Saturday, December 23, 2006


The family is starting to arrive. Our normal 5 is up to 8, and those are just the folks that are sleeping here. The big deal is today. Pretty much all the LA basin relatives will be here. It will be nothing but delightful times with kids and grandkids right through the 27th.

Then my young bride and I will head to the Central California Coast to celebrate an amazing 20 years of marriage together. We have been promised that the night tour of the Hearst Castle is spectacular, especially at Christmas time. How much better can 8 days be, at least in promise.

So, blogging will be a distant priority for the next week or so. Maybe I'll just bore you all with a few pictures of all these family to-do's. Or maybe the December archives will just be a little short of content.

God bless all of you who visit here, even those of you who don't think He exists.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

New Website Gives Basic Points Re-Darwinism/Naturalism Is Wrong

WorldnetDaily is still a daily stop for me, although I am concerned that they are falling pray to some pretty wacked out ideas. In between the silly stuff, however, this news aggregator does find a few gems that you won't see reported elsewhere. So, today we have a story about a group who is buying space on billboards to advertise their new website, "Who Is Your Creator?"

The purpose of the site is to give simple (some might say simplistic, but they would be wrong), easily understood arguments against the naturalistic view of how life began and came to be the way it is today. After reviewing half of the material on the site, I didn't see anything new, but the site is well laid out, and would be a great starting point for someone who doesn't desire to read an entire book on the subject.

One very cool offering on the site that I had heard about but never seen was a list of scientist who have signed a "scientific dissent from Darwinism." You can find that download on this page

Visit their home page to see the billboards they are putting up. Really quite fun.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Would You Die For Darwin

Decided to spend some time tooling around in the We Should Live blog. Blogger in residence, Ben Bateman, is a real out of the box thinker. I really liked this post, which I have edited down to the essentials:

Let’s start with the premise that a society built by and for intellectuals has a very limited future. I say that regretfully, as an intellectual, but I see no way to deny it. You could view most of the problems with Communism and its offshoots from this perspective: They all start with intellectuals saying to each other, “Hey, wouldn’t it be great if WE ran the world?”

The problem with intellectuals running the world is that most of the challenges inherent to self-perpetuation are not intellectual challenges. They are more often challenges of courage, strength, endurance, or faith. We intellectuals can chatter at each other and read all the books we want, but that isn’t what maintains a civilization. To survive, a civilization’s women must steadfastly endure the risks and hardships of pregnancy, birth and infancy. And its men must be willing to fight and perhaps die on the battlefield in defense of their women and beliefs. Intellectuals aren’t very good at either task.

So here’s today’s theory on why Western Civilization seems to be unraveling, and where it’s likely to stop: A civilization will start to deteriorate when it becomes substantially more complex than the intelligence of its average citizen.

My comment to his much longer post: "I would rather extend your original argument that civilization will unravel when folks are so caught up in their science and other heady pursuits that they are unprepared to take on somebody like the Islamofascists. I am probably far less inclined to die for Darwin than I am for Jesus."

The Left and Europe Just Don't Get It

A few days ago I posted regarding the President Ahmadinejad speeches and interviews being available unfettered at this blog. I want to update my opinion of that blog, and it makes for an even more interesting point.

Because of some harrassing comments on this site from another blogger, I went back and read more of the comments on the Ahmadinejad site. It soon became clear that the site was intended for those sympathetic to the Iranian despot. I had earlier left a rather neutral comment, which passed through their approval process and was pointed to in their left column. Now I returned and left another message which was very unfavorable to their fearless leader. This new comment was not posted, nor was a follow up comment that spoke to the issue of not posting my less-than-favorable comment.

Why is it that those on the Left and in Europe, not to mention Russia and China, are so blind to what the leadership in Iran and their ilk are after? What will it take for them to understand that if the Islamofascists are allowed to expand their influence liberalism defined every way you can define it, is dead? Dissent means death. Torture isn't an issue up for debate. Believing in no god or any other god but Allah is not an option. A simple blog just confirms what we can expect in a future where these modern Nazi's are in control.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Maximum Pragmatism in God v No God Debate

The debate started below has found additional life at Master of None

A comment deep within one of the posts from Ben Bateman might provide us with the in extremis position on pragmatism as it relates to the issue of belief:

What if truth, as he understands it, is ultimately fatal? First he denies the premise, then he ignores the arguments entirely.

Let's assume that human societies cannot survive for long without religion. And let's assume that atheism is "true" in whatever sense SDB, Bernardo, Mark, and many others say that it's true. Which side should win? Truth or life?

Please resist the temptation to declare as dogma that truth automatically maximizes life. That denies the premise, which doesn't get us anywhere. Let's just assume for argument that homo sapiens is designed with a powerful need to hold beliefs that aren't true, and groups without those beliefs will perish. In that situation, which set of beliefs do you recommend: those that are true, or those that are necessary for survival?

Of course, this could be very satisfying to the Darwinists. Here we have a social meme that might be the emotional equivalent of an opposing thumb. It wouldn't even matter whether Christianity made us better or worse, nicer or more evil, as debated elsewhere. It would only matter that believing increases our chances of surviving and making more babies than those that don't. This is already happening. See here.

The entire post with all comments here.

The Mystery of Christmas - 48 Hours Mystery

We can generally expect at least a few TV specials each Christmas on the skeptic's view of the Bible, Christianity, and/or the Christmas story. This year is no exception with at least two such shows. CBS offered one such effort on their Saturday night news program, 48 Hours Mystery. I have emailed the following review to the folks at CBS. It will be interesting to see if there is any response.

First allow me to praise the special for giving equal time to both believers and skeptics. The overall balance was better than expected from a major network. The quality of the content was also excellent, and I think the average listener could follow and understand the issues.

There were two rather glaring evidences of bias, however. They were subtle, but bias nevertheless.

First, in describing many of the arguments put forward by the skeptics, the program used words like many theologians agree, or most theologians agree, or even just theologians agree. In no case was there any way for the viewer to know if this was a few obscure ranters and ravers, 25% of all theologians, or 100% of mainstream experts, but only 5% of evangelical writers and thinkers. By leaving it vague, the implication was that there are vast numbers of theologians who are skeptical.

In not one case were the words of the Ben Witherington backed up by any statement from the moderator with regard to anyone else agreeing with him. Not once did she use the words used to support the skeptics. Yet, the skeptics represent a small minority of Christian theologians. The vast majority would agree with Mr. Witherington at every point.

In addition, the program used three different skeptics, who each had full references to their backgrounds. In the case of Ben Witherington, he was described as "a conservative Bible scholar and an evangelical minister." But it would have been more complete to say at least some of the following: "Bible scholar Ben Witherington III is Professor of New Testament Interpretation at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. A graduate of UNC, Chapel Hill, he went on to receive the M.Div. degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. from the University of Durham in England. He is now considered one of the top evangelical scholars in the world, and is an elected member of the prestigious SNTS, a society dedicated to New Testament studies." This information was a Google away.

By providing only a more modest background of Mr. Witherington's credentials, the program obviously intended to give him less credibility.

Finally, while most of the arguments provided by the skeptics had to do with questions around the historical accuracy and consistency of the 4 gospels, the program really failed to provide any of the well known rebuttals to these questions. They could, I'm sure, have had Josh McDowell or Lee Stroebel on the program to offer such rebuttals.

All-in-all a good, but flawed effort.
You can read the entire transcript of the show to confirm my comments if you would like. I will let you Google Ben Witherington yourself to see how hard it was to get his credentials.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Know Thine Enemy Department - President Ahmadinejad

A one stop resource for the recent rantings, ravings, and speeches of Iranian President Ahmadinejad can be located in one blog. They are presented without editing, and the blog does allow for comments. If you would like to read some of the interviews and speeches of Ahmadinejad, prepare to be both fascinated and appalled. Many of the comments that have been provided by readers are also quite good and illuminating.

In reading his most recent letter to the Citizens of the US, I couldn't help thinking that the content could have just as easily have been stated by Jimmy Carter or John Kerry. Go ahead, read it and see if you don't see extremely close parallels.

In the interest of clarity, allow me to add a comment to this post. At least one person seems to have misunderstood my position. I recommend reading these works in order, as the title states, to know your enemy. This man is the enemy of civilization in a way that can only be compared to Hitler, Pol Pot, Kim, Stalin, Lenin, and other similar despots. Some of the comments in this blog are favorable, and the entire blog may have been set up to give favorable treatment to Ahmadinejad. Whatever its purpose, the result provides all of us with a direct look into the heart of Islamofacism.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Evidence For the Existence of God

Continuing this thread to its next logical step. First, it was established that neither atheists nor Christians can prove or disprove the existence of God. I suggested that the logical method for proceeding to determine the most likely reality when a major premise cannot be proved or disproved is to try and determine which has the preponderance of the evidence.

