Back in 1998, an atheist named Ben agreed to debate me over the issue of God's existence. We agreed in advance that we would keep things respectful and would limit our discussion to six posts apiece - an opening argument from each of us, followed by four back-and-forths each, followed by closing arguments from each of us.
And here is a link to Ben's homepage: http://benbrown.tripod.com/home.html
My opening argument:
While I will be arguing the 'pro' side of this debate over the existence of God, I would like to concede from the beginning that God's existence, by its very nature, cannot be absolutely proven except on an individual level. In other words, God can prove His existence to an individual, but because of His nature and will, would not allow His existence to be proven to the world at large, or to anyone who refuses to consider the possibility of His existence.
To understand what I mean, let's look at love. For example, if a man tells a woman that he loves her, it would be impossible to absolutely prove that this is true if she refused to believe it. No matter what he does to prove his love, no matter what evidence of his love he provides, if she refuses to believe he loves her, she will never believe it. Only if she is willing to believe that he loves her, could he prove his love to her. The same is true of God. Only if someone is willing to believe, will God reveal Himself to that person.
However, I do believe that the existence of God is the most logical conclusion given the evidence at hand, that God's existence is far more logical than His nonexistence. If someone is willing to believe, the evidence alone would almost certainly sway that person.
Defining God isn't always easy, and I would even say is beyond human ability, but whatever we consider to be 'God' must have the following characteristics: It must be supernatural, since it has power over nature; It must be an intelligent force, since there is order within the universe and logic to the natural laws; And it must also be a timeless force, since the Law of Relativity proves that time cannot exist without matter, so if God exists outside of nature, God exists outside of time as well.
As for our universe, there are really one two major possible explanations for how it came to exist.
1) It never came to exist, but has existed always in one sense or another.
2) It came to exist at a certain point.
While I (and most of science) believe the second of these explanations to be the truth, I will consider both of them.
If the universe always existed, then it does not require any sort of creator. While this would certainly allow us to reject God as the universe's creator, this possibility would still require there to be some force in the universe greater than nature. The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that, in a closed system, everything in the system will eventually move away from order towards chaos (a 'closed system' is a system in which nothing, neither matter nor energy, can enter or leave). For example, if you were to pour a cup of boiling hot water into a jar, add a cup of freezing cold water, and seal the jar so that nothing, not energy or matter, could enter the jar, the water in the jar would eventually reach a steady temperature somewhere between hot and cold, and would then stay that temperature forever.
While there certainly can be isolated increases in order, for a temporary amount of time, given enough time the entire system would turn into complete entropy. For example, the amount of order on Planet Earth can, and does, increase by natural means, but only due to a decrease in order in another part of the solar system, namely the sun. The energy coming from our sun is moving our sun towards a state of entropy (though very gradually), while increasing the order on our planet. But given enough time, the sun will burn itself out and then the order on Planet Earth will also decrease, causing our solar system to eventually move towards complete entropy.
If, as Carl Sagan would say, the universe is 'all that is, was, or ever will be' (in his book 'Cosmos'), then our universe would be a closed system. Given enough time, then, our universe will move towards complete disorder (what some scientists call 'heat death'). This would certainly take a long time, of course, but if our universe has been around for an INFINITE amount of time already, then the amount of time necessary to bring our universe towards complete disorder would have already passed, and we would be in a state of complete entropy, or heat death, right now.
The only way our universe could have always existed, but not be in a state of entropy, is if our universe is NOT a closed system after all. This would require some force outside of nature to be providing the means of keeping some degree of order in our universe. Therefore, such a force would have to be supernatural, aware of our universe (therefore intelligent), and since time has been proven only to exist within nature, the force would be timeless. A supernatural, intelligent, timeless force. In other words, God.
If our universe did not always exist, however, but came to exist suddenly, there would have to be some sort of cause for this. While it is certainly possible for something to exist without a cause, nothing can BEGIN TO EXIST without a cause. Without some sort of cause, the beginning of the universe would never have happened and it would not currently exist. Some force would have to be behind the creation of the universe. It would have to be a supernatural force, since nature could not have existed prior to the creation of nature. It would have to be intelligent for it to have created all of the natural laws. It would also have to be timeless, since it created time while creating the universe. A supernatural, intelligent, timeless force. In other words, God.
