Is there a God?

Healthy skepticism of ALL worldviews is good. Skeptical of non-belief like found in Atheism? Post your challenging questions. Responses are encouraged.
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Kurieuo
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Is there a God?

#1

Post by Kurieuo » Sun Jan 12, 2014 6:59 pm

I make this post in this forum as the many reasons presented also positively challenge a non-belief position.

So I came across a blog post/article I'd like to give some attention. A former Atheist, Marilyn Adamson, presents 6 reasons why she now believes God exists and that Christainity is most probably correct: Does God Exist: Six straightforward reasons to believe that God is really there

The following are just extracts. Visit the page for the fuller article, especially before responding to debate anything.
1. The complexity of our planet points to a deliberate Designer who not only created our universe, but sustains it today.
Many examples showing God's design could be given, possibly with no end. But here are a few:
  • The Earth... ...
  • Water... ...
  • The human brain... ...
  • The eye... ...


2. The universe had a start - what caused it?
Scientists are convinced that our universe began with one enormous explosion of energy and light, which we now call the Big Bang. This was the singular start to everything that exists: the beginning of the universe, the start of space, and even the initial start of time itself.

Astrophysicist Robert Jastrow, a self-described agnostic, stated, "The seed of everything that has happened in the Universe was planted in that first instant; every star, every planet and every living creature in the Universe came into being as a result of events that were set in motion in the moment of the cosmic explosion...The Universe flashed into being, and we cannot find out what caused that to happen."
...

3. The universe operates by uniform laws of nature. Why does it?
Much of life may seem uncertain, but look at what we can count on day after day: gravity remains consistent, a hot cup of coffee left on a counter will get cold, the earth rotates in the same 24 hours, and the speed of light doesn't change -- on earth or in galaxies far from us.

How is it that we can identify laws of nature that never change? Why is the universe so orderly, so reliable?
...

4. The DNA code informs, programs a cell's behavior.
All instruction, all teaching, all training comes with intent. Someone who writes an instruction manual does so with purpose. Did you know that in every cell of our bodies there exists a very detailed instruction code, much like a miniature computer program? As you may know, a computer program is made up of ones and zeros, like this: 110010101011000. The way they are arranged tell the computer program what to do. The DNA code in each of our cells is very similar. It's made up of four chemicals that scientists abbreviate as A, T, G, and C. These are arranged in the human cell like this: CGTGTGACTCGCTCCTGAT and so on. There are three billion of these letters in every human cell!!
...

5. We know God exists because he pursues us. He is constantly initiating and seeking for us to come to him.
I was an atheist at one time. And like many atheists, the issue of people believing in God bothered me greatly. What is it about atheists that we would spend so much time, attention, and energy refuting something that we don't believe even exists?! What causes us to do that? When I was an atheist, I attributed my intentions as caring for those poor, delusional people...to help them realize their hope was completely ill-founded. To be honest, I also had another motive. As I challenged those who believed in God, I was deeply curious to see if they could convince me otherwise.
...

6. Unlike any other revelation of God, Jesus Christ is the clearest, most specific picture of God revealing himself to us.
Why Jesus? Look throughout the major world religions and you'll find that Buddha, Muhammad, Confucius and Moses all identified themselves as teachers or prophets. None of them ever claimed to be equal to God. Surprisingly, Jesus did. That is what sets Jesus apart from all the others. He said God exists and you're looking at him.
...
"Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13)

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Re: Is there a God?

#2

Post by BryanH » Tue Jan 14, 2014 3:33 am

I will go for 1 and 3 as from my point of view they go together.

Point 1:

I keep hearing people pushing this argument lots of times. The Earth is perfectly shaped and the moon is positioned perfectly bla bla bla. This helps sustain life. Of course it does. This is our planet if the conditions weren't so, well, we wouldn't be here. All is correct.

But from this conclusion, you go ahead and assume that life on other planets should be similar to what we have on our planet. Given the diversity of our planet alone, if you apply that to the whole universe, it's quite reasonable to say that life could exist on other planets with different conditions.

If human beings needs oxygen to survive, heat from the sun, water etc, it doesn't mean that other civilizations couldn't be very different.

