Sketches on Atheism

The God Problem

a_impossible_object__2_0_by_avada5To say there is a ghastly pile of truly appalling problems pervading the entire concept of an Omnimax god would be an understatement of monstrously proportioned scale. The idea is not only systematically barren of evidence, the abstraction itself is riddled with a rash of rational inconsistencies, stunning contradictions, and logical fallacies so spectacularly obvious that only the most juvenile, asinine, and self-deceiving of men and women could ever possibly publically defend it. By definition, an Omnimax god can do anything, at anytime, anywhere. This, of course, is impossible. Such a creature cannot create a stone so heavy it cannot lift it, pit an unmovable object against an unstoppable force, pen a set of all sets, or make the currently logical universe illogical as that would allow self-contradictory things. In and by itself this means the magical bugaboo in question did not author the rules of logic and is incapable, therefore, of deviating from, or exceeding, those limitations in much the same way a prisoner is incapable of exceeding the confines of his pen. Now, by the very fact that the human mind can easily conceive of something an Omnimax god cannot do makes the human mind superior than the very concept of maximal greatness; the most important attribute the apologist dresses their god-hypothesis in so as to arrive at the astonishingly vaporous philosophical brainfart of necessary existence.

The conversation could end here. In all reasonable respects it really should end here, but for entertainment purposes intellectual satisfaction let us briefly avail ourselves to the thoughts of D. R. Steele and examine a little more carefully the myriad of other things an Omnimax god cannot do, for inside this vast set of impossibilities lurks a number of startling revelations which few, if any, theists have ever openly contemplated, let alone acknowledged.

“God cannot be destroyed,” writes Steele in Atheism Explained: From Folly to Philosophy.   “He can’t be injured against his will or made to suffer against his will, and he knows this.” This being true, the Omnimax god cannot experience fear, and if it has never known fear then it has never been courageous. Bravery, Steele correctly asserts, “is a virtue that God can never achieve,” nor might I add, appreciate. Consider then, if the Omnimax god cannot appreciate something – courage and bravery, for example – because it is beyond the purview of its experience, then it also can’t score such things, rendering the concept of godly judgement a logical impossibility. Similarly, the Omnimax god cannot know self-control. “God cannot be tempted,” elucidates Steele, “so he earns no points for resisting temptation.” The same applies to being good. Given the Omnimax god is defined as being wholly good, then this creature is incapable of indulging in even the slightest bit of mischief. No credit, Steele concludes, is due to God for being good because “he can’t help himself.” Further still, the very notions of effort and struggle, perseverance and endurance are equally beyond the capabilities of an Omnimax creature, so it “deserves no praise for being steadfast,” says Steele. The Omnimax god has never shouldered any burden, never felt discomfort or anxiety, never solved a puzzle, and never experienced the thrill of learning something new. This creature, therefore, has never been surprised or excited, disappointed or let down. It has never known amazement or sorrow, for these things are only real once superimposed against their opposite numbers. This creature has never been resourceful, so it cannot understand ingenuity, ambition, patience, tolerance, truthfulness, humility, kindness, diligence, or self-satisfaction. Such a creature cannot know the delight in mastering a skill, or overcoming a difficulty. It cannot rejoice in achievement or savour fond memories, for remembrance is beyond its scope of possibilities. It cannot know freedom, moderation, confidence, humour, foresight, flexibility, diplomacy, or honour. It cannot be tenacious, trustworthy, tactful, strategic, resilient, or spiritual.

Simply put, all human virtues, vices, and emotions exceed the concept of an Omnimax god, but beyond this realisation lies something far more abhorrent; something which appears to have eluded great and simple minds alike. Being omnipresent and omniscient – being everything, at every time, everywhere – means this proposed creature of unknown origins has never made a decision. Think on that for a second. It has never made a decision, for that would imply choice, and choice is beyond the capacity of an omniscient and omnipresent being. Having options is not an option, meaning it could never have created the universe. It’s a dazzling admission, but even more unexpected is the realisation that this creature, then, has no curiosity. Indeed, the entity forwarded by theists is incapable of being interested in anything, let alone the life drama of a single person.

To understand this is to then understand that the Omnimax god proposed by theists is, by definition, perfectly and maximally inert, and therefore indistinguishable from no-thing. It cannot sense temperature, or experience a single emotion. LOVEIt cannot be amazed, concerned, analytical, or sympathetic. It cannot move, be moved, or inspired. It cannot interfere, empathise, interject, alter, adjust, or give advice. Ever. It cannot hear music, imagine a story, or recognise art in any guise, for it cannot distinguish creativity from cold reality. It cannot know doubt, desire, success, or failure. It cannot, therefore, know itself, and if it is incapable of that, then it is incapable of experiencing, or giving, love.

 

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204 thoughts on “The God Problem

  1. Though I’m certain an Omnimax dude like god doesn’t exist, I’m just as certain, and glad, that omnimax theaters do exist. It is SO cool to have all the new films that come out playing in one big omnimax theater complex. I wonder, if god is so great, could he build a theater so big he couldn’t watch all the movies playing at it at the same time? Omnimax my fat ass!

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  2. …then it is incapable of experiencing, or giving, love.

    That says it all. End of argument. I’m going to try that one: “how do you know your god can experience love?” as a segue into the larger argument of contradictions.

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  3. This is to annihilate the omnimax god.
    David. R Steele’s book is a great read. In it he covers the question of proving a negative which wintery knight I guess had not read before she wrote her post.
    Great post John

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  4. What Steele proposes goes against the God described in the scriptures. They say that God has been betrayed and brokenhearted (Genesis 6:6-7, Hebrews 9, and many more). They say that God doesn’t judge–that responsibility has been given to Jesus (John 5:22). The scriptures say that we are to cast our cares on Him–for He cares for us.

