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I have found that arguing the nuance of religion is not only pointless but a good way to lose friends. So for this piece I will be using the Bible (KJV) to define what religion represents and why god can’t exist.

It is almost impossible to prove a negative. This is where most theological debates breakdown. One can prove that it is unlikely that a god exists but it is a circumstantial argument. The person can always default to the answer, “it comes down to faith.” One must move away from the questions that require the person being asked to choose between their faith and their reason. In fact the argument should stimulate reason regardless of faith. To do this one must think of the concept of God as a mathematical equation in that the answer is either correct or incorrect. When this is done the argument is transformed from God does not exist, an opinion trying to prove the negative, to God can not exist; a statement proving the connectivity of the argument. In other words it is saying that if all the statements are true and or false then the conclusion must therefore also be true and or false. Holding to this pretense the statement, “God can not exist,” can be proven.
In the Judeo-Christian tradition the foundation of faith is a perfect being; YHVH (pronounced Yahweh, translated into Jehovah commonly known to Christians as God). If the definition of perfection is being without defect or blemish in all respects, then one must prove that God is either perfect or God is not perfect. This perfection is the common thread that binds God’s divinity to his creation. Without this perfection God would be human. If the argument proves God is not perfect it would prove that God does not exist. Furthermore, if one accepts the definition of perfection then to prove God is not perfect all one must do is prove God was either wrong or made a mistake. To clarify, God can not be perfect if he demonstrates just one instance of lack of absolute perfection. Holding to this pretense the statement, “God can not exist,” can be supported. Having set the parameters, that the answer is either correct or incorrect and that one instance of imperfection negates God, the argument may proceed.
God’s perfection is well established in the bible. The book of Job strives to illustrate that God’s knowledge is perfect. (Job 37:16) In the passage God is said to be, “perfect in knowledge.” Likewise, God’s will and laws are also held to be perfect. (Rom. 12:2 and Ps. 19:7 respectively) However, God’s perfection also extends past his attributes to plans laid out by God. Psalms 18:30 says "As for God, his way is perfect....." This extension of God’s perfection means that not only is God perfect but that his intentions are perfect and his results are perfect. However, the establishment of God’s way, though necessary to show complete perfection, is ultimately its undoing. If God is perfection and his executions are prefect then all the results must be prefect. Unfortunately this is not the case. The case is that human beings are not perfect. They are deeply flawed in actions, thoughts, will and way. These flaws could not exist if our creator was perfect. A perfect creature simply can not make something imperfect. One should not need proof of the imperfections of man given the status of his social, political and moral decline. Wars, famine, murder, sexual predation and many others are all examples of the human species imperfection and seemingly unending cruelty. The existence of theses imperfections can and must be used as evidence of the state in which humans were created. One can not dismiss the contradiction of perfection begetting flaw. If it was stated that a perfect machine could create a perfect circle and yet when the circle was created it was not perfect would that not negate the perfection of the machine? One would certainly not continue to insist on the perfection of the machine making these circles. Why then do some insist on God’s perfection?
The answer to that is simple: freewill. Freewill is the natural argument in defense of a perfect God. God has endowed man with freewill. After the apple form the tree of knowledge was eaten man was bestowed the knowledge of good and evil. In response to this God then gave man the choice to be sinful or righteous. This seems to be a devastating counter argument. However, if one simply remembers the definitions being used the weakness of the freewill argument is easily exploited. God is perfect and his perfection exists in all of God’s works. Freewill was a gift from a perfect being and therefore must conform to the perfection of that being. The bible states that gifts from God are perfect. (James 1:17) Therefore, the gift of freewill would actually be the gift of perfect freewill. Perfect freewill is a challenging concept to understand because implies the knowledge of a choice that God would make. One circumvents this by simply reducing it to its most basic parts. Perfect freewill only requires there to be a correct and incorrect choice. God would always choose correctly if he were perfect and did not sin. We can therefore equate Gods choices to the correct choices and all choices that are sins as incorrect choices. Thus, if one is endowed with perfect freewill one would also choose as God would have chosen and never sin. This, however, would negate sin. Sin is not negated so one must choose incorrectly and if one chooses incorrectly then their choice is flawed. This can not be reconciled with a perfect God. If one goes back to the perfect machine analogy related in the last paragraph one can not say that the circles are not perfect because they choose not to be perfect for they are the creation and must conform to the machines parameters.
One must also consider God’s other creations. Specifically, one must consider angels which are creations that, like man, are bestowed with freewill. Angels were created before mankind. (Gen. 2:1) Their duty is to be the stewards of heaven. They were also given free will by God. The only difference in their freewill is that they are denied redemption and absolution. (1 Peter 1:12) If an angel was to choose evil only once then that angel is forever damned. All gifts from God, the creator of both humans and angels, to his creations are perfect. Therefore, the gift of freewill to the angels must follow the same guidelines as the same gift from God to man. However, this is another case of flawed freewill. The bible states that Satan led a revolt against God with other angels. (Rev. 12:7-10) This is the second creation that was shown imperfection. This corroborating evidence is made all the more important by it chronology. If Satan showed God his imperfection with freewill before he created man then why did God give us this so called gift? One must consider what happened to Satan when asking that question. That however is another topic for another paper.
It has been clearly shown that God can not exist as a perfect being and therefore can not exist in the Judeo-Christian sense. His creations are the evidence of this. It has been establish with “facts” from the bible and simple logical conclusions. This paper was not written to denounce Christians. On the contrary, the paper may inspire healthful questioning of what ones believes. A quote by Galileo Galilei reads as follows, "I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use." Likewise, this piece is intended to present the reader with questions. They are presented in an extreme way to accent their point. One may consider that what if God does exist and that he did create everything in existence and that he is simply not perfect? That is an intriguing question that I leave you to discover your own answers.


------
-Parker-

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.
-Dwight D. Eisenhower



Comments

The following comments are for "Why god can’t exist."
by Parker

Hmmm
I'm not too sure the "a perfect being can't create imperfection."

If you're perfect, or in this case omnipotent, then you have to have the ability to create something imperfect, or you've set a limitation upon yourself, and thus not perfect or omnipotent.

That being said, God, being perfect, can create imperfection. If there was a limitation on his power (including the ability to create imperfection) then he couldn't be perfect, could he?

Well constructed, but the logic fails rather quickly.

( Posted by: capulet [Member] On: December 4, 2004 )

Not so fast.
Can God be evil? NO. Is that not a limitation? Yes. Does that mean he is not omnipotent? See where your logic fails? Now if we say God has Perfect omnipotence meaning he can do all that is perfect (i.e. righteous) then it is more evidence to my argument. The logic in my argument still holds. The problem is that you are giving God freewill which he does not have. If he had freewill he could have neutral Omnipotence.

( Posted by: Parker [Member] On: December 5, 2004 )

god.
Capulet made an interesting observation about all of this--or maybe an assumption. Specifically, that a "perfect God" can't have limitations on his power. This is interesting because omnipotence, by definition, excludes impotence. A thing cannot be and not be at the same time in the same respect.

If God has a nature, it cannot be limitless. If God doesn't have a nature, doesn't posess anything by which we might identify it, then God is indistinguishable from nonexistence.

Parker -- I wasn't persuaded by the perfection argument. It seemed highly subjective to me, especially when you mention human "flaws". I suppose from a biological point of view we could be built better, but that isn't the purpose of natural selection; evolution isn't a ladder.

You didn't really specify which god you were talking about, and you didn't begin at the beginning, in my opinion: God, the word, is meaningless.

( Posted by: die_daily [Member] On: December 5, 2004 )

pope claire...
... pontificating again. Swell.

