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

Post by Belindi » January 8th, 2019, 7:55 am

Eduk wrote:
January 8th, 2019, 7:43 am
Communist and fascist regimes which are not religious in the sense of deities substitute cults of persons and their mythologies such as Lenin, Hitler, or Kim Jong-un.
This was one of my points. Are they religions or cults? What is the difference? Seems to me that either 'works'.
Eduk, keeping social order is what defines religions.
Japan seems to be pretty well socially ordered. I don't see social order as unique to religions. You yourself agree there is a cult of personality which can bring about social order.
I don;t think there is any basic difference between religions and cults for purposes of social control. Religions are usually taken to include supenatural deities of some sort apart from the charismatic person who is worshipped. Mariolatry is sometimes called a cult.

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

Post by Greta » January 8th, 2019, 7:29 pm

In antiquity those "atheist" cultures too were imbued with religion and mysticism. It was seemingly the first major system of social order. It should be too obvious to need saying that systems other than religion have appeared since.

Also note that a cult of a personality is a type of religion, a kind of mysticism that is conferred to a person.

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

Post by Dark Matter » January 9th, 2019, 2:29 am

“Why Believe in a God when It is Impossible to Prove?” Reason demands it.

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

Post by LuckyR » January 9th, 2019, 4:33 am

Eduk wrote:
January 8th, 2019, 6:22 am
I am a little confused. Do you disagree with Greta's observation or her explanation of it?
If we take her observation
1. That most people are religious.
and her explanation.
2. Religion provides a survival advantage over non religion.

Then I would like some evidence for 2.
For 1. I would like a bit more nuance. For example what is unique to religion? Which religion provides the largest survival advantage? and why? How religious are/were Stalin's or North Korea's states? I think there is a lot more to the world than religious and non religious.
I agree that religion has played an important, minor role in the historical progression of civilization. So, yes "there is a lot more to the world than religious and non religious".
"As usual... it depends."

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

Post by Greta » January 10th, 2019, 1:52 am

LuckyR wrote:
January 9th, 2019, 4:33 am
Eduk wrote:
January 8th, 2019, 6:22 am

If we take her observation
1. That most people are religious.
and her explanation.
2. Religion provides a survival advantage over non religion.

Then I would like some evidence for 2.
For 1. I would like a bit more nuance. For example what is unique to religion? Which religion provides the largest survival advantage? and why? How religious are/were Stalin's or North Korea's states? I think there is a lot more to the world than religious and non religious.
I agree that religion has played an important, minor role in the historical progression of civilization. So, yes "there is a lot more to the world than religious and non religious".
Yes, but it's pretty clear when one considers the memetic pool that, amongst competing memes, religions did rather well in terms of numbers and power as compared with most other ideas. Rationalism is on the rise, but I think most appreciate that there's more to life than that too.

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Re: I Believe in a God for the following 3 reasons

Post by Fdesilva » January 11th, 2019, 5:05 pm

1. The witness of others: The God of Authority.
Suppose I had been a firsthand witness to the miracles of Jesus like John the evangelist. For example, I saw Him raise Lazarus from the dead. A putrefied corps coming into life(John 11:43). Walking on a stormy sea and calming it, getting crucified and rise again, I would be compelled to believe His claim that He was God. This is the reason John the evangelist puts forward to his own belief that Jesus was God. John 19:35 “The one who saw it has testified to this, and his testimony is true. He knows that he is telling the truth, so that you also may believe.”
However, I was not a firsthand witness. As such I can dismiss the whole thing on the basis that this John guy was telling lies, or maybe he never even lived. Yet there is something that John say that I cannot dismiss without further investigation, it is this. John says Jesus said :

John 14:12-14 “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”

As such I have investigating this claim and found that the followers of Christ are living up to it. In this regards peoples reporting near death experiences have been of great interest to me.

2. Science: The God of wisdom
Since my childhood two question baffled me.
Q1. Where in my body am I?
My conscious experience entails two components
1. The thing I am observing. (My computer screen)
2. The thing I call me that is making the observation.(Where is the "me" thing? what is it made from?)
Q2: How is Free will possible, given that the state of the universe at any given instant determines all subsequent states as such how can the brain violate these laws of physics?
Working on these questions for many years, finally I found the answer to both nearly 30 years ago. What I found is the thing I call me that is at the heart of the consciousness experience and making the observation cannot be a physical thing as it has the ability to connect with simultaneous events, by way of observing them. From special relativity physics, this is an impossibly for a physical thing. As such it must be in essence something outside the space-time continuum. Such an entity outside the space-time continuum will be able to change that very fabric of space-time in all 4 Dimensions. That is you can change the present, however in doing so you also change the past and the future. Thus it also answered my second question on free will.
These findings were published in IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Magazine 15:21-26 (1996)

3. Life : God of Love
The teaching of Christ can be summarised as Mark 12:30-31: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[a] 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself. 'There is no commandment greater than these.
While many are my failures in trying to live up to this, the few times that I have been able to do so with some degree of success, I experienced that it was not me but rather God working in me. In these experiences, I was very much John watching the miracle of God transforming the selfish me to a generous soul. I know myself and so the miracle is most evident to me, it’s a bigger miracle to me than if I had witnessed Lazarus rise from the dead.

God is Mystery. Christian teaching makes this mystery even deeper with the teaching that God is three Persons (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) but one God. This Mystery of the Trinity that is God, gives an insight to the Life of God. In this Mystery I see a parallel in my own life in that I am
1. My Soul like the Father (The observer in my conscious experience)
2. My brain like the Holy Spirit and
3. My Body like Jesus

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

Post by Fanman » January 11th, 2019, 5:24 pm

I feel that Greta is on the right track here. Religion is possibly one of the oldest forms of social group organisation, and it has thrived despite mankind's exponential development in science and technology. For many people, there are holes that science and technology can't fill, and existential questions that neither field of enquiry can answer. Which is where religion comes in, rightly or wrongly, with concepts such as a creator, a soul, a spirit, etc...

If I read right, Eduk feels that religious belief is unreasonable, I wouldn't go that far on the spectrum, but religion clearly isn't empirically evidence based. However, think of things this way, if people only believed and acted on things which were empirically evidence based, would that be concordant with our intrinsic, questioning nature of being human? Personally I don't believe that having religious beliefs is a flaw, rather product of existential reasoning. I mean, for something to persist as long as religion has and still be able to impact upon people as powerfully it does, it must be peppered with some granules of truth.
Once a theist, now agnostic.

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

Post by Belindi » January 11th, 2019, 5:51 pm

Fdesilva wrote:
1. The witness of others: The God of Authority.
Suppose I had been a firsthand witness to the miracles of Jesus like John the evangelist. For example, I saw Him raise Lazarus from the dead. A putrefied corps coming into life(John 11:43). Walking on a stormy sea and calming it, getting crucified and rise again, I would be compelled to believe His claim that He was God. This is the reason John the evangelist puts forward to his own belief that Jesus was God. John 19:35 “The one who saw it has testified to this, and his testimony is true. He knows that he is telling the truth, so that you also may believe.”
However, I was not a firsthand witness. As such I can dismiss the whole thing on the basis that this John guy was telling lies, or maybe he never even lived. Yet there is something that John say that I cannot dismiss without further investigation, it is this. John says Jesus said :

John 14:12-14 “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”
But you presume that the author of that text is a historian. These texts were made for worship not historical accuracy so it's not a matter of telling lies or telling the historical truth.

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

Post by Fdesilva » January 11th, 2019, 5:58 pm

Belindi wrote:
January 11th, 2019, 5:51 pm
But you presume that the author of that text is a historian. These texts were made for worship not historical accuracy so it's not a matter of telling lies or telling the historical truth.
What you say does not tally with the author's claim
John 19:35 “The one who saw it has testified to this, and his testimony is true. He knows that he is telling the truth, so that you also may believe.”

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

Post by Eduk » January 11th, 2019, 8:38 pm

@Fanman it isn't just that there is no empirical evidence supporting any religion, also there is no evidence of any kind supporting any religion, plus there is a huge amount of evidence against all religions.
This is not to say that the entirety of all religions are entirely false. Of course religion is peppered with truth. It is a product and reflection of humans. Humans can only create and imagine so much. The lord of the rings is likewise peppered with truth.
Don't get me wrong. I love the lord of the rings. I believe that love is real and meaningful. Other people don't love the lord of the rings, that is also fine. I'm not a fan of religions but they aren't the end of the world. Some people like Dawkins go too far when they blame religions for too much.
Some Christians say things like if you know love then you know God. I think this is true in a way. God is made up but love isn't. If you believe in love then I am with you, so do I.
Unknown means unknown.

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

Post by Fdesilva » January 11th, 2019, 9:33 pm

Is it impossible to prove anything at all or can somethings be proved? If somethings can be proved, that is proves exist, then it implies that God Exist for the following reason.
God is eternal truth
A proof is an eternal truth
If a proof exist that means eternal truth exist which is one and the same as God exist

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

Post by Eduk » January 12th, 2019, 5:57 am

@Fdesilva that is exactly the nonsense I was talking about when people say God is love, or similar.
Unknown means unknown.

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

Post by Fdesilva » January 12th, 2019, 6:53 am

Eduk wrote:
January 12th, 2019, 5:57 am
@Fdesilva that is exactly the nonsense I was talking about when people say God is love, or similar.
Assuming that your view is God does not exist. However you do accept that Love exist. The issue you have is the love that you know to exist does not correspond to what you understand the meaning of God to be.
Otherwise you would have agreed. So the issue is in your understanding of love. For the person that says Love and God are one their understanding is one of correspondence.

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

Post by Belindi » January 12th, 2019, 10:45 am

Fdesilva wrote:
January 11th, 2019, 5:58 pm
Belindi wrote:
January 11th, 2019, 5:51 pm
But you presume that the author of that text is a historian. These texts were made for worship not historical accuracy so it's not a matter of telling lies or telling the historical truth.
What you say does not tally with the author's claim
John 19:35 “The one who saw it has testified to this, and his testimony is true. He knows that he is telling the truth, so that you also may believe.”
But that's not how a historian writes about what happened. The modern historian provides evidence in the form of primary sources which may be documents or archaeology. A primary source can be identified by what historian Arthur Marwick called "unwitting testimony".

"The one who saw this" was not unwitting but was witting, and may have been a polemicist.

Fdesilva :
God is eternal truth
A proof is an eternal truth
True, God is usually thought to be eternal, to be eternal truth and eternal goodness.
But it's not true that a proof is eternally true. Some proofs such as proofs of Euclidean geometry are true but only true because they are tautologies. Empirical proofs,such as proving that salt is water soluble, are probabilistic.

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

Post by Fdesilva » January 12th, 2019, 2:07 pm

Belindi wrote:
January 12th, 2019, 10:45 am
True, God is usually thought to be eternal, to be eternal truth and eternal goodness.
But it's not true that a proof is eternally true. Some proofs such as proofs of Euclidean geometry are true but only true because they are tautologies. Empirical proofs,such as proving that salt is water soluble, are probabilistic.
Yes not all proofs are eternal, I skiped that bit. The reason is I am assuming that the type of proof that you are requesting and that you believe does not exist is an eternal proof of God. So the question is do you believe there is eternal proof on any thing at all? If you do then you believe in the existence of an eternal thing. In this case the existence of eternal proof. This eternal proof is your God becouse that is what you put all your faith in. It does not have all the attributes of say a Christian God but is nevertheless is a God to you.

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