Jump to content

Western Civilization’s Last Stand

The Art of The Argument

Available Now | artoftheargument.com

Freedomain Radio Amazon Affiliate Links: United States - Canada - United Kingdom

Sign up for the Freedomain Mailing List: fdrurl.com/newsletter

HowardHill

How to prove God does not exist.

Recommended Posts

The more positive claims that are made about God, the easier it is to disprove, or at least provide evidence against, those claims. A deistic God, who exists somewhere out in the ether and has no discernible traits and doesn't interact with the universe in any way, is likely impossible to disprove aside from possibly doing so from the inherent contradictions with omnipotence, if it is omnipotent. Such a deity is really close to not existing anyway. On the other hand, if someone claims that the Bible is 100% literally true, then it is far easier to provide evidence that this claim is false, both from contradictions within the Bible and from how science contradicts the Bible.

Often in theological arguments, theists will make the absolute minimum positive claims about God or his/its qualities. Which is entirely reasonable, as the fewer claims made the harder it is the refute. One common claim made though is that God is omnipotent. This is a rather nebulous idea which allows for special pleading in regards to how God might come into existence without a cause while the rest of the universe needs a cause. Of course, if someone brings up contradictions which arise from the concept of omnipotence or omniscience (such as God not being able to make choices, god having inherent qualities, even silly ones like making rocks bigger than he can lift) the theist can easily dismiss them by saying that God along with God's omnipotence and omniscience are beyond human understanding, even though it is exactly trying to understand those traits which allows "unmoved first mover" sorts of arguments.

Speaking of which, some have asked how the universe could come into existence from nothing without a God. Well, ultimately I have to say that I don't know, which is the answer that any of us should give. Though just because you don't know doesn't mean that an unsubstantiated claim (God did it) should be accepted. Though one thing to keep in mind when discussing the origins of existence is that we can't imagine the beginning, or the time before, as merely empty space. Empty space is indeed something, in fact an empty universe has all sorts of traits, including physical laws, the very physical laws which in large part define our discussion of cosmic beginnings. So before existence there is no empty space and not even any laws of physics. There is literally nothing. If there is nothing at all, not even laws of physics or reality, then there is no reason that something can't spring into existence from nothing. This idea is kind of like Greek pagan cosmology, where existence begins with Chaos - which is not merely nothingness but a sort of chaotic flux of possibilities from which the primordial Greek deities emerged. If such a chaos existed before the universe came into being, then countless things would pop into and out of existence with true randomness. At least until something came into existence with some level of permanence that resisted the surrounding chaos - which could be our universe or at least some set of cosmological laws which allowed our universe to manifest, or even God actually. Such things are incomprehensible though, so I wouldn't be too confident about any claims regarding the time before our universe existed, but I'm just discussing possibilities.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/10/2018 at 10:17 AM, ShieldWife said:

The more positive claims that are made about God, the easier it is to disprove, or at least provide evidence against, those claims. A deistic God, who exists somewhere out in the ether and has no discernible traits and doesn't interact with the universe in any way, is likely impossible to disprove aside from possibly doing so from the inherent contradictions with omnipotence, if it is omnipotent. Such a deity is really close to not existing anyway. On the other hand, if someone claims that the Bible is 100% literally true, then it is far easier to provide evidence that this claim is false, both from contradictions within the Bible and from how science contradicts the Bible.

Often in theological arguments, theists will make the absolute minimum positive claims about God or his/its qualities. Which is entirely reasonable, as the fewer claims made the harder it is the refute. One common claim made though is that God is omnipotent. This is a rather nebulous idea which allows for special pleading in regards to how God might come into existence without a cause while the rest of the universe needs a cause. Of course, if someone brings up contradictions which arise from the concept of omnipotence or omniscience (such as God not being able to make choices, god having inherent qualities, even silly ones like making rocks bigger than he can lift) the theist can easily dismiss them by saying that God along with God's omnipotence and omniscience are beyond human understanding, even though it is exactly trying to understand those traits which allows "unmoved first mover" sorts of arguments.

