Deconstructing the Christian God

Introduction

In my last hub I discussed the notion put forth in the book of Genesis that mankind is made in the image of God. The hub primarily focused upon physical descriptions of God and that, in fact, when you deconstruct them gods are generally made in the image of man. In this hub however I want to talk not about God's image but about the things that make God God, his character, his non-physical attributes. I'm going to argue that the attributes of the Abrahamic God as described both in scripture and by believers are either nonsensical or meaningless and thus show that if a God exists it must be a different kind of God than believers typically promote.

God Who? - The Omni Characteristics

Generally what characteristics are given to God by believers? When I was younger I was taught that God was omnibenevolent which means he's good, in fact it means morally speaking he's meant to be the best. According to scripture God is also possessed of all knowledge, even knowing how many hairs are currently on your head, he can see you when you're sleeping and definitely knows when you're awake. Along with omniscience God is also all powerful, which only makes sense if you're the source of the entire Universe in which all-power exists. Furthermore God is omnipresent, meaning he exists in all parts of time and space simultaneously though how this might work with a God that is alternately believed to be beyond time and space is beyond me.

In fact according to professional philosopher and Christian theologian William Lane Craig God must be timeless, spaceless, immaterial and changeless among a handful of other characteristics trumped up by Craig as he makes massive leaps in logic to avoid the infinite regress common to First Cause arguments.

So let's start deconstructing these shall we...

William Lane Craig

Photo withheld due to frightening smugness, instead here is Pikachu fused with Slowbro to form Slowchu
Photo withheld due to frightening smugness, instead here is Pikachu fused with Slowbro to form Slowchu

Good God Y'all

I'm not going to even bother going into the Biblical God's endorsement of slavery, genocide of innocent children or creation of a Lake of Fire for eternal torment without end, reprieve or purpose – instead I'm going to raise another point and that is that for God morality is meaningless. I've mentioned this before in an earlier hub but it bears repeating and further fleshing out here. God is the creator of the Universe, existing for eons before the measure of an eon would have had any meaning at all and also before there was anything to interact with.

Keep in mind that for monotheists the pantheon is a lonely place, with only room for one deity on the throne. If this God also happens to be the creator and moral law-giver that puts said deity in an awkward position. Not only is the God of the three major monotheistic religions an only child but he's an only life-form. He would have been, until the creation of the Universe, the only being that existed.

With nothing and no one to interact with morality simply wouldn't exist – COULDN'T exist. The notions of right, wrong, good and evil, suffering and pleasure go out the window in a world of one. Now some might try to trump up company for this lonely God by invoking the Trinity but the Trinity is just an extension of the same God and, unless you want to suggest that the Holy Ghost is capable of wrongdoing, morality remains just as meaningless and non-existent.

The only way to get morality in this scenario is for God to invent it himself or for it to evolve naturally (as it evidently did) without divine intervention. Even after creating life-forms the idea of right and wrong still doesn't make much sense without sin or evil actually existing and in order for anything to exist, if there is an all-powerful God who made everything, God must be responsible for sin. That isn't to say that God must sin directly but simply that all roads lead back to the source and all power requires all responsibility.

Of course you could always claim that morality is just a part of God's eternal “nature” as some believers do. Just an inherent part of what makes God God. Only without other intelligent life interacting where did God's morality come from? He has no parental figures to instill him with it, and no basic moral instincts since that is a purely naturalistic idea.

Suddenly it almost makes sense when some Fundamentalists claim that a sin is any offense against God, rather than against man, because any morality that could exist in God's head from the start would have been selfish indeed.


The Naughty List

The second characteristic I want to discuss is the idea that God is all-knowing, or possesses all knowledge. This is another attribute given to God that, when you strip away the fat, only makes sense if God is an entirely fictional anthropocentric invention. By what mechanism is God All-Knowing? As in with what does he collect the information?

Human beings, indeed all organisms that we know of, respond to stimuli in the environment, typically using sensory organs, to gain knowledge about the world around us. I'd hate to limit a supposedly limitless being but without really good eye-sight how is God counting the hairs on everyone's head?

That's just a minor quibble I suppose and really I don't expect any theist to answer the question because to them the way God operates doesn't matter and doubting or questioning him definitely can get you into trouble (wonder why that is). Even if we want to say that his knowledge gathering is an inherent supernatural ability there actually has to be some knowledge for him to gather for that ability to make any sense.

