Why God Wins in a Contest Against No God

May 9, 2017

by Devin

Okay. Big topic! Yuuuuuuuge topic! Only many, many thousands of words, pages, and books have been written on this one. So why am I writing yet another one? Well, are there still any atheists out there? Yep. Even after all that has been written on the subject. So why not add a few more words to the mountain of words that have already been written? Why not, indeed?

Let me begin by saying that I came to the conclusion that God definitely exists, late in life. The reason for this is that although I had been churched in my youth, no one had ever taken the time to lay it all out for me in the way I’m going to do here. Furthermore, I did not want anyone to lay it out like this. I did not want to know the truth, because I feared that the truth might give me sufficient reason not to live my life the way I darn well pleased. In short, I was willfully ignorant. Blissfully ignorant. Until one day, I wasn’t.

Then, I wished with all of my being that I had not ignored the truth for so long. So many years of my life, wasted, chasing personal goals and getting nowhere fast. And more and more miserable with each passing year. Until finally, I could no longer ignore it. I had to get to the bottom of it. No more putting it off. No more agnosticism. No more excuses.

So I did. And here is what I found:

Reason 1:  If there is no God, then I am just a bunch of molecules behaving in a highly organized manner according to the physical laws of chemical reactions that were initiated with the Big Bang. And if that’s true, then I am unaccountable for my behavior, I am merely doing what I was bound to do the instant the Universe exploded into being (which means I cannot be judged by anyone for anything I do). Furthermore, I will continue to do what those chemical reactions cause me to do, whether I like it or not. And when I say do, I also mean think. The decisions I make, everything, are just chemical reactions. I have no soul. I have no reason for existing. No one is greater than me. No one’s opinion is any more valid than mine. And finally, there is no right or wrong. No good or evil. Just physics and chemistry doing what the laws of nature dictate.

Now stop and think about this for a moment. It isn’t really an argument for the existence of God. It is more like a reason to want God to exist. Because if God does not exist, and if everyone knew it, imagine what kind of hell this world would be then! Anything goes! If it feels good, even if it harms someone else, who cares? Do it. After all, you are just doing what the laws of physics and chemistry dictated you would do long before you ever came into existence.

And if this is true, then why do so many people choose to aim for being, at least to some degree, good? Why do the concepts of good and evil exist? Why are children born with an innate sense of justice? Chemical reactions again? And where do we get the desire to live from? Why do we care? Chemical reactions? And what about one of the fundamental tenets of Evolutionary Theory, the desire to reproduce? Where did that come from? Chemical reactions, again?

This last one is particularly difficult because if there is no God, then there never was any reason for any cluster of molecules to “want” to reproduce. Go check your chemistry and physics books and see if you can find any of them that say anything about molecules or matter “wanting” to do anything. You won’t find it. Matter behaves according to the laws of physics. Molecules behave according to the laws of chemistry. Period. Done. There is no law in either of these disciplines about anything “wanting” to do anything.

While Reason 1 still does not prove the existence of God, let me just say that it provides a very compelling case in favor of hoping God exists. The existence of God makes the Universe a whole lot more tolerable.

Reason 2: Back to the Big Bang. The one question that scientists unanimously agree can never be answered is what existed before the Big Bang? It is unknowable. No one is even working on it.

So why does this matter? It matters because according to Big Bang theory, the entire Universe was once completely compressed into a single point. A volume-less point. A singularity as mathematicians and scientist call it. In other words, it did not exist. So, from out of nothing, total nothingness, with nothing existing, no God, no nothing to cause the Universe to come into existence, somehow, we are supposed to believe it just did. And not only that, but why it did can never be known.

I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t really sound like something a real scientist who is being honest with him or herself could believe. I would say it takes a bigger act of faith to believe that than to simply believe that God exists and he caused the Universe to come into existence. Even if you go no further than that in your belief.

Reason 3: No one has yet even come close to causing life to spontaneously arise from inanimate matter.

