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Can ID be an argument for religion?

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Laszlo Bencze This is philosopher and photographer Laszlo Bencze’s view:

I have just finished my fifth reading of Robert J. Spitzer’s book, New Proofs for the Existence of God. In this book Spitzer set himself the task of exploring how far natural theology can take us towards understanding God.

The first part of the book deals purely with science, particularly cosmology. In it he discusses the Big Bang; the extreme fine tuning of the of the universe which makes possible the existence of stars, planets, and life; General Relativity; string theory; and quantum physics. This part of the book reads like a science text.

In the second part of the book he takes a purely philosophical approach using only the tools of logic, primarily the conditional syllogism (if…then) in both its modus ponens and modus tollens forms. He explains the method of the complete disjunction and why it is a valid approach in metaphysical studies.

Nowhere in the book does he quote scripture or even imply scriptural authority. Nor does he make mention of any religious worldviews whether Christian, Muslim, Hindu, or any other. Not once in the entire book does he mention Jesus. The book is about as purely philosophical as you can get. That is because he did not want to present a case for the existence of god built upon Christian faith or any other type of faith. He wanted to see how far reason alone could carry the argument. As it happens, reason carries the argument quite far, establishing that there must be an unconditioned reality (god), that there can be only one such unconditioned reality, and that this unconditioned reality must be absolutely simple and possess unrestricted intelligibility.

I see ID as performing a very similar task. Using observation, mathematics, and logic ID attempts to show that living things necessarily require the services of a great designer. It makes no reference to the scriptures of any faith. It says nothing about which religion most closely matches these requirements. Nor does it even demand that the great designer be a non-material being. It leaves open the option of earthly life having been designed by some other material being. ID simply argues that purely material causes are grossly insufficient to account for life in all its forms. Anything beyond that rather limited goal is beyond the purposes of ID.

Thoughts?

See also: Is Barker right (or at least in possession of responsibly justified belief) in his book title: “God: The Most Unpleasant Character in All Fiction”? (kairosfocus)

How do dark energy and dark matter relate to ID? (Rob Sheldon)

CSS: Fine tuning in cosmology and biology meeting (April 15-16)

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5 Replies to “Can ID be an argument for religion?

  1. 1
    jerry says:

    Denyse,

    I have often argued here and in other places that ID is an argument against atheism. It is not an argument for a specific religion. It is not possible to be an atheist or even an agnostic if one is honest. You can certainly be agnostic about religion in general but never an atheist. For all we know the creator could care less about his creations and has moved on to something else.

    ID attracts all sorts of people trying to use it for their particular set of religious beliefs. But that is not possible. To support the Judeo Christian God, one has to look elsewhere. God communicates with us in many ways and ID will not help in these other areas.

    Given that, I am interested in Spitzer’s book. The problem is that it is just another of the 20 some odd books on my list. Did you know he is legally blind? He can see somewhat but not enough to have anything near normal vision. He is a very accomplished man.

  2. 2
    Mung says:

    As it happens, reason carries the argument quite far, establishing that there must be an unconditioned reality (god), that there can be only one such unconditioned reality, and that this unconditioned reality must be absolutely simple and possess unrestricted intelligibility.

    One wonders if he didn’t end up right where he wanted to go.

  3. 3
    StephenB says:

    The best arguments for God’s existence are the philosophical arguments. Unfortunately, we live in a culture steeped in bad philosophy and the idea that nothing is true if it cannot be discovered or tested in a laboratory. Intellectual elites hate sound philosophical reasoning for the same reason they hate good ID science–both lead to the truth, albeit not with equal force. Still, they hate ID science more because, foolishly and incorrectly, they believe that the philosophical arguments for God’s existence have been refuted. On the contrary, they haven’t even been touched. That doesn’t stop the academy from ignoring them or misrepresenting them.

  4. 4
    Mapou says:

    Every worldview is a religion. Both theism and atheism are religions if only because opposites are of the same nature.

  5. 5
    jerry says:

    I got the book today for my Kindle and started reading it. Part way through the first chapter and Spitzer has a gift for making things accessible for the average person. Learning some things I didn’t know but it is only just the beginning.

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