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Argument for God's existence.

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

  1. Silmarien

    Silmarien Existentialist

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    You thought I was a Platonist? Or you thought you refused to admit that Platonic theism was a version of theism? Even if I tried to present an argument, you'd tell me I was off-topic, so I'm not sure what the point would be at all.

    I'm a classical theist, so yes, I define "theism" from within the bounds of the theistic tradition that I think is correct. It is the only flavor of theism that I think ought to be taken seriously, so generally the only one I talk about. If you want to discuss theism with other people, you're welcome to use other definitions, but if you want to discuss it with me or any other classical theist, you are going to have to figure out what we're actually talking about. Otherwise we're going to end up discussing a God that neither of us actually believes in, which would be absurd.

    I never said that the absolute being consciousness meant that reality was dependent upon our own subjective views. Thank you for finally specifying what your concern was, though, since now I can clarify what the misunderstanding was. We are using the word "subjective" in different contexts.

    What I meant by "reality is ultimately subjective (i.e., that it is personal)" was that the most fundamental aspect of reality is personhood and the sense of self. When I use the word "subjective," I'm usually referring to the quality of being an individual, self-conscious agent, not to having ones personal views. In the end, there are two major models of reality: naturalism and theism. According to naturalism, it is physical reality that is fundamental, and consciousness somehow emerges from it, whereas according to theism, agency and consciousness are fundamental, and physical reality is dependent thereupon. Our own agency and consciousness can perhaps best be described as participation in the fullness of God, though the exact approach depends on the tradition.

    Hopefully that is clearer? I'm an atheistic existentialist turned Scholastic, and often mix and match concepts and terminology from the two traditions in a way that can be a bit confusing for just about anyone here. If you ever have no idea what I'm saying, you can just ask.

    My major point is that when it comes to mind and matter, there is no default view. You can believe that mind is emergent from matter (non-reductive materialism), that mind is illusory and only matter exists (eliminative materialism), that mind and matter are distinct substances (substance dualism), that matter is conscious (panpsychism), that matter is in some sense emergent from mind (idealism), and any number of additional variations. Each view would need to be supported through argumentation, because there is no default answer to the mind-body problem.

    This issue can be extended to ontology as well, leading to a distinction between two major views: naturalism, whereby reality can be reduced to physical properties and interactions, and non-naturalism, whereby it cannot. Theism is, of course, the major form of non-naturalism, and again, there is no default view. If you use an unexamined premise from one position to attack a second one, you're just begging the question. So arguing that God cannot exist because he's a mind without a brain presupposes a materialist view of mind and sidesteps the entire question under review: whether reality can be reduced to the physical or if it is fundamentally more akin to the mental.

    Hopefully we have cleared up now that this wasn't what I meant by the word "subjective." As for whether the absolute being consciousness is the sort of question worth considering, as a non-naturalist, I would view the idea that reality is ultimately physical in nature as an odd thought experiment not truly worth taking seriously. There really is no default position here.

    I didn't strawman anything. People can prove themselves to be trustworthy or intelligent or so forth and so on. "I don't have anything to prove to you" would be a legitimate use of the word "prove," and in this sense, it's perfectly correct to say that God doesn't need to prove anything to us.

    In terms of what evidence you would accept, I specifically used the word "evidence." I repeat: What sort of evidence should there even be? How do you intend to distinguish between a genuine miracle and a naturalistic explanation?

    What I think about what? I am slightly troubled by the Hiddenness Argument and the fact that God doesn't seem to be interested in making himself known to everyone, but only slightly. There are plenty of theists, myself included, who do not possess that supernatural sense of God's presence that's so popular around here, so I'm left wondering what precisely Christianity's promise of relationship with God entails. I've seen former Christians talk about repeatedly begging God for personal revelation and ultimately receiving nothing, and I'm sympathetic because I've been there as well, but I think the demand is a bit egotistical. Christianity has never really been about easy answers and an undemanding spiritual life.

    I believe that some of the theistic arguments work, so I'm somewhat privileged in that I do not actually require personal experience. I couldn't be anything but a theist at this point, but I do find it pretty self-evident that God is not actually interested in spoon feeding us anything.

    Yes and no. I'm a rationalist--I do not think we should believe things without examining our reasons why. I think this is largely a cultural issue, though, and see no reason why God would indulge our need for knowledge and control, and good reasons why he might not.

