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God cannot be proven, ever!

  1. Apr 12, 2010 #1
    Let's assume that by word "God" we mean the master or creator of everything including itself. Now, if such GOD existed how could it ever be confident that it is the origin and is of everything. Perhaps such GOD would have at least a thought that there may be hidden realms out of it's perception and control. So no matter how powerful and all-knowing a God may be there is no guarantee that it is the essence of everything. Also, the concept "all knowing" maybe nothing but utopia in the end. Therefore, proving that something is God is futile.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 12, 2010 #2


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    This has been discussed many times here.

    One thing that you're tripping up on is that, in order to argue it, you must first specify your definition of God. For example, you have defined him as omniscient and then refuted that.
  4. Apr 12, 2010 #3
    I've once proposed this thought experiment though:

    Assume there was a god which was omniscient and omnipotent and that It could do all, and knew all, we shall call this god the meta-god hereafter.

    The meta-god created a being that was not omnipotent or omniscient, but close, its powers were only limited by its own imagination, it was not aware of its limited imagination, this being we call 'God', hereafter.

    God ended up creating earth and a book we call the 'bible' in which it claimed a number of things, such as being omnipotent and omniscient and being the first.

    God was not lying, he simply couldn't know.

    So, even by assuming the benevolence of God and absolutely truthfulness, we can still not exclude that he was not the origin of all.
  5. Apr 12, 2010 #4
  6. Apr 12, 2010 #5


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    It still comes down to you defining God as being omniscient.

    Once you define God as omniscient, there are a myriad ways to make logical inconsistencies; that part is easy.

    But who says God is omniscient? I mean, we can claim he is, sure. But our claim does not make it so, which means our claim does not put him in a logical paradox.

    All you are doing is showing that a specific, traditional image of God is problematic. It does not demonstrate anything about whether there exists some Creator with some undetermined properties.
  7. Apr 12, 2010 #6


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    Good point. But where exactly is the line?

    There is no discussion of religion here (except indirectly perhaps, in how some people are defining God). It seems to be simply a philosophical/logical discussion about a hypothetical subject.

    I don't actually know where, according to the rules, the line is that the discussion is skirting. (That being said, I have no illusions that, some time in the next dozens posts or so, that line will be unambiguously crossed by someone. :wink:)
  8. Apr 13, 2010 #7
    There is one task an omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient being could not do...
  9. Apr 13, 2010 #8


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    How does one know that a task exists which an omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient being could not perform?
  10. Apr 13, 2010 #9
    Which one is it?

    creating that heavy stone? changing the value of Pi? healing amputees?
  11. Apr 13, 2010 #10
    getting lost.

    The Twilight Zone, 1985, I of Newton
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2010
  12. Apr 13, 2010 #11


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    Yeah, yeah. We know omnipotence is a paradoxical concept.

    That does not prove God can't exist. It just proves you can't box him in with human- created logic or human-created definitions.
  13. Apr 13, 2010 #12
    Let's define god as a this Fedora DVD lying in front of me, surely it exists? Q.E.D.

    Debating the existence of things you first have to define before you can get started is absurd, it just shows people care more about words than about meaning.

    [PLAIN]http://thisdomainisirrelevant.net/910.png [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  14. Apr 13, 2010 #13


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    I'm not sure whose argument you're objecting to, mine or the OP's.

    Either way, how on Earth is it possible to discuss something if the people do not agree on what it is they're discussing? How would you know they agree?
  15. Apr 13, 2010 #14

    Ivan Seeking

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    Correct. It's turtles all the way down.
  16. Apr 14, 2010 #15
    But the definitions of omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient are also within the human logic frame.
  17. Apr 14, 2010 #16


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    Emphasis/underlining mine:

    Your statement implies that people actually do care about meaning. What else, then, is the definition of a word, if not its meaning?
  18. Apr 14, 2010 #17
    I don't follow this. It means that people care more about just utilizing the word god to describe something when it "really" isn't a god. That's his point.
  19. Apr 14, 2010 #18


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    His following statement:
    Emphasis mine:

    He seems to be arguing against the notion that people need to define things before they discuss them (Underlined). He then contradicts himself with the phrase in bold formatting, where he suggests that meaning in fact is important. I attempted to point out that he is, in essence, saying, "Defining things 'is absurd', people should care 'about meaning' instead." I don't know of any significant difference between the meaning of a word and its definition.

    My interpretation could be incorrect; maybe he can clarify for us.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2010
  20. Apr 14, 2010 #19
    No he's saying that the fact people need for people to define words before they discuss them is absurd. They shouldn't have to do this they should use a dictionary for the actually MEANING of the word...

    Basically when he's saying 'define' he means people making their OWN definitions. When he says meaning he means people using the ACCEPTED definition.

    I think he was writing this in response to Dave's post though, not the OP.


    Of course though, this entirely depends on the dictionary. I do agree that people shouldn't be changing definitions of words just so that they could use the same definition but... well, let's look at god for example:

    http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=god That's the definitino from Princeton WordNet.

    but then I have a dictionary of philosophy which defines god as being the first cause or what caused the creation of our universe. I was going to quote it but I can't find it ATM.

    Using both these dictionaries though would imply you are using the word with its intended meaning. Defining it implies you are using what you think the word means on your own. I don't agree with this and I'm pretty sure that's his point.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2010
  21. Apr 14, 2010 #20


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    It is not only God that is an ambiguous term, the very notion of "proof" is very a very ambiguous term taken out of familiar context. A proof differ in form and purpose in different contexts. "Proving Gods existence" is nonsense without a proper familiarity with what it means to "prove Gods existence".

    The common notion of God is a transcendent entity. God is in some way outside the material world, not affected by the material causality. This is what makes the explanation of the meaning of "proof" in this context even more difficult. What does it mean to prove the existence of a transcendental entity? It certainly is nonsense in many forms of "proof".

    Another common notion is God as a fundamentally ethical concept, and thus the need (and purpose) for positive assessment of Gods existence arise from a purely ethical basis, i.e. faith. Perhaps this is the proper way of approaching the concept of God. In a scientific context the "hypothesis" of God can easily be dismissed, but that's not necessarily all there is to it. However, one-dimensional thinking leads to clear conclusions and that certainly has its appeal for many...

    As Dave points out, logical inconsistencies proves in no way the impossibility of Gods existence. In a scientific analogy: some physical objects are also intrinsically inconsistent when it comes to our way of explaining the nature of their behavior. Scientific models can often contradict each other when taken out of their respective area of accuracy even though they say something about intrinsic properties of the physical object. No one are though denying their existence.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2010
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