Why I am Not an Atheist, Part 2.

Atheism is Incompatible with Science.

By Jon Kauffman

Over the last 40 years several atheists have tried to convince me that I should be an atheist. Over the years I found several reasons that atheism does not make sense to me.

Several months ago, I read “Believing is Seeing, A Physicist Explains How Science Shattered His Atheism and Revealed the Necessity of Faith.” By Michael Guillen. Before he became a Christian, in his search for truth, Guillen compared science with atheism, Christianity and several other world views. Here is a chart he shared in his book to compare a few of his findings:

Guillen’s comparisons

I can also think of other inconsistencies between science and atheism.

We can continue the line of questioning that Guillen used in his book.

Does the Universe have a beginning?

Science: Yes, Atheism: No, Christianity: Yes.

For science the universe starts with a big bang. For Christianity the universe starts with a creative act from God who is outside of time and space.

Since the discovery of the background radiation a majority of scientist have believed that the universe has a beginning. Before Einstein, a majority of scientists believed in an eternal universe.

Atheism is incompatible with a beginning to the universe because then there is insufficient time for life to be created by chance.

Albert Einstein fudged his numbers creating a “cosmological constant” to avoid a beginning. He later claimed it was his “biggest mistake.” Albert Einstein was not an atheist, however this demonstrates that all of us have great difficulty changing our world view even with the best of evidence.

Stephen Hawking tried to redefine “nothing” to mean “the law of gravity.”

 “Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing,” he writes. “Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist.

“It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going.” Stephen Hawking, The Grand Design, page 180

Laurance Kraus changed the meaning of “nothing” to mean the empty vacuum of space.

Kraus said, “Since something is physical, nothing must be physical”

When John Lennox asked Kraus what this statement meant, Kraus said, “I suggest to you that nothing is a colloquial term that means many different things to many people. If empty space is your definition…not only will something come from it, something is required to come from it. Science has just changed the definitions. I call it learning.” John Lennox/Kevin Sorbo, Against the Tide, Finding God in an Age of Science.

Miriam Webster dictionary defines Nothing:

Definition of nothing (Entry 3 of 4)

1a: something that does not exist

b: the absence of all magnitude or quantity.

c: NOTHINGNESS, NONEXISTENCE.

I think it was Laurance Kraus who changed the meaning of “nothing”, not science.

If we need to fudge the numbers, or the change the meaning of nothing to equal the law of gravity or if we need to change the meaning of nothing to be the empty vacuum of space, we have redefined nothing to be something other than what most scientists would define as nothing.

If an atheists must change the meaning of “nothing” to remain an atheist then science is incompatible with atheism.

If as science and Christianity suggest, the universe came from nothing physical, then the Hawking and Kraus quotes seem like gibberish to me.

Science currently cannot tell how the universe was created from nothing. Christianity says that the universe was created by a creator who is outside of time and space, is eternal, and has freedom of choice to create when he wants.

Near death experiences and deathbed experiences give us evidence that it is highly probable that something beyond the material world exists.

The historical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus suggests God is reaching out to man and Jesus is an exact representation of that God. A God who can create the universe out of nothing.

If atheists would like to convert me to atheism, they must convince me that nothing can become something.

I am not aware of any scientific evidence that support the theories that the law of gravity, or the empty quantum vacuum of space or multi-universes existed before the big bang.

Copyright © 2022 by Jon Kauffman. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted when used to further the Kingdom of God. Permission is gladly given to re-blog this post.

Revised: 10/23/2022

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Author: Jon

Jon Kauffman graduated from Goshen College, earning a BA in Religion. Jon attended a Mennonite Church while growing up and currently attends the Salvation Army Church. Jon works as a drafter at TrueNorth Steel, Fargo, ND.

27 thoughts on “Why I am Not an Atheist, Part 2.”

  1. It is pretty obvious that you are not convinced by this argument, but instead have found it and are using it as an excuse to justify your belief. I say this is obvious because the argument is just ludicrous. I will explain:

    Science does not say that absolute truths exist. Science looks at evidence, and draws conclusions from the evidence. So your very first square on the chart is wrong. Next, there may be facts that we can not discover, but we can discover facts that directly refute a claim. “I have a fully grown elephant in the trunk of my car” can be disproven. So the second square is just a poorly designed statement intended to confuse instead of clarify. And no, the universe is most definitely NOT designed for life. 99.999% of the universe will kill us in an instant. This is like saying a wood chipper was DESIGNED for babies to sleep on because there is a small patch of non-chipping metal on the side. No, the universe doesn’t care about life at all.

