Have you ever tried to get to the top of a tall tree by digging a really, really deep hole? If so, you have some idea what it’s like to be a Roach Clown. By trying to set the bar for evidence high enough that faith in God can never be justified, they’ve actually dug themselves a really deep hole. It’s no wonder these guys worship at the alter of Darwin, as evolution depends on great additions being made by small, gradual subtractions. Hard to say if that makes it a running gag or some kind of contagious disease, but I digress.
What is both sad and very funny is where one of these guys tries to be REALLY consistent with this attitude. Those conversations sound a lot like this:
Roach Clowns: You can’t know God exists because you can’t have 100% mathematical certainty.
You: But wouldn’t you agree that, on your worldview, you can’t know anything for certain in that sense? Can you even prove that YOU exist with that certainty?
Roach Clown: No. I could be wrong about everything I know. *
You: So, you’ll admit that maybe you’re wrong to claim atheism and God does exist.
Roach Clown: NO! I’m totally right about that!
You: But you’d admit that maybe evolution is wrong and all life was intelligently designed.
Roach Clown: NO! Evolution is a total fact and I’m totally right about that too!
You: I see how this works.
Roach Clowns’ tragic comedy aside, can we know with absolute certainty that God exists? The answer is yes, and I think that we’ve know this for a thousand years thanks to Anselm of Canterbury.
Anselm was inspired by Psalm 14: 1 which says,
The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”
Anselm read that and said to himself, “If it takes a fool to say there is no God, and he still only says it in his heart, then there must be a way to show the certain existence of God which even the Fool can’t reject in his mind!” He came up with the Ontological argument, which is one of the best, least popular, and most often misunderstood arguments for the existence of God.
I’ll be giving you the Dollar Store, home-made, low sodium, gluten-free version of this argument. For a better discussion of it, I recommend you surf on over to I Tunes U and find Ronald Nash from Reformed Theological Seminary. He taught some great philosophy classes while he was yet living, and they are available to you for free thanks to the magic of the interwebs.
In short, we define God as the greatest being that could ever be. Imagine the greatest being that you can imagine. He’s greater than that. And by simple application of logic, we can see that existing would certainly be greater than not existing, so by definition, God is real.
I told you, Dollar Store version. Unfortunately the Dollar Store version is so incomplete that it’s actually wrong, but this is the version Roach Clowns like to attack when trying to refute it. I hope attacking a straw man is fun for these guys, because they do it a lot.
Let me clarify the argument a bit: First, we need to understand that, like any being, God is one of three things: Necessary, Contingent, or Impossible.
Necessary- meaning He HAS to exist. Numbers fall into this category. There is no possible universe where the number five doesn’t exist. The word “Five” and the symbol “5” certainly could NOT exist. But not the idea/quantity of five. THAT MUST exist in ANY possible universe. If the X-Men travel to a universe where in five doesn’t exist, they have jumped the shark and the writers will be fired. From a cannon. Into space.
Contingent- Made/caused by something else. Everything which was moved by something else, or caused by something before it is contingent. My favorite coffee cup may or may not exist in possible universes. If you think you found a parallel universe where my coffee cup doesn’t exist, that would be possible. If you think you found one where my coffee cup was the King of Spain, I’d say it’s time to check into rehab. Because that mess is impossible. Every falling domino was knocked over by the previous falling domino. Every effect has a cause- but logically the existence of contingent things implies the existence of at least one necessary thing which pushed over the first domino. Unless you have an infinite regress (Meaning an infinite chain of causes stretching back into the eternal past- an infinitely long row of falling dominos) then there must be some Necessary cause which got everything going in the first place: The first, unmoved mover, the someone who pushed over the first domino.
Impossible- These things cannot exist in any possible world. An eternal past and an infinite regress is impossible. This is why the existence of contingent things prove the existence of at least one necessary thing, but I’ll get into that more later in this series. Impossible things are merely incoherent; A square circle, or a married bachelor, congressional ethics or reality television. If I have to explain “Impossible” to you I think I may be talking over your head for much of this.
When we say God is the greatest being that could ever be, we mean He MUST be Necessary. If what we call “God” was a contingent being, he would have to be contingent on something greater, and that greater something would be the TRUE God. Thus, by definition, the TRUE GOD would HAVE to be necessary and thus would HAVE to exist. If God is NECESSARY, then He IS REAL because He MUST be real.
In a nutshell- God is either Necessary, contingent, or impossible. He cannot be contingent, all contingent things need him in order for them to exist, and there is no way to argue that He is impossible, so by simple process of elimination, God MUST and therefore DOES exist.
What did God tell Moses when Moses asked for His name? He said, “I AM.” God is not just one of the existing things, He IS existence. He gives existence to anything and anyone else which ever is, was, or will be. As colored objects reflect light, we reflect God’s being with our own. That’s biblical and logical.
What the argument basically comes down to is a mathematical certainty based on the definition of God. God = Real because by definition, God MUST exists (And as I will show next time, if God didn’t exist, nothing else would either). What follows is that the atheist has the tremendous burden of proof to show, not that God doesn’t exist, but by necessity he must prove that God CANNOT exist. The only way for atheism to be rational is if it is based on a solid proof that God’s existence is impossible. This is why a lot of atheists have settled for the far simpler task of redefining “Atheist” to mean “Agnostic.”
Like I said before, spend some time learning more about this argument, because it really is good and rock solid when properly understood. Don’t get discouraged when you share this and find it’s over the heads of the Roach Clowns. Everything is over the head of someone who’s dug himself a deep hole and fallen in. Just stay optimistic and ontological (Or at least logical) and remember: #JesusLovesYou
*- I have seen SEVERAL atheists in various debates admit to this- that they could be wrong about EVERYTHING. One very popular atheist has said that TRUTH is that which corresponds to objective reality, but then also that he CANNOT KNOW objective reality. They admit that, by their own standard, they can’t say they KNOW ANYTHING. But then they quickly try to assert that they know with certainty that the Christians are wrong, and that we too can’t know anything. It’s both funny and sad. I think when they stand before Jesus on Judgment day, Jesus will just play those clips from YouTube and say, “Really guys? Really?” And the Roach Clowns will hang their heads and just walk off to hell.