Does God Exist?

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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Fanman
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Re: Does God Exist?

Post by Fanman » November 5th, 2017, 7:41 pm

DM:

Science gives us the is not the ought, so you're entitled to have beliefs. The secular world view offers nothing in terms of spirituality, because it doesn't hold that man has a spirit. It rejects the notion of a soul and anything mystical or supernatural is simply filed under superstition. Religious thinking is viewed as archaic and anachronistic. Rightly or wrongly, the spiritual aspect of humanity is generally rejected in favour of empiricism. I think that whilst empiricism provides us with knowledge; spirituality and even religious ideals can inform us (although anecdotally) about the human condition.

I appreciate the brilliance of science and we should recognise that its primary objective is the longevity and advancement of mankind. Through science we've made huge progressive leaps, but have also caused great destruction, but I don't think that science is to blame for that – in order to attribute blame we have to look squarely at the human condition. We can I think apply that same thinking to religion. On the whole, science is not the enemy.

On a personal basis, I would rather understand the many facets and complexities of the human condition, than be filled with knowledge that I can't apply in everyday life. I'm not a scientist, so whilst science is good for me to be aware of, the knowledge doesn't bring me any practical value – whereas knowledge about the human condition does. Religion tells us a lot about the human condition and can be a valuable resource if taken on an eclectic basis or with a pinch of salt. I've made many mistakes in life, and due to those mistakes have had to dig myself out of a few graves. Empirical or scientific knowledge wasn't useful to me in those situations, but the virtues of the human spirit were, such as fortitude, courage, having a strong constitution and personal insight - religion can facilitate the development of those characteristics, but at the cost of belief. We live in a world that doesn't really nurture the development of the human spirit, human achievement is generally measured in terms of material success. How can the human spirit grow if we only look outward for satisfaction? Religion ideally should cause us to look inward, to align the mind with the conscience, but again due to the human condition religion is exploited.

The times may change, but the human condition remains the same, so I don't think its right to completely dismiss something because it was written or experienced hundreds or even thousands of years ago. That is acceptable for science as one more accurate theory replaces another, but where people are concerned our senses are the same as those who had epic religious/spiritual experiences. Their perceptions may or may not have been "true", but I wouldn't go on record as claiming that every single religious or spiritual encounter reported is not real, a hallucination or a result of mental illness as without proof to the contrary it just sounds too arrogant a claim to make. Their senses were the same as ours and their experiences could have some veracity. Hence my agnosticism.
Once a theist, now agnostic.

Dark Matter
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Re: Does God Exist?

Post by Dark Matter » November 5th, 2017, 8:42 pm

Great post Fanman. I see nothing with which I disagree.

-- Updated November 5th, 2017, 8:51 pm to add the following --
Greta wrote: A biased comment.
Not really. It's just putting flesh on the bare bones.

Spectrum
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Re: Does God Exist?

Post by Spectrum » November 5th, 2017, 11:12 pm

Greta wrote:Science only provides a baseline of reality - that which we are pretty sure. Anyone who believes that there is no more depth or strangeness to reality than today's current models is necessarily greatly underestimating reality.
I agree with the above.

When faced with Hume's Problem of Induction, Popper agreed scientific theories are at best polished conjectures but nevertheless very useful.

An analogy between Science [other verifiable knowledge] and theism;
Science gives us what is known of reality.
Scientific knowledge is like a solid rock cliff of 10,000 feet facing a very wide canyon into the great unknown.
To understand what is in the great unknown, one can extend a platform outward from the top of the cliff but such a structure can only go as far as the cliff can support it. The limit of speculative knowledge is what can be hypothesize from the edge of that 'platform'. This is what is empirically possible.

OTOH with theism, when theists reach the edge of platform above 10,000 feet, they are driven by a 'zombie parasite' to take a leap [of faith] away from the platform in the belief God is on the other side.

Image

Bertrand Russell used the example of;
1. The known, re Science and the likes
2. No man's land between Science and theism
3. Science merely explore the edges of this No man's land with half a foot on the known
3. Theists to the leap to certainty of God on the other side of the no-man's land.

My thesis why theists take the leap of faith is solely due to psychological reasons as driven by an existential crisis and "zombie parasites" that blinded their rationality.
Not-a-theist. Religion is a critical necessity for humanity now, but not the FUTURE.

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Re: Does God Exist?

Post by Dark Matter » November 6th, 2017, 12:50 am

Greta:

Are you sure what I said is "biased"?

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Re: Does God Exist?

Post by Greta » November 6th, 2017, 3:10 am

Dark Matter wrote:Greta:

Are you sure what I said is "biased"?
Sure it was. That was just you letting off steam IMO. You well know that atheists are all alike in the same way as theists are all alike, ie. not. Most atheists I come across seem interested in deeper aspects of life rather than moving atoms, but they choose not to explore life via traditional conduits, which they find too patchy and prone to cherrypicking, and probably turned off the whole idea by noisy, intolerant fundamentalists.