    Atheists, well, everything in this column is wrong. Completely wrong. Some atheists will say absolute truths exist, others will say no. This is because atheism is not claiming anything. Atheism does not prescribe a viewpoint on absolute truth. Atheism does not prescribe a viewpoint an anything, for that matter. All atheism is, is the non-belief in a god. So the entire second column makes as much sense as dicussing the political viewpoints of toaster ovens.

    So basically, if you make up vague rows, then use demonstrably false answers for column 1 and 2, then suddenly “Christianity” looks pretty good, eh? Which brings us to the last problem. There are THOUSANDS of religions that would also answer “Yes, yes, and yes” down the column. This example is a intentionally (fraudulently) leaving out other possible explanations. Hiduism, Muslim, Janism, Zoarastrianism, Voodooism, Aboriginalism, Ancient Egyptian, Cargo cults, and Scientology ALL would answer “yes, yes, and yes”. Making up a poor measure by which to evaluate a religion is pointless if every religion measures exactly the same.

    Which is why this example is clearly ludicrous, and why it is clear you didn’t actually consider it, but just latched onto it. Don’t feel bad, it’s what humans do when they have an irrational belief.

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    1. Thespartanatheist said, “And no, the universe is most definitely NOT designed for life. 99.999% of the universe will kill us in an instant.”

      I think the part of the universe that would kill us is far greater than 99.999%. How many places in the universe would allow almost 4,000,000,000 years for life to develop? The slice of space where life can develop is so small the the odds of that happening are inconceivably small. At this time science cannot even begin to tell us how the universe began or how life began. I am looking forward to the day when we can learn more about this!

      Forensic scientists have methods for determining if a death is accidental (no intelligent cause) or it is an intentional murder. (Intelligent cause). According to J.P. Moreland in the book “Scientism and Secularism” on page 143, 3 criteria used to determine if an event is accidental or intentional.

      1. Contingency: Was the event required to happen. For example: When the temperature reaches 0° C water will freeze. But when the big bang occurred facts that did not need to happen that way such as speed of the expansion of the universe or the strength gravity. These had to be in a narrow and unlikely range for life to occur. A universe which allowed life was not required to happen.

      2. The event had a small probability of happening.

      3. The event is capable of independent specificity. It is capable of being identified as a special occurrence that did, in fact, happen.

      The beginning of a universe where life could exist was not required to happen, the probability of it happening was very, very small and yet it did happen.

      This does not prove that the Christian God exists but it does definitely suggest intelligent design. Scientific facts such as these in conjunction with the evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus, cause belief in a Christian God to be very logical.

      Two books discussing the odds of life occurring include “Designed to the Core” by Hugh Ross and “Return of the God Hypothesis” by Stephen C. Meyer.

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    2. thespartanatheist said: “This is like saying a wood chipper was DESIGNED for babies to sleep on because there is a small patch of non-chipping metal on the side. No, the universe doesn’t care about life at all.”

      Jon replied: Perhaps I misunderstand what you are trying to say here. I do not think your comment applies. Of course a wood chipper is not designed for a baby to sleep on. In comparison to the universe we do have a universe more dangerous than a wood chipper and we do have life existing in that universe. We do not have babies sleeping on a wood chipper.

      We do have an intelligent designer for a wood chipper and the intention of the designer was to chip wood and not to create a sleeping place for a baby. We have criteria which that suggests intelligent design for our slice of the universe where we live and our existence suggests that our presence here is the purpose of that design.

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      1. Jon, you first said the universe was designed for life, but then admitted it is clearly not but that’s why this patch is so special. Those are contradictory. If this infinitesmally small part of the universe is special because this is where your magic sky daddy decided to make life possible, then the rest of the universe, the overwhelming majority of it, is NOT designed for life.

        Next, things actually can live on the side of a wood chipper. That doesn’t mean a wood chipper was designed for life. So when you claim that either the whole or just this teensy tiny bit of the universe is “designed” for life, the real question is why do you assume it is “designed” at all?

        By admitting that nearly none of this universe is designed for life, it means that pure luck is also a likely option.

        So god magic or pure luck?

        You mentioned you have some criteria which suggests intelligent design?

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    3. thespartanatheist said: t is pretty obvious that you are not convinced by this argument, but instead have found it and are using it as an excuse to justify your belief. I say this is obvious because the argument is just ludicrous.

