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

Post by EricPH »

LuckyR wrote: January 15th, 2022, 4:46 am Theists shouldn't feel bad that gods are unprovable.
Agreed; because we have faith and trust; that God the creator of all that is seen and unseen; exists fully and totally.

Can you have that same power of conviction without proof; that the universe came to be purely by natural causes?
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LuckyR
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Re: Why Believe in a God when It is Impossible to Prove?

Post by LuckyR »

EricPH wrote: January 15th, 2022, 10:44 am
LuckyR wrote: January 15th, 2022, 4:46 am Theists shouldn't feel bad that gods are unprovable.
Agreed; because we have faith and trust; that God the creator of all that is seen and unseen; exists fully and totally.

Can you have that same power of conviction without proof; that the universe came to be purely by natural causes?
That's a question for a comparitive psychologist, not a philosopher.
"As usual... it depends."
Karpel Tunnel
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Re: Why Believe in a God when It is Impossible to Prove?

Post by Karpel Tunnel »

People believe in all sorts of things that are impossible to prove or that they have not proved (exist/happened). It's not a great criterion. Certainly finding evidence and demonstrating things or finding out if they can be demonstrated is a great process, but ruling out belief in anything that one has not proved is the case would be a limited and poor heuristic.
Belindi
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Re: Why Believe in a God when It is Impossible to Prove?

Post by Belindi »

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
People believe in all sorts of things that are impossible to prove or that they have not proved (exist/happened).
That is why people believe in the truth of good novels and good fine art. These express aspects of the human condition and human environments which we recognise from experience are true. It's legitimate for a social anthropologist to refer to a novel that expresses the conditions of real lives.

My claim is religious belief in religious myth is more or less institutionalised art .
EricPH
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Re: Why Believe in a God when It is Impossible to Prove?

Post by EricPH »

Belindi wrote: January 16th, 2022, 7:37 am My claim is religious belief in religious myth is more or less institutionalised art .
I am troubled by religion. But I have no problem with God the creator of all that is seen and unseen. We are all created by the same God; and the same God hears all our prayers despite our differences. You will never look into the eyes of anyone who does not matter to God.

Humans are poor imitators of God; so we rarely reflect the God we worship. In my opinion religions do not reflect who God is; we are all lacking.
Belindi
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Re: Why Believe in a God when It is Impossible to Prove?

Post by Belindi »

EricPH wrote: January 19th, 2022, 8:54 pm
Belindi wrote: January 16th, 2022, 7:37 am My claim is religious belief in religious myth is more or less institutionalised art .
I am troubled by religion. But I have no problem with God the creator of all that is seen and unseen. We are all created by the same God; and the same God hears all our prayers despite our differences. You will never look into the eyes of anyone who does not matter to God.

Humans are poor imitators of God; so we rarely reflect the God we worship. In my opinion religions do not reflect who God is; we are all lacking.
I too have no trouble with the idea of God. The problem is the idea of God is so attractive we may be kidding ourselves.

I prefer to keep my idea of trust and belief in God as Earthly, not other -worldly. There are as many ways to recognise God as there are people.
EricPH
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Re: Why Believe in a God when It is Impossible to Prove?

Post by EricPH »

Belindi wrote: January 20th, 2022, 5:17 am There are as many ways to recognise God as there are people.
The only God worth searching for is the creator of all that is seen and unseen.
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Re: Why Believe in a God when It is Impossible to Prove?

Post by Belindi »

EricPH wrote: January 20th, 2022, 6:51 pm
Belindi wrote: January 20th, 2022, 5:17 am There are as many ways to recognise God as there are people.
The only God worth searching for is the creator of all that is seen and unseen.
I disagree. Much that is created is ugly, painful, criminal, destructive, greedy, and brutal. The God worth searching for is the good, the true and the beautiful.
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LuckyR
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Re: Why Believe in a God when It is Impossible to Prove?

Post by LuckyR »

EricPH wrote: January 20th, 2022, 6:51 pm
Belindi wrote: January 20th, 2022, 5:17 am There are as many ways to recognise God as there are people.
The only God worth searching for is the creator of all that is seen and unseen.
A very popular opinion.
"As usual... it depends."
anonymous66
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Re: Why Believe in a God when It is Impossible to Prove?

Post by anonymous66 »

Averroes believed that religions were a positive force in societies. So for him the proper response would be to tolerate religions and belief in God (as opposed to trying to dissuade belief in God).
Raymond
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Re: Why Believe in a God when It is Impossible to Prove?

Post by Raymond »

Why NOT to believe if it's impossible to prove? It can't be proved either that they DON'T exist. Gods give meaning to what science describes. Science can't give meaning or an explanation of why there's a universe with life in it.
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Sy Borg
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Re: Why Believe in a God when It is Impossible to Prove?

Post by Sy Borg »

Raymond wrote: April 4th, 2022, 1:38 pmWhy NOT to believe if it's impossible to prove? It can't be proved either that they DON'T exist. Gods give meaning to what science describes. Science can't give meaning or an explanation of why there's a universe with life in it.
That was Pascal's logic. For believers, they either went to heaven or no longer existing. For non-believers, the choices were hell or no longer existing.

Where he went wrong was 1) not considering opportunity costs of belief or 2) belief cannot be feigned, certainly not well enough to fool an omniscient deity. For instance, who can convince themselves that their mobile phones are run by tiny leprechauns? So not everyone is capable of believing that Jesus was born of a virgin, resurrected or performed miracles, eg. conjuring fish to feed the crowd. The Bible is silent as to whether the fish appeared on dry land alive and flapping, freshly dead or if they were lightly sautéed in lemon butter sauce.

I am unconvinced that literal belief in the myths of the past is the best way forward. However, I expect there's plenty of value in nuanced readings that take into account the generous use of metaphor, cultural biases and political influencing (of the time) that lie in the Bible's pages.
Raymond
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Re: Why Believe in a God when It is Impossible to Prove?

Post by Raymond »

"That was Pascal's logic. For believers, they either went to heaven or no longer existing. For non-believers, the choices were hell or no longer existing."

That's where his logic differs from mine. I don't believe in hell nonsense.
Raymond
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Re: Why Believe in a God when It is Impossible to Prove?

Post by Raymond »

"For instance, who can convince themselves that their mobile phones are run by tiny leprechauns?"

Aren't they? :)
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