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Author Topic:   Can the Christian God exist without the Bible?
Stile
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Posts: 2896
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 3.4


(2)
Message 61 of 106 (667793)
07-12-2012 11:17 AM
Reply to: Message 57 by Phat
07-12-2012 2:15 AM


Re: God exists or He does not
Phat writes:

Can Father+Son+Holy Spirit=1 God (The absolute Creator Who is knowable) exist without the Bible?

Sure can.
In the same way that Zeus and Hera can exist without the Romans.
If something exists, it will exist regardless of our knowledge about it.

since when does probability determine a Deity?

Never. Probability never determines anything. If it was deterministic, there'd be no reason for probability.
But probability has something to say about it as soon as we start looking for the subject.

If you've just met someone... can he have a brother?
-Sure he can.
Can he have a brother if there's no birth certificate?
-Sure he can, pieces of paper don't stop two individuals from having a baby.
What is the probability of him having a brother when you first meet him?
-About 50/50
What is the probability if we ask him if he has a brother and he says "no"?
-maybe 10/90 or so
What is the probability if we search for any records in the right places and find none?
-maybe 1/99 or so
What is the probability if the whole world knows that he may have a brother, but no one... anywhere... has ever seen him, and when claims crop up they are shown to be hoaxes?
-maybe 1/999 999 or so

...see where this is going?

After looking into where God should be, if God were to get involved with us... and discovering that He isn't necessary or identifiable... it changes the probability.
Is the Christian God possible?
-Sure.
Is the Christian God possible without the Bible?
-Sure.
What's the probability?
-Very low... because we've looked and havn't found any dependable clues.
What's the probabiltiy if there wasn't a Bible?
-Lower still... because then even the undependable information would be less.

Why can't it just be I AM that I AM?

If the Christian God exists, He certainly exists as He is (I AM...)
But that doesn't change the fact that we've looked and found nothing... so the likelihood is therefore very low.


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Phat
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Posts: 9426
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 62 of 106 (667794)
07-12-2012 11:17 AM
Reply to: Message 60 by jar
07-12-2012 8:38 AM


Re: God exists or He does not
jar writes:

But the only support for the assertion that the Jewish God created the universe are the stories in the Bible.

If those stories did not exist then could that God exist?

Remind me of the construct again?


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 Message 63 by jar, posted 07-12-2012 11:43 AM Phat has responded

  
jar
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Posts: 29016
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 63 of 106 (667797)
07-12-2012 11:43 AM
Reply to: Message 62 by Phat
07-12-2012 11:17 AM


Re: God exists or He does not
The construct you are referring to is irrelevant to this topic.

The "Christian God" is a product of the evolution of the Hebrew God and so exists only as a result of the stories in the Hebrew culture and mythos.

If those stories did not exist then the "Christian God" would never have been created.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

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Replies to this message:
 Message 64 by Phat, posted 07-12-2012 11:49 AM jar has responded

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 9426
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 64 of 106 (667798)
07-12-2012 11:49 AM
Reply to: Message 63 by jar
07-12-2012 11:43 AM


Re: God exists or He does not
Unless of course Jesus really was sent by GOD to instruct mankind.

You have taught me a lot about belief through our personal discussions, and I have changed many of my views because of you.

One stumbling block that was never reconciled between us is the idea that GOD can reach humans so as to be understood. You maintained that we likely would never have the capability to comprehend or understand GOD, but I clung to the idea that even if an ant can never understand a human, a human ---if capable of sending an ant to the ants---would bridge the gap. Likewise GOD, though infinitely more powerful and complex than any myth can convey, sent His Son that we may understand GOD through a human. You may argue that we are responsible for our works and deeds and that knowing GOD is irrelevant, but in my belief, GOD became human so that HE and us could commune.

jar writes:

If those stories did not exist then the "Christian God" would never have been created

Assuming, of course, that the Christian God was and is close to GOD in definition. If it were entirely human imagination, I could see your point, but if divine communion and relationship between humans and GOD were possible, the Christian/Jewish God would be close to the reality of GOD.

Edited by Phat, : added


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jar
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Posts: 29016
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 65 of 106 (667800)
07-12-2012 12:02 PM
Reply to: Message 64 by Phat
07-12-2012 11:49 AM


Re: God exists or He does not
HUH?

If a human sent an ant to the ants the ants would know another ant.

Assuming, of course, that the Christian God was and is close to GOD in definition. If it were entirely human imagination, I could see your point, but if divine communion and relationship between humans and GOD were possible, the Christian/Jewish God would be close to the reality of GOD.

HUH?

So GOD is Coyote.

Thor is GOD.

Ganesha is GOD.

What you are claiming is that YOUR divine communion is right and all the other examples of divine communion are wrong.

When you try to bring Jesus in, your case gets even weaker since Jesus is based on just a subset of the Bible, the New Testament.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

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ringo
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Posts: 13187
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.1


(1)
Message 66 of 106 (667804)
07-12-2012 12:24 PM
Reply to: Message 57 by Phat
07-12-2012 2:15 AM


Re: God exists or He does not
Phat writes:

since when does probability determine a Deity?


That's why I used the word "likelihood" instead of "probability". Probability can be calculated. Likelihood can't be calculated but it can be compared. If you hear hoofbeats, horses are more likely than zebras. If you see visions, mental aberrations are more likely than spooky entities.
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Artemis Entreri 
Suspended Member (Idle past 1668 days)
Posts: 1194
From: Northern Virginia
Joined: 07-08-2008


(1)
Message 67 of 106 (669583)
07-31-2012 9:34 AM
Reply to: Message 60 by jar
07-12-2012 8:38 AM


Re: God exists or He does not
Not only could exist before the bible but did exist before the bible. And when I say did exist I mean it in a way that the religion of said god existed (calm down militant athiests). There are many Christian faiths that predated the bible: Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Coptic Christianiany, Syrian Christianity, Indian Christianity; There are many that I can label here.
Really the only Christianity to exist after the bible is the Protestant denominations that we know of today, such as The Baptists, the Anabaptists (Amish, Menonites, Hutterites), the Lutherans, the Calvanists, the Methodists, the Anglicans, The Waldenses, The Presbyterians, the Pentacostals, the Purtians, this list goes on and on and new groups are made up every year.

It is really the difference between the before the bible christians and the post-bible christians.

For some the "faith" would have endured lack of wrtiting or reading, and could have existed as an oral tradition. For others they need a book to believe in.


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Hawkins
Member (Idle past 15 days)
Posts: 150
From: Hong Kong
Joined: 08-25-2005


Message 68 of 106 (669715)
08-01-2012 10:47 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Phat
09-20-2005 3:27 PM


God either wants human followers or He doesn't. If a God doesn't want human followers then it's meaningless to believe in Him as He never demands your belief/faith/worship. It makes not much difference to say that such a God doesn't exist as His existence has nothing to do with you.

On the other hand, if God wants humans followers then He must do the following 2 things.

He must do,

1) He must leave humans with an infallible reference for humans to follow. Or else humans don't even know who God is, not to speak how to follow Him.

2) He must assign an earthly authority as a keeper of this infallible reference in order to carry forward this reference alongside human history. Without such an earthly authority, anyone can come out to claim that he has the genuine reference.

Moreover, since this is an earthly authority it is thus corruptible. It thus must be re-assignable when it goes corrupted.

It happens that Christianity is such a religion (perhaps the only one) which claimed to have an infallible Bible. At the same time an earthly authority was assigned as a keeper of this infallible Bible. Though this earthly authority shifted from the Jews to the Catholics till the Protestants, canonically they are keeping the same OT with the Catholics and Protestants sharing the same NT.


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New Cat's Eye
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Posts: 11440
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 69 of 106 (669723)
08-01-2012 11:05 PM
Reply to: Message 68 by Hawkins
08-01-2012 10:47 PM


What would make a God want human followers?
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ringo
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Posts: 13187
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 70 of 106 (669765)
08-02-2012 1:45 PM
Reply to: Message 68 by Hawkins
08-01-2012 10:47 PM


Hawkins writes:

He must leave humans with an infallible reference for humans to follow.


An interactive reference would be better than a supposedly "infallible" one. If people didn't understand their instructions, they could "google" for clarification.

A "perpetual Jesus" who lived forever, sitting down with publicans and sinners of every generation would be more effective than a dusty book.


