Proof god don’t exist.

Some people falsely believe that it is impossible to prove the unexistence of anything, but they are wrong. It can, for example, be proved that there is no even prime number greater than two. Other people use to say that there is no way to prove if there is a god or not, or even that we cannot get any knowledge of god (agnosticism). My opinion as a strong atheist, is that we can in fact prove that god does not exist in the physical world. This document is my attempt to do so.

Definition of the word “god”
To prove the non-existence of god we first need to define the word “god”. When christians talk about god they mean an almighty being. This, I think, is the only god that holds, since it is the only god that can be logically justified.

I think it makes most sense if god is female, because only women can give life. Something that even people in the Stone Age understood. Later when wars affected the cultural evolution, and men took control of society, god became male, but the female god still lives on in the expression “Mother earth”. It should also be pointed out that an omnipotent god must be either androgyne or sexless. However, in most religions god is male so I will refer to god as ‘he’, ‘him’ etc.

Some people (Einstein for instance) believe in a god who is not a personal god, but a Spinozan kind of god. I claim that this god is not a god! To say that god is universe – by getting knowledge of the universe we get knowledge of god – is to redefine the meaning of the word god. This has nothing to do with the word god as it was defined by the “primitive” cultures which preceded our present civilization. He can be excluded with Occam’s razor, and most important: Such a god does not hear prayers.

If god is not omnipotent there is nothing that prevents him from being a product of the universe. If that is the case, what makes god divine? Then god would only be an alien, a being of matter; probably containing flesh, blood and DNA like all life we know of. Everything god is able to do would be things that human beings also will be able to do, all his knowledge would be knowledge we will also achieve. In fact humans would be gods, which should lead to some strange kind of humanism!

Many people justify their faith with god as an explanation. What is the meaning of life? Where does time and space come from? Who created the physical constants? et cetera. Because we lack knowledge of these things – and maybe never will, since they are questions like “what is the color of a second?” or “how does sound taste?” – god is there as an explanation.

Let’s say that god is the meaning of life, what then is the meaning of god? If god has a nature, who created that nature? If god created time and space, how can god exist without it? Since creation is an event in time, how could god create time? and who created god? To answer these questions god must be almighty, or else you can’t explain them. In fact you can if you say god stands above time and space and so on (which he indeed does if he is almighty), but to be able to prevent god from being tied to future phenomena, you must give him the quality of omnipotence so he can stand above everything.

The qualities of an omnipotent god
If god is almighty there are several qualities he must have. They are as follows:

He must know everything. Everything that is, everything that has been and everything that will be. To be able to know everything that will be he must know every position and every momentum of every particle in cosmos (Laplace’s “World Spirit”).
He must be worth our worship. A being that is not worth worshiping is no god.
He must be able to do anything. If there are things that god can’t do, he certainly is not omnipotent.

He must be above time. Something that even St. Augustine deduced. But not only that, god must stand above all possible dimensions.

He cannot be ‘good’ or ‘evil’ or, indeed, have any subjective characteristica. If god is all good, he cannot do evil things and cannot be almighty. Most people would object and say that good can do evil but chooses not to do it. Well, if god is all good he can’t choose to do evil things, can he?

The theodicé problem
We also have the theodice problem, stated by David Hume:
If the evil in the world is intended by god he is not good. If it violates his intentions he is not almighty. God can’t be both almighty and good. There are many objections to this, but none that holds since god is ultimately responsible for the existence of evil. Besides, if only god can create he must have created evil. If somebody else (the devil) created evil, how can one know that god, and not Satan created the universe?

The ontological evidence against gods
Necessary in a god is a being that is worth worshiping, so if there is no being worth worshiping there cannot be a god.

Not any of the existing religions can provide such a god. How do we know if there are no undiscovered beings worthy our submission? Well if there is a being that has either failed or not tried to communicate with us that being is not worth worshiping either, so the ontological evidence against god holds, even without complete knowledge of the world.

There is a test, based on the ontological evidence against god, that you can do to try the existence of god. Pray, and ask god to provide you with a clear proof for his existence within a week. After that week, if you have got a proof that god exists, send me the evidence. If not, there are only three reasons I can think of that are plausible: (1) God does not exist, (2) God does not want to or (3) God can’t give you this evidence. Because of the ontological evidence, alternative (2) and (3) are not worth your worship and thus they equal alternative (1). So if you get no response there is no god.

