An argument for God's existence

For intuitive and critical discussions, from spirituality to theological doctrines. Fair warning: because the subject matter is personal, moderation is strict.

Moderator: Dan~

An argument for God's existence

Postby Fanman » Tue Jan 12, 2021 7:38 pm

Hi guys, I thought of this argument. It would be interesting to see people's thoughts on it.

Introduction
The fact that we cannot prove or disprove God’s existence empirically or otherwise, could be because we are not supposed to. Since it would not be congruent with his New Covenant. If the faculty of choice were removed by demonstrating God’s or Jesus Christ’s existence and there was evidence of his miracles, the New Covenant would be void. The New Covenant expressly states, “anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life (John 3:36 NLT)”, which is the core tenet. The nature of proof is that it removes the requirement for belief, therefore why would God void his own New Covenant by allowing us to prove his existence empirically or otherwise. That would cause belief in Jesus Christ to be unnecessary and would result in God contradicting himself.

Discussion
On this basis, which seems logical, it can be reasonably argued that God will not allow his existence to be demonstrated nor refuted, empirically or otherwise, which is why his existence cannot be proved nor disproved. He is honouring the choice that the New Covenant presents, which is a characteristic of God that can be recognized in the Bible, viz Christ’s sacrifice for the lives of people. Given the consensus is that God’s existence cannot be proved or disproved. It is necessary for God’s plan of salvation, that the New Covenant remains valid. Necessity implies agency. I do not believe that chance or coincidence could constitute a valid refutation because there is to my perception, no remit for chance or coincidence within my argument. Therefore, his agency would seem to be the only logical answer. Thus, I propose that God’s existence cannot be proved or disproved, because he wants the choice of belief in Jesus Christ to remain.

Conclusion
This would demonstrate that God upholds his New Covenant. Which is congruent with the way that he is portrayed in the Bible. Thus, I believe I have established that there is a valid reason for God not allowing us to prove or disprove his existence. That he is justified in doing so for the retention of choice and belief in Jesus Christ. He also has a cause for doing so; he wants people to believe in Jesus Christ. So it seems there are the grounds of validity, justification and cause supporting my argument. Therefore, I believe that my argument is logical. In conclusion, although is it inconsistent with what I have argued in terms of his existence not being able to be proved or disproved, if God did not want us to do something, in this case, prove or disprove his existence, it would follow that because of his prevention, his existence would be demonstrated.

---

Hopefully, this argument stimulates productive discussion. I will not be responding to each post. Rather, I’d like to read what people think and the counter-arguments, and respond where I’d like to.

Thanks, guys :)
Last edited by Fanman on Thu Jan 14, 2021 9:41 am, edited 3 times in total.
Fanman
 
Posts: 362
Joined: Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:47 am

Re: An argument for God's existence

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Tue Jan 12, 2021 7:52 pm

the problem with this argument is that it starts with a
basic assumption, god exists... and moves from there....
god is already a given in this argument....

Kropotkin
PK IS EVIL.....
Peter Kropotkin
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 8924
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2005 1:47 am
Location: blue state

Re: An argument for God's existence

Postby Dan~ » Wed Jan 13, 2021 5:45 am

If God wants us to know the truth, he wouldn't hide it from us.
It seems to me that God wants to be known, if we take the bible literally.
I like http://www.accuradio.com , internet radio.
https://dannerz.itch.io/ -- a new and minimal webside now hosting my free game projects.
Image
Truth is based in sensing, in vision. And we can only see when we are alive.
User avatar
Dan~
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 10485
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2005 8:14 am
Location: Canada Alberta

Re: An argument for God's existence

Postby iambiguous » Wed Jan 13, 2021 6:02 am

Dan~ wrote:If God wants us to know the truth, he wouldn't hide it from us.
It seems to me that God wants to be known, if we take the bible literally.


Here, take this literally:

https://www.salon.com/2014/05/31/11_kin ... e_partner/
https://ffrf.org/publications/freethoug ... ent-verses
https://www.news24.com/news24/MyNews24/ ... s-20121224
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 39778
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: baltimore maryland

Re: An argument for God's existence

Postby Dan~ » Wed Jan 13, 2021 6:35 am

iambiguous wrote:
Dan~ wrote:If God wants us to know the truth, he wouldn't hide it from us.
It seems to me that God wants to be known, if we take the bible literally.


Here, take this literally:

https://www.salon.com/2014/05/31/11_kin ... e_partner/
https://ffrf.org/publications/freethoug ... ent-verses
https://www.news24.com/news24/MyNews24/ ... s-20121224


This isn't a thread about ancient cruelty.
It's about a specific doctrine, in modern times.
I like http://www.accuradio.com , internet radio.
https://dannerz.itch.io/ -- a new and minimal webside now hosting my free game projects.
Image
Truth is based in sensing, in vision. And we can only see when we are alive.
User avatar
Dan~
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 10485
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2005 8:14 am
Location: Canada Alberta

Re: An argument for God's existence

Postby Fanman » Wed Jan 13, 2021 8:26 am

Dan~ wrote:If God wants us to know the truth, he wouldn't hide it from us.
It seems to me that God wants to be known, if we take the bible literally.


I agree. The whole point of creating a Bible would seem to be because God wants to be known by people - that he wants us to know the truth.

But if God exists, it seems to me that if he wanted us to believe in Jesus via faith (and Jesus propounded on people having faith), he could not also make his presence demonstrable.

Maybe its an inconsistency in the Bible or maybe more than that I don’t know. It's just something I picked up on really.
Fanman
 
Posts: 362
Joined: Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:47 am

Re: An argument for God's existence

Postby Dan~ » Wed Jan 13, 2021 8:35 am

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?s ... n=NKJV;NLT

14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without [a]your works, and I will show you my faith by [b]my works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is [c]dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made [d]perfect? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was [e]accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. 24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.
I like http://www.accuradio.com , internet radio.
https://dannerz.itch.io/ -- a new and minimal webside now hosting my free game projects.
Image
Truth is based in sensing, in vision. And we can only see when we are alive.
User avatar
Dan~
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 10485
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2005 8:14 am
Location: Canada Alberta

Re: An argument for God's existence

Postby Bob » Wed Jan 13, 2021 8:44 am

Fanman wrote:
Dan~ wrote:If God wants us to know the truth, he wouldn't hide it from us.
It seems to me that God wants to be known, if we take the bible literally.


I agree. The whole point of creating a Bible would seem to be because God wants to be known by people - that he wants us to know the truth.

But if God exists, it seems to me that if he wanted us to believe in Jesus via faith (and Jesus propounded on people having faith), he could not also make his presence demonstrable.

Maybe its an inconsistency in the Bible or maybe more than that I don’t know. It's just something I picked up on really.

The problem compounds itself. The Bible is well known to be an anthology of religious texts, composed to give meaning, history, and identity to Israel. You can even find the comparable texts elsewhere. That means that human beings, not God, put the Bible together – perhaps under inspiration, but even then, other people are inspired too.

A God that you say, if the Bible is not his “creation”, hides from us is quite simply the wrong concept to explain our existence and our consciousness. That this life we have is strange is obvious, but we have to have intelligent guesses, rather than assumptions.

The Bible is an attempt to make sense of everything, but the God of the Bible is too sacred to be named, can’t be seen and makes decisions that mankind can’t fathom. That means that to argue God’s existence is futile. Either you assume that there is purpose in this world or not. If you see purpose being worked out then you have your unnamed God.
The only wisdom we can hope to acquire
Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.
TS Eliot
User avatar
Bob
Philosopher
 
Posts: 3538
Joined: Sun Dec 28, 2003 6:20 pm
Location: Germany

Re: An argument for God's existence

Postby Fanman » Wed Jan 13, 2021 10:23 am

Bob,

A God that you say, if the Bible is not his “creation”, hides from us is quite simply the wrong concept to explain our existence and our consciousness. That this life we have is strange is obvious, but we have to have intelligent guesses, rather than assumptions.


Your right, assumptions should be avoided, but where there is no evidence, only conjecture, we have no choice but to make assumptions based upon what information is available to us. There is no tangible evidence to support the concept of God, but because my argument for his existence is based on the New Covenant, I’ve had to assume that it is possibly more than something that people created. I don’t know if there is a God or not, I just thought of the argument based on the purported Biblical God.

The Bible is an attempt to make sense of everything, but the God of the Bible is too sacred to be named, can’t be seen and makes decisions that mankind can’t fathom. That means that to argue God’s existence is futile. Either you assume that there is purpose in this world or not. If you see purpose being worked out then you have your unnamed God.


