Friday, December 14, 2007

Killing Religion with Logic

Well, it certainly seems possible, doesn't it? If we are all rational creatures and willing to employ logic in efforts to discern the existence of God and the nature of the universe, then wouldn't it at least be possible to disprove all of the core beliefs of religion? Okay, at least monotheistic religion?

In an attempt to do so, let's consider two things. First, that the inability to physically disprove that God exists does not mean that God does exist. The inverse is true as well - we can't prove that God exists, but that does not mean that God does not exist. However, if we can neither prove or disprove and the inability do either doesn't affirm either position, what is left? Outisde of Pascal's Wager, of course. I answer this question by using the K.I.S.S. principle - Keep It Simple, Stupid. It is simpler to have a God or to have no God? Does it make more sense that God exists or that there are basic laws and explainable, scientific reasons for everything? I think the simpler answer is the latter. None of this kills religion, of course. It is really just opinion, but I think that fact that we cannot prove something is either proof that it does not exist or a sign that we simply don't have the appropriate tools yet. And, does it really seem like a lack of tools when it comes to proving whether God exists or not? What tools could we possibly need? God cannot be something that does not conform to the laws of the universe - God would almost have to be a law of the universe. So, if this is true and God exists, we should be able to measure this at some point. Absurd, right? So, I ask again, what is the simplest explanation?

Another question that I like to ponder, and one that has definitely plagued theologians over time, is the issue of omnipresence. God must be omnipresent, right? I mean, if God isn't omnipresent then God isn't really God. Would God not be in all places all the time? Is God a being that has a great deal of power, but is forced to travel around from place to place? If not omnipresent, then how could God be omniscient? Omniscience raises other issues too, but I don't think one even needs to discuss omniscience since you can reveal the absurdity of God simply by logically analyzing the concept of omnipresence. Okay, so if God is omnipresent, then that means that God is everywhere, including places where evil occurs. God would even have to be in Hell itself since Hell, assuming it exists, is a place and God must be in all places in order to be omnipresent. And, really, what would God be doing in Hell? Again, taking these concepts to their logic extremes shows how ridiculous the whole concept of God is in the first place. What I think is most compelling and most difficult to handle for most believers is the idea that God is in places where evil occurs and that God does nothing to stop it. A great example of this dilemma was summed up by Vicar Tom Honey in a talk at TED. Take a few minutes and watch his speech:

So, while the Vicar can't just renounce his faith and admit that there is no God, he sure comes close, doesn't he? God is everywhere or not. If not, why serve God in the first place since God doesn't have complete control? If so, why does God allow so much suffering and evil to occur? And, if God does allow suffering and evil to occur, why serve God? Does God truly love us or is God simply playing with us? Or, it there just no God at all? By now, you certainly know my answer.

No comments: