15 September 2009

Book Review: There is a god by Antony Flew - final thoughts

There is a God by Antony Flew is not a really brilliant work and there is nothing new to most atheists familiar with the sort of questions posted. The writing itself is not interesting enough to draw me to read the book line by line. I basically fast read the book in a few hours.

For those Christians reading my blog and looking for my conversion to christianity will be very disappointed. First of all, the Flew's god is the same as Einstein's cosmo god. The Flew's god is not a personal god. His god will not answer prayers and have no interest in the daily life of human.

His first card, "nature obeys laws" is a philosophical mistake as he completely reversed the role of laws. Nature behaves in certain ways. We human invent laws to describe the nature's behaviour. Praying to a god who will change the nature's consistency in reaction to the prayer is wishful thinking. There is no evidence of any prayers having any effect.

The second card looks at the origin of life. Between the two competing candidates: god creates a human with a purpose verse Darwin evolution, the second is supported by large amount of fossil records, demonstrated by human domestication of animals, and selected modification to food crops etc. Yes, there are gaps, but I believe these are gaps to be filled by more evidence. (I am not a biologist, so my knowledge is very limited.) To me, the Darwin evolution shows a path of gradual accumulation of complexity which will lead to intelligence. The god assumption needs to explain how god gets his/her intelligence in the first place before I can accept it is an option on equal footing with evolution.

The third is the existence of nature. Nature exists and we are living in it. Nature existence is a fact. It is well known that to answer the origin of a system, we have to look outside the system, or make assumption about the origin of the system. There are still unknown about what the universe is like before the big bang. However, with that theory (a big bang), many observed events and data can be explained. On the other hand, the god-placebo does not provide any additional explaining ability to anything. The jump from a cosmic god to a personal god who is interested in our everyday life is too large a jump for me to consider logical nor reasonable. Even if there were a cosmic god, this god would not be interested in 1 of the 6.75 billion human who is one of the 1.5 million species on Earth, which is one of the eight planets of the Solar System which is one of 200 billion stars making up the Milky Way which is one of the 100 billion galaxies in the observable universe [ignoring the possibility of multiple universes] [see].

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