How Many Impossible Things Do You Need to Believe?

How many impossible things do you need to believe to not believe in God?

There is a decision to make.

Whether to believe in the existence of a single intelligent creator responsible for the complexity of the universe and life on earth – or to believe that an unimaginable number of spontaneous events somehow happened in order to bring about the same result, out of nothing.

The main difference as I see it, is that one scenario raises the possibility of us being accountable to a Creator God, and that can be a scary prospect for some people.

Over the past few days I’ve had a small discussion with a few unbelievers on a secular news site.

One of the responders asked a version of that old, naïve question:

…how do you explain your ‘single intelligent creator’, does he just pop into existence from, er, nothing?

Basically, if the universe and life within it required a creator, who created that creator?

To some that question must seem the pinnacle of sophistication – the argument to end all arguments, and yet there is a very clear and obvious answer that does not favour the doubter’s assumption.

The Bible describes God as being eternal with no beginning or end.

But Science recognises that the universe DID have a beginning.

Therefore, unlike the universe (according to the materialist viewpoint), God did not need to “just pop into existence from nothing”.

As for the question of how many impossible things need to be accepted in order to disbelieve in a Creator God, the following response in the same discussion shows how willing people can be to practice all manner of irrational, intellectual gymnastics to close their eyes and minds to God.

That ‘unimaginable’ number of spontaneous events took place over an equally unimaginable expanse of space and time, and if the many-worlds interpretation is correct, over an almost infinitely large number of universes. From another perspective, given these conditions, that series of spontaneous events had to occur somewhere, at some time. It just happens that here and now is where they occurred.

Just look at the many assumptions and speculations required to fuel that argument.

1) The assumption that given enough time, anything can happen no matter how improbable or impossible.
(Excepting the existence of a Creator to whom His creation might be accountable, of course)

2) If the “many-worlds interpretation is correct.
(One might as well say “if the easter bunny was real, chocolate eggs would magically appear at easter. Again – an avoidance of pondering whether the Creator God “interpretation” could be correct.)

3) An almost infinitely large number of universes?
(So now we have the existence of an infinite number of universes that spontaneously appeared, not just one).

4) Given all of those imagined conditions then this very real universe had to appear out of nothing.
(Do I need to comment further on that?)

So I’ll return to my original question…

How many impossible things does someone need to believe to not believe in God?

30 thoughts on “How Many Impossible Things Do You Need to Believe?

  1. You probably intended this… a twist. As I began reading, I was thinking, how many unbelievable things are required or how many leaps are necessary, in faith, before you are saved (in the view of others, for instance, or maybe in God’s view)?

    But it works the way you are saying right now, too. It sort of amazes me if some atheists think they’re being profound to say it’s impossible or difficult to believe a Creator didn’t have a beginning. I mean, I was pretty young (like five or something)…

    … you think through anything (or anyone) not having a beginning. It seems impossible. Then you think of the only logical opposite, that anything had a beginning. Well how would that happen or be, either, anyway? We can see, it just can’t be solved.

  2. It’s important that you believed it at 5. There is a reason the churches target the young. Very gullible. How do know (if he existed at all) that he had no beginning. It makes more sense that their was never nothing. If god did create the world, then it is artificial, not natural, and that doesn’t seem to likely either.

  3. I spent most of my life struggling to believe – but found it much harder to disbelieve in God when there’s so much clear evidence of His reality.
    How do I know He had no beginning?
    Does it really matter? The important point I was making was that the Biblical God is described in scripture as having no beginning or end – so regardless of whether he exists or not, (and I am confident He does) that question of who created God, or the assumption that He must have “popped out of nothing” is at best naively ignorant and is nowhere near as clever as those who pose it must think it is.

    As for being targeted by the church, at a young age or otherwise- I have been more than capable of seeking out God without any compulsion from a religious institution. I was drawn to God because I had an interest in truth and was willing to seek it out, no matter how challenging it may have been, and for most of my believing life have had only a little sporadic contact with organised religious groups.

  4. It makes more sense that their was never nothing.

    YES, that’s another one I thought about.

    How could there ever have been nothing, but, then, how could anything not have started? Neither way “adds up.” Just like the other question or puzzle.

    I wasn’t in an overwhelming evangelical environment. Nor was I dominated by a Catholic situation (even though my dad had me christened as an infant).

  5. It was when I was introduced to a more domineering setting, Nazarene, that I, in fact, began to say, I’m not sure these people know what they’re talking about.

    I don’t know if all Nazarenes are like the ones I knew.

  6. Clear evidence of his reality. Even that statement is signature bias of indoctrination.
    If god were real it would be obvious. No faith can exist with real evidence. You have faith, god is non-evidentiary. It is right in line with Jesus. It was imperative that there be no evidence for the trick to work. It was a masterful play on the imaginative leanings of human psychology. Why do you think they appeared to faith right away, even with the resurrected Jesus supposedly standing right there? Insisting on faith before knowledge (merely belief that an unproven idea is true) does in fact hardwire the neurons. Belief has now become the pinnacle of religious achievement and a badge of honor, while faith is the hardwiring. I am now arguing against your physiology. That is a proven and purely observable phenomenon. It get people to fly planes into buildings over even the most errant ideas.

  7. <blockquote<But why not multiple creators? Plural. Plenty of religions where there is more than one god.
    People have enough trouble believing in one Creator, largely, I suspect, because they don’t like the idea of being accountable to someone beyond themselves.
    Throwing more “gods” into the mix is another way to push aside accountability. With many “gods” a person merely needs to choose the one most tolerant to their own desires.

    However I find it important to consider truth with some personal integrity – to discover and recognise what actually IS and not look for different ways to avoid reality.

  8. If god were real it would be obvious

    And it IS obvious – the evidence is all around us.

    As per this topic, it takes belief in countless impossible things to enable someone to not believe in God.

    Paul expressed it very well in Romans 1: “since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”

    God is not hiding.

    But some people close their eyes, stick their fingers in their ears and sing “LA LA LA” at the top of their voice, tyring not to see or hear.

  9. Well, simply because one decides to call it god, doesn’t discourage the fact that even today, the natural order of things happen all the time. Things attract, repel, and evolve. Pretty sure they always have. I have a question; Where was your god prior to showing up in Israel 3500 years ago? Shaman from all over the globe had core beliefs that transcended the barriers of the oceans and travel. But no Yahweh or Jesus? Only core shamanism. Why, in the history of gods, never the same god twice? If god were obvious you would not need missionaries and evangelism. God is a human construct to explain what he doesn’t understand.
    Up until 300 years ago people were afraid to explore the mountains because of gods, devils, and monsters. Now it is a field of study. Your god came into existence to explain the unexplained, and control people through fear.

  10. natural order of things happen all the time…

    An interesting statement – “natural” and “order”… what would they actually mean within a creator-less reality ruled by chance?

    Where was your god prior to showing up in Israel 3500 years ago

    See the early chapters of Genesis, most of which relates to long before the existence of Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel, whose ancestors became the children of Israel and later the people of Israel.

    If god were obvious you would not need missionaries and evangelism

    The role of evangelism is NOT to convince wilful unbelievers of God’s obvious existence. It’s role is to inform people about God’s intentions for His creation, and that they can be part of His Kingdom.

    As for those who choose to reject God.

    “They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.”

  11. What would they mean if ruled by chance? Exactly what we have right now. A creator implies this is a synthetic, not natural world. That just doesn’t seem right. However, we cannot identify outside of it even if we try. We are simply pert if it and no amount of hoping can separate you from it.

  12. What would they mean if ruled by chance? Exactly what we have right now

    Not really – we have a very ordered universe where scientists can make determinations based upon repeatability – because certain physical, chemical and mathematical laws reflect order and predictability, and not the chaos of chance.

    Your assertions regarding “synthetic” and “natural” are a semantic wordplay that makes no real difference to what is real (truth) or not. As an alternative to your word “synthetic” I think created would be more appropriate.

  13. Yes. Ordered. Like oil and water. It’s really not as hard as you want this to be. The idea that Jesus is the creator of the universe is pretty laughable. The other part is, you were promised tools as a believer. “Greater signs than these follow them that believe” Either the Bible lied, or nobody truly believes this stuff anyway. Are you a true believer, or an imposter? The fact is the Bible is an unreliable guide that has never produced the promised results. 2000 years of belief mode and here we are.

  14. “Greater signs than these follow them that believe” Either the Bible lied, or nobody truly believes this stuff anyway.

    This explains a lot.

