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

by jay88 176 Replies latest jw friends

  • PSacramento

    Prodigalson makes an excellent point.

    God reveals himself to us, not only in the Bible and the many religions of the world, and not only via his Word ( Christ) but via the universe.

    To only focus on ONE is to get only a partial picture.

    Not to go into the whole doctrien of accomodation or to fall into the "sfety" of the common used "excuse" of free will, but if there is a God, a supreme being so wholly powerful and superseeding our ability to truly understand his total essence, then it makes since that "HE" would reveal himself in a very cautious, progressive and even poersonal way, rather than in an "in your face" way.

    For those that are fans of Start trek, thing the "prime directive".

  • designs

    Big Telescopes help

  • superpunk

    Loved this so much today;

    Religion has had a couple of millennia to make a case for its fundamental concepts: the existence of the supernatural, the existence of deities, the effectiveness of priestly intermediaries, etc. It has failed. It does not provide support in the form of evidence or logical consistency; it also fails to show any pragmatic utility. Religion never does what it claims to do. At what point do we learn from experience and simply reject the whole worthless mess out of hand? The abstract possibility that the god-wallopers will finally come up with a tiny scrap of evidence for their outrageous beliefs in the coming eon is not enough to win it credibility as a reasonable contender, either; you might just as well speculate that archaeologists could unearth artifacts from Middle Earth, or astronomers observing a galaxy far, far away will discover The Force. There is no cause to expect fictions and fantasies to manifest themselves as actual realities.

    Religion plays Calvinball. There are no rules except what they make up as they go. You might think that maybe you ought to concede that they could get a score of 13 and beat your 12…but they are already convinced that their Q trumps your puny pair of digits. And if they get a score of Oatmeal-Sofa, they'll announce victory. Heck, if they somehow end up in the realm of numbers with you and get a 7, they'll declare that they win because they've got a Mersenne prime and we don't. Or because it's like a golf score. The mistake is to play the game in the expectation that the other side has the same respect for evidence that we do, or that evidence even matters.

    Here's an example. This is part of a debate between Peter Atkins and William Lane Craig. Craig is an exceptionally glib debater, and he's also an evangelical Christian who supposedly defends a very specific doctrine, that his god turned into a human who lived on Earth 2000 years ago, and that belief in his magical powers is your ticket to a Disneyland for dead people in the sky. I'd like to see some evidence for that, but no…his tactic here is to demand proof of bizarre assertions from science, answering questions that his religion can't.

    What's amazing here is that Christians are actually impressed with Craig's millimeter-deep, reason-free handwaving. Ha ha, you scientific smartie-pants, you can't use science to prove you're not a simulation on a computer of a brain in a vat that was created five minutes ago with false memories of your life, so therefore, Jesus. Never mind that science doesn't deal in proofs. Never mind that Craig's religion can't prove it either, except by blind obdurate asseveration. Never mind that those are all non-questions, non-issues, irrelevant sophomoric wanking. Never mind, it's Calvinball! The score is now Paisley over Feldspar, we win!

    In science, we're used to incremental progress and revision of our ideas. Evidence is our currency, it's how we progress and it's what gets results. It is a category error, however, to think that the way to address free-floating word salad and flaming nonsense is to take the scalpel of reason and empiricism and slice into it, looking for definable edges. No, what you do is look over the snot-ball of self-referential piffle, note that it has no tenable connection to reality, and drop-kick it into the rec room, where the kids can play with it, but no one should ever take it seriously.

    Just make sure the kids wash their hands afterwards. That thing is slimy.

    On second thought, just dump it in the trash. The kids would rather play video games, instead.

  • tec
    The question was "what evidence would it take for you to believe in god?" I gave my answer.

    I'm sorry. I got caught up. But yes, you did give your answer, and yes, it would be compelling. I just think it would hurt many people, is all.

    I'd like to understand what you mean when you talk about hearing the voice of Christ.

    Well, I do mean the peace that comes over you - though that is more of a comfort, than 'hearing'. But more the understanding that comes at once or after a bit, if you've asked something or are troubled by something. Or even the answer that comes immediately, in actual words or in the reminder of scripture, or perhaps something in reality that happens right away to show you the answer to something you've asked. Or a truth that you feel, deep inside of you - which I would call in your spirit - that you know is truth.

    So I mean all of these things, but I also mean hearing the actual voice (or whisper) of our Lord; something I might not have thought possible (as no one had ever told me that it was possible), but that others have given witness to it, so I remain open to this as well.

    I think each depends on your faith, and what you might be willing or able to 'hear'.


  • Curtains

    thanks tec. I understand what you mean and what you describe is also the same as my own experiences.

    But to be clear. You yourself have not experienced Jesus' actual voice (or whisper)?

    edit: and if you have not experienced Jesus' actual voice would you consider that you need to?

  • thetrueone

    Mankind created gods out of necessity to explain the unknown of the universe and of himself.

    Since the evolution of mankind's knowledge of are self and the universe has grown expediently since

    ancient times, the prevailing need for gods to explain what was previously unknown has become detrimental to are own advancement.

    If there could ever be an accurate explanation of gods, human ignorance would have to be the only and honest answer.

  • james_woods
    About the same evidence it would take for me to believe in Zeus.

    My same thought, Johnnytwofeet, except that I was going to say "to believe in UFOs". Or, you could substitute the Bigfoot or the Loch Ness creature.

  • Curtains

    I mostly agree with you thetrueone but I wouldn't say it was ignorance because the ancients were talking about something real when they named what they were experiencing. The names are obsolete imo not what they were engaging with.

    In fact in watching scenes of the tsunami I can well understand why ancients may have thought up gods like poseidon to explain such destructive forces as can pick up houses and cars and throw them around in fury.

  • tec
    But to be clear. You yourself have not experienced Jesus' actual voice (or whisper)?

    I'm not sure. This yes:

    Or even the answer that comes immediately, in actual words

    I asked for help with something and the answer I heard in words was, 'send him to me.' It came at once, almost before I finished my question, although the voice sounded the same as my other thoughts - just more decisive. Then of course the peace came, the sureness that He had answered me. The doubts did not creep in until after a couple of days. I am trying to make sure that I do not just convince myself because I want to; though at the same time, I remember the surety and peace at the time.

    Since I don't know for sure, I won't obsess, and I'll just continue living my faith.

    May I ask you a question?

    You say you experienced the things I listed (besides the voice) when you were a believer. Do you still experience such things as an atheist? (or agnostic; I can't recall, sorry) Truly curious.


  • jay88

    Tam- What commonalities do you have with childern, who fervently communicate with their invisible friend?

Share this