“Why I Believe in God”
by Allen Dvorak
Television screenwriter Doris Egan wrote, "Rational arguments don't usually work on religious people. Otherwise, there wouldn't be religious people." The point being made is that religious people must be irrational. Atheists are often not bashful about suggesting that believing in God is about as rational as the childhood belief that monsters live under the bed.
My belief in God is not the result of wishful thinking or a desperate need to find purpose in my life. I don't believe in God because of some fear that there is nothing after death. I believe in God because I accept the testimony of the Bible. The very first verse of the Bible affirms the existence of God - "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth" (Gen, 1:1). Of course, testimony is only as valuable as the reliability or credibility of the witness. Although there is evidence that the Bible was written by individuals who were divinely guided, atheists and skeptics tend to consider belief in the trustworthiness of the Bible to be as irrational as belief in God.
I also believe in God because I can see evidence of His existence and nature in the physical world around me. God has left His "fingerprints" on the creation.
Over time, religious philosophers have constructed various rational arguments to support the existence of God. One of these classical proofs is the Cosmological Argument (also known as the argument from first cause). The cosmos, the universe, is an effect that resulted from an adequate cause. That cause is God. Another "proof is the Anthropological Argument which suggests that man is a moral creature with a sense of right and wrong and thus must have been created by a Being who is likewise moral.
Of all the classical proofs, however, I believe the most powerful by far is the Teleological Argument (most commonly known in its refined form as "Intelligent Design"). This argument asserts that if there is design in the universe, there must be a designer. The complex design seen in the natural world cannot be adequately explained by "time and chance."
In Romans, the apostle Paul wrote that the Gentiles were “without excuse” for their conduct because “what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them” (Rom 1:19).
For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made..." (Rom 1:19-20). The idea that man can look at "the things that have been made" and perceive from them these "invisible attributes" of God is the basic thesis of the Intelligent Design argument.
I believe the Intelligent Design argument is a particularly powerful argument for several reasons. First, the argument is easy to understand; the logic behind the argument is apparent and readily accepted by the average person. Who would argue that a bunch of metal "Parts," thrown into a large container and shaken for however long, will randomly assemble themselves into a modern car with all of its complex systems? Most people are quick to accept the idea that "design demands a designer'"
Second, the evidence of complexity and intelligent design in our universe is everywhere! It is readily available to the scientist and well documented for the "layman." Every discipline among the physical sciences provides evidence that can be used to make this argument.
Third, the argument from Intelligent Design is one that just keeps on giving! The recognized evidence is accumulating at an astronomical pace. For example, through the advances of technology we are able to see smaller and smaller things and thus we now have detailed understanding about processes in the human body that were "invisible" to men just a few generations ago. The more we learn about our world, the stronger the argument becomes. As atheistic scientists unravel the complexity and design of nature, they are providing us with convincing evidence to combat the general theory of evolution!
Finally, the evidence used in the Intelligent Design argument requires less "interpretation" than the supposed evidence for the general theory of evolution found in geology, comparative anatomy, etc. Nevertheless, recognizing the power of the Intelligent Design argument, atheistic scientists are fighting tooth and nail against it, suggesting, for instance, that the natural world only "appears" to have intelligent design!
If one wishes to give an example of intelligent design in nature, there are so many that it is difficult to decide which to use! Consider the "obvious" design and complexity of the genetic material known as DNA. DNA is a complex sequence of amino acids that form the genetic code of cells, basically an information code used in their reproduction. A single cell may occupy an area of less than one-thousandth of an inch and yet the DNA of just that single cell contains coded information equivalent in content to a complete set of encyclopedias (see Norman Geisler & Peter Bocchino,
Unshakable Foundations, 136-1367)!
Furthermore, DNA cannot be reduced to a simpler, functioning object, meaning that it must have all of its parts in order to function properly. It is thus a particularly effective example of intelligent design because it could not be developed over time through natural selection or chance (see Dr. Michael Behe, Darwin's Black Box, for an excellent discussion of the implication of irreducibly complex organisms or systems).
Although our physical bodies are just one example of design and complexity after another, the human eye is one of the most convincing examples of intelligent design. It is much more complex and versatile than any camera of human invention. By means of over 100 million differentiated photoreceptor cells, the retina at the back of the eyeball senses light and translates its information into chemical signals that are transmitted via the optic nerve to the brain. That would be amazing enough, but the information to the brain is transmitted "upside-down" and the visual centers of the brain invert the images as they are put together. To add even more complexity, each eye sends its information to the opposite hemisphere of the brain and only half of the total information for a complete "picture." The two hemispheres of the brain then put together the two halves of the complete image in a seamless fashion, doing all of this faster than the blink of an eye (pun intended)!
The complexity of the human eye caused one individual to comment, "To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest sense." That person was Charles Darwin, the man who popularized an early form of the general theory of evolution (The Origin of Species, 170). Darwin's statement was, unfortunately, not evidence of his conversion from the foolishness of his error; he went on to argue that the eye had, in fact, been produced by natural selection through an evolutionary process!
The argument from Intelligent Design doesn’t identify the designer; it merely affirms one. The Scriptures, however, inform us that God is the Designer and Creator of the world around me.
I don't close my eyes when I pray so that I can shut out reality and enter into that "imaginary world" where God exists and hears my prayer. I pray to God because my eyes have been opened to His power and wisdom!
This article appeared in the October 2014 issue of Truth Magazine, available in electronic or print form at www.truthmagazine.com