Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Five reasons that God exists?

Are there five good reasons to believe that God exists? Would you like to hear William Lane Craig preach old tired nonsense that has been shown to be false long ago as if it were brand new exclusive news? Let's see what the ever dishonest and clueless Craig had to say to Fox news...
"I really don't have a clue about what I'm talking about, so
I'm just going to use some fancy words and hope it sounds
like I do ."
For atheists, Christmas is a religious sham. For if God does not exist, then obviously Jesus’ birth cannot represent the incarnation of God in human history, which Christians celebrate at this time of year.

However, most atheists, in my experience, have no good reasons for their disbelief. Rather they’ve learned to simply repeat the slogan, “There’s no good evidence for God’s existence!”

In the case of a Christian who has no good reasons for what he believes, this slogan serves as an effective conversation-stopper. But if we have good reasons for our beliefs, then this slogan serves rather as a conversation-starter.

The atheist who merely repeats this slogan after having been presented with arguments for God’s existence makes an empty assertion.
Jesus’ birth cannot represent the incarnation of God in human history, which Christians celebrate at this time of year.
Learned to repeat the slogan? Sorry, but no one is simply repeating a slogan. The truth is that it's not because there's no good evidence for God, but there's not evidence at all. We aren't simply repeating a slogan mindlessly. The fact is that we say there is no evidence, because there isn't any. In fact, the only ones I ever hear parroting things without thinking is believers. Always repeating the same old claims. The same old arguments that have been disproved time and time again. Just repeating the same over and over, despite the proof otherwise. And the real irony here is that Craig is one of these people.
So what reasons might be given in defense of Christian theism? In my publications and oral debates with some of the world’s most notable atheists, I’ve defended the following five reasons why God exists:
Well this should be cute...
1. God provides the best explanation of the origin of the universe. Given the scientific evidence we have about our universe and its origins, and bolstered by arguments presented by philosophers for centuries, it is highly probable that the universe had an absolute beginning. Since the universe, like everything else, could not have merely popped into being without a cause, there must exist a transcendent reality beyond time and space that brought the universe into existence. This entity must therefore be enormously powerful. Only a transcendent, unembodied mind suitably fits that description.
What?! Um, no... God does not provide the best explanation. The Big Bang Theory is the best
explanation for the universe as we know it. And that is because it is supported by mountains of evidence. Something that creation does not have on it's side. But of course, the question then is what was before the Big Bang (if that question even makes sense). So in usual theist form, they take 'we don't know yet' and replace it with 'God did it'. But God isn't a good explanation even if we ignore the Big Bang.

Craig says that nothing can just pop into existence out of nothing. So if something can't come from nothing, then where did God come from? Craig concludes that something must have always existed. But is God really the best explanation? No, not at all. We have two choices... either the universe (or it's energy) always existed in some form, or God always existed. The universe is big and complex, but compared to the proposed god, it is very simple.

A god that created the entire universe would necessarily have to be even more complicated and contain more potential energy than the entirety of the universe. The laws of thermodynamics would mean that any god that can create the universe would have to be more complicated and contain more energy than the universe itself. So what's more likely... that the simpler one (the universe) always existed, or that the much, much, much more complicated one (God) always existed? I think it's obvious that the simpler would be much more likely.

Additionally, there's another explanation that is equally as likely as a god creating the universe. That alternative explanation would be that everything we see is a simulation created by an alien intelligence. In short, we are living a grand version of Sims on steroids. Both as equally likely and unlikely as the notion that God created the universe. As unlikely as that possibility is, it goes to show that God is not the best explanation. In what universe is 'magic' the best answer?
2. God provides the best explanation for the fine-tuning of the universe. Contemporary physics has established that the universe is fine-tuned for the existence of intelligent, interactive life. That is to say, in order for intelligent, interactive life to exist, the fundamental constants and quantities of nature must fall into an incomprehensibly narrow life-permitting range. There are three competing explanations of this remarkable fine-tuning: physical necessity, chance, or design. The first two are highly implausible, given the independence of the fundamental constants and quantities from nature's laws and the desperate maneuvers needed to save the hypothesis of chance. That leaves design as the best explanation.
I wish he would make up his mind. He starts out by saying that the universe is fine-tuned for
intelligent life. Then he points out that there is a narrow range in which this life can exist. So which is it? The truth is that the universe is not a friendly place for life. In most places in the universe, life simply can not exist. Craig then claims that there are three possibilities for why Earth is 'just-right' for life... physical necessity, chance, and design. As usual, Craig casually dismisses the possibility of it being chance and jumps the gun by claiming that his favored 'explanation' has to be the best one. If design was a good explanation, we would expect to see intelligent life in more than just one place in our solar system.

