Is there a God?
I hear a lot of points of view about the exinstance of God.
I was once a Christian so I know most of the reasons that people have that God (of Christianity) exists. I also think about my own "proofs" that I once had, and now I propose that they were all scientifically explainable.
One is the feeling of conviction, or conscious, that God supposedly instills in us. I believe those feelings (as well as everyday emotions) could possibly be complex products of evolution. We are capable of ignoring those instincts to an extent, but it is important to fully understand them, and religion (ie Christianity) is a great vehicle to help us understand them.
I think a person can train their mind to believe what they want to believe as their own reality. It is true, I've experienced that myself. I'm not saying that there isn't a God, I'm just saying that their might not be one. If there really is a God, then everything that I can come up with to oppose it is worth evaluating, because assuming there is a God, I will evaluate these things impartialy and arrive at the conclusion that God exists. But if you can't, then maybe there isn't a God.
Keep in mind, I cannot rely on the idea the God isn't logical and that is why I can't prove his existance. That doesn't solve anything. That's a part of Christianity that supports itself, and makes it so people don't question, they just accept. i.e. you can't use something within what you are trying to prove to prove that thing. Ignorance will never prove nor disprove anything. And knowledge certainly can't hurt. Or can it... I have stated it before, but it is important for this discussion. I have already taken the step to question God and base my questioning on logic, so I have to through out the statement that God isn't logical for the sake of argument.
Also, it is not suprising that Christianity supports itself in such a way that people want to join it but feel they cannot (or do not want to) leave it. But, it is something that I must consider in order to evaluate the credibility of religion.
Therefore, the purpose of my website is not to rid the world of religion, but to maybe find some sort of truth for myself. And maybe others who feel the way I do also. The only conclusion that I have arrived at thus far (and I project I will not arrive at any other) is that agnosticism is the only truth. Basically, we can't know if there is a God or not, and I am content with that. This all stems from my background and my experience, which can be found here. I also propose that there are a lot of problems with evolution and that Christianity has a lot of benefits. But, what I am searching for is the truth.
Here are 5 links discussing the existance of God. All but two are entitled "Is there a God?" so I just put numbers for the links. What I have done is read and critiqued each one logically (with my method of opposition). Here are the links and the responses:
1 , Re:
2 , Re:
3 , Re:
4 , Re:
5 , Re: ]
8/3 - Commenting on
Link #3 (logical statements that god doesn't exist):
This essay is very compelling. I don't really have any opposing theories for this. I would love to hear some, so please contact me. I can only say that maybe God isn't logical, as much as I don't like that statement.
7/31 - Commenting on
Link #2 ("proof" that god doesn't exist):
First of all, in the introduction the author compares disproving mathematics with disproving scientific or "real" things. Although I do not know how to state it in exact words, it is a fallacy in thinking to compare the two. Basically, math is all in our head, and we build upon rules that cannot be broken. We can do this because it exists only in our heads. In math, things can be proven false because mathematics is strict and without error. In the real world, however, no proof exists of anything not existing. It is impossible to know that something doesn't exist, because science is limited in that we cannot study things such as the depths of the universe. For all we know there could be some parallel existance to ours. Also, scientific thinking is constantly changing. The only thing science can do is prove something does exist, and I project that we will never be able to prove God exists.
The theodicÚ problem: I think I have to agree that it appears paradoxical for God to be all good, yet to have allowed or created evil. I think the biggest argument from Christians is that God isn't logical to our minds, and that He works in mysterious ways. That is probably the only opposition I can give to that statement, although I don't even support that opposition because it is circular reasoning (i.e. I cannot use logic as my standard and arrive at the conclusion that logic isn't reliable. If it is the case that God isn't logical, I cannot question, which is the circle of belief that "traps" believers. The only way I can question is by using a different standard. One could use faith, but faith is the question at hand. Our last option is fancy, which has no validity whatsoever). This does propose a problem with God though, probably the most compelling point on this site. How can God be all-loving if he allows (or even created) evil for us to deal with and suffer through. The only way God didn't allow it or create it is if he isn't omnipotent. So maybe God just isn't logical, or maybe God is not what we think He is.
The ontological evidence: It is all very logic, but the author slips in his opinion to lean the argument in his direction. He says that if God does not present us with proof of his existance, then He is not worthy of worship, therefore He must not exist. I think most Christians would disagree with that statement. It is a matter of opinion/belief. Who is to say what is worthy and what isn't? Most Christians will agree that (2) God does not want to prove Himself to us in a scientific way, yet proves Himself in many ways that are undescribable. Christianity is based on faith anyway, and God wants his people to believe through faith, not proof. (I keep refering to Christianity only because that is the religion I am most familiar with. On that same note, I have already opposed most Christian theories anyway, so basically, not much is gained for me.)
