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Argument for God's existence.

Discussion in 'Christian Apologetics' started by createdtoworship, Apr 4, 2019.

  1. gaara4158

    gaara4158 Keep on keeping on

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    100 pages! Did we get anywhere?
     
  2. cvanwey

    cvanwey Well-Known Member

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    It would appear not. I'm thinking about washing my hands of this thread myself...?.?.?

    It just kind of seems odd, that a claimed almighty God would instead rely upon philosophers, Christian apologists, and a few others, to put forth arbitrary arguments in support of His existence. Aside from anecdotal stories written in ancient texts, much of what we are left with is what we've seen in this thread...

    Proof of His mere existence, after thousands of years, might seem like a settled topic by now.?.?.? But here we are...
     
  3. Silmarien

    Silmarien Existentialist

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    As opposed to what? An almighty God coming and living amongst us in person?

    Let's be realistic--Christianity's claims for just how God has made his presence known are pretty spectacular. But one of the major themes of the Gospel is the coming of the kingdom of God, not empirically proving his existence to all and sundry, so maybe it's never been about proof? Maybe the point was the triumph of the Christian humanistic ethos over the classical system of virtues? Just because humans may be obsessed with rational demonstration doesn't mean that God cares about such things at all.
     
  4. cvanwey

    cvanwey Well-Known Member

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    Yea, let's be realistic--Why bother presenting, both 'pre-resurrection' and 'post resurrection', to all desired on lookers, including 'doubting Thomas', 'Sal of Tarsus', etc...? If what you state were true, then just state that 'human sin has been paid.'

    Post a book, not filled with anecdotal tales. And don't tell perspective members, in this same Book, that if they don't believe, they are doomed. The entire premise of this Book, is to present 'historical' evidence, from 'antiquity', that His existence was known to be true, both 'pre and post mortem'.

    No, instead, God relied upon claimed anecdotal tales of 'eye-witnesses' from an ancient book. And now, we get to also read the many presented 'arguments' to boot. Weee!


    Beg to differ... Again, why even make sure to bother presenting to onlookers with miracles? Such an action, if 'true', leads one to believe that God cares that there exists 'evidence.'

    But again, as stated prior, it's a book of anecdotal tales, much like other opposing books you reject.

    All that is left are basically the regurgitations of the arguments presented in this thread, over and over again...
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2019
  5. Ed1wolf

    Ed1wolf Well-Known Member

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    I am not denying that non-functional vestigial organs exist, it depends on the situation and the organ. But the ones you mention are just the result of adaptation within a species or genera, ie microevolution. They are not the result of macroevolution. But far more of the so-called vestigial organs DO have functions especially ones that are necessary for survival. Such as the human appendix. Nevertheless, my initial statement remains unrefuted, if macroevolution were true there would far more non-functional vestigial organs in living things and in fossil organisms. But they are not there.
     
  6. Silmarien

    Silmarien Existentialist

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    I have literally no idea what you're talking about. How is God presenting 'pre-Resurrection' and 'post-Resurrection' to all desired onlookers (whatever that means)? How is he posting books? Who said that the premise of the New Testament is to present historical evidence from antiquity? I'm pretty sure the Early Church finally wrote things down as a teaching tool for their own congregations, not because they were thinking of people 2000 years in the future.

    As for reading presented arguments, you certainly don't have to. If you're masochistic enough to come here and spend 100 pages fighting in a thread this silly, that's on you. It's certainly not evidence against the existence of God, or even against the strength of theistic arguments.

    Not really. Look at something like the Temptation of Christ, where the third one is basically challenging him to work miracles at the will of another, or Lazarus and the Rich Man, where the miraculous option is ruled out.

    It's just not the case that God, as portrayed in the New Testament, cares to condescend to other people's perceptions about what sufficient evidence ought to look like.

    Quit with the tired ad hominems. I have a lot more respect for the sacred scriptures of other religions than you seem to, since I wouldn't describe any of them as "books of anecdotal tales." Much of what other religions have produced is pretty profound.
     
