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Atheism—Nontheistic Gods

18 Jan
from Google Images

from Google Images

Surprisingly, Chris, the young atheist whose testimonial videos I’m discussing, seems to put in a plug for other gods or at least other conceptions of god in this video (HERE). He offers pantheism, panentheism, deism and panpsychism as alternative beliefs in a god which might be acceptable to atheism, which he defines as a disbelief in the theistic God or the God of the Bible. At least ‘atheism’ wouldn’t be compelled to put up websites whose sole purpose is to attack the Christian worldview, and the Judeo/Christian Bible over such ‘isms. After all, it is to the pantheistic god (or a reasonable facsimile) that many scientists often refer, of whom we could point to Einstein and Michio Kaku. Who among atheists would attack these respected icons of science?

One of the problems I see in Chris’ thinking is that, if he reads something (especially something supporting his new worldview) as a possible explanation, then whatever else he was considering at the time must be fallacious. I am not arguing for any of the above theologies, but Chris simply discounts their conclusions (or that of the Christian worldview) as fallacious, because he later discovered an alternative point of view that was offered as a possibility to a question they posed. Notice that absolutely nothing is done objectively in Chris’ journey from one worldview to another. Everything is presented and received subjectively. I could be wrong, but it seems to me that Chris is adopting his present worldview in the same manner as he adopted Christianity—i.e. without question. Just as Christianity didn’t have to be proved to him, neither does his present naturalistic point of view need to be proved for Chris to embrace it fully and entirely as presented.

For example Deism argues that in order for the present physical universe to come into being, something or someone had to cause its existence. This is in perfect agreement with the laws of physics: every action must be preceded by a cause. Naturalism argues that the Big Bang brought the universe into existence with a bang, but who or what caused the bang? Deism argues that whatever caused the physical universe must be metaphysical or supernatural, i.e. God. Deism, however, doesn’t argue for a God who intervenes in our physical world, such as the Christian God is criticized for doing. He may have caused it or created it by setting it in motion, but he doesn’t intervene after the initial act. Nevertheless, when Chris later discovered a naturalistic hypothesis—namely, our universe was caused by another physical universe subject to time and space just as we are—he ejected whatever else contradicted the naturalistic point of view.

The problem with this idea is one simply puts the primary cause of all universes further back in time, and must ultimately come to terms with the initial cause of all things. One simply cannot keep going back to previous universes or postulated membranes subject to space and time, which Chris erroneously argues for in another video (HERE) concerning time and infinity. One must have a beginning somewhere, because, as Chris correctly argues in the same video just mentioned, if he promised his friend a candy bar once they reached infinity, Chris would never have to give his friend that candy bar, because infinity is impossible to reach. Therefore, we could never have existed today, if infinity extended backward. Neither can we reach infinity by going backward in time in search for a beginning. Time **must** begin somewhere, and the Bible argues for such a beginning in Hebrews 1:2. We must, therefore, have an uncaused cause—that is, a Being (God) who is not subject to time. God has no past or future. He lives only in the present. All things, whether past, present or future, are present with him always. Time, as we know it, cannot exist in eternity.

If God is everything (pantheism), then, this god is physical, and because we can prove everything physical had a beginning then pantheism’s god must have had a beginning too! So, who created this god? If everything is God and everything that exists is contained in God (panentheism), then everything that is evil would be God and contained in God. God would be amoral and there would be no such thing a real morality (the same would be true of pantheism). If everything that exists in our universe is a god-thought, then we know through examination that it had a beginning, and it will end sometime in the future. Furthermore, if god **is** time, then he had a beginning and we are faced with the same question as the pantheistic god—who caused him? If **time** is but a god-thought that exists in god, then this god is irrelevant, because time will end, and this god will never think this thought again, otherwise we are faced with the same problem Chris speaks of in the video mentioned in the paragraph immediately above this one, namely, an infinite number of god-thoughts in time would have no beginning, so we could never have come to our time from the past infinity.

If deism is true, then its god is both contradictory and irrelevant. He is irrelevant, because we are headed for non-existence and he will not intervene. Therefore, we are on our own in the universe of deism. Deism’s god is contradictory because he can imagine love, friendship, mercy, kindness, hope, forgiveness etc. but he is either unable or unwilling to express such virtues, which makes us more moral—from a Christian point of view—than the creator is in a deistic universe. That’s something like being almighty but creating a rock you can’t lift, or being good but creating something better than you. Deism is a contradiction of reality.

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Posted by on January 18, 2015 in atheism, naturalism

 

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