Debate:Does Intelligent Design deny the Existence of God?

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Consider the following:

Most (if not all) monotheistic religions are based on faith. Their god (or gods if taken collectively) requires followers to believe without direct evidence. The story of 'doubting' Thomas in the new Testament is typical of such requirements to believe and have faith, often in the face of adversity. In addition, these supreme being have omniscience.

However, Intelligent Design requires that there is an omniscient creator who has used his or her intelligence to underpin the creation of living things, and has left the evidence around for all to see. There is clearly a contradiction here.

Let us suppose that the premise of Intelligent Design is true: that is, that Life as we know it was created by some intelligent being, and this can be asserted from the evidence of our senses, and arguments such as: 'The creation of a living being by chance is as unlikely as a Boeing 757 to be reassembled by a whirlwind from parts in a hangar' are valid. This means that Intelligent Design becomes a 'non-negotiable' fact, which proves the existence of a creator.

However, you cannot now claim that that creator was an omniscient God, otherwise you are claiming that you an incontravertable proof of the existence of God, which denies the idea of 'faith', a cornerstone of monotheistic religion. Therefore it cannot be claimed that the Intelligent Designer is God, unless you are claiming that God created the world, then carelessly left the evidence for all to see. This would deny his omniscience.

This is OK, except that you now have an intelligent designer, whose existence you have to account for. This means that the initial problem has not been solved, merely increased; whereas before, you merely have to account for the existence of creation, you now have to account for the existence of the creation + intelligent designer.

There are only two ways out of this:

(i) By invoking an intelligent designer mark 2. This process can be seen to be impossible, as it clearly leads to infinite regress. There is no get out here, as at no point, can you claim that any of these intelligent designers IS God, because the requirement of 'faith' denies you the luxury of proof, which is precisely what you would be claiming to have.

or

(ii) By invoking a naturalistic process (such as evolution). However, we now have the contradiction that the assumption of the validity of Intelligent Design leads to the conclusion that a 'naturalistic' process created everythiong after all. This is clearly a contradiction.

At best, therefore, it seems that any claim for Intelligent Design cannot be used as evidence of the existence of an omniscient God; at worst, by claiming that Intelligent Design is true you would be asserting the non-existence of an omniscient God, because by possessing proof of the validity of ID, you are denying faith, and therefore undermining God's requirement to believe.

--CatWatcher 04:03, 7 April 2007 (EDT)

This one strikes me as easy: ID is neither provable nor unprovable in the natural world. Therefore it does not provide evidence of a creator. This avoids the crisis of faith.Tom Stockton 22:04, 13 April 2007 (EDT)

Discuss:


Warning: Religion and logic - strange bedfellows.

It seems to me that what you say is correct up to a point. The logical way out for the Intelligent Designist must be to accept that God does not require belief without evidence. However, adopting that position has the potential to become embarrassing when, at some point in the future, science demonstrates that ID is wrong. At that point the IDist would be left utterly empty-handed. --Horace 05:52, 7 April 2007 (EDT)

Warning Don't believe in God because Science is our true master.

Only humans (the clay) tells God (The Potter) you can't do anything for me.--jp 12:48, 7 April 2007 (EDT)

I am obviously completely dense. That remark makes no sense to me at all. Please explain. --CatWatcher 12:56, 7 April 2007 (EDT)
jp is assuming the existence of the IDer (the Potter, notice it's capitalized), in order to utterly demolish your argument. That is, "since the universe was Intelligently Designed, you are wrong". I find your thesis to be fascinating, although I think there might be loopholes - for instance, YHWH giving some evidence for benevolent creation, but not enough on it's own to justify belief in full without faith. I don't actually think that undermines your point, though. I'm going to have to sleep on this one and come back here later. Human 20:04, 9 April 2007 (EDT)

This argument sounds like Douglas Adams' "Logical proof of the non-existence of God", which caused Him to 'vanish in a puff of logic'. After all, to the folks who saw Moses, Jesus, or Elijah at work doing miracles, "faith" was no more necessary than you or I need to have 'faith' in gravity. We only need it now because big, flashy, obvious miracles are so few and far between. --BobD 22:32, 13 April 2007 (EDT)

From listening to what the Pope has to say, it seems as if he believes intelligent design is to narrow an explanation. When science can't explain, intelligent design is substituded. When everything is the origin of God, not just the unexplained. I may be misinterpreting the Pope, but I believe that is the crux of the answer to intelligent design he conveys to faithful.--jp 10:45, 14 April 2007 (EDT)

