If you would be inclined to just dismiss what follows as ridiculous, I would ask you to ask yourself why you are so sure that you would be right to do so. Many of us had the same inclination until we came to see that we were wrong. Quite to the contrary of the common contemporary conception, becoming a Christian does not require that one abandon Reason and Science. On the contrary, Reason and Science, along with logic, morality and everything else that exists, including you and me, only exist because the God described in the Bible existed first. The other major misunderstanding about Christianity is that Christians believe that we obey God so that we will be saved. Rather, Christians obey God because we have already been saved by virtue of what God did in sending His Eternal Son into the world to give His life for those who would believe in Him.
What a bunch of NONSENSE.
See my reply to this same poster under the article “Twenty-one Tweets To Transform Your Thinking”
I think we can never know if God does or does not exist. However, I think there is a better case to be made, in terms of what is reasonable, to believe that a Christian God does not exist, than that he does. For instance, the Bible tells us that life and morality is given by God. The Bible explains why the world that we observe is how it is. With science, however, we can give alternate accounts of why the world is as it is, without God in the picture. If you look into the field of evolutionary psychology, there is a clear account of how morality, altruism, self-sacrifice, deceit, and selfishness can all evolve in the same human species. If interested, I ask readers to look into the book “Moral Animal,” by Robert Wright. In terms of creation, there is evidence that emulating the initial conditions of Earth (molecules in the water, lightning) allows organic molecules to start forming (primordial soup).
Yes, there are things beyond reason. And science does not have it all figured out. But that doesn’t necessarily entail that there is a God, nevertheless a Christian one. That there is something beyond reason is not to secure the premise that “God exists.” For instance, the world is ruled by cause-and-effect. All effects have causes. All causes have some previous cause. And that previous cause also has a cause before that…and so on. Perhaps this is merely the constraints of our human mind. Cause-and-effect is the only avenue through which we can perceive reality. This being the case, we are bound to ask things like, “well, then what is the first cause? And doesn’t the concept of a first cause contradict the premise that all causes have a previous cause? How can there be a first cause without a cause itself?” This kind of inquiry is a meaningless exercise in my view. That is simply how our minds are structured, by virtue of how we observe reality. This does not entail that there is a God. Christians may argue that it does, but they must distinguish between what is necessarily true and what is possibly true. A Christian God’s existence is possibly true, not necessarily, and that itself is the truth.
I urge Christians to distinguish between what is possibly true and what is necessarily true. It could possibly be true that the “divine” presence being felt in times of worship is God’s. It can also be possibly be true that this “divine” presence is singing a hymn or song that is meaningful. Or being surrounded by a likeminded community. Or singing as a way to cope with reality. There are a bunch of possibilities here. Asserting that the Christian God is the necessarily true is not a good exercise of reason and logic. This being the case, my position on the issue of whether the Christian God exists is that there is no way of knowing. I am agnostic on this issue.
Though I respect the Christian world-view and why Christians hold it dear, I cannot personally be persuaded, as of now. I hope you can give some consideration to my view!
I appreciate your reply, David. First, if you want to claim that we can never know if God exists or does not exist, then I would simply ask you how you can know this? The flow-chart on the front-page of this site deals with this by saying that if no one can know if God exists (or not), then it must also be said that no one can know that God doesn’t exist. So, it must be allowed that He may exist. You appeared to admit this to me the other day. So, you should not be resting in the “no one can know” position.
It must be allowed that God might exist. I would also add that it must be allowed that it is possible to know this. But, as I stated the other day, God’s existence IS already known by you and everyone who has ever lived. It is part of the programming of our brains by God. I base this on my memory of what I knew before I became a Christian, on the testimony of countless others (including many who never had any theist influence before becoming believers) and also on what the Bible says (especially in the second half of the first chapter of the New Testament book of Romans). However, as I indicated at that time, we are also born with a natural tendency to suppress this knowledge and to pretend that He doesn’t. In other words, we all know He exists, but we just don’t want to have a relationship with Him.
Also, your understanding of Science wrongly assumes that it must be done on the basis of Naturalism (that is, that only mindless natural forces can be allowed to exist, despite the obvious truth that we have minds). But Science did just fine for centuries when most scientists were Creationists. And, contrary to the bias of most of the scientific community today, there are currently Creationist/Intelligent Design scientists who are doing entirely valid research. That they seek to challenge today’s reigning Naturalist paradigm does not invalidate this any more than it did when Copernicus challenged the reigning paradigm of geo-centrism.
I can’t recall if I mentioned Thomas Kuhn’s “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions” to you. If you haven’t read this yet, you really need to do so. His analysis of how Science advances accurately reflects the history. Some of the more dogmatic anti-theist scientists don’t like Kuhn because his view challenges their claim that theories like Evolution and Climate-change must be considered “settled Science”. Indeed, if Kuhn is correct, then it must be allowed that nothing in Science can really be considered “settled Science”, as there is always the possibility of better theories than the ones which are currently considered best.
And sometimes Science takes wrong-turns and must return to a previous view. We say that this is the case with Evolution and that we should return to the previously-dominant Christian Theistic Dualism (as represented in the circle diagram on the back of my card and also found on this site: “The Duality of Creation”). We say that this is because Theistic Dualism accounts for many things which the evolutionary view not only can’t account for, but will never be able to account for. This is especially so with the subject/object problem that I discussed with you. Scientists can never be reduced to their scientific observations. Knowledge of any type requires both knowing subjects and objects that are known (although this includes knowledge of countless things that are not in themselves material objects, namely, everything on the side of human consciousness).
You should read the piece “10 Widely-believed Fallacies Today” on this site. There are serious scientific issues with Evolution, but I see its philosophical issues as fatal in multiple respects. Of course, this doesn’t in itself prove that Creationism is true. But, again, this proof is never necessary because every human-being who has ever lived has known that he or she has a Creator. In short, the Creator God is the Ultimate “Elephant in the room”, Whom many just choose to disregard.