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Is there a God?


Crocefisso
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  1. 1. Is there a God or Gods?

    • Yes, there is one God
    • Yes, there are many deities
    • There are no gods/God
    • I am unsure
    • Other (please specify)


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Could it not be that the aforementioned model of the world is false in the same way euclidean geometry is in certain cases (strong gravitational fields)?

 

The cases that we are talking about that have true randomness (quantum mechanics) are the specific cases that Bell's theorem covers.

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It's unfortunate that is has to exist. I don't see many golf players going around disparaging people for not playing golf. If it were the case that the majority of the population played golf, and there was a large social pressure and sometimes outright coercion to play, I imagine the non golf players would get rather tired of it and rally together in solidarity both to avoid being singled out and also to combat the influence of golf players on public policy.

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I voted other. It's really unknowable; there is a growing movement among Atheists, known as the "New Atheist" movement, that revolves around assertion of atheism and the belief that a God-figure is a testable hypothesis. Although I do, somewhat, agree with this, the deeper issue is the nature of a god figure and religion.

 

First, an explanation: The greatest fallback for religious arguments is that God created everything; even disregarding Creationism and the whole six thousand year old cosmos (using Christianity as an example), many assert that what we know as the Big Bang was really the event of creation. They argue such an event requires a cause, and that cause was a God-figure. The Big Bang, in its current theory, rests around a single point of infinitely dense matter suddenly exploding outward rapidly creating the known universe; where would such matter come from? It had to come from *somewhere*, right? This is the problem: something, quite often, comes from nothing. Quantum mechanics has repeatedly demonstrated this. Quite often, it has been observed that electrons and various other sub-atomic particles will simply pop into, and out of, existence. Not be broken down, not get smooshed into tiny bits, just simply dissapear. This has to do with the wave-particle duality of matter, as well as the concept of matter as a probability.

 

So, knowing that matter can and does simply appear,what is there in its absence? Turns out there is a difference between a vacuum and a "quantum vacuum." A vacuum, in the classical sense, is an area more or less devoid of matter, much like space; however, even this contains energy and thus "stuff." A quantum vacuum is a complete absence of everything; a literal void without even background energy. This is the environment into which the universe sprang, a tiny point of matter (much like an electron or quark or what not) that happened to contain enough energy and matter to explode into what we know as our Universe. The consequences of this? No need for a god figure, and the ability for other universes to be created and destroyed purely at random.

 

So, yes, a testable Hypothesis. One which can show a god-figure is not needed.

 

Religion, though, bounces back. The fundamental premise of religion is the need for a god-figure; no matter what, it is possible for a god to make it simply "appear" that way. So, were I about to tear off the mask and stare directly into the face of God (god, gods...whatever), he/she/it/they, being of infinite power, would have no problem simply preventing me from seeing them. Because they are not bound by anything natural, they cannot be tested through natural means, and thus immune to scientific scrutiny. Hence, a god cannot be "dis-proven," nor may one be "proven" to exist, and thus religion shall persist and the nature or existence of a god is truly unknowable.

 

I, however, prefer to stick with the belief there is no god figure(s).

 

*Edit* Looks like everything I said has already been said xD

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The idea that the existence of deities can be tested empirically is ridiculous; absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

Matt: You want that eh? You want everything good for you. You want everything that's--falls off garbage can

Camera guy: Whoa, haha, are you okay dude?

Matt: You want anything funny that happens, don't you?

Camera guy: still laughing

Matt: You want the funny shit that happens here and there, you think it comes out of your [bleep]ing [wagon] pushes garbage can down, don't you? You think it's funny? It comes out of here! running towards Camera guy

Camera guy: runs away still laughing

Matt: You think the funny comes out of your mother[bleep]ing creativity? Comes out of Satan, mother[bleep]er! nn--ngh! pushes Camera guy down

Camera guy: Hoooholy [bleep]!

Matt: FUNNY ISN'T REAL! FUNNY ISN'T REAL!

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The idea that the existence of deities can be tested empirically is ridiculous; absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

 

We may never definitively disprove the existence of gods, but that more we know, the smaller god seems to get. I think people a few hundred years ago would be really surprised by what we know today, and likewise I think it is quite likely that we would be very surprised how much about the universe will be known in a few hundred years. The theory of evolution has already cast serious doubt on the idea of special creation, which has lead many of the religious who are accepting of the theory to view god as more of a guider of creation than an architect. It's not unthinkable to me that future advances in understanding could cast doubt on even that concept.

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I have not read all the pages, so I might repeat something.

 

I find the question whether there is a God or not utterly wasteful. The actual question is in my opinion, how ever did this question raised in our history? It's because at some point in our evolution men sought to understand life and it's origin, and came up with this, much the same as many other cultures came up with similar but different explanations (Islam, but also Hinduism and the likes).

Now, we know much more about life and nature and it seems unusual that there is actually something like a God, however, we cannot disprove its existence. But, coming back to my main point: if our ancestors didn't came up with God as an axplanation to life, but with a flying ninja monkey in the sky, we would now be discussing the existence of a flying ninja monkey in the sky.

 

In short, I cannot prove the existence or absence of a God, but the very existence of this discussing is weird at least.

Unis vers l'Uni

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I voted other. It's really unknowable; there is a growing movement among Atheists, known as the "New Atheist" movement, that revolves around assertion of atheism and the belief that a God-figure is a testable hypothesis. Although I do, somewhat, agree with this, the deeper issue is the nature of a god figure and religion.

 

First, an explanation: The greatest fallback for religious arguments is that God created everything; even disregarding Creationism and the whole six thousand year old cosmos (using Christianity as an example), many assert that what we know as the Big Bang was really the event of creation. They argue such an event requires a cause, and that cause was a God-figure. The Big Bang, in its current theory, rests around a single point of infinitely dense matter suddenly exploding outward rapidly creating the known universe; where would such matter come from? It had to come from *somewhere*, right? This is the problem: something, quite often, comes from nothing. Quantum mechanics has repeatedly demonstrated this. Quite often, it has been observed that electrons and various other sub-atomic particles will simply pop into, and out of, existence. Not be broken down, not get smooshed into tiny bits, just simply dissapear. This has to do with the wave-particle duality of matter, as well as the concept of matter as a probability.

 

So, knowing that matter can and does simply appear,what is there in its absence? Turns out there is a difference between a vacuum and a "quantum vacuum." A vacuum, in the classical sense, is an area more or less devoid of matter, much like space; however, even this contains energy and thus "stuff." A quantum vacuum is a complete absence of everything; a literal void without even background energy. This is the environment into which the universe sprang, a tiny point of matter (much like an electron or quark or what not) that happened to contain enough energy and matter to explode into what we know as our Universe. The consequences of this? No need for a god figure, and the ability for other universes to be created and destroyed purely at random.

 

So, yes, a testable Hypothesis. One which can show a god-figure is not needed.

 

Religion, though, bounces back. The fundamental premise of religion is the need for a god-figure; no matter what, it is possible for a god to make it simply "appear" that way. So, were I about to tear off the mask and stare directly into the face of God (god, gods...whatever), he/she/it/they, being of infinite power, would have no problem simply preventing me from seeing them. Because they are not bound by anything natural, they cannot be tested through natural means, and thus immune to scientific scrutiny. Hence, a god cannot be "dis-proven," nor may one be "proven" to exist, and thus religion shall persist and the nature or existence of a god is truly unknowable.

 

I, however, prefer to stick with the belief there is no god figure(s).

 

*Edit* Looks like everything I said has already been said xD

 

May I have links to some good articles about the quantum mechanics stuff you just mentioned? I'm not trying to doubt what you're talking about, simply curious is all... It sounds interesting.

SWAG

 

Mayn U wanna be like me but U can't be me cuz U ain't got ma swagga on.

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  • 3 weeks later...

