The God Problem

    By John Zande | 14 September 2014
    The Superstitious Naked Ape

    To 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. It 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.

    Reprinted with permission from the author.

    John Zande lives in Brazil.

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