No evidence of God (1)
John Azzopardi again tries and fails to point to actual evidence of the existence of God. If there were such a thing, all the world would follow one religion and there would be no need for faith at all. Referring to “the first motion and initial impetus” is still a variation on the “god of the gaps” fallacy. I will cheerfully admit to my ignorance of quantum physics but I understand that it is indeed possible for the universe to come into existence out of nothing thanks to quantum fluctuations. In any case, even if this concept is disproved, and we again find ourselves with no idea how the universe began, it does not follow that “therefore a deity must have done it”.
I certainly agree that an author can use allegory or any other literary device, but that does not fit in well with the idea that the writing in question is historical or literal truth – let alone the word of God. Surely, if God wanted to communicate such a critical message, he would not have made it so uncertain, subject as it is to misinterpretation, cultural misunderstandings and so on. If the writings are not truly true, then the religion has sand as its foundations.
For instance, if there were no real Adam and Eve, then the entire idea of “original sin” is gone. If Jesus did not really mean it when he told his followers that they would be granted anything they ask in his name, or that true believers would be recognised by their ability to drink poison and come to no harm and heal the sick merely by laying hands on them, why assume that he really meant to establish the papacy when he told Simon he would build a church on the “rock” of his faith? Indeed, why assume that he intended to create a new religion with himself as its centre of worship at all?
Yes, I do know that healing by the laying on of hands is impossible and never occurs, and moreover that since this is one of the signs that should accompany those who believe, this proves that either there are no believers anywhere, or that the Bible is wrong. Saying that miracle cures only occur when God wants them to contradicts what the Bible says. The truth is that there are no miracle cures, only unexpected ones – and as any doctor will tell you, not all diseases and conditions obey the rules in the medical textbooks. Sometimes an illness will persist despite treatment and sometimes it will go into remission with no intervention. This happens equally with or without prayer and to people of all faiths or none at all.
I am sure that Christians feel surrounded by others who share their belief, as do Muslims and Hindus and Buddhists and so on, but these are not witnesses – unless of course you are willing to accept that there are witnesses to the existence of the Hindu and other gods too.
The “Archko volume” is a book written in the 19th century by a Presbyterian minister, William Dennes Mahan, who based it on a fictional short story by Joseph Méry and published in Revue de Paris in 1837. The entire account is fictional.