"Prove God Exists"

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

  1. (original)late

    (original)late Banned

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    Abortion didn't become illegal until the mid to late 1800s, and they were typically passed for racist reasons.

    Yes, I am a god, a minor god of information. You're all gods, but because being a god sucks donkey balls, nobody wants to own it.

    "We are as gods, we might as well get good at it." Stewart Brand
     
  2. Distraff

    Distraff Well-Known Member

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    Why would you bring up these experiences but then not tell them what they are?
     
  3. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

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    Interestingly enough, "In God we Trust" was ruled by the courts up through appeal to be of purely secular nature. Since it isn't religious(!) it doesn't run afoul of the establishment clause, etc.

    So, it slid by the courts and now people can come along and suggest that motto is an indication of our government being based on religion in some way!!!

    Hilarious!
     
  4. Jeannette

    Jeannette Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Never think of Christianity in terms of morality or lack of it, because the emphasis is really on the human heart. Saint Paul threw out the laws because you can't attain 'Theosis/Divinity' and become like God by adhering to moral laws - no matter how stringent the laws might be, and how observant a person might be. Uniting with God in His existence, (Theosis/Divinity), will only come through God's Grace. It's a favor God gives us - but you have to ask for it. Then He will start working your heart and perfecting it.

    If you repent at the last minute and open yourself up to God's Grace, then I assume you'll be in a lower position than others after death. Will you go from that position into a higher 'elation', I don't know.
     
  5. Jeannette

    Jeannette Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    All our Founding Fathers were seminarians. Secular institutions did not exist. To be honest, I think the reason the Founding Fathers placed so much emphasis on God, (and believe me there are a lot more writings), was to extenuate their belief that nations need not have 'anointed' kings to have God's Blessing's and protection.

    There must have been a real fear at the time about the survival of the US. It was a totally new experiment. The following is a small sampling of their writings.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    George Washington -

    It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favors.

    "Religion and morality are the essential pillars of civil society."

    "Oh, eternal and everlasting God, direct my thoughts, words and work. Wash away my sins in the immaculate blood of the Lamb and purge my heart by Thy Holy Spirit. Daily, frame me more and more in the likeness of Thy son, Jesus Christ, that living in Thy fear, and dying in Thy favor, I may in thy appointed time obtain the resurrection of the justified unto eternal life. Bless, O Lord, the whole race of mankind and let the world be filled with the knowledge of Thee and Thy son, Jesus Christ."

    Thomas Jefferson -


    Benjamin Franklyn -

    John Hancock -

    "Resistance to tyranny becomes the Christian and social duty of each individual… Continue steadfast and, with a proper sense of your dependence on God, nobly defend those rights which heaven gave, and no man ought to take from us."

    Alexander Hamilton -


    The Christian Constitutional Society, its object is first: The support of the Christian religion. Second: The support of the United States.
     
  6. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

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    That does not make our government anything BUT secular.

    And that is certainly not questioned by Hamilton, who notes that support of the Christian religion and support of the USA are different enough objectives that one must prioritize one over the other.
     
  7. Jeannette

    Jeannette Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I did see a demon, and it's exactly as it's written up in books. The eyes were black as coal and glowed with embers. I found it impossible to look at them. I knew this person was a sociopath, but I didn't realize until afterwards that she was probably in the occult.

    First of all I am Greek Orthodox, and it's a very other worldly faith - more so that the Roman Catholics. Personally I am very close to Saint Nektarios, who had died a century ago and who is very miraculous. Whenever something happens, my first reaction is to get his sanctified oil. Saint Nektarios is especially known for cancer cures, and I read recently that the Serb cancer victims from the depleted uranium used in Kosovo, are being bused regularly to his shrine at the island of Aegina.

    My grandson was born a blue baby and the doctor said that when the count reaches a certain number he will need a transfusion. I gave my son in law some of the oil, and told him to put it on him - which he did. The next count didn't go down, so I asked if it was checked before he put on the oil or afterwards. He said before, so I told him now it will go down - and it did.

    Anyway these are just a few of my experiences.
     
  8. Zorro

    Zorro Well-Known Member

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    It's merely a means of differentiating between agent and brute causation.
    The view that God is simply timeless faces two insuperable difficulties:
    (1) an atemporal deity cannot be causally related to the temporal world, if temporal becoming is real, and
    (2) timelessness is incompatible with divine omniscience, if there are tensed facts about the world.

    We have good reasons to think that time and the universe had a beginning. Therefore, God cannot be infinitely temporal in the past. But, we could say that God sans the universe existed in an undifferentiated time in which temporally ordered intervals could not be distinguished. But such a state is not different from a state of timelessness, therefore, the best understanding of eternity and time is that God is timeless sans creation and temporal since creation.

    More on this here: https://www.reasonablefaith.org/wri...ne-eternity/timelessness-and-omnitemporality/
    If it would not need to be aware of changing tensed facts, I don't see a problem either.
    If the sufficient conditions for the effect are eternal, then why isn’t the effect also eternal? How can a first event come to exist if the cause of that event exists changelessly and eternally? How can the cause exist without its effect?

    There seems to be only one way out of this dilemma: the cause of the universe’s beginning is a personal agent who chooses to create a universe in time. Because the agent is intelligent, he can initiate new effects by freely bringing about conditions that were not previously present. So, a finite time ago a Creator could have freely brought the world into being at that moment. An intelligent Creator could exist changelessly and eternally but choose to create the world in time. By exercising his causal power, he brings about that a world with a beginning comes to exist. The cause is eternal, but the effect is not. It is possible for the temporal universe to have come to exist from an eternal cause: through the free will of a personal Creator.
    I'm not sure I'm clear on your point. The existence of a temporal world would lead to an intrinsic change in God on the basis of His knowledge of what is happening in the temporal world. A being which knew only tenseless facts about the world, including which events occur (tenselessly) at any date and time, would still be completely in the dark about tensed facts. He would have no idea at all of what is now going on in the universe, of which events are past and which are future. On the other hand, any being which does know tensed facts cannot be timeless, for his knowledge must be in constant flux, as the tensed facts known by him change.
    No. The fine-tuning of the universe is a separate free standing argument for an intelligent cause.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2020
  9. Jeannette

    Jeannette Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    The foundation of our nation was Christian, and the Fathers express it continuously. You have to look at things in the context of the times. It would have been unthinkable for people to be otherwise in that time and place. The Federal government though was not denominational based - as were the American colonies.

    The fear the colonies had was that the Federal government might establish it's own denomination and start excluding and persecuting the others. This is why we have the First Amendment. It's intent was to protect the American peoples freedom to worship as they please.
     
  10. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

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    Yes. They recognized that the government had to be kept separate from religion. Their experience with government and religion NOT being separate in England was a harsh lesson over a very long period of time. They had civil wars over that. They put people to death for having the wrong religion.

    So, our founders recognized that religion and government had to be kept separate.

    Yet for some reason you objected to that when I said our government is secular.
     
  11. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

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    I'd add that the elements our founders are lauded for contributing, the elements that made our government unique, don't have their origins in religion. They have their origins in the growing western experience in government.

    A constitution, separation of powers, checks and balances, a litany of rights - this isn't the bible speaking. The bible isn't about RIGHTS - the bible is about DUTIES.

    Jesus taught us about duties. Mosaic law is about the requirements that must be followed by all members - law that carefully embodied the religious belief of the Israelites.

    Yes the founders had various religious beliefs that we consider to be Christian, though there were significant differences. But, the nation they created is secular - as even you have indicated.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2020
  12. Swensson

    Swensson Devil's advocate

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    Right, but it is in time, so it's not actually a representation of how a time-less entity would treat causation. It is not clear that an eternal entity that creates time struggles with the same issue of arbitrarily choosing to stand up.

    I still don't think (1) holds up, but I believe it is gone through in more detail further down in this post. I don't think that (2) really follows either, but it is even more easily resolved by the fact that I don't propose that this God is omniscient. In fact, if it is not a mind, it might not be "scient" at all.

