There are extremists and egotists in every religion, philosophy, hobby, and yes, even non-belief. Geoffrey Berg is a kind of Ray Comfort of atheists, making outrageous claims to try and help his cause, but in reality hurting it and making it look foolish.
Berg has a new book called The Six Ways of Atheism. Sounds bland enough. But the subtitle is what got my attention: “New Logical Disproofs Of the Existence of God.”
Bullshit. People have been hashing out the logic of God’s existence or non-existence for centuries. It is extremely unlikely he would have new logical “disproofs” for God’s existence, especially if they are “simple.”
The press release for the book is even more absurd and outrageous:
For the first time in human history multiple, absolute, valid, logical, simple disproofs of God’s existence have been published. The new logical disproofs of God’s existence have been published today….
On Monday 1 June Geoffrey Berg will be initiating consideration of these new disproofs of God’s existence by holding press conferences….
I hope he fired his publicity agency for making him look like a self-important moron. This is exactly what Ray Comfort would say, but reversed. Ray Comfort insists he has absolute, scientific, logical proof for God’s existence, and anyone with half a brain knows it is bullshit. Geoffrey Berg claims the same thing, and it’s bullshit too.
You can’t prove the non-existence of God any more than you can prove the non-existence of Zeus, the Invisible Pink Unicorn, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster. We can say there is no evidence. We can say that logically we see no reason for their existence. But I don’t think it’s possible to disprove the existence of God, especially through the word games of logic, any more than theists can prove his existence through word games.
Regardless, here is the summary of his “disproofs.” They don’t seem new to me. What do you think?
Argument 1: The Aggregate of Qualities Argument
1. If God exists, God must necessarily possess all of several remarkable qualities (including supreme goodness, omnipotence, immortality, omniscience, ultimate creator, purpose giver).
2. Every one of these qualities may not exist in any one entity and if any such quality does exist it exists in few entities or in some cases (e.g. omnipotence, ultimate creator) in at most one entity.
3. Therefore it is highly unlikely any entity would possess even one of these qualities.
4. There is an infinitesimal chance that any one entity (given the almost infinite number of entities in the Universe) might possess the combination of even some two of these qualities, let alone all of them.
5. In statistical analysis a merely hypothetical infinitesimal chance can in effect be treated as the no chance to which it approximates so very closely.
6. Therefore as there is statistically such an infinitesimal chance of any entity possessing, as God would have to do, all God’s essential qualities in combination it can be said for all practical and statistical purposes that God just does not exist.
Argument 2: The Man And God Comprehension Gulf Argument
1. Man is finite (in time, space and power etc).
2. God if he exists is infinite (in time, space and power etc).
3. Therefore mankind cannot possibly recognise God or even know that God exists.
Argument 3: The ‘God Has No Explanatory Value’ Argument
1. God if he exists must be the ultimate being and provide the answer to all our ultimate questions – otherwise he is not really God.
2. Yet even supposing as a hypothesis that God exists the questions that God was supposed to finally answer still remain (though in some cases God is substituted in the question for the Universe).
3. Therefore hypothesising God’s existence is only unnecessarily adding an extra stage to such problems and has no real explanatory value.
4. Therefore according to Logic (Occam’s Razor Law – ‘that entities are not to be multiplied beyond necessity’) we should not postulate God’s existence and there is no adequate reason to suppose that God exists.
5. Therefore we should suppose that God does not exist.
Argument 4: The ‘This Is Not The Best Possible World’ Argument
1. God if he exists must be omnipotent, supremely good and our ultimate creator.
2. Therefore an existent God (being supremely good and competent) would have created the best possible world (if he created anything).
3. As the world is inconsistent (between ages and people) it cannot all be the best possible world.
4. Therefore as the world is not the best possible world, God cannot exist.
Argument 5: The Universal Uncertainty Argument
1. An uncertain God is a contradiction in terms.
2. Everything in the Universe must be fundamentally uncertain about its own relationship to the Universe as a whole because there is no way of attaining such certainty.
3. Therefore even an entity with all God’s other qualities cannot have the final quality of certain knowledge concerning its own relationship to the Universe as a whole.
4. Therefore God cannot exist because even any potential God cannot know for sure that it is God.
Note: Stated as a logical paradox this argument is ‘God cannot exist because God cannot know for sure that it is God’.
Argument 6: The ‘Some Of God’s Defining Qualities Cannot Exist’ Argument
1. God must have certain characteristic qualities (such as providing purpose to life), otherwise he would not be God.
2. But it is impossible for any entity to possess some of these qualities (such as providing purpose to life since we can find no real purpose and therefore we in practice have no ultimate purpose to our lives) that are essential to God.
3. Therefore since some of God’s essential qualities (such as being the purpose provider to life) cannot possibly exist in any entity, God cannot exist.