The “Challenge” to Atheists

Earlier this week I responded to a logically flawed “challenge” to Christians.  It aimed to have Christians offer “scientific” evidence for the existence of only the God of Christianity.  Well, I have a challenge of my own for Atheists who claim to reject God on the basis that the advances in scientific discoveries have proven God does not exist.  I have heard from some Atheists that science is the reason they believe God doesn’t exist, so I’ve got a challenge.

Science/scientists have discovered ________, therefore God doesn’t exist.

Please fill in the blank.

Comments

  1. Two possibilities off the top of my head.

    scientifically testable ways the universe works and was created without supernatural intervention, therefore it is likely God doesn’t exist.

    little consistancy throughout history describing God or Gods, therefore it is likely the Christian God doesn’t exist.

    • Atticus. I think you may have misunderstood. A large number of atheists claim science has essentially disproven God. I want to know which scient8fic facts do exactly that. Not a speculative maybe if.

      Also your answers conclude agnosticism, the doubt whether God exists. Not atheism, the belief God does not exist.

      • I think all true scientists are agnostic since there is no way to scientifically prove something doesn’t exist. I myself, consider myself an Agnostic. So you are absolutely right on that end.

        So to your first point – no there is no scientific evidence disproving God. It is impossible to obtain such evidence (which I think is your point).

        Then again (not to be a smart-ass) but there is no scientific evidence that Santa Clause or the Easter bunny doesn’t exist either. I think on most issues as such we have to operate on reasonable doubt.

        • My real point is that many atheists claim science has disproven God but are unable to point to something. Not because you cant prove something doesn’t exist, but I think they have too much stock in their denial that they exaggerate what science has actually done.

          Santa and the Easter bunny are intentional fictional characters. The whole tradition of the two is that they arent real, but are stories. Thats the difference.

  2. WideAwakeChristian says:

    There are no atheists in my house. I’ve conducted numerous investigations, therefore I can safely say that it is highly likely Atticus does not exist.

  3. Science has discovered the nature of thunder and lightning, therefore Zeus does not exist.

  4. We know the cause of thunder and lightning and it is not a personal being.

  5. I see a lot of scientism in the comments, the erroneous belief that there can be no knowledge or truth outside of what is proven scientifically. Someone who believes in scientism refutes himself because how can he know the truth of scientism scientifically? He has to believe it philosophically which refutes the premise of scientism.

  6. Favorite quote of the day:

    “I’m not going to say you’re stupid. But you do seem to have bad luck when it comes to thinking.”

  7. “…no scientific evidence that Santa Clause or the Easter bunny doesn’t exist either. ”

    I have an issue with these, usually condescending, attempts at equivalence (assuming there is a grammar mistake above that makes the comment mean the opposite of what was intended). Let’s start with Santa Claus.

    Santa Claus, as we are familiar with the character, is essentially a creation by the Coca Cola company. While based on older stories, our current version is that Santa is a fat bearded guy in a red suit with magical flying reindeer that somehow manages to deliver gifts to children around the world (but not all of them) in a single night. So to say, “I don’t believe in Santa Claus” is reasonable.

    However, to say “there is no Santa Claus” is not reasonable, because the myth of Santa is based on a real person – St. Nicolas (or Święty Mikołaj, as I grew up knowing him as) the Bishop of Myra, who was born in the village of Patara around 300BC, which was Greek at the time but now is part of Turkey. While the current character of Santa Claus may not exist, the myth is founded on something tangible.

    Likewise, there’s obviously no “Easter Bunny” – an anthropomorphic rabbit that delivers colourful eggs on Easter morning – but the rabbit as a Christian symbol is as old as Christianity itself, with three hares long symbolizing the Trinity. The use of animals to symbolize concepts is truly ancient, so while no “Easter Bunny” exists, like Santa, it is founded on something tangible.

