Why Believe in a God when It is Impossible to Prove?

Discuss philosophical questions regarding theism (and atheism), and discuss religion as it relates to philosophy. This includes any philosophical discussions that happen to be about god, gods, or a 'higher power' or the belief of them. This also generally includes philosophical topics about organized or ritualistic mysticism or about organized, common or ritualistic beliefs in the existence of supernatural phenomenon.

Why Believe in a God when It is Impossible to Prove?

Post Number:#1  Postby Spectrum » October 29th, 2017, 9:39 pm

Wiki wrote:In monotheistic thought, God is conceived of as the Supreme Being and the principal object of faith.[3]
The concept of God, as described by theologians, commonly includes the attributes of omniscience (all-knowing), omnipotence (unlimited power), omnipresence (present everywhere), divine simplicity, and as having an eternal and necessary existence.
Many theologians also describe God as being omnibenevolent (perfectly good) and all loving.

nb:.. for more details, read the wiki article or elsewhere..

To date there is no convincing proof for the existence of a God.
I have demonstrated here 'God is an Impossibility.'

Despite the above, why do theists continue to believe in a God even to the extent of killing non-theists when they perceive threats against theism?

I believe why the majority of humans believe in a God is due to a very forceful existential psychological impulse that is compelling [subliminally] them to believe in a God or some powerful forces with or without agency.

Views?
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Why Believe in a God when It is Impossible to Prove?



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Re: Why Believe in a God when It is Impossible to Prove?

Post Number:#2  Postby Albert Tatlock » October 31st, 2017, 1:36 am

That sounds very similar to the forceful psychological impulse that is compelling me to believe I can still do all the stuff I could do 20 years ago.
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Re: Why Believe in a God when It is Impossible to Prove?

Post Number:#3  Postby Greta » October 31st, 2017, 1:42 am

In order to live we must cooperate as a group with specialised roles, and that involves having faith - faith that others are doing their job. Religious faith is an extension on that.

Thing is, do you choose not to believe in God? Is that a choice, or do you simply not believe in it, just as you don't believe in ghosts, Zeus or the Loch Ness Monster? The point I am making is that belief is a state of mind rather than a choice, although many theists no doubt try to believe (hence the old cliché of the tortured priest having a crisis of faith). Consider your statement: "I believe why the majority of humans believe in a God is due to a very forceful existential psychological impulse". Why do you believe that? Is it because it seems so or do you have hard evidence? See the problem?

Do you choose to believe in a near-spherical Earth rather than a flat one, or do you simply believe it due to being satisfied with the evidence? I recall my big peak experience and how, had I not been of skeptical mind, I would have surely believed it to be some kind of communion or communication with God. For all I know it may have been, but it could have also been my crazy brain having a lucky helpful episode of brain chemistry.

Who knows? I'm of a sceptical bent because deep knowledge of total reality seems such a long way off for us relative Flatlanders, locked to the surface of a planet orbiting just one of billions of main sequence stars in the galaxy etc etc etc! However, I can understand how a more credulous person would have pretty well unshakeable faith that such a peak experience was the touch of God - to them it would feel like concrete evidence.

Another analogy: There are a number of species known from just a single specimen. Imagine this scenario: you are a lay biologist and found such a prize specimen but then were surprised by a wildfire, resulting in the specimen's complete loss. You tell your supervisors and peers about it but they don't believe you. Do you stop believing that you saw the specimen because here is no evidence?
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Re: Why Believe in a God when It is Impossible to Prove?

Post Number:#4  Postby Ulrich » October 31st, 2017, 9:13 am

Spectrum wrote:
Wiki wrote:In monotheistic thought, God is conceived of as the Supreme Being and the principal object of faith.[3]
The concept of God, as described by theologians, commonly includes the attributes of omniscience (all-knowing), omnipotence (unlimited power), omnipresence (present everywhere), divine simplicity, and as having an eternal and necessary existence.
Many theologians also describe God as being omnibenevolent (perfectly good) and all loving.

nb:.. for more details, read the wiki article or elsewhere..

