Prove to me that your God exists.

  • #1

    After some reflection to my invitation for a thread about the merits of religious supersitions (thank you Umpa!), it occured to me that a catchy title would do me no good if it set about from the wrong side of the coin. This is a mistake many debating atheists and anti-theists make and one that almost always sees them waste undue time explaining his own position. With that in mind, I spout not the renunciation of Yaweh or Allah (or Zeus, Ra, Seth, Zaroaster, Shiva, Vishnu, Thor, Ananzi, etc.) from my title, but request that those living in the certitude of such a being explain why they suppose their God(s) to exist. As an atheist, I make no such claim to knowledge.

    I freely admit that my knowledge has limits in the physical world as well as to the realm of what scientists can currently experiment and observe. I fully acknowledge that there will be new ideas, new postulaions, and even new religions long after my life has ended. I expect many would argue that science is dispensed with, having admitted these limitations, but to that I must push the question: what makes anything else more plausible? What makes a many-millenia old work of creative non-fiction (or historical fiction, take your pick) any more a useful tool to seek truth?

    I must be careful to caveat on several points, again, in the hopes that we will have as little grandstanding and unnecessary derailing from the central issue:

    1. Atheists do not maintain there is no god, they maintain there has never been convincing evidence for a god. While this distinction seems flippant, it is not. The former is a claim that would make atheists no more rational than a strident theist.

    2. Atheists do not (all) contend that religious texts are entirely useless, morally bankrupt, or request their destruction. Many of us, myself included, oblige the Torah, the Bible, the Koran, etc. as works of literature worth reading. They may be windows into iron/bronze age society, common literary experiences that enrich the reader just as much as The Illiad, works of Shakespear, or (perhaps more modern context) a classic film series like The Godfather.

    3. What then, seperates the agnostic from the Atheist? Good question. There is some debate on this, but my take is this: Agnostics just don't care about the question and Atheists have pursued the question and found all answers wanting. If you are a professed agnostic and find a problem with my diffirentiation, please let me know how you see yourself. I am quite interested in this dichotomy.

    4. "The universe," is not proof of the existence of a god or gods. Infinite-regression arguments for first-cause (flying in the face of quantum physics and the concept of space-time) do not provide proof either. Appeals to authority on the matter of quantum physics proving a deist position would be interesting to hear (though i've yet to hear a good one).

    ---------------------------

    With that out of the way I would like to make the small request that posters identify (at least in their first post) themselves as Theist, Deist, Agnostic, or Atheist. This is not to typecast or mock anyone I view as holding an indefensible position, but rather to help me (and anyone else who wants to contribute) understand the context of what is being said by way of position.

    ---------------------------

    In deference to our gracious moderation team I will also request that ad hominem and useless trolling be kept at a cordial level. I'm well aware that most of these discussions don't "convert," or "englighten," anyone and that the prospect of this thread charging into the flaming abyss of crap are high: therefor, let us do our best to maintain a civil discourse.

    So: Prove to me your God exists!
  • #2
    im gonna say most people on this forum, and most likely the entire internet, are atheists or agnostic/dontgiveafck.

    so. goodluck
    Remember the String of Ears

    "to the worm in horseradish, the world is horseradish."
  • #3
    Well this is a recipe for disaster.

    Look at it this way. Religion is about faith. There's absolutely nothing a religious person could ever say, or do, that would convince someone that has deemed themselves an atheist or agnostic otherwise. Agnostic and atheists have chosen their belief, as have religious people. It's akin to a Christian convincing a Muslim. Your faith is your faith, and if you truly believe that, there's no room for convincing because you won't be convinced. Just because Atheism/Agnostic isn't a "religion" won't change the outcome.

    Hence why I say this is a recipe for disaster. While I'm not going to claim that your intent is trolling, it's really all that will come out of it. If not, you're going to incite pointless arguments that have no resolve.

    And for the record, I am not at all religious, but I also don't label myself as anything. Personally, I don't believe a "god" exists as we have personified as a race, but I believe there is something out there far beyond our comprehension whether it's a civilization, or just an energy or form of matter that we can't fathom. I'm a very firm follower of Science, but at the same time I know our knowledge is limited. Personally, I think relying on one set of beliefs without having an open mind to the possibility of something beyond our comprehension is the epitome of ignorance. In other words, to me, there's little difference between a Christian and an Atheist when you boil it right down.
  • #4
    its rather pointless to argue (debate) about things like this. changing opinions through the internet is like trying to break coconuts with your hand. its just like this, atheists do not accept God because they have no empirical evidence, but faith is just that; belief without any solid evidence. pointless.
    Remember the String of Ears

    "to the worm in horseradish, the world is horseradish."
  • #5
    Prove to me that he doesn't.
    Finding order in chaos
  • #6
    Quote from _Salvation

    Prove to me that he doesn't.


    No, the burden of proof does not lie on the atheist.
    If you want proof, here's 50 simple ones that even a religious person should be able to grasp: http://godisimaginary.com/

    Quote from proletaria

    1. Atheists do not maintain there is no god, they maintain there has never been convincing evidence for a god. While this distinction seems flippant, it is not. The former is a claim that would make atheists no more rational than a strident theist.



    That's not true, Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities. Most inclusively, atheism is simply the absence of belief that any deities exist. Atheism is contrasted with theism, which in its most general form is the belief that at least one deity exists.
    Ne frustra vixisse videar.
  • #7
    Quote from Moxx »

    Quote from proletaria

    1. Atheists do not maintain there is no god, they maintain there has never been convincing evidence for a god. While this distinction seems flippant, it is not. The former is a claim that would make atheists no more rational than a strident theist.



    That's not true, Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities.[2] Most inclusively, atheism is simply the absence of belief that any deities exist. Atheism is contrasted with theism,[4][5] which in its most general form is the belief that at least one deity exists.

    maybe remove the footnotes next time u ctrl+p from wikipedia...thats just ugly
    Remember the String of Ears

    "to the worm in horseradish, the world is horseradish."
  • #8
    My god is Odin.

    He promised to kill all the Frost Giants.I don't see any Frost Giants , do you ?
  • #9
    By most definitions, God existed before any form of matter. Therefore it took up no time or space. Whatever it "created" is still part of it.Since space has essentially been proven to be capable of going faster than light and essentially time as well,there really is no distance between wall and hand, keyboard and finger.Considering the initial statement, time and space theoretically do not exist. God is everything, all at once in one moment and in no moment.

    Our minds might perceive what is different, but I assure you, there is no "different". There is no "apple", no "chair", no "me", no "you". There is only 1 thing and nothing at all. That is God.

    Anything else is just an illusion and trying to "prove" anything in terms of such an ethereal concept is the most trite thing one could possibly do considering how we perceive things.

    Just imagine how convincing this would sound if I knew what I was talking about.
    "I want to say something but I'll keep it to myself I guess and leave this useless post behind to make you aware that there WAS something... "
    -Equinox

    "We're like the downtown of the Diablo related internet lol"
    -Winged
  • #10
    Quote from Moxx »

    Quote from proletaria

    1. Atheists do not maintain there is no god, they maintain there has never been convincing evidence for a god. While this distinction seems flippant, it is not. The former is a claim that would make atheists no more rational than a strident theist.



    That's not true, Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities. Most inclusively, atheism is simply the absence of belief that any deities exist. Atheism is contrasted with theism, which in its most general form is the belief that at least one deity exists.


    Theism argues for the existence of a particular god. Deism argues there is some kind of god. Atheism suggests neither of the two have evidence for their claims. That's not a dictionary reference, it's the fact of the matter. If a self-proclaimed atheist wants to make an absolute assertion and assert proof of a negative, that's his problem.
  • #11
    I believe in God. I am a Christian. Don't ask for a denomination or such because I find that meaningless. The way I see it is you either believe or you do not. What makes people believe in a God is usually done through their upbringing. It depends on what people around you believe and who you respect most as most people attain to be similar to the ones they respect.

    For proof of my God I'll tell you now is impossible for me to do. I do not have proof that one would call hard evidence. Anyone that tries to prove the existence of God is wasting their time. The only way to find out what is the truth is to wait until you have died and see what happens afterwards.

    Maybe God is not real and religion was a complete waste of our lives and when we die everything for us ceases to exist and it all becomes darkness. Maybe we do go to Heaven of Hell. All I can say is that I am interested to see what happens and I do believe that I will get to see God someday. Of course I am in no hurry to rush the processes.
    If you don't like it, then don't do it.
  • #12
    Explanation to OP on my take on the atheist/agnostic differentiation.

    From my perspective atheists are religious as well. "A-theism" means they do not believe in a deity. They do not "believe" in a deity, which is a belief on itself. Agnostics on the other hand can't consider anything to believe in at all. There might be a God, there might be multiple, there might not be. It's not so much that they don't care, it's that there isn't any proof of Him/Them existing, but there also isn't of Him/Them not existing. I find most clear-thinking scientists should take this to their resumes. Who knows, one day they might discover Dark Energy has a mind of its own...

    Another slightly different view is that Agnosticism is a philosophy. This also makes it so it can escape the "belief" area and go straight into the "scepticism" area where science rules the world. Whenever something is 100% proven to exist then it most definitely does exist. If not... more testing.

    Ha. Bagstone.

  • #13
    Not being able to prove something one way or another does not mean your argument is right, it's a fallacy. It's actually called an appeal to ignorance, go figure.

    You cannot make a conclusion based on lack of evidence, and that is what both sides are trying to do. My point being, arguing about this pointless because no one has proof.
    Easy, Lucky, Free
  • #14
    Quote from Moxx

    Quote from _Salvation

    Prove to me that he doesn't.


    No, the burden of proof does not lie on the atheist.
    If you want proof, here's 50 simple ones that even a religious person should be able to grasp: http://godisimaginary.com/



    There is no burden of proof on anyone. You either believe or you do not. It is a personal choice and one that we will live and die with whether we are right or wrong.
    If you don't like it, then don't do it.
  • #15
    i like when we had multiple gods, it sounded endlessly more fun...
    Remember the String of Ears

    "to the worm in horseradish, the world is horseradish."
  • #16
    I don't even think we would be seeing darkness. We would see oblivion. Not even darkness can escape it's grasp! How scary is that? Or..comforting since there won't be any darkness? :P

    And if there is darkness and there is no God, we will certainly not be perceiving that darkness lol.
    "I want to say something but I'll keep it to myself I guess and leave this useless post behind to make you aware that there WAS something... "
    -Equinox

    "We're like the downtown of the Diablo related internet lol"
    -Winged
  • #17
    Quote from apples

    Quote from Moxx »

    Quote from proletaria

    1. Atheists do not maintain there is no god, they maintain there has never been convincing evidence for a god. While this distinction seems flippant, it is not. The former is a claim that would make atheists no more rational than a strident theist.



    That's not true, Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities.[2] Most inclusively, atheism is simply the absence of belief that any deities exist. Atheism is contrasted with theism,[4][5] which in its most general form is the belief that at least one deity exists.

    maybe remove the footnotes next time u ctrl+p from wikipedia...thats just ugly


    LOL

    Quote from Moxx

    Quote from _Salvation

    Prove to me that he doesn't.


    No, the burden of proof does not lie on the atheist.
    If you want proof, here's 50 simple ones that even a religious person should be able to grasp: http://godisimaginary.com/


    LOL. Are you serious? That website thinks that people think Jesus is God. It treats the concept with the deluded assumption that everyone is a Christian. Do you seriously expect me to take that website seriously when a main reason listed there is pretty much "PRAYER DOESN'T WORK! GOD DOESN'T EXIST!". Sure, because you would expect God to grant everyone all their wishes and prayers. Are you serious? Everyone would be filthy rich. Just imagine the conflict of dicks who are fighting to bone Charlize Theron. Do you see what I'm getting at? If God made it that easy and that obvious that He existed, there would be no such thing as "faith".
    Finding order in chaos
  • #18
    I consider myself a pantheist of sorts. I don't know in which category does that fall. Since we are on it, I'm not really familiarized with religious terms, so forgive any mistake or misuse of words.

    I believe that "god" is everything, the whole universe and the laws that govern it. My "god" doesn't have a name, intention or purpose; its only quality is existing. I use quotation marks because it's not a god in the normal way; it's not antropomorphic, it doesn't have a master plan or expects you to behave in a certain way, it doesn't look upon us. I know those characteristics don't define all "normal" gods, but I think I got my point across. My god is not a person.

    So what is it? God (I'm going to stop using "my", just imagine it's there) is many things. First, it's the universe, or better yet, it's the fact that the universe exists, which I find pretty amazing. It's not the creator of the universe, it's the characteristic of its existance. It's also the answer to those kind of questions the science will never be able to answer (I think the correct term is metaphysics.) Why is the universe made out of atoms (or whatever it is actually made of)? Why is the speed of light 300k m/s, and not some other random number? Why does gravity, or even mass exist? Why does energy and monumentum conserve? God is all those answers. It all seems so random.

    As to proving it's existance, just look around. I know it's not actually proof enough, but it's the best I can do.

    I'm just ranting now, I'm going to stop.

    EDIT: Umpa said it better and funnier.
  • #19
    Quote from Umpa

    By most definitions, God existed before any form of matter. Therefore it took up no time or space. Whatever it "created" is still part of it.Since space has essentially been proven to be capable of going faster than light and essentially time as well,there really is no distance between wall and hand, keyboard and finger.Considering the initial statement, time and space theoretically do not exist. God is everything, all at once in one moment and in no moment.


    Indeed, for such is required now that we understand much of our Universe and first-cause arguments are a popular bastion of resistance (as I noted in the OP). I think the underlying problem with this is expressed best by Dawkins: we understand that processes in the universe trend from simple to more complex. Why then do we assume that a first-cause would be infinitely complex (a god) as opposed to simple?

    Quote from Umpa

    Our minds might perceive what is different, but I assure you, there is no "different". There is no "apple", no "chair", no "me", no "you". There is only 1 thing and nothing at all. That is God.


    That is circular logic and as I explained, the universe does not evidence god. I must also ask why this god feels it necessary to be evil (since he is everything)?

    Quote from Umpa

    Anything else is just an illusion and trying to "prove" anything in terms of such an ethereal concept is the most trite thing one could possibly do considering how we perceive things.


    I'd have to agree with that, but "trite," isn't the verbage i'd use. Sufficed to say it's a task taken up by many apologists, none of whom have proved successful.

    Quote from Umpa

    Just imagine how convincing this would sound if I knew what I was talking about.


    Given that you have expressed the opinion that proving God is a foreign concept, I don't think knowing things would help you make that claim since it's a proportedly self-evidend proposition.

    Quote from overneathe

    From my perspective atheists are religious as well. "A-theism" means they do not believe in a deity. They do not "believe" in a deity, which is a belief on itself.


    Belief means you think something is true without any proof or evidence. Athiests (as I explained) have said there is no proof and therefor do not hold a belief.

    I should also note, anyone who is deistic, pantheistic, christian, jewish, muslim, pagan, or whatever is also an atheist about any number of gods or concepts of god. You know about Zeus, you might have read that a lot of Greeks worshiped him, and you might have even read some myths about him: but you do not hold a belief that he exists since none of these things are proof.

    Atheists simply take that one-step further and say "well, there's actually proof for none of those gods."

    Quote from Nooney53

    Not being able to prove something one way or another does not mean your argument is right, it's a fallacy. It's actually called an appeal to ignorance, go figure.

    You cannot make a conclusion based on lack of evidence, and that is what both sides are trying to do. My point being, arguing about this pointless because no one has proof.


    You're making the fallacious assumption that Atheists are trying to prove anything. We are simply trying to show the lack of evidence in all notions of god. Disbelief is not a dogma, neither is skepticism (not in the philosphical sense), and your argument is invalid. We are not (as I pointed out in the OP more than once) attempting to prove a negative.

    Quote from Graphite

    I believe in God. I am a Christian.

    [...]

    Maybe God is not real and religion was a complete waste of our lives and when we die everything for us ceases to exist and it all becomes darkness. Maybe we do go to Heaven of Hell. All I can say is that I am interested to see what happens and I do believe that I will get to see God someday. Of course I am in no hurry to rush the processes.


    Actually, you are an agnostic by those words.
  • #20
    Quote from apples

    i like when we had multiple gods, it sounded endlessly more fun...


    I'm still considered the God of sexiness, perfection, and abs in a lot of circles.
    Finding order in chaos
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