The March Philosophy Book of the Month is Final Notice by Van Fleisher. Discuss Final Notice now.

The April Philosophy Book of the Month is The Unbound Soul by Richard L. Haight. Discuss The Unbound Soul Now

The May Philosophy Book of the Month is Misreading Judas by Robert Wahler.

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.
Post Reply
Fooloso4
Moderator
Posts: 3601
Joined: February 28th, 2014, 4:50 pm

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

Post by Fooloso4 » January 18th, 2019, 7:29 pm

DM:
[Deleted]
I assure you that everything I have said is based on the work of well regarded scholars. I could send you a short list or a long list. Some of it is difficult and detailed but other books are more accessible. In any case, I doubt you would read any of them, since they conflict with what you want to believe.
"Socrates orientation was not “Godward” but toward the Good" reminds me of an old Get Smart episode in which the bad guy, the Claw, couldn't enunciate is the letter "l" -- "Not Craw, CRAW!"
Christian Neoplatonists treat the Good and God as it they are the same based on claims in the Republic about the Good as generative. Whether intentional or not, this is what you did when you started talking about the absolute Good and then in the next sentence God. This is exactly what Kreeft does intentionally in the lecture you link to - “let God be God” (37:21). Note that Kreeft continually talks about “Platonism”. Plato and Platonism are not the same. I think he knows this. Kreeft wrote a handbook of Christian apologetics that is available on Amazon.

The myth of transcendence in the Republic is Plato’s replacement for the poet’s stories of the gods who were banished. It is Plato’s philosophical poetics - his making of images of the the truth. Not what you will find in the typical textbook, but again, there is a good deal of solid scholars work to back it up.

Dark Matter
Posts: 1366
Joined: August 18th, 2016, 11:29 am
Favorite Philosopher: Paul Tillich

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

Post by Dark Matter » January 19th, 2019, 3:38 am

Greta wrote:
January 18th, 2019, 6:43 pm
Dark Matter wrote:
January 18th, 2019, 2:00 pm


You haven’t been paying attention.

Socrates did’t know what absolute good or absolute good is, either, but he knew they exist. That’s what made him wise — his ignorance had a Godward direction: he had a solid foundation.
This points to a universal POV, where there is no external competition. So, shareholders will have definite views about the right and wrong of some actions by executives and other staff. For instance, sabotage or theft harms the overall corporation so it's treated as a harm rather than relativistically, which might wonder if the theft of public money by tax evasion by corporations causes far more harm than a little pilfering or vandalism.
:roll:

Belindi
Moderator
Posts: 2343
Joined: September 11th, 2016, 2:11 pm

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

Post by Belindi » January 19th, 2019, 6:48 am

Karpel Tunnel wrote as part of a long well argued post:
And of course you are judging one culture as better than another.
True , and inevitable. No society or religious or political group is devoid of a culture. Each culture has its own particular and special story to tell to itself to explain its way of life morality and so on. The best thing to do is for individuals who are versed in these questions of absolutism and relativism, besides all their particular differences of opinion, to be together and talk and try to reach an agreement without resorting to killing each other and many of the common people too.

Karpel Tunnel
Posts: 751
Joined: February 16th, 2018, 11:28 am

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

Post by Karpel Tunnel » January 19th, 2019, 10:25 am

Belindi wrote:
January 19th, 2019, 6:48 am
Karpel Tunnel wrote as part of a long well argued post:
And of course you are judging one culture as better than another.
True , and inevitable. No society or religious or political group is devoid of a culture. Each culture has its own particular and special story to tell to itself to explain its way of life morality and so on. The best thing to do is for individuals who are versed in these questions of absolutism and relativism, besides all their particular differences of opinion, to be together and talk and try to reach an agreement without resorting to killing each other and many of the common people too.
I would like that, but I have no way of demonstrating, even to myself, that that would be Good.

Fooloso4
Moderator
Posts: 3601
Joined: February 28th, 2014, 4:50 pm

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

Post by Fooloso4 » January 19th, 2019, 12:18 pm

DM:
You’re full of words signifying nothing.
If they signify nothing to you that is because you do not understand them. Christian Platonists may conflate God and Good but Plato does not. In fact what may be most surprising to someone who reads Plato’s ascent from the cave with open eyes is the lack of any mention of God. Truth, Beauty, Justice, the Good, but no God or gods. What does that signify?

