Is the Concept of God Logical?

 

Atheists argue with good reason that the concept of a perfect, omniscient, omnipotent god is contradictory. As early as 300BC, Epcures argued:


        "The gods can either take away evil from the world and will not, or, being willing to do so, cannot; or they neither can nor will, or lastly, they are both able and willing. If they have the will to remove evil and cannot, then they are not omnipotent. If they can, but will not, than they are not benevolent. If they are neither able nor willing, then they are neither omnipotent nor benevolent. Lastly, if they are both able and willing to annihilate evil, how does it exist?"


This is a logical, philosophical argument but one that points out a serious contradiction.  As LDS people, we have been taught that God permits evil to occur because we are participating in test.  But the bible would lead us to believe otherwise. In Matthew 7:7 Jesus says:

       

        “Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!”


Clearly, there are lots of things that we ask for that are not given; peace, food, cures from disease, comfort, personal safety, knowledge of the existence of god, etc.  The scriptures are replete with promises that we will be given what we ask for.  But on careful, thoughtful inspection, it seems fairly clear that very few (or even none) of these promises are kept.


Another concern is in the concept of omniscience. If God is omniscient, then it means that he knows the past present and future.  He knows if we are going to pass the test of life or not.  He knows that some of us will not succeed in this life (I am probably one of those) and yet he allows us to be born, as it were, to lose.  To me that does not seem benevolent. 


Another argument is that God is the creator and originator of the universe because, according to religious logic, no creation can exist without a creator.  One must raise the question, as most of us have, “Who, then, created God?”  In general Christian thought, God is eternal and has existed forever.  The contradiction is stark.  All creation needs a creator but God does not.  In LDS theology, God is a glorified human being, a successful person who has received his exaltation from a beginning on another planet.  This concept is helpful but just pushes the contradiction back a few generations.  He had a god who in tern had his own god, and so on, and so on.  Ultimately, we need to know where the first one came from.  The bottom line is that it makes no sense.  It turns out that creation does not need a creator, as we shall discuss next.  I find that the concept of a perfect, omnipotent, omniscient creator is inherently contradictory making it seem more likely that the notion is man made.


Finally, I struggle with the idea that if there is only one god, and our eternal salvation depends on our knowing him, why is there only confusion on the issue?  If god exists, then clearly he has the power to make himself known.  But instead of making a clear statement, he teaches us through the spirit.  That same spirit is enjoyed by people around the world.  Deeply religious people pray daily and feel the presence of god. In fact, the spirit of god moves people to change their lives or even end their own lives or those of others.  With the spirit of god working on the hearts and souls of so many people, why are they not led to the same truth?  Why is there no agreement on the nature, will, or even the identity of god?  I suspect that if god does exist, it is not important to him that we know his true attributes.  More likely, I suspect that spiritual experiences are the result of nerve impulses and hormone rushes in our bodies and brains.  And since each person is different, each spiritual experience is different.


Conclusion:  I find that either god does not exist or he is not well understood by man.


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