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Does God Exist?

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    I'm totally bored now...:bored: I think I'll make a nice cup of tea...:tea:and then get comfy to sit down and watch 'Gavin and Stacey'...:ciao:
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    (Original post by GregoryJL)
    Let's concede everything our apologist would want. Let's say the gospels were written nice and early with the most conservative dating we can, that they were transmitteded faultlessly from first manuscript to present day copies, and they were collated within a community of believers continuous with the followers of Jesus, and even written by the apostles themselves. You can argue the toss for quite a few of these, but given that they were true, would they be sufficient grounds for belief in a resurrection?

    No. Because we have even more powerful grounds, on the face of it, to believe that resurrections don't happpen.
    Worse: even if you take the next step and concede a resurrection did happen, this is far from evidence of the Christian God, as I pointed out in this thread.
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    (Original post by GregoryJL)
    The argument is about as silly as vigorously demonstrating that a rabbit couldn't possibly have fitted up the magicians sleeve, and thus it could only have been magic that made it appear inside his hat (!!)
    Impressive
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    (Original post by MrPhil)
    Hmmm. I've only met one atheist say he "knows" there is no God and he is a very intelligent guy tbh, but many atheists would describe religion as something along the lines of "a load of ****" or something for "deluded" people. That's arrogance and can be insulting.
    Arrognace is taking a stance without reason, for example "I am better than you at sport" - even though you are a county swimmer or whatever.

    Atheists are not arrogant in that way: they have a reason to call it a load of ******** or to say it is for deluded people.
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    (Original post by Speedbird2008)
    Arrognace is taking a stance without reason, for example "I am better than you at sport" - even though you are a county swimmer or whatever.

    Atheists are not arrogant in that way: they have a reason to call it a load of ******** or to say it is for deluded people.
    Here here. In many cases it can also be the other way around to say "I know God exists" based on little or no evidence can also be insulting to atheists.
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    It's pointless to speculate, because we can never prove it either way, so giving a straight yes/no to a question like 'Does God exist? is impossible. However, based on the evidence available, I am strongly inclined towards the non-existance of a God
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    (Original post by Henry12321)
    It's pointless to speculate, because we can never prove it either way, so giving a straight yes/no to a question like 'Does God exist? is impossible. However, based on the evidence available, I am strongly inclined towards the non-existance of a God
    I don't think it's a pointless activity debating an answer to the question which may or may not affect the course man kind takes in the future. Debate will eventually lead to a conclusion, man once thought it was impossible to really know where the sun comes from, and thus many civilisations allocated it its own God to explain the questions away.
    Also by not be debating the question, it just becomes forgotten and someone, somewhere will ask the question once again only to have to start from the beggining. It's not just the conclusion that makes the debate, but the debate itself, it hold a view, to substantiate it and pass it around until you can improve on it or it becomes obsolete, thus we grow ever close to what could be described as truth.
    I agree that there is no God, it's merely a manifestation of what we need psychologically to explain away all the gaps within our knowledge and so feel secure in our 'existence'. The idea of a God, however, is very complex and many, many people draw so much comfort from it, but by debating it and keeping the grinding questions constantly erroding away at faith can the truth come to the surface.
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    (Original post by Hypnotic_Me)
    I don't think it's a pointless activity debating an answer to the question which may or may not affect the course man kind takes in the future. Debate will eventually lead to a conclusion, man once thought it was impossible to really know where the sun comes from, and thus many civilisations allocated it its own God to explain the questions away.
    Also by not be debating the question, it just becomes forgotten and someone, somewhere will ask the question once again only to have to start from the beggining. It's not just the conclusion that makes the debate, but the debate itself, it hold a view, to substantiate it and pass it around until you can improve on it or it becomes obsolete, thus we grow ever close to what could be described as truth.
    I agree that there is no God, it's merely a manifestation of what we need psychologically to explain away all the gaps within our knowledge and so feel secure in our 'existence'. The idea of a God, however, is very complex and many, many people draw so much comfort from it, but by debating it and keeping the grinding questions constantly erroding away at faith can the truth come to the surface.
    I accept your point, and perhaps my use of 'pointless' was a bit strong. But I still think it's true that we will never be able to prove or disprove the existence of God, simply because of the nature of what we believe God to be. It's all very well to disprove the illusion held by one person, but practically impossible to disprove the same illusion held by millions of people across the world. I 'accept' and am convince personally that mankind's psyche invented the concept of a God in order to fulfil his innate need to be in awe of something greater than himself that he does not understand. However, I don't believe we'll ever be able to absolutely 'prove' this to be the case, but I do agree with you that with constant debate and questioning, we can 'demonstrate' this to be true
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    (Original post by Henry12321)
    I accept your point, and perhaps my use of 'pointless' was a bit strong. But I still think it's true that we will never be able to prove or disprove the existence of God, simply because of the nature of what we believe God to be. It's all very well to disprove the illusion held by one person, but practically impossible to disprove the same illusion held by millions of people across the world. I 'accept' and am convince personally that mankind's psyche invented the concept of a God in order to fulfil his innate need to be in awe of something greater than himself that he does not understand. However, I don't believe we'll ever be able to absolutely 'prove' this to be the case, but I do agree with you that with constant debate and questioning, we can 'demonstrate' this to be true
    It's a fair point to make based on the fact we havn't disproven 'God' up until now....or have we?

