Happy Atheist forum

Religion => Religion => Topic started by: Bob on January 17, 2017, 06:18:28 AM

Title: Evidence for God
Post by: Bob on January 17, 2017, 06:18:28 AM
Hello, all.

This post is for the purpose of addressing some common questions often raised by atheists such as, Who or what is God? Why doesn't God prove his existence to me? Where is the evidence for God's existence?

The Bible is a very good place to provide a good answer.  In fact, one Bible verse covers it very well.  In 21st century English, the passage reads...

"...what may be known about God is clearly evident among them, for God made it clear to them.  For his invisible qualities are clearly seen from the world’s creation onward, because they are perceived by the things made, even his eternal power and Godship,..."  (Romans 1:19, 20).

Thus perception plays a very important part in trying to offer an explanation concerning the Creator.

Many, perhaps most, atheists would accept as proof of the existence of God only evidence they can see, feel, touch and take apart and reassemble in a laboratory setting.  And, of course, that lab would have to be only where they would have unfettered access.

So, let us reason a bit. 

How would I liken the Creator?  Perhaps by looking at the problem in reverse.  Let's look at the problem from God's point of view. 

In Isaiah is a fitting description of the problem and with an element of reason comes understanding.

"There is One who dwells above the circle of the earth,
And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers...."  Isaiah 40:22

Could you rightly expect a grasshopper to fully explain a human or human accomplishments like the Hubble space telescope?  Or would you be humble enough to learn grasshopper speech and befriend them?  Sounds foolish, correct?  That is the dilemma. 

Further on this line of thought is the difference between humans and chimpanzees is about one percent of DNA.  On that scale what would a creature be like who was one percent greater than humans in their DNA?  If their intellect would follow the same scale, could we ever hope to understand them?  Much less be on par with them?  And yet God is orders of magnitude greater than chimpanzees or grasshopper-like humans.

And here is one item we all see without any understanding.  Something so basic it has no record anywhere in the Bible as having been created.  And that even though many think it is listed among the creations attributed to God.  And what is that?  LIFE.

The Bible tells us this at Psalm 36:9 simply that the 'source of life is God'.  Much has been hypothesized about life.  Some have speculated about life having a chemical nature.  Some have claimed that by assembling certain molecules together they have created life.  But when pressed, they admit they can not and did not create life.  It cannot be disassembled and reassembled.  Some have speculated that life is a form of energy as yet not understood.

And there is God.  If we go back to Romans 1:20 we see it speaks about the creation as giving us insight into God.  So look at the creation.  Focus on Isaiah 40:25, 26.  "To whom can you liken me to make me his equal?” says the Holy One.

26 “Lift up your eyes to heaven and see.  Who has created these things?
It is the One who brings out their army by number; He calls them all by name.
Because of his vast dynamic energy and his awe-inspiring power, Not one of them is missing."

Science today admit every star fulfills a purpose.  Did you know we ourselves are star stuff?  And even the super heavy elements seem to come from the collision of neutron stars. So not even a single star is missing.

Science also tells us eventually the universe itself will run down.  Over 3000 years ago the Psalmist spoke of an immense maintenance project needed to fix the universe itself.  Read for yourself Psalm 102:25-27.  Makes for very interesting reading. 

Oh.  And DNA;  Look at Psalm 139:16.  "Your eyes even saw me as an embryo;  All its parts were written in your book  Regarding the days when they were formed,  Before any of them existed.'  Written more than 3,000 years before we had amassed enough knowledge on our own to understand, how would you explain that passage?

So, for a lowly human to define in human terms a being vastly more complex with knowledge and the ability to make and use forces beyond our comprehension, is at best an exercise in futility. 

But a few things I do know.   The Bible provides compelling evidence that God exists. It encourages us to build faith in God, not by blindly believing religious assertions, but by using our “power of reason” and “mental perception.” 

The existence of an orderly universe containing life points to a Creator.

The Bible says: “Of course, every house is constructed by someone, but the one who constructed all things is God.” (Hebrews 3:4)

Although this logic is simple, many well-educated people find it to be powerful.   For example, the late astronomer Allan Sandage once said regarding the universe: “I find it quite improbable that such order came out of chaos. There has to be some organizing principle. God to me is a mystery, but is the explanation for the miracle of existence, why there is something instead of nothing.”

Bible writers had scientific knowledge that was beyond the understanding of their contemporaries. For example, in ancient times many peoples believed that the earth was supported by an animal, such as an elephant, a boar, or an ox. In contrast, the Bible says that God is “suspending the earth upon nothing.” (Job 26:7) Similarly, the Bible correctly describes the shape of the earth as a “sphere,” or “globe. or circle  (Isaiah 40:22) Many people feel that the most reasonable explanation for such advanced understanding is that Bible writers received their information from God.

The Bible answers many difficult questions, the type of questions that when not satisfactorily answered can lead a person to atheism. For example: If God is loving and all-powerful, why is there suffering and evil in the world? Why is Religion so often an influence for bad rather than for good?  See  Titus 1:6  Could it be the unsatisfactory answers to questions has caused you to be where you are?

So have I completely answered the questions posed?  Probably not. However, at the same time, I  hope I have raised questions that honest, open-minded individuals will seek answers to.
You can ask me and I promise to try and answer your questions using reason, logic and the Bible. I like a good challenge.
Title: Re: Evidence for God
Post by: Tank on January 17, 2017, 07:00:46 AM
(http://www.costumedetective.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/bob_minion_costume.jpg)
Title: Re: Evidence for God
Post by: Niya on January 17, 2017, 07:52:00 AM
Hello, all.

This post is for the purpose of addressing some common questions often raised by atheists such as, Who or what is God? Why doesn't God prove his existence to me? Where is the evidence for God's existence?

The Bible is a very good place to provide a good answer.  In fact, one Bible verse covers it very well.  In 21st century English, the passage reads...

"...what may be known about God is clearly evident among them, for God made it clear to them.  For his invisible qualities are clearly seen from the world’s creation onward, because they are perceived by the things made, even his eternal power and Godship,..."  (Romans 1:19, 20).

Thus perception plays a very important part in trying to offer an explanation concerning the Creator.

Many, perhaps most, atheists would accept as proof of the existence of God only evidence they can see, feel, touch and take apart and reassemble in a laboratory setting.  And, of course, that lab would have to be only where they would have unfettered access.

So, let us reason a bit. 

How would I liken the Creator?  Perhaps by looking at the problem in reverse.  Let's look at the problem from God's point of view. 

In Isaiah is a fitting description of the problem and with an element of reason comes understanding.

"There is One who dwells above the circle of the earth,
And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers...."  Isaiah 40:22

Could you rightly expect a grasshopper to fully explain a human or human accomplishments like the Hubble space telescope?  Or would you be humble enough to learn grasshopper speech and befriend them?  Sounds foolish, correct?  That is the dilemma. 

Further on this line of thought is the difference between humans and chimpanzees is about one percent of DNA.  On that scale what would a creature be like who was one percent greater than humans in their DNA?  If their intellect would follow the same scale, could we ever hope to understand them?  Much less be on par with them?  And yet God is orders of magnitude greater than chimpanzees or grasshopper-like humans.

And here is one item we all see without any understanding.  Something so basic it has no record anywhere in the Bible as having been created.  And that even though many think it is listed among the creations attributed to God.  And what is that?  LIFE.

The Bible tells us this at Psalm 36:9 simply that the 'source of life is God'.  Much has been hypothesized about life.  Some have speculated about life having a chemical nature.  Some have claimed that by assembling certain molecules together they have created life.  But when pressed, they admit they can not and did not create life.  It cannot be disassembled and reassembled.  Some have speculated that life is a form of energy as yet not understood.

And there is God.  If we go back to Romans 1:20 we see it speaks about the creation as giving us insight into God.  So look at the creation.  Focus on Isaiah 40:25, 26.  "To whom can you liken me to make me his equal?” says the Holy One.

26 “Lift up your eyes to heaven and see.  Who has created these things?
It is the One who brings out their army by number; He calls them all by name.
Because of his vast dynamic energy and his awe-inspiring power, Not one of them is missing."

Science today admit every star fulfills a purpose.  Did you know we ourselves are star stuff?  And even the super heavy elements seem to come from the collision of neutron stars. So not even a single star is missing.

Science also tells us eventually the universe itself will run down.  Over 3000 years ago the Psalmist spoke of an immense maintenance project needed to fix the universe itself.  Read for yourself Psalm 102:25-27.  Makes for very interesting reading. 

Oh.  And DNA;  Look at Psalm 139:16.  "Your eyes even saw me as an embryo;  All its parts were written in your book  Regarding the days when they were formed,  Before any of them existed.'  Written more than 3,000 years before we had amassed enough knowledge on our own to understand, how would you explain that passage?

So, for a lowly human to define in human terms a being vastly more complex with knowledge and the ability to make and use forces beyond our comprehension, is at best an exercise in futility. 

But a few things I do know.   The Bible provides compelling evidence that God exists. It encourages us to build faith in God, not by blindly believing religious assertions, but by using our “power of reason” and “mental perception.” 

The existence of an orderly universe containing life points to a Creator.

The Bible says: “Of course, every house is constructed by someone, but the one who constructed all things is God.” (Hebrews 3:4)

Although this logic is simple, many well-educated people find it to be powerful.   For example, the late astronomer Allan Sandage once said regarding the universe: “I find it quite improbable that such order came out of chaos. There has to be some organizing principle. God to me is a mystery, but is the explanation for the miracle of existence, why there is something instead of nothing.”

Bible writers had scientific knowledge that was beyond the understanding of their contemporaries. For example, in ancient times many peoples believed that the earth was supported by an animal, such as an elephant, a boar, or an ox. In contrast, the Bible says that God is “suspending the earth upon nothing.” (Job 26:7) Similarly, the Bible correctly describes the shape of the earth as a “sphere,” or “globe. or circle  (Isaiah 40:22) Many people feel that the most reasonable explanation for such advanced understanding is that Bible writers received their information from God.

The Bible answers many difficult questions, the type of questions that when not satisfactorily answered can lead a person to atheism. For example: If God is loving and all-powerful, why is there suffering and evil in the world? Why is Religion so often an influence for bad rather than for good?  See  Titus 1:6  Could it be the unsatisfactory answers to questions has caused you to be where you are?

So have I completely answered the questions posed?  Probably not. However, at the same time, I  hope I have raised questions that honest, open-minded individuals will seek answers to.
You can ask me and I promise to try and answer your questions using reason, logic and the Bible. I like a good challenge.

There is no order in the universe Bob...what are you talking about?
Title: Re: Evidence for God
Post by: Tank on January 17, 2017, 08:14:52 AM
Hello, all.

This post is for the purpose of addressing some common questions often raised by atheists such as, Who or what is God? Why doesn't God prove his existence to me? Where is the evidence for God's existence?
Having met many more atheists than you I have yet to see one ask 'Who or what is God?'. The reason that atheists don't ask this question is because they are atheists. Atheists have already reached the point of understanding that there is no god. God is a legacy fantasy of our, understandingly, ignorant ancestors. We don't expect god to prove his existence because we understand there is no god. One key reason atheists reach the conclusion there is no god is because there is no evidence for the existence of a supernatural realm nor that any part of that realm is sentient nor concerned with an ape on a ball of rock in the middle nowhere. 
Title: Re: Evidence for God
Post by: Tank on January 17, 2017, 08:28:56 AM
...
The Bible is a very good place to provide a good answer.  In fact, one Bible verse covers it very well.  In 21st century English, the passage reads...

"...what may be known about God is clearly evident among them, for God made it clear to them.  For his invisible qualities are clearly seen from the world’s creation onward, because they are perceived by the things made, even his eternal power and Godship,..."  (Romans 1:19, 20).

Thus perception plays a very important part in trying to offer an explanation concerning the Creator.


