How can we know there is a God?

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How can we know there is a God?

Postby jamesgrinchishin » Mon Aug 25, 2014 10:55 pm

There can be a whole lot more to this passage below...



In our everyday experience, just about everything seems to have a beginning. In fact, the laws of science show that even things which look the same through our lifetime, like the sun and other stars, are running down. The sun is using up its fuel at millions of tons each second. Since, therefore, it cannot last forever, it had to have a beginning. The same can be shown to be true for the entire universe.

So when Christians claim that the God of the Bible created the entire universe, some will ask what seems a logical question, namely “Where did God come from?”

The Bible makes it clear in many places that God is outside of time. He is eternal, with no beginning or end—He is infinite! He also knows all things, being infinitely intelligent.1

Is this logical? Can modern science allow for such a notion? And how could you recognize the evidence for an intelligent Creator?


There is nowhere any argument to prove it. He who disbelieves this truth is spoken of as one devoid of understanding (Psalm 14:1).

The arguments generally adduced by theologians in proof of God’s existence are:

The a priori argument, which is the testimony afforded by reason.

The a posteriori argument, by which we proceed logically from the facts of experience to causes. These arguments are:

The cosmological, by which it is proved that there must be a First Cause of all things, for every effect must have a cause.

The teleological, or the argument from design. We see everywhere the operations of an intelligent Cause in nature.

The moral argument, called also the anthropological argument, based on the moral consciousness and the history of mankind, which exhibits a moral order and purpose which can only be explained on the supposition of the existence of God. Conscience and human history testify that “verily there is a God that judgeth in the earth.”

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Re: How can we know there is a God?

Postby Sstavix » Wed Aug 27, 2014 5:13 am

For me, I don't need any fancy, scientific proof to know that God exists. It's always been one of my longest-held beliefs that God communicates with all of us, in His own fashion. So I know God exists because I've talked with Him, and He has answered.

Along those same lines, if someone tells me that God doesn't exist, I simply think that it's because they haven't heard Him yet. Or maybe they have, but simply don't recognize it as His voice. Perhaps it just isn't time for them to truly start hearing Him. That's something between them and God, though - when they want to seek Him out, they will, in their own time. It's like trying to teach calculus to kindergartners - the only thing you'll end up with is a bunch of frustrated students that have no idea what you're talking about. When they are ready, He will be waiting.

Finally, if someone wants to try to prove to me that God doesn't exist, all they have to do is first prove that they don't exist. After all, if they can conclusively prove that they don't exist, even though I am having a conversation with them, then they may have grounds that other people and beings I've talked with - including God - also don't exist.

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Re: How can we know there is a God?

Postby ArchAngel » Wed Aug 27, 2014 5:58 pm

Man, I just can't resist biting.
Finally, if someone wants to try to prove to me that God doesn't exist, all they have to do is first prove that they don't exist. After all, if they can conclusively prove that they don't exist, even though I am having a conversation with them, then they may have grounds that other people and beings I've talked with - including God - also don't exist.
To prove that God doesn't exist? Impossible. Not even going on to what people define as God or not, you can't prove a negative. This is similarly why I can't prove that unicorns, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, Garden Faeries, and Odin doesn't exist. Actually, Odin might totally exist, evidenced by the lack of jötnar. Zeus. You can't prove Zeus doesn't exist.

What I can demonstrate, and most of my compatriots have for quite some time, is that the burden of proof lies on those who claim that God exists, and we have yet to see any satisfactory proof. By a long shot. If it can't be demonstrated, the probability of it's truth approaches zero.

Rule of thumb when understanding the Atheist: We don't believe God exists, not that we believe that God doesn't exist. Colloquially, yes, we'll say we believe God doesn't exist, since we don't have an active belief in a conception of a god, we don't think one actually exists. As a matter of proofs and backed knowledge, it's possible, but highly unlikely from our standpoint.

And, to take one step further, I think that nobody has good rationale to believe in God. I'm not saying their stupid or crazy, but it's just that people do believe what they want to and strongly susceptible to biases because of it.

Brozilla, you cite your conversations with God as your proof. I did at one time, as well. At a point, that no longer worked for me, though. It's personal anecdotal evidence. I understood that it wasn't going to prove it to anyone else, but I came to terms that it's just unreliable evidence predicated on my desires and feelings and it was far more likely it was a construct of my own mind than actually a god.
Maybe your meditations and prayers are more compelling than mine were, and I'm not trying to argue you out of your faith, and this is probably a point you already understand, but I just wanted to say that personal anecdotes are not actual proof. It's not something you can use to demonstrate and prove the existence of an abstract concept like God. This isn't even a matter of science, it's logic.

And if you guys want to believe something not based on logic and reason but because you want to or based on faith, understand exactly what you are doing. You have the prerogative to believe whatever you want, for whatever reason you want, and only you set the bar for that.
But, and this my pet peeve, don't band the word "Truth" around so much. If you don't want to fully demonstrate if a concept is true or not but instead rely on faith, that is, again, your right, but call it what it is. Belief. Faith. Not truth, because you haven't satisfied the requirements to call it that. I get that you believe it's true, but to proclaim it as Truth, should require more than just an opinion. It needs evidence and proof. If you feel like you have it, let's tango. I'm game.
I'm an atheist because I held truth to a high regard, that an idea is must be demonstrated and proved before given the label of "true." I'll never be 100% right on this, but I'll try when I can, where I can.

So, James, let me address some of the arguments you brought up:
  • A Priori: So, no. This is not something that's readily understandable and provable just by a thought exercise, like water is wet.
  • A Posteriori: There is no argument here, but I have yet to see an argument for God's existence based on empirical evidence. I'm curious what that even might look like.
  • Cosmological: Also known as the Kalam Cosmological argument. As a history note, it came from mostly Islamic theologians, like Al-Kindi and Al-Ghazali (if some of eagle-eyed readers might recall, I have ranted on this guy from the downfall of middle-eastern culture. I'm, of course, probably over-simplifying). It's still used by people like William Craig Lane, which is a little mind-blowing for me.
    The problem with this argument is, at it's core, it just passes the buck down one step. Everything has a cause, including the universe, so there must be a First cause, and that's God. Now, why that doesn't also insist that God needs a cause, well, it's pretty obvious because they want God to be, by definition, a first cause. But doing so, it also unties this from God. Maybe the universe truly is the first cause? Maybe it's p-branes. Maybe God isn't the first cause. I think my Mormon bros can get down with this. Maybe there isn't a first cause. Whatever this first cause might be, it's not predicated that this is a conscious entity, and even if it's conscious, that it'll even match your idea or requirements for a god. That is all unproven and so this, even if it works, does not prove the existence of a god.
    And on top of this, it's not even fully demonstrated that these premises are true. In fact, their invocation for a first cause violates their previous premise. If God can be a first cause, why can't there be other entities without causes. The whole thing is pretty broken and does literally nothing.
  • Telelogical: Yeah, this one is pretty much just bias in action, and frankly, the more we look, this just doesn't seem to be the case.
  • Anthropological: Much like the first one, but looks at the social sciences instead or science. Considering their are other, more apt, theories for human morality, this falls apart pretty big, especially when different claims of morality fly in direct opposition to each other.
Some of the arguments, like the telelogical and anthropological arguments, seem to invoke the nature of God based on nature and history. If this is the case, well, that presents a pretty terrifying image of a deity. Capricious, destructive, and vastly inefficient. Most of you guys would get around this pointing to the devil and the fall of man, but then, our world really doesn't point to a designer anymore and that no longer works. I personally would be a little more careful about invoking this.
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Re: How can we know there is a God?

Postby Sstavix » Wed Aug 27, 2014 7:54 pm

Man, I just can't resist biting.
And when I posted my response, I couldn't help but wonder if you specifically would respond. ;)
To prove that God doesn't exist? Impossible. Not even going on to what people define as God or not, you can't prove a negative. This is similarly why I can't prove that unicorns, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, Garden Faeries, and Odin doesn't exist. Actually, Odin might totally exist, evidenced by the lack of jötnar. Zeus. You can't prove Zeus doesn't exist.

What I can demonstrate, and most of my compatriots have for quite some time, is that the burden of proof lies on those who claim that God exists, and we have yet to see any satisfactory proof. By a long shot. If it can't be demonstrated, the probability of it's truth approaches zero.
Quite right. Just as no one can accurately, 100% prove that God doesn't exist, just as no one can accurately, 100% prove that God does exist. But then again, as I think I've mentioned before, logic and science are not the right tools to use when measuring aspects of the spiritual realm. It's like trying to measure the air pressure in your tires with a thermometer. A thermometer is a very useful tool, indeed. But you're not using it for the purpose it's intended, so you're not going to get the answers you seek. (I'm going to have to remember that analogy. I just thought of it, and love it!)
And, to take one step further, I think that nobody has good rationale to believe in God. I'm not saying their stupid or crazy, but it's just that people do believe what they want to and strongly susceptible to biases because of it.

Brozilla, you cite your conversations with God as your proof. I did at one time, as well. At a point, that no longer worked for me, though. It's personal anecdotal evidence. I understood that it wasn't going to prove it to anyone else, but I came to terms that it's just unreliable evidence predicated on my desires and feelings and it was far more likely it was a construct of my own mind than actually a god.
Maybe your meditations and prayers are more compelling than mine were, and I'm not trying to argue you out of your faith, and this is probably a point you already understand, but I just wanted to say that personal anecdotes are not actual proof. It's not something you can use to demonstrate and prove the existence of an abstract concept like God. This isn't even a matter of science, it's logic.
I do agree with you. Personal anecdotes don't serve as any form of universal proof. It's more of an individual proof, and an aspect of our own development with a personal relationship with Heavenly Father. If there were undeniable, universal proof of God's existence, then what would be the point of faith?

