1. Standard memberknightmeister
    knightmeister
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    02 May '06 19:12
    Let's face it guys , if there was some way that someone could construct an argument that could 'prove' (or disprove)God then it would have been done by now. Do we really think (Xstians or atheists) that someone on this forum or somehwere in the world is going to suddenly stumble across a 'proof' and we are all going to go.....ahhhh! of course! Why didn't I think of that!

    Doesn't this suggest that there has to be another way of going about things.... ?

    The whole point of Xtianity wasn't supposed to be that it would become some kind of mathematical problem to be disputed. It was supposed to be about something 'alive' and experiential so that instead of 'knowing' God existed because you had 'proved' it logically you 'got to know' God because he was hanging around with you , making a nuisance of himself as it were. It's only when you have had the merest taster of this that the idea of God actually existing becomes even plausible. Without it God is just a preposterous mathematical nonsensical concept.
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    02 May '06 19:29
    This is not precisely true. I agree that the early Christians did not need proof because they had been with the Son of God and witnessed His miraculous power. Also, I think a person's desires greatly influence their ability to recognize the truth. There are times when people are incapable of understanding an argument because they don't want to be proven wrong.

    However, St. Thomas Aquinas put forth many arguments for the existence of God which are perfectly reasonable and precise, if one has the patience and the intelligence to penetrate them. On my own, I probably would not have understood them very well, but when a professor explained them at length over the course of almost an entire semester, referring to multiple text from Aquinas in order to make his meaning as clear as possible, I grasped his arguments well enough to find them irrefutable. Unfortunately, not many people take the time to study Aquinas anymore, and when they do, they only scratch the surface because they are not trained in the scholastic tradition.
  3. Standard memberChurlant
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    02 May '06 19:36
    There cannot be a "proof" of God because there is not a universal definition of the term. "God" is different things to different people and any attempt at proving His existence begins with the assumption that He fits the individual's definition as well as concluding He exists to begin with. Even Aquinas bases his thesis on an assumed conclusion.

    -JC
  4. Territories Unknown
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    02 May '06 19:37
    Originally posted by Raindear
    This is not precisely true. I agree that the early Christians did not need proof because they had been with the Son of God and witnessed His miraculous power. Also, I think a person's desires greatly influence their ability to recognize the truth. There are times when people are incapable of understanding an argument because they don't want to be proven ...[text shortened]... ey do, they only scratch the surface because they are not trained in the scholastic tradition.
    Well, Tommy's secrets are safe here: there's nary a one who has been trained in the scholastic traditions in these parts, either.
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    02 May '06 19:43
    Originally posted by Churlant
    There cannot be a "proof" of God because there is not a universal definition of the term. "God" is different things to different people and any attempt at proving His existence begins with the assumption that He fits the individual's definition as well as concluding He exists to begin with. Even Aquinas bases his thesis on an assumed conclusion.

    -JC
    A proof doesn't make any sense unless you determine before hand what you are proving. Aquinas was not interested in proving that "what God is to different people" exists...He was interested in proving the existence of Being Itself, or an Unmoved Mover.
  6. Standard memberChurlant
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    02 May '06 19:53
    Originally posted by Raindear
    A proof doesn't make any sense unless you determine before hand what you are proving. Aquinas was not interested in proving that "what God is to different people" exists...He was interested in proving the existence of Being Itself, or an Unmoved Mover.
    Aquinas, all all five proofs, showed little more than the existence of "First Cause", which many people simply choose to label "God" for lack of understanding.

    An object in motion must have been placed in motion... so God did it.

    This sounds about right for 13th century contemplation.

    -JC
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    02 May '06 20:223 edits
    Originally posted by Churlant
    Aquinas, all all five proofs, showed little more than the existence of "First Cause", which many people simply choose to label "God" for lack of understanding.

    An object in motion must have been placed in motion... so God did it.

    This sounds about right for 13th century contemplation.

    -JC
    LOL Ouch, that's harsh.

    Actually, you just proved my point. Anyone who has studied Aquinas thoroughly would know that he is not just talking about physical movement. He is talking about causality, final causality if I remember correctly. It makes more sense if you've read his proof in "On Being and Essence." There he points out that, in all things that have potential (can change), you can distinguish between "what the thing is" and "that the thing is." In other words, between its "essence" and its "existence." Using this distinction, he argues that the existence of changeable beings necessitates a Being whose essence is His existence.

