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

The answer to the Does God exist question from Human Practice

  1. Aug 8, 2003 #1
    The answer to the "Does God exist" question from Human Practice

    A. The basic question of philosophy

    Man's early investigation into the world of knowledge have shown a division of philosophic schools into two main camps. Both camps can be divided at the basis of the way in which they answer the basic question of philosophy, which is the question as what substance or entity forms the basic or primary ingredient of the world without which the world would not exist. Idealism has answered this with the primacy of consciousness. Materialism has answered this with the primacy of matter. Theism on this issue relates to Idealism in that it answers that that necessary being is God. Both materialist and idealist ideologies have since their appearence in Greek philosophy (Plato - Idealism, Herodites/Democritus - Materialism) been developed greatly in the course of history. Idealism had it's greatest succes with the appearence of Hegel's philosophy (Phenomenology of Mind, Science of Logic) which has left the world the method of dialectics. Materialism had it's succes with the appearence of dialectical- and historical materialism, developed by Marx, Engels and others.
    In the critique of Marx on Hegel's dialectics, the following fragment shows the reason why the objective existence of God must be denied:

    B. Answer from human practice

    An answer to the question outside of a specific historic societal context makes the question into a meaningless theoretical issue which only could raise the interest of an alienated being that exist outside of any social context and any objective reality which - as we have seen in the conclusion of the previous part - does not denote any real and objective being. Man's answer to the basic question of philosophy should therefore have to be found within and at the basis of the reality of human society itself at this stage of development of mankind.

    1. Man´s early history

    The historic account of man´s early development, in which man himself was struggling with the forces of nature and the struggle for survival, has shown that man´s early history and alongside the use of primitive tools, various forms of nature religions were developed. Man, no longer ape and at the start of a long historic human development had questioned the origin of the forces that governed and determined his existence, and of which man was entirely dependend. Religion was an early form of expressing such basic questions about reality in which Spirit or God was the provisional anwer. Cultural and social develpment of mankind shaped these primitive nature religions into other forms, which gave rise to the foundation of modern religions such as Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism and others.

    2. Man´s development into a scientific world outlook

    The formation of man´s intelligent reasoning power, based on man´s biological evolution, enabled man to ask questions, man could not yet answer. The technical and scientific qualities of mankind were at that point in history far too limited to answer the questions man could ask himself about the world of nature, life, and human society.
    The provisional answer man came up in the form of God -Spirit - Creator was not an actual filling of the answer to those question, but only an emphasis of the big How and Why questions. The actual development of a scientific outlook on nature provided various ways to make use of the forces of nature to fulfill man's real needs, has lead to an actual restating and practical filling of the questions man asked himself based on practical needs leading to new questions and new scientific investigations.

    3. Man´s actual practicing of knowledge in society

    Based on the development man already has no endpoint of man´s development can be conceived of. The historic account of man´s development into the modern society that practices science and utilizes knowledge allows us to state that man and his society has shifted the role of religion to that of materialism and science which has become the essential and exceptionally fruitfull part of the development of society and mankind.
    That is the way in which human history, society and practice itself has provided the answer to the questions (the Big Why and How's) man had asked himself in which the knowledge man has developed about the forces of nature has lead to the development of various practical applications to that knowledge to fulfill man's real needs.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2003
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 15, 2003 #2
    Man kind will never be not objective. Basic understanding of our existential laws can prove that. For something to exist in our being it must be created by some other form of being. And since nothing can just appear think back to the first life forms ever created. Question such as who created it and why or what started the process cannot be denied. A higher form of being cannot be denied because of this. If we were non objective all these questions about our existence would already be known. I have nothing against Man's actual practicing of knowledge in society.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2003
  4. Aug 15, 2003 #3

    Mankind will indeed never arive at absolute objectivity or absolute knowledge. But we do progress in that way.

    The universe, life and consciousness do not come from nothing, but were transformation from previous material forms.

    A higher being should be denied, given the fact that it can not have any objective existence (see argument A).
     