The Bible, or for that matter any holy book, is the very worst place to start to find any answer about a particular unsupported assertion about an alleged supernatural realm or deity. Holy books are propaganda to support an assertion and thus cannot be expected, nor trusted, to be objective about the subject matter they contain. As a holy book is propaganda any assertion therein can be dismissed if there is no objective external verifiable evidence to support it.

""...what may be known about God is clearly evident among them, for God made it clear to them." No. There is nothing 'clearly evident', if there were there would be one religion and we'd all follow it. There are thousands of gods worshipped by billions of people. There is no evidence that nay of them exist let alone one specific one.

"invisible qualities are clearly seen" really? If they are invisible they cannot be seen. That's what invisible means. Obviously the person who wrote this was functionally illiterate.

"Thus perception plays a very important part in trying to offer an explanation concerning the Creator." on this we can agree. Perception can often bear no relationship to reality and this is the case with superstitions and myths in general, they are reality free zones. Perceptions are also inculcated by upbringing and culture. It's no surprise that Christian parents have Christian children or that Muslim parents have Muslim children. The children's perceptions have be shaped by there experiences while growing up. Humans are at base learning machines. They hover up all that is around them while they are growing up the have been shaped by evolution to do so.

I will continue later. I have work to do now.
Title: Re: Evidence for God
Post by: Dave on January 17, 2017, 09:01:21 AM
Oh dear, another prosetylising sermoniser with nothing new.

Yawn.

Goodbye, Bob.
Title: Re: Evidence for God
Post by: Tank on January 17, 2017, 10:36:20 AM
Oh dear, another prosetylising sermoniser with nothing new.

Yawn.

Goodbye, Bob.
Oh come on you can do better than that.
And I don't mean be rude.
Sharpen your anti-theism skills.
Consider Bob a learning opportunity!
Title: Re: Evidence for God
Post by: Dave on January 17, 2017, 12:11:26 PM
Oh dear, another prosetylising sermoniser with nothing new.

Yawn.

Goodbye, Bob.
Oh come on you can do better than that.
And I don't mean be rude.
Sharpen your anti-theism skills.
Consider Bob a learning opportunity!

No offence taken, Tank.

Lost count of the number of, pointless, "lessons" that I have fruitlessly argued through over the past ten years.

I ain't gonna "convert", chances that Bob will are pretty slim - why waste energy and time?

Now, if there seemed to be the chance that Bob might seek to counter any argument without resorting to the bible and his faith . . . But I would guess that he has only those in his armoury, when I have only rationality (well, a ration if it), evidence or a lack thereof, experience . . .

Tempered by the background feeling that arguing the existence or non-existence of the supernatural are equally futile without evidence either way. Is that teapot out there or not? I have no real idea of the nature of ultimate reality, merely a model of existence that satifies my experience, understanding and ethics. I would not dream of pushing it at another without a specific request.

But, yes, it would be better to simply not comment rather than be negative but I am only human after all, foibled like all others.
Title: Re: Evidence for God
Post by: Tank on January 17, 2017, 01:32:15 PM
...

No offence taken, Tank.

...
Glad to here it. I meant don't you be rude to Bob!  :mb lol:
Title: Re: Evidence for God
Post by: Tank on January 17, 2017, 01:37:55 PM
Oh dear, another prosetylising sermoniser with nothing new.

Yawn.

Goodbye, Bob.
Oh come on you can do better than that.
And I don't mean be rude.
Sharpen your anti-theism skills.
Consider Bob a learning opportunity!

No offence taken, Tank.

Lost count of the number of, pointless, "lessons" that I have fruitlessly argued through over the past ten years.

I ain't gonna "convert", chances that Bob will are pretty slim - why waste energy and time?

Now, if there seemed to be the chance that Bob might seek to counter any argument without resorting to the bible and his faith . . . But I would guess that he has only those in his armoury, when I have only rationality (well, a ration if it), evidence or a lack thereof, experience . . .

Tempered by the background feeling that arguing the existence or non-existence of the supernatural are equally futile without evidence either way. Is that teapot out there or not? I have no real idea of the nature of ultimate reality, merely a model of existence that satifies my experience, understanding and ethics. I would not dream of pushing it at another without a specific request.

But, yes, it would be better to simply not comment rather than be negative but I am only human after all, foibled like all others.

I agree the chances of changing Bob's mind are probably so close to zero it makes no odds what we say to him. He's obviously here to preach and witness and quite possibly may never post again. He's not here to join in or be part of the community. So changing his mind is not the point. The point is to demonstrate the futility of his position to other people who read but never post. The activity equips the 'lurker' with the tools and confidence they may need to deal with other people who share Bob's world view.
Title: Re: Evidence for God
Post by: Davin on January 17, 2017, 01:57:22 PM
Hello, all.

This post is for the purpose of addressing some common questions often raised by atheists such as, Who or what is God? Why doesn't God prove his existence to me? Where is the evidence for God's existence?

The Bible is a very good place to provide a good answer.  In fact, one Bible verse covers it very well.  In 21st century English, the passage reads...
Hi, bob,

How's it going? I see that you're talking like you're an authority on the matter of god. So I will assume that you are an authority on the subject. Because you are an authority, you should be able to answer these questions directly, clearly, and with the support of reliable and verifiable evidence.

What makes what you are claiming about god correct? Keep in mind that we're not on your side of the fence, so what you say must be applied consistently to other people who have made claims about god as well as to what you say.

Why would we trust the bible instead of other books like Dianetics? I mean, to us, on this side of the theistic fence, it all looks like the ramblings of people who didn't know anything about what the real world is like.

How many atheists have you met? Because it looks like, by your straw men, that you don't understand what atheists are actually saying.

Well, that's a start. I hope you get back to me, Bob.
Title: Re: Evidence for God
Post by: Father Bruno on January 17, 2017, 01:58:11 PM
I guess I have to agree with the OP, there certainly is a whole lot of evidence for god out there.

Here:
Spoiler: show
o convince the most intelligent beings on this Planet that there is a God and that He does exist, scientific evidence supporting this fact has to be brought to the discussion. 

The Holy Quran (pronounced in two separate syllables Qur - an) is full of such evidence. Actually, the Islamic Holy Book can be broadly divided into two parts. The first involves the scientific evidence that its ultimate author is the Creator of life Himself, in order to convince humans that He exists and that the Holy Quran is His message to humanity.  The second part involves His teachings, the Shari'a, which if followed by humans will lead them to happiness in this life and in the everlasting Hereafter. 

The story of life on Planet Earth, including human life, is told in the Holy Quran in a way that would light up the eyes of scientists if they read it. It’s the same story, which is told to students of biology. It leaves no doubt about the fact that life started in a very simple way a long time ago and kept evolving ever since (See: Creation and Evolution in the Holy Qur'an).   

The scientific story of creation of life is just one example of how the Holy Quran convinces its readers that no human on this Planet could have authored this Book. Many of the scientific facts revealed became known only in the last century or so. The Messenger of God, Prophet Muhammed (Peace and blessings of God be upon him) was an illiterate man. It was impossible for him or for any other human being 1428 years ago to know about such facts.   

Examples of Verses Including Scientific Facts Just Explained or Discovered Recently

Some of the Quran verses explain facts about Earth, humans, and other creatures.

1. For example,  in Verse 55: 33, there is an invitation for humans to fly, indicating the possibility of flying, more than 1428 years ago.

 يَا مَعْشَرَ الْجِنِّ وَالْإِنسِ إِنِ اسْتَطَعْتُمْ أَن تَنفُذُوا مِنْ أَقْطَارِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ فَانفُذُوا ۚ لَا تَنفُذُونَ إِلَّا بِسُلْطَانٍ (الرحمن ، 55: 33) 

O You jinn and men, if you can penetrate zones of the heavens and the Earth, then penetrate! You will never penetrate them except with power (Al-Ra'hman, 55: 33).

2. The Holy Quran tells us that there is intelligent life in outer space, where Allah (Praise to Him) is also worshipped and glorified.

وَلَهُ ۥ مَن فِى ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَٱلأرۡضِ‌ۖ ڪُلٌّ۬ لَّهُ ۥ قَـٰنِتُونَ (الروم ، 30: 26).

To Him belongs whom are in the heavens and the Earth, all are devoutly obedient to Him (Al-Room, 30: 26).

In Verse 3: 83, Allah, praise to Him, also tells us about life in outer space saying:

أفَغَيۡرَ دِينِ ٱللَّهِ يَبۡغُونَ وَلَهُ ۥۤ أَسۡلَمَ مَن فِى ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَٱلأرۡضِ طَوۡعً۬ا وَڪَرۡهً۬ا وَإِلَيۡهِ يُرۡجَعُونَ (آل عمران ، 3: 83).

Do they want other than the Religion of Allah? While (all) who are in the heavens and the Earth have willingly, or unwillingly, submitted to Him (as Muslims do), and to Him shall they be returned (Al-Imran, 3: 83).

إِن كُلُّ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ إِلَّا آتِي الرَّحْمَـٰنِ عَبْدًا

    لَّقَدْ أَحْصَاهُمْ وَعَدَّهُمْ عَدًّا

وَكُلُّهُمْ آتِيهِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ فَرْدًا (مريم ، 19: 93-95).



And here:
Spoiler: show
READ THE POST TILL THE END TO CHANGE YOUR PERCEPTION WITH KNOWLEDGE OF TRUTH..OR PERISH / WANDER IN OBLIVION..

 

“ALL CREATION IS GOVEREND BY LAW"

 

The ones which manifest in the outer universe discoverable by Physical scientists are called Natural Laws. But there are subtler laws ruling the Realms of Consciousness / Quantum World which can be known only through the Inner Science of Yoga (sensory to super sensory). The Hidden planes also have their Natural and Lawful principles of operation.

 

It is not the Physical Scientist but the fully Self-Realized Master, a YOGI who comprehends the true Nature of matter and Quantum World without the need of Technology!

 

LIFE Is fundamentally Electromagnetic then Bio Chemical
 Matter is crystallized Light. Life is Light in Motion. Mind is Light that perceives, yet Consciousness is the Supreme Light Beyond and Behind ALL
You can't observe the Quantum World or could Transcend the Senses and Limitation of SPACE-TIME without activating your Pineal gland -- the other 5 senses have too narrow bandwidths.

 

Scalar waves(superpower) that travel faster then speed of Light can be generated by resonating your DNA with your Pineal Gland.

 

The psychedelic journeys are accessed and experienced within the realms of the pineal gland. The Pineal Gland is the Shiva Lingam (which provides the seed of life, soul-seed (DNA) within which lies the essence of the entire Cosmos)


DNA - Tvasta, the double helix coiled serpents which cannot be destroyed- is mentioned in Rig Veda

 

- HENCE..

YOGI see's BEYOND where your Ordinary Sense Perception ENDS !! UPGRADE YOUR DNA


Here as well:

Spoiler: show
UPANISHADS:

The Upanishads are considered sacred scriptures by the Hindus.

The following verses from the Upanishads refer to the Concept of God:

"Ekam evadvitiyam"
"He is One only without a second."
        [Chandogya Upanishad 6:2:1]1

"Na casya kascij janita na cadhipah."
"Of Him there are neither parents nor lord."
         [Svetasvatara Upanishad 6:9]2

"Na tasya pratima asti"
"There is no likeness of Him."
        [Svetasvatara Upanishad 4:19]3

The following verses from the Upanishad allude to the inability of man to imagine God in a particular form:

"Na samdrse tisthati rupam asya, na caksusa pasyati kas canainam."

"His form is not to be seen; no one sees Him with the eye."
        [Svetasvatara Upanishad 4:20]4


I guess this here:
Spoiler: show
Sikhism
Guru Nanak describes the attributes of God in the prayer, Japji: "There is but one God. His name is True and Everlasting. He is the Creator, Fearless and without Enmity, the Timeless Form, Unborn and Self-existing."
Sikhism rejects the theory of incarnation. God does not take birth. He is self-existent and not subject to time; He is eternal; He can be realized through (His own grace or) the teachings of a spiritual guide or Guru, but such a guide must be perfect.