    The sad truth is the idea of 'God' has taken such a pelting of scepticism over the years, and the story of who God is, what he stands for, where he's coming from seems to deviate by a fraction every time because no one really knows what 'God' is. This is problem for proving or disproving because the word means so much to so many people, but then again, it has done for countless other Gods who now are unknown.
    I think it's a safe bet to say that as soon as the purpose of God (which seems to be the giver of an after life, and the one who watches over us) is gone or severly undermined, is when the idea of God will be less appealing or not really a necessity anymore. Sun Gods, sea Gods, rain Gods - they've all fallen to the almighty power that is logic and rationality, It's only a matter of time before modern day Gods are torn away from their untouchable world of divinity.
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    (Original post by Hypnotic_Me)
    It's a fair point to make based on the fact we havn't disproven 'God' up until now....or have we?

    The sad truth is the idea of 'God' has taken such a pelting of scepticism over the years, and the story of who God is, what he stands for, where he's coming from seems to deviate by a fraction every time because no one really knows what 'God' is. This is problem for proving or disproving because the word means so much to so many people, but then again, it has done for countless other Gods who now are unknown.
    I think it's a safe bet to say that as soon as the purpose of God (which seems to be the giver of an after life, and the one who watches over us) is gone or severly undermined, is when the idea of God will be less appealing or not really a necessity anymore. Sun Gods, sea Gods, rain Gods - they've all fallen to the almighty power that is logic and rationality, It's only a matter of time before modern day Gods are torn away from their untouchable world of divinity.
    The continued existence of organised religion would suggest that we've been unsuccessful so far.

    I like your last line, may that day come sooner rather than later :yep: I fully agree with the rest of your points as well I think the reason why no one knows what God is anymore is also to do with the fact that God represents something totally different to different people. In that respect it's impossible to define what God is or represents, let alone attempt to prove or disprove his existence
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    (Original post by Henry12321)
    It's pointless to speculate, because we can never prove it either way, so giving a straight yes/no to a question like 'Does God exist? is impossible. However, based on the evidence available, I am strongly inclined towards the non-existance of a God

    I agree with that.
    It's a matter of believing/not believing.


    I personally believe God exists and don't need any more evidence.
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    (Original post by Henry12321)
    The continued existence of organised religion would suggest that we've been unsuccessful so far.

    I like your last line, may that day come sooner rather than later :yep: I fully agree with the rest of your points as well I think the reason why no one knows what God is anymore is also to do with the fact that God represents something totally different to different people. In that respect it's impossible to define what God is or represents, let alone attempt to prove or disprove his existence
    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.
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    (Original post by Hypnotic_Me)
    seems to me it's more a case of you wanting there to be more, so you believe it, more than you believe it because it makes sense to. (?)
    Yeah you're probably right.

    I just can't get my head around the fact that this is it and when you're gone you're gone.

    Plus, I had never lost a close family member until my Gran passed away in 2007. One or two things have happened since then, completely out of the blue that makes me wonder if there is indeed an afterlife. She was a very religious woman as well.

    But here's another question. Does there have to be a God for there to be life after death? You would go off your head if you sat and thought about it all the time. :eek:
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    (Original post by Macafelly)
    Yeah you're probably right.

    I just can't get my head around the fact that this is it and when you're gone you're gone.

    Plus, I had never lost a close family member until my Gran passed away in 2007. One or two things have happened since then, completely out of the blue that makes me wonder if there is indeed an afterlife. She was a very religious woman as well.

    But here's another question. Does there have to be a God for there to be life after death? You would go off your head if you sat and thought about it all the time. :eek:
    You'd be surprised how many people do think about it all the time, and how many people do go off. On the other hand, some people gain a profound understanding and belief about the whole thing.

    I don't think it's hard to get your head around, all you have to think about is life before you were born. It'll be just exactly how you remember all that; to me it's much more simple to assume there is nothing because there is nothing substantial that indicates to me that there IS something.

