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Old 10-22-2018, 03:50 AM   #51
lagtight
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Re: Is there any proof of God?

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Originally Posted by White_Gatsby View Post

Aaron's logic: You see the reason we are all suffering is because back in the day, thousands of years ago, some dude and dudette decided to sin, yep, they decided to eat an apple. An apple? Yeah an apple, buuuuut...

The apple is a metaphor, a methaphor, I ask... yeah, like it wasn't the apple that did it, it was the fact that their Master Satan told them to not do something....gotcha......
How is any of this Aaron's logic? Aaron doesn't believe any of this. You are a liar.
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Old 10-22-2018, 03:52 AM   #52
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Re: Is there any proof of God?

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By the way. Just to dispense with the debate about the word "proof" I see that I have to tell people that there cannot be a proof of God unless people trained in proofs read it and then proclaimed God MUST exist. Proof is completely different from evidence.
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Old 10-22-2018, 04:01 AM   #53
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Re: Is there any proof of God?

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If you ever bring up why we suffer, this is the brilliant logic you get in return, after I heard that, I was convinced that the bible was the true word of God, I mean how can anyone disagree with that, story, I mean the logic, I was perplexed first time I heard about this, it all started to make perfect sense to me! Aaron, back me up on this 1, how can anybody disagree?
Theodicy is an interesting topic to me. You might enjoy God, Freedom and Evil by Alvin Plantinga. The argument therein is far more intellectually robust than most popular responses to the so-called Problem of Evil.
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Old 10-22-2018, 03:44 PM   #54
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Re: Is there any proof of God?

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I love how you still haven't thought deeply enough to even begin to tease apart the nature of your assumptions about "evidence" and yet you think you're ready for a real conversation about it.
If a Christian says they believe in the Christian God because of faith, would you say that they know that the Christian god exists, etc? By "know" here I don't mean psychologically certain, but rather in the epistemic sense of being epistemically justified or warranted in their belief. That is, does faith epistemically justify/warrant belief, or is the justification provided by faith a non-epistemic justification for belief, a la Kierkegaard or James?
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Old 10-23-2018, 05:30 PM   #55
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Re: Is there any proof of God?

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If a Christian says they believe in the Christian God because of faith, would you say that they know that the Christian god exists, etc? By "know" here I don't mean psychologically certain, but rather in the epistemic sense of being epistemically justified or warranted in their belief. That is, does faith epistemically justify/warrant belief, or is the justification provided by faith a non-epistemic justification for belief, a la Kierkegaard or James?
The problem is not that Christian will claim that they are warranted to "know" that God exists. Almost all of them would acknowledge they don't have a right to that thought. Rather it is that they claim that it is reasonable to think that there God is over 50% to exist even if you don't have faith. They think the objective evidence makes them a favorite.
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Old 10-23-2018, 11:00 PM   #56
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Re: Is there any proof of God?

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The problem is not that Christian will claim that they are warranted to "know" that God exists. Almost all of them would acknowledge they don't have a right to that thought. Rather it is that they claim that it is reasonable to think that there God is over 50% to exist even if you don't have faith. They think the objective evidence makes them a favorite.
What objective evidence makes them a favorite, from their perspective?

I haven't talked with very many Christians about religion, but when I have, the best reason I can get for their belief is that they "just know" God exists. They don't have a rational justification and don't seem to care.
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Old 10-24-2018, 12:14 AM   #57
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Re: Is there any proof of God?

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If a Christian says they believe in the Christian God because of faith, would you say that they know that the Christian god exists, etc? By "know" here I don't mean psychologically certain, but rather in the epistemic sense of being epistemically justified or warranted in their belief.
I would say that it's hard for me to answer that question without inquiring further. One of the issues that comes up with "faith" is that it is interpreted to mean many different things depending on who you're talking to and differently for the same individual based on the context.

For example, some argue that faith itself is the "leap of" variety in which you have to be "trusting God" and not your own logic. These are also the same as the people who argue things like "how can it be faith if you already know?" This is part of a particular anti-intellectual strand of "faith" that puts "faith" and "knowledge" as opposite ends of a singular spectrum. If you have knowledge, then it's not faith, and if you have faith then it's not knowledge.

That point being made, I would say that many are not epistemically warranted. I suspect they are using "know" much more in the sense of a measure of confidence, which need not be associated with epistemological grounding.

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That is, does faith epistemically justify/warrant belief, or is the justification provided by faith a non-epistemic justification for belief, a la Kierkegaard or James?
My personal sense of faith is much more along the lines of the latter. For example, I do believe that "faith" contains some sort of "actionable component" that goes beyond mere intellectual assent of statements.

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Originally Posted by Kierkegaard Article
For Kierkegaard Christian faith is not a matter of regurgitating church dogma. It is a matter of individual subjective passion, which cannot be mediated by the clergy or by human artefacts.
I'm not completely sure in this quote what is meant by the phrasing after "individual subjective passion" but everything before that I'm in full agreement with.

I'm not at all familiar with James' "Will to Believe" argument, so my position is a little less firm (it will require more reading and reflecting to work through the position), but...

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Originally Posted by James Article
Jamesís argument, in its attack on the agnostic imperative (withhold belief whenever the evidence is insufficient), makes the general epistemological point that:

a rule of thinking which would absolutely prevent me from acknowledging certain kinds of truth if those kinds of truth were really there, would be an irrational rule. (James 1896, 28)
I have made the argument that the agnostic imperative is, at the minimum, not the way people "actually" live life. We quite often act on the absence of evidence. We may not know, or even believe, but we might "suspect" something is the case and then begin to act in a manner that opens the door to allow us to eventually believe it is true. And it's also the case that the failure to adopt such a position could make it *impossible* to believe something to be true, even if it is.

I've made this point several times with regards to the question of how one proposes "evidence" for God. We've seen versions of the "I prayed to God for a sign and didn't get one, so God must not exist" and the "Give me an experiment in which I can detect God" that I would simply reject as being unhelpful for determining God's existence. But if you come to the table with this idea that God's existence requires him to behave in these types of ways, then I would agree with you that "God" as such does not exist.

I can't remember the exact language I used to use when threads of that type were more common, but it's something like "What you believe is a function of what you assume." The purpose of that statement was to point out that it's entirely possible to assume yourself out of the argument because you've established a system of belief that makes it logically impossible for you to conclude God's existence.

An example of this is the "supernatural" argument, where "supernatural" means "not of nature" but you only allow for "natural universe" explanations. Within that framework, there's literally no way to believe that "supernatural" beings could exist even if supernatural beings existed in reality.

Our assumptions about the universe open and close doors to what we *can* believe about the universe around us. A type of actionable faith can put you in position to observe/experience things that might otherwise not been observed/experienced. Does such a faith then become justification of belief? Maybe, but it's dicey and dangerous. Such a system would allow for the beliefs in superstitions and homeopathy that require a little too little support for justification.

So I do think that there is a certain level of non-epistemic justification in what I might call the "living out of faith" in the sense that one acts from a position of incomplete knowledge. There is some form of an "individual subjective passion" that allows the pieces to fit together in a certain way. But I would be quick to point out that "faith" in its fullness is not devoid of or disjoint from other types of epistemic justification. Simply acting from a lack of knowledge does not make a faith "stronger" or "better." It's not that one is acting in the complete absence of knowledge, but rather acting within incomplete knowledge.
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Old 10-24-2018, 12:25 AM   #58
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Re: Is there any proof of God?

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There's loads of evidence of God's existence. Unfortunately it is almost all anecdotal, and anecdotes are one of the weakest forms of evidence as they are rarely verifiable or reproducible, and are extremely susceptible to individual bias.
This isn't really true. Ironically, I suspect your reason for believing this is highly anecdotal.

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All other "evidence" of God's existence that I can think of has a common flaw. When people can't understand something, they claim that God can explain it and that this is evidence of God. The problem with this approach is that God is designed as the answer to questions where answers are otherwise unknown. One can not arrive at "God" as the answer to a question by logical means. God is the answer by definition. Even if one were to accept that being unable to explain something is evidence of God, it does nothing to support a particular nature of God.
This broad generalization is certainly false across a wide spectrum of religious beliefs. Your characterization of "God" as what looks to be the "explainer of things" doesn't really fit in with how most religious people think of God. It especially doesn't fit in very well with how most religious *thinkers* think about God.

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"I don't know" is a valid position. Religious people for some reason don't seem content to live in ignorance.
I don't think I rejected "I don't know" as being invalid. If I did somewhere, please quote me.

As for what "religious people" do, I would again suggest that broad generalizations are not supported by your argumentation and is likely an error on your part.

I would say that people who pursue knowledge in any form probably aren't content to live in ignorance (as they are actively looking to remove ignorance from their lives), and that it's not necessarily a bad thing to be discontent with ignorance.
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Old 10-24-2018, 12:27 AM   #59
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Re: Is there any proof of God?

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What objective evidence makes them a favorite, from their perspective?

I haven't talked with very many Christians about religion, but when I have, the best reason I can get for their belief is that they "just know" God exists. They don't have a rational justification and don't seem to care.
If you had been around this forum several years ago you would have found many people claiming that it was more rational to think God was a favorite than an underdog. (Actually its kind of necessary that they think that because if they don't think that it means that those who don't believe would not be justifieg to be punished.)
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Old 10-24-2018, 03:30 AM   #60
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Re: Is there any proof of God?

Hi Everyone:

I haven't read this thread, but one way to possibly answer this question is to look at history and see if there were unusual events or people that occurred which changed history for the good. Here are two possible events/people that just might qualify:

1. In the War of 1812, the British landed just South of Washington DC, marched to the city, and burned it to the ground. They were next going to move on to Baltimore to join other British forces that were landing there. But that night, a hurricane hit, or something close to a hurricane, that essentially destroyed this army and they had to withdraw, and how many hurricanes in our history have hit Washington DC? This meant the British forces at Baltimore were not strong enough to take that city and the country was saved.

2. In 1861, at the start of the Civil War, a completely failed person and former Army Officer who was run out of the Army for excessive drinking, by the name of Ulysses S. Grant, showed up in Illinois offering his service to the Army. Since he had a West Point education, and people with that background were badly needed at that time, he was made a Colonel of Volunteers and was put to work training new soldiers. In normal times, he never would have been given a chance to do much of anything, but he somehow understood how to use large armies (when most other Union Generals didn't) and with some help from his friend William Sherman, won the war for the North. If you read his history, he doesn't make any sense, and yet he's the man, even more than Lincoln, who freed the slaves because his armies won the battles.

So the question is, are there enough events/people like this in history where something very good is done and it doesn't make sense for it to happen? And is this possible evidence of the existence of God?

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 10-24-2018, 06:18 AM   #61
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Re: Is there any proof of God?

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people like this in history where something very good is done and it doesn't make sense for it to happen? And is this possible evidence of the existence of God?

Best wishes,
Mason
It would be as much evidence of the devil existing whenever something very bad happens and it doesn't make sense for it to happen. So in other words, useless.
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Old 10-24-2018, 08:02 AM   #62
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Re: Is there any proof of God?

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Originally Posted by Mason Malmuth View Post
Hi Everyone:

I haven't read this thread, but one way to possibly answer this question is to look at history and see if there were unusual events or people that occurred which changed history for the good. Here are two possible events/people that just might qualify:

1. In the War of 1812, the British landed just South of Washington DC, marched to the city, and burned it to the ground. They were next going to move on to Baltimore to join other British forces that were landing there. But that night, a hurricane hit, or something close to a hurricane, that essentially destroyed this army and they had to withdraw, and how many hurricanes in our history have hit Washington DC? This meant the British forces at Baltimore were not strong enough to take that city and the country was saved.

2. In 1861, at the start of the Civil War, a completely failed person and former Army Officer who was run out of the Army for excessive drinking, by the name of Ulysses S. Grant, showed up in Illinois offering his service to the Army. Since he had a West Point education, and people with that background were badly needed at that time, he was made a Colonel of Volunteers and was put to work training new soldiers. In normal times, he never would have been given a chance to do much of anything, but he somehow understood how to use large armies (when most other Union Generals didn't) and with some help from his friend William Sherman, won the war for the North. If you read his history, he doesn't make any sense, and yet he's the man, even more than Lincoln, who freed the slaves because his armies won the battles.

So the question is, are there enough events/people like this in history where something very good is done and it doesn't make sense for it to happen? And is this possible evidence of the existence of God?

