What do I mean by creator god? Not only do I mean the kind depicted by the Bible and other creation myths (e.g. Babylonian, Egyptian), but any god who personally creates our universe for us. This type of god is different from what goes by the name of a deist god. The difference between the two is that a creator god not only creates, but relates to his/her/its creation.
What are the major components to a creator god. First, a creator god is a theist god. This is a god who continues to interact with his creation. On earth his primary concern is human beings, so much so, as the myth goes, he created them male and female (in reality there is also intersexed). Human beings can ask things from this creator, even to intervene in what he (biblical god) created to change what was created in the first place (i.e. miracle). A creator god creates out of nothing (ex nihilo). Before the creation there is nothing but god. Finally, this god is a perfect god: omnipotent (all-powerful), omniscient (all-knowing), and omnibenevolent (all-good).
Let me first address the trifecta: the omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent aspects of a creator god. This kind of god dissolves in a cup of reality—the problem of evil.* God under this scheme is supposed to be omnipotent and omnibenevolent. Fact—bad things happen. And omnipotent god could prevent them. But does not. This leads one to reject an omnibenevolent god. If you begin with an omnibenevolent god, and you find bad things happening in the world, this god cannot be omnipotent. Either way you cannot have both of these components together. I will not go into the counterarguments here; it is not worth the energy to type out why they all fail.
God’s omniscience directly relates to his creation of the universe. Remember we are talking about a perfect god here. There are so many flaws in his creation it is hard to take this god’s omniscience seriously. A few examples will give you a flavor of what I am talking about. A simple cut can get infected with a certain strain of the strep bacteria. This is more commonly known as the flesh eating bug. Once infected treatment needs to be addressed immediately or you risk serious tissue damage, amputations, and death. On day one of my Zoology class the professor pointed out that we can choke and possibly die from food that we attempt to ingest. There is a good evolutionary reason for this; by adjusting the throat we gain the ability to talk. Well then, god had to make a choice: in order to give human beings the ability to speak, he had to allow that they would choke. This is not a get out of jail free card for a creator god. Remember this is supposed to be a perfect god with perfect knowledge of future events. God should have had an ability foresee the problem here and designed accordingly. And finally, I will conclude this short list with the waste of space issue. Take the vagus nerve. It snakes its way down to the thorax and back up towards the head. This is bad enough in most mammals, but with the giraffe it shows up in spades.
So, the theist god’s omnipotence, omniscience, and omnibenevolence cannot hold water. These concepts lead to contradictions or just do not fit the facts. Creation ex nihilo in itself has issues with it. It does not line up with the creation stories that have come down to us from antiquity. Even the Christian and Jewish god does not create out of nothing. Genesis 1:2 states: “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” Aha, so there was something. How the doctrine of ex nihilo was developed out of this in Christian and Jewish theology I do not know.
Even some theories in modern cosmology have the universe coming into being from something. One theory has it that there was a vacuum filled with energy. Even in the standard Big Bang cosmology, nothing is known of the first itsy-bitsy instance of time—the Planck time, which equals 10–43 seconds. Even though this is more than very very small, it is not nothing. Before that time nothing is known according to the mathematics used in Big Bang cosmology. And in theoretical physics nothing is known without the underpinning of the mathematics involved.
So, creation ex nihilo is not believable. The rest of the Genesis creation stories are not believable either. There are two creation stories in Genesis. The one in chapter one and the following story with Adam and Eve. The first story does not jive with what we know transpired in the early universe and in early earth history. One inconsistencies in the first story are light and darkness are created without the Sun. Remember this is an earth centered story. Another is the order of evolution is not correct either. In creating human beings as male and female the stories leaves out intersex individuals. These are individuals born with mixed or ambiguous genitals. In the Adam and Eve story Adam comes before any of the other animals (the reverse of the first story). And how can you believe that Eve was made from a rib taken by god from Adam. The only way is in the inerrancy of the Bible, which cannot be true.
These stories also contradict monotheism, a major component to the whole biblical creationist god. God talks as if there are more than one god. Either that or he (talking about the biblical god) has a dissociative disorder (what used to be called multiple personality.) Even the Hebrew word used often in the Hebrew Bible, Elohim, is a plural noun. So, if there is more than one god which one are you praying to?
This leads into my final argument against a creator god. This is theism. Theism is the notion that one can have a personal relationship with god. Theism is something that you will find not divorced from modern monotheism. Within the creator god scheme a creator god not only creates the universe, but creates it for the benefit of the human race. Even liberal Christians and Jews will maintain that god created the universe in some manner, most likely not exactly like the Genesis stories.
So, why theism at all? It is my hunch that supplication to the god(s) came first. I think these acts were in conjunction with being fearful. The terrors of the night, the danger lurking in every corner, or the tiger in the jungle might have all elicited this response. Initially it might have started among individuals, but eventually would have solidified with group rituals and sacrifices. Somewhere along way, probably connected to the fertility cycle of life, creation stories began to surface. Initially, how the gods created the yearly cycle of growth and decay, but eventually leading to the monotheistic god creating everything in the world.
In this scheme of things. It was god(s) you could petition that came first (the hallmark of theism), and only later was this or these god(s) turn into creator ones. But, what is so problematic about a theistic creator god. Well, I hope you have seen how the creator aspect fails to reach the rank of reality. But, people do proclaim the power of pray. They pray and a problem gets resolved: illness, disaster, or unemployment. The sequence of prayer to answered prayer certainly occurs, except when people are being shammed out of their money at revivals. But these do not have to be incidences of answered prayer, but may merely be coincidences. Life is rife with them, so is it any wonder that these will be seen in the appearance of answered prayer. I think that unanswered pray occurs vastly more often than apparent answered ones. But, people easily forget about all those times when they see their prayers were apparently being answered in the present.
Besides there being no proof that prayer works^, answered prayer is inconsistent with the triune of qualities that this god is so often thought to have. Now a perfect god should have created a perfect universe. For god to need to intervene in order for his created human beings to have their prayers answered does not go well. All should have been order in the first place. You could claim that god did take care of all from the beginning of creation, and it is only from the puny human perspective that we see an intervention into the nature of things.† But if this were the case why would god require human beings to pray. Granted some prayer is an act of adoration, but was it not Jesus who said to ask.‡ So prayer is an unworkable activity. Either god already knows what you are going to need and creates this as part of the universe, so prayer ends up being redundant, or god goofed up in the first place, so that his human creatures need to ask for him/her/it to intervene.
One other thing that is problematic about prayer is that you will often find two people, or groups of people, praying for opposite things. Does god then favor one over the other. Not only would a god of this type be morally suspect (all-goodness goes out the window here), but would also be liable to not knowing. A god of this type should have foreseen this. There are, of course other problems with prayer. How does god hear all the prayers simultaneously. Oh, by its all-powerfulness. But, we have already seen that if human beings have to pray for something god failed to provide in the first place, god would not be all-powerful or would be slack in his/her/its creation.
I hope I have shown the implausibility of a creator god. Either straight away in the unlikelihood that our universe was created by any type of god or some of the other points I have mentioned. But this is especially so considering the concepts usually hovering around this type of god—the triune of attributes of what is thought to be a perfect god: omnipotent (all-powerful), omniscient (all-knowing), and omnibenevolent (all-good) just cannot work together. The ex nihilo principle is not a given. How could you even prove that nothing existed at anytime.** And, finally the issues that surround theism. Theism either calls for a bungling god or the unnecessariness of prayer (the key to a theistic relationship to god in the first place).
My conclusion—there is no creator god as is usually believed in.
* I do not like this term. It smacks of religion, which is not a given, like the use of it would indicate. It is also used more in terms of what people do, and I am talking about the general principle of the universe not being perfect from a human perspective (the only one possible)
^ Studies that seem to prove the efficacy of prayer are either problematic in their methodology (the experimental setup) or support multiple conclusions, one of them at least being a case of results being explained by natural means.
† Kalam philosophy (an Islamic type of) has this scheme as the way things are with god creating things that look to follow cause and effect. God in this view creates both the cause and the effect.
‡ But in another place he also says that god already knows your needs. What is the point, right?
** Even the concept of nothing in itself is problematic. Nothing Matters: A Book About Nothing by Ronald Green addresses the issues with this concept. I wasn’t in agreement with everything he said, but he did highlight some important problems with what is meant by “nothing.”