22
Jul
10

So…Is God Real?


Well, I guess it is time to finally give my answer to this question…Is God real? I think it is pretty obvious what my answer is, considering I have a Christian blog site. Just to clarify though, I do believe the God of Christianity is real. I have thought about how to explain it to believers and nonbelievers, but I think the only people who would relate would be believers. So, I am going to take a different angle to this question. Recently, I finished reading a book by C. S. Lewis called The Case For Christianity. If you don’t know who C. S. Lewis is, google him and read the wikipedia on him. He was an atheist who turned into a Christian. He was a very intelligent man and wrote many great books. (The Chronicles of Narnia being one) I want to mention some of the things he brought out in this book. I think it will be appealing to nonbelievers as well as believers.

Part one of the book is called “Right and Wrong as a Clue to the Meaning of the Universe.” In this section of the book he talks about The Law of Right and Wrong, The Moral Law, and The Rule of Decent Behavior, which are all basically the same. There are a few points he makes that I find rather interesting. He starts off talking about The Law of Right and Wrong, which originally was called The Law of Human Nature. Basically, this law states that every human instinctively knows right from wrong. He goes on to tell that there are a few morals various cultures differ in but there is a basis that everyone agrees on. An example he uses is “Men have differed as to whether you should have one wife or four. But they have always agreed that you mustn’t simply have any woman you want.” He also uses an example about seeing someone drowning. “At those moments when we are most conscious of the Moral Law, it usually seems to be telling us to side with the weaker of the two impulses. You probably want to be safe much more than you want to help the man who is drowning: but the Moral Law tells you to help him all the same.” For the sake of keeping this blog short, which is not going to happen, I am going to be limited on what all I can use from this book. But the point he is trying to make is the fact that we will choose the situation which is less natural just because it is the right thing to do. So where do the same basic morals for every human come from or what makes us choose the less intelligent decision, such as diving in a raging river to save someone from drowning? Would it not be a creator?

Now I want to talk about the universe. Let’s start out quoting from the book. “Ever since men were able to think they’ve been wondering what this universe really is and how it came to be here. And, very roughly, two views have been held. First, there is what is called the materialist view. People who take that view think that matter and space just happen to exist, and always have existed, nobody knows why; and that the matter, behaving in certain fixed ways has just happened, by a sort of fluke, to produce creatures like ourselves who are able to think. By one chance in a thousand something hit our sun and made it produce the planets; and by another thousandth chance the chemicals necessary for life, and the right temperature, arose on one of these planets, and so some of the matter on this earth came alive; and then, by a very long series of chances, the living creatures developed into things like us. The other view is the religious view. According to it, what is behind the universe is more like a mind than it’s like anything else we know. That is to say, it’s conscious, and has purposes, and prefers one thing to another. And on this view it made the universe, partly for purposes we don’t know, but partly, at any rate, in order to produce creatures like itself-I mean like itself to the extent of having minds.” (There are other views such as the Life-Force philosophy, Creative-Evolution, and Emergent Evolution. I am trying to keep this as short as possible so I won’t go into them.)  He goes on to tell that neither view can be proven by science because science only works through experiments. But in the end I guess we just have to look at each view and decide which one best fits our thoughts.

So in this last section I want to quote some more from the book. This is a great point that he lays out about “thoughts.” “Supposing there was no intelligence behind the universe, no creative mind. In that case nobody designed my brain for the purpose of thinking. It is merely that when the atoms inside my skull happen for physical or chemical reasons to arrange themselves in a certain way, this gives me, as a bye-product, the sensation I call thought. But if so, how can I trust my own thinking to be true? But if I can’t trust my own thinking, of course I can’t trust the arguments leading to atheism, and therefore have no reason to be an atheist, or anything else. Unless I believe in God, I can’t believe in thought: so I can never use thought to disbelieve God.” Wow! I never thought of it like that before.

I know this blog really has been a lot of quotes from this book, but I think it is better to give an answer like this from the point of view of a converted atheist. I have been raised in the church and told about God my entire life, therefore that’s all I know. So I could never know what it is like to be on the outside looking in. But I do know what it is to not know how I am going to make it through the week emotionally, physically, or financially. Throughout my life there have been times in which I had nothing to depend on except God. He has provided for me in every need. In these times it was not by mere coincidence. It wasn’t possible for the outcome to turn out the way it did. Also, my question is, how does everything work together the way it does if there is no creator? (Birth, our bodies, walking, talking, seeing, intelligence, emotions) Is it really the way science explains it? And a lot of them science can thoroughly explain, but how did the things that make up the way we do these things come about to work together perfectly? I guess one day we will all know for sure what is the correct view.

