God of the Gaps

by Luke Muehlhauser on November 27, 2009 in Funny

Yet more brilliance from Jesus and Mo:

god_gaps

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Brian G November 27, 2009 at 12:36 pm

This is an objection that is too common and often misused.

1) Science explains the natural world, by definition excluding God.

2) Every time God does something, science cannot explain it. (follows from 1)

3) Therefore, whenever theists see God’s action in the world, there just appealing to the what science hasn’t figured out yet, ego god-of-the-gaps.

huh? I don’t see any way to make this argument without begging the question.

I’m also getting tired of the water cycle argument for atheism. Are you really going to attack the existence of God with meteorology? Really!? I don’t see any reason a person can’t believe in both God and the water cycle. But if I had to choose between trusting a meteorologist and the Pope, I’m going with the Pope.

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Derrida November 27, 2009 at 2:35 pm

Brian G: 1) Science explains the natural world, by definition excluding God.
2) Every time God does something, science cannot explain it. (follows from 1)
3) Therefore, whenever theists see God’s action in the world, there just appealing to the what science hasn’t figured out yet, ego god-of-the-gaps.

Well, that was a nice attempt at a straw man. It would be more believable if it was deductively valid, however. And if “ergo” was spelt correctly.

The God of the gaps objection is simply a restatement of the fallacy of appealing to ignorance. We don’t know how x can be explained naturally, so the only or best explanation must be supernatural. x is normally something like the origin of life, consciousness, morality, etc.

The thing about the pope made me laugh though. There must be a joke in there somewhere about condoms and wearing a raincoat when you’re already wet.

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Udaybhanu Chitrakar August 10, 2011 at 1:00 am

God of the gaps

I will begin this article with two postulates:
1) God has created this universe,
2) He has brought man in this universe with some purpose.
I am not claiming here that these two postulates are true, or that I can prove them to be true. But I want to show here that if these two postulates are true, then God will always be the God of the gaps. Anyone who will be reading this article should not forget that there is an “if” clause in the last sentence.
Now I will begin with the supposition that God has created this universe. If God has created this universe, then He could have created it in four different ways:
1) He created it in such a way that there was no necessity for Him to intervene in it after creation,
2) After creation He intervened in it, but these interventions were a bare minimum, that is, He intervened only when these were absolutely necessary. In order to clarify my point here, I will say that He intervened only when He found that without His intervention the universe would come to a standstill,
3) He created the universe in such a way that in order to keep it going He had to make very frequent interventions in it,
4) God’s total intervention after creation.
If it was the purpose of God to keep mankind crippled in every possible way, then He would have adopted either the third or the fourth way while creating the universe. This is because in these two cases man, in spite of his having sufficient intelligence and reasoning power, will fail to unveil the secrets of nature, because in almost every phenomenon of nature that he will decide to study he will ultimately find that there always remains an unknown factor, for which he will have no explanation. For him the book of nature will thus remain closed forever. But if it were God’s purpose that man be master of His creation, then it is quite natural for Him that He would try to keep the book of nature as much open to him as possible, so that with the little intelligence he has been endowed with man will be able to decipher the language of nature, and with that acquired knowledge he will also be able to improve the material conditions of his life. In that case God will try to adopt the policy of maximum withdrawal from His creation. He will create the universe in such a way that without His intervention the created world will be able to unfold itself. However that does not mean that He will never intervene. He will definitely intervene when without His intervention the created world would become stagnant. In such a scenario man will be able to give an explanation of almost all physical events in scientific language. But in those cases where God has actually intervened, he will fail to do so.
So I think there is no reason for us to be ashamed of the “God of the gaps” hypothesis. Yes, if God has created the universe, and if God’s purpose was that man be master of His creation, then He would try to keep as little gap in His creation as possible. But the minimum gap that would be ultimately left can never be bridged by any sort of scientific explanation. God will also reside in that gap. Why should we be ashamed of that?
The whole matter can be seen from another angle. Those who strongly believe that God has created this universe also believe that He has created it alone. Now is it believable that a God, who is capable of creating such a vast universe alone, is not capable enough to keep a proof of His existence in the created world? So I think it is more reasonable to believe that while creating the universe God has also kept a proof of His existence in something created. This proof is open to us all, but we have not found it, because we have not searched for it. So even if it is the case that God has never intervened in the created world after its creation, still then there will be a gap in this natural world, purposefully left by God, for which science will find no explanation. This will be the ultimate gap that can only be filled up by invoking God.
Therefore, I can conclude this article in this way: If God created this universe, and if God wanted man to be the master of His creation, then God would willingly choose to be “God of the gaps”.
A theistic God will always prefer to be the God of the gaps.

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