For non-believers: What evidence would it take for you to believe in 'god'?

by jay88 176 Replies latest jw friends

  • White Dove
    White Dove

    Here's one that would do it for me that science could never explain:

    If you are God, then produce my dead loved ones as living, pitty peez.

    Also another one: Make all the prophesies in the Bible come true as they were prophesied years BEFORE the event took place.

    I mean, they are still supposed to be being fulfilled in our day, right? me!

    I haven't seen or experienced one.

  • superpunk

    I seek Him, through His Son, though He is always there. I 'knock' and I keep 'knocking'. I practice quieting myself, in spirit, to listen for Him, to see Him... and I keep doing these things.

    How can you possibly view this as anything other than deliberate self deception? Seek him? Belief first? Keep believing?

  • Terry

    When you have "evidence" it no longer becomes necessary to resort to "belief."

    Belief is a willingness to participate in some story scenario with emotional appeal when NO REAL EVIDENCE is available.

    Belief is addictive. It is also a lazy alternative to thinking rationally and demanding reality as a basis for one's world view.

    Pie in the Sky sounds delicious.

    But, 2000+ years of promises of a slice have yielded Bupkiss.

    When does faith finally reveal itself to be lazy-minded gullibility and wishful-thinking?

    Reality is potent; accept no substitutes!

    Jews have waited SIX THOUSAND years for a Messiah who never shows up.

    Muslims are waiting on a Hidden Imam to appear.

    Mainstream Christians await the return of Jesus.

    JW's already have an invisible Jesus on the throne for 97 years and await Armageddon.

    How much of this silliness is just a foolish and stubborn blotting out of the real world in exchange for a dream world?

  • PSacramento
    What is wrong with Al'Lah , the God worshipped before Abraham ? Why do you reject Him ? Psac ,Tammy et al ?

    Allah is God, and while I may not agree with Islam's interpretation, I don't disrespect it.

    And if you had the kind of evidence that is necessary to convince us cynical old atheists, who like the scientific method, would the individual you are proving the existence of be truly "God" ?

    If by Truly God you mean the God of ONLY the bible ( or Koran or whatnot), then No.

    But then again, I don't think ANYONE can prove anything to anyone else ( in regards to God).

    Surely HE/She/They must be unknowble to us mere specks ? Or is "God" merely another life form ?

    Perhaps THE life form, perhaps such an evolved life form that God is the only title we could come up with.

  • Terry

    The Dragon In My Garage

    by Carl Sagan

    "A fire-breathing dragon lives in my garage"

    Suppose (I'm following a group therapy approach by the psychologist Richard Franklin) I seriously make such an assertion to you. Surely you'd want to check it out, see for yourself. There have been innumerable stories of dragons over the centuries, but no real evidence. What an opportunity!

    "Show me," you say. I lead you to my garage. You look inside and see a ladder, empty paint cans, an old tricycle -- but no dragon.

    "Where's the dragon?" you ask.

    "Oh, she's right here," I reply, waving vaguely. "I neglected to mention that she's an invisible dragon."

    You propose spreading flour on the floor of the garage to capture the dragon's footprints.

    "Good idea," I say, "but this dragon floats in the air."

    Then you'll use an infrared sensor to detect the invisible fire.

    "Good idea, but the invisible fire is also heatless."

    You'll spray-paint the dragon and make her visible.

    "Good idea, but she's an incorporeal dragon and the paint won't stick." And so on. I counter every physical test you propose with a special explanation of why it won't work.

    Now, what's the difference between an invisible, incorporeal, floating dragon who spits heatless fire and no dragon at all? If there's no way to disprove my contention, no conceivable experiment that would count against it, what does it mean to say that my dragon exists? Your inability to invalidate my hypothesis is not at all the same thing as proving it true. Claims that cannot be tested, assertions immune to disproof are veridically worthless, whatever value they may have in inspiring us or in exciting our sense of wonder. What I'm asking you to do comes down to believing, in the absence of evidence, on my say-so. The only thing you've really learned from my insistence that there's a dragon in my garage is that something funny is going on inside my head. You'd wonder, if no physical tests apply, what convinced me. The possibility that it was a dream or a hallucination would certainly enter your mind. But then, why am I taking it so seriously? Maybe I need help. At the least, maybe I've seriously underestimated human fallibility. Imagine that, despite none of the tests being successful, you wish to be scrupulously open-minded. So you don't outright reject the notion that there's a fire-breathing dragon in my garage. You merely put it on hold. Present evidence is strongly against it, but if a new body of data emerge you're prepared to examine it and see if it convinces you. Surely it's unfair of me to be offended at not being believed; or to criticize you for being stodgy and unimaginative -- merely because you rendered the Scottish verdict of "not proved."

