Because the writer isn’t a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote him by using his full name. But it doesn’t matter in this case because the author uses an obvious pen-name: Contra Mundum — that’s Latin for “Against the World,” a good name for a reality denier. Excerpts from the letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!
So, does God exist? Any gods at all, even? The answer is a clear and firm “No”, according to “Mr. Phhht”, a longtime discussion partner from the Land of Pandas (which is rather noteworthy for its collective shortage of belief in God’s existence). “There Are No Gods”, he firmly and faithfully preaches.
Whoever Mr. Phhht is, his claim is outrageous! Have no fear, Contra Mundum is going to set things straight. The letter says:
Now let’s be honest. Atheism is a losing proposition anyway, because as Christian philosopher Winfried Corduan pointed out, it requires that (1) you have access to all available avenues of knowledge that may have any bearing on the question of whether God exists, and (2) you are able to demonstrate that you’ve actually checked out ALL those avenues of knowledge and confirmed that God doesn’t exist in ANY of them.
Christian philosopher Winfried Corduan thinks the burden of proof lies with the skeptic, rather than with the one who makes a claim. That’s very convenient for advocates of a claim that has no evidence to support it. Let’s read on:
Hence, atheists usually try to shift the burden of proof. [Aaaargh!!] Accordingly, Mr. Phhht has challenged me to provide testable evidence (not “proof”, because as Satoshi Kanazawa wrote in Psychology Today, “proof” exists only in mathematics and logic), that a God or gods exists.
Egad — the nerve of that guy to demand testable evidence! The letter continues:
His challlenge [sic] is reasonable in my opinion, because the Bible itself offers an equally sharp challenge to atheists like Mr. Phhht:
“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” (Rom. 1:20)
Interesting. Although Contra Mundum feels that it’s not necessary to offer evidence, he will follow the biblical example and do so anyway. Then the letter wanders into some polling data, which we’ll skip. After that we’re told:
Just look at the biological world all around you, indeed just go look at YOURSELF in the bathroom mirror, and then use something that ordinary humans — Atheist, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindus — use every day: “Inference To The Best Explanation.” First call attention to the evidence, then call attention to the the best explanation that can be rationally inferred using that evidence. We all do this every day in one area or another.
Ah yes — look out the window! We’ve encountered that powerful evidence before. Here’s more:
Here’s a quick demo. The Bible says that God made the human eye (Prov. 20:12). So is there “testable evidence” of that statement? Sure. First check the evidence (the eye), then check what the evidence best infers or points to. Human eyes are complicated, so let’s just pick one piece of evidence (well known to some of us diabetics): the human eye lens.
We’re going to skip the author’s argument. If you care to wade into it, go ahead. The rest of us are moving on:
So, now you have a rationally and scientifically supportable inference that a non-human intelligent designer whom the Bible labels as “God”, exists and created human eyes, as claimed in Prov. 20:12.
Yeah, okay. Hey, if you’re determined to end up in the Lake of Fire, check out Wikipedia’s article on evolution of the eye.
So, has the letter-writer given us proof of God? Not quite. Here’s our last excerpt:
Nope, I did NOT say you have proved God’s existence. Science doesn’t do “proof” of anything, right? But now you have evidence that’s rationally usable to test a rational claim. You can now rationally test Mr. Phhht’s clear claim that “There Are No Gods” and see if the evidence best infers THAT claim, or best infers the Bible’s clear theistic claim.
So there you are, dear reader. Did you have a pleasant time, banging your head against the desk? We hope so. That’s what our collection of letters is all about.
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