This also begs a semantic yet crucial question; is God a noun or an adjective? Does one worship a God or a being which is God? This, although quite simplistically put this is a very important point. All if not most religions upon asking would state quite bluntly that God was obviously a proper noun, yet looking at the language in a fair few holy books it seems, if on a base level, to fall into the behaviour patterns of a adjective, ergo making it possible for the reader to perceive the possibility of them gaining the power which this fictional God possesses.
As for the Author(s) this insinuation may be only subconscious but on writing they too would be influenced by this ultimate aspiration. On the other hand religion could have stemmed from the need to justify our own existence, because we are self aware and by nature need a logical reason for all factors in our lives we must have a reason for our own being. Most sentient beings when confronted with their own futility will attempt to reject it, thus man created God, an easy concept for both the cause and justification of our existence.
This is all assuming that there is no God, which begs the biggest question of all, is there a god? 97% of the world’s population have some form of religion; and some would say by sheer consensus surely some form of God must exist? On the other hand, the theories of the nature of this God are so varied in the diversity of religion that this overwhelming statistic is broken down into many smaller groups.
Thus, global facts like this become all but irrelevant unless one is a deist and therefore believes that each and every one of these religions has an element of truth thus restating this statistic. In this case we must think about the existence of a God in a detached philosophical manner, which in turn begs many more questions. For example the Christian God is supposed to be all loving, omniscient and omnipotent which is all well and good until we present the question of suffering which asks, if God possesses all of these qualities simultaneously then how can suffering exist in the world?
If God knows all of our issues has the power to resolve them and loves us all then why do problems in the world continue? The simple solution to this problem is that no being can exist without all of these qualities, however this can be countered, perhaps we are experiencing the best quality of life we can but because we have never experienced true suffering we cannot compare our current situation. Or perhaps God has a different set of logic to humans and as such we cannot compare our conclusions with his.
The popular theory however is that suffering is caused by human actions and because we have free will God is freed of his responsibility, or that we are being punished for our wrongdoings but if this is true then what of young children who die at birth? What possible sins could they have committed in their short-lived existence? The other issue with the existence of God is that if he is all powerful can he perform illogical actions? Such as can God create an object that he himself cannot destroy?
If he cannot create one then his power is limited but it is also limited it he cannot destroy the being. This is a version of the unstoppable force and the immoveable object problem. The answer given to this is that God’s power is only limited to logical possibility and therefore he can only perform actions which conform with the logically possible. When looked at psychologically the reason the God question is so prominent for man is mainly because of our fear of eternal retribution if we deny the existence of the being.
This is where a religious philosopher came up with the theory that worshiping a God is logical if not correct, this theory is called Pascal’s wager. This states that when faith is looked at in the manner of a bet God is the logical option, if we choose faith then if we win we are granted eternal bliss but if we lose we waste some time, if we choose not to believe then if we win we gain some spare time but if we lose we are damned to hell forever, therefore making Christianity the logical option over atheism.
This theory is not as concrete as it seems for, if we devote our lives to a non existent God then we have wasted the only lifetime we have, and by denying our true beliefs we can decimate our psyche. Also this theory applies to most religions and as such which one should we apply this ungrounded theory to? Without a logical method of proving God there is only one options for theists, to make a leap of faith, in other words to believe in something without sufficient evidence to justify that belief, this factor is key to many of the mainstream religions.
The fact that we would cross this gap is also a key point in the human psyche; if we have the urge to have an all powerful being with us to such a degree as to consciously make that jump then there must be many underlying reasons for that urge. This pure faith can be said to be a sign of devotion to the God you worship thus making you worthy, therefore there need not be any tangible evidence for God because then the act of faith would become meaningless ergo the very lack of evidence for this being is the factor which will convince theists of his existence.
Many religions state that our creation must have been an act of love and compassion from a greater being, but how can such a compassionate loving being knowingly create such an antagonised destructive race, unless of course this life is simply a test of our faith, but what of those who have faith and still suffer? There is a very strong popular philosophy of Gods existence being thrown about which is not the existence of God but the nature of the existence of God, when looked at in this light God’s existence may be looked on as necessary rather that contingent.
A contingent existence is one that needs prior events to occur, for example the paper you are reading now, needed trees to be cut down and processed, my initiative to write it and the ink in the hub to print it, if these events had not occurred this paper would not exist, therefore its existence is contingent because it is possible for it not be non-existent, however God’s existence is necessary because there are no events prior to his existence which could be disturbed and prevent his existence therefore it is necessary that he exists because he is not contingent.
On the other hand these philosophies are created by those who believe in a being which, if my earlier point is confirmed, is subject to their imagination, thus any argument on the contradiction of God’s nature and his existence is based on facts that are liable to be changed in order to fit the argument of the religious, thus in any debate such as this all factors of the nature of this deity must be set outright before the debate is begun.
Not that atheists have the rhetorical faults as well, the reason most atheists have turned away from religion is because the base their thoughts on logical trains of though which often make fairly ungrounded assumptions and build their arguments from there, thus by using this impure logic they can come to incorrect, if arguable, conclusions. Ergo both sides of the debate have their argumentative flaws which must be carefully taken into account by any third party wishing to make a decision on the information it is presented.
A main point which has yet to be discussed it the question of life after death which is a prominent factor in most religions, by believing in a God we are in our own minds securing our fate after death (one of the biggest fears of man is the unknown void that one steps into after one dies. ) This fearful unknown is conveniently filled in by the concept of religion. The promise of life after death has not only been used as an incentive by religious authorities but as a threat, the fear of eternal retribution after one dies is the ultimate deterrent to be used by power hungry leaders such as in the English medieval period (Crusades anyone? . Yet another mystery that religion comfortably solves is that of creation. All things must be created from something, so what was the first thing to exist? It is hard to accept that this universe was the first thing in existence because it conforms to the laws that we understand, e. g. That all things have a beginning and an end, in order to understand this we need a creator that does not conform to our natural laws, namely; God. But even that is not foolproof, how can this being not conform to the most basic of our logical laws and still have created and have an effect on us?
An argument that could invalidate all points preceding this is that God ascends all logical human comprehension and that any train of logical thought we could use to attempt to prove or disprove God or even attempt to define the nature of this God would be futile, this point is countered by the fact that if we cannot comprehend the logical mindset of God then we certainly cannot comprehend what his will for us is or the nature of his oh so illogical existence and therefore can’t even worship let alone obey this being, on the other hand if he is or creator then he may be able to translate his incomprehensible logic into a format which will influence our actions into such a manner as to achieve his infallible goal.
To summarise I would agree that the nature let alone the existence of God is beyond my comprehension as the author of this essay however looking at the arguments put forward by the more intelligent theorists of our time these suggest, to me, that the possibility of a being such as this is unlikely if not impossible due to it’s sheer implausibility, a motive for it to be fictional, not to mention that in most cases is it a contradiction in terms. All of these arguments simply circle and we have yet to come to a definitive conclusion, thus without more evidence either way we gain nothing from the debate of the nature of God.
Also the God argument uses reverse logic which has been proven to be invalid, in that in correct logical processing we have a premise statement and a relational statement and attempt to derive a solution from that; however in the God problem we have a solution (The existence or non-existence of God. ) and attempt to achieve a premised statement and a relational statement that allow for our original conclusion. This in turn is incorrect logic, thus rendering any form of this argument invalid. Although despite its futility I believe this debate will continue until the end of man’s existence because, if we have no creator to argue for or against then what purpose do we have?