the concept of evidence requires the worldview described in the Bible, the nature and character of God.
The scientific method is grounded by induction.
Induction is justified by the uniformity in nature.
The atheist worldview cannot account for the uniformity in nature other than to say it’s ‘just so’.
The atheist cannot account for the preconditions of intelligibility (the reliability of memory, the reliability of sense perception, the invariant abstract universal laws of logic/mathematics, objective morality, and again, induction).
The atheist can count, but he cannot account for counting.
“While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night Shall not cease.” - Genesis 8:22
“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” - Mark 1:15
Naturalism cannot ground fundamentally anything. That is: 1. Existence itself 2. The meaning of life 3. The value of human life 4. Moral values 5. Knowing what is objectively ( ontologically) true in regards to reality
6. Sound reasoning 7. Logic 8. Intelligibility 9. Mind and consciousness 10. Uniformity in nature.
Atheists cannot ground fundamentally anything, that is: 1. Existence itself: Being cannot come from non-being or non-existence. Nor can there be an infinite series of events in the past. 2. The meaning of life: There can be no fundamental meaning if there is no God which made us for a specific purpose and if our lives will cease to exist one day. 3. The value of human life: Without God, there can be no intrinsic, sanctity, or inherent value of human life, there can be no measure to distinguish why a cockroach is less valuable than man. 4. Moral values: Atheists also presuppose that objective moral values exist - like it is wrong to torture and kill babies for fun. But atheists cannot consistently claim that any moral values exist if there is no prescribing higher entity that establishes binding "ought to be's". 5. Knowing what is objectively ( ontologically) true in regards to reality: If there is no God, there is no reference point for us to know what is ultimately true and real. It can be anything. We can exist in a matrix, we can be the experiment of an alien life form outside the universe. 6. Sound reasoning: If our biological features, and more importantly our cognitive machinery evolved from some evolutionary forces of nature, how can we trust our brain and our thinking? the very thinking, belief, or trust in naturalism which are the products of blind or unguided forces of nature?? 7. Logic: Objective logic cannot be based on our subjective minds, a non-static universe, or immaterial abstractions outside of a mind. 8. Intelligibility: To be ultimate and singular means to be the source of all possibilities. How can we establish what is possible and impossible without referencing God? 9. Uniformity in nature: In order to understand our existence, we need to presuppose an orderly universe, governed by physical laws. Atheists have to assume it without having an explanation why it is so. An atheist has no answers to why the initial conditions, and why physical laws exist at all. They have to presuppose intelligibility of the created order without having a justification of that state of affairs.
The very demand to provide evidence of God's existence requires the presupposition of uniformity of nature, a logical mind, and sensory perceptions that we can trust. And all three require God, which secures what is possible and impossible, and therefore, is required to provide continuity and stability of the universe. Logic and consciousness can not come from matter. In a recent YouTube stream, an atheist claimed that the brain is the hardware, and the mind, the software. Then I asked: Can the hardware give rise to the software? He immediately became aware that he shot in his own worldview, and tried to change the subject. We also need to have senses that can perceive the natural world. While naturalists claim that evolution is an adequate explanation, I think it's not. There are many things that have to work in an interdependent manner and have to originate all at once. In order to see, we need the eye, the optic nerve, and the visual cortex in the brain. if one is missing no deal.
Atheists cannot ground fundamentally anything, that is:
1. Existence itself
2. The meaning of life
3. The value of human life
4. Moral values
5. Knowing what is objectively ( ontologically) true in regards to reality
6. Sound reasoning
9. His mind and consciousness
10. Uniformity in nature.
1. Existence cannot come from non-existence. Thomas Aquinas: By definition, a non-contingent effect causes itself. These effects are not observed. If an effect caused itself, it would need to have existed prior to itself.
