Recently I wrote about an article titled Unbiased Opposition to Religion? concerning the blog by Tri Cities Atheist Society (TCAS) titled Unbiased Opposition to Religion.
I would like to apologize for a possible mischaracterization of which I may be guilty. In the article I had written: Should I take seriously the claim that one has never heard of the Cosmological, Teleological, or Ontological arguments? Am I really to believe that this unbiased but fair person has never been exposed to the Moral Argument or the Case for the Resurrection of Christ?
My argument was that if the author was claiming that there is NO evidence religion is true, then they must either be unaware of these arguments or they are ignoring them purposefully. There is another option, and I should’ve presented it. For that, I am sorry.
The other option of course, is that the author of Unbiased Opposition to Religion is familiar with these arguments but does not consider them evidential. In other words, they may not believe the conclusions of these arguments follow the premises or they disagree with at least one of the premises. Let’s take a look at one of these arguments so we can understand the possible claim of no evidence.
Premise #1: All things that are an effect have a cause outside of itself.
Premise #2: The universe (all that is space, time, or matter) is an effect thus has a cause outside of itself with power over all things.
Conclusion: The universe was caused by a self-existent, timeless, space less, immaterial, all-powerful, being (what theists call God)
One can either claim that this argument is not valid (the conclusion does not follow the premises) or the argument is not sound (one or more of the premises are not true). Most of the time, no one will claim that that this argument is invalid. In other words, the conclusion follows the premises. It is more likely that the author of the article in question, questions the soundness of this argument (and the teleological, moral, ontological, case for the resurrection, etc.). In that case, the premise in question is not likely to be premise #1. The Law of Causality is basic human reason, and in my opinion, evidence for God’s existence. Premise #2 is where the disagreement will likely be. Let’s look at that for a moment.
For a person to disagree with premise #2 they must say that the universe is not an effect, meaning it is self-existent (it created itself); or the cause of the universe is nothing; or the universe is eternal (never came into existence); or the universe is an illusion (it doesn’t really exist). These are the only other options.
Without attempting to prove to you that for something to create itself it must pre-exist itself; or nothing has no causal power; or if time had no beginning, the present could not be reached; or I think therefore I am; I would like to ask you a common sense question. Do any of the altenatives to Premise #2 seem likely? If you’re like me, Premise #2 seems much more likely to be true. If it is, and the argument is valid, then there is evidence for religion (theism). In fact, if the argument is valid and sound, God exists!
This is the extent a person, such as the author from TCAS, must go to make the claim that there is no evidence for religion (God exists).
Here is a list of other things that must be believed if there is no evidence for God.
Teleological-the universe is not finely tuned for the existence of human life (the following facts are mere chance: that the oxygen level of Earths atmosphere is 21%, transparency of the atmosphere, Earth-moon gravitational relation, carbon-dioxide level, gravitational force, centrifugal force of the planetary movements, universe rate of expansion, speed of light, atmospheric water vapor level, orbit of Jupiter, thickness of Earth’s crust, duration of rotation of the Earth, degree of axil tilt of the Earth, rate of lightning, seismic activity, and over 100 more anthropic constants).
Ontological-it is not greater to exist than to be non-existent or a maximally great pizza=maximally great being
Moral-there are no clear moral standards for all people (they must deny that for all people: murder is wrong, rape is wrong, the holocaust was wrong, slavery was wrong, etc.)
Resurrection-the Disciples written about in the historical documents known as the Gospels, died for a lie that they knew wasn’t true (they must deny: the Disciples of Jesus of Nazareth were executed (extra-biblically testimony), for claiming Jesus came back to life (historically verifiable))
These are only a few of the many evidences of a few of the arguments for God’s existence that the author of Unbiased Opposition of Religion would have to deny to claim that there is no evidence that religion is true.
■ noun information indicating whether a belief or proposition is true or valid.
▶ Law information drawn from personal testimony, a document, or a material object, used to establish facts in a legal investigation or admissible as testimony in a law court.
▶ signs; indications.
Soanes, C., & Stevenson, A. (Eds.). (2004). Concise Oxford English dictionary. Oxford: Oxford University Press.