Three Proofs Against the Existence of God

I was feeling argumentative tonight, so I started a debate on God at the TexAgs forum. This post is mostly for my use in some future debate, but check out my arguments if you care to.

Edit: I realized that my arguments have some major flaws. While true, the background knowledge required to understand the concepts involved requires that the reader be an atheist/Objectivist before he reads them. So, I appreciate the compliments, but stand by for a rewritten version designed to respect the silly theist’s hierarchy of knowledge.

(1) God is arbitrary.
There is no evidence for a supernatural being with the properties generally ascribed to God. If someone makes an assertion for which there is no evidence either way, the logical thing to do is simply dismiss it, just as I would dismiss the assertion that there is an invisible pink elephant floating over me. If this were the only argument against God, I would not be able to prove that God did not exist — but you would not be able to prove that he does exist either. Hence the claim must be thrown own as arbitrary.

Comment: The reason there I say that is no evidence for God is NOT that I cannot see him. I have never seen Australia either, or my mind, or anger, or Neptune. The reason there is no evidence for God is that the characteristics ascribed to God contradict the rest of my knowledge about the world, and cannot be integrated with it (for example, I know of no intelligence that has no physical basis, or entity that spans the whole universe)

(2) God has no identity.
Everything that exists in the universe has a particular nature, and only that nature. Things are what they are – with certain properties that have certain characteristics. Every existing thing behaves in a certain way according to its nature. (Law of causality) More fundamentally, the whole notion of something existing means having a certain nature – a particular, limited nature that is one thing and not another. Everything that exists, exists as such. In other words, non-contradiction. Something cannot be two conflicting things at the same time, in the same place, and in the same respect. God is a contradictory concept – he has no nature, no (finite) identity, and no particular causal connection to the rest of the universe. Thus, God is not only an arbitrary, but also a contradictory concept, and thus impossible. You cannot argue for a contradictory concept since the notions of proof, reason, or evidence rest on the validity of logic. (Because just like everything else in the universe, logic also has a particular nature. A is A.)
If God has a particular identity, then at most, he must be an ancient, very powerful robot playing tricks with our fate. I don’t know any theists who would argue that God is a robot. Besides, if RoboGod has to play by the rules as we do, we can beat him.

(3) God is contradictory.
Many of the traits attributed to God are self-contradictory. For example, God is omnipotent, all good, and all knowing, yet evil exists. Also: God is everywhere and nowhere. Also: God loves us and sends us to hell. Also: We have free will, yet we are pre-destined. Also: immortal soul, yet we seem to be created from scratch at birth with no memories (making re-birth pointless) Also: God defines right and wrong, yet is able to change it (same as the making a stone to big to lift thing) Also: God is actually three gods, yet he is one. Also: Man is evil, yet he was saved, yet he really isn’t saved, yet God will probably forgive us anyway. Also: God act by miracles, yet he creates physical laws, so he needs none. Also: God is concerned about our fate, yet he already knows exactly what will happen. Also: Man is in God’s image, yet he is sinful. Also: Religion is supposed to make one happy on earth, yet earthy life is about suffering and sin. Also: God wrote the sole, absolute, and unchanging source of morality, yet his Book is full of contradictions, and things you’d probably say he’d oppose today (such as stoning for adultery). Also: Pride is evil for man in heaven, yet good for man on earth. I could probably think of a few dozen more contradictions, but you get the idea. God isn’t even consistent with himself. Let’s not forget: One should have blind faith in God, yet you are about to attempt to use reason to prove me wrong.

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0 Responses to Three Proofs Against the Existence of God

  1. Mike

    Just a quote I found today that I thought were interesting. Probably heard it before though.

    “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

  2. I like all of it. I’m going to print it out.

  3. AshRyan

    I agreed with your post, although I thought there were a few minor flaws with it. Of course, the biggest flaw is the approach. After reading some of the ensuing debate at the forums, it looks like several people there are complete fundamentalists with whom no rational argument is possible. In other words, you’re wasting your time.

    I think one of your opponents said it best: “…you have no concept of faith, for if you did you would be able to understand what a fool you are trying to ‘enlighten’ anyone who has great faith in something.”

    Unless you have an infinite amount of time to untangle everything wrong with their counterarguments (like the guy who was using the “statistical probability” of things in the universe being “just right” for us to be here–and of course, the idea of “probability” itself is dependent on those very “unprobable” events he is attempting to use it to discount, and questioning the likelihood of those events from our position is rather silly, since if they hadn’t happened we simply wouldn’t be here to question them), and unless the fact that even if you could rationally show them all of their mistakes you wouldn’t change most of their minds doesn’t bother you–I would say don’t bother.

  4. Andrew

    You’re a smart man. You’re arguments are strong. I’m a Christian and I cant answer a lot of your questions. If you havent already, read the book of Job in the bible. It will answer some of your questions. More importantly I would encourage you to keep asking questions and to ask God directly to reveal himself to you. I have experienced personally the forgiveness and love of God and know the joy of His abiding presence in my heart. These things I cannot explain. One day we will stand before the living God in all his majesty and power.

  5. Andrew,

    Thanks for your comments. Speaking of Job, I highly recommend the book “Job: A Comedy of Justice” by Robert Heinlein.

  6. Andrew

    Thanks for the Heinlein reference. I also enjoy sci-fi – My favourites are H.G. Wells, Asimov and Clarke.

    You’ve got me thinking – Do you believe capitalism and fundamentalism are linked ? ie. Is the ethos of capitalism at its roots a product of fundamentalist teachings re freedom, justice.. or is capitalism an independent entity; one which exists to satisfy the fundamentally human characteristics of greed and power ?

  7. Andrew,

    I think the best way for me to answer that, is for you to go to Capitalism.org and take the “tour”.

  8. Andrew

    David

    I’m in Australia (Yes I can validate Australia exists.) What you may not believe is its a balmy 25 celcius, perfect day and its winter!

    I took the capitalism tour. Although Australia is a constitutional monarchy I think we’re politically closer to the definition of capitalism portrayed in that site than the U.S. How do you feel about your country starting war ?

  9. Xexes I

    You are an idiot for two reasons:

    a) you don’t see the Utilitarian worth of any system of beliefs
    or
    b) you are basing your rational/reason argument on pure reason, which is a fallacy because all knowledge is synthetic.

    Put the Ayn Rand book down and read a real book you shlub.

  10. AshRyan

    Oh, that’s rich.

    Now look what you’ve done, David. By debating with complete pragmatist (the reason for accepting a system of beliefs is its “Utilitarian worth”?!), anti-rational mystics, you’ve now got them trolling your blog (and calling you a “shlub”, even).

    I warned you. 🙂

  11. project 1

    There may be another possibility perhaps God is not omnipitent in some respects but is in all non contradictory ones. maby there is no hell and God is onimpitent in everything accept that of which free will interfers. Much of this is debated in the matrix movies ie the archetect could not build a perfect human world because it would restrict free will. The other question is were does free will (must exist or this disscussion and everthing we do is pointless) come from perhaps God is simply the creator of the first cause of Causality and the creator of free will and conciousness( neccacary for free will) science has yet to find any way these can happen prehaps they will edventualy quantum mechanics is showing promise of an explination of something from nothing free will and consciousness. Any thoughts please E mail [email protected]

  12. Memnoc

    I have something to add to those who say

    “God cannot be proven or disproven”

    Since when can God not be disproven? By stating that the existence of God cannot be disproven, you are stating that God in fact, exists. Because you are classifying it so differently than other fictional manifestations imagined by humans. Although as you know, things like Leprechauns, Santa Claus, Griffins, Dragons, etc can be proven to not exist. Similarly if God is as much created by the imagination of humans it can be just as much disproven in the same regard. Although any attempt to do so to people who believe in God, makes those believers invent rationalizations to help keep themselves believing in their imaginary friend. The main reason why people say “God cannot be proven or disproven” is to not upset those who are theist. Which I think is not what we should be doing. If people who believe in God are truly delusional, and God can in fact be disproven. Then that is exactly what we should be doing. Do we not help the delusional to see what is fact, and what is fiction? Do we not help the delusional to free themselves from their delusions? Since when do we let certain people of certain delusions, keep their delusions? Even though many of us know it’s a delusion? Oh wait, that’s because we do let many of the world’s population believe in such delusions. That specific delusion, is theism.

  13. are you mad god will punish you if you do not ask for forgiveness

  14. Ross M

    I’m pissed I read a whole article without reading the disclaimer: “I realized that my arguments have some major flaws.”

    The biggest misconception about theism is that smart people reason their way out of God’s existance, while dumb people blindly follow what they’re told. This article as evidence, it takes many (more than theists take) blind assumptions to formulate a case against God.

    Personally, I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist.

  15. Krishna

    Everyone says that nature is created by god. The meaning of nature is A thing which is not created or can be created. If it can be created it is Artificial. So nature is not created, I mean, world, sun, moon or whatever ppl call nature. So no one created nature and hence there is not creator or god.

  16. Joseph

    I noticed that the subject of capitalism came up. I am going to check out that web site. Let it be known here that Ayn Rand was a hard core Atheist, and she was also a hard core Capitalists, which I might assume to be congruent with the Darwinian model, and she was absolutely Laissez Faire- Free Market Economy. She had migrated from Russian, she was really pissed off at Communism and Christianity both and it shaped her life, not to mention her love of the States.

  17. cam

    Holy crap, you people are stupid! You are purely basing your “proof” on opinion. Have you not read into anything that your’e arguing with? If you’ve read the Bible through, you would have found so many of these “argumentative points” to be false. God DOES care; but he gives us free will and a chance to love him. If he forced us to love him and do everything right, it wouldnt be love. it would be God forcing us to be robots to do his command. we have the choice to go to Heaven or Hell. And as far as your “contradictions,” you gave ONE! And stoning was the form was the form of capitol punishment back then (like i said, if you would read into what you were trying to disprove, you would have known that). If you read the Bible (and i mean the KJV Bible; not NKJV, or any of the other versions that people made from the origonal in order to make money) you will not be able to find any reasonable contradictions.

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