Quote:
Your tiny mind (and my tiny mind, and all the other tiny minds which will take on your "points" cannot even begin to conceive a ominpotent and omniscient creator of whom we have so little understanding that to even ATTEMPT to put him in a proof and logic box is so arrogant that it strikes me funny.


Rather funny, isn't it. Especially when certain theists put God in a box like you've done and claim that we can't "even begin to conceive of a [...] creator of whom we have so little understanding"; especially when, despite this admitted lack of knowledge, they go on to list qualities of this creator. Isn't it presumptuous to even call God a creator if we can't even begin to understand this nebulous "thing"?

I am a nontheist and my bottom line isn't proof. It is a requirement, though, just not the requirement. The concept of God has to make sense before anyone should ask for evidence, and typically, the concept doesn't make sense.

God is always "bigger" than our "tiny minds" can fathom, though; it is amazing how many people presume to have a direct line.

Whatever. This discussion is retarded.

( Posted by: die_daily [Member] On: December 5, 2004 )

And so it begins…..
I realize this piece will spark many emotions and opinions and I thank you for taking the time to read what I have written. However, this piece is a discussion that may not be played out here. Off to the forums.
I will address several points made in these comments.

Die daily:
“It seemed highly subjective to me, especially when you mention human "flaws".”
I really think that human flaws are the most important criterion upon which to examine God’s perfection because it is our sins (flaws) that send us to hell. I think I maintained relative objectivity in the piece as well. Also I defined God (the Judeo-Christian God) in the first paragraph of the argument. I also agree that the word God is meaningless just like any other word. We are the ones who give words their meanings.
I thought your points where very well iterated and thank you for them.

clairesbest:
First let me apologize for the use of the KJV of the bible I know that would be a problem for many people who read this, but as I can’t read Hebrew or Latin it was forced to use what was available.
“You are forgetting (or ignoring) free will. A perfect entity can make any kind of creature it wants. Even one who has the right to choose to be flawed.”
We will simply have to agree to disagree about the freewill issue because it was addressed in the paper.
“…to put him in a proof and logic box is so arrogant that it strikes me funny.”
I didn’t mean to make you laugh and I would never strike a woman. However, simply because you believe we have no understanding of god doesn’t mean that we can’t think about him logically. I think that the arrogance would be shown if one simply believed in any god without questioning his beliefs.
I wrote the piece with the proper paragraphing I guess it didn’t transfer form word. I am sorry and agree that it would be easier to read with the formatting.

-That is all I am going to address at the present. I am sure this will be a forum discussion soon enough so I look forward to some good questioning.

( Posted by: Parker [Member] On: December 5, 2004 )

Judeoxian
This article is an excellent study in Judeo-Christian thought. And, just like more mature insights and novellae of the thought, it is markedly non-Judaic, or non-Jewish.

( Posted by: Teflon [Member] On: December 5, 2004 )

Claire

I didn’t mean to imply that you have any prejudice against the KJV of the bible, I in fact was thinking in the same terms you were (that any book would have been criticized). This is why it is good to make sure points are being presented as clear as possible.
I am also looking forward to good thought provoking discussions in the forums.

( Posted by: Parker [Member] On: December 5, 2004 )

Definitions
Of course there's the possibility that the creation IS perfect and without blemish, but our understanding isn't broad enough for us to understand it.

( Posted by: Icarus [Member] On: December 5, 2004 )

I will say this.....
Daedalus
You are assuming that I agree that god must be greater than his creations but I don’t hold that pretense. I think God is subject to rules. Rules he created or rules that simply exist to him only I don’t think God exists in a vacuum. Thus, the argument, “because he’s God,” is no more correct then the argument, “God doesn’t exist,” in which case we are getting into a case of relativism.
Icarus
Interesting point but not a very good paper. ;) I will always strive to understand even that which some say may not be understood.

( Posted by: Parker [Member] On: December 5, 2004 )

Something worth mentioning.
In regards to the actual essay, instead of the theological ramblings contined within, there are a few problems.

1) Paragraphs. There's an enter key on the keyboard. Use it, because otherwise I have to read a big fat chunk o' text, and I don't like it. At one point in the essay you wrote 'In the above paragraph' when in fact you were still in the same paragraph, because it was huge. I'll admit that the LitOrg framing of text only accentuates this flaw.

2) 'Freewill' is not a word. It's not even a hyphoned words. It is two completely seperate words. 'Free will.'

3) A note detailing a reference should always be included in the same sentence as the reference itself. I noticed you inserted it into the next sentence on a number of occassions, but this is probably just a typo.

( Posted by: MacLaren [Member] On: December 5, 2004 )

I love you all
Firstly, any/all subjective logic/reason aside... this was a nicely written piece, Parker. A few paragraphs here and there would have made it easier for my eyes to follow. :)

Now to the KJV - a severely flawed document.
http://www.ffrf.org/books/lfif/?t=contra
Most interesting, in light of the current dispute regarding same-sex marriages, is that King James himself was not only gay... he was OPENLY gay.

As regards logic/reason and especially PROOF, I would like to begin by presenting one of my favorite quotations: "The fact that the validity of a proposition cannot be logically guaranteed, in no way entails that it is irrational for us to believe it. On the contrary, what is irrational is to look for a guarantee where none can be forthcoming; to demand certanty where probalbity is all that is obtainable." -A.J. AYER

Both logic and reason are word games, or as Wittgenstein put it - "language games". There is nothing that can ever be said that will hold true, ie be universally-accepted by all others...not even this statement itself. We all exist in more-or-less the same FRAME, but our individual perceptions OF that frame and the definitions we all (dis)agree to live by, can and usually do vary considerably.

I don't think it is possible to PROVE anything to anybody, unless they already BELIEVE it to be so.

I love you just as you are. :D

( Posted by: PAIxMEI [Member] On: December 5, 2004 )

what?
it takes a morron to believe in something that is arguable of it's own existence!

( Posted by: themonster [Member] On: December 5, 2004 )

...
MacLaren
Thanks for the criticism. I have gotten many complaints about the formatting of the paragraphs and I assure you that I wrote it with the paragraphs in place. When it was copied, however, the formatting didn¡¦t stay for some reason. I am planning on editing it when I get home from work. Also, I have seen freewill written as one word and two words but never hyphenated. It¡¦s the writer¡¦s prerogative I suppose. Could you show where I detailed a reference in another sentence so I can correct it? Thanks again.

PAIxMEI
Thanks for the comments PAIxMEI. As I said to MacLaren and others; the paragraphs were originally there but didn¡¦t stay when copied into the submit form and I will correct this soon. Moreover, I explained to Claire why I used the KJV. I realized this was going to a problem for many people but I needed bible references and that¡¦s all I had. ƒº
Ayer¡¦s quote is apt, as is Wittgenstein¡¦s ¡§language games.¡¨ Thanks for reading and commenting.

( Posted by: Parker [Member] On: December 5, 2004 )

whatever?
I believe that necessity negates the existence of god. If you can prove the necessity of a deity then you can prove its existence. And, the idea that we as humans need something to believe in does not prove the existence of any deity. If that were the case we would all be gods simply for believing in each other.

( Posted by: themonster [Member] On: December 5, 2004 )

what flaw?
An idea; wouldn't it be better to understand that these so called "flaws" are what makes everything in existence distinguishable from one another.

Doesn’t this idea claim that the "flaws" are for all accounts the perfection of creation and therefore prove 'hypothetically' that something can exist and not exist at the same time.

...This is not what I believe, just something I thought up. Have a good life and believe in 'What is.' not 'what if?'

( Posted by: themonster [Member] On: December 5, 2004 )

KJV
Parker - I didn't intend my comments about the KJV to be a criticism of your work....but, rather to agree with your point that "GOD" (as described in the KJV) was also very difficult for me to accept.

( Posted by: PAIxMEI [Member] On: December 5, 2004 )

hmm....so...
A specific interpretation of an archaic translation of the scriptures of one religion (Christianity - as has been said, your essay is as non-Jewish as any other examination of "Judaeo-Christian" theology) brings up certain logical flaws. Therefore god cannot exist.

Cute.

Jonathan.

( Posted by: JonnyT [Member] On: December 5, 2004 )

how about you?
my question for you parker is what you believe in? do you believe that god does actually exist or not. i know you said this bit of writing was not to denounce the existence of god but it does make me wonder what your own opinions are. i personally believe that god does exist and yes that he was perfect here on earth. you did very good research for this! hope to hear from you back soon!

( Posted by: pennybishop [Member] On: December 5, 2004 )

God?
How can man, who can't even understand the workings of an ocean wave, prove or disprove God? And what the heck do we mean by God? In the mainstreams sense, God is just gigantic chieftain in the sky who will kick your butt if you don't obey the authorities. See that lightning bolt?; that was one of his spears. And in the deeper sense, I'm not really sure what God might mean. If it means something beyond what human science understands, well that's not hard to come up with. For all its arrogance, the current scientific establishment has very limited knowledge. Decade after decade it proves the last decade wrong and decade after decade, the masses keep on worshipping the new scientific idols like the braindead sheep they are.

( Posted by: seanspacey [Member] On: December 5, 2004 )

Take it away Claire
I appreciate the feedback from all the readers. Claire thanks for the opportunity to respond before the move.
PennyBishop
I am actually a Buddhist. To get into a discussion about deities would be too lengthy for the space I am afforded here. I will post my own ideas of “the God” question in a short time. I wrote this for my comparative religion’s class last semester. I watered it down dramatically (it was a five page paper covering not only this subject but several others) so it wouldn’t be so long.
SeanSpacey
I liked that my piece has inspired such questioning. I think it is important to question not only the existence of God but the essence of God. So I say “what is God indeed?” However, I am not so sure I like you equating people who “worship” science as “brain dead sheep.”
PAIxMEI
Thanks for the clarifications and feel free to criticize my writing I can take it and it is the only way to get better.
TheMonster
Agreed. I will leave you with this quote by Voltaire: “If God did not exist it would be necessary for us to invent Him.

Once again thanks for the comments and your time folks.

( Posted by: Parker [Member] On: December 5, 2004 )

so then...
if you are saying that to find the answer to God's existence all one must do is to find a fault that he had. Saying that God's results must be perfect after his intentions and executions are perfect, may not always end in results that appear as perfect. however whatever the results are, i believe, are of God's knowing. since God had come to die for our sins, that means that when we aske for forgivness from God, that is offered to us, because of this act. God then sees us through his son, Jesus, (who we can say was perfect) and sees us clean from iniquity as well. This does not mean God had a fault in making us imperfect, but basically gave us the gift of free will. When you say that after adam and eve had eaten from the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil you state that then only had God given them freewill. How had God given freewill to them only after they had eaten from the fruit if they had eaten of it before hand? This is clearly considered a sin, disobeying God's instructions, which shows that adam and eve were created with the gift of freewill from the beginning. I believe God had given us this gift of freewill even after satan, like you had mentioned, showed his sin with freewill before God created man because God loves us. Even though he knew that we would turn against him with the gift he gave us, he chose to no matter because he loved us enough not to form us as "robots" (if you excuse the term) who are perfect. I believe that God's love is the answer to many questions that cause debates in theology. Finding the fault in God saying that his creations were imperfect due to the incident of the revolt satan had against him, i can say is not exactly a "fault" since God knew that this would happen. God gave us the gift of freewill, even though he knew we would turn around and use it in the wrong way. It was because he loved us and did not want to see us as restrained due to perfection. I am not saying perfection is wrong but God chose for us to be free of because of his love. I believe it is cannot plainly be considered an imperfections for God to do something that had bad results if he knew this was going to happen.

