How we can prove/disprove God's existance.

free_thinker11
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How we can prove/disprove God's existance.

1 Kings 18:22-39:

 

 22 Then Elijah said to them, "I am the only one of the LORD's prophets left, but Baal has four hundred and fifty prophets. 23 Get two bulls for us. Let them choose one for themselves, and let them cut it into pieces and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. I will prepare the other bull and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. 24 Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the LORD. The god who answers by fire—he is God." 
      Then all the people said, "What you say is good."

 25 Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, "Choose one of the bulls and prepare it first, since there are so many of you. Call on the name of your god, but do not light the fire." 26 So they took the bull given them and prepared it. 
      Then they called on the name of Baal from morning till noon. "O Baal, answer us!" they shouted. But there was no response; no one answered. And they danced around the altar they had made.

 27 At noon Elijah began to taunt them. "Shout louder!" he said. "Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened." 28 So they shouted louder and slashed themselves with swords and spears, as was their custom, until their blood flowed. 29 Midday passed, and they continued their frantic prophesying until the time for the evening sacrifice. But there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention.

 30 Then Elijah said to all the people, "Come here to me." They came to him, and he repaired the altar of the LORD, which was in ruins. 31 Elijah took twelve stones, one for each of the tribes descended from Jacob, to whom the word of the LORD had come, saying, "Your name shall be Israel." 32 With the stones he built an altar in the name of the LORD, and he dug a trench around it large enough to hold two seahs [a] of seed. 33 He arranged the wood, cut the bull into pieces and laid it on the wood. Then he said to them, "Fill four large jars with water and pour it on the offering and on the wood."

 34 "Do it again," he said, and they did it again. 
      "Do it a third time," he ordered, and they did it the third time. 35 The water ran down around the altar and even filled the trench.

 36 At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: "O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. 37 Answer me, O LORD, answer me, so these people will know that you, O LORD, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again."

 38 Then the fire of the LORD fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.

 39 When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, "The LORD -he is God! The LORD -he is God!"

 

Elisha proves that Baal is an imaginary god because he does nothing when he is called upon 


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 I fixed your post but lost

 I fixed your post but lost the two short replies in the process.  Atheist_Extremist I believe was the person who had an on topic post.  Vastet was simply telling you how to fix your problem in the future.  Use the "paste from word" button in the text editor.

 

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You haven't mentioned your

You haven't mentioned your religious stance, but given the bible quotes you are probably Christian (forgive me if I am wrong).

Firstly the Bible proves nothing as it is a work of fiction. Quoting from the Bible is not considered any kind of proof.

"Elisha proves that Baal is an imaginary god because he does nothing when he is called upon "

I wish religious people all over the world agreed with this argument. God never turns up or does anything, so he does not exist. I like it.

 

Proving God is harder than you would think. If something we considered supernatural really did happen we could document it, but whether a God was responsible is another matter.

It has been proposed many times in science fiction that any technology sufficiently more advanced than ours would seem like magic.

Give me some kind of reason to believe. Start with answering the question "where did God come from?"

Even if there is a god he is definitley not the Christian Bible version because it is too ludicrous.

 

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"You haven't mentioned your

"You haven't mentioned your religious stance, but given the bible quotes you are probably Christian (forgive me if I am wrong)."

I think part of the post got snipped by accident. I remember thinking as you did, and I almost said about the same thing, but the last paragraph suggested using a biblical test to disprove god via the bible, if I remember correctly. Something about calling on god to create a fire to cook dinner?
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well first can intelligence

well first can intelligence float around in nothingness(god) without a brain

have you ever seen a mind without a brain

does god have a nature if yes we should have detected him but no

so god is impossible 


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Sacrafice time

Lets just kill a bull, set it up on a fire, then call for the mighty God of Abraham to incinerate it!  It is that simple. 

Then, when nothing happens we can prove, by the Bible's own logic, that God does not exist.

That should settle it, right?

For those who was wondering about my religious stance, I am a non-believer. 


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 When I was a kid, I

 When I was a kid, I attended a bible study where the leader told us the story of Gideon and the Fleece.  He then explained to us that if we asked God in earnest to prove himself to us, that he would do it.

