What would it take you to be convinced God existed?

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  • #51
Zero
Originally posted by Iacchus32
As I said in the previous post to which you first replied, that in order to understand something, you begin with the generalities (i.e., what you do know) and work your way in (typically from the outside to the inside). So what is the difference between this and what I'm trying to tell you?
The difference is that you are comparing apples and noexistant oranges.
 
  • #52
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Originally posted by Iacchus32
But it's not like somebody just came up with theory that God existed out of the blue. You can construe that as evidence too if you like. :wink:
One) Please use the term conjecture (or something similar), NOT theory. Theory has an extremely special meaning, in a scientific context - one that you haven't met so far. This will prevent avoidable confusion.

Two) If you present that as evidence, then I would counter that the evidence is much more easily explained by a large number of reasons, that do not carry the hefty baggage of trying to [then] explain a how a 'god' came about, etcetera. For example, humans are raised by parents, so are inculcated with a strong authoritarian figure from a young age. One that provides food, shelter, love, and justice. Primative man would have found it easy to accept that there was a higher authoritarian figure, replacing parents, once they became adults. This also would fit with explaining an apparently capricious world in which they lived.

What would you have me do write a book about it and present it here for everybody's review?
Nope, just present some evidence that supports the existence of (a) god(s). Then, those of us with a scientific bent will present out acceptance or rejection of said evidence, with the reasons behind the acceptance/rejection.

All this, keeping in mind that science is designed so that theories are targetted to skeptics. Theories demonstrate that they fit the evidence seen better than any other theory with the power or the evidence and rationality of the reasoning.
 
  • #53
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Originally posted by Iacchus32

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Originally posted by radagast
One) The existence of an internal reality is irrelavent to what we are talking of, because of the next point;

two) Internal realities, as sources of scientific evidence, are outside the domain of science. They always have and always will, because they cannot be seen, check, and compared, by a dispassionate investigator.
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Except for the fact (hence evidence) that we're speaking about the same animal here. You can apply this to your Occam's razor as well.
OK, You'll need to clarify what you mean. Perhaps there's too many pronouns or I'm just overworked, but I have no idea what you mean.





quote:Originally posted by radagast
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three) The need to look within, the idea that it should be investigated has been stated, by myself, as a noble endeavor Just Not One Science Is Suited To DO.
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Just as with any endeavor, say like exploring the depths of the sea, you begin with the generalites (i.e., on the surface), and work your way in (hence down). Doesn't that at least suggest the beginnings of an approach? And why couldn't it be explored by means of psychology or anthropology and what not?
But to use psychology, you wouldn't be investigating the existence of god, but the effect of 'a specific experience' on the persons mental state and subsequent actions - nothing to do with the boolean nature of god's existence.

Similarly, anthropology would investigate the effect of a belief on groups of humans, not the existence, or lack thereof, of god.


quote:Originally posted by radagast
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four) External reality having a purpose is an unfounded statement, i.e. not an agreed upon fact. Without the two of us agreeing upon it, then any debating conclusions you derive from it are unsupported, because the foundation of the debate was built upon sand.
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And yet it's very clear that I couldn't exist without the confines (within context) of my physical body. If you stabbed me, and let the essence leak out (blood), then I would die. You cannot deny that there's a relationship between essence and form here. And hence another fact (evidence).

While you may consider it very clear, I would take it to be quite the opposite. You assume I cannot see something different [what I get from reading your post], yet I do. Since I do disagree, then how can this be taken as evidence (moreover, evidence of what).
 
  • #54
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Originally posted by Iacchus32
And yet, which is what I was "attempting" to bring up, is what if you were to compare the experiences of those who have already shared the experience, and begin by comparing notes? And, while there may be nothing conclusive to it (although I have seen studies which were), you may discover a means by which to begin the approach.
But from a scientific point of view, there is no way to assume the two experiences are the same. Similar, but no way to determine if they are the same.

E.g. You give two people that haven't tasted fruit a piece of fruit. One a lemon and one a lime. If they only taste the fruit, not see it, how can they communicate to the point of determining it was the same or a different fruit.

There is also the problem of determining if the experience has a myriad of other, more mundane, causes.
 
