God In Review

We often like to have debates, oft in the guise of arguments, often intense, usually friendly but sometimes not so much, over those nebulous Big Questions in philosophy that don’t really have any practical benefit (like assisting you in paying your bills). One such concept that has been debated way, way, way past the point of the cows returning home, is the existence or non-existence of a supernatural deity or deities. Today in our modern monotheistic society and culture that pretty much boils down to God (or Allah – same difference IMHO). Here are a few recent and choice bits and pieces or abstracts I’ve entered into over the atheistic nature of God which pretty much translates into God being just a mental concept and not a really real reality.

GOD IN REVIEW

The statement “how does God create” is irrelevant if there is no such entity. There is no “He” (or “She”) that theists can produce for us disbelievers upon request. Theists might claim such-and-such exists but then they need to give us the proof of their pudding by producing the such-and-such. Theists need to produce some actual evidence and not just say it is so. I’m happy to put the mechanism(s) to one side for the moment; just produce the body that breathes fire into the mechanism(s).

I see theists admit that, according to the Bible at least, God has done this and that and the next thing and has kept busy. However, when I brought up these very interactions, theists just said they were symbolic and therefore had no actual physical reality. God didn’t drown people; God didn’t exterminate the Egyptian first-born; God didn’t nuke Sodom and Gomorrah; God didn’t actually carve any stone tablets, God didn’t fly around inside a cloud and God didn’t actually sit on a physical throne in Never-Never-Land (Heaven), etc. These recorded events were just pure symbolism. In any event, here we go again with a non-physical being who doesn’t actually exist or reside in an actual space being able to interact physically with objects and individuals here on Terra Firma. It’s ridiculous.

So if it’s something positive, like creation, it’s real. If it’s something negative, like nuking Sodom and Gomorrah, then it’s symbolic. Sounds more than just a bit phony to me given theists are just pickin’ and choosing what you like and assigning categories accordingly.

By the way, what’s God done lately to keep busy? He has been conspicuous by His absence for way over several thousands of years now. If He has done all of these interactions that need doing, well why hasn’t Earth been transformed yet into paradise? Why hasn’t God shown His non-physical face of late? Of course that might be according to some theists because God resides in non-space and we here are in-space. As I said, it’s ridiculous.

Let’s return to those non-physical beings that are not located in space. So theists have a God that now exists in time but not in space? So can they identify exactly ‘where’ we can find some of this non-space? I assume their God is the sole resident? If so, where does Jesus live? And where do the angels live? And where do all of those God-worthy humans who have departed this mortal coil live? Isn’t all really just a pot-full of pseudo-theology?

If theists can mentally conceive of the Maximally Greatest Being (i.e. – God) ever, then I can conceive of the Maximally Greatest:

– Unicorn
– Dolphin
– Artificial Intelligence
– Whatever my or your imagination imagines.

If one accepts an infinite Cosmos (due to endless causality and the inability of creating something from nothing), then that rules out any need for any supernatural creator deity* hence any evidence for design, fine-tuning, meaning, purpose, etc. has to be put down to chance, necessity (only one type of physics is possible) or to a simulation(s).

*Which doesn’t rule out a supernatural deity, just a supernatural creator deity, although anything ‘supernatural’ existing in a natural Cosmos would IMHO have to be a natural part of that natural Cosmos in and of itself and thus not ‘supernatural’ at all.

According to some theists, “God is beyond all human knowledge, all human concepts.” That’s well and truly a cop-out answer if ever there was one. Now if the Bible / Koran is really God’s / Allah’s holy inspired word (snicker, snicker) then that’s all you should really need to know on the subject of God / Allah. Assuming you accept that premise then their previous comments are nonsense and totally false.

God exists, but in the same manner as how Wednesday exists; how the quadratic equation exists; how the rules of chess or baseball exist; how beauty or hope exists; how unicorns exist along with Wonderland and Oz (complete with Alice and the Wizard); what the meaning of life is and what the sound of one hand clapping sounds like. These are all mental concepts or inventions of the mind with no associated really real reality to back them up as independent objects with an associated structure and substance. So which came first, the deity or the human? If God is just a concept conceived of by the human mind then humans created God; God did not create humans (or anything else for that matter).

Theists’ Logic versus My Logic:

Theists’ Logic: Once upon a ‘time’ there existed a state of timelessness that their Maximally Greatest Being (i.e. – God) inhabited. In other words, God once existed outside of time or in a timeless state.