The meaning of the word existence
What do we mean by existence? The very definition for existence is that a thing is said to exist if it relates in some way to some other thing. That is, things exist in relation to each other. For us, that means that something is part of our system (‘The known world’). God is defined to be infinite, in which case it is not possible for there to be anything other than god because “infinite” is all-inclusive. But if there is nothing other than god then either god cannot be said to exist for the reason just explained, or god is the known world, in which case, by definition, god is not a god.

Occam’s razor
Occam’s razor was formulated by William of Occam (1285-1349) and says: “Non est ponenda pluralites sive necessitate” or in english: “Do not multiply entities unless necessarily”. It is a principle for scientific labour which means that one should use a simple explanation with a few explanatory premises before a more complex one.

Let’s say that everything must be created, and that was done by an omnipotent god. A god which stands above time, space, moral and existence, which is self containing and in it self has it’s own cause. This entity can surely be replaced by the known world. The world stands above time, space, moral, existence, is self containing and in it has it’s own meaning. Most theists agree that god has a nature. Then we must raise the question, who created god’s nature? If we just accept that god has a nature and exists without a cause, why not say that the known world just is and that the laws of physics are what they are, without a cause?

God is not really an explanation, only a non-explanation. It is impossible to gain information from non-information so God as an explanation is a dead end. When we have said that the reason for something is that ‘god did it that way’ there is no way to understand it any further. We just shrug our shoulders and accept things as they are. To explain the unknown by god is only to explain how it happened, not why. If we are to investigate the world and build our views of life from the world, we cannot assume a god. Because adding god as an explanation leaves as many, if not more questions than it explains, god has to be removed with Occam’s razor if we are serious in investigating the world.

Some things are impossible to do:
There are things that are impossible to do. For example nobody can cover a two-dimensional surface with two-dimensional circles, without making them overlap. It is impossible to add the numbers two and two and get 666. You can not go back in time (without passing an infinite entropy barrier). The number of things that are impossible to do are almost infinite. If god were to be almighty he would be able to do them, but it’s impossible to do so.

Some people say that he can only do things that are logically possible to do, but what is? Is it logically possible to walk on water? Is it logically possible to rise from the dead? Is it logically possible to stand above time, space and all other dimensions – and still exist? I’d say that everything which violates the laws of physics are logically impossible and thus omnipotence is logically impossible. Besides if omnipotence is a relative quality there is no way to tell omnipotence from non-omnipotence. For omnipotence to be a valid expression it must be absolute, but we have no objective criteria to measure omnipotence so the word itself is useless.

Omnipotence is impossible due to paradoxes
Another way to disprove the almighty god is that omnipotence leads to paradoxes. Can god make a rock that is too heavy for him to carry? Can god build a wall that even he can’t tear down?

Also, if god knows everything, he knows what he will do in the “future” (in any dimension, not necessary the time dimension). He must have known that from the very start of his own existence. Thus god’s actions are predestined. God is tied by faith, he has no free will. If god has no free will god is not omnipotent. Another way to put it is that to be able to make plans and decisions one must act over time. If god stands above time he can not do that and has no free will. Indeed, if god stands above all dimensions god is dimensionless – a singularity, nothing, void!

Besides there can exist no free wills at all if god is almighty. If you had a free will, god wouldn’t know what you would do tomorrow and wouldn’t be omnipotent.

The void creator
If everything must have been created, then god must have been created as well. If god is not created, then everything mustn’t have a creator, so why should life or cosmos have one?

Besides this argument has another leap. If everything has a source and god is that source, then god must have existed without it before he created it. So if god created time and space, he must live outside of time and space. Thus he is non-existent. If all life must come from something and that is god, god is not alive and hence non-existent. If moral must come from god, god lacks moral. If logic comes from god, god is illogic. If nature comes from god, god is unnatural. If existence comes from god, god is non-existent. If god is the cause of everything, god is void

We would never notice god
This is not an evidence against god, but rather describes the lack of sense in praying to a god who stands above time.