In closing, I want to give one more short quote he says. He is talking about when Jesus comes back. “For this time it will be God without disguise; something so overwhelming that it will strike either irresistible love or irresistible horror into every creature. It will be too late then to choose your side. There’s no good (in) saying you choose to lie down when it has become impossible to stand up. That won’t be the time for choosing: it will be the time when we discover what side we really have chosen, whether we realised it before or not. Now is our chance to choose the right side. God is holding back to give us that chance. It won’t last forever. We must take it or leave it.”

Philippians 2:9-11 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

(I couldn’t talk about everything I wanted to from the C.S. Lewis book, so I urge everyone to read it. It is only about 50 pages long but full of awesome facts.)

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6 Responses to “So…Is God Real?”


  1. 1 Cody Maddox
    July 24, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    Sorry it took a bit but here is my response (sorry if I misspelled anything I am being lazy today).

    I was not aware C.S. Lewis had converted to Christianity but I am a fan of his books. (Apart from the Christian apologetics.)
    The moral argument is always a fun one to tackle and I’m happy to do it. Any way about the quote, I personally would not have the impulse of staying safe if I saw a man drowning I don’t think. But I can say I have ever been confronted with the situation. Now let’s take a look at the piranha. I would personally consider it a very intelligent creature. I’m not really sure it has a conscience either. It is a very vicious creature as any predator might be. Its razor sharp teeth are very deadly to fish its size. Yet, if you notice its action during a feeding frenzy with its school, it does not kill other piranha even though it has the ability too and it would probably provide substantial food. Has an intelligent being installed a moral law to the piranha? Does it have a sense of right and wrong even though it is a lesser animal? Most people would say no. Even if it is we do not find animals worshipping and deity that I am aware of. We do not see them teaching their offspring about the bible, yet we see them sometimes teaching how to join in the school and rip off flesh. A moral law does not explain this. Genes surviving in a species rather than in an individual however does. You see when an animal works in a pack it has a better chance of surviving if it works with other pack members to get the food it needs. This is survival of genes and of a species. This same rule applies to human beings and all other animals. It is our instinct to save someone of our same species. Yet ever since humans became conscience of our existence, we have slightly gone away from theses traits. This is mainly because having absolute morals is a luxury in modern society. In cities we have food, lighting, indoor plumbing and the internet to read this response. Technically absolute morals do not exist in the universe. It’s all based on human actions and the best way to survive. If you take 2 men and put them on an island with supplies for only one of them you will see how quickly absolute morals evaporate. If you want to know more about morality being explained by evolution I can show you some videos.

    About the materialistic world view, when C.S. Lewis wrote this book nobody knew (from a scientific stand point) how the universe really began. Ever since Stephen Hawking and Roger Penrose started doing the math of the universe everything changed. They proved that the universe had to have come out of a singularity at some point in time. A time they estimated to be around less than 15 billion years ago. They did this work based on the fact that universe is expanding. The term “big bang” is a misnomer named by creationist to try to discredit its value to the field of cosmology. There was no actual explosion just a rapid expansion of Space-Time which started out in a singularity. (This is the inflation model, there are 2 other models; One of them being M theory which you might have heard of.) So we actually do know that it hasn’t always existed and we know it’s not just a fluke either. About something hitting our sun to make planets; I guess that was how people thought planets were created during the time this book was written. But now we know how they are created which would be way to long to explain in this blog response. But it actually is a higher chance than one in a thousand. About the chemicals necessary for life; we have found such chemicals on meteorites and we have found them in space. So we know they are in other areas than our own and the reason they have not evolved is that they were frozen therefore cannot make the necessary interactions of abiogenesis. If by “long series of chances” you mean evolution then you should know that evolution should not happen by chance at all. It happens from selective pressures needed for an organism to adapt and survive.
    And the materialistic world view can be proven by science we have actually done the experiments required to support it. However the religious world view cannot be tested by science because by definition it is faith based and that does not sit well with science.

