God is real
Debate Rounds (5)
Many say there is no proof of God, but they admit they have no proof for his nonexistence either. They will then ask me if I have proof for unicorns. Let's keep that question in mind. Both the audience and whoever is debating me now will agree that when we don't have an absolute answer we should not ignore what the evidence suggests. So first let's consider what science REALLY shows. Visualize this illustration from the Awake! 2011 magazine:
YOU are on a remote, uninhabited island. While walking along the beach, you see "John 1800" engraved on a boulder. You obviously conclude that someone made that inscription. Why? For one thing, a string of well-defined letters and numbers, even if they are in a foreign language, does not occur naturally. Second, the statement contains meaningful information, indicating an intelligent source. Many, though, make an exception when the information is inside of a cell! Consider the following facts and see for yourselves how unreasonable this is.
DNA is like a recipe, or program, that directs the formation, growth, maintenance, and reproduction of the trillions of cells that make up your body. The basic units that make up DNA are called nucleotides. These units are called A, C, G, and T, depending on which chemical base they contain. Like letters of the alphabet, these four characters can be combined in many ways to form "sentences", or instructions that direct replication and other processes within the cell.
The entire package of information stored in your DNA is called your genome. Some sequences of letters in your DNA are unique to you, for DNA contains your hereditary information (your eye color, skin color, the shape of your nose, etc.). Simply put, your genome can be compared to a vast library of recipes for every part of your body, and the end product is you.
How large is this "library"? About three billion "letters," or nucleotides (bases), long. If it were transcribed onto paper, the book would fill 200 volumes the size of a 1,000-page telephone book, according to the Human Genome Project.
If reason tells us that "John 1800" engraved into a rock must have an intelligent mind as its source, should not also the infinitely more complex and meaningful information found in DNA? After all, information is information no matter where it is found or what the medium may be. Computer and information scientist Donald E. Johnson said that the laws of chemistry and physics are unable to create complex information or systems that process that information. And it stands to reason that the more complex a package of information, the greater the intelligence needed to write it.
Many may argue that unlike an inscription on a rock, the information on DNA is biological, and therefor could have occurred naturally without an intelligent designer. Really, both are examples of complex and meaningful information. The difference is that a child could write "John 1800." But only a superhuman mind could write the code of life. What is more, "the complexity of biology has seemed to grow by orders of magnitude" with every new discovery, says the journal Nature.
The DNA's repair mechanism is another thing that amazes me. As part of the normal replication process for DNA, an enzyme travels down the DNA strand so that a copy strand of DNA can be produced. As the enzyme reads the sequence of molecules along the strand, and if an incorrect nucleotide is detected in the strand, there is a mechanism that uses other enzymes to cut out the bad nucleotide and insert the correct one, thus repairing the DNA.
If the repair mechanism evolved first, what use is a repair mechanism if DNA has not evolved yet? If DNA evolved first, how would the DNA even know it would be better off with a repair mechanism? Can molecules think? DNA is not a stable chemical molecule, and without a repair mechanism, it would easily deteriorate by chemical oxidation and other processes. There is no mechanism to explain how DNA could exist for millions of years while the repair mechanism evolved. DNA would just decompose back into pond scum before the alleged billions of random chance mutations could ever form the repair mechanism.
Now let's consider the scriptural evidence; the best evidence there is. It does not only show there is a God, but it also teaches us about that God. Yes, I am talking about the Bible. There is no other book like it. The first book of the Bible tells us how mankind"s problems began. The last book shows that the whole earth will become a paradise, or garden. All the material in the Bible covers thousands of years of history and relates in some way to the unfolding of God"s purpose. It's harmony is extraordinary, considering the Bible had over forty writers with different backgrounds who lived during different time periods and did the writing over 1,610 years.
The book of Leviticus contained laws for ancient Israel on quarantine and hygiene when surrounding nations knew nothing about such matters. At a time when there were wrong ideas about the shape of the earth, the Bible referred to it as a circle, or sphere. (Isaiah 40:22) The Bible accurately said that the earth "hangs on nothing." (Job 26:7) The Bible is not a science textbook, but it is scientifically accurate and It even contains information that was far ahead of its time. Is this not what we would expect of a book from God?
Also, all its specific prophecies have fulfilled LONG after being predicted. I'll give you a very extraordinary example. The book of Isaiah predicted the Persian king Cyrus will conquer the ancient city of Babylon about 200 YEARS before it happened. There was no other Persian king Cyrus during the 200 years after the prophecy was written.
The Babylonians were holding a festival that night and felt secure behind their massive city walls. Meanwhile, Cyrus cleverly diverted the water of the river that flowed through the city. Soon the water was shallow enough for his men to cross the riverbed and approach the walls of the city. But how would Cyrus" army get past Babylon"s walls? For some reason, on that night the doors to the city were carelessly left open!
