Why I’m a Christian Theist


Well, folks, it’s time. I now feel like I’ve built up enough suspense.  It’s time for me to defend my views and really get the discussion started.  I’ve written two introductory, though necessary, posts as to the function of this blog.  Now, I will give you the last, a hybrid post composed of introductory orientation and apologetics, as a segue to what typically the content will look like.  Previously, I think I have made it clear what my worldview is, but if somehow you missed it there or in the orange headline above the text, I’m a Christian theist.  I feel like it’s time to provide some basic explanation and justification for my position because I don’t think I can go much longer without doing so and losing some credibility.  It’s time to show I can get my hands dirty.

Firstly, I’ve been raised in a Christian household my whole life.  Now, I anticipate already an objection, and before it takes too much shape, I would like to head it off.  No, I wasn’t the victim of indoctrination and mental conditioning, and therefore unable to think for myself.  An objection of the same vein is that if I had been born in polytheistic Greece, I would worship Zeus, Athena, Apollo etc. instead of the Judeo/Christian God.  That, my belief in the supernatural is contingent on my social environment.  I love how this objection presupposes the individual unable to think for his or herself.  I think with any real reflection, most people should think this assumption is false.  Setting does not guarantee belief as evidenced by examples such as Aristotle, a product of ancient Greece, who actually came to belief in the existence of a Supreme Being.  His concept of God, in fact, was similar to the one many hold today, and has influenced theologians and theistic philosophers up until this day.

Maybe some would argue I have obstinately clung to dogma in the face of evidence like Darwin’s Theory of Evolution.  But I challenge these people to show how the truth of the theory nullifies God’s existence.  It doesn’t logically follow that if evolution is true, then God does not exist.  Much in the same way, the existence of alien civilizations or extraterrestrial life does not mean there is no God.  Many Christians, Muslims, Jews accept the theory of evolution, but still are devoted to their respective religions.  Personally, I’m an agnostic towards evolution because I do have what I think to be scientific criticisms of the theory, but my belief in God does not depend on whether or not we evolved from simpler life forms into more complex ones.  The real battle for God’s existence, I think, is fought in philosophy, not science.

The truth of the matter is I have been exposed to the same information as many atheists, but I have chosen that theism makes more sense than atheism in regards to the evidence.  It’s that simple.  The whole issue is not as black and white as some naturalists think it is.  There isn’t a preponderance of evidence that overwhelmingly supports atheism.  I actually believe it supports theism, and we may disagree on this claim, which is fine, but the debate isn’t so one-side as some think it is.

For the sake of brevity, I can’t go into very deep detail as to what I believe to be strong evidence for Christian theism, but as I write more and more posts, the picture should become clearer.  But to give you a taste, I think German philosopher and mathematician Gottfried Leibniz’s question, “Why is there something rather than nothing?” really gets to the heart of the issue.  Yes, I think there is evidence and arguments for both Biblical Christianity and the existence of the monotheistic Judeo/Christian God, but I have another reason for my belief.

Layered inside Leibniz’s question is another — what other explanation could there be?  I think Leibniz means other theories just seem inadequate in scope compared to theism, and I agree.  I find the metaphysical naturalism often associated with atheism to be a shallow worldview, and its failures have solidified me in theism.  These glaring weaknesses are seldom brought to light because usually the naturalist is always on the offensive in the debate.  I hope to levy some of these problems against that ideology on this medium in later posts, but I will allude to a few cases.

Many atheists hold the universe exists out of the necessity of its own nature.  Claiming, if God has always existed, why can’t the universe?  But this is a corner the naturalist really does not want to back into because there is strong evidence, both philosophical and empirical, that render such a claim absurd.  I also find, given a naturalistic ideology, the is/ought problem laid out by Scottish philosopher David Hume and the related naturalistic fallacy, presents a very high hurdle indeed for atheists if morality exists.  And through a priori intuition, I would argue it does.

So in a nutshell, that’s why I believe what I do.

Cheers,

Modus Pownens

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Why I’m a Christian Theist

  1. “Setting does not guarantee belief as evidenced by examples such as Aristotle, a product of ancient Greece, who actually came to belief in the existence of a Supreme Being.”

    I think using Aristotle is an unfair assertion. The sad fact is that we are not Aristotle. It is unfit to compare everyday people to one of history’s greatest thinkers. Simply because he was able to decide for himself, does not mean that many have the same mental prowess. Also, I think it is a fair assessment that the context in which people are raised is important – in every aspect of life, not just religion. For example, church/religion is simply another aspect of living for some. Many people do not “live the life” of a Christian, but simply call themselves such because that is all they know.

    “It doesn’t logically follow that if evolution is true, then God does not exist.”

    I completely agree. However, one must be careful when asserting this. Evolution does not negate the existence of a God in the Deistic sense, but would pose intrinsic complications to say the Creation cosmogony, a cornerstone of the Christian belief.

    “There isn’t a preponderance of evidence that overwhelmingly supports atheism. I actually believe it supports theism…”

    I seriously hope you explore this claim in a later post.

    So, if I understand correctly, your main argument for there being a God is the cosmogony. While this is fair, is it not a good bit of illogic to follow that because science cannot explain it yet, it must be because of a God?

  2. “I think using Aristotle is an unfair assertion. The sad fact is that we are not Aristotle. It is unfit to compare everyday people to one of history’s greatest thinkers. Simply because he was able to decide for himself, does not mean that many have the same mental prowess. Also, I think it is a fair assessment that the context in which people are raised is important – in every aspect of life, not just religion. For example, church/religion is simply another aspect of living for some. Many people do not “live the life” of a Christian, but simply call themselves such because that is all they know.”

    My point here is that cultural and social setting not always indicative of what you believe. Aristotle is probably an extreme example, and I hope I didn’t come off as someone who views himself as in the same intellectual league as the man because that is not the case. Correct me if I’m wrong, but you grew up in a Christian background, but now you’ve become an atheist. I think I was trying to dispel the notion that I haven’t freely thought for myself when it comes to this topic.

    “Evolution does not negate the existence of a God in the Deistic sense, but would pose intrinsic complications to say the Creation cosmogony, a cornerstone of the Christian belief.”

    I think I know where you’re going with the assertion that the theory contradicts what is written in the Genesis account, but I have to disagree. For the record, I’m not a Biblical literalist, and therefore I don’t think there is anything inherently contradictory with this planet’s natural and evolutionary history and the Bible. There are Christians who believe in theistic evolution. Kenneth R. Miller is a prominent one. They hold evolution was God’s chosen mechanism in bringing about life. Where they differ from Neo-Darwinian proponents is that they don’t think the process was unguided. You made the assertion there are “intrinsic complications” so I’m going to have to ask you to back it up, if you please.

    “I seriously hope you explore this claim in a later post.”

    The truth is I could write practically a whole book on this, and people already have. It’s just isn’t feasible to do so in a single blog post. As I post more and more, I think it will paint a picture of what I mean. When I wrote this, it just meant I believe the evidence supports theism, not naturalism. The purpose of the previous post was to briefly explain why I believe what I do. I never intended to go into great detail.

    “So, if I understand correctly, your main argument for there being a God is the cosmogony. While this is fair, is it not a good bit of illogic to follow that because science cannot explain it yet, it must be because of a God?”

    I do find cosmological arguments compelling, but it isn’t the only reason. I think the moral argument is strong too. I’m starting to learn about transcendental arguments. I’m undecided on ontological arguments. I’m cautious of teleological or design arguments, especially ones similar to William Paleyesque ones.

    And I’m not invoking a God-of-the-Gaps argument. Let me clarify. My argument was more based in the branch of philosophy known as metaphysics, not in science. I don’t think science will ever be able to explain what caused the universe. Science is only useful in the realm of the physical objects and laws of this universe. So, if the cause of the universe is external to it like the Kalam Cosmological Argument proposes, science has no ability to tell us what the nature of the cause is. I do believe science has given evidence to the fact the universe is finite and not infinte i.e. cosmic background radiation the law of entropy. Moreover, cosmological arguments make a metaphysical claim about the impossibility of an infinite chain of causal events, and so transcends science. Honestly, I’m not quite sure where you think I implied God-must-of-did-it hypothesis in a scientific sense. When I used Leibniz’s quote, I was referring to cosmology philosophically speaking, and not scientifically.

  3. “I think I was trying to dispel the notion that I haven’t freely thought for myself when it comes to this topic.”

    I understand what you are saying. I would still contend, however, that many religious people do not apply their ability to think critically to their religion. This is mostly experiential, though.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s