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God - the possibilities beyond a reasonable doubt
Wednesday February 08, 2006 21:00 by Seán Ryan
Religion's advertising and political campaign
The story continues.....
This time the author attempts to prove that any description applied to the possibility of the existence of God, is a man-made one. The overall point of the author is not to disprove the existence of God, but to prove that man is wasting his time, trying to define an aspect of something they equate with 'everything.'
Is man the invention of God? Or is God the invention of man?
Ok. lets look at the old argument of, 'which came first the chicken or the egg?' The answer is of course the chicken and here's an old proof.
a. A chicken is an actual chicken.
b. An egg is a potential chicken.
c. Potentiality is preceded and defined by actuality. In other words a potential chicken must come from an actual chicken. Look at it this way; is it a chicken's egg or an eggs chicken?
Not the most absolute of proofs admittedly but thought provoking nonetheless.
What does God have to do with a chicken? I hear the outraged demand.
Nothing I reply, but he has a helluva lot to do with my two friends actuality and potentiality. Let me re-phrase this old proof to encompass the existence of God.
Let us first assume that God does exist and secondly let us assume that in order for us to exist, God must have pre-existed and created us. For unless we assume this, there is no point in proving that we got it wrong.
So here is my proof that God does not exist.
a. Man actually exists.
b. Man comes from God. (In other words, the will of God is potential man.)
c. Man defines and pre-exists potential man.
Admittedly there are some small holes in both these arguments. (spot them if you can.) But they do illustrate much to the consternation of believers in God that there can be good arguments that produce evidence that God does not exist. I don't for a moment intend to prove absolutely that God does not exist, for there are no absolutes in a relative universe. But I do however (treating my readers like a jury in a court case) intend to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that any notion of God is the invention of man.
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, let me begin at the beginning. Let us pretend that the creation of man is the crime and that God is our prime suspect. (I am by the way God's barrister and I intend to prove he didn't do it.)
Ok here we go.
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, my client (God) stands here before you charged with the heinous crime of creation. I shall present evidence and witnesses who shall show that God was neither responsible nor present whilst this crime was perpetrated. I will show that the prosecution (organised religions in particular) has blamed my client falsely and that its arguments are at best circumstantial and at worst are groundless and illogical.
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, an essential part of all crime is motive. What was my client's motive? The prosecution, have yet to point this out in a way, that doesn't contradict what they have to say about my client, and his infinite capacity and power. To quote the prosecution directly, they say, 'God is all knowing and all powerful.' They even quote my client as saying, 'I am the Alpha and the Omega. The beginning and the end.' They tell us he is self-sufficient and wants for nothing. He has and is everything. Where ladies and gentlemen, is my client's motive?
We shall re-visit motive shortly, but first let us examine some evidence that the prosecution has brought for us. Let us examine exhibit A. Free Will. (Now I don't for a moment believe in free will in man singular and I will explain why later.)
For millennia the prosecution have shovelled free will alongside my client and told us that it was a gift from my client and given to us by him. I intend to show that this is an absurd proposition in that if free will exists then my client does not. For God and Free Will are two contradictory notions.
Let me begin ladies and gentlemen by stating two 'facts' that the prosecution has said over and over again.
a. God gave man free will.
b. God is all powerful and all knowing.
Here we go.
Does my client know what I am thinking right now? The prosecution would have you believe that he does know for isn't he, 'all knowing'?
Did my client know what I would be thinking right now, even before I was born? Again the prosecution would have to answer yes because again the prosecution would have us believe that my client is all-knowing.
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, did my client know, before I existed, every act I would ever perpetrate and every thought I would ever possess before I came into being? Again ladies and gentlemen the prosecution would have you believe that the answers to these questions would be yes, for again the prosecution says, God is all-knowing.
Allow me ladies and gentlemen to point out the problem here, for those of you that haven't spotted it yet.
If my client knows my complete destiny before I am born, i.e. he has seen every thought I will ever possess and has seen every action I will ever perform, then I am nothing more than an actor reading from a pre-written script. In brief ladies and gentlemen I have no free will. In other words an all-knowing God contradicts the notion of free will.
