Are These 7 Arguments For A Creator God Convincing?

7 Arguments for godI had a rough night last night. I went to bed early with every intention of getting up before anyone else and wandering the town with my puppy listening to my favourite podcasts. A wrench was thrown into the works when she, still just 5 months old, had a fairly messy poop situation going on. I found myself on my knees at 4am scrubbing shit out of my carpet, then scrubbing my hands clean, then browsing Reddit to lull myself back to sleep. Needless to say, my productive morning was dashed when I slept in, and there went my plans to write you guys a brand new post. In the haze of sleep deprivation, I couldn’t think of a damned thing to write about.

But then, like a miracle from God himself, I received this comment on my recent post, 9 Things ‘Atheist’ Does Not Mean,

Although I agree with the simplicity of your argument and your examples, that atheism is just a lack of belief in God, I can’t read a post like this without making my case for a Creator.
1. Living Fossils by Carl Werner shows that just about every fossil we find has either a living counterpart or is a member of a handful of distinct, extinct species. The transitions are missing, and there are ducks in dinosaur layers.

2. There is a problem of origins. The origin of time and space. The origin of matter. The origin of higher elements. The origin of stars. The origin of life. The origin of reproduction, sexual reproduction, and the fragility of life. The origin of thought. That one alone should make everyone at least agnostic, not atheist. Look up Rube Goldberg machine. Then imagine it happened by chance, for no purpose in particular, and reproduced itself… and then it began to think.
3. You cannot get away from confirmation bias. It is impossible to just follow the evidence where it leads. There will always be uncertainties that cloud our evaluation of any piece of evidence. You have to choose your worldview before you begin your search, and that decision will taint your study every time.
4. The point of life here on earth is not to enjoy it, or even to find love and procreate. The point is to test our faith. If Genesis were true, the point of the account of Adam and Eve would be that God wants us to make a choice for him and against doubt of Him. Given point 3, it has been stated, and I have found it to be true, that if you don’t first choose to trust God, you will never experience God.
5. Given point 4, I have experienced miracles. I’m not talking about improbable things happening. I’m talking about impossible things happening with a disembodied personality explaining it telepathically. The point is not my miraculous experiences, as you can find credible witnesses to those all over the web. The point is that if you accept the truth of point 4, you can have your own miraculous experience. Beware, though. The person who is given much will have much required of them.
6. Study the origin of nations. Yes, history has these things written all over the place. Take Herodotus. Read about the first foundations of temples, of cities, of patriarchs of nations. They aren’t started by some nebulous group of foragers. They are founded by a person in particular, whose genealogy often runs back to a pagan god of some kind. It is plainly stated in history that pagan gods were men, deified by those who survived and honored them. Read Josephus’ Antiquities, book 1, ch. 6 and see how the nations’ origins were just about all accounted for. (http://FromNoahtoHercules.c…
7. There’s no point to believing in atheism. It’s like that game on Survivor, where Jeff puts up some plate of covered something, and they spend hundreds of dollars on a peanut butter cookie. Atheism (generally) doesn’t invest anything in the potential of the afterlife. Even if all of what I said (and didn’t say) is hogwash, it still makes sense to put your raffle ticket into a few of the baskets.

So that’s my simple summary of why atheism, though misunderstood by many, is still not wise.

I couldn’t not respond to this. I couldn’t not share it with you all. So, I’m gonna power through the heavy eyelids, brush away the cobwebs and tackle this fella’s arguments for a creator… just because I love you guys.

The problems with this comment begin in the first sentence,

Although I agree with the simplicity of your argument and your examples, that atheism is just a lack of belief in God

When I explain what atheism is, it is a statement of fact, not an argument. Atheism is a lack of belief in a god. If you add more to that, that’s fine, but you’re no longer talking about atheism. I get that a lot of believers have trouble with this being the definition of atheism because it makes atheism much more difficult to argue with, but that’s all it is, for me and my fellow atheists: the answer, “I don’t believe you” when you say “there is a god”.

If you want to understand this on a deeper level, consider something you, yourself, do not believe in. In my time here as Godless Mom, I’ve had the displeasure of discussing these things with theists who refuse to admit there is anything they do not believe in because then they have to face the fact that they understand our position. Please don’t be like this. Let’s choose something wildly “out there”, just to be sure you’re forced to be honest about your disbelief:

I get all my recipes for the dinners I serve my family telepathically from a red, talking wombat who resides on a planet undetectable by humans called Ninkam. 

