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Basic Worldview:
102 Atheism vs. Theism


Charge 2, Summary and Question 4

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?



Summary Notes from Questions 1-3.

Note 1: Modern science holds that the universe is not eternal but had a beginning. Logic dictates that nothing can create itself, since that would require a nonexistent thing to perform an action. The existence of the universe requires a cause sufficient to explain the universe's existence, including its origin and its content.

Note 2: At this point we have established that a sufficient cause has the following 4 characteristics.

First, a sufficient cause requires no other cause to explain its existence. A sufficient cause is, therefore, uncaused.

Second, having no cause that proceeded it, a sufficient cause must be eternal, for it could not have created itself and, thus, must not have had a beginning.

Third, because science and logic (and even Atheism itself) necessitate the simplest possible explanation, a sufficient cause should be assumed to immediately precede the universe, rather than come at the start of a series of intervening causes.

And fourth, since modern science attests that the universe was not eternal (but had a beginning) the universe is not the sufficient cause and, therefore, the sufficient cause exists outside the universe. Because it exists outside the universe, a sufficient cause, therefore, may not be directly detectable through empirical scientific means.

Note 3: For the sake of simplicity, from this point forward in the article, we will use the term "First Cause" to refer to the 1) uncaused, 2) eternal, 3) immediate cause 4) that exists outside the universe.

Note 4: Even though we have proven that if the universe exists there must be an eternal, uncaused cause that exists outside the universe, we have not yet proved Theism (and thereby simultaneously consequently, we have not yet disproved Atheism.) To prove Theism and disprove Atheism we must first demonstrate that the First Cause was intelligent.

Intelligence is the key, because even if the First Cause is eternal and uncaused, it could still be an impersonal, unintelligent force. However, if the First Cause is intelligent, then it is by definition, a personal entity, and therefore, we would have Theism in its simplest form: the existence of an eternal, uncaused, intelligent being that exists outside our universe and caused our universe. We will now set our attention to demonstrating this most controversial of claims in Question No. 4.

Note 5: It is significant to note that up until Question No. 4, all of our assumptions have been atheistic in nature, which is to say, they have not required, nor implied, nor originated from the assumption that a god exists. Question No. 4 is the first and only part in this article where we arrive at the issue of Theism. Thus, by showing that the logical proof of Theism does not begin by assuming the existence of god, but instead by 3 entirely atheistic assumptions, we have disproved Atheistic/Agnostic Charge No. 2, that theistic proofs inherently involve circular reasoning.

Furthermore, even at Question No. 4, Theists do not simply assume that god (an intelligent First Cause) is necessary to explain the existence of the universe. Rather this conclusion is required by the empirical evidence. Conversely, the atheistic conclusion that no god exists and the agnostic notion that we cannot know empirically if god exists both stand in contradiction of the empirical evidence.

At this point, we have dismissed Atheist/Agnostic Charge No. 1 and No. 2. We refuted Atheistic/Agnostic Charge No. 1 that Theistic origins theories must be rejected because they inherently rely upon inductive reasoning by demonstrating that all origins theories rely upon induction, including those proposed by Atheists/Agnostics. We refuted Atheist/Agnostic Charge No. 2 that theistic proofs inherently employ circular reasoning by showing how Theists make no presumption of the existence of god (an intelligent First Cause) in their first 3 assumptions, but instead only rely upon the dictates of logic and modern science.

From here, we will now move on to disprove Atheistic/Agnostic Charges No. 3 and No. 4. Specifically, we will prove based upon the available empirical evidence that it is necessary to conclude that the First cause must have been intelligent (Theism) in order to explain the existence of the universe (including its origin and content). Thus, we will disprove Atheism. We will also demonstrate (from Note 5 above) that Theists do not simply assume the intelligence of the First Cause, but that their conclusion is necessitated by the available empirical evidence.

Question 4: Does the universe necessitate intelligence in the First Cause? (Or, are unintelligent forces sufficient to explain the universe?)

With the issue of intelligence, we finally arrive at a question that has theistic implications. Even if the First Cause is eternal and uncaused, it could still be an impersonal force or phenomenon so long as it is not intelligent. Thus, even with an eternal, uncaused First Cause, you would not have Theism, but simply a force or phenomenon of some kind.

However, if the First Cause is intelligent, then it is by definition, a personal entity, and therefore, we would have Theism in its simplest form; the existence of an eternal, uncaused intelligent entity that exists outside our universe and caused our universe. Therefore, intelligence is the key to proving Theism and disproving Atheism. Whether or not the First Cause is intelligent is therefore, the crux of the debate between Theists and Atheists. If we can demonstrate that the empirical evidence in the universe necessitates the conclusion that the First Cause is intelligent, then we have disproved Atheism. And this can be demonstrated both simply and clearly.