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Why God Doesn't Exist - Consistency

Updated on July 15, 2018

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In the statement, “God exists”, the crucial word is not God, but the word exist. It is essential to define unambiguously those words that make or break a theory in order to use them consistently in a discussion.

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Christians usually argue that God has always existed and, thus, the question “What caused God to exist?” is meaningless. God is beyond time or, in the alternative, God is the God of Time. God set the universal clock in motion when He created the world.

However, TVs didn’t always exist. There were no television sets in the 19th Century. Can it, then, be said that TVs ‘began to exist’ in the 20th?

If you answered yes, you may have a rocky philosophical road ahead of you. Was the television in the process of ‘coming into’ existence during the interval in which it was being developed? Is exist a dynamic concept?

When we put the word ‘television’ in this light, we are obviously not alluding to the object, but rather to the concept. We are not talking about a shape or image you can point to, but about the evolution of an idea. Therefore, we have to resolve whether it makes sense to say that concepts can exist. The objective criterion I’m going to use to answer this question is whether we can use the word ‘exist’ consistently. I will argue that we cannot use the word ‘exist’ consistently when we apply it to concepts.

Let’s assume we eliminated the color red from every object in the Universe. According to the Instantiation Principle, if no object has the color red, the color red itself ceases to exist.

Again the question comes back to haunt us: What does the proponent mean when s(he) says that “Red doesn’t exist?” Is this a rational statement? Is it the same to say that a concept such as ‘red’ doesn’t exist as to say that an object such as a crayon doesn’t exist? Don’t we have to define ‘exist’ before we can make such categorical statements anyway?

At face value, the existence of an object such as a chair seems to be qualitatively different than the existence of a concept such as a color. A standalone ‘thing’ like THIS chair exists all on its own. A concept such as the color red requires a physical object such as a chair to ‘carry’ it.

To complicate things, color is a dynamic concept: a measure of the frequency emanating from the skin of an object. Does it make sense to say that love exists, or is love an activity that living entities ‘do’? Is ‘red’ a noun, an adjective, an adverb, or a verb? Which if any of these is the ‘red’ that exists?

It would appear that, if at all, concepts exist in a different sense that objects do. Perhaps the distinction is that concepts may exist for the purposes of ordinary speech whereas objects exist for the purposes of rigorous scientific communication.

Nevertheless, what the foregoing arguments demonstrate is that whatever conclusions a proponent of a theory reaches will be devoid of meaning until s(he) defines the strategic word ‘exist’ unambiguously. Unless the theorist can define ‘exist’ so as to use this word consistently, the jurors will not be able to follow the theory. If God is an object, we may say scientifically that He exists all on His own. If God is a static concept such as beauty or a dynamic one such as Love, like the color red, ‘His’ existence would in the best of cases be contingent on the existence of a body. That would certainly subordinate the Almighty to a higher ‘authority.’ Man is the source of all concepts.

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