2. There can be no fundamental meaning, if there is no God which made us for a specific purpose, and if our lives will cease one day to exist. If that is so, the day we cease to exist, even IF there is a God, what we did during our lifetime, will ultimately cease to have a fundamental meaning. It is just a momentary transition out of oblivion into oblivion.
3. Without God, there can be no intrinsic, sanctity, or inherent value of human life, there can be no measure to distinguish why a cockroach is less valuable than man.
4. Atheists also presuppose that objective moral values exist - like it is wrong to torture, rape, and kill babies for fun. But atheists cannot consistently claim that any moral values exist if there is no prescribing higher entity that establishes binding "ought to be's".
5. Truth can be defined as that which corresponds with reality. However, how can we know what reality is? If there is no God, there is no reference point for us to know what is ultimately true and real. It can be anything. We can exist in a matrix, we can be the experiment of an alien life form outside the universe, we can be the byproduct of a multiverse. Maybe solipsism is true. Whatever. We are left with the sober recognition that our lives are ultimately absurd. That leads to nihilism.
6. Atheists cannot trust their reasoning and have no justification for it. J. B. S. Haldane, British Evolutionist. “If my mental processes are determined wholly by motions of atoms in my brain, I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true – and hence I have no reason for believing that my brain is composed of atoms.” Atheists assume their senses and ability to reason are accurately digesting the information around us. C.S. Lewis: Supposing there was no intelligence behind the universe, no creative mind. In that case, nobody designed my brain for the purpose of thinking. It is merely that when the atoms inside my skull happen, for physical or chemical reasons, to arrange themselves in a certain way, this gives me, as a by-product, the sensation I call thought. But, if so, how can I trust my own thinking to be true? But if I can't trust my own thinking, of course, I can't trust the arguments leading to Atheism, and therefore have no reason to be an Atheist, or anything else.
7. What about the laws of logic? Atheists have to assume them. Which is another presupposition most all humans hold. Non-material entities such as objective truth is a myth since even the most basic principles of logic are all produced by a random accident, as is so the brain.
8. Intelligibility: Russell’s “naïve realism” (things are what they seem) is the idea that our sensory perceptions of color, shape, hardness, etc. drive our concept of reality, and produced the pursuit of reality: Physics. Yet they are not the things of physics, which goes deeper than the cosmetics of the object being observed, and shows that things are not “what they seem”.
9. The atheist mind recognizes only “Natural” and Material” effects, rejecting everything that cannot be proven empirically or forensically. So the Atheist mind must also reject the existence of a mind, since such an intangible cannot be proven to exist empirically or forensically.
10. In order to understand our existence, we need to presuppose an orderly universe, governed by physical laws. Atheists have to assume it without having an explanation why it is so. An atheist has no answers to why the initial conditions, and why physical laws exist at all. They have to presuppose intelligibility of the created order without having a justification of that state of affairs. If man could not be assured that the future will be like the past, that subsequent events will sustain a causal relation to previous states of affairs, the basis for any science would be lost. Initially, he would appeal to past uniformity; yet this fails to answer the question. What right have we to read the past into the future? Then the autonomous thinker might observe that we all assume this uniformity and even his critic relies on such a crucial axiom; however, this observation simply fails to justify the autonomous man’s axiom and only reiterates his uncritical dependence on it.
The mere fact that we are able and capable, as rational conscious beings to appreciate the physical world, its beauty, and variety from the macro to the micro is evidence of a creator. In order to evaluate evidence, one has to presuppose the following conditions:
1. The uniformity of nature
2. The ability to process the information ( using the laws of logic )
3. Reliability of our senses
1. The uniformity of nature
We assume that the universe is orderly and obeys the physical laws that are the same over time and space. Unordered random stochastic events would not be able to give rise to a precise finely-tuned expansion rate of the universe, ( the cosmological constant is finely adjusted in 1 to 10^123) and there would be no universe.