Eduk
Posts: 2466
Joined: December 8th, 2016, 7:08 am
Favorite Philosopher: Socrates

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

Post by Eduk » January 19th, 2019, 2:05 pm

Maybe I misremember but in the Republic doesn't Plato talk about a self created religion for the masses. Maybe I'm wrong but I didn't get the impression that he thought the religion he was inventing was based on believing any of it to be true.
Unknown means unknown.

Belindi
Moderator
Posts: 2343
Joined: September 11th, 2016, 2:11 pm

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

Post by Belindi » January 19th, 2019, 2:10 pm

Fooloso4 wrote:
January 19th, 2019, 12:18 pm
DM:
You’re full of words signifying nothing.
If they signify nothing to you that is because you do not understand them. Christian Platonists may conflate God and Good but Plato does not. In fact what may be most surprising to someone who reads Plato’s ascent from the cave with open eyes is the lack of any mention of God. Truth, Beauty, Justice, the Good, but no God or gods. What does that signify?
If God is sovereign good then Plato did talk about what many people believe God to be. Don't ordinary Christians who would not describe themselves as Christian Platonists say "GOD IS GOOD" on big notices in their churches?

Fooloso4
Moderator
Posts: 3601
Joined: February 28th, 2014, 4:50 pm

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

Post by Fooloso4 » January 19th, 2019, 3:09 pm

Eduk:
Maybe I misremember but in the Republic doesn't Plato talk about a self created religion for the masses.
I do not think Plato talked about it, but commentators have. I have discussed his salutary public or exoteric teaching which cleverly pretends to be the revealing of a secret esoteric teaching for the few, those who can escape the cave. Nietzsche calls Christianity Platonism for the masses (or people).
Maybe I'm wrong but I didn't get the impression that he thought the religion he was inventing was based on believing any of it to be true.

I’m not sure what you mean. In his Seventh Letter Plato says he has never written down his philosophy (341c). Philosophy is an activity not a body of doctrine.

Eduk
Posts: 2466
Joined: December 8th, 2016, 7:08 am
Favorite Philosopher: Socrates

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

Post by Eduk » January 19th, 2019, 3:12 pm

@Fooloso4 I'll try to find the passages.
Unknown means unknown.

Fooloso4
Moderator
Posts: 3601
Joined: February 28th, 2014, 4:50 pm

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

Post by Fooloso4 » January 19th, 2019, 3:33 pm

Belindi:
If God is sovereign good then Plato did talk about what many people believe God to be.
The Forms are singular - the Good itself, Beauty itself, Justice itself. Nothing but the Good itself is the Good. To say that God is good would be no different than saying anything else is good. To say that God is sovereign good is to say that God is the highest good, but the highest good is not the Good itself.
Don't ordinary Christians who would not describe themselves as Christian Platonists say "GOD IS GOOD" on big notices in their churches?
Yes, but they might also say that “GOD IS LOVE”, and by each of these claims they might mean a variety of different things. The “ordinary Christian” would be puzzled if asked if God is another name for the Form Good. If the concept of Forms is explained to them they might well deny that they are the same, for they may believe in a personal God or a God who commands and demands obedience or a God sent his Son to save the world.

Belindi
Moderator
Posts: 2343
Joined: September 11th, 2016, 2:11 pm

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

Post by Belindi » January 19th, 2019, 7:26 pm

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
January 19th, 2019, 10:25 am
Belindi wrote:
January 19th, 2019, 6:48 am
Karpel Tunnel wrote as part of a long well argued post:



True , and inevitable. No society or religious or political group is devoid of a culture. Each culture has its own particular and special story to tell to itself to explain its way of life morality and so on. The best thing to do is for individuals who are versed in these questions of absolutism and relativism, besides all their particular differences of opinion, to be together and talk and try to reach an agreement without resorting to killing each other and many of the common people too.
I would like that, but I have no way of demonstrating, even to myself, that that would be Good.
It would not be Good with the capital letter;as Jesus said "only God is Good". But it would be relatively good.

Belindi
Moderator
Posts: 2343
Joined: September 11th, 2016, 2:11 pm

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

Post by Belindi » January 19th, 2019, 7:38 pm

Fooloso4 wrote:
January 19th, 2019, 3:33 pm
Belindi:
If God is sovereign good then Plato did talk about what many people believe God to be.
The Forms are singular - the Good itself, Beauty itself, Justice itself. Nothing but the Good itself is the Good. To say that God is good would be no different than saying anything else is good. To say that God is sovereign good is to say that God is the highest good, but the highest good is not the Good itself.
Don't ordinary Christians who would not describe themselves as Christian Platonists say "GOD IS GOOD" on big notices in their churches?
Yes, but they might also say that “GOD IS LOVE”, and by each of these claims they might mean a variety of different things. The “ordinary Christian” would be puzzled if asked if God is another name for the Form Good. If the concept of Forms is explained to them they might well deny that they are the same, for they may believe in a personal God or a God who commands and demands obedience or a God sent his Son to save the world.
I don't claim that God is good but I do claim that God is Good. I.e. that God is the singular Form of the Good. That is the only use that I personally have for the name 'God', that's to say a fanciful synonym for Good.

I think that it's for those who would like a reasonable religion rests the significance of identifying the name 'God' with Plato's Good .

Darshan
Posts: 95
Joined: February 16th, 2013, 9:11 pm

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

Post by Darshan » July 17th, 2019, 11:04 pm

Earthellism can prove the existence of God. The book "The Life and Death of Planet Earth" is the foundation of this philosophy. It is possible to prove God exists based on earthellism. First, the biggest obstacle of God's existence is the view that God is not here on the surface of earth. God resides in Heaven and not on earthell. Thus atheist use the lack of God's presence here to mean God does not exist at all. If this is earthell then Heaven is above us where God resides. To prove God is in Heaven is to understand the concept of the human soul. My parents did not create my soul but they created my physical body only. God is the creator of the human soul which starts in Heaven and where are souls go. Thus the fact that humans have a soul and that God is not here on earthell indirectly proves the existence of a divine force we call God. Finally the direct proof of God's existence is the concept of love. Love is an extremely complex force that is created by God and is the glue that holds our souls together. God is the creator of love and sustains this force here on earth. In a sense God is Love and Love is God which proves God exists.

User avatar
Greta
Site Admin
Posts: 7945
Joined: December 16th, 2013, 9:05 pm

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

Post by Greta » July 18th, 2019, 7:58 am

It would seem easier to say that planet Earth is a god, Darshan. It's not the Earth's fault that the Gaia crowd tend to be idealistic hippies, right? When it comes to gods, the Earth is arguably as good as it gets, although the Sun and Saggitarius A* would also be deserving candidates.

Physically, we live within the Earth, inside its atmosphere. Meanwhile the Sun comprises 99.86% of the solar system's mass, so there is a decent case to be made that the planets, in a sense are part of the Sun (which would make them demigods to the Sun as God?).

Many theists would consider the above to be fanciful and wacky.

What is striking about theism is its intense anthropocentrism. Almost tribal, humans versus the world, which is probably what it felt like at times back then. There is an attitude that nothing of significance or note exists that does not have a human form, hence the male human God of the Abrahamics. Pride prevents such people from being able to worship a female deity, let alone an oblate spheroid, no matter how mind-shatteringly huge and powerful it may be.

I could write at length about how the supermassive black hole at the centre of our galaxy fits most of the usual criteria for "God" perfectly but the above will do for now :D

Jklint
Posts: 1392
Joined: February 23rd, 2012, 3:06 am

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

Post by Jklint » July 18th, 2019, 5:20 pm

Darshan wrote:
July 17th, 2019, 11:04 pm
To prove God is in Heaven is to understand the concept of the human soul. My parents did not create my soul but they created my physical body only. God is the creator of the human soul which starts in Heaven and where are souls go. Thus the fact that humans have a soul and that God is not here on earthell indirectly proves the existence of a divine force we call God. Finally the direct proof of God's existence is the concept of love. Love is an extremely complex force that is created by God and is the glue that holds our souls together. God is the creator of love and sustains this force here on earth. In a sense God is Love and Love is God which proves God exists.
Our relationship to god who love's us!

Image

Post Reply