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Logical explanation: why a god must exist

 
 
Kielicious
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Nov, 2009 05:56 pm
@Shlomo,
Shlomo;102680 wrote:

I enjoy my connection with God without being able to prove His existence.


Please go on...

What exactly is this 'connection' you speak of?
TickTockMan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Nov, 2009 07:00 pm
@Shlomo,
Shlomo;102680 wrote:

The wonderful thing is that one can eat the cake even without proving its existence and enjoy it not less then any of the greatest philosophers. Wisdom is practical thing.

How do you know you are eating cake if you have not proved its existence, at least to yourself?
If it turned out you were eating something nasty, would you still enjoy eating it, once your
mistake was revealed to you?

Shlomo;102680 wrote:
I cannot prove the existence of the computer I am typing on now,


I don't think you really believe this. I am a long distance from you, and I am certain that
your computer exists, though I do not understand how your computer works anymore than
how my computer (which also exists) works.

Shlomo;102680 wrote:
I do not fully understand how it works,


If you do not fully understand how your own body and mind work, do you say you cannot prove
their existence either?

Shlomo;102680 wrote:
I enjoy my connection with God without being able to prove His existence. I don't know how He works, but I have not a slightest doubt that with His help I can grow into perfection and eventually reach the eternal life.

Isn't it wise to go for it?


Is it not possible that I could deny the existence of God and live wisely in the
here and now, and work on making myself better each day without having
as a goal the eternal life?
Michel
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Nov, 2009 09:15 pm
@Johnny Fresh,
Johnny Fresh;99378 wrote:
If you believe in logic than you believe in God:


You mean to say that if you believe in logic, then you should believe in God. For even if God is necessary for there to be any logic at all, and people believe in logic, it does not mean that people believe in God. Remember that people are not logic machines; and thus people can have contradictory or inconsistent beliefs.

Quote:
You agree that nothing cannot create something, right?


Of course! But that's no rule of logic. That's only a metaphysical truth.



Quote:
now you'll agree that time is a finite thing (ex. if i say, count to a infinity, will you ever reach infinity? No.)


Again, this is only metaphysical impossibility even on the arguments that expound it to be true.

Quote:
Thus meaning that something immaterial (without matter) and omnipresent (without time) Must have created everything.


I know what cosmological argument you're appealing to but you skipped a few steps. Smile



Quote:
God does not need to be created because he has been around forever,


No, you mean to say God is eternal. You don't mean that he's been around for ever because that's not the same as being eternal nor does it answer how he was not created.
0 Replies
 
Aedes
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Nov, 2009 09:40 pm
@prothero,
prothero;102506 wrote:
I think the benefits of the notion that "the universe has purpose" and that life has transcendent value, meaning and significance outweigh the benefits of doubt and atheism.
Do you really believe that this comparison is really the same for all people? The "benefits of doubt and atheism" to some are freedom and intellectual authenticity. Not that this is impossible with a theistic view, but your freedom is by definition constrained in the "purposeful universe" view -- because you're ascribing a transcending quality to it.
prothero
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Nov, 2009 11:19 pm
@Aedes,
Aedes;102709 wrote:
Do you really believe that this comparison is really the same for all people? The "benefits of doubt and atheism" to some are freedom and intellectual authenticity. Not that this is impossible with a theistic view, but your freedom is by definition constrained in the "purposeful universe" view -- because you're ascribing a transcending quality to it.

"I think" does not imply that "all think" or that "you should think".

Yes I do think that the universe has transcendent purpose and value.
I am not alone in this. In fact all forms of religion are basically affirmations of the notion of transcendent value and purpose. Religion in some form is a fairly constant feature of human culture, society and history and a response to the existential questions posed by self awareness in the universe.

I think doubt and atheism are perfectly rational, I just do not think they are very inspiring. I doubt that such systems of thought about values and purposes will ever appeal to more than a minority. Humans will always create transcendent values and purposes to worship. The desire to touch the divine is immanent within the human psyche. Coerced belief is not meaningful belief; no one can take away your intellectual freedom and authenticity unless you let them.
Shlomo
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Nov, 2009 03:19 pm
@Kielicious,
Kielicious;102683 wrote:
What exactly is this 'connection' you speak of?

That is a challenging question, because God is spirit, while human structured languages fit mostly for describing material deterministic world. Spiritual reality cannot be described by words unless the same spirit that inspired the writer helps the reader to comprehend the message.