I decided to take God up on his promise.  I didn't want to ask for anything gauche or gaudy.  I wanted God to know that I wasn't in this for material gain.  I just wanted a definite, concrete sign of his existence.  I looked in my top desk drawer, and saw that there were three pennies scattered about.  Thinking that giving up something, even something small, would prove to God that I wasn't after anything material, I prayed sincerely and earnestly that when I awoke in the morning, there would only be two pennies in the drawer.  

This test was air-tight.  I went to bed after my parents were asleep, and slept with my door locked.  There was no way anyone could have gotten into the room, and I didn't tell anyone about my prayer.  It was just between me and God.  I made absolutely sure there were three pennies.  I closed the drawer, and went to sleep.

Of course, there were three pennies.  My first reaction was anger, curiously enough.  Rather than conclude that God must not exist, I immediately assumed that God had a reason for not granting my request.  That made me angry.  I had asked for so little.  Just one tiny little miracle that would have kept me secure in my belief for the rest of my life.  Why had God declined that one simple request?!  Did he want me to lose faith?  Did he want me to stop believing in him?  Did he want me to go to hell because there simply wasn't enough evidence for me to really and truly believe?

The youth minister at my church had several explanations:

1) Maybe God was testing my faith, like he did Job's.

2) Maybe God was planning a much grander demonstration of his existence that would be better than the penny.  (What would have been more convincing than the penny?!  It was a rock-solid test.)

3) Maybe I wasn't sincere in my prayer.

4) God's ways are mysterious, and I should have faith that he would do exactly what was best for me to convince me.  He knows how to show himself better than I do.

So I asked why God had bothered to write the story of Gideon if he wasn't going to honor that promise.  It seemed very misleading to tell me that I could ask God to prove himself, but throw in the caveat that he might or might not honor the request, depending on his whims.  Why tell us that we can ask anything in God's name and we'll receive it if the truth is that God will only grant things he wants to grant?

He suggested that we pray for more faith.

 

 

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Lmao, Hamby. I once did

Lmao, Hamby. Years ago, when I called myself an agnostic and was trying to decide whether there was any credibility to this God thing, I tried something like that too. Obviously, it was fail.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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The problem was that he did

The problem seems to be that Baal did nothing when he was called upon by his prophets. If your average Baal worshiper called on Baal and nothing happened, that would not imply his nonexistence.

Another monkey wrench in your works is that this was a crucial juncture in the Israelites' history, as Elijah notes here: "He answered, 'I have not troubled Israel; but you have, and your father's house, because you have forsaken the commandments of the LORD and followed the Baals'" (1 Kings 18:18). And he says it again here: "Elijah then came near to all the people, and said, 'How long will you go limping with two different opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, then follow him.' The people did not answer him a word" (1 Kings 18:20-21). The whole people were undecided between God and Baal, and needed a sign to continue following God.


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 What?Ctrl Y, you seem to

 What?

Ctrl Y, you seem to have a problem forming arguments.  An argument is a connected series of statements intended to establish a proposition.  You've offered some sort of justification for a character in a story.  That is not an argument.  

Please try again to form an argument:  The proposition being considered is that God always fails to work miracles when he is put to falsifiable tests of his existence.  Can you prove that proposition false?

 

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Hambydammit

Hambydammit wrote:

 What?

Ctrl Y, you seem to have a problem forming arguments.  An argument is a connected series of statements intended to establish a proposition.  You've offered some sort of justification for a character in a story.  That is not an argument.

Please try again to form an argument:  The proposition being considered is that God always fails to work miracles when he is put to falsifiable tests of his existence.

 

The OP isn't clear what the proposition being considered is. I interpreted it a form of the argument free_thinker11 made:

free_thinker11 wrote:
"Lets just kill a bull, set it up on a fire, then call for the mighty God of Abraham to incinerate it!  It is that simple. 

Then, when nothing happens we can prove, by the Bible's own logic, that God does not exist.

That should settle it, right?"

But the two considerations I brought up show that it would not, in fact, settle it.

Hambydammit wrote:
Can you prove that proposition false?

I can't prove to you that it is false. For me, my personal experiences are a proof that He exists.


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 Quote:But the two

 

Quote:
But the two considerations I brought up show that it would not, in fact, settle it.

