That’s Not Logic, My Friend

Fedup Citizen has a post up about why he can’t understand how good people don’t believe in Jebus. (His links appear bloggered, so scroll down to “How can such logical people be so illogical”.) I’d have responded to him in an e-mail, but he doesn’t have an address up. Perhaps someone will point him to this.

Let me see if I can explain it to him:

I start from the question of, “Where did all of this (universe, earth, life) come from?” If you answer chance, sorry. Chance is not a creative force. Chance merely describes a condition of mathematical odds. There only three possible explanations for the existence of everything you see around you. Either it always was, or it created itself, or some intelligent entity created it.

Um, you missed one – it just is. More on this later.

Point number one gets thrown out by the laws of physics. Second Law of Thermodynamics. Look it up. Created itself? Think about it. Imagine the computer in front of you not existing, but then deciding it needed to exist and willed itself into existence.

You failed physics, didn’t you? The Second Law of Thermodynamics essentially states that for a closed system (that’s critical) the amount of entropy contained within must increase. That’s essentially it. What it does not say is that order cannot occur within a closed system either spontaneously or with intent. All that takes is the application of energy – and in that application of energy, the net entropy of the system must increase, even if the entropy of a locality is decreased. If the Second Law was as you apparently interpret it, planets could not form, the sea could not be separated from the land, hell, you couldn’t build elements heavier than hydrogen. That’s not the case.

People misapply the Second Law of Thermodynamics quite a lot. This is just another example.

Let’s dispense with the ignorant question, “Well, who created God?”

Let’s not.

Sorry, but using linear logic, that question is pointless.

It is? I’ll give you that point if you agree that asking “Where’d the Universe come from?” is exactly the same question.

The assumption is that God always was, (and here I’m going to really offend some people) just as the Bible asserts. It is perfectly logical to assume that if only one answer fits the given conditions, it must be correct. If points one and two are obviously wrong, point three has got to be it.

Here’s where your ‘logic’ fails. You believe God exists and is responsible for the creation of the Universe. You admit that you cannot know where God came from, and that therefore he has always existed. I don’t believe that God exists, and I admit that I cannot know where the universe came from. But it’s here – I can detect it, measure it, perform experiments on it. The fact that it exists is not a matter of faith. Whether or not it was a billion-to-one chance, it doesn’t matter because we hit the jackpot! Else we wouldn’t be here discussing it. Or, as some believe, the Universe has always existed and is cyclical – ever expanding then contracting then starting over again. Or, it may be steady-state and will some time in the incomprehensible future become a vast volume all at one uniform temperature. We don’t know, but we keep trying to understand.

Look at biology. Living systems are incredibly more complex than that of our most sophisticated technology at NASA or the DoD. But even a mousetrap or a handgun illustrate irreducible complexity. For those unfamiliar with the concept, tell me which item you can remove from a common mousetrap and it will still function as intended. Even Darwin admitted that the eye gave him fits because you just couldn’t explain it apart from an intelligent designer. This was more than a century before Watson and Crick discovered DNA. The chance of a single nucleotide forming by accident is one in 10 to the 23rd power, yet it takes millions of such nucleotides to make up all the genes necessary to create a human being.

To look at that incredible amount of design and figure there is no God is tantamount to looking at the space shuttle launching and saying, “gee, wonder how that happened.”

There’s that Second Law problem again. There is no reason that life, in all its complexity could not be chance. If it were impossible, we wouldn’t be here discussing it. The fact that we are here, as we are, is not proof of a designer. Because if there is a designer, you just pushed the question of “faith” back one level. That is all. Because, as flippantly as you tried, you cannot dismiss the question of “Where did God come from?” It’s exactly the same question as “Where did the Universe come from?” And the answer is the same: You cannot know. The difference between those of us who do not believe in a God and those who do, is that we who do not believe don’t require that there be an all-powerful being in charge of it all. The only difference between my faith and yours is that I believe I can’t know where the universe came from. You believe in a God you cannot measure, test, or even detect. As someone once said:

“I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”

I’m not an atheist – I accept that, just as I cannot know where the universe came from, I cannot know that there is no God, but I find the idea quite illogical. Occam’s razor says, in my logic, that the existence of a God is a more complicated explanation for the existence of the Universe than “it just is.”

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