‘The idea of God is incoherent’ discuss. (30 marks)
I will be discussing how the idea of God is incoherent due to many of his traditional attributes being mutually incoherent. God cannot possess many of his attributes together because they simply do not make sense. First is God’s omnipotence. He is said to be all-powerful, for example it is said in Genesis that “God created the heavens and the earth”. His omnipotence is shown in the creation of the world and how the world still ceases to exist, as he is sustaining it. Omnipotence is one of the key attributes that God must possess in order for the idea of God to be coherent. But can God do the logically impossible? For example can God make 1+1=3? It is beyond the realms of logic and is a logical impossibility. It is simply impossible. Pious philosophers argue that logic is no limit on God’s omnipotence but many philosophers have limited god’s omnipotence to ‘the power to do anything logically possible’ as logical impossibilities are simply nothing at all. There is also the stone paradox. Can God create a stone He cannot lift? If he does create it, then He will not be able to lift the stone and therefore he is not omnipotent as there is something he cannot do. However if he doesn’t create the stone then there is also something he cannot do and cannot be omnipotence. But as many philosophers would argue, this is a contradiction in its self and therefore is a pseudo-task. It looks like a threat, but again it is a logically impossibility and therefore is nothing at all. God’s omnipotence and supreme goodness (Omni-benevolence) are mutually incoherent attributes with the existence of evil. This is known as the inconsistent triad because these 2 attributes and the proposition ‘evil exists’ cannot all co-exist. How is it possible for evil to exist in the world and God being all-loving if he has the power to stop it? The idea of God appears to be incoherent. For example, God does not want us to die of starvation because he loves us, but he doesn’t stop it. This simply does not make sense. An all-loving, supreme God would not allow the existence of evil if He is all-powerful. An omnipotent God could exist with evil if he was not all-loving, and an omni-benevolent god could exist with evil without having any power. However this inconsistence is dependent upon how each person interprets it. There is a deductive argument that claims the mere existence of evil is logically incompatible with the existence of an all-powerful, all-loving God. There is one interpretation to keep God a coherent idea. If we presume that with God being supremely good, He wishes to eliminate all evil. However this isn’t true if some evil is necessary for a greater good. For example, what would love be like without sadness? Some evil is actually necessary to make the world as good a place as it is. Without sadness, we would not be able to appreciate what love would be like. So fundamentally, we could not appreciate what is good in life unless we experience evil to contrast it. So being good, God does not desire to eliminate all evil and his existence is not logically incompatible with the existence of evil. Following this, there is the evidential problem. It is understood that some evil is necessary for good, but is so much evil necessary? Some philosophers claim that the amount and distribution of evil that exists is good evidence that an omnipotent, good god cannot exist. For example there are masses of children around the globe dying of diseases, and animals suffering in natural disasters. Surely an omnipotent, good god would want to eradicate these evils? However this idea of the distribution of evil being proof of god’s incoherence clashes with the concept of free will. God cannot make people with free will act for good because it defeats the point of free will altogether. We are morally imperfect beings so, depending on how you interpret it, the idea of god can be coherent or incoherent. Another one of...
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