For Your Consideration, Use or Comment: A Logical Disproof of the Biblical God Concept

A version of the following disproof entitled The Biblical God Concept - Nullified has been published in The Freethinker which is the online magazine of the Science and Rationalists' Association of India:

The logical disproof of the Biblical god concept to be presented involves malice toward none, is not an attack on particular religions nor a statement against religion in general, and is solely in the interest of enlightenment to the good.

It involves only three definitions, each of which is self-evident. One is of a being, a second is of worship and the third is of a Biblical type god.

The definition of a being is that of a perceiver who cannot know whether its perceptions have anything to do with an external reality. Of course Descartes defined himself as this type of entity on the basis of obviousness. Very exactly, in that we have no way to test whether our perceptions have anything to do with an external reality we cannot know whether they do. Additionally, however, our experiences suggest that when we dream or hallucinate we internally generate perceptions that seem very real but have nothing to do with an external reality. Accordingly, especially with empirical suggestions that we sometimes internally generate perceptions that seem very real but have nothing to do with an external reality, we cannot rule out that it is our nature to do so all of the time. Therefore, our definition of a being is self-evident.

The definition of worship is veneration to the extent that its object is assumed to exist. In that one cannot worship something without acknowledging its existence this definition of worship is entirely consistent with the actual meaning of the word.

The definition of a Biblical type god is that of a perfect (in goodness) being who holds that it is right for others to worship it. This is entirely consistent with the Biblical god concept.

We shall proceed with a logical technique that utilizes reductio ad absurdum. That is, we shall first assume that a Biblical type god exists and from this using only logic arrive at a self-contradictory (absurd) proposition. This will leave only that a Biblical type god does not exist and the disproof will be complete. As such, assume that a Biblical type god exists.

By definition it holds that it is right for others to worship it. By the definition of worship they must acknowledge its existence to do so. Accordingly, the Biblical type god holds that it is right for others to acknowledge its existence. However, they are beings. By definition it is impossible for them to acknowledge the existence of anything more than perceptions. Therefore, the Biblical type god holds that it is right for them to do something that is impossible. At the same time, by definition it is perfect. In this it does not hold that it is right for others to do something that is impossible. Consequently, we have both that the Biblical type god does and does not hold that it is right for others to do something that is impossible.

This is the absurdity. Our only alternative is that a Biblical type god does not exist.

Quod Erat Demonstrandum.

It is incidental that the Biblical type god would not know whether others existed. Notwithstanding, in its perfection it would not decide that they did much less that they did as perceived. Moreover, in that it would not decide that any who might exist would exist as perceived it would not decide that any who might exist were imperfect. That is, it would not decide that any who might exist were its subordinate. In this, even supposing that a free desire to be worshiped could be moral, a perfect being would not hold that it was right for others to worship it and the Biblical god concept is again self-contradictory.

Analogously, of course, the Jesus concept is self-contradictory.

As set forth at the beginning there is no vindictiveness in this presentation. It is solely in the interest of enlightenment to the good.

As it pertains to enlightenment to the good it is meant to convey more than that the Biblical god concept is self-contradictory. It is meant to convey that, as our ability to know an external reality (if one exists) is scientifically precluded by our perceiver nature, meaningful development (true personal satisfaction) for us may only be realized in the form of internal rewards. That is, it may only be realized through decisions that afford fulfillment in effort independently from certainty of result.

Therefore, in that these all involve goodness of motive, more significantly than that the Biblical god concept is self-contradictory, this presentation is meant to convey that meaningful development must accommodate the personal conscience.

As the personal conscience assesses the appropriateness of subscription to the Biblical god concept it encounters the following: ‘Loving beings are characterized by selflessness, not egotism. They do not wish to be worshiped, narcissistic ones do. They wish to inspire others to be as good even better than they, not render them prostrate. There may be no double standards in the definition of love.’

Accordingly, fully informed and free subscription to the Biblical god concept is unconscionable. Consequently, it is incongruous with meaningful development even apart from the self-contradictory nature of the of the Biblical god concept.

Resultantly, in the interest of intellectual and emotional maturation, subscription to the Biblical god concept should be held repudiated not only in that it involves a self-contradictory notion but, more insistently, in that it cannot in full knowledge and goodness of motive be freely enacted.

John Jubinsky
MA-Mathematics, CPA

Tags: Disproof, God, Jubinsky

Views: 20

Replies to This Discussion

I doubt that a religious person would concede that a god could not know for certain that its creation existed. The definition of a ‘being’ needs not logically include the requirement that the being “cannot know whether its perceptions have anything to do with reality” as you state. It may be a self-evident statement about beings that we are familiar with, (sensing and perceiving animals) but it cannot be assumed for beings we are not familiar with, such as gods. This seems to be a requirement that you slipped in and it begs the question. You then do a slight-of-hand and say that a being cannot even “acknowledge the existence of anything more than perceptions.” So a person is not a ‘being’ if he acknowledges the existence of a world outside of his perceptions?

