Is God real?
When we reflect upon the nature of our world, we see order everywhere from the water cycle to the movement of the earth around the sun. Commenting on the order found in the universe, the physicist Stephen Hawking explains that the overwhelming impression ‘‘is one of order, the more we discover about the universe, the more we find that it is governed by rational laws.’’This observation is shared by the vast majority of scientists.
Since the universe has order and is governed by the ‘laws of science’, we should question how this order came about. The most effective way to answer this question is to reason to the best conclusion. Take your mobile phone for example, your phone is made of glass, plastic and metal. Glass comes from sand, plastic comes from oil and metal is extracted from the ground. Imagine you were walking in a desert (where there is lots of oil, sand and metals in the ground), and you found a mobile phone lying around. Would you believe that it came together by itself? That the Sun shone, the wind blew, lightning struck, the oil bubbled to the surface and mixed with the sand and metal, and over millions of years the mobile came together by chance?
No one would believe such an explanation. A mobile phone is clearly something that was put together in an organized way, so it would be rational to believe that it must have an organizer. In the same way, when we see the order in the universe, isn’t it rational to say that the universe also has been organized in an amazing way by some being?
This organization is best explained by the existence of God. God is the one who brought about the order in the universe.
Beginning of the Universe
If something has always existed it doesn’t need a creator. In the first part of the 20th century some physicists held the view that the universe had always existed. If the universe had always existed it wouldn’t need a creator.
However, according to Cosmology the universe had a beginning some 14 billion years ago with a cosmic event commonly known as the ‘Big Bang’.
Imagine you heard a loud bang, and you asked ‘where did that sound come from?’ Would you be satisfied with the answer that it came from ‘nothing’ and it ‘just happened?’ Of course not! You would say ‘what was the cause of that loud bang?’ In the same way, rationally the ‘Big Bang’ must also have a cause that bought it about. Now we can ask since the ‘Big Bang’ has a cause, what was the cause of that cause? Then we can ask, what was the cause of that cause? And so on and so on. But this can’t go on forever and must end with a first cause, because of the following example:
Imagine a sniper who has just found his target and calls back to base to get permission to shoot. The person at the base tells the sniper to hold on while they seek permission from someone else higher up. So the guy higher up seeks permission from the guy even higher up and so on and so on. If this goes on forever, will the sniper ever get to shoot the target?
The obvious answer is that he wouldn’t be able to shoot. The only way the sniper can shoot is if someone gives permission without asking for anyone else’s permission. That person would be the first cause of the sniper shooting. In the same way, the Big Bang must have a first cause.
We can conclude that this first cause must be powerful as it brought the whole universe into existence, and it must be intelligent as it caused the ‘laws of science’ which govern the universe. Also, this first cause must be timeless, spaceless and immaterial, because time, space and matter began at the ‘Big Bang’. Finally, since it is uncaused it must have always existed.
All of these attributes of the first cause make up the basic concept of God. God is the uncreated first cause of the universe.
Throughout the history of the world, the majority of people have believed in God. There seems to be something built in the human mind that makes us want to believe.
Over the last decade some really startling facts have been found that show that children have an innate belief in God. Dr Justin Barrett, a senior researcher at the University of Oxford Centre for Anthropology and Mind, states “The preponderance of scientific evidence for the past 10 years or so has shown that a lot more seems to be built into the natural development of children’s minds than we once thought, including a predisposition to see the natural world as designed and purposeful and that some kind of intelligent being is behind that purpose…” He adds that “If we threw a handful [of children] on an island and they raised themselves…they would believe in God”. To put it simply, his answer as to why anyone would believe in God is that, our minds are designed to do so. Disbelief in God is something which is unnatural to the human being. Oxford University development psychologist Dr Olivera Petrovich, who is an expert in the Psychology of Religion states that, belief in God develops naturally and that “atheism is definitely an acquired position”.
So where did this natural belief in a creator come from? We can’t say it is taught by society as this belief is innate, and studies show that it is independent of societal pressures and is cross-cultural.
The best explanation for this belief is that God has instilled it into humanity.You have just read three independent reasons why it makes sense to believe in God. Belief in God is not only rational but it’s also part of human nature. There are many questions raised by the existence of God, such as why is there evil and suffering in the world? Doesn’t evolution disprove God? Do we have a purpose in life? All these issues and more will be answered in future articles.
First, I would like to thank my opponent for challenging me to this debate. I look forward to intellectual and thought-provoking arguments.
In my position as Con, I will argue that there is no evidence or reason to believe that God exists.
What is a god? A god is an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent being seemingly capable of creating the universe on a whim. But where does the belief in God come from? It comes from the need to explain the unexplainable, and the need to believe that there is something more to the universe. There is no evidence for any known gods. Yes, that's right, plural. Throughout history there have been hundreds, even thousands of different beliefs in higher beings. Some might argue that this is further proof that there is something out there. I argue that this is perhaps one of religions greatest downfalls. The wildly different beliefs in omnipotent beings over time has shown that no single person has any clue what such a being would want, do or even look like. Those who believe in a god, often use teleological arguments, hypothetical situations and our lack of knowledge of the universe as evidence, I contend that is not good enough reason to believe God exists.
