There isn’t a day that goes by where we don’t hear about tragedies around the world. Does this mean that a benevolent god is out of the question? The greatest physicists in recent history do NOT reject God.Stephen Hawking and Einstein both vocally and in literature expressed their ideas of a non-interventionist creator. Hawking resents/ed the word ‘Atheist’ and calls/ed himself a deist(a believer in god) or agnostic, whilst Einstein never failed to tout about his belief in ‘the God of Spinoza’/the watch-maker/the creator.
All the Yes points:
- Life is ridiculous without a God. Belief in God is the only sane thing we discuss.
- God teaches forgiveness and love: an idea universally agreed upon as good.
- People think that a benevolent God cannot exist because bad things happen…
- If anything exists, God exists.
- The Argument from Change
- The Argument from Efficient Causality
- The Argument from Time and Contingency
- The Argument from Degrees of Perfection
- The Ontological Argument
- Science can support the existance of God
- According to Probability – a creator exists
- Great physicists were deist
- Teleological argument: Design
- I AM WHO I AM
All the No points:
- God is a concept dreamed up by optimistic people.
- It doesn’t matter!
- The challenge of rationality, science and coincidence to religion
- Unanswerable Questions
- The Omnipotence Paradox
- ‘God’ is merely a concept designed to promote a set of values
- If there is a god, its the sun.
- People are being very hypocritical.
- Religion causes harm. It does no good. It’s not needed.
- Religion is the expression of a neurotic impulse.
- Teleological Argument is flawed – Can be applied infinitely
Life is ridiculous without a God. Belief in God is the only sane thing we discuss.
When you are watching television, talking to friends, doing homework etc. don’t you often think how crazy life is? Some may say that life is just particles happening to bounce off one another but I believe that everyone is important. Science can explain some things in theory like rainbows are created by light shining through water in dense atmospheres, but something as wonderful as that and as wonderful as life itself can not simply be a coincidence. Can you really bring yourself to think that your life will end as fertilizer for a rose bush in a cemetery? God gives purpose, purpose is life.
Here is a good link to prove this point (make sure you have some time, it is over an our long, but watch the whole thing.)
Isn’t it amazing that rainbows exist? Just think: the light has to enter water droplets at just the right angle for the human brain to perceive a rainbow. Fascinating- and explicable without a god.
Everyone would agree that life is remarkable, but just because it is such a beautiful thing doesn’t mean it has to happen because of some distant deity. You don’t need a god to believe that everyone is important, either.
In fact, how life works is yet another explicable thing. Not many scientists, for example, would argue that life is purely coincidence. There are explanations and evidence exploring the origins of life and explaining the emergence of the species we are familiar with today. Just like a rainbow, ‘living’ is ultimately just some chemical reactions, stemming from laws of physics just like those that split white light into beautiful colours as it passes through droplets.
But thinking of life as just chemical interactions misses the point. Yes, of course, life is made up of chemical interactions. But that is just one perspective. Life is also a set of interactions between people, desires, and dreams. All of those things happen on the social and psychological level. Warm social values and fulfilling psychological commitments don’t disappear just because there are chemicals underlying them. In the same way, the beauty of wonderful architecture doesn’t disappear just because there are uninspired bricks and joists underlying them. It isn’t the pieces we should be paying attention to, but the whole.
And that whole doesn’t disappear just because there is no God there. It is there with or without God. It is completely independent from Him.
God teaches forgiveness and love: an idea universally agreed upon as good.
There are more than a billion Christians in the world(the greatest chunk of believers).Followed by Muslims(second largest believing majority). Next in line are agnostics and atheists(agnostics do not hold a position on the God debate and atheists include deists who reject theism but may believe in creation/’one creator, at least’). God’s teachings are perfect and they stirred the minds of the majority of the world. And continue to do so centuries later. “Love one another”: it was original when Jesus said it and it’s surely the best way to live.
Why would people kill so many for an idea, if the idea did not speak to them? And yes none of the modern religions that you mention(including Scientology) REJECT a creator or God. Which only means that they aren’t NEW ideas, they are simply recycled/re-engineered forms of an old belief. Can you conjure a NEW idea with a large following? Perhaps(but unlikely),however you cannot invent a NEW idea that has a following greater than that of all god-fearing/believing religions, encompassed.
The belief in no God preceded theism, in all its forms. And yet despite the anti-God head-start: Theism, rather deism has won the race.
“They end up believing that the son of…an unfaithful wife is their savior.”:Um there’s a reason why she is called: The ‘VIRGIN’ Mary. And not ‘all’ believers in God believe in Jesus.
Your entire argument is that divorcees have the WORST life? Well, if the divorcees themselves, thought so, they wouldn’t get a divorce now, would they?
All you have proven is that religious people are not constrained enough to force themselves to stay in a rotten marriage. And that they exercise the brilliant choice of getting out, while they can. This gives ‘them’ a better life not a worse one.
It’s very easy for lots of people to be wrong. Billions of people across time have believed in many things that turned out to be wrong. There was a time when people almost universally believed that the Earth was the centre of the universe and this turned out to be wrong.
Also, the second largest religion is Islam. Christians obviously do not think the beliefs of Muslims to be true and yet there are almost as many Muslims in the world as there are Christians. Clearly, then, the number of people who believe in something does not ensure it has truth value.
Further, Christianity has often been exported through ‘education’ of native populations – not exactly true believers, these new converts, just the ones smart enough to nod and smile and not get killed by their captors and conquerors. Numbers mean nothing when skewed like this. It is also extremely easy to import a religion when you are in a position that enables you to control the education of children.
Might Scientology not be suggested as the example of a new religion that has attracted followers?
Hoax Religions that were entirely and relatively recently made up:
1) L. Ron Hubbard, a science fiction writer, invented Scientology in 1952
2) Joseph Smith, a convicted fraudster, invented The Church of Latter day Saints in 1830 (The Mormons)
Suggesting that mass belief is a significant argument is a fallacy in itself. John Stuart Mill stated quite nicely that a million people might hold one view, and one person another, but this does not make the view that is held more broadly more valid in any way.
All recollection of Jesus is recorded in a book that has been edited time and again by figures who never had any contact with him – the comparison to the game ‘Chinese whispers’ seems obvious, in which a phrase becomes reinterpreted to the point of gross inaccuracy. Following such a line of argument would seem to suggest that David Ike or Joseph Smith is more genuine.
The ideas presented in Plato’s Socratic dialogues likewise supposedly paraphrase the ethics of a historically renowned figure, but it would seem foolish to assume such paraphrasing did not occur. Plato certainly bent Socrates’ arguments at very least. The worth of Jesuit ethics seems evident, but assuming that the very ethics of a single man have survived numerous translations without being altered is unrealistic to say the least. The attachment of a ‘religion’ to a sound ethical scheme seems unnecessary – one can hold such values without what is essentially the idolisation of a figure, the character and ethic of which is only understood through literary depiction. Even if Jesus existed, the quality of his contribution is very likely to have been grossly exaggerated.
There is also no reason to assume that a belief in the Christian religion is the best way to live. The USA is arguably one of the more Christian countries on Earth (by which I mean the population as the constitution, obviously, does not allow the US itself to be). The number of atheists in the US is below the world percentage. In a recent UNICEF study the US came in directly above the UK for quality of life for children. The Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark claimed the top three places – these are amongst the most atheistic countries in Europe. 85% of people in Sweden do not believe in a god, 80% of those in Denmark and 44% of those in the Netherlands. The percentage of the world that does not believe in a god is 16-21%. This is an impressive difference. Furthermore, when you look at divorce rates (in the US) amongst atheists, Christians and Jews, Jews rank highest and atheists lowest – so Christians and Jews are more likely to divorce than people who lack belief in any gods entirely. Of course, none of these correlations prove any causal relationship. However, they do demonstrate that Christianity does not correlate with a better life as defined by most Christians themselves.
In addition it is important to realize that if all those people are wrong, they end up believing that the son of…an unfaithful wife is their savior. Couldn’t they choose someone better to worship?!?
People think that a benevolent God cannot exist because bad things happen…
These people are wrong. God has given us all the opportunity to do good, but unfortunately many choose to ignore this. When you see someone suffering don’t stand back and comment on how unfortunate that person is; you have the chance to help.
In order to refute some of the opposition’s points, let us first make the distinction between the two types of “bad thing”: those caused by the natural world, and those caused by the humans that inhabit it.