Sikhism believes in a personal God. The devotee is compared to a bride yearning for union with her husband and waiting on his pleasure to do his bidding.

The Gurus have called God by different names-Ram, Rahim, Allah, Pritam, Yar, Mahakal. There is no such thing as a God of the Hindus or a God of the Muslims. There is the "Only One God" who is a presence, and is called Waheguru by the Sikhs (wonderful enlightener and wonderful Lord).

Is God transcendal or immanent? He is both. He is present in all things and yet they do not cover His limitless expanse. When God is seen through the universe, we think of him as Sargun(Quality-ful); when we realize His transcendence, we think of Him as Nirgun(Abstract). Truely speaking, God is both in and above the universe. God is the Whole and the world a part of that Whole.

A complete knowledge of God is impossible. Guru Nanak says, "Only one who is as great as He, can know Him fully." We can only have some glimpses of Him from His works. The universe is His sport in which He takes delight. The world is a play of the Infinite in the field of the finite.

By His order, all forms and creatures came into existence. It is the duty of man to study the laws of the universe and to realize the greatness and glory of the Supreme Being. He has created an infinite number of worlds and constellations. The world in which we live is a small atom as compared to other worlds. Scientists like James Jeans, Hoyle and Narlikar have confirmed this theory.


And finally of course here:

Spoiler: show
The Universal Pokémon:

Arceus: The creator of the universe; created Dialga, Palkia and Giratina, as well as Uxie, Mesprit, Azelf, and, supposedly, the entire Pokémon world. Capable of manipulating the cosmos.
Dialga: The Pokémon which began the flow of time in Sinnoh-region mythology. Possesses the ability to manipulate time.
Palkia: The Pokémon which began the expansion of space in Sinnoh-region mythology. Possesses the ability to manipulate physical reality.
Giratina: The Pokémon which created dimension to make things tangible and interactive. Possesses the ability to warp the dimensions. It has two forms; Altered Form (introduced in Diamond and Pearl), and Origin Form (introduced in Platinum), . The creators have described Giratina and its home world as being personifications of antimatter.
Uxie: The "Being of Knowledge"; gave beings the gift of intelligence. Possesses the ability to wipe away memories from any living being, but this only happens if it opens its eyes.
Mesprit: The "Being of Emotion"; gave beings the gift of emotion. Possesses the ability to remove emotions from any living being, rendering them zombielike.
Azelf: The "Being of Willpower"; gave beings gift of willpower. Possesses the ability to petrify any living being.
The Tao trio:
Reshiram: Dragon of fire. Represents yang.
Zekrom: Dragon of lighting. Represents yin.
Kyurem: Dragon of ice. Represents wuji.
The Legendary Birds, or the Winged Mirages:
Articuno: Legendary bird of ice.
Zapdos: Legendary bird of lightning.
Moltres: Legendary bird of fire.
Lugia: Guardian of the Sea, and protector of the winged mirages.
The Legendary Beasts:
Raikou: the embodiment of thunder. .
Entei: the embodiment of volcanoes.
Suicune: the embodiment of the north wind. Mascot of Pokémon Crystal.
Ho-Oh: Guardian of the Sky, and protector of the legendary beasts.
The Geographic Pokémon:
Kyogre: The creator of the sea. Opposes Groudon.
Groudon: The creator of the land. Opposes Kyogre.
Rayquaza: Makes its home in the ozone layer, and is the only one who can quell Groudon and Kyogre.
The Legendary Golems:
Regirock: A golem composed of a conglomerate of rocks.
Regice: A golem composed of frigid ice.
Registeel: A golem composed of an unknown metal.
Regigigas: The creator of the other golems, a colossal being able to pull whole continents with ropes.
The Lunar Pokémon:
Cresselia: Benevolent symbol of the moon and guardian of dreams, and counterpart of Darkrai. It has the power to dispel nightmares, and is the Sandman of the Pokémon universe.
Darkrai: Malevolent symbol of darkness and oblivion and counterpart of Cresselia. It has the power to induce and trap people in nightmares, and is most active during the new moon.
The Kami Pokémon:
Tornadus: Fūjin, Japanese god of wind.
Thundurus: Raijin, Japanese god of thunder and lightning.
Landorus: Inari Ōkami, Japanese fertility god.
The Lati Twins:
Latias and Latios: Twin dragons that guard Altomare, a city modeled after Venice, Italy. Generally friendly to humans (at least those they trust), and capable of understanding human speech. Latias is female, whereas Latios is male.
The Kalos Trio:
Xerneas: The Legendary Deer of Life. It can bestow eternal life when the horns on its head glow seven different colors. It is also a benevolent force in nature, as it can create forests at will. It is the counterpart to Yveltal.
Yveltal: The Legendary Bird of Destruction. It can absorb life energy whenever it spreads its appendages, from whomever it pleases. It is the counterpart to Xerneas.
Zygarde: The Legendary Snake of Order. It is able to take many different forms. These forms are the Cell Form, which, as their name implies, are simply the cells of the creature, Core Form, the mind of Zygarde and monitor of the ecosystem, Zygarde 10% Form, a fast doglike creature, Zygarde 50% Form, who, unlike its Core Form, will actually do something about any danger the environment falls into, and, finally, Zygarde Complete Form, appearing only when the situation is too dire for any other form to stop. In its 50% form, it can also cancel out Xerneas' and Yveltal's special ability to enhance certain attacks.
Title: Re: Evidence for God
Post by: Asmodean on January 17, 2017, 02:40:10 PM
The Asmo will come to play, will He not? Or is He too busy driving diesel-powered vehicles through the no-diesel zone?

...He wonders...  :???:

EDIT: Yep. He shalt play.

Hello, all.

This post is for the purpose of addressing some common questions often raised by atheists such as, Who or what is God? Why doesn't God prove his existence to me? Where is the evidence for God's existence?
Except for the last one, I doubt these are common questions atheists ask. "Who is god" is invalid, since gods are not whos, they are whats. Mythical beings. We don't need to ask about that. "Why doesn't God prove his existence to me" is irrelevant. If such beings existed, I would not expect them to prove anything to me, nor would most serious people regardless of their religious affiliation, I think. The third question starts off on the wrong foot. I don't care where the evidence is - it can be in the pope's ass for my part; I care what it is. That aside, and as implied before, yes, many atheists do ask one version of that third question or another when debating theists.

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The Bible is a very good place to provide a good answer.  In fact, one Bible verse covers it very well.  In 21st century English, the passage reads...
The Bible?! It doesn't even make for good toilet paper. It's a rather poorly made piece of ancient fiction. To expect it to provide any sort of answer pertaining to reality is foolish. It can indeed be interesting for a variety of cultural and/or literary reasons, but not as a tool in understanding the Universe.

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Thus perception plays a very important part in trying to offer an explanation concerning the Creator.
This alone should be enough for most people to put the idea of real gods in a trash bin.

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Many, perhaps most, atheists would accept as proof of the existence of God only evidence they can see, feel, touch and take apart and reassemble in a laboratory setting.  And, of course, that lab would have to be only where they would have unfettered access.
Sorry, but this is just bullshit. Seeing (/hearing/feeling/touching) is believing will get you a fail in your quantum mechanics course. Observation is an important part of science, but the Universe does not conform to the senses of creatures who evolved on a tiny planet in an unremarkable solar system on the outskirts of a galaxy just like billions of other galaxies.

Human senses, you say? Do visualise a five-dimensional space for me, will you? Too hard? How about two-dimensional? (No, not as a sheet of paper floating in three dimensions - that's not what I'm asking here) How about just visualising space-time then?

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So, let us reason a bit.

An exercise in logic, then? I can't fly. A rock can't fly. Therefore, I am a rock.

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How would I liken the Creator?  Perhaps by looking at the problem in reverse.  Let's look at the problem from God's point of view.
Weeell... That assumes gods. In fact, that assumes one specific god. Are you allowed to do that in this thought experiment? 

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Could you rightly expect a grasshopper to fully explain a human or human accomplishments like the Hubble space telescope?  Or would you be humble enough to learn grasshopper speech and befriend them?  Sounds foolish, correct?  That is the dilemma.

What is the dilemma, exactly? Also, the point and relevance of the above? You do realize that a creature's nervous system needs to be of a certain complexity to understand things?

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Further on this line of thought is the difference between humans and chimpanzees is about one percent of DNA.  On that scale what would a creature be like who was one percent greater than humans in their DNA?  If their intellect would follow the same scale, could we ever hope to understand them?  Much less be on par with them?  And yet God is orders of magnitude greater than chimpanzees or grasshopper-like humans.
Ah! Well... Yes. You see, you started off so well with a truly fascinating question, and then you went off and ruined it. Yes, of course we would be able to understand them. They would be physical systems just like we and the chimps are. If you are talking about their motives, which I suspect you are, then the answer is simply irrelevant to their existence or the lack thereof.

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And here is one item we all see without any understanding.  Something so basic it has no record anywhere in the Bible as having been created.  And that even though many think it is listed among the creations attributed to God.  And what is that?  LIFE.
Without any what now? We have gathered VAST knowledge about life, if I understand your point correctly. To say we have no understanding of it is ignorant at best. We do, it is of high quality and constantly improving.

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Science today admit every star fulfills a purpose.  Did you know we ourselves are star stuff?  And even the super heavy elements seem to come from the collision of neutron stars. So not even a single star is missing.
Nono, TV-scientists deliberately misuse the word "purpose" and then beat themselves up about it because the dumber sort of gentleman never fails to take that word and put it out of context and blow its meaning out of proportion. The stars have no sentient actor purpose. However, in order for us to exist, generations of stars before us had to explode. They did not explode so that we could exist, but we do exist because they exploded. (Note that this is a shameless simplification of a star's life cycle. There are reasons leading to those cosmic explosions and yes, we understand those too. They more or less boil down to gravity and nuclear fusion)

...Why do I get the feeling that you've been watching Nova, but doing it poorly? If you are indeed interested in understanding the life cycle of stars, I can post a fine wall of text about it, or recommend some nicely popularised TV shows.

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Science also tells us eventually the universe itself will run down.  Over 3000 years ago the Psalmist spoke of an immense maintenance project needed to fix the universe itself.  Read for yourself Psalm 102:25-27.  Makes for very interesting reading.

No, it will not run down. The prevalent hypothesis of today is heat death, I believe? It has to do with entropy. That one is pretty much the reason why time appears only ever to move in one direction. In heat death, the Universe will get continually less ordered until the concept of time becomes irrelevant and the Universe is static and... Cold.

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Oh.  And DNA;  Look at Psalm 139:16.  "Your eyes even saw me as an embryo;  All its parts were written in your book  Regarding the days when they were formed,  Before any of them existed.'  Written more than 3,000 years before we had amassed enough knowledge on our own to understand, how would you explain that passage?
Sigh... You are quoting people who had NO understanding of molecular biology why..? To try and impress me with the knowledge they did not possess?

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So, for a lowly human to define in human terms a being vastly more complex with knowledge and the ability to make and use forces beyond our comprehension, is at best an exercise in futility. 
Bullshit. I already gave you a reason or two for why it's bullshit, so do let us move on.

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But a few things I do know.   The Bible provides compelling evidence that God exists. It encourages us to build faith in God, not by blindly believing religious assertions, but by using our “power of reason” and “mental perception.”
 
It's not compelling and it's not evidence in the sense in which you want to use the word here. Furthermore, it's not at all encouraging. It's more full of nasty than a bad horror movie.

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The existence of an orderly universe containing life points to a Creator.
No. Again, if you asked "So why is the Universe orderly then?" then we could have a nice discussion with me telling you about entropy and the Big Bang and the different forces at play and you telling me about Jesus and how gays are abominations unto the LORD, but... You didn't, so we won't.

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Although this logic is simple, many well-educated people find it to be powerful.   For example, the late astronomer Allan Sandage once said regarding the universe: “I find it quite improbable that such order came out of chaos. There has to be some organizing principle. God to me is a mystery, but is the explanation for the miracle of existence, why there is something instead of nothing.”
Appeals to authority mean little to me. I will say no more, although I'm tempted. You see, my work day is over and I'm going home.

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Bible writers had scientific knowledge that was beyond the understanding of their contemporaries. For example, in ancient times many peoples believed that the earth was supported by an animal, such as an elephant, a boar, or an ox. In contrast, the Bible says that God is “suspending the earth upon nothing.” (Job 26:7) Similarly, the Bible correctly describes the shape of the earth as a “sphere,” or “globe. or circle  (Isaiah 40:22) Many people feel that the most reasonable explanation for such advanced understanding is that Bible writers received their information from God.
Appeals to stupidity of others and the ancient so-called "wisdom" mean even less to me than the above.

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The Bible answers many difficult questions, the type of questions that when not satisfactorily answered can lead a person to atheism. For example: If God is loving and all-powerful, why is there suffering and evil in the world? Why is Religion so often an influence for bad rather than for good?  See  Titus 1:6  Could it be the unsatisfactory answers to questions has caused you to be where you are?
I was bloody well born an Atheist. Being born and staying alive until this very moment is what caused me to be what I am.

So yeah... There you go. One atheist's perspective, which I expect is shared by quite a few. If you are game, I'm game. After I get my ass home, though.
Title: Re: Evidence for God
Post by: xSilverPhinx on January 17, 2017, 02:56:01 PM
Bob, Bob, Bob, we do I start, Bob?

On second thought, maybe not today. :notsure:
Title: Re: Evidence for God
Post by: Recusant on January 17, 2017, 04:40:05 PM
Hello and welcome to HAF, Bob. There are plenty of issues and failures in your post, but I'll just look at one, for the moment.

Let's look at the problem from God's point of view.

The Bible in several places explicitly says that humans are incapable of understanding your god. See Romans 11 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+11%3A33-36&version=NIV) ("How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?") and Job 36 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=job+36%3A26&version=NIV) ("How great is God—beyond our understanding!"), for instance. You're teaching a falsehood above, because the Bible says that no human is capable of adopting your god's point of view. You yourself say that your god is far beyond human understanding. Yet you tell us we can look at a problem from your god's point of view. Why are you trying to confuse us, Bob?
Title: Re: Evidence for God
Post by: Arturo on January 17, 2017, 07:18:29 PM
I see Davin and I think a few others who deconstruct these posts, so I will give it a WACK!

Hello, all.

This post is for the purpose of addressing some common questions often raised by atheists such as, Who or what is God? Why doesn't God prove his existence to me? Where is the evidence for God's existence?

The Bible is a very good place to provide a good answer.  In fact, one Bible verse covers it very well.  In 21st century English, the passage reads...

Ironically, the Bible is what turned me away from religion. Bet you didn't expect that did you?

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"...what may be known about God is clearly evident among them, for God made it clear to them.  For his invisible qualities are clearly seen from the world’s creation onward, because they are perceived by the things made, even his eternal power and Godship,..."  (Romans 1:19, 20).
That makes no sense.

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Thus perception plays a very important part in trying to offer an explanation concerning the Creator.
Even if you needed a certain perception to understand whatever the fuck that bible quote meant, the way most people go about it turns them into nothing more than thought police. Some are nicer than other's but they are thought police none the less. Ever hear that quote from Scarface? It went something like "How you like it huh? Every day they tell you what to do! What to think!"

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Many, perhaps most, atheists would accept as proof of the existence of God only evidence they can see, feel, touch and take apart and reassemble in a laboratory setting.  And, of course, that lab would have to be only where they would have unfettered access.

So, let us reason a bit. 

You assume that we don't reason already. And that evidences your lack of critical thinking. The thing is, we make no assumptions. And least I try not to. And even when we do, it goes to that old saying that "we make our own meaning in life".

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How would I liken the Creator?  Perhaps by looking at the problem in reverse.  Let's look at the problem from God's point of view. 

In Isaiah is a fitting description of the problem and with an element of reason comes understanding.

"There is One who dwells above the circle of the earth,
And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers...."  Isaiah 40:22

Could you rightly expect a grasshopper to fully explain a human or human accomplishments like the Hubble space telescope?  Or would you be humble enough to learn grasshopper speech and befriend them?  Sounds foolish, correct?  That is the dilemma. 
We've addressed this issue before. Although it was about how smart a starfish was and it's comprehension of things beyond itself. So for starters, THE EARTH IS NOT A CIRCLE! And two, grasshoppers are damn retarded, we aren't (mostly). Plus, I don't see anything about "befriending" or what have you in the quote you gave us. So again, I think you're just adding non-existing meaning to your own source material. And some people do befriend grasshoppers. Hell, I've seen some people keep praying mantises as pets.

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Further on this line of thought is the difference between humans and chimpanzees is about one percent of DNA.  On that scale what would a creature be like who was one percent greater than humans in their DNA?  If their intellect would follow the same scale, could we ever hope to understand them?  Much less be on par with them?  And yet God is orders of magnitude greater than chimpanzees or grasshopper-like humans.

The difference is, all these things actually make contact with humans. Things we can "see, feel, touch and take apart and reassemble in a laboratory setting" as you put it. And along those lines, you seem to be saying that God has not? If so, then we can reasonably say that God does not exist. A good analogy for this is from Niel Degrasse Tyson (who I also seen give your arguement). If you're looking for a bear in a certain geographical area, and you do everything to find him, but their is no evidence like paw prints or droppings, you've proven he's not there, let's move on. You know who I have seen though and does not exist? Santa. But who knows, maybe the real Santa is among those guys who sit at the shopping mall all day in December.

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And here is one item we all see without any understanding.  Something so basic it has no record anywhere in the Bible as having been created.  And that even though many think it is listed among the creations attributed to God.  And what is that?  LIFE.

The Bible tells us this at Psalm 36:9 simply that the 'source of life is God'.  Much has been hypothesized about life.  Some have speculated about life having a chemical nature.  Some have claimed that by assembling certain molecules together they have created life.  But when pressed, they admit they can not and did not create life.  It cannot be disassembled and reassembled.  Some have speculated that life is a form of energy as yet not understood.

Yes that's because we don't assume things. We look at the evidence and say it was LIKELY this might have happened, but we don't know for sure yet. Just like how casinos play games so that it is LIKELY they will win. And when you find a way to make it LIKELY you will win (counting cards) it becomes illegal.

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And there is God.  If we go back to Romans 1:20 we see it speaks about the creation as giving us insight into God.  So look at the creation.  Focus on Isaiah 40:25, 26.  "To whom can you liken me to make me his equal?” says the Holy One.

26 “Lift up your eyes to heaven and see.  Who has created these things?
It is the One who brings out their army by number; He calls them all by name.
Because of his vast dynamic energy and his awe-inspiring power, Not one of them is missing."

Science today admit every star fulfills a purpose.  Did you know we ourselves are star stuff?  And even the super heavy elements seem to come from the collision of neutron stars. So not even a single star is missing.

Let me ask you something: Why do you think it is a WHO that made everything?

Science also tells us eventually the universe itself will run down.  Over 3000 years ago the Psalmist spoke of an immense maintenance project needed to fix the universe itself.  Read for yourself Psalm 102:25-27.  Makes for very interesting reading. 

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Oh.  And DNA;  Look at Psalm 139:16.  "Your eyes even saw me as an embryo;  All its parts were written in your book  Regarding the days when they were formed,  Before any of them existed.'  Written more than 3,000 years before we had amassed enough knowledge on our own to understand, how would you explain that passage?

It actually says "Your eyes saw my unformed body". This is from a quick internet search and confirmed by multiple sources. I could pull out my own Bible, but it's in the attic, and it's cold up there. I don't even know how the mice live there.

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So, for a lowly human to define in human terms a being vastly more complex with knowledge and the ability to make and use forces beyond our comprehension, is at best an exercise in futility. 

The same could be said about aliens. How do we know ALIENS aren't watching us? How do we know god isn't and ALIEN? Why? Because aliens.

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But a few things I do know.   The Bible provides compelling evidence that God exists. It encourages us to build faith in God, not by blindly believing religious assertions, but by using our “power of reason” and “mental perception.” 

I think I've effectively invalidated all of your arguments, so therefore this final one is invalid by default.

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The existence of an orderly universe containing life points to a Creator.

The Bible says: “Of course, every house is constructed by someone, but the one who constructed all things is God.” (Hebrews 3:4)
Making assumptions again...

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Although this logic is simple, many well-educated people find it to be powerful.   For example, the late astronomer Allan Sandage once said regarding the universe: “I find it quite improbable that such order came out of chaos. There has to be some organizing principle. God to me is a mystery, but is the explanation for the miracle of existence, why there is something instead of nothing.”

Logic is only simple for those too dumb to use it effectively. Example, "why is there something instead of nothing? Because God!" That wasn't hard. Just because this guy was an astronomer, it doesn't make him all knowing. There are plenty of things he didn't know.

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Bible writers had scientific knowledge that was beyond the understanding of their contemporaries. For example, in ancient times many peoples believed that the earth was supported by an animal, such as an elephant, a boar, or an ox. In contrast, the Bible says that God is “suspending the earth upon nothing.” (Job 26:7) Similarly, the Bible correctly describes the shape of the earth as a “sphere,” or “globe. or circle  (Isaiah 40:22) Many people feel that the most reasonable explanation for such advanced understanding is that Bible writers received their information from God.

It sounds like maybe the writers just copied the animal supporting idea? It also sounds like you need to go back to school and learn what a circle is and how it's different from a sphere.

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The Bible answers many difficult questions, the type of questions that when not satisfactorily answered can lead a person to atheism. For example: If God is loving and all-powerful, why is there suffering and evil in the world? Why is Religion so often an influence for bad rather than for good?  See  Titus 1:6  Could it be the unsatisfactory answers to questions has caused you to be where you are?
No.


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So have I completely answered the questions posed?  Probably not. However, at the same time, I  hope I have raised questions that honest, open-minded individuals will seek answers to.
You can ask me and I promise to try and answer your questions using reason, logic and the Bible. I like a good challenge.

You have shown me, lack of reason, logic, and knowledge of the Bible. Your argument is invalid. Good day sir.
Title: Re: Evidence for God
Post by: Asmodean on January 17, 2017, 08:47:46 PM
Let me ask you something: Why do you think it is a WHO that made everything?
Oh, now you've done it..! Maybe. Do you really want to hear them tired old excuses for why gods are not unnecessary gap-dwelling figments of underdeveloped imagination?!
Title: Re: Evidence for God
Post by: No one on January 17, 2017, 09:10:14 PM
(http://forums.motortrend.com/_siteconfigs/_global/images/community/bbcode/icon_quote.gif)Bob:
using reason, logic and the Bible.

Is that even a sentence? Can those words even be used together in that manner? (http://web.stardock.net/images/smiles/themes/digicons/Worried.png)
Title: Re: Evidence for God
Post by: Dave on January 17, 2017, 09:28:42 PM
(http://forums.motortrend.com/_siteconfigs/_global/images/community/bbcode/icon_quote.gif)Bob:
using reason, logic and the Bible.

Is that even a sentence? Can those words even be used together in that manner? (http://web.stardock.net/images/smiles/themes/digicons/Worried.png)

Does "oxymoron" fit the circumstance?
Title: Re: Evidence for God
Post by: Icarus on January 18, 2017, 02:54:10 AM
Bob, welcome to the forum is the usual greeting. In your case It seems that you have disturbed a hornets nest.

Your main line of reasoning, if reasoning is the applicable word here, is some kind of reverence toward "the Bible" as an authoritative source of some kind.  What you and damned near every Christian out there seems unaware of is that....the bible was not originally written in English. It was translated innumerable times, revised innumerable times, In the first 1500 hundred years the only way to copy whatever texts existed was by a scribe with a pen and ink. Do You suppose that they ever made a mistake? COpies of the texts were copies... of copies...... of copies........are you getting the idea?  You are of course aware that the most often used bible is the King James Version or offshoots of the "version".  You will also know that that particular bible was a compilation of work by a committee of 54 men in the years nearest 1610. The 54 were presumed to be scholars and were directed by King James who was not satisfied with the previous catholic leaning religious book of his sister Elizabeth. 

