Monday, June 16, 2008

Ignorance by the truckload

Sometimes I run into someone who is so far out there, so determined to be ignorant that I have to question whether or not this is just a parody article. I decided to run with this one since it seemed like fun anyway.

I turns out that it's not a parody. In fact, last night the author came onto the Dawkins forums and complained about being attacked because of his article. That little drama has a couple of directions to it that I'll leave to you all to follow up on if you want. But if you do follow up on it, don't miss out on him being eviscerated by his own people as well!

Without further ado, here's his article!

Logical Proof of the Existence of a Divine Creator, Why Atheism is Not Logically Sound

Great hypothesis! “That God exists can be logically proved”. Do that one and I’ll even give you a free pass on the second part namely that “Atheism is not logically sound”.

One of the beautiful aspects of self evident truths is that they can be proven on both the simplest and the most complex of levels.

Not an auspicious beginning but lets move past that to the proof.

By contrast, to make an argument for what is in fact an illogical fallacy, one must use plenty of skill, sophistry and remain beholden to a dogmatic protection of what is really an illogical position.

Yes…and someone else’s bad proofs have what to do with your soon to be stated, logically sound, undeniable proof of God’s existence?

Yet even after a detailed case is made for the illogical side of the argument, it can instantly be deflated like a balloon with the simplest poke of clear logic. It can also be attacked piece by piece with even greater skill and logic, stemming from a steadfast pursuit of the truth.

Zzzzzzz…oh sorry! I fell asleep there waiting to hear something connected to an actual proof.

Nowhere does the above hold more true than with regard to the existence of a Divine Creator. Proof of a conscious Creator is readily available.

Great! Lets hear it, then.

The simplest proof (yet one that no atheist has ever been able to counter effectively) is that a universe of this size and magnitude does not somehow build itself, just as a set of encyclopedias doesn't write itself or form randomly from the spill of a massive inkblot.

“Take that, Mr. Atheist Guy! You can’t counter logic like that. I know you can’t because I don’t believe that you ever have and I can’t believe that anything can come about without someone creating it. My logic is good enough for Brady and it’s good enough for me! So there!”

The atheist, on the other hand, needs to build a plausible case for this irrational scenario. But first, let's examine how irrational it is:

* sits down in front of the old fireplace with a cup of hot cocoa and listens in raptured silence *

No one in their right mind would claim that 10,000 hundred story buildings built themselves from randomness, even over time.

True! We’ve seen people build buildings, watched architects work and studied their plans, taken pictures of buildings being built, and so on. We’re pretty sure how they come to exist.

Yet those who doubt the existence of a Creator believe that an entire universe, containing all of the billions of elements necessary for life to form, may have come about without a builder.

Yeah. You see we’ve never met this builder you’re talking about. He hasn’t given us his blueprints, we didn’t watch him making the universe, and we don’t have pictures of the universe being built.

I’m awfully sorry, but that kind of leaves a pretty large gap in the analogy.

If you have some blueprints or videotape of the building process, we’d love to see them! That would make a big difference.

As such, they give credence to billions of times more coincidences to having come about.

As opposed to the far more likely scenario of a mythical, supernatural being who never shows up for dinner parties no matter how many invitations we send. Got it! I’m convinced!

They believe that not only did whole planets appear spontaneously, but also believe that the fact that these planets do not collide as meteors do,

Really?!? I’ve heard whole theories based on collisions in the cosmos. You might want to read up on the subject.

that they have gravity, that they contain the proper atmospheric conditions for life to take hold and contain sustenance to sustain this life all happened by mere fluke.
Yet the same people would (rightly) denounce as preposterous the notion that the Egyptian pyramids built themselves.

Again, we’ve seen the blueprints, so to speak, and have really good theories on how those things were built that don’t involve breaking of the laws of the universe or inventing a god.

They would point to the structure and detailed design of these impressive inanimate objects. Yet they outrageously chalk up to coincidence billions upon billions of times more detail and design in all parts of life found in this universe.

To be sure, someone can build sandcastles in the sky on how the spontaneous coming together of molecules, then turning into bricks, changing further into buildings, culminating in 10,000 perfectly aligned skyscrapers all built with no builder is a plausible scenario. They can form intricate arguments to support this theory. But in the end, the entire proposition remains offensive to logic itself.

Wow! I guess that it’s a good thing that no one actually makes that claim, isn’t it?

While there are complex proofs of the Divine, some dating back to the philosophical writings of Plato and others using modern science, the most clearly logical concepts are all readily apparent and simple. An entire world does not create itself.

QED! Zing! Scorch! Pow! Take that all you godless heathens!

Furthermore, proof of a Divine creator can be seen more readily in the small and intricate details of the universe than by considering the enormity of the universe as a whole.

You’ve got more?!? Sweet!

Consider the following:

Even if all the planets somehow formed themselves, all somehow staying in perfect orbit and possessing gravity, even take for granted that all the chemicals needed for life were so how there as well, by sheer happenstance, would it then be possible for billions of species to spontaneously come about, each with a male and female of each kind so that they could exist in the long run?

Lets break this one down a bit:

somehow staying in perfect orbit

Orbits are important. Of course we haven’t found life in very many places other than Earth. Zero so far, to be exact.

and possessing gravity,

Possessing gravity…you mean like every piece of matter in the universe? I think we can safely get away with one.

even take for granted that all the chemicals needed for life were so how there as well,

Which has been shown to be possible in laboratory experiments

by sheer happenstance,

But not by sheer happenstance, actually

would it then be possible for billions of species to spontaneously come about, each with a male and female

Lots of species don’t have sexual reproduction at all. That development is an evolutionary benefit to a species that gets it.

of each kind so that they could exist in the long run?

Lots of them didn’t. Extinction is kind of brutal that way.

Even if this were possible, would the simplest of animals have been able to survive were it missing even one essential organ?

Yep. Name an “essential” organ, I’ll show you a creature that does without it.

Would human beings survive if one organ or cavity was missing or displaced, even after somehow being otherwise perfectly formed with no designer?

You mean like an appendix?

The simple fact is that even if humans were so perfectly formed, if food, water, sunlight or any one of a host of details necessary for life to exist were somehow missing, human life would have lasted on this planet for a maximum of a few days.

Or more correctly, would never have evolved. Good point!

The contention of atheists, that life simply adapted to the conditions it found itself in is also irrational,

Completely irrational. We never see this happen anywhere. Pay no attention to that giraffe eating leaves from that tall tree over there.

as were this to be the case we'd have animals that could solely subsist on snow and ice in some regions.

Huh? I’m trying here man, but this gap is too far for me to jump. I’d try pole vaulting, but you know all about that bum hip of mine…

By contrast, the ability to adapt to small conditional changes is also a fascinating aspect of the body, one that shows that much detail was put into its design.

Ooh! This sounds good! Do go on and tell us more about this part!

The central point of the atheist,

Hey! You were about to actually talk about some designs, blueprints, construction diagrams, or something. Okay, I’m not really sure what exactly, but it sounded like you had something good!

that all somehow came about randomly through evolution, does not help them either.

You’re absolutely right! It doesn’t help them in the slightest! Of course they figured that out a long time ago, rejected the random hypothesis, and replaced it with a far better one. Joe Bob says check it out sometime!

While a separate column will deal with the scientific arguments for creationism and evolution, the topic is not germane here.

I’m not holding my breath.

Going back to the example of a set of encyclopedias,

Oh man! We already covered that! Boring!

a set of Britannicas does not write itself, not from one massive ink blot and not starting out as dots, which form letters, which align into perfect phrases, paragraphs, books and sets. In fact, it's even more incredulous to say that they aligned so perfectly, step by step and dot by dot than it is to say that all appeared at once. Yet that's what the atheist contends when he chalks up life's existence to gradual and detailed formation with no Creator at the helm.


However, despite the fact that even after much debate on the issue I have yet to meet an atheist who can make even a feeble argument to counter any of these points,

Hi! My name’s Jim and I just did so.

You might want to meet actual atheists who have done actual research into the actual subjects that you’re talking about. They really do have lots of arguments that rise above “feeble”. It’s really neat!

they often feel that such grounded proofs aren't complicated enough. Just as a man who spends years coming up with a thousand reasons why an elephant is really a duck will not be persuaded of his error without first addressing all of his complicated fallacies, so too the atheist's contentions must be addressed in detail. For this reason, we will also address some of the more detailed proofs of the existence of the Divine.

Yay! Back to the topic!

Of the many philosophic and scientific arguments brought forth for the existence of the Divine, three stand out.

Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy!

The anthropic argument contends that the universe is too complex to have no Creator. This is in effect the central point of this column, although explained in a more common manner. The cosmological argument maintains that finite matter (original matter, which was clearly finite) cannot create a universe that is greater than itself. Especially compelling is the teleological argument, that the existence of a Creator can be seen from the fact that the universe works in perfect harmony, as would a giant machine. Gravity, orbits, chemical atmospheres and all other ingredients needed for life to exist come together in unison to allow such existence to happen. An enormous machine that works like clockwork needs to have a Creator.

In other words:

1 - I don’t understand the universe, therefore God exists
2 – I’ll ignore the equivalence between matter and energy, therefore God exists
3 – I get a warm fuzzy feeling when looking at the cosmos, therefore God exists.

Okay! I’m all sorts of convinced!


But all of these reasons, in reality, are unnecessary. The youngest school child can tell you that a building does not build itself and that, by extension, neither does a universe.

It still makes no sense, but coming from a young schoolchild it’s really cute!

And this is the beauty of self evident truths.

No need to actually prove them?

After all the proofs and reasoning in the world, they remain just as self evident, just as they are also, on the deepest levels, thoroughly profound. Here too, all that is needed to demonstrate proof of a Creator is that the world doesn't create itself, not instantly and not over time. All other issues can then be examined in that light.

Unfortunately, that’s exactly what you do.

However, we must realize that while the sophistry it takes to purport a falsehood can be easily countered, the person who has upheld such notions for decades must have each of his or her counterpoints addressed. This is able to be done smoothly, in light of the inherent logic that necessitates the existence of a conscious Creator, but it must be done thoroughly.

Encouraging atheists to open their minds to pure logic and to possibilities that they hitherto only sought to counter or to avoid on any pretext also involves an emotional challenge for them, as they must open themselves to the possibility of having to shed preconceived notions that they've held firm for decades. And that, rather than facts, is the primary challenge to exposing them to insightful logic. However, if they are willing to address the issue honestly, a search for the truth should be of paramount importance and enough reason for them to take an open look.

”Captain! The irony meter can’t take any more o this!”

“Hold it together, Mr. Scott! He can’t keep a straight face through all of this. He’ll crack soon! I’m sure of it!”


Scientists as a whole are increasingly open to the idea of a conscious Creator.

Yes. That’s what scientists do. They evaluate positions with an open mind.

They realize that science points to the complexity of the universe, a complexity that dictates the inevitability of a Creator.

No, that’s what religious idiots do. They believe that the facts they will find down the line will inevitably lead to a particular conclusion.

However, some stick to old ways and old dogmas. A question that arises is why these seemingly logical people possess such illogical beliefs. This fact alone has prevented many from considering the existence of a Creator. But when we understand the reason for their animus to belief, their bias comes to the forefront as opposed to any reasoned argument.

This is one of those moments where I really enjoy this. Here's a devout believer claiming that believing in an invisible, mythological super being is more logical than actually going around the world and looking at the universe itself, collecting evidence, making theories and putting those theories to the harsh test of the real world. And this is more logical to him because some middle eastern tribes made wild claims about a couple of thousand years ago - claims that have crumbled like a house of cards under the hash light of actually checking evidence and building theories that have to work in the real world.

This really isn't that complex. Mapping claims to reality and throwing out claims that don't fit is more logical than making claims and refusing to change them when reality doesn't work the way your claims say it should.

Okay, back to our regularly scheduled snarkiness!

Throughout the 20th century, many scientists were enthralled with the progress that science had made. They mistakenly believed that the physical universe, instead of being a creation, contained all answers in and of itself. Any questions would be resolved by science. To look beyond that was viewed in disdain.

Because it isn’t supported by actual, you know, evidence.

The fact that logic necessitates that physical matter must have originated at some point and that a formed universe cannot emerge without a designer was overlooked in the hope that physical science would prove the impossible. Other scientists, today a greater number than the more dogmatic former group, conceded that there may well be a Creator.

Just about all of them do. And then they get persnickety and ask for some evidence. Those fiends!

But they were wholly disinterested in the subject. They too did not realize that our physical universe points to the fact that it was consciously designed. And many of them had the same rigid disdain for religion as the former.

What's true of both groups is that they refused to consider the subject. As such, their rejection of a Creator does not stem from some well reasoned research or thought, but rather from the absence of such reasoning. Their knowledge of religion and philosophy was on par with their knowledge of economics or any other subject that they had never studied. They knew as much about religion as they knew how to paint a house, the only difference between the two being that had they delved into the former instead of reflexively dismissing it, they would have found it to be of profound logic and give depth to their other areas of study.

But these scientists did not give religious or philosophical questions a moment's notice. And what becomes abundantly clear from their statements on the issue is that they have grave misconceptions about religion, misconceptions that stem from their lack of interest. And while it is their right to do so, reflexively and often emotionally dismissing a belief without giving it a moment's thought isn't logic, but rather the opposite of logic.

To be sure, these scientists are indeed very logical and analytical within their main doctrine. It's just that they refuse to examine that which transcends it. As such, anyone who gives credence their views on this issue should beware, as their opinions do not stem from logic. Scientists who have thought over the issue are generally in agreement on this as well.

In the immortal words of Inigo Montoya: These words….they do not mean what you think they mean.

Seriously, man. Guys like Stenger really have studied your God hypothesis. They didn’t reject it because they weren’t aware of it. A billion religious TV shows remind us of that failed theory all the time.

They rejected it because they did actual research on actual evidence and found out that none of it points to the universe being consciously designed. Claiming that they never studied it is prima facie stupidity.

But please keep on writing! You're a gem!

No comments: