Truth That Matters

"What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?" - Jesus Christ

EVIDENCE FOR GOD: HUMAN NATURE

The nature of human beings is such as to suggest that there is an intelligent, powerful Being that has made human beings with some purpose in mind. Here are some features of human beings that illustrate this point. [While examining the features given below, it is worth noting that the first five features do not arise from the properties of molecules, and therefore cannot be explained by evolutionary theory, the atheistic (and materialistic) explanation for life].

Feature # 1: Aesthetic Sense

People have an aesthetic sense - they appreciate beauty - I'm referring to the appreciation for abstract beauty - the thing that makes people visit art galleries and shell out big money for paintings. Since this appreciation of beauty has no survival benefits, it does not fit with the atheistic view of man's origins (evolution theory, according to which organisms changed because traits that helped survival developed). Rather, it suggests that there is an aesthetic God who made humans - and He made them with the intention that they celebrate all that He has made.

Feature # 2: Volitional Consciousness

Human beings have their own sense of awareness and have the capacity to make choices. They can consider facts and come to opinions. We all have brains made of protein. But protein does not think. Proteins do not decide whether to vote for the left or the right. We are faced with an inevitable conclusion: our minds are different from our brains. Our brains are merely the "hardware" that our minds, the "software" use. When Windows 7 runs on a computer, an observer may see electrons running around the circuit board. However, if one is asked: What is Windows 7? The answer is definitely not that it consists of electrons and a circuit board. Similarly, when a person decides not to cheat someone, electrons may move in his brains, but the thought itself does not originate with the electrons. Electrons are neither honest or dishonest. There are no genes to make people democrats or republicans.

According to Evolution Theory, man is merely a collection of molecules. But molecules cannot take decisions. Thus, man has a non-material entity: the mind, and it is this mind that takes decisions. No evolutionary mechanism can explain the origin of the mind, because evolutionary mechanisms only deal with molecules, and volitional consciousness is not a property of molecules. However, something contingent cannot pop out of nothing. Thus, someone has created our minds. That someone is God.

Atheist responses: Atheists fall into two categories:-

  1. Some atheists believe in volitional consciousness without giving an explanation for its origin.
  2. Other atheists insist that humans don't have volitional consciousness, forgetting that this arguments shoots itself.

Both positions are unsatisfactory, and thus man's mind which exercises free will is evidence that a personal God exists.

Feature # 3: Spirituality

All over the world, since time immemorial, humans worship something. All cultures over the world have stories about God. No one has distant memories of their ancestors hanging from trees with their tails. This is exactly what we should expect if God indeed made us to have a relationship with Him. Animals are also capable of experiencing feelings of devotion and thankfulness but they do not express any reverence for an invisible God or for the sun, moon, etc. Similarly, children have a natural tendency to believe in God, not a common ancestry with apes. This also makes sense if God created us and programmed us to seek Him. There is a neat progression:

  1. Plants and invertebrates - only body (physical processes, no emotions)
  2. Animals with blood - body and soul (physical processes, emotions, determination, etc)
  3. Man - body, soul and spirit (physical processes, emotions, will, etc. as well as spiritual faculties)

All cultures have some funeral rites. Cultures want to dispose off the bodies of their dead members in an honorable way consistent with some belief about life after death. All cultures have some notion that the status of the departed person depends in some way on his/her actions on earth.

Atheist responses:-

"Spirituality is merely a product of natural selection." This response fails for the following reasons:-

  1. It amounts to saying that spirituality originated  because it was beneficial - but saying why something originated  is hardly an explanation for how it originated.
  2. Natural selection selects for that which is beneficial. So the burden of proof lies on atheists to show that religion has been beneficial - most atheists seem to think otherwise.
  3. The idea that beliefs are a product of biological factors shoots itself in the foot.
  4. No scientist has been able to identify a gene that makes people religious.

"People began believing in God because they could think of no other explanation for the world around them." Well, why didn't they just stop and say, "We don't know"? If all they wanted was an explanation for origins, why did they invent religions that put severe demands on themselves, like abstinence from pleasure?

"The elite invented religion to control the masses." This may explain some religion, but not all. Control by means of invented religion requires force. India is a democratic country with personal freedom. People here are quite religious though no one is forcing them. Moreover, rich, educated (and thus, non-gullible) people are also religious. Control by deception (seen in Nazism, communism, etc) lasts only a few generations. But religion is here since the beginning.

Conclusion: Human spirituality strongly suggests that God created man to have a relationship with Him.

Feature # 4: Morality

Humans have a sense of universal right and wrong - which they appeal to when trying to resolve conflicts or when they feel that others have treated them unfairly. Since atheism provides NO logical basis for morality, this sense of morality strongly suggests that man has been made by a moral, personal God, and so has the same nature of valuing moral goodness and disapproving moral evil. The following are some atheistic objections to this moral argument for God's existence and my counter responses.

If a good God made people, why are some people so evil? The evil in people does not disprove the existence of a good God (anymore than long haired people disprove the existence of barbers). People have rebelled against God, and God has had His reasons for allowing this rebellion to go on for some time. When you blame people or God, you are appealing to some universal standard of goodness - such a standard can only be valid if we all have universal accountability to the same Supreme, intrinsically good Being.

Different cultures and individuals have different moral codes. These differences are not fundamental - they are just different ideas about what constitutes "good". For example, both the pro-abortionist and anti-abortionist are pursuing what they consider to be the greatest good. The pro-abortionist thinks that the greater good lies in the "choice" of the woman (even if the baby gets killed) and the anti-abortionist thinks that the greater good lies in the saving of the baby (even if this goes against the woman's choice). No pro-abortionist has become pro-abortion because he thinks that torturing and killing babies is good. No anti-abortionist has become anti-abortion because he thinks that women should be suppressed. Thus, the similarity in moral codes is intrinsic - the differences are peripheral. Theism accommodates these differences as due to man's alienation from the perfectly good God.

Morality is just a social construct. If so, it cannot be binding. This argument can be seen to be mere sophistry because atheists themselves fail to use it when their interests are stake. I have never come across an atheist sympathizer of the Palestinians say, "Since morality is just a social construct, we and the UN can't demand anything from the Israelis. We shouldn't be shocked or outraged if the Israelis oppress the Palestinians". Instead, they say, "Israel is just NOT fair to the Palestinians". Similarly, I have never come across an atheist who said, "Since morality is just a social construct, we cannot demand that Christians be moral. We should not oppose Christians on moral grounds if they force their religion on others". On the other hand, atheists oppose Christians on moral grounds in the name of "truth", "progress", "enlightenment", "freedom", etc.

Morality is just an instinct. No. Instincts don't put obligations on people - I don't feel obligated to eat and have sex. I just like doing these things. On the other hand, morality puts obligations on people. The man alone with an unknown woman wants to have her, but his sense of morality tells him that he has no right to force himself on her. Since morality has this "obligatory" feature that is not a part of any instinct, we must conclude that morality is not an instinct.

Morality evolved because of its survival value. This argument is refuted in the same way as the similar explanation for spirituality.

For further illuminating discussion, see C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, Book 1. C. S. Lewis was a well known atheist professor at Cambridge University who became a Christian after considering this piece of evidence. The moral argument for God can be taken one step further. On close examination we find that ethics can be logically grounded only in the Bible and not on any theism.

Feature # 5: A desire for purpose

Evolutionists would have us believe that we’re all just a bunch of molecules created by purposeless events taking place over eons of time. But we’re all obsessed with purpose! Everyone wants to live their life in the best possible way! (That’s why you’re reading this, right?)

More reasonable explanation: God is purposeful, and He has made us with a purpose! He has made us inbuilt with a desire for purpose since He wants us to find out the purposes He has for us! Thus, the human desire for purpose suggests that God exists!

Evolutionists challenge: how do you know that randomness cannot result in purposefulness? Well, how do you know that it can? Whatever little purposefulness that has been generated in front of our eyes (such as robots) owes its origin to intelligent design. Purposefulness is the opposite of randomness, so the burden of proof lies on evolutionists.

Feature # 6: The Oneness of the human race

In recent years sociologists have tried to explain why certain universals exist among human beings. They are puzzled, for example, by the fact that a smile or a look of grief looks the same in every culture in the world. People of all “races” appreciate love, have similar intellectual capabilities, and have a thirst for spiritual things. Songs written in one part of the world are popular in other cultures. Linguists such as Noam Chomsky from MIT have shown that children from all cultures learn language in the same way. Knowing how fast species change, this oneness suggests that all humans are descended from a few fully human ancestors who lived only a few thousand years ago.

However, evolution theory states that different human ethnic groups have come from different brutes who lived about a million years ago along different evolutionary lines.

Thus, the observed oneness in the human race constitutes evidence that humans have been created by God as one race only a few thousand years ago.

Atheist response: Political correctness on the part of atheists has made up for lack of facts. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, evolutionists openly stated the obvious: if (as they said every sane person must believe) evolution is true, some races were superior to others. Today, racism is politically incorrect, and the racist implications of atheism are hushed up.

Feature # 7: Glimpses of genius

A few human beings have extraordinary abilities that far exceed the abilities of others. These abilities do not serve any useful purpose for survival - the atheist "reason" for traits in living things.
 
Some of this remarkable ability in humans is evident in "idiot savants", such as Kim Peek (portrayed in the film Rain Man by Dustin Hoffman). These people are normally regarded as mentally handicapped, but display extraordinary abilities in one field, such as mathematics, chess, music or memory. Similarly, others have extraordinary abilities: Kevin Richardson (dealing with animals), Harry Houdini (performing stunts) and Arthur Benjamin (mathematical calculation). It is ridiculous to claim that natural selection on humans resulted in them. One among a million humans being able to make friends with lions does not contribute to individual or group survival. A far more reasonable explanation is that God created humans with extraordinary capabilities because He had extraordinary plans; something has gone wrong with the race as a whole, but we see glimpses of greatness in a few individuals here and there. This is exactly what the Bible teaches us. God made man in His image, to reflect His glory (Genesis 1:27), but man sinned (Romans 3:23), and this resulted in death and decay (Romans 5:12). The good news is that God has a plan to set things right.