The God of Abraham: A Paradox

Since the dawn of reason man has wielded his faculty in order to make sense of a seemingly meaningless world around him. Man, unlike the other members of the animal kingdom, is not content to simply live as his nature compels him to. Man strives to know “why” he should live and how such a world came into being, inspiring him to conceptualize the idea of gods and spirits, and later, the notion of a single God which serves as the first cause of all things. The final form of this one God is today the Lord of Abraham and Isaac and belief in Him has brought about profound ignorance, suffering and social degeneration. A closer examination begs the question: “Does God exist at all?” What if such a God did not exist, what implications would that have for the believers? In truth a god may exist but the Judeo-Christian God does not exist.

You will often hear the people regurgitating “Everything is created by something, the first thing that created all other things was God” or “God didn’t create man, but he at least started the Big Bang, and started evolution rolling.” At first glance these seem to be fairly logical arguments for the existence of God and appeal to the common reason, in particular the latter claim. You are given birth by parents, who were born by grandparents, many generations past in the same fashion, the original line may have started in the Rift Valley, or elsewhere, and before that, simpler beings, to the beginning, more complex creations are formed by the fusion of simpler ones. It is reasonable to conceptualize in the primeval past of the cosmic landscape a “prime mover” starting it all off: God.

This may be the case, and seems logical, but it is fundamentally flawed reasoning. Firstly, although a prime mover may have existed, it says nothing about the nature of that mover, just that it existed. The mover may have been an indifferent, mindless forger of matter that evaporated once it released the energy required to create the universe, or thousands of gods, or a race of advanced voyagers from a distant universe, or any combination of possible characteristics. The mover doesn’t necessarily have to be the God of Moses but simply a mover. Secondly, this argument begs the question: what created the mover? The premise of the argument is that everything is created from something, why wouldn’t this logic also apply to the first cause of all itself? Even assuming this/these God(s) existed it would say nothing about how to worship them or how to live, leaving the natural world as the only divine testimony.

The existence of the Judeo-Christian god is disproved by a simple examination, originally posed by the Hellenic philosopher Epicurus. Epicurus’ logic relies upon the assumptions that God is all-loving, all-powerful and all- knowing:

God is all-loving (omnibenevolent):

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. (1 John 4:7-11)

God is all-powerful (omnipotent):

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)

…the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty… (Genesis 17:1)

God is all-knowing (omniscient):

Doth not [God] see my ways, and count all my steps? (Job 31:4)

Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. (Hebrews 4:13)

If God is an all-loving, all-powerful and all-knowing god, and if evil exists in the world, then God cannot exist:

Either God wants to abolish evil, and cannot; or he can, but does not want to. If he wants to, but cannot, he is impotent. If he can, but does not want to, he is wicked. If God can abolish evil, and God really wants to do it, why is there evil in the world? – Epicurus (2000 Years of Disbelief)

Other simple logical contradictions exist which cannot be reconciled in the existence of a Judeo-Christian God. God cannot be omnipotent because he if he cannot create or can create something which bests his ability, then he is not all powerful. This elegant argument, originally proposed by Averroes is elegantly summarized by J.L. Cowan in The Paradox of Omnipotence:

1. Either God can create a stone which He cannot lift, or He cannot create a stone which He cannot lift.

2. If God can create a stone which He cannot lift, then He is not omnipotent (since He cannot lift the stone in question).

3. If God cannot create a stone which He cannot lift, then He is not omnipotent (since He cannot create the stone in question).

4. Therefore God is not omnipotent.

We see that in the end that the existence of a god or gods may be possible, at least as possible as the existence of the invisible pink unicorn or flying spaghetti monster, yet the existence of the Judeo-Christian God is contradicted by its very nature. Instead of seeking to understand a God which does not apparently effect the operations of daily life we should strive to follow the calling of reason and to live as nature and conscience compels, concerning ourselves with what is around us rather than what could be. Indeed it is better to repair a broken foundation than to assume someone else will. If God does exist, and if it did create us, our natural conscience cannot compel us to evil, and that is enough to live by, without the esoteric.