I agree with what you say here. It is pretty futile, given that we have no verifiable concept to base our arguments upon, but it is interesting to discuss.
Fanman
 
Posts: 362
Joined: Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:47 am

Re: An argument for God's existence

Postby iambiguous » Wed Jan 13, 2021 7:39 pm

Dan~ wrote:
iambiguous wrote:
Dan~ wrote:If God wants us to know the truth, he wouldn't hide it from us.
It seems to me that God wants to be known, if we take the bible literally.


Here, take this literally:

https://www.salon.com/2014/05/31/11_kin ... e_partner/
https://ffrf.org/publications/freethoug ... ent-verses
https://www.news24.com/news24/MyNews24/ ... s-20121224


This isn't a thread about ancient cruelty.
It's about a specific doctrine, in modern times.


Well, do you take the Bible literally...or don't you? Or, in regard to particular verses, do you pick and choose?

And what specific doctrine from the Bible -- your own for example -- given what specific set of circumstances in our "modern times"?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 39778
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: baltimore maryland

Re: An argument for God's existence

Postby iambiguous » Wed Jan 13, 2021 7:55 pm

Bob wrote:The problem compounds itself. The Bible is well known to be an anthology of religious texts, composed to give meaning, history, and identity to Israel. You can even find the comparable texts elsewhere. That means that human beings, not God, put the Bible together – perhaps under inspiration, but even then, other people are inspired too.

A God that you say, if the Bible is not his “creation”, hides from us is quite simply the wrong concept to explain our existence and our consciousness. That this life we have is strange is obvious, but we have to have intelligent guesses, rather than assumptions.

The Bible is an attempt to make sense of everything, but the God of the Bible is too sacred to be named, can’t be seen and makes decisions that mankind can’t fathom. That means that to argue God’s existence is futile. Either you assume that there is purpose in this world or not. If you see purpose being worked out then you have your unnamed God.


Okay, here we are as "mere mortals" on this side of the grave. We look around and note that many different people in many different communities in many different sets of circumstances down through the ages come to conclude that many different behaviors are right and wrong. We also look around and note that everyone seems to die.

So, one way in which to confront this is through God and religion. A God, the God, my God exists in order to command mere mortals to behave in a righteous manner in order to be deemed on Judgment Day as worthy of both immortality and salvation.

But: there are all these different religious denominations with all these different scriptures insisting that the one and the only righteous path is the one in their scripture.

With so much at stake, a God, the God doesn't see fit to provide the faithful with a scripture that no one can doubt is the one true spiritual path?

Reasonable men and women are expected to believe that?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 39778
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: baltimore maryland

Re: An argument for God's existence

Postby Silhouette » Wed Jan 13, 2021 8:01 pm

Fanman wrote:Hi guys, I thought of this argument. It would be interesting to see people's thoughts on it.

Hi Fanman,

The core of your argument reminds me of what I've heard clergymen holding to before, when debating theology - that belief is the whole point as opposed to certain knowledge. This of course concords with the wording of what you quote from the New Testament, and indeed the whole original punishment in Genesis for seeking knowledge.

I would also tie into this the primary role of Jesus in the New Testament - to die for our sins. Here he directly and literally insists that He be used as a scapegoat for everything that humans ought to feel guilty for doing, in attempting to follow his example. This brings to my mind the psychological need to think of oneself as a good person, and "ideology" that emerges to excuse the negative material consequences of any prevalent socio-economic model. I use the term "ideology" here in the Marxist sense, as a kind of political/cultural need to think of one's society as a good society, thus allowing it to continue to function regardless of its problems (without excess guilt to arrest the whole thing out of sheer doubt). The term "fetish" applies here, which denotes the psychological attribution of "magical powers" to something, in this case Jesus's sacrifice of martyring himself on our collective behalf. Obviously the act itself doesn't literally do anything for anyone, but the ideology behind the act is where its power comes from. Thus the more literally that one treats the whole story, the more the ideology rises to the surface, losing the magic of its power, more broadly losing its successful functionality as ideology - and ultimately losing its effectiveness for people to psychologically feel better about their wrong-doings. Ideology requires fetishism to primarily function at the subconscious or at least passive level, whereas proof raises all layers of knowledge to the active conscious level (which goes not just for knowing, but knowing it in others, them knowing you know it and you knowing that they know it in you etc.) Direct conscious certainty can cause a psychological pain, via confrontation, facing us with our protective coping mechanisms to hide the negative feelings that these coping mechanisms emerged to protect our conscious mind from. So almost bizarrely, religion even explicitly instructs us that it is to be kept as ideology in order to maintain its psychological utility (and not known to be true for sure).

