Firstly its important to realise evidence for God is not evidence for the accuracy or authenticity of the Bible or its God. Most xians assume that showing something interesting for one means the other is true. A god who created the universe surely wouldnt screw up and create the mass of contradictions in the Bible. Are we to believe that God couldnt remember the names of the twelve apostles and gives different lists in different books. Of course not thats stupid.
Evidence for God...
I'll put it another way: Humanity has a desire for answers. Based upon the knowledge of the time, good and bad answers have been given. The idea of God has been around for eons, and it was by no means exclusive to the bronze age Palestinians. There were countless gods BEFORE those original 'Jews' left Canaan and built their own towns and cities. You're also suggesting that it was only at this point that God in his true form presented himself, after 90,000 years of human existence, during which countless other Gods (most of which we'll never know about) must have been spoken of. Humans do have a vast imagination, and it comes into play when something happens that they can't explain. There's an evolutionary explanation for the development of religion. Dawkins talks about it in God Delusion, but i'll leave that for someone else like Cofty to cover. Think about all the fairy tales and tall stories that have been told throughout the centuries. Would you apply the same logic to them as you are to God? There are also multiple supernatural explanations, and not all of them are right, as you'd agree. The Hindu's version of heaven and the divine is very different from yours. So by that logic, yes, humans CAN concieve of the supernatural by their own imagination. You're also begging the question by saying 'if the supernatural didn't exist we couldn't have thought of it'.
Certainly, the idea of god was not exclusive to the bronze age anyone. I think that was part of my point. Seeking the spiritual, a god/goddess/creator/spirit (s)... has been part of us since the beginning of us, as far as we know of ancient civilizations. I am not suggesting that at the point of Abraham or the Israelites, this was the only time God presented Himself as He truly is. Or even the first time. But people are limited. Generation to generation forget. People spread out, they bring original truths with them, even though those change as people forget and do other things.
I think people have to be willing and able to accept Him. There are universal truths among various religions, newer or ancient. I believe those came from Him.
As for the Hindu version of heaven, or the buddhist nirvana, these are variations of one thing - the spiritual. The details might be different, based on different understandings, but it is still spiritual. And yes, I am saying that if the 'supernatural' (spiritual is a better word imo, because I believe the spiritual is natural, just natural we have not discovered through scientific means yet) did not exist, we could not have thought of it. Not if we are purely natural (or physical) creatures. Which it would seem that we are not.
God is no different. What do you think the Cosmological Argument is centered around? Or Paley's Watch? The structure is different but the conclusions are the same - "That which looks designed must have a designer/ That which exists has been caused to exist" T
I do not ascribe to these arguments to establish the truth of God. I also do not think these are a likely cause - on their own - of the first people leaping to a 'goddidit' response. Perhaps enough to get people seeking... but only because such a thing as the spiritual exists.
If you had said this to an astrophysicist, he might reply that there is 'no such thing as 'Nothing''. You say life can only come from pre-existing life. I ask, how do you know? If the universe is full of life as you suggest, then perhaps life is the normal state of the universe,
and so the conundrum of life coming from nothing is void, as there is no 'nothing'. As you said in your second point, life is also contingent upon certain factors. If the conditions are right, life can appear. There is way too much we DON'T know about the universe for your
argument to be valid. I also see you have no qualms with positing a highy complex, uncaused, infinite being as the creator of everything, despite your argument that all living things must have a creator.
I would refer you to my confusion over the comments of Physicist Laurence Krauss, above. Many, many questions, yes.
I mentioned how I personally know though... I heard it from my Lord.
As for the bolded part, God is timeless. No beginning, no end = timeless. Hard to wrap our minds around that, since everything we know right now (even that sentence) has a beginning, middle, and end.
Perhaps the 'conditions' are also timeless then, you might say? If so, what a concept for some spiritual leaders to grasp all on their own with no testable evidence! Perhaps they knew something of what they were talking about after all ;) Or perhaps they were listening to the same source. What are we doing wrong that we are just barely beginning to test and perhaps prove a concept that these men understood all along?
None of Jesus teachings are exclusive to him. The Golden Rule being the most obvious one, people like Confucius said the same thing hundreds of years before Jesus. Liking someone for their moral beliefs does not give credence to their theological ones. How many kind hearted, morally upright Muslims are there? Should I accept Muhammad as the true prophet, because I've seen a Muslim apply those principles in his life? I'm sure there's plenty of decent people out there that also believe Queen Elizabeth is a reptilian alien sent from another planet to rule over us. Do I have to accept both conclusions just because I agree with one of them? Jesus could have been speaking out of his hat when he described God and his qualities, but I guess you can just take his word for it. Or rather, the words someone else wrote down claiming they were said by him. The extra-biblical writings of Jesus do not attest to his divinity, they only suggest that the man may really have existed.