The idea that the existence of deities can be tested empirically is ridiculous; absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

 

We may never definitively disprove the existence of gods, but that more we know, the smaller god seems to get. I think people a few hundred years ago would be really surprised by what we know today, and likewise I think it is quite likely that we would be very surprised how much about the universe will be known in a few hundred years. The theory of evolution has already cast serious doubt on the idea of special creation, which has lead many of the religious who are accepting of the theory to view god as more of a guider of creation than an architect. It's not unthinkable to me that future advances in understanding could cast doubt on even that concept.

Just a thought, but doesn't this prove that ultimately belief does not impede scientific understanding? It might slow it down, though I would argue that the ability to slow things down has diminished as our understanding grows, but this would seem to prove that end the end of the day our desire to answer all the questions we can ask will push us harder than religion will ever be able to hold us back. And don't say that all the discoveries are being made by atheists. There are a huge a number of religious people making discoveries, and there have been as long as religion has existed.

 

And now we are beyond the point of calling people witches, or religions being able to smother knowledge like they used to be able to. Some people might ignore or deny our discoveries, but as a species, our knowledge is ever growing despite this. We will never be able to defeat our curiosity, at least not without wiping ourselves out of existence.

 

I have not read all the pages, so I might repeat something.

 

I find the question whether there is a God or not utterly wasteful. The actual question is in my opinion, how ever did this question raised in our history? It's because at some point in our evolution men sought to understand life and it's origin, and came up with this, much the same as many other cultures came up with similar but different explanations (Islam, but also Hinduism and the likes).

Now, we know much more about life and nature and it seems unusual that there is actually something like a God, however, we cannot disprove its existence. But, coming back to my main point: if our ancestors didn't came up with God as an axplanation to life, but with a flying ninja monkey in the sky, we would now be discussing the existence of a flying ninja monkey in the sky.

 

In short, I cannot prove the existence or absence of a God, but the very existence of this discussing is weird at least.

It does sort seem odd at first glance, but when you think about it, there is a nice reason to it (and also that poster above me has made an incorrect logical jump). Religion is a big part of many peoples lives. Big enough that we have words for pretty much every stance on the issue. If golf were as important to as many people as religion is, there would probably be a word for people hate golf, a word for people who don't care about golf, a word for people who are big golf fans, and a word for people who are so into golf that they consider it the reason for their existence. We have found enough need to describe people who don't believe in god, and people who don't know if they believe in god, that we came up with words to describe them so that we don't have to keep saying 'people who don't believe in god(s)'. There are many many concepts, and we don't have words for many of them, and instead describe them through combinations of other words. For people who speak multiple languages, I'm sure they can provide a lot of examples of concepts that have words in one language but not the other. Off the top of my head, as I understand it the Inuit have a whole list of words for 'ice' that describe the nature of the ice. English has 'ice' and 'black ice'. Black ice is a big enough deal that we came up with a particular phrase for it, though we could have made new word for it instead.

 

So no, it doesn't strike me as odd. If anything, it surprises me that we don't have a word for people who don't like sports that we can attach to the name of the particular sport, and end up with golf naf or hockey naf or something like that. It's the words that are missing that are weird, not the ones we have.

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I have not read all the pages, so I might repeat something.

 

I find the question whether there is a God or not utterly wasteful. The actual question is in my opinion, how ever did this question raised in our history? It's because at some point in our evolution men sought to understand life and it's origin, and came up with this, much the same as many other cultures came up with similar but different explanations (Islam, but also Hinduism and the likes).

Now, we know much more about life and nature and it seems unusual that there is actually something like a God, however, we cannot disprove its existence. But, coming back to my main point: if our ancestors didn't came up with God as an axplanation to life, but with a flying ninja monkey in the sky, we would now be discussing the existence of a flying ninja monkey in the sky.

 

In short, I cannot prove the existence or absence of a God, but the very existence of this discussing is weird at least.

You're presupposing God doesn't exist. if you weren't, you wouldn't be able to say our ancestors created the idea.

Matt: You want that eh? You want everything good for you. You want everything that's--falls off garbage can

Camera guy: Whoa, haha, are you okay dude?

Matt: You want anything funny that happens, don't you?

Camera guy: still laughing

Matt: You want the funny shit that happens here and there, you think it comes out of your [bleep]ing [wagon] pushes garbage can down, don't you? You think it's funny? It comes out of here! running towards Camera guy

Camera guy: runs away still laughing

Matt: You think the funny comes out of your mother[bleep]ing creativity? Comes out of Satan, mother[bleep]er! nn--ngh! pushes Camera guy down

Camera guy: Hoooholy [bleep]!

Matt: FUNNY ISN'T REAL! FUNNY ISN'T REAL!

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I'd argue that you should presuppose a non-existence, since that's the default state of skepticism. If it wasn't an archaic creation of humanity, it's awfully inconsistent with history.

 

It does sort seem odd at first glance, but when you think about it, there is a nice reason to it (and also that poster above me has made an incorrect logical jump).

I made a hasty analogy that's poorly thought out, but it does highlight a point nonetheless.

 

EDIT - I think I might be confusing terms here, might not be presupposition that I'm referring to.

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I have not read all the pages, so I might repeat something.

 

I find the question whether there is a God or not utterly wasteful. The actual question is in my opinion, how ever did this question raised in our history? It's because at some point in our evolution men sought to understand life and it's origin, and came up with this, much the same as many other cultures came up with similar but different explanations (Islam, but also Hinduism and the likes).

Now, we know much more about life and nature and it seems unusual that there is actually something like a God, however, we cannot disprove its existence. But, coming back to my main point: if our ancestors didn't came up with God as an axplanation to life, but with a flying ninja monkey in the sky, we would now be discussing the existence of a flying ninja monkey in the sky.

 

In short, I cannot prove the existence or absence of a God, but the very existence of this discussing is weird at least.

You're presupposing God doesn't exist. if you weren't, you wouldn't be able to say our ancestors created the idea.

 

No, he's presupposing that our ancestors didn't have evidence for God either, which imo is an assumption that can be made without too much trouble.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Let's make this presupposition, for the sake of the argument: God exists. In this case, it's possible our ancestors couldn't have imagined a flying ninja monkey being their creator, and that the source of the image they think of is God himself. Then it would not be weird at all for us to be discussing this. In fact it couldn't have happened any other way. It's only weird if you presuppose men came up with the idea independently, which is a decidedly atheistic claim. In the Bible for example, God chit-chats with people.

Matt: You want that eh? You want everything good for you. You want everything that's--falls off garbage can

Camera guy: Whoa, haha, are you okay dude?

Matt: You want anything funny that happens, don't you?

Camera guy: still laughing

Matt: You want the funny shit that happens here and there, you think it comes out of your [bleep]ing [wagon] pushes garbage can down, don't you? You think it's funny? It comes out of here! running towards Camera guy

Camera guy: runs away still laughing

Matt: You think the funny comes out of your mother[bleep]ing creativity? Comes out of Satan, mother[bleep]er! nn--ngh! pushes Camera guy down

Camera guy: Hoooholy [bleep]!

Matt: FUNNY ISN'T REAL! FUNNY ISN'T REAL!

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That's not at all what I said.

Matt: You want that eh? You want everything good for you. You want everything that's--falls off garbage can

Camera guy: Whoa, haha, are you okay dude?

Matt: You want anything funny that happens, don't you?

Camera guy: still laughing

Matt: You want the funny shit that happens here and there, you think it comes out of your [bleep]ing [wagon] pushes garbage can down, don't you? You think it's funny? It comes out of here! running towards Camera guy

Camera guy: runs away still laughing

Matt: You think the funny comes out of your mother[bleep]ing creativity? Comes out of Satan, mother[bleep]er! nn--ngh! pushes Camera guy down

Camera guy: Hoooholy [bleep]!