If a man walked up to you one day and told you that there was a great porcupine that created the universe and that he has an entire book written about this porcupine, would you believe them? Not if you're sane, and yet there is just as much evidence for the great porcupine as there is for any other god. So how does a religion become popular? By appealing to the subconscious needs of their believers. People want to believe there is life after death. People want to believe that there is something watching over them and, most of all, people want to be a part of something big.
My opponent begins his argument by stating that we see order everywhere in the world and suggests that this is some sort of sign that there is a god that created the universe and our world. While there does appear at first to be much order in the world, there is also much disorder. For instance, my opponent used the water cycle as an example. Yes, water does follow a pattern with evaporation, condensation, precipitation, etc. However, once the water vapor has condensed into clouds it is impossible to accurately predict the movement of these clouds. Meteorologists must constantly monitor storms because they are so unpredictable. My opponent also uses the movement of the Earth around the Sun. However, Earth's axis changes orientation and angle with some movement being unpredictable.(1) Earth is also slowly moving away from the sun at a rate of 15cm every year.(2) Beyond that, in 500 million years the Sun will have become hot enough have ended all life on Earth, having heated up faster than the Earth can move away, it will boil away the Earths oceans and blow away its atmosphere.(3) Even further out, the Universe is expanding at an increasing rate. This will eventually lead to the universe losing its ability to use energy altogether.(4)
All of these examples hardly sound orderly for a universe designed by a god.
My opponent then suggests that we should question how the laws of our universe came about. He poses a situation pointing out that if we found a mobile phone in the desert we would assume it were designed rather than coming about by chance. This is an inadequate analogy because we know that cell phones are created by people and that they must be created in a certain way. The laws of science are only an explanation the universe we know. It is impossible to speculate on what would occur if the universe were different because we can't observe a different universe. It is entirely possible that if the universe were different then an entirely different existence of life could dwell there and have their own set of scientific laws that seem quite orderly to them but entirely nonsensical to us. Just because our scientific laws make sense doesn't suggest they were created.
Next, my opponent states that the big bang as the creation of the universe, this isn't necessarily true. The big bang theory states that the universe expanded from a hot dense state and then cooled allowing energy to convert to particles of matter. The big bang theory does NOT state what happened before the expansion, if anything. It's true that science hasn't yet discovered the exact reason that the expansion began. While some may see this lack of certainty in our theories as the perfect place to pigeonhole a supreme being, I would like to remind my opponent and those reading that throughout history the unknown has often been conveniently explained away by the religious as the realm of a god before being explained by science. It was once believed that lightning was caused by a god being angered by someone, which we now know is false. Some early beliefs thought that the Moon was the land of the dead. Some Christians still believe that the Earth and all life on it was created in 6 days some 6-10,000 years ago despite all evidence to the contrary. Now many religious people believe that a god caused the big bang, despite there being no reference to it in religion before the proposal of the theory.
Lastly, he states that "facts" have been found that children have an innate belief in God. These facts refer to two researchers who have not had their research peer reviewed, and used questionable methodology. Their simple idea is to ask children about very vague concepts such as "Why is the stone pointed?". A child wouldn't understand erosion or fracturing of stone and they know most objects in their lives are "made" so it stands to reason that they would assume it is made that way. There is no scientific method involved in their research, only bias from their strong beliefs and a need to justify them.
I thank my opponent on his excellent rebuttals. I will use Christian evidence first cause most likely you have been raised as a Christian even though I am not one. You say there is no "evidence" that God exists. The Proof that God exists is that without Him you couldn't prove anything. While this proof is valid, no one needs this proof. The Bible teaches us that there are 2 types of people in this world, those who profess the truth of God's existence and those who suppress the truth of God's existence. The options of 'seeking' God, or not believing in God are unavailable. The Bible never attempts to prove the existence of God as it declares that the existence of God is so obvious that we are without excuse for not believing in Him. This is from a Christian point of view and while I may not be Christian I believe that we need no real proof because it is very obvious this universe has a creator.
Denying belief in God is not unbelief, but "professed unbelief" - an exercise in self-deception. You may know things, but you cannot account for anything you claim to know. Arguing against God's existence would be on par with arguing against the existence of air, breathing it all the while you admit that absolute truth exists, but cannot account for it without God. You claim to know things to be true, but cannot justify knowledge or truth according to your own worldview. You use universal, immaterial, unchanging logic in order to come to rational decisions, but you cannot account for it. Truth, knowledge and logic are not the only ways God has revealed himself to you, but they are sufficient to show the irrationality of your thinking, and expose your guilt for denying Him.
There is a reason that you deny the existence of God and it has nothing to do with proof. I can show this to you. Examine what your initial reaction was to the proof of God's existence offered on this website. Did you think that you could continue to deny God because you are not a scientist, or philosopher but 'Surely somewhere, sometime, a philosopher or scientist will come up with an explanation for truth, knowledge and logic apart from God?' Did you try to come up with an alternate explanation on your own? OR Did you even consider that the proof was valid?
