Proofs for the Existence of God

Existence of God: Philosophical Arguments

Almost all of the arguments ever developed for the existence of God fall into one of the following categories. Chances are, if you come across anybody proposing an argument for God, on Hub Pages, on a blog, or anywhere, it will fall under one of the following types. The details of the argument may change, but if you can understand the essential type, you will be able to understand how it works, and how the logic fails.

1. Cosmological argument

The claim: Everything has a cause, and therefore reality must have a cause. That cause is named God. God was the uncaused cause of everything, the uncreated creator.

The flaw: If everything has a cause, then God also has a cause, because God is part of everything. Therefore God cannot have been uncreated. Separately, if God is indeed uncreated, then not everything has a cause. Therefore perhaps reality itself has no cause. In other words, reality is uncreated and eternal--if it can work for God, then it can work for reality.

2. Design argument

The claim: The universe exhibits design and complexity. Things which show design must have had a designer who is even more complex. That designer is named God.

The flaw: If the universe is complex, then surely God himself is even more complex. Therefore, since everything that is complex requires a designer, God himself requires a designer, who must be even more complex than he is. However, if God was not designed, then not every complex thing requires a designer. In which case the universe does not require a designer. Once again, if it works for God, it works for the universe. In addition, the argument's second premise is incorrect: things which "show design" do not necessarily need a designer.

3. Argument from life

The claim: Life cannot arise randomly or spontaneously from inanimate matter, and yet life exists. Therefore a God was necessary to create life.

The flaw: In fact, it is possible to explain the origin of life without God, and without any supernatural force.

4. Argument from revelation

The claim: The Bible says that God exists. The Bible is the inspired word of God, therefore whatever it says must be true.

The flaw: Circularity. God exists because the Bible says so, and we should trust the Bible because it is the word of God. This argument assumes the very thing (God) we are trying to prove. The same argument and logic can be used for any text that is considered revelatory--the Quran, the Torah, the Book of Mormon, or anything else.

5. Argument from miracles

The claim: The presence of miracles points to a supernatural force or god; miracles do occur, therefore there is a supernatural force or god

The flaw: The fact that miracles exist does not prove that they were caused by God (they could have been caused by an ancestor spirit). Thus this argument commits the fallacy of begging the question--it assumes that which is to be proven.

Separately, it is impossible to prove that miracles occur because in order to prove that an event occurs, you must use the laws of nature, but miracles by definition are violations of the laws of nature.

6. Ontological argument

The claim: God, by definition, is perfect. A perfect thing, by definition, exists. Thus a nonexistent God is absurd because God, by definition as a perfect being, must exist. Logically, referring to a "nonexistent God" is analogous to referring to a "four-sided triangle." A triangle logically cannot be four-sided, and God logically cannot be nonexistent.

The flaw: Yet again, this argument assumes the very thing it seeks to prove. It first assumes that God exists, and then designates him as "perfect." The argument has the relationship between existence and perfection backwards. Perfection is a quality enjoyed only by things that exist. If God exists, then he is certainly perfect. But the argument has not demonstrated that God exists. In essence, it claims "if God exists, then God exists."

The argument treats existence as a quality of an object. According to Kant, "existence" is not a quality that a thing can either have or lack. A thing must first exist, and then, as a condition of its existence, have X or Y quality. To speak of a thing having the quality of "existing" is absurd, as only existing things can have qualities in the first place.

7. Moral argument

The claim: Morality exists. Morality's existence cannot be explained in the absence of God. Therefore God exists.

The flaw: In fact God is not needed to explain the existence of moral sentiments in people. Evolutionary, psychological, anthropological, sociological, cultural and historical explanations can be made for the existence of morality.

8. Purpose argument

The claim: Without the existence of God, people would have no reason to live or be good. Therefore there must be a God.

The flaw: This is not a proof of anything, only a wish or desire. The fact that people have no reason to live in the absence of God does not mean that God exists. Moreover, people do have many reasons to live and be good in the absence of God, as countless atheists, agnostics and secularists demonstrate.

9. Argument from faith

The claim: The existence of God cannot be proven through reason, but only through faith. The use of faith shows that there is a God, therefore God exists.

The flaw: Faith is not a reliable means for "proving" anything. The fact that the theist chooses faith as the means for proving God indicates that they are assuming (on faith) the very thing they are trying to prove. Faith, by definition, is nothing more than saying "I believe in God" which does not prove anything. The theist's faith shows there is a God, but perhaps someone else's faith shows there is not a God.

10. Argument from experience

The claim: Many people claim to have a personal experience with God, therefore God exists.

The flaw: The fact that someone claims to experience God, or feels a feeling that they call "God" does not mean that it actually was God. Feelings are frequently unreliable.

11. Pascal's wager

The claim: We have nothing to lose by believing in God, but everything to lose by not believing in God. If I believe in God but am wrong, I am not harmed. But if I do not believe in God and am wrong, I am harmed. Therefore the prudent thing to do is to believe in God.

The flaw: This is not a proof for God, but rather an encouragement for believing in God, which has nothing to do with God's actual existence.

Separately, it is prudent to believe in God only if you define God in the correct way, and pick the correct religion. Moreover, this argument assumes that God is not omniscient, because God does not know one's heart, and one's true cynical calculus.

12. Transcendental argument

The claim: Laws of logic, morality and knowledge cannot exist without God. God is the necessary, prior condition for the existence of logical, moral and natural laws, as well as the basic objective intelligibility of the universe. Such laws exist, and the universe is intelligible, therefore God exists.

The flaw: This argument is subject to a logical bind of the same structure as the cosmological and design arguments. If logic requires a designer, that designer by definition must be logical. But if the designer is logical, then who designed his logic? If, on the other hand, the designer’s logic does not require a designer, then logic does not always require a designer, and therefore the logic of the universe may have been undesigned.

Separately, this argument puts the cart before the horse. The "laws" of nature and of logic are simply human interpretations of how the world works. There is nothing in the universe written "this is the law." The conception of a "law" is entirely within our own minds.

The real question, then, is not "why does the universe operate precisely to these laws." The real question is "why are we able to measure the universe and its behavior this precisely." And the answer to that should be obvious. The fact that we are able to imagine a universe with slightly different laws is irrelevant. Nobody argues that "the fact that we are able to imagine a unicorn existing requires us to explain why no unicorns exist in this universe."

Conclusions

These are extremely brief summaries of each of the main arguments for God. Again, almost all arguments for God fall under one of these categories. There has never been a reliable, logically coherent argument presented for the existence of God, in all of human history.

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Comments 198 comments

The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 6 years ago from Austin, Texas

I don't believe or disbelieve in God. I just don't really know. I've heard many atheists discuss the idea that the choice of heaven or hell is actually no choice at all; that it is not a sign of free-will... well, I've seen many people make bad choices with almost guaranteed immediate negative results but they do it anyway. I've also heard that the death penalty is not a deterrant for killing someone. So the choice of heaven or hell with delayed recourse is something that is normal in keeping with other choices we make. It seems we have free-will to make good or bad choices every day and many among us make those bad choices...

But that doesn't mean there is a God....


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 6 years ago from New York City Author

Thanks for visiting, Suburban Poet. I too have not been particularly impressed by the "free will" arguments against God. In my view, the abject logical inadequacy of the arguments in favor of God are more than enough to compel disbelief.


White Horse 6 years ago

Be a good boy just in case!


AKA Winston 6 years ago

Nice job of describing succinctly the arguments and their flaws. I am especially impressed you understand the ontological argument can at best express that IF God exists, God exists. Not many seem to understand the tautologous nature of the ontological argument.

The real issue is as Kant states. The theist debater (like Plantinga) tries to get over this hurdle by introducing Modal properties, but as the intitial premise (it is possible that...) is a contingent proposition, it is impossible to use the Modal property of necessarily the case.

Try as he may, the ontological arguer cannot get rid of the "If".


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 6 years ago from Austin, Texas

If you can believe an explosion from nothing set in motion your ability to reason away God then......


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 6 years ago from New York City Author

White Horse:

Thanks for coming. Ah, good old Pascal's Wager--I refer you to number 11 in the article. You don't assume God is that stupid do you? :)

AKA Winston:

Thank you. The ontological argument is one of the most rhetorically sophisticated of the arguments, so it can be difficult for some people to penetrate it.

Suburban Poet:

Nobody believes something can come from nothing. This is a common misreading of the Big Bang idea among theists.


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 6 years ago from Austin, Texas

So something has always existed I guess.... but how sure some folks are about these things... I'm not...


AKA Winston 6 years ago

(So something has always existed I guess)

The Suburban Poet,

That is exactly right. There is no other rational conclusion. There is a mystical conclusion, but that puts us at the same intellectual level as the ancients who thought the sun was dragged across the sky by celestial horses.

No one can "know for sure". The best we as humans can accomplish is a rational explanation that describes the most likely natural possibility. Anything other than that is voodoo.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 6 years ago from New York City Author

Suburban Poet,

I would just add this: If you are aware of a better explanation for the origin of the universe, that is more logically sound and/or supported by more evidentiary observation, I would love to hear it.

For a while there during the 20th century, the Big Bang seemed to be a godsend for the theists (no pun intended), but more recently quantum physics seems to be pointing in the direction of an eternal reality. I absolutely agree we should always keep an open mind to new ideas and new evidence, though.


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 6 years ago from Austin, Texas

AKA Winston and secularist10,

Alas I am not aware of a better explanation... I appreciate your rational and down to earth responses as I recoil from arrogance and certainty in these matters.

I admit though to be shackled by the need for a beginning and an end in my thought process. The idea of "always being there" seems as fantastical as a God and a bang out of nothingness.

In short; it blows my mind...


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 6 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

Good list S10, I think you've got it!


AKA Winston 6 years ago

(I admit though to be shackled by the need for a beginning and an end in my thought process.)

The Suburban Poet,

I tip my hat to you, sir. Few seem able to admit to human foibles. I am no different - also a human - maybe I have simply had more time than you to grow accustomed to the idea of eternal matter.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 6 years ago from New York City Author

Suburban Poet, yes, there is so much of reality that seems bizarre to our minds, because our minds developed in a very tiny corner of reality. Take black holes for example--the very concept is practically incomprehensible, and yet, there they are. And there are countless more.

Austinstar, thank you very much. I'm glad you like it.


f_hruz profile image

f_hruz 6 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Solid arguments in support of rational thought! God exists because the word 'god' exists. The real problem is the lost human potential wich never gets developed by people who will wait all their life for a sign from god to show them the way.

The global mental capacity inflicted by religious irrationality is a major drag on the world economy. Will the US Dollar regain value just because it has written on it "In god we trust!"? ... :)


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 6 years ago from Austin, Texas

AKA.... I can admit it... very easily... it's not so much a humble nature but I do know my limitations... I'm willing to consider anything that is well thought out...

Secularist - no doubt....


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 6 years ago from New York City Author

f_hruz, thank you! Ha, maybe if we add more godly motifs to the currency, you know like the 10 commandments, a nativity scene instead of Washington's face, etc. I'm sure that will turn things around.

I certainly agree that religious thinking has a largely negative effect on human knowledge and wisdom. In my view, that is probably its biggest negative effect.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 6 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

{The real problem is the lost human potential wich never gets developed by people who will wait all their life for a sign from god to show them the way}

Or they have to have the latest fashion to feel good about themselves. Or they have to buy the most expensive wine to be able to enjoy it. Or they have to meet the right somebody before they ever validate themselves worthy. Or they have to belong to the "best" club.

I say, if you're never happy with what you are and what you have, then you're never happy.


Jock-E 6 years ago from Finland

Great hub on a diffucult subject.

I've always found the morality argument laughable. Moral is not something that people born with, it's something we learn and form ourselves. Otherwise everybody would share the exact same moral and there wouldn't be any moral issues. For example feral children don't have the same moral as other people.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 6 years ago from New York City Author

Jock-E, thank you very much. The idea that morality requires God, or religion in general, has always struck me as quite bizarre, when there are so many examples of people, institutions and societies that are moral without any such beliefs. It is indeed a very odd argument for God.


Maleficus Luminos profile image

Maleficus Luminos 6 years ago from Minneapolis

Amazing summation, im very impressed with your writing and analysis.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 6 years ago from New York City Author

Maleficus--welcome to Hub Pages and thank you very much!


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 6 years ago from South Africa

This is a great compendium of the "proofs" - very useful to have all in one place!

Thanks very much.

Love and peace

Tony


kfassett profile image

kfassett 6 years ago

Very thoughtful analysis. My personal favorite is the argument from experience. I know that I can't really understand the magnitude of religious experience as evidence unless I've had it, but it still sounds like such hooey. "I don't care what you say, na na na, I know the truth and you don't."


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 6 years ago from New York City Author

Tony:

You are very welcome. Thanks for visiting! I hope it serves the Hub Pages community well.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 6 years ago from New York City Author

Kfassett:

I know what you mean. I've encountered this argument more times than seems reasonable. The cocksure superiority complex is astounding, given the extraordinarily flimsy nature of the claims being made.

I always find it interesting that a given religious person will dismiss out of hand the "experiences" of someone from another religion, whilst nevertheless offering the same basic argument for their own beliefs. Extraordinary.

Thanks very much for your comment!


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 6 years ago from Canada

My ontological argument is not from perfection as Anselm, and Descartes was. My argument is from the the perspective of existence and it is much simpler to follow.

1: Existence is a fact. (anyone not agree with that?)

2: Were there ever a time that existence in some capacity was not a fact, nothing could or would now exit.

3: Therefore, existence in some form has always been a fact.

4: What ever has always existed, by default, must be creative. Were it not creative, we would not exist.

5: A creative process or god as defined as that which produced us, is then a fact.

In theological terms this is proof a god exists. But the formula does not prove the god is intelligent let alone conscious, nor does it prove it isn’t.

This leaves two main choices brought about by the fact that we now have an alternative to the theological view in the form of science philosophy.

With the laws of thermodynamics it becomes clear that the only thing that qualifies as always existing in one form or other, is energy.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 6 years ago from New York City Author

Slarty:

Thanks for visiting. Forgive me, but I fail to see how this proves the existence of God. You said "in theological terms this is proof a god exists." By that do you mean that this legitimates god for someone who already believes in him? Because barring a preexisting belief in God, I don't see how this argument would "prove it" per se.

I will take issue with #1. I understand where you are going with the statement "existence is a fact," however the problem that I see with this is that you are making the same essential error as I pointed out in the article: couching existence in terms of something else. The example in the article was flawed because it treated existence as a quality of an object. Your error is different, but on the same wavelength: existence is a fact.

Both views of "existence" are flawed because existence "is" not anything else. Existence cannot be defined in terms of something else, because of the nature of existence. So whether I call existence a "fact" or a "quality" or an "idea" or whatever, I am committing a grave definitional error.

The error is seen when I try to then define the word "fact" or "quality" or "idea." I have only 2 options: I must define it in terms of something else, or I must accept it as a self-evident truth. But either way, you will note, I am assuming it exists! Thus this is a form of circular reasoning: What is existence? It is a fact. What is a fact? It is something that exists. Circular.

To "exist" means "to be" and therefore the only thing we can say about existence is that "existence is." We must take it as self-evident.

The problem with #1 thus feeds over into #2 when you say "Were there ever a time that existence... was not a fact, nothing could or would now [exist]."

You continue the same error here by thinking of existence in reference to something else. In this case, existence is thought of in terms of "time." The statement makes no sense because to say "if at time A existence were not a reality..." you must assume that time A exists, i.e. that time exists, in which case existence exists.

The larger point I am trying to make, I suppose, is that it is impossible to imagine total nonexistence--a state where nothing exists [Note that a state where nothing exists is a state, and that state exists!]. This logical reality negates points #1, #2 and #3. The best we can say is "existence is" or "existence exists."

#4--yes.

#5--yes.

Whatever created us exists. Makes sense. Seems pretty obvious and not a particularly groundbreaking revelation. I note you suddenly insert the word "god" in #5. Why? Is this not the very thing you are trying to prove?

"5: A creative process or god as defined as that which produced us, is then a fact."

This makes sense if you are willing to define "god" as, say, evolution and natural selection. In which case god created us, where god is defined as evolution.

But you are simply saying here the following: we exist, therefore whatever created us exists, and whatever created us--I call that god.

These are the main problems with your argument. There is another smaller problem between #4 and #5: You are assuming that whatever created us has ALWAYS existed. Or, alternatively, you are assuming that whatever has ALWAYS existed, created us. This is of course a non-squitur because there is no reason to think that the thing that has always existed was the specific thing that created us, or that whatever created us has always existed.

Your third-to-last paragraph makes me wonder exactly what you define "god" as? Is it simply what I indicated above--god is simply defined as whatever created us? Because of course that is not how god is defined by most religions or theistic belief systems--god has many other qualities as well.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 6 years ago from Canada

secularist10 said:

(“Thanks for visiting. Forgive me, but I fail to see how this proves the existence of God. You said "in theological terms this is proof a god exists." By that do you mean that this legitimates god for someone who already believes in him? Because barring a preexisting belief in God, I don't see how this argument would "prove it" per se.”)

For centuries people have been trying to prove the existence of their god. As you know Anselm tried doing it from the idea of perfection. You can certainly poke holes in that argument without a problem. But what is it they were really trying to prove? They were trying to show a rational reason for believing what they did. They were aware there was no real physical evidence for their beliefs but the Catholic Church wanted to be seen as rational and so they started with, I think, Augustine; trying to show other religions as fantasy and theirs as based firmly in reality.

From this attempt came Aquinas and his proofs for god which are essentially the argument of the first mover. He did a not bad job in his rational proofs but they all assume a conscious god.

The ontological argument I put forth is evidence through rational thought, not a physical proof. And it is based on a much simpler premise which can be agreed to by almost everyone.

A theist could use it to give evidence for their god, but as I have indicated this is evidence of a creative process, which is what most theists define as god.

(“. The example in the article was flawed because it treated existence as a quality of an object. Your error is different, but on the same wavelength: existence is a fact.”)

I fail to see how, assuming you are correct that existence can not be a quality, that I have as yet treated it as anything. I said it is a fact. Being a fact doesn’t add or subtract from it. It merely states that existence is a fact. Do you disagree that you exist?

(“Both views of "existence" are flawed because existence "is" not anything else. Existence cannot be defined in terms of something else, because of the nature of existence.”)

