“God is imaginary”? Really? Part 13:See the magic

Back to the grindstone of dealing with the “proofs” offered by the website “God is imaginary”. Now, we are to “proof number twelve”, “See the magic.”

This “proof” begins by comparing the initial, foundational claims of three religions: Mormonism, Islam, and Christianity. Now, while the presentation is moderately accurate, the author includes a term that is not defined anywhere it: “magic“. By failing to define what is meant by the term, the writer forces the reader to draw a conclusion of equivocation in the comparison, and this is simply dishonest.

First, we have to define what “magic” is. According to this page, magic is “Magic or sorcery is an attempt to understand, experience and influence the world using rituals, symbols, actions, gestures and language.” Further, the on the page, it associates magic with pagan religions. So, if we take this definition and apply it to just those initial claims, the category error appears: pagan religions are based in attempting to control nature while those three are not.

And the equivocation and category errors don’t stop there.

“The presence of ‘magic’ is a clear marker for ‘imaginary.'”

This statement alone begs the question: how is “imaginary” being defined? The writer then says,

“For example, how do we know that Santa is imaginary? Because (among other things) he has eight magical flying reindeer.”

The writer clearly doesn’t understand the difference between a character in folklore and the verifiable historic figure of Saint Nicolas.

Then there’s this statement,

“According to believers, God is an all-powerful being who has the divine, magical power to do anything. How do we know that this belief is a fairy tale?”

It is obvious that this person simply has not studied the nature of God. God can only do those things that are logically possible and consistent with His nature. To call God’s power “magic” implies that His creative power exists externally to himself. Scripture contradicts this point:

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was fully God.
2 The Word was with God in the beginning.
3 All things were created by him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created.
4 In him was life, and the life was the light of mankind.
5 And the light shines on in the darkness, but the darkness has not mastered it.
–John 1

15 (Christ) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation,
16 for all things in heaven and on earth were created by him – all things, whether visible or invisible, whether thrones or dominions, whether principalities or powers – all things were created through him and for him.
17 He himself is before all things and all things are held together in him.
–Colossians 1

21 Tell me! Present the evidence! Let them consult with one another! Who predicted this in the past? Who announced it beforehand? Was it not I, the Lord? I have no peer, there is no God but me, a God who vindicates and delivers; there is none but me.
22 Turn to me so you can be delivered, all you who live in the earth’s remote regions! For I am God, and I have no peer.
–Isaiah 45 (italics added)

There is no power external to God for Him to appeal to or call upon, therefore to call what God has done or can do is entirely dependent upon Himself and His will. Therefore, to call any expression of His power as “magic” is spurious and stunningly inaccurate.

Then there’s this quote,

“[…]the Bible tells us in many places that God answers prayers.”

And it also is clear about what kinds of prayers that He answers:

3 ‘Call on me in prayer and I will answer you. I will show you great and mysterious things which you still do not know about.’
–Jeremiah 33

Now, in the context, the prophet Jeremiah is in prison and God calls on him to pray for a revelation. God answers it by giving him further revelation to warn and prepare the people of Jerusalem for their coming punishment because of their disobedience and what they must do in order to survive.

Further, in the “model” prayer in Matthew 6:9-15, Jesus instructs his listeners on the subjects of prayer: God, his provision, and His commands. There is a connection between these and how they are answered. But, I’ve also addressed this here.

This particular “proof” has other issues in it that I will be addressing later, but it simply falls apart based on it’s logical errors and misrepresentations of orthodox Christian understandings.


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