To refute the point that “He must either be unaware, lacking in power, or unwilling to assist and prevent suffering” in the case of natural disasters, one could first point out that the Bible claims not only that God did not try to prevent that flood, but actually caused it to happen, and then could go on to discuss the delicate balance of nature that we rely on in order for life to continue on Earth. Were God to prevent every earthquake, tsunami, volcanic eruption, flood and so on, which cause death and suffering for many people, would the environment still exist for us to exist? Surely the maintenance of the means for the continuation of humankind is reason enough for God to allow such disasters to occur.
With respect to “bad things” brought about by humans: God, being a benevolent God, gave us free will: the ability to choose whether to good or bad. This is no poor excuse used to brush aside the “bad things” as irrelevant, but instead affirms God’s benevolence in not creating us as slaves to His will.
Regarding the point on the right about housemates, surely the dormitary manager can whisper advice to at least some of the housemates such that they help each other out? Even if some disease existed, that would hardly disprove the existence of the dorm manager if it was up to the housemates to follow instructions themselves? To my knowledge that is the belief of most religions who generally accept that miracles are hard to come about these days. As the leading rabbi in England said, ‘Don’t ask, “Where was God at Auschwitch?” ask, “Where was Man?”‘.
Helping people is good, yes. Doesn’t exactly prove the existence of God, does it? The ‘Problem of Evil’ points out a severe difficulty in the theistic argument. If God is considered an omniscient, omnipotent and benevolent being, then his failure to prevent something such as a tsunami (or any natural disaster certainly) is inconsistent (if the bible is to be appealed to as a defence, the story of Noah’s ark and the great flood remove any such opportunity). He must either be unaware, lacking in power, or unwilling to assist and prevent suffering.
An analogy that has been applied previously is an infested dormitory, in which all of the housemates are diseased and hungry. There is a door in the dormitory, and none of the housemates know what is on the other side, although they sometimes make appeals for salvation, although the situation does not change. To assume that a caring, capable and aware dormitory management exist behind the door just doesn’t make sense.
The existence of a God is not a prerequisite to one human assisting another: if anything, the need for humans to assist each other merely demonstrates that God is weak, unaware, unkind or non-existent, in any number of combinations. The story of the Good Samaritan outlines a decent and expedient moral code, but it does not necessitate the existence of God.
People argue that religion cannot be falsified, as there is no compromise in what people believe. For Example ‘God Exists – and he loves me’ – Christians won’t have this any other way, this is 100% true and cannot be compromised.
However this is not the only thing that people don’t compromise with, you also cannot falsify or compromise… Math.
No-one complains that that doesn’t exist.
The secret reveals a concept in physics that says that thinking about something enough does make it exist. The law of attraction [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_b1GKGWJbE8]].
So , if you ‘really’ believe in an invisible unicorn , that you can not feel, it might be there. But then again you wouldn’t really believe in it unless there was at least a shred of evidence. You will only believe ‘strongly’ in something if there is some definable truth in it. The reason kids believe in Santa Claus is because their fathers dress up and roll down the chimney, for their eyes to see.
A lot of kids are wise to the ploy, ALSO after obtaining ‘evidence’ of some form against the existence of Santa.
And to reassert the point in the first paragraph. It is not really possible to prove anything but your own existence[Cogito ergo sum- Rene Descartes]].(Descartes also wrote a lengthy GOD-Proof.) Maybe, you shouldn’t believe in anything but it isn’t possible not to.YOU believe there is no God: yes that is a belief just like any other.
The only reason ‘you’ do not believe in God or a creator is because YOU have been told there isn’t one. It isn’t something you discovered all on your own with the use of logic. Since logically incomplete or imperfect information cannot provide one with perfect/complete answers.
This isn’t strictly what falsification means. Falsification was a scientific proposition put forward most famously by Karl Popper, arguing that as there is no agreed means of determining what is true (for example, if I look at all the cats around me, and they’re all black, I can’t say ‘all cats are black’ as you could come back and show me a white one.), the only truths we can hold are hypothesis that we assume to be true unless proven otherwise. As with the example above, I would take the hypothesis ‘all cats are black’ and try to prove myself wrong, searching for the example of a white cat to disprove my hypothesis.
Falsification doesn’t fit your argument for two reasons.
1) It doesn’t strictly accept ‘truth’ at all: the whole point of it was to find a logical substitute as truth isn’t a term that can be agreed on. Thus the idea of compromise is a crucial part of this theory, and the Christian ‘100% truth’ belief is not accepted by falsificationists.
2) More importantly, a further requirement of any hypothesis held by a falsificationist (e.g. all cats are black) must be contradictable (e.g. I’ve found a non-black cat) for falsificationism to properly function. There is no contradictory state for God existing, for what single piece of evidence could there be that defeats the argument that God exists? Searching every atom of the universe for any traces of ‘God’ wouldn’t do it, nor would attempting to explain every ‘miracle’ – either way, the possibility of God still exists. This is unfortunately put forward as a strength by many theists, although logically (and by the definition of falsificationism) it is a huge weakness of argument. Take, for example, my argument that there is an invisible, inaudible unicorn in my room that can’t be felt or sensed in any way. I won’t ever be proven wrong, but is it really there? A lack of proof that something does not exist ONLY implies that we can hold it as existing (for now) WHEN it is possible to imagine a situation where we can be proven wrong. A belief in God does not fulfil this criterion and is not supported by falsificationism.
Besides, there is a big debate over whether maths is innate (something in the world that we’ve discovered), or invented (a system we’ve created to explain the world) but it doesn’t support the falsificationist argument either way.
Just because some people believe something doesn’t make it reality!
If anything exists, God exists.
If anything exists, God exists.
Stefan Hawking’s very interesting interview.
HE is not an atheist.
Simply to state that “If anything exists, God exists” is not an argument at all, it demonstates no logical process.
It is nothing more than an assertion. Besides, does this include all the wrongs in the world as well? Could I say ‘rape exists therefore God exists?’. And does this not limit God to Earthly things? Surely (by the common concept of Him) He existed even when nothing else did?
Lets just state the obvious questions:
IS GOD A MAN OR A WOMAN?
WHERE DOES GOD RESIDE?
WHO MADE GOD?
Unless, anyone can prove any of the above, how is one to believe that there is a God? Also, don’t you find it odd, that many of the major religions in the world seemed to have occurred every 500 years or so, in the past!
But paradoxically, the oldest one with many followers, is Bhuddism, which does not state that there is a God, or a creator but instead, stated to ‘believe in yourself’ and your own salvation, through your own actions, rather than worshipping ‘others’.
The Argument from Change
The Argument from Change
The material world we know is a world of change. This young woman came to be 5’2″, but she was not always that height. The great oak tree before us grew from the tiniest acorn. Now when something comes to be in a certain state, such as mature size, that state cannot bring itself into being. For until it comes to be, it does not exist, and if it does not yet exist, it cannot cause anything.
As for the thing that changes, although it can be what it will become, it is not yet what it will become. It actually exists right now in this state (an acorn); it will actually exist in that state (large oak tree). But it is not actually in that state now. It only has the potentiality for that state.
Now a question: To explain the change, can we consider the changing thing alone, or must other things also be involved? Obviously, other things must be involved. Nothing can give itself what it does not have, and the changing thing cannot have now, already, what it will come to have then. The result of change cannot actually exist before the change. The changing thing begins with only the potential to change, but it needs to be acted on by other things outside if that potential is to be made actual. Otherwise it cannot change.
Nothing changes itself. Apparently self-moving things, like animal bodies, are moved by desire or will—something other than mere molecules. And when the animal or human dies, the molecules remain, but the body no longer moves because the desire or will is no longer present to move it.
Now a further question: Are the other things outside the changing thing also changing? Are its movers also moving? If so, all of them stand in need right now of being acted on by other things, or else they cannot change. No matter how many things there are in the series, each one needs something outside itself to actualize its potentiality for change.
The universe is the sum total of all these moving things, however many there are. The whole universe is in the process of change. But we have already seen that change in any being requires an outside force to actualize it. Therefore, there is some force outside (in addition to) the universe, some real being transcendent to the universe. This is one of the things meant by “God.”
Briefly, if there is nothing outside the material universe, then there is nothing that can cause the universe to change. But it does change. Therefore there must be something in addition to the material universe. But the universe is the sum total of all matter, space and time. These three things depend on each other. Therefore this being outside the universe is outside matter, space and time. It is not a changing thing; it is the unchanging Source of change.
The universe exists now. It most (and overwhelmingly) probably came into existence as a result of the Big Bang. Life and, now, humans came into existance as a result of natural selection. There is no requirement in any of this for a ‘God’ or otherworldly being. The initial cause, perhaps (St. Thomas Aquinas’ “Unmoved Mover”) could be called ‘God’ through lack of any other theory but since then His actions are no longer able to explain what we see with anything like the accuracies of science. The Universe that we see is a changing one, yes, but it can not reasonably be said to be changing under the will of a god. Why then is Nature trying to create animals that are better and better equipped to kill humans? Why is the Universe expanding unstoppably into nothingness? The idea of a God is not alone evough to explain this, unless it is acepted that he created the Universe and, to quote the Beatles, let it be.
Also why must there be something outside that changes that makes it change for example sunlight, a major thing in the changing of a seed into a plant, is unchanging it simply carries on never changing and never slowing and generally not doing anything except for moving away from the sun, sunlight does not get used up it merely gets reflected.
The Argument from Efficient Causality
The Argument from Efficient Causality
We notice that some things cause other things to be (to begin to be, to continue to be, or both). For example, a man playing the piano is causing the music that we hear. If he stops, so does the music.
Now ask yourself: Are all things caused to exist by other things right now? Suppose they are. That is, suppose there is no Uncaused Being, no God. Then nothing could exist right now. For remember, on the no-God hypothesis, all things need a present cause outside of themselves in order to exist. So right now, all things, including all those things which are causing things to be, need a cause. They can give being only so long as they are given being. Everything that exists, therefore, on this hypothesis, stands in need of being caused to exist.
But caused by what? Beyond everything that is, there can only be nothing. But that is absurd: all of reality dependent—but dependent on nothing! The hypothesis that all being is caused, that there is no Uncaused Being, is absurd. So there must be something uncaused, something on which all things that need an efficient cause of being are dependent.
Existence is like a gift given from cause to effect. If there is no one who has the gift, the gift cannot be passed down the chain of receivers, however long or short the chain may be. If everyone has to borrow a certain book, but no one actually has it, then no one will ever get it. If there is no God who has existence by his own eternal nature, then the gift of existence cannot be passed down the chain of creatures and we can never get it. But we do get it; we exist. Therefore there must exist a God: an Uncaused Being who does not have to receive existence like us—and like every other link in the chain of receivers.
Question 1: Why do we need an uncaused cause? Why could there not simply be an endless series of things mutually keeping each other in being?
Reply: This is an attractive hypothesis. Think of a single drunk. He could probably not stand up alone. But a group of drunks, all of them mutually supporting each other, might stand. They might even make their way along the street. But notice: Given so many drunks, and given the steady ground beneath them, we can understand how their stumblings might cancel each other out, and how the group of them could remain (relatively) upright. We could not understand their remaining upright if the ground did not support them—if, for example, they were all suspended several feet above it. And of course, if there were no actual drunks, there would be nothing to understand.
This brings us to our argument. Things have got to exist in order to be mutually dependent; they cannot depend upon each other for their entire being, for then they would have to be, simultaneously, cause and effect of each other. A causes B, B causes C, and C causes A. That is absurd. The argument is trying to show why a world of caused causes can be given—or can be there—at all. And it simply points out: If this thing can exist only because something else is giving it existence, then there must exist something whose being is not a gift. Otherwise everything would need at the same time to be given being, but nothing (in addition to “everything”) could exist to give it. And that means nothing would actually be.
Question 2: Why not have an endless series of caused causes stretching backward into the past? Then everything would be made actual and would actually be—even though their causes might no longer exist.
Reply: First, if the kalam argument (argument 6) is right, there could not exist an endless series of causes stretching backward into the past. But suppose that such a series could exist. The argument is not concerned about the past, and would work whether the past is finite or infinite. It is concerned with what exists right now.
Even as you read this, you are dependent on other things; you could not, right now, exist without them. Suppose there are seven such things. If these seven things did not exist, neither would you. Now suppose that all seven of them depend for their existence right now on still other things. Without these, the seven you now depend on would not exist—and neither would you. Imagine that the entire universe consists of you and the seven sustaining you. If there is nothing besides that universe of changing, dependent things, then the universe—and you as part of it—could not be. For everything that is would right now need to be given being but there would be nothing capable of giving it. And yet you are and it is. So there must in that case exist something besides the universe of dependent things—something not dependent as they are.
And if it must exist in that case, it must exist in this one. In our world there are surely more than seven things that need, right now, to be given being. But that need is not diminished by there being more than seven. As we imagine more and more of them—even an infinite number, if that were possible—we are simply expanding the set of beings that stand in need. And this need—for being, for existence—cannot be met from within the imagined set. But obviously it has been met, since contingent beings exist. Therefore there is a source of being on which our material universe right now depends.
This argument is intersting and, to some extent, makes a valid point. There is a need in the universe for an uncaused cause, an unmoved mover. However, as the argument on the left is meant to be philosophical and not faith based, it’s conclusion is not at all valid as one cannot help but ask; if everything has a cause and that cause is God, what caused God? The reply, of course, will be that God is eternal, having no cause Himself. However, as we are tackling this from a supposedly philisophical viewpoint, this will not do as it is unjustified. In short, the argument has failed to answer its own question and has simply defined (as opposed to derived) something (God) as the Uncaused Cause. There is no justification for naming this as ‘God’ (while there is strong justifiction for naming it ‘The Big Bang’) let alone asigning any of the common concepts of Christ, Love and Miracles that reduce further the argument for God. There is not an argument for the existance of God that isn’t either faith based or an argument for a God that does not intervene. The argument to my left prooves no exception.
The Argument from Time and Contingency
The Argument from Time and Contingency
1. We notice around us things that come into being and go out of being. A tree, for example, grows from a tiny shoot, flowers brilliantly, then withers and dies.
2. Whatever comes into being or goes out of being does not have to be; nonbeing is a real possibility.
3. Suppose that nothing has to be; that is, that nonbeing is a real possibility for everything.
4. Then right now nothing would exist. For
5. If the universe began to exist, then all being must trace its origin to some past moment before which there existed—literally—nothing at all. But
6. From nothing nothing comes. So
7. The universe could not have begun.
8. But suppose the universe never began. Then, for the infinitely long duration of cosmic history, all being had the built—in possibility not to be. But
9. If in an infinite time that possibility was never realized, then it could not have been a real possibility at all. So
10. There must exist something which has to exist, which cannot not exist. This sort of being is called necessary.
11. Either this necessity belongs to the thing in itself or it is derived from another. If derived from another there must ultimately exist a being whose necessity is not derived, that is, an absolutely necessary being.
12. This absolutely necessary being is God.
Question1: Even though you may never in fact step outside your house all day, it was possible for you to do so. Why is it impossible that the universe still happens to exist, even though it was possible for it to go out of existence?
Reply: The two cases are not really parallel. To step outside your house on a given day is something that you may or may not choose to do. But if nonbeing is a real possibility for you, then you are the kind of being that cannot last forever. In other words, the possibility of nonbeing must be built—in, “programmed,” part of your very constitution, a necessary property. And if all being is like that, then how could anything still exist after the passage of an infinite time? For an infinite time is every bit as long as forever. So being must have what it takes to last forever, that is, to stay in existence for an infinite time. Therefore there must exist within the realm of being something that does not tend to go out of existence. And this sort of being, as Aquinas says, is called “necessary.”
This is esentially(essentially) the Unmoved Mover argument again and, again, ‘God’ does not suitably answer the question of existence unless you already believe in Him and so hardly require further convincing. This cannot be repeated enough, most of these arguments require some sort of belief in God to begin with, they are hardly convincing to an atheist, not least because the origins of the universe are becoming more and more apparent (and less God related) through the advance of modern science. Just as with the theory of evolution, when old ideas that point to the existence of God are disproved, they do not stop believe in God. Similarly, as science progresses, if an ‘Unmoved Mover’ is discovered and is purely physical, people will of course not see this as disproof of God. Again, THE CONCEPT OF GOD IS FATIH(faith) BASED!!! Logic alone is not enough for actual proof, such is the essence and mystery of faith. God hardly hands us everything on a plate. Deal with it. Faith is a choice, not an argument.
Most not ALL…
Somebody needs to learn how to spell.