From there I further offered that the major premise and the various pieces of evidence that might support the major premise should not be treated as all or nothing propositions, but rather each should be weighed based on the likelihood of its being true.

Now it seems sensible to lay out the basic evidences for the existence of God. This will be shorthand version. Many very capable theologians and philosophers have done extensive works on this subject. I don't pretend to be able to come close to their authority.

1. The basic human assumption on seeing complexity in design is to assume an intelligent designer, not a random occurrence.

2. A shared experience of perception by large majorities of the population gives rise to an assumption of its being real.

3. Underlying "rules" of properties (matter, energy, life) that are consistent through known time and space suggest intelligent forces at work, not randomness at any level.

4. An almost incomprehensible set of requirements for support of life as we know it on this planet maintained in critical balance for either millenniums (Bible) or millions of years (science). Such balance is beyond the imagination of most humans to contemplate without intelligence tweaking systems which might have otherwise gone awry. (Consider how science is now telling us that a mere 6% of warming might destroy human life that has survived for a very long time without help from science.)

5. Emotions such as love, hate, empathy, selflessness, patriotism, even the contemplation of beauty don't seem to fit into survival patterns without a real stretch. In other words, most honest evaluators would not think that sacrificial love is a product of evolution.

6. It is possible to come up with convoluted explanations for how bats use radar to find their way around in caves by natural evolution, even though it strains credulity to imagine why they would start creating the sounds needed when their ears weren't evolved to respond, or why their ears would evolve to respond prior to their "voice" being able to create the sound. Then it gets more difficult yet to figure out how both of these things evolved to the point of usefulness prior to some bat trying to use it in a cave. It isn't that one can't create a story line to solve this mystery. It is just that the story line wouldn't pass muster in Hollywood.

This is only one such mystery that needs such a workaround. Some, like the eye, are much discussed, but truly there are mysteries concerning almost every organ and organism which beg to explain how one thing developed before the other, even though there was no need for the second thing until the first came about. And that is only one kind of such mystery.

7. First cause. For those who want it all to be natural, they ultimately must deal with how the first thing came into existence. For God proponents, they must deal with who created God. Science has absolutely no answer, and it is beyond credibility that they ever will.

Those who believe in God propose that the spiritual realm has no space/time continuum, and that God is the first cause. We can't prove it, but at least we have a conceptual framework.

8. Life from non-life. Science has now proposed large number theory as a way to explain how life came from non-life. Once again I would assert that this very recent theory, while plausible, is extremely fragile.

To believe that God created life, as He created everything, is not that hard to believe. Billions believe it to be true. So it can hardly be called illogical or primitive. That would suggest that a very small percent of the population has, with absolutely no proof or even a way to get to the proof, determined that the vast majority of the population (including some pretty smart people) are delusional, and only they have it right. This would not hold up very well in a court of law with finders of fact trying to get it right.

9. There are 1000's of "coincidences" of fact regarding the Bible that would give rise to an assumption that the Bible is special beyond any other "human" achievement. One can look at all of these facts and deny all of them, and therefore conclude that the Bible is merely an astonishing human work. However, once again, that is not how we look at evidence. Each of these 1000's of facts would need to be addressed individually, and then they would need to be viewed in the context of the entire lot of them.

10. You can take #9 and pretty much just insert the name of Jesus in each place where it says Bible. There can be almost no question that He was the most remarkable human to ever walk the planet, and has had the most impact of any other man. Given his short life, very brief public activity, location of his birth, life, and death, methods of his work, and claims made by him and about him, an honest intellectual cannot dismiss the possibility that He was more than mere human. It is evidence that must be weighed.

Therefore, the logical way to approach this subject is to look at the 10 evidences above plus many more and give each some weight. If there were only three logical arguments that lead a large percentage of the population to a certain conclusion, and a dozen that point the other way, then a logical person would likely conclude theory B to be the better one. I submit that this is why the vast majority of humans conclude there is a God. People with IQ's of 70 and 200. Folks in primitive cultures and the most advance cultures. People with horrible upbringings and privileged upbringings. People who have acted very badly in their lives and those who try their hardest to be good citizens, parents, friends.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Bernardo's Superlative Argument (with comments)

Bernardo (his website is here) answered one of my questions in the GOD v No GOD debate thusly:

I agree that God could exist, and that my tendency to see things as products of unguided natural processes (rather than as deliberately created) is a result of the fact I would rather live in a naturalistic world than in a world where there's supernatural stuff going on that I can't understand. (And history reaffirms my feelings on this, because all kinds of things used to be attributed to God until science discovered the natural processes behind them). Conversely, I insist that what anchors most theists to theism is their preference to live in a world that has meaning and purpose, part of a narrative, where lives move towards a divine goal. This view may or may not be justifiable from the evidence.

But when it comes to believing that God is talking with you, that your prayer can cause someone to change their mind or recover from a disease, that a "religious experience" really means you're connected with the divine, then those things I feel can "be dismissed as the rantings of lunatics or the silliness of uneducated or even the misguided ideas of folks who should know better".

Without being picky, I would list the following questions for all of us to ponder out of Bernardo's well written response:

1. Does believing the world to be a naturalistic world result in more or less confusion about "stuff going on that we can't understand?" Does free will get clearer? How about origins? Purpose? Bad things happening to good people? Horrific diseases, death, and destruction?

2. Believers clearly prefer a universe with purpose and hope of justice, including heaven and hell. Does this mean atheists prefer a random universe where the sun might choose to come up in the West tomorrow or gravity might exert 45 pounds/sq' on earth?

3. How is it that those who don't hear from God, trust in their prayers to be answered, and feel connected in a personal way to the Creator of the universe set themselves up as clearer thinkers than the rest of us. I generally don't doubt the clarity of thought of those who see things differently. Merely their conclusions. And generally I will even regard their conclusions as having some percentage chance of being superior to mine.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Not Reported in Mainstream Press - Global Warming Not Anthropogenic

“the global warming observed during the latest 150 years is just a short episode in the geologic history. The current global warming is most likely a combined effect of increased solar and tectonic activities and cannot be attributed to the increased anthropogenic impact on the atmosphere. Humans may be responsible for less than 0.01°C (of approximately 0.56°C (1°F) total average atmospheric heating during the last century)”

“Any attempts to mitigate undesirable climatic changes using restrictive regulations are condemned to failure, because the global natural forces are at least 4–5 orders of magnitude greater than available human controls.”
These two statements don't need an editorial content. Except to say that Al Gore will be surprised to find out that these are not the rantings of some axe-grinder. Rather it is quoted from a recent issue of Environmental Geology in an article entitled “On global forces of nature driving the Earth’s climate. Are humans involved?” It is written by two scientists at the University of Southern California. Environmental Geology is a first-class journal, and papers submitted to the journal are peer-reviewed by scientists at major institutions.

The above paragraph is a paraphrase of a longer article you can read on the World Climate Report Website.

The unsurprising thing about this article is that I had to dig for it. You won't find Al Gore or his ilk holding a press conference to say: "Well, here's one for the other side."

Sunday, December 10, 2006

More Backpedaling on Global Warming

Even as the rhetoric is reaching every increasing levels of hysteria, no less than a major UN study has concluded that humans are contributing 25% less to global warming than previously thought. And even though the UN thinks the temperature will march ever upward in the next 100 years, the consequences seems to be measure in heat waves and a bit over a foot rise in average sea level.

This comes on the heals of a substantial reduction in the estimate of temperature increase predicted in the next 50 years as reported here a few weeks ago.

The earth has weather fires, massive volcanoes, ice ages, meteors, and who knows what else over the time of its existence. Many, in his hubris, somehow thinks his weak contribution to climate change in the last 50 years is somehow going to be the "thing" that the earth can't handle. Then we humble humans think we can do something to counter these effects. And we think we can do so without unintended consequences which may very well turn out to be exceedingly more destructive. WOW!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

A Challenge - Why Not Homosexual Behavior and Abortion?

As the comments continue to accumulate in the debate over God's existence, another common thread has emerged. Should our system of government be influenced by Biblical principles? This argument can range from the idea that Christianity has too much influence and needs balance from those who don't believe, to some who think that using the Bible or Christian thought as one argument at the table is inappropriate, or at least not worthy of consideration.

So the vast majority of Bible-believing Christians today would argue that the Bible clearly calls homosexual practices sin. Most would go so far as to say that such practices are specially called out as a major concern for God.

Likewise, those in this group would say that killing unborn humans is still killing. And while many will make exceptions for rape, incest, and threat to the mother's life, it is very hard to see any distinction in the arguments for killing kids inside or outside the womb.