The real point I want to make regarding omniscience is that, like morality, it only makes sense in the context of the Universe as it presently exists. As before the concept breaks down entirely when you apply it to God prior to the Universe's creation. What is there to know, besides the contents of his own mind, before he sets the Universe in motion. There is no knowledge to be possessed, nothing, just emptiness and God. Then God makes the Universe and the world and all the things in it. It only makes sense that he knows it as he's making it, wouldn't be very good if he forgot halfway through creating what he had wanted it to look like. But after this initial phase of creation God's omniscience would surely be called into question.

Even in Genesis God has a hard time finding Adam and Eve after they've sinned as he walks in the Garden. God also fails to see coming the inevitable fall from grace that Adam and Eve cause which in-turn damns the whole human race and drives him to damn the whole of creation as welll. Believers might gripe that God cannot see beyond free will or perhaps can't even know the future, both claims could be supported by scripture as even scripture doesn't agree that God knows everything or the future.

Then of course there is the idea of the unknown unknown, the things that even God doesn't know that he doesn't know about. One's certainty about how much they know can never be enough because even if you claim to know everything there could always be, somewhere out there, something that you don't know... but you don't know that you don't know it.


itty bitty living space
itty bitty living space

Unlimited Cosmic Power

The biggest and perhaps most impressive attribute claimed for God is his omnipotence, the idea that God possesses all the power that ever was, is and ever will be. God is the source for everything. Again this is another idea that doesn't make much sense when you dig into it even a little. Let's go back to our favorite time and place which are actually neither, just before the Universe floating in absolute nothingness with God. How exactly does it make sense to call this being All-Powerful if he is floating in a void in a pre-Universe state? There is no time, there is no space so the idea of power, of force that can be exerted even if it be a supernatural force or some kind of power we've never seen or dreamed of simply doesn't make sense. There is nothing to exert force upon, no matter, no energy, no time, no space.

We must keep in mind that it is the claim of most theologians and believers that God created the Universe ex nihilo (meaning out of absolute nothing). If God had been acting upon a pre-existent pre-Universe full of matter or energy or potential we would be talking about an entirely different sort of creation. Instead it is posited that God was all alone in the absolute emptiness of complete and total nothing. So how does the concept of power make any sense? The only thing in existence is God himself and since there is no material for him to be made of that makes him a disembodied mind, a consciousness and nothing more. The only power God can have then, logically, is the power to change his own mind, not exactly the stuff Universes are made of.

How exactly does one measure unlimited power? God is said to be all-powerful but how exactly do you measure that? As with knowledge God would only be able to assert his all-powerful status until someone bigger and badder came along to supplant him. If God descended from the sky tomorrow claiming omnipotence to be amongst his traits how would we test that? Have him move the Earth? Move the Sun? Rearrange the Galaxy? That would still only be a fraction of the power contained within this immense and insanely massive Universe (which God apparently created just for us, or for himself rather) and it would prove nothing in regards to omnipotence.

Such a miraculous act would only prove this would-be deity possessed SOME tentatively-supernatural power. A claim to omnipotence could never actually be proved, only disproved.

See, and all that without mentioning the simple paradoxical question of “Can God make a rock so big he can't lift it?”

The actual William Lane Craig

Shield the eyes of small children please
Shield the eyes of small children please | Source

Craig, Omnipresence and the Nail in the Coffin

The last characteristic is the claim that God is omnipresent. This claim contradicts the idea that God is outside of space and time though such a claim would necessarily be true for any First Cause attempting to evade causality. This characteristic, like all of God's characteristics that I've mentioned thus far, also contradicts William Lane Craig's assertion that this God must also be CHANGELESS. Indeed the Bible states that God is the same yesterday, today and forever and yet this cannot be the case because clearly the creation of the Universe changed God.

Without other life-forms there can be no morality. Without things to know about God cannot know things. Absent of any power other than himself, and absent the possibility of measurement, the idea of omnipotence crumbles. Prior to creating a place to exist God cannot be omnipresent... Therefore, without the Universe, God cannot exist. Without the Universe to provide him these characteristics God HAS NO DISCERNABLE characteristics and is entirely indistinguishable from some shit people just MADE UP.

What can be discovered about God? What can be known about God? What physical and non-physical characteristics can be given about him? Omnibenevolence, omnipresence, omnipotence and omniscience, these are meant to be the big revelations about God's character. He's not just good, he's the best, he's always there for you and always loves you, he's more powerful than anything and created the whole Universe and he knows past, present and future.

What a lucky coincidence that such a God existed eh? How incredibly coincidental that an all-knowing God also turned out to be all-powerful enough to create something for him to know about! Or how lucky is it that a God who wanted to create other living things turned out to be omnibenevolent so he could give them morals. You see there is no source for God's attributes since there is no source for God, supposedly he just POSSESSES THEM as part of his “NATURE” in the same way that Superman can fly.

Yog-Sothoth

Lovecraftian entity that may be the basis of the Flying Spaghetti Monster
Lovecraftian entity that may be the basis of the Flying Spaghetti Monster | Source

Conclusions

Gods have existed for thousands of years, they've come and gone across the pages of history the way fashion fads rise and fall. I hope that, with these two hubs especially, I've helped open at least a few eyes to the fact that these beliefs about God are not based on knowledge or understanding or direct revelation – They are ONLY beliefs. I don't expect anyone to abandon their faith. What I do want is to convey that it's good to question and it is exceedingly good to doubt especially when you are threatened with some of the worst torment imaginable for it.

Why would they threaten you with Hell? Why would a God, any God, loving or not, if it really existed, want to threaten you for not believing in it? Especially when it is not God that threatens you directly in any way but has, instead, had some ancient people write it down for him so that puffed up preachers can shout about it come Sunday. What sort of deity is CONTIGENT upon belief and believers (or worship, or tithe, etc) for its continued pleasure and existence? I think you'll find that the most obvious answer is a FICTIONAL ONE.

I also think you'll find that God never asked you to worship him. In fact for most believers God never says a word or a whisper; never writes a page; never sends a text. After all, how could something with no known characteristics whose existence has never been confirmed by a shred of evidence or sound reasoning be bothered to do a bit of writing or a bit of speaking when there's so much fan-fiction to go around?

I'm just rambling now, so I'll leave it at that! Thanks for reading!

More by this Author


Comments 49 comments

C.V.Rajan profile image

C.V.Rajan 3 years ago from Kerala, India

Very interesting analysis. I think your only source of reference seems to be Christianity. If you go deep into other religion (Hinduism), then if you are willing enough to really know (by keeping aside your pet arguments), you can find answers to them. I am not talking about superficial religion, but deeper teachings by realized Gurus.

I can throw some hints from core Hindu philosophy:

- God did not create the universe. he became.

- He is in you, in me, in every being. he knows it. We don't know. That's the power of his maya. Why maya exists like this, only he knows. Once an earnest seeker understands his true Self as nothing but God -- not as theory, but by experience, he grasps the play of maya; he understands that everything perfectly makes sense. There are numerous Hindu realized souls who vouch this personal experience.

- Since he is present in anything and everything in creation, he is omnipresent.

- You existed as a boy, as an young man and as old man. Body's physical condition changed but your sense of "I" remains unchanged. That I will persist even when your physical body perishes. That I is the true and changeless existence.

- He is in both Good and evil. All good are known as Vidya Maya and all evils are known as Avidya Maya in Hinduism. Good and evil, both are illusory and are at the best part of divine maya only. Why both should co-exist, he only knows. For you to know, you too should become the true knower.

But anywhere, the starting point is faith. With faith and with humility ("I am not all that knowledgeable on spiritual matters; I want to know earnestly; I don't jump into conclusions with my limited intellect"), if you start seeking answers, you will get them one day.

At that point of time, you will understand that all your current arguments are invalid!


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 3 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

Hi Titen! Another titillating hub regarding one of my favorite subjects. I wold just like to add that once again, the subjects of good and evil are truly man-made, and both depend on our point of view.

I'll never understand how 'god' commands that murder is evil, then turns around almost immediately and begins to murder his own creation. And man does the very same thing. Or does man determine that murder is evil and justifies it by inventing gods? Then admits that the men we WANT to kill (god's enemies) are justifiable because of good and evil paradoxes.

The entire argument for gods is just so circular.


Lybrah 3 years ago

Titen, I've missed you. You are a good writer, but once again, I do not agree with anything you said. I do like the picture of Santa Claus with the caption--that is funny.

I guess what it all boils down to is that you've got to have faith. I've been going through a really hard time and at times I feel that God is not answering any of my prayers, but I know that I must still be obedient to Him all the same.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 3 years ago from back in the lab again Author

Thanks Austinstar :D

Yes it does seem that no matter what the moral argument for God ends up in total failure. My favorite is the arguments for moral absolutes that folks like William Lane Craig feel they need to make. They appeal to things like the holocaust to show that there is definitely absolute morality, because only someone who was heartless would say the holocaust was good. But the holocaust did happen, human beings are capable of horrendous evil and can even be led to do horrible things in the name of a cause and believe they are actually doing the RIGHT thing.

The moral arguments are always self-refuting, because at the end of the day, god or no god, there are moral ambiguities and gray areas in our own personal lives. People's stances differ on all sorts of issues and people's stances on what God's stances are differ. It'd be pointless to let an outside force or intelligence impose morality upon us. Even if God were real we didn't listen to him in the Garden, why the hell would people assume we're gonna start now?


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 3 years ago from back in the lab again Author

Thanks for the comment Lybrah.

I prefer to have faith in things I know exist. It's not the same as religious faith. All the vague feelings of spiritual warmth in the world don't make anyone's god real, nor do the perceived messages the spirits or gods supposedly send through the mundane world. The least you can do is learn what you're being obedient to, and the monster written about in the Bible is certainly not worthy of devotion or obedience let alone worship. You could pick almost any god and get similar results, I know because I got better results during my time as a pantheistic spiritual wanderer than I ever did as a Christian. But they still were just imaginary results. The inner warmth of a fervent prayer, the emotional depth of feeling at one with the cosmos or at peace with nature, the universal effects of music and meditation.

In the end I realized that I had been the only one in my head the entire time, there wasn't anyone else in there, or out there, as far as I could tell. Now I'm just obedient to my own conscience, the blend of natural empathy and reasoned thought that help guide us through the moral minefield of life here on planet Earth. In the end that's all you need and anyone telling you otherwise just wants to sell you something.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 3 years ago from back in the lab again Author

@C.V. Rajan

This hubs topic is limited pretty much exclusively to the classic God of Abrahamic monotheism, meaning Judaism, Christianity and Islam. I had no intention of disproving the characteristics of all gods throughout human history or all possible permutations of God, that would be impossible and absurd. All I wanted to show was that, as described by believers with these main characteristics such a God cannot exist and therefore any god that might exist would be vastly different.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

Say we acknowledge for the sake of argument that a malicious Creator/Designer exists . Seeing as this being is evil , that signifies he does not carry out his moral responsibilities . But then exactly where do those come from ? Just how can this evil god receive obligations to execute which he is violating ? Who prohibits him to do the immoral things that he does ? Without hesitation , we discover that such an evil being simply cannot be supreme : there needs to be a being that is even higher than this evil god which is the source of the moral duties which he prefers to shirk , a being that is unqualified goodness Himself . Hence , if god is evil well then there must necessarily exist a maximally splendid , incomparable God that is all powerful , all good as well as all loving ; One who is actually the very paradigm of good .

Which means that we don’t shower Him with affection for performing His duty . Really He is to be adored for His moral identity as He is fundamentally loving , just , kind , and so on . It is simply because God is that way that all these traits count as virtues to start with . In effect , God Almighty is good the very same way rain is wet , diamond gemstones are hard , photons tear across space at luminous speeds or cerulean suns blaze . Therefore if we envision God’s goodness in terms of His possessing definite virtues as opposed to fulfilling selected duties , we get an infinitely more exalted and correct notion of God . http://bit.ly/1fc7kyS


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 2 years ago from back in the lab again Author

" there needs to be a being that is even higher than this evil god which is the source of the moral duties which he prefers to shirk"

But this is the problem, we as human beings can only judge other beings by OUR OWN moral standards. Even if, as you seem to believe, there is a higher moral standard our own human standards are still what we utilize on a day to day basis to make moral judgments and live our lives. So if God is evil he is evil by OUR standards, the standards of some other God would be just as subjective.

"One who is actually the very paradigm of good"

Again this only follows if we assume that there is a such thing as objective absolute morality and I do not accept that.

" In effect , God Almighty is good the very same way rain is wet"

In your argument however there is an evil God needed to set up your good God, the idea being that if evil exists there must be a maximally good God that is the standard by which we judge that evil. I do not believe that either an evil God or a good one exist. I do not believe that evil is anything but a word we use to describe certain behaviors and people who do things that OUR moral standards have deemed extremely harmful.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

Problem is , humanity doesn't deal with acts such as pedophilia , the gunning down of helpless little children , brutality , genocide , gang rape , racism or even serial homicide as merely socially improper conduct , like , say , picking your nostrils at the dinner table . Much rather , these jolt , outrage as well as horrify . They’re dealt with as moral abominations - acts of evil . (This is why, since time immemorial, even the most primitive cultures, regardless of their metaphysical values, enforced laws and regulations against homicide and various other acts of evil.)

