I don’t understand religion part 923

How can a person hold these two thoughts in their head?

1. The universe is too complex to simply exist, it must have been created

2. God, something so complex it can create and control universes, doesn’t require a creator

It seems to me that you can have two viewpoints that are internally consistent.  You can believe either:

1. Complicated things can exist without a creator, allowing the possibility of a universe without a creator and the possibility of God or

2. Everything complicated requires a creator, demanding a creator of the universe but denying the possibility of God at the same time

I just had this question with someone who is not a stupid person.  I know that atheist readers sometimes have difficulty grasping that not stupid people can believe in God, I myself have that difficulty at times, but I just cannot understand the complete lack of logic there.  Not only that, but the inability of the person in question to grasp the logic fail of saying that “everything must have a cause, except God” which means that not everything must have a cause, which means there’s no need for God.

Here is a place where it is laid out in much fuller detail, but if anyone can explain to me how those two thoughts exist inside the head of a not stupid person, please do, because he sure couldn’t.

I don’t understand religion part 923

9 thoughts on “I don’t understand religion part 923

  1. 1

    Yeah, if you really wanna bang your head against a table go check out any debate with William Lane Craig. You will hear an incredibly smart and well educated man making some of the worst arguments you’ll ever hear.

    The best I ever heard anyone put it was “Intelligant people are very good at rationalizing things they came to believe for unintelligant reasons.”

    1. 2.1

      I don’t think it does though. I mean, you can believe that it’s possible for the universe to have existed without a creator and still believe that there’s a creator. Like, I could believe that it’s possible that a perfectly round stone wasn’t created by people, but that this one I’m holding was. You can allow a possibility without believing it.

      I believe the universe exists without a proximate cause, which means that I believe that it is possible for something complex to exist without cause, which means that I must grant the possibility that God came into being or existed forever without a cause. I can think it very very unlikely that that is possible, and think that as something much more complex than the universe, it is even less likely that a god could exist, but I have to grant the fact that if it’s possible for something to come from nothing, that something could be anything, god or universe or whatever. I think god is a stupid idea that is unnecessary and doesn’t make sense, but I don’t think that god must have a creator.

  2. 3

    I’m not quite sure of your standpoint.

    Creationists say that the universe is too complex to have happened by accident, so it must have been created by god. But god, to have created the universe, must be more complex than the universe and has to exist on a higher level. Thus, something even more complex must have created him. And so on.

    Like all fundamentalist arguments, intelligent design does not hold up to logical scrutiny.

    1. 3.1

      Creationists say that anything complex needs a creator, except god. If god doesn’t need a creator, not everything complex needs a creator. If not everything complex needs a creator, the universe doesn’t need a creator.

      But yes, essentially, if something had to create the universe, something had to create god, and something had to create that something ad nauseum. No matter what, you get to a point where something had to have come into being without a creator.

  3. 5

    What about God is complex in the same way the universe is complex? I think there is quite a bit of equivocation going on here. God as a being is quite simple. Non-physical entities are not complex as a physically ordered entity.

    There is no contradiction if we make the distinction. When theists make the claim the universe is too complex to not have been designed (which is the actual claim, not that it is so complex it must have been created). The laws of physics do not have to be what they are. There are dozens/hundreds of physical constants and laws which must be what they are, but din’t have to be in order to sustain life in the universe.

    When theists say God is complex, they are usually talking about being able to understand God–His nature, His reasons for things, etc. It’s not the same “complex” that is being talked about.

    1. 5.1

      I don’t think it’s equivocation, it’s specification that was not given.

      You’re saying what should have been said was complex physical things need a creator, but complex metaphysical things do not. This particular religious friend, doesn’t make design claims perhaps because he believes in the big bang, but simply thinks there must necessarily have been something to cause the big bang, and that something must have had intention.

      I do not understand why physics is considered more complex or more in need of a designer than an all-knowing, all-powerful, creator god capable of intervening in human affairs and changing things with his supernatural powers in addition to having changeable emotion, intent, goals and other consciousness. As something that can effect physical things and manifest itself into physical forms, I don’t understand how it is not at least partially physical or how it is less complex than the universe.

      The laws of physics do not have to be what they are, but the only way we could exist to observe them is if they were. Millions of other universes may exist, but this is the only one whose rules we can observe and is, necessarily, one in which the rules allow for us. And, as research continues, it’s possible that those physical laws may be determined entirely by the behavior of one thing, meaning one rule dictates all the others. So it wasn’t a complex set of rules, just one.

  4. 6

    “non-physical entities” are not complex because they are fabricated by human imagination.

    “When theists make the claim the universe is too complex to not have been designed (which is the actual claim, not that it is so complex it must have been created).”

    That’s the same thing.

    The creationist/ID argument, then, is that the universe is the way it is and not some other way. Because it’s not some other way, god exists?

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