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Basic Worldview:
102 Atheism vs. Theism


Occam's Razor and Conclusions

Prelude: "Atheism/Theism" vs. "Science, the Bible, & Creation"
Atheism: Introduction and Charges
Charge 1, Deduction and Induction
Charge 2, Question 1
Charge 2, Questions 2 and 3
Charge 2, Summary and Question 4
Charges 3 and 4, Definitions
Empirical Evidence
Scientists Acting as Mechanisms, Article 1
Scientists Acting as Mechanisms, Article 2
Scientists Acting as Mechanisms, Article 3
Occam's Razor and Conclusions
Footnote 1
Footnote 2 and 3
Proof of Life
Not Theories, Unsubstantiated Hypotheses 1
Not Theories, Unsubstantiated Hypotheses 2
Not Theories, Unsubstantiated Hypotheses 3
Not Theories, Unsubstantiated Hypotheses 4
Scientists: Life on Earth Imported from Outer Space
Atheisms Circle of Reasons
Is God a White Crow?



Enter Occam's Razor.

Atheist's charge that intelligence is an extra, an unnecessary premise that is not needed to explain the origination of life. For the Atheist, the origination of life can be explained sufficiently by unintelligent causes. So, the question arises, how do you demonstrate that intelligence is an extra and unnecessary premise? Simple, you demonstrate that the process can work without it. In this case, you demonstrate that the process of life originating can occur without intelligent agency as a result of unintelligent causes.

But how does an Atheist demonstrate that life can originate without intelligent agency? They cannot. As we have shown, when scientists go to work to create any experiment to demonstrate this hypothesis, so far it has been the intelligent intervention of the scientists superseding nature that brings about the proto-cell components.

Furthermore, since no one can go back in time to empirically observe the origination of life on this planet, we are left without any empirical evidence to demonstrate that life can originate without intelligent agency. Conversely, because of the ongoing experiments to replicate how life originated, we do have plenty of empirical evidence substantiating the claim that life originates from intelligent agency.

Or, in other words, since all the instances of life originating that are available to us involve intelligent agency on the part of the scientists, we have no choice but to induce that the general rule of the origin of life is that it comes from intelligent agency. And we are without any instance to challenge or refute this induction. Put another way, while we have empirical evidence of life coming about as a result of intelligent agency or cause, we have absolutely no empirical evidence of life coming about as a result of unintelligent causes as Atheists and Agnostics claim.

The Atheist or scientist might reply, "But all of these things we did in the lab could have happened without intelligent agency arranging them." To which we would reply, "How could you possibly know that? You have never observed it. As such, you have no empirical evidence to support that claim. You cannot know that it is possible. You cannot suggest it is possible based on any empirical evidence. Therefore, such a suggestion would be inherently unscientific."

So, far from having any instance of life originating from unintelligent causes on which they could base their claim, all that Atheists and Agnostics have is a series of hypotheses, which have not been substantiated by experiments and in a great many cases have not been tested at all and in some cases have expressly failed experimental testing. A string of untested hypotheses does not constitute a Theory. A Theory requires that hypotheses be not only tested but also demonstrated empirically through experimentation. So, at the most, the claim that life can originate from unintelligent causation is a hypothesis, not a proven scientific theory.

Furthermore, Atheists and Agnostics cannot object that Theistic claims that intelligent causes are necessary to produce life are unscientific because it is implicit in these SCIENTIFIC experiments that intelligent agency is necessary for the origin of life. These experiments, therefore, attest to the scientific acceptance of the hypothesis that intelligent causes are necessary to produce life.

The Atheist or Agnostic may admit that no empirical evidence exists to support their claim that life can result from unintelligent causes. But in an attempt to put their claims on the same level as theistic claims, Atheists and Agnostics may counter that because these experiments have not been successful we, therefore, have no empirical evidence that life can result from intelligent causes either.

This tells us two things. First, once these scientific experiments do succeed, we will have empirical evidence that in general, life is produced by intelligent agency. Second, despite their lack of complete success in creating life from non-living materials, Atheists and Agnostics have repeatedly pointed to these experiments as proof that life can come from unintelligent causes. So, in all fairness, the lack of complete success in these experiments would not prevent them from providing just as much support for intelligent agency as they previously asserted these experiments provided for unintelligent agency.

(For a series of quotations exemplifying how modern scientists assert these experiments as proof of life coming from unintelligent forces, please visit our follow-up article entitled, "Proof of Life.")