No, they wouldn't.  You gave your interpretation of a Bible story.  You didn't offer any logical connection between that interpretation and our predicted outcome of a contemporary experiment.  Having failed to offer such a logical connection, you also necessarily failed to offer any evidence to support your position.

 

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Hambydammit

Hambydammit wrote:

 

Quote:
But the two considerations I brought up show that it would not, in fact, settle it.

No, they wouldn't.  You gave your interpretation of a Bible story.  You didn't offer any logical connection between that interpretation and our predicted outcome of a contemporary experiment.  Having failed to offer such a logical connection, you also necessarily failed to offer any evidence to support your position.

Free_thinker11 and (seemingly) the OP offered a specific interpretation of a Biblical story. They argued from that interpretation that the failure of a specific experiment could show that God does not exist. I offered a different, more plausible interpretation of the same story. My interpretation allows for the coexistence of God with the experiment's failure.


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 Ok... let me try to make

 Ok... let me try to make this clear.  There are two things being considered:

1) There's a story in the Bible about God proving himself by a test.

2) There's a proposed experiment for current day for God to prove himself by a test.

Explaining (1) is fine.  I think in a literary sense, it's a decent explanation.  God was all upset that they were worshiping Baal(s) and was like, "HEY DUFUSES!!  I'm over here!!"  It's a good story.

But that doesn't address (2) in any way.  What relevance does God's motivations (if your interpretation is correct) in (1) have to do with (2)?  If you can demonstrate that (1) logically leads to God's attitude towards (2) based upon your interpretation of (1), how can you demonstrate that your interpretation of (1) is in fact correct?

 

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Hi Ctrl Y

Ctrl Y wrote:

I can't prove to you that it is false. For me, my personal experiences are a proof that He exists.

 

While this is all very well, you'd have to concede that if we've had no such experiences then we'd be unlikely to go along with this.

And we would also suggest that proof constitutes evidence supported by repeatable experiment.

Just having a feeling that there's a god and maintaining that such and such an experience is thanks to god or a lesson from god sounds a

biased interpretation of events to me.

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Hambydammit wrote: Ok...

Hambydammit wrote:

 Ok... let me try to make this clear.  There are two things being considered:

1) There's a story in the Bible about God proving himself by a test.

2) There's a proposed experiment for current day for God to prove himself by a test.

Nothing so far has indicated that, for the OP, (1) and (2) are wholly separate questions. Rather, the claim seems to be that they are connected. He seems to think that because of (1), we can infer what God's reaction to (2) should be, if He exists.

Quote:
Explaining (1) is fine.  I think in a literary sense, it's a decent explanation.  God was all upset that they were worshiping Baal(s) and was like, "HEY DUFUSES!!  I'm over here!!"  It's a good story.

But that doesn't address (2) in any way.  What relevance does God's motivations (if your interpretation is correct) in (1) have to do with (2)?

 

Because (1) is the OP's warrant for expecting God to show up for (2), if He exists.

Quote:
 If you can demonstrate that (1) logically leads to God's attitude towards (2) based upon your interpretation of (1), how can you demonstrate that your interpretation of (1) is in fact correct?

It seems more reasonable than the OP's interpretation. The OP seems to think that the verses are some sort of promise to show up whenever a bull is laid out and God is called. I don't see that in the text. It's more reasonable to think that God answered Elijah's prayer because Elijah was a prophet or because the people were in danger of moving away from Him (or both).

I notice that you have not asked the OP to prove his interpretation, by the way. That's worth investigating:

OP, why think that your interpretation of these verses is correct?

That is, why think, based on these verses, that God will show up for your test if He exists?


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"It seems more reasonable

"It seems more reasonable than the OP's interpretation. The OP seems to think that the verses are some sort of promise to show up whenever a bull is laid out and God is called. I don't see that in the text. It's more reasonable to think that God answered Elijah's prayer because Elijah was a prophet or because the people were in danger of moving away from Him (or both)."

People being in danger of moving away from him in certainly not the case.  If he performed amazing miracles every time people were in danger of moving away from him... well, we might actually some miracles.

Do you really want to get into discussions about the effectiveness of prayer?  I trust you have read enough of The Bible to know under what circumstances Jesus promises prayer will be effective - and being a prophet is not a prerequisie.

"OP, why think that your interpretation of these verses is correct

That is, why think, based on these verses, that God will show up for your test if He exists?"

