Skip to comments.God or Atheism — Which Is More Rational?
Posted on 06/11/2013 3:34:14 PM PDT by NYer
A good place to start is with an argument by Thomas Aquinas, the great 13th century philosopher and theologian. The argument starts with the not-very-startling observation that things move. But nothing moves for no reason. Something must cause that movement, and whatever caused that must be caused by something else, and so on. But this causal chain cannot go backwards forever. It must have a beginning. There must be an unmoved mover to begin all the motion in the universe, a first domino to start the whole chain moving, since mere matter never moves itself.
A modern objection to this argument is that some movements in quantum mechanics — radioactive decay, for example — have no discernible cause. But hang on a second. Just because scientists don't see a cause doesn't mean there isn't one. It just means science hasn't found it yet. Maybe someday they will. But then there will have to be a new cause to explain that one. And so on and so on. But science will never find the first cause. That's no knock on science. It simply means that a first cause lies outside the realm of science.
Another way to explain this argument is that everything that begins must have a cause. Nothing can come from nothing. So if there's no first cause, there can't be second causes — or anything at all. In other words, if there's no creator, there can't be a universe.
But what if the universe were infinitely old, you might ask. Well, all scientists today agree that the universe is not infinitely old — that it had a beginning, in the big bang. If the universe had a beginning, then it didn't have to exist. And things which don't have to exist must have a cause.
There's confirmation of this argument from big-bang cosmology. We now know that all matter, that is, the whole universe, came into existence some 13.7 billion years ago, and it's been expanding and cooling ever since. No scientist doubts that anymore, even though before it was scientifically proved, atheists called it "creationism in disguise". Now, add to this premise a very logical second premise, the principle of causality, that nothing begins without an adequate cause, and you get the conclusion that since there was a big bang, there must be a "big banger".
It takes faith to believe in everything coming from nothing. It takes only reason to believe in everything coming from God.
But is this "big banger" God? Why couldn't it be just another universe? Because Einstein's general theory of relativity says that all time is relative to matter, and since all matter began 13.7 billion years ago, so did all time. So there's no time before the big bang. And even if there is time before the big bang, even if there is a multiverse, that is, many universes with many big bangs, as string theory says is mathematically possible, that too must have a beginning.
An absolute beginning is what most people mean by 'God'. Yet some atheists find the existence of an infinite number of other universes more rational than the existence of a creator. Never mind that there is no empirical evidence at all that any of these unknown universes exists, let alone a thousand or a gazillion.
How far will scientists go to avoid having to conclude that God created the universe? Here's what Stanford physicist Leonard Susskind said: "Real scientists resist the temptation to explain creation by divine intervention. We resist to the death all explanations of the world based on anything but the laws of physics." Yet the father of modern physics, Sir Isaac Newton, believed fervently in God. Was he not a real scientist? Can you believe in God and be a scientist, and not be a fraud? According to Susskind, apparently not. So who exactly are the closed-minded ones in this debate?
The conclusion that God exists doesn't require faith. Atheism requires faith. It takes faith to believe in everything coming from nothing. It takes only reason to believe in everything coming from God.
I'm Peter Kreeft, professor of philosophy at Boston College, for Prager University.
One is as irrational as the next. Proof is lacking from either argument.
Atheism is for idiots.
Everytime I walk into a Doctor's Office and see the anatomy charts on the wall, I think they resemble "wiring diagrams and schematics" for something incredibly complex. I have concluded that it takes a much greater leap of faith to conclude that this detailed anatomy bubbled up from swamp gas rather than from an Intelligent Design.
The simple truth is God is not an intellectual discussion. God is in your heart, spirit and soul. God is your belief. Men can scream all they want you can’t see God; but God is everywhere.
Atheism -- in the beginning there was nothing, and then it blew up.
The argument for God is inherently more logical.
An atheist recently said to me "your faith is like a penis. Its okay to have it and be proud of, but its not okay to shove down my throat."
I hadn't been trying to evangelize this guy at all, I just mentioned in passing something about my faith, and he jumped on it. In a divinely inspired streak of genius (in my opinion at least) I responded "so your an atheist, and have no faith in God." He said yes, that's right. "So you're trying to tell me you have no penis?"
I derived no little amusement from his resulting tantrum. Has anyone else noticed that these atheist types very frequently seem to have serious anger-management issues?
Several yeas ago I saw someone interviewing little Dicky Dawkins (Sorry, I just can't resist). The interviewer asked what was the origin of life here on Earth. Dawkins said it could very easily be space aliens. I waited for the next logical question of "Well how did life begin on the alien planet?" but the interviewer let a golden moment just slip away!
Ha Brilliant!! I have a question that I enjoy posing to atheists.
So you say there is no God. If you could choose to live in a universe with a God that promised you the salvation of heaven would you?
Naw. He’s the One who showers you with blessing in a world of sinners who like torturing you with evil.
>> I waited for the next logical question
Precisely. But atheists aren’t concerned about that, its simply a matter of contempt for Christianity — specifically Christianity.
So is he complicit or powerless? Is he waiting for extreme suffering before intervention? How does he measure the suffering?
Maybe Obama destroying the Constitution and chaining up his people isn`t even on his radar.
Believing in God takes FAITH. Not believing in God takes/requires nothing. An empty mind.
By definition the atheist’s worldview is materialist. That is they believe all there is is matter/energy. The question is in regards to rational thought. The atheist owes us an explaination as to the material makeup of rational thought, logic, and reason. If they cannot, they need to abandon their worldview.
To me it's got to be the most irrational of all irrationalities....
To believe and identify yourself as someone who does not believe in anything, and to have faith that there is no such thing as faith by being faithful to nothing.
It would be more rational to believe in little green men on Mars.
Um, they’re gray not green?
Faith in some sort of transcendent mind is more logical than the very ‘magic’ idea that the universe popped into existence by itself. This is just an argument for theism though. You have to analyze other things to determine which faith is true.
This is the classic ‘problem of evil’. What would you have God do? Reach down and stop you and every person on the planet every time you’re about to do something wrong? Where is the freedom in that? He might as well have created puppets on strings.
We are given free will because it means much more to CHOOSE good than to be forced into it. Let me present you a microcosm. Which is better, charity or communism? Both may end up feeding a downtrodden individual, but does charity not have more value than communism, because I willingly decided to help another? I would say it does.
He loves you so much that He left heaven, took on human form, suffered horribly and died on the cross for you. Then He left the tomb three days later to save you from an eternity of torture.