You're mistaken

The following are excerpts from a post made on a forum in response to an atheist. Most of the ideas espoused in the reply contains common misunderstandings and logical fallacies. I will be explaining them here - not on the forum itself, for I've long given up of spending hours explaining these ideas over and over again.

The forum and author is not named and unnecessary. The post in question was not made directly to me either.

Here we go,

Moving on, I see that you're a materialist in that you believe that only things proven by science should be held as unequivocally true, and none else.

Granted, the person in question may hold that position but in general, most atheists don't think that. Things that are "proven" by science are not held as unequivocally true - not even scientists hold that position. Anyone who understands the Scientific Method would know that science do not prove anything with absolute certainty - all theories are thought to be tentatively true when sufficiently demonstrated by the evidence.

For me at least, "materialism" itself is also a tentative position.

However, that worldview only has one problem: there is absolutely no reason to think that to be true. Furthermore, that belief itself cannot be proven by the scientific method; i.e. it's self-defeating.

Absolutely no reason?

Again, "materialism" and "naturalism" are tentative positions. They are conclusions. And as far as evidence goes, they are "proven"

Okay, and before I continue, I think I should explain why I put materialism and naturalism is " " quotes. Those are allegations - they are positions I do not hold, at least not in the form I'm being accused of. For example, I am a materialist insofar that nothing non-matter/non-energy has been demonstrated to exist - and not because I think that non-material stuff cannot exist.

The word "proven" is useless unless it has been agreed beforehand whether or not it is being used colloquially. Because in conversations with theists/laymen, it is always used with regards to science and in science, we don't prove theories - that only happens in mathematics.

So, back to the charge of materialism. I think the belief is "proven" by scientific method in the sense that it works. Without the addition of supernatural/immaterial entities, science explains accurately the workings of the universe. Technology demonstrates that science knows what it is talking about. I'm not sure if I have to say more than that.

As for the notion that the Big Bang created everything and that there's no need to invoke the supernatural, you've quite frankly just put your foot in your mouth. Going by your line of reasoning, before the Big Bang there was just pure, utter nothingness (I'm aware that time did not exist before the bang, but let's just focus on the logic here). And if we're to be rational, I guess it's unanimously held to be true that from nothing, nothing comes, without exception.

Wrong on the Big Bang Theory. Utterly wrong.

I've explained this line of reasoning in a previous post (the video is critical, so watch that as well): Something from Nothing?

The short answer is, we don't believe that the universe came from nothing - that's a false accusation.

If the Big Bang was the absolute beginning, it literally is supernatural! The universe, being material, has to have an immaterial, intangible cause, I'm by no means intending to make a case here that that cause therefore is God. I'm just pointing out the absurdity of the said position, namely scientific naturalism. Consider this:

1. Anything that begins to exist has a cause. (God being the creator of time if he exists, did not begin to exist and therefore needs no cause i.e. you can't begin to exist when there's no time)
2. The universe has clearly been proven to begin to exist.
3. The universe has a cause.
4. If we postulate a material cause, you have just set into motion infinite regression as the material cause itself has to have a cause.
5. The universe's cause is immaterial.

If you disagree with the above, you inevitably have to believe that nothing created something. If that be so, all logic and argumentation breaks down and we have no need to continue any discourse. If you agree, scientific naturalism no longer is viable.

Premise 1 is just wrong in so many ways.
I'd suggest reading this essay by Dan Barker: Cosmological Kalamity instead of rewriting all the points myself on my poor blog.

However, I'm more fascinated by the fourth and fifth point. How does concluding with an immaterial cause solve anything? How does immaterial entities escape causality? Consider souls - are they uncreated as well? If they are not eternal, they demonstrate that having an immaterial nature does not grant escape from causality within that worldview. If that's the case, what is the logical link between the fourth and fifth point?

In any case, the argument is unsound.

But how does the argument relate to "scientific naturalism" being not viable? Science relies on Methodological Naturalism - it presumes naturalism but it does not preclude it. If there is a supernatural entity, science does not assert that it must not exist - it merely ignores it so as long it does not interfere with the natural world.

On other hand, skepticism demands that we reject the existence of such an entity until we have evidence to demonstrate its existence. Everything else is moot.

I don't think that it's sensible to write off God without examining thoroughly the case for it for it's far too important a matter to just dismiss out of probably either a fear of being accountable to your maker, or some vague notion of wanting to be your own 'god' and live life your way, or perhaps cursory cognizance of some trifling objections to his existence from existence of evil, even gratuitous forms of it, in the world, of which satisfactory explanations in the context of God exist in abundance.

This one is just condescending.

How about this for a reason: NO EVIDENCE.

That's all.

God cannot be proven scientifically simply because he's immaterial and science only deals with the physical world, though it can be shown that a theistic position is more rational than an atheistic one.

Wrong. It depends on the god in question.

The deistic god cannot be demonstrated to exist by science since he does not interfere with the universe.

BUT the theistic god does. And as long the god interferes with the world in some testable manner, science can in fact demonstrate his existence. Prayer is one way. If god answers the prayers in a statistically significant way, that would be some evidence in his favor. So far, this is not shown to be the case.

You can't see the wind, but you can tell it's there when the leaves rustle. God is not perceivable by the senses being a spirit being, but his fingerprints are all over creation, not the least of which resides in the cell in the form of DNA.

The analogy fails.

Wind is moving air. We have demonstrated with evidence that air freaking exist. God, we have not.

"Creation" here is merely an assertion - an argument from incredulity/ignorance. I'm not sure how is DNA supposed to fit into this but if it's something like "OMG, it's so complex. Therefore, god" (which seems to be what it usually boils down to), I'm not impressed.

And that's to the end of that post.