If god stands above time and created time and space he can not be the first link in a time dependent chain of events. Rather he would affect every step in all chains, and we would only see god in the laws of physics (Davies, 1983, chapter 4). This god is an unnecessary entity to describe the world and should be removed with Occam’s razor

If somebody would pray to god and god would listen, the laws would change to achieve the desired result. Thus the world would be different and the prayer would never have been said. Besides god would already (in an “above time” sense of view) know that you would pray, and already have changed the world. Prayers would be totally meaningless. We would already live in the best world possible, and any prayer would be to doubt the wisdom of god.

Even worse: For every prayer said, god has not acted, or else the prayer had been undone. This means that the more people have prayed, the more bad things in the world have persisted. Therefore, the more you pray, the more evil persist (provided god exists and stands above time).

A much better way to change the world is to do it yourself. Then you would know that it was you who made the world better. The effect of prayers are not scientific provable, whilst the effect of actions are. Instead of praying you should set to work at improving your situation. This is what humanism is about.

Nobody really believes in god
Schopenhauer once said something like:

“Man can do anything he wants, but he can not want whatever he wants.”

My thesis is that people who claim to believe in god do not really do so. They just wish to believe in god. They somehow feel that their lives are meaningless without god, so they choose to close their eyes to evidence against the existence of god. The christian view is well expressed by Cardinal Ratzinger:

“Religious liberty can not justify freedom for divergence. This freedom does not aim at any freedom relative truth, but concerns the free descicion for a person to, according to his moral inclinations accept the truth.” (The times, June 27 1990, p9)

It’s as clear as it can be! For a christian you accept the “truth” according to your moral, and then have to be strong in your faith to keep your believes. You decide a priori what to believe and then try to convince yourself and others that it is true. But theists don’t really believe, because to believe something is to take it for true, and just like in Nazareth’s song Sold my soul there is no sign of god in the world. When you have the evidence for and against something your sub-conscious works on it and makes a conclusion. The process can’t be affected by your will, only delayed or suppressed, which will lead to psychoses, and those are far more common among (catholic) priests than any other group..

I have personal experience of this believing what you want to believe. When I was a child I believed in a lot of crazy things. I thought my stuffed animals were intelligent. I believed in Santa Claus. I thought there were monsters under my bed at night. I even believed in god after I heard some of the tales from the old testament. Then I became older and realized that these things weren’t true. When I look back I don’t understand how I could believe in them, it must have been that I wanted to do so. (Except for the monsters, which had to do with fear of the dark)

When many religious people are confronted with criticism of their religion they convert to atheism or agnosticism. Examples of people who became critical to the dogmas of christianity are Charles Darwin (Darwin, 1958), Dan Barker (Barker, 19??), Ernest Renan plus many former “Catholic modernists” in the 19th century such as Alfred Loisy and Antonio Fogazzaro (Baigenth, Leigh, 1991). The Catholic modernism evolved in the late 19th century and was banned in 1907 by the Vatican (Baigenth, Leigh, 1991). These people are to me clear evidence that an enlightened person will after considering the facts, reject christianity and other religions that contain deities.

Note: This is not the “Plead to authority” fallacy. I’m talking people here, who were trying to prove the existence of god and turned atheists. They did not want to do this, but had to after reading a lot of books and doing a lot of thinking on the subject.

Epilogue
I have tried to define the only god that can be philosophically justified and show some examples why this god cannot exist. After reading this document you may object and say that god is beyond human understanding and can’t be defined in scientific terms. This is the view of agnosticism.

If god is so mysterious, how can we know anything about him? Through the Bible? How do we know that the Bible and not the Koran or the Vedha books, for example, are the words of god? (or the bible if you believe in any of the other two books). Considering the cruelties that have been made in the name of god, how do we know that not all religions are made by Satan?

If there is no way to know this but to trust people who claim they have had “divine experiences” there is no way to tell true from false prophets. One has to give up his free mind and follow the authority of a dictator. Remember also that it is the person making a positive claim who has to prove it.