It is ridiculous to say that God doesn't exist based on the definition of the word existance. In my discussion of intelligent argument I said that it is important not to pick on an argument based on word-usage. I think most Christians would agree that God doesn't "exist" as we think most things to exist, as a material entity in "the known world." Another thing, infinite does not mean all-inclusive. There can be a infinite 2 dimensional plane, but there are certainly parallel planes that exist alongside it that are not included in that plane. In a sense, God may "exist" (for lack of a better word) in a parallel dimension to ours.
Occam's razor: "The world stands above time, space, moral, existence, is self containing and in it has it's own meaning." This statement doesn't make sense to me. The world passes with time, and cannot travel to any other time, and therefore is not above time. The world is a part of space, so cannot be above it. The world exists in relation to many other things, and depends on many other aspects of space, and therefore is neither above existance nor self-containing. God would be the only entity (along with spirits) that exist above any of these entities.
I sort of agree that God can get in the way of science. But, the point of religion is that you don't need to know why. It is not important (to God). What is important is being pure at heart and action. The reason for this is that knowledge does not equal happiness, and can sometimes destract us from what is really important in life (what that is depends on belief). But, if one wants to make a scientific investigation, it may be necessary to leave God out. If God does exist, than any proof we come up with (using God or not) should put us one step closer to understanding that He did indeed create everything.
Some things are impossible to do: This isn't even proving anything. Most Christians believe that God is above logic and physics.
Omnipotence is impossible due to paradoxes: Can fate and free will exist simultaneously? Or in other terms, is it possible for the knowledge of the future to exist in someone and still have the ability to make decisions. Here is my answer: yes. No matter is fate exists or not, we still (and always will) have the illusion of free will. Whether free will is an illusion or reality, it is sill "real" as we know it, so it doesn't matter. Basically, God can know what our choice will be, without making the choice for us.
"If everything must have been created, then god must have been created as well." Who said everything had to be created? Everything material must have been created, but most Christians accept that God always existed. Yes, God is void in the sense that He is above matter. Again, He does not "exist" in the sense that we know things to exist.
"This god is an unnecessary entity to describe." If any God does indeed exist (in any sense of the word), then He is worth describing. That's like saying some minor scientific entity isn't important enough to acknowledge it's existance. The point of discussion here is knowledge, not trying to disprove God at all costs (which seems to be the authors intent).
If people don't pray because "prayer is meaningless," then God would know that those people weren't going to pray, and nothing would be done. Under the assumption of the argument, god answers prayers when you pray, so why not pray, regardless of whether God knew you were going to pray or not? How does it follow logically that if God were to answer a prayer then He would have to change the laws of physics? Most Christians believe that God created the world as we know it and is able to effect that world as He chooses. So, to me, that whole argument about a prayer being undone doesn't make sense.
Nobody really believes in god: OK readers, its time to break out your Webster's Dictionary and look up the definition of belief. Why does the author keep preoccupying himself with definition and word usage. I think it is rather obvious that faith is not belief in the sense that we know it. Belief to humans means that it has been proven or shown to us. Christians use the term belief loosely, and they accept that. That argument means nothing.
It is true that people can believe what they want to believe. I have stated it several times myself. But doesn't mean that God doesn't exist. It is just a possibility.
"...an enlightened person will after considering the facts, reject christianity and other religions that contain deities." Don't think that this is some great revelation. This fact is even stated in the Bible. What if all these scientific "facts" are destractions sent from the Devil to lead us astray? It is a possibility.
"...you may object and say that god is beyond human understanding and can't be defined in scientific terms. This is the view of agnosticism." I don't know how other agnostics feel, but I feel that that is one possiblity, not my personal belief. Actually, I think that is more of a Christian belief.
As for the rest of the epilogue, I respond with this: the author is only supporting agnosticism, not disproving God's existance.
I would like to now make an overall review of this page. The author's biggest point is that if God is omnipotent (which he must be in order to be God), then He musn't exist. I feel that God (if He exists) is certainly omnipotent but not to himself. What I mean is that He may be omnipotent in our sense (above time, physics, space, reality, logic), but is not able to tell his own future, or create his own existance, and that type of thing. It is just a theory, but maybe His time and His existance and His space are different from ours, and He exists in them and they are a part of Him. He cannot control them, because He is not above His own existance (or maybe they don't exist as a part of Him, but maybe just along with Him). Another thing that I want to say is that God can see our future as well as change it. That is the difference between foretolded freewill and fate. Also, there is a big difference between God's and psychic's predictions.