Speaking of which, some have asked how the universe could come into existence from nothing without a God. Well, ultimately I have to say that I don't know, which is the answer that any of us should give. Though just because you don't know doesn't mean that an unsubstantiated claim (God did it) should be accepted. Though one thing to keep in mind when discussing the origins of existence is that we can't imagine the beginning, or the time before, as merely empty space. Empty space is indeed something, in fact an empty universe has all sorts of traits, including physical laws, the very physical laws which in large part define our discussion of cosmic beginnings. So before existence there is no empty space and not even any laws of physics. There is literally nothing. If there is nothing at all, not even laws of physics or reality, then there is no reason that something can't spring into existence from nothing. This idea is kind of like Greek pagan cosmology, where existence begins with Chaos - which is not merely nothingness but a sort of chaotic flux of possibilities from which the primordial Greek deities emerged. If such a chaos existed before the universe came into being, then countless things would pop into and out of existence with true randomness. At least until something came into existence with some level of permanence that resisted the surrounding chaos - which could be our universe or at least some set of cosmological laws which allowed our universe to manifest, or even God actually. Such things are incomprehensible though, so I wouldn't be too confident about any claims regarding the time before our universe existed, but I'm just discussing possibilities.

Why would chaos be creative?  That sounds like "quantum magic" nerd thinking.  A broken car is more chaotic than a functioning one, no?  Chaos means less and less structure and order, not more.  The most chaotic possible system would be one with zero structure, zero order; in other words, a "system" that was identical to nothingness.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Donnadogsoth said:

Why would chaos be creative?  That sounds like "quantum magic" nerd thinking.  A broken car is more chaotic than a functioning one, no?  Chaos means less and less structure and order, not more.  The most chaotic possible system would be one with zero structure, zero order; in other words, a "system" that was identical to nothingness.

Your thinking of chaos within the context of the physical laws of this universe. In this universe, disordered systems do not spontaneously order themselves, at least not without external energy or a total increase of disorder. You're not describing true nothingness, but rather our universe's physical laws but without matter or energy. What if there were no physical laws at all? That is the scenario I describe, existence before the physical laws of our reality existed. That is a condition where things could happen spontaneously. I must admit, it does sound rather magical though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, ShieldWife said:

Your thinking of chaos within the context of the physical laws of this universe. In this universe, disordered systems do not spontaneously order themselves, at least not without external energy or a total increase of disorder. You're not describing true nothingness, but rather our universe's physical laws but without matter or energy. What if there were no physical laws at all? That is the scenario I describe, existence before the physical laws of our reality existed. That is a condition where things could happen spontaneously. I must admit, it does sound rather magical though.

Natural law only makes sense in the context of a Creator.  If we retreat from natural law into a pre-universe state, we find ourselves confronting the Creator. The problem a mindless Creator or creative chaos poses (really a Creatrix as it wouldn't be rationally creating but essentially giving birth to things) is that nothing means anything without an observer, and therefore lacks sufficient reason to exist.  That is, without an observer, no thing can be said to exist, including a chaotic Creatrix.  And even if the Creatrix had a vacuous observing mind, such a being could not have given rise to the ordered universe we see around us.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been thinking about this a lot lately, especially after listening to Stefan. This is one of those few topics where I disagree with him. There is no way to either prove, or disprove, the existence of god. Though I will agree with those saying that it is a matter of definition and what one actually believes god(s) to be. Topics like this are fun to talk about, but have little actual bearing on the reality of life. We will either find out one day as a species, if we both live long enough and learn enough, or we will all find out when we die. That is assuming that we aren't just dead, in which case none of this matters regardless. So, I remain a strong skeptic. If I had to choose a god to worship, I'd personally choose Athena, goddess of wisdom. But, that doesn't mean I truly believe. 

Human beings, as a species, require hope and some comforting beliefs in order to keep going. I would strongly argue that it is a matter of IQ and intelligence that determines just what form that takes, with the less intelligent going more towards religious beliefs and believing in that which they can't possibly prove or know. However, in topics that can't be proven or disproved, then it is merely a theory. It doesn't matter how much someone believes it to be true if they don't have any proof. 

Finally, as Stefan has said before, I care more about the outcome of a belief than the belief itself. So, while I don't really agree with religion or the basis for it, this doesn't mean that I dislike all religions. Some religious groups do produce some rather good results, like here in the west with Christianity. People have become more secular and scientific thanks to the combination of Christianity and Philosophy. Hopefully someday we will know for certain the truth of this matter, but I think it shall always remain a mystery that tugs at the hearts, minds, and souls of the species.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/27/2017 at 9:46 PM, Jsbrads said:

The universe was created.

Let me know how when you figure it out.

I do!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Prove God doesn't exist, I don't think so.  God is an idea, an ancient idea and with that idea the religions of the times clarified for ancient peoples the nature of the universe.  And the ideas were accept for millenia until associate knowledge regarding God was forgotten and someone said, God? hey wait a minute wtf is that!

Since then notables like Galileo, Darwin and many others have reassessed understandings about the nature of the universe, until here we are today questioning a massive idea but without the associate knowledge surrounding It - It being God.

