Does God exist?

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God as a point of light in Dante's Paradiso, engraving by Gustave Doré.
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Questions about the nature of ultimate reality have been asked as long as humans have been conscious. For thousands of years, across thousands of cultures, belief in a supreme being has been more or less common but some have always called into question whether or not God exists or can even be known.

By "God" we mean the metaphysically ultimate being, all-knowing, all-powerful, all-good, timeless, simple and devoid of any anthropomorphic qualities. We do not necessarily mean the Abrahamic God, although these ideas may share some overlap.

So is there a God?

God exists[edit | edit source]

  • Argument Argument The laws of logic are necessary true propositions. Propositions are real entities, but cannot be physical entities; they are essentially thoughts.[1][clarification needed] So the laws of logic are necessarily true thoughts. Since they are true in every possible world, they must exist in every possible world.[2] But if there are necessarily existent thoughts, there must be a necessarily existent mind; and if there is a necessarily existent mind, there must be a necessarily existent person. A necessarily existent person must be spiritual in nature, because no physical entity exists necessarily. Thus, if there are laws of logic, there must also be a necessarily existent, personal, spiritual being.[3][4][5][6]
    • Objection Objection This proposition is not correct: "Since they are true in very possible world, they must exist in every possible world". Why? Because the expression "possible world" has two different meanings. Is an amphibology. In first case, its meaning is: "possible world that we imagine". In the second case, its meaning is: "possible world that can existe".
  • Argument Argument Existence of God has been proven a priori using higher-order logic and reasonable axioms.[7][8][clarification needed]
  • Argument Argument Various phenomena in the Universe appear to be designed and suggest a designer, God.[for example?]
  • Argument Argument Language plays an integral role in the laws of nature and of DNA. As encoded meaning, language is non-material in its ultimate essence. Apart from something akin to the human mind, there are no serious candidates for explaining how linguistic phenomena might otherwise arise. The only reasonable way to account for the linguistic aspects of the laws of nature and of DNA is an intellect with capacities so vast that most people would immediately identify this entity as God.[9]
  • Argument Argument Under a naturalistic worldview, the coincidence of all the cognitive faculties required for knowledge is highly unlikely, since evolution favors survival, not truth, and any overlap of survival and truth is highly implausible.[10][11][12][13] If the reliability of cognitive faculties is low, any belief is not warranted including metaphysical naturalism, which becomes self-defeating.[14]
    • Objection Objection This doesn't imply that God exists, only that naturalism is false.
  • Argument Argument Chanting of names of God (like Hare Krishna) gives immense happiness to devotees. One can't expect such happiness from a non-theistic worldview, but God existence could explain such happiness.
    • Objection Objection Chanting in unison in a crowd during a sports game can cause similar feelings of happiness. Happy feelings from chanting is not evidence for God.
  • Argument Argument For the Universe to exist, there must be an uncaused cause, God, or the Universe is eternal. So either there's no explanation for God, or there's no explanation for the Universe. The Big Bang is not an explanation, it's a description with no explanation for why it came to be. We then have to rely on chance and happenstance. God fits the picture better.
    • Objection Objection If there must be an uncaused cause, then why can't the Universe be the uncaused cause? Adding God to the chain only adds unnecessary complexity making it a less likely explanation. Just start with a natural, unintelligent and minimally powerful uncaused cause.
      • Objection Objection Everything that we know in the Universe has a cause external in space and previous in time. Why should the Universe itself be any different? But God is timeless, so the same rules don't necessarily apply.
        • Objection Objection The Big Bang was the beginning of spacetime. As such, we cannot say that the particles that cause the Big Bang follow the same rules.
    • Objection Objection Not knowing how the Big Bang came about is not proof or evidence that God exists.
    • Objection Objection This assumes the need for an explanation, which is just a false equivalence. Things within the Universe require an explanation, but the Universe itself does not require an explanation, because we explain things inside the Universe based on the assumption that there is an external factor already explained. This does not apply to the Universe itself because there is nothing external to the Universe by definition. Either the Universe caused itself or simply has no cause. This might strike many as nonsensical but that is simply because they are unconsciously and inappropriately extending the logic of parts to the whole.
      • Objection Objection Everything we know has a cause different from itself. Thus, we must pursue this principle to its natural end, and conclude that the Universe has a cause different from itself, unless contrary evidence can be provided. You can't merely assume that the Universe is all there is and write in an exception into the definition of the Universe.