Okay, let’s give you that odd proposition. The religious person would still answer your reductio ad absurdum by saying that he acknowledges his god’s existence though faith. The concept of faith is immune from these arguments about the reliability of our senses, and this is how religious people talk about their knowledge of god.

Your final point under Quod Erat Demonstrandum is equally flawed. Even if I gave you your proposition that even a god must doubt the existence of its creation, this doesn’t make if logically self-contradictory that it would expect worship. If I loan money to a friend, I expect that friend to pay it back. I am not dissuaded from that expectation by any doubts of that friend’s existence or in the honest qualities I think I know my friend to possess.
The first thing you should realize is that the disproof ends at Quod Erat Demonstandum. This is why the term appears. Note that the rest is qualified as incidental. Therefore, the disproof is not founded in what an unfathomable supposed god might be able to do but in what we as beings have the capacity to do with a perceiver nature. Per Descartes and the hordes of scholars who have supported him for the last 400 years beings cannot know whether their perceptions have anything to do with an external reality. This is important to the disproof because it establishes that we lack the ability to affirm the existence of the supposed perfect being that expects us to, thus leading to the contradiction of a perfect being expecting us to do the impossible. The term, acknowledge, means credibly acknowledge. I thought everyone would realize this. Lastly, the word, worship, was defined not to describe the way that beings might accept a supposed god but to assist in defining a Biblical type god so that the term could be logically used. The supposed god of the Bible expects its existence to be attested to by others. Therefore, it is as I described a perfect being who holds that it is right for others to worship it. I can see that you have misunderstood the disproof.
Your argument seems to be as follows. Correct me if I’m wrong;
1) One cannot worship something that one cannot prove the existence of, since in order to worship something, one must acknowledge the existence of that thing
2) One cannot acknowledge the existence of a god because we know nothing beyond our perceptions
3) We therefore cannot worship a god.
4) Since any god would know this limitation, it should not expect to be worshiped.
5) A god that expects worship cannot exist.
6) Biblical gods demand worship, so biblical gods cannot exist.

This argument can be used to prove that my friend does not exist
1) One cannot trust someone that one cannot prove the existence of, since in order to trust someone, one must acknowledge the existence of that person
2) One cannot acknowledge the existence of a person because we know nothing beyond our perceptions
3) We therefore cannot trust a person.
4) Since any person would know this limitation, he should not expect to be trusted.
5) A person who expects trust cannot exist.
6) My friend does not exist.

Or, perhaps this argument could also be turned on its head to disprove Descartes’ argument.
1) One cannot worship something that one cannot prove the existence of, since in order to worship something, one must acknowledge the existence of that thing
2) If our perceptions do not accurately represent the world, we cannot be expected to worship god (because we cannot know of him or his creation for sure.)
3) Since any god would know this limitation, it should not expect to be worshiped.
4) Biblical gods demand worship.
5) Therefore, Descartes was wrong, we can know the world though our perception.
You are getting closer but correction is still in order. The disproof simply demonstrates that the concept of a Biblical type god is inconsistent with itself so that one cannot exist in relity. i.e., a Biblical type god is supposed to be perfect in goodness and want others to acknowledge its existence absolutely through worship. (This is simply the nature per the Bible of a Biblical type god.) However, we are only perceivers and in this are unable to absolutely acknowledge the existence of anything external to ourselves (meaning that we are unable to absolutely acknowledge the existence of a supposed Biblical type god). Therefore, we are unable to fulfill the requirement of a Biblical type god that we absolutely acknowledge its existence. But it is also supposed to be perfect in goodness so that it does not expect us to do what we are unable to do. Therefore, its characteristic of it wanting to be worshipped is inconsistent with its characteristic of it being perfect in goodness. Accordingly, because it has self-contradictory characteristics it cannot exist in reality. Put another way, it is an oxymoron.

Presumably, you would not hold that anyone should do what was impossible.  Also, presumably, you would not expect anyone else to acknowledge your existence, since we are beings who cannot know that other beings exist.  But also, presumably, you would expect people who owe you money to repay you, which requires their acknowledging your existence.  Hmm.

 

But while your argument is clever, doesn't it hinge on playing on an illicit equation of knowing with certainty, on one hand, with acknowledgment, on the other?  I don't have to know with certainty that you exist in order to acknowledge your existence, do I?  God need not expect you to know with certainty that he exists in order to expect you to acknowledge his existence.

 

 

You are assigning your own meaning to the word, acknowledge, rather than the meaning intended for it in the disproof. The word, acknowledge, as it is used in the disproof means to self-honestly know with complete certainty. We do not have to know to this degree whether our perceptions have anything to do with an external reality in order to self-seemingly function effectively in everyday life. Of course, as beings we are incapable of knowing to this degree whether our perceptions have anything to do with an external reality. However, because a Biblical type god demands to be worshiped it demands that we know to this degree that it exists. That is, it demands that we do something that, by nature, we are incapable of doing. This is inconsistent with it also being good. Therefore, the Biblical god concept is self-contradictory and, as such, a Biblical type god cannot exist in reality.

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