1. Joined
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    27 May '10 14:11
    1 Corinthians 1:21
    For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

    It's a strange thing. I see the point of view of the atheist. Where is this God? Where is the evidence of God's existence? Where is the proof of the resurrection of Jesus?

    On the surface there appears to be no proof or evidence at all. I can see that. All there is are millions of people claiming to believe in something there appears to be no evidence for, and few of them seem to agree on too much.

    So what's the point of this thread you ask?

    Evidence!


    Surely there must be evidence. If so, what would it be? What form would the evidence take? Would that evidence be evident to the senses? If it were evident to the senses, would one's mind be able to interpret the evidence as evidence, or could one's mind choose to ignore it? Is the apparent lack of evidence evidence for no evidence? Or is the perception of the lack of evidence a trick of the mind?

    On the other hand, is the perception of evidence for the existence of God a trick of the mind?

    In the past I have argued that the evidence for the existence of God(a creator)is all that exists. That simply means(to me at least)that all that exists exists because it was created by a creator(God). I use that argument because it seems to me that in the final analysis nothing would exist unless it had been created. The only other explanation would be that everything that exists always existed.

    But where is the evidence for that idea? If the atheist balks at the idea that there is no creator because there is no evidence, then how can he trust the idea that all that exists has always existed when there is no evidence for it?

    If I were an atheist I would be bewildered by the paradox of such a mind set.


    I believe the evidence, by reason of perception, is found in the mind. It is with the mind that we interpret what is perceived by our senses. With the mind we are aware of the truth. With the mind we are deceived by the perception of our senses.


    1. Everything that exists has always existed.

    2. Everything that exists was created.

    Which idea has the greatest probability of being true based on the evidence available for the mind to interpret?
  2. Joined
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    27 May '10 16:422 edits
    Originally posted by josephw
    1 Corinthians 1:21
    [b]For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.


    It's a strange thing. I see the point of view of the atheist. Where is this God? Where is the evidence of God's existence? Where is the proof of the resurrection of Jesus?

    On the s eatest probability of being true based on the evidence available for the mind to interpret?[/b]
    I use that argument because it seems to me that in the final analysis nothing would exist unless it had been created. The only other explanation would be that everything that exists always existed.

    So, I either accept that everything that exists was created; or I am left with "everything that exists always existed"?

    Huh? That doesn't seem to make any sense. So if I were to deny that some rock formation off in the distance was "created", I am left assuming that the rock formation has simply always existed?

    I think your argument is not very good as is. Perhaps you can clarify it?
  3. Standard memberavalanchethecat
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    27 May '10 17:51
    Originally posted by josephw
    1 Corinthians 1:21
    [b]For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.


    It's a strange thing. I see the point of view of the atheist. Where is this God? Where is the evidence of God's existence? Where is the proof of the resurrection of Jesus?

