The Assumptions of Deduction (a surprising conclusion)
The Law of Entropy (not the usual entropy argument)
The Beginning of the Universe (not the usual origins argument)
Many people don't believe in God, claiming:
But others claim that these conclusions are unfounded.
Believers in God have come up with many arguments to "prove" there's a God. One (very poor) argument is to take the statement "there is no God" and to point out that the statement itself has the word "God" in it. Therefore, there must be a God. The reason given is that if there were no God, it would possible to express the idea of "no God" without having to refer to the very "God" which is being denied. This is a familiar argument but proves nothing except that language is an imperfect vehicle to use in communicating ideas.
As a starting point for our discussion about the existence or non-existence of God, let's briefly look at the nature of reality according to an Atheist.
Three ideas are central to the world-view of an Atheist:
In order to prove the Atheistic position, we would have to give solid evidence that the three assumptions listed above are valid. And conversely, in order to disprove Atheism we would have to find strong evidence that challenges these assumptions. If such contradictory evidence could be found, then the Atheist ought to be willing to modify his world view to correspond to the evidence.
Atheism is built on the foundation of empiricism which demands that the empiricist adjust his position on an issue to conform to the observations. But the empiricist who ignores "unpleasant" observations because he's already made up his mind about the matter throws his empiricism out the window. He's really no better off than someone who believes the earth is flat in the face of overwhelming contrary evidence.
My challenge to the Atheist is as follows: Please honestly consider the evidence for the existence of God.
Anyone whose purpose in being an Atheist is to adopt a world view contrary to whatever "those mindless religious fanatics believe" is in reality himself practicing a religion. It's the same kind of religious practice as a primitive man who worships the sun — both are superstitious religions based on irrational motives. However, the professed reason for being an Atheist is to throw aside beliefs based on "irrational" human emotion and to rely instead on the trustworthiness of rationalism and the scientific method.
Do rationalism and the scientific method really support Atheism? They do not. Quite the opposite is true. Rationalism and the scientific method demonstrate not only that there is a God who is omnipotent and omnipresent but also that He is a conscious, living being who created all things for His purpose.
I realize this isn't an easy thing for an Atheist to accept, but I'll illustrate some problems with the Atheistic position with good evidence and sound logic.
The process of deductive reasoning is considered to be a reliable way to determine the truth or untruth of a proposition. The statement "God exists" can be analyzed using deduction and can be "proved" or "disproved" by logic.
In using the process of deductive reasoning, we start with one or more premises we assume to be true. Then we apply tried and true methods of combining these premises to reach a conclusion. If the assumptions are true and if we follow the process properly then the conclusion will be proved true.
The conclusion we are trying to prove is "God exists." But what is the nature of this God and how will we know whether we have correctly identified Him? Rather than prove everything about God in one argument let's limit our discussion to the statement "God created everything." This statement has several variations, (1) everything that exists was created by God, and (2) anything observable was created by God.
What assumptions do we need to make to prove these statements? It's a given that the proof depends on the fundamental assumption that logic and the process of deduction is a reliable way of determining truth. But when we attempt to prove the existence of God this way we end up with a troubling paradox. If God created everything then He also created logic and deduction. So how can we reliably use logic and deduction to prove the existence of God? It's absurd to even attempt it.
Therefore, we discover that we can't prove the existence of God with logic and deduction. But in the process of discovering this we've illustrated an important truth. The Atheist isn't really an empiricist after all as he prefers to believe. Instead, he's adopted a belief system that's as arbitrary and unprovable as belief in God. By denying the existence of God the Atheist has really sabotaged his belief in empiricism. In doing this he has inadvertently illustrated that there really is a God after all. Since the concept of God lies beyond the scope of empiricism, then empiricism is not all there is — there is also God.
If we assume there is a God we have none of these problems. God as the creator of all things is naturally beyond the things He created. The simplicity of this world-view is further evidence that there is a God. How could an assumption be true if it doesn't simply and accurately reflect the observations? In other words, if God doesn't exist then why does the process of deductive reasoning in its essence support the idea that God does exist?
Many Christians present a flawed argument for the existence of God based on the law of entropy in which they assert that localized concentrations of entropy can't exist in a closed (or open) system. I am not presenting that argument, but am observing a more fundamental issue regarding entropy.
The law of entropy states that as time passes the amount of disorder in a closed system increases. Because the universe is a closed system according to Atheistic belief, entropy within the universe has increased since the beginning.
Two possibilities present themselves:
Possibility number one simply cannot be true because we observe that the amount of entropy today is not infinite, in fact, there is structure and organization wherever we look.
