“Holy Books”, Or: Why Your “Holy” Book, Isn’t.

I’d like to address the claim that an omnipotent, omniscient being, a being that wanted its will to be communicated with perfect clarity and fidelity to all people for all of time, decided to do so by having people grind up pigments in order to stain dead trees and/or animal hides with words.

magic book

Let’s look at the logic, or lack thereof, of claimed “holy books”.

To begin with, an omnipotent god could, by definition, do anything it wanted to do. An omniscient god would, by definition, know what to do and how to do it, in order to accomplish anything it wanted to do. And an omnibenevolent deity that was also omniscient and omnipotent, which wanted its will/existence to be known to all of humanity, would, by definition, be guaranteed to succeed.

Now, what we find in the real world is that every single “holy book” not only has significantly and materially different interpretations among its followers, but is utterly unconvincing to skeptics and/or people from other faiths. Since, then, there is no perfect transmission of information via “holy books”, no holy book was created/influenced by a tri-omni god that wanted its presence/will to be known.

While I’m at it, let’s take, as an axiom, that anything I could do better than a claimed omnipotent, omniscient entity, was not in fact done by that entity.  So, let’s see whether or not I could beat the claimed tri-omni deity.

To begin with, my book would be undeniably special. It would, for instance, float at about shoulder level above the ground and be indestructible. Likewise, every one of my books would spontaneously pop into existence when a new human being was born, and would follow them for the rest of their lives, as their personal book. My book would also be fully accessible to the blind, and to people who didn’t speak the language it was written in. In fact, if for some reason I decided to use a book instead of just using my omnipotence and omniscience to make my will/presence undeniable to every human being on Earth, I would make sure that at least my book would allow direct communication between me and human beings, such that all any person would need to do was to think about me/the book, and I would instantly enter into direct communication with them, beyond any linguistic, cognitive, or perceptual hindrances.

I put it to you, my readers, that my holy book would be undeniably the correct book to follow, and would in fact unite all of humanity in accordance with my will. Further, I put it to you that if I could design a system which is more effective than a claimed tri-omni deity, then that deity didn’t do it.

Which is to say that – books, scrolls, oral traditions, and prayer wheels are nice and all, but not one of them can claim to be anything other than completely man-made.


5 thoughts on ““Holy Books”, Or: Why Your “Holy” Book, Isn’t.

  1. I love the way all of these brilliant finite beings figure they can, by basic human logic, define the parameters within which omniscience and omnipotence may operate. Honestly, you guys are killin’ me. By the way, where are all the “dumb” atheists? Perhaps they’re actually too horse-smart to fall for the elitist academia agenda rhetoric: “Hey, everybody! Read a book by Dawkins or Harris and you can become an expert in metaphysics/philosophy/cosmology/zoology/theology, like me!” Don’t bother crackin’ open a Bible, though, ’cause then you might actually know something about that upon which you lavish so much of your precious hatred. See, theists can be clever, too.

    • I love the way all of these brilliant finite beings figure they can, by basic human logic, define the parameters within which omniscience and omnipotence may operate.

      I’m sorry, but no. Omniscience has a definition. Omnipotence has a definition. Logic works. You may chose new words other than “omniscient” and “omnipotent”, and/or you can abandon logic entirely. But barring either of those courses, you haven’t got a leg to stand on. And I’m not sure what, exactly, your rant about colleges, Dawkins, and Harris has to do with… anything. But it’s amusing that you then went on to accuse me of “precious hatred”.

      And, of course, I’ll note that you didn’t even address, let alone attempt to refute, let alone actually refute my argument.

      So, are you here to discuss the issue honestly? Or do I just mark the rest of your comments as spam?

    • Oh, and, by the way, I’ve never read anything by Harris, or Hitchens. I’ve read Dennett’s work on Philosophy of Mind, and the only Dawkins I ever read was The Selfish Gene. If you really want to try to stick it to atheist intellectuals, you’re generally better of going with, say, Popper. Often Socrates. Hume, and/or Russell too.

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