On the flip side , love , equality or self-sacrifice are more than just socially useful acts , like , say , bringing a lady roses on a first date. Rather, these are regarded as conduct which is actually good .

That being said , irrational beasts don't possess **objective** morals . When ever a lion savagely kills some other it doesn't believe it's committing homicide . Any time a peregrine falcon or a bald eagle snatches prey away from another it doesn't believe it's stealing . Each time primates violently force themselves onto females as well as their little ones they’re not tried and convicted of rape or pedophilia . Needless to say, we undoubtedly did not “inherit” our **objective** moral sense from these .

**Objective** morals are never derived from scientific research because science , by it's very nature , is morally nihilistic . From where , then perhaps , do we obtain our **universal objective morals** from ?

Consider the following:

(1) If God does not exist, objective moral values and duties do not exist.

(2) Evil exists.

(3) Therefore, objective moral values and duties do exist.

(4) Therefore, God exists.

(5) Therefore, God is the locus of all objective moral values and duties.

That is to say, as Dostoevsky once mused, "If there is no God, everything is permitted."


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

Satan is that evil god. (1 John 5:19; 2 Corinthians 4:4; John 8:44; Luke 4: 5-7)


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 2 years ago from back in the lab again Author

Notice Joe that all of your quotes are from the New Testament, because Satan in the Old Testament is a very different thing.

Also please enlighten me as to all of the evil things Satan is planning on doing. Tell me which of them are MORE evil than creating a Lake of Fire and burning people there for eternity.

"That is to say, as Dostoevsky once mused, "If there is no God, everything is permitted.""

Except that everything is not permitted, because human beings have moral standards and laws of our own.

"They’re dealt with as moral abominations - acts of evil"

Because that is how WE view them, if it was not our own moral standards we were reacting to than it would not be OUR reaction.

"That being said , irrational beasts don't possess **objective** morals . When ever a lion savagely kills some other it doesn't believe it's committing homicide ."

Other animals DO have morality, but not objective morality, but human beings ALSO DO NOT have objective morality. Human morality changes, things we consider immoral change and the gray areas are far larger than people assume. Consider, for example, homosexuality, once a crime in many parts of the world, once considered a mental illness, now widely accepted. Now it is considered EVIL to bully and harass gay people for their sexual orientation, where once their orientation itself was considered deviant and evil.

Also, a hunter does not think of himself as evil when he brings home a deer to help feed his family so your point about a lion doesn't make sense.

"Evil exists."

Not in the sense you're suggesting and borrowing arguments from William Lane Craig doesn't make you look good.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

"creating a Lake of Fire and burning people there for eternity."

The lake of fire is merely a symbol. It does not exist in reality: http://bit.ly/17fVMYm

"Except that everything is not permitted, because human beings have moral standards and laws of our own."

And, like a pile of dead leaves blown hither and thither by the shifting breeze, wherever the human herd impels you is what’s moral or immoral, at least for that moment. This means, for instance, that, had you been living in Stalin’s Russia you would have happily gone along with the various pogroms and the Great Purge. And why wouldn’t you? At the time, it's what these dictated was moral. Without any objective moral values or duties, you would have had no objective reasons not to follow along with their moral paradigm - even though it meant murdering innocents. After all when you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything.

As Voltaire put it, “Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.”

"Also please enlighten me as to all of the evil things Satan is planning on doing."

Jesus tells us regarding Satan that he "was a murderer when he began, and he did not stand fast in the truth, because truth is not in him. When he speaks the lie, he speaks according to his own disposition, because he is a liar and the father of the lie." (John 8:44) Further along at 1 John 3:8 we find that anyone "who practices sin originates with the Devil, because the Devil has been sinning from the beginning." Remember it was Satan who lied to Eve and promised her eternal life if she disobeyed God and ate of the forbidden fruit. Because of his lie death was introduced. As such, he is responsible for the deaths of the billions who've perished from illness or old age.

Since he too is the god of this system of things he is responsible for all the war, violence, abuse, strife, discord, animosity, hatred, bigotry, inequality, injustice, abject squalor, preventable disease and depravity you hear about on a daily basis. (2 Corinthians 4:4; 1 John 5:19)


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

"borrowing arguments from William Lane Craig doesn't make you look good."

"If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." -Isaac Newton


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 2 years ago from back in the lab again Author

William Lane Craig is no giant, the man makes a mockery of philosophers, theologians and apologists alike. Even folks like Frank Turek come across more knowledgeable and more likable in their debates.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 2 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

And who, do tell, created Satan? Who gave Satan the power to kill? Don't say it was free will either since that same "god" you speak of created all of the choices too. I "god" is the creator of all things, he is the creator of death also.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

@Austin

You and yours did when you decided that you were better off without your Creator and His loving guidance :)


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

@Titen

He is certainly much more knowledgeable on a host of subjects than you will ever be. You think you know it all and have got it all figured out ...


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 2 years ago from back in the lab again Author

I don't think I know everything, I just think I know more than William Lane Craig.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 2 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

And Titen-Sxull knows more than JOP as well.

@JOP - If I had to exist with your "God's loving guidance", I would cry all day and night. Your god is way more "evil" than your devil.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

@Austin

How do you mean?


Potemkin 20 months ago

Consider the following:

(1) If God does not exist, objective moral values and duties do not exist.

(2) Evil exists.

(3) Therefore, objective moral values and duties do exist.

(4) Therefore, God exists.

(5) Therefore, God is the locus of all objective moral values and duties.

That is to say, as Dostoevsky once mused, "If there is no God, everything is permitted."

Major fallacy. Affirming the consequent.

If P, then Q.

Q.

Therefore, P.

An argument of this form is invalid, i.e., the conclusion can be false even when statements 1 and 2 are true. Since P was never asserted as the only sufficient condition for Q, other factors could account for Q (while P was false)

Please use your brain Joseph.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 20 months ago

@Po

You're confused. The argument presented is a valid enthymeme and is in no way fallacious since the converse of its conditional premiss is not only plausible but true.

That's just Logic 101. Try again.


Potemkin 20 months ago

@Joseph

You're correct, logic 101. Now here is the beauty of such logic.

(1) If Steve the Lizard does not exist, objective moral values and duties do not exist.

(2) Evil exists.

(3) Therefore, objective moral values and duties do exist.

(4) Therefore, Steve the Lizard exists.

(5) Therefore, Steve the Lizard is the locus of all objective moral values and duties

Since this is a valid enthymeme and is no way fallacious since the converse of its conditional premiss is not only plausible but true. So it stands that Steve the Lizard is the locust of morals. You better convert to reptilianism and repent.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 20 months ago from back in the lab again Author

A nice example of reductio ad absurdum Potemkin. It reminds me of the of a similar argument that counters the Modal Ontological Argument by positing a maximally great maximally evil demon rather than a god. The sad fact is that the Universe we see around us is much more consistent with an evil or indifferent being than it would be a benevolent one. Rather than use this to their advantage by claiming their own God, the God of the Bible, is indifferent in some way they still try to maintain that God is all loving and all powerful despite this being contradicted by human experience on multiple levels AND being completely consistent with the morally depraved and incompetent God the Bible actually depicts. Folks like William Lane Craig put a lot of epistemic weight on our intuitions but tend to ignore or bullshit their way around the problem of suffering, needless suffering without God's intervention being one of the most obvious observational truths imaginable.

The amazing thing is even if we grant without reservation the arguments that believers make to prove god's existence we haven't established what can be said about this God. The mental gymnastics that people go to to link these vague concepts to the "classical" monotheistic God tend to be astoundingly convoluted and fail miserably.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Titen

In order for your conclusion to obtain you need to first prove there is no good reason God might have for temporarily permitting suffering in the world.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Po

But it is fallacious since the converse of (1) is not even remotely plausible. Try again. Harder this time.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Prove there is no reason for an omnibenevolent God to permit suffering?

How about the fact that he's both omnibenevolent and omnipotent.

Are you even trying Joe?


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

I really want to give you the benefit of the doubt here so go ahead and walk me through your bizarre reasoning.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Pretty sure this one is obvious. You've been around debating the topic for a while Joe, I'm sure you've heard plenty of versions of the problem of suffering, from the traditional Epicurus version to people's own versions.

Suffice it to say the existence of an omnibenevolent omnipotent being does not make sense in the face of a world with so much needless suffering. Putting it frankly the world is a fucked up place full of horrible diseases, natural disasters, and other tragic events that humans have no control over. But God presumably has control of everything AND is infinitely merciful and good AND has a plan and a divine will so why is he not intervening to fix the mess he created? And yes, it's God's Universe and so it's God's mess there's no way around that.