Okay, this reason has only been available to us for the last few decades, because we have only recently achieved the level of knowledge of microorganisms and how they work that we should be able to, in the laboratory, under the most highly controlled circumstances imaginable, cause inanimate matter to come to life. Think about this. We are told, and are supposed to believe, that life spontaneously arose in our Universe simply because the odds were that on at least one planet among many billions of planets in one galaxy among many billions of galaxies, just the right conditions under which the sequence of events necessary for life to spontaneously arise were sure to occur. And furthermore, that those events did occur simply because the right conditions were present.

Okay. Fine. What, exactly, were those conditions? There have been a number of theories postulated on this one. One that most people are familiar with is some kind of primordial soup or muck where the right combination of naturally occurring organic molecules happened to be in the right place at the right time with just the right application of energy and other conditions that suddenly, just the right chemical reactions occurred and something remotely resembling life suddenly came into existence. That thing, whatever it was, was somehow motivated to make more of itself. Furthermore, it had to already have some sort of scheme for doing so, therefore it had to be a pretty complicated molecule or cluster of molecules!

But, supposedly, it was bound to happen due to the incredible number of opportunities that, by the law of averages, existed and yet still exist in a Universe that still, no one, can explain why it exists in the first place, and no one is even attempting to explain, because everyone agrees that it is unknowable. And on top of that, if it could conceivably happen by accident under the right conditions, then why have we not simply demonstrated it in the laboratory? We don’t need to wait for it to happen again in nature so we can observe it. We should be able to simply recreate those conditions in a controlled environment and make life spontaneously arise from inanimate matter. But we can’t. Even with all of the incredible technology available to us in this amazing day and age, we can’t do in a laboratory what we think happened simply by accident in nature! Really???

Right. Seems to me that it is a whole lot simpler, although maybe not nearly as much fun to contemplate, to believe that God made it happen. For those of you out there that are adherents to Occam’s Razor, God is right up your alley!

Reason 4: Geologic time isn’t even remotely enough time for random mutations and natural selection to take us from inanimate molecules to human beings. Sure, four billion or so years is a LOT of time, but it turns out, if you do the math[1], that it would take many trillions of years just for an extremely simple 200-component organism to evolve by random mutations and natural selection. The math has been done. The jury is back. The verdict is in and the case is closed. The fundamental tenets of Evolutionary Theory are so flawed they don’t even begin to account for the complexity of living organisms on Earth. The belief that eventually all the remaining unknowns and missing components of Evolutionary Theory will be discovered is a vastly greater act of faith than simply believing in the existence of God.

Reason 5: No one has ever managed, under the utmost controlled circumstances, to cause one species of animal to evolve into another. Think about this one. Humans have been using breeding techniques for thousands of years to modify successive generations of living organisms in such a way as to give them certain desired characteristics. So why is it that no one has actually started with one species of animal and continued to modify it through successive generations until the result is a new species? Forget about causing life to spontaneously arise in a laboratory, we can’t even do something so simple as taking an already living organism and accelerated natural selection by using human selection to cause it to evolve into something so different as to be an altogether different species. And yet, we are supposed to believe that it happened millions of times by chance in nature. Brutal.

Reason 6: Ever thought you had a question about God, the answer to which, no one could possibly conceive? Guess what, it has been answered. Yes. Not only has someone already thought of it, but someone really, really smart, and often many really, really smart people, have already done all the work for you and answered it. After thousands of years, rest assured, there are no new questions to be asked about God. And after just as many years, those questions have all already been tackled and answered. Just because you don’t know the answer, and can’t imagine one could exist, doesn’t mean someone else doesn’t know the answer and hasn’t already answered it. The internet is an amazing tool. Google it.

If that doesn’t satisfy you, then I suggest reading the works of some of the greatest minds to ever tackle the most difficult questions imaginable about God and world we live in. One of them is C.S. Lewis, but if you prefer someone more contemporary, try Tim Keller. Or just walk into any Christian bookstore and you will find shelves of books written by prominent Christian apologists who have answered every question of which you can think. The only reason anyone can give for not knowing the answers is not trying (or wanting) to find out.