Best wishes,
Mason
While I appreciate that someone actually tried to offer some type of evidence ITT, this is really the best you have? If a deity was intervening in human history to eliminate slavery, why did he seemingly do none of these hurricanes and unlikely promotions in the two thousand years prior? Neither of these events, giving you the full benefit of the doubt on their importance to the success of the war, seems even the tiniest bit compelling. Well, they would probably be a compelling story in a Dan Carlin podcast.
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Old 10-25-2018, 01:44 AM   #63
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Re: Is there any proof of God?

Does everyone realize that if I claim to be God and further claim that I can predict all coinflips and you say that is a quintillion to one and then you flip a coin once and I predict it you must basically double my chances of being God to 500 quadrillion to one?

Not irrelevant because some people say that the evidence that there exists a God who reveals himself is the Bible. And all the atheists who say that is nonsense are actually wrong.
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Old 10-25-2018, 09:35 AM   #64
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Re: Is there any proof of God?

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Does everyone realize that if I claim to be God and further claim that I can predict all coinflips and you say that is a quintillion to one and then you flip a coin once and I predict it you must basically double my chances of being God to 500 quadrillion to one?

Not irrelevant because some people say that the evidence that there exists a God who reveals himself is the Bible. And all the atheists who say that is nonsense are actually wrong.
As usual, when atheists reject the bible as significant evidence for the position that god exists, they are not meaning this. Your silly betting game way of interpreting the world isn't how most people interpret things.
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Old 10-25-2018, 11:41 AM   #65
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Re: Is there any proof of God?

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Does everyone realize that if I claim to be God and further claim that I can predict all coinflips and you say that is a quintillion to one and then you flip a coin once and I predict it you must basically double my chances of being God to 500 quadrillion to one?
Suppose I grant you a 75% chance that (you're God and that you can predict all coin flips). Does your being right on the next coin flip mean that you've got a 150% of being God?
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Old 10-25-2018, 07:26 PM   #66
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Re: Is there any proof of God?

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It would be as much evidence of the devil existing whenever something very bad happens and it doesn't make sense for it to happen. So in other words, useless.
Hi Kelvin:

You misunderstand my criterion. The event/person has to be completely unexpected. So something happening thatís good or bad, while being a necessary condition, is not a sufficient condition, and youíll need both. Having a hurricane (or perhaps a series of tornadoes) happening at just the right time in in Washington DC where stuff like this virtually never happens, meets the criterion. Having a great fleet being damaged by a hurricane in the Caribbean during the month of September does not. See the difference?

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 10-25-2018, 07:37 PM   #67
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Re: Is there any proof of God?

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While I appreciate that someone actually tried to offer some type of evidence ITT, this is really the best you have? If a deity was intervening in human history to eliminate slavery, why did he seemingly do none of these hurricanes and unlikely promotions in the two thousand years prior? Neither of these events, giving you the full benefit of the doubt on their importance to the success of the war, seems even the tiniest bit compelling. Well, they would probably be a compelling story in a Dan Carlin podcast.
Hi uke:

I didnít put an estimate as to how compelling these events were. But letís look at the first one. No hurricane, the British Army at Washington DC marches north and joins their other forces at Baltimore, which then falls. The US is split in two and the war ends. The result is perhaps two countries and a lost of territory in the Northwest and no ability for the US to expand. Things might have been a lot different if it wasnít for this unusual storm.

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 10-25-2018, 08:31 PM   #68
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Re: Is there any proof of God?

I think there are good arguments for the existence of God. There are also good objections to those arguments. However, that is not why I believe if I am being honest.

I think rationally, both positions are equally likely to be true based on the available evidence (by both positions I mean a world with god and a world without god) ive found rationalizing things like morality, purpose and love as being ontological things make more sense in the first world. For that reason I believe, if I found a good argument that made it seem the godless world was more likely id accept it, just like im sure if you found an argument that made the god world more likely youd accept that too.

If you are curious here are some common arguments for the existence of god, I have a rudimentary understanding of them all but not a deep understanding of any of them

The ontological argument
The first cause argument (the Kalam Cosmological Argument)
The moral argument for gods existence
The fine tuning argument
The teleological argument

There are also arguments against naturalism which I find interesting like Plantingas evolutionary argument against naturalism. Which essentially argues naturalism doesn't make sense if evolution happens on a large scale. You can read about it here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolut...nst_naturalism
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Old 10-26-2018, 02:01 AM   #69
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Re: Is there any proof of God?

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Originally Posted by David Sklansky View Post
Does everyone realize that if I claim to be God and further claim that I can predict all coinflips and you say that is a quintillion to one and then you flip a coin once and I predict it you must basically double my chances of being God to 500 quadrillion to one?

Not irrelevant because some people say that the evidence that there exists a God who reveals himself is the Bible. And all the atheists who say that is nonsense are actually wrong.
If you get it right 1,000 times in a row, that doesn't mean you're almost certainly God. Don't we have to consider that you could have predicted the coin flip in other ways? For example, it could be a trick coin, which has a far greater prior likelihood than you being God.
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Old 10-26-2018, 05:13 AM   #70
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Re: Is there any proof of God?

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I think rationally, both positions are equally likely to be true based on the available evidence
That's bat****.
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Old 10-26-2018, 07:55 AM   #71
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Re: Is there any proof of God?

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Hi uke:

I didnít put an estimate as to how compelling these events were. But letís look at the first one. No hurricane, the British Army at Washington DC marches north and joins their other forces at Baltimore, which then falls. The US is split in two and the war ends. The result is perhaps two countries and a lost of territory in the Northwest and no ability for the US to expand. Things might have been a lot different if it wasnít for this unusual storm.

Best wishes,
Mason
Dearest Mason,

Let's accept, for the sake of argument, the historical claim that this unusual storm was the difference maker in the civil war. If God did that - use weather to influence human events - it begs the question: why not use an unusual storm and so forth to influence things in the thousands of years of slavery (and many other atrocities) before that? Why not send some holocaust blocking storms, for instance? The history of the world appears far more consistent with, at best, a deity that is utterly uninterested in mass suffering, than one trying to use a little helping hand to end civil wars and the like.

Always and forever yours,
uke
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Old 10-26-2018, 01:44 PM   #72
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Re: Is there any proof of God?

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That's bat****.
No, I don't agree. There is no way to know if the universe is contingent upon God existing. The available evidence would look exactly the same with or without God. In other words, god is either a metaphysical necessity or impossible to exist. Unlike, say you for example or bicycles there exists a possible world in which the outcomes could be different. There exists a world where you could be president or where bicycles never existed. We cant say the same thing about God. The true answer to the question couldn't be any different in any possible world.

Also, I think the arguments for atheism.. IE: Evil God, Problem of evil etc.. Do not provide any more sufficient reasons to reject theism than the arguments for theism are to reject atheism.
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Old 10-26-2018, 01:49 PM   #73
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Re: Is there any proof of God?

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No, I don't agree. There is no way to know if the universe is contingent upon God existing. The available evidence would look exactly the same with or without God. In other words, god is either a metaphysical necessity or impossible to exist. Unlike, say you for example or bicycles there exists a possible world in which the outcomes could be different. There exists a world where you could be president or where bicycles never existed. We cant say the same thing about God. The true answer to the question couldn't be any different in any possible world.

Also, I think the arguments for atheism.. IE: Evil God, Problem of evil etc.. Do not provide any more sufficient reasons to reject theism than the arguments for theism are to reject atheism.
Maybe the universe is contingent on the existence of the flying spaghetti monster. We just don't know and since the argument goes the same for any other god, there is a 50/50 he exists.

Everything is 50/50, either it is real or not.
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Old 10-26-2018, 03:35 PM   #74
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Re: Is there any proof of God?

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There is no way to know if the universe is contingent upon God existing. The available evidence would look exactly the same with or without God.
Why then should I care? As in, this "metaphysical necessity" doesn't manifest itself in the universe in anyway that is - by definition - detectable, why should this affect us? Like I'm not going to put on a silly hat unless there is some compelling reason here.
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Old 10-26-2018, 04:00 PM   #75
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Re: Is there any proof of God?

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Suppose I grant you a 75% chance that (you're God and that you can predict all coin flips). Does your being right on the next coin flip mean that you've got a 150% of being God?
Wow. Its 6/7. Unbelievable.
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