Most scientists will agree that the 'Big Bang' has been essentially proven to have happened, though they frequently disagree as to whether it created matter and energy out of nothing, or merely transformed previously existing matter and energy. But think about this: Did the Big Bang create a relatively orderly universe like we have now? Or did it create a chaotic universe that gradually became orderly over time? Either one is in direct violation to natural laws. I'm not saying that natural laws cannot be violated, but they can only be violated by a higher power than nature. According to 'naturalist' theory, there is no power higher than nature. 'Naturalist' theory is obviously wrong, then. For nature to have begun to exist, or for nature to have always existed yet not fallen into entropy, requires some force more powerful than nature, a force that is able to control nature. In other words, God.
Of course, whether the 'God' as I've described is the God mentioned in the Judeo-Christian Bible is an argument that I've asked not to get into at this point. If one rejects the existence of God altogether, arguing the point would be moot. Only if one accepts (at least hypothetically) the existence of God could we really delve into that question. Let me just say that I believed in God for many years before I even started looking at the Bible, and most of those who reject the Bible do not reject God. I would even say the reason most people believe in God is not because they've contemplated the scientific evidence at hand, but because God created us to know Him. It was His purpose for putting us here in the first place, so it comes naturally to us.
Our primary obligation is to the truth. If God exists, it is wrong for someone to pretend that He does not. The only way to prove the existence of God to yourself is to be willing to believe, to open your heart to God, and 'let there be light' in your life.
Ben's Opening Argument:
Well, first off, I'd like to say that I feel honored to have this opportunity to engage in a formal written debate. Most of the other people I have talked to about formally debating have backed out or claimed that they wanted to embarrass me in front of their friends or given me some other lame excuse not to sit down and really try to come to an answer to this question. I thank you KingDavid for addressing this serious question with the respect that it deserves. You know, I find it funny that when I ask people if they want to debate the existence of God, they claim there is no debate. I really don't know how to address this answer. Yes, there obviously is a debate or I wold not be asking you. I can only hope that these people will at some later date realize that hey, there is a debate. Neither side has made it blatantly obvious that God does or does not exist. Maybe they'll get hold of the transcript of this debate. Who knows?
Well, Does God Exist? The question looks like a simple one. Three words. And it looks like it has a simple yes or no answer. Well, does it? I don't think so. I think there's one word in that question that is a bit confusing. "God." What exactly is the definition of God? I think this is the first thing we must address when we try to answer that question. Who or what is God? What qualities does he have? What is it like to know this being? I think that when looking at questions such as these, we can't really paint a coherent picture of what God is. Since I am arguing the negative side of this debate, I really don't know what sorts of arguments KingDavid will use. I can only assume he will use arguments of the design, cosmological, or ontological types. But these types of arguments can't really get off the ground until we establish what God is. It doesn't really matter how tight an argument for the existence of God is, if the nature of God is such that God can't exist, the argument fails. So I think before we can really address the question "Does God Exist?" We've got to define what exactly God is. The reference for the word 'God' is not clear. Take for instance two sentences. Firstly, 'God made the heavens and the earth.' Secondly, 'Bill Clinton made dinner and cake.' Now, we can look at the second sentence and know exactly what we mean by 'Bill Clinton.' I could say, "Bill Clinton is the president of the United States" or "Bill Clinton is the man sitting in the Lincoln Bedroom of the White House right now" or "Bill Clinton is the guy standing right there." You see, all of these definitions have something outside -so to speak- of language -something you can check on. However, when we look at the first sentence, we can't define 'God' outside of language. We could say, "God is the all-powerful being to which all is owed" or "God is a being outside of our universe" or "God is the morally perfect judge of our lives." But if we don't know what we're talking about when we say 'God,' we're going to be just as puzzled with these definitions. So before basic arguments get underway, let's try to define exactly what it is we're trying to prove exists.
