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Author Topic:   We know there's a God because...
Percy
Member
Posts: 22608
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.7


Message 1 of 256 (457857)
02-25-2008 9:10 PM


Say there were no Bible, no Qur'an, no Bhagavad Gita, no religious texts of any sort. How would we know just by examining the world around us that there is a God?
For myself, I would approach this question by asking what differences might exist between a world created by God and another world that came about in the absence of a God. Which would be expected to have more wars, more prejudice, more disease, more disasters? Certainly we seem to have enough of these to suspect the possibility of an absence of God in this world.
I'm interested in how others might approach this question, and what answers they think are suggested.
--Percy

Replies to this message:
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 Message 6 by iano, posted 02-27-2008 5:10 AM Percy has replied
 Message 7 by BMG, posted 02-27-2008 5:47 AM Percy has not replied
 Message 16 by Rahvin, posted 02-27-2008 11:43 AM Percy has not replied
 Message 19 by Cold Foreign Object, posted 02-27-2008 1:43 PM Percy has not replied
 Message 32 by tesla, posted 02-27-2008 11:19 PM Percy has not replied
 Message 36 by CTD, posted 02-28-2008 10:40 AM Percy has not replied
 Message 64 by lyx2no, posted 02-29-2008 1:48 PM Percy has not replied
 Message 85 by bluegenes, posted 02-29-2008 7:47 PM Percy has not replied
 Message 156 by Rob, posted 03-02-2008 10:48 AM Percy has replied
 Message 175 by RAZD, posted 03-02-2008 1:27 PM Percy has not replied
 Message 253 by truthlover, posted 03-28-2008 8:34 PM Percy has not replied

  
Adminnemooseus
Administrator
Posts: 3977
Joined: 09-26-2002


Message 2 of 256 (458032)
02-26-2008 9:27 PM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.
Admin doesn't seem to be interested in this topic, so I guess it's up to me to promote it. Besides, it was starting to attract flies (or is it just Percy's avatar).
Adminnemooseus
Edited by Adminnemooseus, : Add post promotion message.

  
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 2559 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 3 of 256 (458035)
02-26-2008 9:45 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Percy
02-25-2008 9:10 PM


Percy writes:
Say there were no Bible, no Qur'an, no Bhagavad Gita, no religious texts of any sort. How would we know just by examining the world around us that there is a God?
I don't see how having lots of contradictory religious texts helps anyone "know" that there's a God in the first place.
I'd say that we'd have to look for signs of teleology. A bit like what Randman spends so much of his time doing in every area of science possible, but with less obvious desire, and more objectivity.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Percy, posted 02-25-2008 9:10 PM Percy has not replied

  
Taz
Member (Idle past 3373 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 4 of 256 (458036)
02-26-2008 9:48 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Percy
02-25-2008 9:10 PM


We know the God Prometheus exists because we have fire.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Percy, posted 02-25-2008 9:10 PM Percy has not replied

  
compmage
Member (Idle past 5235 days)
Posts: 601
From: South Africa
Joined: 08-04-2005


Message 5 of 256 (458077)
02-27-2008 4:59 AM


I think that it would be easy to invent gods that would be consistant with the universe as we know it. I don't think there is anything that would suggest the existance of any particular god though and I'm not sure we would accomplish anything worthwhile by inventing beings that add nothing to our understanding of the universe.

  
iano
Member (Idle past 2022 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 6 of 256 (458078)
02-27-2008 5:10 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Percy
02-25-2008 9:10 PM


DIY god
Percy writes:
For myself, I would approach this question by asking what differences might exist between a world created by God and another world that came about in the absence of a God. Which would be expected to have more wars, more prejudice, more disease, more disasters? Certainly we seem to have enough of these to suspect the possibility of an absence of God in this world.
Your approach is to first set aside existing religious texts. You then intend to create your own 'religious text' by creating a god-in-own-image-and-likeness against which to compare the world around you. I mean, how can you say what could be expected of a world created by a god without projecting your own image and likeness onto that god?
I don't know about the other texts but the Bible describes the world pretty much as it is: creation corrupt and groaning with mankind ravaged by sin and death. The Bible also indicates that man cannot get to God under his own steam so I can suggest no approach running along the lines you're suggesting.
Edited by iano, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Percy, posted 02-25-2008 9:10 PM Percy has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by bluegenes, posted 02-27-2008 5:48 AM iano has replied
 Message 10 by Percy, posted 02-27-2008 9:05 AM iano has replied
 Message 33 by Phat, posted 02-28-2008 12:20 AM iano has replied

  
BMG
Member (Idle past 290 days)
Posts: 357
From: Southwestern U.S.
Joined: 03-16-2006


Message 7 of 256 (458079)
02-27-2008 5:47 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Percy
02-25-2008 9:10 PM


Say there were no Bible, no Qur'an, no Bhagavad Gita, no religious texts of any sort. How would we know just by examining the world around us that there is a God?
I think the fact that there is, to some extent, some order to the universe in the form of natural laws, such as gravity, is where people would place there bets. It is commonly believed that some form, some shape of order exists. If this is true then there might be someone, most often believed to be some kind of human-God, that is presiding, and, possibly, intervening, in the universe.
That is where I think most "God-fearing" people would place there bets.
For myself, I would approach this question by asking what differences might exist between a world created by God and another world that came about in the absence of a God.
I think this question rests entirely on what your defintion of God is.
Which would be expected to have more wars, more prejudice, more disease, more disasters? Certainly we seem to have enough of these to suspect the possibility of an absence of God in this world.
Again, this depends on what your defintion of God is. If your definition of God lies similar to the God of Shiva, then the wars, prejudice, disease, and disasters might be used as evidence that this particular God exists.
Shiva - Wikipedia

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Percy, posted 02-25-2008 9:10 PM Percy has not replied

  
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 2559 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 8 of 256 (458080)
02-27-2008 5:48 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by iano
02-27-2008 5:10 AM


Re: DIY god
iano writes:
Your approach is to first set aside existing religious texts. You then intend to create your own 'religious text' by creating a god-in-own-image-and-likeness against which to compare the world around you.
It's just as reasonable (or, more accurately, unreasonable) to create one's own God as it is to believe in any of the Gods created by others.
I mean, how can you say what could be expected of a world created by a god without projecting your own image and likeness onto that god?
Certainly. Moses, for example, had a murderous God in his head because he was a harsh and murderous patriarch. Christ appears to have been more of a rebel hippy pacifist type. Mohamed was more in the Moses line, a warrior with a great taste for stoning people to death, etc.
Strangely enough, the cultures inspired by all three Abrahamic religions seem to come out with equal amounts of murderous type stuff, and "peace 'n love" stuff, which probably shows that human behaviour is pretty similar in superstition based cultures regardless of the specific prevailing superstition.
I don't know about the other texts but the Bible describes the world pretty much as it is: creation corrupt and groaning with mankind ravaged by sin and death.
It describes a specific culture, or series of related cultures, in a particularly harsh semi-desert environment, and this gives character to the locally invented Gods, who seem to differ as time goes on. Either one God being continually reinvented, or several Gods, depending on how you look at it.
The Bible also indicates that man cannot get to God under his own steam so I can suggest no approach running along the lines you're suggesting.
What the Bible indicates in relation to the O.P. question is only relevant to the world minority who believe that it's the word of God.
I repeat what I said earlier in the thread, that the only way to assess whether or not there's a God would be to increase our understanding of the universe, and see if we can identify signs of teleology. We can no longer rely on prophets, seers, and visionaries, because these have been thoroughly discredited by the increased understanding of neurological conditions such as epilepsy and schizophrenia.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by iano, posted 02-27-2008 5:10 AM iano has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by iano, posted 02-27-2008 8:14 AM bluegenes has replied

  
iano
Member (Idle past 2022 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 9 of 256 (458091)
02-27-2008 8:14 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by bluegenes
02-27-2008 5:48 AM


Re: DIY god
Bluegenes writes:
It's just as reasonable (or, more accurately, unreasonable) to create one's own God as it is to believe in any of the Gods created by others.
Address that point to Percy. He's the one doing it.
Certainly. Moses, for example, had a murderous God in his head because he was a harsh and murderous patriarch. Christ appears to have been more of a rebel hippy pacifist type. Mohamed was more in the Moses line, a warrior with a great taste for stoning people to death, etc.
Strangely enough, the cultures inspired by all three Abrahamic religions seem to come out with equal amounts of murderous type stuff, and "peace 'n love" stuff, which probably shows that human behaviour is pretty similar in superstition based cultures regardless of the specific prevailing superstition.
This doesn't address the point made.
I don't know about the other texts but the Bible describes the world pretty much as it is: creation corrupt and groaning with mankind ravaged by sin and death.
It describes a specific culture, or series of related cultures, in a particularly harsh semi-desert environment, and this gives character to the locally invented Gods, who seem to differ as time goes on. Either one God being continually reinvented, or several Gods, depending on how you look at
I'm not quite sure how you managed to miss the Bibles claim of universal application. I'm sure Percy won't have.
The Bible also indicates that man cannot get to God under his own steam so I can suggest no approach running along the lines you're suggesting.
What the Bible indicates in relation to the O.P. question is only relevant to the world minority who believe that it's the word of God.
Not true. It either relates to all (if true) or no one (if false). What a person believes is irrelevant.
I repeat what I said earlier in the thread, that the only way to assess whether or not there's a God would be to increase our understanding of the universe, and see if we can identify signs of teleology. We can no longer rely on prophets, seers, and visionaries, because these have been thoroughly discredited by the increased understanding of neurological conditions such as epilepsy and schizophrenia.
Would you not have to be making assumptions about the god you apply teleology to in order to teleologise in the first place? And create a god-in-own-image in so doing?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by bluegenes, posted 02-27-2008 5:48 AM bluegenes has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 20 by bluegenes, posted 02-27-2008 2:06 PM iano has replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 22608
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.7


Message 10 of 256 (458095)
02-27-2008 9:05 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by iano
02-27-2008 5:10 AM


Re: DIY god
But the only change I'm postulating to the real world is that all religious texts (and the knowledge contained therein) do not exist. The world is otherwise just as we find it today. Would there be no new miracles, no new fulfilled prophecies, that men could observe and conclude that there must be a God?
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by iano, posted 02-27-2008 5:10 AM iano has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 11 by iano, posted 02-27-2008 9:29 AM Percy has not replied
 Message 12 by ICANT, posted 02-27-2008 9:53 AM Percy has not replied
 Message 39 by Buzsaw, posted 02-28-2008 12:58 PM Percy has not replied
 Message 48 by CTD, posted 02-28-2008 10:18 PM Percy has not replied

  
iano
Member (Idle past 2022 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 11 of 256 (458097)
02-27-2008 9:29 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by Percy
02-27-2008 9:05 AM


Re: DIY god
Percy writes:
But the only change I'm postulating to the real world is that all religious texts (and the knowledge contained therein) do not exist.
I understand that.
But you must be referring to some religious text (even if it's your own made up one) in order for your approach to get off the ground. If not from such a text, where else would you get your ideas about the world a God would make? You would agree that your approach does need some idea of the world a potential God would make in order to compare it to the world you see around you. Your approach for clarities sake:
Percy in the OP writes:
For myself, I would approach this question by asking what differences might exist between a world created by God and another world that came about in the absence of a God.
Below is a sample of your religious text (italicised). You seem to be saying that evidence for the absence of God can be gleaned from the presence of war etc. Your idea of God requires that he, if he exists and made the world, would not make one with war and disease etc. Where did this idea come from if not god-made-in-your-image?
Which would be expected to have more wars, more prejudice, more disease, more disasters? Certainly we seem to have enough of these to suspect the possibility of an absence of God in this world
.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by Percy, posted 02-27-2008 9:05 AM Percy has not replied

  
ICANT
Member (Idle past 109 days)
Posts: 6769
From: SSC
Joined: 03-12-2007


Message 12 of 256 (458104)
02-27-2008 9:53 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by Percy
02-27-2008 9:05 AM


Re: DIY god
Hi Percy
Percy writes:
The world is otherwise just as we find it today.
The world and especially the US would not be as it is today.
The US was populated by people leaving religious persecution in European countries. They came to America to be able to worship God without interference from the Government.
This nation was founded by God fearing men on the principals they found in the Bible.
Take that away and what would you have?
If memory serves me correctly when we had Bible reading and prayer in school this was the most feared nation in the world.
We removed those because it offended a few people.
Now this nation is the laughing stock of the world.
So Percy we would have pretty much what we have today.
People would believe that they are their own God and do as they please.
God Bless,

"John 5:39 (KJS) Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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 Message 43 by Jazzns, posted 02-28-2008 5:50 PM ICANT has replied

  
Taz
Member (Idle past 3373 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 13 of 256 (458108)
02-27-2008 10:12 AM
Reply to: Message 12 by ICANT
02-27-2008 9:53 AM


Re: DIY god
Haha, ICANT, I don't have the time to argue with you right now. Just the following quotes from you gave me a good laugh.
They came to America to be able to worship God without interference from the Government.
If memory serves me correctly when we had Bible reading and prayer in school this was the most feared nation in the world.
We removed those because it offended a few people.
If you can't see what's wrong with those statements or how they contradict each other... I guess I shouldn't be laughing.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by ICANT, posted 02-27-2008 9:53 AM ICANT has not replied

  
mark24
Member (Idle past 5277 days)
Posts: 3857
From: UK
Joined: 12-01-2001


Message 14 of 256 (458114)
02-27-2008 10:41 AM
Reply to: Message 12 by ICANT
02-27-2008 9:53 AM


Re: DIY god
ICANT,
You completely failed to address the OP...
Without religious texts (& indeed, with) we would need to know something of god/s, & how they would create the universe in order to predict phenomena that would lead us to potential evidence that creation occurred.
Since we don't, we can't.
Now this nation is the laughing stock of the world.
No, that's because you have a christian prick as president.
Mark

This message is a reply to:
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Rahvin
Member
Posts: 4046
Joined: 07-01-2005
Member Rating: 5.3


Message 15 of 256 (458115)
02-27-2008 11:29 AM
Reply to: Message 12 by ICANT
02-27-2008 9:53 AM


Re: DIY god
The world and especially the US would not be as it is today.
The US was populated by people leaving religious persecution in European countries. They came to America to be able to worship God without interference from the Government.
This nation was founded by God fearing men on the principals they found in the Bible.
History lesson time: The Puritans did not found the United States. The Puritans had essentially disappeared before the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The Founding Fathers consisted of Christians, yes, but also of Deists, and Thomas Jefferson, who once produced his own version of the Bible that completely removed any and all "miracles" (including Creation, Jesus' resurrection, etc) because he considered it all to be superstitious nonsense.
The US was populated not only by those fearing religious persecution (ironically, those settlements perpetrated the most religious persecution, as anyone not agreeing with their specific interpretation of the Bible could be executed or banished, which amounted to the same thing). The thirteen colonies also consisted of businessmen seeking fortunes in new markets, and regular people wanting a fresh start.
Saying the US was founded on Christianity is a blatant falsehood. Just read the Constitution, and count how many times "god" or "Jesus" are mentioned.
Then read the Treaty of Tripoli, in which the government of the United States agreed that we are in no way a "Christian nation." Treaties, if you know your law, are held as the highest law of the land along with the Constitution.
Take that away and what would you have?
The same country, but with fewer of the idiotic leftover hangups from the Puritans, like the way it was illegal to buy and sell sex toys in Texas until just a few weeks ago. And probably with fewer fundamentalist anti-science bigoted luddites.
I'd count it a much better place.
If memory serves me correctly when we had Bible reading and prayer in school this was the most feared nation in the world.
Oh, we're still feared, and primarily because our President is a fundamentalist anti-science idiot with the brainpower of a retarded dodo backed up by the strongest military force in the world.
That last part, the military force, was why we were considered "strong." We weren't nearly destroyed after WWII like most of Europe. We had our infrastructure intact, and a large enough population to pick up stronger than when we left off.
We removed those because it offended a few people.
Not "offended," ICANT. It violated their rights. I have the right to not have a Christian's rhetoric forced down my throat at events sponsored by the government, which supposedly represents all of us, from Christians, to Muslims, to Jews, Hindus, Pagans, Wiccans, and Atheists. And everything I left out. The Constitution is quite clear that, in order to protect all beliefs, the government must remain strictly neutral and practice a hands-off policy. The fact that this was not followed for a long time doesn't change the fact that it was unconstitutional, which is why we no longer have prayer in public schools, and why some are working to remove "under god" from the Pledge (where, amusingly enough, it was added in the 1950s to combat the "godless commies").
Now this nation is the laughing stock of the world.
Because we still have large segments of the population, up to and including the freaking President, that still believe in Creationism, and have the scientific understanding of a braindamaged Neanderthal. I'd laugh too, if I didn't live here.
So Percy we would have pretty much what we have today.
People would believe that they are their own God and do as they please.
If it wouldn't earn me a suspension...
If you'd like to talk about American history, ICANT, feel free to start a thread. Your falsehoods would fill volumes, I'm sure.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by ICANT, posted 02-27-2008 9:53 AM ICANT has not replied

  
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