Paul Davies: This cosmic order is underpinned by definite mathematical laws that interweave each other to form a subtle and harmonious unity. The laws are possessed of an elegant simplicity, and have often commended themselves to scientists on grounds of beauty alone. Yet these same simple laws permit matter and energy to self-organize into an enormous variety of complex states. If the universe is a manifestation of rational order, then we might be able to deduce the nature of the world from "pure thought" alone, without the need for observation or experiment. On the other hand, that same logical structure contains within itself its own paradoxical limitations that ensure we can never grasp the totality of existence from deduction alone.
Why is there order in the universe? Why is it not random, stochastic, and unordered? Why are there laws of nature, that impose how matter behaves? If it is not God which is ultimate from which everything else derives and depends, being at the bottom of all reality, a necessary uncaused eternal being, the source of all possibilities who imposes what can and can not be, happen and occur or not, then, if anything, movement and change would emerge without deriving from an ultimate source at all, that change would be chaotic, random, without stability, unintelligible, and stochastic. The laws of physics could, and actually would have to pop up randomly, but could also cease to exist and then pop up again, in an unorderly frequency. Only a powerful creator is a possible rational explanation that can impose order in all created beings, and finely tune the universe and adjust its conditions that permit life. God upholds all things by His power (Heb. 1:3: "sustaining all things by His powerful word"). God maintains the universe, therefore, we are justified to believe that it is orderly and uniform. Why are there intelligent human beings that can take knowledge of the created order, rationalize it, take notice, discover it, observe it, think about it, and give praise? The universe could be simply lifeless and nobody would take notice of its existence. It would simply be an accidental product of unknown physical forces.
Paul Davies: an explanation of some phenomenon in terms of physics presupposes the validity of the laws of physics, which are taken as given. But one can ask where these laws come from in the first place. Sooner or later we all have to accept something as given, whether it is God, or logic, or a set of laws, or some other foundation for existence.
2. The ability to process the information ( using the laws of logic )
Logical absolutes exist. Logical absolutes are conceptual by nature, and not dependent on space, time, physical properties. They are not the product of the physical universe (space, time, matter) because if the physical universe ceases to exist, logical absolutes will still exist. Logic is a process of the mind. Logic provides the framework for logical thought. A mind with the capability of logical thought cannot be the product of matter. A chemical state of the physical brain leads to another physical state of the physical brain but has never demonstrated to produce consciousness with the capability of rationality, rational thought, logic, and laws of logic which are independent of physical things. A chemical state of the physical brain leads to another physical state of the physical brain without requiring thoughts. So why would the brain produce consciousness, thoughts, and logic in the first place? The mind, and logical thought cannot be emergent properties of physical matter, and the brain. Logic depends on the existence of a mind. Logic is abstract. It is not a causal agent.
3. Reliability of our senses
We believe and presuppose that our senses are basically reliable and we can draw correct conclusions about the universe. Unless the source of our own reliable senses is not as well reliable, unchanging in nature, how can chaos, and unreliability be the source of reliable senses? We are warranted to expect that our memory and senses are reliable since they have been designed by God as stated in Scripture. God created us in His image, and since he is the supreme intelligence and all-knowing, we are justified to believe that we have been created by God, able to gain knowledge and to reason. If our thoughts were chaotic and random, not using logic and rationality, we would not be able to make sense of anything that happens in the universe at all.
From the book: Every thought captive:
When we think even for a moment about Genesis 1:1, we recognize that the act of creation forms a basic division. On the one hand there is the One who created, and on the other hand, there is that which He created. Consequently, a distinction is made between God the Creator and God’s creation. We shall call this the “Creator-creature distinction” for it is a concept which must be explored further and to which reference will often be made. This distinction between the Creator and His creatures must never be forgotten nor set aside for even a moment for it is indispensable to the development of biblical apologetics.
God is not a dependent "sugardaddy”:
He is the all-powerful Creator and constant sustainer of all things. Romans 11:36 speaks to this effect:
For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things.
He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together (Col. 1:17).
We will see in the lessons which follow that the recognition of this distinction between the independent God and dependent creation is one of the fundamental differences between Christians and non-Christians. Christians strive to see everything in light of creation’s dependence on God while the non-Christian tries to deny creation’s dependence. As strongly as it may be denied by some non- Christians, in one way or another, every person who has not trusted in Christ for salvation fails to account for the Creator-creature distinction and somehow puts God and His creation in mutual dependence on each other and ascribes to creation a degree of independence. With all the diversity of opinion among non-Christians, this is one uniting factor: the Creator-creature distinction is denied.
As creation cannot exist apart from God, it cannot be silent of God. The more fully one apprehends any fact of the universe, the more it will reveal God and His will to him.
Special Revelations of God
God has for various reasons always seen fit to accompany His revelation in all of creation with special revelations of Himself. In the garden of Eden, He spoke audibly to Adam about the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. To the patriarchs, God disclosed Himself in dreams, appearances, and visions. To Moses, God spoke in a burning bush and on tablets of stone.To the apostles, He spoke through the life and words of Jesus, His Son. For our time, God has spoken by the inspired Scriptures.
The Dependence of Man On God
The Psalmist directs us to remember who we are with these words:
Know that the Lord Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves (Ps. 100:3).
Man is no less dependent on God than is the rest of creation for he himself was created by God and is sustained by Him. Man is the crown of God’s creative activity, but he is still a creature and is returning to dust (Gen. 2:7). “In Him [God] we live and move and exist’’ (Acts 17:28) and apart from God we are nothing.
Man’s knowledge is dependent The Psalmist puts it this way:
In thy light we see light (Ps. 36:9).
Apart from God’s light of revelation in creation and in Scripture, we can never know light. God knows all and it is upon His knowledge that we must depend if we ourselves are to know. Any true understanding which men have is derived either intentionally or unintentionally from God. Men do actually think, yet true knowledge is dependent on and derived from God’s knowledge as it has been revealed to man.
Because man chose to think himself independent of God the whole creation was cast into sin. In many respects, however, the redeeming work of Christ is the restoration of men and the world back to the original state in which they were first created.
When turning from God, the unbeliever asserts with absolute certainty that the biblical distinction between the Creator and His creature is false; he therefore puts on the mask of absolute certainty. Yet, when turning from God, the unbeliever is left in the postion of having no solid ground for knowledge and must therefore wear the mask of total uncertainty.
My comment: We see that all the time, when atheists claim to be atheists and agnostics. They reject the God of the Bible, but had no alternative explanation of our existence, and say " We don't know".
Certainty is impossible for the non-Christian since he has rejected the only source of true knowledge and is left to finite speculation. He may say that we cannot be sure of what we think we know or that we may arrive
only at “probable knowledge.” Such a stance may seem less presumptuous on the surface, but it is actually a statement of absolute certainty as well as total uncertainty.
“It is absolutely certain that there are no absolute certainties.”
Since the unbeliever has not examined all the possible evidence for God’s existence, he cannot be absolutely certain that He does not exist. This does not mean, however, that the unbeliever may safely claim that God’s existence is uncertain. In taking this stance of agnosticism, he is thrown into the same dilemma as the atheist. The unbeliever holds this view of total uncertainty while ignoring that agnosticism necessarily involves the absolute certainty that God has not made Himself known in such a way as to demand recognition and submission from all men. The agnostic is absolutely certain that God’s existence is uncertain.
The claim of absolute certainty is made, for instance, when the non-Christian says that the world is in some sense orderly and understandable. He is absolutely certain that the order he discerns is in reality actually there. Yet, the non-Christian is faced with the fact that he has not investigated and cannot investigate the entire external world in such a way as to avoid total uncertainty. The presence of the unknown calls into question all that the unbeliever claims to know. Total uncertainty regarding the external world often involves the notion that the world does not have order and is ruled by chance and makes no sense to man. It is obvious that even when the unbeliever denies the possibility of knowing the world in this fashion, he is making a statement of absolute certainty about the character of the world. He knows for certain that the world is of such a character that it is unordered and that it is a product of mere chance. Once again, the unbeliever is faced with the dilemma of being absolutely certain and totally uncertain at the same time.