Notice that the Hebrews, even with the miracles and everything, in both Moses and Jesus' time the majority of people still did not believe. Faith was still an important factor, even wit all the miracles. DebateKid 13:44, 30 June 2007 (EDT)

No

This is a silly question. Intelligent Design says that someone or something created everything, Biblical Creationism merely extends this by saying that God is that someone, and explaining in what order He did it. I don't see that there's any doubt that nothing in "Intelligent Design" contradicts the existence of God - it merely leaves the "name" field blank. --JonathanDrain 10:15, 31 July 2007 (EDT)

Huh? Isn't Intelligent Design was the belief that God laid down some microbes or something on Earth, and after nudging them towards evolution by natural selection, sort of disappeared from the picture (in a Deistic sort of way.... At least, what was explained to me was that Intelligent Design only needs to be used to explain irreducably complex processes, and uses evolution to fill in the rest.... Pandeism 12:34, 12 November 2007 (EST)


they can't contradict. intelligent design is a way of making creationism seem like science anyway, so it would be rather nonsensical if they did. (Rowan)


Catwatcher has some good points but I think that his/her first premise is incorrect in as much as, God would not lead to an infinite regress of events because time itself was created along with matter at the same moment. God, the being, existed before creation outside of what we know as time. It is NOT like He exists forever, because our knowledge through physics of this dimension we know as "time," is limited to what we can study. God is way beyond anything we can study, except with the tools He wanted us to study Him, namely the bible. God entered into time when he created it. Time is actually probably something that is irrelevant to God, except in the sense of our relation to it because he says the first shall be last and the last shall be first. That implies that He only sees time as a human relevancy. In other words, apart from His creation, time is meaningless and pointless to Him.

I believe the study of intelligent design is an avenue to reach a scientific audience with Gods plan. I am VERY scientific, and I needed some science to point me in the right direction before I was saved. It may be more important/relevant to a strict scientific community because it IS a scientific theory that has LOTS of evidence behind it. And really, all other theories far short. The most popular, evolution, for instance is not something we can study be the scientific method; But, I.D. is something we can witness all day long every single day. Complex, information loaded "things" are over-loading our senses all the time.

-matt

ID avoids discussion of the proposed creator and does not even posit a supernatural creator. This means that ID would allow a mundane creator (admittedly with some fairly spectacular technology) while not eliminating a creators God. To me ID fails as a serious scientific theory because they attempt to restrict an obvious line of study, that of the creator. While that IS a valid option in forming a hypothesis it would seem to be unusual. Markr 16:37, 1 December 2008 (EST)


"ID avoids discussion of the proposed creator and does not even posit a supernatural creator." Michael Behe, a huge representative of intelligent design (appeared in the Dover Trial), personally remarked that he felt the intelligent designer was the Judeo-Christian God. While Behe, allows for other explanations such as a space alien, he makes no stretch for it in any of his works. Intelligent Design wants the science world to expand its definition (of what makes science, science) to include the supernatural world.

"...it IS a scientific theory that has LOTS of evidence behind it." Intelligent Design is NOT a scientific theory. For I.D. to be a scientific theory, it would have to be testable. Testing for a God is impossible, which is why so many scientists remain agnostic. They cannot prove one way or the other by science if a God exists. Intelligent Design says they can. Intelligent Design also draws into the supernatural explanations for natural means. Science is inclusive of the natural world. Resorting to supernatural phenomenon to explain natural means is a slippery slope. In short, science becomes dependent on God to function. Yet, science can function without God.

Do I think Intelligent Design denies the existence of God? No. Do I think Intelligent Design make the scope of God smaller and smaller? Yes. Theistic evolutionists believe that God created the mechanism that drives evolution; he created the world through the works of nature. I.D. has God playing in the parts that science cannot explain. According to theistic evolutionists, one glorifies God and one debases Him. The theory of Intelligent Design portrays a God of the gaps. As science matures and can answer the questions I.D. poses, the domain for their designer slowly deteriorates. If people begin to fuel their faith by scientific evidence that God (or a designer) exists, they will be more liable to have a faith crisis upon the addition of scientific findings.

Intelligent Design has done nothing but point out the unexplained as inexplicable. Concepts on complexity are founded on what we have yet to know, not on what we will never know.

-Sarah

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