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: 310

Replies to This Discussion

Hell, I'm convinced!
nice one dude
Thank you!
Dear John,

I'm afraid there is no way to prove or disprove the existence of a Biblical type god.

The logical problem with your disprove lies within your definition of a being:
"The definition of a being is that of a perceiver who cannot know whether its perceptions have anything to do with an external reality"

To me, this sounds exactly like the defintion of solipsism, which denies the existence of an external universe. Because the universe contains other beings, a solipsist would deny the existence of any other being (except himself) as well. Thus, a solipsist could torture or kill other beings without hesitation - because those other beings are not real but philosophical zombies which have no feelings.

What I am trying to say: solipsism is a very dangerous and inhumane point of view. In opposition to solipsism, realism does grant existence to the external universe, taking other being's feelings as real as your own feelings.

Starting from a solipsistic point of view, you could in fact prove not only the non-existence of gods (which to me, as a realist, are non-existent as well), but also prove the non-existence of other human beings (which, from my realist point of view, do exist).

Having said that, I'd like to point out an even more important thing: We don't really need to disprove the existence of gods, as the believers cannot prove their existence. If we had to disprove any arbitrary claim made by anybody, we'd be busy till the end of our days.

Instead of that, it is sufficient to point out that the claim is arbitrary. We just need to use scientific standards: In science, a claim must be proved first before any scientist takes it seriously. Religious ideas like the existence of gods have never been proved. Of course, such attempts have been made, but none of them holds true - see Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion.

But leaving theoretical proves aside, science has made great progress in empirically disproving many claims of religion. For instance, in the mentioned book, the outcome of an interesting scientific experiment is described: The uselessness of prayers.

Other empirical, scientific facts have disproved religious claims about the origin of life (evolution) and consciousness (neuro science).

Non-Theists are in such a strong scientific position, that they don't need to disprove the existence of gods.
The logical problem with your disprove lies within your definition of a being:
"The definition of a being is that of a perceiver who cannot know whether its perceptions have anything to do with an external reality" To me, this sounds exactly like the defintion of solipsism, which denies the existence of an external universe.


Not knowing whether there is an external reality is not the same as denying the existence of one. You don't seem to have the definition clear. So far as whether a disproof is appropriate it is better to have one (indeed many) than to not.
Dear John,

thanks for your patient reply.

Not knowing whether there is an external reality is not the same as denying the existence of one. You don't seem to have the definition clear.

You are right. I apologize for my misreading. Now I understand that you meant a being who is not a solipsist but a skeptic.

But I'm afraid I've still found a problem with your reductio ad absurdum prove. I think it is caused by an unsharp use of the word 'to acknowledge':

By definition it is impossible for them to acknowledge the existence of anything more than perceptions.

In this definition of a being, acknowledge is used in the sense of true, rock-solid knowledge: I have sure knowledge of my perceptions, but apart from that, I can only assume that there are objects which cause these perceptions.

However, in your definition of worship, the same word 'acknowledge' is used in the sense of belief, not knowledge:
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...

Assuming (i.e. believing) something is quite different from really knowing it. By combining 'belief' and 'knowledge' into the word 'acknowledge', you make an assumption I cannot follow.

What the gods demand is not to acknowledge them in the sense of knowing (which would indeed be impossible), but just in the sense of assuming their existence, i.e. belief (which is possible). So the reductio ad absurdum doesn't hold, I'm afraid.
There is no unsharp use of the word 'acknowledge'. Throughout the disproof it means the same thing. It means 'attest to'. As such:

By definition it is impossible for them to acknowledge the existence of anything more than perceptions means that they cannot attest to the proposition that there is an external reality associated with their perceptions and

In that one cannot worship something without acknowledging its existence means that in order to worship something one must attest to the proposition that it exists.

The word has the same meaning in both cases.

You should now be able to see why the concept of a Biblical type god is self-contradictory. It wants us to do the impossible of attesting to its existence while it is supposed to be perfect in goodness at the same time.

If you think a Biblical type god does not want us to attest to its existence read Genesis 22 where such a god without provocation orders Abraham to sacrifice his beloved son Isaac to him as a burnt offering. In that he expected obedience he expected Abraham to be attesting to his existence.
OK, I think I got it now. Thanks for the clarification and for your patience.
No problem!

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