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In this video I eat a delicious avocado sandwich and talk about how atheists often have to deny truths that are really evident to most of us in order to defend their atheism. I’m thinking for example on how most atheist debators argue against one or both of the premises in the Kalam cosmological argument, which are:
- Everything that begins to exist has a cause
- The universe began to exist
This is of course to avoid the conclusion of the universe having a cause, since this cause must be transcendent, outside of space, matter and time, and very powerful – which of course sounds an awful lot like God. But the premises aren’t easy to refute, they seem in fact very obvious. Of course everything that begins to exist has a cause, and of course the universe began to exist.
Another example is the moral argument for God’s existence, which states:
- If God does not exist, there is no objective morality
- There is objective morality
- Therefore, God exists
You’ll be surprised to find when discussing with atheists that many believe in both premises while they refute the conclusion. In fact, some will claim that they deny both premises and they’ll try to efute premise 1 by providing support for premise 2, and vice versa. I believe this is because we live in a culture that despises logic and so what young people in particular are told is that no opinion is better than another and that nothing’s objectively true, while they’re also told that certain moral beliefs are outrageous and unacceptable. The same person can firstly accuse Christianity for claiming that certain moral truths are universal and required by all, and later accuse Christianity for having errant moral stances on marriage or abortion.
What the atheist then has done is simply to just support both premises and so, s/he has to admit that God exists. Of course, it often takes time before the atheist is ready to make such a shift, and often the reason one is an atheist is not primarily intellectual but emotional. But as we continue to point out that atheism is incompatible with some of the most foundational truths that are universally accepted, hopefully more and more people will realize that there is a God who is both Creator and a moral anchor point.
I was listening to a TED talk the other day on this topic by philosopher Jim Holt. In a detailed manner he described the puzzle of existence and explained why it cannot simply be “pushed back” one level by saying “big bang did it” or “the multiverse did it”, because the question is more fundamental than so: it is not just about why this or that happened but why anything happens, why there are whys.
As an atheist, he quickly also excludes God from the equation, saying that we then must explain what created God and that the universe is way to non-perfect and mediocre to have been created by an all-powerful, intelligent being.
What solution does Holt then himself have to the puzzle? I waited curiously to the end to hear it, but it was a bit of an anticlimax. Holt says that we can theoretically imagine three types of realities: (more…)
Scientifically speaking, why the universe exists and why it looks like what it looks like is still a mystery. We don’t know why anything exists rather than nothing, or why energy-matter works as it does. Furthermore, there is still no explanation to why the universe’s force constants are as they are.
Christian apologist William Lane Craig, among others, talk about the universe being fine tuned for life, planets, stars and even atoms to exist, as you can see in the video above. The cosmological constant, Λ, has a value of approximately 10−122, and if this would change by less than a trillion’s trillionth of a percent, the universe would either be sucked back into a black hole right after big bang or disparse so quickly that stars would never form.
Leonard Susskind, professor of theoretical physics at Stanford, explain the fine tuning of the universe in more detail above. Now, if the universe was caused either by nothingness or from something unintelligent and non-designing, as atheists would argue, the fine tuning becomes really hard to explain. Our universe where the cosmological constant and other constants like the gravitational constant are suitible for stars, planets and life to exist, is ridiculously unlikely. Susskind is not a theist due to his lack of faith in miracles, but he isn’t an atheist either because of his inability to refute the idea that a divine entity caused this complex universe, and so he remains agnostic. (more…)