More on “what is this god thing anyway?”
Jerry Coyne is discussing the “what would you consider evidence” question with Anthony Grayling. Anthony says what makes the whole enterprise nonsensical from the start:
on the standard definition of an infinite, omniscient, omnipotent, benevolent etc being – on inspection such a concept collapses into contradiction and absurdity; as omnipotent, god can eat himself for breakfast…as omniscient it knows the world it created will cause immense suffering through tsunamis and earthquakes, and therefore has willed that suffering, which contradicts the benevolence claim…etc etc…
Which it seems to me is undeniable, and relevant. What could be evidence for the existence of the usual normal mainstream “God”? Given that the usual normal mainstream “God” is an absurdity, it’s not even possible to know what would be evidence that it existed.
It’s also not possible to know what would be evidence that human beings could even detect. What evidence could we detect that “God” is eternal, for instance? What could show that, to us?
There are quite a few different versions of God, and they don’t combine into a nice stew or pot pourri or tapestry; they fight with each other. Evidence for one would be evidence for not-another.
I can imagine evidence for a local earth-based god or gods, like the Greek gods. They paid visits now and then, and they were very recognizable people. The omni-being is a whole different category, and evidence for it strikes me as being impossible.