This argument in my opinion isn’t the stongest one but it does require some answering. Basically it says that if something is being desired, it points to something that exists which fulfills that desire.
For example, people get hungry. The fact that hunger (desire for food) exists, means that food must definitely exist. People desire for companionship, therefore companionship must exist.
It need not be a 1 to 1 correspondence though. For example, someone might desire to be king of the world. But we’re pretty sure a “King of the world” doesn’t exist. What does exist is what the man actually desires which may be, riches or power. Both of which most definitely exist.
Then people desire God. Since this is an atheist site I’d like to ask what this desire could possibly be since a desire for a higher power does in fact exist. If not God, what could it possibly be?
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Desire doesnt always translate into something real. When I was 18 I desired the perfect female partner. It turns out she never existed outside my imaginings.
The OP actually responds to this already. It does, however, mean that possible female partners do exist. But yeah, I feel you.
My girlfriend had always desired for the perfect guy. Instead, she got me. Lol.
I started dating the perfect female partner when I was 18. Celebrating 18 years of marriage this year.
Hey there, Glacier. Welcome to the AR. You a lieutenant with a county department?
Nope. Are you the tin man?
There have been moments. *chuckle*
Edit. Removed duplicate post.
The desire of God answers the desire for a justice this world does not usually provide and the yearnings of being more special than the rest of our fellow animals so to have a second chance in a better world... Just a chimera.
(Edited to fix mistakes)
Thanks for this answer, flemenca. I think you answered this quite a while back. This is actually the kind of answer I was looking for. Thanks!
JoC : If the desire for gods equal the desire for justice beyond what this world provides does that mean there is justice from somewhere else? I think that is an impossible argument to make since all progress made for justice has only been human.
I desire square circles.
Do you, really? Honestly... If you really do, I can say you desire for irrationality. Which does exist.
What is fulfilling my desire?
Irrationality, I guess.
You do understand that irrationality is a description of a square circle and not itself a square circle. Now again I ask more explicitly: what exists which fulfills my desire for square circles (which your OP tells us must exist).
And I ask yet again. Does this desire actually exist?
I think your desire for a square circle is simply a desire to prove me wrong.
Well sure, I'd like to see it.
Squares and cubes are much easier to calculate. Circles start out with an irrational number to define the circumference. It actually is irrational to NOT desire square circles for a mathematician as circles and spheres are such a bother.
So yes, the desire exists.
You just have the desire to discredit a point which you don't have an argument for in order to keep pushing your argument. It doesn't make your argument rational.
Reference Realeaux tetrahedron
You say that a desire for squared circle is irrational. Wouldn't that also apply to desire in a god?
You can find the area of a circle in square units of measurement so it's like a square circle. Remember, a circle is only a true circle if you're looking at it directly perpendicular from 90 degrees. Otherwise it becomes and oval and eventually a flat line.
I can think of many, many examples where people desire something that does not exist. Obviously most people desire things that do or can exist, otherwise it would be pretty silly to desire it, so thoughts of desire tend to stray to what people think can possibly exist and obtain.
An easy example is many people greatly desire to regrow a lost limb. But no matter how much they desire it, it does not exist, it won't happen.
Then things I desire (on some level but I certainly do not dwell on) but does not exist, first 10 that comes to mind (no particular order other than the first 10 things that are not real that pop in my mind.)
1. Super human strength (be superman)
2. never get sick
3. never die
4. be bulletproof or otherwise impervious to harm
5. be able to read minds at will
6. be able to predict the future (stock market, crypto currencies etc)
7. to be able to control the minds of other people or animals when I need to
8. to be able to be warm or cool when ever I want simply
9. to be able to instantly remember anything I want to remember in great detail
10. to greatly increase my intelligence from a cheap easy pill with no side effects
I am sure I could think of thousands of things given time.
Point is: our desires include things that are both real and not real. Certainly no sign for god because people desire gods and people only desire things that exist.
I don't know how this came to this but, the fact that amputees desire for their lost limb to regrow actually implies that limbs exist.
1. Super human strength (be superman) - strength. this does exist.
2. never get sick - health exists
3. never die - longevity exists
4. be bulletproof or otherwise impervious to harm - safety exists
5. be able to read minds at will - I wish I had this too. lol. But I could attribute this to power.