The bible, KJV, NIV, NER,  CEV,   GNB,  NAB,  NRSV,   REV,   and all those other variations that are in use today cannot be relied upon as to be the inerrant word of god.  SO please do not insult our intelligence by claiming the "bible" is some kind of authority. Did you even know that there are so many variations of your good book? 

While I am at it let me suggest to you that the concept of the Jesus person is as likely, perhaps more likely, to be a Human invention as it is to be a historical reality. 

I apologize to you for being so blunt about the way the world really is. The fact is that you have blundered onto a forum where the participants are intellectually superior to the mainline Jesus person. There are exceptions. We have some Christians here who are held in highest esteem and are skilled in the art of reasoning.   They are educated Christians who are not likely to be beguiled by some snake oil preacher person or a  would be holy book that is so full of contradictions..
Title: Re: Evidence for God
Post by: Arturo on January 18, 2017, 03:52:53 AM
Let me ask you something: Why do you think it is a WHO that made everything?
Oh, now you've done it..! Maybe. Do you really want to hear them tired old excuses for why gods are not unnecessary gap-dwelling figments of underdeveloped imagination?!

I just want them to reflect on their possibly terrible life of how they were forced to believe this shit. "Mommy made me read the bible every time I got in trouble and now it's my central pillar in my shit life"
Title: Re: Evidence for God
Post by: Dragonia on January 18, 2017, 02:07:48 PM
Hello, all.
......
In Isaiah is a fitting description of the problem and with an element of reason comes understanding.

"There is One who dwells above the circle of the earth,
And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers...."  Isaiah 40:22

Could you rightly expect a grasshopper to fully explain a human or human accomplishments like the Hubble space telescope?  Or would you be humble enough to learn grasshopper speech and befriend them?  Sounds foolish, correct?  That is the dilemma. 

Further on this line of thought is the difference between humans and chimpanzees is about one percent of DNA.  On that scale what would a creature be like who was one percent greater than humans in their DNA?  If their intellect would follow the same scale, could we ever hope to understand them?  Much less be on par with them?  And yet God is orders of magnitude greater than chimpanzees or grasshopper-like humans.

So, for a lowly human to define in human terms a being vastly more complex with knowledge and the ability to make and use forces beyond our comprehension, is at best an exercise in futility. 
.........
So have I completely answered the questions posed?  Probably not. However, at the same time, I  hope I have raised questions that honest, open-minded individuals will seek answers to.
You can ask me and I promise to try and answer your questions using reason, logic and the Bible. I like a good challenge.
Hello Bob, you promised to answer our questions, but if you don't hurry up and address some of these posts, you are likely to get overwhelmed! Chop chop!
And I must add my two cents to this conversation. I would love to have a conversation with you in person, because I hate reasoning-while-typing. It takes too long. But I will just address the grasshopper issue. Let me just begin by telling you that I was a very, very strong Christian for 35 years. All of these arguments that you present, I have presented at one time or another to other people, so I really know where you're coming from. And I assume it is from a place of genuine caring for our souls, as that was where I was coming from too.
So here is my question: if we are as grasshoppers, and God is so all-knowing and powerful, why doesn't he show himself in ways that we can understand and be sure of? I'm not talking about Jesus coming to "show us the way", I'm talking about real-time, something that we could look at and say, Of course, that's God! You may say, as you like to use the Bible, that the things of God are clearly seen. But the problem is, Bob, that they are not clearly seen. Every "evidence" for God in this world can also be attributed to what we might call nature. There's nothing that has been made or that has happened that can only be attributed to God. There are natural explanations for absolutely everything, whether it is modern-day miracles or the world we see around us. If our souls are in jeopardy of eternal hell fire, why why why wouldn't God speak to us and show us himself in ways that we understand? He should know what would do it for us individually and as a human race. He should know exactly what it would take for everyone to believe. And he should know also that some elusive Son of God 2000 years ago or nature as we see it today, is not going to cut it for a huge number of his beloved children. If he was God, he should be able to fix this! Especially when people beg to know him, and search for him endlessly.
And please don't give me crap about "If God were to show himself TOO clearly, it would take away our free will!" Not buying it. Apparently Satan lived with God and could see him and touch him and hang out with him, and yet he still rebelled and made the wrong choice. So obviously "free will" isn't a thing to God. (As evidenced by the lack of mention in the Bible) 
Please fulfill your promise, Bob, and answer our questions!
Title: Re: Evidence for God
Post by: Tank on January 18, 2017, 07:13:32 PM
Hello, all.
......
In Isaiah is a fitting description of the problem and with an element of reason comes understanding.

"There is One who dwells above the circle of the earth,
And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers...."  Isaiah 40:22

Could you rightly expect a grasshopper to fully explain a human or human accomplishments like the Hubble space telescope?  Or would you be humble enough to learn grasshopper speech and befriend them?  Sounds foolish, correct?  That is the dilemma. 

Further on this line of thought is the difference between humans and chimpanzees is about one percent of DNA.  On that scale what would a creature be like who was one percent greater than humans in their DNA?  If their intellect would follow the same scale, could we ever hope to understand them?  Much less be on par with them?  And yet God is orders of magnitude greater than chimpanzees or grasshopper-like humans.

So, for a lowly human to define in human terms a being vastly more complex with knowledge and the ability to make and use forces beyond our comprehension, is at best an exercise in futility. 
.........
So have I completely answered the questions posed?  Probably not. However, at the same time, I  hope I have raised questions that honest, open-minded individuals will seek answers to.
You can ask me and I promise to try and answer your questions using reason, logic and the Bible. I like a good challenge.
Hello Bob, you promised to answer our questions, but if you don't hurry up and address some of these posts, you are likely to get overwhelmed! Chop chop!
And I must add my two cents to this conversation. I would love to have a conversation with you in person, because I hate reasoning-while-typing. It takes too long. But I will just address the grasshopper issue. Let me just begin by telling you that I was a very, very strong Christian for 35 years. All of these arguments that you present, I have presented at one time or another to other people, so I really know where you're coming from. And I assume it is from a place of genuine caring for our souls, as that was where I was coming from too.
So here is my question: if we are as grasshoppers, and God is so all-knowing and powerful, why doesn't he show himself in ways that we can understand and be sure of? I'm not talking about Jesus coming to "show us the way", I'm talking about real-time, something that we could look at and say, Of course, that's God! You may say, as you like to use the Bible, that the things of God are clearly seen. But the problem is, Bob, that they are not clearly seen. Every "evidence" for God in this world can also be attributed to what we might call nature. There's nothing that has been made or that has happened that can only be attributed to God. There are natural explanations for absolutely everything, whether it is modern-day miracles or the world we see around us. If our souls are in jeopardy of eternal hell fire, why why why wouldn't God speak to us and show us himself in ways that we understand? He should know what would do it for us individually and as a human race. He should know exactly what it would take for everyone to believe. And he should know also that some elusive Son of God 2000 years ago or nature as we see it today, is not going to cut it for a huge number of his beloved children. If he was God, he should be able to fix this! Especially when people beg to know him, and search for him endlessly.
And please don't give me crap about "If God were to show himself TOO clearly, it would take away our free will!" Not buying it. Apparently Satan lived with God and could see him and touch him and hang out with him, and yet he still rebelled and made the wrong choice. So obviously "free will" isn't a thing to God. (As evidenced by the lack of mention in the Bible) 
Please fulfill your promise, Bob, and answer our questions!

I think I just fell in love. And not with Bob!
Title: Re: Evidence for God
Post by: Dave on January 18, 2017, 07:25:40 PM

Quote
“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?”

Epicurus
Title: Re: Evidence for God
Post by: Arturo on January 18, 2017, 07:53:00 PM
(https://media.giphy.com/media/e47a7VNPfwVMI/giphy.gif)
Title: Re: Evidence for God
Post by: Dragonia on January 18, 2017, 09:33:19 PM
I think I just fell in love. And not with Bob!
:cheersfortwo:
Title: Re: Evidence for God
Post by: Icarus on January 19, 2017, 02:00:04 AM
^^^^ Me too Tank.
Title: Re: Evidence for God
Post by: Ecurb Noselrub on January 19, 2017, 02:11:31 AM

 Let me just begin by telling you that I was a very, very strong Christian for 35 years...... He should know exactly what it would take for everyone to believe. And he should know also that some elusive Son of God 2000 years ago or nature as we see it today, is not going to cut it for a huge number of his beloved children. If he was God, he should be able to fix this! Especially when people beg to know him, and search for him endlessly.

I have a question: if you were a very, very strong Christian for 35 years, did you not have exactly what it took for someone to believe?  You did believe for 35 years.  What was insufficient during that time regarding God's presentation to you?   
Title: Re: Evidence for God
Post by: Dragonia on January 19, 2017, 03:16:50 AM
Oh, dear Ecurb, that there is a big, fat, nasty hornet's nest of a question. That answer is a BOOK.  But let me see if I can be very abbreviated, yet still fairly thorough.......
First, the entire subject of the Holy Spirit was really bothering me , how the Spirit of God was supposed to teach us and guide us into God's will and understanding, yet everyone, even people in the same denomination, the same church (!) disagreed about really important things. Spiritual matters that were on opposite sides of the spectrum. Also, the Holy Spirit was supposed to be changing lives and helping us to be morally strong,  yet I never saw a truly transformed life. There were a few that gave grand testimonies of how God had changed them, but after a couple years, the glowy Jesus-rush wore off and they were pretty much the same as before. And the wives I had tearfully confide in me about their husbands' "porn addiction" or infidelities..... I would wonder what good the holy spirit was, if he couldn't handle these common issues. After all, it was supposed to be the very spirit of the Living God, the creator of the universe. And the Bible promised every Christian would receive this gift of the Holy Spirit living within us.
My other pretty major problem was prayer. I have heard SO MANY excuses for God in this area. It's a common saying in church that "God answers every prayer. Sometimes it's yes, sometimes it's no, and sometimes it's wait." But I pretty much felt like God was totally ignoring me. I couldn't understand why he seemed to answer everyone's prayers but mine. I prayed the right way, according to the Bible (Oh yes, there is a right way and a wrong way). And I started realizing that every answered prayer was something that would have happened anyway. Nothing ever happened that wouldn't have happened anyway. 
It got me questioning. Cautiously and fearfully and privately. After all, my eternal salvation was on the line. My family, my friends, my past, my future, the foundation of my life.
Then I got inspired. I thought, if God is God, and He is Truth, then He and his Word should stand up to any scrutiny. So all my reading,  all my research, all my questioning, I brought to God. I prayed and begged him to show me His answers to these things I was learning. And you know what I got?
Silence.
Nothing. 
And then there's a very painful part of this story that I shall skip over, because even though I'm fine now, the pain was so deep, the loneliness and feelings of betrayal so strong, that it hurts even now to think too much about.
I learned so much, not the least of which, was to actually be ok questioning and then admitting that I do not know, and being ok with that.
I can't believe I just wrote all that. There was so much more that "was insufficient during that time regarding God's presentation" to me, but those are the basics.  ;)
Title: Re: Evidence for God
Post by: Arturo on January 19, 2017, 03:58:24 AM
I can relate to your story, being led to believe something that turned out to be a total lie.
Title: Re: Evidence for God
Post by: Ecurb Noselrub on January 19, 2017, 04:12:05 AM
Oh, dear Ecurb, that there is a big, fat, nasty hornet's nest of a question. That answer is a BOOK.  But let me see if I can be very abbreviated, yet still fairly thorough.......
First, the entire subject of the Holy Spirit was really bothering me , how the Spirit of God was supposed to teach us and guide us into God's will and understanding, yet everyone, even people in the same denomination, the same church (!) disagreed about really important things. Spiritual matters that were on opposite sides of the spectrum. Also, the Holy Spirit was supposed to be changing lives and helping us to be morally strong,  yet I never saw a truly transformed life. There were a few that gave grand testimonies of how God had changed them, but after a couple years, the glowy Jesus-rush wore off and they were pretty much the same as before. And the wives I had tearfully confide in me about their husbands' "porn addiction" or infidelities..... I would wonder what good the holy spirit was, if he couldn't handle these common issues. After all, it was supposed to be the very spirit of the Living God, the creator of the universe. And the Bible promised every Christian would receive this gift of the Holy Spirit living within us.
My other pretty major problem was prayer. I have heard SO MANY excuses for God in this area. It's a common saying in church that "God answers every prayer. Sometimes it's yes, sometimes it's no, and sometimes it's wait." But I pretty much felt like God was totally ignoring me. I couldn't understand why he seemed to answer everyone's prayers but mine. I prayed the right way, according to the Bible (Oh yes, there is a right way and a wrong way). And I started realizing that every answered prayer was something that would have happened anyway. Nothing ever happened that wouldn't have happened anyway. 
It got me questioning. Cautiously and fearfully and privately. After all, my eternal salvation was on the line. My family, my friends, my past, my future, the foundation of my life.
Then I got inspired. I thought, if God is God, and He is Truth, then He and his Word should stand up to any scrutiny. So all my reading,  all my research, all my questioning, I brought to God. I prayed and begged him to show me His answers to these things I was learning. And you know what I got?
Silence.
Nothing. 
And then there's a very painful part of this story that I shall skip over, because even though I'm fine now, the pain was so deep, the loneliness and feelings of betrayal so strong, that it hurts even now to think too much about.
I learned so much, not the least of which, was to actually be ok questioning and then admitting that I do not know, and being ok with that.
I can't believe I just wrote all that. There was so much more that "was insufficient during that time regarding God's presentation" to me, but those are the basics.  ;)