What is the nature of existence? If you define that it seems to me you define existence by its nature and then you break your own rule. But we can do little else. Language is not exact and we can seldom talk directly about anything. If you ask what something is, the only thing anyone will ever be able to tell you is what it does or what its attributes are.

(“ So whether I call existence a "fact" or a "quality" or an "idea" or whatever, I am committing a grave definitional error.”)

Can you give me a rational reason why you believe this? I can see it as many things. It is a fact and it is an idea. It is a quality. You are a human but you are also a collection of cells and atoms. You are a father perhaps and a husband. Everything is many things. If you say existence is a fact, however, that does not constitute a definition of the word existence. It is rather a statement about the state of existence. You exist is a statement of fact. Things that exist interact in the real world. So proof that you exist is in the fact that something wrote to me. What you are is perhaps up for debate. You could be an AI bot. But what ever you are the proof that you exist in some form is in the fact that you interact.

(“The error is seen when I try to then define the word "fact" or "quality" or "idea." I have only 2 options: I must define it in terms of something else, or I must accept it as a self-evident truth. But either way, you will note, I am assuming it exists! Thus this is a form of circular reasoning: What is existence? It is a fact. What is a fact? It is something that exists. Circular.”)

Saying existence is a fact is not saying anything about what existence is. It just tells you there is such a thing as opposed to it’s all a bunch of bull. Again, proof something exists is in the fact that it interacts in some way with the universe. A thing which does not exist can not interact with anything. Physical things exist. Imaginary things do not. Ideas do not exist as the real or imaginary things they represent. They exist only as physical patterns in the brain that represent real or imagined things. A fact is not something that exists. A fact is a statement about the truth or falseness of a claim. The claim that we exist is demonstrable fact.

(“To "exist" means "to be" and therefore the only thing we can say about existence is that "existence is." We must take it as self-evident.”)

I do. It is. Therefore it is a fact. If it is self evident then it is a fact. That is a definition of the word fact: Something which is self evident.

“The problem with #1 thus feeds over into #2 when you say "Were there ever a time that existence... was not a fact, nothing could or would now [exist]."

(“You continue the same error here by thinking of existence in reference to something else. In this case, existence is thought of in terms of "time." The statement makes no sense because to say "if at time A existence were not a reality..." you must assume that time A exists, i.e. that time exists, in which case existence exists.”)

Not at all. It’s perfectly alright for me to imagine a universe in which no object exists. What I am saying is that such a state can not exist in this universe now nor could it ever have existed in the past because you can’t create something from nothing. Nothing is not in and of itself a state. It is the absence of a state. It can also be said to be the absence of all objects. Or we can use it provisionally where it means the absence of specific things. Like we can say the bowl of chips is empty. There is nothing in the bowl. But in fact the bowl has air in it and probably crumbs so it is not entirely empty. It has no chips in it. So in that case “nothing” is the absence of chips. You are not defining the chips you are saying something about their presence or absence.

I’m saying that since a state of nothing is impossible at any point in time, a state of something has always existed. It’s a tautology, if anything. It has nothing to do with time. That’s just a way of talking about it with imperfect language. It gets the point across which is what communication is all about, right?

I could have said that since a state of nothingness is impossible because there is a state of something, a state of something has always existed. But it is exactly the same thing.

(“The larger point I am trying to make, I suppose, is that it is impossible to imagine total nonexistence--a state where nothing exists [Note that a state where nothing exists is a state, and that state exists!]. This logical reality negates points #1, #2 and #3. The best we can say is "existence is" or "existence exists.")

Right. It is difficult which is why we have to define what nothing is in relative terms. Nothing is relative to the absence of objects. Nothing in the bowl is a statement about the absence of specific things in the bowl. Or the absence of all things. Nothing is not a state and does not exist. It only exists in reference to the absence of things that do. Any other use of the word is rubbish.

(“Whatever created us exists. Makes sense. Seems pretty obvious and not a particularly groundbreaking >revelation. I note you suddenly insert the word "god" in #5. Why? Is this not the very thing you are >trying to prove?”)

No. Just that the concept of god is defined as that which created us by people who believe in creation, as opposed to how I think it probably works which is through a creative process.

"5: A creative process or god as defined as that which produced us, is then a fact."

(“This makes sense if you are willing to define "god" as, say, evolution and natural selection. In which case god created us, where god is defined as evolution.”)

Exactly. If you notice I did say that the formula proved the existence of what theists call god if they define god as that which created/produced us. But it does not prove that god is a being nor does prove it is conscious or separate from the universe.

Because science does show that nature itself can be seen as the creative force and no outside being is required, we have a vi


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 6 years ago from Canada

Because science does show that nature itself can be seen as the creative force and no outside being is required, we have a viable alternative to the theistic model while at the same time satisfying all of the theistic model’s requirements. Not that we had to. It just works out that way, which is rather interesting to me.

(“But you are simply saying here the following: we exist, therefore whatever created us exists, and whatever created us--I call that god.”)

No. I’m saying that’s what people call god. By and large you can go to any religion and ask what the fundamental principals are behind how they define their god. Most if not all will mention that that their god is responsible for our existence. So most if not all religions, while they will argue even among themselves about the attributes of this god of theirs, they all agree it is the “creator”. The notable exceptions are some pagan sects that don’t necessarily think the gods had anything to do with the ”wheel of life”.

What I am saying is that the process of existence has all the attributes of what all these religions call god.

(“:These are the main problems with your argument. There is another smaller problem between #4 and #5: You are assuming that whatever created us has ALWAYS existed. Or, alternatively, you are assuming that whatever has ALWAYS existed, created us. This is of course a non-squitur because there is no reason to think that the thing that has always existed was the specific thing that created us, or that whatever created us has always existed.”)

Something has always existed. We can agree on that. If that were not the case nothing would now exist. So whether it is that which has always existed which is directly or indirectly responsible for our existence is irrelevant. In other words, in old religions often the gods that created man kind were not the first god or the head god or the one that created the gods. But since those original gods created other lesser gods and those gods created us, there is a line of responsibility. So even if what ever has always existed did not directly produce us we can safely say we are an emergent property of it. Why? Because we exist. If we did not emerge from it in some way we wouldn’t. You can’t get something from nothing. Right?

In real terms we are an emergent property of energy. Energy can not be destroyed and it can not be created so it is in effect eternal. Even the Big Bang doesn’t postulate something from nothing. And I am not saying the Big Bang is a fact, only that even in that model, energy exists if as nothing else, then as potential. We can get into this argument if you like but in fact, when scientists say nothing, they do not mean nothing. To them it Is a mathematical term. References on this fact are to be found in the theory of quantum fluctuation. Space looks empty, and it is void of all things. But it is seething at the quantum level. I am not here to argue the specifics of all that, however. I am making no claims to the accuracy of today’s physics. Penrose recently came up with an entirely different interpretation of the big bang. It’s really too early to put your money on any interpretation.

My point though, is that no theory really postulates something from nothing and to do so would be absurd. So something has got to have always existed in one form or other. The best candidate right now is energy.

(“Your third-to-last paragraph makes me wonder exactly what you define "god" as? Is it simply what I indicated above--god is simply defined as whatever created us? Because of course that is not how god is defined by most religions or theistic belief systems--god has many other qualities as well.”)

Right. Well I was just breaking it down to one quality we could all agree on was one of the major aspects of everyone’s definition for god. Or as close as anyone can get to everyone’s definition of anything. It is certainly a main aspect of all the Judaeo Christian family of religions. And as I say except for some pagan religions I can’t think of a theistic religion that doesn’t hold it as one of their main tenets. Can you?


Timothy Hurford profile image

Timothy Hurford 6 years ago from Bristol UK

I can't believe in atheism because that's like saying if you throw all the junk over the wall, in a million years it will have assembled itself into a computer connected to the net. I can't believe in God either because it's the most ultimate paranoid conspiracy theory I can think of. Much better to start thinking about the intelligent nature of the fabric of reality. A kind of scientific approach to transcending our normal modes of thought and understanding I reckon is needed by us human folk :)


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 6 years ago from New York City Author

Slarty:

I'm back. Ok, back to business here. You said:

"... this is evidence of a creative process, which is what most theists define as god."

Well, actually the evidence of a creative process is empirically verifiable, that is it can be observed. The movements of the stars, the elements, evolution, etc. As an aside, if I were living hundreds of years ago before any of these things had been discovered (in other words, no empirical observations, just rationalism), I think I would have offered the possibility that perhaps humans have always existed, in which case a creative process would not have been necessary to explain human existence. So in the absence of the observations we have, that is a viable idea.

But more importantly, most theists do not define god as a creative process. Most theists define god as a *creator.* It is a being that creates, not a process that creates. There is a definite consciousness and intelligence implied by a creator. God is also defined to have many other qualities such as a supernatural presence (i.e. existing outside of the universe/ reality), eternal or immortal, having a plan, etc. No matter what the particular belief system, "god" always has a number of specific traits.

"I said it [existence] is a fact."

And what is a fact? A fact is something that exists. Thus this is circular. Existence--> Fact--> Existence. "Existence" is defined in terms of "fact" and "fact" is defined in terms of "existence." As I said, the best we can do is simply say existence is.

"What is the nature of existence? If you define that it seems to me you define existence by its nature and then you break your own rule."

What is the nature of existence--I just said, existence is. It is self-evident, self-defining, self-creating, self-justifying, or however you want to think of it. It is determined by itself, not by something else.

My "rule" is to not define existence in terms of something else. I have no rule against defining existence in terms of itself--indeed that is what I am arguing for.

My point is that existence encompasses everything else, including facts. So either the category "fact" includes existence, or the category "existing things" includes facts. I opt for the latter.

But as I said at the top, I get where you are going when you say "existence is a fact." You mean to say "existence is." You also indicate that existence=fact, which is an entirely legitimate definition of those terms. In which case, to say "existence is a fact" and "existence is" are to say the exact same thing.

"A fact is not something that exists. A fact is a statement about the truth or falseness of a claim."

Well, of course facts exist! A fact is a statement, and the statement exists. If the statement did not exist, then how could you say it or realize it? lol. I could do this all day, but let's return more to the substance at hand, shall we.

"we have a viable alternative to the theistic model while at the same time satisfying all of the theistic model’s requirements."

No, because again theism requires a lot more than just a nebulous creative force of some kind. This is why so many devout theists are so uncomfortable with the concept of evolution, for example. Evolution is definitely a creative force--yet many don't want to accept it because it is a creative force that does not share God's other qualities--consciousness, purpose, rationality, timelessness (i.e. no beginning and no end), omnipotence, etc.

Evolution's conflict with the book of Genesis is the start of the resistance, of course, but it also strikes at the heart of much of theism, primarily in the form of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, as well as other belief systems.

"So most if not all religions, while they will argue even among themselves about the attributes of this god of theirs, they all agree it is the “creator”."

Yes but the same could be said for the supernatural quality: they all agree it is supernatural in character. Yet simply referring to a "creative process" does not in any way specify a supernatural process--it could be a natural process. To say nothing of god's other qualities.

So, yes, while I agree that something has always existed, I disagree with your conception of "god," as it applies to most theistic belief systems. For example, Wikipedia defines "theism" at the most rudimentary level as the belief that at least one deity exists. A "deity," in turn, it defines as a supernatural being.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theism

But of course theism can be easily defined in a more extended manner. There's a lot more to it than creation.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 6 years ago from New York City Author

Timothy:

"I can't believe in atheism because that's like saying if you throw all the junk over the wall, in a million years it will have assembled itself into a computer connected to the net."

Haha! Thanks for visiting, but... what?

What on earth does atheism have to do with junk over a wall?

Atheism can be defined as lack of belief in a god, or active belief that there is no god. Either way, I don't see what junk, a wall and a million year computer have to do with it! LOL


James Phelps profile image

James Phelps 6 years ago from Oregon

Let us first be clear what an Atheist and Agnostic is...

Atheist - Someone who denies the existence of god

Agnostic - A. One who believes that it is impossible to know whether there is a God. B. One who is skeptical about the existence of God but does not profess true atheism.

This being true, it is as fair to conclude that the 'christian' or 'god-believer' will make certain assumptions to support their position as well as the Atheist and Agnostic.

Although I find it easier and logical to stand behind your position, I can't help but sense some underlying unspoken motivation besides simply being an Atheist or an Agnostic. You are trying so hard to clarify your position that one could wonder who you are trying to persuade...others or yourself!


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 6 years ago from New York City Author

Welcome, James.

I suppose I am trying to persuade both others and myself. I am always interested in ideas, arguments and theories about these kinds of questions. So, yes, I am constantly open-minded and always ready for a new intellectual challenge, including from my own doubts. I like to think that being critical of one's own beliefs is essential to true knowledge.

Now, you said:

"it is as fair to conclude that the 'christian' or 'god-believer' will make certain assumptions to support their position as well as the Atheist and Agnostic."

This is true, everyone makes assumptions. But the key question is, whose assumptions are better? I submit it is the agnostic/ atheist position that is superior to the theistic one, on purely logical and rational grounds.


James Phelps profile image

James Phelps 6 years ago from Oregon

Here is a point of interest for you...

If you could prove that God doesn't exist and can't possibly exist scientifically, you would get a Nobel price! And so is anyone who could prove that the Theory of Evolution is true scientifically, or that the existence of God is true scientifically, or prove scientifically that the world, as we know it now, is ONLY 4-dimensional (Time being the 4th dimension).

Just a thought!


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 6 years ago from New York City Author

James, proving a negative is of course impossible. I would get a Nobel Prize (or similar recognition) if I could somehow demonstrate that it was logically possible to prove a negative--THAT would be noteworthy.

Not sure what you are referring to, but the theory of evolution is true scientifically, and has been demonstrated and legitimated scientifically many times over.

In any case, the article demonstrates that so far "proving that God exists" has been an impossible task, scientifically as well as logically. That is more than sufficient for assuming that god does not exist, just as the lack of legitimate evidence for Big Foot alone is sufficient for assuming that Big Foot does not exist.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 6 years ago from Canada

@James Phelps

Hi James. just a couple things. Atheism does not mean denying the existence of god. It means lacking belief a god exists.

There is a very big difference. You have that belief. I lack it. Since I can not prove a god does not exist, to say that none exist would be just speculation. Lacking belief is not speculation. I'm not saying no god exists because how can you know? Even you can't know that one does exist. So you believe in it, I lack that belief.

Belief in a god is speculation. I do not make that speculation, and I certainly do not take speculation as fact.

While I cannot prove no god exists, I can show logically that the Christian god as it is portrayed in the bible can not be real. I'll being a hub on it.

I can also give scientific evidence to suggest that no god is required. So while a god may still exist, if it is not required there is not much reason to think there is one without evidence.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 6 years ago from Canada

@secularist10

"But as I said at the top, I get where you are going when you say "existence is a fact." You mean to say "existence is." You also indicate that existence=fact, which is an entirely legitimate definition of those terms. In which case, to say "existence is a fact" and "existence is" are to say the exact same thing."

I think we agree. But if as you say existence is, then saying existence exists should be ok. So saying existence is a fact is just saying existence exists. I don't see a problem. When you say existence is a fact you aren't defining it by anything else.

"Well, of course facts exist! A fact is a statement, and the statement exists. If the statement did not exist, then how could you say it or realize it? lol. "

Well not exactly. To exist is to be an object or a "physical thing." A fact does not exist in and of itself. It is an idea or concept about something which does exist as a real thing. A fact does not exist in a vacuum, in other words. It is only a term used to describe the state of something.

You can think of a lot of things that do not exist. God's for instance. A horse with a human head. A statement is not a thing so it does not exist any more than a dog with a mouse for a nose exists.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 6 years ago from Canada

@secularist10

Let me clarify. Nothing unreal exists. Real things are objects. Physical things. Imagination can be about real or unreal things. Concepts are related to imagination. Again, they can be about real or unreal things. But concepts do not exist. They are imaginary. The only way you might say they exist are as physical patterns in the brain that are passed on to other brains through speech or reading, etc. But other than physical patterns concepts and imagination are not real things.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 6 years ago from Canada

@secularist10

"No, because again theism requires a lot more than just a nebulous creative force of some kind. This is why so many devout theists are so uncomfortable with the concept of evolution, for example. Evolution is definitely a creative force--yet many don't want to accept it because it is a creative force that does not share God's other qualities--consciousness, purpose, rationality, timelessness (i.e. no beginning and no end), omnipotence, etc."

Well when I said my ontology satisfied all the theistic arguments I meant the main arguments put forth by people like Aquinas for the necessity of god: The first mover, the uncreated thing that has always been,the fact that you can't get something from nothing.

I wasn't talking about gods attributes and qualities. As I said I can show that most of the Christian gods supposed qualities are impossible and will be creating a hub about it.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 6 years ago from New York City Author

Slarty:

Regarding facts, yes, that is what I am referring to. Facts, concepts, images, ideas, theories--all of these things exist. They exist as electrical signals in the brain of a person or multiple people.

The problem that I have with people referring to imagination or concepts as "not being real things" is the definition of the word "real." It's all well and good to say that "I imagine a unicorn, but the unicorn does not really exist." Ok, fine. The unicorn does not exist, but clearly, your idea of a unicorn DOES exist, otherwise you would not have it.

So although the idea happens to be hidden inside your brain, so it cannot be directly and immediately picked up by any of the 5 senses, nevertheless that idea, as an idea, is just as "real" as a physical object like a table. I prefer to think of real and unreal things as those things either existing or not existing. The table exists, the idea of God exists, God himself does not actually exist (at least that is what we assume).

Another example is that the idea of relativity did not exist for thousands of years, until Einstein came along. Then that idea began to exist. The truth or falsity of relativity itself is irrelevant--the idea exists in the minds of people. If did not exist, then one must explain the mountains of literature that have been written about it in the last 100 years.

When we go on an archaeological dig, we might find stone tablets and works of art depicting sacrifices to some ancient pagan gods. These gods in reality do not exist, but clearly the idea of these gods, or the belief of them, DID exist, otherwise these ancient people would not have created these things.

"Well when I said my ontology satisfied all the theistic arguments I meant the main arguments put forth by people like Aquinas for the necessity of god"

Ok, but those arguments have always been incomplete. For example, suppose there is an unmoved mover--a being that has always existed and created the first "move." If this is true, it does not follow that that being created everything (he could have created some stuff, and the rest of the stuff arose naturally from the first stuff), it does not follow that he is intelligent, that he is conscious, that he has a plan, etc.

As you have indicated, one can imagine that "there is a creative force" in the universe, yet that creative force is a natural one, not a supernatural one, rendering it not God by default (because God is defined as supernatural).

So my point is (and this has nothing to do with you) that with so many qualities and attributes of god, it is impossible to prove that he exists. Even if somehow one could prove that one of his qualities exist--such as omniscience, which cannot be done--that says nothing about his multitude of other qualities.

"I wasn't talking about gods attributes and qualities."

I think you mean to say "I wasn't talking about God's OTHER attributes," because being the creator of everything is clearly a quality of God, one among many.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 6 years ago from Canada

@secularist10

Again, I don't think we really disagree very much if at all on most of this. I did indicate that we could say ideas exist as real patterns in the brain that we might see, as you say, as electrical signals.

So we aren't far off on that. We agree that they can be about real or unreal things. But ideas are not objects so they don't exist in that sense.

As for why nature could be considered a god, well you say they have to be supernatural. But that's really a subjective idea. There are religions such as Pantheism that do see nature or the process of existence as the same thing as god. It equals what theists call god. It has all the meaningful attributes of any god. It produced us, it nurtures us in that if it didn't we would not be here, it has rules that must be followed as in cause and effect. If you know what cause and effect is then you can use it to get what you want, just like theists believe if you get "right" with god you can get things done. It is eternal: always was and always will be in one form or other. But it is not conscious and it isn't worshipped.

You can say it is god and you can say it isn't. It doesn't matter.

I mean, what is a god? Can we really define it? So many religions define it in so many different ways.

In Pantheism it is a matter of individual preference. Some call the totality of existence god and some don't. But they all understand that it meets the requirements of almost all gods except that it is not separate, not conscious and not supernatural. Some gods are not separate form creation. Some are not omnipotent. If you are talking about all 4000 plus gods man kind has worshipped or believed exist then you get a lot of different definitions.

Pantheists would say that when theists talk about god they are really talking about the process of existence, but they are adding a bunch of speculative attributes to it as well as anthropomorphizing it.

All the things Christians say about their god above and beyond that it produced us, is speculation. They can not know that it is omnipotent or perfect or all knowing or any of those kinds of attributes.

As I said before, if you consider the one thing all religions have in common it is that god is that which created or produced us. There is nothing written in stone that says it has to be conscious or supernatural.

Why judge all religions by Christianities standards?

Do you see what I mean?


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 6 years ago from New York City Author

Slarty:

"Why judge all religions by Christianities standards?"

But I'm not. I think I'm using a pretty common definition of the word "God" here. It is the conception used by Judaism, Christianity, Islam, much of Hinduism, and many African traditional religions, and smaller religions like Sikhism. So we're probably talking about something on the order of 3/4 of humanity, and a wide variety of beliefs.

God under these faiths is defined as a conscious eternal supreme being, the creator of everything. The Abrahamic faiths (as well as some other non-Abrahamic ones) add onto that, saying that God has a plan, he has infinite knowledge, infinite love, infinite power.

So this is by no means unique to Christianity. What is unique to Christianity are things like the Trinity, Jesus as the son of God, a specific conception of heaven and hell (differing from Islam, the only other religion with the idea of heaven and hell), the concept of salvation through Jesus, etc.

Regarding pantheism, you said: "But they all [pantheists] understand that it meets the requirements of almost all gods except that it is not separate, not conscious and not supernatural"

Well, then that ain't God! From most theists' perspective, this statement is like saying "this machine meets all the requirements of a car, except that it only has 2 wheels, it's made of aluminum foil, it has no engine and no way to operate it."

According to the traditional theistic religions, if it isn't separate, conscious and supernatural, it just isn't God.

Theism can entail many different things, but it always involves the supernatural. Even some forms of pantheism involve the supernatural as they imbue nature with a supernatural/ spiritual quality.

Of course "god" can be defined in any number of ways. I can define my cat as god (similar to the ancient Egyptians)--she is personal (rewards or punishes me depending on my actions), seemingly omniscient (knows everything that's going on), omnipotent (she can get me to do anything) and supernatural (just look into a cat's eyes). So, voila, I have a new god to worship. Alternatively, this description could apply to my girlfriend--perhaps my girlfriend is essentially my "god"?

And so on and so forth.

But I am working with the mainstream theistic conception of God, because that is what most people think of when they hear the word "God." If I wanted to use a different definition, then I would need to specify that.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 6 years ago from Canada

True most religions believe in a supernatural god. Actually Judaism, Islam and Christianity worship the same god so they count as one together. In Hinduism you are god's dream. But like I said, it is not written in stone that a god must be supernatural. Many in the past have not been. Just because the Jewish version is doing well these days doesn't make it the standard. The average life of a religion is 2000 to 4000 years. Like so many before it, it will likely fade away. It is already in decline. Islam is the youngest of the three and still has a way to go before the sun sets on it. But the other two are well on their way.

Perhaps not in the US. But in most of the rest of the world it isn't nearly as big a deal as it once was.

The sun has been a god more than once. You are right that anything can be a god if you say it is. But lovely as your girlfriend goddess might be, she didn't create the world. Like I said, all religions have that one thing in common even if not much else. So nature = god is not a big departure even if it isn't supernatural. It's been done before. At least the pantheist can prove their god exists and created all things.

In the end I think we have to realize that religion is complicated. I wish it was more cut and dried. It would be easier to combat. But it is very personal for people. So to me, if pantheists say pantheism is a religion then it is.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 6 years ago from New York City Author

"Actually Judaism, Islam and Christianity worship the same god so they count as one together."

Haha, whoa! Not so fast there, my friend. They are 3 different religions, not one. And actually, they all worship the same God in only a very general sense. Christianity says that God has taken human form, in the form of Jesus. Islam says that God has no human qualities at all, and therefore cannot have a "son." Those are two notably different conceptions of God and, really, at the end of the day, they are irreconcilable, though they may have common historical roots. There are also some important differences between the Jewish conception of God and the Christian one, again largely centered on Jesus Christ.

"But like I said, it is not written in stone that a god must be supernatural."

Well, of course it isn't. It isn't written in stone that god even exists, so I'm not quite sure what you're trying to get at here. The purpose of this hub is to discuss God, as God is conceived. Whether anything is "written in stone" hardly seems relevant, I must say.

"Just because the Jewish version is doing well these days doesn't make it the standard."

Well, actually, it does in a way. Because that is how language works. The fact is that "God" in our language has come to mean a specific idea. If I wanted to discuss another conception of God, then I would have made that clear, and defined it accordingly. But everybody knows what the mainstream popular conception of God is.

"Like I said, all religions have that one thing in common even if not much else. So nature = god is not a big departure even if it isn't supernatural."

It is a departure from the normal colloquial definition of god.

"At least the pantheist can prove their god exists and created all things."

Actually, that's not exactly true. Some pantheists can prove their god exists, just like I can prove my god exists (my cat, or my car, or whatever I choose to call "god"). But other pantheists assert that nature has a spiritual/ supernatural quality, which is an unprovable proposition.

"So to me, if pantheists say pantheism is a religion then it is."

Well, of course pantheism is a religion, or at least a religious tradition. Where did I say otherwise?

All I am saying is that the pantheistic conception of "God" is not the theistic/ supernatural one, which is the one most people use.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 6 years ago from Canada

secularist10 3

They may be three different religions but two of them are off shoots of Judaism. So while they have differences as to whether Jesus was just a man, a prophet, or god himself, they all recognize a historical Jesus. They all recognize the old testament as the word of god or see it as the word of the prophets. In Islam Jesus is a prophet but Mohamed was the last prophet.

So they all worship the OT god. To me they are just denominations of the same thing, just like each of them has several sects and cults with in them.

"But other pantheists assert that nature has a spiritual/ supernatural quality, which is an unprovable proposition."

They would be Panentheists, not Pantheists. Panentheists see god as still somewhat separate. While it is in all things, it is not all things combined, or the process of existence itself.

But you can not compare your cat to nature itself. Your cat didn't produce the world or human beings. That's the criteria we are arguing about. Either a natural process did that, or a god did it.

Anyway. You are right. "The purpose of this hub is to discuss God, as God is conceived."

So since you don't think that's what I am doing, I will apologize, and thank you for you time.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 6 years ago from New York City Author

Islam, Judaism and Christianity are three different religions, with common historical origins, a lot of overlapping motifs, symbols, myths, prophets and stories, but nevertheless with basically irreconcilable conceptions of the divine--Christianity's Trinity, Islam's de-anthropomorphized God, and Judaism's God with a "chosen" people. Even through all this, though, God always is eternal, supernatural, omniscient, all-loving, omnipotent, etc.

Your statement "they all worship the OT god" is somewhat correct--Christians of course worship the New Testament god as well, named Jesus. (Not that it makes any sense to me, but that's what they believe anyway.)

To call them "denominations of the same thing" depends on one's definition of the word "denomination." By a certain definition, all religions in the history of the world are denominations of the same thing, of course. So yes, of course Islam is closer to Christianity than it is to, say, Buddhism, because both Christianity and Islam are part of the Abrahamic tradition. But for the most part academics classify them as two different religions nonetheless, which seems very reasonable.

Regarding pantheism vs panentheism--no that is not what I am referring to. Here, for reference, are the 3 major forms of pantheism that Wikipedia identifies:

======================================

1. Monist physicalist or Naturalistic Pantheism holds that there is only one type of substance, and that substance is physical, i.e. energy and matter. Historically this version was held by Stoics such as Zeno of Citium or Marcus Aurelius, and in modern times by John Toland, Ernst Haeckel, D.H. Lawrence and Paul Harrison. This version is represented today by the World Pantheist Movement. In this version, the term god — if used at all — is basically a synonym for Nature or Universe, seen from the point of view of reverence.

2. Monist idealist Pantheism holds that there is only one type of substance, and that substance is mental or spiritual. Ultimate reality consists of a single consciousness. This version is common in Hindu philosophies and Consciousness-Only schools of Buddhism, as well as in some New Age writers such as Deepak Chopra.

3. Dualist Pantheism holds that there are two major types of substance, physical and mental/spiritual. Dualistic pantheism is very diverse, and may include beliefs in reincarnation, cosmic consciousness, and paranormal connections across Nature.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pantheism

============================================

So my statement is correct that some pantheists believe there is a supernatural or spiritual quality to the universe, and some do not. Monist idealist pantheism sees all substance as spiritual, thus it is not panentheism where god is somewhat separate.

You seem to be arguing for #1, the monist physicalist pantheism, with its "god as nature" idea. But clearly it is not the only type of pantheism.

"But you can not compare your cat to nature itself. Your cat didn't produce the world or human beings. That's the criteria we are arguing about. Either a natural process did that, or a god did it."

Right. And my cat is god. My cat created the world and human beings. See what fun religion is? If I believe it, then it's true. And when my cat dies, he lives on as a cat spirit and continues creating worlds, or whatever.

I guess the major difference here is that you have been arguing mostly from your own personal vision of "religion" and "god" and "pantheism" and the rest of it, whereas I am working more with common, colloquial and more-or-less universal definitions of these things.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 6 years ago from Canada

lol... Ok. I won't comment on the rest. The definitions you sight for different types of Pantheism are correct historically. But they have all been, or are being, reclassified as Panentheism through the World Pantheist Movement and Pantheists and Panentheists themselves.

Since the WPM was created a little over ten years ago Pantheism has grown dramatically. Mostly among atheists. So common usage for the word Pantheism is changing world wide to mean Naturalist, Rational or Scientific Pantheism exclusively. Anything to do with the supernatural is now considered Panentheism.

As you realize, there were dozens of versions of Pantheism. So like Rome did with Christianity, the WPM organized Pantheism and decided to spread it. Other versions of the religion were not interested in spreading their versions.

But the intent of the WPM was not to convert people. It was to standardize Pantheism, and let people know it is out there. You either already have the Pantheist world view or you don't. Most people that call themselves Pantheists these days say they didn't know there were others out there that thought about life the way they do.

But the Panentiest versions don't want to be associated with Naturalist or Scientific Pantheism either, because they deny the supernatural or spiritual aspects. This has all been discussed among the various organizations and in mutual chat groups all over the net as well as in the real world for the past twelve years or more. They are now calling themselves Panentheists. It's become a mutual reclassification, not something forced on anyone. Even some Christians have started calling themselves Panenthiests.

So no. This is not about my personal version of anything. I've been arguing modern Pantheism from the perspective of current Pantheists world wide. Even the Catholic Church on their official web page have classified Pantheism as atheism.

It's amazing how religions are born, isn't it? ;)


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 6 years ago from New York City Author

Actually, we were discussing your own definitions of "god" and "religion" for example.

And on pantheism, look, language and references are always changing. Maybe in 50 years the word "pantheism" will really have a different connotation, completely devoid of any supernatural reference. But right now that's not what the language/ culture says.

If the Catholic Church today began a church-wide discussion on whether Jesus was a real historical person or not, that would be interesting. Perhaps decades from now the Church would come to the conclusion that Jesus was not actually a real historical person.

But right now, that is not what they believe--they believe Jesus WAS a real person in history and so to refer to Catholicism now or in the near future as believing that Jesus was not a real person, is illegitimate, because the dominant thinking is that he was a real person. Until Catholicism is established as believing that Jesus was not real, we should all assume that they believe he was real, that that is a characteristic of their beliefs.

"Even the Catholic Church on their official web page have classified Pantheism as atheism."

That's obviously just because they are bigoted and prejudiced against other religions. Hardly a reliable source on anything! Theoretically the Catholic church could refer to Hinduism as atheist because they worship "false gods" as in "gods that aren't really there/ don't really exist."

Many ignorant Muslims, for example, think that Christians are polytheists because of the doctrine of the Trinity--so they think Christians worship 3 different gods.

So I don't have much confidence in religions' opinions of each other. And sometimes not even in their opinion of themselves.

Anyway, pantheism or no pantheism, my original position on god stands.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 6 years ago from Canada

And so it should. ;)


joer4x4 profile image

joer4x4 5 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

At your invitation a few weeks ago and now that I have time I read your interesting article.

I would say for now just as there is no proof of the sun being a nuclear engine, there is no proof of God. There will never be proof of God from man.

Existence must come first before anything else. Without it you can't think, create, feel, etc.. To deny this is illogical. The question is where does the extraordinary power of existence come from? How does existence exist and come to be. Even cause itself needs existence.

The "absolute" proof for God can only come from one's self.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

joer4x4:

Welcome, thanks for visiting.

Well, not sure what you're getting at, but there is certainly proof that the sun operates on a process of nuclear fusion. So that's not a very good analogy to use right out of the gates, lol.

You make the same mistake others have made--of treating existence as a "quality" or a "power." As I wrote to Slarty, this makes no sense because if you define existence as a power, then you must define power. And how do you define power? You must define it (among other things) as an existing thing. And thus we either have circular logic, or a blind faith axiom.

Your argument bears a striking resemblance to #6 in the article--the Ontological argument, which of course was already dispelled in the article.

You said:

"The question is where does the extraordinary power of existence come from? How does existence exist and come to be."

No, the question is: why do you assume that existence comes from anywhere?

THAT is the real question. You are clearly assuming that existence has an origin. Why? What makes you assume this? Why not just assume that existence is eternal or inherent in reality? This assumption on your part, subtle though it is, is probably your essential error.


joer4x4 profile image

joer4x4 5 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

There is no proof the sun is a nuclear furnace. It is theory and an excellent analogy. Science has been unable to duplicate the sun in the lab. Energy output has been negligible and uncontrolled.

If you want lol, then try this. Science can not adequately explain the immense magnetic field of the sun. Magnetic fields do not emulate from fusion. Only electricity or a natural magnet can produce a magnetic field. And natural magnets loose their magnetism in the presence of heat. So who's fooling who?

Let's be clear, clarity is important. I said existence must come before all else. I said nothing of its origin nor assumed it has a beginning.

If you exist then you can acquire power. Power can not be had first. Existence must come first regardless if it had an origin or not.

By your own existence and experience did you not have a start? Or were you never born? In fact everything you are aware of, see, touch, and feel had a start from the TV you watch to the tree that grows outside. It's undeniable. So logically based on human experience, existence had a start.

On the other side, if we take "time" into account one could make the argument, and logically so, that "eternity" is the correct argument. Too long to discuss here so I'll leave you to figure it out:)

Arguments on both sides can be refuted.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

"existence must come before all else. I said nothing of its origin nor assumed it has a beginning."

Well, when you say "where does... existence come from?"

Yes, this does imply that you are assuming existence has an origin. Existence "comes from" somewhere or originates somewhere--that is what this question assumes.

I assume you, as a believer in God, believe that God is the source of everything. So existence did not have a beginning because it comes from God, and God did not have a beginning. Ok, fine.

This sounds a lot like the very first argument in the article: the Cosmological argument.

As I said, this argument fails because if everything had a start, then God had a start, since God is part of everything.

But if God did not have a start, then not everything had a start. In which case perhaps reality did not have a start, too. In which case there is no need for God, and the proof fails.

Regarding the sun, it is a well-established fact that the sun operates on a process of nuclear fusion. It is a "theory" only in the scientific sense, just like evolution or electromagnetism or infectious disease.

In common parlance, it is not a "theory," but a "fact." Innumerable measurements and observations have confirmed it.

I don't think creating a star in a laboratory at Cal Tech or MIT would be a very good idea, LOL.

"Arguments on both sides can be refuted."

No, only the argument that says God is the origin of everything can be refuted. One cannot refute the notion that reality is eternal.


joer4x4 profile image

joer4x4 5 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

"Well, when you say "where does... existence come from?"

Are you kidding? Please read - it's a question! Yes! Really! And neither you or I have an answer we can prove.

"No, only the argument that says God is the origin of everything can be refuted. One cannot refute the notion that reality is eternal."

If God is not the origin then who or what is? You? Me?

Are you sure you understand what "notion" means? I don't think your being clear. Again these are questions.

Show me proof the sun is nuclear! you can't and neither can any scientist! That's what science is about - proof! Case closed. In fact they did create it on the molecular level! Like I said the energy output was nill and they could not control the nuclear furnace. In short theory did not hold up to reality. It's only well established because they're not open to anything else. Well established is not proof.

Reality eternal? Again prove it! You can't! You can think about the future and the past but you can't experience it nor can you experience time. You only can experience actions and time in the present. The other thing you need realize is that the present is always changing. Thus reality is fleeting and so is eternity. Nothing is as it was a moment ago.

Before anything else I believe one must resolve the questions of existence and thought. Otherwise one can not be clear. If one thinks properly, everything you know and understand has been thought of first before becoming reality. The very chair you sit on was in someone's mind at one time before it became a physical device. Only then did it become real. So which comes first? Is it possible to think without existing?

You need to stop tying to fit to the "mold" to me because I don't fit any of them. There is nothing I wrote that fits or references the "molds" created by other men that you wrote about.

If I told you what I believe, I am convinced at this point you would not understand. But don't be slighted, you're not the only one. Actually it's quite complex.

You assume I believe in god. FYI...Read and understand carefully.

I do not believe in god (all gods are man made) in your terms. My so called god is not a god and too complicated in that it would take more than a hub to explain it. That's the best I can do for this limited space.

I do not believe in eternity - it is fleeting.

I believe in the here and now

I do not believe believe man is interfered with by any god either by reward or punishment.

I do not believe in evolution.

The big bang "may" be possible but the laws of physics defy it(work in progress)

The bible was written by man.

If Christ existed he was not a god.

There is no good or evil, it is man made.

There is no right or wrong - just what is. It is all in ones ego.

I believe I am more than the sum of my parts

I believe in me and I am well suited to my environment

I believe everything that will be done already has been done.

I believe multi-universes and a collective conscience are self evident.

I believe emotions are confused with thinking.

I do think and reason things out based on the known paramerter at the time (like the sun):)

This should be enough to give you an idea of where I stand philosophically.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

"Are you kidding? Please read - it's a question! Yes! Really! And neither you or I have an answer we can prove."

Alright, if that was a real question, then fine. I thought it was simply a rhetorical question being used in the context of some argument. Let me see, since you asked, I should answer the question, right? So this was the original question:

"The question is where does the extraordinary power of existence come from? How does existence exist and come to be. Even cause itself needs existence."

The answer is that it is a trick question--existence does not "come" from anywhere. It just is. Existence does not "come to be." Objects come to be, qualities come to be. But existence has no "origin" in that way.

"If God is not the origin then who or what is? You? Me?"

There is no origin. Reality is eternal/ timeless. Once again, by asking this question, you are assuming that reality has an origin. It does not.

"Show me proof the sun is nuclear! you can't and neither can any scientist!"

Gee whiz, calm down man. It's just a friendly discussion!

I'll leave that topic up to the scientists and astronomers in question. Somehow or another the field of astronomy has managed to get by for a good long while working with the assumption that it is a nuclear fusion reaction. If there was compelling evidence or observation to the contrary, I don't see why they would continue to work with that assumption.

"Reality eternal? Again prove it! You can't!"

Yes, I can prove it deductively: everything in reality has a cause, therefore reality is eternal.

[Note (and this is important): everything *in reality* has a cause, this does not say anything about *reality* itself. It is not logically legitimate to assume reality behaves according to the same laws as the objects *within* reality. This is a major assumption, and a major flaw, of many arguments for the existence of God--assuming that if the things within reality are caused, then reality itself must be caused too.]

In any case, even if an eternal reality could not be deduced, nevertheless the alternative--that something came from nothing--is obviously absurd and illogical.

"There is nothing I wrote that fits or references the "molds" created by other men that you wrote about."

Yes, there is. I demonstrated it quite clearly. Some of what you said bears similarity--not completely the same--to the ontological and cosmological arguments.

"The very chair you sit on was in someone's mind at one time before it became a physical device. Only then did it become real. So which comes first? Is it possible to think without existing?"

The maker's thought came before the chair, the object. Makes sense. No, it is not possible to think without existing--that's Descartes if I'm not mistaken.

I don't see what this has to do with existence generally or the existence of reality. You can have existence without thought (i.e. you don't need God or a "thinking" creator in order to have existence), but you can't have thought without existence. Makes sense.


joer4x4 profile image

joer4x4 5 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

Asking questions is not assuming anything.

Deductive reasoning is not proof of anything.

I don't have an issue if you don't believe in god or even like or hate god.

"You can have existence without thought (i.e. you don't need God or a "thinking" creator in order to have existence), but you can't have thought without existence."

I understand your point.

Having existence without thought? I think it's possible but not probable. In other words it could exists but not given credence (for lack of a better term). Perhaps a thought not give existence???

I'd be interested to know what your thoughts are death? Does one survive it or does the book close?


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

"Deductive reasoning is not proof of anything."

No, but where physical evidence does not apply or cannot be obtained, it is the best we can do. It does count as a legitimate basis for believing something.

Put it this way, there is no direct physical evidence for God, and there is no direct physical evidence for an eternal reality. There is also no deductive basis for God, but there *is* a deductive basis for an eternal reality. So eternal reality wins as the best explanation so far.

"I don't have an issue if you don't believe in god or even like or hate god."

Guess you missed the whole point of the hub: it is not a matter of opinion or liking or not liking anything; there is no logical basis for believing in God. If there was, my personal opinions or likes or dislikes would still be irrelevant.

"Having existence without thought? I think it's possible but not probable."

Why is it not probable? Only sentient beings can think, and in order to think, a sentient being must first exist. So obviously existence comes before thought.

"I'd be interested to know what your thoughts are death? Does one survive it or does the book close?"

We don't know, of course. The best we can assume is that it's light out.


joer4x4 profile image

joer4x4 5 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

"Why is it not probable"

It would be a static state where nothing could be accomplished or expressed. It would have no thought or intellegence what so ever. This is not the reality we live in for it requires intellegence anf thought.

"No, but where physical evidence does not apply or cannot be obtained, it is the best we can do. It does count as a legitimate basis for believing something."

I agree with one exception. The evidence only applyies to the self. Not everyone thinks the same nor does another have to accept it. This is why I refrain from words like proof and evidence. Deductive reasoning is a personal experience not a collective one. Otherwise I would know what your thinking;)

"Guess you missed the whole point of the hub: it is not a matter of opinion or liking or not liking anything"

I get the point but the point does not tell me the thought process behind it. I disagree, this subject is opinion because there is no physical proof. Only abtract thought is involved. But it is highly interesting.

Sentient being? please clarify as to which meaning? The word actually has several references. One could make the case that when a rock is hit a sledge hammer, the rock has enough intellegence to react and break apart. A robot could be classifed as a sentient being.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

I used "sentient" to mean a thinking or conscious being.

"[Existence without thought] It would be a static state where nothing could be accomplished or expressed. It would have no thought or intellegence what so ever. This is not the reality we live in for it requires intellegence anf thought."

I don't see how this follows at all. Most things in the universe exist, but do not think. So right away we have some circumstantial evidence to indicate that existence can occur without thought. Moreover, existence does not logically or empirically depend on thought.

Again I reiterate, first something must exist, then and only then can it think. Thought depends on existence, but existence does not depend on thought.

Something can exist without thinking, but it cannot think without existing. It's a pretty straightforward one-way relationship. Existence comes first, which implies that thought is not necessary to existence.

You said:

"Deductive reasoning is a personal experience not a collective one."

And this: "this subject is opinion because there is no physical proof. Only abtract thought is involved."

From these statements I sense that you think that logic and reason is equivalent to opinion and feelings? Is that correct?

In other words, the only thing that we can be sure exists is physical matter, and everything else that is abstract/ mental in nature is groundless?

The existence of the field of mathematics alone is more than enough to put this concept to rest. Math deals with abstract ideas, relationships and patterns, with no physical or material basis whatever, and yet provides an effective way of predicting the world.

It operates with clear rules that exist beyond the opinion or wishes of an individual person or culture, which is why it can serve as a universal language.

So that, in fact, indicates that although numbers are simply abstract concepts, nevertheless they are related on some level to physical/ material reality.

Accordingly, logic/ reason is a human creation--would not exist without the human mind--but nevertheless because we are essentially material beings, its ultimate origins lie in material reality. We know that the objective world of material objects operates according to certain basic laws, and these laws in turn create logic and reason in our minds.

Therefore logic and reason is not on par with feelings and emotions. Logic/ reason allows us to understand the world, but emotions do not. Therefore what you say is incorrect--in fact, this topic is not opinion or only dependent on individual feelings and desires, it is independent of individual opinions and feelings, because it deals with deductive and even inductive logic.

Thus we can productively use logic to test the idea of God.


joer4x4 profile image

joer4x4 5 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

Your first 5 paragraphs - I agree. But you did ask why existence without thought is not probable and I told you. I didn't ask you to buy into it.

"From these statements I sense that you think that logic and reason is equivalent to opinion and feelings? Is that correct?"

Incorrect. they are seperate and for seperate purposes. Don't ask, it would take too long. But I do think emotion clouds reasoning by removing the focus on thought. Opinion comes from thought not emotions. I don't believe emotion is thought pattern. Emotion is much more direct experience.

"In other words, the only thing that we can be sure exists is physical matter, and everything else that is abstract/ mental in nature is groundless?"

Now your saying that thoughts are groundless. So we're not sure if thinking and emotions exist. So that chair that is real and was a thought pattern at one time is now suspect. I see a contradition of flawed logic.

"The existence of the field of mathematics alone is more than enough to put this concept to rest. Math deals with abstract ideas, relationships and patterns, >>with no physical or material basis whatever


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

"But you did ask why existence without thought is not probable and I told you."

And I have demonstrated why existence without thought in fact *is* probable. If not self-evident.

"Now your saying that thoughts are groundless. So we're not sure if thinking and emotions exist. So that chair that is real and was a thought pattern at one time is now suspect. I see a contradition of flawed logic."

Ok, please go back and read what I wrote. I'm not trying to be difficult here, but you clearly did not understand my writing. Let me clarify it here:

========================================

From these statements I sense that you think that logic and reason is equivalent to opinion and feelings? Is that correct?

In other words, [you believe] the only thing that we can be sure exists is physical matter, and everything else that is abstract/ mental in nature is groundless? [Is that correct? Is that what you believe?]

========================================

It was not my argument, It was my attempt to characterize your argument.

"Incorrect. they are separate and for separate purposes. Don't ask, it would take too long. But I do think emotion clouds reasoning by removing the focus on thought. Opinion comes from thought not emotions. I don't believe emotion is thought pattern. Emotion is much more direct experience."

Ok, I won't ask, but this does seem to clash with what you said previously. You also seem to define "opinion" in a way different from me, which is fine.

But whatever you believe, whether you're willing to share or not, the fact of the matter is that logic and reason help us to understand the world just as much, if not more, than physical proof/ empirical observation. Therefore a discussion about God *does* in fact deal with objective reality and legitimate knowledge, not just personal experience or individual preference.

Insofar as God is defined as an object hanging out there in reality, it is amenable to the laws of objective reason and logic, transcending individual minds. It is not on par with personal preferences such as one's favorite food or one's preferences for fashion.

And that was the intention of the article--to demonstrate that God fails the test of logic/ reason.


joer4x4 profile image

joer4x4 5 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

It was my attempt to characterize your argument.

And there in lies the problem.

However, you did a nice job with the article.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

Thank you for the compliment.

"And there in lies the problem."

Haha, how very cryptic of you. I don't see what's so wrong with trying to understand someone else's argument.


lone77star profile image

lone77star 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

Nice layout and very thoughtfully done.

But the logic needs a few touches. Take for instance your opening argument, "If everything has a cause, then God also has a cause, because God is part of everything."

You assume that God is a "thing" (part of "everything"). That is a poor and unimaginative assumption. What if this God "non-thing" is timeless and discontinuous, unlike the time-entrenched continuity of physical reality. That might be one possibility. Just a thought.

Argument 3 is good. I don't doubt that life will be born in the test tube any day now. That will certainly burst the literalists' bubble. I can hear them now, "Oooh! The devil's work!" Naw, just good science.

And again, your argument 5 is full of holes. If someone walks on water, that doesn't automatically nullify your ability to see it. Duh! Though some people choose not to see certain possibilities, because they already know it all, that doesn't make a miracle go away. You're tying too much effect in to one cause; the one miracle does not unravel the entire universe.

I do, however, agree that the existence of miracles does not prove God. Heck, according to Genesis 1:26, we're all baby gods, though comatose most of the time, sleeping in our mortal, Homo sapiens bodies. But that's just my twisted interpretation of Genesis. I don't take it all too literally. Miracles could be done by any one of us. That, though, would tend to prove our non-physical, spiritual traits. A cog in the machine cannot circumvent the laws of the machine. Only someone outside the machine could do that.

And maybe, when all is said and done, we find out that one "separate" God-non-thing doesn't exist, as such. Perhaps God is really the combined spiritual muscle of all of us put together. And this Jesus guy wasn't God coming down to save his lowly sheep, but perhaps a brother come to rescue his spiritually comatose siblings. That's one possibility (amongst many).


jomine 5 years ago

good work secularist.

You assume that God is a "thing" (part of "everything"). That is a poor and unimaginative assumption.

well lonestar if god is not a thing that is if god is not matter, then god is only a concept and concepts exists only in our thoughts. in other words concepts are there only because we are there.


jomine 5 years ago


jomine 5 years ago

good work secularist.

You assume that God is a "thing" (part of "everything"). That is a poor and unimaginative assumption.

well lonestar if god is not a thing that is if god is not matter, then god is only a concept and concepts exists only in our thoughts. in other words concepts are there only because we are there.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

Thank you, lone77star

"What if this God "non-thing" is timeless and discontinuous, unlike the time-entrenched continuity of physical reality."

Then it would still be a thing, and therefore part of everything. It would simply be a timeless thing. Just because it has unusual qualities does not mean you can call it a "non-thing." If it exists, it is a part of everything, by definition.

"If someone walks on water, that doesn't automatically nullify your ability to see it."

Of course not, I never said it did. But there is no reason to assume that if one law is broken, that all of the others are still intact. When one law is broken, the door has been opened.

If one believes that X law of nature has been broken, then why should one assume that all the other laws are still in effect? You have failed to answer that simple question.

Essentially you are saying "This law X that we thought was permanent and binding... all of a sudden it looks like it is breakable. But don't worry--all the other laws that we thought were permanent and binding, still are!"

THAT is full of holes (not unlike nature in a miraculous universe). Since all laws are in the same category, we have just discovered that that ENTIRE category's definition is different from what we thought.

Since the breaking of a law cannot be predicted, it's possible that all the other laws are being broken at a given time, similarly without our prediction.

"I do, however, agree that the existence of miracles does not prove God."

You agree with the main thrust of the argument presented. The problem with miracles wasn't the primary problem.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

Jomine,

Thank you. All indications so far are that God is indeed simply a concept inside our minds.


lone77star profile image

lone77star 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

Secularist10 said:

Then it would still be a thing, and therefore part of everything. It would simply be a timeless thing. Just because it has unusual qualities does not mean you can call it a "non-thing." If it exists, it is a part of everything, by definition.

My reply:

I suppose it depends on how creative you want to be with your definition of "thing." And why can't I call God a "non-thing," if I define Him that way? I'm not saying God is this way, but you're declaring a definition without stating it.

The American Heritage Dictionary says of "thing,"

* The real or concrete substance of an entity.

* An entity existing in space and time.

* An inanimate object.

Things of concrete substance are part of the space-time continuum. Their concreteness includes persistence. Nope, that definition of "thing" doesn't work.

An entity existing in space and time... well, nope, not that one either. A timeless source of creation doesn't exist in space-time.

An inanimate object would typically be thought of as lifeless and physical (part of the space-time continuum). Again, nope. Not this thing.

A non-physical, timeless, discontinuous source of creation would not necessarily be a "thing" by any human definition, so would not be part of everything, and thus not subject to your artificial restrictions.

There can never be a proof of God, simply because such a supreme being would not fit normal definitions of things. At least, with something like gravity, we can see the constant effects of it in our environment.

I said earlier:

"If someone walks on water, that doesn't automatically nullify your ability to see it."

Secularist10 said:

Of course not, I never said it did. But there is no reason to assume that if one law is broken, that all of the others are still intact. When one law is broken, the door has been opened.

My reply:

Wonderful! My mistake. I thought you were implying that. My bad! Then we have the tools with which to prove miracles. If miracles are isolated discontinuities in the usually unbroken continuity of physical reality, then such proof might be possible, so long as the laws of reality seem to continue around that discontinuity. No chaos, as your statement seems to imply ("...no reason to assume that if one law is broken, that all of the others are still intact").

You said in your article that, "miracles by definition are violations of the laws of nature." I've never seen this definition, before. I would define a miracle as being superior to nature, not a violation of it. If, for argument's sake, God did create the universe, then all of nature is His to do with as He pleases. There would be no violation, only his superior intervention in His own creation. Your definition does not seem to apply.

American Heritage Dictionary defines miracle as, "An event that appears inexplicable by the laws of nature and so is held to be supernatural in origin or an act of God." I see no mention of violation here.

If you had read my article on the Anatomy of a Miracle, you would see my distinction between ordinary and extraordinary miracles. A computer transported in time back to King Arthur's court would seem to be a miracle to them, but it would only be an "ordinary miracle," by my definition. You would also see that "cause and effect" plays a critical role in extraordinary miracles, because they are controlled discontinuities, not the chaos your argument seems to imply.

Secularist10 said:

If one believes that X law of nature has been broken, then why should one assume that all the other laws are still in effect? You have failed to answer that simple question.

My reply:

Why indeed? Why should we assume anything? But if I can still see things, if gravity seems to continue to work, if the clouds are in the sky, if the piezoelectric effect continues to work when I touch the button in the elevator, etc., etc., etc., then I can safely assume that chaos hasn't taken over.

Secularist10 said:

Essentially you are saying "This law X that we thought was permanent and binding... all of a sudden it looks like it is breakable. But don't worry--all the other laws that we thought were permanent and binding, still are!"

My reply:

Nope! Didn't say that. Take inertia for instance. An object will continue to move in the same direction and speed unless acted upon by an outside force. If an asteroid runs into another asteroid, this doesn't suddenly affect all other asteroids in their individual paths. The one asteroid has been deflected. Everything else works just fine. But this does not prevent some other object with similar galactic potential, catapulting through the Solar system on a hyperbolic orbit colliding with some other asteroid in the distant future. All asteroids are subject to collision; no one is entirely safe. But for millions of years, they might orbit the sun in their elliptical paths relatively unimpeded, except perhaps the mild perturbations of gravity from Mars or Jupiter.

