Urgent request for a rational discussion on the existence of God

franksvalli
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Urgent request for a rational discussion on the existence of God

To both sides: this is a call for an rational and honest DISCUSSION on the existence of God. This is a call to all posters to IGNORE all cheap shots, name-calling, obviously diminutive comments, etc. There is way too much of this bullshit flying around these days, and I see no reason to needlessly add to that bullshit.

The ideal format for this thread will be point/counterpoint and all posters are to recognize that 99.9% of your comments and arguments, no matter how powerful, will likely not change your "opponent's" mind.

One last thing - the people you discuss with are not really "opponents", but interlocutors. Most importantly, they are human beings. Treat them like they are human beings. Treating them any other way is just to add to the aforementioned bullshit.

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First point of discussion: do you think that a debate on the existence of God can take place without referring specifically to the Christian God?


hellfiend666
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It can start without

It can start without mention of the christian god, but it will inevitablly come up because it is so prevalent in this country to automatically assume that when someone mentions "god" they are talking about the christian concept of it.  Maybe there are a few on this site that would disagree, though.  I could discuss theology all day without mentioning the christian god, but I suspect that I'm in the minority.

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triften
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franksvalli wrote: To both

franksvalli wrote:
To both sides: this is a call for an rational and honest DISCUSSION on the existence of God. This is a call to all posters to IGNORE all cheap shots, name-calling, obviously diminutive comments, etc. There is way too much of this bullshit flying around these days, and I see no reason to needlessly add to that bullshit. The ideal format for this thread will be point/counterpoint and all posters are to recognize that 99.9% of your comments and arguments, no matter how powerful, will likely not change your "opponent's" mind. One last thing - the people you discuss with are not really "opponents", but interlocutors. Most importantly, they are human beings. Treat them like they are human beings. Treating them any other way is just to add to the aforementioned bullshit.

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First point of discussion: do you think that a debate on the existence of God can take place without referring specifically to the Christian God?

Frank,

There's also a "Kill em with Kindness" Forum with more strict rules on name-calling, profanity, and such.

Also, in order to discuss god, we need a mutually accepted definition of god. For many that come to this site, it is the Christian god. If you have a different definition, please present it.

-Triften


franksvalli
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Sorry for the delay, and

Sorry for the delay, and many thanks for the replies!

 

hellfiend666: I agree that we can talk about the existence of a god without talking specifically of the Christian God.  I can see how a lot of conversations go down that route, unfortunately.

 triften: Thanks for the suggestion - if the conversation gets crazy, I'll consider going over to that forum.

 Thanks for leading us in the right discussion by asking for a definition.. after all, if I'm thinking of God as X but you're thinking of God as Y, we will make little progress.  But as it is now, let's progress slowly to make sure we can pinpoint exactly where we have disagreements.  Here's a nice starting point:

 

1. A being is something that exists.

2. If God exists, he would necessarily be a being (from 1).

 

So.. God is a being of some sort, if he exists.  I think we can agree on this.  Have we made progress?  Not really, we've just laid down a starting point.

 

Here's a big leap in the direction I want to head, which might be controversial:

 

3. Something is said to be "created" if it's dependent on something other than itself for its existence.

4. If God exists, he is a creator.  That is to say, some things are dependent on him for their existence.  If God didn't exist, those things wouldn't exist. 

 

Just a note - (3) is only meant as a very rough definition of "create".  The only reason I included it is so there's no confusion or dispute as to the meaning of "creator" in (4).

 

What say you all?  Is this something in the right direction?  I think there will be controversy with (4).  But if we give up this, then we're stuck with (2), which doesn't tell us much.


Yiab
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franksvalli wrote: 1. A

franksvalli wrote:
1. A being is something that exists.

2. If God exists, he would necessarily be a being (from 1). 

 

From this I conclude that you are calling everything that exists a being. Hence, if a car exists it is a being, if stellar wind exists it is a being and if the universe exists it is a being.

