An essay submitted by E. C. Huddleston
Putting More Muscle in Strong Atheism
Astute Brutes: Putting More Muscle in Strong Atheism:
There are better ways to win an argument than by default. Generally, when challenged by believers, atheists will (correctly) point out that they have nothing to prove. The onus is, of course, on the believers to argue that God exists and not vice versa. This holds water, sure. Then again, so does a toilet. Yes, God is dead, but he deserves a proper burial.
Since he's to be buried, we may call logic his coffin. Logic describes the world. Physics is the world. When one allows their reasoning to divorce itself from physics, they're allowing it to stray like a lamb from the prudent shepherd that physics is.
You see, God is metaphysical. The prefix “meta” means “beyond.” That which is beyond physics is also beyond logic, and therefore illogical. When I assert that all valid logic is grounded in physics, I mean to say that all laws of logic are de facto laws of physics. When something that appears logical is overturned, it is because that supposed logic was not grounded in physics to begin with. For example, the philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer argues in his doctoral thesis that the law of causality proves that the universe must be infinite. Do we accept his “logic,” and in doing so, reject physical proof (such as cosmic microwave background radiation) of the universe's finitude? Of course not.
Believers cite God as an explanation of apparent design, first cause, beauty, etc. In doing so, they fail to see that God, by his own metaphysical nature, cannot be a valid explanation of anything. Let's say that your keys are missing. If you were to speculate why they're missing, you could propose any number of metaphysical “explanations.” Maybe a demon stole them, or God wants you to miss work to prevent you from having an accident, or perhaps a Lovecraftian 1 being has plans that require brass. These explanations all fail for the same reason: They share nothing with the phenomenon being explained. A physical explanation has, by the necessity of its own nature, an innate connection with the thing it attempts to explain. If I proposed that you dropped your keys somewhere, my explanation makes use of intrinsic properties of the keys, such as susceptibility to gravity.
Metaphysical theories, unlike logical propositions, are interchangeable by nature. Even if you experienced God coming down from Heaven and revealing himself to you, you'd have no more reason to believe that you're really seeing God than you would have to believe that you're seeing a demon from another religion trying to deceive you, a glitch in the matrix, or a fairy playing a prank. Now, how does all of this tie in with strong atheism? Because it illustrates the above point that logic's dependence on physics demands a rejection of all that is metaphysical.
We may say, given the above, that the proposition, “God is necessarily illogical” is a truism. 2 This logical rejection differs from ordinary falseness. “2+2=5” is false. “2+2= Purple” is senseless. Strong atheists assert that there is no God. In this essay, I've shown even that even that is too weak of a stance. After all, if I said, “There is no lion in this room,” I would be making a statement contingent on particular circumstances, not logical necessity. Nothing about the nature of a lion makes it impossible for it to exist in this room. However, to understand God is to reject him out of logical necessity.
- According to Wikipedia: "Lovecraftian horror is a sub-genre of horror fiction which emphasizes the cosmic horror of the unknown over gore or other elements of shock, though these may still be present. It is named after American author H. P. Lovecraft."
- An example of a truism: Socrates is a man. All men are mortal. Socrates, by possessing the property “man,” is necessarily mortal.
Originally posted: 2014-APR-02
Latest update: 2014-APR-02
Author: E.C. Huddleston