Saturday, December 26, 2015

Atheists Can't Exist

Eric Metaxas: Science Increasingly Makes the Case for God - WSJ:

Actually, based on current scientific knowledge, NONE of us can be here -- but that seems especially poignant for atheists.

I once knew of an atheist whose last name was "May", who proudly declared himself a "Maytheist" -- "their own god". God is infinite, but is human hubris really limited? I sometimes wonder if the sad and hard to understand requirement of Hell doesn't fall to the need to contain the infinite hubris of Satan and those who deny the spiritually obvious with infinite hubris. Humans are finite beings -- but perhaps they are allowed infinite hubris if they choose it? Would that be the opposite of choosing the infinite love of Christ? (not that we CAN choose the love ... it is by GRACE, however, since we have free will, we can choose to reject the love)

Reading the whole linked article is well worth it. I've written on the basic topic before.  A revelation of  especially the last 30 years is that another wave of human intellectual hubris in regard to our origins has washed up on the beach of reality and is now receding, leaving the beach as it was before.

After Newton and Darwin, science was pretty sure that all it took was "a few basic elements and processes", and "billions and billions of years" for us to sit back with a Scotch and observe how random chance "easily" bootstrapped a universe for us relax and ponder as lords of all -- all  be it with a fairly significant concern that there HAD to be MANY other life forms out there pondering similarly.  We fervently hoped (but not prayed if we were "smart") that they were equally smug, enjoying a crackling fire and adult beverage rather than dreaming of nasty things like universal conquest!

In the early '80s there were few atheists as smug as Carl Sagan, whose "Cosmos" was a very entertaining, but very snooty journey to the beginning of time and to the far reaches of the universe "explaining everything" so that "intelligent people" could dispense with ancient religions and superstitions. Sagan pretty much cried out for the "If he is so smart, how come he is dead?" epitaph.

Sagan now has indeed returned to the much less haughty dust from which he came, and has been replaced by an at least equally smug new "little god that shits", named Neil Degrasse Tyson, who proves to us that dust comes in different shades (he is black). Here is a quote from Neil that fits well with the theme of this post:
Every account of a higher power that I've seen described, of all religions that I've seen, include many statements with regard to the benevolence of that power. When I look at the universe and all the ways the universe wants to kill us, I find it hard to reconcile that with statements of beneficence.
What a learned position for someone whose faith says that he can't exist! Back in 1966,  Time Magazine featured a "God is Dead" cover, and Sagan  proudly gave the odds for life on other worlds:
The same year Time featured the now-famous headline, the astronomer Carl Sagan announced that there were two important criteria for a planet to support life: The right kind of star, and a planet the right distance from that star. Given the roughly octillion—1 followed by 27 zeros—planets in the universe, there should have been about septillion—1 followed by 24 zeros—planets capable of supporting life.
So, given 50 years and a lot of research, how is our search for that highly likely life going? Hmmm ... well, the "odds" have changed just a bit:
What happened? As our knowledge of the universe increased, it became clear that there were far more factors necessary for life than Sagan supposed. His two parameters grew to 10 and then 20 and then 50, and so the number of potentially life-supporting planets decreased accordingly. The number dropped to a few thousand planets and kept on plummeting.
Where did the odds plummet to? Well, the number of parameters is at least at 200 now and you don't hear many hopeful predictions about life on other worlds. In fact, the odds against even US being here are astronomical ... I cover a few of them near the end of this old post. Just for our universe to exist, the "smart money" says you need something like 10**400th UNIVERSES to get to one like ours ... more for having an earth, any life at all, and then VASTLY more for human life!

So we are faced with the paradox that a rational atheist has to conclude that according to the "intelligent odds", they simply don't exist. In which case, how can they call themselves "rational"? Or as Fred Hoyle put it ...
Fred Hoyle, the astronomer who coined the term “big bang,” said that his atheism was “greatly shaken” at these developments. He later wrote that “a common-sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a super-intellect has monkeyed with the physics, as well as with chemistry and biology . . . . The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question.”
Strange how God has arranged it so that none have an excuse but their own blind will to reject his existence and Grace!

I did take exception to one aspect of the article. Our existence is not the greatest miracle, but the 2nd greatest -- God himself caring enough to take human form and die for our sins is the greatest miracle!

Merry Christmas!

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