I have, on occasion, noted how Atheists, Scientists and affiliated people can get fustrated with people who try to convince others of empirical findings/truth/whatever when it is clear that they have not done so much as the slightest independent research. They attempt to argue from ignorance; thankfully only the already ignorant tend to believe it but it just goes to make an even bigger mess of ignorance which someone needs to clean up sooner or later. To try to assist in this, I have often pointed out examples of ignorance and even created a page on this blog where common arguments based on ignorance are refuted. Sadly the march of ignorance continues as can be found on the ‘Forever Christian‘ blog, most notably on it’s ‘25 Reasons to believe in god‘ page.
So here are those 25 reasons and why they don’t stand up to even casual scrutiny or even common sense.
A couple reasons to believe that God DOES exist.
You’ll actually find most of the 25 listed reasons don’t mention any sort of deity at all but instead make ignorant claims about science. You can not make a positive case just by (badly) trying to find wholes in another theory.
1. Explosions make messes.
Generally speaking, yes. I can only assume that the author is trying to make some sort of reference to the Big Bang though he is assuming that said cosmic event was an explosion like you might see on some bad Hollywood action movie. Of course, it was nothing of the sort and no scientist has ever said it was.
2. You are too complex to happen by chance.
Argument from incredulity to begin with but let us let that one go for now. No one has ever claimed that a biological entity as complex as a human being suddenly came about through chance. The Theory of Evolution in fact states what could be called the complete opposite; that we’re the result of millions of years of extremely slow and gradual change directed by environmental factors and certainly not by chance.
3. Spontaneous generation was disproved years ago.
Spontaneous generation of complex organisms was disproved years ago (the so called ‘Law of Biogenesis’). Simple organisms, not so much. Indeed, scientists have observed molecules spontaneously appearing and disappearing when you get down to the smaller levels of reality as we know it so we do know that it can happen (and probably had a role to play in the creation of the Universe).
4. Evolution is only a THEORY.
This one is so old and tired that I’m just going to copy and paste from my own blog’s argument responses page:
The Theory of Evolution is a scientific theory, which is somewhat different to how the term ‘theory’ is often used in wider society. In science, the term refers to ”a coherent group of general propositions used as principles of explanation for a class of phenomena” to put it rather simply. Scientific theories need to meet certain criteria to be considered as such; being observable, testable and so on. Scientific theories must undergo rigorous testing and verification which is what the Theory of Evolution has passed time and again. There is no ‘heirachy of truth’, a scientific theory is not worth less than a ‘law’.
5. Science can only test things limited to the 5 senses.
Actually, no. It can (and has) tested things that human being are completely unable to perceive. Different areas of the electro magnetic spectrum immediately spring to mind here – we can not perceive infra-red light, for example, but science has certainly done so and now it is often a common part of modern technology. Then there is things like radiation, DNA, Atoms and so on … all which we can’t see, hear, touch, smell or taste but we know they exist, how they work (usually) and how to manipulate them for our own uses (usually).
6. The Law of Biogenesis. We didn’t come from a “pre-biotic soup”.
The so called ‘Law of Biogenesis’ only deals with complex life forms such as flies and maggots. It certainly does not apply to simple life.
7. If you believe in ghosts and paranormal things. You can believe in God.
There is no independent evidence for those things either.
8. The natural order of things brings CHAOS. We need a superior being to stay stable.
Who says? Is this some weird way of appealing to the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics? If so, well … once again I’ll just copy and paste from my own blog to save time.
These laws apply to what is known as closed systems, which organic life certainly is not. A person can refute this argument simply by looking in a mirror; you were once a much simpler form of life and have since changed into a much more complex one. If this argument were true, you would never have become more than a small puddle of liquid and maybe not even that. To state it another way, overall entropy can increase in a closed system (and undoubtedly will) yet there is nothing stopping localised pockets (such as planets, galaxies and so on) becoming more ordered.
For a more detailed explanation see Pharyngula entry titled ‘Entropy and Evolution’.
9. Morals mean nothing if God does not exist.
Who says? Maybe if you believe in some sort of objective morality that never, ever changes but there is no evidence for such a system. Indeed, you can see by examining human history how as a species we’ve (generally, been a few steps backwards here and there) been able to gauge and modify our own ethics and morality to make the planet a better place to live in.
But if you need the threat of a wrath throwing sky figure who will punish you if you are bad, then you need to re-examine the source of your own morality since it seems dubious at best.
