Friday, January 11, 2013

Why God is unlikely

Some musings for which I make no claims to originality but which seem to me to provide insurmountable problems for any theists among you. I'd love to hear any counter-arguments...This was originally sent to my convert friend.

"You always seem to scoff at the idea that life happened by chance and that subsequently so did we.  Here are some ideas to conjure with:
1.       What use would an intelligent designer have with billions of years and trillions of galaxies filled with billions of stars apiece? That tremendous waste is only needed if life had to arise by accident.
2.       Are you saying that God needed all this before finally stumbling upon life? Because if there is NO God then life could ONLY arise in a world which is large and old – exactly like the one we see around us. The facts confirm atheism rather than theism.
3.       The appearance of life is an extremely improbable incident, you say. You’re right. But that doesn't make it impossible. The odds of winning the lottery are minute but we know it happens – every week. Why? – because the laws of probability dictate that the likelihood depends upon how many times the game is played. So if a billion people play and the odds are one in a billion then it’s extremely likely someone will win. The only way life could arise by accident, as I believe it did, is if there were countless more failed tries than successes. And that’s exactly what we see. The universe has been mixing chemicals for over
 twelve billion years in over a billion trillion star systems. That is exactly what we would see if life arose by accident (but NOT what we would expect to see if an intelligent designer had anything to do with it)..
4.       We haven’t proven any particular theory on the origin of life, you say. True. But we have evidence for every element of every theory. For example we know porous rocks that can provide a cell-like home near energy-rich, deep-sea volcanic vents. We know these vents harbour some of the most ancient life on the planet.
5.       The same can be said for evolution. As it happens evolution requires billions of years to get all the way from the first accidental life form to something as complex as us. God doesn't require this – nor does taking such a length of time make any sense, unless God wanted to deliberately fabricate evidence against his existence by planting all the evidence for evolution: fossils, DNA correlations, vast scales of time etc.
6.       The only way we could exist without God is if we existed at the end of billions of years of meandering change over time. And that’s exactly what we see.
7.       So atheism predicts all the evidence we see and theism predicts none of it.
8.       But perhaps God does exist. And worked his magic using totally natural and wasteful processes that copy exactly what we would expect to see if he didn't exist. For him to make all the evidence so overwhelming for his non-existence and then to punish those of us who take the evidence at face value seems to me to be the work of not a good God but an evil one.
Therefore I choose not to believe in God."

( Liberal theologians will claim God just set the whole thing in motion billions of years ago and had nothing more to do with it. How then to account for the chance arrival of humans on an insignificant twig of the evolutionary tree? If a reptile species, for example, had happened to reach the top and develop self-awareness would God have sent lizard prophets?)


  1. God made us in his image. How then do you come up with lizards???
    Usdeless blog!

  2. Dear Anon,
    Try reading the post. Where is the evidence that God made us in his image? Are you really suggesting that God suffers from back-ache because of the poorly designed backbone more suitable for moving around on four legs? Or that his wisdom teeth occasionally give him trouble? Or that he has a useless appendix...just like the poor deluded souls who made him up in the first place?
    We made God in our image. Not the other way around

  3. @ anon 3.09
    God is perfect. Humans are not. Simple.
    God can do what He likes. We cannot hope to even begin to understand His ways.

  4. Dear Spinoza, please find below my remarks on your argument list. I still havent made my mind regarding God, but your arguments do not convince me the other way.
    1- If there is a creator, he would of course know that humans will aquire knowledge and advance greatly in science. He would know that we will be able to go on the moon and theorize about where we came from or how the universe was created... He would know about our future development. Where do you see humanity in a 500, 10000, 100,000, a million years from here advancing in science at the same rate as now?? So, put yourself in his shoes, would you create the universe in a box just to fit one planet or would you make it so vast and so far reaching, that it always seem beyond reach and be an example of his might? So your argument really works in favor of God.
    2- Again, point 1 covers this issue as well. God would know what level of science advancement we would have and would know that we will ask questions and theorize about where we come from.
    3- If it was just one incident, your argument could be valid, but the problem is that there are just too many incidents that happened to arrive to where we are now. I won´t go into details, but having our planet formed, cooled down, creating an atmosphere, having water, having first cell created (??), developing from mono-cell to muti-cell organism to all the variety of creatures we have, having one specy become self aware....There are just too many incidents. I haven´t done the maths, but I am sure that if you do a mathematic model factoring the likelihood of every scenario, and you add them up, you will need a much older and bigger universe.
    4- point 3 answers to 4. In addition, our current knowledge and theories start from the bigbang to the creation of life. What you seem to forget is that there are rules guiding every step of this process (gravity for example). Where does these rules come from?
    Sorry, I got go as the inter shop is closing. I hope I can finish this later on.