The One Minute Case against the Existence of God

A religion is an organized system of belief, most often assuming the existence of a higher power such as a supernatural almighty deity or an ultimate truth, first designed to enlighten humanity on the act of creation and produce specific prophecies that will come true if certain requirements are met. This case argues that supernatural deities do not exist, which entails the fact that all major religions are false and outdated phenomena outstripped by science, serving little other use than hampering additional scientific progress.

The cosmological argument

Some religious individuals argue that whatever begins to exist has a cause and since nothing causes itself, there has to be a First Cause, namely God. There are several objections to this argument, some of them being as following;

  • What caused the First Cause? By making use of the cosmological argument one presupposes that an uncaused effect exists, enabling it to cause a chain of effects without being caused itself. Seeing that the argument is reliant upon the premise that all effects have a cause it is in consequence invalid.
  • The First Cause is by no means equal to a deity. Even though the origin of the universe remains scientifically unexplained, it doesn’t justify supernatural religious claims.

The Teleological argument [Intelligent Design]

This argument states that some phenomena are too complex, or too apparently purposeful, to have occurred randomly. Therefore, these phenomena must have been designed by an intelligent or purposeful being (God).

– Who designed the designer? If an intelligent designer only is able to design irreducibly complex units, then an even more intelligent designer is necessary to design the original designer. This entails an infinite chain of designers. To counter this counter-argument some individuals make use of the cosmological argument. However, as explained above, this argument fails because it omits why a designer can be undersigned while the universe cannot.

William Paley’s watchmaker analogy makes use of this argument, and is to this date one of the most famous teleological arguments. He argues that there are structures which cannot function unless all substructures are present. By asserting that each substructure constitutes no benefit alone, evolutionary theory is unable to explain the substructures presence. Since the substructures presence cannot be explained, the whole structures presence cannot be explained either. Counter-arguments are as following:

  • There is a probability that all substructures came into existence simultaneously.
  • Substructures may have changed in function. A gradual replacement by several advantageous substructures’ function can lead to the evolution of structures claimed to be irreducibly complex.

The omnipotence paradox

Most, if not all, monotheistic religions claim the existence of an omnipotent God. This argument leaves the concept of omnipotence as a mere paradox unable to exist in a logical universe. If a deity is in fact omnipotent, then he is able to create a rock he himself cannot lift. Since he cannot lift the rock he just created he is not omnipotent.

Argument from free will

All monotheistic religions claim their god to be omniscient, and at the same time claim to have been given free will by the very same god. These two concepts are incompatible. Here is why: An omniscient being knows everything, including the future will of his supposed free willed- designees. Since the will is already known, it cannot be free at the same time.

Other[inductive] arguments state that a complete being (God) must also be dead or non-existing in order to be fully complete. Furthermore, some conclude that since most theistic religions eventually were regarded as untrue, all theistic religions are most likely to be untrue. Stephen F. Roberts formulated this beautifully by saying:
“I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”

See Also


Filed under Religion

45 Responses to The One Minute Case against the Existence of God

  1. Adam

    Good article, but you missed an easy one:

    You can’t prove there isn’t a god!

    “You are never called upon to prove a negative”
    -Ayn Rand

    • samuel

      If positive side can be defined and given meaning, why can’t the negative inquiry be discussed?

    • Mark M.

      look,science will always trump religion and superstition,if it disagrees with experiment then it does not exist,there is not,nor has there ever been an all knowing,all powerful being that governs the universe.

    • Tony Schwartz

      “You can’t prove there isn’t a god!”

      That is the dumbest thing I have ever heard in my life and such a typical intellectually void emotional appeal agnostics or theists attempt to logically present when such a conversation takes place.

      I can not absolutely disprove fire breathing dragons, talking fish or demons that eat the brains of babies. Yet, I bet if you spend 3-6 hours Googling one of those topics(especially dragons) you will come across groups of people who believe they do exist.

      Yet, most people understand even though they can not be proven with absolute certainty they do not exist their chance of existence is so slim it is only logical to assume with absolute certainty they do not exist.

      More importantly just because I can not prove with absolute certainty that a god(s) do not exist does not mean such a hypothesis places them on equal footing with competitive theories..

      In short for you slower folks because I can not absolutely prove faries do not exist…. Does not mean their is a 50/50 chance they do. While I do not know the exact %/chance of existing it is probably more like to be 99.9% in favor of their non existence and .1% in favor of existence


      While science commands we do not rely on common sense…. (Common sense tells us the earth is not spinning at thousands of miles per hour) it is also equally important we do not drop our inquisitive nature/skepticism(with some common sense).

      Get it?

  2. ajmastrean

    The God of this universe is necessarily -outside- of this universe. Therefore, God is not subject to the cause and effect of this universe.

    • samuel

      Just now, William Paley has just discussed the matter of what substantiate a complete structure of matter. I believe that his proofs can be used for the existence of a God.

    • Themis

      If one can understand infinity,then one will understand God. NO-ONE can understand what infinity is. Infinity has no begining and no end. If it never began,then it doesn’t exist.

  3. ajmastrean

    The omnipotence “paradox” is illogical and incorrect. The statement “create a rock he himself cannot lift” is inconsistent and self-contradicting the definition of ominipotence.

  4. Markus

    Of course, your first statement is impossible to verify, it is also impossible to disprove. I’m not going to argue because there is no use arguing such claims.

    As for the omnipotence paradox; the word omnipotence is in itself self-contradicting and is therefore unfit to describe any character.

  5. ajmastrean

    (1) As we are creatures of this universe, completely, and cannot leave it… Yes.
    (2) This is why more detailed definitions and hierarchies of omnipotence have been worked. Which you and I and the author are assuming (and which religion assumes) is another discussion.

  6. Markus

    @ ajmastrean

    I realise my last comment was a bit unclear; I am in fact the author of this OneMinuteCase.
    (1) Then we agree. The argument you presented is usless as we have no way of verifying it.
    (2) I (as the author) assume omnipotence means being all-powerful, or in possession of unlimited power. If you or any major religions have other definitions of the word, please; present your definitions.

  7. ajmastrean

    (1) Christianity, Islam, and Judaism believe in a God that is outside of this universe. Your cause and effect argument is useless unless you’re only presenting a case against animism and pantheism. (whether my statement can be verified or not).
    (2) See the wikipedia article on Omnipotence and Omnipotence Paradox. Then, continue with a close study of Aquinas’s and Lewis’s works on the subject. Omnipotence over this universe either necessarily operates outside of the logic of this universe, or such “paradoxical” statements are actual nonsense.

  8. ajmastrean

    No matter how we argue, or what we each believe… this discussion is always going to be very complex and nearly outside our (human) reach.

    We’re talking about beings outside of our universe that follow rules we can’t describe (at least yet).

    The best we can do is identify that neither science (or philosophy or logic) nor religion can verify or deny the existence of a God.

  9. Markus

    (1)Firstly; being outside of the universe is in itself an extraordinary accomplishment as the universe by definition includes everything. Now, string theory opposes this as it not only claims that multiple universes co-exist, it states that all possible universes co-exists simultaneously. However, as all these universes are [in most prevailing theories] identical in ways of physical laws and fundamental constants, they serve no purpose [to our discussion] other than expanding the area god needs to be outside of.

    Secondly; I’ve never heard any religious people claiming their god to be outside of this universe. As a matter of fact, I’ve rather heard them state that he is everywhere. So, logically, as the universe includes everywhere, most religious gods are within our universe.

    I did some googling trying to find out which religious text claim god to be outside the universe, but i was unsuccessful in locating any. No text I’ve come across [Although I admit it’s not that many] ever said that god is outside our universe. If there is a text I’ve missed, please feel free to enlighten me 🙂

    (2) I now realize there are aspects of omnipotence I’ve yet to think through. After reading Wikipedia’s article on Omnipotence Paradox, more specifically the “Types of Omnipotence” paragraph, I can see there are several objections to my argument. However, there are also counter-objections neutralizing most of the objections. Nevertheless will I follow your advice and read up on Aquinas, Lewis and also Descartes.

    Finally, I’d like to comment upon your use of [more generally religious peoples use of] arguments that deprive everyone from using logic, scientific methods and common sense. Religion in itself is to me a lot of nonsense, even though I was raised a christian(this is another interesting debate regarding why religions are located in fixed-places, i.e Hindus live in India, Buddhists in Thailand, Christians in America/Europa and Muslims in the Middle East.). To me religion is nothing but scare propaganda staged by power-hungry leaders.

  10. tk

    remove G-D and there is no point of reference for truth. your reason came from an evolution of your brain. how can you say something is truth (i.e. there is no G-D) when you can’t prove that your logic is not a evolutionary flaw, and that mankind may evolve to a higher form of logic in a million years, negating your logic. when mankind’s combined total knowledge of our 3 dimensional world is so limited, how can we logically rule God out of the proposed 10 or 11 dimensions. the answer to your logical word problem is C. Not enough information.

  11. HeroicLife

    I don’t know who Mr G-D is, but reason is *man’s* means of acquiring knowledge of reality. You cannot use the fact that *some* method of gaining knowledge of reality (reason) is needed to negate the fact that our knowledge is of reality. There is no way to acquire knowledge without using some particular sense organs and some particular form of consciousness.

  12. Rabbi

    I dont know why I am bothering, but I enjoyed reading the post about consumerism in America being bad.

    I have investigated this issue, and while its possible for you to believe what you want, in the end there definetly is a Creator to the universe. The fact remains that because it won’t serve your desires, you will find anyway to dismiss it, so ultimately debating is useless. Instead there is a world famous Rabbi, who has recorded miracles of cancer recovery etc, and while they are in hebrew, some are translated. Watch these and try to deny. If you do, realize, even if G-d Himself came and said, “HI” you would say, oh I must just be hallucinating.

    Miracle on Film NO DOUBT —>

    Scientific proofs etc…—->

    if you wrote this, and you sincerely want to know the truth, This guy is the best! He was a top lawyer until he became a public speaker on the existence of G-d. Keep in mind the lectures are given to an Israeli non-religious public.

  13. preachpositive

    If one could think outside the box and view the opposing arguements, side by side, one could see that they are the same. Science has already proven the existence of GOD but cannot see the forest for the trees. Everything in the universe is a construction of atoms. An atom is constructed from energy and the nucleus of an atom is protons and neutrons, positive or negative energy and it exists in all things, therefore all things reflect these energies and the relationship between them. In religious terms, Good vs. Evil. Jesus Christ was an agent of positive energy and oddly enough the symbol that christians use to identify with him is also the univesal symbol for positive energy, the cross. Miracles were simply the transference of this energy, thus explaining how other profits and followers of God, are able to manifest miracles as well. It is totally dependant upon the energies created or channelled in the human mind based on the individuals thoughts and motives. Where the motivation is Love or positive energy, then the positve energy is proportional to the greatness of the event. Christ was 100% positive energy thus he performed great miracles. God is pure Love or is all that is positive. The big bang was simply two atoms crashing into one another at the speed of light and procreation is a reflection of this event. Positive energy is GOD. Ancient man, in an effort to explain unseen forces and thier actions, without the benefit of scientific knowledge, created the concept of God to describe what he had witnessed. The human mind is capable of far greater things than we presently know and without knowing why, man has generated recorded events through the power of the mind and its ability to create or channel energy and has attributed them to God. If God is merely positive energy and man has generated miracles with his mind then he has generated or channeled God. If one would look at religious writings as a paper of science and substitute what science has shown us about positive and negative energies, one would see the coralation between the two. Food for thought; We know the world is a sphere in space held in orbit by a delicate balance of electromagnetism between it, the sun and the moon and we know the human body generates its own electromagnetic field. We also know that the human mind can generate positive or negative energies. Question: If the electromagnetic field that exist in the human body is influenced by the positive or negative energies created in the brain, be enough negative energy created by people, at any given time and compounded by the electrical grid that encompasses the globe, to disturb the electromagnetic field of the earth and the delicate balance that holds it in orbit and cause a polar shift? And if so, wouldnt the implementation of global positive energy or love, be enough to prevent it? Isnt that what lies at the heart of the christianity, Love thy nieghbor as thyself? Could religion really be a an unconcience revelation generated by the energy of our very existance to saving or destroying mankind?

  14. JDS

    This isn’t a case. It’s a rebuttal.

  15. preachpositive

    Exactly. Where better to post a comment proving the existence of God than a blog where they are trying to prove he doesn’t? The one’s who know, have no need of proof. In response to God being outside of the universe, most all religions teach that God created the universe, therefore if God existed before it did, then where did he create it from?


  16. gal

    This is great! Everyone should see this:

  17. Pingback: The One Minute Case For Atheism | One Minute Cases

  18. Will

    I hope we are allowed to curse because you have drifted as far into “making shit up” as you can go. Sadly or wonderfully depending on your perspective, you can go further if you wish it… it is the beauty of the human mind, an EVOLVED human mind. Self deception is a fear defense against perceived mortal threats and yours is very common so I don’t judge you for being just as human as the rest of us. As for your comments about the ones who “know” not needing proof only proves that your ignorance is your bliss. If you are brave enough to ask yourself the tough questions about your own mind, your fears, and the world around you then the facade of blissful ignorance as it falls will be your true “Genesis”. “I know nothing except the fact of my ignorance.” -Socrates.

  19. Maia Ajanaku-Locke

    And by the same token, Adam, you cannot prove that there is a God. However, history has proved time and time again that the concept of God is morally bankrupt. Take for example the crusades, the inquisitions, American slavery and all the World Wars just to name a few big events choreographed for the most part by Christians in God’s name. And don’t forget racism, the belief that God created inferior races to serve as footstools for the superior race. If there is a God, I have two shoes to throw at his racist A…

    • Bobby

      Just because i do something in someones name doesnt merit my immediate approval. If i lets say killed your family and raped your sister in your name, that doesnt mean you approve of it. Same with god

  20. Markus (Author)

    I want to make everyone, especially the owner of Rationalmind, aware that this case has been reposted on my newly created personal website. (still a work in progress).

    Hope this works out for everyone.

  21. Andrew

    The free will “proof” is very poorly thought out. The fact that someones will is known in no way implies that it isn’t free. Just because I know what you’re going to do doesn’t mean you weren’t free to choose to do it as opposed to something else.

  22. Markus (Author)

    Well, if you know what I am going to do next, how can I do anything else than what you already know. I am not free to choose If you know what I’m doing next.

    You can’t say you know what I’m going to choose, and then tell me I’m free to choose anything. What if I change my mind 1 second before I choose. Or what if I change my mind after I’ve chosen.

    • Bobby

      Thats the point, its still your choice to make, but theres obviously no purpose in arguing with you because your so set on being right. The purpose of a discussion is to not to narrow-mindedly forward your point but measure its validity.

  23. TK

    @ Maia Anjanaku-Locke
    You need to read your history a little closer. Evolution was used to justify treating other races poorly because they were “less evolved”. Hitler was a proponent of aetheistic philosopher Nietszche. The atrocities perpetrated by aetheistic communists has resulted in millions upon millions of deaths (Stalin, Lenin, Mao, Pol Pot, Kim Jong Il to name a few). Blaming all of these things on Christians is ignorant, pure and simple.

  24. gsgiles

    Evolution is measure in the laboratory everyday, but evolution does not rule out divinity. I would certainly agree that the anthropomorphic (man is in God’s image) view of most faiths has no basis in fact. However modern physics does demonstrate that a God could certainly exist and that just because we cannot fathom his technology is not a negation. Omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence are just childish demands on the unknown. Dr. Stephen Barr has written an excellent book that any serious thinker on divnity should read. It is titled Modern Phjysics, Ancient Faith and can be found on Amazon.

    My own discourse on this can be found at LRC at this address:

  25. Jeff

    “Secondly; I’ve never heard any religious people claiming their god to be outside of this universe. As a matter of fact, I’ve rather heard them state that he is everywhere. So, logically, as the universe includes everywhere, most religious gods are within our universe.”

    Actually Albert Pike claims God resides outside the Universe and makes the case that he must in Morals and Dogma. The fact that the God concept is self contradicting doesn’t disprove God, but only illustrates the fact that if there is a being higher than us he is incomprehensible to our intellect as he necessarily would be. When we act in ways that regard other’s interests as superior to our own, it defies logic. That we act in irrational ways suggests to me that there is more to my being than just intellect. To believe in God requires faith. Debate on this subject with an atheist is futile because an atheist can’t make the leap past the view that human intellect is the highest power.

  26. Ned Netterville

    Hey David, There is no means by which a merely mortal man (or woman) with merely human reasoning power can prove, disprove or comprehend God. Because, I suppose, God is not the kind of being–like some of us humans–who would impose knowledge of His or Her or It’s (no mortal pronoun adequately befits God) existence on any one of God’s creations. Personal knowledge of God probably depends upon one’s willingness to experiment with belief in God to determine if God does or does not exist. I have tested, and thereby I am satisfied that I know God.

    • kent wilsey

      Where to start? With Decarte? I think therefore I am? I have to grant somewhere that what I experience firsthand is real. I know God is real because I talk to Him, He speaks to me, and I see Him affecting the world around me (His universe, if you like!)
      You may deny God, if you like. You may also deny gravity, if you like, but it doesn’t change the existence of either.

  27. DJ

    ajmastrean :The God of this universe is necessarily -outside- of this universe. Therefore, God is not subject to the cause and effect of this universe.

    Exactly. Likewise, a computer is designed with certain specifications, hardware, components, etc. Certain rules apply to get them all to work together correctly and for it to function properly. That doesn’t mean that the computer’s designer has to operate under the same set of rules. In fact, we know that in order for him to have built it, he has to be operating under a completely different set since we know that the computer can not build itself.

  28. Winding Machine 

    i have lots of hubpages related to literature and medicine, i love to make new webpages each day~.*

  29. samuel

    If God does not exist, how is it possible that we have this very idea of a God, and we have been debating and searching him over centuries passed until now. Thus, I simply surmise that God exists. And if God exists, what harm would it cause?

  30. Harry

    Sorry but your “logical arguments are not logical. ie Omnipotence paradox. All you are doing is creating an illogical argument identical to “God not being capable of creating a round square” The argument itself does not make sense. Your other argument as well in that a creator would have to be outside the confines of time, etc to create it.

  31. Norman Beall

    God and I are friends, i know the dude. He is not a supernatural being. All beings are natural beings, God included. That’s life.

    Those who argue , “You can’t prove there isn’t a God!” reveal they lack the understanding of reason and logic. One can only show what is, it is quite impossible to show what is not. Go back to school.

  32. Jill

    Religion is a cult. Point blank.

  33. Dubstep Software

    Plato both posited first cause arguments, though each had certain notable caveats. Plato posited a basic argument in The Laws (Book X), in which he argued that motion in the world and the Cosmos was “imparted motion” that required some kind of “self-originated motion” to set it in motion and to maintain that motion.

  34. Jon

    Hm, there are good arguments against God, but these aren’t them. In particular the omniscience argument is one which I’d hope anyone raised as a Christian would know the answer to (in particular few Christians believe that God has that so-called ‘middle knowledge’ of what someone will freely choose – Molinism – but you can read some William Lane Craig to find out how that perspective can be defended).

    And that last quote is particularly unimpressive. It implies that, because people have lots of ideas about God, none of them can be true, which is obviously false. Lots of people have different ideas about what the Emperor Napoleon was like, but only a few of them will be right. That certainly doesn’t mean he never existed. And to take a different perspective CS Lewis (for example) had interesting ideas about pagan gods that didn’t involve them being non-existent, but rather created beings, angels maybe. Whatever the case, it’s not really an argument at all.

    And the omnipotence paradox – pffffft!!!

    Sorry Markus. It’s nicely written though.

  35. Daniel

    Re: omnipotence

    The immediate coherence of the concept of omnipotence is what provides us with the sense that omnipotence is paradoxical: its immediate coherence is felt to pose an external, or otherwise genuine, constraint on the power of an omnipotent agent to change the very epistemological definitions of things. But, such a ‘constraint’ allows us to conceive of omnipotence in the first place, because the possibility of definitions is the possibility of knowledge. The issue, therefore, is as to what all are the things that cause us to feel that the possibility of knowledge poses a genuine constraint on the power of an omnipotent agent.

    The logic of limited agents is not in the merest fact/idea that they are limited, but in the causes of their limitations. These causes are contingence, synthesis, and mutually dependence. That is, a limited agent is made of other, limited agents; the mutual bonds of which are not immutable; and the organized whole of which, as its own distinct kind of limited agent, depends for its functional maintenance on a specific relationship to an environment comprised of a host of other agents each of which is in some ways more powerful that it. This is how limited agents can multiply themselves, and can artifice other agents which are in some ways more powerful than themselves.

    So, unless pure, cognitively lax imagination is the standard of the logical conception of power, the concept of omnipotence must entail certain things while precluding others. And, what do you know, one of the things it precludes is for it to be equaled or exceeded in its power.

    But, if an omnipotent agent already is more powerful than itself so as to create a rock out of…nothing that’s too heavy even for it to lift, then it already is just that powerful. Which means that its power to create a stone that’s too heavy for it to lift is identical to its power to lift that very stone. While this doesn’t quite make complete sense, I wish to stress its implicit point most strongly: that even within the process of proving that the concept of omnipotence is immediately incoherent, one concludes that it is immediately coherent, and that the only difference is that this process is forced to this conclusion by a perfectly irrational route to its own unwilling end, with a perfectly unwelcome set of things included in that end.

    The conception of power as the most abstracted sense of ‘something bringing something about’, or ‘simple agency’ is logically indifferent. So, this conception of power can seem to us to be logically all-purpose. But, in fact, it is logically no-purpose, because it is perfectly epistemologically passive. As the epistemologically passive conception of power, simple agency is the root of the paradoxical intuition about omnipotence: simple agency is that by which omnipotence is proved to be irrational. But, such ‘proof’ actually is nothing but a description—however un-complete-able―of this irrational re-conception of omnipotence.

    In keeping with the term, ‘simple agency’, its resultant conception of omnipotence may be termed pure agency: an agent in regard to which not only its own agency has no essential agency in face of its own agency, but everything else, too, including the identity of mathematical sums, has no essential identity in face of this pure agency. In other words, simple agency constrains our notion of omnipotence to be formulated as an agent which must be anti-identifiable except in terms of simple agency. But, this means that, for the anti-identifiable conception of omnipotence to be valid on its own terms, the very idea of ‘all identities’ must include even the negation of given positive identities, else it is allowed that such negations are proper states of affairs that are ontologically and epistemologically independent of their respective positive identities.

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