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Thread: Does god exist?

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    Does god exist?

    I appreciate that similar forums have already been created, but I wish to start a fresh page, and furthermore, most past threads of a similar sort have not been open discussions, whereas I intend this one to be just that. Please argue your opinion on whether or not god exists.

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    Re: Does god exist?

    Depends what you mean by exist. God definitely exists in the minds of humans that believe in him. As an atheist I believe God, Satan and their enormous legions of angels and demons are just made up by primitive men without access to a scientific method to determine what is true or not. I cannot fathom why modern humans believe in them but there is a social and emotional aspect to religion that tends to frown upon non-believers. There are also several hundred years of philosophical arguments that help make it sound logical that there must be God so I think that helps solidify his actual existence for those that probe deeper.

    Does God exist as a physical being? Very unlikely. Even if some intelligence did indeed create this specific universe, I would imagine that being to be a super powerful alien race experimenting on living things; hence the constant wiping out of millions of disobedient humans and a strangely specific interest in our sexual behavior. It's what we humans do to other animals too if you think about it.

    So I'm YES on God exists as a metaphysical creature and no on a physical one.

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    Re: Does god exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    As an atheist I believe God, Satan and their enormous legions of angels and demons are just made up by primitive men without access to a scientific method to determine what is true or not.
    What do you mean by primitive?
    But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
    1 Peter 3:15-16

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    Re: Does god exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    What do you mean by primitive?
    Ancient, pre-historic, pre-science, unskeptical, believing in the supernatural, having no other means to know better.

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    Re: Does god exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Ancient, pre-historic, pre-science, unskeptical, believing in the supernatural, having no other means to know better.
    On what do you base your assertion that they were unskeptical of things?
    But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
    1 Peter 3:15-16

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    Re: Does god exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Ancient, pre-historic, pre-science, unskeptical, believing in the supernatural, having no other means to know better.
    Ya, I wouldn't go there. Ancient man lacks much of the knowledge we have today. And we lack much of the knowledge mankind will have in the future. Such is life.

    But I think to say they are unskeptical or to point to a belief in the supernatural supposes some fundamental difference in man then and now. There have always been atheists or the like around that deny or challenge the religions of their day. Skepticism is intrinsic to mankind from what I can tell, its just a question of where you direct it and to what degree you wield it. And as for the supernatural, there is no shortage of belief in that today.

    The development of the scientific method is significant, though not all modern people choose to accept it. The reference to historical is 50/50. I think we have a somewhat more reliable historical record than we once did due to the proliferation of media, but there is always intrinsic doubt as to the absolute truth of history. And societies in the primitive ages still strove to record and remember their history as diligently as they were able.

    The only real critique I think you can level at our ancestors is they were far more ignorant of the natural workings of the world. This is not insignificant at all, especially when we are talking about religions that offer explanations for natural phenomenon. But it is not entirely damning, especially for the more spiritual ideals of religion.
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    Re: Does god exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    Ya, I wouldn't go there. Ancient man lacks much of the knowledge we have today. And we lack much of the knowledge mankind will have in the future. Such is life.
    I get what you're saying but our knowledge doesn't really tend to go backwards. We no longer think it necessary that there are intelligent agents controlling the natural world at a smaller scale: we have looked deep and found inanimate particles. We no longer take unproven claims seriously, especially those that cannot be reproduced. We now have great deductive skills and can look back on claims to miracles and assume that they never happened or didn't happen in the way they described.

    So I do agree with your point, we will always look 'primitive' in our future eyes but even then I still think that there is a marked difference in the approach to thinking about the world since the Enlightenment. We no longer take claims on face value and we have challenged deities have found them wanting. Some of us even claim to be even more moral than God so he doesn't even have the upper hand there either.


    But I think to say they are unskeptical or to point to a belief in the supernatural supposes some fundamental difference in man then and now. There have always been atheists or the like around that deny or challenge the religions of their day. Skepticism is intrinsic to mankind from what I can tell, its just a question of where you direct it and to what degree you wield it. And as for the supernatural, there is no shortage of belief in that today.
    The biggest difference between atheism then and now, perhaps isn't in what is being said but what is being allowed to be said. Atheists are not killed nor frowned upon though they are admittedly still scorned upon by believers (e.g. my relatives) for the 'arrogance'. Indeed, in many areas atheism is on the rise - the disbelief in all things supernatural is being discussed by people all over the world (like here!) Knowledge and ideas are being spread and taking hold: because they make sense.

    I agree that there is still a great deal of belief in the supernatural but look at where that is highly concentrated: In Islamic countries that brook no challenges and for whom apostasy is death. In largely poor and undereducated countries such as India; or even large parts of America, who continue to challenge even evolution. So it's not really the same situation: it's not an intellectual free market decision that is being made - religion seems to thrive mainly where there is suppression of ideas or a discouraging of disagreement.