        • Objection Objection If you question the origin of the Universe, it's like questioning the water cycle. Where does evaporated water come from? From condensed water. Where does condensed water come from? From precipitated water. Where does precipitated water come from? From ran off water. Where does ran off water come from? From evaporated water. And the cycle goes on and on and on. Similarly, if you question the origin of the Universe, I would say from the Big Bang. If you question the origin of the Big Bang, I would say from the Singularity. If you question the origin of the Singularity, I would say from the Big Crunch. If you question the origin of the Big Crunch, I would say from the Universe. If God does exist, why did he make principles that lead to his non-existence? If God created science, why we can't connect science to him? Even principles are self-looping, so there's also indeed no creator. Energy loops, matter loops, the burnt paper turns into carbon and gas, it just turns into something else to become paper again. The Universe exists in the first place because it loops so there's no beginning or end. The law of conservation of energy states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, only be transferred or transformed from one form to another. This implies that energy and the Universe existed in the first place. There's no creator. Just accept the fact that there is no zero in the Universe, there's a fixed number of materials and energy. The Universe is just a continuous loop of energy. It inflates through the Big Bang, reaches the maximum inflation, deflates through the Big Crunch, and reaches the maximum deflation, and the cycle goes on.
  • Argument Argument God may not have provided evidence to everyone because not all people want God, so God may be fulfilling their desire by not giving them sufficient evidence.
    • Objection Objection Absence of evidence is not evidence of presence. Lack of evidence doesn't imply that God is fulfilling the desire of people who don't want God, nor that God exists.
      • Objection Objection Subjective evidence suggest that either God exists who wants to known to people as God may choose or either all people deluded, lier or anything else. But principle of incredulity say that we should believe in experience unless there is good reason to not otherwise. Now if there is positive evidence for non existence of God, it can't counted. But as far as we know, there is no positive evidence of non existence of God. Therefore subjective evidence can't be rejected. Now question one can ask is why would God don't provide subjective evidence to everyone? So, one explanation is not all people want God, and God may not provides evidence to those who doesn't want God or who doesn't qualify.
  • Argument Argument If the Universe is a simulation, then there's a creator beyond spacetime who designed and fine-tuned the simulation. Now either the Universe is a simulation or the Universe is base reality. If the Universe is a simulation, it can be a simulation level 1, level 2, level 1000 or any level. If the Universe is base reality, it can exist in only one way. Therefore, there're more possibilities of the Universe being a simulation than base reality.
    • Objection Objection Even if our Universe is a simulation and has a creator, that doesn't imply a creator of base reality. Our Universe could be a simulation one level below base reality, which implies a creator outside of our local spacetime that exists in base reality, but that does not imply a creator outside spacetime for that base reality since the argument only applies to simulations.
  • Argument Argument Difference between natural and supernatural is artificial. It depends on definition of Supernatural, and gives reason to reject God on artificial grounds. If Supernatural is defined as something which science can't explain, then most of phenomenon can't explainable by science because it depends on our observations, and it doesn't necessarily that observations shows real content of reality out there. If Supernatural is defined as something done that violates laws of physics, there is contradiction in definition. Because laws of physics are not fixed set of laws, but we try to find laws by observations and whatever comes, we describes it as laws of physics. If Supernatural is defined as some actions by agents, it is unclear whether to consider ghost as Supernatural because if some explanation found for it, it becomes natural. And it isn't necessary that nature behaves on it's own. If physical reality doesn't know what it does, or how it does, then it doesn't have to continue to exist. All physical reality can suddenly appears and disappears. It isn't necessarily for reality to such as it should change, it can be such as it remains static for infinity, and nothing happens. It behaves in such a way that is not expected if it run on it's own. However if material nature works under directions of God, it is exactly what we normally expect. And evidence from spontaneous emergent, chaotic unpredictability further suggest material nature can be works under supervision of God, as scripture like Bhagavad Gita also suggest.[15]
  • Argument Argument The Universe is fine-tuned to support life. This fine-tuning is less surprising and even probable if God exists, but highly unlikely in a godless Universe.[16]
    • Objection Objection This argument is biased to carbon-based lifeforms. Life could exist in ways that are not based on carbon meaning the fine-tuning of the universe is not as necessary for life to exist as a carbon-based life form might think.
    • Objection Objection Considering multiverse theory, there may be many universes with their own cosmological constants. In this scenario, of course a life form in a "fine tuned" universe sees fine tuning even though that life form's existence can be relegated to chance, not God. This is an example of selection bias. The multitude of other universes inhospitable to life would never develop life forms capable of posing such questions.
  • Argument Argument If the Universe is ultimately meaningless, devoid of any purpose or design, then all-purpose and meaning one assigns should be imaginary. Because if the Universe doesn't have ultimately any purpose, then life just happened to appear in accidental ways such as it doesn't have any inherent meaning or purpose. However, if God is the reason for the existence of us, there can be the purpose of life. In some religions, it is suggested that God is originally in the spiritual universe with living entities. When a living entity doesn't want God, God makes a material universe for the fulfillment of the desire of them of not wanting God. The material universe is created temporarily such as living entity can realize their connection with God, and when they want God, they can return to God, which may be the purpose of life.
  • Argument Argument The Universe follows mathematical laws independently of how humans describe them. So mathematics must exist independently of human minds. But all mathematics needs axioms. How can axioms exist independently of human minds? An axiom generator system is needed, or meta-axioms that create the axioms required for mathematical laws. But how can meta-axioms exist? Meta-meta-axioms are needed, and so on. This makes it implausible or even impossible for any mathematical laws to exist. However, it's not impossible if mathematics exists in the mind of God. Because God can conceptualize mathematics.