Thanks for the response. In the 35 years that you were a very strong Christian, did you ever at any time feel the presence of God?  And, if not, why were you a very strong Christian?  I guess the part that is puzzling to me is why you felt that you were "very strong".  Did you never have a sense of God's presence in any worship service, prayer, walk in the forest, etc? Forgive me if I'm getting to personal - I'm genuinely interested in people's subjective experiences.
Title: Re: Evidence for God
Post by: Asmodean on January 19, 2017, 07:20:09 AM
I'm a little puzzled by your implication that somehow feeling the presence of god is important to being strongly religious? Having never been religious myself, I'd be interested in hearing just how big a part does subjective emotion/interpretation of some sensation/what have you play in becoming religious and staying that way?

I mean, if I saw a purple carnivorous unicorn but the two people next to me did not, or they saw something different, I would question the reliability of my vision and mental state before I questioned that of my peers before I entertained the idea of purple unicorns before I attempted to learn whether or not said unicorns were indeed carnivorous. I do not understand that, which some people call the "deep knowing," or the "inner truth," or the need some have to search for it, but I'm always curious to hear new explanations, as there seem to be about as many of those as there are people claiming those things. 

To build on the above question, some would say that looking for god is just as... Valid, I suppose is the right word, to one's own religion as having found one. (Or several, for that matter) Are those people not strongly religious? Even if looking for god is an almost all-consuming part of their lives?
Title: Re: Evidence for God
Post by: Arturo on January 19, 2017, 08:21:57 AM
I mean, if I saw a purple carnivorous unicorn but the two people next to me did not, or they saw something different, I would question the reliability of my vision and mental state before I questioned that of my peers before I entertained the idea of purple unicorns before I attempted to learn whether or not said unicorns were indeed carnivorous. I do not understand that, which some people call the "deep knowing," or the "inner truth," or the need some have to search for it, but I'm always curious to hear new explanations, as there seem to be about as many of those as there are people claiming those things. 

Having had a similar experience to the purple unicorn example, I can say that when you(or I should say I) SEE things that nobody else sees, the first thing I did was go and get someone to check to see if they see it too. And when they don't, I assumed what there was to see was meant for me. And then I became obsessed with it and aggressive against anything that got in the way of me enjoying said it.
Title: Re: Evidence for God
Post by: Asmodean on January 19, 2017, 09:51:34 AM
As in... You assumed that the others did not perceive what you did the way you did due to some agent's intention for it to be so? And you did not ascribe it to apophenia and move on? Was that because you simply did not know that humans were susceptible to that phenomenon, or was it perhaps something you just did not consider there and then?

EDIT: It just dawned on me that what I'm actually trying to figure out here, is the human tendency to jump to conclusions rather than to recognise meaningful patterns in static. I can relate to that, though the puzzle of why once an unlikely/unconfirmed conclusion, once jumped to, seems so hard as to border on the impossible for some to throw out with yesterday's refuse still stands.
Title: Re: Evidence for God
Post by: Davin on January 19, 2017, 01:44:30 PM
When I was a Christian, I felt warm fuzzies from time to time in church, with family at certain times, at church outings, and I was told that those feelings were god. Turns out I got the same feeling in the mosh pit of a heavy metal concert. If I had never been curious enough ventured out into other things, I might have been fooled into thinking that the warm fuzzy feeling was god and not just a normal body response when doing something fun and/or fulfilling.
Title: Re: Evidence for God
Post by: Dave on January 19, 2017, 01:51:53 PM
When I was a Christian, I felt warm fuzzies from time to time in church, with family at certain times, at church outings, and I was told that those feelings were god. Turns out I got the same feeling in the mosh pit of a heavy metal concert. If I had never been curious enough ventured out into other things, I might have been fooled into thinking that the warm fuzzy feeling was god and not just a normal body response when doing something fun and/or fulfilling.

As one who never accepted the idea of religion, once I had learned to separate fantasy from my version of reality, I still feel "something" in churches. Maybe only the aura of the believers and I came to recognise it is mostly a "social" and "empathetic"  experience. I found something similar anongst my fellow servicemen and groups of climbers etc (back in the days when I could do better than climbing out of the armchair without a struggle!)
Title: Re: Evidence for God
Post by: Bad Penny II on January 19, 2017, 02:10:54 PM
Some say there's no evidence of god but warm fuzzies is evidence.
It's not convincing, humans have unreliable brains made of mush.
Title: Re: Evidence for God
Post by: Ecurb Noselrub on January 19, 2017, 03:18:41 PM
I'm a little puzzled by your implication that somehow feeling the presence of god is important to being strongly religious? Having never been religious myself, I'd be interested in hearing just how big a part does subjective emotion/interpretation of some sensation/what have you play in becoming religious and staying that way?

For me I don't think I would be religious at all today had I not experienced certain subjective manifestations.  Just doctrine and dogma would have left me extremely unsatisfied, and if that's all I had I'm not sure it would have lasted.  But irrespective of dogma, I have certain experiences that remind me that one those occasions, it appeared to me that God existed.  It would not be convincing to anyone else, but it was to me.  That's why I find it hard to believe that someone could be a strong believer without some personal experience that solidified faith.  But everyone is different, so maybe I'm way off base.
Title: Re: Evidence for God
Post by: Dragonia on January 19, 2017, 03:45:04 PM
Thanks for the response. In the 35 years that you were a very strong Christian, did you ever at any time feel the presence of God?  And, if not, why were you a very strong Christian?  I guess the part that is puzzling to me is why you felt that you were "very strong".  Did you never have a sense of God's presence in any worship service, prayer, walk in the forest, etc? Forgive me if I'm getting to personal - I'm genuinely interested in people's subjective experiences.
It's a fair question, and not too personal, although in retrospect, I feel slightly foolish.
Yes, I absolutely felt what I thought was God's presence, the whisper of his voice, nudgings in my heart, the overwhelming flood of his spirit within mine...... my personal "experiencing God" ran the gamut of mainstream (America) Christian experience, though never was I so filled with the spirit that I spoke in tongues. (Again, that was a product of my teaching. If I had been raised in a charismatic church, I certainly would have manifested the holy spirit in that way...... there's a lot of peer pressure in those circles to "prove" your spirituality in that way).
So, how do I explain those feelings to myself?
 I have come to understand that people interpret our spiritual experiences through our beliefs. If I am inspired by a brilliant thought now, I just think I'm awesome. ;D As a Christian, I would have thought it was God. If I'm deeply moved by something in nature: the Grand Canyon, Northern lights, fresh snow sparkling in trees, a baby's smile, i can just appreciate the fact that it's beautiful and moving, and that's where those feelings come from.
I've also learned that people all over the world get into mental states of "ecstasy". Sometimes music is a pathway (church worship), sometimes  meditation is a pathway (prayer). So these feelings are NOT exclusive to Christianity and they are NOT from a God. They are actually scientifically explainable. I've just had to reinterpret the feelings that I experience(d).
Title: Re: Evidence for God
Post by: Dragonia on January 19, 2017, 03:54:32 PM
As one who never accepted the idea of religion, once I had learned to separate fantasy from my version of reality, I still feel "something" in churches. Maybe only the aura of the believers and I came to recognise it is mostly a "social" and "empathetic"  experience. I found something similar anongst my fellow servicemen.......
OH yes, I, and others that I know, can be so moved by patriotism. Sometimes when I hear our US National anthem, I feel that swell of emotion and I find myself with tears in my eyes. It's the same feeling I would get in church sometimes, surrounded by a peaceful, loving atmosphere. 
Title: Re: Evidence for God
Post by: Dragonia on January 19, 2017, 03:56:58 PM
It's not convincing, humans have unreliable brains made of mush.
Yup. This is the bottom line.
Nailed it.
Title: Re: Evidence for God
Post by: Arturo on January 19, 2017, 05:20:45 PM
As in... You assumed that the others did not perceive what you did the way you did due to some agent's intention for it to be so? And you did not ascribe it to apophenia and move on? Was that because you simply did not know that humans were susceptible to that phenomenon, or was it perhaps something you just did not consider there and then?

I don't know if you still want me to answer these questions but I will try.
"You assumed that the others did not perceive what you did the way you did due to some agent's intention for it to be so?" Yes
"And you did not ascribe it to apophenia and move on?" Correct
"Was that because you simply did not know that humans were susceptible to that phenomenon, or was it perhaps something you just did not consider there and then?" Well I knew people were capable of jumping to conclusions but not to a strong degree. It also did not cross my mind at the time because the same perception kept happening. In layman's terms, I was having a conversation with it.
Title: Re: Evidence for God
Post by: Ecurb Noselrub on January 19, 2017, 10:33:00 PM
Thanks for the response. In the 35 years that you were a very strong Christian, did you ever at any time feel the presence of God?  And, if not, why were you a very strong Christian?  I guess the part that is puzzling to me is why you felt that you were "very strong".  Did you never have a sense of God's presence in any worship service, prayer, walk in the forest, etc? Forgive me if I'm getting to personal - I'm genuinely interested in people's subjective experiences.
It's a fair question, and not too personal, although in retrospect, I feel slightly foolish.
Yes, I absolutely felt what I thought was God's presence, the whisper of his voice, nudgings in my heart, the overwhelming flood of his spirit within mine...... my personal "experiencing God" ran the gamut of mainstream (America) Christian experience, though never was I so filled with the spirit that I spoke in tongues. (Again, that was a product of my teaching. If I had been raised in a charismatic church, I certainly would have manifested the holy spirit in that way...... there's a lot of peer pressure in those circles to "prove" your spirituality in that way).
So, how do I explain those feelings to myself?
 I have come to understand that people interpret our spiritual experiences through our beliefs. If I am inspired by a brilliant thought now, I just think I'm awesome. ;D As a Christian, I would have thought it was God. If I'm deeply moved by something in nature: the Grand Canyon, Northern lights, fresh snow sparkling in trees, a baby's smile, i can just appreciate the fact that it's beautiful and moving, and that's where those feelings come from.
I've also learned that people all over the world get into mental states of "ecstasy". Sometimes music is a pathway (church worship), sometimes  meditation is a pathway (prayer). So these feelings are NOT exclusive to Christianity and they are NOT from a God. They are actually scientifically explainable. I've just had to reinterpret the feelings that I experience(d).

