That is a really good question and one that I hear myriads of fundagelical Christians, plain run of the mill Christians, Muslim, theists, agnostics and any other ism you care to mention, level at atheists. They all claim you can’t prove a negative and technically that is true but can the god question be answered? Follow me on this journey as I attempt to examine this question.That depends on a few things. First and most important there must be a definition of god. One definition I was given by a fundagelical Christian is that god is the maker of all things. That isn’t a good definition and is one that is easily disproven. I am the one typing this article and since I made it, either I am god or the god defined as the maker of all things is wrong [or the definition is right and god has been proven not to exist]. It is true as I said that a negative can’t be proven but as soon as a definition is given for god, disproving the concept is possible but that does not shift the burden of proof off the theist since they are making the positive claim [not god as a few claim]. To use a concept from the bible as found in Acts 17:23
23 For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.
The unknown god can’t be disproven as long as he or she is not defined. Yes, it can be categorically said that a god, meaning a supernatural god, is highly improbable. So improbable that living ones life without any thought to this unlikely being is hardly wrong yet millions of theists of every persuasion consistently accuse atheist of being fools and worse. I find it particularly comforting when a Christian tells me,
The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.
And they are usually taken aback when my quick answer is always from Matthew 5:22
whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
Generally Christians are not prepared for an atheist to throw bible verses back at them and I actually had a girl I worked with say “even the devil knows the bible”, to which I just broke out in laughter.
Now getting back on topic, that unknown god can’t be disproven but a defined god or shall I say the god of the bible (and Koran) can easily be disproven. Taking the god of the Judaeo-Christian bible (you can work this out for the Koran if it interests you), all the definitions are logically inconsistent. To put in other words, much like the bible contains contradictions, so does the definition of god. To say it simply, so simply even a cave man could understand [now watch Geico sue me for that remark], the god of the bible exists in the same realm as a square circle. Just as a square circle can’t exist because it is a logically contradictory definition so god can’t exist [remember, I am speaking of the god of the Judaeo-Christian tradition].
Just one example will suffice to show god’s internal contradictions. Let’s examine a few of the basic qualities Judaeo-Christian tradition ascribes to god. Those are omnipotence, omnipresence and omniscience. First let’s look at what the Judaeo-Christian bible says regarding those qualities. In Genesis 18:21 we read,
I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know
Omniscience down, 2 to go. What does the bible say regarding omnipresence? In 1 Kings 19:11-12 we read,
The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.
Now someone explain how this is omnipresence please. The bible really says nothing regarding omnipotence but I said the definition was internally inconsistent so let’s just examine one circumstance. A true one so none of you can say the situation was made up. 13 years ago my daughter was sexually abused by my ex-wifes uncle. He eventually spent 10 years in a federal pen down in Georgia. So we have the omnipresent god obviously watch voyeuristically as my daughter is being abused. Also being omniscient even if he wasn’t present he certainly knew about it which means he can stop it since he is omnipotent. Yeah, there is the fact that some Christians will say god did stop the abuse and the guy was jailed for 10 years. Not so, the abuse happened when he came for a visit but was not found out till after he went back to Georgia. God’s omnipotence was impotence. Another way to view this is as Epicurus said,
“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?”
- Dangers Of Biblical Literalism
- Genealogy And Stuff
- The Church: A hou/se
- The Word Of God
- Atheism: What It Is And Why It Is
- 101 Contradictions in the Bible.
- Would We Be Better Off Without Religion?
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