FINALLY! Can you prove God exists? If you can I won't ask again!

by punkofnice 544 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • cofty
    God (as the story goes) 'inspired scriptures' there is a big difference. - Lost

    Please could you explain the difference?

  • Qcmbr

    Each of us carries a representation of our reality in our heads and it is a totally constructed reality (sound , pictures, memories etc. are all electrical impules, nothing in our brain is playing a little media centre with real speakers and an lcd screen) and that includes our constructed relationships and perceptions of each other. When my wife sees me she does not have an actual me living inside her noggin but a set of neural pathways and electro-chemical reactions describing her view of me. Just as a painting is not the original, neither is our concept of reality.

    A conceptual God absolutely exists in the mind of each believer. Most of us here at one stage had a mentally 'real' god in our heads. This god talked to us (via feelings, intuitions or for the select few via actual voices or visions) and we conversed back in various types of prayer and devotion. This inner god absolutely exists but it is a lone god with a beliver of one. The outer god (i.e. a real god existing independently of the imagination who exists independent of human thought) can never be this god of the imagination any more than a painting is a real vase of sunflowers. The proof of my existence is my material presence and its material relationship with the physical world. There are many conceptual versions of me (my mother has one, each of my kids and so on) but only I am real. Each conceptual version of me is different (my wife sees me as a hot , to-die-for, lover with buns of steel while my kids see me as fat, goofy guy who dresses like a scarecrow.) The god in each believer's head is different. No two believers have the same concept of God and the subjective descriptions of their god is next to useless in ascertaining whether a real person called Zeus, with magical powers and some awesome Greek real estate, actually lives.

    Proof of me is not found in memories of those who know me. It is found in my material impact on the world. To prove that little green aliens exist we would need to have physical contact. Physical contact is recordable (cameras, audio recordings etc.) Even telepathy would be recordable (we might need to get some new tools to do it) - if it was actually happenning. Thus we must not pretend that god is found in subjective , anecdotal- my prayers were answered, I know love, my god shows me visions type scenarios - but if there is any god(s) they will be found in material ways. The god of the old testament did tangible real things that can be checked (global flood, no death before Adam, creation rather than evolution etc) and since these physical interactions have been proven not to have happened we can safely reject the OT god. The NT god did some recordable things and we can see if they happened (foundational stories such as the census in the nativity and the supposed rulers alive during that story can be checked - guess what didn't happen.) If we limit ourselves to physical interaction stories we can see time and time again that certain biblical events simply did not/do not happen (no mass opening of the graves with lots of resurrections - no return of a flying messiah within a 70 year generation - no miraculous healings shown as signs of those who follow 'him' and so on)

    We are left with imagined gods who absolutely do not interact with reality and therefore are simply personal (powerful and life changing!) mental constructs. Mine radically chanaged my behaviour and lifestyle - this response of mine to a mental image does not prove my God and for any believer who is saying 'There is the proof of God' you must realise that my mental god caused me to preach mormonism door to door and perform masonic style rituals in a temple. JWs mental gods cause them to endanger life due to blood transfusions . Muslim gods encourage a small minority to die for the cause.

    The whole debate rests upon each person's willingness to question themselves. This is not a momentary epiphany but an ongoing , learnt, habit. To provide proof of your God you must have evidence of physical interaction otherwise you MUST concede your image of god is constructed entirely by your imagination since nothing external to you has occurred.

  • punkofnice

    We force god to exist by attributing good things that happen to us as being his works. He isn't there, it's all just random chance.

    Just to annoy here is a Richard Dawkins quote....

    The total amount of suffering per year in the natural world is beyond all decent contemplation. During the minute that it takes me to compose this sentence, thousands of animals are being eaten alive, many others are running for their lives, whimpering with fear, others are slowly being devoured from within by rasping parasites, thousands of all kinds are dying of starvation, thirst, and disease. It must be so. If there ever is a time of plenty, this very fact will automatically lead to an increase in the population until the natural state of starvation and misery is restored. In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won't find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.
  • new hope and happiness
    new hope and happiness

    Hi punk,

    Hence the reason my introductory post here was called " Shatterd Faith" yet the self assurance of many belivers is auch that there faith will never be shatterd. And so us this thread ends after 8 pages the belivers still go on hearing and talking with God and maybe when on my death bed i too will believe in God again...and maybe God will be real to me again. May be thats all the prove i need.

    The above reason to believe is a very seriouse mattter because it proves my faith and believe in God is irational but i understand that some people need God and some people dont need God, that spiritual feelings are dependent on our culture and our need .That that need will exist for future generations despite any scientific prove.

    So i think someday cultures that belived in God may keep the religiouse traditions but without a belief in God and still uphold tradition.But as long as tradition and religiouse culture exist God will exist for people and this is prove for a beliver.And as long as teachers like the witnesses search and seek out members to convert belivers will exist because they have been presented with prove that God exists. I mean thats how i became a witness they offerd prove.

    So your question can " you prove God exists" is unanswerable because humuns are emotional and irational and what you require for prove is not emotional or irational. Sorry for the rumble but the question intriged me. I think even for us someday we may believe again..may be it will require desperation and real heartach,but should that day ever come it will be all the prove we need.Thanks for reading.

