With respect to my comment regarding the benevolence of god, I was mostly referring to his depiction in the old testament. Much of this is incompatible with my concept of morality and ethics and my understanding of how modern society perceives morality and ethics.
I will let you and JS dialogue on this. I want to stay on point—the point being that the existence of a theistic God is the foundation of Christian theology. I contend that if the God of traditional Christian theism does not exist, then logically my evangelical theology crumbles. But I can prove He exists because of the impossibility of any alternative atheism can offer.
As we progress, I will show that if the Christian God does not exist, then you nor I nor anything can exist.
With respect to the observable universe, it certainly appears to me that everything that exists is borne of naturalistic causes (matter, electromagnetic radiation, the fabric of spacetime, etc.).
What's more, I am inclined to believe that the universe and anything that may (or may not) exist outside its purview (i.e. multiverse, etc. ?) exists in some configuration that is entirely natural rather than by the actions of a sentient deity. Although, I don't think that anyone can begin to speculate on the existence of things beyond what is quantifiable or mathematically derivable. The laws of nature may be completely different in environments that are foreign to us.
Drwho, with respect also, atheists have much difficulty explaining how our universe came into existence. Theorizing the existence of another universe or a “multi-verse” does not solve the atheist’s conundrum. Each time another universe is added, the conundrum presented by the First and Second Laws is still there. But thank you for your forthright, honest answer. If I’m reading you correctly, you are an atheist/materialist, i.e., in your worldview only matter and energy exist.
No scientific theory exists that explains the origin of space, time, or matter. Because each is intimately related to or defined in terms of the other, a satisfactory explanation for the origin of one must also explain the origin of the others. To date, all naturalistic explanations have failed. As an example, for matter to exist, you must first have energy. But you can’t have energy without matter.
You posited: “Although, I don't think that anyone can begin to speculate on the existence of things beyond what is quantifiable or mathematically derivable.” Here you speculated. Is your speculation and conclusion here “quantifiable or mathematically derivable”?
I'm sorry then, I may not have been clear. I'm not objecting to the claim that there are things in the bible that may be true. I'm saying that I think that many of the things in there are not. I understand that it was written relatively near to the time period that it was referencing. Therefore, I understand that it should not be uncommon for there to be references to people or places that may have existed at that time.
Again, let’s let the truthfulness of God’s word go for now. Unless you believe He exists, I would not logically expect you accept His word.
How refreshing! I seldom get this answer from atheists. But, Drwho, I must ask you to do some self-examination. Are you ruling out the possibility of a supernatural Being existing before you start your quest for the truth? When it comes to the origin of the universe, atheists have no materialistic explanation. So instead of assuming an agent-causation (such as God), they automatically insert a gap. And they immediately argue, “What! So Goddidit?” The theistic answer of an Agent causing the universe is immediately dismissed out of hand. Atheists refuse to admit that the gap has been plugged by the theist with an adequate explanation because of their belief that since only matter exists, there has to be a materialistic explanation.
If we carefully consider this reasoning, it turns out to be circular: There has to be a gap because they have no materialistic explanation. There has to be a materialistic explanation because naturalism is true. But since it’s naturalism itself which is at issue in the discussion, when atheists assume there is a gap—because they have no materialistic explanation—they are assuming that which needs to be proved.
Recently, one of our military drones crashed in Iran. The Iranians promised to “reverse engineer” it and build an exact duplicate. I pray that before they start, they imitate atheists and rule out the possibility of an aeronautical engineer having designed it.
So, before we start our quest, are you dismissing, a priori, the possibility of the existence of God?
I'm really confused on a couple things here:
1.Isn't the first law to do with the conservation of energy? I noticed that you specifically said no new energy is produced. Why does there need to be some input of energy in order for the existing energy state of a system to be conserved?
The First Law states that the total energy in the universe, or in any isolated part of it, remains constant. It further states that although energy (or its mass equivalent) can change form, it is not now being created (brought into existence out of nothing) or destroyed (taken out of existence). Countless experiments have verified this. A corollary of the First Law is that natural processes can’t create (bring into existence from nothing) new energy. Consequently, energy must have been created (brought into existence from nothing) in the past by some Agency or Power or Being outside and independent of the natural universe. Furthermore, this Agency, Power, or Being had to have always existed prior to the universe.
2. more importantly, I'm not sure I follow your line of reasoning on this part: "...because God" How did you get to that explanation? Correct me if I'm wrong, but It kind of looks like you're attempting to derive this explanation by excluding other explanations rather than by using supporting evidence to arrive at your conclusion that god is the explanation.
Drwho, I have a Christian theist’s worldview. I will define a worldview: a set of presuppositions we use to interpret the reality we encounter. Everyone has a worldview, but not all worldviews are logical. The Foundation for my worldview is God and His word (special revelation). As we proceed, we will see whose worldview correctly explains and justifies what we encounter in reality—yours or mine.
Yes, not surprisingly, I refer to Genesis: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). I’m presenting to you a scientific argument using the First and Second Laws—two of the most tested and proven laws of science we have yet discovered. Using these laws, I am showing you that what we encounter in reality comports with what God says in Genesis: “And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done” (Gen. 2:2). No new matter or energy is coming into existence. Does this not comport with what God says in His word?
“Correct me if I'm wrong, but It kind of looks like you're attempting to derive an explanation by excluding other explanations rather than by using supporting evidence to arrive at your conclusion that god is NOT the explanation.”
Specifically, you're excluding the notion that energy spontaneously pops into existence. So I guess my question is, how are you excluding every other potential explanation that you haven't thought of yet?
Drwho, I am going to allow you to retract your argument that nothing can produce something. And I will imitate Jesus and answer your question with a question: Why are you excluding God in lieu of nothing producing something?
3. Also, what about quantum fluctuations? How do they fit into all this?
I want to clear up first your conundrum of the first and second laws.
The universe could not have created itself from nothing (First Law). Will you admit to this simple truth?
The universe could not have always been here (Second Law). Will you agree to this simple truth?
If the universe could not have created itself from nothing and it could not have always been here, then, by necessity, it had to have been created (brought into existence) by a Being or Power that is prior to and outside of the universe. If you disagree with this logical argument, please present an alternative explanation of how the universe came to be?