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Author Topic:   We know there's a God because...
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 2593 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.

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bluegenes
Member (Idle past 2593 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.

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

  
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 2593 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 20 of 256 (458156)
02-27-2008 2:06 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by iano
02-27-2008 8:14 AM


iano writes:
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?
Quite likely. Where you and I differ is that I pointed out in the previous post that the same applied to the ancients when they invented their Gods, like the one you believe in.
All the absence of ancient scriptures, as suggested in the O.P., would mean is that those who wanted a God would have to invent their own, instead of believing in those invented by others.
The ancients went on what they perceived as signs of teleology, as well. Often spectacularly active events like earthquakes, volcanic explosions, comets in the sky, or exceptionally furious storms and floods, etc.
Modern people might look for different things, perhaps intricate mechanisms in biology that can give an appearance of design, for example. The invented Gods, or intelligent designers (as they're sometimes known as in modern times) would be subjective creations, as you imply. Same goes for the ancient one you're so attached to.

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 Message 9 by iano, posted 02-27-2008 8:14 AM iano has replied

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 Message 24 by iano, posted 02-27-2008 5:04 PM bluegenes has replied

  
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 2593 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 22 of 256 (458162)
02-27-2008 2:30 PM
Reply to: Message 19 by Cold Foreign Object
02-27-2008 1:43 PM


CFO writes:
In fact we have read the biographies of African slaves, who after being sold and enslaved in America, and after Emancipation, learned how to read and write, and these accounts report that before being captured in Africa they recognized that the appearance of the natural world, and its living inhabitants, reflect the work of an invisible Creator, who they attribute to be the Biblical Creator after learning about Him in America. The point is that without any preexisting knowledge of written religious literature, these ex-African slaves admit that reality reflects the work of an invisible Divine Being.
Hardly surprising, after centuries of exposure to Allah by the spoken word, is it Ray?
quote:
When the Portuguese first sailed down the Atlantic coast of Africa in the 1430's, they were interested in one thing. Surprisingly, given modern perspectives, it was not slaves but gold. Ever since Mansa Musa, the king of Mali, made his pilgrimage to Mecca in 1325, with 500 slaves and 100 camels (each carrying gold) the region had become synonymous with such wealth. There was one major problem: trade from sub-Saharan Africa was controlled by the Islamic Empire which stretched along Africa's northern coast. Muslim trade routes across the Sahara, which had existed for centuries, involved salt, kola, textiles, fish, grain, and slaves.
From:
Origins of the Trans-Atlantic Trade of Enslaved People
More on this topic:
CFO writes:
The observation of design and organized complexity seen in all aspects of nature and organisms logically corresponds to the work of an invisible Designer or Creator.
That's the kind of argument that would be used by modern creators of Gods in the absence of ancient scriptures, and indeed, as Ray is doing here, to modernise arguments for the ancient Gods, as many people find traditional "because the prophets said it in the Holy Bible/Koran etc" type justifications for religions to be inadequate.

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 Message 19 by Cold Foreign Object, posted 02-27-2008 1:43 PM Cold Foreign Object has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 25 by Cold Foreign Object, posted 02-27-2008 5:15 PM bluegenes has replied

  
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 2593 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 28 of 256 (458213)
02-27-2008 5:36 PM
Reply to: Message 24 by iano
02-27-2008 5:04 PM


iano writes:
I don't really argue for the existance of God via science. For the simple reason that a person will never believe in God until God turns up personally for them too. Its not really a scientific gig that.
Yes, I think I understand where your coming from. We tend to get accustomed to people trying to make scientific arguments on EvC, because it's about the creationist/I.D. type religion, but actually, most of the Christians I've known personally do not attempt to argue scientifically for God.
You sound ageist
You mean I think that the heavens need new blood? Fresh faced reformers? No, I'm perfectly happy to let the old Gods die out without replacements. Thunderbolts can just strike at random when they're gone.
The reason I believe in God has nothing to do with derivations such as proposed. God turned up personally. Knocked on my front door if you like. That's why I believe in Gods existance.
I always find it interesting that Gods are very selective geographically as to where they turn up. The same Gods also tend to turn up to people in successive generations of the same families, I've noticed, as well.

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bluegenes
Member (Idle past 2593 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 29 of 256 (458216)
02-27-2008 5:55 PM
Reply to: Message 25 by Cold Foreign Object
02-27-2008 5:15 PM


CFO writes:
The presence of Islam or Christianity in Africa is not disputed. The point is these biographies say they had no religious exposure. So your wild assumptions contrary to the evidence is just that.
I've never heard of a human culture without some kind of religion in it. How can someone have no religious exposure? Even in the most secular of modern societies, kids all have "religious exposure".
These biographies were, of course, written by Christians, I suppose.
What you call "objective persons".

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 Message 25 by Cold Foreign Object, posted 02-27-2008 5:15 PM Cold Foreign Object has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 65 by Cold Foreign Object, posted 02-29-2008 2:05 PM bluegenes has replied

  
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 2593 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 54 of 256 (458478)
02-29-2008 8:27 AM
Reply to: Message 53 by Phat
02-29-2008 7:59 AM


Simple designers of complexity
Phat writes:
Complexity logically requires a designer. I can't fathom how complexity would evolve from non living to living without intelligence.
The designer would have to be non-complex, otherwise he'd "logically" require his own designer. And can he be both non-complex and intelligent? And if he's non-complex, then his creations illustrate that complexity can come from non-complexity, meaning that they wouldn't require a designer.
Is that avatar of yours running around in confused circles, Phat?

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 Message 53 by Phat, posted 02-29-2008 7:59 AM Phat has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 70 by Phat, posted 02-29-2008 4:00 PM bluegenes has replied

  
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 2593 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 71 of 256 (458532)
02-29-2008 4:17 PM
Reply to: Message 70 by Phat
02-29-2008 4:00 PM


Re: Simple designers of complexity
Phat writes:
God can be anything we are capable of imagining. He needs no logical explanation, nor a creator to create Him. (except, of course, our overactive imaginations)
I think you're showing dangerous signs of evolving into an agnostic or perhaps a Christian Atheist, or MetaPhysician, Phat. I couldn't agree more about the imaginations bit!
Check out:Christian Atheists

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bluegenes
Member (Idle past 2593 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 73 of 256 (458534)
02-29-2008 4:35 PM
Reply to: Message 65 by Cold Foreign Object
02-29-2008 2:05 PM


Ray writes:
bluegenes writes:
These biographies were, of course, written by Christians, I suppose.
Nope, like I said: uneducated Africans who after Emancipation and becoming literate wrote their stories and said that they deduced in Africa that reality reflected a Creator and in America they then learned WHO the Creator was.
Err..Ray, I don't think you quite meant that.

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 Message 65 by Cold Foreign Object, posted 02-29-2008 2:05 PM Cold Foreign Object has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 74 by Cold Foreign Object, posted 02-29-2008 4:42 PM bluegenes has replied

  
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 2593 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 75 of 256 (458537)
02-29-2008 4:58 PM
Reply to: Message 74 by Cold Foreign Object
02-29-2008 4:42 PM


Ray writes:
In other words you do not understand or cannot refute.
I can speak English. Have another look at what you said.
Now, were the biographies (or autobiographies) written by Christians?
Yes, or "Nope".

This message is a reply to:
 Message 74 by Cold Foreign Object, posted 02-29-2008 4:42 PM Cold Foreign Object has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 83 by Cold Foreign Object, posted 02-29-2008 6:59 PM bluegenes has replied

  
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 2593 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 85 of 256 (458556)
02-29-2008 7:47 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?
Well, you've got one believer who says you have to wait for God to find you, almost literally walk through the door, another who sees evidence in an L.A. preacher "refuting" evolution by declaring that its widespread acceptance is God's punishment for its widespread acceptance, and, even better IMO, another who sees evidence of God every time a tyre blows on his car and he doesn't die.
Who needs scriptures when you've got the religious imagination?

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 Message 1 by Percy, posted 02-25-2008 9:10 PM Percy has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 86 by iano, posted 02-29-2008 7:54 PM bluegenes has replied

  
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 2593 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 87 of 256 (458562)
02-29-2008 8:11 PM
Reply to: Message 83 by Cold Foreign Object
02-29-2008 6:59 PM


CFO writes:
After coming to America and becoming literate they learned who the Creator was. But the fact reamins: based only on observation of nature, before any exposure to texts or monotheism, they deduced the same was produced by a Creator. That is what they said
Yes, I understand the story, and was just pointing out that they were Christians when they wrote their accounts, whereas you had answered "nope" to the question of whether the biographies were written by Christians.
So, your point is that they had independently thought of the idea of a creator. Nothing new there. Many cultures have, sometimes one creator, sometimes a team of Gods. Others have religions without Gods. This shows us that our species has a definite tendency to invent religious explanations, nothing else. There are plenty of other examples of the independent invention of a creator God/spirit.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 83 by Cold Foreign Object, posted 02-29-2008 6:59 PM Cold Foreign Object has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 90 by Cold Foreign Object, posted 02-29-2008 8:45 PM bluegenes has replied

  
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 2593 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 89 of 256 (458565)
02-29-2008 8:25 PM
Reply to: Message 86 by iano
02-29-2008 7:54 PM


iano writes:
I vaguely recall Percy saying once that he is a theist or deist. Could be wrong - but if not, you could add his imagination into the mix.
Certainly, although I left him out because I'm replying to his O.P. asking about the approaches of others.
Theist of the variety who believes in a benevolent God, he seems to be, judging by the O.P., as he seems to see the troubles of the world as possible evidence of the absence of his God.
And I left out suggestions from myself and others about looking for teleology in general, and from people who see apparent design and complexity as evidence for some kind of God.
I just picked out the more unusual ones, as we hear those I've just listed all the time.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 86 by iano, posted 02-29-2008 7:54 PM iano has not replied

  
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 2593 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 92 of 256 (458575)
02-29-2008 10:53 PM
Reply to: Message 90 by Cold Foreign Object
02-29-2008 8:45 PM


CFO writes:
You are conveniently omitting or forgetting the already established fact that they arrived at the existence of a Creator through observing nature in Africa - the whole issue of this thread, that is, can a Creator be deduced to exist if no religious texts existed.
"Deduced" you say. Invented, I say.
Yes, I understand. But I've observed nature in Africa, and I didn't deduce any Gods or God. I've also observed people in Bali making an offering to their volcano God, and volcanos are natural. But I'd been inside the crater of the volcano, and nothing had revealed its God to me.
Gods seem to be in the eye of the beholder, and people everywhere make them up, don't you agree? They can't all be true.
So, if a culture believes in a God or Gods, that doesn't mean that they've "deduced" something that's real, just that they believe in something.
And of course Gods can be invented without scriptures. No-one could write scriptures about a God first, then invent it after, could they?
So it always starts with looking at the universe, then making up explanations.
Exactly what you accuse scientists of doing, because their view doesn't fit an ancient middle-eastern invention that you seem to be very attached to.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 90 by Cold Foreign Object, posted 02-29-2008 8:45 PM Cold Foreign Object has not replied

  
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 2593 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 99 of 256 (458604)
03-01-2008 7:05 AM
Reply to: Message 95 by Vacate
03-01-2008 12:53 AM


Fix quote box please!
Edited by bluegenes, : Problem fixed. Post obsolete!

This message is a reply to:
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