He Just Can’t Get It Up
Here’s the big one – omnipotence. God is described by believers as truly omnipotent. After all, he supposedly created the entire universe and everything in it, and creates and drives all the natural processes on earth. Believers claim that he is responsible for giving all life and for taking it. Nothing is apparently outside his power.
Unfortunately, his application of that power is less than consistent. He seems willing to heal the faithful of sometimes quite minor ills, but appears unwilling to provide food to the starving millions in the world. He seems to stand idly by while entire regions of the world are all but destroyed by hurricanes, droughts and tsunamis. He is a serial abortionist on a massive industrial scale, given that one in every six women has a miscarriage in her first pregnancy. He seems totally unable to select people on earth to represent him, given the dubious characters of so many of the sleazy pastors, priests and popes that have used his name for their own benefit. He is patently unable to teach his flock a consistent message when it comes to matters of faith, given that there are in the region of 40,000 different denominations of christianity alone, each with a different slant on the biblical narrative. He seems content to watch like a voyeur while millions of innocent children are raped by paedophiles, abused or even condemned to lifetimes of sexual slavery. He does nothing to assist them – indeed, God’s divine presence was only a few hundred yards from the house in which sexual deviant and sociopath Ariel Castro carried out his decades-long horror, comfortably housed as he was in a church only a few blocks away.
This “problem of evil” is a major challenge for christianity. It undermines the notions of not just omnipotence, but also omnibenevolence and omniscience. Christians will, of course, provide detailed treatises of high-flown abstraction to counter this “argument from evil”, but are never able to deny the reality that their god is either unwilling or unable to prevent evil in the world, whether that evil be natural or moral. Unwilling because of the dubious claim that he has given humans “free will” (and has therefore chosen, as a result of his own omniscience, to allow evil), or unable because he is bound by some divine law (of his own creation).
Inevitably someone asks “Can God create a block so heavy that even he himself cannot lift it?” If he is omnipotent, he should be able to create it, but if can’t then get it to rise he cannot be omnipotent after all, he would be impotent in the face of his own omnipotence. Christians are quick to laugh off such absurdities – and rightly so, since they are absurd. But the absurdity doesn’t lie in the motive for the question, the question demonstrates the absurdity of the belief in an omnipotent creator.
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