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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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Fdesilva
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Re: Why doesn't god prove himself?

Post by Fdesilva » February 9th, 2019, 5:35 pm

Eduk wrote:
February 8th, 2019, 4:30 pm
@Fdesilva I am an atheist and disagree with pretty much everything you just said. I'm sure it would be trivial to find a theist who also disagreed with what you just said.
If you disagree then what is your alternate argument to any or all of the following please?
The universe has a beginning and will end.
It is finite.
Anything finite needs a creator.
Only the infinite does not need a creator.
As such the creator of the finite must be infinite.

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Re: Why doesn't god prove himself?

Post by Eduk » February 9th, 2019, 5:48 pm

The universe has a beginning and will end.
Unknown and unknown. In the context of the universe it is hard to define what would qualify as a beginning or an end. If you can simply demonstrate how the universe began then perhaps we can all talk about it more intelligently.
It is finite.
Unknown.
Anything finite needs a creator.
Ignoring the unknown nature of reality it is even more unknown to add requirements.
Only the infinite does not need a creator.
Infinity is undefined. Again adding requirements to unknowns isn't going to get anyone anywhere.
As such the creator of the finite must be infinite.
We are simply getting further and further from logic.

Allow me to summarise my argument.
1. You don't know what you are talking about.
2. Your conclusions are incorrect.
Unknown means unknown.

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Greta
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Re: Why doesn't god prove himself?

Post by Greta » February 10th, 2019, 12:48 am

Fdesilva wrote:
February 9th, 2019, 5:26 pm
Greta wrote:
February 8th, 2019, 3:48 pm
Why are Middle Easterners assumed to have been correct with their monotheistic conception 2,000 year ago and the rest of the world was wrong?

Why not the Indian Hindus and their pantheon of deities, each representing an aspect of life? Or Buddhists and their explorations into the nature of being, or the Zen school? What of the sophisticated Chinese Tao, with its principles that govern how things work? I see no logical reason to favour any of the Middle Eastern universal models over others (they were, in truth, simply militarily and politically successful). Why favour a model that's 2,000 years old that includes a flat Earth, evil spirits and portentous comets over today's much more informed view?
Hindus believe in a supreme God the creator of all. For Buddhist the concept is implicit. That is they believe that there is a moral law that governs where your next life will be depending on your current. Just as water will flow down hill or evaporate depending on its state so your soul enter another life depending its state and the end of this life. This implies a system that is morally aware and controls everything. This system is what other religions call God.
Actually Brahma in Hinduism had peers - Vishnu the preserver and Shiva the destroyer (and renewer). They also had a huge pantheon of other deities. The only system that calls the system "God" is Christianity, although there are some equivalencies.

Whatever, my point is that every single one of those religions has gotten a huge amount wrong. Parsing what they worked out and what they stuffed up is not so easy, certainly not agreed upon anywhere.

I do not see why we need base our investigations on those blind alleys, the dreams of the ancients that have been so corrupted by politics and falsehoods over history that any true insights cannot be effectively parsed from the dodgy stuff?

It seems most sensible to start with a fresh slate. So, when we look into the sky, we see space, the Moon, planets and stars rather than spirits and dreams of eternity? I am not an atheist but I think theism is irredeemably tainted and all that can be done now is to start again.

Fdesilva wrote:
February 9th, 2019, 5:26 pm
Greta wrote:
February 8th, 2019, 3:48 pm
If you can't prove free will, it is illogical to tout that contestable concept as a proof of the contestable concept of God. If quantum processes in the brain are not all swamped by incoherence then those will not be subject to relativistic determinism. However, that's the case for any system with complex informational flows impacted by subtle quantum processes and not necessarily proof of God.

As mentioned, I don't think the idea of free will is wildly important. People would feel more free if not so controlled by governments, corporations, family, neighbours, and the need to accommodate the increasing billions of human beings with whom they are being crushed. For instance, are you free to go out into the wild and experience natural living? If not, what is holding you back? We are very far from free so I find the question only theoretical, moot.

Also, the structure of the brain may well not be the only conduit through which sentience can flow. Consciousness may yet transcend its "wetware" origins. All we have is one planet as an example, and this is still the universe's infancy. Given the innovations of nature over the last 13.8 billions years, why assume there will be no more major developments in sentience the next 1,000 billion years of the universe's life?
Now you make the statement “If you can't prove free will”
Firstly do you think it needs proving in the first person? Does a person need to prove to themselves they have free will? I see it as an axiom.
Now if you mean by proof, how does the physics and chemistry bring it about then many have put forward different explanation. Naturally I like my own which I have written about it in this forum on links below. In summary the conscious experience gives direct proof that the self is not material. It must be a spirit.
You asserted that free will was real and that it was proof of God. I said that you don't have any proofs for these assertions. As such, I think you should present such ideas as your speculations shared rather than truths imparted. The latter is simply pushy unless you have proof.

You obviously can't prove to yourself that you have free will, especially when you do a million automatic mindless things every day of your life over which you have neither knowledge nor choice. It is far beyond human comprehension to understand how far back the webs of causality extend and to what extent the knock on effects are impacted by quantum uncertainty.

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chewybrian
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Re: Why doesn't god prove himself?

Post by chewybrian » February 10th, 2019, 10:32 am

Greta wrote:
February 10th, 2019, 12:48 am
You obviously can't prove to yourself that you have free will, especially when you do a million automatic mindless things every day of your life over which you have neither knowledge nor choice. It is far beyond human comprehension to understand how far back the webs of causality extend and to what extent the knock on effects are impacted by quantum uncertainty.
The fact that we operate on autopilot much of the does nothing to prove or disprove free will. I would simply say we choose to go on autopilot because it is easier, or because we fear accountability for making active choices, or because we are designed by experience to shift to autopilot at the first available opportunity. I choose the last one as the strongest influence. I think it has been helpful to our survival in the past to learn how to do less urgent things on the back burner, to free our mind to focus on new and important things, and to maintain alertness against threats. It seems clear that our consciousness has a sort of caste system for placing activities in our mind or under the surface as appropriate.

I can prove and I have proven to myself that I have a free will. I experience it at all times and it seems silly to assume that this is a great illusion imposed on me by the universe rather than to accept it and use it. I can't prove it to the very small fraction of people who wish to apply the rules that hold for material things to living things, which clearly don't act like rocks or water, and specifically to consciousness, which can't be shown to be material.

It is beyond human ability to understand how or why we have abilities which transcend material existence, but clearly (to most people) we do. Is it such a stretch to admit to yourself that your are meaningfully different from your coffee mug? Most of human history acknowledges free will implicitly by making rules and judging conduct through the lens of freedom and accountability. It is only a recent and rather fringe idea that we can not control ourselves in any way. It remains a possibility that can not be proven or disproved, but it seems very unlikely and certainly useless to our functioning in the world. Do we have influences? Sure, lots.

But the existence of free will, which I accept, does nothing to prove God. It simply opens the door very slightly to the possibility.
"If determinism holds, then past events have conspired to cause me to hold this view--it is out of my control. Either I am right about free will, or it is not my fault that I am wrong."

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Greta
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Re: Why doesn't god prove himself?

Post by Greta » February 10th, 2019, 3:47 pm

chewybrian wrote:
February 10th, 2019, 10:32 am
Greta wrote:
February 10th, 2019, 12:48 am
You obviously can't prove to yourself that you have free will, especially when you do a million automatic mindless things every day of your life over which you have neither knowledge nor choice. It is far beyond human comprehension to understand how far back the webs of causality extend and to what extent the knock on effects are impacted by quantum uncertainty.
The fact that we operate on autopilot much of the does nothing to prove or disprove free will. I would simply say we choose to go on autopilot because it is easier, or because we fear accountability for making active choices, or because we are designed by experience to shift to autopilot at the first available opportunity.
Most of y/our automatic responses happen without us ever knowing. You cannot so readily observe your unconscious workings, by definition.

chewybrian wrote:
February 10th, 2019, 10:32 am
I can prove and I have proven to myself that I have a free will. I experience it at all times and it seems silly to assume that this is a great illusion imposed on me by the universe rather than to accept it and use it. I can't prove it to the very small fraction of people who wish to apply the rules that hold for material things to living things, which clearly don't act like rocks or water, and specifically to consciousness, which can't be shown to be material.
You can't be expected to read everything but just four days ago in this conversation I gave my view on free will:
My view is bland in this area - since it appears as though we have free will, that will do me. I expect there are many instances of long term knock on effects that resonate into our lives and impact on our decisions without us having a clue that they exist. To say that that is all that happens is, though, is too big a call.
My gut feeling is that freedom is real but wildly overestimated, but I prefer not to claim knowledge about something based on such inconclusive evidence. Our "freedom", if it exists, appears to be trivial. We are still almost completely subject to the elements. If there is a fire or a flood, we stream away like any other animal. We scuttle inside pretty uniformly during heavy rain. In Darwin they drink more beer per person than in Hobart, not through free will but because it gets bloody hot and humid up there. And so on. So the Earth's environment pushes us about and then other humans narrow our options further. Within the narrow parameters we are allowed, we experience the impression of free will.

