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Debating a Christian The Atheist Handbook

by Jeremy L. Moran, JT Eberhard, Adam Brown, and other contributors

Part 1. Opening Statements.

Part 2. Theistic Understanding.

Part 3. Science of Historical Precedence.

Part 4. Skills of the Debate.

Part 5. Closing Statements.

Part 6: Philosophical Quotes.

Credits.

BACK TO TOP
This culmination of knowledge is put together in the hopes that both theist, and atheist alike would be able to

take something from it & improve upon the human they are. All information considered for this article aims to

be as honest as possible, given our current state of technology & scientific discovery. Unfortunately that means

this article is not balanced towards each side of the debate, and clearly favors that which is more logical, and

trustworthy. While science does not, and does not claim to have all of the answers, it has proven its self

ethically honest when put to debate. When science makes a claim of knowledge, it does so with the

understanding that any new evidence will be compared to its previous claims. Unlike religion, if this new

evidence contradicts a previous claim, rather then religiously discard the evidence, science openly & willfully

reworks the claim to accept this new evidence. As always empirical evidence is put to the test of peer review to

certify its validity. Rather then shunning questions about their findings, processes, and evidence. Science

thrives on the fundamental belief that only through trial and error can a scientific claim be certified to the

highest stages of acceptance. As such, any & all challenges & questions to this article are openly accepted.

There is no greater debate then that between faith and fact. For fact is when man relies on empirical evidence

which leads to a scientific conclusion. Where faith is when man relies on erratic emotions resulting in spiritual

confusion. (quote by Jeremy Moran) Contrary to its teachings, religion provides so few answers, and only

opens the door to an infinite amount of more questions. Unless you are able to withstand the will of natural

human curiosity, withdraw your questions, and resort to blindly follow. There are those who are unwilling to

quell those inner questions, and simply accept those stories of old. We are the free thinkers who question

everything, seeking the greater truth about all of this existence that encompasses us. We are constantly

striving for new evidence that teaches us about the true questions of existence. While its very easy to assert

that God(s) did it, its not so easy to accept this claim without any evidence. In the light of mountains of

evidence contradicting such a claim, it only shows how truly improbable the existence of a supernatural creator

is.

For the sake of clarification, if & when I state IF godthis, or IF godthat. I am simply purposing a theoretical

argument, from the perspective of a theist / deist. Under no circumstances should this be misconstrued as an
actual belief in god(s). Even attempting such a statement goes to show the true lack of educational ethics of

the person presupposing it. For in any argument there are 2 ways to go about debating a claim; we can attack

the claim its self, eroding the validity of it through contrary evidence, highlighting logical errors, and

discrediting evidence provided for the claim. We can also use theoretical debating by presupposing that the

claim is true, then showing how any results of such a claim would show the logical errors of the claim due to

their own contradictions, errors in logic, or chances of probability. When an Atheist states If God, for the sake

of an argument, they are NOT accepting the actual statement to be true.


Memorize some of these to remember when you hear Religion is good! THE HARMS OF RELIGION

a growing list!

For a simple breakdown in 12 arguments against god, JT Eberhard gives you:


ARGUMENT #1 Biblical Prophecies / ARGUMENT #2 Miracles / ARGUMENT #3
Design / ARGUMENT #4 Fine-Tuning

For a deeper knowledge base, Jeremy Moran gives you a plethora of source (academic and otherwise):

There is much debate about what it means to be an atheist. Im an Atheist, & like most atheists I understand

what it means to me personally, yet it still remains one of the biggest debated points day after day. Even many

of the standard dictionaries do not help to quell the argument, and only lead to further confusion by providing

erroneous and often offensive definitions of atheism. Including, but not limited to: Doctrination, Godlessness,

wickedness, immoral, etc. Atheism is not a belief, nor a religion. There are no rules, regulations, or

commandments to atheism. Atheism does not hold daily, weekly, or any kind of official gatherings. Atheism is

simply the realization that all claims of supernatural gods are highly unlikely or improbable. There are varying

degrees of atheism, from the agnostic and weak or undecided atheist, to the stronger atheist. Each of these

levels of signifies the degree by which an individual refutes the gods of men. I think addressing these

difference degrees, and providing further definition will help to stem the semantic part of the debate, and get

back to the heart of the issue.

Those who think that there is only 2 options to a question, yes or no, will find it hard to understand atheism. At

the very basic level atheism is a neutral ground for the acceptance for any & all supernatural gods. The weak

atheist is one who does not accept gods, nor denies them outright. They simply realize that without proof, such

claims can not be accepted as fact. Likewise the weak atheist generally does not say they are 100% certain

that there are no gods. Again, they are undecided or neutral as to the question of the existence of supernatural

gods. Agnosticism is the view that the truth value of certain claimsespecially claims about the existence or

non-existence of any deity, but also other religious and metaphysical claimsis unknown or unknowable. An

atheist of the middle ground are ones who not only do not believe in any supernatural gods, but also feel there

is enough scientific evidence to contradict the claims by all of the worlds religions as to the actions of these

gods to create the universe and life. These types of atheists not only dont believe in any deities, but also

consider the evidence that contradicts these gods is enough to say all of these deities most likely do not exist.

Based on my discussions with thousands of individuals, these atheists make up the greatest percentage of
atheism world wide. The last group to be described here are strong atheists. Id like to first point out that man

people tend to mix up or confuse the definition of agnostic & atheist. A strong atheist are people who state not

only are there no deities, but they absolutely (within a 99% probability) do not exist. For the strong Atheist not

only the evidence contradicting claims of god(s), I.E., origins of the universe, abiogenesis, evolution, etc. leads

to their acceptance of their not being a god or gods, but they also realize that by their very deffinition

supernatural (or above nature / outside of nature) gods are as real as a square circle.

All things considered defining who we are, as atheists, has been one of the largest hurdles weve had to over

come. And still to this day Theists attempt to expand Athesim into something its not. Whether by association,

injecting some extenuating circumsatances, or just plain stretching the truth, the purpose becomes very clear.

First, generally as an argument from ignorence by lacking the proper knowledge of atheism or as an

argument from authority theyre clearly lacking, they will assert some kind of claim about atheism based on

their vast knowledge (claimed authority) such as; Atheism is just another religion that worships nature,

humanism, materialism, the universe, etc. Or Atheists DO believe in God because all of their claims for their

not being a god start with there is no god, because he (relating back to my point made in the opening

statements about theorhetical or hypothetical arguments.). They set up these special circumstances in order to

create an easier target for them. They know very well that Atheism makes no claims, we simply do not accept

the religious claims that there is a super natural god or gods. Logically the ONLY way to attack a non position

would be to provide evidence for their own claims which there is NO empirical demonstrable objectively

peer reviews evidence to support their claims. So again, unable to defeat the atheist position, they assert

special extentions to atheism that are far easier to attack. They feel by setting up this new target, then

attacking it, they are somehow attacking atheism as well which simply is NOT the case. Theyd truly like if

atheism was a religion, because beleifs are far easier to attack then true knowledge. As atheists we know this

from fighting their beliefs, they know this as well. By asserting a hypothetical argument somehow equals a

litteral beliefs in a god, they again get to assert Atheism is a belief structure. And by asserting a stereotypical

belief that ALL atheists are materialists, naturalists, humanists, etc. this again allows them to attack these other

isms rather then atheism. Not a single one of these attack tactics holds a drop of logical reasoning or proper

debate capabilities.

The twelve basic arguments for god #1:


Argument from Holy Scripture
Ive noticed there are only about twelve arguments that come up for gods existence, so Im going to hammer

them all out in great detail and then link them all into one post for anybody who wants to use them.

Todays will be the Argument from Holy Scripture:essentially, the bible seems miraculous and is therefore

probably true/god exists (this argument is not very popular anymore and apologists seem inclined to avoid
even bringing up the bible in this way, but local preacher types and other intro level theolosophers still resort to

it)

A frequent way this is employed is to claim that the bible makes prophecies that were later fulfilled.
Seven problems with biblical prophecy

I. Vague prophecies.
Imagine you could go back in time, just as a human being with no omniscient knowledge of the future like god
would surely have. You could make very precise predictions of the future without the need to hide in ambiguity.
Some of my predictions would look like this:
In the 21st Century, there will be a system by which information is spread throughout the entire world, and this

system shall be called the internet.

Currently, people think that deafness and

blindness are a result of being afflicted by the devil

or demons. This is not true. These maladies are

the result common flaws in DNA replication and

you should treat them as equals, since its not their

fault, rather than ostracizing them from church and

social gatherings.

Stars are not tiny points of light, as you currently

believe. They are actually huge theyre just really

far away. Theyre not going to fall to the Earth. Oh,

and the Earth is not going to abideth forever

(Ecclesiastes 1:4) its life will be finite.

In the second century of Rome there shall be five

emperors, and they will be named Nerva, Trajan,


Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, and Marcus Aurelius.

This is what I could offer with a knowledge of what has transpired between then and now that is far inferior to

what gods would have been. Why is it that I could have been infinitely more clear and accurate than god, even

with only the capacity of a fairly young mortal?

Precise prophecies are risky they have a very high probability of being wrong. The bible almost always shies

away from any such attempt at prophecy (Ill touch on the almost later) choosing to make ambiguous

prophecies that could be fulfilled by any number of different criteria instead.

For an example, consider the following prophecy from Luke 7:27:


his is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way

before thee.
Jesus proudly proclaims this prophecy was fulfilled by John. Compare this hazy line to my rather precise

prophecies from above. Is this really as specific as an all-knowing god can be? Obviously not, as I could do

better off the top of my head give me access to the internet and Ill really give you some VERY precise

prophesies.

Heres a prophecy I just made up.


There will come a time when three evil men rise to power, and a woman will oppose them, leading the people

against them!

Id wager good money that this would be fulfilled within 20 years. Do I really need divine inspiration for this?

If the scripture from Luke (and the litany of prophecies just like it) constitutes prognostication, whats your

take on my horoscope from today?

You experience a burst of great energy that should help you achieve almost anything close to your heart. A

new love, a big win in business or even a quiet reconciliation are all possible.

By jove, its a miracle.

So vague prophecies are not impressive at all.


II. Trivial prophecies.

How impressed would you be by the following prophecy?

Tomorrow, the Sun will rise.

Not very impressive, is it? Prophecies that are not falsifiable (ones that involve no risk) are not exactly
spectacular. Ponder for a moment how bold it would be to predict that the Sun wouldnot rise

tomorrow! Prophecies like that are very easy to get wrong, which explains why the bible almost (again, Ill

touch on the almost later) always averts them.


III. Jesus knew the prophecies he was supposed to fulfill.

Jesus, if he existed (I dont believe he did, see David Fitzgeralds Nailed: Ten Christian Myths That Show

Jesus Never Existed at All), was a Rabbi, which means he was educated in Jewish literature. A prophecy that

frequently gets brought up as supposedly being fulfilled is Zachariah 9:9:


Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is

just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.

Jesus would have known precisely what to do. But this is a great deal more than mere speculation: the bible

fully admits it. See Matthew 21:2-5.


Saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt

with her: loose them, and bring them unto me. And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath

need of them; and straightway he will send them. All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was

spoken by the prophet, saying Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and

sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.

How difficult is it to fulfill a prophecy you knew about beforehand? Its not.
(Incidentally, in Zachariah 9:10-13, the scriptures go on to show that the person in question riding the donkey

was a military king with an army that would rule from sea to sea. Jesus had no army and no kingdom, and

therefore could not have fulfilled this prophecy. Also, inZachariah 9:8 we have god decreeing that Israel shall

never again be oppressed, which is a flagrantly inaccurate prophecy. It is also a perfect example of how

specific prophecies tend to bite people in the hind-quarters, which is why biblical authors, mystics, and other

shills tend to avoid them see section 6 of this portion of the post.)
IV. Biblical authors lied or wrote allegorically.

Jesus wasnt the only one who knew what the OT or other parts of the bible had to say. Consider for a

moment that its the consensus of the historical community that the gospels were not authored by Jesus

disciples (even the vast majority of Christian scholars concede this point). The gospels were written long after

Jesus death with the first one, Mark, being written about 70 CE and the last, John, coming circa 95

CE. Additionally, historians believe that the gospels following Mark were based upon a reading of that

book. So how hard would it be to corroborate anything from that book? Not very.

Still, mistakes are plentiful. It is clear that the authors of Luke and Matthew both read theGreek translation of

Isaiah 7:14 and consequently thought that Jesus should be born of a virgin. However, the Hebrew text uses

the word alma which simply means young woman. It does not imply virginity in any way. This is why Mark

and John dont seem to be aware of Marys virginity, and do not sync up with Luke and Matthew on that

point. Doesnt that seem like kind of an important detail?