So even at this level, the notion that God is intended to be unprovable either way is what the whole point seems to be.

Your argument also reminds me of criminal investigation, attempting to establish "motive, means and opportunity" to "abduce" potential guilt. Though in this case, for the crime of God being guilty of existing haha. But this is strictly the only sense in which your argument can be called "logical" - through its abductive reasoning. To clarify, it would also be sufficient to say that God's unprovability points equally to his non-existence, as much as to his existence according to your argument. The argument isn't deductive, nor does it even suffice to be inductive. It simply lays out grounds that may be "sufficient" to indicate His existence, but not necessitate it. Any "necessity" here only works in one direction: that if God were to be consistent with the New Testament, he ought to be unprovable. In the other direction, it is not necessarily the case that because he is unprovable, he ought to be existent. Hence his existence on these grounds would instead be only "sufficient".

As a sidenote, I have succeeding in being crude enough to prove that God necessarily cannot exist, but I don't want to derail your thread by going into that proof.
User avatar
Silhouette
Philosopher
 
Posts: 4548
Joined: Tue May 20, 2003 1:27 am
Location: Existence

Re: An argument for God's existence

Postby felix dakat » Wed Jan 13, 2021 10:39 pm

Peter Kropotkin wrote:the problem with this argument is that it starts with a
basic assumption, god exists... and moves from there....
god is already a given in this argument....

Kropotkin


Fanman--- K sums up the problem with your argument succinctly above... It assumes what it claims to prove. And in the process it takes the inability to prove or disprove the existence of God as proof of the existence of God. A stupendous self-contradiction.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
Soren Kierkegaard– Journals, 432
User avatar
felix dakat
Janitor
 
Posts: 9057
Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2006 7:20 am
Location: east of eden

Re: An argument for God's existence

Postby Fanman » Wed Jan 13, 2021 11:06 pm

Silhouette,

Nice post, I enjoyed reading it. I don’t disagree with you. I have a tendency to reason in the manner you highlighted, possibly due to some of the work-related circumstances I've been in. There are just a couple of points that I would like you to elaborate on. You will have to forgive me if it feels as though I am conducting an investigation.

To clarify, it would also be sufficient to say that God's unprovability points equally to his non-existence, as much as to his existence according to your argument.


How so, I don’t see why?

It simply lays out grounds that may be "sufficient" to indicate His existence, but not necessitate it. Any "necessity" here only works in one direction: that if God were to be consistent with the New Testament, he ought to be unprovable.


I agree, my argument doesn’t necessitate God’s existence, at best it does as you say. But “logical” as arguments for God’s existence are, I would call that progress, haha.

In the other direction, it is not necessarily the case that because he is unprovable, he ought to be existent. Hence his existence on these grounds would instead be only "sufficient".


This seems to make sense, but perhaps you could unpack it, as I’m not sure I precisely get what you are saying.

As a sidenote, I have succeeding in being crude enough to prove that God necessarily cannot exist, but I don't want to derail your thread by going into that proof.


I don’t mind, by all means, put it up.
Last edited by Fanman on Wed Jan 13, 2021 11:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Fanman
 
Posts: 362
Joined: Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:47 am

Re: An argument for God's existence

Postby Fanman » Wed Jan 13, 2021 11:36 pm

felix dakat wrote:
Peter Kropotkin wrote:the problem with this argument is that it starts with a
basic assumption, god exists... and moves from there....
god is already a given in this argument....

Kropotkin


Fanman--- K sums up the problem with your argument succinctly above... It assumes what it claims to prove. And in the process it takes the inability to prove or disprove the existence of God as proof of the existence of God. A stupendous self-contradiction.


I don't think that is entirely the case. With respect, you seem to have missed the point of the argument. I think that silhouettes' post provides the most accurate analysis of my argument.

My claim is basically saying, that if the Biblical God is real, to be consistent with the New Covenant, he could not logically make his existence demonstrable. I then go on to say that based upon that notion, the reason that his existence cannot be proved or disproved is that he doesn't want to make the New Covenant void. Of course, I cannot prove that. It's just my logical conclusion based upon the assumption that God is consistent. With arguments for or against God's existence, I think there will always be a degree of assumptions made one way or the other.

