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What is so great about a God limited to the powers of his people?

Believers have a hard time grasping the concept of a powerful God, one with an intellectual and physical capacity far greater than the best human we could find in response. This isn’t always a struggle to comprehend what we are unable to. It seems that many theological arguments abandon the notion of omnipotence altogether, perceiving God as an overgrown, universally travelled human.

I received an interesting response today, the nature of which needs addressing as I have heard it all too often. I asked a blogger why he feels the need to speak on behalf of a God and why doing so only highlights the lack of input from God himself. This was the response:

Your argument about people speaking on behalf of God being a reason to doubt his existence seems strange to me. After all, as an analogy, consider that before the age of mass communication, many more people would speak for the President, and you might have never seen the President speak, but that does not mean that the President did not exist. And even today, many more people speak for the President than he does himself, but that does not mean he does not exist. In the same way, many more people speak for God, but God does directly show His involvement in the world from time to time as well. The fact that He does not do so in a way that you view to be more frequent is not a significant reason to doubt His existence.

 One thing should register in the analogy. God and the president are compared as if they are on level playing fields. This is not the case, or shouldn’t be if the blogger is to truly believe in a universe fine-tuned by divine consciousness. What goes through the mind of a believer when comparing God to a human. Is it a lack of ability to comprehend such power? I do not believe so. I fully understand your belief that I am incapable of understanding the mind of God, even if I cannot possess the brainpower of a deity. I also understand that humans of the future will possess knowledge that I do not, that is knowable without being that future human. Theist bloggers talk of a God as if he is only capable of human feats not because of our limited understanding of such a God, more a lack of expectation for such a God.

Atheists expect a demonstration of the power theists worship, even if theists are happy to settle with a God no more powerful than themselves. 

What is so great about a God limited to the powers of a president?

2 replies »

  1. Evan in an age before mass communication, human leaders did better than the christian god does at verifying their existence. A president could write down things himself, and have them printed, and not have to rely on multiple contradictory third-hand accounts of what he said. He could show up at gatherings, so lots of people could verify that they had seen and heard him personally. He could have portraits painted of himself and distributed so that everybody could know what he looked like. His spokesmen would not be arguing with each other about what the President’s position on something was, if there was a disagreement, they could just go back to the President to get it cleared up.

    The christian god manages none of this. If an all-powerful god can’t manage anything better than the confusing mess of modern religions, then what use is it?

    Liked by 1 person

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