One Argument against any God

[First posted on the Freethinkers Mailing List (http://groups NULL.google NULL.com/group/freethinkers-club/browse_thread/thread/bdce670b44e00d6e/e3fc56a98615713b#e3fc56a98615713b).]

Here’s an argument I’ve used twice in the past month, once
successfully. I thus throw it to the wolves…

All gods are considered supernatural, right? So what do we mean by
“supernatural?” The easiest definition is “not natural,” but of course
now we have to define what “natural” means. I’d argue that “exists
within the universe” is a reasonable definition, but now I have two
words to define: “universe” and “exists.”

Let’s start with “universe.” I’d argue that’s best defined as “the
collection of everything that exists.” (Tangent: note that this
implies the universe itself does not exist. Otherwise, a jar of
cookies would contain a jar of cookies! Also, we never interact with
the universe, only things contained by the universe, and as we’ll soon
see this rules out existence. This point has nothing to do with the
main argument, but since several proofs of God assert the universe
exists, it’s a good tangent to keep in mind.)

Now, “exist.” I’d define that as “anything which could interact with
me, even if only in theory” (Told you!). That leaves one word left,
“interact,” but I’m fine with letting my opponent define that one. If
I was pressed, I’d go with “the potential to change state via an
external entity.” So far, I haven’t been pressed.

All the pieces are in place! Now, we ask a simple question: can any
god interact with me?

If yes, then by definition that god exists, and by definition that
god is contained by the universe, thus that god is “natural.”
Contradiction!

If no, then by what rights can you argue that god exists? I can name
countless things which could never interact with me, but I wouldn’t
take a single one of them seriously. Why would a god be any different?


HJ Hornbeck