Re: help with "proof" for non-existence of God

Julio R. Vaquer (
Tue, 11 Mar 1997 06:00:04 -0700

Dan Hook wrote:
> I am aware that this might be a little off subject but it is one of my
> hobby's to argue with theists. I am aware that I do not have a chance of
> changing their views. Right now my current goal is having someone say,
> "That's a good argument, but I still believe."
> I'm posting this now because I actually met someone who I did not have to
> give them a God to believe in. Usually a theist's conception of their god
> is so underdeveloped the first step is to get a definition. I'll outline
> my best argument so far.
> First, I ask a question:
> Is God omniscient?
> If the answer is no, than I'm sunk because then my arguement is that a
> person could become God and that sort of blasphemy tends to block the minds
> quickly.
> If the answer is yes, than it gets interesting.
> I use the maximum possible definition of ominiscent. At this point I
> eliminate many other people who just don't follow what comes next.
> If a being is omniscent then it knows the position and state of every
> particle in the universe. Of course, to get that kind of resolution, the
> being would need the entire universe as a storage device. Since adding any
> thought to this being would result in more information in the universe we
> are left with the problem of infinite simulations within simulations. This
> leads to paradox and a paradox is the conclusion of a negative proof.
> I need some feedback on this. I want to refine this arguement until there
> are as few scientific holes in it as possible. I would appreciate all
> help.
> Dan Hook


I've tried this argument before. What I ususally get back is a
redefinition of "absolute onminiscience" along the following lines:

"Hey, to be absolutely omniscient you only need to know every principle
that relates to a particle or system. You do not need to know every
characteristic about every particle and system in existence at one point
in time. Besides, since god is also omnipotent, he has an infinitum of
time periods at his behest. he can store the knowledge eons from now"

Dan, theists are predictable in that they always default to semantical
legerdemain. You'll soon get sick at their changing the meaning of key
words as you try to nail down their inconsistencies.

There are usually three ways they finish any argument:

1) Antics with semantics as mentioned above.
2) "Hey, you gotta believe in something!" long as it's an
animated supreme being.
3) "Reason is rooted in faith." This is actually part of "finish #1"
mentioned above but it deserves special notice since it's usally
the ending argument that most scholastic theists use. See
"Pan-critical Reason" at the Extropian FAQ.

I've got to admit that I miss arguing with theists about gods existence.
I spend most of my time these days arguing politics and possible
extropian futures. Most of the people with whom I argue are "well
educated" but seem to not know the basics of neither economics nor the
history of western civilization. At least most theists know religion!

Julio R. Vaquer