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  #151  
Old 05-08-2019, 08:46 AM
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I know there are religions that believe that God says anyone who doesn't accept him as the one and only deity will be confined to eternal hellfire.
Isn't that the sin of pride?
  #152  
Old 05-08-2019, 11:51 AM
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I was thinking that one issue is that many of the attributes we attribute to god could be just of our own human creation. It could be that there is a 'god' which created the universe. However, that god may have been just some entity which set the universe in motion. All the stuff about heaven, hell, good, evil, etc. could just be things that the sentient beings within the universe have made up. Such an entity could have unique skills because of their position relative to the universe, but they wouldn't necessarily be omnipotent and all that other stuff.

For example, if I setup an ant farm, I am a 'god' to the ants in some sense. I created the world they're living in and control the food and water that allows them to live. If subsequent generations of the ants create myths, fables and religion about me, the future, the past, what happens after death, etc., all those things are just made up by the ants and none if it may be true. Since I live outside the ant farm I have special abilities, like being able to reach in and move things or drop in things from outside, but I don't have any special abilities to make ants trustworthy or heal them. If I can somehow communicate with the ants to tell them that I am their god, they may expect me to meet certain requirements that fit their fantasies about me as proof, but there's no certainty I would be able to do what they asked.
  #153  
Old 05-08-2019, 12:30 PM
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But why do you allow so much sh!t in the world that you created?
It is necessary. There is no useful reality without misery, no construction without destruction, no life without imbalance. Without resistance to strive against, you have nothing*. Perfection is death.




*of course, as they say, nothing is greater than god: believe in nothing
  #154  
Old 05-08-2019, 12:49 PM
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If Perfection is Death, then God is Dead
  #155  
Old 05-08-2019, 01:31 PM
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Let's go back to basics:

Make a rock so big He Himself can't lift it.
Hell, I can do that. All I gotta do is find a big enough boulder, then chip off a small portion. I have now made TWO rocks one of whicb I can lift. The other is a rock so big I Myself can't lift it.
  #156  
Old 05-08-2019, 02:02 PM
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Yes, the person could have just proven themselves to be a god. Alternately, they could have just proven the existence of advanced aliens, or advanced human time-travelers. Or wizards. Or I could be going batshit insane, or be asleep. Extraordinary claims, extraordinary proof.
I think the only way to get from a god to the god would be for the entity to cow me and the rest of the world into submission with plagues, quakes, famines, death, disease, until coerced worship is the only means to preserve ones life. Oh yeah, and then to claim it was done out of love.
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  #157  
Old 05-08-2019, 10:16 PM
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Assuming a Christian God:

“If the Bible is the infallible word of you, and you are never wrong, what’s with all the contradictions? And none of that ‘mysterious ways’ bullshit”
  #158  
Old 05-09-2019, 11:08 AM
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Give me unlimited knowledge and wisdom to use it well: then I will believe you are either god or the devil, but I will not care which one of the two you are.
  #159  
Old 05-09-2019, 11:43 AM
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Let's go back to basics:

Make a rock so big He Himself can't lift it.
That is easy, I can do that with a bit of concrete and water (wine would be a waste, but would work as well). Many rocks out there I can not lift. But (SPOILER!!) I am not god.
  #160  
Old 05-09-2019, 12:04 PM
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Let's be less speciesist about this. Why assume that God is trying to prove his existence to a human being?

Could God prove his existence to a chimpanzee? Would an all-powerful and all-knowing being be able to frame the reality of his existence in terms that a chimpanzee could understand?

Let's move down the ladder. Could God prove his existence to a mouse? To a housefly? To a tree? To a bacterium? To a rock?

And if God can't do any of these things, then how is God all powerful and all knowing?
That is a good one I had not heard/read before
  #161  
Old 05-10-2019, 02:23 PM
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Most people, and things, prove that they exist by virtue of existing.
  #162  
Old 05-10-2019, 03:29 PM
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Most people, and things, prove that they exist by virtue of existing.
Yeah - once the dude is standing on your doorstep it's no longer a question of existence. It's a question of identity. And proving identity is actually pretty tricky, especially when there's nothing else to refer to.

Consider this: A dude with a long beard and a pointy hat shows up at your door and insists he's Gandalf. As in, the dude from the Tolkien books. And he in every way matches the description in the books - everything the books say Gandalf can do, he can do, up to and including being able to do magic. He exactly matches the description in every way.

