View Poll Results: Can the Existence of God be Proven?

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  • Yes the Existence of God can be proven.

    8 22.22%
  • No the Existence of God can't be proven.

    18 50.00%
  • There is no valid answer to this question.

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Thread: Can The Existence of God be Proven?

  1. #61
    Senior Member Soten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aeternitas View Post
    While I find the first parts of St. Thomas Aquinas's arguments pretty good, his proof in its whole isn't really valid proof IMO. He fails to prove that "God" is behind the things in motion, that "God" is the cause of things and so on. Why "God" and not the Devil, Mohammed, Buddha, the Gods of the Roman pantheon, the Fairy Queen, Santa, or the guy next door even? Yes surely there must be a cause to explain all these things but who is to say it is a spiritual force/being? He expected us sinful heretics to just take his word that it's "God"?
    The first parts of Aquinas' "proof" are logically sound I think. As far as it being "God" and not Larry the Plumber who is these things, there is a catch. This being that Aquinas is describing and proving exists is the First Mover, the First Cause, a Necessary Being, the Greatest Being, and the Intelligent Designer. Aquinas refers to this being as God because that is what our perception of what a God is. If Mohammed was all of these things, Mohammed would be God. If your next door neighbor was all these things he/she would be God. The proof doesn't say anything about this God being the God of the Christians, or the God that rested on the seventh day, or the God that became incarnate in Christ. It only says there is a powerful being that has all these characteristics. And by having these characteristics its an entity that we could refer to as a God.

  2. #62
    Senior Member Loddfafner's Avatar
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    The world exists because it can. That is all, and that is enough.

  3. #63
    Senior Member SineNomine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kadu View Post
    Another possible question is "Is there any proof that God doesn't exist?", can we affirm that God doesn't exist?
    Proofs are the responsibility of the person making a positive assertion. I do not need to prove that the tooth fairy does not exist to say there is no reason to believe that she does.

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by SineNomine View Post
    I do not need to prove that the tooth fairy does not exist to say there is no reason to believe that she does.
    We have proof that the tooth fairy doesn't exist, i don't know if you are aware but while you were asleep your parents removed your teeth from your pillow.
    In other words it's lame to compare Santa Claus or the Tooth fairy to God!:p

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aeternitas View Post
    While I find the first parts of St. Thomas Aquinas's arguments pretty good, his proof in its whole isn't really valid proof IMO. He fails to prove that "God" is behind the things in motion, that "God" is the cause of things and so on. Why "God" and not the Devil, Mohammed, Buddha, the Gods of the Roman pantheon, the Fairy Queen, Santa, or the guy next door even? Yes surely there must be a cause to explain all these things but who is to say it is a spiritual force/being? He expected us sinful heretics to just take his word that it's "God"? :p
    I should remind you that these are just brief summaries of his arguments. He goes into considerable detail within Part One of the Summa Theologica, concerning the existence and essence of god.

    I believe Soten has already dealt with many aspects of your argument. What's interesting is that your arguments bear strong resemblence to some of the criticisms levelled at Pascal's wager.

    One thing should be noted about both Aquinas' proofs and Pascal's wager; they don't definatively proof their case as their authors may have originally intended; nevertheless they still provoke us into some serious thought on the issue.

    It's impossible to prove God's existence with absolute certainity, but Aquinas certainly does show that one can reasonably conclude that a God does exist. Pascal also made this point; that one can never fully convince an atheist of God's existence, but you can show that there is indeed merit to belief in one.

    I'll also remind the gallery that Aquinas' proofs have received considerable criticism within Christian circles.

    My own position to similar to that of Kierkegaard:

    "To stand on one leg and prove God's existence is a very different thing from going on one's knees and thanking Him."

    Kierkegaard also noted that discussions about God's existence tend to make great comedies. I also agree on that account; since both sides tend to miss the truth that staring them in the face.

    Quote Originally Posted by SineNomine View Post
    Proofs are the responsibility of the person making a positive assertion.
    In normal circumstances yes, but God's existence is not your typical issue.

    In other words it's lame to compare Santa Claus or the Tooth fairy to God!
    That's true. Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy are both supposed to be entities that operate within the natural world, and thus viable to standard proof. God by contrast, is supposed to be a supernatural entity that operates outside the natural world, and is far more complex than either Santa or the Tooth Fairy.

  6. #66
    Senior Member Next World's Avatar
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    I'm just going to copy my postings from another forum. I don't know if the context in which the debate on this forum originally spawned from, but I think whether or not I am referring to a Christian God or a God in general is beside the point. This is about whether or not there is a God, rather than whether or not he feels certain things or did certain things or is male. Anything new is outside of quotations. Some of the following may seem irrelevant. I'm leaving out sections of the thread which I know are entirely irrelevant.


    An overview of my beliefs about "God":
    By Nature, I am cosmotheistic, and as a result, I've accepted to a degree, henotheism. I believe that all "Gods" which are truly believed in do exist, because energy was forged into giving them existence. Obviously, some "Gods" would be bigger than others at this point, such as Allah, because Allah has a lot of people who truly believe in him, and pray to him six times per day. Other Gods with not as many followers would exist, but they wouldn't be as large or powerful. For example, Isis probably had more power back in the days of her conception, but it wound down as people moved away from belief in her, and now very few people actually believe in and worship her, most of her "followers" are fat gothic chicks who think they can cast spells if they yell "Isis" a few times, but it's not a genuine belief, so it doesn't contribute as much to her existence.

    With that said, I believe that Gods exist, some of them to a degree that is astronomical, some to a degree which is simply nominal.

    I, within myself, don't worship any "God", I worship very little, but Earth Nature is probably the closest to what I do worship. I do sustain a respect for and relationship with a god-force, which I do have a name for, but most people just call "the universe" or "energy".

    I don't really pray, I set plans and make intentions (Someone tells a higher power what to do? Oh, the heresy!).

    A lot of people don't like my religious views because they think they are too self-righteous, but I'm just a ball of energy, like everything else, so in my line of thinking, that makes me just as righteous as a brewing storm, or an ant colony. A lot of people also hate the fact that I don't give my god-force a body or face, but I don't really have a reason to. I probably wouldn't deal with my god-force if it were an actual God with a face, then I'd have created an authority figure to answer to, and I certainly don't need another one. eyes:

    Responding to whether or not one truly "believes" there is a "God", or whether one simply desires for there to be a "God":
    I'm not sure this applies to me, considering that I believe is just a more spiritual approach to Science. There is a difference between knowing and believing. I know that "God" cannot be proven or disproved, I know that the extent of Energy I believe in cannot be proven or disproved (although, they have done more to prove themselves, considering that literally everything is made of energy, and the laws I believe in have been repeated throughout history as fact by people who actually went places and did things).

    Sometimes I want to believe in Heaven. I used to believe in Heaven. Sometimes I want to believe in Hell. I used to believe in hell, much longer ago. I believe in non-specific reincarnation. Meaning that our next form isn't all ready decided, isn't necessarily something we view as "living", but usually is. I do believe there is some sort of spiritual "ranking", where those who have created more positive energy about themselves get to be something they would find to be "better", whether it's grains of sand, a Whale, or another human being, and those who create a more negative energy about themselves wind up being insects or chickens or fruiting plants.

    However, I think the way my belief in reincarnation is different, is because it really looks at the soul as energy that has just been given a Nature (+/-). So when a human "soul" reincarnates into a human, it either becomes several humans, the human body and the human soul, or the human soul and various other things, like rocks and cats and seedpods, because there isn't as much matter or non-physical energy in a baby as in an adult. The way I see things, that would also explain the theories of "soul-splitting" (one person reincarnating into several), and the ideas that when individuals reincarnate from human to human, they keep some of the same physical features (It's theorized that this is a "choice", I think it is more that the energy is all ready used to a certain formation and just applies itself to a new unit.).

    Sure, a lot of people are religious because they want to believe in Heaven, and that there is some goal and purpose and judgement at the end of life. I mean, you've got to believe in something to keep you alive.

    Then again, a lot of people calling themselves Atheists want to disbelieve in Heaven and Hell and God, because they find such concepts oppressive and limiting and are honestly afraid of not being in control of every fraction of their life, and are afraid of post-mortem judgement. I know some of them do believe in God, though, they're just scared to admit it, because they don't want to be let down, and they don't want to find out that they aren't how God wants them to be. A lot of people claim to be Atheists for reasons of emotional security. They say that God simply doesn't exist, because they don't want him to. Oh, if only things worked that way....


    I now recall why people get rid of their religion forums. I almost forgot.

    I have stated all ready what "God" is to me. I, like Lida, believe in what is commonly called a "Cosmotheistic" theory. I, however, look at it from the standpoint that is associated with science, although even before I needed "intelligent reasons to believe", I was elementally cosmotheistic. The idea is that the concept of God and the concept of energy are interchangeable. "Has always been, will always be, cannot be created or destroyed, creates everything and dictates everything..." So on. Same stuff, different name. I don't tell people what I call my "God", personally. Once something is given a name it all turns to poop. That is why I reassure myself constantly that the way others view "God" does not effect what happens to me. Because people have been building off of the "God" thing for so long that there is an energy that takes the name "God" and is pretty PO'd at this point I think, given all that has been said about him.

    Everything is made of "God" if "God = Energy".
    Matter = elements = molecules = protons, neutrons, electrons = quarks = energy.
    Matter = Energy
    Energy = Energy
    Energy + Matter = Energy
    Energy + Matter = "God"

    The question is--why are quarks/energy here? How did they get here? Well, because they're quarks and energy, of course! :

    The reason that energy takes different forms, like matter, and then matter takes different forms, like carbon, and then carbon takes different forms, like humans, and then humans take different forms, like members of the White race is because energy is influenced to be a certain way (+/-). From there on, any arrangement and movement of energy creates different things that we recognize and usually give a name to. How are all of these thousand and billions and octillions and aidgaishdfidfhasfdnhillions of combinations just spontaneously occurring? Well, I suppose because they want to, right? I don't see how believing that "God" started the universe is any more ridiculous than believing that the universe started itself. Especially given the fact that "thinking creatures" start everything we know, from cars to rebellions. I would consider Nature to be a thinking creature. But then again, Nature is a pretty big part of "God" on Earth.

    I certainly do believe in evolution. I sometimes do believe in evolution with divine assistance (as in we got up to the highest past-human and then something else, be it Aliens or "God" put the finishing touches on or bred with us), but not usually. As far as the "missing link" between the lowest human and the highest ape, I honestly wouldn't be surprised if we ground their bones to make our cave-paint. Lord knows that the first few hundred of every new stage of evolution were probably killed off for being freaks with the "wrong" number of toes or not enough hair or something like that. "New species" are being discovered constantly. The missing link isn't so much missing as it is unfound.

    As far as the owls with the butterfly spots, I do think that is an "act" of "God", but it was prompted by the butterflies. Butterflies aren't geniuses, I figure, but they probably know the same few things every animal knows: Animal Y will try to eat me, I will not try to eat it, it will not try to have sex with me, I will not try to have sex with it. Animal X will not try to eat me, I will not try to eat it, it will not try to have sex with me, and I will not try to have sex with it. Animal X will try to eat Animal Y, Animal Y will not try to eat Animal X, Animal X and Animal Y will not try to have sex with one another. An animal can identify its prey, its predators, and its partners. If it couldn't, its species wouldn't have survived this long, or it, as an individual, is retarded (or watches MTV). I doubt that enough owls managed to mutate with butterfly spots on their necks to form a specific species with butterfly spots on their necks, without some sort of "ethereal" assistance. The butterfly recognizes the owl as a safe organism. The butterfly/owl safety association adjusts energy and over time influences owls and butterflies to allow for better safety from one to the other (more owls with butterfly spots born, and alive long enough to reproduce, or owls with butterfly spot genes passing them on more regularly). I think a better place to look at this is with the stick and leaf bugs. Allegedly, they both were once the same kind of bug. Evolving from a bug which looks like a bug to a bug that looks JUST like a piece of plant is very, very, very unlikely. Unless of course the bugs realized "things that look like this do not get eaten by the same things which try to eat me" and essentially wanted to look like leaves and sticks. I'm not saying a beetle would just lay a bunch of stick bugs, obviously not, but I think that the intentions which all species use to influence energy have severely aided evolution.

    Then again, I'm a loony nutjob who believes in something she'll casually call "God" while amongst other people, because she thinks what she calls it is her personal business and that she sounds like a total prick when she says she believes "in the Universe" or "in energy" and doesn't want to bother explaining to people that it's the same thing with a different name.

    We think (believe/know), therefore, it is. Just the same, when we don't think (believe/know), it isn't. Or in most cases, some of us think, and some of us don't think, so it is or isn't to a greater or lesser degree after you do a bit of math.

    I'm content with science. I'm discontent with science's belief that it knows and can know and prove everything. It cannot. Even if the "Big Bang Theory" (a bit funny when you say it to yourself... this wad off stuff blew apart and expanded to become big wads of stuff) is the truth--how did that compressed matter get there? Either you believe that everything has happened because it just did, or because it was planned that way by some force. I prefer to believe that what does happen does because it is planned by various forces (I have staked my claim to part of the future, I don't know about you guys.), so I'm inclined to want to call the great big everything "God", in public, rather than simply "energy", because energy has been given a very limited definition. I used to say that I believed in energy how people believe in their Gods. I got a bit sick of trying to explain to people that I don't have a shrine set up to Duracell in my room.

    Sorry for the "doubletalk" or whatever, but until Science comes up with a better reason for everything being there than "Well--we think--it just... was.", I'm going to like the idea of God much, much more. I suppose that makes me immature, like a child who believes that "because I [parent/God] said so" is a better argument than "Well... uh... I guess... or... we don't know.".

    I'm starting to realize that the "because I'm your mother" argument is a lot more valid than actual reasons. Maybe it's that way with God, too.

    But if you'd like to disprove God and shed better light on the beginnings of time and the "why" of it all, I'd LOVE to hear it.

    Musings about why "God" would allow people to be non-believers:
    Maybe, if there were such a God, he would enjoy to watch us fight and argue about his existence without having any real way to prove or disprove it, I think. More so than to watch us all be content with our knowledge of his presence. War games and "world creator" stuff for the computer and video game systems wouldn't be so adored if it weren't for all of the wildcards. Ignorance of God/no God/sort of God is a wildcard in life. Life isn't a perfect thing, but if it were perfect, it wouldn't be nearly as fun to watch.

    Sort of like how a lot of kids will stop fighting when a parent enters the room. If nobody questioned God, how uninteresting would things be... no more holy wars... all that good stuff... out the window.

    I know if I were an omnipotent God, I'd want people who didn't believe in me. Somebody's got to be a loser in order for it all to be fun.
    Parts of my views in the following quote aren’t exactly the same any longer, but they aren’t really pertinent to the discussion.
    What does Christianity have to do with God? eyes:

    When science proves that energy is a thinking body and can decide and conduct itself in solidarity and "choose" to change its charge and arrangement without the influence of thinking bodies (animals, Nature, other such things we "recognize" and having some sort of mind, if not a brain), then there will be no need for God, only a desire for God. Because then, science, in all its great arrogance, will have finally given God the right name, and after this happens, the only people who speak of God by the current name will either be schizophrenic, or the same kind of people who call flight attendants "stewards" and "stewardesses", still, or hold open doors for other people.

    It cannot be argued against that we are, as a people, a large creative force, and in a human definition, one of the few classes of things with actual creative thought. However, despite the fact that we are some of the few intentionally creative entities on the planet, we are not, have never been, and more than likely never will be the only entities that create. We take in our hands formed and recognizable energy, and we create using such things. This can be seen at lower levels of the evolutionary rung, such as with beavers. This can also be seen above us, with Nature's creation of Natural disasters (tornadoes, hurricanes, and other storms are a good example). We are, however, not "immune" to the way other creatures (and our own) do create (through intention/desire/a need for survival, other single-tracked things). So, although we did not physically create the malice many races hold towards ours, it is something we have to deal with. Just the same, even if nobody ever stood up and arranged q-tips and rubber bands into "God" (although I'm sure it has happened), we still have to deal with, in some way or other, with the non-physical "Gods" and what they do with the powers and energy bestowed upon them by mainly our people, and maybe even the ones innately present.



    I think Christianity is a great big hoax, for sure, though, I've never really thought any different. Although, as with most things, I think that all of the energy that aspects of Christianity have drawn to themselves has manifested. Belief is the creator, and so on. I think a good example of this, is when people are "proven" to have the stigmata of Christ, it appears in their hands, rather than their wrists. Because even though Science has "proven" that Christ would have had to have been nailed to the cross at a point in his wrists in order to survive on the cross as long as he did, people still believe that he was nailed through his hands, either because they believe that Jesus could perform miracles and his death showed signs of ahuman miracle, or because they just haven't heard the arguments against it, yet. Then of course, there's the idea that he died before making the march, and above that, the idea that he never existed (I believe he was an accumulation of people written down in a cultural "etiquette" book, as most cultures have one. Jesus was "the hero" and just reflected different ideas and people.). Yet still, people get the stigmata, always at the same point in their hands, and always for a prescribed time period. I highly doubt it is a "skin condition", too, like at least one person I know tries to say it is. eyes:

    If believing that "God" stands behind one and all that one does helps people to manifest, then I suggest it. Theoretically, we all can survive without eating once we have reached a certain stage in development. However, the people who go without eating for years, only consuming energy directly from the sun, more often than not have a "God" entity to thank.

    Of course, thinking that you, yourself, are God could have the same effect, but that usually makes other people uncomfortable. I view myself as a small part of God, and all of the other energy in the universe which I have the power and ability to influence, that is what I truly view as God.
    Energy is everything. I all ready explained that. Even matter is composed of Energy. So, you and I, as Lida said, are made of God. Just like everything else. God is just energy with a thought quality. Science never proved energy to have the ability to think, which is why God is a good idea.



    Drawn out and poorly written? You bet. However, the main point is that unless science gives quarks the recognized ability to "think" and "choose" rather than be entirely random, the concept of "God" is intelligent. Maybe when aliens become factual, then the belief in God will be filtered out further. Can you really expect people to believe that something as limitless as energy randomized to be such a static set of entities? Yes, I know that there are quite a few things in the universe, but how is it that we are the only conceivably humanoid creatures on this planet? Has science proven that there are other planets that house humanoids of several sorts? Has science proven that there are any other sorts of humanoids currently living whatsoever?

    If everything is random, you've got to admit, it's very peculiar and perhaps very lucky that we randomly managed to wind up in a somewhat desolate area of the universe on a planet where we are the only species of our direct caliber. There could be other places of the universe not quite like this, then again, there might not be, we might truly be alone. And just imagine how different everything would be if at some point along the way, a quark was off... (I do say, one-eyed, one-horned, flying, purple people-eaters could be running amuck if it weren't for that one quark's randomness falling in line with the course of the universe.).



    So basically, I think what I'm trying to say, is that the proof is that there is no truly inclusve alternative.
    Polygamy: it might not be for you, but what right do you have to keep it from me?

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    "God is dead"

    The death of God will lead, Nietzsche says, not only to the rejection of a belief of cosmic or physical order but also to a rejection of absolute values themselves — to the rejection of belief in an objective and universal moral law, binding upon all individuals.

    ...


    Nietzsche believed there could be positive possibilities for humans without God. Relinquishing the belief in God opens the way for human creative abilities to fully develop. The Christian God, with his arbitrary commands and prohibitions, would no longer stand in the way, so human beings might stop turning their eyes toward a supernatural realm and begin to acknowledge the value of this world. The recognition that "God is dead" would be like a blank canvas. It is a freedom to become something new, different, creative — a freedom to be something without being forced to accept the baggage of the past.

    Nietzsche uses the metaphor of an open sea, which can be both exhilarating and terrifying. The people who eventually learn to create their lives anew will represent a new stage in human existence, the Übermensch —i.e. the personal archetype who, through the conquest of their own nihilism, themselves become a mythical hero. The 'death of God' is the motivation for Nietzsche's last (uncompleted) philosophical project, the 'revaluation of all values'.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_is_dead
    I will never be able to go with anything other than something along the lines of the above.

    Later,

    -Lyfing

  8. #68
    Senior Member BeornWulfWer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SineNomine View Post
    What proof of God is there to begin with?

    The voice within your head.
    I believe that God,or God's,reside within us all.
    All we have to do is listen to our God's.
    "The only way to get smarter is to play a smarter opponent."

    _________________

  9. #69
    Senior Member SineNomine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taras View Post
    In normal circumstances yes, but God's existence is not your typical issue.
    Why is it not? I am open to logical proofs of the existence of God, but again these are positive proofs made by individuals asserting God's existence. Proving a negative is an entirely different case.

    That's true. Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy are both supposed to be entities that operate within the natural world, and thus viable to standard proof. God by contrast, is supposed to be a supernatural entity that operates outside the natural world, and is far more complex than either Santa or the Tooth Fairy.
    Too convenient for words.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kadu View Post
    We have proof that the tooth fairy doesn't exist, i don't know if you are aware but while you were asleep your parents removed your teeth from your pillow.
    Humour aside, what proof do we have that she doesn't? I can assert that invisible goblins float around in the air. It is my task to prove it - simply saying "it exists because you can't prove otherwise!" is no proof at all.

    PS: Just taking a small break from my posting repose, for those curious.

  10. #70
    Senior Member Elysium's Avatar
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    You don't need to prove that God exists but just fail to disprove God's existence.

    There's no way you can really "prove" your point either way, however. It's more a contest of who's beliefs are more probable and logical.
    Perfection.

    War is God's way of teaching Americans geography. - Ambrose Bierce

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