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Argument for God's existence.

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

  1. Ed1wolf

    Ed1wolf Well-Known Member

    United States
    Read A Matter of Days by Hugh Ross.
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  2. Ed1wolf

    Ed1wolf Well-Known Member

    United States
    Many people that become orthodox Christians often talk about they came to believe in Him against their will in many ways. Especially when they look back on their conversion after many years of reflection. Even most people that claim to be Christians are not orthodox theologically because they can not come to believe in the true God as described in the Bible.

    No, this is a scientific fact, that is why they call it the UNI-VERSE.

    No, I am getting it from the Bible, logical reasoning, and the history of science.

    I think that the biblical and theological evidence is against it. But my personal rejection of Darwinian evolution was based on biological and paleontological evidence rather than my theological beliefs. Because I believe He could very well have created living things using evolution but the scientific evidence says otherwise.
  3. Redac

    Redac Regular Member

    Your clarification is appreciated.

    And how are you certain that this isn't exactly what you're doing right now? If by this you mean you're asking for direct personal revelation à la Paul or Moses or something, I'd ask how you know you wouldn't brush it off or dismiss it regardless.

    I suppose God is fully capable of making you know He's there, but then in a way He's imposed a relationship on you that you haven't really chosen.

    Christianity revolves around God's biggest "impactful move."

  4. cvanwey

    cvanwey Well-Known Member

    United States

    I'm not complaining that arguments exist. I'm stating it seems odd that intellectuals will cite philosophy, 'science', etc., but here we are 1,000's of years later, and still no closer to demonstrating or 'proving' the existence of 'god'. All-the-while, we have a published book of tales --- possibly; stating that God answers prayer - (in which I prayed for contact many of times). Again, since this is a Christian 'proof' forum, the tests appear to fail, at least for me.

    Beg to differ... Again, we are speaking about the 'argument for god's existence.' I'm afraid anecdotal tales is one of the key 'proofs' for His existence. Heck, just flip open the the Bible, only for extreme starters.

    Furthermore, are you speaking about verses like Matthew 7:7, Matthew 21:22, Mark 11:24, John 14:13-14, John 16:23? These verses seem to assert a specific conclusion. And in such a case, you could then propose a simple 'logical proof' (off-the-cuff)...:

    1. God exists and wants a relationship with His creation
    2. God states God answers all prayer, especially when done in earnest
    3. Therefore, praying for contact in earnest, will yield an answer in all requests in prayer

    I'm not sure why I would need to seek a 'mystic'? I'm also not sure why I would need to have someone pray on my behalf? I was a devout Christian for decades, and nothing forth-coming...

    I have prayed on my own, repeatedly. Others have also claimed many times, to pray on my behalf.

    All I can conclude is that the Bible is incorrect about such assertions.... Would it be fair to say the Bible is then incorrect?.?.?.?

    Thus, one of the biggest assertions for the 'proof' for the 'existence of God' has seemed to fail. At least for me. And at least as in an assertion from this specific claimed God.

    But ultimately, it is... Again, we are in a Christian apologist's forum arena. But I do agree with you (partially). If prayer is not answered, as the logical prove above would suggest, can we then rule out Yahweh as a plausible culprit?.?.?.? If so, great. There is one less god to remain in the mix of possibilities. But I would then ask you, why have you ruled out the many other asserted gods? :)

    You're kidding right? Have you ever observed many church settings? Pentecostals and Baptists quickly come to mind; just for starters. Furthermore, I run across people, on a daily bases, whom claim some type of contact on a regular bases. So I again ask, why was (I) excluded from this contact?.?.?.?.?

    Again, many do not. Again, read the verses cited prior about prayer. Again, this thread is about the argument for god's existence.' Again, if you wish to place this particular brand or flavor of theism to the test, can we then ALSO rule out this particular flavor; just like you most likely have with the FSM?
  5. cvanwey

    cvanwey Well-Known Member

    United States

    Agreed. But then the logical follow-up questions to ask are...

    1. Am I in denial?
    2. Am I too dumb to realize His revelation tactics?
    3. Am I just lying?
    4. Maybe He has not responded - (but that would contradict Matthew 7:7, Matthew 21:22, Mark 11:24, John 14:13-14, John 16:23)
    5. Maybe this god (Yahweh) does not exist, and all others are mistaken/other about contact from this god flavor?

    Not necessarily... I could know He's real, and then ignore Him. But I would then not be involved in a thread entitled 'evidence for god's existence.' I could pray for God to reveal Himself to all in doubt as well. And viola!