Was it all inevitable from the first moment after the big bang, with its initial configuration acting as DNA? Quantum uncertainty says no, allowing from the probable but not the inevitable. However, on a personal level it's possible to observe the tendrils of cause and effect rippling down generations, with our morphology and nature essentially being a summary of our evolutionary history (most dramatically evident during gestation).

I agree with you that conflating free will with God is a stretch. I also think conflating reincarnation or afterlives with God is a stretch too.

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Re: Why doesn't god prove himself?

Post by Fdesilva » February 11th, 2019, 2:34 pm

Eduk wrote:
February 9th, 2019, 5:48 pm
The universe has a beginning and will end.
Unknown and unknown. In the context of the universe it is hard to define what would qualify as a beginning or an end. If you can simply demonstrate how the universe began then perhaps we can all talk about it more intelligently.
It is finite.
Unknown.
Anything finite needs a creator.
Ignoring the unknown nature of reality it is even more unknown to add requirements.
Only the infinite does not need a creator.
Infinity is undefined. Again adding requirements to unknowns isn't going to get anyone anywhere.
As such the creator of the finite must be infinite.
We are simply getting further and further from logic.

Allow me to summarise my argument.
1. You don't know what you are talking about.
2. Your conclusions are incorrect.
One of the most fundemental laws of physics is the increase of entropy. Which means that everything in the universe will eventually come to an end. Now while its true that anything discoverd in science may be subsequently found to be not the whole truth, progress can only be made if you accept what has been discovered and investigate it further. Your statement implies you neither accpet the big bang or the consequence of entropy. Whiles you are free to hold that view, no meaningfull discussion can take place in a forum such as this, if everytime one wants to say something about a currently accepted theory, one has to also keep in mind that it might not be the whole truth and as such consider it not worthy of discussion.

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Re: Why doesn't god prove himself?

Post by Fdesilva » February 11th, 2019, 3:05 pm

Greta wrote:
February 10th, 2019, 12:48 am
Actually Brahma in Hinduism had peers - Vishnu the preserver and Shiva the destroyer (and renewer). They also had a huge pantheon of other deities. The only system that calls the system "God" is Christianity, although there are some equivalencies.

Whatever, my point is that every single one of those religions has gotten a huge amount wrong. Parsing what they worked out and what they stuffed up is not so easy, certainly not agreed upon anywhere.

I do not see why we need base our investigations on those blind alleys, the dreams of the ancients that have been so corrupted by politics and falsehoods over history that any true insights cannot be effectively parsed from the dodgy stuff?

It seems most sensible to start with a fresh slate. So, when we look into the sky, we see space, the Moon, planets and stars rather than spirits and dreams of eternity? I am not an atheist but I think theism is irredeemably tainted and all that can be done now is to start again.
The distinction between science and religion is recent. Religions in the past and now use observations in the same way that science does. Both are liable to errors, as learning implies discovering mistakes and ignorance.
Greta wrote:
February 10th, 2019, 12:48 am
You obviously can't prove to yourself that you have free will, especially when you do a million automatic mindless things every day of your life over which you have neither knowledge nor choice. It is far beyond human comprehension to understand how far back the webs of causality extend and to what extent the knock on effects are impacted by quantum uncertainty.
All human knowledge depends on consciouness. If the tenets of conscioness is in doubt then all knowldge is in doubt. The concept of self, feelings and free will are these tenets. Any body that discards any one of them must essential also discard all humanities knowledge.

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Re: Why doesn't god prove himself?

Post by Eduk » February 11th, 2019, 3:09 pm

You said atheists and theists agree on X. I said they didn't. Doesn't matter if they are right to agree or wrong to agree.
Also what has increasing entropy got to do with the 'end' of the universe? Does absolute zero mean things wink out of existence? Bearing in mind the universe will never actually reach absolute zero only be infinitesimally close to it, even assuming a big freeze, which is a massive massive assumption which hasn't been remotely demonstrated. Don't you remember where I wrote explicitly that what constitutes an 'end' is complicated.
Same goes for the big bang. Firstly it isn't a fact. It is the best theory we have. Regarding cosmology there is some room for error in our best theories. But let us assume there was a big bang. We have no idea how such an event happened so therefore what conclusions can we draw from it?
I'm sorry but if you need to do a better job understanding the science. You can of course trivially prove me wrong by demonstrating that the scientific consensus supports your claims.
For example this is what NASA have to say about the end of the universe
"One of the goals has long been to decide whether the Universe will expand forever, or whether it will someday stop, turn around, and collapse in a "Big Crunch?""
Not a foregone conclusion. There are also options not explicitly stated by NASA.
Unknown means unknown.

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Re: Why doesn't god prove himself?