  5. Aug 15, 2003 #4
    Marx was a paranoid schizophernic having a life long psychotic episode. Reminds me of the author of Revelations.

    I agree that God is not an objective being. This is news?
    God is a spiritual being that transcends objectiveity, created and creates the objective world and nature of himself, of his power. God is nature and nature is of God as is objectivity, just as we are of God and God of us.

    God is the ultimate and true reality and his work, the material universe is the illusion. It is real and it exists; but, in respect to true reality it is an illusion. All who believe that only the material world exists and nothing else is real place their belief and existence in illusion and delusion. They then call theist deluded and believers in illusion.

    If materialism is based on the works of Karl Marx, no wonder I have such a hard time with it. Talk about crackpots and not have any touch with reality. I find it incredable that anybody with any sense at all would give any credencs to Karl Marx in this day and age. Even Marvel Comics wouldn't touch him because he was too far out in left field thet he lost all touch with reality.
     
  6. Aug 15, 2003 #5
    You've got me confused. Why would we be getting more objective? Even the meaning of "objective" has been created by ourselves! Computers cannot be objective because we invented them...

    We cannot find any objective laws of nature because we get the information through our senses... a being with different senses would probably get other information...

    "Objective" is impossible.
     
  7. Aug 16, 2003 #6


    Do you realy think so?



    It takes some alienated from of consciousness to say that an imagined being is the ultimate reality, and the material world is the illusion.

    We live in a social reality. God is just a hypothetical being, without having objective existence. It is a projection of human consciousness on the material world itself.

    Materialism was alread a philosophical outlook that existed long before Marx. He only enriched it with historical materialism and (together with Friedrich Engels) dialectical-materialism.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2003
  8. Aug 16, 2003 #7
    We are not limited by our own senses, since we can make every possible device for measuring things which we ourselves can not sense.

    In that way I think your argument is senseless.

    Devices are not subjective.
     
  9. Aug 16, 2003 #8

    You even say it yourself that mankind will never arive at absolute knowledge. Why do you think that is?

    Even if we were transformations from a previous material form, what started the previous form? Once again your theory could only be explained by the forms just apppeared or just started from nothing.

    This is why i believe a higher power is in existence.
     
  10. Aug 17, 2003 #9


    That is because there is an infinite amount of things to know.
    We can not predict with infinite precission the weather. Even when the weather process is a deterministic process in itself, we can not at any given moment know all the factors that are responsible for the weather phenomena. Etc.

    Wrong. A nothing is not a begin of anyting. There was always something instead of nothing. All of existence could not have started from nothing, which simply means that all of existence was already there, in some or other form.

    Your escape into deities, is not and can not be an answer, since the same problem that is connected to the issue this deity needs to solve, is also connected to this deity itself: what started this deity? A higher deity? Etc.

    All of existence already includes any existing deities that might exist. But how can a deity start all of existence if that a deity is already part of all of existence? Something can not start itself.

    The only solution is therefore that all of existence has been there forever, in one form or another.

    Since we only know about material existence, physical entities that exist, and it is acknowledged that matter/energy are conserved quantities, it follows that the physical universe has been there always in one or other form.
     
  11. Aug 17, 2003 #10
    1. Devices are human-made. Anything made by humans is subjective.

    2. Reality might be an illusion you're having.
     
  12. Aug 17, 2003 #11
    Maybe for you, not for me.
     
  13. Aug 17, 2003 #12
    The box is human made not the existance.

    Twenty years from now a manned spaceship lands on Mars, walking out of the spaceship they notice something in the distance. They go over and see what looks like a computer. It has a harddrive, ram, cables, motherboard, keyboard, mouse, and monitor. They turn it on and it works, the operating system is a varient of Unix. They sit in stunned silence for a while and then one man turns to the other and says, "Wow, think of the thousands of years it took to evolve!" If you were in that situation would you think that someone was there before you and left the computer? Or would you think that it just evolved?

    The point is this, human beings are incredibly more complex than computers, one look at DNA is enough to convince anyone of that, and our operating system is incredible with very few people statistically having errors. The computer has evolved but not by itself, we made the changes. As we learn more or find new technologies we incorporate them into the computer.

    Now humans may have created Gods through history giving them human attributes and character flaws, but that does not rule out the existance of a higher power. I have a firm belief that we were designed. Believing this does not mean that I have to believe in heaven and hell, or Jesus, Mohhamad, Budda, reincarnation or anything else. As a matter of fact B. Franklin was a confirmed deist as many of Americas founding fathers, scientists, and philosophers were.

    I look at the deep field pictures from hubble, and cannot believe that it is all here by chance.

    It is true that we mould our enviroment to our senses but that does not mean that the universal laws are not true. I believe for the most part that common sense holds the key, if you go to mars and there is a computer there, common sense says that someone somewhere put it there. The more complex a solution to a problem the more ways for it to go wrong.
     
  14. Aug 17, 2003 #13
    Prove it?

    You cannot. Nobody can. And you cannot know either... you can just believe the age-old "I think therefore I am"...
     
  15. Aug 17, 2003 #14
    Has it ever occured to you that you would need a proof?

    I mean, what reason do you have for doubt?
     
  16. Aug 17, 2003 #15
    Re: The box is human made not the existance.

    Basically a smarter version of what ive been trying to say.
     
  17. Aug 17, 2003 #16
    Once again you cannot answer my question.. How can existence just already be there? The reason why you cannot answer this is because there are no answers. Its much like a trick question that you must answer correctly in order to prove your theory is true. The only possible answer i see is that a higher power or atleast a being that is able to create an existence such as this exists outside of ours.
     
  18. Aug 17, 2003 #17
    Doubting everything is why there are always great truths in science - and why they always are different from those before.
     
  19. Aug 17, 2003 #18

    FZ+

    User Avatar

    And yet you are at a loss to explain what gave this being existence itself. In fact, all you have acheived is the transferral of the property of spontaneous existence from the universe to the high power, from that which can be known to that which can never be known, from a potential for examination to a dead end.

    How can the existence already be there? How can it not already be there, when there are no laws, no reason to deny it's existence? See what worthless speculation about non-existence brings?


    Lrdmora: This is nebulous and wrong because a computer differs from us in crucial respects - it has a purpose, from a designer. To argue for the existence of a design, you must first establish a purpose, or meaning for it's existence. By this, you can then talk about errors, meanings, perfection. Without that, talk about the perfection of mankind is meaningless because there is nothing to judge by - no criteria for such discussion. To use that to say god exists, you must first assume that god exists in the first place, and that your sense of what is important is magically the same as his. Without that, your words are simply dust on the wind.

    Until you can say that mankind has a universally special element in it's existence, you cannot declare a purpose. Until you declare a purpose, you cannot find a design. Until you find a design, you cannot prove a designer. Until you prove a designer, you cannot say mankind has an universally special element in it's existence.

    That is the central fallacy of the design argument.

    You say you cannot believe it came about by chance? Don't you know what chance acheives? Have you see anything that came by chance? Like a snowflake? A storm? A flame? A bolt of electricity? A star?
     
  20. Aug 17, 2003 #19
    But this solves nothing at all;

    Some theists, observing that all "effects" need a cause, assert that God is a cause but not an effect. But no one has ever observed an uncaused cause and simply inventing one merely assumes what the argument wishes to prove.
    -- Dan Barker
     
  21. Aug 17, 2003 #20
    If we are the creation of a higher power what makes our creator have to exist by our existential rules? Whose to say that existence even applies to our creator? If you were to create a computer you would have to design certain rules for how it would operate(exist) but you would not have to operate by those same rules yourself. But how you choose to make your computer operate must be able to function using the general rules of physics. So we are not at a dead end by theorizing a higher power. The more we know about our physics the more we will know how our creator functions.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2003
  22. Aug 17, 2003 #21
    Does a computer know that it has a purpose? Just because you can't pin down your purpose doesn't mean that you don't have one. After all would you argue with me if I said that a star has a purpose? There are many things in science that we do not understand, but I have yet to her a scientist say that just because we don't understand it, it has no purpose. So I find your argument invalid, it would be more accurate to say that humans have not found their purpose.

    1. It does not take a rocket scientist to tell that someone with mental problems is not normal, so I do believe that there is something to judge by; the norm. Don't let yourself be so caught up with intellectual theory that you ignore the obvious. If someone came up to you on the street having hallucinations you wouldn't say that he could be normal because you don't have a "perfect human" to judge by.

    2. I don't recall ever saying that "God" exists, I said that I believe that we are designed. You can draw your own conclusions from there. And as far as "Magically" I have found many people who "Magically" believe in the Big Bang when no such proof exists. There are many theories that cannot be proven yet, but I do not emphatically believe that they are wrong. I take a step back and wait to see. (You seem to have a flair for words though, ". . .dust in the wind. . . etc.):wink:

    I think I can say that mankind has a universally special element; intelligence. The last time I checked we are the only ones around with self consciousness. When was the last time you saw a chance arguing about the existance of a higher power? The mere fact that you have the facalties of reason and free will proves this. I think that I have already taken care of your "Design" argument, is just isn't accurate.

    I will admit that there is a certain randomness in the universe, but your argument about a snowflake, etc., doesn't hold. There is a rigid structure behind electrical storms, (positive and negitive charges) and while the outcome (where lightning strikes) is random, the reasons behind the lightning are not. The same with stars, but nice try.

    I certainly enjoyed the discussion though, it is not good to be to rigid in thinking, the whole reason Einstien didn't discover the flaws in his theories was because he could not believe that "God plays dice with the universe".

    Remember that the more exotic the theory to explain something, the more areas there are for flaws. Common sense and simplicity are the cornerstones of good thinking.
     
  23. Aug 18, 2003 #22
    Isn't The Big Bang an uncaused cause? If the universe and or life came about spontaniously wouldn't that be an uncaused cause?

    How is your uncaused cause any more likly, scientific, logical or reasonable than the theistic uncaused cause.

    I refuse to allow any of you claim the theistic first cause is absurd while the materialistic first cause is perfectly reasonable. That statement in it's self is absurd and self contradictory. If one first or uncaused cause is absurd then they all are. Take your choice. They are all absurd or they are all reasonable. Either way they no longe have any point to make in any discussion of theism vs objectivism.
     
  24. Aug 18, 2003 #23

    FZ+

    User Avatar

    What makes you say our universe itself obeys existential rules? Why should existence be subject to the laws of existence itself? To use the computer analogy, why would you say that the hardware of the computer obeys the same laws as the software within it?

    I am not saying that to say a god exists in "wrong", by this idea, but it is no proof. It is simply a transferral of the assumption that something can exist without or intuiative laws from one entity to another.

    That is precisely true, and that's why you are wrong in trying to use this as a reason for the belief in god. What you are attempting to say is that A is true because you don't know if A is true or false. This is of course an incorrect argument. What you have acheive is a production of possibility - a self-consistent argument indeed, but one without that crucial link to what we know. You see, I did not say humans do not have a purpose - I said that we cannot know it. And hence the design argument fails to get started.

    You cannot begin an argument on the unknown, only recognise the indeterminacy. Do you see?

    But such a rocket scientist world be wrong. For the normal you speak of is not the same as perfection. If all the world's men were struck down with disease, then corpses would be the norm, but hardly perfection. If we keep a child in isolation all it's life, we would have one "pure" from influences, but also abnormal and imperfect. If we cast the range of our survey back fifty years, a hundred years, a millennia, we will not find a "norm" that people settle to, but a moving average that you can only find as you go along. Which is perfection?

    Perfection is a judgement on values, on what the observer holds dear. His child may, for example, be "perfect". But it does not make sense to talk of universal perfection, of few errors, if you have not established that an universal, known purpose exists.

    You miss the point. To say that a designer exists both presumes on the existence of God and implies the existence of God. What you said about the computer, and all, pivot precisely on this point. And I am saying that drawing anything from what is effective a circular argument is inconclusive. It is a consistent belief system, but only a belief system. (also, much proof does exist for the big bang, but thanks for the flattery.)

