I’m posting part of an exchange between me and alampi that happened in someone’s blog comments:
“God did it” is a more plausible “belief” than “it did it by itself”. Both require faith.
The only difference is only one of us is claiming either of those. “I don’t know” does not require faith and is the only honest answer.
That’s like pleading the 5th. There are really only 2 options. Either God created this universe or it came about on it’s own. And you know that anyone powerful enough to create this would certainly wear the title “God”.
Okay first of all there are an almost infinite number of options since there are an almost infinite number of possible gods and an infinite number of possible ways to create universes (for all we know). You are talking about yahweh, and no, there is not a 50% chance of that being the case.
And we DO NOT KNOW. Even if a god-like being created the universe, that tells us nothing. How did this being create the universe? By what mechanism? How did it get the ability to create universes? Where did it come from?
Just saying “yahweh did it” is as much of an explanation as “zeus did it”. Answering the question “how did this happen” with “yahweh made it happen somehow” is a non-answer. Just as zeus worshippers were only pretending to understanding things which they did not understand, modern theists are only pretending to understand questions that make the most brilliant people in the human race scratch their heads and wonder.
Conceit from ignorance is not good, and it is not wisdom.
I didn’t name the God that created. I only gave the options. And there really are only 2. It came about by itself or it was created. And as I said, if it were created, referring to that creator as God is no stretch for me, as He’s beyond my comprehension. The other option, that it came about by itself, no matter the mechanism, is just silly to me. We could ride the fence and be non committal, but that really doesn’t seem like you. From your posts, I see strong convictions. You obviously are quite intelligent, also. Seems you would have faith in one or the other option, then. Pick a side!
I have strong convictions only when they are warranted by something. I try not to have strong opinions about things I do not understand.
And lets assume that your false dichotomy is true and there are only two options, and examine them.
Option A: The universe “just exists” inexplicably.
Option B: A god “just exists” inexplicably, and inexplicably created the universe.
Option A has two advantages, one that it is vastly simpler and only requires one assumption to be made, where the second requires two and therefore option A is more likely to be correct according to occam’s razor. And the second is that we know by direct observation that the universe exists, however it does, but we cannot say the same thing about a hypothetical deity.
Invoking an inexplicable being to explain something inexplicable is a waste of time, and this is the kind of thinking we as a civilization should’ve left behind in the bronze age. Imagine for a moment if science allowed for this kind of thinking – instead of modern science we would still have greek mythology, since all scientists would have to do to “explain” anything was invoke an invisible magical being. Would that be rational? Would our ignorance of lightning or thunder “prove” zeus? Is this good logic? Should quantum physicists be “solving” problems in their equasions by saying “a fairy made it work that way”. Or is it only reasonable if it’s the god of your culture?
This is bad reasoning. And again that is even assuming for the sake of argument that your false dichotomy is correct. Our not understanding quantum physics does not in any way point to yahweh’s existence any more than us not understanding lightning points to zeus’ existence. This, in logic, is called an argument from ignorance.
I do not believe in replacing the words “I don’t know” in my vocabulary with the words “god did it”. If I don’t know something, I don’t know it. If I don’t understand something, I don’t understand it.
And I never will if, instead of holding out for understanding and knowledge, I simply pretend to understand what I don’t.
The ancient greeks with their whole throngs and hordes of deities, spirits, muses, demi-gods, titans, nymphs and the like thought they had a good handle on how the world worked. They didn’t.
And nor did bronze-age jews when they boiled the multitude of gods and spirits into a handful.