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Saturday, 4 August 2012

Refuting God With Simple Logic

A god cannot be both just and merciful, let alone just and infinitely merciful.

I'll let Dan Barker explain it. He had been debating with an Islamic scholar, Hussanain Rajabali, who had stated that Allah is a "just" god as well as an "infinitely merciful" god. Oops!

"Justice means that punishment is administered with the exact amount of severity that is deserved for the crime that is committed. We don’t put children in prison for stealing cookies, and we don’t merely fine a murderer $50. Mercy, on the other hand, means that punishment is administered with less severity than deserved. When the police officer lets you off with a warning instead of a ticket for breaking the speed limit, that is mercy. If God is infinitely merciful, he can never be just. If God is ever just (not to mention infinitely just), then he cannot be infinitely merciful. A God who is both infinitely merciful and just not only does not exist, he cannot exist. This is one of the positive arguments for the nonexistence of God based on incompatible properties (or incoherency). If God is defined as a married bachelor, we don’t need to discuss evidence or argument; we can simply claim a logical impossibility."

[...]

"[If] God is infinitely merciful, then I cannot go to hell. It wouldn’t matter how I lived or what I thought, infinite mercy would absolve me of any crime, no matter how great, including the crime of refusing to believe in God, accept his authority or admit that I had done anything wrong."


An exquisite example there of how religions require their followers to hold two or more mutually exclusive views simultaneously, like the belief in an omniscient god and free will. Don't you just love it when those simple little arrows of irrefutable logic hit home like an Exocet and destroy centuries of unthinking dogma? What could mankind have achieved if ignorant superstition hadn't been allowed to hijack our cultures and condition our thinking, replacing reason and logic with dogmas and knee-jerk reflexes, just to provide an easy living for a parasitic class of religious clerics?

What a waste of two thousand years!

So Muslims, is Allah just or is Allah infinitely merciful, and how did Mohammed get it wrong about the other one?

If Allah is infinitely merciful, why does it make any difference how you conduct yourself or what you believe?

Christians and other theists, before you rejoice at the discomfort of those you hate, you might like to consider helping Muslims out here, because this argument comprehensively refutes your god too, unless you want to tell me your god isn't "just" or isn't "merciful".


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14 comments:

  1. It sounds like you are beginning to understand the Christian doctrine. If it is the case that God is qualitatively absolute in justice, then he cannot let sin go unpunished (Romans 6:23 - the wage of sin is death).

    That is why Christ had to come; to free humanity of the punishment of death that they deserve. So Christianity is consistent with this logical framework, namely, that God's absolute mercy conflicts with his absolute justice.

    In contrast, as Doctor Barker pointed out, Islam has no such consistency. Here is my article wherein I outline two arguments against the Islamic conception of God, including the argument from a lack of justice, which you have laid out here.

    http://thereforegodexists.com/2012/05/why-i-am-not-muslim/

    Have a great day. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Will you be dealing with the subject of the blog, i.e. the logical impossibility of a god being both 'just' and 'merciful', later on, or was that your way of handling cognitive dissonance by pretending the blog was about something else?

      Delete
    2. BTW, I'm amused to see that you think your omniscient god had to kill an innocent person to rectify a problem of its on creation.

      It made me laugh out loud.

      Delete
  2. OK, I'll bite :-)

    There are a number of errors in the argument. The main one is that it confuses justice with measured vengeance. The Christian concept of justice is the punishment necessary to rehabilitate the offender, both in their own eyes and in the eyes of society. A merciful God will not withho' rehabilitation. Mercy is providing justice when the perpetrator deserves vengeance.

    Eternal damnation is not a punishment: it is an option you are free to choose.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry you felt you had to include a veiled threat at the end and so betray a morbidly paranoid theophobia. It undermined further your argument, which was a simple redefinition of terms with no attempt to deal with the logic of the argument, by making it look as though you weren't convinced by it yourself, so needed the threat.

      Delete
    2. Eternal damnation is to destroy not to rehabilitate. Will he punish "people" like me for being so stupid not to get his hints? I will not kick a disabled person out of the elevator because he's "slowing" me down. Im sure he will be extra kind to me, a guy who's little disabled on decision making on eternal damnation issues. I wish I had a better brain like those who'll go to heaven. Now let's talk about equalilty.

      Delete
  3. God is infinitely awesome. Therefore any disobedience, however small, is infinitely bad (infinity divided by anything is still infinity) and is justly punished by infinite punishment in hell. God allows you a possibility of not being punished in hell, which is infinitely merciful (see above re: division).