Theists have the same problem as any political movement - an aggressive, unreasonable fringe that reflects poorly on the rest.

I too thought Fanman's post was spot on. Our lives are too short to wait for science to work out the meaning of life so we need other angles. Many take on humanism and environmentalism in lieu of theism. Many prefer materialism and/or hedonism and skip the examined life, as do more superficial theists, not naming *cough Hillsong cough* names :) Then there's the Buddhist approach and the Tao.

New age what-the-bleepism. Jedis! Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons, Catholics and Muslims.

Atheists, agnostics, deists, pantheists, panentheists, pagans and polytheists.

Absurdists, anarchists, communists, Confucians and cynics.

Determinists, empiricists, idealists, feminists, masculists, conservatives, fascists, liberals, Nazis, progressives and Marxists.

Nihilists, antinatalists, Platonists, modernists, pragmatists, believers and skeptics, sophists and stoics.

Utilitarianism, pragmatism, rationalism, positivism and postmodernism.

All schools of thought are basically dealing with two related questions:

1. What's going on?

2. How should we conduct ourselves?

The God question of the thread mostly impacts on #1, since the existence of God does not presuppose that the writers of ancient texts were correct in their understanding of said deity. Personally I find #1 far more interesting, if impractical, than the constant human tussling over rules of engagement. These days I increasingly prefer to leave all that "noise of life" to the young :)

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Re: Does God Exist?

Post by Dark Matter » November 6th, 2017, 12:09 pm

Ah, come on, Greta. You know I'm just following the logic. Just look at Spectrum's post.

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Atreyu
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Re: Does God Exist?

Post by Atreyu » November 6th, 2017, 5:20 pm

Greta wrote:There is no doubt that at least some of what is today referred to as pseudoscience and woo will turn out to be true. However, there is no way of knowing which, amongst the plethora of unsubstantiated claims, is true. If I was to put my money on "unproven woo that will be proved true" it would be on the linking of QM and consciousness.
My bet, or rather, hope, would be realizing that new matter and mass are being generated in the cores of all large cosmic bodies, i.e. that conservation of mass only applies to local conditions, i.e. that the whole Universe is getting bigger and bigger, and not merely expanding into oblivion.

But perhaps I'm just being idealistic....

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Re: Does God Exist?

Post by Spectrum » November 11th, 2017, 10:58 pm

Greta wrote:Our lives are too short to wait for science to work out the meaning of life so we need other angles. Many take on humanism and environmentalism in lieu of theism. Many prefer materialism and/or hedonism and skip the examined life, as do more superficial theists, not naming *cough Hillsong cough* names :) Then there's the Buddhist approach and the Tao.

New age what-the-bleepism. Jedis! Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons, Catholics and Muslims.

Atheists, agnostics, deists, pantheists, panentheists, pagans and polytheists.

Absurdists, anarchists, communists, Confucians and cynics.

Determinists, empiricists, idealists, feminists, masculists, conservatives, fascists, liberals, Nazis, progressives and Marxists.

Nihilists, antinatalists, Platonists, modernists, pragmatists, believers and skeptics, sophists and stoics.

Utilitarianism, pragmatism, rationalism, positivism and postmodernism.

All schools of thought are basically dealing with two related questions:

1. What's going on?

2. How should we conduct ourselves?

The God question of the thread mostly impacts on #1, since the existence of God does not presuppose that the writers of ancient texts were correct in their understanding of said deity. Personally I find #1 far more interesting, if impractical, than the constant human tussling over rules of engagement. These days I increasingly prefer to leave all that "noise of life" to the young :)
I agree with the above.

To the question of 'What's going on?' we need to get to its ultimate and proximate roots.
I had stated elsewhere, as inferred from evidence of what is going on in Nature, the purpose of life [not teleological but empirical] is to survive at all costs to support the preservation of the species.

But fortunately or unfortunately the normal human being is endowed with self-consciousness culminating to the awareness of inevitable mortality.
This generated a cognitive dissonance, i.e. the existential crisis and the rising angst therefrom.

The most immediate and effective solution to soothe this crisis and its angst is a belief in a power that is able to resolve the existential crisis. Such beliefs started with animism, then theism, i.e. polytheism and the Natural progress to monotheism culminating to an absolutely perfect God -the ontological God.

The problem with theism is the mechanics and processes are deeply rooted in the primal existential impulses that is deeper and below the base needs of Maslow Hierarchy of Needs [see below]

Image

To fit in theism to the above chart, we will have draw another level below to root it in i.e. survival-existential_crisis.

It is because theism is rooted is such primal impulses that it has the potential to trigger the worst kind of evils and violence when evil prone believers are seduced by evil laden verses in the holy books, e.g. Islam -much, Christianity - some. Note genocides by SOME Muslims based on verses in the Quran and other evils within the religious community.
(Just in case: there are secular evils and they must be addressed as well but not in this forum)

Thus the proposition 'God exists' is not that there is a real God [I have proven God is an impossibility on a empirical-rational basis] but because the idea of God emerged to deal with a very basic psychological existential crisis.

