Against all gods


Friends, for those of you who have read the God Delusion, there is the Dawkins spectrum of theistic probability where he says the existence of god is a scientific hypothesis like any other. It is the purpose of this post to argue against the existence of any god whatsoever and to remove the god talk from scientific realms to metaphysics where it rightly belongs. In order to do this, yours truly, first submits that the word god has not been properly defined. All attempts that have been made to define such being have been marred with contradictions on end.

The Catholic Encyclopedia gives the following definitions for god

  • the proper name of the one Supreme and Infinite Personal Being, the Creator and Ruler of the universe, to whom man owes obedience and worship;
  • the common or generic name of the several supposed beings to whom, in polytheistic religions, Divine attributes are ascribed and Divine worship rendered;
  • the name sometimes applied to an idol as the image or dwelling-place of a god.

And Wikipedia

God is often conceived as the supreme being and principal object of faith. In theism, God is the creator and sustainer of the universe. In deism, God is the creator (but not the sustainer) of the universe. In pantheism, God is the universe itself. Theologians have ascribed a variety of attributes to the many different conceptions of God.

I hope that we can agree on the above definitions and if anyone has a definition or a conception of god not found above, feel free to include it in the comments and while at it, ensure there are no contradictions in that definition.

I posit that the god of philosophers and deists is based on human imagination and not grounded on reason. It is based on false ideas, the ideas that the universe has a cause, that it has a prime mover who could have set it in motion and no longer sustains it. This god, who many atheists and scientists say could exist, allows many apologists like Platinga, Swinburne and others to argue hours on end about the existence of god. Some silly person will come here and tell me that these are brilliant philosophers, I will say they are wrong. They have been misled by imagination. They have held that by man being able to imagine a god, a god must surely exist. I will ask only that they tell me the attributes of this god and next I will ask for them to show me why this god must exist.

It will also be mentioned that throughout the history of man, there has been talk of god. I will respond that in most of that period, majority of men have been ignorant, they have been guided by superstition and credulity. That priests, people who have an interest in the existence of god, have been their teachers, that monarchs have been urged by priests, imams and prophets to support the cause of priests in spreading superstition. They have benefited from this superstition and still continue to benefit from it as man is still mostly ignorant of his nature.

Man in wishing to live forever, to outlive his death, imagined an afterlife. This idea once thought from necessity to always be alive made man conceive of a soul, a thing which is simple, without extension, and without a prototype in reality that doesn’t get annihilated at the moment of death. Apologists and theologians have told us god is a simple being, without body, immutable, without extension and immaterial but that this being through an act of will caused the material universe to come into existence. I submit that this is also a result of ignorance.

To prove this, I would want you to take time, as long as you want, I will wait, to imagine creation of matter. It has been asked that from whence did nature gets its laws. I will say here that those who propose god don’t know and I also don’t know but I submit that if we continue to refer to nature and not superstition for answers, we will one day find out the truth about its immutable laws. Nature is necessary. It is indifferent to my existence or yours for that matter. It brings you to life and kills you in the same cycle as if killed the dinosaurs that it had brought about and that in some distant future, it will wipe away the human race.

I will still be asked what about the god of scriptures? To this I will simply say the scriptures are works of men, mostly ignorant about nature and their surrounding, a few insightful and forward-looking but no gods whatsoever. It will be seen from reading the scriptures that, their god and their wishes were always congruent and when they suffered they still thought their god was punishing them for disobedience and when they were obedient and they suffered, then their god was testing them. The priests, the Mohammeds, the Hindu priests and their courtiers found men ignorant. The threats of a deity endowed with powers that man would only wish for found an ally in whom they could enslave, control and lead the majority.

In conclusion, I submit that, god is a word without meaning, invented when man was ignorant, used by priests and monarchs to force men into submission, to control them and to enslave their minds. Further, the arguments for the existence of god, cannot in any way be evidence for the existence of a deity no matter how sound they are without first telling us what this god is. In order to convince me of the existence of a god, any god, I demand that a definition without contradictions be provided. I also demand to be shown why a god is necessary for man or for the universe. Until then, keep your chimeras to yourself.

                                                                               

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About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

30 thoughts on “Against all gods

  1. Mordanicus says:

    Excellent, as always!

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  2. Claudia Mazzucco says:

    Concepts are abstracted from sense-experience. They are all empirically derived. Hence we cannot have a concept of God. But not all the notions with which the intellect operates in thinking are concepts. There are, in addition, theoretical constructs, fictions of the mind that in the Middle Ages were called entia rationis. As in physics black holes and neutrinos are theoretical constructs, so in theology God is a theoretical construct. When we are dealing with theoretical constructs in mathematical physics or in theology, the question of existence is inescapable. Do black holes really exist? Do neutrinos? Does that which we have in mind when we use the word “god” exist in reality?

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    • makagutu says:

      God is not from sense experience. Theology being the study of the nature of god has not given us any answers about such a nature. In fact, I agree with the people over the ages who have called theology the study of nothing.

      Mathematical constructs and physical constructs are treated as such, constructs, and some of them like neutrinos I think can be tested. I maybe wrong here, but that is I see it.

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    • we have evidence of black holes as hypothesized (neutrinos are a whole other complicated story). BHs are more than “theoretical constructs”. We have no evidence for any supernatural being, be it the Christian god, some vague Deism entity, or any other types of gods. Most, if not all, religions claim that their god has this and such attributes, and they have all failed in showing such things exist, having no evidence at all.

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  3. john zande says:

    There is another problem in imagining a god as purveyor of the natural laws, and that is we are within those laws and therefore prone to seeing them as miraculous for “us.” I contend they are neither miraculous nor intended. They just are; the result of tiny quantum fluctuations.

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  4. “God is an ever-receding pocket of scientific ignorance, that gets smaller and smaller as time goes on.”
    — Neil Degrasse Tyson —

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  5. I wholeheartedly agree that the term ‘god’ is essentially meaningless but,It seems to me one might allow for the existence of ‘an unknowable truth’ without entering the realm of science.

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    • makagutu says:

      If this unknowable truth is some phantom, I don’t think so, on the other hand if it is a secret of nature, then am in agreement all the way.

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  6. ardatisya says:

    “Man in wishing to live forever, to outlive his death, imagined an afterlife.”

    Do you think that people who lived in primitive cultures, whose minds were shaped by vastly different paradigms–paradigms which eventually evolved into theistic religion–thought along these lines?

    “It will also be mentioned that throughout the history of man, there has been talk of god.”

    I don’t know about that… There may have been talk about god-like entities, but I doubt that the concept of “god” as we tend to think about it has always been on the minds of humans. Humans have a tendency to perceive certain happenings within their own minds as unwilled, as well as a tendency to perceive certain happenings beyond their bodies as willed. Primitive cultures’ metaphysical paradigms–at least the ones that I’ve read about–seem to mirror these tendencies more closely than they mirror modern concepts of “god”.

    “In conclusion, I submit that, god is a word without meaning, invented when man was ignorant, used by priests and monarchs to force men into submission, to control them and to enslave their minds.”

    I think the concept of god has been used toward this end, but like most of our concepts the concept of god is an evolved one, and it has a pretty fascinating history.

    Heh, I was browsing the theism tag and came across this post. *waves*

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    • makagutu says:

      Hello Arda and thanks for your comments.

      I can’t tell for sure whether that is the way they thought for that is forever lost to history. I don’t know if we can consider Egyptian civilization primitive. If yes, the idea that the pharaoh was buried with food would have meant they thought he continued to live after his demise. What do you think?

      I didn’t say their concept of god is similar to the modern conception, but rather that men have always had some god. I don’t know if you disagree?

      I agree totally that the concept of god has evolved over time. My contention is that it has been used for control.

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      • ardatisya says:

        Heh, yeah I was thinking civilizations earlier than the ancient Egypt. Actually, scratch the word “earlier”, because more “primitive” traditions existed alongside and after ancient Egyptian civilization. By “primitive”, I mean civilizations with less centralized and authoritarian outlooks concerning gods and so on. I’m sure there’s a better word than “primitive” for describing such outlooks, but I’m not a scholar; I just read books. X)

        I agree that centralized religion has been used primarily as a means of control, but in societies without centralized religion the perceptions of gods and spirits were–and are–far more diverse. People were more free to come to understand them on their own terms, provided that they were male (usually). Rather than being used for control, such terms are more individually empowering, I think that’s precisely because such societies needed (and need) powerful individuals and visionaries far more than they need central authority.

        For examlple: contrast the spiritualities of North American Indians with those of the Central American civilizations. In North America, native people went on vision quests to attain their own visions. In Central America, visions were the business of whatever their versions of the clergy were called. Civilizations like the Aztecs needed more control of the masses than the North American tribes, and authority regarding spiritual matters (along with control of things like sexual mores) is a pretty damn easy way to exert such control!

