I gotta have my orange juice.

Jesu, Juva

Proof of the non-existence of God

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An atheist once told me that he had tried his best to prove that God didn’t exist, but failed. The best he could go on was his own intuition, which he was sure was right. I expressed surprise that he had failed in his attempts; given his presuppositions, it seemed to me he could easily prove that God didn’t exist. Here is my proof of the non-existence of God:

  1. There exists a god. (assumption)
  2. A god is any being which is strictly superior to and has comprehensive authority over all of reality. (definition)
  3. Humans exist and are autonomous. (premise)
  4. A human possesses the power of self-determination of his thoughts and actions, exercised in exclusion to the god’s power of shaping reality. [from (3)]
  5. Human self-determination precludes the god’s strict superiority and comprehensive authority over humans. [from (4)]
  6. Therefore, it is false that a god exists. (by contradiction)

The catch, of course, is #3; humans are not autonomous. Particularly in today’s age, where unfettered personal liberty is an unquestioned good, and where the experience of having a true king is so utterly foreign, the idea that we are not autonomous is a very hard pill to swallow. But this also exposes the fact that the real reason the atheist is committed to opposing God is because he cannot bear to think that he is not the captain of his soul.

God places very real demands upon us that run counter to our sense of self-importance and our desire for self-interpretation and self-determination. While God has granted us some degree of freedom, he has not released us from responsibility nor given us real autonomy. We will all at length be held accountable to him, on his terms rather than ours. It cannot be otherwise, for God is God: “no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13).

How then shall we live? We are responsible and accountable to God. Far better to live and die on his terms than to attempt to do so on ours. Far better to enjoy God and the gifts he has filled this earth with, than to enjoy the gifts alone with a fearful expectation of judgment. Yet all of us rebel and chafe under God’s authority; we all need a savior, both to remove our guilt and to empower us to submit to God’s authority with joy. Praise God for providing a perfect savior in Jesus Christ!

And how shall we do science, or interpret anything for that matter? God has revealed himself to be a sovereign and orderly creator. So, far from wondering whether the meaningfulness of our observations is frustrated by whatever lies outside of our ability to see, we have a real and genuine confidence in the reality and orderliness of what we see. More than that, we have a real mandate and even responsibility to discover, responsibly use, and enjoy what God has made and done. All the world points to God, for all the world is fashioned and sustained by him.

See also Alving Plantinga on treating God as an explanation.

Written by Scott Moonen

June 9, 2007 at 5:42 am

Posted in Quotations

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  1. […] See also: Proof of the non-existence of God. […]

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