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The need to concur on how to prove God exists or not.

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Caveman

Platinum Member
Nov 18, 1999
2,430
11
81
The thought here is not about the definition of God, but rather using a false basis to derive its definition or anything relating to it. Much like a scientist would not consider "proving" (in quotes for Cerpin Taxt) gravity with the metaphysical.

There were no inferences to Greco-Roman, or Judeo-Christian concepts of God. For the purposes of this discussion, I'm assuming our definition of God is based on the dictionary.
 

Cerpin Taxt

Lifer
Feb 23, 2005
11,895
365
126
How about: "Conclusions about God are not made inductively from a testable hypothesis". Does this help?
I suggest: "Conclusions about God are not based in reality."

Sorry, I assumed we were using the dictionary definition of God as our "fundamental definition"... I didn't mean to be so obtuse.
Your mistake here is to suppose that definitions are objective and static. Each person uses the word "god" differently, yet those usages largely overlap, naturally. Some of those usages are incoherent, meaning they are logically impossible, and as much can often be demonstrated via reductio ad absurdum.

I find it interesting that you're able to conclude clearly identifiable things about me and who I know and associate with without ever meeting me. You may want to revisit your methodology for drawing conclusions.
I'll go ahead and maintain my working hypothesis until it is falsified by further evidence.

FWIW, I'm no more biased to a fundamentalist Christian than I am to an atheist. Richard Dawkins has as much credibility in my mind as the religious zealots he lambasts. Read: none.
Richard Dawkins is one atheist. He isn't our leader. He isn't our pastor. He isn't even our spokesperson. He's just one guy with some ideas that interest other people, and some of them are better than others.
 
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sandorski

No Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
67,702
2,833
126
The thought here is not about the definition of God, but rather using a false basis to derive its definition or anything relating to it. Much like a scientist would not consider "proving" (in quotes for Cerpin Taxt) gravity with the metaphysical.

There were no inferences to Greco-Roman, or Judeo-Christian concepts of God. For the purposes of this discussion, I'm assuming our definition of God is based on the dictionary.
Where do you think the Dictionary got its' definition?
 

WelshBloke

Lifer
Jan 12, 2005
26,683
3,643
126
I don't get this 'well you can't prove that god doesn't exist' argument at all. People seem to think that if you can't prove that god doesn't exist it gives some veracity to the existence of god.
It really doesn't. At all.
 

Caveman

Platinum Member
Nov 18, 1999
2,430
11
81
I suggest: "Conclusions about God are not based in reality.".
Recommend: "Conclusions about God are not based in a physical reality".

Your mistake here is to suppose that definitions are objective and static. Each person uses the word "god" differently, yet those usages largely overlap, naturally. Some of those usages are incoherent, meaning they are logically impossible, and as much can often be demonstrated via reductio ad absurdum.
Nobody ever said definitions are objective and static. The only conclusion that should be drawn based on the data to this point is that there is a dictionary definition of God, and that it was assumed as the baseline from which a discussion can form.


I'll go ahead and maintain my working hypothesis until it is falsified by further evidence.
I can understand that.

Richard Dawkins is one atheist. He isn't our leader. He isn't our pastor. He isn't even our spokesperson. He's just one guy with some ideas that interest other people, and some of them are better than others.
The point was not that Richard Dawkins is an atheist "leader" (though from the data of his followers it's hard to conclude otherwise). Just saying that from my POV, the religious leaders he lambasts are as ignorant as he is. And... that is ok.
 

Caveman

Platinum Member
Nov 18, 1999
2,430
11
81
sandorski,

I have no data about the due diligence that Merriam and Webster used to formulate their definitions...
 

Caveman

Platinum Member
Nov 18, 1999
2,430
11
81
I don't get this 'well you can't prove that god doesn't exist' argument at all. People seem to think that if you can't prove that god doesn't exist it gives some veracity to the existence of god.
It really doesn't. At all.
I suppose there may be people who do think that... And, I can see how people that don't believe in alternate realities beyond this physical realm would be exasperated by those people...

Although I do believe in alternate realities beyond the physical, I don't believe that they give any veracity to the claim God exists and that claims of an alternate reality can be an intellectual crutch...
 

SMOGZINN

Lifer
Jun 17, 2005
12,977
2,509
126
I suppose there may be people who do think that... And, I can see how people that don't believe in alternate realities beyond this physical realm would be exasperated by those people...

Although I do believe in alternate realities beyond the physical, I don't believe that they give any veracity to the claim God exists and that claims of an alternate reality can be an intellectual crutch...
Define 'beyond the physical' because the phrase seems nonsensical to me.
Reality is physical, that is part of it's definition.
 

WelshBloke

Lifer
Jan 12, 2005
26,683
3,643
126
I suppose there may be people who do think that...
That would be everyone that pulls the 'well you can't prove that it's not true' argument.

You say that like it's some hardly mentioned, obscure trope that nobody uses, rather than the most (mis)used argument on the internet.
 

JD50

Lifer
Sep 4, 2005
10,941
170
106
Define 'beyond the physical' because the phrase seems nonsensical to me.
Reality is physical, that is part of it's definition.
Yep. "God exists outside of space and time" means God has existed for 0 seconds. If something has existed for 0 seconds, has it existed at all?
 

Cerpin Taxt

Lifer
Feb 23, 2005
11,895
365
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Recommend: "Conclusions about God are not based in a physical reality".
Seems like a distinction without a difference.

Nobody ever said definitions are objective and static.
Your arguments were based on the idea that there was static definition of god. They fall apart precisely because that is not the case.

The only conclusion that should be drawn based on the data to this point is that there is a dictionary definition of God, and that it was assumed as the baseline from which a discussion can form.
So what if there's a dictionary definition of god? A dictionary is just a record of usage, and it is by no means authoritative or exhaustive.

The point was not that Richard Dawkins is an atheist "leader" (though from the data of his followers it's hard to conclude otherwise). Just saying that from my POV, the religious leaders he lambasts are as ignorant as he is. And... that is ok.
So when you said "If you step back from it all, it becomes clear that an atheist behaves much like a bible toting fundamentalist Christian. They are the flip side of the same coin," you weren't actually talking about atheists. You were just talking about Richard Dawkins, who is one atheist.

Is that it?
 

MongGrel

Lifer
Dec 3, 2013
38,752
3,065
121
No one has really accepted the OPs step one for the most part it looks, and he hasn't posted in over a week here anyway.
 

Caveman

Platinum Member
Nov 18, 1999
2,430
11
81
Define 'beyond the physical' because the phrase seems nonsensical to me.
Reality is physical, that is part of it's definition.
A reality that is not bound by any physical laws that we know now or ever will. We are "bounded" by this physical place called the universe. Do good parents let their 3 year old out in the streets of Mumbai alone? Or, do they restrict their reality to something smaller.

Does something have to be physical to be real? Can there be other realms of existence?
 

Caveman

Platinum Member
Nov 18, 1999
2,430
11
81
That would be everyone that pulls the 'well you can't prove that it's not true' argument.

You say that like it's some hardly mentioned, obscure trope that nobody uses, rather than the most (mis)used argument on the internet.
Sorry, I've personally never heard that rationale in my circles... It seems like a very strange stance to say something IS true if you can't prove it.

There are many ways to prove a thing... Beliefs should be provable to the one who believes.
 

Caveman

Platinum Member
Nov 18, 1999
2,430
11
81
Yep. "God exists outside of space and time" means God has existed for 0 seconds. If something has existed for 0 seconds, has it existed at all?
An interesting question. If a thousand years was as a day to you, would you feel old or young? Perhaps there are beings that are not confined to the concept of time...
 

Yakk

Golden Member
May 28, 2016
1,574
272
81
Yep. "God exists outside of space and time" means God has existed for 0 seconds. If something has existed for 0 seconds, has it existed at all?
After a photon of light is generated it travels at the speed of light towards its destination, therefore time stops for it. This photon can travel for billions of years, yet only the exact moment it interacts with something does it slow down from the speed of light and time again resumes for it. A photon is generated and ends, the travel time inbetween is stopped for it.

