The Existence of God

by 3 Replies latest watchtower bible


    From the position of the majority of posters here, it goes without question that little next to no truth is taught by the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. If I may ask, how at this point do you relate to the existence of God?

    If I may borrow from this individual: Calton, a particle physicist, string theorist, cosmologist and self proclaimed theist, although at times he sounds agnostic: a person who holds that the existence of the ultimate cause, as god, and the essential nature of things are unknown and unknowable, or that human knowledge is limited to experience. I've gathered that some here would agree that:

    1) Theism cannot be confirmed scientifically.
    2) Theism cannot teach us scientific facts.
    3) Science has played a major role in removing the need to evoke the supernatural in making sense of the observable world.
    4) Methodological naturalism implies metaphysical naturalism because there is no empirical evidence of the supernatural.
    5) All specific religions make demonstrably false claims.

    My position: Either God has always existed or matter/energy has always existed. That's the conclusion I've come to. Some excerpts from an inquiry into this:

    Has matter/energy always existed?

    "I just find it odd that a true scientist does not remain humble and agnostic" - Supespook

    How does humility imply agnosticism? Are you also surprised by scientists who are atheistic instead of agnostic? - Calton I am a theist because I believe it provides the greatest metaphysical explanatory power with the fewest non-trivial assumptions. I feel that naturalism, while a plausible and logically consistent worldview, ultimately runs into too many difficulties to be taken seriously. I do not assert this with a sense of brute dogmatism, but rather as my personal view which you are welcome to challenge (how else can I learn?). - Calton
    "Just because we don't understand the true origin of the universe today, doesn't mean that we will never find the answers" - Superspook

    If one insists on holding out for a scientific answer, then you will never find the answer. Any proposed explanation for the origin of the universe will be metaphysical and outside the reach of empirical science, whether it is theism, a string derived model, or turtles all the way down. - Calton

    Calton would formulate various arguments (that are actually easy to refute) for the existence of God.

    Has matter/energy always existed?

    The point I think mikeycypress is trying to make is, I think, a valid one, though black holes are not the best example. His point seems to be that if we observe some phenomenon P which is observable, then hypothesizing some non-empirical explanation E such that E = /> P is not necessarily a flawed way of thinking. The basic constraints that should be placed on E are, of course, that 1) E does in fact explain P, and 2) if there is an E' such that E' = /> P also, then we choose between E and E' based on which makes the fewest non-trivial assumptions.

    And while black holes are not a good example, science is in fact littered with examples of this type of reasoning. Perhaps the best example is the entire edifice of quantum mechanics. For example, in the double slit experiment (read the wiki article if you're not familiar) P = "the diffraction pattern on the screen". Science hypothesizes E = "the electron goes through both slits". While P can be directly observed, E is fundamentally un-empirical, unobservable, etc. In fact, there neither is nor can be any empirical proof whatsoever of E. Many E' explanations have been suggested, but they either ultimately fail to satisfy E' = /> P, or they require a greater number of hypotheses. And this particular E is a special case of the general principle of quantum superposition which is the fundamental premise of quantum mechanics, which is arguably the fundamental premise of all of modern science. The Lie Group Gauge Manifolds that underly the Standard Model of Particle Physics are another set of examples. There neither is nor can be anything that resembles empirical evidence of these things, but we assume that they exist in a very real sense. General Relativity and string theory also have examples of this type of reasoning.

    So it is not valid for the naturalist to claim that this type of reasoning is invalid. It is very, very true that we assume the existence of things we cannot observe in order to make sense of the things that we can. And nearly any argument that the naturalist can level against theism can be used against these scientific ideas as well.

    The typical theistic argument is that P = "the universe exists". We propose E = "God exists and created it". It is trivially true that E = /> P. So the question then becomes "is there an E' such that E' = /> P and E' requires fewer non-trivial assumptions?" Naturalism's choices are to either provide an E' that requires a monstrously large number of non-trivial assumptions (the string models), to fail to provide any E' at all and instead insist on leaving the question a "black box", or to claim that the universe is itself non-contingent (which places the burden on them to argue this - so far no argument has been made).

  • EndofMysteries

    Well the real answer lies in that X - FI / T in which T ^ 5BX over the square root of Pi/0 makes it undisputable that therein lies the real answer to the question.


    "Well the real answer lies in that X - FI / T in which T ^ 5BX over the square root of Pi/0 makes it undisputable that therein lies the real answer to the question."

    The above argument you are mocking can easily be disputed because scientific evidence for the existence of electrons has been well established in the scientific community even though electrons are unempirical in the double slit experiment . There's no need to resort to gibberish.

  • GromitSK

    I am not sure the logic is right here Alice - leaving aside the algebra.

    As I understand it (or not!), although you are saying, in effect, the least complex solution is that God exists and performed the act under consideration (in this case 'Creation of the Universe), that would have been true for many phenomena that are now understood in scientific terms wouldn't? For example combustion, eclipses etc.

    If we follow that line of logic then God is the simplest answer for anything we cannot now explain, until an empirical solution is found. This clearly wouldn't hold much water as many phenomena which were thought to be directly created by God, we now know are not and have much more complex explanations (tectonic drift for example).

    It could well be in the situation you describe, there is some cause of creation which exists but which we have not yet identified due to our incomplete knowledge of the physical laws of the Universe and its composition. Such unknown factor(s) still exists as a cause, whether or not we can imagine it(them). I don't think the logic you use can be used to prove God exists or even that it is the most likely explanation given the change in scientific understanding of the Universe over even the last 100 years.

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