Robert Murphy, a well known Christian theistic apologist, on his Free Advise blog, frequently referenced in the pages of RRND, is apparently sick and tired of libertarian atheists like me constantly maintaining that there is not a shred of evidence for God.
When evolutionary biologists, for example, say things like: “the Darwinian theory of common descent is as well-established as the law of gravity,” Murphy deems that “insane.”
Well, It’s not insane. It’s a fact. The whole science of modern biology rests upon that simple fact.
When some agnostics tell him: “I do not reject the existence of God out of hand, and in that weak sense I’m an agnostic, not an atheist. I can’t prove there is no God; But if he does exist, why isn’t there a shred of evidence?” Murphy recoils with indignant disgust.
Murphy claims that there is plenty of evidence for the existence of God.
Now, if Mr. Murphy wants to define “God” as nature, then I would wholeheartedly agree with him that there is plenty of evidence for the existence of God. Or if he defines “God” as existence he’ll get no argument from me for nature and existence are essentially the same concept. When we talk about nature and existence we are talking about reality.
But Murphy is a Christian so I’m sure he is not inclined to define “God” as nature or existence. That would completely contradict his entire Holy Bible which sets forth in abundance a fairly detailed description of this character he knows as “God.”
I’ll return to that point below, but first I take note that Murphy posits only two arguments which he maintains are evidence of “God” and an “afterlife.“
First he points to his fine-tuning argument, the unexpected beauty of mathematics, “my own personal experiences… as well as the whole legacy of a guy named Jesus thing.”
Yes, mathematics is beautiful, but so are kittens and puppies, but these facts do not provide a shred of evidence that the “God” of the Holy Bible is a reality apart from pure fantasy.
Second, he points to instances of so-called out of body or what he deems as “after death” experiences recounted from people who have been resuscitated after their hearts have stopped and/or their brains have flat lined. There have been people who have remarkably recovered after several minutes or even an hour of “death” and have described what was going on around them during that time together with beautiful visions an “afterlife.”
Of course, I don’t doubt for a moment that these things have indeed occurred, but it is quite obvious to me that these folks were not dead. Just because the heart stops and the brain flat lines doesn’t mean that the patient cannot be resuscitated with CPR or by other means. That happens frequently in medicine. Because they are not quite dead yet. It’s all interesting, fascinating and awesome, but they just aren’t dead.
If Mr. Murphy can point to a scientifically verified example of a decomposing corpse or a skeleton being resuscitated and telling fantastic tales of an afterlife then that might indeed be evidence of an afterlife. That might even make a believer out of me. But until then he has not demonstrated a shred of evidence.
“Finally:” Murphy declares: “I hardly expect this blog post to change anyone’s mind on the ultimate question of whether there is God or an afterlife. But can we at least stop saying, “There’s no evidence for your irrational beliefs.”? There’s a bunch of evidence, it’s just that many atheists apparently can’t even see it.”
That’s right. I just don’t see it because there is not a shred.
Now, back to the “God” in the Holy Bible which is the only God Murphy believe exists and claims that there’s a bunch of evidence to support that belief.
I am sure that as a good Christian man Mr. Murphy has read the Bible. I suggest that he read it carefully again paying close attention to the physical descriptions of “God” in His own words and the word of Moses and the other notable biblical figures mentioned in the text who supposedly knew God personally .
In the book of Genesis one of the first things he will discover is that God describes his own physical appearance as that of a man: On the sixth day … “God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” (Gen: 1:26) God, therefore, looks like a man, talks like a man, acts like a man, thinks like a man and uses consciousness like a man.
Murphy’s God is a man.
Moses, who reportedly saw God in person, said of Him: “The Lord is a man of war.” Ex: 15:3
“And God spake all these words, saying … I the LORD thy God am a jealous God.” Ex: 20:1, 5
“For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” Ex: 34:13
“And I will bring distress upon men that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD: and their blood shall be poured out as dust and their flesh as the dung… Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD's wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.” Zeph: 1:16, 17
Murphy’s “God” is a jealous man.
Murphy’s “God” is actually the conceptual abstracted metaphor of a human being – a man – who is far more evil, depraved, wicked, flawed, and fallible than the worst of real human beings. That is the contextual reality of the matter. It is all plainly written in scripture.
Murphy’s “God” is a man at all times: vain, forgetful, jealous, unkind, heartless, cruel, arbitrary, unpredictable, deceitful, ungrateful, unloving, tyrannical, mad, merciless, incompetent, petty, vile, prudish, bigoted, vicious, spiteful, devious, murderous, cunning, hateful, greedy, biased, racist, capricious, bungling, mean, ruthless, prejudiced, dictatorial, intemperate, dishonest, neurotic, chauvinistic, stupid, irrational, boastful, bloodthirsty, sadistic, psychopathic, corrupt, scheming, and unforgiving. Think of any pejorative human attribute. The God of Genesis has it.
Now consider Murphy’s Jesus, the son of his “God,” and whom he believes is one and the same with “God.” Again, his bible informs us that Jesus is a flesh and blood man: “And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body… And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” Matthew 26:26-28.
So Murphy’s “God” is a man and a metaphor for ultimate human Authority!
Is Murphy’s claim rational? Is there any evidence whatsoever that a man – Murphy’s “God” of all things -- created the entire universe, the galaxies, the stars, planet Earth, mankind, all living things and everything else which exists and has ever existed in the cosmos?
Not a shred.