    You could even say the same about the Tooth Fairy; another popular mythical being atheists like to equate with God in their efforts to insult Christians. My kids knew exactly who the Tooth Fairy was. A big, hairy bearded guy. In a pink tutu. In other words, their dad (except we never did find a tutu in his size… ;-) ). There may be no tiny female person with wings flying around taking children’s lost teeth and replacing them with money, but there are thousands of parents who play the part – though I admit I find some of them take it to rather creepy extremes.

    The point is that, while one can legitimately dismiss modern and/or mythical versions of various things, most of them are actually founded on something real – just look at any beastiary from the Middle Ages, and you’ll find all sorts of mythical representations of real things. Cotton has got to be one of the strangest I’ve ever seen! It’s one thing to say, there are no sheep growing on sticks, but it would be rediculous to say that, because sheep cannot grow on sticks, cotton is not real.

    Which is my long way of saying, trying to equate the non-existence of God with the non-existence of characters such as Santa Claus doesn’t actually work.

  8. In the same vein, Kunoichi, it is irrational for those like Dawkins to equate a belief in the existence of God to a belief in the existence of a flying spaghetti monster.

  9. I think all true scientists are agnostic

    You can think that, but you’d be 100% wrong. Throughout history there have been hundreds of thousands of true scientists who were/are indeed believers in the Judeo-Christian God.

  10. The atheist argument is one big circular fallacy. The entire premise is that the entire Universe came together in perfect order by some random accident. That alone is utter rubbish. You would have a better chance of throwing up scrabble pieces and having them come down in a perfect complete sentence than the Universe being constructed randomly in perfect order
    Since atheist love science so much they should understand that you have to have an initial cause to have an effect. I submit that the initial cause comes from an intelligent spirit otherwise known as God. How else could one explain such divine order? The entire Universe is one big accident? That my good friends is completely insane.

  11. paynehollow says:

    Point of clarification: Kunoichi said the modern version of how we picture Santa Claus is an invention of Coca Cola, who started using his image in the 1920s.

    I’d suggest that the most accurate claim is that Clement Moore created the modern version of Santa Claus (dressed in red, fat and jolly old elf, reindeer, etc) way back in 1823.

    Just fyi…

    ~Dan

    • Dan, yes, that variation was part of the Coke Santa’s inspiration, but the 1823 Santa was also very short and much more rustic. Artistic portayals of that version looked quite different than the Coke version, while still others were tall and thin, wearing full length robes.

  12. Jeffrey Kraus says:

    For me the scientific discoveries that refute theism is physics, in particular the standard model http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_Model The evidence for the standard model is the the most complete of any scientific theory. The predictions made by this theory are all supported by the available evidence. All particles and forces that compose the everyday world interact based on the standard model which has no provision for agency or intent. Thus the existence of an intelligent god that can perceive and act in the universe is incompatible with physics.

    The only two forces that operate at long range with any strength are gravity and electromagnetism. Any new discoveries of physics will be of weak or short range forces that do not affect humans. If there was a god that could interact with humans it would be through these forces which we could detect but have not, thus god does not exist.

    • In what way does knowing how something works eliminate a agent?

      Its like saying because you know how a combustion engine works we know no one made it. On top of that its like saying when an accelerator is depressed the car moves. Therefore we know no one is pushing the accelerator.

    • But that doesnt even make sense without a hypothetical. If I roll a ball across the ground physics describes my movements, the chemical reactions in my body, the movement of the ball, the effect on the ground and the atmosphere, but it doesnt tell you about my decision to do it. That is outside physics and into forensics.

  13. Jeffrey Kraus says:

    What is an agent made of and how does it interact with the material world? If by an agent you mean something like the human mind we know that agency is a property of a complex grouping of matter just as life is a property of a grouping of matter. There is no agency, life or mind particle or force. Just as temperature and pressure are properties of matter described at a higher level the same with agency. There is no place for agency at the level of particles and forces in the equations of the standard model.

    Your decision to roll the ball is subject to the same laws of physics that all matter in the universe.