Of course, you don’t believe that. You don’t believe it for a moment. That feeling of disbelief – that is how I feel about your god. That is the only thing that makes me an atheist, as you are an a-red-Ninkamese-wombat-ist. You lack a belief in my culinarily astute alien wombat, and I lack a belief in the god you claim to be real.

Now, ask yourself, what would it take to believe in my foodie wombat? Perhaps the discovery by human astrophysicists of the planet Ninkam and the wombat-life that exists on it? Maybe if I asked Big Red (my wombat’s nickname) to contact you telepathically with a recipe I’d predicted beforehand? What would it take for you to believe in the marsupial Bobby Flay of outer space?

You and I both know that the simplest way to answer that question is: evidence.

That’s what it would take for me to believe in your god. Now, most of the supposed “evidence” I get presented for god consists of feelings and hunches. If I applied that to my wombat chef, I could claim,

“Look around you. How many complicated recipes are there in the world? I mean, just look at consommé or bearnaise sauce. How could humans just stumble upon these recipes by accident? No, there has to be some other source of their inspiration. The sheer complexity of these recipes suggest there is an alien wombat telepathically sending us cooking methods.”

But that wouldn’t work as evidence for you, would it? It wouldn’t because it’s just a feeling. It’s just my interpretation of the confusing world around me. You’d still, most likely, lack a belief in my red wombat from planet Ninkam.

“But I’ve spoken to him myself! I do it regularly! He answers my culinary questions!” I could claim. But again, this wouldn’t work for you as evidence because the experience is mine and mine alone. You might be more inclined to believe me though, if millions of other people claimed the very same things, right? But what if amongst those people, there were arguments about whether or not the wombat was red? What if they couldn’t agree on Big Red’s recipe for bean salad?

“There are no kidney beans in Big Red’s salad. They are chickpeas!”

“Kidney beans!”

“Chickpeas!”

If nearly every aspect of the story of Big Red the Telepathic Culinary Talent from Outer Space was debated by the fervent followers of his recipes, it may not matter to you that there are millions that claim it’s true. If it were true, you’d think, the story would be pretty consistent, especially considering these people claim to be in communication with Big Red whenever they feel like – why not just contact the wombat and ask him to clarify the argued point for everyone?

You see, for you, a god belief is normal. There’s nothing strange about it. You don’t see any similarities between my claims of the Marsupial Masterchef in space and your claims of a god, because you feel mine are far-fetched and yours are not. It’s okay. You’re allowed to feel your god belief is normal and not wild at all. However, understand that there are those of us who feel about your god claim, the very same way you feel about Big Red, The Ninkamese Gourmet.

Suggesting you do not believe in Big Red gives us no indication of where you think the complexity of some the most difficult recipes on earth comes from. It tells us nothing about how you cook, or what your favourite dish is. We have no idea what your table manners are like or if you can handle spicy flavours. All we know from your disbelief in Big Red the Ninkamese Wombat, is that you do not believe the claims of an undetectable planet full of colourful, telepathic wombats with indescribable culinary talents.

Likewise, all you know for sure about me when I say I am an atheist, is that I lack a belief in a god. This is fact. This is not an argument. You can either accept this truth, or deny it. It’s entirely up to you.

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s take a look at your “case for a creator”:

1. Living Fossils by Carl Werner shows that just about every fossil we find has either a living counterpart or is a member of a handful of distinct, extinct species. The transitions are missing, and there are ducks in dinosaur layers.

You said you were going to make a case for a creator. Instead, you’re attacking evolution. If today you proved that evolution could not be true, it still doesn’t tell us if a god is real or not. Evolution is not an explanation of how life began, rather, it is an explanation of how life became so diverse. The very fact that you offer an argument against evolution as an argument for a creator, shows you have no idea what evolution is. This is okay, though. There isn’t a single person on the planet who understands everything, and you’re no different. What sets intelligent people apart from those who are not quite so smart, though, is their ability to learn and take in new information. So, what I challenge you to do before you argue against evolution again, is read about what it really is and ensure you understand what the science surrounding evolution actually says so you don’t make it so apparent next time, that you have no idea what evolution even is.

2. There is a problem of origins. The origin of time and space. The origin of matter. The origin of higher elements. The origin of stars. The origin of life. The origin of reproduction, sexual reproduction, and the fragility of life. The origin of thought. That one alone should make everyone at least agnostic, not atheist. Look up Rube Goldberg machine. Then imagine it happened by chance, for no purpose in particular, and reproduced itself… and then it began to think.

Yes, there is a problem of origins. But just because we don’t have an answer, doesn’t mean we should force the answer, “god” on it. We don’t know these things. That’s the honest answer. We may know the answers to these things in the future, but right now, the only answer is, “I don’t know”.

I could easily claim that the origins of all of these things came from Big Red the Wombat – prove me wrong! Does that mean you’re an agnostic when it comes to Big Red?

3. You cannot get away from confirmation bias. It is impossible to just follow the evidence where it leads. There will always be uncertainties that cloud our evaluation of any piece of evidence. You have to choose your worldview before you begin your search, and that decision will taint your study every time.

It is possible to follow the evidence where it leads, and it is possible to avoid confirmation bias by getting your findings examined by multiple other independent parties. That is the scientific method – we test, we discover, and then seek independent confirmation from numerous other skilled minds. That’s why I could never trust my own experience if suddenly, this afternoon, I heard the voice of god. Because you are correct that as an individual, I cannot be objective – I would have to find confirmation from a source outside of my head before I believed it to be the actual voice of god.

4. The point of life here on earth is not to enjoy it, or even to find love and procreate. The point is to test our faith. If Genesis were true, the point of the account of Adam and Eve would be that God wants us to make a choice for him and against doubt of Him. Given point 3, it has been stated, and I have found it to be true, that if you don’t first choose to trust God, you will never experience God.

In other words, you can’t experience Big Red’s telepathic recipes unless you believe in him first? How do you force yourself to believe in something that is so wildly out there to you? Could you force yourself to truly believe in Big Red? I’m not asking if you could fake it, or if you could behave as though you believe in Big Red. I mean actual belief. Could you? I certainly couldn’t.

I need to be convinced of something to believe it. That convincing can come in many forms – for instance, as I’ve mentioned plenty of times before, I am convinced that one day in my lifetime, the Cleveland Browns will go to the Super Bowl. This belief is based on – let’s face it – zero evidence. This is pure faith. The mere thought of cheering them on in my old Cribbs jersey makes me want to believe. The idea of it is just so beautiful… how can I not have this belief?

However, to be convinced of something that would change my life, my actions, and those of my children, I need something a little bit more than wishful thinking. To be convinced there is a god who needs me to behave in a specific way, I need objective, demonstrable evidence. This isn’t a choice. I can’t believe in god, because I’ve never seen any convincing reason to.

So, I guess if god wants me to believe in him so badly, he ought to provide something a little bit more convincing than the hunches and feelings of other people. If he wants to punish me because I can’t force myself to believe in something for which there is no objective, demonstrable evidence, well, then, that makes him kind of a douchebag and he wouldn’t win my worship that way.

5. Given point 4, I have experienced miracles. I’m not talking about improbable things happening. I’m talking about impossible things happening with a disembodied personality explaining it telepathically. The point is not my miraculous experiences, as you can find credible witnesses to those all over the web. The point is that if you accept the truth of point 4, you can have your own miraculous experience. Beware, though. The person who is given much will have much required of them.

I’ve read many accounts of “miracles” and what I’ve found are occurrences for which the witnesses had no explanation. I could just as easily fill that gap where an explanation ought to be with Big Red the Wombat, as you could with God. Just because something is inexplicable, doesn’t mean that God or Big Red did it. You must provide evidence for why you believe god is the source of this inexplicable thing. In the meantime, I prefer, as I stated earlier, to say “I don’t know how that happened” because it is the only honest answer.

6. Study the origin of nations. Yes, history has these things written all over the place. Take Herodotus. Read about the first foundations of temples, of cities, of patriarchs of nations. They aren’t started by some nebulous group of foragers. They are founded by a person in particular, whose genealogy often runs back to a pagan god of some kind. It is plainly stated in history that pagan gods were men, deified by those who survived and honored them. Read Josephus’ Antiquities, book 1, ch. 6 and see how the nations’ origins were just about all accounted for. (http://FromNoahtoHercules.c…

I’m sorry, I have no idea how this is an argument for a creator.

7. There’s no point to believing in atheism. It’s like that game on Survivor, where Jeff puts up some plate of covered something, and they spend hundreds of dollars on a peanut butter cookie. Atheism (generally) doesn’t invest anything in the potential of the afterlife. Even if all of what I said (and didn’t say) is hogwash, it still makes sense to put your raffle ticket into a few of the baskets.

Atheism is not a belief. As I pointed out in the post you commented on here, and as I stated above, it is a lack of belief. It’s a mere, “I don’t believe you” when you say, “there is a god”.

I do not believe there are no gods. I do not hold any beliefs as a result of my atheism. Atheism is, and I honestly have no idea why this is so, so difficult for theists to grasp, the mere absence of a belief in god. I don’t believe you when you say there is a god because I have not been presented with a good reason to believe. If, at some point, I am offered a good enough reason to believe (in the form of demonstrable, objective evidence), that could change.  That’s the end of it.