    What this article describes is a god Steele has created by his own intellect, not the God revealed in the Bible.

    Also, the Bible describes a unity between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and I worship Jesus, who experienced fear, love, poverty, sadness, temptation, pain, etc . . .

    Blessings, John 🙂

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    • Hi Diana! Good to see you back 🙂

      You raise a good and valid point: the Middle Eastern god Jews, Christians and Muslims worship is clearly not an Omnimax god… Not the god fellow which apologists like to present, which is what Steele was addressing. It (your god) does indeed experience emotions, and changes its mind. It’s all a little contradictory, though. Malachi 3:6 declares, “I the LORD do not change.” But then we have examples of this same god jumping all over the place: Genesis 6:6 “The LORD was grieved that He had made man on the earth, and His heart was filled with pain,” and Exodus 32:14 “Then the LORD relented and did not bring on His people the disaster He had threatened.”

      So, in essence, you’re correct. Your god is not a maximal god.

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      • How can It change Its mind?
        It knew even before the creation what it would be doing and which end-course It would freely ‘choose’ … at every given ten to the minus forty-threeth of a second throughout all eternity (I know, tautology there—please be divine and forgive).

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    • Diana I have a small question. Which Jesus do you worship? There are those who say Jesus was an off the mill preacher who was later killed for disturbing public peace or is yours the wonder working son of a virgin?

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      • Makagutu,

        Diana I have a small question. Which Jesus do you worship? There are those who say Jesus was an off the mill preacher who was later killed for disturbing public peace or is yours the wonder working son of a virgin?

        I believe in the wonder working son of a virgin.

        🙂

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      • I gave you the link.

        That’s all in the Infancy Gospels. Joseph was 90 years old and Mary was 12 (possibly 13).

        Just because some men in the 4th Century decided they didn’t “like” those books doesn’t mean i have to follow their censorship. I take it all in… and it paints a rather interesting picture.

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      • Notice these views on Joseph were suppositions without any basis in authority.

        “These dreams, as St. Jerome styles them, from which many a Christian artist has drawn his inspiration (see, for instance, Raphael’s “Espousals of the Virgin”), ARE VOID OF AUTHORITY; they nevertheless acquired in the course of ages some popularity; in them some ecclesiastical writers sought the answer to the well-known difficulty arising from the mention in the Gospel of ‘the Lord’s brothers’;”

        Even the Catholic Encyclopedia, one of the greatest proponents of the view that Mary remained a virgin, has to acknowledge they have no authority for their source.

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      • Like I said: I don’t care what any person in the 4th Century deemed worthy of censorship. What “authority” did they have? Show me their contract and authorisation with their Middle Eastern god.

        I take it all in. I look at the complete story, and its a ghastly mess.

        No offense.

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      • No offense taken, John. We’re all free to discuss. 🙂

        The authority was given to documents written by those who were eyewitnesses to Jesus, not to some Gnostic dreamers.

        Anybody can have a dream from “God.” Jude (the little brother of Jesus) called them “filthy dreamers.”

        He was the little brother of Jesus because Matthew 1:25 says Joseph didn’t “know” Mary until after the birth of her firstborn son, Jesus.

        The word “know” is another term for sexual intercourse.

        http://www.blueletterbible.org/Bible.cfm?b=Mat&c=1&t=NKJV#s=t_conc_930025

        http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G1097&t=NKJV

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      • “When forty years of age, Joseph married a woman called Melcha or Escha by some, Salome by others; they lived forty-nine years together and had six children, two daughters and four sons, the youngest of whom was James (the Less, “the Lord’s brother”). A year after his wife’s death, as the priests announced through Judea that they wished to find in the tribe of Juda a respectable man to espouse Mary, then twelve to fourteen years of age. Joseph, who was at the time ninety years old, went up to Jerusalem among the candidates; a miracle manifested the choice God had made of Joseph, and two years later the Annunciation took place.”

        http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08504a.htm

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      • John,

        “No author of the gospels were an eyewitness, Diana. That is common knowledge”.

        But John, the beloved disciple of Jesus who wrote the Gospel of John and the Book of Revelation said this:

        1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which WE HAVE SEEN with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;

        2 (For the life was manifested, and we have SEEN it, and BEAR WITNESS, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)

        3 That which we have SEEN and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

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      • This is what is recorded in the first few verses:

        “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant JOHN:”

        2 Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he SAW.

        Do you have a different source telling you that John didn’t write it?

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      • If I write a Batman comic, and say I was there to see the events, would you believe me? This is what you are asking me to believe.

        But seriously, Diana, scholars don’t attribute Revelations to the apostle John. They don’t attribute any of the gospels to the apostles.

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      • We’ve gone through the debate over scholars before. You can find a “scholar” to say anything you want. In fact, MOST scholars (even Ehrman) believe Jesus existed and MOST scholars trust in the testimonies of the four gospels. You are on the fringe in your belief about the gospels and the existence of Jesus–not me.

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      • Errrum, no, the consensus position is certainly that none of the gospels were written by eyewitnesses.

        But listen, I’m not really interested in debating the bible authorship, Diana. It really means nothing to the larger conversation of the god hypothesis.

        How are you doing, anyway? I hope all is well, and you had a great summer.

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      • I had a busy summer. It flew by. I will be a grandma again in January. I’m doing well.

        Thank you for asking. 🙂

        You must be struggling with the growth of evangelicalism in your country. 😉

        Blessings,

        Diana

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      • Good to hear, and congratulations on the pending addition! Squeeze a freshly minted chubby cheek for me 🙂

        Yeah, the evangelicals are increasing, but the overall religious trend is way, way down. People are leaving religion in droves, which is uplifting, considering how prevalent it (Catholicism) was here centuries.

        Spiritualists, though, outnumber evangelicals here, and they’re pretty cool, although they do hold some pretty interesting beliefs. Did you know Jesus was the reincarnated Buddha?

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      • I’ve heard that view through the grapevine. Jesus, it turns out, is anything anybody wants him to be. He’s just a “nose of clay” formed into anything that fits anyone’s fancy. He’s the socialist Jesus, the black Jesus, the Republican Jesus, the New Age Jesus, etc . . Will the real Jesus please stand up? Please stand up? (In the words of the ever amazing Eminem)

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      • The problem is that Jesus isn’t a comic. He was a real historical figure who impacted many lives. Unfortunately for you, you have no proof that he was a mythological creation. You have no evidence to prove your beliefs. You just believe. You have no testimonies. You have no author. You have no contemporaneous person saying the gospels aren’t true. You only have your assertion. You are a man of great faith after all, John. 🙂

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      • Batman IS real. How dare you question my Faith!? Prove to me he isn’t. i know what I know because I know it. You’re wrong. Period. Do not question Batman unless you can provide solid evidence he doesn’t exist. Millions of people can’t be wrong. My goodness, how rude of you to question my devotion to the caped crusader! Just because your hero doesn’t wear a cape like mine, doesn’t make mine any less real. Ya gotta have Faith. And NOT just yours. Faith is good. I have oodles of it for Batman. Now, please apologize to my deity. If you don’t, he might refuse to rescue you from a burning building some day. And never again insult my Faith. It isn’t nice.

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      • When people who live contemporaneously with Batman begin to die for him, rather than to deny him, then perhaps I will believe in your deity.

        Can you document anybody who has died for Batman?

        Besides that, who prophesied the coming of Batman? And did he claim to be a deity?

        Why would you believe that a caped crusader is a god?

        Besides that, we know who Batman’s creator is–Bob Kane. Who was the creator of the Jesus myth?

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      • Robin died for Batman (he really did), and Bob Kane was his prophet. I believe an ancestor of Stan Lee created Jesus. Hank Liebowitz was his name, if I’m correct, and I always am (why would I make stuff like this up, anyway?) Mr. Liebowitz made one helluva a good bagel too, back in the day. Always remember this sacred saying, “There is no God but Batman, and Bob Kane is his prophet.” 😀

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      • The book and the historical events surrounding it stand on their own. There’s nothing written in any contemporaneous document that says it was a hoax. Wouldn’t somebody be screaming from the rooftop about the Jesus myth? Nothing. All of the historians just act like the existence of Jesus was a matter of fact (except Celsus, who lived over a century later and worshiped another god).

        Do we need verification that Jefferson actually wrote the Declaration of Independence, or Lincoln actually wrote the Gettysburg Address? We pretty much let historical documents stand as they are written.

        Four people (plus Paul) testified to the life of Christ. Plus Peter, Timothy, Jude, and James gave their testimonies. Also, many followers died at the hands of Nero and in the Coliseum and at the hands of angry mobs. Do we need other testimonies now that confirm those testimonies?

        The authors of these testimonies are very rational and balanced in their presentation. They don’t sound like mad men or men prone to lying.

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  5. I dont believe in God, but reading all these logical philosophical arguments against God’s existence is equally as baffling to me. God doesnt need to make logical sense, if there was a god, i would think he wouldn’t need to abide logic or even be subject to any of the laws by which our rational
    Operates, we could be toys, ants really, completely incapable of processing what is God, and governed by arbitrary things, like time, moral codexes etc, simply put In place for us, by a thing entirely beyond our comprehension. Just as humans & their motivations would be beyond the comprehension of ants in an ant farm. All this esoteric blather doesn’t work any better than the faith oriented drivel. There is no God, because there is science, chaos and anthropology.

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    • Ramen, Battle! I agree with you completely that the god hypothesis is ruined by far more compelling arguments. This was an exercise in simply addressing the rather rash Omni-claims made by apologists who really don’t give any thought beyond the point of declaring “My god can do anything!” That, by example, is impossible.

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      • :P. But that’s the thing, their God really CAN be anything, you cant logic God. God created logic and all the laws which govern it. This doesnt actually address the GOD can be anything, it merely proves that he cannot be if he were governed by human logic. This only works if Human logic was in fact the system which presides over all things human and divine, which would be illogical lol, as we are as humans the only sources of logic we’re aware of. Nothing else logics like humans. Animals not logicking like humans would actually serve as an argument against the ubiquitous applicability of human logiv

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      • Oh, I like that: animals not logicking. That’s doesn’t preclude logic, though. It exists regardless of whether the animal knows it or not. That’s why people use logical impossibilities to disprove the Omnimax god concept. I’ve used it to establish that human mind is greater than the greatest possible cloak the theist can dress their god in. But you’re right: philosophical arguments are brain-jarringly horrid.

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      • No, it only exists in the eye and brain of a human being, other living things do not abide a logical system to successfully live out their lifespans. There is no proof that it exists anywhere but in the mind of a human being, just like there is no proof that god exists anywhere but in the mind. If logic is your religion, then you are just as impaired(no offense) as any zealot, whose system
        Of world perception is indurate against some biblical background and impenetrable by argument.

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      • I don’t think that Mathematical “logic” is the same as conceptual logic…laws of mathematics are insulated, causal….conceptual logic has to include many nebulous things which are logicked by a human mind into a system which as i mentioned before is not apparent to other living things…and not necessarily relevant to God. Like If god if always and everywhere then god is nowhere and never blah blah blah….that “then” doesn’t work in the same way as 2+2=4….although as far as God is concerned it might very well not equal 4…i digressed…..feed those mathematicians some pancakes, it will make them sleepy and less vigilant or violent with their calculators.