    “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away. Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity. But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience”

    Most professing believers in the west don’t recognise they’ve surrounded themselves with thorns and weeds.

    And its clear from your comments which of the above categories you fit into. (hint it’s the first).

    Despite the fact we clearly have different views about God, I have to admire your considerable evangelistic zeal. I can confidently say I wouldn’t spend so much time and thought focused on something/someone in whom I didn’t believe.
    If only those who profess belief in Jesus had similar zeal, then some of those promised “greater signs” would become more evident.

  15. Really you missed the point.
    “17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

    18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover”—“Mark 16:17-18
    He also is said to calm the sea, turn water into wine, and feed thousands with a few loaves and fish. Greater miracles would be greater than these. Water into whiskey, curing blindness and cancer, ending worldwide hunger, all by way of miraculous belief of course. I’m not sure faith can move mountains, but I’ve seen what it can do to the indigenous populations around the world.

  16. Actually its you who is missing the point – no matter what anyone says, or what anyone shows you, no matter what goes on in the world, you would remain unwilling to believe.

    Thank you for your comments so far, but I’ve already given you a large enough pulpit.

  17. I believed it about 50 years. The awakening was pretty remarkable. The faith trap is quite a predictable and calculated barrier to human growth and potential. A belief that has no utility. A belief—mere thoughts that are the pinnacle of religious virtue. It is nothing at all. You have only given me the party line through a presupposition god exists. A god that does nothing, answers no prayer, performs no miracle. Atheism is proof man can actually be tempted more that he can bear. With knowledge. Nothing has changed since the beginning of your bible warning against that same knowledge

  18. You have only given me the party line

    Which must be a miracle in itself considering I have no “party” involvement, but have spent decades seeking the truth for myself instead of following anyone else.

    For a long time I would have preferred if I could reject God altogether – it would have been such a convenient thing to do, but I couldn’t reject the evidence merely to avoid accountability.

  19. Looks like we are at opposite ends of belief. You believe and didn’t want to. I don’t believe but tried very hard to keep my faith. That’s actually a bit funny. Thanks for chatting. And happy thanksgiving.

  20. On a side note, we are in our baby step phase of understanding the beginnings through incremental advances in science. When analyzing the expansion of the universe, astrophysicists imagined that the expansion could be rewinded, just like a film, and that this backward movement would show the collapse into a singularity.
    Now it suggests that ancient light is looping back on itself.

  21. {Oh… This is a little follow-up detail I shouldn’t neglect. I do actually know if one person considered “Nazarene” can be different from another. [See post at November 28 8:03pm.] The principal at the Nazarene school was more thoughtful. I think this can be an encouragement to a person who finds themself in a less than ideal congregational setting. Yet, I’d still say a whole different church could have a different overall influence on people than another. And this would be so, I’d think, for any style/sect of congregation or organization.}

  22. I find it interesting that core shamanistic practices were found all around the globe, yet Yahweh was nowhere to be found but in one small country, and never had anyone outside of it knew one whit about it. That’s what I mean “where was Yahweh” not more circular evidence from the Bible.

  23. You might find it interesting, but I don’t find it surprising.
    Why would the demonic forces of the father of lies promote the Creator among a sinful, rebellious people “all around the globe”?

    The Creator made Himself known at the right time and to the right people (initially person – Abraham) to set His salvation plan in progress.

  24. sinful, rebellious people”. How would they know they were sinful and rebellious without the law? This is quite contradictory. Christianity only added to it everywhere it planted its flag. Many first hand accounts of the explorers praise the natives and on many levels were far superior to the Christians in temperance, honesty, and virtue.
    Take the first hand accounts of Barto de las Casas as he explored and decimated the Caribbean with Columbus. One section I remember in particular as the Christians were de-breasting the women alive, smashing their babies heads in the rocks, and burning the men alive on a gibbet 13 at a time in honour of Christ and the 12 apostles—“they did not resist and knew not violence. They had no religion yet exceeded us in peace and temperance ..they would make fine slaves”. Fortunately Casas eventually made an effort to stop the atrocities but it was many years too late to undo the damage. Millions were dead.
    Even settlers 200 years later made similar statements about how their Christianity was inferior to what the natives practiced. And were incredibly honest and cooperative until they were cheated, then became very angry.
    But today we rely on the expert commentary and ignore those accounts.
    “1491”, is another great read. The natives of North and South America were not savages at all until we showed up and gave them no choice. There are countless ways of being in the world. Monotheism can’t stand the competition, but across the board was inferior, like the last holdouts that hid in the mountains of Columbia, the Kogi—to this day exceed Christianity in peaceful living.
    Now, through 1500 years of forced conversion we have a monochrome world. But Christianity keeps peddling its nonsense to the Amazon and every other indigenous way of being. Welcome to the monochrome world.