Lets look at this a bit deeper. Imagine my client at the beginning, before any other sentience exists. In my client there is the knowledge of what is and what shall be. He knows I will write this article. He knows all the findings and conclusions that I shall eventually reach. Now from this we can conclude that God has read an article that I haven't finished writing yet. So even though I think I'm coming up with all these findings, I'm not. I cannot be, for my client knew all that is contained in this article at the dawn of time. Who wrote the article if it is not a product of my will? Again the prosecution has said that my client created everything. Did God write my article? Will he sue me for plagiarism? (This would definitely help with promotion.)
Now look at it this way. If I am a product of the will of God then I am a product of his imagination and because I have free will he is a God that hears voices. Is the prosecution saying my client is insane?
Let me put it another way. Can I tell God something he doesn't know? If I can't then there can be no thought that exists that is a complete product of my will and independent of God. In other words for me to have a thought, that thought must have originated with God, free will must neither be independent nor original, two essential conditions I would have surmised for free will to have been given to us. Are we to go down the old road of not taking things literally once again? Are we to take free will figuratively? Relatively, remembering that in a relative universe there are no absolutes.
Why did my client change personalities between the Old Testament and the New Testament?
I mean in the old testament he's depicted as a homicidal maniac, what with the flood, plagues, Sodom and Gomorrah and other acts of violent destruction, and then in the new testament he's all peace and love, the original hippy? Not to mention the fact that mankind's need and want for savagery and the ability to perpetrate it, have increased rather than decreased. It seems to me God should be getting more pissed off not mellower.
If he is the alpha and the omega then he is complete and doesn't change I mean if he can get better at something then he was bad at something or not good at something at some point, this would suggest he was not the alpha and the omega at all times.
Why then the evolution of a personality? And in particular to change to that which would abhor the behaviour of the original, even more bizarre he becomes sane after the voices start instead of the other way round. Or was he lonely, did he have need?
What about the knowledge of good and evil? According to the bible Adam and Eve got this ability when they eat the apple. Surely free will, which was given before this event would have allowed for either the submission of one's will to God or for thoughts and actions independent of God? i.e. good and evil. Yes ladies and gentlemen free will and evil be the same entity. And evil was a gift from a God with infinite love.
I mean surely ladies and gentlemen there is reasonable doubt already, and I have yet to call my first witness.
Well with that let me call Adam my first and allegedly my clients first witness.
Adam I have but one question for you. Have or have you not got a bellybutton?
This sounds to be a really stupid question and has been centuries a topic of hot religious debate. The reason is this. If Adam has a bellybutton then he had a mother. For what is a bellybutton only a scar of the union that was once mother and child.
To not have a bellybutton is to be of a species other than homo sapiens. That is to say not human.
So no matter what Adam answers, it is to deny my client as a creator that created man. If anyone in this story created man, it was either Adam or his mother.
The only possible explanation of the bellybutton is if it appeared after Adam sinned, and that it is somehow related to original sin, and since the prosecution have never mentioned this before, then to do so now would be to clutch at straws.
Sorry Adam, one more question that just occurred to me. I cannot enquire of Cain as he is doing a sentence of eternity for opening the mind of Abel with a rock, and is very hard to reach. Yah the Adam's were the original dysfunctional family, I'll give you that.
Religion has always claimed that you Adam, were the original human and that all others have descended from you. Taking into consideration that Eve who was closer genetically to you than any sister could have been, she was after all cloned from one of your ribs.
Could you be viable genetically, to sire the whole human race?
I mean incest aside, there is only one strand of DNA. available. All the rest of mankind could at best be clones of the original Adam, but from our own understanding of genetics Adam should have produced a race that went in the opposite direction that we know evolution took us (Biblical scholars avoid this disturbing evidence by insisting the incest occurred before God decreed it a sin and was therefore not a sin until he did. Of course this in turn means original sin wasn't a sin either because God could not pronounce the eating of the apple a sin until the apple had been eaten).
Of course the bible later says that Cain married a girl from a town and started begetting. But of course to use this argument to disprove what I just said about the genetics issue, is to admit that the bible contradicts itself in a major way. Also it proves that it is highly probable, that not all of human kind is subject to original sin, and I would suggest that the progeny of these humans, are the ones today, with the bellybuttons.
My next witness is Godel.
This proof is known as the Ontological proof.
Axiom 1. A property is positive if its negation is negative
Axiom 2. A property is positive if it necessarily contains a positive property.
Theorem 1. A property is logically consistent (i.e. possibly it has some instance).
Definition. Something is God-like if it possesses all positive properties.
Axiom 3. Being God-like is a positive property.
Axiom 4. Being a positive property is (logical, hence) necessary.
Definition. NE(x): x necessarily exists if it has an essential property.
Axiom 5. Being NE is God-like.
Theorem 3. Necessarily there is some x such that x is God-like.
This is a harder egg to crack. But it can be seen to be similar to the chicken and egg question. If it is looked at in the following way then the argument deflates somewhat.
We have God-like and God, God-like is the egg and God is the chicken and yes God would have to pre-exist the state of being God-like but unlike chickens and eggs, neither can be shown to actually exist or ever have existed. And this argument is therefore an argument of logic that only refers to language or numbers, in other words the word 'God' must have pre-existed and defined the word 'God-like.'
If this doesn't do it for you, then you will also believe in the existence of the tooth fairy, Santa Claus, the Sandman and the bogeyman all of which can be proven to exist with the aid of this argument.
My next witness is St. Thomas Aquinas.
This chap was actually a priest. He has come up with what I feel is still one of the best arguments against absolute beings and proof of relativity and to have done this centuries before the birth of Einstein.
The proof is as simple as this; could God make a rock that was so heavy that even he could not lift it?
Thomas Aquinas, I may add did not come up with this question, he rather tried to answer it.
Looking at this picture, Thomas Aquinas sought to reconcile the notion of an omnipotent God with the idea that an absolute being would be capable of anything but at the same time would be capable of nothing too.
Here are some similar predicaments an absolute being would encounter.
Can God be evil?
Can God make a mistake?
Can God learn something he doesn't know already?
Can God hope?
I can do all of these things; surely a God should have greater capacity than I?
Yes even an absolute God points to a relative universe that has no need of him.
Anyway, Thomas tried to remove these logical inconsistencies, by amending the idea of an absolute being, to meaning a being capable of anything, that is logically possible.
The Church grasping for straws at this point, copied Thomas Aquinas almost word for word and adopted his ideas as official church doctrine.
I have but one answer for Thomas, just one, but you'll have to admit it's a real kick in the teeth.
Creation is logically possible, whether we can prove this or not, after all we exist.
However, creation from purpose implies something exists prior to creation and introduces an infinite feedback loop whereby each casue becomes really an effect which requires a cause, this cause in turn is really an effect that also requires a cause and so on and so on.
To be logically consistent, creation must not follow purpose but create it. For example, creation did not begin when God said 'be', but rather it started before God said be, if fact before he, she or it could say be.
In summing up ladies and gentlemen, let me say this. Jesus is the reason for the church. If he had never existed the church wouldn't either.
Yet at no point did jesus renounce his Jewish religion.
Biblical scholars often point out however that there are many instances where Jesus says he and God are the same. I reckon these people are taking literally what they should be taking figuratively.
For example, why would a supreme being fear a human death, up unto the point that he begged God to be excused from completing his mission?
Plus how much of a sacrifice did God make in killing his son for three days?
For it to have been a real sacrifice it should have been for eternity. What are three days to a timeless God?
Sacrificed for the sin of man. Original sin.
If the universe is in a state of sin and God exists, then sin and evil are a logical conclusion and effect of God's creation and are logically consistent with his purpose.
To put it simply, if the universe is not as God willed it to be, it's not my fault, it's his. Remember to keep it logically consistent. All sin including original sin is the factory blaming the product itself for being badly manufactured.
There was no purpose to creation, that came later.
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury to find my client other than innocent is to have a degree of guilt similar to the degree of guilt of which my client is accused, and is in its own right, more proof of his innocence.
The prosecution shall probably refer to me as the father of lies, I answer that this is not so, I but tried to refute the lies.
Reasonably innocent, reasonably guilty, absolutely neither.
Very reasonable doubt.
Any notion of a God, is a manmade notion. Any supposed notion of a divine set of laws, is a manmade notion. If God exists and I don't know whether s/he does or not, then describing a facet of such a being, is an act of futility. One cannot point to a singular aspect, and then describe it as the sum total of everything.