23

Lots of people consider the universe to be too complex, ordered, structured, and too advanced to have come about, without a designer. However, isn’t God the most complex, ordered, structured, and the most advanced thing possible? He can create and destroy anything, be anywhere, and has infinite power. How could His existence be less miraculous than the universe?

I’m not sure how God, being supposedly uncreated, solves the issue. Imagine you came across a very advanced robot. Imagine someone tells you “this formed by chance. No one designed this”. One may deem this ridiculous. But now imagine if someone tells you that this robot was just always there, undesigned. Would believing this be less ridiculous? Arguably, it would be even more. Given ample periods of time, complex things may come about. But given no time?

What is the argument against God's probability?

6
  • 1
    Comments have been moved to chat; please do not continue the discussion here. Before posting a comment below this one, please review the purposes of comments. Comments that do not request clarification or suggest improvements usually belong as an answer, on Philosophy Meta, or in Philosophy Chat. Comments continuing discussion may be removed.
    – Geoffrey Thomas
    Commented Mar 26 at 17:19
  • 2
    > Lots of people consider the universe to be too complex, too ordered, too structured, and too advanced to have come about without a designer. Those people are philosophical neophytes who don't know about ideas such as the Anthropic Principle.
    – Kaz
    Commented Mar 28 at 7:02
  • 1
    @Kaz Rebuttals available here.
    – Mark
    Commented Mar 28 at 7:07
  • 1
    @Mark I can't bring myself to negotiate with tyrants
    – ac15
    Commented Mar 28 at 11:45
  • 1

15 Answers 15

13

I would like to outline the basic branches of the argument:

Some theists may like to say "The universe cannot have come into existence itself, it must have a creator".

A non-theist might then say "Doesn't the creator then also need a creator?"

The theist may say one of two things: "No, the creator can just spontaneously come into existence" or "No, the creator has always existed."

With either of those answers, a non-theist would then say "If you allow for the possibility that the creator could do that, then it seems equally reasonable for me to allow for the possibility that our universe did that itself without a creator".

Here's a wikipedia page on the question, including quotes from both sides of the debate:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Problem_of_the_creator_of_God

This is one of those questions in philosophy, like many, that is perennially unsettled formally, and how you choose to resolve the debate comes down, apparently, to personal intuition. Some people seem to intuitively feel like "God can create itself, or have always existed, but the universe cannot". Other people intuitively feel like God, as a complex thinking being, must be in some sense complex enough to say "if the universe needs a creator, God does too".

The wikipedia page lists many counter-arguments from theists, mainly, so allow me to post a couple alternative links.

Stephen Hawking has some thoughts on the matter.

So does Sean Carroll

This is a debate, as you can see, that's been going on for many decades (centuries?), and it hasn't stopped yet. I may have my own opinion and my own intuition, but I wouldn't say that people who disagree with my thoughts are necessarily making obvious grave errors in reasoning. It's a tricky one.

6
  • 3
    Problem: "The universe has always existed" is not supported by cosmology.
    – Joshua
    Commented Mar 26 at 3:39
  • 11
    @Joshua: Incorrect. Cosmology says precisely nothing about whether the universe existed before the Big Bang or even whether the concept of "before the Big Bang" is meaningful. Commented Mar 26 at 9:53
  • 4
    @JackAidley: It says we see no evidence of anything before the big bang and requires new physics for the answer to be anything other than "no"; thus making it the same class of blind faith being protested against.
    – Joshua
    Commented Mar 26 at 14:00
  • 15
    @Joshua Not really, it requires us to shrug and go "we don't know" like we do about everything else we don't know about. There is no blind faith being applied. Commented Mar 26 at 14:39
  • 1
    Your respect for ideas is an excellence seldom witnessed in the masses on this issue. People tend to think that their opposition is somehow totally incompetent; how far from the truth, this issue is one that will never be solved. The perennial engagement on the issue is what we learn from as opposed to the solution itself.
    – user73419
    Commented Apr 1 at 13:51
8

The question presupposes that God is composite, but in classical theism a key attribute which is derived from God is simplicity. By this what is meant is no real divisibility into parts in any way. As Aquinas writes in the Summa Theologiae (I:3:7):

The absolute simplicity of God may be shown in many ways.

First, from the previous articles of this question. For there is neither composition of quantitative parts in God, since He is not a body; nor composition of matter and form; nor does His nature differ from His "suppositum"; nor His essence from His existence; neither is there in Him composition of genus and difference, nor of subject and accident. Therefore, it is clear that God is nowise composite, but is altogether simple.