    The development of the scientific method is significant, though not all modern people choose to accept it. The reference to historical is 50/50. I think we have a somewhat more reliable historical record than we once did due to the proliferation of media, but there is always intrinsic doubt as to the absolute truth of history. And societies in the primitive ages still strove to record and remember their history as diligently as they were able.
    I challenge you to find someone that disagrees with the scientific method AND understands it!


    The only real critique I think you can level at our ancestors is they were far more ignorant of the natural workings of the world. This is not insignificant at all, especially when we are talking about religions that offer explanations for natural phenomenon. But it is not entirely damning, especially for the more spiritual ideals of religion.
    It's not just that ignorance though. It is the acceptance of or even requirement for supernatural beings and events; and the non-skeptical acceptance that ancient knowledge holds more weight than contemporaneous knowledge. It is also the change in modern societies that allow for the challenges of the religious might of the prevailing religions. But probably even more importantly, the acceptance that other religions have just as much right to exist as one's own (at least for the more enlightened people of the faith).

    I think all this makes us 'modern' thinkers and no matter how much more knowledge we have, we aren't going back there again!

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    Re: Does god exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934
    Atheists are not killed nor frowned upon
    That's not accurate. It depends where you live. Thank God for freedom of religion and conscience.

    ....the states that forbid non-religiousness – typically as part of “anti-blasphemy” legislation – include seven nations where atheism is punishable by death. All seven establish Islam as the state religion. Though that list includes some dictatorships, the country that appears to most frequently condemn atheists to death for their beliefs is actually a democracy, if a frail one: Pakistan. Others include Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan, Sudan, the West African state of Mauritania, and the Maldives, an island nation in the Indian Ocean.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...being-atheist/
    Close your eyes. Fall in love. Stay there.
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    Re: Does god exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    I challenge you to find someone that disagrees with the scientific method AND understands it!
    Ask and receive

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Popper
    Sir Karl Raimund Popper, CH FRS[3] FBA (28 July 1902 17 September 1994) was an Austro-British[4] philosopher and professor at the London School of Economics.[5] He is generally regarded as one of the greatest philosophers of science of the 20th century.[6][7] He also wrote extensively on social and political philosophy. In 1992 he was awarded the Kyoto Prize in Arts and Philosophy for "symbolising the open spirit of the 20th century"[8] and for his "enormous influence on the formation of the modern intellectual climate".[8]

    Popper is known for his attempt to repudiate the classical observationalist/inductivist form of scientific method in favour of empirical falsification. He is also known for his opposition to the classical justificationist account of knowledge which he replaced with critical rationalism, "the first non justificational philosophy of criticism in the history of philosophy".[9] In political discourse, he is known for his vigorous defence of liberal democracy and the principles of social criticism that he came to believe made a flourishing "open society" possible.

    There are a number of people that attack the scientific method on philosophical grounds. Others who attack its practical implementation as being corrupted by politics and cultural norms. And there are those who attack its fundamental value to society as less satisfying that more traditional knowledge systems.

    On ODN you will find eye4Magic who while not challenging the validity of science, challenges its ability to access spiritual truths due to its myopic focus on material reality.

    I'm not inclined to agree with any of that myself. For me, the proof is in the pudding. Science gets the job of finding consistent knowledge reliably, more reliably than any other system we have available to us. Others have a spotty record of truth claims you can act on and get consistent results.

    ---------- Post added at 11:32 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:29 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    The word "God" has WAY too much baggage for that to work. You may as well try to rename the universe "Satan."
    Sort of. Keep in mind that "God" had an actual name back in the day and was more or less one of many gods. And even the God of today has various names in various cultures. God is a generic term after all, a trick of language to emphasize exclusivity. Its like calling my cat Cat because no other cat is truly a cat, only a shadow of Cat. I try not to let folks rob us of useful language.
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    Re: Does god exist?

    The existance of "God" is a logical way to define us. If "God" doesnt exist , equally it doesnt matter.

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    Re: Does god exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by redmist View Post
    The existance of "God" is a logical way to define us. If "God" doesnt exist , equally it doesnt matter.
    Not sure what you mean by that. What kind of equality and why can't their be any without god? Or why would god actually make us equal?
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    Re: Does god exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Ancient, pre-historic, pre-science, unskeptical, believing in the supernatural, having no other means to know better.
    You're exactly right. Modern skepticism was born with Descartes. Modern science came along shortly after that.

    Before that time most intellectual disputes were settled by arguing from authority, with the two biggest authorities by far being the bible and Aristotle.

    ---------- Post added at 09:33 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:17 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    There is even a definition for God I can find little to no fault in. That is to call the universe itself God.
    The word "God" has WAY too much baggage for that to work. You may as well try to rename the universe "Satan."

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    Re: Does god exist?

    Depends on what you man by God.

    In the religions understanding of it, complete with miracles and so forth. No.
    I see a lot of different people claim to have revealed knowledge of such deities and lots of antipodal claims of said deities doing things, but no actual reliable proof of any of it.
    So at face value I think it is simply human nature to invent imaginary beings more powerful than themselves they can turn to when they find life overwhelming and fueled by our great imaginations and sense of self aggrandizement.

    But, such ideas are not strictly impossible. You must leave your mind open for discovery. And many ideas encompassed in these constructions of gods are in some ways reasonable.

    There is even a definition for God I can find little to no fault in. That is to call the universe itself God. It is indeed greater than any individual person. It is greater than any collection of us. It is after all everything there is. It is the only entity that knows everything for it is everything. It is the only entity that is utterly timeless for no matter how it changes it can never be anything less than everything. It is not bounded by time for its very existence defines time. It knows all that has every happens and all that will ever happen. It determines the outcome of all events through its imitable laws and retains all authority and power.

    The only thing it doesn't do is assuage our egos by setting us above and apart from the rest of creation or ensure that our temporary state of will can transcend the laws of the universe. In this universe, god's concerns are not our concerns. Only in the Gods that we invent for ourselves is that true.
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    Re: Does god exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    Depends on what you man by God.
    I agree with that statement. Logically only one view can be true to what is. But, why is your view it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    In the religions understanding of it, complete with miracles and so forth. No.
    So a Creator can't do things that are outside His creation (miracles)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    I see a lot of different people claim to have revealed knowledge of such deities and lots of antipodal claims of said deities doing things, but no actual reliable proof of any of it.
    So at face value I think it is simply human nature to invent imaginary beings more powerful than themselves they can turn to when they find life overwhelming and fueled by our great imaginations and sense of self aggrandizement.
    So do I, but I believe God has left us a revelation that is verifiable. He has 'spoken' to us in various ways; by what has been created, by a written revelation, and through His Spirit and Son.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    There is even a definition for God I can find little to no fault in. [1] That is to call the universe itself God. [2] It is indeed greater than any individual person. It is greater than any collection of us. It is after all everything there is. It is the only entity that knows everything for it is everything. [3] It is the only entity that is utterly timeless for no matter how it changes it can never be anything less than everything. It is not bounded by time for its very existence defines time. [4] It knows all that has every happens and all that will ever happen. It determines the outcome of all events through its imitable laws and retains all authority and power.
    I find many faults with the above definition.

    [1] This is a pantheistic view. 'Everything' would include you and me. Are we part of God? Do we know everything?
    [2] You are begging that the universe knows everything or for that matter anything. How do you know this?
    [3] It is not timeless if it began to exist. If it did not begin then how did we get to the present or why is there time?
    [4] Are you saying the universe is mindful and where is your proof?

    Are you a Buddhist?

    The above definition applies to the Christian God, with a couple of exceptions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    The only thing it doesn't do is assuage our egos by setting us above and apart from the rest of creation or ensure that our temporary state of will can transcend the laws of the universe. In this universe, god's concerns are not our concerns. Only in the Gods that we invent for ourselves is that true.
    It sounds like you invented your god based on Christian principles - eternal, omniscient, omnipotent, the greatest Being that can be conceived of, and the one necessary for everything else.

    Peter

    ---------- Post added at 05:12 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:50 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    Ask and receive

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Popper
    Sir Karl Raimund Popper, CH FRS[3] FBA (28 July 1902 17 September 1994) was an Austro-British[4] philosopher and professor at the London School of Economics.[5] He is generally regarded as one of the greatest philosophers of science of the 20th century.[6][7] He also wrote extensively on social and political philosophy. In 1992 he was awarded the Kyoto Prize in Arts and Philosophy for "symbolising the open spirit of the 20th century"[8] and for his "enormous influence on the formation of the modern intellectual climate".[8]

    Popper is known for his attempt to repudiate the classical observationalist/inductivist form of scientific method in favour of empirical falsification. He is also known for his opposition to the classical justificationist account of knowledge which he replaced with critical rationalism, "the first non justificational philosophy of criticism in the history of philosophy".[9] In political discourse, he is known for his vigorous defence of liberal democracy and the principles of social criticism that he came to believe made a flourishing "open society" possible.

    There are a number of people that attack the scientific method on philosophical grounds. Others who attack its practical implementation as being corrupted by politics and cultural norms. And there are those who attack its fundamental value to society as less satisfying that more traditional knowledge systems.

