In another thread, Jon the Catholic recommends us to watch this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQxfMjhytIc in which a Catholic apologist tries to demonstrate the existance of God.
I'll transcript just the first two reasons because it's too long (the other two are the fine-tunning argument and the moral absolute argument), in case anyone would want to give Jon the reasons he needs to see this does not prove anything at all.
(...) Science can't prove or disprove the existence of immaterial basic aspects of reality such as numbers, minds or morality (...) or God, a pure unlimited being that exists without deficiency and embodies all perfection and goodness.
1. The Universe exists (...). If something exists, and it doesn't have to exist, or could be different, then there must be a reason for why it exists. This is called the principle of sufficient sufficient reason and it's used in Science all the time. (...) but we haven't found it yet. If it's true for little things that don't have to exist like Higgs Bossom particle, then it must be true for anything that doesn't have to exist regardless of size, including the Universe itself. (...) Why is there a universe? The answer to the question can't be another contingent universe or even an infinite series of contingent things, because then we have the same problem to explain. Why does this infinite series of things that doesn't have to exist, exists? Instead there must be a reality that it's necessary or reality that exists by its very nature could not be different and could not fail to exist. That is the definition of God: pure existance or being itself, something that is pure unlimited being, which exists without limit or flaw and posses all perfection (...) including perfect intelect and will.
2. The Universe began to exist. Whenever something began to exist, we rightly reason that there's a cause for that thing existance. This is what we always observe and correspond to the intuition that out of nothing, nothing comes. Besides, evidence for God that would satisfy atheists, like a regrown limb or another miracle, asumes that those events could not occur naturally by something coming from nothing. So if the universe, or all the space matter and energy began to exist, then it would need a cause. Some might say maybe the cause it's an alien or another universe or a scientific explanation, but remember if I say all physical reality (space, time, matter, energy) began then it needs a cause. The cause of the universe can be material, because we are trying to explain the existance of material things.
There can never be in principle a scientific explanation for the beginning of the Universe -from nothing- because scientific explanations involved formulas, like E=mc2 and the stuff you plug into the formula, but if the Universe comes from absolutely nothing there would be neither theories nor any stuff to plug into the the theories to explain it, instead the cause of the Universe would exist beyond the spatial-temporal order.
I want to begin by saying (reading the first paragraph) that it seems that Trent Horn doesn't consider Maths, Neuroscience, Anthropology, Psychology or Sociology a part of Science.
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Thank you so much for this, Jon The Catholic was kind enough to offer me this gentleman is a point for inquiry as a theist that answers the questions of atheists.
This was the first video I found on YouTube relevant to a gods existence and so I proceeded to watch.
I found him somewhat disappointing as he continues the same path I have witnessed with theists in that he doesn't actually answer with evidence or facts, but rather philosophical arguments.
"he doesn't actually answer with evidence or facts, but rather philosophical arguments."
did you expect he was gonna do a scientific experiment to Prove god's existence?
didn't you say that you do not consider the Empirical evidence is the only source for knowledge?
Why are you distinguishing between "evidence or facts" And "Philosophical arguments"? they're not opposites.
If you think that philosophy is pure gibberish, and logical arguments are useless, then you don't know anything neither about philosophy nor about logic.
Oh dear, You missed the context of the discussion between Jon and myself...
I asked has there been a theist to discuss the question of does god exist with any evidence (note, I did not day empirical) out of genuine desire to know and gain a better perspective of the theistic point of view.
The caveat I did add was, has anyone attempted this without using philosophical arguments or simply tap dancing around the question.
Jon suggested Trent as a theist that tends to explain well to an atheist (in fact I believe he has a book called 'answering atheists' or something similar to that).
The video in question contained on here discussing does god exist, offered no substantial evidence what so ever and entirely relies on philosophy. Most of his points were without proof and a lot of his quotes of people like Dawkins were misrepresentive.
We could possibly put this down to him being antagonist by the atheist who to be fair was an annoying arse in the video, so I wouldn't write off the guy in general and will continue to watch his other debates.
And when did I say philosophy was useless? In fact I think it's a very interesting tool to ask deep questions of knowledge, nature and reality... I do however think some of its proponents talk bollocks *cough William lane Craig cough* but that's a whole different thing.
if a god has any impact on the material world, we can test for that god's existence. Does your god answer prayers? if so, we can test for that? Does your god perform miracles? We can test for that? Does your god cure illnesses? We can test for that. Here is YOUR problem as a theist.... you know that every time we test for the impact of a god the answer is No Impact.
I'd add: Studies suggest that praying works 50% of the times... which means it doesn't work at all. If you're praying for getting a promotion, and the next day happens, do not forget that the same day you get your promotion, hundreds of children would have died of hunger or water-related diseases and they -and their parents- were probably praying as well the night before.
To add to that, you can tell he don't know what the fuck he is talking about when it comes to physics:
Or math for that matter:
It is difficult to give credence to any argument which tries to provide proof that God exists but begins with the assumption that He (or She or It) exists. Philosophical arguments can become very convoluted and woolly but for them to boil down to 'because this exists, God must exist' ends up being trivial and pointless. I haven't yet read Trent Horn but I'm afraid that whatever his argument there will be nothing there to convince me.
