an atheist viewpoint

thoughts from a non-theist

Circular Reasoning Eats Itself

It seems that applied pressure from fellow atheists causes the apologists at pleaseconvinceme.com to go a bit loopy. So desperate are they to try and show that the Christian god doesn’t need praise because it’s perfect, they tie themselves into massive knots.

The blog post is without a doubt the most circularly reasoned article I’ve ever read, relying on presumption and acceptance of what it tries to prove as proof throughout.

 Logic, Pleaseconvinceme style

I think the most Escher-eque passage is the following

This point bears emphasis. God knows the way things really are. His self assessment of his infinite perfection is accurate. Such perfection is worthy of praise and awe and reverence. For God to think otherwise would not be humility, but error. Having no limitations, God rightly expects that we view him in the correct way, the only way that conforms to reality. Consequently, whatever attributes a person finds worthy of praise, God possesses these in infinite measure. Getting one’s mind around the immensity of a perfect God – of the utter overwhelming greatness that he possesses – one would necessarily be overcome with awe, fear and reverence. Whether we “like” Him or rebel against Him, our urge to praise and worship Him flow naturally from a recognition of His greatness.

Let’s break that down shall we? God is aware of his own perfection, so if he is humble about that perfection he is in error, which would mean he is not perfect, so he realises that he deserves praise. God, knowing that he’s perfect, knows that every other thing in the Universe (and elsewhere, if you subscribe to the point of view of the apologists) should treat him with awe, and should know that he is praise worthy. Got that? That, my friends, is how you try to explain an perfect being wanting something without the very act of wanting making that being imperfect!

It’s insane, and completely ignores the fact that, in the Bible, the Christian god regularly demands praise, as demonstrated in this passage from Deuteronomy

8 You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

9 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and fourth generation of those who reject me,

10 but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.

The story of the Children of Israel, right up to the times of the Judges is nothing but a series of repeating instances of the Jews turning their back on YHWH, YHWH getting annoyed and bringing his furious anger down upon them in the form of the armies of surrounding nations, and the Jews then turning back to him. The message is plain – ignore YHWH at your peril, cos he’s exceptionally jealous and prone to excesses of rage.

In an effort to make their god better than all the rest, Christians have, over the centuries, accidentally turned him into something that is logically impossible. They claim he’s all powerful and all knowing, despite these two traits being mutually exclusive and not capable of existing in one being. They have claimed God to be perfect, and have then ended up thinking themselves into knots (as we see above) trying to justify a perfect being making mistakes and getting things wrong…..

Christians bigged up their god into such a superman that it became impossible for all his different qualities to exist simultaneously. The results are articles like the ones pleaseconvinceme.com have been churning out during the last few days.

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