Each year about this time I do this post. Unfortunately, advances in science provide more and more evidence for Creator God and against materialism. That means the post gets longer and longer.
I can say that except for epistemic, experiential, logical, coherent and reasonable evidence for the existence of God, I could be an atheist.
Instead, my belief in God begins with the following observations:
Because of clear scientific (observable, repeatable, verifiable) evidence, we know that:
. Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
Even if you want to go down the rabbit trail of “Nothing begins. It only changes from matter to energy or energy to matter,” this transition from one to the other always, always, always has a cause. That we consistently observe this to be true is critically important because scientific naturalists demand that nothing can be believed without consistent observation and verification. Every single attempt to promote alternatives to this premise have only reinforced its truth. Therefore, atheists have the highest motivation to accept this premise.
Because of clear scientific (observable, repeatable, verifiable) evidence, we know that:
. The universe began to exist. This was not a transfer of energy to matter or matter to energy. The material universe began to exist out of literally nothing. Because those premises are true and coherent we can know that the following conclusion is also true: The beginning of the universe has a cause. Something that is non-material brought everything material into existence out of nothing.
Because of clear scientific evidence, we know that:
. Matter and energy cannot precede themselves or preexist themselves either physically or chronologically.
The reason that matter and energy cannot precede themselves is because “Coming Into Being” is an essential and objective feature of time. Time did not exist prior to the Big Bang.
Because of clear scientific evidence, we know that:
. Matter and energy do not have the ability to create themselves or bring themselves into existence from nothing or ex nihilo.
Because of clear scientific evidence, we know that:
. Matter and energy cannot exist from infinity past.
Therefore, whatever brought matter, energy, space, time and the laws of physics into existence had to have existed outside of and was transcendent to these entities.
Because of clear scientific evidence, we know that:
. Anything that exists has an explanation of it’s existence, either in the necessity of its own nature (It can’t NOT exist), or in an external cause.
. If the universe has an explanation of its existence, that explanation is external to as well as transcendent to the universe.
Because that is true:
. Existing outside of time, the Cause is infinite or Eternal,
. Existing outside of matter (which is finite), the Cause is immaterial or Spiritual,
. Existing as the Cause of time and energy, space, matter and the laws of physics, the Cause is immeasurably more powerful than the mathematically precise universe and its exquisitely Finely Tuned constants and quantities.
. The Cause cannot be “scientific” because neither matter / energy existed prior to the Singularity, nor did the laws of physics (i.e., the laws that science has observed and identified), have anything material to act upon or govern prior to Singularity.
. Therefore the Cause of the beginning of the universe is not scientific but Personal. That means that the universe is not Deistic but Theistic.
. The transcendent Cause of the universe is therefore on the order of a Mind.
. That Cause is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. That Cause, is what is normally described as God.
Because of clear scientific evidence, we know that:
. The universe exists.
. Therefore, the universe has an explanation of its existence.
Because the above premises are true and coherent, the following conclusion must also be true: The explanation of the existence of the universe is what we call God.
. According to atheism the universe doesn’t have an explanation of its existence. They say that “It just happened. From nothing by nothing” Over a dozen theories and over a dozen more variations on those theories have come and gone in a vain attempt to rule out God as the Cause of a beginning universe. Despite the current scientific knowledge described above, atheists persist in stating that either matter has always existed (impossible) or that matter created itself (also impossible).
Why do they do this? Because, If there is an explanation of the universe’s existence, then atheism is not true. And that is because the only explanation that fits the evidence of how and why the universe came into being is a non material Cause or what we call, Creator God. That is why Richard Dawkins himself has admitted that a good case could be made for the existence of a Deistic God. He ignores the fact that an eternal Cause bringing into existence a finite universe from nothing and the bringing into existence of life from non life brings us to a Theistic Universe.
Actually, I believe that some day there won’t be any atheists. There will be people for God and people against God but there won’t be anyone so foolish and so closed minded as to believe that God doesn’t exist. And, irony of ironies it will be science that will confirm the existence of God.