They only give physilophical answers, since they cannot give any scientific answer. That's what they do. But what I found interesting is that a person who seem reasonable bought it and give us this as an example of the prove of existance, and that's why I decided to transcript it.
What really surprises me (not because Horn says it so, but because theists usually use it) it is that to the cuestion why is there a universe? they conclude that there must be a God and they happily add (and here's not even a physolophical reason):without limit or flaw and posses all perfection, including perfect intelect and will.
What is the reason to that enormous jump? Why does the reason for a universe to exist must be that there's a God? And why not many Gods or a Godess or aliens or the Spaghetti Monster? And why do this "God" has to be perfect and has intelect and will?
I hope that Jon the Catholic or any other theist could explain that.
Hello, I am new here.
Trent doesn't really provide a concise definition of what he is trying to prove/demonstrate, apart from:
"[...]God, a pure unlimited being that exists without deficiency and embodies all perfection and goodness."
The terms "pure", "without deficiency", "perfection", and "goodness" are all subjective, and could all be applied to the Universe itself depending on the meaning attached to them. To a certain extent you could argue that his demonstration therefore only applies to the 'limitless' quality he is trying to attribute to his concept of God.
Are we as mere human beings, considering all scales involved, able to really answer that question, and more importantly is there truely any point to ?
Maybe a proper question for him would be: "Could you demonstrate the pertinence of proving the existence of God ?".
To which I would strongly suspect the major points of the answer would have nothing to do with the qualities attributed to his inital definition of God...
But enough about Paradoxes hey ? :)
Hi, Charlie, and welcome. I'm also very new, as a matter of fact, this is my first thread, but it already feels like home. Thanks for your answer, let's see if any theist wants to take up the torch (figuratively, not the tiki torches) and give us some perspective.
One problem we get into, with point number 2, is that they keep repeating over and over, "The universe began to exist."
The only thing we know with fair certainty is that the universe began to exist -in its current phase, or state.- We don't know that there ever was a point where the universe, in any phase, never existed.
Yeah, for sure. They can't seem to get it through their heads that this is a reckless assumption.
But its a real pickle, they need this assumption or the whole framework falls apart (they need the universe to be different than god, so they can make god immune to the requirements they place on the universe; that is the purpose of their caveat "came into existence").
Do you believe that the universe has an infinte past?
I have no idea if it does or not. It certainly might!
Say the universe has an infinite past.
Let's go back 18 Billion years ago, would there be a universe? Would there be a time 200 Billion years ago? If you say there was, then even at that time, there had been 200 Billion years before that one and 200 Billion years before that one. If that's the case, say we consider the universe as an isolated system, if entropy in the universe can only increase or remain constant, wouldn't we already have reached the point of total disorder?
That doesn't follow. First off, lets forget about staying the same. Lets say it will only increase over any time interval. That is not enough to conclude that after an infinite amount of time intervals, that the value would be infinite.
But its worse than that: entropy can decrease spontaneously, despite what you read in popular magazines.
The premise for Trent using philosophical reasoning rather than scientific is this:
Not every fact can be derived from scientific reasoning. A simple example would be, "Science is useful". What scientific experiment would you propose that could prove that this fact is a fact. Yet, we do believe this to be a fact even in the absence of scientific proof. Another would be, could we prove scientifically that "Rape is wrong." The most you could get scientifically would be that rape victims suffer psychologically from their experience but the qualifier "wrong" can't be proven.
The point is, science doesn't and cannot answer all our questions. We need other tools like logic, philosophy, ethics to answer other questions.
Another thing that I'd actually like to be proved scientifically if we really insist that everything must be proven scientifically is, "Science must be able to prove everything."
Science is simply a search for knowledge. Scientists try to search in a systematic, ordered way, hypothesising, theorising and uncovering the physical 'laws' that govern the universe. True science rarely claims to have found the answer and much of the activity is designed to raise questions which can be subsequently tested. A lot of it is speculation, but purposeful speculation designed to reveal truths about the universe in which we live. Religion seems to me to claim it has answers without anything other than blind unquestioning faith to back up its claims. These two strands are often depicted as being in opposition but that demonstrates a fundamental (possibly deliberate) misunderstanding of scientific processes. There is no opposition. Science is a search for knowledge. Religion is irrelevant in this context. It has more vested interest in maintaining ignorance for there lies its power.
Jon, we asked on the previous thread, was there a theist that can answer the question of gods exsistance without resorting to philosophy (which again, is a great tool for understanding knowledge etc... but isn't proof)...
You offered up Trent as a theist that does this, and the OP said he will link a video to a new thread for discussion.
The video above did not use any evidence to support the claim but again relies completely on philosophical arguement.
That's why I said That i personally found it dissapointing.
I'd like to see something actually thought provoking, not special pleading.
If you have any others suggestions though I'm sure we'd be very keen to watch and learn.
