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Why I Believe In God

By Reverend Cornelius Van Til

Critique by Punkerslut

Image from Radical Graphics
Image: From "Religion" Gallery from RadicalGraphics.org

Start Date: February 27, 2002
Finish Date: March 2, 2002


     I was sent this essay a while back by a Fundamentalist. Originally, I found the essay to be so repulsively monotonous that I could not finish it. It was written as though addressing a two year old. Quote: "Then, too, you have on occasion asked yourself whether death ends all. You have recalled, perhaps, how Socrates the great Greek philosopher, struggled with that problem the day before he drank the hemlock cup. Is there anything at all, you ask yourself, to the idea of a judgment after death? Am I quite sure, you say, that there is not? How do I know that there is no God?" On many occasions, the author will address the reader as though he personally knew him. Contrary to what some may believe, I find this writing style to be ill-mannered. Much of the essay is simply an autobiography. Quote: "To the argument we must now shortly come. Just another word, however, about my schooling." Some of the things he says are absolutely hilarious. Quote: "I see you are getting excited. You feel a little like a man who is about to undergo a major operation. You realize that if you are to change your belief about God, you will also have to change your belief about yourself. And you are not quite ready for that. Well, you may leave if you desire. I certainly do not wish to be impolite. I only thought that as an intelligent person you would be willing to hear the 'other side' of the question. And after all I am not asking you to agree with what I say." Quote: "You have compelled me to say this by the look on your face. Your very gestures suggest that you cannot understand how any one acquainted with the facts and arguments presented by modern science and philosophy can believe in a God who really created the world, who really directs all things in the world by a plan to the ends He has in view for them."

The Critique

     As noted in the introduction, this essay was written horrendously poor. It's almost as though Van Til is getting out his aggression on a non-believer reader. Hardly the way to write a scholarly paper. For example, at one point he says, "I was 'conditioned' in the most thorough fashion. I could not help believing in God -- in the God of Christianity -- in the God of the whole Bible!" However, later he says...

Shall we say then that in my early life I was conditioned to believe in God, while you were left free to develop your own judgment as you pleased? But that will hardly do. You know as well as I that every child is conditioned by its environment. You were as thoroughly conditioned not to believe in God as I was to believe in God. So let us not call each other names. If you want to say that belief was poured down my throat, I shall retort by saying that unbelief was poured down your throat.

     What Van Til fails to recognize here is that many Atheists and Agnostics were not raised on that environment of Atheism and Agnosticism. Many of us were born and raised in environments where the community and parental figures did not foster reason or promote tolerance. In his essay, The Jews, Robert Green Ingersoll remarks about how his parents taught him that the Jews were horrible people who crucified god. Giordano Bruno was a Dominican monk -- yet he was later executed by the Catholic group that had brought him up and taught him what he knows. Joseph McCabe also was once a monk, but gave up the monastery to begin "a sane human existence." (From The Story Of Religious Controversy, Chapter XVIII, "The Degradation of Woman," by Joseph McCabe.) The very opposite of what Van Til suggests about Atheists is true: by being fostered in religious atmospheres, with deeply hypocritical and unfeeling ideologies, we learn how ignorant these ideologies are and how undeserving they are of belief. Those who are conditioned to believe in god often see the faults of such an ideology. To say that any of these great Freethinkers, many of whom were members of the monastery, were conditioned into non-belief is absurd. What Van Til often describes in this essay is how refutations were provided towards those who found no reason to believe in Christianity. Quote...

All my teachers were pledged to teach their subjects from the Christian point of view. Imagine teaching not only religion but algebra from the Christian point of view! But it was done. We were told that all facts in all their relations, numerical as well as others, are what they are because of God's all comprehensive plan with respect to them. Thus the very definitions of things would not merely be incomplete but basically wrong if God were left out of the picture. Were we not informed about the views of others? Did we not hear about evolution and about Immanuel Kant, the great modern philosopher who had conclusively shown that all the arguments for the existence of God were invalid? Oh, yes, we heard about all these things, but there were refutations given and these refutations seemed adequate to meet the case.

     After giving his life long story, much of what he says is simply by referring to someone else. Quote...

Obviously I cannot enter into a discussion of all the facts and all the reasons urged against belief in God. There are those who have made the Old Testament, as there are those who have made the New Testament, their life-long study. It is their works you must read for a detailed refutation of points of Biblical criticism. Others have specialized in physics and biology. To them I must refer you for a discussion of the many points connected with such matters as evolution.

     There are those who have studied the Old Testament and the New Testament in their original Hebrew and Greek languages. Consider the book Is It God's Word? by Joseph Wheless. What many people do not know about the Bible is the Polytheism. Joseph Wheless examined this particular point...

In the very first sentence of Genesis, the Book of Beginnings, we find the "revelation" of the plurality of gods-Elohim: In-beginning created ELOHIM [gods] the-heavens and-the-earth" (Gen. i, 1). The forms of the sentences show the order of the Hebrew words, and the hyphens indicate the combination of the particles "and," "the," etc., which are joined to the noun in Hebrew and written as one word; e.g., "the heavens," "and the earth." "And-the-spirit [ruach, wind] of-elohim [gods] moved upon-the-face of-the-abyss" (i, 2); "And-said elohim [gods], let-there-be light." And thus, for thirty-three times in the first chapter of Genesis, we read "ELOHIM" (gods)-always plural, always "gods," but always translated "God." [Is It God's Word?, by Joseph Wheless, chapter 8.]

     Wheless had studied the Old Testament and the New extensively. Rarely has any theologian examined the context of the word "gods" in the first book of the Bible. However, the fact that Bible translators are so devious as to change the word for the sake of making the believing population content, then it is rather reflective of the ignorance inherent in Christianity. The first argument presented by Van Til is the following...

The point is this. Not believing in God, we have seen , you do not think yourself to be God's creature. And not believing in God you do not think the universe has been created by God. That is to say, you think of yourself and the world as just being there. Now if you actually are God's creature, then your present attitude is very unfair to Him. In that case it is even an insult to Him. And having insulted God, His displeasure rests upon you. God and you are not on "speaking terms." And you have very good reasons for trying to prove that He does not exist. If He does exist, He will punish you for your disregard of Him. You are therefore wearing colored glasses. And this determines everything you say about the facts and reasons for not believing in Him. You have had your picnics and hunting parties there without asking His permission. You have taken the grapes of God's vineyard without paying Him any rent and you have insulted His representatives who asked you for it.

     By not believing in god, there is no motive to try and disprove the existence of god. Even if you were to have a god with powers capable of rewarding and punishing, there would be no motive to try and disprove god's existence. For instance, I do not believe in invisible fire-breathing dragons, nor do I believe in invisible leprechaun. The fact that I lack belief in these entities (because I have no evidence for their existence), does not imply that I endeavor to prove that they do not exist. Because I do not pay homage to the Hindu god Vishnu for providing the world and sustenance, because I do not believe in him, I do not have motives for disproving his existence. There may very well possibly be a small, invisible, near omnipotent insect which created the Universe and provided everything to us -- yet rarely do Christians discuss in detail, or at all, their desires to disprove the existence of said insect. Similarly, there is no motive for nonbelievers (other than that of Humanitarianism and Rationalism) to debunk this silly superstition of Christianity. We are not "afraid," in the context put by Van Til, of this god any more than we are afraid of the insect who has infinite powers over the Universe. Furthermore, Van Til attempts to vilify the position of the Atheist to those who believe, by claiming that we insult god. Well, if there is a god that does exist, he would be most insulted that Van Til neglected his reasoning faculties and believed in the most haughty and arrogant superstitions of his time without question. Of blasphemy and offense to god, Thomas Paine has said, "Is it not a species of blasphemy to call the New Testament revealed religion, when we see in it such contradictions and absurdities?" [Old Testament "Prophesies" Of Jesus Proven False, by Thomas Paine.] Van Til goes on to make insults to the reason and logic of Atheists...

We who believe in God have not always made this position plain. Often enough we have talked with you about facts and sound reasons as though we agreed with you on what these really are. In our arguments for the existence of God we have frequently assumed that you and we together have an area of knowledge on which we agree. But we really do not grant that you see any fact in any dimension of life truly. We really think you have colored glasses on your nose when you talk about chickens and cows, as well as when you talk about the life hereafter. [And, at a later time "You have cemented your colored glasses to your face so firmly that you cannot even take them off when you sleep."]