Well, there is not much to be interpreted, is there? It is pretty clear cut - Baal did not answer their prayers, even after hours of chanting around the altar.  That, to Elijah was proof enough that he Baal did not exist, and well - If its good enough for God's own prophet, Elijah, it is good enough for me.


 


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free_thinker11 wrote:"It

free_thinker11 wrote:

"It seems more reasonable than the OP's interpretation. The OP seems to think that the verses are some sort of promise to show up whenever a bull is laid out and God is called. I don't see that in the text. It's more reasonable to think that God answered Elijah's prayer because Elijah was a prophet or because the people were in danger of moving away from Him (or both)."

People being in danger of moving away from him in certainly not the case. 

I've provided evidence that it was the case. I'll repost that evidence:

"[T]his was a crucial juncture in the Israelites' history, as Elijah notes here: "He answered, 'I have not troubled Israel; but you have, and your father's house, because you have forsaken the commandments of the LORD and followed the Baals'" (1 Kings 18:18). And he says it again here: "Elijah then came near to all the people, and said, 'How long will you go limping with two different opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, then follow him.' The people did not answer him a word" (1 Kings 18:20-21). The whole people were undecided between God and Baal, and needed a sign to continue following God."

Quote:
If he performed amazing miracles every time people were in danger of moving away from him... well, we might actually some miracles.

Not just "people." I said "the people," and I referred explicitly to the Israelites in an earlier post. My claim is specifically that God would be likely to intervene to prevent the Israelites from moving away from Him.

Quote:
Do you really want to get into discussions about the effectiveness of prayer?  I trust you have read enough of The Bible to know under what circumstances Jesus promises prayer will be effective - and being a prophet is not a prerequisie.

The discussion is about the inference you drew from a specific story in the Bible.

I do know the circumstances under which Christ said that prayer would be effective. Your proposed experiment omits a crucial factor - faith as a mustard seed.

Quote:
"OP, why think that your interpretation of these verses is correct

That is, why think, based on these verses, that God will show up for your test if He exists?"

Well, there is not much to be interpreted, is there? It is pretty clear cut - Baal did not answer their prayers, even after hours of chanting around the altar.  That, to Elijah was proof enough that he Baal did not exist, and well - If its good enough for God's own prophet, Elijah, it is good enough for me.

Elijah's inference seems to be, "If Baal is called on by 450 of his prophets for hours and does not answer, then he isn't real." It does not follow that "if a god is called on by anybody and does not answer, then he is not real."


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"Elijah's inference seems to

"Elijah's inference seems to be, "If Baal is called on by 450 of his prophets for hours and does not answer, then he isn't real." It does not follow that "if a god is called on by anybody and does not answer, then he is not real.""

If Elijah can use it on their God, we can certainly use it on his.

Ok, simple enough, we just need to find one of God's prophets with faith as a mustard seed, about 450 Israelites with wavering faith, an altar, some wood, and a bull.... shouldn't be too difficult.

Then we can conclude whether God does or doesn't exist

 

Nice little side note to this story:

 39 When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, "The LORD -he is God! The LORD -he is God!"

 40 Then Elijah commanded them, "Seize the prophets of Baal. Don't let anyone get away!" They seized them, and Elijah had them brought down to the Kishon Valley and slaughtered there.

Nice guy, this Elijah fellow.


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free_thinker11

free_thinker11 wrote:

"Elijah's inference seems to be, "If Baal is called on by 450 of his prophets for hours and does not answer, then he isn't real." It does not follow that "if a god is called on by anybody and does not answer, then he is not real.""

If Elijah can use it on their God, we can certainly use it on his.

Ok, simple enough, we just need to find one of God's prophets with faith as a mustard seed, about 450 Israelites with wavering faith, an altar, some wood, and a bull.... shouldn't be too difficult.

Then we can conclude whether God does or doesn't exist

That doesn't follow from the verses any more than your previous interpretation did. You began with a non sequitur, you made a series of false statements, and now you are adding another non sequitur. I'm done here. Let the lurkers and the other posters judge our discussion.


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Is this 'crucial factor' actually demonstrable?

 

Ctrl Y wrote:

I do know the circumstances under which Christ said that prayer would be effective. Your proposed experiment omits a crucial factor - faith as a mustard seed.