It would not take omniscience (or even mild competence) to write a story about some dude who fulfills every

prophecy in a book you already have. You or I could do it easily (J.K. Rowling has pulled it off herself, and

nobody wonders if her witches are fiction or not).


V. Biblical prophecies are not backed up by any evidence outside the bible.

Heres Matthew 2:6:


And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall

come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.

In this scripture, hes quoting Micah 5:2:


But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he

come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

The bolded disparity is very important, because the Micah scripture was referring to a military leader from the

clan Bethlehem Ephratah (many versions of the bible still use the word clan in the Micah scripture, though it

is always omitted from the Matthew) rather than a man from the village of Bethlehem.

But heres a quirk: there is no evidence whatsoever to suggest that Jesus, if he existed, was born in

Bethlehem. None. Zilch. Believers, thinking the two passages refer to the same thing, simply insert Jesus

into this prophecy.

Not all claims leave such open-ended space for the believer to insert facts though. This is one of the good

things about the gospels (at least as far as we skeptics are concerned): they provide historical claims that can
be tested empirically. Such as the claim in Luke that Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census be taken

of the entire Roman world (the census covered only Judea, and has some other interesting implications about

Jesus birthday Luke sets it at least a decade after Matthew).

There is also no documentation of any out of the ordinary celestial events at that time, even though such things

were very accurately recorded then. Another example would be the historical absence of any corroboration to

the idea of Herods slaughter of innocent children (the closest thing we have are Josephus and Philo writing

about how he murdered some of his family members). This tends to be the kind of thing that historians write

about. The list could quite literally go on forever.

When prophecies are having to compete with history, they stop being prophecies. There is no corroboration

of biblical prophecy outside of the bible and plenty of historical conflict with whats in it.
VI. Numerous prophecies were unfulfilled.

Remember how the bible tends to almost universally avoid specific prophecies because of how you can

actually get those wrong? Well, heres where the almost comes in. Look at Ezekiel 26:
For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will bring upon Tyrus Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, a king of kings,

from the north, with horses, and with chariots, and with horsemen, and companies, and much peopleAnd I

will make thee [Tyre] like the top of a rock: thou shalt be a place to spread nets upon; thou shalt be built no

more: for I the LORD have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD.

I use an ellipse () to skip the gory description of just how Nebuchadrezzar will conquer Tyre. Feel free to

go read it for yourself. However, Nebuchadrezzar did not defeat Tyre try as he did. Alexander the

Great conquered them about 200 years later.

Other versions of the bible spell out that god expressly says that Tyre shall never be rebuilt (see the bolded

section). Of course, Tyre was rebuilt and remains one of the oldest inhabited cities to this day (2750 BCE

present).

This is why the authors of the bible tend to avoid specific prophesies, like you or I could make if we went back

in time. Imagine if the author had just written, Tyre will be destroyed. You can bet that Christians would have

been chalking up Alexanders work to biblical prophesy. See how other ambiguous passages easily conform

to just about anything? Fortunately for those of us who demand falsifiable data, the type demanded in science,

Ezekiel (and a host of other biblical writers who wrote unfulfilled prophesies) goofed.

The bible speaks of an omniscient god, and that clearly cannot be the case if even one prophecy is

wrong. Thats clearly the case we find ourselves in. Ask yourself if the above really looks like the product of

omniscience.

Hey, he cant get things right all the time. Who do you think he is, god?
VII. Self-fulfilling prophecies.

These are prophecies along the lines of saying, Tomorrow Im going to go fishing and then going fishing the

following day. A similar case would be saying youre going to rebuild a temple and then doing it. You can find

many cases of this in the bible, and Christians all-to-eager to brand them as fulfilled prophecies.
So, my advice? Go find a site that lists biblical prophecies and read them. Ask yourself how difficult or

miraculous such prophecies would be to make. Though I wouldnt recommend it (in my opinion, the bible is

one of the worst-written, least-informing, and most awful books ever written), you could evenread the

bible. See for yourself.

Remember, there is a stark difference in approach from people who view doubt as an important tool in keeping

ones self from being scammed and those who view doubt as a threat to believing as you should. Doubt: its

your friend.

The bible is not a morally wise text

Getting past prophecies, the bible does not at all look like what an all-knowing being would write (or even

influence). Consider the fact that the bible contains scripture instructing us on the proper way to keep slaves

(Leviticus 25:44-46, Exodus 21:2-6) , which includes how to sell your daughter into sexual slavery

(Exodus 21:7-11) and how we should beat them (Exodus 21:20-21). It also contains instructions on the proper

way to sacrifice animals (Leviticus 3:1-5).

Consider for a moment what could have gone in place of stuff like this. Explanations of DNA, electricity? How

to build a telescope? Perhaps it could have mentioned how to avoid diseases (rather than Jesus telling us to

not bother washing our hands in Mark 7:1-15), or even explained that they werent caused by demons but

rather by germs. The list could go on and on and on.

The bible, given its position on slavery and ritual animal sacrifice, is obviously not the kind of book any decent

(or competent) moral philosopher would write. The paltry non-offenses worthy of death in the bible include

many of the ten commandments (commandment 1: no worshiping other gods, Deuteronomy 17:3-7;

commandment 2: no graven images, Deuteronomy 12:2-3; commandment 4: keep the sabbath, Exodus 35:2;

commandment 5: honor your mother and father, Leviticus 20:9; and commandment 7: no adultery,

Leviticus 20:10), along with being gay, being a witch, being a fortuneteller, pre-marital sex (its only pre-marital

if you intend to get married), and so on and so forth.

There are two responses to this. The first is that supposedly god had to have some way of instilling morality in

his subjects. But hes all-knowing (or at least smarter than us), surely a better, less painful way could be found

(or created). The second is that this blood-thirsty, hedonistic type of enforcement was the best we could do at

the time. This is simply not true. Several philosophers managed better. Mahavira, the Jain Patriarch,

summed it all up very nicely in a single sentence well over 500 years before Jesus was supposed to have

walked the Earth:

Do not injure, abuse, oppress, enslave, insult, torment, torture or kill any creature or living being.