There is no good reason for a God with the characteristics you propose to leave the world suffering and broken.

Now please surprise me by coming up with an answer that doesn't involve "but free will blah blah blah"...


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

"But God presumably has control of everything"

Now I see where you veered of course. God is not the ruler of this world, it's Satan. See Luke 4:5,6; 1 John 5:19 & 2 Corinthians 4: 3, 4.

This is why the world is "full of horrible diseases, natural disasters, and other tragic events that humans have no control over." Be it directly or indirectly, Satan the Devil is the one responsible, not God.

Now, ask me why God has allowed Satan to rule our world and when He will end his rulership of it.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

"God is not the ruler of this world, it's Satan"

Ah I see.

So when should you and I convert to Satanism? I'm all down with the heavy metal music and black robes but the animal sacrifice part seems a bit too much like Christianity and Judaism for my taste, and the human sacrifice, well that's right out of Yahweh's playbook.

"Now, ask me why God has allowed Satan to rule our world and when He will end his rulership of it."

Frankly I don't care what the excuse is. I assume it's so God can pretend to be a badass in a wrestling style cage match with Satan where he looks like he's about to lose to the horned one only to pull out a planned miraculous come back.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

Converting to Satanism would be foolish since Satan's rule is but temporary. Soon he will be ousted and our entire planet will be transformed into a breathtaking paradise where peace, love, joy and unity will reign for all time: http://bit.ly/18CngYk http://bit.ly/15XCebD

Whether you and yours will enjoy this or not is entirely up to you :)


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

His rule is temporary? According to your beliefs he seems to have been going strong for at least a few thousand years and shows no signs of slowing... or I should say God shows no interest in stopping the suffering and evil in our world that you might ascribe to Satan.

So plenty of time to call him up and get some awesome guitar shredding ability like all those other rock stars who supposedly "sold their souls" for musical talent. As Bill Hicks once said if it's a choice between good tunes and burning in hell or New Kids on the Block I'm gonna be surfing on the Lake of Fire rocking out...

But then you don't believe in the Lake of Fire, you think death for the unbeliever is just death... in which case I really have nothing to lose since I have no interest whatsoever in eternal life in Heaven.

Of course I'd have to first delude myself into thinking Satan was real... or do you think Satan would show himself to a nonbeliever? I cried out to God on so many occasions asking to be transformed to have real confirmation of his presence and something tells me Satan would be equally silent - it's almost like they don't exist at all!

Why would Satan be portrayed as easy to contact and God be impossibly elusive? Just a piece of doctrine that makes the task of deluding the herd easier for apologists and preachers.

What are your thoughts Joe? Can Satan really make me a heavy metal master?


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 19 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

"it's almost like they don't exist at all!"

It's EXACTLY like they don't exist at all! But if either one of them could cure the world's ills, regrow severed limbs, or make one a rock star, I would start believing in THAT one!


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Yet I suspect that, even if there was a different supernatural being that did seem to get results and had actual evidence behind it, theists would mostly still cling to their god of choice. Such is the nature of faith, credulity in something without evidence and often in the face of evidence against that thing.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 19 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

Yep, if it's not THEIR particular god doing or saying something then it's "the devil", "Satan", or "a false god". So, you are totally right about that.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

" I really have nothing to lose since I have no interest whatsoever in eternal life in Heaven."

Why do you want to die?


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

All things considered I don't want to or I should say the human lifespan is too short for my liking but as much as I'd like to live a longer life I have no desire whatsoever to live forever. What a horrible fate to be unable to die, even in a place of joy and happiness it would quickly become tedious, maddening, with no escape and no end, trillions and trillions and trillions of years. Who would actually WANT that?

To live to be a century or two, or travel the cosmos as a regenerating Time Lord like on Doctor Who, that wouldn't be so bad, but a Heaven bowing before a monster unable to leave, unable to count on the escape of death, FOREVER, is worse than any Hell.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

"travel the cosmos as a regenerating Time Lord like on Doctor Who, that wouldn't be so bad"

Why not? What's the appeal?


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

What's the appeal?

Have you ever seen an episode of Doctor Who Joe? It's on Netflix right now and I'd highly recommend it.

For one thing you get to travel anywhere in time and space, rewrite history, fight aliens, travel with beautiful and interesting companions and when you "die" you actually just Regenerate with a new appearance and slightly altered personality. Time Lords can generally regenerate 12 times before they fully die, they would be considered "biologically immortal" similar to lobsters and certain Jellyfish.

