what would be "proof" of God's existance to someone?

by BlackSwan of Memphis 90 Replies latest jw friends

  • lowden

    The fact that we're here at all makes me think that there IS something that needs explaining.

    Proof is not a thing i currently need. I will find out in due course.

    I will say this one thing though. I believe in eternity and i believe that i am part of it. I do not believe that this 'mortal coil' is the only jumper i will wear.



  • monkeyshine

    Sorry, but I need the Howdy y'all.

  • BlackSwan of Memphis
    BlackSwan of Memphis
    Glaringly obvious to whom? To you? To me? It's so very subjective isn't it?

    No! To YOU! What would be proof to you? What kind of glaringly obvious proof would it take to make you (or whoever else happens to read this)...(and so chooses to participate in discussion) believe in something else?

    And then once you saw, heard, experienced etc...

    Would you (or whoever) still explain it away?

    As for me, I have no clue what it would take.

  • daystar
    I'd have to be able to read someone's mind without being under the influence of schizophrenia or mind-altering drugs.

    What if you didn't know you were schizophrenic? Or perhaps you had a chemical imbalance that mimicked a mind-altering drug? Or suffered from sleep-deprivation.

    I say this from personal experience with very strong psychadelics. I am able to, with limited success, duplicate some of the perceptual modifications, illusions if you will, without taking any mind-altering drug, as if I were actually on a (very mild) mind-altering drug. You can do this yourself... go on a fast, or go a few days with no sleep, if you want something extreme. You may even provide for yourself more proof, if that's what you're looking for. If I were to do the same thing, I might find more proof for my viewpoint. It depends a lot upon where the focus is.

    I'm going to post, in this thread, a section from a book some of you may find interesting. It's not directly related to this subject, but it's interesting nonetheless.

  • skeptic2

    Short of God coming down herself to say "Howdy y'all!" what would it take to make you a believer in God?

    Not necessarily the God of the Bible or any religion in particular, just a Supreme Deity of some sort, call it Ra, Thor or Chaos.

    What kind of proof do you need?

    First you need to define what a God is.

    What kind of proof do you need to believe in life after death?

    If there were no connection to the life after, there couldn't be any proof that I can think of. If though, life after death included 'spirit' people communicating back with people alive here, then you could set up some kind of experiment. It's up to the claimant to explain what they can do and to think up a satisfactory protocol.

    What kind of proof do you need to believe in mental telepathy?

    One hundred simple words written on individual cards. Cards are placed in a box. Person A in room A, person B in room B. At 10 minute intervals (e.g. 10:00, 10:10, 10:20 etc) experimenter selects a card from the box, hands it to person B. Person B then attempts to 'transmit' this information to Person A in the other room. There is no communication between the rooms. At each 10 minute interval person A writes down what they think the word is. A hit is the exact word (which is why we keep them simple, to remove potential for spelling errors, assuming the words are 'transmitted' as sounds rather than the actual letters). Person A must guess more words correctly than we would expect by chance. If this succeeds the experiment is then repeated, but with a stricter protocol, to ensure there was no room for cheating and no mistakes in the first experiment.

    let's limit it to those few things.

    What would be proof enough?

    To get a good feel for how these kind of experiments are constructed, and the thinking that must go into them, take a look at the log of challenge applications for the million dollar challenge, here:


    It makes very interesting reading.

  • daystar

    I agree with some of what he says here. Peter Carroll may be slightly biased towards the Magical in this context:


    All the philosophies, creeds, dogmas and beliefs that humanity has
    evolved are variants of three great paradigms, the Transcendental,
    the Materialist and the Magical. In no human culture has any one of
    these paradigms been completely distinct from the others. For
    example in our own culture at the time of writing the Transcendental
    and Magical pradigms are frequently confused together.

    Transcendental philosophies are basically religious and manifest in
    a spectrum stretching from the fringes of primitive spiritism
    through pagan polytheism to the monotheism of the Judaeo-Christian-
    Islamic traditions and the theoretical non-theistic systems of
    Buddhism and Taoism. In each case it is believed that some form of
    consciousness or spirit created and maintains the universe and that
    humans, other living organisms, contain some fragment of this
    consciousness or spirit which underlies the veil or illusion of
    matter. The essence of Transcendentalism is belief in spiritual
    beings greater than oneself or states of spiritual being superior to
    that which currently one enjoys. Earthly life is frequently seen
    merely as a form of dialoque between oneself and one's deity or
    deities, or perhaps some impersonal form of higher force. The
    material world is a theatre for the spirit or soul or consciousness
    that created it. Spirit is the ultimate reality to the

    In the Materialist paradigm the universe is believed to consist
    fundamentally and entirely of matter. Energy is but a form of matter
    and together they subtend space and time within which all change
    occurs strictly on the basis of cause and effect. Human behaviour is
    reducible to biology, biology is reducible to chemistry, chemistry
    is reducible to physics and physics is reducible to mathematics.
    Mind and consciousness are thus merely electrochemical events in
    the brain and spirit is a word without objective content. The causes
    of some events are likely to remain obscure perhaps indefinitely,
    but there is an underlying faith that sufficient material cause
    must exist for any event. All human acts can be categorized as
    serving some biological need or as expressions of previously applied
    conditioning or merely as malfunction. The goal of materialist who
    eschews suicide is the pursuit of personal satisfaction including
    altruistic satisfactions if desired.

