How can God not exist?

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Jan Ardena, Mar 25, 2011.

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  1. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

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    How is it possible to come with the concept of Got out of having absolutely
    no idea of God?

    Is it possible to think of something that does not exist?
    And by ''not exist'' i mean not related to any pre-existing thing, or concept.

    jan
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2011
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  3. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    How is the concept of a transcendental father-figure not pre-existing? It is the most banal and obvious of wishes, to be supernatural, to have a friend who is superman.
     
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  5. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

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    Exactly.
    And god would be even more powerful if he created all of this without actually existing.
    Ergo: he doesn't.
     
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  7. drumbeat Registered Senior Member

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    It's far from brilliant. Just because we can conceive it it must exist? Why? It's a ridiculous statement.

    Its the most obvious idea for a story ever.
    Sun god, Moon god, all-seeing god, thunder god.... All ideas that were around thousands of years before Abraham, Moses, Jesus...


    Think of an original idea? A new concept?
    You underestimate the creativity of humans.
     
  8. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    What do you mean? That Anselm came up with the concept of God out of nowhere?


    I think many theistic philosophers are not to be trusted, because there is good reason to believe that none has arrived at their faith in God by the arguments they present.

    For example, Descartes even specifically says somewhere that he composed the Meditations with the specific intention to produce arguments that the Catholic Chruch could have readily at hand when trying to overturn atheists and people of other religious traditions.

    I think these philosophical proofs are backwards, attempts to retroactively explain and justify a person's faith in God.
    All the philosophers and saints I can think of also had some intense spiritual experiences, epiphanies. I think these probably play a crucial role in the development of these people's spirituality; and that the philosophy is just fancy verbal stuff that is impotent on its own.


    "The only cure for non-belief is the mystical experience." - Thomas Merton
     
  9. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

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    Why is it?

    jan.
     
  10. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

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    I'm not sure what you're getting at.

    jan.
     
  11. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

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    drumbeat,


    How can it not exist?
    What else does not exist?

    How can the non existent be obvious?
    Why wouldn't they come up with an idea that was relevant to someting already existing?


    Go on then.

    jan.
     
  12. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

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    Signal,

    No, just remarking on the brilliance of this simple concept.
    St. Anslem rocks man!!

    The questiion is ''How can God not exist?''
    How is it possible to bring into existence the concept of something
    that does not exist?
    Why go to all the problem of maintaining an idea if it has completely
    no basis in reality?

    And just as a mental exercise, can you think of something that does
    not exist and has no basis in, not conceived of in, or relevant to, society?

    jan.
     
  13. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Anselm's argument is flawed:
    A greater being would be a being that defies proof (proof being something that limits the subject to being understandable by humans).
    Hence God is unprovable.
    Hence Anselm's "proof" is not a proof.


    But the concept of God IS based on pre-existing things (e.g. the anthropormorphisation of reality).

    They did... they merely anthropomorphised the things they considered to have power over them, and anything that they could not understand: such as why there was wind, or rain, why the moon waxed and waned etc. The easy solution for something so complex was to assume that it was a living entity... or at least controlled by one... and clearly one with immense power to have dominion over such things.
    Voila.
    God.
     
  14. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    Very easily: when people think that "this life, those 70 years or so", "life as it is usually lived" is all there is, there is a number of things that don't seem real; so on the grounds of that, it seems reasonable to think that God does not exist and is merely an illusion.

    This line of reasoning is present also in theistic discourse, to some extent, as theists sometimes try to explain theistic concepts by using concepts from secular culture, thereby introducing concepts that are extraneous to theism.


    When you put your question like that, of course nobody can disagree with the thrust of your argument.
     
  15. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

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    Sarkus,

    Are you saying that a greater being would be one who
    could prove him/her self to humans?


    Why would someone go from non-anthropormorphisation to anthropormorphisation?

    If they understood that these things had power over them, why anthropomorphise them?
    Why not just pray to them, or draw pictures of them, and pray to those?

    You've just made some massive leaps in order to come to that conclusion.
    Try not to make assumptions.
    What, in nature, leads one to create a god?
    Or, how is it possible to create something that does not exist?

    jan.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2011
  16. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    No - I'm clearly saying that a greater being would be one that could NOT prove him/herself to humans... as to do so requires one to be limited to what humans can understand.

    In an attempt to understand.

    I'm sure many did just pray to those things... there wasn't just a single religion / belief-system.

    I am making suggestions... which often require assumptions, especially when referring to things that have long since passed.

    To get an answer without assumptions, as you would seem to want, you would have to ask those that did create a god...
    On what are you basing the assumption that the concept of God was based on no other existing thing?
     
  17. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

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    Sarkus,

    You may as well say that a greater being would be able to not prove himself, and, prove himself to human beings. Which is the case.

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    Why would such a transformation give rise to understanding?
    They already know the power (as you said).

    So why make such a dramatic transition?


    It's not a question of history, but of the human mind.
    The human mind tends to anthropomorphise objects that are real to them,
    not create something that previously didn't exist.

    As I am trying ascertain reasons why gods were ''created'' in the first place,
    that doesn't seem like a good idea.

    Because the concept of God is not based on anything we know in the universe, much less our day to day dealings.

    jan.
     
  18. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

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    Signal,

    The people who think God does not exist, have decided to think that.
    Right? There doesn't seem to be a natural element within people to default
    to that. Granted, religion may have played a role in that, i'm not sure.


    Isn't that more to do with 'religion' rather than theism?

    jan.



    When you put your question like that, of course nobody can disagree with the thrust of your argument.[/QUOTE]
     
  19. wellwisher Banned Banned

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    Before the invention of the quantum theory, science understood reality in terms of continuous functions (analog) instead of discontinuous functions like quantum theory (quantum states).

    What quantum theory did was lower the entropy or degrees of freedom of the perceieved universe, since quantum means distinct states with gaps between these distinct states (less degrees of freedom or entropy). Traditionally even the gaps between were included in continuous functions. This allowed concepts like god, to occupy places in the gaps between quantum states even if not defined by the quantum states.

    Athough existing in the gaps between quantum states seems odd, consider the empire state building. Using the natural laws and probabiities of quantum theory, the odds are essentially zero for the empire state building to spontaneously appear, naturally. Yet it exists in reality. It exists in the gaps between what is predictable by quantum theory.

    This proves it is possible for all types of things to exist within the gaps between what follows naturally from the quantum theory, with human nature appearing to fill in the gaps back to continuous functions. God by being omnipresent implies he will be found as a function that can exist in quantum and quantum gaps at the same time. The empire state building would be considered as stemming from the divine nature within humans since it exists in the continuum of which quantum is a part.
     
  20. drumbeat Registered Senior Member

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    375
    What else? What relevance is that? Green elephants don't exist. What's your point?


    Well they're hardly going to start making romantic dramas or action thrillers. First there will be stories of creation, afterlife, stars and the sun.



    Go on then what? You want me to be spontaneously creative just for you right now?
     
  21. Socratic Spelunker Registered Senior Member

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    Lightning and cavemen

    Isaac Newton thought of calculus.

    I'm a theist, and I do believe in the God of the Bible, but I have to admit that there's nothing about the idea of God, or any idea, that proves itself true. I just don't think it works that way.
     
  22. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    I seriously doubt that.
    I think most people do not actually sit down and have a deep hard thinking session, on a regular basis, where they would in fact decide what they think about this and that.
    Instead, I think that people generally develop their convictions in a rather erratic, unphilosophical, haphazard manner, and it is only later, when and if confronted on their convictions, that big words like "decided", "chose", "seriously contemplated" and such are used, and they have more to do with preserving self-image than with actuality.


    I think the only default in life as it is usually lived, is confusion.


    I think it rather has to do with the fact that even theists have to start somewhere, and are not pure and enlightened from one moment to the next.
    I am sure many theists will tell you that when they first started talking about God to people, they used concepts and approaches they later found to be inappropriate, even though at the time, they were sure this was the right way to talk about God.
     
  23. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

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    drumbeat,

    Elephants exist, and the colour green exits.
    That would be impressive if none of them existed.
    Of course we would have no idea what you would talking about,
    but you get my drift.

    As a sidenote, I'm not challengeing you, and i'm not trying to prove
    anything.

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    Wouldn't they more likely make romantic dramas, or action thrillers as
    that would be closer to reality?


    Whenever.
    I'll be surprised if you can.

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    jan.
     
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