10. Life has no real meaning if God does not exist.
Again, who says? I have no god figure in my life and my life has huge amounts of meaning. After all, with only one shot at life I have to try to make the most of it I can. Similar to the last point, if you need the existence of some sort of sky deity to give you meaning … you need to have another look at your motivations and perspective since it could very well make you a very shallow person.
11. You are just a mistake in time and space if God does not exist.
I have absolutely no idea where the author found this particular conclusion or how he got to it. I have no choice but to assume it’s related to #10 but if so, it is just as meaningless and false.
12. The “Missing Link” is still missing.
‘Missing link’ to what? If the author is referring to transitional fossils then there have been numerous examples found, analysed and verified. You just have to see my own last blog entry for another new example and there are dozens of previous ones, including those relating directly to human ancestory.
13. The Bible is geographically accurate.
Depends what you mean by ‘geographically’ and what you’re specifically referencing. And also what definition of ‘accurate’ you’re using. It also proves nothing, even if we assume the point is correct, since many ancient mythological texts are (more or less) geographically accurate – but they certainly do not go to prove the existence of the greek gods.
14. There are many archaeological discoveries that support the Bible.
Such as? On the other hand there are plenty which go directly against stories in the judeo-christian bible such as the history of Jericho, the complete non-existence of evidence relating to the exodus from egypt, same goes for the tower of babel and so on.
15. No Bible prophecy has been proven false.
I don’t know … 2000 years and christians are still waiting for Jesus to make a return trip when he claimed he’d be back in the lifetime of his apostles (just as one very quick example). Religious prophecies, regardless of the religion, also tend to be very self fulfilling; especially by those seeking to pass themselves off as some messiah, prophet, god made flesh or whatever.
16. The universe is balanced well enough to sustain life.
Various problems with this one. It assumes life could not exist if conditions were different and it ignores the fact that there is (so far) only one place in the incomprehensably huge universe that has life. It would be life walking into a massive dead desert, finding a single blade of a tiny weed sticking out of the sand and proclaiming that the desert is designed for an abundance of life (it’s a rough analogy since deserts often contain hidden life but I think you get the point).
17. Stephen Hawkins [sic] has admitted; “Science may solve the problem of how the universe began, but it cannot answer the question: why does the universe bother to exist?”
I do not see this as any reason to believe in any sort of deity. Sometimes things just do happen (such as the afore mentioned spontaneous molecule appearance and disappearance). Does science have all the answers currently? No, it certainly does not. But it does have a far, far better track record than any other system humans have ever used or come up with. And it is still getting better all the time.
18. There is really no proof God doesn’t exist.
There is also no evidence against the existence of unicorns, leprechauns, the flying spaghetti monster, Zeus, Wotan, Thor, the Celestial Teapot or Optimus Prime. Still not a reason to believe in any of them existing.
19. It’s not like you have anything to lose.
Awkward appeal to ‘Pascals Wager’ so here’s another time saving copy/paste job:
This argument is known as Pascal’s Wager and might be an argument of minor worth if there were not hundreds of different religions and thousands of deities throughout human history. For this argument to even approach validity, you would have to be sure that you have selected the right deity; since if you do not choose the right deity (if one even existed at all) out of the various thousands, the result you hope for won’t be happening. After all, for example, there is no more evidence or proof for the Christian god than there is for Zeus, Wotan, Mithras, Xenu or even the fabled Flying Spaghetti Monster.
20. God brings legitimate joy.
Actually, the release of a cocktail of select chemicals in your brain brings you joy/happiness/pleasure. God, apparently, has nothing to do with it. Different things also bring different people joy; stabbing people repeatedly bring some people utter ecstacy but I do not see anyone trying to claim that is somehow divinely inspired/related.
21. God brings peace of mind.
Lots of things bring peace of mind, some real and some false. Dementia patients are often full of peace of mind all while unable to remember their own name and filling their adult diapers because they can not control their own bladder. Drugs can certainly bring peace of mind as can plain old insanity. None of which have anything to do with any sort of deity figure.
22. Who said large masses would pull things closer? Gravity. Why?
Who said anyone had to say it. Things have mass and thus tend to attract other things towards them. This is just an argument from ignorance and does nothing but say a lot about the author of the list.
23. Your soul depends on it.
Assumes souls exist in the first place, when there is no evidence of such.
24. Miracles DO happen.
No sort of divine miracle has ever been independently verified.
25. God LOVES you.
Presumes the existence of god and thus goes straight into circular logic territory.