      Jon replied: Yes you are correct. The book by Guillen is not what convinced me of God’s existence. What convinced me is the historical evidence for the existence of Jesus.

      I did find Guillen’s book fascinating and quit supportive of what I do believe. Science can neither prove nor disprove the existence of God.

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      1. Jon, thank you for your honesty. I’m willing to quit arguing this ridiculous “science” argument, since it is unconvincing to say the least.

        Lets talk history! Zero legitimate evidence for any of it, and quite a bit of evidence the whole thing was faked. Where would you like to start?

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      2. thespartanatheist said: “Lets talk history! Zero legitimate evidence for any of it, and quite a bit of evidence the whole thing was faked. Where would you like to start?”

        Jon replied: Not sure what you are talking about here.

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    4. thespartanatheist said: You mentioned you have some criteria which suggests intelligent design?

      Jon replied: This is in my first response to your comment. I mentioned J.P Moreland’s use of the forensic scientists methods for determining if a death is a murder. Do you think we can use forensic methods to determine intelligent design? Why or why not.

      I think the fact that the slice of space where life can exist actually does bolster the design hypothesis. I don’t understand why you think it does not.

      A wood chipper is not designed for life, but it does have life on it because there is a great deal of life in it’s environment that is compatible with living on a chipper. I still do not see how the chipper in any way takes away from the idea that the universe is designed.

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      1. 1. Your god hypothesis is magic and unreal in nature. So no forensic argument can be used UNLESS your god influences the natural world. Do you make the claim your god can affect the natural world?
        2) The “god of the gaps” argument is invalid. Ignorance does not mean god exists. And yes, given a billion, billion, billion chances for chemistry to do something, that it happens is not particularly amazing nor does it imply the existence of a deity. You only think it amazing because you are here. But of you were a hydrogen atom 654 million light years from here, it doesn’t look as amazing. You suffer the illusion of design because you got lucky.
        3. I’m so happy I thought of the wood chipper analogy. Even if a wood chipper is designed, it was not designed to help procreate life. Likewise, even if the universe was designed, the only reason you have to think the intent was human life is because you are here. The bug feeding on mold on the side of the wood chipper is equally wrong in thinking the wood chipper was designed for his life. His life is a happenstance, period. And this is for a designed machine. Your life is a happenstance, and you can’t even demonstrate the machine was anything but a reaction of physics. To say the least, your argument is fanciful. It is without merit.

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    5. thespartanatheist said: “Given what we know of the brain when oxygen starved or when blunt trauma is enacted, not expecting hallucinations is stupid. So, hallucinations is the answer.”

      Jon replied: Yes, of course some of the experiences, especially drug induced experiences are probably hallucinations. The books “Imagine Heaven,” by John Burke and “Deathbed experiences” by J. Steve Miller give many examples that cannot be explained by hallucinations. I am open to suggestions backed by evidence, but it appears to me a “parallel world” or many “biblical spiritual world” or dimension outside this physical world is strongly suggested by the evidence.

      If we are looking for truth, I think issues such as the theory of everything, intelligent design and the resurrection of Jesus must be decided on the evidence and not opinion..

      For example, atheists such as Richard Dawkins and Peter Atkins have the opinion that evidence for the resurrection of Jesus does not exist. I and many historians find that opinion to be absurd based on the historical evidence that is available.

      I think truth exists, but because of our situation we cannot know all the truth. Evidence from science, philosophy and theology can point us in the right direction and the more we know the closer we will get to the truth. If we pretend evidence does not exist we cut ourselves off from the truth that evidence can teach us.

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      1. See, Jon, the reason you think there is “evidence” for near-death experiences or Jesus is because you are very poor at evaluating information.

        If we get all fast and loose with what is considered”evidence”, then I can prove literally anything.

        Here are things that you use as evidence, which should nevet be used as evidence of anything. 1) post-hoc rationalization. 2) distorted memories. 3) third-person accounts. 4) propaganda.

        If you take those for categories out, you have no evidence for near-death experiences, and no evidence for Jesus.

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      2. thespartanatheist said: Here are things that you use as evidence, which should nevet be used as evidence of anything. 1) post-hoc rationalization. 2) distorted memories. 3) third-person accounts. 4) propaganda.

        Jon replied:

        I really appreciate you taking the time to explain your position. I enjoy discussing ideas with people with whom I disagree. I learn a great deal.

        I agree that your four categories of information should not be used as evidence.

