Why All Arguments For God are Not Equal
by Bernard J Mauser
“You’re just using a God-of-the-gaps argument!” Apparently the new atheists are having an influence with this type of response. A friend of mine referred to all of the god-of-the-gaps arguments for God’s existence. I asked who he’d been reading. Dawkins and crew were his favorites.
The God-of-the-gaps reflects the view that all arguments for God are those based on ignorance. God is a placeholder to plug gaps in a person’s knowledge. All the while science works tirelessly to displace God as the real causes for things are discovered.
Modern scientific arguments often refer to probabilities. This is why the main person that the new atheists attack is William Paley. Paley developed the modern argument for design. He postulates that if a person comes across a watch in the woods, the person naturally concludes there must be a watch-maker. This seems intuitive to many people. One then may look at obvious design in nature and conclude that there must be a designer. The evidence for this has brought many atheists, including one of the greatest 20th century philosophers Anthony Flew, to the conclusion that God must exist.
The scientific reasoning that supplies the conclusion to what is seen as the best explanation for something is called abduction. When a person finds a…