Such a thing would involve the chance for new adventures, romance, and discovering as much about the Cosmos as possible far beyond what human beings can currently aspire to.

The real question is what part of it ISN'T appealing? I suppose having to thwart the Daleks for the millionth time does get tedious but then there's so much more to see and do.

Contrast that to the Biblical Heaven where all you have is a Heavenly city and a New Earth, you're not allowed to ever be frightened or sad because happiness and joy are mandatory and there is no chance for discovery, personal growth or struggle. Not to mention having to bow down before a God who condones slavery and both commands and commits horrific acts of genocide.

So as far as I'm concerned the fictional world of Doctor Who trumps the fictional Heaven of the Bible.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

"there is no chance for discovery, personal growth or struggle."

What makes you say that? Based on what, specifically, do you draw such conclusions?


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

The Biblical description of Heaven along with everything I've ever heard from Christians who talk about Heaven. Heaven is the reward of those who choose Jesus as their Master. To most Christians it is the objective meaning of life. When they talk down to atheists about how our lives can have no meaning they invoke eternity and the idea of eternal life as if such an idea would give life more meaning.

On the contrary, an eternal life is meaningless, life is precious and meaningful BECAUSE it is fleeting.

How can I possibly grow as a person if I am already receiving rewards beyond what I can imagine or deserve? Not to mention it flies in the face of the idea of getting what you deserve to begin with. By no means should accepting Jesus as your slave Master and savior carry such a reward. Even without an eternal Hell Heaven is an idea that contradicts any notion of justice, for a good man can go to the grave merely for not accepting Christ but a child rapist gets rewards beyond his imagination for sincere repentance?


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

Problem is you're taking the limits of your own field of vision for the limits of this promised new world. You see, our loving Creator will 'open his hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing." (Psalm 145:16) This necessarily means that He will ensure that our lives on Paradise Earth will be exhilarating, stimulating and wondrous for all eternity: http://bit.ly/1yB6UQZ


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

I really don't think your conclusion follows from that Psalm. Psalm 145 is not talking about nor does it mention anything to do with the afterlife.

At any rate my non-belief in Heaven does not hinge on the fact that I wouldn't want to go there. Even if the Bible presented a more believable afterlife concept that sounded more appealing that would not make it real. Reading the Bible and taking it seriously should be enough to dissuade any reasonable person that such a place exists as it describes in detail the streets made of gold and walls encrusted with precious jewels and where no one will ever be sad. Not only is this idea contradicted by everything we know about death scientifically but also intuitively, for if those that died really were in paradise why would we mourn their loss?

A magical golden city where no one is ever sad or in pain, it sounds ludicrous and even more so when you insert a God who gets to sit on a throne. A throne is a very human concept Joe, it's one of the strongest pieces of evidence that the Biblical God is a fabrication and not based on anything real.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

"city where no one is ever sad or in pain, it sounds ludicrous"

If such a city existed I would move there without a moment's hesitation. I've endured and witnessed enough pain and suffering for ten lifetimes.

Why wouldn't you do the same?


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Even if it hypothetically did exist I would not want to live there forever, might be a nice place to visit on weekends. Sadness and pain are part of what makes life meaningful. Without some lows how can you appreciate the highs? Without something to struggle for, something or someone that could break your heart, there is no risk and thus the reward is cheapened. Surely there is a happy medium God could have found and of course a real God could have created a world without abject suffering or eternal happiness but Heaven bears all the hallmarks of having been made up by humans.

The point I was making is that the idea is absurd, when people die they do not go to a magical perfect place made of gold where no one is ever sad, its a childish image.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

"Sadness and pain are part of what makes life meaningful."

Now, see, THAT'S a childish idea. No one who's ever truly suffered would even say such a thing.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

I didn't say suffering or needless suffering were part of what makes life meaningful, obviously human beings should minimize suffering when possible. I think you misunderstand what I am saying...

Sadness and pain are part of what gives the happy moments and moments of content meaning because those moments do not last forever and should be cherished. How can I appreciate love without the possibility of heartbreak or success without failure?

You are talking about a heaven where there is NO sadness, sadness isn't even allowed, just happiness unending, without the other emotions to accompany it joy becomes meaningless.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

"How can I appreciate love without the possibility of heartbreak or success without failure?"

Spoken like someone who's never, ever been in love :)

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working