The Buddha managed to realize that punishment was to teach, not to torture or kill. Lao-Tsze came up with

the golden rule long before it was borrowed by biblical authors. Zoroaster produced the rule of action (if you

dont know if its good or bad, dont do it) during that time. In the 4th century B.C., Socrates had determined

that striking or killing in reciprocation was a bad thing:


One who is injured ought not to return the injury, for on no account can it be right to do an injustice; and it is

not right to return an injury, or to do evil to any man, however much we have suffered from him.

Cicero had managed to figure out that forgiveness was better than violence as well.

Let us not listen to those who think we ought to be angry with our enemies, and who believe this to be great

and manly. Nothing is so praiseworthy, nothing so clearly shows a great and noble soul, as clemency and

readiness to forgive.

The Hindus (whose holy texts predate the old testament) produced the idea of turning the other cheek when

Krishna said,

If a man strike thee, and in striking drop his staff, pick it up and hand it to him again?

Clearly we could have done better at the time. And if human beings could do better then what reason do we

have to believe the bible was so much as influenced by omnipotence? Omnipotence would not be so wrong.

None of this barbarity was ever necessary, and could not be the product of an ethically wise mortal, let alone

an omnipotent, caring, father-figure type of god. The bible looks like something that was written by people

ignorant of almost the entirety of human knowledge. We should treat it that way.

The twelve basic arguments for god #2:


Argument from Miracles
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Often this amounts to Jesus rose from the dead and Gods existence is the best explanation of that fact, but

sometimes they use other miracles (faith healing, for example). People citing miracles as evidence can also

fall back on fulfilled prophecy in the bible, at which point it becomes an argument from holy scripture.
Miracles that arent very miraculous
These are miracles that, while improbable on a small

scale, are bound to happen on a large scale, or things

for which natural explanations exist. They include

things like visions/hallucinations, mundane answered

prayers, and Jesus face appearing on a piece of

lint. The first thing to say about them is that since

they appear identical to things with natural

explanations, we must ask how the person advancing

them as miracles knows that it was the hand of god

and not just nature doing its thing.

A recent example of a very mundane miracle would

be some local bad weather recently. The place where

I live was just hit by a snowstorm for which the

weather forecasters were predicting ice would start in

around 10pm, accumulate dangerously, and then from

midnight until 5pm the following day we would

accumulate 8 to 10 inches of snow on top of it. This was to occur on a Thursday night, so you can bet there

were plenty of people praying for milder weather so driving conditions on the weekend would be safer. And as

fate would have it, there was a tiny hole in the middle of the front that drifted right over us. There was no ice,

and snow didnt start until that morning. We only got about two inches. Since Im a bitter atheist and wanted a

snow day from school, I know I blamed god.

Im sure many of those praying considered it proof that a god heard their prayers and answered them (while

simultaneously ignoring similar prayers of people North and South of us which got hammered with dangerous
weather, or from all the religious students who wanted a snow day and were no doubt praying for a regular

blizzard). It should be plainly obvious, however, that a more likely explanation for this occurrence would be
that the weathermen simply goofed or that the hole in the snowstorm had to hit somewhere.

Many miracles are presented by believers as anything that beats the odds. Because most of us live long

lives with lots of things happening during that time, some things with lows odds of occurring are bound to

happen. This should seem mundane, but many people interpret it as god answering prayers. But does the

corollary hold true? Had the snowstorm done what it was supposed to have done (as it did in other states, as

well as most of the rest of Missouri), would that suggest to the prayerful that god didnt exist at all?

Often when people use prayer for ordinary things as evidence that a miracle has occurred, they are falling

victim to the lottery fallacy. If only one person bought a lottery ticket at three million to one odds and won, it

would seem fishy. However, if three million people buy tickets, we should expect someone to win every

time. This is why pointing out that something rare happened doesnt do us much good for establishing a

miracle. If you pray for something to beat the odds often enough, you will occasionally be pleasantly surprised.
These types of miracle claims often include a non-sequitor of some sort as well. I was once in a debatewith a

person who claimed a friend of his had a 99.9% chance of surviving a car wreck, and cited prayer for his

friends well being and as the reason the friend survived (one would think the doctors should get some of the

credit). I pointed out that in this country, just under 61,000 people die from car crashes every year. Even if I

were to grant the 1 in 1000 chance of living (which I didnt, that number was just pulled out of thin airyoull

encounter this a lot with miracle claims), that means 61 people every year would survive at those odds. This

does not equal divine providence.

The non-sequitor in this case is that prayer had anything to do with it. Sure, he prayed, and if his story is true

then his friend did, in fact, recover. If correlation always equaled causation, that would be the end of it. But as

anybody who has paid attention during any intro science class knows, that is not the case. What if I told you

that aside from praying at the hospital, this person also wore an orange t-shirt, had pancakes for breakfast, and

had $21 in his wallet? Perhaps there was another atheistic friend sitting there just wishing and hoping the

victim would recover. Why was prayer more responsible than any of those other variables? Just because a

variable is present doesnt mean it had an effect on anything. One might say that theyve seen people in

orange shirts in hospital rooms before, but that the patient still died. Surely you dont believe that every victim

of an accident (or even most of them) who is prayed for lives, do you?

Even if I conceded that I had no clue whatsoever how somebody could survive such an accident, that does not

mean that someone else does. I dont know is a wonderfully honest phrase much better than making up

answers.

So, the steps Id recommend when dealing with non-miraculous miracles are:
1. Check for competing and conflicting attempts for miracle confirmation. They cant both be true.
2. Check for the lottery fallacy.
3. Look for non-sequitors.
4. Argument from Ignorance?

Miraculous miracles
These would be things

for which no natural

explanation sufficed,

such as Jesus rising

from the dead or

somebody being

underwater for two hours

and somehow not dying.

The problem with such

claims is that they are

never recorded (and

when they are, theyre

somewhat

underwhelmingthis is

Sathya Sai Baba, who

has millions of followers

attesting to his, ahem,

miracles). These

miracles are almost

always closed off to all

but a handful of people

who already

believed. This creates a problem all by itself. If god is giving some people irrefutable proof of his existence

and not others, thats not fair. The common tactic here is to say that such miracles are probably happening

around the non-believer all the time but the non-believer is just being close-minded. Thats just an ad

hominem. As far as we know, our minds are open, we just want to employ check against gullibility. So what

gives with god giving some people undeniable proof but not others (like me)?

