By evidence I mean” anything that helps to prove that something is or is not true."
"One or more reasons for believing that something is or is not true.” https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/evidence
Knowing, understanding, and evidencing God is more like solving a crime than testing one thing. It is also the lack of evidence to the contrary, and the lack of convincing arguments to the contrary. It is more like seeing the forest for the trees. It is the complete answer that encompasses everything and not just a narrow examination of some of the evidence.
My confidence in what I have concluded is much more than just philosophical or intellectual.
It is enhanced and confirmed to me by much personal experience. Such as, I am a lot better person than I was before I became a Christian.
If God exists, there would be something rather than nothing.
If God exists, the universe would have laws.
If God exists, the universe would be testable.
If God exist, the universe would allow for or cause life to exist.
If God exists, intelligent life would arise that could contemplate him.
If God exists, this intelligent life would be free to accept and know him, or reject him.
If God exists, we would be able to do science - That the universe would be knowable, understandable, testable, definable, and explainable.
It is the best match for what I have observed, what I have learned, and what I have experienced. When I take as broad and deep look as I can, consider everything, and ask the tough questions, I come up with God. The Bible’s ability to explain and make sense of what I observe. It is like an armature that makes life understandable. Because it is a comprehensive answer to the difficult questions in a way that makes our existence comprehensible
Because humans can choose to be noble, good, self-sacrificing, benevolent, faithful, and humble.
We are not just machine like, or just simply obeying the laws of nature, but that we have something that transcends nature. It is more than just the mechanistic cause and effects. Our thoughts, actions, and beliefs seem to be more than just a product of electro-chemical processes developed through evolutionary happenstance. Humans are more than just very complicated biological entities. Humans seem to have something like a soul, spirit, minds, consciousness, and free will. Attributes that cannot be explained solely through mechanistic, reductionist, naturalistic explanations.
Humans ability to create. Humans desire for such things like mercy, love, justice, compassion, heaven, purpose, meaning, and truth, point me to something that embodies and fulfills those qualities. When I see a newborn baby, a sunset, a supernova, or a spec of sand, I see evidence of God.
Life only occurring once in the history of the universe (as far as we know), and that life is so profoundly complicated and interdependent. All life on our planet (as far as we know) came from one single event and source. That the universe looks rigged (a gazillion tosses of the coin always coming up heads). As Fred Hoyle said it was as if "a super- intellect has monkeyed with physics". The intricacy and complexity of the entire cosmos makes me pause and wonder. It causes me to doubt that it is nothing more than matter, energy, space and time.
The natural laws. What is their origin? Why do they exist? God seems like the most compelling answer to me. These laws cause me to conclude a creator, and something about this creator. The more I understand science, the more I believe in God.
The universe being logical and rational indicate to me a purpose and meaning. As if there is a divine logical mind (John1:1) behind it all. Life and the universe existing by some massively improbable happenstance, seems like a denial of the obvious to me. There is some purpose echoing through our lives and through the universe. The music of the spheres speaks and evidences God.
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Anyone ever meet a theist who thought humans are animals? I'm sure they are out there, but we don't seem to get those kinds here.
I'm a theist and I believe humans are animals. I've been posting here on occasion for some years. Humans are animals that talk, think, and believe like no other animal.
"The universe being logical and rational indicate to me a purpose and meaning. As if there is a divine logical mind (John1:1) behind it all. Life and the universe existing by some massively improbable happenstance, seems like a denial of the obvious to me. There is some purpose echoing through our lives and through the universe. The music of the spheres speaks and evidences God."
This is the most meaningful realization to me. It is actually a proof that there is some purpose or telos to everything, even if it is immensely complex. In fact, Plato conceived of the "Good" as that which is the ultimate telos, and this was later picked up by the christians: the ultimate purpose to which everything is tending. All things tend towards this good out of necessity. Whenever you are faced with a moral dilemma you understand that somethings must be done simply BECAUSE it is the way the universe itself should be. No atheist ever consciously reasons that they should not rob a store because it will "hurt the species, according to some function" or whatever empirical theory explains it from outside-in.
Leibniz famously said that we live in the best of all possible worlds. Most Atheists of the 1600-1700 laughed at him, because they did not understand him. We live in the best of all possible worlds because this world has the capacity to become better and better.
We can always conceive of ways to make things better because God, that being which is infinitely good, does exist and is the object of thought to which we always move towards. This is why we can look back in our past and see overall things tend toward this good
@Alchemy: God, that being which is infinitely good, does exist and is the object of thought to which we always move towards.
