Why think that we live in a world with a god when there are so many reasons to reject that idea? For those who want to convince us that God exists, let’s continue our list of things that they need to show us don’t exist (part 1 here).
The next clue that we live in a godless world:
Is it obnoxious to see Donald Trump bask in effusive praise, as if he were Kim Il Sung, Stalin, or some other dictator? Why then would we expect God to want that kind of praise?
There’s a progression of wisdom from sociopath, to average person, to wise person, to sage. As we move along this spectrum, base personality traits such as the desire for adulation fall away, but the opposite is true for the Christian god. Not only do we hear this from Christianity itself (“Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever,” according to the Westminster Shorter Catechism), we read it in the Bible (“At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth”).
What’s the point of praise? Obviously, God already understands his position relative to us. We’re informing him of nothing new when we squeal, “Golly, you’re so fantastic!”
Imagine a human equivalent where you have an ant farm, and the ants are aware that you’re the Creator and Destroyer. It would be petty to revel in the ants’ worshipping you and telling you how great you are. Just how insecure would you need to be?
This sycophantic praise makes sense for a narcissistic and insecure king, but can God really want or need to hear this? We respect no human leader who demands this. Christianity would have us believe that the personality of a perfect being is that of a spoiled child.
Praise makes sense when you’re praising something surprising, but God mindlessly goes from one perfect act to another. Sure, he did a perfect thing, but that can’t be surprising. He’s like water that flows downhill. It could do nothing else!
Another opportunity for praise is when an act came at some expense, like giving food to a needy person or risking your safety to help someone. This too doesn’t apply to God, who is limited by no finite resource and who can’t be injured.
God should be a magnification of good human qualities and an elimination of the bad ones. But the petty, praise-demanding, vindictive, and intolerant God of the Bible is simply a Bronze Age caricature, a magnification of all human inclinations, good and bad.
There is no map of world science, with the geocentrists in the green region and the heliocentrists in the blue, where the Creationists are over here and the evolutionists are over there. There are disagreements over unresolved questions in science, but they’re rarely regionally based. And when those disagreements get resolved, (1) the process will have taken years or (at most) decades, (2) the resolution will have come due to new and better evidence, and (3) the new consensus view will be adopted peacefully and quickly by scientists worldwide.
Contrast that with religion. (1) Disagreements between religions don’t get resolved. Will Muslims ever accept Christianity’s idea of the Trinity? Will Christians ever accept Hinduism’s idea of reincarnation? Will Protestants and Catholics set aside their differences? After many church councils, some Christian questions have been answered (with the losing side declared a heresy), but there is no objective Christianity. Christianity continues to fragment at a rate of two new denominations per day.
(2) Evidence may be the currency of science, but in religion, it’s power. Disputed points of dogma are resolved and became the consensus view, not because a plain reading of the Bible show them there but because those are the views that happen to win. While arguments are made for the various positions, in the end, it’s a popularity contest.
(3) Consensus within Christianity is sometimes imposed. The conclusions of ecumenical Christian councils (there have been 21 since the first one in Nicaea in 325) are imposed on Roman Catholics by the Vatican.
It’s not always peaceful. The Cathars were a Christian Gnostic sect whose members were exterminated in thirteenth-century France for not being Catholic. Catholic vs. Protestant wars have killed millions.
This bloodshed has done nothing to consolidate supernatural belief worldwide. There is not even consensus on the number of god(s), let alone their names or what is required to placate them. When believers have gotten their story straight, they can let us know.
If this were God World, we’d expect to see a single understanding of God worldwide.
Continued in part 3.
then there wouldn’t be any apologists.
(2) There are apologists.
(3) Therefore, we live in a world without a God.
— commenter Tommy
Image via Red Junasun, CC license