By Kevin R. Williams, B.Sc.
SKEPTIC’S ARGUMENT: “By looking at human behavior as objectively as I can, from an anthropological perspective, all paths lead me to support the hypothesis that God is the combination of projection and transference of a given culture’s (and individual’s) ideals and ideal relationships onto an unseen (yet psychically, very real) entity. Borrowing from analytic psychology, what I believe happens is the creation (or greater potentiation) of a complex, charged emotional contents with attendant thoughts and images, continually reinforced through normal operant techniques through institutions such as churches and their various rituals.
“My latest thinking on the topic of God is that it’s hard to look at the DNA sequence for a particular trait (speaking as a software engineer), and not say, ‘You know, that looks a lot like machine code! And that, in turn, presupposes a programmer, a Creator!’ At the same time, this is far removed from the idea of a personal, loving, Christian God who cares about us individually and will somehow rescue us from extermination at death.
“Don’t get me wrong: I very much hope that there is a loving God, but in light of what I know of neuroscience, it seems unlikely. It seems much more likely that we are the miraculous products of natural selection. I also believe that religion is very much man-made, and that if God does exist, he appears to be utterly and absolutely silent, having nothing to do with humankind, other than in man’s dreams, hopes, and fantasies (though these are products of man’s minds). I don’t say any of this to be disrespectful, and I’m painfully aware of how emotional an issue religion is, but I say it in the spirit of honest exploration.”
KEVIN WILLIAMS, B.SC.: “Testimonies from those having near-death experiences probably support much, if not all, of what you are saying. Man certainly did create religion and the idea of god(s); and the idea of a “Master DNA programmer God” does seem much more like an impersonal concept compared to the Christian notion of a wrathful/loving God.
“The only realistic answer to the question, ‘What is God?,’ is that ‘God’ is only an idea representing whatever people want it to mean. Many Christians believe God is a divine Father. Hindus believe God (Brahman) to be life manifesting itself everywhere with no exceptions. Cave men may have believed God to be the sun. To tribal cults, God may be a stone statue. Certainly, people throughout history believed things that seem utterly ridiculous to our enlightened minds today. ‘God,’ as a concept, has so many different meanings to so many different people throughout history that it is really useless to talk about the idea of a God until empirical evidence for such a Supreme Being or Consciousness can be discovered.
“However, NDE experiencers have much to say about their encounter with a light so vast and personal that words are inadequate to describe it. A consensus among NDErs seems to be that this light represents all knowledge, all consciousness and all creation which is so pervasive and yet so subtle, it borders on pantheism – minus any impersonal aspect. In quantifying the nature of his light, I have read many NDE testimonies where experiencers use descriptive words such as Love, Life, Light, the All, the Source, the Force, the Oneness, Divine Consciousness, the Master-Vibration, etc. But according to many of these same experiencers, even these descriptions are woefully inadequate. One experiencer preferred to describe this light as ‘the Light that Loves.’ Another experiencer, Chuck Griswold, stated in the NDE documentary entitled Shadows, ‘Life is love is God. If you add anymore to this definition then you are not making it any better.’
“When NDE experiencers say that life itself is ‘God,’ they usually mean everything is a part of this light or ‘God’ or simply that everything is ‘God.’ Given all these definitions, we might as well claim that all of reality is this ‘God’ – nothing excluded. For this reason, we should probably just assign the term ‘God’ to the toy box – because of all the ‘baggage’ associated with it and simply say there is no ‘Grand Old Man’ sitting on a Throne ruling everything. It is possible that there is only one Ultimate Reality incorporating everything and this may be what people throughout the ages have been worshipping as ‘divinity.’
Also, religious faith implies the possibility of doubt. Knowledge implies certainty due to scientific methods. This is why knowledge will always be greater than faith; and why scientific support for the existence of God is always stronger than faith in dogma. Kurt Godel, the foremost mathematical logician of the 20th century, offered a theorem and a proof that atheism is not logical. If you visit the atheist Keith Augustine’s website, Infidels.org, on the home page you will find the following statement:
“Naturalism is ‘the hypothesis that the natural world is a closed system, which means that nothing that is not part of the natural world affects it.’ Thus, ‘naturalism implies that there are no supernatural entities’ – including God.” — Quote from Keith Augustine’s website
However, Kurt Godel’s Incompleteness Theorem shows that no consistent formal system can prove its own consistency. See this Wikipedia article for the mathematical logic. In plain language, it proves that all closed systems depend upon something outside the system. So according to Godel’s Incompleteness Theorem, the quote on the Infidels website cannot be correct. If the natural world is a closed, logical system, then it has an outside cause. Thus, according to Godel’s theorem, atheism violates the laws of reason and logic. Godel’s Incompleteness Theorem definitively proves that current scientific models can never fill its own gaps. We have no choice but to look outside of current scientific models for answers concerning illogical statements such as, “A God does not exist in the natural world.”.
The incompleteness of the universe’s own consistency regarding its existence isn’t proof that the God of any particular religion exists; but it is proof that in order to construct a rational, scientific model of the universe, a new scientific model that includes an outside, all-powerful Cause is not just 100% logical – it’s necessary. Kurt Godel also developed an Ontological Proof of God’s existence which has been proven by German computer scientists in 2013. However, Godel’s theorems and proof cannot be applied to prove the existence of Santa Claus, nor to prove the existence of a Flying Spaghetti Monster flatulating the universe into existence.
Dr. Juleon Schins, professor of Chemical Engineering at Delft University of Technology, declared that Godel’s theorem and Alan Turing’s thesis:
“…firmly establish the existence of something that is unlimited and absolute, fully rational and independent of human mind. What would be more convincing pointer to God?” — Dr. Juleon Schins
Dr. Antoine Suarez, of the Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies Center for Quantum Philosophy, in turn states that, because of Godel’s theorems, we are “scientifically” led to the conclusion that it is reasonable to reckon with God.
Then there is the logical argument from the Christian philosopher C.S. Lewis whose former belief in an unjust universe led him away from atheism to theism:
“My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust? If the whole show was bad and senseless from A to Z, so to speak, why did I, who was supposed to be part of the show, find myself in such violent reaction against it? A man feels wet when he falls into water, because man is not a water animal: a fish would not feel wet. Of course I could have given up my idea of justice by saying it was nothing but a private idea of my own. But if I did that, then my argument against God collapsed too – for the argument depended on saying that the world was really unjust, not simply that it did not happen to please my fancies. Thus in the very act of trying to prove that God did not exist – in other words, that the whole of reality was senseless – I found I was forced to assume that one part of reality – namely my idea of justice – was full of sense. Consequently atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be a word without meaning.” (C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, 1952)
So Lewis concluded that if the universe is meaningless, we would never have discovered it to be meaningless. And because the burden of proof lies with those who illogically claim the world is meaningless, and not upon those who disprove the claim by giving it meaning, shows the claim of a meaningless universe is false. The same is true of a Godless universe.
Near-death experiences also support the existence of God. On Wikipedia, other logical arguments for the existence of God can be found.