    That said, I do think the arguments are important, though I also think this type of thread is basically a waste of time.

    Maybe. I think apologetics and theology should largely be an internal affair. You ought to know what you believe and why, and should be able to engage in conversation if asked about it by someone who is genuinely curious. I have a number of issues with this type of thread, though--I think the motivation behind wandering around trying to convert random people to your way of thinking is usually egotistical rather than altruistic, and the result can be ugly.
     
  2. cvanwey

    cvanwey Well-Known Member

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    And yet, the Bible seems to endorse such actions, in which you refer to as conceit:

    "19 So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.

    20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen."
     
  3. Silmarien

    Silmarien Existentialist

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    If you don't know what I believe, why are you making references to my hypothetical beliefs at all? I am not criticizing you for not believing in the Bible. It's the claim that an almighty God would be expected to provide evidence specifically matching your requirements that I find suspect. There's no reason to actually believe that.

    Pretty easily, actually. "What if I'm wrong?" is a pretty normal question to ask, no matter what your specific beliefs are. And I remember you mentioning having lingering concerns about hell a year or so ago.

    I don't actually care that much about the historicity of the Resurrection. I think it's reasonable to claim as historical fact that the Apostles had some sort of life changing experience after the Crucifixion, but more than that is beyond the reach of historical analysis.

    I'm more interested in the various theological questions, particularly Trinitarianism and the Incarnation. And the Fall, I suppose, if for different reasons. There are a number of things about Christianity that make me wonder if it might be true, and I got tired of pretending I could walk away from it. I can't.

    Are people constantly telling you that you're going to hell, or does just any mention of religion make you immediately think of hell? If people are not actually harassing you, then you're going to need to learn to not jump straight to hellfire whenever the topic of religion comes up.

    First century Christians were spreading a message that had basically never been heard before, so I'm not sure to what extent egoism would have played a role in that sort of environment. For us, though, it's different, since the desire to live up to that sort of early missionary zeal can often be rooted in egoism. The Works-based zeal to achieve and be super special can cause all sorts of problems if you're not balanced about it.
     
  4. Ed1wolf

    Ed1wolf Well-Known Member

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    Probably not the Renaissance but actually the Enlightenment is an offshoot of Protestant Christianity. They just took their trust in reason too far. Protestant scientists believed that because the universe was created by an intelligent orderly being that therefore the universe is intelligible and orderly and it could be studied by using reason. This also helped the invention of modern science. Enlightenment thinkers went too far and decided that they could reason better than God and eventually "reasoned" His revelation out of the picture and so came up with theories to explain it away. This brought about Deism and eventually atheism. The Industrial Revolution was a product of modern science which was invented by Christians. Probably not democracy but the biblical form of church government is similar to a democratic republic which is partially why the British called the American Revolution the Presbyterian War. The American form of government is similar to the Presbyterian form of church government. Biblical principles have never been responsible for bad things, but Christians have been responsible for some bad things sometimes by misinterpreting the bible.

    Actually it is. Since Christianity teaches that the Christian God is a force for good in fact the ONLY force and source for good, the fact that His word and the people that follow its teachings have been a force for good is evidence that He is working in this world and therefore may exist.


    While there are some orthodox Christians that believe in theistic evolution, like the great scientist Francis Collins, most orthodox Christians do not.

    Ok please provide an example of macroevolution being empirically observed in real time.
     
  5. InterestedAtheist

    InterestedAtheist Veteran

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    As I said: these are just your own simplistic ideas about history. Christianity can teach whatever it likes, but without evidence for it being true it is of no relevance here. And you've just proved, again, that you don't actually know what the theory of evolution is about.
     
  6. InterestedAtheist

    InterestedAtheist Veteran

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    I'm afraid I'm failing to see the relevance of this here. Silmarien, while this might be an interesting conversation under other circumstances, we are on a thread about arguments for the existence of God. Since you don't seem to have any and don't seem to think the issue is important, I don't think I'm going to get what I'm interested in from you.

    Let me make myself clear: I am on this thread not for pleasant conversation, but to debate arguments for the existence of God.
    Do you wish to pose one? If not, we can stop talking.
     