     To insult the reasoning abilities of your philosophical adversary is rather preposterous. Arrogance is the vice of such an action. A Hindu may say that Christians are incapable of reasoning; an Atheist may say that Buddhists are incapable of reasoning; and, as clearly demonstrated in this quote by Van Til, a Christian may say that an Atheist is incapable of reasoning. However, to make such a statement is only to prove your own arrogance. It is not an exclusive statement, as any religion can say it about any other religion. Van Til then states, "Now in presenting all your facts and reasons to me, you have assumed that such a God does not exist." This is a contradiction in terms -- something reasoned and factual is not an assumption. Van Til states...

You have taken for granted that you need no emplacement of any sort outside of yourself. You have assumed the autonomy of your own experience. Consequently you are unable -- that is, unwilling -- to accept as a fact any fact that would challenge your self-sufficiency. And you are bound to call that contradictory which does not fit into the reach of your intellectual powers.

     Something that is incomprehensible, either because it contains facts that we are unfamiliar with or because it is too complex, is not necessarily contradictory. However, to confess to believe something we do not know is ignorance. The difference between believing and knowing really is only how much confidence you have in your belief. I will not call something I cannot understand contradictory. However, it would be absolutely foolish to believe something you cannot even understand

     Van Til was a Creationist and he referred to Creationism as the "creation doctrine." He stated, "The current argument against the creation doctrine derives from Kant." This statement is ludicrous. The argument against Creationism has the least bit to do with Kant or outdated philosophy. The argument against Creationism is found within the evidence for Evolution. The fact that Van Til fails to see scientific observation - reflective of what Evolution predicts - as an argument against Creationism is just a token of the considerable ignorance of this essay. The vestigial organs, the similar DNA between humans and apes, among other pieces of evidence are all reasons that Evolution has credibility. To state that old philosophy is the reason why people disbelieve a silly superstition is perhaps the most ignorant statement ever made. The ignorance of Van Til, however, soars greatly with his next quote...

"You see then that I might present to you great numbers of facts to prove the existence of God. I might say that every effect needs a cause. I might point to the wonderful structure of the eye as evidence of God's purpose in nature." [italics mine]

     What is so surprising about this quote is that Charles Darwin specifically answered the argument concerning the structure of the eye. In fact, he was the individual to bring up the argument and strike it down before it would have been brought up by one of his adversaries. It is apparent now that Van Til and others who point to the fantastic structure of the eye are incomparable ignoramuses, so unavailing uneducated on the subject which they wish to debunk. I quote Darwin in concerns to the wonderful structure of the eye...

To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree. When it was first said that the sun stood still and the world turned round, the common sense of mankind declared the doctrine false; but the old saying of Vox populi, vox Dei, as every philosopher knows, cannot be trusted in science. Reason tells me, that if numerous gradations from a simple and imperfect eye to one complex and perfect can be shown to exist, each grade being useful to its possessor, as is certainly the case; if further, the eye ever varies and the variations be inherited, as is likewise certainly the case and if such variations should be useful to any animal under changing conditions of life, then the difficulty of believing that a perfect and complex eye could be formed by natural selection, though insuperable by our imagination, should not be considered as subversive of the theory. How a nerve comes to be sensitive to light, hardly concerns us more than how life itself originated; but I may remark that, as some of the lowest organisms, in which nerves cannot be detected, are capable of perceiving light, it does not seem impossible that certain sensitive elements in their sarcode should become aggregated and developed into nerves, endowed with this special sensibility.

In searching for the gradations through which an organ in any species has been perfected, we ought to look exclusively to its lineal progenitors; but this is scarcely ever possible, and we are forced to look to other species and genera of the same group, that is to the collateral descendants from the same parent-form, in order to see what gradations are possible, and for the chance of some gradations having been transmitted in an unaltered or little altered condition. But the state of the same organ in distinct classes may incidentally throw light on the steps by which it has been perfected.