If life on our planet is shaped as it is, don't assume that life on other planets should be the same...

Point 3:

This is another argument which is being repeated for no good reason, at least for the time being.

The universe is working according to certain laws/rules which are constant...

I am sorry, but this is a false statement.

I said this quite a few times here: at the moment we have no clue about the universe and its inner workings. We only have mere assumptions at best.

We can't travel anywhere in the universe at the moment so until that happens, we don't know if the laws are constant.

All we can say is that the laws we have managed to observe until present times do seem to be constant in our local area.

So until we discover more about the universe and manage to explore, I would hold my breath on many rules/laws being constant.

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Re: Is there a God?

#3

Post by Kurieuo » Tue Jan 14, 2014 4:31 am

Re: 1, I don't like fine-tuning arguments myself. If you don't clearly see the world is designed, then getting all sophisticated with fine-tuning arguments isn't going to help you.

However, while the author mentions complexity... I think with relation to the human brain as described in the original article, that they're onto a more solid argument.

Re: 3, your own response seems less than sound. How do you know it's a false statement if you have no clue about the universe and its inner workings. In fact, many scientists would disagree with you that we have no clue. Your logic here kind of reminds me of YECs who attempt to prove their position using pseudo-scientific explanations that the age of the Earth is really young because physical laws were not constant into the past. Age of the Earth is built upon the assumption such laws were constant, and we just don't know that.

Sorry, but I think this is grasping for straws as I think your own explanation is. In any case, it is clear by the very fact we expect when we go to sleep that the sun will be up in the morning, or that if we jump off a building we can expect to plummet to Earth --- all this points to stability and predictability of physical laws in our universe. You really have your case cut out for you to prove that the universe runs chaotically.

And I'm really not sure you get the full thrust of point 3. That is, why it matters anyhow?
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Re: Is there a God?

#4

Post by Silvertusk » Tue Jan 14, 2014 6:15 am

BryanH wrote:I will go for 1 and 3 as from my point of view they go together.

Point 1:

I keep hearing people pushing this argument lots of times. The Earth is perfectly shaped and the moon is positioned perfectly bla bla bla. This helps sustain life. Of course it does. This is our planet if the conditions weren't so, well, we wouldn't be here. All is correct.

But from this conclusion, you go ahead and assume that life on other planets should be similar to what we have on our planet. Given the diversity of our planet alone, if you apply that to the whole universe, it's quite reasonable to say that life could exist on other planets with different conditions.

If human beings needs oxygen to survive, heat from the sun, water etc, it doesn't mean that other civilizations couldn't be very different.

If life on our planet is shaped as it is, don't assume that life on other planets should be the same...

Point 3:

This is another argument which is being repeated for no good reason, at least for the time being.

The universe is working according to certain laws/rules which are constant...

I am sorry, but this is a false statement.

I said this quite a few times here: at the moment we have no clue about the universe and its inner workings. We only have mere assumptions at best.

We can't travel anywhere in the universe at the moment so until that happens, we don't know if the laws are constant.

All we can say is that the laws we have managed to observe until present times do seem to be constant in our local area.

So until we discover more about the universe and manage to explore, I would hold my breath on many rules/laws being constant.

The argument in point one stresses that these conditions are required for life period. Not just human life. Also you are appealing to the anthropic principal which is a very weak argument. The firing squad analogy springs to mind, I will have to try and dig it up for you. It is one of Craig's defences.

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Re: Is there a God?

#5

Post by BryanH » Wed Jan 15, 2014 8:04 am

Kurieuo wrote:Re: 3, your own response seems less than sound. How do you know it's a false statement if you have no clue about the universe and its inner workings. In fact, many scientists would disagree with you that we have no clue. Your logic here kind of reminds me of YECs who attempt to prove their position using pseudo-scientific explanations that the age of the Earth is really young because physical laws were not constant into the past. Age of the Earth is built upon the assumption such laws were constant, and we just don't know that.

Sorry, but I think this is grasping for straws as I think your own explanation is. In any case, it is clear by the very fact we expect when we go to sleep that the sun will be up in the morning, or that if we jump off a building we can expect to plummet to Earth --- all this points to stability and predictability of physical laws in our universe. You really have your case cut out for you to prove that the universe runs chaotically.
I did say that "locally" the laws seem to be constant right? You did read that part of my comment right?

I am not arguing against laws being constant, but for the fact that we assume that based on very little knowledge and extrapolate that to an entire Universe.

And I totally agree with you: we managed to come to some conclusion based on the fact that we ASSUME that the rest of the universe functions on the same principle... It's ok as long as you admit the weakness of that point...
Silvertusk wrote:The argument in point one stresses that these conditions are required for life period. Not just human life. Also you are appealing to the anthropic principal which is a very weak argument. The firing squad analogy springs to mind, I will have to try and dig it up for you. It is one of Craig's defences.
I read a a little about the firing squad. Why is my argument weak? I really don't get it.Basically my argument is the same as the firing squad analogy, but from a reversed perspective...

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Re: Is there a God?

#6

Post by jlay » Wed Jan 15, 2014 8:57 am

BryanH wrote:I will go for 1 and 3 as from my point of view they go together.

Point 1:

I keep hearing people pushing this argument lots of times. The Earth is perfectly shaped and the moon is positioned perfectly bla bla bla. This helps sustain life. Of course it does. This is our planet if the conditions weren't so, well, we wouldn't be here. All is correct.

But from this conclusion, you go ahead and assume that life on other planets should be similar to what we have on our planet. Given the diversity of our planet alone, if you apply that to the whole universe, it's quite reasonable to say that life could exist on other planets with different conditions.

If human beings needs oxygen to survive, heat from the sun, water etc, it doesn't mean that other civilizations couldn't be very different.

If life on our planet is shaped as it is, don't assume that life on other planets should be the same...

Point 3:

This is another argument which is being repeated for no good reason, at least for the time being.

The universe is working according to certain laws/rules which are constant...

I am sorry, but this is a false statement.

I said this quite a few times here: at the moment we have no clue about the universe and its inner workings. We only have mere assumptions at best.

We can't travel anywhere in the universe at the moment so until that happens, we don't know if the laws are constant.

All we can say is that the laws we have managed to observe until present times do seem to be constant in our local area.

So until we discover more about the universe and manage to explore, I would hold my breath on many rules/laws being constant.
Regarding point 1:
The anthropic prnciple is a probability argument. I disagree with ST that it is a weak one. It is strong in what it demonstrates. The problem, as you pointed out, is that it's a double edged sword. And for most atheist, as you demonstrate, the .000000000009 probability that it happened by chance is enough to hang your rejection upon. The odds of a planet existing that could be suitable for intelligent life is 10 to 53 power. That is 41 KNOWN parameters for life to exist.

Of course, the atheist is going to do exactly what you say you are doing by looking at it in reverse. But is that what you are doing? No. The probability that life exist elsewhere is only part of the question. Yours is an argument from ignorance.
-Intelligent life exist on Earth.
-The universe is huge.
-Therefore life (intelligent life) should exist elsewhere.

It's pure speculation based on two factors, and one of those is the fact that human life does exist here on earth.Whereas the anthropic principal deals with known probabilities that relate to the life that actually exists on Earth. The data that supports this argument continues to grow, btw.

Regarding point 3: You are undermining your own worldview as well. Science is meaningless if we presume laws to be arbitrary, or change at different places in the cosmos. Every field of science is done presupposing uniformity in that the laws of nature. They certainly didn't send men to the moon on your supposition.
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Re: Is there a God?

#7

Post by Proinsias » Wed Jan 15, 2014 6:00 pm

1,3,4; we see patterns
2,5; why do we see patterns
6; Jesus

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Re: Is there a God?

#8

Post by Kenny » Mon Mar 17, 2014 9:36 pm

Kurieuo wrote:I make this post in this forum as the many reasons presented also positively challenge a non-belief position.

