Skip to main content

"God is Beyond our understanding" is beyond atheist's understanding

Image result for stars in space

I had an interesting discussion on the Secular Outpost Blog. The atheists were reacting to the concept  That , "God is beyond human comprehension". They argue that this means we can;t know anything about God  thus we can't  make a rational belief. This was part of a larger argument, Bradley Bowen; argument against Christian  apologist Kreft, part 87 or something. Poster Susan Humphreys in the comment section starts thinking down a tributary of that discussion

I was watching the news one evening, only half listening and a Cardinal was being interviewed (possibly Dolan). The interviewer asked a question that I don't think the Cardinal wanted to answer because he said, in an attempt to stop the questions I think, "God is beyond human comprehension". This is taken from several places in the Bible. At the time I thought does the Cardinal realize what he just said? If God is beyond human comprehension than anything a person says about God--his characteristics, purposes, plans, what he can or can't do, what he wants us to do or not to do, even if he is a he and not a she or an it, or even if he/she/it exists--is nothing more than the figment of human imagination.[2]

MetacrockOf course that kind of statement comes with an implicit qualification which should be self evident, that while we can't ascertain God by our own intellectual powers, that does not preclude God's own willful revelation to us about himself.We cannot even know what good is in an ultimate sense even assuming a naturalistic world. I have never been able to get an atheist to give me a valid justification  form moral motions, but given my  own limited experience I can say I know what good is relative to my own   milieu. Thus while I cannot say my parents were the absolute good I can say they were good to me,

Brad Bowen:
"If some being is beyond human comprehension, then that being is beyond human evaluation and beyond human understanding. We cannot evaluate a being as "morally good" if that being is beyond our comprehension. We also cannot KNOW (or even make reasonable probability estimates about) what such a being will do or not do. "[3]
Metacrock:I think that is a rather fallacious argument, of course God is beyond human evaluation in an ultimate sense, in order to understand God exhaustively  you would have   to create your own universe. That does not mean we can't understand aspects of God as they pertain to our own lives. 

Analogy: I don't know very much about quantum gravity but I do know it requires highly specialized education to understand,Now If we take  statements literally like you want us to take statement about God I can't say that.  Perhaps Quantum gravity is stupid. perhaps it's a game for mentally challenged people. I can't say because It's beyond my understanding.

There are natural qualification  to those concepts that should be understood I don't think it's fair for us to have to spell them out every time we talk about it.


We cannot see God perform any actions, nor can we photograph or video God. We cannot hear God, smell God, touch God, or taste God. God leaves no physical evidence of his activity. The only hope we have of identifying God as the CAUSE of a particular event is to KNOW the PLANS or PURPOSES of God, and to determine that God, if God exists, would be likely to CHOOSE to cause that particular event.
Metacrock:We don't have to understand the plans and purposes of God to know that God caused the universe, in fact that is irrelevant. We can understand God as cause through logic. We can understand it through self disclosure of God to us. But there is a problem with just understanding God as a cause,I write a essay  on this for my blog recently[4]

We don't have to understand the plans and purposes of God to know that God caused the universe, in fact that is irrelevant.

I have argued for the opposite conclusion, and you have not shown there to be ANY PROBLEM with my argument.

I disagree with your arguments Brad.


QUESTION: Do you think that ANY of Swinburne's arguments for God or ANY of Kreeft's arguments for God can be successful WITHOUT making some assumptions about the PLANS or PURPOSES of God?
I said we don't need to know that for certain arguments such as the CA or OA. But I think we can reasonably assert that God's plans and purposes are benevolent based upon what logical and and experiential evidence we do have, We don't need that much intellectual comprehension to understand love.
If so, please point me to at least ONE such argument by Swinburne or Kreeft.
    I don't know their arguments well enough to defend, But I do know mine,would you like me to introduce you  to a couple? The God is being itself thing, I could tell you about that,, again.
    [end dialogue]

    The irony in that last comment is that I debated him on the existence of God he totally ignored my comments and acted shamefully.[5] He made no effort to understand  my countless explanations and in depth attempts to  clarify what everyone agrees was crystal clear he kept whining it was so unclear. Total debate version  of boxing strategy called "rope-a-dope."[6]

    The phrase "beyond our understanding" does not mean that we can't understand anything about God at all. We can understand somethings. But God is infinite we are finite so we cannot understand God as a whole. WE can understand the fact that God loves us,we not understand why but we can know it as a fact, We can experience God's love in our hearts, that is all we need to understand. The creator of the universe loves me what else do I need to know?

    We have a gap in knowledge where the mass of what we don't know about God resides,that gap is bridged by faith. This is where faith plays it's role. So of course this is bothersome to skeptics who have trouble with faith anyway.


    [1] Bradley Bowen, "The Logic of Miracles – Part 4: Kreeft’s Last Ten Arguments" Secular Outpost Blog (Dec 20,2018), comment section.

    [2] Ibid, comments

    [3] Ibid

    [4] J.L. Hinman, "How Modern Thinking about God Went Wrong" Metacrock's Blog (WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 19, 2018)

    [5] "Debate, Hinman s Bowen" Religious A Priori

    O think this is the whole debate it;s in several posts.

    Essentially I kicked his ass he pretended it was nothing.

    a boxing tactic of pretending to be trapped against the ropes, goading an opponent to throw tiring ineffective punches.


    BK said…
    Of course you are correct. I would say that I don't see how a reasonable person can take a statement like "God is beyond our understanding" and morph it into the statement that "we can't know anything at all about God" without torturing logic to the most ridiculous degree, but nevertheless, I see it happen every day.
    I agree. But I know there are atheist who will find a way,

    Popular posts from this blog

    How Many Children in Bethlehem Did Herod Kill?

    Where did Jesus say "It is better to give than receive?"

    The Bogus Gandhi Quote

    Discussing Embryonic Stem Cell Research

    Exodus 22:18 - Are Followers of God to Kill Witches?

    Revamping and New Articles at the CADRE Site

    A Non-Biblical Historian Accepts the Key "Minimum Facts" Supporting Jesus' Resurrection

    Jewish writings and a change in the Temple at the time of the Death of Jesus

    A Botched Abortion Shows the Lies of Pro-Choice Proponents

    Asherah: Not God's Wife