Opinion:God

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This article represent the personal opinion of Freek Dijkstra. It was written in June 2010. Remember that opinions may change over time, and this article will likely not cover a topic in detail. Modification by third parties is disabled. If you do not have your own website and really like to leave feedback, do so on the discussion page.

Does God Exists?

With the current evidence there is no way to prove or disprove the existence of (a) God. It it too simplistic to revert these facts to an agnostic point of view. The principle of Occam's Razor strongly suggest that in such a case, the most simple theory prevails, which is that no God exists.

On a personal note, I would be disappointed if a God exists. There is a lot of greatness and shortcomings in living beings: the immune systems is great, but the harshness of nature (killing for food) is not. In human nature, we also see the good (empathy) and the bad (spite). While I appreciate the virtues, I rather would see a design without these flaws.

What is the Evidence?

Evidence in support of a God often point to miracles of supernatural phenomena described in scripture. There can be three causes for this, (1) vivid imagination of the authors, (2) existence of miracles per se, or (3) existence of miracles caused by an omnipotent being. My personal opinion is that I regard it as stories that will help and shape the moral guidance of a given religion. There is nothing wrong with that, but I do not accept the stories as facts.

Evidence supporting the non-existance of God can not exist, since it is inherently impossible to disprove existence of a particular being without knowing it's properties. That includes a deity.

What about Intelligent Design?

I consider Intelligent design or creationism, a flawed theory, based on the Watchmaker analogue. The watchmaker analogue compares the universe to a watch: a watch is a very complex device, and can only be designed and created by an intelligence, the watchmaker. A proponent of intelligent design claims that the universe and life are also very complex, and thus there must be an intelligent being (God) that designed and created the universe and life.

Reasoning by analogy is flawed. David Hume (1711-1776) already pointed out an obvious problem: by the same reasoning, God is a non-trivial being, that could only be created by someone else. Who designed God? Present day philosophers Cathcart and Klein illustrate how reasoning by analogue can be flawed. Some people compare earth to a living being. If this Mother Earth analogy was true at all times, we must conclude that the earth was created by two other earths having sex (analog to the reproduction of living beings). Clearly reasoning by analogue is flawed.

My Philosophy of Life

I felt that the need for morality in life can easily be filled without religion by a moral philosophy such as Humanism. For most practical purposes, I consider myself a humanist.

While most religious have multiple dogmas that I strongly reject (like discrimination of non-believers, or homosexuality), I consider the whole as more positive than no morality at all. As such, I feel comfortable with the morality that most religions imply. I do reject all supernatural premises like the existence of God, an afterlife or the existence of messiah who claim to be in contact by some sort of omnipotent being.

Is Science Relevant Here?

Even if you agree with the above that there is no God, that does not mean religion as a whole should be dismissed. While the search for truth is important, so is another aspect of religion, its morality. For that reason, I rather see religion placed into the realm of moral philosophy, not in the realm of science. As such, it should not compete with science but with other moral guidelines and beliefs. This also means that (followers of) a religion that regard its scripture as solid facts will have a hard time, because solid facts are in the realm of science, and are open for public debate.