    About thought, you actually can trust your brain to make thoughts because when ever we test it, it works it out. It is just a matter of philosophy with this argument. If I were to say that we are all just brains in a vat with certain electric signals to give stimulation and make us this we actually are humans. But we wouldn’t really be. We would just be brains in a vat. Now this is the idea of unreasonably high standards. It is useless and circular and gets us nowhere. There is no way to prove it or disprove it. This (I’m sorry to say it like this but there is no other way) is actually a common way for creationist to try and win an argument. It prevents you from being allowed to think as their opposition. It honestly is a shot below the belt. But yes you can believe in a thought and not believe in a god. Mainly because there is evidence for thought and not evidence for a God. Even if that were true you would have the hassle to rationally give every God humanity has created over time serious thought to whether they exist or not. I could say Zeus just does not interact with people anymore and he lives on the dark side of Neptune. There is no way to prove or disprove this so you must believe in Zeus and your God. I can go on and on and eventually your beliefs would start to contradict itself. It is simply irrational to use that argument.

    About your question of why everything works the way it does if there is no creator. This is the quest of science. But there are some things that just happen because of certain laws placed in the universe. Things work the way they do because, if they didn’t, it would disrupt the balance of things in the universe and everything would be chaos.

    (I’m going to wrap it up here.)
    Basically when C.S. Lewis wrote this book very little was understood about cosmology, quantum mechanics was still a very young theory, we didn’t know what a quark was and Einstein was still alive for Pete’s sake. While in the time they were written they might have been good arguments but in our modern age the arguments have been destroyed to the point where a mere 9th grader like me can take them down. If you would like to see videos addressing theses arguments more than I did just ask me and I would be happy to send a link.

    • July 25, 2010 at 6:19 pm

      Ok… You asked the question does a piranha know right from wrong or does it have the moral law in it? No… The reason a piranha does not attack a fellow piranha is simply because the piranha attacks only its prey whom sends off distress signals. It has nothing to do with it feeling bad. You can actually swim with piranhas and as long as you never get in distress you will not be attacked. So this actually doesn’t say anything against the moral law… I am going to email you some questions that I would like to know your thinking on though… So check your email.

      • 3 Cody Maddox
        July 26, 2010 at 4:43 pm

        The point I was trying to make was that even if its fellow piranha was giving out distress signals it would not attack I’m fairly sure. Even if it would you can look at other pack animals and they do not attack their fellow animals. I did not mean to say that the piranha has a moral law. I had said that a moral law does not exist. Law made by humans however does. Our instinct usually prevents us from killing. But as I said we have started to lose this instinct. I didn’t mean to say that the piranha would feel bad.

  2. 4 Josh
    July 26, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    So the god named evolution created us and all of our morals and our instinct to distinguish good and evil?

    Hitler used evolutionary arguments to excuse his crimes against the Jews. You know they are a disease, a weak link in the human race so Hitler preached. I’m sure those devilish acts had no spiritual significance, the Jews being God’s people and everything. I am sure it is perfectly normal that grown men rape and kill five-year-old girls. I’m sure it is simply the circle of life that convinces radicals to fly airplanes into skyscrapers.

    And why punish those who do such things? It is just nature running its course right? They can’t help it, its evolution’s fault.

    Come on Cody! You don’t think there isn’t something spiritual going on with humans?

    In Romans, Paul explains that there is a law written on every human’s heart that makes them guilty for sin. Some fight against this and suppress God in their mind making them more and more numb to His reality. This suppression, this exchange of God’s glory for “birds, creatures, and creeping things” is treason against the King of Kings, and because God’s glory is that valuable, because people deny His existence when He has created them, because they hate His Son by their unbelief all of these will perish eternally. Sin is so cunning that it convinces tiny little humans that chance created them rather than God Almighty when we look around at the wonders of His hands everyday, when He graciously has the sun rise on us, when He reaches out His hand to us everyday!
    Others however, are broken when the truth of the gospel shatters their hard heart. Others lives are transformed by His Word! Jesus died for sinners, and how blessed are those peoples who have heard of His mercy.

    Paul (who was one such that had hated Jesus Christ) wrote that morality is natural 2000 years ago and I have to go with Paul, and I have to go with the reality that God has changed my heart.

    I was wise to me until He showed up!

