Monday, May 18, 2009

atheists make highly extraordinary claims

Most everyone is familiar with the atheist creed: “To say that God exists is an extraordinary claim that requires extraordinary proof.”

Well, certainly any extraordinary claim, be it for God or for anything else requires extraordinary proof. From my perspective of course
a) We have extraordinary and compelling proof for the existence of God, and
b) The “burden” of presenting extraordinary proof lies with those who make the following claims.

1) The universe doesn’t need to have a beginning because we come from a Finite Infinity.

1a) Even though “infinity” doesn't exist in reality, but only as a concept or as an idea, to avoid the implications of a Cause for the Big Bang atheists propose that our universe is just the latest in an infinite number of universes. In other words, our universe was caused by a previous universe that was caused by a previous universe, that was caused by . . .

1b) While stating that the universe is infinitely old, and while being forced to admit that if that were true, “today” would never arrive, atheists simply ignore that reality, continue to propose an infinite universe and hope that no one will notice or protest too loudly.

1c) It doesn’t matter what the second law of Thermodynamics says
It doesn’t matter about the levels of background radiation
It doesn’t matter about the levels of entropy
It doesn’t matter that the expansion of the universe is speeding up rather than slowing down, atheists ignore all this and maintain that our universe has existed from infinity past.

That is a highly extraordinary claim!

2) Because the Big Bang carries with it the need for a Cause, atheists declare that despite ALL scientific evidence to the contrary, some beginnings, or at least this one, ie. our universe, doesn’t need a cause. “It just happened.”

That is a highly extraordinary claim!

3) Because the Big Bang carries with it the need for a Cause, atheists declare that our universe was preceded by the universe itself, both materially and chronologically. In essence the universe brought itself into being.

That is a highly extraordinary claim!

4) There are approximately 50 constants and quantities that are so finely tuned that if any one of them were “off” by an infinitesimally small degree, neither we nor the universe would exist. And even though Penrose and Hawking have calculated that all this coming about by chance is 1 in 10 to the 10 to the 123 (which is an impossibly vast number to comprehend), atheists still maintain that everything that we see happened by chance.

That is a highly extraordinary claim!

5) Atheists claim that there is no objective set of morals, values, and duties. They say something like, “My personal likes / dislikes, tastes, preferences and opinions will do just fine when determining the rightness or wrongness of my behaviours. On the other hand, other people’s behaviours, as they affect the quality of my life, must adhere to MY personal likes / dislikes, tastes, preferences and opinions. If they don’t, I can rightfully declare that those people are wrong.

That is a highly extraordinary claim!

6) Atheists claim that regarding the cause of the universe and regarding the first DNA / RNA pre-loaded cell, there is nothing wrong with going in search of ever more complicated solutions, abandoning one after another, after another, after another, not because of new evidence but because of a need to avoid current evidence which points directly to Creator God. Atheists say that’s all the reason they need to disregard current scientific evidence.

This is a highly extraordinary claim!


6a) Atheists say that there is nothing wrong with never returning to a simple solution that coincides with current knowledge and common sense, as long as that current scientific evidence points directly to Creator God. Atheists say that’s all the reason they need to disregard current scientific evidence.

This is a highly extraordinary claim!

7) Atheists say that contrary to what classical historical scholarship says, known and knowable facts of history do not actually apply to the person of Jesus. In fact, Jesus never existed.

That is a highly extraordinary claim!

. Even though the beginning of our universe demands a Cause and
. Even though the design of our mathematically precise universe demands a Designer and
. Even though the objective moral code with which atheists demand others treat them can only come from an ultimate authority, and
. Even though the life, death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth point to the reality of Creator God, atheists claim that none of this points to anything beyond nature itself,

Now, atheists say that they will have evidence eventually, but the promise of proof at some point in the future is the same as no proof at all. Atheists are making extraordinary claims that are lacking not just extraordinary evidence but ANY evidence. What’s more, these people call their way of life reasonable and logical.

That's sad and that's why I'm not an atheist.

7 comments:

PersonalFailure said...

