28
   

Logical explanation: why a god must exist

 
 
Zetherin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Nov, 2009 03:23 pm
@Pangloss,
Pangloss;103028 wrote:
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?


Hm, not quite.

I acknowledge that God is a concept, and I think any rational man should. Why do I have to adopt the preferable (for sake of argument) absolutist viewpoint to understand this? I guess I don't understand how prefering the absolutist viewpoint would allow me, or anyone, to better acknowledge God. I guess because absolutism is generally tied directly into the concept of God? Is it possible that one be an absolutist and not a theist? It seems possible to me.

prothero wrote:

I am not really sure how one avoids relativism or nihilism except by a claim to transcendent aesthetic and ethical values.


Huh? Are you aware what pure relativism and nihilism really entail? It's very easy to avoid both, God or not!
Pangloss
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Nov, 2009 04:50 pm
@Zetherin,
prothero;103036 wrote:
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.


There is no reason to believe, from Plato's original (non-christianized) writings, that the "One" is synonymous with "God", or even anything like the standard God concept. Transcendent, yes, but "divine"? I don't think so.

Zetherin;103037 wrote:
Hm, not quite.

I acknowledge that God is a concept, and I think any rational man should. Why do I have to adopt the preferable (for sake of argument) absolutist viewpoint to understand this? I guess I don't understand how prefering the absolutist viewpoint would allow me, or anyone, to better acknowledge God. I guess because absolutism is generally tied directly into the concept of God? Is it possible that one be an absolutist and not a theist? It seems possible to me.


Yes, you can certainly be an absolutist and not a theist. As I said, I think Plato was one well-known example of this. Think of religion and its God concept as a 'noble lie'. Perhaps then it is useful to introduce it because of its alleged absolutist benefits for the masses.
0 Replies
 
Zetherin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Nov, 2009 04:57 pm
@Johnny Fresh,
Pangloss wrote:
Yes, you can certainly be an absolutist and not a theist. As I said, I think Plato was one well-known example of this. Think of religion and its God concept as a 'noble lie'. Perhaps then it is useful to introduce it because of its alleged absolutist benefits for the masses.


Ah, I see where you're going with that. Understood.
0 Replies
 
prothero
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Nov, 2009 08:55 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;103037 wrote:
Huh? Are you aware what pure relativism and nihilism really entail? It's very easy to avoid both, God or not!

It seems to me that if all values and aesthetics are human derived concepts that relativism is entailed. If the universe has no ultimate purpose, aim, value, meaning or significance except that attributed to it by humans then relativism (values and aesthetics are merely personal opinion or cultural norms) is implied. So, enlighten me, I am listening.

---------- Post added 11-11-2009 at 07:07 PM ----------

[QUOTE=Pangloss;103049]There is no reason to believe, from Plato's original (non-Christianized) writings, that the "One" is synonymous with "God", or even anything like the standard God concept. Transcendent, yes, but "divine"? I don't think so..[/QUOTE] I am not really sure what the "standard god concept" is. Likewise I am not really sure what the "standard concept of the divine" is. Plato was a little inconsistent in his writings with respect to the origin of the world but scattered throughout are references to the World-Soul, the Demiurge, the Creator, the One, the Dyad, etc. Christian theologians particularly Augustine from Plato and Aquinas from Aristotle borrow heavily from Greek philosophical notions. One thing I think can be said, Plato was not atheistic in his view of the origins of the world.

I find the concept of the Demiurge as creator of the world trying to make the world as good as possible but working with the preexisting formless void to be more in keeping with the original conception of the divine as portrayed in Genesis. In any event I think it is overstating the case to say Plato did not believe in some form of "god" or the "divine".

Shlomo
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Nov, 2009 01:43 am
@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.

Absolutely good is better than relatively good.

Absolutely bad is also better than relatively bad because it can be dealt with accordingly, without possibility of being presented as 'relatively good', 'controversial' or be otherwise legitimized by means of demagogy.