You are correct. Liking someone for their moral beliefs does not give credence to their theological ones (well, some credence, imo... as I give credence to universal truths in all religions, so some truth in them as well). However, seeing the truth in all of someone's teachings and life does lend credence to the truth of their words when they say where they have been(with God where He is), and from whom they learned their truths (God).
If the above is true, then who created God?
He did not come from anything. He IS the source of life. He is timeless... no beginning/no end. I touched more on this in my last post. An eternal being is not hard to grasp... something has to have been eternal, always here, in order for there to be something at all.
How can they concevie of such? Think about dreams! These must have baffled a purely natural species and been evidence of some type of parallel dimension. Humans are also very suseptible to logical fallacies. Take superstition. A baseball player wears a pair of new socks and pitches a perfect game. Suddenly the socks become magical even though he knows better. How much more so for people that don't know better. Has it not rained in a long time? Well your band did some dances and bang---rain. Not understanding the science behind weather, and feeling powerless, it is quite natural to dance the next time it does not rain.
Dreams is good, NC. I have considered these as well, and am waiting to understand more. I would like to do some research as well, as to what we know regarding why we dream.
I think dreams might be something that helped those who might otherwise have not considered more than just the physical... five senses experienced... world around us. Perhaps we dream because part of us is aware of more than just the physical. Just speculation on my behalf for now.
Exactly. The ancients observed. They observed that when they did a certain dance, it rained. They were limited by their own personal observations---or that of others.
Like the pidgeon experiment. (if you know what I'm talking about; you might have been the one who posted it) I will ponder it. I do not think the connection is there that you seem to be making, as pertains to seeking out the spiritual.
And now you fall victim to exactly what our ancestors did. You base this on current observations only. You have never seen life come from nothing, and assume this is always so.
No. Not at all. Anything is possible that I have not seen proof against. I considered that life coming from nothing was the simplest explanation. I heard differently. That is what I base this belief upon.
Scientists don't accept this as the big stopping point, and they have some interesting hypothesis---but we will never find the answer with a bunch of people sitting around saying it is impossible.
March forward science then. I am eager to see the things they uncover. In the end, the only thing they can uncover is the truth. Hence, the truth stands on its own. Having faith does not mean I am not happy to follow scientific discoveries. From my pov, science simply reveals the proesses that God used. (though our understanding of this is often immature)
I'm not even going into the Christ stuff---because that is very new it makes no sense to apply any of it to people that danced for rain. They had no knowledge of what would come many thousands of years in the future---and if this Christ is for real, it certainly was silent as it watched all of this unenlightened creation dance for rain. For that matter, for what you claim to be true, we'd have to acknowledge that this person did not reveal itself for ages and remained cold and distant. Not a good recommendation.
Cold and distant? We do not have to acknowledge any such thing. Universal truths, but also love and compassion (which are the basis for universal truths)... do not imply cold and distant, but rather a communication via the spirit. Sensing, feeling, intuiting. Perhaps God revealed himself to those who could hear him, or could handle hearing him... even if they did not recognize the fullness of whom they heard from.
God is an idea which offers escape from certain death that most humans would rather entertain than reject because nobody wants to die.
Some might accept him due to this, true. I cannot speak for them. But I do not.
What do you lose with such an insurance policy?
That was Pachal's Wager. In essence, why tick off the one possible rescuer?
This is not faith though. This is hedging your bets, lol.
Now, the rest that you spoke of is about religion and men seeking to control or dominate one another, and i don't disagree with any of your condemnation of that. Only that if men did not want to be ruled, then those who want to rule would have no power to do so.
I also see the Adam and Eve story as much deeper than what you do. I do not think it was a test. I do not think the serpent was visible, and God invisible. I think it is a spiritual story, told in physical terms, because we seem to need the physical to be able to grasp or understand or learn certain truths.
So you mean the BIBLE is the basis of your entire faith b/c you just know Jesus Christ due to existence of the bible. There is no Jesus Christ outside the bible.
I do not mean this. i know Him outside of the bible.
I learned of him and a bit about him in the bible and from others, true... but I know Him, personally, from the Spirit. Definitely outside the bible. In fact, the bible was an imediment... until after I knew Him through the Spirit.
I am sorry because I don't want to hurt your feeling and your beliefs.
I thank you for this compassion. I assure you, you cannot hurt me by disagreeing with my faith.
Evidence for God in this topic is based on your own circular reasoning. Think about this being told us from any other religious spiritual person other than your own conclusions. Which one would have evidence for God in their own life experience totally opposite to yours.
