Last week I posted a response to an email titled “God Is Real” by an apologetics book author. Mr. Chacon has written back, and I include my reply below.
Hi Samuel, thanks for writing back.
A lack of knowledge and understanding of spirit energy and mind control has been the cause of problems in the world. Atheists like you are doing more good to save the world than all the Popes, Bishops and Archbishops that have ever lived. Atheists are forcing people to be scientific, like God, and, eventually, prove there is a god. If people cannot convince atheists that god is real, they cannot prove it to themselves. Many young Christians are leaving their church after finishing high school because the Bible is confusing and they do not understand God. History tells us that more people have died because of what the Bible says than for any other reason.
I acknowledge and appreciate the implied flattery. However, I feel your conclusion is off the mark. Yes, I am in favor of encouraging scientific inquiry and critical thinking. My observation, though, is that as the amount of scientific knowledge has increased worldwide, belief in God has fallen, and there is (from my point of view) a direct correlation there. The more scientific training a person has, the less likely they are to accept the existence of God as an explanation for natural processes. A 2009 Pew survey revealed that while 83% of the general public believes in God, only 33% of professional scientists do. Furthermore, in this 1998 study, it was revealed that only 7% of the members of the National Academy of Sciences — i.e., top tier scientists — have a belief in any God.
This doesn’t seem to bear out your claim that science is somehow proving that there is a God. I would also dispute your claim that young Christians are leaving the church because they don’t understand the message in the Bible. On the contrary, religious belief was far more widespread before the Protestant reformation, when people were encouraged to listen unquestioningly to priests and not read the Bible at all. Religious belief throughout the world has continued to contract as our understanding has grown. If science is supportive of your claims, why do you think this might be?
Lucifer (Satan or Devil) and his angels are doing more good than religions in that they force people to fight evil spirits on an individual basis. Because of it, people become spiritually stronger. If Lucifer did not exist to make people fight him, people would not learn about life or ask for God’s help. Atheists and bad angels are forcing the world to unite scientifically. Harald Fritzsch states, “The knowledge gained through science is the tie binding all of us.”
I hope you understand that these are nothing more than empty words to me. Lucifer, Satan, the Devil, all angels good or bad, and “evil spirits” are other things besides God that I simply don’t believe in. They cannot do either good or harm in the world if they don’t exist. The belief in those things, of course, is real and common, and does have an impact on society. In my opinions, this impact is mostly negative.
From my viewpoint, no product can exist unless someone thinks of making it; that applies to the universe.
“No product can exist unless someone thinks of making it” is not a complex theological argument; this is the same old cosmological argument that’s been dealt with ad nauseam for hundreds of years. Bertrand Russell answered it. David Hume answered it. You say that all things require thought to create it, but you have “God” in an unspoken category that is exempt from this rule. So your rule is not really a rule at all; some things exist without anyone thinking of making them. Therefore, you can’t use this as an argument for God; you need real evidence to demonstrate that such a thing exists.
Many people believe that a God created the universe. The way to prove it is to ask God how he did it as I did. For example, first I asked God to reveal himself to me if he were real. After he had revealed himself to me, I asked him how he designed the universe. He used three laws of activity to control energy–the law of unity; law of opposites, and law of references—and to design it. Everything is energy.
There are two problems with what you’re saying here. One is that in order to be a proper “experiment,” the test has to work both ways. That means a test which will confirm your hypothesis if it works, and disconfirm your hypothesis if it fails. So let me ask you a question: Suppose I agreed to perform this “experiment” of “asking God how he created the universe,” on film, and absolutely nothing at all happened. The key question here is, would you admit that this is evidence against God? Would you state publicly that I’ve given you a data point against God existing? Because if you’ll agree to that, then by all means, I will perform this test right away.
The other problem I have here is that the things you say “God” revealed to you, just aren’t all that insightful. I’d seriously expect the all-powerful creator of the universe to be able to give you more insight than you could get from an undergraduate physics freshman who’s spent an hour flipping through a Deepak Chopra book.
Look, I spent a couple of years as a physics student myself before switching majors. “E=mc^2” is the kind of pop culture equation that everybody is vaguely aware of even when they don’t thoroughly understand it. “Everything is energy” also does not qualify as new, novel, and groundbreaking information. Physics involves a lot more complicated calculations to figure out the mechanisms behind natural events. There are a lot of unsolved scientific questions that God could have helped you with, if he had really been God and not just a voice in your head. Off the top of my head, there’s:
- String theory: Are there more than four dimensions? Is there a way to measure them?
- Energy production: As you probably know, fossil fuels are a limited resource, and many scientists have been working for decades on the question of how to get a more durable energy source such as nuclear fusion. Can God suggest a process by which this could be achieved?
- How about the exact genetic recipe for a cure to a major disease we are dealing with, like cancer or AIDS?
I suspect you’ll give me some sort of platitude about how God doesn’t interfere with free will, or helps those who help themselves. I say this is trying to have your cake and eat it too. Solving a major scientific problem that has stumped the human race, seems like that would be a worthy demonstration of vast amounts of knowledge and power. Uttering platitudes that any college freshman could reach on his own, is not a worthy demonstration. So if “God” is going to the trouble of telling you things in order to convince you that he is real, why doesn’t God tell you something really unique and non-trivial instead?
According to YouTube in “The Atheist Experience #609 with Martin Wagner and Matt Dillahunty posted June 19, 2009” God revealed himself to atheist Richard Dawkins. Matt Dillahunty said it was Dawkins’s experience, not his, so it meant nothing to him. Mr. Glasser, you would probably feel the same way. A person has to experience it himself or herself for it to mean something to him or her. Now, here is something you can do to have that experience. Be sincere and ask god to prove to you that he is real. Make sure you ask “god the designer” as I did. It will take a while to get a response, but God will answer you.I will ask you a big favor: please let me know when you get a response.
I have heard of no such incident in what Dawkins stated that he’d seen God. I am not going to watch the entire episode to make that point — maybe you could provide a direct link to the video and a timestamp so I could assess what Matt actually said. I suspect you misunderstood him. I have heard Matt speculate on what the proper reaction would be IF Dawkins claimed to have seen God, and it’s the same standard I’m applying to your email — that we should remain skeptical of personal anecdotes, and ask for proper support and evidence, no matter who is making the claim.
And I will repeat my offer. I will do your “experiment” of “asking god the designer”, on camera, and accurately show the results… IF AND ONLY IF you will give me a timeframe by which you will accept the experiment as a failure, and publicly admit that it failed. That’s my offer. What do you say?
I do not expect anyone to believe what I say. The main reason for writing the document is to get people to ask god to reveal himself to them as he did to me, and get the proof they need that god is real. God wants to be involved in people’s lives, but he wants people to invite him as I did.
I’m sorry, but I don’t really believe you here. In your first email you addressed me and Matt directly, and your request for me to perform these actions is based on your word that you have had these undocumented, unverifiable experiences. Clearly you DO expect me to believe what you say. Please give me the respect and courtesy of not waffling about your reason for writing.
Your feelings are justifiable and understandable. In a way, I feel that way about the bible mainly because, to me, about 90% is not scientific.
Oh, I’d put it much higher than 90%. The entire Bible is unsupported storytelling, and a lot of the claims are clearly not true based on historical records. The order in which things were “created” is demonstrably wrong; the occurrence of a global flood has no archaeological support whatsoever, and there is no noteworthy record that the entire Jewish population were enslaved in Egypt, or spent 40 years in a desert. To name a few.
For example, Genesis 3:1 says that a serpent talked to Eve. Serpents cannot talk today, and common sense dictates they could not have talked in the beginning. The 10% of the bible that is scientific consists of obscure science. For example, Genesis 1:1 says that god created heaven and earth, but does not explain how. Genesis 2:7 says that god formed man of the dust of the ground; it is true, but the bible does not explain how carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and other atoms in the dust come together and form molecules, cells and organs to make the body. Einstein was right, “Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind.”
Einstein may have romanticized a general notion of “religion” — a point on which I strongly disagree with him. Even so, Einstein, like many great scientists, did not hold religious views that are close to agreement with yours. Another interesting Einstein quote:
“The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this.” -Letter to philosopher Eric Gutkind, January 3, 1954
You are correct on all counts. Some really solid demonstration that there is a god is lacking. One way to get a solid demonstration that there is a god is to ask him to prove to you that he is real. Better yet, make it an experiment and invite Matt Dillahunty, Frank Paschal, Shelly Roberts, Steven Elliott, and John Lacoletti to join you and do the same—ask God the designer that if he is real to prove it. Please let me know the results. Note: I would be great if you conduct the experiment and put it on YouTube.
Do you agree to my conditions or not? Let me know. Thanks for writing.
Update 8/5/13: Comment #29 is my final email to Samuel.