Month: June 2015

God’s “suggestions” of physics

handsAnyone with any scientific knowledge at all has heard the term “the laws of physics.” These are foundational laws governing the interaction of matter and energy in the universe. They are determinant and static as far as anyone has ever seen or measured. Many theists argue the existence of God using the “argument from fine tuning.” It is stated that it is impossible for these physical constants to exist in the way they do and in the quantities they do without supreme guidance. In fact, Richard Dawkins has stated that although he isn’t convinced by this argument, he finds it the best argument for God.

But this puts theists in a bind. On one hand they propose a god who created these “laws” while on the other hand violating them constantly. Miracles by definition are a violation of the laws that God created. A theist might posit that the creator of the laws also has the capacity and intention to violate those laws. However, imagine a world where those laws are routinely violated such as in the times of the Bible writing. In a world where God constantly violates physical laws, no experiment could be reliable. Any measurement would have to take into account God’s finger on the scale.

I was listening to a sermon recently in which the pastor made an implicit point that all things happening in the world were the work of God/Satan. Basically, supernatural forces are all around us mucking with our reality. Any trials you have in your life are related to God’s work. A child who gets hurt and requires stitches was an intentional act by God to elicit prayers and worship and adoration in times of struggle. God puts trials in your life to bring you closer to him or make you a better person, etc.

Americans think that God interferes in sporting events. I assume he does so by manipulating the path of the football or baseball. Maybe he causes the pitcher to throw a ball or a strike based on some devine plan. Sean Carroll makes some interesting points asking about the physicality of God interfering in our world. What particles specifically interfere with our brains or the car or the football or baseball?

This concept of God’s intrusion is nonsensical on it’s face. By positing this intrusive God, theists are simultaneously undercutting their argument about his fine tuning of the universe and creation of the laws of nature.

The logical implication is that a theistic intrusion by God would make the universe less understandable and discoverable and implicitly states that God has to continue his intrusion because he didn’t get it right initially. And the logical implication of this, which also seems to correspond to what we see in nature, points to Deism (a creator without daily intrusion) as the most likely theological model assuming we find a theological definition necessary. And this conclusion completely disputes the gods of men and their holy books.

Advertisements

Making excuses for God

Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 7.53.24 PMAs a Christian, you have to constantly reconcile the good God you’re proposing with the terrible misery that is sometimes wrought on people. The apologists answer with platitudes such as, “We live in a broken world – a consequence of original sin brought on by Adam and Eve.” But they find themselves on a slippery slope when they start having to forgive the genocides of the Old Testament. This causes them to say things like, “The Amalekites were so wicked, they all had to be destroyed. But fear not, those murdered babies went to Heaven.”

Furthermore, there are a lot of logical contradictions when you posit an all-knowing God along with an intrusive God who is constantly tinkering in our world.

Case in point, Pat Robertson positing the reason that God took a 3 year old child away from his grief stricken mother. For those of you who don’t know, Pat Robertson is one of the most famous and popular televangelists out there. He’s been around for a looong time. And he’s a constant source of entertainment for non-believers because of the seemingly crazy things he says.

But in this case, Pat is probably parroting the thinking of many theists and that is that God is a puppet-master who is in control of everything.

A woman sent in a letter to Pat’s show asking why she should believe in a God who let her baby of 3 years old die – suffering a long battle in and out of hospitals – while he heals other children (her words). She asked, “Why did God allow my baby to die?”

Pat answers with the following possibilities:

  • Human beings have responsibilities and sometimes people die in hospitals for malpractice. Or nurses. Don’t blame God for people’s mistakes.
  • God knows the end from the beginning and he knows that baby could grow up to be Adolph Hitler, or Joseph Stalin, or some serial killer (maybe like God himself — sorry, low blow), or he could grow up to die of a hideous disease. God sees all that.
  • For that life to be terminated while he’s a baby means he’s going to be with God forever in Heaven so that isn’t a bad thing.
  • So how could a good God do that? The good God is going to take that baby to Heaven right now and that isn’t a bad thing.

Here’s the problem with that ridiculous illogic:

  • Hitler actually lived
  • Stalin actually lived
  • Serial killers have lived
  • People have hideous diseases every day

So what was God doing with those babies? Pat is telling this poor woman that her 3 year old was destined for mass-murder or a hideous disease. So he pre-empted it with a hideous disease for the first 3 years? Not to mention the parents’ misery for their remaining days on earth.

And another rub, these attributes granted to God make perfect sense to believers like Pat Robertson but make no sense to the parents of this 3 year old (or anyone with any sense). So even if Pat is right in his theology and that baby goes to Heaven, the parents are destined for Hell when they stop believing that Pat’s God is good.

Yes, God works in mysterious ways. No doubt about it. All the answers will be revealed when we get to Heaven. Or maybe the answers are lying right in front of us now, if we just pay attention and use logic to decipher the answers.