Reality has its own inertia, unless acted upon by some outside force, whether it be you (the true spiritual self within) or God.

By the same token, someone creating the ability to walk on water can still feel the water, can see it and get wet with it. Capillary action still transports the water into the clothes the man is wearing, making them wet through and through. So, any witnesses can see the proof for themselves that someone, seemingly against all natural law to the contrary, is walking on water. You say that one cannot prove a miracle? Quite the contrary. Because natural law works around the highly focused, localized (limited) discontinuity, proof is entirely possible. And if the bloke walked on water every other Tuesday, then, well... proof is in the pudding.

I've experienced a miracle which defies natural law, the universe is still here, and I can remember it clearly. A scientist deals with coincidences resulting from cause and effect relationships between input and output. My experiment on Wilshire Boulevard in 1977 was just such a proof of miracles.

Secularist10 said:

Since all laws are in the same category, we have just discovered that that ENTIRE category's definition is different from what we thought.

Since the breaking of a law cannot be predicted, it's possible that all the other laws are being broken at a given time, similarly without our prediction.

My reply:

Absolutely. And isn't that beautiful? A million years could go by without a miracle, and reality chugs along with perfect continuity. Then for a few minutes, confined to a few cubic meters of space, a discontinuity is caused by some non-physical (non-thing), spiritual entity. Not necessarily God. Heck, it could be any one of us (not the body or ego; the spiritual half).


Lady Guinevere profile image

Lady Guinevere 5 years ago from West Virginia

Simply change the word GOD with the word ME and see how that sounds.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

Lady Guinevere,

Huh? You mean I can't prove that God exists, but I also can't prove that I exist?

Descartes already addressed this a while ago: I think therefore I exist.


Lady Guinevere profile image

Lady Guinevere 5 years ago from West Virginia

No. We are Gods. We make up the world round us. This is our playground.


Tired 5 years ago

This will sound quite weird, but what if we (hypothetically) become advanced enough to travel to other solar systems, and we then encounter (hypothetically) other species of aliens, who would very very very likely of different biochemistry, or at the very least different body structure, and they just happen to look like us, and claim the existance of a divine being, and this happens several times... Does this prove God exists, or at least a force with enough resources to be in all shape and form "God"


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

Lady Guinevere, I agree at least in general terms. If humans could focus more on seizing opportunities for improving themselves and their world, instead of throwing up their hands and placing everything--including responsibility--in the hands of an almighty/ supernatural entity, we could probably get a lot of work done. That message will be completely lost on some, though, unfortunately.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

Tired:

It actually doesn't sound weird, because it has happened (more or less) before: when various religious believers encountered each other for the first time here on earth.

Every human culture that has ever existed has developed some kind of idea of divine/ supernatural forces. Does that mean it's true? Of course not. Every human culture also had a tradition of dictatorship and military rule, does that mean it's the best form of political organization? Just because it's popular at a given time? Of course not.

"Does this prove God exists, or at least a force with enough resources to be in all shape and form "God""

Of course not, didn't you see the article? This event would have absolutely nothing to do with the logical problems of God. It would just increase the population of God-believers.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

lone77star:

"I suppose it depends on how creative you want to be with your definition of "thing.""

Right. You are creative, and I'm not very :)

"And why can't I call God a "non-thing," if I define Him that way?"

Because you are simply begging the question.

"A non-physical, timeless, discontinuous source of creation would not necessarily be a "thing" by any human definition, so would not be part of everything, and thus not subject to your artificial restrictions."

My "restrictions" are no more artificial than yours--it's just however we want to define terms. Which is why this is largely semantics. I define a thing as simply something that exists, something is real, is a part of reality. So if God exists, then he is a part of reality. Therefore if everything in reality had a cause, then God had a cause because God is a part of reality.

"There can never be a proof of God, simply because such a supreme being would not fit normal definitions of things."

That's basically true. Which is why it is totally unwarranted to believe in him :)

==============================================

On miracles, "violations of laws of nature" is a legitimate definition. In addition to that, you can call them superior to nature or a suspension of nature, or whatever. But the point is that if they do not violate the laws of nature, then they are not seen as miracles. A person walking on water violates a number of natural laws that affect things such as gravity, friction, density and human physiology.

If miracles do not violate natural laws, then they are not extraordinary events, they are just events occurring within the framework of natural law. Whatever else their qualities, the violation of nature is their main quality.

You call them "discontinuities" which is another version of this.

"American Heritage Dictionary defines miracle as, "An event that appears inexplicable by the laws of nature and so is held to be supernatural in origin or an act of God." I see no mention of violation here."

C'mon. If it is inexplicable by the laws of nature, it is a violation of the laws of nature, by definition. If I'm doing a math problem and I come up with an answer that is "inexplicable by the laws of math" then it is, by definition, a violation of mathematical laws. This is unnecessary semantics.

"If miracles are isolated discontinuities in the usually unbroken continuity of physical reality, then such proof might be possible, so long as the laws of reality seem to continue around that discontinuity."

No, ok here is the fundamental point you are missing. Let me demonstrate it crudely.

1. Event X occurs.

2. How do I know? Because I saw it with my eyes. Ok, so far so good.

3. What are my eyes/ vision based on? Among other things, the laws of light, reflection and refraction.

4. Therefore my ability to detect Event X is based on the laws of nature. If those laws did not exist, or did not apply, then I would not be able to see it, and therefore not be able to detect it/ become aware of its occurrence.

The same basic model of "detection-legitimized-by-the-laws-of-nature" applies to all miraculous events. Let's take a more specific example.

1. Someone walks on water (I know because I see it).

2. In order for this to occur, the laws of nature must be suspended for a specific time and place.

3. Therefore it is possible for the laws of nature to be suspended for a specific time and place.

4. If that is possible, then it is possible at any given time, without warning.

5. Therefore it is possible for some laws to be suspended, or all laws to be suspended, simultaneously

6. Therefore it is possible for the laws that underlie my senses (sight, hearing, etc) to be suspended at any given time, without warning.

7. Therefore it is possible that some or all of the laws underlying my senses are being suspended right now.

8. Therefore--as long as it is possible--my senses are not reliable right now. They are only a guess, which may or may not be a good one, because I have no way of knowing how strong the laws that underlie them are at this moment.

9. Therefore, since my senses are not reliable, I cannot trust what I see.

10. Therefore I have no reason to believe that someone is walking on water.

============================================

"Reality has its own inertia, unless acted upon by some outside force, whether it be you (the true spiritual self within) or God."

Well this is simply your opinion, but there is no way to prove this logically. So it doesn't help to logically justify miracles.

BTW, try to keep your comments under 1000 words. It makes the thread flow better. Thanks.


Tired 5 years ago

I understand that a species resembeling us would have similar beliefs, like various groups on earth encountering each other, but i was more refering to the idea that against all the odds, there are species out there that are just like us, which would be next to impossible if life arose without a creator


Fedlech 5 years ago

Thanks for a cool article. Too add to #7, morality is not universal. The Aztecs thought it was moral to sacrifice humans to keep the sun happy and fed, while in parts of India child marriage is viewed as moral. Etc etc etc.

For people arguing against the big bang: one could pose the same questions to your god and/or goddess or deity of choice. Was it always there? Did it come from nothing? Did something create it? etc.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

Tired, you said:

"the idea that against all the odds, there are species out there that are just like us, which would be next to impossible if life arose without a creator"

Why would this be next to impossible without a creator? If life can arise without a creator once, surely it can do it again. You just need the same ingredients mixed in the same way.

All indications are that life on earth arose spontaneously. It is possible to explain the origin of life in the absence of any supernatural force, as I said in #3, the Argument from life, in the article.

And once life arose, if there were similar environmental pressures, it makes sense that an evolutionary process similar to what we find on earth might very well push it toward creating intelligent life.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

Fedlech, I'm glad you liked it. Great points about morality. Although there are many commonalities in human ethical and moral sentiments across cultures, nevertheless there are notable differences as well, as you point out.

Of course most would say that the god or deity was uncreated. In which case, as mentioned in the article, why can't the universe or reality be uncreated, too?

The theists have no problem with something being uncreated, they just have a problem with that something being reality.


Baileybear 5 years ago

excellent analysis - I'm sure I will find somewhere to link it


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

Thanks Baileybear, I hope it can serve many people well--from theistic to atheistic (in different ways, of course).


Borsia profile image

Borsia 5 years ago from Currently, Philippines

Not to too wrapped up in the discussion I see some basic flaws in arguments being made for a god.

God is, and has always been, a substitute for knowledge.

If something can't be explained it is attributed to "the work of a god". But there is a key word left out in all of these explanations,,, "YET". Just because we can't explain something with our current knowledge doesn't create any reasonable cause to believe it is the work of some unseen superhero. It only means that we don’t know,,, yet. Nor does it mean that a full understanding isn't forthcoming at some point.

Until fairly recently people believed that everything in the universe revolved around the earth, which was of course flat.

I don't know any fellow atheists who believe that the BIG Bang really answers the question of where the universe came from, given that something had to go bang. (Here is a very simple experiment. Take a fuse, put it in an empty can light it and stand back. Now the fact is that there is something in that empty can and it still didn't go bang.)

Yes; the Sun is a nuclear furnace. It has gravity because it has mass that mass is the matter, core, that is fusing. The actual furnace is only on the outermost surface. At some point the sun will either reach critical mass and explode or burn out and implode (supper nova or dark star)

Either way the Earth will be destroyed in the process.

The word “god” exists in all of our languages. So what; we also have the word “imagination”, which is where spirituality and gods come from, but it is not a tangible thing. If anyone believes it is a tangible thing try putting it in a box.

The Bible is proof of god because it is the word of god.

Really; which one? Genesis, Creation 1:26 “and god said let us create man in our image…”

Us, Our, just how many gods are there 2, 20, 200, 2,000, 2,000,000?

Theist will say that the plural is a reference to the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. But it is in the beginning of Creation, the dawn of time, so thus far there is neither a Son nor Holy Ghost.

The Bible is nothing more than a bunch of stories that conflict and contradict each other followed by more stories that attempt to rectify the problems. If the Bible is the truth then the Asiatic religions of monotheism are wrong and the Western religions of multiple gods are correct.

God is the reason for morality. Humm,, I’ve read the Bible and there is very little morality coming from “the word of god”. If anything it is a sadist’s handbook, given that every time man follows god’s plan he decides to step in and screw with everyone.

By far the most moral people I’ve ever known are almost all atheist, and the worst theists. Consider that a theist does what is considered right at the threat of unspeakable torture, while the atheist does what is right simply because it is the right thing to do. The atheist doesn’t expect either reward or punishment beyond the immediate.

Most cultures have come up with some sort of a god to explain away their own immoral actions or failed existence. There is really no difference between men dressed in robes walking down an isle swinging incense and mumbling in a church or temple and men dressed in grass skirts walking down a jungle path swinging a headless animal slinging blood. Neither has ever proven in any way to have influence on the world as we know it.

After all god is simply dog to a dyslectic. It is who we blame when there is nobody left to blame.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

Thanks for coming, Borsia. You make some great points.

God, and the supernatural in general, is indeed essentially a substitute for knowledge, hence the "god of the gaps" fallacy that so many believers fall into. God is used to explain things humans don't understand, and as those gaps in knowledge are filled, God becomes smaller. Hence the history of practically all of western civilization for the last half-millennium.

"If anything it is a sadist’s handbook, given that every time man follows god’s plan he decides to step in and screw with everyone."

Haha, so true. There is no rhyme or reason to God's "morality." On Monday, at God's command, it is wrong to kill. And on Tuesday, when God changes his mind, it is suddenly right to kill. In the world of politics we would call that a flip-flop. But maybe God is above those rules.

Unfortunately much of the morality of traditional Christianity, Judaism and Islam is so twisted that the most "evil" or immoral act one can do is to not believe in God. Never mind killing or harming other people--the worst act is to not accept God, and all other immoral actions stem from that original error, that original sin.

"It is who we blame when there is nobody left to blame."

That's very true. But in another way, as far as the believer's mentality, God receives all of the credit for good things, but none of the blame for bad things. For example, when there is a mudslide or earthquake that kills hundreds of people, and the rescue crews are digging through the wreckage, if they find a baby alive amidst the destruction, believers will almost invariably say "this is a miracle from God!"

They will be quick to praise God for saving the baby. But will they ever blame God for killing the 100 other people? No, God gets all of the credit, and none of the blame.

It makes no sense.


PlanksandNails profile image

PlanksandNails 5 years ago from among the called out of the ekklesia of Christ

Secularist10,

I like this argument:

You can agree that some things do exist? If some things do exist, then some things do not to exist. What does not exist can be caused to exist by someone else. This leads to an uncaused cause which I believe is God. If I believe in God then He exists as it is written in Scripture. If God is written in Scripture, then He exists outside of Scripture in the followers of Jesus Christ. The Uncaused drew me to Him by faith and proved to me that He indeed is God and does exist, and I exist because of Him.

If something does exist, then all the preconditions of that which exists have already happened. That which causes something to exist must have a state of being to do so, which is uncaused or self-existent.

Is this one's own self reality? Well, the only reason for something to come into existence would be from un-cause to cause. Something cannot come from nothing because there is nothing observed that has come from nothing.

Something beyond our own physical reality is needed to explain the creation of the universe. Are we created from order or created from disorder? You see, if nothing can't create something, then a non-physical reality must exist.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

Planks and Nails, welcome, thanks for coming.

I find it a bit odd that you have chosen to advocate the cosmological argument when it is the very first argument I debunked in this article! LOL :)

Nevertheless, I can simply quote from the article to show why the logic fails:

"If everything has a cause, then God also has a cause, because God is part of everything. Therefore God cannot have been uncreated. [Therefore God does not exist, because he is defined as being uncreated.]

Separately, if God is indeed uncreated, then not everything has a cause. Therefore perhaps reality itself has no cause. In other words, reality is uncreated and eternal--if it can work for God, then it can work for reality."

So there you go.

Now, you said:

"Something beyond our own physical reality is needed to explain the creation of the universe."

This assumes that reality was created. There is no reason to think that reality was created, so this argument fails.

Finally, even if God did exist, you don't know that Jesus Christ is the right one. Allah might be the real God. Brahman might be the real God, etc.


PlanksandNails profile image

PlanksandNails 5 years ago from among the called out of the ekklesia of Christ

I understand what you are saying. With all the classic arguments, it shows how finite we all are. It is impossible for a finite being to comprehend that which is infinite.

To comprehend God would be exhaustible, but we can still have a knowledge of Him. At this point, we are limited to our lifetime on this earth.

Just as a library has so many books, we will never be able to read them all, but that does not mean that we cannot understand the ones we do read. We cannot have all the exhaustive knowledge of God, but we can come to some true knowledge of what He reveals to mankind.

I may just know someone's name and age, but that does not mean my limitation of knowledge about Him is false. When I obtain more about the person, a greater context of understanding is obtained.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

"With all the classic arguments, it shows how finite we all are."

No, it shows how finite the justification for God is. You can ignore the logic, but the logic remains.

Nobody is claiming the ability to "comprehend God" more than the theist.

"Just as a library has so many books, we will never be able to read them all, but that does not mean that we cannot understand the ones we do read."

Precisely. And the books on logic and reason allow us to see that God cannot be shown to exist.

"We cannot have all the exhaustive knowledge of God, but we can come to some true knowledge of what He reveals to mankind."

Assuming that he exists. Which cannot be proven.


PlanksandNails profile image

PlanksandNails 5 years ago from among the called out of the ekklesia of Christ

All of our logic and reason is finite based on our limited intellect leaving a stalemate on God or no God.

Those who come to Jesus Christ reject their double-mindedness of relative morality and willfulness to a singular renewed mind and purpose with Him. People have reasoned all through history but have never have gone beyond probable claims.

Absolute proof is not available unless one has faith. Reason and faith open the doors to the knowledge of God. One must move from intellectual to emotional certainty. Without faith, it is impossible to be convicted otherwise.

If the mind or heart is not open to it, then it isn't.

God is either self caused (denys laws of logic) or uncaused (eternal). To prove this naturally, the finite evidence of science is fallible. The other alternative is the supernatural, which the Bible shows evidence and reasoning for cause and effect, design, and moral code.

A proposition cannot be true and untrue at the same time.

For something to be created, something must have existed beforehand to create. For something too create itself it would have to exist and not exist at the same time. It's a contradiction.

If the universe is not eternal as science attests from the second law of thermodynamics, then it must have had a beginning.

We are left to speculate on whether something or someone else brought the universe into existence or its beginning.

The only way to prove there is a God is to be God; God proves Himself to you.

The only way to prove there is no God is to be God; God does not prove Himself to you.

Since we are not God, what we are left with is the essence of something or lack thereof.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

Those who come to Jesus Christ embrace a double-mindedness of relative morality. Since there is no way to know what is right and what is wrong in Christianity, technically, a Christian can believe whatever he wants. Hence moral relativism.

Logic and reason are quite clear on the existence of God. If the mind or heart is not open to it, then it isn't.

The universe was caused by the Big Bang. The Big Bang was caused by activity at the quantum level. Thus reality is eternal, before our universe came to be. That is what science says. If the mind or heart is not open to this fact, then it isn't.

If God can be uncaused, then so can reality.

"Absolute proof is not available unless one has faith."

That's correct. And there is no reason to have faith in God. The only thing we can possibly have faith in is the human mind, because that is what we are using simply by the act of thinking.

Simply by thinking, you are assuming faith in the human mind, and human reason. Once that faith is established, then and only then, do you proceed to have faith in God or anything else. Thus, human reason is more essential than belief in God. Therefore belief in God must conform to human reason.


CatholicMason profile image

CatholicMason 5 years ago

ALL TRUTHS are based on Faith.

Whether your faith is in that of God, or if it be that of the teachings of scientists. All that we know to be true is taken on "faith" that the people who told us it was true were right.

Without Faith, there is nothing!


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

Catholic Mason:

"Without Faith, there is nothing!"

Fascinatingly, your comment touches on the exact topic that my last comment closed with--right before yours. So here is the response to your comment, same as my previous comment:

That's correct. And there is no reason to have faith in God. The only thing we can possibly have faith in is the human mind, because that is what we are using simply by the act of thinking.

