What would be proof that God exists?

  • Thread starter Laser Eyes
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BoulderHead

It is pointless to complain about people having their minds made up.
What I take from Windy’s post is that the first order of course for any ‘proof’ involves god making an appearance of some kind (and no, some hand-me-down story isn’t enough, nor is it enough for my neighbor to claim that he/she knows a person who knows a person who saw god). The three wishes part is to help insure the visitation isn’t just a hallucination. Any reasonable person could still find grounds for skepticism even if these conditions were met (such as what Zero touched on), but hey, I think all would have to admit that something significant took place right before their eyes. But what are the odds of that?
I don’t think it would be too great a feat for a loving god to make his existence known without all the ‘faith’ business needing to be invoked.
 
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Originally posted by Laser Eyes
It's also kind of difficult to prove the existence of something to someone who has made up their mind that it doesn't exist.
Why is it that you need to believe that atheists have closed their minds to belief in god(s). I, for one, just see no unambiguous evidence to support it.

That does bring up the question that which god should atheists believe in?

What is there that you can show me, that gives Christianity a slight lead in the balance of evidence, over say the ancient Greek theology? Why is the idea of Zeus less credible than Jehovah? Only the fact that more people believe in him - hardly an answer, given most people believed the earth was flat at one time.

Many here have talked about a personal experience of god. I won't contradict that you had a powerful and spiritual experience, or even that it was with god. I do question the interpretation of that experience. What criteria do you use to determine that it was, in fact, god? What was the criteria used to determine that it was the god is of your religious beliefs (say vs a god that is understanding enough to love you even though he knows you're seriously mistaken)?
I didn't have your experience, I cannot judge it. However, given I didn't have your experience, don't expect me to accept it as evidence.

I do find it somewhat amazing that many, of the Christian faith (and other faiths as well, no reason to narrow the argument), assume all of their experiences support a god as described in the bible (or whatever their exact beliefs), yet dismiss the experiences of the Muslims, Jews, Hindu, and other faiths that have (as described) similar powerful and highly spiritual experiences.
 
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Originally posted by Windy
What makes your Xian idiot god "good" and Isis "bad"?
Why, because it says so in the Bible. [tongue held firmly in cheek]

I would say that proof is perhaps, more than would be needed. I don't know about you, but many things I accept as highly probable, haven't been proven.

Some good, unambiguous evidence would be nice.
 
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Originally posted by Laser Eyes
It's also kind of difficult to prove the existence of something to someone who has made up their mind that it doesn't exist.
No, it only indicates that the "thing" to be proved does not even exists independend, outside and apart from the mind.

If one does not believe the sun exists, one can provide objective evidence that the sun exists. This holds for every real thing that exists.

But in the case of God, no such evidence has ever been given.

This is an indication that God does not exist in a form which exists objectively.

It has no stance to argue that to belief in something is proof in itself. It is only proof that one can direct one's mind into absurd ways, but provides no proof in any objective sense.

Why does one have to belief in something, if that something can be known objectively? A belief is only necessary, if no such proof exists, because the thing itself does not exist in an objective way.

So the belief in something, just indicates that it might very well be the case that the thing believed in, has no objective existence at all.

If God would exist in an objective way, knowable to everyone, no-one would belief in God, but everybody would know that God exists.
 
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megashawn

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Are you referring to me here? I would just go about my own business and not worry about it. If it happens it happens. It's not the most popular position to find yourself in anyway, because then you'll find yourself stuck in the position where you're trying to explain yourself to those who won't believe you outright, like on this forum here or, trying to explain yourself to those who say they believe, but have no grounds on which to accept it, like the people who go to church. So as a rule most people won't accept it or understand it, and you're the one stuck between a rock and a hard place.

See thats just it. I've nothing to explain. I have a simple answer to any "Do you go to church or Do you believe in god/allah/jesus/buddha/zeus/santa?" I don't know.

People do take such a response odd, especially the ones who've been duped into believing in some form of superior being most there life, when you say I don't know. Responses like "How could you not know, the proof is everywhere" merely make me sick.

I discuss this here, because here one can actually make a point (or atleast attempt it) without being cutoff. I mean, have you ever tried having a debate in person about religous matters? It just does not work. It almost always degrades into a shouting match, and nothing is accomplished. Atleast here we can explain our ideas, or critic others, and hopefully build upon this. I know I've certainly changed my perspective since first coming to PF. I can thank both theists and atheists, simply for being able to get there ideas out there in a clean manner.

Frankly, in real life, if a person wants to know my perspective, and doesn't like it, to damn bad. I don't live to impress others, but more so just to live.
 

