A Stunning Apologetic

A Stunning Apologetic July 30, 2014

Once upon a time, there was an argument for God that I thought was compelling.

It went something like this:

  1. From what we know about the first three dimensions (width, height, length), they are static
  2. Since the 4th dimension – time – is just another dimension like the first three, it’s also static (meaning the future is set “ahead of time”, for lack of a better way of putting it)
  3. We appear to have free will – but how can we have free will when the future is already set?
  4. Conclusion: God is the only solution

Who was the author of this fabulous apologetic? Me – when I was a teenager. I am breathtakingly introverted, so it wasn’t unusual for me to sit around and think about things like that.

My faith was already at the quivering-point, and when I thought this up, I smiled to myself, thinking “Wow, I just proved God. Nice!” If I could have a conversation with teenager-me, I’d have a “Jasper doesn’t get reason” series.

I got better.

I’m thinking of implementing a new rule – I’ll only care about a “personal experience” of yours, or grant it any credibility, if you grant my life-long series of personal experiences rebuttal power. Why do you think your personal experiences trump mine?

When I look back on my life, I see an existence devoid of any sign of anything supernatural in the slightest. I see a younger version of myself engaging in self-deception, and prone to many well-studied psychological cognitive errors. I see myself trying to resolve the cognitive dissonance between what my parents told me was true, and the fact it didn’t align with reality around me, by abstract rationalization.

How do I know I’m not just doing the same thing now? … just rationalizing my atheism based on ignorance?

It’s a great question, and that’s when we dive into discussions of epistemology – a topic that I’ve found creationists have literally zero interest in even broaching. “The devil is in the details” means that even trying to discuss how we go about knowing things, is Satan working his magic.

As much as I can, I try to rely on objective, empirical evidence – maximizing how much data can support a claim outside of human error. This is a top goal of science.

How do I know I’m right? It depends on what I’m asserting I’m “right” about.

Evolution? I can supply the multiple independent lines of evidence, that cross-corroborate the predictive model, that convince me.

That there’s no God? Well, that’s not even my position. My atheism – that the god assertion is not demonstrated – is contingent on the fact that no theist has presented sufficient objective, presentable, repeatable, falsifiable, logical, testable, exclusive evidence… and the veracity of my position is upheld by every second, of every minute, of every hour, of every day, of every month, of every year that they fail to do this.

You think I’m wrong? Fine, let’s discuss this. However, be prepared to be held accountable to demonstrable reality.

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