Is faith in God reasonable?
Nick Fish and Dr. Alex McFarland discuss whether faith should be understood to be blind or if it is reasonable.
- Duration 11:02
- Date Feb 1, 2013
Nick Fish and Dr. Alex McFarland discuss whether faith should be understood to be blind or if it is reasonable.
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This transcript is automatically generated
The question of god.
Of whether god exists is -- big question as we've seen from the previous headlines because it does shape our ideas about this world.
So is -- got a reasonable.
Well here to debate that is nick fish is -- development director for American Atheists.
And he is on that right there and doctor Alex McFarland director of -- an apologetic at North Greenville University welcome to you both.
Seems to be your -- I think we're very excited offense you can go pattern that's what's on them hide him okay -- -- you -- shake hands shaking -- -- -- that -- -- -- -- -- -- -- of a lot of -- ask this question and -- there -- a lot of you know different kinds of views about not coming up and we've got his rye is a -- number of people with no religion.
I've -- much of the numbers a bit of -- look at what point by 20%.
Of those 20% are like atheists it don't believe in any gone so I would ask the question is it reasonable.
To believe in god I don't ask -- the first this question put it to you first have been doctor Alex you can you can answer that.
Sure of course is not reasonable any reason if we describe it as.
Following -- following reason and logic there are -- there are so many logical holes in believing in god.
That you can't possibly define it as being reasonable.
In any sense of the word that makes sense consistently.
I'm there are so many holes when you look at the look at it from an evolutionary standpoint from a moral standpoint.
And from essentially any other standpoint you'd -- to look at it okay are just they're so many holes that is did it.
-- just you lose out on all all sorts of logic when you -- up -- silently.
I have a question for you but I really want this to be between -- -- so county go after you answer neck.
Well up constantly I would say it is absolutely reasonable to believe that god there is a god there is a creator there's an ultimate foundation on which reality -- In a general sense we could look at four lines of evidence that I believe are best understood in terms of god existing creation and conscience scripture and -- Creation had to have had a creator human conscience the phenomenon.
Morality and awareness evolution nationalism has no answer.
For how the prime forty -- who became mind.
And oftentimes the burden of proof is put on that the believer in god you know there are holes in logic and holes did evolution and we'll talk about that.
But here -- the burdens of proof on an atheist.
I mean if we're gonna believe that there's no god.
That this is a completely materialistic universe -- -- -- nick Kaeding answered this.
How did something come from nothing we've never observed that.
How did something turn into something else how did out of inanimate matter.
Wife began -- -- consciousness arise how did multiple centers of consciousness or rise.
What what how do you account for the objective nature of of logic of morality of mathematics.
How do you account for religious experience.
-- -- let's go and -- -- what it is Monica because he had a lot of guys and I'm sure I don't and one of the biggest questions for a lot of people.
Is the issue of morality because one of the things that people always ask me about.
If they have a question about god it's this issue.
Of pain and suffering why -- people white people in it have to suffer quite -- good people ought to suffer.
Why -- that that people have to go look at the morality -- this issue of morality -- -- Is one of the logical holes and weather -- there is a guy exporter.
So -- -- when you're talking about so I -- talk about morality.
Different different based systems different people without it.
Have arrived at the same moral conclusions and you know you talk about an objective moral truth the fact is that that objective moral truth -- your talking about.
Has changed so much over the last hundred years 200 years thousand years 2000 years since these.
That's the laying out of that objective moral truth -- you can change scripture.
In all cultures and people like CS Lewis have pointed this out in his book the abolition of man.
Are things that -- in all cultures at all times in all places you know murder is wrong rig treason incest line.
-- -- the ten commandments of those things are wrong because what they do to contribute to the breakdown of society.
So something like that rape murder all of the mind all of those things happen there are reasons for that we'll look at what.
I mean I want to bring back as an anathema logical point anthropological.
Point in that there have been things like human sacrifice that have been part of -- culture is so I just -- religious cultures and religious cult leaders in terms of -- but I mean in terms of all I mean.
All cultures have had some sort of sacrifice -- -- kind of get that for the sport of part of it and they're getting it wrong and in that they're -- -- based on what.
They're getting it wrong because it contributes to problems -- some -- the contributes to a larger problem in society.
Where's your saying we can sacrifice these people are we can sacrifice those people to appease something that's a problem and you consider that because it contributes to you know having fewer people to ten farms contributes to having people not around to raise their children -- -- vetting potential.
The whole idea of something being wrong and something else being right -- is that there's an object of standard outside of ourselves.