        We have in the New Testament documents, first person accounts. The information provided is extremely reliable in areas we can check. We know most of the original wording of the Greek through textual criticism. We have eyewitness accounts from reliable documents that were written by reliable people. I am searching for truth, according to your criteria I need to take the New Testament documents seriously as evidence for the resurrection.

        Do you have a better explanation of the events that more closely matches the evidence than that Jesus rose from the dead?

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      3. Jon, we absolutely know beyond the shadow of a doubt that the Gospels are not first person accounts. It is irrefutable based on the very writings themselves. For a single person to write their own eywitness account, they would have to be in Mary’s bedroom when she received a vision. Think about that for a minute. Who was in the bedroom of Mary, a 12 year old girl when she received a vision from god? And if you can possibly imagine anyone that was there, then you also have to place that exact same person with Jesus, alone EXCEPT FOR OUR WITNESS in the wilderness 30 years later. No, the gospels are impossibly not first-hand accounts.

        Did Mary say to the ghost “Holy crap, you woke me AND “insert name”? No. Did Jesus say to the devil that he brought the same person along for companionship? No.

        And it gets worse. King Herod consulted his inner circle and made a decision, and that conversation plays out in the gospels. Are you telling me that the same exact person watched 12 year old Mary in her bedroom get awoken by a ghost, then later was in Herod’s inner circle, and later was Jesus’ silent companion in the desert?

        IT GETS WORSE! Read ANY single one of the gospels and tell me how a single person could actually be witness to all those events. The miracles. Finding the disciples. Joseph’s vision. What Peter told the guards.

        No, it is impossible. At the very least, the MAJORITY of the gospels are at best third hand accounts. And that is simply reading what they say.

        And in reality, Mark is a story written a generation later by an anonymous source, while the rest are just Mark with embellishment.

        In terms of what level of accountancy the gospels have, the reality is they are at the most generous offering fourth person accounts. I mean, they are so horrible in their account that they claim two people were ruling at the same time when one died 12 years before the other rose to power. How bad does an account need to be to be 12 years off of rulers?

        Imagine if I spoke about someone that was born while Chris Christie was governor of New Jersey while Ronald Reagan was President of the US. That’s the level of incompetent, non-first person, multiple generational removal from the facts rhe writer of Mark is.

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  2. “If atheists would like to convert me to atheism, they must convince me that nothing can become something.”

    so, a god of the gaps argument and still no evidence for your god or Jesus or the resurrection. Only stories.

    “Christianity says that the universe was created by a creator who is outside of time and space, is eternal, and has freedom of choice to create when he wants.”

    so, where does it say that this god is outside of time and space? and yep, it says the other things, and gee, no evidence at all for those either.

    “Near death experiences and deathbed experiences give us evidence that it is highly probable that something beyond the material world exists.”

    nope, they don’t. not one can be shown to be magical in any case.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. We don’t know completely *yet*. Your god of the gaps argument depends on humans never doing another moment of research.

        And if we never quite figure it out, you still have no evidence for your god at all or that it does anything.

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      2. Jon, the simple answer is somwthing came from nothing when a magical, pink, invisible, giant unicorn farted universes into existence. This has as much evidence as the existence of your god. Think about that for a second.

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      1. Jon, I’ve had plenty of christians try to claim that their god isn’t magic, aka supernatural. It is by definition, so you aren’t skeptical of magic at all. You believe in it wholeheartedly. As soon as you claim a miracle happens, you claim magic happens.

        There is no evidence of any magic happening in NDEs and deathbed experiences. All of those claims can easily be explained by brain functions altering. No soul, no heaven and no hell exist.

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    1. So do you have good reasons for not believing the historical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus? Do you have a better explanation of the events surrounding the death of Jesus? I have researched the evidence and find it very convincing. I can believe beyond a reasonable doubt.

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      1. Jon, there is no historical evidence for the existence of Jesus Christ, son of god, who resurrected after being dead.

        No one noticed the supposed events around the cruxifiction or other times when JC was supposedly in existence. No one noticed a man wandering around Roman-occupied Palestine with a literal Roman legion’s worth of men following him. No one noticed a day where the sky mysteriously darkened, there was a major earthquake and dead Jews were wandering around Roman-occupied Jersusalem around a Passover. We know how fractious Jerusalem was during their Roman occupation, do you think that there wouldn’t have been riots that would have caused the Romans to be quite a bit earlier than 70 AD to destroy the temple, etc?

        I can say you haven’t researched it, but simply accept apologetics since all that you have are baseless stories and historians reporting what Christians believed happened, but nothing showing the events themselves did.

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