How can we can distinguish between god's supposed goodness and things that would happen anyway? People stunned by tragedies struggle after the fact to find some logic that explains why god lets such awful things happen to them. Rationalizing about "divine plans" and "mysterious ways" is no cure for grief.
Leaving me to doubt
All about God and His mercy
For if He really does exist
Why did He desert me
In my hour of need?
I truly am indeed
Alone again, naturally (Gilbert O'Sullivan, from "Alone Again Naturally")
In all the world, the only beings that care about goodness and doing good are people. Instead of praying, try asking your fellow humans for help. You're more likely to get an answer.
"How can we can distinguish between god's supposed goodness and things that would happen anyway?"
We can have a rational conversation. I have my Idea of what good is, and you have your Idea of what good is, for the most part they are similar, yet it seems to be the case that every human that has ever lived has not thought that how the world is, "in this moment", is as good as it can be and has the potential to be better. That is my point. God is exactly the thing which we understand to be this purpose we all move towards, the greatest or most perfect being which represents how reality ought to be in its fullest and most complete sense, the supreme purpose and explanatory principle.
"People stunned by tragedies struggle after the fact to find some logic that explains why god lets such awful things happen to them. Rationalizing about "divine plans" and "mysterious ways" is no cure for grief."
There is no cure for grief, but there is coping mechanisms and we can change our state of minds and not turn against one another. When we realize that there is an ultimate explanatory principle, we realize that there is no reason to get mad or overly resentful, for nothing literally happened for no reason: that is a contradiction.. We are moving towards Good and that is sufficient for anything at all because it is the purpose. Pain, hunger, war, famine are things that make us stronger. In the words of neitzche, what dosent kill you makes you stronger.
@Alchemy: God is exactly the thing which we understand to be this purpose we all move towards
There have been dramatic improvements in the world since the end of WW2. We've reduced poverty and violence dramatically, while indicators of human well-being, such as longevity and literacy, have risen steadily in most countries. All of these achievements have resulted from the actions of people, not deities.
To see how much god has contributed to the improvement of the human condition, compare living conditions in theocratic states like Pakistan and Nigeria and secular states like Sweden and New Zealand.
Definitions of goodness based on deities include things like genital mutilation, oppression of women, rigid class structures, harsh punishments for apostasy and heresy, ethnic cleansing, and religious wars. If we really want to make the world better, we need to define "good" in humanist terms.
There's no evidence that anyone or anything in the universe cares one iota about humanity other than humanity itself.
Pain, hunger, war, famine are things that make us stronger.
Have you tried these experiences? I think you should ask people in Biafra, Rwanda, Lebanon, Korea, Vietnam, and now Syria how much stronger they feel as a result of being bombed, shot, and starved. Competition and cooperation are what make us stronger.
You are concerned about God's goodness vs taragedies and suffering. Why would God make life in a place where suffering could occur?
Science has apparently determined that the universe is fine tuned and has to be the way it is to enable life.
Prior to the universe being made presumably God would have figured that out. Perhaps he was in a dilemma if he should make the universe or not.
Atheists too know about tragedies, suffering and so on. Atheists get married. They have children. Perhaps atheists have the same dilemma prior to having children, as God might have had prior to creating the universe.
So why is God bad for creating life, and not also atheists who create life?
No it doesn't, but why do you care when you claim there is no such thing as objective facts? Now you are hilariously trying to claim science as a means for evidencing your deity, truly hilarious. Here are some basic criticisms of the theistic fine tuning argument, and from the link you gave, if you had bothered to read it all.
"The fine-tuned universe argument has been criticised as an argument by lack of imagination,[dubious – discuss] as it assumes no other forms of life, sometimes referred to as carbon chauvinism. Conceptually, alternative biochemistry or other forms of life are possible. Regarding this, Stenger argued: "We have no reason to believe that our kind of carbon-based life is all that is possible. Furthermore, modern cosmology theorises that multiple universes may exist with different constants and laws of physics. So, it is not surprising that we live in the one suited for us. The universe is not fine-tuned to life; life is fine-tuned to the universe.""
@Apollo: Science has apparently determined that the universe is fine tuned and has to be the way it is to enable life.
No. The universe is what it is. We have been fine-tuned by evolution to survive in that universe. If the universe was configured in a slightly different way, we probably wouldn't be here talking about it, but the universe would be just fine.
@Apollo: SERIOUSLY? I just read the link. SCIENCE SAYS NO SUCH THING! Do you have any idea at all, how to read.
Do you not know what the word "Characterization" means?
"Various explanations of this ostensible fine-tuning have been proposed. However, the belief that the observed values require explanation depends on assumptions about what values are probable or "natural" in some sense"
What did you miss in the above statement?
TROLL!!!! How long must we put up with this DISHONEST BULLSHIT?
Alchemy ""The universe being logical and rational indicate to me a purpose and meaning."
Logic is a human creation, it doesn't exist objectively anymore than scientific laws exist independently of human thought. If human existence has a purpose why did it take the universe almost 14 billion years to produce this one species of evolved apes you are claiming everything is purposed around? Your claim is laughable in the context of the scientific fact of species evolution. Not to mention the fact we will be wiped out when our star dies in 3 to 4 billion years, though I doubt we'll last until then. Not much of a purpose. As for god's goodness, we have a world with ubiquitous suffering, over countless millennia, and long before humans evolved, what exactly is good about deliberately designing and creating untold suffering through disease, predation, and starvation?
"This is why we can look back in our past and see overall things tend toward this good"
I'm sorry but that is absolute errant no sense, what past are you looking into I don't know, but I'm seeing the Holocaust a religious persecution, the crusades, genocide etc etc etc, and this is before we take a cursory look at the bible of the koran.
Dear oh dear
Logic is not a human creation, any conscious must abide by logical inference, else it wouldn't be conscious. If an alternative universe contains squid like creatures which are conscious, then they must operate on logical terms to develop anything intelligible. You have to Demonstrate logic is a human creation, because my proof is quite simple: If logic is made by humans, then there is an explanation why it is made by humans. in looking for some concept which explains why it is not made by humans, I differentiate two sets, and begin to look for an inference from one set to the other. In engaging in logical inference, I run into contradiction because I am using Logic.
"If human existence has a purpose why did it take the universe almost 14 billion years to produce this one species of evolved apes you are claiming everything is purposed around? Your claim is laughable in the context of the scientific fact of species evolution. Not to mention the fact we will be wiped out when our star dies in 3 to 4 billion years, though I doubt we'll last until then. Not much of a purpose."
This entire thing is just a red herring, the spacio-temporal duration of something has nothing to do with its telos. You have to demonstrate why that would be the case. Saying big numbers does nothing to prove that the telos of the universe dosen't exist. Again, You would have to show why this is the case.It seems to me you're entire argument is an emotional/aesthetic argument.
"I'm sorry but that is absolute errant no sense, what past are you looking into I don't know, but I'm seeing the Holocaust a religious persecution, the crusades, genocide etc etc etc, and this is before we take a cursory look at the bible of the koran."
Well this literally proves my point which is bizarre. That is Plato's whole concept. At every point in history we look back and see things which are Good and things which are not Good. Our goal is to speculate about those things which were Evil and Differentiate them from the Good. Why do you think political parties are always looking to the past to do exactly this? "Progressives" "Conservatives" etc. we clearly are all ascertaining the objective Good. The fact that we are seeing this good from different angles does not prove it doesn't exist, because we can still intelligibly talk about it, and do all the time.
With a preponderance of underwhelming evidence to the contrary of philosophical metaphysic reality, it seems only obvious to me that any subjective objectivity toward spacio-temporal frontal lobe processes could also be considered an unconscious inference to the illogical aspects of our logical thoughts. As such, the universe with its universal wisdom must have created us humans as a means to create the logic it desperately craved so that we humans could then use that logic to demonstrate how grossly illogical we are by believing we created that logic on our own. It's all very complex in an elementary fashion if one does not stop to think much about it. And I must say you are doing a most splendid job of trying to convey your gifted insight into the magnificent mind of our universe and your god. Sadly, it is such a shame that the unsharpened brains of these wannabe intellectuals around here are simply too dull to grasp your keenly profound and innovative thought process that allows you to obtain knowledge of concepts far beyond human understanding and consciousness.
God damn, I love being smart.
@Alchemy Re: "God damn, I love being smart."
Amen, brother. Ain't it the truth? Sure, it can sometimes be a heavy burden to bare... bear?... Bayer?... beer... yeah, beer. Yes, it can be a heavy burden to beer, but it is the price we must pay for being smart motherfuckers.
Hilarious, have you ever heard of Aristotle?
Nonsense again, and demonstrably false. In fact logic is counter-intuitive to human reasoning, that's why humans created it, to correct flaws in our reasoning. Have you taken a course in "being wrong about just about everything"?
Yaaay! You got something right, lets let the man who created logic have a say "The aim of logic is the elaboration of a coherent system that allows us to investigate, classify, and evaluate good and bad forms of reasoning."
