpose started to take shape which then allowed it to give birth to us. And now it watches us to see if we can grasp the beauty and intended function of it’s master piece the same way it did when it created this whole thing. The big difference between us would now be, because I am a lesser offshoot of a giant supernatural parent, I need a second chance to get things right, to understand the meaning of life where as the God being just got it right the first time around because it was formed during a time when no destruction and chaos were taking place. It means there was nothing getting in its way from seeing the universe in it’s perfect state and therefore assuming a perfect identity where every action that is performed is done so with the utmost care, caution, delicacy and devotion. Maybe there is one being who just knows better and then made us to just double-check it’s own understanding of the conclusions it decided to draw from the surrounding environment it created. Any of us who come to that revelation for ourselves and agree with it can develop a long lasting connection to it, perhaps forever. Maybe God is not so different from the rest of us in regards to wanting a meaningful life.
How was everything created from nothing? Here is a very interesting book on the subject by the physicist Lawrence Krauss:
Where does our sense of morality and justice come from and why are good people divided by politics and religion? May I suggest the outstanding writings of the moral psychologist Jonathan Haidt:
Thank you for reading the post and for the reading suggestions!
thanks for your reading suggestions. Just finished exploring Krauss’s “A Universe from Nothing” and have written a 3 part response on Wondering Fair blog, starting today (21 May 2012) … see https://wonderingfair.com/2012/05/21/universe-from-nothing-a-load-of-krauss-part-1/. I’m not sure, by Krauss’s own definitions, if he really addresses the problem Helder raised in this WF article, i.e., how can something come from ‘nothing’ … as his definition of nothing sounds awfully like something – it’s a semantic shift … but more on that in part 3 of my post. Best wishes in your own musings on such important and foundational questions,