Everyone believes: No, you are mistaken!

While visiting my friend Violet’s blog, I came across a link by one pastor Miller who uses one of the very tired arguments theists are fond of using, that because everyone talks about gods, they must exist. On this, the pastor is very wrong and we are about to see why.

Before we look at the pastors tired arguments, it is important to remind the reader that the word god is born of ignorance and fear when early man didn’t know shit! The only explanation they had for phenomena was that a god was doing stuff, and if it was things they considered bad, they created bad spirits to be responsible. Gods are therefore creations of our ignorant ancestors.

The pastor starts by telling us

They start with the assumption that their listeners are objective and analytical and can be persuaded by facts.  I doubt this is true.

which I presume is a reference to atheists or other non-believers. To turn the point on its head, what facts have the pastor to offer, if any, that we could discuss on his god position. Yours truly, is patient, and will be waiting for the pastor to wow us, maybe a few of my atheist friends may just as well change their minds, who knows!

What does the good pastor state as evidence to support his position? Let’s hear it

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things..[Romans 1:18-23]

which is Paul’s threat to the unrighteous. Paul, tells us nothing about the nature of god, other than that he is invisible and eternal how comes to this conclusion is anyone’s guess. Two, for, Paul’s argument to hold, one has to believe that the universe and all that is in it was created by divine fiat, and further one has to believe that the christian god is real since Paul is not referring to any other god. So, pastor Miller and Paul can go ahead and call us fools, but they have not med the burden of proof. They have not shown us why the universe needed a creator and what creator? I would also want to hear from the pastor a description of his god which does not involve negative attributes such as perfection and that also do not involve anthropomorphism, and am patient!

If, until now, you haven’t realized the good pastor is up to something, don’t worry, we are about to unpack it. His next argument couched in many words goes

If God doesn’t exist, morality is at best a mistaken byproduct of blind evolution.

and continues to say

 It’s just strange to me that we act as though objective morals should exist, when a universe without God doesn’t require objective morality.

Our pastor, as is common of other apologists, doesn’t tell us what these objective morals are.  And why shouldn’t evolution or by extension, nature not be responsible for bringing into existence beings disposed in such away that they act in a specific way. Must gods be involved. And while still on this, has the good pastor heard of the Euthyphro dilemma? It appears to me, he hasn’t and need to educate himself.

His next argument is on whether we can know anything in a godless universe. This is what he writes

In a godless universe, everything is simply matter.  Everything is made up of colliding particles.  Our brains in our heads are just a collection of particles that have come to function in certain ways

and which I would want him to show us if this isn’t the case. I would want him to demonstrate how our brain is not matter or agitated by material things. I know our brains are capable of abstract thought, which I think are informed by material things or things of possible experience. I would want the pastor to tell us what he thinks brains are and to further tell us what thoughts are.

His last argument, is to claim that without a god, there would be no language and we wouldn’t be able to communicate with each other. He writes

 Again, a material universe with no guiding conscience would not necessitate that words  have meaning or that language is effective.

which is simply false. We have evolved in a certain way, with brains big enough to develop abstract thought and communicate our ideas with others. A god is not required in this case and the pastor must know this. Unless, the pastor is telling us that the claim in genesis is true, that is, that his god confounded the language of men so they couldn’t build the stairs to heaven. If this is the case, the pastor is a very funny person, and I mean this in all the good ways possible :-P.

In concluding his piece of trope, the pastor writes

That person is acting like God is there at exactly the moment she says he isn’t.

Which can be translated to mean that at the moment when you say there are no tooth fairies, they exist. I don’t know if the good pastor is ready to accept this, and if he isn’t then he must show us where the difference is between his argument and mine.

He writes as a closing statement

So ironically, the person who says “God does not exist” is actually proving that God does.

Which, yours truly, responds by saying no, we prove no such thing and goes further to say that whoever says a god exists is ignorant of nature and how it acts, in short he is a fool.

And that, my friends, is my submission!

Just don’t think about it: A response

You have met Debilis, our resident apologist whose main occupation is either to attack the claims of materialism or New Atheists without supporting his claims. To engage with him on his posts is usually a slippery affair because one can hardly ever pin point what it is he is defending. Having said that, let us look at this post.

There seem to be two basic explanations for the origin of all physical reality (i.e. the universe):

1. God caused it
2. There is no explanation

He starts with a fallacy of false dilemma, one has to choose either of the two of answers. He is led to this problem by assuming that the sum of all reality must have a beginning. Once on the path he has taken, to get out of it, one has to resort either to superstition or consult reason on his path.

After leading himself on this erroneous path, he creates a strawman. He writes

 in that those making the accusation are generally of the position that “there is no explanation” or “we don’t know, and should therefore change the subject” is the correct answer to this issue.

I don’t know who he has his discussions with, but so far as I can tell, I haven’t met anyone who says there is no explanation or let us change the subject and I think it would only be fair that he provides such links if this discussions are online. But if it just making baseless claims, he can go ahead as this seems to be what he excels in, any way! While at it though, I don’t see anything wrong with saying we can’t know whether the universe had a beginning or if it has existed eternally. We can hypothesize based on the current knowledge as to what could have brought the universe and all that it encompasses into being.

Please tell me, how does positing god did it answer the question he posed? I have said before and I will say again that god is a vague a word without meaning. It’s origin is in the depths of man’s ignorance when he attributed to causes inimical to his state phantoms he called ghosts and those causes that were beneficial he attributed to gods. To therefore make a claim

“God caused it” is not a halt to inquiry at all.

And say it doesn’t halt inquiry is to be intellectually dishonest. It is to ascribe natural causes to phantoms and chimeras that man created out of ignorance and perpetuated through force and violence.

 To insist that all explanation is scientific is to embrace materialism, which presumes that God does not exist. To use this as an argument against God, then, is wholly circular.

Am waiting to be shown how the claims of materialism is circular. In fact, I would want to be told what the author understands by science and why it is wrong to embrace materialism. I would also like to be told what is meant by god and why this author thinks it is necessary that such beings exist.

To accuse others of a cop-out for demanding explanations or definition of terms is simply dishonest. Our author writes

I’ve even been told that God is a vague concept. I think this is mostly owing to our current poverty in theology (to which I cannot claim to be immune). The idea of God has been discussed, defined, argued over, and refined for millennia, to say that this is a vague answer or a “semantic cop-out” is simply to announce one’s own ignorance of the history of western academics.

Correct me where am wrong. Theology simply is the study of the attributes of god. I want to be told since Anselm, St. Thomas Aquinas, Avicenna, Tertullian, Clement, and other church doctors, what have we learnt of the nature of this supposed god whose existence we are told is necessary? To say that those of us who dismiss theology exhibit a poverty in the same borders on the ridiculous especially if the person making such a claim does not go ahead to define what they mean by the word god.

How did God cause the universe? 
What does that say about his traits?
Has he created other universes?

Dear reader, tell me how any of these questions can shed some light on the question of the existence of the universe? In the bible, which I believe is the source from which Debilis draws his ideas of god, we are told in Genesis 1

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.[KJV]

We are unable to learn anything about how this creation was achieved. No matter how long we spend meditating on this particular passage, we shall forever be in darkness with regard to the question. This passage also confounds matters because it doesn’t tell us why there needed to be a beginning in the first place.

I contend in conclusion, contrary to what the author is arguing, that positing a god as an explanation is to confound matters. It is to create roadblocks on the path of honest inquiry. It is to ascribe to causes natural, immaterial origins, it is to suppose phantoms are responsible for the laws of nature. It doesn’t contribute to knowledge. And one must first define god without contradictions and use of words that are devoid of meaning to even continue on such a path.

I end this post with a quote  of W. K Clifford where he admonishes those who hold onto beliefs taught to them in their childhood even in the face of evidence to the contrary. He writes

It is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone to believe anything upon insufficient evidence. If a man, holding a belief which he was taught in childhood or persuaded of afterwards, keeps down and pushes away any doubts which arise about it in his mind, purposely avoids the reading of books and the company of men that call into question or discuss it, and regards as impious those questions which cannot easily be asked without disturbing it- the life of that man is one long sin against mankind.

