I would never call myself a philosopher but I do enjoy studying logic. While I was looking into some philosophical arguments concerning the existence of God, I came across a video that made the remarkable claim, “How to prove God doesn't exist, in 3 minutes or less!” Needless to say, it piqued my interest. To even say, “there is no God” commits the logical fallacy of a “universal negative” but here is a person who claims to PROVE God doesn't exist. In the description of his video, the maker, Dhorpatan, says, “I have come to the realization, that this may be one of the greatest, if not THE greatest argument for the non-existence of not just the Judeo-Christian God, or Creator Gods, but ALL Gods!!” That's fairly optimistic. Of course, I believe he fails miserably to live up to his claim.
I've included the video below. As usual, I recommend you watch it so you can follow along with what I'm going to say. It's only 2:58 long so at least Dhorpatan did indeed keep his argument under 3 minutes. He sets up his argument around the question, “Is God infinite?” This is a yes or no question and Dhorpatan gives his supposed “proof” to either answer. I believe that God is infinite so I really shouldn't bother with his argument against a finite god but I do anyway for the purpose of illustration, .
If a Christian claims that God is finite, Dhorpatan actually gives three sub-points. The first two may have a certain validity but in his third sub-point he says, “If you say your god is finite, then your God is disproved because it can't be called a God. Gods are by definition, supernatural, but finitude [sic] is of the natural world. So, saying your God is finite, means it can't even be called a God ” There are a couple of problems with this. First, Dhorpatan commits the logical fallacy of non sequitur. Non sequitur means, “it doesn't follow.” An example of a non sequitur would be, “birds have feathers so therefore dogs don't exist.” Dhorpatan is trying to claim that “finite” is a defining quality of “natural” thus anything finite is necessarily natural. How can he make that connection? I don't believe in ghosts but, if they were real, most people would agree that are “super natural.” So then, are ghosts “infinite”? There's nothing about being supernatural that requires a thing to be infinite yet Dhorpatan claims just that.
Second, Dhorpatan commits a sort of “No True Scotsman” fallacy when he suggests that gods must be infinite. It's an argument over definition. He is defining “god” as meaning infinite so that he can disqualify any god that is not infinite. Again, Zeus is not real yet, if he were, he would be considered a god. However, Dhorpatan disqualifies Zeus on the grounds that Zeus is not infinite.
I must say again, though, that I believe God is infinite so I'm not really concerned about Dhorpatan's arguments against a finite god. I merely address them to demonstrate his shaky logical footing. We'll turn now to Dhorpatan's arguments against the infinite God.
Dhorpatan's main argument rests solely on the philosophical assumption that an actual infinity cannot exist in the universe. His logic seems valid but even valid arguments aren't necessarily true. Consider this logical argument:
Premise 1: All men have mustaches
Premise 2: John is a man
Conclusion: Therefore, John has a mustache
This is a valid argument but it suffers from a flawed premise – namely that not all men have mustaches. Likewise, Dhorpatan's argument, even if valid, is not necessarily true. It is contingent on the truth of his premise – that is, can an actual infinity exist? This is a much debated subject but Dhorpatan seems to KNOW one can't. If an actual infinity can exist, then his entire argument is undone. I, on the other hand, believe in an infinite God and so I believe an actual infinity can and does exist.
Being finite creatures ourselves, it's difficult for us to conceptualize an actual infinity. We understand a potential infinity reasonably well (as in infinite numbers), but an actual infinity is a little too much for us. However, our inability to grasp an actual infinity is not evidence against one. It is an argument from ignorance where one says that since we don't understand how there can be an actual infinity, there can't be an actual infinity. However, I will use some of Dhorpatan's point to show why there must be an infinite God!
Consider Dhorpatan's arguments against a finite god. Dhorpatan says in the video that, “If they [Christians] say, 'no, that God is not infinite,' then He is not beginningless and will require a cause... Further, He could not be the First Cause Creator, since a non-infinite god is limited and would, thus, not be sufficient to halt infinite regress.” Could not these same points be asked about the universe? Is the universe infinite? If not, then it would require a cause as Dhorpatan so readily admits. Then what is the cause of the universe? And what caused that cause? And that cause? Without a First Cause, then beginning of the universe suffers from infinite regress. And as Dhorpatan also admits, an infinite God is necessary to halt an infinite regress.
If the universe is not created, the alternative is an infinitely old universe. That would make the universe itself an actual infinity. But according to Dhorpatan, an actual infinity cannot exist. So therefore the universe either began via an infinite chain of finite causes or else it doesn't exist! Talk about irony!
I don't want to leave Dhorpatan squirming, though. The universe cannot be infinitely old. If it were, it would mean that we would have had to cross an infinite amount of time to reach this point; but it is logically impossible to cross an infinite amount of time so the universe cannot be infinitely old.
I'd love to talk philosophy all day but let's wrap this up. Dhorpatan goes to great lengths to weave a logical web but can't quite tie down all the loose ends. Instead, he hoists himself on his own petard. The very arguments he uses against God, could be used to argue that the universe doesn't exist. It's far more reasonable to believe in the First Cause. He's the God of the Bible. We call Him, Lord!