 

And in way not open to the bias of personal interpretation? Regardless of the earlier argument, the broader point is this. Can prayer be shown to work using independent observation or can it not? 

Believing 100 per cent that it can be does not constitute proof.

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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 Quote:It seems more

 

Quote:
It seems more reasonable than the OP's interpretation. The OP seems to think that the verses are some sort of promise to show up whenever a bull is laid out and God is called. I don't see that in the text. It's more reasonable to think that God answered Elijah's prayer because Elijah was a prophet or because the people were in danger of moving away from Him (or both).

I notice that you have not asked the OP to prove his interpretation, by the way. That's worth investigating:

OP, why think that your interpretation of these verses is correct?

That is, why think, based on these verses, that God will show up for your test if He exists?

Well, that's the rub, isn't it?

Neither of you can prove your interpretation.  Yours seems reasonable to you, and the OP's seems reasonable to him.  And there's simply no yardstick other than your own subjective ideas about what can be reasonably inferred from the passage.

So there are two arguments:  

You:  God not proving himself proves that um...  hmm... well, it doesn't prove god exists, for certain.  The whole point is that he's not proving himself, so um...

OP:  God not proving himself proves that god doesn't exist.

 

In truth, you're both wrong.  Your interpretation of the Biblical story just provides you with a feeling of internal consistency to the story, and his interpretation doesn't actually disprove god, since presumably god can choose not to reveal himself.

 

 

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But Hamby

 

What if god chooses to never, ever reveal himself? Can we infer anything from that?

You'd think in these days of mass media, that god would be gagging at the opportunity to finally (and without us needing to convince ourselves there's really less punishment for those who never heard about him) reach the global audience

he's presumably been wanting all these years. One brief broadcast and there would be no more excuses...

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Hambydammit wrote: Well,

Hambydammit wrote:

Well, that's the rub, isn't it?

Neither of you can prove your interpretation.  Yours seems reasonable to you, and the OP's seems reasonable to him.  And there's simply no yardstick other than your own subjective ideas about what can be reasonably inferred from the passage.

If I grant that premise, then the OP's whole argument is ultimately subjective. Sounds good to me. Thanks!


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Just as God is ultimately

Just as God is ultimately subjective.

Unless we have something more than personal conviction, then all religions are equally likely to be true, or untrue.

IOW, personal experience is the weakest justification for asserting such allegedly universal truths. 

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

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BobSpence1 wrote:Just as God

BobSpence1 wrote:

Just as God is ultimately subjective.

Unless we have something more than personal conviction, then all religions are equally likely to be true, or untrue.

IOW, personal experience is the weakest justification for asserting such allegedly universal truths. 

My personal experience may be the weakest argument to you, but to me it is a strong argument.


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Then call it what it is.

Ctrl Y wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

Just as God is ultimately subjective.

Unless we have something more than personal conviction, then all religions are equally likely to be true, or untrue.

IOW, personal experience is the weakest justification for asserting such allegedly universal truths. 

My personal experience may be the weakest argument to you, but to me it is a strong argument.

 

An opinion based on a feeling.

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Ctrl Y wrote:My personal

Ctrl Y wrote:

My personal experience may be the weakest argument to you, but to me it is a strong argument.

The delusion is strong in this one.


BobSpence
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Ctrl Y wrote:BobSpence1

Ctrl Y wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

Just as God is ultimately subjective.

Unless we have something more than personal conviction, then all religions are equally likely to be true, or untrue.

IOW, personal experience is the weakest justification for asserting such allegedly universal truths. 

My personal experience may be the weakest argument to you, but to me it is a strong argument.

Of course. By its very nature.

It takes somewhat more subtle thinking to realize that that very reaction demonstrates the truth of my assertion.

Internal judgements are by their nature to be most distrusted, or at least to be most carefully examined, especially if they involve assumptions about external reality.

I have read so much about the ways our own minds have all but infinite capacity to mislead us, the many ways in which our perceptions are confabulated by our brains from our fragmentary sensory experience, that we should be very wary about just accepting what we think we have experienced as accurately matching reality, especially when it involves something completely foreign to ordinary, everyday things and events.

