Recently I stumbled upon a website that hosted a list of 15 questions for atheists along with host of other lists of questions (for agnostics and other religions). This is my response to those questions.
Questions for Atheists
1. Are you absolutely sure there is no God? If not, then is it not possible that there is a God? And if it is possible that God exists, then can you think of any reason that would keep you from wanting to look at the evidence?
No. I am not ABSOLUTELY sure that there is no god (or gods); however, in my many years on this earth never once have I seen any concrete evidence to support the existence of the aforementioned. I have been shown supposed evidence multiple times, but all evidence has been easily explained by natural processes.
Yes, it is possible that there is a god (or gods). This is what most atheists believe. The problem is with the common vernacular of the word. Atheism stems from the word Theism (to believe in a or many deities) and the prefix A (meaning Not). Atheism, by definition, is not someone who believes that the existence of a god (or gods) is impossible; but simply someone who does not have a positive affirmation of belief in a god (or gods). This is also why the term Agnostic is often misused. (But I’ll go into this in detail in a later post)
Honestly, I would love to be presented with concrete evidence for the existence of God (or any god). I have searched for years for evidence and I have never seen any concrete evidence that cannot be explained by natural processes.
2. Would you agree that intelligently designed things call for an intelligent designer of them? If so, then would you agree that evidence for intelligent design in the universe would be evidence for a designer of the universe?
Anything that has been designed must, by definition, have a designer. This can be shown to be true of everything that is made by humans: cars, houses, pencils, airplanes, etc. But you cannot just assume that the universe is designed. The universe is full of chaos and destruction, not something you would expect from an intelligently designed system. The beginning of the universe, the formation of the earth, abiogenesis, and evolution can all be explained by science through natural processes. Just because something is complex or appealing to the eye does not mean that it is designed, assuming that it is would be a false premise.
3. Would you agree that nothing cannot produce something? If so, then if the universe did not exist but then came to exist, wouldn’t this be evidence of a cause beyond the universe?
In our modern existence it is true that nothing cannot produce something. This is one of the questions that scientists still seek answers for (currently it is thought that the universe was born from a quantum fluctuation). But just because we don’t know the answer does not imply that it was god (God of the Gaps argument). And if the premise states that nothing cannot produce something, then how can god exist in the first place? If god is outside our reality then what else is there outside our reality?
4. Would you agree with me that just because we cannot see something with our eyes—such as our mind, gravity, magnetism, the wind—that does not mean it doesn’t exist?
I would completely agree that just because we cannot directly see something with our eyes does not mean that it does not exist. However we can view the side effects and results of all these things. We can physically feel and measure the wind. We can physically see and mathematically plot how gravity effects objects. We can observe two object with magnet fields repel or attract each other.
The mind itself is a whole other conversation. If by “mind” you mean consciousness then technically consciousness isn’t a physical thing that exists. It is a result of the chemical and neurological processes in our brains.
5. Would you also agree that just because we cannot see God with our eyes does not necessarily mean He doesn’t exist?
Of course I agree with this. Just because I cannot see god does not mean god does not exist. However, unlike everything else in the universe, we cannot mathematically prove or view the results of god. And therefore, we have no proof of the existence of god.
6. In the light of the big bang evidence for the origin of the universe, is it more reasonable to believe that no one created something out of nothing or someone created something out of nothing?
Is it more logical to believe that all of existence began due to a possible quantum fluctuation and in a period of time shorter than that which we could ever measure all of the matter that would ever exist came into existence along with an equal amount of anti-matter (which would lead to an overall total of zero energy in the universe, thus satisfying the second law of thermodynamics) and over billions of years the matter condensed into stars and heavier elements that then led to the formation of planets and life; or is it more logical to believe that a supreme being who always existed (well kinda… We can’t refer to god in the past tense when speaking of time prior to creation since god created everything and time is a thing, thus if god did not invent time then there were things that existed before him.) spoke everything into existence?
7. Would you agree that something presently exists? If something presently exists, and something cannot come from nothing, then would you also agree that something must have always existed?
Refer to answer 3. The big bang is currently believed to be the beginning of the universe and the beginning of time. Because of this something must have always existed since time didn’t even exist until the big bang when all matter began to exist. So, in a way, matter always existed.
8. If it takes an intelligent being to produce an encyclopedia, then would it not also take an intelligent being to produce the equivalent of 1000 sets of an encyclopedia full of information in the first one-celled animal? (Even atheists such as Richard Dawkins acknowledges that “amoebas have as much information in their DNA as 1000 Encyclopaedia Britannicas.” Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker(New York: WW. Norton and Co., 1996), 116.)
Ugh… Just because you can’t imagine a something complex evolving does not mean that it did not evolve. We know for a fact that the Encyplopaedia Britannicas was designed by man. The first living cell however, was not designed.
9. If an effect cannot be greater than its cause (since you can’t give what you do not have to give), then does it not make more sense that mind produced matter than that matter produced mind, as atheists say?
This question implies that human mind is somehow greater than matter in general. If evidence could be given to support this premise then I would have an answer to this question. But since the brain is made from matter and the mind is a result of the chemical and neurological functions of the brain then it would be illogical to assume that the human mind is greater than matter. (Also how do you measure the “greatness” of the human mind or the “greatness” of physical matter?)
10. Is there anything wrong anywhere? If so, how can we know unless there is a moral law?
There is a lot of bad things in the world; rape, genocide, murder, theft, starvation, etc. And yes, it takes some level of morality to understand this and decide that it is wrong. But that is not proof of an absolute moral law.
Morality could have (this is scientific hypothesis) evolved as an animalistic trait. The most basic purpose of all living beings is to reproduce. So that is where we learn that reproduction is good. Its hard to reproduce if you or others that you can reproduce with are dead. This is how we know that killing is wrong. During evolution we could have realized that hunting in groups is easier. This is how we know that community is good. What is good for the community must be morally good. This is one possibility of where morality came from.
11. If every law needs a lawgiver, does it not make sense to say a moral law needs a Moral Lawgiver?
Once again this is a false dichotomy. The idea of morality is not the same as a law. Common moral “law” was “written” by our ancestors as they learned what helps them survive and be high up in their populations/communities.
12. Would you agree that if it took intelligence to make a model universe in a science lab, then it took super-intelligence to make the real universe?
Just because it takes a minimal level of intelligence to recreate what we can see in our universe does not imply that it takes a higher level of intelligence to create it on a large scale. Natural processes, such as the big bang and gravity, can explain why the universe looks the way it does.
13. Would you agree that it takes a cause to make a small glass ball found in the woods? And would you agree that making the ball larger does not eliminate the need for a cause? If so, then doesn’t the biggest ball of all (the whole universe) need a cause?
This cause is the big bang. Google it.
14. If there is a cause beyond the whole finite (limited) universe, would not this cause have to be beyond the finite, namely, non-finite or infinite?
15. In the light of the anthropic principle (that the universe was fine-tuned for the emergence of life from its very inception), wouldn’t it make sense to say there was an intelligent being who preplanned human life?
Well actually no matter what the universe appeared to be designed like, you would always expect to find life after a while. If you view the universe you would expect to see life based off of the most common elements in the universe and lo and behold it is. The base of all known life is carbon, the most chemically active element on the periodic table. (Neil DeGrasse Tyson explains this very well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HO6ONMLfg5A)