Are There Rational Arguments For A God

The latest attempt to present rational arguments for a god have been debunked. Over and over religious writers try to claim evolution could not have happened and because it could not have happened a god created everything.

One argument a while back claimed evolution could not have come up with the human hand–that it is far to complicated and needed a designer. Another one is that there have been no new species since god created them. It is therefore impossible, the argument goes, for evolution to have created all the species. A third is that too much time is required for evolution to have come up with all the adaptations were have today.

All of these arguments have been completely refuted by scientists. The hand came about through necessity and earlier versions are known. New species come along regularly today as creatures develop ways to deal with changing environments and competitors. And, the time required for various adaptations to come along is not a steady continuum but both rapid and slow in different circumstances.

Certainly it is fine if people want to believe a god created creatures and humans and that creatures did not develop into humans. But, it is wrong to dismiss all that science has taught us about where we came from and prevent evolution from being taught. If we are going to teach about a god creating the world, we need to teach about all the various versions of gods and not limit it to the currently popular one.

54 Responses

  1. Juan Ruiz

    I have always been intrigued by Carl Sagan’s rhetorical question of where we would be today, scientifically and technologically, if the Latin Church had not controlled Western Europe for nearly 1500 years?

    1. David E

      Juan – it is an interesting question, and, of course, we can’t know. There are arguments on both sides of this point. Today we often get one-sided discourse on the wretched history of the Catholic Church, which is unfair. To suggest the Catholic Church has acted without compassion for 1500 years is a bit of a stretch – no good deeds have been done in the name of Jesus Christ? Surely one can’t be so naïve, but one could certainly be so biased. One could argue, of course, that on balance we would be better off without religion. I think that is largely short sided and ignores the values we take for granted that are a part of culture in the West.

      1. Juan Ruiz

        The question is not about the cultural contributions of the Latin Church, which were many. But rather, the extent to which scientific thought divorced from religious dogma was free to develop. It wasn’t.

        1. nemo82

          what about Roger Bacon, Albert the Great and others too numerous to list? Some, as you know, tend to blame Aristotle for the so-called stultifying effect on medieval science. Referring, of course, the extent to which Aristotle’s thought was incorporated into the theology and philosophy of the time. Debatable point. But do remember that Aristotle’s thought brought a strong tradition of empiricism to the west. Mixed bag at best. And here’s one for you to think about: the Christian worldview actually encouraged scientific thinking. Science blossomed in the west, but not so much in the Muslim or Asian cultures. Maybe you need to go back to the intellectual drawing board.

          1. Juan Ruiz

            “E pur si muove.” You may want to review the circumstances under which that was said.

  2. entech

    Of course there is a designer, people are far to important not to have had a supernatural creator that made them and loves them and gives them all kinds of diseases and ultimately death. It has been the same for the last 5777 years.

    1. David E

      Entech you certainly touch on the most difficult question for anyone of faith and that is: Why does God allow bad things to happen? Why is there any misery in the world? Or if you want to play the middle, why is there so much suffering? I think this may be the line between faith and atheism in some sense. If you accept or propose that there is a God, then a great philosophical argument ensues (See Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologiae). If you are an atheist, you simply see this as poppycock nonsense. I’m not sure you can understand unless you cross the line. Perhaps I’m wrong, but arguments of free will, evolution, bodies in motion etc. seem to leave the atheist in the cold. Aquinas’ solution is that – “This is part of the infinite goodness of God, that He should allow evil to exist, and out of it produce good.”

      1. entech

        There are a couple of ways of trying to explain this while trying to maintain the idea of an omnipotent, omnibenevolent God.

        Both start from the assumption that there is a god and he does indeed have these attributes:
        One popular explanation has it that God created man perfect and sin was introduced to the world by man, the Fall!. Augustine would have it that ”God is perfectly (ideally) good; that he created the world out of nothing; and that evil is the result of humanity’s original sin. The entry of evil into the world is generally explained as punishment for sin and its continued presence due to humans’ misuse of free will. God’s goodness and benevolence, according to the Augustinian theodicy, remain perfect and without responsibility for evil or suffering.”

        Alternatively man was not created perfect, is a work in progress, evolving perhaps. This is the best of all possible worlds and one in which man is free to develop and learn, suffering and evil are part of the learning process and a part of the pathway to complete development. Man is perfected and ready for heaven. In some versions everybody reaches perfection and God is ultimately benevolent, in others we still have failures and hell which takes the “omni”out of it.

        Either way, or one of other possibilities, the idea that God has nothing to do with suffering and it is all somehow part of man’s misuse of freewill makes the position difficult. It is difficult to reasonably suggest that earthquakes and childhood cancer etc can be attributed to man’s sinful nature and freewill.

        You are right though, as a non-believer I do find all the apologetics of theodicy more than a little lacking. I could of course be wrong.

        1. nemo82

          another little twist here. Further, Augustine as I recall, said something like this: evil is a privation of the good. meaning that evil is not a separate and distinct reality in the world. it is, rather, a misuse or distortion of something good. as for example, the Bolsheviks: overweening passion for justice. the result an unjust monstrosity. good turned to evil. and while you are at it. consider this: how much have humans contributed to the sum total of “evil” in the world. quite a bit, even compared to the plagues, floods, famines and al the so-called natural disasters. Also, of note, there is the Christian view (which you roundly reject) that even nature itself is disordered. BTW no more psychoanalysis, please.

          1. entech

            Brilliant – evil is a lack of good just as shortness is a lack of height.

            I do not reject the concept of a chaotic natural world, earthquakes etc. do not suggest some kind of God given teleology, an intelligent design. According to Christian thought nature is not even consistent as your God can change things at a whim, a miracle. I think it may be disordered but at least predictable.

            I am no psychiatrist that was just a kulak type Joke. Ha, ha.

    1. Jinx II

      This was my argument when I was a first grader going to catechism classes. My Mom told me the genesis story before and could not answer my ‘where did god start ‘ question, just the usual he always was, always is and always will be. I told her ‘no, I don’t believe that, he had to start somewhere. I gave the same point to catechism teacher and they eventually called my Mom. Then the same question and answer to our priest who bloviated and had to rush to an appointment.

      No answer to my question to this day. Faith is the result of manipulation and if their is a god, he is nothing like the cruel, heartless monster you extremists honor and defend on these pages everyday.

      1. David E

        When I was in school I was told that we just came into being – that the big bang just happened and poof here we are. I didn’t accept that. I asked my science teacher what came before the big bang and was told, “nothing.” So everything came from nothing? But my science teacher explained, “We know there is no such thing as God.” My science teacher in disgust told me to go talk to a priest. There’s no answer to my question to this day.

        1. David E 11:11 It’s always a pleasure to have you drop in to comment.

          I didn’t accept that. I asked my science teacher what came before the big bang and was told, “nothing.”

          As others have pointed out here, if the big bang event was preceded by something, a god for example, then where did the god come from. In other words, did the god create something out of nothing? We have to believe in magical thinking to accept any explanation of something out of nothing, religious or not.

          One mistake I think all religions make, if they preach their particular god created everything, is that science may one day come up with an explanation of where the universe came from. Then the big bag will be the big bang of disappearing religions. Religion would be better off sticking to ideas that have no chance of measurement or scientific discovery.

          1. nemo82

            I know that you don’t read anything that I write. too many prickly questions? Anyway, yes we may someday figure out the origins of the universe. And then again, we may not. nothing from nothing is a tough nut to crack. In any event, I see that more as a question for philosophers and theologians to wrestle with, not cosmologists. unless, of course, cosmologists start dabbling in theology (as some folks have accused them of doing)

          2. nemo82 10:48 I know that you don’t read anything that I write. too many prickly questio ns?

            I realize I ask you prickly questions when you are trying to avoid the corner you have painted yourself into. Like you still maintain that the single fertilized egg of the female is a human being and that this is the “conclusion of science.” When I asked you the prickly question, “Where does science make this conclusion?” you avoided answering (the correct answer is simply science makes no such conclusion and it is absurd to make the statement you made).

            The floor is still open and awaits your answer.

    1. nemo82

      if you were theologically literate you would know that God is considered to be a necessary being. pretty deep stuff: I’m not competent to go into it in any depth. Got to admit tho’ that the nothing from nothing principle is a real brain buster.

  3. David E

    I’m not sure that it makes sense to say that either there is evolution or there is God. Plenty of religions accept evolution. Is there a rational argument for existence?

  4. Jon et al.,

    Where are the rational arguments for the beginning of COSMOLGY?

    http://a.msn.com/01/en-us/BBB3qpr?ocid=se

    Did it bang or pop??

    Maybe it cycles on an entropy wave and it bangs, inflates, deflates, fermentates, incubates, and starts all over again?

    Maybe GOD is outside the chaos?

    It seems these posts and the slinging that goes on is much like the slinging in COSMOLGY above.

    Not sure it adds much value?

    Maybe GOD is the GOOD MAN behind MOTHER NATURE, and they can take care of everything no matter what the hell we do????

    1. entech

      Maybe, maybe baby. who really knows it is the best we can come up with based on the current level of knowledge. You are entitled to interpret it which ever way you like but if you decide on God, just why is it yours and not one of the other possibilities.

      Personally I like the cyclical model, you could have something there.

      1. entech,

        If you click on my blue name (kev – on my posts it links you to my webpage) you can download Thoughts Of Nature TON 1 for free. Click on menu, Click on FREE STUFF. It is my 10 year work on “The physics of the universe is not what we believe it to be.”. GOD pops up at the end as an indeterminate possibility.

        Which means fighting about HIM like religions do, or like Hawking et al are doing on COSMOLGY doesn’t do much good.

        There is much more important stuff to work on.

  5. Juan Ruiz

    Typical vapid response with no attempt to address the question. Analogous to those who yell “Racist!” when the subject of infelicitous facts about people comes up.