Absolute is impossible without unique authority of a living, eternal and powerful person.
0 Replies
 
Zetherin
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Nov, 2009 08:19 am
@Johnny Fresh,
prothero wrote:
It seems to me that if all values and aesthetics are human derived concepts that relativism is entailed.

First, we must understand that there are many forms of relativism, some much stronger than others. The strongest forms of relavitism hold that everything is relative, and there is basically no universal truth - this translates to truth-claims of all sorts. "That's true for you but not for me" sort of thing. This is ridiculous, in my opinion. Clearly there are many things we have intersubjectivity concerning, many things in which there is consensus for. To say everything is relative is to ignore so many blatant similarities and concurrences, I would be forced to call the one who said this a fool.

As you may have guessed, there are also many forms of nihilism, too. The strongest, that I know of, basically holds that there's no reason to prefer one action or moral rule over another, as there is no objective purpose or meaning in the world; there's no reason to do anything, no point at all! Doesn't this sound like such a self-defeating attitude, a sort of perpetuating depression? It does to me!

Now, I can, at the same time, acknowledge values, morals, aesthetics as human-derived concepts and still not be a relativist or nihilist, at least in their purest senses. I can still find meaning in life, I can still have firm morals, I can still acknowledge our similarities, and I can still appreciate beauty, all without believing in anything dealing with the absolute or God.

I suppose I could explain, in detail, how I do so. I could give you daily examples from my life, in order for you to better understand. Is that what you would like?
Pangloss
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Nov, 2009 11:01 am
@prothero,
prothero;103073 wrote:
I am not really sure what the "standard god concept" is. Likewise I am not really sure what the "standard concept of the divine" is. Plato was a little inconsistent in his writings with respect to the origin of the world but scattered throughout are references to the World-Soul, the Demiurge, the Creator, the One, the Dyad, etc. Christian theologians particularly Augustine from Plato and Aquinas from Aristotle borrow heavily from Greek philosophical notions. One thing I think can be said, Plato was not atheistic in his view of the origins of the world.

I find the concept of the Demiurge as creator of the world trying to make the world as good as possible but working with the preexisting formless void to be more in keeping with the original conception of the divine as portrayed in Genesis. In any event I think it is overstating the case to say Plato did not believe in some form of "god" or the "divine".


Sure, you might convince yourself of this, if you read the Timaeus literally, and regard the mythology within it as Plato's personal outlook. Even Timaeus throughout the dialogue, refers to the whole thing as a "likely story". It can't be dismissed, but it does have a long history of being used as some form of proof that Plato believed in a supreme God, or that he would have been a Christian, as Augustine said. Even if read literally, the demiurge is not a supreme, Christian-like God, but something like a worldly craftsmen, a transcendent intellect, that had creative power/force and perhaps a mind. You could call this a god if you want, depending on the interpretation, sure. Talk of various gods comes up in many of Plato's dialogues, sometimes from the mouths of others, and sometimes perhaps from Plato's mind, knowing the benefit of entwining the traditional greek mythology with his philosophy, when writing for the public.

But of course the demiurge still had to participate in the One or the Good, which was Plato's highest form, and to equate a literal interpretation of this with the single entity of Abrahamic theology is ridiculous...The dialogue involves a reconciling of greek mythology with Plato's forms, and is a known thematic speech on human nature, which followed a speech given by Socrates, that did not make it through history, and preceded the Critias. As with many of Plato's more lofty dialogues, the metaphorical message has to be kept in mind. Anyway, I won't continue to delve into this discussion, which is off-topic...
prothero
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Nov, 2009 07:06 pm
@Pangloss,
Pangloss;103146 wrote:
Sure, you might convince yourself of this, if you read the Timaeus literally, and regard the mythology within it as Plato's personal outlook,,,. still had to participate in the One or the Good, which was Plato's highest form, and to equate a literal interpretation of this with the single entity of Abrahamic theology is ridiculous...The dialogue involves a reconciling of greek mythology with Plato's forms, ...
I did not say Plato was a Christian, or that Plato was Jewish or believed in the Abrahamic god. I merely said that Plato seemed to believe in a form of god and the divine to which you took exception. Since Plato was at the very least logical and intelligent, it would play into whether belief in god was rational and logical. :listening:
0 Replies
 
Alexandergreat3
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Nov, 2009 05:00 am
@Johnny Fresh,
Johnny Fresh;99378 wrote:
If you believe in logic than you believe in God:

You agree that nothing cannot create something, right?
everything must come from something.


1) From a logic stand point, the reasoning "everything must come from something" is a circular reasoning, which basically has no end.

If everything comes from "something", then where is this "something" came from?

If everything comes from "God", then where is God from?

2) From Law of physics: "Matter can neither be created nor destroyed. They just change from one form to another."

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.)

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


Time is finite?

Could you tell me when is the "last" second of time?
If you cannot tell me the "last" second of time, then time is not finite.

Therefore, your statement doesn't mean anything.

PS: Time is not a "thing". It's a concept. A clock is a thing.

Quote:
As for the then how was god created question

God does not need to be created because he has been around forever, you may say how is this possible. but God is without time. He lives in the past present and future and to him time is a mere physical boundary that us humans live in.


1) If God does not need to be created and has been around forever, then so can everything else? Why must they be created? They can be around forever, too! (Things/matters aren't created, they just change from one form to another.)

2) The first statement "everything must come from something" contradicts the statement "God does not need to be created" .

3) "Time" is not a physical boundary. It's an idea - a concept.

4) Humans live on earth.

---------- Post added 11-23-2009 at 06:21 AM ----------

Shlomo;102680 wrote:
...

I cannot prove the existence of the computer I am typing on now, I do not fully understand how it works, but I know for sure I can participate in philosophy discussions with its help. It takes simple wisdom to become familiar with computer instead of rejecting it.

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?


Yes you can: If you have a digital camera, take a picture of your computer and post it. :shifty: There are other methods to know the existence of your computer, too, such as ip tracking, cookies, etc.

---------- Post added 11-23-2009 at 06:24 AM ----------

Shlomo http://www.philosophyforum.com/images/PHBlue/buttons/viewpost.gif I enjoy my connection with God without being able to prove His existence.

Kielicious
[QUOTE]Please go on...

What exactly is this 'connection' you speak of?[/QUOTE]

Probably a DSL or cablemodemn of some sort...
Shlomo
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Nov, 2009 01:48 pm
@Alexandergreat3,
Alexandergreat3;105349 wrote:

Yes you can: If you have a digital camera, take a picture of your computer and post it. :shifty: There are other methods to know the existence of your computer, too, such as ip tracking, cookies, etc.
...
Probably a DSL or cablemodemn of some sort...


Great point! But note that God is on a different network. Install faith, set up a spiritual connection, go online and get access to the greatest re-source of your life.
Alexandergreat3
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Nov, 2009 11:34 pm
@Shlomo,
Shlomo;105429 wrote:
Great point! But note that God is on a different network. Install faith, set up a spiritual connection, go online and get access to the greatest re-source of your life.


Ahaha, it's a network in Zion, and we're in the Matrix network.

It is a one-way connection from Zion to the Matrix. No one can leave, which is why we are seeing an increase in population :shifty:.

The Biblical "hell" is actually a made up concept to blind us from seeing the actual giant digital firewall that prevents information flow from the Matrix to Zion. Wink

At the end of every program cycles, the Zion source code sent special programs commonly known as "Messiahs" such as Jesus, Mohamed, and so on, into the Matrix for one purpose:

To assimilate themselves into the Matrix, to spread the codes (aka commandments) to prevent the Matrix from destabilizing.

The goal is to keep the slave programs (aka people) in the Matrix and away from the firewall (aka hell) to prevent the malfunction of this security software which would result in a free flow of traffic from Matrix into Zion. Very Happy
Shlomo
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Nov, 2009 10:35 am
@Alexandergreat3,
Alexandergreat3;105531 wrote:
...