Hoping that an alternate explanation for truth, knowledge, and universal, immaterial, unchanging logic can someday be found apart from God, is a blind leap of faith, or wishful thinking.
The complexity of our planet points to a deliberate Designer who not only created our universe, but sustains it today.
Many examples showing God's design could be given, possibly with no end. But here are a few:
The Earth...its size is perfect. The Earth's size and corresponding gravity holds a thin layer of mostly nitrogen and oxygen gases, only extending about 50 miles above the Earth's surface. If Earth were smaller, an atmosphere would be impossible, like the planet Mercury. If Earth were larger, its atmosphere would contain free hydrogen, like Jupiter.3 Earth is the only known planet equipped with an atmosphere of the right mixture of gases to sustain plant, animal and human life.
Water...colorless, odorless and without taste, and yet no living thing can survive without it. Plants, animals and human beings consist mostly of water (about two-thirds of the human body is water). You'll see why the characteristics of water are uniquely suited to life:
It has an unusually high boiling point and freezing point. Water allows us to live in an environment of fluctuating temperature changes, while keeping our bodies a steady 98.6 degrees.
Water is also chemically neutral. Without affecting the makeup of the substances it carries, water enables food, medicines and minerals to be absorbed and used by the body.
Water has a unique surface tension. Water in plants can therefore flow upward against gravity, bringing life-giving water and nutrients to the top of even the tallest trees.
Water freezes from the top down and floats, so fish can live in the winter.
Ninety-seven percent of the Earth's water is in the oceans. But on our Earth, there is a system designed which removes salt from the water and then distributes that water throughout the globe. Evaporation takes the ocean waters, leaving the salt, and forms clouds which are easily moved by the wind to disperse water over the land, for vegetation, animals and people. It is a system of purification and supply that sustains life on this planet, a system of recycled and reused water.
These Complex Features of our universe show that something intelligent was behind our creation. Could humans design a universe? There is clearly a all powerful and all knowing being/force that created us and he is known to us as God.
“And the heaven We created with might, and indeed We are (its) expander.” (Quran 51:47)
It is mentioned in the Quran:
“He (God) is the Originator of the heavens and the earth…” (Quran 6:101)
“Is not He who created the heavens and the earth Able to create the likes of them? Yes; and He is the Knowing Creator. His command is only when He intends a thing that He says to it, ‘Be,’ and it is.” (Quran 36:81-82)
The above verses prove that the universe had a beginning, that God was behind its creation, and all that God needs to do in order to create is to say “Be,” and it is. Could this be an explanation as to what triggered off the explosion that brought about the beginning of the universe?
The Quran also mentions:
“Have those who disbelieved not considered that the heavens and the earth were a joined entity, then We separated them, and made from water every living thing? Then will they not believe?” (Quran 21:30)
With the introduction of the Big Bang theory, it soon became clear to Muslim scholars that the details mentioned with regards to the theory go identically hand in hand with the description of the creation of the universe in verse 30 of chapter 21 of the Quran. The theory states that all the matter in the universe came into existence from one single extremely hot and dense point; that exploded and brought about the beginning of the universe, matches what is mentioned in the verse that the heaven and Earth (thus the universe) where once joined together, and then split apart. Once again, the only possible explanation is that Prophet Muhammad had truly received divine revelation from God, The Creator and Originator of the universe.
Deathmonkey7 forfeited this round.
There is evidence for design...
The unraveling of the Human Genome Code was announced to the world as the discovery of the language of the Creator by then President, Bill Clinton. What scientists discovered was an extremely sophisticated genetic language necessary for even the simplest life forms to exist. To believe that this level of apparent design happened either randomly or by chance is a mathematical equation of probability with more zeros than I care to type.
The universe displays an amazingly complex level of interdependency which logically leads to the conclusion that it was designed that way. There are just too many coincidences of such "just rightness" for it too be a random haphazard coincidence. The earth is "just the right" distance from the Sun; it contains "just the right" mixture of chemicals and gases to sustain life; humans have "just the right" ability to breath these gases; the human body has "just the right" synergy of internal organs in order to function, and so on.
How do we know what "evil" is? How do we know what "good" is? These concepts demand either the existence of a standard to make such evaluations, or an understanding what these concepts mean. Each of us are born with an innate sense of morality. We each fundamentally know what is right and wrong. It is incredible to consider that no matter time, culture, geographic location, or people, the Moral Law has been universally acknowledged.
This tends to confirm that all of creation bears the finger-prints of a Creator who is fundamentally good and right. That is, we each share a knowledge of what is right and wrong not just because we are taught or conditioned to accept these values, but because we are born with them.
I hope to hear from my opponent soon. I also wish he would accept God whether it be Christianity, Judaism or Islam.
Deathmonkey7 forfeited this round.
Deathmonkey7 forfeited this round.
Deathmonkey7 forfeited this round.
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