The Argument from Degrees of Perfection
The Argument from Degrees of Perfection
We notice around us things that vary in certain ways. A shade of color, for example, can be lighter or darker than another, a freshly baked apple pie is hotter than one taken out of the oven hours before; the life of a person who gives and receives love is better than the life of one who does not.
So we arrange some things in terms of more and less. And when we do, we naturally think of them on a scale approaching most and least. For example, we think of the lighter as approaching the brightness of pure white, and the darker as approaching the opacity of pitch black. This means that we think of them at various “distances” from the extremes, and as possessing, in degrees of “more” or “less,” what the extremes possess in full measure.
Sometimes it is the literal distance from an extreme that makes all the difference between “more” and “less.” For example, things are more or less hot when they are more or less distant from a source of heat. The source communicates to those things the quality of heat they possess in greater or lesser measure. This means that the degree of heat they possess is caused by a source outside of them.
Now when we think of the goodness of things, part of what we mean relates to what they are simply as beings. We believe, for example, that a relatively stable and permanent way of being is better than one that is fleeting and precarious. Why? Because we apprehend at a deep (but not always conscious) level that being is the source and condition of all value; finally and ultimately, being is better than nonbeing. And so we recognize the inherent superiority of all those ways of being that expand possibilities, free us from the constricting confines of matter, and allow us to share in, enrich and be enriched by, the being of other things. In other words, we all recognize that intelligent being is better than unintelligent being; that a being able to give and receive love is better than one that cannot; that our way of being is better, richer and fuller than that of a stone, a flower, an earthworm, an ant, or even a baby seal.
But if these degrees of perfection pertain to being and being is caused in finite creatures, then there must exist a “best,” a source and real standard of all the perfections that we recognize belong to us as beings.
This absolutely perfect being—the “Being of all beings,” “the Perfection of all perfections”—is God.
Question 1: The argument assumes a real “better.” But aren’t all our judgments of comparative value merely subjective?
Reply: The very asking of this question answers it. For the questioner would not have asked it unless he or she thought it really better to do so than not, and really better to find the true answer than not. You can speak subjectivism but you cannot live it.
This is completely nonsense !
Do you actually believe in this? People believing in God is just like people in the olden days in Salem who onced executed people for witchcraft!
You do not win this argument by copy pasting a whole lot of illogical example! Can’t you support “God” with your own word?
God is only for people who are weak to believe in.For example, if you want something badly and you want to plead someone for it, you pray to him in a hope that a magical thing would happen.
To make it simple, god is just another fairy tale. And people who believe are just like kids who want to believe that there is something magical out there in the world.
The Ontological Argument
The Ontological Argument
The ontological argument was devised by Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109), who wanted to produce a single, simple demonstration which would show that God is and what God is. Single it may be, but far from simple. It is, perhaps, the most controversial proof for the existence of God. Most people who first hear it are tempted to dismiss it immediately as an interesting riddle, but distinguished thinkers of every age, including our own, have risen to defend it. For this very reason it is the most intensely philosophical proof for God’s existence; its place of honor is not within popular piety, but rather textbooks and professional journals. We include it, with a minimum of discussion, not because we think it conclusive or irrefutable, but for the sake of completeness.
1. It is greater for a thing to exist in the mind and in reality than in the mind alone.
2. “God” means “that than which a greater cannot be thought.”
3. Suppose that God exists in the mind but not in reality.
4. Then a greater than God could be thought (namely, a being that has all the qualities our thought of God has plus real existence).
5. But this is impossible, for God is “that than which a greater cannot be thought.”
6. Therefore God exists in the mind and in reality.
Question 1: Suppose I deny that God exists in the mind?
Reply: In that case the argument could not conclude that God exists in the mind and in reality. But note: the denial commits you to the view that there is no concept of God. And very few would wish to go that far.
Question 2: Is it really greater for something to exist in the mind and in reality than in the mind alone?
Reply: The first premise of this argument is often misunderstood. People sometimes say: “Isn’t an imaginary disease better than a real one?” Well it certainly is better—and so a greater thing—for you that the disease is not real. But that strengthens Anselm’s side of the argument. Real bacteria are greater than imaginary ones, just because they have something that imaginary ones lack: real being. They have an independence, and therefore an ability to harm, that nothing can have whose existence is wholly dependent on your thought. It is this greater level of independence that makes them greater as beings. And that line of thinking does not seem elusive or farfetched.
Question 3: But is real being just another “thought” or “concept”? Is “real being” just one more concept or characteristic (like “omniscience” or “omnipotence”) that could make a difference to the kind of being God is?
Reply: Real being does make a real difference. The question is: Does it make a conceptual difference? Critics of the argument say that it does not. They say that just because real being makes all the difference it cannot be one more quality among others. Rather it is the condition of there being something there to have any qualities at all. When the proof says that God is the greatest being that can be “thought,” it means that there are various perfections or qualities that God has to a degree no creature possibly could, qualities that are supremely admirable. But to say that such a being exists is to say that there really is something which is supremely admirable. And that is not one more admirable quality among others.
Is it greater to exist in reality as well as in the mind? Of course, incomparably greater. But the difference is not a conceptual one. And yet the argument seems to treat it as if it were—as if the believer and the nonbeliever could not share the same concept of God. Clearly they do. They disagree not about the content of this concept, but about whether the kind of being it describes really exists. And that seems beyond the power of merely conceptual analysis, as used in this argument, to answer. So question 3, we think, really does invalidate this form of the ontological argument.
Charles Hartshorne and Norman Malcolm developed this version of the ontological argument. Both find it implicitly contained in the third chapter of Anselm’s Proslogion.
1. The expression “that being than which a greater cannot be thought” (GCB, for short) expresses a consistent concept.
2. GCB cannot be thought of as: a. necessarily nonexistent; or as b. contingently existing but only as c. necessarily existing.
3. So GCB can only be thought of as the kind of being that cannot not exist, that must exist.
4. But what must be so is so.
5. Therefore, GCB (i.e., God) exists.
Question: Just because GCB must be thought of as existing, does that mean that GCB really exists?
Reply: If you must think of something as existing, you cannot think of it as not existing. But then you cannot deny that GCB exists; for then you are thinking what you say cannot be thought—namely, that GCB does not exist.
Of course I can think of things that don’t exist and they still wont. From Harry Potter to great big freaking leprecaun’s with laser guns mounted on space ships (though let’s be honest, we all have our fingers crossed on the latter coming true.). And, just like most of the arguments on this page, the Ontological Argument can in no way justify belief in a God of love, miracles, Jesus and the lot. It is time for religious people to accept that their belief is based on faith and experience, certainly not logic, numbers or argument. Don’t be shy! I’m one…
Kant pointed out that existence is not a predicate. Therefore this argument falls flat on its face.
Science can support the existance of God
When people discuss whether there is a God or not they usually build up a confrontation between religion and science. However, it is possible that science, the apparent foe of religion, can be used to prove the existence of a God. The most compelling scientific argument is the law of conservation of energy that states that energy cannot be created or destroyed, only changed in forms. The important point is that energy could exist one day, having not existed the day before. Right at the beginning, something, be it a God or otherwise, must have originally created energy. The philosopher Thales of Miletus did have ideas linked to the theory of the conservation of energy as early as the 5th Century BC and modern Physcisists have developed the law. It must therefore be argued that something originally created energy and this, by one definition or another, could be considered a God.
Does a potter need to be explained by the cup he creates?
Most people, including scientists agree the universe had a beginning. And since it did have a beginning, it had a cause.
For arguements sake, lets insert God as the cause. So God created the universe and all the matter within it. He created all the physical laws, gravity, maths, the complex information within the DNA double helix, etc, etc. If the universe is but a creation of His making, why should he need to be explained and or be bound by the laws in which he subjects it to. If He is its creator, he supercedes it on every level and is not bound by its bindings, but is indeed the maker of them.
The flaw with presuming that logic does not apply to God because He is not bound by the logic of his creation is absurd.
An artist may produce a masterpiece on canvas but himself is not bound by what is on the canvas. And so it goes with God.
He created the laws of physics to govern the universe. They were not made to govern Him.
And it may seem unusual, in terms of the physical nature of our condition to think of a higher being, who is completely outwith the understanding of what we deem as logical. But if God created the laws that govern our universe then His mind is of such greater conceptual power than we can even think possible. And the flaw in logic would be, that we can presume that our logic is on an even-keil with the one who created a masterpiece of a universe, with its intricate design and complexity of life. We cannot even make an atom let alone a living cell, of the law of gravity.