Therefore does a photon exist? Could a photon be God?
 

SMOGZINN

Lifer
Jun 17, 2005
12,977
2,509
126
Does something have to be physical to be real?
Yes. I already stated that. The term 'real' means it is physical. The term for something that is not physical is 'imaginary'.


Sorry, I've personally never heard that rationale in my circles... It seems like a very strange stance to say something IS true if you can't prove it.

There are many ways to prove a thing... Beliefs should be provable to the one who believes.
You stated that you believe in :
I do believe in alternate realities beyond the physical
How do you prove that?
 

JD50

Lifer
Sep 4, 2005
10,941
170
106
An interesting question. If a thousand years was as a day to you, would you feel old or young? Perhaps there are beings that are not confined to the concept of time...
If they do not manifest themselves in this physical world in any way then for all intents and purposes they don't exist.
 

Cerpin Taxt

Lifer
Feb 23, 2005
11,895
365
126
Does something have to be physical to be real? Can there be other realms of existence?
Here's how I would put it:

A thing must be physical for it to be part of shared reality. Conscious individuals also have a "private" reality which is the realm of their dreams, feelings and imagination. You can call this "non-physical reality" if you like, but I think the term is misleading. I suggest "subjective reality."

Theists do not believe that their god is simply a dream or imaginary or otherwise only a part of their private subjective reality. They suggest that their god is part of a shared reality, but to do so they suggest that there must be some shared but "non-physical" reality. There is no evidence that any such reality exists.
 

mrjminer

Platinum Member
Dec 2, 2005
2,739
16
76
I think this is the best way I can qualify my thoughts.

The way I see it, there are one or two options, depending on how you want to look at it. I think the question everything leads to makes it a challenge to definitively give a 100% certain answer because it really depends if you accept the existence of the second possibility, which also seems to be a logical possibility. There are no more than two options and no less than one, though.

Ask yourself these questions:
1. What created the universe?
2. What created the thing that created the universe?
3. What created the thing that created the thing that created the universe?
4. etc...

Logic dictates there is a "God" (or "Gods") because there will never be an answer to how the first thing was created. No matter how many levels of explanations you go through, there is not going to be an answer to the next level, or the level after when you find the answer to the previous level, etc. However, logic also dictates that this means there can't be a "God." "God" must be the first thing created, but since there is nothing that could create "God," then "God" couldn't exist.

I think the only true solution to this problem is accept that "God" simply came about, so to speak, and have no option other than to accept this because it is the only option.
Simply put, you have to accept the impossible at some point because logic dictates that the impossible is the only way it even is possible.

Additionally, if we were living in a simulation the same is true; what created the things that created the simulation, etc. This impossible logic holds true in all instances: something came from nothing somewhere, and that something would have to be "God."

Now, here is where I think shit gets deep:

The only alternative, I believe, would be to accept that we are literally nothing. Nothing can exist, therefore we must be nothing.

You can stop there, or go on at this point based on what you are willing to accept. I think if we go on, we can introduce one more question that sort of highlights where you can take your stance on the matter when using only logic: how does nothing exist (or, not exist, rather)? One could now argue that "God" must exist because it is impossible for nothing to not exist (or, exist, rather?), and since "God" is the impossibly existent creator, "God" must be the thing that made it possible for nothing to not exist.

So, basically, you are logically forced to accept that you are literally nothing, or you can choose that nothing has to exist (again, or not exist), and the only way for this to be possible is if something created nothing, ergo "God." Or, if you dismiss the possibility that you are literally nothing, as nothing can't simply be nothing because it is impossible for nothing to not exist (or exist), then the only conclusion remaining is that there is a "God" which either created something, created nothing then created something, created the nothing that we are since nothing must exist but cannot create something, or didn't create nothing, but made it possible for nothing to not exist (...), in which case we would still be nothing since something cannot come from nothing (except in the instance of the "God," of course).
 
