What evidence do athiests need to believe in God? | INFJ Forum

What evidence do athiests need to believe in God?

Discussion in 'Philosophy and Religion' started by slant, Aug 24, 2010.

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  1. slant

    slant Sedated slanty

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    I always hear from atheists, as an argument to religion/faith and spirituality, that there is no "evidence" that a God does or does not exist. Typically, atheists will focus on the 'does exist' part, where I notice agnostics will try to be more levelheaded as in 'we don't know, it's unproven both ways'.

    But hypothetically, saying it was possible to develop some sort of prove or evidence, what sort of evidence do atheists want? This has never been clear to me.

    I know that one person cannot represent an entire grouping of people, so if those whom identify themselves as atheists could come forth with a hypothesis upon why people of their name tagging think this, as well as their own personal point of view, I believe it would be much helpful to my understanding of atheism and their interactions with religion/faith and spirituality.
     
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  2. Flavus Aquila

    Flavus Aquila Finding My Place in the Sun
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    Two fundamental propositions about God, which are fundamental to most atheists rejection of the existence of God.
    1. God is pure spirit (that is, without any materiality whatsoever). Since God cannot be experienced (nor can his existence be experienced) by any of the senses; nor can he be detected by any physical instrument - it is impossible to have experiential/physical evidence.

    2. God does not contradict himself (that would be an imperfection). So no miracle which is perceptible to the senses/instruments will ever be contradictory of physical laws/natures. However, some miracles are beyond the power/causality of nature. But to admit this it would be necessary to doubt the dogmatic belief that science can eventually explain every observable phenomena in terms of physical causality.

    As long as anyone holds the two beliefs: that only sensible/observable things are real; and that every observeable thing can be explained in terms of physical causality - it is impossible for them to concede of any thing/cause besides natural/physical ones.

    Moreover, to say that there is no scientific evidence for the existence of God is simply to affirm that God is not a physical being, while rejecting the possibility of any non-physical existence.

    Admitting that there is causality regarding physical existence.
    The only way an atheist could possibly come to admit that there is a God is possibly by admitting that the existence of physical things is caused. This is significant, because it is verifiable scientifically that no physical cause can bring about THAT some physical thing exist, but only HOW physical things exist. Admitting that there is a cause of observable existence is agreeable with at least one title Catholics give God: the uncaused cause [of existence].



    I submit this post as the kind of atheism I might have held when I was still doing my Science degree. I didn't hold it, because no atheist ever gave me a convincing answer as to why things exist at all, which negated the existence of God.
     
    #2 Flavus Aquila, Aug 24, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2010
  3. Razare

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    I have a hunch, that for the most staunch atheists there is no amount of proof which would be sufficient. Ultimately, any proof presented to us in this reality, has to be a physical occurrence, explainable by the laws of the multiverse which we do not yet know. To most people the word God implies magic, which means to possess the ability to defy the physical laws that govern all of existence.

    I avoid this debate entirely in my beliefs by saying that God is unified with the laws of existence and has no need to violate them. Could he? Perhaps, but then the laws would change, and things operate on different rules and so then, it still would not be a violation of any physical law.

    I believe the power of God can intercede upon our limited dimensional view of things, and from our perspective it very-much looks as magic, but one day, physicists may crack how it works.

    Just because God may be explainable, doesn't mean he isn't God. That said, I think if God is explainable, it's not something any of us will ever comprehend. Explainable perhaps, but also probably only understandable by him.
     
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  4. Stu

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    I like the idea that, in the event that divinity exists, agnostic's believe that humans do not have the capacity to perceive God
     
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    #4 Stu, Aug 24, 2010
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  5. Poetic Justice

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    Atheist don't need to prove that god doesn't exist. Religious folk need to prove that he does.

    The idea of god can be dismissed until proof is provided. The rules and beliefs of religions are so specific that proof is required for them to be taken seriously.

    If I said to you that on the moon there are 27 pots of tea sat on top of blue and green chequered flags, you don't need to prove that there isn't to dismiss my idea. I need to prove that there is. The lack of proof is proof enough that it isn't true as it brings into question how I arrived at this belief if I just say I have faith that they are there

    The lack of proof of religions specific rules and beliefs is proof enough that it is false.

    It all comes from a book written by a man. Thats it. I don't need to prove its untrue any more than I need to prove that Harry Potter is untrue.

    Being unable to explain why things exist IS NOT proof of the specific rules and beliefs of ANY religion.

    It simply suggests that there MAY be some sort of designer of the universe. It in no way says anything regarding teh validity christianity, islam or whatever and it is nonsense to suggest otherwise.

    p.s. I am agnostic and would be perfectly happy to find out that god really does exist so there is no bias in my beliefs
     
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  6. NeverAmI

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    agnostic's believe that humans do not have the capacity to perceive whether there is a God
     
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  7. NeverAmI

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    Read Richard Dawkins if you want dogmatic Atheism.
     
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  8. Poetic Justice

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    No it just means that we don't know. Proof doesn't exist for or against the idea so how can anyone have strong beliefs either way
     
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  9. NeverAmI

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  10. Flavus Aquila

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    [MENTION=472]Poetic Justice[/MENTION]; what is the cause (in terms of causation) of the existence of the universe? The answer can be as scientific of philosophical as you please. Whatever your answer is - that is what most theists call God.

    The claim of the existence of God in these terms basically comes down to two choices: either the universe is uncaused and it is impossible for it to ever have not existed (which is the position of the pantheists); or the universe does not exist by necessity and its very existence is due to some causality (which is the position of theists). I suppose a third option is possible - that the universe doesn't really exist, but is a figment of your own imagination and unbeknown to you, you are God - which seems absurd.
     
  11. NeverAmI

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    This is from Bertrand Russell.

     
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  12. Stu

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    I could not spell "whether" 18 months ago. The word "agnostic" means literally, "without knowledge". It is silly to make a statement like "agnostics believe" regardless of what Jane Russel wrote.
     
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    #12 Stu, Aug 24, 2010
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  13. NeverAmI

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    You said it first! lol
     
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  14. Flavus Aquila

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    That quote nevertheless does not deny the fact that there must be an uncaused being. Be it a being distinct from the universe, God; the universe itself, pantheism; or one's own consciousness - self divinisation/cartesianism.
     
    #14 Flavus Aquila, Aug 24, 2010
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  15. TinyBubbles

    TinyBubbles anarchist

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    if all the dead suddenly, simultaneously came back to life, that would be enough for me. that just couldn't be faked. (although, maybe in the future we'd have the tech to do something like that, which would push whatever we'd accept as proof of god's existence even further beyond the bounds of the imagination. and in that future's future, we might have the ability to create entire universes from scratch, or something even more unbelievable, which would make pondering god's existence that much more futile. if you could do everything you ever wanted yourself, what need would you have for god? what reason would you have to contemplate his existence? i think the desire to know whether god exists or not comes out of an awareness and inability to control our fate, particularly what happens after death.)
     
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  16. NeverAmI

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    Of course it doesn't deny that. It states there is no way to prove which is the true and universal causal source, if there is any.
     
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  17. Poetic Justice

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    I don't know. Whatever it is, it doesn't mean ANY of the beliefs held by religious folk have any validity whatsoever. Call it god, call it a banana. It makes no difference. It bears no relevance to christianity or any other man made religion.

    Any or none of these things could be true. I don't know, neither do you, neither does the pope, neither does Stephen Hawking, neither does Richard Dawkins.

    It is ridiculous to have a belief about how the universe came about or what happens when you die. We simply don't know.

    Not knowing is proof of nothing. You can't claim this to be proof of god or proof of an uncaused being. Thats just silly.

    i think it seems likely that time itself is an invention and therefore cause and effect are irrelevant. Again I'd like to point out that this does not mean god must exist.

    It means we don't know
     
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    #17 Poetic Justice, Aug 24, 2010
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  18. Flavus Aquila

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    No way to prove such a universal causal source using physical instruments/senses. Even if there were no such thing as physical existence having being caused - it would be impossible for science to prove it.

    That said, one of two positions is advocated: either we simply remain silent about the nature of existence (existence itself, that is); or we state a belief - that the universe is caused; that the universe is uncaused; or that there is no universe, but only my imagination of it.

    Given our curiosity about existence - as a species - it is foolish for Russell to lable it a moot topic. For all pretention to the contrary - anyone - everyone - who holds any opinion regarding existence can only hold it as a matter of belief/faith: God causes existence; things exist uncaused; or I cause things through my own imagination.
     
  19. NeverAmI

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    Then it stays just a belief, knowledge requires truth, which is lacking.
     
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  20. NeverAmI

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    As Poetic Justice said, Atheists have a belief, Christians have a belief, neither are grounded in universal truth, as both have stated. There is no proof that God does or doesn't exist, only belief.

    I think knowledge would be needed on either side to change beliefs , which requires truth.
     
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