Vol. 7, No. 7
~ Page 12 ~
When people begin to debate the existence of the absolutely pure, holy, true and living God, emotions often overtake reason and prejudice begins to speak in the name of reason. Men on both sides of the issue regarding the existence of God may be prone to do this, and it usually signals frustration, or that one has felt the weakness of his own arguments. Some of these biased assertions have stood for years as supposed arguments against the existence of God. We desire to examine a few of these today.
It has often been asserted that if God is a necessary Being, then the world is too. This affirmation assumes that a necessary being must do all that it does necessarily. However, our definition is that he must be all that he is. All that is in the nature of God is necessary, but anything that he does extends beyond his nature and is done by his freewill. We illustrate in this way: The living human being must live; however, whether he propagates and brings forth after his own kind is a matter of exercising his freewill. By the same token, it was not necessary for God to create. His love may have given him the desire to do so, but it did not demand that he do so. So, his acts of creation were acts of his own freewill. God must be as he is, but he can do what he pleases so long as it does not contradict his nature. He "pleased" to create; it was not necessary for him to do so in order to be God.
A second assertion regarding God that reflects a certain bias is: If God knows everything, and his knowledge cannot change, then everything is predetermined and there is no such thing as freewill. This assertion is considered one of the most forceful arguments against the existence of God, since man by observation can know that he has freewill. However, we will see it is only a biased affirmation and not an argument at all. God's ability to know what man will do with his freedom is not the same as ordaining what he must do with, or even against, his freewill. God's knowledge of what men will do is not incompatible with freewill. There is no problem in saying God created man with freewill so he can freely return God's love and devotion, and at the same time pointing out that God, even before his creation, knew that man had the ability to make the decision not to return God's love to him. God is responsible for the fact that men have the ability to exercise freewill, but men are responsible for their acts of freedom. If this were not the case, God would be responsible for all of man's sin. According to his knowledge of what men will do with their freedom, God may even persuade men, as he did in ancient times with his prophets and apostles, to make certain decisions for their own good; however, there is no reason to suppose that he coerces man in any of his decisions, whether good or evil. God works through persuasion, not coercion; he begs, but never forces man to do anything.
The third biased assertion with which we will deal is often expressed in these words: God is nothing more than a psychological crutch, a wish, a projection of what we hope is true. This argument contains a serious error. How can men know that God is "nothing more than" a projection unless they have "more than" knowledge? For man to be sure that his consciousness is the limit of reality, and that there is nothing beyond it, it must be true that he has gone beyond the limit of his reality, as well as his consciousness. But if man can do this, then there are no limits of either consciousness or reality, and he is claiming that he is a god. The argument says in effect, that there is nothing that we do not know. However, in order to make such an argument man must go beyond the limits of his own mind. That means if the objection were true, it must be false, and that is nonsense! No philosopher on earth can know there is no God, but intelligence and observation can know there is.