On the Nature of a Supreme Being

There is an argument against the existence of a supreme being that is both omniscient and allows for freewill. If there exists an omniscient supreme being then he must know everything including the decisions every human would take. Since he knows every decision one will make, then freewill cannot exist. If freewill is a reality then there must be a limit to what the supreme being knows and therefore not be omniscient.

The omniscience of God also brings into question the deity’s purported all-loving nature. In Christian belief, the wicked and the unjust face eternal punishment in hell (hell may be an actual place as is believed by many in the medieval age or may be an eternal state of suffering as argued by contemporary theologians but it doesn’t matter in this argument). If God is all loving and knows everything, then he knows who will reject him and be tormented in hell. It is only natural to ask: why would he create beings he knows would reject him? Hence, it would be impossible for God to be all loving while knowing everything given that hell exists. There are three possibilities here:

(1)   God is omniscient and all loving but hell does not exist

(2)  God is omniscient but not all loving since hell exists

The third possibility is problematic because it would state that (3) God is not omniscient but is all loving even if hell exists. The existence of hell is truly mind boggling to the concept of a just God let alone an all loving one. Regardless of its nature, hell is always defined as eternal punishment. An important question that should be asked here is: What kind of offense would merit such drastic consequence? Those who committed murder, rape, or theft must not escape with impunity. There must be a way for them to pay a price for their actions if there is a just God. However, it is inconceivable to think of a transgression that should evoke the wrath of God as to be punished forever. It isn’t just a hundred years of wailing and gnashing of teeth. Not five hundred. Not a thousand. Not even a million. It is an infinite amount of time.

With only a few arguments, it is easy to see how much inconsistencies there are in believing in a Christian god. While the teachings of Jesus have their merit and could potentially be used in helping one be a better person, it is difficult to understand how Christianity could be a rational belief if its base assumptions are faulty.

On a more personal note, I also find it strange that a requisite for salvation is faith. If a philanthropic and just man who does not believe in god dies, would he be condemned to eternal damnation? It is in the nature of man to doubt; I don’t see any reason why he should be condemned. Moreover, if God truly is a supreme being, then why must he work in ways so mysterious that there is room to doubt his existence?

I was born and raised a Catholic. I want to believe in what I was taught for nearly two decades but these simple problems with the nature of the Christian god I grew up with are making me question everything.


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