Christian Question About The Evidence for God

I recently received  a question in the comment section of my article, Evidence of God.

It read:

Hi. I am a Christian. You’re an Atheist. Let me ask you something. Can you see your brain. Well no. Can you touch your brain? No. Ok then you don’t have a brain. Here is your proof of God. You are it. You are precisely made to look the exact way you are. No one else is like you. Tell me, can that just be? How can you only believe what you see? Do you speak the truth? Let me see. Hmm. Can I see sound waves? Nope. Then they don’t exist. Tell me. How does your Atheist belief work with those questions? Do you have no understanding in your heart. Do you love your wife. Well I’ve never seen love so it can’t exist.

I thought I’d respond to it, since it was respectfully asked and I feel it’s a question I’ve heard quite often from theists.

You’re right that I can’t look in the mirror and see my brain. However, I can use imaging devices (science) to view my brain if I wish. I could drill a hole in my head (not a delightful thought) and see my brain. Medical doctors (pesky science again) have done millions of autopsies and found a brain.

In other words, there is loads of evidence that each of us has a brain. I don’t need to take it on faith that I have a brain.

The second point about me being proof that there is a God is incorrect. I’m proof that my parents came together and shared their DNA with each other, and I was the end result. No God required. We understand through (you got it) science how our species reproduces and there really is no mystery there.

I was not made to look like anything. I just am. True, no one else is exactly like me, but I hardly see that as proof of a God. And yes, that can just be. We’re all shaped by our culture, the societies we live in, the people and experiences we’re exposed too and our DNA.

As to the third point about not being able to see sound waves…we can measure and reproduce sound waves. We know how they interact with our ear drums etc. and there is abundant evidence that sound waves exist.

The last part about ‘love’ is probably your best question, but again, it doesn’t prove your God, or any other God, exists. We each experience love differently. We do know how chemical reactions in our bodies react when we’re attracted to someone, and the term ‘love’ is a nebulous thing that most of us can’t even describe. It’s basically the feeling of deep affection for another human being.

For example, I love my wife differently than I love my best friend. I love my dog differently than I love my kids. While there are things we don’t understand yet about our feelings, that doesn’t mean we can automatically jump to ‘God did it’ as an explanation. That’s simply intellectually lazy.

Finally, I want to address my ‘atheist belief’. Seriously, it works just fine with all of these things. It functions perfectly well with all of the examples you gave, and I don’t feel the need to jump to the conclusion that a supernatural deity somehow did any of these things. It’s not up to me to prove whether God exists or not. Theists are the ones making the positive claim that God exists, without a shred of evidence. Theists are the ones who believe in magic and miracles. I simply ask that they furnish some proof before I will believe any of these wild claims.

So far…no proof that your God exists has made itself available.

I guess you’ll just have to take it on faith.

Advertisements

9 Comments

  1. I think the “proof” argument is a red herring, whichever side of the argument one stands on and it is an unbridgable gap. If one has faith then noone else can argue against it, as it is a feeling. Science can explain brain workings but even then a person of faith is talking from a personal perspective and those brain workings could be described as god given. On the other hand, a rational, atheist argument would be dissatisfied with any argument than the simple scientific explanation. In the end no one person can deny the faith of another but both sides have to accept that faith has to be without clear and direct proof.

  2. Well stated, too many atheists just jump to bashing ignorant questions like these. It is really sad that the questioner could not take these statements/questions received from a pastor or other apologist website and logically dismiss them as easily as you did.

  3. First of all, I'd like to applaud you for having the patience and generosity to reply to the questioner. It was obvious that they have little knowledge of either the scientific or philosophical methods and many people would have dismissed them as ignorant.

    Anyway, I'd like to add my 2 cents worth if I may. A couple of years ago I visited one of the driest parts of the planet, a small settlement in the South Australian desert. Chatting to a local in the pub about the climate there he told me that, since records began over a hundred and twenty years ago, it had never rained on the Australia Day holiday weekend. Now if I had suggested that the probability of rain on the next Australia Day holiday was 50% (it will either rain or it won’t) he would quite reasonably have considered that I was being irrational. Yet this is precisely what many theists do. They assume that the probability of a god existing is (at the least) 50% (he either exists or he doesn't). This is despite the fact that science has never found anything other than a physical causation for every phenomenon it has investigated (Zero observations for God). Just like it has never rained in the desert on the Australia Day holiday weekend (Zero observations for rain). Now it could rain next Australia Day weekend, sure, but what I am not going to do is turn up on the next sunny 40 degree C Australia Day wearing a raincoat and claiming that it really is raining, the rain is invisible and beyond our senses, and if you do not accept this then you have no understanding in your heart. I think I'd understand completely when they refuse to serve me another beer.

  4. Thank you all for commenting. 🙂 Just a few things I wanted to address.

    Annicle said: If one has faith then noone else can argue against it, as it is a feeling.

