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No proof of God's existence?

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CSflim

No proof of God's existence?

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It seems many of you heathens who frequent this board are under the erroneous impression that there is no proof of the existence of God. How wrong you all are! In fact, there is not just a single proof, but hundreds. Yup you read correctly - hundreds.Lets get started:# COSMOLOGICAL ARGUMENT(1) If I say something must have a cause, it has a cause.(2) I say the universe must have a cause.(3) Therefore, the universe has a cause.(4) Therefore, God exists.# ONTOLOGICAL ARGUMENT (I)(1) I define God to be X.(2) Since I can conceive of X, X must exist.(3) Therefore, God exists.# ONTOLOGICAL ARGUMENT (II)(1) I can conceive of a perfect God.(2) One of the qualities of perfection is existence.(3) Therefore, God exists.# TELEOLOGICAL ARGUMENT(1) Check out the world/universe/giraffe. Isn't it complex?(2) Only God could have made them so complex.(3) Therefore, God exists.# ARGUMENT FROM BEAUTY (aka TELEOLOGICAL ARGUMENT II)(1) Isn't that baby/sunset/flower/tree beautiful?(2) Only God could have made them so beautiful.(3) Therefore, God exists.# ARGUMENT FROM MIRACLES(1) My aunt had cancer.(2) The doctors gave her all these horrible treatments.(3) My aunt prayed to God and now she doesn't have cancer.(4) Therefore, God exists.# MORAL ARGUMENT (I)(1) Person X, a well-known atheist, was morally inferior to the rest of us.(2) Therefore, God exists.# ARGUMENT FROM CREATION(1) If evolution is false, then creationism is true, and therefore God exists.(2) Evolution can't be true, since I lack the mental capacity to understand it; moreover, to accept its truth would cause me to be uncomfortable(3) Therefore, God exists.# ARGUMENT FROM BELIEF(1) If God exists, then I should believe in Him.(2) I believe in God.(3) Therefore, God exists.# ARGUMENT FROM BLINDNESS (I)(1) Atheists are spiritually blind.(2) Therefore, God exists.# ARGUMENT FROM FALLIBILITY(1) Human reasoning is inherently flawed.(2) Therefore, there is no reasonable way to challenge a proposition.(3) I propose that God exists.(4) Therefore, God exists.# ARGUMENT FROM SMUGNESS(1) God exists.(2) I don't give a crap whether you believe it or not; I have better things to do than to try to convince you morons.(3) Therefore, God exists.# ARGUMENT FROM META-SMUGNESS(1) Fuck you.(2) Therefore, God exists.# ARGUMENT FROM POSSIBLE WORLDS(1) If things had been different, then things would be different.(2) That would be bad.(3) Therefore, God exists.# ARGUMENT FROM INFINITE REGRESS(1) Ask atheists what caused the Big Bang.(2) Regardless of their answer, ask how they know this.(3) Continue process until the atheist admits he doesn't know the answer to one of your questions.(4) You win!(5) Therefore, God exists.# ARGUMENT FROM CREATIVE INTERPRETATION(1) God is---(a) The feeling you have when you look at a newborn baby.---(b) The love of a mother for her child.---(c) That little still voice in your heart.---(d) Humankind's potential to overcome their difficulties.---(e) How I feel when I look at a sunset.---(f) The taste of ice cream on a hot day.(2) Therefore, God exists.# ARGUMENT FROM PERSONAL SANITY(1) I've had religious experiences that can't be explained unless I'm insane or God exists.(2) Therefore, God exists.# ARGUMENT FROM "THE MATRIX"(1) We cannot prove that we don't live in a Matrix-like world.(2) Therefore we cannot know reality.(3) If reality is contingent, then everything is possible.(4) Therefore, God exists.# ARGUMENT FROM SUBJECTIVITY(1) Everything is subjective.(2) No subjective proof can be superior to any other subjective proof.(3) Based upon my subjective opinion, your opinion, that if everything is subjective then, perforce, God is subjective, is false.(4) Therefore, God (objectively) exists.# Meta-Proof(1) This is a proof of God's existence.(2) If the reader finishes reading this proof, the existence of God will be proven to him/her.(3) If the existence of God is proven, then God exists.(4) Therefore, God exists.# Proof By Anecdote(1) God can be seen by those who believe in Him.(2) If the God is seen, then He must exist.(3) I have seen God.(4) Therefore, God exists.# ARGUMENT FROM BIBLICAL HISTORY(1) Many modern historians think that there probably was somebody named Jesus, maybe.(2) Therefore, God exists.# ARGUMENT FROM FORTUITOUS COINCIDENCE(1) What are the odds of that happening?(2) Pretty long, I'll bet.(3) Therefore, God exists.# ARGUMENT FROM MYSTERIOUS USE OF PREPOSITIONS(1) It is impossible to disprove God with your puny human intellect unless you are above God.(2) Are you higher than God?(3) I'll take that puzzled look on your face as a no.(4) Therefore, God (being the highest thing ever) exists.# ARGUMENT FROM LOVE(1) Have you ever fallen in love?(of course!!)(2) So what is the cause of love? Isn't it God? Am I right or not?(3) Therefore, God exists.# ARGUMENT FROM LACK OF DISPROOF(1) You can't prove God doesn't exist!(2) Therefore, God exists.# ARGUMENT FROM ANECDOTAL EXPERIENCE (I)(1) I once experienced something I can't explain.(2) Atheists offer several possible, natural explanations.(3) You're just guessing! I was there.(4) Therefore, God exists.