Tag Archives: The Problem of Unbelief

Friday Phraseology: Wager Argument


Wager argument: An argument developed by Blaise *Pascal that urges an unbeliever to attempt to develop *faith in God even if the evidence for God’s existence is not decisive. Pascal compared belief and unbelief in God to a wager and pointed out the potential gains and losses each bet holds. If some bet on God and are wrong, they will lose only the paltry pleasure from some sins in this life that they might have enjoyed. If others bet on God and are right, however, they stand to gain eternal bliss. The potential gains and losses are thus staggeringly disproportionate, and Pascal urged the unbeliever to pray, attend Mass and do whatever else may be necessary to develop faith.[1]


 

[1] Evans, C. Stephen (2010-03-17). Pocket Dictionary of Apologetics & Philosophy of Religion: 300 Terms & Thinkers Clearly & Concisely Defined (The IVP Pocket Reference Series) (p. 122). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.

Sabbatum Excerpt: The Fine-Tuning Argument Against the Odds of Life Emerging from Non-Living Matter


The fine-tuning argument for God is strong and getting stronger, as the astonishingly precise balance of physical constants is continually clarified by science. For many folks, such as Antony Flew, the inference to God has become irresistible. But Flew’s third major reason for abandoning atheism is perhaps the strongest of all—the impossibility of life emerging spontaneously from non-living matter. Even given a universe hospitable to living systems, one that is tuned to the “life-station,” there remain insurmountable odds against life forming anywhere, even given the 15 billion years since the Big Bang. In the early 1980s two scientists, Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe, calculated the odds of life emerging from non-living matter to be one in 1040,000. To put this enormous figure in perspective, consider that the number of atoms in the known universe is 1080—a paltry sum by comparison. Moreover, consider the fact that statisticians, as a general rule, consider any “possibility” less than one in 1050 to be impossible.

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Spiegel, James (2010-01-21). The Making of an Atheist: How Immorality Leads to Unbelief (pp. 47-48). Moody Publishers. Kindle Edition.

 

The Problem of Theodicy (III): Evaluation


Evaluation: “The Problem of Pain” by CS Lewis &  “When Bad Things Happen to Good People” by Rabbi Harold Kushner


The preliminary observation on CS Lewis’ work does not pose one definite position on the problem of pain. He is careful enough not to draw a conclusion based on one proposition. He does not claim that suffering is directly connected, as a judgment from God, to one’s sin. Nor does he assert that God uses pain as a means to bring people to him.

Lewis introduces Divine Goodness before he enters the topic of pain and makes some comments to disclose the possible range of meanings of the word ‘goodness’. He does not simply jump into the conclusion by affirming that righteous suffers. He examines the divine nature of God and his entities. He builds his own world through analogs and set forth how a created being is different than Creator. Continue reading The Problem of Theodicy (III): Evaluation

The Problem of Theodicy (II): Rabbi Harold Kushner


Summary on ‘Why do the Righteous Suffer?’ in the When Bad Things Happen to Good People’ by Harold Kushner:


Harold Kushner begins this particular chapter with a question: Why do bad things happen to good people? He argues that the pain and suffering caused by the untimely demise of the loved ones inevitably brings doubts about the goodness, kindness, and even more in the existence of God. But people throughout the history have been trying to justify the world’s suffering by holding themselves responsible for the punishment of their sins.

By doing so, people maintain the attributes of God as benevolent, omnipotence, and who is also in control. People are advised to avoid sin and be good. “It is tempting at one level to believe that bad things happen to people (especially other people), because God is a righteous judge who gives them what they deserve. By believing that, we keep the world orderly and understandable.” Nevertheless, their lives are already hurt by tragedy and no religious and pious explanation could comfort them. Continue reading The Problem of Theodicy (II): Rabbi Harold Kushner

The Problem of Theodicy (I): C.S. Lewis


Summary on ‘Divine Omnipotence and Divine Goodness’ in ‘the Problem of Pain’ by CS Lewis:
Clive Staples Lewis makes the main point for the Divine Omnipotence and Divine Goodness by addressing the atheistic objection that is solely centered on the noteworthy ineffectuality of the universe. The problem of pain in the simplest form is, “If God were good, He would wish to make His creatures perfectly happy, and if God were almighty He would be able to do what He wished. But the creatures are not happy. Therefore God lacks either goodness, or power, or both.” He proposes that the answer to the problem of pain depends on our understanding of the terms ‘good,’ ‘almighty’ and ‘happy.’

He examines what it really means to say that God is omnipotent. Omnipotence means “all-powerful to do everything.” However, the very nature of God is inherent to his character. So, he cannot revoke his own laws and act self-contradictory. For this reason, God cannot be both righteous and unrighteous (non-contradictory law) at the very same time.

There is a freedom of choice for human beings – a single naked choice, as Lewis says either to love God more than self or love self more than God. This choice certainly has a probability to pave the way to evil. God could have straightened the results of this abuse of free will every time by modifying the effect of the cause; but he did not, because it would violate whole natural order. Continue reading The Problem of Theodicy (I): C.S. Lewis