A Journal for Western Man
God: Examining the Arguments
Don Watkins III
Issue V- September 18, 2002
First, I would like to define atheism. Atheism is the lack of belief in any god or deity. It does not explicitly mean the rejection of God. Anyone who can not say, "I believe in god," for whatever reason is an atheist.
Since the onus of proof is on him who asserts the positive it is obvious that is up to the theist to prove his claim that a god exists. Otherwise, the only rational conclusion is that one does not.
The first job of the theist in attempting to provide evidence for God's existence, is to define what he means by the term "God." We must ask ourselves, "what are we trying to prove exists?" For the sake of argument, I will accept the definition of God as the personal, omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent God of the bible.
Arguments for God's existence:
1) First Cause - "Everything must have a cause. Therefore, the universe must have a cause. This means there must be a fist cause, which is God."
This is false. Not everything has a cause. The law of causality states that entities are the cause of actions - not that every entity, of whatever sort, has a cause but that every action does; and not that the cause of action is action but that the cause of action is entities.
Second, in saying God doesn't have a cause, this argument contradicts its main premise, "everything must have a cause." If God does not have a cause why must the universe?
The people who make this argument are intelligent enough to know that there must be a starting point, but what they fail to realize is that existence has primacy over consciousness. Existence exists - and that is all that need be said.
2)Design - "There is design in the universe, which indicates a designer; this being God."
There are two aspects of design to investigate. That of our orderly universe and that of the complexity of life.
The real question is, "is there design in the universe?" The answer is no.
As far as the universe goes, there is order. But, order is epistemological - it is a concept derived from the way we view nature. This argument makes the concept of order metaphysical. The universe has to be "orderly" in the sense that there is no such thing as a disorderly universe; A is A.
Looking at life itself, this argument assumes what it wishes to prove - namely, that there is design in the universe. The fact is, there is no design, there is only complexity. Complexity, of course, is accounted for by evolution.
Even if evolution by natural selection was not true (which it has to be), it is still a complete non sequitur to argue that since life is complex, there must be a designer.
3) Morality - "There is a basic sense of morality in humans. Only God could have given us such a code."
There are a couple of ways to look at this. Number one, if God was the one who gave us our sense of morality, why do morals so differ around the globe? Why in some places is sexism, slavery, racism, self mutilation, polygamy, etc. accepted if we share a common morality given by God?
Number two, Ayn Rand proved that there is a different morality - a morality of reason. A morality based upon and derived from the facts of reality - not the whims of a supernatural deity.
These three arguments make up the three basic arguments for God. There are others, such as the ontological argument (which even Christians have disproved) but these can be addressed individually seeing as though they are difficult for most people to understand and would take up an infinite amount of space and time.
We will now concern ourselves with the bible, an important record which is considered by many to be the word of God and the source of all morality.
The truth is, the bible is little more than a manual for sexism, violence, and bigotry. It is also filled with gross errors and contradictions. In the allotted space I will present only three of the more than 200 biblical contradictions.
1- Who is the father of Joseph?
Matthew 1:16 - "And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ."
Luke 3:22 - "And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli."
2 - Jesus' first sermon on a mount or plain?
Matthew 5:1,2 - "And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying...."
Luke 6: 17,20 - "And he came down with them, and stood in the plain, and the company of his disciples, and a great multitude of people...came to hear him...And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples and said..."
3 - How old was Ahaziah when he began to reign?
22 in 2 Kings 8:26
42 in Chron 22:2
The purpose of presenting these three contradictions is only to prove that the bible is either;
1) not the word of God
2) God is makes mistakes
We could suggest other choices (misinterpretation) but with over 200 contradictions this is not an acceptable argument.
I will suggest only three examples of sexism (out of about 50 to 60).
1) I Corinthians 11: 3-15; Man is head of women, only man is in God's image.
2) I Corinthians 14:34-35; Women keep silence, learn only from husbands.
3) I Timothy 2:11-14; Women learn in silence in all subjection; Eve was sinful, Adam blameless.
Women need freedom from religion
if they are to be equal, as we see from this passage.
Don Watkins III is a businessman, poet, college student, and profound Objectivist. He is the author of a site titled The Essence of Objectivism, which you can access at http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Oracle/9035/essence.html.
This TRA feature has been edited in accordance with TRA’s Statement of Policy.
Read Mr. Stolyarov's new comprehensive treatise, A Rational Cosmology, explicating such terms as the universe, matter, space, time, sound, light, life, consciousness, and volition, at http://www.geocities.com/rational_argumentator/rc.html.