    I know this seems juvenile, but it really becomes this simple, in regards to the arguments for the Christian God.
  6. InterestedAtheist

    InterestedAtheist Veteran

    But I didn’t make claims about the FSM being to explain anything, and nor did I make claims about the cosmological argument. What I did was use the FSM to point out the weaknesses of the cosmological argument’s claims. It is not up to me to disprove your argument; it is up to you to make the case for God being the outcome of the argument, and you have not yet done so.

    You’re almost there, Silmarien. May I now encourage you to think about what you just said:
    You say that if I assert that the cosmological argument implies that the FSM exists, I need to prove it.
    Fine. I can’t. The Flying Spaghetti Monster is a made-up creature. You cannot get from “there must have been a cause to the universe” to “And it is a plate of magical living pasta”.
    Now, can you prove that this cause of the universe is God? That it is the entity which Christians call the God of the Bible? Or even that it is, by some looser definition of “god” an all-powerful eternal and intelligent entity?
    Now it's true, some people do claim that they can prove this, by revelation: God has spoken to them, or they “feel the truth” of the claim “in their hearts”. But in that case, I can say exactly the same about the FSM; He revealed to me that He does exist, sauce be upon Him.
    Of course, neither of these have anything to do with the Cosmological Argument; we have now moved from argument to personal experience.

    Do you now see the point? The Flying Spaghett Monster is obviously and blatantly fictitious; yet, if an apologist claims that the cosmological argument means God exists, one can say exactly the same for the FSM. And if an argument can be used to prove a ridiculous conclusion, then it is clearly flawed.

    The flaw, of course, is that there is no way we can jump from “there was a cause to the universe” to “and that cause was the Christian God” or “and that cause was an all-powerful, omniscient and loving entity” or “that cause was intelligent and personal”. For all we know, the cause may have been a natural force. Maybe the universe exists eternally, repeatedly imploding and exploding.
    We just don’t know.
    And it is unjustified of you to say that we do know.

    Apologies for not responding. I have now read your post afresh, but I'm afraid it seems to amount to essentially nothing more than the cosmological argument: “any change from potential to actual requires cause…Ultimately, the argument goes, we are left with the conclusion that there must be something actualizing all these potentials that itself is not being actualized that has no potential to be actualized and could not have potentials to be actualized. It is pure being, pure actuality. It is the causal bedrock upon which everything else relies, not just at the beginning of the universe, but also at every single moment since its inception. That thing is what we call God.”
    There seem to be some very important links missing there, without which your argument means nothing.
    First of all, what does “pure being” mean? The universe itself? Something “outside” it? How do you know? If we are looking for “the bedrock of the universe itself” it would seem to be the universe.
    This, however, is just a minor point. The main one is that from there to jump to “that thing is what we call God” is completely unjustified.
    I like the way Richard Dawkins responds to a very similar argument, so I’ll quote it. I understand that Christians generally don’t think much of Dawkins’ arguments, but while I have frequently heard them criticise him I have rarely heard them refute him. So do feel free to point out the error if you think there is one.
    Dawkins says:
    “Even if we allow the dubious luxury of arbitrarily conjuring up a terminator to an infinite regress and giving it a name, simply because we need one, there is absolutely no reason to endow that terminator with any of the properties normally ascribed to God: omnipotence, omniscience, goodness, creativity of design, to say nothing of such human attributes as listening to prayers, forgiving sins and reading innermost thoughts.”

    I couldn’t have put it better myself! And please note the first sentence: deciding that there must have been an ultimate cause is a dubious luxury indeed. How do we know? We do not know anything and, quite possibly, will never be able to know anything about the cause of the Big Bang. It could be the universe is eternal. It could be the Big Bang had a natural cause. It could be another god. It could be the FSM. It could be anything. We just don't know.

    Let’s not quibble about the etyomology of the word “creature”. If we say that God exists “outside of time” (does that even mean anything? How can we know?) can God be said to exist at all? All you’re doing is inventing properties about things you know nothing about.

    Good. So, we have established that “God” is impossible, because He can’t think, because He doesn’t exist in time.
    It’s not up to me to sort out how this “God” entity might be possible, you know. I’m just pointing out how incoherent theist’s ideas about it are.

    Not strictly. While I do agree with many of the things that eliminativists say, all I’m saying here is that all our experience of thinking involves having a physical brain, and it is as unjustified to say that an immaterial something can "think" as it is to say that I can make a chair float in the air by concentrating really hard.

