My Problem with Your God 1 – Divinity

Who is this ‘God’ fellow anyway?God

When I say ‘God’ I confine myself specifically to the monotheistic deity of the Abrahamic faiths, as, for reasons upon which I shall elucidate presently, the other faiths of the world, which are either polytheistic or spiritual, do not arouse my philosophical ire to such a high degree, as their humble gods do not lay claim to the vast theological estates as the supercilious, capitalised God does.

So, what is this ‘God’ thing? It, though often described as ‘He’, is the creator of everything “seen and unseen”, the supreme ruler of the universe. It is described as being all-powerful, all-seeing, ever-present, unknowable, and as a being of infinite mercy, wisdom, love and compassion. It is also wrathful, angry, vengeful, destructive, silent, and judgemental. I have no issue with a god having some or any of these traits, but God cannot. It can be either one, or the other; it is either infinite or finite. The polytheistic gods were divine, but limited. They could, and often did, die. They have human traits and failings because they are reflections of the people who invented them. The monotheistic God is granted the supreme prejudice of being omnipotent. This is a coherent deity-concept only if you accept the full implications of its construction; it is entirely unknowable, such that no fragile human mind could grasp the extremes of reality that such a being would inhabit. Which is fine, but then people attach human notions to this supreme being. It is ‘good’, ‘merciful’, etc., petty human conceits, which would be entirely alien to such a being. This is due not to a lack of imagination on behalf of the faithful, but either an impossibility of imagination or purposeful obfuscation by the keepers of the ‘Word’. By attaching human characteristics to this thing people hope to grasp it in some fashion, but it was never designed to be held in the mind. It doesn’t even have a name; ‘God’ is its title.

It might be said that this God is infinite and the human attributes attached to it would be present in any self-aware being capable of reason, just taken to an infinite extreme. This might lead one to the Epicurean dilemma,[1] but I am more concerned with the clear folly of this idea. An infinite and supreme being would just as equally have no understanding of finite and pathetic creatures, such as us, as we would of it. It, I’m told, lives forever and is beyond time, we do not and are not. Pick any attribute of this peculiar deity and it will fulfil this formula. Death, which defines us, means nothing to it; how could it comprehend us if it cannot even share in this most crucial aspect of our being? It could be said that because of its supreme nature it can understand us while maintaining its own ineffability. To understand something it would have to be that something. I cannot understand what it is to be a bat, unless I were a bat. But seeing as we are dealing with the divine, let us allow it this latitude of understanding. Would it not now then be moved by its infinite compassion to help? But that again leads us to Epicurus.God-Python If it understood us, all of us and everything, then it would be, at least in part, us and everything. This is pantheist, and heresy. Aside from the thing itself, what is attributed to it is farcical. It lives in a kingdom in heaven, it has a throne, a son (depending on the faith), and vast armies of loyal soldiers. This is clearly a monarch, a king, a human invention.

Choose then that your God is either finite, knowable, comprehensible to the human mind and is prone to the same failures and weaknesses, or infinite and beyond understanding. The former is clearly the God of Abraham and all his descendants, while the latter is what is often professed by the faithful in their less than infinite wisdom. Pick the petty God and live in fear of his (gender might be applicable to this incarnation) wrath or in hope of the eternal reward he will provide in his kingdom. This God is not worthy of worship, and, more importantly, is not real. Pick the infinite God, and abandon religion and those who claim to interpret this being’s truth for they lie. While there is no good reason to believe that such a being as ‘God’ does exist there is a chance, however unlikely, that it might. If it did, it would be the infinite God, and so far beyond the intellectual capacity of humans as to be not worth even thinking about.

So, even if God exists, it doesn’t matter.

Ceterum autem censeo, religionem esse delendam

[1] “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?”