“I wish to propose for the reader’s favourable consideration a doctrine which may, I fear, appear wildly paradoxical and subversive. The doctrine in question is this: that it is undesirable to believe a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true.” — Bertrand Russell

“We shall not believe anything unless there is reasonable cause to believe that it is true” — Ingemar Hedenius

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5 thoughts on “Proof god don’t exist.

  1. Christian response time. tl;dr warning:

    “Definition of the word ‘god'”:
    No objections whatsoever to your assertion that the only being that would warrant being called “god” in any meaningful sense is an almighty being. Minor nitpick here though – Christianity doesn’t teach a male God. Man and woman were both created in the image of God, neither being closer to that image than the other. However, limitations on human language come into play when describing God; in his self-revelation, he chooses the words that create the most accurate picture of who he is, but he is not defined by them. As a Christian who holds to the complementarian position, the role assigned to men creates a more accurate analogy for God than the role assigned to women; this makes masculine terminology more appropriate for God. Alternatively, and far more simply, the vast majority of languages don’t have gender neutral personal terms (if they have gender neutral terms at all); the masculine form has, in most languages, acted as the gender neutral when it has been required. It could, therefore, be simply be argued that God chose the gender neutral term for himself. Either way, Christianity doesn’t teach that God is male, merely that God chose male gender terms in his self revelation and that we should continue to do the same.

    “The qualities of an omnipotent god”:
    Nitpicking again – the traditional definition of omnipotence does not require the ability to know everything; that falls under omniscience, although I can see the argument that any truly omnipotent being should be able to achieve omniscience purely by virtue of being omnipotent. However, you seem to be using omnipotent synonomously with your prior definition of an almighty god (the lone type of logically justifiable god from the previous stage of your argument), so this point doesn’t make a whole lot of difference.

    On your point about not having subjective characteristics, you’re really touching on the Euthyphro dilemma here. The traditional resolution of said dilemma is that those things which we define as good are good because they are consistent with God’s character. God only acts in line with his own character. There is a difference between omnipotence and, to use a neologism of my own, omnipermission; any primary school student who has been lectured on the difference between “can” and “may” after requesting leave to answer nature’s call is aware of this. God has the power to do anything, but only permits himself to act in a way that is consistent with his character. God is certainly sufficiently potent to commit evil; him choosing not to does not diminish his omnipotence. Assuming God is, indeed, an almighty being who is above time, good and evil are not subjective descriptions; there is an eternal, almighty benchmark against which to assess what is good and what is evil.

    “The ontological evidence against gods”:
    Here I question your premise that a god who refuses to respond when presented with an ultimatum is a god not worth worshipping. By definition, an almighty god would have the right to define the terms under which it undertakes self-revelation. I would argue that a god who was so desperate for worship that it submitted itself to any ultimatum from one of its finite creatures would, in fact, be less worthy of worship than a god who is absolutely sovereign and chooses its own terms. On this basis, the test is not whether god responds when presented with an ultimatum, but whether there is any evidence of revelation at all. I would argue that the evidence is in favour of the historical veracity of Christ’s resurrection; if this is the case, that is pretty clear evidence of some god, the Christian God, undertaking self-revelation. We may, of course, debate the interpretation of that evidence (some would argue that the evidence can be debated at all is evidence against God; that’s an interesting tangent of its own), but Christianity, as it understands itself, is underpinned by evidence.

    “The meaning of the word existence”:
    Interestingly, I’ve heard R.C. Sproul comment that Christians should never say “God exists”; I believe the alternative he presented was “God subsists”. He drew the distinction that, because the reality of God is defined in complete independence of the reality of anything else, but that all other reality is dependent on him, to say that he subsists is to say that God is real (he is a fact) and that all that exists is underpinned by the fact that God subsists.

    “Occam’s razor”:
    As I understand it, most modern scientists believe that the majority of the laws of physics we perceive today are part of the universe itself; within the Big Bang model, the current laws of physics were just as non-existent as space, time and energy prior the Big Bang occurring. This necessitates, at the very least, a higher set of laws that are, by virtue of being beyond the universe, likely unobservable and untestable. While this is not an argument against their necessity, but it suggests that something must exist/subsist that transcends the universe in which we exist. The most accurate description of this something is probably Aristotle’s “Unmoved Mover” (UM), the uncaused cause. Everything that begins to exist has a cause; whatever the UM might be, it never had a beginning. Given that there must be a UM, we then examine the nature the UM could have. It is necessarily time transcendent and eternal (otherwise it would have had a beginning), and sufficiently potent to result in a universe. If the UM is merely a set of laws of physics, it is impersonal and mechanistic; if the UM is a god, it is personal and, potentially, relational.