Another factor to consider is the second law of thermo-dynamics. This law states that basically everything in this world is deteriorating. This means that the theory of evolution cannot be true because it supports the fact that everything is evolving or improving.
Your argument seems to resemble the Cosmological Argument, which primarily deals with causality.
The Cosmological Argument, in a nutshell, claims to prove that God must exist, because everything must have a cause, and God is supposedly that “First Cause” that is required to begin the chain of events that led to the universe in it’s current form.
The Cosmiclogical argument also states that it is impossible to “Transverse an Infinite Series” and so the matter that constitutes the Universe could not have existed indefinitely.
The flaw in this argument is simple: it assumes that God is capable of “Transversing an Infinite Series” which it later denies as a possibility. So the argument is hypocritical.
The argument here is very similar to Cosmological Argument, and it also has a very simple flaw.
Namely, it claims a responibilaty of explaining the existence of matter using the God concept, however it does not attempt to explain the existence of God Himself.
If nothing cannot exist indefinitely, how could God?
And if it can, God is not needed to explain the presence of matter.
Many theists would reply to this by asserting that God is beyond time and space, and therefor logic does not apply to Him.
Think for a moment, your saying that an omnipotent entity to which logic does not apply, 1) exists, and 2) refuses to show itself. And you agree that you have no physical evidence to support your assertion whatsoever.
In such a case you have no logical argument that can support your assertion, because such an assertion does not make claims relating to anything in the empirical universe and thus, it is not testible.
If one believes in something that one does not have the capability of proving or disproving (and therefor one is not able to know if one’s belief is false or otherwise) then one is being irrational, wouldn’t you say?
Something else to add on. Energies that occur in the Earth often come from the sun, so you would be implying that the sun is the god?
According to Probability – a creator exists
According to Dr.Harold Morowitz, a Yale university physicist, the chance that life – even basic life could have evolved on earth is around 1:10^100000000000 against. This is without taking into account that this life was created on earth which happens to be a planet that is at the right distance from the sun for life to evolve.
Admittedly, this does not prove god’s existence, but it does make it mathematically impossible for life to have been created without the helping hand of some external power.
In any large-scale game of chance(say, a large raffle), any given individual has a vanishingly small chance of winning an award. However, the chance that you will win the raffle is not “mathematically impossible”, –it is improbable and, by definition, possible.
That said,1:10^100000000000 is a rather low probability. But what is important is what that claim represents–according to Harold Morowitz, “the probability of matter arranging itself as a bacterium” [http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:gOgcu0QFoecJ:www.harding.edu/nguy/ReasonableFaithFinal.ppt+harold+morowitz+1:10^100000000000&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=iceweasel-a]] . However, such a statement has a fatal flaw:assuming a bacterium is the minimum starting point for life to develop. In reality, it most scientists believe that the original life forms were much simpler, not much more than self-replicating molecules. In addition, experiments such as the Miller-Uray simulation[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miller%E2%80%93Urey_experiment]] have shown that amino acids, one of the “building blocks” of life, readily self-assembled in the early Earth environment. These factors mean that the barriers to the spontaneous emergence of life are far lower than a cursory interpretation of Morowitz’s extrapolation would indicate.
Since we know life exists on earth, we can assume that it exists either due to spontaneous emergence and evolution or intelligent design. This also begs another question:do you believe God to be more complex than a bacterium? If so, the probability of a God existing is much lower than Morowitz’s probability of a bacterium existing, while the probability of life forming spontaneously is much higher than Morowitz’s estimate. Therefore, Morowitz’s estimation shows that, despite the unlikely chance of spontaneous emergence, it is in fact more likely than intelligent design.
Great physicists were deist
An argument from the negative:
Why then is Nature trying to create animals that are better and better equipped to kill humans? http://www.debatewise.com/debates/131-there-is-a-good-case-for-stating-that-there-is-a-god/points/5142
My answer :Relevance?
An argument from the opposition:”Why is the Universe expanding unstoppably into nothingness? The idea of a God is not alone enough to explain this, unless it is accepted that he created the Universe and, to quote the Beatles, let it be.”
My answer:The topic is not about whether GOD is interventionist or not. It just addresses the issue of whether there is a creator or not.
And all great physicists(Galileo,Einstein and Hawking) whose work is referenced by the opposition, in an attempt to prove there is no God, ARE or were admittedly deist.Einstein believed that God does not play dice with His creation but Hawking differs.Einstein and Hawking were not theist, BUT they were ‘creationist'(believed in a god/creator), To use ‘their’ ideas to disprove Creation is laughable.
However, I will address the interventionist God point(though entirely irrelevant to this debate). If you create a watch and it runs on its own, do you not wind it? if it’s broke do you not fix it? Do you not play around with it, even though it is working on its own.
If creation is god’s watch and it’s running on its own. It is likely that God would/does intervene every once in awhile.
Why must you think in absolutes?
You fail to understand how freewill and pre-written destinies co-exist.
You fail to understand how God let things run on their own and still intervenes.
Then ‘you’ call believers dim.
[http://www.leaderu.com/real/ri9501/bigbang2.html]]-“One is a colleague of mine at Berkeley for 18 years, Charlie Townes. Townes won the Nobel Prize for discovering the maser. One statement he made differs greatly from Hawking’s view; he said, “In my view, the question of origin seems to be left unanswered if we explore from a scientific view alone. Thus, I believe there is a need for some religious or metaphysical explanation. I believe in the concept of God and in His existence.”
Arthur Schawlow is another Nobel Prize winner, a professor at Stanford who identifies himself as a Christian. He states, “We are fortunate to have the Bible and especially the New Testament which tells us so much about God in widely accessible human terms.”
The other Cambridge professor of theoretical physics for much of Hawking’s career was John Polkinghorn, a nuclear physicist. He left his chair of theoretical physics at Cambridge in 1979 and went to seminary to become a minister. Upon completing that, he had a parish church for awhile and now has recently come back to be the President of Queen’s College at Cambridge. He states, “I take God very seriously indeed. I am a Christian believer and I believe that God exists and has made Himself known in human terms in Jesus Christ.”
Probably the world’s greatest observational cosmologist is Allan Sandage. Sandage works in Pasadena, California at the Carnegie Observatories. In 1991, he received a prize given by the Swedish academy that is given every six years in physics for cosmology and is worth the same amount of money as the Nobel prize (there is not a Nobel Prize given for cosmology). Sandage has even been called “the grand old man of cosmology” by the New York Times.
At the age of 50, Sandage became a Christian. He states in Lightman’s book, Origins: The Lives and Worlds of Modern Cosmologists, “The nature of God is not to be found within any part of the findings of science. For that, one must turn to the Scriptures.” When asked the famous question regarding whether it’s possible to be a scientist and a Christian, Sandage replies, “Yes. The world is too complicated in all its parts and interconnections to be due to chance alone. I am convinced that the existence of life with all its order in each of its organisms is simply too well put together.”
Your argument is total based on the fact that because all physicists you listed are deists therefore there must be a god, which is as much as all great physicists have hair therefore hair must be god. And the fact that these things are too complicated to be left to chance. So bascially you are going to use the argument that because these great scientists think these are too unlikely to happen on its own therefore there is a creator, when there is a huge lacking of empirical evidence, data, research, peer-review. Just because from our perception that everything that exists must be created, doesn’t mean that is absolutely true. We used to think Earth was flat, man cannot fly in the sky, the moon was made of cheese, and there is no way for man to get to the moon. And your watch argument, if ‘god’ exists he would be immaterial, time would not matter, in fact nothing we percieve would matter. And you say that god intervenes when the watch is broken, okay, define broken ? Or needs to be fixed. Don’t say mircales because that would undermine your creditbility and turn this debate into a circular argument.
Teleological argument: Design
I AM WHO I AM
The one who said on the mount of Horeb “I Am who I Am” didn’t need human approval to prove his existence. Now if we again start debate on Bible I can only say no one is smart enough to define the depth of whole Biblical knowledge alone. If you expect a goodey goodey God to make your life easy, comfortable and risk free. Then wake up! If we expect someone to fall down from sky and hold the tsunami or earthquake or accident, hello!! It’s physical world and we must learn to expect accidents and disaster to happen. Since I am Christ-believer, while reading comments I saw people trying to attack Jesus with their intellectual logics. Recollection and prophesying of Jesus was done by people of different times AFTER Him and BEFORE Him, if point of gross inaccuracy has helped many people to turn from wrong way of living what is the problem? Someone nicely said “Just because some people believe something doesn’t’ make it real”. Likewise just because some people doesn’t believe something – doesn’t make it fake! Those who have read Bible carefully must have known that good works are not going to take us to heaven, so stop accusing for doing good. The parable (not story please) of Good Samaritan came from a person named Jesus who is believed to be Christ and don’t blame us for believing Him to be our God. I believe because I believe there is God. I can’t have you to turn into myself to realize God exists.
“I believe because I believe there is a God.”
The argument to the left does not present a logical argument to debate.
Ngiemaz says “very true said!! it’s not about logic but is about faith and belief”
God is a concept dreamed up by optimistic people.
If I told you that there was a pink elephant standing in front of you, you wouldn’t believe me because you wouldn’t be able to see, touch, hear, smell or taste it. It would have no effect on you. The same can be said about God. No one can prove God’s existence. Some may say that you can’t disprove it either but this is irrelevant as logic doesn’t work that way. Imagine if this rationale was allowed in the law courts; there would be mayhem.
You can’t prove God exists or doesn’t exist, no. Well done, end of pointless ‘debate’ with a no score draw.
“I believe that in a court… exist.”
The responsibility to prove lies not with the non-believer, but with the believer. If we had grown up having never been introduced to the idea of God by our society, we would object to the claims others make about Him. We would have no empirical evidence of Him, and therefore we would not be convinced of His existence. The burden of proof lies with the one claiming there is an omnipotent eternal God, not with the one who decides to reject that claim.
“The necessity of proof always lies with the person who lays charges.”
The senses which we use we can only describe from previous human teaching and history; how do you know that a pink elephant is a pink elephant? Because someone along the line told you what pink was and what an elephant was. It’s more than likely that someone told them as well, whether by word of mouth or in a text book or even through the internet. All records of humans are based on a knowledge and logic that we might not even truly have. Trying to define a God in our human minds from knowledge and logic that we possibly don’t have seems a little off. Can you prove pink is pink? Or that an elephant is an elephant? Or even that a pink elephant is a pink elephant, without resorting to a history of some sort?
While every culture explorers have come across throughout the ages have told of a God of some sort, very few of them mention pink elephants.
I believe that in court of law you are innocent until proven guilty. Therefore seeing as there is no real proof ‘against’ the conviction of God’s existence, we must assume that he does exist.
It doesn’t matter!
Whether or not a god or gods actually exist, is irrelevant. What matters are the actions of the people who believe or don’t believe.
So long as people are doing ‘good things’, it doesn’t matter whether they do that because they believe it will get them into heaven (or not into hell), or because they feel some natural affinity towards other humans, because they both share the same result.
Bad things, as well, tend to be done by both theists and atheists. Again, it doesn’t matter whether they do it because they believe the people they kill deserve it for religious or political reasons: the fact remains that we can do little to resolve either dispute.
“More bad things are done by the religious than by atheists. I’m not sure if there are figures which break down the numbers of rapes, murders or assaults committed by those who believe in a God against those who don’t believe. But even if every individual murder, rape or assault was committed by an atheist the harm caused by those people who claim to be acting on God’s wishes would far outnumber the harm caused by atheists.
So it would be possible to argue that it does matter very much if people believe in God and also that it would be far better for the rest of us if no-one did.”
So,NOW(for lack of a decent counter-point) you’ve changed your argument to ‘it doesn’t matter’ Why in the world did you bring,the subject up, in the first place?
There are more believers than atheists so naturally… However communists from the former soviet union and China were all atheists and they caused quite a lot of strife. And how many psychopathic murderers (murderous psychopaths) claim outrightly,to believe in God? Haven’t you read or seen any of their interviews? They are usually quite irreligious and sometimes even fantasize about being gods or superheroes.
The Amish: a very religious American community have never in all of recorded history committed a single murder.
And It DOES matter, if the fear of God, makes people relatively good (relative to how they would be if they didn’t believe in God or were irreligious like most criminals)
The challenge of rationality, science and coincidence to religion
One word: Science.
So you agree that there is not A GOD, it is just a belief system. So there is not a physical being as the question asked but just a belief… in your “GOD”.
Miracles? Try chance and coincidence.
Do you believe in Santa, the Tooth Fairy or the Bogeyman? There is no evidence that they exist or that they ever have. Is “GOD” another fabricated fable to be believed in by children until they are old enough to know better?
Science is far from ‘simple.’ Chemistry explains where we came from, Biology explains what we are…science is life. Where is “GOD” in saving the lives of car accident victims? If “HE” is all powerful, powerful enough to make the world by “HIMSELF” in less than a week, why didn’t “HE” stop the accident? Then you would have to rely on Science.
It is a silly question really considering we have already established that there isn’t a “HE”…it’s just a belief in something that cannot be proved…just like SANTA!!!!!
So now you believe in Santa too?
Why would you think that everything has to happen for a reason? Do we have no control over our lives or our own destinies?
Why does “GOD” get to chose who is worthy of life? Surely if “HE” created it, he would try “HIS” damnedest to preserve it, would he not?
Also, you say you believe in “GOD” but I am aware of many “GODS”. Many people believe in “GOD” and others believe in “ALLAH”. Are they wrong too because they don’t believe in your “GOD”?
Religion isn’t about science. It is about faith. The belief in God is individual and personal. He does not need to be physically proven.
If not by God, how else are there miracles? I don’t agree that there is not a God, THE God. I believe in him and his powers.
It is simply a matter of believing in a higher power – to compare God to Santa and the Bogeyman is simply laughable.
There has to be more to life than the simple foundations of science.
The best example I can give, and if you so want some ‘evidence’ – is us! How else can complex life-forms be explained? We didn’t come from nowhere!
Everything happens for a reason and if He simply saved everyone the world would over-populate. He does, however save the worthy ones. I guess He is like Santa then, in the fact that he provides gifts – the gift of life.
Who said God saves everyone or wants or tries to, even. science is not perfect. The placebo effect has helped many a patient against death and into recovery. [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZNRVXKfHP0]]
Um hello? ‘Free-will’ is a concept taken out of theistic religions.
Must you think in Boolean absolutes, always?
Do you have ‘complete’ control over anything?
Do you have ‘no’ control over anything?
The answer to both questions, is in the negative.
And maybe you believe in Santa since you’re so darn obsessed with him. Maybe you have conjugal fantasies about him, how would I know? Santa isn’t even remotely relevant to this.
God, Allah, Bhagwan etcetera, are all one and the same, now you’re arguing about semantics: Another irrelevant sidetrack!
There is a misconception in popular culture that the existence or non-existence of a God is an entirely equal tug-of-war. This is ridiculous. Probability sets the odds far from 50/50. The existence of a God is one possibility of millions, and the probability of there being a single God who is omnipotent, omniscient and benevolent is an unlikely and inconsistent position to adopt. There are a far greater number of possible Atheist approaches, and a far greater quantity of physical evidence suggesting such. If we are to accept that the world is as it appears, it would be responsible to respect the empirical evidence it provides us with. Science continues to explain the mysteries of the universe, and is yet to conclusively indicate the existence of God, in spite of rigorous efforts by Theists. Probability continues to indicate that God’s existence is not a thousandth as likely as his non-existence, the only evidence for his existence still mere folklore perpetuated by custom, as opposed to cutting edge science.
Speaking of probability, what was the probability that the atoms randomly thrown into space by the big bang would eventually combine in such a way that sentient life came into being? It must be infinitesimal, incomprehensibly small, and yet here we are.
One must remember that science does not necessarily contradict religion. For instance, Creationism versus Evolutionism is a non-existent debate; the Book of Genesis is a metaphor for how God created the Earth – seven days could easily be interpreted as seven aeons.
Back to probability: if one were to assume an individual of average intelligence to be correct in his or her convictions at least 50% of the time, and considering that approximately 1 in 4 of the world’s population are Christian, it would follow that the odds for the existence of God were closer to 1 in 8 would it not?
Logic beats cutting edge science. http://www.google.com/search?q=logic+proof+of+God
1) How are invisible unicorns transparent?
2) What does light sound like?
3) What is the meaning of grass?
It is possible to devise infinite numbers of unanswerable questions. Some ask questions of that which is impossible to prove (1). Some ascribe properties to things which they cannot have (2). Some questions cannot have any answer other than a property proscribed to them (3).
Some theists presume that because a question can be asked, it must have an answer. Yet the common questions to which theists argue we must rely on a faith in God are as unanswerable as the questions above:
1) What existed before the world/what created the world? Such questions involve an understanding of time that feels right, but goes against a scientific understanding. There is little point asking questions of what was ‘before’ the big bang, for time as we know it begun at the big bang. Ideas of creation prior to the world are thus unanswerable questions.
2) How is the world so functional/beautiful without a creator God? Such ideas of beauty are subjective and imposed upon the world by the viewer – leading again to an unanswerable question.
3) What is the meaning of life? Again, imposing a purpose or meaning on life cannot mean that this question is possible to answer.
Theists may argue that unanswerable questions are where science stops and faith comes in, however unanswerable questions are simply this – unanswerable.
1) Hypothetically Invisible unicorns are NOT transparent. Glass is transparent but it isn’t invisible. Invisible ink(I use lemon juice) is invisible but not ‘transparent'(translucent, perhaps). It is not that the question is unanswerable but self-contradictory.
2)What does light sound like?
The questions you ask are not ‘unanswerable but VAGUE(non-specific) and general so that they can be answered in a variety of ways. Unicorns are a product of fiction, even an the answer that invisible unicorn use magical unicorn powers embossed on their unicorn horns to be transparent, is a suitable/valid answer to 1).
Question 2) The sound of light depends on its color, speed and a number of other factors.The question needs to be specific.
Question 3) define meaning? define grass? surely different grasses have different meanings in different senses of the word.
And because you cannot answer a question, that doesn’t mean the answer does not exist. You don’t know more than half the ideas of all innovators/scientists/inventors/writers/etc that have lived and died in the last 2009 years. Does that mean that those ideas/concepts are meaningless and unanswerable?
Unanswerable by YOU? Yes
but non-existent and unanswerable by everyone else? Not so.
You seem to be hopping all over Stephen Hawking’ s ideas when ‘he’ did not omit mention of theology/God:
“However, if we discover a complete theory, it should in time be understandable by everyone, not just by a few scientists. Then we shall all, philosophers, scientists and just ordinary people, be able to take part in the discussion of the question of why it is that we and the universe exist. If we find the answer to that, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason — for then we should know the mind of God. (p.193)
Since this Brief History has achieved such an enormous circulation, and since the author believes that this has in large part been due to the book’s actual or supposed theological implications”[http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/antony_flew/hawking.html]]
The Omnipotence Paradox
“Can god create a stone so big that he cannot lift it?”
God can create the stone, but cannot lift it.
God cannot create the stone.
In each case, god exhibits a weakness and, as an omnipotent being is capable of any feat, god is not omnipotent. Therefore, the definition of god is redundant, and he does not exist.
If a being is essentially omnipotent, then it can also resolve the paradox (as long as we take omnipotence not to require absolute omnipotence). The omnipotent being is essentially omnipotent, and therefore it is impossible for it to be non-omnipotent. Further, the omnipotent being cannot do what is logically impossible. The creation of a stone which the omnipotent being cannot lift would be an impossibility, and therefore the omnipotent being is not required to do such a thing. The omnipotent being cannot create such a stone, but nevertheless retains its omnipotence. This solution works even with definition 2, as long as we also know the being is essentially omnipotent rather than accidentally so.
This was essentially the position taken by Augustine of Hippo in his The City of God:
“ For He is called omnipotent on account of His doing what He wills, not on account of His suffering what He wills not; for if that should befall Him, He would by no means be omnipotent. Wherefore, He cannot do some things for the very reason that He is omnipotent. ”
Thus Augustine argued that God could not do anything or create any situation that would in effect make God not God.
Some philosophers maintain that the paradox can be resolved if the definition of omnipotence includes Descartes’ view that an omnipotent being can do the logically impossible. In this scenario, the omnipotent being could create a stone which it cannot lift, but could also then lift the stone anyway. Presumably, such a being could also make the sum 2 + 2 = 5 become mathematically possible or create a square triangle. This attempt to resolve the paradox is problematic in that the definition itself forgoes logical consistency. The paradox may be solved, but at the expense of making the logic a paraconsistent logic. This might not seem like a problem if one is already committed to dialetheism or some other form of logical transcendence.
Others have argued that (alluding to C.S. Lewis’ argument; see scholastic definition of omnipotence), that when talking about omnipotence, referencing “a rock so heavy that God cannot lift it” is nonsense just as much as referencing “a square circle.” So asking “Can God create a rock so heavy that even he cannot lift it?” is just as much nonsense as asking “Can God draw a square circle?” Therefore the question (and therefore the perceived paradox) is meaningless.
To address the Omnipotence Paradox; “Can god create a stone so big that he cannot lift it?”
The question “Can god create a stone so big that he cannot lift it?” attempts to force only one of two possible answers; they are that “God can create the stone, but cannot lift it” and “God cannot create the stone.” At a first glance, this seems to be the case. Thus the answer answers the question. However, the answer depends on a characteristic forced into the argument, that God does not allegedly have. The characteristic here is that God is a robot. God has no choice/no free will.
Thus the argument of the omnioptence paradox is fully correct if God has no choice in creating/lifting the stone and by not creating or lifting the stone, his power is diminished somehow -“god exhibits a weakness”.
But this is precisely the problem. The argument requires that God is forced to both create a stone (that’s too heavy for him to lift) and then lift it.
It must be remembered that God has free-will. If God has free-will, then he can choose not to lift the stone that is “too heavy for him to lift”. The argument is inherently flawed in its use of the word “cannot”. This word should be replaced with “choose not”. Again, the argument is set up in a way that God as a concept cannot get round basic semantic impossibilities.
The real answer to this is that it is the argument that exposes a weakness, and through its weakness, God is weak – the logical outcome of a weak argument.
If I asked you to “walk down the street whilst standing still” or if I asked you to “sit down whilst standing up” and any other form of stupidity thereof, what would that say about me? It’d say that, clearly, I had no grasp of either walking, standing, sitting, standing and or/language. What if I were to say, instead, “You can walk down the street or stand still” or “you can sit down or stand up”. What then? Your choice would be possible.
It is the question that makes the answer impossible. The question is completely false.
‘God’ is merely a concept designed to promote a set of values
It is possible to argue that God is just the name given to a special set of morals that a person or persons follow. If people did not have a God then it would seem that they would have no incentive to behave in a certain way. Throughout history the idea of God has been used to bring people under control. For instance, the Ancient Mayan leaders would force people to obey the law as laid down by “the Gods” otherwise they would become displeased and seek revenge by way of a failed harvest or drought – hence the use of human sacrifice to appease the Gods. Fear would inspire and force people to conform.
To jump right to modern day, certain Christian denominations believe in helping others in order to please God and reach Heaven. This is all to conform to the Bible, a book compiled at the Council of Nicea (325 AD) by men of the Church who disregarded many Gospels, including the Gospel of Thomas and the Gospel of Mary, because they did not conform to the model they wished to create.
We can therefore argue that the idea of God has been used to give authority to a set way of thinking and acting. It acts as a means of control and so to state that there is a God per se could be regarded as too conventional and shallow an interpretation. The truth could be that there is not an omnipotent being but more an abstract term which brings together a moral attitude.
Then what is the need for laws/rules/regulation?
Are you saying atheists and agnostics are morally bankrupt?
Is retribution from divinity, the only reason the crowd moves in a predictable designated pattern?
The fear of the existence of a deity is not what controls crowds it is the fear of being punished, judged, alone and forgotten.This fear can be ‘generated’ by people in power for themselves. The ruling minority generates that fear by demonstrating what it is capable of: public execution, humiliation, offerings, handing out resources(food, water & clothing)[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrOz-inIG30&feature=related]]are all ways of getting noticed, loved, hated , talked about and feared.
Judaism teaches that all Jews are chosen to go to heaven, whether they sin shamelessly or not.People of other religions have attempted to borrow that belief but what with hell stepping in the way. Buddhism teaches that their gods, like the impersonal god of Spinoza do not intervene in worldly events. All Theists believe God is “oft-forgiving & most merciful”.
How can a double-minded God, who, as you say, is a figment of our imagination be used to control masses?