Phobos

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Originally posted by Laser Eyes
I would like all those atheists or agnostics out there to state precisely what they would regard as satisfactory proof to them that God exists.
I think such a supernatural being, who obviously does not choose to offer absolute evidence to everyone, is beyond absolute proof using the available physical evidence of the world. The workings of the universe are well explained with the laws of physics, etc. and do not change from moment to moment based on divine whims. There are many mysteries left in the universe, but no obvious evidences of the Hand of God.

Certainly, unambigious/unequivocal evidence of a miracle (something that breaks the laws of physics) would make one sit up and take notice, but even that would have uncertainties (e.g., did I see/understand that event correctly?).

So, on that level, I must consider how much faith I can invest. for anyone, "satisfactory" evidence would probably be relative to their degree of faith (the more faith you have, the less evidence you require to substantiate it) and exploration of the evidence (the more you learn, the more you must consider).

For a personal feeling of absolute certainty, I probably would need, as Iacchus32 said, for God to reveal Himself to me. Without that, a leap of faith is required. And that seems to be a real roller coaster ride.

Question: Would God reveal Himself before the leap of faith is made?
 
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Originally posted by Laser Eyes
I would like all those atheists or agnostics out there to state precisely what they would regard as satisfactory proof to them that God exists.
Laser, I didn't notice this, from your post, at first. Agnostics don't believe that proof of god (or disproof of god) is possible.

Agnostic doesn't mean you haven't made up your mind (although that is how it's generally used). It was coined by a professor by the name T. H. Huxley, who defined it as someone that didn't have a belief in god's existence (theism) or non-existence(strong atheism), and didn't believe that proof or disproof of god(s) was possible.

An atheist is one who has no belief in god(s). An atheist can believe there is no god (strong atheism) or can have no belief in a god (weak atheism). By definition (Huxley's), agnostics are weak atheists, but weak atheists may or may not be agnostics.
 
Argument For Intelligent Design 4th Rough Draft

This is an interpretation of Chris Langan's CTMU, www.ctmu.org , and Saint Anslem's ontological argument.


1.] If it is possible for a mind to perfectly understand[model] every aspect and detail of reality, then the mind that perfectly models reality is a super-intelligence, for all intents and purposes, the super-intelligence is God.

2.]If the perfect correspondence can be approached via a convergent analytic-synthetic propositional "limit", then the limit exists, even though a sentient mind within reality can only approach the limit.

3.] If the limit exists, the exact mental correspondence exists in the mind of a super-intelligence.

4.] That is to say, if the limit exists then a description exists.

5.] If the description exists then the "describer" exists, since the description is isomorphic.

6.]The describer is a super-intelligence.

7.] By definition, the super-intelligence is God.


Russell E. Rierson

analog57@peoplepc.com
 
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Argument against intelligent design

In response to the above post:

Apply the same rules to the super-intelligent entity substituting, referred to as god, substituting 'god' for reality.

Recurse as needed.
 
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I love this question of proof becuase both sides dont have anything, well "nonbeilvers" have perfect symetry but then "beilvers" parry that with god did it. No one's mind is willing to be open to the other sides opinions because neither side has hard proof.
You cant go on 2000 + year old facts from superstious people who had little understanding of the world compared to what we have to day. The truth is this can be debated and argued for all our lives until we die at which point we will find out who, if anyone, is right (but the atheist cant rub it in your face becuase their non-existent).

Yea so proof for me would be god comeing down from heaven and saying this "Yo dude i exist so go on with your life and perhaps worship me for a while, but dont go crazy like those bible carrying hics".
 
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Originally posted by The Grimmus
I love this question of proof becuase both sides dont have anything, well "nonbeilvers" have perfect symetry but then "beilvers" parry that with god did it. No one's mind is willing to be open to the other sides opinions because neither side has hard proof.
You cant go on 2000 + year old facts from superstious people who had little understanding of the world compared to what we have to day. The truth is this can be debated and argued for all our lives until we die at which point we will find out who, if anyone, is right (but the atheist cant rub it in your face becuase their non-existent).

Yea so proof for me would be god comeing down from heaven and saying this "Yo dude i exist so go on with your life and perhaps worship me for a while, but dont go crazy like those bible carrying hics".
But when it comes down to it, how many things do you have proof for?

I accept that the big bang scenerio makes the most sense, given the facts we know, but this would hardly be proof.

To me, most of us operate based on fairly limited evidence and almost zero proof. For me, the greater the effort in some task, the greater the need for evidence to support the rational expenditure of that effort.

While the moon landing could, as a miniscule possibility, have been a grand hoax, I expend little energy by accepting it as having occurred.

Science, on many, many occasions, has allowed me to show myself that the things presented were indeed repeatable - so I tend to have a basis to trust the assertions that come from the scientific community.

I work for my employer, because I have good experiential evidence that they will continue to sign my paycheck.

Basic Christianity, however, is something for which I personally have no evidence to support an expenditure of effort. If others have had profound experiences, then they have what they percieve as evidence for the expenditure of effort needed to conform to the practices of whatever Christian sect they believe.

I believe this is where the symmetry between believers and non-believers breaks, excluding those who have had spiritual experiences which constitute personal evidence.
 
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Undeniable logic. That's a perfect proof. I can't give a specific example because that would be proving it myself (hehe), but you know what I mean. A set of uncontestable axioms upon which is built a proof leading inescapably to the existence of god. That is what I would accept as proof. Have it?
 
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Originally posted by Sikz
Undeniable logic. That's a perfect proof. I can't give a specific example because that would be proving it myself (hehe), but you know what I mean. A set of uncontestable axioms upon which is built a proof leading inescapably to the existence of god. That is what I would accept as proof. Have it?
With that criteria, I don't think that I could prove to myself that I exist.

Your requirements are your own, mine are much, much less stringent.

At least some moderately unambiguous evidence would be a start. Even that seems to have eluded those who've tried to convince me.
 
I think it there is evidence for God’s existence because Christianity is different from how man would choose to make religion:

1) It is a relationship instead of a religion
2) Based on asking forgiveness instead of working to be saved
3) Where we must admit that we are wrong and need help
4) Where the things that are called admirable are against our desires (monogamy, with one wife, humbleness, etc.)

It is good evidence for the God of Christianity, the all-powerful and personal creator God of the universe, that Christianity is the only world religion where salvation comes from what God has already done, instead of working for it.

It is good evidence that Judeo-Christian religions are the only ones that have writings that say they are God’s words instead of reflections of man about God.

It is good evidence that the description of the world given in the Bible fits with the world I see. It explains that good and evil exist, as well as why they do. It says that people are very important and matter, and gives a reason for why we do.

It is good evidence that Rome was really afraid of Christianity to the point of rounding up the leaders of Christianity in the coliseum so that they would renounce their faith, but that Rome never did the one thing that would have stopped the movement in its tracks; display Jesus’ dead body so that the nonsense about resurrection would stop.

It is good evidence that 10 people who had lived with Jesus while alive, and those men plus Paul who had seen Him resurrected all died for their belief. They were executed because they would not renounce the fact that they had seen Jesus resurrected, even though if they did say it they would have gone free. It also speaks highly of them that they had nothing to gain by holding to Christ. For their belief in life they were persecuted, beaten, shipwrecked, loathed, imprisoned, made poor, etc…they weren’t getting fame and fortune for their ideas.

It is good evidence that the Bible says God is the only being who knows the future, and that he will validate His authority with predictive prophecy. A good example: Jesus’ birthplace, name, parents, lineage, ministry, manner of death, and death date were all predicted more than 500 years before he was born. We know for certain that the prediction was 170 years before he was born because portions of Daniel and Isaiah were found in the Dead Sea Scrolls that contain some of these prophecies. The prophecies are not vague like those of Nostradamus, but specific and detailed to the point that many people contend they are fabricated. Furthermore, the story couldn’t have been changed later so that it fit the old writings because many of the sources we use for dates, etc. are from outside of the Bible – They come from the Jewish historian Josephus, from Roman records and letters between tetrarchs, from Egyptian documents. To be able to write the Gospels so that they fit the “myth,’ you would have to be able to look into the future and see what historical documents we would use today when examining the issue.
It is good evidence that extra-biblical sources like historians (Josephus) and documents from other Middle Eastern cultures, as well as archaeology support the events described in the Bible as being accurate.

Etc

Etc

But as someone said earlier, there is no 100% proof of God. If there was that kind of proof, we wouldn’t have the free will to reject God if we wished. We must come to Him in faith (= trust) of the facts we do have and what we know about God and say, “God, I don’t know if you are there or not, but I would like to find out. If you exist, prove it to me.” He promises to answer those honest questions in the Bible, and he answered it in my life. These are Jesus’ words in Luke 11:

“"So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 "For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened.”

If you are interested in this stuff start doing research and I think you will see there is more evidence, detail, and sense in Christianity and God than you think. A good place to start is “The Case for Christ” by Lee Strobel. He was an atheist Harvard Law graduate who went out to prove that Jesus wasn’t real/wasn’t who he said he was and in his search decided to believe in God.
 

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I don't want to sink too far into this, but...

1) It is a relationship instead of a religion
This is true only recently. Through the medieval golden age of christianity, the idea of a relationship with God was heresy. And I don't see how this is evidence - after all, relationships are one component of the egocentric world of man.

2) Based on asking forgiveness instead of working to be saved
This depends very much on your sect, I suppose. But again, I don't see this as evidence - rival religions would point to this as the laziness of christianity, perhaps.

3) Where we must admit that we are wrong and need help
Try getting a fundamentalist to back down.

4) Where the things that are called admirable are against our desires (monogamy, with one wife, humbleness, etc.)
Do you really desire polygamy? Really? (Of course, this again isn't evidence, just a sign of religion holding to what is evolutionarily favourable. The real question is why we should desire polygamy, when it is unfavourable....)

It is good evidence for the God of Christianity, the all-powerful and personal creator God of the universe, that Christianity is the only world religion where salvation comes from what God has already done, instead of working for it.
Nah, that's just marxism.

It is good evidence that Judeo-Christian religions are the only ones that have writings that say they are God’s words instead of reflections of man about God.
I'd like to point you to the work of akhenaten, one of the guys who proclaimed himself god. Or the eastern religions, who declared mankind to be a part of god. Again, I fail to see how this is evidence of anything but human (perhaps well-deserved, perhaps not) arrogance.

It is good evidence that the description of the world given in the Bible fits with the world I see. It explains that good and evil exist, as well as why they do. It says that people are very important and matter, and gives a reason for why we do.
Folks, it's time for a major contradiction...

Before, you praised christianity for not following the appearances of nature. Here, you praise christianity for following the appearances of nature. Can christianity do wrong? If the bible, for example, were crazy enough to ramble about some visions of edible scrolls and so on, you would put it as evidence of god due to its originality, and if you wastes time on all too human things like incest and slavery, you would put it as evidence of god due to its mundanity.

It is good evidence that Rome was really afraid of Christianity to the point of rounding up the leaders of Christianity in the coliseum so that they would renounce their faith, but that Rome never did the one thing that would have stopped the movement in its tracks; display Jesus’ dead body so that the nonsense about resurrection would stop.
Convenient fact 367(a) - no one knows what Jesus looked like. Hence, it would be impossible for the romans to claim a corpse as being that of Jesus, and such attempts would hardly be included in scripture.

It also speaks highly of them that they had nothing to gain by holding to Christ.
Except fringe benefits like an eternity in paradise. Never underestimate the strength of irrational belief. Patients believing in "alternative treatments" have killed themselves by rejecting medical treatment. Heaven's Gates have killed themselves in their hundreds due to their beliefs. Native American civilisations have once practised human sacrifice, and often the victims are willing. Suicide bombers fill the news. None of this for an instant is considered as real evidence.

We know for certain that the prediction was 170 years before he was born because portions of Daniel and Isaiah were found in the Dead Sea Scrolls that contain some of these prophecies.
The dead sea scrolls were compiled long after Jesus' death, as did the bible in the forms we see today. The gospel was made by rejecting hundreds of contradictory works and accounts, and were probably not independent accounts. The unity of the bible is because the book was compiled to be unified, and the Jews, significantly, still reject Jesus' role as messiah.

And of course, the presence of nuggets of truth does not validate the whole book.
 
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To all, religion does not promote an all powerful god which dominates over us. This is a misunderstanding, and is propagated by those who do not understand. They have the ability, but they are not using it for that purpose. There is a god, for I have seen god. When I say seen, it is the context of an experience which is the god of which I am part of in relative form. It is not a play on words, I am qualifying them as not to make your idea of the word seen the viewing of relative object in the past tense, but to show it's potential of expression with past people or religions. It is the god of all gods for there is only one god, one enlightenment, satori, meaning of life great spirit. I cannot break down your walls, nor can anyone else, you must. Too much candy. The world has you hooked. Disconnect yourself from the world and find the world. It is the only way.
 
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This topic was started as a search for evidence. I listed out things which I think are evidence. Does this mean that any one of them by itself is 100% proof? No. Are all of them 100% proof, also no.

The first list of 4 qualifications I gave about Christianity were things that I think make it distinct from the way people choose to do things when left to their own devises. There is not another religion or philosophy in the world that believes people can't work to improve their state, or to make things ultimately better, or to gain righteousness through doing work.

Now at the same time, because something is inconsistent with man's ideas, does not mean that it is ill-fitting to the world. Christianity explains why things are the way they are. Many ideas that men have about the same issues are ludicrous, don't make sense, or have no connection with anything physically measurable or know historical fact. Do I agree with the Enuma Elish that the world was made from the hacked up body of a goddess? Do I agree with the determinist who says that thought is only the result of chemical reaction to stimuli, when this implies that there is no free choice, and no importance to people or life at all? Do I agree with Mormons who’s claim to history of both Israel and the Americas is completely unsupported by archaeological evidence? The answer is no for all of them.

I don’t care about what medieval Christianity said or did. I want to go to the source and find out what the truth is, instead of getting someone else’s synopsis of it. That’s why I enjoy reading the Bible. Jesus prays to God asking that he would have the same kind of relationship to people as he had with God himself:

John 17:20-24 “"I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; 21 that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.
22 "The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; 23 I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.
24 "Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.”

This sounds like a relationship to me. Certainly older than medieval times.

The primary wrong that needs to be admitted is our need for God in our lives, and how our efforts to be our own God have failed. If we wrong other people, we should admit that wrong as well because we don’t have to be concerned with saving face. Christians should be willing to admit that they were in the past, and continue to be, sinful. However, I don’t need to admit wrong to you for telling you the truth in a loving (kind) way. It may be hard for you to hear, but is more loving for me to tell you the truth than to let you go without having ever heard it, and then being eternally separated from God.

How is polygamy unfavorable? Chimps do it all of the time. But to make it more poignant, perhaps I should have picked a more culturally relevant topic like wealth. The Bible says that striving to be rich is worthless, and is against God’s desire for us to care about the needs of others. This certainly contrasts with the view of mainstream America.

I don’t think Marxism has anything to do with my earlier comment, can you elucidate? Weren’t the Marxist supposed to take control of the means of production through revolt? How does this compare with God rescuing us from a predicament we can do nothing about ourselves?

It is arrogant for someone to proclaim to be God, unless it is true. What I was trying to point out is that for example: the writings of Hinduism are revelations men have had about God. Buddha wrote about being enlightened but did not claim to be God. The Enuma Elish claims to describe how the world was created, but not to be from God. The list goes on.

Immediately after the resurrection, Jesus appeared to approximately 2000 people. They had all been really upset because the person they hoped would liberate them from Rome had died. But now he was back, and they went crazy. They began telling everyone they had seen Jesus alive. Now Pilate and the Pharisees were already upset by the following this guy had who claimed he was a king. Wouldn’t it then make sense to go to the tomb, pull out the body of Jesus, and show it to the people who had seen him alive just 3 days before, and some of whom had lived with him for 3 years? Of course they knew what he looked like! It was the big news of the day.

You are right about the possible reasons for holding out to death. It could also be that they were relying in faith about the afterlife mistakenly, or that they were insane. Definitely it shows commitment, that they believed it was true. The writings that we have from the apostles don’t indicate they are crazy – they are very beautifully written, logical, and consistent. I’d say this rules out insanity. I do however think it is surprising that they were faced with the direct choice of life or death, simply by speaking a few words that they wouldn’t even need necessarily believe. They could lie and say they hadn’t see Jesus, and spare their life. If they were in fact sane men, it is pretty striking evidence for me.

Where do you get your evidence about the date of compilation of the Dead Sea Scrolls? Archaelogists and linguists have agreed on their production in the 175-200 B.C. range. Where is your source to say otherwise?

Even if writings about Jesus were compiled, it would mean that both Christians had widespread power and control of other cultures (in order to adjust history in extra-biblical documents) and that they would be able to see 2000 years into the future to find out what sources would exist today, so that they could change those other works to be consistent to what they had “compiled.” Roman tetrarchs and Jewish historians record his death at the hands of Pilate, the Egyptians record the census, Jewish documents reveal when the construction of the temple began, and the list continues. How would any group of writers be able to accomplish this grand scheme to fool us 2000 years later, and moreover, why would the care?

So I say that the evidence I laid out before as being viable. You can choose to think of it as you wish.

I have an interesting counter-question for the forum. What evidence can you show for God not existing?
 

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Now at the same time, because something is inconsistent with man's ideas, does not mean that it is ill-fitting to the world. Christianity explains why things are the way they are. Many ideas that men have about the same issues are ludicrous, don't make sense, or have no connection with anything physically measurable or know historical fact.
Our vision of the world comes from man's ideas. And at its root, the examples I gave show that religion is what people do when left to their own devices - if such a case was possible. Do you agree with the fundamentalist who talks about the universe appearing in 7 days? Religions are only the sum of its believers.

The primary wrong that needs to be admitted is our need for God in our lives, and how our efforts to be our own God have failed. If we wrong other people, we should admit that wrong as well because we don’t have to be concerned with saving face.
No, cynical as it is, people only admit the wrongs that are convenient. The point I am making is that there is an alternative explanation for all the strangeness of religion, deriving from their long and drawn out histories and evolving nature through history, and the fact that while you talk about christianity as going counter to human ideas, the fact that there are christians indicates that in some way, christianity is very much an idea that people, currently, can find favourable.

How is polygamy unfavorable? Chimps do it all of the time. But to make it more poignant, perhaps I should have picked a more culturally relevant topic like wealth. The Bible says that striving to be rich is worthless, and is against God’s desire for us to care about the needs of others. This certainly contrasts with the view of mainstream America.
People aren't chimps, are they? People live in a situation where the stability of a long term relationship is evolutionarily favourable for survival, such as child rearing. The same can be seen in similar relationships, such as those of birds.