The other ideologies [politics is close] are not rooted as deeply within the primal existential impulses as theism.

Many of the Eastern ideologies [Buddhism, and the likes] had recognized the same existential problem and they had relied on non-theistic approaches because they understood [with their own arguments] the idea of God is an impossibility.
Not-a-theist. Religion is a critical necessity for humanity now, but not the FUTURE.

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Re: Does God Exist?

Post by Atreyu » November 13th, 2017, 7:08 pm

It is not impossible for the Universe to be a sentient being.

Therefore, it is not impossible for "God" to exist...

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Re: Does God Exist?

Post by Spectrum » November 13th, 2017, 11:17 pm

Atreyu wrote:It is not impossible for the Universe to be a sentient being.
Therefore, it is not impossible for "God" to exist...
It is not impossible for sentient beings [individual human-like aliens] to exists outside Earth some billion of light years away. Based on current knowledge, this of very low probability. For any empirical claim, it is a matter of producing verifiable evidences to prove one's claim.

To claim the Whole Universe is a sentient Being is a wild stretch.
I have shown in the other thread why your 'the Universe is a sentient being, thus is God' is not tenable at all.
Not-a-theist. Religion is a critical necessity for humanity now, but not the FUTURE.

Dark Matter
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Re: Does God Exist?

Post by Dark Matter » November 14th, 2017, 12:05 am

Then why do some physicists disagree with you, Spectrum?

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Re: Does God Exist?

Post by Spectrum » November 14th, 2017, 12:45 am

Dark Matter wrote:Then why do some physicists disagree with you, Spectrum?
There are many scientists and physicists who are theists.
Science is never about 100%-certainty thus leaves a lot of room for speculations.

As I had stated the impulse towards theism is very psychological to the extent that is similar to a zombie parasite.
For those scientists whose psychological theistic impulses are very strong they will take a leap of faith from cannot-be-100%-certain scientific theories to the certainty of God as a finitude.
These theistic inclined scientists will take the leap of faith because they are psychologically compelled else they will be very psychologically uncomfortable with the angst arising from the cognitive dissonance.

However these scientists and Physicists are not aware their seemingly innocent psychological based actions are contributing as a part of a whole ideology of theism which is a also a nursery for terrible evils and violence committed by evil prone believers who are inspired by evil laden verses in some holy books within the theistic community.

Many of the jihadists like Osama bin laden and others are highly educated and are from very decent backgrounds of doctors, engineers, etc. but their theistic based psychological impulses [the zombie parasite] are so strong such that these impulses overwhelmed them and when exposed to the evil elements in their theistic doctrines, they are compelled to commit terrible evils [which is very evident].
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Re: Does God Exist?

Post by Dark Matter » November 14th, 2017, 1:02 am

Your Bizarro World is laughable.

-- Updated November 14th, 2017, 1:50 am to add the following --

Perhaps the better question is 'Do we exist?'

Quantum Mechanics Is Putting Human Identity on Trial

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Re: Does God Exist?

Post by Spectrum » November 14th, 2017, 2:22 am

Dark Matter wrote:Your Bizarro World is laughable.
You are merely insulting your own intelligence with such one-liner.
Pause, take a breather, reflect and come out with rational arguments.

Perhaps the better question is 'Do we exist?'

Quantum Mechanics Is Putting Human Identity on Trial
I had often paraphrased Popper, i.e. Scientific theories are merely polished conjectures.
Scientific theories are useful but limited to merely a human-made scientific framework based on empirical evidences, assumptions, limitation and human consensus.

Therefore whatever is related to Science is deemed to be churned out of a limited Scientific Framework, e.g. the above QM based speculation.
Such empirically based speculation will not help you with a non-empirical based speculated God which is impossible to be real in the first place.

The idea of a God is a non-starter to be considered as real.
The only reason why the idea of God emerged onto human consciousness and cognition is due to psychological impulses to deal with an inherent existential crisis.
As such the question of God should be deal with psychologically.
Not-a-theist. Religion is a critical necessity for humanity now, but not the FUTURE.

Dark Matter
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Re: Does God Exist?

Post by Dark Matter » November 14th, 2017, 3:32 am

The only reason why the idea of God emerged onto human consciousness and cognition is due to psychological impulses to deal with an inherent existential crisis.
Sounds to me you're the one with "psychological impulses to deal with an inherent existential crisis." You suffer from an underlying insecurity and/or doubt so you convince yourself you prove things you do not, claim to have rational argument when they wouldn't get you a passing grade in first year philosophy class, claim to be open to what other people say but don't want to know what they mean by "God" or "perfection," and rely on pseudo psychology to make yourself feel superior. (I could make a longer list for the occurrences in your Bizarro World, but what would be the point?)

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