Arthur C. Clark, scientist, author, and atheist once made the following proposition about God or the absence thereof. “God doesn’t exist at all or if he does exist he exists as per these limitations; he is either all-powerful or merciful. However, the cannot be both. If God exists, he is ignorant of mankind or doesn’t care about him one bit. Even if God existed, he is more evil than good.” Let us examine the argument as he presents it. The words in double quotation marks are directly written and attributed to Arthur C. Clark.
Theism vs. Arthur C. Clark
Clark argues that from a scientific perspective, we have as much tangible evidence of God as we have of UFOs. Great argument, but wrong-headed. The argument sounds much like the guy who wrote a book on how to treat depression. The art hour argues that a good way to treat depressions and psychological anxieties is to read Plato. This Arthur argues that reading Plato is just as effective as taking Valium. Philosophy applied to a psychological condition. Very imaginative, but wrong-headed.
God is a spirit and not mass, matter, energy, or a cosmic phenomenon. He won’t arrive by spaceship. He won’t take a photo op. He won’t get his mass measured.
“If God exists, It either is completely unaware of mankind’s existence OR doesn’t care one whit about it at all, one way or the other. And so those worshiping It are as misguided as the lowest primitives worshiping a dead stone idol.”
The bold statement is based on a big assumption. If God is ignorant of mankind, then He must not be the creator of all things. The accounts in the Old Testament and the New Testament are filled with God and His concern for human beings generations after generations. God in the bible has shown great concern for mankind. God has two occasions caused two great calamities because his human children are in the habit of hurting each other. One was the flood of Noah’s’ time and the other was Sodom and Gomorrah. On each of these occasions, God was beyond His threshold for pain for his disadvantaged children.
Psalm 8:4 says “what is the man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?” God’s concern is not to make humans His robots. God has given the man a sense of free will and on the other hand how he should behave with his brothers and sisters. Yet, we are often most volatile with our own siblings.
Clark identifies the possibility of God in “It” terms which are nicely neutral.
On the other, it could be an underhanded insult.
“If God exists, It is actually much closer to being what most people would define as evil rather than good. That is, It has shaped the entire universe to be forever tilted in favor of evil, waste, and suffering- and as a result, mankind can only progress by actively battling against the works of It rather than worshiping It.”
Here is a good example of a man recreating God in his image.
He presumes if God exists it must be evil because the world is evil. In the biblical narrative, Lucifer, a creation of God, is the father of evil. The former Archangel was in charge of worship to God. Over time, Lucifer got infatuated with the worship itself. He was so taken with worship, he wants to become the object of worship. This thought corrupted Lucifer and poisoned his heart. He became Satan. The end result was God and Satan began to compete for the worship of man. God kicked Satan out of heaven. Satan retaliated by taking the earth from the deed holders, Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve are also known as men and women.
God is not evil. God is light and darkness evil.
“If God exists, It is either all-powerful OR merciful but not both”
Why? Because it is not possible in the opinion of Mr. Clark. When you start recreating God in your own imagination, you can put all kinds of conditions on Him. This argument is a bit like saying a smart guy cannot say or purpose anything stupid. We have examples every day, that a smart guy or lady can say something outrageously stupid.
That kind of thinking assumes an all-powerful being cannot be merciful. Even Stalin, though ruthless and paranoid had his soft side. God is much greater.
The conflict of good against evil never ceases. God is on the good side. He has shown that he can cause a great flood and fire and brimstone from heaven. He has told us how to behave in relation to Himself and to our fellow humans. Yet every day, he sees us hurt each other and ignore Him. He sees Satan take advantage of our ignorance, but he gave us freedom of choice.
Arthur C. Clarke has formulated three laws of predictions. The first one is “When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.” A great and prophetic disclaimer.