Author Topic: Evidence for God  (Read 1575 times)

No one

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Re: Evidence for God
« Reply #45 on: January 19, 2017, 07:38:58 PM »
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!

Asmodean

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Re: Evidence for God
« Reply #46 on: January 19, 2017, 09:28:12 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.
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.
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Asmodean

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Re: Evidence for God
« Reply #47 on: January 19, 2017, 11:55:58 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?

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?
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Re: Evidence for God
« Reply #48 on: January 20, 2017, 01:04:50 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.
But, uh...well there it is.
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Re: Evidence for God
« Reply #49 on: January 20, 2017, 01:12:31 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.
But, uh...well there it is.
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Davin

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Re: Evidence for God
« Reply #50 on: January 20, 2017, 06:27:43 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?
Yes, with an added in bonus of thinking that questioning whether the experience was divine or not is the devil trying to trick you.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2017, 06:44:14 AM by Davin »

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Ecurb Noselrub

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Re: Evidence for God
« Reply #51 on: January 20, 2017, 03:32:00 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.

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Re: Evidence for God
« Reply #52 on: January 20, 2017, 04:28:47 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:
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Re: Evidence for God
« Reply #53 on: January 20, 2017, 05:01:28 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.

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...
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Ecurb Noselrub

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Re: Evidence for God
« Reply #54 on: January 21, 2017, 07:14:32 AM »
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.

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Re: Evidence for God
« Reply #55 on: January 21, 2017, 07:42:28 AM »
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.
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Re: Evidence for God
« Reply #56 on: January 21, 2017, 07:49:41 AM »
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...

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Yet we can aspire

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Skeptik

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Re: Evidence for God
« Reply #57 on: January 30, 2017, 12:02:50 AM »
Where are you at Bob?
The certainty with which I know another man's religion is folly makes me suspect my own is also - Mark Twain

Dear Religion,
Today we safely brought a man back from outer space, while you shot a child in the face for wanting to go to school.
Sincerely,
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Re: Evidence for God
« Reply #58 on: January 30, 2017, 11:51:24 PM »
Where ever Bob is, he hasn't come here in a long time. Looks like a fly by poster.
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Re: Evidence for God
« Reply #59 on: January 31, 2017, 12:36:25 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?
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