Arguments for the Existence of God Always Backfire for 2 Reasons

Arguments for the Existence of God Always Backfire for 2 Reasons

The Big Idea: You can’t add up to infinity, and a God-like God can’t “exist” anyway.

Does our sense of morality prove that a divine Lawgiver exists?  Does the order and meaning of the world prove that a heavenly Creator exists?  Does the tendency of everything to pass away prove that a transcendent Source of Being exists? 

Many thinkers, both past and present, think so, and so they have gone off to create so-called “arguments for the existence of God.”  These arguments are dissected in philosophy textbooks as well as “atheist vs. theist” showdowns on YouTube.

To me, the interesting part of these arguments is that they get to the heart of why we wonder about God in the first place:  We have a sense of moral requirements that make unconditional demands on us, and yet “goodness” is always threatened; this raises the question of a divine author of Goodness.  We see a world full of beauty and meaning, and yet we fear that everything might be meaningless after all; this raises the question of a Creator.  We are alive for now, yet our survival is always ultimately outside of our own control, always threatened; this raises the question of a Source of Being.

With that being said, the arguments for the existence of God have two giant problems:

#1 – They are Bad Arguments

In math, infinity is sometimes defined as “larger than any number.”  That means that even if you spent every moment of your entire life summing up the biggest numbers you could imagine, you would never add up to infinity; you would end up with a big number, but infinity is larger than any number.  No matter how many finite pieces you combine, you will never add up to something infinite.

All arguments for the existence of God start out with our finite world – its limited goodness, meaning, and existence – and attempt to “add up” to the existence of an infinite God.  As in math, this is impossible.  Unless we start out with infinity, we will never end up with an infinite God.

Perhaps even worse,

#2 – They Make God Tiny

The moment we start arguing about whether or not this God “fits” into our world at all, believers have already lost; they have shrunk God from something Infinite beyond our world down to something finite that may or may not fit within our world.  A God who “exists” like other objects is no God at all.

Arguing for the existence of God is like using a hammer to get a fly off your head; even if you succeed, you lose.  Or as Christian theologian-philosopher Paul Tillich put it, “God does not exist.  He is being-itself beyond essence and existence.  Therefore, to argue that God exists is to deny him.” [1]

 

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References

[^1] Tillich, Paul. Systematic Theology, Volume 1. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1951. 205. Print.

4 thoughts on “Arguments for the Existence of God Always Backfire for 2 Reasons

    1. I think both of us have experienced first-hand how disappointing Christian apologetics are. They are typically unhelpful for people who are *honestly* asking the big questions. Thank you for the comment, sir!

      Liked by 1 person

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