They may well have evidence for God in their own life. Christ knows people who do not know Him, depending perhaps upon the spirit within them. This sounds arrogant, I know. But Christ is accepted as a prophet in many religions. I believe this is due to the truth recognized in his teachings, and deeds.
In any case, what other faiths or religions believe is between them and God. There are truths that run through each, and as long as the spirit of love and peace and forgiveness is being followed, then my Lord knows them as well. We are listening to the same spirit, but perhaps not all recognizing the source.
Here is one for you. There are known knowns,and unknowns and sometimes we have to leave at that.
I like this. A lot :)
In concerning YHWH, couldn't and wouldn't mankind all be better off by using his imagination once again and creating
a god without unflappable moral values, perhaps one that isn't so viciously cruel and apathetically murderous toward mankind ?
Leaving aside the attributes of YHWH for the moment... since when does manking recognize or do what he would be better off doing?
Not to throw dirt on the Jesus god but his father is something else.
One could describe him as primitively barbaric but I suppose since he was created thousands of years ago by primitively barbaric people,
this particular God is generic from the ancient Hebrews.
Well, if the Hebrews had fully understood God and what God wanted, they would not have needed to be corrected; nor would the Truth have needed to come in the form of a man. To teach the Truth of God, in the image of God.
Gladiator, I very much appreciate your observations. You say it better than I could have.
He does have an eloquant way with observation and words.
Tec, do you need evidence?
I think so. I cannot believe something on the basis of nothing... unless it was instilled within me by God, to begin with. I have considered this as well, however, because I have no memory of a time where I did not believe in Him. And also, I follow out of love for Christ, and therefore God.
I am not sure how to separate this from being evidence though. From proof, sure... but anything that causes someone to form a belief is evidence.
- Humanity has shown a need or desire to seek out the spiritual. Every single culture that we know of, even those that develop in isolation, has had a belief in god/goddess/creator/spirit (s). From as far back as we can trace the beginning, this has been shown to be true. Explanations have been offered that mankind assigned to a 'god' what mankind could not explain. But I cannot see this as being possible. How can a purely natural species conceive of the spiritual/the supernatural?
You so quickly just dismiss other ideas. So I would put more confidence in what experts on the brain and culture say than in what a religionist/spiritual person who dismisses other possibilities so easily has to say.
Life does not come from nothing (or death, which is a form nothing). Life come from the living, and this is a universe of life. Not a universe of inanimate, lifeless, things. I can imagine that 'objects' -inanimate and lifeless - might, possibly, come from nothing. But living things must come from something living. There is no life in nothing, to spark life in something lifeless. To animate the object, so to speak... so that it becomes life.
Sure, it hasn't been done by experiment yet- life from lifelessness. But it will one day, and believers will say that scientists stacked the deck in favor of the circumstances. But forget that. Even if science never gets there, your statements reveal that you just dismiss the idea without thought. Chemical and magnetic and gravitational reactions and other reactions happen in the non-living things of the universe. Except for our tiny part of the universe, we have not found life yet, but we don't see an "inanimate" universe or a universe of life. Oh, it may be out there. I bet it is. But it's not like your paragraph above states, that there was nothing and then there was something just sitting still and for no reason, it became life. Sorry, it's a bit more complicated than that, but it is possible to understand.
His teachings are truth. Not because it is said/written that they are truth. But because I can clearly see the truth within them when I apply them in my life, or see others applying those teachings in their lives.
So many of us have been there. Some of us saw the truth when we were JW's because we so wanted it to be the truth. No different. So sorry if I don't jump on that bandwagon. What has been written is no wiser than Lao Tzu's sayings, but that is a matter of opinion. What was written about Christ has been reinterpreted by the readers, also. He said nothing of banning gay marriage, yet many today talk as if he did. Wars are fought in the name of what he said, although he is peaceful. People today do so many dispicable things applying what they think are the things Christ said.
However, direct testimonial evidence is of a personal nature, at least it is right now. This is the reason I place it under personal evidence, instead of under testimonial evidence alone. But it is testimonial evidence, to the person given that evidence.
It's kind of nice for you when you try to place testimonial evidence in a personal state like that. You try to use it as a trump card that nobody can touch, but then give yourself the backdoor that you are so big to understand if others don't accept it because it is "to the person given that evidence."
Testimonial evidences are contradictory to each other in many cases, much the same as the various applications of what is written in the Bible. One person "knows" what Jesus wants from them and that the Holy Spirit is named Methuselah Yaweh and another person "knows" that Jesus wants something different and the Holy Spirit doesn't have such a name. And even weeding out the conmen and the crazy people, you believe hard enough and you start to see (if not hear) directions from above. I know I did at one point, but I am much better now.
God or Christ or the Spirit tell so many people to do so many different things. Many of them are bad things.