Agnostics, what would make you believe in God?

Or Goddess, or G-d(s), etc.?

I’ve been thinking about this one lately. I’d consider myself an atheist, but there seems to be a lot of stuff that doesn’t fit well with a purely scientific view of the universe. To me, this implies a) that there’s “something” going on that implies the existence of a divine being/s or b) that science simply hasn’t advanced enough to explain the phenonema but will presumably do so at a later date.

It also seems that many atheists/agnostics I’ve met are skeptics to an absurd degree and will work some wonderful logical contortions just to debunk something, so anything that could be interpreted as supernatural becomes a result of swamp gas, weather balloons, moldy bread, etc.

My question is: if you are the sort that doesn’t believe in God/supernatural/etc. what would have to happen to make you believe?

Wow, good question. A fresh parting of the Red Sea would be nice.
Why was “God” so big on miracles in the biblical days and now we have to settle for water stains in Chicago tunnel looks like the Virgin Mary ? (Don’t know how long this link will last)

Yes, I am being a little flippant but seriously, how about some sort of major sign.

Bertrand Russell was supposed to have answered this question by saying that a Voice tellling him what would happen to him over the next 24 hours (and, by implication, being found to be correct) would do it for him. That sounds like a pretty good reply. If I write down the predictions and they turn out to be true then I can’t just say I was hallucinating. Given the choice between 1.)my being an unconscious precognitive who has audio hallucinations and 2.) the existence of God, Occam’s Razor would tend to favor the latter.

I’ve never noticed any of this stuff.

I see it the other way round. A lot of people see phenomena that can be quite adequately explained as a result of swamp gas, weather balloons or moldy bread, and for some reason decide to invent another, much less probable explanation.

You know, I’m not that sure anything could. A real, big, unambiguous miracle would go a long way, though.

Well, nothing so insignificant as apparitions or answered prayers (i.e., wishes coming true) would do it for me. Any unexplained mysterious ocurrence would simply stay in the “unexplained” column until some concrete evidence came along to explain it, in the same way that UFO’s stay unidentified until they are identified. And wishes “come true” as a matter of chance all the time (how many people all over the world win some sort of lottery every day?)

If greeted by the supreme being itself, I would probably doubt my own sanity before accepting the its existance. Given two options: (1) There is a supreme being, and (2) I’ve gone bonkers, option (2) just seems much more probable.

I suppose nothing short of the second coming (followed by my ascent/decent into heaven or hell) would really convince me.

Huh? Why? Why is the existence of an invisible omniscient omnipotent entity who singles you out as the beneficiary of Its infinite powers and holds a conversation with you for no purpose other than to satisfy your idle curiosity more likely than your being psychic?

Best answer I’ve ever heard. I’d say I’m kinda split down the middle between the two options, though.

God. Seriously.

Your query implicitly assumes that humans are absolutely sovereign over some aspect of their self, but an omnipotent God should be able to make me believe absolutely without requiring some intermediate step like a miracle. Requiring a miracle just shows that the Senses & Reason have primacy over God. Of course, the standard (Christian) rejoinder is that God gave us ‘free will’ and is testing us or something like that. Now, that just sounds like a rationalization, even if it is true. In the Upanishads, at least, God is evident, via consciousness, to anyone who makes the effort. In other words, the belief is not, supposedly, subjugated to faith. In Buddhism, this is explicit, although the Buddha was silent regarding theistic entities.

Any evidence whatsoever would be a good start.

This question pops up quite often here (and lots of other places on and offline as well).

I know the good Chairman is not asking the question this way. But when asked by a believer the implied question is "If you saw/heard/experienced X (where X can be any type of miraculous event). Would you then believe in god?

When these people say believe they actually mean worship.

For me as an atheist/agnostic. I guess that there probably could be some event or experiment or whatever that proved to me that there is a “god” entity or being with with such power compared to us so that it would be godlike. That does not neccessarily mean that I would worship said entity just because I accept that it exists.

What would it take to make you believe in invisible pink unicorns?

A lot, you’d say. Pinkness and invisibility are mutually contradictory attributes; to believe in an entity with both would require re-working the way I see the universe. A divine visitation might well convince me of the existence of the supernatural, but there are numerous stumbling blocks that need to be addressed before God, as He is commonly known to exist, becomes the most likely hypothesis.

Bertrand Russell was supposed to have answered this question by saying that a Voice tellling him what would happen to him over the next 24 hours (and, by implication, being found to be correct) would do it for him. That sounds like a pretty good reply. If I write down the predictions and they turn out to be true then I can’t just say I was hallucinating. Given the choice between 1.)my being an unconscious precognitive who has audio hallucinations and 2.) the existence of God, Occam’s Razor would tend to favor the latter.

Would you do it only once? In 1960? For 20 minutes?

Eye-witness resurrection of a dead relative would be a nice start. That coupled with back-to-back national championships for the North Carolina football team and I’ll be jumping for Jesus!

Jammer

Some form of communication from God or Jesus or somebody. If there’s a God and he’s all that, he should be able to communicate with us directly, no mediaries. And that means something you could record, not something in somebody’s head. Of course, if there is a God, he’s probably pretty embarassed at what he wrought.

But what would constitute evidence in your view? I see lots of evidence. What is it exactly that you’re waiting to see (experience, know, whatever…)?

A Voice told me yesterday that I would doublepost. But I think it was a precognitive moment.

Why psychic…he could qualify if psychotic?

Giving me the numbers to a particular state lottery (prior to the draw, obviously) consistently over a period of no less than five years.

YOU HEAR ME, O CREATOR???

Actually I’m a theist, but I’ll answer anyway. There is no evidence that could do that because God-belief is not an evidence-based concept; it is faith based - independent of the evidence and often held even in spite of evidence to the contrary. It is a basic postulate, you accept it or don’t just like you accept that parallel lines do not cross or you don’t. One way leads to one set of conclusions and another to another.

Gosh, something occurs that I have no scientific explanation for, so it follows that God must exist? I can’t live with the fact that science does not yet understand all things? I do not yet know about the moon blocking the sun so it must be God is angry? Sorry, but God-of-the-gaps is a poor reason to believe.