Pray to god or gods for wisdom, enlightenment, and guidance (e.g. “grace”)
Are at least somewhat serious in their prayer, and open to a response from their deity
Most people are the religion of their parents
Never in the history of the world has a religion spontaneously appeared in a second location (i.e. without a missionary or other cultural exchange)
Every religion has had at least one prophet or person to whom the religion was revealed.
Proof by contradiction
Assume that a God exists who listens to people who pray to God as they know him and who at least sometimes answers prayers.
Then we would could God to answer prayers for religious enlightenment by revealing the true religion to the person praying to him, perhaps making that person a prophet, as he has done before.
However if that were true, we could expect not only a significant number of believers of every other religion converting to the one “true” religion, but we could expect this to happen without any exposure to said religion.
This does not match observations of the real world.
Therefore, no god exists who answers prayers for knowledge or enlightenment and, because this is such a basic request, it is likely no god answers prayers at all.
I know it isn’t an ironclad or scientific proof, but it’s a hell of a lot stronger than “Isn’t the world pretty? It must be created by the gods in this particular holy book,” don’t you think?
That actually depends on how you define Christianity.
The select few who call themselves Christians without subscribing to core modern Christian beliefs (the divinity of Jesus, virgin birth, triune God-head, vicarious redemption), taking the Bible as a collection of myths and advice, could have be Christians for rational reasons. Following the Jesus character’s advice regarding how to treat one’s neighbor is a worthy goal. I don’t see any reason why this “Christianity” would be necessarily irrational.
However, anyone who believes in the same God most Christians do — a miracle-working slacker who loves and damns everyone — has a logically impossible belief-set. Heck, I used those core beliefs to prove such a god would be evil. None of it makes any sense. That kind of religion can never be rational.
You know those ridiculously sensationalist headlines that promise the world and don’t deliver? Post titles that make a claim, but end it in question marks so as to deny all liability?
This isn’t one of those posts.
Proving God is Evil
First we have to define our terms.
The triune god-head of mainline Christianity including Catholicism and most or all Protestant religions, consisting of Jesus (who is God), God the Father, and the Holy Spirit (who is also God). This God is revealed in the Bible to be un-changing. See: Numbers 23:19; 1 Samuel 15:29; Psalms 102:26; Malachi 3:6; 2 Timothy 2:13; Hebrews 6:17,18; and James 1:17. For example:
Malachi 3:6 – “For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.”
God, in one manner or another, created the entire Universe, as implied by Genesis 1 (or described by it, if you take it literally).
God does not ever lie.
Numbers 23:19 – “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent.”
This God is also all-powerful or omnipotent. The most cited verse is Matthew 19:26: “With God all things are possible.” We concede that logical impossibilities are not possible for God (e.g. making a rock so big he cannot move it), though since God created everything, including logic, that’s a debate for another day.
Lastly, God is all-knowing or omniscient. This is proclaimed in Deuteronomy 29:29 and elsewhere. We take this to mean he knows the past, present, and future, and furthermore knows the results of all his decisions before he makes them. (We ignore the likely truth that someone can not be both omniscient and omnipotent because they would not be able to change their future mind.)
The collection of writings Christians call the Bible. King James, NIV, Catholic? doesn’t really matter for our purposes. We shall take it mostly literally, except for parables and much of Genesis; this is what most Christian religions do. We also assume this is God’s primary or only means of reliable communication with humankind (ignoring forgeries and legitimate Bible scholars, not to mention intra-Biblical contradictions).
I am teasing you with definitions before the proof. But a definition of terms is important. The next one is perhaps more interesting, so bear with me.
Doing unto another as one would have the other do to them. This, the “Golden Rule,” is widely held as Jesus’ most important teaching. It can be found in Matthew 7:12 and Luke 6:31.
Knowingly doing the opposite of good.
Sinners. Taken as a the most basic tenet of Christianity, Jesus’ supposed sacrifice makes no sense otherwise.
You can’t wait, can you? On to the good stuff.
Proof, version 1
God created everything (given).
God created humankind (by 1).
Humankind is composed of sinners (given).
Sinners create evil (given).
Humankind creates evil (by 3 and 4).
God created evil (by 2 and 5).
God knew the consequences of creating everything, including humans, before he did it (given).
God knew he was creating evil (by 5 and 6).
Thus, God sinned, himself, by definition, as a sinner knowingly commits evil acts.
I dare you to find a hole in that logic, given those definitions.
You want more? Okay. But let’s define another term or two.
The ability to choose between two or more options. This does NOT mean omnipotence.
Entities that have at least the illusion of free will. This includes humans.
Proof (version 2)
If I were to create a universe and conscious beings, I would create a universe where they cannot hurt each other.
In fact, I wish all humans had free will but could not hurt each other.
It is not logically impossible for conscious beings to have free will without being able to hurt each other. Proof by contradiction / counter-example:
Assume free will requires the ability to hurt other conscious beings.
Universe X is populated by beings whose only choice is to appear green or purple to observers. This does not inhibit others’ choices or harm them.
(Implied: Universe X denizens have no language, as communication involves choice of a message.)
Universe X denizens have free will, because they can make a choice; omnipotence is neither required nor granted.
This is a counter-example to our initial assumption.
Thus, free will does not require the ability to hurt other beings.
God did not do unto me as I would have done to another conscious being.
God defined evil through the Bible (from given).
God did evil according to his own definition.
Thus, God is evil.
I like this second proof a lot, though it did require a sub-proof. I double-dare you to poke a hole in this one, too!
Well, that was easy.
I hope you enjoyed these proofs as much as I did. For more, see this eloquent rebuttal of an apologist (which the apologist attempts to rebut, but has nothing solid to contribute); it illustrates how an omniscient God is necessarily evil. That “problem” is called theodicy. You may also be interested in this wonderful article on God’s immutability.
What’s that? The soft sound of Christian readers not being swayed? “Well, this post must be wrong, because of course God can’t be evil. He is benevolent!” they think. Yet they ignore the alternative: that He does not exist at all.