Matt: FUNNY ISN'T REAL! FUNNY ISN'T REAL!

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[...] It's only weird if you presuppose men came up with the idea independently, which is a decidedly atheistic claim.

 

I could be interpreting this wrong, but I don't see how you could conclude that man presupposing the idea of 'god' (i.e. man creating 'god') independently as 'weird'.

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Good God, how is this thread still going after almost three months? :shock:


"Imagine yourself surrounded by the most horrible cripples and maniacs it is possible to conceive, and you may understand a little of my feelings with these grotesque caricatures of humanity about me."

- H.G. Wells, The Island of Doctor Moreau

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Good God, how is this thread still going after almost three months? :shock:

You should have seen the Is God Real? thread.

How many pages did that have? I want to say 700 but that seems too high...or too low. :razz:

"The cry of the poor is not always just, but if you never hear it you'll never know what justice is."

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^ I'm sure Omar or Assume or one of those has refuted that in this thread, so I don't feel the need to say much, but essentially God is a conjecture. As such, it should be treated as every other conjecture and assumed untrue until adequate proof has been delivered - I do not consider that which has been given thus far in human history convincing, and as such I do not believe in god. If I did, it would be the god envisaged by Spinoza, rather than one which one worships for presents and good favour.

 

Thus it is possible to be 'sure' regarding God's existence, though in my opinion erring towards a belief in God is the result of conditioning rather than reasoned conclusion.


"Imagine yourself surrounded by the most horrible cripples and maniacs it is possible to conceive, and you may understand a little of my feelings with these grotesque caricatures of humanity about me."

- H.G. Wells, The Island of Doctor Moreau

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[...] It's only weird if you presuppose men came up with the idea independently, which is a decidedly atheistic claim.

 

I could be interpreting this wrong, but I don't see how you could conclude that man presupposing the idea of 'god' (i.e. man creating 'god') independently as 'weird'.

"It" refers to the fact that we're discussing god's existence, not the proposition that men invented gods.

Matt: You want that eh? You want everything good for you. You want everything that's--falls off garbage can

Camera guy: Whoa, haha, are you okay dude?

Matt: You want anything funny that happens, don't you?

Camera guy: still laughing

Matt: You want the funny shit that happens here and there, you think it comes out of your [bleep]ing [wagon] pushes garbage can down, don't you? You think it's funny? It comes out of here! running towards Camera guy

Camera guy: runs away still laughing

Matt: You think the funny comes out of your mother[bleep]ing creativity? Comes out of Satan, mother[bleep]er! nn--ngh! pushes Camera guy down

Camera guy: Hoooholy [bleep]!

Matt: FUNNY ISN'T REAL! FUNNY ISN'T REAL!

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Anyone who voted anything other than "I am unsure" is lying. I personally believe there is no god, but none of us know for sure, nor will we.

You've never talked to anyone with extreme beliefs have you. I can assure you there are people who are very certain (one way or the other) about the existence of God. Proof is beside the point. An absence of proof is nothing in the face of human belief. People continue to believe things that are backed up by irrefutable proof, and the way our brains are designed mean that we actually fight harder to hold on to what we understand to be true the more our understanding is challenged. This is why it's pretty much impossible to convince anyone of anything if you attack their beliefs, and why pretty much everyone is going to have things that simply can't be refuted, because they are too fundamental to their being, and the defence mechanisms for those understandings are simply much too strong.

 

By way of hypothetical example in keeping with this thread, there are no shortage of religious extremists who would not change their views if god/Jesus/Mohammad/whoever appeared before them and told them they were wrong, so strong is their belief. They would simply believe that person/being to be an impostor and forge on. As a side note, there is no shortage of this example in science fiction, possibly because I am not the only person on this planet who it totally fascinated by this mechanism that ensures we care more about being right than we care about actually being right (that we are right, regardless of the truth/facts). It's a dominance trait, and we show dominance by being right, no matter what the evidence says.

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