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“There is No God”

How Atheists Use a Negative Statement to Prop up Their Faith in Nothing

By: David Deschesne

Editor/Publisher, Fort Fairfield Journal

November 2, 2011, p. 8

An atheist is one who believes there is no God or divine being in charge of ordering the Universe. A theist believes there is a God. The atheist supports his position that nothing created the Heavens and the Earth by stating a negative; “There is no God” and following it with the fact that since a negative can never be proven, the burden of proof is on the theist to prove there is a God by summoning that God into existence for the atheist to objectively and empirically observe.

What the atheist wants for proof is for God to materialize in front of him and be paraded like some dog or pony for him to see, touch or feel before he will believe there is a God to begin with. Atheists utter “There is no God” then sit back comfortably resting in the belief that prima facie statement is a fact until it can be otherwise disproved. I will now present a brief analogy to illustrate the fallacy of their argument.

An atheist and theist are fishing from the shore of a lake on a deserted country road when comes buzzing down the road, a model airplane flying ten feet off the ground in a perfectly straight line.

The theist may argue there is a control operator for that model plane even if none can be seen. The atheist counters with there is no operator. At this point, both could be right and the burden of proof is on both of them to prove their position. You see, the plane could in fact have a control operator; or, to support the atheist’s position, the plane could have flown out of range of the radio controller, be suffering from interference of the radio signal, or the control operator could have been rendered unconscious, or have died. In any of those events, the atheist could be correct by stating; “There is nobody in control of that plane.” While somebody may really be in control of the plane, and is simply choosing to fly it in a straight line, and a control operator is nowhere to be seen, the theist must come up with more convincing evidence to support his position that somebody is in control.

What happens next is the plane starts doing highly complex stunts; barrel rolls, near vertical climbs, kamikaze dives, pulling out just before hitting the ground. Hi-G turns, more barrel rolls, still more climbs and more dives. The theist would then say to the atheist, “There is the proof that somebody is in control—those highly complex aerial maneuvers cannot be done by the plane alone without somebody or something in control of it.” The atheist sticks to his argument by saying “that proves nothing, I cannot see the control operator, therefore I do not believe there is one. Produce the control operator of that plane, let me see him working the controls, then I will believe somebody is in control of the plane.” (At this point, another argument could be the plane is guided by a computer program, but that software would still have ultimately needed a control operator to program it to begin with.)

Frustrated, the theist looks around to see if he can spot the control operator. However, with today’s satellite, computer, radio and video technology, one need not be immediately present to control a model airplane. Such planes can be operated quite effectively many miles away (and the CIA Predator drone aircraft in use today can be operated by remote many thousands of miles away on another continent).

The theist simply cannot show the atheist the airplane’s control operator. All he can show is the highly complex and precision maneuvers being done by the plane and point to the fact that there is not one example of an unguided model airplane in all of history that has been able to do such complex stunts by itself and in fact there is nothing in the aeronautical design structure of a model airplane that would allow for it. The atheist then proudly and confidently declares “there is no controller” as if it were fact, even though he has not inspected every possible location in the world—or the plane, itself—to verify that statement as absolute fact. In spite of the overwhelming evidence against his position, the atheist maintains his belief upon faith alone; rather than empirical, objective, scientific observation.

This is the crux of the disagreement between the theist and atheist today. While neither can “see” God directly as they would a box of rocks or a stick of lumber, the theist acknowledges God’s existence in the complex order of the universe all the way down to the irreducible complexities of the living cell. There are dozens of design parameters in the universe that if varied slightly, life would never have been able to exist. For example, if specific entropy were greater than it is now the early universe would have been too hot to form galaxies and thus stars (and subsequently, life) would not exist today; if not enough entropy, almost all the hydrogen would have been made into helium at the Big Bang. Stars could exist, but made mostly out of helium they would not have been very luminous and thus life as we know it could not have formed. As for cells, the highly complex and specific structure of DNA requires ordered (not random) sets of pre-existing protein enzymes in order to exist—and a cell structure designed to facilitate its replication. Both highly complex systems cannot occur on their own without a control operator designing and implementing their structures.

While the control operator of the model airplane in the above example was not able to be seen because he was not in an area where the theist and atheist could view him, that did not prove he did not exist and was not in control. Likewise, just because a God that exists outside of the space-time realm we exist in cannot be seen or perceived by our limited sensory apparatus, does not mean He doesn’t exist, either. The burden of proof is in fact on both the theist and the atheist to offer support of their position when the control operator in either example cannot be directly observed. When evidence is observed through the interactions on things they can see and perceive (the model airplane, the structure of the universe and the structure of a living cell), there is more information to consider that may lead toward proof of the existence of a control operator.

Because of entropy (all matter, on its own, tends toward more disorder), without a control operator, the complex maneuvers of the airplane and the complex intricacies of living cells would never exist on their own without someone/something ordering and controlling them. The atheist suffers under the burden of proving a model airplane can assemble itself, fuel itself and conduct highly complex maneuvers by itself with no verifiable outside intelligent guidance. Likewise, the atheist also suffers under the burden of proving the highly complex mechanisms that make up DNA and the irreducible complexity of living cells occurred on their own. Don’t hold your breath waiting for a rational explanation on these mysteries from any atheist.