    I disagree. If we used that sort of logic for everything, we'd all be believing anything anyone said. I don't go for the whole 'faith' is a good thing argument. I think it's a weakness, and one that leads us to believ things without evidence, simply because society says so or in the case of religion, because our family (often) tells us so.

    Anonymous said: Well stated, too many atheists just jump to bashing ignorant questions like these.

    I try to see it from their perspective as well as my own. For many, they've never talked to an atheist. Their whole world is made up of people who believe in God. Their default position is God exists. To them, it's as evident as the sky being blue. I want their questions. I want that interaction. I think it's important.

    Jackel said: Sound waves are oscillating pressure waves through some medium such as air or water, and they are essentially vibrating atoms, and we can see atoms vibrate.

    Yeah, good point, man. Very good point.

    Gary said: Now it could rain next Australia Day weekend, sure, but what I am not going to do is turn up on the next sunny 40 degree C Australia Day wearing a raincoat and claiming that it really is raining, the rain is invisible and beyond our senses, and if you do not accept this then you have no understanding in your heart.

    Good example. Sometimes they go with the 'metaphysical', which is just another way of saying they have no proof and we can expect none in the future.

    Great comments! I enjoyed reading every one.

  5. I get the feeling that you don't often get to talk to anyone in your life who is not a Christian? In your real life I mean. You make huge sweeping generalisations about faith or religion but in fact are talking about a narrow band of Christian rights who in no way speak for anyone outside of north america or for any other religion. I know plenty of people from many religious backgrounds who would have also laughed that argument out of the water, who accept every scientific discovery and break through with joy and excitement and yet come back to the question why is there something rather than nothing. None of these people take their bible, Torah or Quran as the direct and complete word of god as you would seem to suggest. They study, question and grow as humans because it forces them to think more deeply, question more rigorously, sometimes to categorise whether they are reading history, propaganda or ancient stories that at the time were not intended to take the place of science. At the time there was no science as we understand it, or only the first murmurings. Those fundamentalists who want it to be so have missed the point of the books

    As to the question of faith. If I tell you I feel sad, you wouldn't tell me I didn't. You can't argue against a feeling. The whole point of faith is that it is a leap from the concrete to the abstract. Another persons experience is personal. We could go to the same concert and I might hate it and you might love it. We could explain to each other why we felt that way but it would not make my feelings change, nor yours.

  6. “As to the question of faith. If I tell you I feel sad, you wouldn't tell me I didn't.”

    Well according to traditional definitions of religious faith (e.g. Acts 17:11, Hebrews 11:1, Oxford English Dictionary) faith is hope without evidence or claiming to know something without sensible experience or logical proof). Therein lies the problem, if we discovered sound evidence of God tomorrow, faith would disappear. There would be no point in holding religious faith, we would have acquired knowledge. We don't take arithmetic on faith, or believe it works, we know it works (

    Sadness isn't based on a lack of knowledge, it's a normal transient psychological reaction to adverse events or, in the case of a chronic condition, an (often inherited) biochemical imbalance in neuroreceptors. When most people feel sad they will take steps to eradicate the sadness.

    They ordinarily don't dedicate their lives to making everyone else feel their sadness too. Indeed, we would consider that to be immoral.

    It's disingenuous to conflate religious faith and sadness simply because they're both feelings.

    “….come back to the question why is there something rather than nothing.”

    It's a good question, of course, but you don't need faith to investigate it effectively, as science and Buddhism confirm. Many of us would even consider faith to be a hindrance because faith-based approaches, despite having a few thousand years head-start on science, still show no evidence of converging on any universally agreed upon truth. If you want to see atheists, Muslims and Christians working effectively together toward a common goal, go visit a science lab.

  7. Annicles said: why is there something rather than nothing.

    You should check out the book by Lawrence Krauss, A Universe from Nothing. Even if you add God in, it creates more questions than answers. If the Universe had to be made, who made God? If God could just be, why can't you say the same about the universe?

    Annicles said: They study, question and grow as humans because it forces them to think more deeply, question more rigorously, sometimes to categorise whether they are reading history, propaganda or ancient stories that at the time were not intended to take the place of science.

    I think everyone should read the Bible. I don't think they've missed the points of the books. I think they actually try to follow the points of the book, and don't cherry pick the way moderates do. I also think it's disingenuous to say that most Christians read it as a parable, when we have things like Prop 8, where Christians banded together to deny equal rights to same-sex couples.

    I agree with Gary about feelings and faith. I'd like to add that religion is a learned thing. Faith is not at all the same as a feeling.

  8. “why is there something rather than nothing”

    Another pertinent question involves the notion that, if there is no God, what is the purpose of the universe? But why stop there? If there is a God, what is his purpose? If its to make a universe what was he doing for eternity before he did so? Not fulfilling his purpose? And who or what determined that purpose?

    What methodology does faith offer us to determine the answers to these questions?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s