  • Argument Argument Objective morality exists and requires an absolute moral authority. Without some absolute authority, all morality is an individual interpretation of morals or shared morality decided by groups of people, which is ultimately subjective. If morality comes just from the survival of fittest, it can be moral to steal or murder, if it results in survival. However, most people regard it as not moral. This absolute authority is equivalent to God who may have created humans and provided some rules or laws which may be inherent in us.
    • Objection Objection The argument assumes its own premise, that objective morality exists, an assumption that isn´t necessarily correct but fundamentally necessary for the functionality of the argument. Since, it is from the idea of the existence of objective morality that this argument derives the existence of an absolute moral authority, and from the existence of an absolute moral authority, the existence of God, we necessarily have to conclude that, since no evidence is provided for the positive claim of the existence of objective morality, then no evidence has been provided for the positive claims of the existence of an absolute moral authority or a God. Since the existence of objective morality is provided merely as an assumption lacking supporting evidence, then the existence of an absolute moral authority or the existence of a God is just that, an assumption lacking supporting evidence.
  • Argument Argument Suppose there was no intelligence behind the Universe, no creative mind. In that case, nobody designed my brain for the purpose of thinking. It is merely that when the atoms inside my skull happen, for physical or chemical reasons, to arrange themselves in a certain way, this gives me, as a by-product, the sensation I call thought. But, if so, how can I trust my own thinking to be true? It's like upsetting a milk jug and hoping that the way it splashes itself will give you a map of London. But if I can't trust my own thinking, of course I can't trust the arguments leading to Atheism, and therefore have no reason to be an Atheist, or anything else. Unless I believe in God, I cannot believe in thought: so I can never use thought to disbelieve in God.[17]
    • Objection Objection A similar argument applies to the theist. Suppose an intelligence designed our brains. This could mean that our brains were designed for thinking rationally, or it could mean that our brains were designed to come to the wrong conclusions. How do we know which is true? We can't. If I can't trust my own thinking, I can't trust the arguments leading to theism. Assuming God exists does not lead to knowledge that we think rationally.
      • Objection Objection But problem is more serious in universe which just happened to be like it, which is accidental, mindless, purposeless, arbitrary. In such godless universe, there would millions or perhaps billions of coincidence required for brain to function exact right, and there would much more possibility that brain is unreliable. How can anyone know that brain is anything more than quantum fluctuations? In such, how can one can sure that quantum fluctuations should behaves exactly by which it makes logical decision when it doesn't know anything? How can one have faith in such quantum fluctuations such as it shows real reality than shows illusion of reality? However if God creates physical Universe for living entity for giving chance to those who don't want them, then living entity can realize God and can comes to conclusion of God by realizing that material universe is illusionary, and full of suffering which is not ultimate place for him, because of which they can comes to God. In such state, they can have faith in God and can surrender God. Additionally if God wants, God can make known their existence to someone at absolutely certain such as one can becomes certain that God exist, and can realize purpose of existence.
    • Objection Objection Nobody designed the stomach for digesting food either, yet with modern biology, we know through a process of evolution over millions of years that the digestive system evolved naturally through an accumulation of beneficial steps. Just like the eye, just like the mind. In short, evolution provides a better explanation than God.
      • Objection Objection Not really. How can physical reality behaves so perfectly? If everything is ultimately stochastic thermodynamics progress and quantum fluctuations, why such great coincidence occurs by which it works so well, such as it seems design? If it is not really design but apparent design, it can also be that there is no evolution but apparent evolution, and all entropic thermodynamics progression which doesn't know anything, just happened to behaves like that. But it's seems highly implausible, however it becomes likely if God direct nature or physical reality.
    • Objection Objection If God designed our minds, then why is our reasoning ability so imperfect? Why do people confuse correlation with causation? Why do people believe in astrology and other obvious nonsense?
      • Objection Objection Intelligence is a gift endowed to humans that cannot be explained through evolution. It's a gift, but humans are not perfect. If so, we would be divine. How you choose to believe this happened is a matter of faith.[clarification needed]
  • Argument Argument If you trust your own thinking, then you must have an absolute perfection, a highest logic, against which to measure your thoughts.
    • Objection Objection Why must that vision of perfection actually exist? Is it not merely a measure in our minds against an imaginary height of perfection? Thought does not imply existence.
  • Argument Argument A huge number of humans, throughout centuries, have reported all sorts of encounters with God, from the personal internal type to shared apparitions and public miracles. Experiences differ in many ways, but they all support a common cause: the existence of God. It is highly implausible that many reports all be false or misled, and as we trust our experience unless we have good reason to think otherwise, it is reasonable to think that God is reason behind such experiences.
    • Objection Objection Testimonies are generally inconsistent unless they are sufficiently connected by cultural myths or sufficiently vague. Many cultures have the concept of magic, not because magic is real, but because magic is a sufficiently vague concept to hold many different conceptions of it. Unsurprisingly, the reports about God are more similar to the more closely connected the cultures of the witnesses are, which indicates they are cultural phenomena rather than independent observations that corroborate each other.