    Actually, the FSM works just fine. By showing that the cosmological argument can point to a manifest absurdity, it highlights the absurdity of the argument itself. Or, to put it another way, can you tell me why you’re allowed to say that your argument proves God exists, but I’m not allowed to say your argument proves the FSM exists? To be fair, you’ve tried to do that, with a "half-hearted response". Let’s see how it works…

    No problem! I'm afraid you may want to try a full-hearted response :wink:.
    The answer, simply, is that the FSM is magical. Therefore, He can do anything. Including existing for no reason, or perhaps calling Himself into existence, or maybe existing later in time and going back in time to cause the start of the universe. I don't know, and I don't need to know. Magic can do impossible things, by definition.
    And in case you were going to ask me how magic works, can I point out that the cosmological argument does not include any details about what kind of power God used to create the universe, but just asserts that He did in some unexplained fashion. So if you want me to explain how the FSM’s miracles work, first you need to explain God’s.
    Again, I am not asserting that the FSM exists. I am using a ridiculous example to highlight the ridiculousness of theism, specifically the cosmological argument.

    I’ve been engaging with them and debunking them, along with others, for the better part of this unnecessarily long thread. To be honest, if you just go back and read the first few pages you will see the theistic arguments introduced and quickly demolished. It's just the people making them didn't listen, and insist on stringing this along for page after redundant page.
    In any case, an argument that has been disproven, or shown not to make its case, doesn’t count. So yes, I can certainly say that no successful arguments exist.

    I would like to see some evidence of the FSM argument "not being as incisive as I think it is". Because I’m not sure why you think I keep talking about the FSM, but I can tell you my reason: it is that the cosmological argument is a silly little game based on a logical fallacy, and the FSM, being a silly little joke, perfectly serves to illustrate this.

    How do I know that we have no way to judge what happened before the Big Bang? It’s a well-known fact that we are completely unable to see or calculate, in any way, what happened prior to the Big Bang. Therefore, whatever caused it – if anything did – is unknown to us.

    Just before I answer, I must make a point: forgive me if this is pedantic, but in this case we are not discussing God. We are discussing the origins of the universe. You are saying that the cause is God, and I am saying that we don’t know and shouldn’t speculate without evidence.
    And now, to answer your question: yes, of course I take this kind of approach in other aspects of my life. And so do you. When something happens, and when there are many possible answers for why it happened, and when you have no way of knowing which is the most likely, and when it seems likely to you that there are other answers you may not have thought of…in situation like those, yes, I would say the best course of action is to refrain from deciding that there is an answer and that you know what it is. And so would you, I’m sure.
    For example, take lightning. Thousands of years ago, people saw a bright fire dart down from the heavens. They decided that lightning was spears hurled by the gods. Do you think they were correct to jump to this conclusion? Or do you think, in hindsight, waiting until they knew more about how the world works would have given them a clearer answer? They still wouldn't have known, but at least they wouldn't have been wrong.
    Or for another example – take something you are completely and totally unfamiliar with. If someone transplanted me into a career I know nothing of (for me, this might be creating computer code, or working as a Czech translator, or cloning animals) then of course I would be unable to do anything and, if asked “What should we do?” I would refrain from telling people to do this or that. I would give the same advice I now give you: back off, and don’t make unjustified assertions until you know what you’re talking about.
    Now in this case, we are discussing the origins of the universe. This means we’re discussing something we have no experience of at all (how many universes have you seen made? Have you ever been outside the universe, or before it?) And this means we may never know what we are talking about. This is regrettable, but the principle is reasonable: if you don’t now anything, you don’t get to make up answers you have no way of checking.

    Doesn’t this seem a strange thing to ask me? Because I have never seen any evidence of God at all. None. If I had, I would be a believer already.
    You’re the one – aren’t you? – who believes in God. Or a god. I presume you have reasons which seem good to you. What are they? We've just demolished your variation on the cosmological argument (sorry, but we have). Do you have any others?

    Then you had better make your case for it better than you have. Because so far, you have failed to show that the Cosmological Argument even makes sense, never mind that is constitutes compelling evidence.

    As @cvanwey said, this doesn’t make sense. If someone comes up to you and shows they exist, are you obligated to marry them? Knowledge of existence does not necessitate a relationship.
    Not to mention that it’s hypocritical of the Christian version of God, and of many other religions too, to spend the whole of my lifetime saying “No, IA has to come to see me on his own, I mustn’t impose myself on him,” and then, once I die, say “And now you will go to hell for not believing in me!”

    No, it revolves around an unproven story about Jesus’s miracles, if his incarnation and resurrection were what you were referring to.[/QUOTE]
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2019
  7. InterestedAtheist

    InterestedAtheist Veteran

    But the “many people” you speak of – and let’s take you at your word on that – represent a very tiny proportion of Christians. Almost all Christians in the world are Christians because they were born that way. Almost nobody changes religions; it’s a fact of human nature. If it weren’t, we wouldn’t be able to make maps or religions, by the way.