I don't perceive a glaring contradiction, but if I have made one, it would help if you could be more specific in pointing it out.
Fanman
 
Posts: 362
Joined: Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:47 am

Re: An argument for God's existence

Postby felix dakat » Thu Jan 14, 2021 1:06 am

Fanman wrote:
felix dakat wrote:
Peter Kropotkin wrote:the problem with this argument is that it starts with a
basic assumption, god exists... and moves from there....
god is already a given in this argument....

Kropotkin


Fanman--- K sums up the problem with your argument succinctly above... It assumes what it claims to prove. And in the process it takes the inability to prove or disprove the existence of God as proof of the existence of God. A stupendous self-contradiction.


I don't think that is entirely the case. With respect, you seem to have missed the point of the argument. I think that silhouettes' post provides the most accurate analysis of my argument.

My claim is basically saying, that if the Biblical God is real, to be consistent with the New Covenant, he could not logically make his existence demonstrable. I then go on to say that based upon that notion, the reason that his existence cannot be proved or disproved is that he doesn't want to make the New Covenant void. Of course, I cannot prove that. It's just my logical conclusion based upon the assumption that God is consistent. With arguments for or against God's existence, I think there will always be a degree of assumptions made one way or the other.

I don't perceive a glaring contradiction, but if I have made one, it would help if you could be more specific in pointing it out.


You stated that the existence of God could not be proved and then you claimed to have proved it. How can I make the contradiction any clearer to you? Further, you stated that for the existence of God to be provable would be a violation of God's New Covenant. Then you claimed you had proved the existence of God. Has God then allowed you to violate or find a loophole in his covenant?
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
Soren Kierkegaard– Journals, 432
User avatar
felix dakat
Janitor
 
Posts: 9057
Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2006 7:20 am
Location: east of eden

Re: An argument for God's existence

Postby Silhouette » Thu Jan 14, 2021 2:17 am

Fanman wrote:You will have to forgive me if it feels as though I am conducting an investigation.

Nothing to forgive, I'm happy to be interrogated - as seems to be the norm for this forum anyways :D

Fanman wrote:
Silhouette wrote:To clarify, it would also be sufficient to say that God's unprovability points equally to his non-existence, as much as to his existence according to your argument.

How so, I don’t see why?

From this I mean in the sense that unprovability tends to suggest non-existence to the same degree as it does for the "flying spaghetti monster", if you're familiar with the thought experiment. I only use the mild language of "suggest" because "absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence" - there's no hard proof of absence just from unprovability, only the critical issue of "unfalsifiability" that science necessitates for any acceptable line of inquiry towards legitimate knowledge. It's still a significantly serious issue, but from the above quote I just mean that when something is unprovable, generally it's as easily dismissable as anything that's trivially posited - even if "it's supposed to be unprovable".

Fanman wrote:
Silhouette wrote:In the other direction, it is not necessarily the case that because he is unprovable, he ought to be existent. Hence his existence on these grounds would instead be only "sufficient".

This seems to make sense, but perhaps you could unpack it, as I’m not sure I precisely get what you are saying.

I just mean in the general sense that if something is unprovable, it doesn't necessarily exist. Using modal logic terminology, at best this allows "possible" existence, and possibility is what's known as "sufficient" for the property of existence. This is as opposed to necessitating existence, which is what's needed for a full proof of something.

Fanman wrote:
Silhouette wrote:As a sidenote, I have succeeding in being crude enough to prove that God necessarily cannot exist, but I don't want to derail your thread by going into that proof.

I don’t mind, by all means, put it up.

I'll keep you in suspense until we've sufficiently covered your argument, but I can tell you I've mentioned and argued my proof on several occasions on this forum over the years. I'll link to a thread that mentions this proof if you want.
User avatar
Silhouette
Philosopher
 
Posts: 4548
Joined: Tue May 20, 2003 1:27 am
Location: Existence

Re: An argument for God's existence

Postby Fanman » Thu Jan 14, 2021 9:13 am

felix dacat,

You stated that the existence of God could not be proved and then you claimed to have proved it. How can I make the contradiction any clearer to you? Further, you stated that for the existence of God to be provable would be a violation of God's New Covenant. Then you claimed you had proved the existence of God. Has God then allowed you to violate or find a loophole in his covenant?


I stated:

"In conclusion, if God did not want us to do something, in this case, prove or disprove his existence, it would follow that because of his prevention, his existence would be demonstrated."

It is not my or even a fault that this conversely is the or a logical conclusion of my argument. As I’ve stated, my argument is made upon the basis of Biblical consistency (or lack thereof). If in terms of logic, I identified a "loophole" or inconsistency, it doesn’t mean that God allowed me to, it just means that there is one, which is nothing new.

Perhaps the fault is mine, for not going into more detail regarding the apparently contradictory conclusion to my argument. I just took it as a given that I would be understood.

I have amended the conclusion of my argument, taking what you've said into consideration.
Last edited by Fanman on Thu Jan 14, 2021 9:44 am, edited 2 times in total.
Fanman
 
Posts: 362
Joined: Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:47 am

Re: An argument for God's existence

Postby Fanman » Thu Jan 14, 2021 9:16 am

Silhouette,

Thanks for elaborating, that makes things much clearer. The points you make are valid, I have nothing to add to them.

Please provide the link to your argument.
Fanman
 
Posts: 362
Joined: Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:47 am

Re: An argument for God's existence

Postby Bob » Thu Jan 14, 2021 9:38 am

iambiguous wrote: Okay, here we are as "mere mortals" on this side of the grave. We look around and note that many different people in many different communities in many different sets of circumstances down through the ages come to conclude that many different behaviors are right and wrong. We also look around and note that everyone seems to die.

So, one way in which to confront this is through God and religion. A God, the God, my God exists in order to command mere mortals to behave in a righteous manner in order to be deemed on Judgment Day as worthy of both immortality and salvation.

But: there are all these different religious denominations with all these different scriptures insisting that the one and the only righteous path is the one in their scripture.

With so much at stake, a God, the God doesn't see fit to provide the faithful with a scripture that no one can doubt is the one true spiritual path?

Reasonable men and women are expected to believe that?

People throughout the ages belonged to one community or another and these communities worked out what is right and wrong, based on past experience. They developed a mythic language to carry their meaning and people identified with it for centuries. There is no doubt that human beings can be hypocritical or evil, but that doesn’t have anything to do with religion per se. It is human behaviour.

If the various religious denominations differ as widely as you said, then we have to decide between them, but my observation is that there is no big difference between the wisdom traditions that value peace. The stories may differ, but the meaning is often very similar. Scripture is almost always stories, symbolically explaining the cosmology behind them, giving us lessons in the best way we have. The fact that we have lost that way of listening and wander through life without true orientation is something that these myths have warned against.
The only wisdom we can hope to acquire
Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.
TS Eliot
User avatar
Bob
Philosopher
 
Posts: 3538
Joined: Sun Dec 28, 2003 6:20 pm
Location: Germany

Re: An argument for God's existence

Postby Bob » Thu Jan 14, 2021 9:42 am

Either you assume that there is purpose in this world or not. If you see purpose being worked out then you have your unnamed God.
The only wisdom we can hope to acquire
Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.
TS Eliot
User avatar
Bob
Philosopher
 
Posts: 3538
Joined: Sun Dec 28, 2003 6:20 pm
Location: Germany

Re: An argument for God's existence

Postby iambiguous » Thu Jan 14, 2021 7:41 pm

Bob wrote:
iambiguous wrote: Okay, here we are as "mere mortals" on this side of the grave. We look around and note that many different people in many different communities in many different sets of circumstances down through the ages come to conclude that many different behaviors are right and wrong. We also look around and note that everyone seems to die.

So, one way in which to confront this is through God and religion. A God, the God, my God exists in order to command mere mortals to behave in a righteous manner in order to be deemed on Judgment Day as worthy of both immortality and salvation.

But: there are all these different religious denominations with all these different scriptures insisting that the one and the only righteous path is the one in their scripture.

With so much at stake, a God, the God doesn't see fit to provide the faithful with a scripture that no one can doubt is the one true spiritual path?

Reasonable men and women are expected to believe that?


People throughout the ages belonged to one community or another and these communities worked out what is right and wrong, based on past experience. They developed a mythic language to carry their meaning and people identified with it for centuries. There is no doubt that human beings can be hypocritical or evil, but that doesn’t have anything to do with religion per se. It is human behaviour.


And, for some, like me [here and now], all of this unfolds in a No God world where human interactions are just one more manifestation of an essentially meaningless and purposeless existence going all the way back to...what exactly?

Or, instead, sure, many of these communities invented "a God/the God" said to provide the community with a meaningful and purposeful existence. Not only that but if someone in the community worships and adores this God and obeys His commandments on this side of the grave, then on Judgment Day they have a chance to go Up instead of Down.

But, given that, according to Michael Shermer...

"In the past 10,000 years, humans have devised roughly 100,000 religions based on roughly 2,500 gods. So the only difference between myself and the believers is that I am skeptical of 2,500 gods whereas they are skeptical of 2,499 gods. We're only one God away from total agreement."

...how are the dots to be connected between mere mortals, religion and God?

Here I can only keep coming back to this:

With so much at stake, a God, the God doesn't see fit to provide the faithful with a scripture that no one can doubt is the one true spiritual path?

Reasonable men and women are expected to believe that?


Bob wrote: If the various religious denominations differ as widely as you said, then we have to decide between them, but my observation is that there is no big difference between the wisdom traditions that value peace. The stories may differ, but the meaning is often very similar.


Peace and religion? In regard to what? In regard to abortion, the role of government, war and peace, social and economic justice, human sexuality, "value voter" issues?

Peace here in what sense, based on the "wisdom" of which particular religious denomination, based on the assumptions that which particular human behaviors here and now will favor you on Judgment Day?

Bob wrote: Scripture is almost always stories, symbolically explaining the cosmology behind them, giving us lessons in the best way we have. The fact that we have lost that way of listening and wander through life without true orientation is something that these myths have warned against.


Again, the assumption here seems clear: in regard to all of the issues I note above [and hundreds more] there is a "best lesson" to be learned and a "best way" to embody it.

And even though there are hundreds of different spiritual paths out there offering up hundreds of different scriptures, somehow "we" can just know the "right way" to immortality and salvation.

And this works for you. It comforts and consoles you. And, no doubt, I'm taken back to the time when it comforted and consoled me too. And, in having lost that, my reaction to those who are still somehow manage to sustain it in this world brings out a bit of rancor in me.

Nothing personal I can assure you. I respect both your intelligence and your introspective honesty. I'm just flustered because I am no longer able to share in it myself.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 39778
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: baltimore maryland

Re: An argument for God's existence

Postby Certainly real » Fri Jan 15, 2021 5:37 pm

Fanman wrote:Hi guys, I thought of this argument. It would be interesting to see people's thoughts on it.

Introduction
The fact that we cannot prove or disprove God’s existence empirically or otherwise, could be because we are not supposed to. Since it would not be congruent with his New Covenant. If the faculty of choice were removed by demonstrating God’s or Jesus Christ’s existence and there was evidence of his miracles, the New Covenant would be void. The New Covenant expressly states, “anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life (John 3:36 NLT)”, which is the core tenet. The nature of proof is that it removes the requirement for belief, therefore why would God void his own New Covenant by allowing us to prove his existence empirically or otherwise. That would cause belief in Jesus Christ to be unnecessary and would result in God contradicting himself.

Discussion
On this basis, which seems logical, it can be reasonably argued that God will not allow his existence to be demonstrated nor refuted, empirically or otherwise, which is why his existence cannot be proved nor disproved. He is honouring the choice that the New Covenant presents, which is a characteristic of God that can be recognized in the Bible, viz Christ’s sacrifice for the lives of people. Given the consensus is that God’s existence cannot be proved or disproved. It is necessary for God’s plan of salvation, that the New Covenant remains valid. Necessity implies agency. I do not believe that chance or coincidence could constitute a valid refutation because there is to my perception, no remit for chance or coincidence within my argument. Therefore, his agency would seem to be the only logical answer. Thus, I propose that God’s existence cannot be proved or disproved, because he wants the choice of belief in Jesus Christ to remain.

Conclusion
This would demonstrate that God upholds his New Covenant. Which is congruent with the way that he is portrayed in the Bible. Thus, I believe I have established that there is a valid reason for God not allowing us to prove or disprove his existence. That he is justified in doing so for the retention of choice and belief in Jesus Christ. He also has a cause for doing so; he wants people to believe in Jesus Christ. So it seems there are the grounds of validity, justification and cause supporting my argument. Therefore, I believe that my argument is logical. In conclusion, although is it inconsistent with what I have argued in terms of his existence not being able to be proved or disproved, if God did not want us to do something, in this case, prove or disprove his existence, it would follow that because of his prevention, his existence would be demonstrated.

