Atheists. What would you accept as evidence of a divine creator?

Right… Apparently no god wants me “in the know” :smiley:

But Pat Buchanan makes the list? That just makes me bitter :stuck_out_tongue:

I’ve got no problem with that. If he wants to hide so that I cant find him, I just wont go looking for him. He may be eternal, but I’ve got a short lifespan, and better things to do.

A divine creator would temporarily endow with their understanding. That is the only “proof” in my opinion.

It removes the ability to decide whether or not we believe it is true. And this doesn’t prove that He is our creator, only that he is powerful enough to rewrite our brains to believe whatever he wants.

You know, I was going to suggest an experiment: that every believer simultaneously and irrevocably becomes a non-believer, no new believers are ever created or born, and all Churches and other organized religious cease to exist in eternity. All this would have to happen at a designated time known only to the experimenters, and presumably, God.

Once I could verify the evidence using the scientific method, including repeatability, I’d be convinced. In the meantime, I’d enjoy the peace.

Not that I’d ever call myself an atheist, but all that would be interesting to see if an experiment could be designed for.

I think the point myself and others have made is that you can’t tell if these things are in fact actions of god or just things we don’t yet understand. Eclipses used to be thought of as proof of the existence of god, for example.

Skald once asked believers why prayer never results in the regrowth of limbs. If it was shown that certain events happen ONLY when prayer is involved, then I would start to think perhaps the theists were onto something. But having unexplained events just doesn’t do it for me and never will. As others have said, I’d assume I was either going crazy or there was a natural explanation I wasn’t aware of.

Sure, I don’t see that as a problem. How about a simultaneous telepathic projection to all humans in the world, spoken to each in their preferred language, which says something like, “I am the one true creator and lord of all creation. What you do with that information is your own choice.” Simple enough.

For me the distinction between a god or just something I can’t understand is not important. By that I mean that if a giant face appeared in the sky that everyone could see and started to perform miracles, it might be God or it might be an alien race that is godlike, either way works for me. If I am going insane there’s not much I can do about it. That scenario approaches the god line enough for me. Or, as I and others have said, he could just make me believe in him, if he exists and doesn’t it just seems like a passive aggressive mind game on His part.

Do you regularly just decide whether or not the sky is blue? I mean, you sort of could say you do, but the reality is that you just know it is the way it is. So your free will seems to get on just fine with received, inherent, unavoidable knowledge of certain things. So why not the existence of God as well?

The problem really is more that there is no sensible concept of “free will,” but that’s a different issue.

Theoretically, one could simply assert this about ANY knowledge at all. We COULD all just be brains in jars, with all of reality simply being an illusion generated to convince us.

Again, I don’t see how instinctual knowledge (especially given that we are assuming for the sake of argument, that it’s true) restricts our ability to choose. It enhances our ability to choose precisely because it allows us to know reality better and thus implications of our choices better, rather than our choices being ill informed, confused, or determined by more random factors.

It would go like this:

  1. Magic message in the sky that says “To demonstrate almightiness, ask and your request will be granted within 24 hours”.
  2. I request that the melting temperature of water be raised by 0.2 degrees with no harmful side effects.
  3. Within 24 hours, multiple labs across the globe verify the change.
  4. I request that the original melting temperature be restored with no harmful side effects.
  5. Verification of the second change occurs within 24 hours.
  6. Belief ensues.

Technically, this would only prove the existence of a being that could communicate magically and manipulate physical properties upon request. Some would argue this being need not be divine, nor that this experiment proves that this entity is the same entity that created the universe. But it would be good enough for me.

The existence of a near omnipotent superbeing shouldn’t be that hard to prove, should such a being want to make itself known. Cosmic Relief gives one of many tests by which such a being could make itself known. Whether that being would count as God or not is a semantic quibble IMO. It certainly counts as a god, like Zeus or Odin. And Gods like Isis or Marduk have been worshipped for longer than the Omnimax God of western monotheism. If such a god would do me favors if I said nice things about him/her/it once a week and refrained from certain foods, it seems like a fair enough bargain.

That said, I think if there were a real being of such great power, it’s existence would be so obvious it wouldn’t be a matter for debate. It would be like debating the existence of rain.

