Atheists, Deists and the Creator
This is kind of an old topic, but it is one that seems to never die. That is, does God exist? The debate between deists and atheists typically is centered around the Christian god with atheists rejecting God simply because they reject Christianity. To be fair, though, there are some 4,200 religions in the world and the Christian god, therefore, is just one of 4,200 gods .
So, I pose these questions: In order to be intellectually honest, do atheists need to reject all 4,200 gods before declaring themselves to be atheists? And exactly what makes Christians feel that their god, amongst all of the 4,200 gods, is the one and only?
While my interest in this debate wanes by the day, I feel that it’s still worth a mention. To begin with, religious beliefs are claims rather than the truth. Holy books, however, may be considered to be the truth by a believer, even if it’s based solely on their faith. On the other hand atheism, is a religion too. Michael Ruse, an evolutionist himself, admitted that, “Evolution is promoted by its practitioners as more than mere science. Evolution is promulgated as an ideology, a secular religion-a full-fledged alternative to Christianity, with meaning and morality…Evolution is a religion. This was true of evolution in the beginning, and it is true of evolution still today.”
Scientists of all stripes have weighed in on this debate. Here’s a few thoughts from some of the great minds of science:
“I believe in Spinoza’s God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fates and actions of human beings.”
– Albert Einstein
Note: According to Wikipedia, Spinoza believed that “…everything is a derivative of God, interconnected with all of existence.” Further, the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy states that Spinoza’s God is an “infinite intellect.”
“The universe does not exist ‘out there,’ independent of us. We are inescapably involved in bringing about that which appears to be happening. We are not only observers. We are participators.”
– John Wheeler, physicist
“The cosmos is within us. We are made of star-stuff. We are a way for the universe to know itself.”
– Carl Sagan, astronomer
Note: Of course, Sagan was admitting that there is super- intelligence in the cosmos, an intelligence which can think, extrapolate… and “know itself”.
“Our brains mathematically construct objective reality by interpreting frequencies that are ultimately projections from another dimension, a deeper order of existence that is beyond both space and time….”
– Michael Talbot, The Holographic Universe
“Life is the most mysterious of all the wonders of creation because atoms have been assembled in such a way so that they can ponder their own existence.”
– Martin Rees, astrophysicist
“The secret of DNA’s success is that it carries information like that of a computer program, but far more advanced. Since experience shows that intelligence is the only presently acting cause of information, we can infer that intelligence is the best explanation for the information in DNA.”
– Jonathan Wells, molecular biologist
“To me, it is clear that we exist in a plan which is governed by rules that were created, shaped by a universal intelligence and not by chance.”
– Michio Kaku, physicist
“Astronomy leads us to a unique event, a universe that was created out of nothing and delicately balanced to provide exactly the conditions required to support life. In the absence of an absurdly improbable accident, the observations of modern science seem to suggest an underlying, one might say, supernatural plan.”
– Arno Penzias, physicist
“It is easy to understand why many scientists like Sir Fred Hoyle changed their minds in the past thirty years. They now agree that the universe, as we know it, cannot reasonably be explained as a cosmic accident.”
– Frederic B. Burnham, historian of science
“Beyond all finite experiences and secondary causes, all laws, ideas and principles, there is an Intelligence or Mind, the first principle of all principles, the Supreme Idea on which all other ideas are grounded.”
“When it comes to the origin of life on this earth, there are only two possibilities: creation or spontaneous generation (evolution). There is no third way. Spontaneous generation was disproved 100 years ago, but that leads us only to one other conclusion: that of supernatural creation. We cannot accept that on philosophical grounds (personal reasons); therefore, we choose to believe the impossible: that life arose spontaneously by chance.”
– George Wald
“Super-intelligence is the only good explanation for the origin of life and the complexity of nature.”
– Antony Flew
These gentlemen hardly referred to God at all in explaining the origins of life. Therefore, I would suggest that the vast majority of concepts/perspectives about God (both pro and con) are incomplete, at best. Since the word God is generally associated with religion, I believe that it would be preferable to use the term “creator” instead.
Of course if there is a creator, he doesn’t have to be the god of any religion, now does he? So, if any of you are hung up over the illogic of religion, especially Christianity, it doesn’t necessarily mean that there is no God. It may simply mean that you have been looking for him in all the wrong places and calling him by the wrong name.
– Joseph Campbell