Each of us have our own individual experiences, challenges and paths. Similarly, even when confronted with the same evidence, people can reach vastly different conclusions of the results based on their experiences and data (it's one reason why people get second opinions from doctors - just because one person says that the cancer is inoperable doesn't mean that there isn't a doctor out there who says "I can fix that." I actually know someone who is close friends with my wife who went through this just this month!)

My own experiences serve as proof for me. I don't expect them to serve as proof for anyone else - in fact, I would recommend that they seek out their own proof - experience it for themselves - before they draw their own conclusions. I can only share my own experiences, and I'll let others determine for themselves if I know what I'm talking about and how that affects their own mindset, if at all.

But, and this my pet peeve, don't band the word "Truth" around so much. If you don't want to fully demonstrate if a concept is true or not but instead rely on faith, that is, again, your right, but call it what it is. Belief. Faith. Not truth, because you haven't satisfied the requirements to call it that. I get that you believe it's true, but to proclaim it as Truth, should require more than just an opinion. It needs evidence and proof. If you feel like you have it, let's tango. I'm game.
I would think that an understanding of "Truth" - with a capital T, or sometimes spelled out as "TRVTH" - only can come with a perfect, intimate understanding of how the universe works. That's why, every time you turn around, another scientific concept has been disproven, even if it's been held for years (are fried eggs good to eat or not? I forget what the scientific consensus is on that this week. ;) ) And there's absolutely nothing wrong with taking the approach of "we don't know - let's do some RESEARCH!" With our mortal minds, I don't think any of us, believers or not, will really get to the point where we have a perfect knowledge of Truth.

So I can understand your approach, Broamir. I have no problem with the usage of "truth" to indicate the opposite of "falsehood." That's just semantics. But for someone to claim they have TRVTH means that such belief must be undeniable and unquestionable on a universal basis. And there are very few TRVTHs that we can all agree on at that point (maybe the effects on matter at absolute zero...).
The problem with this argument is, at it's core, it just passes the buck down one step. Everything has a cause, including the universe, so there must be a First cause, and that's God. Now, why that doesn't also insist that God needs a cause, well, it's pretty obvious because they want God to be, by definition, a first cause. But doing so, it also unties this from God. Maybe the universe truly is the first cause? Maybe it's p-branes. Maybe God isn't the first cause. I think my Mormon bros can get down with this.
Actually... you would be correct. The LDS church does believe that God predates the universe... as does all of His spirit children (namely, us). As to what was around before the universe, we are easily and readily willing to admit that we have no idea, and no means of understanding or researching what this may have been. (Broamir, from a scientific perspective, have any astronomers been able to find any way to learn what existed before the Big Bang? From what I've heard, that task would be pretty much impossible, and that's what the LDS perception basically concludes as well.) It's one of the promised blessings that we may be able to learn about this when we move past this existence into the next - basically, to the point where we can achieve the perfect understanding of the universe because we will no longer be hampered by our mortal shells. We will be able to achieve and understand these TRVTHs that I mentioned earlier. :wink:

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Re: How can we know there is a God?

Postby ArchAngel » Wed Aug 27, 2014 8:49 pm

And when I posted my response, I couldn't help but wonder if you specifically would respond.
You know me so well. :D
It's like trying to measure the air pressure in your tires with a thermometer. A thermometer is a very useful tool, indeed. But you're not using it for the purpose it's intended, so you're not going to get the answers you seek. (I'm going to have to remember that analogy. I just thought of it, and love it!)
Actually, considering the Ideal Gas Laws... it might just possible. Hmmm... you'd also have to adjust for the rubber container... hmmmmm
You know, I just picked up an infrared thermometer, too. I got all those tools I need. :P

I would accept the "different tools" if a couple stipulations can be demonstrated first. You'd have to demonstrate somehow, that this "tire" exists and what tools are suitable for the job for different reasons. And the biggest thing, I imagine, is having to make the point that cases of truth is not predicated by logic and reason. Logic and reason, as they stand, are not just one tool, but a suite of tools. And as, say, a construction job goes, they are not only applicable but necessary. Anything we determine to be a good method of determining truth gets added to this suite. Found another tool that helps us understand more about reality. It's part of reason, now! Just as building tools might not be suited for psychiatry, you might have to demonstrate this spiritual area is so vastly different it's not applicable. But as truth claims come, I don't see how logic no longer works. Truths must be consistent with each other, and logic is how we determine this. Does claims of spirituality not relate with truth claims?
Or, perhaps, you have another tool to add to the suite of "Reason," and in this case, what would the tool be, what does it do, and how does it match the task at hand?
I would think that an understanding of "Truth" - with a capital T, or sometimes spelled out as "TRVTH" - only can come with a perfect, intimate understanding of how the universe works.
I'm willing to say TRVTH, the perfect understanding of reality, is never obtainable. Our minds and our senses just are most likely not up to the task. What I stress, and for semantics in this discussion, I'll use the capital T, is Truth is a set of ideas that have been demonstrated to be as probable to reality as we can knowingly determine. Scientific consensus does change and it should as we discover more things, but often, the change isn't haphazard and random, it increases the precision on which we can understand and predict the world around us.
As for eggs, well, nutrition has been a notoriously soft field, filled with charlatans capitalizing on the complexity of the subject. There is some consensus on what's good for you, like lower sugar and more vegetables, but, like, don't buy the Paleo diet.
I mean to make the distinction between a set of knowledge that is vetted by evidence and research versus a set of strongly held beliefs, especially when talking with others as if it was plainly true. You don't do this, I know, but there was this:
There is nowhere any argument to prove it. He who disbelieves this truth is spoken of as one devoid of understanding (Psalm 14:1).
It's disingenuous to everyone and there's a distinct lack of humility about it. Yeah, I know, that coming from me...
Broamir, from a scientific perspective, have any astronomers been able to find any way to learn what existed before the Big Bang? From what I've heard, that task would be pretty much impossible, and that's what the LDS perception basically concludes as well.
Yeah, no real firm idea. There are some theories, loosely put, that lay out possibilities (p-branes, big crunch, black holes in other universes, nothing) but as it stands, we don't have a way of really telling. We don't know if it's impossible or not, but we don't have a way now. So, we don't know and that's exciting. :)
I do appreciate the LDS perspective on that as well, where it limits the extents of claims on things you don't or can't know.
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Re: How can we know there is a God?

Postby ScotchRobbins » Thu Aug 28, 2014 12:10 am

The simple answer is that you can't know that there is a God. You can't know that there isn't a God, either. You just make very strong assumptions, occasionally with high stakes, regarding what has been postulated and how well it stands up to human reason.
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Re: How can we know there is a God?

Postby ArchAngel » Thu Aug 28, 2014 12:43 am

If you can't know something one way or another, the appropriate response isn't "well, let's roll with it." Your life would be a chaotic mess of cognitive dissonance and cheeseless cheeseburgers. You don't accept something as true until it's been demonstrated to a reasonable degree. This is true for everyone regardless of what methodology they use for their own personal belief systems.

People believe in God because they want to, not because it's impossible to completely disprove the existence of a god.
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Re: How can we know there is a God?

Postby storm » Thu Aug 28, 2014 1:30 am

I can not prove there is no God for I know there is
of science i know that as of late science is beginning to believe that there is a energy inside of us (Holy Spirit)
and many things science is only of late like last 20 years are starting to figure out are all mentioned in the Bible thousands of years earlier
http://www.clarifyingchristianity.com/science.shtml" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
is a site that compares science and the Bible even where it speaks of dinosaurs
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Re: How can we know there is a God?

Postby Deepfreeze32 » Thu Aug 28, 2014 3:27 am

If you can't know something one way or another, the appropriate response isn't "well, let's roll with it." Your life would be a chaotic mess of cognitive dissonance and cheeseless cheeseburgers. You don't accept something as true until it's been demonstrated to a reasonable degree. This is true for everyone regardless of what methodology they use for their own personal belief systems.

This is why I've never been a fan of Pascal's wager.

Plus, it fails to address the problem of "What if God hates sycophants?"

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Re: How can we know there is a God?

Postby Sstavix » Thu Aug 28, 2014 3:43 am

I would accept the "different tools" if a couple stipulations can be demonstrated first. You'd have to demonstrate somehow, that this "tire" exists and what tools are suitable for the job for different reasons. And the biggest thing, I imagine, is having to make the point that cases of truth is not predicated by logic and reason. Logic and reason, as they stand, are not just one tool, but a suite of tools. And as, say, a construction job goes, they are not only applicable but necessary. Anything we determine to be a good method of determining truth gets added to this suite. Found another tool that helps us understand more about reality. It's part of reason, now! Just as building tools might not be suited for psychiatry, you might have to demonstrate this spiritual area is so vastly different it's not applicable. But as truth claims come, I don't see how logic no longer works. Truths must be consistent with each other, and logic is how we determine this. Does claims of spirituality not relate with truth claims?
Or, perhaps, you have another tool to add to the suite of "Reason," and in this case, what would the tool be, what does it do, and how does it match the task at hand?
I'm not saying that you can't apply logic and reason to spiritual pursuits. However, I don't think you can conclusively prove, using scientific means, the existence of God, short of Him popping up and saying "TA DAAA!" Even then, I suspect there would be some people who doubt. ;)

Since I know you like astronomy, and I have a fondness for it as well, let's get back to the Big Bang. The theory states that the universe exploded from one point of singularity, right? And from that one moment, the universe has been expanding more and more, getting increasingly bigger. Logic would indicate that, since the theory stipulates that there is a central point to the universe - the spot where the Big Bang originated - that there would have to be an edge to the universe.

Have we ever found an edge? From what I can recall, no. Not with any sort of conclusive, undeniable proof, at least. So we take it on faith - we believe that there is an edge because logic would dictate that this is so.

