• Jjnan1
    3
    Should we want God to exist? Perhaps one has reason not to. Consider this thought: if God exists and has the power to create a universe, then the universe and everything in it exists because of God. The above thought does not presume the act of creation was contingent or necessary. The important point to take into consideration is that the world simply exists. Here’s the trouble though: nothing in the universe, out of its own volition, came into being. The world exists because God, and God alone, willed it to be. If this is the case, then one could mount this argument against those who think that God has a positive axiological value.

    (1) God alone is responsible for everything coming into being.
    (2) If God is responsible for everything coming into being, then the freedom for creatures to choose to come into being is precluded.
    (3) If the freedom for creatures to choose to come into being is precluded, then creatures were forced to come into being in a world that consists more of what one does not will.
    (4) If creatures were forced to come into being in a world that consists more of what one does not will, then God is ultimately not desirable.
    (5) Therefore, if God alone is responsible for everything coming into being, then God is ultimately not desirable.

    Premise four is the decisive and most controversial premise in the argument. An objection to it might go like this: the antecedent is perhaps true, yet one could argue that God is still desirable, all things considered, since God provides other important and meaningful goods such as the potential for a blissful afterlife, a ground for moral realism or an object of faith that is able to provide strength to overcome the difficulties of life. Maybe so, yet the anti-theist might respond in a manner as follow: God, from a conceptional level, is actually very attractive, more so when one takes into consideration the items above. A supreme being who is benevolent, all-power and all-knowing is a sacred concept that anyone should truly want to be true. Though if this is the case, then perhaps one should not desire that God exists then since the world with all its evils and horrors would be a dishonor to such a perfect being. It is out of reverence for the concept of God that one should rightly reject God’s existence.
  • Gus Lamarch
    438
    (1) God alone is responsible for everything coming into being.
    (2) If God is responsible for everything coming into being, then the freedom for creatures to choose to come into being is precluded.
    (3) If the freedom for creatures to choose to come into being is precluded, then creatures were forced to come into being in a world that consists more of what one does not will.
    (4) If creatures were forced to come into being in a world that consists more of what one does not will, then God is ultimately not desirable.
    (5) Therefore, if God alone is responsible for everything coming into being, then God is ultimately not desirable.
    Jjnan1

    Your whole premise collapses when we apply the concept of free will in it:

    Proverbs 16: 9
    "The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps."

    The Universe was created by the "Logos" - John 1: 1-4
    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men -
    and all moments from the past, to the present, to the future, have already been prescribed by the will of God - Logos, or as we translated it, the "Word" -. However, you - as an individual - have the free will to choose what is wrong - in terms of sin - and what serves God's will - what is right -. Of course, if you consider the scriptures as arguments.

    The point is that, in christian theology, it does not matter whether or not you believe and/or desires God to exist, for he has always been, always is, and always will be.
  • TheMadFool
    7.3k
    (3) If the freedom for creatures to choose to come into being is precluded, then creatures were forced to come into being in a world that consists more of what one does not will.Jjnan1

    This premise seems problematic. Either creatures exist eternally or they come into being. Either way, it's impossible for God to force existence. In the former case, we already exist and in the latter case, creatures never existed.

    Imagine this: There's an X that exists eternally and so, compelling it to exist makes no sense. There's a Y that previously didn't exist. Since there is no Y, forcing Y into existence makes zero sense.