  7. cvanwey

    cvanwey Well-Known Member

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    You are in a thread entitled, 'argument for the existence of God.' You could be on countless other threads, not this one. You state this thread is dumb, but then continue to hang around in this thread? Very curious indeed... You are either for the existence of Yahweh, or against the notion of the asserted Yahweh. Which one is it? Thus far, I'm assuming you are for Him. If you do not care to participate, then maybe PM me all these other irrelevant questions :)

    In regards to the 'evidence' matching my expectations, the authors of the Bible appear to plainly state that one must believe. Well, belief needs evidence. God would know that suitable evidence may vary from human to human. If the crux to salvation requires belief, and belief needs evidence, seems reasonable to provide all necessary evidence to at least satisfy the assertion that He at least exists.?.?.?

    And yet, some people 'get their evidence', and some 'don't seem to.' --> Like me... I find it odd that I am here, in this thread, asking for evidence of His mere existence, and from you, I get nothing, and from others, I get not much more. Blind faith ain't gonna cut it for this chap :)


    You sir, are an enigma....

    The authors of the Bible seem to rally pretty heavily behind this quote:
    "14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."

    The claim of a resurrection seems to be the be-all-end-all claim to the premise for truth in Christianity. No risen Jesus, no truth. Pretty simple. I doubt most/many denominations would even deny this very basic premise...?

    I know, based upon your last response, that you may be on the fence about believing in Christianity. However, I find it odd that you do not have (much interest) in knowing if such an assertion is valid; being this is the main staple to the faith in general...


    Again, questions maybe better suited for PM discussions; if you really care to know my background :) Spending time responding in public, with my personal peccadillos, gets us way off topic.

    But to add light in a relevant sense, again the Bible states that all non-believers will be condemned. Pretty clear and simple. I'm simply bringing this repeated assertion to light. Hence, likely one of the reasons many argue (for) His existence; to 'save souls'.


    Disagree. If each successive generation did not also prosthelytize, then oral tradition would not continue to manifest; which in turn later spawned the NT ;)

    The Bible advocates such actions where ever possible...

    "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."

    "Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching"

    "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit"

    "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature."

    Etc.....

    My point here being... This topic is necessary in the sense that believers tend to preach, to save as many as they can from hell. The ones whom oppose are likely arguing that such assertions are nonsense, and are, in essence, instead telling all believers to stop wasting precious time believing something that is likely untrue.

    Thus, I disagree with your prior assessment. I think this topic is very important. And yet, you think all that are here may instead be arrogant....
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2019
  8. Ed1wolf

    Ed1wolf Well-Known Member

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    All three of those are good arguments and are part of the multi lines of evidence for God. None can prove His existence. But put all together with the historical and scientific lines of evidence reveal that is existence is highly probable. I will deal with your article and the supposed defeaters of the cosmological argument which is the strongest. "If the flaw of the ontological argument is circularity, the fallacy of the cosmological argument is special pleading. Namely, it asserts without good reason that everything except God needs a cause." No, there is no special pleading. This is a straw man. The law of causality does not say EVERTHING needs a cause. Only every EFFECT. And so far most of the evidence points to the universe being an effect. And something can logically be a cause without being an effect, that is what God is.

    No, the problem with an infinite series of causes and effect is that we would never reach the present, but obviously we have, so there is no infinite series of causes and effects. Then your article says that the cosmological argument does not prove a personal creator. But that is wrong, because the there is also the law of sufficient cause. Since the universe contains personal beings, and we know that only persons can produce the personal, the cause of the universe most likely must be personal. There are also purposes existing in the universe such as ears are for hearing and we know that only personal beings can create purposes for things. There is an error in the attempted refutaton of the Kalam cosmological argument. The article says that God can do an infinite number of things, that is false. God cannot go against His nature or against logic and there may even be other things He cannot do that we dont know about. The metionings of a quantum fluctuation creating the universe cannot work either, quantum events require time to occur, but at time=0, there was no time for a quantum even to occur so it could not be the cause of the universe. In addition to the all the considerations above about a sufficient cause. I will deal with the other arguments in my next post later.
     
  9. Silmarien

    Silmarien Existentialist

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    I am not sure how one could debate the existence of God without first having a pleasant conversation about what the word "God" even means. If we're not even on the same page concerning the meaning of the word, we're discussing different things entirely.

    That said, I'm a proponent of certain types of onto-cosmological arguments. I could present one of my own, but I'm not sure how I would go about doing so without discussing a variety of concepts along the way. Given your apparent lack of interest in conversation, I suppose I'll have to refrain from presenting the sort of reasoning that I personally find compelling.

    Failing that, I can still leave you with a professional argument I find kind of fun, the Gale-Pruss: A New Cosmological Argument. For additional information on it, here is an article by Pruss on PSR, and a post on the Gale-Pruss at William Craig's site.
     
  10. Silmarien

    Silmarien Existentialist

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    You would need to support the claim that belief requires evidence. Plenty of people seem to do just fine without any sort of rational justification whatsoever. I am admittedly not one of them, but I suffer from a nasty case of intellectual pride, and I'm pretty sure that's a sin. I don't see why God would be obligated to indulge us in our sinful tendencies.

    I'm pretty sure I've presented you with arguments in the past, though you're welcome to look at the Gale-Pruss I provided above. Here are the links again:

    A New Cosmological Argument.
    An article by Pruss on PSR.
    A post on the Gale-Pruss at William Craig's site.

    I'm not a man.

    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. I actually think the evidence for the Resurrection is pretty interesting, but the burden of proof required for a claim like that is effectively unattainable. As a result, I think that as a historical question, the Resurrection is unanswerable.

    I think the central claim of Christianity is actually the Incarnation, though, not the Resurrection. That claim is so radical and game-changing that, long story short, I basically ended up just accepting Pascal's Wager.

    I don't think it's as clear or simple as that, but even if it were, I fail to see how it's at all relevant in a thread on the existence of God.

    The Bible also says to shake the dust off your feet if people aren't interested in listening to you. It's honestly pretty obvious when someone is amenable to actual discussion and when they're not, and there's no obligation to spend 100 pages going around in circles with people who aren't.

    I don't mean that disparagingly. I have good friends who are decidedly not interested, and it's not up to me to change that.
     
  11. Ed1wolf

    Ed1wolf Well-Known Member

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    Response to Interested Atheist's Article on Arguments for God: Your article's attempt to disprove the argument from design makes no sense. It says that because living things are so different from manmade things that we cant make the analogy that it was designed. Design can be detected because we can design things irrespective of how different they are. And living things actually show strong similarities with human designs especially after the discovery of DNA which has been shown to be a complex linguistic code. Such codes can only be produced by an intelligent mind similar to human minds. If the article's claim were true then cosmologists would have never started the SETI program. And I would hardly say that evolution is a plausible explanation for the design we see. A random impersonal unguided process could hardly be a plausible explanation for it. It goes against all human experience and all empirical observations. As far as the argument that livng things seem to have more than one designer is absurd. The very fact that the blueprints of organism all use the same basic blueprint, DNA, is strong evidence for a single designer. Also, look at the all the similarities in body plans, this very fact is what Darwin considered evidence for evolution but it fits just as well if not better that such similarities point to single designer using a body plan He likes that can work well on this type of planet.
     
  12. cvanwey

    cvanwey Well-Known Member

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    The only thing in which I stated was (required), was belief in Jesus; as per the assertion from the Bible.

    In regards to belief needing evidence... Though this may not always be universal, in such cases as these, for ME, I need evidence in such a claim. If God is the 'ghost-writer' for such Biblical verse, then God would also realize what it would take, as evidence, to make ME realize of His mere existence.

    If God seeks to have close and personal relationships with His creation, playing perpetual hide-and-seek, and always claiming the victor, as I seek, would not yield favorable results where I'm concerned. And if God exists, and wants me to find Him, you might think He would know that. I truly sought after Him for a long time. So either He exists and did not care to reciprocate with basic contact after countless earnest attempts, or I'm too incompetent to self actualize basic contact, or maybe, just maybe, there really is no such god?

    It's not really much to ask IMHO. And like I've told others, you can know or be aware of His existence, and still reject Him; as with the story line of the Bible, i.e. with Satan and the fallen angels... Hence, to remain hidden seems superfluous.


    What is it specifically about these arguments you find so compelling? I could re-read the entire document(s) and not translate the same result....

    Doh! My apologize!

    Can you please elaborate? What specifically compelled you that it could be true?

    You've stated how this entire thread is less-than-desirable, or other... I'm stating that in 'anapologist forum', this would be one of the most important topics to cover. Because, after all, if the asserted premise were actually true, the pro-believers may feel obligated to try everything within their power to convert as many as possible; as the Bible states all non-believers are condemned. And like I stated earlier, belief needs evidence. Hence, the title of this thread.

    Again, it's merely an obvious observation, as this is one of the the basic claims to Christianity. 'Believe or burn.' --- so-to-speak...


    Well, one can only assume that if they are sticking around in this thread, they do present interest.

    If the evidence is actually compelling, it might instead be met, by the opposing side, with either silence, or a subject change, or an ad hominem attack, -- if such an opponent has no substantial rebuttal?
     
  13. Silmarien

    Silmarien Existentialist

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    I disagree completely--I think there would be a pretty strong conflict between divine presence and self-realization. I actually view doubt as a self-defense mechanism--when I sit down and really think about what theism means, I honestly find it overwhelming and a bit maddening, so being able to step away strikes me as a bit of a mercy. I don't see how that could be possible if absolute certainty was forced upon us.

    Beyond that, there's a very strong possibility that people who seek for a long time and receive nothing in return are going about it the wrong way. The line between seeking God and putting God to the test can be very slim, and I am always leery when someone gives up and then lays the blame at God's feet. If you really go down the mystic's path and seek with the whole of your being, then you're going to end up so madly in love with God that you would wait your whole life for a response.

    There's a saying from Rabi'a, an Islamic mystic, that I really adore:

    O my Lord,
    if I worship you
    from fear of hell, burn me in hell.
    If I worship you
    from hope of Paradise, bar me from its gates.
    But if I worship you
    for yourself alone, grant me then the beauty of your Face.


    That is seeking, and it's extremely rare.

    I think the key is the age old question: "Why is there something instead of nothing?"

    If you're really asking yourself that, if you're really cognizant of just how strange the mere fact of existence is, then the classical arguments start to make sense. Modern naturalistic assumptions cease to make sense.

    I think the theistic tradition is aimed specifically at a question we've largely forgotten how to ask in the modern era.

    A number of different issues, honestly, some of them pretty strange. I even think that Trinitarianism makes more sense than strict monotheism, so it would be difficult to not think that Christianity might be the real deal.

    No, it's not. It's not in the Nicene Creed, it was never settled by any of the ecumenical councils, so by definition it's not a basic claim.

    I've seen all three of those things, lol.
     
  14. Ed1wolf

    Ed1wolf Well-Known Member

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    The attempt to refute the moral argument fails in your article. Actually there ARE certain morals that almost all societies agree on. Such as it is wrong to kill a member of your group, it is wrong to steal from members of your group, it is wrong to deceive members of your group and etc. And they match up quite well with a slightly distorted view of the ten commandments. This is evidence that morality comes from God who created all humans in His image since we share His basic morality in our consciences, though we can rebel against it and repress our moral consciences and justify breaking His moral laws and that is how other societies over time do not follow His moral law. Eurythro's dilemma is resolved because God's goodness is based on His objective moral character, not on what He commands. But His commands are also based on His objective moral character. So unlike atheism Christianity has an objective moral foundation for morality. Atheistic morality is just based on an irrational sentimental feeling for homo sapiens.
     
  15. cvanwey

    cvanwey Well-Known Member

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    Well, The Bible seems to present such examples demonstrating that humans can handle God's contact just fine. 'Moses', 'Noah', 'Sal of Tarsus', 'Doubting Thomas', the many here who claim God's contact as such; just to name a few examples right off the top of my head...

    In regards to 'going about it the wrong way, in seeking God', it would seem many Christians here have no problem receiving contact from God. Are you insinuating that they may instead be mistaken about this contact, and that the path to receive God's actual contact instead lies within more of a 'mystic's path', whatever that may mean?

    Needless to say, I am at polar opposite ends of the spectrum from you. Many many many here, and outside of this forum, claim genuine contact from their God(s).

    All I ask, is that WHY would such an existing God, whom seems to want nothing more than to have relations with His creation, deny contact from such earnest request for years - (like myself)?

    If such a God exists, He would know that (I) do not have the ability to (continue faith) in such an asserted entities claimed existence without evidence by contact, for starters. And to then state that unbelief will condemn me to boot, seems a bit contradictory and/or harsh...



    I remember asking that very same question, when the philosophy instructor went around the room, asking each student what is the most pressing question they have to present. And when I asked, I received nothing more than a 'hmmm.'



    A few years ago, I might have agreed more-so. However, since humans have the ability to ask an infinite number of vexing and seemingly unanswerable questions, does not mean there exists some mystical answer, (i.e. divine agency), actually awaiting in it's wake. Doing so seems to scream argument from ignorance whether we want to admit it or not... Meaning, 'I can't think of any other conclusion, hence forth....'


    How so? Can you provide any specific details? Something that actually points towards evidence for the existence of a God?

    I'm speaking about seemingly axiomatic verses in the Bible, ('creed' or no 'creed'):

    "And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him."

    "I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.”

    "And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.

    "Yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified."

    "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 point is I'm simply awaiting for evidence of God. I have yet to receive anything tangible, which cannot be easily dismissed without having to actually to instead resort to such 'cop out' tactics listed prior :)

    Do you have anything specific to share, regarding evidence?
     
  16. cvanwey

    cvanwey Well-Known Member

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    All the Bible 'proves' is that the author of the Bible asserted 'objective/absolute moral standards.' The fact that many, or even all, agree with some of these assertions is/are irrelevant quite frankly. You actually have to demonstrate that such dictates were issued by a God, and not only merely by the human author whom writes as such. Sure most, if not all, are going to agree that killing, stealing, and even trespassing, are not favorable traits... Why? Because morals deal with the interaction of two or more individuals really.... If what you do may possibly affect another, it is then deemed a moral action - ('good' or 'bad').

    The moral argument for God's existence appears viciously circular. Again, all we know, is that the Bible was written by humans. You would need to prove that such dictates were actually issued by something other than mere human beings. Until you can actually do that, you are begging your own question.
     
  17. Moral Orel

    Moral Orel Proud Citizen of Moralton Supporter

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    Why is there a God instead of nothing?
     
  18. InterestedAtheist

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    I just thought this was worth revisiting, to clear up.
    Silmarien, you are free to describe theism in any terms you choose. But if you do so, you must say "To me, theism means such-and-such". If, as you did, you say "Theism means that reality is subjective," you must expect to cause confusion.

    What do you mean we can't discuss whether God exists without talking about what God means? Of course we can. Once you have demonstrated that the Christian religion is correct about there being an all-powerful entity that created the universe and inspired the stories of the Bible, then we could have a huge and complex discussion about the nature of this entity, how it works and what it means to be God. But the fact of God's existence - does He exist or not - is a fairly easy question to discuss.

    Well, I'm not all that good myself at discussing these types of arguments (the ones which look to me like algebra, I mean).
    However, i did find this article, refuting Gale-Pruss:
    - the dance of reason: The Gale-Pruss cosmological argument for the existence of God
    If you'd like to discuss it more, please can you put the argument in your own words.

    Intellectual pride? Perhaps. I think you just over-complicate things more than they warrant. Calling it a sin might be going too far, though.

    I agree. And, to quote Christopher Hitchens, what can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence.

    That sounds an extremely illogical thing to do.

    But they were told they were going about it the right way. Effectively, then, what you are saying is "It must have been the wrong way, because it didn't work". But this, of course, is illogical, a form of special pleading. It could be applied to anything at all and, therefore, is meaningless.

    That's not at all what @cvanwey and others like him do. They aren't blaming God, because they don't think God exists.

    Completely illogical. Do you think it would make sense if I said:
    "If you really go down the mystic's path and seek with the whole of your being, then you're going to end up so madly in love with the Flying Spaghetti Monster that you would wait your whole life for a response."
    You may be aware that the FSM was invented by atheists as a humorous way of pointing out the enormous logical hole in Christians' arguments - including the one that you just used.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2019
  19. InterestedAtheist

    InterestedAtheist Veteran

    +341
    Atheist
    All three of them are bad arguments, and piling together a mass of bad arguments is like trying to make a ladder out of rotten pieces of wood; they all collapse, and you're left back where you started.

    The response can simply be quoted from the article: Unmoved Mover - Daylight Atheism
    Aquinas’ objection to the possibility of an infinite regress is also poorly founded. He claims that an infinite regression of causes could not exist because there would be no first cause, but this shows a failure to understand the notion of an infinite series. In such a series, every individual event would have a perfectly good cause: the event preceding it. Alternatively, if we accept Aquinas’ logic on this point, we can then ask, how many thoughts did God have before creating the universe? Every thought God had must have been caused by another thought preceding it, since Aquinas claims nothing can be its own cause. But since by Aquinas’ argument an infinite beginningless series is impossible, God must have had a single thought preceding all others – i.e., there must have been a point at which God came into existence. We can then ask the cause of this initial thought, and so on ad infinitum.
    There is one final attack on the classic cosmological argument. Say for the sake of argument that we ignore the above difficulty and grant this argument everything it asks – then it still does nothing to establish the existence of God. Even if we accept this argument’s logic, all it proves is that there was a first cause. It does not prove that this first cause still exists today; it does not prove that this first cause has any interest in or awareness of human beings; it does not prove that this first cause is omnipotent or omniscient or benevolent. It does not even prove that the first cause is conscious or a person. An atheist could accept this entire chain of logic and then posit that the first cause was a purely natural phenomenon.

    "The universe contains personal beings, and we know that only persons can produce the personal"? That doesn't make sense at all. Persons are produced as a very, very small part of the process which produced all other living things today: evolution. Which, as gaara pointed out in this post, you obviously don't understand, and really need to do some research on.
    Also, I like you saying "Most likely!" The fact of that matter is, we have absolutely no idea what existed before the Big Bang, or even if saying "existed before the Big Bang" is a meaningful concept. If you want us to think that there was something, and that it was God, you're going to have to provide evidence, which you haven't.

    Again, from the article:
    There are several important problems with this argument. The first one lies with Craig’s claimed proof that an actual infinite cannot exist, a claim which he uses to argue that the universe must have had a finite history and therefore a beginning. Craig’s argument for this point relies on alleged self-contradictions that arise when considering the idea of an actually existing infinity. For example, the set of all numbers is infinite in size, as is the set of even numbers, but if we subtract the latter from the former the resulting set is still infinite. More importantly, Craig claims it is impossible to form an infinite set by successive addition – no matter how many times we add 1 + 1 + 1 + 1…, the sum will always be a finite number, never infinity. Therefore, no matter how many past events have occurred, there can only be a finite number of them and there still must have been a first event, a beginning to the universe. While Craig argues that a potential infinite, defined as a value that increases indefinitely without bound, can exist, he denies that an actual infinite can ever exist in reality.
    It is true that an actual infinite, if such a thing existed, would possess some very strange and counterintuitive properties; for one thing, such a set could be the same size as one of its proper subsets, which is the source of most of the “absurdities” Craig claims to have pointed out. But this does not prove that such a thing is impossible, merely that the human mind cannot adequately conceive of it. There is no law that requires reality to conform to our expectations. Most people would also find the idea that light can behave both as a particle and as a wave to be counterintuitive or absurd, but nevertheless, quantum mechanics has taught us that it is so.
    Regarding the supposed impossibility of forming an infinite by successive addition, Craig’s argument makes a key faulty assumption. Of course an actual infinite cannot be formed by successive addition if one only has a finite number of steps to do it in. But an actual infinite can be formed by an infinite number of successive additions. In other words, there could have been an infinite number of events before now as long as there was also an infinite amount of time before now, which is exactly as we should expect. One might object that this proves that it is necessary to start with an infinite in order to get an infinite. This is true, and it is not a problem if one postulates a universe that has always existed as a brute fact requiring no further explanation, just as theists postulate a God that has always existed as a brute fact.

    Of course it doesn't. On the contrary, the theory of evolution is one of the most solidly-confirmed theories in the whole of science.

    No problem. All we have to do is posit multiple designers, sharing ideas but working against each other. Otherwise, we are led to the ridiculous conclusion that God is continually tinkering with and redesigning living organisms in a gigantic arms race - like a person playing a billion-sided chess game against himself. Which is silly, and unnecessarily over-complicated, because evolution easily and elegantly provides the solution.


    But it's not wrong, as the article pointed out, to enslave, kill, commit incest, sacrifice children, etc. etc. etc.

    No, it's not. All it is is evidence that the Israelites invented a moral code. So what?

    Not at all. The Euthyphro dilemma is quite sound, and your attempt to resolve it by saying that goodness is based on "God's character" merely moves it back one step, leaving the problem unaddressed. If we say that goodness is defined as "following God's character" then that makes goodness meaningless; good is what God does - and, logically, if God did evil, then it would be good, because He had done it. This, therefore, makes Christian morality completely arbitrary, and so it is no morality at all.
     
  20. zippy2006

    zippy2006 Dragonsworn

    +1,189
    United States
    Catholic
    Single


    Sorry, couldn't help myself. :D
     
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