Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Can you prove God's non-existence(question only for atheists,if possible)?

  1. May 13, 2005 #1
    First of all,I apologize to moderators,because I didn't know where to put this thread,maybe in General Philosophy forum...
    I put it in the Scepticism forum,because I would like to hear what arguments sceptics have against God's existence.

    What am I asking,is it possible to prove God's non-existence by logic or any other way?
    I,personally,am an atheist.The real problem is when you look at it the universe seem to be like an organism-ameba that is expanding,but that doesn't prove the existence of God.My arguments are that if God existed he should have laws and the balance that support his existence.But no blance lasts for ever.Everything would fall apart-including God.So,basically even God shouldn't be eternal.
    Many people-believers think that God is pure energy and that's why he is eternal-but they simply forget one crucial thing.Although energy can't be created/destroyed,it has its forms.God than would be an form of energy,and since no form of energy is eternal-everything that exists is made of zillions of forms of energy.
    What are your opinions?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 13, 2005 #2

    James R

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    No. God is constructed in such a way to avoid having his or her non-existence proved.

    But God is supposed to be all powerful. He or she creates the laws, and the time for eternity to exist in.

    It seems God isn't energy, if he or she exists.
  4. May 13, 2005 #3
    The problem with God paradox that he,she,it can't be eternal.Sooner or later everything has to end.The only problem if God existed he would show to humans and say you will obey me or something like that.It's all pšroduct of evolution,nothing more.No God wants to be invisible.
    You said God creates laws,but how can he exist if his non-corporeal entity is not made of laws.Universe exists because of the laws,no laws no universe,everything would become-what people use to call nothingness.To do something God needs energy.
    I bet in exactly 100$ dollars that God doesn't exist,after all he doesn't exist in me since I don't need him at all.
  5. May 13, 2005 #4
    What I meant to say(to correct myself) it's all product of evolution,nothing more.
  6. May 13, 2005 #5


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    I think it's impossible to prove the existence of some vague divinity somewhere. But the Christian God, and still more the Christian religion, that we can make a plausible case against. But if you don't want to be convinced, you won't be.
  7. May 13, 2005 #6
    You cannot prove nor disprove it atm. Everything is a theory.
  8. May 13, 2005 #7


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    God's existence cannot be disproved, but the question about his existence can be dismissed.
  9. May 13, 2005 #8
    You can certainly say that God's existence is inconsistent with the most fundemental laws of science. If God is omnipotent, then [non-gender specific] He may, if He deems necessary, flick our piddling planet out of orbit into the depths of space, thereby causing a phenomenon in the universe that disobeys the conservations laws of both momentum and energy. But seeing as no-one has put forward a logical theory that concludes that God exists, there's not a lot that can be disproved. Ultimately, God isn't a theory.
  10. May 13, 2005 #9


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    And why should the Judeo-Christian god conception be the only one which one should consider, or even the most rational god conception?

    In my view, god conceptions along the lines of Cthulhu, Thor and Odin are a lot more sensible ideas
  11. May 13, 2005 #10
    atheism's abit daft though isnt it.
  12. May 13, 2005 #11


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    Not as daft as the typical religion. Unobservable miracles and magical kingdoms located nowhere anyone can find.
  13. May 13, 2005 #12
    Not exactly, but you can, if you look into psychology and neurology, discover a string of common human brain glitches that are probably the origin of our concept of a non-corporeal entity, be it a god, spirit, or ghost.

    I would go into this further, but mentions of this here in the past have nearly precipitated head explosions on the part of people carrying latent "spiritual" inclinations.
  14. May 13, 2005 #13


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Why? Current theory holds that the universe will never end. Beyond that though, if God created the Universe, then he created time. Therefore, he exists "outside" of time. So the concept of "beginning" and "end" are meaningless when applied to a god.
    Again, why? Perhaps God is the voyeur type? These assumptions are not provable (or disprovable, of course).
    If God created the universe, he doesn't (necessarily) live in it and therefore its laws do not apply to him.

    Ultimately, James's response is pretty much it - there is always a way out of a logical conundrum with God. After all - he is omnipotent!
  15. May 13, 2005 #14
    Probably not, still pretty daft though :rofl:
  16. May 13, 2005 #15
    Hmm yeah i think ive been part of a few of those kinds of threads before, people can believe what ever they like quite frankly, you can read all the evidence either way. However i still cant help but cringe alittle when people refer to people having enlightened experiences as having 'glitches' or 'malfunctions' the implication being that somethings gone wrong, the brain's made an error. :uhh:
  17. May 13, 2005 #16
    Depends greatly on what you mean by "enlightened". I don't think that seeing a "ghost" and suddenly believing there must be life after death constitutes "enlightenment". I discussed this on paranormal websites with people who've seen "ghosts" who are never-the-less very pushy, angry and closed minded. I wouldn't call someone like that "enlightened".
  18. May 13, 2005 #17
    That is not considered 'enlightenment' in any religion.

    It is however, becoming aware of another part of reality (that may or may not exist). In that sense, it is a sort of enlightenment. Similarly, the discovery that the earth wasnt flat, must have felt pretty enlightening to some people back then. Yet, if a bunch of people nowadays claim the world is flat and an argument arises with the round-earth group, then both groups are likely to get angry.

    But if for instance u would try to piss off Jezus or Ghandi or whatever enlightened persons happened to have existed, i suspect it wouldnt work, even if they had been alive :wink:

    (Btw i wasnt trying to compare atheists with people who think the earth is flat, i was just trying to show a scenario in which one group discovered a new aspect of reality that the others are unaware of.)
    Last edited: May 14, 2005
  19. May 13, 2005 #18
    Yeah thats fair, i wouldnt call that enlightened either, i was refering more to experiences of a collective consciousness, which i frequently hear people catagorise as some kind of malfunction of brain and nothing more.
  20. May 13, 2005 #19
    We can't truely prove that God doesn't exist; however, we can't prove whether or not the world will end tommorow, but I say it will not. Certainty is rare and perhaps impossible, but decisions have to be made. Logically, it is more efficient for humanity to not believe in God than to believe in him - evidence for this fact is presented throughout the history of time.

    Socrates, in his own way, adopted the philosophy that certainty is nonexistent. He said that the more wisdom one acquired the more he'd realize how little the knew - an interesting and logical belief. However, Socrates didn't always take action, and he was killed. Socrates' death demonstrates the reality that action is required even if a person isn't 100% sure. Uncertainity is unbeneficial to humanity when it comes to the issue of God. The existence of God is irrelevant; however, if one has to make a stance, they should vehemently claim his non-existence.
    Last edited: May 13, 2005
  21. May 14, 2005 #20
    I'm not sure what sort of thing you mean when you say "experiences of a collective consciousness." Whatever it is you mean, it may well have some basis in fact, but, like everything else, not be exactly what people assume it is.

    Personally, I'm very open minded to the possibility that something like telepathy exists. I can't present any actual instance where its existence is unquestionable, though, and I can't present anything more than speculation about how it might take place.

    Let's stipulate for the sake of argument that it does exists. It wouldn't automatically mean it is not the result of some kind of pathology. Autistc-Savants can do stupendous mathematical calculations in their head very rapidly. Their answers are correct. It would be wrong to say that there is something unauthentic about their ability to calculate. However, that ability is the indirect result of the pathology that prevents them from utilizing many other parts of the brain. If telepathy is possible, it might only spontaneously develop in people with the right pre-existing pathology.

    It can also be, that what seems like telepathy, is actually a very different talent masquerading as telepathy. If we were able to take a person and supercharge their ability to read body language, tone of voice, choice of words, or facial expression to the level of ability the Savant has with calculation, the result might well be indistinguishable from telepathy. Yet, there would be large numbers of people who, confronted with such a talent, wouldn't even think to ask themselves if something other than authentic telepathy were at work.
  22. May 14, 2005 #21
    I'd like to address the original question posed in this thread, 'Can you prove God doesn't exist?' My answer is NO. Let me explain why:

    First, religion is based on faith. By definition, faith is believing in something you can't see or prove. You just know, deep down in your heart, that it's there. I don't know what the statistics are, but I'd be pretty certain 90+% (maybe 99+%?) of people have the same religion as their parents and/or community. They were brought up believing in a certain thing, it wasn't some conscious rational decision. If a person's choice of religion wasn't a conscious decision based on logic and reasoning, he/she can't be expected to give up that religion based on a similar argument.

