God: does he exist or not?
This is a debate and question that has plagued mankind all through recorded history: Is there God or not? I, BRIGHT MHANGO took on leader of the Association of Secular Humanists in Malawi, GEORGE THINDWA in grappling with the question.
I let Thindwa do his assertions on the non-existence of God and I then countered him. He approved of this article later so all is for debate and nothing malicious.
Thindwa’s take: There is no God!
Atheists like me do not say that God does not exist. Atheists have no concept of God, are without belief in him and the term God is meaningless. It is the believer that states that God exists. So the onus is on him to prove his affirmative position.
To do that, the believer must define God and show that he exists. Given this task, the believers defines God as omnipotent (very powerful), omniscience, omnipresent (is everywhere), loving, all good and Creator of everything including man and earth. The other attributes of God include that God is the First Cause and an Intelligent Designer.
The attribute of God being omnipotent fails in the presence of evil in the world. For example, how can there be an omnipotent, omnipresent, when men in Dowa hack their wives; when people suffer and die through famines, floods or earthquakes?
Then there is the question: “Who made God?” No believer has ever answered this question to date. If God is an intelligent designer, then who designed the intelligent designer, God? It is surprising that believers see design in this world. Many of us do not.
This is a cruel world where nature rules; floods, strife etc. There are just also many imperfections and disorder in nature. For example, in human body, our bones lose minerals after age 30, making them susceptible to fracture, the rib cage does not fully protect the internal organs; the reproductive and excreta systems are so close making women prone to fistula.
It is also very sad that God only survives through philosophical arguments and by the assertions and manifestations of believers, pastors or priests. Where is God? Why is he hiding?
The onus is on him to reveal himself to individuals or group of individuals by cell phone or internet or through his own word. Let him write up the sky that he exists. All of us will then see that and prove that indeed he exists.
It is clearly from the definition of God and from the other attributes that believers are actually worshipping in ignorance. Even his doings are suspect if he exists.
Therefore, we atheists conclude that the concept of God was devised by human beings in an attempt to explain to themselves, what they do not understand and to accord to themselves a status in the cosmos
I will end with this quote : ‘Whatever believers cannot easily understand, they call God; this saves much wear and tear on the brain tissues.”
Bright Mhango’s take: Thindwa, you need Jesus!
So Thindwa wants Christians to prove that there is God? The day that happens, theology as a discipline will move from the philosophy department to the sciences sections in the universities. There is no proof using science in a matter of faith.
Thindwa and other atheists fall into a deep trap where they commit the argument from ignorance fallacy, in simple terms it is like saying: “Because I have never been to Rumphi nor have I met anyone from there therefore Rumphi does not exist.” But some things exist without us seeing them, just this month a new bird species has discovered, did that bird not exist last month?
Thindwa says for example that God does not exist because there is evil in the world. To me this is what I would call a straw man fallacy, where one deviates from an argument creates his own issue and defeats that issue he created and claim that he has won the initial argument.
It is like claiming that Bright Mhango is impotent because we have never seen his children. There are many reasons why I cannot have children, choice, time or it might be my wife. God is a sovereign being, he asks no one and needs no approval to do things, he can abandon or even engender violence at will, he has done it before, it is his world after all.
Thindwa’s straw man fallacy also rears its head when he uses the fact that there is no known creator of the creator to deny the creators existence. We are not concerned of who made God, we are concerned of God who cannot be made because he made time itself as we see it, we think he has a life span because we do, but the only thing we take after God is his image not his being or might.
Nature speaks of God not against him. Thindwa actually falls into my trap when he mentions the ageing, the fistulas and the harsh side of nature to say that it could not have been created by an intelligent designer.
What made nature so intelligent, then? How did man come to be? Male and female different but made to be compatible: the penis for the vagina… DNA carries all instructions for our outlook what kick-started the first ever DNA and who implanted information on that one?
Who imparted enough oxygen on earth and who suspended earth in the galaxy just away enough from the sun to allow plants to make food? What could have caused so many species from snails to rhinos to algae?
The fistulas, the floods are all explainable using science…teen sex, water levels rising and they can all be avoided and it doesn’t need God to avert a flood.
Thomas Aquinas developed five proofs of God using simple logic and without quoting scripture. He says for example that nothing in the universe can move without being moved, and if all movement is caused, who initiated the first movement? The answer is God.
The burden of proof is on all of us believers and non-believers, if Thindwa says there is no God because he cannot see one, let him also go out deep into the galaxy to see if he really is not there at the end of the galaxy.
The argument will never settle, until God comes to settle this argument and until atheists explain why some things appear to have been started by a genius. Meanwhile as Bob Marley sang: Only time will tell.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :