Proof of God

What “Proof of God” justifies your position? (part four)

This is part four of a four-part series.

So God isn’t omnipotent. He’s still the Creator.

When believers say, “God is beyond understanding, beyond definition,” they don’t really mean it. At the very least, I would say, there is one characteristic that provides a very clear definition of God: “God is the entity that can determine the nature of matter and its interactions in a definable region. God makes universes, at least this one.”

That’s why Jews, Christians, and Muslims couldn’t possibly accept Zeus, Odin, or Brahma as “God”; none of those can claim they created the universe. This “creation claim” is unique to the Abrahamic religions and central to their beliefs.

Proof of GodI find this to be a beautifully scientific claim. There are all sorts of things that we may not yet understand, but that are potentially comprehensible to us: the nature of matter, the nature of physical laws, the nature of space and time (a definable region). We consider all these to be scientific; we can work with this.

Other claims of the miracles that God can perform are vague, silly, and somehow lesser than this one. We have biblical stories that God can change water into wine, raise the dead, stop the planet’s rotation for a while. These do seem rather “miraculous” (if given any credibility at all). I will claim however that these are nothing more than fancy applications of advanced technology.

Proof of GodModern medicine raises many people from the dead (myself included) when it brings back someone whose heart has stopped. You might say, “Oh, they’re not really dead, they need to be dead longer.” That just sounds like an application of more advanced technology. Has all metabolism stopped? Has all DNA degraded? At what point would believers want to claim God can raise someone from the dead? What if they have degraded down to their molecular components and been dispersed around the planet? What if they fell into a burning sun or a black hole?

Stopping the revolution of the planet is pretty impressive. One could conceive of the application of massive and powerful energies being applied and some kind of a stasis field to stop the oceans from sloshing around and people from flying off the surface due to the sudden deceleration. Highly advanced technology, to be sure, and we certainly have no idea how to do such a thing at our present stage.

But to say, it is not even achievable technologically in principle is to make a prediction about the limitations of the capabilities of future humans or any advanced civilization. Whenever one has made those in the past, they have almost always turned out to be wrong, providing they have any scientific basis whatsoever.

I claim there is only ONE capability that would give someone the “right” to call themselves “God.” That is the ability to impose a set of natural laws on real matter (equivalent to “creating a universe”). If you have the ability to create a universe, where the stuff of that universe behaves in a way that you determine, you are “God” (at least to that universe). Anything that constrains the kind of matter you can make or the way that matter interacts, limits your claim to be called “God.”

Any other entity, no matter how advanced its technology, that is constrained to operating within the natural properties of the matter in its universe, should not be considered “God.” A being that could determine the natural properties of matter would trump any other kind of technology. Only that being could be said to be Supreme.

The main theological claim of the Abrahamic religions is that, despite whatever logical or natural limitations there may be to God’s abilities, He is nonetheless the Creator of the universe (some may say, specifically, of the world and of life, but I think creating the universe encompasses these smaller claims).

Is “being God” the same as having advanced technology?

Proof of GodLet’s ask ourselves about “God, the Creator.” Does God understand how He does what He does? Does He understand the process of Creation in a scientific sense, the way we understand how computer chips work? If so, can God teach these scientific principles to another person, teach someone else how to be God?

There are only two possible answers: Yes or No.

No: If God has no idea how to create a universe, we really have to ask how He could lay claim to having done it. How does He know it came into existence by His action? Could He do it again? If we answer, “No,” we have to ask whether the “God claim” is substantiated.

Yes: If God understands completely the principles of universe creation, then it would seem to be a science. That is, it’s something that is comprehensible by some being (with sufficient intelligence, one would presume). One would expect, like most things that can be understood, that God can subsequently teach “godhood” (i.e. how to create a universe), i.e. that “godhood” is essentially a science.

If it’s a science, why can’t we discover it on our own? If it’s a science, then the “supernatural” (outside of nature) claims for God simply fail. God becomes a subset of “natural.” We may honor that, respect that, but why would we worship it?

Now some might argue that God understands how to make universes but no one else can (presumably because we are either not smart enough or lack some ability). But this fails logically.

Everything that is understandable can be taught to someone of sufficient intelligence and ability. Some point to perceptual or physical limitations, saying things like: “You can’t teach the colorblind to see color, though they may understand the principle”; or “You can’t teach a person without arms to play the guitar.” These are silly objections because they are based on essentially technological limitations.

Even we humans are not that far away from using stem cells to restore cone receptors in the eyes of the color blind. Limb regeneration is not an impossibility, as we already know there are creatures on Earth who can regrow severed limbs; we just need to develop the understanding.

Surely, the Creator (who understands how He does what He does) could hypothetically also create a being capable of perceiving and understanding the process of creation. Surely, He would have enough scientific knowledge to be able to pass it down to a sufficiently advanced being. If we can extend our knowledge and abilities, why can’t He?

The conclusion is almost inevitable: Any being sufficiently advanced to create a universe should be able to teach the ability to another sufficiently advanced being. Further, the Creator should understand enough biology (or computational theory) to find a way to make capable beings that are currently incapable of understanding creation. We may not know how to do this yet, but it would be the height of hubris to suggest God can’t do it. Being God, “godhood” –if that has any meaning—must be a science that we could potentially understand.

Conclusion

So, we’ve explored the limitations to any putative “God’s” abilities. We’ve concluded that the God of the Abrahamic faiths is not all-loving, all-knowing, nor all-powerful. Those conclusions are an inevitable result of Scripture, experience, and logic. We’ve also narrowed our definition of God to His primary defining characteristic or claim: God is the Creator of the universe. But then we’ve gone on to show how creating a universe is really something that is scientifically achievable, at least in principle. If it’s something that has a scientific basis, we humans should eventually be able to figure it out on our own.

Why should we use the possibility that there is some other being who understands more about how the universe works as a justification for our reckless, insane behaviors, for going to war with someone whose views are only moderately different? Especially when we can’t really distinguish between this imperfect being we call “God” from some scientifically, technologically very advanced alien being. This seems much more akin to “picking a favorite team” than any rational basis for how we approach the universe.

Proof of GodIs “God” just a “favorite team?” How do people in Boston decide they like the Celtics, the Bruins, or the Red Sox more than they like Toronto’s Raptors, Maple Leafs, or Blue Jays? Well, favorite sports teams are chosen by where we were born, where we grew up, where we live, who our friends are, and so on. All social factors. It turns out that being born and growing up in a country that primarily practices the Muslim faith is a great predictor that you are more likely to become Muslim than Christian or Jewish. It turns out most of us pick religions much the same way we pick sports teams or political parties.

If God is like a favorite sports team, why would rational people choose that method to determine how they live, who they associate with, who they listen to as authorities? They wouldn’t. Religion is a lot like that; it’s not rational. More dangerously, it’s not a rational way to develop public policy. As I said at the beginning, I don’t really care what you believe in the privacy of your own mind, but when your beliefs affect the public policy that you propose or support, then I care greatly.

I want public policy to be rational, based on the best available evidence and logical analysis. I want public policy to be flexible, to adjust in the face of new data rather than defend its dogmatic and indefensible ideology. That’s the only reason I care about your beliefs, the only reason I challenge those beliefs. When anyone uses their unsubstantiated beliefs to formulate policy in the public domain, I think it’s incumbent on evidence-based, rational people to challenge the basis of those beliefs.




Proof of God

What “Proof of God” justifies your position? (part three)

This is part three of a four-part series.

Is God all-knowing?

Proof of GodWell, this is absurd on so many levels. If God was all-knowing then why were Adam and Eve punished (kicked out of the Garden of Eden) for eating of the forbidden fruit? Didn’t God see that one coming? Is it fair to punish someone for doing something that was practically built-in to their design by their supposedly perfect, inerrant designer?

And what of free-will? How can we freely choose between options AND have God know what our choice will be before we make it?

From an information-theory point of view, there is a LOT of information in the universe. Does God know where each single subatomic particle in the universe is and where it’s going? How does He know this? More importantly, how does He bypass the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle (which states “it’s not possible to know both the position of a particle and the velocity of that particle with perfect precision, not even in theory)?”

 

 

Proof of GodInformation can be represented as bits, 1s and  0s. Think of it as “information removes uncertainty.” Before you flip a coin, you don’t know if it’ll land on heads or tails. Your uncertainty is equal to the probability that either choice could come up, one-in-two or one-half (we use a mathematical formula to convert this to bits of information:). Once you flip it, the coin lands on one side or the other. At that point, your uncertainty drops to zero from one-half. We say the information from that test is one bit.

So, how many bits of information are there in the universe? This is impossible to know, but the number is enormous. A single atom of iron may require 1080 bits to fully describe it. Derek Abbott of the University of Adelaide says,

“We know the entropy of a black hole is related to its surface area divided by the Planck length. So what we can do is pretend the whole [known, ed.] universe is a black hole and use the radius of the known universe to get its surface area. And as entropy is related to information, we can calculate the maximum number of bits. Then depending on the details, you’ll get a number between 10122 and 10124 bits for the whole universe.”

Your modern desktop computer, has something like 1011 bits in its hardware. You’d need 10113 such computers to store all the information in the known universe, alone. The whole universe only contains around 1082 atoms, so it’s hard to see how you could ever have enough computers for the task. Especially given that each computer contains around a mole (1023) atoms of material.

“So, what?” a believer might ask. Well, here’s the thing. God (if such a being exists) would need to be much bigger than the universe just to contain all the information that is in that universe. “No problem,” the believer says. “God is infinite.” (another scientific claim, by the way) Now, let’s add to God’s burden. God is all-knowing so, in addition to knowing everything about our universe, He must know everything about himself.

In addition to encoding all the bits about our universe, an all-knowing God needs to encode all the bits that represent Himself. That includes His representation of our universe. You can see this is going to become a problem very quickly. The omniscient God must contain enough bits to encode all the information PLUS all the information about the bits that encode that information PLUS all the information about those bits that encode that information PLUS…it never ends.

The only reasonable conclusion is that God can’t logically be omniscient.

Is God all-powerful?

The Stone Paradox is most commonly used to represents logical limitations to an omnipotent being. Simply, it asks: Could an omnipotent being create a stone too heavy for it to lift? Other variations of this include: Could an omnipotent being make a square triangle?

Proof of GodThe basis for the Stone Paradox is simple. If the answer is “Yes” (God can make a stone too heavy for Him to lift) then there is something He can’t do, namely lift a stone He created. If the answer is “No” then, again, there is something He can’t do, namely make such a stone.

More recently Pastor Peter LaRuffa has (in)famously stated,

“If somewhere within the Bible, I were to find a passage that said 2 + 2 = 5, I wouldn’t question what I’m reading in the Bible. I would believe it, accept it as true, and then do my best to work it out and understand it.”

This is the same stance taken by French mathematician and philosopher Rene Descarte. The view that an omnipotent being could do absolutely anything, even the logically absurd, is known as ”voluntarism.”

Most theologians and philosophers don’t accept voluntarism but instead resort to “act theory“ interpretations. These take on the form: A being S is omnipotent if-and-only-if S can perform any action A such that A is possible. So, because a square circle, for example, is not possible, it is absurd to believe an omnipotent God can make one.

Act theory doesn’t claim the absolute omnipotence of God, but rather that God is the maximally powerful being. That God can do anything that can be done. A logically contradictory state of affairs is not a thing at all, but NOTHING. An all-powerful God can do or make anything, but it’s meaningless to say that He can do or make a ”nothing.”

The point is, ‘a rock too heavy for God to lift’ really means ‘a rock too heavy for a being who can lift anything’, so it is a self-contradiction. A ‘square circle’ and ‘2+2=5’ are likewise contradictory states of affairs. Therefore these are all nothings.

This immediately leads to the objection, “What sets the constraint about what can be done? Is God forced to obey laws of nature or laws of logic that He has not created? If so, God is not the maximally powerful being imaginable. Why do logical paradoxes lead to NOTHINGS for an all-powerful God?”

Some philosophers have tried to overcome these problems by resorting to the “result theories“ of Leibniz and Ross, where a being is omnipotent if-and-only-if any possible state of affairs, or any possible world. A possible state of affairs is defined as “a way the world could be.” For instance, the sky’s being blue is a possible state of affairs, and John’s being a married bachelor is an impossible state of affairs.

Result theory would say, there being a stone an omnipotent being cannot lift is clearly not a possible state of affairs. An omnipotent being could therefore not bring it about. On the other hand, there being a stone its creator cannot lift is a possible state of affairs, and could be brought about by an omnipotent being, under the Leibniz-Ross theory, for an omnipotent being could bring it about that some other being created a stone which that being could not lift. Therefore, the Stone Paradox is claimed to not be a problem for the Leibniz-Ross theory.

I have a hard time distinguishing this from act theory; it may be too subtle for me. I would claim that this hasn’t got around the Stone Paradox at all. The result theory argument is that there’s a possible world where omnipotent being A creates some other being (or version of itself) B that makes the stone that A cannot subsequently lift, at the same time that a different being or version of itself is lifting it. That would seem to imply that A can make a possible world where being B  can do something A can’t. Why would we call A omnipotent in that case?

Here’s a video that demonstrates an interesting attempt to get around the Stone Paradox by making God able to split into two different versions of himself. Version A can’t life the rock, but at the same time version B can lift both A and the rock. That’s pretty neat. But, the original claim implied a single being we could call God. In this video, God splits into two beings with different capabilities. Is it fair to call either of them omnipotent? Are either of them still God?

This is a cute trick but it seems more like saying, “God’s right hand can make a stone too heavy for God’s left hand to lift.” It’s not at all clear this is the same test as the Stone Paradox proposes. Instead of proposing two different versions of God, we could simply say, “God at time x can create a stone that only God at time y can lift.” That is, we can split God temporally instead of spatially. I would claim these are not logically equivalent to our initial proposal.

The Leibniz-Ross result theory, leads to other odd or absurd metaphysical consequences, including the implication that an omnipotent being exists necessarily. According to Leibniz’s formulation, an omnipotent being would be able to actualize any possible world, but it is absurd to suppose that an omnipotent being should actualize a world in which it never existed. It follows that no such world is possible. Of course, this assumes that an omnipotent being existed in any possible world.

If there is no world (not any) in which an omnipotent being could possibly exist, then it wouldn’t exist in all possible worlds. Either God exists in all possible worlds or in none.

There are easily enough paradoxes in the idea of an omnipotent being that can’t be logically dismissed that we should be very wary of the whole concept.

In the next post, I’ll examine the “Creator claim” made of the Abrahamic God and draw my final conclusions.




God's superpowers

What “Proof of God” justifies your position? (part two)

This is part two of a four-part series.

What is the nature of the Abrahamic God? Besides creating the universe and life, what does He do? What are His superpowers? There have been many secondary claims made about the Abrahamic God: He is variously claimed to be omniscient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent (all-knowing, all-powerful, all-loving). These claims are easily disputed through scripture, experience, and reason. Let’s examine them.

God's superpowers

Is God all-loving?

The Greek philosopher, Epicurus (341-270 BC) famously asked:

“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?”

In Plato’s dialogue Euthyphro, Socrates asks, “Is the pious loved by the gods because it is pious, or is it pious because it is loved by the gods?” In other words, is any act of God morally good because God did it (or commanded it), or is God constrained to only perform or command morally good acts? If we are able to independently judge God’s acts as “good” or “bad” then is there a basis for that judgment that is independent of God?

What can we learn of God’s morality from the Bible?

Let’s look at how the Bible views slavery, for example, something that very few believe is morally good in this day and age. Here are a few excerpts from a lengthy article on the subject:

God's superpowersExodus Chapter 21, verse 1:

When you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve six years, and in the seventh he shall go out free, for nothing. If he comes in single, he shall go out single; if he comes in married, then his wife shall go out with him. If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall be her master’s and he shall go out alone. But if the slave plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,’ then his master shall bring him to God, and he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost; and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl [presumably to make way for an earing, ed.]; and he shall serve him for life.

In his book, “Is God a Moral Monster? Making Sense of the Old Testament God”, Lee Strobel argues against our common interpretation of slavery in ancient Jewish culture:

Servitude in Israel was radically different than slavery in the antebellum South. Although people on both sides argued that the Bible does—or does not—endorse slavery, I argue that we have good reason to think that the “biblical case” for Southern slavery doesn’t hold up.

For one thing, the term “slave” or “slavery” in the Old Testament is often a mistranslation. The Mosaic Law typically refers to “servitude” as indentured service—much like arrangements in colonial America: those who couldn’t pay for their voyage to the New World would work for seven years to pay off their debt, and then they were free to operate in society as ordinary citizens.

What’s interesting about contracted servitude in Israel was that it was, first of all, voluntary: a person would “sell himself” or parcel out family members to work, and they would in return receive clothing, a roof over their heads, and food on the table. Servitude was also limited to seven years unless the servant voluntarily chose lifelong servitude, which brought both stability and security in difficult economic times.

But read the following passages and ask yourself if that sounds like “indentured service” or “contracted servitude.” I don’t think so.

Leviticus Chapter 25, verse 44:

Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. You can will them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

Exodus Chapter 21, verse 20:

If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished, but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property.

So the Bible recognizes it is okay to trade in people (but not fellow Israelites), though perhaps this is just the buying and selling of indentured servitude. It recognizes slavery as being ruthless and that is the primary justification for not taking other Israelites as slaves. But it also recognizes that beating slaves is acceptable as long as that slave does not die (one can only presume maiming is acceptable).

The question is, then, does the God of the Old Testament act in a way that the cultures of the time saw as being morally correct, but which we no longer approve? Or is God’s “morality” constant and outside of the morality of the cultures of the time, the way most Abrahamic religions portray it? If so, how do we reject slavery in modern times?

Are we wrong, or is God?

Some Christian apologists say, “Those verses are from the Old Testament and no longer apply because of Jesus.” But, this ignores the fact that Jesus specifically states that the laws of the Old Testament still stand in the New Testament. In Matthew 5:18 Jesus says:

“Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

What can we learn of God’s morality from experience?

English comedian and activist, Richard Fry, when asked what he would say to God if he were confronted by Him at the Pearly Gates, answered:

“I’d say, bone cancer in children? What’s that about? How dare you? How dare you create a world in which there is such misery that is not our fault? It’s not right, it’s utterly, utterly evil. Why should I respect a capricious, mean-minded, stupid god who creates a world that is so full of injustice and pain? That’s what I would say.”

British naturalist David Attenborough, when asked why he didn’t credit God for the wonders of nature in his documentaries, replied:

“They always mean beautiful things like hummingbirds. I always reply by saying that I think of a little child in east Africa with a worm burrowing through his eyeball. The worm cannot live in any other way, except by burrowing through eyeballs. Why would an all-loving God, Creator of Life on this planet, have planned such a hideous punishment for an innocent child?”

God's superpowers

One of the most famous quotes about God’s morality is attributed to a carving on the wall of a Nazi concentration camp by an anonymous Jewish prisoner. It reads, “If there is a God, He will have to beg my forgiveness.“ Clearly, the world is, and always has been, full of suffering. It is difficult (impossible, really) to reconcile an all-loving God with current, historical, and even biblical human experiences.

“But God works in mysterious ways,” many apologists answer. Yet, it doesn’t seem so much mysterious as contradictory. We have to ask ourselves, if we can look at things (like slavery, prison camps, bone cancer, and parasitic worms) that appear acceptable to God, and see that they are obviously wrong, why should we trust that He really was working for the eventual betterment of the human condition?

In the next post, I’ll discuss “God’s superpowers.” Is God all-knowing and all-powerful?




God

What “Proof of God” justifies your position? (part one)

What “Proof of God” justifies your position?

I begin a four-part series today.

Philosophers, theologians, and scientists have been grappling with the issue of God’s existence for millennia. Much of the discussion in past centuries may have been motivated simply by curiosity or by a protest against theological dogma. For many of us in the modern world, the notion of God is a very private one. God may show up in our prayers but frequently doesn’t have much effect in our daily decisions. Why might it still be important to ask whether or not God exists, today?

Why does God still matter?

Related imageLet me state up front that I don’t really care what you truly, deeply believe in the privacy of your own mind. You could believe you are the King of Narnia. You could believe Harry Potter or Peter Pan are real, for all I care. I know many people who believe things at least as improbable as this.

You may not believe it, but I don’t like debating people’s faith, no matter what arguments they use to justify or rationalize why they believe. I don’t think rejecting religious beliefs is the best road to atheism. In many ways, atheism is not really a belief system at all and is certainly not a replacement for religion. That’s why I’m an “empirical physicalist“; it seems more like a philosophical position than simply not believing the “God claims” of others.

But people’s beliefs, particularly the heartfelt ones, have a habit of making their way into public policy. If you say, “In the case of North Korea, God has given Trump authority to take out Kim Jong Un,” you are now using your beliefs (without much, if any, objective evidence) to justify, recommend, or set public policy. And that public policy could lead to a proliferation of global nuclear war, ending the time of “God’s children” on this planet.

Is Trump’s authority from God?

proof of godThat’s where I have trouble.

Religious beliefs are among the most blatant and pernicious belief systems when it comes to influencing public policy. Religious beliefs gave us prohibition and help governments and other public groups justify their ongoing wars against drugs, abortion, homosexuality, the sexual revolution, feminism, evolution theory, Big Bang theory, science, and – most notably – against other religions.

In the United States, despite being in the vast religious majority, Christians feel they increasingly suffer from religious persecution. And they have begun to take steps to reverse what they see as their exclusion from public policy formation. Many atheists rush to point out that there is no persecution of Christianity, only a desired leveling of the moral playing field, a removal of the privileges commonly granted religious organizations such as freedom from taxation and the “right” to deny public service on the basis of Faith.

For this reason, it is important for those who hold religious beliefs to examine the reasons they use to justify their public policy positions.

For many people, a belief in God comes along with the religious beliefs they grew up with. There is no doubt that the emotional and social support many receive through the beliefs they share with their family and community provides great comfort. When asked why they believe, people will point to nature or the universe and ask how one could otherwise explain the existence of such beauty. They may claim they “feel” God or have a “God-shaped-hole” in their hearts that yearns for a connection to something greater than themselves.

These are emotional justifications; they simply assume that God must exist because that is the only way the believer can imagine their feelings having a source. I usually try to be more rational about something as potentially important as a belief in how the universe works. I certainly hope none of our politicians make their important decisions on the basis of their “feelings.” Psychological studies into paranoia and schizophrenia suggest that feelings or subjective experiences are not always the best basis for making good decisions.

Many people have fuzzy notions of God. God could be a “force,” a “presence,” or a “Guardian/Protector,” for example. For many, their idea of God has some basis in their holy texts.

Perhaps unique to the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) is a belief in a single God. Other religions like Hinduism and Buddhism either have a proliferation of gods or no god in particular. The central claim of the Abrahamic religions is that God is the Creator of all: the universe, the Earth, all life, and the human soul.

In the next post, I’ll discuss the nature or character of the God of the Bible and we can start examining the claims made of His existence in greater detail.




Fine Tuned Universe Holy Kool Aid

THE ‘FINE TUNING’ ARGUMENT DEBUNKED – Holy Koolaid

Fine Tuned Universe Holy Kool Aid

THE FINE TUNING ARGUMENT DEBUNKED BY SCIENCE (And Holy Koolaid)

The fine tuning argument is the most overused argument in the creationists’ toolkit. If you’re not familiar with the fine-tuning argument, it goes something like this:

The parameters for life are so finely tuned that if they were tweaked ever so slightly, all life would cease to exist, and the universe would be too hostile for life, if it existed at all. Therefore, there must be a god who fine-tuned everything. But is the universe fine-tuned for life?


In 2014, a major coalition of creationists got together and released a video called the Privileged Planet. I remember watching it as a Christian kid and not seeing anything wrong with it, but after spending the last few years thoroughly immersed in science, I can take an objective look back on the video.

One scene from the Privileged planet indicates that the earth’s orbit is so finely tuned, and if it were just 5% closer to the sun, or 20% further away, life could not exist on our planet. But while 5% and 20% don’t sound like much, that window is 37,399,000 km wide, and the earth’s orbit isn’t a perfect circle. It varies wildly in its distance to the sun. Its closest point, or perihelion, and farthest point, aphelion are 5 million kilometers different from each other in terms of solar proximity!

With over 100 billion galaxies containing 100 billion stars, many of which have multiple planets – ours has at least 8 (sorry, Pluto) – it’s not surprising that in just the few years that we’ve had telescopes and methods to detect them, we’ve discovered thousands of exo-planets with estimates of as many as 40 billion just in our galaxy that are orbiting around a star in the life-sustaining, habitable zone.

Now most of the universe is a dangerous vacuum that’s either scorching hot or ice cold; with no air to breathe, we would die in seconds. In fact, 99.999999-ad nauseam percent of the universe is not suitable for human life. It took us billions of years to evolve and adapt to this narrow corner of it. To say that the universe is fine-tuned for human life is like saying the Sydney Opera House was fine-tuned for the spec of mold growing on the crumb of cheese that fell from a lady’s pocket 5 minutes ago.