Reason 7: The proof is out there. Yes. That’s right. If you need proof, it exists. More than one book out there has been written for the average reader that assembles all of the known information about the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and presents the evidence in a logical order such that by the time you reach the end of the book, the proof cannot be refuted. At least, not by any reasonable person. And if you consider yourself a reasonable person, then you are left with no choice but to believe that not only is there a God, but that Jesus was God incarnate. And after all, if Jesus really existed and really was who He said He was, then it follows naturally that God must exist. Two books I know of on the subject are: The Case for Faith, by Lee Strobel and Cold Case Christianity, by J. Warner Wallace. I’ve read the second one and seen the movie (The Case for Christ) for the first one. Both are excellent.

There are many, many more reasons than these, but they are reasons that, as time has gone by, I have come to adopt as a result of my continuing search for the truth. Reading about and discussing the teachings of Jesus with Christians that I admire and respect, as well as listening weekly to sermons by pastors who have vastly more knowledge than I, have greatly broadened my understanding of God and Christianity. I would encourage anyone who wants to get to the bottom of this matter to do the same. Discovering God is a journey. You follow a path. Everyone is not on the same place on that path. You don’t have to believe everything all at once. Maybe you only decide one little thing might be true and pursue it. Over time, you gain more confidence in your belief that that little thing is true. Then maybe you start to see other things that you might be able to believe. As you investigate those, in time, you grow in your new beliefs. It takes time. It takes patience. It takes a desire to know the truth.

Maybe you are still not convinced. I get it. Letting go of something you have believed for so many years is a hurdle far too high for most people to jump. Furthermore, it is likely that not only you hold your beliefs, but you also associate with others who believe the same things you do. They are your friends. You love them. Most people don’t want to give up their friends, which is what frequently happens when someone reverses their position on this particular topic (it’s just that hot). This topic is of such a magnitude and of such great import that people don’t just wake up one day and say, “Hey, I think I’m going to believe in God now!” It takes time. For some people, it takes a LOT of time. (And for some people, time runs out first.) Don’t worry. God has plenty of time. He can wait. He is patient. He invented patience! He knows you. He loves you. And He is willing to wait as long as it takes for you to discover Him. He wants you to discover Him. But you have to come to Him. He is assuredly pursuing you, but He is God, after all.

C.S. Lewis once said, “Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.”

I wish you the very best in your journey and I am simply glad that maybe, just maybe, you are on the path to discovering the truth.

God bless you on your journey.

 

 

[1] http://www.icr.org/article/mathematical-impossibility-evolution/

PP in Our Schools: It’s Time to Grow Up

by Devin

Recently, my children’s schools notified me via email that Planned Parenthood would be at their schools to give age-appropriate presentations on reproductive health to their students. The email requested permission allowing my children to attend the presentations. The consent form for my 5th grader contained the following:

(Our) students have participated in Social Emotional Learning Curriculum throughout the year and are ready to move into making positive self-care choices. This curriculum will be built upon every year, as they are developmentally ready. In appropriate groups, they will participate in a health class supported by the Planned Parenthood Education Program. Educators from PP will lead our discussions and all sessions will be attended by the school’s Administration.

Students will be instructed in the follow health education topics:

-General Hygiene/Self Car
-Age Appropriate Hormonal Changes/Puberty
-Taking Responsibility for one’s health
-Healthy Relationships

The class will be held (next) Tuesday. Students will be separated by gender and grade level.

So I responded as follows to my 5th grader’s school:

I do not consent.

I think Health Education is a very good thing. I just think it might be a good idea to consider looking for someone else to provide it, as Planned Parenthood’s values do not match up with mine and I suspect, given the controversial nature of the organization vis-à-vis the recent media exposure they have received from the Center for Medical Progress, there may be others who feel similarly, whether they speak up about it or not. Of course, this is Santa Fe, so maybe not.

