Comfort and Kirk Cameron waste no time in insulting Atheists in this chapter. From the very beginning they lean on a quote from Dwight Eisenhower, “It takes no brains to be an Atheist.” Atheists, Kirk says, “… don’t want to be confused by the facts.” Comfort follows up by quoting Psalm 14:1 (“The fool has said in his heart, There is no God”), and then says that Atheists deny common sense.
Apparently this is designed, as Kirk says, to “… open the Unbeliever’s heart to receive (God’s) truth.” Because being insulted makes Atheists feel warm and fuzzy and receptive to the insulter’s ideas.
Here’s Comfort’s proofs:
- The question, “Who made God?” is a silly question because, “the fact of the existence of the Creator is axiomatic (self-evident).”
- By observation, space doesn’t have an end. “Strain the mind though it may, we have to believe (have faith) that space has no beginning and no end. The same applies with God. He has no beginning and no end. He is eternal.“
- Although space doesn’t have an end, apparently Time does have an end. “… time is a dimension that God created, into which man was subjected. (the bible) tells us that one day time will no longer exist.” “God Himself dwells outside of the dimension He created (2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 1:2); He dwells in eternity and is not subject to time.“
- Everything that has been created has a creator. A building has a builder, a painting has a painter. “We can’t see Him, hear Him, touch Him, taste Him, or smell Him. How can we know that He exists? Why, creation proves, beyond the shadow of the smallest doubt, that there is a Creator. You cannot have a “creation” without a Creator.” Comfort wins us over on this point with another dig – “This is so simple that a child can understand it. The only ones who have trouble with its simplicity are those who profess to be intellectuals.“
And that’s it. That’s the entire chapter. In four quick points, Ray Comfort not only demonstrates that he has no education, no understanding of science, including cosmology, physics, and biology, he also takes the time to denigrate those people who do have an understanding of these subjects.
Look, I know how hard it is to figure out the math that proves the physics of what we know – but the basic concepts behind that math aren’t so difficult to grasp even though the concepts are often counter-intuitive.
Let’s take these points in order.
“God is self-evident.” Obviously this isn’t true because if it were then the discussion would be over. God is NOT self-evident, in fact most definitions of the Christian God are self-contradictory, thereby negating self-evidence. The “Problem of Evil” argument by Epicurus is the contradiction that most people drag out.
But I like to point out a different inherent contradiction with God’s supposed omniscience and omnipotence.
If God is all knowing then he supposedly completely understands every aspect of human emotion, he understands it as we ourselves understand human emotion. The popular Christian saying is that “God is Love”. Poetic, and very difficult to define. Would you agree that God understands love as well or better than we do?
But what about fear? Everyone has experienced fear, and a few of us have been in fear of our own lives. That sort of fear is devastating and often life-changing to us, we remember it forever.
Does God understand fear? Does he understand it as a mortal understands fear? Is he fearful of his own pain and possible death? How could he be? He’s eternal, immortal, all powerful.
If God exists as Christians describe him, then he plays with creation in “God Mode” – he’s not afraid of losing the game. Heck he could get distracted during Armageddon and accidentally lose to Satan, and the only thing it would mean to him is that he would have to hit “reset” and start the whole thing all over again.
Fear is an inherent contradiction to an omniscient, omnipotent deity.
There is a LOT of debate as to whether the idea of God is inherently contractory, and a lot of debate as to whether he exists. You can spend a lot of time reading about this at Infidels.org. So I would say that is sufficent to show that God’s existence is NOT self-evident.
“Space does not have an end.” This statement is false. At least for our universe. If you want to talk about a multiverse you open a whole new can of worms.
We know by astronomical observation that we live in a finite universe, that space is about 93 billion light years in diameter. Space is expanding, and the rate of that expansion is accelerating. It is even possible for the speed of expansion to exceed the speed of light – it isn’t a against Einstein’s theory of General Relativity which applies to things moving through space, but all bets are off when space itself is moving. In fact, the only way for space to become as big as it has become during it’s mere 13.73 billion years of existence is due to faster than light-speed expansion.
So, if there is an end to space, then what’s on the other side of it? The answer is that we don’t know. And “we don’t know” is a perfectly acceptable answer that makes scientists very happy. We’ve got an unknown that we don’t even know how to explore at this point. But maybe one day we will know how to poke around and figure it out.
Oh we have theories. It is quite possible that there is no “other side”. Space expands, it doesn’t require “space” to expand into.
There is a lot to learn here, but for a good starting point, a good overview, I highly recommend listening to Astronomy Cast, hosted by Fraser Cain of Universe Today, and Dr. Pamela Gay of the Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville. Dr. Gay is a working astronomer, and the Astronomy Cast podcast is billed as explaining “not only what we know, but how we know what we know.” I recommend that Ray Comfort listen to episodes 77 through 79 so that he can correct his false statement in this lesson.
But I’ll bet a cookie that the lesson isn’t changed in the next revision.
“Time has an end.” Does it? We’re not sure about that. We know that time has a beginning – but depending upon which end of the universe scenario is true, time may not have an end. It is possible that we will experience a “heat death” where every atom in the universe reaches it’s lowest possible energy level, and that continues for eternity. We won’t know for sure though until we have a better understanding of Dark Matter and Dark Energy – which means we need a better understanding of the density of the universe. “Time has an end” is not an obviously true statement. The true answer is, again, “We don’t know! Isn’t that great?!”
Scientists just LOVE unanswered questions! They’re fun to investigate. They get the scientist new research grants!
Now for the last point – “Everything that has been created has a creator.” An arch, for example, has a creator. Architecturally, arches are the best example of something that has been constructed. When constructing an arch it must be supported by scaffolding or else it will fall down. Arches require a continuous line of touching bricks. Non-parabolic arches must be supported by walls on the sides or else the arch’s bricks will push the walls outward until the whole thing collapses.
There is just no way for this complex bit of architecture to form naturally – say over millions of years due to natural processes that include erosion due to wind and water. It’s just too unbelievable…
Uh yeah. My photo is a perfect counter-example to this argument.
And this is just one counter-example out of many that include entire branches of science.
Comfort is committing the “argument from personal incredulity” logical fallacy. He doesn’t believe that things like natural selection or the big bang theory are real because it negates his belief that only a creator can create.
Unfortunately for Comfort, both evolution and the big bang are supported by mountains of evidence that are so large that it takes dedication and perseverance to avoid acknowledging reality.
It is so easy to correct ignorance in this digital age. You could start by auditing the video lectures of the Introduction to Biology courses at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. They’re available for viewing free, online, so you really have no excuse for continued ignorance.
So what does this all mean? A great big “argument from ignorance” logical fallacy. Ray Comfort either does not understand, or misunderstands basic science and logic – and he bases his ultimate “Proof that God Exists” upon these misunderstandings.
And this leads me to wonder, are Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron honestly ignorant, or are they being willfully stupid? Do they refuse to do the work, the study, to become knowledgable about the science behind these issues? And if so, to what purpose?
I’m not tempted to suggest that they do understand the science behind these issues because frankly, I think a better understanding of these sciences would lead to a lesson that is more logically constructed.
I honestly think that they are ignorant, and that they feel no need to correct their ignorance because it is working for them, it’s earning them a living. No need to kill the goose laying the golden eggs.