    On ODN you will find eye4Magic who while not challenging the validity of science, challenges its ability to access spiritual truths due to its myopic focus on material reality.

    I'm not inclined to agree with any of that myself. For me, the proof is in the pudding. Science gets the job of finding consistent knowledge reliably, more reliably than any other system we have available to us. Others have a spotty record of truth claims you can act on and get consistent results.

    ---------- Post added at 11:32 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:29 AM ----------



    Sort of. Keep in mind that "God" had an actual name back in the day and was more or less one of many gods. And even the God of today has various names in various cultures. God is a generic term after all, a trick of language to emphasize exclusivity. Its like calling my cat Cat because no other cat is truly a cat, only a shadow of Cat. I try not to let folks rob us of useful language.
    I liked what Thomas Kuhn had to say in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions about paradigm shifts. When the current theory is no longer adequate to explain what was believed a new paradigm takes shape. Limited human beings find problems in theories of knowledge when pieces of information can no longer fit into the theory and that information conflicting the theory starts to build up and can't be scientifically verified. I also find problems when we assume that the present is the key to the past. Lastly, I find it troublesome when scientists claim to speak on morality as being scientifically verifiable. Science describes what is, not what should be.

    Peter

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    Re: Does god exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    So a Creator can't do things that are outside His creation (miracles)?
    You seem to be extrapolating a very simple statement made by Sig into a claim about the Xtian deity's ability to perform miracles, which it is not. All he appears to have meant is that, if the question of the OP is applied to the religious understanding of a deity, for example, the Xtian deity, then his answer is "No".

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    So do I, but I believe God has left us a revelation that is verifiable. He has 'spoken' to us in various ways; by what has been created, by a written revelation, and through His Spirit and Son.
    These are all simply unsupported claims.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    I find many faults with the above definition.
    You seem again to be taking Sig's statement that he finds little to no fault in a pantheistic view of god as an assertion that pantheism is true. This is not the case.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    [1] This is a pantheistic view. 'Everything' would include you and me. Are we part of God? Do we know everything?
    Under pantheism, yes, we are part of god, but we don't necessarily know everything - that would depend on the individual pantheist's beliefs. Some might say that we do know everything, but we still need to learn it in order to access that knowledge. Some say that the universe is just the universe (and also god), and that knowledge of reality (what is/the universe) is something we don't have until we learn it. Not much of a difference, but it's not really an issue for pantheism, since at it's core, it's simply defining god as the universe.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    [2] You are begging that the universe knows everything or for that matter anything. How do you know this?
    Again, Sig is not claiming pantheism is true - just that he finds little fault in it due to its simplicity, compared with the complexity of some religions' ideas of god which he mentioned in the very beginning of his post. In any case, under the pantheistic view, your question can be answered: If "to know" can be defined as "holding the truth" then, since the universe is literally what is true (it is reality), then the universe knows everything. Sig stated that right in #2: "It is the only entity that knows everything for it is everything".

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    [3] It is not timeless if it began to exist. If it did not begin then how did we get to the present or why is there time?
    That the universe began to exist has not been supported, and is not accepted as fact. If you wish to argue this, you'd have to start with first clearly defining what it means to "begin to exist", since this is not really a coherent concept.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    [4] Are you saying the universe is mindful and where is your proof?
    Again, he's not claiming that pantheism is true. In any case, what exactly is your issue here? That the universe couldn't be mindful or have/be a mind itself?

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    The above definition applies to the Christian God, with a couple of exceptions.
    Yes, the exceptions of the added complexities Sig referred to in the beginning of his post.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    It sounds like you invented your god based on Christian principles - eternal, omniscient, omnipotent, the greatest Being that can be conceived of, and the one necessary for everything else.
    LOL, these principles existed for deities long before anyone ever thought of the Xtian deity.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    I liked what Thomas Kuhn had to say in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions about paradigm shifts. When the current theory is no longer adequate to explain what was believed a new paradigm takes shape.
    Again with Kuhn! There is no problem with paradigm shifts in science, and they happen more often than you think. You keep trying to make it seem as though this is some big issue in the scientific community which Kuhn has blown the whistle on, but it's not.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    Limited human beings find problems in theories of knowledge when pieces of information can no longer fit into the theory and that information conflicting the theory starts to build up and can't be scientifically verified.
    With "information conflicting the theory starts to build up and can't be scientifically verified", are you referring to the theory that can't be scientifically verified, or the information can't be scientifically verified? It sounds like you mean the latter, but I think you'll find that, when information is learned which conflicts with existing theories, the information is always verified ad nauseam. If it's not verified, then it can't really be called information