And so I ask, what's the [scientific] proof that all we should believe in must be proven by science.
If I'm not wrong, when I responded to the previous thread, it was to the accusation that no theist has given a logical, coherent proof for God. I highly doubt this so I gave Trent as an example.
Jon - "Have you tried listening to Trent Horn or reading him? He's participated a a number of debates and he can answer atheist arguments pretty well"
This is what you put forward on the thread I started asking has any theist actually offered any evidence and not resorted to philosophical argument.
None of his arguments prove a god.
This is why I said I found it disappointing, was hoping for more.
I think our exchange got covered up by the number of people commenting. There wasn't a lot but I suggested Trent Horn when one of the commenters said that he hasn't heard a theist talk logically and coherently. If I remember correctly, I also mentioned that atheists are quick to say a certain argument is illogical but when pushed, can't identify the fallacy being made.
I still stand by my opinion that not everything we should believe in should be proven by science.
In that case i apologise Jon, if that was the case... it appeared to Not be directed at anyone or in reference to anyone, and so I assumed it was in regards to the OP... and considering the question I asked, I didn't think that it was stretch to assume your was directing it at the OP as a point of reference to investigate.
In regards to, "I still stand by my opinion that not everything we should believe in should be proven by science"
I agree, science does not have to be the be all and end all, but I would suggest that along with logic and philosophy, that we consider it as a tool.
I just personally believe that this tool to be the most accurate in determining what is likely and unlikely within reality... I hope that is something people can agree on.
I would possible concede that it cannot answer all questions, such as why things happen... but I would add - for now!
It is the tool making the most progress.
And that really is the ticket. If reading tea leaves or rolling the chicken bones on the floor could be used to determine the future, we'd be using that.
I'm sorry if opening a new thread has created a misunderstanding, and Randomhero had to give all sorts of explanations corcerning the context... I thought it could contribute to enrich the debate. I did not want to point out anyone (sorry Jon the Catholic for that), but to clarify that this thread came from a previous one on the basis of something you suggested.
Still no-one has clarified why we need to presuppose a God in this ecuation (and even more, a flawless entity with intellect and will, human-style), regardless the Universe is infinite or not. Would it be different for a theist if tomorrow the multiverse theory was proved to be true? Will theists keep then God out of the explanation?
Btw, this OP is a she, not a he. :)
No worries. These things happen.
As to the multiverse theory, then you'll have to ask, what caused the multiverse? If it's explained from the existence of a multi-multiverse, then you'll still have to ask the question, what caused that? However you cut it, you'll have to end up with a cause that is uncaused unless you allow for an infinite causality.
And even then you'd have to ask what caused the infinite causality.
Firstly, apologies if that was me Angiebot! :)
Jon, I wouldn't delve to far into the multiverse theory as to be honest I am skeptical of it.
It starts to demand incredibly high burdens of proof that I doubt will or can be reached and serves little purpose for now.
I would concede that you can regress via causality through the known and unknown cosmos, perpetually asking the same question, but I would have to say at no point does it make sense to infer that there must be a god.
This touches on to the transadental arguement, which is logically flawed.
Personally I like to consider what would be the more rational approach that the universe was once in a certain state that allowed it to evolve to as we know it without a causal link, or that a deity brought it all into existence with no causal link.
Just my opinion and thoughts, not saying they are true or factual.
By definition belief is the acceptance of the existence of something without proof for it. To scientifically prove the existence of God would change Faith into Knowledge, yet you argue that Science cannot be used to prove the existence of God, only Philosophy, thus are you not yourself postulating that God does not exist ?
Your example of being unable to scientifically prove "rape" to be right or wrong seems slightly flawed, as it is a moral question. Both right and wrong would first need to not defined and not be subjective subjective for a scientific evaluation to be made. Otherwise only Philosophy can answer question. When it comes to existence there are scientific definitions to existence or non existence.
The question I really wish to ask and which seems to have been previously ignored is: what is the point you are hoping to achieve in trying to prove the existence of God ?
Yes, it was you, Randomhero, but it's ok. :P
Anyways, you're right about the multiverse theory, there's no need to ask about it since Jon the Catholic still infers that there has to be a reason -and an entity- behind that. From the theist point of view, there's no place for a casual possibility. As Horn suggests, for them, everything that exists should have an ultimate reason. For me, that's just anthropomorfic bias and neither I need to imagine a magical being -much less with the human features Horns deduces- to explain something that could rather be randomness.
Oh, if only Science research could have the same number of people looking for an actual explanation and resources Churches have... Who knows if we could have got ridden of this God of the gaps already...
To answer your question more specifically, if what you believe in has a consequential impact big scale impact on other people, then it needs to be supported by scientific or tangible fact based reasoning, especially if it justifies extraordinary actions through extraordinary claims. As such the God question and more broadly the religious debate permeates politics to such an extent that it becomes crucial that these beliefs have at least a semblance of logical reasoning supporting them. Until now the logic and demonstrations backing up the religious discourse is far from meeting the appropriate criteria to justify such things as social policies, international relationship attitudes and wars amongst other things...