Regarding Babylon, it was foretold: "She will never be inhabited, nor will she reside for generation after generation. And there the Arab will not pitch his tent, and no shepherds will let their flocks lie down there." (Isaiah 13:20) This prophecy did more than predict the most powerful city's fall. It predicted it's permanent desolation! You can see evidence of the fulfillment of these words. The uninhabited site of ancient Babylon, about 50 miles or 90 km, south of Baghdad, Iraq, is proof that what Jehovah spoke through Isaiah has been fulfilled: "I will sweep her with the broom of annihilation." (Isaiah 14:22, 23).
The Bible is also historically accurate and reliable. Its accounts are specific. They include not only the names but also the ancestry of individuals. In contrast to secular historians, who often do not mention the defeats of their own people, Bible writers were honest, even recording their own failings and those of their nation. In the Bible book of Numbers, for instance, the writer Moses admits his own serious error for which he was severely reproved. (Numbers 20:2-12) Such honesty is rare in other historical accounts but is found in the Bible because it is a book from God.
The Bible is also a book of practical wisdom. Consider Jesus" speech called the Sermon on the Mount, recorded in Matthew chapters 5 to 7. In this masterpiece of teaching, Jesus spoke on a number of topics, including the way to find true happiness, how to settle disputes, how to pray, and how to have the proper view of material things. Jesus" words are just as powerful and practical today as they were when he spoke them.
Some Bible principles deal with family life, work habits, and relationships with others. The Bible"s principles apply to all people, and its counsel is always beneficial. The wisdom found in the Bible is summarized by God"s words through the prophet Isaiah: "I, Jehovah, am your God, the One teaching you to benefit yourself." (Isaiah 48:17).
The Bible truly is a unique book, but its value extends far beyond its internal harmony, scientific and historical accuracy, practical wisdom, and reliable prophecy. The Christian apostle Paul wrote: "The word of God is alive and exerts power and is sharper than any two-edged sword and pierces even to the dividing of soul and spirit, and of joints and their marrow, and is able to discern thoughts and intentions of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12). Reading God"s "word," or message, in the Bible can change our life. It can help us to examine ourselves as never before. We may claim to love God, but how we react to what his inspired Word, the Bible, teaches will reveal our true thoughts, even the very intentions of the heart.
Considering these facts should make you wonder: how could such an extraordinary book be the word of men? It couldn't. It is, without a shadow of doubt, THE word of God.
Now, regarding the unicorns, I can not prove their nonexistence, nor do I have to. Unlike for God, there is no evidence even suggesting unicorns exist nor were they essential in the creation of the universe. The real "unicorns" here is not God, though. If you do not want to believe in God because "unicorns", the nonsensical unscientific ideas you are accepting by denying his existence, are a possibility, that's your problem. That would require a much larger leap of faith, though. A leap many of us will not make because we actually care about the truth.
Let's first look at the reasons why God is not needed:
Firstly, we have evidence for life forming from non-life under purely natural ways with no interference from humans. It was only observed, not tested, so it is extremely possible that life formed from a nonliving.
Secondly, although I cannot say personally that it is true, the Big Bang Theory is extremely possible. People like to jump on this argument and say that something can't come from nothing. Besides the fact that they pulled their God out of thin air and decide to turn the argument around and say that only what they believe can come from no where, Stephan Hawking says in one of his books that particle waves can form spontaneously. I am afraid that I cannot quote the book, nor can I say which book it is, but I have heard him discuss this. I have also found articles online to support this idea (http://link.springer.com...)
Evolution is a hot topic, but I am going to jump in to it briefly: first of all, it is observable and statistically supported. Let's take us humans as examples: if you notice, the average height of a person has changed over the course of history. Evolution is defined as change over time, and over time, humans have grown in height, animals tails have changed in height, the instincts of animals have changed, they have changed! (http://www.livestrong.com...) Also, if fossil records and similar growing patterns in the mother wombs aren't enough evidence, DNA samples similarities should be enough to indicate that we all share a common ancestor.
I come into this debate on the side that has no burden of proof, as I have not made an outrageous statement without any evidence to support the idea in the first place. However, in this debate, I will willingly assume the burden to prove that it is unlikely that the Abrahamic God exists. It's outrageous for me to claim that something does not exist because it's impossible to prove such a claim, and no one should make such a claim.
Hebrews 3:4 - "For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything." Simple, but powerful. This is simply what we observe, and if you are going to assume it was any different with the universe and life, you should give proof. But like you've said, that's impossible.
Concerning the Big Bang, I have no trouble accepting that God could have used an explosion to create the universe. The Bible clearly talks about the expansion of the universe, and Big Bang is most likely the reason. But the Big Bang had a beginning, and everything with a beginning must have something causing it to begin. The complex origin of this time and space continuum could not have been limited by time or space, and I believe this is true about God. He was not limited by these characteristics of the physical universe because he created them.
Evolution is a hot topic, indeed. But I'd like you to understand the previous evidence I have given well before we change the topic. Bible is actually the best evidence there is. Yes, the Bible makes the claim, but so do many other books. What makes the Bible special? Reread round 1. I explained pretty clearly.
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