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Is There Really a God? Does God Exist?


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Many people wrestle with the profound question about the existence of God. In this slideshow, Dr. Boa unpacks some key arguments for His existence.

Published in: Spiritual
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Is There Really a God? Does God Exist?

  1. 1. 1 Is There Really a God? © Dr. Ken Boa and Bill Ibsen 2007. All Rights Reserved. 1
  2. 2. 2 Maybe - Agnosticism 2 Three Options Is There Really a God? No - Atheism Yes - Theism
  3. 3. 3 Is There Really a God? Option I: God Does Not Exist Option II: God May Exist Option III: God Does Exist What About Evolution? 3
  4. 4. 4 Option I: God Does Not Exist 4
  5. 5. 55 All Knowledge My Knowledge
  6. 6. 66 Feb. 2007 “Thousands of new species found”
  7. 7. 77 What Do We Know? We use only a small percentage of our total mental capacity 100% of our mental capacity is a paltry fraction of 100% of all knowledge Unreasonable: “I know that God does not exist” Statement requires omniscience to confirm
  8. 8. 88
  9. 9. 9 no god = no meaning 9 Your birth, life, and death Nothingness Nothingness Nothingness Time
  10. 10. 1010 Implications of No God An atheistic cosmos denies any meaning, value, or purpose Man is merely “dust in the wind” All is meaningless awaiting the eventual endless cosmic night
  11. 11. 1111 Implications of No God No basis for morality (right/wrong; good/bad) Man is the product of an accidental combination of molecules in an impersonal universe Honesty, brotherhood, love have no more cosmic significance than treachery, selfishness, hatred, and prejudice
  12. 12. 1212 Implications of No God No basis for human purpose An impersonal universe is bereft of purpose or plan Moves only toward decay, disorder, and death It is Macbeth’s “tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” Human aspirations are mocked by silence
  13. 13. 13 Living Consistently Few have come to grips with the logical implications of atheism No atheist can live consistently with these implications All of us act as though human existence has meaning, purpose, and dignity Presupposes an infinite-personal Creator If God is dead, man is as good as dead 13
  14. 14. 14 Option II: God May Exist 14
  15. 15. 15 Agnosticism: An Intellectual Virtue? 15 Has science rendered God unnecessary? Some view agnosticism as an intellectual virtue “A man persuaded against his will is of the same opinion still”
  16. 16. 16 “Proof” What kind of proof? How much proof? Scientific proof demands a repeatable and controllable experiment 16
  17. 17. 1717 “I didn’t see any God out there” - Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin
  18. 18. 1818 Knowledge Unattainable by Science Knowledge residing outside the scope of scientific inquiry: Historical knowledge Philosophical knowledge Moral knowledge Aesthetic knowledge Personal knowledge Religious knowledge
  19. 19. 19 Verdicts in Courts of Law Based upon legal historical proof, not scientific proof A preponderance of credible evidence in civil cases Conviction “beyond a reasonable doubt” in criminal cases Not “beyond a shadow of a doubt” 100% proof is rarely attainable Goal: sufficient evidence, not exhaustive evidence 19
  20. 20. 20 Sufficient Evidence Direct evidence of the senses Indirect evidence of cause/effect A sufficient cause must exist to account for the effects of the natural universe: Order and design Personal beings Morality 20
  21. 21. 21 The Most Basic Philosophical Question “Why is there something rather than nothing?” “Why does anything exist at all?” 21 Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz (1646 - 1716) Jean-Paul Sartre (1905 - 1980)
  22. 22. 22 The “If Proposition” If anything now exists, something must be eternal, or else something not eternal must have emerged from nothing. 22 Whirlpool Galaxy and NGC 5195
  23. 23. 23 The “If Proposition” Only four possible answers to the “If Proposition”: The universe is an illusion The universe is eternal The universe emerged from nothing The universe was created by an eternal Being 23 Whirlpool Galaxy and NGC 5195
  24. 24. 24 1. The Universe is an Illusion This position is self-defeating; lacks rational coherence “It is an objective fact that there are no facts” “This sentence is incorrect” This position lacks factual correspondence It requires rejecting all evidence from the five senses No one can live consistently with this position 24
  25. 25. 2525 Jim Carrey, The Truman Show, 1998
  26. 26. 2626 2. The Universe is Eternal If true, then the universe accounts for its own existence Not contingent because it is infinitely old Scientifically this position is now unacceptable Cosmogony Hydrogen 2nd Law of Thermodynamics Physical evidence of decay
  27. 27. 2727 present time average energy + mass equivalence density The First Law of Thermodynamics