        So, maybe gods of some form have always been present– I’ll grant that. But they haven’t always been used for control. When civilizations develop centralized authorities, institutional religion tends to crop up. That might be precisely to prevent visionaries cropping up and leading people astray, but that’s just my speculation.

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  7. tarunayroy says:

    Firstly, excellently written. I agree with most of what you say, except for the fact that I’m not as sure enough of myself as you are to be a complete atheist. My beliefs are still evolving. I’m considering other possibilities too, but purely in terms of probability, nothing more. Deep within, truth be told, I couldn’t agree with your atheist views more. But I just like to think of all possibilities in my present frame of mind.

    Our blog names are kind of similar, which is a nice coincidence! I just finished writing a piece, the link for which is below:

    http://tarunayroy.wordpress.com/?p=25&shareadraft=5207e44a0b143

    It would be extremely kind of you to please take the time to go through my draft.. What do you think? Am I making much sense? Or do i need to add more clarity? Is my point clear enough? Your feedback would be very much appreciated as I have gathered from your other posts as well that you are brilliant at writing about this topic! 🙂

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    • makagutu says:

      Do tell me, if you may, how you will apply probabilities and what will be the basis?

      I have looked at the post and sent feedback and thanks for your kind words.

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      • tarunayroy says:

        Firstly, thanks a lot for taking your time in sending the feedback. Means a lot to me. Now, in response to your questions..
        1. What I mean by the word God is the mask that is given to the uncertainties and unknowns in the universe by man. It will exist as long as these things remain unsolved. For man’s peace of mind, he has to attribute these to something, hence the concept of God.
        2. Yes I do start with a 50 50 probability of the existence of God because there isn’t any evidence/supporting factor/negating factor pointing otherwise. It could either be a 50 50 probability or an unknown probability. Since it is an unknown probability, I might as well make it 50 50 as I don’t know which one to support more. Since one can’t be sure, supporting both equally seems to be the answer to me. This is philosophically wrong at many levels and if one feels so, 50 50 probability can also be looked at as an unknown probablity, which again leads to 50 50. I don’t know if I explained myself clearly enough but I hope you get it.
        3. If we share ancestors with other apes, then we came from them other apes, which are also apes right! 😛
        4. Yeah, I am making an appeal to the the God of the gaps theory, I could very easily discard the notion of God, and that would be my personal choice. However, I was using the God of the gaps theory to show how its been done so far in history. Also, in an attempt to stop myself from discarding the possibility of God, I adapted it to our present knowledge level. However, as the gaps are filled, the belief of God’s existence would go. This is like a slow progress towards atheism. It seemed more logical to me than being abruptly atheist. Thats a personal choice..

        PS: I am somewhat new to this site and don’t know how to respond to feedback emails.. So sorry for cluttering up your comments section.. I’ll try figuring it out soon.. Thanks once again for your feedback, and I shall include some of the clarifications here in my post. Cheers! 🙂

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        • makagutu says:

          You are most welcome and thanks for your response too.

          1. I think the word god is born of man’s ignorance of nature and a knowledge of nature will lead to the death of god, if it is not dead yet. So that, in the place of the word god, you could substitute any word and you would still be alright.

          2. Maths is not my forte, but I don’t think there is any good reason to start with a 50-50 chance. Whereas I agree with you that whether a god exist or not cannot be proved either way, a careful study of the evolution of gods show that man creates gods all the time and as such, they exist only in his mind.

          3. Not exactly, they could be apelike but not apes 😛

          4.I don’t think you need to substitute our gaps in knowledge with a term that hasn’t even been properly defined. I think it is far much better to say we don’t know, than to say god.

          You need not apologise. You are far from cluttering this site 😛

          I will read your post and comment later, I saw it was quite long.

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          • tarunayroy says:

            Hmm..
            1. and 4. I totally agree with you on that.. Its just that the word God has been used so far.. So I have stuck to it for continuity sake.. And yes, it is better to say we don’t know.. Thats the truth actually.. God is merely the mask used to cover it..

            2. Yes, God exists only in the mind and keeps evolving with man’s spiritual/intellectual evolution.. Totally agree..

            3. Point noted! 🙂

            It has been nice discussing these things with you because you have a great understanding of these things! A clear head is what is needed most in the world today. Cheers! 🙂

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  8. […] Against all gods (maasaiboys.wordpress.com) ~ Lovely piece on atheism. […]

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