Belief in God? – Integrity Ministries

Posted by on December 18, 2011 in Quick Note, Thoughts | 11 comments

Patrick, who earlier today called me a strawman in my last post, comes from Integrity Ministries, and posts articles to their blog on a semi-regular basis. One post that caught my eye was the one from June this year titled “Belief in God” in which he says that the simple day-to-day consistencies of our universe prove there is a god. It’s like the Bill O’Reilly “Sun comes up, sun goes down” argument.

In Patrick’s blog he says:

“Scientists have no idea why nature continues to repeat itself.  Something as simple as the sun rising tomorrow, we only know this because for all of history, it has risen, therefore we know it will tomorrow.  This is what science is based on, the fact that a scientific “law” is something that happens every single time.  Tomorrow, water will boil at the same temperature as it did today, and will for the rest of time, because it has always boiled at that temperature.  This idea of regularity of nature is what science is built on, yet scientists don’t know why it continues to work.  What is more, is that science cannot prove the continued regularity of nature, it can only be taken on faith.  Each day, scientists make a leap of faith that what was true yesterday will still be true today.”

CHECKMATE ATHEISTS! Well I guess I’d better stop blogging now…

But seriously, his statement is not only naive, but it’s misleading and has some factual errors also. Firstly, the sun doesn’t rise, the earth spins on its axis, and this gives the appearance of it rising in the sky. Everybody knows that. Secondly, water will boil at different temperatures depending on the atmospheric pressure it is at, for instance, up on Mount Everest, water boils at closer to 75 degrees Celsius, as opposed to the 100 degrees we are used to. At sea level. On earth. And thirdly, and most importantly, the faith he talks about here, you know, the one that says that science will work the same way it does today, tomorrow? I can’t even begin to grasp how that is even an argument. Science does not have “faith”, it works with what is and if that changed, so would the science. God is not needed to explain why things stay the same. The argument is “everything is, and will be”, but that is neither a question nor a statement worth pondering too much. It’s this kind of navel gazing that I find infuriating, sure it’s poetic, but it adds nothing to the debate. It’s like blocking your ears and saying “I am right, I am right” over and over again. Deepak Chopra does this a lot also, hoping to confound the readers by making mundane statements about the mundane, appearing to be profound, and saying “Isn’t that just great? There must be more. And that makes you special.”

The argument that, if god did not exist, the whole universe would descend into chaos, is not only speculation, but based on what we know, it is bad speculation without any grounds to stand on, because it makes the assumption that god does exist, and that’s why things don’t descend into chaos. Swings and roundabouts.

Douglas Adams sums up my feelings on this subject quite well:

“Isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?”

No offense Patrick, but you’re going to have to do better than that.

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