Does God exist?

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God as a point of light in Dante's Paradiso, engraving by Gustave Doré.
Visual snapshot of this debate sometime in the past.

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]

  • 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 initial cause, such as random quantum fluctuations outside space-time.
      • 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 both space and time. As such, we cannot say that the particles that cause the Big Bang follow the same rules.
    • Objection Objection At this time we do not know how the Big Bang came about. Not knowing that detail is not proof or evidence that God exists.
    • Objection Objection This assumes the need for an explanation, which is just a false equivalency. 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. God may be fulfilling these people by not giving 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 exist 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 Belief in God can be compared to belief in other minds. Strictly speaking, there is no empirical evidence that show that there are minds like me (or first person) who can think, who have feelings, emotions. All what the first person experience is behavior which he interpret according his own thoughts and model, and reach to conclusion that there seems to other minds. But it can be quantum fields which just happened to give appearance like behavior of other minds, or thermodynamics entropic process which by probabilistic law, happened to give process which one interpret as other minds. However still first person most likely think that other minds exist. It can compared to design of DNA, plants, eyes, and all earth, Universe gives appearance of design and behavior which suggest one to God. Objections that can applied to design argument can also applied to argument for other minds. If belief in other minds is rational, same can be compared to belief in God, and it is also rational.
  • Argument Argument Absence of objective evidence is not evidence of absence.
    • Objection Objection Nor is it evidence of presence.
      • Objection Objection But subjective evidence can be counted as evidence of presence. Most of information of historical events depends on subjective evidence and writings, which can't be repeated.
    • Objection Objection Actually, absence of objective evidence is weak evidence of absence, since a belief in the existence of something should always be weaker when there's no objective evidence for it than when there is.[1]
  • Argument Argument If the Universe is a simulation, then there's a creator beyond space and time 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 simulation level 1, level 2, level 1000 or any level. If the Universe is base reality, it can exist only one way. Therefore, there're more possibilities of the Universe being a simulation than base reality.
  • 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.
  • 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.[2]
    • 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 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 do the mathematical laws of physics apply themselves so perfectly? Just by chance? It's highly improbable.[clarification needed]
    • 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 God is the greatest conceivable being. But it's greater to exist than not to exist. Therefore, God exists.[3]
    • Objection Objection Existence is not a property. Something cannot be defined as existing and have this cause it to exist. Otherwise, I could define a "unicorn that exists", a "centaur that exists", a "fairy that exists", a "Hindu pantheon of gods and goddesses that all exist", and so on, and bring things into existence simply by specifying that they exist in their definitions.
    • Objection Objection The definition of God at the beginning of this debate doesn't say or imply that God is the greatest conceivable being.
      • Objection Objection According to the definition, God is an all-powerful being. Therefore, if there were some being greater than God, God could become greater (per being all-powerful). So the definition of God as an all-powerful being does imply that God is the greatest conceivable being.
        • Objection Objection God could not become even greater than another conceived being if God does not exist. God could do this only if God does exist. Thus your argument works only if you assume God exists beforehand, and does not work as an argument in favor of the existence of God if the question of whether or not God exists has not yet been resolved. If it turns out that God does not exist, then any being who does exist is greater than some nonexistent God, and in that case the greatest conceivable being is certainly not God.
    • Objection Objection I define a unicorn as an existent horselike creature with a horn and magical properties. Therefore, unicorns exist?
      • Objection Objection No, because a unicorn is not the greatest conceivable thing. God is, and because it is more perfect to exist than not. A unicorn is not perfect, so this all falls apart.
  • 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. Testimonies differ in many ways, but they all support a common cause: the existence of God. So many reports cannot all be false or misled, there must be a God causing at least some of them.
    • 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 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 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 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 Although there're millions of believers, there're not that many of eyewitnesses, relative to the number of believers.
    • Objection Objection Argumentum ad populum.
    • Objection Objection Personal experiences can't be accounted 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 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 a 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 reexperience what they did, along with millions of others. These miracles are a matter of faith to them.
  • Argument Argument It's possible that God exists, so God exists in some possible worlds. But if God exists in some possible worlds, then by being omnipotent and omnipresent, He will exist in all possible worlds. Therefore, God exists in our possible world too, the actual world.
    • Objection Objection The fact that God is conceivable doesn't imply that God is possible. God's possibility must be argued, not just stated. God's existence seems to imply some contradictions, and contradictions are impossible, so it may even be impossible that God exists. For example, being all-powerful may imply some contradictions, for example God creating a stone so heavy that he could not lift it, and the existence of evil.
    • Objection Objection Conceiving of something does not make it real (nor does not being able to conceive of it). Just because I say that NanoX is a "nanobot that can maximally replicate itself" doesn't mean my imaginary NanoX can replicate itself out of my imagination into the actual world and therefore exist in the actual world.
    • Objection Objection This argument assumes that possible worlds are like other Universes in a Multiverse. It assumes that possible worlds are somehow actual worlds far away. But they are not actual worlds, they are just possible worlds. If God exists only in imaginary possibility then he is not omnipotent, since our minds are also not omnipotent, and cannot spread into the actual world.
  • 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 Universe doesn't have ultimately any purpose, then life just happened to be appears in accidental way such as it doesn't have any inherent meaning or purpose. However if God is reason for existence of us, there can be purpose of life. In some religion, it is suggested that God is originally in spiritual universe with living entities. When living entity doesn't want God, God makes material universe for fulfillment of desire of them of not wanting God. 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 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 individual interpretation of morals, or shared morality decided by groups of people, which is ultimately subjective. If morality comes just from survival of fittest, it can be moral to steal or murder, if it results in survival. However most of the people regards 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.

God does not exist[edit]

  • 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 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.[4]
    • 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.
  • 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 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]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. For example, the current absence of objective evidence for the existence of intelligent aliens in our galaxy makes it a bit less likely that they exist. For if there're 400,000,000 star systems in the galaxy and we have already ruled out one of them (our own) then it's 1/400,000,000 less likely that there's intelligent aliens in our galaxy.
  2. The original version of this argument was brought forth by C. S. Lewis.
  3. This is a version of Anselm's ontological argument.
  4. "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