Then there are all the observations on patients with various brain pathologies, which show in extreme form how our introspection, our perceptions of our own thought processes, can be utterly at odds with reality.

So accepting 'God' on the basis of such 'evidence' is utterly fanciful.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


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 Quote:What if god chooses

 

Quote:
What if god chooses to never, ever reveal himself? Can we infer anything from that?

Not really.  If god exists, and whatever it is that it "is," has the power to conceal itself completely from human detection, then we will remain completely unaware of its existence/nonexistence so long as it chooses.

In other words, so long as an entity is not detected by us, we cannot say anything meaningful about it, whether we're talking about ontology (what it is or is not) or whether it is or is not.

Quote:
You'd think in these days of mass media, that god would be gagging at the opportunity to finally (and without us needing to convince ourselves there's really less punishment for those who never heard about him) reach the global audience

If God exists, and if he wants us to believe he exists, then logically, he should do so, but if we're talking about an omnipowerful being, then our current technology is of no particular importance to him.  He could have broadcast his message around the world at any time in an unequivocal way.

Quote:
he's presumably been wanting all these years. One brief broadcast and there would be no more excuses...

Of course.  If god exists, and is playing by the rules of logic, then you're right.  But if god exists, and is inscrutable, then who the hell knows?  That's my point.  Your test assumes that God is what Christians claim he is, and frankly, even if he does exist, the Christians only have his word to go on, and they have no way of knowing whether he's telling the truth or not.

This whole thing could be a big joke to him.  "HAHAHA!!!  See, I showed these primitive bronze age folks that I existed, and now I'm going to get my jollies watching people fight it out while I hide in the corner!"

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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 Quote:If I grant that

 

Quote:
If I grant that premise, then the OP's whole argument is ultimately subjective. Sounds good to me. Thanks!

Not quite.  Both your argument and his are useless for the purpose of discovering truth.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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BobSpence1 wrote:I have read

BobSpence1 wrote:
I have read so much about the ways our own minds have all but infinite capacity to mislead us, the many ways in which our perceptions are confabulated by our brains from our fragmentary sensory experience, that we should be very wary about just accepting what we think we have experienced as accurately matching reality, especially when it involves something completely foreign to ordinary, everyday things and events.

I respect your knowledge of this field and, since I have not studied it, will not continue to debate it with you. It may give you good reason to think that I am misled by some part of my neurology. However, the knowledge you have cannot give me reason to abandon my beliefs unless you present it to me.

Quote:
Then there are all the observations on patients with various brain pathologies, which show in extreme form how our introspection, our perceptions of our own thought processes, can be utterly at odds with reality.

So accepting 'God' on the basis of such 'evidence' is utterly fanciful.

I don't agree with this inference. Introspection may mislead us when we have a pathology, but it does not follow that introspection is untrustworthy when we have no pathology.


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Hambydammit wrote:In other

Hambydammit wrote:

In other words, so long as an entity is not detected by us, we cannot say anything meaningful about it, whether we're talking about ontology (what it is or is not) or whether it is or is not.

Can't we meaningfully say, "such and such an entity has not been detected by us"?


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 Quote:Can't we

 

Quote:
Can't we meaningfully say, "such and such an entity has not been detected by us"?

We can say, "An entity with properties X, Y, Z, has never been detected by us."  Epistemologically speaking, that is equivalent to saying, "There is no justification for belief in the existence of such and such an entity."

We cannot use any valid epistemology to speak meaningfully of an existing entity for which there is no evidence.  That is, any discussion of an undetected thing must remain in the realm of speculation and philosophy -- "What if" discussions.  Until and unless a thing is detected, there is no way to empirically or scientifically address the topic.  This is the foundation of the burden of proof.  We can speculate about anything we want 'til the cows come home, but until and unless we offer evidence -- detection -- we are obliged to act as if the speculations are unfounded.

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Crucial juncture

Ctrl Y wrote:

Another monkey wrench in your works is that this was a crucial juncture in the Israelites' history

Don't you think that religion is at a crucial juncture now? The problems between Christianity and Islam are ripping the world apart, not to mention all us atheists being outspoken. Now would be a very good time for God to prove himself.

Hamby, I like your simple test with the (disappearing) coins. God obviously doesn't want you to believe (ha ha)

Free thinker.... sorry for the assumption.

