There are many who are atheist and agnostic because they either don't know or don't believe God exists. Creation tells us that God exists but atheist explain Him away with evolution and Big Bangs. So, my question is, how can God prove Himself to the point where there would be no doubt? The Book of Revelation teaches us that even if God is hear in Person people still will not worship and/or serve Him. This may even translate into that they don't believe He's God. If you are an atheist or agnostic, what would it take to remove all doubt in your mind of God's existence?
Any moderately sane explanation would suffice.
How can one expect a rational explanation about a position that is manifestly irrational? As Sam Harris states, "....religion remains the only mode of discourse that encourages grown men and women to pretend to know things they manifestly do not (and cannot) know. If ever there were an attitude at odds with science, this is it"
The preacher's question actually resolves to this: What would it take for you to believe as I believe?
Belief has to do with intuition. Proofs and evidences are parts of inductive logic. The deterministic influence is whether one attempts a post hoc justification for emotive intuitions as opposed to formulation of opinion based on the results of induction.
For example, some people look at the complexity of a strand of DNA and intuitively see evidence of intelligence-based design, and then create a barrier against the induction process to protect the intuitive bias.
Other people see the flaws in DNA, the miscodings and deletions that create horrific outcomes like Down's Syndrome and worse and see an all-too-natural process with all the flaws that Nature possesses, and thus their intuitive response follows from the evidence: nature is not such a grand engineer, and design is illusory.
The argument from design is the most compelling theistic argument according to David Hume, but I would submit that had Hume been alive today that the advances in natural sciences would change his viewpoint.
Induction simply does not support the idea of a deity. I cannot disregard this knowledge in order to calm emotive apprehensions. I had to learn to deal with emotive apprhensions without the benefit of the placebo of mythical intervention.
To answer the OP, the bible plainly states that anything asked in the name of Jesus will be done with no qualifiers. Meanwhile, Lone77star has stated that he has performed miracles - albeit miracles known only to his own witness. To be fair, I would concede that a deity indeed does exists if either the preacher or Lone77star can perform one simple objective miracle: move the Matterhorn to Central Park - today is Sept. 18. How about getting this done by Sept. 21? Three days seems the appropriate time for religious miracles.
If by 9:00 a.m., Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011, the Matterhorn is found to have moved to Central Park, I will admit to the reality of a deity.
If your beliefs cannot accomplish this, then I'll simply plant your opinions into the same category as those of the believers in Ra, Thor, and Poseidon and hope you do not attain political power.
Don't know a god exists? You're joking right?
Don't believe a god exists? Yes, there are people who don't believe a god exists, simply because there's no rational or sane explanation, including all religious books.
Actually, creation doesn't say anything of the sort. ALL religious book make the claim without any supporting evidence outside of itself. It(the book) cannot verify itself. It's insanity to think that it could.
Foolish question. No god exists. So something that doesn't exist cannot explain or prove itself exists. Common sense.
You got that right. I would roshambo him.
"The Book of Revelation teaches us that even if God is hear in Person people still will not worship and/or serve Him."
There's a big difference between God proving he exists and God being worthy of worship or service. The God of the Bible is evil, even if he did exist he wouldn't deserve anyone's worship. We're talking about a God who thinks working on a Saturday is a capital offense and who openly condones slavery, why anyone would worship such a being is beyond me.
What could a deity do to prove itself? Leave some tangible evidence behind for one thing. Or just appear before everyone at the same time. Also I think healing amputees would help and even if it didn't convince everyone it'd still be the right thing to do.
People often give testimonies about God's healing of them. I'm sure if you do a search on the Internet you'll come across many. There are peole who are healed from cancer, diabetes, and other sorts of untreatable or uncurable diseases.
Just because people attribute their healing to a god, isn't evidence that a god exists. The human body can do amazing things on it's own. No god required.
No, you will hear lies, half truths and conjecture. No gods, no healing, just pure unadulterated BS.
Proof? Not one piece of evidence in 2,000 years.......I call that a fail.
I'm going to read this question charitably. I believe that you meant: "Assuming that God exists, how might He/She/It prove His/Her/Its own existence?"
I have two answers.
First answer: God couldn't prove to me that He/She/It existed, even if He/She/It and I were in perfect accord as to what constituted God. Suppose that we had agreed upon the familiar Judeo-Christian attributes of omniscient, omnipotent superbeing. How would He/She/It convince me of this? How would I ever know that He/She/It wasn't "merely" a member of a species so technologically advanced that any member of His/Her/Its species could perform really, really impressive tricks? The Judeo-Christian God involves a trinity, at most. How would I ever know that there weren't thousands of such beings?
Second answer: The being I described above would probably convince me. I might even "know" that this being was God, whether He/She/It was, or whether He/She/It wasn't. I am an atheist, but Doctor Who could probably convince me the has was God, and his hypothetical bag of tricks isn't nearly as impressive as the hypothetical bag of tricks of this auditioning superbeing. I don't know that I have escaped my religious indoctrination so thoroughly that being whisked absolutely anywhere in time and space wouldn't convince me.
"Charitably?" Facetious, perhaps? I believe that he meant what he said, not "assuming" anything.