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      • Mathematicians can’t control their violent urges. They’re the original Beserkers, you know. Kept in hard iron cages, but given only the stub of pencils and a sheet or two of soiled, torn paper upon which to write. Devastatingly effective when unleashed on a battlefield.

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    • ” but reading all these logical philosophical arguments against God’s existence is equally as baffling to me”.
      I lived most of my life without hearing these arguments. They were irrelevant because human religions were, to my naturally sceptical mind, bat shit crazy. The philosophical arguments can never prove god exists. It’s a retreat by the religionists to the ‘you can’t disprove this’, imaginary domain. It’s completely irrelevant unless they (the religionists) can show some evidence grounded in reality. This is when the tissue of intellectual respectability flies out the window. Craziness isn’t confined to the dumb.Exhibit A:- Oxford professor of philosophy, Richard Swinburne. He examines the evidence and finds that Jesus was resurrected with a 95% probability. I’ll go with Stephen Law’s assessment of the evidence – laughable.
      The philosophical arguments are a diversion from the evidence for ‘real world’ religions. There isn’t any.

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  6. About half way down your page you wrote:
    “The conversation could end here. In all reasonable respects it really should end here,”

    I thought in all reasonable respects you should have ended the conversation after you wrote:
    “that only the most juvenile, asinine, and self-deceiving of men and women could ever possibly publically defend it.”

    I did go on and read/skim 🙂 the rest.

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      • But I still don’t understand why the universe had to manifest itself on one out of nine or so orbitting planets of one out of 100,000 million or so stars in one out of 100,000 million or so galaxies in our local cluster which they say if just one out of … ooooodles … of other clusters in just one out of (who knows?) how many possible ‘universes’

        Bugger, my head hurts. I’ll go bite the post lady, she’s due about now …

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  7. Could an all powerful invisible guy be so omnipotent that he/it could blink itself into non-existence? Or at least, if an all-powerful guy does exist, could he/it please blink his/its followers into non-existence? Please? They annoy the sh*t outta me.

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      • Haha how could you even know that, given that you can’t possibly measure all minds that exist? We don’t know what exists! Plus, how do we know the brain model is the only one?

        And what does amazement have to do with the infinity of imagination? I think you just made that one up 🙂

        We are mentally limited by what we choose for our limitations; so yes, human mental growth is inevitable as these limits are surpassed. But thinking doesn’t have to be finite.

        I can easily accept an all-everything deity, contradictions and all. Just answer “yes” to everything. Is god good? Yes. Bad? Sure. Smart, dumb, two-legged, fifty-beaked? You betcha. Can it make itself not exist? Yup. Why the hell not? Frankly, if I had a god, I’d want it to be everything. It seems more logical that way. The limits religion puts on its gods is counterintuitive and counterproductive.

        But I don’t put shit for stock in religion.

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      • What you’re describing then is Pantheism, the next step up from indifferent Deism. That has nothing to do with the personal god of the Abrahamic faiths… the Omni-fellow apologists (especially Christian philosophers) try to posit as something believable.

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      • No I’m describing a belief in possibility which applies to every god of every religion.
        My stumbling block is this:
        Omni is all, and all includes the non-existent, the contradictory, and even the insane. It’s All; it doesn’t need a qualifier or supplemental definition. So while deities are perfect, they can be fallible (much like puppies lol). However, I understand your pursuits as most religious followers don’t seem to understand how to use the tools of their faiths, and try to screw in their dogma with hammers.

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    • Exactly! They could, at the very least, move about and experience life. An Omnimax god must be, by definition, perfectly inert, incapable of even deciding to go “over there and have a look.” It’d be a ghastly existence.

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  8. Logic is an attempt to organize thinking, it is not intended to be a perfect thinking scheme, just an exploration of thinking patterns. So, “God created logic.” hmmm; I missed in the Bible where that was stated. if only that were written in the Bible, then I would know it was true, because the Bible never makes mistakes. I know that because it says so in the Bible. Gosh, if God created Logic, why doesn’t Logic have that principle? What an axiom! “If it is in the Bible it must be true.” Does that imply “For something to be true, it must be in the Bible?” Gosh I wish I knew more logic.

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  9. Another brilliantly written argument! If Omnimax god is incapable of all of the above, is he also incapable of truly appreciating a perfectly grilled burger? Hell, no! Count me out. I’ll take God of the BBQ, with a side order of Flying Spaghetti. 😉

    (Oh damn, now I’m hungry.)

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  10. It’s so sad such well-conceptualized arguments are lost on the empty headed reiterations of “well that’s not my god, so your argument is thus invalid” *face palm*. The fact that there are so many different variations and conceptions of the Christian god alone should clue logical people in that such a being in all probability does not exist, otherwise you would think it would set the records straight.

    I don’t know if you’ve seen them yet, but a Brazilian group has put up some great billboards on secularism and I love their approach (http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2011/08/01/these-atheist-billboards-in-brazil-get-right-to-the-point/). My favorite is the simple argument: people help people, not god (but I suppose if some people live in a delusional world of their own making, they can’t see the good, caring individuals that actually do things to help :p). Anyway, brilliantly done yet again!

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  11. Like treacle dripping off a spoon Mr.Zande! 🙂

    Although, what if there is no separation between man and this Omnimax God, that in its inertness, it chooses to experience itself through the auspices of humanity and the rest of creation, so that it may know all of these wonderful things that you speak of above? What if God really did make man in its own image, as the theists so love to believe?
    Your implication is that to be of this earthly existence is a prerequisite to experiencing all of the emotions and possible thoughts that you surmise such a supreme, maximal being would be devoid of. So limitation of awareness, as opposed to the omnipresent kind that you have been alluding to, that would be an applicable definition of Señor Gran Pubar, is what’s required to be a sentient rational being? Is this your rationale?