Simply by thinking, you are assuming faith in the human mind, and human reason. Once that faith is established, then and only then, do you proceed to have faith in God or anything else. Thus, human reason is more essential than belief in God. Therefore belief in God must conform to human reason.


Robephiles profile image

Robephiles 5 years ago

I tried to read all the comments to make sure that nobody brought this up already but they were very long and some of them from Christians made my head hurt. Since only somebody who had formal training in philosophy would notice this mistake I'm going to assume that nobody else mentioned it.

Your objection to Descartes ontological argument is a straw man and you also get what Kant's objection actually means wrong.

When Descartes says "perfection" he doesn't mean perfect the way we think about perfect today. He means it in the medieval sense as a positive trait. For example, intelligence is a perfection. Ignorance is not a perfection because it is a lack of intelligence. Descartes argues that God is a being of all perfections which means he posseses all positive traits. Existence is a positive trait since non-existence is a lack of existence.

A big part of why Descartes thinks God must exist is that he believes that complex things cannot come from simplier things. Evolution has more or less proved this wrong and David Hume attacked the idea pretty well during Descartes time but this is what the majority of people thought during the 18th century. Kant was attacking the idea that the existence of perfections dictated the necessity of a perfect being with his objection. The way you framed it the objection doesn't really make sense.

Also you leave out the first part of the argument:

1.Whatever I clearly and distinctly perceive to be contained in the idea of something is true of that thing.

2.I clearly and distinctly perceive that necessary existence is contained in the idea of God.

3.Therefore, God exists.

What Descartes means in the first part is that God can be precieved as necessary by definition. Once again this goes back to the idea of "perfection." Since God is necessarily a being of all perfections then he must exist. Descartes was not an idiot. His argument was built on a false premise but it was not begging the question as you state.

I hope you don't think I'm being too nitpicky. It is a common mistake that nearly everyone makes while reading Descartes.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

Welcome, Robephiles, thanks for coming.

Well, actually, I don't see how my analysis of the ontological argument is flawed at all. First of all, I was not referring to Descartes' specific argument. I did not study that for this article. I was referring to "the" ontological argument as it is expressed by a number of thinkers today.

Secondly, the word "perfection." My analysis works just as well, with some grammatical alterations, with the different definition of the word perfection you cite. I originally said:

"God, by definition, is perfect. A perfect thing, by definition, exists. Thus a nonexistent God is absurd because God, by definition as a perfect being, must exist."

With some alterations I can say this:

"God, by definition, has all positive qualities. A thing with all positive qualities, by definition, exists. Thus a nonexistent God is absurd because God, by definition as a being with all positive qualities, must exist."

In other words, according to the definitions you cite, what we call "perfection" today simply means having all positive qualities, so it works out the same.

Thirdly, regarding Kant, it was not my intention to sum up Kant's entire argument (as if anyone could "sum up" Kant! Ha!). I was only citing a part of what he said, a part that was highly relevant for that part of the analysis.

Fifthly, again, I was not referring to or even thinking about Descartes, I was referring to a slightly different ontological argument popular today. Descartes was certainly not an idiot, but the ontological argument as it exists today does indeed beg the question.


gingersmaltese profile image

gingersmaltese 5 years ago from 27597

You greatly misrepresent the cosmological argument. the critical flaw in your representation is the omission of the phrase "everything that has a beginning" not just "everything". This excludes things that are eternal and therefore beyond our ability to analyze. The real cosmological argument goes like this.

(1)Everything that has a beginning of its existence has a cause of its existence.

(2)The universe has a beginning of its existence.

Therefore:

(3) The universe has a cause of its existence.

(4) If the universe has a cause of its existence then that cause is God.

Therefore:

(5) God exists.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

Gingers Maltese, thanks for coming.

Well, yours is one version of the Cosmological argument. It is a much weaker form and more easily dismissed one. I was using the original, stronger/ more forceful version of the argument.

The version you cite has the flaw that it simply assumes God exists, which of course is the whole point of this exercise (to prove God exists). So it assumes the very thing it is trying to prove. Specifically, it assumes that God does not have a cause/ is eternal, thus assuming that God exists.

It also assumes (via #2) that the universe/ reality has a cause of existence. There is no reason to assume this. In fact modern science indicates it very well may be false.

Finally, saying "everything that has a beginning" is like an argumentative loophole that swallows up the whole argument: since one could potentially believe that anything has a beginning, or nothing has a beginning, one can use it to their own ends with impunity:

Everything that has a beginning has a cause

God has a beginning

Therefore God has a cause


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

Editing: I also just realized that in my response to Robephiles I went from "thirdly" to "fifthly." The last paragraph should have begun with "fourthly."


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

"Haha, whoa! Not so fast there, my friend. They are 3 different religions, not one." - Judaism, Christianity and Islam are indeed one and the same, as I see them anyway. It's like three men dressed differently and who like to eat different things - they're still all men ... and quite alike.

"But everybody knows what the mainstream popular conception of God is." - I don't. I'm a pagan and I am not sure what mainstream is or what mainstream thinks.

"But other pantheists assert that nature has a spiritual/ supernatural quality, which is an unprovable proposition." - This can be proven through Magic, in my opinion but even if one can show you the power of Magic, you may just think that you were tripping-out and not believe it so what would be the point?

"So yes, of course Islam is closer to Christianity than it is to, say, Buddhism, because both Christianity and Islam are part of the Abrahamic tradition. But for the most part academics classify them as two different religions nonetheless, which seems very reasonable." - If you look at how we classify species of animals, sub-species, classes, orders, sub-orders, etc., many animals may seem different when indeed they are very much alike. Same with Judaism, Christianity and Islam - they are basically one and the same. Otherwise we can say that Orthodox Christians are different that Catholics ... only their egos suggest to them that they are different.

"My cat created the world and human beings." Really? Can I meet your cat? (Too bad you cannot see my grin right now rofl!)

"I am working more with common, colloquial and more-or-less universal definitions of these things." - I do not know what "common" is or "normal" - These concepts do not exist for me - they are meaningless. Why? Because my Spirit is thousands of years old and I see things a little differently.

"There has never been a reliable, logically coherent argument presented for the existence of God, in all of human history." - Ask your Spirit about it (the existence of God). Or ask Death about it - anyone can do that and at any point in our human history. Your Spirit and Death can answer your dilemma.

I enjoyed your blog and I certainly enjoyed you discussion with Mr. O'Brian. I do think it is the discussion that is most important and not who is right or wrong. As Nietzsche would like us to say, we are beyond good and bad.

Cheers. May Wakan Tanka guide your path!


Rah128 profile image

Rah128 4 years ago from Southampton

Hi Secularist,

By far one of the best hubs i have enjoyed reading in a long time.

Love it an voted up.

Rah :)


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 4 years ago from New York City Author

Thanks, Rah. I appreciate it :)


GodlessHeathen profile image

GodlessHeathen 4 years ago from Arizona

Great Hub, I also have a Hub on this subject:

http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/IsGodJustP...


favouriteboyforev profile image

favouriteboyforev 4 years ago from delhi

god beyonds every arguments,every logic,

god is unseen and unknown,which is known and unsee is not god

god has no face,no shape,no religon,no name,

god is not a creator not a destroyer,

the whole universe is one we are the god and god is in us,we cant seprated us from god,here is nothing like part,bcz everything is connected to eachother whatever that is,

by talking,by reading,or by listning intlectual talks we can never know about god,we just can get the idea of god and that is not god,

this is the final truth which we cant get from outside,for this we have to go inside deep,and that will tell us what the human body and soul(energy) is and that will lead us to the truth(final and extrem truth)and after that nothing will be remain for know,thats called (self-realisation)and self-realised people(like buddha,christ,shiva)never fallows any relagion,not believe in any god,they never does worship

so what is god..is everything and is nothing in same type

and we believes what we want to believe and what we want to believe depends on our percepetion and belif,and our perception and belief creats by our surrouding and learnings,these things makes our mental conditioning and with any mental conditioning we cant know the truth,bcz then what we will know will be the reflection of our mental conditioning our mental formulation...thank you


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 4 years ago from New York City Author

Hi Favorite Boy,

Well, you contradict yourself because if God is unknowable, then how can you say any of the things you have said about him?

Your more intellectually humble approach is certainly more coherent and makes more sense than the traditional Abrahamic approach to God, because you claim fewer things about God and you claim less knowledge about something so profound and mysterious. But it is still lacking, because you still cannot get past the basic unknowable nature of God, as defined.

Try to divide a finite number by infinity, and then tell me how a finite entity can begin to understand even a small part of an infinite one.


GodlessHeathen profile image

GodlessHeathen 4 years ago from Arizona

The Unknowable God

Most theists will say Gods true nature is unknowable, that we can never really know what or who God is. This is actually one of the only things that I would agree with. Only things that exist can be known, if something is unknowable, it means that it does not exist.

Let's use the example of a " ". What is a " " you will probably ask? Good question, because I have actually said nothing, which would be the only thing that could possibly be unknowable. Once you name something or give it characteristics it becomes knowable. The fact that a theist gives this mystical creature a name "God" and then tries to describe it automatically makes it knowable because if something can be described it can be known.

So in reality if "God" is unknowable it means he does not exist, so when someone moves their lips and utters this strange sound known as "God" it is as if they have said nothing at all, much like " " would be...I have said nothing.

So either God is knowable, or God does not exist.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 4 years ago from New York City Author

Some good points, Heathen. If even a small part of God is knowable, then he must entirely be knowable/ discoverable.


ElyonKnight profile image

ElyonKnight 4 years ago from Sydney Australia

The absence of proof is not proof of absence.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 4 years ago from New York City Author

Non-belief is the correct position to take until evidence is provided for the positive claim, Elyon.


GodlessHeathen profile image

GodlessHeathen 4 years ago from Arizona

ElyonKnight

The absence of proof is not proof of absence.

You're right...I can't prove there are not purple cows on the moon, therefore we must hold out the possibility of this....such great logic theists have....


ElyonKnight profile image

ElyonKnight 4 years ago from Sydney Australia

Do you believe that Einstein's theory of relativity is accurate? Based on the absence of evidence that it is real (and based on your arguments above) we must NOT believe it to be true. Do you believe that you have a brain? Based on the laws of science (since we cannot see, hear, smell, touch or taste your brain) we must accept that there is no evidence that you have one. Again, based on your argument above, non-belief in the existence of a brain in your head is the only position to take.


GodlessHeathen profile image

GodlessHeathen 4 years ago from Arizona

What a ridiculous argument. Yes we can see the human brain and it can be touched and if you wanted to, you could even taste it..though I don't know why you would want to. We can also prove other things like gravity and air that can't be seen as well, I have heard this nonsense before and it gets more ridiculous every time one of you repeat it. Is this the best you can do?


GodlessHeathen profile image

GodlessHeathen 4 years ago from Arizona

Although you may have a partial point, I was referring to an atheist brain....we actually do lack evidence of a theists brain...


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 4 years ago from New York City Author

Elyon Knight:

"Do you believe that Einstein's theory of relativity is accurate? Based on the absence of evidence that it is real (and based on your arguments above) we must NOT believe it to be true."

What are you talking about? Einstein's relativity has been verified and proven countless times over the years.

"Do you believe that you have a brain? Based on the laws of science (since we cannot see, hear, smell, touch or taste your brain) we must accept that there is no evidence that you have one."

Again, what the heck are you talking about? Not only can we open up a person's head and see and touch their brain, but we can detect it through various noninvasive tools like a CAT scan. Moreover, all of the functions of the human body are impossible without the brain, thus any living person whose body is performing these functions must have a brain.


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favouriteboyforev 4 years ago from delhi

here my mean by unknown is not the unknowable,actualy i said that by going so deep we can understand this by self-realisation but can never decribe this to others by mere talking or disscussing,this is the matter of experience,yup this is also sure i didnt experience this all,i am just talking this bcz my mind accept this,and this is may be bcz of my logical mind and my past perceptions,i just tried to understand these things by the book "beyond the himalayas" ,this is also true that i am still confused about god..but its true that i totally believe in Karma more then god .


Kevin 4 years ago

"The flaw: If everything has a cause, then God also has a cause, because God is part of everything"

The argument is that every material thing has a cause (or is contingent).


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secularist10 4 years ago from New York City Author

Kevin:

That is one form of the Cosmological argument, not the only one.

One problem with this version of the argument is that if "every material thing has a cause" this might simply imply an infinite regress.

Also, does every material thing have a material/ natural cause? Or is it just "a cause" of some kind--including natural as well as supernatural causes?

If supernatural causes are allowed, then this is a problem because there is not a single observed instance of a material thing having a supernatural cause. We can only see material causes. Therefore the arguer must assume God/ the supernatural exists: every material thing has a material cause, EXCEPT for the first one, which is God.

So one has assumed the very thing they are trying to prove.


MilesArmbruster profile image

MilesArmbruster 4 years ago from Somewhere on the journey

Good hub. I am always impressed with how much effort you put into your hubs. However, I do wonder why you put so much effort into these arguments. Anyway, I especially liked your conclusion - I am trying to decide whether the best description is to call it concise or cogent. On the other hand, it does leave me pondering how easily your statement can be turned on its head; "There has never been a reliable, logically coherent argument presented for the non-existence of God, in all of human history." For the same reason that you can't prove God's existence, you can't prove that He doesn't exist. Keep up the good work!


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secularist10 4 years ago from New York City Author

Thank you, Miles.

Non-belief in a claim is the default position. So the nonexistence of God does not require the same logical legitimation that the existence of God does.

It is the one who makes the positive claim (in this case, that God exists) who is obligated to legitimate it, not the one who disbelieves the claim.


MilesArmbruster profile image

MilesArmbruster 4 years ago from Somewhere on the journey

Hey Secularist - but don't you see? You are making an assumption. Who is the "authority" that establishes your claim that non-belief is the default position. I can equally claim that belief is the default position (and many have) and then "It is the one who makes the [negative] claim (in this case, that God [doesn't] exist[s]) who is obligated to legitimate it, not the one who disbelieves the claim." All of your arguments against God start with a presupposition that makes your arguments as circular as the arguments you deny.


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secularist10 4 years ago from New York City Author

Nope. I have made no assumption. I made no claim. It is the theist who made the claim.

I didn't say anything. My mouth was shut. Then the theist came along and said "hey, God exists." So I say, ok, let's analyze this claim.

(As an aside, personally, I do not believe that God does not exist. I simply have no position on the matter. I assume for working purposes that God does not exist, just as I assume that leprechauns do not exist, or the Yeti does not exist. But any of these things may exist, technically.)


MilesArmbruster profile image

MilesArmbruster 4 years ago from Somewhere on the journey

Uhhh... Oops.

1) "Nope, I have made no assumption. I made no claim."

2) "I assume for working purposes that God does not exist."

Exactly my point. When you establish your "working purposes" with any assumption, you have set the ground rules that are self supporting of the argument you want. All of your statements are merely choosing a starting point. The especially ironic part is that, once again, you have merely proven my point:

I was sitting there, enjoying my lunch. My mouth was shut. Then the non-theist came along and said, "Hey, God doesn't exist." So I pondered as I chewed, ok, let's analyze this claim. For me, I assume for working purposes that God does exist.

And, as an aside of my own, I was raised an atheist by adamant atheists. 50 years ago they taught me all of the "flaws" that you identify in your hub. They honed my argumentation with endless references to the scholars and philosophers. (My dad had a double Ph.D. and my mother had a handful of degrees.) And still all of the arguments (on both sides) start with assumptions about the nature and meaning of language, how logic works, rhetoric, argumentation, how to handle data, the nature of knowledge and "proof" and all of them are limited by the depth of our understanding and our ability to express it in language. And yet those assumptions define the rules for the argument and determine in advance which way the argument goes. I could easily disprove all of the "flaws" you identify in your hub by merely defining God differently. (and I do define Him differently.)

Oh... yeah, some people believe in leprechauns. If you read the endless silliness of people who are devoted to the legends of leprechauns you will find that the only people who get to see them are people who believe in them. That's a problem. You can't prove that they don't exist, and nobody can prove that they do. Unless they reveal themselves...

One final comment on this hub. You have shown that there are reasons to not trust all of those archaic arguments for God. But you have not proven that there is no God.

Well, anyway, I will keep reading your hubs and enjoying them. It's like re-visiting my childhood.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 4 years ago from New York City Author

You misquoted me of course. The first was in reference to the general objective argument, the second was my personal belief.

"But you have not proven that there is no God."

That was not my intention, nor will it ever be my intention. You claim to have special knowledge of my beliefs and assumptions and perspective and whatnot, but you are actually incorrect on one of the most basic points here: that it is not about proving there is no God, it is about proving that there is no reason to believe in God.

It is a negative exercise, not a positive one. No actual claim is being made. Only the negation of a claim. You keep missing that.

Me sitting alone minding my own business was intended to demonstrate to you that non-belief in God is the default, and the norm of the human mind.

You wish to believe that God can be characterized as the default belief. Well, you are free to believe whatever you want, but the fact is that if that were true, we would not have to educate children on what "God" is. Everyone would be born with knowledge of God, his specific qualities, etc. They would not need to be told what God is. This is of course not true. Everyone is born an agnostic or atheist (depending on the definition one uses), but nobody is born a theist.

"I could easily disprove all of the "flaws" you identify in your hub by merely defining God differently. (and I do define Him differently.)"

Then you define God differently than the standard definition. This article uses the standard definition of God. If you want to define God differently, then you have to specify that.

"You can't prove that [leprechauns] don't exist, and nobody can prove that they do. Unless they reveal themselves..."

Precisely. And the same can be said of God. Therefore if you believe in God, you must believe in leprechauns and an infinite number of similar hypothetical creatures. It is a logical necessity because of the rule you have established. Of course, theists prefer only to believe in THEIR magical creature, and call the rest of them "silly."

For all your apparent education you seem to miss this basic point. That if you are to establish belief in X as the default, where X is an idea that cannot be disproven, then you must also believe EVERY SINGLE OTHER idea that cannot be disproven, which means leprechauns, Yeti, Loch Ness monster, ghosts, little green men from Mars, etc. An infinite number of things. None of these things can be disproven, and therefore by your standard must be believed. Simply because they cannot be disproven. One cannot prove a negative.

God is a positive claim. It is impossible to prove that God does not exist. But we can demonstrate there is no logical reason to believe in God.