    I don't know about "best". It seems to me this is no better explanation than saying that God was always time-less. I'm not seeing how your conclusions follow from your premises.
    I don't think I say that the cause exists without its effect. It seems to me we can ask your question in two ways, either we can pick a point in time (however, that means that we're not "without its effect", since the effect, the universe, is there) or we can evaluate it outside of time, at which point this pseudo-God simply has a universe created, and so it is also not "without its effect".
    I don't see a reason why we couldn't take this sentence and replace every reference to a choice with an arbitrary decision, and that would doable by a mind-less concept. It seems that would be no worse an explanation, indeed, it would just be less complex than the mind conclusion (any question of how such a concept could be would be at least trumped by the question of how a mind came to be, how its preferences came to be and how its powers came to be, including the power to create a universe in time by choice).

    Besides, it seems to me that a God like the one you describe would be "unchanging" only in some very narrow and arbitrary sense of the word, if it is capable of changing his mind to start creation. It doesn't seems so much that the mind conclusion explains how time can happen, it just hides it in a black box and pretends that it doesn't need further explanation.
    Is that a problem? This seems only to be a problem if we suppose an all-knowing or at least a knowing god, and my suggestion does not do that. That being said, it seems to me this is not a problem anyway, there would be no past or future to a timeless god, although it would be perfectly capable of pointing out whether it is past or future to another event, should it see fit to do so.
    Ok, can you do a breakdown on the original argument that doesn't take that into account then?
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2020
  13. Zorro

    Zorro Well-Known Member

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    The effect is Space-Time and the cause would act causally prior to the effect.
    Why would anything entail a struggle? Why arbitrary rather than purposeful?
    So a Creator that doesn't know what he created? A being which knew only tenseless facts about the world, including which events occur (tenselessly) at any date and time, would still be completely in the dark about tensed facts. He would have no idea at all of what is now going on in the universe, of which events are past and which are future. On the other hand, any being which does know tensed facts cannot be timeless, for his knowledge must be in constant flux, as the tensed facts known by him change.
    It would seem to me that rather than explaining the origin of one entity, you now have to explain two, the cause and the effect coming into existence simultaneously. How does this differ at the bottom line from a Universe that created itself, from nothing, for no particular reason?
    If a Cause is inadequate to the task, simplicity doesn't advantage it over an adequate cause that is more complex. If I have to resurface the disc for the brakes on my car, a hammer is a far simpler tool than a lathe, but, I can't resurface my disc with a hammer, I need a lathe.
    Eternal things carry the reasons for their existence within themselves, they require no external cause. They have always existed, so there is no point in looking for causes when they have always existed. We know that the Universe is not such an entity because it came into existence a finite time ago.
    If I've always planned to build a house, it's not a change of mind to build it. If I'm eternal and mindless, and I have everything required to cause a house, the house will also be eternal, as it takes a mind to refrain from acting.
    Without matter and space how would you differentiate time? With the existence of the universe time is measurable as the rate of the motion of physical objects, on the bottom line I don't see a real world difference between undifferentiated time and timelessness.

    To bring it back to the topic of this discussion:

    i) is belief in an intelligent immensely powerful creator to explain the existence of the universe, reasonable?

    I think that it is. I also think it is more reasonable than it's negation,

    ii) the universe can reasonably be explained in the absence of an intelligent immensely powerful creator.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2020
  14. Swensson

    Swensson Devil's advocate

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    Yes, so?
    I mean, that's my point. It seems to me that it wouldn't be hard for a mind-less entity to stand up just as the mind chose to do. Why would a mind-less entity struggle to do that?
    I'm not sure this addresses what it quoted. My snipped you quoted does not say arbitrary rather than purposeful, but that arbitrary is no less capable than a mind to overcome that particular hurdle.
    This doesn't seem to be an answer. Yeah, why not a creator that doesn't know what it created? If it is mindless, what good would knowing do for it? It might not even know tenseless facts about the world.
    I mean, it is barely different. There are a bunch of things that I agree with you are necessary for a universe to come into existence. I've taken all of those things, carved them off from the idea of a self-creating universe and put a "hello my name is God" sticker on it. The illusion that these are two things that need separate explanations is a fictional one that I added myself in order to make it look a bit like yours, for easier comparison.
    I agree, I only appeal to simplicity because the concept are otherwise very similar (by design). I've given my hypothetical explanation all the features yours has, except for the mind bit, which seems unnecessarily complex and hard to justify to me. All the other features are also hard to justify, but given that the universe exists, we don't have much choice. "There is some concept that can cause time" seems strictly easier to justify than "there is some concept that can cause time, and it has to be a mind".
    Not necessarily, if you are timeless and your house is temporal. It seems to me that you consider in-universe time to be a little snippet of the infinite time that an eternal something exists in (because why else would you expect a universe to be maintained over infinite time by an eternal entity?). I would suggest that the two are different, and that there is no such thing as before or after in-universe time, meaning that there is no contradiction in that an eternal creator wouldn't be sustaining a universe then and there.
    I'm not sure how this relates to the discussion. Have I suggested that there isn't space or matter? Have I made a distinction between undifferentiated time and timelessness?
    Uh, well, of course you do. You think you're right, I think I'm right.