David's Response #1:
I think that, in my opening argument, I touched upon most of the concerns you brought up in your opening argument. But let me address a few points and perhaps clarify what I believe. You asked why many Christians are unwilling to debate the existence or nonexistence of God. I think the main reason is that if you take something for granted, arguing it would seem pointless, and may even be difficult by the nature of it being taken for granted. For example, I assume you agree that John Wilkes Boothe was the assassin of Abraham Lincoln. Suppose I asked you to debate this, myself claiming that Boothe was not Lincoln's assassin. Would you be willing to engage in such a debate? And if you did, how could you prove that Boothe was Lincoln's assassin? Generally, if one does not believe in God, it's because they are unwilling to believe in God. How do you attempt to convince someone of something that they refuse to believe? I agree that there is room for debate, because I was not raised to take God's existence for granted, the way many Christians were. I used to be an atheist, and it was the scientific evidence for a power higher than nature that convinced me that something which we could call 'God' really existed. It was later that I decided the 'God' of the Bible was this being. You seem to be relatively open-minded to the possibility of God's existence, which is the only thing that makes debate possible. And while, due to my faith and personal experiences, I am admittedly heavily biased in favor of God's existence, I will attempt to argue using only logic, setting my faith and experiences aside for the time being. Here is, as I see it, the reason why God's existence cannot be absolutely proven or disproven by scientific means: God is a supernatural being, and science deals only with the natural. To absolutely prove God's existence using science would be as difficult as proving the existence of Bill Cosby using only mathematics. The only way to prove the existence of God would be to prove that any 'naturalist' explanation for the current state of the universe would be impossible. (note: 'Naturalist', as I am using it, means the argument that there is no power higher than nature). Since not all naturalist theories have been absolutely disproven, we cannot make the claim that a supernatural force has been proven to have created the universe. Even if we could disprove all current naturalist theories, the result would probably be that naturalists would simply come up with different theories, or claim that, while we don't know the natural mechanism which explains the universe, that doesn't mean such a mechanism does not exist. The only way to disprove the existence of God would be to prove that a naturalist explanation for the current state of the universe is the only explanation. So far, all that naturalists could possibly claim is that a naturalist explanation for the universe is possible. But claiming that something is possible falls far short of proving it is the truth. A lot of naturalists try to disprove God by arguing in favor of the Big Bang. The Big Bang in no way disproves God. Unlike some Christians, I don't disagree that the Big Bang happened, but I would certainly question whether it had a natural or supernatural cause, as well as whether the universe as we know it could have been the result of an uncontrolled explosion. We see much order in the natural laws, in the way the universe works. Without this order, life on Earth could not exist. And as I pointed out earlier, the Big Bang either created an orderly universe, or a chaotic universe out of which order arose, and either one is in contradiction to natural laws. Of course, one could argue that something can be possible while still being in contradiction with natural laws. For example, if I were to flip an ordinary coin 1000 times, the laws of chance would be seriously against the coin coming up 'heads' each time. Yet for the coin to come up 'heads' 1000 times in a row, while certainly unlikely, IS possible (the chance being one out of two to the thousandth power). But if you were to watch me flip a coin 1000 times and come up 'heads' each time, would you assume it was due to chance, or would you look for a different explanation (such as a weighted or double-headed coin)? To accept that a natural origin for the universe is possible, but unlikely, still leaves us with the obligation to look for other possibilities that may better explain the way things are. It was such a realization that led me to realize the probability of God's existence.
Ben's Response #1:
Well, David has made several points that I would like to address. But first I have to reiterate that no matter the outcome of the questions he presents, the concept of God is still problematic, and the quality of transcendence really doesn't help his argument. I'll expand on this in a little while.
In David's opening, he began by trying to make a corollary between God and love. He commits a fallacy in doing this, though. He thinks we can't prove love. I beg to differ. What is love? Well, we can sit around and ponder that question for a long time, but eventually we'll come to the conclusion that love is a complex series of multiple biochemical reactions, etc. Now, I'm sure many people will flat out deny this, so I'll go a little more in depth. The alternate idea they propose is that God is the cause of love. Now, this seems like a simple answer, but it really doesn't explain a damn thing. How exactly does God cause love? We have no idea. In fact, we don't really even know what we're talking about when we say God is the cause of love. Also, if the theist is going to attribute love to God, why doesn't he attribute things like hate and greed to God. Well, the usual answer to this is that there's some little demon with a pitchfork that makes us feel these bad emotions. And again, we really have no idea how this is happening. But back to the corollary. If love can be proven, this analogy fails. If love can't be proven, the theist has dug himself a hole. In one way because of all other emotions and the affects physical things have on them. In another way because all he's really done is disprove love. He hasn't done anything to prove love exists. Take Freud for example. It's a fairly common belief that love is nothing more that reinforced behavior concerning the basic pleasure of sex.