Allow me to paint a picture for you of what a universe fine-tuned for life might look like:

Every star would be surrounded with multiple, habitable planets – each in perfect equilibrium. They wouldn’t have to have shifting tectonic plates causing earthquakes or volcanoes. No dangerously sporadic weather conditions would exist, and we would be impervious to UV radiation, if it existed at all. There would be a higher ratio of land to water, and a greater percentage of the water would be drinkable. The requirements for human life wouldn’t be so minuscule and tiny. We would possibly even be able to survive in outer space and explore it with ease. And while this type of universe may not be able to operate on its own according to our current laws of physics, it wouldn’t have to, because it would be held in place by god. The very fact that our universe always adheres to physical constants and operates so well on its own is proof in itself that god is superfluous.

We live on a tiny rock, hurdling around a massive fireball at death-defying speeds, in the vacuum of space. Our planet is bombarded by meteors and asteroids, encompassed with natural disasters, and has undergone at least five known mass extinction events. Our primary source of light and energy gives us cancer. Only a fool would say that this planet is intelligently designed. Only a blind lunatic would call it fine-tuned for human life when everything around us is trying to wipe us out.

But even though it’s not fine-tuned for life, the parameters for life aren’t nearly as narrow as we once thought. In the 19th century, it was speculated that man could not survive speeds greater than 50 miles per hour. To show just how laughable that assumption is, astronauts on the Apollo 10 reached speeds of 24790 mph. Creationists think the window for life is so tiny, but let’s take a look at the tardigrade.

Tardigrade

JUST TRY AND KILL ME!

This little guy can survive temperatures as low as -328 degrees Fahrenheit (-200 Celsius) and as high as 300 degrees Fahrenheit (148.889 Celsius). Radiation? No problemo! They can take doses a thousand times the lethal dose for humans, and can live on in pressures 6000 times greater than that of our atmosphere. We’ve even found bacteria that can survive in outer space.

The fact is, we just don’t know what the limits of life are. We’ve adapted to this planet, but the requirements for life in other circumstances may be broader than we ever thought possible. If we had been born on a hotter planet, we would have likely evolved from thermophiles and would have evolved better cooling mechanisms or internal systems that thrive in heat. Would you then say that that planet is so fine-tuned for life?

But what about the constants of the universe?

Creationists often point to the gravitational constant stating that if it varied by just 1 in 10^60 parts, none of us would exist. But here’s what an actual physicist, Dr. Sean Carroll, has to say about it:

“There’s a famous example that theists like to give – or even cosmologists who haven’t thought about it enough – that the expansion rate of the early universe is tuned to within one part in ten to the 60th. That’s the naïve estimate, back of the envelope, pencil and paper you would do. But in this case, you can do better. You can go into the equations of general relativity, and there is a correct, rigorous derivation of the probability. And when you ask the same question using the correct equations, you find that the probability is one. All but a set of measure zero of early universe cosmologies have the right expansion rate to live for a long time and allow life to exist.”Sean Carroll PhD

Another example creationists like to give is the expansion rate of the universe (driven by the cosmological constant). They claim that if its value was altered by just one part in ten to power of 120, the universe would have expanded too rapidly or too slowly. But Physicist Lawrence Krauss has a different perspective:

“One of the worst fine-tuning problems in nature, which is one of the ones I first proposed – the cosmological constant problem… That looks like it’s incredibly fine-tuned – 120 orders of magnitude – the worst fine tuning problem in nature, and Dr. [William Lane] Craig will jump up and say, ‘Look, if it was a lot bigger we wouldn’t have humans.’ Well it turns out, if it was precisely zero, which is a much more natural number, more life would form.”Lawrence Krauss PhD

What about the electroweak force? Well it turns out, it appears fine-tuned, if that’s the only value you’re permitted to alter. But work by Dr. Harnek and colleagues has demonstrated a perfectly viable universe when allowed to tweak other parameters simultaneously, even in the complete absence of the weak force altogether. And if you’re concerned with probability, there’s no reason to assume that the universe hasn’t been expanding and contracting for eternity or that our universe isn’t one of many – each with its own starting conditions.

Multiverse visualization - Universe Formation

WHAT YOU SEE ISN’T ALL THERE IS.

The Cosmological Natural Selection (fecund universes) theory by physicist Lee Smolin posits that black holes may be the way that universes reproduce – each new universe having slightly different physical constants. If that’s the case, and there’s an infinite number of universes, then even if the creationists’ assertions about the improbability of life were true, probability would be irrelevant. Because even if the chance of life was really one in a trillion-trillion then with more than a trillion-trillion universes – each with different physical constants – our existence would be a statistical necessity. But rather than our universe being fine-tuned for life, it would be fine-tuned for the formation of black holes, which given the prevalence of black holes, it certainly appears to be. The universes that don’t produce black holes would die out, and the ones that produce the most would become more common. The fact that some of the mass formed would evolve into human life would be but an inconsequential by-product.

Think of it this way. Over millions of years, humans have evolved to survive in the conditions we’re in and we reproduce to propagate human genes. Simultaneously demodex mites have evolved to survive on human skin. But that doesn’t mean that we reproduce in order to provide homes for these guys or that our bodies are fine-tuned for them. No. The reverse is true. They have evolved and adapted to survive on a tiny section of our bodies.

The Earth is Not Finely-tuned

UNIVERSE: “OH REALLY?”

We inhabit an incomprehensibly tiny spec, floating through vast emptiness and chaos. Are we really so arrogantly egocentric as to look up at the night sky and assume that it’s all made for us? Is that really a crutch we need to make it through the day? If a God did make this earth for us, then she created an almost impossibly small and dangerous place for us to live.

Starting in extreme conditions, humans and our ancient, non-human ancestors adapted to this planet as it cooled. Those of us who couldn’t live long enough to reproduce, were lost along the way. We have evolved to survive here, fine-tuning ourselves to this planet, not the other way around. We have fought tooth and nail to get to where we are. That’s all the more reason to cherish this life and not squander it or destroy the only home we have.

If you like this post and the video accompanying it, please consider becoming one of my patrons by pledging a dollar or two per video on Patreon.

“This is rather as if you imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, ‘This is an interesting world I find myself in — an interesting hole I find myself in — fits me rather neatly, doesn’t it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!’” – Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt

With Thanks to Holy Koolaid

This article has been reposted on behalf of and with permission from Holy Koolaid.

The original article can be found here: http://www.holykoolaid.com/angry-atheists-or-concerned-citizens/

You can also find Holy Koolaid on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzvoUDoDu-cKIb11rg4ODDQ
Don’t forget to show the guy some love on twitter too: https://twitter.com/holykoolaid



Just

Is God’s Punishment Just?

Answers in Reason

Introduction

A common claim heard from followers of both Christianity and Islam is that God, or Allah, is just. God is the ultimate judge of our affairs, punishing the wicked and rewarding the good; depending of course on how one chooses to use their free will. This leads to a contradiction between the concepts, and there are many Christian and Islamic apologetics written in an attempt to overcome this paradox. However, they tend to attempt to reconcile the two from the point of free will while ignoring a much greater flaw.  They overlook the claim that God is also all-powerful and if it did indeed create the universe than God must have “intelligently designed” the universe. So, baring these facts in mind as well, can God truly be just?

In order to determine whether God’s punishment is just, first we must look at a few of the characteristics attributed to God by both Christian and Islamic theology.  The first characteristic we must look at is that of God being “all-knowing”.  Exactly what does God being all-knowing mean?

All-Knowing and All-Powerful

According to Christian and Islamic theology, there is nothing that is unknown to God.  He has known all things at all times, and there has never been a time that God did not know all things.  Which means that there has never been a time that God did not know the future of our universe. Which means that he knew every evil deed committed by every single evil doer from the beginning of time.  In effect, from the moment of creation God knew every single genocide that would happen, he knew every war and killing that would happen in his name, every child that would be raped by a priest.  Every single evil thing you could think of, God knew these things would happen before he created the universe.

The more interesting thing to remember is that upon creating the universe, God knew every single moment that he would intervene and what the outcome of that intervention would be.  In other words, God already knew that he would have to flood the Earth, God knew that he would have to rain fire down on Sodom and Gomorrah, and he knew the reaction from every parent whose child he would have to take away as a test.

Which leads us on to an interesting question.  Could God have created the universe in such a way that these things did not have to happen?  Well according to Christian and Islamic theology, yes he could have.  According to Christian and Islamic theology God is all-powerful.  This means that there is nothing that is beyond God’s power.  So God could have created the universe in a different configuration; not only could he have created the universe in a different configuration but he would have known the future of each configuration.

In effect, God chose every single evil deed that has happened and that will happen.  He chose a particular configuration where particular people commit particular deeds.  To put it a different way, God chose which people he would punish and why he would punish them.

An Oft Overlooked Point

This is the point that Christian and Islamic apologetics tend to overlook.  They tend mostly to focus on correlating free will with an all-knowing god.  So does putting the two attributes together negate free will?

The answer to that is both yes and no.  Free will can still be possible, however, it means that God chose the universe in which the person made that particular choice at that particular time.  He could have created a universe where those events did not happen, or he could have chosen a universe where the person made a different choice.   In other words, God chose the universe where you picked that particular choice.

A Universal Computer Simulationpc-sim

Think of it similar to a simulation on a computer.  Think of running a simulator that calculates every single possible combinations of universes and events in those universes. This would allow us to both know the future, and allow for free will.  However, these universes don’t actually exist.  Now imagine that the user of the simulation then goes on to choose their favourite configuration, the one that they would most like to see happen.  The creator of the universe would still be all-knowing as far as the future goes, the being inside the universe would still have made a choice out of free will, however ultimately the choice was down to the creator of the universe.  This is exactly how it would be if God had created the universe.  This point can be further enforced by the claims by Christian and Islamic theology that God intelligently designed the universe.

god justGod’s Choice…

What both of these points mean is that while a person may have made a choice to commit a particular deed, the choice was ultimately God’s.  The only way that the choice could not have been God’s is if he could not have known the future of the universe.  However, according to Christian and Islamic theology God cannot know something now that he did not know at the beginning of universe.  Further proving the point that any deed committed in this universe, if it was indeed created by God, was ultimately God’s choice.

…Is It Just?

So the question that must be asked is whether or not it is just for God to punish someone for doing something that he had no real choice about doing?  Is it just for God to punish someone for doing something that, ultimately, God chose for them to do?

According to the dictionary the definition of just is “Based on or behaving according to what is morally right and fair”.  Is it right and fair to punish someone for something that you forced them to do?
To put it another way, if a scientist created an android whose sole purpose was to attempt to kill that scientist, would it be right and fair to punish him for attempting to kill the scientist?

Conclusion

Any reasonable person would of course come to the conclusion that it would not be fair to punish that android for performing that deed, after all it was the scientist who ultimately made the choice.  The same logic then should be applied to God, meaning that the only logical and rational response to the question of “Is God’s punishment just?” is no, God’s punishment is not just.

Which means that either God does not exist, as a being with the attributes assigned to it by Christian and Islamic theology can not be all-knowing, all-powerful and just, or that the Bible nor the Qur’an are the word of god.




Preying

Faith Healing: Miracle or dirty scam preying on the desperate and gullible?

1j4q69szMy money is on faith healing being a dirty scam preying on the desperate and gullible but I guess I had better not just leave it at that and present some kind of reasoning behind my conclusion.

Exposed

The James Randi Million Dollar Challenge. Job done!! Hmmmm, it would make for a very short article if I left it at just this, and I guess I should present a couple of premises just to add weight so let me digress.

We can start with the wonderful James Randi. Here is his bio from Wiki:

James Randi (born Randall James Hamilton Zwinge; August 7, 1928) is a Canadian-American retired stage magician and scientific skeptic who has extensively challenged paranormal and pseudoscientific claims. Randi is the co-founder of Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI) and the founder of the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF). He began his career as a magician under the stage name, The Amazing Randi, and later chose to devote most of his time to investigating paranormal, occult, and supernatural claims, which he collectively calls “woo-woo”. Randi retired from practicing magic aged 60, and from the JREF aged 87.

Although often referred to as a “debunker“, Randi has said he dislikes the term’s connotations and prefers to describe himself as an “investigator”. He has written about the paranormal phenomena, skepticism, and the history of magic. He was a frequent guest on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and was occasionally featured on the television program Penn & Teller: Bullshit!

James Randi

Mr James Randi

Prior to Randi’s retirement, JREF sponsored the One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge, which offered a prize of US$1,000,000 to eligible applicants who could demonstrate evidence of any paranormal, supernatural or occult power or event under test conditions agreed to by both parties. The paranormal challenge was officially terminated by the JREF in 2015. The foundation continues to make grants to non-profit groups that encourage critical thinking and a fact-based world view.

Randi’s One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge was somewhat swamped by crazy claimants so they had to eventually limit it to well known personalities in the faith healing, TV psychic world. There were very few takers, Yuri Geller had a few attempts but strangely under controlled circumstances he was never able to perform his psychic acts. Randi’s people reached out and directly invited several other personalities such as “psychics” Sylvia Browne, Leigh Catherine (aka Leigh-Catherine Salway), Rosemary Altea. They all accepted but then failed to make it happen. One cited as saying, “As expected – dodgy as legally & set up to make it impossible to pass!”.

No faith healers were up to performing their “miracles” under Randi’s clinical environments. Zip, zero, diddly squat, nada and none!! If the mountain won’t come to Mohammed then Mohammed will come to the mountain, and that is just what Randi did. He used his investigative skills to expose several high profile charlatan faith healers Including A. A. Allen, Ernest Angley, Willard Fuller, WV Grant, Peter Popoff, Oral Roberts, Pat Robertson, and Ralph DiOrio. He reported his findings and debunking in his book The Faith Healers which had the added bonus of a foreword by the great Carl Sagan. He went on to expose the likes of Peter Popoff, James Hydrick. You can see videos here relating to Yuri Geller,  James Hydrick and Peter Popoff by clicking on their names.

And it is not just James Randi exposing these con men. The TV show Inside Edition expose Leroy Jenkins, ABC News have run reports on PrimeTime Live exposing W V Grant. Grant for instance relies on the fact that religious people wish to preserve the illusion and dont want to give him away. He will grab up a cane next to a member of the audience and tell them not to use it and to run up and down the aisle. The cane will however belong to the person next to the runner and the runner actually has a wrist problem. He will seat walking audience members in wheelchairs and get them to stand and walk, just in case he has agents and confederates in the crowd.

Here we have a full length documentary by Derren Brown called Miracles For Sale where he shows the tricks used by “healing pastors” and how easy it is to trick the gullible. This is a multi-million dollar industry, make no mistake about it. Video here

So far I have just mentioned US faith healers, I have been given a handful of names of some Nigerian pastors fleecing the believers in West Africa with promises of blessed handkerchifs being able to raise the dead. This is the claim of Pastor Enoch Adeboye. The internet is awash with Christian websites warning their congregation not to give this man money. Here let me google that for you .

leg-lengtheningTricks of the trade

Lengthening legs simply slipping a shoe off slightly

Healing blindness and deafness is usually partially sighted people of hearing impaired being asked if they can hear or see. Truth is they could hear and see what they were asked to before the “healing”

Healing the lame is the charlatan grabbing the walking stick of the person next to someone that is not lame and getting the afflicted person to walk or run in the aisle.

Pastor giveth, pastor taketh away is when a healer tells a believing member god told him that the member had cancer but he could cure it with his healing hands. Then when the member is tested for cancer some time later he has a “miraculous” bill of clean health.

Hired stooges are employed to fake illness or disability

Psychic surgery is sleight of hand and chicken guts

Causing pain to a believer and specifically talking about this pain as opposed to the pain they are afflicted with usually. Then releasing a grip which is causing the pain and asking if they still feel the caused pain.

The falling faithful is achieved through suggestion. Hypnotic states induced through induction. Repetition of phrases and so on.

Ex-Faith Healer Mark Haville Explains the Tricks of the Fake Faith Healing Trade

Why, oh why, oh why?

Quite obviously on the part of the believers it is desperation to save them from terminal illness or crippling pain. One can understand their desperation, but why do they believe it works?question-mark

There are several reasons we will look at:

Group fervour and chemical release

In my article The Science of Belief I went in to some detail regarding the release of chemicals.

We just need look to the ancient Kung San tribe from Africa or the Australian Aborigines. Homo sapien religious ritual can be traced back to these 2 ancient people’s. Stemming from very different parts of the world yet their rituals share striking similarities, song and dance and trance like states. Activities which engage some of those previously mentioned powerful brain chemicals. The birth of religious fervour, throw in a crowd and you have group fervour. Serotonin and dopamine are released in these activities. More so if we are engaging in movement, the more strenuous the more will be released. Pleasure responses in the brain firing like crazy. Lets add some epinephrine, norepinephrine, endorphines and finally some oxytocin, the love chemical. The chemical released in great amounts at childbirth which help the bond between mother and child.

These chemicals are natural pain killers.

placeboPlacebo effect

Today, we know that patients who are given empty injections or pills that they believe contain medicine can experience an improvement in a wide range of health conditions.

This kind of fake or empty medicine is often called a “placebo”, and the improvement this causes is called the “placebo effect”.

One well-known example of the placebo effect involves a physical feeling we are all familiar with: pain.

In 1996, scientists assembled a group of students and told them that they were going to take part in a study of a new painkiller, called “trivaricaine”.

Trivaricaine was a brown lotion to be painted on the skin, and that smelled like a medicine. But the students were not told that, in fact, trivaricaine contained only water, iodine and thyme oil – none of which are painkilling medicines. It was a fake – or placebo – painkiller.

With each student, the trivaricaine was painted on one index finger, and the other left untreated. In turn, each index finger was squeezed in a vice. The students reported significantly less pain in the treated finger, even though trivaricaine was a fake.

In this example, expectation and belief produced real results. The students expected the “medicine” to kill pain; and, sure enough, they experienced less pain. This is the placebo effect.

Read a summary of the study: Mechanisms of Placebo Pain Reduction. – Courtesy of NHS UK

Desperation and trust

I cannot blame someone that has lived a life in pain or with a disability trying anything at all. I can blame the charlatans that wilfully take these poor individuals money knowing full well they can not cure them.

The believers hold the pastor as a trusted authority figure and do not question his abilities.

In this article Sorry, I’ll Pray for you my fellow contributor Davidian lists some of the dangers of inaction relating to not seeking medical attention due to illogical beliefs.

In Summary

So there are some liars, cheats, con men and charlatans which have been exposed, but this obviously doesn’t mean all are, however we just need to ask a few simple questions to throw light on the matter.

When will one of the healers cure an amputee?

When will one cure someone under strict lab conditions?

When can we expect healers to go to hospitals and cure the sick for free?

When can we expect them to rush in to areas with outbreaks of Ebola or similar?

Why do faith healers head straight for the hospital when they are afflicted by a health problem?

 

Until we see them attempting some of these tasks I would say we can deduce they are not miracle workers and merely dirty scam artists preying on the desperate and gullible.

I do hope this article has thrown some light on the subject for our readers – Until next time take care and question everything

Alan the Atheist

 

All rights to Metallica:  \m/      \m/

Leper Messiah – Master of Puppets 1986

Spineless from the start
Sucked into the part
Circus comes to town
You play the lead clown

Please, please
Spreading his disease
Living by his story

Knees, knees
Falling to your knees
Suffer for his glory, you will

Time for lust, time for lie
Time to give your life goodbye
Send me money, send me green
Heaven you will meet

Make a contribution
And you’ll get a better seat
Bow to Leper Messiah

Marvel at his tricks
Need your Sunday fix
Blind devotion came
Rotting your brain

Chain, chain
Join the endless chain
Stinking by his glamor

Fame, fame
Infection is the game
Stinking drunk with power, we see

Time for lust, time for lie
Time to give your life goodbye
Send me money, send me green
Heaven you will meet

Make a contribution
And you’ll get a better seat
Bow to Leper Messiah

Witchery, weakening
Sees the sheep are gathering
Set the trap, hypnotize
Now you follow

Time for lust, time for lie
Time to give your life goodbye
Send me money, send me green
Heaven you will meet

Make a contribution
And you’ll get a better seat

Lie, lie, lie, lie
Lie, lie, lie, lie

 

 

 




What if

‘What If You’re Wrong?’

What if you're wrong about God, atheist?

Introduction

When an atheist becomes involved in discussing religion with Theists they tend to find themselves confronted with many common questions from different believers of different religions. There are questions like ‘who created the universe?’, ‘who created the laws of physics?’, ‘who was the first human?’, as well as other similar ones. While atheism itself obviously has no answers for these questions, atheism simply being a lack of belief in gods, we can turn to science to find answers to these questions.

There are other questions, more philosophical questions such as ‘what is our purpose?’, ‘why are we here?’, ‘why is there good and evil?’ and similar questions. These questions of course have no simple answer. Many great minds have discussed and considered these questions, and not all of them have come to the conclusion of a god, and as we can see from history not all of those that concluded a god came to the conclusion of the same god. So while we can give our personal opinion about this, we do also have the opportunity to turn to other works to offer explanation or discussion.

Then there are also personal questions. These too are philosophical questions of course, but these are the kind of questions only a personal answer can be given to. When I get asked these questions during discussion or debate I rarely get a chance to give my full answer, as only a short reply is expected or will usually be read. One of these questions is usually ‘what if you’re wrong?’.

However, I have given this question a lot of thought, and while I can give a short reply it does not come close to covering just what I think of this question; because the question is not as easily answered as it seems.

There are several scenarios to this question. We can approach the question with the condition that I’ve died and ‘woken up’ in the after life, the condition that undeniable proof is shown while I’m alive (which itself has a couple of conditions), or the condition that we know just as much as we do now. So as there are different approaches to this question, I will approach the question in different ways.

Which God Is It?

If I was to ‘wake up’ after I die and be confronted with the afterlife, the first question I would ask is which god it was. Which is something I rarely find the people asking ‘what if you’re wrong?’ asking themselves. For all I know it could be a god that we have no idea exists, because, hypothetically speaking, a god could be true and none of the religions could be. So, before I could make a judgement about my error, I would need to get more facts.

I won’t go into the idea of a god that we have no idea exists though, because unfortunately this would take up far too much time. We would after all have to consider many other elements, why did the god create the universe, what type of afterlife exists, why it doesn’t get involved; there are just too many variables and combinations to go over. My main reason for writing this is to answer the many Muslims and Christians that ask me the question, so it would probably be best to focus on what I would do if it was the god of Abraham.

The God of Abraham

To which I could only give one reply, I would tell him to send me straight to Hell. Although this may sound like arrogance to a Christian or Muslim, it isn’t. Believe me, if Hell is a real place it isn’t somewhere I would choose to go to out of arrogance, or pride, or any other trivial emotional reason. No, this is a stance I have put great thought into. While a theist may simply see the never-ending joy of Heaven and the never-ending pain of Hell, I see much more than that. This is a stance I have chosen based on my ethics, a stance based on my reason, and most of all it’s a stance based on my humanity.

You see, when I look at the god of Abraham, the claims made about it, the religions based around it and the results of them, I don’t see what most Theists see. I’m not willing to make the excuses they make for it in order to gain that oh so important prize of eternal happiness. No, when I look at the god of Abraham I see hatred, destruction, anger, violence, immorality; and most importantly I do not see love. I don’t see this when I look at Judaism, I don’t see it when I look at Christianity and I don’t see it when I look at Islam. See for yourself here, my colleague at AIR presented the immoral nature shown true in the scripture of the Old Testament in an article last week entitled Jehova, The Immoral God

Follow The Religions

What I see when I look at the god of Abraham is a god that sent three different religions to teach mankind, and at the same time told each religion not to believe the other religions. Not only did it tell them not to believe each other, it told them to hate each other. Just to add some fun to the mix it told the second group of people to resist any violence, to ‘turn the other cheek’, and then told the third one that convincing the others through violence is acceptable; it teaches the complete opposite of the second religion. This is not a loving god, a loving god doesn’t tell one group of people to bow before another group of people’s swords. This is a bloodthirsty god, one who creates things just to watch them kill each other. This is a god that loves violence so much that it doesn’t even want to see the fight, it doesn’t do it for the thrill of combat; it does it for the love of death.

How can I be asked to praise this god? How can I be asked to call this god loving? While others may be able to overlook this for the bribe of eternal happiness, I cannot. While others may be willing to allow themselves and their loved ones to be pawns in what is essentially a blood sport for a bloodthirsty god, I am not. I cannot be asked to respect this god, and I don’t know how anyone else could accept this just for the bribe of Heaven. A bribe which could turn out to be false, after all this god of Abraham does appear to be a god of suffering and injustice as well.

We only have to look at the tales spun about it in the religions that it sent for our guidance. We only have to look at the tale of Job for injustice. Here we see this god whimsically killing people and taking away their livelihood just to prove how much a person loved it. This is not justice, this is not fairness, this is not love. This is a god treating its creation like an ant farm, like humanity is nothing more than a needy, bullying teenager’s science experiment. Not only do we see injustice in the story of Job, we see needless suffering. This god kills people in horrific ways, even though it could simply have stopped them living; but no, it had to do it with flair.

