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Disproving The Existence Of God - by John Prytz

While it is not possible to absolutelyprove that God (or any other deity for that matter of which there are thousandspostulated) does not exist, any more than it is possible to absolutely provethat orbiting teapots, pixies, extraterrestrials, demons and ghosts don'texist, the actual existence of God can be shown to be so unlikely as to be'proof' beyond a reasonable doubt. 


In a debate (available on YouTube) betweentheist William Lane Craig and atheist Christopher Hitchens which was on thesubject of whether or not God actually exists, William lane Craig gave hisarguments for why God exists while Christopher Hitchens in the main justattacked the entire concept of religions (especially Christianity) and gavenumerous examples of religions and religious True Believers doing horriblethings in the name of religion. Perhaps this wasn't surprising sinceChristopher Hitchens's book was titled "God Is Not Great:" (not Goddoes not exist) with the subtitle of "How Religion PoisonsEverything". Anyway, William Lane Craig correctly IMHO called ChristopherHitchens out on not really directly addressing the actual topic of the debate -the existence of God question. Since Christopher Hitchens isn't any longer withus, I'll take up the William Lane Craig challenge and defend the God does notexist atheist position. I'm also drawing on here another (this time a panel)debate (also on YouTube) which featured both William Lane Craig and ChristopherHitchens as panel members since some addition relevant points were made that Ineed to address. 


While it is not possible to absolutelyprove that God (or any other deity for that matter of which there are thousandspostulated) does not exist, any more than it is possible to absolutely provethat orbiting teapots, pixies, extraterrestrials, demons and ghosts don'texist, the actual existence of God can be shown to be so unlikely as to be'proof' beyond a reasonable doubt. 


Ways or how to prove that somethingdoesn't exist.


1) If you look in the location where thealleged object is supposed to be, but isn't - there's no coin under your bedwhen you look for a coin; the alleged 17 of Leaves isn't to be found in astandard deck of 52 cards - then you have proved that there is no coin underyour bed and no 17 of Leaves in your deck of cards.


2) If the alleged object has a 100%prediction attribute and the prediction fails, then the object didn't exist. Alaunched North Korean guided missile will be detected on radar. Radar detectsno guided missile originating from North Korea. Therefore no North Koreanguided missile is in flight. The prediction only works if the object inquestion exists. 


3) If the alleged object has mutuallyexclusive properties, contradictory properties - married bachelors; squarecircles; what is the sound of one hand clapping; everything is not identical toitself; you can't be half pregnant; and despite what quantum physics would haveyou believe, something material cannot spin in totally opposite directions atthe same time and a cat cannot be both alive and dead at the same time as ErwinSchrodinger has pointed out in his quantum cat paradox - then you have proventhat married bachelors, square circles, dead-alive cats, etc. don't exist.


Closely related to the idea ofcontradictions is the concept of inconsistencies. If another concept like God,is chock-o-block full of inconsistencies - and there are probably moreinconsistencies with God than with downright contradictions - then there issomething screwy somewhere.


So a disproof of the existence of Godwould most likely be shown by examinations within disproof #3 plusinconsistencies. So, these are some of God's contradictory / inconsistent traits.


Arguments Against God's Existence:


* Let's just take one most obviouscontradiction / inconsistency for starters. God says thou shall not kill. YetGod kills left, right and center - with reckless abandon - a contradiction orat least an inconsistency if ever there was one. And if God is one of thoseentities whose philosophy is do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do then God is a dick!


* God cannot be timeless nor exist in atimeless state. To suggest otherwise means that God cannot change and cannotmove since time is change and change is motion. Existence in a timeless stateis akin to being in prison, albeit a prisoner has more degrees of freedom inprison that God has existing in a timeless state.


* God cannot exist outside of space:Anything that has substance and structure has a boundary and there has to be anoutside that boundary in order for the concept of a boundary to make sense. IfGod has substance and structure God exists in space. If God is immaterial thenHe can have no effect on the material and thus God is powerless. The immaterialdoes not lie within the realm of physical reality therefore God does not liewithin the realm of physical reality.


* God is not a perfect God. Many say thatGod has no flaws apart of course from having a very bad temper, and smiting theinnocent and being a jealous God by His own admission. So maybe God's not soperfect after all.  


* God is not omnibenevolent - God'salleged omni-benevolence is contradicted by the Bible (Old Testament). Furtherto that point, probably the most frequent argument against God is the argumentfrom evil. Simply put, an omnibenevolent God allows natural but evil things tohappen to plants, animals and of course to humans. Humans, including babies,die because of drought, hurricanes, and other natural evils. An omnibenevolent(all-loving) God who is omnipotent and omniscient shouldn't allow evil thingsto happen to His creation through no fault of their own.


* God is not all-loving - an all-lovingGod is contradicted by the Bible (Old Testament).


* God is not a just God - a God of justiceis contradicted by the Bible (Old Testament).


* God is not a merciful God - a mercifulGod is contradicted by the Bible (Old Testament).


* God is not a moral God - God's allegedperfect morality is totally contradicted by the Bible (Old Testament).


* God is not all-knowing (omniscient) - anomniscient God is also contradicted by the Bible (Old Testament). I mean He hadto ask Adam and Eve questions and He had to know in advance what Abraham woulddo when asked to kill his son so there was little point in the exercise. ButGod can't really be all-knowing otherwise He would know the exact state(velocity, position, etc.) of each and every elementary particle in the entireUniverse. That's a pretty big ask, even for a God. Of course maybe theHeisenberg Uncertainty Principle doesn't apply to God. 


* God can't know the future. It makes nosense to plan and accomplish anything when you already know in advance what'sgoing to happen. Thus it's contradictory for God to be a creator God if youalready know how your creation is going to turn out. There's no point instarting a chess game if you already know in advance every move and theoutcome. Further, God cannot know the future if human free will and/or quantumindeterminacy rule the cosmic roost.


* God cannot have omnipresence. If God hasstructure and substance then God cannot be everywhere at once. In fact theBible contradicts God's alleged omnipresence attributing God to being in justone place at one specific time.


* God cannot be omnipotent - all-powerful.There are several lines of evidence here. One is philosophical in that God couldnot create a rock so massive that God could not lift it up. If He cannot liftit, God's not all-powerful. If he can lift it God's not all-powerful since Hedidn't create a massive enough rock. Further, there's the problem of why Godneeded to rest on the Seventh Day of creation. Speaking of creation, a reallyall-powerful God could have created life, the Universe and everything in just 6nanoseconds, or even less. God is even defeated in the Bible by iron chariots!If God were really all-powerful (and all-knowing) He could (and should) havebeen way, way more exact in His targeting of what humans to punish / smite /kill, but no. God just prefers to use a sledgehammer to crack a walnut. That'sGod's preferred option. Then we have the concept of miracles. If God isall-powerful (and all-knowing) then there is no need for miracles. It'sconsidered a miracle if someone survives a direct hit by a tornado or if their'terminal' cancer goes into total remission. But if God is omnipotent andomniscient then He could have ensured that there was no tornado or that itsteered well clear of the 'victim' and could ensure there was no developing andterminal cancer in the first place. Problems solved without the need formiracles. Finally, not even God can create an absolute something from a stateof absolute nothingness. 


Related to miracles is the concept ofprayer. No doubt the tornado and cancer victims prayed for their lives. Now weoften hear about God's will or God's plan. But if God has a plan then prayer isuseless because God isn't going to change His (all-knowing in advance) planjust for little old you. If your prayer is in line with God's plan then yourprayer is wasted energy. If your prayer is not in line with God's plan thenyour prayer is a waste of time. 


* God the creator? If the Universe wascaused by something that in and of itself was uncaused (i.e. - God), then thatuncaused something (God) existed without any beginning hence God even existedan infinite amount of time ago. Therefore, the something (God) could never havearrived at "now" - "now" being in this case what we wouldterm 13.8 billion years ago, but 13.8 billion years ago that was"now" - in order to do His act of creation. At least that's accordingto one interpretation of the consequences of having an infinite past.


God is not the creator: As noted above,God can't be the creator since it's impossible to create something fromnothing. From nothing, nothing comes. Only from something does something come.Something and nothing are contradictory terms. Something cannot be nothing andnothing cannot be something. Something and nothing are polar opposites.


* Lastly, theists might claim that absenceof evidence (for God) is not the same as evidence of absence. But the counterto that is when there should be evidence, massive and massive amounts ofevidence. And in the case for God's existence, there's not. So one needs to situp and take notice of that and ask the tough questions.

Science librarian; retired.

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