Next he comes to the business of defining God. He thinks, and it surprises me, that God can be experienced. I can only ask that anyone who says God can be experienced to think literally about what you're saying. A God of transcendence can not be observed or even indirectly observed. I addressed this in my opening. A transcendent God is by definition outside of all human universe, understanding, knowledge, and experience. We literally have no way of figuring out what this sort of creature is. Much less if he exists. I mean, we can sit around all day and think of invisible blue fairies flying around us that do all the same things as God. What is the difference between the blue fairies and God? Well, as I intend to show, nothing. David will present lots of arguments for why God might and why God does exist, and I will reduce them to nothing at all. But even if all his arguments are valid, they could never be sound. The premises would use a term that is not possible. Take for instance this scenario: all married bachelors are happy. Joe is a married bachelor. Therefore, Joe is happy. This argument itself is in proper form, but has no hope of being sound. There's simply no way a married bachelor can exist. Thus the argument that Joe is happy doesn't even get off the ground. This is the same with God. God can't be used in a premise or conclusion of an argument because it is -by nature- impossible to exist. But for the fun of argument, I'll explain some of these arguments, just to show that they don't have any merit if God is a coherent thought.
First of all, let's put this causal argument to rest. Why did the universe come to exist? I'm not sure that's in proper form. Saying things like "what happened before the universe cam to exist?" are completely meaningless. There is no dimension for these things to happen in. Now, the theists will no doubt say that God exists outside of all these dimensions. Of course this really just furthers my point. We have no idea what it would be like to live outside of the universe. And we have no way of proving it. And we have no reason for even thinking it might be true. But even if somehow you could prove that there was some sort of cause for the universe, you still wouldn't be able to prove that there is God. There are many sorts of ideas of beings that could have created the universe. Many of which would be long gone by now. This yields a negative answer to the question at hand. Back to the story with the invisible blue fairies. There is no difference in this argument. Blue fairies could be the cause of the universe. And immediately after that, they all died. I mean, there are millions of ways the universe could have come to exist. I do have one more thing to say about this issue. It seems as though the Christian is always ready to attack the things we don't know. We don't know why the universe is here. Or even if there is a why. But this 'God story' is one in a long list. And we have no reason to believe it over any other.
Also, the theists love to bring in the Second Law of Thermodynamics. They feel that this disproves evolution and the Big Bang. Let me tell you something. This is just not true. Look at us. We're burning energy in at a rate that is much greater than most things. We aren't order. We are a catalyst creating a hell of a lot of disorder. We are a furnace that burns complex molecules at a steady temperature of 98.6 degrees. The total entropy of the universe decreases because of us. The Second Law of Thermodynamics is in complete accordance with evolution in this manner. It's just that the best-fit furnaces live to continue to burn. Now the 2nd law is applied to the Big Bang. Look at our universe. It's not ordered. Galaxies are so far apart that from each other, they look like stars (if they can be seen at all). The background radiation is a mere 3 degrees above absolute zero. That's disorder if I've ever seen it. One more thing about the 2nd law. Gravity often times causes it not to function (after all, it is a probabilistic law). Why doesn't the nuclear furnace in the sun explode? It does. Gravity just pulls it back. Gravity is what makes solar systems, galaxies, and even life appear to be ordered. The 2nd law of thermodynamics does nothing to show that there are more than natural lows at work in the universe, thus the 2nd law does nothing to help the theist in a search for God.
You also keep referring to the natural world and alluding to a supernatural realm. And my central question to you is why do think this supernatural realm exists? The scientific evidence to which you refer is just not there. Your scientific evidence for God is nothing more than scientific uncertainties and scientific unknowns attributed to some word which when we think critically about, we have no idea what it is supposed to mean.
