Which God?

greek gods

A commenter by the name of Deborah stated:

Third, you say you left the faith because of intellectual reasons. I appreciate that, because I am an intellectual myself. And being an intellectual, the idea that the world in all it’s amazing complexity just “happened by chance” is the most incredibly illogical thing I have ever heard. I have had many questions about the Bible, and I still do, but in this age of scientific enlightenment, where we know about DNA, it is unbelievable to me that an archaic idea like evolution is still being taught in the universities. Amazing.

It tough for me to know what to do with this statement because she says she is an intellectual and then rejects the vast majority of biological science.

Deborah does not state exactly which God she believes in, but I am going to assume it is the Christian God. Let’s suppose that Christians like Deborah are right, that the complexity of the universe shows that there must have been a creator. On what basis then do we conclude that that creator is the Christian God? Surely, not the book of Genesis. Taken literally, a person must believe the earth is 6,018 years old and was created in 6 literal 24 hour days. No one who understands science, archeology, and geology would make such an ignorant claim. I suppose that someone could be an old earth creationist, but this position has numerous theological problems, and is little more than an attempt by Christians to embrace science while hanging on to their belief in God. (see my recent post Genesis 1-3: Who Was God Talking To)

So, we are left then with Genesis being allegorical. Surely, we can’t gain any scientific knowledge from an allegory, right? How would we test this allegory to determine if it is true? We can’t. The greater problem with Genesis being allegorical is that it destroys the notion of original and sin and redemption, two cardinal doctrines of Christianity.

Over thousands of years, humans have created all sorts of Gods. Why are Christians so certain that their version of God is the creator God? (and there are many versions of God within Christianity) Perhaps one of the other Gods is creator or perhaps we are the creation of an alien race? What evidence is there for the exclusivity claimed by Christians for their God?

Bruce, all you  have to do is look at nature. Doesn’t it reveal to us that there is a God? Let me grant this point for a moment. Ok, nature reveals to me that there is a creator God. Again, which creator God? What evidence does nature give me to conclude that the creator God is the Christian God? At best, nature reveals a deistic God. The hands on, involved in the lives of his creation. God taught in the Bible? Where is the proof for such a God?

Christians wrongly assume that if there is any evidence that a God of some sort exists then it must be proof of their God. This is a huge jump in logic that lacks sufficient evidence. To date, no Christian has successfully produced the evidence necessary to get from A God to THE God. Apart from the Bible, there is no possible way, from nature itself, to prove that the Christian God is the creator of all.

Comments (9)

  1. Van

    “And being an intellectual, the idea that the world in all it’s amazing complexity just “happened by chance” is the most incredibly illogical thing I have ever heard.”

    I would have said the same thing up until a few years ago. Then in my research I read where someone said “low odds is not the same as no odds,” and used a deck of cards as the example.

    Take a deck of 52 cards. Draw one card. Now keep drawing cards until you’ve gone thru the whole deck. The odds of drawing the whole deck in a particular order can be calculated to be less than 1 in 8 with 67 0′s behind it. Those are certainly astronomical odds. Yet if you go thru the exercise of drawing all 52 cards, you can’t deny that you came up with all 52 cards in a particular order that had extraordinarily low odds.

    1. brbr2424

      I dated a guy who would play roulette, while I played blackjack. He had a sure fire system of betting black or red. If red had come up on the last three spins, he would bet black because the probability of four reds in a row was very low. I could not convince him that the probability on the next spin was still 50-50, not counting the green. Probability is misused to rationalize religion. Pascal’s wager is a good example.

    2. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      Great comment, Van.

  2. sgl

    re: “… the idea that the world in all it’s amazing complexity just “happened by chance” is the most incredibly illogical thing I have ever heard.”

    aside from all the problems bruce pointed out, the solution of “god” merely adds one level of indirection. eg, substitute “god” for “the world” in the above excerpt:

    “… the idea that [god] in all it’s amazing complexity just “happened by chance” is the most incredibly illogical thing I have ever heard.”

    so, the world is complex and couldn’t have just happened, so there had to be something more complex that created it. but where did that complex creator come from? doesn’t it have to follow the same “logic” of not “happening by chance?”

    to me, ‘god’ just doesn’t solve the problem at all.

  3. brbr2424

    When I was going through my divorce, I told my attorney that I was being very reasonable, thinking that my reasonableness would be apparent to all. He told me that everyone thinks they are being reasonable. In my case, I was, but that’s beside the point. It was an eye opener to me that people who are received as unreasonable may think they too are being reasonable.

    It’s hard to fathom that Deborah thinks she is being an intellectual. but one’s own perception can vary greatly from how we are perceived by others.

    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      So true. Like it or not, often perception is reality.

  4. Stephanie

    I think this is why they so defend the inerrancy of the Bible. Without that thread, without their “proof” they don’t have much. After all, even if someone could prove that a god(s) exist how would I know anything of their nature, number or anything else just from nature? I couldn’t possibly know. So they are back to the Bible which they try so hard to prove is the absolute authority on everything. So in the fundamentalist world if one thread breaks the whole thing could fall apart. The creation story has flaws, then what? Not sure how the liberal Christian would answer the question about going from A god to THE God.

  5. Dave

    Astromomers estimate the number of stars in the universe to be around 150,000 million trillion. If only one in a trillion of these has an earthlike planet that will still come to 150,000 million earthlike planets. Everything is possible when you consider numbers like these. If you deny evolution than you can’t consider these possibilities. All religions see themselves as the only true answer. Christians see the earth as God’s special creation with all the rest of the universe as window dressing and no possible life any where else. When I started to objectively consider htese numbers and the realilty of evloution I realized we were inevitable just like the life that exists on anther planet a billion light years away is. We are nothing special. I also considered the reality of millions of year of dinosaurs that preceded us and suffered and died during that time before the advent of humans. Religion rationalizes suffering and death by saying we deserve it due to sin. What sin did dinosuars commit to cause their suffering? How foolish to consider the random nature of all living things as anything but evolutionary.

  6. HH

    “And being an intellectual, the idea that the world in all it’s amazing complexity just “happened by chance” is the most incredibly illogical thing I have ever heard.”

    Indeed this would be a bit of a strech. Good thing evolution by means of natural selection does not suggest that all this complexity “happened by chance”. Even taking the time to look up evolution on Wikipedia would be sufficient to banish this powerfully ignorant notion.
    That someone could call themselves an intellectual whilst simultaneously showing, beyond doubt, that she is willing to entirely dismiss a theory she knows nothing about – without so much as a moments investigation of the evidence – is breathtaking. Notably this is a theory held to by virtually every relevant expert who has dedicated their life to its study.
    While it is not impossible that every expert is wrong and the data has been misinterpreted, the arrogance it has to take to assume that all of these experts as just that stupid, so stupid in fact that even given decades they can’t figure out what is self evident to this commenter. I have no issue with someone rejecting scientific consensus, its healthy, but I would expect that anyone attempting to do so should apply at least a little effort to knowing something about the subject matter.

    DNA has been used to show our immense similarity to the other life forms on our world.
    In the words of Francis Collins (director of the human genome project and devout Christian) –
    “The evidence is overwhelming. And it is becoming more and more robust down to the details almost by the day, especially because we have this ability now to use the study of DNA as a digital record of the way Darwin’s theory has played out over the course of long periods of time.

    Darwin could hardly have imagined that there would turn out to be such strong proof of his theory because he didn’t know about DNA – but we have that information. I would say we are as solid in claiming the truth of evolution as we are in claiming the truth of the germ theory. It is so profoundly well-documented in multiple different perspectives, all of which give you a consistent view with enormous explanatory power that make it the central core of biology. Trying to do biology without evolution would be like trying to do physics without mathematics”

    The fact that she finds some people teaching the truth about reality to be “simply amazing” whilst offering no actual argument against the position is not nearly as persuasive as she might think.

    This quote comes to mind.
    “I do not know how to refute an incredulous stare.”
    – David Lewis


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>