    As for life after death without a God.

    1. I don't believe in either of them
    2. If one were to exist, it would probably imply the other, but I don't see any logical reaosn as to why there couldn't be an afterlife without a God. - though it seems unlikely to me.
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    (Original post by Hypnotic_Me)
    You'd be surprised how many people do think about it all the time, and how many people do go off. On the other hand, some people gain a profound understanding and belief about the whole thing.

    I don't think it's hard to get your head around, all you have to think about is life before you were born. It'll be just exactly how you remember all that; to me it's much more simple to assume there is nothing because there is nothing substantial that indicates to me that there IS something.

    As for life after death without a God.

    1. I don't believe in either of them
    2. If one were to exist, it would probably imply the other, but I don't see any logical reaosn as to why there couldn't be an afterlife without a God. - though it seems unlikely to me.
    I suppose that once you die, if there is nothing at the end of it, then you won't know anything about it.

    I aint actually frightened of death and I don't spend an awful lot of time thinking about what death will be like.

    Unfortunately for me though, I am a terrible hypochondriact (sp) and I waste a lot of my time worrying about HOW I'm going to die more than anything else. :eyeball:
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    If God can be considered the Ultimate Ego, and we are sparks or Individual Egos that spring from that Ultimate Ego, then at root it can be said that we too are God, we too are that same Ultimate Ego--so are we then egotistical because we are essentially prasing our own name, us being God and all?
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    Sorry I've been a bit late in replying to this thread...
    (Original post by Hypnotic_Me)
    From this then, you're only real justification for believing in God is because 'it makes you happy'. I've said this may times before, but I'd much prefer to be lower down on the scale of the 'happy-o-meter' and face what reality seems to be based on verifiable evidence.

    Karl Marx described religion as "opium of the people". From the point you gave I would tick his description correct. 'Believing in religion because it makes you happy' is all well and good for the short term I'm sure. Religion does provide at least a possible answer and solution to all the unanswerable questions and unjustifiable pains we must endure in life (though this doesn't make it the correct answer). All this serves to do is to cover up, ignore or denie the probelms that exist at all. So although religion helps you forget about that thorn in your side, it doesn't get rid of the root cause of your pain. :no:

    Taking life as it is, based on evidence and facts will act as the catalyst towards solving the probelms faced with humanity, rather than hoping the big guy up stairs has it all neatly laid out infront of him and that he'll mop up the mess that's made.




    A game of chess is intellectually satisfying, but it doesn't change the fact that it is still just a game.




    It could well be true that a man named Jesus died on a wooden cross next to two prisoners. Although, the only peice of 'evidence' that suggest that it was done in order to absolve all of humanities sin is interpretation or simply because some quite possibly influenced people at the time told the story in that way. Hardly enough to be sure about anything, some traditions such as the fact that mary was lifted into heaven by angels was added to the story around 600 years after she actually 'died'. This suggests to me that some storys get changed to help validify or glorify the story that's always been known and loved. Using a story itself to jusify and prove the story makes absolutely no sense though. To ask "why does God love me" to be answered with "because he created you" is very similiar to "Why does santa stop time?" "so he can deliver all the toys to children" - We don't learn anything new.


    As for miracles we have a man named David Hume- "No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle unless that testimony be of such a kind that its falsehood would be more miraculous than the fact which it endeavours to establish."
    Well actually I made that point in response to a claim that people are more likely to live a happier life as an atheist - not true according to research. I don't think people should become religious because it makes them happier, simply because that won't motivate belief. However, I do feel Pascal's Wager can be used to motivate people to investigate Christianity instead of wiping it off completely.

    Atheists always try to show that belief in "the big guy upstairs" as you put it, is stupid and fantastical and that Christians need to look at "reality". Well many Christians use their reason and experience to conclude that a world where we're created to serve a purpose and be a good person, where we have an objective basis for morality is "reality". I think a world which somehow came into creation by itself from out of nowhere, where people have to make up their own purposes of life and nothing more after death is certainly no more logical, rational, etc. Atheism just tends to critique claims in favour of Christianity, but it isn't well supported as far as I'm concerned. I know it's very easy to say "No evidence = no God!" but what counts as "evidence" is a subjective thing. It's natural for humans to assume something complex has been created for a purpose, but atheists think Christians are deluding themselves when they entirely understandably believe the world was created. William Lane Craig can explain this much better than I can with his cosmological argument - I personally feel it's more than just a coincidence that the being he says the Big Bang points to is an infinite, necessary, powerful, personal, uncaused, changeless, timeless being.

