A strong case for atheism.

Are you a sincere seeker who has questions about Christianity, or a Christian with doubts about your faith? Post them here to receive a thoughtful response.
Post Reply
User avatar
Preach
Acquainted Member
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2005 10:31 am
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0

A strong case for atheism.

#1

Post by Preach » Tue Jun 07, 2005 11:19 am

Now that I have you christian folks' attention, maybe someone can help me out here. I am trying to refute an atheist argument I read on the old forum but am not having much luck as it seems to me to be quite solid and reasonable. The argument goes like this:

Christian says: Due to the vast string of consecutive events from the formation of the universe down to the origins of life on Earth, each having an extremely low probability of occuring and being dependant on the previous event, this must hint at an intelligent creator.

Atheist says: I can refute this easily. According to the laws of probability, we should not have been born. There are many millions of sperm cells and just one happened to fertilize the egg.... <continues to list an entire string of extremely improbable events leading to the birth of a child> ... Due to the law of probability the baby must have been dropped fron the sky by a stork".

Anyone see a hole in the above argument? If so, I sure would like to hear it since I can't say I do. Every now and then I get a real crusher like the above that makes me rethink my position on theism. <frustrated>

User avatar
bizzt
Prestigious Senior Member
Posts: 1654
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2005 12:11 pm
Christian: No
Location: Calgary
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0

Re: A strong case for atheism.

#2

Post by bizzt » Tue Jun 07, 2005 11:42 am

Preach wrote:Now that I have you christian folks' attention, maybe someone can help me out here. I am trying to refute an atheist argument I read on the old forum but am not having much luck as it seems to me to be quite solid and reasonable. The argument goes like this:

Christian says: Due to the vast string of consecutive events from the formation of the universe down to the origins of life on Earth, each having an extremely low probability of occuring and being dependant on the previous event, this must hint at an intelligent creator.

Atheist says: I can refute this easily. According to the laws of probability, we should not have been born. There are many millions of sperm cells and just one happened to fertilize the egg.... <continues to list an entire string of extremely improbable events leading to the birth of a child> ... Due to the law of probability the baby must have been dropped fron the sky by a stork".

Anyone see a hole in the above argument? If so, I sure would like to hear it since I can't say I do. Every now and then I get a real crusher like the above that makes me rethink my position on theism. <frustrated>
What is the Probability of the Stork being Born, Being able to Fly, Being able to carry a Child. And this Argument still does not tell us where the Baby Came From! Where did the Stork get the Child From?

Felgar
Esteemed Senior Member
Posts: 1143
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2004 9:24 am
Christian: No
Location: Calgary, Canada
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0

#3

Post by Felgar » Tue Jun 07, 2005 12:01 pm

Ask him what the probability of matter having different properties is? The Christian argument is not actually one of improbability, but one of impossibility. He is making the assumption that the laws of nature could possibly be different, but this is by no means something that can be demonstrated.

Dawngoogs
Newbie Member
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2005 7:42 am
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0

more...

#4

Post by Dawngoogs » Wed Jun 08, 2005 10:03 am

Ask him, why do we even have laws of nature? Why is the universe ordered in a certain way?

Science can pretty much have theories and explanations based on the laws of nature, physics, biology, etc. for almost everything. But can they explain why these laws even exist?

User avatar
LittleShepherd
Established Member
Posts: 198
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2005 10:47 pm
Christian: No
Location: Georgia, USA
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0

#5

Post by LittleShepherd » Wed Jun 08, 2005 12:27 pm

Well, one logical flaw is that the chances of making and birthing a baby are extremely high. If you have sex regularly and without contraception of some sort(including vasectomy or tube tying), then the chances of you <B>not</B> having a baby is extremely low, not the other way around. It's fairly low the first month, and is pretty much exponential every month thereafter. Much like the chances of getting heads every single time through multiple consecutive coin flips.

The processes that lead to preganancy and birth are very structured. The chances of not getting pregnant are very low, and the chances of pregnancy leading to a healthy baby are very high. If you follow some basic pregnancy guidelines that percentage is well over 90%.

Then take the origin of the universe. <B>The Cosmological constant alone</B> requires an amount of fine-tuning represented by a number with <B>more digits than there are atoms in the universe.</B> Add to that all the other factors such as galaxies forming just right, our galaxy being a spiral galaxy(the only kind that can support life at all), our solar system being placed in the perfect spot within said galaxy, our planet being on the inside half of a solar system with gas giants on the outside which have been proven to buffer the earth from incoming projectiles...and we haven't even gotten to the biology stuff.

Needless to say, the chances of two healthy people having sex(without protection) leading to a healthy baby are well over 90%. The chances of our universe happening just as is by random chance, stemming from the "nothing" before the big bang...it's borderline 0%(I believe it is actually 0%, but people claim that science can't allow absolutes). The number basically goes 0.000000....(continue for a number of digits equal to the number of atoms in the universe MULTIPLIED BY the number of atoms in the universe a few times)%.

Dan
Valued Member
Posts: 288
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2005 6:58 pm
Christian: No
Location: Syosset, New York
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0
Contact:

#6

Post by Dan » Wed Jun 08, 2005 12:55 pm

The atheist forgets that the chance of a baby being born, not them being born specifically, but any baby, is significantly higher than a specific person being born. In that case, it is PROBABLE that someone will be born, exactly WHO is born is up to probability, but the actual birth of someone is very probable during sexual intercourse because of the fact millions of sperm are trying to fertilize a single egg.

Dan
Valued Member
Posts: 288
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2005 6:58 pm
Christian: No
Location: Syosset, New York
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0
Contact:

#7

Post by Dan » Wed Jun 08, 2005 1:28 pm

Allow me to elaborate on my post.

That atheist being born is a nigh impossible event. However it was inevitable. There was a mechanism, the copious amounts of sperm trying to fertilize a single egg, that required someone to be born. By chance it was him but it was inevitable, impossible to avoid provided his mother and father were both healthy individuals. The processes after conception of course are highly ordered and a result of the advanced state of life that facilitates reproduction. After conception, unless there are major DNA errors, the birth is practically guaranteed.

The difference between his birth and the creation of the universe is that the universe was not the result of a process that required the emergence of it. There is no process that can produce a universe that facilitates life completely by the virtue of that's how the process works. When a male and a female have sex, by virtue of that action a baby will be born. The universe is different in that there is no naturalistic process capable of explaining why it turned out that way; contrary to the birth scenario which is defined by the nature of DNA and how it replicates and how life works, which effectively goes back to the universe's creation, as does every other process.

So this argument is fallacious due to equivocation, the creation of the universe is not the same as the birth of an individual. The universe has no business existing while the birth of that atheist was inevitable.

User avatar
jerickson314
Established Member
Posts: 243
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2005 7:50 pm
Christian: No
Location: Illinois
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0

#8

Post by jerickson314 » Wed Jun 08, 2005 7:12 pm

It's time for me to expose the fallacy in the logic.

Suppose you are a high school physics teacher. One of your students is flunking your class. He just isn't getting it. Then you give out your 200-question multiple choice final at the end of the year. You know this student is going to be in trouble; you've heard about all the partying he's been doing instead of studying.

Then this student aces the test.

Would you suspect that this student cheated?

Now for a second situation. What if he got a 21%? But his first question was "B", his second was also "B", his third was "D", his fourth was "A"...

Would you suspect that he cheated?

Notice that both cases (answering every question right and answering every question the exact way he did) have the same probability. Therefore there is the same chance of cheating, right? Herein lies the fallacy.

There is something "special", in fact predefined, about getting every question right. There is nothing "special" about BBDA... over most other combinations of filling out the bubbles.

An intelligent being can tell the difference.

User avatar
Alien
Familiar Member
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2005 8:25 am
Christian: No
Location: Turin, Italy
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0

Re: A strong case for atheism.

#9

Post by Alien » Thu Jun 09, 2005 7:06 am

Christian says: Due to the vast string of consecutive events from the formation of the universe down to the origins of life on Earth, each having an extremely low probability of occuring and being dependant on the previous event, this must hint at an intelligent creator.
Atheist says: I can refute this easily. According to the laws of probability, we should not have been born. There are many millions of sperm cells and just one happened to fertilize the egg.... <continues to list an entire string of extremely improbable events leading to the birth of a child> ... Due to the law of probability the baby must have been dropped fron the sky by a stork".
The fallacy lies in the first case: using the concept of "probability laws" for events that are not comparable each other.

The second case is just exposing what could be the odd consequences of using a fallacy like that of the first case.

Post Reply