. Because of overwhelming scientific evidence, most atheists do grudgingly admit that the universe does indeed have a beginning. Unfortunately for atheists, it can be said with absolute confidence that no cosmogonic model has been:
As repeatedly verified in its predictions,
As corroborated by attempts at its falsification,
As concordant with empirical discoveries, and
As philosophically coherent as the Standard Big Bang Creation Event Model.
. Hence, most atheists are implicitly committed to God being the explanation of why the universe exists. This is why I call atheists irrational agnostics.
Because of clear scientific evidence, we know that: .
The universe cannot be infinite. The Borde-Guth-Vilinkin Theorem proves that any expanding universe must have a definitive space / time boundary, a point of beginning, a Singularity, a point of Creation. The expansion property of Dark Matter ensures that the universe will never, nor has ever contracted and oscillated. It will always expand faster and faster. The Second Law of Thermodynamics rules out the possibility of the universe existing from infinity past. Background radiation, as well as known levels of entropy as well as the expanding universe confirm the truth of the 2nd Law > The universe had a beginning.
Because of clear scientific evidence, we know that:.
It is physically impossible to have an Actual Infinite Series of Things or Events or even moments of Time preceding our today. Nor can we have an Actual Infinite Collection by adding Things or Events or moments of Time one to another to another in order to reach today. This is why we can say with confidence that matter / universe cannot be infinite and that they haven’t always existed.
Imagine units of time as individual books filling a book shelf that stretches infinitely into the past. You could imagine an infinitely long street or an infinitely long rope or whatever, but for this example I’ll use a shelf of books.
While mathematics is able to deal with abstract or theoretical or conceptual or potential infinities, and while our imagination can create an imaginary shelf of books stretching infinitely into the past - sort of - reality holds no such possibility for us.
Time is not imaginary.
Time is not abstract or theoretical or conceptual.
Time is real.
Time is measured in real units.
In a scenario like this, with the shelf of books (units of time) stretching infinitely into the past you could never actually arrive at the first book. Here’s why. In order to reach the last book (what we call today), you had to have the second to last book or yesterday. In order to have the second to last book you had to have the third to last book. In order to have the third to last book you had to have the fourth to last book and so on and so on. In the case of “no beginning,” you could never reach today because you could never reach the “first” day (book) that made possible the second day which made possible the third day . . .. Since the past is made up of units of real time (we say the universe is 14.5 billion years old), in the case of a beginningless past we would have had to pass through or travel through infinite time in order to reach today and that is physically impossible. To reach today, we have to have had a starting point, a push point, a point of beginning, a point of first cause. If the past were actually infinite, we could never reach today because the past would simply extend infinitely into the past. Neither can we, as some desperate atheists have tried to do, arbitrarily pick a set or group or point in real time and begin counting from there. Of course you can do that, but it proves nothing regarding the beginning of the universe.
The fact is, we have reached today so we can know not only that the universe had a beginning, but that time itself had a beginning. Just as a bookshelf stretching infinitely into the past with no beginning would prohibit our reaching today, neither can there be an infinite regress of causes of the universe. That would also prohibit reaching today’s universe. So great a problem is this for atheists that people like Stephen Hawking simply ignore the origin of “previous” universes and says that we didn’t need God to have “this” universe. Pfft!
. The fact is, the infinite exists only as an idea or as a concept. It does not exist in material realty.
Because of clear scientific evidence, we know that: .
Only in a universe so finely tuned as ours, could we expect observers such as ourselves to exist. Note: Fine Tuning is a neutral secular term in that it refers to constants and quantities (atomic weight, gravitational constant, strong & weak force, etc.) being just right for the existence of intelligent life. That’s in comparison with the huge range of possible values.
In fact, the natural range of possible values is from 0 > 10 ^53 or from
0 - 10,0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000000.
Let’s conceptualized this number as represented by a dartboard. The distance from one side of the dartboard to the other side extends across our entire Milky Way Galaxy. With that in mind, let’s look at the ranges upon which our lives, our very existence depend.
