Thursday, December 24, 2009

Debating a Christian about God's Existence

It’s Christmas Eve. Tomorrow is Jesus’ birthday.

Well, no, not really. Nobody knows when Jesus was born. Nobody even knows for certain IF Jesus was born. There were lots of Jesus’ in those days. It was a common name. But I’m talking about THE Jesus. There is no solid evidence, outside the bible, that the Messiah Jesus existed, let alone what day he was born on.

The early Church adopted December 25 as a day to celebrate the birth of Christ because it was already being celebrated by the pagans as the day the sun starts turning back north in the sky.

Anyway, some might think this is the wrong time of year to be writing a blog on the subject of the existence of Jesus or even the existence of the Christian god, but what better time? The Christian god does not exist. Now, I’m not saying that God does not exist. I don’t know for sure either way. But the characteristics of God as given to him by Christians are impossible. That god can be ruled out by simple logic.

So, let’s assume I’m talking to a Christian who believes the bible is true. I’m trying to prove to him that his god does not exist. He, of course, is never going to cave in to my logic. But ignoring the truth doesn’t make it go away.

Here is how that conversation might go:

Me: Is it your belief that God created humans?

Christian: Yes, of course He did.

Me: Why did he create humans?

Christian: He is a god of love. He created us so that He could love us and so that we could love Him.

Me: Does he expect to love us forever, or only temporarily, until we die?

Christian: He is an eternal god. He wants to love us forever.

Me: So why doesn’t he just allow us all to go to heaven, regardless?

Christian: He wants us to decide for ourselves to accept him, through Jesus Christ. He gives us free will so we can choose.

Me: Is God omniscient? Does he know everything?

Christian: According to the bible, He is omniscient and eternal. He is Alpha and Omega.

Me: Does he know in advance what our decision will be in the end, to accept him or not?

Christian: He knows everything, even that. But he still allows us to decide.

Me: What if we decide not to believe in him or to accept Jesus?

Christian: Well, those who aren’t saved will go to hell.

Me: What’s hell?

Christian: Many Christians believe it is a place of eternal torture and agony. Others believe it is simply living forever in the absence of God

Me: So, what you’re saying is that we get to choose, but he already knows what our decision is going to be?

Christian: Yes. We are choosing for ourselves; He gave us free will. But since He is omniscient, he knows how we are going to choose.

Me: Since he is eternal, did he know before he created me that I was going to decide not to believe in him?

Christian: Yes, He knew before He created us what our decisions were going to be, but He still makes Himself available to all of us.

Me: So if god knew in advance of our creation whether or not we would decide to believe in him and whether or not to choose Jesus as our savior, then he already knew that many millions of people would not choose him, right?

Christian: Yes, He knew.

Me. And your main premise for god creating us in the first place was so that he could love us and we could love him forever, right?

Christian: Yes.

Me: Then if he already knew, before he created me, that I was not going to accept him, and if those who don’t accept him go to hell, then he knew in advance, before he created me, that I was going to be damned, yet he created me anyway?

Christian: Yes, but He gives us the chance to change our minds. His spirit works within all of us at one time or another and we get to choose to ignore it or accept it.

Me: The bottom line is, if he knows what we are going to do in advance then whatever we choose is already known to him. If we change our minds, he already knows that, too. Knowing what our choices will be, and knowing that many will not choose to accept him, even knowing who they are, He created them all anyway. He created them to be condemned. So your original premise, that god created us to love forever, is in error.

Christian: But, well, uh, the Lord works in mysterious ways. We don’t know everything. God is a god of love and he gave us free will, but it’s up to us to love him and choose him.

Me: So now you’re talking in circles. You have nothing new to say and no good answers. I win. Your god does not exist.

You see folks, you can believe whatever you want. Maybe there is a god. Maybe there isn’t. But the god of the bible cannot exist because the premise for his creation is faulty. Maybe god is not omniscient. Maybe he knows a lot but not everything. Maybe he’s powerful, but not omnipotent. Maybe he can’t create a rock so heavy that even he cannot move it, because I just created such a rock in my logic above.

Whatever you choose to believe, it would be nice if it could be supported by rational thought. The god of the bible cannot be.

Merry Christmas.


Pastor Greg said...

Do you want an honest conversation, or do you just want to vent?

If you want an honest conversation, then let's go back to why He created us.

One doesn't ask 'why' an artesian spring overflows with water; one doesn't ask the glacier 'why' it grows (global warming not withstanding). God created out of his joy; out of his abundance he made all of creation.

God made mankind because creation was an expression (certainly not the only) of his (words fail us here) enormous greatness and goodness; and he did it joyfully.

(If you just want to vent, then please we'll just drop it here; if you really do want a conversation, then by all means, let's chat.)

BTW: I like your blog so far.

Jerry Wilson said...

I write these blog entries not only to vent, but also to inform those on the fence that falling over on the side of Christianity makes absolutely no sense. Your argument posted here is a prime example of that.

You state with all certainty that, "God created out of his joy...." And, "God made mankind because creation was an expression of his enormous greatness...."

You seem to know for sure why God created us. You seem to know for sure what gives God joy. You know the mind of God, huh?

It is the utter certainty that Christians have for things that they cannot possibly know that is telling. If Christians have that much certainty over things unknown, then how can one trust that they know anything at all about God? Maybe that's why there are so many varieties of Christians; none of them know enough about God, the bible, or even Jesus to agree on a single Church.

If the bible is the inerrant word of God, then all Christians should believe exactly the same thing. The fact that they do not tells me that the bible is either in error itself (which it is), or it is not clear enough (which means God is not perfect because his word is not perfect).

And I don't buy the argument that it is we humans that are imperfect and misinterpret the bible. God could have made it more understandable if he were perfect. And then there's that whole logical inconsistency you get if you assume god gave us free will. Free will and omniscience are incompatible with each other. I wrote another blog entry or two just on that subject.

Bottom line: People will believe whatever they want, but only those who believe in rational ideas that are supported by evidence have my support. The others are just wishful thinkers and hope-mongers. And as well all know, wishing it doesn't make it true, only evidence does.