 

I would like to propose that discussion begin with a definition of the term "God" since some of us, namely me, have no good concept of what such a term refers to. 


deludedgod
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I suggest you check out my

 

We (at least I) understand that if the universe had some sort of cause, it must be right to call it God, simply to retain the correct definition of the word. For instance if I said the first cause of matter is the compression of energy (from a physics standpoint this is correct) then I could successfully say "God is pure energy". After all:

-Energy cannot be created or destroyed

-It is forever, since the beginning of time and until the end (this is not a metaphorical statement, it is required for space-time)

-It is not a physical entity

But we also understand that religion and theism have absolutely no basis in reality whatsoever, and they paint the above concept as some kind of violent, murderous sentient, anthropomorphic entity which enjoys hurling "souls" (another nonexistent concept) into a place that is apparently outside space and time called "hell" unless you follow a "holy book" which was evidently beamed into the heads of man by this sentient creator, thereby causing many of them to kill each other over concepts that they made up, saying numerous ridiculous things like that embryogenesis is formed from a blood clot (Quran) and the first man and woman were two Caucasians who lived in a garden 6000 years ago (OT).

This is the ridiculous baseless concept which atheism expressly denies, not the idea that a "cause" be it energy or whatever, by which definition this "cause" would be given the term "God".

 

I suggest you check out my thread called the history of god

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

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RhadTheGizmo
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Quote:

Quote:
But we also understand that religion and theism have absolutely no basis in reality whatsoever,

Holy Jamoly.

Quote:
and they paint the above concept as some kind of violent, murderous sentient, anthropomorphic entity which enjoys hurling "souls" (another nonexistent concept) into a place that is apparently outside space and time called "hell" unless you follow a "holy book" which was evidently beamed into the heads of man by this sentient creator, thereby causing many of them to kill each other over concepts that they made up, saying numerous ridiculous things like that embryogenesis is formed from a blood clot (Quran) and the first man and woman were two Caucasians who lived in a garden 6000 years ago (OT).

Holy Smokes.

Quote:
This is the ridiculous baseless concept which atheism expressly denies,

Holy Tamole.

Quote:
not the idea that a "cause" be it energy or whatever, by which definition this "cause" would be given the term "God".

I think the definition of God requires that it be animate or sentient in some sense. While you could call "first cause" I'm not sure you can the word "God" to it.  I say "not sure" because I am not sure of the "definitive" definition.. meaning, that from the dictionary.  Some one feel free to correct me, I'm to tired to look in the dictionary at the moment.

p.s. I merely meant to place all the Holy (X) in order to state that I am passing on addressing your earlier statements.. since.. well, that's not the point of my post, merely the last part.


todangst
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franksvalli wrote:   1. A

franksvalli wrote:

 

1. A being is something that exists.

2. If God exists, he would necessarily be a being (from 1).

Two problems arise.

1) Being speaks to limitation, by definition. To possess identity is to be something in particular, and hence, to not be something else.

These are basic mattters of ontology given to us by Kant and Hegel. 

 Ergo, how can we call anything defined in omnitraits, a set of negative traits without any limits, a being, if the two concepts are necessarily incompatable?

 

2)  Point 2 relates to point one: to exist is to exist as something, to have an idenity, a nature. How can something defined as beyond nature have a nature?

This is not a play on words, or a conflation error. To have a nature is to be part of nature.  

 

 

Quote:

So.. God is a being of some sort, if he exists. I think we can agree on this. Have we made progress? Not really, we've just laid down a starting point.

I don't think there can be a starting point. 

 

 

Quote:

3. Something is said to be "created" if it's dependent on something other than itself for its existence.

 I don't think this definition works either. To create in a theistic sense doesn't just point to dependence, but rather means to bring into existence from nothing: ex nihilo.

 

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

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Yiab
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So, if we accept that a God

So, if we accept that a God must have the property of being a "first cause", whatever else might be said of them, we are inherently excluding numerous polytheistic deities. Due to the prevalence and dominance of Christianity in the development of the modern world, it is easy for us to forget that in most polytheistic or henotheistic belief systems "God" does not necessarily entail "created the universe", "existed before anything else", "omniscient", "omnipotent" or even "non-physical" (see Greek and Roman mythology for an extremely well-documented example of this). Also notice that a pantheistic God could not have existed before the universe since the universe itself is said God.


Strafio
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I'm a being.I exist and so

I'm a being.
I exist and so am therefore a being.
I have created. (I'll use a song I've written as an example)
The existence of this song is dependent on me.

Does this make me God? Smile
(Maybe that definition needs tweaking a little! Wink)