TheNgaiGuy wrote:I almost feel like this is a waste of time because you say there is evidence... but then provide evidence that can easily and concisely be explained without a god. What I'm asking for evidence that can't be explained concisely without a god being there. A good example for this would be if praying to the christian god had statistically significant results in compared to say random chance or no god, but it doesn't so... the question is "why?" (rhetorical since the answer there is no christian god is the most concise)
I'm not convinced that statistically significant "answers" to prayer is good evidence as you claim. This would mean that god would have to be like some sort of wish vending machine. What would even count as an answer to prayer? How would you measure this? If god is personal and wills good, would you count every prayer for something bad as an unanswered prayer, since god would not be inclined to grant a bad request? How do we know which requests were sincere and which were just there to tip the scale in favor of god or to discredit him? I would be very skeptical of a person who claims god answers a statistically significant number of prayers.
As for e=mc^2: if that were in the bible, I would also be very skeptical of the person giving me that bible. Tampering is always an option and mathematical formulas in science are never written in stone. They are subject to modification as new phenomena are discovered, so it could be overall an inadequate equation given new factors to discover.
Also, since we can only guess at how some things in ancient times went down, it's entirely possible that ancient science progressed to such a level and then almost all the knowledge was lost or destroyed, except a single formula. If you don't want to believe in god, you don't have to take anything as evidence - you can always come up with some other explanation, even "no reason."
I would naturally be skeptical of anyone claiming to have any encounter with god. So what evidence do I think I have that is so overwhelming? Again, I don't think I'd like to share it with just anyone who is not willing to try and understand it in light of god (because he so obviously doesn't exist no matter what I say).
TheNgaiGuy wrote:Edit: one argument I hear all the time is... "if god doesn't exist what is the meaning of life?"... I like the counter "if god does exist what is the meaning of his/her life?"
You'd have to ask god that
Pfhorrest wrote:(Usual solutions to this problem address the last part, by trying to show that there's some logical reason why making everything good right now would somehow actually make things worse, such as by destroying free will, and then excusing God for not being able to do something logically impossible, without that making him any less powerful. Compatibilists like myself are obviously unpersuaded by these kinds of free will arguments, but even incompatibilists have their own counter-arguments too).
It's not impossible for god to destroy man's free will - he could, being all powerful, destroy all of time presently... or would that have happened in the past... er the future - since god is outside of time... I suppose at the very least I tend to think it's good he doesn't. Or didn't. Or... *squint* But at any rate, by his free will he chooses to sustain our existence, regardless of if we seek or reject him, this is good and this is our free will. God created everything good from beginning to end. In the middle God maximizes goodness (his presence) within his self-imposed constraints of allowing us to reject his presence (absence of good->presence of evil). Altogether, though this world may not presently be the best possible one (thank goodness), it is the best way (given time and free will, we are) to achieve the best world, and that is good.
Taure wrote:2. Science, by explaining things about the universe in purely natural terms, has "pushed back" the need for God.
Since science only necessarily explains how (when we ask "why" of something, usually we mean "how," unless it's a person). It is, in my estimation, not at all pushing back the need for God to explain why. It seems he created an ordered universe and sustains the laws of nature. Through science we know how he has chosen to constrain himself to work with nature - now we can ask why.
God used to be invoked to explain all manner of things.
As is "no reason" and "we don't know yet" when one gets down to the last "why" and "how" in science. Is "we don't know yet" such a wrong thing for religion to say if science is allowed to say it all the time? When god was invoked to have done things that man could not at the time, I don't see how it somehow makes him not responsible for it then even if we can do it ourselves now. In fact, in the case of curing some disease, it seems precisely because some human couldn't do it then that attributing it to God and not just some human was the wise course of action. It could have been the acts of God through nature, or through his personality, or both - either way, we can investigate it. We can ask "how" of nature and "why" of God.
Now it is much less so. As science progresses more, the need for a God to explain things disappears.
Only if you want accept "no reason." If you believe god created it all and he hope's you'll enjoy it, you may still say it's his handiwork without error and then enjoy investigate the living bejeebers out of it to see how he works. I'd be sad if I was investigating for no reason (literally, all the investigation would come down to "no reason").
In such a case we might invoke either "inference to best explanation" or Occam's Razor, which is to say: given a choice between a simple and elegant explanation that possesses predictive power (science)
I'd say god is the very soul of eloquence. People still speak of how things seem to be designed. Also, religion has made many predictions. It says things like "behave in X manner and receive Y consequence" see Proverbs 2:1-5. Granted people, including myself, have misunderstood and misunderstand religion. But at the core of my science/religion is "love god and love your neighbor as yourself" Mark 12:28-34. That is in part, be good to god and be good to one another (ambassadors of the the Ultimate Good, if you will). Natch I screw it up, at times - but that's where The Good News comes in.
or a complicated and mysterious one that leads to no new knowledge (God),
I think you've missed some of the formulas and explanations if you think science is uncomplicated and not at all mysterious. How does "no reason" lead to new knowledge, I wonder? And who says you have to turn your brain off when you get to god? There's a shit-tone of literature on god, and if he is truly personal, then it's like a relationship: you don't necessarily want it to be 100% predictable. I suppose you could want that, but then they're be no new knowledge because it'd all be predictable. Having in infinite supply of knowledge in God in fact would mean god is the ultimate way to new knowledge.
there is no longer any reason to believe in God. God is no longer necessary, or beneficial.
Only if you've accepted "no reason" as a good enough reason. Otherwise he's still very necessary (for having created everything) and very beneficial (for sustaining everything).
But ask yourself this: what difference is there between a belief in science and God, and just science? None.
Unfortunately this has not been my experience as a scientist. Belief in God has brought new life to my science and to me. That there is a personal loving being behind it all makes a lot of difference.
Pfhorrest wrote:I'm fond of one of Pierce's formulations myself: "Consider what practical effects you conceive the objects of your conception to have. Then, your conception of those effects is the whole of your conception of the object."
So what practical effect would there be if God existed, that would not be if he did not exist? Now, do those effects occur? If so, then God (whatever you mean by that word, as evidenced by your answer to the first question) exists; otherwise, he does not.
This is a very interesting way to think about things. I suppose the key practical effects of God are freewill and personality. *think* Yeah. There might be more.
Anyways, if you want to ask why this post is ending, it's not because I've master conciseness, it's because the pizza is ready... Why is the pizza ready? Well, let me tell you...
1. Honest, I don't live under a bridge;
a) ... it's just a bad day
b) ... but if I did, it would connect words.
c) ... what are they doing right outside my window with the mail server?
d) ... all of the above
e) ... none of the waffles.