My negative opinion of PP is centered on my deep and profound respect for women and life and my intense desire for men to know they will be held accountable for their actions. The premise of PP’s existence is acceptance of the idea that women will never be respected and men will never be held accountable and that these facts are immutable, thus they, PP, are there to assist with the consequences. Unfortunately, this simply leads to an even greater surrender to, and acceptance of, this idea throughout our national culture. As a father who intensely loves his daughter, I want the very best for her as she grows up. (When she grows up) I believe any man who would disrespect her by expecting her to engage in sex with him without a lifetime commitment to her through marriage is not worthy of one microsecond of her attention. And if one ever does, he better find a new State to live in.

The following is excerpted from email from my 8th grade son’s school:

Dear 7th and 8th grade parents,

This coming week, we will be conducting age-appropriate workshops about reproductive health for our 7th and 8th graders during science class periods and study halls. These are offered through our partnership with Planned Parenthood of Santa Fe and are offered at all of the public schools in Santa Fe, as well as at the vast majority of our community’s private schools. The topics to be covered are listed below:

7th grade: Healthy Relationships and Exploring Personal Values Around Sexuality
8th grade: STIs (Transmission & Risk Reduction), Pregnancy & Contraception

I responded as follows to my 8th grade son’s school:

I don’t have a problem with my son attending this presentation, but I wish you would find another provider in the future. PP is, in my opinion, an extremely controversial organization that clearly does not respect human life before birth at any stage of development.

My dilemma is that while I would prefer that he get this information either from another provider and from me, I don’t want him to be the only kid (in school) having to be accommodated while all the other kids are attending the presentation. Also, I am not one to over protect him from the world in which we live.

So, if there are going to be a number of other kids whose parents are not giving their permission to attend, then my preference would be that he not attend. If I am the only parent, or one of only two or three parents withholding permission, then I would prefer that he go ahead and attend. 

Either way, I appreciate the request for permission and I will certainly follow up with him on the subject. We have already discussed this subject to some extent and I continue to discuss it with him as he is maturing.

As a side note, this information was not given to children in public schools until the 10th grade when I was in school and frankly, while I know times are different and children are sexually active at even younger ages now than they were then, I still don’t think it is really necessary before high school. Furthermore, the implied message coming from us adults is that we somehow condone and expect children to become sexually active before they are mature enough to handle it responsibly. If you know my son, then I’m sure you know he is not the kid who is likely to be needing this information just yet. I would like to think that he is not the only kid in the 8th grade who doesn’t yet need it! And if you know something about him that I don’t, then please, by all means, let me know!

Before you judge me as some kind of pro-life activist who stands on street corners with anti-abortion signs yelling at traffic driving by, let me make it clear that I am not. Not even close! Furthermore, I only converted from pro-choice to pro-life about five years ago, when I came to the conclusion that the pro-choice position is 99.9 percent about convenience and that there is absolutely no way anyone can say with absolute authority at what point in prenatal development a fertilized egg becomes a human being with a soul.

Of course, atheists will say they never do, but for those of us who are not atheists and believe in the concept of eternal life and the sanctity thereof, this is an important matter. There are many, many justifications for the selection of different points of development as being that point at which a developing human in the womb should be considered a human being that should not be aborted, and many pages or even books could be written on the subject, and probably have. Many of these justifications attempt to be based on science. Never-the-less, the one thing they all have in common is that they are all based on convenient criteria. The only one that is not, is the one that says life begins at conception. Plenty of people disagree with this, but disagreement does not equal proof.

So what do I think we should be teaching our children and expecting of them? Simple. Sexual relationships are sacred and as such, should be reserved for marriage. In a word, abstinence.

