Is God Narcissistic?

Paul Copan addresses the charge that the Christian God is egotistical and self-centered. The talk was given at Sanibel Community Church on April 15, 2012. Copan is Professor and Pledger Family Chair of Philosophy and Ethics at Palm Beach Atlantic University. For more on the topic see his book, Is God a Moral Monster? Making Sense of the Old Testament God.

9 replies
  1. Peanutaxis
    Peanutaxis says:

    “God has a realistic view of himself. God is truly humble.” Since you’ve invented god, hey, why not re-invent the dictionary also! http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/humble?s=ts

    There is a much more Occam’s Razor to this:

    Man creates god in his image. God changes with man’s evolving morality.
    It’s simple and beautiful and horrendously explanatory. Much like
    evolution!

  2. Peanutaxis
    Peanutaxis says:

    It’s just too easy to call things merely assertions and not arguments. Like the assertion you just made or , heck, that whole video.

    In truth, they are all arguments. Some are better, some are worse.

  3. Bnonn Tennant
    Bnonn Tennant says:

    Peanut, since you haven’t given us any reasons to believe your premises, your argument is incredibly weak. What’s the point of even posting it?

    What particularly intrigues me, however, is why you think Occam’s Razor is of any value in a world without God. What gives Occam’s Razor its force, in your view?

  4. Peanutaxis
    Peanutaxis says:

    It’s not about premises or arguments, though I’m sure you could formalize just about anything that way. It’s about what fits best.

    There you go again, Bnonn, claiming that nothing means anything except under theism. Occam’s Razor is a useful representation of of the world around us is because it is a valid observation of the world around us.

  5. Bnonn Tennant
    Bnonn Tennant says:

    It’s not about premises or arguments, though I’m sure you could
    formalize just about anything that way. It’s about what fits best.

    Sure, you can formalize just about anything—even something as silly as your first post. But if the premises don’t “fit well” then it won’t be persuasive. So again I ask: why should we accept your premises?

    There you go again, Bnonn, claiming that nothing means anything except under theism

    You really should be more careful about putting words in people’s mouths. Where did I claim that? I didn’t. What I asked was why we should think Occam’s Razor has any force in a non-theistic universe. On the face of it, parsimony is something we should expect only of designed systems—not of random ones.

    It doesn’t make any obvious sense to think that the universe “favors” or “prefers” simplicity to complexity, or frugality to wastefulness, if in fact it was not designed.

    Mind you, it’s not as if Occam’s Razor isn’t subject to interpretation, and thus to bias. It seems pretty obvious to me that the simpler, better explanation of the Bible’s existence is that God does in fact exist, rather than that some people invented him.

    Indeed, it’s pretty hard to take you seriously when you say things like “God’s morality evolves” and “men created God in their image”. Both of those are patently false under Christianity. In fact, those are two issues that frequently get unbelievers’ backs up. God is too foreign, and too unyielding in his moral demands. You can’t have it both ways!

  6. Peanutaxis
    Peanutaxis says:

    “Sure, you can formalize just about anything—even something as silly as your first post.”

    Or the ones in the video.

    “There you go again, Bnonn, claiming that nothing means anything except under theism”

    “You really should be more careful about putting words in people’s mouths. Where did I claim that? I didn’t. ”

    Okay. So we’ve established that you agree that a meaningful non-theistic worldview can be established.

    “What I asked was why we should think Occam’s Razor has any force in a non-theistic universe.”

    I’m sorry but your question is absolute nonsense. Imagine that you and I watch a wheel roll down a hill and you demand that I show that wheels rolling down hills has any “force” in a non-theistic universe.
    I don’t have to. “Wheels roll down hill” has “force” because we just OBSERVED it, not because we can prove that it has “force” – whatever the heck that means!

    “It doesn’t make any obvious sense to think that the universe “favors” or
    “prefers” simplicity to complexity, or frugality to wastefulness, if in
    fact it was not designed.”

    Yes it does. Because of the observation that simple explanations tend to be correct over complex explanations!

    “Mind you, it’s not as if Occam’s Razor isn’t subject to interpretation,
    and thus to bias. It seems pretty obvious to me that the simpler, better
    explanation of the Bible’s existence is that God does in fact exist,
    rather than that some people invented him.”

    I agree. It is somewhat subject to interpretation. How do you propose to resolve this?

    “Indeed, it’s pretty hard to take you seriously when you say things like
    “God’s morality evolves” and “men created God in their image”. Both of
    those are patently false under Christianity. In fact, those are
    two issues that frequently get unbelievers’ backs up. God is too
    foreign, and too unyielding in his moral demands. You can’t have it both
    ways!”

    I don’t follow you here. God’s morality clearly evolves when you compare the OT with the NT.

  7. Bnonn Tennant
    Bnonn Tennant says:

    Okay. So we’ve established that you agree that a meaningful non-theistic worldview can be established.

    Lol, and we just talked about not putting words in people’s mouths…

    Imagine that you and I watch a wheel roll down a hill and you demand that
    I show that wheels rolling down hills has any “force” in a non-theistic
    universe.

    Which has nothing to do with Occam’s Razor.

    Yes it does. Because of the observation that simple explanations tend to be correct over complex explanations!

    Of course, this is patently false in many instances. Quantum physics is a simpler explanation than Newtonian physics. So as usual you’re either stupid or lying.

    God’s morality clearly evolves when you compare the OT with the NT.

    Nope, it clearly does not.

  8. Peanutaxis
    Peanutaxis says:

     “Lol, and we just talked about not putting words in people’s mouths…”

    As usual you are more interested in gainsaying what others say in order that you can convince yourself that they are ‘wrong’, rather than actually stating your position. You are only kidding yourself.

    “Which has nothing to do with Occam’s Razor.”

    It has everything to do with it. We observe the world and formulate Occam’s Razor. We observe the world and formulate “wheels roll down hill”. You asking a person to show that O.R. has any ‘force’ in a non-theistic worldview is exactly the same as asking a person to show that ‘wheels roll down hill’ has any ‘force’ in a non-theistic worldview.

    “It doesn’t make any obvious sense to think that the universe “favors” or
    “prefers” simplicity to complexity, or frugality to wastefulness, if in
    fact it was not designed.”

    So what you are saying here is that someone who does not believe that the universe was designed shouldn’t have cause to think that the simplest explanation is usually the correct one. This is complete nonsense. Even if you were 100% correct that the universe was designed, a person who thinks the universe was not designed has every reason to think that the correct explanation is the simplest BECAUSE THEY OBSERVE THIS.

    “Of course, this is patently false in many instances. Quantum physics is a
    simpler explanation than Newtonian physics. So as usual you’re either
    stupid or lying.”

    I honestly don’t know whether you believe QP is simpler than NP or the other way round. Your example here has so many problems but, I grant you that there are exceptions.
    Now, you seem to think that pointing out an example to the contrary proves that “the simpler explanation tends to be the correct one” is invalid. This is clearly a non-sequitur. Why don’t theists apply their standards of logic to themselves? As usual you are deluding only yourself.

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