( Posted by: pennybishop [Member] On: December 5, 2004 )

Back again
Parker,

Here I am, back again, trying to read this piece. But, my eyes keep getting sucked from their sockets in the effort. I am dyslexic and blocks of text like this are a particular torture for me.

I skimmed some of the comments as well and will come back when the stack of obligations that looms on my desk has been combatted today.

One comment said that "this was a good study in Judo-Christian belief." I cannot agree. Just from skimming the parts I did read, I can see that despite your genuine desire to understand the lofty truths that have taunted the natural mind since shortly after Creation (I would guess), it is the lack of spiritual illumination that makes it impossible for you to see and understand what is before you.

Just looking at your study of the word, "perfect" I see that you use the English version to prove a point - using a topical word study as your means of proof. H

However, you cannot do a topical word study without going back to the original text, and the specific translation of the word in each individual verse, and interpreting it within context of the situation, culture, topic being discussed, and intended meaning.

The Bible was not written in Engish. It is difficult to translate it into English without losing some of it's meaning.

For example, there are numerous meanings of the word, "light" in Hebrew, Greek, etc. In English. there is one: "light". Without using the proper contexts, you will not know that in one verse it means the first light you see when you wake from sleep, in another it means intellectual understanding, in another it means the pride a mother has on her face when her child brings her honor... etc...

I always like to read a good "write" on these subjects. I just find that most people wrestle with thier own bosom harder than they do the dots and tittles that could illuminate their understanding in a more concise way.

I'll revisit this...

Be well,

Felicia

( Posted by: feliciastone [Member] On: February 2, 2005 )

perfection
Felicia
I am sorry about the block of text as i am sure you saw in the comments that it was an obstruction too many. I never had the time to edit it when before it went to the forums.
On perfection;
The word had to be defined. It is central to the arugement and thus it had to be clear what sense of perfection I was using. I look forward to talking to you after you have had a chance to read it completely.

( Posted by: Parker [Member] On: February 3, 2005 )

Bibles
Hi guys, new to LitOrg but love these discussions. I've only read about half what I see above this, and there seems to be some hidden assumptions behind this thread.

Using the bible as a reference means using a distinctly suspect book in any translation.

The story is fairly consistent across all the versions I've seen, God makes Adam, then from him, Eve, they eat the fruit & are kicked out 'in case they becomethe same as God!' How? By gaining ever-lasting life. Right there we have a definition of the difference between us & God. If he was/is omnipotent, so were/are we. The only distinguishing marker is we die!

Now the problems...

* We are in His image? - except EVERYTHING that produces young is female! So maybe we're in Her image.
* Adam came first? - genetics tells us otherwise. The male grwoth cycle relies heavily, after only a couple of weeks, on the controls & functions of testosterone. Interfere with that as the embryo grows and you get a true female body, but with XY chromosomes. In other words, men are modified females, not the other way around.

It would appear what we have in the bible is far from being God's word, but rather a carefully doctored account of a creation myth to set a male dominated culture on its path.

Those who 'believe' will often find the nuggets of truth & proclaim the historical accuracy of the bible, but there are far more cases where the physical evidence directly contradicts the bible, even to the point of whether they were ever slaves in Egypt.

The Celts had a thriving community across Europe at the time the Hebrews were becoming the chosen of God & women had a far better time of it.

Even the story of Christ comes apart at the seams, which may be why organised religions discourage research & speculation over the matter.
We've all heard of the Sadducees & Pharisees who are supposed to represent organised religion at the time, but there was a 3rd group involved in things, called the Essenes, & for some reason, they fail to get a mention in the bible. their texts at Qum'ran tell a rather different tale of Christ & they have the advantage of never being corrupted in translations & modifications since that time.
Also they pre-date the very first bible as they were actually from the time of Christ, not written a couple of centuries later.

So we have a situation where the only evidence of the Judaic God is the bible and it is a flawed reference, to put it in its best light.

( Posted by: journyman161 [Member] On: May 27, 2005 )





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