      • Objection Objection How testimony is inconsistent? In general experience of God is very difficult to describe or explain. Think how do you describe the experience of the color red to someone who is blind from birth? And cultural explanation applies to everything we experienced. Whatever we experienced is shaped by culture and our background. Like if someone who knows about tree interprets the experience of light for seeing something different than someone who doesn't know about the tree, but it doesn't mean such experience of light is not real. And when we claim that the experience of God must be the same for all, it is not reasonable. Suppose someone prays to God in the form of Lord Krishna, now if God appears as Jesus, he probably requests God to appears in form in which he remembers. Same as if someone remembers God in form of Jesus, and if they experience God in form of other, they may request God that they like God in form of Jesus, therefore, please give me appearance in the form in which I remember. Therefore, it is reasonable to think that God may not experience the same as for every devotee because devotees want God in a specific form they love, and God may fulfill a desire of devotees. Also, it is reasonable to think that God has unlimited forms, and also formless because they are absolute. Also if we reject experience because just they are different, should we also reject the experience of reality if it experienced inconsistently by different people? Most people may answer no. So why should we reject the experience of few billions of people who think they have experienced God? Unless we have positive evidence for the non-existence of God, it shouldn't be rejected.
    • Objection Objection To know that all these testimonies are testimonies about the same thing, we should know their object (God) independently from these testimonies. We should first know the object we are talking about (God) in order to be able to recognize that all reports deal with the same object.
      • Objection Objection All knowledge ultimately reduces to the testimony of one or more people. Objects cannot be known independently of all testimony.
        • Objection Objection This claim attempts to homogenize testimony. It fails to recognize not all testimony is created equal; some testimony is backed by evidence while some is not.
    • Objection Objection Eyewitness testimony is notoriously unreliable. Many people have testified seeing thousands of people celebrate the 9/11 attacks in New Jersey, even though this event never took place. If you put an idea in people's minds, some people will believe that they personally saw whatever that idea is, even if the idea turns out to be false.
      • Objection Objection But people who have experienced God includes medical professionals who know about different psychological phenomenon, and also they have experienced God in which they may differentiate between psychological condition and the real one. Numbers of Medical professionals, physicists, cosmologists experienced God, which makes it less likely to be a purely psychological phenomenon. Additionally, many people go through psychological tests after such experience, in which many are shown to be normal and healthy. If the experience of God is purely delusional, they should show signs of delusion, but instead, people show no such phenomenon. And if God wants, God can make someone know about their existence with absolute certainly.
    • Objection Objection Although there're millions of believers, there're not that many of eyewitnesses, relative to the number of believers.
      • Objection Objection It can be because the connection with God may be difficult. Some people who love God so much, God may give him direct realization than someone who is not of that level. However many people are spiritually shallow, but they have experienced God slightly like newborn babies experience light slightly and as time passes, he can more clearly experience light. But it doesn't mean most newborn doesn't have any experience of light, and maybe the same as most people who are spiritually shallow, may not experience God deeper.
    • Objection Objection Argumentum ad populum.
      • Objection Objection It can argumentum ad populum only if it claims like "People believe in God therefore God exists". But this is not the same. This argument offers that because millions of people have experienced God, and because we have no positive evidence of the non-existence of God, the experience of God can't be rejected as delusion, hallucinations or lies because else one can reject all experience of all people by same without any positive evidence for its non-existence.
    • Objection Objection Personal experiences can't be accounted for as evidence because there's no evidence to support these reports. How would one prove that these encounters were not a trick of the mind, such as mirages or sleep paralysis, or completely fictional? Experiences of God's existence could easily all be hallucinations, delusions, or attributions of a supernatural cause to natural phenomena which, them being as theists, leading to them being caused by God. I can hallucinate too when I am a theist and I can refer to it as a supernatural occurrence caused by God. It leads to the assumption that it is God-caused because you are a theist.
      • Objection Objection Personal experience can be accounted for as evidence. Otherwise, it would not be reasonable to believe (unless you personally experience it yourself) that all humans are conscious, certain drugs induce hallucinations or certain psychological phenomena exist, such as dreams, sleep paralysis, Alice in Wonderland syndrome, phantom limb, etc.
      • Objection Objection When corroborated by so many people, they cannot be so handily dismissed, though.
    • Objection Objection Attributing some encounter with nature or with some unusual phenomenon to the existence of God is a speculative conclusion based on a subjective assessment of the available information. Is contemplation of the beauty of a flower an encounter with God, or simply an appreciation of the fractal nature of the cellular structure that has evolved over millions of years? Are reports of virgin birth evidence of a miracle, or simply a translation error, a misunderstanding of the mechanisms of conception, or marketing hype?
      • Objection Objection Trying to prove the existence of miracles scientifically is like trying to prove that Gandhi was Indian linguistically. It is the wrong outlet, as we can never re-experience what they did, along with millions of others. These miracles are a matter of faith to them.
  • Argument Argument Science is built on materialistic assumptions, so it already excludes the existence of God.
    • Objection Objection Current science accepts the existence of many immaterial entities, such as light, energy, spacetime and mathematical entities, so it's not built on materialistic assumptions.[18]
    • Objection Objection Even if science were built on materialistic assumptions and excluded the existence of God, that doesn't imply that God exists.

God does not exist[edit | edit source]

  • Argument Argument Since there are many religions in the world, all of which have their own idea of God and their own ideas of an afterlife (i.e. heaven/hell, reincarnation, etc.), then which God is real, and which afterlife is real?
    • Objection Objection God may have appeared in different parts of the world in different ways so that people of that place and time can understand God, according to circumstances of that time. Therefore, even though God appears different in different religions, it can be same.
      • Objection Objection If God provides different versions of Himself to different people at different times, then the definition of God is strained. What are we talking about if the definition of God depends on the time and place? Suggesting that God only reveals himself in ways that are not equivalent to His true nature suggests that God hasn't really revealed Himself at all. It suggests he has only revealed caricatures of Himself dependent on the cultures to which he displays these caricatures to.
    • Objection Objection This does not exclude the possibility that one of those religions might turn out to be the correct one, with the correct idea of God and an afterlife, even if that religion contradicts all other religions and this means all religions except for one of them turn out to be wrong.
      • Objection Objection If at most one religion can be correct, out of the many thousands that exist, and it is possible that they are all wrong, there is no rational basis to believe in any one religion over all the others. Most people who believe in a religion do so because of social reasons, for instance being raised in that religion, or falling in love with and marrying a follower of that religion, rather than any rational basis to believe that their particular religion is any more likely to be true than all the other religions it contradicts. No one religion is obviously superior to all of the others enough to persuade all the followers of the other religions to convert.
        • Objection Objection We aren't debating over the merits of Christianity or Islam for example--these are matters of faith. We are debating whether a God of some sort exists as a starting ground
          • Objection Objection It is not about the merits of a religion. This is about a lack of communication (or effective communication) which is weak evidence that there is no God.
        • Objection Objection All monotheistic religions basically have the same main idea, which is worship of a higher power, a God. The religion itself is a set of values or ideas that one certain group "binds" to a higher power. This may be meant in a way of pleasing or satisfying the higher power, which we as humans often feel the need to do. Take away these values and traditions, which is most likely human made. What we have left is the acknowledgement of a higher power. Monotheistic religions are just different ways of saying the same thing.
          • Objection Objection Well, you're cherry picking monotheistic religion which already is a set that can include the existence only of a single god, which is then worshiped. If you take a larger set, such as all religion, you get differing beliefs even regarding the nature and even the existence of a higher power. It is not just the traditions that are most likely human made, it is the very notion of god(s), having a clear progression from more utilitarian deities to more abstract ideas which are more resistant to empirical disproof.
  • Argument Argument God's existence would imply that he can change the past. This would imply that some things happened and didn't happen at the same time and in the same sense. But contradictions are impossible, so not only God doesn't exist: his existence is impossible.
    • Objection Objection This is not a contradiction. Only the edited version of history actually happened. If God, an omnipotent being, changed the path of history, history is changed. As odd as it seemed, the previous scenario never happened.
      • Objection Objection However you are still presenting a contradiction: a scenario which existed and never existed.
    • Objection Objection That wouldn't be a contradiction, because God would know that He changed the past (per being all-knowing). So things that God changed would have happened at the same time, but not in the same sense. God would be able to distinguish them.
      • Objection Objection Doing one impossible thing is no more difficult than doing two impossible things.[19]
    • Objection Objection God's omnipotence is often described as "can do anything that is not logically impossible", or similarly defined so as to rule out paradoxes deriving from His omnipotence.
      • Objection Objection If God's omnipotence is limited by "can do anything that is not logically impossible", then the fact that God is also defined as omniscient and knowing everything would mean God possesses complete knowledge ahead of time of all things that He will do, and is bound by logic to do what He predicted He would do. This would reduce his omnipotence to complete powerlessness since he would never have any choice at all other than to do what he predicted he would do, and thus he would not have any power at all.
        • Objection Objection By omnipotence and omniscience, which theists usually refer to, we are speaking of something vastly beyond our understanding and quantifying it in human terms. Omnipotence implies that he has the choice to exercise his omnipotence in any particular way, which he knows what his choice will be. Knowing what you plan to do in a circumstance beforehand by no means makes one powerless
  • Argument Argument If we are talking about a God which affects the physical world in some way, then saying that God exists is an empirical statement. But there is no hard evidence supporting that statement, and evidence is necessary to prove an empirical statement.
    • Objection Objection God is outside of the confines of our physical world, and whether or not God is actively involved in this world is not being debated. Therefore, saying that God exists is not an empirical statement, it's a metaphysical statement, and empirical proof for metaphysical statements is not necessary or even possible.
      • Objection Objection By this logic, there is no such thing as a false statement. Anything can be inferred. I have a 3 headed donkey in my backyard except you can't see it, it doesn't smell, and you can't touch it; there is no physical evidence for its existence whatsoever, but it exists metaphysically, above the plane of our existence. At this point, you have to ask, what do I mean when I say the donkey "exists"? If physical evidence isn't required to say that something exists, then I'm correct when I say that a 3 headed, 5 headed, 50,000 headed, and 50,001 headed donkey all exist in my backyard.
    • Objection Objection God may have perfect reason for not giving hard evidence to everyone. There are some people who don't like God, don't want God or if they know that God exist, they may becomes envy of God. God may not hides their existence from someone who doesn't want God as fulfilling their desires, and which may be better for them. As scriptures like Bhagavad Gita says, it can be that God manifest in proportion to one surrender to God.[20][21]
  • Argument Argument God is conceived as all-good, all-knowing and all-powerful. So, if God exists, then under any ordinary definition of evil, evil shouldn't exist. But evil clearly exists. Therefore, God does not exist.
    • Objection Objection There are several problem with it. First we don't know what God exactly do if they have perfections. We think God should do this or other, but we can't imagine it from way God would think. We can think if I am photon, I would do this or other, but we don't know what exactly happens when one be a photon. God who is outside of material realism, may have perfect reason to produce seemingly imperfect universe. We don't know God's reason for something, and if we know it we also think that everything is like it should be as best. Secondly, we define ourselves as moral authority and decides what is good or not, but God may beyond good and evil, the absolute one. Because God is free, if living entity is part and parcel of God, living entity should be free, and because of it they have minutes of free will. Now if living entity not like God or doesn't want God, God may fulfill his desire to becomes independent of God, and creates material world where living entity can be independent of God, and enjoy without God. Now as living entity has free Will, they can choose actions for which they are responsible, to which God doesn't intervene as they respect free will. But if they choose to do something bad, it is entirely on them because they have chosen it from their will. God may created suffering in material world to let someone know that it is not permanent place and living entity can again realize God, and can return to them.
    • Objection Objection God could have given humans the power to do evil. If humans can do evil, then evil can exist despite there being an all-powerful, all-knowing and all-good God. Moral responsibility is not hereditary. If my (grownup) child commits a crime, no society will (or should) blame me for it. Similarly, if a human does evil, we shouldn't blame God for it. Giving the power to do evil is not the same as doing it. God may even be the (metaphysical) cause of evil, while not being morally responsible for it. But no one contends that God raised us that way. He merely gave us the freedom to choose. In fact, because we turned away from his benevolence, evil arose, according to theists. Should we not live with the consequences of our actions and disobedience, then?
      • Objection Objection This would still make God responsible for evil, albeit indirectly. Moral responsibility is partially hereditary. If I knowingly raise my child in a way that makes it highly likely they will commit a crime when grown up that makes me responsible for that crime and subject to blame. An omniscient God should have known that if he gave humans the freedom to choose, we would do evil. Therefore, he allowed evil to exist, which contradicts the benevolent nature of God.
      • Objection Objection Even if God gave humans free will and the power to do evil, this doesn't imply that there should be evil. A world where free will exists but evil does not is logically possible. God can create any world that is logically possible, so God chose a world where there is unnecessary evil. This contradicts the all-powerful and all-good nature of God.
      • Objection Objection We haven't dealt with the problem of natural evil. Is cancer also the consequence of human disobedience?
  • Argument Argument In order to exist, an entity must exist as something. To exist as something, the entity must have positive primary attributes (i.e. I'm a material entity, made up of atoms). All of God's attributes are either negatively defined (ex. omniscience can be reduced to 'without limits of knowledge'), secondary (i.e. good) or relational (i.e. creator). If a god is Creator, then it must be immaterial, as nothing can cause itself. But “immaterial” is a negatively defined term. Therefore a god’s substance is undefined. All of this is to say that the god concept is incoherent. If this indeed turns out to be the case, then positive belief in such a concept is not possible.
    • Objection Objection Positive and negative properties are vague notions, often interchangeable. 'Closed' can be reduced to 'not open', just as 'open' can be reduced to 'not closed'. Similarly, 'omniscience' can be reduced to positive terms, like 'with total knowledge' just as it can be reduced to negative ones, like 'without limits of knowledge' or 'without ignorance'. Other properties of God, such as 'all-powerful', can also be thought as either positive or negative: 'with complete power' or 'without limits to its power'.
      • Objection Objection Even so, saying that something is omniscient is a secondary characteristic - it's telling us what something can do, NOT what it is. If I said humans were an IQ of 120, that doesn't really tell me much of anything about what a human IS (as opposed to saying something like an entity in space/time made up of matter, etc).
        • Objection Objection Yes, it does. Intelligence is an attribute of humans, is it not?