To date there is no convincing proof for the existence of a God.
I have demonstrated 'God is an Impossibility.'

Despite the above, why do theists continue to believe in a God even to the extent of killing non-theists when they perceive threats against theism?

I believe why the majority of humans believe in a God is due to a very forceful existential psychological impulse that is compelling [subliminally] them to believe in a God or some powerful forces with or without agency.

Views?


I would argue that a prove of god is not nessecary in order to have a certain religous belief. It is rather an essential characteristic of belief not to have certain knowledge. A proof in whatever form would undermine the nature of belief. Thus, the lack of a sufficient proof cannot question religion or faith in a trancendet being.

As to the motivation for killing: I think you pose a loaded question, since you presuppose that the religion is the driving force of killing others. I am convinced, that you have to take alot more subjective factors into account, when you ask, why a person wanted to kill another. Religion may be the most visible reason, but that does not mean that it is the only or main reason.

Regarding your purported impulse: I would agree to certain extent. This idea is anything but new. Ludwig Feuerbach comes to my mind.
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Re: Why Believe in a God when It is Impossible to Prove?

Post Number:#5  Postby Eduk » October 31st, 2017, 1:42 pm

There are countless reasons to believe in your religions god. Any one person's belief is likely an amalgamation of a large number of the countless reasons with different weights applied to each.
Here is an interesting article which raises some good points

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... god-belief
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Re: Why Believe in a God when It is Impossible to Prove?

Post Number:#6  Postby Dark Matter » October 31st, 2017, 5:21 pm

There are two forces at work. The first is custom. “Custom, and especially custom in a child comes to have the force of nature. As a result, what the mind is steeped in from childhood it clings to very firmly, as something known naturally and self-evidently.” This is true whether it is atheistic or theistic.

The second is that the desire of man naturally tends towards answering the question of what must be in order for what is to be as it is. Because we are not able to see what Ultimate Reality is, we arrive at the knowledge of it not by way of itself, but by its effects. This is true whether the subject of our attention is Ultimate Reality, or the effects of some unknown substance, like dark matter or dark energy.

And by the way, you have only proved that your conception of God is an impossibility, and with that, I fully agree.
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Re: Why Believe in a God when It is Impossible to Prove?

Post Number:#7  Postby Spectrum » November 1st, 2017, 1:59 am

Albert Tatlock wrote:That sounds very similar to the forceful psychological impulse that is compelling me to believe I can still do all the stuff I could do 20 years ago.

Perhaps, but the point is you can easily prove what you cannot do 20 years ago, e.g. running 100 meters at the same time as 20 years ago.
OTOH, you cannot prove God exists, i.e. because it is impossible, yet one will insist God exists. Why? it is because of that subliminal forceful psychological impulse. If you agree to this, then you need to qualify this with your belief in God.
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Re: Why Believe in a God when It is Impossible to Prove?

Post Number:#8  Postby Steve3007 » November 1st, 2017, 2:39 am

Spectrum:

To date there is no convincing proof for the existence of a God.
I have demonstrated here 'God is an Impossibility.'

Despite the above, why do theists continue to believe in a God even to the extent of killing non-theists when they perceive threats against theism?


For the vast majority of theists it would be because they haven't read your argument and don't care about such things because they are irrelevant. Faith in the idea of God, and everything that comes along with that, works for them and no amount of word-play is going to change that. I think, for them, it would be as absurd as you presenting them with the logical proof that they don't love their children and then asking them why they still keep on looking after them.

For the very, very small number who are interested in these kinds of discussions and that did read it, they probably wouldn't be very impressed either because, in the topic to which you link, all you do is assert that perfection is impossible, God is perfect and therefore God is impossible. i.e. you commit the good old "begging the question" fallacy. You didn't make an argument. You just stated your opinion.
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Re: Why Believe in a God when It is Impossible to Prove?

Post Number:#9  Postby Spectrum » November 1st, 2017, 3:48 am

Greta wrote: The point I am making is that belief is a state of mind rather than a choice, although many theists no doubt try to believe (hence the old cliché of the tortured priest having a crisis of faith).

That is my point. A belief in God is reducible to a "state of mind" rather than God existing independent of any state of the human mind and God creating humans. In this case, the idea of God is human-made.

Consider your statement: "I believe why the majority of humans believe in a God is due to a very forceful existential psychological impulse". Why do you believe that? Is it because it seems so or do you have hard evidence? See the problem?

As I had demonstrated in the other thread, God is an Impossibility, i.e. cannot exists as a real entity.

My hypothesis [belief] "I believe why the majority of humans believe in a God is due to a very forceful existential psychological impulse" is based on evidence of human behaviors and theistic doctrines, e.g. human fears leading to psychological angst and the impulse to resolve the issues of the afterlife.

In the case of Christianity and Islam, there is a powerful psychological within their believers that compel them to believe in a God despite the lack of evidence. Doctrine wise, Abraham was even willing to kill his own son, given that, to Abraham God really exists and was commanding him to kill his own son. Some Abrahamic believers believe God to be very real to the extent of being inspired by the supposedly texts from their God to commit all sort of evils and violence, note SOME Muslims. Since God is an impossibility, the inference is their acts is reducible to an internal psychological force.

There are many ways to prove it is actually a powerful psychological force within theists that compel them to believe in a God and following God's command literally.


Do you choose to believe in a near-spherical Earth rather than a flat one, or do you simply believe it due to being satisfied with the evidence? I recall my big peak experience and how, had I not been of skeptical mind, I would have surely believed it to be some kind of communion or communication with God. For all I know it may have been, but it could have also been my crazy brain having a lucky helpful episode of brain chemistry.

As I had demonstrated God is an impossibility.
Whatever experience of peak experience is likely to be psychological as there is so much evidence to prove the case.
Note Jill Bolte's,
https://www.ted.com/talks/jill_bolte_ta ... of_insight
There are so many research to support the link between drugs and so-called experience of God.
In cases of temporal epilepsy and other mental problems, patients often experience God and felt they are God or an agent of God. These patients prefer such experiences would go away by taking the appropriate medicine.
There are lots more of research with evidence to explain peak experiences and experience of God.

There are illusion of the faculty of the senses, e.g. optical illusions like mirage, etc. which can easily be explained empirically.
As Kant expounded, the faculty of reason also has its share of illusions, i.e. transcendental illusions and the idea of God is one of them which even the wisest are deceived and it is difficult to explain away and understood.

Kant wrote:They [idea of an illusory God] are sophistications not of men but of Pure Reason itself. Even the wisest of men cannot free himself from them. After long effort he perhaps succeeds in guarding himself against actual error; but he will never be able to free himself from the Illusion, which unceasingly mocks and torments him.


Who knows? I'm of a sceptical bent because deep knowledge of total reality seems such a long way off for us relative Flatlanders, locked to the surface of a planet orbiting just one of billions of main sequence stars in the galaxy etc etc etc! However, I can understand how a more credulous person would have pretty well unshakeable faith that such a peak experience was the touch of God - to them it would feel like concrete evidence.

As long as one understand it is due to psychology and the probability of God existing is negligible or impossible, there is no issue.
The problem starts when theists believe God is very real to the extent of being inspired by the command of God in a holy text that they go on to impose their beliefs on others or kill non-believe who they perceived as a threat to their psychological security. [this is very evident].

Another analogy: There are a number of species known from just a single specimen. Imagine this scenario: you are a lay biologist and found such a prize specimen but then were surprised by a wildfire, resulting in the specimen's complete loss. You tell your supervisors and peers about it but they don't believe you. Do you stop believing that you saw the specimen because here is no evidence?

The highest degree of truth, i.e. knowledge is based on evidence with intersubjective consensus.
If it is only me who see a specimen, then it is my personal belief with personal objectivity and I will not stop believing. In this case my belief is qualify and conditioned to my observation only. It cannot be shared-knowledge [high degree] due to lack of objectivity from intersubjective consensus based on empirical evidence.
Since I understand my limitation in this case, I will not force my belief on others.

Note in this example, the specimen is presumably empirically possible.
Say someone claimed s/he saw a 10-legged elephant. Legs and elephants are empirically possible elements thus there is empirically possibility albeit very low possibility, perhaps 0.01% but nevertheless it is still an empirical based possibility.

OTOH, God [ontological] by definition is non-empirical and thus there is no possibility of even bringing it as an evidence for verification.

-- Updated Wed Nov 01, 2017 3:20 am to add the following --

Steve3007 wrote:Spectrum:

To date there is no convincing proof for the existence of a God.
I have demonstrated here 'God is an Impossibility.'

Despite the above, why do theists continue to believe in a God even to the extent of killing non-theists when they perceive threats against theism?


For the vast majority of theists it would be because they haven't read your argument and don't care about such things because they are irrelevant. Faith in the idea of God, and everything that comes along with that, works for them and no amount of word-play is going to change that. I think, for them, it would be as absurd as you presenting them with the logical proof that they don't love their children and then asking them why they still keep on looking after them.

I have no issue with any theist believing in whatever God as long they keep it private and personal, and do not impose their beliefs on others or infringe on the basic rights of others.

My argument is more pertinent to corner theists when they insist they want to follow their own God's Law and not based on the secular constitution, e.g. they insist their Shariah Law dominate all secular laws. There are the 'SOME' Muslims who are inspired to kill non-believers merely because they disbelieve the Quran and Allah.
There is so much evils and violence that is going on at present which is based on the belief that a real God exists and believers are obeying what God has handed down in a book through some chosen prophet or agent.

The task is to introduce an argument that is so convincing that it is impossible for a God to exists as real. As such the question of a real God is a non-starter and moot.
Since God is illusory and an impossibility, theists has no grounds to kill non-believers, wear the hijab or burga, follow shariah law, seek world domination or do whatever that is negative to humanity based on what God commanded them to do.
Presumably you are aware Muslims are insisting and imposing their beliefs on non-believers all over the world with the worst of all evils and violence. Christians also has their demands to be different from non-Christians and the secular. All these based on some groundless beliefs.

My objective here is to convince theists their belief in a God is based on psychology and their primal mental states cannot be grounds to impose their beliefs on others and killing non-believers.

Once we understand all the evils and violence is grounded on an illusion and human psychology, then humanity can begin to find effective psychological solutions given the current exponential expansion of knowledge in neuropsychology and other related fields.


For the very, very small number who are interested in these kinds of discussions and that did read it, they probably wouldn't be very impressed either because, in the topic to which you link, all you do is assert that
perfection is impossible,
God is perfect and
therefore God is impossible.
i.e. you commit the good old "begging the question" fallacy. You didn't make an argument. You just stated your opinion.

Nah, you missed out some critical elements, i.e.

    P1. Absolute perfection is an impossibility
    P1. God, imperatively must be absolutely perfect
    Therefore God is an impossibility.

There is no 'begging the question' as I did not assume 'Absolute perfection' is an impossibility' in my P1.
In P1, I explained rationally how 'absolute perfection' as opposed to a relative emprically based perfection is an impossibility.
In P2, I explained how God imperatively must be absolutely perfect.

-- Updated Wed Nov 01, 2017 3:48 am to add the following --

Ulrich wrote:I would argue that a prove of god is not nessecary in order to have a certain religous belief. It is rather an essential characteristic of belief not to have certain knowledge. A proof in whatever form would undermine the nature of belief. Thus, the lack of a sufficient proof cannot question religion or faith in a trancendent being.

It is quite obvious a belief in God is based on faith [belief without evidence, proofs nor justified reasons].
However, due to the very strong psychological force within a believer to believe in a God, there is a percentile of believers who sincerely believe they have evidence [personal experience or whatever] they have proofs God exists as real to the extent of sending a holy text via prophets or agents of God. These believers take such a God's message literally and the consequences of the manifesting of God-related evils and violence. This is so real and the evidence of so glaring, e.g. inquisition, Islam-based terror, evils and violence and the whole load of evils committed on innocent non-believers.