    On the s ...[text shortened]... eatest probability of being true based on the evidence available for the mind to interpret?[/b]
    People used to believe a lot of crazy stuff. It didn't seem crazy at the time, but eventually science showed how crazy this crazy stuff was and most of them stopped believing in witches and sun-going-round-earth and phlogiston and four-humours and the brain-as-an-organ-for-cooling-the-blood and geese-growing-out-of-barnacles and pots-growing-out-of-barrows and bad-smells-causing-disease and racial-superiority and lucky-rabbit's-feet and faeries-at-the-bottom-of-the-garden and cetera and cetera. Bizarrely though, even with the benefit of modern science, some people still choose to believe crazy stuff. Now there's foolishness for you...
  4. Cape Town
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    27 May '10 19:01
    Originally posted by josephw
    1. Everything that exists has always existed.
    2. Everything that exists was created.
    Which idea has the greatest probability of being true based on the evidence available for the mind to interpret?
    This is a false dichotomy. It relies on another falsehood - the belief that cause effect is a known universal. It goes further and invents a false analogy ie that because cause effect applies within the universe it must apply to the universe itself but in a different way.
    Here are a few facts that blow your dichotomy right out of the water:
    1. It is not a known fact nor even 'obvious' nor even 'more than likely' that cause and effect is universal. The vast majority of event in the universe have no known cause.
    2. Even if cause effect were universal - this has nothing whatsoever to do with 'creation'. If I pointed out that fundamental particles pop in and out of existence quite regularly without an apparent creator, you will say that is merely energy conversion and no actual creation takes place. Soon we will discover that your definition of 'creation' has nothing whatsoever to do with 'cause-effect' in the universe.
    3. Even if you could prove that cause-effect, or 'no existence without creator' applied within the universe, this is no reason to believe it applies to the universe as a whole.
    4. If we do assume that whatever rule you are relying on for your logic applies to everything including universes, then it would presumably apply to God too, yet I am sure that you do not apply the same dichotomy to God and come up with the same answer.
    5. There is zero evidence against an eternal universe, and zero (scientific) evidence for a created universe, but I don't think either of those fact is enough to draw any conclusions even within your dichotomy.
  5. Joined
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    27 May '10 22:57
    Is this a stealth kalam? Have you been reading WLC again? Tut tut...
  6. Joined
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    27 May '10 23:096 edits
    Originally posted by josephw
    1 Corinthians 1:21
    [b]For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.


    It's a strange thing. I see the point of view of the atheist. Where is this God? Where is the evidence of God's existence? Where is the proof of the resurrection of Jesus?

    On the s eatest probability of being true based on the evidence available for the mind to interpret?[/b]
    =============================
    1. Everything that exists has always existed.

    2. Everything that exists was created.

    Which idea has the greatest probability of being true based on the evidence available for the mind to interpret?
    ====================


    I think joseph is being slick here:

    ===========================
    1. Everything that exists has always existed.

    2. Everything that exists was created.
    ==============================



    Like many other disciplines philosophers and theologians improve and update their arguments. When weaknesses are exposed they go back to the drawing board and try to come out with a new and improved argument.

    The cosmological argument for the existence of God is a case in point. I believe the first incarnation of it was:

    Everything that exists has a cause.

    When counter arguments did their duty to expose weaknesses, arguing then that if God exists, God must also have a cause for existence, leading to an infinite regress, theist philosophers went back to the drawing board and strengthened the argument.

    The newer version is thus:

    Everything that BEGINS to exist has a cause.

    Counter philosophies also do the same thing. When defeaters to their arguments are encountered they revize the arguments.

    Anyway, the latter version of the cosmological argument does not require that God have a cause because they would say that by definition God never BEGAN to exist.

    I agree. But then again I am biased toward Theism.

    Theists, be careful. Sometimes agnostics and atheists will put up the older version of the cosmological argument to lure the theist into it.

    Watch em! Watch em.

    I don't think it is a bad thing that both sides over time improve their arguments.
  7. Melbourne, Australia
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    28 May '10 00:181 edit
    Originally posted by jaywill
    [b]=============================
    1. Everything that exists has always existed.

    2. Everything that exists was created.

    Which idea has the greatest probability of being true based on the evidence available for the mind to interpret?
    ====================


    I think joseph is being slick here:

    ===========================
    1. Everything t ...[text shortened]... atch em.

