Monday, October 27, 2008

Logical fundamental often missed by the credulous

"OK, I can't prove God exists, but you can't prove He doesn't."

The implication, of course, is that the conversation is now on even ground. But there is a fundamental difference between these two views: I can't prove God doesn't exist, because it is a logical impossibility, you can't prove He does, because you lack the evidence.

Logically speaking, the existence of God is provable. So if He really exists, why can't anyone prove it?


  1. I presume that you exist, because you write a blog. You put together coherent sentences, paragraphs, and use intelligent, logical reasoning. For me that's sufficient proof that you exist...that you are indeed a sentient, intelligent entity. I presume, though possibly incorrectly, that you presume I exist - and that I am indeed a sentient being who has typed this comment, although I haven't given you my name, location or any other pertinent facts which could prove my existence.

    The earth, the universe, and everything in it is certainly more complex than a blog post, or a comment. Yes, this is a ridiculously vast understatement. Why is its existence not sufficient proof of intelligence?

  2. What you've presented is the Teleological Argument for the existence of God. It is one of the harder ones to rebut, since it feels so objective, despite being totally subjective.

    The simple fact is, complexity does not imply intelligence. The waves and sounds caused by raindrops on a pond surface produces innumerable patterns, some of which can be both extremely pleasing, and at times even seem deliberate, in the right context. But you would never consider this evidence of an intelligent agent, because you understand the entirely natural action/reaction processes that result in the creation of those patterns. Even if you didn't understand them, you could be confident that they are known, and you could research and understand them if you desired.

    Likewise, every incidence of complexity found in the universe so far has shown itself to be the result of the same sort of basic, predictable natural processes, many of which I have managed at least a basic understanding of, and the remainder of which I am confident I could learn to comprehend if I desired.

    There is certainly no reason to believe that the complexities remaining to be understood will suddenly turn out to be the result of something different. I, of course, can't deny the possibility, but the odds are against it.