    Imagine that things had gone otherwise. The dragon is invisible, all right, but footprints are being made in the flour as you watch. Your infrared detector reads off-scale. The spray paint reveals a jagged crest bobbing in the air before you. No matter how skeptical you might have been about the existence of dragons -- to say nothing about invisible ones -- you must now acknowledge that there's something here, and that in a preliminary way it's consistent with an invisible, fire-breathing dragon.

    Now another scenario: Suppose it's not just me. Suppose that several people of your acquaintance, including people who you're pretty sure don't know each other, all tell you that they have dragons in their garages -- but in every case the evidence is maddeningly elusive. All of us admit we're disturbed at being gripped by so odd a conviction so ill-supported by the physical evidence. None of us is a lunatic. We speculate about what it would mean if invisible dragons were really hiding out in garages all over the world, with us humans just catching on. I'd rather it not be true, I tell you. But maybe all those ancient European and Chinese myths about dragons weren't myths at all.

    Gratifyingly, some dragon-size footprints in the flour are now reported. But they're never made when a skeptic is looking. An alternative explanation presents itself. On close examination it seems clear that the footprints could have been faked. Another dragon enthusiast shows up with a burnt finger and attributes it to a rare physical manifestation of the dragon's fiery breath. But again, other possibilities exist. We understand that there are other ways to burn fingers besides the breath of invisible dragons. Such "evidence" -- no matter how important the dragon advocates consider it -- is far from compelling. Once again, the only sensible approach is tentatively to reject the dragon hypothesis, to be open to future physical data, and to wonder what the cause might be that so many apparently sane and sober people share the same strange delusion.

  • PSacramento


    Tom: Yo Bill, I have something to tell you.

    Bill: What?

    Tom: I have discovered that the earth rotates around the sun !!

    Bill: What? That can't be.

    Tom: Yep.

    Bill: Prove it.

    Tom: well...see how the sun raises in the east and sets in the west?

    Bill: Yeah, that's because the sun rotates around the earth silly, see I can prove it:

    See how the sun is coming around and soom the moon will come too? Both roatate around the earth.

    Tom: No Bill, the moon does but we both rotate around the sun.

    Bill: Prove it, to me it seems like fantasy, no way that can eb the case, I see the truth with my own eysy every day !!

    Tom: Well, its like this...

    Bill: Don't bother, I can SEE the truth with my OWN eyes, everyday I see it with my own eyes, all the evidence I see and there is shows me that the Sun and the moon rotate around the earth, its plain for all to see.

    How can one argue with common sense like that?

  • superpunk

    It didn't take all that long for the person who got the idea that the earth rotates around the sun to actually be able to prove it beyond a doubt (which of course didn't stop people of faith from completely rejecting that evidence).

    Maybe in a few more millenia some believer somewhere will be able to prove god.

    But I doubt it.

  • PSacramento

    Superpunk, you are probably right.

    My point was that just because we can't prove something, doesn't mean that something isn't there/exists/is the way it is.

    Certainly that a health dose of skepticisim never hurt anyone, but it has to work both ways, no?

    Unless of course you deal in absolutes.

    By the way, People of faith didn't reject the evidence, Galileo was a RC. The Church Heirarchy had issues with what he was saying without more evidence AND they had issues with HOW he said and that is what got him in trouble.

    We can't prove the existsence of multiple universes, but I am open to the possibility.

  • superpunk

    My point was that just because we can't prove something, doesn't mean that something isn't there/exists/is the way it is.

    We can't prove the existsence of multiple universes, but I am open to the possibility.

    And until we can, anything that cannot be proven should be treated as nothing more than an interesting idea (at best) or the delusional rantings of a crackpot (at worst).

    Interesting ideas and possibilities do not deserve reverence or acceptance.

  • trevor

    Ah! Terry - I have missed your sobering input recently. It's good to see you are still around and applying sound reasoning and logic to matters that require - sound reasoning and logic.

    We all have various beliefs. They are the glue that holds the fragmented parts of our individual world together. When there is perfect harmony, the pieces fit like a jigsaw. The more in touch with reality our world is, the less glue we need. To be glue free is perfection.

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