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Alkman
Sunday, September 19th, 2004, 05:22 AM
"If I were asked to prove that Zeus and Poseidon and Hera and the rest of the Olympians do not exist, I should be at a loss to find conclusive arguments."

- Bertrand Russell, "What Is an Agnostic?" 1953

While looking around for a bit of bait for which to attach myself, I came upon a request for theistic or agnostic responses to the atheistic response to the "you can't prove a negative" objection to atheism. Seeing a good opportunity for myself to have a bit of fun in the middle of the night at home, I chose the longest of the essays to examine and (hopefully) refute. Quite to my surprise, the article opens with a quote from Bertrand Russell (whose "Why I am not a Christian" I refuted previously). The odd coincidence is this: the very Gods which Russell could not find conclusive arguments against are the very Gods which I believe in.

It is refreshing to find an essay which does not "prove" the non-existence of "God" by "disproving" Christianity but by taking into account the fact that most of the world (especially throughout time) has believed in Gods other than the one proposed by the Christian religion. It is the purpose of this paper to prove why you cannot disprove that a God (especially relating to the Olympians) exists.

Machines with Souls?
Lowder says that "If a contradictory of an article of faith could be proven, then by the law of noncontradiction the article of faith would be disproven." His example is essentially this: if any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from that which occurs naturally, then that which occurs naturally does not exist.

Such an argument would be easily refutable. However, his argument applies only to the Christian concept of a uniquely human soul rather than the Pagan concept of common spirits. The Christian concept of the human consists of a trinity - the body, the intellect, and the soul. The Pagan concept is singular - the body - or dual - the body and spirit. In the Pagan view, humans are not unique in having a spirit. Specifically, in Hellenic view, there are three races: Gods, Men, and Beasts all of which are alive and have spirits. Animistic religions ascribe spirits to all things, even plants and non-"living" things. Also, the Christian would respond, "The machine is only imitating the human intellect, it still does not have a soul." or possibly "The machine is only giving the appearance of an intellect because it is following instructions given to it by a human programmer who has a soul." Therefore, the hypothetical that a machine could imitate a human intellect would not hold up in either a Christian or Pagan view.

Two Proofs, Two Errors
Lowder claims that there are two ways to prove the non-existence of something. The first being that it leads to contradictions, and other is "by carefully looking and seeing."

The first pitfall is easy. Lowder says that if one God exists than another cannot. For example if Christianity is true then Islam cannot be. However, this argument breaks down both in a polytheistical system and through the examination of human experience and faith. A polytheistical system does not deny the possibility of other Gods who are not known to the followers of the system. It does, however, acknowledge that their own system is fully complete and does not need any more Gods. So, I would say that Christianity's claim to a single God named Jehovah would be an unlikely proposition but I am basing my beliefs on my own personal experience and I do not refute the possibility of my being incorrect. The human experience is different for every single person on the planet and every single person has a slightly different concept of the Divine.

One accepts by faith all things. If you are reading this, then you might accept by faith that I am a human just like you and that this paper did not come from nowhere and is not a fluke of the universe. You have faith in the Law of Gravity because if you didn't then you would be quite paranoid much of the time. To prove the existence or non-existence of something, the scientist would say that you have to use your senses to examine something to prove its existence. However, one cannot necessarily trust his senses and something can exist without being sensed. So thus it is impossible to conclusively prove anything!

Agnosticism vs. Atheism
Lowder tries to refute the claim of agnostics who say that you cannot make a statement based on the facts about the existence of a God. Hank Hanegraaff says that you would have to be God to say there is no God. Lowder replies that Theists do not feel that they must be omniscient and omnipresent to make the assertion that there is a God.

We then go into the fact that people only hold knowledge of a fraction of one percent of the world's knowledge and, as Ron Rhodes says, "it is logically possible that God may exist in the 99.9 percent that is outside your [the atheist's] pool of knowledge and experience". Lowder replies and says asks if it is logically possible that a knock-down, deductive disproof of your god may exist in the 99.9 percent that is outside your pool of knowledge and experience. There error here is this: if you have a pencil sitting in front of you then you can conclusively say that, even though you have an extremely limited knowledge and experience, that there is a pencil sitting there. There are also things which I have not seen but I believe are there. For example, I have never been to China but I have faith that it is there. A child who has never even heard of such a country might not think that there could be such a place but that does not prove that it does not exist. Therefore, again it is impossible to conclusively prove anything.

Can You Disprove Polytheism?
Lowder quotes Bertrand Russel as saying

"None of us would seriously consider the possibility that all the gods of Homer really exist, and yet if you were to set to work to give a logical demonstration that Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, and the rest of them did not exist you would find it an awful job. You could not get such proof."


Actually, many people would seriously consider, and do believe, that "all the gods of Homer really exist". And Lowder admits that there is no way to disprove "certain interpretations of the Greek gods, if they are defined so that there are no contradictions either internally or with the observable world." The obvious conclusion is that there are no contradictions between the Gods and the observable world. In fact, the more science examines the observable world, the closer they come to proving the existence of our Gods and possibly even some of our mythology. For example, for many centuries nobody really believed that the Battle of Troy was anything but pure mythology, until they found the city! Scientists claim that the natural world works according to specific laws and so Gods cannot exist. Psychologists claim that people work according to specific laws but no one denies that they exist!

So, science does more to prove the existence of Gods than it does to disprove them!

Conclusion
In this paper, I have shown how it is impossible to disprove the existence of of the Gods. Lowdel even says that "some possible gods (e.g., the Greek Pantheon)... do appear to be unfalsifiable." By his own admission I have won the argument. He has admitted to defeat against the encroaching tide of reality and science. However, he does say that it is possible to disprove a specific God. I would like to take him up on that and actually disprove the existence of one of our Gods.


Blessed Be,
Tyler Roberson

AryanKrieger
Sunday, September 19th, 2004, 02:29 PM
The "gods" are archetypes that have lain dormant in the Collective Unconsciousness of Aryan man that only requires a certain set of environmental stimuli for them to "come to life" again. They cannot be destroyed and they will live as long as the Aryan race lives. If we die, they die. In a very real sense Aryankind is the offspring of the gods. We are in effect gods in embryo.

gorgeousgal2k2
Sunday, September 19th, 2004, 11:19 PM
Yes, by personal experience and just thinking logically really.

You can't have something that just comes without a cause.

ThousandOnePains
Monday, September 20th, 2004, 03:02 AM
It is my personal opinion yes gods do exist , you will find most gods of the past are gods of mother earth nature or the nature of man's mind. Nature is a powerful divine physical reality we are around it everyday, and the nature of man is alive everyday and every century.

The Christian or Judeo god should not have the right to say they are absolute these religions have always said their way is the only way their god is the only god, hate to break it to you god worshipping folks the kingdom of Akhenaten in egypt was established long before the first old testament passage was made. The god Mithra in persia was developing from a low level deity , to the great god later seen in the late roman period. My point is the Monotheistic Religions of christianity and judaism are not special , one god religions have come and go.


I might presume that one reading this would say things of saviors, heaven and hell and why their faith is far superior. I then would reply there have been saviour gods around the world and jesus was not the only god who self sacrificed himself , there are similiar myths. I would also say heaven and hell are in worldly myths around the world.

The gods of the ancient peoples were alive as they are alive today . In today's world we need proof , cause without it we are frighten or confused children, and with it we feel so much safer in knowing.

I might add a fantasy story , but a very good intelligent example a man goes through all universes learning everything , going to place to place learning knowledge of worlds but the one knowledge he can never find is , Why am I here with so much knowledge? Why does the universe exist if everything must come to a end , if everything must decay? That man came upon a simpleton and asked the question that even a enlightened being like himself could not grasp the very foundations of the universe and the simpleton replied we can never know it is beyond us , our only way in life is to see where all of this takes us.

Can You Prove The Existence of Gods? I think no matter in this generation or even eons from now will we ever be able to prove the divinity of all gods, I suppose that is why we believe or have faith , for in death all things become known .


:)

The Blond Beast
Monday, September 20th, 2004, 11:34 AM
Yes, by personal experience and just thinking logically really.

You can't have something that just comes without a cause.

Naturally, resorting to ultimate causality is absurd, as it obviously leads to infinite regression.

The most delicious aspect of organized religion is its belief that an intimate (i.e. a closely judging, omnipotent) God imbued man with reason, yet man has used this "divine" reason to distance this supposedly intimate God from man with every scientific discovery. I find this in obvious contradiction to (any) God's putatively axiomatic nature.

Suffice it to say, something set everything (existence) in motion -- one has to believe this even if one subscribes to something as agnostic as the Big Bang -- but it seems apparent that the force behind existence simply let the chips fall where they have: to think God scrutinizes/judges all, will mete out retribution in the ever-after, and will solve your tax problems is laughable and is only for the "faithful" (read "ignorant").

God is inextricably tied to the fact that man is/was painfully ignorant, knowing only this most immediate world and nothing of the firmament beyond (the rest of the Universe). We now know there is little, if anything, special about our Earthly situation -- there are probably a thousand habitable planets in the Universe for every grain of sand that can be held towards the sky (in such a large realm, the most improabable will occur with some frequency).

Few will accept the fact that humans are nothing but animals -- ruled by the passions and instinct -- only with greater conceptual abilities. Whereas our more primitive ancestors (we share 98% of our DNA with chimps) were concerned with all (mundane) things related to simply perpetuating the species (like all "animals"), we now find ourselves as a species at the zenith of the food pyramid -- the conceptual/intellectual abilities that have allowed us to overcome the "animal" concerns of selection, predation, and starvation have also allowed us to ponder the exotic. Whereas we once had an finite, purposeful existence in the circle of life, our intelligence has allowed us to remove ourselves from that cycle, and now as a species that thinks itself devoid of (what was inherent, ecological) purpose, we ask why it is that we are really here and why everything exists, and envoke the panacea that is God to assuage our ignorance and validate our existence. Man, as Nietzsche stated, is nothing more than "God's Monkey"; one only has to look at Man's only consistent accomplishment -- atavism as the antithesis of godly perfection -- to see that we were anything but created in God's image.

outcastedshadow
Tuesday, September 21st, 2004, 06:39 AM
Gods are beyond science and proof , but rather in belief is one to find gods.

Will man ever find proof of god? I think not it is very unlikely man ever will, for man is never to know to much of himself our own nature limits us in so many ways.

Prussian
Wednesday, September 22nd, 2004, 12:36 AM
Can You Prove the Existence of Gods?.......No one cannot nor can one dispute the fact of existence, however one can theorize to conceive some sort of self-confessed justification or acknowledgement giving way to a far greater purpose then one's sole existence alone.

Rather I tend to look at it this way, if god lives in a man's heart then this is proof he exists & if god/s do/es not live in another man's heart he to is right as god/s do/es not exist, rather god/s is/are an expression deeply present or non-present in man's pysche depending on the individual & case at hand.

Taras Bulba
Wednesday, September 22nd, 2004, 02:50 AM
The Christian or Judeo god should not have the right to say they are absolute these religions have always said their way is the only way their god is the only god, hate to break it to you god worshipping folks the kingdom of Akhenaten in egypt was established long before the first old testament passage was made. The god Mithra in persia was developing from a low level deity , to the great god later seen in the late roman period. My point is the Monotheistic Religions of christianity and judaism are not special , one god religions have come and go.


I might presume that one reading this would say things of saviors, heaven and hell and why their faith is far superior. I then would reply there have been saviour gods around the world and jesus was not the only god who self sacrificed himself , there are similiar myths. I would also say heaven and hell are in worldly myths around the world.

And you seem to be of the opinion that in order for Christianity to be true it must be 100% unique. Perhaps somebody could explain this to me as to why if Christianity has anykind of similarity to anyother faith in the world, therefore Christianity must be either false and/or Christians stolen that element from that other faith?