Take the miracle of Jesus rising from the dead. If this really occurred (I dont believe it did), then there is an

evidence-based reason to believe in his doctrines for all those who witnessed it (barring any reasonable

examinations to make sure they werent being duped). Likewise, for those who supposedly witnessed

Muhammad ascending to heaven aback a winged horse (in the Hadith), they have solid reasoning to believe in

the doctrine of Islam. Unfortunately, none of us nowadays have seen such things. Does god just love us

less? There is no extra biblical evidence that Jesus rose from the dead, and wed be fools to believe such an

impossible event took place without some kind of substantial evidence. We have none.

Furthermore, how much sense would it make for god to say to a handful of people, Heres irrefutable evidence

of my existence, which Im not going to give to anybody else. Now Im going to need you to go out and tell
people youve seen a miracle and that they should listen to what you say (if god really wanted a relationship

with me, it seems he could do better)? How do we know those people are not just embellishing? Even the

bible talks of how gullible and eager to accept miracles some people were. In Acts 28:6, Paul survives a

snake bite and the people are practically tripping over themselves to label him a god.

When people claim such miracles happened but only a handful of people saw them, they are denying you the

chance to investigate as anybody would do if they didnt want to get scammed. After all, countless miracle

claims have been disproven upon investigation is asking you to accept one at face value really fair? How are

you to know these people arent lying, as has been the case many, many times with such claims?

It was Carl Sagan who first said that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Its easy to

understand why this is the case. Consider the following propositions:


1. I own a football.
2. I own a tank.
3. I own a teleportation pad.

Not only are these statements (or beliefs, if you really subscribed to them) progressively unlikely to be true, but

in order for any sane person to accept them as true requires increasingly more evidence. If admonished with

the first one, it is easy to accept it as true because lots of people own footballs. However, once you get to the

last one, you would need an inordinate amount of evidence to confirm that I own a teleportation pad, as no

such devices are known to exist.

Consider this same idea when applied to men being born of virgins and rising from the dead to fly into the

clouds. That is where a healthy bit of skepticism comes into play, and this is a check against being taken

advantage of that we employ everywhere else in our lives.

There are many types of evidence you could have for a claim. Video evidence, corroborating scholars, post-

event evidence (like a meteorological impact), etc. Eye-witness testimony is literally the worst evidence you

can have as it is highly unreliable. In the United States alone, there have been over 250 exonerations of

people convicted on eye-witness testimony by DNA evidence, with many more being overturned on other

evidences.

For extraordinary claims, we should demand more. So when people claim to have witnessed a miracle, we

should rightly wonder why their evidence for that miracle is so shoddy.

The twelve basic arguments for god #3:


Argument to Design
This argument usually claims that life on Earth or some other aspect of nature is too well designed for evolution

or natural processes to explain it (either evolution would work too slowly or not as well, or life would have to

have begun too complex for chance to explain it, and so on).
A popular type argument for gods existence is the god of the gaps argument. Its an extension of the

argument from ignorance. Such arguments begin by pointing out something science has not explained and

saying that is where god is. A popular iteration is Science cant explain why I love my daughter/wife/etc! Of

course, this specific argument is patently wrong. We do understand the science of love and attraction it

comes down to simple, mindless chemicals. Although even if we couldnt explain love or anything else, that

does not mean that religious people can. The proper answer is simply I dont know, not I dont know,

therefore I DO know!

But god of the gaps arguments are losing space as science explains more and more things. The other way

theyll try and get around science infringing on claims their religion had previously tried to secure with god of

the gaps arguments is to claim that science and religion are not in conflict.
Science and religion are in conflict, and religion has been getting its ass kicked

We so often hear the faithful claiming that science and religion address different questions. The claim is

subsequently made that religion is the best means of explaining the who and why to the universe while science

best explains the what and how. However, while religion makes assertions of explanatory power, I think its

quite a leap to say that religion/faith explains anything. Sam Harris makes this point beautifully by proposing

two questions:
1. Think of one thing for which we once had a religious answer, but for which we now have a scientific answer
(this one should not be difficult).
2. Think of one thing for which we had a scientific answer, but for which we now have a religious answer (dont
waste too much of your time).

If religion did explain things or if it truly claimed mastery over a sphere of knowledge that science is not fit to

handle, then the claims of religion would not be continually being replaced by scientific explanations. Order of

the stars? Miracle. (Crap, turns out it was gravity) Disease? The devil. (Nope, just germs) Lightning? Gods

wrath. (Nope, just friction and heat)


The question Did a man rise from the dead 2000 years ago? is a question of biology. And the question Did
Jesus walk on water or transmute water into wine? is a question about physics. The Christian faith makes a
magnificent glory of how these propositions fly in the face of science, which is why theyre called
miracles. But science has the (obvious) answer to both of these questions, and religions have no sound
evidence for why the natural order was abrogated in the ways they claim. The entire Christian religion is based
on the truth of Jesus resurrection, which could not conflict with science more.

A look at the universe reveals it to be the work of a fairly incompetent engineer at best, as it took billions of

years of trial and painful error to reach its current state. A perfect designer would not require such a system. It

is also still riddled with a host of simple errors that are just what we would expect to see in a universe that

operates on a series of mindless rules, but that are just bizarre if a god created anything. These are things like

the existence of the appendix, babies heads being bigger than the birth canal, and the clunky nature of

DNA. Did you know that cancer and a whole host of other maladies are the result of a flaw in DNA

replication? What intelligent designer, let alone a competent one, would use a system that contains basic

flaws perceptible to even a moderately informed mortal? Additionally, why would god saturate the DNA chain

with junk DNA or place markers on the DNA chainthat help us monitor the evolution of DNA which inevitably

leads us to the conclusion that we have evolved?


And while there is obviously a what and a how to the universe, what evidence to we have that there is a who

and a why? We shall see that complexity/order does not require an intelligent hand, and the cosmos appears

devoid of any purpose relevant to humanity.


Order from disorder and the Law of Entropy

An argument that often comes up in an effort to disprove evolution is the Law of Entropy Argument(theyll often

refer to it as the Second Law of Thermodynamics argument). It will be advanced that the second law states

that all interactions produce more disorder than order, so for things to be ordered we would need interference

from a designer of some sort. However, this is not at all what the second law says. What the law really says is

that when a reaction occurs within a closed system (a system in which energy/mass remain fixed) then the

disordered energy will always be greater than the ordered energy. During such reactions, the disordered

energy is emitted into whats called dissipative systems. As long as the ordered energy is less than the

disordered energy, the second law is conserved.