Would you believe he's the fictional character? If not, why not? If so, what convinced you?

And if so, what do you do if a second bearded dude identical to the first turns up and says no, he's Gandalf! (Slapfest ensues.) Which one's the real Gandalf? Both? Neither? Does the second one's appearance reduce the credibility of the first one?

The deity on my doorstep has all the same problems, except in the case of God I don't even have a good description to compare him to. Suppose two deities turned up; what then?
  #163  
Old 05-10-2019, 08:16 PM
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to start I am pretty much an agnostic.

Let's say someone shows up at your door and says he's God and wants to prove it.

Then he says "I can snap my fingers and any car you want will appear right here. In fact I can bring any 5 cars of any cost - Mercedes, Rolls Royce, Lambo, Ferrari , etc. , or if you prefer I will give you $1 million in cash." and then does which one you pick.

Would you think this person is God or would you think there is some kind of trick going on? To me that would prove this person is God. What about you?
I've been thinking about this OP ever since shortly after it was posted. My first thought was, let him (or her, but take that as read) remove me from the universe and replace me with an identical copy who believes. That seems like solution, but kind of wise-ass. That there's smiting talk. Then I thought, let's say the car/cash offer was given simultaneously to everybody on the Earth. That would sure convince me.

But moreover, this is a silly question. It's not like God has ever tried anything like that, anything at all. I don't believe in God because there isn't any evidence. I haven't looked at evidence that I found fell short. Any evidence at all would be nice. I blame Jesus. The devil suggested a short flight in the desert, nothing flashy, but Jesus wasn't having any of it. Not the first child to be embarrassed by his parents, but there you are.
  #164  
Old 05-13-2019, 02:51 AM
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SMBC weighs in on the topic.
  #165  
Old 05-13-2019, 02:54 AM
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Most people, and things, prove that they exist by virtue of existing.
I don't see this.

Let's say there's a fish swimming in the Indian Ocean. It exists. But how is its existence proven to me?
  #166  
Old 05-13-2019, 07:50 AM
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Ooh, look- a sighting of Russell's Teapot.
  #167  
Old 05-13-2019, 07:52 AM
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I don't see this.

Let's say there's a fish swimming in the Indian Ocean. It exists. But how is its existence proven to me?
There is insufficient information to prove this fish exists. Unless you will allow me to pick any fish that is swimming in the Indian Ocean, in which case, I can find one for you if you like.

Last edited by Fake Tales of San Francisco; 05-13-2019 at 07:52 AM.
  #168  
Old 05-13-2019, 10:02 AM
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I don't see this.

Let's say there's a fish swimming in the Indian Ocean. It exists. But how is its existence proven to me?
Photograph, video, a trip to go see it, have it brought to you etc.
Can any of these solutions be applied to the "God" situation? If not, then your analogy doesn't apply.
  #169  
Old 05-13-2019, 03:10 PM
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A key tenant of most religion is faith. You don't need it proven to you.
  #170  
Old 05-13-2019, 03:11 PM
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A key tenant of most religion is faith. You don't need it proven to you.
Must the faith be blind, or is a bit of evidence allowed?
  #171  
Old 05-13-2019, 03:30 PM
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A key tenant of most religion is faith. You don't need it proven to you.
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Must the faith be blind, or is a bit of evidence allowed?
You can have as much proof as you desire. But isn't there an inverse correlation between the level of proof needed, and the amount of faith you have?

Various protestant denominations build in certain levels of proof into their own doctrines and traditions.
- Pentecostals speak in tongues as proof of their salvation
- Church of Christ consider the use of instruments during worship to be apostate and sign of corruption
- Tithing among many denominations is considered a tangible requirement of your faith
- Confessing your sins to a priest is considered an outward tangible sign of your faith in the Roman Catholic Church
- Regular church attendance is considered is considered a tangible requirement of many denominations.

etc.etc.
  #172  
Old 05-13-2019, 03:53 PM
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You can have as much proof as you desire. But isn't there an inverse correlation between the level of proof needed, and the amount of faith you have?
Yeah, but that's the whole point of the OP and this thread after all... finding out what proof atheists need, not the faithful flock... "Just have faith" isn't really any kind of answer, unless you are saying that there's no way to accept a god without it, and the only thing is a "Road to Damascus" kind of magical conversion?
  #173  
Old 05-13-2019, 03:57 PM
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You can have as much proof as you desire. But isn't there an inverse correlation between the level of proof needed, and the amount of faith you have?