While stating that the universe is infinitely old, and while being forced to admit that if that were true, “today” would never arrive, here's a little experiment that will perhaps fix this misconception for you:

walk from one end of the room to the other, walking half the distance each time. oddly, you will find it is impossible to reach the other end of the room, because the remainng distance can always be halved, into infinity.

i bet you walk across the room all the time. even if the universe, and time, is infinite, today would arrive. in fact, today is always here.

Makarios said...

Mm hm, the thing is Failure, Zeno’s paradox really doesn’t apply to what I am saying. In fact it doesn't apply to what science says.

And besides, why don’t you let me post my clever comments on your blog? Have you noticed that about atheists? The vast majority censor what people say. Don’t you find that odd for such a tolerant group?

Anyhow - I’m not saying that motion is impossible. The problem with what you present is this. In Zeno’s paradox, which of course are only thought experiments, the intervals you speak of are only potential and unequal. In the case of traversing the infinite past, the intervals are actual and equal. As well, Zeno’s intervals, being unequal, sum to a merely finite distance, whereas the intervals in an infinite past sum to an infinite distance.

While interesting as a mind tease, your idea about crossing a room (a finite space) has absolutely nothing to do with crossing an infinite number of equal and actual intervals to arrive at our present location. Let me use my own example.

Imagine units of time as individual books filling a book shelf that stretches infinitely into the past. You could imagine an infinitely long street or an infinitely long rope or whatever, but for this example I’ll use a shelf of books. I think it's important to remember that while mathematics is able to deal with abstract or theoretical or conceptual or potential infinities, and while our imagination can create an imaginary shelf of books stretching infinitely into the past, sort of, reality holds no such possibility for us.

Time is not imaginary.

Time is not abstract or theoretical or conceptual.

Time is real.

Time is measured in real units.

In a scenario like this, with the shelf of books (units of time) stretching infinitely into the past you could never actually arrive at the first book. It is impossible to travel through infinite time to reach a starting point from which you could begin your journey to the last book on the shelf or to what we call today.

If in order to reach the last book (what we call today), you had to have the second to last book or yesterday. And if, in order to have the second to last book you had to have the third to last book, and in order to have the third to last book you had to have the fourth to last book and so on and so on, you could never reach today because you could never reach the “first” day (book) that made possible the second day which made possible the third day . . ..

Since the past is made up of units of real time, in the case of a beginningless past we would have had to pass through or travel through an infinite amount of time in order to reach today and that is physically impossible.

To reach today, we have to have had a starting point, a push point, a point of beginning, a point of first cause. If the past were actually infinite, we could never reach today because the past would simply extend infinitely into the past.

Neither can we, as some desperate atheists have tried to do after realising their predicament, arbitrarily pick a set or group or point in real time and begin counting from there. Of course you can do that, but it proves nothing regarding the beginning of the universe.

The fact is, we have reached today so we can know not only that the universe had a beginning, but that time itself had a beginning.

AND just as a bookshelf stretching infinitely into the past with no beginning would prohibit our reaching today, neither can there be an infinite regress of causes of the universe. This of course is what science already tells us. That would also prohibit reaching today’s universe.
. A beginningless Series or Collection of Things or Events in time entails, not a potential but an actual infinite number of Things or Events or moments in Time.

. As we’ve just seen, a beginningless Series of Things or Events or moments in Time that leads to the today cannot exist.

. Therefore, in order to reach today, time and the universe had to have a beginning; they had to have a starting point.

. That beginning had to have a Cause. The fact is, the infinite exists only as an idea or as a concept. It does not exist in realty.

Of course, if the above argument feels too cumbersome for you, you could just refer to the Quantum Physics discovery of the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin theorem. These scientists have proven that any expanding universe, be it real, such as ours, or theoretical, such as the dozens proposed by desperate atheists cannot be without a past space-time boundary, a Big Bang, a Creation event.

Igor said...

“To say that God exists is an extraordinary claim that requires extraordinary proof.”

That's a skeptic creed and applies to all extraordinary claims.

It doesn’t matter what the second law of Thermodynamics says.

The second law of thermodynamics applies only to open systems and currently the universe cannot expand infinitely and will die by entropy.