    The main difficulty in recognizing and describing the pure Magical
    Paradigm is that of insufficient vocabulary. Magical philosophy is
    only recently recovering from a heavy adulteration with
    transcendental theory. The word aether will be used to describe the
    fundamental reality of the magical paradigm. It is more or less
    equivalent to the idea of Mana used in oceanic shamanism. Aether in
    materialistic descriptions is information which structures matter
    and which all matter is capable of emitting and receiving. In
    transcendental terms aether is a sort of "life force" present in
    some degree in all things. It carries both knowledge about events
    and the ability to influence similar or sympathetic events. Events
    either arise sponataneously out of themselves or are encouraged to
    follow certain paths by influence of patterns in the aether. As all
    things have an aetheric part they can be considered to be alive in
    some sense. Thus all things happen by magic, the large scale
    features of the universe have a very strong aetheric pattern which
    makes them fairly predictable but difficult to influence by the
    aetheric patterns created by thought. Magicians see themselves as
    participating in nature. Transcendentalists like to think they are
    somehow above it. Materialists like to try and manipulate it.

    Now this universe has the peculiarly accomodating property of
    tending to provide evidence for, and confirmation of, whatever
    paradigm one chooses to believe in.
    Presumably at some deep level
    there is a hidden symmetry between those things we call Matter,
    Aether and Spirit. Indeed, it is rare to find an individual or
    culture operating exclusively on a single one of these paradigms and
    none is ever entirely absent. Non dominant paradigms are always
    present as superstitions and fears. A subsequent section on Aeonics
    will attempt to untangle the influences of each of these great world
    views throughout history, to see how they have interacted with each
    other and to predict future trends. In the meantime an analysis of
    the radically differing concepts of time and self in each paradigm
    is offered to more fully distinguish the basic ideas.

    Transcendentalists conceive of time in millennial and apocalyptic
    terms. Time is regareded as having a definite beginning and ending,
    both initiated by the activities of spiritual beings or forces. The
    end of time on the personal and cosmic scale is regarded not so much
    as a cessation of being but as a change to a state of non material
    being. The beginning of personal and cosmic time is similarly
    regarded as a creative act by spiritual agencies. Thus reproductive
    activity usually becomes heavily controlled and hedged about with
    taboo and restriction in religious cultures, as it implies an
    usurpation of the powers of deities. Reproduction also implies that
    death has in some measure been overcome. How awesome the power of
    creation and how final must earthly death subconsciously loom to a
    celibate and sterile priesthood.

    All transcendentalisms embody elements of apocalyptism. Typically
    these are used to provoke revivals when business is slack or
    attention is drifting elsewhere. Thus it is suddenly revealed that
    the final days are at hand or that some earthly dispute is in fact a
    titanic battle against evil spiritual agencies.

    Materialist time is linear but unbounded. Ideally it can be extended
    arbitrarily far in either direction from the present. To the strict
    materialist it is self-evidently futile to speculate about a
    beginning or an end to time. Similarly the materialist is
    contemptuous of any speculations about any forms of personal
    existence before birth or after death. The materialist may well fear
    painful or premature death but can have no fears about being dead.

    The magical view is that time is cyclic and that all processes
    recur. Even cycles which appear to begin or end are actually parts
    of larger cycles. Thus all endings are beginnings and the end of
    time is synonymous with the beginning of time in another universe.
    The magical view that everything is recycled is reflected in the
    doctrine of reincarnation. The attractive idea of reincarnation has
    often persisted into the religious paradigm and many pagan and even
    some monotheist traditions have retained it. However religious
    theories invariably contaminate the original idea with beliefs about
    a personal soul. From a strictly magical viewpoint we are an accretion
    rather than an unfolded unity. The psyche has no particular centre,
    we are colonial beings, a rich collage of many selves. Thus as our
    bodies contain fragments from countless former beings, so does our
    psyche. However certain magical traditions retain techniques which
    allow the adept to transfer quite large amounts of his psyche in one
    piece should he consider this more useful than dispersing himself
    into humanity at large.

