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Antony Flew's There is a God - Refuted
 
There is a God
How the World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind
 
REVIEW FOR AMAZON
 
This book is a huge disappointment. It presents scientific arguments for intelligent design but this does not prove the existence of God. A very powerful intelligence is not necessarily God. The intelligence might not even be a conscious being.
 
The only real proof the book offers for God is the cosmological argument. 
 
The cosmological argument says that nothing causes itself or brings itself into being. It says that the contents of the universe did not make themselves but must have been made by a being that just exists and was not made, an uncaused cause. This being is God.
 
This argument assumes that God has the power to make things out of nothing. In other words, 0 can be turned into 1. People tend to forget that when something is said to have been made from nothing that it makes no sense to think of nothing as a material of which something can be made. Nothing is nothing and nothing can come from it or be made from it.
 
The idea of creation out of nothing is plainly a contradiction. Even if it happened we don't understand it. A human cat is not as big of a contradiction for at least a human can exist and so can a cat. But a non-existent human is a bigger contradiction. Creation out of nothing says the non-existent can become the existent. The worst kind of contradiction then is having nothing becoming something.  
 
The idea that the universe made itself is not as absurd. Yet all believers say it is absurd for the universe would need to exist before itself to make itself. A universe making itself is a universe made from something. A universe made from nothing is far more absurd.
 
If nothing can become something then why can't there be a half and half? Why not a nothing/something? Admitting this is impossible is to admit something cannot come from nothing and no God can make a difference. Nothing becoming something is more absurd than nothing becoming a half-nothing and half-something.
 
Flew is indicating that God has made the universe by means of miracle. Miracle is not an explanation at all but a cop-out. It is at this point that the cosmological argument fails. Nobody can understand how a miracle happens or how something can come from nothing. So the claim by Flew and the Christians that God is the explanation for the universe is deceit.
 
The Christians believe that God made matter out of nothing by just commanding it to exist. Is this really making matter? No it is calling on magic to make the matter for you. If God provides no power and makes no input except just ordering then that is magic. It is absurd. If a witch does nothing but command things to come into existence she is not making anything. Either nothing or some power is doing it for her at her request.
 
If something cannot come from nothing unless it is commanded to come, then did God command himself to exist? He must have. But that would be impossible. If he can make himself, how do we know that all that exists didn't make itself as well?
 
Creation out of nothing does not mean that God uses his power on nothing to turn it into something. Nothing can't be turned into anything for it is nothing. God does not make out of his own power for that is making out of his power and not out of nothing.
 
If a power can turn nothing into something then why can't nothing turn itself into something? If some power can make 1=100 it is possible for 1=100 without that power. Why? Because power or not it means 1 can = 100. This is because if it can't, no power can do anything about it!
 
God made so many unnecessary things. It follows then that if he produced them by miracle we have overwhelming evidence that when Johnny says a miracle put the loaf in his larder he is probably telling the truth. The idea of creation as a miracle leads to so much nonsense.
 
Miracle and magic are one and the same thing. The religious idea that a dead man can be turned into a live one is no better than princes being turned into frogs. It is just religious bias that makes people pretend there is a difference.
 
There could be nothing. There should be for it is easier for there to be nothing than something. So if God exists, he was able to go against what should be. This would mean that God is evil. A God that is evil is defective. It does not deserve to be called God.
 
The cosmological argument, if correct, could only mean that there was an unconscious intelligent spirit. There is no need to imagine it being a conscious being. It would be going beyond the argument, requiring more than the argument required, to say it is a conscious being. And if spirit can exist, spirit can exist without being alive.
 
Believers might reply that consciousness must come from a conscious God. But if God is conscious and he makes unconscious things then that is not necessarily true. And we would need to know how consciousness is made and how it works to be in a position to argue that consciousness can only come from a conscious God. This we don't know at all.
 
Atheists are criticised for saying the universe is inexplicable and they don't understand it and saying we should say no more about it. The theist however has to say the same thing. Even if he believes in God he has to say the link between God and how the universe came to be is inexplicable. Neither side has an explanation but the theist has to pretend he does and condemn the atheist for that. This attitude would put anybody off believing in God.
 
Believers say God is the explanation. This assertion has a nasty implication. It implies that if atheists can't explain how the universe came to be they should leave it alone. In other words, if you don't believe in God then shut up. Belief in God has many dangerous and uncharitable implications.
 
Flew does nothing to refute the seeming incompatibility between an all-good God letting so much evil and suffering happen. Until that problem is answered, nobody should pay much attention to other arguments for God. It is the essence of compassion for sufferers to worry more about the problem of evil. A doctor may save millions of lives and seem to have killed one baby. You must start with investigating the baby's death before you start to argue what a great man he was. If he killed the baby then he was a fake and doing the good deeds for the sake of his own glory. You owe it to the baby to do that. The suffering we see comes before logical arguments for God. There is no mistake that the suffering is there but there could be mistakes in logical arguments and there is a limit to our intelligence. We might be unable to grasp something that proves our arguments wrong. The concept of God teaches us that God can understand things we will never be able to understand even if we have a brain that is more intelligent than all the brains that ever existed put together. There is a lack of humility in people who claim that it is very likely that there is a God.
 
If an argument is true and there is another true argument that contradicts then you have a paradox. If one of those arguments was the cosmological argument for God, you would not be able to use it as evidence for God until the paradox is solved.
 
The book is so unsatisfactory. It is painful to read it knowing it came from a mind that knows so much better!!