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Why God Doesn't Exist - Concept

Updated on October 28, 2012

(Comments have been disabled in all my hubs. If you wish to leave a comment look me up on YouTube.)

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Is God a physical object or an abstract concept? Until we decide which, we can’t even begin to ponder whether God exists.

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The Old Testament regards God as an anthropomorphic being who made Man in His own image. The word anthropomorphic comes from the Greek meaning 'human shape or form'. It alludes to the physical aspect or architecture of a living entity, suggesting that it has acquired a human-like body.

Of course, such a hypothesis is quite vulnerable. Does God have a penis, go potty, or suffer headaches? Does He eat, sleep, get dirty, and take showers. Is God made of atoms? Does blood run through His veins? Does He grow old or in size? Did a woman give birth and a belly button to Him? Is there a way to kill Him with a kryptonite rock or a silver bullet of sorts?

Thus, the theist was compelled to modify the meaning of 'anthropomorphic' to include only behavior. Dr. Bruce Prescott, a self-described, born-again biologist testifies that:

"God is not an "object" that can be observed, tested, manipulated or controlled by any conceivable experiment... God is not an organism. He does not have a genetic structure. God is Spirit. The image of God in man does not refer to our physical form or body; it refers to our spirit."

(Evolution and Religion: Do They Conflict? Dr. Bruce Prescott, University of Oklahoma Zoological Society, April 8, 2002)

There is at least one biblical passage that supports Prescott's argument. John 4:24 certifies that "God is a Spirit." However, the passage serves more readily as evidence that a major shift occurred in theology from the days of the Old to those of the New Testament. The religion changed completely. Whereas the people of Old Testament fame explain Creation by invoking a human-like creature, the folks of the New converted God into an abstract concept. Genesis documents that God rested after creating the world. He spoke to Adam, listened to Moses, and materialized to hundreds as a flaming bush. These characterizations invariably point to a physical object. 1 John 4.8 would rather have you believe in a more ethereal deity: "God is love."

Theists are proposing two different and irreconcilable Gods here. Either God is a physical object (call 'it' a spirit or ghost or whatever) or God is an abstract concept such as love, 'spirit', or intelligence. An object has shape. A concept doesn't. We can make a movie with shapes. We cannot make a movie with abstractions such as love or conscience. Objects like trees and rocks can be conceived to move. Concepts do not perform actions. Justice does not walk; beauty does not jump. The ability to move is circumscribed to objects. God cannot simultaneously have and lack shape, move and be unable to move. The theist has to tell the audience whether God is an object or a concept. Are we asked to pray to intelligence or to an anthropomorphic being?

The issue of whether God is a physical object or an abstract concept is pertinent to the question of whether God exists because all concepts were invented by Man, and we would hope that God did not begin to exist after Man came aboard. If God is a physical object that looks somewhat like a human, we can conceive of His existence, no differently, I may add, than conceiving the existence of Big Foot or of an extraterrestrial alien. This doesn't mean that Big Foot or the alien exist. It just means that we can imagine such creatures standing before us. If God is an abstract concept, it will be impossible for the proponent to form an image of God, let alone to convey it to others. The theist who proposes God the Concept has summarily rendered his or her personal god inexistent.

A physical object is that which has shape. An abstract concept is that which doesn't. If God can BE both, a physical object as well as an abstract concept, have shape and not simultaneously, then God is more than just remarkable. God is a totally invalid hypothesis. This has little to do with us petty mortals being unable to comprehend the ways of God. It has more to do with the contradiction inherent in the irrational presentation that the proponent just finished giving.

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  • billgaede profile image
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    billgaede 6 years ago

    "we derive concepts from the consistent behaviour of matter (and "energy"...What do they mean by this"

    The day that 'energy' BEHAVES is the day we have to lock up the proponent. So you gotta go to the asylum for an answer to your Q, SM!

    "How is it that shape/architecture is the only inherent... property of an object?"

    It's the only way to use the term 'object' consistently (i.e., scientifically).

    "if I change the shape (in my mind) of a thing (i.e. a squishy ball), it might still be that same object, just with different shape?"

    You missed the point entirely. The issue is NOT, "What does a ball look like or what is the shape of a ball?" The Q is, "DOES a ball have shape? Does love have shape?" It's a Yes or No kind of answer! Both your round and squished balls have shape. Love, justice, grace, intelligence, energy, mass, time... don't.

    "So shape still remains"

    Exactly! You caught on fast!

    "isn't that true of colour and size and so on as well?"

    http://www.youstupidrelativist.com/04Exist/01Z5Obj...

    Sec. 2.0

  • profile image

    Spaghetti Monster 6 years ago

    Although, thinking about it again, it still has the shape it's just of a different form. So shape still remains.

    But now my inner voice is saying, "well isn't that true of colour and size and so on as well?"

    Arrrgghh! :D

  • profile image

    Spaghetti Monster 6 years ago

    Oh, also! How is it that shape/architecture is the only inherent (I think that's the right word) property of an object? 'Cos you say (roughly) "object = shape", "concept = shapeless".

