Does God Really Exist?

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RichieB789
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Does God Really Exist?

Postby RichieB789 » Sat Nov 21, 2009 6:27 am

I've been reading through many of the posts here and while they are (for the most part) well thought out and all very logical, I've noticed that no one seems to be willing to take a hard look at organized religions. After all, we demand that proof be shown for something as seemingly insignificant as UFO's and spiritual psychics, surely we should have some documentation for what many think is the most important subject in the whole world. Millions pray every day, wars are fought in God's name, trillions have been donated to His causes through out the ages. That last item alone would beg for some authentication otherwise some could say that a scam of unbelievable proportions (far surpassing Madoff's shenanigans) has been perpetuated against mankind for over 3 millennium. Wow!, the Vatican would have to cough up some serious bucks if found guilty of fraud!

If I were to pose this question to most theologians, I would imagine I'd hear a long speech about faith. We all know faith is just a concept. A concept probably invented by some long ago church council or who knows maybe an ancient gathering at the Vatican worrying about declining profits. I can almost hear them now....

-Cardinal #1: What are we going to do with all those who ask questions that we have no answers for? Like, "Where is heaven?, Why doesn't God answer our prayers?, How can God allow children to be raped or murdered without doing something?, How many angels dance on the head of a pin?"

[i]-Cardinal #2: "I know, I know!!... We'll create a new concept and call it.... "faith". Yes, that's it. We'll say that "faith" is the most holy state of being where you are perfectly willing to believe in every ridiculous and impossible thing that we tell them."

-Cardinal #1: "That's brilliant! Then we can tell the blasphemers that if they don't have "faith" they should feel guilty because they're are immersed in sinful thoughts and lacking in what it takes to obtain "eternity" in the kingdom of heaven! That should shut them up!"


All religions are able to exist only because of the concept of faith. The idea of gods grew out of fear and ignorance in early mankind so that he could feel he had a way of influencing the very dangerous world around him. Shamans and witch doctors capitalized on that fear and ignorance and used it to gain status and power over their fellow neighbors. The shamans propagated the belief that they could act as an advocate or go-between for the tribe with the gods. And there is the beginning of religions. Once the priest cult had the power, they were never going to let it go.

From what I've read, the earliest mention of a worshiping a single deity was when the Pharaoh Akhenaten created a religion based on worshiping a single god, marginalizing the traditionally accepted Egyptian religion of multiple gods revered by the Egyptian priest cult. Likely, the Hebrews brought a form of this religion out of Egypt during the Exodus and continued the worship of a single entity. Christianity, Judaism, and Islam all grew out of this Egyptian concept of the "One God". Now, Christians are told that Jesus was the human son of a god, who died and then came back to life and ascended to heaven! A statement like that begs for some kind of proof above and beyond "faith". Consider the percentage of resources that societies throughout history have given to their spiritual leaders without a shred of true evidence that their god even exists. In ancient times, the priest/shaman resorted to theatrical and even mechanical devices to show their flocks that the deity was listening. Now-a-days, we are told to rely solely on faith!

I know that Thomas Aquinas wrote the Summa Theologica giving 5 proofs of the existence of God. But Aquinas was a Roman Catholic priest of the Dominican order and Pope Gregory IX charged the Dominicans with the prosecution of the Inquisition in the same time period that Aquinas penned his proofs. So I believe the prevailing climate in the Church at that time influenced his writings. And as far as I can tell that is the only "proof" theologians can point to.

Even if we put aside all the resources we now give to organized religion, the subject still has the power to rip apart our modern world. Isn't it time to demand some evidence that there is more to this subject than the rather flimsy promise of eternal life. Now, I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

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Re: Does God Really Exist?

Postby brauneyz » Sat Nov 21, 2009 4:50 pm

RichieB789 wrote:I

Even if we put aside all the resources we now give to organized religion, the subject still has the power to rip apart our modern world. Isn't it time to demand some evidence that there is more to this subject than the rather flimsy promise of eternal life. Now, I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

Nice first post, Richie. Welcome to the playground.

Only problem with your question is that atheists know there is no evidence for such, and believers don't need it. Hard to imagine that we keep spinning our wheels over this very dead end subject though. :(
"A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves." ~ Bertrand de Jouvenel

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Re: Does God Really Exist?

Postby RichieB789 » Sun Nov 22, 2009 12:59 am

braubeyz, thanks for the 'hello'.
But I have a problem with your saying that the issue is dead just because theists don't need proof to believe and atheists know there is no proof to be found. If that were a valid premise, then other subjects such as UFO's should also be dead. No logical argument is going to change the mindset of those who believe the aliens are here. So why try, the tired issue must be dead.
Granted, I'm new to this forum, and maybe blind, mindless faith has been discussed in the past. If it has let me know. But I think it's more likely that religion may be too hot a subject to speak out about. No one cares if we poke holes in subjects like clairvoyance, cryptozoology or the paranormal, but poke a hole in "faith" and the sh** will hit the fan. You would think that with the anonymity of the internet, more people would take up the challenge. After all, with all the friction caused by differing views of religion and the huge amount of resources squandered throughout the ages, it's time for the world to wake up and take responsibility on itself instead of committing acts "in the name of God".

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Re: Does God Really Exist?

Postby brauneyz » Sun Nov 22, 2009 3:31 am

No one cares if we poke holes in subjects like clairvoyance, cryptozoology or the paranormal, but poke a hole in "faith" and the sh** will hit the fan.

Actually, here, not so much. We are a skeptics forum. The few believers who participate are mostly out of their league. (There are tons of threads about this, and most end in quoting the bible as a 'resource'. Needless to say, we don't buy into that.)

Very few of us here say with certainty that god does not exist, so I suppose we are more agnostic than atheistic. (Again, a plethora of threads addressing the difference.) But since the chance of god presenting himself to us is much less than encountering aliens or harnessing powers of clairvoyance, it is a dead issue. As in deadly boring. ;)

I'll move away from the royal 'we' here and speak only for myself, but while I seriously doubt there is a magical deity directing my so-called life, I maintain that I am more open to that suggestion than the religibots here who know there is one. Therein lies the difference between skeptics and ... them. I need evidence, and they don't.
"A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves." ~ Bertrand de Jouvenel

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Re: Does God Really Exist?

Postby Chachacha » Sun Nov 22, 2009 4:39 am

Welcome, Richie. You might want to check out the "Belief, Non-Belief, and Philosphy" forum in the General Topics section.

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Re: Does God Really Exist?

Postby corymaylett » Sun Nov 22, 2009 8:27 am

Hi Richie

The forum section with the most topics is the Belief, Nonbelief, and Philosophy section. I wouldn't say that the religion issue is ignored here.

The way you've phrased your question, however, is a head-on approach to a very big subject: God's existence and the illogical nature of religious beliefs. Big issues like that tend to get broken down into more specific chunks that are discussed at length.

My guess would be that a good many people here started down the road of skepticism as the result of questioning religion and receiving unsatisfactory answers. As Brauneyz said in his post, "...atheists know there is no evidence for such, and believers don't need it." I might expand on this to say that many of us have pondered questions of religion so much and for so long that discussions regarding the big issues surrounding it are no longer particularly interesting. It might be a been-there-done-that sort of a thing.

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Re: Does God Really Exist?

Postby RichieB789 » Tue Nov 24, 2009 1:51 am

OK, understood. I'll go find some "born again" site to raise a ruckus in.

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Re: Does God Really Exist?

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Tue Nov 24, 2009 2:01 am

RichieB789 wrote:OK, understood. I'll go find some "born again" site to raise a ruckus in.

Try Rapture Ready. :roll:
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Re: Does God Really Exist?

Postby E L Wisty » Sun Dec 27, 2009 5:21 pm

I haven't gotten around to reading anything like this whole forum yet, so possibly what I'm about to say is redundant; but anyway, it seems like a reasonable response to this thread, so here it is.

I'm afraid I can't recall the exact source - can anybody help here? - but I read not so long ago that behavioural scientists have recently come up with a very nice theory demonstrating the Darwinian usefulness of believing in God (or similar). Essentially, it goes like this. Human beings are insatiably curious - so much so that we've even evolved a sense of humour that allows us to derive pleasure from spotting superficially valid but fundamentally flawed logic; at which point we automatically make a loud noise so that other people can share our insight. Interestingly, humour is almost entirely absent from religion. As indeed is logic. To quote Tertullian, "Credo quod absurdum est", which is probably the silliest thing ever said, but somehow everything sounds profound in Latin.

I might also mention Epimenides the Cretan, author of the famous paradox "All Cretans are liars." Or rather, St. Paul's excuse for his utter failure to convince the inhabitants of Crete to embrace a religion called "Christianity" that he'd had to export because the Jews wouldn't listen to him on account of the fact that they knew both him and Jesus personally, and were well aware that the two of them had never actually met. And that Paul was a misogynist nutter who was spectacularly hard to like, even if you weren't a girly. Apparently a famous Cretan was on record as saying that all Cretans were liars, so there you are - they're so fundamentally dishonest that they proudly admit it, so there's no converting them, is there? And it's all their fault, not mine! Yar Boo Sucks!!! Irony deficit or what? (Hey, it's in the New Testament somewhere or other - I'm not making this stuff up just to have a go at the God-botherers! Frankly, why bother? The whole thing's barking mad to begin with!)

Anyway... My point is that it has recently been suggested - and about time too, because I suspected something of the kind myself - that the near-universal human belief in God is NOT, as religious pundits would have it, proof that He/She/It/They exists - after all, it's not as if any two ethnic groups have ever managed to spontaneously believe in the same deity, and look at all the trouble that's caused! No, it's simply a coping mechanism. We, as human beings, are hardwired to be curious. But, as the naked apes we were until in evolutionary terms very recently, there's a limit to what we can find out about the Universe. What are the stars? Why do earthquakes happen? Is the Moon useful for anything? In purely Darwinian terms, it is better to just accept that there's a big guy up in the sky or wherever who makes incomprehensible stuff happen for his own reasons that to bang your Neanderthal head against an insoluble and irrelevant problem when you could be out spearing mammoths.

In case you haven't guessed, I'm one of those perhaps-not-strictly-a-proper-skeptic skeptics who is an atheist. Yes, I know, overly dogmatic of me, in a negative kind of way. But, as Billy Connolly once said in a not dissimilar context: "Let's put this shite to bed once and for all!"

Incidentally, you're almost certainly correct in saying that the Jews pinched the idea of monotheism from Akhenaten - his Hymn To The Sun appears with very minor changes of wording in the Book Of Psalms (sorry, I forget which one). Philip Glass wrote a peculiarly haunting opera about the fellow - possibly worth checking out, if only to hear what Ancient Egyptian sounded like (probably - I assume he's guessing).

Though, that being said, in a strange kind of way, the existence of God is, I feel, not really an ideal topic for this kind of forum, because you're all trying so very hard to be reasonable that you miss the point ("Credo quod absurdum est", anyone?). Yes, it's the ultimate skeptical question, though I notice that a surprising number of skeptics are dithering in the realm of agnosticism on the philosophically inarguable grounds that you can't prove a negative. May I remind you fence-sitters of the words of Jesus Christ as quoted in the Revelation of St. John the Divine? From memory, they went something like this: "Thou art neither hot nor cold; thou art lukewarm, therefore I will spew thee forth from my mouth." So, quite frankly, if God turns out to exist after all, he likes me better than he likes you, because at least I've got attitude! You guys are the hell-vomit of Christ! And that's gotta be bad!

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Re: Does God Really Exist?

Postby Martin Brock » Sun Dec 27, 2009 8:00 pm

E L Wisty wrote:... Human beings are insatiably curious - so much so that we've even evolved a sense of humour that allows us to derive pleasure from spotting superficially valid but fundamentally flawed logic; at which point we automatically make a loud noise so that other people can share our insight. Interestingly, humour is almost entirely absent from religion. As indeed is logic. To quote Tertullian, "Credo quod absurdum est", which is probably the silliest thing ever said, but somehow everything sounds profound in Latin.

Religion (including atheistic mass movements) is the zealous acceptance of an ideology. Tenets of faith strengthen bonds between adherents by creating distinctions between adherents and non-adherents. Religion is tribal association, not scientific inquiry. The shared defense of some proposition against external challenges strengthens a sense of tribal kinship.

An empirically true assertion, like "the sun rises in the east and sets in the west", doesn't create the necessary distinction between "believers" and "non-believers", because people will believe the assertion outside of a larger ideology. If I accept some indefensible proposition associated with a larger ideology, you may safely conclude that I accept the rest of the ideology as well, because acceptance of the larger ideology is the only reason to accept the indefensible proposition.

So a faith assertion is like a secret handshake or a password or a seal signifying authenticity or a loyalty oath.

And that Paul was a misogynist nutter who was spectacularly hard to like, even if you weren't a girly.

Paul has a mixed record on women, and some Biblical historians, like Bart Ehrman, suspect that Paul's misogyny is interpolation.

http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/Christi ... Bible.aspx

In purely Darwinian terms, it is better to just accept that there's a big guy up in the sky or wherever who makes incomprehensible stuff happen for his own reasons that to bang your Neanderthal head against an insoluble and irrelevant problem when you could be out spearing mammoths.

God is not a big guy in the sky in monotheistic tradition (excluding Trinitarian Christianity). Only this metaphor is common. Jews (and Muslims) are not Christians precisely because they fundamentally reject the idea that God is or ever could be any sort of man. Islam expressly forbids depicting God as a man, even in allegorical artwork.

