Strong Delusion

In his work, The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins asserts that belief in God qualifies as a delusion: a fixed false belief which persists in light of conflicting evidence. Atheists often exude this conviction, that any belief in God is blind superstition, confident that science, logic and reason are entirely on their side.

When we’re at fault, we may find ourselves projecting our own error upon others, and then judging them mercilessly. (Rom 2:1) We find it so with many atheists, Dawkins being typical.

Just how difficult is it to prove God exists? If we’re honest with the facts, it’s relatively simple.

Consider the claim that there are only two possibilities for the origin of the universe: Either [P1] God created it ex nihilo, or [P2] The laws of physics did.

The late Stephen Hawking chooses P2, positing that the laws of physics exist as creative forces independent of Nature. “Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing,” he writes. “Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist.”

The obvious flaw in P2 is that the laws of physics actually don’t exist: they are not creative forces, merely abstract concepts describing patterns we consistently observe in Nature. So, P2 is a delusion in the proper sense of the word: a claim explicitly contrary to science.

However, Hawking is so confident in P2 he offers no other option, making his claim an assertion of scientific fact. So, in his inestimable brilliance, Hawking ultimately leaves us with a very simple choice: Deity, or Delusion. He sides with Delusion; anything but Deity, no matter how absurd.

Perhaps the following are the only plausible responses.

[R1] Hawking is no expert in this field and should not be trusted. This is easily dismissed; Hawking was an eminently reliable authority on cosmology, knowing the valid options on origins and distilling them for us.

[R2] The above misrepresents Hawking’s claim. Also easily refuted with commonly available facts.

[R3] Persist in blind faith that P2 is a valid choice, merely one scientists can’t fully support just yet. The problem here is the fact that the claim explicitly contradicts all known science. Claiming we might eventually discover how something which does not exist could create everything which does exist – ex nihilo, from NOTHING — does contradict all we know from science. In this case, we haven’t any argument; it’s raw delusion: a refusal to consider any evidence for God at all. (Ro 1:20)

[R4] Admit atheism/agnosticism is irrational.

If we have already presumed there can’t be a god then we must confidently choose P2, and never P1, no matter what the data say. Though the heavens declare the glory of God (Ps 19:1), our presupposition blinds us to the obvious. This is the essence of delusion.

God will eventually send strong delusion upon all who don’t love the truth. (2Th 2:11-12) There may be thousands of poorly framed arguments for the existence of God, but this is not one of them. It only takes one to convince the honest soul. What say you: Deity or Delusion?

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3 thoughts on “Strong Delusion”

  1. Some might counter that Hawking did not present us all the valid scientific options for the origin of the universe, pointing to the multi-verse theory as a possibility.

    Suggesting the creating agent might be an eternal, mindless machine, randomly generating universes for no reason or purpose, is not science; it’s merely another form of [P1], a dumbed down god with no mind, heart, personality or moral standard. This is the heart of Philosophical Materialism, the atheist’s religion.

  2. Tim,

    This would make a great “tract” for the college campus scene. Hopefully you will find a way to multiply your efforts. Even high schools!


  3. The absurdity becomes more apparent when we restate Hawking’s claim using any reasonable definition for the laws of physics, such as: “the way the material universe behaves”.

    To say then, “The laws of physics created the universe from nothing.” is to say something like, “The way the universe behaves created the universe from nothing.”

    Referring to “the way the universe behaves” before the universe itself exists is irrational: the behavior of the universe means nothing in the absence of the universe.

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