It’s important to remember that the values of these constants and qualities were not something that evolved, or something that “settled in” as the universe aged. These constants were “put in” at the 10^-43 second. As well, you may be interested to note that the constants, quantities and values that are found in our cosmos appear to be unrelated in any way. They seem to be random, even arbitrary. They are independent of each other. However, they do share one thing in common. In fact the only thing the constants, quantities and values of our universe have in common is that all of them, every single one of them are needed to be exactly as they are in order for intelligent life to exist on this planet. While there are several dozen constants and qualities that are known, the most fundamental constants are the Fine Structure constant, the Gravitational constant, the Weak Force, the Strong Force and the ratio between the mass of protons and electrons.
. What scientists, what ATHEIST scientists call an “astonishing coincidence” is the fact that at the Big Bang, the ratio of the strong force to electromagnetism had to have been exactly as it was or else at 10 to -17 seconds after the start of the Singularity, the necessary binding of helium -4, beryllium -8 and carbon -12 would not have occurred and life as we know it would not have appeared.
. The exact number and types of neutrinos at 1 second after the beginning of the Big Bang had to be in place or the expansion rate would have prohibited the formation of our universe.
Think about that!
. If the mass of a neutron were slightly increased by about one part in seven hundred, then stable hydrogen burning stars would cease to exist.
. If the strong force were a long-range force (like electromagnetism or gravity) instead of a short range force that only acts between protons and neutrons in the nucleus, all matter would either instantaneously undergo nuclear fusion and explode or be sucked together forming a black hole.
Pretty lucky for us, huh, that all this just happened by chance?
. If what we call the Pauli-exclusion principle did not exist, all electrons would occupy the lowest atomic orbit, which would make complex chemical interactions impossible.
. If what we call the quantization principle did not exist, there wouldn’t be any atomic orbits, electrons would be sucked into the nucleus and therefore no complex chemistry would be allowed.
. The gravitational constant must be exactly 10 ^ 40 weaker than the strong nuclear force or again, no us. For those that are interested, that’s ten thousand, billion, billion, billion, billion times weaker than the strong force - exactly!
Pretty lucky for us that it just happened to work out that way - prior to Planck time.
A change of only 1 part in 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, 000,000, 000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000 in the Gravitational constant as well as in the Weak Force would prevent life from existing.
If the density of the universe and the speed of expansion had been off by one part in one hundred thousand million million, again, no life. Remember, these values had to be put in prior to what is known as Planck time; that is, 10^-43 seconds after the Singularity.
The cosmological constant is what drives the inflation of the universe. It is tuned to 1 part in 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000,000,000,000.
Any variation in either direction more than that and - no universe.
Now, I mentioned this galaxy wide dartboard comparison. This equation gives us a target within our galaxy wide dart board that is less than 2.5 centimetres in diameter. Listen up now because here comes what atheists call the really lucky part. The amount of fine-tuning of the cosmological constant, one that we come upon, according to atheists, by accident is like blindfolding yourself, spinning around ten times and then randomly throwing the dart at our GALAXY wide dart board and hitting the target exactly in the centre of its 2.5 centimetre disk.
Sadly and amazingly, if you’re committed to atheism, this won’t be enough to convince you of anything Super Natural going on so let me use a different example.
The entropy per baryon that had to be “put in” PRIOR to Planck time is 1 part in 10 followed by 1,230 zeros. If that hadn’t been put in at the Big Bang our life supporting universe would not exist. This requires an extraordinarily precise arrangement of mass and energy. To hit this exactly right by accident (as atheists tell us is the case), we would put on our blindfold, spin around ten times, and according to atheists, throw a dart randomly at a UNIVERSE sized dart board and hit the exact CORRECT PROTON.
Atheists will sometimes scoff at this by throwing out the term, “the magic of large numbers.” It’s meaningless but it makes them feel secure in their ignorance. Let me however describe the above equation in yet a different manner. Scientists have described it this way. Imagine an aircraft carrier weighing 100,000 tonnes. If the weight of the ship was balanced to 10 ^ 1,230 it could not be off by more than billionth of a trillionth of the mass of an ELECTRON on one side or the other, or the ship would capsize.
Are you getting this?
Do you still think it accidental?
One more example. It is estimated that the total number atomic particles in the entire universe is 10 ^ 80. Got that? Good. The odds of our universe, even according to atheist scientists, coming into being by chance or by accident is 10 ^ 1240.
Are you SURE you’re getting this?
10^50 is generally accepted, even by atheist scientists, as impossible.
If, by this point your mind isn’t numb with the credulity and gullibility that atheists force themselves to live with, I just don’t know what it would take to get you to throw up your hands and demand that atheists get out of the education business. I mean, just how blind does a person have to be before s/he stops demanding the right to drive the car?
This is not a joking matter any more. Atheist scientists have discovered this information. They know it, but obviously maintaining their bias against a Creator is worth throwing away their integrity. It’s embarrassing. It’s shameful. It should be a crime for them to teach “The Universe As An Accident” to your children.
Because these constants and qualities are independent of and unrelated to each other, as astronomical the odds of any one of them being just right, to find ALL of them being as they are in the same universe, by accident is beyond comprehension.
To figure out those odds, you would take, say, the Weak Force constant of 1 in 10^100, add to that the gravitational constant 1 in 10^120, add to that . . . and so on for ALL the constants and quantities.
No wonder atheist scientists say that we’re really, really lucky to be here.
Because of clear scientific (observable, repeatable, verifiable) evidence, We know that the fine tuning of the universe is due to one of the following:
. Physical necessity (it had to be this way and no other way),
. Chance (it’s just a really, really, really lucky accident), or
. It’s the design of an Intelligence beyond anything we have ever experienced.
We know it’s not due to physical necessity. In a secular or natural reality there is no reason whatsoever that ANY given universe has to exist, let alone be a life supporting universe.
Nor is this fine tuning due to chance. The required fine tuning of our universe is so exquisite that an infinitesimal change in any one of the necessary constants and quantities would mean that neither we nor any life would happen. As shown above, the odds against this happening by chance are insurmountable.
Even Richard Dawkins doesn’t believe this happened by chance. He thinks it will be discovered that the constants and quantities have to be exactly the way they are because of their relationship to Dark Matter. So, on the one hand he’s admitting that it’s absurd to think the fine tuning of our universe is accidental. On the other hand, he has no explanation why Dark Matter would have THAT property, why it would exist at all, or how it would come to begin to exist out of nothing by nothing.
. True claim: If observers who exist within a universe are able to analyse its constants and quantities, it is highly PROBABLE that they will observe them to be fine-tuned for their existence.
. True claim: Without a Designer it is highly and extraordinarily IMPROBABLE that a universe exists which is finely tuned for the existence of observers within it.
Some gullible people have been led to think that if the constants and quantities of our universe were different, then other life forms would have evolved. This is simply not true. Floating fanciful theories and hoping that they snag a believer here and there is not by any means good science. “Life” means the ability to take in food and use its energy, to grow and adapt and reproduce. Without the fine tuning that we observe, not even atomic matter would exist, not to mention a planet where life might exist. Among other things the universe would have either collapsed or expanded beyond any ability to congeal. Again, there is no reason to expect that a universe as finely tuned as is our universe should exist by chance, nor is there any need or physical necessity for such a universe to exist anywhere except for the sole purpose of supporting life.
Because the above premises are true and coherent, the following conclusion must also be true:
We do not experience just the appearance of design.
The design we experience is apparent and real.
The design that we experience is from a Designer.
I also believe in the existence of God because:.
If God does not exist, then objective morals, values and obligations (def. below) do not exist.
. But we know from our interactions with other people that objective morals, values and obligations DO exist. We know, and we know absolutely when someone does something “wrong” to us. We don’t have to wonder for one second what our community or society thinks about what the person did to us. We KNOW that we were wronged. We believe that objective morals exist at the moment that we’ve been wronged. So why does that point to God being the source of objective morals?
Just as physical laws are fully realised in the physical world, objective moral laws are fully realised in Jesus and Father God. As I stated before, our daily interactions with others shows we know beyond doubt that objective moral order is as real and independent of our recognition as is the natural order of things. Our perceptions of natural and moral laws are givens of our experience.
