Gods, designers, and author@ptgbooks
Here’s my latest response to author@ptgbooks. I am focusing here just on the reasonableness of belief in the Judeo-Christian creator-god.
You and other participants have often used examples of ridiculous beliefs like dogs being spies from Venus. I suppose you think belief in a creator God is just as ridiculous. I guess it would do no good to try to point out evidence for God, because you would just discount it.
On the contrary, I have pointed out that the evidence you have provided thus far is very poor, and that there is, in a addition, very good evidence against belief in such a maximally powerful and good God.
Can I suggest you read my “The God of Eth” article, to give you a quick overview of why I think the problem of evil/suffering is fatal to belief in such a God, and why I think your appeal to “mystery” etc. just won’t do. I’d be interested in your response.
I see you put forward as evidence for your God that:
(i) the world shows signs of design
(ii) naturalism can’t account for consciousness; God can
(iii) Biblical prophecies support belief in God
Now I have already explained that, by themselves, these design-arguments, even if good arguments for a designer (which they’re not, but let it pass), no more support belief in a maximally good and powerful god than they support belief in a maximally evil and powerful god (i.e. hardly at all).
Ditto consciousness. Even if consciousness requires a supernatural explanation (which is highly debatable), it’s a huge, unwarranted leap from this to “So the explanation must be a maximally good and powerful God.”
Be good to hear what you think is the most impressive Biblical prophecy. Can you spell it out for us, and why you think it’s good evidence for your god?
Otherwise, it looks very much as if, on the evidence, you are taking a right pasting, doesn’t it?
Summary: Your evidence for your very specific God is weedy [(i) and (ii) no more support belief in your God than they do belief in, say, a maximally powerful, but amoral, God]. Moreover, your attempt to deal with the evidence against the existence of this specific being seems to amount to not much more than this: perhaps in some mysterious way this really is the sort of world we should expect a maximally good and powerful God to create.
Compare this case: Every morning, we find sticks on the beach set in geometric patterns. You say this is clearly evidence that there’s a wonderful designer at work on the beach early each morning. But suppose that woven into these patterns are little animals that have clearly been slowly tortured and killed in the process of being thus-arranged. Is it remotely reasonable still to conclude that the designer is wonderful? Surely not. Yes, there may be a designer. But it’s clear he ain’t that wonderful. Anyone who continues to believe that the designer is wonderful isn’t being terribly rational.
Of course, you might come up with all sorts of ingenious explanations for why what we see is consistent with the designer being wonderful after all (I’m sure we can all think of some). But the fact remains the evidence would point firmly away from that hypothesis.