Friday, December 28, 2012

Does God Exist - Apologia Pt. 1



Apologetics
  • Systematic argumentative discourse in defense (as of a doctrine).
  • A branch of theology devoted to the defense of the divine origin and authority of Christianity.
  
The word ‘Apologetics’ comes from the root word – apologia (ap•o•lo•gia) – which means a defense; especially of one's opinions, position, or actions.

As a young man, I most energetically believed and felt as if I had my world on a string. Being young and a bit na├»ve; I charged ahead after everything that seemed fun, exciting and what appeared to be the right things to do. By the age of 21 or 22; I came to a realization that I was totally messing up. Without giving you the sorted details of my youthful past – let’s just say I found myself in a very bad place and realized I had brought it all on myself.

I realized that I believed certain things, but I could not defend why I believed them. This was in part because I simply had not educated myself on how to defend my ideas and opinions; and secondly – in some conversations I had backed away from defending my ideas because deep down, I knew they did not square with common sense or reality. I would blindly cling to what I thought was right or felt right, because it “felt” like the right thing to do. However, this left me with a sense that I was a bit blind, more than a little bit stupid and simply out of touch. I actually felt that I was basing my life’s decisions and personal opinions more on gut feeling rather than basing them in concrete evidence or facts. This left me feeling wholly inadequate.

I came to an impasse of great internal turmoil. I knew that life was supposed to be about something else; something more, and I needed to know what it was. The idea that life is all about having fun, making money and partying lock a rock star; had lost its luster. I started asking myself some pretty serious questions; many of which I was unwilling to share with my party-hardy friends – because they just would not understand; or they would laugh at me. Questions like – Why am I here? What is life all about? How did our world and universe come to be? Is there a god? If there is a god, how do I find him or know him?

In my infinite stupidity, I did not reach out to others with these questions, because the questions made me feel very uncomfortable. Instead; I quietly set upon a quest for knowledge. I began reading books and researching. Fortunately, I had a healthy appetite for reading and learning.

What happened over the next 2 years was nothing short of a miracle. I did not set out looking for a particular god I could devote myself to. I did not set out looking for Christianity or religion in particular either. I just wanted answers to some fundamental or basic questions about life and the physical world we live in.

What I found is that some of the things I had been taught growing up, were not necessarily correct. For example, in public school I learned about Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. My research revealed that it did not square with the findings of science for the last 30 or 40 years. I also found there is physical evidence of evolution within individual species, but yet no physical evidence of one species evolving into another. I learned after reading Darwin’s book, ‘On the Origin of Species’;  that Darwin himself had said that if no fossil evidence was found in the next 50 to 100 years physically showing an evolutionary process of one species to another – that his theory would likely be proven incorrect. Somehow – that small detail was left out from the public school curriculum.

This is just one of dozens and dozens of realities I discovered as I spent more and more hours reading, researching and learning. For instance; I learned about Irreducible Complexity (IC) and Specified Complexity – which clearly show that the complexity within nature; cell structure; function of individual living cells; the structure of DNA – etc. provide an overwhelming evidence that Darwin’s specific theory of evolution is just not possible.

In addition I ended up researching the subjects of Morality and Ethics. While there are a myriad of sources out there for these subjects – my goal was to understand a basic history or timeline of morals. Which have changed or evolved over time? Which have existed in all societies? I found concepts and subjects such as; Aims and Methods of Moral Philosophy, Good Will, Moral Worth and Duty, Duty and Respect for Moral Law, Categorical and Hypothetical Imperatives, the Universal Law of Nature, the Humanity and Autonomy Formulas, Virtue and Vice, etc.. I found the writings of John Locke (who was a huge influencer on our Nation’s Founders and their beliefs). I found the writings of Immanuel Kant, and Thomas Hobbes author of Leviathan and many other writings.

The following short video will serve as a foundation or platform in exploring why we would want to ask basic questions about life and why we would want answers.


I soon found out that the physical universe, space, earth, the structure of our galaxy – nature, science, botany and other biological studies – all screamed overwhelming evidence that there is some intelligence that must be separate from the creation; that designed it and created it.

Intellectual confirmations of an intelligent designer or a creator lead me to wonder if any of the world religions were correct. Which, if any, of the world religions align with and are supported by the evidence in nature?




Resources:

I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist, Good News Publishers. Geisler, Norman L.; Turek, Frank (2004).

True U; Does God Exist? – Focus On the Family

Irreducible Complexity (IC) and Specified Complexity -
 

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