Material reality is a deterministic realm of cause-and-effect. Spiritual reality is a realm of will and deliberate action. Our existence in this world is combination of both. Our spirit can receive messages from outer world but it is dependent on material intermediary: light for seeing, air for hearing etc. For example, we can express our mood by facial expression (a physical carrier) but normally we cannot afford spirit-to-spirit communication without any physical carrier.

However, this direct spirit-to-spirit communication exists. You can probably recall certain people who's mere presence made you feel good or bad. There are charismatic people who's influence cannot be explained by rational reasons only. In everyday life we are probably most close to such direct communication when we look directly in each other's eyes.

Real knowledge of God begins with direct spiritual contact, when you unequivocally experience His presence. After such an encounter there remain no doubts and a new life begins. The experience is so sharp that you literally feel belonging to another world.

But communication with God is not only spirit-to-spirit. After you realize that God governs the world and is in full control of slightest details of your life, you start "reading" His messages in all that happens around. Life becomes full of meaningful events and not "coincidences", "accidents", good/bad luck etc. If you are not lazy, you will find God's wisdom, logic, humor, love, anger, irony virtually in everything. You will also see actual responses to your appeals.
prothero
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Nov, 2009 04:26 pm
@Johnny Fresh,
[QUOTE=Shlomo;102865]That is a challenging question, because God is spirit, while human structured languages fit mostly for describing material deterministic world. Spiritual reality cannot be described by words unless the same spirit that inspired the writer helps the reader to comprehend the message.......[/QUOTE]
The notion that "reality" has both a spiritual and a material aspect is perhaps the most fundamental of theistic notions. ( Mind/body, spiritual/material, physical/psychical) In the earliest theisms, they were many gods which various areas of power and responsibility. Since the axial age monotheism has predominated but God was perceived as primarily a transcendent power.

In the age of modern science many claim there is no need for god. The dominant view of the divine is moving towards immanence. This is the notion of a God that dwells within the world and who acts through nature and natural law. The self organizing principles of nature tending to complexity, order, life, mind, experience and value are seen as divine self actualization. The world is seen as an emanation of spirit a manifestation of the divine. Theism in one form or another still dominates human thinking.

The most intellectual forms of theism are not in conflict with science, reason or experience. Most people simply do not view the universe and the ability to discern the secrets of the universe with reason to be the result of blind, accidental or ultimately purposeless forces (Dawkins and others not withstanding). Most people do not think values and ethics are mere social consensus or personal opinion. Our views of the spiritual nature of the universe evolve and change even as our views of the material nature of the universe do. Orthodox religion in its medieval scholastic form is out of synch with modern world views but this is a temporary state of affairs and religion will evolve to meet it.

I can only provide a logical explanation for why "a conception of god" will exist. One can not prove or disprove the "actual existence" of god by reason, logic or science. It is and will always remain a matter of "faith". Our views of the universe and our place in it change and our religious views of the nature of the divine and divine action in the world change with it. Hopefully metaphysical and spiritual "truth" is more closely approximated by those changes.
0 Replies
 
Kielicious
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Nov, 2009 09:37 pm
@Shlomo,
Shlomo;102865 wrote:
Material reality is a deterministic realm of cause-and-effect. Spiritual reality is a realm of will and deliberate action. *Citation Needed* Our existence in this world is combination of both. *Citation Needed* Our spirit can receive messages from outer world but it is dependent on material intermediary: light for seeing, air for hearing etc. For example, we can express our mood by facial expression (a physical carrier) but normally we cannot afford spirit-to-spirit communication without any physical carrier. *Citation Needed*

However, this direct spirit-to-spirit communication exists. *Citation Needed* You can probably recall certain people who's mere presence made you feel good or bad. There are charismatic people who's influence cannot be explained by rational reasons only. *Citation Needed* In everyday life we are probably most close to such direct communication when we look directly in each other's eyes.

Real knowledge of God begins with direct spiritual contact, when you unequivocally experience His presence. *Citation Needed* After such an encounter there remain no doubts and a new life begins. *Citation Needed* The experience is so sharp that you literally feel belonging to another world. *Citation Needed*

But communication with God is not only spirit-to-spirit. After you realize that God governs the world and is in full control of slightest details of your life, you start "reading" His messages in all that happens around. *Citation Needed* Life becomes full of meaningful events and not "coincidences", "accidents", good/bad luck etc. If you are not lazy, you will find God's wisdom, logic, humor, love, anger, irony virtually in everything. You will also see actual responses to your appeals.



You didnt really answer my question. I understand you tried with various religious preaching, but I want a more solid answer -not any of these vague and ambiguous metaphorical examples. You claim to have a 'connection' with god and I want to know: How do you know that?
0 Replies
 
Aedes
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Nov, 2009 09:57 pm
@prothero,
prothero;102717 wrote:
I think doubt and atheism are perfectly rational, I just do not think they are very inspiring.
It may indeed be a minority view, but that's because they're challenging. On the other hand, there are those (like me) who are atheists but don't really "doubt". What I mean by this is "the God question" isn't even something I ask. I talk about it here for gits and shiggles, but it never crosses my mind, not any more so than "the price of tea in China" question.

So I'm not left with a lack of inspiration. I'm left with myself, the ability to assign meaning rather than assume meaning. It's invigorating because it's the embodiment of freedom.

And I touch the divine every time I touch or see or hear my son (little Yoda in my avatar). It's the same visceral feeling, it's sublimity. He's the creator of the world. My world at least.
Zetherin
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Nov, 2009 09:59 pm
@Aedes,
Aedes;102942 wrote:
It may indeed be a minority view, but that's because they're challenging. On the other hand, there are those (like me) who are atheists but don't really "doubt". What I mean by this is "the God question" isn't even something I ask. I talk about it here for gits and shiggles, but it never crosses my mind, not any more so than "the price of tea in China" question.

So I'm not left with a lack of inspiration. I'm left with myself, the ability to assign meaning rather than assume meaning. It's invigorating because it's the embodiment of freedom.

And I touch the divine every time I touch or see or hear my son (little Yoda in my avatar). It's the same visceral feeling, it's sublimity. He's the creator of the world. My world at least.


Well, Yoda was perhaps the coolest jedi master of all time. So, you've made a good choice.
0 Replies
 
Shlomo
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Nov, 2009 05:00 am
@TickTockMan,
TickTockMan;102689 wrote:
How do you know you are eating cake if you have not proved its existence, at least to yourself? If it turned out you were eating something nasty, would you still enjoy eating it, once your mistake was revealed to you?

The proof is in eating Smile. And before eating, I just trust my senses telling me that It is a good cake.

TickTockMan;102689 wrote:
I don't think you really believe this. I am a long distance from you, and I am certain that your computer exists, though I do not understand how your computer works anymore than how my computer (which also exists) works.

Well, you also have trust in your perception. But some subjectivist could still claim that both computers exist only in your perception. I do not share this position, BTW. But when I say "I cannot prove" I mean I cannot prove it absolutely to anyone. There will always show up some tough guy who will deny it. Any proof implies a measure of trust. You cannot prove anything to a person who trusts nothing, including his own perception.

TickTockMan;102689 wrote:
If you do not fully understand how your own body and mind work, do you say you cannot prove their existence either?
Same as above. But my point is that I can live and enjoy life even without proving that I exist.

TickTockMan;102689 wrote:
Is it not possible that I could deny the existence of God and live wisely in the here and now, and work on making myself better each day without having as a goal the eternal life?

Well, you could deny existence of computers and based on this denial resist ever practically approach a computer (prove me first!). Now, would you still be able to practice philosophical discussions making yourself better in it each day? Of course yes. But the fear of unknown would have prevented you from using a powerful tool.
0 Replies
 
Zetherin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Nov, 2009 08:35 am
@Johnny Fresh,
Shlomo wrote:
Well, you could deny existence of computers and based on this denial resist ever practically approach a computer (prove me first!). Now, would you still be able to practice philosophical discussions making yourself better in it each day? Of course yes. But the fear of unknown would have prevented you from using a powerful tool.

But other powerful tools exist, many of which having nothing to do with "God" or eternal life. You can still live wisely and never even contemplate "God".

But, more exactingly, I'd like to know what "God" is a powerful tool for. In regards to communicating and engaging in philosophical discourse, we can surely make the case that computers and the internet are powerful tools - they assist us in conversing with others! But what does the acknowledgement of "God" allow, help, or improve upon?

Quote:

The proof is in eating Smile. And before eating, I just trust my senses telling me that It is a good cake.


I admire this. My aforementioned statements are not me telling you to not believe in God or any of that nonsense. I think one should trust their senses. I think one should trust their good reason; and if your good reason tells you to believe in God, I advocate this completely. Why you believe others should follow, is my real question.
Shlomo
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Nov, 2009 02:28 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;102987 wrote:
But what does the acknowledgement of "God" allow, help, or improve upon?

It introduces into the world the notion of Absolute. Without God everything is relative. Everyone has his own little truth. You are right even before you open your mouth. Computers turn into powerful tool for wasting time.

Zetherin;102987 wrote:
I think one should trust their senses. I think one should trust their good reason; and if your good reason tells you to believe in God, I advocate this completely. Why you believe others should follow, is my real question.

I don't think faith can be compulsory. Others should not follow, others are invited to follow. My initial thought (which actually spawned this debate) did not refer to anybody's duty to follow anything. It was just assertion that accepting God is rather matter of wisdom than knowledge, wisdom being defined as ability to take most beneficial actions, as opposed to knowledge as information warehousing. According to this position, it is not more logically correct to believe in God, but it is more smart to do so in terms of practical strategy.
Zetherin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Nov, 2009 02:38 pm
@Johnny Fresh,
Shlomo wrote:
It introduces into the world the notion of Absolute. Without God everything is relative. Everyone has his own little truth. You are right even before you open your mouth. Computers turn into powerful tool for wasting time.

I'm not sure why you think this.

God absent from the equation, one can still perceive things to be right or wrong, one can have deep-seeded moral values, and one need not interpret everything as relative. In other words, someone can still have that 'base' you're indirectly speaking of, without God. One can have will, direction, and motivation towards a specific goal or group of goals. One can still accomplish, praise, and live life, without the notion of God. With the disbelief in God, it does not follow that one is a relativist, nor does it follow that one is without direction, or a bad person.

And, communication, in any form, in my opinion, is never a waste of time.

Quote:

According to this position, it is not more logically correct to believe in God, but it is more smart to do so in terms of practical strategy.


And just what, exactly, is the practical value of believing in God? Is it just to "introduce the absolute"? Can you explain this in any other fashion?

Have you considered that believing in God may be smart for some, and may not be for others?
0 Replies
 
Pangloss
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Nov, 2009 02:39 pm
@Shlomo,
Shlomo;103019 wrote:
It introduces into the world the notion of Absolute. Without God everything is relative. Everyone has his own little truth. You are right even before you open your mouth. Computers turn into powerful tool for wasting time.


This is a decent point, but only if you can also convince me that the 'notion of Absolute' is preferable to the notion of everything being relative.
Zetherin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Nov, 2009 02:41 pm
@Pangloss,
Pangloss;103021 wrote:
This is a decent point, but only if you can also convince me that the 'notion of Absolute' is preferable to the notion of everything being relative.


But why do you assume that if one does not believe in God, it follows that they are a relativist?
Pangloss
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Nov, 2009 02:44 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;103022 wrote:
But why do you assume that if one does not believe in God, it follows that they are a relativist?


I do not assume this; Plato was not at all a relativist, and I don't think he believed in God, yet he did have his 'forms'.

Call this 'Absolute' what you like, but if it can be shown to be preferable to relativism, then I think it's a good argument that it can be introduced in the name of God...that doesn't mean I'll agree with it, but it's a better argument for God than most.
Zetherin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Nov, 2009 02:48 pm
@Pangloss,
Pangloss;103024 wrote:
I do not assume this; Plato was not at all a relativist, and I don't think he believed in God, yet he did have his 'forms'.

Call this 'Absolute' what you like, but if it can be shown to be preferable to relativism, then I think it's a good argument that it can be introduced in the name of God...that doesn't mean I'll agree with it, but it's a better argument for God than most.


Oh, I'm sorry, I thought that's what you were implying.

Even if absolutism is preferable to relativism, how is this a good argument for God? How would the rejection of relativism support the argument for God in any way?
Pangloss
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Nov, 2009 02:58 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;103025 wrote:
Even if absolutism is preferable to relativism, how is this a good argument for God?


It's not a good argument for God's existence at all, but if it helps people to adopt the preferable absolutist viewpoint, it could be a good argument for society's "acknowledgment" of the God concept, as you had asked about earlier. Do you get what I'm saying?
prothero
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Nov, 2009 03:23 pm
@Johnny Fresh,
I am not really sure how one avoids relativism or nihilism except by a claim to transcendent aesthetic and ethical values. I think the assertion that Plato did not believe in god is incorrect. Plato refers to the One the monad and the demiurge both of which have transcendent divine properties. Nietzsche did a nice job explaining the implications of the death of god for traditional morality.
0 Replies
 
 

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