    ... Fallen into my carefully rigged trap, I see.

    What is intelligence? Can you prove that anyone other than yourself is intelligent? Can you prove to me that you are intelligent, and not an engine listing set statements? You cannot, except through the exhibition of communication. In reality, our sole concept of intelligence is that of a relative thing, of something behaving in a way that is similar to us. We do not consider the rest of animal kind intelligent because they don't look like us, and don't talk like us. This says nothing about that which is universally special, but of the egotistical element of the human brain, and the judgement of all others relative to itself.

    And free will? What free will?
    In each moment, you are constrained by both the hardware of your brain, and by the software of your memory only through which the past, and thus the present has meaning. Can you show any freedom in there, and make it truely different from say the freedom of an electron in it's charge cloud?

    When was the last time I saw chance arguing for a higher power? Probably when I read your post. :wink:

    It isn't? *Flexes QM fingers*

    The funny thing is, all of this, the storms, the snowflake, where does it come from? The Sun. More specifically, the fusion reactions inside it.

    If we measure the sun, we find an interesting fact - the particles in the Sun do not have ENOUGH ENERGY to fuse. If we plot the known potential well for it, it seems the sun should be dark, and we should be dead. The gap is in the thing called quantum tunnelling. At certain times, the particles have a probability to borrow energy that lets them fuse, or do whatever. And this process is entirely random. Not just unpredictable, but utterly acausal and random (Royce, does that make hydrogen god? :wink:) So we come to the conclusion that the driving force behind the entire universe is random action! And that includes the weather, stars, and petty things like brains.

    But there's more. Do you know about chaos theory? Chaos theory says that the actual structure of the universe, though determinist, shows precisely the element of ordered randomness that we call chance. By chaotic rules, order is something that naturally comes out of chaos, and chaos is something that derives from order. And this takes me to the classic example, the electrical storm. Though the forces on the storm are, effectively random, and you can never predict for any length of time the behaviour of the storm, we notice that still it follows trends. This is because the chaos still follows laws, and the randomness still puts itself into the same quality of behaviour. Even though your inputs are almost completely random, you can tell what a lightning bolt would effectively be shaped like a lightning bolt.
    What makes these electrical storms interesting is that they in fact form a close analogy of the flow of ions and currents in the human brain. Order from chaos.

    That is the real way randomness acts in the real world - a combination of absolute randomness from Quantum Uncertainty, and the determinist chaos that creates.. well... everything.

    If your perceive chance as something that only destroys, that cannot create new ordered system, then very little of such chance exists. You don't actually know what chance is.

    Einstein's God was Spinoza's god. A god that is simply a manifestation of his belief in the inherent order and sensibleness of the universe. His real mistake was to believe that common sense and simplicity are good foundations for thinking, instead of realising that the only foundations are what we can see. He did not realise how the dice do exist, but are more beautiful than he imagined.


    Never underestimate "chance".

    Royce:
    Yes, but that is not god.


    EDIT: Wow... what a long post...

    It is highly recommended NOT to quote it when replying.
     
  25. Aug 18, 2003 #24
    Good!

    You've brought a smile to my face and made me crack up! (especialy that bit about common sense and simplicity) I am being serious not sarcastic! Give me a while and I will reply.



    By the way don't mistake conjecture for proof! There was plenty of proof that the earth was flat too!
     
  26. Aug 18, 2003 #25
    Not the one I attended. It followed a lot of heavy drinking and pill swallowing.
    It doesn’t jump to an assumption involving god, let alone all the rest that follows when people start thinking in those terms.
    I haven’t made that claim this week nor do I pretend to know what caused this existence. You, however, have made the claim that God is a spiritual being…
    So, you not only know there is a God, but you even know what kind of an entity it is. What is more absurd, really, my admission of ignorance or what you have claimed?
    I think some are clearly more absurd than others, but if you’re willing to agree with me that they are all absurd would you agree to never utter the word ‘god’ again?

    I don’t believe you will.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 18, 2003
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook