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  1. #1
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    Apr 2009
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    Understanding God's Will

    Many atheists have probably been frustrated by the following argument:
    "You can't argue x (some biblical story doesn't make sense if God is benevolent and omnipotent; human suffering doesn't make sense if God is benevolent and omnipotent; etc.) because God/God's morals/God's will/God's methods transcend human understanding."
    This argument drives me crazy because it claims that religion does not need to be logical. If religion doesn't need to be logical, how can you argue for or against it?
    However, this argument doesn't really prove that religion doesn't need to be logical. There are two things that are necessary for this argument to work:
    1)We can't understand God because He transcends human understanding.
    2)If God transcends human understanding, we can ignore logic in some religious teachings (stories, beliefs, etc.).

    Obviously, we can argue about whether or not #1 is true, but, even if #1 is true, #2 isn't a logical conclusion.

    Let's start by assuming that #1 is true:
    If it's true that we do not and cannot understand God, why even consider religion in any decision making? If we are unable to know the truth about God, we can't base decisions and beliefs on God's will because we don't understand what His will is. What else do we have to base decisions/beliefs on? Our own morals, which are based on logic. Therefore, logic should be the basis for decision making, and religion shouldn't be a factor at all.

    And if #1 is not true:
    We can understand God because God is logical. Because we believe that God is benevolent and omnipotent, His morals are logical and the same as ours (assuming we base our morals on logic).

    It really doesn't matter if we accept #1 or not, either way, we cannot conclude #2. Therefore, the original argument is not valid. Our own morals do apply to biblical stories and religious contradictions because, either, they are God's morals as well, or God's morals don't apply to our own lives because we can't understand them.

    Of course, we can't just accept that #1 is true, but even if we do, it means that we should consider God even less in decisions and moral beliefs.
    Last edited by bobloblaw; June 9th, 2009 at 12:01 PM.



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