Various protestant denominations build in certain levels of proof into their own doctrines and traditions.
- Pentecostals speak in tongues as proof of their salvation
- Church of Christ consider the use of instruments during worship to be apostate and sign of corruption
- Tithing among many denominations is considered a tangible requirement of your faith
- Confessing your sins to a priest is considered an outward tangible sign of your faith in the Roman Catholic Church
- Regular church attendance is considered is considered a tangible requirement of many denominations.

etc.etc.
Proof and evidence are two different things, and I was asking about evidence.
  #174  
Old 05-13-2019, 04:06 PM
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Proof and evidence are two different things, and I was asking about evidence.
But evidence to some is not to others.

Many people see the universe as evidence while others do not.

Many see their newborn children as evidence, while others do not.

Many see the kindness and compassion of strangers as evidence, while others do not.
  #175  
Old 05-13-2019, 04:09 PM
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Besides, God doesn't need to prove anything to anyone. However, there are many preachers, religious leaders, ministers, etc. that need to provide some forms of proof or evidence, to get seats in the pews filled, and offering baskets filled.
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Old 05-13-2019, 04:29 PM
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But evidence to some is not to others.

Many people see the universe as evidence while others do not.

Many see their newborn children as evidence, while others do not.

Many see the kindness and compassion of strangers as evidence, while others do not.
And many refuse to answer a direct question.
edited to add: The universe is evidence that the universe exists, newborn children are evidence that sex exists, and kindness and compassion of strangers that kindness and compassion exist.

Last edited by Czarcasm; 05-13-2019 at 04:31 PM.
  #177  
Old 05-13-2019, 05:03 PM
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But evidence to some is not to others.
To hammer the point a little, this is the explicit point of the thread. The question is what is evidence to you. And you. And you over there in the corner too.

For me, as I've said, the problem is twofold. 1) Proving that the entity has godlike power. This can actually be a little tricky without making massive alterations on a worldwide scale. Smaller things prove less - if he suddenly gives you a car he could either be God or Oprah Winfrey.

2) Proving that he's a specific god. There are actually a lot of theorized entities with godly power; can you prove he's not one of them instead? This is trickier than one might think. They all have he power of perfectly impersonating one another, after all.
  #178  
Old 05-13-2019, 05:58 PM
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I don't feel the need to convince anyone else about my belief in God. It is my belief. It is one that I have struggled with and doubted many times throughout my adulthood. But I still believe. It is not important to me that others share my beliefs. I highly doubt that there are many other Christians that share my beliefs 100%. And that's okay with me.
  #179  
Old 05-13-2019, 06:01 PM
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I don't feel the need to convince anyone else about my belief in God. It is my belief. It is one that I have struggled with and doubted many times throughout my adulthood. But I still believe. It is not important to me that others share my beliefs. I highly doubt that there are many other Christians that share my beliefs 100%. And that's okay with me.
That's nice. Not sure what bearing it has on what it takes to convince an atheist that a weirdo going door to door is God.
  #180  
Old 05-13-2019, 06:15 PM
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Do atheist really want to be convinced?
  #181  
Old 05-13-2019, 06:18 PM
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Do atheist really want to be convinced?
No they donít, thereís no way you can possibly convince them.
  #182  
Old 05-13-2019, 06:25 PM
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Do atheist really want to be convinced?
No they don't, but most atheists can easily be convinced that they're facing an entity with godlike power by the aforementioned entity doing things that could only be done with godlike power. Admittedly you have to cross the bar where they accuse it of using stage magic, but to an entity with truly godlike powers that should be trivial to accomplish.

Some theists like to claim atheists are being irrational in their denials because they think that if the atheists aren't being irrational it means that the theists (ie: them) must be.

Last edited by begbert2; 05-13-2019 at 06:26 PM. Reason: typo
  #183  
Old 05-13-2019, 06:30 PM
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Meh, we all be convinced in the afterlife.
  #184  
Old 05-13-2019, 06:44 PM
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Meh, we all be convinced in the afterlife.
So you're saying that the atheist should ask the God-claimaint to kill them? Sounds risky. What if the God's a fraud?



(For the record, I'm pretty confident that there will be no afterlife at all. If I somehow wake up in one, though, I will immediately accept that there is indeed an afterlife. I'm not unreasonable after all.)
  #185  
Old 05-13-2019, 06:47 PM
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Photograph, video, a trip to go see it, have it brought to you etc.
Can any of these solutions be applied to the "God" situation? If not, then your analogy doesn't apply.
It wasn't my analogy. I was arguing against it.
  #186  
Old 05-13-2019, 06:49 PM
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Which wouldn't necessarily imply the existence of a deity. More likely there would be something entirely natural about the nature of consciousness we just don't understand.
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  #187  
Old 05-13-2019, 06:50 PM
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A key tenant of most religion is faith. You don't need it proven to you.
Plenty of people in the world that believe Allah exists. Are the existences of God and Allah equally proven? (And if you want to argue that Allah and God are just different forms of belief in the same deity, the same argument also to completely distinct deities.)

So either faith proves a lot of different gods exist or it doesn't prove any of them exist.
  #188  
Old 05-13-2019, 06:52 PM
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Which wouldn't necessarily imply the existence of a deity. More likely there would be something entirely natural about the nature of consciousness we just don't understand.
Right - it's one thing to suddenly find yourself in an afterlife, another to believe that some specific dude in that afterlife is a deity (as opposed to being a regular ghost like everybody else is), and a very different third thing to believe that that entity deserves worship, adulation, or constant harp concerts.
  #189  
Old 05-13-2019, 06:52 PM
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Do atheist really want to be convinced?
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No they donít, thereís no way you can possibly convince them.
I would love to be convinced that there is some divine being that is watching over us, has a plan for us, and has a happy afterlife prepared for us. Who wouldn't want to believe that?
  #190  
Old 05-13-2019, 06:56 PM
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I would love to be convinced that there is some divine being that is watching over us, has a plan for us, and has a happy afterlife prepared for us. Who wouldn't want to believe that?
Autocratic dictators make me nervous, so I'd like to know more about the situation before I buy into it. Starting with a good explanation why we have to wait until the afterlife for the whole 'planned happiness' thing to kick in.
  #191  
Old 05-13-2019, 07:29 PM
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No they donít, thereís no way you can possibly convince them.
Then we're right, since by definition an omnipotent being could convince us.
  #192  
Old 05-14-2019, 01:49 AM
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I would love to be convinced that there is some divine being that is watching over us, has a plan for us, and has a happy afterlife prepared for us. Who wouldn't want to believe that?
"Who wouldn't want to believe that?" I would HATE that, and I'd HATE believing that.

And... an omniscient being would know how to prove that he exists. But something that doesn't exist can't prove anything.
  #193  
Old 05-14-2019, 10:10 AM
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No they donít, thereís no way you can possibly convince them.
Why do you say this?
  #194  
Old 05-14-2019, 12:02 PM
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A key tenant of most religion is faith. You don't need it proven to you.
Also true of con games.

In the Bible, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Moses spoke directly to God and didn't need faith. Was their belief less than those with faith today?
  #195  
Old 05-14-2019, 12:11 PM
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No they donít, thereís no way you can possibly convince them.
Can God create an atheist so stubborn that even He can't persuade the atheist to believe His existence?
  #196  
Old 05-14-2019, 12:16 PM
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No they donít, thereís no way you can possibly convince them.
No, we want to believe that which is best supported by the evidence. Got any?

Imagine if your appeals to faith were used by science. Anyone could give whatever conclusions they desired. Evidence? Nah, appeals to faith. No progress, because incorrect hypotheses would never get rejected based on evidence. There would be a church of the Big Bang and a church of the Steady State (and a dozen others, no doubt.)

Worse than that, many religionists want to pass laws based on what God wants. How do they know? Their version and interpretation of the Bible. How do we know that is accurate? Faith!
  #197  
Old 05-14-2019, 12:18 PM
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Meh, we all be convinced in the afterlife.
And when that happens Vishnu is going to whup your ass.
  #198  
Old 05-14-2019, 07:45 PM
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Can God create an atheist so stubborn that even He can't persuade the atheist to believe His existence?
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