existance of god

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existance of god

Postby ed » Sun Jan 12, 2003 8:06 pm

can anyone present me an argument for the existance of god that has not been completly rubbished out of intrest. Ever since i begain philosophy as level i have seen how flimsy and weak all attempts at proving his or her existance is and i am wondering in the face of this if there is a legit argument for its existance or if any of you still believe

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Postby Pax Vitae » Mon Jan 13, 2003 6:26 am

It depends on what types of arguments you're swayed by and what your concept of God is, as "God" can mean many different things. Anything from an immortal power, a creator of our Universe, a man, a myth, a religion, etc, or any combination of the previously stated.

There is no one good argument, as each one has a big hole somewhere. Also all theories reach a point where you can't speculate any more as there's no evidence. So you need to define what type of God you want to talk about. If that God is part of a religion, so on. As it's easier to build an argument for a universal idea of God, then a specific flavour. Because if you say, "Well, God is the way the Christians describe him." Why are they correct and the Muslims, Jews or any other religion wrong?

Also, if your idea of God is as a creator, your argument then becomes circular. As it could be said, "Who created the creator", as if you then say, "The Being always existed." The reply would be, "You could say the same thing about the universe. As what is called the Big Bang could be part of something bigger then what we see, the universe could be so big, that there are lots of Big Bangs going on, even as we speak, and we are apart of just one." So God as a creator Being, isn't a very strong argument.

This moves you into the realm of Eastern Mysticism and the "God as a Being" concept is removed and replace with something like the Tao, (the nameless way). Which doesn't accept an idea of a single God. God now becomes everything, and is so difficult to describe you need to become "enlightened" to understand it. So this argument becomes clouded in vagueness.

Personally I like the Tao idea, because at least it's not a circular argument. But it's so vague, you almost forget about the original question, "How did we come into being?" The Tao doesn't really get into this. Which is fine for some, it's more practical, as it's trying to figure out where we are going. It can be assumed that something created us, as we exist, so lets not worry about it, as what's happened can't change. The only thing we can change is the future, so this is where we should direct our thoughts.

I wish there were a book called, "An Agnostics Guide" which took all the God arguments and went through each one saying: What is good and bad about each argument. But alas I know of no such book. :cry:

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Postby Guest » Mon Jan 13, 2003 11:23 pm

by and what your concept of God is, as “God” can mean many different things. Anything from an immortal power, a creator of our Universe, a man, a myth, a religion, etc, or any combination of the previously stated.

i thought god by definition was the perfect or divine being

Anyway i think you are agreeing with my idea definetly in christian terms that there is not the god that christian mytholagy leads us to believe in and if there is it cannot be proven.

Although the idea of an a-sexual god makes sense to some extent i guess ... but for what reason would the god before (lets call him arnold)have created a new god and this leads to another infinite regressive cycle lovely mind numbing stuff.

Correct me if any if not all of this is wrong as i am very religously ignorant...

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Postby BluTGI » Tue Jan 14, 2003 2:38 am

most of these reasons listed here are arguments for me on why god can not act but once. God can only set up the dominos and then push the domionos over all leading to the apocolyptic end and the grand finallie
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Postby Pax Vitae » Tue Jan 14, 2003 5:18 am

i thought god by definition was the perfect or divine being


That's what most "Westerners" believe. But people in India would have a completely different idea about God(s), as they have in Hinduism a system a little like the Roman or Greek Gods. Each God has a power or responsibility, (like God of War, Love, etc). Their Gods also have casts, one group of Gods are better then another lot. Somebody once told me that certain casts in India couldn't worship certain Gods as they are below the Gods level of decency. (But I haven't been able to confirm this, as I don't know any other Hindus)

Although the idea of an a-sexual god makes sense to some extent i guess ... but for what reason would the god before (lets call him arnold)have created a new god and this leads to another infinite regressive cycle lovely mind numbing stuff.


I not quite sure of your question, but I think you're asking why would one God create another God? Take the Romans again; Zeus was the God of Gods, (which sounds a lot like the King of Kings). So to Mars (Roman God of War), Zeus was a God, while Venus was his equal. (It's amazing what you can learn from Hercules and Zena :)) But the idea of a recursive line of Gods is all about trying to express the idea of a primary cause, the one God that was not created but always was. As the idea of something coming out of nothing sounds impossible. I hope this was what you were asking about?

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Postby Uccisore » Wed Jan 15, 2003 5:24 am

Ed, what have you read? If you want a good argument for the existence of God, or a good argument for the falsity of atheism, read some Alvin Plantinga for starters. http://www.faithquest.com should have enough essays by various authors to show you that there is at least room to dispute the issue from every side. I agree that for every pro-theistic argument, you can find someone who claims that it's utter rubbish, but that doesn't make it so. Don't compare what professionals say in favor of atheism to what the man on the street says in favor of theism, or vica versa.
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Postby Pax Vitae » Wed Jan 15, 2003 12:15 pm

read some Alvin Plantinga for starters.


If you're going to get a book by him I'd recommend a small book called "God, Freedom and Evil" ISBN:0-8028-1731-9. It's one of the first books I read on a Warrant for belief in God. I have also purchased his 3 bigger books on the subject called. "Warrant: The Current Debate", "Warrant and Proper Function", and "Warranted Christian Belief", but so far I've not had time to read them, even though I bought them over 3 years ago. So I can't say how good they are. He also has another popular book called "God and other minds", which is meant to be good.

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Postby Uccisore » Fri Jan 17, 2003 2:53 am

The Warrant trilogy is pretty dry stuff. Only the last of the three books deals directly with religious beliefs, though the first two are nessicary to understand the direction the third is going in. There's a compilation of his essays out there called "The Analytic Theist" which is a collection of most of his shorter works that relate specifically to religion.
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Postby Pax Vitae » Fri Jan 17, 2003 8:28 am

There's a compilation of his essays out there called "The Analytic Theist" which is a collection of most of his shorter works that relate specifically to religion.


Haha, I have that one to. I really need to make an effort to get around to reading all his books as I have most of them. But ever since I read Hume I’ve found it very difficult to pick up any book about God.

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Postby Uccisore » Fri Jan 17, 2003 10:49 pm

I can understand that. People tend to get on tracks. Likewise it would be hard for me to sit through a whole book promoting atheism now that I've read some of the things I have. If you do go back to Plantinga, though, I would suggest you start the Analytic Theist before you get into the Warrant trilogy.
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Postby Njoapte » Sat Jan 25, 2003 9:40 pm

Main Entry: god
Pronunciation: 'gäd also 'god
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old High German got god
Date: before 12th century
1 capitalized : the supreme or ultimate reality: as a : the Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshiped as creator and ruler of the universe b Christian Science : the incorporeal divine Principle ruling over all as eternal Spirit : infinite Mind
2 : a being or object believed to have more than natural attributes and powers and to require human worship; specifically : one controlling a particular aspect or part of reality
3 : a person or thing of supreme value
4 : a powerful ruler


webster.com

I would like to ask you to clarify two things:
1. "Perfect or divine being" doesn't seem to be specific enough. Can you give more details about the God whose existence you want to hear an argument for?
2. Why do you want to hear this argument?

I could for instance respond to your question with, "You." Would that satisfy you?[/b]
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Postby runa » Sat Jan 25, 2003 10:33 pm

Since you say you've heard all arguments, you've probably heard this one too... A man how wondered about the existence of God*, went to a bishop and asked him on the subject whether God existed or not. The answer of the bishop was "Since I am a bishop, then God must exist."

This way of reasoning is certainly not singular in philosophy and can be disputed from several points of view. Yet I think it's a concise answer implying a great deal of things...


*I capitalized to make it clear which of de definitions of "god" I am referring to. Also I think it's important, when discussing about "god", to know what kind of answers - objective or subjective- you are waiting for.
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Postby ed » Sun Jan 26, 2003 9:27 pm

runa wrote:Since you say you've heard all arguments,


did i ??? it was a serious question i wasnt trying to make any mockery im just saying, i havnt heard an argument for god that has had half a leg to stand on and i was wondering if there were any convincing ones out there and if any of you believe in a god of any religion.

thats about it
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Postby jedi_pocky » Thu Jan 30, 2003 10:54 am

i cannot offer you any ontological proof of 'god' but rather, i can offer you a negation. :evilfun:
what say you to this?
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Postby ed » Sat Feb 08, 2003 2:25 pm

thats the spirit
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Postby Guest » Sat Apr 05, 2003 9:13 pm

The only "negation" of the existence of God is nonempiricality of God. In general, we decide what exists and what does not exist based on whether or not the entity in question appears to the five senses. We say that Santa Claus does not exist(aside from the "santa claus" that we see once a year with the bell and money pot at Macey's) simply because such a being is not sensorily perceived squeezing down chimneys or flying reindeer up in the sky on Christmas Eve. Sensory perception or the experience of sensory perception has always been the determining factor of believing whether or not something exists(or not).

Conceptualizations of God also fall under this scrutiny. Biblical descriptions of glowing white hot humanoids with faces filled with lightning and glowing white hair imply that under certain circumstances, this being should be in a position to be sensorily perceived by an actual human being. But such a being is not, so it seems only reasonable to conclude that this "God" does not exist.

However, if one conceives of God not as a sensorily accessible(or potentially sensorily accessible) mystical being but as a naturalistic disembodied consciousness that has causal powers over the physical universe, our sensory criterion for determining whether or not this God exists or not fails. Consciousness as we know from information gained from the real world is beyond the reach or scope of sensory perception, yet we hold that it exists. One cannot "see" or use any other sense to discern the existence of say, what I might be thinking-and only I know that I am thinking anything at all. I cannot discern the existence of what another might be thinking, such that I can rightfully (according to my experience or lack thereof) say that the other is not thinking of anything at all at the moment, even if in fact the other is engaged in serious thought.

Consciousness is a nomologically imperceptible entity, and it is the only such entity in the universe-as everything else in the universe is available to the five senses(as far as we can know). So if a theist conceived of God as a disembodied (or "nonembodied" )consciousness it seems to follow that we cannot truthfully(and knowledgably) say that that God does or does not exist, precisely because we cannot use the "measuring stick" of the five senses to discern where consciousness is or is not.

In my view, the existence of God cannot rationally be negated, only disbelieved.


But that is only my view,
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Faith and Hope In General

Postby becca » Sat Apr 05, 2003 10:15 pm

I don't think that god was in my faith and hope situation:

I merely meant that hope isn't just something we use to deflect and fear what happens in the future. Hope is something we as humans (not all of us) need to help us survive.

[quote]Do we always have to be hoping that there is something better in our futures?

Hope isn't just about wishing for something better. It's also about persevering using hope to survive.

[quote]Live it up while you can and don't let faith and hope distract you from the truth.

To some faith isn't untruthful. Just because something is hopeful does it mean it is untrue?

Besides although you say "Faith and hope are psychological responses to the concept of death." Faith and hope are not always surrounding the concept of death.

As humans we relie on our "psychological responses" to help us. We are always told to aim higher and want more. Sometimes that's what makes us stronger.

Dividing us into groups only makes more problems - can't we live in a world where our social/economical class do not divide us. Celebrating our uniqueness is important but it can also strengthen our unity.
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The Existence of God

Postby sincranize » Thu May 29, 2003 12:56 am

(Here is one argument for the existence of god formulated in this essay with its flaws as well)

A problem pondered by many philosophers throughout time, is that of the existence of God. I feel that there is an obvious problem in proving the existence of God. I myself I'm an atheist and will try hard to put forth a non bias account of the argumentation for the existence of God. Through my reading I have found that there are two arguments for the existence of God, the first very famous one developed by St Anselm has worldwide recognition and I will look at the reason for this. The second is built on similar grounds by Descartes, who also goes about proving the existence of God. The argument developed by St Anselm is known as the Ontological Argument. I find it a major problem in any acquisition of knowledge that only exists in a definition, which you will see later.
The Ontological Argument originated in Anselm's Proslogian. This is what Anselm has said about our position before the argument. Sin has so darkened our minds that we cannot hope to reach the truth unless God graciously leads us to it. He does so by offering us the truth through revelation and by inspiring us to accept that revelation in faith. Once we accept the truth on that basis, however, we can hope to reason out proofs for what we have already accepted through faith. God is rational, and what he does is rational, and we ourselves are blessed with reason. Thus we should be able to discover the rationality of God's actions, at least to some extent. We are like students who, unable to solve a mathematical problem, are given the answer to it and then discover they can reason out why that answer is correct . Straight away I see a problem in this statement, Anselm seems to believe that the only way going about proving God's existence is by letting faith guide us, he clearly states above that "Once we accept the truth on that basis, however, we can hope to reason out proofs for what we have already accepted through faith." I do not believe that we should have to believe in God to be able to prove his existence, whether what he means is that it will drive us to excel is not the point, this statement is faulty. I personally find it a weakness and that your belief will cloud your judgement and in that way hinder you from a conclusion. This is however not his ontological argument so I will move on. These are the premises of the ontological argument:


Premise 1: God is perfect in a sense which implies that no greater being is imaginable. This is taken true by the definition.
Premise 2: A merely imaginable being is not as great as a real one. This is also true by definition.
Premise 3: If God did not exist, then he would not be the greatest thing imaginable.
Conclusion: It becomes probably that "since by definition he is the greatest being imaginable, it follows that the fact that he exists" is true.

The first premise states that God is at the extreme; this I suppose is to stop arguments from philosophers like Gaunilo (who stated that one can say the same out a perfect island ), that he is all knowing and a force of Good. So the first premise has correct a priori reasoning. The second premise is quite like the first, the definition is taken to be true, that a picture of God for example is not a great as the supposed reality of God. The next premise is the most controversial, saying that if God did not exist then he would not be the greatest thing, the conclusion being that we have just stated that God by definition (a truth?) is the greatest thing imaginable. Technically this can be seen as a truth, for its premises are proven by definition in the beginning, and the conclusion analytically states that God exists in the definition of God, therefore he exists outside the mind as well.
I feel that the problem is the distinction between the features of God and his existence. How can one prove his existence by describing his might? If I say that a unicorn has a horn on its forehead, that by definition is true, I can still not say that it exists. There is the major flaw in proving the existence of God. One can not possibly confuse the predicates of God, and claim that existence is a predicate. Basically what I'm trying to say is that when you are listing certain features of God, that he is all knowing, brilliant, good and then stating in the premises his existence must be wrong, for a statement of existence is stating that it is true or false, this is to be a conclusion not a premises, therefore the whole argument is incorrect and uncertain. This is also said by Immanuel Kant through "existence adds nothing to the essence of a thing" . Furthermore my source concluded that "a real £50 note adds noting to the essence of a £50 note." Although I believe that we are talking about God and that the reality of God does in fact add to the essence. Also I find this to be a matter of spirituality, the fact that Anselm is saying that God exists in the definition of God, this is utterly spiritual, and also shows no sense of reality, is God real if all that exists of him is in a definition? I say no, this is where the belief in God clearly clouds reason. The Ontological argument is just going around in circles, as stated to me by a friend, which I find is true, the argument brings forth incorrect use of deduction, including existence as a predicate, also if the conclusion is that God exists, because of its place in a definition, then its existence has not been proven. So we can clearly see a problem in proving the existence of God. Just because there is a true definition of God through the premises, this does not conclude that he exists. The problem with the existence of God lies in finding reason for his existence, not that one's beliefs can know Him to be true.
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Postby Sparky » Fri May 30, 2003 1:00 pm

my belief is that yes god exists. But god is in one's head, a need or longing or a hope that there is something to look forward to after death, a reason for being alive and resassurance that somethin/someone has more control over the world/universe than humans.
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Postby Grave Disorder » Sat May 31, 2003 5:01 am

God is, ultimately, whatever you want it to be.
Premise 1: God is perfect in a sense which implies that no greater being is imaginable. This is taken true by the definition.
Premise 2: A merely imaginable being is not as great as a real one. This is also true by definition.
Premise 3: If God did not exist, then he would not be the greatest thing imaginable.
Conclusion: It becomes probably that “since by definition he is the greatest being imaginable, it follows that the fact that he exists” is true.


I find this argument interesting, despite the rather vague use of the word "great". If God is (to use two entirely arbitrary terms) truth and goodness, and all his acts are directed towards truth and goodness, then should we not imitate him (hence becoming as good and true as we can) by directing all of our efforts towards ourselves?
Man is the measure of all things.
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