    1 Corinthians 1:22-28
    22. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23. but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24. but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

    26. For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28. God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are,

    Cody, I pray and have prayed since Devin told me about you that you would be made a fool for Christ!

    • 5 Cody Maddox
      July 26, 2010 at 6:16 pm

      No, evolution did not create us. It did not give us an instinct to see good from evil; because the fundamentals Good vs. Evil that you seem to be talking about does not exist. It is a conception made up by the human mind to help us survive. I believe I explained this in my primary post. None of the terrible things you have described are normal. About Hitler, did you know he was a devout Roman Catholic who said “By killing the Jews, I am doing the Lords work.” He even wrote that he thought the theory of evolution was the work of the devil and should never be taught. So please don’t try and tell me that Hitler believed in evolution, or he was an atheist, or anything along those lines. If he even was (which he was not.) what some people call a Darwinist, it wouldn’t matter because he was also a vegetarian. Would you say that vegetarians commit crimes like he did? Even if he did use Darwin’s theory of evolution as an argument for committing genocide IT WOULD NOT MATTER. It would not change the success that the theory has had since he published it. Also, please don’t bring up 9/11. Religion brought that tragedy onto the world; not evolution. When did I say that evolution promotes evil and that’s just nature running its course? You are twisting my words and making a straw man. Evolution is not run by chance. I would expect you to know this. Or have you not actually been reading my post? There is a theory of abiogenesis that has a certain degree of chance but it’s all explainable. By the way, I’m fairly sure that Paul thought that god wrote this morality. From now on please read my post fully. The conversation will be more constructive if you do.

      • 6 Josh
        July 27, 2010 at 1:40 pm

        Cody,

        I was being facetious so please don’t get too worked up. I have heard Richard Dawkins call Hitler a Roman Catholic and that is the most irresponsible thing I have ever heard him say. Hitler and his Nazi agenda were saturated in Occult practices. He may have appeared to be Catholic but anybody who has studied Hitler (as I have) knows he was not a “devout Roman Catholic.” Jesus was a Jew so if Hitler believed in Christ, he was very confused.

        (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1wglnBlD_I) watch all 5, very interesting. It was done by History Channel just so you know nobody is making this stuff up.
        (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksnXDjx50pc.)

        No, Hitler was not an atheist, he worshiped something else. Saying Hitler was a Catholic though because he was “raised” Catholic or attended a Catholic church to save face in front of the religious German people, or because he said blasphemous things about God’s people, is like calling Dawkins a evangelical because he was baptized when he was a baby and attended a Christian school as a boy.

        And don’t give me the vegetarian talk! You are blind if you don’t think Stalin (who was an atheist) and Hitler’s belief system had nothing to do with their actions. No, food choices don’t lead to genocide but god choices do!

        The point that I am trying to make is that if you believe that good and evil are just concepts to help us survive, then how can you call anything I described “terrible”? Good and evil is what we humans make it right? Who is to say what Hitler or Stalin was evil? Why can’t we call them good or smart or clever because good doesn’t exist?

        How can you use this sentence “When did I say that evolution promotes evil and that’s just nature running its course?” when you say that evil is something that “doesn’t exist.”
        When you say religion brought about 9/11 I completely agree with you but if you believe that religion is just a concept brought about by evolution, then I am correct in blaming evolution. Don’t get all upset with religion when you believe religion is something that came about by evolutionary processes. It is just a “concept” remember? Evolution must claim the good and the bad if it claims responsibility for why we do this or that.

        Nature is running its course nonetheless complete with pedophiles, murderers, and tyrants. That stuff I said made you mad because you know those things are indeed evil! You have a God-given sense of justice but here you are trying to protect nature as if it is has a sense of what is good and what is evil. You are in Romans 1 Cody, worshiping the creature rather than the Creator!

        Oh and about Paul, when I say that Paul taught in Romans that morality is natural, I mean that Paul taught that though we are broken by sin and bent towards evil, the God-conscience, the residue of glory still remains in us testifying that we need a Savior because that residue of glory (called our conscience) convicts us of wrong-doing. Guilt is a part of being human until you become so hardened by sin you cease to feel it. In essence Paul taught that God made morality natural. But because we are fallen, we have a twisted view of what is good and what is evil. God is holding evil back all the time, because if it was unleashed with no restraint the world would destroy itself.


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