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Prove the Existence of God(s)


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Initial post: Dec 28, 2011 6:08:50 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 19, 2013 9:27:29 AM PST
zoltán says:
Please convince me of the existence of a god or gods.

Please define your god. Then offer evidence, argumentation, whatever it you believe will make me believe that your gods exist.

Thanks!

Posted on Dec 31, 2011 10:06:36 AM PST
zoltán says:
In another thread, Chucky several times repeated the platitude, "Their [sic] is no such thing as an atheist. You'd have to have perfect knowledge to make that claim." When I pointed out that according to this logic, one would also have to have "perfect knowledge" to make the claim that "Their [sic] is no such thing as an atheist", Chucky copped an attitude and 'flushed' my post. Chucky's atheist seems to be the so-called 'hard atheist' who denies the existence of god(s) rather than the sort of atheist who merely has no god belief.

Several years ago, I coined the phrase 'Platitudes and attitudes' to describe Christian apologetics. It seems as apt a description today as it did then.

In another forum recently, a poster claimed to have proof of the existence of god. Said proof consisted essentially of, "We exist." The poster never made a connection between the existence of the universe and some sort of supernatural being supposedly responsible for that existence.

My most often encountered proof of the existence of god(s) is the fact that the claimant is utterly ignorant of science, logic, theology, etc.-- Therefore, it seems, god(s) exist.

Alvin Plantinga, William Lane Craig, and that sort offer logical tricks as proofs of the existence of god(s). Tricks that are not very convincing to a lot of people.

Theists, especially Christians, often claim to have a personal relationship with their gods. It has been my experience that when these theists are pressed for information about these personal relationships, conversations have a tendency to come to an abrupt (sometimes acrimonious) end.

The sort of Black Swan argument posed by Chucky, "Their [sic] is no such thing as an atheist. You'd have to have perfect knowledge to make that claim", has a solution to those of us with less than perfect knowledge: Produce an example of that for which non-existence is claimed. Proving a negative is a darned difficult endeavor (and hard atheists should know better than to make claims of non-existence). There is no such thing as a black swan? Rather than laying the burden of proof on those who deny the existence of such a critter, demanding a search of every possible black swan hiding place in the universe, one can refute the non-existence claimant by producing an example of the supposed non-existent entity.

Theists such as Chucky believe that all so-called atheists erroneously make the claim that god(s) do not exist. Such theists could eliminate any doubt as to the existence of god(s) merely by showing that such beings do indeed exist. Theists who claim to have personal relationships with god(s) should have no problem, one would think, introducing other people to their personal acquaintances.

Theists: Where is your god?

Posted on Dec 31, 2011 10:15:13 AM PST
You gotta have faith. Faith in what? Faith in what other people tell you? Why should we trust what people tell us that is supposedly the truth about the "god"?

Yahweh... get out from behind the curtain and show yourself!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 31, 2011 10:31:13 AM PST
Mr. Krinkle says:
"Yahweh... get out from behind the curtain and show yourself! "

But he is naked, an emperor with no clothes. You wouldn't want Yahweh parading around in his birthday suit, with naughty bits hanging out, would you?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 31, 2011 10:33:38 AM PST
Nick says:
That depends, is he as ripped and well-endowed as Zeus?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 31, 2011 10:45:51 PM PST
Sheila (NJ) says:
Yawn

Posted on Dec 31, 2011 11:33:05 PM PST
S. Friedman says:
I take a different approach on the topic.

Believers: I will never ask you to prove your god exists, nor will I ask for any evidence of such a being..........

...that is, until you tell me that I should alter some aspect of my life based on your claims of what this being wants. In such a case, yes, I want to know why I should believe you.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 31, 2011 11:49:34 PM PST
A customer says:
I think that's fair.

Posted on Jan 1, 2012 12:25:50 AM PST
"(a+b^n)/n = x, therefore God exists"

--Leonhard Euler to Denis Diderot, in the court of Catherine the Great

[possibly apocryphal story]

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 1, 2012 4:03:01 AM PST
Honestly, there is no data to either prove or disprove it. If I am needed to disprove it as opposed to proving it, I'm very likely to struggle.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 1, 2012 5:15:27 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 1, 2012 5:28:38 AM PST
zoltán says:
"Honestly, there is no data to either prove or disprove it."

Honestly, if gods exist, if people have personal relationships with them, if they intervene in otherwise natural events, etc., then there should be evidence of their existence. Those people who claim to have personal relationships with their gods ought to be able to come up with something to convince others that they are not merely coddling a fantasy. The existence of a real god ought to be able to be demonstrated.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 1, 2012 5:27:45 AM PST
zoltán says:
"Believers: I will never ask you to prove your god exists, nor will I ask for any evidence of such a being..........

...that is, until you tell me that I should alter some aspect of my life based on your claims of what this being wants. In such a case, yes, I want to know why I should believe you."

And I believe anyone who acts as if something they call 'God' is an actual, existing being ought to be held accountable for verifying the existence of that being. If theists can't demonstrate the existence of their gods, they ought to be treated exactly the same as one would treat someone who believes Sherlock Holmes to be real.

Posted on Jan 1, 2012 5:30:44 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 1, 2012 5:46:12 AM PST
zoltán says:
People who claim that atheists are in denial concerning the existence of gods ought to be able to demonstrate that atheists actually are in a state of denial or delusional. Otherwise, they ought to stay silent.

Until someone shows that gods actually exist, I will continue to think of believers of all stripes as delusional at best.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 1, 2012 5:31:36 AM PST
zoltán says:
Yawn yourself!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 1, 2012 6:35:03 AM PST
Yes, to the political point of one side trying to persuade the other - your expectations of the believers seems reasonable, as might be their expectations of non-believers based on their own notions, justifiable or otherwise, of what the non-believers are trying to persuade them of... I was merely making what I thought was a scientific point...

Posted on Jan 1, 2012 8:59:57 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 1, 2012 9:03:18 AM PST
I make the claim I can jump out of plane at 10,000 feet without a parachute and land safely.

Evidence please. Well you just have to have faith.

I make the claim the world will come to an end on February 12th 2012.

Evidence please. Well you just have to have faith.

I make the claim that Jesus is coming back to the earth. Jesus will return.

Evidence please. Well you just have to have faith.

I make the claim that this particular, precisely defined, highly individualistic Christian God created the universe.

Evidence please. Well you just have to have faith.

Scientists have just discovered another planet (the list is growing) very much like Earth. If there is any life on the planet, does that mean they have the same Christian Bible book? After all, it is the word of this god. They should have the same book. Right? Did this planet have an Adam and Eve as well? Talking snakes perhaps. Did Jesus make a visit there as well or was it just here on our planet?

Posted on Jan 1, 2012 1:31:53 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 1, 2012 1:33:58 PM PST
As a lifelong atheist, I have long been aware that absolute proof of just about anything is a tall order. (I'm a mathematician, and even mathematical proof consists of "assuming" axioms first-- i.e. arguing that if the axioms were true, then such-and-such theorems would follow as being true.) I am, however, highly confident that there are no gods, demons, or anything of the sort. Why? Because, as Richard Dawkins and others have pointed out very cogently, one may argue on the basis of probability. Dawkins, for example, has argued that the notion of God is so improbable (see his books) that one may live one's life, in practical terms, quite as if one were absolutely sure there is no God. I always go back to Russell's golden teapot-- Bertrand Russell pointed out that if someone claims there is a golden teapot in orbit somewhere around the sun, two things are clear-- (1) that it is the claiming person's burden of proof to show that there is such a teapot, if he expects others to believe it; and (2) the probability of such a teapot is so vanishingly small that a reasonable person can deny it without any measurable worry about being wrong. In general, the claims of religion are so outlandish and so unfounded in fact or evidence that those of us who deny them outright do so with a clear conscience.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 1, 2012 2:14:17 PM PST
Re Walker, 1-1 12:25 AM: "(a+b^n)/n = x, therefore God exists" See, in Science forum, "A Falsifiable Scientific Creationist Theory", p. 185 for more on this.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 1, 2012 3:28:33 PM PST
I agree with the God = no useful information idea.

The alleged Euler "proof" is quite ridiculous, of course, even if the story is true.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 1, 2012 4:49:06 PM PST
G. J. Stein says:
Donald R. Burleson says:
As a lifelong atheist, I have long been aware that absolute proof of just about anything is a tall order. (I'm a mathematician, and even mathematical proof consists of "assuming" axioms first-- i.e. arguing that if the axioms were true, then such-and-such theorems would follow as being true.)... In general, the claims of religion are so outlandish and so unfounded in fact or evidence that those of us who deny them outright do so with a clear conscience..." >end<

Great post, THX.

Is it possible that in today's world you can have this confidence in your claim because over time the assumed axioms have been more biased; only because of the modern decline in belief of gods in the first place?

Do you account for those who don't practice religion, but still believe in gods?

Do you have a short answer as to how "matter and energy" came from nothing? It cannot be proven in a lab either.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 1, 2012 4:54:30 PM PST
Re Stein, 1-1 4:49 PM: "Do you have a short answer as to how "matter and energy" came from nothing? It cannot be proven in a lab either." But it HAS been demonstrated in a lab. Because of the uncertainty principle, virtual particles come into existence all the time -- but usually go out again promptly. But they exist long enough to be seen in laboratory experiments, and are a key element in Hawking's discussion of radiation from black holes [1].

1. Hawking, A Brief History of Time.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 1, 2012 5:17:07 PM PST
zoltán says:
"Do you account for those who don't practice religion, but still believe in gods?"

Oxymoronic.

Posted on Jan 1, 2012 5:20:13 PM PST
There COULD still be a "god" of some sort however you want to define it... but the Judeo-Christian/Islamic God still could be 100% complete fiction. The falsehood is when people start defining the universal in their own subjective terms/viewpoint/desires.

I would be happy if people could start proving the probablity of some aspects of their religion to some degree, + or -
It's almost always all or nothing.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 1, 2012 5:26:40 PM PST
G. J. Stein says:
Robert A. Saunders says: ... it HAS been demonstrated in a lab. Because of the uncertainty principle, virtual particles come into existence all the time -- but usually go out again promptly. But they exist long enough to be seen in laboratory experiments. >end<

Thanks Saunders,
Does this seem reliable though, against the law of probability when it comes to this sudden matter and energy sustaining itself into biological, and psychological humans, over "any" period of time?
Wouldn't those other sciences require their own "Big-Bangs" as well, since the results of the first were limited to energy and matter elements in the periodic table?

Posted on Jan 1, 2012 5:30:09 PM PST
Zaplightning says:
It's all in what makes a person feel good inside. If someone likes something, believe's in something very strongly, and it doesn't harm anyone and it's good not evil, well that person should not have to prove anything, to anyone.
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Discussion in:  Religion forum
Participants:  221
Total posts:  9878
Initial post:  Dec 28, 2011
Latest post:  May 26, 2013

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