Does the size of the universe sweep us toward atheism?
|November 5, 2017||Posted by News under Atheism, Cosmology, Intelligent Design, Philosophy|
From Emily Thomas at The Conversation:
Over the last few decades, a new way of arguing for atheism has emerged. Philosophers of religion such as Michael Martin and Nicholas Everitt have asked us to consider the kind of universe we would expect the Christian God to have created, and compare it with the universe we actually live in. They argue there is a mismatch. Everitt focuses on how big the universe is, and argues this gives us reason to believe the God of classical Christianity doesn’t exist.
The weight of galaxies, and the press of years, seem to sweep us towards atheism. More.
The size of the universe would only “sweep us towards atheism” if we wanted to go there in the first place. It sounds eerily reminiscent of people explaining why they were “swept” into some kind of corruption or crime.
“Philosophical atheist” offers a response, noting that this is an old chestnut and citing Chesterton among others:
“[Spencer] popularized this contemptible notion that the size of the solar system ought to overawe the spiritual dogma of man. Why should a man surrender his dignity to the solar system any more than to a whale? If mere size proves that man is not the image of God, then a whale may be the image of God…. It is quite futile to argue that man is small compared to the cosmos; for man was always small compared to the nearest tree.”
See also: Philosopher: If there is something rather than nothing, questions around God cannot be ignored . Waghorn: “Firstly, that on the most plausible demarcation criterion for science, science is constitutionally unable to show theism to be a redundant hypothesis; the debate must take place at the level of metaphysics. ”