Dear Ricky Gervais, Atheism is silly.

>

Though I would love to sleep in on Sundays, atheism grinds my gears. As a former atheist, I respect the right of people to not believe. People should be allowed to be wrong. It makes things more entertaining for those who are right. None of us is right all the time, but atheism is ridiculous. You don’t have to believe in my God, but having no god is ignorance incarnate.

Ricky Gervais is funny, and he is an atheist. He shared about his unbelief in God in the Wall Street Journal. His next article is on the Tooth Fairy. I love The Office, and I enjoyed his movie The Invention of Lying. Mr. Gervais understands the weirdness and hypocrisy of humanity, but not the universe.

He says,“I don’t believe in God because there is absolutely no scientific evidence for his existence and from what I’ve heard the very definition is a logical impossibility in this known universe,

He says religion is good as a “moral compass”. That’s true. Evangelical Christians give 9 times more then the average Britain. Giving to others is the sign that God is at work because it’s His nature to give. And, Church goers are some of the happiest people.

As a math and a physics teacher, I believe in God for several “scientific reasons”

1. Stuff is Here

Everything here has a cause. Only the Federal Reserve can create things out of thin air, everything else comes from somewhere. My socks stink because my feet sweat. Eating too much makes me fat, and a chicken laid the egg. This universe has guaranteed that every effect has a cause. The question is not, “How could a god in this universe create it?” The question is, “Where did this universe come from?” What caused it? God did. He is the source.

2. Stuff is complex

Look around. The human body, the solar system, and the eco-system are complex. Complex things don’t build themselves. Even simple things take work. The scientist who created synthetic DNA back in May took 15 years and truck loads of money to do it. They proved that it takes a lot of time, thought, and effort to make life. God gave us life.

3. Stuff isn’t falling apart as fast as it should.

Everything is falling apart. Nothing lasts for ever. Everything is dying, species being extinguished and cars are breaking down. The second law of thermodynamics is the standard, and it takes a lot of effort to keep things together. I spent 3 hours today repairing a 4 year old fence made out of wood and nails. My 3 year old almost dies on a daily basis. Cars are money pits for a reason. The universe couldn’t last without some help. God keeps it going.

These 3 thoughts form the foundation of my belief in God. Things need a source, things are complex, and they couldn’t survive without some intervention.

Common Objections:
My answers may or may not suffice.

Who Created God?

God doesn’t necessarily need a “creator” because He would have to have been from outside our universe before it was created. And, wherever He is “from” or “is” doesn’t have to have the same rules as here. They may not need a cause for an effect. Think of it like another unimaginable land. Just like different countries have different laws, different places have different rules.

How could this place be so messed up if there is a God?

It sucks here because we have taken it out of His hands. I want you to hear this. God is God, and He is in control–but He is not making every decision here. He lets us make some. You are making some, I am making some, the weirdo down your street is making some, and the person serving in the homeless shelter is making some. Most of the evil here is either caused by us or not solved by us.

Why does the world suck?

The world sucks because there is an absence of God. Plain and simple. Good and evil are not opposites just light and dark are not opposites. You can turn a light on, but you can’t turn “a dark on”. Darkness is the result of an absence of light. Same with evil–it’s an absence of good.

People who believe in God aren’t perfect.

Sorry your holiness, either are you.

Where is God, and why can’t I see Him?

He is supposed to be reflected in you and me. So, let’s get with it.

Random Thoughts

Gervais lists some statistics about the percentage of atheists in prison being lower then in the rest of society. Well duh, they changed in prison. Everyone finds God there. He reveals His care exponentially to those who need it most.

You may be an atheist. I mean no disrespect. It’s cool we can still be friends on FaceBook. You may be an agnostic. I really believe God is real. I think He puts a lot of time and energy into this place. I think He even put Himself into this place in Jesus Christ. It’s not perfect, but I think that’s our fault.

I promise you this, If you seek God, you will find Him.

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About Chris M.

Just a guy who loves God, his family, and others.

Posted on December 22, 2010, in Life, Pop Culture, Satire. Bookmark the permalink. 49 Comments.

