By Yomin Postelnik
One of the beautiful aspects of self evident truths is that they can be proven on both the simplest and the most complex of levels. By contrast, to make an argument for what is in fact an illogical fallacy, one must use plenty of skill, sophistry and remain beholden to a dogmatic protection of what is really an illogical position.
Yet even after a detailed case is made for the illogical side of the argument, it can instantly be deflated like a balloon with the simplest poke of clear logic. It can also be attacked piece by piece with even greater skill and logic, stemming from a steadfast pursuit of the truth.
Nowhere does the above hold more true than with regard to the existence of a Divine Creator. Proof of a conscious Creator is readily available. The simplest proof (yet one that no atheist has ever been able to counter effectively) is that a universe of this size and magnitude does not somehow build itself, just as a set of encyclopedias doesn’t write itself or form randomly from the spill of a massive inkblot.
The atheist, on the other hand, needs to build a plausible case for this irrational scenario. But first, let’s examine how irrational it is:
No one in their right mind would claim that 10,000 hundred story buildings built themselves from randomness, even over time. Yet those who doubt the existence of a Creator believe that an entire universe, containing all of the billions of elements necessary for life to form, may have come about without a builder. As such, they give credence to billions of times more coincidences to having come about.
They believe that not only did whole planets appear spontaneously, but also believe that the fact that these planets do not collide as meteors do, that they have gravity, that they contain the proper atmospheric conditions for life to take hold and contain sustenance to sustain this life all happened by mere fluke. Yet the same people would (rightly) denounce as preposterous the notion that the Egyptian pyramids built themselves. They would point to the structure and detailed design of these impressive inanimate objects. Yet they outrageously chalk up to coincidence billions upon billions of times more detail and design in all parts of life found in this universe.
To be sure, someone can build sandcastles in the sky on how the spontaneous coming together of molecules, then turning into bricks, changing further into buildings, culminating in 10,000 perfectly aligned skyscrapers all built with no builder is a plausible scenario. They can form intricate arguments to support this theory. But in the end, the entire proposition remains offensive to logic itself.
While there are complex proofs of the Divine, some dating back to the philosophical writings of Plato and others using modern science, the most clearly logical concepts are all readily apparent and simple. An entire world does not create itself.
Furthermore, proof of a Divine creator can be seen more readily in the small and intricate details of the universe than by considering the enormity of the universe as a whole.
Consider the following:
Even if all the planets somehow formed themselves, all somehow staying in perfect orbit and possessing gravity, even take for granted that all the chemicals needed for life were so how there as well, by sheer happenstance, would it then be possible for billions of species to spontaneously come about, each with a male and female of each kind so that they could exist in the long run?
Even if this were possible, would the simplest of animals have been able to survive were it missing even one essential organ? Would human beings survive if one organ or cavity was missing or displaced, even after somehow being otherwise perfectly formed with no designer? The simple fact is that even if humans were so perfectly formed, if food, water, sunlight or any one of a host of details necessary for life to exist were somehow missing, human life would have lasted on this planet for a maximum of a few days.
The contention of atheists, that life simply adapted to the conditions it found itself in is also irrational, as were this to be the case we’d have animals that could solely subsist on snow and ice in some regions. By contrast, the ability to adapt to small conditional changes is also a fascinating aspect of the body, one that shows that much detail was put into its design.
The central point of the atheist, that all somehow came about randomly through evolution, does not help them either. While a separate column will deal with the scientific arguments for creationism and evolution, the topic is not germane here. Going back to the example of a set of encyclopedias, a set of Britannicas does not write itself, not from one massive ink blot and not starting out as dots, which form letters, which align into perfect phrases, paragraphs, books and sets. In fact, it’s even more incredulous to say that they aligned so perfectly, step by step and dot by dot than it is to say that all appeared at once. Yet that’s what the atheist contends when he chalks up life’s existence to gradual and detailed formation with no Creator at the helm.
However, despite the fact that even after much debate on the issue I have yet to meet an atheist who can make even a feeble argument to counter any of these points, they often feel that such grounded proofs aren’t complicated enough. Just as a man who spends years coming up with a thousand reasons why an elephant is really a duck will not be persuaded of his error without first addressing all of his complicated fallacies, so too the atheist’s contentions must be addressed in detail. For this reason, we will also address some of the more detailed proofs of the existence of the Divine.
Of the many philosophic and scientific arguments brought forth for the existence of the Divine, three stand out. The anthropic argument contends that the universe is too complex to have no Creator. This is in effect the central point of this column, although explained in a more common manner. The cosmological argument maintains that finite matter (original matter, which was clearly finite) cannot create a universe that is greater than itself. Especially compelling is the teleological argument, that the existence of a Creator can be seen from the fact that the universe works in perfect harmony, as would a giant machine. Gravity, orbits, chemical atmospheres and all other ingredients needed for life to exist come together in unison to allow such existence to happen. An enormous machine that works like clockwork needs to have a Creator.
The atheist would also do well to read Anthony Flew’s latest book, “There is a God: How the World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind.” For decades, Flew was one of the leading proponents of atheism. But he eventually decided to give everything a second look and found that all he’d believed and so vociferously advocated for so long was wrong. Upon real analysis, he found that there is, in fact, proof of the Divine.
THE TRUTH OF OUR SIDE AND THE REAL CHALLENGE TO DEBATING ATHEISTS
But all of these reasons, in reality, are unnecessary. The youngest school child can tell you that a building does not build itself and that, by extension, neither does a universe. And this is the beauty of self evident truths. After all the proofs and reasoning in the world, they remain just as self evident, just as they are also, on the deepest levels, thoroughly profound. Here too, all that is needed to demonstrate proof of a Creator is that the world doesn’t create itself, not instantly and not over time. All other issues can then be examined in that light.
However, we must realize that while the sophistry it takes to purport a falsehood can be easily countered, the person who has upheld such notions for decades must have each of his or her counterpoints addressed. This is able to be done smoothly, in light of the inherent logic that necessitates the existence of a conscious Creator, but it must be done thoroughly.
Encouraging atheists to open their minds to pure logic and to possibilities that they hitherto only sought to counter or to avoid on any pretext also involves an emotional challenge for them, as they must open themselves to the possibility of having to shed preconceived notions that they’ve held firm for decades. And that, rather than facts, is the primary challenge to exposing them to insightful logic. However, if they are willing to address the issue honestly, a search for the truth should be of paramount importance and enough reason for them to take an open look.
NOT RELIGION AND SCIENCE, BUT RELIGION AND SCIENTISTS
Scientists as a whole are increasingly open to the idea of a conscious Creator. They realize that science points to the complexity of the universe, a complexity that dictates the inevitability of a Creator. However, some stick to old ways and old dogmas. A question that arises is why these seemingly logical people possess such illogical beliefs. This fact alone has prevented many from considering the existence of a Creator. But when we understand the reason for their animus to belief, their bias comes to the forefront as opposed to any reasoned argument.
Throughout the 20th century, many scientists were enthralled with the progress that science had made. They mistakenly believed that the physical universe, instead of being a creation, contained all answers in and of itself. Any questions would be resolved by science. To look beyond that was viewed in disdain. The fact that logic necessitates that physical matter must have originated at some point and that a formed universe cannot emerge without a designer was overlooked in the hope that physical science would prove the impossible.
Other scientists, today a greater number than the more dogmatic former group, conceded that there may well be a Creator. But they were wholly disinterested in the subject. They too did not realize that our physical universe points to the fact that it was consciously designed. And many of them had the same rigid disdain for religion as the former.
What’s true of both groups is that they refused to consider the subject. As such, their rejection of a Creator does not stem from some well reasoned research or thought, but rather from the absence of such reasoning. Their knowledge of religion and philosophy was on par with their knowledge of economics or any other subject that they had never studied. They knew as much about religion as they knew how to paint a house, the only difference between the two being that had they delved into the former instead of reflexively dismissing it, they would have found it to be of profound logic and give depth to their other areas of study.
But these scientists did not give religious or philosophical questions a moment’s notice. And what becomes abundantly clear from their statements on the issue is that they have grave misconceptions about religion, misconceptions that stem from their lack of interest. And while it is their right to do so, reflexively and often emotionally dismissing a belief without giving it a moment’s thought isn’t logic, but rather the opposite of logic.
To be sure, these scientists are indeed very logical and analytical within their main doctrine. It’s just that they refuse to examine that which transcends it. As such, anyone who gives credence their views on this issue should beware, as their opinions do not stem from logic. Scientists who have thought over the issue are generally in agreement on this as well.
One cannot conclude a column like this without mentioning philosophical and logical proofs of the Divinity of the Bible, the Torah. To begin with, the Bible is the only book in the history of mankind to make the claim that part of it was given by the Creator in front of an entire nation (of 600,000 families, totaling a few million people).
If someone were to come along today with a book, claiming that its Divine transmission had been witnessed by millions of people, they’d be laughed out of the room. One cannot convince an entire nation, including its greatest analytical thinkers and its most ardent skeptics, that such a transmission occurred and had been witnessed by them when it hadn’t. To those who would counter “What if the Bible came along a few hundred years later?” (claiming to have been witnessed a few hundred years back), such a claim would have been met with equal ridicule, just as a book claiming to have been given by the Creator, as witnessed by millions in the 1700s would be met with ridicule today. There would have been a well known history of such a happening. Simply put, a book that claims to have been Divinely given to millions cannot take hold on a widespread level if it is not true.
That’s a basic philosophical case. There are also more hard physical reasons that point to the Bible’s Divinity. The Bible states in Genesis and in Jeremiah that the stars of the heaven cannot be counted. Scientists believed that the number of stars were only 1,100, those which could readily be seen. The Bible was way ahead of the time it was given and showed knowledge of that which could not have been known or seen by man.
The Bible also attested to the laws of thermodynamics, a field that science only hammered out thousands of years later. The first law of thermodynamics is that the total sum of matter and energy in the universe can never change. Energy can change into matter and vice versa, but their combined sum is always constant. Until this discovery, the Bible’s statement that “there is nothing new under sun” seemed like a statement that was ready to be disproven. Reasoning went that somewhere in the universe there must be new energy or matter developing. But there wasn’t. Universally accepted science showed us that less than 200 years ago. The Bible told us that about 3,000 years before.
More compelling is the Bible’s clear attestation to the second law of thermodynamics (which was originally the first principle of this field, formulated by Sadi Carnot in 1824). This is that physicality becomes increasingly random and broken apart. Psalm 102 speaks of the heavens and the earth perishing and clearly implies a gradual decay, telling us this law well before it was discovered.
It should be noted here, at least for the sake of accuracy, that the Bible also speaks of a new heaven and earth, meaning a newly fortified one, after the Divine presence is revealed. Such a heaven and earth will exist continuously according to most Biblical commentary, but will reveal their Divine Creator within them. Eventual perfection of the world, after we’ve been given a chance to do our part, is a key tenet of most religion and is the only logical explanation for the Creation of a world in need of perfection. Such an advent also seems closer than ever according to any study of what the Bible says about its occurrence, especially in view of the rapid and radical changes the world has undergone in the last few decades alone. However, the physical universe as it stands now is in a slow state of decay (before it is refortified), a fact that only the Bible knew for thousands of years.
It should be noted that although this column is comparatively lengthy, it is still only a column and barely scratches the surface of the clear proofs that evidence the existence of the Divine and the Divine nature of the Bible, the Torah. The reader is encouraged to study further and to ask questions.