I do not buy into the idea that young people are incapable of controlling their sex drive and that it must be assumed that they will be sexually active before they are old enough to be married and when they are old enough to be married that then, suddenly, pre-marital sex is okay and expected. I think this kind of idea has come about because we live in a culture that has a media that has become saturated with sex. You cannot turn on a television set anymore without seeing this. And people in our culture have become so accustomed to seeing it that we hardly even notice it (unless, of course, you are a teenager in the throes of raging hormones. Then you notice it!)

Of course if you grow up in an environment such that everywhere you look, from the checkout line at the grocery store to school, to television, to radio, and the internet, scantily-clad women, and in many cases, young girls, are on display or singing songs about sex and how awesome it is, then naturally a young person is going to be tempted at every turn to do just exactly what seems to be expected of them; to start having sex as soon as possible! Add peer pressure to that and parents who seem to think it is inevitable, and what kind of chance does a young person have?

Does this mean that a parent has to overprotect their children and shield them from what sex is all about and where babies come from as they grow up? Of course not. Only an idiot would think that. What it means is that parents need to reject the idea that saving one’s self for marriage is impossible. Young people need to be taught that the facts show, statistically speaking, that pre-marital sex leads to a much higher divorce rate and a much higher rate of single motherhood. It also leads to young men, and sometimes even mere boys, becoming buried in child-support debt before they are old enough to earn the kind of money it takes to raise a child.

Is pre-marital sex fun? Oh yeah. Who can deny that? But the fun ends when somebody gets pregnant. Then it literally becomes a life and death situation. Not fun. Particularly for the one who’s life is on the line.

And when a young person knows that there is a backup plan, however distasteful it might be, that can save them from the responsibility of having to raise a baby and child before they themselves are grown up, well, let’s just say that when things are hot and heavy in the back seat of the car, the heat of the moment is going to win out more often than not. Take away that safety net and suddenly, at least one of the pair has solid ground to back them up when they decide to say no, go no further.

And if we, as a society, as the adults and leaders of our communities, would stand up and tell our young boys and men, we will not tolerate such behavior and it will have severe consequences, then the number of children and young adults finding themselves about to engage in a very risky behavior will have been given more than enough justification for backing off and saving themselves for marriage.

Think about it. If, as a young man, you know that if you get your girlfriend pregnant, she will have to have the baby and you are going to be ostracized from your community and will be facing the fact of having to grow up really, really fast, guess what? You can look your peers squarely in the eye and tell them they are fools if they ignore such a fact.

You say, “well, what about in cases where the mother will die if the baby isn’t aborted?” Sure. In such a case, someone is going to die. Possibly both. So, of course, there can be exceptions. This kind of case is so rare as to be more of a philosophical question than a real circumstance that must be reckoned with. What about rape? Incest? What then, you say? Let me just ask you, if you had been the product of either of these situations, would you prefer that you had been aborted? These are complicated issues, no doubt, and I am oversimplifying them here for the sake of brevity, because the real point is, the baby is not at fault here, so why should the baby pay the price? In such cases, the perpetrator should pay the price. And let me just say that said price should be so gigantic, so terrible, that only the sickest of the mentally sick would ever contemplate taking the risk.

Former President Bill Clinton once said, “Abortion should be safe, legal, and rare.” Imagine that coming from a man who won the Latin American “Man of the Year” Award when his extramarital affairs became front page news. None-the-less, that last part rings true. Unfortunately, as long as abortion is legal, and particularly in states where it is legal right up to the moment when a woman is going into labor, “rare” is not a practical possibility. And it never will be.

Finally, I want to close the loop on PP in our schools. By saturating our grade schools with their mere presence, they succeed in institutionalizing their brand. Kids grow up knowing what Planned Parenthood is and that they have been around forever. Planned Parenthood becomes an accepted fixture in our communities. It is brilliant strategy for an organization whose primary business would be utterly unnecessary if only we parents would instill in our children the self-discipline to reserve sex for marriage and arm them with a keen understanding of the severe consequences awaiting them for not doing so.