Welcome to this new series where we will be defending classical [mono]theism from common skeptical arguments presented by agnostics, atheists and other skeptics.
Let’s begin then with definitions so that we can all be on the same page. “General theism” is a term that simply refers to the different types of theisms. For example, polytheism (the belief in many gods), deism (belief in a detached god), pantheism (that god is the universe), and monotheism (also known as classical theism, the belief that a single God exists). This series will specifically seek to defend classical monotheism, and therefore a theistic concept of God. A “Theist” refers to an individual who believes in a single god, God, or multiple gods. By consequence of what we’ve said above, the classical monotheist is one who believes in a single, all-powerful God, and that other concepts of God that are not his or her own are false. Monotheism is thus a particularist ideology.
By a “monotheistic God/deity” (a term we will be using frequently) I mean a supernatural being who is transcendent (above and beyond/outside of creation, the entire physical universe and all that exists within it), immaterial (it is not material as it created the physical and cannot itself be physical), timeless (for time commenced only at the initial creation event of the universe), enormously powerful (for it responsible for creating all that exists), omnipotent (all-powerful as it can bring about all things logically possible), omniscient (all knowing), and omnipresent (present in all places). This being is also conceived as personal and therefore able to interact with creation as well as intervene in it. This concept of God is one that is posited by the monotheistic religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, all of whom postulate the existence of a single, transcendent, and all powerful deity. It is this being that I refer to when I make use of the upper case “God” throughout this series. Lower case “god” is mostly used, although not always, in reference to polytheistic gods and pantheons, and finite divine beings.
Importantly, this series is not a defense of any one specific monotheistic religion and its respective doctrines and ideologies although we’ll be referring to what is obviously Christianity for Christianity, more often than others, is the religion under rational critique. This is also not necessarily a critique of world views and philosophies that posit the non-existence of God, although I will mention counter challenges in response to the specifics of certain arguments forwarded.
To set off, we will first be turning to Bertrand Russell’s well-known orbiting teapot critique of religious belief.