    It’s a very good rationale as it happens, one I support wholeheartedly. However, such a theory as you present is based on a premise that the conscious awareness of each human being is distinctly separate from the next. But what if it isn’t, what then?

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    • in its inertness, it chooses to experience itself through the auspices of humanity and the rest of creation, so that it may know all of these wonderful things

      That would be the god identified in Scott Adam’s, God’s Debris… a creator being who committed suicide, dispersing its god-stuff, which is now reassembling, learning, discovering, remembering. A very cool notion. Be nice if that idea caught our species attention and everyone started behaving like-wise. Maybe then we’d actually treat this planet and other creatures with a little respect.

      About awareness of the Omnimax-fellow; it’d be incapable of experiencing anything, even a thought, because nothing exists outside it. Or, so the submission goes.

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      • The last part I got. Completely.
        I just thought I’d throw the one about about connected consciousness in there, as even most theists seem to buy into the notion of separateness, between them, their fellow theists, and their God. Despite claiming that God is everywhere, and in everything, all the time. Kinda raises a few contradictions don’t you think?! And like Argus says, contradictions just don’t exist, right Argie? It makes a mockery of a real understanding of anything.
        However, maybe that too is a good point, that most people are pretty fallible in their logic, because they just don’t know everything there is to know. A concept of an Everything-Kinda-God is not practical, because within the constraints of our being human, we couldn’t possibly conceive of such a notion, much less measure it, so it has to be purely ‘theoretical’, or hypothetical. These kinds of things are just fantasies, stuff of the imagination that only have the value that you or I say they do. Our choice then, lies in whether such concepts are valuable to us individually. Some theories are a lot more easily applied and observed than others, and therein lies the crux of it all. But just because something can seem to be proven doesn’t make it more valuable to all. It’s just a measure. Not that I mean to get all holier than thou about anything here of course. Just merely pointing out certain idiosyncrasies that occur to me as I consider your very well presented argument.

        You’re right too, that perhaps if our species could latch onto the notion of godhood existing within them, and experiencing human life because of them, not inspite of them, then maybe that would foster a healthier attitude to being alive in general. The notion of an Omnimax God is a pure cop-out. It will always be an excuse to not admit failure, or lack of knowledge, and what could possibly be more humbling than that?

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      • In fact if I could describe your argument in one succinct word, it would be this: floccinaucinihilipilification. You did a very good job. 🙂

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  12. I like the concept presented above of pancakes for the viciously numerate, makes good use of that there treacle dripping off the spoon of your eloquent penmanship.

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  13. Well done, John; as usual.

    One minor nit . . .

    As an old atheist at 80 years of age, I think that god does exist . . . between the ears of those who believe . . . just like any other concept, thought, or idea that happens from time to time in the human mind. And this “between the ears” god creates all kinds of problems for believers and non believers alike when the believers do evil and /or destructive things because of what they believe [ like flying airplanes into buildings, or kiling doctors who perform abortions, for example ].

    Take care, and keep up the good work.

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    • Between the Ears God is most certainly real, and that’s terrifying. How does it go: one person says he communes with an invisible creature, he’s called insane. A group say they commune with an invisible creature, they’re called a cult. Millions say they commune with an invisible creature, its called religion.

      On other, more important human matters: just 7 weeks to go before Rosetta’s baby, Philae, touches down on Churyumov–Gerasimenko! Awesome!!

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  14. Exellent post John. You might be on to something here, as obviously the god described in the Bible is incapable of the most simple empathetic feelings, or even fairness. It is claimed in the book, that it is a loving and a mercifull god, but actions speak louder than words, and perhaps the book is – after all – indeed describing the “nature” and as such also the inabilities of an omnimax god.

    The parts in the “good book” about this god being a loving entity are obviously just wishfull thinking. In the sense, that if I call the all-mighty divinity loving, maybe I touch upon it’s vanity, and it shows some mercy for me, but as it is incapable to even be vane, these pleas to influence, the assumed entity by prayer and ritual, do not actually affect it in any ways. As we do know about prayer. It does not work.

    In a sense, this leads to the realization, that what is described and labelled as an omnimax god is only nature, in all it’s indifference…

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    • Well said. Five minutes of serious thought should lead any mildly intelligent person (child, or adult) to deism. Five hours of serious thought, coupled with a healthy injection of the sciences, and pure pantheism should be the only dish on the plate for those who want (or need) to believe.

      How on earth Christianity survived post-17th Century (once people could actually read the bible for themselves) with this line in the Pentateuch is beyond me:

      (Exodus 20:5) for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me

      Jealous? A jealous god? Come on…

      Like

      • “Five minutes of serious thought should lead any mildly intelligent person (child, or adult) to deism.”. I seem to have been blocked for sharing a similar sentiment on the ‘Winteryknight’ blog.
        I said something like:-
        “So we are to believe that the deity who created our universe, fine tuned to 1 part in 10 to the power 200(or something), instructed a tribe in the middle east to lop the foreskins off their 8 day old boys. It’s insane.”

        Like

      • I managed to get one lengthy comment published. My second comment had an ‘It’s insane” tagged on the end. Fairly restrained I think – if you’ve read the Bible. They could have explained why hacking off the foreskin of 8 day old babies was not insane. They’re in the bubble and are determined to stay there. This is from the NY Times. I can’t verify if this practice was the one commanded by Yahweh in the old testament.
        “The mohel, A. Romi Cohn, said he had performed more than 25,000 circumcisions,…. When he circumcises an infant, he said, he almost always put his mouth on the baby’s penis to pull blood away from the wound in an ancient part of the circumcision ritual, known in Hebrew as metzitzah b’peh”

        Like

  15. I don’t really get that argument. Surely if this omnimax creature existed it would be so beyond us that any human pondering on what it could or couldn’t do would be meaningless. However, beautifully crafted as ever! 🙂

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    • It’s an Argument Absurdum, arriving at the natural, inevitable, conclusion that an Omnimax is indistinguishable from nothing. It, quite literally, cannot do or be anything and still remain defined as Omnimax. Of course, this only applies to the apologist who insists their god-fellow is Omni-everything.

      Decided which way to vote yet?

      Like

      • I’ve just posted on Catholic Truth to ask what they’re voting. I think it’s safe to say that the most sensible option will be the opposite of their utterances. As sound a methodology as any for reaching a decision. 😀

        Like

      • They were kind enough to direct me to their post on the topic, where I found this more than helpful comment:
        “Catholics, or should I say good, obedient and not wishy washy Catholics, most certainly should not vote for Scottish Independence. Scotland will become a much more socially liberal, socialist and secular society, with a strong anti-religious streak. Then there’s the State Guardians, to protect every child, then there’s gay marriage. Once English influence is removed, with it’s less anti religious and more right wing influence, a Pandora’s box will be opened. Catholic education and social services will be targetted, along the lines of the adoption agencies.”

        That pretty much seals the deal I’d say! 😀

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  16. Oddly enough, if I was forced to pictured what god would be like, the description you put out here most closely matches the picture in my mind. If you take omnipresence and omniscience literally (and the bible kinda says I should, don’t it?;)) you end up with a deity who’s completely incapable of everything humans project onto it. That to me seems to me a very realistic and workable view of god, in the sense that it’s a god that leaves humans having to make their own choices, finding their own purpose, etc.

    Perhaps I’m a god too. My body is the universe. One of the millions and millions of cells that make up my left kidney is Earth. To that cell I’m pretty omnipresent and omniscient, but I can’t really do anything about anything. Not sure if that comparison holds up completely, but it’s the feeling I got from reading this post.
    It’s interesting to see how little is left of religious doctrine when you take it literally;)

    Like

    • The Middle Eastern god of the Pentateuch is hilariously odd. We’re told it “does not change,” but is at the same time jealous, petty, spiteful, murderous, and mean spirited. So no, despite what Yahwehists claim, that god is certainly not an Omnimax deity. I think only the pantheists have been honest and rational in their god hypothesis, if one can be rational about such things. A god that is indistinguishable from nature is not such a bad or hurtful idea.

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  17. The conundrums are endless, are they not, John? And the believers side step them all so blithely.
    I am always reminded of the line from one of the Star Trek movies – forget which one. If we are dealing with omni-everything ( with fries), then,
    ”What would God want with a Starship?”

    Like

    • Oh, I’ve seen that scene, never the whole movie, though. Spock’s brother worshiped this godly fellow, right… and got himself killed.

      Yeah, if play the Omni requirements out to their natural conclusion you wind up with a pure pantheistic deity, indistinguishable from nature.

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      • And then it becomes a question of interpretation, does it not?
        Odd how each group loves to claim bragging rights over whose religion is The One, yet doesn’t the bible say somewhere that only 144,000 will be chosen and they will be Jews?
        A lot of people are in for a BIG surprise come Judgement Day.

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  18. Its totally amusing to think God can be subjected to the intellect of the atheist; O how He who sitteth in the heavens must laugh.

    Reading these comments about the lack of His existence, just proves Him true, and every man a liar.

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    • Hi Colorstorm

      Yes, everyone must be lying. Certainly… But I fear you’ve missed the crux of the post. This has nothing, essentially, to do with your particular Middle Eastern god, rather the concept of an Omnimax god in general, which your god most definitively is not, if we are to read what is in the bible.

      Like

  19. Heck john,

    I was hoping to have received a red carpet for my first visit-lol

    You must know, that I include myself in that stellar list of members in the liarhood-
    hopefully, not so much any more.

    Middle eastern god?? Of course not, God has no competitors There is only one.
    The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of Adam and Daniel- The God of Saul and then Paul- My God also. He is ever the same-

    Btw, IB is running an excellent convo-

    Like

    • Hi Colorstom

      Consider the Red Carpet always out for you, and all.

      I’m afraid to say, but your Middle Eastern god is just that: a geographically isolated, Middle Eastern god. Temporally speaking, the god of the Pentateuch is entirely absent from all but the last 1.25% of human history, and even after its literary debut in the 6th Century BCE failed to register as anything other than a minor Middle Eastern artistic anomaly envisaged by no other culture on the planet. It didn’t materialise independently in mainland Europe, emerge unassisted on the British Isles, or rouse a single word across the entire Far East. It inspired no one in any of the 30,000 islands of the South Pacific, energised nothing across the African continent, stirred naught in North America, and didn’t move anything or anyone in Central or South America. No one across the vast Indian Great Plains or Russian steppes ever heard of it. No Azorean fisherman suddenly spoke of it, no Scandinavian shipwright carved its name in a stone, no Japanese mother ever thought she’d heard it speak in whispered tones, and no Australian aborigine ever dreamed of it. Outside the pages of the bible there is positively nothing in the natural or anthropological landscape which might even remotely lead a person blissfully ignorant of the claims made in bible to suspect that that particular Middle Eastern god has ever inspired anything except the imaginations of a few linguistically specific Iron Age Canaanite hill tribes looking to add a little supernatural spice to their otherwise perfectly terrestrial lives.

      Like

  20. John-

    It pains me to say that you have fashioned a God into YOUR image and likeness, and you have subjugated Him to your intellect.

    You have erected a golden calf using your unbelief and pride of life. (I know you can’t see this)

    Hopefully time will prove a great friend, and you can look back at these conversations and smile.

    These are not accusations but observations; heck how could one insult a non belief anyway….

