Yesterday I made this and posted it on Twitter:
In this post I want to elaborate, why it is possible for me to reject some concepts of “God” outright and why I can say that some definitions of God most definitely do not and can not exist.
Typical examples of how “God” is defined is of course omnipotenent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, perfect, timeless, spaceless, immaterial and so on. Some of these concept are internally inconsistent, irreconcilable with reality or incoherent.
The easiest example of course is omnipotent. Omnipotence is self refuting. We can use the often asked question “Can God create a rock, that is so heavy, that even God can’t lift it?” If he is omnipotent he should be able to create such a rock but if he can’t lift that rock, well then he clearly isn’t omnipotent anymore, is he?
In principle I think God being omniscient is not impossible but it puts theists in a difficult spot. If God is omniscient, then he knows the future with infallible certainty, which means the future is already set and can’t be changed in any way shape or form, because this would necessitate that God was wrong about the future, which contradicts omniscience. This would not only mean that we as humans have no free will, as we necessarily have to go the route, that the already set future dictates it would also mean that God has no free will. Unless theists want to choose, that path (they don’t) an omniscient God is impossible.
The concept of omnibenevolence is clearly contradicted by observable reality. If God was omnibenevolent we wouldn’t observe natural catastrophes etc. and the concept of hell also clearly contradicts omnibenevolence. An omnibenevolent God who let’s his existence be blatantly unclear and let’s a majority of the world go to hell (no matter if you adhere to Christianity, Judaism, Islam or what have you) is impossible as these 2 concepts are irreconcilable.
The next one ties in with omnibenevolence: Perfection. God evidently cannot be perfect as a perfect being by virtue of definition can only create perfect things. Everything a perfect being is or does is perfect, if he does anything imperfect or has imperfect characteristics he’s by definition no longer perfect. The universe we inhabit is clearly imperfect, therefore a perfect God did not create it. Of course Christians will try to save God ad hoc by claiming, that God’s creation was perfect in the beginning but we corrupted it to be imperfect. My response is simply this: A perfect world has no flaws and therefore couldn’t have been corrupted by anything. God’s perfect creation had an obvious flaw, namely the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The world God created in Genesis 1/2 was imperfect, so either an imperfect God created it or the story is fiction.
Now the last 3 characteristics I often hear theists proclaim are that God is timeless, spaceless and immaterial being. Now, I cannot say, that this God is impossible. What I can however say is, that none of us have ever observed something existing without a temporary boundary, without space or without matter. We have never ever observed a mind existing, that isn’t physical bound. I personally cannot make sense of this concept. I’m not saying it doesn’t exist. I am saying, that in our experience minds are always made of matter and positing one that isn’t seems incoherent. I can’t make sense of this concept and unless somebody can show, that this description is coherent, I don’t know what you mean when you combine the words timeless, spaceless, immaterial and mind. Until i can make sense of this concept, until it’s shown to be coherent I have no choice but to reject it.
Goodbye from yours truly,
Rene von Boenninghausen @Renevelation