Why God? Why not just plain luck?

by Scott Youngren

Why God- Why not just plain luckFormer major league baseball player and manager Yogi Berra is perhaps even more famous for his wise sayings than for his baseball career:  “If you come to a fork in the road, take it!,” and “Always go to other people’s funerals, or else they won’t come to yours,” and “I knew the record would stand until it was broken.”  And much like Yogi Berra’s sayings, atheistic explanations are often grounded in absurdities, although less obvious and less humorous.

One very prominent absurdity is the atheistic citation of pure chance or luck as an alternative explanation to God for such phenomena as the origin of life and the origin of our universe.

Sure—the atheist argument goes—the probability of such things occurring naturally is very low…but with enough time, and even a slight probability, what is there to prevent virtually anything from happening?!  But this atheist reasoning makes some very grave oversights.  First of all, bare probability and large amounts of time, alone, cannot accomplish anything, ever.  Period.

Does this seem like too strong a statement?  It is not.  Probability and time can never accomplish anything without 1) a causal mechanism and 2) an underlying structure, or order.

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As an illustration, consider the lottery:  Even though the chance of a specific individual winning the lottery is incredibly small, many people have won lotteries in the past, and many more will win in the future.

What is necessary, then, for this bare probability of a lottery win to result in an actual lottery win?  Much more than just time and chance.  For one, in order to win the lottery, the causal mechanism of going to the store to buy lottery tickets on a regular basis is required.  Without this causal mechanism, the probability of winning the lottery is exactly zero.  As one lottery advertisement says, “You can’t win unless you play.”

Secondly, the structure of a lottery commission and a distribution network for lottery tickets (etc.) is necessary (not to mention the monetary system of the Dollar, Euro, etc.).  In other words, for one to win the lottery, there must first be a lottery, and there must first be such a thing as money to win.

Without this structure, the probability of an individual winning the lottery is also exactly zero…


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