I wrote the other day about why I choose not to believe in god. I received an interesting response, which I include here in its entirety:
I’m going to guess that you are probably not quite a hundred years old, so in the geologic scale of time we don’t even appear on the radar. If your brain were a computer hard drive storing information you’ve gleaned for that hundred years period of living, that knowledge base stacked against the unknowns appears pretty skimpy grounds for make absolute pronouncements about what you think exist or not. Google around the web and see if you don’t find that at the invisible scale of sub-atomic quantum particles, literally all the things that Jesus is purported to have done are repeated counted quadrillion, quadrillion times minutely; which is to say what we think of as miracle is actually the fabric of the universe. In order to study it, scientists have to forget about all they have learned and know about our world at the human scale of life.
It is, I think significance to note that the first time that God introduced himself by name to man, he did not even refer to himself as what we might think or even make up stories by our knowledge base to represent; he introduced himself not as the personal “who”, but “what” as in stuff…sentient stuff…stuff that lives. He made man out of the dust so that shouldn’t really be a surprise. “I AM THAT I AM”. That’s about as much as the human flea brain can process about what God really is. He assumed our form so we could relate to him in terms of mortal human dynamics, and we’ve presumed that that’s what he is. We’ve missed all the little clues he left even in his name the Almighty; that’s not just strength to push things around. A better understanding is what Jesus said he is: LIGHT—not just knowledge to enlighten minds but electro-magnetic radiation. He demonstrated both of them in his transfiguration (changing of phase) where he shined in greater strength of candlepower than the sun itself, at the same time proving to be the life of mans spirit, his fundamental core being.
Say my assertions that God is real, and it turns out that he’s not; all that makes me is the local village idiot, and like all else I’ll just go floating about as so much cosmic dust. If your assertions however, that he’s not real proves otherwise that doesn’t just make you a poor gambler, the operative word here would be a fool. Now you could call all this just so much word salad and all, but what’s just another gamble to you.
Here is my response:
There are three logical fallacies I see here. The first is what I like to call the “quantum theory” fallacy. You take one facet quantum theory, namely Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principal, and apply it as it should not, and does, not apply. Just because anything many be possible given the uncertainty of quantum mechanics, doesn’t, by default, mean that it has to have happened. Also, these random things that you suppose gave Jesus his miraculous powers, are just that, random and also, uncontrollable. They just happen on their own.
Next, you make a false assumption; that the Bible is an authoritative work. There is nothing to support the devine nature of the Bible. If anything, biblical scholarship over the past hundren years or so show that the Bible is a book written by many authors over the course of hundreds, if not thousands, of years. It had many sources and has many contradictions.
Finally, your conclusion is an example of Pascal’s Wager, which basically sates that even if the evidence doesn’t support the existence of god, you should believe in him just in case he does. I don’t buy it and refuse to take it. It is no different than saying that I should believe in Santa Clause or the Tooth Fairy, even though their is no evidence that they do exist (and reason is against it, even though you can come up with dozens of arguments for it), just incase they do so that I don’t miss out on the presents or the quarters that I might gain if I did believe.
There is one other logical fallacy that I see here; Special Pleading. You try to assert that your case for your belief in god, is somehow special and should have a special status due to the reasons you suggest. Your hypothesis is not supported by any evidence that can reasonably be tested or falsified. If you want to get a better idea of what it takes to show that a hypothesis warrants being considered a valid theory that reliably explains the universe in which we live, see my post about astrology and the scientific method.
This is a good example of the special pleading and other logical fallacies that believers in all superstitious ideas use to try to buttress their beliefs. The fact is that their arguments, as given, are unfalsifiable, and any hypothesis which is unfalsifiable does not have be considered at all.