So I came across a blog post/article I'd like to give some attention. A former Atheist, Marilyn Adamson, presents 6 reasons why she now believes God exists and that Christainity is most probably correct: Does God Exist: Six straightforward reasons to believe that God is really there

The following are just extracts. Visit the page for the fuller article, especially before responding to debate anything.
1. The complexity of our planet points to a deliberate Designer who not only created our universe, but sustains it today.
Many examples showing God's design could be given, possibly with no end. But here are a few:
  • The Earth... ...
  • Water... ...
  • The human brain... ...
  • The eye... ...


2. The universe had a start - what caused it?
Scientists are convinced that our universe began with one enormous explosion of energy and light, which we now call the Big Bang. This was the singular start to everything that exists: the beginning of the universe, the start of space, and even the initial start of time itself.

Astrophysicist Robert Jastrow, a self-described agnostic, stated, "The seed of everything that has happened in the Universe was planted in that first instant; every star, every planet and every living creature in the Universe came into being as a result of events that were set in motion in the moment of the cosmic explosion...The Universe flashed into being, and we cannot find out what caused that to happen."
...

3. The universe operates by uniform laws of nature. Why does it?
Much of life may seem uncertain, but look at what we can count on day after day: gravity remains consistent, a hot cup of coffee left on a counter will get cold, the earth rotates in the same 24 hours, and the speed of light doesn't change -- on earth or in galaxies far from us.

How is it that we can identify laws of nature that never change? Why is the universe so orderly, so reliable?
...

4. The DNA code informs, programs a cell's behavior.
All instruction, all teaching, all training comes with intent. Someone who writes an instruction manual does so with purpose. Did you know that in every cell of our bodies there exists a very detailed instruction code, much like a miniature computer program? As you may know, a computer program is made up of ones and zeros, like this: 110010101011000. The way they are arranged tell the computer program what to do. The DNA code in each of our cells is very similar. It's made up of four chemicals that scientists abbreviate as A, T, G, and C. These are arranged in the human cell like this: CGTGTGACTCGCTCCTGAT and so on. There are three billion of these letters in every human cell!!
...

5. We know God exists because he pursues us. He is constantly initiating and seeking for us to come to him.
I was an atheist at one time. And like many atheists, the issue of people believing in God bothered me greatly. What is it about atheists that we would spend so much time, attention, and energy refuting something that we don't believe even exists?! What causes us to do that? When I was an atheist, I attributed my intentions as caring for those poor, delusional people...to help them realize their hope was completely ill-founded. To be honest, I also had another motive. As I challenged those who believed in God, I was deeply curious to see if they could convince me otherwise.
...

6. Unlike any other revelation of God, Jesus Christ is the clearest, most specific picture of God revealing himself to us.
Why Jesus? Look throughout the major world religions and you'll find that Buddha, Muhammad, Confucius and Moses all identified themselves as teachers or prophets. None of them ever claimed to be equal to God. Surprisingly, Jesus did. That is what sets Jesus apart from all the others. He said God exists and you're looking at him.
...

I would like to reply to a few of these questions. My replies are in bold

The complexity of our planet points to a deliberate Designer who not only created our universe, but sustains it today.
Many examples showing God's design could be given, possibly with no end. But here are a few:
  • The Earth... ...
  • Water... ...
  • The human brain... ...
  • The eye... ...
Why would you assume complexity points to an intelligent designer?



2. The universe had a start - what caused it?
Scientists are convinced that our universe began with one enormous explosion of energy and light, which we now call the Big Bang. This was the singular start to everything that exists: the beginning of the universe, the start of space, and even the initial start of time itself.

Science does not claim there was a point in history when nothing existed. They point to the big bang as the beginning of the Universe as we know it. Whatever existed before then, nobody knows; just a lot of speculation.


3. The universe operates by uniform laws of nature. Why does it?
Much of life may seem uncertain, but look at what we can count on day after day: gravity remains consistent, a hot cup of coffee left on a counter will get cold, the earth rotates in the same 24 hours, and the speed of light doesn't change -- on earth or in galaxies far from us.

How is it that we can identify laws of nature that never change? Why is the universe so orderly, so reliable?


Everything in the Universe is not orderly and predictable; if it were we wouldn’t have such a hard time curing many of the diseases and pests.



