Refuting the Top 4 Arguments for God!
Many religious people simply cannot imagine a universe without a creator. I'll admit I used to feel like the thought of a universe without a God seemed to be like a fire without fuel. It just didn't make any sense.
However, I now have a couple of refutations to this popular argument for God's existence. Firstly, intelligent design implies that everything is designed brilliantly or with a high degree of complexity which could only arise from a previous and higher degree of complexity. The first problem with this argument is that it begs the question. That question being, what intelligent designer created the intelligent designer?
Secondly, there are countless examples of nature showing us not so intelligent designs. For example, the arteries which supply oxygenated and nutrient rich blood to our retinas actually sit in front of our retina. In other words, light has to pass through a bunch of arteries just to get to the retina. That would be similar to a camera designer putting the wiring for the photo-sensor in front of the sensor, effectively blocking detail! Not so intelligent after all. But, this can easily be explained away by any religious person. They can say that God altered everything to be worse after the curse resulting from human sin. But I'd say that the argument still stands because there are countless examples of not so intelligent design. Take for example the trillions upon trillions of galaxies out there. All intelligently designed to be completely void of life and entirely obsolete to God's plan. Seems a bit strange.
Pascal's wager arises from the simple fact that you cannot prove that God does or does not exist. So rather than finding the truth of God's existence through reason and evidence, you put that to one side. Instead, the existence of God becomes a wager. Basically you have two options in this bet. You can bet that God does not exist, if he does, you lose everything. Or, if you bet that God exists, and he does, you get an eternity in paradise and don't lose anything. This argument comes down to a sort of fear appeal starting from the question, what if you're wrong?
My answer to this wager, to this question of what if I'm wrong, is that this argument can be applied to all Gods. Let's take Islam for example. There are roughly 1.6 billion Muslims in the world. So what if you're wrong about the existence of Allah? Would it not be a wise wager to place your bets on the Christian and the Muslim God? If you place your bets with both, then you can't lose anything, except maybe your intellectual honesty. But that's where we get if we apply Pascal's wager.
What if you're wrong about all the Greek, Roman, and Egyptian Gods?
Richard Dawkin's on Pascal's Wager
Real moral obligation is a fact. We are really, truly, objectively obligated to do good and avoid evil. Either the atheistic view of reality is correct or the religious one. But the atheistic one is incompatible with there being moral obligation. Therefore the religious view of reality is correct.
I can approach this from a couple of angles. First morality is God given, we don't get it out of a book but rather through the circumstances of creation. The first humans ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and from that point on humans were completely aware of their own morality. That's why people intuitively know whether or not an action is moral, given that it is not overly complex. Such as a child hitting another child, you don't have to tell them it is wrong, they know it is wrong. Same goes for adults, we just have an innate sense. If you're religious this sense comes from God's creation.
In a scientific view of the world, our sense of right and wrong comes from evolutionary biology. To explain it simply, we evolved morality because we're a social species that requires a tightly knit tribe to survive. As we evolved together in our tribes we had to be kind and compassionate just to survive. The people who we saw once, we were likely to see again, and there was a good possibility that we would rely on them to survive at a point, so morality is a good way to survive and reproduce. However, morality outside of the tribe is different. Sometimes it increases ones survival and reproduction to be cruel and heartless. And even religion will show this to be true, when God commanded the Israelites to go and obliterate another tribe, it was moral. So from an atheist perspective, we all have morality already, and it's contingent upon what increases the general survival and reproduction of our tribe or in-group.
The second way to approach this is through objective morality. Atheists have developed an objective standard of morality without religion. It's called the non-aggression principle. Through this principle derived from a human's innate sense of right and wrong, we can make objective moral decisions. I know that it is wrong to hit someone because it is the initiation of the use of force, which is immoral.
- Belief in God—that Being to whom reverence and worship are properly due—is common to almost all people of every era.
- Either the vast majority of people have been wrong about this most profound element of their lives or they have not.
- It is most plausible to believe that they have not.
- Therefore it is most plausible to believe that God exists.
This argument requires a lot of faith in human rationality, which is rare at best. Keep in mind that historically we have literally burned people alive and sacrificed humans to God's that didn't even exist.
People will believe in anything that gives them a sense of hope. The truth is we're all in an endless cosmic abyss, we're going to die, we're going to lose everyone we love and everything we have. That truth is nearly impossible for people to swallow, and that's one of the main reasons for religion. So common consent only proves that people commonly desire purpose, meaning, and fulfillment in life, particularly from someone or something greater than themselves.
The other problem with this argument is that it implies that all religions are following the path to a common God. Which is practically impossible. All religions believe they are the one true religion, and that implies that they are all mutually exclusive or contradictory. They can only coexist if humans are irrational and unwilling to see the mutually exclusive nature of religion, even with its ubiquitous nature.