Thanks for the explanation.
Title: Re: Evidence for God
Post by: Ecurb Noselrub on January 19, 2017, 10:36:46 PM
For me, here's the problem with the "brain is unreliable mush" argument.  The brain is also what gives us intelligence, logic and reasoning.  It is what we use to understand science and evidence.  If we say it's unreliable mush, then that not only undermines our religious/spiritual experiences, it also undermines our faculties of thought and understanding.  I would prefer to say that the brain is not unreliable mush, and simply analyze, with all the powers we have, all our experiences, whether in the spiritual/religious realm or the rational/scientific realm. 
Title: Re: Evidence for God
Post by: xSilverPhinx on January 19, 2017, 11:26:13 PM
For me, here's the problem with the "brain is unreliable mush" argument.  The brain is also what gives us intelligence, logic and reasoning.  It is what we use to understand science and evidence.  If we say it's unreliable mush, then that not only undermines our religious/spiritual experiences, it also undermines our faculties of thought and understanding.  I would prefer to say that the brain is not unreliable mush, and simply analyze, with all the powers we have, all our experiences, whether in the spiritual/religious realm or the rational/scientific realm.

But the brain is unreliable mush. We perceive what our senses allow us to perceive, our brains actively construct our realities and we are plagued with cognitive biases which colour our perception. Some people more than others.

Epistemologically there are different ways of knowing, people's spiritual experiences shouldn't be placed in the same sack as scientific pursuits. One is subjective, with no explanatory and predictive power, while scientific endeavors strive to be more objective, are falsifiable and have explanatory and predictive power. It all comes down to what you give higher value at a given moment or situation .

I hope I have expressed my thoughts adequately, I'm tired as hell so my brain is mushier than usual. :grin:
Title: Re: Evidence for God
Post by: No one on January 20, 2017, 02:38:58 AM
Human intelligence is almost laughable. While we are indeed the most intelligent creature on this planet, we are without a doubt, it's most retarded.

If the universe was a school, and all the planets with intelligent life attended, Earth would take the short bus to get there!
Title: Re: Evidence for God
Post by: Asmodean on January 20, 2017, 04:28:12 AM
As in... You assumed that the others did not perceive what you did the way you did due to some agent's intention for it to be so? And you did not ascribe it to apophenia and move on? Was that because you simply did not know that humans were susceptible to that phenomenon, or was it perhaps something you just did not consider there and then?

I don't know if you still want me to answer these questions but I will try.
"You assumed that the others did not perceive what you did the way you did due to some agent's intention for it to be so?" Yes
"And you did not ascribe it to apophenia and move on?" Correct
"Was that because you simply did not know that humans were susceptible to that phenomenon, or was it perhaps something you just did not consider there and then?" Well I knew people were capable of jumping to conclusions but not to a strong degree. It also did not cross my mind at the time because the same perception kept happening. In layman's terms, I was having a conversation with it.
Yes, as stated, I'm always in a mood for some answers as I am... Sort of trying to put humanity in perspective, and I did get some very interesting insights in the above posts, including your own. I will come back to it, I think. From your answer, the continuity of the experience you describe picks my curiosity. Is that what people mean when they say they here the voice of god? Is that different from ye olde happiness? From ye probably-oldier tribal instincts?

...As I said, I'll need to get back to this after coffee.
Title: Re: Evidence for God
Post by: Asmodean on January 20, 2017, 06:55:58 AM
When I was a Christian, I felt warm fuzzies from time to time in church, with family at certain times, at church outings, and I was told that those feelings were god. Turns out I got the same feeling in the mosh pit of a heavy metal concert. If I had never been curious enough ventured out into other things, I might have been fooled into thinking that the warm fuzzy feeling was god and not just a normal body response when doing something fun and/or fulfilling.
Hmm... Yes. Assume it's god, convince yourself, then conform your god to fit into your perception of the "common" god. Am I on the correct track?

I'm a little puzzled by your implication that somehow feeling the presence of god is important to being strongly religious? Having never been religious myself, I'd be interested in hearing just how big a part does subjective emotion/interpretation of some sensation/what have you play in becoming religious and staying that way?

For me I don't think I would be religious at all today had I not experienced certain subjective manifestations.  Just doctrine and dogma would have left me extremely unsatisfied, and if that's all I had I'm not sure it would have lasted.  But irrespective of dogma, I have certain experiences that remind me that one those occasions, it appeared to me that God existed.  It would not be convincing to anyone else, but it was to me.  That's why I find it hard to believe that someone could be a strong believer without some personal experience that solidified faith.  But everyone is different, so maybe I'm way off base.
I do not think that you are off your base at all. In fact, I think that very base is quite common among the believers. Still, I have examples of people who spend decades firmly believing that god does exist, just doesn't speak to them. Insert unworthiness and self-doubt, but "never" a doubt in god here. From where I sit, those people seem as strongly religious, albeit in a different way, as those with a personal experience of the divine.

Well I knew people were capable of jumping to conclusions but not to a strong degree. It also did not cross my mind at the time because the same perception kept happening. In layman's terms, I was having a conversation with it.
Here, I pretty much defer to the above. As I understand it, for you, god was a continuous experience? Different from happiness, tribal instinct related behaviours of various sorts and the rest of the "mundane?"

...But why did you assume it was god? Obviously, it could have been "something else." Is that something a person of faith evaluates on regular basis?
Title: Re: Evidence for God
Post by: Arturo on January 20, 2017, 08:04:50 AM
When I was a Christian, I felt warm fuzzies from time to time in church, with family at certain times, at church outings, and I was told that those feelings were god. Turns out I got the same feeling in the mosh pit of a heavy metal concert. If I had never been curious enough ventured out into other things, I might have been fooled into thinking that the warm fuzzy feeling was god and not just a normal body response when doing something fun and/or fulfilling.
Hmm... Yes. Assume it's god, convince yourself, then conform your god to fit into your perception of the "common" god. Am I on the correct track?

I'm a little puzzled by your implication that somehow feeling the presence of god is important to being strongly religious? Having never been religious myself, I'd be interested in hearing just how big a part does subjective emotion/interpretation of some sensation/what have you play in becoming religious and staying that way?

For me I don't think I would be religious at all today had I not experienced certain subjective manifestations.  Just doctrine and dogma would have left me extremely unsatisfied, and if that's all I had I'm not sure it would have lasted.  But irrespective of dogma, I have certain experiences that remind me that one those occasions, it appeared to me that God existed.  It would not be convincing to anyone else, but it was to me.  That's why I find it hard to believe that someone could be a strong believer without some personal experience that solidified faith.  But everyone is different, so maybe I'm way off base.
I do not think that you are off your base at all. In fact, I think that very base is quite common among the believers. Still, I have examples of people who spend decades firmly believing that god does exist, just doesn't speak to them. Insert unworthiness and self-doubt, but "never" a doubt in god here. From where I sit, those people seem as strongly religious, albeit in a different way, as those with a personal experience of the divine.

Well I knew people were capable of jumping to conclusions but not to a strong degree. It also did not cross my mind at the time because the same perception kept happening. In layman's terms, I was having a conversation with it.
Here, I pretty much defer to the above. As I understand it, for you, god was a continuous experience? Different from happiness, tribal instinct related behaviours of various sorts and the rest of the "mundane?"

...But why did you assume it was god? Obviously, it could have been "something else." Is that something a person of faith evaluates on regular basis?

If you're asking me. I never thought it was God. I thought it was a person I knew who had an unhealthy obsession with me contacting me through Facebook via subliminal messages from the news feed and ads. I was desperately trying to get away from this person and then it seemed that I was being contacted in this manner. Eventually the roles were reversed and I became the obsessed one, and the other person was the one trying to desperately get away.
Title: Re: Evidence for God
Post by: Arturo on January 20, 2017, 08:12:31 AM
For me, here's the problem with the "brain is unreliable mush" argument.  The brain is also what gives us intelligence, logic and reasoning.  It is what we use to understand science and evidence.  If we say it's unreliable mush, then that not only undermines our religious/spiritual experiences, it also undermines our faculties of thought and understanding.  I would prefer to say that the brain is not unreliable mush, and simply analyze, with all the powers we have, all our experiences, whether in the spiritual/religious realm or the rational/scientific realm.

But the brain is unreliable mush. We perceive what our senses allow us to perceive, our brains actively construct our realities and we are plagued with cognitive biases which colour our perception. Some people more than others.

Epistemologically there are different ways of knowing, people's spiritual experiences shouldn't be placed in the same sack as scientific pursuits. One is subjective, with no explanatory and predictive power, while scientific endeavors strive to be more objective, are falsifiable and have explanatory and predictive power. It all comes down to what you give higher value at a given moment or situation .

I hope I have expressed my thoughts adequately, I'm tired as hell so my brain is mushier than usual. :grin:

I wouldn't say our brain is unreliable mush, I'd say it's moldable mush. The brain is a learning machine, but it specific ways. Most people don't know the ways to teach a brain and life is full of sporadic instances that can mold a brain to any shape, but likely not a well developed shape. So in there, it's reliably, stupid.
Title: Re: Evidence for God
Post by: Davin on January 20, 2017, 01:27:43 PM
When I was a Christian, I felt warm fuzzies from time to time in church, with family at certain times, at church outings, and I was told that those feelings were god. Turns out I got the same feeling in the mosh pit of a heavy metal concert. If I had never been curious enough ventured out into other things, I might have been fooled into thinking that the warm fuzzy feeling was god and not just a normal body response when doing something fun and/or fulfilling.
Hmm... Yes. Assume it's god, convince yourself, then conform your god to fit into your perception of the "common" god. Am I on the correct track?
Yes, with an added in bonus of thinking that questioning whether the experience was divine or not is the devil trying to trick you.
Title: Re: Evidence for God
Post by: Ecurb Noselrub on January 20, 2017, 10:32:00 PM
For me, here's the problem with the "brain is unreliable mush" argument.  The brain is also what gives us intelligence, logic and reasoning.  It is what we use to understand science and evidence.  If we say it's unreliable mush, then that not only undermines our religious/spiritual experiences, it also undermines our faculties of thought and understanding.  I would prefer to say that the brain is not unreliable mush, and simply analyze, with all the powers we have, all our experiences, whether in the spiritual/religious realm or the rational/scientific realm.

But the brain is unreliable mush. We perceive what our senses allow us to perceive, our brains actively construct our realities and we are plagued with cognitive biases which colour our perception. Some people more than others.

Epistemologically there are different ways of knowing, people's spiritual experiences shouldn't be placed in the same sack as scientific pursuits. One is subjective, with no explanatory and predictive power, while scientific endeavors strive to be more objective, are falsifiable and have explanatory and predictive power. It all comes down to what you give higher value at a given moment or situation .

I hope I have expressed my thoughts adequately, I'm tired as hell so my brain is mushier than usual. :grin:

I reject everything you say because it comes from a mushy brain.

Seriously, you say one epistemological view is subjective and one is objective, but the whole concept of epistemology and standards and values comes from mushy brains.  If a particular viewpoint works for me, I feel justified in giving it high value.  Other mushy brains may disagree, but why should I care?  If I chose a viewpoint that does not specifically violate any clear factually established position, why should I be concerned about other mushy brains disagreeing with me.  If I say "the moon is made of green cheese", then I would agree that my mush is mushier than your mush.  But if I say "at the foundation of the universe there is intelligence, consciousness and will", then I don't think my mushy brain is in any worse position than your mushy brain.  You don't know any more about whether a creator exists than I do.  Now, mush mush.
Title: Re: Evidence for God
Post by: xSilverPhinx on January 20, 2017, 11:28:47 PM
For me, here's the problem with the "brain is unreliable mush" argument.  The brain is also what gives us intelligence, logic and reasoning.  It is what we use to understand science and evidence.  If we say it's unreliable mush, then that not only undermines our religious/spiritual experiences, it also undermines our faculties of thought and understanding.  I would prefer to say that the brain is not unreliable mush, and simply analyze, with all the powers we have, all our experiences, whether in the spiritual/religious realm or the rational/scientific realm.

But the brain is unreliable mush. We perceive what our senses allow us to perceive, our brains actively construct our realities and we are plagued with cognitive biases which colour our perception. Some people more than others.

Epistemologically there are different ways of knowing, people's spiritual experiences shouldn't be placed in the same sack as scientific pursuits. One is subjective, with no explanatory and predictive power, while scientific endeavors strive to be more objective, are falsifiable and have explanatory and predictive power. It all comes down to what you give higher value at a given moment or situation .

I hope I have expressed my thoughts adequately, I'm tired as hell so my brain is mushier than usual. :grin:

I wouldn't say our brain is unreliable mush, I'd say it's moldable mush. The brain is a learning machine, but it specific ways. Most people don't know the ways to teach a brain and life is full of sporadic instances that can mold a brain to any shape, but likely not a well developed shape. So in there, it's reliably, stupid.

It's both. :grin:
Title: Re: Evidence for God
Post by: xSilverPhinx on January 21, 2017, 12:01:28 AM
For me, here's the problem with the "brain is unreliable mush" argument.  The brain is also what gives us intelligence, logic and reasoning.  It is what we use to understand science and evidence.  If we say it's unreliable mush, then that not only undermines our religious/spiritual experiences, it also undermines our faculties of thought and understanding.  I would prefer to say that the brain is not unreliable mush, and simply analyze, with all the powers we have, all our experiences, whether in the spiritual/religious realm or the rational/scientific realm.

But the brain is unreliable mush. We perceive what our senses allow us to perceive, our brains actively construct our realities and we are plagued with cognitive biases which colour our perception. Some people more than others.

Epistemologically there are different ways of knowing, people's spiritual experiences shouldn't be placed in the same sack as scientific pursuits. One is subjective, with no explanatory and predictive power, while scientific endeavors strive to be more objective, are falsifiable and have explanatory and predictive power. It all comes down to what you give higher value at a given moment or situation .

I hope I have expressed my thoughts adequately, I'm tired as hell so my brain is mushier than usual. :grin:

I reject everything you say because it comes from a mushy brain.

That's your prerogative. :shrug: You may reject what I'm saying but your brain is still being rewired based on what I'm saying. In other words, you're learning. 

Quote
Seriously, you say one epistemological view is subjective and one is objective, but the whole concept of epistemology and standards and values comes from mushy brains.  If a particular viewpoint works for me, I feel justified in giving it high value.


And that's exactly what people do...are you saying that you don't?

Quote
Other mushy brains may disagree, but why should I care?  If I chose a viewpoint that does not specifically violate any clear factually established position, why should I be concerned about other mushy brains disagreeing with me.  If I say "the moon is made of green cheese", then I would agree that my mush is mushier than your mush.  But if I say "at the foundation of the universe there is intelligence, consciousness and will", then I don't think my mushy brain is in any worse position than your mushy brain.  You don't know any more about whether a creator exists than I do.  Now, mush mush.

Oh, there are a variety of factors that would cause you to care, such as the possibility of social rejection, emotional valence...but I'm not going to get into those as it would slightly derail this conversation which I find so interesting. :grin:

I and many atheists don't claim to know that a creator doesn't exist,  those claiming knowledge are usually on the theistic side. Not only knowledge and certainty that a creator exists but a particular creator too, whose will and personality usually corresponds with that of the believer.

As for unreliable mush, human beings, like any other animal, are the product of evolution, and our cognitive processes are no different. Biases evolved to protect us and make life easier for our brains. For instance, an animal that makes a decision based on experience is an animal with higher odds of survival, and is more likely to pass on their genes to the next generation. In that sense, the brain is a reliable survival machine, evolved in a primitive world to deal with that primitive world, even if it isn't always reliable at discerning reality. Thing is, our biology changes much slower than our societies do.

(What I find interesting is how the concept of deities have changed as societies have evolved. From the primitive animalistic gods to the increasingly abstract god of today's major monotheistic religions, this must certainly reflect on cognitive processes.)

Did you know that when people are in love activity in their prefrontal cortex is lessened? The prefrontal cortex is responsible for rational thought, among other things. There was a study done some time ago which showed that the brains of highly religious people were very similar to those of people who were in love, with downregulation of that region. Everybody knows that people who are in love are less rational...
Title: Re: Evidence for God
Post by: Ecurb Noselrub on January 21, 2017, 02:14:32 PM
I don't know that people who are in love are automatically less rational.  Some people make very good decisions about the mates they love.  Some don't, of course, but that doesn't mean that the whole process is less rational.  Just means that other factors are involved.  In any event, I'm sure that other factors besides pure rationality enter into almost every decision we make.  So, my judgment of my own subjective experiences, while not purely rational, does not have to be irrational in any sense.  There will be other aspects to it, but the end result does not have to be automatically wrong just because of those other factors.  We are not Vulcans in any respect.
Title: Re: Evidence for God
Post by: xSilverPhinx on January 21, 2017, 02:42:28 PM
I don't know that people who are in love are automatically less rational.  Some people make very good decisions about the mates they love.  Some don't, of course, but that doesn't mean that the whole process is less rational.  Just means that other factors are involved.  In any event, I'm sure that other factors besides pure rationality enter into almost every decision we make.  So, my judgment of my own subjective experiences, while not purely rational, does not have to be irrational in any sense.  There will be other aspects to it, but the end result does not have to be automatically wrong just because of those other factors.  We are not Vulcans in any respect.

Some people get lucky and choose a soul mate for a partner, but how many times have you been head over heels for someone who just wasn't right? Everybody saw it but you?

I forgot to mention that love can also result in our perception of that person's moral behaviours becoming more laxed. Selective perception and double standards. I don't know if a proper analogy can be drawn but it always baffles me how some people can actually love a god who is a monster (OT).

Emotions play a huge role in decision-making, even regarding basic decisions such as what you're going to have for lunch today. Some people suffer from flawed emotional processing and they can't even decide which toothpaste to buy when at the supermarket.

I don't believe that humans are rational. Maybe we have varying amounts of limited rationality.
Title: Re: Evidence for God
Post by: Bad Penny II on January 21, 2017, 02:49:41 PM
I don't know that people who are in love are automatically less rational. 

No our Bruce "may he always believe," I think it's a statistical thing

I don't know that people who are in love are automatically less rational.  Some people make very good decisions about the mates they love.

Melania...

    We are not Vulcans in any respect.

Yet we can aspire

Title: Re: Evidence for God
Post by: Skeptik on January 30, 2017, 07:02:50 AM
Where are you at Bob?
Title: Re: Evidence for God
Post by: xSilverPhinx on January 31, 2017, 06:51:24 AM
Where ever Bob is, he hasn't come here in a long time. Looks like a fly by poster.
Title: Re: Evidence for God
Post by: MadBomr101 on January 31, 2017, 07:36:25 PM
Hello, all.

This post is for the purpose of addressing some common questions often raised by atheists such as, Who or what is God? Why doesn't God prove his existence to me? Where is the evidence for God's existence?

The Bible is a very good place to provide a good answer.  In fact, one Bible verse covers it very well.  In 21st century English, the passage reads...

"...what may be known about God is clearly evident among them, for God made it clear to them.  For his invisible qualities are clearly seen from the world’s creation onward, because they are perceived by the things made, even his eternal power and Godship,..."  (Romans 1:19, 20).

Thus perception plays a very important part in trying to offer an explanation concerning the Creator.

Many, perhaps most, atheists would accept as proof of the existence of God only evidence they can see, feel, touch and take apart and reassemble in a laboratory setting.  And, of course, that lab would have to be only where they would have unfettered access.

So, let us reason a bit. 

How would I liken the Creator?  Perhaps by looking at the problem in reverse.  Let's look at the problem from God's point of view. 

In Isaiah is a fitting description of the problem and with an element of reason comes understanding.

"There is One who dwells above the circle of the earth,
And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers...."  Isaiah 40:22

Could you rightly expect a grasshopper to fully explain a human or human accomplishments like the Hubble space telescope?  Or would you be humble enough to learn grasshopper speech and befriend them?  Sounds foolish, correct?  That is the dilemma. 

Further on this line of thought is the difference between humans and chimpanzees is about one percent of DNA.  On that scale what would a creature be like who was one percent greater than humans in their DNA?  If their intellect would follow the same scale, could we ever hope to understand them?  Much less be on par with them?  And yet God is orders of magnitude greater than chimpanzees or grasshopper-like humans.

And here is one item we all see without any understanding.  Something so basic it has no record anywhere in the Bible as having been created.  And that even though many think it is listed among the creations attributed to God.  And what is that?  LIFE.

The Bible tells us this at Psalm 36:9 simply that the 'source of life is God'.  Much has been hypothesized about life.  Some have speculated about life having a chemical nature.  Some have claimed that by assembling certain molecules together they have created life.  But when pressed, they admit they can not and did not create life.  It cannot be disassembled and reassembled.  Some have speculated that life is a form of energy as yet not understood.

And there is God.  If we go back to Romans 1:20 we see it speaks about the creation as giving us insight into God.  So look at the creation.  Focus on Isaiah 40:25, 26.  "To whom can you liken me to make me his equal?” says the Holy One.

26 “Lift up your eyes to heaven and see.  Who has created these things?
It is the One who brings out their army by number; He calls them all by name.
Because of his vast dynamic energy and his awe-inspiring power, Not one of them is missing."

Science today admit every star fulfills a purpose.  Did you know we ourselves are star stuff?  And even the super heavy elements seem to come from the collision of neutron stars. So not even a single star is missing.

Science also tells us eventually the universe itself will run down.  Over 3000 years ago the Psalmist spoke of an immense maintenance project needed to fix the universe itself.  Read for yourself Psalm 102:25-27.  Makes for very interesting reading. 

Oh.  And DNA;  Look at Psalm 139:16.  "Your eyes even saw me as an embryo;  All its parts were written in your book  Regarding the days when they were formed,  Before any of them existed.'  Written more than 3,000 years before we had amassed enough knowledge on our own to understand, how would you explain that passage?

So, for a lowly human to define in human terms a being vastly more complex with knowledge and the ability to make and use forces beyond our comprehension, is at best an exercise in futility. 

But a few things I do know.   The Bible provides compelling evidence that God exists. It encourages us to build faith in God, not by blindly believing religious assertions, but by using our “power of reason” and “mental perception.” 

The existence of an orderly universe containing life points to a Creator.

The Bible says: “Of course, every house is constructed by someone, but the one who constructed all things is God.” (Hebrews 3:4)

Although this logic is simple, many well-educated people find it to be powerful.   For example, the late astronomer Allan Sandage once said regarding the universe: “I find it quite improbable that such order came out of chaos. There has to be some organizing principle. God to me is a mystery, but is the explanation for the miracle of existence, why there is something instead of nothing.”

Bible writers had scientific knowledge that was beyond the understanding of their contemporaries. For example, in ancient times many peoples believed that the earth was supported by an animal, such as an elephant, a boar, or an ox. In contrast, the Bible says that God is “suspending the earth upon nothing.” (Job 26:7) Similarly, the Bible correctly describes the shape of the earth as a “sphere,” or “globe. or circle  (Isaiah 40:22) Many people feel that the most reasonable explanation for such advanced understanding is that Bible writers received their information from God.

The Bible answers many difficult questions, the type of questions that when not satisfactorily answered can lead a person to atheism. For example: If God is loving and all-powerful, why is there suffering and evil in the world? Why is Religion so often an influence for bad rather than for good?  See  Titus 1:6  Could it be the unsatisfactory answers to questions has caused you to be where you are?

So have I completely answered the questions posed?  Probably not. However, at the same time, I  hope I have raised questions that honest, open-minded individuals will seek answers to.
You can ask me and I promise to try and answer your questions using reason, logic and the Bible. I like a good challenge.

Too many words trying to argue in favor of a demonstrably false idea. There is no god and never has been. See how much simpler reality is over religious fantasy?