 

 

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Jesus said, "Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division." - Luke 12:51


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Hambydammit

Hambydammit wrote:

 

Quote:
What if god chooses to never, ever reveal himself? Can we infer anything from that?

Not really.  If god exists, and whatever it is that it "is," has the power to conceal itself completely from human detection, then we will remain completely unaware of its existence/nonexistence so long as it chooses.

In other words, so long as an entity is not detected by us, we cannot say anything meaningful about it, whether we're talking about ontology (what it is or is not) or whether it is or is not.

 

I disagreee.  If god chooses to never, ever reveal himself, then we can conclude that god does not exist because existence is contingent on observable interaction.

Why do horses exist and unicorns don't?  It's not because horses possess some intrinsic existence property that causes them to exist and that unicorns lack, it's because horses are observed to exist while unicorns are not.  Possibility of generating an observable effect is a precondition for existence, not the other way around.  That which will never create an observable effect, such as a god who never reveals himself, does not exist in any meaningful way.

Questions for Theists:
http://silverskeptic.blogspot.com/2011/03/consistent-standards.html

I'm a bit of a lurker. Every now and then I will come out of my cave with a flurry of activity. Then the Ph.D. program calls and I must fall back to the shadows.


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Here is my speculation. 

Here is my speculation.  God, had a creator. And he did not know he was created because HIS creator did not make himself known. BTW he also has a penis.


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 God, if you exist, smite

 God, if you exist, smite me right now asshole.

...

...

...

Looks like I'm still brea-*ZAP!*


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As with so many passages in

As with so many passages in the Bible, who was making notes of what Elijah said?

This is written as a narrative of an actual event, but the actual words have to have been invented in the imagination of the ultimate writer of the text, no doubt honestly in the sense that he would have written what he honestly thought was what Elijah would have said in such circumstances.

Even the details of such actions would have to have been similarly re-constructed in the mind of the writer.

It is only a small step to realize that we have little reason to believe such events actually took place.

So all we have in such stories is the attempt to convey some point of doctrine or a 'message' of some form, given as was even more common in those times than now, as a narrative.

So the Bible is a combination of some history and a lot of dramatized messages, which look a bit like some sort of record of events, but aren't.

Almost certainly includes most, maybe all, of the narratives involving Jesus Christ.

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

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Inferno wrote: God, if you


Inferno wrote:

 God, if you exist, smite me right now asshole.

...

...

...

Looks like I'm still brea-*ZAP!*

 

We cant dictate god's paste also god's ways are higher than ours lol

Stupid xtians 


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BobSpence1 wrote:Ctrl Y

BobSpence1 wrote:

Ctrl Y wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

Just as God is ultimately subjective.

Unless we have something more than personal conviction, then all religions are equally likely to be true, or untrue.

IOW, personal experience is the weakest justification for asserting such allegedly universal truths. 

My personal experience may be the weakest argument to you, but to me it is a strong argument.

Of course. By its very nature.

It takes somewhat more subtle thinking to realize that that very reaction demonstrates the truth of my assertion.

Internal judgements are by their nature to be most distrusted, or at least to be most carefully examined, especially if they involve assumptions about external reality.

I have read so much about the ways our own minds have all but infinite capacity to mislead us, the many ways in which our perceptions are confabulated by our brains from our fragmentary sensory experience, that we should be very wary about just accepting what we think we have experienced as accurately matching reality, especially when it involves something completely foreign to ordinary, everyday things and events.

Then there are all the observations on patients with various brain pathologies, which show in extreme form how our introspection, our perceptions of our own thought processes, can be utterly at odds with reality.

So accepting 'God' on the basis of such 'evidence' is utterly fanciful.

precisely.  for example, when i'm terribly hungover, as i was after an office party about 2 weeks ago, i have personal experience of seeing horrifying, grotesque faces flash before me everytime i close my eyes.  it actually makes it impossible for me to sleep until i literally pass out from exhaustion.

now, some of my old friends might tell me i'm being visited by demons to torment me for having an awesome fucking time the night before.  i know rationally that it's because dehydration can really screw with your mind, sometimes even causing hallucinations.  now, what do i go with here?  what countless doctors have said or my "personal experience"?

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
--Leonard Cohen


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Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

What if god chooses to never, ever reveal himself? Can we infer anything from that?

