From A Popular Defense of the Bible and Christianity
“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Heb. 11:6)
I once had a lively discussion with a borderline agnostic/atheist who said that he did not dismiss the idea that God existed…but that to believe and have faith he needed more objective, foolproof evidence for the existence of God and the truth of the Bible and Christianity.
In pondering our talk afterwards, I thought of all of the evidences that are out there in the observable world…easily accessible through commonsense contemplation…that in the hands of a skilled litigator in a courtroom…for example…would not only convince most jurors of the existence of God…but also of the divine origin of the Bible and its message.
There are dozens of categories of very persuasive arguments for the existence of God…many of which contain the obvious “miracles” we experience and see all around us…that we accept as “normal” and take totally for granted.
A few of these obvious, commonsense evidences might be the “miracle” of sexuality…or digestion…or our respiratory system…our constant heartbeat…or our balanced and symmetrical locomotion and motor skills…or the generally brilliant assembly and integration of all of our body parts…all of which shout-out for ingenious design rather than random chance assemblage.
Another obvious evidence for the existence of an intelligent designer God…easily accessible to ordinary, commonsense consideration…is the universal cuteness of any infant—a human toddler, a lion cub, a Labrador puppy, a baby elephant, young ducklings swimming after their mother in a pond…displaying the most sublimely complex and artistic information content in action…yet totally inexplicable and unnecessary under a Darwinian naturalistic framework…having no survival-of-the-fittest value whatsoever…but otherwise easily recognizable as a product of intentional, whimsical, premeditated design.
Certainly the mystery of the origin of human speech and the natural inclination of youngsters to acquire, understand, and accurately differentiate subtle concepts in language and communication…at a phenomenal rate of speed…is a reality far too complex and incredibly integrated to be lightly and uncritically accepted as the result of gradualistic, chance descent-with-modification…rather than conscious, deliberate design at a brilliantly creative, extremely advanced level.
In sports…our incredible facility to be able to play professional ice hockey in the NHL…to run back the opening kick-off 100 yards for a touchdown in college football…to hit a 95-mph fastball 400 feet over the left-field fence for a homerun in baseball…to play tennis, ping-pong, badminton, volleyball, run the 100-meter sprint in track & field, run a marathon, compete in the Tour de France bicycling race, surf the Pipeline on the North Shore in Hawaii, and score a goal in World Cup soccer…these amazing human activities we tend to take for granted.
Yet these are physical acuities that are so advanced, so complex, so finely tuned, and so functionally integrated…that to ascribe their origin to blind, mindless, indifferent, naturalistic, trial-and-error processes as asserted in the theory of Darwinian evolution…when we see and observe nothing incrementally progressive or transitional in a major, creative sense anywhere in the natural world…currently or in the course of natural history…seems on its face to be nonsensical.
Certainly the existence of the moral framework that permeates all of the social interactions between people…which we take totally for granted… needs explanation.
Such things as romantic love, friendship, loyalty, bravery, humor, forgiveness, standing up for the right thing even when it costs us something, giving value to other people through respect…and the flip-side—lying, cheating, prejudice, selfishness, injustice, and evil…in the hands of a skilled debater could be persuasively argued to be far beyond the creative naturalistic reach of material particles and energy…given that particles and energy demonstrate no observable capacity for creating complex and functionally integrated systems, concepts, or information.
Add to this the mind-boggling Age of Information explosion of the last two or three decades…in which intelligence has been linked to the origin of information wherever we find complex and functionally integrated systems in human creations…in computer software language codes, literary books of every genre, and inventions of every type.
This corresponds to the information-rich systems we find in the natural world such as the Big Bang creation of the universe, the fine-tuning of the mathematical constants in the laws of science that enable the existence of complex life like ourselves—in the Anthropic Principle, the sudden appearance of new complex life-forms during the Cambrian Explosion, the complexity of information in the DNA code, the orderliness and the intelligibility of the laws of science, the integrated homeostatic systems in the human body, and the intricate body-plan architectures and lifestyle habits of every living creature…to name only a few examples.
Curiously, in the area of the fine arts…we see the seemingly universal necessity of the finale-outcome of good overcoming evil…of the “good” cowboys wearing white hats rounding up the “bad” cowboys wearing black hats…fundamental as a satisfying through-line within the storyline fabric of movies, theater plays, and books.
Oddly this comes from a modern popular culture that otherwise…outwardly at least…claims to avoid the acknowledgment of the concept of biblical sin…the universal imperfection we all share…and that we all try to minimize and to overcome.
How can the existence and complexity of good and evil…sliced-and-diced in every which way in enumerable, fictional storyline settings and conditions…of unending fascination and interest to the human psyche…how can the plausible explanation for the existence of this complex reality…be the sole product of material particles and energy…according to the philosophical worldview of naturalism?
The classic truism that “if we were all angels, we would not need laws and government”…separates human beings from the rest of the living natural world by the unbridgeable and distinctively discontinuous gap of moral reasoning.
The mere existence of the word forgiveness in our vocabulary and in our dictionary argues for a transcendent capacity for moral reasoning and intellectual judgment far above the rest of the natural living world.
The origin of the concept of falling short of some independent standard of behavior and thinking…requiring us to ask forgiveness from other people we have harmed or offended…in a materialistic Darwinian worldview…has no survival-of-the-fittest value.
It is difficult to theoretically ascribe to the capacity of material particles and energy…the advanced potential for creating sophisticated, intellectually functional end-points such as forgiveness from one person to another…in the highly advanced and complex reality of moral reasoning and interpersonal relationships.