5. We know God exists because he pursues us. He is constantly initiating and seeking for us to come to him.

If God pursues us, why do so many people who look for God find Allah, Vinishu, or whatever God is popular where they live? Why are they finding fake Gods instead of the real one?

Ken
RickD wrote
"What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence".

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Re: Is there a God?

#9

Post by neo-x » Mon Mar 17, 2014 10:15 pm

Everything in the Universe is not orderly and predictable; if it were we wouldn’t have such a hard time curing many of the diseases and pests.
Kenny I don't think you fully appreciate what K was saying...there are laws which remain constant and same. Why are these constant in your opinion?
If God pursues us, why do so many people who look for God find Allah, Vinishu, or whatever God is popular where they live? Why are they finding fake Gods instead of the real one?
I really don't know but I do know that everyone has a choice.
It would be a blessing if they missed the cairns and got lost on the way back. Or if
the Thing on the ice got them tonight.

I could only turn and stare in horror at the chief surgeon.
Death by starvation is a terrible thing, Goodsir, continued Stanley.
And with that we went below to the flame-flickering Darkness of the lower deck
and to a cold almost the equal of the Dante-esque Ninth Circle Arctic Night
without.


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Re: Is there a God?

#10

Post by Kenny » Tue Mar 18, 2014 8:01 pm

neo-x wrote:
Kenny I don't think you fully appreciate what K was saying...there are laws which remain constant and same. Why are these constant in your opinion?
Do you mean like the law of Gravity? I do know enough about Gravity to explain how and why it works the way it does.
I really don't know but I do know that everyone has a choice.
Assuming the God you worship is the right one, do you honestly feel the guy born in a Muslim country who only has access to the Koran, but not the Bible; who only has access to other Muslims but doesn't have access to Christians; who only hears bad stuff about christianity and only hears good stuff about Islam; do you believe such a person has the same choice of choosing Christianity that you have?

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Re: Is there a God?

#11

Post by neo-x » Tue Mar 18, 2014 8:24 pm

Kenny wrote:
neo-x wrote:
Kenny I don't think you fully appreciate what K was saying...there are laws which remain constant and same. Why are these constant in your opinion?
Do you mean like the law of Gravity? I do know enough about Gravity to explain how and why it works the way it does.
I really don't know but I do know that everyone has a choice.
Assuming the God you worship is the right one, do you honestly feel the guy born in a Muslim country who only has access to the Koran, but not the Bible; who only has access to other Muslims but doesn't have access to Christians; who only hears bad stuff about christianity and only hears good stuff about Islam; do you believe such a person has the same choice of choosing Christianity that you have?

Ken
My family converted from Muslims and we live in Pakistan, a hardcore Muslim country. The chance is not that remote as you are making it sound.

Edit: And believe me people do have access to bibles and geetas and what not. internet, tv, publications. Even in saudia people have access to bibles.
Last edited by neo-x on Tue Mar 18, 2014 10:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
It would be a blessing if they missed the cairns and got lost on the way back. Or if
the Thing on the ice got them tonight.

I could only turn and stare in horror at the chief surgeon.
Death by starvation is a terrible thing, Goodsir, continued Stanley.
And with that we went below to the flame-flickering Darkness of the lower deck
and to a cold almost the equal of the Dante-esque Ninth Circle Arctic Night
without.


//johnadavid.wordpress.com

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Re: Is there a God?

#12

Post by 1over137 » Tue Mar 18, 2014 9:57 pm

Neo, our warrior :duel: :boxing: :comeon:

I can't even imagine how hard it is to live there.
But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.
-- 1 Thessalonians 5:21

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
-- Philippians 1:6

#foreverinmyheart

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Re: Is there a God?

#13

Post by Kenny » Wed Mar 19, 2014 8:17 pm

neo-x wrote:
Kenny wrote:
neo-x wrote:
Kenny I don't think you fully appreciate what K was saying...there are laws which remain constant and same. Why are these constant in your opinion?
Do you mean like the law of Gravity? I do know enough about Gravity to explain how and why it works the way it does.
I really don't know but I do know that everyone has a choice.
Assuming the God you worship is the right one, do you honestly feel the guy born in a Muslim country who only has access to the Koran, but not the Bible; who only has access to other Muslims but doesn't have access to Christians; who only hears bad stuff about christianity and only hears good stuff about Islam; do you believe such a person has the same choice of choosing Christianity that you have?

