Intellectual suicide-Religion or Atheism?

-By Fadel Soliman

Why shouldn’t I be an Atheist? What’s wrong with that?

Religious scholars from all faiths keep proving the existence of God logically using reason, but the human mind errs, reason could err. Nazism is a product of the human mind, Fascism is also a product of the human mind. Can someone prove to us the existence of God without using reason?



What evidence is there that God exists?

Lets consider this analogy; If the exact  information that is stored in a large volume of books can be stored on a memory stick or on a tiny memory card, then without doubt, the intelligence used in the design, manufacture and storage of the memory stick is greater than that associated with the conventional means of storing information by writing it down with ink on paper. What marvelous technology! Well what if the information that can be stored on half a million DVDs, or a pile of books- that if stacked up would reach 500 times the distance to the Moon – what if that information could be stored on something the size of the head of a pin, or even smaller, then what kind of genius do you think, would stand behind such a feat?

Well, that is what scientists have accomplished already. Instead of recording information on video tapes, audio files, and CDs, they decided to store it on something called DNA; the hereditary material. In case you don’t know, DNA exists in the nucleus of a living cell. Can you imagine how tiny it is? It is a combination of certain letters, forming varying codes, which are stored on a certain protein medium. If scientists gathered all the information stored on video films and CDs that belonged to a TV network, for example, then stored it on a gram of protein and kept it in a clean, dry place, it could be saved for tens of thousands of years. It wouldn’t need to be re-recorded from time to time due to decay of standard video tapes or similar materials. Can anyone say that this manufactured DNA, containing such vast amounts of information, came to be by chance, without the aid of brilliant scientist?

Yet, those scientists didn’t invent anything new. They simply imitated the DNA that exists inside a living human cell.

Impact of DNA on Evolution and Atheists

Scientists were able to read all of the information stored on  human DNA only as recently as 2003, that is, a little over ten years ago! Now, this DNA is not merely stored information. If it is inserted into a living cell, it can transform this information into a living thing. This is what made famous atheists, like Antony Flew, who was a lecturer of philosophy at Oxford University, and whose works and books were the reason behind thousands of people becoming atheists – it made him reconsider his ideas and beliefs in 2004 and write a book entitled There is a God, wherein he announced that he now believes that there is indeed a God. This is also what cemented the faith of scientists like Dr. Francis Collins, the leader of the Human Genome Project, in which human DNA was decoded, and led him to write a book called The Language of God.

The study of DNA led many other scientists to become believers in the existence of the Creator: the Creator who- according to their own words- ingeniously designed the human being. And it is absurd for humans to believe that this happened by chance. Chance and randomness could never create anything so complex and ingenious. If a bottle of ink falls from your desk onto a blank paper, it could create a random shape. This shape could, by chance, be that of a cat, for example. But it could never write down your name. It could never write a coherent memo telling you to call your wife when you get this message. Chance and randomness have limits. If I shake together pieces of glass, metal, and plastic, it will never form a watch. There is science, skill and design behind the making of a watch. This is called the know-how, or cognitive content.

Did chance create the universe?  Can it?

A prominent scientist of Nuclear Physics at M.I.T, Dr. Gerald Schroeder, carried out experiments on randomness. He got a group of monkeys together and let them strike keyboards freely. He wanted to see how long it would take one of them to write a single line of a specific Shakespearean sonnet by chance. However, none of the monkeys managed to type a single meaningful word. By a single meaningful word, I mean not even an “A”, which is counted as a single word if preceded and followed by spaces. No, not a single monkey typed an “a” preceded and followed by spaces. He carried out calculations based on the experiment, and found  the probability of a monkey typing one line of a Shakespearean sonnet by chance to be 10-690. Now, the number of the particles of the whole universe, including protons, electrons and neutrons, amounts to 1080, so there are not  enough particles in the whole universe sufficient for this experiment to be fulfilled; that is for a monkey to type a line of a Shakespearean sonnet by chance.

The Quran invites mankind to reflect on the likelihood that chance is responsible for creation. It says: Quran 88: 17- ‘Do they not look at the camels; how they were created?’. How is it possible for all this creation to exist by chance, without a Designer?! The Quran also says: Quran 27: 88- ‘Such is the artistry of Allah, who disposes of all things in perfect order’. It also says ‘This is the handiwork of God who has perfected all things.’

We have logically concluded that the universe cannot exist without a creator. Now, there is something called proof by elimination. This means that if there are multiple possibilities, in order to prove one of them to be correct, you can do so by eliminating the others. Suppose that, for example, there are two possibilities regarding my existence. Either ‘I do exist’ or ‘I don’t.’ If I can prove that it is impossible that I don’t exist, then I have consequently proven that I do exist. We have logically deduced that there is no way the universe could exist without a creator. Therefore, the universe has to have a creator. The only way for you to believe that this universe – with all its sophistication, variety, diversity and perfection – came to be by chance, randomly, is for you to discard your mind. You would have to take your mind and toss it in a bin. Atheism is intellectual suicide.

Some great scientists are Atheists. Does this make Atheism the right choice?

But, an important question emerges here. There are great, intelligent scientists who are atheists. Isn’t that proof that atheism is the correct belief? Is it possible that those great, intelligent scientists are wrong? Here, we say: ‘The truth is not defined through men; rather men are defined by the truth.’ There are also great, intelligent scholars, rocket and space scientists, who worship cows. Does that mean worshiping cows is right? And if worshiping cows is right because there are great scientists who practice that, then which is right: worshiping cows or abandoning worship altogether and embracing atheism? Just because there are intelligent atheists doesn’t necessarily mean that they are capable of thinking correctly regarding this matter.

Can you prove the Existence of God without using reason?

Ok, one may argue that since you have used reason to conclude that there is a God, the human mind could err, and reason could err. In other words, what is the guarantee that the existence of God is a truth, since it was concluded by the human mind and by reason? The human mind and reason can be mistaken after all. The human mind produced and believed in Nazism and Communism, and they were later proven to be wrong, although tens of millions of people believed in them for decades. Maybe the idea of the existence of God is wrong, since it was also concluded by the human mind and by reason.

Here we need to understand that there are three types of ideas:

The first is information, the second is products and the third is facts. A piece of information is received by the human mind from an external source, whether it is right or wrong. If it is wrong, the human mind isn’t to be blamed for it, because it just happened to be the recipient of a wrong piece of information. As for products of the mind, examples include airplanes and cars – these are products of the mind; so are Communism and Nazism. A human mind can produce a good or bad product. And the human mind can, therefore, be blamed for a bad product.

However, a universal truth is concluded by the human mind. It is a truth that cannot be wrong. 1 + 1 + 1 = 3. This is a truth that cannot be wrong. Air is needed for breathing. This is a fact that cannot be wrong. If such facts are discovered by the human mind, then one cannot say, ‘Well, maybe 1 + 1 + 1 doesn’t equal 3, because the human mind could be mistaken.’ No. The result of adding 1 + 1 + 1 isn’t a product of the human mind; it is one of the facts of the universe. The human mind reached it through proof. So, as long as there is proof, we can reach the truth.

An intellectual suicide – Casting doubt on Proof theory itself

Now, the bigger problem is that atheists cast doubts on the proof theory. They go so far as to say, ‘Who told you that since there is proof, it reveals a truth? Maybe the proof theory is wrong.’

My response to someone who says that is that you have now just proven that you do need proof. You have asked me to prove that proof could reveal the truth. You want me to convince you using proof.

You have just answered your own question.

You have requested proof.

If we question the proof theory: that proof, or evidence can prove a truth, then you are questioning the mind and questioning reason. Without a mind a human being is insane! Let’s look at it in another way:

If you are sane, you have to respect the mind.

If you respect the mind, you have to respect the proof theory.

If you respect the proof theory, you have to respect the truth.

If you respect the truth, you have to believe there is a God.

If you cast doubts on the existence of God, because the human mind concluded this fact, you are, in fact, casting doubts on your mental capabilities. And this is what we are trying to say: That atheism is intellectual suicide.

 

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Courtesy- 

This article is a transcript of Islamophobia Season 2 Episode 2Subscribe to Islamophobia Series by Fadel Solimanbridges-foundation.org; Official website of Fadel Soliman fadelsoliman.com;