A good example of this would be our atmosphere. Its pretty ordered its been there for millions of

years. However, the friction of the molecules contained therein creates heat that is then radiated into space as

disordered energy, giving us order in a closed system. Our solar system is another example. If you get a giant

cloud of hydrogen such that it hits a critical mass for gravity to take effect on it, it will compress into a young

star and possibly a new solar system (see the Jeans instability).

Religious people often, and

understandably, infer that where

there is order, there must be

design. However, this is not

necessarily true. The universe

produces order all by itself. Take

water as another example. What is

the natural state of water? Its

actually ice. If you thought it was

water, you only thought that

because we live in an area of

abundant energy. Energy is

required to keep water in a higher

state of disorder, rather than

greater order.

If you were to take almost all the energy out of the equation in dealing with water you would get ice

(specifically, ice crystals), the most complex form of water. Ice crystals are highly ordered, and we know

precisely what natural mechanisms create them. Nobody feels the need to invoke a crystal-making god to
explain them because we already have a complete understanding of the process; mindless forces operating

upon inanimate objects do the job just fine on their own.

Order out of chaos is easy to observe, and it is responsible for virtually every instance of complexity in the

universe. This is why if we were to find ourselves in a disordered universe, in which things were observed to

exist in a state of greater disorder rather than forming complex systems, we could conclude that something,

like a designer, was fiddling about. This is not what we observe.

Because we know that the universe produces order on its own, there is no need to appeal to god to explain it

since we know that complexity gets produced without intention all the time. Therefore design cannot be an

answer without evidence to support it. Without such evidence, its just a lack of imagination.
Abiogenesis

Abiogenesis is the science surrounding the origin of life. It is important that we are very specific on what we

mean when we say life in this context. Many religious people will assert that the odds of an operable strand

of DNA assembling on its own are so astronomical that we my as well consider it impossible (or more probable

that a god had a hand in it). However, this is not the question that should be asked. As we shall see, we only

need to be interested in the origin of a self-replicating molecule, which is highly probable in an early Earth.

The first DNA strand would not have held much information, but instead it would have held just enough to get it

started so it could evolve. It would need only an array of polypeptides, which biologists believe were plentiful in

the pre-biotic Earth. Of course, youd also need a little luck (however, spread out over a vast planet of similar

events, such a lucky event would become probable: go here and run a text search for lottery fallacy): you

would need fluctuations of temperature sufficient to remove portions of the pools from thermal equilibrium, and

these occur in just the same way that organized convection cycles arise naturally when water is heated. With

these things in place, as they likely were in the beginning stages of our planet 3.8 to 4.4 billion years ago, the

existence of a self-replicating molecule becomes very, very likely. [1]

Once the first self-replicating molecule gets started, it only needs evolution to take care of the rest. My post

defending the validity of evolution can be found here.


Outro

Contrary to what many creationists advance, the universe does not need a who or a why it appears to be

chugging along just fine with its mindless processes and inanimate objects. Also, note how differently science

and religion work. In science it is never noble to pretend to know things you do not. Yet, this is precisely what

the argument to design is: pointing to a piece of complexity weve yet to explain (or have already explained and

the creationist just doesnt know it) and claiming that because we currently lack an explanation that the believer

does know how that little piece of order came to be and dont you know, it was god. In doing so, they are

claiming to have knowledge about the cosmos that the collective battery of science lacks. Only in faith could

such pretension be praised.


[1] (Ricardo, Alonso; Szostak, Jack W.. Scientific American, Sep2009, Vol. 301 Issue 3, p54-61, 8p)
The twelve basic arguments for god #4: The
Fine-Tuning Argument
The fine-tuning argument is old, but its modern form usually comes from Lee Strobel and looks like this:
The physical constants of the universe are perfectly tuned to allow life, this could not happen by chance,
therefore the universe must be intelligently designed.

Where do these arguments come from?

These arguments of fine-tuning are typically dredged not


from the canon of scientific literature, which has been
subjected to the full critical force of the community of experts
in that field, but rather from web sites that are allowed to
publish whatever they wish without penalty for error. When a
scientist writes a paper that survives the tribulations of peer
review to eventual publication in a peer-review journal, it
enters into our collective scientific battery of
knowledge. Web sites, however, have no such checks
against sloppy science. It should reveal quite a bit about
those who bypass the scientists and go straight to the web sites.
The problem is that many web sites pretend to such standards while failing miserably many of them on
purpose. The goal for several such sites is to arm people with sciency sounding arguments that the reader
doesnt really understand, but that they can throw out in an attempt to cow their opponents who are equally
unfamiliar with those arguments.

Other times the creationist will cite people like Francis Collins or Michael Behe, who have degrees in science

or math, to defend their position. It is easy to point out that no papers on proof for gods existence from such

people has made it into peer-review (if such papers have even been submitted, which I doubt). Whether by

web site or by referencing the individual, the theist is purporting to place their trust in the hands of an expert:

which is an excellent and necessary step in forming a coherent world view (go here and read the section

Should we defer to experts?). However, when we are deferring to experts its important to make sure thats

what were actually doing. So often we confuse deferring to experts with ignoring the consensus of experts in

order to accept an unscrutinized opinion from a lone-expert that conforms to a position we are emotionally

attached to. It is here that we need to refine our understanding of acceptable sourcing.

What if I was arguing that a Flying Spaghetti Monster existed? Here are some experts assessing the likelihood

of His Noodley existence:


However, my views have been swayed by the substantial evidence that the earth and universe was actually
created relatively recently by the Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM). I am firmly convinced that the evidence
supporting this depiction of the origins of life, the universe, and everything has many of the trappings of
science ~ Sebastian Wren, Ph.D
One of the most exciting developments in fundamental physics in the last twenty years has been the

development of so-called String Theory. In String Theory, all fundamental sub-atomic particles are visualized

and described mathematically as microscopic vibrating strings. Although as yet unproven, many physicists

believe that String Theory has the potential to become the long-sought Theory of Everything, through which

the fundamental physical nature of all matter and forces will become understood. Obviously String Theory IS

correct, although misnamed (a secular humanist conspiracy perhaps?). As NOODLE Theory clearly

unambiguously reveals, He has created the fundamental subatomic particles that form all matter in this

universe in His own quivering image! You, me, the Earth, the starseverything in the universeare all built of

trillions of tiny jiggling noodles, microscopic copies of our Divine Saucy Maker. ~ Steve Lawrence, Ph.D

So why dont we believe these people, even though theyve got schnazzy letters after their names? Well, for

starters we dont believe them because the only place we can find their assessment of the Flying Spaghetti

Monsters existence is on a web site that has no culpability for error. With no scrutiny, you can say anything

you want on a web page or similar medium.

