To the Editor:
Although Todd Carter’s recent article, titled “Proof of God can be found in core rational arguments,” was a decent try at making a brief argument for the existence of a god, there were some large flaws that I would like to point out.
His first argument goes like this: Everything is caused by something. There must be something that has always existed, and thus, something that caused everything, because without that something we would have an infinite regression of cause and effect, never reaching what caused everything to exist. This argument for something that has “absolute existence,” and is thus that upon which all other things depend is perfectly sound logic, however, Todd makes the assumption that what has absolute existence is God. This need not be the case. Nontheistic religions, such as Brahmin Hinduism and Theravada Buddhism, involve belief in a nonliving “thing” that has absolute existence. We are not talking about a god at all, which is why the term “nontheistic” is used. Many atheists have similar nontheistic beliefs. For example, some believe that the universe, in one form or another, just “is” and always “has been.” For them, the universe is what has absolute existence. Therefore, Todd’s argument shows the need for something with absolute existence to explain our existence, however, it certainly need not be the Christian God, or any god for that matter.
Todd’s second argument is not an argument for the existence of God at all. He says that it is solely God that can satisfy human desires, but before making this statement, one must first show that God exists – something that Todd has not done. Furthermore, it seems to me that part of being a mature, well-developed adult is learning to temper one’s desires, such that we can be satisfied with what we have. If there is some spiritual desire that can only be satisfied by God, Todd would need to describe it and argue for its existence. As it is, I certainly don’t see evidence in his article that those who do not believe in God cannot have satisfying lives.
I’m willing to bet that Todd has much more evidence in his mind that convinces him that a god exists, but the two major arguments presented in his article leave his position lacking in persuasiveness.