God Can’t Lie, And You Can Trust Him On That!
Via PZ, check out this video of Eric Hovind arguing with a much more intelligent elementary school kid.
The relevant quote:
Eric Hovind: We all deal in the realm of certainty…If I, for example, knew everything there was to know, if I had all knowledge, and you didn’t, AND there was a rule that said, I am never ever allowed to tell a lie. And I said Chad, I know everything, “I’m not allowed to lie, 2+2=4.” Could you now know that to be true even though you, Chad, don’t know everything.
The answer, of course, is no.
Since I am not omniscient, I can’t possibly know for certain whether another entity is. Perhaps there are things neither I nor God know. I can only prove the null hypothesis – that God is not omniscient – if I know something God does not (and I am further, not wrong). Then I can falsify the claim.
This is one of the arguments that led me to the conclusion that I was one of those strongTM atheists. I will say unequivocally that I know a god either cannot, or cannot be proven to, exist, and therefore I am certain the truth lies somewhere on the spectrum of “I don’t care””it does not exist.”
No, wait. Hear me out!
A God is, first and foremost, defined by magic. It can do things like suspend the laws of physics, live forever, create matter, etc. It can do things that are not possible. It can be things that are not possible. So if God does exist, he’s at the very least, physically impossible, by definition. A=Not A. Oops!
The bigger problem, as Eric Hovind points out, is that we don’t know everything and thus we have to just take this deity at its word that it knows all of the things. I’ll never be able to confirm that claim, and an omniscient God should know that.
At best, I can hope to falsify it by knowing more than the deity in question – and if the bible is a good guide to God’s knowledge, then, well, falsification accomplished!
I’ve also heard the argument before that we can trust God because he can’t lie. That’s another thing we clearly could not possibly know, unless we were deities ourselves.
Entering into a conversation with a being that may be omniscient is a bad idea. If he is omniscient, then he has all the more power to trick you, like the worst used car salesman ever.
It always baffles me when the god salesmen try to tell me that I can make some sort of contract with a god, whereby I trade my loyalty/belief/groveling for a reward in the afterlife. They tell me I can totally trust this deity because for some bizarre reason, he’s “not allowed to lie.”
So, what happens if I happen to pick the right religion, do all the things this deity demanded, and then get to heaven, only to be told “Just kidding! LOL!” before being sent to hell? Is there some sort of celestial court I can appeal to? Can this deity be impeached by an angelic legislature? Or am I just SOL? God lies in mysterious ways!
The extreme naivete and gullibility it would take to enter into an unenforceable contract with a being that’s literally all-powerful and accountable to no one, and then actually expect it to be honored, is what really astounds me.
Do they forward email chain letters and expect to get 25 cents from Bill Gates every time it’s forwarded thereafter, too?
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