Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Lord Bane, Oct 28, 2001.
Is there a God; why or why not?
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I have no way of proving conclusively either that there is or is not a god; therefore I have to say there's no way we can know.
While we cannot prove one way or another, skepticism (is there a big man in the sky who made us and will take us to his magical city when we die only if we believe in him) and faith (I believe there is a God, because...), as well as science must play a large part in all of this.
Who has the faith to say their is a God? Who has the notion that he's a mere phantom, a fantasy created to answer the unaswerable?
I guess I'll be the first to say that I do believe there is a God. I just don't see how there couldn't be, and wouldn't want to know what it's like to not believe there isn't.
So when this thread get's up to it's 25 KaZillionth post, I'll be written down in the history books as the first believer.
Snap, I respect (<- key word, folks; remember to use it often) your faith and your ideas.
I also believe there is a God, an all-father, Mother Goddes, an infinite being that created us, that always was and will be forever and a day. I have faith in that being, blind or otherwise - it doesn't matter. Some things in life are taken on a wing and a prayer.
I agree with Mara. The only truth in the debate over the existence of a higher being is that there's no way to prove it either way. My opinion on the subject is that there couldn't possibly be a god, but I respect those who have faith in his or her existence.
No one knows 100% for sure.
That's why religion is divided by two types of people: Those who have faith, and those who don't.
Of course, seeing as how there isn't any complete evidence one way or the other, threats of eternal damnation are pretty hefty for those who don't have the necessary faith, IMHO.
I know it's difficult to try and put a reasoned argument on this subject down on paper but I'm gonna try....
//puts philosophy hat on.
Ok, This is a thread I?ve wanted to start for a long time. If it is done properly and not personally, it can be a fascinating debate.
When I studied philosophy, this question hounded me. It is one of the most popular philosophical questions. Is there a God? What are the arguments for and against the existence of God?
The way I was taught the different aspects of this subject was really rather simple. There are 6 main arguments and I would like to discuss them all with you one at a time so this thread doesn?t go out of control.
The easiest way to remember the 6 arguments is this statement. A COMET. Those two words sum up all six arguments. They are
Now, some of these are much more complicated than others, but, I?m going to start from the head of the list at first.
The Anthropological argument for the existence of god.
Now, let?s go back. Thousands of years if we must. Before the Roman Empire, even maybe before the ancient Egyptians. There were many different civilisations in different parts of the world. They had no means to communicate with each other, in fact, it?s a pretty safe bet to suggest they thought they were the ONLY people on earth.
Now, after archaeological research into these ancient civilisations, we find that they were quite different but one thing was common. A very important thing. They ALL worshiped some sort of supreme being. They may have been different beings but the individual specifics are not important. The fact is that they all, without communication with each other, had a notion of an overall supreme being that dictated their lives to a certain extent. A ?God? if you like.
Now, the question is why? Why did these civilisations, without any contact with others, all worship a ?God?? What made them think that way? Does this mean that ?God? exists? Or does it mean that human kind has an innate inferiority complex?
What do you think explains these findings?
Can I go off topic a bit here?
Whether there is a God or not though, I found the reaction to September 11th interesting. You saw and heard about people who'd never been to a church before or prayed doing just that, and finding comfort in it, regardless of whether they believed anyone up there was listening to them. That's the true power of religion IMHO.
A quote from Einstein I always liked was, "What really interests me is whether God had any choice in the creation of the world."
Not sure if that has anything to do with anything, but just thought I would throw it out there
CA -- I agree about the interesting reaction since 9/11... people forget, I think, that America is a profoundly religious country, if not one that's exactly settled about what that religion is. (Comes from being founded by Deists, I think. ) Americans tend to forget it as often as non-Americans, but it comes out when something happens to us. I think the reason it confuses people is because there is no established religion (and can't be unless the Constitution is pretty much overthrown). However, most of our national belief systems are predicated on the idea that, as Jefferson put it, "[We] are endowed by [our] Creator with certain inalienable rights."
To get back to the question, I think proofs and disproofs aren't going to really work one way or another. Take chaos theory -- that complex systems tend to arrange themselves after a certain amount of time. Atheists take that as evidence that the complex systems of the world arrange themselves without a Creator; theists take it as evidence that the Creator had a really good plan for a self-sustaining creation.
The Einstein quote I've always liked is "God does not play dice with the universe."
I believe in God. I don't see how there could not be one.
AlphaWolf, I'm interested in hearing the rest of that soon.
Since this is an opinionated thread, I'll just go ahead and say what i've been wanting to say for a long time...
God does not physically exist. Finding the right words to say that I am about to say is impossible, so I'll just wing it. The only way god exists is through billions of people's minds to find hope through tough times in their life. They call finding "faith" finding an answer through you're own interpretations of the bible and god's own works. So in sum up, nobody will ever "meet" God. He's just something people pray to so they will sleep better at night.
If you take "God" in the traditional, Judaic tradition, I do not believe there is. But, if you take a broader concept of "god" in the sense that it is a life force which helps to connect life together, then I think I can believe in that.
I believe that there is a G-d. Try to prove that there isn't.
Or, as Izzi might say, try to prove there is.
The problem with these discussions is that the mystical and the physical do not mix. You cannot "measure" the mystical world using physical world tools. However, by the same token there are no "mystical" tools to measure with at all.
Hard to resolve this question without the proper tools. Maybe some spiritual duct tape will help?
Alphawolf: You just provided me a perfect way to help me remember those arguments. Thanks.
Spiritual duct tape!
The anthropological argument:
If there really is one true God, why would the belief systems that sprang up across the world be so different from each other? Is only one religion right, and the people of that religion are the only ones God cares about? I think the more logical explanation is that as we evolved consciousness, we had a natural desire to understand the workings of the world around us. We also had and still have a fear of the unknown, i.e. death. So we created a myriad of myths and superstitions, perhaps with a small basis in fact, to explain how things work and to help cope with our fears.
In the words of the great Joseph Campbell, all "religions" are mythologies used to describe the ultimate truth. This ultimate truth is not necessarily tied to one "all knowing entity running the whole show" but rather to a life forced which ties all of life together.
This is why most world religions have very strong similarities.
Knowing full well that my statements herein are totally subjective and unprovable (hence, why I proclaim myself to be agnostic, not atheist):
God was at one point a completely legitimate idea - an idea that many facets of which are now obsolete.
One must also remember that Christianity, for example, started out in what any scholar today would term "cult status". Subjective interpretation of supernatural phenomena as a glorification of a historical event (execution of Christ)? That's it, right there. If it weren't for the Crusades - and don't anybody tell me all that bloodshed was a good thing - would Christianity even be so dominant today?
It all ties into the idea of congruence. Just because a lot of people believe something, does that make it right? Once again there is the underlying assumption that popular belief is truth.
At one point, people believed that Darth Vader was Luke's father. Doesn't the nullification of that fact with future developments and revelations have to be accepted? Bad comparison, I know - fictional revisionism has little to do with revelation of "truth".
Get me when I say this: What's the likelihood that someone had this all figured out so long ago?
In conclusion, the idea of "God" is a simple explanation. That's fine, except I find that simple explanations are often just placeholders for the as-yet-unexplained. "God" is a slowly eroding placeholder.
There is empirical evidence behind the founding principles of quantum physics, that the realm of the physical has restrictions that even God cannot violate - Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, for example, makes "omniscience" an impossibility. There is evidence that chance and probability are factors, that contrary to Einstein, God does indeed play dice - to deny this would be to deny the very existence of radioactive decay, an entirely probabilistic process!
It is not a problem to believe in something firmly. It's just that, to continue to believe in it despite evidence to the contrary means a rejection of that evidence. And if you're going to reject the evidence, you had better back it up damn well.