Epicurus – Greek philosopher, BC 341-270


3 responses to “My Problem with Your God 1 – Divinity

  1. I am really sorry you feel this way, but I love a new perspective 😛 🙂 May I first point out that God created us in His image, therefore we reflect aspects of Him, not the other way around, and since He didn’t want mindless soulless robots to keep him company for all eternity He gave us the wonderful option of free-will. Now, with any of our other idols (simply things we worship, or center our lives around) . . . that might be a different story. So he gave us temptation, and He allowed us to sin (which, at its core is to do something away from God, which hurts God and therefore I will so desperately strive not to do 😦 Besides, everything just seems to go better when I get my bible time in and talk to God for a while. Then everything doesn’t seem so pointless. In Him, my life has a purpose, though my life is not about me, by way of my own choice. God doesn’t want to make us do what we don’t want to. So he didn’t make us perfect creatures. Whatever path we end up on is of our own free will.) I agree with you that we should not rely on blind obedience and aesthetic appeals alone to govern what we put our faith in. Instead, with careful measure and quiet tribulation, reasoning and putting together the things that we know and the things that we learn, we can logically find a way for it all to make sense. However, as Benjamin Franklin once said (paraphrased), “The best part about being a reasonable creature is that we can find a reason to do whatever we want.” Unfortunately this can apply to the bible. So there are tons of different interpretations from which we can draw from, and hundreds, if not thousands, of different religions we can pick and choose from. I’m sorry to sound rude, but to me atheism sounds like the easy way out. (I have not yet read your writings on atheism yet but I will next in order to have a more rounded point of view of the situation. That did seem a little unfair, and I apologise, but it is still my view and I will not apologise for it until it has been changed. I hope you can forgive me! 😛 ) Whether you like it or not, you hold faith in something: your computer will not explode, I’m not a hacker attempting to make your computer explode, and the chair you’ve sat in for months and months is NOT going to up and fall out from under you at any moment. Problem is, you have no guarantee that these things WON’T happen 😉 but you’ve grown to trust these things because they didn’t, and they probably won’t for a long, long time. But these things aren’t eternal. One day your computer (or cellphone, whatever) is going to break down eventually, I could decide that hey, I’m gonna learn how to hack someday, and that chair will someday be no more. God isn’t like that. He is real and infinite and eternal. If He did not exist, then my life would be null and void, so why not believe? But He is real, and He is Perfect. If He did not judge people according to their sins, where they should go, where they have chosen to go, where they would be the most choice to go, then He would not be perfect. As He says, “I Am who I Am.” There is no one like God. But nothing is impossible through Christ Jesus our Lord. I hope you come to understand. And you can understand. You might never reach the point of complete understanding, for there is so much to know, but first you have to want it. To understand, you must ask God to open your eyes to the things unseen. For I cannot tell you who God is; you must meet Him for yourself. If you really want to have the credibility to talk about this, you should at least read the old and new testament of the bible. And be careful not to let other people’s interpretations get in the way of the Truth.
    I wish you luck, however way you choose to take!
    “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” ~Jesus Christ, Revelation 3:20
    Have a wonderful life ❤

    • Thank you for you comment.

      I’ll just cut to the chase (please don’t mistake brevity for rudeness), but that is not an argument which would change my mind. I really think that faith in God and faith in chairs should be radically different kinds of ‘faith’; surely for you the quality of one is greater than the other? Do you really put equal amounts of faith into your God, and the chair you sit upon? And, yes, you are correct, there is no guarantee that surprising things won’t happen, but that can be explained by statistical chance, or chaos theory. I remember reading a strange notion in a book on quantum physics: there is a chance that, while I may go to sleep tonight in my bed here in Europe (or you in America – he said, guessing from your colloquialisms), I may wake up in the Amazon rainforest due to quantum tunnelling. It is extremely unlikely, but it is possible… Very curious thing, quantum physics.

      As to your point that atheism is ‘the easy way out’: considering how much abuse atheists receive, why would anyone choose this? But no, it isn’t an easy way out, it isn’t even a way out. It just is. I cannot understand why, or even how, people believe in divine spirits. It utterly baffles me. It takes so much effort to believe, which I would have thought would have been a hint to its flawed basis. You don’t have to believe in gravity, it doesn’t care about your beliefs, but you have to believe in God for Him to work for you. That always struck me as an odd deal. But hey, if it works for you, and so long as your choices do not negatively impact on any other individual, such that you respect their freedoms and rights, who am I to critique your choice? (The obvious caveat to that is, of course, the second a believer’s beliefs begin to negatively impact another individual, the gloves are off).

      I could debate many other curious points you bring up, but I am not entirely sure if it would be fruitful. I mean, we both have clearly chosen our positions, and I do not believe (!) that my arguments would sway you, and yours will, I assure you, not sway me.

      But, as you say,
      ‘I wish you luck, however way you choose to take!
      Have a wonderful life’

      (Revelations? Really? Stick to the Gospels, they are much more… authentic, though how authentic is debatable. It is also a very strange conclusion to Christ’s fundamental message of forgiveness, all that bloodshed and violence, plagues, and monsters; seems a bit contradictory).

  2. This still does not prove that *some sort* of powerful being (not omnipotent and benevolent, of course!) cannot exist in principle. The problem is that people would like to have a superhero on their side, to help them against tyrants or just to pass an exam.

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