Do not conflate atheism with evolution- there are atheists who don’t accept evolution is fact. Do not conflate atheism with the claim there is no god – there are atheists who do not make that claim, myself included. Do not conflate atheism with science – there are atheists who believe in woo and psychics and souls and are anti-science. Do not conflate atheism with anything as it is simply one statement on one specific subject: I don’t believe in a god.

Now it’s been explained to you twice. Let’s see if you have the intellectual honesty to accept it this time.

Do you think any of these points are good enough arguments for a creator? Why or why not? Let me know in the comments!

If you enjoy my blog and videos, consider becoming my Patron. All Patron donations go towards hosting, domain names, and more time creating. Click here.
Category: Debate | Tags: , ,
  • Nosdi Mas

    The only logical (albeit with a faulty premise) argument for a Creator is that everything we know of that exists was, at some point, created. This sets up a seemingly endless chain of causality, which many people are uncomfortable with. Therefore, someone/something had to have been the original Creator; i.e. the Creator who did not need to be created. The problem with this is there is no good evidence suggesting that any such endpoint exists, or really needs to exist. In fact, to the best of our collective knowledge, matter and energy can neither be created nor destroyed. So who created the universe and everything in it? No one. It simply exists, with no purpose or agenda. The curse of the process of evolution is that it gave us enough logic to survive and procreate, but not enough logic to really grasp the extra-terrestrial mysteries of the universe.

    Maybe this isn’t the place for this next bit, but I hate to let an anti-evolution argument go unchecked. I’ll assume you’ve done your due diligence and at least cursorily surveyed the evidence. If you still really can’t except evolution because it seems far-fetched, perhaps the problem is you don’t fully understand large numbers. That sounds more condescending than it’s supposed to. When we are told the estimate for the age of the Earth is 4.5 *BILLION* years, that’s a LONG time. I’m pretty sure everyone reading this can count to one billion, and I’m pretty sure none of us ever has, because to do so would take a while. But do you really understand, at a gut level, how big the number one billion is? I think it’s difficult to really grasp how much time passes in 100 years let alone 1000 or 1,000,000,000 years. It’s probably safe to say that no one reading this really knows what 100 years feels like, but let’s pretend you are 100 years old. Do you remember, when you were a kid, how long summers felt? And how high school lasted for seemingly an eternity? And how college seemed to pass more quickly? And then you blinked, and you were 35 with kids. Then your kids left home and, another blink, all of a sudden you were in your 60s and blowing out candles at your retirement party. And now you’re 100. Do you really have any idea what time is, or how we perceive it?

    Sorry, I’m rambling. Perhaps I need a blog of my own. The short version of that second paragraph is: it’s very hard to grasp the concept of 4.5 billion years. If you need help, it is the time it takes for life on a barren, rocky world to begin as unicellular organisms, evolve into forms that are indescribably varied, and for one of those forms to become intelligent enough to start investigating the origins of life and the universe. In other words, IT’S A LONG FUCKING TIME.

  • Stuart Taylor

    Sorry, but – as a scientist – I must correct you here:
    “Do not conflate atheism with evolution- there are atheists who don’t accept evolution is fact.”
    There is a category error here. Evolution is a theory not a fact. Theories are conceptual constructions which explain facts (or at least, as many of them as possible). The evidence in favour of evolution is pretty enormous and so we tend to treat it as though it were a fact. But it remains possible that one day a fact might come along which blows a hole right through it. We would then have to dispense with evolution and replace it with a theory that fitted the facts better.

  • ORAXX

    I think science has answered his points far better than he would ever be willing to admit. If he thinks otherwise, then he needs to address his questions to the life and earth science departments at a good university. They’re probably not going to tell him what he wants to hear. It seems inevitable that when people try to make a case for a creator, they do so with the idea they’ve somehow made a case for THEIR creator, and ignore the multitude of other possibilities.

  • Brian Forbes

    On your holy wombat, I would say that it’s less likely that our creator would be a wombat, as there’s nothing particularly interesting about wombats on earth that would make us think that they should be the template for life here, but if that’s what you genuinely believe, at least we’ve moved from an obvious folly into a semi-obvious folly. You shouldn’t stop there. We need to evaluate whether you actually believe it, whether the belief in the wombat is going to help you, your god, or your friends in any way, and weigh it against the other options out there. Keep moving forward. Something got this ball spinning, and it’s better to search and not know than it is to just deny all evidence that comes your way. But if it really is the best you can do, at least we can all enjoy the food.