  • #55
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Originally posted by radagast
One) Please use the term conjecture (or something similar), NOT theory. Theory has an extremely special meaning, in a scientific context - one that you haven't met so far. This will prevent avoidable confusion.
And, while I don't consider myself aligned with it so much (except for the part about God exists, as does a spiritual world), what about the theory of Creation? (or Creationism).


Two) If you present that as evidence, then I would counter that the evidence is much more easily explained by a large number of reasons, that do not carry the hefty baggage of trying to [then] explain a how a 'god' came about, etcetera. For example, humans are raised by parents, so are inculcated with a strong authoritarian figure from a young age. One that provides food, shelter, love, and justice. Primative man would have found it easy to accept that there was a higher authoritarian figure, replacing parents, once they became adults. This also would fit with explaining an apparently capricious world in which they lived.
And yet there's nothing to say that these same arguments can't be used in the existence "for" God -- i.e., in illustrating man's "inherent" need for authority, thus alluding to the ultimate authority, "God Himself." And neither do they explain the elaborate imagery and mythologies entailed (especially in well developed cultures, such as Egypt, Babylon, Persia, Greece, etc.).


Nope, just present some evidence that supports the existence of (a) god(s). Then, those of us with a scientific bent will present out acceptance or rejection of said evidence, with the reasons behind the acceptance/rejection.
Those of us? Hmm ...


All this, keeping in mind that science is designed so that theories are targetted to skeptics. Theories demonstrate that they fit the evidence seen better than any other theory with the power or the evidence and rationality of the reasoning.
And how about myself? I doubt that you can find a much better skeptic than I. And you can ask Zero about that! :wink:
 
  • #56
Zero
Originally posted by Iacchus32
And, while I don't consider myself aligned with it so much (except for the part about God exists, as does a spiritual world), what about the theory of Creation? (or Creationism).


There is no such thing as a Theory of Creationism. That is one of the points you seem to miss. Calling something a theory doesn't make it so. "Theory' is the highest level an idea can achieve in science, and creationism doesn't come anywhere near meeting the criteria.
 
  • #57
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Originally posted by Iacchus32
And, while I don't consider myself aligned with it so much (except for the part about God exists, as does a spiritual world), what about the theory of Creation? (or Creationism).
In respected scientific circles, Creationism is about as far from a theory as you can get. Only the creationists believe it's a theory, not the general scientific community.
 
  • #58
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Originally posted by Iacchus32 quote:Originally posted by radagast
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Two) If you present that as evidence, then I would counter that the evidence is much more easily explained by a large number of reasons, that do not carry the hefty baggage of trying to [then] explain a how a 'god' came about, etcetera. For example, humans are raised by parents, so are inculcated with a strong authoritarian figure from a young age. One that provides food, shelter, love, and justice. Primative man would have found it easy to accept that there was a higher authoritarian figure, replacing parents, once they became adults. This also would fit with explaining an apparently capricious world in which they lived.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And yet there's nothing to say that these same arguments can't be used in the existence "for" God -- i.e., in illustrating man's "inherent" need for authority, thus alluding to the ultimate authority, "God Himself." And neither do they explain the elaborate imagery and mythologies entailed (especially in well developed cultures, such as Egypt, Babylon, Persia, Greece, etc.).
But what you're running into is a difference between 'poor' evidence and 'good' evidence. If evidence supports conclusion 'a' much more poorly (or less reasonably [see Occam's razor]) than other conclusions, then it's considered poor evidence of conclusion 'a'.

Even assuming no difference in the quality of the evidence, Occams razor is still a factor. Existent and more mundane possible causes are more reasonable to claim, because they carry no overhead of explaining how they exist (since they are known to), compared with god, which requires many more details (where did god come from, how was he created, where does he exist, how do we know all these things).

To put it in more concrete terms, when you find the body of a person with a bullet hole in his head, you could suppose he was shot by a gun, or we could suppose that the bullet appeared in front of the person, already traveling at a high rate of speed, killing the poor guy. We have no more evidence of one supposition than the other, but it's more reasonable to pick the one that requires no added explanations.
 
  • #59
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Originally posted by Iacchus32
And how about myself? I doubt that you can find a much better skeptic than I. And you can ask Zero about that! :wink:
The conjecture has to take on all skeptics, not just those that proposed it.
 
  • #60
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Originally posted by Zero
There is no such thing as a Theory of Creationism. That is one of the points you seem to miss. Calling something a theory doesn't make it so. "Theory' is the highest level an idea can achieve in science, and creationism doesn't come anywhere near meeting the criteria.
So far, all I've alluded to in my posts is the theory of evolution, that is until now. And as for the theory of Creationism, I'm not even sure what that entails, except that there are parts which take the Bible literally, that I don't agree with. I just threw this up to see if any theory of God was deemed acceptable, which apparently it's not.
 
  • #61
megashawn
Science Advisor
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If a god theory could offer something beneficial, then I'm sure it would be taken serious.

If it solved any fundamental questions, again, a serious look would be taken.

But really, there has been no God hypothesis (i think thats the word your looking for here) that has shown to be even slightly usefull. In deed it seems that adding god to the mix rather complicates things.
 
  • #62
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Originally posted by radagast
But what you're running into is a difference between 'poor' evidence and 'good' evidence. If evidence supports conclusion 'a' much more poorly (or less reasonably [see Occam's razor]) than other conclusions, then it's considered poor evidence of conclusion 'a'.
Not necessarily, because the thing you don't understand is that I'm not trying to refute the theory of evolution and replace it with the theory of God, but only augment the two. In which case evidence from either side would still be acceptable. Hence it would only be a matter of finding the "missing links."


Even assuming no difference in the quality of the evidence, Occams razor is still a factor. Existent and more mundane possible causes are more reasonable to claim, because they carry no overhead of explaining how they exist (since they are known to), compared with god, which requires many more details (where did god come from, how was he created, where does he exist, how do we know all these things).
And yet what does Occam's razor got to do with the world being flat? Which is precisely the point. Because this was the easiest thing for people to understand at that time. Are you not setting yourself up for the potential of repeating the same "classical mistake?" Indeed!


To put it in more concrete terms, when you find the body of a person with a bullet hole in his head, you could suppose he was shot by a gun, or we could suppose that the bullet appeared in front of the person, already traveling at a high rate of speed, killing the poor guy. We have no more evidence of one supposition than the other, but it's more reasonable to pick the one that requires no added explanations.
Except that we all know that a bullet is typically fired from a gun or, how about if it was thrown into a nearby campfire or something?
 
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  • #63
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Originally posted by megashawn
If a god theory could offer something beneficial, then I'm sure it would be taken serious.

If it solved any fundamental questions, again, a serious look would be taken.

But really, there has been no God hypothesis (i think thats the word your looking for here) that has shown to be even slightly usefull. In deed it seems that adding god to the mix rather complicates things.
Well I can think of one useful thing right off hand. It might give science and religion a chance to agree with each other for once, and maybe they could do something useful together, like clean up the environment -- i.e., by means of a grass roots organization or something.

If you're interested and would like to read more, please check out my Center of Existence thread.
 
  • #64
megashawn
Science Advisor
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heh, uhm, running out of straws?

Why in the world would religion and science need to unite to clean up the enviroment?

There are groups around here cleaning up that are multi-cultured. See, the trick, is to do this. If you believe in something unexplainable to the average joe, and for some reason feel benefited, by all means do it. Don't try to make something that isn't going to work happen.

I see what your saying, and in your eyes, I'd imagine you could view science as a tool for exploring gods creation.

Science just leaves it open for anyone, saying it is a tool for exploring everything.

I mean, its not like you go to school to become a physicist and get kicked out because you believe in god.
 
  • #65
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Originally posted by megashawn
heh, uhm, running out of straws?

Why in the world would religion and science need to unite to clean up the enviroment?
Well you obviously didn't bother to read the thread.
 
  • #66
740
3
I think the theme of this, and what I believe is that with regard to religion, People who believe in it are not willing to accept any alternative or even consider it for the most part. For example:

If the 2nd messiah came, or God appeared and started smiting people, I'll admit as an athiest I'd be dumbfounded. But after a short pause I'd say "well, time to rewrite science- and acceptance would sink in. In the face of an undeniable observation like oceans parting or Jesus strolling down the boulevard, I'd have no choice to to accept the reality of it.

Now take a religious person. Say we discovered the true origins of the universe, and ultimately realized it was natural phenomenon. Or say a new technology was developed allowing us to prove that the bible was a work of fiction created by a mortal man. Perhaps we could even one day time travel back to 33 BC and see if Christ really existed. Either way, it was proven beyond any escapable shadow of a doubt that religion was a hoax, and that there was no God. I can envision mass hysteria, mass suicides, and total denial. Religious people could not accept, as whole, the end of religion. They believe, against any form of evidence, that God does exist. If an alien race were to come down and say "hey, we seeded you millenia ago, and we're more advanced than you are, but we're not omnipotent" Religion would call them frauds.

You say to me prove that god doesn't exist and I say to you, prove to me that infinity never ends(in the physical sense, not mathmatical- been there, done that:P)
 
  • #67
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Zantra:

Your whole point about the proof/disproof of God is in fact pointless, cause you would assume we have to wait for facts digging up, that would never occur.

The whole point about the proof/disproof of God, is that that issue resides within the mind itself, and nowhere else.

God is and never has been a "real" entity of and to the world.
God has only existed in mindly form, in the minds of people.

The philosophical and materialistic untrained mind, are likely to fall for the "easy" way religion explains things and deals with "proof". It is entirely mind based, and does not bother at any moment to take reality itself, in an objective way, into account.

The proof for any idea is however not in the mind itself, but outside of that. Just that religion will never accept that.

Any outlook in a philosophical way has to start with *some* assumption about reality. Either reality exists in a material way in primary instance, and in consciouss form only secondary, or (like theism claims) the other way around.

These are two different outlooks on reality, which oppose each other.

So what you realy have to do is struggle with that philosophical question, and establish for yourself the right perception of reality.

Reading some books on that particular issue might help.

What do you think. Can your mind (continue) to exists without a body and brain? And if yours can't why would that situation be any different to any consciouss being?

Is matter objective? Or does it appear and reappear just as the mind wishes it?

If you know the right answers to such question, you already have some profound outlook on reality.
 
  • #68
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Well you guys make the hill pretty steep (very little for me to hold onto), and yet I'm not prepared to go rock climbing today. I will, however, let you know once I've conquered the first plateau, and from there we can examine what has progressed so far. :wink:
 
  • #69
740
3
Originally posted by heusdens
Zantra:

Your whole point about the proof/disproof of God is in fact pointless, cause you would assume we have to wait for facts digging up, that would never occur.

The whole point about the proof/disproof of God, is that that issue resides within the mind itself, and nowhere else.

God is and never has been a "real" entity of and to the world.
God has only existed in mindly form, in the minds of people.

The philosophical and materialistic untrained mind, are likely to fall for the "easy" way religion explains things and deals with "proof". It is entirely mind based, and does not bother at any moment to take reality itself, in an objective way, into account.

The proof for any idea is however not in the mind itself, but outside of that. Just that religion will never accept that.

Any outlook in a philosophical way has to start with *some* assumption about reality. Either reality exists in a material way in primary instance, and in consciouss form only secondary, or (like theism claims) the other way around.

These are two different outlooks on reality, which oppose each other.

So what you realy have to do is struggle with that philosophical question, and establish for yourself the right perception of reality.

Reading some books on that particular issue might help.

What do you think. Can your mind (continue) to exists without a body and brain? And if yours can't why would that situation be any different to any consciouss being?

Is matter objective? Or does it appear and reappear just as the mind wishes it?

If you know the right answers to such question, you already have some profound outlook on reality.
That is a very good way of looking at it. Just want to point out that my post points out the assumption that it can't be proven physically by my last line. I can no more "prove" that God exists without physical proof than someone could find the non-existent end of infinity.

For myself, I undersand your point about perception of reality, but for me, I require physical proof of something above something that as you said, exists only in the minds of those who created it.

Not quite sure I follow you on the objectivity of matter. Are you hinting that matter is only a reflection of what our minds percieve it to be? If so, I'm not sure I agree. If one person sees an object and describes it, then it could be considered possibly subjective. If multiple persons see something and agree on a description, it stands to reason that the object is as we initially percieve it. Unless you're inferring mass delusion of the way things are percived. Give me more detail one this point, not sure I'm following you correctly.
 
  • #70
Zero
Originally posted by Iacchus32
So far, all I've alluded to in my posts is the theory of evolution, that is until now. And as for the theory of Creationism, I'm not even sure what that entails, except that there are parts which take the Bible literally, that I don't agree with. I just threw this up to see if any theory of God was deemed acceptable, which apparently it's not.
There are obviously no 'theories of God'...and for you to suggest it shows your intentional lack of understanding of a rather simple word like 'theory'.
 
  • #71
Zero
Originally posted by Iacchus32
Well I can think of one useful thing right off hand. It might give science and religion a chance to agree with each other for once, and maybe they could do something useful together, like clean up the environment -- i.e., by means of a grass roots organization or something.

If you're interested and would like to read more, please check out my Center of Existence thread.
Ummm...and I guess we should declare that pi=3, because it makes the math easier? Why should science work with religion? Religion is fairy tales that play on people's phychology, while science is a rational way of looking at the world. Apples and oranges.
 
  • #72
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Originally posted by Zero
Ummm...and I guess we should declare that pi=3, because it makes the math easier? Why should science work with religion? Religion is fairy tales that play on people's phychology, while science is a rational way of looking at the world. Apples and oranges.
Because science is of the mind and religion is of the heart, and if maybe we could put "our hearts" where only our mind is right now, then hey, we might actually get something done. Otherwise? ... not until hell freezes over.

Or perhaps another way of putting this would be to look at the difference between men and women -- essentially a patriarchal view (science) versus a matriarchal view (religion). And here, where men tend to be more rational and scientifically minded (patriarchal), women tend to be more emotional and religiously based (matriarchal). Now has anybody ever heard the expression, "Men are slobs and women are innately clean?" Hmm ... Maybe it's time we allowed women (Mother Church/Mother Earth) the opportunity to "clean house" so to speak?

Need I say more?
 
  • #73
Originally posted by Iacchus32
Need I say more?
Yes, please. Tell me what exactly do you want from the church and from the science to do, and in what way the church can help the science (or the reverse)?

PS: in my heart there's no religion, only my wife
 
  • #74
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0
Originally posted by Guybrush Threepwood
Yes, please. Tell me what exactly do you want from the church and from the science to do, and in what way the church can help the science (or the reverse)?
Yes, please follow this link to the previous thread, The Center of Existence.


PS: in my heart there's no religion, only my wife
Yep, that's close enough! :wink:
 
  • #75
462
0
Originally posted by Iacchus32
Not necessarily, because the thing you don't understand is that I'm not trying to refute the theory of evolution and replace it with the theory of God, but only augment the two. In which case evidence from either side would still be acceptable. Hence it would only be a matter of finding the "missing links."
If you'd read what I'm saying, it has to do with 'good' evidence. I never assumed you were trying to replace any theory, other than (and this isn't a theory, only a default position) that all things arose from natural processes (vs a supreme being). If the evidence for the god theory isn't good, then the default position is kept.



And yet what does Occam's razor got to do with the world being flat? Which is precisely the point. Because this was the easiest thing for people to understand at that time. Are you not setting yourself up for the potential of repeating the same "classical mistake?" Indeed!
Occam's razor is not meant to give you the correct answer, it's not about correct, it's about the most reasonable choice 'at that point in time/or with the current evidence'. Occam's razor would have chosen the earth being flat, because it was the most logical position given the evidence at the time. I thought you understood this.
In science we cannot know the answers we have are correct, only that we are making the most reasonable determination, at the time, with the current evidence.



Except that we all know that a bullet is typically fired from a gun or, how about if it was thrown into a nearby campfire or something?
No, you are making assumptions based on ordinary experience. We do not 'know' the bullet came from any ordinary source. We do not 'know' it didn't appear with the momentum and trajectory needed to kill our hypothetical person. These are the same assumptions some of your detractors are making, with respect to the 'god' issue. Something non-supernatural, i.e. within ordinary experience.

But you do agree that it is the most reasonable position, that it came from a gun.

p.s. a pistol or rifle cartridge (bullet) thrown into a campfire, will project the slug at high velocity (like out of a gun) - the casing explodes, with the bullet being projected at an extremely low velocity. Only the pieces of casing are projected at high velocity.
 

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