    • Objection Objection Dark matter and dark energy are entities whose existence is generally accepted by the scientific community, despite the fact that we don't know what they are made of. The fact that we don't know what something is made of doesn't imply that it's made of nothing, or that it doesn't exist.
      • Objection Objection Dark matter and energy are theoretical.
        • Objection Objection Global warming, evolution, the Theory of Relativity, and even gravity are also theoretical. This does not mean they are wrong. The scientific community can have almost complete certainty in something but still classify something as "just a theory".
          • Objection Objection This is irrelevant to the primary point of the original argument: "All of God's attributes are either negatively defined (ex. omniscience can be reduced to 'without limits of knowledge'), secondary (ex. good) or relational (ex. creator)." The part of the original argument stating that God's substance is undefined is not necessary for the original argument to be correct... if the unnecessary sentence "Therefore a god’s substance is undefined." were left out of the original argument it would be a perfectly valid argument and this objection against it would not work. The main point of the original argument is that in order to exist, that entity must has positive primary attributes, of which there still are none for God. This is a red herring, if we remove that unnecessary sentence from the original argument.
    • Objection Objection How about the fact that the Universe exists in the first place. The fact that the necessary things exist in the first place that leads to the big bang theory and the creation of the Universe. Then the Universe shrinks again into a big matter, crushing everything in its collision, bringing back to the theory of big bang, and the cycle goes on infinite time. What if the Universe is not zero in the first place? The Universe exists without the creation of anything. We can't think of anything that might have created the Universe, because it's just there.
  • Argument Argument God doesn't exist because of Theophagus, the god-eater. Since Theophagus is god-eating by definition, he has no choice but to eat God. So if God exists, He would immediately cease to exist as a result of being eaten. Unless it's proven that Theophagus doesn't exist, then God doesn't exist.
    • Objection Objection Without any evidence or logical argument for the existence of such a being, there's no reason to believe Theophagus exists.
      • Objection Objection The same argument against Theophagus works on God: Without any evidence or logical argument for the existence of such a being, there's no reason to believe God exists. So either the argument you raised against Theophagus is valid, in which case it is also valid against God, and thus there is no reason to believe God exists, or the argument you raised against Theophagus is invalid, in which case Theophagus has eaten God and God no longer exists.
        • Objection Objection If you've read the entire "Arguments for" section, one would see that there are arguments for God's existence
          • Objection Objection The arguments you're pointing to are all unsound or plainly invalid. There actually are not better arguments for God's existence than for Theophagus.
    • Objection Objection God is omnipotent and omnipresent, so even if Theophagus exists, God can't be eaten by him.
      • Objection Objection By its definition, Theophagus eats omnipotent and omnipresent beings.
      • Objection Objection Nothing about omniscience and omnipotence precludes being eaten.
      • Objection Objection If God is the most powerful being, and Theophagus can eat God, then Theophagus is more powerful than God, so Theophagus is God, therefore Theophagus/God eats itself and Theophagus/God cease to exist.
    • Objection Objection If Theophagus can eat God, who cannot be eaten, his existence creates a contradiction. Therefore, Theophagus cannot exist
      • Objection Objection If Theophagus can eat God, who cannot be eaten, then God's existence creates a contradiction. Therefore, God cannot exist. To refute this argument, we must prove that Theophagus does not exist independent of the existence of God.
    • Objection Objection We have two options. Either Theophagus is God or Theophagus is not God. Now attribute of Theophagus is God-like, who need to be omnipotent to eat God, who also need to be omniscient to know everything which requires to eat omnipotent God. If Theophagus is god, he has to eat himself before he eat Actual God. So, if he has eaten himself before eating Actual God, he can't eat God and this all create recursion loop. If Theophagus is not god, he needs to have less than omnipotent and omniscient, by which he can't he eat Actual God, because God is perfect omnipotent who knows everything about Theophagus.
  • Argument Argument Particles don't have a position until their wave function collapses, and wave functions collapse when observed. From experiments such as the double-slit experiment, we infer that there are uncollapsed wave functions. Therefore, there is no being observing all particles, no omniscient being, no God.
    • Objection Objection We don't really understand how observation causes superposition to collapse nor how a being who is outside of spacetime (or alternately who exists in all of spacetime) would even affect superposition. As George Berkeley argued in his version of Idealism, all of the physical Universe exists because God is perceiving it.
      • Objection Objection God of the gaps fallacy.
        • Objection Objection He was merely pointing out that the original statement need not be always true, nor has any true weight because God exists outside of the physical world.
      • Objection Objection What we do know about it is that observation causes collapse of the wave function (if you want to claim that being outside space time is somehow different in that regard you'll have to substantiate that claim).
    • Objection Objection The wave function collapse does not happen because of observation per se, but when a wave function interacts with a classical environment. If God is all-powerful, he can observe a wave function without interacting with it.
