"Prove God Exists"

Discussion in 'Religion & Philosophy' started by Goomba, Apr 1, 2016.

  1. (original)late

    (original)late Banned

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    I applaud your ideals, but that's not how the world works. In the late 1800s, religious extremists were killing geologists. Later there was the 'monkey trial'. Have you ever read about the Scopes trial? That was weird. In the 1980s, extremists were bombing abortion clinics and killing doctors and nurses. That stopped shortly after we got a Democratic president.

    Partly this is because far too many of our schools are bad.
     
  2. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

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    You say "without an agent there is no explanation."

    But, proposing an agent doesn't fix that. It just chaged the unanswered question into a far larger family of unanswered questions involving this postulated agent, didn't it?

    I don't agree that actually accepting an agent as the answer is a valid response to questions we have.

    One or more of all sorts of interesting ideas might lead us to finally look in the right places, but just proposing one of those ideas is really no more than a start. I mean, what's the next step of answering anything about T=0 if one says "and agent did it"? Doesn't that just direct us to stop looking?
     
  3. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

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    These all fundamentally rely on testing God. I don't see any way to do that. In fact, the biblical statements concerning our total inablity to understand the purpose of god, the indication that god must be approached by faith alone, etc. seem to consistently point to the same conclusion as does science - that one must accept god on faith alone.

    The accuracy of the history in the bible doesn't imply that the religion is valid. The bible is certainly not the only work of history and religion.

    Science could determine whether there is some sort of anomaly at Lourdes, but even if an unexplained anomaly were clearly detected it would not suggest that god did it. It would suggest that there is an anomaly that isn't explained. In fact there are unexplained healing events in modern medicine, too. You don't have to go to Lourdes to find such events.

    We do have tools to compare dna fragments, but whether a bone fragment came from some apostle seems like a question that would be unlikely to be resolved by science given the requirements of such testing. For instance ancient bone fragments probably have no recoverable dna. Science might be able to determine if the fragment is human.

    Science is really bad at answering qustions of religion It just doesn't have that capability.
     
  4. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

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    I'm well aware.

    And, the cases of murder have no possible justification.

    I'm concerned that science becomes less accepted when it is seen as attacking religion rather than focusing on issues of science where science does get to win.

    So, stuff like arguing that god doesn't exist, or that abortion isn't a sin, or whatever does have an element of being counterproductive.

    Maybe the abortion question could be realigned to be one of America working for a lower abortion rate in the manner of the proven effectiveness of Canada's method, which includes no laws against women. Then, we could pretty much all be on the sae side!
     
  5. Diablo

    Diablo Well-Known Member

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    Some of that is true, but there are some things that can be tested. Prayer, for example, does it work? There have been attempts to do that with mixed results. Relics can be carbon dated to see if they match the dates given, like the Shroud which doesn't. The historical claims of the bible can be tested - the Ark would not work, etc. I agree about Lourdes that the test is ambiguous.

    Science has tested religion successfully, proving that the Earth is not the centre of the universe, that humans evolved from other species rather than being created. Even the Catholic Church now accepts evolution.

    I think that every time religion sticks its head up above the parapet with some testable claim, it should be challenged.
     
  6. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

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    There is NOTHING scientific about testig prayer. What's really going on there is testing GOD. And, there is no justification in science or in religion to suggest that such a test could be meaningful in terms of determining god's existence.

    So, I don't believe science has tested religion AT ALL. Science has found strong evidence of how some things in this universe work and that has sometimes conflicted with religious claims. But, that doesn't threaten Christianity, as you point out concerning evolution.

    I'm an atheist, but I'm not dedicated to defeating the various gods that others in so many religions find so important in their lives.

    Science has an incredibly important role to play. Attacking religion at every turn doesn't hit me as a productive strategy for convincing people to accept or trust what science offers. I think some attention has to be paid at picking our shots, so speak. There are important cases that have a bearing on what we do. There are also cases where it's not that big of a deal - not an adequate guideline, but ...
     
  7. Diablo

    Diablo Well-Known Member

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    I don't really agree with that. If religion says that prayer works, and we prove it doesn't, then religion is wrong.

