God’s Coherence

Someone I saw on Facebook recently asked these two questions.

1) Can God commit suicide?  If he wanted to, could he end his own existence?  If not, then he is not all-powerful.

2) Is God an atheist?  Does God not believe in a being higher than himself?

Supposedly, no Christian has given him a satisfactory answer to these questions.  Let me give some responses.

First, omnipotence means that God has all power.  He can do all things power is capable of doing (there are other factors involved in Christian theology, but I won’t get into them here).  Second, God is conceived of as a being that necessarily exists.  He can’t not exist.

Here’s the question in response to (1), can 2+2 not equal 4?  No.  It is necessarily true that 2+2=4.  How much power would it take to make it so that 2+2 does not equal 4?  No amount of power could possibly do that.  It is a contradiction.  No amount of power can make something incoherent happen, like make something necessarily true not necessarily true.

Asking if God can make himself cease to exist is like asking if he can make 2+2 not equal 4, in other words, to make something necessarily true not necessarily true.  That is incoherent.  No amount of power can do that.  God can still be all powerful, but not able to “commit suicide.”

As for (2), according to what’s stated above, an atheist is someone who “doesn’t believe in a higher power than himself.”  Well, if that’s the definition of atheism, then I guess God is an atheist.  But if an atheist is simply someone who doesn’t believe that God exists or denies God’s existence, then God is not an atheist, since he surely believes in his own existence.  I’m not really sure what the problem is supposed to be here.

So I don’t really see any substantial challenge here.  Actually, I’m still not convinced that the second one was really serious…

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