God or Atheism — Which Is More Rational?

“It takes faith to believe in everything coming from nothing.  It takes only reason to believe in everything coming from God.”

When something is said better than you can say it, why paraphrase? I’ve included this article title “God or Atheism – Which is more rational?” If you have a friend or relative that is currently questioning the existence of God, this article might be really great for them to read, or for it to be explained to them. So weithout further ado…

“God or Atheism — Which Is More Rational?

Is it rational to believe in God?  Many people think that faith and reason are opposites; that belief in God and tough-minded logical reasoning are like oil and water.  They are wrong.  Belief in God is far more rational than atheism.  Logic can show that there is a God.  If you look at the universe with common sense and an open mind, you’ll find that it’s full of God’s fingerprints.

A good place to start is with an argument by Thomas Aquinas, the great 13th century philosopher and theologian.  The argument starts with the not-very-startling observation that things move.  But nothing moves for no reason.  Something must cause that movement, and whatever caused that must be caused by something else, and so on.  But this causal chain cannot go backwards forever.  It must have a beginning.  There must be an unmoved mover to begin all the motion in the universe, a first domino to start the whole chain moving, since mere matter never moves itself.

A modern objection to this argument is that some movements in quantum mechanics — radioactive decay, for example — have no discernible cause.  But hang on a second.  Just because scientists don’t see a cause doesn’t mean there isn’t one.  It just means science hasn’t found it yet.  Maybe someday they will.  But then there will have to be a new cause to explain that one.  And so on and so on.  But science will never find the first cause.  That’s no knock on science.  It simply means that a first cause lies outside the realm of science.

Another way to explain this argument is that everything that begins must have a cause.  Nothing can come from nothing.  So if there’s no first cause, there can’t be second causes — or anything at all.  In other words, if there’s no creator, there can’t be a universe.

But what if the universe were infinitely old, you might ask.  Well, all scientists today agree that the universe is not infinitely old — that it had a beginning, in the big bang.  If the universe had a beginning, then it didn’t have to exist.  And things which don’t have to exist must have a cause.
There’s confirmation of this argument from big-bang cosmology.  We now know that all matter, that is, the whole universe, came into existence some 13.7 billion years ago, and it’s been expanding and cooling ever since.  No scientist doubts that anymore, even though before it was scientifically proved, atheists called it “creationism in disguise”.  Now, add to this premise a very logical second premise, the principle of causality, that nothing begins without an adequate cause, and you get the conclusion that since there was a big bang, there must be a “big banger”.

But is this “big banger” God?  Why couldn’t it be just another universe?  Because Einstein’s general theory of relativity says that all time is relative to matter, and since all matter began 13.7 billion years ago, so did all time.  So there’s no time before the big bang.  And even if there is time before the big bang, even if there is a multiverse, that is, many universes with many big bangs, as string theory says is mathematically possible, that too must have a beginning.

An absolute beginning is what most people mean by ‘God’.  Yet some atheists find the existence of an infinite number of other universes more rational than the existence of a creator.  Never mind that there is no empirical evidence at all that any of these unknown universes exists, let alone a thousand or a gazillion.

How far will scientists go to avoid having to conclude that God created the universe?  Here’s what Stanford physicist Leonard Susskind said:  “Real scientists resist the temptation to explain creation by divine intervention.  We resist to the death all explanations of the world based on anything but the laws of physics.”  Yet the father of modern physics, Sir Isaac Newton, believed fervently in God.  Was he not a real scientist?  Can you believe in God and be a scientist, and not be a fraud?  According to Susskind, apparently not.  So who exactly are the closed-minded ones in this debate?

The conclusion that God exists doesn’t require faith.  Atheism requires faith.  It takes faith to believe in everything coming from nothing.  It takes only reason to believe in everything coming from God.

I’m Peter Kreeft, professor of philosophy at Boston College, for Prager University.”

Original article at:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/3030100/posts

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11 thoughts on “God or Atheism — Which Is More Rational?

  1. I started watching the miniseries “How the Universe Works,” this morning.

    After about 5 minutes the narrator and all the scientists started saying, “Physics teaches us that everything came from nothing.”

    I was stunned.

    Then they said it again, “The Big Bang means that everything came from nothing.”

    And I just began howling in laughter.

    Yes, it must have been a joke, but no it wasn’t.

    Renown scientists were peddling an 100% faith-based absurdity as if it were cold, hard fact.

    At first I was embarrassed,

    Then I got scared.

    How can our society not collapse when its intelligencia believes and teaches nonsense to everyone?

    1. I share your frustration, my friend.

      In first Corinthians Paul distinguishes between “fleshy/worldly” wisdom and spiritual wisdom. He talks the the smarty-pants guys (like the scientists you’re talking about who think they’re so intelligent and have all the answers) of his day, telling them:

      “I was not able to speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to fleshy men, as to babes in Christ.”

      It doesn’t matter how much worldly knowledge and wisdom one has, spiritual wisdom is a completely different thing. Many people with worldly/fleshy knowledge speak with an arrogant sense of authority on on topics upon which their knowledge equivalates to that of a baby, as Paul puts it.

      “Did God not make the wisdom of the world foolish? […] the world through its wisdom did not get to know God” (First Corinthians 1:20-21)

      This material/physical world (and the brains that exist within it) are not evil, but they are susceptible to the devil’s influence, while the wisdom of the spirit is pure and Christ-like, it knows only truth.

      Satan is evil indeed, but he is also very smart, cunning, and extremely deceptive. And so evil and lies come disguised in many forms, and in the most unlikely of places. We should pray to God for guidance so that we may distinguish the truth from lies. (And not become paranoid in the process!)

      I personally feel very strongly that I want to expose these evils, but it seems that Satan has done a good job painting God-fearing believers as delusional fools through the media and other devices. Talking openly about God, heart-breakingly, is almost taboo (at least in LA where I live…) So I believe we must combat this with humble intelligence, subtly, patience, and above all LOVE. For if we have animosity and anger towards those who have been lead astray, we are only falling into Satan’s trap. Jesus taught us to love our enemy, and so we must ignore that filthy, vile voice that whispers into out thoughts and feelings and do as we aught to.

      We should pray for those misguided, and forgive them.

      God bless, my friend.

      ~Jones

      P.S. – How can our society not collapse? Unfortunately it will collapse, as prophesied in the Bible and Quran. 😥 The question is when? I’m not trying to fear-monger here, it’s just what I know to be the truth (and I pray that everyone would open their hearts and hear the truth because then we could avoid this). In the Quran it often says the “Satan is your OPEN enemy.” Knowing this we can defend ourselves against his subtly, but powerful, advances. Imagine however, that you did not know Satan to be real, but just believed he was a metaphor or a concept? How then could you resist him? He would just be a voice in your head or an urge, and you would likely believe it was YOU. This is what is happening to so many people. If they want to be good they will fight it, but they will always be fighting THEMSELVES, a frustrating and demoralizing battle. Would they accept God and understand the truth they could rebuke Satan’s advances, forgive themselves for falling under his deceptions, and live righteously in this life and eternally at peace in next.

  2. I really don’t care enough right now to point out the confirmation bias exhibited in the article, so I’ll just stick with an oldie but goodie. Even if a “first causer” is, indeed, absolutely necessary, you still have all your work ahead of you to show that your jealous, temperamental God is that cause.

    1. I see no need to prove that. The point is there is a creator and that He is (what humans would call) intelligent. Once you’ve accepted that truth then there are many paths you can take (called religion by humans) but ultimately God will judge by what is in your heart, not by worldly labels and knowledge, but by spiritual truth. God is too unfathomable to be completely understood by one religion or even ALL religions combined. The best way to God is through personal connection with Him, but the religions show and teach us the ways that HE wanted us to achieve this…

      In the Quran it says that God sent a messenger to every peoples, although the wicked one often despised and rejected them. There have been thousands of true religions throughout human history. Choose whichever one you like 🙂 As long as it worships ONE (monotheistic) God that is ultimately GOOD, then you’re on a fine path.

      God bless my friend.

      ~Jones

      1. Of course you see no need to prove it, you’ve led with the assumption and then searched for evidence to support it. However, that is not the only assumption you made. You are unable to show that life could not exist in other universes with different constants, you only make that assumption (bin the fine tuning / design argument). You are unable to show that causal relationships existed prior to the big bang (bin Kalam and Aquinas), you only make that assumption. Therefore, the basis of these claims lies in rather wide assumptions that, hey, you feel no need to prove.

      2. Well, I just don’t like to argue with people. And I admit that there’s no PROOF either way, just evidence. This “assumption” you speak of is a theory. And then I looked for evidence to back my theory. That’s basically the scientific method.

        The thing with religion is, if it is true, that there would be no way for us to really figure this stuff out f God hadn’t told us through his prophets and scripture. Therefore, because I believe in His messages and books, I am compelled to base my understanding of the world first on what is written, and then by what I observe. If I understand correctly then you see the whole religion and God thing as foolishness.

        In First Corinthians it is said that “the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God” and that the most foolish of Gods ideas is still wiser than that of mens. I mean if you don’t want to believe, you don’t want to believe. I just feel bad because I know what’s at stake here. I hope my words don’t come off as argumentative and contradictory. I guess if I’m right then well find out after we die. If you are, well, I guess we won’t because there will be nothing (or do you believe something different?). For your sake, I hope you’re right my friend.

        Nothing but love homie 🙂

        ~Jones

      3. And if religion were not divinely inspired, but simply a tool used to rule the wills of people, what else would you expect to find but First Corinthians?

        Also, the scientific method is not, “Look for evidence for what you believe.” That is confirmation bias. In science what you do is you make predictions about the world which will not appear if the hypothesis is false and test them in a controlled environment.

        Cheerio

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