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There is an ongoing PBS TV series (also several books and also a website) called “Closer To Truth”. It is hosted by neuroscientist Robert Lawrence Kuhn. He’s featured in one-on-one interviews and panel discussions with the cream of the cream of today’s cosmologists, physicists, philosophers, theologians, psychologists, etc. on all of the Big Questions surrounding a trilogy of broad topics – Cosmos; Consciousness; Meaning. The trilogy collectively dealt with reality, space and time, mind and consciousness, aliens, theology and on and on and on. Here are yet more of my comments on one of the general topics covered, subjects dealing with The Almighty, the Maximally Greatest Being possible.
Is the Future Open?
The question has been asked: “why does everyone assume there is a god???”
Excellent question! I certainly don’t think a supernatural deity commonly referred to as “God” actually exists. The problem is we don’t know for absolutely sure and thus it is interesting, even fun, to play around with the concept. Of course if everyone assumed there wasn’t a God (or any other supernatural deity or deities) then there would be an awful lot less spirited discussion here on “Closer to Truth” and no doubt on thousands of other forums throughout the Internet. Then too, if everybody assumed there was no God there would be a lot more peace and tranquillity in the world, but that’s another issue.
However, there is something positive to be said for the concept, note the word concept, that God exists. That concept keeps a lot of people employed and a lot of other people, the great unwashed, off the streets on Sunday morning! The concept of God has also inspired, truth be known, a reasonable amount of rather nice music and other artistic works. Finally, it would appear as if we are mentally hardwired to have the concept of a deity or deities as part of our worldview, and thus we have to deal with that concept like it or not.
Debating God’s Existence 1?
Things have certain powers. Things have structure and substance. Things with structure and substance are physical things. Physical things can have an affect on other physical things. Non-physical things, like Wednesday, have no structure and substance. The concept of Wednesday cannot have any physical affect on say a billiard ball. A billiard ball cannot have any affect on the concept of Wednesday. So, non-physical things (concepts) cannot affect physical things, and vice-versa. God being, according to you, a non-physical entity (a concept with no structure and substance), cannot have any affect on or create or destroy physical things. However, non-physical concepts can have an affect on other non-physical concepts. The concept of a God might give you the concept to be a more moral person, but that is not imposed on you by a non-physical God but rather comes from within.
Debating God’s Existence 2?
Is the Almighty All-God All-Powerful?
A common trait given to God is that He is all-powerful (omnipotent). That is nonsense. He maybe more powerful than a speeding locomotive; faster than a speeding bullet; able to leap tall buildings at a single bound, and He’s certainly up in the sky. However, there’s this paradox: can God create a rock so heavy not even He could lift it? If not, He’s not all powerful; if so He’s not all powerful. It’s a no-win situation. More relevant might be an observation, since God is physical, and presumably subject to the laws of the Universe, could God ever escape from inside a cosmic Black Hole?
If God cannot prevent evil, then God is not all powerful. If God can prevent evil, but chooses not to, then God is hardly benevolent (i.e. – not omni-warm and omni-fuzzy). If God allows evil to exist in humans, and God created humans, then God must share some responsibility for that evil. It’s akin to parents having to shoulder responsibility if their child or children runs a-muck.
God is not all-powerful since not even God can get around the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle in quantum physics, which states that it is impossible to know simultaneously any particle’s precise position and trajectory.
Presumably, God, like gravity, and anything comprised of mass and/or energy can’t operate at faster than light speed. If God wants to smite you down, and God is ten light-years away, then you’re safe for a decade before His bolt of lightning hits you.
If God exists in a physical location within the Universe, then God can’t know about an event until the light (or other parts of the electromagnetic spectrum; or gravity) from that event reaches God. Since light has a finite speed, God is in the ‘dark’ as it were until the light and information it contains reaches God. For example, if God is residing on Planet Earth, and for some reason our Sun goes supernova, God (as well as the rest of humanity) won’t know about it for other eight-plus minutes – the time it takes light to reach Earth from the Sun. God is powerless to act until that eight-plus minutes have elapsed.
Not even God can change the past. I mean, there are any number of instances where to correct some mistake; it would have been easier to backtrack in time and undo something, like going back in time and posting a “No Trespassing: Keep Out: Serpents Will Be Shot On Sight: This Means You” sign at the entrance to the Garden of Eden.
If God is all-powerful, why does He need to create miracles to correct His mistakes? If an all-powerful God didn’t want you to develop cancer, it would have been easier for God to have seen to it that you didn’t develop cancer instead of causing a miracle whereby your cancer went into remission which your doctors couldn’t explain.
Not even God can accomplish something that is self-contradictory, like creating a spherical cube or a cubical sphere! Not even God can draw more than one straight line between two points on a flat piece of paper.
If God is all-powerful, why did God need to rest on the seventh day? Scratch omnipotent.
Debating God’s Existence 3?
Is the Almighty All-God All-Knowing?
God (assuming a God of course), though being somewhat limited in His omnipotence, could have equally forsaken the need to perform any creation of a universe or universes and thus save Himself an awful lot of angst. I’m sure many a set of parents have created offspring and ended up regretting it but not being omniscient didn’t know what they were letting themselves in for! God has no such excuse. I’m not sure what the point is in creating a train of events that you already know will happen.