My comment: The atheist must take the notion that the world is orderly and understandable as an axiom, without having a warrant for that. He does not know if this universe is a matrix, or a computer game performed by a 15 year old kid plaid from a parallel universe. Or that solipsism is true. That he is the only person with consciousness, while all other humans are pre-programmed robots. But even more than that, how can a man without God be even certain that his own consciousness is real, and not a programmed simulation from the outside? Maybe his inner consciousness and self-awareness is an illusion. He cannot know for certain, that its not, and must take it as an axiom that it is without warrant for it.
In sum, unbelievers cannot know anything for certain. Neither if there is a God, if the real world he lives in is real in the sense he understands it, and neither if his consciousness is singular, indivisible, and his own, rather than the product of something more fundamental, of which he has no knowledge of. In contrast:
1 Corinthians 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
Christians are able to know and follow the truth of God’s revelation and therefore produce a philosophy which is not according to independent human perspectives. Believers are actually able to develop a philosophy pleasing to God. The reason for this lies in the religious commitment at the base of the Christian point of view. After describing non-Christian philosophy as we have seen in Colossians 2:8, Paul goes on to reveal the nature of the religious commitment which is fundamental to Christian philosophy.
The Christian seeks to depend on God in all things so that he may handle all things according to this principle: . . .
(Col. 3:17) Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father
The notion of human dependence does not depend on itself for ultimate support. It rests on the solid ground of God and His revelation. When asked why he is dependent on God, the Christian will respond that he is commanded to be so by the revelation of God, and that Scripture is authoritative for the Christian because it is God’s Word. He will claim that he knows that the Bible is God’s Word by the testimony of the Holy Spirit and the redeeming work of Christ. There is no independent human choice underlying commitment to Christ. The Creator who speaks for Himself and His revelation is alone the ground on which the Christian faith stands.
Christians and non-Christians are involved in circularities; they are impossible to avoid when considering our most basic conviction. Yet, an important difference must be seen between them. Non-Christian circularity
consists of the attempt to justify t±ie groundless assumption of independence by independent thought and results from mans inability to do otherwise.
Christian circularity, however, consists of the recognition that nothing is more ultimate than the authority of God and His Word The former is the evidence of futile thought struggling to support itself. The latter is the proof of enlightened minds returning to the only one without need of further support, God the Creator of all. Despite the similarities, these differences form a great chasm between the two views of the world which is crossed only by the one touched by the regenerating grace of God.
Christian philosophy provides escape from the futility of the non-Christian dilemma. In Christ the basis for man’s certainity and the answer to his uncertainty is found. Christian philosophy is supported by the commitment to
dependence on God which rests on God and His revelation. Because God is seen as the source of all knowledge, the Christian does not face the problem of being irreconcilably certain and uncertain. To be sure, there is certainty and uncertainty in Christian philosophy but these are companions under the Lordship of Christ.
Resting our philosophy on God and His revelation means accepting as certain those things revealed. Unlike the non- Christian, the Christian’s certainty is not destroyed by what he does not know. God knows everything exhaustively and is therefore able to provide for man even in the face of his finiteness. So long as man depends on God’s revelation for understanding God, the world, and himself, he will know truly without fear of error.
There are matters which are beyond his comprehension and which have not been revealed by God. In such areas the Christian confesses uncertainty and trusts God’s wisdom and understanding.
Unbelievers are in the dilemma of absolute certainty and total uncertainty. Christians, however, find the solution to this difficulty by having dependent certainty and dependent uncertainty. We shall show how this solution relates to the Christian concept of God, the world, and man.
