God and Gremlins: Why I Believe
31 Jan 2011
Believing in God is akin to believing in gremlins. Believing in God is irrational, backwards, or illogical. At least this is what “rational” society would have you believe. Rational society also defines faith as believing in what you know isn’t so, but what they don’t understand is that this definition couldn’t be further from the truth. There are valid, and convincing, arguments for the existence of God, and not gremlins. As someone who flirted with atheism, I would like to share some of the evidence as to why I believe.
As I pointed out in the opening paragraph, may non-theists claim that there is no difference between God, gremlins, Santa Claus, or even Thor. While this may cause many Christians to pause when they try to think about the reasons why this may be false, there really is a very simple answer. The answer comes in the form of historical documents, one of which, is the Bible. To the best of my knowledge, there is no historical documentation on the existence of gremlins, Santa Claus, or Thor. For sure, there are plenty of historical texts regarding Thor and his pagan brethren, but none of the those have historical context. The Bible, however, does. It also contains stories, but many of those stories can be placed into either specific times or fairly decent estimates. While we may not be able to place them all, the context still remains. More importantly, the Bible also contains eye witness accounts; accounts that conspiracy theorists have failed to dispute in any convincing manner. The existence of extra-biblical evidence (Tacitus and Josephus) regarding some of the events of Jesus’ times doesn’t hurt either. While neither give Him the credit afforded Him in Scripture, the acknowledgment of His impact should give pause to anyone denying His authenticity. Obviously, something happened!
I also find the idea of life starting from nothing absurd. I don’t care what combination of chemicals would have been needed, the defibrillator needed to jump-start sludge only exists with God. By the way, creating life in a lab does not count as proof of the origin of life. Whether life began thousands or millions of years ago, it didn’t start in a petri dish. Life in a lab only proves that life requires an intelligent designer.
Dictionary.com defines plausible as: “having an appearance of truth or reason; seemingly worthy of approval or acceptance; credible; believable: a plausible excuse; a plausible plot.” There is no natural theory in existence that I find plausible to describe how life came into being.
Continuing with the life evidence, another reason I believe in God is the complexity we see in nature. As I mentioned, I don’t believe that life started on its own, however, for the sake of argument, let’s say it did. I think we can safely assume that the first life was not immortal. That means that that first life would have had to have had a way of preserving itself. It would have needed to be “born” with a way to absorb nutrients, otherwise it would have died of starvation. Simply replicating before that happened wouldn’t work, because where would the “offspring” have gotten its energy? Even if it had managed to evolve a way to absorb nutrients, it would have had to have been “born” with a way to reproduce itself in order for those evolutionary mutations to occur. Let’s assume it was born with the ability to take in nutrients. It would still need to have the ability to replicate itself before it died of “old age.” So not only did life have to “happen,” it had to “happen” with the ability to replicate itself.
No reproduction = No mutation = No evolution.
Complexity in nature is fascinating, but where the non-theist sees nothing. I see God’s hand all over it: DNA, the eye, the ear, and so on. Yeah, the skeptics have their theories of how natural selection overcame all those things, but none of it is convincing. Life did not start without God.
I find non-theism to be irrational, but none more so than “true” atheism. Atheism tries to pass itself off as a rational worldview, but one should be wary of any worldview that violates one of the rules of logic in its very nature. The true atheist will claim that God absolutely does not exist, and the burden of proof is on the theist, however, the fact that one cannot prove non-existence leaves the “true” atheist in a non-defensible position. Based on that one simple fact, one can immediately see why the agnostic atheist is more rational than the “true” atheist. At that point, the difference of beliefs would come down to who finds what evidence more convincing. For example, I find the Bible convincing, while I imagine the agnostic atheist would not. I find the arguments for life from a “scientific” point of view unconvincing (see above), while I imagine the agnostic atheist would.
Another problem I have with non-theism is a certain contradiction in how evidence is viewed. There is no proof, or evidence, that life started on its own, yet non-theists still believe it happened. What I find more disturbing is the number of non-theists who believe that aliens exist. This belief, of course, stems from the assumption that life can happen by itself, and since it has once—we’re here, right—then it must have happened elsewhere. But given the lack of evidence for spontaneous life, and the equally lacking evidence for alien life, I can’t help but wonder how I’m supposed to retain the belief that these are rational ideas. I find it ironic that, given the evidence, someone would choose to believe in aliens before believing in God.
Finally, and what I believe to be the most important evidence, is that of personal experience. Many claim that personal experiences aren’t real, but this is coming from people who have never had personal experiences. While I’m sure some can be chalked up to mental issues, or psychosis, or whatever, I believe that the vast majority are not. Everyone that has had a personal experience is not delusional. I am not delusional. I cannot and will not dismiss all personal experiences based on the idea that anyone who has one is delusional, because it simply isn’t true. I think it’s irrational to dismiss, out of hand, all those who have had a personal experience simply because an individual hasn’t had their own personal experience, or simply denies it. Quite frankly, I think someone who actually believes aliens are real is a better candidate for the definition of delusional.
I tried to be an atheist, but I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t sacrifice rational thinking and common sense in order to wrap my head around what I knew simply can’t be, no matter how much I wanted it to. Scientists have made a lot of amazing discoveries over the years, but they’ve also created a lot of stories. They’ve created stories about how they believe things happened, and called them theories, but when looked at honestly, they are simply nothing more than stories designed to explain the world and its origins without a creator. They are wishful thinking.
Non-theists throw around a description of theists as adhering to blind faith, essentially, believing that which we know isn’t true, but they would probably be tickled pink if we all followed “scientific” theories blindly. The end result of my flirtation with atheism is that I’ve rejected it because it is not convincing. I continue to follow the headlines, and I find it amusing that the more I learn about scientists, the more skeptical I become. How convinced am I that the world doesn’t exist without God? You may have a better chance of convincing me that gremlins are real.
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