I could of course go on about other tales, the tale of Noah, the tale of Adam and Eve, and even the beloved tale of Jesus, but there are so many tales of violence, bloodshed, suffering and injustice I could probably write a book in support of this argument. You see, I haven’t even started on the state of the world, the problems the religions of the god of Abraham have caused, the confusion they have caused, or the crimes against humanity in its name. As I say, I could probably write a book about why I would not worship the god of Abraham. Which also hints towards the answer of what I would do if I was alive and undeniable proof was given that the god of Abraham was our creator. If that happened I would acknowledge its existence, I would not however worship it, for exactly the same reasons I would choose to go to Hell. As I said, I would rather choose Heaven; unfortunately the god of Abraham doesn’t make that a viable option for me.

This also leads me on to the question of what if I’m wrong but no god has revealed itself undeniably. What if I’m wrong and all the evidence is still just the deductive arguments, the Bible, the Qu’ran and the apologetics that go with it?

Glad of Being Wrong

Do you know what? I’m glad. I’m glad I’m wrong, and I hope I manage to convince others to be wrong as well. I think we as humanity should proceed as if we are wrong, as if all the religions are wrong. I think we as humanity should tell the god of Abraham that we’re tired of it. We’re tired of the violence caused by its religions, we’re tired of the oppression caused by its religions, and we’re tired of the suffering caused by its religions. We’re just plain tired of it.

You see, as I explained earlier, the evidence shows that this god, this infinitely wise being, created two religions that were told to disbelieve each other. It told them that under no circumstances should they believe each others religions. Not only did it tell them that they couldn’t believe each others religions, but that they should try and convince each other that they were wrong. Then, just for added fun, it told the first group that they should ‘turn the other cheek’, while at the same time telling the other group that sometimes violence wasn’t just acceptable, it was necessary. While history may show that Christians did not always ‘turn the other cheek’, it doesn’t change the fact that the religion itself taught it.

No, this god sat back and watched as various countries were taken over in its name. It sat back and watched as people slaughtered each other in its name trying to prove that their religion, the true religion, the real one, the one that had the god of Abraham’s seal of approval, was right. It could have intervened at any time. It was not unknown behaviour from this god. The lore is full of incidents of the god of Abraham intervening. So at any point it could have guided those willing to kill in its name to the right path, but it didn’t. It let them slaughter each other in new and inventive ways. So even if this god is real, even if I am wrong by not picking one of them, I think we all should be.

Nobody’s Choice

If nobody chose a religion, then nobody could argue about the right path, there would be no confusion over which is the ‘one true religion’. Nobody would be willing to kill for the right path. Nobody would die for the right path. If somebody claims to be speaking for a god, I believe that as a human race we owe it to ourselves, to our history, to demand no less than that god. We should not accept a conduit unless each of us gets a direct conduit, with direct communication, so that we can tell who really does speak for this god.

For if we accepted this all along perhaps history may have been different. We could make an argument that all the things that happened in the name of religion would still have happened, just in a different manner, and I would agree. It’s a moot point in my opinion however, because as much as we could philosophise about how it may have changed the past, our discussions and my arguments won’t actually change the past.

Some of the Fruits of Religions

We can however look at the present. Let me hold up the Catholic Church and the systematic abuse of children we see in our recent history, as well as today. Think of the difference to our present world that dropping all of our religions simultaneously would do in this case. Think about what would happen if we were to say ‘We no longer think you speak for a god, and we are now holding you accountable for your crimes’. Think of the paedophiles that would be taken off the street, the number of futures saved; think of the sigh of justice from former victims of those that go unpunished and unheard of. Think of the hope for a better future they would see. Is our eternal soul not worth risking to save those children and to show these victims they matter? Think of the difference it would have made if when the abuse was first being brought up people listened, instead of seeing a man of God that wouldn’t do such a thing.

Keeping to the present let us draw our attention to the Palestine and Israel conflict. This is a thin line to tread, I’m sure, because the conflict draws a heated emotional response for most. I don’t want to focus on the politics behind it, or who is right and wrong, though. I want to draw your attention to the fact that if I’m wrong then it means that this god promised a land to a group of people, and then convinced another group of people to conquer it. Not only did it do that, it convinced an entire world to go to war, dispose of millions of the first group of people; and finally got another group of people to conquer the land and then give it back to the first group. It then sat back and watched the violence, suffering and injustice going on from both sides; prompted by its commands.

Think of the Difference

Now think of what would happen if everyone involved suddenly decided that peace, that co-operation, that their children’s future and happiness, was worth more than who was right. Think of what a difference it would make if both sides decide to give up on who was right, and who had the right to live where, and instead decided on the best way they could live there. The best way they could build a place where their children would be safe, would be happy, would be healthy, and most importantly, would be unafraid. Just think of what it would be like if they chose to be wrong. Would it not be better to sacrifice their eternal soul for the future of their children?

Imagine the difference it would make in the present if the Sunni, the Shia and the Ahmadiyya all decided to stop caring about who was right, and start caring about what was right. Think of the difference it would make if they all decided that Mohammed was lying. Think of what would happen if they decided that killing each others children, that allowing their children to grow up in an environment where they could face a bomb, or even be a bomb, would make. Think of what would happen if they decided that their children’s future was worth more than their eternal soul, and worth more far more than the ability to say ‘I’m right’.

Imagine the difference it would make in countries like Uganda, where people are killed simply for the crime of existing while homosexual. Think about if they decided to be wrong about this gods punishment for homosexuals, homosexuals that it created to be homosexual. Keep on the same train of thought and think about the bigotry towards homosexuals caused by this gods commandments; the violence, the oppression, the fear and worst of all, the death. Think of the difference it would make to the present if all of them decided to be wrong about this god.

I won’t deny that all these things would exist to some degree, but think of how much harder it would be to justify laws used to do these things without an unquestionable god. Think of the impossibility for rational justification of the hate, the violence, the oppression and especially the death. The immoral behaviour towards homosexuals does not stem from reason, it instead stems from this god.

Some of the Harms of Religion

Just look around the world to all the harm that religion causes directly. The commandments against condoms, the sheltering of paedophiles, the obscene riches, the fat cat conmen and religious leaders, the corruption, the hate, the bigotry, the violence. Only those who want to delude themselves into believing that religion is not at the heart of these things can deny the difference it would directly make to the world if all of these people decided that not only was being wrong an acceptable option, it was the only acceptable option.

Think of the difference it would make to education around the world if everyone decided that everyone’s religious books were wrong. That all of these gods tales are wrong, and that we should rely on what we can realise for ourselves only. That none of these gods are worth arguing over, and that dumping them in favour of humanity was the right choice. Imagine if everyone decided that even if we’re wrong, we don’t actually care. We choose to be wrong in favour of a secure future for our children. We’re willing to be sacrificed to keep them out of the hands of this god, who appears to want to watch us kill each other, and argue with each other, and trick us into doing these things while it sits back and watches. Even if we’re wrong we’re willing to stand up and so ‘no more’, we’ve had enough of being misled.

Enough is Enough

We are at a stage in our development where we are in touch with each other, we are in a communication era. We are at a stage where we can all stand up and say enough is enough, we choose our future over any promise of divine information or reward. We can, and will, do our best to figure it out ourselves. If we look at the evidence in front of us through the means of history, not only do we see that these gods ways generally lead to violence, suffering and oppression, but the thoughts and ways of humanity far outshine those of the gods of scripture; and by magnitudes.

There are lots I could mention about the changes that everyone deciding that being wrong was the best option to take. Psychological and sociological arguments could be made, but as with any argument like this they could fill a book; and I’ve gone on long enough really. I get the feeling that only the most interested will have reached this far, and I thank anyone who actually reads this far!

As you can see though, this isn’t a question I’ve just taken a cursory glance at. One that I’ve just come up with a quick clever meme to pass on. No, this is a question I have taken seriously, and one that I believe everyone should not only take seriously, but come to the conclusion that being wrong is the better option.

That it’s better not to follow the advice given in these books, and to argue, fight, torture and kill over which one of these books is right. I hope you come to the same conclusion that each of our eternal souls is worth sacrificing in order that a better world can be created for those that come after. We are, after all, at a point when we can begin to make real changes in this world. A world where communication is made easy.

Conclusion

We live in a world where we can ask each other how best to proceed. Just look to the past, which in this age is only finger tips away, to see the difference that great people who decided to cast scripture aside in favour of the future have made. Great people willing to sacrifice their eternal souls, willing to say that they were wrong, so that people they would never meet could be free of that same scripture. They could be said to be giving up much more than Christians tell me Jesus gave up for me, because for them there is no reprieve, no resurrection, and no Heaven. For them there is not even the opportunity to be thanked by those grateful for all they sacrificed.

There is much to the reason why even if I am wrong at this moment, I’m glad to be wrong. If even this portion of my argument for why it would be better to be wrong doesn’t convince you, then I do admit that I’m slightly saddened. It is your choice however, and please be aware that I will continue to argue against you until my last breath because of these and many more reasons. Don’t think this doesn’t mean you can’t convince me of this gods existence, it simply means you cannot convince me of his worthiness.

Please don’t think this also means that I think people can’t question the existence of a god, or believe that a god exists. This doesn’t mean that at all. What this all means is that I think we should have a global rejection of scripture, a global rejection of the gods commandments, stories, judgements, morals, and anything else they have decided to reveal to us. It means that I think we should all reject anyone who claims that they speak on behalf of a divine being, or beings, and settle for nothing less than the diving being or beings themselves.

It means I believe that humanity has all the tools, all the intelligence, and all the capability to proceed. That religion, and the argument over who is right instead of what is right, is holding us back. Not only is it holding us back, it is setting us back. An argument could be made that it is literally killing us. It’s killing our children, and it will kill their children. It’s allowing the abuse of our children systematically, and it’s allowing those abusers to be protected. Not only protected but put in a position to harm even more children. It’s simply causing harm.

There are a lot of claims made about these gods, and especially about the god of Abraham in its incarnation in Christianity and Islam. I hear claims that this god is loving, and that he is infinitely wise and intelligent. If these things really are true, and I really am wrong, I am pretty sure that this god will understand why I choose to sacrifice my eternal soul in favour of those that come after me.

In favour of communication, information, ethics, co-operation, and most importantly, the love of humanity. I am pretty sure that not only would this god understand why I ‘am wrong’, but why I think ‘being wrong’ is the best option. I am pretty sure that any god like this, any loving god, any compassionate god, would understand why I think the living are far more important than the dead, and why I think our children’s suffering is far more important than my own eternal suffering.




Immoral god

Jehova, The Immoral God

Jehova, The Immoral god

The bible tells us not to kill, not to covet, not to be jealous, yet throughout the Old Testament there is an evil monster doing just that. Let me introduce Jehovah, the immoral god of the bible.

He is a jealous god by his own admission and jealousy, in its very nature, requires the act of coveting. Due to this he will make those that decide to pray to or adore another deity pay, sometimes with their lives and even the lives of their off spring. Murdering, covetous and jealous, a sinner by his own standards

He will command those that do believe to kill their family, friends and neighbours for daring to worship another deity. Inciting immoral behaviour in the “Righteous”, yet he will not let anyone know for sure that he exists. You must just believe, but giving the unbelievers no reason to follow him. These are not the actions of an all loving, all forgiving deity that wants to bring people to his fold, which Christians portray Jehovah as, and the bible claims him to be.

Yet Christians will claim morality comes from their god. Do as I say not as I do? That is no way to lead. Nowadays, thankfully, we now can see the evolution of empathy in our ancestors, and can deduce from that how those morals evolved. We also have in depth neurological studies and don’t need to guess that they come from a god. And just as well, as Jehovah is not the best moral compass to set your standards to.

The below list is only with regards to killing, and does not address rape and slavery, which the immoral Jehovah doesn’t seem to mind to much at all, at all!!

By his own admission he is jealous god, and his jealousy leads to him coveting believers in other gods as he wants their adoration. For himself, when he can not have their adoration he becomes envious, which in turn leads to him commanding the deaths of those that dare to leave him or worship another.

Clearly not the act of an all loving, all forgiving god…..

Jealous and punishing the generations to follow

Exodus 20:5 King James Version (KJV)

Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

It seems Jehova saw the error of his ways in Ezekial 18:20

The person who sins is the one who will die. The child will not be punished for the parent’s sins, and the parent will not be punished for the child’s sins. Righteous people will be rewarded for their own righteous behavior, and wicked people will be punished for their own wickedness.

