Prove God's existence

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Prove God's existence

#1

Post by Anonymous » Tue Oct 19, 2004 5:13 am

How do you prove God's existence without the use of faith or the Bible? Prove it scientifically. How can one be 100% sure that there is a God? That's a great question to be ready to answer.

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#2

Post by Kurieuo » Tue Oct 19, 2004 7:00 am

You can't prove God's existence to anyone who doesn't want to believe it. To quote something I think relevant:
<blockquote>Recently my husband was up on the roof of our house putting up Christmas lights. From inside the house, I heard noises above my head that sounded like footsteps. And when I looked out the window, I saw a man's shadow on the ground that indicated there was a person on the roof. Since Ray had told me he was going up on the roof, I believed he was up there. Could I prove it from inside the house? No, but it was completely reasonable for me to look at the evidence and conclude my husband was putting up Christmas lights.

Sometimes people look evidence full in the face and then deny it. Our founder, Jimmy Williams, is fond of telling the story of the man who went to a psychiatrist convinced that he was dead. The psychiatrist was unsuccessful at talking him out of his illusion. Finally he asked him, "Do dead men bleed?" The patient said no, they don't. The psychiatrist pulled out his Swiss army knife, reached over and nicked the man's finger. Amazed, the patient exclaimed, "Well, how about that! Dead men DO bleed!"
(http://www.probe.org/docs/e-evidence3.html)</blockquote>How can you be 100% sure of God's existence? Well take it or leave it, I know of God's existence because ultimately I've experienced Him and know Him. To deny God would be like denying myself. And the only way I have any opportunity of proving to someone else His personal existence, is by pointing to evidences to back my claims (e.g., I find Craig's stock debating arguments persuasive). Such evidences also help to build my confidence that I'm not simply deluded.

Kurieuo.
"Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13)

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#3

Post by Anonymous » Tue Oct 19, 2004 10:07 am

Kurieuo,

Thank you for the excellent reply - "proving God's existence to anyone who doesn't want to believe it" is really hard. Although I hate to take the stance of there's nothing I can do for you, I've come across several people who wouldn't accept anything I said no matter how logical, rational or scientific.

The 3 step explanation I usually use is derived from Ray Comfort (see livingwaters.com). You're free to add words to fit your own circumstance (as I often do) but it goes something like this:

Point to something around you (a watch works well).
"How do you know that this watch has a designer?"
If they're reasonable they'll be honest in their answer but if not
"The watch is perfect evidence that there was a designer. You couldn't want better proof that somebody designed and made this watch than to be wearing it around your wrist right now."
Point to a nearby building or one that you may be in.
"How do you know that this building has a builder?"
"You know that this building had a builder because here it is standing in our midst. You'd never deny that this building had no architechturer or engineer or construction workers to build it, yet you never saw it come into existence. The best possible proof we can have that there was a builder(s) to this building is the building itself!"
"The same thing works with God and creation. How do you know that this creation has a Creator? You couldn't find better proof that a Creator exists than to have creation as His evidence."

It seems pretty rock solid to me and there's even a Bible verse to support - Romans 1:20
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.
Sound pretty reasonable? If we have eyes to see and a brain that works then we are without excuse to deciphering that there is a God.

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#4

Post by Kurieuo » Mon Nov 01, 2004 8:14 pm

There are rebuttals against the argument you use, and then the replies to those rebuttals, and so things can generally run much deeper. Sometimes however, I think the simplest of arguments or remarks are often the best when talking personally with people. I don't even think you'd necessarily need to refer to the watchmaker argument. On occassions when I'm outside (and not here ;)), I'll just admire the plants, birds flying around, or a neighbours cat sneaking about looking for something to prey upon, and I am left in awe and think it so absurd that anyone would think such could arise by chance and/or from nothing on its own. It just seems so obvious to me that a Creator exists. Such beauty, and complexity, the soulishness of creatures, the natural order and stable laws in place...

