“The Gap”, at first blush, would be taken by Sydney-siders as a reference to the city’s site famous for shipwrecks and suicides. This post refers neither to that notorious Australian Eastern seaboard aperture in its cliff-face, nor even – as might be expected in a blog about atheism – to the famous “God-of-the-gaps”, the God whose existence seems necessary to fill in the gaps in areas as yet unexplained by science. The gap I am thinking of is that requiring a quantum leap by believers between the Intelligent Divine Creator whom they consider the only reasonable explanation of the complexity of the Universe and the God they worship in their different religions. The thesis I propose is the following : Even if one accepted the necessity of the intervention of a supremely intelligent Being as the only possible cause of the complexities of creation, as opposed to a concurrence of circumstances which can only be qualified as chance occurrences, the various divinities which have become the object of the world’s religions and the cults surrounding them are too outrageously unbelievable to be identified with the supposed Architect of Creation. There is something of a Gap between them.
Non-atheists and especially Christian apologists somehow believe that if they present enough examples, preferably videos in living color, of how fantastically complex creation is, it’s a done deal : God – and, they naïvely claim, THEIR version of God – MUST exist. Apologists have a broad choice of examples, but the most popular are the brain, the eye, DNA, birds’ wings and the cosmos. No need for me to try to dazzle readers with mind-blowing details and statistics. “Just imagine …” could precede each example, calculated to impress the target audience or readership with “proof” of the existence of a Super Intelligent Designer, who could, in view of the examples chosen, be nothing less than divine. Both atheists and non-atheists can appreciate why this is so effective in reinforcing existing faith and even in winning new converts. The likelihood of any other, non-personal, cause for this complexity is, for believers, mathematically excluded by a plethora of scientific statistics and the calculation of the infinitesimal chances of it being the result of . . . Chance.
So let’s accept for the moment that the apologist has established (if not proven) his point. The brain, the eye, DNA, the birds’ wings and the billions of galaxies whirling away from each other, are the work of “God”, who exploded on to the scene, while remaining Himself invisible, some 13.8 billion years ago. Now fast forward to a synagogue, a mosque or a church in your city. All of them claim that this God-Creator is what they say He is. There are some similarities in the beliefs of each of the monotheisms but the flagrant differences and contradictions surely give an objective observer reason to put their exclusive dogmatism into doubt. They can’t all be right. In my mind, they are in fact all wrong.
When one looks even superficially at the fantastic beliefs each of these religions has invented, at the bizarre, sometimes barbarous, rules they have imposed on their members, and on the crazy rituals they are expected to perform, one is entitled, in our rhetorical hypothesis which admits the existence of an Intelligent Designer, to say : “O.K., so God exists. So what ?” How do you get from there to here, from a Supreme Architect to a Divine Despot who drowns the people He created in a worldwide Deluge, to divinely sanctioned beheadings of innocent journalists, to worshipping wafers of bread supposed to be, in spite of appearances, the flesh of God’s Son ? There is a blatant non-sequitur here. The Gap is too much for me. Keep your conviction about this supposed Creator, but don’t expect me to accept the nonsense you have invented in creating your ridiculous religions.