I’ve come to think, however, that possibly the strongest argument against God’s existence—of course, it is very much rebut-able, and it is fairly straightforward to have a long debate about it—is prima facie unlikelihood.
I, contrarily, think one of the best arguments for God is the unlikelihood of the universe without God, a necessary Being.
There would be no intent. How does chaos and chance happenstance explain uniformity of nature and nature's sustainability? One of the reasons science works is because we have confidence that things will work like they have in the past, thus predictability. If there is no mind or intention behind the universe why should we expect that to be the case? Why should we be able to find reasons for such a universe?
If there is no ultimate mind behind the universe why should we look for meaning and why do we continue to find it? We can explain natural functions like gravity and thermodynamics with mathematical formulas. Mathematics is a product of minds. A tree or rock does not think, let alone think in terms of mathematical probabilities. We discover these principles, we do not invent them. They seem to ring true whether we exist or not. Without your particular mind of my mind, they would still be true. Yet they require mindfulness. So the meaning seems built into the universe. The anthropic principle seems like the best explanation.
2 + 2 = 4 means nothing to a tree or rock, yet it is a principle that can be nothing but what it is and is dependent on mindful beings thinking it yet it does not depend on any particular human mind for its existence. Thus, if you have two objects and add two more then you have four objects. Thus, 2 + 2 = 4 is an eternal truth that depends on mindful beings since it cannot be other than what it is unless you want to argue that it can be something other than 4 practically? Since it does not depend on any human mind and we discover these principles to make sense of our world and universe then God is a reasonable explanation.
Thus, to date, God is a more reasonable and likely explanation than chance happenstance.
What about morality? How does relativism equal good? How can a relative, subjective, changing standard make sense of good? We see even in our cultures of Canada and the USA a changing view on what is good. We see what was once taboo, bad, and a moral outrage now embarrassed as good, acceptable, the moral norm. We see other cultures or societies or subgroups disagreeing with ours. That begs the question of what is actually good? Logically, how can two opposing views both be true and right at the same time and regarding the same issue when they contradict? And what is the identity of good in such cases? How can its identity be the opposite of what it is or the contrary depending on who thinks it?
Is it more reasonable to believe that life comes from non-life and what is the evidence other than a naturalistic or materialistic mind frame? how does this happen? We never witness life coming from non-life. Thus, we have to assume it.
Why do we continue to find information and order that seems unlikely from chance happenstance? What kind of information would you expect to find from a random explosion? It would produce chaos.
What we witness is mindfulness coming from other mindful beings.
We see meaning coming from the meaningful.
We see intelligence coming from intelligent mindful beings.
We see life coming from the living.
Thus, the chance happenstance universe continually fails the experiential test. You can think it but you can't live by it. It is inconsistent with daily living and what we witness.
So I have not seen these questions adequately met by an atheistic worldview to date. Mostly they are ignored. I would be grateful for your explanation and a discussion on these and other issues since you are a thoughtful person, judging from pass encounters on DDO where I read your responses.
This isn’t quite the same as Occam’s razor or Russell’s teapot or whatever—it’s not about burdens of proof per se. It’s just that, other things equal, it seems bizarre that the universe is created and/or ruled by an interventionist humanlike giant. And we should have a strong prior against that.
As put forth above, I think the opposite is true. It seems bazaar that a chance universe would produce meaning, mindfulness, information, sustainability, and order. And it is not like God is created in the likeness of human beings but rather the opposite. That is, humanity is created in the image and likeness of God, not in a physical sense since God is Spirit, but in our mental capacity to think, reason, love, find purpose and meaning.
So if we’re considering God’s existence from a Bayesian perspective, where H is the hypothesis that God exists and e is any evidence in favor of God, P(H) is low, so P(e | H) would have to be pretty high and P(e | ~H) would have to be pretty low for an argument in favor of God’s existence to not work.
Again, we approach the problem of existence from two different mindsets or worldview. I would argue that yours is inconsistent with the way things are and how they got to be that way.
Not only this but if the Bible is what it claims to be then you would expect confirmations of what it says in regards to history and the sciences, not scientism, since the universe would be created by God's will and exists because of His providence and mercy and it is explained by God. Thus, you would have a fixed source for morality, meaning, purpose, truth, epistemology, etc.
(I am aware of other relatively strong arguments against God’s existence – for example, that God’s existence is possibly incompatible with B theories of time, which special relatively points in the direction of; that minds are processes that could require time as a prerequisite; that God is an efficient cause and not a simultaneous one, and that time is a prerequisite for that, so efficient causation of the universe of any kind is incoherent; various versions “reverse modal ontological arguments,” e.g., God being necessarily existent entails that the universe exists necessarily, which either it doesn’t or it does while contradicting God’s existence; some of the more abstract work in the philosophical literature about God’s spatial location. I nonetheless think the basic Bayesian argument might be stronger.)
We humans live and exist and experience in the A-theory of time whereas God exists in the B-theory of time. We experience life in a physical manner where we begin to exist (a timeline) whereas God is a spiritual Being and since He is timeless He sees the physicality of time events before Him in the present. Past, present, and future are all the present to God in that He sees the whole of time in the present, now. Everything in the physical universe is laid bare before Him and since He created and put this universe into existence He understands it in all its aspects. We, as humans only see it in part (limited) and our experience is guided largely by the physicality of our universe and our existence. It has a beginning. God does not, thus timeless. God's existence is not physical although, in the living Word, the Son, He stepped into His creation and experienced the temporal. The Bible, at various times speaks of two worlds, two kingdoms, two realms (or the kingdom of God versus the kingdoms of the world) of which the realm of God is the greater and everlasting realm.
I probably won’t respond to anything on this thread, but in case you’re interested in discussing with others. This also isn’t a strong opinion or one I’ve thought about too deeply.
That is a shame. It is a peeve of mine when someone initiates a thread that I am interested in, make interesting comments, then step back from it and take little accountability for what they have said. I am glad to see that you have continued to answer questions and respond to comments, however.