Secondly, because every composite is posterior to its component parts, and is dependent on them; but God is the first being, as shown above (I:2:3).

Thirdly, because every composite has a cause, for things in themselves different cannot unite unless something causes them to unite. But God is uncaused, as shown above (I:2:3), since He is the first efficient cause.

Fourthly, because in every composite there must be potentiality and actuality; but this does not apply to God; for either one of the parts actuates another, or at least all the parts are potential to the whole.

Fifthly, because nothing composite can be predicated of any single one of its parts. [...] Thus in every composite there is something which is not it itself. But, even if this could be said of whatever has a form, viz. that it has something which is not it itself, as in a white object there is something which does not belong to the essence of white; nevertheless in the form itself, there is nothing besides itself. And so, since God is absolute form, or rather absolute being, He can be in no way composite.

Yes, if God were composite, he would be more in need of explaining than the universe - he would definitely be vastly more complex than anything therein. But then, by the standards of classical theism, he wouldn't even be God. He would be something with matter and form, with potentiality and actuality, and thus merely another creature in need of an unmoved mover to be actual at any moment. It is precisely from such traits found in material beings that God's existence is demonstrated in the classical proofs for his existence. Not as merely another being with these same traits but vastly greater in degree, but something vastly different in his very quality. Because it's not just very complex things such as the human brain or the universe as a whole which serves as a starting point, but even something as simple as the existence of a single subatomic particle, since even that is a composite in some way.

15
  • 8
    Even if He is made of no parts, the fact remains that He is all powerful and thus possesses an infinite amount of power. I’m not quite sure how the existence of this entity can be any less miraculous or “simple” than what it tries to explain Commented Mar 25 at 22:24
  • 4
    I feel this is a better form of the answer that I think @jaredad7's was going for when he answered the new rebuttal question made by Mark whose link appears in the comments of ac15's answer. This is primarily because although it doesn't address the extra step part, it presents the axiomatic nature of things more clearly in the sense that "when one accepts an existence of god, then that means this, and therefore this follows."
    – DKNguyen
    Commented Mar 25 at 22:32
  • 8
    This is nothing but classic special pleading. I don't know why anyone with a philosophical bent would take this seriously. Commented Mar 26 at 9:51
  • 3
    @JackAidley if there's a moving line of railroad cars, it's not special pleading to suppose that, because even an infinite line of railroad cars can't do any moving, there must be a locomotive different from all the rest that can move on its own pulling them all. Likewise, if it can be reasonably shown that even the universe as a whole can't do something on its own because of intrinsic characteristics (such as undergoing change, or being composite), it's just as reasonable to conclude that whatever is ultimately behind it must be an exception to the rule.
    – Mutoh
    Commented Mar 26 at 12:49
  • 3
    weird uses of 'derived', 'shown' and 'demonstrated'
    – ac15
    Commented Mar 26 at 15:40
7

Say we live in a computer simulation of a universe (c.f. "The Matrix"). This would be a designed universe, but there is nothing miraculous about the creator, just a very good programmer. The programmer could be omniscient, omnipotent etc., no problem to include a back door so that the laws if the simulation apply differently to the programmer's avatar.

Time for the simulation begins when the simulation starts running, but not for the programmer, who pre-existed our universe. The programmer could be said to exist outside of time. Note also that the simulation doesn't necessarily run in "real time" - processes on computers are often suspended to allow some other process to run etc. The operating system is designed such that the process is oblivious to this happening - as far as the process is concerned, it has the computer to itself. So even while the simulation is running, the programmer exists outside the constraints of time as experienced by the simulation.

Now have a being that can make a physical universe (advanced science)...

As I said in the comments, questions like this generally serve only for people to reinforce their prior (dis) belief and progress in unlikely as there is no form of evidence that would be acceptable to all sides.

