Saturday, July 21, 2012

6 Reasons to Believe in God - Reason 3 - Uniform Laws


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Lately, I've been deconstructing a webpage that describes six reasons to believe in God. I first saw it as an ad, and decided to look into it.

My prior posts are:
Today's Reason - #3 - is The Laws of the Universe are Uniform
3. Does God exist? The universe operates by uniform laws of nature. Why does it? 
Much of life may seem uncertain, but look at what we can count on day after day: gravity remains consistent, a hot cup of coffee left on a counter will get cold, the earth rotates in the same 24 hours, and the speed of light doesn't change -- on earth or in galaxies far from us.
How is it that we can identify laws of nature that never change? Why is the universe so orderly, so reliable? 
"The greatest scientists have been struck by how strange this is. There is no logical necessity for a universe that obeys rules, let alone one that abides by the rules of mathematics. This astonishment springs from the recognition that the universe doesn't have to behave this way. It is easy to imagine a universe in which conditions change unpredictably from instant to instant, or even a universe in which things pop in and out of existence." 
Richard Feynman, a Nobel Prize winner for quantum electrodynamics, said, "Why nature is mathematical is a mystery...The fact that there are rules at all is a kind of miracle."
Oy!
Color me astonished! It's another Argument from Ignorance!

Once again, the author doesn't bother to tie in the statements back into a coherent argument, but I can probably complete that thought for him:
We don't know why we have laws of the universe, therefore, God did it!
I don't know that I have a whole lot to say about this. The author asks a bunch of questions, which are decent questions, actually. But, somehow, magically, the author goes from having questions to ... and that's a reason to believe in God! There's no evidence, no data, nothing - just a giant leap from asking some questions to magically having an answer.
Richard Feynman, a Nobel Prize winner for quantum electrodynamics, said, "Why nature is mathematical is a mystery...The fact that there are rules at all is a kind of miracle."
I don't know how much the author is emphasizing "miracle" here, but Feynman was an atheist. It's more likely that he was using it in the cultural context, and not a religious one. The author may be making an Equivocation Fallacy here between "miracle" meaning "very unlikely" and "miracle" meaning "divine intervention".

Recap

This argument has no meat. The entire section is talking about how we don't know why the universal laws are consistent (which is true), so I guess apparently it's okay to insert the answer of one's preference?

The fact we currently don't know doesn't mean we won't. I just means we don't know now.

The author is asserting that God is the answer. How does the author intend on demonstrating this assertion?

Grade: F-

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