Ken
My family converted from Muslims and we live in Pakistan, a hardcore Muslim country. The chance is not that remote as you are making it sound.

Edit: And believe me people do have access to bibles and geetas and what not. internet, tv, publications. Even in saudia people have access to bibles.
I know of people who live in the United States who do not have access to other religions because of the Christian enviroment they live in. Let me rephrase my question, and keep in mind there are some places where the penalty of converting from Islam to another religion is death. Do you believe someone who lives in an Islamic contry who does not have access to Christianity, has the same choice of choosing Christanity as a person living the USA?
I don't.

Ken
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"What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence".

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Re: Is there a God?

#14

Post by neo-x » Wed Mar 19, 2014 8:33 pm

The question is not of equal choice. People have that. I know plenty of people who are Christians in Pakistan but appear Muslim in society so there lives are not in danger. There was a time when being a Christian was punishable by death, in various places around the globe, still is. If someone feels it is the right thing to do then for them it's the right thing to do. Social oppression is present all the around the world. There are minorities still present. you are arguing for a fairytale, in real word, unfair people exist and they make sure that they ruin it for everyone else. You gotta do the best with what you have.

Now is it dangerous? Of course it is, but that's how it is.

That being said, I find it really hard to imagine your question. Even Saudi Arabia has Christians. They don't have churches in mecca and Medina. But there are Bibles there, the same is in iran, but iran has churches. Is it hard for Christians over there? Yeah it is.

And yes I get your concern. Your question basically is, What if someone never heard of Christianity. What if they never had a chance?

To be honest, I have thought about it a lot in the past and I really don't know how will it happen but since god is just, I believe those people should have a choice, a second chance so to say. How that process happens? I have no idea, but god can't be unjust. So I trust this.
It would be a blessing if they missed the cairns and got lost on the way back. Or if
the Thing on the ice got them tonight.

I could only turn and stare in horror at the chief surgeon.
Death by starvation is a terrible thing, Goodsir, continued Stanley.
And with that we went below to the flame-flickering Darkness of the lower deck
and to a cold almost the equal of the Dante-esque Ninth Circle Arctic Night
without.


//johnadavid.wordpress.com

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Re: Is there a God?

#15

Post by Danieltwotwenty » Wed Mar 19, 2014 8:34 pm

Kenny wrote:
neo-x wrote:
Kenny wrote:
neo-x wrote:
Kenny I don't think you fully appreciate what K was saying...there are laws which remain constant and same. Why are these constant in your opinion?
Do you mean like the law of Gravity? I do know enough about Gravity to explain how and why it works the way it does.
I really don't know but I do know that everyone has a choice.
Assuming the God you worship is the right one, do you honestly feel the guy born in a Muslim country who only has access to the Koran, but not the Bible; who only has access to other Muslims but doesn't have access to Christians; who only hears bad stuff about christianity and only hears good stuff about Islam; do you believe such a person has the same choice of choosing Christianity that you have?

Ken
My family converted from Muslims and we live in Pakistan, a hardcore Muslim country. The chance is not that remote as you are making it sound.

Edit: And believe me people do have access to bibles and geetas and what not. internet, tv, publications. Even in saudia people have access to bibles.
I know of people who live in the United States who do not have access to other religions because of the Christian enviroment they live in. Let me rephrase my question, and keep in mind there are some places where the penalty of converting from Islam to another religion is death. Do you believe someone who lives in an Islamic contry who does not have access to Christianity, has the same choice of choosing Christanity as a person living the USA?
I don't.

Ken

Even if the access wasn't the same what point are you trying to make, stop beating around the bush and make it. :troll2:

God judges people's hearts not what knowledge they do or do not possess, can there be Muslims, Hindu, atheist, Deist etc.. that have not heard about Christ that are saved, sure, but it is not for me to judge which are and which aren't, all we can do is spread the good news.
1Tim1:15-17
Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever.Amen.

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