  1. >Bear in mind, sane or not, whatever you seek you will find.

  2. >Even if I sought a golden unicorn that laid strawberry eggs?

  3. >Just because you believe it (your main source of argument) doesn't mean it is real.

  4. >I thought the whole something from nothing thing doesn't make sense was more the main source of my argument. Thanks for reading though.

  5. >You claim there might not be cause & effect wherever God is "from:""They may not need a cause for an effect. Think of it like another unimaginable."What if that's how our (Godless) universe actually works? What if cause & effect doesn't work the way we think it does?A more probable explanation is that the limitations of our humans senses have incorrectly lead us to conclude cause *must* precede effect. There's absolutely no need to say that this is only possible wherever God "is."

  6. >I think it's a good explanation, but not "more probable." Thanks for checking it out.

  7. >Why isn't it more probable?It's a simplified version of your "explanation." Your version adds unnecessary details. And surely you can agree that in nature, there are *never* any unnecessary details.

  8. >It's less probable, in my opinion, because I don't think our senses are that off. I really think cause and effect is a standard here. All I can go by is what I see. I could be wrong, but though people get some things wrong–we get a lot right.

  9. >@Erin: same applies to Atheism.@Kylerrr: Are you obliquely referencing Hume on purpose? Either way, I think it is worth pointing out that the assumpstion of "Cause and Effect" is itself an act of faith in the first place.@Chris: I found my way here from a link shared by a friend in the Salvation Army. I was inspired to respond in kind on my own blog.http://drcheckmate.wordpress.com/2010/12/22/respectfully-i-disagree/

  10. >Wait, what? I simply re-phrased your original argument (that God is exempt from cause & effect), and now you say you can only believe what your senses tell you?Also … because you rely purely on your senses, you have concluded that a supernatural being exists–outside of what we can experience–and, furthermore, is exempt from the natural laws we observe?To call your explanations "scientific" is insulting to those who know how science works. To say "Stuff exists — therefore, God exists" is one of the most blatantly non-scientific statements I've ever read.

  11. >I think cause and effect is scientific. I think that works every time in this universe. I think the universe needs a cause. I think the cause is God, who is outside the universe and not bound by it's rules. I am not sure what your not following.

  12. >Dr. Checkmate…your blog was very good, thanks.

  13. >Atheism is interesting. For myself, I consider myself to be agnostic. Yes we share similarities with Atheism, just as we share similarities with Theism. For the unaware, its not merely an "on the fence" position. It basically says that the existence of God is simply unknowable. Because of this definition, it can include theists as well as spiritualists. I never could go all the way to Atheism, mainly for the reasons described above

  14. >That's awesome man. Thanks for checking this site out.

  15. >My thought when I read posts and comments like this one is two-fold. One, it makes me sad. Two, the reason it makes me sad is that if Chris is wrong, nothing changes for any of us. We just die and turn to dust. If Chris is right, there will be a huge difference for some when the time comes. For those of you who think God is a myth, please investigate Him. As Darwinism loses its popularity in the world of science, some are turning to extraterrestrial beings as the source of our creation–do you really think that this makes more sense than God as you look at the complexity of every area of nature? Chris, enjoyed your thoughts and everyone's comments–Thanks!

  16. >@Sue, the real thing to consider here is nothing makes sense. Not Creationism, Darwinism, or Protocultureism. The main problem is that Theists lock themselves into describing God though humanistic terms. Atheists take the polar opposite and believe in nothing, thus negating the basis of causality.As an Agnostic, I am fine with the existence of God simply being unknowable and/or irrelevant. If something like God exists, then we are talking about a force that is beyond human comprehension and thus it is a great failure to use humanistic terms to define Him.My belief is more that this "God" sparked the creation of the universe. However, he has little involvement in humanity. I subscribe to a hybrid model where the Universe was created by "God" by humanity evolved into being on its own. Just my two cents

  17. >@Sue, just to follow up.Consider this: is it really more sensible to believe that, as the Bible says, the Earth was created in seven days by "this" God or aliens from another galaxy implanted our species on this world?If you ask me, both hypothesis require leaps, hence why, as Agnostics understand, theism is all about belief. Some will share that belief, others will not. It is the job of BOTH sides to understand, that you can respect the opposing argument, without agree with it.Such a realization would go a long way to bringing peace to MANY areas of the world

  18. >Nice insight Jason. Even though, I believe the biblical account of creation, it's just my belief. Still, I think the evidence for their being a Source or Creator is great.

  19. >@Chris,I say this with profound enthusiasm and respect, to each their own. 🙂

  20. >Awesome….I hope 2011 treats you extremely well.

  21. >Chris, terrific examination and write-up, man. And I like how said, "You can turn a light on, but you can't turn 'a dark on'." I hadn't thought about it like that. 🙂

  22. >Thanks man. Have a great 2011

  23. >Lets take this slowly. Since my original post was intended to be comedic, I will attempt to continue the theme. I will just respond to the beginning for now because it's the crux of your post, and the rest had some funny comments with little substance.“Stuff is here,” isn’t a proof of anything. That same logic allows for the existence of Santa Claus because there are gifts under the treeStuff is here is a proof that it came from somewhere. If I saw gifts under the tree, I would be sure someone or something put them their. Believing in Santa Clause would be more logical then believing they magically appeared. Same goes for finding hidden jelly beans and chocolate rabbits. There has to be a source. There has to be an ultimate. I call that source God.The question is how do you follow the evidence backwards far enough to demonstrate either a Godless universe or a God caused universe as fact?How can you not follow the evidence that far back? Believing that nothing acted upon nothing and created everything is like believing in magic. Nothing will always be nothing even if that nothing sits around forever. It's immature and irresponsible. As far as the cog in a watch, it's safer to say the clockmaker put it there then to say, "that cog just appeared. It just showed up in my watch in the right place." You don't have to know who the clockmaker is, but you can be sure he or she exists.“Stuff is complex.” Really? …you immediately resort to, “Must be God?” Really? Radio waves? Criminal conspiracies? Love? Cancer? Clocks? Bird migratory patterns? This ignores the time scaleI am not sure why you mention cancer and radio waves, but Time Scale. Really? Let's have a race. I will put together a computer, and you wait for it to happen. I will even allow you to start with the pieces of a computer, though to be true to our discussion, you shouldn't get any pieces. I will give you a 30 year head start. Let's see who wins. Those pieces won't ever make a computer. Even if you put them in a tumbler for a trillion years. And if they did, you know it wouldn't work because some pieces would break in the process. But, at least our bodies aren't that complex. And by the way, if they did make a computer in the tumbler, I would remind you that you put them there making you the source.Great conversation so far, your up next.

  24. >Chris, good blog post. It's refreshing to hear a logic-based argument from the "God exists and is relevant" side. I would like to tackle your three points and demonstrate how they do not prove the existence of God. I understand how you and others see them as evidence of His existence, so I'm not trying to prove He doesn't exist. Even if I could prove that I wouldn't – religion has been an overwhelmingly positive force on this earth. But, as one who looks for supernatural answers only when natural causes are eliminated, here is how I approach your three points…1. Stuff is HereThis I think is your strongest point. Current science can't look past the Big Bang to formulate what may have been there prior. But, there are a few ideas. First, there is the accordion universe theory that states that the universe continually expands and contracts with numerous "big bangs" ad infinitum. Is it true? No clue. But it's a theory that explains the first question. Another idea is that matter can be created out of energy (E=MC2). This of course implies the input of energy to create the initial matter. It could be God, or maybe something else. Ultimately, I have to rely on history here and realize that almost every believed interaction of "gods" in the natural world turned out to be a natural phenomenon that was not yet understood. One day I expect that the beginning of the universe will be understood. Until then you certainly can't rule out the God possibility.2. Stuff is complexStuff is complex but I think that is better explained by scale, time, and math. Starting with interstellar motion, fractilian mathematics combined with the shear scale of the universe does a pretty good job explaining why things are the way they are. We can observe the death of stars and the birth of new ones. We can model these events and understand why they happen. I won't deal with eco-systems -they have a way of balancing themselves out despite massive shocks (volcanoes, meteor strikes, even atom bombs) Again, I don't see God at work here – I see nature following an understood course.The complexity of life though is interesting. I can buy in to evolution. I have a much harder time with the initial spark of life and then with "black boxes" that require a number of parts to function before any benefit is derived by the species. But the rest I don't have a problem with. If you look at the Galapagos islands you can get a good glimpse at species sub-dividing. 3. Stuff isn't falling apart as fast as it should.Stuff is indeed falling apart. Our sun is dying. Lots of other stars are dying. Mountains are eroding. The universe is slowly growing colder. I'm not sure where you see this influx of new energy entering the equation because I have yet to hear a scientist explain that they can't figure out why the universe hasn't stopped yet! Also, your car and fence analogy is inherently flawed because it involves a creator. (You and the auto unions!) For that to apply to the universe you must assume that something intelligent created the universe. Unfortunately, that is precisely what is being debated! Interestingly, you son, who was created by natural processes, doesn't help with your argument – yes, he "dies" every day by shedding cells, but does he not grow a bit taller and healthier each year? So, by introducing energy into the system complexity can actually grow and the energy in a system increase.

  25. >So, finally, the real question is this: Assuming there is a God, how do we deal with that knowledge? How do we know which religion got it right, if any of them have? (I'm thinking of the South Park episode where the answer turned out to be "Mormon". There were some unhappy Baptists!!) It seems that most religions teach some basic fundamentals. They can be boiled down to two points – Love God and love people. The second one is easy. The first one is tough. How do you love something that you don't know if it exists? My answer is, be in perpetual gratitude. Life is precious (more so if you are an Atheist!), family is supreme, and loving the people around you makes for a better life. If you can do those two things then, according to Christ, you have "fulfilled the Law and the Prophets".Apologies for the long post. I look forward to your reply. Merry Christmas!

  26. >Sorry for the delay… This will take some time.

  27. >Having trouble posting here today… I've written a response and will post it to my own blog in a few moments.

  28. >Great comments….Stuff being here proves a source. The thing that's made tells a lot about the maker. We are complex and wonderful, and so must our source be. It's fair ungough to say that some do not agree with this, but I don't know why.

  29. >Many people say, "If you have enough time, anything is possible."Not true. I could wait a trillion years and still suck at singing. For instance, the probability of rolling snake eyes right now is 1/36. Not that you care, but that's 1/6 times 1/6.  The probability of rolling snake eyes next week is still 1/36. The probability of rolling it 1,000,000 years from now is 1/36. In 1,000,000,000 years is still 1/36. It's always going to be 1/36.  Some people think it's as if probability shrinks. As if 1/36 today is 1/35 tomorrow and 1/34 the day after. THAT DOESN'T HAPPEN. Probability doesn't change.If something is really hard to do today, it's still gonna be hard tomorrow. It's not like the universe had a mind of it's own and could "practice creating things". Unless, you're assuming God was involved. Time can't create anything either. If there was nothing around, the probability that some would spontaneously appear would be something like 1/0 <–which is mathematically impossible because you can't have 0 on the bottom of a fraction.You can have 3/8's of a pizza. I can cut a pizza in 8 pieces and give you 3 of them. But, you cannot have 3/0's of a pizza. I can't cut Zero pieces of pizza. Even if I don't cut the pizza it's still 1 big piece. It's not ZERO pizza.I understand atheists. I understand evidence, but we have to look at the evidence we have and not the evidence we want.

    • I’m assuming you don’t watch Derren Brown? He did a story on this kind of thing. It took him nine hours, but he finally flipped ten heads in a row. Over a long, long time, the probability of something happening is almost guaranteed. Evolution takes a long, long time.

      • Belief in Jesus, takes nothing away from atheism’s silliness. It’d be better to believe that a giant turtle vomited out the universe out of is dung hole than to believe that something came from nothing.

        If you really think some guy flipping heads ten times in a row explains the existence of the universe, you have more faith than I do. I respect your right to have faith in the idea of your choosing. But, the thing is some of us are right and some are wrong. It could be me, or it could be you. What do I lose from living a life that is focused on loving others? Nothing. What do I gain? Everything.

        Be blessed. Have a great 2012, and I hope Life treats you well.

  30. >Yes, the probability of rolling 2 on any given single roll is 1/36 using two six-sided dice, always has been, and always will be. But the more rolls you take, the more likely that at least one of them will be a 2. If you roll the dice 3600 times, probability predicts you would get 100 rolls of a 2. From one set of 3600 you might have 90 2's or 120 2's. But even if you were entirely unlucky, it is incredibly unlikely that you wouldn't have at least one 2.The probability of life is the same way. The odds of the right molecules combining the right way on any one combination may have been small, but with enough tries being made coupled with a need to only "win" once, it becomes much more likely.It actually is like the universe "practiced" making things. After all, our solar system is only 4.5ish billion years old, while the universe is ~14 billion. What was the stuff our solar system is made out of doing for the other 9.5 billion years? Most likley, it was a series of stars, stars that burned larger, brighter, hotter, and burned out much faster than our star will. Add in a few generations of repetition, and you start to see the more dense elements we see.No self-respecting astronomer, astrophysicist, or student of related fields, suggests that the big bang created everything out of nothing. We don't know exactly what there was at the singularity pre-"big bang" (which was neither visible nor audible, creating a huge misnomer), but it's generally agreed that there was something.Besides, theists argue that there was nothing but god, then out of nothing god made everything. The bible even goes so far as to say that god was corporeal and walked on the earth with Adam.As far as your singing, if you worked at it and practiced, you could learn to get better. Enough trying, and eventually you can get it. Although if your voice is bad or you're tone deaf, you probably won't win an award or anything, hehe.

  31. >@Sue (december 23): your second reason is just Pascal's wager in different wording. Pascal made no consideration for choosing the wrong god, or for god not rewarding insincere faith. There is much on the internet on the "avoiding the wrong hell" argument.As far as thinking god's a myth, what do you think about Zeus, Jupiter, Ra, Odin, Shiva, Vrishnu, and so on? They were all deities in their own time, yet today they're commonly called "mythological beings".Lastly, I haven't seen anything to suggest that Darwinism is "on its way out". It's been adjusted, modified, examined, re-thought, but essentially it still stands. Evolution is as close to a fact as science dares to get.As far as extra-planetary beings, I don't think so. Like god, I can't convincingly prove that it didn't happen, but I can look at what's available and surmise that it's very unlikely and would have posed so many challenges as to make it nearly impossible to have happened. Even if aliens did manage to seed the planet, they would have had to have come from somewhere. All it does is add more unnecessary layers of "how did that happen" to the question.

  32. >"If something is really hard to do today, it's still gonna be hard tomorrow."True. I could equivocate here, but what you say is true in so many cases as to be statistically indistinguishable from all cases."It's not like the universe had a mind of it's own and could "practice creating things". Unless, you're assuming God was involved."Irrelevant. Once again, creation does not require agency. Period. I would argue that it happens all the time in nature. Of course, that doesn't hold water with you, because Nature was created by God. QED."Time can't create anything either."If this in response to me; I can not imagine how you got this from what I said. I… I really can't. The liberties of interpretation that are required are staggering. And, quite frankly, a little insulting."I understand atheists. I understand evidence, but we have to look at the evidence we have and not the evidence we want."And, there is no evidence that I would consider good enough to make the conclusion, "there is a God."If the creation of the universe was a crime and we were trying to convict some one of that crime of creation, we could not. We have no suspect. This argument starts and stops right there really. Now, one can take it on faith and convict God in absentia, but let's not call that anything but what it is – an act of faith. In thousands of years NO one has conceived of a compelling argument for or proof of the existence of God that did not fall back on faith.I can except that people have that Faith. What I can't except is the notion that the existence of God is so self evident as to demand that faith in the absence of evidence. If we were talking about anything else at all, most people of faith would require the same rigorous logic and procedures, but when it comes to the existence of God, all of that goes right out the window. Or, at least, that the way it looks from where I am sitting.

  33. >Awesome Rich, We agree there was something, I call will call it God.Practice implies intelligence. A rock can’t be practiced.The existence of God and the reliability of the Bible are two very different things. Let’s keep them separate.

  34. >By use of the term "practice" I was taking a little creative license with the word. The universe did not 'try' making a rock, decide it did not like it, then try again and again until it got it right.The reliability of the bible speaks to the argument for god, as it is claimed to be 'His infallible word, handed down from God Himself to the prophets'.

  35. >dude. you contradict yourself. you say everything needs a source in your big 3 points and then in your objections you say …well God doesn't need to come from somewhere because he is from a different universe where there are different rules? get real man. Try to enjoy your life here while you can. Life is only worth a damn because it's short

  36. >Thanks for the comment…. Everything here needing a source doesn't contradict God being from somewhere else and not needing one…have a great day!

  37. >@rich. I don't need the bible to be true to know there must be a creator. Have a great day!

  38. Christians are all such good people! That’s why the Knights of the Templar existed, many priests and pedophiles (and the Pope allowed them to continue their acts, even after he knew what they were doing), and there are certainly no crimes committed by Christians! The reason most of the Western world are now Christians is because the Christians showed up somewhere, “civilized” it, and killed those who didn’t convert.

    What’s really funny is that Ricky Gervais has stressed time and time again that you don’t need religion to be a good person. Being a good person is it’s own reward, not waiting for something else to be given to you. I think being a good person for it’s own sake is far more noble.

    By the way, your arguments are almost hilarious. “Why are there things here? Someone must have created them! There’s so much order in the world!” Humans have this natural need to make sense out of the things around them, and a lot can’t understand how evolution makes sense, so they throw it on some supernatural being.

    Your god is a culmination of many gods and saviors that were knocking around the same time your Jesus was. There are also books of the Bible that “didn’t make it”- Were thrown out, some of which show Jesus as a child killing another child. Your religion is so shamelessly made up as it goes along, tossing out what doesn’t work and keeping what sort of does, that it’s unbelievable to me that anyone believes.

  39. “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction and MANY enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow is the road that leads to LIFE, and only a FEW find it.”
    Matthew 7:13-14(NIV)
    I just want to say that until about two years ago, I just wanted to have fun during this short life but I knew that I was missing out on so much. I felt empty and alone. I felt drawn to church, so I started to attend. There I heard about a personal relationship with the Father. So I gave up my silly excuse for a “life” for a life FULL of joy and peace through Jesus. About a year after my encounter, I hit a wall and started to drift back into the world because I was criticized for being a follower of Jesus but I felt empty again. I cried myself to sleep several times and that was when I realized that God is so REAL and once and if you seek Him, you will find Him. And trust me, there is no turning back from that. So before you say He’s not real, explore what it truly means to fall in love with Christ.
    “For the message of the cross if foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
    1 Corinthians 1:18

  40. alicia ATHEIST

    First of all, im not going to say I disrespect any
    religion, because I dont. Alot of my family is Buddhist, Christian,
    and Catholic. Sometimes we have discussions on how each one of us
    are right. But then we end up agreeing on “how do we know if we’re
    all right, or all wrong?”. So I’d prefer if you keep your mouth
    shut about how atheists are always wrong, because we’re not. I have
    refused to read the bible, I have refused to pray, ever since I was
    young because I have always thought that god was a fairytale like
    unicorns that people took seriously a very long time ago. But ya
    know, maybe im wrong. Who knows?

  41. An atheist will not convert. Under any circumstance. You
    may have grown up in an atheist family, you may have been around
    atheist, but you were not an atheist. A lack of religion or belief
    in a deity will remain that way. There is no such thing as past
    atheist, or former atheist. “A reasonable belief in the
    construction and initial start of the known universe is silly, try
    believing in a man who made everything in 6 days, knows everything,
    can do everything (however refuses to) and gives you free will as a
    contradiction to everything in his power!”

  42. Has anyone bothered to explain that “nothing exploded” is
    NOT the Big Bang? The Big Bang is “everything expanded.” It is the
    creationists’ belief that everything came from nothing – as in God
    poofed it all into existence. So next time please have a clue what
    you’re talking about before you incorrectly describe the Big Bang.
    Thanks!

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