GOD – Made man or manmade?
Focusing on the Abrahamic God that appears in the three monotheisms (Judaism, Christianity and Islam), the objective of this debate is to figure out wheteher the existence of God is significantly probable or extremely improbable, but also what the beneficial aspects of believing versus not believing are.
Since it is absolutely impossible to prove the existence of any God, much like it is impossible to disprove the existence of Unicorns or Fairys, all we can do is logically debate and argue the probability of his existence.
The question of the debate is - is God a man-made concept?
Please cast your vote after you've read the arguments.
You can also add to the debate by leaving a comment at the end of the page.
The Bible Nonsense
The existence of the Abrahamic God is as probable as the existence of any other mythical creature, no different to other Gods such as Zeus, Dionossys, Mithra or Vishnu.
Time and time again over the course of history the religious authorities have had to admit being wrong when science has proved their beliefs incorrect.
Following the Bible, from Adam and Eve, to Noah, to King Jacob, we can calculate that the book claims our planet to be approxiametely 6,000 years old. Science has proved that our planet is in fact 4,5 billion years old. So if the bible gets it wrong from the very first page, why credit it with any factual events?
In the old testamente it is claimed that the Pharaoh had couple of thousand jews incarcerated, and when the self proclaimed god refused to obey Moses classical line "Let my people go!", the "real" God was so infuriated that he cast a ten day spell on Egypt, amongst which were
* All water in Egypt turn to blood so all the fish died
* Insects attack Egypt
* Darkness for three days
* First born egyptian child dies (that's a mercyfull god)
First of all, there is NO, NONE, ZERO archeological or historical evidence of any jews incarcarated in Egypt at that time, or even that a guy named Moses ever existed. But what really confuses me is this:
If God went through those lenghts for couple of thousand jews, where was he when SIX MILLION of them were being gassed to death by the Third Reich???
In terms of factuality and science, the Bible is not more worth than the recycled paper it is written on. It's an article of faith, not to be taken literally. There are more inconsitensies in the bible than in an Alien Abduction Conspiracy Theory. Yet people who believe in it, like to claim it for a factual scripture.
The belief in the Bible doesn't make any one a good person. Christians 150 years ago were pro slavery, but today most of them are against it. Both sides used the Bible as a reference. Has the word of God changed over this period? Well, no! People have just evolved and become more aware and empathetic.
The Bible is filled with moronic claims like the examples given above, the list just goes on and on.
So my question is, from a moral/scientificial/historical aspect, what is the point of the bible?
"Christians 150 years ago were pro slavery, but today most of them are against it. Both sides used the Bible as a reference. Has the word of God changed over this period? Well, no!"
You are correct, the Bible has not changed. But it can be misread. Christians 150 years ago found passages in the Bible, which they misinterpreted to justify what they were doing. The message of the Bible is one of a God who loves his people, so why would it justify slavery? Answer: it doesn't.
Plus, people put the Bible onto paper. People are fallible. They can get things wrong, or misinterpret things. It is wholly possible that the Bible's inconsistencies are down to people not understanding or forgetting events when they came to writing them down.
"The belief in the Bible doesn’t make any one a good person."
No one ever said that when you believe in God you suddenly become a good person, although I believe that if you TRULY believe in God, you will want to try to become a good person. But this isn't something that will happen over night, we have to work at it.
As to creation, which I believe you hint at when you say "Time and time again over the course of history the religious authorities have had to admit being wrong when science has proved their beliefs incorrect."
Firstly, there is no concrete proof that this belief is wrong. The Big Bang theory is just that. A theory. Yet many people take it to be the fact. And the bible is full of metaphors. The '7 days' isn't necessarily an actual 7 days as we understand it. It is a period of time. And God, being God, could easily have set the Big Bang into motion, and put evolution into motion. Why do science and religion have to be mutually exclusive options?
"So my question is, from a moral/scientificial/historical aspect, what is the point of the bible?"
The point of the Bible is to tell everyone the story of God, Jesus and God's people. It may not be flawless, due to the people who were scribes, but it contains truth. It is to tell you the story so that you may choose whether or not to believe it. I choose to believe it and you don't. I say, it's your loss.
God is an idealised human authority figure
God is described as having human characteristics - emotions such as love, motives such as creating and protecting something, characteristics such as power and benevolence - but at its very extreme, having infinite power, perfect benevolence etc. He is an expression of what we want in a perfect authority figure and an ideal parent. He is just wishful thinking. An actual higher entity who is a) not human and b) capable of such acts would be nothing like us. We wouldn't be able to understand them at all, they'd be so alien to us.
It is true, we cannot fully understand or even partly understand the capabilites and characteristics of God. Humans can only envision things from examples of other things they have seen before. God is really nothing like us, but in order to interact with humans, He has to act and talk partly like us. This is why phrases like 'God's Hand' 'God's Nose (anger)' appear in the bible. Yes, God is the perfect figure, being all-mighty, but why does that mean he can't exist?
God displays humanistic characteristics that prove that he is neither all powerful or all knowing, therefore making him human or non-existant
We know that god is a man made construct because even it, he, she is victim to the bias of human emotions.
Why does god NEED us to worship him/her/it? If god was a superior being, he would not be victim to problems caused by humanism. Therefore, we know that he is a man made construct because god IS a victim of humanism. the need for us to worship him and god's need for: recoginition, acceptance, love. Further more, why does god, why did god get angry? If god truly exists, he would be all powerful and knowing. This in of its self would prevent god from acting or thinking like a human being, with emotions. But because god displays characteristics of man, we can categorize god as a man made construct.
Secondly, what does god look like? Look to EVERY religion, and you will see man made constructs that are victims to the criteria of man's racism, sexism and culture.
In greek mythology or norse mythology, why are the all powerful dieities men? why is god often described as a man, or why are all of the most important and powerful gods placed in the bodies of Men? In almost every culture, women play a secondary role is society, and even in western culture and religion this remains true. God, if he existed, would have told his first followers that he was an 'IT' not man, not women. If god truly existed, god and his followers would know that god is not even in the human form. YET, looking at all the hymns, paintings and writings, what do they refer to god as? he. Not she, because every religion and christianity is no exception, is victim to sexism. If god existed, he would not have been victim to sexism by any avenue. But because he has, it shows that he is neither all powerful or all knowing. As he should have had the knowledge to prevent this, as well as the ability.
If god existed, he would not be victim to any type of humanism. Being all powerful and knowing WOULD prevent this. But because he displays HUMAN characteristics like angry, pride, need for acceptance, and apperance. So......this proves that he is not all powerful and knowing = Not god. which then leaves the final conculsion that he doesnt exist because he IS a man made construct.
'we' need to worship god to keep faith and never lose hope. God is a crutch, a friend you'll never lose; a being you can trust to guide you o your path.
God wants us to thrive being happy and optimistic because we are his/her creation.
If God wanted recognition there would be no confusion over beliefs nor atheism as God would then reveal him/herself in all his/her glory to all his/her creation but God wants us to build trust/faith for our own sake. To acknowledge that there is so much that we do not yet know and unpredictable things do happen.
God is unproven; thus still a man made hypothesis
For a hypothesis to be more than just a man made thought, there has to be evidence for it;
There is no evidence for god;
Thus God is still just a man made hypothesis.
God is just the reflex of human primitive cognitive and emotinal needs
God is a man made construct. Its the result of our incapacity to envision a meaning for our limited lifespan other than to perpetuate itself in another realm of time and space. It is also the result of indoctrination. Without the institucionalized indoctrination of the churches, the idea of a personal god that answers to prayers would be long gone. This indoctrination is reinforced by a natural human need "to belong". This last point explains why the belief in a personal god and the burgeoning birth of new sects and cults is much more prolific in poor areas or under assisted communities. It is not emotionally rewarding to think that there is no one but ourselves and our own conscience to care for us, but the fact that this emotional reward is real speaks nothing about the veracity of GOD!
Limitations of human understanding
Just because we can't directly percieve something, it doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Just as we were once oblivious to the fact that electromagnetic fields exist, as do air molecules, as do the moons of Jupiter - we could be oblivious to a whole medley of things that are not immediately perceptible to human senses.
Humans just can't have complete and perfect knowledge of things existing. This is due to our limitations. Dogs have a heigtened sense of smell and eagles have a heightened sense of vision - yet these species are lacking in other faculties such as the intelligence of humans; similarly humans are lacking in the abilites that they have. This shows that we are limited by our senses and can't fathom the existence of things outside our sphere of sense perception.
Therefore, it is possible that God exists without us being able to 'see' him.
"Just because we can't directly percieve (sic) something, it doesn't mean it doesn't exist." The reason this is absolutely WRONG is simply that -
1. God isn't even indirectly perceived.
Electro-magnetic radiation, molecules of the air, moons of Jupiter, et al are all things that could not be perceived, but their impacts could be witnessed - as air pressure, as a simple mercury barometer (the mercury rising up a capillary tube due to air pressure, etc. For example, it couldn't be perceived that sound needed a medium to be propagated. But when a ticking clock in a vaccuum chamber could not be heard, it became clear - it was indirectly perceived in relation to cause and effect.
There is NO evidence to support the existence of God that would pass any rational muster.
2. Lack of our ability to 'see'.
Well, we lack the ability to perceive Jupiter. We lack the ability to perceive people in the United States unless we're there. We lack the ability to see aliens. All that you've said there applies equally to alien life-forms, scientology, pastafarianism, and the cookie monster. We can't judge on the probability (or lack thereof) of something existence by merely stating that it might, but it can't be proved, and that until it can be disproved it stands proven.
"Just because we can't directly percieve something, it doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Just as we were once oblivious to the fact that electromagnetic fields exist, as do air molecules, as do the moons of Jupiter - we could be oblivious to a whole medley of things that are not immediately perceptible to human senses"
Agreed, but things like air molecules and electromganetic fields can be Scientifically tested. God and the cookie monster however, Cannot.
"Humans just can't have complete and perfect knowledge of things existing. This is due to our limitations. Dogs have a heigtened sense of smell and eagles have a heightened sense of vision - yet these species are lacking in other faculties such as the intelligence of humans; similarly humans are lacking in the abilites that they have. This shows that we are limited by our senses and can't fathom the existence of things outside our sphere of sense perception"
Again, Agreed. Dogs have vastly superior smelling abilities in comparision to humans. However, the concept of god will not be percieved throught developed abilities to smell or see. But will be decided on the ability to pervieve, through logical and deductive reasoning. And who is more fit to ponder on the great questions of life than the mammals with the most developed brains and problem sovling abilities? Nobody, humans are fit for the job.
The idea of 'creation'
A computer, a watch, a table, a pencil, a building - what do they all have in common? They have all been created, planned by the human mind and designed by the hands. Similarly, we can argue that every object that exists has been made, built, fashioned by a great designer.
If humans can make robots, and robots can make other objects by the command of the human, why is it impossible to consider the possibility that humans were also created, and are living their lives due to their Creator's wish?
A human designs a car that can only function with the presence of fuel - and he regularly provides it with that. Similarly, this Designer of men has not only created men, but has provided plenty of resources for food on Earth, so that his creation will nourish itself and continue to live.
Nothing is perfect. By suggesting that God's method of creation is similar to human creation, you are implying that God created, and did not destroy, millions of imperfect things, and is therefore a very incompetent and untrustworthy artisan.
Furthermore, other than all things that are created by man, there are those things which are in question - are these things created by some kind of awe-inspiring all powerful creator or not? And since God seems to have done a rather shoddy job on the planet (don't get me started on the terrible job he's done on human beings!) clearly we can't ascribe everything to him merely because 'someone must have done it!'. That completely misses the point of certain things.
For example, if one were to assume, merely for a moment, that God didn't create everything - then the gravity between the moon and the Earth causing tides is a phenomenon that is not created by any greater or higher being - it is merely an action resulting from a proximate, traceable and tangible cause.
Isn't it more of a stretch to say 'oooh, God must have done it so we can have a fun time on the beaches'?
The TRUE problem we must adress here, is not the creation of a watch or computer. but the supposed creation of the universe. the idea that god created everyting out of NOTHING. the law of conservation of mass / energy makes this IMPOSSIBLE. WHY can we make computers? because we have the material in which TO MAKE the computer. you have the hard drive, the RAM, the operating system.
Try this little experiment with me.
1.) sharpen a penicl- easy right?
Materials: ( that you have ) Pencil and pencil sharpener.
Why can you sharpen the pencil? because you have the materails to do so and the avenue to do so. Now try the second one
2.) Sharpen a Pencil #2
What happened? why were you unable to sharpen the penicl. because you did not have the virigin materials to do so. without the pencil and the sharpener, the act of creating a sharpened pencil is impossible. You CANNOT create something out of nothing. the law of conseravation of mass and energy prove this. To exist, one must be within the universe, and to be in the universe makes this thing subject to the scientific laws of the universe. Therefore the act that god created the universe and life out of nothing is a logical and scientific Fallacy.
Every action has a consequence. Every action IS a consequence of a prior act. Thus, scientists have sought to determine our roots, the origins of the Universe, the 'IT' that started all of this. If we accept the rational occurence of action and reaction, and try to conclude that there is a Source that nudged the first domino piece of physical events; naturally the question will be brought up - who created God? Logically, there has to be a beginning that is devoid of any beginning, something eternal, something beyond the boundaries of time and space that has a consciousness which caused the existence of the domain of the CREATED. This timeless, dimensionless Being is called God.
"Logically, there has to be a beginning that is devoid of any beginning, something eternal, something beyond the boundaries of time and space that has a consciousness which caused the existence of the domain of the CREATED. This timeless, dimensionless Being is called God."
You cannot create everything with nothing, thus proven by the Law of convseravation of mass/ energy. It is impossible.
and even if he could, if he would be in this place that is beyond time, space and dimensions would place god in a position of being outside the universe. to EXIST, one must be in the universe. but since God is outside the universe in this 'space lacking time and dimensions', he does not exist. as one, either human or god must be within the universe to exist, because he does not, he cannot logically be assumed to exist. it is a logical and scientific fallacy.
Okay, Proposition- you win. Opposition can't prove that there's a God, and I doubt that they can even offer a convincing argument that there is a God. And yet I'm writing this on the opposition side. I believe that God could come out today, show himself like I believe He did at Mt. Sinai, and thus cause all humans to believe, out of knowledge, in Him. However, He does not do this, and hasn't done such a thing for approximately three thousand years. Why? Because faith in God is just that- faith. We'll never know for certain that God exists, and that is part of the challenge. If you knew that there was a Creator, then of course you would worship Him- otherwise he'd beat you up. Now that you don't know, that you need to be in a constant state of BELIEF, not KNOWLEDGE- your task becomes harder. And so, if you don't believe in God- I can't convince you (though people do try to do that- it doesn't seem to work). You don't think he exists? I can't help that. But you can't convince me otherwise, because you too don't have any facts at your disposal, only belief. And I'll finish my point with Pascal's famous quote (though, again, it won't convince those who don't want to be convinced): "If you believe in God and turn out to be incorrect, you have lost nothing -- but if you don't believe in God and turn out to be incorrect, you will go to hell. Therefore One should believe in God."
By Believing in a god that you don' believe in, you are displaying one of the seven deadly sins-greed. by forgoing the nature of true belief, and expoliting the nature of belief, you will screw your self over. these two scenarios will prove this.
1.) God does exist, you die and go to the gates of heaven. While lying to god that you believed and had faith, god will know the act of your lying, as well as the act of greed in which you exploited the idea of faith and belief. Congrats! you get to live a enternal life of hell fire. Wonderful.
2.) God doesnt exist. But because you exploit the idea of faith for personal gain in the supposed after life, everybody hates the fact that you sacrifice your moral intergrity for a speculated gain. Congrats! everybody now knows you as the man/women who tried to exploit religion for personal gain. Everybody hates you. Wonderful. Yet again.
"If you believe in God and turn out to be incorrect, you have lost nothing -- but if you don't believe in God and turn out to be incorrect, you will go to hell. Therefore One should believe in God."
Agreed, minus the fact that you sacrifice you ingerity as a individual and sacrifice the morality of faith for personal greed. minus that, you lose nothing. which yet again, is a fallacy
What do you think?