Natural Atheology - John Allen Paulos “Irreligion”

FYI: this post has been moved here.


  1. What possible reason (other than it supports your previously held belief) is there to suppose that 'creation ex nihilo' is indiciative of personality or voilion or intelligence? This stikes me as very sloppy thinking. We don't know what 'conditions' (and I use that term in a vague ill defined way) need to exist for a 'creation ex nihilo'.
    The only personalities and intelligence we know about are ourselves and we don't know how to create a universe. Also, the only intelligence we know about (ourselves and the other animals on Earth), emerges from the physical processes of the brain - no brain, no intelligence. And brains require space and time to function in. Intelligence and volition are very 'Johnnie come latelies' to the universe, so I see no reason to suppose that they existed prior to the Universe.

  2. As to that “it takes for granted the dubious principle that everything has an explanation” this is certainly an anti-scientific-progress statement... 
    This isn't true. Quantum events are purely stochastic as far as anyone knows. If you can show why one uranium nucleus decays and another identical nucleus does not there's a million dollar Nobel Prize with your name on it waiting for you in Stockholm.
    Now, atheists would rephrase the argument to their own pseudo-erudite ends by stating, ... 
    Would we? Then how come you can't find one to quote and have to make up pseudo quotes from straw men instead?

  3. So Mariano, you have not actually read the book?

    Also, the "dubious principle" is more commonly called "the principle of sufficient reason" and is employed by those making cosmological arguments, whether they know it or not.

    As MM pointed out, our current understanding of quantum physics seems to refute this commonly held intuition.

    Amusingly, theists who use the PSR are forced to special plead, as they obviously can't use the PSR when it comes to the existence of their god.