This began as a script for a video I am making, but might as well post what I have so far. I will post the video after I make it:
Here is a little background, when I lost my faith, around the age of 16, I decided, quite suddenly, I was an atheist I just could not believe anymore, no matter how hard I tried. Little remnants of my past belief, in the case, Lutheranism, remained. As the years went on, more and more of the vestigial parts of my believe fell away. Belief in an after life, be it heaven or hell. The concept of sin, original or otherwise and even if anything in the Bible ever happened, including the existence of a physical Jesus.
I try not to spend too much time on religion, but it is such an interesting topic, especially considering in the unites states, over 70% of the people believe in something. As I got older, I really wanted to understand what religion, particularly Christianity means. In my exploration, I encountered a few intractable questions I have never seen a proper answer to:
Why would an omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient god require, really, demand worship? If I was all powerful and all knowing, why would I even care if one of my creations didn’t worship me? In fact, this is more of a lack of character on a god’s part. I create software and hardware all the time, but I don’t demand that my test systems worship me. I don’t get angry that they don’t worship me.
The most common apologetic that I have encountered for this one is a circular argument, god demands worship because you should worship your god.
Why would a omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient god worry about its creations worry about worshiping other gods? If you are the creator of the universe, you should be able to convince your creations pretty easily that you are real. You would not worry about your creations worshiping a graven image. If you are so real and powerful, why do even your chosen people wander away from you constantly? A jealous god seems like a contradiction. I have not seen an even half ass apologetic for this one.
The classic Euthyphro dilemma: If something good because god demands it, or does does god command it because it is good? If it is the first part of the dilemma, good is subjective, it is the latter, good is external to god and we don’t need a god to know what is good or bad. The most common apologetic for this is somehow worse that the original proposition. The apologetic says god is good by his nature and can not be bad. Well, that makes god have less free will than us humans and still makes goodness an external proposition. How did god get his good nature? Can he not change his nature? This would mean he is not a god. It just makes the problem worse.
Why would a god get angry at his own creations, that did not have an understanding of good and evil, make an ethical decision that depends on the knowledge of good and evil? Adam and Eve would not know what lying is, or if their actions would be good or evil. If you were omniscient, you would know the creations that YOU made would make that decision. Why did you make Satan? Why did you put the tree in the garden? I know the answer, this is just a silly story used to explain evil and why we have to farm and why women have hard pregnancies. However, every apologetic for this story is just plain silly.
Why do you use “Objective Morality” as a proof of god? It is nothing more than the Euthyphro dilemma with objective morality in the place of good. How can morality be objective in any way? Subjects, be it humans or god, are where morality comes from, so all morality has to be subjective. Getting back to Euthyphro, You can restate the object morality claim as such: Is something moral because god commands it, or does god command it because it is moral? Saying that god is the source of objective morality means you are just choosing the first horn of the dilemma, and you are back to subjective morality, or divine command theory.
How is eternal life possible? Eternal life depends on there being an infinite reality, but that is not possible in this universe. Nothing is infinite. If we are resurrected, how does this work? Wouldn’t our resurrected forms just be a duplicate or simulation of what we are? It may have our memories, but it is not us. What was us died when our brains died. This problem exists with ANY kind of afterlife, be it heaven, hell, or some new age concept. Why do we need eternal life? Evolution and culture already figured out how to pass on what is essentially us, children. They inherit our very DNA and we can pass down our values to them, to pass on to their children. Our deaths are the price we pay to keep the species moving forward.
How do you know there is a soul? I don’t understand how brain/soul duality works. I don’t even know how this is possible. The brain thinks, that is its purpose, to process information from our senses and react accordingly to increase our chances of survival, as an individual and as a species. If you damage your brain, your mind suffers. I just watched my father die, trust me, once the brain is gone, that person is dead. Where do souls come from? How do the interact with the brain? Why are they affected when you have brain damage? When does the soul enter the developing fetus or child? Is a soul an adult when it is created, or is it emergent? The simpler answer is that should don’t exist.
Decided to try something new, after trying to read that Jordan Peterson book, I made a video! I want to be your Atheist Dad, offering advice to you non-believers (or believers, if you like) that your dad never told you. The language can get a little salty. For this first vlog, I dive head first into Incels. I will be your Anti-Peterson.
Thanks to Rachael Oats/Youtube, I also wanted to respond to this little gem from William Lane Craig himself. Nothing new here, to be honest, just WLC’s standard stuff.