And, despite what Craig says, desperate maneuvers are not needed to make the case for chance. The important thing to remember is just how many planets and galaxies there are in the universe. Billions of galaxies, containing billions of stars. Each of those stars likely hosting multiple planets. Some of those planets will be too cold. Some will be to hot. Others will be like the Earth, and be in just the right place. Considering how many planets there are, it would actually be more statistically surprising if no such worlds existed. In fact, there are likely other 'Earths' out there... we just haven't found them yet. Preferred conditions don't exist on Earth because we are here. We are here because those preferred conditions exist on Earth. Another example of a theist putting the cart before the horse and blindly declaring his views as truth while ignoring all others.
Morality, so easy animals can do it.
3. God provides the best explanation of objective moral values and duties. Even atheists recognize that some things, for example, the Holocaust, are objectively evil. But if atheism is true, what basis is there for the objectivity of the moral values we affirm? Evolution? Social conditioning? These factors may at best produce in us the subjective feeling that there are objective moral values and duties, but they do nothing to provide a basis for them. If human evolution had taken a different path, a very different set of moral feelings might have evolved. By contrast, God Himself serves as the paradigm of
goodness, and His commandments constitute our moral duties. Thus, theism provides a better explanation of objective moral values and duties.
How can a god that is so very immoral be the moral standard? He says that murder is wrong, then he commands genocides. He endorses slavery, and punishes women for being raped. Time after time, the God of the Bible shows that he is the last place to look to for a moral example. Morality is easily explained without a god though. There are evolutionary reasons for our morality. But we also have empathy. Almost all of our morality can be explained with just that one word. Empathy, far better than the Christian god by every measure.
4. God provides the best explanation of the historical facts concerning Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. Historians have reached something of consensus that the historical Jesus thought that in himself God’s Kingdom had broken into human history, and he carried out a ministry of miracle-working and exorcisms as evidence of that fact. Moreover, most historical scholars agree that after his crucifixion Jesus’ tomb was discovered empty by a group of female disciples, that various individuals and groups saw appearances of Jesus alive after his death, and that the original disciples suddenly and sincerely came to believe in Jesus’ resurrection despite their every predisposition to the contrary. I can think of no better explanation of these facts than the one the original disciples gave: God raised Jesus from the dead.
I'm guessing Craig's 'historians' are as imaginary as his god is, because I haven't heard historians all
agreeing that the Biblical story of Jesus happened just like the Bible says. At best, some say that Jesus was probably based on a regular person. So sorry Craig, try again. Also, the Christian god giving the best explanation for the Christian holy book is hardly impressive. The Muslim god gives the best explanation of the Muslim holy book. And the Hindu gods give the best explanation for the stories in the Hindu holy book. Like I said... unimpressive. Furthermore, the only record of Jesus is the holy book that is the very thing in question. There isn't actually any proof for Jesus, his death, that his tomb was empty, or even if there was a tomb. He might as well be claiming that Indiana Jones is the best explanation for the golden Aztec idol that was stolen in the Raiders of the Lost Arc being missing.
5. God can be personally known and experienced. The proof of the pudding is in the tasting. Down through history Christians have found through Jesus a personal acquaintance with God that has transformed their lives.
Is he still trying? Okay, so Christians think they've felt their god, and it transformed their lives. Muslims think they've felt their god, and it transformed their lives. Just as well, Hindus think they've felt their god, and it transformed their lives. So if every religion thinks they've felt their god, and they
feel like its transformed their lives, why should Christianity be held above all others that have the same claims and results. Sorry, but wishful thinking and confirmation bias are not proofs of God.
The good thing is that atheists tend to be very passionate people and want to believe in something. If they would only put aside the slogans for a moment and reexamine their worldview in light of the best philosophical, scientific, and historical evidence we have today, then they, too, would find Christmas worth celebrating!
Flip that around... If only theists would put aside slogans and tired arguments for a moment and
reexamine their worldview in light of the best philosophical, scientific, and  historical evidence we have today, then they too may find atheists and their honesty worth celebrating!

-Brain Hulk

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