I have been ruminating on what, as far as I know, might be a new theory (which I have named the Argument from Format) showing that either God is not omnipotent or does not exist. Bear with me, as it might need refining, might be easily debunkable, or need changing in some radical way. It has developed out of my section on souls in the book that I am just getting published called Free Will? An investigation into whether we have free will or whether I was always going to write this book. In this section I look at whether the soul can be used as an originator of free will. That means that the soul, as many theists claim, could be the end of the line of regression for reason in a freely willed decision. In other words, there is no other reason for the decision other than that the soul decided that way. This is important since a determinist (such as myself) would claim that as long as there are mechanisms and explanations as to why a decision is made, then the decision is determined by those reasons and explanations. This is called a causal circumstance. In the case of a human, this would be their genetic make-up (genome and resulting characteristics known as the phenotype) and the environment around them, and their prior learning up to the point of making that decision at t0. If you rewound back time to t0 then the same decision would be made every time, and is thus determined. This is because at that time the causal circumstance would be exactly the same, bar nothing. With every molecule and gene remaining outside of the control of the agent at that time, the decision is determined.
However, back to the point in hand, many people claim that the soul is the originator of free will, thus bypassing all of these causal reasons as to why our decisions might be determined. And yet, the problem with this approach is that this assumes that the soul itself is not under deterministic constraints. What is the soul? An important question indeed, and issues about proof and evidence aside, in order to know that a soul is a soul, in order to label a soul a soul, the soul must exhibit characteristics and properties that are soul-like. A soul, then, must have properties, whether physical, mental or existing in whatever dimension you believe souls to exist in. And if souls are sentient, as many think, then they must adhere to some kind of pedagogical process that enable them to learn. These properties and characteristics must exist within a framework that allow the soul to have these properties, and must bind them to a non-chaotic structure that keep the soul being a soul and not something completely different. There must, then, be some kind of ‘glue’ that keeps the soul stuck together with soul-like properties so that it stays as a soul.
And then there is God – do you see where I am going with this? So in order for God to be labelled and identified as God, God must have properties that are identifiable with / as God. These properties must define who God is, otherwise God is everything, which leads us to panentheism. But in order to have properties, the entity with properties must live within a framework that defines those properties, glues them together, and stops them from dissipating or turning into different properties that would not define that entity as the entity it started out being. But God cannot exist within a framework, because nothing can exist from without of God, since he is the creator of everything. Thus, either something exists outside of his control, defining who he is, and leaving God as not omnipotent; or God created his own framework that defines who he is, which is incoherent. It is incoherent because he was eternal (according to Craig) before creation, and this means that he cannot have existed before he created the framework which defines him. His prior existence would have been chaos.
Therefore, we are left with the situation that either God created his own framework (incoherent) to define his format, or the framework (pre)exists outside of him; or God does not have any format and cannot be identified as God, as opposed to anything else; or God does not exist.
P1 – anything that exists has a format to enable it to be identified as such
P2 – all formats exist within a framework that define the entity
P3 – God exists
P4 – God has a format that identifies him as being God
P5 - God exists within a framework that defines him
P6 – God cannot create a framework that defines himself (illogical)
C – God is not omnipotent / does not exist
I would be interested to see any
feedback on this, and to see if it is a viable argument.to see any
feedback on this, and to see if it is a viable argument.
In : Religion
Tags: "argument against god"
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