If this paper was entitled "Proof that maybe God doesn't exist," then I would agree with it, but basically, the paper proves nothing at all. It only proposes possibilities of a situation where God doesn't exist. It only serves to perpetuate my own agnostic beliefs. God cannot be disproven, and that is why I am agnostic, for the sake of truth and knowledge.
7/28 - Commenting on
Link #1 ("proof" of a christian god):
"If a person opposes the possibility of there being a God, then any evidence can be rationalized or explained away."
It can also be rationalized or explained away that all people who don't believe in God are lost or ignorant. It is true that some are, but let's be fair to both sides here.
"1. Throughout history, in all cultures of the world, people have been convinced there is a God"
I have thought a lot about this before, but we cannot rely heavily upon the general concensus. There are two reasons for this. One is that sometimes "common sense" is false. Look at the "fact" that the earth is flat. Many people at one time believed this. The second thing we need to look at is why people need God (there are many reasons that I haven't even gotten to on that link). Basically, humans have many ignorances and hate uncertainty. God is perfect to fill that void, whether He exists or not, and so many people will turn to a God.
"2. The complexity of our universe, our solar system and our planet Earth all point to a knowing, deliberate Designer who not only created our universe, but sustains it today. 3. The improbability of mere "chance" being the explanation for life's characteristics."
It is true that the complexity of our environment and bodies is very extraordinary, and the odds of us being here by a chance is about one in a trillion. But, that is a slight possibility. One theory that I have is infinite time theory. Basically, with infinite time there are infinite possibilities. Therefore, everything that can happen eventually will happen, and will happen an infinite number of times. In that sense, our existance would be rare but scientific. Also, if there was no beginning, there would be no Creator.
"4. Humankind's inherent sense of right and wrong cannot be biologically explained."
One of my personal theories is that morals are a result of evolution. It seems very possible that morals are complex instincts that originate in survival of the species. I will try to go more into evolutionary morals soon.
"5. God has not only revealed Himself in what can be observed in the universe, in nature, in human life, but He has even more specifically shown Himself in the Bible."
This is the one area that I feel the least knowledgeable in. I have read most of the Bible, but being that I am not a historian, nor a Hebrew translator, I cannot know precisely how valid it is. It seems to me that if there were some solid proof that the Bible is historically accurate, then it would be world known and unquestionable. Not that I am basing anything on the general concensus, but most people are Christians and you would think that most people would know that the Bible is historically accurate. But there are a lot of questions and a lot of compelling opposing theories. But, even if it has a lot of historic truth, that does not prove that God existed. It is very compelling, but not fact. One example of what I mean by this is the existance of Christ. If Jesus were to have lived, and tons of people believed that he was the Savior, does that mean he truly was? Or could it have been that he was a very persuasive person? It also says in the Bible that there were magicians who could perform miraculous feats. Maybe Christ was a extremely powerful magician. (This also covers #6. Exactly how valid is the Bible?) Who knows? I think the validity of the Bible could possibly be a new topic of conversation. However valid it is though, it is obviously very intelligent and beautiful.
As always, opposing theories do not disprove. They only propose a possibility of a different truth. I am only saying that God may not exist. That is my statement as well as my belief.
7/9 - Ok, I have been a little unfair lately in leaning towards the idea that God doesn't exist. I have basically told myself (wrongly) that I have already experienced in my lifetime any "proof" that God exists, and that I have not accepted those "facts" as a base of my understanding. But, it is possible that there are a lot of compelling words of wisdom out there that I haven't yet entertained. I have said before that we can't know either way if God exists or not, and I'm trying to be as fair to the topic as possible, so I decided to do some investigated. As usual, I typed the topic name into Yahoo and came up with a few sites. (They have been moved to the top of the page.)
6/27 - I think religion has a lot of bad things about it such as holy wars, but that it mostly has positive effects. Most of my questions are all relevant to whether or not there is a God. Basically, I feel that there is no way to know either way. A lot of "proof" that Christians propose can be explained scientificly, yet there are a lot of things that can't be explained through science. But, ignorance will never prove nor disprove anything. If I could prove that God existed, I think it would be the best thing this world has ever seen. If I proved that God didn't exist, I would throw away my research and never talk about it again because I think that fact would speed up our extinction. But then again, I think that if could prove either, then so could and would someone else. But I don't believe that we can know either way, and the best we can do is make some kind of truth for ourselves. We have to be grounded in reality and science but we also have to be open-minded. Here is my basic philosophy on life: I have a lot of questions, but I'm content not finding the answers.
6/11 - Most of my theories basically divide into two seperate categories, ones that support the existance of God, and the ones that down the idea. Sometimes I tend to think there is no God, but then that idea scares me because I used to be a Christian and I wonder if maybe God does exist and the devil has lead me astray.