If someone had a definitive proof that God did not exist (an argument so powerful it became universally accepted, like when Copernicus proved that the sun did not orbit the Earth), which of these scenarios would be most likely: 1) Most people would run out to have drunken orgies, and in general, live lives of utter debauchery; or,2) we'd enjoy an age of unprecedented enlightenment because mental energy would no longer be wasted on the distortion of a grand delusion; or, 3) A combiation of both A and B. Thanks, Jeff

I am not a sociologist, so I'm not going to make a prediction. But perhaps you can make your own. When you care for the members of your family and your friends, when you are kind to your neighbors, and when you avoid performing random acts of cruelty toward strangers, are you acting out of fear of eternal punishment from God? Or are you doing it out of (dare I say it?) love for your fellow human beings?

I've recently been following the debate between proponents of evolutionary theory and those of intelligent design. It seems to me that the crux of their disagreement is around the existence of chance. Both parties seem (more or less) to agree on the mechanism (incremental development of species over time through selection of beneficial traits); but evolutionary theory states that these changes are random, the product of chance uninfluenced by God, while ID seems to think that God directs what we think of as chance, in effect denying the existence of randomness. But the question arises: if God doesn't influence chance, if true randomness occurs in nature, then what *does* God influence? Can a belief in evolutionary theory, or any theory that relies on chance occurrence, be compatible with a belief in God?

If irreducibly chancy processes occur in nature, God could be responsible for setting up laws of nature that specify those chances. Here is what I mean. Even irreducibly chancy processes are governed by laws. For instance, a given radioactive isotope has a given half-life L. (That is to say, for any given atom of that isotope existing at time t, there is a 50% chance of its decaying before time t+L.) That atoms of this isotope have half-life L is fixed by some laws of nature. Some philosophers believe that God is responsible for installing those laws. In this way, they believe, God arranged things so as to make it possible (even probable, perhaps) for intelligent creatures to evolve. So the laws of nature are something that God could "influence" even if God does not determine the outcomes of chance processes. Needless to say, it is far from obvious that the fundamental laws of nature are best explained by God. Some philosophers would contend that the fundamental laws of nature are brute facts...