God punishes David by killing his child

2 Samuel 12

11 Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun.

12 For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.

13 And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord. And Nathan said unto David, The Lord also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.

14 Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.

15 And Nathan departed unto his house. And the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife bare unto David, and it was very sick.

16 David therefore besought God for the child; and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night upon the earth.

17 And the elders of his house arose, and went to him, to raise him up from the earth: but he would not, neither did he eat bread with them.

18 And it came to pass on the seventh day, that the child died. And the servants of David feared to tell him that the child was dead: for they said, Behold, while the child was yet alive, we spake unto him, and he would not hearken unto our voice: how will he then vex himself, if we tell him that the child is dead?

19 But when David saw that his servants whispered, David perceived that the child was dead: therefore David said unto his servants, Is the child dead? And they said, He is dead.

See Ezekial 18:20

Kill People Who Don’t Listen to Priests

Anyone arrogant enough to reject the verdict of the judge or of the priest who represents the LORD your God must be put to death.  Such evil must be purged from Israel.  (Deuteronomy 17:12 NLT)

Jehova decided to take 1 prophet at a time to reveal himself to. how can he be morally justified in ordering the murder of people he has not shown himself to. They are right to be skeptical as there were and still are many people/groups claiming they represent the 1 true god or gods.

Kill Witches

You should not let a sorceress live.  (Exodus 22:17 NAB)

This is open to abuse. You want someone executed so you accuse them of sorcery. The god of the OT did not define any specifics for detecting a sorceress. This may not be immoral but it draws in to question the thinking of a supposedly perfect deity. There should be no ambiguity from a perfect being.

Kill Homosexuals

“If a man lies with a male as with a women, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives.”  (Leviticus 20:13 NAB)

WTF Jehova?? We are now learning some cases of homosexuality are epigenetic. It starts in the womb. Sexual preference is decided before birth in these cases. An all knowing god would know this so ordering their death is highly immoral.

Kill Fortunetellers

A man or a woman who acts as a medium or fortuneteller shall be put to death by stoning; they have no one but themselves to blame for their death.  (Leviticus 20:27 NAB)

I have no time for such charlatans but to put them to death for trying to earn a dishonest crust is a little extreme. Ordering assassinations is certainly immoral.

Death for Hitting Dad

Whoever strikes his father or mother shall be put to death.  (Exodus 21:15 NAB)

Nobody should inflict violence on another living creature, so if they do inflict extreme violence on them. Jehova does love his death sentences.

Death for Cursing Parents

  1) If one curses his father or mother, his lamp will go out at the coming of darkness.  (Proverbs 20:20 NAB)

2) All who curse their father or mother must be put to death.  They are guilty of a capital offense.  (Leviticus 20:9 NLT)

An eye for an eye, hardly. Death for uttering a meaningless incantation. Another WTF jehova moment.

Death for Adultery

If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife, both the man and the woman must be put to death.  (Leviticus 20:10 NLT)

My opinion on adultery is dont cheat. Be an adult and walk away if you want to be with someone else, but maintain any parental responsibilities if there are children involved in the break up. If you dont support your children and you can I am all for a little jail time but we are human. We have an evolutionary desire to procreate and pass on our genes. To kill someone for wanting to do this is an abomination.

 Death for Fornication

A priest’s daughter who loses her honor by committing fornication and thereby dishonors her father also, shall be burned to death.  (Leviticus 21:9 NAB)

Kill, kill kill, assassinate in my name. Jehova is such a bad example!!

Death to Followers of Other Religions

 Whoever sacrifices to any god, except the Lord alone, shall be doomed.  (Exodus 22:19 NAB)

Jehova chooses not to show himself so there will be no doubt he exists but if you are a follower of his you MUST kill those that would dare believe in another deity. He certainly is a jealous god.

Kill Nonbelievers

 They entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and soul; and everyone who would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman.  (2 Chronicles 15:12-13 NAB)

See Death to followers comment

Kill False Prophets

 If a man still prophesies, his parents, father and mother, shall say to him, “You shall not live, because you have spoken a lie in the name of the Lord.”  When he prophesies, his parents, father and mother, shall thrust him through.  (Zechariah 13:3 NAB)

See Death to followers comment

Kill the Entire Town if One Person Worships Another God

Suppose you hear in one of the towns the LORD your God is giving you that some worthless rabble among you have led their fellow citizens astray by encouraging them to worship foreign gods.  In such cases, you must examine the facts carefully.  If you find it is true and can prove that such a detestable act has occurred among you, you must attack that town and completely destroy all its inhabitants, as well as all the livestock.  Then you must pile all the plunder in the middle of the street and burn it.  Put the entire town to the torch as a burnt offering to the LORD your God.  That town must remain a ruin forever; it may never be rebuilt.  Keep none of the plunder that has been set apart for destruction.  Then the LORD will turn from his fierce anger and be merciful to you.  He will have compassion on you and make you a great nation, just as he solemnly promised your ancestors.  “The LORD your God will be merciful only if you obey him and keep all the commands I am giving you today, doing what is pleasing to him.”  (Deuteronomy 13:13-19 NLT)

See Death to Followers of Other Religions comment

Kill Women Who Are Not Virgins On Their Wedding Night

But if this charge is true (that she wasn’t a virgin on her wedding night), and evidence of the girls virginity is not found, they shall bring the girl to the entrance of her fathers house and there her townsman shall stone her to death, because she committed a crime against Israel by her unchasteness in her father’s house.  Thus shall you purge the evil from your midst.  (Deuteronomy  22:20-21 NAB)

Kill Followers of Other Religions.

1) If your own full brother, or your son or daughter, or your beloved wife, or you intimate friend, entices you secretly to serve other gods, whom you and your fathers have not known, gods of any other nations, near at hand or far away, from one end of the earth to the other: do not yield to him or listen to him, nor look with pity upon him, to spare or shield him, but kill him.  Your hand shall be the first raised to slay him; the rest of the people shall join in with you.  You shall stone him to death, because he sought to lead you astray from the Lord, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery.  And all Israel, hearing of this, shall fear and never do such evil as this in your midst.  (Deuteronomy 13:7-12 NAB)

2) Suppose a man or woman among you, in one of your towns that the LORD your God is giving you, has done evil in the sight of the LORD your God and has violated the covenant by serving other gods or by worshipping the sun, the moon, or any of the forces of heaven, which I have strictly forbidden.  When you hear about it, investigate the matter thoroughly. If it is true that this detestable thing has been done in Israel, then that man or woman must be taken to the gates of the town and stoned to death.  (Deuteronomy 17:2-5 NLT)

See Death to Followers of Other Religions comment

 Death for Blasphemy

One day a man who had an Israelite mother and an Egyptian father got into a fight with one of the Israelite men.  During the fight, this son of an Israelite woman blasphemed the LORD’s name.  So the man was brought to Moses for judgment.  His mother’s name was Shelomith. She was the daughter of Dibri of the tribe of Dan.  They put the man in custody until the LORD’s will in the matter should become clear.  Then the LORD said to Moses, “Take the blasphemer outside the camp, and tell all those who heard him to lay their hands on his head.  Then let the entire community stone him to death.  Say to the people of Israel: Those who blaspheme God will suffer the consequences of their guilt and be punished.  Anyone who blasphemes the LORD’s name must be stoned to death by the whole community of Israel.  Any Israelite or foreigner among you who blasphemes the LORD’s name will surely die.  (Leviticus 24:10-16 NLT)

Basically the immoral, unjust, unforgiving continues here and below. If this was a state head nowadays he would be seen as a tyrant and a despot. Please do carry on reading down to the horrific list of punishments and you judge if the punishment fits the crime……

Please click here for Page 2

Kill False Prophets

1) Suppose there are prophets among you, or those who have dreams about the future, and they promise you signs or miracles,  and the predicted signs or miracles take place.  If the prophets then say, ‘Come, let us worship the gods of foreign nations,’ do not listen to them.  The LORD your God is testing you to see if you love him with all your heart and soul.  Serve only the LORD your God and fear him alone.  Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him.  The false prophets or dreamers who try to lead you astray must be put to death, for they encourage rebellion against the LORD your God, who brought you out of slavery in the land of Egypt.  Since they try to keep you from following the LORD your God, you must execute them to remove the evil from among you. (Deuteronomy 13:1-5 NLT)

2) But any prophet who claims to give a message from another god or who falsely claims to speak for me must die.’  You may wonder, ‘How will we know whether the prophecy is from the LORD or not?’  If the prophet predicts something in the LORD’s name and it does not happen, the LORD did not give the message.  That prophet has spoken on his own and need not be feared.  (Deuteronomy 18:20-22 NLT)

Infidels and Gays Should Die

So God let them go ahead and do whatever shameful things their hearts desired.  As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies.  Instead of believing what they knew was the truth about God, they deliberately chose to believe lies.  So they worshiped the things God made but not the Creator himself, who is to be praised forever.  Amen.  That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires.  Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other.  And the men, instead of having normal sexual relationships with women, burned with lust for each other.  Men did shameful things with other men and, as a result, suffered within themselves the penalty they so richly deserved.  When they refused to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their evil minds and let them do things that should never be done.  Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, fighting, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip.  They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful.  They are forever inventing new ways of sinning and are disobedient to their parents.  They refuse to understand, break their promises, and are heartless and unforgiving.  They are fully aware of God’s death penalty for those who do these things, yet they go right ahead and do them anyway.  And, worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too.  (Romans 1:24-32 NLT)

Kill Anyone who Approaches the Tabernacle

For the LORD had said to Moses, ‘Exempt the tribe of Levi from the census; do not include them when you count the rest of the Israelites.  You must put the Levites in charge of the Tabernacle of the Covenant, along with its furnishings and equipment.  They must carry the Tabernacle and its equipment as you travel, and they must care for it and camp around it.  Whenever the Tabernacle is moved, the Levites will take it down and set it up again.  Anyone else who goes too near the Tabernacle will be executed.’  (Numbers 1:48-51 NLT)

Kill People for Working on the Sabbath

The LORD then gave these further instructions to Moses: ‘Tell the people of Israel to keep my Sabbath day, for the Sabbath is a sign of the covenant between me and you forever.  It helps you to remember that I am the LORD, who makes you holy.  Yes, keep the Sabbath day, for it is holy.  Anyone who desecrates it must die; anyone who works on that day will be cut off from the community.  Work six days only, but the seventh day must be a day of total rest.  I repeat: Because the LORD considers it a holy day, anyone who works on the Sabbath must be put to death.’  (Exodus 31:12-15 NLT)

2) God’s Murders for Stupid Reasons:

Kill Brats

From there Elisha went up to Bethel.  While he was on his way, some small boys came out of the city and jeered at him.  “Go up baldhead,” they shouted, “go up baldhead!”  The prophet turned and saw them, and he cursed them in the name of the Lord.  Then two shebears came out of the woods and tore forty two of the children to pieces.  (2 Kings 2:23-24 NAB)

God kills the curious

And he smote of the men of Beth-shemesh, because they had looked into the ark of Jehovah, he smote of the people seventy men, `and’ fifty thousand men; and the people mourned, because Jehovah had smitten the people with a great slaughter.  And the men of Beth-shemesh said, Who is able to stand before Jehovah, this holy God? and to whom shall he go up from us?   (1Samuel 6:19-20 ASV)

Killed by a Lion

Meanwhile, the LORD instructed one of the group of prophets to say to another man, “Strike me!”  But the man refused to strike the prophet.  Then the prophet told him, “Because you have not obeyed the voice of the LORD, a lion will kill you as soon as you leave me.”  And sure enough, when he had gone, a lion attacked and killed him.  (1 Kings 20:35-36 NLT)

Killing the Good Samaritan

The ark of God was placed on a new cart and taken away from the house of Abinadab on the hill.  Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab guided the cart, with Ahio walking before it, while David and all the Israelites made merry before the Lord with all their strength, with singing and with citharas, harps, tambourines, sistrums, and cymbals.

    When they came to the threshing floor of Nodan, Uzzah reached out his hand to the ark of God to steady it, for the oxen were making it tip.  But the Lord was angry with Uzzah; God struck him on that spot, and he died there before God.  (2 Samuel 6:3-7 NAB)

3) Murdering Children

Kill Sons of Sinners

Make ready to slaughter his sons for the guilt of their fathers; Lest they rise and posses the earth, and fill the breadth of the world with tyrants.  (Isaiah 14:21 NAB)

God Will Kill Children

The glory of Israel will fly away like a bird, for your children will die at birth or perish in the womb or never even be conceived.  Even if your children do survive to grow up, I will take them from you.  It will be a terrible day when I turn away and leave you alone.  I have watched Israel become as beautiful and pleasant as Tyre.  But now Israel will bring out her children to be slaughtered.”  O LORD, what should I request for your people?  I will ask for wombs that don’t give birth and breasts that give no milk.  The LORD says, “All their wickedness began at Gilgal; there I began to hate them.  I will drive them from my land because of their evil actions.  I will love them no more because all their leaders are rebels.  The people of Israel are stricken.  Their roots are dried up; they will bear no more fruit.  And if they give birth, I will slaughter their beloved children.”  (Hosea 9:11-16 NLT)

Kill Men, Women, and Children

“Then I heard the LORD say to the other men, “Follow him through the city and kill everyone whose forehead is not marked.  Show no mercy; have no pity!  Kill them all – old and young, girls and women and little children.  But do not touch anyone with the mark.  Begin your task right here at the Temple.”  So they began by killing the seventy leaders.  “Defile the Temple!” the LORD commanded.  “Fill its courtyards with the bodies of those you kill!  Go!”  So they went throughout the city and did as they were told.”  (Ezekiel 9:5-7 NLT)

God Kills all the First Born of Egypt

And at midnight the LORD killed all the firstborn sons in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sat on the throne, to the firstborn son of the captive in the dungeon. Even the firstborn of their livestock were killed.  Pharaoh and his officials and all the people of Egypt woke up during the night, and loud wailing was heard throughout the land of Egypt. There was not a single house where someone had not died.  (Exodus 12:29-30 NLT)

Kill Old Men and Young Women

“You are my battle-ax and sword,” says the LORD.  “With you I will shatter nations and destroy many kingdoms.  With you I will shatter armies, destroying the horse and rider, the chariot and charioteer.  With you I will shatter men and women, old people and children, young men and maidens.  With you I will shatter shepherds and flocks, farmers and oxen, captains and rulers.  “As you watch, I will repay Babylon and the people of Babylonia for all the wrong they have done to my people in Jerusalem,” says the LORD.  “Look, O mighty mountain, destroyer of the earth!  I am your enemy,” says the LORD.  “I will raise my fist against you, to roll you down from the heights.  When I am finished, you will be nothing but a heap of rubble.  You will be desolate forever.  Even your stones will never again be used for building.  You will be completely wiped out,” says the LORD.  (Jeremiah 51:20-26)

(Note that after God promises the Israelites a victory against Babylon, the Israelites actually get their butts kicked by them in the next chapter.  So much for an all-knowing and all-powerful God.)

God Will Kill the Children of Sinners

If even then you remain hostile toward me and refuse to obey, I will inflict you with seven more disasters for your sins.  I will release wild animals that will kill your children and destroy your cattle, so your numbers will dwindle and your roads will be deserted.  (Leviticus 26:21-22 NLT)

More Rape and Baby Killing

Anyone who is captured will be run through with a sword.  Their little children will be dashed to death right before their eyes.  Their homes will be sacked and their wives raped by the attacking hordes.  For I will stir up the Medes against Babylon, and no amount of silver or gold will buy them off.  The attacking armies will shoot down the young people with arrows.  They will have no mercy on helpless babies and will show no compassion for the children.  (Isaiah 13:15-18 NLT)

4) Miscellaneous Murders

More of Samson’s Murders

(The Lord saves Sampson from standing trial for 30 murders and arson by allowing him to kill 1000 more men.)  When he reached Lehi, and the Philistines came shouting to meet him, the spirit of the Lord came upon him: the ropes around his arms become as flax that is consumed by fire and the bonds melted away from his hands.  Near him was the fresh jawbone of an ass; he reached out, grasped it, and with it killed a thousand men.  (Judges 15:14-15 NAB)

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Peter Kills Two People

There was also a man named Ananias who, with his wife, Sapphira, sold some property.  He brought part of the money to the apostles, but he claimed it was the full amount.  His wife had agreed to this deception. 

Then Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart?  You lied to the Holy Spirit, and you kept some of the money for yourself.  The property was yours to sell or not sell, as you wished.  And after selling it, the money was yours to give away.  How could you do a thing like this?  You weren’t lying to us but to God.”  As soon as Ananias heard these words, he fell to the floor and died.  Everyone who heard about it was terrified.  Then some young men wrapped him in a sheet and took him out and buried him.  About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened.  Peter asked her, “Was this the price you and your husband received for your land?”  “Yes,” she replied, “that was the price.”  And Peter said, “How could the two of you even think of doing a thing like this – conspiring together to test the Spirit of the Lord?  Just outside that door are the young men who buried your husband, and they will carry you out, too.”  Instantly, she fell to the floor and died.  When the young men came in and saw that she was dead, they carried her out and buried her beside her husband.  Great fear gripped the entire church and all others who heard what had happened.   (Acts 5:1-11 NLT)

 Mass Murder

This is what the Lord of  hosts has to say: ‘I will punish what Amalek did to Israel when he barred his way as he was coming up from Egypt.  Go, now, attack Amalek, and deal with him and all that he has under the ban.  Do not spare him, but kill men and women, children and infants, oxen and sheep, camels and asses.’   (1 Samuel 15:2-3 NAB)

You Have to Kill

Cursed be he who does the Lords work remissly, cursed he who holds back his sword from blood.  (Jeremiah 48:10 NAB)

The Danites Kill the Next Town

But the territory of the Danites was too small for them; so the Danites marched up and attacked Leshem, which they captured and put to the sword.  Once they had taken possession of Lesham, they renamed the settlement after their ancestor Dan.  (Joshua 19:47 NAB)

God Kills Some More

Then the LORD said to me, “Even if Moses and Samuel stood before me pleading for these people, I wouldn’t help them.  Away with them!  Get them out of my sight!  And if they say to you, ‘But where can we go?’ tell them, ‘This is what the LORD says: Those who are destined for death, to death; those who are destined for war, to war; those who are destined for famine, to famine; those who are destined for captivity, to captivity.’  “I will send four kinds of destroyers against them,” says the LORD.  “I will send the sword to kill, the dogs to drag away, the vultures to devour, and the wild animals to finish up what is left.  Because of the wicked things Manasseh son of Hezekiah, king of Judah, did in Jerusalem, I will make my people an object of horror to all the kingdoms of the earth.”  (Jeremiah 15:1-4 NLT)

God Promises More Killing 

I will make Mount Seir utterly desolate, killing off all who try to escape and any who return.  I will fill your mountains with the dead. Your hills, your valleys, and your streams will be filled with people slaughtered by the sword.  I will make you desolate forever. Your cities will never be rebuilt. Then you will know that I am the LORD.  (Ezekiel 35:7-9 NLT)

The Angel of Death

My angel will go before you and bring you to the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hivites, and Jebusites; and I will wipe them out.  (Exodus 23:23 NAB)

Destruction of Ai

Then the LORD said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid or discouraged.  Take the entire army and attack Ai, for I have given to you the king of Ai, his people, his city, and his land.  You will destroy them as you destroyed Jericho and its king. But this time you may keep the captured goods and the cattle for yourselves. Set an ambush behind the city.”  So Joshua and the army of Israel set out to attack Ai.  Joshua chose thirty thousand fighting men and sent them out at night with these orders: “Hide in ambush close behind the city and be ready for action.  When our main army attacks, the men of Ai will come out to fight as they did before, and we will run away from them.  We will let them chase us until they have all left the city. For they will say, ‘The Israelites are running away from us as they did before.’  Then you will jump up from your ambush and take possession of the city, for the LORD your God will give it to you.  Set the city on fire, as the LORD has commanded.  You have your orders.”  So they left that night and lay in ambush between Bethel and the west side of Ai.  But Joshua remained among the people in the camp that night. 

    Early the next morning Joshua roused his men and started toward Ai, accompanied by the leaders of Israel.  They camped on the north side of Ai, with a valley between them and the city.  That night Joshua sent five thousand men to lie in ambush between Bethel and Ai, on the west side of the city.  So they stationed the main army north of the city and the ambush west of the city.  Joshua himself spent that night in the valley.  When the king of Ai saw the Israelites across the valley, he and all his army hurriedly went out early the next morning and attacked the Israelites at a place overlooking the Jordan Valley.  But he didn’t realize there was an ambush behind the city.  Joshua and the Israelite army fled toward the wilderness as though they were badly beaten,  and all the men in the city were called out to chase after them.  In this way, they were lured away from the city.  There was not a man left in Ai or Bethel who did not chase after the Israelites, and the city was left wide open. 

    Then the LORD said to Joshua, “Point your spear toward Ai, for I will give you the city.”  Joshua did as he was commanded.  As soon as Joshua gave the signal, the men in ambush jumped up and poured into the city.  They quickly captured it and set it on fire.  When the men of Ai looked behind them, smoke from the city was filling the sky, and they had nowhere to go. For the Israelites who had fled in the direction of the wilderness now turned on their pursuers.  When Joshua and the other Israelites saw that the ambush had succeeded and that smoke was rising from the city, they turned and attacked the men of Ai.  Then the Israelites who were inside the city came out and started killing the enemy from the rear. So the men of Ai were caught in a trap, and all of them died. Not a single person survived or escaped.  Only the king of Ai was taken alive and brought to Joshua.

    When the Israelite army finished killing all the men outside the city, they went back and finished off everyone inside.  So the entire population of Ai was wiped out that day – twelve thousand in all.  For Joshua kept holding out his spear until everyone who had lived in Ai was completely destroyed.  Only the cattle and the treasures of the city were not destroyed, for the Israelites kept these for themselves, as the LORD had commanded Joshua.  So Ai became a permanent mound of ruins, desolate to this very day.  Joshua hung the king of Ai on a tree and left him there until evening. At sunset the Israelites took down the body and threw it in front of the city gate.  They piled a great heap of stones over him that can still be seen today.  (Joshua 8:1-29 NLT)

Killing at Jericho

When the people heard the sound of the horns, they shouted as loud as they could. Suddenly, the walls of Jericho collapsed, and the Israelites charged straight into the city from every side and captured it.  They completely destroyed everything in it – men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep, donkeys – everything.  (Joshua 6:20-21 NLT)

God Kills an Extended Family

    “You have done more evil than all who lived before you.  You have made other gods and have made me furious with your gold calves.  And since you have turned your back on me, I will bring disaster on your dynasty and kill all your sons, slave or free alike.  I will burn up your royal dynasty as one burns up trash until it is all gone.  I, the LORD, vow that the members of your family who die in the city will be eaten by dogs, and those who die in the field will be eaten by vultures.'”  Then Ahijah said to Jeroboam’s wife, “Go on home, and when you enter the city, the child will die.  All Israel will mourn for him and bury him.  He is the only member of your family who will have a proper burial, for this child is the only good thing that the LORD, the God of Israel, sees in the entire family of Jeroboam.  And the LORD will raise up a king over Israel who will destroy the family of Jeroboam.  This will happen today, even now!  Then the LORD will shake Israel like a reed whipped about in a stream.  He will uproot the people of Israel from this good land that he gave their ancestors and will scatter them beyond the Euphrates River, for they have angered the LORD by worshiping Asherah poles.  He will abandon Israel because Jeroboam sinned and made all of Israel sin along with him.”  (1 Kings 14:9-16 NLT)

Mass Murder

The men of Israel withdrew through the territory of the Benjaminites, putting to the sword the inhabitants of the city, the livestock, and all they chanced upon.  Moreover they destroyed by fire all the cities they came upon.  (Judges 20:48 NAB)

The Angel of Death

That night the angel of the Lord went forth and struck down one hundred and eighty five thousand men in the Assyrian camp.  Early the next morning, there they were, all the corpuses of the dead. (2 Kings 19:35 NAB)

Kill Your Neighbors

(Moses) stood at the entrance to the camp and shouted, “All of you who are on the LORD’s side, come over here and join me.” And all the Levites came.  He told them, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: Strap on your swords! Go back and forth from one end of the camp to the other, killing even your brothers, friends, and neighbors.”  The Levites obeyed Moses, and about three thousand people died that day.  Then Moses told the Levites, “Today you have been ordained for the service of the LORD, for you obeyed him even though it meant killing your own sons and brothers. Because of this, he will now give you a great blessing.”  (Exodus 32:26-29 NLT)