Consider these claims:


1. Heres 100 proofs the Earth is flat from a scholar.
2. Heres an abstract from a peer-review journal that shows the Earth to be 6,000 years old, as evidenced by
the way our magnetic fields recycle.

Why shouldnt a sane person buy either of them? There are many reasons.

1. Vague crediting
If you simply say, Heres what a scholar said, I have no means to go and check the sources validity. Your
source may be some wacko with a web page. Consider the first example above, the 100 proofs that the Earth
is flat from a scholar. That scholar was geologist William Carpenter, who wrote a book back in the 1800s that
even then was eviscerated by the scientific community. You can see who wrote it because I linked to the
article, but what if Id just quoted the article, attributed it to a scholar and called it good?

Recall my opening in which I express my frustration at having to point out the obvious. This is a mistake that a

freshman should not make.

2. Sources with no scrutiny


The process of peer-review determines the consensus of the experts. Nothing survives the grueling process
but the best and most well-supported ideas. This is the reason we shouldnt buy anything off sites like
Answers in Genesis, since they are posting their ideas in a medium that allows even the most ridiculous of
things (like a Flying Spaghetti Monster), rather than submitting them to the sharpened fangs of experts on the
subject.

Consider the second example above where I cite a peer review journal, but dont tell you what the journal

is. Had I not included a link, you would not have seen that the journal was Creation Science Quarterly, a

dubious publication to give its owners the impression of submission to peer-review, but which has been

ignored by the scientific community as a waste of time for its shoddy science (if you have an academic search

engine such as EBSCOhost, try finding an article from it).


There are several more easy ways to make sure that when youre deferring to the experts that you are actually
doing so, all as easy and common sense as the above.

It does no good to get into a link-war when there is no scrutiny paid to the scholarship of the links. I could

easily have a link-war defending the position that the Earth was flat, if that were the case. So when the theist

utilizes poor scholarship, simply point out that they are on their way to a good academic conclusion: they are

realizing that experts, not laymen like us, should be the deciding force in what science says. Then simply point

out that if they were to really listen to the experts, as they are insisting they are, that the experts in peer-review

are saying something completely different.


Shoddy design

The universe does not look fine-tuned to produce life. We exist on a teeny piece of dust that has an
atmosphere and orbits within our stars habitable zone. 99.9999999999999999 (and on and on, you get the
picture) percent of this universe is positively lethal to life. If the universe was designed to produce life, the
designer did a piss-poor job of it. Moreover, even our little spec of dust is contaminated with disease, natural
disasters, and toothy animals who would love to have us for dinner. This is awful design.

However, black holes thrive in a vacuum, and most of the matter in this universe goes toward feeding

them. There are far more black holes in the universe than grains of sand on the Earth. If you want to talk

about what this universe appears designed to do, it appears designed to produce black holes. In this sense, it

is as though mankind were a fly trapped in an air bubble on the bottom of the ocean. Were going to die in

short order due to the environment around us, unless we take matters into our own hands. In the mean time,

we can look at all the enormous fish floating around. It is at this point we must ask ourselves for whom

Neptune created the sea; for the fly or for the fish?*
We dont know what the universe would look like under different conditions

Nobody gets to say what could exist if the constants of the universe were to change because they are all

derived from each other. We dont, for instance, know what the fine-structure constant would look like if even

one of the variables were altered the strength of the electromagnetic charge would be almost impossible to

predict. If the electromagnetic charge is impossible to predict, then we cant know what chemistry would look

like under these different conditions. If we do not know what chemistry would look like, its impossible to

predict whether or not life would be possible. People who make the fine-tuning argument, who say that life or

whatever would be impossible, are claiming knowledge they do not have. That is not good science, and it is

something you will be punished for with a tremendous amount of shame if you try it in peer-review.

Even under different conditions, the universe would still look like something. It doesnt matter what the odds

are for this current configuration, some configuration is inevitable. Imagine if you could lay out plastic cups all

across the state of Nebraska and toss a ping pong ball out of an airplane as you flew over. Whichever cup it

landed in, Im sure the odds would be astronomicalbut somebody has to win the lottery in this case.

Consider gravity. Often youll hear the claim that if gravity were even slightly more or less powerful that life

could not exist. This is ludicrous. Gravity is about 10^-39 (a thousand billion billion billion billion) times weaker
than the electromagnetic force, so you have a lot of wiggle room here. In fact, the force of gravity is so weak

that it is irrelevant in determining molecular dynamics in all of our equations. In computer simulations dealing

with such material, we just leave it out.

They will also say that if any of the three remaining forces (electromagnetism, weak nuclear force, strong

nuclear force) were altered in the slightest that life would be impossible. Recent work in peer-review has

produced proof that a universe without the WNF, the second strongest of the fundamental forces, would look

very much like the one we currently live in.


Would life be impossible?

Careful wording in life would be impossible arguments usually refers to life as we know it. To say that life

would be impossible if any of the universal constants were different assumes that life could not exist in any

other configuration, which is knowledge that we do not have (why not silicon-based life, rather than

carbon?). We do have an undeniable mountain of evidence establishing that life conforms to the environment

around it over time (natural selection), but we have never once seen the environment mold itself to

accommodate life. As we understand it, the universe and the Earth existed long before life and therefore could

not have been molded to accommodate life, so this observation makes sense. The point here is that assuming

the universe was fine-tuned to us and not the other way around is probably not the best starting point.
Moreover, as I showed in the previous section, life as we know it would be possible in universes with varying
physical forces.
Mystery
Science is full of mysteries. There is so much we do not know about this gloriously complex universe. But in
science we acknowledge our mysteries for what they are: unknowns. Beautiful unknowns, but unknowns none
the less. In science we would never invoke a mystery as an answer, that would be foolish. Yet this is precisely
what the theist attempts to do with fine-tuning arguments. Even if science had nothing to say about the
formation of life, the appearance of the universe, etc, what does that mean? That god did it? Of course not. It
would just mean we didnt know.