Those who are blinded by their own limited logic and equally limited imagination will continue to come up with reasons like this.
Your "first" and "second" answer contradict each other. "God couldn't prove" and "The being I described above would probably convince me."
Hmmm-m-m! Maybe not so logical after all.
LOL Your English comprehension seems as limited as your understanding of "logic".
"Prove" and "convince" are not the same thing.
Thanks, E.G. You're absolutely right. "Proof" and "convince" are not the same thing. Gee, whiz. I never would've figured that out in a million years. (not!)
But they are similar,
Proof: "Evidence or argument establishing or helping to establish a fact or the truth of a statement."
Convince: "Cause (someone) to believe firmly in the truth of something."
So, if someone is convinced that something is true, for all intents and purposes, it has been "proven" to them.
Hmmm-m-m. Poor, E.G. Leaps without thinking.
Redefining words is one of the most-despised traits of religious people. You agree that prove and convince are not the same thing and then go on to argue that they are the same?
No wonder you cause so much conflict.
E.G., you have really lost it. Since when are the words "same" and "similar" equivalent? You are the one changing things. Despised? Look in the mirror, fella.
Perhaps you are stuck in "identities" -- the inability to tell differences or similarities. These last two are essential in intelligence. Are you saying you lack these abilities.
Read it again! "But they are similar." (emphasis added for your benefit)
Got it? I hope so, but I'm not holding my breath.
@lone77star: You use the qualifier "for all intents and purposes." I am not interested in "for all intents and purposes" answers when I am analyzing ultimate questions.
However, no matter my level of certainty, I may be wrong. I have been certain of many things on many occasions, but later proven wrong. Accepting this is part of the humility that is intrinsic to my worldview.
I meant charitably. I mean exactly what I say. That is always my goal, even if I don't always achieve it.
There is no contradiction. Everyone believes some things without incontrovertible evidence, myself included. In the case of my second example, I didn't say that the being claiming to be God would have incontrovertibly proven His/Her/Its claim as fact, only that I would likely be convinced that He/She/It was God, as I doubt that I would be able to overcome my conditioning.
Thanks for the clarification, Chasuk. Yet your charitability is questionable. Telling someone else what they meant to say, when it contradicts their beliefs, does not seem at all charitable. Seems quite selfish, in fact.
I can see how you can believe there was no contradiction. Your original statement was "God couldn't prove to me that He/She/It existed." This said nothing about "incontrovertible."
Yes, I have beliefs without incontrovertible evidence, too. Big bang and evolution are two of them. But the evidence is pretty close to perfect. So, I can believe in them until something better comes along.
The "prove" and "convince" in the two "answers" do have a semantic overlap (see the definitions, above). From one viewpoint, there is a contradiction, but I see from your clarification that this is not what you meant.
Trapped by conditioning? That isn't the only thing that traps.
One of preacherdon's axioms is the existence of God. My repackaging of his question was charitable because it allowed the dialogue to continue.
We didn't need to both share the same presupposition for the dialogue to continue, as preacherdon make clear himself in his own rephrasing:
" If you are an atheist or agnostic, what would it take to remove all doubt in your mind of God's existence?"
I was charitably emphasizing his own rephrasing, rather than focusing on his original formulation, which seemed to be impeding the conversation.
Chasuk, I believe I understand what you are saying. In stead of the way I phrased it, I should have said, " If you are an atheist or agnostic, what would it take to remove all doubt in your mind of God's existence, if He indeed exists?"
Is this closer to how I should have phrased it?
I think you need to look up the word "charitable". You have entered into a discussion where semantics mean everything and even the epistemology of semantics is torn apart.
I am neither an atheist nor an agnostic. I believe in God and I believe you can have a personal relationship with God.
But why would God want to prove He exists in the first place? If He exists that is that. Some may choose not to believe that he exists. So does it make God not exist? Of course not. Whether one believes or not, If God exists, He exists. There is much evidence of the existence of God so one will choose to believe of not. God has no obligation to prove Himself to his creation.
God does not exist. There is no evidence. The fact that peopel such as yourself choose to believe - will not make it come true. Sorry.
I am an atheist, Evolution Guy. However, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, as I'm sure you know.
Logically - a god cannot exist. It is simply, logically impossible. Science has proven that a god is not necessary for the formation of the Universe as we understand it.. There is no evidence of a god. Even the babble says that god exists outside of logic and reason. Which is impossible.
What more do you want?
I think any reasonable, thinking person would come to this conclusion. God does not exist.
Sorry, Evolution Guy, you application of logic is faulty. I don't believe in the existence of God, but it can't be proven that he doesn't. "Not necessary" and "not demonstrably existent" are not the logical equivalent of "demonstrably nonexistent."
I never said I could prove it does not exist. I said I came to the reasonable conclusion that one does not. Try reading what I wrote next time.
Still - You define it - I will disprove it.
I did read what you wrote, but our different philosophical approaches led me to infer a meaning that you did not intend. My apologies.