Of course, I suspect I have already gone through this with "Thinkingman" ;o)

14
  • 2
    Almost all debates involve a difference in prior beliefs but this doesn’t mean certain prior beliefs aren’t more rational than others. For example, it would be ridiculous to have a high prior in people surviving falls after death even after seeing tons of people die after falling from a cliff. Similarly, it is arguably irrational to have any sort of high prior belief in any entity that does not have evidence. This is because of the simple fact that one can invent an infinite number of unfalsifiable deities, or cosmic programmers as you say, none of which have any more evidence than the other. Commented Mar 26 at 9:44
  • 2
    Just to expand on that to avoid confusion, suppose someone has a “low” prior for people dying from falling at high heights. They then see 1000 people die from falling at high heights. However, they refuse to incorporate this evidence. Now, when they come across the 101th person about to jump off a cliff, their “prior” based on their previous faulty evidence considerations is still very low. But it should be high. Thus, this current “prior” is irrational and unjustified Commented Mar 26 at 9:47
  • 3
    @Baby_philosopher we have no evidence on which to base a prior for this one. Nobody is saying that you should have a high prior - my position is the opposite, a rational prior is one that holds no strong view either way on questions where we have no evidence and no prospect of evidence that both sides would consider admissible and "theoretical" justifications can be made for both answers. Better to keep an open mind, but not so open your brain falls out (Sagan?) Commented Mar 26 at 9:47
  • 2
    But that very claim is in dispute (I.e. the claim that there is no evidence). The way you phrase it makes it seem as if theists and non theists both agree that there is no prospect of evidence for either side. This is not true. Do you think that there is no prospect of evidence for Scientology or Santa Claus? I’m not trying to equate God to Santa Claus. I’m genuinely curious about your position here Commented Mar 26 at 11:48
  • 3
    @Baby_philosopher I made it clear that the problem is that there is no evidence that is admissible/acceptable to both sides of the debate. Commented Mar 26 at 12:13
3

I think you might have a hidden presupposition in your question. Let me tease that out.

Supposing the existence of God to be true for the sake of the following options.

Option 1: God exists within time and space

Suppose that time and space are the highest order of things, the universe exists via purely natural means, therefore God exists within time and space and came about with the universe, then yes, the existence of such a divine being would be more miraculous than the existence of the universe itself. I think your original question pre-supposes that God exists within time and space, no?

Option 2: God exists outside of time and space

God, as a being outside of time and space, is responsible for the creation of the universe. God simply "is" and is unbounded by time/space. It follows then that time and space are "created" things (along with the rest of the universe). In this case, I suppose the universe's existence is the greater miracle since God exists-because-he-must-exist in this scenario... an unsatisfying tautology, I'm aware ;-)

The broader context of your question seems to be about whether the apparent design of our universe is favorable to the existence of God. To be clear, my answer is not an answer to that question. It just speaks to how "miraculous" the existence of God would be in these two scenarios outlined.

Hopefully I've understood your question and answered as fairly and charitably. The original question seemed like it could have gone in a couple directions.

0
1

The formulation of your question presupposes the existence of God. Your question only asks, if his/her existence is miraculous, i.e. without natural explanation. But the main point is whether the concept “God” has a referent, i.e. whether God exists.

One should not discuss the “why?” before there is agreement about the facts.

I agree that until now several fundamental questions about our universe did not find an answer. In such a situation it is a nearby way-out to imagine the universe as being created like human create other complex objects. But the missing of a natural explanation does not imply that the answer from design must be correct. Instead one has to present positive arguments for the existence of God. This has been attempted since time immemorial by theologians, without coming to a general accepted result.

Aside: The whole problem discussed in your last section has been discussed since the advent of Darwin’s theory of evolution and already long before. At this point I will not recall the arguments in favour of the theory of evolution once more.

3
  • What arguments do theists use anyway? I can think of "creation requires a creator", "something dependent requires something independent to bring it about". What is the problem with these arguments? Commented Mar 26 at 12:27
  • @AbdelAleem Arguments like these do not apply to the origin of species due to selforganisation - according to the theory of evolution. In addition, nobody knows about the origin of the universe.
    – Jo Wehler
    Commented Mar 26 at 12:35
  • but evolution is dependent on natural laws of physics, biology, chemistry etc. There is a myriad of conditions and circumstances for life to thrive. It isn't at all something that is "self-organised" from that point of view. Theists can rightfully ask questions like: What brought about these factors? Pure luck and coincidence or purpose and intent? What is the ultimate explanation behind these laws? Commented Mar 26 at 12:41
1

Certainly, a all seeing, all judging, ever present God as proposed or purported is something which is weird.

The question assumes that the universe or any thing ever created is through conscious creation. If today's AI trends tell you anything, "conscious" beings try to provide large enough data in hopes of creating something with partial consciousness with some black box mathematics - increasing complexity with simple rules/layers.

We emerged out of the process of this universe, especially when the universe as we know it at the time of Big Bang was just a really hot proton soup. For the protons to come together and form Hydrogen, to then form Helium through nuclear fusion due to the force of gravity and for those atoms to themselves form denser and denser atoms until Iron where the stars explode - creating larger atoms still, leads to a very strange realisation. That there is no conscious process at play to create us, just very simple rules.

If you have ever seen a "Game of Life" by Conway play out, you will come to the realisation that all it takes is some extremely simple rules to appear as extremely complex processes.

But then the question becomes, the same simple processes which gave rise to our personal consciousness did they manifest to form a universal consciousness too? Or was it the other way around?

Did the universal consciouness rather gave rise to the individual consciousness as we experience it? Would our purpose then be to let entropy rise to point where we become one or dissolve into nothingness?

From the Hindu belief system, especially in the Advait school of thought, the world and every particle and being inhabiting it isn't seen as being different from the Supreme being. The material world with gross matter came much later than chit (roughly translated as ego/consciousness) itself. The idea that there is only one reserved thing which exhibits divinity is absurd. Advait philosophy also gives rise to the question, what gave rise to material itself, what is it's origin, how is it different from the Supreme consciousness?

1
  • 1
    It does indeed seem that the basis of complex structures is inevitably a structure of great simplicity.
    – user73419
    Commented Apr 1 at 14:04
1

You would rightfully call it ridiculous.

All of this is not ridiculous.

If you believe in God, then every single statement in your question is true.

If you do not believe in God, then every single statement in your question is ... less than true, depending on where you fall on the Spectrum.

In the first case, it would be awful to ridicule people for their belief. In the second case, there is nothing really to gain since you are starting with an axiom that you cannot prove through your arguments except in a circular manner (which you will find people will not accept).

And all of it is less a matter of philosophy, but of each individuals belief system and "need" for explanation.

1

Combining the views in the other answers, results in:

God is identical to the laws of physics.

And indeed, according to some physics lectures on youtube, the laws of physics were created at the big bang. Before that, there was no time, no space, no laws of physics. Most laws of physics are just know for some 100, 150 years. Before that, it was perfectly reasonable to use the God metaphore.

References, e.g:

https://youtube.com/shorts/VvvvfyPd8XE Stephen Hawkins explained about time space continuum having a closed surface, similar that there is nothing more south than the south pole.

https://youtu.be/dr6nNvw55C4 at about 13:10 dr Don Lincoln says that physics breaks down before 10 to the power of minus 43 seconds after the big bang

https://youtu.be/Su3djmyY9FU a talk at the New York Academy of Physics on Where do the laws of physics come from.

https://youtu.be/TGs4C60FR68 theoretical physicist Sean Carrol explains that, if there are multiple universes, they can have different laws of physics

5
  • 1
    Your answer could be improved with additional supporting information. Please edit to add further details, such as citations or documentation, so that others can confirm that your answer is correct. You can find more information on how to write good answers in the help center.
    – Community Bot
    Commented Mar 27 at 23:01
  • 1
    @Community please see my expanded answer
    – Roland
    Commented Mar 30 at 2:20
  • Physics is not the full picture of God, however, it is a direct revelation of Truth and of the essence of God. Nowhere do we brush so close to God's nature than in the study of physics.
    – user73419
    Commented Apr 1 at 13:57
  • @AlbertusMagnus if you know what your god is more than physics, please be clear and share it with us. Note that physics clearly exists, but that nobody has actually seen a god (in a reproducible way).
    – Roland
    Commented Apr 1 at 20:54
  • @ Roland If you have seen physics, then you have glimpsed the back side of God. God is transcendent and beyond the universe, however, we experience God indirectly, as we do all things. It is important to remember that one need not be anthropomorphic with one's understanding of God. If one can say truth or physics, then one could just as well have said God. The only thing outdated about God is the word God, philosophers are all seeking the same thing that they have always sought, viz. the face of God. We mortals must settle for "his hinder parts" as it were.
    – user73419
    Commented Apr 1 at 21:18
0

Here is what Muslims believe: "God was always there. We are living in a dimension that has time and space. But God exists somewhere in another dimension with no concept of time and space. But this universe has time and space and it cannot exist without it." So God is always there - He needed to design this whole universe for us to think about it. Of course, nothing can exist without a creator, a common sense!

1
0

Is God’s very existence the ultimate miracle?

One definition of a miracle is:

a highly improbable or extraordinary event, development, or accomplishment that brings very welcome consequences.

So the answer to your question is Yes, but this means acknowledging that God's existence is the ultimate improbable event.

