What if there were incontrovertible proof of God?

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clockworkmonk
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Re: What if there were incontrovertible proof of God?

Postby clockworkmonk » Tue Jul 19, 2011 4:48 pm UTC

DSenette wrote:
clockworkmonk wrote:I am not religious myself, but I would use "myth" to describe any traditional story. Its an age thing really, old stories get called myths.

The thing is that mythology doesn't strictly refer to things that were once prominent religious beliefs. I would call the collection of stories gathered by the Brothers Grimm mythology as it relates to the traditional tales.

well...i don't know that the brothers grimm actually constitute as mythology....though, i mean, i guess if you want to really go out there with the definition.

Myth:
noun
1.
a traditional or legendary story, usually concerning some being or hero or event, with or without a determinable basis of fact or a natural explanation, especially one that is concerned with deities or demigods and explains some practice, rite, or phenomenon of nature.
2.
stories or matter of this kind: realm of myth.
3.
any invented story, idea, or concept: His account of the event is pure myth.

but, whatever, i'm actually asking specifically the mythologies that are flat out rejected as wrong but were once how people lived their lives. at what point did those stories just get too silly to be believable?


What quality makes them too silly to be believable? They aren't really more absurd than the modern stories told that influence how people currently live their lives. They just aren't mainstream/normal. They lack the same quality that makes any deity testable/provable, that being falsifiability(The ability of the thing being tested to be proved false), a quality possessed by every testable hypothesis. Every modern religion and these stories are often of events that are impossible to disprove that they are the cause of such an event.

Back to the moral authority of a creator. Look at programmers. They often create things that are then used for purposed beyond their original scope. being the creator doesn't grant you any special ability over the thing you create, just the possibility you understand it better than most.
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Re: What if there were incontrovertible proof of God?

Postby DSenette » Tue Jul 19, 2011 5:01 pm UTC

clockworkmonk wrote:
DSenette wrote:
clockworkmonk wrote:I am not religious myself, but I would use "myth" to describe any traditional story. Its an age thing really, old stories get called myths.

The thing is that mythology doesn't strictly refer to things that were once prominent religious beliefs. I would call the collection of stories gathered by the Brothers Grimm mythology as it relates to the traditional tales.

well...i don't know that the brothers grimm actually constitute as mythology....though, i mean, i guess if you want to really go out there with the definition.

Myth:
noun
1.
a traditional or legendary story, usually concerning some being or hero or event, with or without a determinable basis of fact or a natural explanation, especially one that is concerned with deities or demigods and explains some practice, rite, or phenomenon of nature.
2.
stories or matter of this kind: realm of myth.
3.
any invented story, idea, or concept: His account of the event is pure myth.

but, whatever, i'm actually asking specifically the mythologies that are flat out rejected as wrong but were once how people lived their lives. at what point did those stories just get too silly to be believable?


What quality makes them too silly to be believable? They aren't really more absurd than the modern stories told that influence how people currently live their lives. They just aren't mainstream/normal. They lack the same quality that makes any deity testable/provable, that being falsifiability(The ability of the thing being tested to be proved false), a quality possessed by every testable hypothesis. Every modern religion and these stories are often of events that are impossible to disprove that they are the cause of such an event.

Back to the moral authority of a creator. Look at programmers. They often create things that are then used for purposed beyond their original scope. being the creator doesn't grant you any special ability over the thing you create, just the possibility you understand it better than most.

that's actually my point clockworkmonk.....what makes "christianity" more "real" than norse mythology? why is it perfectly sane to believe that a dude was born in a manger, walked on some water, then got nailed to a tree, but if you go around talking about zeus being the almighty lord god you're looked at like you're a nutbag.

so where's the cut off for these types of claims? at what point is it ok to believe in something that's completely unsupported but not another thing that's completely unsupported.
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Re: What if there were incontrovertible proof of God?

Postby Technical Ben » Tue Jul 19, 2011 6:44 pm UTC

DSenette, I would not suggest I know if the universe has a beginning or not in the context of the scientific evidence. If the evidence is that the universe's past is infinite, then the universe is eternal. I'm not happy myself with that conclusion, sounds too much like turtles to me. But if that is the scientific evidence, what other conclusion is there? However AFAIK the evidence so far (the math you mention) suggests the universe goes back to a single state. There is no previous state possible past that. Other theories such as those for QM suggest the universe is one of multiple universes. This just moves the problem to multiples needing an eternal state, or beginning. If both theories are equally likely, then consider both options. Either way, we have something that is eternal (the universe or the thing before it). This does have an implication.
I think we have a clear theory for something that does not have a beginning. Would it not be "X was always there"? As to something with a beginning is it not "Y came from X"? Are these things exclusive or inclusive? Does the existence of one, rule out the other? Or does the existence of one infer the existence of the other?

DSenette, try not to be so quick to judge me. I never at any point inferred a "purpose" in any of my post when talking about science. Only when the question was asked about a personal God. You seem to be putting words in my mouth, or at least jumping to conclusions here. How can I scientifically describe "definite predictions about the results of future observations" if I cannot describe the "before" for the prediction to relate to? If the common word for "the thing before" is "cause" or "reason" then don't take it to mean "human belief and purpose".

You asked me what "correct" or "prefer" mean. Do you not know what you prefer? Do you not know what a correct answer to a question is? I only said we choose the authority we decide is correct or preferred. I was not insisting my view is correct, only commenting on what I observe. I do not need to give a definition, as it would be different for each person, as they have different preferences or views of what is correct. As to Creation = Authority. What is your opinion? Should you own what you create/make/design? I agree a physical law of the universe applies no "authority" but it does have an effect. However the question in the thread title asks about both implications. Why say I'm wrong to consider both, and you insist I can only consider one?

You asked me to consider a "creator" that is not "responsible". See the definition of "responsible". Now try and unwind the two descriptions, creator and responsible, from each other. It's not easy. "Responsible" definition:
1) is "answerable or accountable". This depends on the "authority" if applicable to the first cause. We first need to know what you or others give authority to.
2) is "involving accountability or responsibility". This only applies if "gods" have an effect on the universe. How can you be responsible for what you cannot control?
3) is "chargeable with being the author, cause, or occasion of something". This applies to the first cause.

You may argue 1 and 2 do not apply, but 3 defiantly does. 1 and 2 could be possible. However, this is not curtis95112's point. Seems more to be your own, still a valid question though. Thanks. :)
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Re: What if there were incontrovertible proof of God?

Postby DSenette » Tue Jul 19, 2011 7:11 pm UTC

Technical Ben wrote:DSenette, I would not suggest I know if the universe has a beginning or not in the context of the scientific evidence. If the evidence is that the universe's past is infinite, then the universe is eternal. I'm not happy myself with that conclusion, sounds too much like turtles to me. But if that is the scientific evidence, what other conclusion is there? However AFAIK the evidence so far (the math you mention) suggests the universe goes back to a single state. There is no previous state possible past that. Other theories such as those for QM suggest the universe is one of multiple universes. This just moves the problem to multiples needing an eternal state, or beginning. If both theories are equally likely, then consider both options. Either way, we have something that is eternal (the universe or the thing before it). This does have an implication.
I think we have a clear theory for something that does not have a beginning. Would it not be "X was always there"? As to something with a beginning is it not "Y came from X"? Are these things exclusive or inclusive? Does the existence of one, rule out the other? Or does the existence of one infer the existence of the other?
if the universe goes back to a single state, and there is no previous state possible past that, then why must there be a thing beyond that? and why must that thing that's beyond that not have another thing that's beyond it?

your turtles reference is actually ironic given the chosen path. the "turtles all the way down" excuse was in direct reply to the question of what was the giant turtle that carried the earth standing on. so, if all things require a creator, then what created the creator? it's creators all the way back! if some things don't require a creator, then why do the things that do require a creator require a creator? and the things that don't dont?

what is the clear theory for something (a real something) that doesn't have a beginning? like an example.

Technical Ben wrote:DSenette, try not to be so quick to judge me. I never at any point inferred a "purpose" in any of my post when talking about science. Only when the question was asked about a personal God. You seem to be putting words in my mouth, or at least jumping to conclusions here. How can I scientifically describe "definite predictions about the results of future observations" if I cannot describe the "before" for the prediction to relate to? If the common word for "the thing before" is "cause" or "reason" then don't take it to mean "human belief and purpose".
it's the language that you're using in reference to first cause, authority, and the like. your statements imply that your understanding of causality requires intent. i'm not implying that you've explicitly stated anything to that end, i stated that the language that you are using suggests that this is your understanding. if you can and do understand that scientific causality DOES NOT require, imply, or even make room for intent or purpose then we've got no beef in this regard.

so, first cause, as a natural phenomenon (let's say big bang....like, nothing was actually there before, not even god, not anything, shit just showed up and blew up) has no intent, no design, no purpose what so ever. so first cause does not imply universal cause, or universal intent, or universal purpose. it doesn't impart authority over anything. so, even if "god" were defined as "first cause" and only "first cause" then God, god, gods, jimbo from accounting, being identified as first cause does not grant authority, or suggest intent, or imply purpose, whether this is with regards to human morality, human purpose (the meaning of life), or inherent authority over reality.

Technical Ben wrote:You asked me what "correct" or "prefer" mean. Do you not know what you prefer? Do you not know what a correct answer to a question is? I only said we choose the authority we decide is correct or preferred. I was not insisting my view is correct, only commenting on what I observe. I do not need to give a definition, as it would be different for each person, as they have different preferences or views of what is correct. As to Creation = Authority. What is your opinion? Should you own what you create/make/design? I agree a physical law of the universe applies no "authority" but it does have an effect. However the question in the thread title asks about both implications. Why say I'm wrong to consider both, and you insist I can only consider one?
because you're floating in between concepts here without denotation. you're discussing first cause in relation to a creator being. so, if there is a first cause, but that first cause isn't god the creator, then did the first cause cause god? if not how did god escape being first cause?

Technical Ben wrote:You asked me to consider a "creator" that is not "responsible". See the definition of "responsible". Now try and unwind the two descriptions, creator and responsible, from each other. It's not easy. "Responsible" definition:
1) is "answerable or accountable". This depends on the "authority" if applicable to the first cause. We first need to know what you or others give authority to.
2) is "involving accountability or responsibility". This only applies if "gods" have an effect on the universe. How can you be responsible for what you cannot control?
3) is "chargeable with being the author, cause, or occasion of something". This applies to the first cause.

You may argue 1 and 2 do not apply, but 3 defiantly does. 1 and 2 could be possible. However, this is not curtis95112's point. Seems more to be your own, still a valid question though. Thanks. :)

this is again a section where you're personifying whatever event is first cause. if you're talking about your god being first cause then that's fine, you just have to remember that your terminology ONLY applies to a personified creator being.

i don't give authority to phenomena, physical events, etc... just as a lava tube has no authority over the magma coming out of it. creation does not, in any way, imply universal and eternal authority. authority, when abused, can be rejected and removed. so, there is NOTHING inherent about a creator being or a creation event or a "starting point" or whatever, that gives explicit powers of authority, accountability, or responsibility.

again, accountability or responsibility implies intent and purpose. it also requires you to actually maintain that you shall be held accountable or responsible for actions that stem from your first action. such as, performing a stunt in front of kids. if you don't remove your accountability from that act with regards to the children repeating it, then you're accountable for subsequent actions. if you do remove your accountability via disclaimer (don't do this at home kids) then you're no longer responsible for future actions. the proposed hypothetical involved a creator god who then shoved off the responsibility and accountability to a lesser god. ergo - first cause had no responsibility for future actions.

for #3, in the scientific stance of causality (event A creates the circumstances required for event B) then yeah sure. but that still doesn't require/imply/assure/whatever authority or authority related responsibility.

when i reference responsible in the context heretofore i'm referencing ongoing responsibility, a responsibility after first act (i.e not just a creator god but a caretaker god). a creator god can be far removed from ongoing responsibility
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Re: What if there were incontrovertible proof of God?

Postby esren » Tue Jul 19, 2011 7:25 pm UTC

Reading through all of this, the more interesting sub-threads for me revolve around discussions of what properties God would actually turn out to have, assuming God's existence proven.

The various "which God?" posts point out that the OP has left this field pretty open. But -- the intention seems to have been that the God no-longer-in-question would be captured by the ideas of one or more of the World's Great (or at least large) Monotheistic Religions. There's some discussion advantage to that choice of scope, for reasons to be revealed shortly.


Proposals for inclusion or omission as a Property of God include being the Universe's
* First Cause
* Creator
* Authority, with the subcategories of
- Judge
- Moral standard-setter

As well as intrinsic Properties like God's:
* Oneness
* Lovingness
* Goodness
* Omnipotence
* Omniscience
* All-wisdom

...or lack thereof.

And, in the miscellaneous category, we have:
* Afterlife organizer
* Miracle worker
* Worthy object of worship
* Free will guarantor

Plus, of course, the more parochial:
* Establisher of (some particular) scripture/tradition

It's been pointed out in a few cases that pairs or groups of characteristics that someone is assuming go as a block are actually logically separate ideas. Probably most of 'em are potentially independent, if not all.

And some posters, sensing the ambiguities involved in all of this, seem inclined to give up on the whole project.

But should we accept that attitude? This is GOD we're talking about here. Or non-GOD, as it may be, depending on what set of Properties you're betting your soul on or against. Important stuff, either way.

So, look. Here's a modest proposal:

That's only about sixteen characteristics so far, and most of them are bi-valued. That's a God state-space of a few hundreds of thousands of possiblities, right? Say there still some key degrees of freedom missing, and it's really a few million -- but there aren't an unbounded variety of possible Gods to decide among here, as long as we stay monotheistic or monoatheistic. Say that you want to distinguish between "Good" and "Evil" on a continuous axis. Well, but how many degrees of goodness are you really able to distinguish, anyway? Five ought to about do it. Maybe I'm unrefined, but let's move on...

Come to discuss outcomes (if we prove God number 735,253, for example) -- well, I haven't cataloged very carefully here, but one can extract a pretty good list from the discussion already. It needs simplification though, or we'll never get through. Happy, sad, and indignant seem to cover most possibilities mentioned, one way or another.

Finally, we need some believer types to apply all this to. A handful of types of pre-proof believers (athiest, agnostic, generic theist, and theist with consistent or inconsistent Specific Prior Commitments) ought to cover it with a fair degree of resolution. But let's leave the worst whackos out of it, shall we? They'll be stubborn no matter what, and not very interesting. Oh, and polytheists will have to come up with their own scheme. Sorry, no offense intended.

We'll never get around to making even a paltry few million human judgments, let alone agree on them, so we need to script this somehow. Probably it becomes manageable if we score an independent outcome for each possible Value of one of God's Properties against each of our four Believer Types, and average the results. Not everyone will agree even then, but it'll sharpen the discussion. Maybe have a forum poll. I'm just throwing out ideas, you understand.

All that's missing is a good visualization of how to link these up in some sensible way. Nothing canonical. Just something to give an impression of the odds.

Is anyone around here good at coming up with visualizations?

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Re: What if there were incontrovertible proof of God?

Postby Technical Ben » Tue Jul 19, 2011 7:51 pm UTC

I did not personify the question. You did. You asked "is god responsible". Responsibility is given to persons. I even said ""chargeable with being the author, cause, or occasion of something". This definition does not require a personified god though, and I mentioned the other definitions only apply if you do personify God. I've been asking what is before (not personified) and what is current (again not personified). I've been asking what the evidence is (no person or god required here). Could you consider the questions more objectively and less personally?

A "God" is personified. A "god" or "first cause" is not. So I have not applied authority to a "god" or "gods". However, a first cause may, or may not, have a lasting effect on the universe. If it did have an effect it would then be called a "natural law". So we could describe a natural law applied by the authority (effect) of a first cause. In a non-personified purely mathematical "X then Y" statement. Why then jump on me when using language just as you yourself do? See for example your accusation of me insisting on causality, while you yourself prefer evidence based on causality!

I did not insist "all things" require a beginning. It is your insistence that all things be given the same attributes. Everything we see, has different attributes. I only asked if the observable universe has the attribute of beginning or not beginning. Other things, can be independent to the observable universe, and thus have, or not have a beginning.

To put things in a simple setting. Energy cannot be destroyed or created. This is something we could then conclude is part of the universe and has always existed. Is this agreeable to you? If it has always existed, is that a problem to scientific theory or evidence? AFAIK it is not. We now have a universe with information/entropy etc that has a beginning, and energy that does not. I see no paradox or incompatibility here. Why argue I am asking for an exception? I could argue you are asking for an exception. Why not provide me an example of something (a real something) that does not have a cause? As your defining the universe as not having a cause, but everything else as having one.

PS, I at no point considered a "first cause, but that first cause isn't god the creator" as you put it. If the measure of a "god" is "first cause" then they are the same. If your measure of "god" is "a Nile crocodile" then the crocodile is not a first cause. If your want to comment on a "caretaker god" then this can also be part of a first cause. But this is your definition of a god, not the one mentioned in the threads start, as that was a consideration of a first cause only.
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Re: What if there were incontrovertible proof of God?

Postby LaserGuy » Tue Jul 19, 2011 8:33 pm UTC

Technical Ben wrote:To put things in a simple setting. Energy cannot be destroyed or created. This is something we could then conclude is part of the universe and has always existed.


Not necessarily. We know of both positive and negative energy. Therefore it could be that the total energy of the universe is zero, a non-existent universe has the same energy as our current universe. This is actually a very elegant solution and a lot of models operate on this sort of assumption.

Technical Ben wrote:We now have a universe with information/entropy etc that has a beginning, and energy that does not.


Information and entropy are not the same thing in this context. The Second Law of Thermodynamics does not hold in information theory.

Technical Ben wrote:I see no paradox or incompatibility here. Why argue I am asking for an exception? I could argue you are asking for an exception. Why not provide me an example of something (a real something) that does not have a cause? As your defining the universe as not having a cause, but everything else as having one.


Radioactive decay is, to the best of our knowledge, non-causal. Vacuum fluctuations appear to be similarly non-causal (and can be demonstrated via, eg. the Casimir effect, which might be described as a force resulting from empty space). In fact, vacuum fluctuations (combined with zero energy hypothesis above) have been proposed as an explanation for the origin of the universe itself.

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Re: What if there were incontrovertible proof of God?

Postby DSenette » Tue Jul 19, 2011 9:15 pm UTC

Technical Ben wrote:I did not personify the question. You did. You asked "is god responsible". Responsibility is given to persons. I even said ""chargeable with being the author, cause, or occasion of something". This definition does not require a personified god though, and I mentioned the other definitions only apply if you do personify God. I've been asking what is before (not personified) and what is current (again not personified). I've been asking what the evidence is (no person or god required here). Could you consider the questions more objectively and less personally?
causality doesn't impart authority without personification or value placed by the caused upon the cause.

so, if the point of this discussion is that "first cause" should have authority over the things that it caused by the nature of being first cause, then that is what's being argued against...the authority bit. that first cause is anything other than a first cause by default.


Technical Ben wrote:A "God" is personified. A "god" or "first cause" is not. So I have not applied authority to a "god" or "gods". However, a first cause may, or may not, have a lasting effect on the universe. If it did have an effect it would then be called a "natural law". So we could describe a natural law applied by the authority (effect) of a first cause. In a non-personified purely mathematical "X then Y" statement. Why then jump on me when using language just as you yourself do? See for example your accusation of me insisting on causality, while you yourself prefer evidence based on causality!
because your usage of the word authority is wrong. nowhere is authority used the way you're using it. if you mean effect or cause....say effect or cause...don't say authority.

authority is a right, or a power that is expressly apparent as being above and in control of another. an event or a cause, as a single entity has no actual authority on the effect, there's not really an authority standpoint in this regard. the cause doesn't care about the effect, it doesn't have anything to do with the effect other than the cause being the starting condition for the effect. the cause has ABSOLUTELY no control over the effect (i.e. if the cause "wanted" to not have the effect...the only way it could do that is to not exist...it can't be a "cause" and not have the effect)


Technical Ben wrote:I did not insist "all things" require a beginning. It is your insistence that all things be given the same attributes. Everything we see, has different attributes. I only asked if the observable universe has the attribute of beginning or not beginning. Other things, can be independent to the observable universe, and thus have, or not have a beginning.
no, i just want you to define where the demarcation between things that MUST HAVE a beginning and things that don't have to have a beginning are. or first cause, or creator. if everything must have a creator (which is the standpoint of theistic religion) then why doesn't the creator have to have a creator? what's the evidence based argument for that?

