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What's your opinion?

  1. Aug 13, 2007 #1
    One may say: "prove that god exists".

    This may be followed by: "well, prove that god doesn't exist".

    The real question is, which of the above questions is more appropriate to ask?

    Is there even an answer? Is one more appropriate than the other?

    My opinion is, yes, one of the above questions is wrong to ask.

    All religion and all faith aside, there has yet to be found any definitive evidence for a god. Nothing that can be observed, even with our best scientific instruments, has even suggested the existence of a god.

    It is therefore a fact that a claim that god exists is an extraordinary claim. And extraordinary claims dictate the need for proof or evidence.

    If I said I had the ability to levitate objects with my mind, you might ask to me to prove it. This would of course be a legitimate request, simply because science has yet to find any evidence for telekinesis.

    Now, imagine that I responded by saying "hey, prove that I can't"!

    Most would agree that this response is ridiculous, and does nothing to support my extraordinary claim.

    With that in mind, it is my opinion that anyone who asks you for proof that god doesn’t exist, is not to be taken seriously at all.

    Again, a claim that a god exists is, at the moment, an extraordinary claim. As Carl Sagan once said, "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence".

    Only when there is a lack of evidence will people resort to ridiculous counter-questions such as "prove me wrong".

    The burden of proof should always lie with the person making the extraordinary claim.

    Any opinions on this are welcome.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 13, 2007 #2
    Hmm, I can't remember the exact policy on threads like these but I hope it turns out to be good and that it doesn't get locked.

    Anyway, I think the burden of proof always rests on the shoulders of the one who makes the claim. Of course, some would say that claiming there is no god is an extraordinary claim itself, but I disagree. To say there is no evidence that suggests there is a god is perfectly reasonable because the claim is true: there is no tangible and universal evidence accepted by all.

    The problem with the challenge of proving there isn't a god or deity of any kind is the same problem we face when proving Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, or magical space pixies don't exist. It's impossible to disprove the existence of something we don't have any evidence for. The major fallacy drawn by theists is that because we cannot prove a god does not exist, there must be one in existence.
     
  4. Aug 13, 2007 #3
    First, what is this 'god' that you're asking "does it exist?" of?
     
  5. Aug 13, 2007 #4
    This argument is not without extra assumptions it seems.

    Why should anyone demand extraordinary evidence of extraordinary claims? That was never specified. In legal matters, burden of proof and the level of certainty required in a case have very specific justifications.

    Is it enough to meet a "balance of probabilities" (aka preponderance of evidence")? Or should we be looking for certainty "beyond a reasonable doubt?"

    More importantly, if you're going to argue that we must demand one level of certainty over the other, you better be able to give reason as to why you're justified in your views. You're not talking about depriving a man of his freedom or life, so I don't see how anyone could possibly make the highest demands of this kind of claim. It's just too trivial a matter to everyday living.
     
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  6. Aug 13, 2007 #5
    In defense of the original poster:

    Although nothing was specified in terms of claims and evidence, it was Carl Sagan who said "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."

    Anyway, the rest of the argument is bunk. We cannot even begin to say whether evidence is enough for a balance of probabilities or it is enough to make one believe beyond a reasonable doubt... there is NO EVIDENCE to begin with! Any and all propositions or support for a powerful deity outside of ancient books and writings has always led to dead-ends.

    I highly disagree that the belief in a god is a trivial matter. For the big three monotheistic religions, it is huge. Each individual religion believes it is the ultimate truth and are justifying all of their actions because of it. They believe their books hold the ultimate truth by virtue of the books saying so themselves. Anything, whether good or horrific, written in those books can cause a lot of damage in people's lives. I know we're not talking specifically of religion here; we're talking about the belief in a god. People can believe in god/s without subscribing to any particular religion or teachings, but when these beliefs are causing racism, murder, and hatred, it's hardly a trivial matter. When the Bible or the Koran is telling voters who are in turn telling legislators to ban abortion and discontinue stem cell research, it's hardly a trivial matter. When gay marriage is considered illegal, essentially impeding on the lives and the pursuit of happiness for certain individuals, it's not really a trivial matter.

    The bottom line is there is no question about whether there is evidence in support of a god or a deity or multiple gods and deities. None whatsoever. Most of the "evidence" proposed is either misleading, disingenuous, or a blatant lie. I've heard it all from scientists like Frank Tipler to random people on the street who say, "Every morning I see the beauty of the sky and of creation and this for me is evidence of a God." Hardly compelling.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2007
  7. Aug 13, 2007 #6
    Oh really. Religions cause racism, murder, and war, as compared to what? Desire for money, power, and control? There's a terribly flimsy link between religious belief and the intent to commit reprehensible acts and atrocities, yet somehow it still works it's way into a thread like this, one which places high demands on proof. Please, provide some evidence rather than vague speculation.

    And I really didn't say anything about whether or not any evidence could be presented. I just asked what kind of ground rules are being put in place in a discussion like this. There's still plenty of subjectivity in a statement like extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. I think it places an artificially high standard on what beliefs are reasonable for people to hold.

    Also, I would say we shouldn't confuse a lack of compelling evidence with no evidence. They're not the same thing. If you wanted to argue that the evidence presented by most theists doesn't really make their explanation of events likely, I'd agree with that.

    These are really less severe than what you seemed to imply earlier.

    Abortion (and stem-cell research) can be objected to on moral grounds independent of religion and go far beyond the scope of the thread. Gay marriage being banned in most American states probably is a result religious morality, but eh, I really don't see how one who believes in God necessarily finds homosexuality immoral. It's fine if you want to argue that it makes the God question relevant.

    Still, it doesn't seem like this is enough to affect the basic question of what kinds of demands you're going to place on belief in God. All this might really prove is that we have reason for limiting the political power of religious bodies.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2007
  8. Aug 13, 2007 #7
    Yes, really. Religions have caused racism, murders, and war for centuries. People, especially religious people, are always so quick to blame human nature. I'll agree to some extent that the desire for money, power, and control plays a significant role in human atrocities, but what was the best tool for men to gain such things? Religion. For hundreds of years, the Catholic church used their power and authority over people to decide who has power and how wealth is distributed. The inquisitions led to the deaths of many innocent people. Adolf Hitler himself, who many claim was an atheist, can be quoted several times in saying he was "doing the work of God."

    The link between religion and atrocity is hardly a flimsy one. Take the current state of Islamic fundamentalism. If it weren't for the mandated death of infidels, we wouldn't have had the disaster of 9/11. If it weren't for the rights of women taken away by books like the Bible and the Koran, we wouldn't have pregnant mothers having their bellies sliced open and their unborn children skewered on the ends of swords (yes, this sort of thing is still going on in the Middle East.)

    What about the fatwa issued against Salman Rushdie for writing a fictional book which was somehow "offensive" to Muslims? Publishers and translators were shot and hunted along with Rushdie himself.

    Again, going back to the desire for power, money, and control can be argued as Nietzsche argued against religion: Religion is the engine for the power hungry and the greedy to take control of the people.

    To say the link between religion and horror is flimsy is frankly a statement from ignorance. History tells us that millions of deaths and murders were in the name of some god or religion. Thousands to this day are oppressed in the name of some god or religion.

    I was born and raised a Christian and have done my fair share of study on religious history. However, like any wise person I questioned my beliefs in order to justify and confirm them. Naturally, it led me to atheism. The problem is people never get to the stage of questioning their beliefs because most religions teach them not to. I am highly against that. I am against telling people they are being blasphemous for questioning their beliefs... often these beliefs constitute the foundations of their lives. I am against telling them it is a sin of any kind.

    Again, you are asking us to, "Please, provide some evidence rather than vague speculation." Evidence for what? The burden of proof lies with the ones who claim there is a god. If you're asking for evidence of the link between religion and human atrocities, I can make full citations here by tomorrow.

    Here's what this thread boils down to: Who has the burden of proof? One person says, "Prove that God exists." Another says, "Prove to me God doesn't exist." There are no ground rules on what is clearly an argumentative fallacy in the latter statement, "Prove to me God doesn't exist." The standard isn't artificially high because this is a matter that is black or white and has no gray area. Either it can be proved, or it can't.

    We can't "prove" the Big Bang actually happened. No one was there to witness it. Even some of the more compelling and considerable evidence for it now is still being questioned. However, the evidence proposed for the Big Bang is more credible than evidence proposed for a god because it isn't guilty of begging the question. Physical observations led to the theory of the Big Bang, whereas the supposed a priori knowledge of a god has led people to search for evidence or twist it to suit their theory.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2007
  9. Aug 14, 2007 #8
    I don't find either question to be very meaningful. Considering the nature of a god I can not imagine how one would go about proving or disproving their existence. As far as the social merit of religion, it is not alone in its detrimental effects on humanity. If people didn't have religion they'd use philosophy and if people wish to be irrational no one can stop them.
     
  10. Aug 14, 2007 #9
    One cannot consider the nature of a god without a source or preconceived notion of what a god is. Therefore, the questions are valid. Can an omnipotent being exist? Yes. Does one exist? So far the evidence points to none at all.

    I don't people can use philosophy to be as irrational as religion. I can't see philosophy forbidding anyone to eat pork or meat on a certain day. I don't think philosophy alone is capable of killing or punishing women for not covering their faces. I don't think philosophy can tell someone that there is a paradise waiting for them, and if they kill people that deserve to die, they can take family and friends they choose to paradise with them, too. Philosophy doesn't create specific and arbitrary rules which turn out to be dogma.
     
  11. Aug 14, 2007 #10
    There is an infinite amount of things that science cannot disprove, such as pink invisible unicorns, flying spaghetti monsters, goblins, trolls and so on, but that in turn does not mean that it is a valid reason to believe in it. The philosopher Bertrand Russell countered the 'Well, you cannot disprove it' argument about 100 years ago.

     
  12. Aug 14, 2007 #11
    Carl Sagan also has his own version of this teapot analogy with the "invisible floating dragon in the garage" story from his book, "Demon Haunted World."
     
  13. Aug 14, 2007 #12
    That all depends upon the context of which the question is being asked. For scientific claims, this is certainly true. However, the existence or nonexistence of a god is a matter of faith, not science. therefore, the axiom that extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof is valid only for scientific claims. This is especially true because it is impossible for science to prove that something does not exist - only that it does exist. Or, more precisely in some instance, science can only prove that, given our current understanding of [the subject], it most likely exists. The nature of faith requires that an individual accept something extraordinary without proof 9otehrwise it's no longer faith).

    Again, only if it is a scientific claim.

    A few thoughts on this. First, there must be a distinction between the possible existence of a god and the associated religion. Unless there is proof of the existence of the deity in question, then the claims of the religion itself are subject to skepticism. A religion may state that their truth is absolute, but this doesn't necessarily make it so. Therefore, I would think that a correct response to "Prove God does not exist" should be "That's impossible since it's a matter of faith, not science."

    Second, as for the discussion about an omnipotent god, one could certainly exist. From a scientific standpoint, it is unlikely since their is no proof (and some would claim no preponderance of the evidence as well). However, froma faith based standpoint, one could certainly exist and nullify any attempt to prove its existence, being that it's omnipotent. In this case, not even logic could prove the non-existence of a go, since omnipotence implies it is not subject to the laws and axioms of logic.

    Third, a rather interesting scientific position to take would be "If there is a god, then it is likely omnipotent and not subject to physical laws and constraints (including logic) since there is no corroberating evidence to support its existence. this does not mean there is a god, only that if there is one, it is probably omnipotent."

    Remember, all science (and even logic) is predicated upon certain axioms (I'm not intimately familiar with Godel's proof, but I believe this is the paraphrased crux of his argument - that all systems require axioms that must be accepted as true, but these of themselves are not provable).
     
  14. Aug 14, 2007 #13
    No, it is not a scientific position because it is not testable, repeatable or falsifiable. If you are going to argue that 'God' is above all laws, science and reason, you have the burden of evidence to show why that claim is relevant.

    "Can 'God' create a stone heavier than he can lift it?" argument demolishes the concept of omnipotence.

    Wrong.

    Science is not a formal system, it has no formal and rigid axioms and no formal rigid means of inference. Science does not have any problems with contradicting earlier models. Therefore, the incompleteness theorem does not apply to science.
     
  15. Aug 14, 2007 #14
    Kudos for bringing up Hitler and weakly trying to tie his anti-semitism to religion due to a couple of quotes no one cares to remember. This is in spite of the fact that his writings and speeches lead us to believe Hitler was deeply anti-capitalist, and that the Jews represented everything he despised about capitalism (they were the bankers and accountants after all). Hitler even hated the communists because he thought they were really Jewish capitalists in disguise. Wolves in sheeps clothing if you will. Tying Hitler's anti-semitism to religion...It's too wrong to even make any sense, and flies in the face of the history and rhetoric surrounding Hitler and his Socialist worker's party.

    Anyway, we're getting too far away from what I was originally asking. Suppose I agreed that whether or not someone personally believed in the existence of God was "of the highest relevance to man", and a wrong verdict would be a "serious harm" to everyone. What then constitutes this extraordinary evidence that would be required to prove the existence of God? What would it have to look like to be satisfying?
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2007
  16. Aug 14, 2007 #15

    I'm sorry, but your retorts are almost laughable and you think that all of these ties are so weak.

    "I believe today that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator."

    - Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1 Chapter 2

    "In short, the results of miscegenation are always the following: (a) The level of the superior race becomes lowered; (b) physical and mental degeneration sets in, thus leading slowly but steadily towards a progressive drying up of the vital sap. The act which brings about such a development is a sin against the will of the Eternal Creator. And as a sin this act will be avenged."

    - Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1 Chapter 11

    "Anyone who dares to lay hands on the highest image of the Lord commits sacrilege against the benevolent creator of this miracle and contributes to the expulsion from paradise."

    - Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf Vol. 2 Chapter 1

    "Thus inwardly armed with confidence in God and the unshakable stupidity of the voting citizenry, the politicians can begin the fight for the 'remaking' of the Reich as they call it."

    - Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf Vol. 2 Chapter 1

    "Secular schools can never be tolerated because such schools have no religious instruction, and a general moral instruction without a religious foundation is built on air; consequently, all character training and religion must be derived from faith ...we need believing people."

    - Adolf Hitler, April 26, 1933, speech made during negotiations leading to the Nazi-Vatican Concordant

    "What the old parliament and parties did not accomplish in sixty years, your statesmanlike foresight has achieved in six months. For Germany's prestige in East and West and before the whole world this handshake with the Papacy, the greatest moral power in the history of the world, is a feat of immeasurable blessing. ...May God preserve the Reich Chancellor for our people."

    - Cardinal Michael von Faulhaber of Bavaria, praising Adolf Hitler for the Concordat, July 24, 1933

    HITLER WAS BELIEVED TO BE CHRIST!!!

    "The word "German" is God's Word! Whosoever understands this is released from all theological conflicts. This is German: return home to Germany and leave behind egoism and your feelings of abandonment. ...Christ has come to us through the person of Adolf Hitler. ...Hitler has taken root in us; through his strength, through his honesty, his faith and his idealism we have found our way to paradise."

    - Kirchenrat Leutheusser, addressing German Christians in Saalfeld, August 30, 1933









    The list goes on and on, AsianSensationK. Maybe do a little research before showing careless denial.
     
  17. Aug 14, 2007 #16
    Fine, fine. I'll admit it when I'm wrong. I never denied he was religious, but there may have been a strong religious influence pushing him into his anti-semitism. Those quotes don't actually prove that though, but reviewing volume one, chapter 2 there are a couple of passages in there were he sites a christian socialist movement which changed him, and his earlier slightly more tolerant views on the Jews.

    Still, my real question goes unanswered. If extraordinary proof were presented in favor of the original proposition that God does exist, what must it look like if it is to be satisfying? What would constitute a proper "proof" of this proposition?
     
  18. Aug 14, 2007 #17
    That would be a question for the original poster. As far as I'm concerned, satisfying evidence or even extraordinary evidence would consist of observations or tangible items which can only be attributed to a powerful deity or an omnipotent God. I would have to say that the evidence would have to be exclusive to a god only so that it can't be correlated or confused with anything else. For example, creation cannot be sole evidence of a god because it could be the product of a big bang and cosmic and biological evolution. Therefore, any and all evidence presented would have to be closely limited to the notion of a god or an omnipotent being. Anything outside of that would be, in my opinion, erratic speculation.
     
  19. Aug 15, 2007 #18
    What can I say, Stallan and Mao Tse Tung killed tens of millions, suppressed sciences, and did any number of irrational things in the name of progress and moral superiority. Both were atheists. In the name of science and morality Skinner put his own infant daughter in a soundproof glass box under the stairs and would only play with her occasionally using the attached rubber gloves in the box. It even had brown paper on a roller so he didn't have to worry about changing dypers. She spent years in therapy as result. The wonderful state of Virginia I live in sterilized some twenty thousand young people in the name of science and progress.

    I could go on and on with one crazy story after another of supposedly rational atheists committing patently bizarre, destructive, and insane acts. What both Atheists and the religious who commit such acts have in common, imho, is their emotional attachments to the philosophies that form the foundations of their beliefs.
     
  20. Aug 15, 2007 #19
    After several years of religious debate, I've heard this argument a million times before. "Supposedly good atheists and the reason in science is responsible for the lives of many..." Still, while both parties are guilty, the numbers of people killed, tortured, maimed, ruined, and emotionally devastated by religion are tens of times as much as these examples usually cited by theists. I'd have to say that these are all isolated cases in comparison with religion, where people will turn the other cheek no matter how weird their behavior is because it's all in the name of some god.

    Still, I'm glad to know that Stalin and Mao were acting out of their intensity for Marxism and communism.
     
  21. Aug 16, 2007 #20
    Of course the number of heinous acts committed by the religious outnumber those of believers, the overwhelming majority of humanity are believers!

    Personally, I'm an agnostic amoral anarchist and don't get involved in either side of such arguments.
     
  22. Aug 16, 2007 #21
    unfortunately, it doesnt. When one goes on to this argument, one would ask "what do you mean by heavy?" And the argument dissolves itself promptly into oblivion.

    heavyness, as a perception, and as relative, doesnt hold up to being a "standard". Lifting, likewise, is a human interpretation of what he sees. "Does something ever lift another? If so prove!" kicks the question out. One ends up accepting that he is accepting what he sees as "lifting" owing to everyday vocabulary.

    No one can prove that an object is "heavy", but only prove that the object seems to have a certain effect on other objects and our senses that we call "heavy". No one can prove that its a property of the object, but that its only an approximation of the percieved effect on our senses.

    In that sense, theres no "lifting" nor "heavy". Its only a play of words and nothing more.

    If I say that what exists is God, and that all that you see, taken together, including yourself is God, then how can "lifting" be an argument? Lifting from where to where? God is everywhere, even in the stone He creates, and even in the space and time that we percieve, then the question is "What should God lift and from Where to Where and from What time to What time?" The premise being that God is everything taken together, the above argument looses its meaning. Its just an impossiblity as pecieved by humans that percieve to exist. A jugglary of words, but nothing else.

    God's omnipotence is not limited to our perception. His omnipotence seems to be limited to the rules of the world He created because we can only percieve the world that He created.

    Its like this, not quite exactly same, but similar. A game of chess. Can the player make the rook move like the knight? Answer is yes and no. Yes, if he is not playing by the rules of the game, then theres no knight nor rook. only small plastic pieces. theres no definition of a knight move when not relative to the game. So, with in a game, he seems not to be able to move the rook like a knight. That doesnt mean he cant, but only that he wants to continue the game and within the rules that he created, he doesnt move the rook like a knight. Period.

    God is omnipotent? Yes.
    Can God do anything? No, our sense of things imposes impossiblity of perception, so, even if God can do anything, we might not be able to percieve it that way.

    The problem with this argument is the lack of clarity of what "rock", "heaviness", "lifting" and "God" mean. One calls a collection of energy a "rock" based on his relationship with it, relationship between his senses and that collection of energy. There is no "ROCK" beyond that. What if that energy in the rock itself is God? What if the perciever, the consciousness of the perciever itself is God? Then is He omnipotent or not? He is omnipotent within the limits He created. He is omnipotent beyond the limits He created, but this cant be explained, because once the limits are taken off, perception itself breaks down and so does logic. Its more of a Singularity on our part not to be able to fully percieve His omnipotence and that doesnt mean that He is not omnipotent.


    This whole discussion regarding whether God exists or not, needs clear definition of what one means by "God". Several definitions exist. I take it that the words of mystics are the most approximate we can get to, since all scriptures are but attempts to put that experience of mystics into words.

    Curiously though, several mystics of several religions and times and places attributed similar qualities to what they call "GOD". And that God can be found through logic and reason and present scientific advancements support their claims of an all pervading, omnipotent creator.


    Now the question really is to see which definition of God do we undertake to qualify. Each one must be taken and reasoned out, and one of those definitions certainly stands to reason. Then we can all accept that "God".

    DJ
     
  23. Aug 16, 2007 #22
    Unfortunately, your argument is a logical fallacy called 'Asking Meaningless Questions'.

    Mass is a well-defined and well-supported physical concept (I used the term weight as a conversational term) and has nothing to do with perception or relativism. Movement is also a well-defined and well-supported physical concept.

    You cannot prove anything in science, and certainly not anything you have said, but I can and I have provided evidence for my claim.

    Now you are just making assertions. Your argument makes no sense, because it is a strawman. If you want to argue that 'God' is 'everywhere' you would need to provide evidence to show why your argument is relevant.
     
  24. Aug 16, 2007 #23
    Actually, no it doesn't. I'm a little disappointed that you actually countered the rock argument with this. Asking what we mean by heavy is far beyond the point. The argument isn't about rocks or weight, the argument is about God's power and its limitations. Another way to ask this question is, "Can God kill himself?" Your undoubted reaction would probably be to ask, "What do you mean by kill as it is limited to life, blah, blah, blah..."

    Can God end his own essence and cease to exist within or without time forever and ever?

    The answer, if he were omnipotent and nothing is beyond his power, is yes. But if the answer is yes, then he cannot be eternal and not omnipotent. If the answer is no, then his power is severely limited because he cannot do even what a motivated human being can: "Suicide."
     
  25. Aug 16, 2007 #24
    well,

    scientific arguments, as i have been told on another thread here, need well defined words.
    The word God is not such a well defined term in Science. Definitions of God are so many.

    So, before we talk of omnipotence, we need to define God. Isnt it? I was not making assertions, but just clearing out that there is no clear definition of God. Many definitions of God apply to a flying spaghetti monster. But thats not all.

    Also, science is based on perception and "relativism". Isnt it? Science has singularities. Mass is not a definite concept my friend. Mass is conventionally defined "within certain take parametres". When one talks of perception, Mass itself appears just that. Any object's mass, as measured by some one is just the measure of the effects that the object's reality has on his senses and nothing more.


    Like that, science itself is nothing more than a measure of "perceptions". Schroedinger wrote "Image of Matter". In its forward, these words are given :
    "The concept of materiality no longer holds absolutes way." It is clear that Mass is just a representation of the energy that is percieved as within the confines of the object, the interations between its subatomic particles and the "outside world". Nothing more. Nothing less. Thats what we call Mass. Isnt it?

    So is velocity. Velocity is nothing but a measure of our perception of a change in the objects position over a given time. The velocity of the same object appears to different people differently, based on whether one is drunk or not. That is, it is based on the workings of his brain, and ultimately, his perception of it.

    Measure of God's omnipotence based on such "limited" and "percieved" notions is not enough, when it is a given that God is not a well defined term.

    The concept of Mass can be as thoroughly argued to be just a delusion of the senses, if one but dares to step out of his "I am just a physicist and am not going to study perception or consciousness" shell. Reality is itself questioned. Experimental psychologists agree that it might be so that we never percieve reality. Only its effects.

    I was only pointing out that the question is baseless, as God is not just "Physical" and "objective" part of things but a subjective part too. And also, I was pointing out that there is more to science than just "physics". Science is yet to dive deep into the effects of the brain and perceptions. It is still a debate as to the argument of brain vs mind. Materialism is loosing its ground (as if it hasnt already) rapidly. Material/Absolute reality is as big a myth as the spaghetti monster. Einstien showed relativity. Its time to extend similar concepts to perception.

    Now, back to the question of how to counter that argument, its awfully difficult because the argument itself is meaningless. The only way I saw was to counter it with "what do you mean" questions. which works.

    This meets with the same fate. I would ask, what do you mean by "exist". I would say God is existance itself. Thats what Eastern philosophies, especially those based on Vedas say. God is what is. God is "being" or "existing". What do you mean by "existence" not "existing"?
    You see? I would counter the argument with questions on what you actually mean. I would say, lets try and define God first, and then counter the definition. That would solve a lot of these arguments and provide definitive answers to what doesnt "exist".

    As I mentioned, my version of God is "What exists taken together, including the observer". I would be lenient and say that what scientists say of "fundamental energy" and "unified field"(which is yet to be defined) is the approximation of physical existence of God. I would say, that is what God manifests as. The fundamental energy that displays itself as the many forms of radiation and as matter is what God is, atleast as percieved within "physics". The same God is the subjective "self", the inner consciousness, that percieves all, in terms of psychology. Then all the forces of nature, all the observed phenomenon become His actions and wills and traits.

    The question that would remain, is whether such fundamental energy is actually conscious and aware to make changes with in itself, like answering prayers and so forth. I would say it can (im not very sure though, working out how to prove this).

    Because, when one asks "why did energy manifest as so many objects", one has to answer that some change must have occured in it. According to science, theres nothing "outside" this, so, this fundamental energy that is all pervading must have caused a change in itself. And it has been maintaining such a "goal oriented" and "consistent" change in itself that it must be "aware". For any thing to bring about a change in itself must first be "aware" of its situation. "Goal oriented" and "consistent" in terms of formation of systems with feed-back loops through out this universe, which often go against the second law of thermodynamics and become and remain orderly for extended periods of time. Human bodies are examples of this. According to science, even this human body is made of the same energy, isnt it?

    Once consciousness can be proved (I cant prove it yet, im working on it) to be a fundamental trait of this universe, then the God question is answered. isnt it?

    I would like to hear your thoughts on it. Thanks for taking time.

    DJ
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2007
  26. Aug 16, 2007 #25
    Actually, 'God' does not need to be more precisely defined. X is omnipotent. That is all you need to know. That is the only characteristic on trial.

    Science is neither based on perception or relativism. Yes, mass is a well-defined concept in science. No, it has very little to do with a specific person's perception, as the physical concept of mass is objective and does not depend on a persons own subjective feelings.

    You are quote mining Schrödinger by the way. He discussed the matter-energy equivalence. Energy and mass are equivalent, but we do not need to extend beyond classical physics for this argument.

    That is the reason we have measuring tools that doesn't depend on the level of alcohol in one's body.

    More Red Herrings. Perception and consciousness is natural phenomena that can be studied and is being studied by science and has nothing to do with mysticism. Experimental psychologists agree on no such thing. It isn't even their fields to study metaphysics. Nice try.

    Wrong. Science is weak agnostic towards it.

    Not really. For example, a tree has no consciousness.

    Most of your post tried to divert the attention from the question. You do not have to define 'God' at all. Let us replace 'God' with X.

    X is omnipotent. Can X create a more massive entity than X can displace it?
     
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