BY ADDISON WIER
This week I figured I would respond to an article that talks about the supposed conflict between science and religion. It’s an article by “the Atheist,” called “Logically disproving the Christian God.” Let’s examine it:
“After the suggestion in one of this site’s comments stating that it required more faith to be an atheist than a theist, because the non-existence of a deity can never be proven, I thought it would be fun to see if we can logically disprove the existence of “God”. I picked the Christian God because I am more familiar with the Christian faith than any other, I’ve read the bible and have previously lived with devout Christians. I feel qualified. So let’s see where this goes…
For this to work, we have to agree on the following two statements, and accept that Christians believe them to the true: –
- God is infallible
- The Bible is the true word of God
These aren’t outrageous statements, and in fact, have been echoed on this very blog numerous times in the comments.
The two statements above are clearly interdependent. The Bible tells Christians that God is infallible, and Christians believe the Bible because they believe it was written by an infallible deity. Almost a self-fulfilling prophecy, almost. So the start of our logical deduction must be the Bible, so let’s concentrate on that.”
So far, nothing controversial.
“Let’s take the Christian God’s greatest act, creating the world and all who live on it (indirectly). The start of all this, on God’s own words: “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day”. Using genealogy, we can roughly estimate the age of the earth, as stated by the Bible, to be 6500 years. The very top estimate would be close to 10,000 years, but that’s a stretch. Science has proven that the earth is closer to 4.5 billion years old. Radiometric dating has shown us this, and has remained consistent with lunar and terrestrial samples. In other words, we haven’t just tested this once in one situation, it’s been extensively tested. This isn’t a guess, or a hunch, there’s a substantial amount of evidence to back this up.”
Okay, here’s where the problems start to arise. To start, I just want to say that, from what I’ve heard, radiometric dating isn’t always accurate (don’t take my word for it though, for I am not an expert).
Second, I don’t even think the Bible even teaches that the earth is only around 6,000 to 10,000 years old. Here’s why: when you examine the book of Genesis objectively, you seem to come across hints within the text itself that suggest that the narrative is not meant to be taken literally. For example, in the first chapter you come across parallels: “And God said…and God said…and it was so.” For more on this topic, I would recommend William Lane Craig’s Defenders podcasts on creation and evolution right here: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/defenders-2-podcast/s9
Alright, what else?
“And that’s the geological age of the earth. What about the creatures on the earth? We, as human beings, were created 6500 years ago, according to the Bible, starting with Adam and then Eve. The oldest discovered human fossil is approximately 1,300,000 (1.3 million) years old. That would have meant that humans lived on earth before God created either humans or the earth. In fact, depending on how much evidence you consider to be acceptable, and how you define us as a species, you could place humans at between 1.8 million and 130,000 years old. No one could sensibly claim that humans are less than 130,000 years old. There is simply too much evidence available for our inspection. Either way, much older than the Bible’s claims.”
Once again, refer to the podcasts.
“Let’s take another example. God decided that the earth needed cleansing, so he instructed Noah to gather up two of ever species to save. Everything other than Noah, his family (or part of his family) and the animals he chose to save would be killed. There are on our planet. Male and female, that would be 20 million animals Noah saved. I’ve never seen a boat that big, even with modern engineering techniques. Noah also would have had to travel to different parts of the earth to collect the various animals. You rarely see a penguin and a scorpion living in the same location (zoos don’t count). He then, after the waters had receded, would have had to return them to their original locations. You also have to question to environment on board Noah’s Ark, an environment that could sustain animals that require intense heat and animals that require intense cold, as well as Noah and his family that required a more moderate climate. Impossible.”
First of all, God could have accomplished all of that with his divine power. For example, instead of Noah travelling to different parts of the world in order to collect different animal species, God could have just brought all of the animals to him. By saying that all of this is impossible is rather fallacious in that it seems to presuppose that atheism is true.
Second of all, many biblical scholars and theologians today believe that the flood was not universal, but was local. If such an interpretation is at least possible, then I don’t see how this all-out disproves God’s existence.
“Just so we’re clear, I’m establishing that that the Bible is inaccurate. Not just inaccurate, but massively inaccurate. There are more examples of course, some which make it clear that the author of the Bible thinks the world is flat, some which make it clear that the author thought the world did not move and then there are more considered examples, such as the value of pi being unknown at the time (surely God would have known it!?!).”
No offense to this guy, but he doesn’t seem to know a thing about biblical exegesis. Most (if not all) of those are strictly literary devices. Just look it up.
“So this is my statement, logically derived from the above.
‘The Bible is inaccurate – therefore God is fallible – therefore the definition of God is incorrect – therefore God does not exist.’
To add a touch of justification to this, let’s break it down. We know the Bible is inaccurate, in fact the Bible is contradictory within its own pages.”
If he’s talking about the alleged contradictions within the Bible, then I just want to point out that a lot of these are also examples of literary devices…and those that aren’t are most likely due to mistranslations.
“The Bible is the only place that defines God, and God is defined as being infallible. The Bible is also stated as being of God’s word (albeit written by man, see below). Seeing as we know the only source that defines the Christian God is inaccurate, and at least part of the definition is inaccurate (infallible), we can not trust the remainder of the definition. Therefore the definition of God in invalid and God does not exist.
I think I’ve made a stronger argument, based on Christian beliefs, for the non existence of God than there ever has been for the existence of such a deity.”
As we’ve seen, his argument fails to stand under criticism. And the Christian philosopher and theologian can only roll their eyes at that last sentence, because, in my opinion, better arguments against Christianity have been proposed (such as alleged paradoxes involving God’s omniscience and omnipotence), and they all fail under scrutiny.