Sunday, December 13, 2009
Skeptical of Atheism
My Response to an Atheist Skeptic who Believes that Believing in God is Foolishness:
While I share your high estimation of skepticism – It was skepticism that brought me from agnosticism to Christianity – you provocatively stated: “The important point is that there are plenty of notions, such as that of gods, that cannot be rejected in the same way (pace both Coyne and Dawkins), and yet can be rejected on reasonable grounds for the simple fact that they are extraordinary claims without the support of extraordinary evidence (to paraphrase Carl Sagan paraphrasing David Hume).”
While I agree with you about the “extraordinary claims” and the “extraordinary evidence,” I must point out that we all must grapple with the same two “extraordinary” choices: Either Naturalism or Supernaturalism is the origin/explanation of the universe. Let me now set forth some arguments for Supernaturalism in favor of Naturalism.
1. Our experience uniformly demonstrates that the cause must be greater than the effect. Intelligent causation is greater than non-intelligent causation. Therefore, supernaturalism must be the preferred hypothesis.
2. Supernaturalism (transcendence) is a better explanation than Naturalism (materialism) for the immutability of the physical laws. Something must transcend our expanding universe of molecules-in-motion. (Where do the “natural” laws come from?)
3. Supernatural Transcendence is also a better explanation than localized materialism for the uniform operation of these laws throughout the universe.
4. Supernatural Oneness is more parsimonious than the idea of myriads of independently operating natural laws. It better accounts for the stability and regularity of the physical world.
5. Although we all agree that phenomena occur formulaically and predictably, there is absolutely no evidence that the laws that govern are natural as opposed to their being part of a Super-Intelligence.
6. Naturalism is utterly inadequate to account for many phenomena – life, DNA, consciousness, freewill, the fine-tuning of the universe, reason and logic – while Supernaturalism is adequate.