    Second, as human beings we all have preconceived beliefs that we carry around with us. That being the case, we tend to interpret evidence based on those beliefs. We tend to focus on aspects that support those beliefs and accept what supports them and downplay or ignore what doesn't. One of the (maybe the hardest) goals of scientific research is to develop experiments so that our beliefs don't affect the outcome of the experiment. In religion, that's almost impossible, since there are few (if any) testable results. Even if there were, the validity of those results ultimately would be based on your beliefs.
  23. May 14, 2005 #22
    When i say collective consciousness i mean a kind of hyper awareness, a feeling of eternal knowledge and of everything being connected.
    Ive exeprienced it first hand and know of other people that have too. Ive only achieved this through meditation and a combination of drugs however, but there are people who get flashes of this same experience in their everyday life. Ive heard doctors refer to naturally occuring experiences such as these as malfunctions of the brain. illusions, etc.
    Of course experiences like these are no doubt mediated by chemical imbalances in the brain (caused naturally or otherwise) that would lie outside of normal brain functioning. But we shouldnt jump to the conclusion that because these experiences are uncommon and are outside of the normal way we useally interpret our surroundings that these occurances MUST be malfunctions or glitches. Thats pretty simple minded reasoning that isnt going to get you anywhere, worst still due to the poorly understood nature of these exepriences the conclusion is offen reached that these experiences must surely be illusions.

    Im pretty much in agreement with what youve said, ive had people read my mind first hand and i do think it could very well be the subconscious picking up of tiny facial movements that can be converted into thoughts and feelings in the mind of the psychic. I also lean towards this idea because ive seen the same people atempt to read the minds of people without being able to see them and fail miserably.
    However i do think the phenomena of seeing the future is very real, although this is seen as being the same as telepathy i actually think its quite different. Again this is something ive experienced first hand, and im personally satisfied that ive seen the future with a degree of detail that it wasnt just a coincidence or my mind reading too much into it. Of course i wouldnt expect anyone to take my word for it! people have to seek out their own evidence be it first hand or secondary.
    How human beings are able to do this i really dont know, although i think the 'why' might be more simple. In the past i researched this phenomena quite extensively and i found that the average person has a vision or knowledge of a future event useally when they are in danger of being killed or injured: for most people this is when they are most likely to see a future event.

    I think this is simply the human mind breaking the rules of its regular perception of time in moments of danger as an evolutionary advantage.
    Just speculation of course, but an explaination worth considering i think :tongue:
    Last edited: May 14, 2005
  24. May 14, 2005 #23
    They wouldn't be called pathologies on the basis of being uncommon, but on the basis of whether or not they have their origin in something that would ultimatly be harmful to the brain. It may feel fantastic to be in that state of mind, but is there any cost? How long could a person stay that way and survive? Questions like that.
    The particular experience you describe is, in fact, encountered as a simple partial seizure. Dostoevsky had this kind of seizure. He knew it was a seizure, and yet he said it was so wonderful that he wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. So, what can I say. Chances are, the particular thing you described is an illusion. I think if I had such an illusion I would not be willing to give it up either.
    Seeing the future played out in front of you like a movie isn't explained by any pathology I know of. I am very open minded about this as an authentic psychic phenomenon. I have no idea how it could happen. Does it mean the future already exists? Or just that we can extrapolate what is going to happen with total accuracy? I don't know.
  25. May 14, 2005 #24
    This was the experience he was talking about:

    If this Dostoevsky had this experience, how did he know it was a seizure?

    And furthermore, people who meditate have similar experiences. Can meditation cause these kind of seizures in people?

    Also i know of a case where an astronaut(Ed Mitchell) had such an experience while he was in space. Heres a quote from a book (The Field) where i read it in:

    As u can read, he was still doing whatever he was doing before(pressing buttons and turning knobs), so the seizure doesnt seem to affect that.
    Also, this experience sounds amazing, and it makes one wonder if this described feeling of how the universe 'works' is actually true. Is the universe one whole, or are we all seperate?

    And finally, im no expert on seizures, but i think NASA would screen their astronauts for any possible malfunction of the brain.
  26. May 14, 2005 #25
    It was the aura that preceeded his secondarily generalized tonic-clonic seizures. The "aura" is what a simple partial seizure is called when it proceeds a more severe seizure. When it doesn't it is just called a simple partial.
    Nothing I know of indicates that it couldn't.
    A simple partial seizure involves no defect of consciousness whatever. He could turn knobs, sure. I am more inclined to think the astronaut's experience was the super-exitement of realizing where he was, and what an amazing, unique experience he was having.
    I'm sure they do. Thing is, EEG's aren't 100% reliable. One noted neurologist, Devinsky, released a study that showed only about 21% of simple partial seizures can be picked up by a surface EEG. They aren't severe enough, and if they aren't close to the surface the electrodes won't pick them up. Using implanted depth electrodes on surgery candidates they've picked up seizure activity that didn't register on surface electrodes. However, I think that astronaut was just really exited to be out there.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook