Before discussing the likelihood of God, we first need to define who or what he is. Most people think of God as either the biblical God or as an absentee creator of the universe: either a personal God or an impersonal God. The biblical God is famous for his split personality, as portrayed by the Old and New Testaments. As a result, the biblical God may be something to be feared or to be loved; depending on your interpretations of his scripture. The other God, the impersonal creator of the universe, is the God of deists: a God who left his stamp on creation and determined how the universe would unfurl through eternity, then just let it be.
Both Gods are supernatural creators of the universe. The major difference between them is their level of interest in the morality of our behavior. The biblical God has formal rules we must obey or else suffer unimaginably severe consequences. The deist God, is more laissez-faire and is perfectly content with his creation the way it is and hasn’t formally indicated any kind of moral preferences (much less, consequences).
The deist God is impossible to confirm or to rule out – mostly because of his absentee status. If he doesn’t meddle with his creation, he doesn’t leave any evidence of his presence or actions. We can’t tell the difference between an absentee God and a nonexistent God, so the question of his likelihood comes down to Occam’s Razor: there’s no reason to assert the God hypothesis. Based on reason, I would be very surprised if this deist God exists . . . but it really doesn’t matter very much, other than knowing he’s out there. He’s aloof: makes no demands and threatens no punishment. That’s fine with me.
The biblical God is another matter entirely.
The biblical God is the God of Abraham: worshipped by Jews, Christians and Muslims. The Abrahamic religions have divergent ideas of what God represents (based on their particular scriptures) but there are some things they all share in common. At their core, all the Abrahamic religions believe that God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent and omnibenevolent. They all believe their creator is perfect and timeless.
But when one looks at the biblical God’s influence on humanity, one can’t help but notice contradictions to God’s omni-everything. If Jesus was right about judging a tree by its fruit, then it can be fairly asserted that the Abrahamic religions have been the most persistently divisive influence in the history of mankind. That’s not exactly a resounding endorsement of God’s omni-anything.
Either God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent and omnibenevolent or he isn’t. You can’t have it both ways. This means that, if you can reasonably disprove these qualities of God, you have reasonably disproved the existence of the biblical God. You only need to prove it once.
As it turns out, the very thing that distinguishes the biblical God from the cosmic one is also the very thing that disproves the existence of the biblical God. Namely, morality.
Of all God’s moral deficiencies, there’s one that’s special: human subjugation . . . slavery and male dominance over women. I’ve recently blogged about this moral weakness of God and his scripture. It’s called “The Death of Christian Apologetics”. Click the link to find out exactly how likely the biblical God really is.
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