Saturday, July 6, 2013

God Is Not The Answer

This post is considerably shorter than my usual posts since the point I wish to raise is a very simple one. I want to address why god is never the answer to any question about reality, and why anyone truly interested in understanding the world would never be satisfied with that sort of answer.

Imagine that a friend of yours has you over for dinner one night. For the main course he serves you what is hands down the greatest London broil you have ever had. Being a foodie, you ask your friend to please tell you how he made it. “My great grandmother made it” is his odd reply. This is odd for two reasons: 1. His great grandmother is dead 2. Even if she were alive, it still doesn’t really answer the question you asked. As a foodie, what you want to know is HOW the food was made, not by WHOM was it made.

                When a theist attempts to answer any question about reality with “god did it”, “god must’ve done it”, or even better “how else can you explain it, if not for god” they are doing the same thing. First of all, as far as I know there is no god, secondly that doesn’t answer my question. Whether it is the beginning of life, the source of the big bang, or why some people inexplicably recover from life threatening diseases, while others inexplicably drop dead, “god” is never the answer.

                Any question that falls under the reality/science heading is a “how” question, therefore a “who” answer is ill suited. If I want to know how life first arose for example, saying “god did it” doesn’t help me at all. Unless of course you could give me a sensible description of how god did it, in which case who needs the god part of your answer?

                The philosophical term for this sort of fallacy is the argument from ignorance. Summed up, the argument from ignorance is “we don’t know how this works therefore… [insert any nonsense here]”. It must be one of the most absurd fallacies ever, yet people keep making it.

                As always, if you are truly interested in how reality is how it is, turn to science, it’s your best hope, it’s an honest attempt at the answer, and its accuracy is impressive.

                “God” is not the answer, nor can it ever be.