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March 25, 2014 / compassioninpolitics

More on the atheism versus Christian worldview debate

“Because we see no reason to believe in God. Because everything that we used to need to God to explain, has been explained better without him.
So why believe?”

First, I think you need to re-structure your claim to explain what you really mean “you haven’t found a justification you like with evidence that satisfies you based on your limited search.”

Mechanism still doesn’t answer the question of “why” or final cause. I also pointed to a spanner in the works for a number of the issues you pointed to. Further, the issue of purpose and meaning and even freedom and dignity is challenging for a reductionist and a physicalist. I think it was Bentham the utilitarian said “human rights were nonsense on stilts.” Thats quite a contrast between “we’re just (blobs of) atoms” (and phyicalist billiard balls) and the dignity and respect founded in the the imagio dei (image of God). Not to mention natural law theory was the foundational basis for rights theorists from John Locke on (his Second Treatise on Government).

You can’t just throw the Penrose number into the heap of fine-tuning arguments:
1) Its an argument for order over disorder. This is a controlling argument in the Christianity versus the worldview alternatives like skepticism. We don’t find utter chaos we find order.
2) The universe is intelligable. We have enough order that we can tell and predict. In fact, we can do science and share the results with other humans.
3) Fine tuning points to probability [given our constraints]. And some of your arguments against fine-tuning seem to be counter-historical. Sure, its possible we would have hit the cosmic lottery some other way–but we have to admit we hit it in the first place.
4) Plus, order typically doesn’t arise from disorder. Self-organization happens, but remember thats amid entropy.
5) We have to make decisions in the midst of incomplete data on the question of God. This is not unlike real life. You have faith for one job over the another. You have faith for one marriage partner over another. You have faith in one city or your ability to thrive and adapt in that city over another.

The exclusive physicalism isn’t an that much of a stereotype of assumption. There are plenty of scientists, skeptics, atheists, and Quorans making those arguments already.

My beef isn’t so much with science as with scientism which excludes the arts as a way of knowing. And generally this is primarily propagated by the New Atheist writers. Those other forms of knowledge have a rational, experiential, and historical basis for being. Moreover, the subjective, intuitive, imaginative, and other aspects of human knowing and sensing has been the basis of innovation, progress, and indeed evolution for pretty much as long as humans have been around.

There are a number of good ones
1) Alister McGrath
2) John Lennox
3) Gary Habermas (and a number of others on the historicity of Jesus question)
4) Alvin Platinga
5) William Lane Craig
6) Os Guinness
7) Ravi Zacharias
8) The classics (St Thomas Acquinas, Augustine, etc…)
9) former atheists like Anthony Flew and Mortimer J Adler (actually Alister McGrath falls into that category)

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