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Argument for God's existence.

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

  1. InterestedAtheist

    InterestedAtheist Veteran

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    If you don't make it clear what your views are you can't complain about them being misinterpreted. What you say sounds like solipsism which, as a philosophy, has considerable overlap with "subjective idealism". And neither of them is very impressive except as a flight of fancy.

    Longer than your post deserved, I'm sure. And it wasn't hysterical, it was indifferent.

    You failed.

    Uh-huh. Unconvinced so far.

    I wouldn't want to encourage you, but knock yourself out if you like.

    No, the most important problem is the way you are coming on to a thread about "arguments for the existence of God" and going off on tangents about quaint but irrelevant philosophical absurdities. It would be nice if you would stick to the topic.

    Sorry to disillusion you, but no, it isn't. If you wish to start making up your own definitions of words, expect to be corrected.

    Of course I do, if your position is incorrect. I'm just setting you straight on what the word "theism" means.
     
  2. Ed1wolf

    Ed1wolf Well-Known Member

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    Yes, those are the main arguments for His existence and the cosmological argument has never been refuted at least for the existence of a creator. But then there is all the evidence that points to the Creator being basically identical to the Christian God that many people may not have heard. Read my posts to cvanewy where I present many of them. But You are right that many Christians don't know Christian teaching on many of the deeper subjects. But atheists that know the bible have a tendency to read it very literally like a fundie and take things out of context when in actuality not everything in the bible should be read literally given the many different literary forms in the bible and it should always be interpreted in context of the entire bible just like any other book. In addition, it should be understood with the help of God's other book, Nature. The bible itself teaches this fact.
     
  3. InterestedAtheist

    InterestedAtheist Veteran

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    The cosmological argument has been refuted many times. The errors in it (basically, special pleading) get pointed out regularly on Christians Forums, and have even been pointed out in this thread. It's not that the argument hasn't been disproved - it's that Christians don't care. Personally, I think this is because "arguments for God" aren't actually there to persuade people that god exists (after all, people are usually Christians because they grew up as such, and non-Christians usually become Christians for emotional reasons). So these "arguments" are just there to reassure the faithful that their faith is actually backed up by reasoning.
    It's so much more convincing when you grow up as a Christian.
    There are almost a hundred pages. Let me know the post numbers if you think you made a strong argument. I will be happy to examine it for you.
    Interesting, isn't it? You'd think it would be the most important thing in the world, but most Christians really don't seem to care about their religion one way or the other. "A mile wide and an inch deep" was one way I once heard Christianity described.
    And why not? If God is magical, then he can do anything. Of course He could create the Earth in six actual days, and flood the earth covering the tops of the highest mountains, and bring a man back from the dead. Of course, the evidence shows very clearly that the first and second of these did not happen, and that is why most Christians will say "Of course we shouldn't read the Bible literally. How silly! And yes, of course Jesus came back from the dead". They have to say that, otherwise they are faced with the conclusion that the Bible is sometimes wrong.
    And why should we not believe that the Bible really means what it says when it said the world was flooded? Was it also metaphorical to say that Jesus came back from the dead, or walked on water, or multiplied loaves and fishes? All of these seem just as impossible as the other to me.
     
  4. Dirk1540

    Dirk1540 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yeah really, I know a guy who believes Idealism, always telling me that our mind creates our reality. And I always think of what you're saying, how does that make any sense if I'm surrounded by technical information that is above my head? How did my mind invent physics if I don't even understand physics?? Or if I could very slowly and progressively learn physics little by little...how does that make any sense if my mind created its reality?
     
  5. cvanwey

    cvanwey Well-Known Member

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    @Ed1wolf , you cannot actually be serious? As I stated prior, kind of a rhetorical question... In using the 'historico-grammatical' method, Christians cannot even simply agree on the meaning of the word 'yom/day', as it pertains to 'creation'. And it's likely so that the field of 'science' tends to severe what was thought of the original 'meaning' for many passages; and now require the filed of 'Christian apologetics' to 're-translate' or 'spin' these ancient texts to reaffirm many's continued convictions.



    We don't even need to go there for now.... Christian apologists cannot 're-translate' math. The Bible states such a boat was built to be ~450 long. Physics disallows for this length of boat to be made of wood w/o sinking shortly after it being submerged, due to twisting. It could not stay afloat long enough. Thus, apologists apply further 'apologetics tactics' to 'justify' such an event.

    If the 'flood' was not an actual event, what else was not actual? Hence, the asserted claims for (your) asserted god then appear to begin falling apart. It's really that simple...

    Again, I don't even need to address what you have stated above...

    Regardless of whether you adhere to being an 'old-earther' (vs) a 'young earther', which again lays further weight to my prior point, that Christians cannot even reconcile something as seemingly trivial as the word 'day', while even using the 'historico-grammatical' method; you cannot use apologetics effectively for simple math.

    Build a boat out of wood, 450 feet in length. Watch how long it will remain afloat without continuous maintenance.

    This again, as stated prior, 'no flood, no Yahweh'.
     
  6. Ed1wolf

    Ed1wolf Well-Known Member

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    Actually to be more accurate what I should have said is that most people believe something because they believe there is evidence for what they believe in.

    Yes, but I am not talking about logic alone, there is also no empirical evidence for a prior universe.
    I never said that the classical BB theory has been proven, just that the majority of scientists agree with it and its implications of a finite universe.
    I was studying to work as a biologist, but also I was curious about a theory that has had a tremendous effect on the world and history almost as much an effect as Christianity.
    Unlike most scientific theories, it has had an effect on how people live day to day and how governments treat their citizens including major political theories such as communism and fascism, and how businesses treat their employees, whether people decide to become Christians, and many other things. But I have had a less intense though similar interest in BB theory. I used to not believe in BB theory but as I studied it I became more convinced it was true and then more recently discovered that the Bible actually taught the basics of it 3000 years before scientists discovered the evidence for it.

    Most cosmologists would not believe in it if they did not think it had a great deal of evidence as we both stated above.

    They would never make a scientific theory regarding causation, because that is considered outside the purview of their definition of "science". Of course that is only a recent definition that is based on the fatally flawed philosophy of naturalism. Once you come to know God personally then you can know with some degree of certainty that He created it at the BB. Of course, the belief that the creator is the Christian God is not a exactly a scientific claim.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2019
  7. Ed1wolf

    Ed1wolf Well-Known Member

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    Almost all the denominations that accept the infallible authority of the bible agree on essentials including the definition of God. And There are relatively few of those denominations.

    The evidence of the characteristics of the universe fit the cause being the Christian God.

    Yes, it is, it is called an ad hoc creation.

    No, there is evidence for Yahweh existing at least 13.8 bya as I have already explained. I am just making the point that experiential evidence is evidence. Imagine being a marriage counselor, if one husband said he only had one experience of love from his wife this year as compared to a husband who had 52 experiences of love from his wife in the past year, which marriage is more likely to be stronger than the other? The other gods and religions can be eliminated through other evidence such as logic, science, historical and philosophical evidence.
     
  8. InterestedAtheist

    InterestedAtheist Veteran

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    Are you familiar with the argument "No True Scotsman"? Do you know how it works?
    Purely subjective, and therefore irrelevant.
    No, it's not. You made an argument about how the Christian God was the only being that could possible have created the universe. @cvanwey and I pointed out the logical flaw - if we're allowing for magical or supernatural events, anything is possible. You tried to counter this by saying that nobody has ever heard of universe-creating pixies. But this is irrevelant; an argument from popularity is no argument at all. The point stands: your argument has a hole in it a mile wide - that if we say God could have created the universe, any magical entity could have.
    No. There isn't. It's nothing more than your subjective opinion.
    First of all, if we accept your argument that people's "experiences of God" count as evidence, then @cvanwey 's argument beats yours: there are many more people who believed or believed in other gods. It's hypocritical of you to say that experiences with (your version of) the Christian God count, but other people's experiences don't.
    Second, however, you're wrong: some experiences can count as evidence, but religious ones don't. And you know that this is true, because you would never accept them from other religions. "I heard (Non-Christian God) speak in my heart; I prayed to NCG and my prayer was answered; I had a dream in which NCG talked to me; I can feel the truth and love when I read the words of NCG." This is all that arguments from personal experience amount to, and because you would never accept them from a NCG, nobody needs to accept them from you.
    Nonsense. And even if this were possible, any such process would also eliminate the Christian God.
     
  9. devolved

    devolved Newbie

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    It's only refuted if we begin with certain assumptions about reality that you haven't really justified as viable. If we begin without any assumptions... from perspective of conscious experience, then we are not dealing with the same context for cosmological argument that you would filter through your assumptions.

    But, I think the weaker point of the argument is that we have to assume the causal nature of reality to begin with, which can't be empirically validated. We can correlate events and claim or deny causal relationships, and that's where I think the argument breaks down at the level of assumed logical chain. Causality is something that we generally take for granted as a philosophical assumption.

    The most uncomfortable realization in science is that causality itself is an assumption in EVERY context of assumed causal relationships.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2019
  10. devolved

    devolved Newbie

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    Your are circularly deducing the concept of "supernatural" in this case. If God exist, then whatever nature is, would be an extension of that God. In an Apophatic sense, God would be closer to "conscious nothing" that gives rise to reality of events. It's no more magical than (in loose analogy) the BIOS software in your computer boots up the OS.

    God would be the ultimate nature of reality. Hence, it wouldn't be "supernatural" for reality to exist as an extension of God. There's nothing illogical about making such hypothetical assumption and then tracing its implication on observable reality.

    Without SOME concept of God, the problem of ordered experience in context of the consciousness that matches that experience would be rather difficult to explain. For example, there is no inherent reason why we need conscious experience. To this day, there's no viable conceptual theory behind why evolution would result in consciousness as byproduct. Hence, it's no less "magical" than invoking conscious being that was there all along, both experiencing reality, and structuring its contents.

    Of itself, it's not a definitive demonstration of God. But it merely points in the direction away from what we are used to as "naturalism".
     
  11. Silmarien

    Silmarien Existentialist

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    I am sticking to the topic. I don't think your counterarguments actually work, so I'm criticizing them. This is far more on topic than the constant Creationism vs. evolution tangents that keep on coming up here over and over again.

    If you don't want to examine whether your counterarguments are actually as good as you seem to think they are, so be it.

    Figure out the difference between astronomy and astrology before you start trying to define theism. And I would suggest learning a bit about theism as well--the classical view really can't be summed up by the statement "gods or a God exists," since polytheism is irrelevant and there are considerable complications over what the words "God exists" even means.

    Very well. In that case, atheism is therefore the claim that God does not exist. If you can not successfully demonstrate that God does not exist, you are forced to admit that atheism is an irrational position.

    If you can't respect the definitions your opponents offer, it's hypocritical to insist that they respect yours.

    Our minds do create reality, though, as far as we can tell. For example, the current theory is that color is just wavelengths, which are interpreted by the mind as sensory output. The scientific model of reality has very little to do with what we actually see around us, so yes, there are good reasons to hold to certain forms of idealism, such as Transcendental Idealism. People who hold to too strong an empirical mindset seem to be blind to this problem.

    Idealism encompasses a number of different views, though, very few of which actually imply solipsism. Even the more solipsistic views, and I would include something like Advaita Vedanta Hinduism on that list, don't require that you know everything. They often tie in the idea that you're deceived in some way and don't.
     
  12. Dirk1540

    Dirk1540 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I would say that our minds do influence the finer details of reality, but there’s a core scientific reality that is true for all species no matter what their sensory organs are like (lower level than finer details).

    Physical dimensions and geometry. No matter how differently a human, bat, monkey, slug, etc interprets the physical reality of a 16’ tall 2’ thick brick wall, none of these organisms with all of their various sense organs will violate that flat 16’ tall ‘Reality’ if they come into contact with it. Every one the species with different sense organs will need to travel 2 REAL feet forward in order to descend the wall after elevating it by a real 16’. However if the top of that wall is flat and 400 degrees, no matter what our sense organs are our physical structures will both conform to a flat surface, and burn, and feel pain, etc. These realities are lower level than fine details of appearances.

    Science ‘Gets behind’ appearances as much as possible. It’s true that a hot road on a sunny 100 degree day appears to be moving from a distance, but with controlled experiments we get behind that appearance.

    It’s true that if we get behind appearances as much as possible we can then reach the brain in a vat problem. That’s the type of Idealism the guy that I was talking about believes, the brain in a vat...but he takes it even further when he says our minds create the reality, he thinks reality is like a dream that we sort of make up as we go. My point was how does it make any sense that I could make something up that’s beyond my intellect?? I can’t make up quantum mechanics because I don’t even understand, but I could go research it right now! So it is real. And I surely didn’t create it because it’s beyond me.

    But anyway, if you argue for us being brains in vats, that geometric reality can be denied, aren’t you destroying axioms that we need in order to stand on any solid ground? I think that Descartes’ I think therefore I am is the only 100% foolproof ‘Fact’ that is undeniable
     
  13. Silmarien

    Silmarien Existentialist

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    Except that I would argue that the evidence that any of this really constitutes reality is lacking. We know that said 16'2" thick brick wall is almost entirely made up of empty space, and the jury is out on what protons, neutrons, and electrons really are. There's a radical naturalist theory out there popular amongst some physicists called ontic structural realism, whereby reality isn't made up of material entities at all, but instead of a sort of infinite regress of relations. Most theists hate it, but I find it intriguing in that it effectively eliminates the concept of matter altogether.

    Similarly, I'm not sure to what extent our common sense ideas about movement are compatible with the theory of relativity, so species needing to travel two real feet forward is another concept that I think is potentially suspect. That's the problem with modern physics--a lot of what we thought was obviously real and not appearance even 150 years ago probably is not.

    I am not strictly speaking an idealist, but I think the old Platonic idea of the physical being in some sense an echo of the abstract is actually becoming an increasingly valid possibility, perhaps even the strongest one out there. You can actually be a scientific realist and an idealist.

    Well, I don't think this counterargument is particularly good, since it requires that our conscious intellect is the extent of our potential knowledge, and that could easily fail to be the case. If you're some sort of forgetful god dreaming your own private reality, then I think it would make sense that you know far more than you consciously realize.

    That said, I don't think this is a particularly compelling version of idealism. I have rules against absurd "what if" scenarios, so I wouldn't argue for brains in vats, but I would be happy to argue against the idea that concrete material entities genuinely exist. They really might not.

    Oh, the eliminative materialists love going after that one. ^_^
     
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  14. Ed1wolf

    Ed1wolf Well-Known Member

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    Fraid so, it is true, see my post to cvanewy. No, it is very relevant, it shows that His characteristics were not made up to fit the characteristics of the cause of the universe like cvanewys pixies. 2000 years ago no one knew these characteristics of the universe.

    Evidence it is baseless.

    Fraid not, see my post in response.

    No, pretend you are a marriage counselor. One husband says that he has only experienced love from his wife once in the past year. The other husband says he has experienced love from his wife 52 times in the past year. Which marriage has the most evidence that it is a strong and loving marriage? Experiences ARE evidence.
     
  15. gospels

    gospels Active Member Supporter

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  16. InterestedAtheist

    InterestedAtheist Veteran

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    Unless I'm misreading it, what you are saying is: "Follow God by becoming a Christian, and then you will understand that God is real".
     
  17. gospels

    gospels Active Member Supporter

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    No. People have created many paths to reach God. I'm saying to look for and follow the instructions of the God who claims that He is the owner of wisdom. Only that God will lead you to the right path. You don't have to become a Christian or believe anything yet until that God leads you to Christ. Just read, listen and follow His directions. As you read, listen and follow, one day you will find yourself in the direction of the truth, at the cross of the Christ.
     
  18. InterestedAtheist

    InterestedAtheist Veteran

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    Ed, you don't seem to have read what I said. Go back to Post 1948 and see if you can address the points I made.
     
  19. InterestedAtheist

    InterestedAtheist Veteran

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    So I don't have to become a Christian to see the truth of the Bible. Just trust that it is true and follow its directions, and then I will see that it is true?
    In that case, what about the following:
    1. What do I say to a representative of another religion who tells me that all I have to do is follow their religion and I will see that it is true? What if there are multiple religions which say this?
    2. What if I do try this, and I do not discover that it is true? What if I waste years of my life looking for God and never find Him? What if there is no God to be found?
    3. Why, if God is real, is there no simple way of demonstrating this? There are lots of difficult things about understanding a person's message, but it's generally pretty easy to tell if they exist or not.
    4. What about people who spent many years being faithful Christians, but eventually realised that they had been wrong, and that God does not, in fact, exist?
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2019
  20. gospels

    gospels Active Member Supporter

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    Yes, you don't have to become a Christian. You will receive wisdom and understanding to discern the truth only after/if you choose to trust, listen, and follow the instructions of the God who claims to be the possessor of wisdom. If you go in the given direction where he leads you, then one day you will see Him and after you see Him you cant deny His existence.
     
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