If God were a fact, there would be no debates. When last did you argue with anyone about the law of gravity? I don’t think God is an algebraic equation either— one that can be solved or proven with logic. There is nothing logical or plausible about the God idea. If I were to say to you as a total stranger that I could take one look at your handwriting and tell you all about the kind of person you are, you would most likely not believe me unless I demonstrated to you that it is possible. And even after I did, you would still be in denial and suggest that I only made lucky guesses about you.
You would want to see me analyse a few more handwritings to be convinced that it is not a hoax. God, on the other hand, is supposed to be omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent, immutable, and perfect. He has been credited with planning, designing, and creating the entire universe, and with knowing exactly how many hairs are on our heads. He supposedly intervenes in human affairs, rewarding, punishing, guiding, and answering prayers. Those are all extraordinary claims and I am supposed to be satisfied with “the bible says” or an “argument” as proof? It must be a bit embarrassing for theists having to constantly try to prove the existence of such a powerful entity. The writers of the bible obviously realized this predicament, which is why they recommended lots of faith.
But alas, the more enlightened one gets, the more inadequate faith becomes. So, the next step is to attempt to use logic to substantiate the illogical.
The thing about those philosophical arguments for the existence of God – the cosmological, ontological, and teleological arguments, for example, is that they have all been found to have loop holes and logical fallacies by those in the opposing camp, who do an equally fine job of presenting counter arguments. So, depending on how desperately one wishes to hold on to his original position, it is unlikely that such logic will do anything to change one’s mind. In addition, an effective argument does not have to be true in order to be convincing. Any argument which begins with God as a basic premise—an idea that has no factual basis – might sound convincing but will still be an idea with no factual basis.
The ontological argument—the suggestion that all human beings, by nature, have a concept of a perfect, greater being, therefore God must exist—may be enough to satisfy many, but not me. My layman’s response to that is: “All children talk to imaginary friends and see monsters in the dark, therefore invisible people and monsters exist”. Human beings have imagination and curiosity. Curiosity causes one to wonder where he came from, what his purpose in this world is, and what his ultimate fate is. Curiosity made our prehistoric ancestors wonder why the earth quaked and the sun disappeared at night. And so, according to Ian Anderson, “In the beginning, man created God; and in the image of Man created he him.”
The other thing that I have observed about arguments for God’s existence is that in order for them to be “true”, exceptions must constantly be made for God—God being an idea that human beings themselves created and defined at their convenience. They decided that God should be able to break all rules that apply to everything else. There is no model, example, or precursor to any God which one can use to compare and contrast with. For example, the cosmological argument, or the first cause argument posits that everything that came into existence must have a cause, and that cause must be God. That is like writing a multiple choice item with only one option. But of course, God doesn’t need a cause because theists have also decided that he never came into existence. He is an exception (here’s that word again) and has always been there. It is so easy for us to accept the idea of an intelligent, human-like God who has always been around, yet we find it hard to grasp the idea of a multiverse that always existed, or a spontaneous beginning—something coming out of nothing, which Quantum mechanics is now proving to be possible.
The teleological argument claims that the apparent complex design, structure, and purpose found in the universe imply an intelligent designer, and of course that designer is none other than God. The process of natural selection, which is a biological fact, has already demonstrated that magic wands are not necessary for complex organisms to evolve. Furthermore, if God, who is so much more complex and intelligent didn’t need a creator, then it is indeed possible to have intelligent design without an intelligent creator. But I’m forgetting myself again. God is the only exception.
We have come a long way from a time when God was the cause of every natural phenomenon. Now, thanks to scientific advancement, one of
the few questions we have left to answer is: “What started the big bang?” If only theists would be patient and learn to say “I don’t know”—those same three words which were responsible for all our scientific knowledge and discovery, maybe we might learn the answer some day or, maybe not.
Either way, history has shown us repeatedly the folly of filling in the gaps with “the man in the sky”.