God Gone in 60 Seconds?
by Randy Everist
Is there a quick disproof of God? Normally, I would not respond to much out there against God’s existence that originates on the Internet. It just typically is a waste of time and lacks any academic rigor. The same is the case for the following “Why God is Impossible: A 60-Second Proof.” However, this line of argumentation is becoming more and more prevalent, if not actually influential. Therefore, I will just this once pay it some undue attention, and then forget it ever happened.
First, she starts off a little confused about some philosophical presuppositions. She says, “One can not prove that something does not exist.” This is, of course, flatly false. But as it turns out, she does not believe this claim either. Not only does the title claim that God’s existence is impossible, she goes on to state: “In this argument you will not be proving the non-existence of GOD, but rather the impossibility of his existence. Clearly, however, if you are able to prove that it is impossible that GOD exist [sic], it is manifest that he doesn’t.” The problem is that if it is impossible for something to exist, then it does not exist. There is no possible world in which something exists that is impossible to exist, on pain of logical contradiction. Hence, if one proves that X is impossible to exist, then one has proven X’s non-existence.
Next, she then insists on two “ground rules.” These rules are first that if the concept of God is shown to be self-contradictory then God’s existence is impossible. Fair enough. The second rule is that “ignorance will not be accepted as a substitute for knowledge.” Again, I see no problem with this.
Third, she begins the exercise with the question “what is God’s most relevant attribute?” While she presumes to answer “his ability to create,” I find the question underdeveloped and ambiguous. Relevant to what? To his existence? In that case, it would be his logical necessity, or perhaps his aseity. But no mind; let us suppose (since we must) that we would answer “his ability to create.”
Next, as Ed Feser likes to say, those who talk about the cosmological argument often demonstrate they don’t have a clue what they’re talking about. The argument is that creation is self-contradictory, since “from nothing, nothing comes.” The odd part is this is exactly what an apologist would use in defending the kalam cosmological argument! “By definition, creation requires that nothing initially exist,” she claims. The problem is just that I have never seen a Christian apologist or philosopher make such an assertion…
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