    1. You will have to forgive me for bringing the Theory of Evolution into the discussion. I agree that you can be an atheist and not believe in evolution. I just don’t know any. I don’t see how you could be satisfied in life with hearing about the origin of species as described by popular science and not accept it as true. If you choose not to believe in that scenario, awesome. One less strand holding you to your atheistic perspective. If you really are not taking a position on this, your problem is probably either that you’re waffley or you have an ultra-high standard for evidence. Based on the wording of your answer, though, I tend to think that you do accept evolution, even if you don’t have to to be an atheist. We are in agreement that you can still use the label without accepting evolution. You should agree, though, that most atheists do. Some stereotypes are generally safe, and this one, in my experience, has been.

    2. We agree that origins is a nagging philosophical question.

    3. If you think that science can remove all bias, I challenge you to challenge that assumption. You can start by doing a deep study of what claims of science have been overturned over the last couple hundred years. Scientific evidence is not scientific consensus. One is objective and factual. The other is political.

    4. If you believe your wombat is the best possible solution to the problem of origins and purpose, by all means, do what your wombat requires. If you die in the best possible way, eating one of your wombat’s recipes, I hope that you will find rest in your master’s pouch. I think you doubt the saving power of your god, though, so keep searching. How about beginning to say, “I’m currently an atheist.” Be hopeful that something better will come along.

    5. My God can give you miracles that are convincing to you. But as you see when the Pharisees asked Jesus for miracles, He’s not going to bark on command. The trick is to humble yourself, submit yourself, and choose faith, and at that point, if you ask for a miracle, God will convince you with your own. You don’t have to believe me.

    6. There’s a lot of implications that come from having genealogies to Noah. That argument wasn’t supposed to be the end of the discussion. It was intended to spark your research.

    7. I suppose that the “belief” label gives you trouble. That’s why you think I missed your point the first time. Let me acknowledge that belief =/= unbelief. However, you have to have an active position in order to continue on in life. True disbelief means that you will not avoid the things that my God tells you to avoid. It’s why you will almost certainly not try my challenge in #5. You do have to live your life. We live according to our true inner nature. Unless your nature is changed, you will bow to the god of your choosing. And in your case, I expect your god will be as indifferent about you as you are about her. See if she comes to rescue you in your time of trouble.

    Thanks for considering my 7 evidences for a Creator. I’m sorry that they were not convincing to you. I hope that some day your situation will allow you to move past whatever is holding you back and that you will allow yourself to be convinced of a Creator. I pray that God sends you evidence that speaks only of Him and that you will open your eyes to the infinite and eternal possibilities. But I also ask you, I beg you to allow yourself to be convinced. I’m not asking you to believe unsupportable things, but I am asking you to accept the possibility when it could go either way. Remember that faith is the point. It’s in the example of life, how we start knowing nothing and learning to trust our senses, our parents, our society, etc. If you disqualify all the evidence for God, you’re not disqualifying Him. You’re disqualifying yourself.

  • Phil Robinson

    Ah this is confusing ——-to quote you from the above ;”I do not believe there are no gods.” which I take to mean —if we can untangle the double negative— that you do believe there may be some gods or am I not interpreting that terribly confused sentence correctly? Further if I remember correctly you are very particular about semantics (the exact meaning of words) in light of that when you use the word god can you explain exactly what you mean by that word? I mean it’s all very well to say “I don’t believe in god but it makes little sense as a statement if we aren’t all speaking about the same concept and I suspect that my concept of what may be interpreted as god is vastly different to yours thus making your statement ” I don’t believe in god almost meaningless unless we are on the same page as to what it may be.

    With regard to whether atheism is a belief consider this; your disbelief in something leads us to think that you do believe in the counter argument –hence you do believe that there is no god (whom we haven’t identified to my satisfaction yet). If you continue to insist that is not a belief it is at the very least a world view or to put it more succinctly you do believe that at least 3 or 4 billion of your fellow humans are delusional without providing any proof of your position.

    You talk of intellectual honesty — a far more honest question in my humble opinion is do we think that this universe we all inhabit is the result of conscious intent or of entirely random chance. Everywhere we look we see system, order, natural laws governing our existence and above all beauty — all randomly put together you think? My answer to that is that 4.5 billion years is simply not long enough for that unbelievably extensive sort of chance to accidentally come into existence.

    In conclusion do you regard your thinking on the matter as infallible? If you do not where then may any errors in your thinking lie? This may well be the most important question you’ve failed to answer at least once. Intellectual honesty eh? Well we shall see—-Yours in peace.

  • Polk

    “ducks in dinosaur layers” – Evidence even Wombats can’t get lasagne right all the time