When Rebutting Arguments For the Existence of God

  • Thread starter Eich
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I know that the following could sound very ridiculous. But when it comes to the language needed to prove the three invalid, I can't think of any straight way to put it. Can anybody help?

1) The human body is vastly more complex than a jumbo jet. But we say that 'natural events' [Evolution] led to humans. Well, could natural events lead to a jumbo jet? Could a natural even like a whirlwind sweep through a scrap yard and somehow assemble all the parts for a jumbo ready for take-off? If not, then natural events can neither account for the jumbo jets nor humans.

2) The Anthropic Argument: From a scientific point of view, any slight changes in any one of the several aspects of the Universe would have made it impossible for us to exist, or even have evolved. If the Earth were even a little closer to the Sun; if the atmosphere were a little thinner; if the Sun were hotter of cooler; if the structure of water were littler different, etc - we would not exist. All these and millions of other conditions need to be met for us to survive or evolve. What is the probability of that happening? Does that prove that we aren't here by pure chance? Has "someone been monkeying with the laws of physics?"

3) What about God having created the Universe with built-in organizing principles through which all forms of life and non-life developed. So Science is valid but God created science?
 

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  • #2
loseyourname
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The first two are common arguments that have well known refutations. Michael Martin, in https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/...s_b_2_1/102-3254775-2964118&tag=pfamazon01-20, provides detailed refutations of just about every argument for the existence of God that has ever been made. The third hypothesis, however, doesn't actually present an argument. It proposes a possibility and asks the question of whether or not this is possible. Well, sure, it's possible, but what reason is there to think that that is actually the case? No reason has been given.
 
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  • #3
Pengwuino
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I think its impossible to argue for or against a God. It really comes down to the impossible question of "If God doesnt exist, where did everything we know come from". The most common response is "evolution" or chemical changes or what not, but people forget to argue that everything that evolved had to have been created at some point. Every atom had an origin and such and its unfortunately, impossible to argue where it came from because all anti-God responses cant explain for before such events like the big bang and all pro-God responses can explain it but have no proof because God is defined as an all-powerful being capable of the infinite and impossible and not defined by any laws or rules; those of which are hte basis of the anti-God responses.

Its rather silly to argue what you cant understand.
 
  • #4
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Pengwuino said:
It really comes down to the impossible question of "If God doesnt exist, where did everything we know come from".
Actually I disagree. If God magically existing without creation is a logical explanation of the universe to you than the universe magically existing without God should be equally logical.
 
  • #5
Icebreaker
Pengwuino said:
I think its impossible to argue for or against a God.
If there was a God, then he's doing his damned best to make sure no one finds out about it.
 
  • #6
selfAdjoint
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Icebreaker said:
If there was a God, then he's doing his damned best to make sure no one finds out about it.
Good one! Couldn't agree more!
 
  • #7
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At another website discussion page I challenged a believer to ask his deity to do a specific thing. The believer refused to do so, claiming that God does His will and (at least implicit in the guy's answer) ignores pleas from believers asking Him to do their will. So from that answer, it would seem the guy believes human wills are trivial and worthless in the sight of God. But when I asked the fellow why God didn't intervene in the 9-11 hijackings to save the passengers, he said it is because God respects human will so much that God won't intervene, since the will of either the non-Muslim passengers or the will of the hijackers would have been violated by God imposing Himself on the situation.
 
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  • #8
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loseyourname said:
The first two are common arguments that have well known refutations. Michael Martin, in URL=https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/...02-3254775-2964118]Atheism:&tag=pfamazon01-20 A Philosophical Justification[/URL], provides detailed refutations of just about every argument for the existence of God that has ever been made.
i would also recommend the blind watchmaker but there are many others also.
loseyourname said:
The third hypothesis, however, doesn't actually present an argument. It proposes a possibility and asks the question of whether or not this is possible. Well, sure, it's possible, but what reason is there to think that that is actually the case? No reason has been given.
Not true. More than 150 years ago, Bishop George Berkeley, who denyed the existence of the physical world, gave a very good reason for his God making it seem to him (a lesser, but also "immortal spirit") that the universe he perceive appeared to be rigidly controlled my what we now days would call "the physical laws."According to Berkeley, if violation of physical laws often occurred, than miracles would lose their power to inspire belief etc. Hence, because God wanted people to have faith etc, He made their perception of a physical world very regular, so that when He did "work a miracle" (only in their perceptions still, not in true violation of physical world laws, which for Berkeley did not existent.) these rare miracles would win the faithful to Him. Likewise,God did not make the perception chaotic as if there were no regularity to one's perception, how could one behave responsibily, chose to avoid sin etc.

My own position on the reality of the physical world were infer fro our perceptual experiences is also an act of faith - I believe the physical world does exist and doubt that Berkley's God does, but I can not prove Berkeley wrong or that the physical world is real. Certainlly it has less claim to being real than my experiences which are my only basis for inferring that the physical world may exist.

For my answer to where do my experiences come from? (or what causes them if your prefer) see attachment to post one of general Philosophy thread "what price for free will?" - Free will as a posibility that can be consistent with physics is but one of the minor things that falls out of my strange view. The "Out of Africa" event is another, Why phantom limbs seem as real as the not amputated ones, another, halucinations in conflict with retinal images, still another, and dozens of other things that are essentailly impossible to explain with the standard cognitive scientist's view of how perception works. That is, one simple modification of the standard view of how humans perceive, has "great explanatory power." It is a four page read in part because it gives three independent proofs that the standard view is wrong as well as develop the idea with illustrations of these and other applications - I think well worth the read, if you are open to a "paradigm shifting" idea, but I am of course biased.
 
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  • #9
loseyourname
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Billy T said:
i would also recommend the blind watchmaker but there are many others also.
Great book, but it's only useful for debunking the teleological argument, or argument from design, of William Paley.

Not true. More than 150 years ago, Bishop George Berkeley, who denyed the existence of the physical world, gave a very good reason for his God making it seem to him (a lesser, but also "immortal spirit") that the universe he perceive appeared to be rigidly controlled my what we now days would call "the physical laws."According to Berkeley, if violation of physical laws often occurred, than miracles would lose their power to inspire belief etc. Hence, because God wanted people to have faith etc, He made their perception of a physical world very regular, so that when He did "work a miracle" (only in their perceptions still, not in true violation of physical world laws, which for Berkeley did not existent.) these rare miracles would win the faithful to Him. Likewise,God did not make the perception chaotic as if there were no regularity to one's perception, how could one behave responsibily, chose to avoid sin etc.
There is really no basis for Berkeley to say any of this. I'm aware of why he developed his position of idealism in the first place, and he actually has a decent argumentative ground for that, but this reconciliation with his faith is ad hoc as are most reconciliations of metaphysical hypotheses with faith. If physical laws were violated only in instances of miracles, nothing would appear any different to anybody. From the point of view of human psychology, the effect would be exactly the same whether there really was a physical world or if it was all illusory.

My main point of contention, however, is that the author of the thread only posted this:

3) What about God having created the Universe with built-in organizing principles through which all forms of life and non-life developed. So Science is valid but God created science?

This is the deist hypothesis, that there is a physical world that is completely determined by natural laws, but that the natural laws were put in place by a creator. There is no reason, in those two sentences, given to believe that natural laws must have been drafted by a supernatural legislator. Such a belief is anthropomorphic nonsense.


Why phantom limbs seem as real as the not amputated ones, another, halucinations in conflict with retinal images, still another, and dozens of other things that are essentailly impossible to explain with the standard cognitive scientist's view of how perception works.
Phantom limbs and hallucinations are not impossible to explain with our current science. What gives you that impression?
 
  • #10
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Icebreaker said:
If there was a God, then he's doing his damned best to make sure no one finds out about it.

Considering that most of the people in the world believe in god in some form or another, I'm not sure who you're referring to when you say "no one". The problem is that you can't know God the same way you have been raised to know everything else. Some people can deal with that and some cannot.
 
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  • #11
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Icebreaker said:
If there was a God, then he's doing his damned best to make sure no one finds out about it.

This blatantly false. There are many, millions, who have found God. Maybe "no one" is looking in the wrong place.
 
  • #12
Icebreaker
Wow. I don't know where to begin; or whether I should acknowledge that at all.
 
  • #13
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Icebreaker said:
Wow. I don't know where to begin; or whether I should acknowledge that at all.
One way to begin is to admit that you made an unsupported, possibly, probably, false blanket statement of which you have no knowledge or experience and then start over speaking for yourself, your opinions and beliefs. You might also try looking inside yourself. You may be surprised with what you may find there.
 
  • #14
Icebreaker
On the contrary, my statement is backed up by the lack of any physical evidence concerning the existence of a god or gods. "No one finds out about it" is a metaphor for this lack of proof. If we assume that a god or gods exist, we may interpret this lack of evidence as its or their doing. The statement, of course, was satirical and sarcastic. I should not even have to explain this, as it is very simple to understand for most people.
 
  • #15
selfAdjoint
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Royce thinks that because Royce has "found God" in some internal way or other, that's evidence for God. It's not; it's evidence of the way the mind behaves. I too once "found God"; it took me years to find out it was just a figment of my imagination.
 
  • #16
saltydog
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Royce said:
This blatantly false. There are many, millions, who have found God. Maybe "no one" is looking in the wrong place.

Yea, I know what you mean, "found it in their hearts". But that's not what it sounds like. Really, no one has found God and no one will because it's just not there.
 
  • #17
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Should'nt a workable definition of god be agreed upon first? Does the absence of evidence signal an evidence of absence, or only constrain the . . . type of god we can reasonably consider to exist?
 
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  • #18
Icebreaker
From Webster's:

1 capitalized : the supreme or ultimate reality: as a : the Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshiped as creator and ruler of the universe b Christian Science : the incorporeal divine Principle ruling over all as eternal Spirit : infinite Mind
 
  • #19
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From Webster's:

1 capitalized : the supreme or ultimate reality.

Thats the only one I would truly agree with. The others seem more like wishful thinking.

Wow, that was fast.
 
  • #20
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Eich said:
1) The human body is vastly more complex than a jumbo jet. But we say that 'natural events' [Evolution] led to humans. Well, could natural events lead to a jumbo jet? Could a natural even like a whirlwind sweep through a scrap yard and somehow assemble all the parts for a jumbo ready for take-off? If not, then natural events can neither account for the jumbo jets nor humans.
A wirlwind can't be compared to evolution, simply because in a storm, there is no factor of selection. To follow the analogy, there is nothing to destroy those pieces that come together and don't form a jumbo jet. You're comparing an inanimate object to something that interacts with it's environment (a lifeform).

Eich said:
2) The Anthropic Argument: From a scientific point of view, any slight changes in any one of the several aspects of the Universe would have made it impossible for us to exist, or even have evolved. If the Earth were even a little closer to the Sun; if the atmosphere were a little thinner; if the Sun were hotter of cooler; if the structure of water were littler different, etc - we would not exist. All these and millions of other conditions need to be met for us to survive or evolve. What is the probability of that happening? Does that prove that we aren't here by pure chance? Has "someone been monkeying with the laws of physics?"
As for this argument, little do creationists realize that it's in fact an argument against the existance of a god or external force.

Out of the many known planets, how many can support life as we see on earth? Just one. If every single planet known had intelligent life, complex bacterial and animal life and/or vegetation in some form or another, then your argument would have some validity.

Is life on earth a result of chance? Well that depends on what your definition of chance is. Simple organisms have evolved into complex organisms simply because it was the logical progression on things.
 
  • #21
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Icebreaker said:
On the contrary, my statement is backed up by the lack of any physical evidence concerning the existence of a god or gods. "No one finds out about it" is a metaphor for this lack of proof. If we assume that a god or gods exist, we may interpret this lack of evidence as its or their doing. The statement, of course, was satirical and sarcastic. I should not even have to explain this, as it is very simple to understand for most people.
Why would any rational person expect to find physical evidence of a non- physical entity?

Or, Look around you or in the mirror. what more physical evidence do you need? No, I'm not talking about Biblical Genesis.

The proof that you require is within you. It requires sometimes years of meditation to actually find God within yourself. It is said that Buddha found God but said some thing to the effect of "Let the spirits and angels take care of themselves. It is here now in this life that we must concern ourselves."
 
  • #22
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selfAdjoint said:
Royce thinks that because Royce has "found God" in some internal way or other, that's evidence for God.
1. Royce is not the only one and yes it is evidence. It is not physical evidence nor possibly is it empirical evidence but it is evidence whether you chose to accept it as such or not.

I too once "found God"; it took me years to find out it was just a figment of my imagination.
And you must have tried very hard to convince yourself of that. Either that or you didn't look deep enough into your discovery to ascertain its full meaning.

But this is silly. We all been through this a hundred times. I nor anyone else can prove that there is a God and no one can prove that there isn't a God.

I apologize for interrupting and putting in my 2 cents worth. I just couldn't let that statement stand as posted.
 
  • #23
Icebreaker
Royce said:
Why would any rational person expect to find physical evidence of a non- physical entity?