    Mere coincidence.Let's not waste time here with silly, tenuous associations. Do you actually have proof, a sound argument, or evidence for the existence of God?

    As I said before: you’re all over the place. Pixies, demons and ghosts can not be eliminated as a cause of the universe, as I have been explaining to Silmarien and Redac.
    Are you familiar, Ed, with the Flying Spaghetti Monster? He’s a giant plate of living, magical pasta, who created the universe.
    Now, can you prove that He didn’t?

    We’ve already established that you do not understand the theory of evolution. I see no more need to encourage you in your errors. I suggest you go and do some research - go to a school, go to a library, read a website (not a creationist one) and learn better.
  8. gaara4158

    gaara4158 (Power Level Hidden)

    United States
    I think the on-topic ship has sailed in here. It’s page 100-something of a thread made for OP’s cosmological argument (not arguments) for God’s existence, and OP isn’t even participating anymore.
  9. InterestedAtheist

    InterestedAtheist Veteran

    Sailed, met an iceberg, and sunk!
    Still, I have the utmost confidence that Silmarien and Redac will listen to reason, now that I have taken the time to explain things fully and clearly, and henceforth disavow the Cosmological Argument in all its equally-nonviable forms.
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  10. Silmarien

    Silmarien Existentialist

    United States
    Why is that odd? We've been arguing about materialism vs. idealism, realism vs. nominalism, and whether moral truths exist for the same amount of time. Welcome to philosophy, where things do go round and round in circles simply because of the nature of the questions being asked.

    You can only propose a simple logical proof if you hold to a literalist, inerrant interpretation of Scripture. To the extent that you do, I would agree with you that the Bible as you interpret it is basically insane. A lot of what is going on in the New Testament is a record of what the Early Church experienced and how they interpreted events, so everything that's asserted there is going to have a subjective element to it that makes logical proofs impossible. Historical records work very differently than math or science, especially when they have strong theological content.

    I haven't. The God of classical theism covers Judaism, Christianity, Islam, various Platonic and Aristotelian systems, and certain philosophical trends within Hinduism. I'm not really interested in polytheistic gods, since they're created, anthropomorphic beings that are irrelevant to the question being asked, but I'm open to the possibility that they once existed.

    If they did, though, there's only one religious tradition that always insisted that it was eventually going to overthrow the pagan idols and then actually did so. I think that should give people more pause.

    I am actually very suspicious of that form of religious expression (note that this sort of stuff is not exclusive to Christianity--you can get that sort of intense emotional high with any religion). It is probably psychological in nature, especially if people belong to the types of denominations where they're taught that not having experiences like that means that they're damned.

    I don't take people's claims of direct contact seriously unless they have the moral and spiritual depth to back it up. You will know them by their fruits, etc.
  11. Silmarien

    Silmarien Existentialist

    United States
    You didn't actually explain how the FSM demonstrated the weaknesses of cosmological arguments. You just keep on asserting over and over again that it does so, without bothering to show why. If you're going to claim that the FSM has the same explanatory power as the God of classical theism, then you do have to back that up.

    Here, we can look at Lloyd Gerson's reconstruction of Plotinus's argument for the One. I can't find anything accessible specifically by Gerson, but Edward Feser has an article about the argument on his blog: Edward Feser: Plotinus on divine simplicity, Part I

    How would you go about showing that a Flying Spaghetti Monster could be the result of that line of thought?

    If you can't demonstrate that a cosmological argument reasonably entails any attribute associated with the Flying Spaghetti Monster, then you have failed. Classical arguments do generally seek to demonstrate that the nature of reality points to at least one divine attribute being true.

    For example, if one were to assert the reality of abstract truths such as mathematics, then abstract truths being mental in nature, it would make sense to say that the reality of abstract truths indicates that there is some sort of divine mind that is "thinking" them. It would not make sense to posit a plate of magical living pasta as the grounds of abstract truths, unless one were simply trying to demonstrate that our plate of magical living pasta actually possessed the divine attribute of Intellect. If we keep on trying to demonstrate precisely what our Flying Spaghetti Monster is via classical arguments, however, all the pasta is going to fall away and we're going to end up with something that looks suspiciously like God.

    Nobody here right now is actually saying that we do know what the cause of the universe was. Welcome to Scholasticism, where people do in fact follow Plato and Aristotle and say that the universe could have conceivably been eternal. Please address the arguments actually being made, rather than the argument you would rather be discussing.