    Each of the paradigms take a different view of the self.
    Transcendentalists view self as spirit inserted into matter. As a
    fragment or figment of deity the self regards itself as somehow
    placed in the world in a non arbitrary manner and endowed with free
    will. The transcendental view of self is relatively stable and
    non-problematic if shared as a consensus with all significant
    others. However, transcendental theories about the placement and
    purpose of self and its relationship to deities are mutually
    exclusive. Conflicting transcendentalisms can rarely co-exist for
    they threaten to disconform the images of self. Encounters which are
    not decisive tend to be mutually negatory in the long run.

    Of the three views of self the purely materialistic one is the most
    problematical. If mind is an extension of matter it must obey
    material laws and the resulting deterministic view conflicts with
    the subjective experience of free will. On the other hand if mind
    and consciousness are assumed to be qualitatively different from
    matter then the self is incomprehensible to itself in material
    terms. Worse still perhaps, the materialist self must regard itself
    as a phenomenon of only temporary duration in contradiction of the
    subjective expectation of continuity of consciousness. Because a
    purely materialist view of self is so austere few are prepared to
    confront such naked existentialism. Consequently materialist
    cultures exhibit a frantic appetite for sensation, identification
    and more or less disposable irrational beliefs. Anything that will
    make the self seem less insubstantial.

    The magical view of self is that it is based on the same random
    capricious chaos which makes the universe exist and do what it does.
    The magical self has no centre, it is not a unity but an assemblage
    of parts, any number of which may temorarily club together and call
    themselves "I". This accords with the observation that our
    subjective experience consists of our various selves experiencing
    each other. Free will arises either as an outcome of a dispute
    between our various selves or as a sudden random creation of a new
    idea or option. In the magical view of self there is no
    spirit/matter or mind/body split and the paradoxes of free will and
    determinism disappear. Some of our acts arise from random choices
    between conditioned options and some from conditional choices
    between randomly created options. In practice most of our acts are
    based on rather complex hierarchical sequences of all four of these
    mechanisms. As soon as we have acted one of our selves proclaims
    "I did that!" so loudly that most of the other selves think they did
    it too.

    Each of the three views of self has something derogatory to say
    about the other two. From the standpoint of the transcendental self
    the materialist self has become prey to pride of intellect, the
    demon hubris, whilst the magical view of self is considered to be
    entirely demonic. The material self views the transcendentalist as
    obsessed with assumptions having no basis in fact, and the magical
    self as being childlike and incoherent. From the standpoint of the
    magical view, the assorted selves of the transcendendatilst have
    ascribed a grossly exaggerated importance to one or a few of the
    selves which they call God or gods, whilst the materialist has
    attempted to make all his selves subordinate to the self that does
    the rational thinking. Ultimately it's a matter of faith and taste.
    The transcedentalist has faith in his god self, the materialist has
    faith in his reasoning self and the selves of the magician have
    faith in each other. Naturally, all these forms of faith are subject
    to periods of doubt.

    * Emphasis mine

  • jaguarbass

    Short of God coming down herself to say "Howdy y'all!" what would it take to make you a believer in God?

    What kind of proof do you need?

    Answering personal prayer. Giving a non ambiguous sign or communication.

    What kind of proof do you need to believe in life after death? Non ambiguous communication with dead loved ones.

    What kind of proof do you need to believe in mental telepathy? I think this may exist with or without God. Google Ed Dames.

  • Warlock

    Is there proof that we are not actually part of someone's dream?

    Is there proof that we are not actually in someone's short story and we exist just in that story?

    What if we wake up and find out this whole thing is just a dream that WE are having and we are still 8 years old?

    We can just keep going and going.

    Proof.............................what IS proof?


  • restrangled

    I posted some of this in another thread, .....

    To me belief in god is some of what we experience every day.

    A baby being born, and the sweetness of children.

    The beauty of our pets and how they adore us and hold to their genetic backgrounds and love us no matter what.

    If you are a gardener, the thrill of planting and producing beautiful tomatoes, vegetables and herbs. Here in Florida it is the thrill of cutting off a stalk of 50 bananas with absolutely no work, having orchids, and not paying any attention to them and being able to have the real thing in your home for 6 weeks and then taking them back outside.

    It is the joy of having fresh lemons or limes. It is the joy of raising plants that grow taller than your home and having to get out a chainsaw to keep things in check.

    It is the joy of having a 75 year old oak in your back yard filled with many birds, squirrels and possums that drive your pets nuts and the humour watching these animals torture each other.

    It is the happiness in cooking for your family after they have all been away at school and at work ...so thrilled to come home to a meal.

    The joy of music whether listening or creating it (and by the way a great stereo system)

    The thrill of seeing the mountains and /or the ocean.

    The beauty of gorgeous leaves in the fall, or the first bulbs coming up in the spring.

    The comfort of a wonderful mate and knowledge that no matter what, you will always be there for each other and can drop into a comforable bed at night next to someone who truely loves you.

    Perhaps this is too romantic for most, but is proof to me that some kind of god exists and gave this all to us!


  • monkeyshine

    Right on, Warlock.

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