A fascinating read.
I have been exploring some argument for and against theism and atheism in my biweekly columns at EveryJoe. Unfortunately, the constraints of time and patience do not allow me to state each argument at length, and so, as a gift to my readers, I here publish some of the discussion that did not see print. Make of it what you will.
The strongest argument in favor of one model over another is how much it explained, how clearly, without recourse to special pleading, lapses in logic, or ad hoc. I propose that while the Christian religion contains mysteries certain to daze even the most patient of theologians, it is nonetheless the more robust, on the grounds that it requires fewer assumptions and leaves far less unexplained. For the atheist, nearly everything his worldview seeks to explain is left unexplained, marked off with a mere somehow.
While it is possible (in that it is not a logical self contradiction) that we live in a universe where irrational and non-deliberate chemical and evolutionary processes gave rise to creatures like ourselves capable of reason and deliberation, and that our reason somehow is able to deduce and predict correctly some of the processes of that material universe as well as the imponderable truths of logic, aesthetics, law and ethics, which just so happen somehow to apply to and work inside the material universe as well, it requires a leap of faith to believe that this is the case here in the real universe in which we actually live.
Where is the proof that the real universe behaves in this way?
Where is even a single example?
We have never seen any irrational process lead to a rational result, nor any non deliberate process give rise to a deliberate conclusion, and so our assumption that this somehow happened in the past rests on no evidence, and involves a seeming paradox of something arising from nothing, the paradox of beauty coming from randomness, of ethics springing from remorseless Darwinian struggles to survive, of logic and science arising from unintentional by products of brain chemistry.
And somehow, nearly every human being who has ever lived has had a joy for music and a fear of ghosts, two things which Darwinian selection could not possibly select into existence.
What natural process made it so that natural processes derive order out of chaos without any intention of creating order is also an unanswered somehow...