The Distribution of Truth


An argument against the existence of a personal god.


  1. If there is an unimagined need for spiritual salvation, then there is a personal god who offers this salvation.
  2. If there is a personal god, this god is fair and loves all equally.
  3. If this personal god is fair and loves all equally, all have equal access to divine salvific truth.
  4. If this personal god is fair and loves all equally, this god has created man with equal capacity to accept divine salvific truth.
  5. If all have equal access to divine salvific truth, and all have equal capacity to accept divine salvific truth, its acceptance will not be dependent on culture.
  6. If the acceptance of divine salvific truth is not dependent on culture, the distribution of the acceptance of divine truth will not map to culture.
  7. The acceptance of divine salvific truth as it is taught by major world religions maps to culture.
  8. Therefore, there is no personal god as is taught by major world religions, and any need for spiritual salvation is imagined.


It is very clear that there exists a much higher probability that you will “choose” to be Christian if your parents or community are Christian. This greater probability should not exist in a world created by a personal god who is fair and loves all equally. When you look at a map of the distribution of world religions, you find that there is not any single religion evenly-distributed as you would expect if assumptions 2-5 are sound. I argue that they are sound, so a personal god does not exist.

This argument against a personal god from the imbalanced distribution of Truth acceptance can also be applied across the temporal dimension of history. There should also be no imbalance in the acceptance of divine salvific Truth across the centuries. There is, therefore the promoters of any such divine salvific Truth are in error.


Feedback is encouraged.

(The feedback that is most appropriate is not rhetorical, but addresses the validity of the argument, and soundness of the assumptions.)


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17 thoughts on “The Distribution of Truth

  1. wellwateredgarden says:

    Why would the existence of God be dependent on man’s explanation? And why would God limit Himself to man’s understanding of Him. The real question is: If there is a God, can He be known by man, does He reveal Himself to man, and does He know man?

    • My argument I wrote very carefully to limit it to a personal god who is fair and equally loving to all who are in need of salvation. This is the god proposed by the world’s major religions. If you still find fault with the argument, either show how it is invalid, or demonstrate the unsoundness of one or more of the numbered assumptions.

  2. kbeachy says:

    interesting argument. however, it seems that you’re implying God wouldn’t map religion to cultures, and you’re right. God doesn’t specify the cultural implications of religion, humans take the divine truth of God and interpret it via their personal worldview, creating a link to their cultures

    • Hey Kbeachy, Thanks for commenting.

      The problem is that a just god who loves all equally would not allow any of the ones he loved to receive less opportunity than others to escape damnation.

      Cheers, Phil

  3. CC says:

    Phil: ‘ …this god is fair and loves all equally.’ Tell me whether or not the following is fair to all…equally.

    There exists a triune God whose very nature is eternal LOVE. Love cannot exists unto itself and has to go forth from its source. But pure LOVE is spirit…not physical..and cannot be seen unless demonstrated physically. So….He decided to make man in His image …offspring who would ultimately…after the plan was complete….would have His nature (LOVE), His purity (without sin), and would choose Him because they loved him also. SIMPLE ! First: he made man; Second: He placed them in His perfect environment (Eden) and allowed them to feel his love… daily. But the man knows only Good and does not yet know evil. The man (male and female) does not yet have the ability to ‘choose’…..because he does not yet ‘know’ (experienced) evil. Genesis gives the history of the Tree of Knowledge and Eve’s encounter with the being who encouraged her to eat of the Tree of Knowledge. Eve was ‘good’….like her Creator. She had no knowledge of evil and knew only Trust. After the occurrence…God said, “Behold, now the man has become and we…know both GOOD and EVIL.’ Now …man has a free will like the Heavenly Father. He now has the genetic marker of his father….the power of CHOICE. The result of ‘knowing’ evil is DEATH (not physical…but spiritual death). DEATH is a total severing of fellowship with GOOD ….which they had experienced in Eden.

  4. CC says:

    Now man will live in ‘death’ and experience its full force. They will see its evil, feel its pain, ‘know’ its desolation…….just as they had experienced the full force of LOVE and knew its gentleness, its fairness, its kindness……its humility. For generations to follow, man’s offspring will be born with the spiritual gene of ‘death.’ And the Heavenly Father will faithfully reveal Himself throughout centuries of history. He will continue to reveal to His creation…the consequences of ‘death’ (sin). He will, equally as faithfully, teach man the consequences of ‘life’ ( fellowship with LOVE). He will continuously ‘show’ man good and evil…side by side…clearly contrast….so that every man can clearly CHOOSE between the true beautiful and loving Heavenly Father who offers His love eternally……..or the vile fullness of evil (Lucifer) who tried to steal God’s throne…not because he wanted to be who God is….but because he wanted to DESTROY the beautiful and gentle sovereign God. Lucifer would then have the power to DESTROY for eternity.

  5. CC says:

    Phil: ‘ …this god is fair and loves all equally.’ Tell me whether or not the following is fair to all…equally.

    HERE IS THE FAIRNESS. This gentle God sent a part of His being, the
    Word (Son), to become as a man in the created physical environment of DEATH. The perfect manifestation of the Father…Jesus…came to deliver God’s man from ‘death’ by placing His own soul into the fullness of ultimate death……the place where evil reside…the place of Lucifer and his followers who were cast out from God………the abyss….the dry place where there is no ‘water’, no ‘life,’ no ‘good,’ ….no hope of escape…..forever. In this ‘second death’ there is only vileness, desolation, filth and darkness. Man can’t know…unless revealed by the Holy Spirit…the horrors of this place. Christ sweated as it were ‘drops of blood’ …….not over nails and thorns. But because of horrors only found when one is totally severed from ‘life’…..laughter, peace, hope, joy, goodness, hope, fellowship, friendship…LIGHT. On the cross He ….SCREAMED, ‘ MY GOD, MY GOD. WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?” Before the ‘death’ of His soul…he had knowledge of why He had come to earth…to die this death. Now…in the full grips of this horror of the ‘second death’ or death of the soul…is is severed from all knowledge of the Father and ‘goodness.’

  6. CC says:

    Phil: ‘ …this god is fair and loves all equally.’ Tell me whether or not the following is fair to all…equally.

    ‘For God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son, That WHOSOEVER believeth in HIM, should not perish, but have everlasting LIFE.’

    ‘It’s not His will that any perish….but that all come to repentance;

    Golden crosses sitting atop communion tables in church around the world…are almost a sacrilege in that they don’t even begin the represent the death He died to rescue us from the ‘severing death’ that came into effect at the Tree of Knowledge. All ANY man has to do is CHOOSE the Heavenly Father …to ‘love Him because He first loved us.’ For those who choose to remain in Death……they will be destroyed …both soul and body in hell. When the time of the final destruction comes. ….God will not be destroying the man he has loved so completely. He will be …once and for all….as He has been compelled to do on occasions throughout man’s history….the EVIL that would destroy the most sacred thing in all existance….LIFE.

    Roman’s promised that ….’if you believe (choose Good..the gentle loving God), confess with your mouth (speak it, teach it, live it…before others), YOU WILL BE SAVED.

    I CONTEND HE IS A PERSONAL GOD WHO IS FAIR AND LOVES ALL EQUALLY. I REST MY CASE (HA).

  7. CC says:

    Wellwateredgarden: >>>> The real question is: If there is a God, can He be known by man, does He reveal Himself to man, and does He know man?

    There is a God. I know Him. I communicate with Him. I hear Him…by way of His ‘Holy Spirit’…when He chooses.

    He has been and is known by many men…..much is recorded in Scriptures. Men of our time know Him, encounter Him, hear Him…feel His gentle love.

    He DOES know man! He calls us by our personal names….like He did Peter in scripture. Jesus said the foundation of His church would be the ‘invisible’ spirit relationship between Him and each individual who seeks him. (‘Draw near to me…and I will draw near to you’). He called Peter by his name…’Peter’. And He calls me by my first name when He communicates with me personally.

    The Bible has its existence because of the divine will of God. The Bible is a physical manifestation of God….The Word. ‘In the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God. The Word was God.’ ‘They that worship (love) me must worship me in Spirit (inwardly from eternal…the soul) and in Truth’. ‘My Word is Truth.’

    • Hey CC. Thanks for your comments.

      If you laid out the logical argument against reincarnation to a Hindu, and he ignored the argument, instead going on and on about his relationship with his god(s), how aggravated would you become? Would you try to redirect him back to your argument, or move on to telling him that his relationship with his god(s) is delusional? What should I do?

      Cheers, Phil

  8. cc says:

    Phil>>>>’If you laid out the logical argument against reincarnation to a Hindu, and he ignored the argument, instead going on and on about his relationship with his god(s), how aggravated would you become? Would you try to redirect him back to your argument, or move on to telling him that his relationship with his god(s) is delusional? What should I do?’

    Phil….in your “Argument Against the Existence of a Personal God,”……you made statements which, according to your experience and therefore your belief, is logically correct. My attempt was not to change your views on anythings….but simply to disprove the one statement that ‘if there was a personal God, he would be fair to all and love all equally.” All your statements are invalid logically because I have experienced the PERSONAL God and know Him to be real. Phil, I never attempt to change any one’s mind. When I hear the various beliefs from the more commonly known religions around the globe, I can see and understand the basis for the formation of their beliefs. The precious God I know and love is not the unfair Sovereignty that He is portrayed to be. The vast descriptions of Him are put forth by persons who do not KNOW Him. They only know ABOUT Him. His Word (Truth) and His Love cannot be obtained by those who reject him from the beginning. The relationship between man and his Creator is most often like the relationship between a man and another man whom he distrusts and fears. The result of the very distant relationship is misunderstanding as to motive and distrust. The outcome is NO RELATIONSHIP…..no getting to know and appreciate the differences between each other. Again, I make no judgements concerning your beliefs or the beliefs of any other human brother or sister. As I read all of your argument, I could easily and quickly see that my personal God is all the things you have deemed Him not to be……and that’s is o.k. Please feel free to say just what you feel to me. I promise….I won’t be offended.

    Cheers, CC

    • Hey CC,

      We may be making progress.
      You said that you were commenting to disprove the premise that “If there is a personal God, he would be fair to all and love all equally.”
      Could you restate you argument for this as concise as possible?

      Your claims of your personal relationship with god I very much understand. Your words are identical to my words 15 years ago.
      I’m not sure if you’ve read the essay about by deconversion -> https://philstilwell.wordpress.com/2008/12/07/reasons-for-my-deconversion/

      I think you realize that I’m claiming you are delusional about your relationship with god, a claim that I must also apply to myself in that I spent 25+ years with a warm daily relationship with Jesus. So I’ve known the joy of the lord, and I know the power of a concept such as a personal god is quite an attractive thing. But once I assessed the nature of the human psyche, and explored the fervor of faith among Muslims and Hindus, I had to admit that my own fervor, in many ways, gave my life purpose, but it was not based on truth. Now I am focused on truth.

      However, you could change my mind by giving me real evidence, as it would emerge from the methods of science, for your relationship with god.
      Is there any certain fact about your claim to be in communion with god that can be scientifically assessed? If so, it would definitely make me reassess my position.
      If not, it would only bolster my belief that such claims are indistinguishable from similar claims that emerge from the devout of other religions that you do not have faith in, and your friendship with god is purely psychogenic. The human psyche is amazingly unreliable. Along with delusions of self, it has conjured up space aliens, monsters and gods. Would you look for gold with a metal detector you have not examined, tested or calibrated? Then why would you look for god without first assessing your mind? You’re sure to have false positives with a poorly-calibrated mind, full of expectations and emotions that confound the logical and rational approach I assume you use in business and other more mundane aspects of living.

      So, I’d like to keep our discussion limited to logical arguments or evidence that falls under scientific methodology. Can you agree to this?

      Cheers, Phil

  9. cc says:

    Phil, I am commenting to show that the premise you used to prove there is NO personal god, in fact proves my premise that there IS a personal God. :smile:

    (If there is the need for spiritual salvation, then there is a personal god who offers this salvation.)

    There IS a human need for spiritual salvation ….proven by the fact that societies through the ages have raised up a local god to give visual judgement to the society’s spiritual state. Approval of the god was often identified as fertility, victory over enemies, successful crops, and so forth. And these physical successes and failures were taken as proof of the society’s spiritual state. Since history proves mans fervent attempts at gaining favor from ‘the gods’….then man apparently believed he was inferior to the perfect gods and, therefore, in need of salvation or ‘favor’ from these gods. Therefore, since there is a human need for spiritual salvation….then there is a personal god who offers this salvation. (:smile:)

    (If there is a personal god, this god is fair and loves all equally.)

    The above premise is long Biblical one I discussed yesterday…using the historic relevance of the Bible. The Bible account, some which can be proven and some which cannot be proven scientifically….assumes man’s need for salvation. Since man has a need for salvation…..the oldest documents of scriptures document the actions of the Personal God in meeting those needs of all men in an equally fair and loving way.

    I’ve have to go for now….busy, busy, time. Catch you later.

    cc

    Phil: I realize that just sharing my personal experience has no credibility. As you say, my experiences could merely be delusional. But I’ll share the ‘reason’ for my conclusions concerning Christianity.

    I read you ‘Deconversion’ essay. It was very interesting. Reasonable. But if one insists on drawing conclusions only on what can be seen through one’s sole perceptive interpretation…..the conclusions are automatically invalid. Perception is a vastly broad domain. Only visual objects with mass (physical) can easily be agreed on as being real. Unseen realities are a little more difficult. For example..wind. We don’t see the wind. We see movement caused by the wind and/or we feel the invisible force as it ‘pushes’ against us. How do we prove ‘wind?’ I have always taken ‘by faith’ that wind is wind. I see its presence. I see its affect of the environment as it passes by. I listen to those who study its changeable characteristics as it interacts with other forces. I see its physical impact on other physical objects. I take it by faith that intellects down through the ages have experienced eons of ‘wind’ facts and know about ‘wind.’ Suits me. I take the winds impact on other objects as ‘evidence of a thing not seen’.

    • Hey CC,

      Because you are using the word “prove”, you should easily be able to place your argument within the confines of a syllogism as a syllogism is the rigorous and respectable way of demonstrating “proof”.
      In this way it will be defined precisely enough for me to address properly.

      Let me give you a start with what I see you’re saying.

      1. If people feel there is a god, there is a god.
      2. People feel there is a god.
      3 Therefore, there is a god.

      Is this what you’re saying? Please refine the syllogistic form of your argument to a point satisfactory to you, then post it in a comment.

      Cheers, Phil

  10. cc says:

    This one might be more akin to what I’m attempting to say:

    If people ‘know’ (knowledge conceived) they are under inate condemnation for breaking natural moral laws, they are under inate condemnation.
    People ‘know’ they are under inate condemnation.
    Therefore, people are under inate condemnation.

    If there is an unimagined need for spiritual salvation, ( inate condemnation) then there is a personal god who offers this salvation.
    People have an unimagined need for spiritual salvation.
    Therefore, there is a personal God who offers this salvation.
    .

    • Hey CC! You wrote,

      1. If people ‘know’ (knowledge conceived) they are under inate condemnation for breaking natural moral laws, they are under innate condemnation.
      2. People ‘know’ they are under innate condemnation.
      3. Therefore, people are under innate condemnation.

      …and this is a proper syllogism.
      Now we are on the right track.
      Next, let me clarify your 1st and 2nd assumptions. Could you define “know” without assuming the existence of the thing known, since otherwise the statement has no meaning and is merely circular?
      Could you also clarify your definition of “innate condemnation”?

      Cheers, Phil

  11. It has been a couple of weeks since CC’s last comment.

    Perhaps there is an answer forthcoming, and if so, I’ll remove this comment.

    It is interesting to note that, just as claims of miracles dissipate when the tools of science approach, so also dissipate the claims of knowing god when the tools of logic enter.

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