I don’t know Professor J. Lennox and I am not going to check that out since that isn’t relevant for our purposes. We will take him at his word that he is a scientist and a christian and from there proceed to look at what he tells us as evidence for his god. The clip will just take 15 minutes of your time and I beg that you listen to it then read my comments below.
The good professor tells us about his Alma mater and the writing on the door to the laboratory. At my Alma mater founded by the colonialist is written Unitate et Labore, whether they believed in this unity is a question of another day. Whatever is written on the door or the focal wall of a hall is not proof of the truth of a belief. Granted that in the infancy of science most of those who studied it were believers, it is not strange to expect such a writing on a door. If these men believed they could find god in the study of science, it appears to me they failed miserably. No one scientist that I know of, religious or non-religious has come up with a god /divine constant to be applied to his formula. Science has in all ages given us atheistic results with no indication whatsoever of the divine. It must be Laplace who told Napoleon god is a hypothesis we don’t need, and I reckon he was right.
We are asked to believe because Sir Isaac Newton believed in god. Now I agree that Isaac the scientist was a brilliant man but let us hear a bit of Isaac the theologian and ask ourselves if we should take him as an authority on theology, commonly known as the study of nothing. He conceived god as
one and the same for ever, and everywhere, not only by his own virtue or energy, but also in virtue of his substance–Again, ‘All things are contained in him and move in him, but without reciprocal action.’ God feels nothing from the movements of bodies; nor do they experience any resistance from his universal presence.
and elsewhere he tells us
He is called the Lord God, the Universal Emperor–that the word God is relative, and relates itself with slaves–and that the Deity is the dominion or the sovereignty of God, not over his own body, as those think who look upon God as the soul of the world, but over slaves
that god exists necessarily- that the same necessity obliges him to exist everywhere and always- that he is all ears, all eyes, all brains, all arms, all feeling, all intelligence, all action- that he exists in a mode by no means corporeal and is totally unknown to us. [Apology for Atheism by Charles Southwell]
How many of you are still with Newton the theologian who tells us his god has ears, brains, feeling, arms and eyes but isn’t corporeal. Pause for a minute dear friend and tell me whether what the good scientist has told us is comprehensible. And if by his admission this god is totally unknown to us, how does he know anything about him/it? I don’t known whether the theist is going to let Newton be the defender of his faith or not.
Yours truly is not a physicist, astrophysicist or cosmologist, no he is none of those things but tries to keep up to date with what they say about the universe. I have heard none of them speak of the creation of the universe and I know, to the best of my knowledge, that the BB does not tell us anything about the earlier state of the universe if we can say something of that kind. It doesn’t tell us whether the universe was/is eternal or was in need of a creator. Moreover, if the theist accepts the big bang cosmology, could he/she tell us why a supposedly powerful god would chose such a long winded way to achieve such a result when we are told all he needed to do was to say
let there be. And there was!
When Lennox tells us the universe is fine tuned, the question we must ask is compared to what other universe? The universe is as is and nothing else can be said beyond that. There is nothing to which the universe can be compared with. It borders on lunacy to observe a quality of the universe and attribute it to a being that is sometimes said to be out of the universe and sometimes within it. If the professor wants to call this rational, I truly don’t know what irrational is.
The is no irony in a mathematician being able to make calculations that are representative of nature. To understand nature, one must study her and when this is done, it is no rocket science when we discover that it is to a certain extent knowable.
He quotes Platinga as saying there is a conflict between naturalism and evolution to the extent that we have developed brains and a desire for truth and that if atheism is true, which it is, we have no reason to trust our cognitive facilities. I know of no other theory that explains the progress of life on earth other than evolution. Nature though without intelligence has through its many processes made it possible for sentient beings to exist. The claim that nature needs external agency to accomplish this is just absurd and contrary to all evidence around us.
If ethical behavior as he says doesn’t require religious belief, its tautology to go ahead and say that it is proof of god. The good professor set out to prove that god exists. To claim that morality or rationality is proof of this god I think is fallacious. You cannot use an unknown set to explain another unknown entity without running into absurdities.
I find it strange that the good professor tells us that his friends in Russia told him the reason they were able to kill so many of their countrymen was because they had forgotten god. Please tell me, how can this be true? History tells us when god reigned supreme, people were killed for being witches because god’s word had these infamous statement
thou shalt not suffer a witch to live
the same god who in the OT has fits of rage and goes on murdering sprees. How this god can be a model of how to live with each other is quite beyond my understanding. A tribal god who kills innocents to free his chosen tribe. How can anyone say he is the god of all. Who was the god of the Egyptians, who was the god of the Canaanites, and all those tribes that it is narrated this god oversaw their massacre? Tell me something else but don’t tell me the Judeo- Christian god is our model and if it is, then it explains many things as to the state of affairs in our world today.
I don’t need to be a baker as to know why bread was baked. As I have said elsewhere, Paley’s watchmaker argument or any other argument that attempts to show the universe is designed by a benevolent maker cannot make any strides. To infer design, one must know the end to which something was done. What then is the purpose of the universe, to what end was it designed by its maker? If the theist cannot tell us this, he must stop using this tired argument.
The professor 09:45 onward goes to the deep of total irrationality. First he believes that the narrative of the fall of man as told in genesis 3 is true and that the supposed dying and resurrection of Jesus is a restoration of the fractured relationship between man and his creator. Then he gives us the evidence as Jesus. If Jesus could with five fishes feed 5K people, why are people still hungry? Why if he could cure one blind person did he not end blindness in all? Was it for show off? To claim the few miracles attributed to Jesus as evidence of his divine power is to close our minds to reason. We must ask what did these miracles, if they did happen, achieve? I venture nothing, people are still starving, blind, lame, and so on.
If Jesus existed, he taught a slavish morality where the poor were told they will be rich in the next life and the rich poor. He tells them blessed are the poor, blessed are those who mourn, blessed are those who are persecuted! His victory, if it can be called that was to establish a morality of the poor in the next life. To tell them to suffer because they will enjoy in the future, to live in servitude because the next life abounds with goodies for them. For the professor to tell us this was a great moral development is again bordering on lunacy!
The supposed suffering of Jesus on the way to and on the cross is nothing compared to the pain of childbirth that many if not all women undergo, it is incomparable to those suffering from cancer and indeed if he knew his actions would save mankind why did he at the final moment wail asking his father
why have you forsaken me?
There is nothing noble, nothing grand, nothing extraordinary in the claim that Jesus suffering redeemed the world. The world is still at war. The christian is at war with one other, the Muslim at war with one other and with the christian. Everywhere, even in christian dominated areas, there is still strife. In which way then did their Jesus save them?
The writers of the story of Jesus just as those who made up the Koran, with a stroke of genius told us the empty tomb is evidence of the resurrection. This is, for those who watch crime documentaries, a cold case. With no body, it is a Herculean task to prove or disprove that a crime was committed. It is this piece of innovation that Christians of all ages have relied on as proof of their resurrected Jesus. One must ask, did Jesus fear he would be killed a second time if he appeared to the officials at Rome? By appearing only to those who already believed this story, how can anyone interested in truth believe this thing happened?
Paul who did not meet Jesus is made to say that if Jesus did not resurrect then Christianity is false is evidence enough that even then the validity of this claim was being questioned. We can safely say now with hindsight that Christianity is false. Its supposed founder is in need of proof. There isn’t reliable evidence to confirm that he lived and walked among us.
The professor tells us god is a person. The question one must truly ask is what type of person is this god?
He tells us the belief in a deity allows him to explain away the problem of evil, that the belief in next life offers ultimate hope that things will better. It is a case of madness to belief that a god who was incapable of making things better in this life that we know of is capable of making it better in another borne of imagination and incredulity. The atheist says there is this one life here and we all have a duty to make it as pleasant as humanly possible, that we be just, we end wars and all cruelty. The good professor tells us justice is for god, we can suffer war but he will offer us recompense in future! Let us all go out there and tell those starving people not to worry, god will give them food in the next life, that they should be happy in their hunger! How ridiculous will we sound! Let us be reasonable. Let us all together join hands in making life worth living for each of us. I plead guilty to charges of nihilism but I believe each of us is capable of creating meaning in their short lives.
Who wants a suffering god? What does being told that god is on the cross help the believer? And if god is on the cross, what happened to the one that resurrected?
I end here in the hope that I have been able to at least demonstrate, albeit briefly, that the good professor has failed to provide proof for the existence of his god but has instead relied on old arguments that have been discarded, arguments from authority and begging the question to prove his case.
I would appreciate so much to hear your comments on what you think of the professors short lecture and my analysis of it. Thank you very much.