In my debates with Theists, the majority of whom are of course Christians, I as an atheist often ask for for evidence of their God. When doing that, most often they simply throw out the Kalam argument or the fine tuning argument etc. . I found that always curious because they really aren’t arguing for their God, they’re arguing for deism and then just assume, that of course it’s their God and not any other, Vishnu/ Allah or whatever other gods there are, they’re all fake. But I want to go one step further: Not only do none of their argument get you to a theistic God, their arguments won’t get you to deism either.
Let’s look at the Kalam for instance:
That is the first syllogism used. From then on apologists argue, that the cause must be timeless, spaceless, immaterial (because the Big Bang is the beginning of time,space and matter) changeless and personal (so it would have interest in creating the universe ex nihilo). That cause is God (or a deity). There are of course dozens of problems with the argument worth addressing but let’s look at what the argument establishes:
It establishes that roughly 14 billion years ago the universe was created ex nihilo (from nothing) by a timeless, spaceless, changeless, immaterial personal cause. That’s it. It tells us nothing about who or what that cause is. It doesn’t get us to Yahweh and it doesn’t get to deism. Sure they can label that cause Yahweh or God or whatever they want but it might as well be timeless, spaceless,… universe creating unicorns who have an affection towards us. Or it was a being who we would recognize at the devil as he is an indescribably evil personal creator who hates us and put us in an unforgiving place like this universe. Or it was something else entirely. All they’re doing, (if this argument is indeed sound, which I dispute) is argue for that cause and label it as God.
Or let’s look at a basic tenet of Christianity. You guessed it: The resurrection. Let’s concede, that Jesus was indeed raised from the dead. Does that prove God or that Christianity is true? No, not at all. There are several explanations I could think of, why Jesus was raised, that don’t include any deity, let alone the one of Christianity.
I’m a big Harry Potter fan. What if the resurrection stone ( one of the deathly hallows) is actually real or something with adequate powers on which J.K. Rowling based the stone ? To me, that’s a completely valid alternative explanation. Why is that explanation never considered as a competing hypothesis for the resurrection? Or what if Jesus was an alien and his alien friends used their technology to heal his wounds and bring him back to life? Aren’t these explanations just as plausible as “God raised him” ? If not: Why not?
The bottom line is simply this: All their arguments can at best, argue for the supernatural. Once they have established the supernatural and I’d argue that they haven’t but let’s just say they did, the Floodgate problem arises. Because now, everybody can propose competing explanations for those events, because all Supernatural explanations, that could ever be proposed are equally unlikely, because none of them have any explanatory power, none of them play any part in our daily sense experience and nobody is in any position to argue that a competing supernatural explanation is less likely. We have no way to test the supernatural and subsequently nobody can disconfirm a competing supernatural explanation. Therefore any and all their arguments inevitably fail, hence why they require faith.
Goodbye from yours truly,
Rene von Boenninghausen @Renevelation
3 thoughts on “Supernatural Causation: Why every argument for God fails.”
You do have valid points. You are right about faith, without faith in Christ, we can not know him and we don’t belong to him. Which means we can’t hear his voice when he speaks. One can go to great efforts trying to disprove God but it doesn’t make his existence less true. No believer can bring that reality to you, it is something you need to find for yourself. I can tell you about divine intervention in my life and the moments I commune with God and how he touches me so but most atheist aren’t concerned by another’s experiences and if they say they are, it is only so they can turn and attack you. This is why I take this subject of speaking with atheist lightly. I don’t have to “prove” Christ to anyone. It’s up to the individual to come to the knowledge of the Christian God through the help of Christ alone., besides I respect your choice.
I included your comment in my article: https://iliketarsiers.blog/2017/04/08/answering-christian-comments/