  7. Ed1wolf

    Ed1wolf Well-Known Member

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    Here you are assuming what we are trying to prove. Every eye is functional because they are created and designed that way. But if evolution were true that would not be the case because some parts of the eye need to be there in full form for the eye to function but if there are tiny changes that occur over long periods of time, how is the timing of the structures going to coalesce so that they work together to maintain the function thru basically random unguided processes? The chance is astronomical to the point of being 0.
     
  8. cvanwey

    cvanwey Well-Known Member

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    In post #1983 you stated 'But one of the major themes of the Gospel is the coming of the kingdom of God, not empirically proving his existence to all and sundry, so maybe it's never been about proof?'

    God made sure He sent Himself down to earth, in human form to teach stuff, perform miracles, and then return from death, all to demonstrate He was a Messiah; in front of humans whom would later write stuff down, and claim He fulfilled prophecy.

    And BTW:

    Anecdotal:
    '(of an account) not necessarily true or reliable, because based on personal accounts rather than facts or research'

    And now we are to believe these anecdotal tales. And if we do not, we are doomed; according to the later writings...

    Well, you're here too, so there's that :)

    If you should have 'evidence' for the existence of God, I'm ready to hear it...


    Again, tell that to 'doubting Thomas', just for starters... There exists stories of Jesus performing miracles for many to witness. You don't think God did as such to assure such acts would later be written down, to use as 'evidence'? ...Anecdotal evidence...


    Text being profound is one thing. Such books also mentioning supernatural tales, is quite another. Or, do you believe that of all the supernatural tales proclaimed, from such opposing doctrines, as well?
     
  9. Ed1wolf

    Ed1wolf Well-Known Member

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    Since humans are emotional beings and not robots, of course, emotion is involved, it is also involved in people who become atheists. But generally most humans also believe that they change their view based on evidence and reasoning. So in most cases it is a combination of both. Two somewhat famous former atheists are Hugh Ross and C.S. Lewis who converted because of the evidence and logical arguments and there are many others who I dont remember their names right now. And some no one would know. There is no real evidence Anthony Flew was senile, atheists only said that after he became a theist. But he did not become a Christian. There is nothing about atheists being any more about the evidence than Christians, there are emotions and other factors for them also. Such as not wanting to be held accountable for their time or being faced with peer pressure. This often happens with scientists, they dont want their colleagues to think are some backward fundie and possibly lose their job.
     
  10. Silmarien

    Silmarien Existentialist

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    I see no reason why supernatural tales from a variety of different cultures could not simultaneously be true. I don't think they are, anymore than I think the Old Testament tales are, but they're hardly conflicting.

    I don't understand your argument, though. You claim that God intended for "anecdotal" evidence to exist, and then complain because the evidence that exists is "anecdotal"? I think you're using the word incorrectly, because we're not dealing with statistical analysis where anecdotal evidence is problematic, but that set aside, your complaint here makes very little sense.
     
  11. cvanwey

    cvanwey Well-Known Member

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    Yes, you don't understand my argument :)

    My point is that the Bible is really the only claim to your believed God, if this is what you actually believe?.?.?. And since many of the Bible's claims do not appear to comport with my reality, I have since concluded that I cannot believe in such claims. And God, in this later published book, asks that I believe them. And if I do not, I am doomed.

    And it would appear that God's best line of 'evidence' may be anecdotal in nature. (i.e.) The writers of the Bible and their claims. Well, I no more believe the supernatural based anecdotal tales of the Bible, than I do from any other competing book. Especially when even some of the falsifiable claims may have been falsified.

    The crux of my argument is that God, in the claims of the Bible, asserts that belief is required; or the starting point. And belief also requires 'faith' in anecdotal stories. Well, the ones that do not buy such stories are 'unsaved', according to Jesus. I find it odd, that God's best plan, is to have humans write a 66 chapter book, expect all to believe it, and if some do not, tell them they are doomed.

    So though you may disagree, I trust you now understand my position? I'm not buying the story line. And if I'm incorrect, in my honest efforts in trying to believe prior, I'm doomed; if I'm wrong.
     