Therein lays another logical contradiction. If you are God and all-knowing then you know in advance what you will do and therefore it’s all predetermined and therefore you have no choice in the matter but to follow through and do what you know you must do. God has no free will. God is a slave to His omniscience and thus God can’t be omnipotent since God cannot overrule Himself!
Debating God’s Existence 4?
How Many Maximally Greatest Beings Can There Be?
Since it would seem to me that Mr. Maximally Greatest Being (i.e. – God) would, over eternity, get a bit lonely, I propose for sake of argument that there should also be a Ms. Maximally Greatest Being, equal in all respects but opposite in gender (or perhaps both of the same gender, or neither gender, or no gender at all). I mean if one can imagine the Maximally Greatest Being who is male one can equally imagine the Maximally Greatest Being as female: so why not both (or neither!)? Where in metaphysical logic is there a requirement of necessity for the Maximally Greatest Being to be singular? The point is now, if there can be two Maximally Greatest Beings (sharing the housework) then why not twenty or two hundred or two million Maximally Greatest Beings, all equals in powers and abilities? In other words, polytheism is no more or less logical than monotheism even if both options are ultimately illogical nonsense.
Fallacies in Proving God Exists?
Had you been born in another place and/or time, in another society and culture, you would be chanting the praises and reality of Indra, Vishnu, Brahma, Shiva, Ganesha, and Krishna (and other deities as well). So, personal theology is all a matter of nurture and therefore the actual reality of anyone’s personal theology is a phony as a $9 bill. If it’s different strokes for different folks, then there is no absolute proof that God rates as being any more credible in the existence stakes than Vishnu, etc.
Fallacies in Arguing for God?
This whole concept of a monotheistic theology pivots on one and only one point. Does God (or equivalent) actually exist? If so, what follows can still be discussed, disputed and debated. If not, everything that would have followed now collapses like a house made out of playing cards.
Does God have a Nature?
The most telling feature that you need to know about God’s nature is all summed up in a neat little Biblical box tied with a yellow ribbon. In that box you’ll find His first and foremost Commandment that He dictates takes precedence over all others. “You shall have no other gods before me.” Firstly, that tells you that there are indeed other gods in existence that you could put before Him, but secondly, this tells you that God is an ultra-supreme super egomaniac no different in principle (apart from being omni this, that and the next thing) to dozens of human tyrants who book no possible opposition or rivals. God has an ego and a take no prisoners temper (God’s wrath and all being frequently to the fore).
Now if I were to post here “thou shall have no other posters here but me” or “thou shall pay no heed to any other poster but me” or “thou shall not reply to any other poster here but me and then only by universally agreeing with all that I say as an act of worship”, you’d have me confined to the loony bin, ignored, de-registered, expelled or otherwise exiled – or worse. Well there’s nothing different in principle to God’s First Commandment and so you should just as a minimum ignore this almighty all-omni egomaniac deity and go worship some other deity (or deities) who are a bit more humble.
Does Evil Abolish God?
Why is the deity default always about a good deity that allows evil to flourish rather than an evil deity that’s allows good to exist? Perhaps the concept of a Maximally Greatest Good Being by default isn’t really good, but the opposite – evil – a Maximally Greatest Evil Being who tolerates some good to come to pass on rare occasions. It’s just as logical; perhaps just as likely. So instead of the question why is there so much evil in the world allowed by a good deity, why not turn tables and ask why there is so much good in the world allowed by an evil deity?
What is God’s Judgement?
There is no judgement if there is no God and the actual physical evidence that there is a God is at best, extremely iffy.
Will God “Save” the Cosmos?
Why does the Cosmos need saving? The Universe seems to be doing very nicely all on its own. Here’s my advice to God: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Is This the End Time?
I find it absolutely amazing that billions of people (past and present) have put absolute faith into what some multi-dozens of other people, who existed thousands of years ago, whose bona-fides remain unknown and unknowable, wrote down over a period of many hundreds of years: that is to say, their cobbled together texts that form the authorized Bible plus associated unauthorized chapters. For example, postulating about the End Times or End of Days. As the saying goes, “there’s a sucker born every minute” – billions of them (past and present) in fact.
I also find it amazing that so many of those billions of people look (or did look) forward to God and/or Jesus to return to Terra Firma and sort out our problems like those everlasting wars and rumours of wars. That’s the height of buck-passing. If humans create the problems, like those wars and rumours of wars, humans need to solve them and not rely on some deity doing their dirty-work for them. Ultimately humans will have to do or die and solve those problems because there is no outside Heavenly help coming.
Readers might have heard of the country-and-western singer “No Show [George] Jones” who sometimes was too drunk to appear on stage to give his concert, but Jones can’t hold a candle to “No Show Jesus” when it comes to that alleged Second Coming. Talk about being conspicuous by your absence.
And believers endlessly awaiting the Second Coming could make themselves useful or otherwise constructive by rounding up all those Biblical unicorns for zoos around the world (before they are all hunted to extinction by so-called ‘sportsmen’ – oh wait, maybe it’s already too late for that), or better still, chase down those elusive pots of gold at the end of all those rainbows and give the proceeds to the charity or charities of their choosing. They would get lots of brownie points with The Almighty for their upfront generosity.
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write by gonzalez