This may seem like wordplay, but the philosophical links on this site to God via improbable events are undeniable.

0

There is one idea, once accepted, that carries the potential to demystify God's miracles.

If you think about it, intelligent life will eventually abandon flash and bones and move into digital existence. If not in the next one thousand years, then definitely in the next one million years. Once you accept this evolutionary inevitability, then you will notice that in a digital world there are no miracles. What you can think of, I can create virtual reality for.

8
  • 1
    "What you can think of, I can create virtual reality for." No, you can't. I thought up a design for a hypercomputer in general relativity. You can't built a virtual reality for it without being able to build the real one first.
    – Joshua
    Commented Mar 26 at 3:42
  • 2
    Inevitability? That is just a false assumption. You cannot guarantee that more meteorites could not strike earth in the next 100, 500 years or that we would successfully deflect them in time or that we would succeed in settling on multiple planets that we could avoid human extinct. Or we could all die before then due to climate change. Commented Mar 26 at 11:45
  • @stackoverblown - Do you consider growing old a 100% inevitability? If someone dies young, it does not change the inevitability of growing old. Commented Mar 27 at 1:09
  • @TheMatrixEquation-balance Please don't try to pull a false equivalence. Commented Mar 27 at 10:11
  • 1
    @TheMatrixEquation-balance Growing old isn't inevitable, because you can die young... I think you might be using that word wrong.
    – JMac
    Commented Mar 27 at 14:04
0

You seem to be of the opinion that God is more likely to be caused than the universe. There are inductive and deductive cosmological arguments, and in both of these God is uncaused.

Aquinas' deductive cosmological argument is explicitly for something that is uncaused

there must be something whose necessity is uncaused

So such a theist is arguing for a God that is not more likely to be caused than the universe. Other variations of the cosmological argument, e.g. Swinburne's inductive argument

contends that it is very unlikely that a universe would exist uncaused, but more likely that God would exist uncaused. It is likely that if there is a God, he will make something like the finite and complex universe. The puzzling existence of the universe can be made comprehensible (explicable) if we suppose it is brought about by a personal God with intentional beliefs and the power to bring intentions to fruition (2004: 152).

Simplicity - insofar as theism posists both natural and supernatural things - may be a better counter-argument for atheism than arguing that God's necessity is likely to be caused.

The problem seems to be that you are arguing against a God that no-one believes in.


My two cents is that omnipotence is more likely than the universe is to not be caused by something else. I would think it very likely that an omnipotent being would have the capacity to bring itself about.

e.g. for Descartes, God is the efficient cause of himself

God is causa sui, since the immense power of his capacity to bestowing existence on himself.

which just shows I may be talking about God and not in a muddled way.

14
  • 1
    why was my answer voted down. it was well referecned, well reasoned, and did engage the specifics of the question, one which i found ugly
    – andrós
    Commented Mar 25 at 14:15
  • 1
    Probably because they're just not ready for it. I found the jump from the question to your answer jarring.
    – Joshua
    Commented Mar 26 at 3:48
  • 1
    ok yeah, door in the face technique may not be suitable, even if it is a philosophical door. thanks @Joshua
    – andrós
    Commented Mar 26 at 6:16
  • The whole problem with the last paragraph is that it is just begging the question, in some very strange ways. "I would think it very likely that an omnipotent being would have the capacity to bring itself about." So the being has to exist so that it can orchestrate it's own existence? That seems more complicated and unfounded than either God or the Universe just existing without cause.
    – JMac
    Commented Mar 26 at 12:24
  • 1
    @user66697 Just because others have made the argument, it doesnt mean it isnt flawed... Your own answer has God as both "uncaused" and "the cause of himself". What do those statements really even mean? Just stating a contradiction doesnt mean anything exists that actually has those contradictory properties.
    – JMac
    Commented Mar 26 at 12:59
0

Our existence is a bigger miracle than His.

He didn't need to create us, but we need Him.

We understand this because each of us has a father and a mother.

Who says God doesn't have a Father?

2
0

Q: Does the argument from order apply to God? (Before it changes again 🙂)

You are right. Both the concept of God and --the more real- universe are quite complex. But they very different kinds to be compared and decide what is more complex of the two. And maybe we don't have to.

From one side, we have Science, which has been advancing by giant steps since its beginnings, much earlier that the time the term has been coined. It represents the Universe.

On the other side, we have philosophy and religion, which are quite cumbersome in their movement. It is clear I think that there no much advancement in either. Aristotle and other ancient philosophers are still discussed today and Christianity, represented by the Bible, is not very different than Mythology and ancient religions. So, this side represents God.

One side walks on a steady ground, based on reality, facts, history, data, and evidence/proofs. The other one hangs about in our minds and is totally unstable, it has little to do with reality, facts, history, data or evidence/proofs. Its manly based on speculation.

And something very important here: People tend to talk about God as if there's a single kind of God, addressing to Him with a capital, as a stereotype. Yet, the Judeo-Christian God is different from the Islamic God, the gods of the Hindus, etc. This and the fact that each religion believes its God or gods are the unique ones, makes the concept of God even more "fragile".


Re: "How could His existence be less miraculous than the universe?" I wouldn't use the word "miraculous" for either. I simply can't see any miracle. The world as we know it has not been created at once, with a single action, as a magician produces a rabbit or pigeons out of nothing. It took billions of years to be developed and evolved. And the process is explained in its largest part by Science is. So, where's the miracle? Only a religion like Judeo-Christianity could claim that it was created in 7 days.


Talking about order: I believe there is much more disorder in nature than order. Try to think of things that are ordered, harmonic, symmetrical, etc. Then think about things that are disordered, disharmonic, asymmetrical, etc. You can dot with the least effort, can't you?

We need to have order in our lives. We dislike and hate disorder and randomity. Order means safety. Disorder and randomity means danger.


Re: "I’m not sure how God, being supposedly uncreated, solves the issue." I'm not sure what is the issue you are referring to exactly. Lack of order?


Re: Robots Robots are created by man, like billions of other things. Because they look and act like humans, it doesn't mean there's something miraculous or especially admirable or fascinating about them. Mechanical and electric toys looked and behaved like humans much earlier than the invention of robots. Puppets and dolls too were fascinating objects since thousands years ago.


Re: "What is the argument against God's probability?" I assume that you mean what is the probability that God exists, right? I also assume that you are referring to the omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient Judeo-Christian God. Right? Therefore you are talking about a God who created the Universe in 7 days, about 5- 6,000 years ago. Right?

Well, what could be the probability for the existence of such a God? (Rhetorical question 😃)

-1

[There are Christian atheists and Jewish atheists and...]
Richard you're a Christian atheist

Rabbi Sacks to Richard Dawkins

So in the Rabbi's spirit let me ask you, Which God are you asking about?

Let's say God for X is whatever is the supreme or key ontic entity in X's religious belief system.

Let's examine a few:

  • Many people across the ages and cultures worship the Sun.
    Do you find the Sun's existence a miracle?
  • Others worship astrology ie. the planets. So they direct their religiosity towards appeasing the malefic and beseeching the benefic planets. See benefic-malefic
    So is the great benefic blesser Jupiter or the malefic Saturn miraculous?
  • Others worship their ancestors
    Are your ancestors miraculous?

Now you may protest: Of course these exist or existed but assuming they can hear my prayers is not legitimate!

[Assuming you do protest thus] Notice that You have to change your atheistic argument to each religious framework!

Summary

You seem to be asking about the Christian God
[Or Judeo Christian Or Abrahamic God]

There is in fact:
No atheist argument that spans/addresses all religions

8
  • Are there any theist arguments that span/address all religions?
    – Dave X
    Commented Mar 26 at 16:16
  • @DaveX The word "theism" simply does not apply to much — in fact most ­— religions outside of the Abrahamic so-called monotheisms. I could add some more on this to this answer. But this should really be another question
    – Rushi
    Commented Mar 26 at 16:24
  • I'm not convinced that the difficulty in defining religion leads to a difficulty in defining atheism (more than the extent to which any word like 'chair' or 'capitalism' is undefinable due to the nature of language and reality)?
    – Kaia
    Commented Mar 26 at 20:07
  • @Kaia I don't understand — You will need to articulate a bit more what you are trying to say. Theism and religion are unrelated phenomena ? That would be extreme! Theism and religion are empirically less related than a Christian may presuppose. And therefore an atheist needs to do much more work defining what exactly they are opposing/rejecting. Unless they are fine being merely "Christian atheists' ?? Yeah that comes close to what I am saying.
    – Rushi
    Commented Mar 27 at 2:09
  • @Kaia OYOH if you are literally saying These are all just words Well uh... so is everything. — Assuming good faith on all sides all communication is language but is about something outside of language. So you need to clarify ...
    – Rushi
    Commented Mar 27 at 2:09

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .