WhyHumanLifeMakesSense.com - Chapter summaries - 10. Does God exist?
Chapter summaries

10. Does God exist?

In this chapter I show that one of the greatest misunderstandings today is the argument over the existence of God. In particular, I show that both theism and atheism are rational despite the fact that formally speaking they are mutually exclusive. This is a result of the nature of knowledge, namely, that knowledge is given by the simplest, most accurate predictor of our observations. Both accuracy and simplicity are continuum concepts.

Specifically, I explain that for God to exist means that reality has a mind. Since a mind is private, we can't observe the mind of another person, so the reason that we assume that another person has a mind is that it simplifies our model. As a result, the existence of God reduces to which model is simpler: theism or atheism.

The complexity of the two axiom sets theist and atheist is nearly the same, so it is necessary to express the axiom sets formally in a canonical form in order to precisely compare their complexity. It follows that if there is a difference in complexity, it will be so small as to be only weakly convincing. This is the theoretical reason that both theism and atheism are rational.

I also show that, practically speaking, it doesn't matter whether or not God exists whether or not reality has a mind. All that matters is our ability to predict the behavior of reality. This is the practical reason that both theism and atheism are rational.

I close the chapter by showing that the three main arguments of the intelligent-design movement against biological evolution are misguided. First, the process of natural selection is best understood as purpose-driven. Second, the argument for design does not compare design but understandability. Third, the idea of irreducible complexity doesn't apply to biological structures.

Reference citation.  Philip Bitar, adapted from Why Human Life Makes Sense, Editions 1/2/3, 2011/2012/2015, p. 132/192/412, 151-152/211-212/438-439, posted at www.WhyHumanLifeMakesSense.com, 2011-08-26, updated 2015-03-18.