. Objective moral Goodness and Obligation are based on God’s character. God’s commands are not arbitrary, for they are the inescapable expression of His Just and Loving nature. And, since our moral obligations are grounded in the Divine commands that come out of His Divine character, moral values and duties do not exist independent of God.
. What God commands or permits is good and what He forbids is wrong, bad, evil, self-destructive.
This is what it means for morality to be objective vs. subjective, selective or relative to the situation. Objective morality is not based on the individual’s character or personality or level of empathy, or that person’s likes or dislikes, sanity or insanity. Nor is it based on the ebb and flow of the community’s likes / dislikes etc..
Why choose God as opposed to you or me or Hitler?
God by definition is the least arbitrary stopping point, the least arbitrary point of final authority. That's what it means for morals to be objective. They have a grounding in a final and ultimate authority.
God doesn’t just exemplify goodness. He IS goodness.
God doesn't just exemplify justice. He IS Justice.
God doesn't just exemplify love. He IS love.
Almost everyone is willing to recognise an ultimate standard of goodness. Choosing the individual as the ultimate standard of good and bad, right and wrong sets up obvious and irreconcilable issues of conflict.
Any moral construct (don’t rape, don’t discriminate etc.) that is "invented" or adopted by mankind and that is truly good for society, will BE good for society because it coheres with an objective moral principle that exists independently. Objective means it is right and true regardless of whether you agree with it or obey it or even know that it exists. Again, “objective” (not arbitrary or relative) because it comes from the Ultimate source of Truth, Goodness, Justice and Love - our Creator.
If man-made moral constructs work across time and culture:
. They will work because they are objectively and ultimately right.
. They will work because they are based upon standards that are objectively and ultimately sound.
. They are objectively and ultimately sound because they originate from the character and command of our Creator who is the ultimate source of Truth, Goodness, Justice and Love.
The Christian base for objective morality is based on Truth. In our interaction with others, when wronged, you and I know in an instant that it's based upon Truth. Because it's based upon Truth it helps in the survival of the collective.
The atheist base for morality is based upon it's “perceived” ability to aid survival. It may or may not work over time and each community or society differs in its views on what aids survival. On atheism, right or wrong will change with the ebb and flow human desire, likes and dislikes, current ideology and the ability to meet our immediate need. As such, at any given time, it may or may not entail truth. For example atheists say that right and wrong is based on a society's or the community's standard. That means that in one community it can be absolutely right to kill a woman just because she has been sexually unfaithful, while in another community it can be absolutely wrong to kill a woman just because she has been sexually unfaithful. On atheism, there is no basis to suggest that anyone is wrong for doing anything. A growing number of atheists agree with this nonsense since it allows them to live as they choose with no accountability to anyone save themselves.
I believe in God because of the following philosophical and metaphysical evidence.
Virtually all philosophers agree that if there is the slightest chance of God existing, then He does in fact exist. Alvin Plantinga has refined Anselm’s argument as follows. He asks, “What is the greatest conceivable being?” Our answer goes past me and you and the Dali Lama and any other "great" human being we can think of and we come to an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent Being that we commonly call “God” If we could think of something greater than God, then that is what would be called God. We can call it a Mind or something else but it amounts to the same thing ie. The Greatest Conceivable Being That Can Possibly Exist.
Therefore we can know that God exists because:
. It is in fact metaphysically possible that a Greatest Conceivable Being exists.
. Because it’s possible that a Greatest Conceivable Being exists, a Greatest Conceivable Being does exist in some possible reality.
. Because of the very nature of a Greatest Conceivable Being, if a Greatest Conceivable Being exists in some possible reality, it exists in every possible reality.
. If a Greatest Conceivable Being exists in every possible reality, then it exists in actual reality.
. If a Greatest Conceivable Being exists in actual reality, then a Greatest Conceivable Being exists in our reality.
Because the above premises are true and coherent, it stands to reason that the conclusion is also true: A Greatest Conceivable Being or God exists.