You say such a demonstration depends on our starting assumptions. But these starting assumptions are simply the starting assumptions of the human mind. The human mind believes in very few things as an assumption--the existence of the self, which is self-evident, and the existence of the natural world, which derives from the existence of the self. (In fact one could argue no blind faith assumptions are needed at all.) That's it. Everything else must be observed or deduced from observation. Period.

This naturalism inherent to the human mind is something you cannot escape. Although I'm sure you will try to by claiming "you say 'to-may-to,' I say 'to-mah-to', you say naturalism is the default state, I say supernaturalism is the default state."

But just saying that does not make it so.


MilesArmbruster profile image

MilesArmbruster 4 years ago from Somewhere on the journey

Thank you for your response. I am sorry that I upset you so that you had to cast aspersions on my understanding to make your argument, that was not my intent. One of the reasons that I have enjoyed your hubs is that you are level headed and don't use ad hominem arguments. Mea maxima culpa.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 4 years ago from New York City Author

Well, I wasn't upset nor am I upset. I've heard many theistic arguments before, and from theists far nastier than you. I actually found your comments tough but quite respectful. I'm sorry if I came across hostile or ad hominem, that was not my intent.

You did introduce your education and upbringing into the discussion, so I referenced it in my response, if that is what you are talking about. I don't see where I made any personal attacks. Your arguments fail quite well on their own merit, so no personal attacks are needed on my part.


eric-d-agustin 4 years ago

As a Christian brother of Bro Eliseo "Eli" Soriano, I believe that we are finite human beings. I don't care if I do not know much about God. But I would rather believe God than rely on someone else "knowledge" about Him, the world and/or the universe. Whether PROOFS or NON-proofs about the EXISTENCE of God, there IS God.


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secularist10 4 years ago from New York City Author

"I don't care if I do not know much about God."

Really? You don't care if you don't know much about the entity that you are supposed to worship and dedicate your whole life to? I guess you do more research before buying a pair of shoes than you do before bowing down and dedicating your entire life to an invisible being. Doesn't seem very wise to me.

"Whether PROOFS or NON-proofs about the EXISTENCE of God, there IS God."

I wonder if you would say the same about Zeus? Replace "God" with "Zeus" and see if it still makes sense for you:

"Whether PROOFS or NON-proofs about the EXISTENCE of Zeus, there IS Zeus."


eric-d-agustin 4 years ago

M.I.S.-EXEGESIS/CONSTRUAL

"I don't care if I do not know much about God."

My point is 'NOT knowing much' about God who is an Infinite/Immortal Being! He is unlike any other. Unlike us, we are but finite beings. We are here today and gone the next time.

Substitution E-R-R-O-R

"Whether PROOFS or NON-proofs about the EXISTENCE of Zeus, there IS Zeus."

Zeus is just an idol to me and not even a god. I will not even compare myself to him (zeus). (I hope I did not offend him/her who is a zeus-zealot.) So, why make use of this kind of substitution error?


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secularist10 4 years ago from New York City Author

"My point is 'NOT knowing much' about God who is an Infinite/Immortal Being!"

You are assuming God exists in the first place! LOL! That is the whole point of this article--to show that God cannot be proven to exist.

"Zeus is just an idol to me and not even a god."

Well, your "God" is just an idol to me and not even a god. So we're even.

No substitution errors here. There is no proof for God, Zeus, Vishnu or any other such being. Therefore there is no reason to believe in them.


eric-d-agustin 4 years ago

My 1st premise is this and I repeat,

As a Christian brother of Bro Eliseo "Eli" Soriano, I believe that we are finite human beings. I don't care if I do not know much about God. But I would rather believe God than rely on someone else "knowledge" about Him, the world and/or the universe. Whether PROOFS or NON-proofs about the EXISTENCE of God, there IS God.

It still does not answer all. Search yourself -iff you only want to to arrive at the 2nd premise, 3rd premise...and before our time comes to an end.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 4 years ago from New York City Author

You are just repeating what you already said. I need only refer you to my previous response.

As a secularist brother of Socrates and Hume, I too believe that we are finite human beings. I DO care if I do not know much about something. I would rather believe in something that has evidence and reason supporting it than rely on someone else's "knowledge" about a supposed "God."

"God" is an idea that was dreamt up by ancient primitive people who knew almost nothing about science or nature.

I would rather trust human ingenuity, curiosity and wonder than the fairy tales of ancient primitive peoples.


eric-d-agustin 4 years ago

I just repeated what I already said. I need only to refer you to the next sections of my 2nd, 3rd,...premises -- END.


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secularist10 4 years ago from New York City Author

Repeating the same thing over and over indicates one's argument is hollow. I don't really understand what you are referring to with "2nd, 3rd,...premises." But, whatever. The End, I guess.


Dean Michael Jackson 4 years ago

You left out the Physical Proof for the Existence of God (# 18):

The Proof for God's Existence laid out:

(1) The universe is [the universe];

(2) “True” means there is cognition;

(3) The universe is also true;

(4) Since “true” means there is cognition, and the universe was true before corporeal life existed, then there was a cognitive entity that knew the universe was true before corporeal life existed.

Just as there are many more "truths" to be learned about the universe, so the universe is "true" as we currently know it and was "true" before corporeal life existed in the universe. "Truth" requires knowing and knowing requires cognition, therefore who was cognizant and knew the universe to be true before corporeal life existed in the universe?

--------------------------------

The proof that this cognitive entity, that existed before corporeal life existed in the universe, created the universe:

My proof affirms that there was a non-corporeal cognitive entity (a spiritual entity, not physical) that knew the Universe was true the moment it came into existence after the Big Bang. What this means is that there was a cognitive spiritual entity in existence at all points where there was a physical reality. Well, since this spiritual entity was there always alongside physical reality within all the minute realities of the Quantum universe, and those complex Quantum realities were true, then the cognitive entity knew such complex Quantum realities were immediately true upon their origination, but in order to know immediately such truths of the Quantum universe are indeed true, the spiritual entity would had to have created the Quantum universe.

In other words, truth = creation = God, which brings us to what Jesus was prepared to tell Pontius Pilate, but Pontius Pilate walked out of the audience hall after rhetorically asking Jesus ‘what is truth?’


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secularist10 4 years ago from New York City Author

Dean, your use of the word "truth" is rhetoric. It is ambiguous.

"The universe" is not "true." The statement "the universe exists" is true. Truth applies to statements, not physical things. And moreover, "truth" is a concept that we humans, as conscious beings, have created. We already exist within the universe, so our conception of "truth" itself depends on the existence of the universe, not the other way around.


Dean Michael Jackson 4 years ago

secularist10 says, "Dean, your use of the word "truth" is rhetoric. It is ambiguous."

Response: Nothing ambiguous about the universe being objectively true, a fact.

secularist10 says, "Truth applies to statements, not physical things."

Response: I said the universe is true, not a truth.

secularist10 says, "The universe" is not "true."

Response: The universe certainly is true, a fact!

secularist10 says, "And moreover, "truth" is a concept that we humans, as conscious beings, have created. "

Response: Are you denying that the universe wasn't a fact (true) before corporeal life existed? Now, who knew the universe to be a fact (objectively true) before corporeal life existed?

secularist10 says, "We already exist within the universe, so our conception of "truth" itself depends on the existence of the universe, not the other way around."

Response: I'm not referring to a "truth", and a fact (an objectively true thing in this case) doesn't depend on the existence of corporeal life.


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secularist10 4 years ago from New York City Author

How come nobody ever says "the apple is true" or "the President is true" or "my computer is true"? The word "true" is not used in the way you are using it. But again, it's words, not the main issue. Not important.

This is the main issue you are raising:

"Now, who knew the universe to be a fact (objectively true) before corporeal life existed?"

Nobody. Nobody was here.

"I'm not referring to a "truth", and a fact (an objectively true thing in this case) doesn't depend on the existence of corporeal life."

The word "true" is a derivative of "truth" so you are referring to truth, and I never said that a fact depends on the existence of corporeal life. Read it again. I said that our conception of truth depends on the existence of the universe. Our conception. If the universe did not exist, we would not be here, therefore our conception would not be here either.


Dean Michael Jackson 4 years ago

secularist10 says, "How come nobody ever says "the apple is true" or "the President is true" or "my computer is true"?"

Response: because those items are clearly seen to exist. The makeup of the universe, or the objective laws of the universe (such as gravity, thermodynamics, motion, etc.) are not clearly seen, but need to be assessed first, THEN seen as true. Such phenomena outside our immediate sensory perceptions need to be assessed as true or false via the scientific method.


Dean Michael Jackson 4 years ago

Part II (see my last comment for Part I) :

People ask, "Are Ghosts true?", "Is the Loch Ness Monster true?" or even "Is God true?" All phenomena not clearly known to exist, though now we know God does exist!


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secularist10 4 years ago from New York City Author

Ok, then how come nobody ever says "gamma rays are true" or "gravity is true" or "bacteria are true"? These are scientifically discovered phenomena that are outside our immediate awareness. Once again, the word "true" is not used in that way. We say instead "gamma rays exist" or "bacteria exist." Truth or falsity applies only to statements.

No, nobody ever says "are ghosts true" or "is the Loch Ness monster true." We say "do ghosts exist" or "are ghosts real." Incidentally, are you a native speaker of English? Just curious, as that might be the problem.

You can say "the theory of evolution is true," because a theory is a type of a statement (or series of statements).

But again, this is the least of your concern.

The main problem with your argument is that you are assuming the thing you are trying to prove (that God exists). You assume that something must exist for the universe to exist. That something you call God. But on what basis do you assume that something must exist for the universe to exist? You have not addressed that.


Dean Michael Jackson 4 years ago

secularist10 says, "No, nobody ever says "are ghosts true" or "is the Loch Ness monster true."'

Response: They sure do. Look it up!

Now, one might think gravity is true (fact), but to actually know it is true, one puts the hypothesis through the scientific method.

secularist10 says, "You can say "the theory of evolution is true," because a theory is a type of a statement (or series of statements)."

Response: My proof relies on objective facts/laws of nature (such as gravity, thermodynamics, etc.) or the universe itself, not theories.


Dean Michael Jackson 4 years ago

Part II (see my last comment for Part I) :

Assessing, through the scientific method, if the the general nature of the universe we live in is true or false was a part of the discovery process 500 years ago when science was assessing the nature of our universe. Science doesn't immediately know if a phenomena is true or false UNTIL it's been put through the scientific method gauntlet.


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secularist10 4 years ago from New York City Author

Lol. I assure you they do not. You will not find any such phrase uttered anywhere by anyone who knows how to speak the language correctly.

Alas, you have not addressed the main issue once again.


Dean Michael Jackson 4 years ago

secularist10 says, "Lol. I assure you they do not."

Response: As I said, you can look up the phrases, and since all who read this thread have looked up the phrases "Are Ghosts true?", "Is the Loch Ness Monster true?" or even "Is God true?" and found those phrases, you're in error once again.

Passages dealing with God being true or false:

"Is God True Or False?" --(http://www.goingtojesus.com/topic_holyspirit.html?...

"If God is false, why are we here?" --(http://www.topix.com/forum/religion/atheism/TAPSRA...

"GOD:True or false" (http://paranormalis.com/threads/god-true-or-false....

"God. True or False?" -- (http://www.sodahead.com/united-states/god-true-or-...


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 4 years ago from New York City Author

They are not using that word correctly. The internet is rife with people using improper grammar, so if that's your standard, no wonder.

But the last two have more of a rhetorical connotation because they are using the common phrase "true or false." They are using that phrase to convey a point. Technically, the proper way to express it would be: "God exists. True or false?"

"True or false" in that case applies to the preceding statement.

I'm a professional writer and editor, for what it's worth.

Here's a sample from the homepage of the first link (Going to Jesus):

"You are hurting? You have suffered a crushing loss. You have been disappointed, misunderstood, betrayed. What are you to do? What do you think?"

This is poor grammar and poor writing. It would be better to write the questions as "Are you hurting? Have you suffered a crushing loss?" And so on.

But even aside from your flawed use of the word "true," my original point was that you confused and mismatched "true" and "truth" in your opening argument. This was worth pointing out because your argument was based on those words.

Anyway, this is all very interesting, but I note yet again that you are avoiding the main issue that undermines your argument: assuming the thing you try to prove.


Dean Michael Jackson 4 years ago

secularist10 says, "They are not using that word correctly."

LOL! Of course secularist10 can't explain why "Is God true?" or "false" improper grammar!

If I were to say, "Is Evolution true?", would secularist10 scream "bad grammar!" Nope he wouldn't, so why is secularist10 so afraid to admit what he knows to be true, that "Is God true" is perfectly fine grammar?

Of course, when scientists are attempting to determine whether a phenomena is true or false, they are not worried about grammar, they are simply interested in determining if a suspect phenomena is true or not. Well, they determined that the universe is indeed a true (fact) phenomena, but the phenomena was also true (fact) before corporeal life existed, so who knew the universe was true (a fact) then?


Dean Michael Jackson 4 years ago

Part II (see my last comment for Part I) :

secularist10 says, "I'm a professional writer and editor, for what it's worth."

Response: then you should know that "God", like "Evolution", is also an IDEA, and as an idea is subject to being described as "true" or "false".


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secularist10 4 years ago from New York City Author

To say "is evolution true" is also bad grammar. I already said that. The proper phrasing is "is the theory of evolution true."

True/ false applies to statements. Real/ unreal applies to objects.

And why are you referring to me in the third person? I'm right here. Lol.

"so who knew the universe was true (a fact) then?"

I already answered this question. It would be nice if you actually read what I wrote.

The answer is: No one! No one was here! Lol.


Dean Michael Jackson 4 years ago

secularist10 says, "To say "is evolution true" is also bad grammar. I already said that. The proper phrasing is "is the theory of evolution true."'

Response: Not containing the words "the theory of" within the sentence "Is Evolution true?" is not a grammatical issue. It is less precise, nothing more. However if you prefer "Is the theory of evolution true?" then be my guest. You can also have, "Is the idea of God true?" and "Is the idea of the universe true?"

As I said earlier, "Of course, when scientists are attempting to determine whether a phenomena is true or false, they are not worried about grammar, they are simply interested in determining if a suspect phenomena is true or not. Well, they determined that the universe is indeed a true (fact) phenomena, but the phenomena was also true (fact) before corporeal life existed, so who knew the universe was true (a fact) then?"


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secularist10 4 years ago from New York City Author

"Is the idea of the universe true?"

Exactly. And the idea (or awareness) of the universe resides in the minds of sentient beings, of which there were none before humans existed (barring extra terrestrials of course).

Why do you keep repeating the same question over and over again? I already answered your last question multiple times.


Dean Michael Jackson 4 years ago

secularist10 says, "And the idea (or awareness) of the universe resides in the minds of sentient beings, of which there were none before humans existed (barring extra terrestrials of course)."

Response: the characteristics of the universe were discovered to be true by corporeal life, as such the universe was already true before corporal life discovered that it was true, otherwise there would have been no discovery that the universe is true.

In other words, one can't discover something that doesn't already exist!


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secularist10 4 years ago from New York City Author

Correct you are. The universe exists outside of us.

Our perception/ idea/ understanding of the universe obviously depends on our existence.


Dean Michael Jackson 4 years ago

It took you over three hours to come up with that disingenuous response?

Well, now you know God exists, although I know you never doubted it. You're Evil.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 4 years ago from New York City Author

Haha!

I don't know what you're smoking, but it can't be legal.

Believe it or not, some people have lives outside of the internet. Three whole hours! Wow! Unsurprising that you would ignore substance to focus on nonsense. Also unsurprising that you would lower yourself to name-calling. Although I do give you points for originality. I've gotten a lot of insults from your ilk, but I don't think I've had that one before.

Now everyone sees just how empty your arguments are. When push comes to shove, you must resort to name-calling.

In any case, for anybody who cares, my response was hardly disingenuous. It was an affirmation and agreement of what you said in your previous comment, which was entirely consistent with my position that there is no proof for God.

What on earth makes you think I "know" God exists? And that I "never doubted it" to boot? LOL!

I have been clear in this article and all my others--there is no evidence and no reason to believe in God.

For some reason you think your arguments have been persuasive. That's just sad. You have yet to address the critical issues I raised earlier, to say nothing of the weakness of the original argument to begin with.

I suggest you go back to play in the kiddie pool. You're not ready to swim in the intellectual deep end.


roger 3 years ago

soooooo shallowww...all your arguments ....


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secularist10 3 years ago from New York City Author

Roger, your comment is as useless as it is hilarious. Certainly, if you have some disagreement with anything that has been said, you can muster a little more than a drive-by quip. Unless, of course, your argument is... well... too shallow?


AnoNymous9 3 years ago

As to number 12, I'm not sure I see why the answer to the question, "Why are we able to measure the universe and its behavior this precisely?" is obvious.

As nearly as I can tell, the only obvious secular answer to that question is, "Because the state of the universe is precisely what we have measured." Which leads to the question, "Why does the universe operate precisely to these laws?" which you have already defined as identical to the question, "Why are we able to measure the universe and its behavior this precisely?" The same invalid circularity that denies us ontology and revelation creates a bunch of answers to the question of "Why?" leading only back to each other.

Obviously, then, the way to break this circularity is to ask the real question, "Why does the universe, its laws, or anything in them have to have a cause?" or, "Why are 'why?' questions relevant?" That answer, of course, you covered under the headings of the cosmological and design arguments: there doesn't have to be a relevant "why?" with respect to God, and therefore the universe.

I'm going to mention but ignore the fact that clearly, those are not refutations of God, merely proof of lack of proof. I only mention it to recognize that I'm sure you've covered it all too well enough above, with people who think one should disprove for non-belief.

Back to the question: the word "cause" can be considered in two useful senses. The first sense is as the discrete instantaneous state of the universal wave-function which resulted in a subsequent given state of the universal wave-function. (Even here, I can't escape the concept of cause.) The second sense is as the discrete logic function in accordance with which the universal wave-function changed. Causative events, and causative logics; matter-energy and space-time.

Your logic is that, given the chain of causative states that would stretch all the way back until never if everything required a prior causative state, it is unnecessary to call any particular one "God." It is, however, not inconsistent to say that God is the infinite sum of all discrete parts of that series of prior causative states. As any mathematician would tell you, it would be invalid to treat this infinity as if it were finite; therefore, one solution to this is that only finite things are caused, and that God, being infinite, needs no cause.