Normally, I would stop at this last paragraph because I like the sound of the ending of it. But there is another very serious thing I want to say. There are (at least) two causes of atheism. Firstly, the one you mention. Some atheists don't want to believe in God. To me, this seems ridiculous. Why wouldn't you want to live forever? Why wouldn't you want to be rewarded for what you do that is good? Well, there's the catch. You're punished for what you do wrong. This is probably the reason many atheists don't believe in God. It's a subconscious attempt to escape eternal damnation. This group of atheists I find just as irrational as theists -if not more- than the theists. Ironically, eventually some of these atheists will get morals and this causes them to convert to some sort of theism. The other type of atheists is a group you don't think exists -the atheists that analyze the scientific evidence and rationally realize that it does not point to any sort of God. Of these atheists, I have seen no converts to theism. To claim that all atheists just don't want to believe in God is a lie. I hope some sort of God exists, and I get to live forever, but hey, chances and reason tell me that's just not the case. I can accept that. The theist can not, thus the desire to believe is very similar to the desire not to believe, but neither has any merit when compared to the desire of truth.
David's Response #2:
Suppose there are two guys, let's call them Tom and Joe, who walk into a room and find it empty, except there is a painting of the Eiffel Tower hanging on the wall. Tom says, "I wonder who painted that." Joe replies, "No one painted it." Tom asks, "How can you say that? Someone must have painted it." To which Joe replies, "I don't see an artist in the room. I've never personally met the one who painted it. I have never seen, heard, or touched the one who painted it. Therefore, no one must have painted it."
Ben, I think your approach to the question of a creator for the universe is much like Joe's approach to the question of who painted the picture of the Eiffel Tower. You say that because you have never seen any evidence for the creator of the universe, the universe must not have a creator. But I would say that, if the universe began to exist, then it had some sort of creator. And like the identity of the artist, we can learn a lot about whatever created the universe from the evidence within the universe itself.
Like with the question of who made the painting of the Eiffel Tower, we could determine much about the artist's identity from the painting, even if he didn't sign his name at the bottom. We could guess that the artist was a good or bad painter, depending on the picture's quality. We could guess that the artist had probably been to France, and perhaps was French, or at the very least had seen a picture of the Eiffel Tower. We could also certainly assume that the artist was a human being as opposed to a cat or a zebra.
And since we are relatively certain that the universe began to exist at some point, we can determine much about the force that created it from the universe itself, even if we cannot see, hear, or touch this force. We can certainly determine that the force, if it created nature, is not a natural force itself. And since time is dependent on nature, we can determine that the force is a timeless one. Since there is much order within the natural laws, order which made life not only possible but apparently inevitable, we can determine that the force is intelligent and had a purpose.
You say that since God cannot be experienced using the five senses, God must not exist. I will assume you believe that there are many other planets outside of our solar system, but have you ever experienced these planets using your five senses? No? Then does that mean that you believe no planets exist outside our solar system? In this universe, there is much that exists that you have not experienced using your five senses. You say, "A transcendent God is by definition outside of all human universe, understanding, knowledge, and experience. We literally have no way of figuring out what this sort of creature is." That would be true if humans are purely material creatures, but we're not. It will perhaps be impossible for me to convince you of this, but we have spirits as well. And God, being a spiritual being, speaks to the spiritual part of us. The question is whether or not we're willing to listen. If one chooses to focus completely on the material part of himself, and ignore the spiritual part, then one is not only denying God, but a major part of himself.
You say that even if one could prove there is a cause for the universe, one could not prove that there is a God. I beg to differ. As I pointed out in my opening argument, if something created the universe, that in itself would tell us a lot about it. You say, 'There are many sorts of ideas of beings that could have created the universe.' Whatever the being was, it would have to have the qualities I outlined above, just as someone who made a painting of the Eiffel Tower would have to have specific qualities. If someone is going to claim that the creator of the universe is a natural being, or one subject to time, or a non-creative force, then such a claim would be wrong given the evidence at hand, just like if someone made the claim that the painting of the Eiffel Tower was made by a cat, or someone who had never seen even a picture of the Eiffel Tower.