    1. entech

      I don’t think that is orthodox thinking Rob. I am sure it is not even what Michael Ross had in mind in his reference either. 🙂

  6. Cfb

    “Faith is the result of manipulation and if their is a god, he is nothing like the cruel, heartless monster you extremists honor and defend on these pages everyday.”

    Excellent point, Jinx II.

  7. nemo82

    ruiz957. yes, I am quite aware of the circumstances under which that was said. you folks certainly like to rip that one out of context, using it as a one size fits all explanation for you worldview. accordingly, I would recommend that you read the whole story in detail: might give you a more mature view of the matter.

    1. Juan Ruiz

      The fact is that what science was carried out then was in the constant shadow of a religious hierarchy whose definition of the scientific method was extrapolating from a book of mythology.

      1. nemo82

        simply not true. surprised that with all your claims to learning that you would buy into such nonsense. if you were to cite Aristotelean metaphysics/cosmology you might find yourself on firmer ground. BTW Aristotle’s works are not books of mythology.

          1. nemo82

            have you gone ’round the bend? of course, he was a scientist (among other things). very keen observer of biota especially. discovered some things about the sexuality of octopi that was not rediscovered until modern times. did experiments of various sorts, including human fetuses. was very empirical (as opposed to Plato). came to some wrong conclusions, mostly because he lacked modern scientific instruments and because he did his work in the cultural milieu of ancient Greece.

          2. entech

            Aristotle got so much wrong that the only way to do him real justice is in comparison to his predecessors. He was all right on the observational stuff, octopus sex and so on but actual physical not so much. You can’t do that kind of science in your head, it leads to his rather strange ideas of gravity, a stone falls too the ground because it likes to be at the centre of things ??? Real science didn’t start till the time of Bacon (which one ?)

          3. entech,

            If you study things going on today the physicists are clueless about what gravity really is.

            Aristotle, said that physics is the study of cause and effect and understanding the two. If I recall I think his terms were things that change and don’t change, physic.

            Einstein said gravity is equivalent to accelerated motion.

            Because everything in the COSMOS moves on curved paths we are under constant accelerated motion.

            The earth is moving at around 670,000 miles per hour around the center of our galaxy. Which means there is a boundary around earth.

            Everything inside the boundary of earth is effected by earth’s accelerated motion, not by some force of gravity. Gravity is and observed effect do to the external motion of the earth, not some mass force do to the size of the earth. And if you evaluate it boundary layer motion has the same units that have been stuck on gravity.

            Thus Aristotle was more correct than Newton. The rock falls to earth because that is the location of lowest accelerated motion effects. The rock falls to earth because it wants to because it has no external accelerated motion because it’s inside earth’s boundary layer.

          4. kev 3:49 I understand that at the time the Bible was written people believed gravity was God pushing things down (or, if he was resting on his back, pulling things down). The Bible is God’s word, God was guiding the thinking at that time, so we should just accept the view of gravity that existed then.

          5. Jon,

            In all my study GOD has never expressed a word about gravity.

            And you’re in error, GOD does not guide thinking. HE gives the WORD for man (generic for GOD) to interpret through HIS gift of FREE WILL.

            Evil regions of men have so bastardized GOD and HIS WORD that unless you go to GOD one on ONE you are just repeating the religious BS.

            Read and study Revelations Chapter 13.

            The mineral of GOD is salt. An atom of salt is a perfect cube, 6 physical facets, but it also has the facet of essence, it can cure food and kill you if you abuse it.

            So take judaism-christianity-islam all without the essence of GOD and you have a human number 666. And if you study further you will learn that judaism was birthed in 6th century BCE, christianity in 1st century CE, and islam in 6th century CE, and that other ancient authorities believe the number to be 616. I found it very interesting that both numbers apply to these three religions.

          6. Juan Ruiz

            “If you study things going on today the physicists are clueless about what gravity really is.”

            So what. That’s the basis of science: you are clueless and you move on to discovery. Science was once clueless about atoms, microbes, tectonic plates.

            Those who are used to a religious gift box all wrapped up, containing the answers directly from their god. would naturally find ignorance in science a negative.

  8. nemo82

    Tech812. I don’t think I said lack of good, I said privation/distortion of the good. this view of the matter avoids a Gnostic/Manichean dualism, matter bad, spirit good, etc. As to your haha, I actually had a good chuckle. however, you should avoid practicing psychiatry without a license. or don’t they require licenses Down Under?

  9. Jon,

    I like the god hands world picture you used for this post.

    May I please have permissions to use it?

    Or can you tell me where I need to go to secure permissions?

    I might use it as the media background for my website.

    Thanks,

    kev

    1. kev 7:10 may I have permission to use it.

      The image is available for all to use without permission or charge. If you can take it off this site that is fine. I get nearly all my images from Googleimages.com. In the box where the cursor falls type in “pictures of…” followed by what you are looking for. Sometimes I make a couple of attempts. In this case I think I wrote “pictures of God Ten Commandments.” There will be dozens to choose from. There are a series of steps, naming it for you to find later, etc.

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