Proof or disproof of God cannot be given except without an understanding exceedingly similar to that of the olde, which can then be translated into today's equivalent of the new.  The sciences have certainly succeeded towards that end more positively than most religions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/10/2018 at 8:17 AM, ShieldWife said:

Speaking of which, some have asked how the universe could come into existence from nothing without a God. Well, ultimately I have to say that I don't know, which is the answer that any of us should give.

While you are right, prior to the creation of our universe, there were no laws of physics, cosmologists today still maintain that certain laws would still remain, one in particular being conservation of energy.

Additionally, as hokey as this sounds, the quantity of energy needed to create our universe would have to be so precise that it may not be possible for our universe to be created by accident...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To be blunt with this topic, the truth is that, with the current state of things, we cannot know either way. The real question is whether or not one can be rational and sane while still believing or rational and sane while not believing, which, at first, seems like harder territory for being more broad, but this seems to be where people end up arguing, anyway.

The cold hard truth, too, is that science is only science when conclusions are based on observation and logic. What science is proposing is illogical, nor has it been observed, so there's nothing scientific about it, just like there is no utopian society. We'll never reach it, but we should always reach for it. I have another topic here, but much older, that argues this in more detail, but it was dead when it started, and it's dead right now. The objective of the topic was to challenge the very things that science is hung up on: numbers. We simplify our universe using math, but does that mean there is any evidence that our universe even obeys the rules of math? Why should it? Math itself is based on a mix of observation and human language, so why would the universe, which we all agree existed before us, follow our created rules? What evidence do we have that the number two, instead of a quantity that we use 2 to represent, actually exists? The issue is, math and logic are in conflict when it comes to the origins of the universe, because the universe cannot be infinite unless we have a big bang and a big suck cycle, which means we've taken the floor from 3d space being infinite simply so we can say that time is infinite (thus the universe always cycled). I question the very existence of time, and what is the response? Well, there are other directions (dimensions) as well. We have no evidence for any numbers or axes actually existing, yet we continue to try to push this idea. The cold hard fact is, we don't even have a clue, and we probably never will, regardless of whether or not God exists. But, instead of analyzing where we're weak, we're trying to patch things up. Pythagoreanism is our problem. We've only removed God to replace it with this religion, which now we even have people proposing "programmer theory" to suggest that there really is a creator afterall, but it's not God, thus we're going to a whole new Turtles All the Way Down.

 

Seriously, how do we call this "enlightened?" Oh goody, we got rid of God! now what? We invent Him again. Way to go, humanity. At least when we believed in God, we had a moral and ethical system based around Him, even if we don't agree on all the rules. Let's quit trying to replace one religion with another religion that's more convenient for government, hedonists, nihilists, and others who mean harm towards humanity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 03/05/2018 at 8:39 PM, Kohlrak said:

To be blunt with this topic, the truth is that, with the current state of things, we cannot know either way. The real question is whether or not one can be rational and sane while still believing or rational and sane while not believing, which, at first, seems like harder territory for being more broad, but this seems to be where people end up arguing, anyway.
 

Not believing is the default position, until proof and evidence is presented.

You can argue that non-belief in a god creates or presents problems for humanity. That still doesnt alter that non belief is the default position, or that proof and evidence hasnt been presented. Its not possible for a rational person to just decide to believe something that has no basis in ratiionality, so even if I  could see that a belief in god was a positive for humanity, I still couldnt believe with no proof or evidence.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A dog doesn't refuse to fly. Nor does it make sense to expect it do so eventually. It's attribution of qualities that have no basis in logic, no other way around it but to see it as irrational.

Then again, there's the 'flying sheep' phenomenon (not 'Worms Armageddon')

As in: In extreme conditions, strong wind gusts might blow sheep off their feet (I'm thinking good ol' Ireland/Scotland), making it seem sheeps can fly.

or better even,

Monty Python came up with a far more entertaining idea, that is if 'sheep could jump the hoops of logic, clean, straight through' (Flying Sheep + Flying Sheep in French)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, neeeel said:

Not believing is the default position, until proof and evidence is presented.

You can argue that non-belief in a god creates or presents problems for humanity. That still doesnt alter that non belief is the default position, or that proof and evidence hasnt been presented. Its not possible for a rational person to just decide to believe something that has no basis in ratiionality, so even if I  could see that a belief in god was a positive for humanity, I still couldnt believe with no proof or evidence.

 

 

Right. One also needs to see that disbelief (active rejection) is not the same as not believing (simply default state), but that's a whole other topic (disbelief seems to be the point of the first post). But, you're right: if you have no reason to believe, one should not expect you to. Reality doesn't care what the consequences of reality are.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.