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Arguments for and against existence of God

  1. Jan 5, 2010 #1
    I watched the trailer for the PBS documentary "Into God - The Closer To Truth," and it seems like something I want to see when it becomes available. It will be shown on the "Closer To Truth [Cosmos, Consciousness, God]" program.

    The trailer for "Into God" is at: http://www.vimeo.com/6163114

    You can also see the full episodes that have been shown on the "Closer to Truth" program on their website, http://www.closertotruth.com. They include:

    Did our Universe have a Beginning?
    Does God make sense?
    How Vast is the Cosmos?
    Why is Consciousness so Mysterious?

    My question here is, what argument (objective or subjective) would you make for or against the existence of God?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 5, 2010 #2
    Until you define "God," I don't see how anybody can make an argument for or against one.

    Here is one of my favorite Carl Sagan quotes about the topic:

    "Some people think God is an outsized, light-skinned male with a long white beard, sitting on a throne somewhere up there in the sky, busily tallying the fall of every sparrow. Others—for example Baruch Spinoza and Albert Einstein—considered God to be essentially the sum total of the physical laws which describe the universe. I do not know of any compelling evidence for anthropomorphic patriarchs controlling human destiny from some hidden celestial vantage point, but it would be madness to deny the existence of physical laws"

    So, which do you mean?
  4. Jan 5, 2010 #3
    Any takers for betting how many posts until this thread is locked?
  5. Jan 5, 2010 #4


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    Last edited: Jan 5, 2010
  6. Jan 5, 2010 #5
    Jack, good question. The concept of God is such a subjective thing with people that it probably conjures up many different ideas, ranging from the guy sitting on his golden throne doing his winter bird count to the existential interpretation used by Carl Sagan. So rather than placing a limit on things here, I will just leave that open to whatever anyone wishes to respond to. I think it will make for a more interesting thread. So, it might be helpful for anyone responding to mention if they are referring to the more traditional concept of God as a deity that is omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence or to another interpretation.
  7. Jan 5, 2010 #6
    Why should this thread be locked? Why should a rational discussion about objective and subjective views concerning a major phenomena in human thought be taboo? I'm glad PBS doesn't think so. And I do think views can be expressed without interjecting our emotions into it. By that I mean making disparaging remarks about what someone may express on a post. There is really no need for that, is there?
  8. Jan 5, 2010 #7


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    It is not a taboo, we just know from experience that such discussions are usually short lived.

    From the scientific point of view I have yet to see an argument for. All I have seen and heard of were against.
  9. Jan 5, 2010 #8
    Here's an old thread I started with an idea I had a while back. It wasn't that well-received, I think because people assume that by me assigning the term god that I meant some type of 'creation'. It's not what I'm trying to say though. Hopefully someone, somewhere will understand me... hah:

  10. Jan 5, 2010 #9
    Thanks for clearing that up Borek. A thought that I read, which makes sense to me, is that the concept of God is based on the collective ego of humans. I think what was meant by that is that people have a need to feel that they are more special and unique than the rest of the living things on the planet. In thinking that way, they can believe that their lives can continue beyond death, in something called a spirit, in a special place. The concept of God was created to make that possible.
  11. Jan 5, 2010 #10
    10 :biggrin:
  12. Jan 5, 2010 #11


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    (Two exclamation points only to reach the required 4-character minumum post.)
  13. Jan 5, 2010 #12


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    Runner, just by starting off with the notion of a single "god" limits the discussion to only a handle of god myths.

    Thread closed.
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