Evidence that God is real

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

  1. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    Sure Jan anything to help you feel better about yourself.
    I am happy to leave it at that although for you to assume you know my thoughts could contain flaws.
    That is a curious response.
    I would not say that I worry about it as you seem content to accept it and if it helps you manage your world I need not comment.
    Wonderful well considered reply...yes why not.
    I wont burden you with my reasons why not and leave you in peace.
    4260"]Because I don't deny or reject God.[/QUOTE]
    Thank you for your answer.
    Well I think its made up and to accept the God story for me would be believing a fairy tale.
    I do not see anything that moves God from fairy tale to fact...I dont think it makes sense to invent a God and all that theists have included in the invention.
    I dont think you can reject something that you cant determine actually exists.
    My interest is really why folk believe and so far I have not found a good reason why they believe.
    Looking on the net as you suggested did not help.
    But consider your duty discharged as I did find folk talking religion who made me realise most are not as intelligent as you.
    OK have it your way I certainly do not wish to labour on the matter.
    If you fail to see the parrallel that is up to you.
    Well I will take you at your word and appologise for hinting that you were dishonest.
    Alex
     
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  3. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Note to readers of this thread:

    I do not want a discussion here about what atheists might require as evidence of God. There's another thread for that discussion, here:

    http://www.sciforums.com/threads/empirical-evidence-of-god.160981/

    So let us clearly distinguish the main questions of the two threads:

    The current thread is for theists to present what they regard as the best evidence(s) for God. I'm interested in what evidence convinces you, as a theist. Even if your belief is not evidence-based, I would like to know what evidence you regard as note-worthy (if any).

    The thread linked above asks a question of atheists: what kind of evidence might convince you, as an atheist, that God exists?
     
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  5. Dr_Toad It's green! Valued Senior Member

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    How can a rational person tell the difference, unless god appears, names herself The Bruce, and proceeds to lay about with her claymore, or gives everyone lemon meringue pie?

    Who defines someone as atheist, and why does that matter? I don't think there's a god, but I'm open to the idea.

    I act as though the Christian god has decreed I should, or is it the Jewish god? I know damned well that it's not the angry god of the muslims. Screw capitalizing the word. Why should "submitted to the will of allah" be a thing at all, if it requires you to kill in order to spread holiness?

    This is ridiculous bullshit.
     
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  7. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    You snipped out some of the words I wrote that addressed that: "And I actively disbelieve in some of them [God/s]. 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." (There's three, right there.)

    Precisely and in detail, I have no idea. (That's why I think of myself as an agnostic.) But more broadly, I guess that I'd say that 'God' would refer to reality's ultimate principle. (I don't know what that is.) Assuming that reality has just one ultimate principle and not more. (For example, it's possible to imagine that the most fundamental and irreducible sort of being is one thing and the source of the order it displays is something different.)

    In philosophical terms, what I'm saying there is that I don't really know for certain that reality is monistic.

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

    Ok, even if we assume for the sake of argument that reality only has one ultimate principle, one Source if you will (it's still unclear how anyone could possibly know that), we still have all sorts of people saying 'The Source is This!' or 'The Source is That!', or 'The Source has revealed itself to this ethnic group here! or 'The Source has revealed itself in that 'scripture' there!' One might adopt a theology that insists that all of these traditional figures (Yahweh, Allah, Krishna and so on) have a single existing referent, that everyone is really talking about the same thing. But that's a theological choice and I'd expect that many/most adherents of these various ostensibly monotheistic traditions wouldn't accept that theology.

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

    Faith that has some religious relevance, as opposed to faith that the law of gravity won't be repealed or that 2+2 will still equal 4. Faith with an ethical component, faith with a soteriological component. Faith in something imagined as holy, something that deserves our worship.

    I was thinking of the experiences claimed by advanced Indian yogins and religious contemplatives in traditions including the Christian and Muslim. I was holding open the possibility that their experiences in meditation might actually be evidence of something important.

    I don't think that practitioners of the contemplative traditions would agree with that. They believe that individuals can make ascents towards realization of the divine through inner practice and transcendent experience of various sorts. I didn't want to prematurely dismiss that possibility, without careful examination.

    Besides, if somebody insists that any and all experience is equally consistent with the existence and the non-existence of God, then that individual would seem to have already conceded to agnosticism. Either that, or to the thesis that knowledge of God's existence is non-experiential and has nothing to do with experience. That idea obviously would require further explanation.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2018
  8. kx000 Valued Senior Member

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    4,426
    But it does say if you don't love you don't know God because God is love.
     
  9. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    ///
    Where does it say that?

    <>
     
  10. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    kx000:

    Do I understand this correctly?

    Your evidence for God is subjective. You think that your belief in God affects your personality, so therefore God is real?

    And you think that the existence of love tells us that God is real? Is that because love couldn't exist without God?
     
  11. Michael 345 Bali tonight Valued Senior Member

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    If if if i would take this as true (I don't) but as a discussion point I can suspend my disbelief

    Given my suspended disbelief as per above and taking as a given

    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

    I am sure kx000 and yourself would agree the corollary would be

    Devil is hate

    I HATE Hey Presto Abracadabra I conjure up SATAN

    Who knew

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    Last edited: Sep 4, 2018
  12. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Jan Ardena:

    I thought you might be interested in talking about the evidence that your God exists. If that's not the case, you don't have to participate in the thread.

    Why? Because there isn't any?

    Evidence can be indirect. For example, see kx000's post above. He seems to be saying that God must be real because love exists. The assumption, of course, is that love couldn't exist without God.

    To take a scientific example, I believe that gravity exists, even though I can't see it or touch it. I believe it exists because its effects are visible in the world.

    If you think that's important, you can address that question when you provide your evidence.

    Fine. Whatever. All I ask is that you present these evidences you say are there. Are you going to, or not?

    You are very much mistaken there. In science, for example, it is very common to look for evidence that either supports or tends to refute a hypothesis, while keeping an open mind. Presupposing truth strikes me as a more religious way of thinking.

    I think you're tying yourself up in knots before it becomes necessary.

    In science, again, conclusions are always provisional. I consider it a fact that gravity exists, but I'm willing to change my mind, in principle. Usually, that doesn't involve tossing the whole idea away and starting from scratch, although sometimes it does. For example, suppose good evidence were to come to light that gravity obeys an inverse power law that goes as the distance to the -1.99th power, instead of the usual -2 power? Then I'd be happy to revise my current belief.

    The age of the universe is a good example of a figure that has been revised many times, and in fact is still only approximately known. Gradually we are narrowing it down. We are confident we know the age within certain limits. That kind of thing is quite normal in science.

    The dinosaurs are an example of the perils of making statements that are too broad. In one sense, the dinosaurs are still with us today - we call them birds. But if we want to get more specific (no pun intended), we could list a whole bunch of dinosaur species that were very probably wiped out 65 million years ago.

    It's the most we can hope for. No human being can ever access the Ultimate Truth, whatever that might be.

    The value of evidence is that it tends to make us more confident that our hypotheses, theories, educated guesses, speculation are correct - or else it tends to tell us that we were wrong.

    I disagree. I think that Truth, with a capital 'T', is unattainable in practice.

    You're using your God language to talk about Truth now. God Is, Truth Is. Both are ideals, but what I'm interested here is evidence. If the best that evidence can do is point vaguely in the direction of Truth, then we'll just have to be content with that.

    Thinking scientifically, I'm interesting in making a mental model of the world that most closely matches what is observable and accessible to me. My best model currently includes things like gravity and the dinosaur meteor. Theists like yourself tell us that an accurate world-model must include God, in addition. So, I want to know: what is it that I can access that should lead me to introduce God as the most reasonable hypothesis? What evidence says God, unambiguously?

    The major religions treat God as a separate entity. Indeed, they speak of God as a person who acts in and on the world.

    Maybe your God is not a person but merely the "cornerstone of reality". That sounds like a very diffuse and nebulous sort of God to me, and it seems to me that in that picture no evidence would ambiguously point towards God. Or, rather, all evidence (of anything) would supposedly point to God. But then God is just a synonym for "everything". The problem with that is that it doesn't match how theists talk about God, typically. God, as far as I'm aware, is supposed to be a supernatural person.

    No. My question is to theists: what do you consider to be evidence.

    We have a separate thread for what I, as an atheist, might regard as evidence, and I have already posted quite extensively to that thread.

    No. I'm quite happy, for the purposes of this thread, for you to give your account of God, as a theist. Read the opening post again.

    Is there evidence that God is in every atom? If so, what is the evidence?
     
  13. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Yazata,

    Thanks for your post. I will be interested to see if any theists agree that the arguments you list are persuasive.

    It's all very well for us, as atheists, to try to imagine what theists might regard as evidence, but my purpose in starting this thread is to hear directly from the theists themselves.
     
  14. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Jan Ardena:

    The more pertinent question is: how can there be one? What is the evidence that there is one?

    So you're saying that you don't regard religious experience as evidence for God. Okay.

    Do you plan on listing any things that you do regard as evidence, at some point?

    A particle physicist would tell you that this is a model. They would also quibble technically about your description, but there's no need to get into that here.

    Understood by whom? Theists like yourself?

    Where is the evidence that spiritual masters actually alter physical structures on the minute level, as you claim?

    Are there any controlled studies showing that prayer produces the results you claim?

    How do you know?

    Without being arrogant, I'm confident that I understand how the laws of physics operate better than the average person - I'm quite highly trained in that area. It would seem that I should be able to work a miracle better than most, then. What kinds of miracles are you talking about, exactly?

    Also, assuming that this miraculous ability to control nature exists, do you regard it as evidence of God? What is the evidence that shows the connection?
     
  15. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Dr_Toad:

    I don't. But not every theist says that his belief is faith-based. Some of them say that they believe because there is evidence.

    Jan says he believes because it just comes naturally to him - like he has no choice. So, for him, evidence is irrelevant. He believes because he believes; it's like it's in his genes, if we take his words at face value. But at the same time, he asserts that, regardless of why he is a theist, there is still evidence of God out there to be had. And that's what I'm interested in hearing about in this thread.

    To be clear: for the purposes of this thread, I don't care why theists believe in their God/gods. They can believe because it's "natural", or because they "have faith" or whatever - it doesn't matter for this thread. The focus here is entirely on whether they think there is any evidence for God (and, if so, what it is).
     
  16. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

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    OK... um...

     
  17. Dr_Toad It's green! Valued Senior Member

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    Yessir. I'm hardcore agnostic, if I had to label myself, but I see what I want to be god in the sunrise, in the flight of birds during the fall migration, in the fish leaping to my hook.

    Also in the the cougar that hunts my dogs or the neighbor's stock animals, but it's just a fleeting desire, not evidence.

    I think you have to graduate for proof, and there's the rub. No way to report back, unless you have a medium, or even a large.
     
  18. Michael 345 Bali tonight Valued Senior Member

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    Prayer, done expertly

    Beg pardon. Does religion give lessons on how to pray?

    Please sir can I answer sis please please

    No plans. No listing

    Miracles are the result of understanding how the laws os physics operate, and can be used by any learned practitioner

    Yep. Even numnuts here knows if I want good TV signal reception I need a suitable antenna ie a wooden stick is not good enough

    However getting a good signal with a suitable antenna is not classed as a miracle.

    Come and get one with a wooden stick, yep you are on the way to convincing me miracles exist

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  19. Musika Last in Space Valued Senior Member

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    In short, the main struggle you will have with this subject is that the "evidence" for God is not determined or constrained by the standard "veil of perception" that commonly surrounds our ideas of things in this world. This is because of the ontological position God occupies. In short, despite your insistence that this is not the place to get into definitions of God and reality, such issues of definition and relationship are primary. In fact, thats how all epistemology works : by definitions of relationship between "seer" and "object" one determines the process of acquiring knowledge. If you fail that, you can't even peer down the right end of a telescope (or, at the least, the knowledge you get from doing that is radically different).

    Yazata was certainly close in his estimations of "religious experience". Perhaps the closest analogy available to all is the experience that arises from eating. For one (who is healthy), the act of eating provides nourishment, relief from hunger and satisfaction. The "veil of perception" doesn't intercede to demand some other third party evidence (in fact, if anything, they would more than likely work the other way .... if you were tested somehow and found that you were in fact hungry, how would you resolve that if you had the experience you weren't ?).
     
  20. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    That's a struggle the theist might have, in presenting the evidence. Not other people.
    Sounds like providing evidence for your God is going to take some thought and effort on your part. Is that why you won't do it?
     
  21. Musika Last in Space Valued Senior Member

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    I wasn't aware theists were the ones struggling with evidence.

    I can also peer down the wrong end of a telescope and tell an astronomer they are full of shit. I wouldn't pride myself on my reserves of thought and effort though ...
     
  22. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Well, lessee - I'm pretty sure most people here can provide evidence of the existence of food, and the scientifically inclined can provide evidence of the existence of nourishment and hunger, without much in way of epistemological complexities.

    So where's the analogy to evidence for God, in that "analogy" ?
    Everyone else is taking your word for that. You keep telling us about your struggles, invoking analogies to illustrate the difficulty of the task, etc., and we are holding off on calling bullshit until you leave us no choice.
    The question is why you refuse to tell us which end of the telescope is the right one, and what we would see if we looked down it.
     
  23. Michael 345 Bali tonight Valued Senior Member

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    If asked about providing evidence for some aspect of reality I am sure I could do so

    If not at least point them to a expert to provide sensible explanations

    All a theist has to do is point to any moment within the explanation and exclaim

    ''Ar Ha that point there, where such and such occurs, that part. THAT .COULD NOT HAPPEN UNLESS GOD MADE IT SO"

    So theist you have the whole spectrum of science, the observations, the theories, the research everything science has involved itself with

    For christ sake pick something god did and science missed

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