Perhaps the best reason to argue for religion is not a deep and scientific one but instead a basic philosophical position based on the universal laws all people understand. This philosophical reason for believing in God is outlined in the book, The Case for Christianity written by C.S. Lewis.
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CS Lewis’ book argues that all human beings understand and adhere to a basic standard of human behavior Lewis calls the Law of Nature or the Law of Human Behavior. These laws (which are the same law, just described using different words) are a standard of good and fair behavior every man knows about and attempts to adhere to or at least expects others to adhere to in their treatment of him. Lewis argues that people from different countries and different cultures are not as different as they may think.
Lewis states that these different civilizations “only had slightly different moralities. Just think what quite different morality would mean. Think of a country where people were admired for running away in battle, where a man felt proud for double-crossing all the people who has been kindest to him.” 1
How can that be that all men from different countries and cultures all have the same mode of thinking?
Someone or something had to have made humans in the same way. Lewis develops this topic further by writing there “are two points I wanted to make . . . First, that human being beings, all over the earth: have this curious idea that they ought to behave in a certain way, and can’t really get rid of it. Secondly, that they don’t in fact behave in that way. They know the Law of Nature; they break it. These two facts are the foundation of all clear thinking about ourselves and the universe we live in.” 2
Developing this topic further, C.S. Lewis states that “the Moral Law, or Law of Human Nature, is not simply a fact about human behaviour [sic] in the same way as the Law of Gravitation is, or may be, simply a fact about how heavy objects behave.” 3 Lewis continues on to prove that there must have been, at one-time, a creator who miraculously created all of these things that exist today.
This idea that someone or something created this world is particularly relevant when you look at the chemical and biological make-up of specific organisms in our current world. For example, one prominent Intelligent Design (ID) scholar, Michael Behe, argues that “certain biological systems such as bacterial flagella, blood-clotting processes, and the immune system are irreducibly complex.” 4 These biological systems are so complex that it is impossible, according to ID scholars, to have formed on their own; therefore some type of intelligent entity must have designed them. 5
Regarding that “Somebody” who once created everything which adheres to these laws, Lewis shares that “we have two bits of evidence about the Somebody. One is the universe He has made. If we used that as our only clue, then I think we should have to conclude that He was a great artist. . . . The other bit of evidence is that Moral Law which He has put into our minds. And this is a better bit of evidence than the other, because it is inside information.” 6
In light of this philosophical position as the proof of a creator, God, it is also important to note the criticisms of Lewis’ view. The philosophical argument presented in the section of C.S Lewis’ writings and the commentary of Intelligent Design (ID) each have their own criticisms. The reality is that even though some of these philosophical positions have a solid base and ID has done its best to be scientifically relevant, there still is much criticism from the science field. One scientist commented on ID stating,
ID theory spans several fields of science, but it largely is associated with efforts to challenge neo-Darwinism in biology. . . . Many scientists who oppose the ID hypothesis define it as nothing but a thinly veiled re-statement of ‘Fundamentalism’ and ‘creationism’ that asserts the truth of the Judeo-Christian religion by simply identifying the ‘design’ of nature with the Creator God of the Bible. 7
Despite the best attempts of Christians to find ways to scientifically explain their belief in God, they have faced a steady stream of criticism such as this: “ID apologetics’ explicitly stated concern for crafting a culturally appealing religious discourse places it more in the sphere of Christian rhetoric than logic, and this is how it ought to be evaluated.” 8
Additionally, some of the findings from science makes it hard to deny the relevance and authenticity of scientific discoveries. For example, certain features of the “creator” or “designer” theories are hard to grapple with when facing the reality that many humans suffer from back ailments because of a skeletal design adapted from four-footed ancestors of which humans have evolved from. 9
In spite of these scientific finds and criticisms, it is important that one would think about and make a decision about God. From this philosophical view we are able to simply deduce that a God does exist. With all his power and all of his might, he is the one in control, and he is the creator of our world and what it is.
This post and yesterday’s post has been my best effort to provide a critique of the statement, “Only superstitious buffoons believe in religion. All evidence suggests that atheistic naturalism is the most compelling worldview.”
My personal religious belief is that we do have a creator, who is a triune God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) who created this world. Exactly how long ago it was created and other items of detail are beyond my comprehension, but I hope to have provided cogent reasoning in these posts that religion is not only believed by superstitious buffoons. Rather some of the most educated, intelligent, and intellectual people in world history have had a strong and devote belief in God.
Furthermore, I hope to have shown a philosophical view that a world and universe which are so congruent in their laws must have been made by a creator. With this information of the intelligent people who have believed in God and the philosophical reasoning about how this world was created by Him, perhaps the following quote is the best way to end this critique:
Look up on a starry night, and you will see the majesty and power of an infinite creator. 10
Question: Why do you believe the religion is not for superstitious buffoons?
- C.S. Lewis, The Case for Christianity (New York: Touchstone, 1943), 5. ↩
- Ibid., 7. ↩
- Ibid., 17 ↩
- David H. Baily, “Creationism and Intelligent Design: Scientific and Theological Difficulties,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 43, no. 3 (Fall 2010): 70. ↩
- Ibid. ↩
- C.S. Lewis, The Case for Christianity (New York: Touchstone, 1943), 25. ↩
- Kevin Mongrain, “The Eyes of Reason: Intelligent Design Apologetics as the New Preambula Fidei?” The Heythrop Journal 52, no. 2, (2011): 193. ↩
- Ibid., 201 ↩
- David H. Baily, “Creationism and Intelligent Design: Scientific and Theological Difficulties,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 43, no. 3 (Fall 2010): 77. ↩
- Billy Graham, The Journey: How to Live by Faith in an Uncertain World (Nashville, TN: W Publishing, 2006), 87. ↩