Theory of Intelligent Design, the best explanation of Origins

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Theory of Intelligent Design, the best explanation of Origins » Philosophy and God » Atheists err when asking for material evidence to prove God's existence

Atheists err when asking for material evidence to prove God's existence

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Atheists err when asking for material evidence to prove God's existence

http://reasonandscience.heavenforum.org/t2256-atheists-err-when-asking-for-material-evidence-to-prove-god-s-existence

Question for an atheist. Are you a non-believer because you cannot see, hear or touch God? or is it for other reasons?
If it is because you cannot prove there is a God, I want to propose another question.
But first, try this out.
Say "I love tasty food," but don't actually try to physically make an effort to say it. Use your mind to say it.
Okay, what exactly did you just do and how is it that you can hear yourself so clearly in your own mind. There is an action (you saying the statement) and its existence is clear to you, but to us that sentence that you just said "out loud" in your head doesn't exist to us.
Matter of fact I will ask you, right now, to prove to me that you just said, "I love tasty food," in your head.
Telling me you said that statement isn't showing me evidence as to its existence. Some of you may say, "Hey, well it is dumbass." Ok, I understand how that can be a compelling argument. Now lets consider that I may lie to you and tell you that I did say I love tasty food consciously, but I actually didn't. Well then, the physical act of telling someone you thought something isn't the most viable way of showing evidence as to what you actually thought. Therefore isn't proving anything.
To get to the point, I want to say that there are probably lots of things that don't physically exist in our world but have an existence. Just because you can't prove something doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
hopefully food for thought.

Objection: We have never observed a being of any capacity creating biological systems and life.  
Answer: We do not need direct observed empirical evidence to infer design.  If investigators know that someone was deliberately killed, is their conclusion invalidated because they don't yet know exactly who did it and how? 
When a detective arrives at the crime scene, and sees a bullet in the chest of the victim, and no arm nearby that could be a hint to suicide, the detective can with a  degree of certainty conclude the victim was shot in the chest and killed. So its a murder crime scene. 
Same when we observe the natural world. It gives us hints about how it could have been created. We do not need to present the act of creation to infer creationism / Intelligent design.

Atheists often ask for evidence to prove that God exists. 1 They say that they want tangible, testable evidence that can be verified via the scientific method. Unfortunately for them, such a request is the wrong approach. Instead, they should look for evidence consistent with a Transcendent God. The Christian worldview proclaims a transcendent God who exists outside of and independent of the material universe. In other words, the Christian God is not dependent upon the material universe or its properties for His existence. To ask for scienfically testable, material, non-transcendent based evidence for an immaterial, transcendent God is the wrong approach because it is a category mistake So, for the atheist to work from inside his materialistic, non-transcendent worldview and require evidence for the non-material, transcendent God (which necessarily exists outside his perceived worldview) risks being a category mistake because it is asking for the non-transcendent evidence of the transcendent in a form that is restricted to testable, material form. It is like asking to have a thought placed on a scale. It doesn't work because they are different categories.

One of the best solutions to handling the issue of evidence and arguments for God’s existence is to utilize what is called inference to the best explanation.  The inference to the best explanation model takes into account the best available explanation in our whole range of experience and reflection. This type of explanation is commonly called “abduction” since it is a type of reasoning that is different from induction and deduction. Some people assert that unless the God of the Bible is a material object that can be verified with one’s five senses, He doesn’t exist. In response,  it is a category fallacy to ascribe sensory qualities to God or fault him for not being visible. Since we can’t see God as a material object, one way to approach this issue is to look at the effects in the world and make rational inferences to the cause of the effect. Hence, we have to look to see if God has left us any pointers that lead the way to finding Him.

 If one wants personal proof of God, Jesus says you can have it.

"Now about the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and taught. And the Jews marveled, saying, 'How does this Man know letters, having never studied?'
"Jesus answered them and said, 'My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me. If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority. He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him. Did not Moses give you the law, yet none of you keeps the law? Why do you seek to kill Me?'
"The people answered and said, 'You have a demon. Who is seeking to kill You?'
"Jesus answered and said to them, 'I did one work, and you all marvel. Moses therefore gave you circumcision (not that it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and you circumcise a man on the Sabbath. If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath, so that the law of Moses should not be broken, are you angry with Me because I made a man completely well on the Sabbath? Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.' "

According to John 7:17, Jesus says that, if you want to do the will of God, you'll KNOW whether it's from God or not. This is your proof if you want to take it. It's a personal proof and you can't know it without actually "testing" yourself, but it's still proof for you.

The other proof you will have will come when your life ends. It's preferable to know God and do His will now. He is good!



1. Whenever an individual evaluates the evidence for the existence of God, it must be acknowledged that a person’s response to an argument will always be influenced by his/her past and present personal history.
2. Humans are not only intellectual beings, but emotional and volitional creatures as well. Hence, it is folly to divorce the objective and subjective nature of evaluating the evidence for God’s existence.
3.We can’t overlook the fact that sin and a hardened heart can dampen a person’s receptivity to the evidence that is already available to them.
4. Some people have not developed their intellectual virtues to the place where they are in a position to understand and evaluate the evidence for the existence of God.

