The Independent Variable - Matt Haugland

Saturday, February 28, 2009

10 Reasons why I am an Atheist: #2

"All information concerning the gods comes to us through intermediaries, self-elected 'prophets' who claim to have been favoured with secret 'revelations' which they then proceed, magnanimously, to pass on to the rest of us. (Examples: Zarathustra, Paul, the Buddha, Joseph Smith, Muhammad.)"

1. Everything we know about God comes from human so-called 'prophets'.
2. If all the information we have about God comes from man, God must not exist.

False assumption, but better than most of the previous arguments

I pretty much agree with the spirit of this argument. Most people who've claimed to be prophets do not have much credibility, including at least one or two that the author mentioned. As a scientist, it's goes against my conscience to believe something just because someone said so long ago. That doesn't mean the claims/testimonies in the Bible doesn't count at all as evidence. But I would need more, a lot more, in order to believe in the God it describes.

But there is more. A lot more. And that's the problem with this argument. It's simply incorrect to say that everything (or even the majority of what) we know about God comes from 'prophets'. If God is the one who designed/created the universe, than it would make sense that the majority of what we know about him is communicated through nature. A case could even be made that the Bible, fundamentally, is more a description of nature than it is a revelation by prophets. And nature, as it is understood by current science, is remarkably consistent with it.

The debate really shouldn't be about whether there is a God. If we define "God" loosely enough, (e.g., God = whatever caused the big bang to occur), we can then have a more meaningful about about the characteristics of God, and whether it/he is personal or not. At that point, arguing for a personal "God / whatever caused the big bang" as described in the Bible, most of the evidence I'd bring up would be from nature/science/history rather than Biblical prophets. That's not to say this is the best way to make a case for the existence of God, or that such evidence would be convincing or conclusive. But the fact that I can make such a case at all suggests that human prophets are not the only source of information about God.


Post a Comment