While all of these scientific and philosophical arguments point toward a Creator and away from materialism, there are a several points of evidence that specifically point away from materialism.
1. The most important point for me is the atheist claim that life arose from non-life unaided. Like everything else that atheists say in regard to origins, this claim flies in the face of all known experience, testing and evidence. The level and degree of formulated, coded information that is required for life to begin and to exist has and always will only come from an Intelligent Source. There are no known exceptions to this known fact. So certain is this fact that atheists are reduced to saying something no less preposterous than “Everything came from nothing by nothing.” And that preposterous claim is, “Inanimate and inorganic gases evolved into life.” That is such an incredibly sad and pathetic statement but what else are atheists to do. Their whole belief system rests upon an absurd, incoherent and ridiculous belief system. Because there is so much evidence supporting the claim that life could and did come about only because of Intelligent Design, I only have room to give you the following sites where you can read more about the subject. I suggest you refer to them in the order they are given here.
2. Most materialists truly believe that “Only science is rational; only science achieves truth. Everything else is mere belief and opinion.” J. P. Moreland. “Science is the only begetter of truth.” Richard Lewontin.
Ya - very rational - “Everything came from nothing by nothing.” “Inanimate gases evolved into life.” “Science is the only source of truth” is not only a philosophical statement and NOT a scientific statement, it is a poor and ignorant philosophy because the statement itself cannot be tested by the scientific method. These self-professed intelligent people are making statements that are self-contradictory and when someone is forced to make self-contradictory statements it means their bias and prejudice is so strong that they are willing to operate from an unsupported base.
3. Molecular machines in our bodies are impossible to explain from a Darwinian perspective. They are huge proofs that Darwin and his followers are wrong. “There are no detailed Darwinian accounts for the evolution of any fundamental biochemical or cellular system, only a variety of wishful speculations.” Microbiologist James Shapiro - University of Chicago. These biological mechanisms (Eg. The highly choreographed cascade of ten steps that used twenty different molecular components to clot blood at the site of a wound; Bacterial Flagellum; Cilium; The intra cellular transport system and dozens more mechanisms in our bodies) need all of their various parts in place in order to function. If one part is missing, there IS no mechanism. In reality, you would never arrive at such an irreducibly complex system by a Darwinian process of natural selection acting on random variation. Natural selection only preserves mutations that perform a function that aides the survival of the entity. A partial mechanism would simply not survive nor be retained for long periods of time. Irreducibly complex systems do not perform any function until all the parts are present and working together in combination with one another. Natural selection would not build such an unworkable system. So exquisite are these molecular machines that one genetic scientist has commented, “We must constantly remind ourselves that what we are seeing was not designed.” Like the first point in this section, when you hear such irrational comments you know you are dealing with someone who is working with an absence of evidence and an unsupportable case.
4. Another point that absolutely points away from material evolution and toward design is the Biological Big Bang, better known as The Cambrian Explosion. In this time period we find completely novel body plans that appear in a geological instant. We find a huge jump in complexity of life forms with zero transitional life forms in the fossil record. Massive amounts of new biological information suddenly appears beyond what any Darwinian mechanism can produce, again in a geological moment in time. As one evolutionary sceptic has said, “Just how fast does this evolution have to happen before they stop calling it evolution?” Darwin himself said that natural selection never takes sudden leaps yet we have proponents of such a system trying to tell us that not only has irreducible complexity arisen suddenly and spontaneously. They say that it’s happened spontaneously in many species at the same time in many places around the world.
5. Finally human consciousness is such a problem for materialist that, that they go to one of two extremes. The first is believing that consciousness is a "natural" result of increased thinking capacity - i.e. one day computers, rather than shuffling information, will one day “evolve” a consciousness and even a sense of spirituality. I'm not joking! Darwinists are that foolish! Or, and this is more common, they are reduced to saying that the “I” that we all know exists, is just an illusion; that it does not exist.
Regardless of either option, Darwinists plead with us to believe that we are nothing more than a mass of chemical exchanges and firing neurons even as they display a whole range of personal thoughts, emotions and pseudo arguments when their beliefs in this area are challenged. These people look at the human abilities of self-reflection, art, medicine, the enjoyment of music and say it comes from an illusory direction of will. In fact, they say that self-will is also an illusion. Even though the development of our vocabulary is enormous, our grammar complex and our conversations deep and meaningful, it all comes, say materialists, without purpose or meaning. These atheists look at the human ability to codify language, our unbounded creativity, selflessness, love, the exercising our rational faculties, our ability to develop an argument, follow a line of logic, draw conclusions and frame hypotheses and call it the simple, random and unguided firing of neurons. Our strong spirit of inquiry, our research in the fields of astronomy, mathematics, medicine and physics while noteworthy for some, is nothing of lasting consequence, for all will, according to atheists comes to an absurd and meaningless end. Yearn for meaning in life? It too is of no lasting import. It’s the same illusion that causes us to devote so much of our time to philosophy, theology and ethics. Or so the materialist claims. Atheists say that our religious sentiments and practices and our intense and endless quest for meaning can be traced to some random mutation eons ago.
It’s only the illusion of the “I” that questions not only our origin but also of destiny. It’s only the illusion of the “I” that has a refined aesthetic sense that admires beauty and longs to be surrounded with it. When we cultivate a garden, put flowers in a vase, or hang up a painting, it’s the illusion of the “I” that is expressing a love of beauty and a strong creative impulse. Our poetry, painting, dance, drama and music, our weekly craft groups where baskets are woven, wool is spun, shawls are knit, and photo albums are covered, all this says the ardent materialist is carried out for no particular reason save to follow the command of chemical exchanges.
Reason, language, inquiry, wonder, longing, religion, morality, aesthetics, creativity, imagination, aspiration and humour, to such intangible but fundamental qualities, atheists like Bertrand Russel can only respond, and in the total absence of proofs or evidence, yet driven but a desperate desire to be free from all accountability to one’s Creator, they hope that you will agree, “That man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and beliefs are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve an individual life beyond the grave; that all the labours of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius are destined to extinction . . . that the whole temple of man’s achievement must inevitably be buried - all these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain, that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand. Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul’s habitation henceforth be safely built.”
The atheist’s philosophical and powerful emotional reaction to the fact of a universe with a beginning and to the impossibility of life arising unaided from non life shows that we are far, far more than a mass of chemical exchanges, more than mere thinking machines.
And that is why I say:
. Because of clear scientific (observable, repeatable, verifiable) evidence, and
. Because the cosmological argument shows that a Greatest Conceivable Being exists who is the cause or grounding of reality as we know it, and
. Because the teleological argument shows more than just the appearance of design, and
. Because of the Kalam argument that shows that whatever begins to exist has a cause and an explanation for it’s beginning to exist, and
. Because the moral argument shows that a Greatest Conceivable Being exists who is the cause or grounding of all objective morals, values, obligations and Truth,
. I believe that Creator God exists and that Christianity is the best explanation for the type of world / environment and the cosmos in which we live.
While any or all the above may or may not give you pause for thought, the most important basis for my belief in God lies in a different category. The palpable presence of God in my life, His counsel, His comfort, His correction and guidance, His love and mercy and grace, all of these things are so very real in my innermost being that they compel me to acknowledge the truth of His existence.
I am so very grateful that I have been granted the gift of "Wide-Band Awareness." This is a Gift / ability that is shared and immediately recognised by believers from around the world regardless of race, social stature, gender or intellectual ability. Roughly 95% of the people in the world know at some level that there is more to life than what meets the eye.
For some reason atheists lack this perceptive ability and they live out their existence on earth within a very Narrow Band of Awareness. This condemns them to examining only a very narrow band of evidence as they, like all of us, struggle to make sense of life.
I also believe in God because of the historicity of Jesus. Except for those who exist on the lunatic fringe (eg. those who also deny the Holocaust), the reality of Jesus cannot be denied. In fact, the life, death and resurrection of Jesus cannot be adequately explained away. Something totally other took place when Jesus appeared on earth.
I believe in God because the heavens and the earth declare His handiwork. There is simply no sufficient explanation for WHY the universe began to exist exactly as it did other than “Creator God.” This is not an explanation from ignorance because Creator God is the ONLY conclusion that fits the scientific evidence.
While it's true that atheists have proposed other theories for the "Creation” of the universe, it is not because of any inadequacy in or lack of evidence for the idea of God as Creator. The presentation of alternative theories is only because God as Creator is philosophically unacceptable to atheists.
The type of belief in God that I'm talking about is sometimes called “faith.” But faith is often misunderstood as being separate from reason or evidence. That could not be more inaccurate. For one thing, we are told to love the Lord our God with, among other things, “all our mind.” Second the Bible describes Faith as being “The substance of, the certainty of, the essence of, the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not yet seen.”
While one’s faith does not find its origin in evidence (the origin is purely from God - John 6:44), faith is clearly supported by evidence, reason, logic and experience. In other words, my Faith in Creator God is anything but blind or uninformed. In my opinion agnostics are the only ones who ‘go as far as empirical evidence will let them.’
Atheists take the next step because of a philosophically unacceptable conclusion to where the evidence points - Creator God exists.
Christians take the next step because of the reality of Jesus Christ, Son of God, Lord of lords and King of kings who lives within their very being. Nevertheless, my epistemic and experiential belief in God is grounded in logic and reason and that is why I'm not an atheist.
In that sense Christian faith can be described as “Choosing to believe the conclusion that the Bible and God Himself through the person of Jesus the Christ has presented regarding the evidence that we have before us.”
Faith is not, as those who fear the idea of a Creator say, believing something even in the absence of evidence. At bare minimum we have a whole universe proclaiming the existence of Creator God. When pressed, honest atheists acquiesce that a Deistic God may well exist, “But that doesn’t prove a Theistic God.” Well, no it doesn’t. For that we have the life, death and resurrection of Jesus who said, “If you have seen Me you have seen Creator God.” Among other historical events, proof of His resurrection comes in the form of:
. The empty tomb
. The dramatic change in character of the disciples
. The rise of the Christian Church
. The conversion of the sceptic and Christian killer Paul
. The conversion of the sceptic and brother of Jesus James
all of these confirming the theistic God as seen in Jesus.
The fact is, faith stems from evidence. Both atheists and Christians have before them the same amount of evidence, and both atheists and Christians believe what they believe by faith.
“By faith we (Christians) understand (choose to believe the Bible’s claim) that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.” Hebrews 11:3
“By an even greater amount of faith (everything came from nothing by nothing) atheists understand (choose to believe the implication of atheism) that the universe came into being by natural means even though nothing natural / material existed UNTIL the universe came into being.”
While there have been criticisms of the above arguments, what’s important to note is that a criticism or an objection is not necessarily the same as a refutation.
When an intelligent person willfully abandons reason and begins to posit finite infinities, causeless beginnings and beginningless beginnings, I know that I’m dealing with someone involved in a desperate attempt to avoid a philosophically unacceptable conclusion: Creator God exists.
When an intelligent person willfully abandons classical historical scholarship and begins to deny known and knowable facts of history, but only as they apply to the person of Jesus, I know that I’m dealing with someone who is confronted with a philosophically unacceptable conclusion: Creator God exists.
When an intelligent person claims to follow whatever ethical standard is currently in vogue and calls that a reasonable way to live, I know that I’m dealing with someone involved in a desperate, fearful attempt to avoid a philosophically unacceptable conclusion: Creator God exists.
When someone ignores Occam’s Razor and goes in search of ever more complicated solutions, abandoning one after another, after another, after another, not because of new evidence but because of a need to avoid the conclusion indicated by current evidence, and when that person never returns to a simple solution that coincides with current knowledge and common sense, I know that I’ve encountered an individual who has been confronted with a philosophically unacceptable conclusion: Creator God exists.
Thanks to advances in science, every year to an increasing degree, we are pointed by science toward the existence of a Supernatural Creator and away from the foolish proposition of materialism / naturalism.
That is why I’m not an atheist.