So what reasons might be given in defense of Christian theism? In my publications and oral debates with some of the world’s most notable atheists, I’ve defended the following five reasons why God exists:
1. God provides the best explanation of the origin of the universe. Given the scientific evidence we have about our universe and its origins, and bolstered by arguments presented by philosophers for centuries, it is highly probable that the universe had an absolute beginning. Since the universe, like everything else, could not have merely popped into being without a cause, there must exist a transcendent reality beyond time and space that brought the universe into existence. This entity must therefore be enormously powerful. Only a transcendent, unembodied mind suitably fits that description.
Several problems here, the universe probably didn’t have an absolute beginning and it didn’t just pop into existence. The solution to this non-problem is infinitely more complicated than the problem it was trying to solve. Where did god come from? How long did he wait in his transcendent state before creating the universe? Has he done this before? Why do you need a mind to create the universe? The other HUGE theological issue is you have to reject YOUR OWN HOLY BOOK to accept modern cosmology. The Bible DOES NOT describe how the universe began as modern cosmology understands it. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. You accept the Bible or you accept cosmology. If you are doing some sort of acrobatics in terms of interpretation, then you are NOT accepting the Bible literally.
2. God provides the best explanation for the fine-tuning of the universe. Contemporary physics has established that the universe is fine-tuned for the existence of intelligent, interactive life. That is to say, in order for intelligent, interactive life to exist, the fundamental constants and quantities of nature must fall into an incomprehensibly narrow life-permitting range. There are three competing explanations of this remarkable fine-tuning: physical necessity, chance, or design. The first two are highly implausible, given the independence of the fundamental constants and quantities from nature’s laws and the desperate maneuvers needed to save the hypothesis of chance. That leaves design as the best explanation.
Fine tuning is VERY misunderstood. The so called fine tuning is descriptive NOT prescriptive. As far as we know, since we only know one universe, these values are all they CAN be in this universe. It is akin to saying that water freezes at exactly 0°C, super fine tuned, right? Well, since the freezing point of water is what defines or describes WHAT 0°C is, this is stupid argument. If the universe was fine tuned, why is only 0.0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001% of the total volume of it suitible for life?
3. God provides the best explanation of objective moral values and duties. Even atheists recognize that some things, for example, the Holocaust, are objectively evil. But if atheism is true, what basis is there for the objectivity of the moral values we affirm? Evolution? Social conditioning? These factors may at best produce in us the subjective feeling that there are objective moral values and duties, but they do nothing to provide a basis for them. If human evolution had taken a different path, a very different set of moral feelings might have evolved. By contrast, God Himself serves as the paradigm of goodness, and His commandments constitute our moral duties. Thus, theism provides a better explanation of objective moral values and duties.
4. God provides the best explanation of the historical facts concerning Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. Historians have reached something of consensus that the historical Jesus thought that in himself God’s Kingdom had broken into human history, and he carried out a ministry of miracle-working and exorcisms as evidence of that fact. Moreover, most historical scholars agree that after his crucifixion Jesus’ tomb was discovered empty by a group of female disciples, that various individuals and groups saw appearances of Jesus alive after his death, and that the original disciples suddenly and sincerely came to believe in Jesus’ resurrection despite their every predisposition to the contrary. I can think of no better explanation of these facts than the one the original disciples gave: God raised Jesus from the dead.
The ONLY source for this life, death, and resurrection are the gospels. How do we know the gospels are true? Because god wrote the Bible. How do we know god wrote the Bible? Because the Bible says god wrote the Bible. Circular logic anyone? Why did no one else alive at the time notice 3 hours of darkness? SAINTS COMING BACK TO LIFE AND WANDERING THE STREETS?????? You would think someone would of noticed ZOMBIES!!!
5. God can be personally known and experienced. The proof of the pudding is in the tasting. Down through history Christians have found through Jesus a personal acquaintance with God that has transformed their lives.
No, he can’t. You think you are experiencing something, Jesus, but the EXACT SAME CLAIM can be made of Muhammed, Vishnu, and a thousand other gods. People see shit that isn’t real. I, personally, have never experienced any kind of spiritual/touch of god/woo magic. Even if DID, it would be no basis in convincing others and not the truth. I know my senses can lie, and so can yours.
A favorite apologetic for many Christians is the Kalam Cosmological Argument. This apologetic is stated as:
From Matt Slick:
It is possible for those things to not exist.
Whatever has the possibility of non-existence, yet exists, has been caused to exist.
Something cannot bring itself into existence since it must exist to bring itself into existence, which is illogical.
There cannot be an infinite number of causes to bring something into existence.
An infinite regression of causes ultimately has no initial cause, which means there is no cause of existence.
Since the universe exists, it must have a cause.
Therefore, there must be an uncaused cause of all things.
The uncaused cause must be God.
Thomas Aquinas (1224-1274) had a version of the Cosmological Argument called the Argument from Motion. He stated that things in motion could not have brought themselves into motion but must be caused to move. There cannot be an infinite regression of movers. Therefore, there must be an Unmoved Mover. This Unmoved Mover is God.
Although he is stating this as originating from Thomas Aquinas, it dates back far earlier than that, all the way back to Aristotle. In fact, the modern name Kalam Cosmological Argument betrays a simple fact: Kalam refers to Islamic teachings. Herein is are my major argument against this apologetic. It originated with Aristotle, which relates back to greek mythology:
In the beginning there was an empty darkness. The only thing in this void was Nyx, a bird with black wings. With the wind she laid a golden egg and for ages she sat upon this egg. Finally life began to stir in the egg and out of it rose Eros, the god of love. One half of the shell rose into the air and became the sky and the other became the Earth. Eros named the sky Uranus and the Earth he named Gaia. Then Eros made them fall in love.…
As you can see there, the cosmic egg is a just as valid as the Biblical account of Waters from Waters, firmament, etc.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.
And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.”So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so.8 God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.
And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place,and let dry ground appear.” And it was so.God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.
Do either of these sound like how the universe actually started?
In the first second after the universe began, the surrounding temperature was about 10 billion degrees Fahrenheit (5.5 billion Celsius), according to NASA. The cosmos contained a vast array of fundamental particles such as neutrons, electrons and protons. These decayed or combined as the universe got cooler.
This early soup would have been impossible to look at, because light could not carry inside of it. “The free electrons would have caused light (photons) to scatter the way sunlight scatters from the water droplets in clouds,” NASA stated. Over time, however, the free electrons met up with nuclei and created neutral atoms. This allowed light to shine through about 380,000 years after the Big Bang.
This early light — sometimes called the “afterglow” of the Big Bang — is more properly known as the cosmic microwave background (CMB). It was first predicted by Ralph Alpher and other scientists in 1948, but was found only by accident almost 20 years later.
So, if you are a Christian (or Muslim) trying to argue that the Cosmological argument proves god, explain to me why your creation myth has no connection with how the universe actually started? In fact, light was not even the first thing, it took over 380,000 years before light was even possible. In fact, using this argument creates four HUGE problems:
Your own creation myths have no relation to present theories as to how the universe began.
You have no way to linking your particular god to the first mover, or uncaused cause.
The violates the law of parsimony, by introducing a far more complicated solution, namely a timeless, spaceless, unchanging god that can create the universe out of nothing.
By using this apologetic, you are ACTIVELY refuting your own personal god.
This fourth point is important. Accepting the universe started with the Big Bang, followed by no discernable interaction for billions of years, eliminates the need for a personal god. This apologetic really works against the concept of a god that answers prayers, cares about our sins, or interacts with the universe in any way. This lack of the need of a personal god also works against the fine tuning argument. If your deistic god started the universe and set all of the laws in motion and disappeared…you would have the universe as you see it now.
More on Kalam and other deistic apologetics.
For me, the most confusing aspects of the Kalam Cosmological are the abandonment of the Bible (or at least the old testament) and the first statement of any cosmological argument, namely that thing begint to exist. First off, lets look into the abandoment of the Bible.
The first line of the Bible is “In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth.” This, somehow, relates to Big Bang. You can accept the Genesis at face value, or you can accept the standard model. I suppose you could come up with convoluted interpretation of Genesis, but reading the actual words on the page “God created the Heavens and the Earth” I can’t help but contrast this with how the universe actually started. The Earth began to form billions of years after this universe began. Heck, even light was not possible for 300,000 years! While you have apologetics that cling to the first cause, first mover, etc. accepting any of these explicitly forces the speaker to reject the Biblical Earth creation narrative. Accepting both accounts as true is like finding a square circle or a married bachelor. A 6 day creation that also took billions of years, in the opposite order, is logically impossible. There is also a misunderstanding of what begins to exist actually means.