Or, Look around you or in the mirror. what more physical evidence do you need? No, I'm not talking about Biblical Genesis.

The proof that you require is within you. It requires sometimes years of meditation to actually find God within yourself. It is said that Buddha found God but said some thing to the effect of "Let the spirits and angels take care of themselves. It is here now in this life that we must concern ourselves."
If you define god to be the universe in its entireness, then yes, I am part of that sum. I am part of the universe, and nothing more.
 
  • #24
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loseyourname said:
...There is really no basis for Berkeley to say any of this. I'm aware of why he developed his position of idealism in the first place, and he actually has a decent argumentative ground for that, but this reconciliation with his faith is ad hoc as are most reconciliations of metaphysical hypotheses with faith. If physical laws were violated only in instances of miracles, nothing would appear any different to anybody. From the point of view of human psychology, the effect would be exactly the same whether there really was a physical world or if it was all illusory.
I was not trying to defend Berkeley's POV. I disagree with it; but am glad you also think he has a self consistent logical one, even though I agree with you that he is just trying to justify his a priory view. (I will note that unlike Descarte, who goes on to "prove" very specific "truths" of a particular Christian sect. GB at least does not over extend his logic.)

I don't have your statement in front of me as I type, but you had said that no one had offered any reason why God would decide to make the universe run according to "physcail laws." (or something quite like that.) All I was trying to do was remind you that GB had given a very plausible reason for God doing this. (Keep miracles powerful by being not too common.) I certainly agree that the existence or not of the physical world would have no effect on human psychology (so long as the percetion of a physical world was so strong that most people will not even consider GB's logical possibility). Again my point was neither to support nor condem GB's view, only to note that he did offer a reason why God made a regular universe (expcept for occasional miracles).

loseyourname said:
My main point of contention, however, is that the author of the thread only posted this:
3) What about God having created the Universe with built-in organizing principles through which all forms of life and non-life developed. So Science is valid but God created science?
This is the deist hypothesis, that there is a physical world that is completely determined by natural laws, but that the natural laws were put in place by a creator. There is no reason, in those two sentences, given to believe that natural laws must have been drafted by a supernatural legislator. Such a belief is anthropomorphic nonsense.
I completely agree, but might not call such a belief "anthropomorphic nonsense." I hesitate to join you in this terminology because of the "anthropomorphic principle" - idea that physics is as it is because if it were even slightly different, we would not be here.
loseyourname said:
Phantom limbs and hallucinations are not impossible to explain with our current science. What gives you that impression?
I would not go so far as to claim phantom limbs are impossible to explain outside of the POV I express in the attachment to thread "What Price Free Will?" (Idea that we are only non-material "information" in a parietal real-time simulation of the world we perceive. Hence, being non material, we can have genuine free will without violating physical laws, etc.) But I do note that most of my experience are those of an old man now. My self image is with grey hair, not the blond color my passport still states etc. People with phantom limbs unfortunately usually do not revise their self image to relfect that actual facts. Hallucinations that conflict with the retinal image actually present in the eyes are difficult to explain with the accepted theory that the retinal information flows thru the LGN, to V1 and then different "features" are subsequently separated out for additional processing in other distinct regions of the brain and finally it in some unexplained way it "emerge" as our unified perception.

The theory of my "free will" attachment post 1 offers a rational alternative which is supported by factual observations about phantom limbs, hallucinations, GFW, The "Out of Africa" event, your ability to duck rocks thrown at your head (simulation projects ahead to compensate for the small neural prcessing delays), equally clear visual perception of the forward hemisphere instead of just the 1% corresponding to fovia in high resolution, etc, etc. for many other fact that are at least hard to explain in the standard theory of visual perception.

These things "give me the impression" that my theory is an improvement over the accepted one. It sure does seem to make a lot of things that are not easy to explain fall into place and these things it does easily explain do not even seem to be related to each other in the accepted theory. It is somewhat like the pre James C. Maxwell era, when the laws of magnitism were unrelated to the laws of electricity. Currently many things do not seem to be related, but via my explanation of how we perceive, they are.
 
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  • #25
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Does not free will (if we have one) necessitates God not to be perceived by our senses? For if we could see, or touch or detect God and we would find Him all powerfull , etc would we have free will to decide to believe in HIM or not? (i.e we would not have a free will anymore?)

Why would not exists a planet somewher with full of jumbo jets ? :) it does not violate any physical law...
 
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