If we look at the original argument, virtually every element is fallacious:
A creationist blowhard wrote:Firstly, it is important to clarify what God is. It's clearly not a man in the clouds, it's clearly not something that impregnated a virgin or raised the dead or any of those things. But the problem I have when I consider atheism, at least of the ilk Dawkins and, to an extent, Christopher Hitchens espoused is that as good as their arguments may be when it comes to criticizing religion and the traditional concept of God they don't actually offer any alternative that seems plausible.
"Seems plausible": this is a subjective statement. He is appealing to his emotional reaction as a form of evidence.
A creationist blowhard wrote:In Dawkins' case, I know he acknowledges this and I give him credit for that. He says that he is a scientist and therefore relies on evidence and that there is no more evidence for a divine spirit than there is a flying spaghetti monster, etc. But the problem I have is that I can't wholeheartedly deny the existence of God until there is a proven scientific alternative. Why? Because it's against science, ironically. It's against science to presume there's no creator for something when everything we know requires one.
"Everything we know requires one": this statement presumes
that the idea of a sentient "creator" is actually a scientific theory which is useful for explaining physical phenomena. But if it were a scientific theory, the characteristics of this "creator" would be defined. We would be able to generate specific
predictions, not just of what he would do, but of what he would not
do, and we would be able to explain why, by examining his mechanisms. The idea of "God" has none
Let's take a working example: creationists often say that the enormous complexity of the biosystem is explained by a creator. The question no one ever asks is: why? Why would a creator make an incredibly complex biosystem instead of a simple and elegant one? Consider the following thought experiment: suppose we lived in an alternate universe where the biosystem was incredibly simple: 10 species of plant, 5 species of animal. In that universe, the creationists would say "the elegant simplicity of our biosystem cannot be explained without a creator!" In other words, no matter what the biosystem looked like, creationists would say it is evidence of a creator.
The idea of a creator explains absolutely nothing
, because without further definition, the "creator" has no discernible characteristics, no elements, no mechanisms, nothing which can be measured, analyzed, examined, observed, or tested. Nothing you find or observe could ever contradict the idea, because the idea is a formless blob. It has no characteristics, and therefore cannot be disproven. That is also why it is utterly worthless
from a rational standpoint.
A creationist blowhard wrote:That's not the same as saying you 'know' there is a God. We must be honest and say we do not know either way. But the teleological argument (the argument for design) still stands, because when we look at science we find a kind of regressive process going on:
1) We were created by evolution from apes.
2) The apes were created by smaller organisms, which were created by the formation of a hospitable planet.
3) The hospitable planet was created by the formation of a star system, which it orbits.
3) The star was created by an explosion of matter.
4) The explosion of matter was the big bang.
5) The big bang was created by---?
This distorted kiddie version of cosmology presumes that if something had existed prior to the Big Bang, that would be the end of it. But if existence itself requires a creator, then the creator's own existence requires a creator, and so on and so forth. At some point, SOMETHING has to simply exist for no prior reason. Either the universe or God. Why shouldn't it be the universe? Occam's Razor demands that it be.
A creationist blowhard wrote:We do not know what created the big bang. Most atheists, at least intellectual ones, are honest about this. Once again, I give them credit for that. Indeed, an atheist who says 'we don't know how we came to be here' is infinitely preferable to a crazed Christian fundamentalist. But the problem is they don't offer a decent alternative and, like I say, if there is no known alternative it makes sense to assume we were created by something, and that something must be everlasting - i.e beyond the limits of time and space - because otherwise we would not be able to end the regress. Ultimately it must all lead back to something. Whatever we feel about Religion, does it not make sense to call that something God?
And what created God?
A creationist blowhard wrote:As weird as it probably sounds, I often find myself remembering that scene at the end of the movie Men In Black. The part where they zoom out on the universe and see that it's just a marble being rolled by a massive alien. Jokes aside, is that not extremely possible? That we tend to think we, the universe, is such a 'big, big thing' when in reality it forms just a minuscule part, an atom-sized entity perhaps (i like to think of the universe as being of an atomic significance in something larger, based on the fact the laws of physics are so different inside an atom than outside of it, rather like perhaps our laws of physics dont exist in the world of the 'alien throwing marbles). if we can accept that this hypothesis is likely, let alone possible, wouldnt it be fair to say that we all believe in 'God', and that we simply haven't realized the nature of what He is?
Using "God" as a catch-all term for anything we don't understand is nothing more than laziness. Since men don't understand women, does that mean women are all God?
A creationist blowhard wrote:The existence of both us, and the universe in general, is totally illogical. Before the big bang there was nothing - As that fundamentally contradicts one of the major principles of thermodynamics, the Big Bang is clearly nonsense....Hold on you say, but we do exist.... Don't we? Or do we, can we? If there is matter and antimatter then nothing can exist, so there must be more matter than antimatter and the universe is assymmetrical; if the universe is assymmetrical, then it can't have started from a singularity as a singularity must, by definition, be symmetrical and from nothing came energy but, I hear you say, energy can neither be created nor lost... Oops here we go again, going round in circles....
Everything we understand can be put in a bag - Except the existence of the universe. Why? Who holds the bag that holds the universe?
"Before the big bang there was nothing" - that is a lie. Cosmology does not
say that there was nothing before the Big Bang. We don't know what happened at the moment of te Big Bang, or whether the Big Bang is an extrusion of some sort from some other universe, etc. These are unanswered questions, but this guy is assuming
that there was pure nothingness before the Big Bang, and then he is putting those words in the mouths of scientists and asking us to explain them.
By the way, this guy is unbelievably
condescending. He sounds like he's talking to an ignorant child, when he in fact is the ignorant one. He actually starts by saying that our existence (a fact) is illogical, thus proving that he doesn't understand what logic is. Logic is inferences drawn from premises; an empirical observation is a fact, not a conclusion. It cannot be illogical any more than "hello" is illogical.
A creationist blowhard wrote:secondly, yes you can call it Yeti or Vishnu or whatever. i dont have a problem with any of that. you can call Him whatever you want. i don't mean to suggest any conscious being necessarily caused the big bang, simply that it makes sense given our understanding to suppose SOMETHING did. that's just my point though. atheists spend a lot of time (understandably) demonstrating how much of religion is tied up in semantics, but unfortunately that means they get tied down to semantics often themselves when the real issue is existence itself. if we can call him vishnu we can just as easily call him God just as we can easily call it 'the first mover' or 'the bigger bang'. the terms don't matter, the concept does.
Actually the words do
matter, because God is nothing but
a word: a name. God is not defined as a scientific concept: no properties, no measurements, no characteristics, no mechanisms, nothing. God is nothing
but a name: a term they slap on anything they don't understand.
A creationist blowhard wrote:essentially all human opinion on the matter (excluding the absurd) boils down to one of three alternatives:
1) the big bang had a creator
2) the big bang had no creator, or came from a source that had no creator. either just came into existence for no reason. along with time, space and all else.
3) we don't know, so we are going to completely with-hold any and all definite opinion on the subject.
Fourth option: the Big Bang is an event
not an object. It does not need a "creator". It only needs the right conditions in which to occur. Someone might say "OK, those conditions need a creator", but that is an assumption which violates Occam's Razor. To simply say "those conditions existed" is scientific. To say "those conditions existed and I'm going to manufacture another entity which existed before those conditions and created those conditions" is totally irrational and does not follow from any known fact. It does not explain anything that "those conditions existed" does not explain.
It's now clear that they are being deliberately obtuse. How do I explain that nothing they've said is right, they've drawn the wrong conclusions and explain why they can't just go: God Did It, when you can't explain something.
You can try explaining to them that God is a non-explanation. An explanation confers comprehension. The fact is that we don't actually understand the origin of the universe any more after saying "God did it" than we did before. It is a non
-explanation. As I said, if the nature of the universe were totally different, people would still
say "Aha, that proves God did it". It's not an explanation; it's an excuse to feel good about not having an explanation.