Premise One: Despite a thorough search, no material causes have been discovered that demonstrate the power to produce large amounts of specified information, irreducible and interdependent biological systems. 
Premise Two: Intelligent causes have demonstrated the power to produce large amounts of specified information, irreducible and interdependent systems of all sorts. 
Conclusion: Intelligent design constitutes the best, most causally adequate, explanation for the information and irreducible complexity in the cell, and interdependence of proteins, organelles, and bodyparts, and even of animals and plants, aka moths and flowers, for example. 

Or to put it more formally, the case for intelligent design made here has the form: 

Premise One: Causes A through X do not produce evidence E. Premise Two: Cause Y can and does produce E. 
Conclusion: Y explains E better than A through X.

Atheists often ask for evidence to prove that an Intelligent Designer/Creator/God exists. They say that they want tangible, testable evidence that can be verified via the scientific method. Unfortunately for them, such a request is the wrong approach. Instead, they should look for evidence consistent with a Transcendent God. Let me show you why.

First of all, the scientific method is a system of learning that consists of observation, hypothesis, experimentation, prediction, and theory. It is based on logic and observations of the material universe and its properties.

Second, the scientific method, along with a materialistic worldview, necessarily excludes transcendence--that which exists independent of the universe. Therefore, it can't detect what is outside of the material/physical realm since it is based on observing things inside the material realm.

Third, the theistic worldview proclaims a transcendent Creator who exists outside of and independent of the material universe. In other words, the creator / ID does not dependent upon the material universe or its properties for His existence.

Therefore, to ask for scientifically testable, material, non-transcendent based evidence for an immaterial, transcendent God is the wrong approach because it is a category mistake--explained below.

But, this is not to say that there are not material evidence is for God's existence. For example, Jesus walked the earth 2,000 years ago as a physical man who, according to Scripture, is God in flesh (John 1:1, 14, Colossians 2:9) and who rose from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). He showed Thomas the wounds of His crucifixion ordeal that had led to that death (John 20:25-28), thereby demonstrating His resurrection. This is material evidence. But, of course, we don't have access to it.

Category Mistake

A category mistake is an error in logic in which one category of a thing is presented as belonging to another category. For example, to say that "the rock is alive" assigns the category of life to an inanimate object. Another example would be to judge the beauty of a painting based on how much it weighs. This is a category error since the category of beauty is not determined by the category of weight.

So, for the atheist to work from inside his materialistic, non-transcendent worldview and require evidence for the non-material, transcendent creator (which necessarily exists outside his perceived worldview) risks being a category mistake because it is asking for the non-transcendent evidence of the transcendent in a form that is restricted to testable, material form. It is like asking to have a thought placed on a scale. It doesn't work because they are different categories.

But, some will assert that it is fair to ask for some sort of demonstration that such a Transcendent Being exists. After all, if there is no evidence of Him, how can we know He exists? For that, see What kind of evidence should we expect from a transcendent God?

What is left for the materialist atheist to do?

This means that the materialist atheist cannot logically require material-based evidence for the immaterial without committing a category mistake, so he is left with the option of trying to demonstrate that the theistic worldview is internally incoherent. After all, if he cannot show that theism is false, then how can he rationally retain his atheism?

But, to step into the theistic worldview and attempt to show that it is not true, the atheist must use logic. This requires the use of the Laws of Logic. The problem is that these Laws are transcendent in that they are not dependent on the physical universe or its properties for their validity (See, The Transcendental Argument for the Existence of God, points 5-8 ). But for the materialist atheist to presuppose the validity of transcendental Logical Truths--in order to argue against a Transcendental God--is inherently self-contradictory since he would be using transcendentals to argue against a Transcendental God.

Furthermore, it would mean that the materialist atheist is presupposing the validity of the transcendental Laws of Logic--without being able to justify them from within his materialistic worldview. To presuppose their validity is to commit the logical fallacy of begging the question.

Conclusion

The materialist atheist is left without a valid means in falsifying Christian Theism, which means his atheism cannot be validated as being true.1

He cannot rightfully require material, non-transcendent evidence for a non-material, transcendent God without committing a category mistake. He must abandon his materialistic worldview, but this is incompatible with his atheist worldview.
He cannot enter into the Christian worldview, which is based on a Transcendent God, and use the transcendent laws of logic without being self-contradictory in his approach.

Philosopher Michael Murray of Franklin & Marshall College makes the case that if God stays hidden to a degree, He gives people the free will to either respond to His tugging at their hearts or remain autonomous from Him. This is what happens in the narrative of the Garden of Eden. When Adam and Eve are tempted by the serpent, God’s immediate proximity to them is not evident. Perhaps character is what you do when you think nobody is looking.

What if, in the words of Blaise Pascal, God has only revealed Himself enough to give us the choice of whether or not to believe? Pascal says, “There is enough light for those who desire only to see, and enough darkness for those of a contrary disposition.”

if you prefer being an atheist, God values your free will more than His desires for you. If you are really after truth, then have an open mind and follow the evidence wherever it leads, even if you don’t like the conclusion.



1) https://carm.org/atheist-error-asking-for-material-evidence-for-god
2) https://chab123.wordpress.com/2011/09/10/a-cumulative-case-for-gods-existence/

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