One Thing Missing-One Thing Missing An Argument Against the Existence of God

One Thing Missing

An Argument Against the Existence of God

 Not long after I started to study atheism, it dawned on me that atheists lack one thing in their philosophy. That one thing is an argument against the existence of God. Now, this is not to say that they do not have arguments, for they have numerous arguments ranging from the nature of the world and the universe to arguments attempting to prove the superiority of their reasoning power over believers in God. They have arguments showing the source of faith and the evils of religion. However, the one thing they lack is a clearly defined argument against the existence of God.

This is one reason why they are continuously trying to shift the burden of proof to those that believe in God. Of course, their arguments about the burden of proof somehow, in their  way of thinking, it seems to further justify their arguments or should I say their lack of arguments for the non-existence of God. However, shifting the burden of proof to the believer is really a confession that they have no actual argument for their faith. If they did have a real argument, we would hear little about the burden of proof.

What about their arguments from science? They have no arguments from science[1]. The so-called arguments from science are mostly the pointing out of things that we now understand which in the past were not understood and were contributed to God by some religious men. The atheist often uses the expression, “God of the gaps”[2] as though the only reason for belief in God was to fill in the gaps in human knowledge (an assertion without any evident to support it). In fact, theologians were warning Christians not to use God in this way before atheistic scientists even came up with the idea or the expression.

Some unbelievers claim that religion slows down the march of human knowledge because people will fill the gaps either by ignoring them or by filling them in with God[3].  On the other hand, a brief survey of the history of science reveals that many discoveries,  including some of the most outstanding ones were discovered by believers. I think the truth is that dogma is what slows down progress in any discipline and science has its own brand and share of dogma. If you work against the established tradition or dogma in science, just  as in religion, you will be ostracized from the community. This God of the gap’s argument is a quibble and not a real argument, for it says nothing about God but rather demonstrates how ignorant or indifferent some men were in the past to science, and how some of them justified their ignorance.

Take, for instance, the big-bang theory, which explains how the universe came into existence. The atheists will say your see “You religious folks could not explain the creation of the universe, so you simply said God did it” e.g. the God of the gaps[4]. The believer could simply respond “We now know how God did it thanks to science.” Science tells us how, but faith tells us who; that a super-consciousness did it. He started with creating the universe out of nothing as taught in the opening verses of the Bible and then ordered it from the simple to complex. All this was taught in scripture while science was still teaching that the universe was eternal, without beginning or end.  By the way, it was a Catholic priest who first set forth the theory that is now known as the big bang[5]. It seems he was not retarded by the God of the gaps.

It is amazing that very time science finds the mechanism that God used to create or make things the atheist heralds that God is no long needed to explain things. However, finding out how God  accomplished something does not prove that he doesn’t exist, it simply tells us how he did it. Learning how Henry Ford  built the first car doesn’t prove that Henry did not existence.

The only way unbelievers can prove that God does not exist, is by starting with the dogma or presupposition that He does not exist. But, if your view (opinion) of the evidence comes from a presupposition or a dogma, you are simple reasoning in circles. Your suppositions prove the evidence, and the evidence proves your suppositions. Now, that sounds more like faith than reason and more like religion than science. Yet, this is exactly what atheists often do. In the end, the God of the gaps is just another straw man to deflect people’s attention away from the lack of real evidence. Remember that the explanation is not the evidence. To explain everything with a naturalistic explanation is not proof in itself that your explanation is indeed a fact.

In reading the material of many atheists, I have discovered that many of their supposed arguments against God appear to be more like arguments against organized religion. Of course, if you do not have any facts or an  argument against one problem (the existence of God) you need to find something else, another straw man. In arrogating their  argument about the non-existence of God, they have chosen religion as their primary straw man. I had often wondered why atheists resist the idea that there is a difference between religion and faith in God, and then it dawned on me, that to make a distinction between faith and religion would take away their straw man of religion. Once faith and religion are separated, they would have no metaphysical concept to criticize. Atheism needs organized religion in order to survive[6]. It needs a target that it can construct arguments against. It cannot construct a sound argument against God so it must target religion.

In what I am about to say I do not wish to leave the impression that I am for or against religion. However, we should strive for an accurate appraisal of religion.  When atheists argue against religion, they seem to try to focus on all the negative aspects of religion and they totally ignore all the good it has done. It appears that they believe that if you can heap enough dung on religion, it might kill it.  For some this tactic may work, but not for the honest person.  In most cases the target of  choice is the Christian religion, for it is the biggest target and is hard to miss. It is made up of billions of people throughout the ages and has attracted all types of people, some good and some bad. Like people in general, it has done good and evil. However, to be fair, in the past before the welfare state came into existence it had taken care of the poor for centuries, and it continues to minister to the poor and disadvantaged around the world. It laid the foundation for Western civilization by building schools and hospitals. It has resisted the spread of totalitarian governments around the world, which includes atheistic communism. On the other side of the coin, where are the hospitals or nursing homes, which were built by atheists? In my experience (which I admit is limited) I have never seen an organized attempt by atheists’ to minister to people in nursing homes or hospitals. Yet they rail on the evils of the Christian church. At their best, atheists use the absolute power of the state to collect money in the form of taxation to help people, which seems to be nothing more than a form coercion, which they somehow interpret as a moral virtue.

This is not to say that religion does not have its problems. But, should we expect anything different? Religion is made up of human beings and humans have a propensity for messing things up. Where is the human system that has not failed to live up to its ideals? I think the best,  that humans can do is to make sure that the system  they cling to offer a higher vision of human potential, but we should not be surprised when they fail. This holding out of a high vision of human potential, I believe is done to varying degrees by most religions. Of course, like everything, there are good religion and bad religion. This is simply a fact that many atheists do not recognize.  The radical atheist believes that religion poisons everything, and this faith demonstrates their distorted view of reality. It is totally out of balance and is just not true. What I am calling for is a fair and accurate view of religion, which many atheists have not done.

However, ones view of religion has nothing to do with the question of God. At this point, the matter of the utilitarian nature of religion is a question that can be debated, but is seldom actually  brought up by atheists.  Religion is typically brought up as a straw man by atheists to divert people’s attention away from the question of God’s existence, since they have no real answers or arguments. At best, they raise some questions and make shallow attempts to use science to prove their faith and dogmas.

Some may reply that their conclusion from science, that there is no God, is inferred from  scientific fact. That may be true, but inferences are not facts. Facts, like stone lying on the ground, tell you nothing[7].  An inference is simply your interpretation of the facts. Inferences or interpretations are not based on reason alone. Reason is one part of the equation and is never alone. There) are hidden biases and suppositions in any inference. An honest person of faith will admit this by adding the element of faith to the equation. It is the atheist who hangs on to the enlightenment faith and dogma that reason can stand alone. In many cases, reason is the handmaid of one’s passion and dogma.

In my personal discussions with atheists, again I admit that it’s limited, I have sensed that their views of God and religion are influenced by strong passions of anger and hatred, which seem for most to be void of any real personal source. I have asked them what religion had done to them, to make them so bitter toward it. Some retort that their father made them go to church or that their parents were religious, and it did not help them; they were hypocrites. Others have pointed to all the bad done by religion in the past. But, does religion hurt people or do people hurt people.  You see religion is neutral. Its character is made up of the people in it.  In this, it is like government; it can be good or bad depending on the men and women in it. I can hardly believe that reasonable people will use reasons like this to reject God or for that matter, even religion. However, there is a reason for their rationale and in most cases; no one will ever know the true root of their unbelief. For those interested in reading more about the possible reasons for atheism see my article entitled the “Roots of Atheism, The Making of a Fundamentalist Atheist.”

[1] Werner Heisenberg physicist and Nobel prize winner for physics confirms  this, “If anyone wants to argue from the indubitable fact that the world exists to a cause of this existence, then this assumption does not contradict our scientific knowledge at a single point.  Scientists do not have a single argument or fact with which they would contradict such an assumption, even if it was about a cause which–how could it be otherwise– would evidently have to be sought outside our three-dimensional world” Wermer Heisenberg quoted by Hans Kung Pages 79-80 in “The beginning of All Things: Science and Religion”.

[2] The expression “God of the gaps” was coined by a Christian theologian Henry Drummond. He used it to point out that the Christian should never use God to fill in the gaps of human knowledge.  Strangely the expression was picked up by some scientists who accused Christians of doing the very thing Drummond condemned.

[3] Atheists and scientist might consider that early man was just not interested in filling the gaps. History bear out that they were wholly capable of filling a number of the gaps if they so desired. However, they were busy building languages, systems of thought, religion and political theory, which were a necessary foundation for modern science.

[4] Christians and Jews have believed for centuries the universe was created. It was science, which lagged behind for thousands of years. Before the Big Bang theory science believed that the universe was eternal with no beginning or ending.

[5]  Georges Lemaître, a Catholic priest, was the first to propose the bi… g bang theory and was given approval by the Pope to publish it.

[6] Atheism is a negative parasitical worldview which is wholly dependent on religion. Without religion it would contribute nothing to humanity.

[7] See my article on “Rocks on The Ground” on lyleduell.me.