Cases for the truth of a claim are not built by disproving (or in the case of creationists, impotently ragging on)

other ideas. They are built on positive evidence for that claim, like the kind you will universally find in peer-

reviewed science.

The twelve basic arguments for god #5: The


Cosmological Argument
The cosmological argument runs like this:
The universe must have had a beginning, and the Big Bang theory even proves that it does, and if time began,
only a personal being could have begun it (a natural cause would nullify the argument).

To set it up syllogistically
1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause
2. The universe began to exist
3. Therefore the universe has a cause

The above is the Kalam Cosmological Argument, and it has been run through the shredder by philosophers

repeatedly. William Lane Craig, one of the champions of Christian apologetics, loves this argument (it is

through him that most Christians who advance this argument came across it).

Lets dive in
Did our universe begin?

Yes, it did, at the Big Bang. But what can we deduce from this fact? If time and space did not begin to exist
before the Big Bang, then there was no time for god to do anything and no space for him to exist and do
anything in. If there was time and space before the Big Bang, then even if we had no idea what came before
the Big Bang, that doesnt mean that god is the automatic winner. The academically honest thing to do would
be to admit ignorance until we do know. However, we are slowly crawling our way past Plancks Wall.

The problem is that we cant reliably see what happens before the Big Bang at this time. We can do just fine at

T=+10^-43 (the smallest fraction of a second after the Big Bang, also called a Planck Unit. Gohere to get a

decent grasp of how big a Planck Unit is), but at T=0 were required to do a lot of division by zero, which

means physicists are kind of hosed when it comes to figuring out what happened there. This means that going

after T<0 is downright impossible given the math we presently have to work with.

However, this may be changing. Recently with Loop Quantum Gravity, we have produced workable models

that do take us back to T=0 and reveal a universe before ours that condensed and bounced back out (New

Scientist; 7/7/2007, Vol. 194 Issue 2611, p16-16, 1/2p). Another feasible explanation for what occurred before

T=0 is Brane Theory (AIP Conference Proceedings; 2004, Vol. 743 Issue 1, p410-416, 7p).
All pre-Big Bang ideas are still being tested, but thats the whole point they can be tested. They all predict

certain ways that the early universe would behave that can be compared to observable reality. Take

multiverse theory, for instance. Did you know that when you smash atoms together in a reactor it produces the

same ratio of particles every single time? Did you also know that we have established that the ratio of particles

produced by the Big Bang is the same ratio as when we smash atoms? This suggests that a Big Bang type of

event is naturally what happens when enough matter is crushed under enough pressure (like, say, in the

trillions of black holes in the universe). Of course, since nothing can escape a black hole, these events would

have to occur inward into another pocket of space-time (hence multiverse). If this system is true, the

universe could very well be infinitely old.

So even though our universe began, there are far more plausible explanations in terms of science than a god.
Infinite regression

This is often used to establish that our universe had a beginning without the theist realizing that it favors a
naturalistic outcome. The idea here is that if you assume that everything has a cause then you get into a
regression of asking what caused x? What caused the thing that caused x? What caused the thing that
caused the thing that caused x? And so on and so forth. Eventually you just get to the point where you say
that this regression goes on forever, which theyll say is impossible, or that something simply always existed.

Now if we take the second conclusion, that something always existed, why does that lead to god? We know

that the universe produces amazingly complex order all by itself with no appeal to god being necessary. So if

something always existed, why not matter and the laws of physics? This would be even more probable since

we know those things to exist already. If we get it down to a conclusion that something always existed, either

god who created matter and the laws of physics, or just matter and the laws of physics, Occams Razor makes

god a superfluous variable and the latter explanation more probably true.
Does everything that exists have a cause?
No.

This is the very first premise of the cosmological argument and it is advanced on the idea that it is plainly

perceptible through common sense. One should note though, that it is precisely that type of reasoning that

suggests the Earth is flat or that stars only exist at night.

Physical events at the subatomic level are observed to have no evident cause. Examples include an atom at

an excited energy level dropping to a lower level and emitting a photon and the decay of a radioactive

nucleus. In fact, the majority of an atom, the building blocks of matter, are a matter of virtual particles

fluctuating in and out of existence without any apparent cause. And if our current experiments with the LHC

turn out the way we think they will, it will mean have even larger implications on things occurring without

perceptible causation. These type of things are the whole reason we have acquired a very firm understanding

of probabilistic causes using statistical distributions of possible outcomes.

So why does science operate under cause and effect? Because at the macro level this is how things work,

even if they dont at the quantum level. Our inability to combine general relativity with quantum mechanics has

been the main problem keeping science from marching past Plancks wall. Even Einstein himself tried to

reconcile the two and failed. It is as a solution to this conundrum that Loop Quantum Gravity was conceived.
Could a universe come from nothing?

Yes.

The theist often asks the pointed question, Why is there something rather than nothing? The easy response

is, Why is non-existence a more natural state than existence? or Why is there a god rather than nothing?

Now take a moment and think about nothing. Does it have qualities? If nothing has qualities, doesnt that

make it a something? Physicists therefore tend to define nothing as as simple as you can get. But we know

that simplicity is unstable in this universe, naturally moving towards complexity. Nobel laureate Frank Wilczek

took this through to its natural conclusion by saying, The answer ot the ancient question Why is there

something rather than nothing? would then be that nothing is unstable. In short, the natural state of things is

to have something rather than nothing.

Whats more, in a no boundary universe, physicists have calculated the odds of something existing rather than
nothing, and it is over 60% (Stenger, The Comprehensible Cosmos, supplement H.).
For a full explanation on the nature of nothing and why our universe could originate from nothing,watch this

lecture by leading cosmological physicist Lawrence Krauss.


Outro

The first premise of the cosmological argument, that everything which comes into existence has a cause, is not

true. The whole argument crumbles after that.

I realize that science is counter-intuitive at times. Its important to understand that our newest, most

exhilarating ideas are derived using the same methods that you trust to make your cell phone work or to make

airplanes fly. You likely do not understand the laws of electromagnetism operant in making your computer

monitor work, but you realize that the experts do. Yet, for the believer, they stop trusting the same experts

when it comes to cosmology, often in deference to what a group of people ignorant of almost all human

discovery decided to scribble down in the desert thousands of years ago. This misappropriation of trust

seems, for lack of a better word, miraculous.