 

What happened before the Big Bang

First off, am not a physicist, cosmologist, astrophysicist or anything ist, well except atheist 😀 but because debates on this blog and elsewhere end up discussing the big bang and other serious science stuff that yours truly has just glossed over, I felt it is only fair that I share with you a vast repository of reference material that you can refer to.

Please tell me it helps, thank you 🙂

What happened before the big bang

Is the universe proof of god

When I last wrote about the universe, I did say that it is a sufficient cause and need not be caused, our friend of the Canaanite massacre fame has written a post arguing that the universe need a cause.

First he starts with a bad set of arguments for which he offers no evidence in support of. He tells us

Every effect has a cause
The universe is an effect
The universe needs a cause.

How he gets to the second premise I don’t know. The first premise has also been shown to be false since it has been observed at the quantum level and even in radioactivity that there are effects that do not require a cause. Since the first and second premise are not factually correct, we need not go to the third premise or conclusion whichever you prefer!

The universe is indeed an effect, and therefore cannot be uncaused. It cannot have caused its own existence, for it would have had to have existed before itself in order to cause itself, which is absurd.

Why would an always existing universe be absurd? How does positing god as creator of cause and effect become less absurd? Still the fellow doesn’t give us any reason why we should think the universe as an effect and not a sufficient cause. In the contrary I offer two arguments, one that matter, whatever it is, can’t be created or destroyed and the universe is all matter it couldn’t have been created; two there is no evidence so far as we know when there was a break in the cause-effect chain such that if god is to be posited as starting the effect, universe, he needed to have been caused by something outside itself ad infinitum.

The universe is limited, for we see the evidences of limitation all around us……stars die, resources get used up.

In all these death matter ain’t lost. There is a transformation from solid to gas to heat but then the total sum remains zero. While still here, if the stars collapse naturally into themselves, why would a creator be needed at their formation, that is, if stellar collapse doesn’t require a divine destroyer why should we posit a divine creator at its beginning?

God is not an effect, and therefore does not need a cause.

We are not given any reason why this should be true and why the same can’t be said for the universe.

The syllogism above is simple, but no more simple than looking at nature and coming to the conclusion that there must be a God, for nature could not have come about by itself.

Why does one need to posit that a god is involved in nature?

I honestly believe that people have to work a long time to convince themselves that God does not exist.

Yes you are right, you have believed so much falsehood that it would be a Herculean task to convince you of the lack of existence of gods.

As they used to say in the South, some people have “too much education and not enough sense.”

As we say on this blog, the above statement is representative of most theists!

And for entertainment and education here is Lawrence Krauss’ A universe from nothing

The universe does not need a creator

In this last feature, I present his argument against the creation of the universe. Many theists are wont to ask, if there are no gods then where does the universe come from. I have without resorting to cosmology and astronomy argued that what exists necessarily does not need to be created and matter being thus did not have to be created. I cannot imagine the annihilation of matter leave alone it’s creation. This being the case, an immaterial god who is said to leave outside of time and space[William Craig please explain what you mean here] couldn’t have been the cause of all causes[our natural universe].

I have included a video by world renown cosmologist, Stephen Hawking, which I hope you will find both informative and entertaining.

Our philosopher had this to say

They tell us gravely that there is no effect without a cause; they repeat to us very often that the world did not create itself. But the universe is a cause, not an effect; it is not a work, has not been made, because it was impossible that it should be made. The world has always been, its existence is necessary. It is the cause of itself. Nature, whose essence is visibly acting and producing, in order to fulfill her functions, as we see she does, needs no invisible motor far more unknown than herself. Matter moves by its own energy, by the necessary result of its heterogeneity; the diversity of its movements or of its ways of acting, constitute only the diversity of substances; we distinguish one being from another but by the diversity of the impressions or movements which they communicate to our organs.

Jean Meslier