|Dr Michael Shermer | God does NOT exist|
What struck me was how incredibly weak was his argument. The same material, presented as evidence for an evolutionary model of the Universe could be used as evidence for a designed model of the Universe. Since watching the video, I've heard the arguments put forward by several, other, leading atheists and quickly noticed a disturbing, common thread, which is how deeply, almost zealously, anti-religious is the atheist teaching.
I should state that I am a "deluded!?" (chuckle) Christian. My faith in God began when I was a few months short of my 4th Birthday. Sally, the 6mo, fluffy, tortoishell cat arrived. Teddy bears - made by man. Sally - made by God, despite her quick temper and very sharp weaponry. I was both fascinated and somewhat terrified. If I ever found myself in a debate, against an atheist, my counter-argument would comprise just a single word: "Cats". I admit that I know very little about science and, as a qualified physics teacher, have a certificate to prove such. It reads BEd (Hons) Cantab.
Within Dr Shermer's talk, there was one point which seemed very counter-intuitive, along the lines of It looks like a duck. It quacks like a duck but, trust me, it isn't a duck!. Apparently, science has discovered the part of the brain which makes us capable of inventing gods. He goes on to state why we needed to invent gods. Hang on! If science has shown that our brains contain a God box isn'tit more likely that, in all probability, there exists a some form of superior agent. Essentially, although the firmer science shows us a God box and the softer science can explain it away, the softer science wins the day. There's a wordfor that, which should have no place within intellectually honest research. That word is Bias.
I may not know much science but I recognize bias, when I hear it. I've spent 30 years exchanging views with lovely people, who knock on my door to tell me all about 1914. Eventually, after getting broadband, I was able to understand their nonsensical standpoint, to the point that I managed to silence a Jehovah's Witnesses elder, by totally disproving the Paradise Earth model. Of course, in his eyes, I was an agent of Satan, despite the fact that I had used their own bible translation and nothing but a simple, logical, reasonable argument. It shows that people aren't naturally, rational thinkers. We all have our prejudices and become fixed in our ways. Jehovah's Witnesses belong to the anti-Christian, Watchtower Society cult and the truth isn't going to pull them out. Theocratic warfare is a phrase used by the Watchtower Society, which simply means that the ends justify the means or, put another way, fighting fire with fire. Absolute truth is the victim!
Anyhoo! Back to the anti-religious stance of the atheists. It's important to remember, that the atheist/evolutionist belief is that man invented god, which must, then, have been a part of the evolutionary process and, so, completely natural. Within evolution, a process without agency (design or intelligence), Mankind developed a useful capability to believe in a greater, more powerful, unseen intelligence (or intelligencis), which rejected the true model of an undirected, evolutionary process. This argument, to me, seems just a tad ridiculous but let's continue!
If evolution itself implanted, within us, the rejection of evolution then, by rejecting evolution, are we not showing that we are a part of the evolutionary process. If evolution created our God box and we refuse to put anything in it, we're rejecting evolution. Be a good evolutionist and invent a god or two, to put in your God box. When evolutionists argue so vehemently against religious beliefs, they are arguing against evolution! However, behind the irrationality of those who claim to be the guardians of rationality, I sense something sinister.
As well as Dr Shermer, some of the more outspoken proponents of atheism include or have included, Richard Dawkins (b.1941), Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011), Sam Harris (b.1967). Considering that they claim that religious belief is a natural phenomenon of evolution, they appear to despise those who hold religious views. For instance, the Holy Bible, to an atheist, is a naturally explained work of fiction yet, strangely, they feel the need to undermine it. Why? "The lady doth protest too much, methinks" comes to mind.
Why, if belief in a religion is a product of evolution, which it must be, if the skeptics are correct, does religion appear to be a problem, for such skeptics? What is wrong with having the hope of a better, future life, if this life is fairly grim? Why MUST we believe that this is our lot? Also, if Dr Shermer possesses even a modicum of intellectual honesty, he must know that the case he presented fell far short of being, in any sense, a proof. It came across as anti-Christian propaganda, which left me wondering about his motive.
What's amusing is that Dr Shermer started with some evolutionary theory: A small creature hears a rustle in the grass. Wind or predator? He bolts, just in case but it turns out to be the wind. That's a Type 1 error: a false positive, being a mistake without consequences. Another small creature hears a rustle in the grass. Wind or predator? Probably just the wind. Wrong! He's lunch! That's a Type 2 error: a false negative, being a mistake with dire consequences. It's an argument supporting natural selection, whereby the gene pool of those with better decision making capabilities is strengthened.
7:37-8:09 'Over the last 10,000 years of history, there have been about 10,000 different religions and, roughly, about 1,000 gods.. What is the probability that Yahweh is the one true God and (lists others) and the rest of the 986 are all false gods?'
15:25 'What's more likely? It's obvious that all these other god's are made up. You already know that. You agree with me on that. You're all atheists for all those other gods. So! I would just implore you to go one god further. Thank you.'
1,000 to 1 odds of Yahweh being the one, true God. In 2015/16, Leicester City's odds, of winning the Premier League title, were 5,000 to 1. They won! I will always remember a youngster, beaming a smile while holding up her £2, winning betting slip. £10,000! I bet she had a good year! Imagine someone like Dr Shermer, at the beginning of that season, imploring Leicester City fans to tear up their betting slips because he felt that he could prove that Leicester had no chance of finishing top. Crazy!
Furthermore, his statistically based argument is badly flawed, showing that he clearly knows very little about the Christian message; akin to most Christians, sadly! God's plan would work out, even if every Christian had been wiped out, within the 1st Century. Jesus Christ 7 v 6 Satan, would still be the match result. Jesus opened the gates of Heaven, for evryone, potentially. The Christian Commission was to spread this message; the Good News of Life in Christ. It was offered as a gift, not as a threat. The message wasn't "God's plan is to torture Mankind, in a fiery pit, for eternity. Don't worry though. A few, lucky people, who happen to hear about and accept that Jesus rose from the dead, will go to Heaven!" Anti-Christians fraudulently claim that this is the Christian message, thus portraying Christians as believing in the worst, mass-murderer imaginable.
The sourCe of the false understanding, still circulating within some, Christian groups; that only Christians go to heaven, is easy to spot:
John 14:6 (NIV†) Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." To prove that Eternal life is Universally available:
Revelation 20:12,13 (NIV†) And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done.
If the judgement is favourable, then it's party time, in Heaven; the same reward as that given to Christians. True Cristians avoid this, final judgement. Their, eternal life begins when they accept Christ, confess their sins and are Batized. Hence, born again Christians. Many, nominal Christians will, no doubt, face judgement. Smug Christians need to be aware of the following:
Matthew 7:22,23 (NIV†) Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!' Jesus doesn't care much for hypocrites! True Christians are not followers of a religion. They have a relationship with God, through Jesus Christ. Simple and beautiful!
Hopefully, the above paragraphs will see off some of the anti-Christian propaganda which God's enemies use against Christians. The use of the word implore is very significant. By using that word, I think what he means is "If you were as intelligent and as well read and as rational as I am, you would see that I am right." He knows that he his arguments were more showmanship than any sort of proof. His closing point demonstrates that, while he may know a lot of science, he hasn't a clue when it comes to spiritual matters. He understands science. He doesn't understand God. Therefore God doesn't exist! To hold such a belief is one thing but to "evangelize" it seems, to me, nothing short of arrogant folly!
The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions.
- Leonardo da Vinci (1453 - 1519).