Naturalism versus Theism: Which One Best Explains the Evidence?*
Phenomena We Observe
God is supremely self-aware/
The universe was produced by mindless, non-conscious processes.
Personal beings exist.
God is a personal Being.
The universe was produced by impersonal processes.
We believe we make free personal decisions/choices.
God is spirit and a free Being, who can freely choose to act (e.g., to create or not).
We have emerged by material, deterministic processes and forces beyond our control.
We trust our senses and rational faculties as generally reliable in producing true beliefs.
A God of truth and rationality exists.
Because of our impulse to survive and reproduce, our beliefs would only help us survive, but a number of these could be false.
Human beings have intrinsic value/dignity and rights.
God is the supremely valuable Being.
Human beings were produced by valueless processes.
Objective moral values exist.
God’s character is the source of goodness/moral values.
The universe was produced by nonmoral processes.
First life emerged.
God is a living, active Being.
Life somehow emerged from nonliving matter.
Beauty exists (e.g., not only in landscapes but in “elegant” or “beautiful scientific theories).
God is beautiful (Ps. 27:4) and capable of creating beautiful things according to his pleasure.
Beauty in the natural world is superabundant and in many cases superfluous (often not linked to survival).
The universe is finely tuned for human life (known as the “Goldilocks effect)—the universe is “just right” for life).
God is a wise, intelligent Designer.
All the cosmic constants just happened to be right; given enough time and/or many possible worlds, a finely tuned world eventually emerged.
* Taken from Paul Copan, “A Moral Argument”