A few weeks ago, I made a video that I titled “Undeniable Proof of God’s Existence.” The point of the video was to illustrate how inconsistent and illogical it is for people to expect undeniable proof before they will honestly explore the possibility of God’s existence.
And, unfortunately, a large portion of viewers of that video felt cheated by the title, apparently, anticipating that I had promised to offer undeniable proof rather than talk about this unreasonable standard – which essentially proves the point of the video.
The thesis of the video was left unanswered by these critics, some of whom made video responses of their own. So, I thought I’d do a follow up to that video here in which I will illustrate that thesis in, what I hope will be a more convincing way, as well as offer an actual proof in the process.
Before I present the proof in question, I want to provide a little context as well as an explanation for how I’m going to present it and why.
The first thing I’ll say is that it isn’t well known. I only learned about it relatively recently in spite of the fact that I’ve been reading about various arguments and proofs for God’s existence for as long as I’ve been a theist and Christian – which is over 15 years now.
And whenever I’ve mentioned it to other, well-read, and well-educated theists, I’ve yet to find someone who is familiar with it.
And that’s revealing. There aren’t many commentaries you can read about this proof and there are even fewer people who understand it well enough to discuss it in any meaningful way.
The fact that it is less conspicuous than more popular proofs like the Kalam Cosmological argument or St. Thomas Aquinas’ 5 ways isn’t because of some deficiency in the argument, but rather because I don’t think many people are up to the task of wrestling with it.
The point here being that it is so sophisticated, that there are only a select few who can make heads or tails of it. What that means is, it may very well represent the limits of what human thought can produce on the question of God’s existence.
There are critiques of the proof, but even they appear to lack the kind of confidence you usually find in an explicit refutation. They appear to be more questioning its implications and axioms than anything else.
And yes, it does rely on axioms which seems to be the source of any of the complaints I’ve read about it, but if your only complaint is that the axioms can’t be proven, then you run the risk of throwing the baby out with the bathwater in order to avoid accepting the God’s existence.
Because the fundamental laws of logic are axioms which cannot be proven, not the least of which is the assumption that the universe is intelligible such that our reason can be meaningfully applied to.
For example, in many of the responses to my previous video, people said that anything that exists should be empirically demonstrable and since nobody has managed to this in the case of God, or so it’s claimed, then there is no proof of God’s existence.
But the claim that the only kind of valid knowledge is empirical knowledge, is not itself, proven empirically which either makes it an axiom adopted on faith, which atheists like Bertrand Russel admitted, or it’s self refuting.
The other thing I should mention, because this may seem curious, but I have a good reason which reinforces the point of this video, is that I’m not going to tell you who came up with this proof except to say that this person is acknowledged by anyone familiar with them, to be one of the greatest minds ever – full stop.
The point of that, for me, is, that before any of you convince yourselves that you have a refutation for the argument, you will have to also convince yourself that you have somehow detected an error in logic that one of the greatest logicians ever somehow missed.
So what’s more likely, that they’re wrong… or that you’re wrong.
The reason I’m not going to share the identity of the originator of this argument is because I want you and you alone to try to either concede it or refute it without running to some other source to do the heavy lifting of refuting it.
You’re the one demanding proof which assumes that you can handle the proof when it’s offered. If you have to go look it up and find someone else’s refutation of it, then you shouldn’t be asking for proof of a concept that exceeds your ability to understand.
Because anyone who insists that God be proven to them has to concede that whatever proof is offered is one that you can understand. That’s the only way something can truly be proven to someone.
If the recipient of a proof can’t understand the proof, then it hasn’t been proven to them. For example, if I recited Boyle's law to my 4-year-old son, can it be said that I had proven it to him, considering he won’t understand it?
No. Whatever consideration he has for its validity isn’t based his own intellectual scrutiny of it, but instead whether he believes me or not when I tell him that it’s true. For him, it’s not a question of reason, but of faith, as to whether he adopts the conclusion or not because his reason can’t grasp it.
And, allow me to dwell on this for a second, because I think it’s important and largely neglected. I want you to ask yourself if there are true concepts known or unknown that are beyond your intellectual ability to understand.
Anyone who’s honest will have to admit that, yes, there are concepts that fit that description. Well, God, by definition, is far greater than any of those concepts, known or unknown. So when you demand proof be given, you’re assuming that you can understand the most intellectually remote concept imaginable.
God, by definition, as he is proposed by theists, is beyond any human capacity to fully understand. So, if you’re reply is, prove God to me in a way that I can understand, then you’re standard of proof is self-contradictory… and you should stop doing that because it makes you look silly when you say things like that.
What this tells us is that any proof for God’s existence, is merely a human formula that attempts to render the concept for us in a logical way – but any human formula will rely on the cleverness of whoever formulates it and as long as someone cleverer is available to us, there will be disputes about it.
In other words, human logic will always be contentious. That doesn’t prove or disprove God’s existence. And that’s all this proof does as well.
So I think that’s enough from me. I’m going to put the proof up on the screen and I want you to honestly ask yourself if it makes a difference to you. Chances are, you’re among the 99.9% of people who have no idea what this proof means and even though it’s perfectly valid logic, very few of us would know one way or the other.
But that’s what demanding proof gets you. If you want to ask the most difficult question imaginable, unless you’re insanely arrogant, you should be prepared for a response that exceeds your ability to understand. Which means, you have to walk away empty handed, or you have to try to make sense of the explanations that do appear at your level and admit that whatever conclusion you adopt, is a conclusion, at least partly, dependant on faith.
Computer verified study of Godel’s proof which avoids Modal Collapse: https://arxiv.org/pdf/2001.04701v1.pdf