Believing in God

or not

201 to 220 of 265 messages
15/10/2012 at 11:52

This brings me back to being an agnosrtic atheist.  You will never get a concrete conclusion in a debate between believers and non-believers because of the unbridgable gap between the knowable and the unknowable.

Believers can slip between use of logic for argument's sake and the defense of "faith" whenever it suits them.  They can proclaim that their God is "unknowable" and yet at the same time endow "Him" with physical or emotional traits that we can recognise, even when those traits are incompatible when subjected to logical argument.  So you supposedly have an omnipotent, omniscient and benevolent God, except that's just impossible.  On the other hand, maybe there is a God but we've got Him wrong, e.g. as above, maybe He is all-powerful and all-knowing, but still lets people suffer, i.e. He's not benevolent.

I'm not arguing that there is possibly a God but most people have got the description wrong, I'm just arguing my opinion that the whole concept is impossibly slippery, and that anyone arguing that their God can be described in certain ways, or in any meaningful way be seen as a conscious being who cares about us, whilst still maintaining that ultimately He is unknowable, simply doesn't make any sense.

15/10/2012 at 11:53

"FWIW I think it perfectly possible to put forward a logical argument for an intelligent creator of the Universe"

...which is likely to be how the idea of a god, or gods, came about. You look at what we are part of and say something may have created it.

But it's unfortunate that this has been taken from Stage 1 (something may have created the universe) to a "Stage 2" - something DID create the universe, and that thing is God, and that God is this, or that. Not only have irresponsible clerics  created a being ("God"), they have given it a certain character and talk as if their own creation is a reality. It's all bullshit. Made up, unprovable stuff that is offensive to thinking people. 

All priests, vicars, rabbis, clerics etc should be rounded up and told, "If you can't prove it, shut up. And since you can't actually prove it - shut up!"

 

15/10/2012 at 11:54
carterusm wrote (see)
Intermanaut wrote (see)
Anyway, answer my first question: what was there before God, 6,001 years ago?

Havent a clue. I happen to believe there is a God but the proof is flakey, at least. A book written by a few people a couple of thousand years ago is no real proof at all. I was bought up a catholic but didnt believe everything, or agree with everything, I was told at church e.g. no sex before marriage. My question would be why, if two people love each other, shouldnt they be allowed to consumate that relationship by having sex. I do, however, believe that the church has helped guide me to reach my own conclusions during the course of my life and help me to become the person I am. On the other hand, I am also not convinced about the big bang theory and all that stuff. Whilst, in more recent years, there is plenty of scientific evidence to support many things, there is still no actual proof about how we came to be here. So, I believe in one thing and others believe in something else. That's how God wanted it to be when he put us here 

The proof for the existence of God isn't flaky at all.

15/10/2012 at 12:02

Mr Viper, i've heard all these arguments before, free will etc, it still goes back to making god an irrelevent construct if he has no purpose. Now, I too have no purpose for being here I just exist, but then I'm not put forward as being omnipotent and of great importance.

 

Colin McLaughlin wrote (see)

"God either doesn't exist or he's incompetent."

 

These aren't the only alternatives. e.g.

- A god could have given up on us.

- God could be a sadist, and we his little experiment.

- He could have gone to the other side of the universe and be too busy with the Planet Zorg, his latest creation, to be bothered with the earthlings at present.

- God might have died.

 

A good book on this (for my recollection of 25 years ago anyway) is The Problem of Pain by C S Lewis which discusses some of this stuff.

- A god could have given up on us.

Not much of a god then is it? If a supreme being gives up so easily why should I believe in them?

- God could be a sadist, and we his little experiment.

Not much of a god then is it? If a supreme being wants to hurt us why should I believe in them?

- He could have gone to the other side of the universe and be too busy with the Planet Zorg, his latest creation, to be bothered with the earthlings at present.

You have a very different defintion of omnipotent to me! lol

- God might have died.

As above...

 

I'm curious as to why you refer to god as "he"? If we're made in it's image where do women fit in?

 

 

Edit: removed double quote?

Edited: 15/10/2012 at 12:03
15/10/2012 at 12:16
Colin McLaughlin wrote (see)

"FWIW I think it perfectly possible to put forward a logical argument for an intelligent creator of the Universe"

...which is likely to be how the idea of a god, or gods, came about. You look at what we are part of and say something may have created it.

But it's unfortunate that this has been taken from Stage 1 (something may have created the universe) to a "Stage 2" - something DID create the universe, and that thing is God, and that God is this, or that. Not only have irresponsible clerics  created a being ("God"), they have given it a certain character and talk as if their own creation is a reality. It's all bullshit. Made up, unprovable stuff that is offensive to thinking people. 

All priests, vicars, rabbis, clerics etc should be rounded up and told, "If you can't prove it, shut up. And since you can't actually prove it - shut up!"

 

RW create a sticky! QED

15/10/2012 at 12:17
lardarse wrote (see)

"A god could have given up on us."

"Not much of a god then is it? If a supreme being gives up so easily why should I believe in them?"

That doesn't follow. If I was god and I'd created the human race, I'd be disappointed enough with my creation not to bother with it any more. Human nature is pretty awful. You could believe in a creator who started the thing off but is so dismayed he's turned his back on us and his attentions are elsewhere.

 

 

- God could be a sadist, and we his little experiment.

Not much of a god then is it? If a supreme being wants to hurt us why should I believe in them? 

 Why, "not much of a god"? We do the same to mice and rats in our laboratories as god might be doing to us. You are confusing two ideas. Hitler wanted to hurt people (or had the effect of hurting them) but Hitler existed. He didn't not exist because he wanted to hurt people.

 

 

- He could have gone to the other side of the universe and be too busy with the Planet Zorg, his latest creation, to be bothered with the earthlings at present.

You have a very different defintion of omnipotent to me! lol

 

 Who said he had to be omnipotent?

You can't be in two places at once. Why should a god be able to be?

 

I'm curious as to why you refer to god as "he"? If we're made in it's image where do women fit in?

 

 Because it's a convention, sort of.

Maybe I should have included a definitions section in my post. 

----

I don't actually believe there is anything in the universe that corresponds to what priests and clerics etc present to us as "god". I was simply contesting your idea that either there isn't a god or he's incompetent. If there were a god, there are other explanations that could be presented besides incompetence to explain his absence/non-intervention.

 

15/10/2012 at 12:27
PhilPub wrote (see)

anyone arguing that their God can be described in certain ways, or in any meaningful way be seen as a conscious being who cares about us, whilst still maintaining that ultimately He is unknowable, simply doesn't make any sense.

Phil - Quite agree with the above.

Colin - Pretty much agree though I would question whether all priests, vicars etc think in the way you suggest. I know from experience that many reject a God in such a form.

15/10/2012 at 12:35
carterusm wrote (see)
On the other hand, I am also not convinced about the big bang theory and all that stuff. Whilst, in more recent years, there is plenty of scientific evidence to support many things, there is still no actual proof about how we came to be here. So, I believe in one thing and others believe in something else. That's how God wanted it to be when he put us here 

 Catersum – What makes you so unsure about the big bang? There is an awful lot of scientific evidence backing it up. The measurement of radiation levels in recent times match those predicted when the theory was first postulated. It’s very convincing indeed. When you say there is still no proof as to why we came to be here do you mean why we as humans exist? Or do you mean why the Universe exists. I.e why is there something rather than nothing at all?

15/10/2012 at 12:50

Not that I am claiming to be an expert on the big bang - but I do suspect that when people say they are not convinced by evolution or the big bang - it may be because they really haven't examined it very closely - and just have a vague idea about what it is. 

15/10/2012 at 13:02

Just had a quick look at William Lane Craig's website.

15/10/2012 at 13:09

yes - I just had a look too - the bit I looked at was pretty morally repugnant. 

15/10/2012 at 13:32

Belief in anything requires us to accept some things without proof doesn't it ?  That includes God, the Big Bang or that the coffee I'm drinking actually exists.  

15/10/2012 at 14:00

@popsider - I guess so, yes, but it comes down to whether there's enough evidence to convince you one way or the other.  When it comes down to monkeys vs God, the balance is clearly on the side of monkeys.

15/10/2012 at 14:03

Interesting discussion, guys, but I don't think you'll ever prove the existence or non-existence of God. Judging from my own experiences I am convinced that He is real. However, I can appreciate that someone who has suffered greatly would disagree and I wouldn't want to belittle what they have or are going through. I would say though that I believe God loves each one of us and longs for us to love him in return, but he gives us a choice as to how we live our lives. That freewill then opens up the possibility of pain, suffering and evil. I therefore openly admit that I am part of the problem. In spite of the evil within me, I believe that God chose to become one of us and take on that pain and suffering and ultimately death for himself. This God-man, Jesus, was raised to life from the dead and offers us the possibility of forgiveness and healing and can start to deal with the evil within me. Yes, it sounds crazy. No, I don't have all, or in fact many of, the answers, but what I am experiencing is just amazing and I wouldn't want to live without him. Then again, you may think that I am merely self-deluded and that's fine. After all, I've just said that God gives us a choice, so I am not going to try and force anyone into any particular belief!

15/10/2012 at 14:11

@Gul Darr - you can't prove the existence of anything - nothing at all.  All you can do is prove something beyond reasonable doubt.  Got any evidence to support the existence of God? What about what was here before 4000BC?

15/10/2012 at 14:14
Gul Darr wrote (see)

Interesting discussion, guys, but I don't think you'll ever prove the existence or non-existence of God. Judging from my own experiences I am convinced that He is real. However, I can appreciate that someone who has suffered greatly would disagree and I wouldn't want to belittle what they have or are going through. I would say though that I believe God loves each one of us and longs for us to love him in return, but he gives us a choice as to how we live our lives. That freewill then opens up the possibility of pain, suffering and evil. I therefore openly admit that I am part of the problem. In spite of the evil within me, I believe that God chose to become one of us and take on that pain and suffering and ultimately death for himself. This God-man, Jesus, was raised to life from the dead and offers us the possibility of forgiveness and healing and can start to deal with the evil within me. Yes, it sounds crazy. No, I don't have all, or in fact many of, the answers, but what I am experiencing is just amazing and I wouldn't want to live without him. Then again, you may think that I am merely self-deluded and that's fine. After all, I've just said that God gives us a choice, so I am not going to try and force anyone into any particular belief!

Easy to prove non existance. No evidence of existance for a start. You're wrong about some of us thinking you are self delusional, the evidence indicates that we know you are self delusional. Its not fine though if you expect rational people to take anything you say seriously at all. 

15/10/2012 at 14:26
RicF wrote (see)
 

Easy to prove non existance. No evidence of existance for a start.

Lack of evidence of existence isn't proof of non-existence.

15/10/2012 at 14:28

Intermanaut - I guess you are implying that I think the universe is only 6000 years old? I don't think that Genesis is a literal account of creation; more of a why than a how. So I don't have a problem with the universe being billions of years old or however long it might be.

RicF -  I don't accept that no evidence of existence is a proof of non-existence, but I will admit that a lack of evidence might give you grounds to make it a reasonable assumption. But it remains an assumption or theory, however reasonable it might be. My reasons for faith and belief in God are based on personal experience and I can not reasonably expect you to accept that as proof, but I could start with by saying that my wife had a vision of me years before we met and God asked her to lead me to him and I would be her husband. Obviously you are not going to take anything at all I say seriously now and I am not surprised.

Edited: 15/10/2012 at 14:29
15/10/2012 at 14:41
PhilPub wrote (see)
RicF wrote (see)
 

Easy to prove non existance. No evidence of existance for a start.

Lack of evidence of existence isn't proof of non-existence.

Indeed, you're correct. A lazy comment. Can't be proved, nearest we can go would be unlikely and that view would only be based on current knowledge. 

Dare I say, that if God was proven to exist, wouldn't that be something?, scary.

Edited: 15/10/2012 at 14:46
15/10/2012 at 14:53

@Gul - see that's the kind of thing that made me run screaming from the church in the first place.

The kind of thinking that says god loves us so much he would direct a husband and wife together, but he doesn't love humanity enough to stop the horrendous shit that goes on every day.

Free will - nope - what a cop out that is.

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