PLACE YOUR BETS

PascalMost atheists argue there is no God because there is no proof. Theists believe the only sensible, plausible explanation for what we see around us is an intelligent designer, the one we call “God.” Of course, no one has to believe there is a God. Let us be clear, however, that not believing will get you in deep trouble if you’re wrong. That’s not a mere threat. It’s just the truth. “Pascal’s Wager” is a pretty good bet.

The apostle, Paul, wrote to the Roman church: “…that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:19,20). “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6) Here’s the point: there are two sides to this issue and because the consequences of unbelief are so dire, it would seem wise to make a thorough investigation before coming to a conclusion.

It is impossible to absolutely prove or disprove God’s existence. As you might imagine, there are strong arguments on both sides. I found some comments on a recent atheistic blog provocative. The writer said, “I believe plenty of scientific, historical, philosophical, and psychological evidence proves there is no god. The evidences in support of theism and deism are highly interpretable at best and weak at worst.” Theists say very similar things in support of our position. Let the buyer beware.  Do science, history, philosophy and psychology really settle the matter? If so, then why are there strong believers in each of these disciplines?

Another writer said, “We all see lots of complexity and design, but that is the byproduct of evolution, not a designer. Otherwise, you have to explain all the crappy design everywhere along with the good design.” Design without a designer? True evolution has no design to it. It is a random, accidental, unintended process. One has to decide whether this is the possible outcome of billions of years of chaotic chance or the intended product of intelligent design.

Crappy design? This is a frequent argument by those who surmise that if God was involved in the creation, life forms would be perfect. What is overlooked is that God never claimed his creation to be perfect…only “good.” Perfection was never the claim. Indeed, like everything else in the universe, life is designed to come to an end. Can you see the flaw in the argument? One side says that life is evidence of intelligent design and other side says it is evidence of a long series of accidents.

Still another commentator wrote, “I believe there is no god. If there was a god, the world would be a lot different to the way it is.” “…the world seems to be created to be painful for those who live in it for no purposeful reason. A freshman philosophy student can concoct a better world system than the one that exists.” Would you trust a “freshman philosophy student” to create your world? I didn’t think so. This life is an existence filled with a mixture of both joy and pain, good and evil, light and dark. Another writes, “…science is doing very well at taking god myths, creationism, near-death experiences, and similar wishful thinking to pieces.” If that is true, the question naturally arises again, “Then why are so many eminent scientists believers?” If you reply, “The majority are non-believers,” you may be right but you still have to deal with the fact that many are theists. So, you don’t like what you see and read about God? OK, but mark you, God is sovereign. He gets to do whatever he wants whether you and I like it or not. Go ahead, place your bets. But, if you bet on unbelief, the payoff may be a nasty surprise. If you don’t like the returns, it was not because you were not thoroughly warned by an evident God who loves you and wants all of humanity to be saved.

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One response to “PLACE YOUR BETS

  1. alvin

    Dwight, Of course there are scientists and learned people that believe in god and maybe in the bible. What does that
    PROVE!!!? Belief and faith are one thing, evidence, proof is more important. You make a statement that it is impossible to either prove or disprove the existence of god
    there is no need to prove a negative the onus is on those to prove the positive.

    Here is an example;

    Think about Leprechauns

    Many believers will say, “It is impossible for you to prove that God (Hashem, Allah, Ra, Vishnu, whatever) does not exist. There is no way to prove that something does not exist.” This is a silly argument for the following reason.

    Imagine that we have a conversation one day and I say to you, “I believe in the gerflagenflopple. You cannot prove that the gerflagenflopple does not exist, therefore it exists.” You can see that this is ridiculous. Just because I have invented something out of thin air does not mean that its non-existence is suddenly unprovable. There has to be some evidence that the gerflagenflopple exists in order to assert its existence. Since there is not, it is quite easy to say that the gerflagenflopple is imaginary.

    Now let’s imagine that we have a conversation one day and I say to you, “I believe in Leprechauns. You cannot prove that Leprechauns do not exist, therefore they exist.” You actually have heard of Leprechauns. There are lots of books, movies and fairy tales dealing with Leprechauns. People talk about Leprechauns all the time. Leprechauns even have a popular brand of breakfast cereal. But that does not mean that Leprechauns exist. There is no physical evidence for the existence of Leprechauns. Not a single bit. Therefore, it is obvious to any normal person that Leprechauns are imaginary.

    If you think about it, you will realize that there is no difference between God (Hashem, Allah, Ra, Vishnu, whatever etc) and Leprechauns. Lots of people talk about God as though he exists, but there is no actual evidence for God’s existence. For example:

    * God has never left any physical evidence of his existence on earth.
    * All historical gods were imaginary and we know it.
    * None of Jesus’ “miracles” left any physical evidence either.
    * God has never spoken to modern man, for example by taking over all the television stations and broadcasting a rational message to everyone.
    * The resurrected Jesus (nor Elijah) has never appeared to anyone.
    * The Bible (Christian and Hebrew) we have is provably incorrect and is obviously the work of primitive men rather than a God.
    * When we analyze prayer with statistics, we find no evidence that God is “answering prayers.”
    * Huge, amazing atrocities like the Holocaust, Cancer and AIDS occur without any response from God.
    * And so on…

    There is absolutely no evidence indicating that God exists. There is a tremendous amount of empirical evidence that God does not exist. Therefore we can conclusively say that God is imaginary. That is the only thing that a rational person can say.

    Another angle

    Here is a second way to look at the same question.

    With every other object and phenomenon in our experience, we use the scientific method to determine whether it exists or not. For example, X rays are invisible, but we know that they exist. We can devise scientific experiments to prove that they exist. Then, once proven to exist, X-rays can be used predictably in all sorts of beneficial ways.

    If you would like to hypothesize that God exists, then you should say to yourself, “Let’s devise a repeatable scientific experiment to provide evidence that God exists.” Every experiment we devise demonstrates, yet again, that God is imaginary.

    Isn’t it odd that God, unlike everything else in our universe, has been put into a special category? When we talk about God, we are supposed to do so “philosophically.” Why? Why not treat God just like all other objects and devise experiments to detect his presence or absence?

    The classic religious response is, “God must remain hidden. If he proved his existence, that would take away faith.” This is clever — here we have an object named God that proves its existence by completely hiding its existence. Of course, in the real world, any object that provides no evidence for its existence is classified as imaginary.

    Even more interesting, this object called God, which is supposedly hiding its existence completely, is in the meantime supposedly writing books, answering prayers and incarnating itself. How can that be? This obvious contradiction shows how imaginary God is. When we look at prayer scientifically, we find that “answered prayers” are actually nothing but coincidences. When we look at the Bible (Christian and Hebrew) scientifically, ethically or rationally, we find that the Bible is wrong. When we look at all of Jesus’ (or Hashem’s) miracles scientifically, we find that none of them left behind any scientific or historical evidence. Nor, for that matter, did Jesus, nor did Jesus’ resurrection. Strangely, not a single historical source INDEPENDENT of the Bible ever mentions the resurrection.

    The reason why we can find no empirical evidence for God’s existence is not because “God is a magical being completely able to hide from us.” It is because God is imaginary.

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