Thus it is necessary to introduce a "checkmate" argument to show that God is an impossibility and thus the question of God is a non-starter and moot. This cut off all possible grounds for theists to impose their beliefs on others and infringe on the rights on non-believers.

As to the motivation for killing: I think you pose a loaded question, since you presuppose that the religion is the driving force of killing others. I am convinced, that you have to take alot more subjective factors into account, when you ask, why a person wanted to kill another. Religion may be the most visible reason, but that does not mean that it is the only or main reason.

There are loads of reason why a person kill another or others. This problem must be addressed in various perspectives and forums. This is a religious & theistic forum, thus the relevance.

As for Islam, I am able to prove the killing of non-Muslims is inspired directly by Allah in the Quran. SOME Muslims kill non-believers because they believe Allah in the Quran commanded them to kill non-believers and they will be recognized as martyrs [if they are kill] and will be accorded special rewards in Paradise.

The point here is, Muslims must be convinced at least by rational arguments that God is an impossibility, explained their beliefs in psychologically based and thus they have been scammed to believe in a God who inspire them to kill non-believers.

Regarding your purported impulse: I would agree to certain extent. This idea is anything but new. Ludwig Feuerbach comes to my mind.

Thanks. I looked up Ludwig Feuerbach [have not heard of him before] and has downloaded 'The Essence of Christianity' where he related and confined religion to human nature. I will read up his take and perspective on this issue.

Yes, it is nothing new as many Eastern religions, e.g. Buddhism, certain Hindu religions and others has directed the central driver of religions and God to human nature. Kant had pointed it is due to crude pure & primal reason (Critique of Pure Reason). There are many others who had diverted the question of God internally within human nature [psychology] rather than the postulation God exists independent of the human conditions and create the Universe humans for His own reasons.

-- Updated Wed Nov 01, 2017 4:09 am to add the following --

Dark Matter wrote:The second is that the desire of man naturally tends towards answering the question of what must be in order for what is to be as it is. Because we are not able to see what Ultimate Reality is, we arrive at the knowledge of it not by way of itself, but by its effects. This is true whether the subject of our attention is Ultimate Reality, or the effects of some unknown substance, like dark matter or dark energy.

I am more interested in what is the main driver or root cause of what is "naturally" tending humans toward the unknown despite the lack of evidence.

Why must there be an "Ultimate Reality" despite the lack of evidence?
Why can't one live ordinarily and optimally without reifying an "Ultimate Reality" based on nothing and an inference of empirical impossibility.

Know Thyself! it would be more realistic to acknowledge humans has an inherent existential psychological dilemma that generate angst leading one to believe in a God that is illusory.
With such knowledge of one's own psychological issue, the effective solution is thus to acknowledge the psychological problem and resolve it psychologically. This is what the Buddhists and many Eastern spirituality are doing.

When one push one's own psychological problem externally to a crutch, i.e. God [btw is illusory], then one is susceptible to corruption from that God [who deliver a holy book via His agents] and others who will exploit whatever weakness from theists. This is what is happening in reality with all theistic religions especially the Abrahamic religions ending with the consequences of all sorts of evils and violence by SOME evil prone believers.

I understand there are a range in the types of theists and theism, pantheism, deism, panentheism and the likes. You may not be personally involved with evil-laden theistic beliefs and ideology, but as a human being you cannot simply ignore the evils from theism and its subsets.

And by the way, you have only proved that your conception of God is an impossibility, and with that, I fully agree.

Point is my conception of a God encompasses all interpretations of God.
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Re: Why Believe in a God when It is Impossible to Prove?

Post Number:#10  Postby Greta » November 1st, 2017, 6:19 am

Spectrum wrote:
Greta wrote: The point I am making is that belief is a state of mind rather than a choice, although many theists no doubt try to believe (hence the old cliché of the tortured priest having a crisis of faith).