    The reason why Occam’s razor does not apply is because, if the current laws of physics began with the beginning of the universe, they cannot be the UM. This means that, if we accept the premise that whatever begins is caused (I know this premise is debated, but you seem to accept it as reasonable in your argument), we already require an additional entity as the UM. The debate between atheism and theism is, then, not concerning the reality of an UM, but on the most accurate description of the nature of the UM.

    “Some things are impossible to do”:
    Some people may interpret omnipotence as being able to literally do anything, but you won’t find any serious Christian theologians who do so. Omnipotence is a word used to describe the Biblically truth that God is sufficiently potent to do whatever he wills. This does not require the ability to create a contradiction. If we define a circle as the locus consisting of all points at a fixed distance from a centre point, it is impossible to cover one circle with any number of other circles without them overlapping by the very definition of what a circle is. If we define addition as being the operation which gives the total number of numerical units from the two operands, the number 2 as being the result of the addition operation applied with both operands the unit 1 and the number ‘n’ have the recursive definition of the result of the addition operation over the operands (n-1) and the unit 1, then it is impossible to make 2+2=666 by the very definition of 2, +, = and 666.

    Science, by its very philosophy, never sets out to prove, but to disprove – with good reason. When a hypothesis is constructed, it is usually of the form A->B. This does not permit the corolllary B->A; observing B does not prove A. However, it does permit the corollary ~B->~A; observing that B is false informs us that A is false. The reason why this is significant is that laws of science are simply sets of hypotheses that have not been disproved (or, disproved in such a way that, under certain conditions, the deviation from the law is negligible [e.g. most of the laws of Newtonian physics]). They are not true because of the definitions of the terms involved in the law; they are considered true because the evidence of the natural world upon which they are based does not seem to disprove them. Miracles, therefore, are not contradictory; they involve an abnormal, most probably one-time incidence in which a principle that would normally not be disproven is.

    As a final point here, I might just add some extra clarification – the defence of omnipotence is not based on it excluding the logically impossible, but on exluding the contradictory. These concepts are similar, but your use of logically impossible involves a subjective element regarding what is and isn’t logical. The traditional defence is simply that there is such a thing as truth, and that two contradictory premises can’t simultaneously be true. A&~A=0 for all A. It doesn’t matter whether I feel something is logically impossible; as long as it doesn’t contradict anything else, omnipotence is capable of making it happen.

    “Omnipotence is impossible due to paradoxes”:
    See my point in the previous section about omnipotence not requiring the ability to self contradict for the bit about “can God make a rock too heavy for him to carry?”. A rock too heavy for an omnipotent being to lift is a contradiction, and therefore omnipotence does not entail the ability to make it true.

    It is indeed true that God is beyond time and perceives time simultaneously. It is, in fact, meaningless to speak of things like “before the universe existed”; time is a concept local to the universe. However, that does not preclude there being a chain of events; they simply can’t be organised by time. My personal resolution for this, based on certain Biblical events that make most sense when viewed through this lens, is that the language of time when applied to God is most accurately used when it is used as an analogy for the progression of a chain of reasoning, or of cause and effect. An event or decision involving God which causes or leads to another event comes “before” the second event, even if the second event occurs chronologically before the first event within the timeline of the universe. God has free will to execute whatever chain of reasoning he wishes; from the perspective of a universe in which time exists, all stages of the reasoning process occur simultaneously, but the chain of reasoning can still contain stages of cause and effect that allow for God’s free will to exist.

    Your final point is true if the universe is deterministic or probabilistic. If the state of the universe in each instant can be predetermined based on perfect knowledge of the previous state, libertarian free will does not exist (with or without God). However, if there is at least part of the human being that is not deterministic/probabilistic, then the fact God sets the initial conditions and knows the outcome does not necessarily deny free will. Foreknowledge and predestination are not linked unless the universe is deterministic/probabilistic.

    “The void creator”:
    No form of Christianity teaches that “everything” must have been created; everything that has a beginning, yes, the entire universe (for the universe has a beginning), yes, but not “everything”. As mentioned previously, Christianity holds that there must be an UM, and that the Christian God presents the best picture of that UM. The UM, by definition, does not begin to exist and does not depend on anything else to come into existence.

    Your next argument conflates the universe as experienced by humanity with “everything”. Just because our perception of everything is limited to time and space does not mean that anything outside of time and space does not exist; it merely means that anything outside of time and space is not restricted to existing within time and space. All life within the universe having a cause does not require that all life has a cause. Human morality and logic coming from God does not necessitate that God is not self-sufficient in his own logic and morality. The human perception of nature and existence coming from God does not require that God is not, in himself, a nature and existence/subsistence. Your commit the fallacy of false equivalents in this argument.

    “We would never notice god”:
    This seems to operate on the assumption that a time transcendent god would not choose to miraculously reveal himself at any point in the timeline of the universe, but instead operate like the “god” of Futurama, who operates on the principle that doing it right means looking like you’re doing nothing at all. Essentially, you argue that a time transcendent god must operate the universe such that he does not introduce any discontinuities into the functioning of the universe when achieving his will. I do not believe that this is a necessary assumption – there is no reason why such a being could not choose to allow a certain progression of events and then intervene miraculously to establish the subsequent set of events.

    As for your comments on prayer, I have two points in response. Firstly, Christianity teaches that God is relational. Even Calvinists who hold to predestination believe that prayer is worthwhile as an act of relationship with, submission to and glorification of God. However, in addition to this, I return to my previous point about the language of time being best replaced by the language of reasoning and causality when God is involved. If, in the chain of God’s reasoning, the reception of prayer precedes the decision regarding the event, prayer is effectual in shaping the outcome God chooses for the situation.

    Your comments about the best way to change the world are not an argument on their own, but the result of your conclusion that there is no god. Additionally, there may be some hyper-Calvinists in Christianity who teach that we shouldn’t get involved in changing the world, but that’s not Chrisitan orthodoxy. However, Christians just recognise that, given our conclusions arrive at the reality of God, our skills and resources aren’t our own, but are gifts given to us. We have to steward them responsibly, but ultimately we can’t claim that it was us that changed the situation.

    “Nobody really believes in god”:
    It’s hard to give a concise response to this, but I disagree strongly on this point. It’s always interesting to note that the word used in the New Testament for “faith”, “pistis”, comes from a root that carries the implication “to be persuaded”. In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul pins the entire Christian faith on the truth of the resurrection. He doesn’t leave open the option of believing whatever it is that you want to believe; it’s purely based on a set of truths that he has been convinced are indeed truth. I honestly believe that the facts point towards Christianity being true; having been convinced on the basis of what Christianity says about the past, I have faith that it is trustworthy concerning its statements about the present and the future.

    Epilogue:
    I realise that, in responding to your post, I have done nothing more than argue that you have failed to disprove God. Agnosticism and weak atheism (“I do not believe that there is a god” in contrast to “I do believe that there is not a god”) still remain on the table. Nevertheless, I believe that the points you were making contained a number of weak arguments, and I believe that the above wall of text offers a response to them.

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    • The Bible says God is almighty who answers your prayers. So how do you know if God is real other than that faith crap? Try the power of prayer when an earthly situation occurs which is beyond your control and only an almighty God who created the universe and all life can control.

      Suppose you or a close family member has a terminal disease like cancer which cannot be medically cured? A certain time line is given, so like all hopeful human beings, you humbly and diligently pray to the almighty God who says in the Bible he answers prayers. Time and reality passes, the disease takes it’s toll, and your prayers go unanswered.

      Maybe one in a million may be saved, but looking at a 99.9999% failure rate for prayer is evidence that God does not exist. Now, compare it to an atheist who suffers the same terminal disease and wishes for healing. The same 99.9999% failure rate occurs.

      Now compare it to a devout Muslim suffering the same terminal disease and prays to his/her god for healing, and still results in a 99.9999% failure rate. Similarly, the Hindu, Jew, Buddhist, etc… all face 99.9999% failure rates.

