Sunday, July 31, 2011

Is God’s Existence Just As Likely As Unicorns?

I have seen numerous comments from atheists that say that God’s existence is just as unlikely as unicorns, ferries and Santa Clause—they might even make the claim that they are aunicornists. There are a few problems with this line of thinking. The first is that we can use the Santa Principle to determine that unicorns don’t exist on earth. The second is that unicorns are not necessary beings while God is.

The Santa Principle says that a person is justified in believing that X does not exist if all of these conditions are met:

1. the area where evidence would appear, if there were any, has been comprehensively examined, and

2. all of the available evidence that X exists is inadequate, and

3. X is the sort of entity that, if X exists, then it would show.

So, using premises one and two we can say that unicorns don’t exist on earth because we have never seen any evidence of them. Since unicorns are said to be physical beings we should have found some evidence of them by now. Even if you assume that they are hiding in some very remote region then we should have at least found a unicorn skull that would verify their existence. However, we haven’t found any evidence of them so we can say with near certainty that unicorns do not exist on earth. Notice, however, that the Santa Principle says that the, “Area where evidence would appear, if there were any, has been comprehensively examined,” so we can’t say that we have searched the entire universe for unicorns. It could be possible that a planet 1,000 light years away has unicorns running around on it. Now, when we turn to using the principle to test whether God exists there are problems. God is said to be an immaterial being who does not reside on the earth. Since we currently do not have the ability to perceive immaterial beings we can’t say that the area where God exists has been comprehensively examined. God could very well exist in heaven, but we simply do not have the capacity to see him.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Could Christians Be Wasting Their Lives?

Hahah keep wasting your lives you crazy christians... you only get one, no afterlife, just this one pass. This one life you guys are wasting away praying to magical invisible sky daddy. HAhahahaa

--Anonymous commenter on Intellectual Feast

From time to time I run into comments from atheists, like the one quoted from the anonymous commenter, which deal with their belief that Christians are wasting their lives following a supposedly nonexistent God. I have even heard intelligent atheists like Daniel Dennett say that there is no easy way to tell believers that they have been wasting their lives on their faith. These comments show that the atheist commenter obviously hasn’t seriously thought about the implications of life without God in a materialist universe. If God doesn’t exist then our lives are brief, absurd and futile.

For centuries theists and atheists have been locked in a stalemate where neither side can conclusively prove or disprove God’s existence. Since this is the case, the atheist’s assertion that God or the afterlife doesn’t exist is an unfounded belief. However, for the sake of argument, let’s suppose that the big bang was spontaneously uncaused and that matter popped into existence out of non-matter, and that we are here by chance as there is no God. What implications would this have on our lives? As the atheist says there is only one pass through life. In fact, when compared to the 13.7 billion years the universe has existed, our life span of zero to 120 years is incredibly ephemeral. Not only will each one of us die, but the entire human race is doomed to extinction as entropy causes the universe to die a slow heat death. If this is the case then how can one properly put their life to good use? Is it propagating my genes? No, as I said the human race will eventually be wiped out of existence so that is futile. How about accruing happy memories? Even if you don’t lose your memories as you grow senile with age, you will eventually lose all your memories when you die—it will be like they never existed. What about achieving fame through great works? Even if you are fortunate enough to be one of the few people in history to achieve greatness, your work will eventually be lost like the work of Shakespeare, Picasso, Plato and Mozart will be lost as the human race perishes. So, we see that in an entropic, materialist universe life is ultimately meaningless and futile.