    • Your mind and the chemicals reacting are different. If there is one thing that is true of one but not another, they are not identical. I dont think that kind of physicalism is true, and can be demonstrated to be false.

  14. Jeffrey Kraus says:

    Your mind is composed of chemicals and the same laws that describe the operation of chemicals are independent of their location. There is no place in the standard model that alters the behavior of matter depending on whether that matter belongs to a mind or not. And a mind has to be composed of matter because only matter can affect other matter through the forces, principally electromagnetism. If your mind was not made of chemicals it could not interact with the other matter of the world.

  15. Jeffrey Kraus says:

    Thoughts are composed of chemicals and are not identical. Thoughts are only composed of protons, neutrons and electrons. Any additional content of thoughts is because of how the components are arranged. Thoughts are a higher level property of a brain the same way that weather and storms are a higher level property of gases.

  16. Jeffrey Kraus says:

    What. http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/FlatWhat

    Try
    If words are composed of letters but letters are not composed of words then they are not identical, therefore physicalism is false.

    • Letters amd words contain information, which is not physical. The meaning of the word “elephant” cannot be determined by examining the chemical components of the ink used to write it. Therefore physicalism is false.

    • Not only that, if thoughts are the results of involuntary determined chemical reactions, then your statements here are not based on reflection and reason. You cant help but to think physicalism is true, you have no choice. So I have no reason to think your views on this are true.

  17. If there is no reason behind nature, if humans owe their existence to nature alone, how can you trust your reason to give an accurate account of nature? Aren’t your thoughts the results of irrational causes, the effects of Nature’s whims, and therefore sure to be irrational?

  18. By the way, thoughts are NOT composed of anything physical. The human mind is intangible and not composed of anything. You can’t see the mind or the thoughts it creates. You can’t touch it. The mind is part of the metaphysical realm.

  19. The mind is part of the metaphysical realm.

    No, it’s not, and there is no evidence to support the idea that it exists outside your physical body.

  20. Jeffrey Kraus says:

    The human body is made of matter and thoughts interact with the body therefore thoughts are made of matter. The standard model is a complete description of particles and forces at human scale, there are no unknown particles and forces that affect humans. The truth of the standard model invalidates the idea of dualism.

    The metaphysical realm only exits in human thoughts the same as mathematics. Mathematics is a human language that can be used to describe reality but does not exist independently of minds which are made of matter.

    • If your view is correct, everything youve wrote is literally meaningless.

    • You can assert that the mind and thoughts are matter all you want, but you can’t prove it because they are intangible – not able to touch, not able to examine.

      You say the mind dies when the brain dies, yet there is no proof of that. On the contrary, the many NDE’s reported during brain death certainly accounts for the spiritual/metaphysical aspect.

      And without God, can you trust your mind? Unless they are creations of God, can they be relied upon? If our brains are the result of blind processes, why should we trust their conclusions? If our ideas are products of evolution, and not really true but only useful, then evolution itself isn’t true either!

  21. Um, Glenn, your mind is the set of cognitive faculties that enables your thoughts in your head (and it’s not unique to humans by the way). There’s nothing “metaphysical” about it. When you die, your mind dies as well. There has been no evidence to support otherwise.

    • Z

      Could you name for me the scientific process that would have the ability to measure a nonphysical phenomena? It seems that an endeavor which can only measure the physical would be utterly useless to even consider mind theories.

  22. Sure – there have been many studies involving nonphysical phenomena, including mental faculties, thought processes and problem solving abilities with both humans and animals alike.

    Please provide some examples of what you and Glenn might say are metaphysical.

  23. Jeffrey Kraus says:

    How do you define meaning? Organisms and cells are alive but the contents of cells such as DNA and protein are not alive. Life is a property of organized matter of sufficient complexity that performs certain functions and not of its parts. Similarly thoughts, ideas and beliefs are properties of brains which are organized nerve cells. Mind is not a property of cells, molecules or particles.