My Logic: One cannot inhabit a state of timelessness, for timelessness is a state of being changeless and if nothing ever changes you can hardly be said to be inhabiting such a state. To inhabit is to have structure and substance and more likely as not be alive. Things with structure and substance change, especially things with structure and substance that are alive.

Theists’ Logic: Once upon a ‘time’ there existed a non-physical state, a ‘region’ of non-space, their Maximally Greatest Being inhabited. In other words, God once existed outside of space or in a space-less state.

My Logic: If you inhabit a non-physical state then you are inhabiting a perfect vacuum, a perfect void, devoid of all possible things (particles, forces, fields) that have structure and substance. But of course that non-physical region isn’t entirely non-physical since it contains a Maximally Greatest Being.

Theists’ Logic: That a Maximally Greatest Being, God the Creator, is therefore also non-physical since He (?) ‘exists’ outside of space and outside of time.

My Logic: Something non-physical cannot create nor interact with something physical, like the cosmos and the physical inhabitants therein. Therefore, at some point in ‘time’, God crossed the Rubicon from a timeless state into a state of time and God crossed the Rubicon from non-space into space and thus also crossed the Rubicon from a state of being non-physical to a state of being physical. That’s quite some crossing!

Theists’ Logic: An absolute something can be created from absolutely nothing and God did it!

My Logic: An absolute something can only be created from an absolute something. Any other scenario is a violation of the conservation laws that have to date passed every test given them. By the way, even the Bible doesn’t specifically state that the Creation was a creation of something from nothing.

Theists’ Logic: The cosmos is finite in space and in time. There’s nothing in religious texts to imply an actual infinity. If time is infinite, then there is no need for a Creator, and if space is infinite then it seems logical that even God would have to take an infinite amount of time to create an infinite amount of space. Such is the nature of infinity.

My Logic: The cosmos is infinite in space and in time. It’s especially infinite in time since you cannot create something from nothing and therefore something has always existed. Time is also infinite because every effect has to have a cause which is in turn the effect of a previous cause and so on back unto infinity. Translated, there is no First Cause.

Theists’ Logic: Infinity is impossible since there was a First Cause – God’s creation.

My Logic: Infinity is possible. Infinity in time is mandatory since there can be no First Cause; no creation of something from nothing. Infinity in space is necessary since no matter how far you travel, you can go even further and continue to do so an indefinite number of times.

Who Is The Creator? I’d have to go along with theists in general about the need for a creator, just that I propose a computer programmer and not a God (or gods). In other words, we exist in a virtual reality Cosmos, not a supernatural Cosmos. Translated, we ‘exist’ in a simulated Cosmos and our Universe is a fake.

God Takes Sides: During WWII, Germany thought God was on their side; ditto Italy; ditto Japan; ditto USA; ditto England. Ditto teams/sporting events. All logical contradictions.

God Isn’t Omnipotent:

God isn’t omnipotent because He (?) can’t…

Create infinity;

Create logical contradictions;

Travel faster than the speed of light; time travel into the past; override the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle;

Create something from nothing;

Prevent natural evils that harm the innocent (or else He doesn’t want to);

God isn’t omnipotent because He (?) can and has…

Made numerous stuff-ups that then required the creation of miracles as a form of correction fluid.

Experiencing God – A Close Encounter of the Supernatural Kind:

So you’ve experienced God! How nice. Untold millions have also experienced their version of a god and accounts of those gods cannot all be correct as they are often contradictory. Religious experiences would fill encyclopaedias and prove nothing other than we are psychologically prone to have religious experiences. The brain appears to be hardwired for but not of necessity monotheistic beliefs or experiences but for spiritual experiences in general, including polytheistic ones. And further, these multi-thousands of religious or spiritual experiences haven’t advanced our understanding of reality – other than our understanding of neurological / psychological reality.

Of course tens-of-thousands of others have claimed to have experienced alien abductions – do you believe them? Millions have experienced ghosts – do you believe them? Lots of people claim to have experienced telepathy or been able to engage in telekinesis. Do you claim to be able to bend spoons with your mind? Numerous people claim to have been reincarnated. Many people believe in astrological experiences based on astrology columns in their daily newspaper or on ‘professional’ horoscope forecasts. Maybe you’ve experienced Bigfoot too and had out-of-the-body experiences. If so, why should we believe you? Claims are a dime a dozen. Personal experiences count for absolutely nothing unless you can back up your claims with solid evidence. And extraordinary claims (like experiencing God) require extraordinary evidence. To date, on any sort of credibility scale, religious visionaries rank as close to zero as makes no odds.

A Few God-Related Observations That I Have Established:

Monotheism: The concept that just because you can imagine something (i.e. – God) doesn’t make that something a really real reality. Monotheism may be a concept that someone at some time might have conceived but that doesn’t make monotheism true, any more than someone conceiving of a Flying Spaghetti Monster makes the Flying Spaghetti Monster a really real reality.

Regarding Greek Mythology: That the Ancient Greek gods and goddesses; demigods and demigoddesses, and all other associated mythological entities were clearly supernatural by any reasonable definition of the word even if the Greeks didn’t view things within that context. Medusa could turn mortals to solid stone with just one glance. Sounds pretty supernatural to me. And if the winged Seraphim and Cherubim are supernatural, what does that make Pegasus? Then too what about the Griffin, the Sphinx, the Minotaur, and the Hydra? All are supernatural creatures not part of any zoology that I’m familiar with. You do realize by the way that the Bible acknowledges the existence of Unicorns! So much for God’s infallible holy word!

Religious Culture: That one’s worldview and philosophies are a product of the life and times, society and culture, that they were born and raised and educated in. That includes their religious / spiritual worldviews and philosophies. People are obviously a product of the times, society, culture they are born into, grow up in and are educated in. That’s part of the nature / nurture dualism. You do not believe in the divinity of a Pharaoh because you weren’t born and raised and brought up in Ancient Egypt. Had you been, you would have.

Theology: Theology is both Earth-centred as well as human-centred. Yet in reality, Earth is about as minor a celestial object as you care to examine both in time and in space; humans are also quite the minor entity, especially in time vis-a-vis how long Earth has existed as well as how long the cosmos has existed. Therefore, theology, in cosmic (spatial and temporal) terms isn’t significant at all.

Regarding Intelligent Design: That the argument for God from design and the argument for God from intelligent design are two sides of the same coin. Intelligent Designers / Creationists still invoke God as the Designer / Creator, so a rose by any other name seems to apply here.

Animals Who Sin: I have been told that it’s not just humans that have sinned but that animals have been dragged into that state of affairs to. However, when challenged, nobody could cite me a Biblical passage(s) where it says that animals have sin or that animals can sin. I can’t seem to find anything relevant.

God the Designer: And if you argue there is a God because of design, and yet the human body is rather poorly designed, then that doesn’t make God a very good designer. That if a deity or deities designed the human body then that deity or deities did so after having failed a course in the “Principles of Anatomy and Physiology 101”.

Claiming Evidence for God: Claims DO require evidence. If you make a claim to your insurance company, you must give evidence to support that claim. If I claim you committed a crime the burden of proof is on me to prove your guilt; the burden to prove your innocence is not required by you. The scientists who claimed to have discovered ‘Cold Fusion’ had to put up or shut up. If theists doubt where the burden of providing evidence / proof lies, they should kindly consult a lawyer / scientist who will set them straight. That the burden of proof or at least evidence for those who claim that a supernatural deity or deities actually exist rests on their shoulders. To date no person or persons, theists or otherwise, have accomplished this.

Of course some theists suggest that atheists would not accept the evidence for God that theists provided which IMHO translates into copping-out big-time because theists have no evidence to provide. If they could provide actual instead of philosophical / theological waffle evidence then we’ll see where the cards fall. Of course that cuts both ways. Some atheists suggest that theists would not accept any evidence for the non-existence of God that atheists provide.

God’s Real Nature: You may well say that God is Truth and that God is Love and that God is some sort of Light in the Tunnel, but my source – the Bible – says that God performs acts of, or condones acts of, or orders acts of: Murder & Genocide; Animal & Human Sacrifice; Torture; Child Abuse; Animal Abuse; Theft; Slavery; Paedophilia; Rape; Incest; Cannibalism; Betrayal; and Lying.

Conclusion: If you wish to believe in an invisible ‘friend’ up in the sky who happens to be an egomaniac and mass murderer, that’s your right. But with ‘friends’ like God who needs enemies! Even if God (of the Old Testament) exists, He’d be the very last entity I’d want to snuggle up to. God has committed so many crimes against humanity that He makes Satan look like one of the good guys! In any event, Zeus is my kind of fun-loving deity. Zeus I can relate to.