    If religion says that the Earth is the centre of the universe, and we prove it wrong, then religion is wrong. Same with the relics.

    Science should not permit false claims to go unchallenged.

    Religion should also be confronted at every point when it tries to persecute women, gay people, or other any other group, or take away people's rights.
     
  8. (original)late

    (original)late Banned

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    It's usually religion attacking science.

    The people that don't like abortion don't want robust social programs.

    They want power, and a new Dark Age.
     
  9. Zorro

    Zorro Well-Known Member

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    There is a bit to unpack here. There are two major schools of thought on time; tensed and tenseless. Newton had a tenseless view of time and since Einstein's contribution more have a tensed view of time. Good discussion of the two here: https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/scholarly-writings/divine-eternity/god-and-real-time/

    On a tenseless view, temporal becoming is our perception with no other independent basis. Time neither flows nor do things come to be except in the sense that we become aware of them after not knowing their existence at an earlier moment. Things simultaneously exist on different moments on the time-line. All are equally existent and are tenselessly related to each other by the relations of earlier than, simultaneous with, and later than, which we describe as past, present, and future. Anything that from our perspective has, does, or will exist in the universe in fact simply exists tenselessly.

    On a tensed view of time, temporal becoming is a real and objective feature of the universe; transience is essential to the nature of time, time really flows. Temporal properties of events include a real reference to past, present, and future, which are real. The present represents the edge of becoming, and future events do not exist, yet, rather they do not exist at all.

    God exists timelessly sans creation and temporally since the moment of creation.
    Well, at that point measured time became possible because of the existence of expanding space and the formation of matter.
    Motion is the metric by which we measure time, but, it's important not to confuse time itself with our measurements of it.
    A creative force without a Will, will create at the instant it is possible to do so. It is only with a Will that the ability to exist is not simultaneous with existence.
    I did not limit time, the time we experience is limited. The Singularity occurred about 12 billion years ago, not even a measureable drop in the bucket in comparison to eternity.
    Let's break it down:
    The Space-Time universe did not exist at T=0, therefore, the cause existed outside of Space-Time.
    T-0 is not merely an assertion, it grounds modern cosmogony and the reigning scientific theory of origins, the Big Bang.
    The Cause, unless you are going to argue that singularity was uncaused, was casually prior to T=any positive value. And that Cause either had a Will, or it didn't have a will. A Cause with a Will, I'm describing as a person.
    By no means, A will gives the power to create, or not to create. A will also gives the ability of what to create, that is, to choose among the possible contingencies with a goal in mind, in the case of our universe, that creatures would arise, though temporal, with the ability to grasp and ponder eternity and begin the search for the reasons for their existence. The counter-view, it would seem to me, would be that this is all a smash-up of the most amazing series of fortuitous circumstances many magnitudes beyond any description of credibility. So for me, between the proposition:
    i) A personal cause created the universe with a goal in mind that self aware creatures would arise capable of abstract thought:
    is more likely than it's negation
    ii) The uncaused universe sprang into existence, for no reason at all, that just so happened to be in the life-permitting configuration that we find ourselves.
    What would be an example of that?
    I think that given atheism, that you would be correct, that what we call Free Will is merely the illusion of a free will. I have not been able to figure out how real free will can exist, outside of Theism.
    I'm not grasping your point, would you mind elaborating?
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2020
  10. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

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    One of the catches is that humans can not judge the actions of a god. In Chrsitianity, the bible states that - in case it wasn't obvious anyway.

    And, the results of this test for prayer thing is totally up to god.

    Would he answer as if he wasn't being tested? Would he reject just on principle? Do we have any idea what percentage of the time he might answer the way we wish he would?

    In a way it gets back to the point that god may have reasons for his actions that are WAY beyond our understanding. Kids get cancer - if god wanted what WE want, that wouldn't happen. And, kids die of cancer regardless of prayer.

    In tests such as for prayer, the results come down to percentages. So, if everyone in the USA prays for kids with cancer to be saved, what percentage would validate prayer?

    I think you can make the test SOUND better than that, but I don't believe the test can be made any more valid.


    Whether religion gets "confronted" isn't a question for science. It's really a political issue. Science informs policy. But, the policy making has to account for numerous practical and political issues.
     
  11. Jeannette

    Jeannette Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    They are not myths, I have had too many experiences that prove otherwise. But regardless, yes, you can live any kind of life you want as long as you repent before death. Of course the problem is that you might die suddenly, and not have a chance to repent, but that's the chance you're taking.

     
  12. Jeannette

    Jeannette Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    A dark age, or a renewed enlightened age?

    When I was young and an atheist, I saw nothing wrong with abortion. When I accepted the existence of God, the fetus suddenly became a human being, which means Christianity changed my whole perception. This holds true in a lot of things, not just abortion.

    This doesn't mean though that I accept the militarism of the Catholics when it comes to abortion. To stop abortion there has to be a societal change in people's morals. Yet their militancy towards abortion has done the exact opposite.

    Instead of stopping or at least limiting abortion, what they have done is frightened the women's rights advocates into pushing for even more liberal judges on the bench. These judges have completely destroyed the moral fiber in our nation in just about everything - something we're seeing with all the violence, lies, wars, etc., etc.
     
  13. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

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    Living a life of debauchery while planning a last minute hail Mary hits me as proof that one does NOT accept god the way he demands to be accepted.

    I don't believe Jesus is watching that performance and saying, "I'll be damned, he said the magic words."
     
  14. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

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    The militancy has to do with laws against women - NOT some moral argument.

    You wouldn't get push back on reducing the number of abortions if you weren't stuck on promoting that the state control women's care of their own bodies.

    Let's remember that Canada does way better than we do in reducing the number of abortions - and they have NO LAWS against abortion.

    It's the focus on laws that is the part of this that rightly deserves major objection.
     
  15. Jeannette

    Jeannette Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    [
    How simplistic! It's not magic words. God doesn't give people 'permission' to enter into His existence - otherwise He'd think twice, believe me. God had His Word incarnated into flesh to teach people 'how' they can enter God's existence. If a person's heart changes at the last minute after leading a life of debauchery, then so be it.
     
  16. Swensson

    Swensson Devil's advocate

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    Sure, I know them as the A- and B interpretations of time. Well, if the cause of the creation happened timelessly, then there is no problem to create a time-based universe without a fixed point. Your simile with a being sitting through eternity and arbitrarily deciding to stand is not a good comparison to a creation in this way. The fact that a creating notion may or may not then manifest inside time is neither here nor there.

    What is the support for the statement that God exists timelessly sans creation and temporally since? My suggested creating force remains timeless, and I don't see a problem with that (mind, I'm using "my suggested creating force" as a stylised alternative to God in order to examine the differences, I'm not suggesting that we should believe it).
    Sure.
    Sure. I'm not sure how that is relevant though. My point is that if we follow a timeless interpretation, then the universe can come into being with arbitrary parameters such as time (a beginning and an end), i.e. we have no reason to believe that an eternal cause must have an eternal effect.
    Agreed (or close enough). However, if that force is timeless, then there is only one such "instant" and the force is not expected to behave the same with respect to all moments of in-universe time.
    I'm with you so far.
    This seems to me to be a different argument than the one you had before. The argument I responded to seemed to be a cosmological one, the only evidence I recall you presenting was the existence of the universe and that it had the beginning (and I guess something about the fabric of time). The breakdown you have provided here instead seems to drift into a teleological argument, where you use self-aware creatures as evidence as well.

    Are you saying that your cosmological argument actually relies on the teleological argument (i.e. if you can explain self-aware creatures in another way, then the requirement of a mind goes away) or are they distinct (i.e. what I've understood as a "breakdown" is actually a different argument with different underpinnings)?
    An example of what, exactly? Of nature selecting an arbitrary point in a continuum? I like to refer to the Higgs mechanism (indeed, that's where the phrase "spontaneous symmetry breaking" comes from). Of a mindless god concept? Well, I've given you the outline of one, it is effectively God, except whenever you would refer to a choice, it dumbly selects an arbitrary alternative.
    There are a whole lot of issues around free will (probably outwith the scope of this thread), and while I am not convinced myself, I can see how reasonable people could be compatibilists.
    My point here is that if free will does not exist (which, I appreciate, is not a given in this discussion), then either the effect you're looking for (the standing up, the arbitrary choice) could arise through unfree means (i.e. doesn't require a mind), or the mind is also unable to do it (i.e. we can't get it without a mind, but we also can't get it with a mind, so we're barking up the wrong tree altogether).
     
  17. (original)late

    (original)late Banned

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    Definitely Dark.

    The Church said the soul entered the body at the quickening, and for about a millennia. When abortion came along, they saw that as a threat to the production of cannon fodder, so they changed doctrine.

    The developed world, for the most part, got over abortion a half century ago. It's the least worst alternative.

    This is just another attempt by religion to change the fact that we are a secular country.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2020
  18. Jeannette

    Jeannette Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Abortion has always been equated with murder in all Christian nations, so why are you assuming that its the Church that wants to change society? Wouldn't it be more correct to say that it's the anti Church secularists who want to revert the world back to its former pagan state?



     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2020
  19. (original)late

    (original)late Banned

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    That depends on what you mean, if anything, by "Christian nation". We are a secular nation.

    Abortion is a non-issue in most of Europe.

    Me, personally, I'm a pagan.

    [​IMG]
     
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  20. Jeannette

    Jeannette Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Well obviously you're a pagan. As for abortion, well it wouldn't have been against the law in this country and in other countries as well, if it wasn't considered a major sin. Are you a god? We seem to have an awful lot of them lately?



    [​IMG]

    Take that you fools of misery.
    For we the gods of lofty see,

    are watching you from our great height
    and snicker at the motley sight
    of lesser beings, not as bright as us.


    And if our hubris should offend
    Then knowest it will be your end,
    for gods like us can never fall.
    Oops! - Jeannette




     
  21. Jeannette

    Jeannette Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Wrong again! You're forgetting our motto: In God We Trust.

    Look, let's be real here. You have every right to your beliefs, but at least accept the fact that we were established as a Christian nation. Our universities were seminaries, and all our laws were based on Christianity. Contrary to what you were made to believe, our Founding Fathers were highly devout and it was their minds that formed this country. They believed, (and rightfully so considering what's going on now), that without Christianity this republic cannot survive.
     
  22. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

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    I just think it is a serious decision. Taking out fire insurance with one's dying breath? Well, whatever. I just dont' see that as a conversion.
     
  23. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

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    Suggesting something is sinful is not a justification for making a law. And, we aren't the only first world Christian majority nation to accept that. Separating religion from government was one of the important ideas that we brought with us from Europe.

    As for abortion in particular, you are still dodging the point that abortion rates can be lower than ours is today without resorting to harsh and seriously problematic laws against women.

    In my view, politicians promote the legal assault to curry political favor - NOT to reduce the number of abortions. If they cared about reducing the number of abortions, they would be looking at the reasons women choose abortion and they would reduce those factors.

    But, they don't. They care about maintaining the issue for benefit in elections. They create law that they KNOW will never pass legal muster, because they LIKE the issue and feel the need to keep it alive and well.
     
  24. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

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    We were established as a secular nation.

    Our constitution makes that CRYSTAL clear.

    I'd point out that Madison and others who designed out government had NO record in their histories of leadership of making decisions based on their religion. Madison was especially rigorous about that.

    Their personal religious beliefs were not a roadblock to moving government FARTHER from religion than was the major example of which they were keenly aware - England.

    The advances in goernment that our founders enacted were secular in nature and did not come from religion.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2020
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  25. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

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    "In god we trust" was a poliltical movement in the 1950's during red scare and the much touted threat of "godless" communism.

    The motto of the US to that time and in many contexts beyond is "e pluribus unu" - out of many, one.

    And, that is far more in line with what our government was and is about.

    It's a statement of the colonies joining. It's a statement of democracy and representation. It's a statement that matches our declaration of independence, our constitution and its preamble.

    "In god we trust" is none of those things.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2020

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