Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Wrongness
I’m a little annoyed that the church members on the Grand Avenue Baptist Church forums said that I was obviously “searching” for something since I’m listening to sermons. Don’t they know I’m a militant atheist? I am not seeking to understand the mysterious. I am seeking to undermine their faith and improve the image of atheists. So, maybe I’ll be a little tougher this time, to justify my angry atheist stereotype.
Here is Jeff’s response to my first article:
There is never anything wrong with a spirited and civil dialogue. But I fear you might be guilty of missing my point. In no way was I trying to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt the God of Christianity. I was merely attempting to prove beyond a “reasonable” doubt (the same standard as a court of law). Of course any one argument or group of arguments can be argued against and no analogy is ever fool proof. And thus becomes the role of faith in order to take the next step.
I’m not arguing for 100% certainty. I never said that. I don’t even think such a thing is possible. But I do expect that you have a reason for believing what you believe. 1 Peter 3:15, anyone?
So, you present a bunch of reasons why you’re not crazy. When I explain that what you said makes no sense, you backpedal and try to say the arguments you made aren’t that important. I don’t even know what “any one argument can be argued against” means. It’s either true or it’s not true. If I’m giving a nonsense rebuttal, I expect to be corrected. Are you really so cruel as to let me walk through life being wrong?
I made some points last time that you didn’t respond to. Are you unwilling to respond, or are you just considering my statements? Do you care whether your beliefs are true? Or do you believe in God because you want to and not because it’s “reasonable”? If it were reasonable, you would be able to defend your beliefs. Do you stand behind your arguments or not?
For the record, here is the definition of the word:
1. agreeable to reason or sound judgment; logical.
There is nothing in there about faith. It says, “reason”.
Now, on to the rest of the sermon!
The Intelligent Design Argument
Because the more we dig in to the science of our world, the more we are just stepping back and looking at it and going, “Wow, this could not have happened by accident.”
This is an argument from ignorance. Just because something is sooooo complicated that you can’t understand it, that doesn’t mean you get to make up an explanation for it. God is not the default answer to everything you don’t understand. You need a better argument than:
- Wow…. amazing!
- How does that work?
- I don’t understand how that came to be.
- God did it!
Is there something wrong with just admitting you don’t know how something works? Do you really need to make up an answer?
Let’s say that you’re walking in the desert. There’s nothing but sand everywhere you look, and you run across a 2012 year old Cadillac in the middle of the desert. Is your first reaction, “Whoooaah! Evolution!”? I mean, is that what you think? Or, does the presence of a vehicle sitting in the middle of the desert, does that not just scream that somebody put it there? And beyond that, somebody designed it.
We know Cadillacs were designed because we can go to the factories and see them being built. We can talk to the designers. They can explain how they did it. The same things are not true of the universe. So, no, it isn’t the same thing at all. Until I’m able to walk into a universe factory, this argument makes no sense.
And I gotta tell ya, this world is far more complex than a Cadillac. Far more complex. We just somehow believe that given enough time, that the sands of the universe will produce this. And we’re okay with that? We think that’s reasonable? And it’s unreasonable believe in a God?
Again, the fact that we’re incredulous at the amazingness of the universe isn’t any reason to think a supernatural being designed it. It just speaks to our own ignorance. To believe in something, you need a reason. Ignorance is not a good reason.
The human genome is the longest word to ever exist. But every letter has to be in the right place or it doesn’t mean anything. And when you look at that word, you think to yourself, “This doesn’t just happen, because words don’t just happen by themselves.” Words are the product of intelligence. There has to be a God. There has to be!
It’s not a word, it’s code. Language is for communication. DNA is a set of instructions. Anyway, you need to prove that, “DNA doesn’t just happen by itself”. That’s an assertion that you can’t back up. You can’t prove it.
Listen, Christian, it is reasonable to believe in a God! You’re not crazy if you say you believe in God. You’re not nuts or out to lunch or unreasonable. It’s actually a quite reasonable thing to believe in a God.
Keep telling yourself, that, buddy. If your church-members keep repeating it to themselves, they might start believing it, too.
The Koran vs. the Bible
The Koran was written in the year 600-ish A.D. […] So, when you think about the Koran, just very objectively, you’ve got a book that’s about 1400 years old. I gotta tell ya, that’s not ancient history. That’s history, but that’s not ancient.
Let’s compare that to the bible. The bible had been completely written before the Koran was even thought of. The bible spans history all the way back about 6,000 years.
Who cares how old it is? Age has nothing to do with accuracy. One year is just as good as any other for writing supernatural books. You’re committing a logical fallacy here. You’re saying the bible is right because it’s old. Just because an idea has stuck around for a long time doesn’t make it right. Long ago, people used to think frogs were created out of mud and water. They weren’t right.
I don’t mean to be trite by comparing the bible to frogs. I’m just saying we should decide the truth of an idea based on its merits, not its age.
And the bible was not written down by one man. The bible was written down by multiple authors over a couple thousand years. And here’s what amazing: In the midst of all of that, the antiquity of the book, there’s amazing continuity. It’s almost as if the whole project was overseen by one editor.
You know, multiple people can be wrong. There’s such a thing as shared mythology. Just take a look at snopes.com. It’s very easy for a good story to spread around like wildfire, even if it’s also false.
As far as the continuity being “amazing”, a simple google search shows this to be very wrong.
There are many contradictions in the bible. Could this be because a bunch of different people who didn’t know each other wrote it? I’d say so.
I’ll never forget standing in Caesarea on the Mediterranean coast in Israel, and I was looking at a stone relief that had the name “Pontius Pilate” on it. Pontius Pilate, from the bible, referred to as living in Jerusalem. And there is an archeological artifact with his name on it! And this kind of thing happens all the time when it comes to the bible. There is nothing related to the bible that has been disproven archeologically, historically. It continues to hold up to the best of scrutiny.
- Spiderman lives in New York.
- New York is a real place.
- Spiderman is real!
- The 9/11 conspiracy theory refers to George W. Bush.
- George W. Bush is a real person.
- The 9/11 conspiracy theories are real!
My point is: historical characters and real places being in the bible don’t make the supernatural claims true.
Prophecies and Punishment by Proxy
Listen, it’s a prophetic book. It predicts the future. And to date, it has been 100% accurate. Not 99% accurate, 100% accurate!
Please cite a few. I’ve no idea what you’re talking about. I hope we’re talking specific predictions, and not vague things that could be interpreted to mean anything.
But when you really study the word of God, and you understand God and his holiness, and you understand Man’s sinfulness, and you understand that there’s a gap, then you understand that there’s got to be something done to close the gap. And the only way that could happen was for God to intervene himself. You see, the fact that the Messiah suffered is proof that he was human. He had to become like us. Experience humanity. The fact that he died is necessary because there has to be a sacrifice. Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sin. It’s the most basic old testament concept of forgiveness. And then here’s the thing: The messiah had to come back to life to prove he was God. It’s so reasonable in God’s economy.
Let me tell you what I believe. I believe people are responsible for their own actions. Evolution shows that Adam and Eve couldn’t have existed. But if they did, I am not responsible for their actions. I reject that notion as immoral. People should accept ownership of their own misdeeds, and your religion undermines this idea.
However, even accepting original sin (which I don’t), Jesus dying on the cross is not the only way it could have been resolved. God is omnipotent, remember? Why could he not just forgive Man’s sins?
Wouldn’t the absurdity of this claim have been just remarkably easy for the Roman government to disprove if they could?
Or maybe their mysterious silence on the matter is more indicative of the fact that it never happened!
I guess the question I have for you today is this: Are you persuaded?
No, I’m not.