    Your counterargument seems to amount to "Pure Actuality is not God." That seems to be fair, though when talking to people who specifically argue for divine attributes rather than arguing for the existence of a predefined entity called God, rather misses the point.
  12. Redac

    Redac Regular Member

    It is pure actuality, pure existence. One way to put it might be that it is existence, or that its essence is existence.

    It would have to be something outside of the universe, or something that transcends it. Even supposing time were eternal, the universe would still need a "cause" or an actualizer to explain it existing rather than not existing, and it's self-evident that something cannot be self-caused in this way. That is, a potential cannot just actualize itself.

    To say that the universe is the causal bedrock of itself, that it is actualizing all its own potentials, makes no sense.

    The only way I can see that one could make an argument kind of like this would be to appeal to brute fact -- that the universe or its fundamental laws or what have you, at the most bottom, fundamental level, simply are, and not only do they have no explanation, but they cannot have an explanation. Of course, appeal to brute fact raises a number of major issues that don't need to be expounded upon unless that's actually something you would say.

    See, what this tells me is that you don't understand the argument being made here -- and neither does Dawkins, which doesn't surprise me. You're still arguing about an infinite regress in a temporal, accidentally ordered series of causes. The argument I made addressed essentially ordered series of causes, which could allow for the universe to be eternal and would still require explanation. You and Dawkins are launching yourselves at strawmen.

    That aside, the "jump" to describing the properties or characteristics of such a thing really just logically follows once you've established -- even arguendo -- that there is such a thing. If it is the actualizer of the material, it cannot itself be material, and thus must be immaterial. Because things subject to time are subject to change -- they have potentials that may or may not be actualized -- and because this Prime Mover must be fully actual without any kind of potentials whatsoever, it must exist eternally, or in a way that transcends time. The argument that this thing would have something like intelligence or will might be made with a sort of teleological argument, which is what Aquinas does. And so on and so on.

    The attributes of God in this sort of classical theism aren't just being conjured out of nothing. They necessarily follow from what comes before.

    Sure, that specifically isn't too important. Being specific with our terms is important in these sorts of discussions, though.

    I can see how this would cause problems if your assumption going into it is that anything besides purely material existence is impossible.

    And no, the properties proposed by classical theism are not mere inventions meant to conform to a preconceived notion of what God is supposed to be like. See above.

    We've established no such thing.

    Which is why we wouldn't say it "thinks" in the same way you or I do. This doesn't necessarily mean it has nothing like an intelligence or a will, it just doesn't exist in a way we are familiar with. We could start going into questions of the material or immaterial nature of the mind and consciousness, but that's a bit outside the scope of the discussion here.

    That you think the Flying Spaghetti Monster has somehow blown Aristotle out of the water once and for all is hilarious to me. It works fine for the purpose for which it was created, but it poses no serious problem for the arguments being put forward here.

    We'll leave aside for a moment that you've made only the assertion that some things are "impossible" without anything to back that up. We'll also leave aside that you didn't address the issue of it being composite, not even tangentially, which leads me to wonder if you understand the objection being raised. I suspect you don't, given that "it's magic!" isn't a proper response to it.

    The way you talk about the FSM here is wholly incompatible with the "God" being argued for. Our conception of God, and the one that flows from the cosmological argument, is not that he exists "for no reason," or that he "called Himself into existence," or that he traveled back in time to create the universe. Your own words have shown how the FSM doesn't work here.

    And your own words have shown that your Flying Spaghetti Monster comparisons don't really hold water.

    Unfortunately for you, you haven't disproved anything.

    The only fallacy I could see being relevant here would be a sort of special pleading, and that only really happens if one uses a sort of cosmological argument that I am not using. It would really only apply to an argument that goes "everything requires a cause, therefore the universe requires a cause," which is a strawman of most serious formulations of the cosmological argument.

    So no, nothing has been illustrated other than that you may not understand the arguments as well as you think you do.

    Your post there did not appear to be about being able to "see or calculate" (in other words, use science) what happened before the Big Bang. It appeared to be about the ability to judge what sorts of characteristics a Prime Mover might have, which is why I asked how you know that. Your use of "see or calculate" here indicates that you appear to be looking for scientific evidence; if that's the case, you're barking up the wrong epistemological tree here as well.

    If, in fact, you really are just talking about "before the Big Bang," then I will repeat myself once more: none of the arguments being made here are temporal ones. We are not talking about some entity knocking over the first domino in the Big Bang and getting things rolling. It has already been said multiple times that the universe could be eternal, and it would have no impact whatsoever on the arguments being made here.

    See, this is how I know you don't understand the arguments as well as you think you do. This isn't about the origin of the universe, especially not in the "how did it begin" sense. It never has been.

    This only really works if you posit beforehand that we really do have no way of knowing something. In this case, we can use philosophy and reason to investigate the strength of specific philosophical or metaphysical claims. If the only sort of investigatory method you think would be valid in these cases is the scientific method, that's your problem, not mine.

    No we're not.

    Not at all. I ask because it would appear the only evidence you deem valid would be empirical, verifiable evidence, which does not really relate to questions of God. Even supposing such evidence does exist, if you already believe that the immaterial or supernatural is impossible, how would you even know that what you're looking at is evidence for God?

    That's why I ask. What sort of evidence is it that you would accept, and given your rejection of the possibility of the immaterial, how would you be able to recognize and evaluate it even if it were presented? Your worldview already rules out the possibility of the supernatural, so of course you're never going to see evidence of a supernatural being like God when everything is being filtered through that lens.

    You've demolished nothing here (sorry, but you haven't).

    All that's really been shown so far is that you don't understand the arguments all that well.

    This is off the top of my head, but one way to think of it might be if your wife told you something, or was accused of something, and you're put in the position of trusting her or not trusting her. She wants you to believe her, to trust her, even if the evidence one way or another is inconclusive at this point. If you are given that choice, and choose not to believe her, not to trust in her, not to stand by her, then that will likely have serious ramifications on your relationship going forward. Let's suppose you do this, and then later on some kind of incontrovertible evidence or proof in her favor is brought forward, and she is exonerated. Now you do not have to really believe in her or trust her, you can just point to what was brought forward and say "hey, now I know!" How do you suppose that might go over with her? Do you suppose irreparable damage to that relationship may have been done regardless, and that going to her and saying "now I believe you, now I'm on your side" after all is said and done might not make things any better? You only believed in her after it was easy, after all, and when you were left with no other option but to do so.

    The analogy is admittedly imperfect. Someone may have a better one somewhere, but like I said, I just conjured that one off the top of my head.

    If you'll permit me to continue with the above analogy, Hell would be a state of being cut off from your wife completely after choosing not trust in her.

    That is what I meant. Even if you don't believe in it, the Incarnation could still be described God's big move in revealing Himself to us and reconciling us to Him in a way that allows us a full relationship with Him.
  13. gaara4158

    gaara4158 (Power Level Hidden)

    United States
    I think they’re defending a form of theism that you and I aren’t used to hearing about. Classical theism is different from the magical, anthropomorphic deity of Christianity that we reject. It’s more about a set of features they say we must infer about reality in order to make sense of any of it. I don’t understand it very well, but it’s not the kind of thing that can be dismissed for lack of empirical evidence. It’s a metaphysical concern.
  14. Redac

    Redac Regular Member

    1. I couldn't say with any sort of certainty. Would you allow that that's a possibility?
    2. Even if a certain IQ were required for these things (which I don't really think), you don't strike me as dumb.
    3. Possibly, but you don't strike me as dishonest either, and I wouldn't presume you were being dishonest without good reason.
    4. How these passages are understood is important to answering that concern, but it's not something we have to get into unless you really want to.
    5. How likely do you suppose that is?

    I think the nature of God is such that if you had true, perfect knowledge of His existence and nature, ignoring Him becomes impossible. I suppose someone in that state might deliberately choose to reject God, which is often what Lucifer is said to have done, but I'm not sure how one would be able to ignore God in the way you mean.

    You could, but you also have to keep in mind that God is not a metaphysical gacha machine that churns out any favor on request.
  15. Ed1wolf

    Ed1wolf Well-Known Member

    United States

    Yes, it does, you just take one more step backwards using the law of sufficient cause. Of course, there is no peer reviewed articles because they would be labeled a fundie and marginalized.

    I did, see my later posts. The links you provided based many of their reasoning on string theory which is a theory in trouble.

    Feel free.

    I did, see above.

    I am not saying the human authors understood fully what they were writing, I am referring to the original Author who inspired their writing. And now as we have learned more about His other book, Nature, we understand what the stretching of the heavens/universe means in the written text.

    No, not when you look at the original greek text.

    Just like going up a ladder you see more of your surroundings, but you have to remember this was a vision, not a physical event. Satan could show Jesus more kingdoms up on a mountain top without the distractions of the surrounding landscape of vegetation and people.

    I did, see above.

    That the BB is finite is the scientific consensus a I have demonstrated. So like you I dont accept the consensus but just for a different theory.

    But there is no reason that survival of the fittest would produce any organism that invokes an intentional agency, given that the most fit species on the planet dont, such bacteria and insects, just to name two.

    No, it is based on my and other human experience.

    I did see above.
  16. cvanwey

    cvanwey Well-Known Member

    United States
    Well, it's odd in the sense that if God really wanted people to at least know of His existence, we would not be here squabbling over, what seems to be minutiae, highly debatable, or questionable at best...

    In regards to the 'moral argument', it seems the moral argument for god's existence is no more or less founded and grounded then asserting that proof of existence for the 'Monopoly guy' on the box is what justifies 'objective economics' :)

    I get what you are saying, but disagree just the same :)

    'Historical records' assert that a man resurrected from the dead. Regardless of whether or not I take an 'inerrant' stance, or other, this basic premise is undeniable completely across the board. Otherwise, you have absolutely no business claiming you are affiliated with Christianity.

    When you state, 'I would agree with you that the Bible as you interpret it is basically insane', are you admitting that this claim, the resurrection, is also 'insane'? If not, then what parts exactly? And why is the resurrection claim perfectly legit, while others are 'insane'?

    Furthermore, seems as though a specific sect of individuals comprised of the writings of the NT. Is it possible that all such writers were already believers in such anecdotal stories, which were carried down from oral tradition, and these individuals simply got together and wrote them to paper? Furthermore, is it possible that all such people in power were believers in a higher power, and that this group in particular wrote of the stories heard, which they already believed, just like other tales now deemed only lore?

    Is it or is it not logical to now rule out Yahweh as a claimed god contender, by simply measuring the assertions and claims, and stacking them up against reality? Meaning, many verses cited prior indicate God answers all prayer. Well, again, unless I'm lying or delusional, such a claimed god did not comply with my requests in earnest for prayer... Much the same as you may have concluded that the 'FSM' is not real, as his claims do not stack up with your reality.

    How would you know a 'mystic's' claims were any more sound, in claimed contact from a higher power?

    This makes no sense to me... Many truly believe what they preach and/or claim; whether they are mistaken or not... Many will carry out their claimed god's moral attributes, as instructed, as much as they can. Many will perform many deeds/works based upon this claimed asserted god's dictates. Many may even martyr for their cause. None of this is what seems to validate truth in contact...
  17. cvanwey

    cvanwey Well-Known Member

    United States

    My point is to suggest that one seems the most likely 'correct' conclusion. Though, since all religious assertions are really not falsifiable, here we are. :)

    Well, I've never been contacted, so I wouldn't know. But it's is curious that such a claimed god instigated a book claiming a way to achieve guaranteed contact?

    Questions that makes one go hmmm?

    I would likely more-so agree; except.... There's this Book of claims, called the Bible. And in this Book, we have such verses -- Matthew 7:7, Matthew 21:22, Mark 11:24, John 14:13-14, John 16:23.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2019
  18. InterestedAtheist

    InterestedAtheist Veteran

    It’s not actually that difficult, I think. Redac’s argument is basically identical, even without the chronological element. An infinite regress terminated by the use of God.
  19. InterestedAtheist

    InterestedAtheist Veteran

    @Redac , @Silmarien : I'm afraid I'm going to now disagree with you on virtually everything you've said. So, just before I do I think I out to say: I do appreciate the courtesy and clarity of your arguments. I think you're both wrong, and hope to demonstrate this, but I am glad we can do this without taking things personally.

    Right. Here we go, then.
  20. InterestedAtheist

    InterestedAtheist Veteran

    I’m sorry, but I just don’t understand your objection. If the cosmological argument argues that there must be a first cause – whether in chronological terms or not – then I am just saying, why couldn’t it be the FSM?

    Forget for a moment that we know the FSM was deliberately made up. Imagine instead that it was a genuine religious belief, accompanied by millions of worshippers who claimed that the FSM performed miracles, appeared to them, answered prayers, instead. How exactly would you explain to them that the cosmological argument could be used to argue for God, but not to argue for the FSM?

    I’d better explain that I live in China. This website is inaccessible here. Perhaps you could summarise it, or post some quotes?

    I’d better clarify.

    I’m not trying to succeed. You are.

    When I said that I can’t demonstrate that the Cosmological Argument leads to the FSM, the reason is because the cosmological argument – including the variation used by Redac in this thread – is meaningless. Therefore, it would not be intellectually honest of me to say that I can use it to prove that the FSM exists. What I am saying is that any kind of believer in any kind of God, or even non-godly powers – even ones as ridiculous as the FSM, or the univers-creating pixies that were referred to earlier in this thread – could use the cosmological argument

    The onus is not on me to prove that the FSM exists. The onus is on you to prove that the cosmological argument can be used to justify God, but excludes the FSM. I shall discuss this further below.

    No, I’m afraid it would not make sense in the slightest.

    Intellect is not a divine attribute. Omniscience is. Humans possess intellect, after all. And you have not demonstrated that abstract truths need grounding, you have simply asserted it.

    Not at all. The onus is on you to prove that the first cause – whether we speak in a chronological sense or not – is conscious, eternal, all-powerful and all-knowing (these, I imagine are more or less what you are referring to when you speak of “looking like God”.

    This sounds like a quibble, but I shall take what you say at face value. In which case, allow me to rephrase what I said:

    The flaw, of course, is that there is no way we can jump from “there was a cause to the universe” to “and that cause was the Christian God” or “and that cause was an all-powerful, omniscient and loving entity” or “that cause was intelligent and personal”. For all we know, the cause may have been a natural force. Maybe the universe exists eternally, repeatedly imploding and exploding, without the existence of a God to direct it.
    We just don’t know.
    And it is unjustified of you to say that we do know.

    No, it directly addresses the point. Whether you are arguing for a specific version of the Christian God, or some more general form of divine intelligence, it is still the case that you have no justification for saying that the universe had a cause and that you know what its characteristics were.

    If God is existence itself, then God itself does not exist. That is to say, if God is all that exists, then God is nothing except what exists. Therefore, the universe is identical with God, which means that the universe is God, which means that all you are saying is “The universe exists”.

    You still need to leap from here to “existence” possessing the characteristics of a God.

    How do we know that anything is outside the universe, or that anything can be? How do we know that it is possible for anything to transcend the universe? How do you know that the cause was eternal, and still exists? How do you know that this cause was capable of thinking?

    All you are doing is answering the unknown by filling in blanks in our knowledge with “God”, without any justification at all.

    It makes no sense to say that God is the cause, and needed no cause Himself. All you’ve done is move the problem back one step: what caused God?

    Well, why not? That’s exactly what you are doing with God. You are not making any attempt to explain how He, She or It came into existence. All you are doing is utiising exactly the same logic as the cosmological argument, whose flaws you claim to do not apply to you: “There must be something to cause “the bedrock” of the universe. Let’s call it God.

    If God can exist with no cause, why can’t the universe? I’m not saying that it does, because I don’t know. I’m saying that you don’t know either.

    I think Dawkins and I both understand the argument fine. It’s not that difficult. You say that the objections don’t apply because you’re not thinking chronologically, but in fact you’re still doing exactly the same thing – creating a chain of effects, saying there must be an end to that chain, and positing that it is God. But this makes no sense. We have no idea what this thing is, whether you refer to it as the “first cause” or the “prime mover” or the “bedrock”. And you have no justification for ascribing characteristics of any kind to it.

    And how does an immaterial thing do anything?

    If you are saying “if it created all things, it cannot be a thing,” then you are saying that it is nothing. How does nothing create anything? And if it is possible for nothing to create something, maybe that just means that the universe was formed as part of a natural process, with no need for God to be involved at all.

    Is it possible for things to “transcend” time? What does that even mean? And how would they do anything?

    Not at all. We see unintelligent things creating things all the time.

    It’s obvious that they do not. Rather than saying they are conjured out of nothing, I would say that they are being asserted without grounds.

    Redac, you seem to think that you are making some sort of special argument here, distinct from the cosmological argument. I have to say, so far, I am not impressed. The arguments you’re using are virtually identical to William Lane Craig and a dozen other apologists. “How could something come from nothing? It must have been God”.

    Do you have any evidence that any immaterial thing exists?

    We really have. It doesn’t, I’m afraid, require you to admit it, though.

    Not really. It’s a fair question. Have you any experience of consciousnesses that exist without some material basis? How would such a thing be possible?

    I’m glad it made you laugh. Can I suggest that an even funnier joke would be you showing how the cosmological argument – or your variation of it – leads to God while disallowing the FSM?

    As for the objection that the FSM is a composite entity, that’s fine. “He’s magic” is all I need to say. It answers all the questions. It allows Him to be in existence, outside time, in whatever form He wishes, and to perform any acts He wishes, including inventing time, space and the planet Earth.

    If you disagree with this, then can you please explain how God does His miracles? You say that God created the universe. How? What power source does God use? How does He channel it? How does it work?

    Since you’ve made no attempt to answer these things, I assume that the answer is “God just has the power to do these things”. In other words, He’s magical.

    Actually, “God just exists” is exactly how your argument works. You have said that everything requires an explanation, except for God. And, as I’ve pointed out a number of times, you have no justification for calling this First Cause God and saying that it cannot be anything else.

    The cosmological argument that you are using suffers from exactly the same cause as the rather more famous chronological one. You posit an infinite regress, and conjure up God as its terminator.