Imagine you wake up, check your bank account – and there’s $1 million in there that you have no idea where it came from! What do you do? I think the reasonable person goes to the bank and finds out what happened. According to atheist logic, you just go about spending it. Let me explain…
The universe is governed by unchanging laws of nature. In an atheistic worldview there is no explanation where these laws came from or how they originated. They just are. The problem is the entirety of science is built on those laws and constants. When we do an experiment we expect it to return the same results each time we do it because constants and laws are the same. I was curious as to how atheists reconcile this seemingly big leap of logic. They love science, but their science depends on these laws/constants that they have no idea where it came from or why its there. They say there’s no evidence for God, and I say they have to be deliberately ignoring it as it stares them in the face everyday. In my metaphor above, it seems like they would rather spend the money and go about their life then realize that the existence of the money suggests someone put it there. It’s like they have constructed a house built on an invisible foundation – and they’re okay with that.
I asked the reddit community “DebateAnAtheist”, and got some rather interesting responses with the overwhelming consensus being “I don’t know”. Here’s what I asked…
“Where do constants such as laws of nature come from? I would think that the atheist answer would have to include some sort of gradual, unintelligent, evolutionary process – but how can a constant or a law evolve? If it did, wouldn’t that suggest that it is theoretically still changing and thus not really a constant? If it didn’t evolve, then where did it come from? There doesn’t seem to be any good explanation from an atheistic perspective – but laws and constants are proven science. I posit that it is more logical to hold to a position that laws and constants were designed to serve a purpose put in place by a creator to govern the universe. You may say the burden of proof is on me to demonstrate the positive claim, but irregardless your entire worldview relies on these laws/constants that you cannot account for. Do you find that problematic?”
Here’s a fun collection of responses I received with my responses bolded…..
“If I say “I don’t know” then does “God did it” automatically win? What evidence is available to support the creationist claim?”
That doesn’t solve YOUR problem. You will never be able to convince me of a naturalistic worldview if you can’t even account for the laws/constants you need to make that worldview work.
“my world view rests on the facts I do have, not the facts I don’t have. What you seem to be ignoring is that you don’t have that foundation either, you’re just pretending you do.”
So you admit that we both use faith to justify our worldviews, right?
“Faith is pretending to know things that you don’t know. Show me where I have professed “faith” in something.”
You have faith that naturalistic atheism will one day be able to answer this question that your entire worldview relies on.
“I’m able to accept that there are things I don’t know without having to make up answers to make me feel better.”
The little thing you don’t know affects your entire worldview and the entirety of science.
“Laws of nature” are descriptive, not prescriptive. There is no indication that they were “put in place” by anyone/anything or that they are “serving a purpose”. The universe is. It is in state A. We study this state and describe it. That is all there is to it.”
Your entire answer can be summed up with where you said “the universe is”. Well, that’s not really an answer. I asked where did the laws come from… you answered – they just are. Not going to convince me that way.
“The “laws” did not come from anywhere. They are a property of this universe. It is like asking “Where does red come from?”. It does not come from anywhere, it is a property of the visible spectrum that we defined as “red”.”
I’m not asking where red came from. I’m asking where the visible spectrum came from. I understand red. I understand constants. Where did they come from? Why do we have them? If you can’t answer that, I’m not buying naturalistic atheism. I would hope no one would!
“And your entire argument is just “God is.”
Are you admitting that your logic is no better than the theists you argue against? Are you admitting that we both use faith?
“I’m saying that I believe the only intellectually honest answer is “I don’t know,” not a baseless assertion – no matter what side of the fence you are on.”
That’s a HUGE I don’t know. You have faith that one day naturalistic science will be able to answer it. I don’t have that much faith.
“actually you have even more faith than that. Because instead of accepting “i dont know”, you have accepted a cosmic jewish zombie as the answer to everything.”
At least I have an answer that can be debated that I’ve built my worldview on. You have no answer and yet you’ve built a worldview on it. I’d say that takes more faith.
“If there weren’t constants, the universe would be dramatically different and not support life, or not exist at all. Why shouldn’t there be natural constants?”
That’s a non-answer. You are basically saying they exist because they’re necessary. Well, we’re just back to square one. I agree they’re necessary – but that doesn’t answer the question.
The only intellectually honest answer to the question of where all these natural laws and constants came from is: We don’t know. The Whys and Hows of Natural Law and Universal Constants are indeed difficult questions to answer, and at this time, rather beyond our ability to explain except through unsupported speculation. However, “Goddidit” doesn’t even warrant status as a Stupid Answer – it’s no answer at all. It just moves the question up a level.
This is a non-answer. It’s basically saying “they just are”. Yet you rely on them, but you can’t account for them. Your entire worldview is predicated on their existence yet you have no clue where they came from. I understand that it just switches the burden of proof back to me which I can’t fully provide… but doesn’t that demonstrate how we are both in the same boat. Our entire worldviews hinge on assumptions we can’t prove. We both require the same amount of faith. Therefore atheism is no more logically correct than theism.
“The “laws of nature” come from US. It’s just humanity describing what they see.”
That’s not really an answer. Yes, we came up with the language to describe what we are seeing but we can’t explain where what we are seeing came from. That’s what I’m asking.
“What atheists will tell you is instead of assuming that the answer is God, let’s just keep working on figuring it out. The answer could end up being God, or it could be some other ultra complex process that we can’t even comprehend. But most atheists feel like they have yet to see any evidence to support God being the answer.”
I find it ironic that “most atheists feel like they have yet to see any evidence to support God” when I am right here right now saying that the existence of these laws/constants IS the evidence.
“I’d prefer to just be honest when asked this question and say “No I don’t know where they came from, do you?” and hope one day someone has the right answer to tell me.”
I appreciate your faith.
“The constants are what they are, because if they weren’t we would not be there to observe the values of these constants.”
This is not an answer. This is a circular argument.
“ I can account for laws/constants. They have to be some number or another, and the values that we measure for them are simply the values that they happen to be.”
And do you believe that number magically set itself up that way so that it works fine tuned with all the other magically/randomly set up the same way? Sounds like each law/constant had intelligence about the others. Whew!!
The bottom line is that the entire atheistic worldview is built on the existence of laws and constants that atheists themselves admit they can’t explain where they came from… and then they don’t see why that’s a problem!? In a Christian worldview, God created the laws of nature to set the universe in order to serve a purpose to sustain life. Any worldview relies on faith, some worldviews are just more complete than others. The point of this whole exercise is to encourage Christians to not feel intimidated by the modern atheist movement to shove their devotion to science down our throats. Don’t fret – they can’t even give an account where the fundamentals necessary to do science comes from. Their entire argument is circular.
To read all the over 300 responses you can read the thread yourself here:
Be sure to hit the + buttons to unfold all the conversations to read all my replies as they are always downvoted to oblivion.