  25. Jim,
    Reading your comments both here and on your own site, you now express a lack of belief that God exists, but that you did believe in His existence for about 50 years – which looking at your photo, suggests your initial belief was at a young age – which maybe why you appear critical when you say the churches target the young..?

    I was brought up in a ‘church going’ family and I believed in the existence of God from a fairly young age. However it wasn’t until I was 21 that a friend introduced me to the person of Jesus and who He is from scripture – until that point He had only been a ‘babe in a manger’ at Christmas time. Whether I was spiritually regenerated at that point, I don’t know for sure. From that time, I was aware that Jesus was the Messiah to mankind and that His death and resurrection was very relevant – you’ll read this and say it’s the ‘party line’ I’m sure.

    In your comments you have also been critical of lack of evidence – healings etc. I can testify to having seen healings, and having been healed myself of a ruptured disc – xray’s taken before and after are the evidential proof.

    I know of others whose faith has left them, partly because they never knew Jesus as Messiah (Saviour) or as Lord of their life. For me, He is both – and that understanding grew from the age of 21 until now (68) and is still increasing.

    You also mention science..? from my own observations it seems that many scientists now, in all fields except maybe anthropology, are faced with a challenge to believe in ‘intelligent design’ or continue in their non-belief in the existence of God. This challenge arises from scientific discoveries, such as DNA which cannot possibly just have evolved or occurred from nothing.

    I leave a question for you Jim – no need to answer here, but please consider whether you ever had that spiritual meeting with Lord Jesus – when you fully accepted that without Him you were truly lost, both here and in the future. That ‘born again’ experience where your spirit was regenerated by the Holy Spirit – that would have happened the time that you recognised your life was one of sin and you fully believed Jesus is your personal saviour and then the Lord of your life.
    From reading your comments (as mentioned before) I doubt you’ve ever had that experience..? If not, then it’s not too late to turn away from your unbelief.

    In His love, Roger

  26. Hi Roger,
    I think you make a very astute observation, and Jim’s most recent comment (not seen by you prior to making your own comment) seems to bear out the truth of your observation.

    What Jim says in that comment reflects a religio-political view of “Christianity” – what is perhaps more accurately termed “Christendom” – an unholy hybrid of politics and religion that has plagued the world through the past 2000 years.

    Through the attribution of those very violent actions to “Christians” I find Jim shows he might have had a traditional church involvement, and may have had an intellectual acceptance of God’s existence earlier in life, but those views he expresses point to a lack of knowledge of and relationship with the Messiah Jesus during those years.

  27. Hi Tim,
    Yes – reading through Jim’s comment, I agree: not my understanding of true Christianity but rather ‘Christendom’ a collection of those who profess to know Him, and do things in His name – but individuals who never had a relationship with Jesus as their personal Messiah and Lord.

    It’s wrong to blame the sins and error of individual men onto God. From your last comment, Casas obviously recognised what was wrong and tried to halt/correct it – yet failed. Did Casas himself know Jesus the Messiah or not..? When I look further at his life (Casas) it would seem that he was one of many at that time who was Roman Catholic – who worship Mary as Queen of Heaven. You’ll perhaps know from your own study of Scripture that is wrong.

    Those men you speak of, who committed those atrocities, were misled and deceived into following instructions that were not from our Heavenly Father, yes, those men claimed they were acting on His behalf, but were in fact working for the adversary of Almighty God. Their murder of those innocents prevented them from ever knowing the truth about Jesus the Messiah of God.

    Again – from your study of scripture, you’ll know that true Christians (born again) are to share His gospel of the Kingdom of God with all men and women – not kill them before they have an opportunity to know Him.

    In His love, Roger

  28. I am not attached to the label “Christian” — but I am able to sort through what people mean when they say it (individually what they mean — it means different things).

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