      • Objection Objection Being all-powerful is self-contradictory. This is because an all-powerful God would be able to predict the future, but also be able to take actions which would contradict His predictions of the future. Since knowing things is a power, being all-powerful implies being all-knowing. And then, since an all-knowing God would know all of the actions He would take ahead of time, an all-knowing God would know in advance all actions He would ever take, and, in order to prevent any paradoxes and allow God to exist, God's "all-powerful" powers would have to be reduced to just doing what God predicted He would do ahead of time. Thus the whole idea of being all-powerful is nonsense.
        • Objection Objection This has already been addressed in above arguments, but I'll reiterate--knowing what you will do beforehand does not take away from your freedom of choice. His knowledge is his choice.
          • Objection Objection Knowing that something will happen effectively means that nothing different will happen. If nothing else will happen then God cannot do something else other than what he foresaw, being then effectively limited in what he can do.
      • Objection Objection In quantum systems observation is intrinsically linked to the behavior of the system. Your assumption that God is omnipotent is therefore in contradiction which a known feature of the actual world (and being God defined as being omnipotent its very existence is inconsistent with observation of properties of the actual world).
    • Objection Objection If God is all-knowing, he does not need to observe particles to know their position.
      • Objection Objection When a particle exists in a quantum superposition that can be described using a wave function, prior to wave function collapse, that particle does not actually have any definite position, but just probabilities of being in different locations. This has been experimentally verified in the aforementioned double-slit experiment. So talking about the position of a particle whose wavefunction has not yet collapsed as if it is something definite makes no sense, since such particles can and do exist in multiple locations at the same time, which is what produces the interference fringes in the double-slit experiment, from a particle in different locations interfering with itself in other locations, meaning, it really has no one location. So if God were to perceive such a particle as being at one specific location, God would be incorrect.
  • Argument Argument Some infinite traits, such as "omniscience", have a computational complexity equal to infinity, thus the Kolmogorov complexity of a God defined with these attributes is infinite, the prior probability for his existence is epsilon, and "P(X exists) is epsilon" is the statistically literate way of saying "X does not exist".
  • Argument Argument Non-theism is the parsimonious worldview.

See also[edit | edit source]

Notes and references[edit | edit source]

  1. "Propositions are not on paper, in your brain, or anywhere else" Direct Paper link
  2. "From Necessary Truth to Necessary Existence" Direct paper link (PDF)
  3. "The Law of Non Contradiction: An Argument for God from logic", Direct paper link (PDF)
  4. "A Defense of Theistic Argument from the Law of Non-contradiction", Direct paper link (PDF)
  5. "Why is There Anything?" Direct paper link
  6. "From a necessary being to god" Direct paper link
  7. Axioms:[1]
    A1 Self-identity is a positive property, self-difference is not.
    A2 A property entailed or necessarily entailed by a positive property is positive.
    A3 The conjunction of any collection of positive properties is positive.
  8. "A (Simplified) Supreme Being Necessarily Exists -- Says the Computer!", Direct Paper link (PDF)
  9. "A Linguistic Argument for God's existence", Direct Paper link (PDF)
  10. "IF KNOWLEDGE THEN GOD: THE EPISTEMOLOGICAL THEISTIC ARGUMENTS OF PLANTINGA AND VAN TIL", Direct paper link (PDF)
  11. "Donald Hoffman's The Case Against Reality is hard to get your head around". The Spectator. 2019-10-12.
  12. Amanda Gefter. "The Evolutionary Argument Against Reality". Quanta Magazine.
  13. "The Evolution of Reality | Why the world is not how we see it". IAI TV - Changing how the world thinks. 2019-11-29.
  14. "Probability And Defeaters", Direct Paper link (PDF)
  15. "This material nature is working under My direction, O son of Kunti, and it is producing all moving and unmoving beings. By its rule this manifestation is created and annihilated again and again." [2]
  16. Chan, Man Ho (2017-05-24). "The fine-tuned universe and the existence of God". Open Access Theses and Dissertations. https://repository.hkbu.edu.hk/etd_oa/447. "To conclude, after a comprehensive study of the fine-tuning arguments, the fine-tuning phenomena strongly support the theistic worldview." 
  17. The original version of this argument was brought forth by C. S. Lewis.
  18. Moulines, C. Ulises (1977). "Por qué no soy materialista". Crítica: Revista Hispanoamericana de Filosofía 9 (26): 25–37. ISSN 0011-1503. http://www.jstor.org/stable/40104059. 
  19. "For why should God not be able to perform the task in question? To be sure, it is a task—the task of lifting a stone which He cannot lift—whose description is self-contradictory. But if God is supposed capable of performing one task whose description is self-contradictory—that of creating the problematic stone in the first place—why should He not be supposed capable of performing another—that of lifting the stone? After all, is there any greater trick in performing two logically impossible tasks than there is in performing one?" Frankfurt, Harry. "The Logic of Omnipotence" first published in 1964 in Philosophical Review and now in Necessity, Volition, and Love. Cambridge University Press November 28, 1998 pp.1–2
  20. "Always think of Me and become My devotee. Worship Me and offer your homage unto Me. Thus you will come to Me without fail. I promise you this because you are My very dear friend." [3]
  21. "Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear." [4]