Sunday, September 22, 2013

"Not What God Intends"

Karyn Wieseman's HuffPo piece, "Not What God Intends", is another example of the innate contradictions and/or self-delusions that exist within faith. Personally, I agree that society and life should be more peaceful but the conclusion that violence and conflict must be against God's intentions does not follow. There are a number of problems with Wieseman's line of thinking.

One of the biggest problems, theologically and philosophically, with her primary assertion is that it is not compatible with one of the main traits of Christianity. If Christianity really is monotheistic then God has to be perfect and all-powerful.* It logically follows that if God is all-powerful we cannot possibly have free will. Every detail of the universe is exactly as it has to be. It would literally be impossible for things to occur that are not caused by God. In this sense everything is as God intends it to be.

There is also the question of whether it is even possible for God to have intentions. To have intent you first have to have a mind. Does God have a mind? How is that possible? Most contemporary theologians don't agree on much but most seem to agree that God does not have a physical body. Since the mind is a product of the brain it seems unlikely that God has a mind from which to form let alone project intentions.

Even for the sake of argument simply accepting God has intentions and that somehow we mere mortals can defy God's will there is still another problem with Wieseman's assertion. How the fuck can imperfect beings possibly know what the intentions of a perfect being are?

I find it hard to believe that most religious people either understand what they claim to believe or believe them to the extent they want to think they do. Most religious concepts are either incoherent or contradictory.

*I've previously written about this. Some previous posts in which I have talked about this include "Monotheism and Morality" (12/10/11), "Monotheism and Christianity" (12/31/11), and "The Same God" (9/8/13).

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