    I don't think it is a bad thing that both sides over time improve their arguments.
    [/b]So, by your argument, why can we not have a universe that never began to exist and hence requires no cause? Thus we also require no gods ...
  8. Territories Unknown
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    28 May '10 03:18
    Originally posted by amannion
    So, by your argument, why can we not have a universe that never began to exist and hence requires no cause? Thus we also require no gods ...[/b]
    We could, and--- for awhile--- this seemed the only alternative to denying God's status as that one noun which didn't begin. Then we got smarter via revelation via experimentation via observation. Found out it all stated in an instant.
    Beginning of story.
  9. Cape Town
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    28 May '10 05:02
    Originally posted by jaywill
    I don't think it is a bad thing that both sides over time improve their arguments.
    I do not strongly object to theists seeking to prove the necessity of God. I do think there are a number of issues they should watch out for though:
    1. They tend to assume that it is provable. This is always a bad assumption to start out with.
    2. They tend to assume that the first 'proof' they think of must be valid. Again, a bad assumption.
    3. They invest far too much emotionally in the chosen 'proof'. They tend to act as though their faith would be false and their lives meaningless if it turns out their proof is invalid.
    4. They often make the false assertion that their faith is in part or wholy based on their proof. eg 'the evidence for God is all around me - that is why I believe in him'. This again, leads to over investment in supporting the proof even when it is obvious that it is flawed.
  10. Melbourne, Australia
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    28 May '10 05:33
    Originally posted by FreakyKBH
    We could, and--- for awhile--- this seemed the only alternative to denying God's status as that one noun which didn't begin. Then we got smarter via revelation via experimentation via observation. Found out it all stated in an instant.
    Beginning of story.
    Maybe, maybe not.
    A big bang explanation for this universe doesn't of necessity require a beginning to be valid.
    And just what has been revealed to you?
  11. Cape Town
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    28 May '10 05:51
    Originally posted by amannion
    Maybe, maybe not.
    A big bang explanation for [b]this
    universe doesn't of necessity require a beginning to be valid.
    And just what has been revealed to you?[/b]
    And just as importantly, the Big Bang Theory does not at present state that this universe did start at the Big Bang, only that its current state started then.
  12. Cape Town
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    28 May '10 05:57
    Originally posted by FreakyKBH
    We could, and--- for awhile--- this seemed the only alternative to denying God's status as that one noun which didn't begin.
    There are plenty of nouns that do not begin. Essentially anything that does not have a position in the time dimension such as 'happiness', 'love', 'logic' etc.
    If you argue that God is different from those because he is a physical entity, then you run into the problem that he cannot be both a physical entity and separate from this universe (and time).
    Lastly, if the universe started at the big bang, then so did time and it is false to propose anything that does have a position on the time dimension but that does not begin as everything within time necessarily began at or after the beginning of time.
  13. Joined
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    28 May '10 12:18
    Thank you for your replies, but I'm still not satisfied that my argument doesn't adequately prove a point.

    Perhaps it isn't simple enough. What I mean is I thought I had broken it down to it's least common denomination.

    I'll try again.

    We have all that exists. That is, there is everything and nothing else.

    My argument is this: Did all that exists always exist, or did all that exists have a beginning?

    [We] must conclude that all that exists has always existed or be left with the only other alternative.

    So, either all that exists had a beginning or it has always existed.

    What other alternative is there?
  14. Cape Town
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    28 May '10 12:47
    Originally posted by josephw
    So, either all that exists had a beginning or it has always existed.

    What other alternative is there?
    That sounds valid to me.
    The problem is then when you make the following errors:
    1. Equate 'beginning' with 'created'.
    2. Contradict the original definition of 'all that exists' by suggesting that something other than 'all that exists' created 'all that exists'.
  15. Cape Town
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    28 May '10 12:55
    Originally posted by josephw
    But where is the evidence for that idea? If the atheist balks at the idea that there is no creator because there is no evidence, then how can he trust the idea that all that exists has always existed when there is no evidence for it?
    I must point out that lack of evidence does not immediately result in a no vote by an atheist. Rather, it results in an 'undecided' vote. Only evidence against, results in a 'no vote'.
    I believe there is currently insufficient evidence to decide whether the universe has a finite past or not. That lack of evidence does not lead me to discard either option.
    Discarding a God concept based on no evidence is different in that we use Occams razor to get rid of it, whereas the finite/infinite past question does not have an obvious candidate for Occams razor.
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