"Because the Big Bang carries with it the need for a Cause, atheists declare that despite ALL scientific evidence to the contrary, some beginnings, or at least this one, ie. our universe, doesn’t need a cause. “It just happened.”"

That it happened is practically a fact, how or why it happened is currently unknown although there are several hypothesis. Of course they could select an explanation and stick with it without further research or exploration. That would be like saying "God did it." And who knows, maybe a superior entity did it, but we currently have no evidence suggesting that.

Igor said...

"There are approximately 50 constants and quantities that are so finely tuned that if any one of them were “off” by an infinitesimally small degree, neither we nor the universe would exist."

We don't know that. It is entirely possible that a different set of laws would produce a different universe. Saying that the constants are designed for this universe is like saying that the puddle is designed for the hole it's in.

Atheists claim that there is no objective set of morals, values, and duties.

They do? Really? I think prohibition against killing and stealing is generally based on objective morality that it's wrong. Of course there are situations where you may steal (to save a life). So that's some relativism. Some radical Christians do it as well (bomb abortion clinic).

". Even though the beginning of our universe demands a Cause ---->same problem with god but I know you will say that god exists outside of time and space. Very slick so you don't have to try to explain the same thing scientists are working on day and night.
. Even though the design of our mathematically precise universe demands a Designer and--------> same problem and see above, the universe is far from perfect anyways. I don't like the fact that there are so many ways humanity can be destroyed by that "perfect" universe.
. Even though the objective moral code with which atheists demand others treat them can only come from an ultimate authority, and---------> no such thing, 3000 years ago, as per Torah it was perfectly acceptable to stone disobedient children. The morality progressed and we no longer do it (most people at least).
. Even though the life, death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth point to the reality of Creator God, atheists claim that none of this points to anything beyond nature itself," ---->I'm sure people (read: disciples and other followers) with a vested interest in Jesus being what he said might claim he was resurrected. Who knows, so many other rational explanations.

---------------------------------
You know Makarios, on some level I am slightly jealous of easy answers ou have found. It must be very reassuring that if something happens to you or your loved ones you think you will all reunite in a mystical place and exist forever in eternal bliss. I on the other hand, have to constantly deal with uncertainty of our existence and ponder questions to which there may be no answer because Universe is indifferent to our currently very brief existence, but most people aren't. Try to focus on that.

Makarios said...

"saying that the puddle is designed for the hole it's in."

I like that. It doesn't fit this scenario but it is cute. The constants and qualities were "put in" at Planck time. This life supporting universe would not exist if exactly these physical laws and standard did not exist BEFORE the universe came to be. The only thing that these constants and qualities have in commone is that each and everyone of them are required to be exactly as they are for our kind of life to exist. That kind of thing does not happen by accident. As Hawking has said, to be an accident would require defeating odds of 10 ^ 1,230. With there being "only" 10 ^ 80 sub atomic particles in the entire universe, that's some long odds. Not too long for an atheist but . . .

Igor said...

Yet here we are, and the odds of our existence are currently ONE. Perhaps a guy playing poker would not bet much on getting a royal flush, but once he gets it he won't refuse the prize for improbable odds.

Makarios said...

No sir. Penrose and Hawking have estimated the odds of our universe, a life-sustaining universe to be:
1 chance in 1,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,00000000000000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,00000000000000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,00000000000000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,00000000000000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,00000000000000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,00000000000000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,00000000000000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,0000000000,000000000000000000000000000000
Yet here we are!

Arthur Eddington - “The beginning seems to present insuperable difficulties unless we agree to look at it as frankly supernatural.”

Nobel prize winner Arno Penzias -“The best data we have are exactly what I would have predicted had I nothing to go on but the five books of Moses, the Psalms, and the Bible as a whole.”

Physicist Freeman Dyson - ‘The more I examine the universe and study the details of its architecture, the more evidence I find that the universe in some sense must have known we were coming.”

Stephen Hawking - “It would be very difficult to explain why the universe should have begun in just this way, except as the act of a God who intended to create beings like us.”

Anthony Flew - The fine tuning of the universe at every level is simply too perfect to be the result of chance. Flew’s lifelong commitment “to go where the evidence leads” compelled him to become a believer in God.