1. Regarding God
The Christian has dependent certainty about the existence and the character of God because he receives as true the revelation of God in Scripture. God has spoken and revealed Himself that He might be known by those who commit themselves to belief in His Son. Even so, the Christian has dependent uncertainty because he does not know everything about God.
While non-Christians have severed their relationship with God and have therefore fallen prey to the dilemma of God’s judgment, Christians have been reunited to God and have found in Him the confidence needed for certainty and the solution to their uncertainty.
My comment: In other words, Christians can be certain of their salvation, and forgiveness of sins, and find peace in their hearts. Atheists, on the other hand, must live in constant fear, and the uncertainty that God actually DOES exist, and that then, they will be judged according to their sins. Of course, they attempt the suppress the notion of this uncertainty, but nevertheless, it is something that from time to time is nagging in their minds, and results in unrest and cognitive dissonance.
The Myth of Neutrality
Hardly a day goes by when we do not hear someone say, “I just want to deal with the objective facts as they really are. I want to keep away from religious questions.” As well meaning as they may be, these non-Christians are far from being neutral. They simply fail to realize that even seeking neutrality is a rejection of Christ. He does not ask for “neutral honesty” for such a stance is just a disguised form of allegiance to independence. As Jesus said,
He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters (Matt. 12:30).
My comment: It is very common these days unbelievers to resort to the confession: " We don't know, and we are perfectly honest about that". If there were hundreds of possible statements, then claiming of not knowing which makes most sense could be justified. In the quest of God, there are just two possible explanations. Either there is a God, or not. There is however a wealth of evidence, which can lead us to informed, well-justified conclusions.
As the image of God, the nonChristian knows God and His demands in his heart Though he denies it, every fact of creation speaks to him of God. Even the very words of the Christian speak to the awareness of God which never fully escapes him. Finally, we may communicate effectively with the non-Christians because the potential of the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit is always present.
Biblical apologetics must maintain the Creator-creature distinction.
Christians must always remember when defending the faith that human reason is never to be treated as the ultimate or final authority. The goal of apologetics is to have men submit dependently to God and we must not seek to bring them to that point by encouraging the non-Christian to continue setting himself up as judge of the credibility of Christianity. All too often apologetics merely challenges the non-Christian to clean up some of the flaws in his supposed independent reason. Yet nowhere in Scripture are men told to sit as judges over the claims of Christ; they are consistently exhorted to forsake their foolish ways of rebellion and to acknowledge their total dependence on God.
Biblical apologetics seeks to communicate effectively and convince the non- Christian on the basis that he is God’s image and is aware of his creatureliness. fallen man is still the image of God and therefore knows God even though he refuses to acknowledge Him. Whenever we approach the non-Christian we may have confidence not because he is reasonable or logical. We may speak to him on the basis of what he is and what he already knows.
My comment: I have seen the reaction of atheists many times, claiming that it was arrogant from Christians saying that they knew that God exists, but was unwilling to acknowledge and surrender to him. Based on my experience, I don't know if that approach "works", or if it is productive in a conversation with atheists.
The fall of man involved the entirety of man; all aspects of his personality were corrupted by sin. As a result, reason is not the judge of truth; only God can act as such a judge. Moreover, sin has so affected mankind that even rational abilities are not neutral. Christians seek to use their reason in dependence on God. Non-Christians seek to be independent in their thinking; there is no neutral ground on which to deal with unbelief. Human reason can be as much a hindrance as a help to faith in Christ As St. Augustine once said, “Believe that you may understand.” To rest our faith on independent reason is to rebel against God. Reason must rest on our faith commitment to Christ and our faith must rest on God alone.
The unbeliever is encouraged to act as if he were God and able to judge the question of God’s existence independently.
Many apologists operate on the assumption that it is possible for reflective unbelievers to see God in creation. The Scriptures, however, teach that all men, even the unreflecting, know the God of Scripture through creation.To
try to convince the unbeliever of the existence of a god of some undefined character, is to lead him away from what true knowledge of the God of Scripture he already has. For these reasons, to argue for the existence of God as Little has suggested is clearly contrary to the guiding principles of Scripture.
There are four possible ways of reacting to Jesus. He is either a liar, a lunatic, a legend ( a fictional character), or truly the one he claimed to be. In response to the notion that Jesus was a liar: Even those who deny his deity affirm that they think Jesus was a great moral teacher. They fail to realize those two statements are a contradiction. To the idea that Jesus was a lunatic: But as we look at the life of Christ we see no evidence of abnormality and unbalance we find in the deranged person. In response to the idea that Jesus’ claim of divinity is mere legend or that he was a fictional character after all: The legend theory does not hold water in the light of the early date of the Gospel manuscripts, extrabiblical testimonies, and the Shroud of Turin. The last alternative is that Jesus spoke the truth.
The problem with much of the popular tactics used by many defenders of the faith today may be summed up as a problem of authority. The apologist must see clearly that the non-Christian is in need of forsaking his commitment to independence and should turn in faith to the authority of Christ.
If, however, trust in Christ is founded on logical consistency, historical evidence, scientific arguments, etc., then Christ is yet to be received as the ultimate authority. The various foundations are more authoritative than Christ Himself. To use yet another analogy, if belief in Christian truth comes only after the claims of Christ are run through the verification machine of independent human judgment, then human judgment is still thought to be the
ultimate authority (see Fig. 20).
In spite of all our efforts and our most profound arguments the unbeliever will not be won unless he is touched by God’s grace and is made willing to believe from his heart
Evangelism deals more with what we should believe and apologetics more with why we should believe. We may think of apologetics as extended evangelism for it seeks to defend and convince the unbeliever of the message of judgment and hope as it is presented in the gospel
Absolute unity and simplicity require no-thing outside because there is no "outside". It is all there is. If something "outside" added to that absolute unity/simplicity it is not absolute or ultimate. You can't add or divide from that absolute simplicity. It is the ultimate perfection that everything from eternity to eternity is perfect and lacking none. All possibilities are contained in it. It's actually an Anselmian thought...nothing greater (simpler) can be conceived. The theological name for this is GOD.
If the distinction Creator-creature is given up, then, as Paul Davies says: there remains the old problem about the end of the explanatory chain. However successful our scientific explanations may be, they always have certain starting assumptions built-in. For example, an explanation of some phenomenon in terms of physics presupposes the validity of the laws of physics, which are taken as given. But one can ask where these laws come from in the first place. One could even question the origin of the logic upon which all scientific reasoning is founded. Sooner or later we all have to accept something as given, whether it is God, or logic, or a set of laws, or some other foundation for existence. Thus "ultimate" questions will always lie beyond the scope of empirical science as it is usually defined. So does this mean that the really deep questions of existence are unanswerable? Davies continues: I now realize that it reflects my instinctive belief that it is probably impossible for poor old Homo sapiens to "get to the bottom of it all." Probably there must always be some "mystery at the end of the universe." But it seems worth pursuing the path of rational inquiry to its limit. Even a proof that the chain of inference is uncompletable would be worth knowing. Something of that sort has already been demonstrated in mathematics.
My comment: The origin of mathematical principles also requires an explanation.
Darth Dawkins: I have a question. Since you don't believe in God then is anything impossible? And if so what imposes that? If nothing can be defended to be impossible then how can anything be intelligibile? If nothing is impossible then all propositions are of equal value and absurdity results. Can you please address the above. All of your statements here right now are meaningless unless you demonstrate that is some impossibility.
To be ultimate and singular means to be the source of all possibilities. How can you establish what is possible and impossible without referencing God?
Calvin recognized fully that if man is to have true knowledge of himself he must regard God as original and himself as derivative.
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