    And good heavens...please don't act as though medievals were stupid because they didn't have cars or computers. Their buildings were a heck of a lot nicer and Aquinas was probably fluent in Latin and Greek.
  8. Standard memberChurlant
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    02 May '06 20:40
    Originally posted by Raindear
    LOL Ouch, that's harsh.

    Actually, you just proved my point. Anyone who has studied Aquinas thoroughly would know that he is not just talking about physical movement. He is talking about causality, final causality if I remember correctly. It makes more sense if you've read his proof in "On Being and Essence." There he points out that, in all things th ...[text shortened]... ngs were a heck of a lot nicer and Aquinas was probably fluent in Latin and Greek.
    Yes Aquinas was covering far more than kinetics, however the fact remains that each of his proofs is concerned with a first cause - the nature of which he supposes to be a God. I do not consider his thoughts to be "stupid" at all - to the contrary I view all of his writings as incredibly important contributions to both spirituality and reason.

    In the end he was still a man limited by 13th century knowledge. Many of his conclusions have no validity within the realm of 21st century physics.

    -JC
  9. Standard memberYuga
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    02 May '06 20:58
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    The whole point of Xtianity wasn't supposed to be that it would become some kind of mathematical problem to be disputed. It was supposed to be about something 'alive' and experiential so that instead of 'knowing' God existed because you had 'proved' it logically you 'got to know' God because he was hanging around with you , making a nuisance of himsel ...[text shortened]... en plausible. Without it God is just a preposterous mathematical nonsensical concept.
    Without what is God just a preposterous mathematical nonsensical concept? Christianity?

    Christianity is backed by numerous sources. There is a myriad of historical evidence supporting the divinity of Christ, etc.; in any case, I would believe in many of the principles of the Catholic church anyway.(though I am still looking for the Bible line, 'thou shall not wear condoms' and disagree with the church's view on homosexuality; I think the Bible is often misinterpreted.)

    A prepostorous mathematical concept?

    Here’s my view:

    Theology, the study of religion (and God), is only science only if empirical evidence supports the principles of theology. And theology is science, if evidence is collected in a scientifically acceptable method. The latest scientific evidence actually bolsters creationism, and detracts from macroevolution. And it is not conceivable that evolution or natural chance could ever provide an explanation of the origin of species. There had to be something, some instigator, some creator, that brought this universe into being. Something did not come from nothing. Otherwise there would be something. And there had to be a point for creation. I do not think the universe could have possibly spontaneously came into being; in any case, there had to be some force that makes us alive, conscious.
  10. Donationbbarr
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    02 May '06 21:01
    Originally posted by Raindear
    LOL Ouch, that's harsh.

    Actually, you just proved my point. Anyone who has studied Aquinas thoroughly would know that he is not just talking about physical movement. He is talking about causality, final causality if I remember correctly. It makes more sense if you've read his proof in "On Being and Essence." There he points out that, in all things th ...[text shortened]... ngs were a heck of a lot nicer and Aquinas was probably fluent in Latin and Greek.
    And then Kant had to spoil the fun by showing that existence isn't a predicate...
  11. Standard memberChurlant
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    02 May '06 21:031 edit
    Originally posted by Yuga
    There had to be something, some instigator, some creator, that brought this universe into being.[/b]
    And if the universe always existed, what then?

    -JC
  12. Donationbbarr
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    02 May '06 21:04
    Originally posted by Churlant
    And if the universe always existed, what then?

    -JC
    Then one of the premises of the cosmological argument is false.
  13. Standard memberChurlant
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    02 May '06 21:07
    Originally posted by bbarr
    Then one of the premises of the cosmological argument is false.
    Indeed.

    -JC
  14. Standard memberVillager
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    02 May '06 22:17
    This throws up an interesting question, for those of you who don't believe in God: suppose that He does exist; what 'proof' would you accept for this, that couldn't be otherwise ascribed to natural causes, delusional psychology or something else?
  15. Melbourne, Australia
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    02 May '06 23:00
    Originally posted by Villager
    This throws up an interesting question, for those of you who don't believe in God: suppose that He does exist; what 'proof' would you accept for this, that couldn't be otherwise ascribed to natural causes, delusional psychology or something else?
    That's a very interesting question.
    My response would have to be, I would accept nothing by way of proof. As an atheist my starting point is that all phenomena can be explained naturally.
    A position of faith? Yes, I think so. Faith in natural explanations over supernatural.
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