Likewise, against the design argument, your logic is that, given the chain of causing logics that would stretch all the way back until always if everything required a prior causative logic, then it is unnecessary to call any particular one "God." Once again, the distinction between the finite causative logics of nature and the infinite causative logic of God would become a thing of paramount importance.

To clarify, I'm saying that these arguments are "not-in"validated by the proposition that everything has to have a cause. They aren't proof, only because we don't have to accept the premise they're built on; but the arguments also don't have to be untrue. The only "flaw" with the proposition is that they define the implications of non-belief in God instead of proving that God Himself exists.

Personally, since science demands that there exist knowable proximate causative logics in the world, causative logics that are derived from prior discrete causative events within the wave-function, I find it far more cogent then to believe that there are also ultimate causative logics and events making up what I call God. But I do recognize that this is my personal opinion, and not proof of any tangible kind.

Once more, a thought-provoking hub. I'd never been on Hubpages before today; I'll have to come back eventually.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 3 years ago from New York City Author

Anonymous--yes, the point of this article is to demonstrate that none of these arguments in favor of God holds water. It is the lack of proof that is the issue. There is no disproving the existence of God or any other mythical creature for that matter.

"... it is unnecessary to call any particular one "God.""

This is not an entirely accurate characterization of my argument, but it's not really important.

"... therefore, one solution to this is that only finite things are caused, and that God, being infinite, needs no cause."

You are free to define "God" as the sum of all these individual finite states as you describe, but that is not the traditional conception of God, and it is not the conception of God being used here.

The conception of God here is the traditional one--an all-knowing, all-powerful creator of everything that exists separate and apart from the universe.

The notion of an eternal universe with no beginning and no end is far more intellectually sound than the notion of an "unmoved mover" or "first cause." The former is entirely consistent with everything we know about causation and physics, etc, but the latter requires us to have two sets of rules--one for the nature that we observe and live in, and another for a creature that was first imagined in ancient primitive societies, and for whose existence there is no rational basis.


ReasonablyLogical profile image

ReasonablyLogical 3 years ago from USA

Rationality at its finest! I appreciate you laying out the arguments and debunking them. I find it amusing how people tend to tip toe around a concrete definition of a god, as if to repel these arguments. Great work!


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 3 years ago from New York City Author

Thank you! Glad you liked it.


timmyelliot 2 years ago

I'm an atheist, but really, is there an proof for our own existence (i.e. proof for "I exist") that doesn't have an equally strong counter-argument? And yet, I do believe I exist.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 2 years ago from New York City Author

Hi Timmy, well, in the case of oneself, as Descartes said, "I think, therefore I am." So basically the fact that you are even thinking or doing anything, demonstrates that you exist in some way. A nonexistent thing could not think, do or say anything. But in the case of God, we are talking about something external to us.


Miguel hijo de Dios (The Observer) 2 years ago

like timmy said... nothing that makes me a human being can proof that i exist and we don't "believe it"... WE JUST KNOW IT! that's faith! you can't prove it and it doesn't mather that you can't but you can feel it from your internal being (you just know it)... i see it over and over again, we trying to explain everything like we could understand it, you are just trying to understand god's existence from a human point of view "A nonexistent thing could not think, do or say anything" that's wrong! i hear that like "the earth is squared shaped" we know nothing about time flow, space, light, not even our own brains! much less about god or devil. we have to stop thinking about the unknown and the unanswered questions like a humans do! we are not as image as god! trying to understand if there's a god or how he did and continue doing things is like trying to understand how infinite the universe is! we think we know about the universal laws and time/space behavior and we still do wars and continue with our own destruction... We can't have absolute thinking (if all is caused god is caused, if everything is complex is designed so god had a designer) i guess we are just too intelligent to understand the real meaning of life! and that's not the way of reaching any truth.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 2 years ago from New York City Author

Miguel, I don't know why you are yelling and shouting so much.

It's not clear exactly what your point is because you're kind of all over the place. But you said that human knowledge is limited.

I completely agree. Which is why it is absurd for anyone to believe that they "know" God exists.

We do the best we can with the limited knowledge we do have, and that entails focusing on evidence, logic and reason, not ancient myths or subjective beliefs.

""A nonexistent thing could not think, do or say anything" that's wrong!"

Really? Have you ever seen something that did not exist, do something?

It's obvious that if I am doing or saying or thinking something, I exist. It's so obvious I don't understand how anybody could question such a simple statement. Unless you do not understand what you are talking about.


Miguel hijo de Dios (The Observer) 2 years ago

I'm completely sure you have no idea what i'm talking about! i'm so sorry about that man! good luck!(sorry if i yell hahahahahahaha) sometime PERHAPS you will notice that the earth isn't the center of the universe and it's not square shaped! if you know what i mean ;) leave the kind of topic for grownups!


Miguelangelus 2 years ago

"human knowledge is limited. Which is why it is absurd for anyone to believe that they "know" God exists." do you have any idea of what knowledge, intelligence and wisdom mean? and what the difference is?? what is the relation between information and faith? how much does a study have to be certified or proven for you to see it as a real fact? do you think that people believe in god because there is enough evidence?? in the contrary we just know! we can feel his existence! his words reach us! can you fully understand that? or you need some certified evidence? it's absurd to think that we are not just carbon made forms with only 5 senses? think from out of the box and you'll find more answers!


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 2 years ago from New York City Author

Lol, if anyone is acting like a child here it's you.

Oh, I "fully understand" what you are describing. And you are wrong.

How do you know that is God that you "feel" and not some other force or event?

You need actual evidence for your beliefs. Without some kind of evidence, all you have is speculation and subjective opinion.


Miguelangelus 2 years ago

wrong are you! you speculate when you declare something without evidence! like a lie! but when you believe or thrust something or in someone without evidence thats called faith!

"How do you know that is God that you "feel" and not some other force or event?" we told you! we just know it! we don't need any evidence like i said earlier!

Wrong about what?? evidence again? what secularist10 really needs in his life is a dictionary.


Miguelangelus 2 years ago

How can you say what's different between cold and hot?? can you feel the difference? do you have evidence of that feeling? and how can you prove that we sense it as it was the same for both?? have any evidence of it? you don't even understand the basics... and you are trying to convince people that god is a lie! after thousands of years of religious history from more advanced civilizations than the current one!


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 2 years ago from New York City Author

Your emotionalism just demonstrates how empty and hollow your arguments are.

"you speculate when you declare something without evidence! like a lie! but when you believe or thrust something or in someone without evidence thats called faith!"

So, let's see here... When you "declare" something without evidence, that's speculation. But when you "believe" something without evidence, that's faith.

Lol.

So according to you, as long as you don't "declare" what you believe without evidence, you are still in the faith zone. So, I guess since you have been declaring stuff about God all over the place here, you must be "speculating" according to your own definition!

Haha.

"we just know it!"

That, ladies and gents, says it all.

Too bad you can't even recognize your own narrow assumptions.

You don't even understand the basics, and you are trying to convince people that God exists. Lol!


Miguelangelus 2 years ago

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA you got it all backwards as it was expected. what a moron! i was going to talk to you about respect and maturity but it's pointless you are not worth of it... you have no purpose in this life! the life is meaningless for you! you can only kill yourself as the shallow being you are. i dare you to publish this answers!


Link10103 profile image

Link10103 2 years ago

Secular

In a discussion with someone else, I said god was a judgmental, merciless psychopath. Miguel over here said my comments were pointless because I compared god to being a politician....I dont know anything about politics, so I don't see how I could have done that.

Report and move on...


Link10103 profile image

Link10103 2 years ago

I dont see how anyone here manipulated your response, you are your own free person and can say what you want.

Since its clear you have the intelligence of a 8 year old, I guess I should point out that reporting you had nothing to do with religious intolerance, it had to do with you telling secular to kill himself because he has no religion. That is a no no on pretty much any site on the internet my friend.

What exactly does your video prove? I was under the impression this hub was about the existence of god, not demonic possession. I notcied you have a tendency to start talking about random topics when someone backs you into corner. And as disturbing as the video was, you see the same if not worse in the movies.

I also told you, twice in fact, that I would report you. So again, no idea why you are on about bravery.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 2 years ago from New York City Author

Miguel:

"what a moron! i was going to talk to you about respect and maturity but it's pointless you are not worth of it"

Amazing.

Not only do you completely contradict yourself--a personal insult, then in the same breath claiming a high ground for "respect and maturity"--but your personal attacks and emotionalism conclusively demonstrate you have nothing constructive to offer this conversation.

"you can only kill yourself as the shallow being you are. i dare you to publish this answers!"

Oh, you bet your ass I'm publishing it, so everyone can see how empty, hollow and filled with rage and emotion you are.

These will be the last comments from you though, as it certainly crosses the line.

How pathetic. And unfortunate.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 2 years ago from New York City Author

Link:

Haha, I can see how that might make him see red.

Miguel has indeed been banned from the site.

All I can do is shake my head. As they say, a mind is a terrible thing to waste.

Thanks for looking out.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 2 years ago from New York City Author

I'm just going to reproduce Miguel's final comment here (this is what Link responded to in his last comment).

Just for the record, and because I lean towards more speech, rather than less. But I had to delete his comment because he linked to a Youtube video that was too disturbing and weird.

***

Miguel:

"that's it! you are the expert about God and for your hypocrite atheism and complete intolerence for religious people you just report! the next time don't manipulate my responses just to make me look like the bad guy! and about reporting i preffer that you could do it in my face! what a brave dude! you are so brave and esceptical that i want to share something with you all! i dare you to watch completely:

[video removed]

anyway you don't believe in that or you're just another teammate so you are inmune to it"

***

Somebody needs a stiff drink. Lol.


Link10103 profile image

Link10103 2 years ago

In one of his last comments on another hub he told me to respect other people, yet right before that sentence he said he wasn't going to bother reading my long comment countering all the points he made previously because it was all pointless.

Might need to start drinking myself just to deal with people with such backwards a$$ logic...


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 2 years ago from New York City Author

People like this always defeat themselves; their fallacious and illogical arguments need no rebuttal because everybody can see how ridiculous they are.

Just give them enough rope and they will hang themselves, as they say.


Shawntv 2 years ago

It's believed that Adam and Eve were the first. Does god exist yes. Proof? Yes. Did the people of earth just poof into existence by the millions. Yes. Would god want to create the world to start as a huge sin. No god is good. Would god want to start the world with one girl and one boy and go on from there. No because that would be a huge sin by him and making a sin be impossible to commit. That is because the world would have to be started off incest. God would not want that to happen and he would never. So that's out the question. We did not come from one man and one girl because then that would be a sin. So

The only way is; yes we did all poof into existence because that would be the right thing to do. For all atheist if evolution exists and we came from apes then they would have to created the world themselves too right? OFF INCEST. Fathers having sex with daughters and that is still a huge sin. So believing in evolution and believing in two starting in the beginning is believing in satan creating the beginning. So yea I do believe in god creating us all just like poof to begin us. God does not base his works off sin so how could evolution exist and how could the world starting as two exist and that is proof that god exists. If you believe in the world being started off from incest then wouldn't incest evolve with our brains and be stuck in our ways. We would all still be doing it now right. But we're NOT. Were good people coming from god who poofed into existence from the almighty God who start from good. God is good so everybody gets a chance to be good. It's all right here. We would still be having sex with our brothers sisters and mothers if god didn't create us but were not. Were all made from God! You don't have to believe in any religion. Just God.


Oztinato profile image

Oztinato 2 years ago from Australia

Lets not conveniently forget the eminent maths figure of Kurt Godel whose math proof of God has been tested and proved by super computers.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 2 years ago from New York City Author

Oz--I think you made that argument in another thread. Proofs like that can only "work" if one accepts the premises, etc. Been there, done that.


Say Yes To Life profile image

Say Yes To Life 2 years ago from Big Island of Hawaii

In the Western World, people who don't believe in one omnipotent God are suspected as lacking morals, since they're not accountable to this God. However, in the Eastern World, such a belief is seen merely as an opinion. I discovered this in the process of working on a four-part hub series on the 10 most practiced religions in the world. Half are monotheistic, 3 are polytheistic, 1 is not based on any theistic belief system, and 1 is flat-out atheist. I'm still working on the 4th one, but if you wish, you can check out the others, starting with this one:

http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/What-Takes...

It seems to me if there truly was only one omnipotent God Who created everything, He would appeal to all nationalities, not just one. I found this HIGHLY interesting article on the web. I don't know how to share it on HubPages, so I can only post the link:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/daylightatheism/essay...


Oztinato profile image

Oztinato 2 years ago from Australia

Secularist

I said lets NOT conveniently forget Gödel and you have a knack of doing just that. Why don't you do that with Einstein's premises?


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 2 years ago from New York City Author

Oz--I'm not sure I follow your argument.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 2 years ago from New York City Author

Say:

Those are exactly the kinds of issues I thought about years ago when I was critically analyzing religious belief for the first time. Indeed, they all claim exclusive truth, and yet by definition, they can't all be exclusively true, lol.

It makes a lot more sense to say that people have developed different beliefs in line with the historical experiences of their regions and cultures. Man-made creations, rather than divinely inspired.


Ronel Wakeford88 2 years ago

I am a believer of God and His Son (Our Lord) Christ Jesus. No one can tell me that the beauty we see around us never had a designer. No one can tell me that love existed on its own. Love is the most powerful emotion we have. Love is not logical, it was created. And I can actually speak up for the Word Of God, seeing that it is the only book with prophetic words that actually came true. People should try creating animals from scratch. People should try creating an entire globe from scratch. Everyone is sadly mistaken if they think that all of this beauty just exists without a creator. And no, feelings are not the only source of our faith! Some of us have actually seen Christ Jesus. How do you explain that? And please, do not see my comment as rudeness, but only as an obedient way to prevent more people from spitting in God's face. And whether this comment makes you believe in the Lord or not, truth will reveal itself on judgement day. Good luck.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 24 months ago from New York City Author

"Some of us have actually seen Christ Jesus. How do you explain that?"

I explain it by saying that you did not actually see Jesus. Rather, you saw something you interpret at "Jesus." If you had been born in another culture, or another time, you would not recognize that image or that experience as "Jesus" but rather as something else altogether, or as nothing special at all.

Just because we have a hard time understanding our universe and the feelings we have does not mean that any of it was designed.


Lerys profile image

Lerys 24 months ago

The arguments were great. There's one statement however that I found unconvincing. Under the "transcendental argument" heading, you wrote:

"If logic requires a designer, that designer by definition must be logical." I don't see how the designer of a system inevitably becomes constrained by its laws.


Oztinato profile image

Oztinato 24 months ago from Australia

Sec

the only scientific theories you debunk with Hubs are the ones defending the science behind religion.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 23 months ago from New York City Author

Lerys:

Thank you, glad you liked it.

The idea is that logic cannot arise from something illogical. Order cannot arise from chaos. If this is true (which it is according to the believers who make this argument), then if logic exists, it must have been designed from another, at least equally logical, being.

I, on the other hand, believe that it's possible for order to arise from chaos (indeed, nature proves this to be the case). Therefore I am not biased to think that logic had to be "designed" by a conscious being per se.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 23 months ago from New York City Author

Oz:

I don't try to debunk scientific theories.


Oztinato profile image

Oztinato 23 months ago from Australia

Sec

Only ones that offer proof of God


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 23 months ago from New York City Author

Nope.

There are no scientific theories that offer proof of God anyway, so your premise is faulty in any case.


Ronel Wakeford88 23 months ago

You say that there is no proof that there is a God. I ask you then, where is your proof that God does not exist? You have no proof whatsoever that God does not exist. You cannot travel to the outskirts of the universe, look for heaven, and come back and say that there is no God. The arguments given that there is no God, sounds more like speculation. It is not documented proof. The way I see it, both parties are in a race in proving what they believe. While Christians, like me, live by faith rather than seeking proof that God exists. Funny enough, people who do not believe in God also live by faith in their daily life. Whether it is to hope that someone is not lying. Or to have faith that they will receive a job. The only thing is: they just don't link their faith to a God. Well, if you have faith and God does not exist according to you, then why bother having faith in the first place. Which brings me to my point - daily life revolves around a powerful force: God. So if you are an atheist, I would say that 50% of the times, you are arguing against your own theories. So please, before it is too late: repent! You'll be better off than living a lie or thinking that you just exist with no reason. Because if you live with no reason at all, why do you exist?


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 23 months ago from New York City Author

Ronel:

"where is your proof that God does not exist?"

Your assumption is wrong. You assume that the burden of proof is on the disbeliever. In reality, the burden of proof is on the person making the positive claim (whether the claim is about God or anything else).

The disbeliever is an innocent bystander. He didn't make any claim one way or another.

If I told you "your boss was born on Mars," you would say "how do you know? What's your proof?" And then I would respond "Where is your proof that your boss was NOT born on Mars?"

That's the argument you're making, and it makes no sense.

"daily life revolves around a powerful force: God."

No. There is no reason to believe God exists.

"Funny enough, people who do not believe in God also live by faith in their daily life. Whether it is to hope that someone is not lying. Or to have faith that they will receive a job. The only thing is: they just don't link their faith to a God."

The "faith" you are referring to is based on reason and empirical evidence. There is no reason or empirical evidence for the existence of God, or any other supernatural entity for that matter. That's why faith in "God" is often referred to as blind faith.

"Because if you live with no reason at all, why do you exist?"

I do have a reason for living. So your premise is faulty.


PDXBuys profile image

PDXBuys 17 months ago from Oregon

I sincerely believe that there is only one real way to win this argument: You beat a man over the head causing him severe pain or fear of death until he agrees with whatever you tell him to believe. You cannot convince him to believe by using logic and reason alone because logic and reason will not yield an answer. They cannot yield an answer.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 17 months ago from New York City Author

Those who are open to it, are able to be swayed by logic. Other than that, in a more indirect way, history indicates that people become less religious and more critical of religious beliefs over time as they become more educated and more aware of the power of evidence and reason.

History has also shown that violence tends to harden people's beliefs, not do away with them, as countless crusaders and religious persecutors through history have found out. It also demonstrates that one cannot make a reasoned argument and probably has very weak beliefs.


Say Yes To Life profile image

Say Yes To Life 17 months ago from Big Island of Hawaii

“A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still” ~ Dale Carnegie.

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