My reply to thooghun -- below -- defines what my philosophical approach is. Essentially, I find it more intellectually honest to say "I don't know" when something can't be proven with absolute certainty. However, my "absolute certainty" can be wrong. That's why I use a continuum of possibility.
To quote myself from the reply below:
"Things that I judge as being likely I generally believe. Things that I judge as being slightly less likely I believe with less certainty. Things that I believe unlikely I usually don't believe at all.Still, the fact that I don't believe in them doesn't make them false."
The existence of not of a god is not affected either way (unless you subscribe to the idea that a god exists only when worshiped).
Logically, I have come to the conclusion that a god cannot exist. I am absolutely certain the Christian one is false, because it makes utterly no sense and bears no relationship with the way nature works and everything we know about the Universe.
An uncaused cause is no argument at all.
Isn't the big bang an uncaused cause? Well, there goes your argument...
To anyone else interested in engaging Evolution Guy, you will never get a point across and when you do he will simply make fun of you and insult you. As he stated before "Still - You define it - I will disprove it." He is apparently god, since he can disprove any hint of evidence. He also accuses any opinion that is not his to be a lie. Whenever you define something (even if you use Wbster's dictionary) he accuses you of making up a definition to suit your arguement. Any attempt at a civil debate with EG, regardless of your point of view is a pipe dream and way too much to hope for.
EG- since I know already that you will just continue to talk trach to anyone who sees a different point of view and will probably start insulting me again, just know that this post is to save everyone else from wasting
time debating someone who will not consider the possibility that they are wrong.
Roy, I am going to add a little more support to your reply. I am not here to persuade anyone to change their belief. I am only stating facts here. You can believe whoever or whatever you wish to believe. I recently watched an episode of "Curiosity" on the Discovery Channel. The episode featured the question, "Who created the Universe?" The answer was presented by the famed cosmologist Stephen Hawkings and it made a lot of sense if you watched the show. He started with the fact that man once associated a god to every unexplainable event he witnessed in ancient times because he simply didn't understand what was happening before his eyes. Then later in the episode he states that all these god associated events were later fully explained by scientific investigations where mankind finally dropped all these god associations to natural events because now we have a better understanding of what is happening in the natural world.
Later in the show he presents all the current facts that cosmologists know about our physical world that led him to the conclusion that there was no God to create the universe. It was spontaneous. He based this statement on the fact that there are particles at the sub-atomic level that appear and expand randomly in one place and disappear and re-appear and expand in another location. He believed the universe behaved the same way since it was once smaller than an atom. It was once a singularity just like the one we see in black holes. All cosmologists know time stops in singularity. So there is no time there. Everything stops. With this fact in hand, he reasoned that time did not exist before the Big Bang.
Cosmologists also know that there is a universal statement called the "Cause and Effect Principle"; that all events in the universe follow. In other words you cannot have an effect without cause. The cause must happen first before you can see the effect of any event in the universe. He concluded God could not have exist before the effect, The Big Bang, because there was no time before the Big Bang and the cause, God, could not have existed before time. Time came into existence right after the Big Bang and during the rapid expansion of the Universe. In retrospect, everything that have happened in the Universe since the Big Bang had happened because there was a cause before the effect.
At the end of the episode he stated a final statement that "There is no heaven or afterlife either. I will enjoy this one life I have and enjoy the wonders of the Universe". I believe he was basically saying we need to stop worrying about who or what created the Universe and enjoy this one life we have. Six billion people are not here for a purpose. A purpose to do what?
While technically you are correct, it is a non-productive and specious line of thought. There are a great many things which cannot be definitively proved. What practical purpose does believing in the reincarnation of Elvis on the sun have? There is no evidence to dismiss this claim either.
It isn't my intention to offend Chasuk, but I fail to believe that you live your life that openly, and don't dismiss things that are so close to being impossible that they may as well be. Why then do you call yourself on atheist and not agnostic?
@thooghun: Two points: First, "non-productive" isn't a term that can be applied to philosophical absolutes. Second, if I am "technically correct," then my line of thought can't be specious, as specious means superficially plausible, but actually wrong.
We are not talking about what can be definitively proved, but about what can be definitively disproven. Either claim, whether it pertains to deity or to Elvis reincarnated on the sun, are equally outside the realm of logical proof.
I live my life that openly, to use your phrasing. I call myself an atheist because I don't believe in deity. That is all that is required to be an atheist. However, I acknowledge the possibility that deity exists, in much the same way that I acknowledge the possibility that Elvis exists reincarnated on the sun.
To be more precise, I am an agnostic atheist. Yes, such people exist, and I am one of them.
For me, all knowledge is placed on the same scale of probability. Things that I judge as being likely I generally believe. Things that I judge as being slightly less likely I believe with less certainty. Things that I believe unlikely I usually don't believe at all.Still, the fact that I don't believe in them doesn't make them false.
Chasuk, I believe that if you ask God to prove Himself to you He would. You have nothing to lose. If nothing happens, then you've lost nothing.
If God does exist and everything is possible for this God, then God does not exist also. The fundamental question is flawed because of duality being so deeply intrinsic within our beings.