    Closer examination of this point reveals that the thought some people have - the thought that given a choice, a certain segment of the population would forgo the option of existence - is nonsensical because they want to be able to give consent on the matter of their existence but to do that they would have to, well, exist before they "exist". Two issues with this one. If at every point of this logic, one would like to be offered the option to exist or not then, we would have to exist eternally to make a choice. If, on the other hand, we come into existence at a certain point in space-time, it's impossible for our creator/god to ask us our preference on the matter.
  • god must be atheist
    2.2k
    @Jjnan1: in my opinion anyone who tries to make sense out of Christian philosophy, and succeeds in that endeavour, is either in self-denial, or has a very strong faith or else rejects the validity of all the basic rules of Socratean and Aristotelian logic.
  • Emma
    2
    I'm a Philosophy student so bear with me because I am new at this! From what I have read, it looks like the main conclusion of your argument is that we should not desire for God to exist. However, at the end of your post you also conclude that we should reject God’s existence entirely. Although I think the argument you laid out has the potential to support the former conclusion (barring any objections), I do not think that it can support the latter conclusion whatsoever. The actual existence of God is an entirely different topic than the desire for God to exist, I do not think it follows that if we do not want God to exist that he does not in fact exist. The same way that if we don’t want oxygen to exist, it does not mean that oxygen cannot or does not exist. I think you would need more support for the second conclusion if you were trying to give people a reason to reject God’s existence.

    Disregarding your second conclusion, I do not see how the anti-theist response to the objection you laid out for premise four does away with the objection itself. I find it hard to believe that a world full of evils and horrors “dishonors” God. Satan is what is responsible for the evils and horrors, so at most it would be Satan that dishonors God, not the world. Furthermore, God made imperfect beings that he knew were “beneath” him. So, if God knew he was making imperfect humans, then how could he be dishonored by their actions or the world? And, even if God was dishonored by his creation, wouldn’t Jesus’s sacrifice have made up for that? Would it not have balanced out the scales the same way it did for our sins? This sort of “problem of evil” response, however, could be used in some sort of argument that there is not a perfect, all-knowing God and could aid you in supporting the second conclusion you mentioned in your post. Thanks for your time!
  • batsushi7
    45
    God would be ashamed to exist in this world, after how shitty work he did with humans.
  • Philosophim
    292


    I think you did a nice job Emma. Good luck in your pursuit of the degree!
  • Joaquin
    2


    Hi Jjnan1,

    As you well anticipated, my objection is aimed at Premise 4. It seems as though your support for the consequent of this premise is “A supreme being who is benevolent, all-power and all-knowing is a sacred concept that anyone should truly want to be true. Though if this is the case, then perhaps one should not desire that God exists then since the world with all its evils and horrors would be a dishonor to such a perfect being”. I think that by this you mean to say that if God, who is supposedly benevolent, all-powerful, all-knowing, and perfect created a world that dishonors Him, then such a God would not be desirable. And in support for the claim that the world we live in dishonors Him, you ascribe all of its evils and horrors to Him, as if God was the one that created them. My objection is against the underlying assumption that the world’s evils and horrors are God’s creation. Obviously, my objection comes from the role free will plays in the equation that results in the presence of evil in the world. It seems as though if we grant that free will is in fact given to us by God and allows us to make our own decisions and thus manifest a life that we choose, then this implies that, even if its tiny, we are thus handed the power to manifest/create things into existence, even if our manifestations/creations are temporary. If we are capable to creating/manifesting things into existence by the gift given to us by God in the form of the power to co-create our reality with Him, then it is possible that the evils and horrors present in our reality were created by us, human beings, and not by God. And it seems to me that if God would have stopped us from manifesting anything in our lives, then he would have failed at giving human beings the gift of free will, which in essence is good. I say that the gift of free will is intrinsically good because it seems to me that what it is, is ultimately the gift of choosing who we want to be as our own entities, our freedom to be. Although the gift of free will carries the potential to bring about evil in the world, the realization of the evil in the world was not in God’s hands, it was in ours. God sharing his power to manifest things into existence seems to me to speak highly of who God is, while our manifestation of evil in the world seems to speak poorly of who we are when we don’t choose to manifest in accordance to God’s will. For this reason, the presence of evil and horrors in the world are not a good reason to not desire God. They are, in my humble opinion, proof of what happens when we don’t create/manifest our lives in accordance to God’s will. And therefore, good reason to desire God.