    Like

    • Not even going to try and counter any of the facts I presented, I see.

      Interesting…

      Also, Colorstorm, just a housekeeping matter, but could use the Reply option rather than starting a new thread with each comment. It’d be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

      Like

      • John-
        ok about the reply thing-

        But counter the facts?? The facts of humanism, the facts of people who hate God? The facts of apostate jews? The facts of infidels?

        Spiritual issues are never settled with carnal information.

        If you do not believe the scriptures are divinely breathed, then there is nothing I can do to satiate your thirst-

        If you do not believe there was a marriage in Cana of
        Galilee, if you do not believe in Golgotha’s hill,

        if you do not believe in the miracle of Pentecost, if you do not believe a man named Saul was converted,

        if you do not believe that a child was born in Bethlehem, (the house of bread)

        if you do not believe a eunuch was converted with the help of Philip, I can offer you nothing that would satisfy,

        Now, argue against the scriptures, and u will be sorely handicapped, even paralyzed.

        These are the facts that impartial peopledeal with.

        Your pea shooters cannot withstand bullets of truth.

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      • Thanks, Colorstorm,

        No, the “facts” of the stunningly small geographic isolation of your particular Middle Eastern god. The “fact” that it was nothing but a minor Middle Eastern artistic anomaly known to no other culture on the planet.

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      • That ‘anomaly’ is proof that the God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob oversees all, after all, He chose the ‘weak’ things of the world to confound the wise…………….

        Can any good thing come out of Nazareth???
        Hmmmmmmmmmmm. let’s see.

        Think of anything unusual John?

        Btw, you may want to try to disprove the geneologies in Matt 1 andd Luke 3- Take a few years to try to find a defect.

        Every person who tried to discredit it, ended up, well, let’s just say they amended their ways.

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      • No need. The fact that neither Jesus (if he existed) nor any of the bible authors knew Moses (for example) was a fictional character invented in the 6th Century BCE to satisfy the territorial ambitions of Judah after the sacking of the Mamlekhet Yisra’el (Kingdom of Israel) is all the evidence anyone needs to know the bible is pure bunk.

        Like

      • Speaking of golden calves, I once tried to make one, and it came out as a golden foot instead. Good thing is I, like John, take a great deal of pride in being alive (not quite sure why that’s inferred to above as being a bad thing). Thus, I proudly use my golden foot to kick those who arrogantly believe theirs is the only invisible guy who’s “real” smack dab in the tush. I must say, I’ve gained many a believer in my golden foot over the years as I’ve used it to kick many a christian tushy. My golden foot may not be a god, but it’s real. There are bruised arses from here to Antarctica to prove it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I LEAVE bruises with my boot. That is what makes my boot divine. Plus, if you doubt my boot, simply read the genealogies in the bible: “And Marcus begat Joey who woreth a biggeth boot who then begat Sally who woreth another biggeth boot and therefor went abouteth kicking arses in the desert til all believeth in the holy boot. P.S. To take pride in one’s life one first must worship at the alter of the almighty boot. Amen, you godless heathen, you.

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      • Of course we do. I wouldn’t pass that up for the world. Free money for our blind arrogance and the stupidity of others to not see it as such. All hail the mighty golden foot!!! Blessed are they who’s arses are spared from a kicking by it.

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    • If you do not believe the scriptures are divinely breathed

      Why should he believe them to be inspired?

      If you do not believe there was a marriage in Cana of
      Galilee,

      People get married every day. Cana or Mecca, people wed.

      These are the facts that impartial people deal with

      These are assertions people cling to after years of brainwashing

      Liked by 1 person

      • @mak-

        I will narrow the issue to one. I mentioned it earlier, since no amount of information trading will satisfy.

        If the word of God (the bible to you) is so, then all others are imposters. If it is so, then man if he wishes, can know Him.

        The proof is open to any honest soul, and many a great mind has succumbed to the claims of scripture, in addition to the claims on his life and soul.

        The single thing that I could point you to verify these claims, are the geneologies. Look at them, in honesty, after all, you rely on the testimony of the past from other sources to stake your claims.

        Matthew 1
        Luke 3

        If these records are true, then u can be certain every word is true, which , I have been saying all along.

        John says he has no interest, maybe you do.

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      • Colorstrom, the muslim argues his is the word of god, the Hindu, and all religious nutjobs make the same claim. Why would I consider one to be and the others not? What will be my reason if you care to explain?

        I have no interest but I have looked at the genealogies and they are not true. And even of they were, there are many explanations, natural ones that could be applied to why they are.

        Maybe calling the bible scripture gives it a special place in your world, it is to me a work of men for men. Nothing more. All the supernatural claims it makes are all in need of verification. We can talk here all day but until you start showing up with some evidence or demonstration of the claims, we are headed nowhere

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      • The genealogies, read correctly, are evidence of the golden foot and the golden boot. Both of these were worshiped by the Golden Footites of the ancient Middle East, and both are real because I say so. So, stop having pride in your life, become dependent on the almighty golden foot and/or boot, and your pride will vanish. It will be replaced with arrogance and a claim to know things you simply can not really know. Following this, you will have people tossing money at you, tax-free I add, as if your arrogance were actually evidence of knowledge of the thing you claim you arrogantly know. Just remember, my friend, never have pride in your life. Religious whack-jobs, who are full of arrogant banality, don’t like it when you do. Hallelujah! Praise be the long, boring list of made up names in the bible!!!

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      • Start today, O Prophet of the Golden Foot/Boot! Remove pride in life from your stained soul and replace it with arrogance and cotton candy logic. then, take said golden foot and apply it repeatedly to the back side of those thinking the biblical genealogies are not only boring but made up. Blessed be you my prophet! Good kickin’ to you.

        Like

      • Hahahaha!
        Not related to John’s good post, am reading Mark Twain’s hints to life for the damned human race. Hilarious would be an understatement.
        Kicking I shall do, pride I will slay and arrogance I will wear with pride 😀

        Like

      • Twain. Now there’s a guy who should be a “god”. Only he’d kick my arse for suggesting it if he were here, so I won’t suggest it. Keep on reading your biblical genealogies too. There’s a great bit in there about Pee Wee Herman and JFK that’ll just cause you to split your sides with laughter.

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      • Mak-

        ‘You have examined the geneologies and they are not true.’ Really And WHAT is not true??

        That’s a serious charge u make there fella.

        You want evidence? Prove to me the wind exists? Answer this correctly, and you may proceed to the next round.

        You will this this argument 100% of the time.

        Like

      • This answer ignores your ‘pretending.’

        Luke records Mary’s genealogy and Matthew is recording Joseph’s. Matthew is following the line of Joseph (Jesus’ legal father), through David’s son Solomon, while Luke is following the line of Mary (Jesus’ blood relative), though David’s son Nathan.

        Since there was no Greek word for “son-in-law,” Joseph was called the “son of Heli” by marriage to Mary, Heli’s daughter. Through either Mary’s or Joseph’s line, Jesus is a descendant of David and therefore eligible to be the Messiah.

        Tracing a genealogy through the mother’s side is unusual, but so was the virgin birth. Luke’s explanation is that Jesus was the son of Joseph, “so it was thought!!!!!” (do u see the importance of this last statement??)

        He is the son of man and son of God. Ah yes, all arguments are silenced by the word of God.

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      • Colorstrom, I give you a bullshit award. You can present it to any church of your choice.
        You celebrate too soon. While you started the fireworks, I was waiting for you to tell me what god is and how god and man made Jesus. Did both of them sleep with Mary? Just asking you know. I need to know these things

        Liked by 1 person

      • Rather than silly deflection, perhaps you could show Mak where in the bible it says one genealogy is this, and another genealogy is that?

        Without that, your attestations here seem rather thin….

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      • sure john-

        I suggest you and mak read them, and study them and you will get all the answers you need-

        My attesting? Yep, just a simple witness. I say ‘amen’ to the text.

        I can add nothing to that which is perfect.

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      • sure john-

        But please do not challenge this information without honestly investigating. After all, it all goes back to Adam…….

        Luke 3.23 is a clue .
        (as supposed………..!!!)

        I call this the divine parenthesis

        Seriously John, there is neither time nor paper here, but the subject guarantees you the most worthiest of pursuits.

        There is a legal concern,
        there is a physical concern- all are addressed, and all mouths stopped.

        I repeat: there is not time nor paper- do your own research- try to find a flaw. Take the dare.

        May take a few years……………..it is extremely deep since there is a virgin birth, without a human father. 😉

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      • Joseph’s geneology is meaningless?

        MEANINGLESS?

        MEANINGLESS?

        Another fine insult on God’s infallible word.

        Sure, only if you think the right to sit on David’s throne is meaningless. It proves his LEGAL right according to the scriptures john.

        As I said, it is a noble pursuit, and I will not entertain your baseless questions.

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      • Why aren’t you citing the bible passage which specifically identifies Mary’s genealogy, and her’s alone?

        Joseph is meaningless. He has nothing to do with Jesus, who we must assume was a perfect clone of Mary, right?

        So Jesus was a female… I wonder why the authors of the bible didn’t know that???

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      • John, for the love of God,

        I answered your question-

        go back and look, lest i become a master of prolixity-

        pay attention, and don’t be so quick to post without chewing the cud-.
        This is for u too Mak

        Like

      • Errrrum, it only says Joseph… Nothing about Mary.

        Colorstorm, why didn’t the bible authors know Jesus was a female? Why is there no remarks noted of people being astounded that Mary’s daughter (named Yeshua) was a perfect mirror image of her mother?

        You’d think someone would notice, right?

        Like

    • Colorstorm, I hate to say this, but your answers here are all crap.
      I have bible and somewhere, the editors thought it wise to add this footnote to the beginning of Mathew. They write

      The genealogy of Jesus is given from Abraham to Joseph….this artificial construction suggests that it is not historical but theological

      In Luke, the same authors add a footnote

      [..]It is quite clear that the family line is traced through Joseph who was legally Jesus’ father though not biologically as was supposed.

      While giving you bullshit award I asked you to answer a question. To give the specific verse where any of the bible authors claim they are writing a genealogy through Mary.
      I also asked you to tell us whose sperm is responsible for the Jesus boy. Am waiting for the answers.
      You can continue to bullshit through this or give some answers.

      Like

  21. “Ontological arguments are arguments from nothing but analytic, a priori and necessary premises to the conclusion that God exists”

    The most well known, based on St. Anselm, Proslogion. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ontological-arguments/#HisOntArg

    “I conceive of a being than which no greater can be conceived. If a being than which no greater can be conceived does not exist, then I can conceive of a being greater than a being than which no greater can be conceived—namely, a being than which no greater can be conceived that exists. I cannot conceive of a being greater than a being than which no greater can be conceived. Hence, a being than which no greater can be conceived exists”.

    Attempt of refutation:
    I am not even Big, just a finite human being…
    How can I conceive the GREATER being which no greater can be conceived.

    End of argument… Thanks for taking part of this challenge. 😉

    Best wishes, Aquileana 😛

    Like

  22. Maybe I’m a pantheist. I think “God” is nature:

    – healthy food (for the sake of survival)
    – healthy sex (for the sake of survival)
    – minimizing the harm you do to other things and other people (for the sake of survival)

    I think this is what being a good person is all about: survival (or some people call it “love”).

    Like

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