Strictly speaking EVERYTHING came into existence at the same time, at T=0, the first instant of the big bang. Energy and matter CAN NOT be created or destroyed, only change from one to the other, or the patterns can change. Everything is the universe is the same age AS the universe. It just has been changing forms and states for that entire time. The matter in your body, stars, the electricity that powers your computer, all came into existence when the universe began. I repeat: NOTHING has come into existence since the universe began. The whole concept of first cause or first mover is nonsense. The universe started all at once and will eventually end up as all heat. In all of those trillions of years, not a single atom will come into existence that was not there at the big bang, well, at least all the elemental particles that make up atoms was there.
When I started this site a few years ago, I had high hopes that I could really sink my teeth into modern Christian apologetics. Along the way, I tackled Flat Earth (and grew bored of it), looked into some transcendent gibberish, and starting reading the Bible. I wanted to really challenge myself and really discover if there is anything to these alternative beliefs. Instead, I find myself bored with the whole concept, starting with Christian Apologists.
What I was most shocked to discover in Apologetics is there has not been any new defenses put forth in 700 years! There has been some rebranding and new names, but it still the same tired apologetics. One of the most absurd defenses I have run across is you have to really study theology to ‘find god’. This is stupid. Do I need to study astrophysics to know the sun is real? Do I need to study oceanography to know the oceans are real? Real things are self evident. Imaginary things are not. God is not self evident and is imaginary. My other complaint in studying apologetics is there are some real areas which there are no reasonable answers.
The first of which is “why should I believe in your gibberish over someone else’s gibberish?” Or more elegantly, this is the outside test of faith. You both use the same arguments for wildly different claims. How can I tell the difference?
The second issue for me is for many of the philosophical arguments, like the Kalam or First Mover, there is no link between the vague deistic god and their particular god. No matter how much they argue about the fine tuning of the universe, or, objective morality, I have not been able to find any coherent connection between those concepts and a particular god.
A third issue is ‘objective morality’ or ‘objective truths’ or even ‘Judeo-Christian Values.’ For the life of me, I can’t find any of these spelled out. Seriously, try to search for it. If you can point to a good source for any of these concepts, please, PLEASE, leave them in the comment section.
Fourthly, I am personally disgusted by the views shown on many apologetics websites, specifically, the anti homosexual agenda. I really don’t want to drive any sort of traffic back to those hate filled websites.
Finally, I am just bored. There is just no challenge countering Christian Apologetics. The Bible is a vile and boring book. Debunking Flat Earth is boring and stupid. Maybe I will continue with the Bible reading, however, it is going nowhere and I just don’t care. If anyone would like me to continue, please let me know, otherwise, I will be spending my free time on retro video games and systems and making stuff. So much more fun than researching religious drivel.
Thanks to Wikipedia, there is a convenient list of the 6 philosophical Christian Apologetics. Let’s see if I can tear them down in less than 10 minutes.
1. Cosmological argument – Argues that the existence of the universe demonstrates that God exists. Various primary arguments from cosmology and the nature of causation are often offered to support the cosmological argument.
Despite the modern sounding name, this is probably the oldest argument. Plato used a version of it, and it was made famous by Thomas Aquinas, in the 13th century. You can see two problems here. Plato was a not a Christian and this argument predates Christianity. The second is, even if you can somehow posit a first mover, it would be infinitely more complex than a naturalistic explanation. In addition, the ‘newer’ Kalam version of this apologetic STILL does not have a way to link this first mover to the god of their choice.
2. Teleological argument – Argues that there is a purposeful design in the world around us, and a design requires a designer. Cicero, William Paley, and Michael Behe use this argument as well as others.
This argument was always a weak one to me. The world does not appear to be designed, or if it is, not very well. From what we now know about evolution by means of natural selection, and the fossil record, this argument is next to useless.
3. Ontological argument – Argues that the very concept of God demands that there is an actual existent God.
Silliest of the arguments, because you can think of a maximally great entity, it must exist. This argument really falls apart if you replace god with demon. It works equally well, perhaps even better, arguing an infinitely evil entity exists. Even when new, this argument never gained much traction.
4. Moral Argument – Argues that there are objectively valid moral values, and therefore, there must be an absolute from which they are derived.
Simple, there are no objective moral values, and cultures in isolation can have very different values. Morals are a result of culture and genetic predisposition and are not absolute.
5. Transcendental Argument – Argues that all our abilities to think and reason require the existence of God.
I really don’t get this one, to be honest. Animals can think, machines can reason. If a machine can reason, there is a god? It really makes no sense and have not really read a good explanation over several apologetics books I have read.
6. Presuppositional Arguments – Argues that the basic beliefs of theists and nontheists require God as a necessary precondition.
This is the most circular argument and a subset of Transcendental Argument, which I don’t get. The argument boils down to you need to know everything, or know someone who knows everything, to know anything. This is a stupid argument. It is akin to saying you need to know the absolute temperatures to know any temperature. We were able to measure temperature WAY before we knew what temperature was and what the limits are. I don’t know why you would need to know ALL of the members of a set to know ANY of the members of a set. Another example is numbers. They are a concept, but you do not need to know all real numbers to perform mathematics. The last issue is, how do you know which god to choose? Your Bible says it is true, but so does the Koran, Book of Mormon, i ching, 4 noble truths, eightfold path, Tao Te Ching, and the Egyptian Book of the Dead and many others. In the end, the Bible is True, Because the Bible Says It’s True.
I watched a few seconds of a Youtube video, rebutting 8 Questions No Atheist Can Answer! So, I decided to stop and see how I would/could answer these 8 questions:
1. If morality isn’t objective, does that mean Hitler never did anything wrong? Are our actions just a consequence of nature?
Objectively wrong, no Hitler did not do anything objectively wrong. To his point of view, what he did was moral and just. Morality is subjective, and what he did was subjectively wrong to most people, but not all. Our actions are a consequence of nature.
2. If you’re meaning to life is subjective and your sense of purpose in life is truly meaningless when you take into account how brief it is in the geologic time scale and how the universe will one day be destroyed, why do you try to hold others to your subjective moral standard? Why and HOW can you judge God?
I don’t hold others to my subjective moral standard, but as a society and as a species, it is in our best interest to develop a SUBJECTIVE moral code. Knowing this is our only life make it imperative to not waste it being cruel to others. I can’t judge god, god is an imaginary character. It is like asking how I can judge Spiderman or the Hulk. It is a nonsense question.
3. What proof do you have to say that God doesn’t exist? To prove that God doesn’t exist, you have to logically have a reason as to why the universe came into being out of an eternal realm of nothingness.
No, I do not have and have no obligation to disprove a god. I am not the one making a positive claim. However, the concept of an all powerful, infinite, all loving, but unchanging god, that is separate from time and space, but personal seems pretty self refuting. The concept of eternal and nothingness is meaningless before time and space.
4. Where and why did the universe pop into existence out of the “Big Bang”? Where did the Multiverse pop out of? If there was no universe made out of space-time, does that mean it just popped out of an eternal realm of nothing?
This is just the second part of question 3, broken out. The concept of “Where” is meaningless before space-time. Why? is an odd question. Does the sun need a reason to shine? Apply the same to Multiverse. Yes, our present universe can just pop out of nothing, it is called quantum fluctuations. Happens all the time.
5. Where did life come from and how? How do you explain the fine-tuning of the universe? That means that there are hundreds of thousands of conditions that needed to meet so that our universe could support life or even exist.
I am not a biologist that studies abiogenesis and I suspect you aren’t either, but let me muddle through this disjointed question. Life arose over 3.5 billion year ago, there are many theories of the origin. I personally believe it began either in mud, or around hydrothermal vents. I am not a physicist, but the fine tuning argument is poorly understood. Fine tuning is a Descriptive, not Prescriptive values. They are descriptions of what the values are. There are not hundreds of thousands of values. The entire universe is bounded by: Electromagnetism, Gravity, Strong Nuclear Force, and the Weak Nuclear Force. I only count 4 fundamental forces. Finally, life began and evolved to work within these limits, no the other way around.
6. Why did the first organism need to consume to survive if it came into existence out of star dust? What drove it to survive?
It did not pop into existence in star dust. Life almost certainly began in the vast oceans, where there was tremendous amounts of chemical energy. When that chemical energy ran out, photosynthesis evolved to harness the sun. The first life on earth was almost certainly RNA based. It had no drive to survive, like a falling object has no desire to fall, it just does.
7. Where did DNA come from and how did something so complicated randomly come into existence? It is said that one single DNA can hold the equivalent to 4,500 books of information.
Before DNA was RNA, which is derived from Amino Acids. Amino acids are VERY common, and can even be found in the near vacuum of space. The early oceans were a literal soup of amino acids. Take amino acids, add energy and time and you will get RNA. Make enough RNA and there will be self replicating RNA. Put self replicating RNA in a phospholipid membrane, and you have a simple cell. The second part is a statement referring to a metaphor. DNA is not a book.