You'd think in these days of mass media, that god would be gagging at the opportunity to finally (and without us needing to convince ourselves there's really less punishment for those who never heard about him) reach the global audience he's presumably been wanting all these years. One brief broadcast and there would be no more excuses...

According to Jewish belief, G-d "appeared" to the entire nation of Israel, as well as whatever Egyptians and others who came out of Egypt with us during the Exodus (the "mixed multitude" ).  One would think, based on that, that religious Jews would all act as though G-d really existed and really had commanded us to do all that's been commanded to be done.

And I can tell you that that's not the case.  So ... I'm not convinced that some manner of "global broadcast" would be all that effective.

"Obviously I'm convinced of the existence of G-d. I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam HaBa going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" while Christians who've treated people like dirt will be in some other place asking the exact same question."


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FurryCatHerder wrote: 

FurryCatHerder wrote:

  According to Jewish belief, G-d "appeared" to the entire nation of Israel, as well as whatever Egyptians and others who came out of Egypt with us during the Exodus (the "mixed multitude" ).  One would think, based on that, that religious Jews would all act as though G-d really existed and really had commanded us to do all that's been commanded to be done.

And I can tell you that that's not the case.  So ... I'm not convinced that some manner of "global broadcast" would be all that effective.

   Just another excuse made for a G-d who obviously will never manifest himself in any way that would distinguish him from any other religion whose gods are also permanently comatose.  All gods are the same and they always seem to be on vacation....

I'm a right wing atheist because I enjoy being hated by everyone.

"When a man loves cats, I am his friend and comrade, without further introduction." Mark Twain.


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Can't help thinking

FurryCatHerder wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

What if god chooses to never, ever reveal himself? Can we infer anything from that?

You'd think in these days of mass media, that god would be gagging at the opportunity to finally (and without us needing to convince ourselves there's really less punishment for those who never heard about him) reach the global audience he's presumably been wanting all these years. One brief broadcast and there would be no more excuses...

According to Jewish belief, G-d "appeared" to the entire nation of Israel, as well as whatever Egyptians and others who came out of Egypt with us during the Exodus (the "mixed multitude" ).  One would think, based on that, that religious Jews would all act as though G-d really existed and really had commanded us to do all that's been commanded to be done.

And I can tell you that that's not the case.  So ... I'm not convinced that some manner of "global broadcast" would be all that effective.

That when it comes to supernatural claims then allegedly appearing a long time ago and a great way off is insufficient motivation for normal people to accept without question. You want god to turn up now, preferably when you're on the road somewhere in Syria and have stopped the car for a stretch. I agree the humans are notoriously hard to universally convince of anything. There's always some twit who cries conspiracy.

Oh - Prozac that latest avatar put me off my tuna and salad sarny. I think it was the mayonnaise, the boiled eggs and the sight of your new 'eyes'.

 

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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i agree with the original

i agree with the original poster in a way. sure we can not prove anything super natural exist, but! if something super natural interacted with the natural world there would be natural evidence of that interaction left behind. there is no such evidence, which is at the very least proof that the super natural does not interact with the natural and if it never comes into our natural world then it does not exist for us. And so it does not effectivley exist.


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mohammed wrote:i agree with

mohammed wrote:

i agree with the original poster in a way. sure we can not prove anything super natural exist, but! if something super natural interacted with the natural world there would be natural evidence of that interaction left behind. there is no such evidence, which is at the very least proof that the super natural does not interact with the natural and if it never comes into our natural world then it does not exist for us. And so it does not effectivley exist.

 

Technically, isn't it impossible for us to know anything supernatural?  We live in the natural world.  Anything and everything we experience is natural.  If something supernatural has natural evidence, then it is natural, not supernatural... Or is that the essence of our position, that humans are entirely natural?


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Yes that is true, but i am

Yes that is true, but i am saying that if something supernatural could cross over (as theist claim) then it would leave natural evidence behind and none has been found.


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I agree with mohammed. I

I agree with mohammed. I think Dawkins mentioned something similar too. It does not matter if something is unobservable, if it is having a noticable effect on our universe we should be able to observe the result. This is the way we observe atomic, subatomic and quantum interactions.
 

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Jesus said, "Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division." - Luke 12:51