Another long one, I fear. Sorry, but sometimes I just have a lot to say.
Time once again to tackle the untackleable, to ponder the imponderable and to kick a little atheist butt. While this is an eternal argument and one that cannot be resolved, it does pose interesting challenges in logic and philosophy and it does hold real world consequences in how it is embraced--or not--by those in positions of power, such as our politicians and judges. The inculcation of atheism into our culture and especially in our schools has led to a gradual social and moral degradation of our society.
I don't intend for this to be an exhaustive examination, it is just a collection of random thoughts and some of the comments I have made on the subject in various political forums (so much may be familiar to some readers).
In an article which appeared in the Jakarta Post/ANN entitled Is It Rational to Believe in God?, the author, Giovanni Serritella, challenges the assertions of such luminaries of the atheist world as Richard Dawkins and Stephen Hawking by challenging their logic.
According to Mr. Serritella, Professor Hawking in his latest book, The Grand Design, posits:
"Because there is a law like gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing ... Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists and why we are here".The article is an interesting read and it asks legitimate questions about the world of Dawkins and Hawking and their elected explanation for our existence. Since their scientific approach doesn't allow for the supernatural, Hawking's argument of a self-creating universe from a law which could not have existed prior to that creation is logically inconsistent.
I prefer to take a slightly different tack by pointing out the flaws, acknowledged by Hawking in his model and arguing from that point.
Stephen Hawking's model for the "spontaneous creation" of "Life, the Universe, and Everything" [thank-you Douglas Adams] as laid out in his television series "Stephen Hawking's Universe" contains a number of self-admitted "accidents" which he then chooses to fluff off under the broad heading of "random chance." A few of them I can think of off the top of my head:
- The existence of gravity--The fact that there is a law of gravity through the mechanism of which matter was able to coalesce.
- The rate of expansion of matter after the big bang--fast enough to prevent an immediate collapse and slow enough to allow matter to coalesce.
- The right amount of matter--too much and again the universe would have collapsed, too little and matter would not have coalesced.
- The non-uniform distribution of matter after the "big bang" which allowed particles to interact through gravity and thus coalesce.
- The balance between the pressure in a star's core to expand, and the force of gravity trying to collapse it. This balance allowed the coalescing matter to collapse into a star, but not continue collapsing into a singularity. It allowed the matter to collapse enough to build sufficient pressure and heat to initiate fusion and yet not fly apart as the result of an explosion.
- The fact that stars function as factories for the manufacture of the heavier elements.
- The coalescence of matter at exactly the right distance from the sun to form a planet whose conditions allowed liquid water to exist so that life could form
- The existence of just exactly the right mix of pre-life organic molecules in the "primordial goo."
- The coming together in exactly the right combination of those molecules.
"Accidents?" Really, Mr. Atheist Scientist, you're talking about "accidents?" I've heard of "scientific accidents," but they usually refer to something which happens in a laboratory which leads to some discovery. I've never heard of a scientist describing a causative chain of events who invoked an accident in the middle of that chain. It sounds a whole lot like "magic."
Hawking: "Well, this happened, and that caused this to happen, which led to this happening, and then an accident occurred, then 'poof' here we are."
Audience: "Uh-huh, okay . . . wait . . . what? What's this 'accident?'"
Hawking: "Umm . . . well . . . we don't really know, it just sort of happened and we don't understand why it happened . . . but . . . isn't it convenient?"
Audience: "This sounds suspiciously like magic. Can you explain this "accident?"
Hawking: "Uh . . . no, but we know it isn't magic.
Audience: "How do you know it's not magic? Can you explain it?"
Hawking: "Uh . . . well we have this theory that sort of sounds sort of reasonable, kind of, but . . . we know it's not magic."
Audience: Let me get this straight. You've got this process, but you don't know how it happened. You 'know it's not magic,' but you can't explain it and you want us to trust you when you say it's not magic? Sounds curiously like you want us to have faith in what you tell us. Isn't that pretty much what religion tells us?
Scientist: "Uh . . . yes . . . I mean NO! No it's definitely NOT magic, we just can't explain it."
Audience: "If you can't explain it, then how do you know it's not magic? Go on, pull the other one."
Uh . . . yeah, it sounds a lot like magic to me as well. This is the old joke: "Well you start with this and you add this and then "stuff happens" and you get this."
Professor Hawking, you might as well wave your wand and say "abracadabra." When you say "accidents" happen, you are invoking magic.
It's always amusing to see these scientists and learned men struggling to disprove the existence of God by suggesting mechanisms and concepts far less likely than the existence of a Supreme Being to do so. The more they attempt it, the more extreme and bizarre their hypotheses become.
In his attempt to explain from where gravity (or the law of gravity) came, Hawking suggests the theory multiple universes--universes coexisting in which one, the one in which we reside, had all of these "accidents" take place, in others, he posits, the law of gravity does not exist, in another hydrogen doesn't fuse.
Yeah, Stephen, I saw that episode of "Star Trek: Next Generation" too. This is just gobbledy-gook--double speak--to explain away something his precious science cannot account for. You see, without an "Intelligent Designer," science must delve into realms of improbability which are, simply put, laughable.
Atheists tell us "Just because we don't know the origin, doesn't mean it doesn't exist, or that we will not eventually find it." That is a perfectly valid argument, but it in no way negates the possibility, or even probability, of there being a God who is that origin. What they are telling us is "I don't know what the source is, but it isn't God, because God doesn't exist."
It's a circular argument, "God doesn't exist, because I say he doesn't exist." If you don't know how the universe came into being--you don't know the origin of this chain of events which led to our existence--then . . . how can you know that the original source isn't God?
The fallacy inherent in atheism [Hint: It's a religion]
Religion believes in the supernatural, the mystical--allows "magic," relies upon "magic"--God is ever existing, the infinite mind. That is its premise. He is his own origin. We admit that we cannot explain from where He came, because He is a spiritual, mystical, supernatural being. God exists because He has always existed.
If you're an atheist, that dog just won't hunt. You must have a non-supernatural, non-mystical source for everything that happened and invoking "accidents" when it comes to a chain of events sounds more like magic than science. Hawking's claim that there could have been an infinite number of universes and this one just happened to have gravity is double speak for "magic." But . . . only a religion allows for magic.
Thus the atheism that Dawkins and Hawking are espousing is just a religion--a godless religion--but a religion nonetheless, because it has to rely on "magic" for an originating phenomenon. It demands that one have faith that science has an explanation for all of those accidents. Mumbo Jumbo. "It's not God, because I say it's not God."
The atheists' claim that they don't need any religion to live a moral life
When atheists claim that they have no need of religion (usually Christianity) to behave morally. They ignore that they are products of a Judeo-Christian culture, the morals to which they lay claim are products of that culture. Everything they have experienced informs them what is right and what is wrong, what is moral and what is immoral. Their assumed independent morality is based in that same culture.
Hitchens, Dawkins and their colleagues can no more separate that world and its influences upon them from their intellectual posturings than they can change the fact that their native language is English. We are creatures of our culture. Whatever they claim to believe the source of their morality, society shaped those values.
Asserting that they don't need religion "to live an ethical life" when their very beings are steeped in a culture that has preached those values for thousands of years is like asserting that you don't need to tell yourself to breathe in order to inhale.
Long Live Our American Republic!!!