Log­i­cal prob­lems for the­ists

The Star (St. Lucia) - - COMMENT - By Michael Dig­wall

Ican un­der­stand why, when­ever Chris­tian apol­o­gists try to dis­prove athe­ism, they al­ways use what seems like very log­i­cal and co­her­ent ar­gu­ment to sup­port what their in­fi­nite god was sup­posed to have done, but when they look at how this god is sup­posed to work, they aban­don such rea­son­ing meth­ods. The rea­son is sim­ple–in­fin­ity comes with a lot of con­tra­dic­tions.

Take the claim that our tem­po­rary uni­verse was sup­posed to have been cre­ated by an ev­er­last­ing god. To il­lus­trate why this is im­pos­si­ble, I will use the ex­am­ple of ig­nit­ing a stove burner.

Like ev­ery­thing we know, all things re­quire a cause. So, be­fore the stove burner was ig­nited, it was not lit. If the process of ig­ni­tion was eter­nal, which is the cause, like god, we have a prob­lem. The claim that the burner was at one point never lit would not be true. See­ing that the process of ig­ni­tion is sup­posed to have been ev­er­last­ing, what we would end up with is an ev­er­last­ingly ig­nited and thus lit burner.

In other words, if the cause of this fi­nite uni­verse is sup­posed to have been an in­fi­nite god, then this uni­verse could not be fi­nite; it must be in­fi­nite too as, at one point dur­ing “cre­ation”, the in­fi­nite would have had to meet the fi­nite. That’s one of the con­tra­dic­tions of an ac­tual in­fi­nite, which this god is.

Given that an in­fi­nite cause for a tem­po­rary re­sult is im­pos­si­ble for our re­al­ity, we end up be­ing stuck with a tem­po­rary cause for a tem­po­rary re­sult. How­ever, this cre­ates another con­tra­dic­tion – it’s called the in­fi­nite re­gres­sion prob­lem. If all re­sults are tem­po­rary and each of them must have had a prior tem­po­rary cause, then that prior tem­po­rary cause is it­self the tem­po­rary re­sult of another prior tem­po­rary cause, and so forth. What we end up with is, for god, an in­fi­nite se­ries of re­sults and prior causes.

An end­less or in­fi­nite se­ries of causes and re­sults is im­pos­si­ble to tra­verse – we can never reach the start or end. In other words, the present as we know it can­not be. This is the in­fi­nite re­gres­sion prob­lem and is another con­tra­dic­tion for the ac­tual in­fi­nite that the Chris­tian god is sup­posed to be.

I will say that I don’t take ar­gu­ments for god’s ex­is­tence se­ri­ous any­more if, in­stead of at­tempt­ing to ex­plain how this god could have done any­thing in the first place, peo­ple try to prove god by ex­plain­ing what he is sup­posed to have done al­ready.

I am still wait­ing for a con­vinc­ing ar­gu­ment for god’s own ex­is­tence.

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