Therefore, since Atheists and Agnostics have previously offered these same "unsuccessful" experiments as conclusive evidence supporting their claim that life can be produced from unintelligent causes, they must permit Theists to now offer them as evidence that life is the result of intelligent causes. So, since Theists can therefore assert that empirical evidence exists that life is the result of intelligent causes, while Atheists and Agnostics can make no such claim, Atheists and Agnostics must concede that their own views are unscientific and must be rejected by the same standards, which they previously employed to reject Theism as unscientific and unempirical.

We have now refuted Atheistic/Agnostic Charge No. 4.

Atheistic/Agnostic Charge No. 4: Since there is no empirical evidence to suggest or necessitate the existence of a god, the assumption of god's existence is, therefore, extraneous and unnecessary to explain the universe and the origin of life and so, Theism fails the scientific rule known as Occam's Razor and must be rejected.

As we stated earlier, the key to Occam's Razor is what is necessary in order to explain the empirical evidence. Since the empirical evidence does necessitate the conclusion that the origin of life is the result of intelligent causes, Occam's Razor cannot be used to disqualify theistic claims that the First Cause is intelligent.


Summary Conclusion

In summary, we have no direct access to the general rule of how life originates. Therefore, we must employ induction to make assertions about that general rule. We cannot infer a general conclusion without specific instances to base that conclusion on. Atheists and Agnostics have no instance, which they can offer as evidence of life originating from unintelligent causes. They cannot observe the origin of life on earth. They have yet to construct an experiment, which does not employ intelligent agents (scientists) producing life. Therefore, we cannot induce any general rule that life can be produced from unintelligent causes.

Conversely, (regardless of their relative success) all of the previous experiments that Atheists and Agnostics previously pointed to as empirical evidence that life can originate from unintelligent causes now must be viewed as instances of life originating through intelligent agency (of the scientists.) Thus, the empirical instances we do have lead us to induce a general rule that life originates from intelligent agency.

Atheism and Agnosticism, by definition, necessitate that all aspects of the universe are caused by unintelligent causes. However, since we have demonstrated that the empirical evidence necessitates the conclusion that some aspect of the universe (the origin of life) could not have come about through unintelligent causes, we have disproved Atheism and Agnosticism.


Overall Conclusions:
In conclusion we have demonstrated the following eight points:

1) Atheistic/Agnostic Charge No. 1 is not a legitimate reason to reject Theism since all origins theories (including atheistic origins theories) inherently rely upon induction.

2) Atheistic/Agnostic Charge No. 2 is also false since Theism does not require or rely upon circular reasoning whereby Theists start by assuming the existence of God. Instead we have shown that Theism is based upon 3 atheistic logical assumptions and the available empirical, scientific evidence.

3) Atheistic/Agnostic Charge No. 3 is false because all the available empirical evidence necessitates the conclusion that as a general rule, life must result from intelligent agency.

4) Atheistic/Agnostic Charge No. 4 is false. Occam's Razor cannot be used to disqualify the theistic claim that the First Cause is intelligent since the empirical evidence NECESSITATES the conclusion that life results from an intelligent agent.

5) Atheism and Agnosticism must be rejected as unscientific and invalid for three reasons. First, neither can be supported by any scientific, empirical evidence (because no such evidence exists). And second, because all of the available scientific, empirical evidence contradicts their claims that unintelligent causes can produce life, by demonstrating that intelligent agents are necessary to produce life. Third, since the empirical evidence necessitates the conclusion that the origin of life is the result of an intelligent agent, we must conclude that the First Cause is intelligent. Thus, since the First Cause must be intelligent, Atheism and Agnosticism are false.

6) Since Theism has been shown to be scientifically acceptable, while Atheism and Agnosticism must be rejected as unscientific, Theism is the only empirically supportable, scientifically acceptable theory for the origin of life.

7) The empirical evidence offered by science demands the acceptance of God's existence. Or put simply, with no other available acceptable theory to consider based upon the empirical evidence science tells us that God must exist.

8) (Based on Conclusions 1-7.) For Atheists and Agnostics to continue to assert that life can be produced by unintelligent causes would therefore not constitute science, but unsubstantiated, unempirical, "religious" faith.

In conclusion, we have demonstrated the empirical evidence necessitates the conclusion that our universe was caused by an eternal, uncaused, intelligent agent exists outside our universe. The term that Theists use for the eternal, uncaused, intelligent First Cause that exists outside of our universe is God.