Dear Believer…A Response
If you haven’t seen the YouTube video Dear Believer Why Do You Believe, then you may want to watch it before reading this article. There have been well written responses to this video in blogs by Greg Reeves (Professor of Chemical Engineering at NC State University), and Eric Chabot (Director of Ratio Christi at Ohio State University) but I wanted to give my response as well. In this response I will focus on the two primary arguments of the video; (1) our religious beliefs are based on the geographical region we are born and (2) there is no room for a deity in the enlightenment of scientific discovery. For the purpose of my rebuttal I am not defending Christianity or the Judeo-Christian God so I will specifically focus on the existence of a deity and the attempt to discredit any divine beings existence through the above arguments. The topic of which religion is correct is another debate. The overall conclusion of this video is that all religions are wrong and there is no deity, so I will take that approach.
Our Religious Beliefs Are Based On the Geographical Region We Are Born
This argument seems to be true on the surface, but whether or not it is accurate is not the point of this response. For the sake of the argument I am willing to concede this point, which is not the issue I have. The issue I have is that this point is irrelevant in any form as to the existence of a deity or to the veracity of any one specific religion. It is entirely possible to believe in a religion based on your cultural upbringing and for that belief to be correct. Whether you were taught Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, or Christianity relevant to the part of the world you were raised has no bearing on whether one or all of the faiths are correct. This argument makes no logical sense. To illustrate my point consider the usage of the metric system. If you were raised in a European country you would have learned the metric system in metres and kilograms. Being raised in the United States the measurement system is inches and ounces. Both of these systems are built upon a greater mathematical certainty by which neither could exist without. Depending on where you were raised most likely that is the measurement system you use. It is illogical to claim that because there are differing systems and because you were born in America you use the U.S. Standard system therefore mathematics do not exist. This deduction does lead to a secondary argument of which religion is correct in belief but as previously mentioned that is a separate argument all together. It is entirely reasonable to conclude that despite the differences in religions, and regardless of the indoctrination of religious beliefs based on a person’s upbringing, there can still be a deity which exists. This argument does nothing to discredit or disprove that possibility.
There Is No Room for a Deity in the Enlightenment of Scientific Discovery
This assertion is a very immature logical progression that makes no sense when examined closely. To assume that because we understand the process and function by which something occurs does not mean we can explain the phenomenon itself. What I mean is that because we understand the effects and activity of energy does not explain what energy is. Science has yet to define energy yet we understand it to exist and we are aware of its activity. Because we can understand and explain the activity of energy does not lead us to conclude that energy does not exist. In fact that statement seems foolish when applied in this way. I understand an intelligent deity to be the force behind the effect of the universe, behind the reasoning of logical thinking, behind the rules of mathematics and the governing laws of physics. Scientific discovery only reveals the manner in which a deity operates it does nothing to remove the agent from the process. This is the same reason why leading scientists such as Nicolaus Copernicus, Galileo Galilei, Sir Isaac Newton, Louis Pasteur, Edwin Hubble and many more believed in a supreme divine being and not that their scientific discoveries removed the existence of a deity. While mankind has believed in mythology such as gods carrying the sun across the sky, or incorrect observations like the sun revolving around the earth, science has helped us to understand the mysteries of nature and the universe. Scientific discovery has given us greater insight into the beginning of the universe, the miracle of life, and the directives of DNA which all logically lead to an intelligent agent. In fact, scientific discovery has led so strongly to the conclusion of a deity that atheistic scientists are left using terms such as “the mind of God” and “design” in their explanations.
In conclusion, when the above arguments are examined closely there is no evidence or logical reasoning to support these claims. While the religious beliefs we subscribe to may be a product of our environment this does nothing to disprove those beliefs. And while science has led to a better understanding of the world around us it has done nothing to remove a deity but rather has arguably done more to prove intelligence beyond our understanding.