Technical Ben wrote:To put things in a simple setting. Energy cannot be destroyed or created. This is something we could then conclude is part of the universe and has always existed. Is this agreeable to you? If it has always existed, is that a problem to scientific theory or evidence? AFAIK it is not. We now have a universe with information/entropy etc that has a beginning, and energy that does not. I see no paradox or incompatibility here. Why argue I am asking for an exception? I could argue you are asking for an exception. Why not provide me an example of something (a real something) that does not have a cause? As your defining the universe as not having a cause, but everything else as having one.
all statements (AFAIK) about the inability to create/destroy energy are with reference to AFTER the big bang. again, that's an AFAIK which isn't terribly far. HOWEVER, another AFAIK, the theories involved also have some observable suggestions as to why energy behaves the way it does....you know...like the law of thermodynamics. science doesn't say "just is dude".

Technical Ben wrote:PS, I at no point considered a "first cause, but that first cause isn't god the creator" as you put it. If the measure of a "god" is "first cause" then they are the same. If your measure of "god" is "a Nile crocodile" then the crocodile is not a first cause. If your want to comment on a "caretaker god" then this can also be part of a first cause. But this is your definition of a god, not the one mentioned in the threads start, as that was a consideration of a first cause only.

the opening thread actually didn't clarify much about which god/gods it was talking about....attempts at getting clarification proved to be a bit unfruitful.
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Re: What if there were incontrovertible proof of God?

Postby curtis95112 » Wed Jul 20, 2011 4:04 am UTC

Let's not get sidetracked here.
In any case, Technical Ben's argument hinges on his assumption that first cause => moral authority.
Even assuming there is a first cause, I see no reason why this should be so.
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Re: What if there were incontrovertible proof of God?

Postby Sanjuricus » Fri Jul 22, 2011 12:35 pm UTC

I don't wish to wander off topic but the last few posts do kind of make me think: Even if there were proof of deity, why the hell should I give a rats ass about it? The ONLY motivation I can conceive of is the notion of a worship based afterlife/heaven/hell type scenario...
Mostly kind of almost...ish.

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Re: What if there were incontrovertible proof of God?

Postby DSenette » Fri Jul 22, 2011 12:59 pm UTC

Sanjuricus wrote:I don't wish to wander off topic but the last few posts do kind of make me think: Even if there were proof of deity, why the hell should I give a rats ass about it? The ONLY motivation I can conceive of is the notion of a worship based afterlife/heaven/hell type scenario...

and even then, if you prove god exists, and that heaven/hell exists, and that god controls heaven/hell entry, why not revolt and take the keys?
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Re: What if there were incontrovertible proof of God?

Postby doogly » Fri Jul 22, 2011 1:03 pm UTC

Seriously, if homeboy shows up and is like "Heaven and Hell are real! Kill a Moabite or suffer for all eternity!" I am going to go down with my integrity intact, high fivin the Moabites.
Of course it is completely unreasonable to imagine any deity would ever be like that, so no worries.
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Re: What if there were incontravertible proof of God?

Postby mojacardave » Fri Jul 22, 2011 2:05 pm UTC

This quote, contains my entire problem with how religious people perceive atheists:

thorgold wrote:In addition, without God, even atheists or agnostics might feel despair, with the proven fact that life really is just random chance, and that we don't matter.


Life is just random chance, but why on Earth should that mean that it doesn't matter? (with apologies to Dumbledore)

If we received ultimate proof tomorrow: GOD IS REAL! and that was all we found out, I don't think it would fundamentally shift the world too much. The most ardent and obnoxious religious right would be proved correct, but they're already ridiculously convinced of their correctness anyway. Atheists would cease to exist, but I'd imagine that 99% of them would become Agnostic. They would know that there is a God, but ultimately they'd still not believe the ancient unverifiable accounts we have for all current mainstream religions. I would imagine the birth of a 'church of science'. If somebody told me there was a God, and I believed it, I'd still assume that this 'God' wanted us to learn, experiment and grow. It wouldn't adjust my morals in the slightest.

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Re: What if there were incontrovertible proof of God?

Postby bobjoesmith » Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:47 pm UTC

If God came to my front door right now knocking, I'd invite him in and be stupendously relieved. Its comforting to have a higher power who is omniscient and omnipotent and omnibenevolent: even if life sucks, there's a guy who has your back.

And so what if certain dogma's become incontrovertible laws? After we realized asbestos was bad for our health, we banned it. The thing with omniscience + omnibenevolence in tandem is that any rules imposed probably won't suck: in fact its guaranteed to be good for you.

And if the God was evil, then I'd do everything I could to stay away from his bad side- it's ok, I'll forgo cream pies to avoid being hit by lightning.

So if there were incontrovertible proof of God, all it would do is set to peace so many questions.

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Re: What if there were incontrovertible proof of God?

Postby DSenette » Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:51 pm UTC

bobjoesmith wrote:If God came to my front door right now knocking, I'd invite him in and be stupendously relieved. Its comforting to have a higher power who is omniscient and omnipotent and omnibenevolent: even if life sucks, there's a guy who has your back.

And so what if certain dogma's become incontrovertible laws? After we realized asbestos was bad for our health, we banned it. The thing with omniscience + omnibenevolence in tandem is that any rules imposed probably won't suck: in fact its guaranteed to be good for you.

And if the God was evil, then I'd do everything I could to stay away from his bad side- it's ok, I'll forgo cream pies to avoid being hit by lightning.

So if there were incontrovertible proof of God, all it would do is set to peace so many questions.

yeah, because the omniscient and omnibenevolent god of leviticus was a GREAT guy and all those rules were freakin AWESOME!
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Re: What if there were incontrovertible proof of God?

Postby LaserGuy » Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:52 pm UTC

bobjoesmith wrote:If God came to my front door right now knocking, I'd invite him in and be stupendously relieved. Its comforting to have a higher power who is omniscient and omnipotent and omnibenevolent: even if life sucks, there's a guy who has your back.


Why on Earth would life suck if there's a higher power who is omniscient and omnipotent and omnibenevolent helping you out? Surely having the privilege of having such a being micromanaging your existence would pretty much ensure that life would be pretty awesome.

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Re: What if there were incontrovertible proof of God?

Postby Thirty-one » Fri Jul 22, 2011 11:17 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:
bobjoesmith wrote:If God came to my front door right now knocking, I'd invite him in and be stupendously relieved. Its comforting to have a higher power who is omniscient and omnipotent and omnibenevolent: even if life sucks, there's a guy who has your back.


Why on Earth would life suck if there's a higher power who is omniscient and omnipotent and omnibenevolent helping you out? Surely having the privilege of having such a being micromanaging your existence would pretty much ensure that life would be pretty awesome.


Not if he'd already have been existing and his level of success at helping out was what we already see today.
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Re: What if there were incontravertible proof of God?

Postby Mambo4 » Fri Jul 22, 2011 11:56 pm UTC

mojacardave wrote:Life is just random chance, but why on Earth should that mean that it doesn't matter? (with apologies to Dumbledore)

I realize you are pointing out one of the biggest non-sequiturs that theists tend to put forth - and I agree.
But If I may nitpick:
Life is not random. Mutation is, but life/evolution is most definitely not.
random mutation plus natural selection plus millions of iterations is a far cry from random chance.

sorry to push this but I tire of the "no god means the universe/life is random and meaningless" argument.

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Re: What if there were incontrovertible proof of God?

Postby Technical Ben » Sat Jul 23, 2011 10:53 pm UTC

DSenette wrote:
bobjoesmith wrote:If God came to my front door right now knocking, I'd invite him in and be stupendously relieved. Its comforting to have a higher power who is omniscient and omnipotent and omnibenevolent: even if life sucks, there's a guy who has your back.

And so what if certain dogma's become incontrovertible laws? After we realized asbestos was bad for our health, we banned it. The thing with omniscience + omnibenevolence in tandem is that any rules imposed probably won't suck: in fact its guaranteed to be good for you.

And if the God was evil, then I'd do everything I could to stay away from his bad side- it's ok, I'll forgo cream pies to avoid being hit by lightning.

So if there were incontrovertible proof of God, all it would do is set to peace so many questions.

yeah, because the omniscient and omnibenevolent god of leviticus was a GREAT guy and all those rules were freakin AWESOME!


DSenette. Why get offended at an objective look at those descriptions? Did bobjoesmith mention a Christian or Jewish god in that post? You have mentioned before how you disagree with the actions in that book, but they were not under discussion here. Can you answer the question about asbestos? Asbestos is even inanimate, yet it effects our life. Would it be moral to let someone suffer from asbestos poisoning?

OT is your disagreement with the God of Leviticus that he killed off other nations? Were those nations not deserving of the death penalty considering they were engaged in child sacrifice and murder? What would be the omnibenevolent* reaction to those nations? They all received an opportunity to stop or change, see Jonah's warning to the Ninevites for an example of those who did.

*I don't use that word myself, so I'm uncertain of it's usage, sorry if I've got it wrong.
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Re: What if there were incontrovertible proof of God?

Postby curtis95112 » Sun Jul 24, 2011 2:03 am UTC

An omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent God WOULD be nice.

Unfortunately, omniscience and omnipotence tends to end up destroying logic. But then, true omnipotence doesn't need to give a damn about logic.. I need to think about this for a while.
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Re: What if there were incontrovertible proof of God?

Postby Glass Fractal » Sun Jul 24, 2011 2:52 am UTC

Technical Ben wrote:OT is your disagreement with the God of Leviticus that he killed off other nations?


We can start small. Like that dude he straight up vaporized for touching the special box. Some hardcore omnibenevolence right there.

I've never even considered kill people for touching my stuff. So... uh... I guess I'm like omniomnibenevolent or something.

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Re: What if there were incontrovertible proof of God?

Postby Radical_Initiator » Sun Jul 24, 2011 3:42 am UTC

Can God be omniscient, omnibenevolent, omnipotent, and omnilazy?
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Re: What if there were incontrovertible proof of God?

Postby curtis95112 » Sun Jul 24, 2011 3:49 am UTC

Radical_Initiator wrote:Can God be omniscient, omnibenevolent, omnipotent, and omnilazy?


"Lord, there is evil and suffering!"

"But miiiiiiiiinecraft!"
Mighty Jalapeno wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:
Роберт wrote:Sure, but at least they hit the intended target that time.

Well, if you shoot enough people, you're bound to get the right one eventually.

Thats the best description of the USA ever.

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Re: What if there were incontrovertible proof of God?

Postby CorruptUser » Sun Jul 24, 2011 3:57 am UTC

Wait, what religion ever claimed god was omnibenevolent?

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Re: What if there were incontrovertible proof of God?

Postby Glass Fractal » Sun Jul 24, 2011 1:32 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Wait, what religion ever claimed god was omnibenevolent?


Various popular forms of Christianity.

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Re: What if there were incontrovertible proof of God?

Postby elasto » Sun Jul 24, 2011 5:04 pm UTC

No. They claim God is a loving Father. Unfortunately they also claim God is a righteous Judge.

I love my kids but they probably don't think that when I give them a time-out when they break the rules.

And Omniscience and Omnipotence only break logic under the most naive definitions of either. Once you start giving sensible definitions such as (eg) Omnipotence simply means 'no agent could exist that could do more than God could do' a lot of the apparent problems disappear.

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Re: What if there were incontrovertible proof of God?

Postby doogly » Sun Jul 24, 2011 5:08 pm UTC

I am glad you think you can redefine for all of Christianity what omnibenevolence means, but the statement that a great many Christian sects do actually believe this remains true. Certainly though they would mostly say that god 'is all good,' rather than 'appears all good to us.'
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Re: What if there were incontrovertible proof of God?

Postby Glass Fractal » Sun Jul 24, 2011 7:59 pm UTC

elasto wrote:No. They claim God is a loving Father. Unfortunately they also claim God is a righteous Judge.


You're just factually wrong here. Many christian sects include omnibenevolence among the qualities of god, usually meaning "all loving", "as good as imaginable", or "following all the rules in the bible".

elasto wrote:I love my kids but they probably don't think that when I give them a time-out when they break the rules.


But would you light them on fire for, say, touching your car? I think they would be pretty justified in saying that your definition of love is twisted beyond all reason.

elasto wrote:And Omniscience and Omnipotence only break logic under the most naive definitions of either. Once you start giving sensible definitions such as (eg) Omnipotence simply means 'no agent could exist that could do more than God could do' a lot of the apparent problems disappear.


You can solve any problem be redefining all the words being used. Of course then you have to give up on language entirely. I can grow cheese to fourteen! Aardvark is purple for building!

Omnipotence and omniscience have well accepted definitions. If you don't want god to be defined in a logically inconsistent way don't call it omnipotent or omniscient.

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Re: What if there were incontrovertible proof of God?

Postby Technical Ben » Sun Jul 24, 2011 8:44 pm UTC

Glass Fractal. One reason for elasto using that argument is that Omnipotence as a word is not used in the bible. So can we judge it by a modernly defined word? If the bible gives that description, then all well and fine. But if the description is "No one can stop God doing what he wills" then does omnipotence match that, or should we use a different word? (this onyl applies to describing the Christian God. Not to any other theoretical one of cause.)

If there was proof of a "God" (personal) would that not be a reason to look for it's qualities or attributes? If there is proof of a "first cause" (non-personal) would that not be reason to look for the process that was present in the beginning? If the proof was that the universe it's self was eternal, would that not be reason to look for a circular or continuous system?
Science needs not stop with any of those discoveries. However, there would be some people who would have to change their current theories, as not all theories in science currently support all models. Even current discoveries in science can meet oppositions. People get stubborn. They don't like their area of expertise having to change, or get less funding. See Einstein for someone who, despite all his ability, refused to accept certain parts of QM. There needs to be no religious implications for people to have reasons to resist the new information or findings.

It's not that there is any problem with scientific process, but that people are still the same people, if using science or religion to back wrong ideas. If they are willing to correct themselves they are likely to do so whether religious or atheistic in view points. Although, I'd happily lump a large part of religion, if not nearly all of it, as teaching plain old lies from it's inception. But not all religions are the same, so they in no way can all be judged the same.

Sadly though, I see a greater number of people using "science" as an excuse to make the exact same mistakes religion has made all these centuries. Instead of sticking to myths they stick to incomplete or wrong theories. This is why I would consider it just as much of a shock to people who do not believe in a God, to those who do, to be told they were wrong. Could science have become the new religion?
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Re: What if there were incontrovertible proof of God?

Postby Charlie! » Sun Jul 24, 2011 8:49 pm UTC

Glass Fractal wrote:
elasto wrote:And Omniscience and Omnipotence only break logic under the most naive definitions of either. Once you start giving sensible definitions such as (eg) Omnipotence simply means 'no agent could exist that could do more than God could do' a lot of the apparent problems disappear.


You can solve any problem be redefining all the words being used. Of course then you have to give up on language entirely. I can grow cheese to fourteen! Aardvark is purple for building!

Omnipotence and omniscience have well accepted definitions. If you don't want god to be defined in a logically inconsistent way don't call it omnipotent or omniscient.

Meh, I think this specific part is a bit harsh. Omnipotence and omniscience have colloquial meanings too, and most people through history were bad at logic. Trying to define words by the colloquial meaning ("really powerful!" "knows a lot!") can be a sign of sophistry, but it can also hew closer to original intent, and there are bigger fish to fry.

Technical Ben wrote:Could science have become the new religion?
Nope! Next question!
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Re: What if there were incontrovertible proof of God?

Postby Technical Ben » Mon Jul 25, 2011 7:57 am UTC

You say that Charlie, yet is this not what many people are doing? Homoeopathy for instance. They say they did the science, but did not. So they have nothing to support their claims. If religion is saying it has inspiration from a god or God, but does not, are they not the same? If both had supporting evidence (they did do the science, or they did have inspiration or effect from a deity) then there would be no problem.

If people have been so insistent on following Religion for the last few centuries, even when it fails to provide evidence or support, why do you think they will not make the same mistake with scientific theories which fail to provide or support the evidence?

[edit]
I don't think the science will fail, just that people, humans, have a track record of failing. :(
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Re: What if there were incontrovertible proof of God?

Postby curtis95112 » Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:21 am UTC

Technical Ben wrote:You say that Charlie, yet is this not what many people are doing? Homoeopathy for instance. They say they did the science, but did not. So they have nothing to support their claims. If religion is saying it has inspiration from a god or God, but does not, are they not the same? If both had supporting evidence (they did do the science, or they did have inspiration or effect from a deity) then there would be no problem.

If people have been so insistent on following Religion for the last few centuries, even when it fails to provide evidence or support, why do you think they will not make the same mistake with scientific theories which fail to provide or support the evidence?


No, a better analogy would be a conman pretending to be an ordained minister and tricking people based on that. What you're saying is that religion is willfully deceiving people just as the defenders of homeopathy* are. While I agree with the sentiment, it's probably not you wanted to say. I also think that said conmen and the defenders of homeopathy are rather similar if you'd agree with my choice of analogy.

Anyway, I don't think people won't be deceived by people who claim to have the science on their side. But that's not an argument against science, that's an argument against ignorant people. Science done properly** is self-correcting and finds what works.

*I'm talking about the ones that understand science and know about the staggering amount of evidence against homeopathy but continue to defend homeopathy because of their financial interests. Admittedly, they may be rare, but that doesn't change my point. Substitute faith-healers instead if it seems a bit inappropriate.

**No True Scotsman does not apply here. The self-correcting part is pretty much the definition of the scientific method.

EDIT: The problem with using only the Bible to argue against the Abrahamic God is that very few people believe in that God. Check out how different the God of the fundamentalists are to the more mainstream God, and then check how different that God is from the God of the theologians. The god most people believe in is literally omnipotent and omniscient.
Oh and I'll just throw this here. Omniscience implies perfect knowledge of the future (especially since God transcends time). Therefore God knows exactly what he will do in the future. Omniscience has just destroyed free will. Now reconcile that with any sensible definition of omnipotent.
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Re: What if there were incontrovertible proof of God?

Postby Technical Ben » Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:43 am UTC

Curtis that is the point I'm making.
A religious approach, in theory, is not incorrect if "done properly". It could be considered "we can learn information from others" or specifically "we can learn information from a higher source of information". If a God exists, then that is a great source of information. However, as you said, it would appear "religion is wilfully deceiving people" and not looking for better sources of information. It should be self correcting, in that you keep going back to that source of correct information (if it does exist) and using it to correct your current theories. Your comment on the bible fits it quite well. You gave examples of those not using it religiously, yet claiming to at the same time. If your not going back to that source of information, then you are not applying a Religious method.
I know this is not religions definitions, but what I'm getting at, it that people fail to do the science at times and people also fail to keep to religion too. Do you blame the process or the people for failing to uphold it?

Could the two be compared to a "top down" and a "bottom up" approach?
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Re: What if there were incontravertible proof of God?

Postby mojacardave » Mon Jul 25, 2011 9:06 am UTC

Mambo4 wrote:
mojacardave wrote:Life is just random chance, but why on Earth should that mean that it doesn't matter? (with apologies to Dumbledore)

I realize you are pointing out one of the biggest non-sequiturs that theists tend to put forth - and I agree.
But If I may nitpick:
Life is not random. Mutation is, but life/evolution is most definitely not.
random mutation plus natural selection plus millions of iterations is a far cry from random chance.

sorry to push this but I tire of the "no god means the universe/life is random and meaningless" argument.


I should have known that that argument wouldn't fly here, but I was simplifying for the purpose of making my point. Life is totally unrandom, at a molecular level. Everything happens exactly as it's going to happen, based on interactions at a tiny scale. The 'choices' made by people are a result of signals in the brain, which are a result of atomic interactions, which are (probably?) going to play out the same way each time*. Ultimately I DO believe in fate. Unfortunately, saying I believe in fate encourages people to think I have some kind of religious belief. It's easier to say that I think that life is random. I don't actually MEAN that it's random. What I mean is that I don't think my life is being directed by some higher power. To an observer, life seems random, and for the sake of theological discussions, it's a close enough approximation. When most people think of fate, they assume that you mean: I'm destined to meet my soulmate, live a long and happy life etc. Fate as I believe in it, doesn't correspond to that sort of fate. My life may be predetermined and unalterable, but I have the sensation of choice, and I don't know where my life will end up, so there's no need to be depressed about it...

*the alternative to this seems to be parallel universe theory, but I don't know enough about that to even attempt an explanation here. All I could manage is the TV-simplified SciFi explanation.

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Re: What if there were incontrovertible proof of God?

Postby curtis95112 » Mon Jul 25, 2011 9:17 am UTC

Technical Ben wrote:Curtis that is the point I'm making.
A religious approach, in theory, is not incorrect if "done properly". It could be considered "we can learn information from others" or specifically "we can learn information from a higher source of information". If a God exists, then that is a great source of information. However, as you said, it would appear "religion is wilfully deceiving people" and not looking for better sources of information. It should be self correcting, in that you keep going back to that source of correct information (if it does exist) and using it to correct your current theories. Your comment on the bible fits it quite well. You gave examples of those not using it religiously, yet claiming to at the same time. If your not going back to that source of information, then you are not applying a Religious method.
I know this is not religions definitions, but what I'm getting at, it that people fail to do the science at times and people also fail to keep to religion too. Do you blame the process or the people for failing to uphold it?

Could the two be compared to a "top down" and a "bottom up" approach?


What you say is technically correct. However I think that you have an overly wide definition of religion. If religion looks for better sources of information, it is no longer religion.
I do not blame science for being right and being an attractive backer. I do blame conmen for claiming they the have science on their side. I do blame religion for being wrong* and for claiming to be the inerrant word of God. I also blame religion for having no way to become right, and for having no wish to become right. I do blame people for abusing religion but less than I blame people for abusing science. Science if clear-cut in what it says, religion most definitely isn't.

When people do it wrong, both religion and science can have horrendous consequences (See: Lysenko). I blame the people doing it wrong.
When science is done properly, we get our lifespan doubled and the whole of modern civillization as a bonus(exaggeration, but just)
When religion is done properly, we have fundamentalist Christians.
I rest my case.

*Let's not turn this into "is X religion right?". I say this because the vast majority of religions must be wrong simply because there are so many of them.
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Re: What if there were incontrovertible proof of God?

Postby Sanjuricus » Mon Jul 25, 2011 9:35 am UTC

This thread has taken an interesting turn...the subject of charlatanry. I'd like for us to pursue this subject for a few posts if thats OK?

To make my point, I unfortunately need to digress and reminisce a little, please bear with me, my personal experience will help make my point. :)
I was raised a Christian, in the way that most children in England are. We go to church on Sunday....once in a while, we sing hymns in school assemblies, we get proselytised at in RE by well meaning teachers. For me though, there was always something not quite right with Christianity, don't get me wrong, up until the age of about 12 I believed wholeheartedly in my religion...but then I started to get smart, I started to learn and something was wrong with religion, I lacked the mental faculty at that age to reason out what was wrong...but the feeling was there.
At around 13-14 years of age, I happened across Tarot cards which opened up a hunger for knowledge of anything to do with the plethora of new age religions. I abandoned the last vestige of christian faith that I had left (which was practically none) and plunged headlong into Wicca, Tarot, Runes, Thelamic arts...even dancing around a fire naked on sabbats!
I even took on a few students and taught them my ways. This went on until I was around 22-23 and then it appeared again...that undefinable something that wasn't quite right.
This feeling grew and grew slowly but surely, I began to miss sabbats, I stopped consulting the tarot, I couldn't be arsed with my students. At this time I "discovered" the works of Carlos Castaneda and his works with the Yaqui Indians of Sonoro, Mexico...this was like a breath of fresh air and renewed my beliefs. I plunged headlong into what I now acknowledge as a supreme act of self delusion, I'm not going to go into it on here as I still find it profoundly intellectually embarrassing to talk about...suffice to say, if Scientology had gotten its hooks into me in that period of my life I would have been lost forever!
It all came crashing down a few short years later when I read a website dedicated to exposing the fraud of Carlos Castaneda...I had been fundamentally inspired by a work of fiction that I considered the truth. This point in my life I like to think of as the tiniest seed of Atheism being sowed in my mind. I once again lapsed into apathy about my beliefs, an apathy that they did not recover from. I still thought like an occultist, I still observed the appropriate days of the year but it was little more than lip service.
As time went on I developed an interest in cults. Not in the sense of a believer I might add, but in the sense of trying to understand how these organisations formed. I eventually focused on Scientology and researched it as much as was possible back then...I realised with an alarming amount of certainty that I could have started a cult, in fact, many of the things I had been doing with my students were cult-like techniques. I reeled at the implications should I have taken a different path...oh the possibilities, the terrifying possibilities.
The roots of atheism had now taken hold and my beliefs dropped away. I would describe myself at this point as merely non-religious rather than atheist.
Then the Tom Cruise Scientology video debacle happened and Anonymous went on the assault. As a result of their actions it was now open season on Scientology and much more of their methods and the effects of them were exposed. I researched these methods quite extensively and found correlations not just with other cults....but with all of the major abrahamic faiths.
That was quite literally like a lightswitch being flicked on in my mind. From the instant I had that moment of clarity I could see the emptiness of religion and the emptiness of faith. I looked back on my life as a believer and realised exactly what that undefinable feeling was...it's actually not that easy to explain but I'll have a go. The feeling I was like being stood just behind yourself, looking over your own shoulder in a detached emotionless manner...watching the actions and reading the thoughts of yourself with doubt and cynisism yet being unable to do anything about it. I've since come to realise that that feeling was more than likely my critical faculties crying out for me to stop being such a fuckwit and to listen to them!!

Anyway, enough about me, back to the point I'm trying to make. Call it what you will: confidence trickery, charlatanry, deception, cult, brainwashing, indoctrination....it all boils down to a single process, the suppression of the ability to think critically and analytically. That is what religion is, it's what salesmen endeavour to do, it's how cults start, it's the way we suspend disbelief when watching a science fiction film or reading a good book (or even a crap book!!)....the same mechanism. It strikes me as being a fantastic point in support of evolution because it is so easily suppressed, were creationism true, this faculty would either be much more robust or entirely non-existant! Instead, it appears to be something that (in evolutionary terms) is brand spanking new to life on this planet.

I guess what I'm saying in a nutshell is that there is actually very little difference between a charlatan pretending to be religious for personal gain and a true believer encouraging his followers to donate to his cause.

I await your replies ripping this post to pieces.... :twisted: HA HA HA!
Mostly kind of almost...ish.

curtis95112
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Re: What if there were incontrovertible proof of God?

Postby curtis95112 » Mon Jul 25, 2011 10:10 am UTC

True, but all too often the people coordinating believers AND making lots of money out of it have been exposed to everything they'd need to let go of their beliefs. I'm sure that a lot of them are consciously deceiving people (Although I have no proof). They are the people I would condemn
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Роберт wrote:Sure, but at least they hit the intended target that time.

Well, if you shoot enough people, you're bound to get the right one eventually.

Thats the best description of the USA ever.

DSenette
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Re: What if there were incontrovertible proof of God?

Postby DSenette » Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:41 pm UTC

Technical Ben wrote:
DSenette wrote:
bobjoesmith wrote:If God came to my front door right now knocking, I'd invite him in and be stupendously relieved. Its comforting to have a higher power who is omniscient and omnipotent and omnibenevolent: even if life sucks, there's a guy who has your back.

And so what if certain dogma's become incontrovertible laws? After we realized asbestos was bad for our health, we banned it. The thing with omniscience + omnibenevolence in tandem is that any rules imposed probably won't suck: in fact its guaranteed to be good for you.

And if the God was evil, then I'd do everything I could to stay away from his bad side- it's ok, I'll forgo cream pies to avoid being hit by lightning.

So if there were incontrovertible proof of God, all it would do is set to peace so many questions.

yeah, because the omniscient and omnibenevolent god of leviticus was a GREAT guy and all those rules were freakin AWESOME!


DSenette. Why get offended at an objective look at those descriptions? Did bobjoesmith mention a Christian or Jewish god in that post? You have mentioned before how you disagree with the actions in that book, but they were not under discussion here. Can you answer the question about asbestos? Asbestos is even inanimate, yet it effects our life. Would it be moral to let someone suffer from asbestos poisoning?
he did mention the christian or jewish god...he said God...big G. he also, you know gave the christian description of the guy.

the rules of "that book" are totally up for discussion if someone wants to claim that the laws of the christian god are going to be freakin awesome. the christian "history book" (you know....the bible) is as far as you have to look to see that won't be the case.

for asbestos, if you ACTUALLY want to equate that to omniscient, omnipotent and omnibenevolent, then you've got a HUGE issue. if God was omniscient, then he knew, with 100% certainty that asbestos would kill us, but he let us use it for eons anyway. If God is omnipotent, then he had the power to make asbestos serve the same purpose without all the cancer, but he let it keep killing us anyway. and if God was omnibenevolent, well then he wouldn't have let the first to conditions remain true because he would be looking out for us completely. so, yeah, there's taht.

and no, it wouldn't be moral to knowingly and intentionally let someone suffer from asbestos poisoning if you had the ability to prevent asbestos poisoning. so, i guess your point is that god isn't moral?

Technical Ben wrote:OT is your disagreement with the God of Leviticus that he killed off other nations? Were those nations not deserving of the death penalty considering they were engaged in child sacrifice and murder? What would be the omnibenevolent* reaction to those nations? They all received an opportunity to stop or change, see Jonah's warning to the Ninevites for an example of those who did.

*I don't use that word myself, so I'm uncertain of it's usage, sorry if I've got it wrong.

i don't know, the shit where it was perfectly cool to institute a genocide. or beat your wife, or stone your children, or eat other people...you know...the shit that's in the book

Technical Ben wrote:Glass Fractal. One reason for elasto using that argument is that Omnipotence as a word is not used in the bible. So can we judge it by a modernly defined word? If the bible gives that description, then all well and fine. But if the description is "No one can stop God doing what he wills" then does omnipotence match that, or should we use a different word? (this onyl applies to describing the Christian God. Not to any other theoretical one of cause.)
look up the definitions of the words in use....look up omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolant....please actually use a dictionary. now go back to YOUR DESCRIPTIONS of YOUR god, and ANY description of the christian god and compare.....the word not being in the bible is a STUPID argument. it's ridiculous and pointless.

the almost universal description of the christian god is that he can do ANYTHING and EVERYTHING (you know, like create reality, shape it to his will....do whatever the fuck he wants). that's omnipotent (universally potent....able to do all)

the almost universal description of the christian god is that he KNOWS everythign (he knows when you are sleeping, he knows when you're awake, he knows when you've been bad or good....wait...wrong guy?), that would be omniscient

the almost universal description of the christian god is that he is love, that he is perfect love, and that he is perfectly moral....which would be omnibenevolant (universally benevolent)

so your argument is garbage

Technical Ben wrote:If there was proof of a "God" (personal) would that not be a reason to look for it's qualities or attributes? If there is proof of a "first cause" (non-personal) would that not be reason to look for the process that was present in the beginning? If the proof was that the universe it's self was eternal, would that not be reason to look for a circular or continuous system?
Science needs not stop with any of those discoveries. However, there would be some people who would have to change their current theories, as not all theories in science currently support all models. Even current discoveries in science can meet oppositions. People get stubborn. They don't like their area of expertise having to change, or get less funding. See Einstein for someone who, despite all his ability, refused to accept certain parts of QM. There needs to be no religious implications for people to have reasons to resist the new information or findings.
it's perfectly possible for anyone to get stubborn and let their bias cloud their rationality. but at that point they've been influenced by their bias. HOWEVER, it is quite relevant to note that it's a lot easier to recognize and avoid those biases when you operate within certain systems as opposed to others.

unfortunately for your point, the certain systems that make reason and rationality easier are science, and the ones that have been shown to make it more difficult are religion.

Technical Ben wrote:It's not that there is any problem with scientific process, but that people are still the same people, if using science or religion to back wrong ideas. If they are willing to correct themselves they are likely to do so whether religious or atheistic in view points. Although, I'd happily lump a large part of religion, if not nearly all of it, as teaching plain old lies from it's inception. But not all religions are the same, so they in no way can all be judged the same.


Technical Ben wrote:Sadly though, I see a greater number of people using "science" as an excuse to make the exact same mistakes religion has made all these centuries. Instead of sticking to myths they stick to incomplete or wrong theories. This is why I would consider it just as much of a shock to people who do not believe in a God, to those who do, to be told they were wrong. Could science have become the new religion?

no matter how many times you ask that last question the answer is still no, fuck no, absolutely no. science is a method. people who stop doing science and start doing biased proselytizing are no longer doing science. the minute that you stubbornly lock yourself onto a demonstrably falsified theory, in the face of factual testable evidence, you're not doing science. at that point, you're doing religion, but it's not "the religion of science", it's EXACTLY the same as any other religion.

Technical Ben wrote:You say that Charlie, yet is this not what many people are doing? Homoeopathy for instance. They say they did the science, but did not. So they have nothing to support their claims. If religion is saying it has inspiration from a god or God, but does not, are they not the same? If both had supporting evidence (they did do the science, or they did have inspiration or effect from a deity) then there would be no problem.

If people have been so insistent on following Religion for the last few centuries, even when it fails to provide evidence or support, why do you think they will not make the same mistake with scientific theories which fail to provide or support the evidence?

[edit]
I don't think the science will fail, just that people, humans, have a track record of failing. :(

here's the deal with this. humans have a track record of failing when it comes to science because they've been taught from birth, and for thousands of years that accepting things on faith is the right thing to do, and that questioning things that are to be accepted on faith is evil and will send you to hell. it's highly unfortunate that we as a species have done this to ourselves.
The Righteous Hand Of Retribution
"The evaporation of 4 million who believe this crap would leave the world an instantly better place." ~Andre Codresu (re: "the Rapture")

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DaBigCheez
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Re: What if there were incontrovertible proof of God?

Postby DaBigCheez » Thu Jul 28, 2011 5:04 pm UTC

Technical Ben wrote:Glass Fractal. One reason for elasto using that argument is that Omnipotence as a word is not used in the bible. So can we judge it by a modernly defined word? If the bible gives that description, then all well and fine. But if the description is "No one can stop God doing what he wills" then does omnipotence match that, or should we use a different word?

Luke 1:37 wrote:For there is nothing that God cannot do.

A lot of Old Testament stories seem to indicate non-omniscience, though, at least in the sense we would use it; most of the ones I was able to find that do indicate omniscience are from the epistles.
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Re: What if there were incontrovertible proof of God?

Postby a_toddler » Fri Jul 29, 2011 6:18 am UTC

DSenette wrote:and if God was omnibenevolent, well then he wouldn't have let the first to conditions remain true because he would be looking out for us completely.


it seems people define the omnibenevolence of God differently. "God loves all" is different to "God is trying to make life pleasant for everyone". Christianity is the first, prosperity-gospel is the second.


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