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No Single Deity

No Single Deity

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Published by: UK on Aug 05, 2010
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No Single Deity
This article argues that no single deity as conceived by monotheistic religions exists. It containsthree arguments to support this position. First, it indicates that the concept of a deity isirrational. Second, it shows that the basis of belief in a deity must therefore be faith, notknowledge. Third, it considers the equal invalidity of belief in one or more than one deity.
The Belief Itself 
Monotheism is the theological belief that one deity exists. (Wikipedia contributors, 2010)Implicit in the definition is the questionable concept of a deity. A deity is generally defined as apostulated preternatural or supernatural immortal being, who may be thought of as holy,divine, or sacred, held in high regard, and respected by believers, often religiously referred to asa god. (Wikipedia contributors, 2010) In short, a deity is an immortal being who defies naturallaw.Monotheistic religions also typically endow their deities with several attributes, includingomnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, omnibenevolence, irreducible complexity, andnecessary existence. (Wikipedia contributors, 2010) However, when considered together, theycreate a dilemma. Specifically, they lead to a number of contradictions. (Martin, 1992)For example, consider only two of them, omnipotence and omnibenevolence. If a deity isomnipotent, then it is all-powerful and can do anything. If it is also omnibenevolent, or all-good,then it will always choose the best option. However, suffering is part of the human condition.Therefore, if theists consider this situation seriously, then they are left with two uncomfortablechoices. Either they should regard suffering as inherently good or they should renounce belief in the existence of their deity. The first option is irrational, leading to cognitive dissonance, andthe second is uncomfortable and difficult to accept. Yet, the second option is the only rationalchoice.This is one example of typical divine attributes that, taken together, lead to inconsistency.Other pairings present the same dilemma and considering more than two attributes togetherobviously creates an even more irrational scenario and problems such as the famous problemof evil. (Wikipedia contributors, 2010) Therefore, if a theist wishes to consider his or her deityseriously, then the only rational conclusion is disbelief.
The Basis of Belief 
Because belief in a deity as outlined above proves to be irrational, the basis for such belief cannot be knowledge. Knowledge is a result of experience and understanding. One cannotexperience and understand what remains impenetrable to reason by virtue of its incoherence.
As indicated above, the typical concept of a deity is incoherent. Therefore, one cannot knowthat a deity exists. One can only wish it true.This leaves belief in a deity with only one possible basis, faith. Faith is generally defined as theconfident belief or trust in the truth or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing. (Wikipediacontributors, 2010) In this context, faith is concerned with confident belief in the truth of theconcept of a deity. Faith for theists, then, amounts to confidence that a deity exists.Yet, as indicated above, such confidence must be irrational, since the concept of a deity isirrational. This, again, leads at the very least to cognitive dissonance. When monotheisticreligions also include beliefs about spreading their respective dogmas by convertingnonbelievers and enforcing their beliefs in secular society, then negative consequences of believing in such an irrational concept proliferate and cause harm.
arieties of Belief 
A final point to consider when thinking about the concept of a deity is the rationality of believing in only one deity, as opposed to two or more. Monotheism is only one variety of theism in the general sense. Many religions are polytheistic, meaning that their beliefspresuppose the existence of more than one deity. Such religions include Wicca and Hinduism aswell as many folk religions. (Wikipedia contributors, 2010)Since belief in a deity is based on faith, it makes no sense to argue that one such belief is truerthan another. All theistic beliefs are founded on an equally false premise, belief in a deity.

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