8. What evidence is there for the changing of kinds? We all know that there are thousands of species of the same kind of animal, like there are several different kinds of dogs. But there in nothing in the record of evolution that proves that one kind of animal, like a fish, can evolve into a human. Cats are always cat and humanoids are always humanoids. Some people say that because we all share DNA, that we are therefore all related. However, DNA and matter can merely be the mechanism God used to create all animals with and he made each slightly different.
Kinds is a meaningless term. There are entire museums and warehouses FULL of transitional fossils. I don’t understand the ‘thousands of species of the same kind of animal’. A species is a very specific definition. It is members of a population that can mate and produce viable offspring. The evolution of humans is intently researched and beyond the scope of this humble blog post. Cats are not always cats and humanoids are not human. You could not mate with an homo habilis, erectus, etc. Maybe, maybe with a Heidelbergensis, but I doubt it. Where are all these other humanoids? They are all extinct. We are all related, humans, dogs, whales, potatoes, crabs, grass…we all share DNA. What’s the point? Finally, we have a cop out here with guided evolution. Why add god when natural selection is the simpler answer?
Been going through a little of William Lane Craig’s site, Reasonable Faith. He is a skilled rhetorician and apologist. He takes thousands of words to convey childish ideas. Here is an example.
In this article he takes 6,611 words to convey….god is real because without god I feel sad. Really, that is what it all boils down to.
But if there is no God, it will end that way, like it or not. This is reality in a universe without God: there is no hope; there is no purpose….
What is true of the universe and of the human race is also true of us as individuals. If God does not exist, then you are just a miscarriage of nature, thrust into a purposeless universe to live a purposeless life.
Do you understand the gravity of the alternatives before us? For if God exists, then there is hope for man. But if God does not exist, then all we are left with is despair. Do you understand why the question of God’s existence is so vital to man?
All I can say to statements like this is: so? Yeah, we live a cold, mostly empty universe that does not care if we exist or not. There is no immortality (thank goodness), no ultimate good, etc. He feels so sad and upset the universe is like this so…god? Just because you wish it would be true, does not mean it is true. I wish Santa was real. I wish magic was real. It is not. Grow up.
He makes no evidential claims, heck, he does not even link this vague pantheist god to Yahweh and even admits that:
Now I want to make it clear that I have not yet shown biblical Christianity to be true. But what I have done is clearly spell out the alternatives. If God does not exist, then life is futile. If the God of the Bible does exist, then life is meaningful….
So, in the end, yes, he believes in a god so that he feels there is an ultimate purpose of life and immortality. Personally, I think immortality is an absurd concept and would be the worst possible fate of a sentient being. For the ultimate purpose question, all I can say is grow up. For the vague morality questions, evolution and altruism is a good enough answer for me. Subjectivity and relativism does not keep me up at night, and I am surprised this a still used an apologetic.
Recently I have been looking into the writings of Christopher Langan and his Cognitive Theoretic Model of the Universe. Which is, as far as I can tell a modern take on pantheism. What is that? A general belief that the universe is god and we are all just pieces of god. For Langan’s specific hypothesis, the universe is a self programming, executing computer. This contrasts with Deism, where a god creates the universe and simply has no more interaction. The issue I personally have with these viewpoints is that it posits a useless god with no utility.
With either of these god concepts, there is no point in prayer, since it will never be answered, and the universe under each viewpoint would be identical, in every way, to a materialistic/mechanical view of the universe. Why add an extra layer of a god when no god is the most parsimonious answer? Getting back to my point of utility; if I can get nothing out of believing, like miracles, eternal life, answered prayers, what’s the point? These viewpoints are worse than useless. They can’t be falsified, and even if the universe was living computer, it would not change anything. The rules are still the same.
The concept of the universe being a self programming, self actuating computer in an interesting concept, and should be testable. However, even the hypothesis that the universe that we observe is a computer simulation, run by a hyper intelligent race is a more tenable concept. Langan’s concept does have interesting points from a 30,000 foot view, but investigating further, it is clear that Langan is very intelligent, but lacks knowledge and has a basic misunderstanding of how computers, language, and syntax work. Getting back to utility, even if CTMU is correct, or if the universe is a hologram, or computer simulation, we are part of that system, and the rules still the same. Again, still no utility, unless we can ‘hack’ the system. If it is true, let’s apply this knowledge, if it not, move on and try to understand how the universe really works.