Why doesn't god prove himself?

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.
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Thinking critical
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Re: Why doesn't god prove himself?

Post by Thinking critical » April 21st, 2018, 9:46 am

Number 6 wrote:
March 17th, 2018, 6:51 pm
Perhaps God (in the Judeo-Christian sense) does exist, but he is beyond our understanding, i.e., God as an infinite, perfect being is beyond the grasp of our imperfect, finite minds.
A special plea for ineffability blunts the rest of the argument?
The idea that God cannot reveal himself because he is inherently limited in some way is not plausible if we hold that a supreme being can do anything. That is to say, it is not in God's nature to reveal himself and God cannot act contrary to his nature. Or he just doesn't care. Hi.
Unless of course we are talking about an ontological god. It is perhaps more feasible to accept that concepts such infinitely perfect, supreme being, omnipotent e.c.t can only exist ontologically. Any attempt to move these concepts into the physical world are merely representations of the ontological thing we are discussing.

If one were to suggest that it was not the nature of god to prove itself then one would also have to ask, if gods don't reveal themselves then why should anyone believe anything that anyone has to say about one?
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Re: Why doesn't god prove himself?

Post by Karpel Tunnel » April 21st, 2018, 11:28 am

Thinking critical wrote:
April 21st, 2018, 9:46 am
If one were to suggest that it was not the nature of god to prove itself then one would also have to ask, if gods don't reveal themselves then why should anyone believe anything that anyone has to say about one?
Couldn't it be like any situation where an expert helps you with something? Some guy teaches me lucid dreaming. I can't see his lucid dreams, but other people say they lucid dream after taking his course. So I could and I have some prelucid dreams, where I doubt the dream. Encouraged I continue, and later succeed. If the experiences lead to my believing something or having the contact I seek or whatever, why not?

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Re: Why doesn't god prove himse

Post by Thinking critical » April 24th, 2018, 10:38 am

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
April 21st, 2018, 11:28 am
Thinking critical wrote:
April 21st, 2018, 9:46 am
If one were to suggest that it was not the nature of god to prove itself then one would also have to ask, if gods don't reveal themselves then why should anyone believe anything that anyone has to say about one?
Couldn't it be like any situation where an expert helps you with something? Some guy teaches me lucid dreaming. I can't see his lucid dreams, but other people say they lucid dream after taking his course. So I could and I have some prelucid dreams, where I doubt the dream. Encouraged I continue, and later succeed. If the experiences lead to my believing something or having the contact I seek or whatever, why not?
Experiences can be deceiving, magicians and mentalist play on this fact for a living.
There are no experts on god, there are theologians and priests e.c.t who are experts in religion memorise texts and scriptures, then there are those who are good at arguing and influencing others.
How can someone claim to be an expert in something that's description can't even be agreed on nor does it even exist in the physical reality in which we are equipped to deal with.
Any metaphysical claim is purely subjective, until then prove subjective biases don't exist or show me scientific evidence......If someone can do that I'll call them an expert. :D
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Re: Why doesn't god prove himse

Post by Karpel Tunnel » April 25th, 2018, 6:59 am

Thinking critical wrote:
April 24th, 2018, 10:38 am

Experiences can be deceiving magicians and mentalist play on this fact for a living.
There are no experts on god, there are theologians and priests e.c.t who are experts in religion memorise texts and scriptures, then there are those who are good at arguing and influencing others.
How can someone claim to be an expert in something that's description can't even be agreed on nor does it even exist in the physical reality in which we are equipped to deal with.
Any metaphysical claim is purely subjective, until then prove subjective biases don't exist or show me scientific evidence......If someone can do that I'll call them an expert. :D
I guess I expected you to interact with the lucid dream example.

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Re: Why doesn't god prove himse

Post by Thinking critical » April 26th, 2018, 8:41 am

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
April 25th, 2018, 6:59 am
I guess I expected you to interact with the lucid dream example.
Fair call, i'm just struggling to see the similarities?
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Re: Why doesn't god prove himse

Post by Karpel Tunnel » April 26th, 2018, 11:09 am

Thinking critical wrote:
April 26th, 2018, 8:41 am
Karpel Tunnel wrote:
April 25th, 2018, 6:59 am
I guess I expected you to interact with the lucid dream example.
Fair call, i'm just struggling to see the similarities?
Well, prior to a certain date, we had an experience that could not be measured or sensed by someone else. Now lucid dreams have been somewhat confirmed by the sleeper in REM sleep signaling outside observers, but before this, we only had people's testimony about experienced that could not be confirmed by science. Hence an expert in lucid dreaming was coaching people with no way of displaying that he or she had in fact dreamed lucidly, not could the experiences of, let's say satisfied students, be confirmed either. Nevertheless lucid dreaming teachers could teach students to have experiences.

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Re: Why doesn't god prove himself?

Post by Eduk » April 26th, 2018, 3:47 pm

I'm not sure on the numbers but don't most people lucid dream?

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Re: Why doesn't god prove himself?

Post by Karpel Tunnel » April 26th, 2018, 4:54 pm

Eduk wrote:
April 26th, 2018, 3:47 pm
I'm not sure on the numbers but don't most people lucid dream?
Nope. It's pretty rare and the phenomenon met skepticism when it first came out in modern Western culture. It was only accepted as real after testing via signals from sleeping subjects was thought of and enacted.

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Re: Why doesn't god prove himself?

Post by Karpel Tunnel » April 26th, 2018, 5:02 pm

We could go with meditation teaching. Masters in various traditions suggested that certain practices would lead to certain experiences. Before all modern brain monitoring machines were common, this was just considered a bunch of religious BS like many other things. So we had teachers suggesting certain practices and attitudes and giving various interpretations for what these were. Now I am sure our skeptics here will want to focus on ones that have not been confirmed by science, but some of the claims have been confirmed around health, reduction in stress, focus, peace of mind and so on. Here we had teachers claiming to have had experiences and results that were not tested or could not be tested. They were in fact able to teach people to do things that led to them also experiencing things, much of which could also not be tested then. Also extreme skepticism and baby and bathwater dismissals also contributed, but the point is that even in situations where it is not possible to measure or verify, from the outside, certain effects, masters were able to teach these things and pass them to others.

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Re: Why doesn't god prove himself?

Post by Karpel Tunnel » April 26th, 2018, 5:25 pm

Oh, yes, regarding lucid dreams. Now a decent percentage report them. This is after decades of people learning about the idea, and some significant minority workign with them. Earlier it was seen as questionable whether people could control their dreams of if this was merely a part of the dream hallucination. What the teachers did was 1) give people the ability to control themselves to where they could have lucid dreams regularly and at will and 2) would not only become aware they were dreaming but could control the dream images and plot, that is their own experiences. So while it is fairly common to simply become aware nowadays that one is dreaming, on occasion, it is quite rare that one can control this, and even rarer still that one can from that point control the dream, let alone with regularity. So we have what were once undetectable phenomena taught by one experienced person to a novice. We do not know the limits of this and the original categorical dismissal of such things does not hold.

I mean, in science, up into the 70s it was considered irrational to speak, professionally, about animals as having intentions, emotions, and other cognitive processes. A la Descartes animals were considered machines or possibly machines. The people who were sure animals has consciousness, experiences, intentions, experienced desires and so on were not irrational. There should be caution and humility when dealing with what science cannot currently measure. It is not as if science and measurement and discovery of phenomena reached their final understanding earlier this year.

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Re: Why doesn't god prove himself?

Post by Eduk » April 26th, 2018, 5:53 pm

Karpel where are you getting your information? I agree lucid dreams were only confirmed relatively recently. But I have lucid dreamt and always assumed it was relatively common. A quick Google suggests roughly 55% of people have lucid dreamt, but I can't find a good source. Do you have a good source that it is rare? Or was controversial.
Also as far as I understand it the best way to lucid dream is to try. No great need for experts or gurus, maybe keep a dream journal. Some of the claims around lucid dreams by gurus are ludicrous, such as astral projection for example.
I mean I think I get your point. Expert A says you can't lucid dream because there is no evidence. Expert B says you can lucid dream and he is a guru who can teach you to dream and maybe makes other claims which turn out to be wrong and probably wants paying. And actual expert C proves it and identifies the mechanism and carefully explains that there is an area of the brain which identifies reality which is, effectively, turned off when you sleep ( or something like that, I'm not a neurologist).
So really the difficulty for us is in identifying expertise.

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Re: Why doesn't god prove himself?

Post by Karpel Tunnel » April 27th, 2018, 10:29 am

Eduk wrote:
April 26th, 2018, 5:53 pm
Karpel where are you getting your information? I agree lucid dreams were only confirmed relatively recently. But I have lucid dreamt and always assumed it was relatively common. A quick Google suggests roughly 55% of people have lucid dreamt, but I can't find a good source. Do you have a good source that it is rare? Or was controversial.
I'm old enough to have been around when the first, really rather alternative books came out on how to learn to do it. I saw that Wiki post and was surprised. Not only had people not heard of it back then, even when I explained it to them - and at the time it was social sciences academics around me - most of them did not experience them, except the occasional just before waking thinking this is odd or maybe a dream. The reason they did the experiments was to verify it was happening.

But once I saw that percentage, I added in the other characteristics: to be able to have them regularly. To be able to control the imagery, to stay in REM sleep while controlling the dream. As far as I know these are still rare and yet can be trained.
Also as far as I understand it the best way to lucid dream is to try. No great need for experts or gurus, maybe keep a dream journal.
Depends what you mean by trying, but there are further methods. Such as through the day asking yourself if you are dreaming and then checking what it is about your experiencing that let's you know you are not dreaming. This checking passes over into sleep. If you add in techniques related to what to do when you wake up from Rem sleep: such as go back through the dream you just had, replay it carefully then actively notice it is a dream, take over the images and action, you will also increase both frequency and control. I don't think I mentioned gurus, but yes, I think more experienced people who know techiniques can help people with less experience.
I mean I think I get your point. Expert A says you can't lucid dream because there is no evidence. Expert B says you can lucid dream and he is a guru who can teach you to dream and maybe makes other claims which turn out to be wrong and probably wants paying. And actual expert C proves it and identifies the mechanism and carefully explains that there is an area of the brain which identifies reality which is, effectively, turned off when you sleep ( or something like that, I'm not a neurologist).
So really the difficulty for us is in identifying expertise.
Sure and that can be tough with things like golf - which no one doubts, even if some of us dislike it. Sure we can see if they are a good golfer but not necessarily if they are a great teacher or one for you. If you get into more human sciences skills it gets trickier.

And yes, that was a fair rendition of my point - taking out the word guru. And yes, the difficulty is determining who is the expert. With someone fairly short term and safe like lucid dreaming, well trial and error finding a teacher works. I do get the problem when dealing with something at the level of a religion. But even if it is hard to tell, this does not mean that there cannot be experts, which was my point. I think in life most of us have decided to let someone mentor, guide, roll model us through something without refusing to do this without empirical research proving that person is the right person to guide us. And most of us have probably made mistakes also in our choice. My point is that we cannot dismiss the category of such a guide, even if the changes are hard or impossible to track via science.

Does this mean priests are right or some religious leaders are right about God? No.

But I saw a categorical dismissal being made that I do not think is sound.

I also think that categorical dismissal is likely one that most people do not follow. They have decided to follow someone without empirical proof as a way of learning. Yes, the thing they learned might have been within the what gets called materialist paradigm.

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Re: Why doesn't god prove himself?

Post by Eduk » April 27th, 2018, 1:50 pm

Karpel your precise example of lucid dreams I do require a little more than anecdotal evidence. But I think your point can be generalised.
I'm glad I gave a fair representation of your point, it's not always an easy thing to do.
I think we agree in principle. We are seeking expertise. We agree that saying you have expertise does not mean that you do. So all that is left is a philosophy of expertise identification.
Of course where we differ is in that philosophy of identification.
To answer your chief, I think, concern regarding thinking critical claims that no one is an expert in God I would say it was a matter of prior plausibility and degree. For example if you say your car is red I both find it common and very unlikely to matter much. Whereas if you claim to know God I find there to be no prior evidence of the possibility of such a claim, nor logic and it would surely rank as the thing to matter the most whilst at the same time having no tangible effect. It's hard to swallow.

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Re: Why doesn't god prove himself?

Post by Thinking critical » April 28th, 2018, 8:13 am

Hi KT, I personally don't have an opinion on the legitimacy of inducing lucid dreaming. I would however, find it much easier to accept the possibility that we maybe able to be coached into having lucid dreams than being able to be coached into experiencing universe designing, personal gods. There's education and then there's indoctrination, faith in gods tend to rely on the latter before the education would even seem rational.

The most common ad hoc fallacy envoked by the theists when asked "why don't gods prove there own existence" is the faith plea....followed by a list of reasons of why having faith in something is so rightcheous. This is nothing more than a strategic move to justify the lack of evidence in an effort to rationalise the belief.
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Re: Why doesn't god prove himself?

Post by Erribert » May 1st, 2018, 2:17 am

As a scientist, I am wondering what such a proof would consist of.

In science a theory is accepted until proven wrong. No theory can be ultimately proven since there will always be time to prove it wrong. So, science`works by trying to disprove theories. That is the scientific method. A hypothesis (or theory) followed by an experiment, followed by data interpretation to see if the hypothesis needs to be modified or even discarded. Newton went through many many experiments with his colleagues to come up with his theories in Newtonian mechanics. Einstein and his colleagues went through, well, NONE. Yet people tend to believe in extraterrestrial fourth dimensions, black holes, etc. So there we have the difference between science and metaphysics. Newton would classify as a scientist, Einstein would not.

Science was supposed to differentiate itself from philosophy through rigorous experimental testing. That is, the scientific method. Much in Cosmology cannot be tested. Therefore, such philosophies have not been transferred to science, and many perhaps can never be. So, often proof, these days, relies on mathemagics. ;-).

So,can god prove himself mathematically? Many modern scientists claim that God must be a mathematician. Just take a look at supersymmetry and one sees the beautiful hand of God. At least so I am told by fellow scientists. God is also a magician. Just take a look at quantum entanglement. God is a creator if one believes in the Big Bang or evolution.

Now, I know what you are thinking. That’s not God! It is... It is... It is just the way thing are! Or, it is a mechanical nature. Really, mechanical? Well, that would make us divine by having escaped the mechanical. How did we do that exactly? Is there some kind of transition process that we bought somewhere? :-)

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