I think, therefore I believe
First of all, I do not intend to have the final answers. As Sir Isaac Newton once said, “if I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”
This subject, as well as most of the arguments I have lately come to reason about, have been well debated by many great philosophers and scientists of our age. I can recommend you dozens of books and videos with the debates.
Let’s also keep in mind that I’m trying to avoid TLDR text here. So, I will not go deep in the explanation of some of my conclusions. I am starting a Podcast this month called “Following the Evidences” where I plan to give more details for each step.
I’ve been challenged by some friends about the veracity of two affirmations I’ve given this past month.
- The question about the existence of God is crucial;
- Faith is a reasoned choice, not something mystical in which we have no role to play.
First, let’s see if it does make any difference if God exists.
If there is no God:
- Every type of life we know will be extinct in death - There is no immortality - The universe will also face extinction
Therefore, life has not:
- Objective Meaning - One’s life makes no difference to the outcome of the universe - There is no framework within man’s life can seem to matter - Objective Value - There is no moral accountability - Moral choices are inconsequential - Moral values are delusions ingrained into us by evolution and social experience - Objective Purpose - Without immortality, our only destination is extinction in death - Without God, there is no purpose for life
Now, through this atheistic worldview, it is impossible to live consistently and happy
- If one live happily - It is because one is inconsistently affirming some type of meaning, value and/or purpose, despite the lack of objective foundations for it. - If one live consistently - One will live unhappy since one’s life is meaningless, worthless and purposeless
Since the only two options we have are pretty clear, the existence or not of a God is one of the most important questions we can ever answer.
Second, We have got to start talking differently about “faith”.
Unfortunately, we have let the secular world and antagonists like Bill Maher define the term for us. What they mean by “faith” is blind leaping. They think we have simply disengaged our minds and leapt blindly into the religious abyss.
The biblical view of saving Christian faith has never had anything to do with blind leaping. Jesus himself was fixed on the idea that we can know the truth-and, not just in some spiritual or mystical way. Rather, he taught that we can know the truth about God, humans, and salvation objectively. That is the very best forms of investigation, evidence, and careful reasoning.
Since the life without meaning, value and purpose would be absurd (illogical, contrary to reason, meaningless, irrational) I urge myself to look for answers to those questions.
What does science, cosmology, physics and philosophy have to tell me about it?
If we compare the whole history of the universe with a 24 hours clock. We would have no changes for the first 19 hours. Then, in 2 minutes we have something huge happening, and we would have all the species we know today. After that, we would not see any macroevolution happening.
Our universe is expanding, and Cosmology says it is possible to contract the universe to its initial state. It means that the universe does have a beginning indeed, and therefore, something has caused the universe to exist.
It is reasonably accepted that this cause has to be immaterial and beyond space and time.
Think about a rule in your hand; now you set a mark on this ruler. Now let’s grow this rule: consider a rule as big as your house, as your state, as the entire earth… now think about a rule as big as the whole universe.
If you move one inch the mark you’ve made in a ruler as big as the entire universe it would not be that big difference, right? Now, this is how precise the gravity force is. If we move the gravity force as much as one inch compared tho the whole universe, it would be impossible to exist life at all.
Not only gravity is very well fine tuned but the nuclear force, electromagnetic force, expansion rate of the universe, velocity of light, initial uniformity of radiation, average distance between galaxies, polarity of the water molecule. Life would be impossible if any of those variables were a tiny bit greater or smaller.
“An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have had to have been satisfied to get it going.” –Francis Crick, biochemist and spiritual skeptic, shared the Nobel Prize for discovering the molecular structure of DNA
We have only to see a few letters of the alphabet spelling our name in the sand to recognize at once the work of an intelligent agent. Now Human DNA contains more organized information than the Encyclopedia Britannica. If the full text of the encyclopedia were to arrive in computer code from outer space, most people would regard this as proof of the existence of extraterrestrial intelligence. But when seen in nature, it is explained as the workings of random forces
Those are just a few examples that point towards a Designer, a Creator. The very old Jewish Scriptures says the creation is a empirical evidence of a creator.
Therefore, my faith is indeed, the result of a rational process and a logic decision.
I also have some questions about what naturalists and atheists take for granted.
The theory of biological evolution is simply irrelevant to the truth of Christian Theism. Genesis 1 admits all matter of interpretations and is not by all means committed to six-day creationism.
The doubts I have about biological evolution are not biblical, but scientific. They are fantastically improbable.
Is it rational to say that fine tuning is the result of random coincidences?
Is it rational to say that life is the result of the coincidental arrangement of molecules?
Is it rational to affirm that randomness produced the world we see around us?
Did neuro-chemical reactions produce wonders such as love, compassion, and sacrifice?
How does one chemical state in the brain lead to another chemical state that leads to another and it produces universal logic?
So, the most logical conclusion is to believe that nothing produces everything; nonlife produces life; randomness produces fine-tuning; chaos produces information; unconsciousness produces consciousness?
“Evolution has no evidence of transitional fossils. It is reasonable, but with no evidence” - Stephen Jay Gould / Atheist American paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, and historian of science
So how does something is reasonable but with no evidence? And why only some things can be reasonable with no evidence?
Darwin himself, in a humble quote, reasons that “Geology does not reveal any chain, and perhaps it is the most obvious objection against my theory”
Later on, he says that take for granted that a human eye is the result of natural selection and evolution alone is absurd.
The Human DNA has a lot of information on it. Now, you do not see information in any other place in nature. Nature can produce patterns, but whenever we see information—whether it’s n a book or a computer program—we know there’s intelligence behind it.
And even if Darwin and his theory were completely right, he does not even try to answer the question of where life comes from. To take the examples of micro evolution and apply that as evidence of macro evolution is a huge leap.
For Darwin’s theory works, he needs The Universe, Life, and Information. One may say it came from a soup, but the questions still stand: Where did the ingredients come from? Where is the recipe?
“If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch you must first invent the universe” - Carl Sagan
Good science should follow the scientific facts where they lead, including an intelligent designer. What is not possible for a philosophical naturalist.
Bacon, the father of empiricism, affirms that “God never wrought miracle, to convince atheism, because his ordinary works convince it. It is true, that a little philosophy inclineth man’s mind to atheism; but depth in philosophy bringeth men’s minds about to religion.”
I think it would be inconsistent to require more justification for Christian belief than you do for your own, but that is frequently what happens. In fairness you must doubt your doubts.
I agree with Timothy Keller’s thesis that if you come to recognize the beliefs on which your doubts about Christianity are based, and if you seek as much proof for those beliefs as you seek from Christians for theirs - you will discover that your doubts are not as solid as they first appeared.
I commend two processes to the readers of this post. I urge skeptics to wrestle with the unexamined “blind faith” on which skepticism is based, and to see how hard it is to justify those beliefs to those who do not share them. I also urge believers to wrestle with their personal and culture’s objections to the faith. At the end of each process, even if you remain the skeptic or believer you have been, you will hold your own position with both greater clarity and greater humility. Then there will be an understanding, sympathy and respect for the other side the did not exist before.
I myself have done that and found answers to all those questions and much more.
They are not only isolated answers; they are trustworthy arguments from any standpoint. Scientific, Philosophical, Cosmological and Historical.
Through those answers, I can construct a framework that gives me what is needed for my life have meaning, value, and purpose and therefore not to be absurd.
“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen, not because I see it but because by it I see everything else” - C S Lewis