Sunday, September 11, 2011

Following up on Pascal's wager: the probability of God

Last time I sort of just asserted that "the probability the bible is true is actually very, very close to one."  What if this were true.  What if, when you consider all of the evidence, then the probability of the bible being true is really, really high?  In that case, as we go back to the question of Pascal's wager, not only do you have an infinite reward in this wager, but you have extremely good odds of that infinite reward existing.  Not exactly how the Vegas bookies would set things up, is it?

However, I never gave any sort of evidence for that assertion.  Unfortunately, that is the subject of this entire blog, and it would be very difficult to encompass in a single post, but I will try to list several reasons for this to be true.

  1. The universe had a beginning.
  2. The universe (the laws of physics and the overall make-up of the universe) is exquisitely designed.
  3. The special set circumstances that must have occurred in order to produce a life-friendly planet was exquisitely finely-tuned (location and composition of the solar system, size of our moon, etc.).
  4. The origin of life occurred in a geological instant.
  5. The earliest life was incredibly complex.
  6. The simplest life is incredibly complex.
  7. The events that have taken place on this planet, in order for the planet to continue to be life-friendly for the past 4 billion years, have been exquisitely finely-tuned, (and must have taken planning).
  8. The sequence of events that have taken place before the appearance of man seem designed for the benefit of man.
  9. The timing of the formation of the solar system is finely-tuned.
  10. The timing of the appearance of man is finely-tuned.
  11. Our position in the history of the universe and our location within our universe provides us with the optimal conditions to study our universe.
  12. The order and rationality of the universe demands an explanation beyond randomness.  How can these things emerge out of chaos?
  13. The existence of immaterial, abstract, transcendent entities (including mathematics, logic, yes, even morality) demands an explanation beyond the material world.
  14. The existence of the mind and free will demands an explanation beyond the Naturalistic Theory of Evolution.
  15. The events recorded in Genesis 1 are almost perfectly consistent with the sequence of cosmological, geological, and biological events discerned from science. (Yes, I'm serious.)
  16. The biblical record has never been adequately challenged from either a historical or archaeological standpoint.
  17. The preponderance of fulfilled prophecy in the bible is remarkable.
  18. The emergence of the apostolic church is only consistent with the bible accurately depicting the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

I'm sure there are more, but I believe this is enough.  In fact, if I ever get readers on my blog, you probably would fall asleep before getting through that list.  But, perhaps in the coming weeks I'll expand on some or all of these.  For now, suffice it to say that the case for Christianity is more than just based on faith.  It is a case built on the cumulative evidence from almost every academic discipline you can think of.  Sure, each argument can by itself be avoided, but in most cases, in order to deny any single argument, you must appeal to a small, ad hoc probabilities.  When taken together, I assert that you have to twist and turn so many times, the mountain of evidence in favor of the Christian view is so great, to deny it is a matter of volition, not rationality.  (Of course, I am certain many would disagree with me.  Hence, this blog.)