The simplest organ which can be called an eye consists of an optic nerve, surrounded by pigment-cells, and covered by translucent skin, but without any lens or other refractive body. We may, however, according to M. Jourdain, descend even a step lower and find aggregates of pigment-cells, apparently serving as organs of vision, without any nerves, and resting merely on sarcodic tissue. Eyes of the above simple nature are not capable of distinct vision, and serve only to distinguish light from darkness. In certain star-fishes, small depressions in the layer of pigment which surrounds the nerve are filled, as described by the author just quoted, with transparent gelatinous matter, projecting with a convex surface, like the cornea in the higher animals. He suggests that this serves not to form an image, but only to concentrate the luminous rays and render their perception more easy. In this concentration of the rays we gain the first and by far the most important step towards the formation of a true, picture-forming eye; for we have only to place the naked extremity of the optic nerve, which in some of the lower animals lies deeply buried in the body, and in some near the surface, at the right distance from the concentrating apparatus, and an image will be formed on it.

In the great class of the Articulata, we may start from an optic nerve simply coated with pigment, the latter sometimes forming a sort of pupil, but destitute of a lens or other optical contrivance. With insects it is now known that the numerous facets on the cornea of their great compound eyes form true lenses, and that the cones include curiously modified nervous filaments. But these organs in the Articulata are so much diversified that Muller formerly made three main classes with seven subdivisions, besides a fourth main class of aggregated simple eyes.

When we reflect on these facts, here given much too briefly, with respect to the wide, diversified, and graduated range of structure in the eyes of the lower animals; and when we bear in mind how small the number of all living forms must be in comparison with those which have become extinct, the difficulty ceases to be very great in believing that natural selection may have converted the simple apparatus of an optic nerve, coated with pigment and invested by transparent membrane, into an optical instrument as perfect as is possessed by any member of the articulate class. [The Origin of the Species Through Natural Selection, by Charles Darwin, chapter 6.]

     There are certain Creationists who are fond of quoting the very first sentence of this section: "To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree." However, to quote this small section shows the true light of a Creationist -- to obscure the point and make things difficult to see. As any educated person can tell, Darwin refutes the difficulty that arises when we analyze the complexity of the perfect eye. (What a Creationist may have difficulty answering is why many eyes are defective and requiring glasses -- if it is true that they were designed by a perfect being.) It is true that a Creationist will try to take the first quote of this section out of context. However, rarely will a Creationist quote the last sentence: "When we reflect on these facts, here given much too briefly, with respect to the wide, diversified, and graduated range of structure in the eyes of the lower animals; and when we bear in mind how small the number of all living forms must be in comparison with those which have become extinct, the difficulty ceases to be very great in believing that natural selection may have converted the simple apparatus of an optic nerve, coated with pigment and invested by transparent membrane, into an optical instrument as perfect as is possessed by any member of the articulate class."

     The next quote of Van Til brings up an argument rarely thought of by theologians: "I might call in the story of mankind through the past to show that it has been directed and controlled by God." If you were to measure the past deeds of ancient leaders and ancient rulers, to count the bloodshed caused by the Crusades, the Inquisition, the witchhunts, the intolerance, the wars, the human sacrifices, and then to proclaim that this was all directly controlled by god is to admit that your god was merciless, cruel, and hard-hearted. The fact that Van Til could even make such a statement with the amount of misinformation he has is outlandish. Van Til obviously has no education in history. Van Til further states...

"If I point out to you that the prophecies of Scripture have been fulfilled, you will simply reply that it quite naturally appears that way to me and to others, but that in reality it is not possible for any mind to predict the future from the past."

     Perhaps it would be more interesting if Van Til could write about the actual prophesies fulfilled by Christ. However, Van Til did not make any effort do so. Instead, he simply stated that he could point out prophecies of scripture which had been fulfilled. Perhaps Van Til would like to answer why Christ had never liberated Israel from Roman rule. It had been prophesied in scripture and many had wanted to know why Christ did not redeem Israel from foreign nations. In Acts 1:6, it states "So when they met together, they asked him, 'Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?'" However, it never happened -- Jesus failed to liberate his own country, something which to a god should be like a scratch to a mortal.