You made the comment that the universe could have been created by blue fairies, just as easily as it could have been created by God. I have very little experience with blue fairies, so I don't know if they would fit the criteria necessary to have been the creators of the universe. Are they natural or supernatural beings? Are they timeless or not? Are they able to create matter from nothing, or not? I would say that being 'blue' as we know it suggests that they are natural beings, since the color blue exists only in the natural realm. To suppose that blue fairies do fit the criteria for the creator of the universe, and then to suppose that blue fairies DID create the universe, is like assuming that the painter of the Eiffel Tower painting is named 'Bob'. We could say it's possible, but we have no reason to suppose it's true. If there was some evidence that the painter was named 'Bob', then it would be logical to assume his name was 'Bob'. If we're supposing that the universe had a creator, I could give you reasons to suppose that the God of the Bible is this being. I have evidence, though you certainly have the right to refute the evidence, just as one could refute the evidence that the painter's name was 'Bob', if we had any.
Regarding the second law of Thermodynamics, I think you misunderstood how I was applying it to what we were talking about. You say that there is no order in our universe, but then also admit that we are a catalyst creating disorder. How can we be creating disorder, if order doesn't exist? What I'm saying, and science will back me up on this, that the universe itself is moving away from order towards disorder. If order does not exist, then the second law of Thermodynamics would be meaningless. If the universe always existed (and you seem to agree that it did not always exist), then there would not currently be an order-to-disorder progression occurring, since the process would have been completed by now. And if the universe began to exist at some point, then where did the order that we are moving away from, come from? It takes a lot of order for life to exist and be sustained on Earth. There are hundreds of natural laws working in unison to make sure that we continue to exist. I agree that gravity is helping to keep the sun together for the time being, but you will not find one scientist who will disagree that eventually the sun will burn itself out, which means that the sun is moving away from order towards disorder, despite the attempts by the law of gravity to salvage it.
You say, "You also keep referring to the natural world and alluding to a supernatural realm. And my central question to you is why do think this supernatural realm exists? The scientific evidence to which you refer is just not there." First off, we would not expect science to be able to prove the existence of a supernatural realm, since science deals only with the natural. As I believe I said earlier, to ask science to prove the existence of a supernatural realm is like asking someone to prove the existence of Bill Cosby using only mathematics. But if all that is natural began to exist, then something which is not natural had to have created it.
And by the way, I was surprised that you said I don't believe that there are atheists who have determined that there is no God due to having analyzed the evidence and using reason, since I consider you to be a part of this group, and practically said as much in my response to your opening argument. If I considered you to be a part of the first group you mentioned, those who simply don't want to believe in God, I would not be discussing this with you. And also, you suggested that I believe in God because of the Bible. Actually, I believed in God for many years before I even began looking at the Bible. In fact, most of those who believe in God do not believe in the Bible. Of the theists in the world, Jews and Christians make up less than half.
Besides, I said from the beginning of this argument that I didn't want to discuss whether the 'God of the Bible' is the God who created the universe, since discussing this is probably pointless unless we suppose that God exists. Let's deal with one subject at a time here. If you refuse to believe that the universe had a creator, there will be no point in arguing whether the God of the Bible is that creator.
I was struck by something you said at the very end of your letter, which was "the desire to believe is very similar to the desire not to believe, but neither has any merit when compared to the desire of truth." I completely agree with you that our primary obligation is to the truth. If God does not exist, we shouldn't believe that He does. If God does exist, we shouldn't believe that He doesn't. Many years ago, when I was an atheist, I decided that I really wanted to know whether or not God existed. I was comfortable in my belief that He didn't exist, but wasn't comfortable with the idea that maybe He did exist and I just didn't know it. I wanted to know the truth, whichever it happened to be. And, well, to make a long story short, here I am.
Ben's Response #2:
Actually, this sort of surprises me. You want to argue a bit about the universe requiring a creator. This whole theory that a first cause/designer must have existed has been dead for a while in phiosophy -even before the discovery of quantum mechanics. I'll get into quantum mechanics a little more in a while.
First I'd like to start out by putting this 'first cause' argument to rest. The argument begins as everything that exists required a cause. Then we realize the universe exists. So it must also have a cause. This basic argument looks like:
(1) Everything that exists has a cause
(2) The universe exists
(3) There can't be an infinite series of past causes
(4) The universe must have been a first uncaused cause (God)
Now, this argument is plainly invalid because the conclusion (4) is directly discrepant with premise (1). So, we modifiy the argument a little bit:
(1) Everything that began to exist has a cause
(2) The universe began to exist
(3) There can't be an infinite series of past causes
(3) The universe has an uncaused cause (God)
Well, this seems valid. But there are a few objections to it. First of all, there is really nothing to support premise (3). If you want to try, go ahead. Also, as it turns out, premise (1) is false. This is very important. All one has to do is a little research in the field of quantum mechanics (I've just started doing a lot -so I'm still not very well versed so to speak). We've essentially come to the conclusion that everything does not have a cause. Motion of electrons is probabilistic. In fact everything is probabilistic. But, I'll try to stay away from techinal stuff. The bottom line is that matter does come from nothing. Scientific American, December 1997 issue. The article is called "Exploiting Zero-Point Energy" pages 82 - 85. Matter comes from nothing.
You said that I said that since God can't be detected using the 5 senses, he can't exist. I never said this. I said that if we can't come to a rational idea of what he is, then he can't exist because we have no idea what 'he' or 'God' refers to. It's just nonsense to say something exists, but not have the vaguest clue about what it is. This raises another question. What is the supernatural world? Or the nonmaterialistic world? Do we have any clue about what this is? Apparently we think we do. But let's get right down to it. Do we? Well, what sort of evidence do we have for such a world? None that I can think of. But an even stronger argument against it is 'What is it?' What would it mean to be 'outside' of the natural world? We simply have no clue. We can use all sorts of comfusing lines like 'where logic fails' and 'where matter and energy don't exist' but still we have no idea what these phrases mean. That's the main point I keep hitting at. This is critical. If we have no idea what something is, then it does not exist. The reason being that there is no 'it' to which we are refering. The sentence is just words in a row with no sort of rationality outside of correct word usage. This sort of thing is dependent on language. And is really just a big confusing mess that can esily be brushed aside when we realize that any argument for or against it is pointless because 'it' in this usage is only a word. It has no refferent.
You also make some other nonsensical comments about God talking to us through our soul (despite that consciousness is as far as we can tell, material). To start off, we have no idea what a soul is. Nor do we know anything about what it would mean for God to talk to us through it. The comment you made concerning not listening to God is typical of theists. You try to force the undecided person make a choice. And that choice is between God existing and you listening to him and God existing and you not listening to him. You miss the whole point. God doesn't exist. And you can't listen to him. That's my answer. If God (whatever that is) wants to talk to me, I'm pretty damn certain he'd get through.
I didn't say there was no order in our universe. The point I was trying to get across is that our universe is very disordered. And again, direct all comments concerning cosmology to quantum mechanics. Many keep claiming God was what created the Big Bang. Wrong. The Big Bang is a theory that encompasses itself. It (by definition) needs no cause. There is simply no role a god would play in the Big Bang. All Christians seem to miss this (except the ones who blindly deny the theory).
I could go through and show you how black holes don't lose order or whatever, but seriously, this isn't going to get us anywhere. No matter how good a cosmological argument for the existence of God can be, it makes no difference. We haven't a clue what God is. God can not be defined outside of language. And if we don't have a clue what God is, any premises or conclusions using God are nonsensical because (as explained earlier) 'God' is nonsensical.
The reason this letter has taken so long is that I've been doing a lot of studies on quantum mechanics and other such stuff. And to be honest, the more I read, the more I realize that God is just a word that people mistake as an answer. But you know, I'm interested in learning how you started believing in God. Did someone give you that 'you have the choice to listen to God or ignore him' nonsense? Or did you really just not know enough about current science and instead of trying to explain it the correct way, you used the cop-out of 'God'? I just find it amazing that anyone well educated would go from a scientific background to a belief as irrational as God. Then again, I don't know how educated you are. You do cling to that first cause argument pretty tightly despite rational explanations of why it is invalid. So you're going to have to do better than this if you want to show that God exists. And you're also going to have to show what God is.
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