Evidence that God is real

Discussion in 'Religion' started by James R, Aug 31, 2018.

  1. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    The topic here is simple. I invite our resident theists to put forward what you regard as the best evidence for the existence of the God or gods that you believe in.

    I start this thread at the invitation of Jan Ardena. In another thread, I wrote:
    Jan replied:
    So, here's your opportunity, Jan!

    To the non-believers who might want to contribute here, I ask that you do not make posts to this thread with empty claims like "There is no evidence of God", or spend your time insulting theists for their beliefs. The aim here is to have the theists post what they regard as good evidence. Atheists are very welcome to evaluate and comment on the strengths and weaknesses of the evidence that is put forward, of course. I do not want this discussion to be derailed by people taking a dogmatic position from the start that there is simply no evidence to be had.

    The theists say there is evidence, so give them a fair hearing.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2018
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  3. river

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    more importantly , would Jan just simply tell everyone the definition of what god is in the first place , to Jan
     
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  5. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    No. That is off topic for this thread, and it's also a diversionary tactic that Jan often uses to derail threads. I don't want another thread wrecked by that.

    Let's assume we all have some idea about what we mean when we write "God" or "gods", and discuss the topic.

    If there is doubt about what God is, the evidence presented will no doubt provide some insight into what the poster regards as God.
     
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  7. river

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    understood
     
  8. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    ///
    Not understood.
    There cannot be evidence for a god unless god is well defined.
    Not that we must all agree on it but a theist supposedly offering evidence means nothing if they cannot explain what they are offering evidence of.
    I hope this thread will go well but we have had quite enough of endless drivel without even knowing whether they are referring to the christian god, a deist god, a hindu god, Roman or Greek gods, Mother Nature or the universe or something they have cobbled together or manufactured or their left big toe.

    <>
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2018
  9. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    What I'm interested in is what the theists themselves consider to be evidence of their God/gods. After they post that, you might well decide that their God isn't well defined enough for your liking, so their evidence doesn't count as far as you're concerned. But first things first.
     
  10. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    I'm an agnostic, not a theist. I don't believe in any God/s. And I actively disbelieve in some of them. If there is any ultimate cosmic principle, I'm reasonably confident that it has nothing to do with the Yahweh, Allah or Krishna of myth.

    But I will post what I think are the most persuasive theistic arguments (or argument-types). I'm not persuaded that any of these argument types point unambiguously at a deity, but they are at least consistent with the possibility of a deity. That does make them useful to theists against a certain kind of strong-atheist argument.

    1. The cosmological fine-tuning arguments. This one appears to me to be a recent (last few decades) eruption of the traditional design argument in new ostensibly scientific guise. But I'm put off by how it's dependent on what I consider highly speculative theories of mathematical physics, incomprehensible to laymen and hence a matter for religious-style faith.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fine-tuned_Universe

    https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/fine-tuning/

    I'm hugely skeptical, but not really for the reasons discussed in these encyclopedia entries. I'm not qualified to critique the physics, but my biological background causes me to have serious doubts about the additional assumptions upon which these arguments rest. (What is 'life'? Must conditions be identical with what we observe on Earth in order for something functionally analogous to 'life' to appear?) It seems to me that a functional analogue to life can hypothetically form in any universe in which stable structures can form and in which complexity can evolve. That universe needn't be identical with this one.

    Physicists don't even fully understand this universe. I think that it's hubris for them to pontificate on what would and wouldn't be possible in hypothetical universes where physical constants were different. (Why are they assuming that the physical laws remain invariant and just the constants change?)

    2. The class of more traditional cosmological arguments, derived from Aristotle by way of Aquinas.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmological_argument

    https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/cosmological-argument/

    This class of arguments seems to me to revolve around a whole class of unanswered metaphysical questions. (How did reality originate? What is the source of its order?) It doesn't really point to a theistic-style deity unless one introduces the deity as an additional premise which would seemingly render the arguments circular.

    3. Religious experience. This class of evidences has the advantage of being exceedingly empirical, assuming that we allow 'empirical' to range over all experience and not just sensory experience.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_experience

    https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/religious-experience/

    This class of evidence faces serious epistemological difficulties in my opinion. (But so does mathematics, and atheists love mathematics.)

    4. Miracles. A great deal depends on what we interpret this word to mean. Strong Humean violation of the natural order interpretations make the reality of miracles hard to demonstrate (certainly by science, whose methodological naturalism always assumes the existence of natural explanations), while weak interpretations weaken the inference between the miracle and a deity, unless that premise is initially added, once again rendering the argument circular. (The young couple who think of their new baby as a miraculous answer to their prayers aren't committed to believing that the baby is a violation of the laws of nature, nor does their thinking of their baby as a miraculous answer to their prayers logically imply the existence of a deity.)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miracle

    https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/miracles/
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2018
  11. kx000 Valued Senior Member

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    4,412
    My own life. Subjective nature manifest inside me as a spontaneous thought "I believe," giving me a distinct look and personality, enlightening me. Love validates the faith, it's just a matter as to if we truly believe or not... but I do. The bible does say God is LOVE.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2018
  12. Slartibartfast Registered Member

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    And the bible does not contain a single passage of god demonstrating that alleged love.
     
  13. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    I am interested to hear why someone has a belief that there may be a God ... they dont need to offer evidence but if they have something they are prepared to share that would be nice.

    An honest and open post from Jan would be wonderful but we have to wait and see...


    I doubt if many theists will be honest and open and share their reason for their belief as they may expect ridicule.

    I promise no riddicle of anyone prepared to be open and honest.

    I do so enjoy watching the Atheist Experience because their question is always ..what do you believe and why.

    I can not recall anyone being able to offer evidence although many make that claim.

    Most folk seem to be religious because that is all they have ever known.
    And that is reasonable ...if you grow up and God is the main deal as a kid you would not think it was a con job.

    Most all proclaim faith is the foundation of their belief... which is like saying they dont have a reasonable reason...faith is a sad justification offered when there is nothing but ..well nothing but faith...
    They almost say.."sure its full of holes and I dont agree that gays should be stoned or that slavery is good or this or that etc etc..
    But I have faith there is a God and somehow I will pretend there is nothing to fault...

    I doubt if they even have a reason...its like that call...we do it this way because we have always done it this way.

    What I would really like to know is how a believer will take the words of an ancient author who in many cases is nameless and never do we get mention of their qualification ...why they take such as credible and yet reject to varying degrees various sciences from biology to cosmology...many will reject modern medicine...blood transfussions are off limits for some because of some obscure passage they will take as Gods law rejecting a life saving modern medical intervention.

    And yet you dont find these folk hunting down workers on the sabath...why been so discriminating...oh forget this stoning sabath workers..we can ignore that but lets get fanatical on this blood thing.

    Confused piety demonstrating an unfortunate and unrealistic approach to modern medicine and reality in general.

    And there are those who think praying offers more hope than given by a trained doctor.

    Opps sounds like riddicule but I merely make observations and leave it to others to decide if they observe good practice.

    I would like to hear from a theist and for them to honestly describe their belief.

    Why do they believe?

    Is it just fear of death and fear of hell...is it the promise of another life.
    Is it because they only have friends in religion who would reject friendship if they became atheist.
    Do they just know?

    Alex
     
  14. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

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    I think you misunderstood me. I'm not in the least bit interested in any bid to "satisfy atheists here".

    The title of the thread makes no sense from a theistic perspective. The atheist chooses to accept that what is "real" is to be accessed by any one who merely has sense perception. Bricks are real because we can see, and touch them. God is not real if God cannot be seen or touched.

    The real question that should be addressed here is what is meant by "real" in the context of the opening post.

    As for evidences for God. They are real, whether you accept them or not.

    The quest for evidence, presupposes truth, otherwise the pursuit of evidence would be an endless, pointless pursuit.

    The common usage of the term true, is a narrow one. It claims truth is that which is in accordance with fact or reality. So if something is considered factual, then it is the truth. But what if those facts are later proven to be false? That would mean what we thought was truth, was false. But through all of these speculations, truth just is.

    Is the universe 14 billion years old? Did Dinosaurs become extinct 65 million years ago? Do we actually know? Enough to say it is the truth?

    Or are we satisfied with never knowing truth, living in a world where truth is behind hypothesis, theory, educated guesses, speculation, etc?

    Without truth, there is nothing but indifference. There is no knowledge, no pursuit for knowledge, no evidence, no calculation, no direction.

    To lie, or misrepresent the truth is an offence. Why? What is "Truth"? Where does it reside? We know it exists, and is the cornerstone to real success. We can disregard it, but we do so at our own peril.

    We all instinctively know Truth Is, but what is the evidence that it is real? Is that even a legitimate enquiry? Would we be using truth to find if truth is real?

    God, by all definitions, is truth. That is the way theists understand God. The OP suggests that we try to put forward evidence to show that God is real. It implies that God is a separate entity. That God is not the very cornerstone of any, and every reality. That the universe created itself, or that it itself is what could be termed God.

    So before we begin, the thread starter must explain what is evidence (in this context), and what is actually real. The thread starter must give an account of what is God, why he accepts that God is, or could even be, a separate entity, as opposed to being at the heart of everything, including ourselves and our ability to seek out God.

    Can the thread starter accept that God in within every atom, just as he is prepared to accept that God is a separate entity, that could be known via satisfactory evidence?

    Jan.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2018
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  15. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

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    No you're not.
    You're interested in finding as many reasons why people believe in God, as you can, so you can reject them.
    Honest, meaning a post that either conforms to your worldview, or one that can be tackled by your worldview.
    You're basically self-centered.
    IOW you're setting your stall up.
    There is no way you are going to accept anything theists say, because your mind is already made up.
    And you accuse me of being dishonest.

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    You wouldn't recognise honesty, if it punched you in the face.
    Everyone is religious.
    The real question is why do atheists deny, and or, reject God. And for what?
    Nothing?
    Because we accept God. We do not deny God.

    Jan.
     
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  16. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

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    Right off the bat you imply there are various Gods You set up your worldview stall, and will not be moved.

    If you think there are different God's (upper-case G ), then what do you comprehend God to be?

    How can there be different God's?
    Can there be different number ones?
    If I said, I don't believe in your number one, I believe in the Spanish numero uno. Would that make sense to you.
    Theists do not need to make persuasive theistic arguments. Atheists need to hear them, so they can reject them.
    What is "religious-style faith"?
    How is this alone, evidence for God?
    If "religious experience is evidence for God, then any experience is evidence for God. This is why we should not mix religion and theism, as though they necessarily represent the same thing.
    Every body is religious.

    A miracle is nothing but an event which appears to violate the laws of nature as we understand them, a rearrangement of natures building blocks.

    I'm obviously not a particle, or quantum physicist. But reality, at its core, appears to be the amalgamation of subatomic particles, vibrating at specific, frequencies. It is understood that various spiritual masters (Jesus for example), have the ability to transform these frequencies, thereby altering the physical structure on a minute level.
    Prayer, done expertly, is the ability to do that. But it has to be taught, again by a spiritual master, one that is in complete control of his senses.

    I am not an expert in this type of science, and I doubt are not very many experts, capable of this, alive today.

    But there is more to this than simply just saying "miracle" than meets the eye.

    Plus miracles are not only applied in relation to God. Miracles are the result of understanding how the laws os physics operate, and can be used by any learned practitioner. Not necessarily a theistic one.

    Jan.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2018
  17. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Hold that thought. It may come in handy for you some day.
    That is a false statement. Various theists have many different Gods, and few if any of them are "truth".
    For a mathematician or the like, holding Truth as a deity would be - in the Abrahamic frame - idolatry.
    For a physical scientist it would be an error.
    The theist's agenda on these forums: Everybody posting according to the Abrahamic theist's frame, including the theist's disparaging presumptions about everyone else - these are to be accepted as the framework of discussion, and are by careful inspection the only aspect of the theist's posting with clear meaning - the notion of a dichotomy between what is evidence and what is actually real, for example, means less and less the more attention one pays to it.
    Most don't. This has been pointed out to you several times now.

    Some do - and one reason they bother is the inveterate and odious bad faith and dishonesty exhibited by those who present God to them. Letting such things stand in the public square has turned out to be dangerous, actually - fundies are not ok, and it's important to forestall their gaining of political momentum and power.
     
  18. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

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    This response is not applicable to anything in the quote you are responding to. Try again.
    Point out the "many different Gods, various theists have" please. Thanks in advance.
    What are you talking about?
    It may have been pointed out, but that does not make the points true. If you accept there is no evidence for God, then you have created a straw god, and believe there is no evidence for Straw God.
    The trick is that the parameters for Straw God's existence is set for your convenience.
    And so the nastiness begins. This why these threads are a waste of time. Atheists like yourself can't help but get toxic in these discussions. You are incorrigable. That, to me, is the symptom of a person who denies, and rejects God.

    Jan.
     
  19. Goldtop Registered Senior Member

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    http://www.sciforums.com/threads/sc...t-exist-and-that’s-not-a-joke.160736/page-112

    Ahhh, the stench of hypocrisy. How do we then associate your toxic nastiness from those you claim deny and reject God?
     
  20. Musika Last in Space Valued Senior Member

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    Yes.
    This is Iceaura all over. He is identity politics first and content a very clear second

    As he said on a previous occasion, inadvertently revealing his MO:

    Falsehood, followed by personal disparagement. No accountability, to reason or anything else. No engagement with any thread issue.
    The overt (A)theist posts on a science forum.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2018
  21. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

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    I was demonstrating a fallacy made by yourself, or some other poster (Alex, and Iames) ...

    A loaded question or complex questionfallacy is a question that contains a controversial or unjustified assumption (e.g., a presumption of guilt)....

    ... A common way out of this argument is not to answer the question (e.g. with a simple 'yes' or 'no'), but to challenge the assumption behind the question. To use an earlier example, a good response to the question "Have you stopped beating your wife?" would be "I have never beaten my wife".[5] This removes the ambiguity of the expected response, therefore nullifying the tactic. However, the asker is likely to respond by accusing the one who answers of dodging the question.
    From Wiki.

    Jan.
     
  22. Dr_Toad It's green! Valued Senior Member

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    How can you ask for evidence of a belief governed by faith?

    It seems to be oxymoronic, but you can leave off the oxy- bit if you choose.

    I've seen some magnificent sunrises, but never a hint of a deity in them. I've seen some horrible things, with no evidence of a deity in those, either.

    I've watched dogs think, I've seen people act worse than animals. I've seen (and known) people who've given their lives for others, but there was no God there to draw them unto his bosom, any more than some wrathful God striking down America because Gay, or God upholding Iran because Mohammad was a pedophile, either. Roll the dice...

    It's psychobullshit.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2018
  23. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    Well I say that I am interested and I know what my thoughts are better than you.

    I have a genuine need to know why folk accept this God thing with nothing to go on....they would you could expect have a reason but I cant find one.

    It seems like they fear death and hell and want to place a bet on the after life story just in case.

    I mean what I say Jan.

    I really find it strange you for example believe there is a God and an after life, which I see as fairy tales, and you seem to be intelligent and so it causes me confusion as to why someone like you places faith in any of this stuff.

    Anyways I asked and I seem to have hit a nerve so dont worry about it.

    I am surprised you think that Jan but I expect you are having a negative reaction to me drawing attention to where I and others consider you are not being honest.

    I would have thought you could see how you took something out of context and used it to support your world view and that by your own observation of when I did it, you saw such a tactic as dishonest.

    You said so.. which is an indirect addmission that you had been dishonest.

    Do you see it differently or is my observation reasonable and backed up with fact?

    There is no point getting upset with me because I pointed out why folk see your op as dishonest.

    It is or it isnt and indirectly you seem to see it as dishonest.


    In my world I would accept the call appologise and go on but you seem intent on saying one thing is bad but happy to approach things in a similar fashion.

    It does not matter if you cant see my point I still like you and accept you flaws and all.

    I make allowances for the fact you must feel as you are under attack and will come over somewhat defensive.

    So I do understand.

    Yes I agree but I cant do it any other way.

    Do you think that is a bad thing?

    How would you respond if someone said you were self centered...deny it or accept it...I like to put who I am out there so folk know who they are dealing with...I am just a mug and make no pretense otherwise.

    You may want to believe that but you must know what you have said is not true.

    Do you say things like that to stir the pot?

    In my world the folk I encounter are certainly not religious, far from it.

    One mate raised a catholic is so anti religion you cant mention it around him else he goes off with a rant against religion and specifically the problems he suffered via religion.

    Not religious at all.

    Why say things that are simply not true?
    Do you do that to seek attention?

    You really need to be more respectful of the truth.

    So when we look at the facts your claim that "everybody is religious" is simply wrong.

    So will you withdraw your incorrect claim?
    If you can not I will understand...I have met folk who wont admit when they are wrong...I dont know why but expect it has to do with their self esteem...so low they cant let anything show them up.
    I hope you are better than that Jan...for you not for me.

    Maybe but could you answer the question that I asked?

    To do so would be nice but I take it you dont wish to answer...if you say directly that you dont want to answer I will accept that but please at least when dealing with me try and be direct and up front.

    I will take it you dont wish to answer so there is no need for your sidestepping reply.

    But why?

    If you just do thats ok but I really would like to know why you believe any of it.

    Are you swayed by the huge number of folk who also believe, ...I just dont get how an intelligent person accepts all of it when it all turns on just believing what others tell you to believe.

    Anyways Jan it is interesting to observe how you approach things and I really hope you are not the victim of a con.

    You have a great day and know that I dont mean to upset you...I know it must be upsetting that I point out where I think you have been dishonest but you did agree that taking things out of context and presenting them to support something that is not true is indeed not the right thing to do...I think you can judge what I say and conclude your op suffers from this out of context trip.

    May you find enlightement and all your expectations be delivered.
    Alex
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2018

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