    Pleasure discussing with you! Tell me what you think :)
  • god must be atheist
    2.2k
    I find it hard to believe that a world full of evils and horrors “dishonors” God. Satan is what is responsible for the evils and horrors, so at most it would be Satan that dishonors God, not the world. Furthermore, God made imperfect beings that he knew were “beneath” him. So, if God knew he was making imperfect humans, then how could he be dishonored by their actions or the world?Emma

    God would be dishonoured by having created inept creatures. The Hebrew bible, the Old Testament, says "God created ...... and he saw that it was good." If that's what God calls good: Satan, pedophiles, and other evil-doers, then god needs no dishonouring... he is dishonouring himself himself.

    You would see this if you were not deluded by your faith.
  • god must be atheist
    2.2k
    And, even if God was dishonored by his creation, wouldn’t Jesus’s sacrifice have made up for that? Would it not have balanced out the scales the same way it did for our sins?Emma

    No, because in the case an actual Jesus who was an actual god sacrificed himself, then all sins would have been stopped... but they did not, evil, wickedness, in the Christian sense, continues in the world.
  • JerseyFlight
    782


    Another God poster who makes a thread and doesn't interact with it. This is a violation of the rules for posting.
  • god must be atheist
    2.2k
    God sharing his power to manifest things into existence seems to me to speak highly of who God is, while our manifestation of evil in the world seems to speak poorly of who we are when we don’t choose to manifest in accordance to God’s will.Joaquin

    God created us, according to Christian mythology, with ALL the attributes we have. Evil in the world is done by humans, but the original cause of Evil is the Original Cause of everything... wouldn't you say? I mean, if there was nothing but god, and after a while there were trees, doggies, caves, fluffy clouds and Evil, then all these must have been created by someone, which is god. So why do you not blame your god for the Evil in existence?

    I don't condone Evil, but I do object to the notion that god is not at all responsible for it. Sure it is. Fully. (Accroding to the teachign of Chrisitanity, and Christians would see this if they could think straight.)
  • Naomi
    3
    Premise 4 does seem like the most objectionable premise. I have something to add on to the objection you had mentioned though. It depends on what you mean by “being in a world that consists more of what one does not will.” I’m assuming that you mean that creatures were brought into this world against their will and being in this world entails experiencing additional events that are against their will. In that case, I think that it’s true that being in this world entails experiencing additional events that are against one’s will, but I think these events are because of each person’s free will.

    I think the situations that people end up are a combination of the consequences of our own actions, whether these consequences were our aim or not, and the consequences of other people’s actions. Sometimes we end up in undesirable situations, but it is a consequence of free will. Having free will also seems preferable to not having free will and living in a world where everyone has free will seems preferable to living in a world where not everyone has free will. One could still say that God should not have brought us into existence at all, but God could have His own benevolent reasons for bringing us into existence that we may not understand.

    A supreme being who is benevolent, all-power and all-knowing is a sacred concept that anyone should truly want to be true. Though if this is the case, then perhaps one should not desire that God exists then since the world with all its evils and horrors would be a dishonor to such a perfect being. It is out of reverence for the concept of God that one should rightly reject God’s existence.Jjnan1

    I think here you meant that it is out of reverence for the concept of God that one should not want God to exist. I don’t think that would lead to rejecting that God does exist. I don’t think we should not want God to exist based on that though. I think this means we should want God to exist because if God does exist, there would be a foreseeable end to all the evils and horrors. If God didn’t exist, our lives would be pretty meaningless. Everything we would all be working towards would ultimately be for nothing. Life would seem to consist of just trying to survive or wondering why we should even want to survive. Then, bringing children into the world would also seem like a morally bad thing to do if living in the world is so terrible. Do you believe that parents are undesirable? I️ think there is a significant amount of good in the world though and that we should want God to exist because without Him, life seems pretty pointless.

    Furthermore, if He does exist, that means we should try to limit the evils and horrors of the world to the best of our ability in an attempt to honor Him, not that we should not want Him to exist because the world would dishonor Him. I think of it like a parent and child. I think if God exists, He just wants us to try our best, and that honors Him. Children inevitably do things that could dishonor their parents and what these parents wanted their children to be like, but parents usually just want to see their children trying their best.
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