Kill the Family of Sinners

And Joshua said to Achan, My son, give, I pray thee, glory to the LORD God of Israel, and make confession to him; and tell me now what thou hast done, hide it not from me.  And Achan answered Joshua, and said, Indeed I have sinned against the LORD God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done.  When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them, and behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it.”  [Note that the sin is not looting, but failing to give the loot to the treasury of the Lord.]  “So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran to the tent, and behold, it was hid in his tent, and the silver under it.  And they took them from the midst of the tent, and brought them to Joshua, and to all the children of Israel, and laid them out before the LORD.  And Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, and the silver, and the garment, and the wedge of gold, and his sons, and his daughters, and his oxen, and his asses, and his sheep, and his tent, and all that he had: and they brought them to the valley of Achor.  And Joshua said, why hast thou troubled us?  the LORD shall trouble thee this day.  And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones.  And they raised over him a great heap of stones to this day.  So the LORD turned from the fierceness of his anger: wherefore the name of that place was called the valley of Achor to this day.  (Joshua 7:19-26 Webster’s Bible)

Kill Followers of Other Religions

While the Israelites were camped at Acacia, some of the men defiled themselves by sleeping with the local Moabite women.  These women invited them to attend sacrifices to their gods, and soon the Israelites were feasting with them and worshiping the gods of Moab.  Before long Israel was joining in the worship of Baal of Peor, causing the LORD’s anger to blaze against his people.  The LORD issued the following command to Moses: “Seize all the ringleaders and execute them before the LORD in broad daylight, so his fierce anger will turn away from the people of Israel.”  So Moses ordered Israel’s judges to execute everyone who had joined in worshiping Baal of Peor.  Just then one of the Israelite men brought a Midianite woman into the camp, right before the eyes of Moses and all the people, as they were weeping at the entrance of the Tabernacle.  When Phinehas son of Eleazar and grandson of Aaron the priest saw this, he jumped up and left the assembly.  Then he took a spear and rushed after the man into his tent. Phinehas thrust the spear all the way through the man’s body and into the woman’s stomach.  So the plague against the Israelites was stopped, but not before 24,000 people had died.  (Numbers 25:1-9 NLT)

Murder

At the customary time for offering the evening sacrifice, Elijah the prophet walked up to the altar and prayed, “O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, prove today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant. Prove that I have done all this at your command.  O LORD, answer me! Answer me so these people will know that you, O LORD, are God and that you have brought them back to yourself.”  Immediately the fire of the LORD flashed down from heaven and burned up the young bull, the wood, the stones, and the dust.  It even licked up all the water in the ditch!  And when the people saw it, they fell on their faces and cried out, “The LORD is God!  The LORD is God!”  Then Elijah commanded, “Seize all the prophets of Baal.  Don’t let a single one escape!”  So the people seized them all, and Elijah took them down to the Kishon Valley and killed them there.  (1 Kings 18:36-40 NLT)

Kill All of Babylon

“Go up, my warriors, against the land of Merathaim and against the people of Pekod. Yes, march against Babylon, the land of rebels, a land that I will judge!  Pursue, kill, and completely destroy them, as I have commanded you,” says the LORD.  “Let the battle cry be heard in the land, a shout of great destruction”.   (Jeremiah 50:21-22 NLT)

Micah Kills a Whole Town 

Then, with Micah’s idols and his priest, the men of Dan came to the town of Laish, whose people were peaceful and secure.  They attacked and killed all the people and burned the town to the ground.  There was no one to rescue the residents of the town, for they lived a great distance from Sidon and had no allies nearby.  This happened in the valley near Beth-rehob.Then the people of the tribe of Dan rebuilt the town and lived there.  They renamed the town Dan after their ancestor, Israel’s son, but it had originally been called Laish.  (Judges 18:27-29 NLT)  (Note that God approves of this slaughter in verse 6.)

For your viewing pleasure Evil God youtube video

 

 




The God of Nothing and Nowhere

The God of Nothing and Nowhere

 

Welcome

Nothingness

What do we speak of when we speak of ‘nothing’? The word is often used in many different ways. To say ‘there is nothing in my hands’ is to make a statement akin to ‘my hands are empty’. Just as when we say something along the lines of ‘there is nothing in the box’ we are speaking of an empty box. In other words, we speak of emptiness, and absence of things. Yet we are not speaking of an absence of everything. We do not speak of a literal nothingness when we speak of there being ‘nothing in the box’, the ‘nothing’ we speak of is still ‘something’. For inside the box are still atoms, and quarks, and air, and more. The box never truly contains an absolute absence of everything, for it would be impossible for the box to contain an absolute absence of everything. For an absolute absence of everything would mean the box contained non-existence, a literal lack of existence of everything.

It is a similar kind of ‘nothing’ that is spoken of by Lawrence Krauss in his seminal work ‘A Universe From Nothing’, when he speaks of the universe arising from ‘nothing’ (Krauss, 2012). He speaks of the universe arising from the vacuum of space. His ‘nothing’ is still ‘something’. Yet his worked is dismissed by many believers as an adequate answer, often accusing Krauss of committing ‘equivocation’, or ‘attempting to redefine the word nothing’. Yet when we speak of there being ‘nothing in the box’ we are not accused of equivocation, nor are we accused of attempting to redefine the word nothing. The believer declares that unless we speak of the universe arising from a literal absence of everything then we are not speaking of the universe arising from nothing.

This is, of course, an attempt to narrow the definition down to one where only God can be posited as the answer. The concept of God is defined in such a way so as to make it a plausible answer to the question of how a universe could arise from a literal absence of everything. We have no real evidence that there was ever a complete absence of everything of course. However, for the sake of argument let us accept this claim, that before existence there was absolute non-existence. Also for the sake of argument let us accept the claim that Krauss’ argument is equivocation and an attempt to redefine the word. Let us assume that there was at one time absolute non-existence. That there was literally nowhere and absolute nothingness before somewhere and something was created by God.

Does God explain how we could go from absolutely nowhere and absolutely nothing to somewhere and something? Can God explain how we went from non-existence to existence?

Non-Existence

Imagine for a moment what absolute non-existence would be like. Imagine what a complete absence of everything would be. It would mean that absolutely nowhere existed, and absolutely nothing existed. Herein lies the first problem with the claim by the believer. They also claim that God has existed eternally. That there has never been a time that God did not exist. Which also means that by their own definition there has never truly been something that could be termed as ‘non-existence’, there has always been ‘something’. That ‘something’ being God. Which means that they too are guilty of the very things that they accuse Krauss of. They are not beginning with a nothing that is an absolute absence of everything, they are beginning with ‘something’.

If Krauss is equivocating by declaring a something as his version of nothing, so too are they. For when they speak of nothing they speak of something. They do not speak of a literal absence of everything. Instead what they speak of is a literal absence of everywhere. If they accuse Krauss of attempting to redefine the word nothing, then they too are attempting to redefine the word nothing as ‘an absence of everything except God’; which most certainly is not ‘an absence of everything’.

They are also guilty of a special pleading fallacy. For they are guilty of declaring that every explanation must begin with an absolute absence of everything, a literal nothing, apart from their own. They are allowed to begin with a ‘something’.

An objection will be raised here of course. The objection being based on the ‘First Cause’ argument. That an eternal ‘something’ is necessary in order to explain the existence of the universe. It is not that Krauss’ version of ‘nothing’ is a ‘something’ that is the problem, but rather that Krauss’ ‘nothing’ is a ‘somewhere’. In other words, when the believer speaks of the universe coming from ‘nothing’, what they mean is that the universe came from ‘nowhere’, and that ‘nowhere’ existed before the universe.

Nowhere

The believer here is speaking of an absolute absence of everywhere when they talk of there being nowhere in the beginning. The absolute nothing that they speak of is an absence of everywhere. However, let us consider this idea for a moment. Let us consider what an absolute absence of everywhere would mean.

Imagine for a moment what it would be like for there to be literally nowhere, for there to literally be an absence of everywhere. It is a hard task, for we are beings bound by place, and by existence, and by somewhere. But think about what it would be like. There would be no ‘inside’, no ‘outside’, no ‘dimension’, no ‘existence’. Believers often like to cite the argument that God exists ‘outside of the universe’, but with an absolute absence of everywhere this becomes a meaningless and incoherent claim. As for there to be an outside of the universe there needs to be somewhere else, God needs to be somewhere else. There was nowhere for God to be.

An objection could be raised here that God existed in ‘Heaven’, or another dimension. However, that means that there was somewhere else, and that means that the argument starts from ‘somewhere’. An objection could be raised that God created ‘Heaven’ before creating the universe, and therefore had a ‘somewhere’ to be when he was ‘outside the universe’. But where was God when he created ‘Heaven’? If God needs to be outside of his creation, then God needed somewhere else to exist to be outside of ‘Heaven’. Just as the believer declares Krauss must do, so to does the believer need to begin with absolutely nowhere in existence first.

So then let us focus on ‘nowhere’ rather than ‘somewhere’, for regardless of whatever ‘somewhere’ we put God before creating the universe, God must have began from ‘nowhere’. For the believer argues that the only thing that has existed eternally has been God, and only God. So unless God is a ‘somewhere’ there could only have been ‘nowhere’. What then would this mean?

This would mean that the statement ‘God existed nowhere before creating everywhere’ becomes true. However, this is something of an incoherent statement is it not? If we speak of actual existence then we cannot say that something existed nowhere, for when we state that something exists nowhere we speak of it not existing. Saying something exists nowhere is the same as saying that something does not exist. If only God existed, and God existed nowhere, it would mean that God existed in non-existence. This too is an incoherent statement. To state that something existent exists in non-existence is logically, and linguistically, incoherent. For when we speak of nowhere, and non-existence, we cannot use the word ‘in’, nor can we use the word ‘out’. We cannot use any words that speak of any kind of locality, because there is no such thing as locality.

A Category Error?

An objection will be raised here that the argument commits a ‘category error’. That God is an immaterial being, and is therefore not limited by the things a material being is limited by, such as the need for the space. The logic is akin to the idea that because God is immaterial it means he is made of nothing, and therefore can exist in nothing. However, this objection confronts a strawman of the argument being made. The argument is not attempting to limit God by declaring that he must take up space, nor that God needs space in order to exist. This objection misses the nuance of the argument in that God needs somewhere to exist. That it is not possible for a being to exist in non-existence, or to exist nowhere and to still be an existent being. It is an objection to the category definition of an immaterial being, it is a declaration that the definition is incoherent. Even if the definition declares that it can exist in non-existence, or can exist with a complete absence of everywhere, the definition is faulty and is logically incoherent.

A Being Unlike Any Other

Another objection that will be raised is one based on the concept itself, and how it is defined and how its attributes are defined. The believer is often heard to say that ‘God is unlike any other’. That he is not bound by things like space, and time, and locality; and that words such as ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ are meaningless when it comes to God. However, this still does not overcome the problem presented here. It is simply an attempt to define the problem away without confronting the argument. The claim that God is omnipotent and therefore capable of anything does not save the concept here either.

For the theological definition of ‘omnipotence’ defines God as being capable of ‘all things logically possible’. It is defined this way in order to overcome questions such as ‘can God create a rock so heavy that he cannot lift it?’. It is a definition designed to enable the believer to disregard certain ‘gotcha’ kind of questions that the non-believer may ask. It is this definition that also limits God’s ability to exist in non-existence, and to exist nowhere and still be real. For these things are not logically possible, regardless of other attributes assigned to God, and therefore beyond the remit of the omnipotence of God.

God is Non-Contingent

It is also often declared that God is a ‘non-contingent’ being, or to speak of it another way, God is not reliant on anything for his existence. Therefore this argument is invalid because it makes God contingent, it makes God’s existence reliant on somewhere for him to exist. Again though, this is simply an objection designed to dismiss the argument rather than confront it. The argument is an objection to the idea that God is not contingent on anything, and does not rely on anything else for his existence. The argument shows that, regardless of how the believer may define God that God is reliant on somewhere to exist in order to be logically coherent.

In Conclusion

So as we can see, the objections raised to arguments such as Krauss’ are actually a form of special pleading. For the objections raised against Krauss’ version of ‘nothing’ also hold true for the believers version of ‘nothing’, yet they make allowances for their god, and even attempt to define their God into being the answer. We can also see that when we change the argument from ‘nothing’ to ‘nowhere’ the God claim becomes incoherent, and does not overcome the same problems that the believer declares that others must overcome. We can see too that the definition of God, and attributes assigned to God, do not actually overcome the problem that occurs when it is demanded that we begin with a complete absence of everywhere, the literal nowhere. It is simply an incoherent claim when it is claimed that God exists in non-existence, or God existed nowhere in the beginning. It is not that they object to an answer like Krauss’, it is that they object to an answer that isn’t their god. Yet their god does not seem to be the answer they are looking for according to their own stipulations.

References

Krauss, L. (2012) A Universe From Nothing, London, Simon & Schuster.