Incidentally, you're almost certainly correct in saying that the Jews pinched the idea of monotheism from Akhenaten - his Hymn To The Sun appears with very minor changes of wording in the Book Of Psalms (sorry, I forget which one).

Akhenaten seems more a progenitor of state religion than of monotheism.

... a surprising number of skeptics are dithering in the realm of agnosticism on the philosophically inarguable grounds that you can't prove a negative.

Huxley's "agnosticism" is not an undecided position, sitting on a fence between "God exists" and "God does not exist". Agnosticism asserts that God is fundamentally unknowable, not that God's existence is fundamentally unknowable. If "God" names existence itself, then "God exists" is nonsensically redundant, but a pantheist using "God" this way can still be an agnostic, because existence itself is fundamentally mysterious. In fact, when Huxley formulates his "agnosticism", he doesn't invoke "God" at all. He invokes "the problem of existence".

... the existence of God is, I feel, not really an ideal topic for this kind of forum, because you're all trying so very hard to be reasonable that you miss the point ("Credo quod absurdum est", anyone?).

Agreed.
Last edited by Martin Brock on Sun Dec 27, 2009 11:25 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Does God Really Exist?

Postby E L Wisty » Sun Dec 27, 2009 11:24 pm

Oh wow, what a quick reply! Somebody cares about God! Lucky old God. OK, fair enough. Despite claims to the contrary in the book of Genesis, I concede that God Almighty is not necessarily an exact replica of a male human being - apparently that particular little point was what mattered, yes? He may for all I know be a jellyfish in a lobster costume; or indeed a strange black fridge-like object that confuses monkeys. Though since He doesn't exist, the point is moot. (And of course, if He does happen to exist, what do I know?) Fine. God's a lobster. Or a fridge. Or a joke. At least we can agree on "credo quod absurdum est". Though personally I don't, for that very reason. For different reasons, I cannot possibly like St. Paul - hey, could anybody? Oh, by the way, you've just made my point for me rather well.

End of debate.

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Re: Does God Really Exist?

Postby Martin Brock » Sun Dec 27, 2009 11:32 pm

E L Wisty wrote:Oh, by the way, you've just made my point for me rather well.

I don't know your point here, but I agreed with your earlier points with a few reservations. I also make my own points.

The "God" of traditional theology is not a jelly fish in a lobster costume either. It's fair to ask Who or What He is, but only the tradition itself can answer the question. The opening chapters of Genesis are an allegory bearing interesting interpretations, and I'd rather try to make sense of the words than make nonsense of them by reading them literally or hyperbolically.

I'm not a fan of Paul. I'm only telling you what scholars have said about the words attributed to him.

If you didn't care about "God", you wouldn't have posted in this thread.
People associating freely respect norms of their choice, and relationships governed this way are necessarily interdependent.

More central authorities conquer by dividing, imposing norms channeling the value of synergy toward themselves.

"Every man for himself" is the prescription of a state, not a free community. A state protects the poor from the rich only in fairy tales.

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Re: Does God Really Exist?

Postby Gord » Mon Dec 28, 2009 12:36 pm

[Singing!]

"Jeebus loves me, this I know
'Cause the Voices tell me so...."

[/Singing!]

:mrgreen:
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Re: Does God Really Exist?

Postby vanderpoel » Mon Dec 28, 2009 12:39 pm

"If there were no God, there would be no atheists." - Where All Roads Lead, 1922; Gilbert Chesterton
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Re: Does God Really Exist?

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Mon Dec 28, 2009 12:45 pm

vanderpoel wrote:"If there were no God, there would be no atheists." - Where All Roads Lead, 1922; Gilbert Chesterton

If there were no gods a lot of lazy people would starve instead of wearing those pretty robes.
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Re: Does God Really Exist?

Postby Thranil » Mon Dec 28, 2009 2:29 pm

If the number of people believing something were true meant that it must be true, then the earth would be flat, we would have found WMDs in Iraq, and George W Bush would have been a good president.

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Re: Does God Really Exist?

Postby Chachacha » Mon Dec 28, 2009 3:41 pm

vanderpoel wrote:"If there were no God, there would be no atheists." - Where All Roads Lead, 1922; Gilbert Chesterton


May I tweak this? "If there were a God, there would be no atheists".

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Re: Does God Really Exist?

Postby fromthehills » Mon Dec 28, 2009 6:02 pm

Chachacha wrote:
vanderpoel wrote:"If there were no God, there would be no atheists." - Where All Roads Lead, 1922; Gilbert Chesterton


May I tweak this? "If there were a God, there would be no atheists".



Good tweak.

I believe in God.


I just don't believe it's a supernatural entity. I believe it's a metaphorical excuse for bad behavior, for being sanctimonious, for bigotry, for oppression, for social networking ( finding one's tribe, not that this is necessarily a bad thing, we all do it ), for justifying evil deeds, for fear of dying, for feelings of revenge, and for controlling the credulous masses.

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Re: Does God Really Exist?

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Mon Dec 28, 2009 6:08 pm

fromthehills wrote:
Chachacha wrote:
vanderpoel wrote:"If there were no God, there would be no atheists." - Where All Roads Lead, 1922; Gilbert Chesterton


May I tweak this? "If there were a God, there would be no atheists".



Good tweak.

I believe in God.


I just don't believe it's a supernatural entity. I believe it's a metaphorical excuse for bad behavior, for being sanctimonious, for bigotry, for oppression, for social networking ( finding one's tribe, not that this is necessarily a bad thing, we all do it ), for justifying evil deeds, for fear of dying, for feelings of revenge, and for controlling the credulous masses.

I blame Darwin.
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Re: Does God Really Exist?

Postby Chachacha » Mon Dec 28, 2009 8:18 pm

fromthehills wrote:
Chachacha wrote:
vanderpoel wrote:"If there were no God, there would be no atheists." - Where All Roads Lead, 1922; Gilbert Chesterton


May I tweak this? "If there were a God, there would be no atheists".



Good tweak.

I believe in God.


I just don't believe it's a supernatural entity. I believe it's a metaphorical excuse for bad behavior, for being sanctimonious, for bigotry, for oppression, for social networking ( finding one's tribe, not that this is necessarily a bad thing, we all do it ), for justifying evil deeds, for fear of dying, for feelings of revenge, and for controlling the credulous masses.


I think God really exists in the minds of people who believe he really exists; in much the same way Santa Claus really exists as described in the famous, "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus" letter.

God is anything and everything anyone wants God to be. Some people want God to be a loving, giving, generous, wonderous being. Okay, that's what God is. Some people want God to be a kick-ass psychotic filicide. Okay, that's what God is. Some people want God to be the reason, the essence, the rainbow. Okay, that's what God is. Some people want God to be the creator, the spark, the undiscovered, undefinable "something" that started everything. Okay, that's what God is. Some people want God to be there, overseeing everything. Okay, that's what God is. Some people want God to be like a fish: female God popped out the eggs, then split; male God came along and fertilized the eggs, then split. Okay, that's what God did. Some people want to believe God answers prayers. Okay, God wants people to pray for stuff. Some people want to believe the very idea of telling God what you want is sacrilegious. Okay, God doesn't want people to pray for stuff. Some people want to believe God hates homosexuals. Okay, God hates homosexuals. Some people want to believe God loves homosexuals as one of the beautiful colors in the rainbow of creation. Okay, God loves homosexuals.

Because God is imaginary, people can imagine God to be anything they want God to be. Case in point: books cited in a Wikepedia article for and against "open theism" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Theism:

Books
Pro
Trinity and Process, G.Boyd, 1986
"Satan & the Problem of Evil: Constructing a Trinitarian Warfare Theodicy", Greg Boyd (2001) ISBN 0-8308-1550-3
The Case for Freewill Theism: a Philosophical Assessment, David Basinger, 1996, InterVarsity Press, ISBN 0-8308-1876-6
The Openness of God: The Relationship of Divine Foreknowledge and Human Free Will, Richard Rice, 1980, Review and Herald Pub. Association, ISBN 0-8127-0303-0
The Openness of God: A Biblical Challenge to the Traditional Understanding of God, Clark Pinnock editor, et al., 1994, InterVarsity Press ISBN 0-8308-1852-9, Paternoster Press (UK), ISBN 0-85364-635-X (followup to Rice book includes contribution from him)
The God Who Risks: A Theology of Providence, John Sanders, 1998. InterVarsity Press, ISBN 0-8308-1501-5
God, Time, and Knowledge, William Hasker, 1998, Cornell University Press, ISBN 0-8014-8545-2
God of the Possible, Gregory A. Boyd, 2000 reprint, Baker Books, ISBN 0-8010-6290-X
Most Moved Mover: A Theology of God's Openness (The Didsbury Lectures), Clark Pinnock, 2001, Baker Academic, ISBN 0-8010-2290-8
Providence, Evil, and the Openness of God, William Hasker, 2004, Routledge, ISBN 0-415-32949-3
http://www.youfreeweb.com/timsauder/ Open view of God - Mennonite

