Tuesday, December 07, 2004


We live in a "God-centric" society. Our lives are dictated by the religious institutions around us, both politically and socially. We vote based on "moral issues" (according to CNN), we bomb cafes because our interpretation of our holy book requires it, we evangelize others because they don't believe what we believe.

People can believe what they want about the existence and nature of God. We live in a country that recognizes the individual right to believe what one wishes to believe. The important thing to remember is that God does not matter, regardless of what one believes.

As established in Deconstruction, we must live our lives based on the information that we know, and this information is limited to the existence of our self. There is no evidence to support the existence of God, rather there is a truckload of evidence that negates his existence. Take for a moment:
God is defined as A) Omnipotent, B) omniscient, and C) Omnibenificent
If A and B, then not C (an all-loving God would not permit unhappiness and suffering)
If A and C, then not B (the all-loving God doesn't see the suffering happening, but would like to stop it)
If B and C, then not A (the all-loving God is powerless to stop the suffering from happening)
Therefore, God does not exist.
Of course, our friends throughout history have countered this argument with new ideas; God is all those things but it is our human nature that corrupts and causes suffering (Augustine), God is actually defined as the greatest and best thing that we can imagine (Anselm), God is simply the creator or the prime mover (Aquinas). These claims require more intense scrutiny to topple, but in the end none stand as a definite proof of God, particularly not in the all-knowing, all-powerful, all-loving sense that we normally define him.

If God cannot be definitively proved, and our perception gives us no reason to believe he exists in the first place, then it follows that one cannot base a personal philosophy on a theistic foundation. My claim is not atheistic in the strictest sense; it is still open to a potential higher power. My claim does, though, require us to remove God from our philosophies. God can remain a possibility in our metaphysics, but it cannot be allowed to influence our ethics, or epistemology, or our politics.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent post. I think that your thoughts are an interesting following up to a post by Colin Hahn.

4:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Frankly, though I agree, I disagree that this paltry amount has proven that we should not base ethics from a god, simply because we cannot be sure if it exists. Rather than removing god from ethics, you have misstepped and removed god from all in this instance, that is, by showing the dilemma that exists when one believes in a Judo-Christian god. You take as your task to slay the beast when not entirely neccessary, and thus do not prove your point. Moreover, to tackle such a task in a page is quite a leap. You as well, seem to ignore the dilemma created with god as with existance, the fact that existance and nonexistance are in themselves unprovable. Either way, I find this not to be a compelling argument.

1:41 AM  
Blogger RCowan said...

I hope that I've answered some of these questions in my newest post, Faith. The one thing I can certainly agree with you on is the fact that addressing a subject like this is impossible in as little space as I've devoted to it. The beauty, though, of a blog like this is that I can continue to expand the ideas I present.

12:15 PM  

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