Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Point One: Rationality

The first point Varghese argues is basically an appeal to human rationality. Believers and atheists argue that something had to always exist either the universe (which we could define as just a single clump of matter at one point in time) or God. I do not think that we necessarily have to believe that God created the universe “out of thin air” or out of nothing. The Hebrew word in Genesis that is used for “create” is “bara” which essentially means to form (or to fashion) which indicates that God is creating the universe with available material (perhaps in the Big Band from a single ball of matter). This is purely speculation on my part but I think it is worth contemplating. However, the point still stands that there had to be something that always existed. Something does not come from nothing.

Prominent atheists such as Richard Dawkins and the others ask, “Who created God?” Now, clearly, theists and atheists can agree on one thing: if anything at all exists, there must be something preceding it that always existed. How did this eternally existing reality come to be? The answer is that it never came to be. It always existed. Take your pick: God or universe. Something always existed.  It is precisely at this point that the theme of rationality returns to the forefront. Contrary to the protestations of the atheists, there is a major difference between what theists and atheists claim about that which always exists. Atheists say that the explanation for the universe is simply that it is eternally existing, but we cannot explain how this eternally existing state of affairs came to be the way it is today. That is, came to support and give rise to life. It is inexplicable and has to be accepted as such. Theists, however, are adamant in pointing out that God is something that is not ultimately inexplicable: God’s existence is inexplicable to us at this point in time, but not to God. Inserting God into the equation, and by God I mean a superior mind, solves the problem of life, morality and consciousness which are things that lie outside the realm of science to some extent. You might not agree with me in this point but I will go into more detail when I discuss those three phenomenons in coming posts.

“The world is rational,” noted the great mathematician Kurt Gödel. The relevance of this rationality is that “the order of the world reflects the order of the supreme mind governing it.” The reality of rationality cannot be evaded with any appeal to natural selection. Natural selection presupposes the existence of physical entities that interact according to specific laws and of a code that manages the processes of life. And to talk of natural selection is to assume that there is some logic to what is happening in nature (adaptation) and that we are capable of understanding this logic.

So I hope this gives you something to think about and I’ll post a write up next on Varghese’s point 2: Life.


  1. Good stuff man... the only thing is that science demonstrates that the universe did have a beginning (it did not always exist). In "Curiosity: Did God Create the Universe" Stephen Hawking explains his hypothesis for how the universe could have come out of a black hole. It's fun to play around with these sorts of questions but I think it's fair to say that we really don't know...


  2. Sorry... Hawking explains how the original elements for the universe which led to the Big Bang came out of a black hole. But of course it's just theorizing...

  3. Hawking is a genius. Thanks for sharing.

  4. No problem. I used to have the full version from Youtube hosted on my blog (it's about 1 hour), but it got pulled. I'm gonna by the DVD of the Curiosity series when it's available though. Really interesting stuff.

  5. Ah yes I know some people here in LL that have watched it. I've put The Grand Design on my Christmas wish list. So hopefully I'll get that to read.