I think you are a bit confused about the network architecture. Hell is not firewall, it is the most easily accessible destination (alas) of human beings. The firewall prevents you from realizing that. But I agree that the firewall exists - and it is not wise to deny that something exists beyond it just because you cannot penetrate it.
0 Replies
 
awoelt
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Nov, 2009 12:22 pm
@Johnny Fresh,
we cannot possibly figure out something on this level. This could be an issue we do not have intellect to comprehend. Those that do believe in god may take hope in learning this by knowing that they may learn this in heaven.
0 Replies
 
Shlomo
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Nov, 2009 02:41 pm
@Johnny Fresh,
There is something beyond human understanding - that is exactly God, just to be logical.
Every thing around us, big and small, testifies of a superior reason behind it, which is God, just to be honest.

It is characteristic of people to adjust their level of honesty to their level of logic. Just to be balanced.
0 Replies
 
re turner jr
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Nov, 2009 09:51 pm
@Johnny Fresh,
Johnny Fresh;99378 wrote:
If you believe in logic than you believe in God:


I tend towards Socrates.
If God (the sun) exists then he is the origin of logic (light).
One can use light to see other things while knowing little about the sun. So with God, one can use logic, believe in logic, and be logical (to some degree) and still know little about the logic giver, God.
0 Replies
 
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Dec, 2009 04:20 pm
@Johnny Fresh,
A couple of remarks on the 'God concept'.

In having a discussion about these topics, we will form some understanding of the idea of God and feel that we know what is being referred to.

However I will suggest that whatever the concept is, it is really just a placeholder. It is a placeholder in the conversation which occupies the space that the ostensible notion of God resides in.

Because although it is true that you can have more or less accurate conceptual and verbal depictions of Deity, the 'thing in itself' is beyond the conceptual mind.

This is why 'religious experiences' or 'conversion experiences' are so fundamentally re-orienting. Those who undergo them frequently report that there entire understanding, not only of what 'God' is, but the nature of life itself, are completely re-arranged by a moment of 'experience of the sacred'.

Now I am not trying to browbeat anyone with this idea, nor claiming that I have had such an experience and therefore know something special. The point of saying it is to highlight that there are non-conceptual spiritual experiences, which people do have, and have been reported from across all cultures, peoples and times in history. If you study what these reports say, or have such an experience, it often will put the question in a different light. And a conspicuous and oft-repeated statement in all of these experiences was: "All my ideas about God were wrong".

Still, I know this is a philosophy forum, and it is perfectly sound to discuss these ideas anyway. But it is important to bear that caveat in mind.

As to the question: 'How does one know whether God exists' - an answer from my personal perspective.

First, God is beyond existence. This is not evasive or sophist. But God is not a material phenomonon or thing of any kind. So you can argue whether God exists or not, but 'is God real'? is actually a different question to 'whether God exists'. If God is the underlying reality beyond all existence, then the notion that God merely 'exists' is red herring. It is a different order or level of reality or being altogether.

So you could ask, 'Is God real for you?' And I would say that if one answers in the affirmative, then one has faith in the reality of God. Faith is different to knowledge. I know what time the bus comes in the morning, how to type, how to poach an egg, the chemical composition and many other things. But this 'sense of abiding presence' is of a different order to knowledge of that kind.

Here is an interesting quote from a well-known scientist, Albert Einstein:

Quote:
I'm not an atheist. The problem involved is too vast for our limited minds. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn't know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God. We see the Universe marvelously arranged and obeying certain laws but only dimly understand those laws.'


Albert Einstien: His Life and Universe Walter Isaacson, Unwin Books, 2006, p386.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Dec, 2009 05:09 pm
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;108184 wrote:
A couple of remarks on the 'God concept'.

In having a discussion about these topics, we will form some understanding of the idea of God and feel that we know what is being referred to.

However I will suggest that whatever the concept is, it is really just a placeholder. It is a placeholder in the conversation which occupies the space that the ostensible notion of God resides in.

Because although it is true that you can have more or less accurate conceptual and verbal depictions of Deity, the 'thing in itself' is beyond the conceptual mind.

This is why 'religious experiences' or 'conversion experiences' are so fundamentally re-orienting. Those who undergo them frequently report that there entire understanding, not only of what 'God' is, but the nature of life itself, are completely re-arranged by a moment of 'experience of the sacred'.

Now I am not trying to browbeat anyone with this idea, nor claiming that I have had such an experience and therefore know something special. The point of saying it is to highlight that there are non-conceptual spiritual experiences, which people do have, and have been reported from across all cultures, peoples and times in history. If you study what these reports say, or have such an experience, it often will put the question in a different light. And a conspicuous and oft-repeated statement in all of these experiences was: "All my ideas about God were wrong".

Still, I know this is a philosophy forum, and it is perfectly sound to discuss these ideas anyway. But it is important to bear that caveat in mind.

As to the question: 'How does one know whether God exists' - an answer from my personal perspective.

First, God is beyond existence. This is not evasive or sophist. But God is not a material phenomonon or thing of any kind. So you can argue whether God exists or not, but 'is God real'? is actually a different question to 'whether God exists'. If God is the underlying reality beyond all existence, then the notion that God merely 'exists' is red herring. It is a different order or level of reality or being altogether.

So you could ask, 'Is God real for you?' And I would say that if one answers in the affirmative, then one has faith in the reality of God. Faith is different to knowledge. I know what time the bus comes in the morning, how to type, how to poach an egg, the chemical composition and many other things. But this 'sense of abiding presence' is of a different order to knowledge of that kind.

Here is an interesting quote from a well-known scientist, Albert Einstein:



Albert Einstien: His Life and Universe Walter Isaacson, Unwin Books, 2006, p386.



We should note that Einstein simply asserts that we are in the position of a little child in a large library of book we cannot understand. Maybe. But Einstein give absolutely no reason to think we are in that position. I think that is important. Sometimes an analogy can be so striking that we forget it is only an analogy.
0 Replies
 
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Dec, 2009 05:16 pm
@Johnny Fresh,
I think the statement "I am not an atheist" is, however, fairly unequivocal. I am also 'not an atheist' in a similar way to Einstein, and for similar reasons.
Alexandergreat3
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Dec, 2009 03:46 am
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;108199 wrote:
I think the statement "I am not an atheist" is, however, fairly unequivocal. I am also 'not an atheist' in a similar way to Einstein, and for similar reasons.


An "atheist" is someone who believes there is no god.

Logically, you can only prove that something exists. (prove that the sun exists)

Logically, you cannot prove that something does NOT exist. (cannot prove that a pink flying pig does not exist. Have you looked everywhere in the universe?)

So going back to Einstein, when he said "I'm not an atheist", it just means he knows logic. He never said he is a theist either!

"I believe in Spinoza's God, who reveals Himself in the lawful harmony of the world, not in a God Who concerns Himself with the fate and the doings of mankind." -- Albert Einstein.

What the hell is a "Spinoza's God"? To put it simply, it's the law of nature! Laws in chemistry, physics, biology, etc., are law of nature or the "Spinoza's God" that Einstein was referring to.
0 Replies
 
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Dec, 2009 04:39 am
@Johnny Fresh,
Well ok then. That explains it, glad we have that all sorted.

---------- Post added 12-05-2009 at 10:33 PM ----------

Sorry, that was sarcastic. I try to refrain from sarcasm on the forum (and elsewhere.)

On a more serious note, because this is a serious point - it may indeed be the case that 'Deity' is behind the lawful nature of phenomena. But whether it is or not, it is fair to say that 'why science works' is not actually a scientific question. Why there are natural laws, and why mathematics is so spookily predictive of the nature of realities we have never seen, are not actually questions that are in scope for either science or mathematics.

Scientists and mathematicians often forget this but I am sure it is true.
 

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