In an atheistic world without a foundation of -- -- We can't say you know this is good that is bat because we shouldn't say about that we can say that this is better than this is -- we don't have to understand.
The every single detail about what makes something good will make something that we know objectively.
That if you drink battery acid that's bad for your health we don't know when we go that's -- -- nobody that we haven't.
-- -- recovering battery acid that's bad for your health.
That's I think we think we can objectively most of what standard says that you shouldn't force somebody else to -- the battery -- Because again that would come true.
Who we we take certain things and we say that a person has bodily autonomy that people can control their own and control her own life.
Those are those are things like you said that have existed across time and sort of across I mean what -- This is not confident we'll had a bodily -- does not exist across the us this question let's say.
I'm in the first century of Roman soldier catching the baby on the tip of the spear or in it's Nazi Germany.
The ovens -- -- like you and I were talking about.
Was that morally wrong of course it was morally wrong to question you don't -- got to tell you that you can you can look at that -- -- this contributes to the downfall of society this contributed to but that's a systematic reason it's it's certainly -- -- reason but that's how we develop moral foundation.
In a society as we look at what is good for preserving -- society.
We look at what we'll keep our species knowing we look at and and -- we we we were able to logically and reasonably.
But look at what was let's look at it in -- -- -- and then I'm going back to the anthropological understanding of this.
What if -- -- there are cultures today that believe women should be self serving and that they it's -- to rape.
Women it's okay to sell women -- as -- they believe it's okay that's it calls -- -- -- -- and I'm not basing everything entirely in culture we can we can make sure the well being of people but they have decided that that's the well being for their.
But no there's an there's an objective we can look at will be it.
And -- scientifically.
Sam Harris has a really great book that looks at fiscal moral landscape.
Where he looks -- we measuring it well being and however you define well -- again you don't have to really nail it down as this is well being this is the best thing.
You don't have to say what the highest peak use in the world to know that this peak is uses shorter than the -- that this -- is better.
I -- have a couple of I've got a couple of -- -- here because I wanna get them into it you know Wayne -- stocks is asking argued would -- be so called logical holes.
That's one aspect and Michael parishioners asking why is it possible for something else to exist that also does not change.
And does not have a physical body pick I'm confused by Mexican south.
But it at -- I think in -- restoring a lot of interest and in this because.
There we live a pluralistic society and and asked me if you do agree or not agree on this but most people and it's this western world what kind of -- Oh I think you know all religions are kind of equal everybody you know everybody is -- -- values should be equal.
And that way you know what should have universal claims on anything.
Do you believe.
First of all that most people believe that.
And a second do you believe yourself.
-- -- You different so I I don't know that I would say that all religions have an equal claim on morality.
There are things are put their troubling or problematic things and every religion's holy book or every -- history.
There are justification is there are.
Excuses there's allowances for murder for genocide for treating women.
-- second class citizens for discriminating against LG -- Americans against so many things.
-- and many many religions but people and people get past that.
And they've been removed passionate religion to treat people better than the religion says you -- It's become kind of conventional wisdom to assume that all religions basically teach the same thing that I think Stephen -- -- from Boston University wrote a book god is not one when he.
He says look -- you may believe in god or not but religions don't teach the same thing religions have different.
Tennis and I would say that I believe christianity Christians he has some that there is -- gone that he's revealed himself to the world and that god can be known.
He's the only moral view that measures.
-- and philosophically historically scientifically.
We give -- one -- -- it was a great thing for years ago in an open to blood.
He said on billions of people of -- of experience god and these include some of the best and the brightest in history from Leonardo Da Vinci to Augusta -- -- quietness and on.
If even one of them was right.
They got exist.
And he said the likelihood that they all were deluded or mistaken.
Is is unlikely so there's a great art -- -- monopoly from experience -- And that's the original question is it more reasonable to believe that there is a creator god risen more reasonable to believe that all of this came from accident.
That transcendent mathematics involved mean there's so many things for which natural wisdom has no answer.
-- consciousness morality we do we interest for consciousness revamped we have answers for mathematics in what could cancel a lot of all the answers to mathematics you're talking about -- we're we're using descriptive words.
To describe the thing in which we're just so what does it and athleticism just.
Just drop volley has -- -- we actually happen again but I I.
Have you guys that knew about it two hours easy.
Aren't content with OK but we're really didn't bring out we're gonna come back because I think a lot of questions -- That people have been a lot of questions that I would like to ask but I can't because I think -- go to the ballot thank you nick fish and back out -- And in doing dueling duo here and we'll have a back thank you so much spin it.