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sandorski

No Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
67,702
2,833
126
I think this is the best way I can qualify my thoughts.

The way I see it, there are one or two options, depending on how you want to look at it. I think the question everything leads to makes it a challenge to definitively give a 100% certain answer because it really depends if you accept the existence of the second possibility, which also seems to be a logical possibility. There are no more than two options and no less than one, though.

Ask yourself these questions:
1. What created the universe?
2. What created the thing that created the universe?
3. What created the thing that created the thing that created the universe?
4. etc...

Logic dictates there is a "God" (or "Gods") because there will never be an answer to how the first thing was created. No matter how many levels of explanations you go through, there is not going to be an answer to the next level, or the level after when you find the answer to the previous level, etc. However, logic also dictates that this means there can't be a "God." "God" must be the first thing created, but since there is nothing that could create "God," then "God" couldn't exist.

I think the only true solution to this problem is accept that "God" simply came about, so to speak, and have no option other than to accept this because it is the only option.
Simply put, you have to accept the impossible at some point because logic dictates that the impossible is the only way it even is possible.

Additionally, if we were living in a simulation the same is true; what created the things that created the simulation, etc. This impossible logic holds true in all instances: something came from nothing somewhere, and that something would have to be "God."

Now, here is where I think shit gets deep:

The only alternative, I believe, would be to accept that we are literally nothing. Nothing can exist, therefore we must be nothing.

You can stop there, or go on at this point based on what you are willing to accept. I think if we go on, we can introduce one more question that sort of highlights where you can take your stance on the matter when using only logic: how does nothing exist (or, not exist, rather)? One could now argue that "God" must exist because it is impossible for nothing to not exist (or, exist, rather?), and since "God" is the impossibly existent creator, "God" must be the thing that made it possible for nothing to not exist.

So, basically, you are logically forced to accept that you are literally nothing, or you can choose that nothing has to exist (again, or not exist), and the only way for this to be possible is if something created nothing, ergo "God." Or, if you dismiss the possibility that you are literally nothing, as nothing can't simply be nothing because it is impossible for nothing to not exist (or exist), then the only conclusion remaining is that there is a "God" which either created something, created nothing then created something, created the nothing that we are since nothing must exist but cannot create something, or didn't create nothing, but made it possible for nothing to not exist (...), in which case we would still be nothing since something cannot come from nothing (except in the instance of the "God," of course).
Is a god a Thing?
 

mrjminer

Platinum Member
Dec 2, 2005
2,739
16
76
Is a god a Thing?
For lack of the ability to classify a "God" as anything else, I would lean towards yes. Something like "entity," may work, but that may be too descriptive and suggest knowledge of the "thing" being an "entity." I think the level of knowledge we could possibly have has reached a pinnacle; you cannot know what you can never know. So, "thing" is probably the best, most generic categorization our primitive minds have to classify "God."

Is nothing a thing?
 

mrjminer

Platinum Member
Dec 2, 2005
2,739
16
76
No, it doesn't.



What first thing?
I'm not arguing for the sake of arguing. I am obviously logically correct.

You must either accept that there is a "God," or that you are literally nothing. Those are your two options. I have not made my selection yet, personally. I could see myself going either way. But, as I said, those are the only two possible options.

Oh forgot to mention, and "God" would be the first thing. I think you are misconstruing "God." Think of it like this: "God" isn't the first thing, the first thing is always "God" because it is the thing for which you must accept the impossible. Or nothing would be the only thing, whichever you choose :O
 
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sandorski

No Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
67,702
2,833
126
For lack of the ability to classify a "God" as anything else, I would lean towards yes. Something like "entity," may work, but that may be too descriptive and suggest knowledge of the "thing" being an "entity." I think the level of knowledge we could possibly have has reached a pinnacle; you cannot know what you can never know. So, "thing" is probably the best, most generic categorization our primitive minds have to classify "God."

Is nothing a thing?
If a Thing always existed, then what makes up the Universe can always have existed.

"Nothing", by definition, can not be a Thing.
 

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