Friday, March 7, 2008

Logic, faith and atheism

Sometimes I am very surprised by what people say when they want to prove that God exist (or don't exists).. Personally I believe in God. But I don't see how listening to poor arguments will cause anyone who doesn't believe in Him to change his mind. Unfortunately there is more than enough examples on the internet of poor logic practiced by Christians... I don't want to say anything bad about people who make these arguments, or those who believe in them. What I want is to discuss some examples of such poor logic, with the hope that it will help both sides in the debate. As always comments are welcomed.

In this post I want to focus on the following picture (I found it on the internet - author unknown):

This is a rather funny image... But what is written there is not correct. Lets examine this definition, word by word.

First of all, why dinosaurs? What they have to do with atheism? If we will look scientifically on dinosaurs they are simple, albeit large animals. No more and no less. They have importance, but they are totally irrelevant to the definition or discussion of atheism. The only connection between dinosaurs and atheism is dates - the problem to explain from a religious point of view when the dinosaurs "walked the earth". But nothing is said about dates in this image. If, for example, it would be written "humans" instead of "dinosaurs" it would be more logical - there is a very obvious difference between humans and animals.

"..nothing magically exploded.." How many atheists you know who use the word "magically" to expalin something? From its very definition magic is something supernatural. If you believe in magic but not in God, you have a very strange understanding of supernatural...

"The belief that.." This is not precise. As I see it people don't believe in what science says. They believe in what scientists say them. The difference is, perhaps, not very obvious but very important. Most of the people in the world never been in a lab. They also lack the required knowledge to understand the math behind the theories presented to them by scientists.
And for a good reason - it is not their business to deal with cosmological problems. Because of this they trust those who are dealing with these problems - scientists. People trust them, just as they trust doctors or engineers.

"..rearranged itself for no reason.." Stars are created from dust clouds by gravity. More generally, the matter in the universe tends to arrange itself, while maximizing size and stability. This is seen well in the creation of heavy elements from helium in stars, and in the decay of radioactive matter. The examples I mentioned happen for a well known reasons - gravity etc.

".. there was nothing.." This is what the Bible says also.

"..nothing happened to nothing.." Logically impossible... Science doesn't claim that "nothing happened" - as far as I know the claim is "we don't know what happened". The current theories fail when used to explain what happened in the plank time after the Big Bang...

"..creating everything.." This one is correct. But again there is nothing here that contradicts the Bible - it is merely a claim that our world had a beginning, that it is not eternal.

I don't like it when people use false logic, or are guided by it. This image is only one such example (and do remember - I believe in God), unfortunately there are many more. In the next post I will write about logical proofs of God existence, that use a clearly false logic.

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