That might be a rational assertion, if the point were not in response to the asinine claim that a deity with limitless power and knowledge created everything with humans as the main purpose of the existence of it all, yet the objective facts are that we are infinitesimally insignificant on every conceivable scale, not just time and space. Your hand waving here is absurd, but it's what I have come to expect from people determined to blindly preserve an a priori belief for which they can demonstrate no objective or rational defence.
Your point quoted VERBATIM and without your goalpost shifting here, was ""This is why we can look back in our past and see overall things tend toward this good" and you now claim this is proved by religious persecutions like the Holocaust, and the crusades, by genocide, and the cruel barbarity of religious tomes like the bible and the koran? You got one thing right, that is truly bizarre, also it's absurd nonsense. How does cruel barbarity "tend towards good" exactly? Especially if you or those you love are among the unlucky multitude barbarically and cruelly slain through religious persecutions like the Holocaust and Crusades, or in the bible by the murderously nasty petty and barbarically cruel deity depicted therein? Without even tasking ourselves on the unimaginable numbers of conscious animals that have suffered and died, and the other animals whose connection with them cause equally unimaginable suffering. The idea that evolution is an insentient process and therefore indifferent to suffering is at least rationally consistent, the idea it was all designed created and caused by a being with limitless power and knowledge and therefore choice, and who is simultaneously possesses limitless benevolence is about as absurd a rationale as I have encountered.
I'm pleasantly surprised. You seem to be thinking.
1. formal logic is an invention of people, yes. As is mathematics. And yes, the scientific laws do not exists independently of human thought. Even so,
2. I see rationality in nature, as have many other including many scientists. the rationality in nature is what enables humans to figure it out. an formulate laws of nature.
3. finally there is a purpose to your post, your thinking and the way you articulate you thinking. So we don't have to argue if there is any purpose, or not. You are part of the universe and you have a purpose. So that settles it, there is purpose in the universe.
Hopefully you will start, and we will share your surprise.
1. Well that's not thinking, you've simply repeated points I made back to me.
2. Ironically this being a bare claim, is in fact a known common logical fallacy, called an argument from assertion fallacy. I also don't care what "many scientists" claim, assuming you haven't simply made it up, as you offer no evidence, I only care what the objective method of science supports. A distinction you still don't seem to understand bizarrely. Though ironically this is another logical fallacy, called an appeal to authority fallacy.
3. Nonsense, and you're back to vapid word salad. I have a purpose when I pick my nose and scratch my balls, is that the universe's purpose? No need to answer I was of course using reduction ad absurdum for effect, just demonstrate some objective evidence for your claim, that because human's evolved consciousness seeks purpose this was predetermined by the "universe having a purpose". In other words go beyond bare assertion, which is fallacious.
QUOTE: "The universe being logical and rational indicate to me a purpose and meaning."
Please explain in what way the universe is logical & rational? The universe exists, but I dont see any logic or rationality at all behind it.
Do you think you are part of the universe? do you think you are in it? do you think you are dependent upon the universe for your existence?
do you think you are logical and rational?
If you want to argue that you too, like the rest of the universe is irrational, then so be it.
But if you are trying to say the rest of the universe and all that is in it is irrational, but you are rational. Hmm Seems to be a conflict here.
You see humans often talk as if humans are in some sense outside nature. I find that strange. If humans are wholly part of nature, and nature is irrational, then humans are irrational too.
Then, Alchemy, I suppose you are implying you too are irrational. But you are not trying to imply that. So there is a conflict in your thinking.
"You see humans often talk as if humans are in some sense outside nature. I find that strange."
Well, not really strange, just a certain capacity of thought of our marvelous brains, that most don't know. We are a species that has developed the ability of abstract thought. Some concrete thought, that does not overtly meet our knowledge base, may need to be accessed with abstract thought, or the ability to reason in a whole construct, that may or may not confer with what we know about reality. A good example for this site would be..."Does god exist?" Upon meeting this question, we take concrete thought, or what we know, add abstract thought when no concrete thought can be found, or allow unevidenced assertions in the process, to reason likeliness...in pursuit of truth. The issue with this trait, is that other peripheral unevidenced information can blur the lines of reality of the initial inclusion of abstract thought. In other words, we forget the boundary of reality we concluded for the original question. We have the ability to reason abstract concepts outside reality, but easily forget these boundaries when the original question is altered or added to. Hence why the religious, and other people with unreasonable beliefs, exist. These folk basically fail at reason by repeating the same abstract thought failure, again, and again. I am not sure why this failure occurs in some, but not in others...at this point, we could even hypothesize that, it may even be progression of evolutionary pressure in action.
Boring shit...I know.
I didn’t know “your species” had such traits of reason...I’ve only been exposed to Cog ;)
You were exposed to Cog? I suggest you put yourself into self quarantine for 9-15 days. If you start having an unhealthy obsession with bananas, go to the ER.
@doG Re: Whitefire's exposure to Cog
Aww, maaan... Now I'm starting to feel bad. I totally forgot to mention to her to go get vaccinated when she first arrived.
Dang-it. I'm so sorry, White... *hanging head in shame*...
QUOTE: "My confidence in what I have concluded is much more than just philosophical or intellectual.
It is enhanced and confirmed to me by much personal experience. Such as, I am a lot better person than I was before I became a Christian."
In what way are you a much better person? Is this just your opinion or the opinion of others who know you? What do you do since you became a christian that makes you a better person that you didnt do before?
Sadly Jo has departed these shores. No doubt a piece of his laundry will wash up once more to remind us of his relentless mendacity, arrogance and penchant for rewriting dictionaries. Vale Jo. OH, and fuck you.
Are you sure that the mendacity and arrogance isn't yours that you project onto others?
Do you see yourself as rational?
do you see yourself as part of nature?
If yes, isn't at least part of nature rational? or do you insist that you like the rest of nature must be irrational?
I am sorry mate. Did that comment directed at Jo strike a chord with you?
Well, never mind, that existentialist pseudo intellectual bullshit you projectile vomit, will hide any harsh facts from you.
Just remember to take some sunscreen for those self admiration wounds.
The same common logical fallacy you've had explained to you each time you've use it, it's called argumentum ad ignorantiam Jo, and your dishonest repetition of it when you now know it's a known logical fallacy is why you've been called a liar Jo, and why I started the thread linked below.
Your post does not contain any evidence Jo, just a long list of unevidenced claims. You are using argument from assertion fallacies for most if not all of them Jo. Again you've been told this, this you are as ever simply being dishonest, and preaching at us.
So another repetition of your argument from incredulity fallacy, and this is typical of your breathtaking dishonesty Jo, as this has been thoroughly explained.
The physical universe and natural phenomena exist as objective facts Jo, so the odds on this happening are entirely moot, but they certainly don't decrease by adding unevidenced deities using unexplained magic based on archaic superstition Jo, as has been explained already. This is also a false equivalency fallacy, and an argument from ignorance fallacy. It is by definition a god of the gaps polemic.
This isn't evidence, its yet another unevidenced claim. It's also irrelevant, as even were it true it wouldn't in any way objectively evidence any deity. A Nazis might make the same claim about Nazism. And again this has been explained to you Jo.
I'll skip the long list of unevidenced claims about god and the universe as they clearly don't remotely represent evidence, argument from assertion fallacies all, Hitchens's razor applies.
Yet another unevidenced claim, and this time demonstrably false as much of the bible is errant nonsense that directly contradicts known objective scientific facts. And yet again you're simply repeating a lie that has been debunked already.
Another lie repeated, you deny scientific facts Jo, you don't even understand science as a basic concept, there is no scientific evidence for any deity or anything supernatural, and most laughably of all this is another vapid unevidenced claim where you don't even pretend to offer evidence or argument in support of it.
Same old dishonest rhetoric we've come to expect from you Jo.
Just why you waste your time with such nonsense in here is baffling, you must genuinely think your vapid rhetoric gains gravitas with sheer dishonest repetition, laughable nonsense as usual.
1. you have made the (evidenced) claim that there is no rationality in nature. so logic/reason would have no contact with nature. Then in this post you proceed to employ what you think are logical arrangements. why would you use logic, if logic can't contact nature? Why would logic be relevant?
2. Basically you seem to be a positivist/empiricist, and as such you should be spending energy on collecting and categorizing observables.
Why do you switch from the idea that observables are the sole foundation of knowledge to logic, which you claim is unevidenced in nature?
3. Please make your mind up. Are you a positivist/empericist, or a rationalist, or is both reason and observation in the foundation of knowledge?
for myself, I take it that reason and observation are both in the foundation of knowledge. But you have claimed that there is no rationality in nature. So you shove reason out from the foundation of knowledge. In that case, your logical arguments and critiques are, according to your idea of the foundation of knowledge, superficial. I think Jo could dismiss your logic as irrelevant based on your own claims that there is no reason in nature.