  28. 28. 2828 present time average (useful) energy + mass equivalence density The Second Law of Thermodynamics
  29. 29. 2929 t₀ present time average (useful) energy + mass equivalence density The First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics
  30. 30. 30 Scientific Reasons Why the Universe is not Eternal The Big Bang The abundance of hydrogen The irreversible decay of the universe Not absolute proof; but a contrary position goes against all the physical evidence 30 Enhanced Colors of the Moon
  31. 31. 31 3. The Universe Emerged from Nothing Absurd: Nothing comes from nothing Effects cannot exist without causes 31 Orion Nebula in Mapped Color
  32. 32. 32 4. The Universe was Created By an Eternal Being Only remaining option if the universe is real, not eternal, and caused Universe is an effect contingent upon a cause beyond itself The only sufficient cause is an eternal and necessary Being Someone or something incapable of not being, whether or not anything else exists Infinite regression of causes God is eternal and self-existent 32 Leo I Dwarf Galaxy
  33. 33. 33 Option III: God Does Exist 33
  34. 34. 34 Q uickTim e™ and a TI FF ( Uncom pr essed) decom pr essor ar e needed t o see t his pict ur e. Argument from the Cosmos 34 Cause/effect reasoning concluding the natural universe points beyond itself to an eternal Being for the cause of its existence “Cosmological” argument for the existence of God Based upon evidence from the whole cosmos Abell Cluster of Galaxies, 13 billion light years away
  35. 35. 35 Some Kind of Eternal Being Exists Is this Being personal or impersonal? Narrow focus from universe to specific creation What cause is sufficient to explain the effects of: Order and design in the universe? The personality of man? The moral consciousness of man? 35
  36. 36. 36 Cosmological Argument Favors a Personal Cause Why would an eternal, impersonal cause produce an effect (our universe) a finite time ago? Impersonal causes don’t have a will Only a personal Being could choose to create a universe a limited time ago 36 Galaxies NGC 2207 and IC 2163 Triangulum Galaxy
  37. 37. 37 Argument from Design 37 “Teleological” argument for the existence of God “telos” = end, goal Science is built upon the order and predictability of the universe Design implies a designer We think teleologically in all areas of life Chameleon Tongue Striking a Grasshopper - a purposeful, well-designed eating mechanism
  38. 38. 3838 Complexity is Always Evidence of a Designer
  39. 39. 39 Absurdity of Atheistic Evolution Chaos produced order Lifeless matter produced life Chance produced intelligence Accidents produced purpose Randomness produced information Philosophically absurd positions “Natural selection” is the substitute god 39
  40. 40. 40 Anthropological Argument 40 Evidence for the personality of the Creator is man’s personality Personality: man’s intellect, emotion, and will Cause/effect: The impersonal has no ability to think, feel, or choose - how can it cause conscious, personal beings?
  41. 41. 41 Argument from Thought 41 The human mind cannot be the product of an impersonal process A self-defeating argument Human thought transcends the brain and material world Thought about the future, and about the process of thinking about the future
  42. 42. 42 Argument from Aesthetics 42 A personal God is the only adequate explanation of the universal aesthetic experience in man Universal awareness/appreciation of beauty is not reducible to mechanical response to sensory input Aesthetic capacity transcends the material world Impersonal force is insufficient to create this transcendent quality Butterfly Wing
  43. 43. 43 Argument from Morality 43 Moral consciousness requires a personal God to have any ultimate meaning Universal human phenomenon Criticism of anything betrays an objective moral standard Exclusive moral foundation is the changeless character of the personal Creator
  44. 44. 44 Summary - What Provides Sufficient Cause for the Universe? An eternal, personal, and ethical God is the only sufficient cause of: The universe Order and design within the universe The personality of man No one can live consistently with a philosophy that rules out meaning, value, and purpose in life Not absolute proof, but sufficient proof beyond a reasonable doubt 44
  45. 45. 45 The Foolishness of Agnosticism Agnosticism = non-decision If God exists, agnosticism is eternally unwise Gains nothing and loses everything Biblically, agnosticism isn’t the process of reserving judgment, but suppressing truth 45
  46. 46. 46 "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened" (Romans 1:20-21) 46 "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them" (Romans 1:18-19) A moral, not merely intellectual issue: External, not merely internal evidence:
  47. 47. 47 The Proper Response "And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him" (Hebrews 11:6). Faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ, the Creator of the cosmos, the divine Word: "No man has seen God at any time; the only begotten God, who is in the bosom of the Father. He has explained Him" (John 1:18) 47
  48. 48. 48 Summary Atheism is unreasonable because it requires omniscience If no God, then no ultimate purpose, value, or meaning Weight of evidence is in favor of theism, not agnosticism Applying cause/effect reasoning to the universe, order and design in the universe, and the personality of man The universe is not eternal, therefore contingent on an eternal Being This Being must be personal; impersonal Being cannot create human thought or morality Jesus Christ is the clearest manifestation of God in human history 48
  49. 49. 49 What About Evolution? 49
  50. 50. 50 Nontheistic Evolutionary Model 50 Nonliving systems generated life by means of time plus chance Microevolution (small changes) leads to macroevolution (large changes) Philosophical problem: makes the effects greater than the causes
  51. 51. 51 Nontheistic Evolutionary Model Problem: Effects and Causes 51 Effects: Complexity Life • Intelligence • Personality • Causes: • Disorder
  52. 52. 52 Scientific Problems with Nontheistic Evolution No workable mechanism accounting for the first living cell No workable mechanism accounting for highly complex living systems (e.g. human brain) 52 Stem cell
  53. 53. 53 Chemical Production of a First Living Cell Would Require a Statistical Miracle 1. Random atoms must be formed into amino acids 2. Amino acids must link together to form chains (polypeptides) 3. Polypeptide chains must become long and form a precisely ordered sequence (20 kinds of amino acids) 4. More complex proteins must be produced 5. Very long and highly ordered molecular chains (DNA) must be formed 6. An enormously complex chemical factory must be produced 53
  54. 54. 54 Q uickTim e™ and a TI FF ( Uncom pr essed) decom pr essor ar e needed t o see t his pict ur e. 54
  55. 55. 5555 Factory Complexity
  56. 56. 56 The Improbability of Information by Chance “Give me a million monkeys over a million years, and they’ll be able to write Shakespeare’s Tempest!” - George Bernard Shaw Shaw 56
  57. 57. 57 # of 4-Letter Words in Sequence 1 2 3 4 Time ~12 Second s ~ 5 Days ~ 100 Years ~ 100 Billion Years 57 The Improbability of Information by Chance
  58. 58. 5858 Primordial Soup Theory Ultraviolet Light Oxygen-free Atomosphere
  59. 59. 5959
  60. 60. 60 Hypothetical Primordial Soup in Ideal Conditions 60 Amino Acid Bond Chances Dipeptide 1 in 100 Tripeptide 1 in 10,000 Polypeptide of 10 amino acids 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000,000 (100 quintillion)
  61. 61. 61 Amino Acids Come in Left and Right-Handed Forms 61 One right-handed amino acid will destroy this entire chain Chances for a chain of 400 left-handed amino acids (Coming up tails 400 times in a row) 1 in 10120
  62. 62. 62 Q uickTim e™ and a TI FF ( LZW) decom pr essor ar e needed t o see t his pict ur e. Letters 4- Letter Alphabet Chapter Book Word Sentence 62
  63. 63. 63 Q uickTim e™ and a TI FF ( Uncom pr essed) decom pr essor ar e needed t o see t his pict ur e. Cellular Factory Consists of 10 million million atoms 63
  64. 64. 64 Q uickTim e™ and a TI FF ( Uncom pr essed) decom pr essor ar e needed t o see t his pict ur e. Cell: High-Tech Factory Artificial languages and decoding systems Memory banks: info storage and retrieval Control systems: regulating auto self-assembly Assembly processes involving prefabrication and modular construction Complete self-replication of its entire structure within a few hours! 64
  65. 65. 65 Every Chemical Reaction is Reversible 65 Q uickTim e™ and a TI FF ( Uncom pr essed) decom pr essor ar e needed t o see t his pict ur e. A polypeptide bond of 4 amino acids can easily break down in to 4 separate amino acids
  66. 66. 66 Second Law of Thermodynamics 66 All natural processes cause a net increase in entropy (disorder) and a net loss of useful energy Any system left to itself will decay and degenerate Protein-building requires pre-existing machinery capable of translating raw energy into highly organized forms Life only comes from life; complexity only from complexity Spontaneous generation of life goes against all experience and evidence
  67. 67. 67 Design Requires a Designer 67 “Teleology is a lady without whom no biologist can exist; yet he is ashamed to be seen with her in public”
  68. 68. 6868 The End
  69. 69. 6969 Reflections Ministries Resources Reflections - A free monthly teaching letter website - Daily Growth email and free text and audio resources
  70. 70. 7070 - Audio/visual presentations of crucial topics - $20 each - Call 800-DRAW NEAR (800-372-9632) DVD Series
  71. 71. KENBOA.ORG Kenneth Boa ken_boa