Articles

Is God Irish?

Roger McCann maps the limits of theology.

“Logic, like whiskey, loses its beneficial effect when taken in too large quantities.” Lord Dunsany (Edward Plunkett)

Philosophers, clerics, atheists, and assorted others have attempted to prove the existence or non-existence of God for thousands of years. This articles considers the use of logic for this purpose, centering on two questions ‘Can ‘God’ be defined in a logically coherent way?’ and ‘Is it possible to decide logically whether God exists?’ I do not attempt to answer these questions; rather, I will describe some logical difficulties inherent in attempting to answer them.

Unfortunately, many arguments concerning the existence of God are made with the intent of justifying an already-held opinion. I hope the reader will assess my thoughts without the certainty of a closed mind, and in doing so become (or remain) an exception to Mark Twain’s sarcasm: “In religion and politics people’s beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue but have taken them at second-hand from other non-examiners, whose opinions about them were not worth a brass farthing.

This article is available to subscribers only.

If you are a subscriber please Log In to your account.

To buy or renew a subscription please visit the Shop.

If you are a subscriber you can contact us to create an account.

close

This site uses cookies to recognize users and allow us to analyse site usage. By continuing to browse the site with cookies enabled in your browser, you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy.