This point apparently continues to come because some persons believe that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence (an illusion at best), some people just sit on the fence afraid or just indifferent to make a determination that would affect the rest of their life. I’m not trying to make anybody jump from one side or the other or even get down off the fence (which implies taking a side). All I want to do is provide information and let each person stand where they may.
The main sticking point for believers and non-believers alike is that we must consider the possibility that our beliefs are wrong to rationally examine the evidence that contradicts those beliefs. For myself, having grown up as an agnostic atheist (one who did not believe in God, but could not claim that no god exists), I have undergone a couple of paradigm shifts as an adult.
The first occurred within 30 days after March 19, 1978 when I went into St. Luke’s Behavioral Research Center in Phoenix, AZ as an alcoholic with a reading of 3.2. Somewhere along the rehab-way I found a belief in a higher power- an imaginary person, tree or thing that had a power greater than me to stop me from drinking and abusing drugs, because I couldn’t do it by myself. Kind of like the ‘Oneness’ that others talk about. I went from atheism to deism (a belief that a god created the universe), and as a result, over time, my perception that science has failed miserably in its explanation of the origin of the universe and the how the origin of life on earth began.
Most skeptics take pride in their intellectual ability and like to think that they have no “beliefs.” However, modern science has shown us that everyone has beliefs, since this is how our brains work. A good introduction to this field can be found in Andrew Newberg’s book, Why We Believe What We Believe: Uncovering Our Biological Need for Meaning, Spirituality, and Truth.
Skeptics like to think that everything we believe is based upon evidence and logic that we have observed, read or thought about- this is not true. We generally become emotionally bound to our worldview, so much so that we rarely change our worldview, if at all. To continue with this discussion I am asking you to dump your emotional attachment to your particular worldview and consider the evidence without any emotional attachments. If you cannot do that there is no reason for you to continue reading.
My second, more difficult paradigm shift occurred in the late 1980’s, when I accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and admitted that He was the Creator of all things. If you are ready to consider the possibility that your worldview and beliefs might be wrong, and want to look directly at the evidence I will present, feel free to skip ahead to part 2. However, I feel it is important for skeptics to recognize that not all of their beliefs are based upon physical evidence, and are often inconsistent with their own worldview.
So let us begin, again.
So let us agree on some principles that should govern a skeptical or non-believers worldview. The first and foremost principle is that all beliefs should be based upon observational evidence. This would be evidence that is based upon physical measurement of some kind. It is important to know that observational evidence does not refer to evidence that only has been personally observed by every individual nor is it only of a visible nature (visual observation). Skeptics must rely completely upon physical evidence, unlike theists, who base some of their beliefs on religious writings.
The second principle is that skeptics must be logically consistent at all times they may not believe something to be true if it is contradicted by observational evidence. Most skeptics who are non-believers feel that all phenomena has naturalistic causes because they observe cause and effect on a daily basis, with rare exception. This brings up the question, “Just because cause and effect appear to overwhelmingly operate in our universe, does this mean that supernatural events never occur?” Even the Bible, which is a record of God’s supernatural actions, over 90% of what is described, is purely naturalistic. Anyone who insists that supernatural events never occur is expressing a belief that can never be fully confirmed. To be truly open-minded and to dump your emotional attachment to your particular worldview, you must recognize the possibility that supernatural events could occur.
One major problem with the skeptical worldview is they do not recognize that not all the data really fits into your worldview. The particular data we are going to examine is the origin of the universe. Non-believers are left with a dilemma, since their worldview requires that all things that exist must have had a cause. Therefore, logic requires the admission that the universe had a cause. Virtually all non-believers say that this cause was some natural phenomenon. It is also possible that the cause of the universe was a supernatural intelligence (i.e., God). There is no direct observational evidence for either belief. Non-believers have just violated one of their main rules – that all beliefs are based upon observational evidence. Any non-believer who denies the possible existence of God violates their own worldview.
The physical laws of the universe fall within very narrow ranges in order for life (or even matter) to exist, suggesting some level of design (the evidence supporting this statement will be presented in part 2). If true, then the observational evidence actually leans toward the existence of God, contradicting strong atheism. The prospect of finding a naturalistic cause (despite the billions of dollars being spent) for the origin of the universe is bleak at best, since the laws of physics indicate that we will never be able escape the bounds of our universe to even attempt to look for the cause of the universe.
A skeptic or non-believer is governed by two main principles: 1) all beliefs must be supported by observational evidence, and 2) beliefs that contradict observational evidence cannot be tolerated. However, non-believers state that there is no god, even though observational evidence indicates that the universe has a cause that cannot be detected observationally.
So let us go to part 2 to examine the evidence unemotionally and with a great deal of thought and respect for everyone’s beliefs. https://larryemarshall.wordpress.com/2015/01/07/intelligent-design-or-evillution-again-pt-2/