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Cal Thomas’s Assumptions
January 6, 2007 — 6:55 pm

Cal Thomas has a question:

I wonder about the question. Why is it “in vogue” to disbelieve in a Creator of the universe, who loves us and wants to have a relationship with us and not “in vogue” to believe?

It does seem that people with atheistic views are much more vocal these days. I very seriously doubt that they are speaking out because it is “in vogue”. In fact, I have been rather quiet about my non-belief for over 15 years. I rarely spoke about it (unless asked) and, in truth, it hardly ever crossed my mind. I didn’t think it was “in vogue” to be a disbeliever then, and I don’t believe it’s “in vogue” to be a disbeliever now. I am what I am.

My reasons for beginning to speak out now are legion, and I may address them in a later post. Suffice it to say, there is something deeply wrong with religion in America today. It (religion) is imposing itself on society in a wholly unwelcome manner. If I were to shorten it down to one simple sentence, it would be this:

Leave me alone.

It’s time for the more rational thinkers in our society to hem in fundamentalism.

Mr. Thomas again:

In conversing with an atheist, it is important to understand that such a person will never be brought to faith by information alone, because the same information is available to everyone. If information were sufficient to make a believer out of an atheist, then all would believe.

I’m flummoxed at how absurd this statement is. Mr. Thomas is arguing against his own beliefs without even realizing it. It means the exact same thing as this: “In conversing with a fundamentalist, it is important to understand that such a person will never be brought to reason by information alone, because the same information is available to everyone. If information were sufficient to make a rationalist out of a fundamentalist, then all would be rationalists”.

Pretty neat trick, huh? Well, not really. Like I said before, if the information were out there that proved God’s existence, I would probably know that he exists. On the opposite side, there is plenty of information out there arguing for rationalism; and yet, there are still plenty of fundamentalist Christians in this country.

It takes more faith not to believe in God than to believe in Him. It is also intellectually lazy. You have to believe the vastness of the universe “happened” without a Designer and that unique things like fingerprints and snowflakes occurred by pure chance.

Well, no. I don’t have to believe any such thing. In any case, I think Mr. Thomas has muddied the water a bit. I think what he meant to say is that fingerprints and snowflakes are uniquely different from each other rather than just being unique.

Fingerprints are uniquely different from each other for the same reason individual people (even monozygotic twins) are physically unique from each other. It’s as simple (well, the explanation is simple, not the process) as genetic code swapping and later in-vitro environmental modification. God simply doesn’t enter into it.

It also turns out that the individual uniqueness of snowflakes has a perfectly rational scientific explanation.

Before I move on, I’d like to address a few more points in Mr. Thomas’s above statement.

It doesn’t take any faith what-so-ever not to believe in God. Faith doesn’t even begin to enter into it. For me, empirical, scientific evidence is the absolute best way to interpret this world. So far, science has not even come close to proving God’s existence. In fact, God himself hasn’t deemed it necessary to even prove his own existence. Listen, I’m not close-minded on the subject. If Jesus came down to earth tomorrow, resurrecting the dead, re-growing amputee’s limbs or performing any other miracles, I would probably be inclined to believe in him. Although, even the word “believe” in not correct in this context. I would know of his existence. But, for now, there is just no definitive evidence that God does exist, hence the question really doesn’t bother me. Just as the nonexistence of Jedi Knights does not bother me.

For me to have “faith” that He does not exist implies that I think He exists. It’s a meaningless circular argument.

Mr. Thomas also points out that it is “intellectually lazy” not to believe in God, and gives the reasons I refuted above. Of course, I think he has this exactly backwards. Though I don’t think it’s “intellectually lazy” to have a belief in God, I do believe it’s extremely lazy to attribute every seemingly unknown causation to Him. It’s this sort of attitude that retards scientific progress. It’s also juvenile. It’s the kind of thing an frustrated parent would tell his child after hearing “why is the sky blue?” one hundred times a day. Instead of pulling out a science book and patiently walking the child through the reasons, some people may be tempted to just say, “Because, God made it that way”. Now, you tell me, which of the two is more “intellectually lazy”?

Mr. Thomas then goes on to say:

An atheist wagers his or her present and eternal future that he or she is right. If the atheist is right and there is no God, there are no consequences. But if the atheist is wrong and there is a God and a Heaven for those who come to Him on His terms, and a Hell for those who reject Him, then that has the most important consequences.

Wait, weren’t we just talking about being “intellectually lazy”?

This argument, of course, is yet another version of Pascal’s Wager. It has been so thoroughly discredited it’s almost embarrassing to still find it masquerading as intellectual debate. It assumes that God is so stupid that he would be fooled by a non-believer just kind of going through the motions to get into heaven. And, really, can’t I just as easily reverse the argument on Mr. Thomas?

Mr. Thomas wagers his present and eternal future that he is right. If he is right and there is no Allah, there are no consequences. But, if he is wrong and Allah and a Heaven exists for those who come to Him on His terms, and a Hell for those who reject Him, then that has the most important consequences.

— Justin M. StoddardComments (0)

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