In my experiences with people (non-Christians and Christians alike), I can't remember someone I've come across in person who "really" didn't believe in some higher power. Amazingly enough I've had discussions with Atheists on theologicals issues, and they themselves quite easily admit to a higher power or someone organising the rules. For example, one person I had a friendly discussion with believed in karma, and then working with his belief I prompted who he thinks sets the rules for karma? Then we got into discussing more theological stuff, and he was agreeable to God's existence and never once denied God (as many online self-proclaimed Atheists/Agnostics do) although he was of Atheistic persuasion. That's not to say I won't come across someone who truely denies that God exists with a passion, but I'm just relating my own general experiences with people.

There is just soo much order and beauty in the world the natural conclusion of people in my experience seems to be that a supreme being of some sort does exist. So its funny how most of the burden is placed on Theists to prove God's existence, when it seems to be the obvious and default position that people assume. I think one can generally just ask most people, when you think about life and the world we live in, do you really think some sort of supreme being doesn't exist? I've sometimes argued for God's existence to a person who was a non-Christian, and they were insulted because they already believed a higher power, as God would be, did exist.

Kurieuo.
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#5

Post by Anonymous » Tue Nov 02, 2004 6:52 am

That was a great post Kurieuo - thanks.

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#6

Post by Anonymous » Sun Nov 28, 2004 11:39 am

Hi there. This is my first post so I shall try to introduce myself a bit. My name's Martyn, I'm 23 and a Buddhist. I was in the past a Christian, but found it somehow lacking. I don't in any way mean that as an insult to either Christians or Christianity, so please I do not mean to offend.

Anyway, brief introductions aside, I'd like to ask a few questions about the comments made earlier in the thread. To the example of the man on the roof, taking this analogy to real life, what is the shadow on the ground or the footsteps on the roof? I've heard the "look around you" argument many times, but I'm also a physicist and what I tend to find is that people using the "look around you" argument don't know much about the alternatives that physics offers. Again, don't mean to offend, just looking to fully explore the matter. :)

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#7

Post by Kurieuo » Sun Nov 28, 2004 7:32 pm

Hi Martyn, welcome.

I think above you may be misunderstanding the essence of what I've said, as what I've said does not take away from any physical explanation as might be offered via physics. Infact many physicists are still awed by what they see and discover (see http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/quotes.html for example).

However, the order and beauty of creation is an open book for all to see. One does not require a PhD to see order and beauty amongst the design of the universe and life within. At the level of a physicist though, our understanding just become more technical, and as such so would the questions. For example, why do the weak force and the strong force have the exact ratios and values they do? Or why is it that the proton and the neutron have the mass ratios that they do? (i.e., for others see http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/designun.html).

Now some will look at this, and be awed at such a degree of fine tuning. On the other hand others will simply think nothing of it, especially if they are committed to more of an atheistic worldview. I'm not sure whether this would include you, seeing as you do refer to yourself as a Buddhist, and Buddah did believe in many gods?? Yet, I was not writing to make a forceful argument to the skeptic above. What I wrote was that "most" people in my experience generally do tend to see the order and beauty around them. And so one can more often than not simply point to such things, and the other person will usually just understand. Therefore there is no point in bothering with really fancy apologetical evidences for God, especially if a person already basically accepts such a belief and only requires a bit of prodding to realise it.

Kurieuo.
"Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13)

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#8

Post by Anonymous » Tue Nov 30, 2004 7:01 am

So, do you equate god with order?

It would be rediculas to do so, let me put it this way...

Spectrum of order:


Absolute Chaos (entropy of universe is infinite)
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Beauty, love, happyness. (entropy of universe is in constant state of flux).
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Absolute Order (entropy of unicerse is zero)


What I'm saying is, if God strives for untimate order then he must be as evil as the devil, who strives for untimate chaos. Not beleiving in either as separeate, this seems silly to me. I rather think of God (as love for instance) as a perfect mixture of both order and chaos, an intermediate state between absolute order and absolute chaos.

Dan...

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#9

Post by Kurieuo » Tue Nov 30, 2004 7:32 am

Sorry, but I don't see the point to your post for I've been misrepresented on an argument I didn't make. All I am getting at is that many see a designer behind the universe and life rather than something that happened by chance and popped out of nothing. Thus, as a Christian tackling the question of whether God exists with a non-Christian, it is generally only a matter of prodding a person on whether they believe in a higher power of some sort. In my experience the response is usually in the affirmative, and explanations I've heard are generally because they feel the world around them is best explained by such an entity.

Don't like it? Your argument is with those people I am talking about.

Kurieuo.
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#10

Post by Anonymous » Tue Nov 30, 2004 7:59 am

I definatly believe in a higher power, but that the things we experience in our conciousness are mearly symptoms of the power at work, there was no one creative moment, it is creation, hapening all the time for eternity, our physical world is just one view of it.

If you define "We" as the phisically definable entities in this small section the universe "we" experience, then I argue that we are "God", we are the driving divine power, it's just that we only see a small section of it, not to say that our actions don't have knock on effects on other parts of the universe we can not experience directly, they do. The other parts of the universe have effects on us too, we see the results, but know not how they came about, i.e. miricals are just some other part of us in an inaccsible part of the universe doing somthing, resulting in the unexplainable. I'm sure that some of the actions we see as quite innocent are actualy causing a lot of grief to ourselves in these other planes of existance, so to speak.

I hope that made sence.

Dan...

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#11

Post by Anonymous » Tue Nov 30, 2004 8:48 am

DanS

There happens to be more than one way to prove God's existence, specifically the God revealed in the Judaeo-Christian Bible.

Do you happen to consider yourself to be a good person?
Good = morally upright, it's a saying people use often.
What are a few of the things that qualify or disqualify you from being a good person?

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#12

Post by Anonymous » Tue Nov 30, 2004 8:57 am

Good and Bad are purely speculative and depend on your point of view. However, limiting my argument to a "normal" view of day to day life as a human, a few things which make me a good person are:

1. I have time for other people's thoughts, even if I disagree with them

2. I believe that all life is precious, although the natural order of things means we can kill animals and plants to survive etc....

3. I believe in good karma, i.e. people should strive not to block anyone else from forfilling their existance to its fullest.

I know I am a good person, and have no quarms about it, I don't believe I need to justify my actions to anyone or anything, i.e. I don't believe I need to ask God for forgiveness, I am god, we are all god, god is the universe, we are everything.

Oops, went on a rant there, but it's hard to quite put into words my philisophy on life, it's taken my whole life to explain it to myself! :-)

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#13

Post by BavarianWheels » Tue Nov 30, 2004 9:02 am

DanS wrote:Good and Bad are purely speculative and depend on your point of view.

3. I believe in good karma, i.e. people should strive not to block anyone else from forfilling their existance to its fullest.

I know I am a good person
Well...there's a small contradiction to say the least.
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#14

Post by Anonymous » Tue Nov 30, 2004 9:13 am

No, I said, "However, limiting my argument to a "normal" view of day to day life as a human, a few things which make me a good person are:"

I.e. The belief space of my first statement is a super set of the belief space of the rest of my rant. Hence no contradiction.

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#15

Post by BavarianWheels » Tue Nov 30, 2004 10:59 am

DanS wrote:No, I said, "However, limiting my argument to a "normal" view of day to day life as a human, a few things which make me a good person are:"

I.e. The belief space of my first statement is a super set of the belief space of the rest of my rant. Hence no contradiction.
If you're going to start promoting relativism, your beliefs are contradictory from my point of view...not only mine, but simply from your words. If it is to the reader you are relaying your "truths", then it is the reader that judges your "truths".

Your "good" is only good to you! If you're going to argue between good and bad, the subjects must be agreed upon. If good and bad are relative to points of view, then we must stand at the same point in the universe in order to discuss them. We clearly are not on the same point and so a discussion between good and bad is laughable with your one-sided parameter.
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