So, the challenge is for folks who feel this way to make substantive arguments against the practices that can be argued by all sides without reference to Divine thinking. For the purposes of this post and to engage the debate, I will just give a shorthand list of such:


1. There is every reason to believe that the child experiences pain when it is destroyed.
2. Any operation has risks, both at the time of the operation and later.
3. There is clearly established psychological trauma associated with abortion for the mother.
4. The grandparents, biological father, and others may not like being deprived of the potential benefits that the child may have given them.
5. Many, if not most, women who have an abortion have eventual regrets, depression, anger, and other psychological results that negatively impact their lives.
6. Women who never have a child, but who aborted one, are faced with particular sets of issues that impact their lives.
7. Many of the individuals who are making this decision are very young and not at a point of their lives where they can easily weigh the consequences of this decision.
8. The taking of any life creates a diminution in the sanctity of life for the individual taking the life.
9. Society as a whole experiences a diminution in the sanctity of life when the wholesale slaughter of millions of unborn children takes place with little thought.
10. The community as a whole is deprived of the potential of that human.
11. Many communities choose to select out certain attributes (sex, race, social standing, disease, abnormalities), in the birth/abortion decision. These selection processes have many known and undoubtedly far more unknown consequences. For instance, if Darwin's theory is correct, we may select out abnormalities that are actual potential benefits.
12. Slippery slope. Once we agree that partial birth abortion is OK, do we now OK abortions for one hour after birth, or at least until the cord is cut? If we agree that killing unborns is justified because of sex, race, social standing, disease, or abnormality, then WHO is going to say that it isn't justifiable to exterminate such undesirables at age one hour or 86?
13. Easy abortion is clearly used as a birth control method. To this extent it is a great boon to men. They can be totally cavalier when it comes to the use of condoms or worrying about having sex outside of marriage. They just have to insist on abortion when a mistake occurs.
14. To the extent that people see abortion as an easy out when mistakes are "created," it further diminishes the idea that life is to be preserved except in very special cases.

Homosexual Practices:

Introduction. I have gone to great lengths elsewhere in this blog to fully explain my understanding of the origin of homosexual inclination. In short, I believe for some there is genetic confusion, for some there is biological predisposition, for some there is early childhood environmental influences, and for the vast majority a seduction by an older individual resulting in unwanted or at least unexpected homosexual experiences. However, it is my further contention that homosexual desires, like other similar desires, are only acted upon by choice. No matter how one feels about the question of whether a gay individual can choose to have homosexual feelings, it should be obvious that they can choose not to act on them. Now on to the reasons why society should discourage homosexual acts.

1. Society has a large stake in the procreative process. If we don't make babies - even if we don't make enough babies - our village, city, or nation will decline or die out. Many behaviors have tipping points, and it is likely that homosexual activity is one of these. If it becomes a "fad," it may have a very substantial detrimental effect on population.
2. Male homosexual practices are by their nature prone to disease transfer. Aids is only one of many diseases that flourish in the homosexual community.
3. Males are by their nature promiscuous. Females tend to have a domesticating influence on males, and the addition of children into a family increases the likelihood that the male will be less promiscuous. Promiscuity is something I have never heard anyone promote as beneficial, so I will not list the dozens of issues here.
4. Predatory heterosexual behavior, while to be abhorred, does not generally lead to the victim's turning from heterosexual behavior in the future. Predatory homosexual behavior dramatically increases the likelihood of the victim becoming a homosexual, and repeating predatory behavior.
5. No matter what the PC press tells you, homosexuals are very inclined toward young partners, and greatly prefer virgins. Thus it is not surprising that adult homosexuals are more inclined to act out these desires with underaged kids than heterosexuals are.

I have no doubt that smart readers can poke holes in my arguments, and I encourage the debate. The point, however, is not whether each of these ideas is debatable, but rather that one can have clear reasons for desiring that these practices be discouraged, regulated, or even criminalized without turning to the Bible.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Assigning "Weight" in the God vs no God Debate

In the previous post and the comments that followed, I started to notice a pattern that I can now recall is often present in this discussion. Evidence categories that would be acceptable in almost any other area of inquiry are dismissed totally in this debate. The emotional stake is often so high that evidence is either totally acceptable or totally unacceptable. Normally, evidence is given "weight."

Maybe the most important question in this age-old point of contention is the issue of complexity implying design and thus designer. So, if I find a watch on the beach, my assumption will be that something this complex must have an intelligence behind the design. It seems impossible to image that the watch just came together by natural causes without the hand of an intelligent creator.

Those who are either predisposed to naturalism or who have rejected God and thus must find a natural cause for every natural thing reject the designer argument. But they reject it, totally. Because, if ANYTHING was created by a supernatural being, then the debate is over. Similarly, God proponents are loathe to agree that any complex natural item or creature is the result of a natural process. If we can believe that birds evolved from dinosaurs, then it isn't too difficult to take a next step to monkey and humans. (It does get a little harder to figure out non-living matter to living matter.)

So the line is drawn in the sand. Here is where I propose that intelligent beings are not being honest in their argumentation. It is far more reasonable to assert design and intelligent designer to complex elements of the universe from crystals to roses. While a Christian would be intellectually dishonest to assert 100% certainty to this conclusion (large number theory is not without some merit), the atheistic naturalist is far more dishonest if he asserts that he is 100% certain that all complexity in the universe arises without design. Just for the heck of it, lets say that it is 92% likely that God did it.

You can apply this weighting approach to each of the subjects under the truth of God debate. Is the Bible God-inspired? The amazing amount of evidence would certainly put the weight well above 50%. Is there a spiritual realm? Was Jesus God? etc.

Has anyone seen this line of argument before? What do you think?

Sunday, December 03, 2006

The Intellectual Argument For Belief in GOD

The self-proclaimed intellectuals of Western Culture have largely decided that they are agnostic or atheistic. A very large percentage of academics, scientists, professionals, and those engaged in the arts are either indifferent to or openly hostile to religion, especially Christianity.

Over the past 22 years I have debated many of these individuals in person, by e-mail and in Internet forums. You can see a very substantial writing that came out of these debates having to do with the practical advantages of Christianity vs almost no practical advantages in unbelief. You can begin here and continue through I think 18 such advantages. If you want a complete list of the posts, just use the "search this blog" feature at the top of this page and insert "practical advantages."

Today I want to add to this body of work a basic argument for belief in God that I can't recall having seen before. If you have seen a similar approach used before, please point me to it so that I can site it.

A familiar refrain from most scientists and others who write on this subject is that they just don't see a "need" for God. In other words, in order to understand the origins, nature, or purpose of the World and Universe, believers look at such things as order, rules, beauty, love, even hate, and marvel at creation. Believers look at all of this and say that there is no way to comprehend what they see and experience without postulating a superior creative intelligence. Jews, Muslims, and Christians call this intelligence "God."

Science says "we can explain all of these things without inserting a superior creative intelligence." They also suggest that what can't be explained today, will be someday. And even if some things are never explained, there is still no need for God. Natural occurrences can explain everything, even if some of these things are forever beyond human ability to explain fully.

Taking these two opposite arguments and applying the philosopher's approach, most intellectually honest individuals agree that neither point of view can ever be proven or disproven. No matter what supernatural thing God decides to do, the naturalist can claim that the event can be explained naturally. One can even make a claim that any supernatural event is merely a natural event that has never been seen before.

The opposite is also true. One cannot disprove God. It is a basic premise of philosophy that you cannot ever prove a negative.

With that introduction, here is the "new" argument. If we are philosophically at an impasse, with an almost 100% inability to prove one or the other, then the wise observer is going to use what lawyers call the "preponderance of the evidence." For instance, if there is an accident, and 100 citizens witness the event, you may end up with 100 versions of what happened. The legal system requires the plaintiff in any such case to prove his point to the jury. The jury doesn't have to be 100% certain or even 75% certain. Technically, I suppose, preponderance means 51%. Realistically, the normal jurist is probably looking for a bit more than that, but nowhere near 100%.

When it comes to deciding how one feels about things like: the purpose of the Universe, life, human life, and individual existence; understanding our relationship with the creator, determining the underlying basis for societal rules and behavior, and postulating regarding life after death, using preponderance of the evidence would seem to be the most "scientific" way to make a decision.

If we accept this postulate, then I would propose that any person who thoroughly and honestly reviews evidence currently available will find a "need" for God, intellectually. I would go so far as to propose that those who does such a review and who decides that the weight of the evidence is for nature as the cause of everything, have looked at the evidence through a lens clouded by personal animosity or bitterness, a strong emotional stake, or concern for how they might have to live their life much differently if they decide God is real.

Please send this post to your non-believing friends or repost in places where atheists and agnostics are likely to gather. I am anxious to hear from those who don't agree.