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Does God Exist?

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    Believing something despite a lack of evidence is unreasonable. Belief in God stems from an inherent human need to find meaning in something which should appear meaningless. We can conceive of a supreme God because we have witnessed the opposite in reality, and imagination lends us to induce God in order to feel like we can understand the world. However, there is no proof or reason to believe strongly that there is no God either, and so having faith in either ideas seems irrational.
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    (Original post by Pavol)
    That is, if you believe that univerese has simply happened or is, it had no purpose when it begun to exist and has no purpose now. If however, you believe that this existance of the universe is a creation, than you know there is a creator and you can ask for whys
    How is this anything more than begging the question?
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    (Original post by KingMessi)
    Precisely. Incidentally, I still need to read 'Climbing Mount Improbable': to date I've only read 'The God Delusion' and 'The Selfish Gene'.
    I found The God Delusion a bit disappointing (superficial and rather beside the point), but I think all the biology books of his that I've read are good.
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    Turned up to my Diversity of Life lecture today, the lecturer just puts on an hour-long Attenborough documentary about Darwin. Felt like being back at secondary school again :ahee:
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    (Original post by Gofre)
    This implies the universe is a "creation", any proof for that?
    that, that it exists
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    (Original post by elkana)
    that, that it exists
    Huh?
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    (Original post by Gofre)
    Create implies intention. The universe may have arisen as the result of natural processes, or may have always existed in some state or another. And if we can't prove either "theory" (special creation isn't a theory by the way, its not even a hypothesis), the correct response is to refrain from believing in either, not whichever you feel is most appropriate.
    when you see anything that exists the starting hypothesis must be that it was created or else why does it exist the burden to prove that it wasnt created lies on the atheist
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    Personally I don't believe there is, I go to a catholic school and so being an atheist can be a bit of a pain though. But in my opinion if your belief does not infringe on the rights of others and you are respectful ect ect then I have no problem and neither should anyone else
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    (Original post by Gofre)
    Huh?
    how does it exist if it wasnt created?
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    (Original post by Apeiron)
    I found The God Delusion a bit disappointing (superficial and rather beside the point), but I think all the biology books of his that I've read are good.
    It was hit-and-miss. Whilst some of the arguments are, as you say, superficial, others are fairly logical and, while it isn't the zeitgeist-changer he'd have hoped it to be, it's hardly a truly weak argument either. His biology is better, though.
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    (Original post by elkana)
    how does it exist if it wasnt created?
    Short answer, we don't know. However we do have evidence that matter can arise from nothing, and our ignorance on an issue does not validate your equally unproven answer.

    (Original post by elkana)
    when you see anything that exists the starting hypothesis must be that it was created or else why does it exist the burden to prove that it wasnt created lies on the atheist
    Burden of proof lies with those making the affirmative claim, that's you asserting it's created. The starting hypothesis is not that something is created, there is no evidence for that.
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    (Original post by Gofre)
    Short answer, we don't know. However we do have evidence that matter can arise from nothing, and our ignorance on an issue does not validate your equally unproven answer.
    energy may have formed from nothing but space couldnt have been formed from nothing

    (Original post by Gofre)
    Burden of proof lies with those making the affirmative claim, that's you asserting it's created. The starting hypothesis is not that something is created, there is no evidence for that.
    the starting hypothesis is creation just like when you see a shirt the starting hypothesis is that it was created and if someone wants me to believe that it was formed on its own he will have to prove that
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    (Original post by elkana)
    energy may have formed from nothing but space couldnt have been formed from nothing
    "space" is not a literal thing.

    the starting hypothesis is creation just like when you see a shirt the starting hypothesis is that it was created and if someone wants me to believe that it was formed on its own he will have to prove that
    Creation is only the starting position for things we know to be artificial. It is not the null hypothesis for everything.
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    (Original post by elkana)
    energy may have formed from nothing but space couldnt have been formed from nothing
    Why do you think space is 'nothing'? Have you watched A universe from nothing by Lawrence Krauss?
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    (Original post by elkana)
    energy may have formed from nothing but space couldnt have been formed from nothing



    the starting hypothesis is creation just like when you see a shirt the starting hypothesis is that it was created and if someone wants me to believe that it was formed on its own he will have to prove that
    You conclude that the shirt was created because you are familiar with the "creation" of clothes, you are accustomed to the designing of garments, it is common for such items to be created. It is, therefore, understandable to make the inference that the shirt was "created".

    However, we have never seen a universe created. We know, quite literally, nothing about where energy and matter originated. And yet you are asserting that we can resolve this issue by comparing the provenance of energy and matter - an issue that is an incredible rarity and one we have no knowledge of - to the creation of a shirt - an issue we are concious of, have full knowledge of and is actually quite a common occurrence. The two cannot be paralleled.

    But even if you don't accept the argument above, it is still invalid to asseverate that, just because you feel the universe had to be created, your belief in a particular God is vindicated. It isn't! Firstly, if something cannot come from nothing, where did God come from? And secondly, just because something created the universe, does not mean it was your God. It could be one of myriad possibilities, all equally possible: the Flying Spaghetti Monster, for example. So you still have no reason to put your belief in a specific God, only to hold out that a God (or Gods) exist and that we have no knowledge of it/them/she/he.
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    (Original post by Gofre)
    Short answer, we don't know. However we do have evidence that matter can arise from nothing, and our ignorance on an issue does not validate your equally unproven answer.

    Actually, all we have is evidence that matter can arise from nothing as we can detect at this point in time. Moreover, if energy is just another state of matter, as some have argued (I need to rewatch the video and can't here), then it is not arising from nothing.


    (Original post by elkana)
    when you see anything that exists the starting hypothesis must be that it was created or else why does it exist the burden to prove that it wasnt created lies on the atheist
    First we need to prove it was created. We cannot assume a priori that it was. I discussed this a while ago, with regards to probability.
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    (Original post by Hylean)
    Actually, all we have is evidence that matter can arise from nothing as we can detect at this point in time. Moreover, if energy is just another state of matter, as some have argued (I need to rewatch the video and can't here), then it is not arising from nothing.
    Well the theory is that something can come out of nothing as long as the law of conservation of energy is maintained. This will mean that the negative gravitational potential energy would be equal to the positive energy of matter and radiation. (I'm not sure whether using the word 'negative' in front of energy is the best wording though)

    With regards to the Krauss video - the theory isn't completely watertight.
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    (Original post by elkana)
    when you see anything that exists the starting hypothesis must be that it was created or else why does it exist the burden to prove that it wasnt created lies on the atheist
    Okay, your God exists.

    So using your logic, the starting hypothesis must be that it was created, or why else would it exist?

    That leaves us with an infinite regress which doesn't make any sense.

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    (Original post by Hypnotic_Me)
    exactly How does one go about disproving something one cannot even universally define. There's just too much inconsistency about organised religion, and the sad part about it religous followers are generally blind to that because as a world view God explains everything. An effective lie is still a lie though, even if it helps us sleep at night.

    It could be argued that religion is one of the major parts about humanity which is holding us closer to our younger state - more animal like.
    I know animals don't follow religion or worship Gods, but I think that's fair to say because they lack the cognitive ability to do so. This just reinforces the whole psychological argument. The use of religion however is the crutial stage between being savage and civilised, its use lies in the answering of questions which cannot be answered. A highly useful tool when one has the cognitive abilty to think of the questions, but by no means answer them for themselves.
    After all, that's what we're best at isn't it...tool making.

    Yeah that part. Elaborate.

    Are you saying that if a religion was perfectly formulated to cater to all parts of human life and society (with justifiable reasoning) whilst being able to give a clear-cut answer for God, it'd be fine, right?
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    (Original post by Joe-89)
    Came in to post pretty much this.

    The only thing you said I disagree with is the bolded bit.
    I'm not at all religious myself but I think it's a bit unfair to label religion as "silly". People can't help what they believe in, and, like you said, we can't prove that what they believe is incorrect. In fact, I'd argue that those who are adamantly atheist are just as "silly".

    As long as they keep it to themselves and don't try to inflict their beliefs on others without proof I'm happy to respect their faith and let them get on with it!

    I'm with you on accepting that we don't know either way and that it's pointless to carry on debating it.
    I completely agree with you, I gave you a positive rating.. It was silly of ME to claim religion is silly and I can see how that is disrespectful. I should be more careful with my own words. People are entitled to their own opinion is what I'm trying to say =)
Updated: August 21, 2012
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