an atheist viewpoint

thoughts from a non-theist

More Doublethink from Pleaseconvinceme.com

Seems I’ve inspired not one, but TWO posts from the hapless faith jockeys over at pleaseconvinceme.com today, both responding to points I’d raised about the logical impossibility of the Christian god. Firstly Tim weighed in, presenting the more reasonable opinion, and resisting the urge to start name calling.

There are a few points Tim raises which can be looked at in more detail. One of his claims about god is that…

“God can’t lie”

Maybe not, but interestingly YWHW is not above making other people lie for him, as these verses show….

1 Kings 22:23 Yahweh has put a lying spirit into the mouth of all these your prophets

Ezekiel 14:9 And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the LORD have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel.

2 Thess. 2:11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie…

That one line ‘I the LORD have deceived that prophet’ is pretty damning, their god almost seems proud of his lies. By the definition presented in Tim’s article, their god is guilty of a moral failure.

They then move onto my point about god being unable to change his mind if he’s all powerful. This other argument seems to state that their god, knowing all of time simultaneously doesn’t then ever have to change his mind. Setting aside the multiple occasions in the Bible where he DOES change his mind, if their god knows all that will ever happen, then he knows what I will do tomorrow, which means that I don’t have the ability to do something different. In fact, the Christian god knows from the beginning of time whether I’ll be ‘saved’ or not, which in my opinion, removes any free will I might have.

If believers are right, and their deity always knew how things would work out, why did it grieve him to see the pre-flood world acting sinfully? After all, theists claim that he knew it would happen (which does beg the question, if god knew that his creation would be flawed before he made it, why didn’t he fix all the problems beforehand?). It’s odd the way that their supposedly timeless deity seems repeatedly constrained by the relentless marching of time from the past into the future throughout the Bible. In fact if he ISN’T then a lot of his actions make no sense whatsoever, and seem incredibly cruel just for the sake of inflicting pain.

Finally they try and explain that ‘all powerful’ might not mean what most people think it does –

“A better definition might be that God is capable of doing anything that power is capable of doing”

…immediately they’re diminishing the power of their god, subtly moving the goalposts and claiming that ‘all powerful’ doesn’t actually mean ALL powerful. But why should their all powerful being be limited in any way at all? It’s telling that they have to invent limitations to get around the logical impossibility of god’s existence.

As I said though, at least Tim didn’t resort to name calling, unlike Al….

the challenger is, well, challenged when it comes to asking a rational question

is his response to my questions….

these arguments constitute an abandonment of logic and reason, rendering them, in the end, nonsensical. 

he goes on, before calling my points

…gibberish….

and finishing with this gem….

Why, why, why? In the end, Alex B.’s questions remind me of the child who repeatedly asks “why,” thinking that he has discovered something profound and unanswerable. But it is the child’s limited knowledge that prevents him from seeing the very good answers that exist, and that are apparent to those mature enough to embrace them. 

Yes, Al’s right, I’m like a child! That’s why I’ve rejected the notion of an invisible being that presents no evidence for its existence and hasn’t, despite the best efforts of the brightest believing minds over the last 2000 years, been shown to have any influence at all over the real world.

I’m not going to go through Al’s post point by point, as it’s made up entirely of circular logic, but this line did tickle me….

Reality describes the way things really are; fantasy, by contrast, is an imagined, unreal thing

A bit like your god, Al.

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