    I consider minds to be either fully mechanical (well, chemicals, cells, quantum effects etc.) or effectively indistinguishable from it. Minds are not fundamentally different from the rest of the world, only different by degree. As such, it seems to me minds do not unlock anything that would be useful for the creation of the universe. Anything that a mind does that seems useful, should be readily available without a mind.
     
  15. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

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    The lengths required to support your conclusion don't suggest to me that it is reasonable. I think you're just trying to argue that it isn't absolutely impossible.

    Also, the fact is that we have no information at all concernig what migh be termed the creation event. Our information goes back to a point after it happened. And, from that point on it's "reasonable" to suggest that all that has happened has been a natural result of that event

    Let's remember that theoretical physicists have models concerning how this event came about.

    Also, let's remember that we have no clues about god, either - and not just about whether a god exists, has time, etc.

    Is this a god v. science issue? I certainly do not believe so. How are models from theoretical physics and religious views in conflict? Do we have a justification for believing god created one and only one universe in his "lifetime"? Could god not have created a larger context that emits universes naturally?

    Why is it important to think that god took individual action on this one universe?
     
  16. Jeannette

    Jeannette Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    There was no growing western experience. We were the experience that others began to follow. Oh yes, some concepts did come in from pagan Greece and they called it the 'Enlightenment', but it didn't do the French much good when they rebelled against God and killed the King. They were hacking people to death. It's called the 'terror'. They even celebrate it. What a bunch of nuts.

    First of all the New Testament is not about 'duties', it's about faith, but that's neither here nor there. The point I'm trying to make is that the Fathers made it obvious in their writings that they were highly devout, and wanted God's enlightenment and guidance in what they were doing. They were going against a Church anointed king, so they were fearful. They could have been hung for treason.

    This nation is secular, and there is freedom of religion but the foundation was Christian, in the same way that the foundation of Christianity is Judaism. Things do not pop out of the air, there is a growth factor in everything.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2020
  17. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

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    You need to read some western civilization history. America's government did NOT just pop out of nowhere. There was a long progression of steps.

    Your comments on the French Revolution are just plain way off the mark.

    And, I'm not suggesting that our founders weren't devout in their various religious versions. I'm noting that the adances in our government did not come from the Bible and that the constitution they wrote explicitly creates a SECULAR nation. They are not advances from the bible. They address issues of government, not religion.

    I brought up rights, because Christianity is not about rights, it IS about duties.

    In Matthew (and other places), Jesus pointed out to his followers that they had a duty to others. He gave them examples in his own behavior. And, when they pushed back suggesting that they didn't see very many poor people or those in other need, Jesus stated that they had a duty to search the hospitals, the poor houses/prisons, the jails, and to FIND those who have needs and to supply those needs. Not even the golden rules covers the duty that Jesus gave his followers.

    In some translations of the Bible the ramification of not carrying out those duties are severe.

    The idea that Jesus wasn't about duty is nonsense.

    And, the idea that the Bible establishs rights that man may claim is also nonsense.
     
  18. Zorro

    Zorro Well-Known Member

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    I find that people don't make big last minute changes as they die. They die as they have lived.
     
  19. Jeannette

    Jeannette Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    God gives people a last chance to repent by flashing their lives before them before death - or so I believe. I think it works with those that have an element of conscience, but not with those that lack it.
     
  20. Jeannette

    Jeannette Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Isn't that what I said, that things do not pop out of no where.
    The terror and the hacking of tens of thousands was not off the mark? You realize that after all those massacres, the French republic didn't sustain itself and it became a monarchy again.

    Of course they were not advances from the Bible, but the minds and reasoning that created our government were highly devout. They were not pagan, Muslim or Buddhist minds. They were Christian minds.

    Christianity is about the human heart. Nothing is a duty, but rather a reflection of a person's love for Christ and for humanity.

    The extent of love in people's hearts can affect everything and everyone in the world - including the earth and the weather. It's what binds and holds the world together. Just imagine for a second if the connection and feelings people have towards one another - even towards their pets didn't exist? The whole world would fall apart.



    Saint Porphyrios - We need always to have thoughts of love for our brothers and sisters. We need to have goodness and love in our soul. Man has such powers that he can transmit good or evil to his environment. These matters are very delicate. Great care is needed.


    You have to understand where our Founding Fathers were coming from. They were Protestant because they protested against the authority of the Pope, and later the authority of the King of England. Those protests though didn't come out of no where. Luther didn't pull his ideas from the air, he based them on the Orthodox Church which was always part of the original Christian Church and yet never under the Pope. So of course the Founding Fathers are going to emphasize the 'rights' of man against authority.
     
  21. Zorro

    Zorro Well-Known Member

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    That's the same conclusion I've come to.
     
  22. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

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    You suggested I was wrong about our governmnet being based on a long history of government in what we call the west. And, that is clear nonsense.
    You made statements about religion in France during the French Reolution. Those were bogus. In general, your comments about that revolution are uninformed.
    What are you trying to say here? Are you trying to claim all western progress in government for Christianity?

    Do you not remember that the major steps taken through that process were to separate religion from government? Do you not notice that governments welded to religion have serious problems in advancing?

    Yes, the indiiduals espoused some version of Christianity - not necessarily versions that have much following today, but they did believe in a god like that of the bible.

    But, the big deal was to separate those beliefs from their implementation of government. If you think their recognition of the importance of a purely secular governmnt came from their religion, I would suggest that is nonsese on the grounds that they had hundreds of years of experience in the history of western government to drive home that requirement.

    No, that's just not what the bible says. The words of Jesus give clear duties. There is the fundamental duty of spreading Christianity. There is man's duty to fellow man - which goes way beyond the golden rule. There is the duty of abiding by government as it is established. I'll stop there.

    Our founding fathers knew a LOT more than that!!

    They knew what happens when one substitutes protetantism for Catholicism. England tried that, too.

    They knew from a long history of government and philosophy on the subject that religion must be divorced from government.

    I think you are missing that our founders were learned men.
     
  23. Jeannette

    Jeannette Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    If you read the writings of the founders that I posted you would realize the base of the US was definitely Christian, and they were tolerant of other faiths out of necessity - otherwise they wouldn't have been able to form a federal government. So was the US secular in the way that you think of it today? I don't think so. It would have been scandalous in that time and place.

    You said the West. If you had said it was a gradual development from the English mentality going back to the Magna Carter, then I might have considered it. You do realize the European kings were all autocrats?


    GREETINGS!
    [​IMG]
    At least I had nothing to gain,
    not money or elusive fame,

    can those in charge now
    say the same?


    My problem was I feared my head
    that I might lose it and be dead
    and gave away my rights instead.

    And this is why you foolish folk
    are looked upon now as a joke
    controlled by every criminal bloke

    who can buy the media - Jeannette


     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2020
  24. Jeannette

    Jeannette Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    How could our Founding Fathers know that, when every government that ever existed was connected to a religious faith, whether it be pagan, Christian, Muslim, etc.

    And very Christian men as well.

    John Adams:

    "...The Declaration of Independence laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity..."

    "...The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: it connected, in one indissoluble bond, the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity..."
     
  25. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

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    No. The base of the us is absolutely and totally secular.

    And, no, they did NOT make it secular just in order to collect all the colonies. They could have collected the colonies under a religious government. They did not. They explicitly separted religion and govenment, because THAT is a critical advancement in government.

    And, I have NO idea how you could question that fact. Our founders were crystal clear. They wrote it into the constitution.

    Are you really going to start suggesting I don't know European history - even after your gaffs on the French Revolution and English government?

    Let's remember that the English kings were autocrats, too. However, that did not make them free of domination by religion. Henry VIII was most definitely and autocrat and he couldn't get a divorce due to Rome.
     

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