# ARGUMENT FROM ANECDOTAL EXPERIENCE (II)(1) I have experienced feelings of God's presence in my mind.(2) Therefore, God exists.# ARGUMENT FROM LACK OF EYEWITNESS (I)(1) You weren't there to witness abiogenisis/big bang/etc.(2) Therefore, God exists.# ARGUMENT FROM EYEWITNESS (sometimes follows or combined with Lack of Eyewitness I)(1) Someone wrote the creation story in the bible.(2) That someone must have been an eyewitness to the described events.(3) Therefore, God exists.# ARGUMENT FROM LACK OF EYEWITNESS (II)(1) No one's ever seen one species turn into another.(2) Therefore, God exists.# ARGUMENT FROM PREFERRED ANCESTRY(1) I don't want to be related to monkeys.(2) Therefore, God exists.# REID'S ARGUMENT(1) You assume that your senses are reliable even though you can't prove it.(2) That means I get to assume anything I want.(3) Therefore, God exists.# ARGUMENT FROM INTELLECTUAL SUPERIORITY(1) [Christian posts argument](2) [Atheist refutes argument](3) Atheist, you obviously didn't understand my argument.(4) Therefore, God exists.# ARGUMENT FROM LACK OF EVIDENCE(1) I believe that if God exists, there will be no evidence for his existence(2) There is no evidence for the existence of God.(3) Therefore, God exists.# ARGUMENT FROM LACK OF EVIDENCE II (MODIFIED SIMPSON'S ARGUMENT)(1) God, if you exist, please give me absolutely no sign.(2)(3) Therefore, God exists.# ARGUMENT FROM IDIOCY(1) I am an idiot.(2) Even an idiot can see that God exists.(3) Therefore, God exists.# ARGUMENT FROM TERRORISM (I)(1) Terrorists destroyed the WTC, killing thousands.(2) One piece of the rubble sort of looks like a cross.(3) Therefore, God exists.# ARGUMENT FROM BRUTE FORCE(1) [Christian tears Darwin Fish off car, breaks it in thirds, sticks it to driver's side window.](2) Therefore, the theory of evolution is wrong.(3) Therefore, creationism is right.(4) Therefore, God exists.# ARGUMENT FROM WE ALL GOT FAITH(1) We all believe in something.(2) Therefore we all have faith.(3) My faith in God is no different from your faith that the sun will rise tomorrow morning.(4) Therefore, God exists.# ARGUMENT FROM MOUNTAINS(1) People used to think gods lived on Mt. Olympus.(2) We've climbed Mt. Olympus and there were no gods there.(3) Therefore, pagan gods are false.(4) Therefore, the Christian God exists.# ARGUMENT FROM SCIENTISTS(1) Some famous scientists believed in God.(2) Therefore, God exists.# ARGUMENT FROM QUANTUM PHYSICS(1) Quantum physics uses an uncertainty principle.(2) There is room for God.(3) Therefore, God exists.# ARGUMENT FROM THERMODYNAMICS(1) The Second Law of Thermodynamics says that a closed system tends to disorder.(2) The universe is ordered.(3) Therefore, God exists.# ARGUMENT FROM WOW(1) "When I look into the sky and see all the pretty stars, all those galaxies..."(2) Wow.(3) Therefore, God exists.# ARGUMENT FROM UNSEEN MIRACLES(1) Atheists wouldn't believe in God even if He showed up and performed a miracle for them.(2) See! There was a miracle right over there! Didn't you see it?(3) No?(4) You must be an atheist. Therefore, you cannot see miracles.(5) But miracles happen. You just can't see them.(6) Likewise, God exists. You just can't see Him, because you are so determined not to.(7) Therefore, God exists.# ARGUMENT FROM TRAUMATIC EXPERIENCES(1) One time, I was in deep emotional pain.(2) I prayed to God, and felt His presence.(3) You aren't going to deny my emotional pain, are you?(4) Therefore, God exists.# ARGUMENT FROM FEELING LOVE ALL AROUND (aka PERCHANCE'S SISTER'S ARGUMENT V)(1) I can just feel love all around me. I know the world is a good place, that people are essentially good, and that that comes from God.(2) I don't know how I know. It's just there. You've never felt it?(3) I don't know how I know. Stop pestering me!(4) [tears until nasty non-believer goes away](5) Therefore, God exists.# ARGUMENT FROM LOGIC(1) There are some things in logic that you can't logically demonstrate.(2) Therefore you have to take them on faith.(3) Your faith in logic is the same as my faith in God.(4) Therefore, God exists.# ARGUMENT FROM UNIQUE EXISTENCE(1) God exists but not in a way that anything else that exists exists.(2) Since there are no other things that exist as God exists, we are free to make up things about God's state of existence that ensure his continued non-observability(3) Therefore, God exists.# ARGUMENT FROM IGNORANCE(1) I don't understand evolution, I mean how could there be nothing then something?(2) (Well informed atheist gives articulate explanation of evolution and gently explains that the beginning of the universe has nothing to do with evolution.)(3) Well it seems way too complicated and unlikely to me. Plus I don't want to live my life thinking I evolved from a monkey.(4) Therefore, God exists and Jesus died for our sins.(5) (Atheist argues that theist's ignorance of evolution does not logically lead to the conclusion that there is a God, let alone the Christian God.)(6) Says you! God bless.(7) Therefore, God exists. The above are some of my favorites from Over Three Hundred Proofs of God's Existence where you will find plenty more of this comedic gold! ___________________Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?-Douglas Adams, Last Chance To See
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Interbane

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Re: No proof of God's existence?

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Doc: "One must be really blind to not see God everywhere."But then I would say, one must truly be mislead to think that everything he sees must have a God behind the scenes. You could say that your entire reality presents you with all the personal evidence you need to 'see' God. The thing is, reality presents nothing to you. You are an organic vessel, and a lifetime of inferring God into all your experiences(which only occurs inside your head) leaves you biased. I am also biased, but in the opposite direction. I am confident enough to say that I see the world with as much clarity as you, and that it is possible to have a conception of the universe in which a God doesn't exist. His existence is sufficient to explain my experiences, but it is not necessary. Your conception of God still interests me Doc. The only problem is, I don't see any cases where your God manifests. I can't think of anything that points to it's existance. You've mentioned randomness, but I think I've stated my position on that. There is so much that is yet unexplained in our universe, but that is also no reason to attribute things to God. Not to say that you can't attribute them to God, only that it's not necessary.I still believe that humans have evolved tendencies that lead us to believe in a diety. That is how I explain to myself the reason that the majority of the world believes in a God, yet God never manifests. Any manifestations are subjective, they are interpretations of events by people who are biased with belief. When presented with what others consider proof of God, be it a vision or event or miracle or whatever, I'm not satisfied with the reasoning that God is the cause. To me, that is blinding. When credit is given to God in such cases, then investigation of why or how ends. There is no need to delve deeper into reality to find other answers, because God is the answer. That thinking isn't all encompassing, though. People say that God started the ball of evolution rolling, yet even religious people continue to pursue answers in that direction. If you think that any of those arguments will stand in a debate, choose one. Just play devil's advocate, it might be fun even though I assume you agree with me. Those are pretty funny though, only a few would be worth debating though, just for the sake of debating. Edited by: Interbane at: 4/1/05 2:05 am
Doc Tiessen

Re: No proof of God's existence?

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CSFlim,you are right, on the one hand there are many arguments for the existance of God. On the other, there are no arguments for the non-existance of God. I am sure that God exists. As certain as that there is gravity, there is a God as an uncaused first cause for everything in the universe. I do not need to believe by faith because I know by reason.The problem is that God is not what many people think. Especially the religious people believe in some ethical properties that God does not fulfil. God exists, but he is not good. God is ethically neutral because it is not in charge of doing good. Good or bad is only a human ilusion. God was in charge of creating the universe, and it is also in charge of leading the evolution. But it is the resposability of memorarble humans to do good and avoid evil.If you want a proof that God is not good in the human concept of the word... then consider the tsunami in Asia that killed thousends of people... if God would be good, why did he cause such thing? Why does God allow a Devil to do harm to the world? If God would be more powerful than the Devil, then it could beat him at once.The problem of religious people is that they want to defend their moral values based on God. They defend their good God by saying that he is misterious... But the real God is inmoral. Whoever tells that killing so many asians is not bad but only misterious, is too zynic. God can be a bloody bastard... that it does exists, that is without any doubt.The problem with atheists, is that they do not want to believe in a God that does not fulfil their requirements. Of course is God not an old man with white beard sitting ontop of the clouds. God is an impersonal force of the universe that is not he nor she. It is inmaterial and also timeless. Like gravitation or electromagnetism.Atheists invent all sort of pseudo-rational arguments for the non-existance of God. But the fact is that a world without a first cause does not make sense from the scientific point of view. One must be really blind to not see God everywhere. Diversity is Good!
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Re: No proof of God's existence?

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Not that I want to get involved in this discussion -- I'll let you two duke it out -- I just want to agree with Doc on one of his points: What keeps me away from organized religions is the constant referral to their god as a character, a personality, a being making choices/decisions based on human-like qualities! I'm agnostic -- 'cause I do believe there is some original/organizing/? force, but it has never been defined to satisfy me. Go ahead guys, I'm listening! Lori "All beings are the owners of their deeds, the heirs to their deeds."
Kate Fremont

Re: No proof of God's existence?

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CSflim,I enjoyed your list of proofs.Doc,Quote:God ... is not he nor she.If there is a god, I'd have to agree that god is sexless. Why are so many creatures on earth male or female? Merely for reproduction; hence gender is not a characteristic a god would need, being able to create without sex.Interbane,Quote:When presented with what others consider proof of God, be it a vision or event or miracle or whatever, I'm not satisfied with the reasoning that God is the cause.Does this mean you don't believe in the grilled cheese sandwich, sold on Ebay, in which the image of the Virgin Mary appears? I'm enjoying your debate, guys.
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Re: No proof of God's existence?

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Why are so many creatures on earth male or female? Merely for reproduction; hence gender is not a characteristic a god would need, being able to create without sex.In a monotheistic scheme, that seems self-evident. Not so in polytheism, as with Hinduism, or in a duotheism, as with Taoism. And it's interesting to note that the Virgin Birth has more or less crystalized the notion of God's gender -- God may not create through procreation, but in mainline Christianity He procreates to incarnate.
Kate Fremont

Re: No proof of God's existence?

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Quote:And it's interesting to note that the Virgin Birth has more or less crystalized the notion of God's gender -- God may not create through procreation, but in mainline Christianity He procreates to incarnate.That is an interesting point. It comes down to whether a christian takes the bible literally or recognizes part of it as allegory. As a first grade teacher needs to simplify lessons to a level her young children can understand, wouldn't a god have to dumb-down ideas of vast cosmic truth so that our puny human brains can understand them?Quote:Not so in polytheism, as with Hinduism, or in a duotheism, as with Taoism.I must admit ignorance about hinduism and taoism -- though mightn't the allegory/dumbing-down concept apply here as well? At the time these religions were formed, it might well have been inconceivable to people that one could be neither male nor female, hence the religion had to present gods in male/female terms. Now, of course, we know of plants and organisms that are both male and female, sometimes simultaneously and sometimes changing from one gender to the other as they mature. (Seems I recall an article in National Geographic about an animal -- I believe it was a fish -- that starts out with some of them being male and some being female, but once they reach a certain size, any males become female!)
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Re: No proof of God's existence?

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Quote:wouldn't a god have to dumb-down ideas of vast cosmic truth so that our puny human brains can understand them?On the surface this would make total sense, but the difference is a teacher does not MAKE his or her students...god MADE us, so it goes, so it could have made us understand anything it wanted to! If it made us purposely ignorant, then I have another problem with this sadistic god I am always hearing about. Mr. P. The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.The pain in hell has two sides. The kind you can touch with your hand; the kind you can feel in your heart...Scorsese's "Mean Streets"I came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy Piper
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Re: No proof of God's existence?

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Kate Fremont: It comes down to whether a christian takes the bible literally or recognizes part of it as allegory.I would say the question of canon is even more crucial. I've read scholarly inquiries that have reasoned to the effect that certain elements of the Gospel stories are mythical accretions added to the initial account by certain segments of the early church. The Virgin Birth definitely falls into the legendary camp, and I would say that a form of Christian faith is conceivable (no pun intended) even in the absence of the birth story.I must admit ignorance about hinduism and taoism -- though mightn't the allegory/dumbing-down concept apply here as well?Before I touch on Hinduism and Taoism, let me address the ideas of allegory and dumbing down. First, I'm reticent about using the term dumbing-down as it allows fairly sophisticated religious believers to indulge in a nasty bit of elitism. There is a rather unavoidable gap between religious ideas in their most sophisticated form and the same basic doctrines as presented in popularized form, but the difference is not always a difference between polysyllables and monosyllables. More often than not, I would say that the most sophisticated religious thought is barred from the general populace simply because it requires a rather precise jargonization in order to constituted its systemization, and that practical concerns will usually keep the general populace from pursuing the education needed to render that system and jargon clear. The need for popularization is as much a result of the need for a division of labor as it is a matter of intelligence.As for allegory, it does have some use in religious discourse (far more often with a C.S. Lewis than with a Jesus), but on the whole symbol is a more potent religious form. Elements in Biblical literature which may be regarded as figurative rather than literal are more often symbolic rather than allegorical. In fact, next to treating scripture as wholly literal, I would say the biggest problem with religious interpretation is the tendency to regard scripture as wholly and implicitly allegorical.Now, regarding Hindusim, it's interesting to note the historical part popularization has played in that religion, particularly in how it has been complicated by the caste system. The priesthood came to reside in a single hereditary caste, the Brahmans, and popular religion trickled down to the lower castes thereform. In effect, the most sophisticated level of Hindu thought were previously consigned to a single level of a rigidly hierarchical system. The lower levels were stuck with the strictly mythic and unquestionable ethical elements almost by default.Taoism, so far as I can tell, was far more egalitarian in its access to its central tenants, even if at the same time it described and supported hierarchical monarchy. Scholarship appears to have been something of a meritocracy in pre-modern China, such that even fairly poor farm people could train as a scholar within whatever limits were set by their own ability. Scholars were still, or course, an extreme minority, but this was likely due more to the practical concerns of division of labor rather than to any arbitrarily determined class division.As for the system of Taoism itself, the "Tao te Ching" essentially presents binary reproduction as a symbol for the ceaseless destruction and reconstruction of everything. This "generation", as it is usually translated, is effected by the interaction between two principles, Yin and Yang, described among other things as corresponding to the principles of male and female. I don't think this central tenant is due to any incapacity for understanding the world in terms other than male/female, but rather I think they serve as a rather sophisticated use of symbol in order to present an idea for which the language does not provide. On the whole, I'm suspicious of the idea that long-standing religious ideas arose out of the ignorance of our primitive ancestors, and historically there has been an odd tendency on the part of anthropologists and psychologists to ascribe to the founders of primitive religion confusions that would have been fairly obvious to societies whose survival and prosperity depended on close rapport with nature. Rather, my reading suggests that they were quite ingenious with their use of symbol as a means of overcoming the limitations set on thought by the narrowness of language. Ancient religious notions often seem to contradict the evidence of the senses. It seems far more likely to me that the contradiction is often due not to the supposed ignorance and muddled thinking of early civilizations, but because contradiction was one of the most effective rhetorical techniques for bringing a difficult concept into relief. There were, of course, confusions to follow, but those seem to arise most often from a tendency to literalize what was previously taken as symbol.
Kate Fremont

Re: No proof of God's existence?

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I love this discussion. It widens my horizons and gives me something substantial to think about. It's been many years since I've been out of school, and I miss this sort of thing.Thank you for your thought-ful response, Mad. I'd completely forgotten about the Yin-Yan concept, and was unfamiliar with its origin in Taoism.
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