Geoffrey Berg, The Six Ways of Atheism (2009).

He presents six new arguments against the existence of God. Not all of them are meant to be understood as disproofs of God but merely proofs that we should consider God's existence unlikely.

Here we consider his Argument 5: The Universal Uncertainty Argument

1. An uncertain God is a contradiction in terms.

2. Everything in the Universe must be fundamentally uncertain about its own relationship to the Universe as a whole because there is no way of attaining such certainty.

3. Therefore even an entity with all God’s other qualities cannot have the final quality of certain knowledge concerning its own relationship to the Universe as a whole.

4. Therefore God cannot exist because even any potential God cannot know for sure that it is God.


If the argument is correct, then it shows that we have the right to oppose things that God may reveal to us for we might know better or be entitled to think we might know better.

The Christian answer to the argument is that God to be God would have to be creator and a creator would know his creation completely. But that assumes that creation by God is coherent. It is in fact rubbish.

Another answer is that the argument only applies to a God who is seen as part of the universe instead of the reason it exists.

God didn't create himself we are told. We are told he just exists. I am me and even I cannot know me 100%. Does God know himself? It is doubtful.

God can know he exists 100% but he cannot equally be sure that he is God. In the same way, I know 100% that I exist now. I can't be as sure that I existed a minute ago or will exist in a moment's time. If I am an accountant I may be dreaming that I am an accountant or taking part in some experiment that simulates reality. So the only thing I can know is that I exist. When I speak of knowing other things, I don't mean I am 100% certain but have justified beliefs that may be wrong. Belief is not certainty. I am sure I exist because I experience it. I know I experience other things but I cannot know if these experiences are telling me the truth. The reason is that I am me and the experiences are not me. It is impossible for God to know anything 100% apart from that he is conscious. He cannot know that he is God. This argument was left out of Berg's book - sadly.

God has infinite knowledge. But this is impossible. If God has believes then God is not omniscient. The concept of God is incoherent.

Some insane people are convinced their experience tells them they are God. This proves that God cannot know he is God.

Mystics in Hinduism report an experience in which they "discover" that they are God. They have an experience in which they think time stops and they experience what it is like to live outside time like God does. But the fact that they are still uncertain about many things proves that if they are God then God is indeed uncertain and is not really God!

God might have to use logic to work out that he is all-powerful and so on. Why can't he implant that logic in us?

Berg on page 139 analyses what believers mean when they say God knows all things. Believers mean that God knows all that it is logically possible to know. He cannot for example know who the seventh wife of Henry VIII was for she didn't exist. He only knows what has happened, what is happening, and what will happen. He cannot know what the world would be like if 2 + 2 = 5. They mean that he has infinite and unlimited knowledge of what is real or will be real or has been real.

I would link this doctrine of God's all-knowledge to creation. If God can make something out of nothing then surely he can know who Henry VIII's seventh wife was? Doing something with nothing is harder than knowing something that never actually happened. If he can't do one he can't do the other.

Turning a circle into a square circle is absurd. But it is not as bad as saying nothing can be turned into something. At least with the circle there is something there in the first place to change.

People prefer to court the emotional and irrational than the rational. If God really made us in his image it would be the other way around. We would be more rational and a better image of a rational God than what we are.

Argument 5 says that a God who is unsure of the truth is a contradiction in terms.  It says all beings are unsure so God cannot exist.  The Christian answer is based on God making all things from nothing so he knows exactly what is happening.  The answer to that is creation is magic.  God uses nothing but just tells the universe to exist and it appears.   Creation is nonsense.  Berg needs to debunk creation to make the argument work.

God to be God must know all things. But no conscious being can know anything in the literal sense apart from the fact that it exists. God cannot exist because God cannot know for sure that it is God.

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