  • punkofnice

    Don't get me wrong, I'd love to believe in something better but there is no evidence of this.

    I'd love to hear god talk to me and offer practical help but he never has.

    I am resigned uneasily to the prospect that nothing survives after death. There is nothing better or worse after death. We're gone permanently and that's about the size of it!

  • iCeltic

    Punk - I'm exactly the same, I'd love there to be more, for there to be a god ( even though my first question would be was it worth all the suffering of mankind to more or less settle an argument?)

    when it's said like that its a little depressing, very sad but until I see some actual evidence then I'd need to agree with you.

  • cognisonance

    Darwin proposed a hypothesis. In the last 150 years the mountain of evidence for evolution has become overwhelming. It is no longer a hypothesis its a fact.

    Evolution is a fact. Beyond reasonable doubt, beyond serious doubt, beyond sane, informed, intelligent doubt, beyond doubt evolution is a fact. - Dawkins in The Greatest Show on Earth

    It is only possible to deny the fact that every living thing descended from a common ancestor by avoiding the evidence.

    Cofty, I also accept evolution as a fact, but to be pedantic, technically Natural Selection (which readers of your comment might assume you are refering too) has become a scientific theory, not a "fact." I know you probably realize this and I'm responding late to this thread, but I wanted to make sure this is crystal clear to others that may not be as familiar to this topic. To use Dawkin's words in that same book:

    “Our present beliefs about many things may be disproved, but we can with complete confidence make a list of certain facts that will never be disproved. Evolution and the heliocentric theory weren’t always among them, but they are now.

    Biologists often make a distinction between the fact of evolution (all living things are cousins), and the theory of what drives it (they usually mean natural selection, and they may contrast it with rival theories such as Lamarck’s theory of ‘use and disuse’ and the ‘inheritance of acquired characteristics’). But Darwin himself thought of both as theories in the tentative, hypothetical, conjectural sense. This was because, in those days, the available evidence was less compelling and it was still possible for reputable scientists to dispute both evolution and natural selection. Nowadays it is no longer possible to dispute the fact of evolution itself – it has graduated to become a theorum or obviously supported fact – but it could still (just) be doubted that natural selection is its major driving force.” (Greatest Show on Earth p. 17)

    He also mentions:

    “Darwin came to publish On the Origin of Species in 1859, he had amassed enough evidence to propel evolution itself, though still not natural selection, a long way towards the status of fact. Indeed, it was this elevation from hypothesis towards fact that occupied Darwin for most of his great book. The elevation has continued until, today, there is no longer a doubt in any serious mind, and scientists speak, at least informally, of the fact of evolution. All reputable biologists go on to agree that natural selection is one of its most important driving forces, although – as some biologists insist more than others – not the only one.” (Greatest Show on Earth p.18)

    And Jerry Coyne agrees:

    “Because a theory is accepted as “true” only when its assertions and predictions are tested over and over again, and confirmed repeatedly, there is no one moment when a scientific theory suddenly becomes a scientific fact. A theory becomes a fact (or a “truth”) when so much evidence has accumulated in its favor – and there is no decisive evidence against it – that virtually all reasonable people will accept it. All scientific truth is provisional, subject to modification in light of new evidence. There is no alarm bell that goes off to tell scientist that they’ve finally hit on the ultimate, unchangeable truths about nature. As we’ll see, it is possible that despite thousands of observations that support Darwinism, new data might show it to be wrong. I think this is unlikely, but scientists, unlike zealots, can’t afford to become arrogant about what they accept as true.” (Why Evolution is True p. 16)

    "Obvious conclusion: we can provisionally assume that natural selection is the cause of all adaptive evolution – though not of every feature of evolution." (Why Evolution is True p. 143)

  • Phizzy

    Thanks for the quotes Coggy, so many people wrongly conceive the meaning of Theory when used in a scientific context, they think it means the same as when the guy down the Pub says : "I have a theory....."

    That is why Dawkins uses the word Theorem in the quote above in preference to Theory.

    Scientific facts support or quash a scientific Theory, it is called a Theory because new knowledge may add to it, and occasionally may demolish it. As noted above ,certain Theories, we can be sure, will never be demolished, the Heliocentric nature of the Solar system, Evolution, and we could add Gravity.

    Unfortunately for the Bible believing God Squad, both facts and solid Theories make the Bible look silly.

  • punkofnice

    Phizzy -

    Unfortunately for the Bible believing God Squad, both facts and solid Theories make the Bible look silly.

    ......and the God squad do NOTHING for the credibility of God or the bible on their own.

    I had hoped for some evidence for a god. It was comforting to believe in a more powerful sky daddy that would make everything right.

    The truth that he only exists in the mind as part of our imagination is a very sobering thought.

    WE are responsible for our own actions. there is NOTHING after we die. It isn't what I want to believe but reality is reality.

    No one can provide proof beyond their imagination for god's existance.

  • Julia Orwell
    Julia Orwell

    So then, gotta make the most of our 80 years to improve our world and leave something for the future. Even if it's job well done.

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