    I swear, I came up with this Insane Troll Logic before I read the previous comment. Infinity is actually a pretty workable concept if you're a mathematician. Most theists aren't, and just toss it around like kids on the playground.

    [singing]My god's bigger than your god, my god's bigger than yours[/s]

    ReplyDelete
  4. Although I agree with you on the subject of a God that cannot exist I do think that playing games of logic is not very useful. God just doesn't exist period. There have been eras in which people believed in Zeus or Ra or Thor. Time has passed and what is left is a concept of God or Jehova or Allah or whatever he is called. In the the end this God will die like the others before him. It's just a matter of time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I disagree. I think showing that certain key qualities theists claim for their gods are logically impossible, gives people reason to question other aspects of something they've almost certainly taken for granted and, possibly through fear, have never questioned before.

      Questioning is the thing that religious clerics fear the most because they know what it will lead to.

      Delete
  5. hi, i have one ...

    god can only SURVIVE in the mind of retards, in normal brains he cant.

    therefore god isnt omnipotent or allpowerfull and therefore no god.

    end of god,

    (i used survive becouse when i get a post back i reply with : god is just a hobo looking for a place to bunk for the night , or god is just a strawman to make ur lies fit ur purpose..)

    ReplyDelete
  6. in have an other..

    u know...bla bla bla, infinity eternity is infinite , is eternal...

    now , can god live in absolvinity, it sounds good, and u can pin them down in several ways.

    if they know its a strawman, and dont answer, u just have material to mock them , is nice too.


    if they say YES ..u can say that u just made up the word and therefore its none existing and that he is a liar therefore and proofs god doesnt exist by lying.

    depending on the situation (after he sais yes) u can alter the word from absolvinity into absolete like infinity to infinite.(some clever peach technics will provide for the change)
    and god becomes absolete...nice...

    if they say no, then of course god isnt omnipotent and allpowerful.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Here is an article I can recommend in support of Rosa's and Dan Barker's view: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/25/an-imperfect-god/ .

    In that article you can read for example these sentences:

    Is God perfect? You often hear philosophers describe “theism” as the belief in a perfect being — a being whose attributes are said to include being all-powerful, all-knowing, immutable, perfectly good, perfectly simple, and necessarily existent (among others).

    There are two famous problems with this view of God. The first is that it appears to be impossible to make it coherent. For example, it seems unlikely that God can be both perfectly powerful and perfectly good if the world is filled (as it obviously is) with instances of terrible injustice. Similarly, it’s hard to see how God can wield his infinite power to instigate alteration and change in all things if he is flat-out immutable. And there are more such contradictions where these came from.

    The second problem is that while this “theist” view of God is supposed to be a description of the God of the Bible, it’s hard to find any evidence that the prophets and scholars who wrote the Hebrew Bible (or “Old Testament”) thought of God in this way at all. The God of Hebrew Scripture is not depicted as immutable, but repeatedly changes his mind about things (for example, he regrets having made man). He is not all-knowing, since he’s repeatedly surprised by things (like the Israelites abandoning him for a statue of a cow). He is not perfectly powerful either, in that he famously cannot control Israel and get its people to do what he wants. And so on.

    In this same article you can also learn another interesting thing, namely:

    At another point, God responds to Moses’ request to know his name (that is, his nature) by telling him “ehi’eh asher ehi’eh” —“I will be what I will be.” In most English-language Bibles this is translated “I am that I am,” following the Septuagint, which sought to bring the biblical text into line with the Greek tradition (descended from Xenophanes, Parmenides and Plato’s “Timaeus”) of identifying God with perfect being. But in the Hebrew original, the text says almost exactly the opposite of this: The Hebrew “I will be what I will be” is in the imperfect tense, suggesting to us a God who is incomplete and changing.

    That is: Yet another contradiction. But I'm not the least surprised. Fairy tales have never mirrored reality in details. Neither before nor after the Bible was written.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I think the way a honest christian (oxymoron) would attempt to refute this (back in the day at least), is to say that mercy/love of god isn't unconditional and it isn't free - there is certain things you have to do to make it available to you.

    All of this is however a very poor solution to a problem god created himself, I can't imagine an omniscient god being this stupid?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In other words, God's infinite mercy isn't infinite because he can't forgive your failure to fulfill the arbitrary conditions. Conditional mercy, like conditional love, is not unconditional nor infinite.

      So what is constraining this omnipotent god, other than the minds of those who invented him, and their desire to control others using fear, ignorance and superstition?

      Delete

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