I've heard often that it is impossible to prove or disprove the existence of God in any way. While this may be true simply because we have a hard time proving anything either way, we can show that God does not exist to a high degree of certainty. Many of the examples and explanations I offer borrow heavily from George Smiths The Case Against God and Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion. Firstly, I would like to examine, and then refute, the nature of God. God is usually defined as having these three major attributes, they are his "nature." 1. *_Omnipotence_*-God is all powerful. He can do anything, and there are no obstacles to his will. He can do all. 2. *_Omniscience_*-God knows everything. Past, present, and future. He can see you when you're sleeping and knows "every hair on your head." 3. *_Omnibenevolence_*-God is all good. He is the most perfect and morally just being in existence. He does no evil.
In a nutshell, Omnipotence is power without limitation. To quote modern Christian dogma, "nothing is impossible with God." Unfortunately for the big guy, Omnipotence creates some serious problems. By being all powerful, can God create a square circle? Can God make a computer turn into a fruit bat and do the macarrana? If not, he is not all powerful. A square circle does not exist because, by its very nature, it is a logical contradiction. If God cannot create such a contradiction, he is a contradiction because he denies his own nature, just like a square circle, and just like a square circle, he does not exist. And if he can do the impossible, he himself is logically impossible, and therefore, does not exist. A theist may counter this proof of God's nonexistence by saying that God is not truly omnipotent, he is only omnipotent in the sense that he can do anything we can imagine. He can, for instance, make a computer turn into a fruit bat. But God would still be asking a computer to deny its nature and do something that is not scientifically possible. And if God can defy science, then an rational thought about the world around us in pointless. But an omnipotent being defies logic even past that. If a being is truly omnipotent, there can be no obstacles to his power. He can make anything happen at any time, without anything being able to stop him. If God's will is sufficient to make anything happen at any time, God does not need a means to accomplish anything because the use of means to meet an end shows that the user of the means has limited power. If God uses any means, such as an angel to deliver his word, he is not omnipotent, and therefore, does not exist as he is known to us. Which means that God cannot act, because acting in any way would require the usage of means to accomplish his will. If God acts, he cannot be omnipotent, and does not exist. Looking farther into the nature of God, we can see that he has no purpose, because the possession of purpose implies unfulfilled desires or goals. If God has unfulfilled desires, he is not omnipotent, and does not exist. So now, if we visualize God, we must see a being who has an unfounded power to do anything, who does not employ means, does not act, and has no purpose. _*Omniscience*_ The Christian God is said to be omniscient, he has knowledge without limits. He sees and hears everything. He knows everything that has ever happened and ever will. The first issue that contradicts Christian dogma outside of Calvinism (what a horrible outlook on life!) is the evaporation of free will. According to modern Christianity, we have the choice to do what we wish. But if God knows the future with infallible certainty, the future has already been decided, we we do not posses free will. I'm certainly not going to waste time on predestination, it has to be one of the most ludicrous philosophies I have ever heard of. Another problem with omniscience is that it contradicts omnipotence. If God knows the future with complete certainty, he cannot change it. If he can, then he does not know the future with utmost certainty, and he is not omniscient. This raises another problem, if God knows the future, does he posses free will? If he knows his future actions, how are they free? And if God does not make his own choices, he is not omnipotent, etc. Also, for knowledge to be possessed by any entity, that knowledge must be obtained through observation. And if knowledge is obtained by God, he must not have had the knowledge at some point, which would mean his is not omniscient. So, for God to possess knowledge that was not obtained or observed, he does not possess knowledge in any sense of the word, and omniscience loses all meaning. _*Omnibenevolence*_ The notion that God is all-good creates some serious issues for the Christian. For one thing, the God of the Bible is one of the most morally corrupt and detestable characters in all of fiction. He ordered the killings of thousands and personally killed thousands, including innocent children. The "word of God" found in the Bible is tainted with the blood of hundreds of thousands of innocents who were recorded as murdered by the God of the Hebrews and of the Bible. Many modern theologians argue that the God of the Old Testament is different, he changed for The New Testament. Unfortunately, the God of the New Testament can be considered much worse then the old one. At least the old God punished sinners and innocents by killing them, the new, just God sentences them to agony and suffering for all eternity. It is very difficult for the modern Christian to explain Jesus' message and the idea of a merciful God that those who insult God's might will burn in torturous flame forever. And this view of the evil God is enhanced by the attributes of omnipotence and omniscience.* Because God knows the future, he knows exactly what we are to do in our lives, so he creates multitudes of people who have no purpose but to burn in hell. * Also, why would God create hell, unless he finds pleasure in watching his creations suffer? There is no reason for a hell for an omnipotent God. The problems of Omnibenevolence extend into the philosophical. For God to be all good, we assume that he never commits evil. We also assume that, because he is omnipotent, he has the ability to commit evil, but always chooses good. So, why is there evil in God's creation? If God knows that there is evil, can prevent it, and chooses not to, he is not omnibenevolent. If you observed a little old lady being beaten, and had the ability to prevent it, wouldn't you? If so, you are morally above God. Ignoring that fact, most Christians proclaim that God did not create evil, but gave us a choice. We brought evil into the world. But this contradicts God's omnipotence. If God is omnipotent, his will is fulfilled without conflict, nothing can stop it. So, if God is omnipotent, we must assume that he wants evil in the world, and any evil that exists is exactly what he wants. And if God knows all, we have to assume that he created evil men with full knowledge of what they would do, and that he desired for those atrocities to occur. The Christian may argue that these evil events are for the greater good. Unfortunately, this in no way reduces the moral incorrectness of these actions. Just because God may save the child that walked into the road by wrecking and killing the driver of the car that would have hit him does not mean that killing that driver is ok. It is still wrong. The same can be applied to natural disasters. Why does God inflict these tragedies? The Christian may argue that they are merely part of his plan to make things better, but, like the murder of the driver, that does not make the thousands of lives taken by God in a disaster "a ok." If the three main attributes of God are so obviously in contradiction with each other and with Christian dogma, the God of Christianity can be made to dissipate in a puff of logic.
February 27, 2007 07:42 PM