      Doesn’t this indicate you you that there is no God? Perhaps one of the numerous worshiped gods do exist, but wouldn’t that omnipotent god produce better than a 99.9999% failure rate, or else what is the purpose of worshiping that god if he doesn’t answer your prayers? Doesn’t common logic and sense exist anymore?

      Seems like many people want to “stuff” words in a gods proverbial mouth, thus, elevating themselves to a “god” status. Makes one wonder, if the person speaking on a god(s), behalf somehow has personal visits as well, in order to discuss matters left out of the bible.

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      • To quote from my original comment:
        “Here I question your premise that a god who refuses to respond when presented with an ultimatum is a god not worth worshipping. By definition, an almighty god would have the right to define the terms under which it undertakes self-revelation. I would argue that a god who was so desperate for worship that it submitted itself to any ultimatum from one of its finite creatures would, in fact, be less worthy of worship than a god who is absolutely sovereign and chooses its own terms. On this basis, the test is not whether god responds when presented with an ultimatum, but whether there is any evidence of revelation at all. I would argue that the evidence is in favour of the historical veracity of Christ’s resurrection; if this is the case, that is pretty clear evidence of some god, the Christian God, undertaking self-revelation. We may, of course, debate the interpretation of that evidence (some would argue that the evidence can be debated at all is evidence against God; that’s an interesting tangent of its own), but Christianity, as it understands itself, is underpinned by evidence.”

        Yes, the Bible says that God answers prayer. It also says that, when we pray, we are to submit to God’s will and not our own, and that we are to do so in God’s name (that is, in line with who God is, necessarily entailing in line with his will); when we pray, we request, we don’t demand. Prayer is not primarily about seeing things happen in the world that we want to happen (although I will concede that many Christians use it this way, particularly among the “health and wealth”, “name it and claim it” prosperity gospel crowd). First and foremost, it’s relational; God is a relational being, he created humans to be relational and to have relationship with him, and prayer is the mechanism by which that occurs. Now, does that mean that prayer about things happening is never answered? Not at all. However, that type of prayer is answered only when it’s God’s will for the situation. And yes, this places prayer outside of the bounds of the scientific method (along with any other miracles); the scientific method is a useful epistemological tool, but it need not be the only one.

        As I said in the quoted excerpt, if you’re looking for proof of an almighty being, you don’t go looking for whether it answers requests on demand; if you’re looking for a servant who does whatever you ask when you want it and how you want it, unless you’re an extra-almighty being, you’d best look at someone other than an almighty being. You can, however, look to see whether the almighty being has revealed itself on its own terms. Christianity claims that God did just that on a number of occasions, but the most significant one was the resurrection of Christ (so much so that Paul says that Christians are to be pitied above all if it didn’t happen, and that there should be no Christianity if that is the case). It’s not a case of “if prayer is answered, an almighty being exists”; it’s a case of “if the resurrection happened, an almighty being exists and that being is the God of Christianity”. I look at history and find that the events of the first century AD make most sense if the resurrection occurred. I admit that, in order to draw that conclusion, my assumptions must first allow for the miraculous; assumptions to the contrary result in one of the other explanations being necessarily true, even if it is a weaker explanation. I also admit that it’s possible that, had I not been raised within Christianity, that I would not draw that conclusion from history; I have endeavoured to view the evidence as objectively as possible, but bias is a problem that every human being is plagued by. Nevertheless, the fact that I am persuaded, by the evidence, that the resurrection did occur is what underpins the rest of my faith. If the resurrection happened as the Bible described it, there is an almighty being who chose to reveal himself in that event, and he is the God I worship.

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    • Typical of christians, they keep repeating the same thing over and over from the same primitive book, ” bible”. A book of curses, of tyrants, sexes, racist, war, and mostly lies with no bases of facts. We live in 2014 and not 300 AD. We must evolve with time!

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  2. If god is so mysterious, how can we know anything about him? Through the Bible? How do we know that the Bible and not the Koran or the Vedha books, for example, are the words of god? (or the bible if you believe in any of the other two books). Considering the cruelties that have been made in the name of god, how do we know that not all religions are made by Satan?

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