Post by eyesofastranger » February 11th, 2019, 3:36 pm

The beginning? That's really a question of infinity. If the big bang bubbled off of an infinite mass then that would be the beginning of our universe. The complexities and constants all formed in an impossibly complex stroke of luck for us universe dwellers. This uber complex stroke of variables hints at a designer until you contemplate where the universe bubbled off from. If from an out of universe infinite mass then the need for a designer is lost. And the beginning might not exist at all.
I think all here understand the gravitational and universal constants have wildly astronomical odds of ever occurring randomly.
Moving back a paragraph to that infinite mass, universal beginning. A place where the shortfall of us humans can't really wrap our heads around a place where all time and outcomes occur at the same instant. So all it would take is a trillion decks of shuffled playing cards to land in exactly the same order twice. My words describe a place with infinite examples of exactly that. Makes it impossible to define the beginning.
The end? Our little universal bubble could after the death of all stars and then all black holes combine, then all Hawking radiation is bled into space. Assuming dark energy doesn't continue to inexplicably bleed here at some distant point thus feeding black holes and the expansion we see currently. Does Hawking radiation ever die? Does zero point energy ever die? Even if it all goes away and then time itself. Can I go there in a timeship and check it out?

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Re: Why doesn't god prove himself?

Post by Greta » February 11th, 2019, 4:14 pm

Fdesilva wrote:
February 11th, 2019, 3:05 pm
Greta wrote:
February 10th, 2019, 12:48 am
Actually Brahma in Hinduism had peers - Vishnu the preserver and Shiva the destroyer (and renewer). They also had a huge pantheon of other deities. The only system that calls the system "God" is Christianity, although there are some equivalencies.

Whatever, my point is that every single one of those religions has gotten a huge amount wrong. Parsing what they worked out and what they stuffed up is not so easy, certainly not agreed upon anywhere.

I do not see why we need base our investigations on those blind alleys, the dreams of the ancients that have been so corrupted by politics and falsehoods over history that any true insights cannot be effectively parsed from the dodgy stuff?

It seems most sensible to start with a fresh slate. So, when we look into the sky, we see space, the Moon, planets and stars rather than spirits and dreams of eternity? I am not an atheist but I think theism is irredeemably tainted and all that can be done now is to start again.
The distinction between science and religion is recent. Religions in the past and now use observations in the same way that science does. Both are liable to errors, as learning implies discovering mistakes and ignorance.
"Both are liable to errors" does not clearly spell out the situation. Both an adult professional and a young child are prone to errors too, but the one with inexperience is the one most likely to err. We have two thousand years more experience, perhaps fifteen hundred years if we subtract religion's blocks on learning and progress during the Dark Ages.

Fdesilva wrote:
February 11th, 2019, 3:05 pm
Greta wrote:
February 10th, 2019, 12:48 am
You obviously can't prove to yourself that you have free will, especially when you do a million automatic mindless things every day of your life over which you have neither knowledge nor choice. It is far beyond human comprehension to understand how far back the webs of causality extend and to what extent the knock on effects are impacted by quantum uncertainty.
All human knowledge depends on consciouness. If the tenets of conscioness is in doubt then all knowldge is in doubt. The concept of self, feelings and free will are these tenets. Any body that discards any one of them must essential also discard all humanities knowledge.
The tenets of consciousness are not in doubt. "Free will" is just a speculation, not a tenet, and nothing scientific hinges upon the idea, only the notion of personal responsibility in law and social settings.

What you need to explain is how you overcome a web of causality with free will. How do you know there isn't a causal web behind each alleged application of free will?

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Re: Why doesn't god prove himself?

Post by Darshan » March 8th, 2019, 12:18 am

Earthellism answers the question: Why doesn't God prove himself? Last century that gave us WWII and hitler/genocide, it was the big question. As millions were being killed by the Nazi killing machine, many victims begged this question. Those doing the killing also asked this question in that they felt that God was approving their killing or God would prove himself by stopping the killers. The answer is that God is not here on earthell, but only in Heaven. God cannot prove himself here because God is not here.
God does not reside or ever visit Hell except Jesus's brief visit here before he was tortured to death by human devils. God's Love is here and Karma is here controlling all the events here on earthell. Recently saw the movie Downfall which showed hitler reaping the negative Karma he earned as a fake messiah who had to shoot himself.(Karma would not let him be murdered like Jesus who hitler hated more than anyone). Earthellism solves the problem of Evil this century after the concept of Free Will failed to solve the problem of Evil in the last century making WWII more lethal.

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Re: Why doesn't god prove himself?

Post by Intellectual_Savnot » March 8th, 2019, 2:00 pm

@cynicallyinsane why should god care? We don't bend over backwards trying to prove our existence to coded entities, just as god wouldn't give a damn to prove himself to us, which is probably a proportionally equal set of relativities, code to us and us to god.

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