    There are no nonphysical phenomena that can affect matter. The standard model of physics is a complete description of matter and the forces that act on matter. Since the mind can affect matter that implies the mind is composed of matter.

  24. Jeffrey Kraus says:

    Zqtx, there have been no studies of the nonphysical. The examples you cite, mental faculties, thought processes and problem solving abilities are physical as they take place in a brain and result in behavior of a physical body. The nonphysical exists only as an idea in physical minds the same as god.

  25. Jeffrey, my point is there can be nonphysical phenomena (thoughts and mental faculties) and there’s nothing “metaphysical” about them. When the brain dies, so too do those thoughts and mental faculties. I’m not equating nonphysical with metaphysical.

  26. Jeffrey Kraus says:

    Our bodies are made of matter and since our mind interacts with our bodies then the standard model of physics concludes that our mind is also made of matter as only matter can interact with matter.

    The evidence supporting the current theories of physics is overwhelming while those for NDEs is quite sketchy.

    Our brains are a product of evolution and not blind processes if you mean completely random. We can trust our brains because those brains that produced more accurate models of reality are more likely to survive and reproduce.

    • I just love all the speculation here passed of as facts. The mind has to be matter because they say so. Never mind that they can’t find it, see it, touch it, etc. It has to be matter because they say so.

      And the speculative assertion about the evolution of the brain is downright hysterical!

  27. And they call that science!

  28. You can assert that the mind and thoughts are matter all you want, but you can’t prove it because they are intangible – not able to touch, not able to examine.

    Gee, Glenn, the same thing can be said about your god.

  29. Jeffrey Kraus says:

    That the mind is based on matter is not speculation but a result of the truth of the standard model of physics. Any idea that conflicts with these laws must be wrong or imply that the standard model of physics is wrong. But the standard laws of physics are not wrong as they are supported by a huge amount of evidence and make very accurate predictions, see http://www.oberlin.edu/physics/dstyer/StrangeQM/intro.html

    • Again, the claim that the mind is based on matter is nothing but assumption based on ideology and not fact. Since they have no answer, they make an assumption. “A model of physics” is not always factual – that’s why it’s a “model.” Physics can never address the metaphysical realm. Simple as that.

  30. I’m surprised no one brought this up the first time agnosticism was brought up:

    Agnosticism is completely distinct from atheism. By that I mean they are talking about two different things. Agnostism is not a category for religious views; agnosticism is a qualifier word to describe another word/thought.

    Agnosticism means “to not know [about something]”, not “to not have an opinion/belief of something”. Essentially everyone is agnostic to some degree or another, even the most sincere Christians (although the degree may be very insignificant, and hence they wouldn’t want/bother to admit a “half-truth”).

    Because Agnosticism applies to everyone, it makes the word redundant and pointless, because in real life it’s implied that no human has absolute certain knowledge.

    An agnostic atheist is still an atheist; they don’t believe in a god due to their lack of belief of a god. An agnostic Christian is still a Christian, they’re just relying more on faith (not saying entirely) than if one had some sort of absolute truth knowledge.

  31. I know I am late to the party, but I’ll give it a try…

    Science/scientists have discovered that the entirety of the scientific model works without the assumption , therefore God doesn’t exist.

  32. ooops typo,

    Science/scientists have discovered that the entirety of the scientific model works without the assumption of god , therefore God doesn’t exist.

    As one scientist put it in a practical sense…..“My practice as a scientist is atheistic. That is to say, when I set up an experiment I assume that no god, angel or devil is going to interfere with its course; and this assumption has been justified by such success as I have achieved in my professional career. I should therefore be intellectually dishonest if I were not also atheistic in the affairs of the world.” — J.B.S. Haldane In Fact and Faith (1934), vi

  33. “If that is how you want to play this game…(God of the Gaps), If that is how you want to invoke your evidence of God, Then God is an ever-receding Pocket of Ignorance.” Dr. Neil de Grasse Tyson

Any Thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: