If God existed, how would it be possible for us to know God?

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by Jan Ardena, Apr 17, 2009.

  1. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member


    AFAIK, no person has yet been born in a test tube.
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  3. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    AFAYK, indeed.

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    Maybe it was a "biological test-tube" - i.e. surrogacy, which was preceeded by IVF.
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  5. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    in short, something that has resources of being that greatly exceed ourselves.

    For example suppose that an ant is trying to understand its situation on a twig that is being twiddled around by a human.

    Does it face unique challenges (outside of its own intrinsic capacity of awareness) to its endeavors of investigation?
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2009
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  7. PsychoticEpisode It is very dry in here today Valued Senior Member

    Nice thinking Clueless! Since I had already established some sort of criteria for believing in God I thought it best to at least keep a modicum of consistency.

    I had a topic picked out actually, for down the road. What could God possibly do that would convince humanity that He is 100% genuine? And for that matter, for those who believe they are going to see God in the afterlife, how do they know it's Him if they do go somewhere?

    In all, it adds up to a big fat zero.... that what we know about God. Even if I was standing right beside Him and He launched a lightning bolt at me I could never be sure it was really God. No one could, including an eye witness to such an act.

    Amazing when you think of it....we can never know God but we know we could be duped into thinking we know. The only thing we could know from some sort of divine demonstration is that there is more to the universe than meets the eye.
  8. lightgigantic Banned Banned


    Feel free to indicate any claim of knowledge that doesn't have a set of assumptions at its core.

    Its more about going back to the OP and seeing whether it is a question suitably framed for a deistic conception of god.

    (Since the deistic conception of god is forever relegated to the unknowable, being an abstract term of reference as opposed to an object with "being", I would argue not. But if you disagree, now would be a good time for you to establish what parts of the OP seem pertinent to a deistic concept of god)

    hence the question what need does the OP have for your detour?

    Not really
    Actually you are just working in a paradigm that holds the linear progress of time as the ultimate cause.

    Needless to say, there is plenty of stuff out there for understanding how time is a contingent factor of god (paramatma and brahman tattva vs bhagavan tattva for instance). No doubt you will say that you don't accept it.

    But that's not the point, since the OP made a clear request to take discussions of "whether god exists" (which would include your contributions on "how" god exists) to a separate thread.
    Actually it is the very premise for this thread.

    What is irrelevant is using it as a platform for discussing the deistic concept of god (since abstractions are generally not understood to have a very meaningful expression of personal will)


    what is not clear though is how you can take this ...

    ... as an invitation to transgress this ...

    .... to bring in a deistic concept of god.

    Now would be a good time for you explain how a deistic concept of god can possess a dictate or drop the subject for some other thread.
    The point is that empiricism only grasps a very select set of phenomena
    Maybe I should explain it a different way.

    Atheists take particular joy in revealing how something that was dressed up as god (simply because it overwhelmed current understandings of the day) falls within the range of knowable laws.

    Your recipe for discerning god is not valid. It is an insurance policy for the continued humour of atheists.

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    Its not at all hard to indicate something outside of empiricism.
    One could start with your mother or father.

    Then perhaps now would be a good time to introduce the idea of a personality being the embodiment of law (such as in the case of an absolute monarchy - of course even a monarch exists within the jurisdiction of the laws of nature, but that says more about the human condition than god)
    Proof (in the sense of one's personal verification) is only one particular means to knowledge and by no means a monopoly on it.

    If we accept otherwise, we not only have the means to discredit god but also your claim that you spent time in the womb of your mother.
    I'm not sure what my ability to raise someone from the dead has to do with your lack of proof that you spent time in your mother's womb.
    that says nothing about yours however (and even then, how many births have you personally witnessed).

    In short, its obvious that you are bringing in other epistemological tools aside from proof that is capable of being asserted by yourself.
    Interestingly enough, the OP deals with this issue.

    Is it possible to know god (or alternatively display god like capacities if you like) without the dictate of god.

    You seem to be suggesting yes (with the suggestion that I establish the methodology of becoming jesus or something).

    Given your lack of evidence, anything is possible (mind you, even test tube embryos spend 99% of their time in the womb, so even if that is the case, you are still making a claim for which you have no proof)
    yet for some reason you are not at all shy to measure all things against empiricism

    I'm not sure how this makes your empiricism less narrow and shallow
    Try googling "proactive interference"

    standard arguments require standard rebuttals

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  9. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member


    I started a thread on that. Can't recall the title.
  10. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

    “ Originally Posted by Sarkus
    Maybe I was born in a test-tube: are you discriminating against such births? ”

  11. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

    Gods wors fear... that som day he will hear an unespected voice ring out:::

  12. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    Do you also bring to the table such astronomical tools of doubt in other issues?

    For instance, what could the president of america really do to convince you that he is the actual president?

    (and further more, compare this to your actual understanding of who is the president based on your own experience)

    (actually I would answer this one by saying that we determine the truth of the president by becoming familiar with the "political medium" he operates out of - IOW what it actually means to be a president, the various issues that come into play for determining who is a president etc etc - that way all I need to do is hear the final call on the election)

    Seriously, you sound like a capable guy. I think you are just taking the radical avenue of doubt for rhetorical reasons.

    (actually we have recourse to a variety of tools for determining the nature of things - given that it would take omnipotence to measure omnipotence, I think we can rule that one out)
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2009
  13. swarm Registered Senior Member


    Conceived yes, born no.
  14. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    I think there may be socio-psychological factors at work that lead to such intense doubts (basically 'blind doubt'). And then the victims of such treatment take it out on others.

    Namely, some people, in an attempt to control and manipulate other people, will say 'And if you don't believe what I say, then you are a bad person, disrespectful, judgmental and should be ashamed of yourself!' or things to that effect. It can be found both among atheists and theists, in private interpersonal issues as well as in specific discussions about religion or any other topic.

    The potency lies here in the accusation of being a 'bad person / disrespectful / judgmental' - and people generally don't want to be called that. So in an effort to avoid being called that, some accept what they were told - but grudgingly, and the actual issue at hand (the truth of what was claimed) is tried to be ignored, while underneath, it burns on, and eventually develops into blind doubt (possibly as an attempt of socio-psychological self-defense).

    For example, at least part of the Christianese I was subjected to was exactly like that: I was told some things about God and Jesus. I questioned them. The Christian didn't know or didn't want to respond to my inquiries, and instead called me foolish, disrespectful, a bad person, and of course how I will burn in hell for not believing him. I, not wanting to be called such bad things, accepted what I was told - but at the cost of my self-respect, common sense and the right to inquire. (It is a standard step in Christianity to ridicule the 'doubting Thomas'.)
    Later, I found that I engaged in blindly doubting everything I was told, by anyone - and I assume this was some kind of deranged attempt to gain back my self-respect, common sense and the right to inquire.

    Although a problem remains - What does a person do, whose self-respect, common sense and the right to inquire have been compromised like that, and who has arrived at the stage of blind doubt? It seems it requires a profound philosophical overhaul to fix the consequences of being subjected to fallacious arguments from early on.

    I think so too.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2009
  15. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    Do you understand the difference between knowledge and a mere claim of knowledge?

    I have. It makes no distinction between one conception or another.
    Any distinction you see is due to your assumptions.

    Excuse me?? Deistic God being an abstract term of reference??
    You are making further assumptions that everyone has the same understanding of these Gods as you do... which clearly is not the case given your abhorrent dismissal of Deism.

    Furthermore, since you appear to be in full agreement that the Deistic God is unknowable, couldn't you have just accepted the point at the start and moved on? It appears you argue for the sake of it.

    For the last time: because the OP did not state which concept of God - so in answering the question one covers both concepts.
    What is bugging you about this?
    Why do you continue to argue a point that you accept.

    Please can you explain what you mean... "linear progress of time as the ultimate cause"? How can time be a cause? Further, please can you actually counter the argument rather than just say "not really".

    I will say it's irrelevant to this thread - unless you care to explain why not?

    Admittance of irrelevancy?

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    Then please do. For the purposes of this thread I have been working with the assumption that God DOES exist. It is all a matter of how one can possibly KNOW God exists.
    You do realise that there is a difference between the holding the assumption of X and knowing X to be true?

    No - it's not - and you clearly do not understand the very simple logic:
    Both the deistic God and theistic God are understood as the cause of all.
    You have already dismissed the deistic God as unknowable.
    Therefore the theistic God is only knowable through what it does that is DIFFERENT to the deistic God.
    Being the cause of all is NOT a difference - and therefore is IRRELEVANT.

    Raising the concept of the Deistic God was to demonstrate how it is NOT knowable, to point this out to people, and explain the logic behind it not being knowable.
    Everything else still being discussed about it is due entirely to YOU not letting it drop.
    You have accepted the point.
    Move on.

    You have the additional annoying habit of making a claim and providing no examples or support for that claim.
    Please detail a phenomena that it doesn't grasp and then detail how you know this phenomena to exist - just so I can more clearly understand your point.

    There you go again... you state that the "recipe for discerning god is not valid" yet you provide no detail of why not etc.
    You also fail to provide a recipe that is not entirely material in nature, with entirely material results... results that, because of a current lack of understanding, is deemed to be demonstration of a God.

    Genetic testing would state otherwise.

    If you would care to actually explain why it is a good time... perhaps by providing some relevancy to the notion of being able to know God.

    And yet so far you have not provided an alternative.

    The rest of your comments regarding proof I have ommitted as being irrelevant, because you do not see the difference between something that has supporting evidence and something that does not, with scientific "proof" merely being a weight of evidence.

    I'm suggesting "no".
    If you really think I'm suggesting "yes" then you clearly are incapable of understanding flows of arguments.
    I suggest you go back and reread the thread. Maybe, one day, you'll even understand it.

    Irrelevant. You need to explain how empiricism is a "cause of truth" - which you haven't. All you are bleating on about is how empiricism can lead one to make a claim of truth.
    Spot the difference?

    :wallbang: Let me explain the English:
    You made a statement (e.g. "if you do X then Y") with a conditional clause ("If you do X"). Since X has no bearing on me, the conclusion ("Y") also has no bearing on me. And thus the statement was as relevant as mine. i.e. not.

    Which given the pages of previous threads devoted to it, and your inability to see its flaw, is thus akin to you sticking your fingers in your ear and going "Nah nah nah nah I can't hear you nah nah nah nah!" :/
  16. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Yes ...

    But when you say things such as:

    It looks like you have already figured out how knowledge (any knowledge) comes to be - and that God (the initial cause or ontological foundation of everything) plays no part in it.

    I cannot understand how there could be any knowledge without introducing issues of the initial cause or ontological foundation of everything.

    I have never personally met anyone whom I would think is happy. There are a few theists whom I know of whom I would think are happy. But the rest - atheists, many theists - strike me as unhappy.

    Actually, my understanding of 'happiness' for the greater part of my life hasn't been bound to a specific theistic viewpoint. But instead to a general impression I had of how anxious a person seems to me.

    'Challenge one's position' - for the purpose of what?
  17. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    This difference - according to what criteria for what constitutes knowledge?
  18. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    No - I'm saying that an assumption is not knowledge.
    You either assume, or you know.
    If your assumption is known, it is knowledge - not assumption.
    So the question is: if you merely make an assumption that god is the "ontological foundation..." etc, then it is irrelevant, as everything that extrapolates from that hinges on that central assumption. And until you know rather than assume, that is as far as you can go.
    If you know God is the "ontological foundation..." then it is no longer assumption and the question is 'how do you know'?

    I am unclear as to why there would need to be an initial cause, or an "ontological foundation of everything"?

    Fair enough. But then religion really has nothing to do with it? Which sort of counters your own argument, no? Or am I misunderstanding?

    For it's own purpose. For enjoyment. For curiosity. Because we can. Because of fear of the dark. For any reason at all.
    One might as well ask why we try to push the boundaries of our understanding in anything at all.
    There is no requirement to, though.
    For some, ignorance is bliss.

    Why not posit one and see where we go.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2009
  19. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    How do you know the difference between an 'assumption' and 'knowledge'?

    Well, if you believe you are floating in space, with no beginning and no end, independent, omnipotent, omniscient and self-satisfied and that this is the be-all and end-all to your existence - then I guess there is no need for an initial cause or ontological foundation of everything ...

    I think religion has everything to do with it. But religions differ very much between eachother in the practices they prescribe, and different are also the results that come from these practices.
    This difference can be recognized intuitively, without recourse to the particular religions.

    There is no requirement? How come?

    See the beginning of this post.
  20. PsychoticEpisode It is very dry in here today Valued Senior Member

    Clueless, I like your style

    Omnipotence is a knowledge claim about God and since we can't know anything about our skyward benefactor then I'm afraid its meaningless to attach such a distinguishing label to Him.
  21. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

    Mos people do but ther to shy to admit it... yep... i grow on people like a fungus... an later on you will com to love me... everbody does soomer or later

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    Id like to be a demon on the wall an witness "Gods" espression when he discovers that he has a creator... cause it woud instently cross his mind that hes gonna get screwed wit jus like he has done to the life he created... boo fuggin hoo... lol.!!!
  22. PsychoticEpisode It is very dry in here today Valued Senior Member

    Do you consider yourself a member of the human race? If so then look in the mirror to find God's creator.
  23. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

    Yes i do... in spite of the rumers you may have herd:-(

    O well... it was inevitable that "Gods" woud be created when us animals finaly evolved to a pont of bein able to contimplate such thangs.!!!

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