Con
God's Lesser Glory, Bruce A. Ware, 2000, Crossway Books, ISBN 1-58134-229-2
Still Sovereign: Contemporary Perspectives on Election, Foreknowledge, and Grace, Thomas R. Schreiner and Bruce A. Ware (editors), 2000, Baker Academic, ISBN 0-8010-2232-0
Bound Only Once: The Failure of Open Theism, Douglas Wilson editor, et al., 2001, Canon Press, ISBN 1-885767-84-6
No Other God: A Response to Open Theism, John M. Frame, P & R Publishing, 2001, ISBN 0-87552-185-1
Consuming Glory: A Classical Defense of Divine-Human Relationality Against Open Theism, Gannon Murphy, Wipf & Stock, 2006, ISBN 1-59752-843-9
Beyond the Bounds: Open Theism and the Undermining of Biblical Christianity, John Piper et al., 2003, Crossway Books, ISBN 1-58134-462-7
What Does God Know and When Does He Know It?: The Current Controversy over Divine Foreknowledge, Millard J. Erickson, Zondervan, 2006, ISBN 0-310-27338-2
How Much Does God Foreknow?: A Comprehensive Biblical Study, Steven C. Roy, InterVarsity Press, 2006, ISBN 0830827595
The Benefits of Providence: A New Look at Divine Sovereignty, James S. Spiegel, Crossway Books, 2005, ISBN 1-58134-616-6
[edit] Multiple views
Divine Foreknowledge: 4 Views, James Beilby and Paul Eddy (editors), et al., 2001, InterVarsity Press, ISBN 0-8308-2652-1
God and Time: Essays on the Divine Nature, Gregory E. Ganssle and David M. Woodruff (editors), 2002, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-512965-2
God & Time: Four Views, Gregory E. Ganssle (editor), et al., 2001, InterVarsity Press, ISBN 0-8308-1551-1
Predestination & Free Will, David and Randall Basinger (editors), et al., 1985, Intervarsity Press, ISBN 0-87784-567-0
Searching for an Adequate God, John Cobb and Clark Pinnock (Editors), et al., 2000, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, ISBN 0-8028-4739-0

Related work
God, Foreknowledge, and Freedom, John Martin Fischer (editor), 1989, Stanford, ISBN 0-8047-1580-7
The Only Wise God: The Compatibility of Divine Foreknowledge & Human, William Lane Craig, 2000, Wipf & Stock Publishers, ISBN 1-57910-316-2
The Dilemma of Freedom and Foreknowledge, Linda Zagzebski, 1996, Oxford, ISBN 0-19-510763-2
Eternal God : A Study of God without Time, Paul Helm, 1997, Oxford, ISBN 0-19-823725-1
Time and Eternity: Exploring God's Relationship to Time, William Lane Craig, 2001, Crossway Books, ISBN 1-58134-241-1
Time and Eternity, Brian Leftow, 1991, Cornell, ISBN 0-8014-2459-3
Travels in Four Dimensions: The Enigmas of Space and Time, Robin LePoidevin, 2003, Oxford, ISBN 0-19-875255-5 * The Ontology of Time, L Nathan Oaklander, 2004, Prometheus Books, ISBN 1-59102-197-9
Four-Dimensionalism: An Ontology of Persistence and Time, Theodore Sider, 2003, Oxford, ISBN 0-19-926352-3 * Real Time II, Hugh Mellor, 1998, Routledge, ISBN 0-415-09781-9
The Suffering of God, Terence E. Fretheim, 1984, Fortress Press, ISBN 0-8006-1538-7

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Re: Does God Really Exist?

Postby CMurdock » Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:18 pm

I have a few things to say about this original post:

RichieB789 wrote:After all, we demand that proof be shown for something as seemingly insignificant as UFO's and spiritual psychics, surely we should have some documentation for what many think is the most important subject in the whole world.

If you demand proof before you believe in something, I think you are pretty foolish. There must be many aspects of reality that haven't been "proven", yet they still may be perfectly true -- and some day they may indeed be proven. Also, some things defy proof altogether, yet that doesn't mean that they aren't true.

RichieB789 wrote:We all know faith is just a concept. A concept probably invented by some long ago church council or who knows maybe an ancient gathering at the Vatican worrying about declining profits.

No, faith is not a concept, it is a state of mind. It is ideas that have gelled into beliefs. You yourself have faith in science, though human science is still pretty rudimentary (and may often be wrong) compared to what mankind may eventually achieve.

You are making the same mistake that everyone else here seems to be making. You are confusing atheism with skepticism. Skeptics are people who question ideas before they accept them or reject them. Atheists are people whose minds are already made up, and who routinely reject ideas that don't conform to their scientific view of reality. A skeptic can become religious if he finds a religion that overcomes his doubts.

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Re: Does God Really Exist?

Postby MaximilianWicen » Sat Feb 09, 2013 11:23 am

Proving that god exists or does not exists is like squaring the circle. Lots of people have tried and all have failed.

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Re: Does God Really Exist?

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Sat Feb 09, 2013 2:54 pm

There's no need to prove God doesn't exist.
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Re: Does God Really Exist?

Postby Charles Wild » Fri Jul 11, 2014 9:03 pm

Does God really exist?

Is God a male? Is God a female?

...

Every time a person thinks of God, God shows up as a thought / an idea.

...

Literal:

KJV.

Two forces in the universe: Light vs Darkness.

...

Symbolic/Metaphorical:

New Thought (spiritual metaphysics/symbolism/poetry/metaphor/simile/religious theater actors-actresses).

Charles and Myrtle Fillmore; others; law of attraction (vibration); As a Man Thinketh book - J. Allen.

One force in the universe:

God is the source and creator of all. There is no other enduring power. God is good and present everywhere.

,,,

Other.

...

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Re: Does God Really Exist?

Postby scrmbldggs » Wed Sep 24, 2014 6:57 am

Nidhish wrote:i think until & unless science solves all the mystery of the universe , it would be safe to say god exist , u know i don't wanna burn in hell. :P

Into gambling, eh? :-P
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Re: Does God Really Exist?

Postby Matthew Ellard » Thu Sep 25, 2014 12:50 am

Nidhish wrote:i think until & unless science solves all the mystery of the universe , it would be safe to say god exist , u know i don't wanna burn in hell. :P


Well in that case, there may also be very aggressive unicorns out there. I should also believe in (and leave offerings) to unicorns.

I also understand that Leprechauns can be terrible trouble makers. I guess I'll have to leave pieces of bread out, for the "little people", until the universe is fully explained.

:D

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Re: Does God Really Exist?

Postby scrmbldggs » Thu Sep 25, 2014 4:19 am

Some people prefer to live in hell before they ever get the chance to find out there's no such thing. :roll:
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Re: Does God Really Exist?

Postby Austin Harper » Thu Sep 25, 2014 1:44 pm

Nidhish wrote:i think until & unless science solves all the mystery of the universe , it would be safe to say god exist , u know i don't wanna burn in hell. :P

I think until and unless science solves all the mystery of the universe it would be safe to say Odin exists. You know, I don't want to burn in Hel.
Dum ratio nos ducet, valebimus et multa bene geremus.

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Re: Does God Really Exist?

Postby Gord » Thu Sep 25, 2014 8:13 pm

Austin Harper wrote:
Nidhish wrote:i think until & unless science solves all the mystery of the universe , it would be safe to say god exist , u know i don't wanna burn in hell. :P

I think until and unless science solves all the mystery of the universe it would be safe to say Odin exists. You know, I don't want to burn in Hel.

freeze :P
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Re: Does God Really Exist?

Postby Austin Harper » Thu Sep 25, 2014 9:32 pm

Don't tell me how to afterlive my afterlife.
Dum ratio nos ducet, valebimus et multa bene geremus.

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Re: Does God Really Exist?

Postby Gord » Fri Sep 26, 2014 3:11 am

But you're doing it wronnnnnnnnnggggggggg!!!
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Re: Does God Really Exist?

Postby Austin Harper » Fri Sep 26, 2014 1:43 pm

Image
Dum ratio nos ducet, valebimus et multa bene geremus.

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Re: Does God Really Exist?

Postby Gord » Sat Sep 27, 2014 2:44 am

That comic was based on me.
"Knowledge grows through infinite timelessness" -- the random fictional Deepak Chopra quote site
"You are also taking my words out of context." -- Justin
"Nullius in verba" -- The Royal Society ["take nobody's word for it"]
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Re: Does God Really Exist?

Postby Usual Suspect » Sun Nov 27, 2016 8:21 am

Does God really exist? Which God? Bearded God? Winged God? Serpent God? The Moon Goddess? There's just so many to choose from, but personally I kind of have a thing for the Moon Goddess. But let's start by defining our terms. The word "God" is simply a title like "King" or "CEO" which is given to the figureheads of religious belief systems. So the question isn't so much whether God really exists, but whether or not the positions are actually filled by something real.

That leads us to the question of reality. Do we mean a conceptual reality or a physical reality? How do whatever is in these realities get into the position of God? In either case the process of becoming a god is called deification. Nothing becomes a god without that happening first, and because it is the believers of the religions who do the deifying, it is they who create their God.

But are those Gods real? Again we return to the concept of reality? What is that exactly? As a self-proclaimed sort of physicalist, I tend to think that anything that exists must be real, and it is just a matter of context whether or not that reality is mental or material. Therefore in the case of any concept that might be deified, because concepts exist in minds, those Gods ( if any ) could be considered to be as real as minds, and I for one happen to think minds are real.