That is my point. A belief in God is reducible to a "state of mind" rather than God existing independent of any state of the human mind and God creating humans. In this case, the idea of God is human-made.

I think sophisticated theists might say that, yes, it is a state of mind, and that state of mind comes from the connection to God, or The Source. Or something like that.

Spectrum wrote:
Consider your statement: "I believe why the majority of humans believe in a God is due to a very forceful existential psychological impulse". Why do you believe that? Is it because it seems so or do you have hard evidence? See the problem?

As I had demonstrated in the other thread, God is an Impossibility, i.e. cannot exists as a real entity.

Your belief is based on wildly incomplete information. How can we know? Humans have barely been civilised (if at all) for a century or so. A toddler is not yet privy to the information it will have as an adult.

Was our universe the first? No one knows. We seem to assume it was the first. We would probably also assume that nothing could survive the heathd eath of a universe. Yet, what problem would intelligent spacefaring life not be able to anticipate and survive? For all we know, there could be beings that evolved to the godlike stage of living off and in space itself, and who survived the death of prior universes, existing informationally within our universe (a la "God is within").

I'm not saying it is so. I'm just saying that any beliefs, pro or con the non-childish conceptions, are simply beliefs. You either believe something, or you believe the opposite or, if you are like me, you simply doubt because you don't know the ultimate nature of reality.

Still, if you just wish to disprove the Santa-like anthropomorphised God of simple-minded believers, be my guest.
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Re: Why Believe in a God when It is Impossible to Prove?

Post Number:#11  Postby Eduk » November 1st, 2017, 6:40 am

Still, if you just wish to disprove the Santa-like anthropomorphised God of simple-minded believers, be my guest.

There are many billions of 'simple-minded' believers who would whole heartedly disagree with you.

I think this is getting a bit off topic. Let us just imagine Spectrum's proof is right. Of course that isn't a given by any means, this is just a thought experiment.

So given Spectrum is correct. Then for me the actual question in this thread is why do people believe things which aren't true. Be that god or homeopathy or whatever.

Then Spectrum surmised 'a very forceful existential psychological impulse ' was the majority single reason. Which is quite open to interpretation as to what that actually means.

To me it is the last sentence which is of interest.
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Re: Why Believe in a God when It is Impossible to Prove?

Post Number:#12  Postby Dark Matter » November 1st, 2017, 1:04 pm

Spectrum wrote:
Dark Matter wrote:The second is that the desire of man naturally tends towards answering the question of what must be in order for what is to be as it is. Because we are not able to see what Ultimate Reality is, we arrive at the knowledge of it not by way of itself, but by its effects. This is true whether the subject of our attention is Ultimate Reality, or the effects of some unknown substance, like dark matter or dark energy.


I am more interested in what is the main driver or root cause of what is "naturally" tending humans toward the unknown despite the lack of evidence.


Hmmm. I wonder how far human beings would have progressed if they were only interested in the already-known.

Why must there be an "Ultimate Reality" despite the lack of evidence?
Why can't one live ordinarily and optimally without reifying an "Ultimate Reality" based on nothing and an inference of empirical impossibility.


Why is there something rather than nothing? What must be in order for what is to be as it is?



If we can't know what it is, why not ask ourselves what it is not?

Know Thyself! it would be more realistic to acknowledge humans has an inherent existential psychological dilemma that generate angst leading one to believe in a God that is illusory.
With such knowledge of one's own psychological issue, the effective solution is thus to acknowledge the psychological problem and resolve it psychologically. This is what the Buddhists and many Eastern spirituality are doing.


How can you know yourself when you're a rudderless ship adrift on an infinite sea? Even Eastern spirituality, with which you are so enamored, is grounded in an Ultimate Reality.

When one push one's own psychological problem externally to a crutch, i.e. God [btw is illusory], then one is susceptible to corruption from that God [who deliver a holy book via His agents] and others who will exploit whatever weakness from theists. This is what is happening in reality with all theistic religions especially the Abrahamic religions ending with the consequences of all sorts of evils and violence by SOME evil prone believers.

I understand there are a range in the types of theists and theism, pantheism, deism, panentheism and the likes. You may not be personally involved with evil-laden theistic beliefs and ideology, but as a human being you cannot simply ignore the evils from theism and its subsets.

And by the way, you have only proved that your conception of God is an impossibility, and with that, I fully agree.

Point is my conception of a God encompasses all interpretations of God.


If you want to keep deluding yourself, knock yourself out. Someone living in a make-believe world (or infected by a zombie parasite) has neither reason nor desire to escape.

-- Updated November 1st, 2017, 5:19 pm to add the following --

When I engage the critics of religion who take pride in the rigor of their rationalism, I often tell them that, though they are willing to ask and answer all sorts of questions about reality, they become radically uncurious, irrational even, just when the most interesting question of all is posed: why is there something rather than nothing? Why should the universe exist at all?
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Re: Why Believe in a God when It is Impossible to Prove?

Post Number:#13  Postby Greta » November 1st, 2017, 5:53 pm

Eduk wrote:
Still, if you just wish to disprove the Santa-like anthropomorphised God of simple-minded believers, be my guest.

There are many billions of 'simple-minded' believers who would whole heartedly disagree with you.

I think this is getting a bit off topic. Let us just imagine Spectrum's proof is right. Of course that isn't a given by any means, this is just a thought experiment.

So given Spectrum is correct. Then for me the actual question in this thread is why do people believe things which aren't true. Be that god or homeopathy or whatever.

Then Spectrum surmised 'a very forceful existential psychological impulse ' was the majority single reason. Which is quite open to interpretation as to what that actually means.

To me it is the last sentence which is of interest.

This is not off topic at all. The question is plausibility, and Spectrum's proofs are trivial because the model of God that he is disproving is a variant of the "Santa God". He burnt that straw deity a long time ago but still keeps striking matches. The power of repetition?

Perfection does not exist. It is an intellectual and emotional ideal for which there has never been the slightest skerrick of evidence. That simple people believe in a perfect anthropomorphised deity would disagree with me doesn't matter since people believe all kinds of nonsense and most would believe in ghosts and deny evolution. Thirty years ago they probably believed that Mum and Dad were perfect too.

People believe these things because they have a capacity that other animals don't have - the ability to mentally time travel, recalling past events that are relatively unconnected with the present and projecting possible futures. This is where the idea of perfection comes in - imagining what may be possible. Really, the idea of God is an extreme extrapolation of the same mental abilities that allowed people of the past to imagine today as being akin to a futuristic Jetsons society of flying cars.

Why was the idea envisaged? The survival instinct - "a very forceful existential psychological impulse". Young men would take on the responsibility of a father in their teens, sometimes before puberty. They must be the rock on which their wives and children can lean. But who would be their "father", their rock to lean on in hard times? Santa God is an existential safety net.
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Re: Why Believe in a God when It is Impossible to Prove?

Post Number:#14  Postby Albert Tatlock » November 1st, 2017, 6:00 pm

Spectrum wrote: yet one will insist God exists. Why? it is because of that subliminal forceful psychological impulse. If you agree to this, then you need to qualify this with your belief in God.

I don't have a forceful psychological impulse to believe in God, either subliminal or bliminal, so I don't need to qualify it with anything.
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Re: Why Believe in a God when It is Impossible to Prove?

Post Number:#15  Postby Dark Matter » November 1st, 2017, 6:22 pm

Greta wrote:The question is plausibility, and Spectrum's proofs are trivial because the model of God that he is disproving is a variant of the "Santa God". He burnt that straw deity a long time ago but still keeps striking matches. The power of repetition?

We see this everywhere and in many different forms, but it's simply not relevant. God is not one thing or individual -- however supreme -- among many, but is rather, in Aquinas's pithy Latin phrase, esse ipsum subsistens, the sheer act of being itself. In that context, how can "proof" be thought of as a rational demand? Unless one first presupposes that the word "God" means exactly what it does not, it's absurd.
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