6. be able to predict the future (stock market, crypto currencies etc) - given the situation you give me, I'd say you desire for money.
7. to be able to control the minds of other people or animals when I need to - again, power
8. to be able to be warm or cool when ever I want simply - you desire comfort.
9. to be able to instantly remember anything I want to remember in great detail - a good memory definitely exists. I wish I had this too.
10. to greatly increase my intelligence from a cheap easy pill with no side effects - knowledge and truth should exist.
The point is, all of our desires point to something that is real. The desire itself may not be real but it certainly points to something real. My question then is, as I have done with the things you've mentioned, what would a desire of god point to? One poster has said justice. I would agree that Justice does exist but I don't know how that would translate to the desire for God.
Well sure, there are plenty of base real world attainable desires behind desires of things strictly by themselves do no exist.
Going along that line of reasoning the answers for the desire of god can be: desire for answers knowledge, desire for justice, desire for afterlife, desire for meaning of life and so on.
Just like superman strength is based on a real world desire for strength, desire of superman strength in no way means superman actually exists.
That's exactly the point I think of my OP. The idea is, the desire for a God is real. My question would be, what "base real world attainable desires behind" this desire does in fact exist?
Desire for answers, desire for life after death, the desire for justice, desire for a father figure, desire to be told what to do, desire for meaning of life. And for some that want to misuse other people's desire for a god, the desire for money, the desire for power, the desire to control others, desire to have trusted access to children, (w/o requiring a background check.) The desire to be right. Probably just tip of the iceberg in the real world desires behind the desire for god.
What point are you trying to make with base desires behind desire for god? Your response steps away from your OP in the sense of: "desire of god" proves god.
I was simply stating the argument from desire for God. I personally don't think it's a very strong argument but I see something in it I can't refute.
Let's take your answers, for example.
"Desire for answers, desire for life after death, the desire for justice, desire for a father figure, desire to be told what to do, desire for meaning of life"
You mention two things that give me pause when looking at it from an atheistic perspective - life after death and meaning of life. You'd then agree that these two things in fact exist? Remember, I'm asking for the baseline thing in reality that does exist.
You also mentioned justice. I think we'd both agree that that does in fact exist. Although we cannot measure it empirically.
I started this thread a while back and I believe my purpose was to introduce the idea that empirical evidence is NOT the only tool we need to prove that anything exists.
@ JoC "I started this thread a while back and I believe my purpose was to introduce the idea that empirical evidence is NOT the only tool we need to prove that anything exists."
That is a massive pile of doo doo. Your tactic is one of a fail, you know that god cannot be proven. Thus you resort to very flawed logic.
By your logic, all one has to state is that "I desire X", and thus "X" is true.
Where else in this entire planet, for any other field, is one foolish enough to apply this methodology? Ship building? Military planning? Economics? Taking out a mortgage? City planning for school crossings? Putting gas in your car? Court proceedings?
I will return to my original thesis, that people do desire comfort and answers, which religion attempts to hijack by offering lies and false hope. That is all you are doing, taking the basic premise that people have desires, and ignoring the fundamental step of desiring comfort and answer, instead going straight to some imaginary cloud surfer.
@ JoC "You mention two things that give me pause when looking at it from an atheistic perspective - life after death and meaning of life. You'd then agree that these two things in fact exist? Remember, I'm asking for the baseline thing in reality that does exist."
When you die, you are gone, forever. There is no life after, we have just one kick at the can.
The meaning of life is to survive and propagate. That is it, we are constructed just for those two demands.
Desire and reality are two completely separate things.
Hard to add to what David Killens already inputted.
I obviously do not think life after death exist. It is just a base desire that religious people have, of which they do think exist.
I do think a meaning of life exist, it just not the answer most people want to hear.
I actually think justice only exist as a human idea and practice, there is no cosmic justice. If someone murders an innocent kid in the woods and never gets caught by other humans, and that murderer does not carry guilt for it, there will be not justice for that kid. Another answer that most people do not like, hence a desire for justice.
And as David pointed out, any evidence not based on empirical, is very weak evidence, because just about anything can be claimed on non empirical evidence. If there is no empirical evidence required I can make any claim I want, and if you do not hold an empirical evidence standard to me, you could not dismiss any of my claims no matter how ludicrous they are.