    I can strip away observer-dependents like colour, size, speed, direction, etc. I think I get that. But if I change the shape (in my mind) of a thing (i.e. a squishy ball), it might still be that same object, just with different shape?

    Sorry for the newbie questions, just starting out!

  • profile image

    Spaghetti Monster 6 years ago

    Great hubs Bill Gaede!

    Philosophers will often say something like, "we derive concepts from the consistent behaviour of matter (and "energy")".

    What do they mean by this? Aren't concepts artificial? How do we distinguish between valid or invalid concepts? (Or more and less abstract ones?)

  • billgaede profile image
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    billgaede 6 years ago

    "another example of religion making changes to adapt"

    .

    Deepak Chopra talks about the God of the days of old, of the sacred books. When they ask him what does God mean to him, he replies, "God is Intelligence".

  • profile image

    matt 6 years ago

    god as written in the bible is a anthropomorphic being. then religious people realized that the image of god as a bearded human is absolutely ridiculous so god became an abstract concept. just another example of religion making changes to adapt in a world that doesnt need it anymore.

  • billgaede profile image
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    billgaede 6 years ago

    "God... decides when to be an abstract concept and when to be an object"

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    Actually, it's humans who decide for Him. Poor God has no say in the matter.

    .

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    "the LHC could prove wether or not God exists"

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    The members of the religion known as Mathematical Physics already claim to have 'proven' the existence of 0D particles, magical black holes, surrealistic warped space, and irrational particles of mass called Higgs Bosons. So I wouldn't put it past them if tomorrow they claim they have also proven the existence of God.

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    In Science, we don't prove anything. In Science, we merely explain. What each member of the audience regards as 'proof' after the show is a personal matter -- an opinion -- and doesn't concern Science.

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    Lucian 6 years ago

    So God is like Jacob Black from Twilight Saga he is a shape-shifter he decides when to be an abstract concept and when to be an object great how rationally this is i wonder if the LHC could prove wether or not God exists that would put an end to the atheist and theist war

  • PieterTheProphet profile image

    PieterTheProphet 6 years ago

    Love, justice, and intelligence, are substantial concepts.

    Reading on and thoroughly enjoying it!

  • billgaede profile image
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    billgaede 6 years ago

    "more productive than yours?"

    .

    Oh, what theory has anyone who won a Templeton Prize contributed to Science, Pow? Give a single example.

  • profile image

    John F Powell 6 years ago

    Perhaps just slightly more productive than yours?

  • billgaede profile image
    Author

    billgaede 6 years ago

    "John Polkinghorne or Alister McGrath?"

    .

    I had heard of John Polkinghorne. He is a recipient of the Templeton Prize, which means that he is trying to unite traditional religion with the religion of Mathematical Physics. Not a very productive activity!

  • profile image

    John F Powell 6 years ago

    Have you ever heard or read anything by John Polkinghorne or Alister McGrath?

  • profile image

    Kirui 6 years ago

    I like your differentiation between objects and concepts. It is like this confusion is at the heart of the problems in morden physics I have been scratching head about. But when you say; 'superman is an object that does not exist.' and also say; 'concepts do not exist', are you not treating concepts and object the same way in that both can 'not exist?' I thought if 'exist' apply only to objects, we should say concepts neighther exist nor do not exist. Why? Because they are not objects.

  • billgaede profile image
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    billgaede 7 years ago

    "Is is much easier to turn conceptual lead into conceptual gold by axiom than to rationally explain how it is done as a natural phenomenon."

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    Amen! But lead into gold is within the imaginable. Converting 'energy' into physical objects is a bit tougher.

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    AKA Winston 7 years ago

    There is a distinct difference between an assumption for the purpose of proposing a hypothesis and the assumption of axiomatic truth in order to validate a proposition.

    Of course, Isaace Newton secretly practiced alchemy, so it is easy to see why the neo-Newtons use mathematics as a vaildation for the imagined. Is is much easier to turn conceptual lead into conceptual gold by axiom than to rationally explain how it is done as a natural phenomenon.

  • billgaede profile image
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    billgaede 7 years ago

    "subatomic particles can "be" and "not be" at the same time?"

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    To be AND not to be; that is the answer!

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    .

    "it would seem Quantum is using a religious system of logic"

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    The mathematician can draw a particle when it is 3D. The Q is whether a mathematician at the LHC can draw a particle that is 0D. Most of the particles of the Standard Model are postulated to have NO dimensions!

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    I can imagine God creating the U or JC walking on water. I cannot even imagine a 0D particle! So much for rationality and logic!

  • profile image

    AKA Winston 7 years ago

    Bill, (If God can BE both, a physical object as well as an abstract concept, have shape and not simultaneously, then God is more than just remarkable. God is a totally invalid hypothesis.)

    Correct me if I mistate this, but doesn't Quantum Mechanics build from an axiom that subatomic particles can "be" and "not be" at the same time?

    If that is a valid expression of a rule of Quantum, then it would seem Quantum is using a religious system of logic, the same one that by religious axiom allows God to be a physical object and an abstract concept at the same time.