The acceptance of a higher power, the simple belief in God or any Supreme Being or Entity or Whatever, is intensely personal, as it should be, and is strictly a matter of individual faith and choice. It shouldn’t carry any dogmatic or doctrinal baggage thought up by religious leaders, although it is that very baggage that seems to attract the masses. There is NO evidence to support either side of the debate about the existence of such a Being. Waving the Bible in the air and claiming that it is proof of the existence of God is like holding up the Super Bowl trophy and claiming that the Vikings have a legitimate chance of winning it…ever! You cannot use the Bible to prove the Bible. Telling me that my ignorance, regardless of the depth of that ignorance, about the formation of the cosmos and the beginnings of life in the universe is proof of God’s existence is just stupid. I like the one about the universe appearing to have a design therefore it must have had a Designer. That sort of reasoning was used to prove that the earth was flat, that “bad humors” caused disease, that bleeding and leeches were proper medical practices, and that bathing was unhealthy.

“Faith” is what you have. “Religion” is what you do or what is done to you.

One thing remains constant: everybody who believes is convinced that their beliefs are right and all others are wrong or, at best, sadly mistaken. Many will defend their positions when all reason demands that they alter their view. Some will go to their grave, and take you with them, with a smile on their face because they are right and you are wrong. But, good heavens, folks, all religious doctrines can’t be right! However, they can all be wrong.

Eh, he could rock those cynics if he tried. Feed a household with some bread? Could do it on his head…
But why does he take so long? Apparently something’s gone wrong.

It really wouldn’t take much to convince me. A competent god would know exactly what to do to convince me. And it’s probably different for everyone, but a critter that could create all this could easily figure it out.
The great part is that insane people rarely know they’re insane, so I wouldn’t know the difference!

Flooding the world with water created ex nilho would be quite convincing.

That or summoning a pillar of fire that moved with some purpose, hovered above the ground and didn’t consume anything below it(or at all) would also work.

Would a definite sighting of a ghost bring anyone closer to a belief in God?

It would certainly make me wonder if I showed no other signs of hallucinations or mental illness. Especially if someone else was present when it happened.

Unlike the other things mentioned in this thread, at least ghost sightings happen quite often (even if we’ve never had a verifiable one yet).

The verified existence of ghosts would actually disprove the religions that say everyone goes to either heaven or hell. Certainly it opens up possibilities for non-material planes of existence, but that doesn’t mean a divine creator exists in any of them.

You’re assuming he exists. If this is purely the mental exercise side of things I don’t believe in God or Satan and if Satan was to show up at my door not asking for candy I’d have to take some things like the God as a real possibility.
And at the same time if I had a floating head of the Burger King guy from the commercials in my living room I might also think I was losing my mind and try to enjoy it.

Offer Satan a beer and see if he’ll chill with you.

“I’ve seen a white fuzzy thing with some humanlike features so there must be an all powerful being that created the universe”.

Gee, that’s quite an … *impressive *leap. Personally last week I saw a red ford sedan so I’m pretty sure that means the moon is made of green cheese. Well it brings me closer to that belief, anyway.

Let him impress the mathematicians by trading the values of Pi and e on the day of their choosing. Let him give every astronomer the gift of having extinguished the star of the astronomer’s choosing far enough in the past that the astronomer can watch it for himself on midnight of Halloween. Let him show the learned that he has reversed the page order in all the books already printed, if they propose false gods and false religions. Let him bring back to life every deceased person who was buried wearing a cross.

There are so many little things he could do that would be awfully difficult to explain otherwise - I can’t imagine why he has continued this ruse for so long.

This has always baffled me. If I may ask in a guileless way, because I appreciate the sentiment expressed and don’t mean to try to chop it down, mustn’t it be true that there either is a higher power or there is not a higher power? That is, there is a point of fact at the foundation of this, and people are either correct or incorrect in their appraisal of this question. And, how can believing in something be a choice? I believe water runs downhill and not uphill because of what I see water doing, and I have no choice in it. Isn’t choosing to believe something the same as pretending? If you know you chose to believe, doesn’t that mean you chose not to see the answer to a question as it was, and opted to pretend instead?

Sadly, I realize that if we had less freedom to believe what we believe, and to admit it, that athiests like me would be the first to go. So, I appreciate the leeway we give people for beliefs, and am more curious than I am determined to change the poster’s view.