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    I also find problems when we assume that the present is the key to the past.
    Well, what else do you suggest? We are, literally, stuck in the present. We have nothing but the present, and exist only in the present. So it's not an assumption that the present is the key to the past, it's an understanding that the present is all we have available to us when researching the past. This is basically part of necessary methodological naturalism, where we have no choice but to work with what can be empirically examined, measured, and quantified.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    Lastly, I find it troublesome when scientists claim to speak on morality as being scientifically verifiable. Science describes what is, not what should be.
    Using verifiable facts as the basis of our morality (which is actually what we're all doing anyway) is much better than using unsupported claims, especially when those unsupported suffer from the very same is/ought flaw you just described.

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    Re: Does god exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    So a Creator can't do things that are outside His creation (miracles)?
    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    You seem to be extrapolating a very simple statement made by Sig into a claim about the Xtian deity's ability to perform miracles, which it is not. All he appears to have meant is that, if the question of the OP is applied to the religious understanding of a deity, for example, the Xtian deity, then his answer is "No".
    Hi Futureboy,

    I would request (out of respect) you do not take the Founder, Jesus Christ, out of Christianity with your shortened form.

    I was commenting that for the Christian belief we see no difficulty in God doing things that defy the NATURAL world, or enabling believers to do such things. I don't speak for any other worldview, nor do I support any different worldview.

    Acts 1:8
    But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

    In Egypt, under Pharoah, Moses did miracles. During the Exodus God performed miracles. So too, during the second Exodus, Jesus used miracles. After He departed earth, Jesus promised they also would do miraculous works. The purpose of miracles what to convince others of His message and witness to His power. The greatest miracle was the resurrection.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    So do I, but I believe God has left us a revelation that is verifiable. He has 'spoken' to us in various ways; by what has been created, by a written revelation, and through His Spirit and Son.
    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    These are all simply unsupported claims.
    Simon Greenleaf, who wrote a well-used text on evidence, A Treatise on the Law of Evidence, verified that the proof of the resurrection is solid and wrote a book on that evidence which I included in the following link.

    http://www.tektonics.org/harmonize/greenharmony.htm
    https://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/tex...A1251.0001.001

    If the resurrection is verifiable and well supported, what makes you think other areas of the Bible are not provable also? I continue to harp on the theme of prophecy. Biblical names, places, events also provide proof the claims are true. The internal character of the Bible supports its reliability. These are a few of the motifs that can be shown are reasonable to believe, not far out claims.

    I like prophecy, but I find the unbeliever is almost entirely ignorant of it and can't develop a good counter-arguments against it once the case is laid down.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    I find many faults with the above definition.
    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    You seem again to be taking Sig's statement that he finds little to no fault in a pantheistic view of god as an assertion that pantheism is true. This is not the case.
    Whatever view he holds, he made a comment, "There is even a definition for God I can find little to no fault in. That is to call the universe itself God."

    He finds little or no fault in his stated definition of God. God, he equated to the universe in this view. So, either the universe is mindful (since he gives knowledge to it) or it is unintelligent and therefore incapable of intention and understanding. He made many claims without support. I'm basing my response on what was said.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    [1] This is a pantheistic view. 'Everything' would include you and me. Are we part of God? Do we know everything?
    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Under pantheism, yes, we are part of god, but we don't necessarily know everything - that would depend on the individual pantheist's beliefs. Some might say that we do know everything, but we still need to learn it in order to access that knowledge.
    Your statements above are full of contradiction and inconsistency.
    1) If we are part of 'god' how can we not know everything for that is the definition of 'God' he gave? By nature, God is an omniscient being. If you don't know everything, you do not qualify as being God.
    2) How can you learn something new if you know everything? It is a contradiction of terms.

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Some say that the universe is just the universe (and also god), and that knowledge of reality (what is/the universe) is something we don't have until we learn it. Not much of a difference, but it's not really an issue for pantheism, since at it's core, it's simply defining god as the universe.
    How can an omniscient being learn something? By definition, God knows all things. If you are part of God how would you not know all things?

    Sig did more than define 'God' as the universe. He gave this god - the universe - omniscience. Once you do that how do you justify us not knowing all things too?

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    [2] You are begging that the universe knows everything or for that matter anything. How do you know this?
    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Again, Sig is not claiming pantheism is true - just that he finds little fault in it due to its simplicity, compared with the complexity of some religions' ideas of god which he mentioned in the very beginning of his post. In any case, under the pantheistic view, your question can be answered: If "to know" can be defined as "holding the truth" then, since the universe is literally what is true (it is reality), then the universe knows everything. Sig stated that right in #2: "It is the only entity that knows everything for it is everything".
    And I answered that I find fault in the opinions he expressed by those four points he sees little or NO fault with believing. I also agreed that I would support his views on every religious belief but one - the Judeo-Christian belief system.

    The fault (or one of them) I have with the statement, "It is the only entity that knows everything for it is everything" is "everything" incorporates us. I challenge that idea. Neither you, nor I, nor Sig knows everything. The very fact that we disagree shows that we do not. According to the view that the universe is 'god' and we are part of the universe would mean we are god also. God is indivisible. If everything is "God" how can God be divided? How can God know everything and not know everything?

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    [3] It is not timeless if it began to exist. If it did not begin then how did we get to the present or why is there time?
    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    That the universe began to exist has not been supported, and is not accepted as fact. If you wish to argue this, you'd have to start with first clearly defining what it means to "begin to exist", since this is not really a coherent concept.
    Begin to exist - have a beginning. Time (space, time, matter - the universe) began with the universe would be another way of saying it because there cannot be time either without existence or with an eternal being. What significance are 1,000 years in eternity?

    The Christian view of the universe is that God created it. It did not exist, then it was. So God is not part of the universe in that the universe is not God, and time starts with the creation of the universe. The way we, as Christians, express this is that God transcends both time and the universe. Not only this but since God transcends time, the past, present, and future is concurrently before His eternal presence. He is the God who IS! He IS when things were past. He IS now in our presence. He IS when things are future to us. They are all present to Him simultaneously. He does not have the limitations we do. We live in the present.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    [4] Are you saying the universe is mindful and where is your proof?
    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Again, he's not claiming that pantheism is true. In any case, what exactly is your issue here? That the universe couldn't be mindful or have/be a mind itself?
    He claimed that the belief he expressed is the most reasonable of any religious worldview since he finds little or NO fault with it. If he did not agree with it, then why would he express it in the way he did? It would be interesting to how he answers the questions since you are speaking for him. Unless he has spoken to you about this subject, you may be putting words in his mouth in speaking for him.

    I have expressed my issues, one of them being that if the universe is God then we are part of God for we are part of the universe. Therefore, we know all things also. But we don't. So the view he expressed as having little or no fault is inconsistent. Inconsistency speaks of falsity.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    The above definition applies to the Christian God, with a couple of exceptions.
    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Yes, the exceptions of the added complexities Sig referred to in the beginning of his post.
    Unless you mean the personal revelations and relationships that contradict biblical revelation, no, you misrepresent the biblical words that express God as being all-knowing, eternal, all-powerful, and personal. To know signifies personal being. A piece of wood or stone does not qualify. It does not know. It cannot reason. It cannot express itself or communicate to us that we may understand it.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    It sounds like you invented your god based on Christian principles - eternal, omniscient, omnipotent, the greatest Being that can be conceived of, and the one necessary for everything else.
    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    LOL, these principles existed for deities long before anyone ever thought of the Xtian deity.
    The concept would come from the biblical framework as expressed by God throughout history.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    I liked what Thomas Kuhn had to say in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions about paradigm shifts. When the current theory is no longer adequate to explain what was believed a new paradigm takes shape.
    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Again with Kuhn! There is no problem with paradigm shifts in science, and they happen more often than you think. You keep trying to make it seem as though this is some big issue in the scientific community which Kuhn has blown the whistle on, but it's not.
    The point is how do you know the current model/theory is true to what is? You don't. These theories keep morphing and often are replaced other models and theories that accommodate more of the data consistently.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    Limited human beings find problems in theories of knowledge when pieces of information can no longer fit into the theory and when information conflicting the theory starts to build up and can't be scientifically verified.
    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    With "information conflicting the theory starts to build up and can't be scientifically verified", are you referring to the theory that can't be scientifically verified, or the information can't be scientifically verified? It sounds like you mean the latter, but I think you'll find that, when information is learned which conflicts with existing theories, the information is always verified ad nauseam. If it's not verified, then it can't really be called information
    Information that conflicts with the theory. When that information that contradicts the theory builds up the theory is discarded for a better theory, one that more consistently explains the additional information.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    I also find problems when we assume that the present is the key to the past.
    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Well, what else do you suggest? We are, literally, stuck in the present. We have nothing but the present, and exist only in the present. So it's not an assumption that the present is the key to the past, it's an understanding that the present is all we have available to us when researching the past. This is basically part of necessary methodological naturalism, where we have no choice but to work with what can be empirically examined, measured, and quantified.
    That is the point I'm making. We don't know if the present is the key to the past. We don't know all the factors involved in the data. The present is all we have to go with in determining origins since we can't go back to the past and see how things unfolded.
    So how do you know the present is the key to the past? You ASSUME it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    Lastly, I find it troublesome when scientists claim to speak on morality as being scientifically verifiable. Science describes what is, not what should be.
    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Using verifiable facts as the basis of our morality (which is actually what we're all doing anyway) is much better than using unsupported claims, especially when those unsupported suffer from the very same is/ought flaw you just described.
    Verifiable facts based on what? How do you use empirical quantitative facts to determine qualitative values? Then, what is the objective standard that is best? Who gets to decide? You? Your preference? Cumulative preference? Which ones? Those in power (might makes right)?

    Peter

  17. #17
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    Re: Does god exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    I would request (out of respect) you do not take the Founder, Jesus Christ, out of Christianity with your shortened form.
    Out of respect for you or for the man? While, in the past, I've usually told people to go carnally service themselves and continue to use it when they express such entitlement issues as being offended at a symbol (a symbol which, ironically, is historically and linguistically accurate when used in that way), in this case I'll just refrain from using the name at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    I was commenting that for the Christian belief we see no difficulty in God doing things that defy the NATURAL world, or enabling believers to do such things. I don't speak for any other worldview, nor do I support any different worldview.
    Again, nobody was making claims about the deity's ability to perform miracles.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    Moses did miracles ... God performed miracles ... Jesus used miracles ... Jesus promised ... miraculous works
    Lots of claims about miracles here, though...

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    the proof of the resurrection is solid
    Unfortunately, Greenleaf makes the same mistake as many theists of accepting the bible as a reliable historical source, which it isn't. Further, even if one were to accept that the man even existed and was indeed resurrected, this in no way provides proof for the claimed causal link of his divinity.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    If the resurrection is verifiable and well supported, what makes you think other areas of the Bible are not provable also? ... Biblical names, places, events also provide proof the claims are true.
    By your logic then, in the distant future after mankind has been reduced to rubble, if someone were to find a comic book in the ruins of New York, they'd be rationally justified in claiming that, since New York existed, so did Spiderman. Do you see the problem here? No amount of information which can be verified as accurate in a text supports any of its other claims supernatural or not. If that were the case, then you'd necessarily have to believe in the supernatural claims of countless other texts which contain at least some historically accurate information. This is what I mean by intellectual honesty and applying the same standards to like claims.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    I find the unbeliever is almost entirely ignorant of it and can't develop a good counter-arguments against it once the case is laid down.
    No, it's just rational skepticism at work - again, the very same rational skepticism which you readily apply to other religions' claims.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    He finds little or no fault in his stated definition of God.
    Yes, that's what he said. And you appear to find fault. Again, nobody's making any claims about the truth of pantheism.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    Your statements above are full of contradiction and inconsistency.
    Again, nobody's making any claims about the truth of pantheism - I'm just describing to you the principles behind it - information which is readily available to anyone.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    If we are part of 'god' how can we not know everything for that is the definition of 'God' he gave? By nature, God is an omniscient being. If you don't know everything, you do not qualify as being God.
    A pantheist might answer this with, "A part of the whole doesn't necessarily have the same functions/abilities as the whole".

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    Sig did more than define 'God' as the universe. He gave this god - the universe - omniscience.
    Again, he just described the principles behind pantheism - most likely to highlight the simplicity of it following his statement about the complexity of other religions' deities. Again, he was not making the claim that it's true.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    I challenge that idea. Neither you, nor I, nor Sig knows everything. The very fact that we disagree shows that we do not.
    Again, a pantheist might remind you that parts of the whole aren't the same as the whole itself, and might make a comparison between a human, who is made up of different parts, each part having its own abilities ("knowledge"), but not those of the whole human. By that logic, each of us being a part of the whole universe add to it's "whole-ness", but we aren't each the same as the whole. The universe, by containing all different sorts of people, knows everything they know. By containing scientists and skeptics, the universe knows how to think rationally and reason, and by containing theists, the universe knows how to also not do those things.
    But again, if you have an issue with the principles behind pantheism - take it up with a proponent of it - I can only answer your questions as far as I understand the principles themselves, but since I don't personally believe them, I can only help you so far.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    Begin to exist - have a beginning.
    In that case, it may indeed be that the current observable state of our universe had a beginning - but this is not the same as what some folks mean when they say it "began to exist". Could you clarify which change you mean: "change from a previous (unknown) state to the current observable state", or "change from not existing to existing".

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    It did not exist, then it was ... God is not part of the universe in that the universe is not God ... God transcends both time and the universe
    Feel free to provide support for any of this. Otherwise, they are claims which must be retracted. And remember, no amount of biblical predictions or historical accuracy actually serves as evidence for those claims.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    He claimed that the belief he expressed is the most reasonable of any religious worldview since he finds little or NO fault with it.
    *SIGH*, again, he just described pantheism and compared it to other more complex deities.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    If the universe is God then we are part of God for we are part of the universe. Therefore, we know all things also.
    Feel free to provide support for this claim.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    To know signifies personal being.
    Again the usage of "know" in play with pantheism has already been described: If "to know" can be defined as "holding the truth" then, since the universe is literally what is true (it is reality), then the universe knows everything. Sig stated that right in #2: "It is the only entity that knows everything for it is everything".
    You are obviously using it differently than pantheists.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    To know signifies personal being. A piece of wood or stone does not qualify. It does not know. It cannot reason. It cannot express itself or communicate to us that we may understand it.
    Again, under the definition provided, a pantheist might say that a stone "knows" how to be a stone since that's what it is (it holds the truth of stone-ness), and by containing the stone-ness part, the universe also "knows" how to be a stone.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    The concept would come from the biblical framework as expressed by God throughout history.
    Again, the principles have existed for deities (those which are incompatible with yours) long before.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    The point is how do you know the current model/theory is true to what is? You don't. These theories keep morphing and often are replaced other models and theories that accommodate more of the data consistently.
    Again, this is not the problem you're trying to make it into. When new information is presented, the current models are applied and if the information fits, then the model works and we keep it. If the information doesn't fit, then the model loses its predictive capability and a new model is required, or at least some changes must be made to the current model. As long as the available information fits with our current models, we can rely on their predictive capabilities.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    We don't know if the present is the key to the past.
    Again, since all we have is the present, whether the key to the past is the present or something else is completely irrelevant.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    So how do you know the present is the key to the past? You ASSUME it is.
    It's not an assumption, it's a realization that the present is all we have to go on, and no other reliable sources of information have been presented.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    Verifiable facts based on what?
    Um, facts which are verified?

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    How do you use empirical quantitative facts to determine qualitative values?
    By comparing what the facts show as serving the goal of maximizing human flourishing and minimizing unnecessary human suffering.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    Then, what is the objective standard that is best? Who gets to decide? You? Your preference? Cumulative preference? Which ones? Those in power (might makes right)?
    Again, the objectively verifiable facts.

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    Re: Does god exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried
    Sort of. Keep in mind that "God" had an actual name back in the day and was more or less one of many gods. And even the God of today has various names in various cultures. God is a generic term after all, a trick of language to emphasize exclusivity. Its like calling my cat Cat because no other cat is truly a cat, only a shadow of Cat. I try not to let folks rob us of useful language.
    But by replacing "universe" with the word "God" you would be doing exactly that. "Universe" is a perfectly useful word to express the thought "all that exists." There is no reason whatsoever to replace it with the word "God" except perhaps as a means to obfuscate the difference between theism and atheism.

    When people say "I believe God exists" they virtually always have a particular, personal god in mind and rarely are they speaking tautologically as in "I believe 'all that exists' exists." Since "God" for the vast majority of people has an indelible meaning already (and it is not "all that exists,") it is a particularly bad idea to suggest that the words "universe" and "god" be used interchangeably.

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    Re: Does god exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    When people say "I believe God exists" they virtually always have a particular, personal god in mind and rarely are they speaking tautologically as in "I believe 'all that exists' exists." Since "God" for the vast majority of people has an indelible meaning already (and it is not "all that exists,") it is a particularly bad idea to suggest that the words "universe" and "god" be used interchangeably.
    True, but there are some folks who don't take that line and who yet manage to get a spiritual understanding of the universe itself felling an emotional connection to it, one that is not all that unjustified simply by the natural state of things. So from a human perspective, that kind of natural God can take on much of the same meaning that an anthropomorphic god can.

    ---------- Post added at 12:43 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:42 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    ...uh, every word 'emphasizes exclusivity' in the sense that definitions, you know, define something, which separates that thing from things that are different from it. I don't see how the word "God" emphasizes exclusivity in any unique way.
    Because its capitalized in our language that often represents being personalized and persons are singular. So The God is singular and exclusive.
    Feed me some debate pellets!

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    Re: Does god exist?

    Sort of. Keep in mind that "God" had an actual name back in the day and was more or less one of many gods. And even the God of today has various names in various cultures. God is a generic term after all, a trick of language to emphasize exclusivity. Its like calling my cat Cat because no other cat is truly a cat, only a shadow of Cat. I try not to let folks rob us of useful language.
    ...uh, every word 'emphasizes exclusivity' in the sense that definitions, you know, define something, which separates that thing from things that are different from it. I don't see how the word "God" emphasizes exclusivity in any unique way.
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
    **** you, I won't do what you tell me

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