Benjamin Franklin Essay
Founding father Benjamin Franklin once said, “The way to see faith is to shut the eye of reason. ” Theists for thousands of years have shut their eyes to reason and blindly followed the word of those who would have them believe in false gods. Reason demonstrates, through outlets such as Occam’s Razor, the lack of a need for the existence of those gods and the shortcomings of theists in attempts to prove their faith. Such shortcomings most prominently come in the failure to provide empirical data for the existence of gods, in fact, experimentation and observation show otherwise.
To accompany a lack of need and a lack of evidence, because faith causes one to turn a blind eye to reason, arguments for theism are often weak, personal, and circumstantial at best, and can be easily negated. Reason, a lack of evidence, and weak arguments leave mankind only one option in regards to belief in the supernatural; no god or gods actually exist. Occam’s Razor not only establishes the falsehood of a requirement for gods, but also shifts the burden of proving the existence of gods unto the theorists.
In blunt terms, the Razor states that, “All other things being equal, a simpler explanation is preferred over a complex one” (Krauss). Therefore, entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily, so the simplest of theories should be chosen before the most complex and that the unknown should first be measured in known quantities (Krauss). A deity, while providing a simple metaphysical escape for the absence of evidence, adds a plethora of unneeded layers of complexity to the creation of the universe.
The addition of a supreme being to the equation not only dismantles established laws of physics, but creates a type of pyramidal scheme to the universal hierarchy, with the deity at the top, as its influence can “butterfly out” to touch everything in existence and possibly altering its physical properties. The metaphysical effect of a deity on the physical world would have unimaginable effect on known forces and constants, creating a faucet that streams unknown quantities.
Fortunately, Occam’s Razor demands that without empirical data solving some of those unknowns, there is no need to add a god to the equation and the deity can be dismissed (Krauss). To stack on the allowance of a dismissal of gods by the Razor, Occam also requires that the burden of proof of gods falls to theists. Without a need for a god, one must not assume without evidence that a deity exists, just as one would not assume a Minnie Mouse teapot floats between the Earth and Mars without empirical proof of its existence (Krauss).
Therefore, if there is no need for a god, then theists must provide tangible confirmation demonstrating the existence of such a being in order for a reasonable person to feel the need to believe in it (Myers). If the theists, on the other hand are unable to provide tangible confirmation, then the majority are essentially asking the world to follow their religion without a need for god, without proof, and on the terms that the church understands all there is to know of the universe. In the end, thanks to Occam’s Razor, in order for the thesis to stand atheists need not disprove the idea of gods, as one cannot prove a negative.
They need only to disprove (or prove the absence of) the evidence supporting theism. The religious throughout history have failed to provide empirical data for the existence of gods; in fact, experimentation and observation shows otherwise. Theism ultimately provides no factual evidence indicating the existence of a god or multiple gods. The so-called strongest proof for the presence of the supernatural lies almost entirely in the realm of unreliable personal experiences (Faust 72). Theists will often claim that they know of their gods through personal communication or through the feeling of their presence in the world.
This idea inspires quite the opposite of the confidence in God the religious are trying to demonstrate by sharing that information. What the concept of “feeling” gods or having them speak to a person is not only condoned as ludicrous by those who do not partake in the lie, but if true indicates something that drifts very nearly toward borderline mental illness. Those who believe their gods speak to them should not be granted any immunity other schizophrenics are not and need to be admitted into a psychiatric ward.
The thought that personal experience that cannot and has not been processed through a reasonable scientific experimental procedure can take the place of real evidence is one shared solely by theists. The world does not so lightheartedly admit untested and inconstant variables such as personal experiences because no one who logically assesses the facts could morally do so. The nonreligious portion of the Earth’s population does not recognize personal experience as a viable form of evidence for anyone besides theists (Faust 72). This arises from the notion that these experiences claimed by the religious are not comparable to witness accounts r recollection of victims in the court of law. Unlike in the case of witness accounts and recollections, theists demand that the supernatural feelings they have be classified as stand-alone evidence without empirical data or essentially a case to back it up (Faust 74). This form of proof cannot stand by itself, especially when one takes into consideration the fact that these experiences happen so little and with so little correlation to any direct event or circumstance that when compared with the rest they produce an insignificant number (Faust 75).
Not to mention of course, that any witness account in a case must be taken with a grain of salt, as one can never be certain they are telling the truth without the backing of empirical data. In a vain attempt to denounce alternatives to supernatural creation theists often cling to the proud notion that if they can find a single flaw in an important scientific theory, such as natural selection or evolution, then the entire case of the nonexistence of god collapses (Dawkins 51).
First, as proved earlier in the paper, the burden of proof is on the theists, so even if theists can disprove every scientific theory they must still prove theirs (Dawkins 53). Second, a scientific theory must be show to be fundamentally flawed in order for it to collapse. A few issues in the theory simply shows that there is a small amount of data missing or that a certain aspect must be corrected, both of which existences would serve to further the theory (Dawkins 53).
The distinct difference between science and religion is that the scientific method of proposing a theory allows for the theory to change and adapt according to what is observed, meaning the core of the idea is what needs to collapse for it to be incorrect, not the random outliers and exceptions picked on by theists. Conclusively, unlike religious arguments, scientific theory is based on observation and change and therefore need to be proven fundamentally wrong to be publically denounced. Atheists have all heard it before, “Complexity, complexity, complexity, complexity, complexity.
Did you know that a cell is really complex? Complexity, complexity, complexity, and you are just going to be blown away by the Trilobites. It crazy, they’re like little machines. Complexity. Therefore, design. ” The argument of complexity through intelligent design is another tidbit of supposed empirical data theists put forth in an effort to provide “physical” evidence for the existence of gods (Myers). This contention is one of the main, and essentially their only, religious attempts to put forth empirical data which scientists can measure. The entire idea of complexity indicating design is in every sense ridiculous.
The notion can be dispelled by observing the known world and watching nature, or even humans, create complex structures by chance or accident. Take for example, a young boy who tires of playing with a stick and throws it into a nearby creek. The stick floats downstream until it gets caught between two rocks at a narrow, and begins to catch other debris floating by. Eventually a variety of different types of objects will form a natural dam in the creek, creating a small pond, which in turn can develop its own ecosystem filled with life giving the illusion of design, but being completely natural (Myers).
As shown in the example, the complexity of the world derived not from design, but from the wonder of chance, evolution, and natural selection. Over hundreds of millions of years life has slowly developed and pieced itself together much like the dam, changing and adapting to conditions and lifestyles on Earth (Myers). The extreme complexity through which the systems of life today work is derived from the natural selection aspect of evolution, if a system does not work, or fails to quickly adapt, then the system is eliminated time and time again until a system that operates survives (Myers).
The argument of complexity solely resides in world of fantasy, has no scientific basis, and should be disregarded as viable physical evidence. Full well knowing how pitiful the points of the argument of intelligent design are, theists look to one final, very childish, measure to save their drowning plight, questioning the validity of science and the scientists who propose it (Mathew 1). Worshippers have long tried to poke holes in important theories such as natural selection and evolution or convince people to dismiss them as simple “guesses by scientists” (Mathew 1).
On the receiving end of most of this ill-informed ridicule rests a creationist’s worst enemy, the theory of evolution. According to many theists, evolution cannot be as there are, so pompously pointed out, several gaps in the evolutionary chain (Dawkins 52). Not only does this not affect the validity of a theory as proved earlier, but is entirely untrue. Fortunately in this world there stands a concept known as a universal constant, a constant essentially keeps humans from testing if the floor will hold them every time they leave bed, or if the stove is hot when the on light is on, or allowing them to understand if they ump from a building they will die.
These constants allow mankind to make a series of assumptions that make up nearly every decision in an average day. These assumptions permit humans to deduce situations such as that if a malicious looking; blood-soaked man leaves a room with a knife in hand and a body is found that the man was the murderer. The same idea transfers to the concept of evolution in the regard that scientists, with proper reasoning and motive, can guide the theory across gaps in the chain and still hold a fair evidence base.
This utilization of basic skills as assumptions paired with evidence to substantiate them, along with earlier points of scientific theories’ abilities to withstand isolated flaws discredits theist attempts to put science to the question. Not only do the religious weakly attempt to discredit scientific theory and method, but they often will question the religious background of scientists in an effort to win people over to their side (Mathew 4). Perhaps the two most famous cases of the abuse of character are that of Albert Einstein and Charles Darwin.
For ages now religious fanatics such as Ray Comfort have bastardized their work by releasing edited copies of their books and mining for quotes that will purposely mislead the common citizen into believing the scientists were theist. For example, Ray Comfort puts forth this quote about Einstein, “I believe in Spinoza’s God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists…” Comfort removed the quote completely from context in order to misconstrue its true meaning (Mathew 4).
Spinoza’s God is not a god at all, but a term used to sum up the forces of the universe into a word. Einstein in that very paragraph went on to describe how he does not believe in a god who concerns himself with the fates and actions of humans (Mathew 4). Einstein even addressed this kind of misleading material in his own day writing statements denouncing those who claimed him as a believer in God, “It was of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which has been systematically repeated (Mathew 4). Zealots like Comfort also release carefully crafted versions of great works like Darwin’s Origin of Species in which Darwin claims that he finds it hard to believe that something as astounding as the human eye could have developed through chance, neglecting to add the parts right in which Darwin continues to say that despite this, reason suggests that its true (Mathew 5).
The attempt to discredit science and scientists by theists is disgraceful and such a ersonal attack in an impersonal topic alone should be grounds to dismiss the claim. Overall, theists have repeated neglected to present any actual empirical data, therefore have no proof of the existence of gods, and must resort to metaphysical or personal claims. Not only do Occam’s Rule and the absolute lack of empirical evidence disprove the idea of gods, but what arguments theists do rely on are weak, individual, and circumstantial at best, and can all be easily negated.
One of these arguments for theism is the existence of morality and the correlation of morals throughout the world and history (Hauser et al 1). This can be easily negated as, put simply, atheists are the perfect example of how this cannot be true. Without guidance and belief in gods they are just as morally good as any religious person (Hauser et al 2).
Subject: Scientific method,
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 28 September 2016
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