     Van Til's next argument is that of miracles, "Then if I point to the many miracles, the story is once more the same." The church has noted many miracles and given the status of sainthood to many individuals -- scientists have been much more cautious when it comes to miracles. As far as science is concerned, things have reasons and causes. A rock will fall due to gravitational pull and a ball will bounce because of the elasticity of the rubber. Causes and effects are observed and studied, tried and tested, generalizations are made, and the nature of matter is recorded -- this is science. Religion is a whole different matter: effects are observed, supernatural and dogmatic causes are invoked, god is said to be responsible, and the nature of a miracle is recorded -- this is religion. To quote Ethan Allen concerning miracles...

To suppose that God should subvert his laws, (which is the same as changing them) would be to suppose him to be mutable; for that it would necessarily imply, either that their eternal establishment was imperfect, or that a premised alteration thereof is so. To alter or change that which is absolutely perfect, would necessarily make it cease to be perfect, inasmuch as perfection could not be altered for the better, but for the worse, and consequently an alteration could not meet with the divine approbation; which terminates the issue of the matter in question against miracles, and authorizes us to deduce the following conclusive inference, to wit: that Almighty God, having eternally impressed the universe with a certain system of laws, for the same eternal reason that they were infinitely perfect and best, they could never admit of the least alteration, but are as unchangeable, in their nature, as God their immutable author. To form the foregoing argument into syllogisms, it would be thus: --

God is perfect -- the laws of nature were established by God; therefore, the laws of nature are perfect.

But admitting miracles, the syllogism should be thus: --

The laws of nature were in their eternal establishment perfect; -- the laws of nature have been altered; therefore, the alteration of the laws of nature is imperfect.

Or thus: the laws of nature have been altered the alternation has been for the better; therefore, the eternal establishment thereof was imperfect.

Thus it appears, from a syllogistical as well as other methods of reasoning that provided we admit of miracles, which are synonymous to the alterations of nature, we by so doing derogate from the perfection of God, either in his eternal constitution of nature, or in a supposed subsequent miraculous alteration of it, so that take the argument either way, and it preponderates against miracles. [Reason: The Only Oracle of Man, by Ethan Allen, chapter VI, section I.]

     There may be those horrendously ignorant in the fields of science who claim that they are fully capable of altering the laws that govern the Universe. I have heard one man say, "I can alter the law of gravity -- it states that this ball should fall to the ground, but by holding the ball, I am preventing it from falling, and thus altering the law of gravity." The law of gravity is the attraction of objects, not necessarily the closeness of them. Whether or not a ball is held, it is nonetheless attracted to the ground and weights down on your hand. If it did not weigh down on your hand -- which would be an alteration in the law of gravitation -- then it would weigh absolutely nothing. So, you see, to hold a ball and prevent it from hitting the ground, you are not altering the law of gravity; you are simply making use of the attraction of objects as dictated by the law of gravitation.

     In his arguments and defenses, for the existence of god, Van Til has brought up the complexity of the eye, the control of mankind by god, the prophesies of the Bible which have been fulfilled, and the miracles -- and Van Til will only confirm his ignorance of basic anatomy, his ridiculously lacking amount of education in history, a complete failure to even read the Bible objectively, and also a complete failure to understand the Universe objectively.

     Van Til eventually states that arguments are "God is not found at the end of an argument; He is found in our hearts. So we simply testify to men that once we were dead, and now we are alive, that once we were blind and that now we see, and give up all intellectual argument." Van Til's testimony that Christianity is right holds no more weight on me than the testimony of Benito Mussolini that Fascism is right, or a Hindu's testimony that Hinduism is right, or a Zoroastrian's testimony that it is a sacred duty to have a fireplace in every home, or one of the other many dogmas that has infected the world. A testimony will have no weight upon my judgment when it comes to religion. The mere concept of revelation, of revealed religion, is absurd. To quote Thomas Paine...

No one will deny or dispute the power of the Almighty to make such a communication if he pleases. But admitting, for the sake of a case, that something has been revealed to a certain person, and not revealed to any other person, it is revelation to that person only. When he tells it to a second person, a second to a third, a third to a fourth, and so on, it ceases to be a revelation to all those persons. It is revelation to the first person only, and hearsay to every other, and, consequently, they are not obliged to believe it. [The Age of Reason, by Thomas Paine, chapter II, part I.]

     Van Til has managed to say some intriguing statements in his essay; however, these statements have been reflective of the intelligence and skepticism of Van Til -- and not of any revelation of Christianity. The next quote by Van Til will prove rather interesting...

If someone in your home town of Washington denied that there was any such thing as a United States Government would you take him some distance down the Potomac and testify to him that there is? So your experience and testimony of regeneration would be meaningless except for the objective truth of the objective facts that are presupposed by it. A testimony that is not an argument is not a testimony either, just as an argument that is not a testimony is not even an argument.

     The first note that should be drawn on Van Til's statements here is that, even though he says that testimony would be meaningless except for the objective truth of the objective facts stated in the testimony, that does not mean that the testimony is not meaningless. A child may testify that there is a monster in his closet -- this testimony is not an argument. Hardly, then, should it be taken on account of a poorly written author that an invisible man (AKA "god") lives far, far on the edge of the galaxy. The statement by Van Til, "A testimony that is not an argument is not a testimony either, just as an argument that is not a testimony is not even an argument," is rather interesting. A testimony is not an argument, and an argument is not a testimony -- I fully disagree with Van Til and yet he offers nothing to back up why he agrees with this. An argument is formed by reason, evidence -- it is not the flimsy opinion or testimony of someone who claims to believe in a theory. A person can assure us that the world is flat; they may offer us their testimony of this, but surely, this is not an argument in the slightest, nor should it be taken as an argument. It would be rather easy to prove even the most absurd theories if it was true that a testimony is an argument. And it is this - to prove a most absurd theory - that Van Til is attempting to do. Van Til's failure to understand science is fully proven in the next section...

immediate experience in the sense in which the term is used here, may not be impugned: When I feel cold or warm, sad or gay, discouraged or confident, I am cold, sad, discouraged, etc., and every argument which might be advanced to prove to me that I am not cold is, in the nature of the case, preposterous; an immediate experience may not be controverted; it cannot be wrong." All this seems on the surface to be very encouraging.... That is to say, I as a believer in God through Christ, assert that I am born again through the Holy Spirit. The Psychologist says that is a raw datum of experience and as such incontrovertible.

     On a first note, Van Til fails to understand this argument as exclusive. he may assert that he was born again and believe that this experience is "incontrovertible." The Buddhists will state the same, claiming that they feel Nirvana and that this is incontrovertible evidence of Buddhism. The Zen Buddhists will state the same, claiming that they feel Satori and that this is incontrovertible evidence of Zen Buddhism. The Hindus will state the same, claiming that they feel Enlightenment and that this is incontrovertible evidence of Hinduism. According to the reasoning of Van Til, all of these positions are correct as they simply feel what they believe is divinity in their own religion. If that is the case, what can be said of an Atheist who does not deduct divinity from any such experience, who has had no experience? Van Til's essential argument is, "Believe me because I say so, and do not believe others regardless of what they say." The psychologist quoted, James H. Leuba, stated that the sensations of experiences cannot be denied. This does not serve as evidence of any religion, and especially not of Van Til's dogmas. Van Til claimed to have felt a feeling of enlightenment, that he felt quite spiritual, and these are the feelings that the psychologist referred to as incontrovertible. However, to further deduct that these feelings mean something, such as they may be indicative of a god or a religion, is an entirely different matter. Van Til was born again and he said that these emotions were reflective of a god. However, the only thing which cannot be denied here is what Van Til felt, not what caused it. For example, someone may prick me with a thorn and I may claim that I was pricked by an invisible goblin leader of billions of invisible goblins -- however, does the psychology of James H. Leuba confirm what I declare? According to Van Til, yes. According to reasonable and educated men, no. An extremely simplified version of what I stated in the previous paragraph can be: our feelings cannot be denied as they are true, however what caused our feelings is at question, and whatever you state caused your feelings is not at all confirmed or disconfirmed by the psychology of Leuba. The next quote by Van Til is another attack on reason....

If I have offended you it has been because I dare not, even in the interest of winning you, offend my God. And if I have not offended you I have not spoken of my God. For what you have really done in your handling of the evidence for belief in God, is to set yourself up as God. You have made the reach of your intellect, the standard of what is possible or not possible. You have thereby virtually determined that you intend never to meet a fact that points to God. Facts, to be facts at all -- facts, that is, with decent scientific and philosophic standing -- must have your stamp instead of that of God upon them as their virtual creator.

     In my attempts to be scientifically skeptical about claims, Van Til has labeled me as "trying to make myself god." However, this is not true at all. I weigh all claims against the evidence they are presented with. Van Til, however, weights everything against his theory that a god exists. Everything is measured against the concept of god. If it does not fit, then it is thrown out. That was the case with Evolution -- which found contradictory to his religion and therefore disbelieved. Van Til furthers this statement by stating that Atheists will not believe what they cannot understand. (Or, "have made the reach of your intellect, the standard of what is possible or not possible.") However, the as I stated before, the fact that I cannot understand does not mean I think it is impossible. Nonetheless, Van Til reasons that since an Atheist will not believe what is not understandable, that we will never believe in the facts that point to god. This is a rather interesting point. If all the facts that point to god are absurd, ridiculous, ludicrous, faulty, etc. -- that is, to say, not understandable -- then that should be rather reflective of the evidence (so called "facts") that point to the existence of a god. The following is an interesting bit on Van Til's image of Atheists....

     I do not think it is necessary to dignify Van Til's slander with a refutation. Of course, whereas Van Til insults non-believers with words, his ancestors insulted us with swords. The insults of Van Til hold about as much weight on me as does his poor reason, which is next to none. I fail to see how he intends to convert someone by telling them what they think. "Deep down in your heart you know very well that what I have said about you is true." I'm incapable of determining if he's trying to write badly or if he's trying to look stupid.

     Van Til eventually declares, "I see the strong men of biology searching diligently through hill and dale to prove that the creation doctrine is not true with respect to the human body, only to return and admit that the missing link is missing still." Again, the knowledge of Van Til concerning anatomy and biology is appalling. Scientists do not search for evidence to prove a theory that they have bias to. Scientists analyze the evidence that they have found, trying to construct a theory of it. The evidence of DNA, and how there is only a few decimals of a difference between humans and primates, along with the vestigial organs which served a purpose in our ancestors, is ample evidence for the theory of Evolution.

     Van Til states, "Without such a God, without the God of the Bible, the God of authority, the God who is self-contained and therefore incomprehensible to men, there would be no reason in anything." There are some things I should address in this quote. First, if something is self-contained, it is not incomprehensible. The concept of a live corpse or a married bachelor are not self-contained because they are contradictory and therefore incomprehensible, as something cannot be A and non-A at the same time. And, even if there was no such god of the Bible, and if it was true that there would be no reason in anything (which I highly doubt), it does not serve as any evidence for the existence of god. Van Til believes that if god was not real, then this life would serve no purpose. However, I am interesting in seeing his reasoning in this. After all, he may say with full confidence that it is our purpose to serve god, thus giving us meaning. If that be the case, then what purpose does god have if he has no god? Thus god is nothing be a man leading a useless life that has absolutely not meaning at all. Of course, this is all by the reasoning of Van Til.

     Van Til ends his essay with the statement, "I shall not convert you at the end of my argument. I think the argument is sound. I hold that belief in God is not merely as reasonable as other belief, or even a little or infinitely more probably true than other belief; I hold rather that unless you believe in God you can logically believe in nothing else." This essay is entitled, "Why I Believe In God." Searching through the sentences and the paragraphs, I have not found a single well-reasoned answer to the question. In fact, I have not found one reason at all. I have not useless drivel, lacking evidence for claims, "to the man" arguments, insults, slander, arrogance unleveled, amongst poor writing. There is no statement in this essay that says, "...And that is the reason why I believe in god." Van Til jumps around from slandering, to holding bad reasoning, to talk about his life, to discussing his college life, to describing his god, and then pretending that he is actually holding a real conversation with the reader. However, there is only one real good observation that Van Til makes, "I see you are yawning."


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