Which God? I am assuming you are referring to the Christian version of God. I don't know if there is any action other than an actual appearance that would prove this point for most. Well at least proof that it was the Christian God that did something and not one of the many other Gods that are out there.
If there were really a god it would not have to prove it exists. We would all just know it exists and it would be there for us to experience in real terms.
By creation I suppose you mean that we were not always here so something must have created us. Well this is true and the only proof of god that makes sense.
But then the question is, if god is defined as what created us then god could be a process, not a being. Nature, not a conscious god. And that's what most atheists think is the case., That is what science thinks is the case.
All god has to do is show up. Simple. That it does not means it likely is not there.
Now you might say we would still not believe it because we don't want to. That is an absurd argument. I don't want Sarah Palin to be exist in politics but she does so I have to accept it.
And if your god was omnipotent then it would have no trouble convincing us all it exists. The argument that he doesn't want robots so he hides unless we come to him is a joke. It's utterly illogical.
If we are to make an informed decision we have to know the facts. That gives us freedom of choice, not faith. Faith is an excuse for an absent probably non-existent god.
"creation tells us that God exists, but atheist explain Him away with evolution and Big Bangs", that statement absolutely blows me away. If God can create the earth in a few days, then he could surely appear on my couch tonight, smack me in the face and tell me that I'm an idiot for being an atheist. I will let you know how it works out.
Sorry cooldad,God doesn't smack people.
I have no words for you Cagsil,I addressed whom I wanted and needed to,and trust it wasn't you.
cooldad and I may not agree but we've always been cordial and pretty darn gone cool. There's still a respect thing going on.
I have no problem exchanging idealogies with others but you are not nice,you are not cordial and you are someone I would rather not deal with,you are very disrespectful and volatile. I have no need for people like you in my life online or realtime.
Really? I didn't think you addressed me, but figured my input was welcomed in a public forum anyways.
You need to remember who attack on forums,I never knew that attacking people was okay,you attack me before in a forum,as you do many people.
So I'm going to say this nicely,PLEASE LEAVE RASTAMERMAID ALONE!
It's only the bible that says god created the earth in a few days. The bible being wrong about that does not preclude a creator who took between 13 and 15 billion years to do so.
Someone who lives that long may have other things to do than visit your sofa, but I agree that would be kind of cool. There's always room on my sofa for god if he needs to crash. (I just hope the devine light of his presence doesn't keep me awake. I needs my sleeps.)
PreacherDon, I may be wrong but how you worded your question implies you don't believe in Evolution or the Big Bang - not that those have anything to do with salvation. So what would it take to convince you that those events happenned?
Here is where i stand. I need very solid touchable, first-hand eyewitness evidence. There is no evidence of this nature to prove evolution or the big bang, however, scientific studies have shown a great deal of things that fall in line and help re-inforce or give credit to these theories, and not one item has ever come up in scientific study that rules out these things - and all it would take is one tiny thing and the whole theory is pretty much blown.
For example, the fossil record does not "prove" evolution, however, it does fall in line with what the theory of evolution predicts, and so far continues to do so. Hubble and Kepler findings do not "prove" the big bang, but so far everything falls in line with what the "big bang" theory predicts.
The same could be said about intelligent design as well. Nothing has "disproven" intelligent design, and studies do fall in line with some of the models of intelligent design theory, but they neither prove or disprove a God exists. I did not witness any video footage or see the big bang firsthand, so this juror is still out on those things. Same with God.
I respect the fact that you believe in some deity - even if it's a deity who says it's okay to sell your daughter into slavery, and even required one of his chosen "judges" to sacrifice his daughter to him - but the reason why it's called "faith" is because you don't know 100% without a shadow of a doubt, and you cannot possibly know until if/when he "calls you home" as it is put. If you did know 100% with absolute certainty, than you would have as much faith in God as agnostics like myself.
If God were to provide concrete proof of his existence, there would be no free choice, and no faith required. Everyone would go to heaven and it would be awfully crowded, and there would be no way to keep all the riff raff out.
Alternatively, maybe he feels that Christians would become too unbearably smug. No one want that to happen, God included. (if there is a god, i'm sorry - but you have been rather quiet on the issue)
....and another 'who cares' post from me....later gater
Proving god exists? He only exists in man's imagination. God and the Bible are both man made.
Pithy!... but inaccurate.
Sure, some people's imaginations are working overtime. And some people are delusional. Ignoring reality is like that. Ignoring God is worse -- like the proverbial ostrich burying its head in the sand, it doesn't see the danger barreling toward it.
Preacherdon, that's not the mission.
"God proving Himself" is equivalent to "casting pearls before swine."
But even that misses the point. The point is our own individual spiritual awakening. That can only be accomplished with humility.
For me, every time I find that humility, I get closer; every time I fall to ego, I move farther away.
Attempting to dazzle others with miracles would only focus their attention on the power, and their egos love that. Ego is all about getting "stuff" for the self (selfishness). Such a display of power would only drive our brothers and sisters toward ego -- the master of this world. That act would be a travesty. God would never do that.
To accomplish His mission with us, God needs to let us come to Him. There is no other way. It has to be our decision. That's the nature of our spiritual trap.
Performing miracles for the faithful and the almost faithful can inspire them to let go of ego even more. They're already pointed in the right direction. And remember what the great teacher said about those who were healed? He said that it was their own faith which had healed them. Finding that faith is what it's all about. Faith precedes proof. Once the miracle comes from faith, proof is unnecessary; the purpose has been achieved.
Yeah, I believe in the Big Bang and evolution. I'm convinced of them, but that doesn't change the fact that they were created.
Just a few observations lonestar!
a) I find that religion is far more egotistical and solipsistic than advertised. You essentially have to believe that creation was built with you in mind. The universe's mass extinctions, explosions and cosmic upheaval, with 98% of species dying out over time, animals being created so that we may lord over them, that our actions and thoughts are constantly monitored and judged, etc etc.
To an atheist, it is humbling to note that that we are, at the end of it all, a very small and quasi-inconsequential part of creation. Spectators if you will.
b) The watch-maker analogy, sure, everything must have a prime cause. But then if God created the universe, who created God? If God created himself, why couldn't the universe?
Thoog, I believe atheistic attitudes are the reason why our society is the way it is. Believing that we are a bunch of animals and that there is no consequence to one's actions, leads to the rampant crime we have now. People beating, robbing, murdering one another makes us like the animals in the jungle. What a belief in God does is causes us to act in love realizing that we will have to give account to Someone one day for our actions.
Secondly, I ask you the same question you asked, In the Big Bang where did the rocks come from that collided and created the universe? Also, how did atmospheres develop on these worlds?
The largest majority(well over 80%) of those in Prisons in America are a Christian believer of some sort with Atheists falling in at about 0.2 - 1%. So how are the Atheists causing the moral problems?
The Atheists do understand quite well there are consequences to ones actions.
Hey DS, I've said what you said in your post a good dozen times. It's completely irrational to think that the number of atheists and non-religious are causing all the problems. There would be absolutely nothing to support that, including statistics accumulated.
True Christians don't rob, don't kill, don't steal, don't rape, don't take bribes, don't backstab. The US if full of people who call themselves Christians but are not. Jesus said you will know the real ones by the fruit their lives produce. A person calling themselves a Christian doesn't make them a Christian no more than a person calling themselves an American makes them an American.
Is it not true that all are sinners, according to christianity? Is someone a false christian when they fall from the path? Are you saying there is no hope for the christian who has committed a crime?
Christians don't come with a 'certified true christian' stamp from the maker. What makes a true christian is left to the interpretation of the bible by humans. To those of us who are not christians, do you understand that this is not the most reliable judgement for us to fall back on?
Do you understand that the number of different notions of 'true christian' within the various religions is quite surprising, given that all are essentially reading the same manual?
If someone tells me they are a christian I believe it. The only challenge I hear of the authenticity of someone's christianity comes from other christians.
As to the things that true christians don't do, the same can be said of any decent atheist.
True Christians? There's not one living in this world.
And, you know this how exactly, when you've never met them personally?
Maybe you should remain yourself of this and try living it.
Actually, this would be UNTRUE! American calling themselves an American, is simply backed up by being born here or becoming a citizen.
I've yet to find any Christian, to walk the true path of being Christian, and DS example of how many convicts shows you what religion does to people. It makes them think that they are above(righteous) others and only answer to god himself. So please...
True Christians don't judge other Christians.
Preacherdon, the answer is I don' know. I don't require faith to fill in the blanks for me, I'm content with leaving things hanging. Science may not have the answer to everything (in this case, it has some pretty educated guesses, but my ignorance is in the way), but that is precisely why I view it with less skepticism.
I disagree with your stance regarding morality. Are you telling me that the people of Isreal murdered, pillaged, stole and raped each other around Sinai before being given the commandments? No, morality PREDATES religion, it is innate. Are you telling me that without a set of commandments you would go out and murder people because there are no consequences?
Lonestar, the reason I started this forum is to counter the debate that God doens't exist. So, I wanted to know what would it take for God to prove Himself to these unbelieving people. I figured that they would say that no proof would convince them, therefore, I would respond, this is why He doesn't prove Himself because He knows people wouldn't believe anyway.
Of course, this only goes to prove the Words of Jesus, "No one can come to the Father unless the Father draws him."God also gives people the faith they need to believe. Those who have posted on here obviously prove that God has not given them the faith. I allude to this in my hub, "What about the Heathen?"
As far as Chasuk is concerned, if he would ask God to prove Himself to him, I believe He would. There is no proof of God because when God created the universe, His existence was not in question. It wasn't until after the fall, that man became ignorant of God's existence.
"Those who have posted on here obviously prove that God has not given them the faith."
But why would god withhold this faith? If it were that simple, if we would all believe if god would just "give us the faith" and god wants us to believe then . . . what is he waiting for?
It is surely not that simple.
I don't pretend to understand the mind of God. I will say this though: it may have something to do with the heart of the person. Perhaps, they are not willing to believe in Him or are not seeking Him so that is why He does not give them the faith. The Bible does tell us that if we seek after Him we will find Him if we seek Him with our whole hearts.
"No one can come to the Father unless the Father draws him."
This appears a bit circular so please help me get this.
If no one comes unless drawn, and the father will not draw you unless you ask with your whole heart, but I can't ask with my whole heart unless I have faith, except I only get the faith that god will give me, . . .
It seems by this that I will only come to god when he calls me. So if I am not called and therefore do not believe. . .
I think I understand what you are saying but I'm not sure so let's try this.
If you believe in god with your whole heart, he will give you faith?
Don't you need the faith first, in order to believe?
Is the bible the basis of your faith or is your faith leading you to the bible?
This is important to me because if your faith is in what the bible tells you, there is much in what the bible tells me that is my reason for not believing in it as the word of god.
If, however, your faith comes from something else and the bible supports that faith, that is a different animal. We would probably have some common ground here, as there are many passages in the bible that I would accept as truth without hesitation.
I also would say the same about just about every other religious book I have read, most science that I have read, a good portion of the works of Shakespeare and the lyrics of many songs.
Evidence of god, to my mind, is in how we experience the world. It will never be in a book. This is what I'm saying when I say it is not that simple.
The bible says whatever you want it to.
9. God is unchangeable
James 1:17/ Mal 3:6/ Ezek 24:14/ Num 23:19
God is changeable
Gen 6:6/ Jonah 3:10/ 1 Sam 2:30,31/ 2 Kings 20:1,4,5,6/
10. God is just and impartial
Ps 92:15/ Gen 18:25/ Deut 32:4/ Rom 2:11/ Ezek 18:25
God is unjust and partial
Gen 9:25/ Ex 20:5/ Rom 9:11-13/ Matt 13:12
11. God is the author of evil
Lam 3:38/ Jer 18:11/ Is 45:7/ Amos 3:6/ Ezek 20:25
God is not the author of evil
1 Cor 14:33/ Deut 32:4/ James 1:13
12. God gives freely to those who ask
James 1:5/ Luke 11:10
God withholds his blessings and prevents men from receiving
John 12:40/ Josh 11:20/ Is 63:17
I agree. The bible says just about everything at one point or another, which is why anyone reading it can find a statement they agree with or that supports their personal beliefs.
This is not surprising if you accept that it was written by many different humans trying to understand (or believing they have understood) the mind of god. It is only surprising if you believe the bible to be the inspired word of god. Either:
1) god is intentionally confusing the issue or
2) god was not involved directly in the writing. (or of course, god doesn't exist but that's just an extension of 2)
This is why the earlier question to preacherdon. If your faith exists because of the bible, I would challenge it wholeheartedly as the bible is not consistent enough with itself and with simple observation to garner my faith.
If on the other hand, your faith comes from events in your life experience and you use the bible to support that, it is likely that the parts of the bible you adhere to are those that are consistent with your experience. I would have other totally different questions for you then
Lone77star, seems like you're the only voice of reason in this forum. I say thank you for your post on humility and ego. Reminds me of the Richard Rohr book 'Simplicity'. Also reminds me of Quantum Physics, but that's another story. Thanks.
Don't kid yourself - he spouts pure Scientology.
Very credible is scientology.
Con people into believing a simple milivolt meter is a highly technical device worth hundreds of dollars that is the foundation of "auditing" so one can become a space man. Written by a second-rate science fiction writer to make money.
I suppose, if He came in such a way that He could put an end to the arrogant posturing by those who think they know it all about the nature of a being beyond this existence and instilled a little humility I'd be inclined to consider Him with a great deal of favor.
as i read those after me, who want to share a brief idea. can you evaluate this idea of existing of GOD.. "the chicken and egg which comes first".. and when did your existence came from!? why you have thought that God exist? "try to cut the line of a power line and know the result".. why you need to chase GOD for it's existing? for sure, this brief answer, you have a purpose..
How can God prove His existence? Please, God doesn't have to prove anything, much less his existence. We are the proof of God's existence as he made us in his image. For those who believe, no other proof should be necessary.
Our puny little brains cannot comprehend what 'god' is, what 'god' isn't, and what 'god-like' things might be, or what the existence or non existence of anything related to it means. Most of you claim logic leads you here, and logic leads you there. Your proof or lack of proof tells you this and you understand without prejudice what the bible or science tells you. Everyone has their own mind and their own idea of what god is and they accept things that validate it and reject things that do not. You are heavily influenced by what you feel and what you see, which is as much of the problem as the question itself. None of us can comprehend what any of this means and never will. It's just as valid for someone to say god is the existence we know as easy as it is for Christians to say god is the almighty blah blah blah. You can claim your beliefs, claim this piece of evidence, or this feeling you feel...that's your proof and there really isn't anything wrong with it. Our level of thinking stops way short of understanding why this line of thinking is flawed. It's natural tho, we are all dumb humans who think we have the answers. Sorry folks, we don't. We never will.
Might be too short but it's plain and simple,He lives in me that's how I know.
if God lives in you, therefore you are God. am i right or wrong?
"FAITH" did you ask a name on your Known god!?
How does a tree falling in the forest prove that it made a sound?
If your god gives me the winning Powerball numbers, I'll sing his praises daily.
Even if God proved himself, again, beyond all question to all the people of the world right now in one shot, within a few generations dis-belief would once again seep into the minds of the people, and within several generations from that, they would not believe again, and would be screaming for evidence and proof once more.
If you believe the Bible God has proven He exists over and over... and over and over we see dis-belief flourish within generations of that proving.
It has never been up to God to prove that he exists, but up to people. People say that they have a personal relationship with Jesus or Allah or the Virgin Mary. And these subjective anecdotes are what are used as evidence of God's existence. God is far too busy to bother with trying to convince people that he exists, although appearing occasionally might help the doubters.
"If you believe the bible". Well of course. If you believe the bible you have to believe god exists.
What if you don't? I'm not trying to be rude here, but essentially if you are saying that all the proof you need is in the bible, then you are believing what someone else has told you about god.
It is one thing to believe based on a personal experience. Quite another to take the word of one book over another. There are so many books. Some agree, some don't. Many profess to be the word of god.
"The bible is a book. It's a good book, but it's not the only book." from the play: Inherit The Wind
Is that all you got from that?
Actually what I am saying is...
Even if God proved himself beyond all question to all the people of the world right now in one shot, within a few generations dis-belief would once again seep into the minds of the people, and within several generations from that, they would not believe again, and would be screaming for evidence and proof once more.
Which is the answer to the topic title.
The rest was just a second thought, a note, stating that, "if you believe the Bible" then it has already been proveed to our fore-fathers, and we do not remember that proof as real so we do not believe.
It cannot ever be proven whether God exists or not. Those who have a scientific understanding of the universe, can describe the evolution of the universe from the Big Bang up until the present day. It is perfectly possible to explain the universe without any reason to call upon a god. However, this is different from proving conclusively that God does not exist. Belief can only ever be a matter of faith. People believe in their hearts that God exists, and therefore need no proof. This though will never be good enough for people who need evidence, and no matter what some religious people claim, there is and never has been proof of God's existence. This is why faith can only ever be a personal subjective thing, shared with others who believe in the same way.
God is a word with 4 definitions in the dictionary .
capitalized : the supreme or ultimate reality: as a : the Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshipped as creator and ruler of the universe b Christian Science : the incorporeal divine Principle ruling over all as eternal Spirit : infinite Mind
: a being or object believed to have more than natural attributes and powers and to require human worship; specifically : one controlling a particular aspect or part of reality
: a person or thing of supreme value
: a powerful ruler
I don't think God's existence has much to do with whether or not I acknowledge it. He/She/It either does or does not exist, with or without my consent, so I am content to not worry about it.
Having said that, if I met someone that could turn water into wine, I would definitely want to be their friend and I would likely follow them and call them whatever they wanted, as long as they kept doing their thing.
The whole point of religion is that it is based on faith. You have to have faith in God, and that there is a God, to believe in God. God can never be proved. God is not a fact that can be researched. Either you have faith and believe in God or you don't have faith that there is a God. Agnostics and atheists, in my opinion, do not have faith, and therefore, question if God exists or believe that God cannot exist. So, God can never be proved. You have to have the faith that he exists in some form for you.
How do you have faith? I see God in nature. He is a blade of grass, an oak tree growing tall and strong, the soft petal of a flower, a beautiful blue sky, a warm sunny day, and a small intricate sea shell laying on a beach. Those things are the "proof" there is a God to me. I have faith that God created these things in nature, therefore, He exists for me.
Do you see God in misery, poverty and illness as well? I don't mean that in an inflammatory way Suzette, just curious.
Sadly, yes I do. My feeling is that God is trying to teach us to have empathy for others' situations. Are we going to come together and fix these problems on earth as we should, or are we going to allow the misery, poverty, and illness to perpetuate. Funny you should use the word inflammatory. I happen to have an inflammatory illness. When I swell, the first thing the doctors know is, number one, I'm not happy. What is going in my life that is causing the unhappiness and causing the swelling of my extremeties? When I was married and would have swelling attacks, I didn't have to tell anyone or say a word, the doctors knew it wasn't a happy marriage. Had it been a happy marriage, I wouldn't have had the swelling attacts. So, I wear my emotions literally on my sleeve, my, hands, feet. lips, throat etc. Yes, why do we cause one another so much misery etc. Why isn't the world a more kind and happy place. If it was, if we truly lived kind, generous, happy, empathetic lives, I think the world would be rid of a lot of misery, poverty, and illness. God is leaving it up to us to learn how to get aIong with one another, stop bombing each other's countries, stop terrorizing each other. But, the world is not learning very well, is it? I don't believe in an intervening God. I think we need to figure this out for ourselves an correct our behavior. As my grandmother used to say: "This family can handle anything God sends us." I believe in a benevolent God, but we all are tested in some way. That is what faith is. Does your faith last when the times are not so good? or Are you a fair weather believer?
"You have to have faith in God, and that there is a God, to believe in God."
This is one of those statements expressed simply, but is not simple. Faith is an extremely complex manifestation of emotion and intellect. It is not something that one just switches on. Someone saying 'just have faith' has no effect on someone who does not have it.
If I were to tell you "you can fly if you just believe" I doubt your next step would be to jump off of something high and flap your arms.
Yet I too am communicating to you in writing, as any religious work does. If I tell you "god does not exist. You just have to believe that," I assume your reponse would be (correctly) to refute that.
If I say "all you need is faith in yourself. You don't need god" I assume you would also (correctly) refute that.
This is what one does to an agnostic or atheist when they tell them to 'just have faith'. It is a large over-simplification of the issue.
No, I didn't mean to over simplify having faith or coming by faith. I agree with you, it is not something to switch on or off. That is also why I said, you either have faith or your don't. It isn't something you sometimes have or just have on Tuesdays, or only when you are feeling good, or only when you are feeling bad. It is either a strong integral part of you or it isn't a strong integral part of you. I don't mean to be flippant about it. I believe faith is something that is acquired over time. I think it grows as you experience life. I know some people, as they experience life, loose faith. So depending on your life experiences, your intellect, your emotion, faith either grows or dissolves. But, no, I agree with you, it is not something simple. It can be quite complex. Christopher Hitchens is a died in the wool atheist from what I can gather about him. He comes across to me as a man with no faith, obviously no faith in God. But, I'm not even sure if he has faith in himself. He is dying of cancer right now, and I wonder what he holds on to to get himself through this. I just feel so badly for him, even though I probably shouldn't; I guess I wonder if he has found any meaning in life or if he feels he has lead a life of meaning. I believe we are all here for a reason, and no matter what God you believe in, or Creator, or universe or whatever, I guess I believe there is something or someone larger than ourselves. Christopher Hitchens would probably laugh and call me deluded. And, may be I am. I don't quite know where this answer is going right now. I guess what I'm trying to say is that agnostics and atheists are missing out in life, or missing an inner core to their being. I can't imagine believing in being souless, but I know there are people that do believe this way. To each his own, and I certainly don't judge people on whether they have or don't have religious beliefs, or do or don't believe in God.
One more thing to thooghun: I really don't mean to write tomes about this, but that is what seems to be happening. I just want to say, misery, poverty, and illness also make us appreciate the blade of grass, the flower, the oak tree etc. We have to have the misery to appreciate the happiness in life and not take it for granted.
You may need to be miserable to be happy and smell the flowers, but I would not be applying that as a principle!
Just plain wrong thinking.
One needs nothing more than go for a walk outside to be happy with the world, or at least I do.
I don't need misery to appreciate what I have.
No, I'm not advocating misery. But, how would you know what happiness is if you had it all the time? If you knew nothing else but happiness and never had unhappiness or a bit of misery, how would you NOT take happiness for granted? I do think you need a little of both to understand and appreciate happiness when you have it.
I think that is what the story of Adam and Eve's fall is all about. I think what the Bible is trying to teach us is that Adam and Eve had paradise, but did they appreciate it enough to listen to God? They took it for granted. They both ate the apple and THEN is when they realized what they had and no longer had and that was paradise. They certainly learned to appreciate paradise and no longer take it for granted when they no longer had it.
Now, do I literally believe in Adam and Eve. No, but I do believe it is a story, an allegory, to teach is to value what we have at the time. This story illustrates to us why there is unhappiness and misery in the world. Without it we wouldn't appreciate happiness or paradise. When my friends and I are laying on the Naples beach, paradise to us, we literally, say out loud, "Thank you God" because we appreciate we are able to be there experiencing our own paradise. We would not appreciate it if we did all our lives. But, after 30 years of hard work as teachers, we appreciate and see we are in "paradise" in our retirement. That's all I'm saying. You have to have a little bit of the bad, to appreciate the good.
The existence of God is proven to me through evolution and big bang theories. Both of those ideas are simple progressions. Plus if one believes that all things are possible for God, then why can't His existence be shown through other philosophies or even Satanism? After all, if God is true and satan is His opposite (if one believes in dualities) then satan is false and a lie meaning that he does not exist. God is so much more than the trappings of our finite perceptions. If one is honest with their self, then one can reach a closer understanding than what is conventional. Christianity is but only one tool.
I like your logical points Slarty. I also feel that god is the natural process, not the mythological 'old man in the sky'. I also feel that just from the statement in the Bible "God created man out of His own image" is proof that man created God; at least the God that the masses believe in. Man created religion as a means to satisfy our need to categorize, organize, and quantize our experiences in our reality. The truth of the reality of god for me is in the genius of the natural process.
I'd actually like to read Hubbard's "Dionetics" -or whatever it's called. It's probably something similar to "Atlas Shrugged" - so full of holes it's nuts.
A Troubled Man
(True Christians don't judge other Christians.)
Dividing Christians from "true Christians" is judgmental.
GOo should not have to prove His/Her/Its existence. The whole idea of faith and belief is that there is no concrete proof. Besides, with six billion people on the planet some running around wishing to be God, who would really believe that God was on the planet with out the prophecies from book of Revelations, or what ever Holy text people follow coming true.
If God acem to Earth and had to prove God was God, according to all the scriptures I have read, I would be scared.
If God came to Earth we should ask for GOd's Id card and traveling papers.
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