---

Hopefully, this argument stimulates productive discussion. I will not be responding to each post. Rather, I’d like to read what people think and the counter-arguments, and respond where I’d like to.

Thanks, guys :)


Hi Fanman

Whilst I agree that our empirical observations will never conclusively prove or disprove God, I disagree with your suggestion that God cannot be proven otherwise. If a particular belief is paradoxical, then it is false by definition. It is not true of Existence by definition. Thus, if it is such that rejecting God is paradoxical, then we are rationally obliged to acknowledge God. Consider the argument in the following thread:

https://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtop ... 1&t=195805

It shows that rejecting God is clearly paradoxical.

Have a nice day,
Nima
Certainly real
 
Posts: 462
Joined: Sat Dec 14, 2013 8:18 pm

Re: An argument for God's existence

Postby Silhouette » Fri Jan 15, 2021 8:52 pm

Fanman wrote:Silhouette,

Thanks for elaborating, that makes things much clearer. The points you make are valid, I have nothing to add to them.

Please provide the link to your argument.

It's covered in the above post's link, but I'll just state it here since you say you have nothing to add to my points about your post and you're asking to hear about it.

One premise is simply common sense, or just a tautological clarification even - that human conception cannot be of that which is beyond human conception.
The problem for "God" becomes apparent in a second premise, which is that the thing that makes God "God" must necessarily be beyond human conception in order to qualify as divine to us.
In the absence of human conception beyond human conception, all we end up conceiving, despite our best efforts will be of everything and anything that will be short of "beyond human conception", including the essence of divinity. So no matter how much mundanity there is "supposed to be" to God that we can see, we see nothing of the only thing we need to see to verify "the rest" as completing the picture as "God", or even that there is any "the rest" at all. We just see mundanity within our mundane human conception and thus we see no God regardless of how great what we see might be, and regardless of any promises and faith that there is "more". And even these promises of/"faith" in "beyond human conception" will be in terms of human conception and within it, so they won't even reflect what they purport to reflect.

So the whole enterprise of "God" is futility. He doesn't and cannot exist to us.
User avatar
Silhouette
Philosopher
 
Posts: 4548
Joined: Tue May 20, 2003 1:27 am
Location: Existence

Re: An argument for God's existence

Postby Bob » Sat Jan 16, 2021 8:19 am

Hello iambiguous, that last post sounds a lot like you (judging from our past exchanges). I’m sorry that everything is so meaningless and purposeless in your world. I can feel it too, sometimes, but it is those narratives that pull me back on my feet to listen. It is yet another book that excites me by explaining a bit about the biblical symbology, explaining how things were meant, now that our generation has lost touch. It gives me an idea of something good but flawed – flawed by me as much as by anyone else. It gives me an idea of how we can overcome this problem and I follow it.

I quite like Michael Shermer but knowing his background and disappointment at religion I have come to understand that he can hardly say anything else. The problem is, as I have said before, that he (and you?) is reading the Bible as though it weren’t symbolic language, as though the ancients would have any other way to efficiently pass on the wisdom they had gained. That is because he came from an evangelical background and read the Bible the way they do.

If you could read the Bible in the right way, I’m sure it would help you better. One book that could help there is The Language of Creation: Cosmic Symbolism in Genesis by Matthieu Pageau. There is even a Kindle Version. I read it recently and, although I had my doubts to begin with, it started making sense. The symbology can be adopted throughout the Bible.

I know that it bugs you, but seeing as we’re stuck in this life, we might as well make the best of it. I choose to find meaning in doing the lesser harm and the most good. It has already made a difference. I’m sorry that you have no part in that, I hope you find your peace.

Sometimes you remind me of a character in the Narnia series that was changed into a dragon. Every time he tried to talk to people, smoke and fire came out. It made him very lonely.
The only wisdom we can hope to acquire
Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.
TS Eliot
User avatar
Bob
Philosopher
 
Posts: 3538
Joined: Sun Dec 28, 2003 6:20 pm
Location: Germany

Next

Return to Religion and Spirituality



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users