Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Do-It-Yourself Home Deity Kit


Guru Inc. proudly announces...

The Do-It-Yourself Home Deity Kit

Do you believe in God? 
(Answers may vary)


For people who believe in God, answers on what kind of God vary. 
Some believe in a vengeful God that demands obedience...
Some believe in a loving father...
Some believe in an impersonal force of nature...
Some believe God is just nature itself...

To determine what kind of God you believe in, 
We at Guru, Inc. have created the ULTIMATE 

Do-It-Yourself Home Deity Kit



STEP 1: BUILD A DEITY

Choose from the following attributes. You may choose as many, or as few, attributes as you wish. This list comprises characteristics of deities in the Abrahamic traditions. If your God does not exhibit these characteristics, write down the name of the characteristics you imagine and move to step 2. 

  • Omnipotent (all-powerful, able to do anything) 
  • Omnibenevolent (all-loving) 
  • Omniscient (all-knowing) 
  • The Creator 
  • The Sustainer of All That Exists (i.e., if God ceased to exist, so would everything else)
  • Perfectly Free
  • Eternally Existing
  • A Personal God (a being with whom one can have a personal relationship) 


STEP 2: ANALYZE YOUR DEITY

The Do-It-Yourself Home Deity Kit is designed to determine if your conception of God is consistent with itself and consistent with the universe. This is not an attempt to demonstrate whether or not God exists, rather it is a kit to determine if your conception of God is plausible. 

THE PROBLEM OF EVIL

If God is omnipotent (all-powerful, able to do anything), omnibenevolent (all-loving), omniscient (all-knowing) and the creator of all that exists, then God must have known suffering would exist in the present framework we call "the world." 

If God did not know suffering would exist in the world, then the concept of omniscient is inconsistent with the definition of all-knowing.  

If God could have created a world more benign than this one, God would seem less-powerful for failing to have done so. This is inconsistent with the definition of all-powerful. 

THE PROBLEM OF SUFFERING

It is difficult to reconcile that an omnipotent, omnibenevolent, and omniscient God created our specific Galaxy. Our universe contains vast amounts of suffering, much of which seems entirely unnecessary. While some of this is the result of human action, and thus an inevitable consequence of free will, much is not. Plagues, floods, famines, and tsunami's are not all the result of human action. Even the idea that free will explains suffering is difficult to swallow, since God, if all-powerful, could eliminate suffering and our ability to harm others or suffer at their hands. 

  • If God cannot prevent suffering, all-powerful is not a characteristic we can ascribe to God. 
  • If God can prevent suffering but does not, all-loving is not a characteristic we can ascribe to God. 
  • If God did not know that creating the world would lead to suffering or does not know how to end suffering other than to flood the earth and save a few animals, then all-knowing is not a characteristic we can ascribe to God. 


    THE PROBLEM OF LOGIC

    If God is all-loving, God cannot be all-powerful. Being all-powerful implies God has the power to do anything. But if God is all-loving, God does not have the power to be unloving. Therefore, God's all-powerful characteristic is limited when faced with the constraint of having to be all-loving. In this respect, God does not have a choice. These two characteristics are in contradiction to themselves. 

    Essentially, we conclude that God is either (1) not all-loving; (2) not all-powerful. 

    If you want to assume God is all-powerful, then the issue of suffering would make sense. God simply is not all-loving and doesn't really care whether you win the lottery or not. 

    THE PROBLEM OF SUSTENANCE 

    If God is the sustainer of all life, the universe, and all existence, then the universe would cease to be if God did. The laws of physics do not seem to require that the universe has anything outside of itself. The laws of physics are not laws requiring a lawgiver or law-enforcer. The laws of physics are descriptions of the nature of reality. The idea that there must be a sustainer of physical laws is inconsistent with the laws of nature. 

    According to physics, space and time exist only within the confines of a universe. If God is immanent (existing or operating within; inherent in all things), the concept would constrain God's existence to within a universe. This is inconsistent with the concept of all-powerful. 

    THE PROBLEM OF PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS

    Personal relationships depend on a number of factors. One is sufficient similarity between the two persons or species. 

    If God is all-powerful, all-loving, all-knowing, why would God want a relationship with a human being who is anything but? 

    Having a personal relationship with someone is often misconstrued with the idea of affection. You can have an affection for a place (Paris) or an object (a new car), or even a person (movie star), but not have a personal relationship with them. 

    THE PROBLEM OF MINIMIZING ATTRIBUTES

    You can get around some of the inconsistencies by limiting God's attributes, but then you face another problem: Can a finite being grasp and therefore define an infinite being? Can humans define divinity? Can a finite mind hold infinite thought? 


    Can humans limit God? 


    Defining God requires limiting God to specific characteristics. "God says this," or "God says that," "God wants this," or "God wants that."   


    How can we as humans know? How ludicrous to make this claim. How far can you take this nonsense? What about people who justify murder in the name of God? 


    My God is better than yours. 


    THE PROBLEM OF LANGUAGE

    If your belief in God cannot be described in human language, then don't talk about God using human language. Or if you do, understand that you are using metaphors. Falling into the trap that you know what they mean is an error in logic. 

    If God created the world, then you are free to proclaim your love for God. Is this the only reason you love God? Because God supposedly created the world? Or do you love God because you're afraid if you don't, he'll damn you to eternal hell? Or do you love God because he answers your prayers and you've already won the lottery and are simply loving life and God because you're hanging out on Facebook all day while your money earns interest? 

    Whatever your reasons are for loving God, they belong to you and you alone. The Do-It-Yourself Home Deity Kit was simply created to help you determine if the attributes you ascribe to God are consistent and plausible. 


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