It's the same way with God. Some people who have had personal experiences with divinity can attest, to the center of their being, that God exists. They've talked with Him, they've walked with Him, He's told them they are His own... ahem, where was I? Oh, yes.... So people have had undeniable experiences with God... undeniable to them, at least. Their own personal experiences are conclusive evidence, in their own lives, that God exists. Other people can remain skeptical, but until they've had their own experiences with God, they won't ever truly know themselves. They won't be able to truly relate. Just like someone who is claiming that they've been to the edge of the universe will be regarded with skepticism until he is able to take them to the edge as well.

Also, on a side note, there are other tools than logic and reason that can be used. There's also emotion and intuition, too. After all, we're not machines. Or Vulcans. :wink: So those experiences shouldn't be discounted simply because they are not "logical" or "rational." We're human - we're not expected to be always logical and rational.
If you can't know something one way or another, the appropriate response isn't "well, let's roll with it." Your life would be a chaotic mess of cognitive dissonance and cheeseless cheeseburgers.
Mmm... cognitive dissonance... /drool.

...

I mean cheeseburger. Mmm... cheeseburger.... /drool.
of science i know that as of late science is beginning to believe that there is a energy inside of us (Holy Spirit)
One of my friends is on this kick right now where she claims that everything is some form of energy, and once we understand it, we can manipulate it in order to improve ourselves and the world. My wife is starting to believe this too. For me, it sounds like a bunch of new age, hippy dippy mumbo jumbo. It may be derailing the topic, but from a scientific perspective, Broamir, what do you think? I'm of the mindset that their science is flawed - even electrons have some form of mass, so we're more likely to find that everything is composed of matter - solid substances - rather than energy.

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Re: How can we know there is a God?

Postby ArchAngel » Thu Aug 28, 2014 5:33 pm

I can not prove there is no God for I know there is
of science i know that as of late science is beginning to believe that there is a energy inside of us (Holy Spirit)
and many things science is only of late like last 20 years are starting to figure out are all mentioned in the Bible thousands of years earlier
http://www.clarifyingchristianity.com/science.shtml" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
is a site that compares science and the Bible even where it speaks of dinosaurs
No. Not even close. Funny, though, how science is finding things out, and only after do people rush to point that it's been in the Bible all along, usually in some very loose, ambiguous interpretation. Tell me, if it's been in the Bible, why haven't we discovered this sooner? How many technological advances or natural discoveries did Bible reading give us?
Like a psychic predicting the lotto after it's been announced: it just doesn't work.

And, on a fun note/excerpt for that link:
Even today, scientists admit that they do not know how many stars there are. Only about 3,000 can be seen with the naked eye. We have seen estimates of 10^21 stars—which is a lot of stars.[2] (The number of grains of sand on the earth’s seashores is estimated to be 10^25. As scientists discover more stars, wouldn’t it be interesting to discover that these two numbers match?)
Oh, 10^21 and 10^25? How close those numbers must be? Right? Just a little more looking at you'll get there?
That means there are 10,000 times more estimated grains of sand than Stars in the observable universe. Not 10,000 more. 10,000 times more. That's 10,000 observable universes of stars to match the estimated grains of sand.
It's not just going to "oopsey" and match. That's like trying to guess the weight of a 200 lb man and putting down 1/3 oz. Remeasuring not going to fix this error.
I really couldn't go any further after reading that.

And this is what's a bit frustrating about it all. It preys on the scientifically illiterate, but also propagated by those who have not done the work to understand the material. It sounds like it meets your preconception, so they go out and preach it.

If I'm being harsh, it's not because I want to put you down. I want to impart the seriousness of making various claims. Do the research. Think critically. These propositions fall apart on a basic analysis.
One of my friends is on this kick right now where she claims that everything is some form of energy, and once we understand it, we can manipulate it in order to improve ourselves and the world. My wife is starting to believe this too. For me, it sounds like a bunch of new age, hippy dippy mumbo jumbo. It may be derailing the topic, but from a scientific perspective, Broamir, what do you think? I'm of the mindset that their science is flawed - even electrons have some form of mass, so we're more likely to find that everything is composed of matter - solid substances - rather than energy.
Well, it's that fun balance between technically right and completely wrong. And by balance, I mean caught in a massive tail spin.

Matter and Energy are technically the same. Interchangeable. Einstein demonstrated this with his famous equation, E=MC^2. But if you plan on using this, you best find yourself to a nuclear reactor. Just kidding, We only use radioactive materials for those. You might be able to get some fusion going on in a star. Ours will fuse some of your hydrogen, but any more, you'll need to find yourself a red giant or such.

Like Deepak Chopra's groundless psuedoscience, at the heart of this new age bunk is deep non-understanding of the subject material and and probably some books or crystals to sell. Actually, it's probably a little more than that. People try to find understanding and meaning and will look in many places for it, and "eeennnneeerrrggyyyy" takes a whole lot less work to understand than theoretical physics.

You're totally spot on. It's new age, hippy dippy mumbo jumbo. And the very notion of "learning to manipulate it to improve ourselves" is just... I mean, yes. We do manipulate energy to improve our standards of living. I enjoy driving my car with gasoline, electricity to power my computer, and basic metabolism and physical motions to, you know, move my body. But, that's not what they mean, is it?

I swear, you can make a drinking game based on how often they talk about positive energy, and "ancient eastern wisdom." But, then, everybody playing it would die from alcohol poisoning.

You guys know how much I tout the importance of reason and critical thinking, and I'm going to do so some more here, but it's this kind of nonsense that just really drives my point home. It's just a poo soup of placebos and biases.
Just wait till we get to homeopathy and I get angry. Peddling snake oil to sick people is disgusting.
Since I know you like astronomy, and I have a fondness for it as well, let's get back to the Big Bang. The theory states that the universe exploded from one point of singularity, right? And from that one moment, the universe has been expanding more and more, getting increasingly bigger. Logic would indicate that, since the theory stipulates that there is a central point to the universe - the spot where the Big Bang originated - that there would have to be an edge to the universe.
Good example. :)
Um, so, yes, we used to think there was an edge, or rather, that the universe circled in on itself (like if you imagined a 2d creature on the surface of a ball.) The round universe is what would occur if space is "positively curved, and I believe the fate of the positively curved universe is a Big Crunch. But, it turns out, we measured the curvature of space and it turns out pretty flat. Oooh, right?
Oh shoot, I'm getting off topic.
Right, so, there must be an edge, right? Well, turns out, we don't know. Or maybe that there is no edge, some scientists seem to suggest. Like, what? Right. We're approaching, if you pardon my punnage, the edge of my own knowledge here. Super interesting, but let me allow Hank Green to explain it more succinctly.

So, it actually looks more like there isn't an edge.
No edge.

I think it is worth digging deeper into the epistemological standards of evidence for personal beliefs versus presented ideas.

As emotion and intuition go, they are incredibly poor resources when it comes to discovery. They serve as preservational tools, maybe... you know, art. There certainly are room for the non-logical, but not when trying to understand reality, it's reason. Aristotle used intuition to determine that smoke rises because it belongs in the sky, science and reason gave us better picture.
Mmm... cognitive dissonance... /drool.

...

I mean cheeseburger. Mmm... cheeseburger.... /drool.
Haha. We should invent a cheeseburger and call it the Cognitive Dissonance Burger. One burger patty, one veggie patty.
This is why I've never been a fan of Pascal's wager.

Plus, it fails to address the problem of "What if God hates sycophants?"
Haha, yeah. Pascal's wager falls part on many levels. Pascal was a smart guy, but his wager was dumb.
I always asked what if only Atheists get into heaven, but yours sounds more sophisticated.
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Re: How can we know there is a God?

Postby storm » Sun Aug 31, 2014 7:25 pm

I can not prove there is no God for I know there is
of science i know that as of late science is beginning to believe that there is a energy inside of us (Holy Spirit)
and many things science is only of late like last 20 years are starting to figure out are all mentioned in the Bible thousands of years earlier
http://www.clarifyingchristianity.com/science.shtml" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
is a site that compares science and the Bible even where it speaks of dinosaurs
No. Not even close. Funny, though, how science is finding things out, and only after do people rush to point that it's been in the Bible all along, usually in some very loose, ambiguous interpretation. Tell me, if it's been in the Bible, why haven't we discovered this sooner? How many technological advances or natural discoveries did Bible reading give us?
Like a psychic predicting the lotto after it's been announced: it just doesn't wo

Most people only look at the Bible as a religious book not silence or history only as we progress do we see what has been there all a long thankfully I do not need so called physical proof of God my faith (the belief in something even though it can not be seen (if you are to earthly to understand try looking at wind can't see it but that is not proff it doesn't exist)
I do know if your heart is open (and you mind) to receive what you read and see then God will be made known but if all you ever want to do is argue a point or try to show your logic is better or disprove what you don't understand or you fear then no mater what is said or shown you will find a back door out of it many scholars have spent a life time trying to prove the Bible wrong no one has "logically" proven it and if God is not real why do even those who refuse to believe say it is easier to prove creationism and evolution and yet they refuse to see what their own logic tells them ?
What it comes down to is I could argue all I want and till ones heart and mind are open to more than the person's own words nothing will get through to them.
Many refuse to believe because they feel that science and Bible can't coexist but many more refuse to believe for to do so is to admit that not only does heaven exist but so does hell and that scares many people I will not reduce God to a show of logic where only one person's logic counts I would never lower my God or myself into such a wasted debate where the outcome has been decided and all that is left is to bend all to that outcome
And, on a fun note/excerpt for that link:
Even today, scientists admit that they do not know how many stars there are. Only about 3,000 can be seen with the naked eye. We have seen estimates of 10^21 stars—which is a lot of stars.[2] (The number of grains of sand on the earth’s seashores is estimated to be 10^25. As scientists discover more stars, wouldn’t it be interesting to discover that these two numbers match?)
Oh, 10^21 and 10^25? How close those numbers must be? Right? Just a little more looking at you'll get there?
That means there are 10,000 times more estimated grains of sand than Stars in the observable universe. Not 10,000 more. 10,000 times more. That's 10,000 observable universes of stars to match the estimated grains of sand.
It's not just going to "oopsey" and match. That's like trying to guess the weight of a 200 lb man and putting down 1/3 oz. Remeasuring not going to fix this error.
I really couldn't go any further after reading that.

And this is what's a bit frustrating about it all. It preys on the scientifically illiterate, but also propagated by those who have not done the work to understand the material. It sounds like it meets your preconception, so they go out and preach it.

If I'm being harsh, it's not because I want to put you down. I want to impart the seriousness of making various claims. Do the research. Think critically. These propositions fall apart on a basic analysis.
One of my friends is on this kick right now where she claims that everything is some form of energy, and once we understand it, we can manipulate it in order to improve ourselves and the world. My wife is starting to believe this too. For me, it sounds like a bunch of new age, hippy dippy mumbo jumbo. It may be derailing the topic, but from a scientific perspective, Broamir, what do you think? I'm of the mindset that their science is flawed - even electrons have some form of mass, so we're more likely to find that everything is composed of matter - solid substances - rather than energy.
Well, it's that fun balance between technically right and completely wrong. And by balance, I mean caught in a massive tail spin.

Matter and Energy are technically the same. Interchangeable. Einstein demonstrated this with his famous equation, E=MC^2. But if you plan on using this, you best find yourself to a nuclear reactor. Just kidding, We only use radioactive materials for those. You might be able to get some fusion going on in a star. Ours will fuse some of your hydrogen, but any more, you'll need to find yourself a red giant or such.

Like Deepak Chopra's groundless psuedoscience, at the heart of this new age bunk is deep non-understanding of the subject material and and probably some books or crystals to sell. Actually, it's probably a little more than that. People try to find understanding and meaning and will look in many places for it, and "eeennnneeerrrggyyyy" takes a whole lot less work to understand than theoretical physics.

You're totally spot on. It's new age, hippy dippy mumbo jumbo. And the very notion of "learning to manipulate it to improve ourselves" is just... I mean, yes. We do manipulate energy to improve our standards of living. I enjoy driving my car with gasoline, electricity to power my computer, and basic metabolism and physical motions to, you know, move my body. But, that's not what they mean, is it?

I swear, you can make a drinking game based on how often they talk about positive energy, and "ancient eastern wisdom." But, then, everybody playing it would die from alcohol poisoning.

You guys know how much I tout the importance of reason and critical thinking, and I'm going to do so some more here, but it's this kind of nonsense that just really drives my point home. It's just a poo soup of placebos and biases.
Just wait till we get to homeopathy and I get angry. Peddling snake oil to sick people is disgusting.
Since I know you like astronomy, and I have a fondness for it as well, let's get back to the Big Bang. The theory states that the universe exploded from one point of singularity, right? And from that one moment, the universe has been expanding more and more, getting increasingly bigger. Logic would indicate that, since the theory stipulates that there is a central point to the universe - the spot where the Big Bang originated - that there would have to be an edge to the universe.
Good example. :)
Um, so, yes, we used to think there was an edge, or rather, that the universe circled in on itself (like if you imagined a 2d creature on the surface of a ball.) The round universe is what would occur if space is "positively curved, and I believe the fate of the positively curved universe is a Big Crunch. But, it turns out, we measured the curvature of space and it turns out pretty flat. Oooh, right?
Oh shoot, I'm getting off topic.
Right, so, there must be an edge, right? Well, turns out, we don't know. Or maybe that there is no edge, some scientists seem to suggest. Like, what? Right. We're approaching, if you pardon my punnage, the edge of my own knowledge here. Super interesting, but let me allow Hank Green to explain it more succinctly.

So, it actually looks more like there isn't an edge.
No edge.

I think it is worth digging deeper into the epistemological standards of evidence for personal beliefs versus presented ideas.

As emotion and intuition go, they are incredibly poor resources when it comes to discovery. They serve as preservational tools, maybe... you know, art. There certainly are room for the non-logical, but not when trying to understand reality, it's reason. Aristotle used intuition to determine that smoke rises because it belongs in the sky, science and reason gave us better picture.
Mmm... cognitive dissonance... /drool.

...

I mean cheeseburger. Mmm... cheeseburger.... /drool.
Haha. We should invent a cheeseburger and call it the Cognitive Dissonance Burger. One burger patty, one veggie patty.
This is why I've never been a fan of Pascal's wager.

Plus, it fails to address the problem of "What if God hates sycophants?"
Haha, yeah. Pascal's wager falls part on many levels. Pascal was a smart guy, but his wager was dumb.
I always asked what if only Atheists get into heaven, but yours sounds more sophisticated.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (NKJV)
“Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” Greg King

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Re: How can we know there is a God?

Postby ArchAngel » Tue Sep 02, 2014 5:57 pm

There has been some errors with quotations above, but this is the best I could find of your text that was buried quotes. There are grammatical, particularly punctuational, errors which is making it difficult to read what you mean. I'm doing my best to break it up into separate thoughts.
Out of curiosity, what is your native language?
Most people only look at the Bible as a religious book not silence or history only as we progress do we see what has been there all a long
The opposite happens, actually. The Creation/Evolution debate wouldn't be going on now if that were the case. It's claims on morality have been increasingly wanting as well.
thankfully I do not need so called physical proof of God my faith (the belief in something even though it can not be seen (if you are to earthly to understand try looking at wind can't see it but that is not proff it doesn't exist)
The wind is demonstrably observable and measurable. The concept of God is not.
I do know if your heart is open (and you mind) to receive what you read and see then God will be made known but if all you ever want to do is argue a point or try to show your logic is better or disprove what you don't understand or you fear then no mater what is said or shown you will find a back door out of it... What it comes down to is I could argue all I want and till ones heart and mind are open to more than the person's own words nothing will get through to them.
You don't know me, which is why you've made this point. Being that I was very much christian for most of my life, this falls apart of a significant level, but as a general thing to say to someone, it's very disingenuous to those who actually want to find the truth, regardless of position. These positions are more than just predispositions of motivation, people have real reasons why they believe what they believe. That statement resigns belief to just "whatever you want." I challenge you to have higher standards for your beliefs.
many scholars have spent a life time trying to prove the Bible wrong no one has "logically" proven it and if God is not real why do even those who refuse to believe say it is easier to prove creationism and evolution and yet they refuse to see what their own logic tells them ?
Um, the Bible has been logically proven wrong. What scholars can't do is prove that God doesn't exist. As I've said above, it's a claim that nobody can do. You can't prove a negative. I can't prove goth unicorn faeries don't exist, either. What also nobody was able to prove is that a god or some conception of a god does exist. I haven't even seen one evidenced claim that makes it likely. It becomes less and less of a palpable idea over time.
Many refuse to believe because they feel that science and Bible can't coexist but many more refuse to believe for to do so is to admit that not only does heaven exist but so does hell and that scares many people
No. How about you listen to someone who has left the faith and no longer believes. I didn't leave because I felt some biblical claims clashed with science. There are easier ways around that. And I certainly didn't leave because I didn't like the idea of hell. Hell, for one, is very arguably not a biblical concept, but even saying it is, that is a ridiculous reason to leave the faith. In order to avoid the fear of hell, let's consign ourselves to it? If someone actually believed and feared hell, they'd stay Christian at all costs! It's only when you no longer fear it do you have the freedom to question the existence of God.
I will not reduce God to a show of logic where only one person's logic counts I would never lower my God or myself into such a wasted debate where the outcome has been decided and all that is left is to bend all to that outcome
At this point, I don't think you even know what logic is, anymore.
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Re: How can we know there is a God?

Postby jamesgrinchishin » Fri Sep 05, 2014 4:41 am

Hey guys! I Just wanted to let you all know that I'm only 14. =•D
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Re: How can we know there is a God?

Postby HarmonicMinor » Mon Sep 08, 2014 12:05 am

Hey all, I haven't posted in awhile, but was browsing and saw this.

I've dealt with a TON of different people face-to-face, arguing over differing worldviews (how we view and understand the world) and what I've come to find is that atheists are the most interesting to talk to. I also found out that most atheists insist that the one saying that God exists must give some sort of proof. There's two things that I want to say about that, and stay with me, these are vital.

1. What proof?

Whenever I ask the person what sort of proof they would like, they insist upon scientific proof. Well, that one is obviously easy, however when you present proof the real issue surfaces, that is presuppositions. I see the creation (just as Paul said in Romans) as proof of God, but an atheist sees it differently. So, we both have evidence and proof, but how we interpret the evidence is what matters. (If you don't believe evidence has to be interpreted then ask a forensic investigator or lawyer). So, when I tell that atheist that the world is proof, it's not enough, because he/she interprets the world differently.

2. Something started it all

The second thing that we must understand that something IS infinite, whether it be energy/matter, God, etc. Something is eternal, or never ending, else nothing could have begun. There is a First-mover, whether it be an explosion, or a Creator. So, how do we know? Simple, because The Bible says so.

Yes, that sounds too simple, but honestly that's what it comes down to. Christians should never attempt to prove God's existence primarily on the basis of scientific evidence. God has existed before man had sophisticated ways to measure, control, and understand the world. God has always existed, and His Word states that He has given every man the knowledge that He exists. Paul says that "He has made it known to them". And ultimately, it all comes down to one's faith. Atheists have faith, whether it be in their own understanding, someone else, science, Reason, Logic, etc, they have a basis for their epistomology, or how they know what they know.

How do you know something? Sight, smell, hearing, etc? If so how do you know those sense are reliable? Everyone has faith (trust) in something or someone, it's inescapable, irrefutable, and explainable. We are creatures of faith and submission, and that is how God created us to be. We are not meant to be autonomous or self-sufficient, we are meant to serve God and build His kingdom. We are not to rely on our won understanding. For the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. This world is designed to work the way God made it, and all other ways lead to disaster, everything is bound by God's workings and design.

How can we know there is a God? Because He has made it know to us, and to deny so would be to live a lie.
Last edited by HarmonicMinor on Mon Sep 08, 2014 2:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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