    On that note I might add that it's common belief from atheists that Christians use God to cover up the gaps in scientific knowledge. In fact, many Christians don't agree with the God of the Gaps hypothesis. Scientific progress has consistently occurred since people started to use the God of the Gaps idea. However, is science getting closer to removing God from the equation? I don't think so. Every step of progress made in science, the more obscure and complex the universe becomes. While we don't have direct empirical evidence that God has been at work, if we take the alternative view that there is no God because of the absence of evidence, we are only left with more questions.

    As for the quote from David Hume, I agree with him. However, while his quotation reduces the possibility of miracles happening, it can also make it more likely (in the minds of Christians) that a miracle is occurring as it can encourage them to look for other explanations, which they may not find. It should be stated that a lot of people are naturally sceptical, it's very hard to convert non-believers through a testimony that a miracle occurred. However, the whole miracles debate boils down largely to pre-suppositions. If someone takes the belief God exists, then there's a definite possibility of an event being a miracle. On the other hand, if they assume beforehand that no God exists, it's natural they will think up other explanations.

    I'll write more later...
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    (Original post by MrPhil)
    Well many Christians use their reason and experience to conclude that a world where we're created to serve a purpose and be a good person, where we have an objective basis for morality is "reality". I think a world which somehow came into creation by itself from out of nowhere, where people have to make up their own purposes of life and nothing more after death is certainly no more logical, rational, etc.
    You're right that it is no more logical, rational, etc. But at the same time, the former is wishful thinking.

    (Original post by MrPhil)
    William Lane Craig can explain this much better than I can with his cosmological argument - I personally feel it's more than just a coincidence that the being he says the Big Bang points to is an infinite, necessary, powerful, personal, uncaused, changeless, timeless being.
    You're right, it's no coincidence.
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    Not so fast.

    I'd love to see where you think all scholars who seriously study the resurrection assent to it. This would imply that all biblical historians are Christians, which, last I checked, is not the case. Besides outright denial, I'm I could rustle up some scholars who were Islamic or Jewish, and thus have their own preconceived ideas about what really happened.
    Just what I've been taught by Christian apologists and I at least doubt they would make it up. I'm sure Jewish and Islamic scholars have preconceived ideas but how seriously have they studied the resurrection and looked at claims from Christians that is was a historical event?
    But I've got a better idea. Hume. Written off by evidentialist Christians for a reason which escapes me (and them), he neatly skewers such evidentialist claims at first glance. Let's concede everything our apologist would want. Let's say the gospels were written nice and early with the most conservative dating we can, that they were transmitteded faultlessly from first manuscript to present day copies, and they were collated within a community of believers continuous with the followers of Jesus, and even written by the apostles themselves. You can argue the toss for quite a few of these, but given that they were true, would they be sufficient grounds for belief in a resurrection?

    No. Because we have even more powerful grounds, on the face of it, to believe that resurrections don't happpen. We've never seen one before, and it seems to contravene one hell of a lot of how we understand the world (particularly medical science). So we can dismiss it as impossible - despite the account formation being impeccable by the standards of ancient history, it must still have gone wrong somehow. Any explanation, no matter how implausible, no matter how ridiculous, automatically 'wins' providing it doesn't break the laws of nature. The moves Christians try to make to get out of check are conspicuously bad. Craig tries to semantic his way out of trouble by distinguishing between a natural resurrection (impossible) and a supernatural one - and others hope to fit miracles in by claiming they are suspensions of the laws of nature. A for effort, but E for achievement - it is the work of a moment to extend our naturalistic case against these considerations (the laws of nature seem constant and inviolable, etc. etc.) Habermas tries to really nail 'alternative theories' - but his efforts are in vain, as it would be no 'miracle' if Jesus survived his ordeal, or his body was hidden, or lost. The argument is about as silly as vigorously demonstrating that a rabbit couldn't possibly have fitted up the magicians sleeve, and thus it could only have been magic that made it appear inside his hat (!!)
    Your whole argument about the resurrection not happening seems to rely entirely on what Hume says. This assumes he is infallible. I personally think while Hume's arguments were very clever, they aren't without their faults:
    http://bethinking.org/resurrection-m...ntemporary.htm

    As for Habermas, sorry but I don't quite get what yo're trying to argue? No it wouldn't be a miracle if Jesus' body was hidden or he survived etc, but that's what Habermas tries to argue against the likeliness of happening yet you just say his efforts are in vain?
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    (Original post by The Bachelor)
    You're right that it is no more logical, rational, etc. But at the same time, the former is wishful thinking.



    You're right, it's no coincidence.
    Thanks very much for backing up your arguments with reasons.

    I spent the post explaining why belief in God is not wishful thinking, so saying that won't really change anything...
Updated: August 21, 2012
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