Rich, sure, it is an ideal. But does anyone actually follow it? The vatican hoards artwork. Churches have tax exemption. And consider the environment where christianity emerged - the early christians were a persecuted cult, the underclass of civilisation, a situation where wealth sharing is directly favourable. Christ gets a favourable reception, because he is pleading for power and wealth redistribution and equality before a final judge, as Marx would do centuries later. And like Marx, it was corrupted for a while by the realities of the world, and now, with that happily cloaked by time, we can recover it and wipe away all that ugly blood and death. The point being, again, there is an alternative reason that history and evidence bears out.

I don’t think Marxism has anything to do with my earlier comment, can you elucidate? Weren’t the Marxist supposed to take control of the means of production through revolt? How does this compare with God rescuing us from a predicament we can do nothing about ourselves?
You misunderstand Marx, then. Marx did not base himself on the need for revolt. Marx prophetised that the future of society lies in a communist state, where ownership is based on need, and production based on capabilities. Marx spoke of a (now apparently mythical) society where all are equal, classes are erased, and greed and want and individual peculiarities are taken out of the equation. By simply being human, and being part of society, you get what you want. Which is, in many ways, a repeat of socialist christianity.

It is arrogant for someone to proclaim to be God, unless it is true. What I was trying to point out is that for example: the writings of Hinduism are revelations men have had about God. Buddha wrote about being enlightened but did not claim to be God. The Enuma Elish claims to describe how the world was created, but not to be from God. The list goes on.
Buddha said that we are all part of God, or the ultimate reality. Furthermore, the gospels were written by men, not gods. And I still don't see what any of this means.

Immediately after the resurrection, Jesus appeared to approximately 2000 people. They had all been really upset because the person they hoped would liberate them from Rome had died. But now he was back, and they went crazy. They began telling everyone they had seen Jesus alive. Now Pilate and the Pharisees were already upset by the following this guy had who claimed he was a king. Wouldn’t it then make sense to go to the tomb, pull out the body of Jesus, and show it to the people who had seen him alive just 3 days before, and some of whom had lived with him for 3 years? Of course they knew what he looked like! It was the big news of the day.
Says who? The gospels were all written at least 200 years after the event. The gospels themselves are contradictory in this account. Matthew has the convenient anecdote of guards being told to tell the governor that the corpse was stolen. The romans, also conveniently, had no account of this big news.

The writings that we have from the apostles don’t indicate they are crazy – they are very beautifully written, logical, and consistent.
Who said the suicide bombers and so on were insane? Can you prove it? Very, very normal people believed in things that made them kill and die. Palestine is not a hotbed of mental illness, but a place where people believe in terrible things. Hitler was a beautiful speaker. The serpent is subtle indeed.

Where do you get your evidence about the date of compilation of the Dead Sea Scrolls? Archaelogists and linguists have agreed on their production in the 175-200 B.C. range. Where is your source to say otherwise?
http://www.gnosis.org/library/dss/dss.htm

The dead sea scrolls consisted of a variety of material, some before and some after. The gospels in which you talk of the fulfillment of the prophecy were written long after, with good access to the original predictions. Can you point out these specific and detailed predictions?

Roman tetrarchs and Jewish historians record his death at the hands of Pilate, the Egyptians record the census, Jewish documents reveal when the construction of the temple began, and the list continues. How would any group of writers be able to accomplish this grand scheme to fool us 2000 years later, and moreover, why would the care?
What roman records of Jesus? Are there any that are truly credible?

http://pages.ca.inter.net/~oblio/rfset17.htm [Broken]

As far as a Roman record of the crucifixion, there is no evidence that there was any such thing. Some would like to claim that Tacitus' reference to Jesus as a man crucified by Pilate indicates such a record, but Tacitus' information could as easily have come from Christian hearsay of the time (around 115 CE). A scholar such as Norman Perrin (The New Testament, An Introduction, p.405) admits that his information probably came from police interrogation of Christians.

Later in the 2nd century, there appeared several gross forgeries on the subject, including letters or reports from Pilate to the emperor Tiberius, in which Pilate describes Jesus' career and crucifixion and acknowledges the validity of Christian faith, including the resurrection. (See Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol.VIII, p. 459f.) No one today, and certainly not a scholar of Crossan's caliber, takes these naïve inventions as authentic.
I have an interesting counter-question for the forum. What evidence can you show for God not existing?
I never said God does not exist. I would say that there is no reason, and no usefulness is believing that God does, and on the balance of probability, any specific god almost certainly does not exist because we can use as counter-evidence the infinitude of 'evidence' for an infinitude of other gods. That belief in gods are usually counter productive. It is a common strawman to ask an atheist to disprove God's existence, because atheists do not believe in god's non-existence.
 
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?Our vision of the world comes from man's ideas. And at its root, the examples I gave show that religion is what people do when left to their own devices - if such a case was possible. Do you agree with the fundamentalist who talks about the universe appearing in 7 days? Religions are only the sum of its believers.?

I admit I have gotten a little lost in the conversation, what examples are you talking about here?

I don?t know exactly what to think about the Genesis account of creation. There are several things to consider. 1) The Bible is an account of God?s interaction with man, not a science book. This does not mean that what it says shouldn?t be accurate?just that if it doesn?t elaborate on some natural phenomena it shouldn?t be immediately spurned, because it wasn?t written for that purpose. 2) The Hebrews wrote things differently than we did. They cared much less about chronology than the commonality of events. Thee Genesis 1 account may have occurred in different order than it is explained, but was grouped in a way to show relationships between the specific things created. 3) There are several literary cues used in the Old Testament when the word ?day? means a) a period of indeterminate time, or b) a 24-hour day. I have heard different arguments about whether those cues exists for Gen. 1.

However, coming to science. If I remember correctly the current view is that the majority of the universe was formed in 50 microseconds? With some thousands or millions of years to form planets. But that view is different from what was posited just 25 years ago, and I?m sure it will be different again 25 years hence. Where is the boundary of discovery where you finally say in science, ?aha, this is it,? and never change the idea if you get contrary evidence in the future. Standing on science and saying that, ?this contradicts what the Bible says? can be a shaky argument unless the Bible is violating the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Then you would have a real issue with the Bible.

The fact that there are Christians could indicate that obviously it is not contrary to human invention; however, why is Christianity the only one that says that you shouldn?t DO anything to be right with God, gods, deity, whatever, but that you should just ask for forgiveness? There are 1000s of religions, 100s of philosophies; and every one of them besides Christianity says that you have to do work to be religious/spiritual. If you don?t do the work, then you are not spiritual. Why is Christianity the only one that is different?

Science would make out that people ARE just overgrown chimps. Muslims are spreading throughout the world right now, and they think that having more than one wife is just peachy. It seems to be evolutionarily favorable if they are gaining in % total population. You have just made a logical error in your argument. You can?t tell me that chimps are a bad example for human relationships because they aren?t people, and then use birds to support the opposite hypothesis.

I agree 100% with your analysis of riches. If everyone is doing it (trying to get rich), and seems to enjoy it, why would people hold it out there as a model for living to not attempt to get rich?

120 A.D. is not 200 years after 33 A.D. You can check out the dates for Greek NT scrolls yourself. What contradictions are in the Gospels? Tell me so that we can talk about them.

The craziness I?m talking about is literal legal insanity. Some people would argue that the disciples were insane, and that is why they would choose to die when they could have gone free. But people that are literally crazy cannot form the consistent thoughts that appear in the writings of the NT. A psychiatrist would not declare them to be mentally ill. However, the delusions of grandeur of Hitler, that may be a different story.

That was a nicely organized website, but little actual meat. It doesn?t show that Daniel or Isaiah appear after Christ?s death at all. In fact typographically (how they date this stuff, because carbon dating is not very accurate +/- 500 years) these documents are from 175 ? 200 B.C. I don?t have my source off hand, but give me the weekend and possibly next week to find my notes.

I won?t go into stringent detail this morning, but I will be more specific in a later post (I have things to do today!). One of the really compelling arguments is from a prophecy of Daniel.

Daniel 9:24-26 ?24 "Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy place. 25 "So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress. 26 "Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined.?

Now earlier in Daniel he talks about why Israel had been enslaved in Babylon, and it was because they had disobeyed the Sabbath of Years. This Sabbath of Years said that they were supposed to let the fields go fallow every seventh year to let them rest, and depend on God for that year to provide them with the food they needed. But the Israelites did not follow this command and so were cast into exile for 70 times 7 (years). So with this context, we know that Daniel is still using sevens to refer to years.

Anyways, I will explain more later. But this prediction is of when the Messiah will die ?be cut off (from the living),? but was made more than 500 years before the event. This part of Daniel appears in the DSS, and has been typographically dated to 175-200 B.C.


Agnostics are those who believe that God cannot be proven to exist or not exist. Athiests believe he doesn?t. If you can?t prove God?s non-existence, then you might not want to be so quick to judge on Christianity without looking at some more facts. Its an important issue. If you believe that God can?t be proven or disproven, you may want to check out some arguments to see if that is really true, instead of just a lazy response to scary issues.

Have a good weekend!
 
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I would start believing if the rules of nature would be broken to benefit mankind.

...or actually broken for any Godlike reason.
 
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Would you really believe if they were, or would you chalk it up to some new phenomena and explain it away? (I am honestly asking)

I think God has already gone far beyond he could be expected to benefit mankind. See my post #101 on https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?p=183172#post183172.

God went so far for mankind that the angels were surprised at God's goodness:

1 Pet 1:10-12 "10Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, 11trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. 12It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things."
 
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ProtractedSilence said:
Would you really believe if they were, or would you chalk it up to some new phenomena and explain it away? (I am honestly asking)
I believe the rules of nature are unchangeable. The thing is though that we haven't found the whole set of rules yet and maybe we are wrong about some of them.

So if there was some new phenomena we would ofcourse question the rules of nature we found, but I was really talking about miracles. There's no way we would even try to explain the ocean standing as a wall, because otherwise it would flood a whole community, because a dyke broke down. If God ever did benefit mankind then he didn't ever do it this obvious.
 
Lorentz,

I think we can read about how God has done some of the type of miracles I think you are looking for throughout the Bible. The ten plagues in Egypt, the parting of the Red Sea, the pillar of fire, burning bush, water from the rock, parting of the Jordan. What kinds of things were predicted and actually happened when Christ was around? sick healed, lame walk, blind receive sight, dead brought back to life, large crowds fed with almost no food, walking on water.

The Pharisees also demanded a sign from Jesus and this is what he told them:

Matthew 12:8-42 ?Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Him, "Teacher, we want to see a sign from You." 39 But He answered and said to them, "An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign; and yet no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet; 40 for just as JONAH WAS THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS IN THE BELLY OF THE SEA MONSTER, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41 "The men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation at the judgment, and will condemn it because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, something greater than Jonah is here. 42 "The Queen of the South will rise up with this generation at the judgment and will condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.?

The point being that the Jews who demanded a sign of Christ's authority would have it in the form of history and that Gentiles would be converted and saved before the Jews.

A while later in Jesus? ministry, in Mark, we can read about Jesus healing a man in front of the Pharisees eyes. The response of the Pharisees to this miracle, this sign, is that they immediately begin plotting to kill Jesus. Even when they got the miracle they asked for, they did not believe. These people asked for a sign with the wrong motives, and so they did not get it.

I think that apply this today we can see a possible connection. People in this country have become very enamored with the sciences (which is not a bad thing). But as I said earlier, I think that if God did perform one of these miraculous physical signs, most people would respond not by praising God, but by attempting to figure out what scientific phenomena caused it. I think that most of the miracles that can be seen today in this country are in personal change, relationships, etc, because people can?t explain away these changes with science as easily. They are more willing to accept the possibility that God was involved.
 

FZ+

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Agnostics are those who believe that God cannot be proven to exist or not exist. Athiests believe he doesn?t.
Sigh.

Atheists *say* that atheism is the lack of belief in God, not the belief of the lack of God. This is backed up by dictionaries. Would you not feel that atheists have a better idea than theists as to what atheism means?

Agnosticism is not a matter of belief in God, or not. (gnos = to know. agnos = do not know) Agnostics believe in the impossibility of objective judgement. They believe that you can never tell whether God really exists or not, and that it is a matter of faith. You can be agnostic and still be theist, or atheist.

I have looked at the arguments - and quite possible more than you have. Ultimately, all arguments for or against God are either illogical, or simply circular.
 
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regarding what would prove a God exists...

it is sticky (pun intended) to define what God even means but three attributes commonly attributed to God are omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence.

i assert that there is no way to emperically prove that a being with the "three o's" exists, at least not directly. (as i will mention in a second, this argument will all be for naught. assume there is a being with just omnipotence. i will take that to mean that the being is able to perform any action requested of it if it so choses. in finite time, there is no demonstration that will prove omnipotence. one could see a demonstration of potentially arbitrarily large degree of "power" but one could never observe an infinite trait belonging to a being.

the only way to emperically prove omnipresence is to be able to observe every possible locations, including locations which may, by definition or virture of the way they are, be non-observable.

it would take infinite time to convey omniscience to a finite mind and while it may be possible to convey a potentially large amount of knowledge to a finite mind in finite time, it isn't possible to do this will all knowledge.

however, as advertized, some of this argument is weakened because an omnipotent being could snap its fingers and provide proof of itself. (maybe it already has but it isn't of the sort of proof that one must accept at this stage and maybe that's an expression of free will.)

therefore, i would tend to believe that a proof of God would not take the form of emperical data.

proof of God to me is like fitting a carpet in room that is too large for it. if you pull the carpet into one corner, it pulls up in another corner. what i mean is that there is a trade-off between proof of existence and definitions. if you define God to be my box of tic-tacs than it's pretty easy to convince someone that God exists. likewise if you define God to be the first cause or the force that created the universe. existence isn't an issue but proving that it has the three properties above, much less is the God worshipped in your favorite religion, is sticky. on the other hand, you can define God to be a being with the three aforementioned properties and even to be the God mentioned in your favorite religion but then proving it exists is sticky.
 

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