The Polemic Shot In the Foot

Ravi Zacharias 4

by Ravi Zacharias

Some time ago I was speaking at a university in England, when a rather exasperated person in the audience made his attack upon God.

“There cannot possibly be a God,” he said, “with all the evil and suffering that exists in the world!”

I asked, “When you say there is such a thing as evil, are you not assuming that there is such a thing as good?”

“Of course,” he retorted.

“But when you assume there is such a thing as good, are you not also assuming that there is such a thing as a moral law on the basis of which to distinguish between good and evil?”

“I suppose so,” came the hesitant and much softer reply.

“If, then, there is a moral law,” I said, “you must also posit a moral lawgiver. But that is who you are trying to disprove and not prove. If there is no transcendent moral law giver, there is no absolute moral law. If there is no moral law, there really is no good. If there is no good there is no evil. I am not sure what your question is!”

There was silence and then he said, “What, then, am I asking you?”

He was visibly jolted that at the heart of his question lay an assumption that contradicted his own conclusion.

You see friends, the skeptic not only has to give an answer to his or her own question, but also has to justify the question itself. And even as the laughter subsided I reminded him that his question was indeed reasonable, but that his question justified my assumption that this was a moral universe. For if God is not the author of life, neither good nor bad are
meaningful terms.

This seems to constantly elude the critic who thinks that by raising the question of evil, a trap has been sprung to destroy theism. When in fact, the very raising of the question ensnares the skeptic who raised the question. A hidden assumption comes into the open. Moreover, as C. S. Lewis reminds us, the moment we acknowledge something as being “better”, we are committing ourselves to an objective point of reference.

The disorienting reality to those who raise the problem of evil is that the Christian can be consistent when he or she talks about the problem of evil, while the skeptic is hard-pressed to respond to the question of good in an amoral universe. In short, the problem of evil is not solved by doing away with the existence of God; the problem of evil and suffering must be
resolved while keeping God in the picture.

Copyright 2000 Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM)

“God does not exist” is not a scientific assertion

scifi-hughes-copyThe statement, “God does not exist,” has never been, is not now, and never will be a scientific assertion. (See what I did there, Sagan?) This means that science, by its very definition, cannot be the epistemic justification for atheism. Yet how often do we see popular atheist writers (Dawkins, Harris, Dennett, et. al.) base entire books on the claim: “God doesn’t exist! Let me show you the science!”

Really? Science investigates the matter (including the physical bodies of living organisms), energy, and relationships/dynamics of matter and energy in the material universe. But if God exists, He is immaterial and transcends the material universe. Science, no matter how far it ever advances, cannot rule Him out because it can never reach beyond the physical.

…To say that there is no transcendent mind orchestrating what we are able to observe in the material realm is to make a purely metaphysical statement. Unfortunately, very few scientists are trained philosophers. Perhaps this is why they don’t notice the fallacy or the enormous amount of faith required by their paradigm.

…Essentially, anyone who makes the claim that science has destroyed or undermined theism is trying to piggyback their materialist philosophy onto scientific theories that cannot support the weight of such a piggy.

-Melissa Cain Travis,
Sorry; No Such Thing as a Scientific Argument Against the Existence of God
https://hcchristian.wordpress.com/2014/11/01/sorry-no-such-thing-as-a-scientific-argument-against-the-existence-of-god/

Discovering the mind of God

John PolkinghorneTheism presents an adequately rich basis for understanding the world in that it readily accommodates the many-layered character of a reality shot through with value. Scientific wonder at the rational order of the universe is indeed a partial reading of “the mind of God,” as the popular books asserted, speaking better, perhaps, than their authors might have realized.

Yet there is much more to the mind of God than science will ever discover. Our moral intuitions are imitations of the perfect divine will, our aesthetic pleasures a sharing in the Creator’s joy, our religious intuitions whispers of God’s presence.

–John Polkinghorne,
Belief in God in an Age of Science