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Stile
Member
Posts: 2896
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 3.4


Message 71 of 106 (669827)
08-03-2012 10:52 AM
Reply to: Message 70 by ringo
08-02-2012 1:45 PM


Actually makes some sense
ringo writes:

A "perpetual Jesus" who lived forever, sitting down with publicans and sinners of every generation would be more effective than a dusty book.

Considering the phrase "and God gave up his only son..."

This suggestion of ringo's makes a lot more sense where Jesus is divided from God while here with humanity for eternity... rather than the current, confusing (and scam-like?) explanation of God "giving up" his only son in such a way that they spend eternity together...


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Hawkins
Member (Idle past 15 days)
Posts: 150
From: Hong Kong
Joined: 08-25-2005


Message 72 of 106 (672382)
09-07-2012 3:07 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Phat
09-20-2005 3:27 PM


There are 2 kind of gods. One demands your faith, the other not. As for the gods who never demanded your faith, their existence has nothing to do with you. You don't need to believe or worship them as they never demand so. Actually it makes not much difference to say that they don't exist as their existence doesn't concern you a single bit.

On the other hand, if a God wants your belief/faith, at least He should do the following 2 things.

First He needs to leave humans with an infallible reference for humans to follow, or else humans don't even know who God is, not to speak how to follow Him.

Second He needs to assign an earthly authority as a keeper of this infallible reference, and to carry it forward alongside human history. Or else, anyone at any point may pop up to claim that his version of reference is the genuine one. On the other hand, because this is an earthly authority it may go corrupted at some point of history. So this authority must be re-assignable.

It happens that Christianity is such a religion (perhaps the only one) claimed to have an infallible Bible. And at anytime an earthly authority was assigned as its keeper. Although this authority shifted from the Jews to Catholics till the Protestants, canonically they are keeping the same version of OT with the Catholics and Protestants sharing the same NT.


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vimesey
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Posts: 868
From: Birmingham, England
Joined: 09-21-2011
Member Rating: 4.6


Message 73 of 106 (672403)
09-07-2012 5:27 PM
Reply to: Message 72 by Hawkins
09-07-2012 3:07 PM


You need to think about this a bit more.
In your post, Hawkins, you say:

On the other hand, if a God wants your belief/faith, at least He should do the following 2 things.

First He needs to leave humans with an infallible reference for humans to follow, or else humans don't even know who God is, not to speak how to follow Him.

Second He needs to assign an earthly authority as a keeper of this infallible reference, and to carry it forward alongside human history. Or else, anyone at any point may pop up to claim that his version of reference is the genuine one. On the other hand, because this is an earthly authority it may go corrupted at some point of history. So this authority must be re-assignable.

There is no logical connection between your premise and your two conclusions.

Let me propose two different conclusions to the same premise:

"On the other hand, if a God wants your belief/faith, at least He should do the following 2 things.

First, he should put in an appearance on Earth every 10 years or so, and undertake a magical, un-scientific miracle, to really get the people on their knees.

Second, he should consider designing the men and women that he created in such a way that they have no mental option other than to believe in and worship him. They should be hard wired that way."

Same premise, different conclusions. Neither set of conclusions any more valid than the other. You are choosing the conclusions which fit your own preconceptions, and pretending that they are the only logical ones. This is not the case.


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hooah212002
Member (Idle past 344 days)
Posts: 3180
Joined: 08-12-2009


Message 74 of 106 (672405)
09-07-2012 5:36 PM
Reply to: Message 73 by vimesey
09-07-2012 5:27 PM


Re: You need to think about this a bit more.
But if there is evidence for it, then it ceases to be belief/faith.

Likewise, if you've no choice but to believe/have faith, then the two frames of mind become meaningless.

Edited by hooah212002, : No reason given.


"Science is interesting, and if you don't agree you can fuck off." -Dawkins

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vimesey
Member
Posts: 868
From: Birmingham, England
Joined: 09-21-2011
Member Rating: 4.6


Message 75 of 106 (672406)
09-07-2012 5:44 PM
Reply to: Message 74 by hooah212002
09-07-2012 5:36 PM


Re: You need to think about this a bit more.
But then, in the quotation from Hawkins' post, what are the "infallible reference" and the earthly authority, other than an attempt to appeal to evidence ?

Don't get me wrong - I agree that faith is belief without evidence - but I have a special difficulty with a faith which claims that other faiths are demonstrably incorrect, because the first faith's book is the best book.


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