The Problem With Using God as an Explanation

Actually there are many problems with using God as an explanation. Let me highlight what I consider one of the most important problems. It's this: it explains too much. It explains everything, and so it explains nothing. What do I mean by this? If every problem can be solved by a single solution then the solution has too much explanatory power. It becomes a simplistic solution.

I've already made this case with regard to Calvinism, where I quoted these words:
"But is it always rational to accept a simpler theory? It is true that simpler theories always have greater explanatory scope. But there is a point where a theory can have too much explanatory power in which it explains everything, and actually doesn't really explain anything because there is no observation or fact which it cannot explain. Such a theory, having too much explanatory power ceases to be a simple theory and becomes simplistic." Link
There are some fatal problems with regard to how a timeless bodiless Trinitarian personal God has always existed who created the universe in time and who never learned anything new. There are fatal problems for how such a God could create a material world and why he did so knowing that billions of his creatures would end up in hell. There are additional problems harmonizing the current concept of the Christian God with the tribal God we find in the Bible. There are even more problems when we ask how this God could become incarnate in Jesus and why his death on the cross saves us from sins. Additional problems are why this God chose to reveal himself in the ancient superstitious past where claims of miracles were abundant and hardly ever doubted before the rise of modern science. Still more problems concern why this God did not reveal himself such that his words would not be misunderstood by believers down through the centuries, which caused wars among Christians themselves. And there is the fatal problem of ubiquitous suffering, both among humans and animals.

But all of these problems (and more) are answered simplistically with the God concept. You see, God is mysterious and so are his ways. Christians believe he knows what he's doing. He's beyond comprehension because he is God. He is infinite. We are finite. How can we expect to understand him? We can't. So he revealed enough about himself so that we should accept that he exists and that his ways are reasonable and good.


Believers opine that just because we cannot comprehend a timeless bodiless personal existence of a trinitarian Supreme being doesn't mean such an existence is impossible since God is an infinite being. Okay. Possibly. They pontificate on each and every one of these problems with similar answers. Just because we cannot understand the incarnation, or the atonement, or why such a God created anything at all doesn't mean God does not have his good reasons for doing so. Okay. Possibly. Just because we find a tribal God in the Bible doesn't mean that an infinite God doesn't exist who was progressively leading believers to a more informed perspective on just who he is. Okay. Possibly. Just because we cannot understand how a perfectly good God can be reconciled with the total amount of human and animal suffering from the very beginning doesn't mean that such a God doesn't exist who knows what he's doing. Okay. Possibly. And the list of problems goes on and on. For each one of them their God concept is the answer.

Christians demand that the skeptic must show some logical impossibility with any and all of these problems. And skeptics have risen to this challenge seen in this book: The Impossibility of God. But Christians always seem to find some strange extremely remote ad hoc possibility that escapes these arguments. So they continue to believe and think it's still reasonable to do so even though to answer these arguments they must continually retreat to what I call the "mere possible" defense time after time; that so long as what they believe is possible then it's probable even though this is a huge non-sequitur informal fallacy.

My claim is that the more often Christians must retreat to this defense in order to believe then the less likely their God exists. My argument is that for us to believe such a God exists we must know enough of his ways to conclude his ways are reasonable and good. But we don't. Not by a long shot. Not even close. Why would God create us with minds, ask us to use them, and not provide us with what we need to believe? I've already described what it would take for me to believe. Why doesn't God provide any of this?

And that is the problem. This God concept ends up being a simplistic answer to all problems. It explains everything and so it explains nothing. It is non-answer.