The universe had a beginning, this is clear. But according to the scientific description concerning the nature of the universe at the moment of creation, entropy was already very high. The "primal egg" was a random collection of particles packed very densely with no possibility of the complex structure that we observe today.
There were no molecules or chemical reactions and therefore no possibility for the myriad of structures and organized relationships between particles that exist today. There were certainly no brains or societies of living beings as we have today. In short, entropy has decreased since the beginning of the universe.
Yet according to the Atheistic position, since there is no God who created the universe, the "primal egg" must have had a more complex structure than the universe of today. But the main attribute of this "primal egg" is its lack of structure. In fact, it is described as being little more than a random collection of particles and energy held together by some inexplicable force until it exploded on the day of the big bang.
But since when do explosions result in a condition which is more organized and more structured than before? And how could a random collection of particles form into stars and planets and beings if entropy must increase?
These things simply cannot be. Therefore, there is a God who created the universe in a form even more organized than today and with even more structure than today. The universe has been winding down ever since. God is not limited by the natural laws — He created them. Therefore, He can add energy to the universe whenever He chooses and we know that He did this very thing at least once. This was on the day of creation.
According to the Atheistic concept of the universe the "primal egg" which exploded in the big bang provided all the raw materials out of which the universe of today evolved. But where did this "primal egg" come from?
There are two explanations given for the origin of this "primal egg":
Yet neither of these attempts to explain the origin of the universe are satisfying. Both assume the pre-existence of the natural laws, time, space and energy. Where did these come from?
The Atheist will answer this question by saying that the natural laws have always existed or that they sprang into existence before the big bang. But these answers are beyond anyone's ability to know using empiricism and the scientific method — it is an answer given on faith.
But why would an Atheist feel compelled to resort to using faith if all things that exist can be explained using empiricism? If the Atheist must use faith in order to answer some of the more difficult questions, doesn't this prove that faith itself exists as a thing unto itself?
But what do the laws of nature tell us about faith? Science does not even speak of such things as faith even though it certainly exists. Therefore, science does not and cannot explain all that exists. In other words, there are things that exist and are observable which are beyond the ability of science to explain. To deny this is to deny the existence of that which we can clearly observe.
According to the Atheistic view, consciousness is a thing which springs into existence when a collection of molecules reaches a condition of sufficient complexity. This phenomenon of consciousness is viewed not as a thing unto itself but as a condition which is generated by something else.
It would be a lot easier for Atheists to defend their position if they were able to observe such a thing as "raw" consciousness drifting through the universe. Then they could say that these "atoms" of consciousness form into the general state of awareness which we observe in ourselves. Of course, such a thing has never been observed, so the Atheist must throw his empiricism aside and concoct all kinds of wild ideas about the nature of consciousness.
According to the Atheistic creed we must take the observable elements of the universe and allow that they exist in their own right. If we take this approach with the thing we call consciousness, then we must conclude that since we can observe consciousness, it must exist as a thing unto itself.
No Atheist denies that matter exists simply because he doesn't understand it fully. The same goes for such observable things as energy and the forces of nature — he may not be able to explain them fully but he believes they exist. Why, then, is the Atheist unwilling to acknowledge that consciousness exists in the same manner that energy exists?
The Atheist seems to give up his empiricism and settles for a form of religious irrationality when considering the nature and origin of consciousness.
When discussing accepted scientific concepts such as matter, energy and the forces of nature the Atheist is happy to deny the existence of God and claim that matter, space, energy and the forces of nature are all that exist. But when faced with the reality of this thing we call consciousness his belief system fails him. He adopts a kind of religious attitude as he looks with hope to a future day in which human knowledge has advanced or "evolved" to a level where mankind is capable of understanding this thing called consciousness. But there is no observable evidence that this knowledge or understanding will ever come — it is anticipated merely by faith. In other words, the Atheist looks for answers to these hard questions with faith and hope for some revelation or knowledge which does not exist today. This knowledge is clearly outside of today's observable universe and is only believed to exist on faith.
When an Atheist looks outside of the bounds of the observable universe in the pursuit of knowledge is he at least willing to be honest about it and admit that he has violated his atheistic principles? Often not. For Atheism is generally a creed of the denial of the existence of God rather than an honest seeking of truth, wherever truth may lead.
What possible value could there be in this denial of the obvious? Perhaps it's merely an expression of man's innate rebelliousness as described by Christianity. According to the Christian faith, rebellious man doesn't want to obey God — he wants independence from God. One way to achieve this is to deny God's existence. But this denial doesn't change the facts.
According to Christian teaching, every man will someday meet God face to face and will be called to give an account for his life — whether or not he used it to glorify the One who created him for His purpose. At this moment even the Atheist will know that God exists.