In the case of alleged beings that hold the position of God within any particular religion, they are only real if they if they actually exist. Verification isn't possible for some gods and therefore the question cannot be answered for all of them, but there have been physical gods and goddesses as real and measureable as you or I, and therefore, logically, for those who have deified them, they either were or are as real as anything else that is material.

So the short answer is that some Gods ( or Goddesses ) are verifiably materially real, while others might be real but are unverifiable, but in either case, those gods are created by deifiers ( us ), rather than the other way around. This answer doesn't speak to the truthfulness of the alleged superpowers of any particular candidate for godhood. That is a separate and deeper question.

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Re: Does God Really Exist?

Postby Gord » Sun Nov 27, 2016 3:31 pm

All gods matter.
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Re: Does God Really Exist?

Postby daniel valient » Tue Nov 29, 2016 4:19 am

I get the feeling that every living atheist is secretly hoping that there is an afterlife and/or spiritual component to life. If we didn't secretly believe there was some point to this existence we would simply kill ourselves now/ cut to the chase...

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Re: Does God Really Exist?

Postby daniel valient » Tue Nov 29, 2016 4:29 am

Without an afterlife, without heaven…there’s literally nothing left to live for. As Leo Tolstoy points out in "Confessions" oblivion renders everything meaningless. and that meaninglessness taints even the most joyful moments of life...this is why evolution/ natural selection actually favors religion and religious people...
Religious people will naturally have more kids than atheists because life makes more sense to them.

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Re: Does God Really Exist?

Postby Angel » Tue Nov 29, 2016 12:00 pm

Welcome to the church of skeptics.
Don't know who your pater is today.
Just like any other church ~ they make
lots of claims but I have yet to see any fruit.
They too will take all your money. ;-)

My bad~ it's the facetious side of me that
comes out after spending 10 yrs trying to
even get these people to even have a civil
conversation. lol

I know God through experience .
I don't know what to make of
religious people. They truly are
the whirl wind.
To be or not to be?
To believe or
Not to believe?
To be live or
Not to be live?
To exist or
Not to exist?
What was the question?

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Re: Does God Really Exist?

Postby Angel » Tue Nov 29, 2016 12:17 pm

daniel valient wrote:Without an afterlife, without heaven…there’s literally nothing left to live for. As Leo Tolstoy points out in "Confessions" oblivion renders everything meaningless. and that meaninglessness taints even the most joyful moments of life...this is why evolution/ natural selection actually favors religion and religious people...
Religious people will naturally have more kids than atheists because life makes more sense to them.


I understand how you can think there
is nothing left to live for. That's because of
the laws they created to take away our
freedom. Keep in mind that one day all
those people who need and enforce laws
~ will be dead. Then all those who can
behave themselves can live free. No more
wars or jails or criminals cause the people
that create them will be gone for a very long
time. :-D
Some day I will build a house so different.
It will be a living house. <3
The choice is yours ~ to endure to the end
and enjoy it or not.
To be or not to be?
To believe or
Not to believe?
To be live or
Not to be live?
To exist or
Not to exist?
What was the question?

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Re: Does God Really Exist?

Postby Gord » Tue Nov 29, 2016 2:49 pm

daniel valient wrote:I get the feeling that every living atheist is secretly hoping that there is an afterlife and/or spiritual component to life. If we didn't secretly believe there was some point to this existence we would simply kill ourselves now/ cut to the chase...

daniel valient wrote:Without an afterlife, without heaven…there’s literally nothing left to live for. As Leo Tolstoy points out in "Confessions" oblivion renders everything meaningless. and that meaninglessness taints even the most joyful moments of life...this is why evolution/ natural selection actually favors religion and religious people...
Religious people will naturally have more kids than atheists because life makes more sense to them.

:befuddled:

I don't want an afterlife, I want a current life. Why would I want to wallow in misery based on the feeble hope that there will be a vague "something better", grinding out my 70 years of toil for a reward based on the inherent ignorance of faith? Without the promise of an afterlife, there is literally everything left to live for -- since there is nothing else but this life for me, it is everything I will have.

Under-educated people tend to have more children because they lack access to family planning options. There are also cultural differences that come into play; for instance, in some parts of the world, a person's worth is partly based on how many children he/she can produce.
"Knowledge grows through infinite timelessness" -- the random fictional Deepak Chopra quote site
"You are also taking my words out of context." -- Justin
"Nullius in verba" -- The Royal Society ["take nobody's word for it"]
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