Small weak armies have throughout history,defeated larger stronger armies simply by the power of faith, the strength of the belief that God is on their side. They used God to ‘fight’ oppression not create it.
And IF there is no God ,then nothing can be used to control anything, since everything would then be random and predictable: ramdomly/normally distributed thus moving towards a determinable mean. History would shape history and no one , rather nothing would be responsible for anything. As a true atheist you should not be blaming anyone or anything for anythingelse.
If everything is random there is no creator , no free will and thus no accountability.
Wait up, the statement you just made, “‘God’ is merely a concept designed to promote a set of values’ is a concept about God and promoting your values about God, so why should we listen to you? Wait up we are not justified by Good works, Christ has already done that and you are right on when you say we are worshiping him in a abstract way, but there is a denomination that doesn’t do that.
If there is a god, its the sun.
People claim that due to the physics theory of conservation of energy, energy is never created nor destroyed, and that energy in the first place existed due to God creating energy. Hence, they argue thateven science proves God to exist.
My question is: Science does prove the conservation of energy, but do you realise that science also proves that almost all energies on Earth came originally from the sun? In that case, wouldn’t the sun be the God? I’m sure god did not create the sun nor the universe either.
The sun is everywhere. The Sun is god.
The Guy who made the sun. He’s God.
The sun is a star, out of billions of stars all over the universe, most of which are larger than the sun. You argue about the sun as though, it existed before everything else, which it did not.
Now you might argue that the oldest and biggest star should be God, but the universe preexisted that. So you will argue then that the universe should be God. Well God ‘is’ everywhere and all the energy in the universe is greater than any bit or fraction of energy in any part of the universe(such as the energy possessed by the sun).
But there was a time when the universe did not exist. The God (of theism) was never born and will never die.
Hmm, so God is not the universe, but the energy source that created and sees over the universe.In keeping with physics concepts of light energy(creation/expansion) and dark energy(shrinking).
Is there any proof that at any point in time there was nothing?And if so, what is nothing? If the universe could pop out of nothing then nothing must be a very energetically powerful thing… perhaps nothing is God in a cloak.
please keep in mind, most arguements are based upon the God of Classical Theism, meaning a God for everything ^_^
People are being very hypocritical.
Some people suggests that the bible states that things such as jealousy, lying and having sex before married is a sin and that you will go to hell. I am sure all believers in god has once done sin, therefore are you really a strong believer if your going against what you say that you believe in? by the way einstien was actually a believe in judaism in his earlier years of life.
You’ve misunderstood the meaning of hypocritical.
Some one is hypocritical if they say one thing, then do the opposite or another thing contrary to their beliefs or words.
Some one is not hypocritical if they change the way they live. Fair enough, a christian would be hypocritical if they said sex outside of marriage was a sin, and then committed it.
But its not hypocritical if when they have sex outside of marriage they don’t maintain the thesis that sex outside of marriage is wrong or a sin.
And the mention of Einstein was in no way relevant.
Religion causes harm. It does no good. It’s not needed.
Religion causes harm. It does no good. It’s not needed.
Your right! religion tends to create a slippery slope in the heart. There is a polarization between religions. liberal and conservatives.
The definition of religion in the dictionary is:
a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs
What you are saying is a religion. A set of beliefs about the universe, cause, nature, purpose.
So, if there is no God, then what is the purpose of universe. There is a God who will heal our neurotic impulses!
Religion is the expression of a neurotic impulse.
Religion is the expression of a neurotic impulse.
This does not mean that God does not exist… just that our conception of Him is likely to be wrong,
Teleological Argument is flawed – Can be applied infinitely
If the universe is too complex to have happened by chance, then the God which created it is even more complex (having conceived of all creation before its existence). If you argue that God is the exception, then it would make much more sense and be much simpler for God not to exist and for the Universe to be the exception.
You are correct to assert that the universe is too complex to have happened by chance. However, there seems to be no logical correlation between the complexity of the universe and the existence of God. In a pure Socratic way of thinking, your argument goes something like this: “If the universe is complex, then its creator must be complex.” This argument is an error of reasoning because it restricts the span of possibilities that can account for the complexity of the universe. I would offer the following assertions: • If the universe is complex, then its creator must be wise • If the universe is complex, then its creator must be omnipresence • If the universe is complex, then its creator must be omnipotent • If the universe is complex, then its creator must be omniscient • If the universe is complex, then its creator must be intelligent Also, when referring to complexity, this is probably asserted from a human perspective. The human mind is limited in its capacity to comprehend the universe, let alone comprehend exactly how it was created. We as human beings, in our collective whole, may invent all sorts of theories –some good and some bad-to explaining the physical world around us. However, we must most certainly feel that there must be more to what the eyes can see. There is more to the universe than what can be seen with one’s naked eye. It’s not my intention to be esoteric in any way, shape, or form, but it is my contention that an invisible God – who once dwelled among us – created the universe and all in it. From a human-mind perspective comparing an invisible being – God – with a physical universe has its own sets of problems. It can’t and shouldn’t be done. This would be like comparing a city and the city management – whether or not a city is complex should not exclude the existence of the city planners. The city and the materials used to build the city do not have the same level of sagaciousness as the city builders. God exists outside of space and time. Humans and the universe can be explained in the context of time and space. When someone is invisible, the concept of space and time, which is inherently physical, may not apply to them. Stating that because a physical thing is complex would imply that an invisible creator must also be complex is illogical and misleading. We as humans are limited in our knowledge of how the universe was really created and who created it. However, whenever we take a good look at our shadow on the ground on a hot-sunny-day, we can begin to learn a thing or two about the nature of God and the realm of the invisible world. If there is a physical universe, there must logically be an invisible universe as well. It doesn’t matter what you might call it, but it does exist out of our reach. Back to our shadow on the ground, can you touch your shadow? I believe you can touch it but you won’t feel it. Can one comprehend the invisible God? I believe you can try, but you won’t feel him, unless – stressing the word unless – God himself gives you that privilege. So man in all his powers and wonders cannot comprehend God – however, that does not mean that he doesn’t exist. He is there outside the universe. The universe, though big, as far as human mind goes, cannot contain its creator. One more thing, just as your image tells you that you are a being, all the earthly things tell us that the same thing must inherently exist in the invisible realm. Have you ever wondered whether or not God has a government out there? And that whenever he created the universe, it was through the many agents under his authority? By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. (Hebrews 11:3) 1 Corinthians 2:7 No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. If your conscious speaks to you about important life matters, just comprehend that God is bigger than your conscious – can you say that because you don’t see your conscious that it doesn’t exist. That sweet little voice that speaks in your head when you are about to do something unpleasant is your conscious. As a body, we are all connected to the earth – that’s why we are all buried once we depart this earth. Once you depart, you cannot exist on this earth, because the earth claims the matter that made up your body. Then what is that part of you that your conscious speaks to then? Could it be your soul? You bet your neck it is. Can you say with certainty that your soul can really cease to exist once you don’t exist anymore on this earth? How can that be if you can’t touch your soul, but can only feel it? It’s the central-processing location of your decisions. The soul will go on. What about your spirit? That’s when God comes in! If indeed God is spirit, then by creating us humans in his image really mean by his spirit, since he doesn’t exist physically. Of course through the soul’s eye and our spirit, one can feel the presence of God. God cannot be just a concept – he is real in the spiritual realm, and he is the creator of the physical world. Just like all the other spirits in the universe are real, so is God. He is the purest of spirits that exist in the whole of creation. He is the perfection that every man seeks to achieve one way or another on this earth and beyond. Can there really be an after-life? What for if God does not exist? There are many reasons that point to the existence of God. Do you think that human injustice here on earth would go unpunished? How is that possible if there is justice here on earth. People cannot take a leap of faith to believe that there must be ultimate justice beyond earth. God exist as creator and judge. He will judge every single human being from the beginning of the world to the end of it. One may ask, how is that even possible to judge all those who have lived throughout creation? Here we go again with us thinking with our limited human brain….time and space cannot and should not be compared to eternity – through is government, God will most certainly judge the whole world, and all will appear before him. The concept of time shouldn’t exist after this life on earth and so everyone will appear before God. The earth and all in it is proof that God does exist. Even if one doesn’t want to take a leap of faith, one can simply use his conscious, examine his inner-voice, consider his soul, think about his dreams, and lastly but not least the justice or injustice systems that exist on earth. The same thing must exist in the invisible realm and God is there to preside over it.