  12. InterestedAtheist

    InterestedAtheist Veteran

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    I think we did, yes. Given a hundred lengthy pages to work in, the Christians were unable to offer convincing evidence for God. I think it seems reasonable that, if they did have such evidence they would by now have stated it. Ergo, they do not. Lacking evidence for the existence of God, the only sensible thing to do is for us all to be a-theistic.
    Silmarien, Ed, gradyll, anyone else who's listening: I know you're going to ignore this, or furiously deny it, or try to dismiss it; but what you won't do it post the evidence that would win you the argument. You can't, because you don't have any.

    No idea what you mean, I'm afraid. Perhaps you could clarify your point, if you have one?

    Perhaps you'd like to reread what you posted there? Your point is incoherent, and Pope Benedict's writings do nothing to back it up. His saying that the God exists and that He is conscious does not in any way imply, as you seem to think, that reality is subjective. You'll need to actually give evidence and reasoning, I'm afraid. As it is, your point is nonsensical, and the sources you back it up with, don't.

    The basic flaw of the cosmological argument, as we have seen displayed many times throughout this thread, is special pleading. Basically, you say that it is impossible for the Universe to have come into existence, except by an entity which - what good luck! - matches the God of your religion. But, as cvanwey and I have both pointed out, if we allow for the existence of the supernatural, there are an endless amount of possible universe-creators, including wizards, virtually every other god or goddess ever imagined, universe-creating pixies, theFlying Spaghetti Monster...If you allow for magic, anything goes. And any argument you could use against any of these either falls apart (for example, the Bandwagon Fallacy you were guilty of earlier) or also invalidates the God of the Bible.


    Nonsense. This isn't even an argument to be rebutted. All it is is your simplistic views of history. The existence of "good" societies proves nothing at all, I'm afraid.

    Basically, Ed, what you need is evidence that God exists. When you have some, we'll be able to talk. But you don't.

    Strawman argument.
    No, the answer that @cvanwey and I both propose is that the alternative to God providing no evidence of His existence is that He provides good evidence of His existence. And, if the stories of the Bible are to be trusted, there should be plenty of evidence that God is real and that the Christian religion is accurate. Of course, there isn't, because He isn't and it isn't.

    By all means!
    Thank you, Silmarien. I think you've just provided the perfect ending for this thread. We started with "Arguments for the Existence of God" and now you come and inform us that there are none.
    Thank you.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2019
  13. InterestedAtheist

    InterestedAtheist Veteran

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    If God exists and the Christian religion is accurate, then that is a very strange thing indeed.
    But if God doesn't exist, and if the Christian religion is no more true that any other religion that Christians also disbelieve, it makes perfect sense.
     
  14. Silmarien

    Silmarien Existentialist

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    No, I'm still having trouble parcing what you're trying to say here. It seems like you're now arguing that anyone who does not accept a literal, inerrant view of Scripture and fully and completely believe everything in the Old Testament is doomed to hell? And because this threat is so clear, God cannot exist, because if he existed, he ought to make it obvious to everyone that Noah's Flood really happened? Is this your claim?

    I think it's an objection that has teeth against certain interpretations of damnation, but none of them are required by Christianity, much less by theism more generally. I'm not going to say that beliefs don't matter, but I don't think they matter in quite the same way we generally think.
     
  15. cvanwey

    cvanwey Well-Known Member

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    Let me clarify/simpify...

    I studied the claims for a resurrection every which way I can imagine. I'm now not buying the story line. Hence, I don't believe it actually happened. I then compare my conclusion with such a verse from the Bible:


    "18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.",

    My earnest conclusion is that the claimed event is nothing more than a story from lore.

    I also read Genesis. I see some assertions there, as well, which do not appear to comport with peer reviewed discovery. Regardless of how I attempt to spin or rationalize such claims, I cannot reconcile their 'truth'.

    Hence, in my honest assessment/conclusion, I have walked away from my prior 'faith', as I can no longer believe in this book any more than you believe in some opposing 'holy book.'

    However, the premise appears pretty dang clear. If you do not accept Jesus as your gateway, you are doomed. So, if I'm wrong about my conclusion, I'm doomed.

    So if you have 'evidence for God's existence', bring it. If not, then why are YOU here; lurking upon 100 pages of squabbling?
     
  16. Silmarien

    Silmarien Existentialist

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    I'm a Platonist, lol. How could I possibly provide evidence for a position you refuse to admit even exists?

    I think the problem here is that you do not understand traditional Catholic and Orthodox classical theism. Ratzinger does not say that "God is conscious," but rather that "the absolute is consciousness." Consciousness is not a property that God possesses, because the doctrine of divine simplicity means that God does not possess properties. It'd be somewhat more accurate to call consciousness an aspect of what God is, though even that is probably imprecise.

    You'll find that people who adhere to the traditional Platonic and Aristotelian conceptions of God do not view God as a concrete immaterial being amongst others. We tend to take one of two approaches--God is Being Itself, or God is Beyond Being. In both cases, God is in some sense identified with reality itself, so if God is consciousness, then yes, we can say that reality is fundamentally, intrinsically subjective in nature. This is the major distinction between the materialistic and theistic models of reality: what consciousness really is.

    If you're interested in learning more about theism, a good, introductory source for the classical conception of God would be David Bentley Hart's The Experience of God.

    I don't see how God is obligated to prove his existence, but what sort of evidence should there even be? How do you intend to distinguish between a genuine miracle and a naturalistic explanation?

    Yikes! A bit of reading comprehension, please. I said that the obsession with rational demonstration was a human foible, and that there was no reason to belief that God cared about such things at all.
     
  17. Silmarien

    Silmarien Existentialist

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    Why do you keep on insisting I couldn't possibly believe in other holy books? I love the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita and honestly think it's about a 50/50 toss-up between Christianity and the Vedic tradition.

    Possibly. You really need to get over your fear of hell, though. It's not healthy, and even as someone who does believe in damnation, I think your persistent bitterness towards God on this topic is much more dangerous than your atheism itself.

    Christianity is obviously tricky because of the whole damnation issue--if you are going to reject it, you need to find a way to come to terms with that. I know your history is particularly problematic when it comes to coercing people with the fear of hell, but you're going to need to find a way around that. You need to get to the point where you're okay with the possibility of hell, since only then will it stop having power over you. I dealt with this myself in my atheistic days, and decided that even if the Christian God did exist, hell was preferable, since he wasn't the sort of being I'd want to be anywhere around anyway. I was wrong, but I think that sort of theological rebellion was still better than the sort of simmering resentment that comes with not being able to accept potential consequences.

    What you need to do is own your decision, even if it ends up being the wrong one. You can't spend your life being afraid of hell, and hating a God you don't believe in for potentially sending you there. It's that very state of mind which is hell, whether it's finite or eternal.

    That's easy. I'm here because I'm interested in natural theology and philosophy of religion, and that includes arguments for and against the existence of God. I'm a philosophy apologist, so my only real goal is to push both sides to have the best, most rounded position possible.
     
  18. InterestedAtheist

    InterestedAtheist Veteran

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    "Silmarien, Ed, gradyll, anyone else who's listening: I know you're going to ignore this, or furiously deny it, or try to dismiss it"
    As I thought :)

    No, that's not the problem. The problem is that you make points that don't make sense and then try to rescue them. We are not interested in what "traditional Catholic and Orthodox" views on classical theism are; you said that "The whole underlying thesis of theism is that reality is in some sense ultimately subjective in nature (i.e., that it is personal)". Theism, you said. Not one particular flavour of it.
    Furthermore, your claim still doesn't make sense. You said:
    "My claim that theism entails that reality is in some sense ultimately subjective in nature, i.e., that it is personal, is not something I made up. It's really just a paraphrase of saying that "the absolute is consciousness," since the mark of consciousness is subjectivity."
    But that doesn't follow at all. Just because "the absolute" is conscious (if it is) it does not at all follow that reality is dependent on our own subjective views.
    Silmarien, you may enjoy playing with words and entertaining notions such as physical reality not existing. But honestly, I'm starting to find it tedious. If you have a point, please make it.

    If reality is conscious - and that is a huge "if", not worth considering except as an amusing thought experiment, without some reason to consider it so - then your assertion that reality is subjective still does not follow. By your own arguments: God is reality, God is conscious, therefore reality is conscious - but that doesn't mean that my reality or your reality is subjective, any more than the fact that a person can think and a brick cannot means that the brick is real and the person is not.

    Proof? Who said anything about proof?
    As you may have seen, we already had this discussion earlier in the thread, over a number of posts. Proof is for mathematics and alcohol. I said evidence.
    Please don't strawman.

    Do you think it is a satisfactory answer, Silmarien, when it leaves me none the wiser about what you actually think?
    Also, reading comprehension yourself! You said:
    Right. So maybe, if it's never been about proof - or evidence - a thread of "Arguments for the existence of God" is a waste of time?
    Uh-huh. In which case, maybe the humans who started this thread - mainly gradyll and Ed - should have taken a hint from God and not cared about demonstrating God's existence?
     
  19. gaara4158

    gaara4158 Keep on keeping on

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    Full, new, complex structures don't magically appear in biology. New complex structures, including eyes, form over millions of generations in tiny increments. Of course this process isn't unguided, it's completely determined by natural selective pressures. Each increment is advantageous over its predecessor. After enough time, the new structure can become very complex, as is seen in the human eye. What part of the eye are you referring to when you say that it must be "fully formed" lest the whole eye become useless, and how did you determine that it could not have evolved via small increments?

    This is remarkably close to where we started, so I'm going to again refer you to a simple Google search and a trip to your local library if you're going to continue failing to understand basic concepts of biology. I have no interest in going around in circles about evolution these days.
     
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  20. cvanwey

    cvanwey Well-Known Member

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    Maybe I should have clarified further. I stated 'I can no longer believe in this book any more than you believe in some opposing 'holy book.' Meaning, I reject the tenets and claims for Christianity most likely in the same way you reject the religions in which you do not believe. I honestly do not know (what) you believe exactly; other than your sparse elaborations provided here.

    Who said I actively fear 'hell'? Who said I'm 'bitter' towards God? How can I actively fear or be bitter towards something I don't think exists?

    Please let me again clarify...

    I was raised in it, believed in it, and practiced in it for decades. After having actually studied all such claims for myself, I have come to realize that I could no longer retain my prior beliefs.

    Having said that, I'm now merely making a statement. Meaning, knowing what I know about the Bible, I know what it claims. 'If I'm wrong, I will fry.' Just like I may know what other opposing holy books may claim. It's merely clarification, that all non-believers don't stand a chance. And I'm stating as such here because we are in a Christian forum; not some other religious forum ;)

    Any and all 'bitterness' you may 'detect' might only be from the ones here whom assert without proper or sufficient evidence. As I too have done a fare amount of study, only to find such assertions lacking in such claimed evidence, when such claims are investigated with a lack in a priori assumptions.


    As stated above... It's nothing I need to 'get over.' I doubt the existence of hell, much in the same way that I doubt the existence of the claimed and asserted Christian God.

    On a side note, do not ask me if a 'creator(s)' exists. I don't know. But like I've told others. Just because we don't know, does not mean we can't seem to rule out some assertions brought forth thus far... (i.e.) the assertions and claims of what people are asserting in this thread...

    But again, I would really like to hear why (you) feel the resurrection is founded in truth? I'm very curious to know, how someone whom appears well read, has concluded that such a claim is actually founded in reality? Again, aside from later 'attested' anecdotal writings, from what would seem to be an extremely bias source location(s), what 'evidence' compelled you of this assertion?



    Um, no. The vast majority of where I live is Christian. It's pushed in my face daily from work, from friends, and family, and even occasionally from TV. I cannot go one day without hearing some testimonial about 'God's' glory/other. I'm also aware of what the Bible states about hell. So though I do not believe it is real, I still have to deal with daily assertions from the vast portion on my surroundings, on a regular basis.

    Again, though I do not believe it, it does become annoying to be engulfed within it's claims on a regular basis.

    So why do I hang around here then? Because I can post questions and ideas here, and receive responses back, as I desire them; without starting WWIII :)
     
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